Sunday, December 27, 2009

Groove Shark Free Online Music

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Grooveshark.com is a flash-based online media player that lets you
listen to virtually any song in the world for FREE!!
Apparently they have around 7 million songs available.

If we do not have any song in mind, we can simply click on the "Popular" icon, and
Grooveshark will list what is popular at the moment, and we can choose songs from this list.

There is a very comprehensive review and description of Groove Shark here:
http://www.appappeal.com/app/grooveshark/

To use GS, we simply go to the Groove Shark website:

http://listen.grooveshark.com

and then search for any song that we want to listen to.

One of Passy's favorite songs is "Woman from Tokyo" by Deep Purple, so I typed it in like this and then clicked on the magnifying glass search icon:

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A list of different available versions of "Woman From Tokyo" then came up.

Selecting the one I wanted to play was a bit tricky for some reason.
What I found that works is to right click on the one you want and then choose
"Play Now" from the pop up menu list of items.

There are also other ways of selecting and playing each song. These will be explained later on.


Here is a 5 minute You Tube video on how to use Grooveshark:




Here is another introductory video about Groove Shark:



One song at a time is okay, but it would be much better to build and save a
Playlist of all of our favorite songs that we could logon and play whenever we want to. To do this, we have to create an account and join up to Groove Shark.
Currently this is free, and only requires that you supply an email address.

The following PDF document explains how to join up to Groove Shark and create our own Playlist of songs. It also explains how to use the Groove Shark Widget Builder to create an embeddable playlist for your web page or blog.



If you would like to have your own full size copy of this PDF, then simply click the save disk icon button on the PDF viewer, and you should be able to save it to your own hard disk.


Alternatively, you can view or save the full size PDF by clicking the link below:



As detailed in the "How To" document above, we can go to a separate part of Groove Shark at: http://widgets.grooveshark.com/ and make a widget with embed HTML. We can then put this widget onto our own webpage or blog.

Here is a PlayList of David Lee Roth songs that we made at Groove Shark.
Simply click on the play button, or move and click an individual song title with the mouse. This will get things started, and the songs will play through.



Finally, here is one of my all time favorite David Lee Roth videos.

Check out Steve Vai's awesome guitar work - very slick. The bass guitarist and drummer ain't too shabby either.

(Note that it takes a while in the video till they start playing the song).




Vocals: David Lee Roth
Guitars: Steve Vai
Bass: Billy Sheehan
Keyboards:Jeff Bova and Jessie Harms
Drums: Gregg Bissonette

DON'T FORGET TO DO OUR ONE CLICK SURVEY AT THE TOP RIGHT HAND CORNER OF THIS WEB PAGE. JUST CLICK ONE OPTION IN, AND THEN CLICK THE "VOTE" BUTTON.

Enjoy,
Big Passy Wasabi

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Guitar Arpeggios for Metal Heads

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Big Passy Wasabi plays some sweet metal Arpeggios on his iAxe

Guitar Arpeggios are the notes of a chord played individually, one at a time.
Emphasizing the notes in the arpeggio makes a melody have a strong chord sound.

A pure Arpeggio includes all of the notes of the chord played one after each other in ascending order: eg. Intervals of Root, 3, 5, Octave, 3, 5, etc.
However, often it sounds a lot better if certain notes are left out, and we simply play just a few of the chord notes going up and the exact same notes coming back down.

Here is a good five minute You Tube video that teaches Arpeggio picking for a basic four chord progression. It also includes a nice "G add B" chord.




Here are a couple of great beginner videos on Metal Guitar Arpeggios:









The following website has several free lessons about Arpeggios:
http://www.cyberfret.com/arpeggios/index.php

Included on this site is a free online program called "guitar-codex".

http://www.cyberfret.com/scales/guitar-codex/index.php

As well as a Chord Finder, the "guitar-codex" program is also an Arpeggio finder.
Choose a root from the selection box on the upper left side, then a chord name
from the middle selection box. The program will then display all of the notes
of that particular arpeggio on the neck. You can adjust the fret range (scope)
and the starting fret at the bottom. We can then pick out our own nice sounding group of notes to use as an Arpeggio chord.

Here is a great little Arpeggios online Dictionary :
http://www.guitarbasics.com/theory/guitar_arpeggios.htm

Simply click on the Chord that you want to Arpeggio.
Practicing these really helps reinforce the fret values for various Barre chords.

