Airtrax produces material-handling equipment that can turn GREG KNAUSS · MAR 31
RSS died today, as its last sane GREG KNAUSS · MAR 31
RSS died today, as its last sane evangelist walks away. -- GK
I'm an idiot. Thanks to everybody who GREG KNAUSS · MAR 31
If God does exist, is He a GREG KNAUSS · MAR 31
If God does exist, is He a jerk? "The moment that Adam and Eve ate that fruit, wheels were set in motion that would ultimately result in the doom of mankind. Without some kind of intervention from God we would all be damned. God does promise to intervene, but it's like building a nuclear bomb and setting it to go off in a large city at 12:00. Then, when all of the people of the city come to you for mercy, you disarm it for them. Does that make you a hero for disarming it or a lunatic for building it in the first place? The whole thing was orchestrated to make us feel dependent upon God. That says a lot about God's character." A rebuttal. -- GK
"1. There is a website that successfully argues GREG KNAUSS · MAR 31
"1. There is a website that successfully argues for the existence of God. 2. Here is the URL. 3. Therefore, God exists." -- GK
Leet. A disturbingly comprehensive Wikipedia entry on GREG KNAUSS · MAR 31
Leet. A disturbingly comprehensive Wikipedia entry on l33tsp33k. -- GK
"If you eat lunch with the same GREG KNAUSS · MAR 31
Update: Awesome chorizo-and-cheese soft tacos.
The Great Taco Hunt. One man's lonely GREG KNAUSS · MAR 31
The Great Taco Hunt. One man's lonely but delicious quest to rate every taco in Los Angeles. -- GK
Eery caricature of Harry Caray on top DAVID JACOBS · MAR 30
Eery caricature of Harry Caray on top of his restaraunt in Chicago. Also in Google Earth news this week, an iPod-like pattern is allegedly the result of a poker bet gone horribly wrong. --dj
zHAUS photography has one of the best DAVID JACOBS · MAR 30
zHAUS photography has one of the best slideshow interfaces I've ever seen. Flash, no permalinks, but still beautiful and intuitive. --dj
Survivor bias. If a mutual fund company GREG KNAUSS · MAR 30
Survivor bias. If a mutual fund company runs three funds, two of which do well, one of which does poorly, they will simply dissolve the underperforming fund and continue to report performance on the survivors. They now appear to have a purely successful record, with all their (current) funds performing well. By systematically eliminating negative data, the survivors give a false impression of consistent success. -- GK
Antimega reviews the new generation of mobile DAVID JACOBS · MAR 30
Antimega reviews the new generation of mobile Flickr apps. Last year the only good way to upload to Flickr was through email or messaging, now there are more options. It's also still early to count out Splashblog and Lifeblog, both of which have big money behind them. --dj
Have a weekend to kill and a GREG KNAUSS · MAR 30
My Life In The Bush Of Ghosts, DAVID JACOBS · MAR 30
My Life In The Bush Of Ghosts, an influential new wave composition by Brian Eno and David Byrne, is being released under a Creative Commons license. A social network for trading derivative works is also launching soon. --dj
Run for your lives! The world ends GREG KNAUSS · MAR 30
For over half a decade, the front GREG KNAUSS · MAR 30
For over half a decade, the front page of Jamie Zawinski's site has been hexidecimal gibberish, with the source-code comment: "mail me if you find the secret. no, you can't have a hint." I spent some time trying a few years ago, but only discovered that the contents of the page change on a regular basis, each version has 404 lines and the only consistent characters are the anchors for the links and an asterisk in the seventh position on line 330. Anybody crack it? -- GK
Tips for Newlyweds -- First in a GREG KNAUSS · MAR 30
Tips for Newlyweds -- First in a Series: Never show any kids you have the pictures of you folding Mommy into the trunk of a car. It's hard to explain out of context. -- GK
Guests MAR 30
Greg was the very first guest blogger here on kottke.org (and perhaps the first guest blogger ever anywhere) back in March of 2000 when I went to SXSW and they didn't have wifi at the conference (nor did I have a laptop). Good times, back then.
