Archive for October, 2008

Sun 19 Oct 2008 8:00 am   //   Posted in: Media, Videos

The O’Reilly Factor summed up in one minute


Sat 18 Oct 2008 10:45 am   //   Posted in: Art, In the news

The world’s most depressed stock broker

From my work blog: Same Stock Trader Keeps Getting Himself Photographed.

This kind of stupidity is what happens when the story – money changing hands – is impossible to photograph. Money changing hands can’t reflect light back onto a camera sensor. Money changing hands doesn’t even exist in space.

See also: Pictures of price signs at gas stations.

If things really go south, that’s when we’ll get some great photos!

Fri 17 Oct 2008 6:40 am   //   Posted in: In the news, Videos

The Penguin will lead off the debate


Thu 16 Oct 2008 11:39 am   //   Posted in: Failure

FAIL is not going out of style

Christopher Beam writing in Slate:

“Most Internet memes have the lifespan of fruit flies. But there’s evidence to suggest fail is here to stay. For one thing, it’s easier to say than failure.”

See also: The Onion: Failure Now An Option.

Thu 16 Oct 2008 8:00 am   //   Posted in: Holga, Photos

My quiet neighbors

Holga photos of Green-Wood Cemetery, Brooklyn:

GreenWood Cemetery Holga photo

Green-Wood Cemetery Holga photo

Greenwood Cemetery Holga photo

Green-Wood Cemetery Holga photo

Wed 15 Oct 2008 2:48 pm   //   Posted in: In the news, Labeling

Cliché alert: Game-changing

“Citigroup banking analysts… called the capital plan ‘a game changer,’
CNNMoney, 10/14/08.

“Obama camp: McCain needs ‘game-changer’ at debate”
The Hill, 10/15/08.

“McCain must create a game-changing moment without being negative.”
New York Magazine, 10/15/08.

“It’s officially a game changer.”
– Apple iPhone TV commercial, 10/15/08.

“They didn’t do anything game-changing.”
– Analyst talking about Apple’s new laptops, Washington Post, 10/15/08.

Tue 14 Oct 2008 8:00 am   //   Posted in: Art, Bicycles

Reinventing the bike rack

Seen in the picture above is the standard New York City bike rack. It’s simple, ugly, indestructible, and barely functional. NYCDOT thinks we can do better, so they’re having a contest to redesign the bike rack. Prototypes of all the finalists have been installed around The Cube in the traffic island at Astor Place.

None of the prototypes proposes an elegant solution to the biggest problems facing the current racks: They can only host two or three bikes at a time, and bikes can fall over and bang up against each other. The present racks are sometimes hijacked by fools who hitch both tires of their bike parallel to the rack, rather than perpendicular to it.

Only one proposed rack looks like a fool-proof way to host four bikes, and it is also the biggest and ugliest.

The rest of the bike racks seem resigned to only accommodate two bikes, but if installed in pairs this could work. Something about the circular racks is appealing. They evoke bicycle wheels, they offer hitching space at a variety of heights to accommodate different-size bikes and chains, and they seem like they’d be durable. I think there is a quiet genius to this design:

Interestingly, one of the judges for the bike rack contest is David Byrne. He even proposed a few bike rack designs of his own just for fun, seen here.

The winner will be announced October 24.

Mon 13 Oct 2008 9:28 pm   //   Posted in: Music, Videos

The corner of Ludlow and Sesame

Apropos of nothing, here’s a music video featuring a puppet behaving badly:

The song is “Sugarbaby” by Morningwood. (Direct link.)

Sun 12 Oct 2008 10:11 am   //   Posted in: Stray data

Google from the distant past: 2001

Renée calls attention to the January 2001 Google database, which was posted online as an historical curiosity. Neat!

I’ve been trying to think of simple phrases that have entered the lexicon since January 2001. For example, a search for “homeland security” brings up only 346 hits. (Today it brings up 21,200,000.) Can you think of others?

Sat 11 Oct 2008 10:33 am   //   Posted in: It's a trap!

When I win the lottery, I’ll become a sports fan

I had a good conversation with my friend Mike a few weeks ago. Mike asked why I, of all people, didn’t have an iPhone. I told him it was because I am wary of anything with a subscription fee attached to it. Because of the data plan, an iPhone would essentially double my monthly phone bill. It’s not a thing you buy once – it’s a thing you keep paying for forever. What do I look like, a sucker?

For the same reason, I don’t have cable. Mike also doesn’t have cable. He observed that the the only reason the two of us can survive without cable is that we don’t care about sports.

He’s right – If I were a sports fan, I wouldn’t futz around. Of course I’d pony up for all the digital ESPN channels. But that’s not all. I’d need a flat-panel big screen, surround sound speakers, a couple of foam fingers, jerseys, jackets, decals, a custom license plate frame, a wind sock, a flag, a life-size cardboard cutout of the coach, massive amounts of Doritos and Yuengling, a salsa dish that plays the fight song, season tickets, and a class A Winnebago with painted in the team colors. Let’s go $tate!