If you want to see where learning Arpeggios could ultimately take you, then check this out: "Arpeggios from Hell".



Man can that guy play guitar or what!
He is the ultimate Arpeggiator!

DON'T FORGET TO DO OUR ONE CLICK SURVEY AT THE TOP RIGHT HAND CORNER OF THIS WEB PAGE. JUST CLICK ONE OPTION IN, AND THEN CLICK THE "VOTE" BUTTON.

Enjoy,
Big Passy Wasabi

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Firday Funny for Cool Cats

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Source: http://www.2funnycats.com

Meet "Neo" and "Morpheus", a couple of really cool cats.

If you have not seen The Matrix movie, you won't get this.
Now if you have never seen the movie,
then make it a definite New Year's resolution to watch the entire Matrix trilogy in 2010.

This Friday Funny is all about Cats, and the funny things they do.
And because it's Christmas Eve, the FF is coming to you a day early this week.

There are countless videos on You Tube of cats and their antics. At Passy World we have picked our three
all time favorites to share with you today.

This first video is rather long, but the first couple of minutes are really good.
(Make sure you have your speakers turned on)




What would Christmas be without cats singing their version of "Silent Night":




Now for something really bizarre: how about an angry senile talking cat:




What is a cat ?

- Cats do what they want.

- They rarely listen to you.

- They are totally unpredictable.

- When you want to play, they want to be alone.

- When you want to be alone, they want to play.

- They expect you to cater to their every whim.

- They are moody.

- They leave hair everywhere.

- They drive you nuts and cost an arm and a leg.

Conclusion: They are tiny women in fur coats.


What is a dog?

- Dogs lie around all day, sprawled on the most comfortable piece of furniture in the house.

- They can hear a package of food opening half a block away, but they don't hear you when you are in the same room.

- They growl when they are not happy.

- When you want to play, they want to play.

- When you want to be alone, they want to play.

- They are great at begging.

- They will love you forever if you rub their tummies.

- They leave their toys everywhere.

- They do disgusting things with their mouths and then try to give you a kiss.

- Conclusion: They are little men in fur coats


I'm not too sure how Dogs snuck in there?
If you want to see a cat that is so big, it
might as well be a Dog, then check this out:

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Now all you little people in fur coats:

DON'T FORGET TO DO OUR ONE CLICK SURVEY AT THE TOP RIGHT HAND CORNER OF THIS WEB PAGE. JUST CLICK ONE OPTION IN, AND THEN CLICK THE "VOTE" BUTTON.

Enjoy,
Big Passy Wasabi

P.S. Merry Christmas to all our readers. Go and hug your cat !

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

How to Install Google Analytics

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Image Source: http://www.creativetechs.com

Analytics is a free service from Google. It allows us to track statistics about the performance of our website or blog quickly and easily. We can in fact track multiple web sites all from within this one application.

It is a very handy tool for "Web Masters", (people who have a website or blog). They can use it to comprehensively analyse traffic passing through their website.

A lot of people use Analytics to track user's activities in online shopping websites, and talk about "Conversion Goals". Usually a conversion goal is to get a user from the products page, all the way through to the shopping cart checkout and pay step. This is often referred to as the user passing down through a funnel. However, Google Analytics can also be setup for any Blog.

This is what we have just done for Passy's World. We are hoping to work out what posts our visitors are mostly visiting, and how we might be able to make improvements to our site. (Plus Big Passy just can't resist having another technical toy to play around with).

If you want to know how to add Google Analytics to a Blogger blog, then first you have to sign up for Google Analytics at: http://www.google.com/analytics/

If you are already signed into a Google Blogger Account, the signup is very simple.
Note for later that the type of domain we will be tracking is a "Single Domain".

Once you are signed up to Google Analytics, then click the following link.
(This link provides step by step instructions on what to do for your setup)

http://www.eblogtemplates.com/how-to-install-google-analytics-on-blogger/


If you need to add Google Analytics to Wordpress or TypePad blogs, then click on these links:

http://andywibbels.com/2007/01/how-to-add-google-analytics-to-your-wordpress-blog/

http://andywibbels.com/2007/01/how-to-add-google-analytics-to-your-typepad-blog/

Google Analytics allows us to determine where visitors to a site are coming from, where they go on the site, and what page they leave from. We can also see how many users complete conversion goals and purchase a product or signup for a newsletter.

