small flightless bird

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

comic strip

Hello. If you're looking at this ol' blog, why not check out my new comic strip. It is called Back to School, and it is a laugh.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

not this again...

OK, I don't want to dredge up this old argument again... really, I don't.

But in honor of its one-year anniversary, I'd just like to say that Patrick Moore, co-founder of Greenpeace, agrees with me.

That is all.

Monday, April 03, 2006

this just in...

The US isn't happy with its record-breaking level of deficit spending. Apparently, waging one vaguely defined and largely unwinnable war simply isn't destroying the country's economy fast enough. Not to worry: the Pentagon has come up with another one! Beginning in 2006, Congress has earmarked additional spending to wage war on the internet.

Among their stated goals (and I'm not exaggerating) is to be able to completely control what information gets to both foreign countries and their own citizens, and the ability to "completely dominate the earth's electromagnetic spectrum". So, the US is actively developing ways to quash free speech and journalism, and as a backup plan they're figuring out how to just turn off all of those annoying "people" telling "the truth".

Am I surprised? Nope. Seems about par for the course.

Saturday, April 01, 2006


I have been informed that my use of the term " 'net " is incorrect and annoying. The apostrophe, I am told, is unnecessary since "net" is a word on its own.

My position is that a "net" is something to catch fish, while the " 'net" is where this webpage lives. We don't like to say three-syllable words when one will do, so we say "the 'net". And like any speech contraction, an apostrophe should be added to denote the abbreviation.

Am I crazy? Or just plain wrong? It's a given that I'm anal.


the internet is the new tv

I stumbled across this series of articles about the future of television programming and the adoption of the internet as a distribution medium.

The potential of the 'net is to cut out the middlemen. By virtually eliminating distribution costs, the internet replaces conventional broadcast networks, allowing content producers to provide their programming directly to consumers. The problem is that people don't expect to pay for television programming - sure, we pay $29.95 a month for our deluxe cable package, but that's just for access. The lion's share of programming costs are covered by advertisers. So how do the people making the content get paid? This article is one of the first I've seen that doesn't include the "1. do stuff, 2. use the internet, 3. ???, 4. profit" business model, but actually proposes something valid.

I agree that the 'net is a better distribution method than TV. I get what I want to see, when I want to see it, without needing to worry about forgetting to record a show. But perhaps it's a case of preaching to the choir. I am the guy who has cable TV included in his rent, and the first thing I did on moving in was get cable internet, disconnect the TV and shove it into a corner facing the wall, and set up my computer desk where it used to be.

Go figure.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

it's not so

I'm coming out of my own unannounced, perpetual semi-retirement to mention the funniest short I've seen. It's inane. It's juvenile. The main character's only features are his age and his accent. It will not teach you anything useful, and has been decried by several of my friends as a waste of 7 minutes of your life. And I think it's hilarious. So go watch it.


Hello the Internet,

I am officially retiring for a while; actually, I retired a few weeks back, I just didn't tell anyone. I will come back if:

(a) the Internet stops being boring and geeky all the time;

(b) the word "blog" ceases to exist, or they stop giving awards to blogs and calling them "the bloggies";

or (c) everyone stops using the word "zen" to refer to something other than zen buddhism.

These are my demands. If they are not met, be prepared to face the consequences: me not writing on this website anymore. You've been warned.

With a love that will echo through the ages,

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

chris bliss diss

So the other day Chris posted a video that has been going around the net of Chris Bliss doing some three ball juggling. Well, I wasn't too impressed, and it turns out other jugglers weren't either. So Jason Garfield decided that to explain why he thought the video wasn't very good, he would replicate it exactly, but with five balls instead of a measly three.

PS. This video was posted to YouTube by Steve Brown, who some of you nerds might know as a yo-yo prodigy and head of marketing and promotions for Duncan Toys. He writes "Watch the video, and understand: THIS is great juggling. That Bliss guy may put on a good act, but he is not a good juggler. There is a huge difference."

Saturday, March 11, 2006

it came from outer space

NASA has been a busy bee lately. The Cassini probe has found liquid water on Enceladus, one of Saturn's moons. That's pretty huge, since where there's water there tends to be, well, life.

The Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter has successfully entered martian orbit! The satellite carries the most powerful science payload ever sent to another planet, and is capable of taking surface photographs with 1m resolution and using radar to probe for water up to a kilometer deep. Let's hope the little green men aren't 0.9m tall and living in caves two kilometers deep.

