Showing posts with label IfAllElseFails. Show all posts
Showing posts with label IfAllElseFails. Show all posts

Thursday, December 04, 2014

Seven LA Arcades for adults (No, not that kind of arcade... we're talking video games here...)

laist - 7 Places Where Grown-Ups Can Play Video Games In Los Angeles

Just because you're an adult doesn't mean you have to stop hitting up the arcade. In fact, it only gets better because now you can drink at the arcade. Here are some of our favorite places in L.A. to drop a few quarters, sip a beer and level up.

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Shame I don't live near any of these (the only arcade, let alone one for grown-ups, in my outer suburb closed down a couple years ago). There is one near where I work through and it's open during the day... Hum, sounds like a great lunch place doesn't it?

Monday, December 01, 2014

Two Microsoft RIP's today - Public Office 365 Sites and Office Clip Art

Microsoft Will No Longer Offer A Public Site Option in Office 365 As Of Dec/Jan

RIP: Office 365 Public Sites!

Microsoft is throwing in the towel on the Office 365 public site option. According to a Msft source, it will be removed from the Office 365 Sharepoint Online offering as of an update scheduled for Dec 2014 / Jan 2015. Existing accounts using the public site will not be affected by this dramatic change, but can expect the already lacklustre support to dwindle further.

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I've seen many asking for confirmation about this, but no official response yet, so take it with a grain of salt (but it sure rings true...). The next RIP story is official...

Office Blogs - Clip Art now powered by Bing Images

Starting today, customers searching for Online Pictures in Office desktop products worldwide will view and download royalty-free images curated through Bing Images.  The Office.com Clip Art and image library has closed shop. Usage of Office’s image library has been declining year-to-year as customers rely more on search engines.

Bing Image Search has higher quality images that are more up-to-date. For example, searching for “cellphone” gives more variety and modern looking phones instead of the old-school bricks from Clip Art. Also, Bing uses a copyright filter based on the Creative Commons licensing system.  These are images you can use, share, or modify for either personal or commercial use (settings can be switched to Show all web results to view more images).

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As I usually say when these RIP type stories come in, maybe it's better to acknowledge it's dead and kill it than let it linger on in a zombie like afterlife (insert "SilverLight" cough here...)... um yeah... I guess.

If the public Office 365 site info is true (I have one and I've not seen any notice yet) that would be kind of stinky. BUT again, if Microsoft isn't ready to truly invest in it and given how far behind they are falling in this space, maybe it is better to kill it, IF they partner with a real player and help people move their sites. If they don't help people move, that would be very Closing Google Reader of them.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Hoping Santa was going to bring you a Microsoft Band? Hope he doesn't shop online then...

Email that just came in (and it looks legit)

11/24/14
Dear Microsoft Store Customer,
Thank you for your interest in the Microsoft Band. Due to customer response, we no longer have any available for online sale. However, your local Microsoft Store may have some in stock through the holidays. Visit or call your local store. Find a store

To make it right, we're giving you a one-time promo code good for $10 off your next purchase of $50 or more from the Microsoft online store.* ...

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While this kind of left a bad taste in my mouth, I do appreciate the honesty that we're SOL if we were hoping to get one online before the holidays. I'm sure there will be all sorts of venting/commenting/etc. around the blogs so I'll spare you. All I have to say is... :(

Thursday, October 30, 2014

What if Windows 3.1 had a baby with Windows 95? Windows 93 (and you can play with in your browser...)

OSNews - Try Windows 93 Today

What if Microsoft released an operating system in the chasm between Windows 3.1 and Windows 95? It might look something like Windows 93, an interactive art project by Jankenpopp and Zombectro that you can try right in your browser.

Try Windows 93: The Hilarious OS That Never Was

If you didn’t live through the jump, it can be hard to describe the cultural revolution between Windows 3.1 and Windows 95. Its taskbar ussured in an era of “multitasking”; its built-in web browser put the world’s information at your fingertips; its “Start” menu, complete with its own ~$10 million Rolling Stones song, was pure optimism rendered in bits.

