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Wien | 10.1.2009 | 10:42 
Dave digs the dirt, webtips and IT-memes.

Pinguin, BorisJordan

Today's webtip
Have you ever played a Pyrophone?
  I haven't, but it is on my top ten list of things I really must do.

Pyrophones "are musical instruments which are sounded by explosions, fire, rapid combustion, rapid heating, and other thermoacoustic devices".

Doesn't that sound like fun?

They also look pretty nifty. You can read about them, and see videos of one or two in action at a site called It features all sorts of non-traditional and experimental instruments. Some are easy and practical, and others are ... less so.

The Post Punk Progressive Pop Party
  Was a radio show. One that would seem to have had a pretty big influence on one or two people back in the day.

I can relate. Community radio saved my sanity. It also exposed me to some truly excellent music. Now that alternative has gone mainstream, no one has to wait for their weekly fix of non top 40 treats, and the internet does a much better job of disseminating info on obscure bands better than zines or radio used to do. Of course, radio does a better job of keeping you company.

But I digress.

One of the fans of The Post Punk Progressive Pop Party (lets just call it P5 shall we?) went on to make a music blog as a tribute to his favorite show. It's lovely. Done in a "this day in history" style, it presents info and links on some fabulous bands from the dark ages of the eighties. Well, late seventies to early nineties. They have done an excellent job of maintaining the eclectic mix of styles and genres that were the norm for 80's alt radio shows.

  I am wrong. That's okay, judging by some of the places I have lived, even god makes mistakes.

I was wrong about Twitter.

I finally admitted it about 8 months ago, but it only just occurred to me that I never made it a webtip. That's too bad, because it isn't any where nearly as great as it used to be. It is more stable though, which is something I couldn't have said last spring.

You can't use SMS to follow it anymore though. That really changed the way I used it most. Losing it took away life's backchannel. It also made it less useful as a social organizing tool. And now so many people are using it that scammers, spammers and phishers are starting to show up. SEO types, marketroids and hackers have also discovered it. (Today's Reality Check will be taking a closer look at that)

But it can still be fun.

Somewhat less outdated, (but not by much) is also a fun way to expand ones life. It's also something I despised at first.

Blip is like twitter for music. It will even post your blips (links to songs with your comments added) to twitter. Someone who just discovers and has a twitter account will frequently end up inadvertently spamming their twiiter followers. Been there, done that, now I'm writing the post.

For those of you who try it out and fall into a music induced blipfest, please know that you can make it NOT post to twitter by default, only posting if you add an extra character at the beginning. Your friends will hate you less for it.

Some Games
  have rules. Rules that are explained before you start playing them.

Some of these games are very simple.

A Murder of Scarecrows is one of these games. Toss seeds at scarecrows to make them move to keep the crows away. That's it. Rinse, lather, repeat.

I know it sounds easy, and you are probably asking yourself "what's the point?". I am pretty sure you will realize what makes this game so special once you click on the link.

You may want to turn on the music though. It really does add to the experience.

There are some games out there
  that make figuring out how to play it part of the game. Today's webtip is one of them.

I could tell you more about where it came from, or try to put its development in some kind of perspective, but that might give too much away, which would of course ruin the game. So I won't do that.

You could, of course, get all Holmes on me and start snooping around the internets, but that might also ruin the game for you. So you won't do that.

Later on we can get together over a cup of tea and talk about how fun or stupid the game was. Shall we do that?

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