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Jun. 8th, 2010


Kathryn Schulz has posted a wonderful interview with Ira Glass on being wrong to Slate. It's part of a larger series that includes entertaining interviews with Anthony Bourdain and Joe Posnanski, and this might be my favorite bit:

But there's a really fascinating instance of what you're talking about in Chuck Klosterman's new book [Eating the Dinosaur]. I feel like this is a really weird example to bring up, but he interviews me and Errol Morris about interviewing. It's a really funny chapter because I give all of these totally Pollyanna answers—I mean, things I really believe, but I'm like [here he goes into an earnest falsetto, like a very sincere Chipmunk] "I just think that people open up because they sense that somebody's really interested. It's just a natural human thing."  And Errol is like "I DOUBT WHETHER WE KNOW OURSELVES, AND THE ACT OF BEING INTERVIEWED IS AN ACT OF ASSERTING A SELF WHICH WE HOPE IS TRUE." Seriously, every answer is like this. I'm like, "I just think it's really swell being interviewed!" And he's like "THERE IS NO SELF."

Jul. 1st, 2009

When worlds collide

A few years ago, there was a trend of ads featuring tiny pixelated depictions of musicians and other celebrities; maybe you know the ones I'm talking about.  It was amazing to me how recognizable some of them were at such a small, blocky scale.  I never learned who created them, and after the ads stopped running, I forgot all about them.

Earlier today, an ex-colleague Facebooked a link to some clever and funny baseball-related infographics.  These are great on their own, but the amazing thing is they're done by the same guy.  This is like discovering that the head chef at my favorite local restaurant also plays the drums for my new favorite rock band.  It's just not done.

Anyway, some of you may get a kick out out of one or both of Craig Robinson's sites: miniature pixel art portraits and baseball infographics.

Mar. 6th, 2009

Detroit Rock (Bottom) City

According to this article, the median price of a house sold in Detroit in December was $7,500.  Another source estimates that the median is around $10,000, with the average listing price more than seven times that.

For comparison, the latter source pegs the median sales price in New Orleans as $103,172.  It's difficult for me to picture what living in Detroit must be like if housing values are a tenth of what they are in a city that was devastated by Hurricane Katrina.

Feb. 17th, 2008

This is why I listen to MIT's radio station.

Listening to WMBR a few days ago, I heard what I can only describe as a kabuki-lounge version of Deep Purple's "Smoke on the Water".  Thanks to YouTube, I can share.

Dec. 16th, 2007

Robotics, peeps, and anthropomorphism

It takes surprisingly little to make a small yellow peep-bot seem alive:

This is an actual robot and not just video fakery, also.

Nov. 1st, 2007

Photographic recap of my trip to Asia

It only took me three weeks, but I've finally uploaded and organized my photos. You can check out either the Beijing half of my trip or the Seoul half.  If you're curious, this is how the week played out:

  • Day 1: Fly from Boston to Seoul via NYC.
  • Day 2: Fly from Seoul to Beijing.  Visit the Forbidden City and Tiananmen Square.
  • Day 3: Attend the Daum Developer's Conference.  Wander briefly around Beijing.
  • Day 4: Visit the Great Wall and Ding Ling Tomb.  Fly to Seoul.
  • Day 5: Visit Gyeongbokgung, the National Folk Museum, Insadong, and COEX Mall.
  • Day 6: Work in the Daum office.  Go out for dinner and drinks.
  • Day 7: Fly back to Boston via NYC.
You can read some of my impressions in the captions of the photos, but I'll sum up the trip with this: I had a fantastic time.

Sep. 18th, 2007

Now that's a career change

My previous boss recently made an appearance on WWE's Raw in which he was pantsed and beaten by Vince McMahon's illegitimate leprechaun son.

Clip available here. Just click on the "Adopt a Leprechaun?" video.

Sep. 5th, 2007

Ahead of his time

I've mentioned to a few of you that Jim Henson's pitch to CBS for The Muppet Show was hilarious. Thanks to a widget we put together here at work, I can now share it (and a few other Muppet highlights):

And to think CBS rejected Henson after this.

This is a slightly edited version of the pitch, actually. The original ended with Kermit appearing in front of a CBS logo and saying, "What the hell was that?"

Aug. 21st, 2007

Some marketing departments are very confused.

Since I use Amazon to buy gifts fairly often, it's not unusual for their recommendations to not quite fit my own interests.  But Stories of Jesus: My Giant Fold-out Book?  Where did that come from?

Even more puzzling is a piece of junk mail I received recently.  The front of a glossy fold-out features a photo of a shirtless thirty-something guy with a shaved head and tattoos.  Labels beside the photo describe him as an Archaeologist, Beach Volleyball Player, Hopeless Romantic, and Audeo Wearer.  Inside, the fold-out advertises the Audeo, which at first glance looks like a tiny cellphone with an earbud; one caption calls it a "personal communication assistant".

The best part?  The Audeo is actually a hearing aid.  So if you know a hunky, romantic, and hearing-impaired archaeologist-athlete who has a child-like love of Christ, I've got the perfect gifts for him.

May. 26th, 2007


The upcoming Guitar Hero Encore: Rocks the 80s should be fun, but the songs revealed in the official announcement of Guitar Hero III look awesome to me:

* Paint It Black (by The Rolling Stones)
* Cherub Rock (by Smashing Pumpkins)
* Sabotage (by Beastie Boys)
* The Metal (by Tenacious D)
* My Name is Jonas (by Weezer)
* Knights of Cydonia (by Muse)
* Rock And Roll All Nite (as made famous by Kiss)
* School's Out (as made famous by Alice Cooper)
* Slow Ride (as made famous by Fog Hat)
* Cult of Personality (by Living Colour)
* Barracuda (as made famous by Heart)

"Knights of Cydonia" is one of the songs I most hoped would make it to the series--you should watch the video if you haven't already--and "Paint It Black" spent most of a high school summer on heavy rotation in my tape deck.  All of the other songs I actively like or at least find amusing.

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