Monday, October 31, 2005

New Moon

Seems appropriate to post on Halloween, doesn't it?

The cute thing about this bit of web magic is that it uses the timezone and clock on your computer, so you should see the correct phase of the moon whereever you are. Let El Cotoro know if it works!

Monday, October 24, 2005

The Million Dollar Homepage

Alex Tew is a pretty clever guy. He's a college student in the UK, studying Business Management, and he came up with an idea to pay for his education. He set up a web page and divided it into 10,000 little blocks, each 10 pixels by 10 pixels. He is selling ad space on his site in blocks, and each block costs 100 dollars ($1 per pixel). If he sells every block, he will make $1 million.

This idea has already been copied, but apparently Alex was the first to think of it. He got some good press, and his site is getting a lot of traffic. (For those of you who care about such things, the Google pagerank is 7, and the Alexa traffic rank is 2,518.) It's actually not a bad deal for advertisers, because the site is quite popular, and people seem to spend time clicking on the links. Alex promises to keep the ads up for 5 years, though I expect that traffic will fall off once the novelty wears off.

Alex certainly doesn't need my help... he's already sold over half the space on the site. But I think it's a clever idea. You can check it out at

Monday, October 17, 2005

Al Gore and Governer Schwarzenegger agree!

What do Robert F. Kennedy Jr, Senator John McCain, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and former Vice-President Al Gore all agree on?

Each has spoken out about the crisis of global climate change, or global warming, and the need for effective action.

Each has joined an online movment called the Virtual March on Washington, to help publicize the problem of global warming.

The Virtual March is essentially a year-long press tour to publicize the problem. A growing list of membership signups on the website are an indication of the public support for action on this issue.

Please take a few minutes to sign up and show your support. Visit

Monday, October 10, 2005

Self Made TV

I'm not sure how I found this website - one of those days that started as a research project and got diverted into random web surfing - but it's a great example of how broadband Internet connections are enabling new kinds of information and entertainment.

Simply put, this site lets you watch short videos. Some are "artsy,” some are straightforward, some are even TV commercials. Most are entertaining. And that's the appeal. I spent almost an hour on the site and still haven't run out of things to see.

The site is not easy to navigate... it's not at all clear to me what I will see when I click on various parts of the screen, or how to get back to something I've seen before. But maybe that's not what this experience is about. Sometimes it's fun to let someone ELSE point you to things you might never have discovered on your own.

So check it out:

Sunday, October 02, 2005

Ghost Hunters - a Guilty Pleasure

Amid all the new TV shows, El Cotoro has discovered a "guilty pleasure" - Ghost Hunters. Actually, this show is not new... it's been running for some time on the SciFi channel.

Each week, a team of investigators goes to a supposedly haunted building. The formula is always the same: they interview the owners, who tell about the experiences they've had with the "ghosts." The investigators then set up a bunch of recorders and cameras. After a few hours, they leave to analyze the "evidence." They then meet with the owners to tell them what was found. Usually it's nothing. In a few cases, there may be some strange sounds on a recording, or a brief flash or motion on the video.

Sounds boring, doesn't it? But for some reason, it's fascinating!

The shows are shot in some really creepy places, and even if there are no ghosts to be found, the show has a creepy atmosphere. The investigators are either really into what they're doing, or great actors. It's fun just watching them. And it's not all serious. On a few of the shows they play jokes on one another, especially when they have a new team member. And did I mention that the two lead investigators are plumbers by day?

I can't explain why I watch this show week after week, but I'm not alone... the show has an almost fanatical fan base. Maybe we're all possessed???