A couple weeks ago, NASA announced its budget for '07. It includes additional funding to cover cost overruns on the space shuttle and international space station - money that comes at the expense of science programs like the Hubble servicing mission and probes to further explore the solar system. It's not possible for NASA to do all of these things at once because Congress has frozen its budget to a measly 3% increase over last year's $16.4 billion - not enough to keep pace with inflation. Sure, $16B sounds like a lot of scratch. Until you remember that Bush is currently requesting another $65 billion to fund the war in Iraq, which will bring the total well over $400 billion. Oh, did I mention that the two missions mentioned above were approved and funded long before the war began? Enough said.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

bouncing balls

Friend and fellow would-be physicist Liz points us at this Bravia commercial which you may very well have already seen: balls bouncing down a San Francisco street. It's even more fun to watch knowing that it's all completely real - not done on computers. Just sit back and feel your mind comfortably melting.

Saturday, March 04, 2006

fake tilt-shift photography

Have you heard about tilt-shift photography?

A tilt-shift lens lets you take pictures from the air that make cities look like tiny models.

The internets is full of wonderful things, and one of those things is a tutorial that lets you use photoshop to create a tilt-shift effect on normal photographs. To the right is one I did of a picture I took of Iqaluit from a helicopter (click for a larger version so you can see the effect).

Here is a large gallery of fake tilt-shift photographs. Some of them are mediocre, but there are some incredible ones. Here is a gallery of actual tilt-shift photogrpahy. Often less impressive actually...

Friday, March 03, 2006

dan kennedy solves your problems with paper, and other pieces

Timothy McSweeney's Internet Tendency is sometimes very funny, but that's usually when Dan Kennedy has written something. Rather than searching through their archives for his name, here's an index of everything he's ever written for the site. Or, if you only have a few seconds, read some of their lists.

juggling vs the beatles

Yesterday Jared posted a video about curling. Today I'm posting one about juggling. Maybe we should change our name from "Small Flightless Bird" to "YouTube Videos of Nerdy Non-Sports". Anyway, enjoy!

Thursday, March 02, 2006

holy curling batman

You may have to watch this one a couple of times before the enormity sinks in. Aparently this is par for the course too.


Here's a fun new flash game for you to play: Warbears. It's along the lines of the previously-mentioned Samorost and Hapland games, where you have to find the right sequence of clicks. This one's the best so far, though, with mini-games and unlockable bonuses. And no, I don't know how to get the friendship bonus, so please don't email me. (Check the creater's forum for a good walkthrough.)

Monday, February 27, 2006

don't mess with boing boing

We here at SFB link to (or steal links from) Boing Boing often, and for good reason. It's probably the most well-read blog out there, and it tends to act as a pretty entertaining filter for all the ways to waste your time on the internet - an accomplishment I've tried in my own small way to mimic with this site. Its power is tremendous - if they post a link to something, that link will probably show up on a few thousand other blogs within hours. And getting Boing Boing to link to your site (an event significant enough to warrant the creation of term "boingboinged"), is often enough to crash servers.

But the contributors tend not to put their awesome powers to direct use - at most, they'll just direct your attention to whatever they think deserves it, or post an editorial on some subject or another. That's why the actions they're taking against an American company that provides internet content-filtering software to other countries might be fun to watch: all four contributors are ganging together with the stated goal of putting the company out of business.

The reason? Thanks to Secure Computing's SmartFilter software, internet users in various parts of the world (including the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, and some parts of Africa) can't access Boing Boing due to bogus "nudity" false-positives.

Whether or not you're a regular reader, this fight should be fun to watch. Link.

Sunday, February 26, 2006

sex pistols versus the rock n roll hall o fame

Thursday, February 23, 2006


Through a series of hilarious yet unsettling events, the post below is only now visible by you, the reader. You had no idea SFB was on holidays. You dutifully visited each day as we tooled around Southeastern Ontario. We are dreadfully sorry and we promise that it will probably happen again.

Monday, February 20, 2006


SFB (or at least its principle contributor) is going on a road trip. Please join us again Thursday for the first episode of our four-part expose on the breakfast cereal industry, entitled "Corruption, Greed, and Ruthlessness: Peddling Sugar Highs".

Saturday, February 18, 2006

i woke up and my pillow was missing and stephen harper was still prime minister

In Canadian government news:
I'm sorry I don't have more to say about either of these, but it's Saturday. And my sense of humour about a Conservative government apparently only runs as far as a post title. (ID card story via Optimus.)