Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Monday, December 28, 2009


(hadn't even typed anything yet)

I mean when your computer suggests that to you, how can you say no?

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Dan Deacon is in a commercial (for Google Chrome)

So I was just watching something on Hulu when I was treated to a commercial for Google Chrome.  The fact that Google has commercials in the first place is something I'm still getting used to.  But this one was a double-whammy because it featured the Dan Deacon song "Build Voice":

Just 2 years ago Dan Deacon was just this weird guy with some silly songs on a myspace page.  Then he put out an album that wasn't so silly and the indie kids fell all over themselves to praise him.  Then followed a few tours, another album, and more praise.  And now he's making commercials?  Crazy.

For what it's worth, I think the song was well used and the commercial was quite good.  Mainly because of the excellent point Google's trying to make, connecting the fight against software bloat to the feeling of a new computer.  Oh, and apparently Dan Deacon only accepts commercial deals for products he actually thinks are positive.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Desert Bus - Penn & Teller, Video Games, and Charity

Here is a story that begins in the mid 90's.  Clinton was president, the world was at peace, and Jay Leno would nurse you into a slumber every weeknight. (no longer nostalgic)

Janet Reno teamed up with Hillary Clinton to get all into a moral panic about violent video games.  She actually wanted educational videogames or something.  Penn & Teller got word of this, as they were designing a game for Sega Genesis.  So they had the idea to include a mini-game that very realistic and even educational.  It taught you to be a bus driver!

Specifically, Desert Bus would consist of driving a bus from Tuscon to Las Vegas -in real time.  8 hours, through the desert, on a straight road.  With no other cars and a top speed of 45mph.  You could imagine just taping down the accelerator button, BUT they made the bus pull to the right so you constantly have to be correcting it.  And if you mess up and go off the road, they tow you back to Tuscon -also in real time.  What happens if someone had the determination to make it all the way to Las Vegas?  Well, for your excruciating work you get, wait for it.. 1 point.  And then you drive back to Tuscon.

Yes, I know what you're thinking: GENIUS.  Here's some gameplay:

Tragically, this game never made it to stores (surprising, I know).  But bootlegs made it to the internet, so the studious among us can now find and play it.

Which brings me to a recent development, which is an online comedy group who is doing a Desert Bus driving marathon for charity.  Calling it Desert Bus for Hope, they are driving back and forth between Tuscon and Las Vegas as long as donations come in.  Penn Jillette himself has taken note, and the local news reported on this particular kind of torture-for-charity.  People have flooded their site with bus- and desert-inspired images and art, almost constituting a mini-meme.  It's been like 4 days straight now and they've actually raised $83,000 so far.

And they've made an all-time high-score of 13 points!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Sunday, November 8, 2009

"Apple can now swing +6 mace of multitouch at enemies"

That's the title that drew me in to this digg post.

It's reporting that Apple has been granted a patent on the touch gestures (like "pinch and zoom") from the iPhone.  It'd been reported long ago that they were trying to get these patents, which has been real controversial (i.e. "What? You can't patent that! It's like patenting right-clicking!").  And then in January we found out they got it.  Hence "Apple granted +6 mace of multitouch" which they'll be able to swing at companies like Palm which has gone ahead and included pinch and zoom in its Palm Pre.

So I was looking up stuff about that whole deal (actually I was googling "apple touch prior art minority report" but that's another story) and among all the dry headlines was the aforementioned gem.

But really, this post is about the tragedy of unreproducible but genius comedy.

Let me explain.  I was reading the comments on the original digg post, which is pretty much everyone crying out in one voice about how much of a d-bag Apple is being.  I happen to agree, but all I'm going to say is that prior art isn't restricted to Minority Report and goes back to the 80's (also this is an awesome presentation and from 2006).  Then after a litany of serious and diverse points against Apple, I see this (the highlighted one):

I know, I know, I killed the joke long ago.  That's the point, really.  The humor cannot be experienced by anyone else except by coming upon this in the same way I did.

But the more fun point is that this is, like, the point of the internet.  Stuff like this.  It's awesome, and it can't happen in any other medium.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

R.I.P. Captain Lou Albano: Oct 14, 2009

Ok, so if the name and photo don't ring a bell I hope this does:

Honestly.  This may rank as the second most tragic celebrity death of all of 2009.  It's right below Billy Mays.  That's saying a lot.  Oh, and sorry but I'm not just trying to be ironic "oh it's funny to focus on the obscure/humorous figures."  Turns out these guys were just awesome in their own right, and in on the joke.

I looked up stuff about Captain Lou last year and found out that guy was fuckin' awesome.  In the 80's he was a pro wrestler, famous in his own right.  Then he basically just decided to do the Mario Show "for the kids."  Here's his jolly take on his whole career.  The Mario Show comes up at 0:54.  I hope he was as satisfied with everything as he seems there.

Monday, November 2, 2009

High Heel Drag Race 2009

Just realized it'd make sense to post this here. It's my footage of the Dupont Circle Drag Race last Tuesday.

If you're uninitiated, here's Wikipedia's brief introduction.

