A Modern “Where’s Waldo” on a Google Map

February 29, 2008



Were you one of those kids that could sit in a corner with a giant “Where’s Waldo” book and pour over it for hours? Eventually you realized that Waldo was likely to appear in different areas on each page, and was always smiling (usually walking), and always wore that goofy outfit. And eventually the Waldo creators attempted to make the act of finding Waldo increasingly difficult by surrounding him with similarly clad geeks, and other tactics.

Nevertheless, the novelty wore off, and our kids are left with increasingly difficult video games that require years of logic and acts of deduction in order to achieve a winning status. But if you don’t mind still staring at a digital screen instead of paper, there’s a new geography game that’s a bit reminiscent of the Waldo books of yore. The new game is called placeSpotting, and it’s a Google Maps mashup.


Each game is actually a riddle. You’re given an image to start out with, and then you have to find it on the map. placeSpotting will give you two hints to help you find the place, so if you’re given the famed Sydney opera house in Australia, your clues will be “opera house” and “fifth continent.” To play, all you do is zoom in on the Google map, and find the given landmark. Once you match the coordinates exactly, submit your answer and see if you win (no prizes here, sorry).

If the game sounds daunting, that’s because it is. Even too daunting for me, who used to be an avid fan of Waldo. But I think some additional interactive options such as presenting hints over a period of time instead of in an upfront manner, or even timing the game, could make it more challenging in a constructive way. I imagine some geography teachers out there will also find a way to integrate this game into their curriculum, as riddles can be created by users as well.


A Modern “Where’s Waldo” on a Google Map
Kristen Nicole
Fri, 29 Feb 2008 18:50:55 GMT

Bulldozers at the Gate: LAUSD vs. the Eco-Village

February 28, 2008
Bulldozers at the Gate: LAUSD vs. the Eco-Village

I hope people show up to this meeting. This city needs more affordable housing, not less.


LA Eco Village vs. LAUSDTonight is round three of an ongoing David & Goliath battle between LA’s Eco-Village Community and the heavily funded Los Angeles Unified School District.

The Los Angeles Eco-Village Intentional Community (LAEV-IC) is an internationally recognized sustainable community and is part of the U.S. Green Building Council's LEED-Neighborhood Development pilot program.

At issue the fact that in order to build Central Region Elementary School #20 in the neighborhood, the LAUSD wants to raze approximately 40 units of affordable housing, destroying a third of the Eco-Village neighborhood.

The Eco-Village team, recognized for many positive qualities, not the least of which is their reputation as “problem solvers,” has taken a positive approach to the threat to the community.

Scouring the neighborhood, surveying the landscape, walking the routes the children will walk, talking to neighbors and assessing the needs of the residents and of the LAUSD, the Eco-Village has a proposal that destroys ZERO housing, utilizes property already owned by the LAUSD and could actually increase recreational space over the LAUSD’s plan.

They have presented the plan to the LAUSD, LA’s largest developer, and tonight the School District will reveal their site selection.

The Site Selection Community Meeting for Central Region Elementary School #20 will be held @ 6pm at:

Virgil Middle School
152 North Vermont Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90004

Photo courtesy of the LA Eco-Village

Bulldozers at the Gate: LAUSD vs. the Eco-Village
Stephen Box
Thu, 28 Feb 2008 16:30:00 GMT

Country meets Electronica?!?!?!?!

What Hurts The Most by Cascada on Yahoo! Music:
Album Release Date: 2007
Label: Robbins
Genres: Electronic/Dance, Pop, Today's Big Hits, Cover Art, New Releases
Your Album Rating:"

OMG!!! What did she think she was doing???? A Rascall Flatts song is now electronica/ dance!!!!!

/me weeps

though it is kinda catchy ... yup, I'm still sick

the original

Groaner of the Day

Star Wars: Blogs | Star Wars Joke-A-Day | May The Forceps Be With You: "May The Forceps Be With You"

Didja hear about the Jedi who became a gynecologist?

They called him OB-Wan Kenobi.

Official Google Blog: Google Health, a first look

Official Google Blog: Google Health, a first look

Wow, innovative stuff, but is it just me or is google getting into EVERYTHING?
Google Health aims to solve an urgent need that dovetails with our overall mission of organizing patient information and making it accessible and useful. Through our health offering, our users will be empowered to collect, store, and manage their own medical records online.

