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By JULES ALLEN
© St. Petersburg Times, published January 3, 2000
Art is for little people, too
I initially thought this site was a joke. I was wrong. Ashley Glennon's Minifig Museum of Modern Art gently mocks the art world, but after a while you get a feeling the creator really does understand photography and art. Yes, there's a tongue-in-cheek feeling to the whole place, but the photographs and composition are quite good. The more you take the site in, the more it takes you in. It helps if you're simple-minded and worshiped Lego blocks when you were a kid.
We wouldn't be human if we didn't enjoy other's discomfort. We drive by an auto accident, know we should avert our eyes but -- what the heck -- rubberneck with the worst of them. I think this is the basic appeal of this site. It features bunches of photographs that have been found on sidewalks, in drawers of used furniture and so on. Naturally boring, ordinary photos don't make the cut. It's those with a healthy sense of oddness that grace these pages.
Patents of a saint
IBM files more technology patents each year than just about anybody else. So you'd expect it to be able to navigate around the patent information banks like nobody else. In an effort to spotlight one of its database technologies, it has come up with a very entertaining area that contains such brilliant patents as the flushable vehicle spittoon and the jet-powered surfboard. And no, these bizarre patents were not filed by Big Blue.
Will you upgrade now?
Wondering why your version 3.x browser is giving you hassles when you try to purchase that perfect item online? Chances are a digital certificate lodged inside your browser has expired. This certificate enables you to securely communicate with your favorite e-merchant. If you're driving a browser that's less than up to date, you've got your own personal Y2K shopping emergency on your hands. Fear not. It can be remedied by biting the bullet and installing a version 4.x or higher browser.
More than cars
You may have thought Honda was good just for cars and motorcycles. Turns out it has its thumbs in all kinds of pies, including robotics. If you thought today's robots were used mainly for building cars and getting blown up when incorrectly defusing bombs, think again. These automatons walk and play soccer -- very useful for when you're too busy to do either because of your busy schedule. No signs of a lawn mower bot, but surely that can't be too far away. If you've got the bandwidth or patience, download the camp video. It'll make you chuckle.
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