When I get back, house on fire.
Ocean's 13 is going to be made this GREG KNAUSS · MAR 30
Ocean's 13 is going to be made this summer. It's good to see that the community is pulling together to keep Andy Garcia and Elliot Gould off the street.
Dubai is the fastest growing city on earth and wants to be the most important place on the planet, "what London was to the 19th century and Manhattan to the 20th".
Photos of the top 15 city skylines in the world. Hong Kong is #1 and I can't disagree.
A list of the best Steve Jobs quotes ever. A contradictory fellow, this Jobs.
Fascinating article about how it's becoming impossible to tell 20 year olds and 40 year olds apart and the end of the generation gap. The author never gives a satisfactory answer as to why this shift has occurred though...there has to be an interesting book in here somewhere.
Hobo financial indicators MAR 29
Hobo financial indicators, or how to tell what the stock/bond markets are going to do based on how well hobos are living. Short discarded cigarette butts = bad, lots of dogs getting dental work at the vet = good, lots of litter on the floors of movie theatres = good. (thx, zacharie)
The CIA World Factbook maintains a page about the entire world, which seems like it was meant to be read by aliens about to visit Earth for the first time. (thx jake)
Even with the encroachment of blogs, craigslist, and online stock listings, James Surowiecki says the newspaper business is actually not a bad business to be in these days. "Newspapers are classic cash cows: solidly profitable businesses in a stagnant industry."
Even native New Yorkers are often disoriented when exiting subway stations, so why doesn't the MTA print a little direction indicator on the pavement near the exits? Better yet, download the stencils provided here and let's do it ourselves.
Fascinating thoughts on the future of science by Kevin Kelly. The sequence of recursive devices and triple blind experiments ("no one, not the subjects or the experimenters, will realize an experiment was going on until later") were especially interesting.
Profile of Daniel Dennett, "Darwinian fundamentalist" and author of a new book that argues that "religion, chiefly Christianity, is itself a biologically evolved concept, and one that has outlived its usefulness".
Lots of chatter lately about the "broken windows" theory of why the US crime rate dropped so dramatically in the 80s and 90s. Writing in the Boston Globe, Daniel Brook explores the possible cracks in the theory, while proponents William Bratton & George Kelling defend it from "attacks" from 'liberals", "anti-police groups", and "ivory-tower academics". Gladwell says broken windows holds up, Dubner disagrees, and Gladwell rebuts.
Schedule a request for interruption from the Bureau of Interruptions, and they'll email, telephone, mail, or visit you at your office to "[open] up new places for your mind to wander". (thx, chris)
Collection of publicly available articles from The Best American Science and Nature Writing 2005. Good reading. (thx, robin)
Mexican Coke is growing in popularity in the US, despite Coca-Cola's insistence that it's the same product. (And for the record, it does taste different and better because of the real sugar used.)
Sand animation art. Watch the videos...it's cooler than it sounds. (thx, brock)
Lamenting the sad state of the typography on girls' asses. "This booty type is in fact similar to public signage that I've worked so closely with over the years: it's meant to be seen, it's communicating important and relevant information, it can be used to alert people of a problem ("SLUT!"), or it can simply be pointing out a scenic overlook."
Videos from presentations at Google, including John Battelle, Seth Godin, Antarctic meteorites, Hal Varian, and Sergey Brin. (thx, jf)
Shaking up tech publishing: "It seems that the industry standard [for authors] is something akin to 10% of the profits (which easily take 4-5-6 months to arrive), being forced to write in Word, and finally a production cycle that's at least a good 3 months from final book to delivery. That's horrible!" Building a shop "to take $19 from your credit card" and laying out books in InDesign aren't as easy as he makes it out to be for everyone, but it's a great overall point.
The schedule MAR 28
Today I'm starting (and hopefully completing) Operation Empty My Inbox and Operation Close All My Browser Tabs.1 Over the past month and a half, I've barely replied to any email I've gotten, so if you sent me something during that time period, I hope to get to it today and perhaps send you a reply. I've also got
about 20 33 tabs open in my browser, waiting to be read, so expect some output from that as well.