For the healthcare industry, online personal health records (PHRs) aren't a new idea and, in some cases, online PHRs already exist for patients. Here's what we think sets Google Health apart:

Aquarium of the Pacific

February 26, 2008

Joy and I went to the Aquarium about a month ago. Had a lot of fun touching manta rays and little sharks (didn't know they were related, did ya?), seeing Dory like fish (just keep swimming, just keep swimming), and enjoying the crowds. There was a special event that day. I hope to go again when it's less crowded.

And of course, Joy had to add another member to her stuffed animal collection ...

Man, I spoil that girl.

Newest Famiy Member

photo taken 1/21/2008

Wow, I can't believe it's been a month since we got Noel. Or a month since I moved into my new place.

Anyway, here's a pic of my "3 girls".
Posted by Picasa

The Thinker


Jan 27, 2008
Posted by Picasa

Charlie's Tongue

February 25, 2008
Ok, this is an absolutely adorable beagle and PW knows how to write, as well as take photos.


Sent to you by 'Nette via Google Reader:


via Confessions of a Pioneer Woman by Ree on 2/12/08

I’m still mildly obsessed with Charlie’s tongue. This is beginning to be a problem, as I have a great deal of work to do around here.

I’ve got to cook a lot of food this week, I’ve got to start preparing my garden for planting at the end of this month, I’ve got to scoop up ninety-four piles of malodorous horse manure from my front yard, and I’ve got to wash caked mud from approximately eighteen pairs of jeans ranging in size from 3T to 33 x 36. The last thing I need is this tongue.

BOI-OI-OI-OI-OI-ING! It’s like a window shade. Except it doesn’t retract all the way. It’s faulty.

It’s a pink, faulty, very mushy and pliable window shade.

Longer term, I’m clearly going to need a different strategy here. Because this just isn’t going to work.

Please send some form of help immediately. Psychiatric might be the way to go.

Pioneer Woman


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To You. From Me. Moi. Ya. Yo.


Sent to you by 'Nette via Google Reader:


via Confessions of a Pioneer Woman by Ree on 2/25/08

The purpose of this post—because as you know, every single one of my posts has a very precise and defined purpose—is two-fold. First, being that it’s Monday (i.e. a universally despised weekday) I wanted you to be able to see this photo and maybe, possibly, be inspired by this energetic mustang’s wild spirit. Maybe you’re in a cubicle, or maybe you’re gearing up for a long day of scrubbing baseboards and doing laundry? Or perhaps you have a meeting today that you’re dreading; maybe you can’t find the shirt in your closet you swore was there and you have no idea what you’re going to wear now, and you need to spend time figuring out what you’re going to say in the meeting, not what you’re going to wear. I just hate it when that happens. Because you know, I have, like, so many meetings to go to all the time. Yeah, that’s it. Meetings with cows. Cows and manure.

Anyway, just forget about all of it and stare at this horse for a moment. This horse doesn’t have any meetings today. She doesn’t have any baseboards to scrub. And she certainly isn’t missing any shirts from her closet because, well, she doesn’t wear shirts. And she doesn’t have a closet. She simply wakes up every morning and greets the prairie…and sets off on the business of eating. In the mustang world, there’s no such thing as meetings. And there’s no such thing as Monday.

My goal today, essentially, is to make you forget entirely that it’s the day after Sunday and the day before Tuedsay. So, hey! Let’s print some photos together. It’s what friends do. If you have a printer, fire it up. I’ve been uploading some more photos and recipes to this site so you can print them for free, including the above photo, entitled “Spirit.” Catchy, huh? I’m sure glad I’m the first person who’s ever thought to name an energetic wild mustang “Spirit.” I tell ya, it’s this kind of innovative thinking that’ll eventually take me to greatness. Or not.

So, the way I’ve arranged these photos is:
1. You go to the Pioneer Woman Photo Prints page, find the photo you want to print and click on the “Download” link. Adobe Reader software is required, which most computers already have. If yours doesn’t, click here for a free download.
2. After you’ve downloaded the file, you simply open it and click “print.”

Now, if you want to print only the photo with no white border around it, you can load your photo printer with 4 x 6 photo paper—that’s the size of the photos themselves. But if you like this look:

Just go ahead and print it using regular 8.5 x 11 inch paper. That way, the photo will be framed by a large white “mat.” Groovy, eh?

Here are some of the other photos available for print.






The best thing is, it’s totally free since you’ll be printing them yourself. And while you’re at it, print a couple out for your boss…or your estranged Orkin Man…or your disgruntled co-worker. It might make their Monday seem a little less tragic.

I’ve also uploaded a few of my recipes. Here’s what they look like when you print them out:

Pioneer Woman Sherried Tomato Soup

And here are a couple of other printable recipes available:

Marlboro Man SandwichPioneer Woman Chocolate Pie

So, there you are, my friends. While it may be Monday in most other parts of the world (except for those fortunate souls who live across the International Date Line), here on ThePioneerWoman.com, it’s Printday.

