Tag Archive for 'links'

What Could Possibly Make Someone Want to Leave New York and Move to Buffalo?

Buffalo #1
Lisa’s tattoo confirms that Buffalo is indeed #1.

New York mag­a­zine has an inter­est­ing fea­ture on New York­ers mov­ing to Buf­fa­lo, NY, the very city that Lisa and I were raised in and sub­se­quent­ly couldn’t wait to leave from after high school.

Some peo­ple will read this as a sto­ry of defeat. They will look at Her­beck and Cloyd and think, They came; they couldn’t cut it; good rid­dance. That’s also a famil­iar New York nar­ra­tive, one that’s espe­cial­ly com­fort­ing to those of us who stay and stick it out. Because, sure, stained glass and spare bed­rooms are nice and all, but no one moves to New York because they think they’re going to get a great bar­gain on an apart­ment. You move here because you want to live in New York City.

The writer then goes on to say that this is not a sto­ry of defeat, but rather an oppor­tu­ni­ty:

But New York, for all its mythol­o­gy, is no longer a fron­tier. Buf­fa­lo is a fron­tier. And when you think of the actu­al fron­tier, you’ll recall that no one ever packed up and moved West to a gold-rush town because they heard it had real­ly good local the­ater.

Um, okay… Truth is, I know more for­mer 716 area coders that are now in 212 or 718. But, it’s a pro­vok­ing premise for a city famous for lit­tle more than snow and four con­sec­u­tive failed Super­bowl bids.

Neighborhood Envy, Gossip Girl in Carroll Gardens

I’m no stranger to neigh­bor­hood-envy, but it’s nice to hear some direct­ed our way:

Gos­sip Girl Invades Car­roll Gar­dens, Olds Are Befud­dled, Enraged »

I’m going to refer to my neigh­bors as “Smith Street whip­sters (wealthy hip­sters)”, uniron­i­cal­ly and with zero self-aware­ness, from now on.

Blur in Video

Par­lophone Records recent­ly put all 22 Blur videos up on YouTube, which is pret­ty cool. It’s inter­est­ing to com­pare the Pop­scene video from 1992, with the icon­ic Song 2 video from five years lat­er – there are a lot of sim­i­lar­i­ties, (though I wish music video direc­tors would refrain from putting sing-a-long lyrics on the screen).

Blur was my favorite band back in the 90s, and I’ve seen them per­form live a hand­ful of times, the best of which was a rau­cous small show down­stairs at the Mid­dle East in Cam­bridge, MA in 1997. [MOKB]

HD Trailer for “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince”

HD Trail­er for “Har­ry Pot­ter and the Half-Blood Prince” – I would argue that the books get bet­ter in order, and if this trail­er is any indi­ca­tion, per­haps the same is true for the movies.

The Fold”

Chris Fahey on “the fold”:

In fact, we should start think­ing of “the fold” as some­thing oth­er than a hard line with an “above” and “below” por­tion, and we should stop think­ing of the ver­ti­cal posi­tion­ing on a page as equiv­a­lent to pri­or­i­ty. Scrolling up and down through a web page is a fun­da­men­tal aspect of the web user expe­ri­ence, and there is much more to it than sim­ply see­ing what’s on top and then grad­u­al­ly see­ing every­thing else (empha­sis added).

I have no doubt that this is increas­ing­ly true, but won­der why ads are con­sis­tent­ly placed “above the fold”. Is this just a rem­nant of this old­er think­ing, or do they per­form sig­nif­i­cant­ly bet­ter there?

Font Conference

What if fonts were peo­ple? A fun­ny video from the gang at CollegeHumor.com.

Dr. Horrible’s Sing-a-Long Blog

Dr. Horrible’s Sing-a-Long Blog is a fan­tas­tic three-part web-only musi­cal, star­ring Neil Patrick Har­ris. I can’t under­line enough how good this is. Avail­able online for free until July 20th, and then avail­able in iTunes for $3.99.

Apple apologizes for MobileMe’s mediocre launch

Apple apol­o­gizes for MobileMe’s mediocre launch, by offer­ing all users a 30-day exten­sion for free:

The tran­si­tion from .Mac to MobileMe was a lot rock­i­er than we had hoped. We will be extend­ing sub­scrip­tions by 30 days to cus­tomers free of charge to express our appre­ci­a­tion for their patience dur­ing the tran­si­tion peri­od.

Speed up syncing from your Mac to MobileMe

Speed up sync­ing from your Mac to MobileMe » MobileMe isn’t exact­ly “push­ing” so much as “sync­ing every 15 min­utes” – Ars Tech­ni­ca points to a way of speed­ing this up.

