Zoo Doo

First there was the conversation about how to get a baby squirrel to pee. (UPDATE: The squirrel now pees at inappropriate times. So he’s been named Lindsey in honor.)
Then, it turned to even more strange topics, like zoo manure! ZooDoo – Product Information:

Hoof stock (giraffe, zebra, elephant, bison, antelope, llama, rhino, hippo and camel) manure, and bedding straw is collected from the Auckland and Wellington zoo’s and shredded, then put into piles before being covered with black plastic so that it heats to high temperatures. This hot method of composting kills weeds and diseases, sterilising the compost. Every two days the piles of compost are turned and, after approximately two and a half weeks, the compost is mixed with aged bark fines, and packed into bags ready for use. The end result is a sweet-smelling, easy to handle, quality compost-high in nutrients.

Wait! It gets better!

Unique gift ideas – Endangered Faeces garden ornaments:

EndangeredFaeces are little animal statues made from their own doo. These unique gift ideas come from Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch zoos. It has been heat treated so it is quite safe and there is no smell at all. Nitrophoska Blue Extra, which is a general fertiliser suitable for all plants, shrubs, trees, flowers and vegetables, has been added to each animal statue to give your plants that little bit more.

ZOMG! I’ve laughed too much this morning.

USDOEd’s Turn

Yikes! These are not the kinds of people who need to have their information disclosed. Students are just building their credit. For them to go through someone trashing them so early could be really detrimental. 🙁

Federal student loan program exposes data on 21,000 users:

The U.S. Department of Education has disabled its Direct Loan Servicing System, the online payment feature of its Federal Student Aid site, because of a software glitch that exposed the personal data of 21,000 students who borrowed money from the department, said Education Department spokeswoman Jane Glickman in an e-mail to Computerworld.

When a borrower was online late last Sunday or early on Monday, his personal information — including name, Social Security number, birth date and address — could have been exposed to another user who was also signed on at the same time and doing the exact same step, Glickman said.

Origins of Brazilian Soccer Scorer Names

The link is for the article at Slate. A good teaser paragraph.

How Brazilian soccer players get their names. By Nick Schulz:

Brazil’s affinity for nicknames might stem from the country’s historically high illiteracy rate. As such, shortened spoken names are typically used more often than longer birth names. In Brazilian society, the use of a first name or nickname is a mark of intimacy. It’s also often a class signifier. Lula, for one, is known for his working-class roots.

This might help those a little confused about Ronaldo and Ronaldinho.

Players with the same first name often change their moniker to differentiate themselves. In recent decades, there have been several Ronaldos at the national level. One became known as Ronaldao, meaning “big Ronaldo.” Another became Ronaldinho, meaning “little Ronaldo.” When another Ronaldinho came along in the late 1990s, he was called Ronaldinho Gaucho—that is, “little Ronaldo from Rio Grande do Sul.” Eventually, the first Ronaldo left the Brazilian national squad, so Ronaldinho became Ronaldo. Ronaldinho Gaucho became Ronaldinho.

Yeah, its a tad complicated…

FIFA vs. the hackers

C’mon people. Don’t do anything that will make me miss the biggest sporting event in the past 4 years! Maybe I need to go back and set TiVo to record both showings?

World Cup matchup: FIFA vs. the hackers | CNET News.com

Roger Jones, Avaya’s business development manager for Europe, the Middle East and Africa, said he expected malicious computer users to reprise the to-date unsuccessful denial-of-service attacks against the networks servicing the 2002 World Cup, the 2003 Women’s World Cup and the Confederations Cup, the warm-up tournament for Germany 2006.

Apple 1 – Apple 1

So selling music online does not violate a deal which “forbade Apple [Computer] from distributing music on physical media such as CDs or cassette tapes”. Wow… if only that has been a Supreme Court decision here in the US. That would have made the Napster case much more interesting. Sounds like Apple Corps should have gotten into the online music sales business and made it part of the settlement before iTunes happened.


Apple wins Beatles battle | CNET News.com

The High Court in London on Monday ruled that Apple Computer is not liable for trademark infringement because the use of the Apple logo on its iTunes Music Store was not associated with the music it was selling and thus did not breach a previous settlement between the companies.