Update: Ok! With the exception of 6 messages that need my attention in the next day or after I get back from my trip, my inbox is completely empty. And it only took 5 solid hours of writing, dragging, dropping, applying rules, and eye strain. Still no progress on the browser tabs glut. In fact, the inbox clear-out resulted in 6 or 8 more tabs being opened. One step forward, two steps back.
 I'm also starting two smaller projects, Project Learn How To Type Again (jeez, five days of almost no computer use and I've completely dogrhottem hiw tp typw) and Project Steal Footnote Technique From John Gruber, Who I Met At SXSW And Is Completely Delightful. Both of these are in lieu of what I really want to be doing right now, Project Save The Princess. Some friends lent us their GameCube with the Legend of Zelda Collector's Edition, which contains the original Zelda game which is still as fun as ever. Octoroks, Tektites, and Leevers too! ↩
"It's a bad time to start a MAR 24
Sociology study indicates that atheists are the least trusted group of people in America. "Researchers found that Americans rate atheists below Muslims, recent immigrants, homosexuals and other groups as 'sharing their vision of American society.' Americans are also least willing to let their children marry atheists." Also, "those surveyed tended to view people who don't believe in a god as the 'ultimate self-interested actor who doesn't care about anyone but themselves.'" (via dg)
A moving mass has been shown to generate a gravitomagnetic field (just like a moving electrical charge creates a magnetic field) and "the measured field is a surprising one hundred million trillion times larger than Einstein's General Relativity predicts". (via rw)
President of the Oglala Sioux Tribe on the Pine Ridge Reservation, Cecilia Fire Thunder, says, "I will personally establish a Planned Parenthood clinic on my own land which is within the boundaries of the Pine Ridge Reservation where the State of South Dakota has absolutely no jurisdiction." (via bb)
The Edge has a transcript and an mp3 recording of an event called The Selfish Gene: Thirty Years On. The speakers include Daniel Dennett and Richard Dawkins.
Influential wine critic Robert Parker gave 90 to 91 points (out of 100) to a wine made by porn star Savanna Samson, denoting it as "an outstanding wine of exceptional complexity and character". I'll leave you to make your own jokes about the wine's "great body" and "long legs".
Early review of Pixar's Cars. The author caught the first public showing of the film in Las Vegas.
There appears to be a bit of MAR 22
There appears to be a bit of a problem with Yahoo's text ad program: you aren't allowed to show pages with Yahoo's ads on them to people outside of the US.
"Office spouses are colleagues who must spend most of their workday together so that they seem married. Their relationships are often filled with the same kind of electrical charge that marriages sometimes lose. They are intimate in an intellectual way and beyond."
Franz Ferdinand frontman shot by Gavrilo Princip bassist. Interpol and British Sea Power are on the case.
Watched America's Stone Age Explorers on PBS this evening, a summary of recent findings about who the first Americans were, where they came from, and when they arrived. Recent genetic and archeological evidence suggests they arrived earlier than generally accepted and may have originated from Europe rather than Asia.
Findings indicate that behavior in online worlds mirrors that of the real world, namely than men stand further away from each other than women, men maintain less eye contact with each other than women, and the amount of eye contact decreases when people stand close together.
Here's a line of pre-pixelated clothes suitable for wearing on television shows where the producers don't want to worry about clearing the rights to clothing logos. Fun idea.
A list of the most-linked blogs from September 2000 (scroll for the notes at the end). Metalog and Metalog Ratings comprised the first weblog tracking/ranking system, predating most of the current crop by at least a year or two.
Zach Klein reports on Riya, a photo service that does face recognition...you tag people's faces and over time the system recognizes them without input. TechCrunch says that Riya can recognize text and other objects (like the Eiffel Tower) in photos as well. Cool.
I did some important investigatory journalism today: burgers at the Shake Shack on opening day. Journalism has never been so delicious.
