Four Years, 60k Legos, and USD$3k Later: Hoth

If you didn’t catch it in the headline, some dude spent about three grand and four years replicating, to some blocky degree, a Hoth scene inspired by Episode 5, Empire Strikes Back.

Or, if that’s not your thing, try The story of Star Wars as told by someone who has never seen the whole thing. Very much worth the three minutes and forty something seconds. At least one of these two links was worth it, I think =P

Cuddle & Coo Doll Comments Summary

After looking at the zillions of comments I’ve gotten from people in the past couple months of my video’s run, here’s a list of all suggestions submitted.

islam is the light
israel is the light (pronounced iz-RY-el)
ismaliz delight
a smile is delight
ichabod needs the mike
israel is the life
aslan is the light
we all look alike
is lamb on a kite
Hitler is the reich (and thus invoking Godwin’s Law)
e-slaw is delight
his mom is a dyke
a smile in the night
I.S.K.C.O.N. is the light
anyone got a light?
it’s not near the light
islam is alike
England is the light
Eggland is the light
if you’re not here tonight
is mom here tonight
islam has my knife
lives long in the night
is mom alright
which one is alike
slammin down the light (in an aussie accent)
it’s sunny delight
i glow in the night
it’s on israelite
is ron in the lake (aussie accent)
his law is the light
his long israelite
kiss mom goodnight

There also appears to be a big rift between many of the commenters:
1. many are perfectly capable to discern individual syllables from the sounds and make up nonsensical “ig-la-ig-de-like” translations, others understand how “islam is the light” might be heard by someone who doesn’t know any better but just find it to be incoherent murmurs,
2. more suggested comedically that the message is actually a garbled version of “the [insert sports team] rule,” (or some otherwise unlikely variation), others who reason that “ig-la-ig-de-like” doesn’t make any sense therefore it must be some other combination of real words,
3. a few muslim commenters revelling in the victory of islam over American capitalism,
4. yet still others will adamantly *insist* that there is a message present of some kind and that it is ultimately some act of corporate conspiracy to destroy the minds of children and demand its removal from the shelves or they may just have some kind of aneurysm right this very second and it is all your fault.

I am among the first group, and I am frankly baffled by the last group. Here are a few from that last bunch:

//
“This doll obviously says “Islam is the light.” I can’t believe people aren’t fighting to get this trash out of America!

Um hello ITS CLEAR AS DAY!!!!!

Look IDIOTS…the point is the doll is defintely saying something. The timber of the voice changes and their is a meter to it’s speech. It is no longer “cooing”. So what is FP toys trying to feed our kids? They could clear all this up by simply making it public. It’s obviously saying something and since FP is “politicaly correct” it probably IS saying Islam is the Light to garner support from the enlightened peoples of the world. (roll eyes)

It sure sounds like “Islam is the light” to me. Regardless of what it says, I don’t appreciate a toy manufacturer slipping something other than a “coo” in this doll. I don’t trust their message and their messing with the minds of our children!!

I bet some oil rich Musim @%&*!$# bribed Fisher Price just to get this out on the market!!! It’s to bad some Americans will sell there soul for a quick buck. And I wouldn’t buy one for a buck today even if I could sell it tomorrow for $1,000,000!!!! And anyone who buys one is supporting Terrorists! Think about it!!!!

official response is, “The only ‘word’ the doll is programmed to say is ‘mama’. all else is ‘cooing and gurgling”. asked her if she heard it herself. she said no. i told her that i had, and mama was not the only ‘words’ this doll said. i told her i will be boycotting fp/mattel products until they acknowledge the problem and make a public apology. whether they intended to produce this or not; it happened and they need to take responsibility for it.

I only have one thing to say: What in the hell is the reason for making these children’s toys to say things like I just heard. I am not deaf or hard of hearing. I will no longer shop at Target or any other store who carries these types of dolls or other toys that can send messages that parents should be giving their children. What happened to plain dolls that help little girls to learn to be good mommies? They went out in the the 60s. When I was young. We don’t need talking dolls at all.

Whether that is what it is saying or not, it is close enough to warrant concern on the part of any Christian. The doll will not be recalled for fear that it would offend the Islam community in the US. Christians have been offended and ridiculed for way too long now and I certainly do not want any child that I love and care for to have one of those dolls and, unless there is a formal apology, it will be a cold day hades before I purchase a F-P or Mattel product again.

What do you think it is saying? I hear it saying ‘Islam is the light’.
Obama, the secret muslim, is in cahoots with Fisher Price to brainwash America. This is a very sinister thing that has been uncovered.

