Placeholder Names

Kadigan is a term used to describe placeholder words. The ‘kadigan‘ Wikipedia page is all about placeholders.

I LOVE this page.

For instance, a few placeholders for ‘People‘:

  • Joe Blow
  • Tom, Dick and Harry
  • Joe Public
  • The Joneses
  • Buddy
  • So and So
  • John Doe
  • Frick and Frack
  • Or placeholders for ‘Numbers‘:

  • squillion buhmillion, frillion, gazillion, jillion, kajillion, hojillion, schmillion, zillion
  • eleventy-; e.g., eleventy-four
  • mumblety, used specifically to conceal one’s advanced age, as in “I shall be mumblety this year” or “mumblety-three”
  • umpteen
  • oodles
  • tons
  • scads
  • buckets
  • some-odd
  • a couple
  • a couple-few or coupla few
  • bunch
  • [expletive]-load e.g. shitload or shitloads
  • metric fuck-ton
  • Karakuri Tea Serving Robot Kit

    Karakuri Tea Servicing Robot Kit

    Here’s an interesting DIY robot kit that you might give to your significant other, it’s only US $64. You can view the entire assembly manual (PDF) in English for this kit and see all the parts required before purchasing as well.

    The history of Karakuri (“Karakuri” means the mechanism that drives a machine.) automatic dolls in Japan began in the early Edo period 1603~1867. The tea-serving doll is the most typical one and it appears in the book
    written by Ihara Saikaku, a very popular novelist in the Edo period. This Karakuri doll kit is produced according to the “Karakuri Zui”, the only existing manual of Karakuri mechanical dolls written in 1796 by Hosokawa Hanzo, popularly
    known as Karakuri Hanzo who was an engineer of Tosa domain. Karakuri dolls can be said to be one of the original foams of modern robots. Please enjoy the beauty of Japanese craftsmanship of those days by assembling this kit.

    This robotic doll has more than a few different movement types including:

    • Shuffle walk
    • Start/Stop
    • Go straight
    • Turn
    • Adjustable speed
    • Bow politely to his mistress or master

    Freshen Up Your Workspace With AromaUSB, For Mini-Funk and Industrial-Funk


    This little gadget has been around for over a year now I believe and it’s still being talked about when I thought it would have faded into the background along with it’s scent.

    Here we have the AromaUSB, it’s a simple diffuser USB device with small replaceable scented cartridge that can be inserted within the device. The product page claims one week of usage, I’m guessing this is one full week while receiving power, unlike the pic above where it’s plugged into a laptop that surely has a more aggressive power management policy than a desktop that might host the aroma gadget 24×7 with power.

    If you need something with a little more industrial strength capability to deliver continuous aroma to rid your space of that awful funk (or if you just don’t believe in bathing), look no further than their DESKTOP version of the device – AromaUSB ARD-10 Desktop:

    ARD-10 AromaUSB

    Bacteria Revived From 120,000-Year-Old Ice


    A team of Penn State scientists has discovered a new ultra-small species of bacteria that has survived for more than 120,000 years within the ice of a Greenland glacier at a depth of nearly two miles. The microorganism’s ability to persist in this low-temperature, high-pressure, reduced-oxygen, and nutrient-poor habitat makes it particularly useful for studying how life, in general, can survive in a variety of extreme environments on Earth and possibly elsewhere in the solar system.

    The researches then filtered the cells from melted ice and incubated them in the cold in low-nutrient, oxygen-free solutions.

    Let’s just hope we’re not playing with fire by reviving something that for all intents and purposes should have been dead, dead, dead long ago.

    Phoenix Scoops Up Martian Soil

     Phoenix scoop

    Why is there a footprint in this photo?

    One week after landing on the Mars northern polar region, NASA Phoenix spacecraft lifted its first scoop of Martian soil as a test of the lander’s Robotic Arm.

    The practice scoop was emptied onto a designated dump area on the ground after the Robotic Arm Camera photographed the soil inside the scoop. The Phoenix team plans to have the arm deliver its next scoopful, later this week, to an instrument that heats and sniffs the sample to identify ingredients.


    Minnesota Town to Google: ‘Go To Hell’


    From Information Week: Minnesota town vanishes from Google Street images.

    OK, perhaps my title for this post is a little harsh. It appears that the city council for North Oaks, Minnesota saw the Google Maps Street View pics on the net as a violation of the their trespassing ordinance. The city asked Google to take down the photos, Google complied.

    I’m impressed.

    Google last week filed a motion to dismiss an invasion-of-privacy and trespassing lawsuit brought by a couple in Pennsylvania over Google Maps Street View images of the couple’s house. While Google has removed the images in question, it rejects the couple’s demand for damages, claiming that the couple’s expectation of privacy is too high.

    Goofy News Bits: 6-2-2008

    News and Coffee in the morning

    Cylon Baseships Run Windows XP?

    Wiener water soup – I can’t believe someone green lighted this recipe on

    A blog dedicated to pipe-dream ideas, broadcast for anyone to pursue.

    Mötley Crüe Sells More Through ‘Rock Band’ Than iTunes

    A fact of the male brain “Bikin-clad women make men impatient” – A recent study shows that men who watched sexy videos or handled lingerie sought immediate gratification–even when they were making decisions about money, soda, and candy. Duh.

    Fractal furniture! 

    How Rock Band saved my marriage

    The sad demise of whimsical teasing in Comic Chat

    Analyst: Netflix Will Come to Xbox 360

    I found this analysis on GameDaily.

    It’s been rumored before, but Wedbush Morgan analyst Michael Pachter is more and more confident that Microsoft will team with Netflix. GameDaily chats with Pachter about this potential partnership.

