March 22, 2002

Spike Report
Why flip through page after page in tons of newspapers to get interesting news tidbits when you can let Spike do all the work? This guy knows what headlines are worth reading about. He reviews a mix of serious and quirky news stories that make you scratch your head and want to forward to friends. In past columns he's covered topics such as William Shatner's Weblog, the death of Cake Lady and recovering cat Web cams.

Spam Radio
When most of us get spam mail in our inboxes we delete it. But two creative fellas, Richard Airlie and Ian Morrison, put all their real junk mail messages through a text-to-speech synthesizer with a mesmerizing music soundtrack to make truly unique songs. The porn spam songs are one of a kind.

Body World
Imagine 25 human skinless corpses displayed in everyday poses and you have Professor Gunther von Hagens' Body World exhibit. This controversial science-meets-art show has left spectators shocked and intrigued. My favorite piece is the horseman riding a flayed horse cadaver. Of course, the chessplayer with the exposed noggin isn't too shabby either.

Headline Haikus
Get all your news in 17 syllables! A computer program looks for headlines to make perfect haikus. In fact, I find myself much more informed of current events thanks to this poetic news source.

Edible Weeds
Instead of waving your fist in the air at the evil dandelions invading your lawn, why not get even by eating the whole lot of them? This site explains which ones to pick, how to cook and prepare them and even some info on a dandelion cookoff! If you can't beat them, eat them, right?

Operation Clambake
I've never had a beef with Scientologists. I say if it works for some folks, more power to them. And yet, I wonder why this church has had so much bad press against it, and so many lawyers who try to hush up those who are against Scientology? Is it a religion or a business? Is it a cult or a self-help group? If they are a religion, why did they ask to censor links listing groups that speak out against the church? Why are so many celebs Scientologists? And did sci-fi writer, and Scientology founder, L. Ron Hubbard really say, "Writing for a penny a word is ridiculous. If a man really wants to make a million dollars, the best way would be to start his own religion?" Check out this site before it disappears forever.

Doom Buggies
The only ride I'll happily stand in line for hours to see at Disneyland is the infamous Haunted Mansion. Maybe it's the Wednesday Addams in me, but I love all the optical illusions, the macabre storyline and the spooky sounds. Doom Buggies (the site is named after the carriages you sit in during the ride) is one of those fan sites that gives you every little detail about the haunted ride from all the Disneylands as well as Disneyland Paris. Read about the fake and "real" ghosts who haunt the ride, as well as info about the Imagineers (the term Walt called his creative engineers) who made the ride possible. There are stories, essays, audio files and photos galore. This site is an amazing, creepy treat!

Niemworks: Egg Drop Devices
The egg droppers mission was simply: "Pretend that you are Leonardo da Vinci and design a device that will protect a large raw grade-A egg when dropped from the top of the Art and Design building." They had to use concepts and designs Leo would have used. This drop was more about aesthetic than function. They were judged by creativity, complexity and the hugest egg splat. My personal favorites are the bird plane and the nail clamp.

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