Tuesday, January 31, 2006

CTI Celebrates 50 Years!

My employer, magazine publisher Christianity Today International, is celebrating its 50th anniversary.

Check out this special area I had a small part in helping to develop to tell our story in more detail than most people are aware of. The Billy Graham opening, and the rest of the video here, is a concise look at who CTI is, and who we continue to become.

The 10 Most Redeeming Films of 2005

What do exorcists, terrorists, caped crusaders, and a talking lion have in common?

They're all characters in some of the year's most redeeming movies, presented here in this second annual list from ChristianityMovies.com

Some of the movies in the list will surprise you!

Monday, January 30, 2006

"Beer Before Liquor...?"

QUESTION: Is the saying "Beer before liquor, never sicker, liquor before beer, never fear" physiologically accurate?

No. Portland's Willamette Week interviewed a nutrition expert and a pharmacologist; both nixed the theory. They astutely note that mixing different types of alcohol is generally a bad idea.

Read the full, but fairly brief, response to this "age old" question of mixing drinks here.

Friday, January 27, 2006


What is a "Freegan"?

They regard over-consumption as a pernicious global trend and seek to demonstrate how people can feed themselves for "free" on the mountains of produce discarded by others.

The Freegan rule of thumb for what goes into the shopping bag and what stays in the garbage is simple: "You look at it. You smell it. You feel it. If it seems okay, you take it."

Read the full, and interesting, article about Freegans here.

USEFUL: Cheatsheet To Help You Get A Human Voice On Various Automated Phone Systems

This link is INCREDIBLY USEFUL, so I won't go on and on describing it too much.

Click the link to see this Cheatsheet, and you'll want to pass it on to your friends and print out a copy of the list for yourself and keep it handy!

Trust me on this one.

A New Blog For Working Parents...

BusinessWeek magazine has launched a new blog for working parents. It's called, "Working Parents." (honestly)

If you're a target member of that demographic (Read: you're a parent, and you work), then you might find some useful info here.

It looks as if a number of different bloggers post here, and you'll find multiple posts per day, so there's plenty of content here to goggle up ... that's only if you can find the time to do so while being a working parent!

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Some Lyrics To Consider: Derek Webb

"Politics or love can make you blind or make you see/Make you a slave or make you free/But only one does it all/And it's giving up your life for the ones you hate the most/It's giving them your gown when they've taken your clothes/It's learning to admit when you've had a hand in setting them up, in knocking them down/Are we defending life when we just pick and choose/Lives acceptable to lose and which ones to defend/'Cause you cannot choose your friends but you choose your enemies/And what if they were one and the same/Could you find a way to love them both the same/To give them your name"

— from Derek Webb's "Love Is Not Against the Law," on his latest album Mockingbird.

As seen at:

ChocoWine (???)

I told you about Pizza Vino yesterday, and now I bring you the blending of chocolate and wine!

DC Duby, a pairing of two world-acclaimed patissiers and chocolatiers, announced their ChocoWine Reserve series.

ChocoWine Reserve is a blending of chocolate and wine, to form one very delicious chocolate confection. But it wasn't easy to perfect. Both chocolate and wine contain tannin. When the tannins of both are combined, "they create a very astringent and, to most, very unpleasant sensation in the mouth".

But being the world acclaimed chocolatiers that they are, they put their heads together and figured it out. Thus they bequeath to us, "ChocoWine Reserve", produced with a blend of the worlds' best cocoa bean: the exclusive Criollos. They're filled with a sumptuously smooth nougat made with premium wines, produced by leading Canadian wineries, and pure hazelnut butter.

The series contains five varieties:

Cabernet Sauvignon
Pinot Noir
Riesling Icewine
Cabernet Franc Icewine

Discovered at:
The Junk Food Blog

2006 PARADE’s Annual List Of The World’s 10 Worst Dictators

"A 'dictator' is a head of state who exercises arbitrary authority over the lives of his citizens and who cannot be removed from power through legal means."

Parade’s top 3 worst dictators are:

1. Omar al-Bashir (Sudan)
2. Kim Jong-Il (North Korea)
3. Than Shwe (Myanmar)

Read the full list of The 10 Worst Dictators here.

Read comments about this list from Parade readers here.
Read last year's list (of 2004's worst dictators) here.
Read 2003's list
Read 2002's list here.

101 Dumbest Moments In Business

CNNMoney.com has compiled "The 101 Dumbest Moments In Business" with this great collection of some of the most ridiculous ideas ever!

They are also offering a list of "The Smart List."