Once we have used Analytics for a while at Passy World, we will probably do a follow up post in a couple of months time. This will let you know what useful information Analytics has provided for us.

In the meantime, here are some Slideshare presentations about Google Analytics.

(Use the bottom toolbar "full" icon to go full screen, click the right arrow to advance, and then use the Escape key to return to this blog).

Here is a good introduction to web analytics including the Google product:




Here is a slideshare presentation about Google Analytics:


The following presentation has 99 slides. We suggest just looking at the first 24 slides, which show examples of the main types of reports that can be produced using Google Analytics:

So that's it for how to set up and start tracking web traffic with Google Analytics.

SOMETHING YOU MUST DO TO SUPPLEMENT ANALYTICS IS OUR ONE CLICK SURVEY AT THE TOP RIGHT HAND CORNER OF THIS WEB PAGE.
JUST CLICK ONE OPTION IN, AND THEN CLICK THE "VOTE" BUTTON.

Enjoy,
Big Passy Wasabi

Monday, December 21, 2009

The Mathematics of Readability

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Image Source: http://www.urbanphoto.net

Maths is used for many things, including working out how readable web pages are.
There are actually Mathematical formulas that examine how long sentences are, and how many syllables are in the words on a web page. These values are then number crunched together to give results such as: "Gunning Fog Index", "Flesch Reading Ease", and "Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level" values.

Based on these values, we can work out if our web pages are easy to read, and how old a person needs to be to clearly understand the content. These same calculations can also be applied to any written text in books or magazines.

There is a brilliant technical explanation about all of this science at:

http://juicystudio.com/services/readability.php

This site also has a "Readability Calculator". You can enter the URL address of any web page from the Internet, and determine the key mathematical values for its readability levels.

But first things first, and we need to learn about each of these "Readability Scales", how to Calculate them and interpret the results. The following Slideshare presentation covers this. (Use the bottom toolbar "full" icon to go full screen, click the right arrow to advance, and then use the Escape key to return to this blog).



Using this type of Mathematics, we can analyse books and web pages.
This is handy if you have a blog, because you can analyse each page, and check its reading level.

The results from the Juicy Studio Readability Test of all of the post pages in "Passy's World of ICT" show that our website is not easy to read:

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It seems that BIG Passy has been using too many BIG fancy words, and writing BIG sentences that are far too long! So this is something we will be working on throughout 2010. Not that we do not want to dumb it down to Neanderthal level, but we certainly need to make some improvements.

Enjoy,
Big Passy Wasabi

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Avatar - Special FX Movie 10+

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Image Source: http://moviecarpet.com

The movie "Avatar" has just been released in Australia this weekend, and my son A.J. and I went to see it, and we certainly were not disappointed.

Avatar is about a disabled US Marine, "Jake Sully", who is sent to Pandora, a moon of the distant Centauri star system, to help with the mining operation of “unobtainium”, an energy-rich mineral being mined by humans.

Upon arrival, Jake discovers a world of beauty and innocence, populated by 10-foot-tall, blue-skinned beings called the Na’vi. The natives are very peaceful and resonate with nature in the way they live their lives. There are in fact many good subliminal messages about harmony and resonance in life within the story.

The humans (called "The Sky People") have created Avatar controlled genetically mutant versions of the native Na'vi,
and Jake is sent in as an Avatar controller. This is the exact same type of thing as done in "The Matrix".

Watch this Trailer from You Tube to get an idea of what it is all about:




The special effects in this movie are some of the best I have ever seen. What they can do with computers and movies these days is really exciting. The Na’vi look as if they could be real, and the facial expressions and character movements are crystal clear and flawless. The story is a bit like "Lord of the Rings", a bit like "The Matrix", a bit like a war movie, and a bit of a love story as well. There's something there for everyone, without it being overly deep and laborious to follow.

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Image Source: http://www.collider.com

The jungle, the animals, the characters, the humans "Halo" inspired gun ships and helicopters, the stunts, and everything else in the movie are absolutely superb and more realistic than any sci-fi movie I have ever seen.

"Avatar" is a computer enhanced masterpiece, and you must check it out.

SOMETHING ELSE YOU MUST DO IS OUR ONE CLICK SURVEY AT THE TOP RIGHT HAND CORNER OF THIS WEB PAGE. JUST CLICK ONE OPTION IN, AND THEN CLICK THE "VOTE" BUTTON.

