We work on the Internet and are constantly consuming information. There's a lot of it out there. We'd forget it if we didn't write it down someplace…

Visual Lizard's blog covers everything from web standards to the muppets, from php to comic books to music, just about anything we find interesting

It's Pronounced Newkleearrr!

With the world’s addiction to oil being at the top of everyone’s environmental hit list, many people are talking about alternative energy sources. Some old some new. I found an article on Newsvine about looking at the possibility of bringing nuclear energy back into the mainstream. As someone who grew up in a town where the primary employer was Atomic Energy Canada Limited, I learned a few things about nuclear energy. I am by no means a nuclear physicist so I am no expert, but I did learn a few things about nuclear power and radiation. The article looks at the cost effectiveness of nuclear energy, and the possibilities of using alternative nuclear fuels like Thorium.

While I understand the concept behind a nuclear reactor, I find it hard to understand how proponents of Nuclear energy can say that a nuclear station would reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The large steam stacks associated with Nuclear plants are spouting greenhouse gas on as large a scale as any conventional power plant. Some people seem to forget that water vapour is a greenhouse gas. It isn’t as polluting as the various toxic gases that are pumped into our atmosphere, but water vapour is extremely good at holding the heat which radiates from the earth’s surface thus causing global warming. As for the storage of nuclear waste, it doesn’t matter what the primary material is for nuclear fuel. It is still radioactive. Storage of this material is difficult at best. Burying it is an answer, though not a very good one as the earth’s crust is an ever evolving entity. While we on the prairies don’t get earthquakes (knock on wood) we are able to measure the results of an earthquake in the depths of the Pacific Ocean here in stable Manitoba. As the crust moves and settles, underground storage becomes vulnerable. Leakage of nuclear waste into the ground water would have disasterous consequences.

Personally I think that the world’s energy companies and leaders should be making a concerted effort to develop solar, wind, hydro, and any other non-polluting power. Our dependence on the world’s non-renewable resources has led us to the brink of our own extinction. The world is over populated, our environment is a mess, and we are destroying the biosphere of our planet at an accelerating rate. Scientists are already saying it is too late. If we keep going as we are, it will be.

Iconbuffet Free Deliveries

If you’re into icons for desktop, application, or web design use, you should head over to IconBuffet and sign up for their free deliveries.

It works like this: You create a free login, and every month-ish, IconBuffet sends you an e-mail letting you know you’ve been given a free icon set. The catch is they release more sets than they give you, and it’s random which set you get. The idea is you convince others to login in (as I am attempting now) and trade your randomly received sets for their randomly received sets. It’s like trading cards, with the advantage of IconBuffet getting free advertising.

It’s a great idea, and the free icon sets are open for many uses. The problem I have is that I don’t have them all. You can help! If you’re signed up, let’s trade!

I’m looking for (as of June 28th):

  • Durango Research
  • Helsinki Hi-Fi
  • Mallow Buzz 1
  • Mallow Buzz 2
  • Manhattan Finance
  • Manhattan Night Life
  • Manhattan Veggie
  • Marseilles Cafe
  • Modena Alfanumerico Cold
  • Modena Simbolo
  • Shanghai Tech Smilies
  • Shanghai Tech Vector
  • Taipei Buddies 1
  • Taipei Buddies 2
  • Tower Grove Melee

I can offer (as of June 28th):

  • Alexandria Architecture
  • Blinksale
  • Dresden Tournament
  • Farewell Snow
  • Manhattan Metroplex
  • Manhattan Symbol
  • Modena Alfanumerico Cool
  • Modena Alfanumerico Molten
  • Oslo Atmosphere
  • Oslo Easter
  • Oslo Finance
  • Shanghai Tech
  • Taipei Monkey
  • Taipei Night Market
  • Taipei Plastic Primates
  • Tower Grove Promenade
  • Tower Grove Wedding

If you’re not signed up, please sign up and trade! Send me an email through the contact form or leave me a comment below!

Jet Set again!

Wow...the power of the Internet. Jet Set Satellite message board stalkers picked up a note on my blog.

As much as I'd love to start rumours on this here are the facts. Basically that post was put up to test this blog page.

I have not been offically "hired" to remix anything. One of the guys asked me to put a spin on one of the tunes so I'm doing it on my own time for shits and giggles! It gets done when it gets done which means in about 3 years and probably will never be released. (unless it gets suspiciously leaked to the Internet...muhahahahahah)

Nothing is official other than I dislike blogs and that yes...Visual Lizard is an Internet development agency. (and a damn fine one at that!)


Double Launch Day

Break out the champagne and party hats, today was a DOUBLE LAUNCH day. We have just launched two new projects, and

The first one, was done with our good friends over at guppy design. Craig and Nicole worked tirelessly to provide design elements and organization to the project.

The second one, is a complete realignment and new design for the Travel Manitoba / Destination Winnipeg summer tour packages.

Oddly enough, launching two sites in one day doesn't seem as gratifying as it should... oh wait... maybe the other three that all have to go live by the end of the week are on our minds.

Ah well, it still feels darn good to get those two up and live. Look for a detailed write up on these sites in the projects section (when we get a spare minute or two).

I have no time for blogging!

Ok, after harrassment from everybody here about not keeping the "BLOG" current here is my post.

I'm too frickin busy to worry about this right now so quit harrassing me!

(The guys here are just jealous that my blog gets more hits than the rest of the site....hey I even made the Jet Set Satelite message board).....speaking of which read the above post!