//

Even still, I am thankful there are a few people with some sense out there:

//
I’m hearing “Ichabod needs the mike [microphone].” Either way, it’s just an example of apophenia. And not even a particularly good one; I’ve heard much better examples. Check out episode #105 of the Skeptoid podcast for some really uncanny examples made from only computer-generated sine waves. (BTW, I’m not associated with Skeptoid at all, I’m just a fan of it.)

Everyone is nuts!!!! it just sounds like baby talk…blah blah blah…People have way too much time on their hands.

This is the power of suggestion at work; it sounds like “Islam is the light” because that’s what we’ve been told to listen for. Fisher-Price has released the original (uncompressed) recording, and it’s clearly nonsensical baby talk.

Just go find the Chinese people that recorded and made this doll and you will have your answer. It probably really is something Chinese for “More American dollars for us!” XD

I rate you five stars for the way you present the video. It’s sounds like “Islam is the Light” to me, too. Of course, nobody really ever says “Islam is the Light” except this doll, so it’s hard to believe it’s a Muslim product. I think it’s supposed to be burbling like a baby, not saying anything. I have to admit, I would freak out if a doll I bought suddenly said something religious.

if i had listed to the doll without reading what it’s supposedly saying, i maybe would have just said that it was random mumbling but like you said, a case of suggestion, so i’m sitting here expecting it to say “islam is the light”

“ikluh eh da light” – That is what it sounds like to me. Sounds like babble…… What an amazing concept, a baby the babbles. Wonder if somebody put that in a doll. Hmmmmmm? How any of you hear Islam at all in the first word scares me. The doll clearly makes a keh sound in the first word. Unless somebody has changed it and not told me, and Webster, there is no “K” or keh sound in the word Islam

Im pretty sure that if you listen to it with the words Islam is the light going through your head then that is what you will hear.I have to admit,I couldnt make out anything other than an unclear voice saying Islam is the light.Somebody made the point about free speech,people have the right to suggest that Islam is the light.But,and its a BIG but,if as were meant to believe this is a crude attempt at brainwashing children then the disturbing thing isnt the words but their vessel.
//

However, there were a handful of people who took the opportunity to make light of the mess and post silly, funny, and smile-worthy remarks to lighten up the discussion:

//
It’s saying “I snort the nose, Lucifer! Banana! Banana!”

I want a Bud Light.

Afternoon delight. The doll is obviously a fan of “The Starland Vocal Band”

“Staaaaay in school! Bruuuush your teeth!”

Too bad it’s not uttering stock tips.

It also says: “Americans are paranoid !!”

“obama is white”

“e-slaw is delight” I’ve never tried e-slaw, but I did have an e-hotdog once.

it said “anyone got a light?” cus it’s a cool smoking baby

I just got done taking a shower! i just watched ur video while im naked! lol xD w

it says Estrella delight! 50 % Less Fat!

//

One final goofy commenter is while I’ll close with, which gave me a good chuckle it was so random:

igla is delight. This dates back to the original doll series back during the time of hedges which was shortly before the wheel. Igla was a shrewd fellow who enjoyed fig daltons (later becoming the infamous fig Newton) but spent quite a many nights with a fake friend dollumnaum. After many years of mispronouncing this fake creatures name, he decided to cut it short and just call it doll. Many years later….awe crumb..I’ve dropped my fudge.

I’m done.

Clarifying Ripley: David Byrne’s “Instrument” Building

A recent Ripley’s Believe It Or Not feature panel caught my eye, about a musician by the name of David Byrne who created an installation in which the building itself became a musical instrument. After doing a few searches for more details, here’s what I came up with:

Official Site

As much as I try not to fiddle with anything squished between the fingers of BoingBoing blogger Xeni Jardin, I couldn’t resist. Brings a slightly more visual element to “industrial” music, no? An old organ is attatched somehow to motors that have a lopsided wheel (like the vibration on game controllers) that are attatched to various pieces of the structure of an abandoned building. The video and the site above is just about all else you’d need to know ^_^

Removing the Spyware Detected Windows Warning Wallpaper Virus

If you’re looking for a way to remove a trojan/virus that keeps making your wallpaper change into the image of a windows warning message that states, “Warning! Spyware detected on your computer! Install antivirus or spyware remover to clean your computer,”…

…then try out this guide. It worked for me (and is not originally mine, but attributed to Ebomb from this message board, but I just fleshed it out with better step-by-steps), so give it a shot to see if it works for you. As always, you must acknowledge that fiddling with your settings and whatnot are your own responsibility — not mine. I’m just showing you how I got rid of my problem, so no guarantees for your success or demise either way ^_^ Read thru the whole guide first, before you do anything.