Enjoy,
Big Passy Wasabi

Fibonacci Sequence in Music

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Source: http://blog.the-market-toolbox.com

To play music, we use our fingers, and the size of their joints actually forms a mathematical pattern called a "Fibonacci Sequence".

Leonardo Fibonacci, was born in the 12th century, and studied a sequence of numbers with a special type of rule for determining the next number in the sequence.

He began the sequence with 0,1, ... and then calculated each successive number from the sum of the previous two. ( Eg. 0+1=2, 1+2=3, 2+3=5, 3+5=8, etc)

This sequence of numbers is called the Fibonacci Numbers or Fibonacci Sequence.


The Fibonacci numbers are interesting in that they occur throughout both Nature, Art, Engineering, and Music.


Here are the first few numbers of the sequence:

0, 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34, 55, 89, ......

The ratios of these successive numbers leads to interesting spiral patterns that are found in nature:

Fruits and Pinecone
Image Source: http://ps2pm.files.wordpress.com


Fibonacci Shell Cut Open
Image Source: http://www.onlineinvestingai.com


Fibonacci Numbered Plant
Image Source: http://www.maths.surrey.ac.uk


Fibonacci Cauliflower
Image Source: http://www.creationresearches.com


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Source: http://farm1.static.flickr.com

Nature is indeed beautiful, but our main interest here is the maths in music.

The Fibonacci Numbers amazingly form the foundation of music.

The first numbers of the Fibonacci Series (after 0,1) are: 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13

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There are 13 notes in the span of any note through to its octave.
Eg. For the Octave of C on the piano keyboard shown above, there are
thirteen notes in total : 8 white keys and 5 black keys.

However to play the "scale" of C, we only play the 8 white keys.
  • A scale is comprised of 8 notes, of which the 5th and 3rd notes create the basic foundation of all chords.
  • We also have harmonising intervals of 3rds and 5ths.
  • To produce a "third" we play the first note and a note 2 tones higher than this note.
  • To play an Octave we play the first note, and then a another note 8 tones higher.
Note in all of the above, (which is the basis of music), all of the notes and intervals only use the Fibonacci Numbers 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, and 13.

The series can also be used when composing music to make patterns of notes that are pleasing to the ear. It is claimed that classical composers like Mozart and Bartok used the Fibonacci series in some of their pieces.

For a more in depth look at symmetries in Music, including use of the Fibonacci Sequence in music, then check out the following excellent webpage from the "Mathematical Institute of the Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts".

http://www.mi.sanu.ac.rs/vismath/jadrbookhtml/part42.html


Has the Fibonacci Series ever been used in Rock Music ?


Yes of course it has! Power Chords are actually 5ths intervals, Triad chords use 1,3,and 5, Octaves use 8ths: these are all Fibonacci numbers !


Here is a fun outdoor piano that was built in Sweden. People were able to do their own experiments with different sequences of the Fibonacci based notes. The results were very entertaining.



Here is some music and images, that are not Fibonacci Sequences, but instead involve "Fractals", which are another type of really interesting mathematical pattern. The following chillout video is a Montage of "Mandelbrot" and "Julia" Sets.



Enjoy,
Big Passy Wasabi

Friday, December 18, 2009

Friday Christmas Season Funnies

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Even Santa is hunched over splitting his sides laughing at these ones !

But before you go opening up the "presents" below, you have to be a good boy or girl and do our Passy World "One Click Survey". Simply go to the top right hand corner of this web page, Click on what your favorite part of Passy World is......and then Click the VOTE button.

If you really want to have some input for 2010, you can also email suggestions to us by using the web address at the very bottom right hand side of this page.

Here at Passy World, our favourite Christmas movie of all time is National Lampoon's "Christmas Vacation", and who could ever forget this classic scene of the snow saucer sled:



And what would be Christmas without a good hearty carol or two, like this little gem from You Tube:



Okay, here's a few Christmas riddles for you:

How do you know Santa has to be a man?
- No woman is going to wear the same outfit year after year.

Who is Santa's most famous elf?
- Elf-vis

Where does Santa go to learn how to slide down chimneys?
- The chimnasium

Why was Santa's little helper depressed?
- Because he had low elf-esteem!

What do you get if you deep fry Santa Claus?
- Crisp Kringle

What do elves learn at elf school?
- The elf-abet

What is Rudolph's favourite day of the year?
- Red Nose Day.