But what if Microsoft released an operating system in the chasm between Windows 3.1 and Windows 95? It might look something like Windows 93, an interactive art project by Jankenpopp and Zombectro that you can try right in your browser.

The experience of the OS is hard to put into words--it’s Windows imagined in some parallel universe, with plenty of retro homages to the weird OS quirks of yore.

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It’s surprising just how deep you can dig in Windows 93, thanks to content like GameBoy emulators and pixel editors that have actually been pulled from various sources across the web. I spent a shameful amount of time giggling nostalgically, until suddenly, a beach ball of death showed up on my screen. At first, I figured it was just another one of Windows 93’s jokes until, moments later, Chrome froze and then crashed.

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http://www.windows93.net/

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What is very ironic is that, for me at least, the site seems to work better in Chrome. :/

Wednesday, October 08, 2014

I am off to the Red Planet! Okay, my name is anyway (again). And so can yours...

JPL - Send Your Name on NASA's Mars Journey, Start with Orion

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If only your name could collect frequent flyer miles. NASA is inviting the public to send their names on a microchip to destinations beyond low-Earth orbit, including Mars.

Your name will begin its journey on a dime-sized microchip when the agency's Orion spacecraft launches Dec. 4 on its first flight, designated Exploration Flight Test-1. After a 4.5-hour, two-orbit mission around Earth to test Orion's systems, the spacecraft will travel back through the atmosphere at speeds approaching 20,000 mph and temperatures near 4,000 degrees Fahrenheit, before splashing down in the Pacific Ocean.

But the journey for your name doesn't end there. After returning to Earth, the names will fly on future NASA exploration flights and missions to Mars. With each flight, selected individuals will accrue more miles as members of a global space-faring society.

"NASA is pushing the boundaries of exploration and working hard to send people to Mars in the future," said Mark Geyer, Orion Program manager. "When ...

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The deadline for receiving a personal "boarding pass" on Orion's test flight closes Friday, Oct. 31. The public will have an opportunity to keep submitting names beyond Oct. 31 to be included on future test flights and future NASA missions to Mars.

To submit your name to fly on Orion's flight test, visit:

http://go.usa.gov/vcpz

Join the conversation on social media using the hashtag #JourneyToMars.

For information about Orion and its first flight, visit:

http://www.nasa.gov/orion"

Of COURSE I had to sigh up! :)

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(Via Tatworth - Send your name to Mars!)

 

Related Past Post XRef:
I’m out of here… I’m heading to Mars (well my name is at least ;)
Duncan’s in Space! (Well our names at least ;)

Thursday, September 04, 2014

Building a Niven Ring (aka. Ringworld), PopMech goes around...

Popular Mechanics - Could We Build a Ringworld?

In our cosmic megastructures series, PopMech explores some of the key engineering and design challenges in constructing gigantic structures for use by humankind in space. Today: a Niven Ring or Ringworld, an enormous slice of real estate encircling a star.

Name: Niven Ring, or Ringworld
Named for: Larry Niven's 1970 novel Ringworld and its sequels.
Selected Science Fiction Portrayals: Besides those featured in Niven's novels, similar but smaller structures, called Halos, appear in the Halo video game and media franchise. Also, the Orbitals of Iain M. Banks' Culture novels and short stories.

Someday, when humankind outgrows planet Earth, we might aim to build a habitat so vast we could never overpopulate it.

Sci-fi author Larry Niven conjured up...

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Being a Science Fiction nut (You've seen my Good Reads widget on my site, so this isn't news to you... ) I love the Ringworld series. It's also interesting seeing the impact it' had on later works. I love seeing continued references to like structures (Rings, Dyson Sphere, Dyson Swarms, etc) in later works (Halo anyone?). Oh sure, we're not going to be building these anytime in the near future (heck we can barely got off this rock, let alone...) but a boy can wonder and dream.

This PopMech article is great and also reminds me of the many days I used to spend reading the mag every time the mailman dropped off the latest edition. Remember when we used to get magazines in actual paper and print? :P

Anyway...

