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Five Very Cool & Totally Random Things

Seems like the Internets is all about lists these days. Every blogger and writer worth their salt is doing it, so I thought it was about time I gave it a shot. Mine is not a ‘Top Ten Things We Hate About Apple’ or a ’11 Celebrities that Shouldn’t Have Any More Children’ list. It’s simply a list of five very cool things I’ve come into contact with recently that I think you might get a kick out of. If you think these things are lame or gay, then don’t tell me, I don’t wanna know! So without further ado…

System 47 Screensaver

Being the huge Star Trek geek that I am, I’m always on the lookout for anything Trek. A couple weeks ago I came across what has to be one of the best screen savers yet. System 47 turns your computer into an Enterprise bridge station complete with authentic LCARS displays and information. The company that makes it, meWho.com has done a wonderful job and the screen saver even recognizes and displays itself correctly if you have multiple monitors running. This thing puts a smile on my face every single time I see it. Available for both Mac and PC, System 47 makes Picard and Data feel right at home.

Numa Numa YouTube Video

I’m a little late to the party on this one, but man, what a party! This infectious music video posted on YouTube in February of 2006 has become an Internet favorite and its easy to see why. Three Malaysian students lip synch, dance and generally ham it up for the camera, all to O-Zone’s ear worm ‘Dragostea Din Tei’. This catchy tune, in combination with the sincere and hilarious performance of these kids has earned the Numa Numa video, as it’s called, a place in my permanent bookmarks.

Sim Daltonism Color Blindness App

Sometimes we take for granted that everyone sees things the way we see them, when unfortunately, that is not the case. Over 2 million people in the United States suffer from Daltonism or color blindness, as it is more commonly referred to. Daltonism is a color vision deficiency that prohibits certain people from distinguish differences between some or all colors. Being in the design field, we often have to be mindful of such people when designing user interfaces or icons that contain specific colors. I recently came in contact with a extremely useful and fascinating application called Sim Daltonism created by Michel Fortin, that allows us to see things on the computer the way color blind people do and adjust accordingly. The program is available for Mac OS X and should be a part of any artist’s arsenal of tools when designing for the screen.

Moosebutter: A Tribute to John Williams

Anyone who says that Twitter is a vast wasteland and utterly pointless, this one is for you! Last week I was listening to my collection of John Williams soundtracks and posted a tweet about it online. Later that day I received an email from someone who had seen my tweet and pointed me at Moosebutter: A Cappella Comedy. This group of singers specialize in humor via their melodic tones and acute awareness for all things geek. Their track “Star Wars” has to be one of the single funniest things I’ve ever heard. Listen to a portion of the track here, and then go buy the entire song from their website. I especially love Luke crying out in the background of the Jurassic Park section things like, “My hand!” and “I’ll never join you!”. Perfectly side-splitting!

Magnetosphere iTunes Visualizer

Barbarian Software plugs their incredible iTunes visualizer, Magnetosphere, as “The last iTunes visualizer you will ever want for.” and that isn’t too far from the truth. Unlike most visualizers for iTunes or WinAmp that simply pump out visuals while music is playing, Magnetosphere actually changes based on the audio. The results are stunning and expressive to say the least. After I found out about this cool piece of software (hat tip to one digital life) and installed it, I couldn’t stop looking at it. I wanted to see what it would do with each new piece of music. From the epic sounds of Vangelis’ ‘Heaven & Hell’, to Buffy the Vampire Slayer’s ‘Under My Spell’, Magnetosphere entrances and delights. You owe it to yourself to download this wonderful plug-in and check it out today.