Top Ten Most Annoying Alarm Clocks

Top Ten Most Annoying Alarm Clocks. My favorites:

"The Puzzle Alarm wakes you up by firing four puzzle pieces up in the air, then it is your mission to get the pieces and put them back in the alarm clock or it won't turn off until then."

"Anemone Clock rumbles when the alarm goes off, eventually shaking its way all across your room, forcing you to get up to stop it. It keeps shaking when you pick it up, shaking you awake and making it a hard to find the off button."

"The Blowfly alarm clock escapes from a cage in your room, moves and produces sound around you when the alarm goes off. To turn it off you have to catch it and put it back in its home."

"When you hit Clocky's snooze button, he will roll off of the nightstand, fall to the floor, and run around the room, searching for a place to hide."

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Pocket-sized spectrometer:

NASA plans to launch their next mission to Mars in 2009, and onboard will be the Mars Science Laboratory, a bigger, better incarnation of the two Mars Rovers, Spirit and Opportunity, launched in 2004. On board will be a tiny laser device about the size of a cell phone, which will be able to fingerprint minerals in the Martian soil and rocks. [...]

I know that Miami Police Department has about 220,000 spectra of all the illicit drugs that are out there in the world. You just take these things; you can shoot them and ten second later you know what they're holding: is it baby powder, is it cocaine? Really easy to tell. [...] He takes a bottle of Tylenol, a white plastic container and the pills are inside. You can shoot the Raman and a laser goes through that white plastic, it identifies the three parts of Tylenol and it tells you what the plastic is made out of. It works on leaves. I can identify the species of trees by shooting their leaves. [...] I have a friend who collects snakeskins, I shot the snakeskins and I can identify the species of snake. Last month researchers in Switzerland showed that with the Raman instrument they could detect breast cancer.

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XScreenSaver 5.00 alpha 11

About this alpha I will go out on a limb and say that I think there is a very good chance that it won't wedge your computer. (High praise indeed!)

What's New:

  • I think all the preferences work now. Please let me know if you find anything that doesn't.
  • Comments on the layout/look of the .dmg?

    • Anything else I should say in the enclosed Readme? (Is HTML the Done Thing for those?)
    • I played around with writing a little Applescript "installer" that would just tell Finder "select all the .savers in this directory and drag them to $HOME/Library/Screen Savers", but I couldn't figure out any way to do that that didn't involve implementing the "replace/replace all/cancel" dialog myself, so I gave up.

  • Is it possible to delete the default Apple screen savers?   Update: Somehow I had missed that they are in "/System/Library/Screen Savers/".

  • Still waiting for a guru to tell me:

    • How to make screen grabbing work;
    • How to make XCopyArea() go real fast.
  • I'm open to suggestions about what to do about xscreensaver-getimage and xscreensaver-text. I could just put the scripts themselves inside the bundle, but what do I do about their preferences (image directory, URL to load, etc.) In the X11 version, those prefs are centralized...

  • Why don't my .saver bundles show up with custom icons in Finder? The .icns is in there, and CFBundleIconFile is set.

See the TODO list for more.

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Google Mars!

Google Mars is pretty awesome -- there are a ton of marked sites with links to corresponding articles. Even stuff like "the face".

See also Google Moon (which is far less detailed).