If you're a science fiction reader, Niven fan, space nut or science geek, this is an interesting read.

Wednesday, September 03, 2014

Security/hacking got you a little freaked? Moving to Two Factor Auth? Looking for a WP8.x "Google Authenticator App"? Microsoft has got your back...

7Tutorials - Are You Looking for a Google Authenticator App on Windows Phone?

We all know the strong competition between Microsoft and Google and how ruthless it is at times. Because of it, Google has chosen not to develop Windows Phone apps for most of its services. Therefore, the Google Authenticator app that's requested by many services for two-step verification is missing from Windows Phone. Since two-step verification is a very common method for securing all kinds of accounts, being able to use a Google Authenticator clone on Windows Phone is very important. Fortunately for us Windows Phone users, Microsoft has our backs and they have developed their own Authenticator app and published it for free. Here's how it works:

Why So Many Websites & Services Ask You to Install the Google Authenticator App?

Because Google was one of the first big tech companies to implement two-step verification for their customer's accounts. They also developed a Google Authenticator app that's available on almost all mobile platforms except those developed by Microsoft. Since Android is so huge in terms of market share, the Google Authenticator app has become a standard in people's minds and everyone recommends that you use it.

Technically speaking, there's nothing special about this app because it uses a documented standard for two-step authentication: the Time-based One-time Password Algorithm (TOTP). Therefore anyone can make an app using the same algorithm.

According to this standard, the Authenticator app provides a random six digits one-time password that you enter in addition to your username and password, to log in to all kinds of services, including Google's and Microsoft's services. This six digits password is valid for 30 seconds. If an attacker steals it then, within 30 seconds, it will be useless. This is great from a security perspective.

When a website mentions using a Google Authenticator app, don't despair. You don't really need Google's app, only an app that uses the same algorithm to generate passwords.

Where to Find Microsoft's Authenticator App

On the Windows Phone Store, if you search for Google Authenticator, you will find lots of apps made by different developers and companies. Some of them are not even free. Most probably they work just as well, because they use the same standard as Google does but why use them if you have a free app, developed and actively maintained by Microsoft?

In the Windows Phone Store, search for Authenticator and tap the app made by Microsoft Corporation. You will find it here: Authenticator.

Authenticator.

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With all the hacking/etc. news I decided it was time to finally make the move to Two Factor Auth. Yeah, I know I'm a little behind (little?) but, hey every journey begins with the first step, etc.

Today I was looking for a Windows Phone app to help with a site that uses Google Auth. Well there isn't one, at least from Google. But, as you've seen above, we don't need no stink'n Google Auth App! The Microsoft Auth app works just fine. And I've confirmed that, it does indeed work just fine and is really easy to setup and use.

In short, if you've not made the move to Two Factor, it's really not that scary at all. Do it... DO it... DO IT!

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

It's good to live in Los Angeles if you Newegg. LA gets same day Newegg deliveries...

Socaltech.com - NewEgg Launches Same Day Delivery In LA

City of Industry-based online retailer Newegg said Monday that it has begun testing same-day delivery in Los Angeles, allowing consumers to order electronics and other items from the company by 11 a.m., for delivery before 6 p.m. NewEgg said that it will start delivery in "select communities" in the Los Angeles metropolitan area. According to NewEgg, if the same day delivery goes well, it plans to expand the service into new delivery areas....

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All Aboard the Newegg Express: Tomorrow’s Tech Delivered Today

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And today, we’re proud to announce our latest solution to satisfy online shoppers’ needs: same-day delivery service.

“Testing same-day delivery for our LA-based customers is something we’ve been excited about for many months. If all goes as planned, we will expand into new delivery areas.”

– Soren Mills, Chief Marketing Officer of Newegg North America

Taking advantage of Newegg’s same-day delivery service is both easy and affordable.

How ‘Newegg Express’ Works

  • Select ‘Express Delivery’ at checkout before 11:00 a.m.
  • Pay $19.99 to have your purchase delivered the same day
  • Wait for the ‘Newegg Express’ to deliver your purchase before 6:00 p.m.