How many presents can Santa fit into an empty sack?
- Only one, after that it's no longer empty any more.


Alright, here's a classic Christmas cartoon of
Easter Bunny versus the Snowman:

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Finally, let's finish off with a couple more classic videos from You Tube:







So Happy Friday the 18th, only one more week of sleeps to go.

Be extra good boys and girls, and do our survey, because Santa is watching !!

Enjoy,
Big Passy Wasabi

Monday, December 14, 2009

Jazzy Guitar Octaves

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Wes Montgomery, legendary jazz guitarist, and master of the Octave.

An Octave is basically the same note played 8 tones higher or lower from where you are currently on the fretboard. When both notes are played at the same time, it can make a smooth Jazzy sound, or with overdrive, a really cool heavy metal sound.

If you are playing Octaves on Guitar using a pick, then you have to use some of your fingers to mute the strings in between. Depending on the shape you are doing, there might be one or two strings that require muting.

Here are the Octave forms that can be made on the guitar fret board:

One string in between (use a finger to mute this inbetween string) :

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Two strings in between Octave forms:

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Here are some great videos from the web about playing Octaves on Guitar.

This first video is from "Dolphin Street" and gives a really good overview of Octaves:



Guitar:
Guitar Octaves

Here is an example of how to use Octaves in heavy metal guitar:



Here is an excellent 11 minute video about Octaves for Soloing in the Wes Montgomery style:




There are also electronic effects units designed to play octaved sounds automatically. These are called “octavers”. What a digital octaver does is take the note you play, process it and repeat it an octave higher or lower, depending on the setting. Combined with a compressor/sustainer pedal, you can get a really cool jazzy sound.

The cool thing is that you can play octaved sounds using only one string; and create really high octaves on the top E string.

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These units are good fun, but it is much more powerful and versatile to be able to pick up a guitar and just play Octaves manually, and intersperse them in between other notes and chords.

Enjoy,
Big Passy Wasabi

P.S. And that my friends was the 100th Blog Post for PWOICT !!!

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Yes.. that was a bit of work, but a lot of fun.

(Remember to do our "once click" Survey at the top of the page).

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Add a Survey to Blogger

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Hello readers, it's time for you guys to have some input into the future
directions for Passy World in 2010.

The above graph is what we suspect might be the composition of our Blog readers. But really we don't know, it just produced a nice shape in Excel 2007 when we played around with it.

Over in the right hand column of this page, you will notice a Survey
asking you why you like to visit Passy's World of ICT.

Please go and click a single response right now, based on what material you have found most interesting and useful on our Website.

This survey will run for the next few weeks, and we also have upcoming plans for a more comprehensive online survey, probably using something like "Survey Monkey".

If you want to know how to put a survey onto the side bar of a Blog, then here are some detailed step by step instructions:



If you would like to have your own full size copy of this PDF, then simply click the save disk icon button on the PDF viewer, and you should be able to save it to your own hard disk.

Alternatively, you can view or save the full size PDF by clicking the link below:



Thankyou for participating in our Annual Survey. Please only vote once in this survey, and if you have other ideas for us for 2010, then drop us an email at the hotmail address shown down the bottom of the right hand sidebar in the "Contact Us" section.

Enjoy,
Big Passy Wasabi

Actionscript Trigonometry Car



NOTE: It takes a few seconds for all the components to load in and the car to become drivable. Also make sure you click your mouse onto the car to activate the game window, and then keep pushing the arrow keys until the car starts moving.

To play the above Flash game, use the up arrow to drive forwards, and the left and right arrows to turn and steer. Hold down both Up and left at the same time to make the car drive around in circles.

Be careful because the car can drive right off the screen !
Sometimes it reappears, but usually it does not.

This "move and rotate" game was made by following the instructions in Gary Rosenzweig's excellent book: "Actionscript 3.0 Game Programming University". I followed his code, but got my own sprite for the car from the Google Images on the web, and used a computer game map as the background.

Both of these images were first modified using Adobe Fireworks, before importing them into Flash CS3.

Gary has several other great games to make in his book, and a set of accompanying resource files that can be downloaded from the web. I am having great fun working through his book, and might put some more of his games up here in future posts.