Whether you agree or disagree with their choices, they sure are entertaining!

BONUS: See "15 Stupid Money Moves" lower on the page linked above!

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Death By Suburbs

I friend of mine has just released his new book from HarperSanFrancisco. It's called, Death by Suburb : How to Keep the Suburbs from Killing Your Soul.

See his official site for the book at: DeathBySuburb.net
Here him speaking of his book here.

My old joke with Dave Goetz is, "Whatever Dave wants, Dave Goetz!" (Well, I suppose it's funnier off of print, in the real world -- at least Dave laughs at that one every time.)

Check out these recommendations:

Fr. Richard Rohr, O.F.M., author of Everything Belongs: The Gift of Contemplative Prayer
"Death by Suburb addresses and overcomes the split in our religion, our lifestyles, and even our consciousness."

Leigh Schmidt, Princeton University, author of Restless Souls: The Making of American Spirituality
"Goetz lets the shadows of the suburbs show and evokes a thicker sense of our social and religious worlds."

William H. Willimon, author of Sinning Like a Christian
"God has given Goetz a gift for seeing … the parched lives beneath the suburban bliss.

About the Author:
David L. Goetz is a former editor for Leadership Journal, the leading periodical for pastors, and a former pastor. He writes for Christianity Today and was the general editor of The Pastor's Soul series, which was nominated for the Evangelical Christian Publishers Association's Gold Medallion Book Award in 2000. He is president of CZ Marketing, a brand and strategy firm serving the nonprofit sector. Goetz lives with his family in Wheaton, Illinois.

Get your own copy of the book today!

I/O Brush ... Wow!

This is one of the most amazing new technology videos I've ever seen.

VIDEO: A Fireworks Factory Going Up In Flames Looks Like This...

Give it a little time, it really gets going about 1/3 of the way through the video.

Fireworks Factory Goes Up In Flames

VIDEO: Incredible "Fishing" Video

"Fishing" is a lot easier when the fish (a lot of them) simply jump right into the boat!

This fishing video shows that it really can happen!

Read more about the deatils of this video here.

A Glass of Pizza Wine?

As Seen At: The Strange New Products Blog

Made specifically for the pizza afficionado, Pizza Vino is a new California wine formulated to accompany pizza.

Available in Pinot Noir and Cabernet Sauvignon varieties, Pizza Vino is blended to be "fruit forward" without being masked by a strong oak presence, making it a perfect compliment to tomatoey pepperoni cheese pies.

The label features a pepperoni pizza and a red & white checker pattern reminiscent of an italian pizzeria.

You can get your own bottle after searching your pizza-stained couch cushions for loose change ... a bottle will only put you out $8.99 -- from JZ Wine Company.

Friday, January 20, 2006

Use Your Cellphone As A Movie Ticket?

It's True!

A movie theater in a suburb of America's technology capital has begun trial-running a payment method that allows customers to not only purchase tickets from their cellphones but actually present an on-screen barcode to the tickettaker.

Read the full cell phone movie ticket article.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Quotations To Ponder...

"Man has to suffer. When he has no real afflictions, he invents some."
Jose Marti

"The scientists of today think deeply instead of clearly. One must be sane to think clearly, but one can think deeply and be quite insane."
Nikola Tesla

"Most human beings have an almost infinite capacity for taking things for granted."
Aldous Huxley

"Genius might be described as a supreme capacity for getting its possessors into trouble of all kinds."
Samuel Butler

"I think age is a very high price to pay for maturity."
Tom Stoppard

"The world is a tragedy to those who feel, but a comedy to those who think."
Horace Walpole

"Politics is not the art of the possible. It consists in choosing between the disastrous and the unpalatable."
John Kenneth Galbraith


This HassleMe service is either one of the best ideas to come from the Internet, or it's the most annoying thing ever.

I just can't make up my mind...

Guinness Beer Ice Cream Recipe

If you're into Guinness, and if you're into ice cream, then today is your day!

The Guinness Ice Cream Recipe

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

A Just Punishment For Football Fan...

This football "fan" be spending Super Bowl weekend in jail.

Sure, he only received a 3-day jail sentence (plus 150 hours of community service with the Cleveland Browns charities), butwith it been seved over Super Bowl weekend, it ends-up being a very just punishment.

Nice work, Judge!

McDonald's New Filet-o-Shrimp "Burger" Hits the Menu

If you find yourself in Japan, and you want to try something new, try a fried shrimp sandwich called the "Filet-o-Shrimp Burger."

It was recently added to the McDonald's menu in that country.