20-year-long study shows that children who were whiny and insecure tend to grow up to be conservatives and "confident, resilient, self-reliant" children tend to grow up to be liberals. "He reasons that insecure kids look for the reassurance provided by tradition and authority, and find it in conservative politics. The more confident kids are eager to explore alternatives to the way things are, and find liberal politics more congenial."
Las Vegas is testing out some high-tech gadgets, including fully-automated gaming tables with no chips, cards, or dealer. Doesn't sound like much fun...
Why is bread in Paris better than that in the US? Good discussion in the comments.
Michael Crichton on the sad state of patents in the US, particularly those related to medicine. "Any doctor who reads a patient's test results and even thinks of vitamin deficiency infringes the [homocysteine/B-12] patent. A federal circuit court held that mere thinking violates the patent."
New Yorker piece on Bill O'Reilly. "It's hard to be straight-ahead if you're essentially oppositional and the people you like are in power, if the guests you most want will not appear on your show, and if it's nearly impossible to demonstrate the existence of the trends you have made it your mission to oppose."
High-end SUVs aren't selling as well as they used to and people are even trading them in for vehicles that get better gas mileage. "For Janna Jensen, it was the dirty looks and nasty gestures from other drivers that finally persuaded her to give up the family's $55,000 Hummer H2." I have an irrational and nearly irresistable urge to key the hell out of a Hummer everytime I see one. See also Gladwell on the SUV.
This is a bit old (from March last year), but the most photographed city on Flickr at the time was London followed by New York, but when you take population into account, Vancouver, Amsterdam, and Las Vegas win for photos per capita.
Bruce Sterling: "if you can explain what you are doing with any conventional terminology, you've already been outsourced to India".
Michael Bierut: "the great thing about graphic design is that it is almost always about something else".
Nothing says hardcore more than replacing your eyebrows with tattoos reading "fuck" and "you". This guy needs a hug. (via bo)
The Project for Excellence in Journalism has released its annual report on American journalism: The State of the News Media 2006.
Most comments MAR 17
After linking to a particularly active thread on a politics blog, Chris asks:
What is the record for the most amount of comments left on a blog?
The Matrix Reloaded thread (it actually spans two threads because MT was beginning to buckle under the pressure) got 1767 comments in six months. MetaFilter's longest thread has 1729 comments. I've seen 1000+ comment threads on Dooce and political blogs like Daily Kos probably have 1000+ comments threads all the time. This Engadget thread has 3324 comments. Slashdot's thread on the end of the 2004 Presidential election garnered 5687 comments. (This SpyMac forum thread seems to have about 167,000 comments, but it's not a blog and seems like cheating because it was an attempt at the longest thread ever.)
It's so easy for people to get all ranty and unbalanced about the MPAA, movie piracy, and copyright issues...Derek has a refreshingly clear and steady take on the issues involved and how the industry middlemen are making things hard for everyone but themselves.
On The Steve Jobs on Magazine Covers page, you'll find, uh, ... See also the curl commands for sucking down all the images automagically.
I was recently wondering if any of the Creative Commons licenses had been upheld in court; a CC license was recently upheld in a Dutch courtroom.
This Onion story is right on the edge between humor and tasteless: Kent State Basketball Team Massacred By Ohio National Guard In Repeat Of Classic 1970 Matchup. I laughed, but I felt bad about it.
Speaking of wine blogs, Wine Library has a video blog about wine. Not sure about the spit bucket thing on camera tho... (thx, erik)
Beer as in journalism MAR 16
Glenn Reynolds makes an interesting analogy about journalism and beer making in his new book:
Without formal training and using cheap equipment, almost anyone can do it. The quality may be variable, but the best home-brews are tastier than the stuff you see advertised during the Super Bowl. This is because big brewers, particularly in America, have long aimed to reach the largest market by pushing bland brands that offend no one. The rise of home-brewing, however, has forced them to create "micro-brews" that actually taste of something. In the same way, argues Mr Reynolds, bloggers--individuals who publish their thoughts on the internet--have shaken up the mainstream media (or MSM, in blogger parlance).
