Wednesday, February 25, 2009


Maybe I need to go get a new Kindle...

Monday, February 23, 2009

The Short You Should See

You may well be able to find all of the nominated shorts from last night's Oscars online, or at least the animated ones, and some theaters ut on a package viewing in the run up to the awards show, but if all you had seen was Presto (like everyone else in America) the short that ought to have caught your eye and made me laugh out loud from the nomination clip alone was Oktapodi.

You can watch it here.

And yes the guy who said that letting Presto into this category was kind of lilke bringing a gun to a knife fight was probably right.

(via Slate)

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Fear The Turtle In A Whole New Way - Semi NSFW

Dan Savage was on the road last week and didn't get to answer every question posed to him on cute little 3x5 cards at colleges and universities across the country, so he got to some of the choicier ones in this week's column.

This is for you MD fans, alums, and students out there...

Please assign new salacious definitions to the following terms, which are near and dear to the hearts of UM students: “Cornerstone,” “Fear the Turtle,” and “Diamondbacking.”

Cornerstone: When you get high in order to break through a sexual inhibition—like when pot helps you “turn a corner” sexually. “Sue wanted to peg her boyfriend Drew, but he just couldn’t do it until he got cornerstoned.”

Fear the Turtle: What a woman experiences when she realizes halfway through vaginal intercourse that her bowels are full and her enjoyment of the sex has been superseded by her fear of crapping the bed. “Sue had to ask Drew to stop fucking her because she feared the turtle. She got on the can for a minute, then hopped back in bed, and no longer feared the turtle.”

Diamondbacking: Consenting to anal sex in the hopes that doing so will inspire a boyfriend to propose. “Sue knew that Drew was totally into anal sex, so she let him diamondback her. Now they’re engaged.”

The whole column is a winner.

Why Did The Tourist Cross The Road?

Because the Beatles did, silly.

It's pretty fun watching the people decide just how badly they want to cross Abbey Road looking like one of the fab four. It's also really interesting watching the traffic, quite calmly, avoid everyone even the people standing in the middle of a busy intersection paying no attention to anything other than taking a picture of their friends.

It does make me wonder if this is a typical day or if folks could see the camera that was filming and hammed it up an extra bit.

I also quite enjoyed the band that made the video, it is technically a promo for their new album.

(via kottke)

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Standard Cellphone Charger Looms

This is the best news I've heard all day.

You know that terrible feeling you get when you arrive at a travel destination only to discover that you've left behind your cellphone charger. You also know that great elation that follows if you manage to find someone with the same phone who is willing to let you use their charger.

Both of those feelings will one day be a thing of the past, unless you have an IPhone, according to a report from Wired's Gadget Lab.

17 major cellphone manufacturers, but not Apple, announced that they would all move to a standard mini-usb charger by the start of 2012. Very cool for a variety of reasons, including environmental ones as well as the forgotten charger drama previously mentioned.

Visit Gadget Lab for the details, and a few digs at Apple.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

MoneyBall On The Court

Micheal Lewis, of MoneyBall fame, took a look at the NBA and one of it's unheralded, silent superstars, Shane Battier in a piece for the NYT Magazine last Sunday.

If you like Lewis and are intellectually interested in sports (ie you follow stats and play in a fantasy league) you'll enjoy the read. Even if you just like interesting things or just like sports you'll be happy to have read it...
In the statistically insignificant sample of professional athletes I’ve come to know a bit, two patterns have emerged. The first is, they tell you meaningful things only when you talk to them in places other than where they have been trained to answer questions. It’s pointless, for instance, to ask a basketball player about himself inside his locker room. For a start, he is naked; for another, he’s surrounded by the people he has learned to mistrust, his own teammates. The second pattern is the fact that seemingly trivial events in their childhoods have had huge influence on their careers. A cleanup hitter lives and dies by a swing he perfected when he was 7; a quarterback has a hitch in his throwing motion because he imitated his father. Here, in the Detroit Country Day School library, a few yards from the gym, Battier was back where he became a basketball player. And he was far less interested in what happened between him and Kobe Bryant four months ago than what happened when he was 12.

Facebook: Fear and Fun

I've recently joined the great internet boondoggle that is Facebook, and for the most part I'm quite happy with my experience. But do I own the information about myself that I've uploaded or does Facebook? And if Facebook owns it what can they do with it?

It is not a particularly nice question and apparently the answer is murky at best and fairly scary at worst. According a NY Times article today, Facebook appears to claim ownership of all information, including your likeness, that appears on the site. Perhaps most sketchy is that they quietly made changes to the terms of service agreement (which almost no one actually bothers to read). For the details check out the article.

Scary, certainly a little bit. But anytime you put info up on the internet you should do so with the expectation that it is out there and that you won't be able to fully control it. I guess it is part of the trade off for using an interesting, cool, useful service such as Facebook without paying for it.

On a more fun note Slate did some research on the recent 25 things chain post that tore through Facebook. It seems that 25 things spread just like an infectious disease epidemic does, very neat.

Thursday, February 12, 2009


Hell yeah they go to eleven.

The store is in Southampton, England. The shot was taken by hey mr glen.

(via GL)

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Protecting Parkland Works

Just take a look at this mind blowing satellite image:Sidi Toui National Park, in the southern half of Tunisia, close to the Libyan border, viewed by the Enhanced Thematic Mapper Plus (ETM+) instrument on NASA's Landsat 7 satellite on December 13, 1999. Native vegetation can be seen returning inside the borders of this protected park (approx. 7 kilometers wide), established in 1993 to protect the region against desertification. The effects of continued agriculture, overgrazing and drought can be seen on the surrounding arid landscape. (NASA/Jesse Allen/Landsat,USGS)

The image is part of another great series at The Big Picture on the Earth as seen from above.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Does Farva Work In Virginia These Days?

It is possible, check it out...

And from today's WaPo...

Christy Gates, left, and Don Ferguson smoke at Shenanigan's Pub in Leesburg, Va.
(Tracy A. Woodward - The Washington Post)

Coincidence? I think not.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Hell Of A Shot

Wednesday is the best newspaper day of the week. While the color funnies and the crossword in the Sunday paper are pretty hard to beat, on Wednesday both of the papers that I get (NYT & WaPo) run a food section.

These sections can be hit and miss, which is to say that they aren't always all that they could be. But more often than not the food sections are the best part of the paper (news reporting notwithstanding).

The NYT had this great photo of three top flight New York restaurateurs on the cover of this week's Dining section. Editor Pete Wells took to the internet to describe how they managed to pull the shot off.

Photo Illustration by Tony Cenicola/The New York Times

HUNGRY MEN From left: Mario Batali of Del Posto, Sirio Maccioni of Le Cirque and Jean-Georges Vongerichten of Perry St., Nougatine and Matsugen really really want you to visit.

Monday, February 2, 2009

You Tube Spot The Difference Game

If you've ever been to a bar that has the little arcade game console with the spot the difference game on it you know two things. 1) I really like that game, and 2) that game is awesome.

For both of those reasons I was psyched to see this new you tube version of the game for the Oscar nominees highlighted on Bloggasm.

Mostly I just enjoyed playing the game, but it is also an interesting adaptation and evolution in the uses of you tube. It has been very cool in my lifetime to watch the internet grow and change and this looks like yet another little piece of all that.

I had to retry the Frost / Nixon one and finally crapped out on level 21 - Vicky Christina Barcelona. How far can you get?

Have fun...