Monthly Archives: May 2005

Personal question

So Kathryn, Iris and I are coming back from our really fun trip to see family down in Boca Raton, Florida, and we’re going through security at the airport in Fort Lauderdale. After removing our shoes, throwing our bags on the conveyer belt for the scanner, and going through the metal detector, the guy watching the xray machine turns to me and asks, “do you have a tool?” He was referring to a socket wrench or similar (in a bag that wasn’t even mine), but the question completely threw me off due to its simultaneous vagueness and innuendo.

Then they noticed and confiscated the half-inch long sewing scissors buried in a tiny sewing kit Kathryn had in her bag. Even the security guard leaned over and quietly admitted to us that he, too, thought the whole thing was stupid. No doubt that our sewing scissors are going to appear in one of these eBay lots. Kathryn: “I’LL CUT OFF YOUR BUTTONS!! DON’T MAKE ME DO THIS!”

Poor Iris, she was so tired when we got onto the planes (from getting up so early in the morning). But overall she did very well. She even managed to nap while lying on our chests. I think we’ve over-conditioned her for flying. She seems to like seeing new things.

My favorite bit of airport security is the recurring sign that says “DO NOT EVEN *JOKE* ABOUT BOMBS!! WE TAKE THIS STUFF SERIOUSLY!” To be fair, I did read the story about the idiot that joked “Be careful with that! I have three bombs in that!”, which is probably the idiot that made the sign happen.

And speaking of tools, a tidbit from Frank:

One of the tips we’ve heard to encourage little boys to go to the bathroom (#1) is to toss in a Cheerio as a target. So now I say to my wife “I gotta go sink a Cheerio…”

Addendum to previous post

Speaking of “Lost in Translation”…

Finally, somebody got it right

Long ago, when Altavista’s Babelfish service was relatively new, it was fun to pump sentences into it and cause them to be translated back and forth between multiple languages and back into English. This produced many hilarious phrases. I tried making a web form that would accomplish this automatically using some cheesy URL hacks. But it didn’t work consistently. Someone finallly made a much better version of this idea. Some sample results:

“I’m a little tea pot, short and stout.”

translates to

“They are a small POTENTIOMETER, short circuits and a beer of malzes of the tea.”

“a cookie is just a cookie, but fig newtons are fruit and cake.”

translates to

“biskuit has expert of biskuit, but Newton von Fig is fruit and hardens.”

“When the moon hits your eye like a big pizza pie, that’s amore.”

translates to

“If the moon fixes its eye like a great vector of Fleischpie of the vector of Pizzapie, is the lover.”

Cool Google Maps hack

Someone figured out a way to merge Terraserver data with Google Maps. The best bit, though, is that you can get a Firefox plugin called Greasemonkey and a DHTML script to make it happen in your own browser:

Someone’s hacked a totally custom map into Google (Chicago Transit Authority maps) and he’s used a Greasemonkey script to integrate it directly into the regular map. If you’ve got Greasemonkey installed (on Mozilla), then right-click on this script: topo_monkey.user.js, and select “Install user script”.

Then, reload Google Maps, and you should see some new options (Terra, Topo, and Urban) appear next to Map and Satellite.

Why does this kick ass? Because Terraserver did not have as cool of interface as Google Maps for scrolling/zooming/browsing the maps. And now it does with this little Greasemonkey script! But I predict that Microsoft will shut this interoperable capability down somehow since all the eyeballs will be looking at Google Maps instead of Terraserver.