What, no "drunk on power" quip? Curiously, the Economist piece fails to mention the name of Reynolds' book, An Army of Davids, although it appears over in the right sidebar, almost camouflaged as an ad.
The myth of cheap hardware. "The problem is, the cost of hardware is an insignificant part of running a computer system. See, the myth of cheap hardware is a myth because hardware (cheap) is not that cheap. It's not 5 times cheaper, it's half the price, or 3/4. And it's not just slightly less reliable, it's a good deal less reliable." (via bp)
The Pour is a wine blog by MAR 16
The Pour is a wine blog by the NY Times wine guy, Eric Asimov. Asimov joins Frank Bruni on the food and bev blogging front for the Times. The Pour includes a list of links to other wine blogs and resources as well. Nicely done.
Bitter disappointing rant from Brokeback Mountain author Annie Proulx about the Oscars. How can you trash the Oscars and then be totally pissed when you lose? Sour grapes indeed.
Lots of links about the Internet of Things, objects that blog, spimes, and Everyware. Cyberdyne Systems, here we come...blogging pigeons will beget blogging F-16s faster than you'd think.
To Dr. David Hague, human pregnancy is a struggle between the fetus and mother. Evolutionarily speaking, the fetus "wants" as many resources as possible for itself while the mother "wants" to do what she can to spread her resources across as many children as possible. In theory, this is a cause of the many serious health problems surrounding pregnancy.
Update: Carl Zimmer has more about this on his blog.
The lively pulse of New York's new media scene. There's something about the companies that started during the bust. They're healthier, more efficient, the ideas behind them are more solid...they had to be to survive.
Rogers Cadenhead, after receiving a letter from Dave Winer's attorney: "I've never been more retroactively embarrassed to have paid someone a compliment in my life."
Quiz: Web 2.0 company or Star Wars character? Web 2.0 increasingly reminds me of the web circa 1999. I hope it hurts less this time.
1996 NY Times review of David Foster Wallace's Infinite Jest and a profile of Wallace from that same month by current Times food critic Frank Bruni.
Update: The burger w/donut buns is not a new invention...it's commonly called the "Luther Burger" after Luther Vandross. Double true. (thx, scott)
The line for cupcakes at the Magnolia Bakery in Manhattan. Insane. (via ag)
Megnut reports that Thomas Keller (an In-N-Out fan) may be doing his own burger joint in the Napa area. He must have tired of Danny Meyer crowing about the Shake Shack at all those restauranteur slumber parties. (ps. Shake Shack reopens in 6 days!)
Eight MAR 14
Eight years ago today, I started writing in this space and just never stopped. There are some rewards for compulsive behavior.
As an eight year-old, kottke.org will be starting the third grade this year and tackling such subjects as fractions, cursive writing, the 50 states, photosynthesis, and the Dewey Decimal System. It will also be taking the bus for the first time and is quite excited about that.
"What would your ideal fantasy-baseball lineup be if you had to create it using only characters from classic Nintendo video games?" Toad and Mario from Super Mario Bros make the starting lineup.
OMG! Rotation of Earth Plunges Entire North American Continent Into Darkness. "As the phenomenon hit New York, millions of motorists were forced to use their headlights to navigate through the blackness. Highways flooded with commuters who had left work to hurry home to their families."
Short Elizabeth Kolbert article on the conservative response to climate change. "The new argument making the rounds of conservative think tanks, like the National Center for Policy Analysis, and circulating through assorted sympathetic publications goes something like this: Yes, the planet may be warming up, but no one can be sure of why, and, in any case, it doesn't matter -- let's stop quibbling about the causes of climate change and concentrate on dealing with the consequences."
Really listening MAR 13
I was recently talking with an acquaintance who makes custom wedding dresses. The lead time for making dresses is typically several months and tailoring a dress that's going to fit someone 3-4 months after the initial measurements are made can be challenging. Most brides-to-be desire to lose some weight before the big day and typically share a target weight/size with her..."Make it a size smaller because I'll be 20 pounds lighter on the day of the wedding".