Read more about this new menu item, and other products they're testing, here.

"Miracle Tablets" Made Sour Tastes Taste Sweet!

Now THIS is very interesting...

TOKYO — Tablets made from miracle fruit, which makes sour things taste sweet, went on sale Sunday online. Mitsuharu Shimamura, a 31-year-old horticulturist based in Chita, Aichi Prefecture, established the world's first technology to make tablets out of the tropical fruit, native to West Africa, which contains a sweet-inducing protein called miraculin...

Read the rest of this brief, but interesting, news piece here to learn exactly how the Miracle Tablets work.

Friday, January 13, 2006

Mr. Blackwell's Latest List Is Now Out

Mr. Blackwell's latest list of the worst dressed celebrities is out once again.

Britney Spears is at the top of the list (of, course), but you'll have to click the link in order to find out who else made the cut...

Mr. Blackwell's Dubious List

Who is Mr. Blackwell?

Destination Nation Men's Grooming Products

This looks like an interesting new line of Men's Grooming Products.

They got the idea for their products from various interstate highways.

An interesting idea. We'll have to wait and see it the idea takes off.


These Automoblox are customizable vehicles that look like the Matchbox Cars of the future.

Make Your Own Animated Movie In Only Five Minutes!

Just chose where your story will take place, what type of interaction, and which character(s) to use.

Then, write the short script, and finish the movie with just a few more options.

It's a great way to have some unique fun online. Make your animated movie now!

Send An Email That Self-Destructs After It Is Read

Yep! You really can send an email that self-destructs after it's read. Only, it doesn't destroy your computer -- as it did in the Mission Impossible flicks.

Shopping Carts of the Future...

Pretty slick shopping carts!

Thursday, January 12, 2006

The Prejudice Map (a la Google)

According to Google, people in the world are known for...

:::Check out the Prejudice Map here:::::::::::::::::

It's a world map of cultural prejudices, compiled by asking Google what different cultures "are known for".

via: Kottke.org

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Reality Vacations??

As if traditional vacations aren't "real" enough, you can live out the experience of competing on a reality show "competition" that IS your vacation.

Reality Village is a part of th eBravo Club in Stintino (Sardinia), a new type of holiday village in Italy inspired by Big Brother and numerous other reality TV shows. Bravo itself is owned by Alpitour, the largest tour operator in Italy.

The 'adventure' begins upon arrival at the village, where 180 guests go through a real casting session to form six teams of each 30 people, facing a week of challenges, all captured by ubiquitous cameras. Think putting together a naturist calendar, cooking a dish or taking part in pool games. Every night, footage is shown and judges announce an individual winner who gets to pick another contestant to take to a holiday suite and spend the night with. The day's loser will be sent out on a raft together with a person of his/her choice.

I saw this in the Springwise(.com) Newsletter, which features some of the latest trends out there.

Pimp My Van?

I could roll with a ride like this...

Van Photo

The van is from a company called Benjys, and these vans are an emerging trend dubbed, "Vanchising."

Instead of investing in a business franchise that runs out of a storefront. This franchise runs out of a pimped-out van. Time will tell if this idea catches on.

The Genius of Mistakes

This is a short blog post that is something I've learned -- especially over the past few years.

Again and again I run across quotes from people who most would consider geniuses in their field that offer variations on this same theme - "I learn most from screwing up."

At the same time, the fear of making a mistake is one of the biggest obstacles I see people encountering. They want the fruits of their efforts to come out perfect and spit-shined, but they are afraid to go through the R&D required to get there (i.e., they're afraid to make mistakes they can learn from).

Read the rest of this post about The Genius of Mistakes at The Occupational Adventure blog.

via: LifeHack.org

A Very Bad Idea...

According to the Battle Creek Enquirer...

An unidentified man in Paw Paw, Mich., got his car stuck in the mud near Leroy Township.

No need to wait for a tow truck. "After several attempts to free the car," said a spokesman for the Calhoun County sheriff, "the man placed his toolbox on the vehicle accelerator, exited the vehicle and attempted to push the vehicle free. The man was successful."

Success, of course, is relative: he got his Mercury full- sized sedan clear from the mud, but then had to run behind it to try to catch it.

No luck. The car reached an estimated 100 mph, sometimes going airborne after hitting bumps, until it smashed into a tree a half-mile from the mud pit. Deputies decided not to give any citations to the man, who was not injured.

via: ThisIsTrue.com

Monday, January 09, 2006

Have You Seen The One-eyed, No Nose Kitten?

This isn't from the National Enquirer. It's true!