And as everyone knows, there’s no doing laundry on Printday. It’s against the rules. At least, that’s what I’ll be repeating to myself.


This Week on Pioneer Woman:

* Hijinks
* Strangeness
* Hilarity
* Merriment
* Cooking
* Photography
* Gaiety
* Unease
* Misfortune
* Black Heels to Tractor Wheels: “What Happens Next”


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The Splintered Mind by Douglas Cootey: Adult AD/HD Ambitions #5: Pick Your Battles

I discovered a socnet called iRovr today. It's an iPhone only socnet so it intrigued me.

New word for the day. I had to look up socnets. I thought it was an iPhone related term. Nope. It's short for social networks (thank goodness for Wiki). This wasn't even at the top of my search, but it's the only one that made sense in the context of Doug's post.

File this under: Learn something new everyday

Hey! They're still around!

February 22, 2008
For those of you have been on the net for a while, you may remember getting the Darwin Award emails on a regular basis. I had no idea that they were still around. So ... for your viewing pleasure ....

The Alley

Talking about shopping and I remembered about shopping at the Alley in downtown. time to get to know L.A. again.

Santee Alley

Santee Alley is an actual alley between Santee Street and Maple Avenue, starting on Olympic Boulevard. Santee Alley is one of the most popular LA Fashion District shopping spots. The open-air market place is best known for its bazaar-type atmosphere and bargains on everything from accessories and apparel, to perfume.

Stanford announces financial aid enhancements

February 21, 2008
I think I am going to finish my education at Stanford :) I wonder if this applies to non-traditional students.

News Release

February 20, 2008


Jonathan Rabinovitz, University Communications: (650) 723-2558, jrabin@stanford.edu


Karen Cooper, Financial Aid Office: (650) 725-3770, Karen.Cooper@stanford.edu

Stanford announces financial aid enhancements

Stanford University today announced the largest increase in its history for its financial aid program for undergraduates.

Under the new program, parents with incomes of less than $100,000 will no longer pay tuition. Parents with incomes of less than $60,000 will not be expected to pay tuition or contribute to the costs of room, board and other expenses. Students will still be expected to contribute their earnings from work during the summer and academic year.

The program also eliminates the need for student loans.

Other significant enhancements have been made to the program that will benefit aid recipients at all levels of income.

"This is the third consecutive year we have allocated substantially more money to financial aid for lower- and middle-income families," said Stanford University President John Hennessy. "We are committed to ensuring that Stanford asks parents and students to contribute only what they can afford for an education we believe is among the absolute best in the world. By devoting more resources to financial aid, we seek to underscore what has long been the case—that no high school senior should rule out applying to Stanford because of cost. We understand how families face serious financial pressures, and we are doing all we can to assist them."

These changes bring Stanford's undergraduate financial aid program for the 2008-09 academic year to more than $114 million, making it one of the largest programs in the nation. The amount spent on financial aid next year is projected to equal half the total undergraduate tuition revenue Stanford expects to collect for the year.

To help pay for the enhanced aid program, the university increased its endowment payout last year to 5.5 percent. It also plans to double the financial aid goal of The Stanford Challenge, its current fundraising campaign, to $200 million.

"Although Stanford's tuition has gone up over the past five years, thanks to our increasingly generous financial aid program, families with incomes less than $150,000 will find a Stanford education much more affordable than it was five years ago," Stanford University Provost John Etchemendy said. "For most of these students, attending Stanford will cost less than most private and many public universities."

Three out of every four Stanford undergraduates currently receive some form of financial aid. When the new financial aid program is taken into account, the average family contribution for students receiving financial aid in 2008 will be reduced by 16 percent this year.

Stanford remains one of the few private universities with a "need-blind" admission policy for U.S. citizens and permanent residents, which guarantees that students will be accepted to the university regardless of their ability to pay—and be offered the financial support they need to attend Stanford.


If you missed it last night

So, I caught glimpse of this celestial event on the drive down the 605 and a friend got some good shots from my apartment. Those are at home waiting to be uploaded. In the meantime, if you missed the eclipse, you can see some good shots in the LA Times Photo Gallery from around the world.

This one was taken in Huntington Beach, just a hop skip and a jump from where I live.

