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By JULES ALLEN
© St. Petersburg Times, published March 27, 2000
Drop the H and nobody gets hurt!
Does Star Trek ruffle your feathers every time they boldly go? Do split infinitives make irritating, cracking sounds to your delicate ears? Then you're certainly going to pass the Word Police entrance exam with your knowledge of grammar and punctuation. Passing round one lets you have a stab at joining the elite Redundancy Squad and will lead to graduation. Your diploma and grammar citations await your computer's printer. Interestingly, Comma Cops make fabulous programmers because attention to syntax detail is essential for banging out good code. Thankfully, most avoid the profession because programmers hate smarty-pants who are always right.
Pen and oink
Growing up on a farm makes for an interesting youth, including the realization that getting up at 5 a.m. isn't for everyone. If you hanker for the rural existence but just don't have the time or motivation, click over to Swine Online, an amusing way to raise pigs -- virtually, of course.
Food for thought
There's a worrisome marketing trend in junk food to try to label the stuff as healthy. Burgers and cake, dear reader, are loaded with bad things and are not good for your long-term health. Eat them in moderation? Sure. Are they good for you? Give us a break. The refreshing honesty of Twinkies.com makes me want to run out and buy a box to eat with my ice cream. This site also tickled my visual senses. You'll need the free Flash viewer to get the most out of it.
Pure eye candy
This one looks like it dropped right out of that sci-fi movie hit The Matrix. Of course it serves no useful purpose other than trying to get you to find the juicy hidden bits, enjoy the general lack of color and revel in the anti-banner advertisement theme. Shockwave and a version 4 browser or later are required. It's a fun, visually pleasing way to idle away a few minutes while waiting for your Word Police diploma to print.
Duct tape not mentioned
I'm not suggesting that writing 10 gigabytes of data onto a roll of conventional adhesive tape is the road to the human race's salvation, but you have to admit there are some really smart people on this planet capable of very interesting things. One would assume that the household adhesive tape used in this experiment isn't the ideal storage medium for, say, payroll data (imagine accidentally putting little Johnny's paintings on the fridge wiping out a fiscal year's records). But it does give the reader some insight as to why you'd want to store data this way and possible applications. This article may be a little geeky for some but it's well worth the read.
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