Cy, a kitten born with only one eye and no nose, is shown in this photo provided by its owner in Redmond, Oregon, on Wednesday, Dec. 28, 2005.

Just So You Know...

Of all the words in the English language, the word "set" has the most definitions.

via: YouthSpecialties.com

Wal-Mart Apologizes for Racist Software Glitch

Oops! Sorry...

Wal-Mart's attempt to mimic Amazon, NetFlix, and Blockbuster by providing an automated system that recommends movies based on the types of DVDs its customers previously ordered came to a crashing halt Thursday after blogs spread the word that the Planet of the Apes DVD was linked to "Similar Items" that included DVDs about Martin Luther King, Dorothy Dandridge, Jack Johnson and Tina Turner -- all notable African Americans. "We are heartsick that this happened and are currently doing everything possible to correct the problem," Wal-Mart spokeswoman Mona Williams said in a statement. "We were horrified to discover that some hurtful and offensive combinations are being mapped together. ... We are deeply sorry that this happened." The company gave no explanation for how the software program managed to select only films about African-Americans for the recommendations.

via: IMDB.com

The Top 10 Weirdest USB Drives Ever

Got a bad memory?

(If you do, then how would you be able to remember that you have a bad memory??)

Anyway, here's a list of some of the silliest USB memory drives for your computer.

I only have one USB drive. It's from Google for doing a lot of PPC Marketing with them this past year.

BY THE WAY: Hey Mom, I think I left that Google package (the zippered "leather" case with the Google computer tinkets in it) at your place while I was there for Christmas. Did you come across it?

(I just save a phone call. Score!!!)

Personally, I'd prefer a USB drive more like this one.

Friday, January 06, 2006

Fork Art


Appropriately, most of the Fork Art is cheap. But, I have to admit that many of the pieces are pretty incredible.

Jewelry: http://fork-art.com/jewelry.htm
Animals: http://fork-art.com/Animals.htm

Artist Accused of Vandalizing Urinal

The real crime was that this "piece of art" is considered to be one of, or even THE Greatest, piece of Modern Art ever created.

I do find it funny that this "vandal" had "vandalized" this very sculpture years ago when he uninated in the urinal. He claimed that the most recent attack on the urinal was an act of "Performance Art."

That would lead one (read: me) to believe that the urinating done in the urinal years ago would also be an act of "Performance Art." With that being the standard, I do believe I'm a bonafide artist four or five times/day!!

P.S. I'm sorry about all of the "quotation marks" in this post. They were most definitely necessary.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

The "Satugo" Camera

Satugo is a fun little camera that you can throw in the air or bounce to get some unusual photos.

It even has a pull-string that will help the photographer catch steadier shots.

This Day In Apple History

That's "Apple" is in "not Microsoft" ... NOT as in: Gwyeth Paltrow's child, Fiona Apple, or in what a child used to give to their teacher to thank them for giving them a good education.
This Day In Apple History

via: Kottke.org

Top Politically Incorrect Words & Phrases

Yeah, try telling any fans of the USC Trojans that last night wasn't a loss, it was just "deferred success."

That action of trying not to offend them would surely leave you with a back eye (or two).

Here's this year's list of Politically Incorrect Words & Phrases

Buzz Words

How many of these buzz words are new to you?

Also see: Kottke.org's end-of-the-year list of the top links of 2005

via: http://www.kottke.org/remainder/

BLOG NAME CHANGE: Now It Is ... casual.mondays

This blog has needed a name change for a little while because whenever I search for mentions of my blog name, I keep running into the same stupid joke...

"When a clock is hungry, it goes back four seconds."

So, this blog will now be known, from today on out, as casual.mondays

It's unique, and it's something I'd like to have here at the office as well.

The URL will have to stay the same for now. I will switch it over to the new name in the blog web address in a week or so.

Thank you for being one of my readers.


Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Strawberries and Creme Frappuccino!

It was only a matter of time before Starbucks began to bottle their "creme" frappuccinos just like they have with the traditional flavors for a number of years. The creme frappuccinos do not contain coffee - which may or may not be appealing.

The Strawberries and Creme Frappuccino that Starbucks is now bottling for your enjoyment at home used to only be offered seasonally at Starbucks locations.

I'm sure that other creme flavors will soon be available in bottles as well.

The bottles will look like this.

via: JunkFoodBlog.com

GREAT IDEA: Bada Beans (Coffee Flavor Enhancers)

Great news for coffee drinkers...want the taste of flavored coffee without messy syrups or powders? Bada Beans has developed an innovative little bean that you can drop in your cup of coffee and add one of four exciting flavors.

