Halloween Mix 2008

October 28th, 2008

Here’s some strong Halloween music.

Enjoy the chills while they last. I’m hoping the world will become a bit less scary after November 4.

Separated at Birth? McCain, Biden, Muppet Eagle

August 27th, 2008


Do you realize that a Muppet is running simultaneously for President and Vice President of the United States?

(Thanks to Nicole LaRusso and Anthony Townsend for pointing this out.)

Sherlock Holmes and the Information Firehose

August 9th, 2008

“…a man’s brain originally is like a little empty attic, and you have to stock it with such furniture as you choose.

A fool takes in all the lumber of every sort that he comes across, so that the knowledge which might be useful to him gets crowded out, or at best is jumbled up with a lot of other things so that he has a difficulty in laying his hands upon it.

Now the skilful workman is very careful indeed as to what he takes into his brain-attic. He will have nothing but the tools which may help him in doing his work, but of these he has a large assortment, and all in the most perfect order. It is a mistake to think that that little room has elastic walls and can distend to any extent.

Depend upon it, there comes a time when for every addition of knowledge you forget something that you knew before. It is of the highest importance, therefore, not to have useless facts elbowing out the useful ones.”

 – Sherlock Holmes, in “A Study in Scarlet” by Arthur Conan Doyle

Microsoft Fail

July 22nd, 2008

Microsoft FAIL

Have you seen the new Vista ad campaign? Ouch.

Cloning the “We Try Harder” campaign would have been a stronger play.

The Reverse Flash Mob. Or: Pradipta’s Rolodex

July 18th, 2008


“It’s like a flash mob, except the surprise is on us, the mob participants. It’s like we were all beamed into the same virtual room by one single person who chose the group of us, and left us to figure out what to make of the situation.”

This situation is especially funny because the guy who “chose” the group was not some cunning mastermind. It was a foolish accident. (Wasn’t it?)

The story.

The Google group.

Perhaps it wasn’t a mistake but a clever publicity gambit. It would have been so easy for him to have staged this. And the bottom line is: If you had asked me yesterday to name a recruiter of Rails programmers, I couldn’t have done it. But from now on I’ll remember Pradipta’s name.

(Thanks to Dav Yaginuma for the tip.)

George Carlin on Death

June 23rd, 2008


RIP George. You shaped the way I think. Sure you were hilarious and socially conscious. But you keenly understood the primal power hidden within words.

I hope that you got your two-minute warning.

Arc Attack: Musical Tesla Coils

June 11th, 2008

Meet the Arc Attack musical tesla mojo. It was my favorite innovation at Flipside 2008. More will spring from this.

It’s a giant sculpture controlled by DJs/musicians who use the electric bolts generated by two big tesla coils as instruments.

“…two specially designed DRSSTC’s (Dual-Resonant Solid State Tesla Coils) act as separate synchronized instruments. These high tech machines produce an electrical arc similar to a continuous lightning bolt which puts out a crisply distorted square wave sound reminiscent of the early days of synthesizers.”

– Arc Attack

More about them here.

Mapping Zimbabwe atrocities

April 1st, 2008

Zimbabwe democracy and human rights advocacy group Sokwanele built a compelling Google maps hack that visualizes news reports of the election-related human rights violations in Zimbabwe.

Such a high-bandwidth service won’t enjoy much viewership in Zimbabwe, where mobile phones and SMS are the new political technologies of choice.

But the Sokwanele map is a powerful way to reach international audiences. In one glance it conveys the larger patterns of what’s going on, and it lets people zoom in and link off for more detail about individual events.

(“Sokwanele” means “Enough is enough.”)

Obama donuts

March 22nd, 2008



I’m an optimist, so I’m going to assume this Dunkin’ Donuts photo is a coincidence – unlike the Bush product-endorsement shots.

The Last Supper in Tahoe

March 4th, 2008

Some of my best friends from New York City and San Francisco came together this weekend to rent a house at Lake Tahoe. We had 13 people at the table and Dav had a clever photo idea:

Click to enlarge

I shot the same moment from the Apostles’ point of view:

Click to enlarge

(Click the photo thumbnails to view originals on Flickr).

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