All Newegg customers that live within 50 miles of our City of Industry warehouse will be able to take advantage of the ‘Newegg Express’ if they make their purchase before 11:00 a.m. We also guarantee these orders will arrive at our customers’ homes before 6:00 p.m. And don’t worry, spotting the ‘Newegg Express’ delivery vehicle on your street won’t be difficult because it also happens to be one of the coolest-looking fleets you’ll ever see.

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I talked about how awesome my recent Newegg purchase experience was (here) now it sounds like it could get even better. Same day? That's pretty cool, but of course you do pay for that coolness. Still, if you've got to have it today... :)

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Conference networking for Geeks and Dev's err... I mean, "Conference networking for the socially awkward"...

simple-talk - Melanie Townsend - Conference networking for the socially awkward

Do you approach a room full of strangers with excitement at all the new people you’re going to chat to over coffee and a muffin as you swap tales of how you convinced your manager to give you the day “off”? Or, do you find rooms full of strangers intimidating and begin by scouting out a place you can stand quietly and not be in someone’s way until the next session begins?

If you’re on the train to extrovert city, that’s great, well done, move along.

If, on the other hand, a room full of strangers who all seem to inexplicably know each other already is more challenge than opportunity, then making those connections with other professionals can be more difficult. So, here’s some advice, some gleaned from other things I’ve read online when trying to overcome my own discomfort in large groups (hopefully minus the infuriating condescension), others are just things I’ve found helpful over the years.

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Everyone’s got their own coping technique. Some people are able to remind themselves that “humans are fundamentally social creatures” and somehow that helps them, others drink which is not really something I recommend for professional conferences but to each their own, and some focus on the fact that networking can play a big role in their career path. Just do what works for you, and if there’re any tricks you’ve found helpful over the years, please share em.

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It's not that I am social awkward.... um... it's that.... um... well.... you know... people... um...

yeah...

Actually the key thing is to remember that your conference peers are probably as "awkward" as you. As is said, "Fake it until you make it." Just pretend you're comfortable, that all these people around you are not really staring at you, wondering what planet you just arrived from (and you KNOW you took a shower, so it's not THAT) and, well.... Ah hell...

Tell you what. Start with a smile and say "Hi" and see where it goes from there. Remember every journey starts with that first step...

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

[Only in Los Angeles] "Restaurant Discounts Customers Who Order in the Voice [or dress] of Iconic Characters"

psfk - Los Angeles Restaurant Discounts Customers Who Order in the Voice of Iconic Characters

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Not a Burger Stand features offers on its changing chalkboard for those good at impressions

The Los Angeles restaurant Not a Burger Stand located on Riverside Drive in Burbank features some unique offers for its customers. Every Tuesday, one of their artists draws something on their chalkboard, usually requiring diners to order food in the voice of a particular character in exchange for a discount.

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Not a Burger Stand’s idea makes ordering food more fun and offers an added incentive for dining at the restaurant. At the start of the year, their board featured The Dude from The Big Lebowski and offered customers 10% off if they turned up wearing a bathrobe. In honor of May the 4th, they offered 10% for those who ordered in the voice of Jabba the Hutt and those who went in dressed in a Star Wars costume could eat free.

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...Not a Burger Stand features a “Free Little Library” that allows people to take a book to keep and donate their own. There are also some cute Star Wars, Star Trek and The Hobbit-themed coloring pages for their kids menu that give youngsters the chance to color in drawings of baby Han and Chewie, Spock and Kirk, and Thorin and Bilbo.

...[Click through for the original post]

Burbank is a little far for lunch. I wonder if I can talk my better half into going on the weekend? [LMAO, not a chance in hell... Guess I'll have to wait for my Son to come back from Afghanistan... ]

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

BRICKNADO, The Brothers Brick Sharknado building contest...

The Brothers Brick - The Brothers Brick present BRICKNADO, a Sharknado building contest!

