Red Velvet Cake=Awsome

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Some of you may not know this, but I do not appreciate cake. (gasp!) I do not like the taste, or even the sickeningly sweet frosting used on many a Birthday Cake. That is, I dislike all cakes except: THE RED VELVET CAKE. The King of Cakes (and a trivia tip for you, used mainly at Southern weddings and Male Bachelor's parties) is like nothing before it. It is dense, thick, chocolaty (yet not over overpoweringly sweet) and add all this up with a minuscule 2 oz. of red food coloring, you get this delicious cake. The recipe (Here) is for one that claims to have come from the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel (I'm not sure about the legitimacy of this fact, but it still tastes wonderful) and includes a Nutritional Facts for those that like to know what they're ingesting (it is probably better that you make and eat the cake before reading the Nutritional Facts, just fyi). I do hope you persons like this cake as much as I do.

Edit: Here's the recipe I use, it is mostly the same, except that the flour is doubly sifted. Plus the author of the site has Red Velvet Cake Cupcakes, and there are R.V.C. Balls from another author, to complete the Red Velvet Cake MADNESS!

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John Hodgman v. Mr. President

A recent find, this hilarious video shows comedian John Hodgman (some might know him form the "I'm a PC, and I'm a Mac" commercials, or more notably the author of "The Areas of My Expertise" and "More Information Than You Require") accuses Mr. President of being a nerd, and quizzes him to test out his 'nerdiness.' It is hilarious in the way that Mr. Hodgman can only pull off. (Video Run-Time: 14:03)

Link to Gizmodo Article

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Default Router Passwords

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The Interwobs and Routers go hand-in-hand, but many times one refuses to function and must be fixed. There is not much you can do about the Internet (it is kept up by a nifty robot that travels all around the world), but a recently found web-page offers you the default admin passwords/user names to many (if not all) routers. It is informative, and possibly helpful if the need arises, and if a client has not changed their router's default settings.

Default Router Passwords

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Number Multiples, Yeah!

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Here's an interesting post for all you Know-It-All's and Nerds
I recently had a numerical multiples fight (duple, treble,....quattuordecuple, etc.) and I did a quick Google search, and found this site, Prefixes & Words Based On Latin Number Names that starts at single and continues to decemmillesimal (10,000), so next time you enter into a geeky number multiples battle, Be Prepared! Be Ready! And Dominate!

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File Extension Database

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Here's a Database of all the file formats out there (quite helpful if you have downloaded a strange file, and cannot quite remember what programs use it, what the file even is, and how to use this file). It's great fun just browse through to simply see what .ZIP or .ISO really stand for. Read and Enjoy.

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A Boycott of FOX, Who Will Join Me?

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Now, this is a blog, and I am free to express my opinions (feel free not to listen to them, I don't care). One such opinion I have is my stance on Violence. Recently, the debate surrounding media's involvement in crime/instigating fear, abortion's morality, and the taboo of Late-Trimester Abortions. As such, the murder, yes MURDER, of Dr. Tiller a couple of weeks ago got me thinking about how the media effects/shapes of lives and ideas. One such is the Slander that Mr. Bill O'Reily spews on his show every night. I, for one, find his show to be crass and rude for those sakes' alone. Mr. O'Reily's use of the term: "Tiller the Baby-Killer" repeatedly on his show only exists to instigate violence, to poignantly shove his views and ideas (as well as ideals) on America, instigating violence, fear, hatred, and societal problems that lead only to conflict. I, for one, will be BOYCOTTING the FOX network, it's news, and all of its affiliates. I have included an interesting clip from Keith Olbermann's "Countdown" (June 1, 2009) that really jolted me to no end. I hope that this clip infuriates you about Mr. O'Reily's actions and choice of words.

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xkcd, for your Desktop!