Check out his website at:
http://flashgameu.com/

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I recommend this book to anyone who is interested in Actionscript 3.0 Flash programming, because the book is brilliant! It has very clear and progressive step by step projects, and contains really well thought out and fun games to make with Adobe Flash CS3.

The following PDF gives a brief explanation of how the Trigonometry math works in the car driving project.



If you would like to have your own full size copy of this PDF, then simply click the save disk icon button on the PDF viewer, and you should be able to save it to your own hard disk.

Alternatively, you can view or save the full size PDF by clicking the link below:



So if you like to Flash, then Gary's book will be very revealing !

Enjoy,
Big Passy Wasabi

Friday, December 11, 2009

Friday Funny Monkey Business

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Okay it's "Friday Funnies" time again, and this week the theme involves taking a look at our nearest and dearest relatives: the monkeys.

First up, we have a classic compilation from YouTube of the "Trunk Monkey" TV advertisments from the good old USA. These have entertained millions of people around the world, and so I am certain that you will enjoy them as well.



Okay, how about a funny monkey joke, (to flex the old cheek smiling muscles):

A young pet monkey had an accident and needed a brain transplant. The veterinarian told the monkey's human family, "Brains are very expensive, and you will have to pay the cost yourselves."

"Well, how much does a brain cost?" asked the family.

"For a male brain, $500,000. For a female brain, $200,000," replied the vet.

All the men in the family nodded because they thought they understood. But the mother was unsatisfied and asked, "Why the difference in price between male and female brains?"

"Standard pricing practice," said the vet. "The female brains have to be marked down because they’ve actually been used!".

This joke came from a site with a great collection of Monkey jokes at:
http://www.monkeymatters.com/jokes.htm It even has this set of bananas that chase your mouse around the screen..... really cute.... check it out.


"The Arctic Monkeys" are a band with some darn good tunes, and here is one of their finest in a very neat little homemade music video from YouTube:



Enough of this monkeying around,
Go and have a great weekend,
I'm off to get some more bananas !


Enjoy,
Big Passy Wasabi

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

One for the Barbie Girls

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The bounds of ICT are limitless indeed, especially when looking at Christmas Gifts. Some observers are even saying that this is the "killer" software application of the year !

The new one here for 2009 is the "Barbie Doll'd Up Nails", also known as the "Barbie Nails Digital Nail Printer".

This exciting new technology involves a special printer that prints patterns directly onto fingernails.

Expensive professional digital nail printers have been used in nail salons for a while, but this is the first time a domestic machine has been made available to the general public.

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The printer uses thermal inkjet technology combined with a specially-formulated cosmetic grade ink to print directly on the nail surface in full color. You simply place your finger in the specially designed finger slot, a digital camera takes a live shot of the nail and shows on screen where the design will print. The ink is sprayed on at close range by the printer, but does not actually touch the fingernail.

The software comes with its own easy-to-install disc, (but requires that your computer to have Flash ActiveX installed - free from Adobe).

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Patterns that are available include: pictures, logos, flowers, stripes, waves, and words. You can even upload your own images and use them. There are also patterns available for Easter, Halloween, Christmas, and other special occasions.

The full working setup is shown in the following 30 second advertisement:



Note that the cute pink colored laptop does not come with the Doll'd up nails kit, and you do need to use your own computer to run the software. (Unless you've got a particularly large Christmas Bonus and want to buy a pink laptop to match).

Doll'd Up does however come with three bottles of nail polish. One is white nail polish that users need to paint on their nails as a base. The second is a bonding material that is applied on top of the base. Finally, there is clear nail polish that is applied on top to protect the printed pattern. The only thing not included is nail polish remover.

So if you know a Barbie Girl, living in her Barbie World, then this is THE GIFT for her.

Enjoy,
Big Passy Wasabi

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Words About Word 2007

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Here at Passy World we have finally upgraded to Microsoft Office 2007.
The reason we had to wait so long was because we still had clients on 2003,
but at last it seems we are all on the same release.

The install went super smoothly, and the new Office 2007 apps, had all of our Dafont fonts in them, as well as full interfacing with our CS3 version of Adobe Acrobat. The only problem we had was that our Creative Sound Card had horrible "hissy" output and had to be reset to default, and then reconfigured manually.


Microsoft Word is fabulous, but there are some familiar 2003 tasks, that we found difficult to figure out how to do in Word 2007. In particular, page footers with "Page X of Y" on them were not easily figured out.

