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Saturday, March 05, 2005

The Hall of Technical Documentation Weirdness

... wacky, bizarre, surreal and otherwise strange examples of technical documentation, particularly illustration.

Not "just bad technical writing—there are plenty of examples of that" this website features four pages of " the inexplicable, the surreal and the strange" says Darren Barefoot.

Like me, he's a man of "Shameless Harper" self promotion— Darren manages to work into the conversation that he has a blog over at and a company called Capulet Communications that asks "need help with your technical documentation?" Lots of companies (notably Swiffer and Dell) should probably answer "yes!" after they find their products listed on this website.

Sunday, February 27, 2005

Oscar: How do I make fun of this?

Oscar the Grouch
Oscar: The Grouch

Born: June 1
Lives: In a trash can on Sesame Street
Seasons: 1 - Present
Years: 1969 - Present
Performers: Carroll Spinney
Movie Appearances: The Great Muppet Caper, Elmo in Grouchland, Follow That Bird, The Muppets Take Manhattan
TV Appearances: -
TV Specials: -
Most Famous Song: I Love Trash
  • Oscar's character is based on a grumpy waiter from a restaurant called 'Oscar's Tavern' in Manhattan.

  • Oscar's voice is based on a cabdriver who drove Caroll Spinney to the studio.

Description: Oscar is the only person in Sesame Street who doesn't like to have fun, and the only one who isn't nice to anybody, knows he isn't and likes it that way. Oscar likes to be pessimistic, likes to grouch and to be angry. He is happy when it rains, but he hates it to be happy, so he hopes the sun will shine soon, so he can moan again. But the problem is that he is happy that he can be grouchy again. And he hates it to be happy. Or for instance, he hates it when people bother him. But when nobody disturbs him, he doesn't have anything to moan at, so he hopes somebody will bother him, so he can be grouchy again. Oscar's life is the hardest life to live, but maybe that makes him the happiest person on earth, although he doesn't like to be happy. Oscar has a few 'real friends'. Of course the other grouches, but his best friend is Slimey the Worm. Another thing that bothers Oscar is that nobody seems to dislike him, although all the non-grouches never fully understand his behaviour and needs. Telly and Elmo for instance frequently visit Oscar when they want to play with him, while Elmo and Telly are the ones who Oscar hates the most. Something nobody ever will understand is his diet; Oscar eats the most unusual things that you can imagine. And there are other things he likes, such as rain and trash. Oscar seldom leaves his trash can. There is by the way something strange with his trash can; it contains some unusual things, such as Fluffy the elephant and her friends, a piano and a pool with a dolphin named Ripper. Of Oscar's family only his mother is known. He has a cousin named Osvaldo.
(information from sesame street encyclopedia)

Oscar: The Statuette

Born: May 16, 1929
Lives: Sunday, February 27, 2005 at the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood, California
Seasons: 1 - Present(77)
Years: 1929 - Present
Performers: Too many to count, but mostly Clint Eastwood, who just kept coming back up
Movie Appearances: Lots and lots
TV Appearances: ABC Television stations
TV Specials:Barbara Walters' Oscar Night Special
Most Famous Song: Oscar "Get off the friggin' stage, already, you windbag" music
  • Academy librarian Margaret Herrick saw the statuette on a table and said: "It looks just like my uncle Oscar!"

  • The awards were first given at a banquet in the Blossom Room of the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel on May 16, 1929 but there was little suspense since the winners of the awards had already been announced three months earlier on February 18.

Description: The Academy Awards (a.k.a. "The Oscars") are the most prominent film awards in the United States. The Awards are granted by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, a professional honorary organization
(information from wikipedia, google)