Calendar/Special Events - Los Angeles Zoo and Botanical Gardens

February 20, 2008
Calendar/Special Events - Los Angeles Zoo and Botanical Gardens: "Calendar of Events

Black History Month FestivitiesFebruary 23 & 24, 2008
10am - 4pm

Black History Month Celebration

Come celebrate the rich diversity of African-American culture at this year's Black History Month Celebration! During this special weekend guests will enjoy a vibrant array of entertainment and activities including performances by gospel, blues, and jazz groups as well as African drumming demonstrations. Sample different foods and try your hand at special arts and crafts. All activities are free to GLAZA members and with paid Zoo admission."

Talk about a dream job ....

February 15, 2008

A Credit Card You Want to Toss

And in today's news ....

A Credit Card You Want to Toss: "
Bank of America abruptly notified cardholders in good standing their rates would skyrocket if they didn't opt out fast. Is BofA greedy or needy?"


Tis a beautiful, sunny day ... and my other option for a Friday song is something by Johnny Kemp that has Friday in the lyrics ....

I like this one better for today though, from about 3 minutes in =)

Now if we only had windows in here ....

Check Out the Free Digital Books from Tor.com

February 14, 2008

Hey, if you sign-up for the newsletter, you'll get free digital books from some of the best-known names in science fiction. They're giving away a book a week, so check it out.


Fantasy & Sci-Fi Lovin' Blog: They Had Me at Daniel Craig

OH BABY!!!!! But we have to wait until November! Read the article over at Sci-fi Fantasy Loving Blog (click on title of this post)

MI6 reports from Panama City, where Daniel Craig and Gemma Arterton were shooting scenes for "Quantum of Solace" in the Santa Ana district...

I only date Super-Heroes

I want this shirt

Date Superheroes Marvel t-shirt

I want a shirt like this :)

Happy Valentine's Day

(anti valentine sentiment)

Things have come to a pretty pass
Our romance is growing flat,
For you like this and the other
While I go for this and that,
Goodness knows what the end will be
Oh I don't know where I'm at
It looks as if we two will never be one
Something must be done:

Chorus - 1
You say either and I say either, You say neither and I say neither
Either, either Neither, neither, Let's call the whole thing off.

You like potato and I like potahto, You like tomato and I like tomahto
Potato, potahto, Tomato, tomahto, Let's call the whole thing off

But oh, if we call the whole thing off Then we must part
And oh, if we ever part, then that might break my heart

So if you like pyjamas and I like pyjahmas, I'll wear pyjamas and give up
For we know we need each other so we , Better call the whole off off
Let's call the whole thing off.

Chorus - 2
You say laughter and I say larfter, You say after and I say arfter
Laughter, larfter after arfter, Let's call the whole thing off,

You like vanilla and I like vanella, You saspiralla, and I saspirella
Vanilla vanella chocolate strawberry, Let's call the whole thing off

But oh if we call the whole thing of then we must part
And oh, if we ever part, then that might break my heart

So if you go for oysters and I go for ersters, I'll order oysters and cancel
the ersters
For we know we need each other so we, Better call the calling off off,
Let's call the whole thing off.

Chorus - 3
I say father, and you say pater, I saw mother and you say mater
Pater, mater Uncle, auntie, let's call the whole thing off.

I like bananas and you like banahnahs, I say Havana and I get Havahnah
Bananas, banahnahs Havana, Havahnah, Go your way, I'll go mine

So if I go for scallops and you go for lobsters, So all right no contest we'll
order lobseter
For we know we need each other so we, Better call the calling off off,
Let's call the whole thing off.

And for all my friends ....
You've got a friend in me
You've got a friend in me
When the road looks rough ahead
And you're miles and miles
From your nice warm bed
You just remember what your old pal said
Boy, you've got a friend in me
Yeah, you've got a friend in me

You've got a friend in me
You've got a friend in me
If you've got troubles, I've got 'em too
There isn't anything I wouldn't do for you
We stick together and can see it through
Cause you've got a friend in me
You've got a friend in me

Some other folks might be
A little bit smarter than I am
Bigger and stronger too
But none of them will ever love you
The way I do, it's me and you

Boy, and as the years go by
Our friendship will never die
You're gonna see it's our destiny
You've got a friend in me
You've got a friend in me
You've got a friend in me

Magicians of Basketball - here to entertain and amaze

February 13, 2008

I love watching these guys play. I need more play $$$. Though, I do have all the groceries bought and Metro is offering a discount on tickets ...
The coveted “Magicians of Basketball” take to the court for a doubleheader Saturday, February 16, 2008 at the Honda Center at 1:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. against their rival Washington Generals and at the STAPLES Center Sunday, February 17, 2008 at 1:00p.m.http://harlemglobetrotters.com.ismmedia.com/ISM3/thumbcache/7308230b1b28593916a065bb69c57b7e.640x480.jpg
Where and When:

