Monthly Archive for December, 2007

Letterman Makes Deal With Striking Writers

Breaking news from late-night TV land:

Most of the late-night comedy shows are going back on the air January 2, however CBS will be the only one with writers. I still can’t fathom how John Stewart and Stephen Colbert are going to cope without their writing staff – my fear is that both shows will be slightly more awkward versions of Charlie Rose, (if that’s possible), with better production values.

Kudos to Dave’s negotiators, and let’s hope that the bigger companies step forward and offer to work out something reasonable as well.

People David LettermanUPDATE: Dave kept the beard! This photo is from the taping of his January 2 show.

Happy Christmas!


On Turning 30

Happy Birthday, John! from Pirata718 on Vimeo.

December 22 came and went, and now I’m 30 years old. I can’t even comprehend that statistic. Growing up, I figured that I would have accomplished so much by that age – it seemed so far away. Today, 40 seems ridiculously far away. There is probably some kind of lesson in that.

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The Mitchell Report

The Mitchell Report was released today, confirming what everybody already knows – baseball players use performance enhancing drugs. It is interesting to note that while no prominent current Red Sox players are listed, more than a dozen Yankees, past and present, were among the 80-plus players identified.

Hmmm… (twoosh)

Google Maps: Boston Street View

It was announced yesterday that Google Maps’ Street View comes to more cities, including Boston. So naturally, I looked up our previous apartment in Cambridge, MA. The weird thing is that myself, and our friends/upstairs neighbors Tyler and Sarah are pictured!


We’re having our moving sale, and that’s my Saab in the foreground. I can probably peg the date taken to August 11th or 12th, 2007 – the weekend before we moved.

Click the photo to see notes, look at it big, or check it out on Google Maps yourself. I am a little creeped out.

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Two essential iPhoto Plugins

There are two iPhoto plugins that I couldn’t live without – FlickrExport, and Keyword Manager.


If you like photos, Flickr, and OS X, and don’t know about FlickrExport, then shame on you. It’s a nice little plugin that will let you easily export photos from iPhoto to Flickr. It converts your assigned iPhoto keywords to Flickr tags, enables you to add titles and descriptions, and choose to either add the photos to a new set, an existing set, or none at all – all within the dialog window.

The one rub is that it is made by an independent developer, Fraser Speirs, who has to feed his family – so, he charges about $25. A nominal price for something that has saved me hundreds of hours, and enriched my Flickr experience.

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Playing Around with the Google Chart API

I’ve been playing around with the new Google Chart API, released earlier today. The API enables easy creation of charts, dynamically:

The Google Chart API returns a PNG-format image in response to a URL. Several types of image can be generated: line, bar, and pie charts for example. For each image type you can specify attributes such as size, colors, and labels.

My example is shown below. I can think of a lot more convenient methods of creating graphs, especially when chartable data is usually already in Excel or Numbers spreadsheets. Still, pretty fun to play around with – check out what Brian Suda makes of it, on 24ways.


AIGA/NY 2007 Holiday Party

SUNDAY, 9 DEC ’07 from 6:00–10:00PM // Snacks, drinks, dancing, and a live auction by auctioneering expert extraordinaire, John Hodgman.

I am not a member (yet), but thinking about going. It’s worth it just for the wrapping paper.

UPDATE: My one photo of John Hodgman is below the fold.

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Radiohead covers… ::yawn::

I don’t understand why Radiohead is considered by many to be one of the best rock bands of all time. Since The Bends, I’ve been bored.

Radiohead cover of Joy Division/New Order’s “Ceremony”
Sounds exciting, but 30 seconds of this made me want to hear the original instead. One doesn’t think of Bernard Sumner’s voice as in the same league as Thom Yorke, but he wins.

Radiohead covers the Smiths’ “The Headmaster Ritual”
Here again, a lifeless, listless cover. Thom does an unconvincing ape of Moz’s mock-tortured cadence that just ends up torturing us all.

Go ahead and try to convince me otherwise…

Banksy Opening


This past Sunday, we attended the Banksy opening at the Vanina Holasek Gallery in Chelsea. I love Banksy’s work, but it seemed a little odd to see his stenciled work framed and matted in a gallery, with penciled-in price tags labeled on the wall – $30k, $60k, $150k. It seemed a far cry from the street art and subversive work that he’s known for.

Still, he’s one of the more interesting contemporary artists out there – Lauren Collins has a nice profile piece, from The New Yorker in May. And, I love his album artwork for Blur’s last LP, in 2003.

More photos, and a video of Banksy’s subversive museum activity below the fold.

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24 ways: Transparent PNGs in IE 6

Glad to see 24 ways is back, for some holiday (web dev) cheer! Look for a new article every day until Xmas:

When I find some time, I’ll look into making this site a little more consistent in IE6. They’ve also got a nice archive, from previous holiday seasons.