Tuesday, April 20, 2010

The Iceland Ash Cloud Comes to Twitter ... Because Ash Clouds Have Feelings, Too!

I guess it was inevitable... with all the flack the Iceland volcanic ash cloud has been getting lately, the shape-shifting cloud of primordial volcanic stuff has created its own Twitter account, @theashcloud. (Or, more likely, a human or other carbon-based living organism with digits and opposable thumbs has created it for he/she/it.)

The much-maligned ash cloud has taken the heat for snarling travel all over the world, including European musicians canceling U.S. gigs and foreign athletes unable to run in yesterday's Boston Marathon, for which they had trained for months.

We don't know if @theashcloud has retained a PR or ad agency to manage its new branding campaign, but going to social media, especially Twitter, is a smart choice. Looking to provide a public service, @theashcloud is tweeting travel updates, links to news articles saying that the ash dust isn't all that harmful, and of course posting beauty shots of itself.

And there are indeed some lovely photos of @theashcloud - it takes on a striking diversity of shapes and colors depending on the viewing angle. Think of @theashcloud as the Lady Gaga of meteorological phenomenon.

(I just hope @theashcloud isn't related to Smoky, the infamous (and deadly) Smoke Monster from the TV show "Lost." But just in case, I'm spreading ashes around my apartment, in case @theashcloud comes by and wants to know Who Stands in the Shadow of the Statue.)

So let's lay off the abuse of @theashcloud, even though it has messed up the travel plans of millions of people worldwide. In this go-go, nonstop world, we could all use a little downtime, a pause to slow down and unplug, to stop and smell the... airport bathroom. And besides, ash clouds are people, too!

For the record, here is @theashcloud's Twitter profile information:

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Leonard Nimoy (Mr. Spock) Comes to Twitter! Check out "TheRealNimoy"

Star Trek fans, Leonard Nimoy has landed on Twitter. The man known worldwide as Mr. Spock recently joined the wildly popular microblogging service, and his account has the "Verified" badge on it, confirming that this really is Leonard Nimoy.

As you can imagine, the Leonard Nimoy Twitter account, though apparently new, has become quite popular. Though he just sent his first tweet (update) on April 2nd, Nimoy has more than 25,000 followers already.

On the Leonard Nimoy Twitter account you'll find musings on Star Trek, updates on "Mr. Spock's travels," news on his film and other projects, and more.

Mr. Spock has beamed himself down to Twitter, and you can follow him!

Sunday, April 04, 2010

Zombie Jesus Takes Over the Internet!

Easter is a day for cute, furry bunnies, Easter bonnets, church services, and home-cooked family meals. But on The Interwebz, it is something else: Zombie Jesus Day!

The phrase "zombie Jesus" was perhaps created by atheists or nonbelievers to make light of the on-the-third-day-he-rose aspect of the Easter story, but like many other things, it has morphed into an all-purpose meme when the Internet got its mitts (wires? sockets?) on it.

Zombie Jesus has broken into Google Trends, along with such Easter favorites as "how do I tie a tie," "brown sugar glaze for ham," "deviled egg recipes," and the ever-popular "Is Walmart open on Easter?" (Of course, if Google didn't edit the trending topics, #1 would probably "How early is it permissible to get drunk on Easter?"

(Zombie Jesus has yet to break onto Twitter's trending topics, which would put it on a footing with Justin Beiber and #threewordsaftersex.)

It's not known if appropriate Zombie Jesus Day traditions have emerged: watching zombie movies; pulling an all-nighter so as to be wandering around in a zombie-like, sleepless stupor, etc.

But it's safe to say that as long as there's an Internet, there'll be a Zombie Jesus and Zombie Jesus Day.

Thursday, April 01, 2010

April Fool's Office Pranks - Geeky Gags & Pranks for the Digital Age

Everything in today's modern world has gone digital, and that includes April Fool's pranks as well. The Web site Technically Personal (techpp.com) has put together a Web page that has links to a bunch of Web page that has links to a bunch of sites with fun pranks, gags, and practical jokes to play on friends, co-workers, fellow students, etc.

You'll find ways to punk, embarrass, and terrify folks with pranks and jokes including:
* free April Fool's Day prank software, for PCs and for Macs
* fun (but harmless) geeky pranks you can play on your co-workers (or even your boss, without fear of getting fired)
* harmless prank software that acts like a damaging computer virus
* an automatic system shutdown prank
* a list of more than 100 April Fool's Day pranks, tools, and gadgets with the geek in mind

Looking at the listing of these sites, it seems some are nearly a decade old, so not all of the pranks listed on the Web site may still be active (the page was posted for April Fool's 2009). And the older ones, even if they work, may just not be that funny for today's computer user.

But with the many dozens of April Fool's pranks the page offers, you'll be sure to find a bunch to have fun on April 1st. Happy April Fool's Day!