The Bada Beans are blister-packed (42 per tin) for on the go convenience and dissolve quickly for instant gourmet flavor!

Flavors include... (read the rest of the post about Bada Beans here)

via: JunkFoodBlog.com

Football-shaped Pizza...What Took So Long?

Looking for a unique food item for your next Bowl Party? Try the Molinaro's Football Pizza. These individually wrapped frozen pizzas are shaped like a football and come in pepperoni and sausage varieties. The pizzas are 32 oz. and sell for $5.99 - 6.99 each.

From what I can tell, you have to go to Phoenix, AZ in order to get one of these. Others will surely follow suit and begin to reshape their pizzas as well.

It's not like we had to wait for the technology for a pizza to be able to be shaped like a football. So, what took so long for this obvious idea to come about?

What other shapes would be good marketing ideas? Leave your ideas in my COMMENTS area below.

via: JunkFoodBlog.com

PETA Teen Changes Name to KentuckyFriedCruelty.com

"Chris Garnett" wasn't that bad of a name. It's not like he's gonna be teased with that one.

But, now he goes and legally changes his name to KentuckyFriedCruelty.com

Did you understand what I just said?



Read more about this crazy story about Mr. KentuckyFriedCruelty.com.

FYI: The actual website by that name means well, but, it just goes way too far to make its point.

via: The Consumerist

Searchable Subject Index for Coin Collectors

Coin-collector heads may want to check out a new offering from SJ Miller. , NumisLinks is a searchable subject listing of coin collecting sites with some interesting twists.

Read on at this ResearchBuzz post.

Dictionary of Wisconsin History

This is where I grew up, and many of my readers (read: friends and family) are from that great state of wonderful cheese & beer.

Enjoy learning about the History of Wisconsin!

via: ResearchBuzz

Free eBook on Motivation

If you need motivation in order to take the time to download this ebook about Motivation, well, then I guess you're just stuck between a rock and a hard place.

For everyone else, download the Motivation eBook here.

How To Make Resolutions You’ll Keep

Too many resolutions barely last through January. Here's how to make plans for 2006 you'll be certain to keep.

"How To Make Resolutions You’ll Keep."

The Best 101 Restaurants In NYC (2005)

New York magazine enters the NYC dining fray with a listing of the best 101 restaurants in the city.

Only two got their highest (5 star) rating: Masa and Le Bernardin.

via: Kottke.org

How Is Coffee Decaffeinated?

Just so you know...

These are some of the ways coffee is decaffeinated.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

100 Things We Didn't Know This Time Last Year

Here's another great list of things that is the kind of content I love to post here at Back Four Seconds. If you're new to this blog, I really enjoy bringing my readers links to the unique, thoughtful, outrageous, and just plain funny content out there on the Web that you might not have seen yet.

So, on with the links!

Check out 100 Things We Didn't Know This Time Last Year (this list was a real hit at the dinner party I was at last night). And then, check out the list from the previous year.

It's a lot of fun to read through, and you'll learn at lot about the wild world in which we live!

via: Kottke.org

Cat Hangs Under SUV For 70 Miles

Gotta give this little feline credit for its perseverance...

VOORHEES, N.J. -- Driving down the New Jersey Turnpike can be scary enough. But imagine doing it clinging to the drive train of an SUV.
That was how a gray-and-white domestic shorthair cat traveled for 70 miles before being rescued.

The driver was going down the turnpike from Newark to Cherry Hill two days before Christmas when another driver spotted the cat through the wheel well.

The driver took the frightened feline into the Animal Welfare Association in Voorhees.

Read the rest of the story about "the little kitten that could."

Tom Cruise Creates New Slang: "Jump The Couch"

When Tom Cruise jumped on Oprah's couch, a new slang term was born.

And now, "jump the couch" has been named the Slang of the Year by the editors of the Historical Dictionary of American Slang.

The dictionary defines "jump the couch" as exhibiting "strange or frenetic behavior."

Read more about the Tom Cruise Slang Honor.

Google News Top Searches in 2005

Here's another end-of-the-year list. This one is the Google News Top Searches in 2005.

This page also offers lists of the Google.com Top Gainers of 2005, and Froogle's Top Searches in 2005.

Top Gainers are searches that grew in total searches from a year ago. Froogle searches are the top search terms for Google's product and services tool.

If the page doesn't come up the first time, try again a few times. The website hosting this page seems to be a little hinky at times. But, it should eventually work for you.