News & Politics

NetNomad 54

Five offbeat, timely reviews of Web sites on the arts, politics and news -- with a dash of the absurd thrown in for good measure. This week: ... Wacky Warning Labels ... Live From Kitt Peak ... The Love Calculator ... Ecological Footprint Household Evaluation ... Justin Quinnell: Pin-Hole Photography
Wacky Warning Labels

With lawsuits about as common as warning labels designed to avert lawsuits, we have become quite adept at ignoring these legal disclaimers. The Michigan Lawsuit Abuse Watch has an annual prize for the best (make that most idiotic) warning label. One of the grand prize winners for this year is "Recycled flush water unsafe for drinking." One certainly would have thought that to be a given, but apparently is not. Another warns users of personal watercraft of the dangers of water being injected into body cavities.

Live From Kitt Peak

Located at Kitt Peak National Observatory in Arizona is the CONtinuous CAMera (CONCAM) a fully automated camera that monitors the sky with the goal of creating a "useful, continuous record of the night sky." The site is also used to track bright stars and other phenomena such as "novae, supernovae, optical counterparts to gamma-ray bursts." And of course all the latest snaps are available online using a FITSview that presents the amazing images in sequence.

The Love Calculator

What's in a name? Plenty, according to Doctor Love. It seems that our names can be used to determine whether or not you are compatible with that love of your life. Simply type in the full names of the two loved ones, and Doctor Love's Love Calculator will determine whether the romance is or will be a hit or a miss. Just for the record, Burton and Taylor didn't stand a chance.

Ecological Footprint Household Evaluation

The average American uses 30 acres to support his or her current lifestyle. That equals 30 football fields put together. This is what is called our ecological footprint, which measures human impact on nature. Each of us affects nature is some way, but of course few of us can actually calculate how much of an impact we might have. Until now, of course. By answering a very basic questionnaire of 13 questions, users can calculate a relatively accurate Ecological Footprint for an individual living in North America.

Justin Quinnell: Pin-Hole Photography

Justin Quinnell has gained a reputation in the UK as one of the most innovative of the new pin-hole photographers. Part of the reason for his success is his rather unusual subject matter. Not content to simply take photos, Quinnell has taken a series of photographs entitled "A Day in the Life in My Mouth." These photos are taken using a small pinhole camera located inside his mouth. So we get to see The Lincoln Memorial, a visit to his dentist and the delicious foam of a Guinness, all from the vantage point of his mouth.