Happy Towel Day!

A towel is about the most massively useful thing an interstellar hitch hiker can have. Partly it has great practical value – you can wrap it around you for warmth as you bound across the cold moons of Jaglan Beta; you can lie on it on the brilliant marble-sanded beaches of Santraginus V, inhaling the heady sea vapours; you can sleep under it beneath the stars which shine so redly on the desert world of Kakrafoon; use it to sail a mini raft down the slow heavy river Moth; wet it for use in hand-to-hand-combat; wrap it round your head to ward off noxious fumes or to avoid the gaze of the Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal (a mindboggingly stupid animal, it assumes that if you can’t see it, it can’t see you – daft as a bush, but very ravenous); you can wave your towel in emergencies as a distress signal, and of course dry yourself off with it if it still seems to be clean enough.

More importantly, a towel has immense psychological value. For some reason, if a strag (strag: non-hitch hiker) discovers that a hitch hiker has his towel with him, he will automatically assume that he is also in possession of a toothbrush, face flannel, soap, tin of biscuits, flask, compass, map, ball of string, gnat spray, wet weather gear, space suit etc., etc. Furthermore, the strag will then happily lend the hitch hiker any of these or a dozen other items that the hitch hiker might accidentally have “lost”. What the strag will think is that any man who can hitch the length and breadth of the galaxy, rough it, slum it, struggle against terrible odds, win through, and still knows where his towel is is clearly a man to be reckoned with.

A tribute to Douglas Adams (1952-2001)

40 years of X-Men

x-menCheck this out.

Yeah, thatÂ’s all forty years of X-Men, on DVD, in a printable format, for only $40. (Update: $33 now!)
485 comics. 17,500 pages.

How freakinÂ’ awesome is that?

There’s also a version that comes with the Ultimate X-Men on DVD as well. It’s $50 for the bundle of both of them. Here’s a link to the bundle.

Seems like a hell of a good deal, for an X-Men fan (like everybody should be!).

Some inventions are just pure genius…

Check this one out: The Lazydrinker

It’s a modified portable cooler that is designed to hold, cool, and mix up to 16 bottles of beverages. Basically it pressurizes the bottles and uses that to pump the liqour out, which then goes into your drink. It therefore produces whatever drink you want on command. The mixer device is reprogrammable via a PC to put in your favorite mixed drinks, and the thing uses a CO2 tank to pump out the sweet, sweet candy.

Some pictures:

Lazydrinker interior Lazydrinker mixing output

At $750, it’s a bit too expensive for my tastes. However, they offer a $550 DIY kit, which seems like it would be an excellent addition to a home bar. )

30boxes Widget

Narendra Rocherolle asked me to convert the Google Calendar widget into a 30boxes capable widget. No problem, it only took like 10 minutes.

So if you use 30boxes and want a nice and simple WordPress Widget for displaying events on your calendar, well, here you go: 30boxes Widget

This is, of course, a first stab at it only. I can and probably will add more functionality to it (like start and end dates). But that can wait until later. Right now I need BBQ! D

Coastr Widget

Ran across Coastr yesterday while I was reading some blogs about beer. It’s kinda nifty. Very simple app. It lets you put what beers you like to drink and where you like to drink them and tells you other people who have similar tastes. The idea being that maybe you can find some new beers by looking at what other people who are similar to you like.

I made a post on the guys blog about adding RSS feeds for the individual users, and to my surprise, he had it up and going the next morning. Very cool.

So naturally, I made a widget for it. You can see it in my ever-growing sidebars somewhere (bottom right, at the moment).

And so here it is: The Coastr Widget.

Update: Version 1.1 adds some code to handle the beer names and such properly, so it won’t cause validation errors on your blog anymore.

Google Calendar Widget

Note: This widget does NOT work with WordPress 2.1 and up. Don’t bother trying.

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I created a new widget for my blog. It’s a simple little thing that shows stuff from my Google Calendar. You can find it as my “Upcoming Events” sidebar, bottom left. Okay, so it doesn’t have much there yet, I need to add stuff to the calendar. )

Anyway, here’s a link to it: gcalendar

If anybody has any suggestions on improving it, I’d love to hear ‘em.

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Note: I’ve updated the widget to use Google’s Calendar API properly. But in order to do that, I had to modify WordPress’s built in MagpieRSS functions rather heavily. So read the readme.txt file for installation instructions before attempting to use it. Failure to install correctly will break your blog. Heck, it might do that anyway. So read carefully. )