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I have always been an xkcd fan, and recently, I set about to find some of choicest comics for a spiffy desktop background. After an hour's worth of looking, I decided there was just too much and I wanted to have full access to every one of Mr. Randall Munroe's fine drawings, and I then set my sights on a program that would grab the images for me. A so called user: "Andrew" at created a cool program (for Windows) (downloaded here) that, not only, grabs every picture off of xkcd's site, but also automatically sets one of them (at random) for your desktop background. Talk about helpful! You can read the entire Forum Chat at EchoChamber here it seems a lot of people have been looking for something like this, and I'm only trying to increase its popularity. Definately a cool program, if you are into xkcd, and if you have no idea what I'm talking about, go check out Mr. Munroe's odd, but cocky humor when you get the chance.

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A Roomba's Journey

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A truly amazing discovery. I do not consider myself the first to find it, but I can still bring it to your attention. Many of you, including me, have stared at, goggled at, stood around gazing wondrously at your new Roomba and its seemingly chaotic roaming around the foot of your bed or couch.

Well, Ms. Nilay Patel decided to attached an LED to her's, and took a long-exposure photo of the entrancing path her Roomba took to clean her small floor space. I do believe she said it best:
"We've always suspected our Roomba was actually performing a complex dance loaded with hidden meaning and bewitching charm instead of just bouncing around, and now we've got proof...You can see the initial spiral path in the center, but after that it's a free-for-all that somehow manages to cover the entire room. Now if someone would just make a high-speed video set to the Benny Hill music, we'd be all set."
Check out her blog on Engadget and a higher quality picture of her 'lil Roomba's adventure around the room.

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Pirate Costume(s)

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I am a person of many and varied interests (software & steampunk, pirates & pastafarianism, star wars & science, just to name a few), but i have been working on a pair of pirate boots (if you can imagine the combination of a flexible cutting board, leather jacket sleeves, shoes, and nifty buttons) and, in looking for inspiration, i have decided to give you all of my bookmarks on this subject, since I have a lot. Many of the links are for jacket creation (my next project), but some are for boots. The idea is that in me sharing my information, feel free to add any other useful site for piratey things in the comments below.

Late 18th Century Coat Pattern
Pirate Hat How To (Look for Sailor Pattern, or Basic Sailor)
Another 18th Century Coat Pattern
LoTR (but also Pirate-y) Trousers
Pirate (Jack Sparrow) Shirt (a Good Site for Costumes)
Tricorn Hat How To
Pirate Boots
Dress 18th Century Coat
Basic Pirate Garb Information (a Great Site About the Golden Age of Pirates)
DIY Tricorn Hat
DIY Captian's Suit (Search for Captian Julien) (Also a Good Site for Professor Snape Robes)
Great Jabot Picture/Example
Information on Sailor-Coats (a Great Site About the Golden Age of Pirates)
Information in Pirate Swords (a Great Site About the Golden Age of Pirates)
Jabot Information
Buy Pirate Boots Here (or Just Use for Inspiration)
Buy Pirate Shoes Here (or Just Use for Inspiration)
Buy Pirate Shoes Here (or Just Use for Inspiration)
Buy Pirate Over-Coat Here (or Just Use for Inspiration)
Buy Pirate Jabot Here (or Just Use for Inspiration)
Get Pirate Patterns Here
Buy Pirate Coat (1750's) Here
Buy Real (Antique & Expensive) Pirate Swords/Pistols/Weapons
Buy Assorted Costume Patterns Here
Buy Pirate Great Coat Pattern Here
Buy Frock Coat Pattern Here
Buy Pirate Shirt/Coat/Waistcoat Patterns Here
Assorted Historical Patterns
Buy Pirate: Shoes, Waistcoats, Jackets, Trousers, etc. Here
Buy Historical/Pirate Patterns Here

I do hope these sites help someone, so use them, peruse them, I do not care.

Edit: Another Really Good Site!