    …there’s 5-6 million Xbox Live subscribers that Netflix would love to have join Netflix service and there’s probably 5-6 million Netflix subscribers that Microsoft would love to sell an Xbox 360 to.

    For me personally, I use Netflix yet I don’t have an XBOX 360. I do have the original Xbox and a Wii but this service wouldn’t be enough to get me to purchase the 360 unless it was significantly discounted (< US $100).

    Pantech Breeze, A Mobile Phone Targeting The Older Generation?

    Pantech Breeze

    AT&T and Pantech have announced the Pantech Breeze. Why ‘Breeze’? It’s EASY to use: breEZe.

    This phone appears to be targeting an older consumer according to some of the reviews out there, while Pantech says it’s designed to be used by children as well as adults.

    But they also hype is as having oversized buttons, large text, easy access advanced function buttons (speakerphone & camera) as 3 special keys for one-click calling. I won’t bore you with specs, you can get them at Pantech’s Breeze product page.

    Here’s a close-up of the top half of this flip phone:

    Pantech Quick Call keys

    Dueling Chess Shops

    Chess Pieces

    Someone should write a screenplay on this one, the New York Observer has the story on these chess geeks.

    The Scene: Greenwich Village, New York City

    The Players: Owners of The Chess Forum (est 1995) and The Chess Shop (est 1972)

    The Plot: Two chess stores across the street from each other, the owners feuding for 13+ years after a falling out. The story involves Russell Crowe as a customer, the intellectual elite, betrayal, a knife drawn on a longtime chess opponent and more.

    [via Purple Pawn]

    Update: Denver Video of "Alien Confirmation"

    Alien in Window

    This is a follow-up to the earlier post on the gentleman, Jeff Peckman of Denver Colorado, that supposedly has a video of real life aliens. In his much ballyhooed press conference today he released a still photo from the video, more like a teaser! Seems he has a documentary deal already in the works and is not allowed to share more with us lest he give away the good stuff. You can watch an interview of him about this video on MSNBC.

    Oh, and regarding Denver and aliens…he says “Denver, after all, is closer to outer space than most other major cities — we’re the Mile High City — so it’s a natural first stop for them.”

    But of course! After possibly traveling many light years it makes perfect sense that the additional 5,000 feet saved from having to make it to sea level is all the difference in the world to get that extra alien contact.

    Man to Unveil ‘Visual Confirmation’ of Space Alien in Video

    Alien Grays  (photo on file from Roswell Press 1947)

    A video that purportedly shows a living, breathing alien not of this Earth will be shown to the news media Friday in Denver. Jeff Peckman, who is pushing a ballot initiative to create an Extraterrestrial Affairs Commission in Denver to prepare the city for close encounters of the alien kind, said the video is authentic and convinced him that aliens exist.

    ‘‘As impressive as it is, it’s still one tiny portion in the context of a vast amount of peripheral evidence,’’ he said Wednesday. ‘‘It’s really the final visual confirmation of what you already know to be true having seen all the other evidence.’’

    UPI has the gory details, though I wouldn’t bet on this being legit.

    Researchers Say Stonehenge Was a Family Burial Ground


    New research is indicating that the secret of Stonehenge may have finally been solved. The mysterious circle of large stones in southern England was mainly a burial ground for about 500 years, and the site may hold more remains of a family that ruled the area for quite a while.

    Based on radiocarbon dating of cremated bones up to 5,000 years old, researchers with the Stonehenge Riverside Project said they are convinced the area was built and then grew as a “domain of the ancestors.”

    LA Times has the full story. So does BBC News, MSNBC and New York Times

    Monkeys Managing Machines. Or, Monkey Brain Hardwired To Robotic Arm, Feeds Self.

     Monkey brain controls robotic arm

    In a mental meeting of monkey and machine, two primates have learned to feed themselves with a robotic arm by controlling the appendage with signals from their brains.

    The success boosts hopes for mind-controlled robotic prosthetics that may help disabled humans achieve some mobility.

    Jeebus, something about this gives me a feeling of impending doom, maybe subconsciously I’m seeing this as the beginning of some kind of twilight zone thing that doesn’t end well for society. Like maybe a Planet of the Apes kind of thing.

    Take your pick for more details, some with video:

    BBC News
    Voice of America
    Science News

    Search For The Titanic Was a Cover For Secret Cold War Sub Missions

    Scorpion Submarine

    Almost unbelievable, but still, here it is: <snip>

    When Bob Ballard led a team that pinpointed the wreckage of the liner in 1985 he had already completed his main task of finding out what happened to USS Thresher and USS Scorpion.

    Both of the United States Navy vessels sank during the 1960s, killing more than 200 men and giving rise to fears that at least one of them, Scorpion, had been sunk by the USSR.

    Dr Ballard, an oceanographer, has admitted that he located and inspected the wrecks for the US Navy in top secret missions before he was allowed to search for the Titanic.

    Times Online has the full story.

    BTW, the pic above is the USS Scorpion, it was the sister ship to the first sub I served on. They were part of the Skipjack class of boats and they were pigs, but I say that with love and with fond memories.

    Portal Page For Your Mobile

    2 mobiles

    I created a portal page for mobile devices, renders pretty quickly on mobiles, is pretty small and links out to other mobile optimized sites. I’ve set this as one of my favorites on my smartphone and it comes in handy quite a lot.

    In fact, I ordered the new Stargate Ark of Truth DVD from Amazon via this portal the other day while I was in bed. Apparently Amazon Mobile keeps the ordering process to the barebones, it took just a couple of clicks fewer than it does using the PC.

    What’s missing from the categories that you think would be useful to your average geek? Is there a mobile optimized site that you feel should be a must have?