We at The Brothers Brick love predatory fish and extreme weather. So we’re huge fans of SyFy’s high-brow political thriller and romantic comedy Sharknado. But we also love ridiculous New York movie stereotypes, such as rude cabbies and the pointless destruction of famous landmarks. Not surprisingly then, we’re positively shark-static about the new follow-up movie Sharknado 2: The Second One which airs July 30th on the SyFy channel. We’ll be glued to our TV’s, popcorn in one hand, bucket of chum in the other, for 2 hours of deeply thought-provoking chainsaw-tastic aquatic mayhem.

SyFy is planning Sharknado Week in celebration of its new movie. But we felt that LEGO fans deserved to be a part of that experience too. Our solution…

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The Rules of Bricknado

Build an original LEGO model inspired by the Sharknado movies. We wanna see sharks, nados, and all things NYC. And don’t forget those celebrity cameos! Anything goes, the funnier and sillier the better. But try to do more than just posing collectible minifigs – we know you’re capable of more than that!

Then ...

'nuff said I think. [Now where did I put all those LEGOs...hum... ;]

Monday, June 23, 2014

In a world with Yo, who doesn't also want a Rock Simulator 2014?

Technabob - Rock Simulator 2014: Pet Rock 3.0

First there was the Pet Rock. Then came the USB Pet Rock. On the virtual side of humor came the parodies of simulation games, which reached their height – or nadir – with Goat Simulator. Like two of the corniest tectonic plates rubbing against each other, these two sides merged to form Rock Simulator 2014.

As you may have guessed from its cover it’s not a reality show starring Dwayne Johnson. It’s not even actually a rock simulator. You control a camera, which is focused on a rock. Unity3d forum member Ryan05055 is the mad man responsible for this uhm, game. And boy did he think this through. ...
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This rocks... :)

Friday, May 23, 2014

Game of Thrones travel via Kayak, book your carriage or ship today

technabob - Book Your Vacation to Winterfell Using Kayak

Now you can finally book that vacation to Winterfell you’ve been dying to go on. Or you can visit King’s Landing. Why not Pentos? Kayak.com will help you travel the Seven Kingdoms, since they have teamed up with HBO to help you get information on traveling around Westeros and Essos.

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The ten cities you can travel between are:

  • Kings Landing, Westeros (KLA)
  • Oldtown, Westeros (OLT)
  • Lannisport, Westeros (LPR)
  • Gulltown, Westeros (GUN)
  • White Harbor, Westeros (WHI)
  • Winterfell, Westeros (WFL)
  • Pyke, Iron Islands, Westeros (PYK)
  • Tyrosh, Essos (YRH)
  • Pentos, Essos (PEO)
  • Braavos, Essos (BRV)

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Now that's an awesome marketing play...

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Prefect for your next marketing-ware page - The New Age BS Generator

New Age Bullshit Generator

Namaste. Do you want to sell a New Age product and/or service? Tired of coming up with meaningless copy for your starry-eyed customers? Want to join the ranks of bestselling self-help authors? We can help.

Just click and the truth will manifest

Click the Reionize electrons button at the top of the page to generate a full page of New Age poppycock.

The inspiration for this idea came from watching philosophy debates involving Deepak Chopra. I wrote a blog post about it if you're interested.

After sitting through hours of New Age rhetoric, I decided to have a crack at writing code to generate it automatically and speed things up a bit. I cobbled together a list of New Age buzzwords and cliché sentence patterns and this is the result.

...You’ll get some profound-sounding nonsense here, too.

So, what is this for? Put it on your website as placeholder text. Print it out as a speech for your yoga class and see if anyone can guess a computer wrote it. Use it to write the hottest new bestseller in the self-help section, or give false hope to depressed friends and family members.

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Seb Pearce - On the New Age Bullshit Generator and parodying woo

Link to the Generator: http://sebpearce.com/bullshit/
(Yes, it’s open source: GitHub link)

A while back, I was on a philosophy debate binge. Watching Sam Harris and the late Christopher Hitchens annihilate their opponents with precision and wit is my idea of a good night in, and YouTube’s “related videos” are a deep, dark rabbithole.