Anaheim, CA ::

Date: Saturday February 16, 2008
Time: 1:00 PM
Place: Honda Center
Click Here for Tickets

Ticket Prices:
$16 to $147

To order ticket by phone call: 714-704-2500

Tickets also available at: All Ticketmaster outlets

For group (15+) or scout tickets, contact:
So Cal Groups - www.socalgroups.com or 800-398-7021
Honda Center Group Sales - 714-940-2859

Anaheim, CA ::

Date: Saturday February 16, 2008
Time: 7:00 PM
Place: Honda Center
Click Here for Tickets

Ticket Prices:
$16 to $147

To order ticket by phone call: 714-704-2500

Tickets also available at: All Ticketmaster outlets

For group (15+) or scout tickets, contact:
So Cal Groups - www.socalgroups.com or 800-398-7021
Honda Center Group Sales - 714-940-2859

Los Angeles, CA ::

Date: Sunday February 17, 2008
Time: 1:00 PM
Place: Staples Center
Click Here for Tickets

Ticket Prices:
$16 to $147

To order ticket by phone call: 213-480-3232

Tickets also available at: All Ticketmaster locations

For group tickets contact AEG Group Sales:
877-234-8425 or www.aegtickets.com

San Diego, CA ::

Date: Sunday February 17, 2008
Time: 7:00 PM
Place: Sports Arena
Click Here for Tickets

Ticket Prices:
$18 to $140

To order ticket by phone call: 619-220-TIXS

Tickets also available at: All Ticketmaster locations

For groups of 15+ and scouts, contact:
San Diego Arena Group Sales Department - 619-308-4311 or groups@sandiegoarena.com

San Bernardino, CA ::

Date: Monday February 18, 2008
Time: 4:00 PM
Place: Cousoulis Arena
Click Here for Tickets

Ticket Prices:
$16 to $60

To order ticket by phone call: 909-537-7360

Tickets also available at: All Ticketmaster locations

For group & scout tickets contact:
Cyndee Young Group Sales
(330) 262-9790

Hello Kitty MMORPG

Hello Kitty MMORPG goes beta

20:17 UTC »


Hello Kitty MMORPG goes beta

Sanrio Digital's "Hello Kitty Online" accepting players for closed beta

Hong Kong - February 12, 2008: Sanrio Digital (www.sanriodigital.com) today announced the closed beta launch of "Hello Kitty Online", a Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game (MMORPG) based on the famous Sanrio characters. Hello Kitty Online allows players to explore and adventure in Sanrio's fantasy world, a magical land that has recently fallen under the influence of a mysterious and malevolent power.

Players for the closed beta version are invited to apply at the official game site (www.hellokittyonline.com) or community site (www.sanriotown.com) and experience Hello Kitty Online in advance of the game release expected in the second half of 2008. Targeting female players from their pre-teens to twenties, Hello Kitty Online is the first installable MMORPG to set its sights on this demographic profile.

Woo woo! I'm so there. I'm going to start a We Know guild there...

Disclosure: I'm on the board of Sanrio Digital and am work working with this team a bit.

OMG, she really is taking over! (she being Hello Kitty).

Annette Sargent

"Women and cats will do as they please, and men and dogs should relax and get used to the idea."  -Robert A. Heinlein

Wednesday Morning

I can hear the soft breathing
Of the girl that I love,
As she lies here beside me
Asleep with the night,
And her hair, in a fine mist
Floats on my pillow,
Reflecting the glow
Of the winter moonlight.

She is soft, she is warm,
But my heart remains heavy,
And I watch as her breasts
Gently rise, gently fall,
For I know with the first light of dawn
I'll be leaving,
And tonight will be
All I have left to recall.

Oh, what have I done,
Why have I done it,
I've committed a crime,
I've broken the law.
For twenty-five dollars
And pieces of silver,
I held up and robbed
A hard liquor store.

My life seems unreal,
My crime an illusion,
A scene badly written
In which I must play.
Yet I know as I gaze
At my young love beside me,
The morning is just a few hours away.

Somebody's Been Spying On Me

February 12, 2008
Gee, this looks like a typical day for me.


Sent to you by 'Nette via Google Reader:


via The Splintered Mind by Douglas Cootey by Douglas Cootey on 11/29/07

I found this over at Pete Quily's Blog. Have a laugh with me.


Doodle by Lee. The code for this doodle and other doodles you can use on your blog can be found at Doodles.

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