However the Microsoft Online Help resources on the web are excellent, and so far we have been able to find answers to all of our questions.

Here is a Slideshare slideshow we made about our introductory Word 2007 experience. Click on the bottom row "full" icon to go fullscreen, and when finished press the Escape key to return to this Blog.



Click here to open or download the above slideshow as a 3MB Powerpoint 2007 that gives a quick introduction to Word 2007.

View the above "WORD 2007" Presentation as a PPT


The following PDF is the definitive Guide for Word 2007.

It has lots of useful links in it to help anyone become proficient with the new Word.



If you would like to have your own full size copy of this PDF, then simply click the save disk icon button on the PDF viewer, and you should be able to save it to your own hard disk.


Alternatively, you can view or save the full size PDF by clicking the link below:





Just a quick word about PowerPoint 2007:

Open Office.Org did not like opening Powerpoint 2007 presentations, (all loaded up as a mess), so we downloaded the latest version of Open Office 3.1.1. This worked a bit better, but still all of the screen print picture croppings, font sizes, gradients, etc were all lost.

HOWEVER, if we use PowerPoint 2007 to save our presentation in 2003 format, then Open Office.org opens it up and copes with it really well.

This means that PowerPoint 2007 presentations can be saved to 2003 format, and then loaded in Open Office, saved as ODF format, and then exported into .SWF files using Open Office. (But only if we do NOT have cropped pictures in the original PowerPoint. If we do have cropped pictures, they all uncrop and make a big mess when exported to SWF format using Open Office).

If it is ok in format, we can then use the .SWF version on web pages, like we used to do with Powerpoint 2003 presentations. If it is not ok in the SWF, then simply join up for free with Slideshare.net and upload your PowerPoint like we did for this blog post.

So that's enough words about Word 2007 from me. Once you have found your way around Word 2007, Powerpoint 2007 and Excel 2007 should be quite easy to transition into.

Enjoy,
Big Passy Wasabi

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Great Fun on Wii Fit Plus

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Image Source: http://4.bp.blogspot.com

Okay, stop drooling at the girl and take a look at what she is standing on.
It's my favorite new game discovery: a Wii skateboard.

I tried one
out at a computer conference recently, and it was excellent fun !

You scooter along to get up speed, and then do all types of tricks, my favorite ones being on the "half pipe", as shown below:

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Image Source: http://dyn.ifilm.com

Skateboarding is part of the "Wii Fit Plus" pack. This pack is comprised mostly of mini-games. There are fifteen games in all, including table tilt, skateboarding and snowball fights, as well as yoga and strength workouts.

There are also Mario-style obstacle courses. These platform games require you to actively run past hazards and jump over gaps, sometimes on ice or conveyor belts, as shown in the screen shots from the web below.

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Image Source: http://img4.ifilmpro.com

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Image Source: http://img4.ifilmpro.com

After each activity, Wii Fit Plus estimates how many calories you've burned, and you can view a chart to see how that relates to different foods, as well as set and track daily goals.

Another great game on the Wii is 3-on-3 Basketball. The Wii MotionPlus demands precision and won't let you score with limp-wristed reckless shots; you really need to arc the ball and give it your best effort. Probably not as much physical exercise as the real game, but the fun factor is definitely there!

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Image Source: http://www.videogamesblogger.com

The basketball game is part of the "Wii Sports Resort" pack, which also has Table Tennis, Golf, and Archery.


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Image Source: http://farm3.static.flickr.com

It sure would be nice around the end of this month to see a Wii under the Christmas Tree, but if not, then maybe at the post Christmas sales, Passy might just skate away with one ?

Enjoy,
Big Passy Wasabi

Friday, December 4, 2009

Muppets Musical Friday Funny

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It's the end of the week, and definitely now is the time to put a smile on the dial..... Hopefully this blog post will help do it for you.

Even the real "Miss Piggy" and her friends, (pictured above), found this post absolutely hilarious !

The first item is the Muppets Version of "Bohemian Rhapsody" (steadily working it's way up towards 9 million views on You Tube).




And for those with a passion for classical music:
Here is the Muppets "Ode to Joy":



Ludwig van Beethoven, one of the greatest classical composers, wrote "Ode to Joy" towards the end of his career. He was deaf and ill and had suffered much in his lifetime. Yet he was able to compose this magnificent piece by hearing it in his head. He never heard it played.