An Inconvenient Truth

Al Gore, former vice-president of the USA, has been traveling around the world since his loss to George Bush trying to raise awareness and educate people to the fact that we are directly responsible for the current state of the planet. On his own dime no less.

Over the course of the last six years he has been working hard to impress upon people that we do not have much time left before we are at a point of no return. The actions we have been taking over the last 100 years will spiral our planet into a catastrophic environmental melt down that will cause flooding, droughts, temperatures 10 degrees Celsius above current temperatures, famine, floods, killer hurricanes and storms, all of which will displace close to 1/5 of the worlds population, leaving their homes underwater, destroyed or in areas so inhospitable nothing can survive there.

Having no doubt heard about global warming over the past 15-20 years, this may come as no surprise to you. However, what should hit you like a slap in the face is how little time we have left.

An Inconvenient Truth is a film documenting what Al Gore has been doing. It also pulls together some of the greatest minds in science on the planet to provide details, facts and analysis of where all this is headed if things don't change. If you see nothing else this summer, make sure you get out and see this movie. It starts in select cities around the world on May 24th (see the link in our events calendar). You can also view the trailer from

New Superman Trailer!

New Superman Returns trailer available in Quicktime. Not much else to say but... holy spit, this film looks freaking awesome! Kevin Spacey looks like he kicks ass in this film! I can’t wait!

Real life Xmen?

After several years of research, Japanese geneticists have discovered the reason for the increase in human DNA mutations over the last few decades. The full article is over here at cNet, but in a nutshell, human DNA is mutating due to environmental factors. As a parent, and an expecting father, I'm hoping my upcoming kid can fly, and maybe control objects via thoughts, and perhaps regenerate fast enough to be virtually immune to physical ailments. Oh, and hopefully like me too.

Where do you find your new music?

I've been asked a few times in the last little while about where I find my new music. My answer is always a little muddy, as I have several sources that I follow in hopes of finding a new gem to put into rotation on the iPod. So, for your listening pleasure, here is a small list of the places I go when looking for new music:

  • - without a doubt, a fantastic listening experience. Bill is one of the last great DJs in my opinion. He is able to link together sets of songs that just seem made for listening to back to back. If you have never listened, check it out. You won't be disappointed.

  • Paste Magazine - I used to get Tracks magazine, but they merged with Paste. Boy am I glad they did. Not only does Paste cover music, but they also seem to dig pop culture in the same way I do. Each issue comes with a CD full of the best tracks from their album reviews. Every Paste CD has been churned through my iPod for a week or two after arriving and without fail, from each CD I have ended up buying at least one new full CD.

  • CBC Radio 3 Podcast - One of the best Podcasts you can get - and free! With over 1,000,000 subscribers at the start of 2006, Grant does a great job of bringing new Canadian music to the world. There was a little time there that CBC axed radio 3, and what a dark few months that was. Happily, everything is back and things are right in the music world.

  • Pitch Fork Media - My brother turned my on to Pitch Fork awhile back. Great reviews of music you may or may not have heard of, along with news and other interesting pop culture happenings. Start with their Best of List and go from there.

  • MetaCritic - If you only bookmark one site from this small list, this is likely the one. They pull reviews from around the planet together and use those scores to create a complete score for the albums they review. Of course, they link back to all the reviews they rank and you can spend days sifting through the reviews on just one album. They also have a complete listing for DVDs, Games, Books and more ... best of all, they have a really comprehensive up coming releases calendar in the music section.

There you have it. A small list of online music resources I spend way too much time at. So where to do you track down your new music? am always looking for new veins of music to tap so leave a comment and let me know.

Library where the Sky is the Limit

I found this one at Treehugger. Everyone has at one time or another seen footage of derelict airplanes stored in the western deserts of the United States. The planes are scavenged for their more valuable electronic parts but leaving the airplane fuselages to clutter the desert.

Well it appears that some green minded architects in New York have thought of an interesting new function for these abandoned tubes of aluminum and steel. They want to use them as the primary structural component of a new library in Guadalajara Mexico.

How cool is that!

Beautiful Music Posters

As you may have noticed, we have a keen interest in music around here. It likely goes with the territory of living online, programming and design. There are long stretches of very productive work time during the week were the right music can make your productivity increase significantly.

Along with music, we also appreciate good art. Art that speaks to you is one thing, but when done the way the guys over at Heads of State do it, it becomes a thing of beauty worth framing and putting on your office wall. Check out their site. Well worth the visit.

An Apple Thing of Beauty

I've been using a 17" Powerbook for almost 4 years now. I can honestly say it has, without a doubt, replaced any need I have for a desktop machine over the last 3 years. I am able to take all my work with me to client meetings. I have my laptop rigged up as complete development server for testing - see Dave Shea's excellent article on virtual domains within apache on a Mac. We can demo any of our applications in a controlled environment for clients and prospective partners. So now, whenever I am on the road, short of an internet connection, I'm actually still in the office.

Granted we still have an office full of desktop PCs for various applications, testing platforms and at home we have a PC for web/email/work for my wife, but given the line of work we are in, a laptop makes just makes more sense.

When I first got it, people would stare in awe as a would open it up a meetings to take notes on. They would ask me what I was doing, and I would say, taking notes. Everyone would then look at their boring old pen and paper and back to my laptop with envy.

This is now the first time I am actually thinking of upgrading my trusty 17" G4 Powerbook for real. Behold the new 17" MacBookPro. Commence drooling.