David Silverlight's XML and .NET GrokSpot

To grok (pronounced GRAHK) something is to understand something so well that it is fully absorbed into oneself. In Robert Heinlein's science-fiction novel of 1961, Stranger in a Strange Land, the word is Martian and literally means "to drink" but metaphorically means "to take it all in," to understand fully, or to "be at one with."

<January 2006>



We give stupid prizes to smart people

Woo Hoo!!!  I just published a new website, http://ww.Community-Credit.com , which rewards those who contribute to the development community.   The website mantra, "We give stupid prizes to smart people", says it all.  The prizes this month are:

  1. A 512 MB Mimobot USB Drive
  2. An optical liquid duck or fish mouse
  3. USB Mini Lava Lamp
  4. One of the coolest Geek T-Shirts ever.
  5. A Device to turn off any TV in the room that you are in (just for the purpose of annoying others)
  6. A Red Swingline Stapler (TPS Reports not included).  You can see all of the prizes here

    If you are a developer who contributes alot of discussion posts, examples, articles, blogs and other bits to the development community, you can earn points by logging each contribution on our points page.

   If you have a website, user group or any other type of development community and would like to access the Community Credit web services so that your members automatically gain points, please send me an email at HeadGeek@XMLPitstop.com and I will tell you more about this.

The prizes for our January 2006 contest are displayed below:

Grand Prize: Mimobots 512MB USB Flash Drives
Please Welcome Our Data Overlords

We, Mimobots, have traveled a long time across multiple parallel systems to reach earth. we come from our beloved planet blõôh located in galaxy 4210 where we have been living harmoniously since the time of no age. We are peaceful and joyful creatures essentially made of electronic silicon providing us with an extraordinary ability in memory. Humans can adopt and use flashported Mimobot clones to save and carry their personal electronic data as with any USB flash drive. Yet, these Mimobot clones simultaneously retransmit their memory to RALF computer on planet blõôh who will directly regurgitate the upload into the digitized brain of an ill mimobot. eventually our friend in treatment will receive a full transfusion of concentrated fresh memory and will be freed from their mental confines to live their insouciant life again!

Please take part in this incomparable adventure of human/mimobot symbiosis. Four different races of Mimobots are available... But please hurry. A limited edition of each race has landed on earth for your storage pleasure.


1st Prize: USB Optical Liquid Duck or Fish Mouse
A little fish or duck for your mouse
Need some company for those dull days and long nights at the office? The USB Optical Liquid Mouse provides a little companion you can keep close at hand. This optical mouse (with scroll wheel) comes with your choice of a floating fish or duck built right into the mouse. Watch these little guys bobble around in the water as you mouse your way through some heavy duty spreadsheets or just tilt the mouse back and forth and watch them surf the waves. Guess it depends on what kind of day you're having.

2nd Prize: USB Mini Lava Lamp
Happy times!
Whether it's a late-night coding marathon or just your typical afternoon staring at spreadsheets, the USB Mini Lava Lamp will help you relax. Just plug it into your USB port for power and this little desktop ambiance generator will do the rest. Filled with clear "lava" and a bunch of glitter flakes, this light creates something resembling a disco ball effect on your desk and walls.

The USB Mini Lava Lamp is an authentic Original Lava Brand® product and comes with a single replaceable lightbulb. It stands about 6" tall and connects using a coiled USB cable that stretches to about 4 feet.


3rd Prize: Geek Love Poem T-Shirt
The Bard's got nuthin on us.

The eloquence of a few lines of verse can be a powerful thing. Poetry can cause you to pause and think about life. It can incite feelings of rage. A good poem can even bring you to tears. We're not sure where this one lies in the spectrum of emotional reactions, but we're thinking somewhere between a chuckle and a look of heartfelt confusion. This shirt, designed by ThinkGeek Love Labs® makes an especially good gift to one you love or love to confuse, depending on their knowledge of hex and Internet lore.

For those of you who are not familiar with "All Your Base" Internet Lore, it is a video that pokes fun at some of the incorrect translation of english in the old videogames back in the day.  It actually became a hit song on the radio for a short time.  You can check it out here


4th Prize: TV-B-Gone
Safe. Fun. Twisted.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, there are about 250 million television sets in the U.S. and we can guess that the majority of them are turned on a lot of the time. All in all, this is not bad (heck, we enjoy a good movie as much as anyone else) but there are some occasions when you just need to do everyone a favor and turn the TV off. A certain portion of television content is just plain questionable and about as healthy as second-hand smoke.

Enter the TV-B-Gone, a small television remote that hangs on your keychain and turns off virtually any television with the press of button. "Now, what would be the purpose of such a device?" you may be asking yourself. Well, without revealing too much of our devious nature we can think of a few things. Imagine sports bars or annoying talking head shows that appear on monitors at the airport. Add to that your own creativity and we're pretty sure you'll come up with some ideas. All you need to do is press the button and keep pointing it at the TV until it turns off (which may take up to 69 seconds). The next 69 seconds will be spent quietly, or not so quietly, enjoying the perplexed expressions of the TV automatons.

The TV-B-Gone also has these great features.

  • Turns off virtually any television
  • Perfect for carrying on your keyring
  • May take up to 69 seconds for the television to turn off (90% of televisions should turn off within 17 seconds)
  • Range: 20 to 50 feet (7 to 17 m), depending on the make and model of the TV
  • Contains 209 turn-off codes
  • Regular Version works on TVs in US, Canada, Mexico, many Asian countries (European version also available!)
  • Lithium batteries included (last about 3 months to one year depending on usage)
  • Dimensions: 1.92" x 2.27" x .675"
  • Weight: 26 grams with batteries
  • European version is recommended for Australia


5th Prize: The Red Swingline Stapler
Have You Seen My Stapler?

People sometimes form very strong bonds to inanimate objects. This is especially the case when you come into daily contact with, say, a red Swingline stapler. The ultimate utilitarian desktop accessory. Its vibrant red color stands out amongst the grays and beiges that consume office space. The sleek, smooth retro lines. The sheer weight. The precise, solid movement. The mechanics. The thick, dense sound as paper is conjoined...

One thing is certain - you will never covet an office supply as much you will your red Swingline stapler.

Oh, and by the way, if you've got a smug *** in your office named Lumberg, don't ever let him take away your red Swingline. It could be bad for the business...

Durable metal construction with a retro style. 20 Sheet capacity. Jam resistant. Uses S.F. 4 Premium Staples (not included). 7 inches x 2.5 inches. TPS Reports not included.

posted on Wednesday, January 11, 2006 8:39 AM by admin

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