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Finally an awesome example of NLP. Some of these items are pretty cool sounding too. Best of all it's open source... :)

(via Beyond Search - Natural Language Processing Used to Serve Up Cynicism)

Monday, May 19, 2014

400 billion... The Wayback Machine now has more pages than there are stars in our galaxy (and here's how they manage that)

High Scalability - A Short On How the Wayback Machine Stores More Pages than Stars in the Milky Way

How does the Wayback Machine work? Now with over 400 billion webpages indexed, allowing the Internet to be browsed all the way back to 1996, it's an even more compelling question. I've looked several times but I've never found a really good answer.

Here's some information from a thread on Hacker News. It starts with mmagin, a former Archive employee:

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How awesome is that? If you're interested in the story behind the storage/indexing/etc used by the Wayback Machine, read this...

Monday, May 12, 2014

A little prehistory, the world before Windows...

How-To Geek - PCs Before Windows: What Using MS-DOS Was Actually Like

Consumer PCs didn’t always run Windows. Before Windows arrived, PCs came with Microsoft’s MS-DOS operating system. Here’s what the command-line environment was actually like to use.

No, MS-DOS was not just like using the Linux terminal or firing up the Command Prompt in  window on your fancy graphical desktop. Many things we take for granted just weren’t possible back then.

The DOS PC Experience

DOS was a command-line operating system with no graphical windows. You booted up your computer and then saw a DOS prompt. You had to know the commands to type at this prompt to launch programs, run built-in utilities, and actually do something with your computer

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Wow, this brought back some memories. There was nothing like walking someone less than computer literate over the phone through created a config.sys and autoexec.bat by using "copy CON..." And TSR's (go Sidekick, Go!). I used to love (cough) saying, "Now press enter" and then hearing 5 key strokes (i.e. the person typing e-n-t-e-r... lol). and then there was... and... oh man, I need a drink...

Tuesday, May 06, 2014

There be Dragons here... or My Dragon is bigger than your Dragon... Or Dragon Size[d] Cheatsheet

The Daily Dot - An illustrated guide to the biggest dragons in fantasy

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George R.R. Martin, whose A Song of Ice and Fire novels are the basis for Game of Thrones, is currently writing a companion guide to the books, called A World of Ice and Fire. He’s recently published an extract of this guide on his blog, chronicling the history of the Targaryen invasion of Westeros, which took place several hundred years before the events of the books and the show.

It’s got some badass dragon art, too. You can see Aegon the Conqueror standing astride his dragon mount, Balerion, the “Black Dread.” Turns out these dragons get really freaking big.

But seeing this picture got us thinking. Just how big is this dragon, and how does this bode for Daenerys’s own dragons? And how does it measure up to other famous fictional fire-breathers?

Here’s how we figured it out.

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Smaug isn't the biggest!... :(

(via technabob - The Dragon Size Comparison Chart)

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Oh Unicorn Barf!

Instructables - Unicorn Barf

Ever since I found out that you can buy cereal marshmallows in bulk on the internet, I have been dreaming about making cereal marshmallow marshmallow treats. Similar to rice cereal treats, but with only the best part of any cereal- the cereal marshmallows! They have affectionately become known as "unicorn barf" around these parts, for obvious reasons, but what is a bad day for a unicorn is a delicious day for everyone else! They are super simple to make and look really pretty!

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What can you say about a name like that? (Well, you can say it's much better than "Unicorn Poo"... LOL )

Hungry... yum...

Friday, April 18, 2014

Cool Blast from The Past Page of the Day: Revisit the Restarts of the past, experience Windows, Mac, Amiga and more "restarts" live in your browser

404 Tech Support - The Restart Page lets you experience reboots in your browser

The Restart Page allows you to interact with shutdown prompts from different operating systems. You can click on the buttons and watch the page turn off or restart with an accurate depiction. There are different versions of Microsoft Windows, Apple Mac OS, and others with sounds, icons, and progress bars.

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www.therestartpage.com

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Awesome... Relive reboots without rebooting.

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