The virus appears, to my limited knowledge, to simply be a kind of prank virus that doesn’t actually cause any real malfunction. The blue-screen error that pops up after 20 minutes or so and possibly appears to make it reboot is actually just a screensaver, with an animation simulating the reboot. If you hit ENTER during the reboot or bluescreen, you’ll come back to the desktop just as you would with any screensaver.

One thing about this sucker is that it disables the “desktop” and “screensaver” tabs in the properties menu for the desktop so you can’t change them back quite so easily.

Here’s how to eliminate this buzzard, all without using antivirus software. My suspicion as to the reason antivirus programs don’t seem to pick this up is that it doesn’t really do any virus-like harm, it just does prankstery things such as changing the screensaver and turning off function to a few menus. I haven’t analyzed the code so I don’t actually know if it really does bad stuff, though either. But anyway.

1. Click on START in the bottom corner and select RUN, and type in regedit.

1a. Navigate the directory tree to this path: HKEY_CURRENT_USER, Software, Microsoft, Windows, CurrentVersion, Policies, System.

1b. Once you’re there, right-click on NoDispBackgroundPage and set the value to 0 (zero). Do the same for NoDispScrSavPage. This will let you see the wallpaper and screensaver tabs in display properties again.

Just close out the REGEDIT program and the changes will have taken effect, without having to reboot. Go to your display properties (right-click on a blank area of the desktop and select properties from the menu), and the Screensaver and Desktop tabs should now be back.

2. Go to the Screensaver tab in Display Properties and look for a screensaver with a gobbledegook name. The name will probably be different for each infection, but looks something along the lines of this one highlighted. Write this name down somewhere.

2a. Using Windows Explorer (not Internet Explorer), navigate to C:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM32 and look for filename with the same name you wrote down in step 2, and delete it. This makes the blue screen stop showing up. It was a fake blue screen anyway.

2b. Now hit hold down the CTRL, ALT and DEL keys on the keyboard and if you’re given the option, select something to the effect of “active processes” and look for a similar gobbledegook program running (ends with .exe). Write down the name of this one, then click on it and END PROGRAM, and click YES on the warning about shutting a program down this weird way.

2c. Go back to Explorer and look for a filename just like the one you wrote down in step 2b. You’ve now deleted the main virus.

2d. Go back and re-open REGEDIT and do a search (CTRL-F) for the name you wrote down in 2b, and delete the entry that points to it. This deletes the command to run the virus.

3. Go back to Display Properties and open the Desktop tab, and scroll down to see a similar (if not duplicate) gobbledegook name — this is the file that makes the background look like a warning window. Write this name down (if it’s not a duplicate), and go back to Explorer and delete this file also. That’ll prevent the background from changing to that warning again.

4. Empty your Recycle Bin, and you should now be set!

…Let me know if this helped you out — however, please do not ask me more questions about it. I’m no expert in the field, and the guide (invented by the guy listed at the top of the article) is simply a method that worked for me. Good luck!

Clarifying Ripley’s: Iwo Jima Forces Attack Tank Sculpture

I had a really hard time trying to locate more than one source for the idea that American forces attacked a fake tank (actually being a sculpture) only do discover the ruse, as mentioned by this one Ripley’s Believe It Or Not comic page panel.

The only reference for this I could find was a wikipedia entry about Dummy Tanks, which itself referenced another book citing the fact: “On Iwo Jima, American forces surrounded a Japanese tank that had been drawing fire from U.S. guns — and found it was actually a tank-sculpture carved out of the island’s volcanic ash.” (The Library of Congress World War II Companion, Simon and Schuster, p.355, ISBN 0743252195)

Flash: Totally Creepy Spider Simulator

If you’re not very keen on manipulating a spider, then skip this link. I was itchy within a few seconds, and just clenched-eyes and shuddered typing this out. Eeeeeuuuhhh!

You can change a bunch of features like color, leg length, and shadow angle, plus you can drag it around by one leg with the mouse, or press the spacebar to drop an insect for it to walk over to and eat wherever the mouse is on the screen. Eerie!

Flash Spider Simulator.

Timewaster Flash Game: Aether

Aether is a nice, mellow, artsy sort-of game with no point scoring, no dying, and all about some sort of dreamy, hope-wishing, trippy daydream.