This woman's been doing it for so long that she's learned to ignore what these brides say will happen and to plan for what actually ends up happening. The outcome is pretty simple, she says; as the wedding day approaches, thin women get thinner and the heavier women get heavier. The hypothesis here (expressed by the dress maker) is that the weight loss/gain depends on how these women deal with the stress of the event: thin women don't eat or lose their appetites when stressed while heavier women eat in response to stress.
Aside from how general a statement you can make about relation of the stress/eating/weight factors, the fact that she's able to accurately size dresses based on this simple rule is another reminder of how misleading it can be to rely on asking people about their potential behavior. As a web designer, one the most valuable things I learned when building sites was that watching people use prototypes or web sites was way more useful than asking them what features they wanted.
It finally rains in Phoenix after 143 days without precipitation. I posted about the lack of rain on my site the other day and reader Dino called the site "the modern equivalent of a rain dance" because "it finally rained here the day after you posted that article". Heh. (thx, dino)
A list of the best license-free quality fonts. From a few months ago, but still useful.
List of science books up for the 2006 Aventis Prize. Need. More. Time. For. Reading.
Why do boys like girls books like Little House on the Prairie? When I was a kid, I read a lot of "girl" books (mostly my sister's), including all the Little House books, all the Anne of Green Gables books, a few Nancy Drews, some Judy Blumes, and, uh, even the first several Babysitter's Club books.
What's wrong with the Gap? Daniel Gross approaches it from an economic standpoint (with a Jared Diamond analogy, no less) while Lucinda Rosenfeld examines the retailer's clothing woes.
LibriVox provides free audiobooks of works in the public domain. Includes Robinson Crusoe, Call of the Wild, Treasure Island, and Pride and Prejudice.
If you've been following the lost camera story, there's a happy ending for you...Judith got her camera back from the mean Canadian family.
Rediscovered this while looking for something else last night: a list of questions from a panel Jeff Veen, Jason Fried, and I did on Design for Web 2.0 in Octobr 2004. Have we made any progress?
MC Hammer has posted a love letter to Barry Bonds on his weblog. "As you close in on the record, and the day of reckoning is at hand, there will be many attemps by the bloodhounds to shake you and force you to quit." David Jacobs thinks the fans and the media are being hypocritical about Bonds' situation.
Open source type design MAR 09
In Five Steps to Font Freedom, Adrian of Be A Design Group suggests some ways to improve typography on the web, noting that you don't need to own the fonts in books, movies, newspapers to view works in those media. The fifth suggestion is interesting, even outside of that particular goal:
5. Build Free Versions of the Classic Fonts
If we can't convince the font companies to set their versions of classic fonts free, we will recreate them ourselves. The great fonts are based on designs that are centuries old that can't possibly be protected by copyright law. Although it would be a major task, the collective power of the online community could create quality versions of classic fonts. Little by little, we can build an open source classic font library! Does anybody have a complete set of the original Garamond that I can borrow? Let's get started...
Applying the open source development process to make freely available and modifiable versions of classic fonts like Garamond, Caslon, Bodoni, Baskerville, etc. is a fantastic idea.
Jeremy Keith on comments: "I'd like to propose a corollary of Sturgeon's Law for blogs: Comments should be disabled 90% of the time."
The NYC Dept of Health is cracking down on the practice of sous vide (low temperature cooking of vacuum packed food for better tenderness and flavor) in the city's restaurants. Also this tidbit: Thomas Keller is doing a sous vide cookbook...is Rulhman involved?
Under Odysseus is a weblog written by Eurylochus, a Greek participating in the Trojan War. "There was a lot of shit-talking. Hector kept shouting that Ajax wasn't much of a substitution for Achilles. Ajax would respond that Hector was just flattering himself." (thx, mark)
The Museum of Modern Betas features 67 pages (and counting) of Web 2.0 sites that are in beta. This might also be Yahoo's shopping list.
