Wacky Web Week

Make your own church marquee

Perhaps you’ve seen them while driving down the road — those backlit,
block-letter signs in front of a church announcing the upcoming sermon or maybe
just providing a thought for the day

But why should religion get all the roadside fun? Now you can, too, with the
online Church Sign Generator. Choose from five different designs, enter your
text, and presto! — a photo of your custom sign appears. You can save
the photo to your computer, or, for a few bucks, order magnets, stickers,
and coffee mugs printed with your message.

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Practice your bunny-surgery skills online

If you’ve ever wanted be a surgeon, you’ve probably realized that your first
attempts should be on something safe — for example, on a stuffed bunny.
Now, you can do just that, without ever hurting the bunny!

This Flash-based game is a demonstration of the services offered 10mg
Interactive of Amsterdam. It lets you resuscitate a dead bunny, then shave
and operate, saving its life — if you can. But, you may find surgery
is harder than you thought. Even virtual surgery!
Play the game

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The world’s first IT professional

We tend to take our company’s helpdesk, IT, and support personnel
for granted — until something goes wrong. But do you know how far
back this venerable profession goes?  Have you ever wondered
how IT pros of ancient days helped employees with the earliest word-processing
systems?

This side-splitting video, recently posted on YouTube, takes a stab at
answering those questions with a short
sketch about the first "operating system" — the book!

Play the video

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How many USB devices do you need?

Some days it seems like there’s an
invention for everything. A case in point: The Mouse Jiggler, a USB device that
keeps your pointer in motion so your screen saver never kicks in
when you wander away from your computer

The device is being marketed to computer forensics experts and IT professionals
who don’t want a laptop to lock them out with a password-protected screen
saver. There must be a lot of people out there who don’t know how to
disable password protection on their screen savers! Maybe you need yet
another USB gizmo, but wouldn’t it be a whole lot easier to just use
the Display control panel?

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The great musical keyboard prank

Office pranks — not to mention hardware
sabotage — are liable to get you fired from many companies. But, that didn’t deter the folks at Metacafe from showing how to hijack a keyboard to make the Caps Lock key play a goofy
sound.

The gimmick involves finding a high-tech greeting card, the kind with hardware built in to play music or sound effects. You’ll also need an NPN switching transistor from your local electronics store and a few tools to disassemble and reassemble the keyboard. Got all that?

You can try this at home, but you may find it safer just to watch the video explaining how it all works.

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Purr-fection through yoga

As if you need any more convincing that some
people have way too much time on their hands, check out Yoga Kitty, a
tongue-in-cheek Web site purportedly aimed at helping you and your pet cat enjoy
the benefits of yoga, together.

The centerpiece of the project is a handful of
downloadable videos (in English and French) demonstrating a human-kitty

team clearing past karmas, exploring meditation, and dispelling static cling.
T-shirts and video tapes available.

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Summertime and the living is tasty

Summer is coming, and for many folks that means time for a barbecue! Leave it to
the folks at Neatorama to round up the “Ten Coolest BBQ Grills.”

The offerings range from gigantic and industrial to artistic stone or ceramic.
For tailgate parties, there’s the Swing-A-Way grill that attaches to the back of
your truck. For real power, check out the Hemi engine-powered grill whose V8
engine can roast 240 hot dogs in three minutes.

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Download gets a whole new meaning

If you think bathroom humor is limited
to juveniles and mass media, think again. Just in time for April Fools’ Day
comes Google’s announcement of TiSP — the Toilet Internet Service
Provider. The gag service claims to offer free, ultra-high speed connectivity
for your wireless-capable PC. The only catch is that you have to connect
to their system via cables you run through your toilet and local sewers

The Google TiSP pages include a
press release
(touting the trademarked GFlush system), an
installation guide
("wash your hands before surfing"), and a
FAQ page
(explaining how DNA analysis of your, er, "personal output" helps
Google send you highly targeted advertising).
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Jazzy new look at a Hindu epic

Animator Nina Paley is bringing a new Western
sensibility to the ancient Hindu myths. She’s created a series of animated episodes
based on the Indian epic the Ramayana, with some scenes set to 1920s jazz songs
sung vocalist Annette Hanshaw. Paley, who lived in India in 2002, is putting
her own spin on
the story, emphasizing the experiences of Sita, the wife of the original
version’s hero Rama. In Paley’s version, Sita is the real hero.

Paley produces the animations, collectively titled “Sita Sings the Blues,”
using Flash animation and Adobe AfterEffects. She hopes to have a completed
version 2008. You can view some of the individual chapters at the
Sitayana page of her Web site.

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Hey, can you throw me a beer?

A recent graduate of Duke University is doing a lot with his Ivy League education. In
homage to his college days, John Cornwell — who works as a software engineer in
Atlanta, Georgia — created a refrigerator that can toss a
beer to him while he sits on his couch.

The remote-controlled machine, fashioned out of a mini-fridge
and a
catapult arm, can hold 10 cans of beer and propel them up to 20 feet.
It’s not rocket science, but it’s
pretty darn cool — not to mention great for game days!

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