You’re a little dude with a large beasty friend upon whom you are riding. The beasty has a tongue that latches onto clouds and celestial orbs, around which you may direct your traveling path and swing or fling yourself to higher and higher altitudes until you finally break the gravity.

From there, fling yourself to one of a few other planets (may take a few moments to get there) in the direction of the peculiar arrows. Once there, find a way to solve that planet’s puzzle. Unfortunately the object is not to cheer everyone up — everyone is very lonely and depressed and don’t ever cheer up.

I managed to complete the game, after first getting the hang of the controls a bit. You may have to do a bit of tarzan-swinging around clouds to find higher ones up. Very fun, though!

Slightly More Hilarious: Quote of My Week

In lieu of starting something I’ll continually forget to post again ever unto forthwith thenceabouts, I’ll just call it the “Quote of My Week” instead of “the day” or “the week”. It comes from a site I just happened upon within the last 5 minutes, Lindsayism.com, remarking about something that honestly doesn’t sound spectacularly tasty to begin with:

It tastes like 1000 aspirin dissolved in 1 ounce of Robitussin without the sweetness or point.

Muslim Marriage Proposer Switches Choices of Sister

I get email updates for a dating blog on Xanga called Datingish which has some pretty good topics on occasion. However, this particular entry was most unusual — a prospective husband came over to express interest in a particular sister of a Muslim family, and the sister he was interested in was disinterested, but another sister kept talking to him. He called back afterward expressing interest in the other sister who kept talking to him, instead.

Weird.

Arranged Marriage and Sister Swapping @ Datingish.com

Debunking Forwards: Hungry at the Olympics?

A recent e-mail forward going around shows many unattributed photos (with edited-in captions) of a Chinese Olympic foodcart court with such offerings as scorpions, silk worms, sea horses, goat lungs, and more. I don’t especially see a reason to doubt these are from an Olympic venue (other than the fact that Chinah as a ban on dog meat, and “dog liver and vegetables” is shown as an open-air food cart offering.

I was not able to find any mention of it on the web through a standard Googling — the only similar story seemed to be a BBC news article about how China is banning dog meat, that included the phrase “hungry at the olympics”..

However, I was able to locate a few pictures that seemed strikingly similar (without the edited-in captions, perhaps being the originals upon which the captions were added) by searching directly on Flickr. Mauricio Moreno came up after searching for olympics, food, scorpion. I only found a few of them, so I suspect there may be another photographer, possibly from the same venue. The search continues.. can anyone else find a gallery of these?

Here are a few from the email, but I won’t post all 17 pictures for fear of getting server hammered! heh

Edit — OK, scratch that. I DID find someone who posted the entire series of pictures.. but they’re in a flash-based slideshow format, and at a terrible quality reduction. I somehow doubt some radio station is the origin of these, though!

List of Re-Used Props in Star Trek and Hello!Project

How could I possibly incorporate Hello!Project and Star Trek in one post?

A friend of mine posted an image of her sitting in a magnetoencephalogram (MEG) scanner, for brain waves, whilst on a tour of various facilities for her special education degree, and the large array reminded me of the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode where Lt.Barclay became atypically intelligent and interfaced with the ship’s computer in the Holodeck.

While looking up a picture of the interface as a cross-reference, I came across a site (where I found the image) of a list of props that have been re-used between Star Trek episodes:

Ex Astris Scientia: Re-Used Props – Miscellaneous Equipment

It shows how various props are used as different items (such as using a prop previously used for a bomb re-employed as a cargo container in a later episode).. takes a pretty good eye to catch all those!

Similarly, I had recalled seeing a nifty gallery of a background prop that has been used in multiple Hello!Project videos and photoshoots and never realized it:

Hello-Online.com thread

Side View / Sokumenzu Generator

Here’s an interesting little flash proggy to experiment with.. Suggest this link in your favorite chat room, IM or forum and see what everyone can come up with, making funny takes on peoples’ usernames and such..

Basically a word is typed in, and the letters are rendered from a series of dots, but then the dots are examined from a different angle to come out with a new word, in most cases. I find it interesting that, if entered in:

ablestmage comes out to depressing
Wolverine comes out to Suffering
Jean Gray comes out to Dead Heat
ProfessorX comes out to profligacy (reckless extravagance)
Magneto comes out to Manners,
Psylocke comes out to Clincher, and lastly,
Superman comes out to Murderer..

Try your own out! If your username is too long, try to break it up into smaller whole words and add them together from seperate renderings. My gamertag thehomeland if split up between “the” and “homeland” comes to fatvomiting. Nice.