Category Archives: Do stuff

Daylight savings: Spring forward.

Daylight Saving Time (United States) 2013 begins at 2:00 AM on Sunday, March 10 and ends at 2:00 AM on Sunday, November 3 At 2:00 AM turn your clocks forward to 3 AM. Sorry to steal an hour, but you can have it back in the Fall.

Day of the Dead, 2012 in SF

A few days after Halloween I attended an event to remember the dead. Thousands were there in costume to join the parade and remember those who have gone before us. This was my first time. Here are a few pictures:

Citizen scientists: Help find life on Mars

Interested in helping NASA scientists pinpoint where to look for signs of life on Mars? If so, you can join a new citizen science website called MAPPER, launched in conjunction with the Pavilion Lake Research Project’s 2011 field season. How can the MAPPER and Pavilion Lake Research projects help scientists look for off-Earth life? Since… Read More »

Vote: Toy of the Year Awards (FBI vs Barbie?)

Vote for Toy of the Year. Great place to get ideas for the kids this season. Up for a nomination is a controversial Barbie with a built in video camera. Seems like a fun techno gift for girls, no? Well, the FBI has some concerns about this particular toy… no, they aren’t afraid that terrorists… Read More »

Paul the Psychic Octopus Available as iPhone App

Paul the Psychic Octopus may be leaving the Sea Life Aquarium in Oberhausen, Germany, for the Madrid Zoo, but more importantly, he could also be headed right into your iPhone. Yes, the cephalopod soothsayer who became a media sensation during the World Cup by correctly predicting Germany’s seven victories and Spain’s win in the championship… Read More »

Chess obsession

Ah well, it had to happen. Someone finally beat me at chess on the iPhone. Had a pretty good streak going with my new system. Won 32 games in a row.

How to play chess anywhere

My girlfriend met someone recently who had met two IT guys from India who could play chess against each other in chess boards in their minds. They would be answering IT calls, helping people, and then suddenly one would turn and say “Nf3“.  Her friend said that while this seems amazing to most of us,… Read More »

Let them sing it for you

My friend Mark sends this weird little thingy: I couldn’t get it to sing “xeno” or “blog”. 😉

Best free tools for learning to read music

I’ve played music professionally for years without actually being able to read music.  Many times, however, I’ve wished I was able to throw up a page of sheet music and play it on the guitar, piano, and trumpet. I’d also like to be able to sight sing with absolute pitch recall (not having to check… Read More »

Card counters’ days are numbered

GAMBLERS who adopt a well-known probability strategy to beat the house at blackjack beware – UK researchers have developed an automated system that will detect card counters before they can cash in. Card counting, a strategy made famous by the film Rain Man, involves remembering which cards have been played, and which might be likely… Read More »

Julie, the Beat Boxing Girl

I don’t get some of the stuff she is doing but this is the first time I’ve heard/seen someone imitate a known song being slowed down and sped up as if it were embedded on a record that is being turned by hand.

Lights out Saturday night!

Remember when you could see stars? Have your kids ever seen the Milky Way? For some reason we have, as a society, decided we need to keep the bulbs burning in our stores and offices when they’re empty, and illuminate things that don’t really need to be seen at night – like tall buildings.  Too… Read More »

My trade experiment: Results

I tried for several months to use this web site to “trade up” in order to get the Taylor guitar I want. Results:  Although the prospects looked fantastic at first, I conclude that even with 3,000 to 9,000 visitors per day on this blog, my trades  just were not going anywhere. I traded up to… Read More »

A Girl and Her Reverse Toilet Paper Trick

My stats show a record 3,935 visitors today. Hello. My name is Xeno, and I’m a newness-o-holic. Bookmark this site and join me here daily — unless I go camping,  as I plan to do this weekend — for the most fascinating news on the planet, along with random human stuff about my life. This… Read More »

Almost unheard-of: Boy Scout earns all 121 badges

A Long Island teenager has earned all 121 merit badges offered by the Boy Scouts of America. It’s an accomplishment the local arm of the organization calls “an almost unheard-of feat.” Oceanside resident Shawn Goldsmith earned his final badge – for bugling – in time for his 18th birthday in November. He far surpassed the… Read More »

Physical Strength, Fighting Ability Revealed In Human Faces

For our ancestors, misjudging the physical strength of a would-be opponent might have resulted in painful –– and potentially deadly –– defeat. Now, a study conducted by a team of scientists at the University of California, Santa Barbara has found that a mechanism exists within the human brain that enables people to determine with uncanny… Read More »

Fire Chain Reaction

A Rube Goldberg concept and construction with fire and torches. A Rube Goldberg machine is an extremely complicated apparatus that performs a very simple, easy task in an indirect and convoluted way. Some examples of his machines have an anticipation factor, as the machine makes slow but steady progress toward its goal. In Goldberg’s original… Read More »

Wilderness Survival- How to Make Fire From Ice

Now for the magic! By taking a tube, and rubbing it over the surface of the rough sphere, we start to cut/polish away at any irregularities. As Nelson pointed out, with this technique, “you can’t go wrong.”  If you use a true random motion in the polishing, then you have no choice but to make… Read More »

Test this: Send a picture from your cell phone to my blog.

Test of 2 at once, originally uploaded by xeno735. If you send more than one pic only one makes it. Post a photo to this blog by sending to Leave a comment here letting me know if you try it and it doesn’t work.


Test, originally uploaded by xeno735. From the xeno. Cool, it works… for me anyway… Post a photo to this blog by sending to

Flying with 600 helium balloons

An incredible achievement: Flying with 600 helium balloons at an altitude of 11,000 ft (4km). It’s wonderful to be at that altitude without any noisy engine! Amazing! – coolstuff


“Nevertells, also often called Open-Ended Stories or One Minute Mysteries, are short little stories that create a puzzle or seem illogical until some assumption is removed. There is some quick little answer that once figured out makes everything fit together. While the stories usually only take a minute to tell, they can drive people nuts… Read More »

Couple calls for global orgasm on Dec. 22

The Global Orgasm for Peace was conceived by Donna Sheehan, 76, and Paul Reffell, 55, whose goal is for everyone in the world to have an orgasm Dec. 22 while focusing on world peace. “The orgasm gives out an incredible feeling of peace during it and after it,” Reffell said Sunday. “Your mind is like… Read More »

Public Drawing site:

This is fun. Anyone can create art (or destroy the art of others) at this public drawing web site. (Hint: Be sure to click “DISAGREE” to start, then you have to solve a puzzle to start drawing.) Tricky. 😉 I just ran out of ink. How do you get more? Seems you have to connect… Read More »

‘Grape guy’ catches 116 grapes in mouth

SYDNEY, Australia (AP) – An American man caught 116 tossed grapes in his mouth in three minutes in what he hopes will become a new Guinness World Record, his publicity team said Thursday. Steve “the Grape Guy” Spalding, 44, of Dallas, Texas also set a personal record for endurance grape catching, using his mouth to… Read More »