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Unusual Words and Their Respective Definitions

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SAT time is here for all High-Schoolers, and to help with your much needed vocabulary boost for today, I give you: Scorpio Tales' Unusual Words! This is one interesting read, even if you are not preparing for flawed standardized tests (another post, I promise). The presents some of the oddest words like xerophongy (or a diet of bread and water), ginglyform (or hinge-shaped), sabrage (or the act of opening a bottle with a sabre), and krunkolibidinous (I would suggest you Crl+F to find the definition for this one) just to name a few. Try using one of them at your next cocktail party, and see who actually knows what it means (such as: "Well Jim, (no offence any good-mannered Jims out there) being a theif and all, I would say your quite quomodocunquize.")

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Debating IS Healthy and Helpful

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I don't know about the rest of the human race, but I tend to debate, a lot, and love doing it. I debate my school-mates about anything from the advantages of every particle being made up of vibrating Garden Gnomes (a hybrid String Theory) to the effects of Ayn Rand's controversial theory of Objectivism. So, naturally, once I saw Mr. Jay Heinrichs's article on teaching his children how to properly debate from their toddler years, I could not stop myself from laughing. (For you see, my younger cousin is one of the most annoying children I have ever had the displeasure of meeting, and he argues NONSTOP!) But Mr. Heinrich's definition of argue dates back to the Greek art of debate. He teaches his kids to sway crowds (pathos) using their emotions against them, using a good reputation (ethos) to their advantage, and logic (logos) to entirely prove their points. He goes into depth about the many ways he teaches his children to use these old (but obviously still effect) ideas to their advantage.

My only regret is that I did not have a father this pragmatic. I did not learn these terms, and the ideas behind them until well into High School (thank you, Debate Team) and have found them to be most helpful in debates with my colleagues and friends. They allow to question others' motives, and give an objective look at others' attempts to sway your thoughts.

I, personally, found this refresher course in basic debate nice, and would hope that others, too, find it to be informative and mind opening. As a closing, I will quote Mr. Heinrich with:
"And let’s face it: Our culture has lost the ability to usefully disagree. Most Americans seem to avoid argument. But this has produced passive aggression and groupthink in the office, red and blue states, and families unable to discuss things as simple as what to watch on television. Rhetoric doesn’t turn kids into back-sassers; it makes them think about other points of view."
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Gmail-Labs Features I Never Knew I Needed Until I Used

Here's a quick list of Google-Labs features that I have found nifty or helpful.

Signature tweaks-
Yes, it's the little things that get to me, and one such was that your/my signature was at the bottom of any forwarded e-mail. This was absolutely atrocious, visually and just plain awkward. This little feature allows your signature to rest, comfortably, under your forwarded message.

Sender Time Zone-
Once again, not much, but quite helpful, if say you forgot that your brother who lives in London is asleep when you frantically e-mail him about your computer software problems. Life is easier, and makes for less "Ooops… it's 1 am. Sorry, I didn't mean to disturb…"(form the feature description).

Forgotten Attachment Detector-
I'm not quite sure how many times this little feature has saved me, but you, the reader, can be assured that it functions. The feature looks for phrases like "with the atta
ched document," or "see the document I sent along with this e-mail," then checks if you actually attached an attachment. If no, then it will bug you when you go to send the e-mail. Quite useful, and nifty for those of us who forget every once-in-a-while.

Text Messaging (SMS) in Chat-
Many times, I feel that true texting, on a phone, is cumbersome and over-rated. The keys are too small, the button combinations I seem to press make no sense to me, and is all-around flawed. So, why not simply Google-it? Well, Google did it by allow us, less-coordinated, people to use a nice, propper-sized keyboard in order to allow for easier texting, the only draw back I see is that you need an internet connection to text (some-what counter-intuitive, why not just talk to the person every once in a while?).

Title Tweaks-

"Changes order of elements in the browser title bar from "Gmail - Inbox (20) -" to "Inbox (20) - - Gmail". This way you are able (most of the time) to see if a new mail has arrived even if Gmail window is minimized."
Once again, this just makes life easier.