It is said that at its premiere performance, Beethoven was conducting and it wasn’t until he turned to the audience at the end and saw them standing and applauding and yelling out praise and emotion, that he knew that this wonderful Ode to Joy was felt by all who heard it, as he had felt it, in his head when he heard it.
Definitely one of the most uplifting and magnificent pieces of music ever written.

Okay, with all this Muppetering, you might as well do the Online Muppets personality test : "Which Muppet are You ?"

(Note that when you submit your test answers, it takes a couple of minutes for the answer to arrive).



Source: http://www.matthewbarr.co.uk/muppets/

I won't tell you about which Muppet I turned out to be, other than he was very green in colour.


And finally, here is a classical Ludwig van Beethoven Joke :


"A tourist in Vienna is going through a graveyard and all of a sudden he hears some music. No one is around, so he starts searching for the source. He finally locates the origin and finds it is coming from a grave with a headstone that reads: "Ludwig van Beethoven, 1770-1827." Then he realizes that the music is the Ninth Symphony and it is being played backward!

Puzzled, he leaves the graveyard and persuades a friend to return with him.

By the time they arrive back at the grave, the music has changed. This time it is the Seventh Symphony, but like the previous piece, it is being played backward. Curious, the men agree to consult a music scholar.

When they return with the expert, the Fifth Symphony is playing, again backward. The expert notices that the symphonies are being played in the reverse order in which they were composed, the 9th, then the 7th, then the 5th.

By the next day the word has spread and a throng has gathered around the grave. They are all listening to the Second Symphony being played backward.

Just then the graveyard's caretaker ambles up to the group. Someone in the crowd asks him if he has an explanation for the music.

"Don't you people get it?" the caretaker says incredulously.
"He's decomposing!"


Enjoy,
Big Passy Wasabi

Thursday, December 3, 2009

vGuitar Free Lessons

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Let me introduce you to this English guy who is a really great guitar teacher.

The monotone color hue on his videos is as unique as his hairstyle, but let me tell you that this guy really knows how to teach guitar!

He has around 12 free videos which are all great.
Just search You Tube for "vGuitar" and you should easily find them.

To show you just how good they are, here are some of them here for your learning pleasure.

Let's start off with an introductory lesson on Bar Chords:




Here is a lesson all about "Johnny B Goode" bluesy rock style rythms:




Finally let's finish off with how to play a classic sounding rock song.




There is a full blown website for vGuitar at: http://www.vguitarlessons.com/ where additional lessons can be purchased, as well as great lessons on how to play every part of particular famous rock songs like:
  • Seven Nation Army - White Stripes
  • Under The Bridge - Red Hot Chilli Peppers
  • Basket Case - Green Day
  • Back In Black - AC/DC
and many others.

So get yourself flying into some vGuitar lessons, and I am sure you will find it most invigorating.

Enjoy,
Big Passy Wasabi

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Blippr Community Reviews

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Blippr is an interesting website involving a community of people writing 160 character "blips", which are micro reviews of Books, Movies, Games, Music and Apps. (Link to Blippr site in new window here: http://www.blippr.com/ ).

From their site:
"Blippr is a really easy way to discover, talk about, and organize great apps, books, games, movies, and music. We figure why not make it easy to talk about and then find even more great stuff to talk about? Blippr is all about making all things media in your life better."

You can search Blippr and find what their members claim are the best books, movies, and so on, and then read the member blip reviews about them.

I tried this out for a book I had heard about, but have not read yet, called "A Short History of Nearly Everything" by Bill Bryson.

Blippr soon found and displayed plenty of micro reviews on the book:

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The other really interesting thing is that the Blippr site also supplies recommendations of similar books which you might be interested in.

These are the science type books shown here:

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We assume that is from the tags assigned to items by the reviewers that Blippr works out these related items ? (or is a silent third party database involved)?

Blippr is also handy for getting basic information about computer applications.
Eg. When we type in "Wolfram" we receive the following:

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Blippr does not know about "Wolfram Mathematica", "Wordle", "Wall Wisher", and several other application names that we entered. Perhaps I should join up sometime, and add these to the community knowledge base.

So if you are looking for an interesting Book or Movie to check out, then why not get the cyber bods at Blippr to make some suggestions: it's very easy and gets you right to the decision point that you need to reach.

Enjoy,
Big Passy Wasabi