It was a fun, if rainy time.  I actually knew four contestants, one of whom dressed up as Bea Arthur from the Golden Girls.  Bad. Ass.  Also, I found out later Mayor Fenty was there too.

Max what do you want for dinner?

<3 the first 22 seconds of this:

If I ever have a child, he needs to be this kid.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Google Voice invites comma where is number porting

So it's finally here. Also, I now officially know an actual, real, person-who-isn't-me who's signed up for it. Coincidence??

Now if they'd only get their asses on top of number porting.  According to this summer, Google was supposed to be figuring out how to move a person's existing number to Google Voice, so it goes through their service when someone calls your old number.  So you don't have to get people to use a new number.  It was supposed to be rolling out later this year but a recent Google search will show that official news has been lacking for quite some time.

And apparently now AT&T is startin' some shit, tryin' to sic the FCC on Google.  So I'm sure that's not gonna help things move along.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Monday, September 21, 2009

Wait, but I thought a trillion was big..

Huh. This kinda makes you turn your head on its side in readjusting your perceptions...

From the homepage of Andrew Badr:
Google just announced that the number of unique URLs on the web has reached one trillion. I am proud to announce the second trillion.

btdubs, this is from the same guy that brought us yourworldoftext.  Seems he has a pattern of making things that are outside the normal web fare.

Update: Waak Waak Waak

Currently in the main domain of
that goddamned dog
(see previously posted explanation)

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Sometimes I actually love my generation

Within days:

And the images are just the start of the fun.  The creativity of the bored masses is truly multi-media.  Click read more to see them, cause it all just won't fit before the jump.

The Troll King Himself

Literally.  I have to revise my definition of trolling now.  Mr. West's inspired performance pointed out what should've been an obvious mistake I made, which was to say trolling is "Misrepresenting oneself in an offensive or disruptive way for the purpose of comedy."  Kanye's verbal diarrhea wasn't disingenuous.  He actually meant what he was saying.  And he wasn't just doing it for the lulz.  This troll feeds on drama, not comedy.

Really, I might need to have two definitions.  Unfortunately Kanye is probably the most common type of troll, defined by "causing offense or disruption for the purposes of drama."  The other case is what I was talking about before, when people are consciously acting stupid because they think it's funny.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

The smallest number with no Google results

is 155253458373 as of this moment.

After this moment, either
a) Google will index this page, making this page itself a result for 155253458373 or
b) Am I joking? Google doesn't crawl my page.
In the first case, I'll find out if/when Google visits my page.  In the second case, this post will remain valid.  Win-win?

Here's the actual explanation for this seemingly pointless post: an interestingly recursive question posed by Google Blogoscoped:
"What is the smallest natural number which when Googled produces no results?"
(click on the comments to see how complicated and layered the question can get)
And then this guy used the question specifically to check out Google crawling his blog.

see also: Recursion

Wednesday, September 9, 2009


Crossposted at
See, it's funny, cause that makes it seem like there's serious business goin on, cause this is a Real Blog.

So I'm pretty intrigued by the idea of a troll as a new name for a sub-genre of comedy not tied to the internet. As in, yes, it's very related to the internet but I don't think the internet is integral to its definition. Think of someone who shows up in the crowd at a protest with a "We have no idea what we're talking about" sign. I think even streaking is in the same spirit.

I tried to come up with a definition that doesn't mention posting it online as being requisite:

"Misrepresenting oneself in an offensive or disruptive way for the purpose of comedy. The audience for the comedy consists of the "comedian" himself and those in the disrupted community who understand the humor."

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Your World Of Text

As the creator tells it in his about page, "is an infinite grid of text editable by any visitor. " It's more than just multiplayer notepad. It starts as a field of white spaces, and you can start adding text to any spot you wish. And you see everyone's changes in real time.

So how is this cool? Well, it's basically turned into a big graffiti'd bathroom wall. It's totally anonymous, there's no restrictions on what you can say, and you can write over anything written by anyone else. Of course it's better than a bathroom wall, since it's infinite and real time. So you'll see some people having conversations with each other, and other people making ASCII art or redrawing others' ASCII art. It becomes its own little ecosystem.

Truth be told, a lot if it is pretty lowest-common-denominator. But if you find graffiti interesting anthropologically, it can be fascinating to peruse. Also, since there are many different "worlds" depending on what you put after "" in the url you can find more interesting areas. This is one of the better ones I've found.

Yeah, I made a blog

I figure, why not? It's about time. I've been an avid follower of folks who incrementally publish content for years, so wouldn't it be interesting to see what it's like on the other side? Now what to fill a blog with...

Hey, here's a topic I always have something to say about: cool stuff I found on the interwebs. So why don't I start it there?

Not that I'm comitting to keeping this updated. Or entertaining. Or a worthwhile place to spend time in any way. I think I'll be using this as an outlet for any impulses of "well, if I were writing blog posts, how would I do it?" and also "hey here's this thing I found!"

Oh, and about the title. I wanted something short, memorable, and reasonably easy to spell. snRNPs stands for small nuclear ribonucleoproteins, which is only important because biologists nicknamed them "snurps." Sometimes I'm really impressed by actual terms that biologists made up that sound ridiculous but have become real scientific words. This is the best example of why.