Location in Signature-
This is a nice feature (still a little buggy) and adds the city, state of your position (I would assume of your ISP) to the end of your signature. It's nice if you want everyone to know where you are (such as, if you on a business trip to London, and you didn't want people calling you at 1:00 AM).Like I said, a little buggy (many times I have to press Send A Message once, then Inbox, then Send A Message again to get it to even show up at the end of my signature). A nifty idea, some-what useless, but all-around cool.

There are many other varied features Google-Labs provides its users, feel free to comment on anything I have said, and add your own favorite feature, if you like.

Images Property of: Google, thank you for allowing me to use them
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The Game Finally Ends!

I do not know about you, but ever since I first heard of "The Game," the imbecilic game in which the moment you remember the game/its existence you must declare yourself a loser. The only way to win is to make someone else lose the game (tell them about it), but in the process of winning, you lose anyway. This game has plagued me, and probably many other people, for so long that it is simply a nascence now. But I have found the answer! I have found the reasoning that makes The Game non-existent! No more losing, no more winning, just non-existence! Read the picture above (or in the link below, please note there there is some strong language used) to free yourselves from the clutches of The Game, and use that once lost brain-space for other, more important things!

Rule 34 and The Game

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Windows 7 Rumors

Picture courtesy of: the Inter-Web, thank you much (I did not create this)

From Technibble this morning:

"All netbooks will be capable on running Windows 7.

A Microsoft spokesperson told that, “Any SKU of Windows 7 will be able to run on netbooks, which means that the hardware limitations of a netbook won’t affect the functionality of Windows 7 regardless of SKU. With Windows 7, Microsoft is on track to have a smaller OS footprint, an improved user interface that should allow for faster boot-up and shut-down times, improved power management for enhanced battery life, enhanced media capabilities and increased reliability, stability and security.” "

The spokesperson also responded on the issue of the Windows 7 Starter edition that it limits users to opening only three programs at a time. He says that this issue and other specific limitation should not be perceived as encumbered or “defeated”"

The site seems well-informed, and and claim their source to be just thought some afternoon Windows 7 rumors to keep you going 'till tomorrow (by the way, well worth the wait to download this winter, I think, and was a step-and-a-half above Vista).

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More Open-Source Software, VLC

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Well, I am proud to announce my new favorite music/video/everything player. It is entitled VLC Player, many people have it and use it. It is simple, small, and damn useful. Video formats that Windows Media Player refuses to play can easily be seen with VLC. It has not failed me yet, and have yet to discover any flaws in its design (except that it is not quite as visually appealing as WMP). All-in-all, this little everything player is easy and open-source, so you cannot go wrong.

VLC Media Player

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Panorama Stitcher: Hugin

So, I have tried, and succeeded in my attempts to get-around the giant Software-Conglomerates with the use of Open Source Software. One such program I have found, and tested was Hugin's panorama stitcher. It did a wonderful job stitching together 3 pictures, 12 pictures, and 50 too (the limit that I tried it out to). It did a wonderful job, and am proud to show you my backyard (please note: I am slowly working on making it prettier, and yes, that is a church in the background). Enjoy and try out the program for a free panorama creator.

hugin - Panorama Photo Stitcher (download page)

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First Post

Yes, I know it is horribly cliche, but it's true. In this blog, I wish to share with the World-Wide-Web my oddities, eccentricities, and all-around strangeness, through images I have found amusing/nifty/cool, interesting posts completed by other (probably better) bloggers, share software I have found useful, as well as the odd musings that go along with this time in every persons life. So, I (the speck) call out to internet (the universe) in hopes of having my views heard, and myself understood.

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About this blog

This blog covers Programs of Interest/Usefulness, Amusing Pictures, Witty Anecdotes, Interesting Videos, Cool Sites, Awesome DIY Things, and the Various Opinions I have.