John Battelle's book, The Search, is not available on Google Book Search because his publisher, Penguin, is suing Google over Book Search. On Penguin's decision, Battelle says, "I totally disagree with it" and "It's very irritating to me". (via jb)
The Guardian on spam poetry. I featured the work of noted spam poet Gary Milano (firstname.lastname@example.org) a couple of years ago. See also Outside the Inbox, a compilation of songs inspired by spam subject lines.
Update: And The Words of Albert Spamus.
Report from Etech on Jeff Han's demo of a "multi-touch user interface". Be sure to watch the videos linked to at the end...it's the interface from Minority Report in action.
Jupiter is growing another big red spot. The gas giant has been told by solar system pals to "keep an eye on it" and "have it checked out" if it gets any bigger.
Mountain anatomy MAR 07
M: That sign says Killington is "The Heart of the Green Mountains".
M: But there's a sign in Rochester that says the same thing. Which one is the actual heart?
J: Maybe the Green Mountains are like Klingons and have two hearts?
Not a big surprise, but it looks like Barry Bonds took all sorts of performance-enhancing drugs in the last few years of his career, including the season he hit 73 home runs.
Trailer, X-Men 3. Why am I so excited for this?
Critics pan some Academy Award-winning films. Said Slate's David Edelstein of Life is Beautiful: "Benigni's movie made me want to throw up."
I can't believe The Legend of Zelda is 20 years old. One of my proudest gaming accomplishments was beating Zelda without dying, using only the wooden sword.
Three years ago, Jonathan Rauch wrote an article for The Atlantic Monthly called Caring for Your Introvert, one of my favorite pieces of magazine writing ever. He recently did an interview about the piece, which is the most popular article ever posted to the Atlantic's Web site.
Eliot Shepard has some advice for those entering a photography competition...or really, on how you might go about taking a good photo.
Modernist prefab houses are all the rage these days. "Designed by architects, constructed in factories and trucked to their sites, these houses had the look the couple wanted, at a lower price." The Dwell House had a lot to do with current interest is modern prefab housing.
Kirby Puckett dies at age 45. Aw, shoot. As a local, I cheered the Twins on to their two World Series victories...I can still hear Bob Casey's "KIR-beeeeeeeeee PUCK-it" echoing around the Metrodome.
Amanda Spielman created a brochure for Ephemeral City which she handed out on the F Train. "The brochure -- an aesthetic cross between McSweeney's and Edward Tufte -- evokes a fantasy culture where poetry and bicycle riding are exalted pastimes, and geographic features have names like Sea of Enumeration and Untold Islands."
The intro to The Simpsons, performed with real people. YouTube is almost endlessly diverting.
Wired Magazine profiles Josh Davis. Davis typically gets too much credit for being controversial and too little for his work. His speeches/appearances are well worth seeking out; they're entertaining, informative, and inspiring.
I'm surprised Crash won the Best Picture Oscar last night, but Time's Richard Corliss thinks it makes sense, given that the movie was about LA. I really liked Crash when I saw it back in June, so I'm not disappointed.
Want to learn how to be a MAR 06
Want to learn how to be a doctor? Check out these surgery videos on Google Video.
Reading about someone watching the Oscars is just as interesting (if not more) as watching the Oscars. I'm sans TV tonight but have plenty of Internet...whaddya gonna do?
Update: Bruce's technique is very close to that of Alain Ducasse...but Ducasse finishes the steak with butter and garlic. Whoa, momma. (thx, bryan)
A world map with the current locations of hundreds of ships. Fascinating. Look at how crowded the vast Pacific is.
I recently linked to a debate between Adam Gopnik and Malcolm Gladwell about health care that took place in 2000. Gladwell has recently updated his thinking on the issue here and here, saying that "I now agree with virtually everything Adam said and disagree with virtually everything I said". (via lots of readers last week, when I forgot to post about it...was spurred into action this AM by this)
Jonathan Crowe ran an Olympics-themed weblog for Athens 2004 and Torino 2006. Interestingly, the 2004 version got a lot more traffic, but more recent one made him more money via Google AdSense. "Whether [the increase is] due to better ad block positioning, 'better' ads (more on-target or more lucrative), a 'better' audience, or simply a more mature advertising network, I have no idea."