Apple Corps had sued the Mac maker, claiming that the launch of the iTunes online music store overstepped the boundaries set out in a 1991 settlement for how each company could use their shared brand. The record label sought damages and asked that Apple Computer stop using its name and fruit-shaped logo for selling music online.

During the trial, Apple Corps argued that downloading music is the same as buying a record in a store, while Apple Computer argued that the iTunes Music Store is essentially a means of transmitting data.

Legal experts predicted in March, when the trial began, that the case would end with Apple Computer paying out a multimillion-dollar settlement to Apple Corps, as it did in 1991.

That settlement carved up the areas where each company could use their respective Apple brands. The agreement forbade Apple from distributing music on physical media such as CDs or cassette tapes, but it was not clear whether this extended to the distribution of digital music over the Internet.

The 1991 settlement followed a deal in 1981 stipulating that Apple Computer must stay out of the music business.

Taking Screenshots of web pages without Spending $40

Screen Grab will be very useful. It is easy enough to take screenshots, past them into GIMP and save them as PNG. Why do that when you can have something do it for you in one step?

Take Screen Capture of Webpages in Firefox » Digital Inspiration: Software Reviews, Technology News, Downloads, Productivity Tips

As the name suggests, Screen Grab saves the entire webpage as an image. The screengrab plugin can capture the current browser window, any visible portion of the browser window and even capture the entire website being viewed in Firefox.

When you capture the whole web document, this screen capture plugin scrolls the page around taking snapshots every time. At the end it stitches them all back together again and asks you where you’d like to save the image. The screenshots are saved as PNG format. Screengrab requires Java Virtual Machine. Supports Firefox 1.0+

Email Cheats

I was hoping this article might help me. However, I already use some of these. Maybe I just need to refine and use them a bit more?

Inbox Zero: Five sneaky email cheats | 43 Folders

  • The template
  • The link
  • The question
  • The “I don’t know”
  • The delete key
    (Ones I use in bold)

The template has been part of my arsenal for years now. The Outlook signature tool makes this useful without springing for plug-ins or dealing with MS forms. Since I do web design, I have made tons of FAQ web pages. Instead of re-typing that information, I pop into the message my tempate response which links to the appropriate FAQ entry. Responding to simple inquiries takes one minute not ten.

Deleting things is hard. However, I do delete pretty frequently.

I don’t like to say “I don’t know” too much. It would be a lot easier
to just say, “I don’t know”. I could do the “Do you still need this?”

Another cheat I use is filtering. Perhaps too much so. I encourage customers who call or email me to use the appropriate online form. Results of those forms go to one of the folders under “to-do”. Bolded folder names with a number beside them warn me how many notices of certain types are waiting on me. Much easier than going through my Inbox for which are important and which can be ignored.

Google Fortune Telling

How do YOU die? Okay, so here’s the deal, find out how you end your life, the google way. Go to google, type “(your first name) was killed by” and see what the end of life holds in store for you. Remember to use the quotations marks, else it wont work.

Mine: “ Ezra was killed by a fall in the Coudersport stone quarry, while Alvin lived to a good old age as a farmer in Summit Township.”

So, avoid Couderport stone quarry.

Frivolous Lawsuits

MOSCOW (Reuters) – A Russian astrologist who says
NASA has altered her horoscope by crashing a spacecraft into a comet is suing the U.S. space agency for damages of $300 million, local media reported on Monday.

NASA deliberately crashed its probe, named Deep Impact, into the Tempel 1 comet to unleash a spray of material formed billions of years ago which scientists hope will shed new light on the composition of the solar system.

“It is obvious that elements of the comet’s orbit, and correspondingly the ephemeris, will change after the explosion, which interferes with my astrology work and distorts my horoscope,” Izvestia daily quoted astrologist Marina Bai as saying in legal documents submitted before Monday’s collision.

A spokeswoman for a Moscow district court said initial preparations for the case were underway but could not say when the hearing would begin. NASA representatives in Moscow were unavailable for comment.
Source: Russian astrologist sues NASA over comet crash

Bolding my own.

According the NASA scientists on NPR’s Science Friday, the anticipated change in the Temple 1 comet’s orbit would 33ft. Wow… that is about $10 million a ft.