The Lego Me

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I’ve envisioned myself as many things: father, brother, husband, exotic dancer and the world’s greatest dreamer. But today the vision of myself expanded to take on “the plastic me.” Now, thanks to the tireless efforts of people who have way too much spare time (and obviously no girlfriend) you, too, can envision yourself as a plastic Lego character.

I can hear you saying now “Hey, get out of my head! I’ve always wanted to know what I looked like as a Lego person!” But the website has another darker, more sinister purpose: creating composite drawings of the world’s most deadly and criminal element — the Lego man. Serriously, this guy has too much time (and too many Legos).

And even for you hard-to-describe types (yes, you with the green jedi torso, one blue and one red arm with a hart tatoo of Mom, blue baseball cap, purple pants holding a guitar and a rose… yea you) this tool can handle it.

Unfortunately, you can’t get a unique URL to save so you can send pictures to others of yo’ bad self. But I bet some of you are clever enough to make a screen print and cut-and-paste it somewhere we can all see.

Our thanks go out to Christopher Doyle, who not only made this lovely tool available for general use, but also had the good sense not to procreate.

What is Your Favorie Post?

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I’ve written a lot of little articles over the last year — some are good and some are bad. Some made me laugh and some certainly didn’t. Some have taken a long time to write (I think the record was about 2 months) and sometimes I can write 5 in a day.

What Are Your Top 5 Favorites?

So I was currious today, what are your favorite posts? Although I doubt anyone could identify their top 5, I would like to know which are your favorites. Post comments to let me know.

When I have enough feedback, I’ll make sure to update my “Featured Links” to reflect your favorites.

I’ll also post my favorites.

Watcher in the Woods

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For many many years my wife has told me that the scarriest move she has ever seen was Watcher in the Woods (made by Disney in 1980). And so I saw it last night. What a surprise!

The scarriest Disney move I had ever seen was Black Hole — which really isn’t that scarry but one night I fell asleep with my hands tucked under my butt and dreamed that Max (the evil robot) was holding my hands and the spinning blade-of-death was headed straight for my chest. Couldn’t sleep for a week after that. But Watcher in the Woods was scarrier.

In fact, it could be one of the scarriest movies I’ve ever seen simply because the cinematography and emphasis on suspense worked really well together. Betty Davis did a decent performance but I most enjoyed Lynn-Holly Johnson and her performance.

Anyway, the movie was pretty darn scarry — without a doubt the scarriest movie Disney has ever made. But there was a surprise. On the DVD were two alternate endings that were more what director, John Huff, intended. The first alternate ending (which I thought was the best ending) was so terrifying, I could hardly breathe and if I were a kid would have made me piss myself. I can understand why Disney didn’t release that ending theatrically — it would have scared kids to death.

I’m a pretty liberal father when it comes to movies — I let my daughter of 5 years watch the Matrix trilogy and she has seen the first two Lord of the Rings. But there is no way in hell I’m letting her watch Watcher in the Woods until she is a teenager.

Bottom line: I really liked it. It’s a short movie, only 88 minutes, but it’s good. If anyone wants to borrow it just let me know.

My Kids Catch Fifth’s Disease

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You’ve got to hand it to my kids, but they seem to catch everything floating around. This latest round of sickness is called Fifth’s Disease, which isn’t a disease at all but rather a virus that is highly contagious, but harmless (except to women who are pregnant). Also called “Slapped Cheek” because it exhibits as red cheeks that look as though they have been slapped (see a photo of Thomas here) but its real name is erythema infectiosum.

Most interesting is the fact that it’s called “Fifth Disease”; here’s why:

The name “fifth disease” is historic. This infection was counted among the five classical rash-associated infections of childhood. The other four were measles, scarlet fever, rubella (German measles), and a rash-producing infection that’s unknown to doctors today and is simply referred to as “fourth disease.”

This is one fun little virus. It’s highly contagious but no symptoms exhibit until after the contagion phase is over (about two weeks). So by the time you see that someone has it, you’ve allready been exposed for two weeks and you probably have it too. There is no treatment and luckily, there are no side effects except a low-grade fever, runny nose and really rosy cheeks.

Sometimes I think I’m living Craig Butler’s life.

[my above statement needs some explination. A few years ago when I worked with Craig fulltime, I was always amazaed - to the point of disbelief - how seemingly often his kids got sick. I am ashamed to say that I thought it was terribly abnormal and his house must be a cesspool of germs. And now here I am with sick kids all the time and not with common colds and flu, but with strange stuff like Fifth Disease and unexplained $4,823.19 trips to the emergency room. Craig, my most deep and sincere apologies to you. I'm hopefuly a better man now.]

Stegnography in Executables

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I have been facinated by stegnography for a long time and have read various books, white papers, etc. on the subject. Until now I have seen programs that will hide data in graphic files, wave files, even in word processing files.

Hydan steganographically conceals a message into an application. It exploits redundancy in the i386 instruction set by defining sets of functionally equivalent instructions. It then encodes information in machine code by using the appropriate instructions from each set.

Features include: application filesize remains unchanged, message is blowfish encrypted with a user-supplied passphrase before being embedded, encoding rate: 1/110.

I’m sure there would be great use for this for sofware developers who would segnographically hide identifiers in code that is released to alpha testers and partners. If any copies would up in public hands, the “leaker” could be identified.

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