Olympics wrap-up MAR 03
I've got a few stories about the Winter Olympics open in tabs, so in the interest of getting rid of them:
- Photographer Vincent Laforet discusses his process in getting the photographs he wants.
- How the broadcast graphics were done for NBC's coverage of the Olympics.
- The Nation on what went wrong with NBC's coverage.
- Here's the New Yorker's take on the TV coverage.
Finally, Gelf Magazine compares Olympic predictions with the actual results. The media outlets surveyed all predicted higher medal counts for the US, but weren't off by that much (aside from the ridiculous AP predicitons). Only NBC and Nike were surprised that Bode Miller sucked so royally.
Part 2 of the Bill Simmons/Malcolm Gladwell conversation is even better than part 1. They really rip into what Isiah Thomas has done as GM of the Knicks. "The mess [Thomas] is creating right now in New York will be studied by business school students 50 years from now alongside Enron and pets.com."
DIY book publishing MAR 03
That's exciting. These numbers demolish the sales pace of our first book, Defensive Design for the Web, which was released through the traditional publisher/bookstore model. DIY publishing: There's a new sheriff in town.
If you do the math, that's ~$33,000 in sales in one day. I don't know what the advance would be on a book like that, but they've got to be approaching it, and if/when they reach that figure, the profit margin on subsequent sales will be much higher than the royalties paid by a publishing company. Interesting experiment.
Girlhacker's annual listing of what's in the goodie basket that gets handed out to presenters and performers at the Oscars. In the bag this year: Canadian travel, an espresso machine, olive oil, and days of free hotel stays. (via waxy)
Andy got a cease and desist from Bill Cosby's legal team for hosting the satirical House of Cosbys videos, and he's going to fight it. "More than anything, this strikes me as a special kind of discrimination against amateur creators on the Internet. Mad Magazine, Saturday Night Live, South Park, The Simpsons, Family Guy, and countless other mainstream media sources have parodied Bill Cosby over the years."
Part one of a wonderful rambling email exchange between sportswriter Bill Simmons and Malcolm Gladwell. Part two on the morrow. (thx, richard)
The Captain of Design himself points us to the ski trail maps of James Nieuhues. Nieuhues is a prolific fellow...he's done paintings for most of the large ski resorts in the western US.
BurgerClub is a message board for hambuger enthusiasts. NYC-centric, but includes other locales.
Fractal bacteria MAR 02
Pruned has collected some lovely petri dish scenes full of fractal patterns.
Billions and billions of bacterial landscape architects pruning -- no less in environments poisoned with antibiotics -- other bacterial landscape architects, dead or alive, to form dazzling arabesque parterres. The self-organizing embroidery of organisms in constant Darwinian mode.
Out of Sight MAR 01
Or as I now like to call it, Ocean's Ten. (Also, I like Don Cheadle a lot, but I just don't find him plausible as either his nutball former boxer criminal role in Out of Sight or as the Cockney thief in Ocean's Eleven/Twelve. Soderdude, find a better character for him in your next film.)
Russia plans to drive a golf ball off of the ISS with a gold-plated, scandium alloy six-iron into a four-year, low-earth orbit....which may actually damage the space station if the ball is not "hit out of the station's orbital plane". I understand this event will be debuting at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing.
Quick interview with Nick Park about Wallace and Gromit. I'm testing an experimental Salon feature where if you click through to an article from kottke.org, you don't have to apply for a Day Pass to read it...let's see if it works.
Update: Didn't quite work for me...clicking the link took me to Salon's front page, not to the article. I clicked the back button and tried again and it worked the second time. Anyone else have a problem with it?
Update #2: Other people are having the same problem and Salon is looking into it.
A statement on art statements. "I have no way of actually proving this, but I am convinced that many photographers do not have all that stuff from their statements in their heads and then go out to shoot the photography. I have the suspicion that some of them, after having shot their photos, have a hard time writing something that can pass as a statement, because 'I just wanted to take beautiful photos of rubble piles' somehow doesn't appear to be acceptable."