MTA Service Changes Posters

The MTA’s Ser­vice Changes posters are get­ting more and more inde­ci­pher­able… This F-train one from this past week­end was a doozy, but we man­aged to make it back and forth from Man­hat­tan with­out inci­dent.

Jessica Lynch Lightening Video

Crazy video of Jes­si­ca Lynch get­ting struck by light­en­ing, while tak­ing a video of a storm. She’s okay, don’t wor­ry. [Flickr Blog]

A 3rd Climber

Peel

Workmen remove a flyer left behind by David Malone, who climbed the New York Times Building several hours before.

For the third time in five weeks, some­one has scaled the out­side of The New York Times Head­quar­ters. This time, how­ev­er, it was over and done before most of us got out of bed:

Unlike the two pre­vi­ous climbers, this one — iden­ti­fied lat­er as David Mal­one, a 29-year-old activist from West Hart­ford, Conn., who stud­ies Al Qae­da — did not attempt to make his way to the roof. Instead, he unfurled a ban­ner around the fifth floor of the 52-sto­ry build­ing, before climb­ing a few more sto­ries.

Con­tin­ue read­ing ‘A 3rd Climber’

Thsrs — The Shorter Thesaurus

Thsrs seems like a good idea: when you’re hav­ing trou­ble express­ing your­self on Twit­ter in less that 140 char­ac­ters, query the only the­saurus that only gives you syn­onyms short­er than the word you’re look­ing up.

omfg, lolz.

Business Week profile of Deborah Kenny

In the cur­rent Busi­ness Week, there is an inter­est­ing pro­file of Deb­o­rah Ken­ny, the founder Harlem Vil­lage Acad­e­mies:

Ken­ny has applied a busi­ness man­age­ment style to run­ning her schools, focus­ing on attract­ing smart teach­ers, nur­tur­ing tal­ent, using reams of data to improve per­for­mance, and putting a huge empha­sis on reward­ing results.

Ken­ny also hap­pens to be Lisa’s boss.

Alain Robert, climbing the New York Times Building

Nev­er a dull moment here at the Times… Today, we wit­nessed Alain Robert climb the New York Times Build­ing on 8th Avenue fac­ing 41st street. I took this with my iPhone on the 21st floor:

Alain Robert

He scaled up the ceram­ic rods that are affixed to the out­side of the build­ing, attract­ing hun­dreds of onlook­ers inside the build­ing, as well as down the street.

City Room has more about Alain and this stunt, includ­ing the news that he was arrest­ed by NYPD after reach­ing the roof – 52 floors up from the street.

Con­tin­ue read­ing ‘Alain Robert, climb­ing the New York Times Build­ing’

Google Earth in 3D

Google Earth now has 3D-build­ings, and it’s real­ly fun to play with. Here is the Times Build­ing, where I work:

Times Building

A 3D rendering of the New York Times Building in Midtown, as shown in Google Earth.

If you have Google Earth installed, see it for your­self. Or, try land­ing on the deck of the Gold­en Gate Bridge, (just zoom in).

There seems to be data for a lot of cities, includ­ing my home town of Buf­fa­lo, and for­mer home of Boston.

New York to Boston for $1?

Yes­ter­day, the Times took a look at a few new entrants into the East Coast dis­count bus trav­el busi­ness:

We’re fre­quent rid­ers on the dis­count Chi­na­town bus lines, despite their ten­den­cy toward break­downs and shenani­gans. And, a while back I was excit­ed about Vamoose Bus, which was sup­posed to begin NYC–Boston ser­vice with free wi-fi and a guar­an­teed seat. This seems to have fall­en through, as there is now no men­tion of Boston on the their web site.

But it’s inter­est­ing to note the emer­gence of Bolt­Bus and MegaBus – because both are owned by tra­di­tion­al bussing com­pa­nies, not scrap­py Chi­na­town star­tups. Grey­hound owns Bolt­bus, and Megabus is run by Coach USA, par­ent of Gray Line sight­see­ing bus line.

Both are tak­ing a “South­west Air­lines” approach by offer­ing cheap­er fares to those who book ear­ly, but last-minute book­ings will cost about as much as Grey­hound. $1 fares are nice, but I’m most inter­est­ed in the free wi-fi, pow­er out­lets, and enter­tain­ment options. Those fea­tures are worth pay­ing a lit­tle extra.

kottke.org is 10

Three cities, two seri­ous rela­tion­ships, one child, 200,000 fre­quent fli­er miles, at least sev­en jobs, 14,500 posts, six designs, and ten years ago, I start­ed “writ­ing things down” and nev­er stopped. That makes kottke.org one of a hand­ful of the longest con­tin­u­al­ly updat­ed weblogs on the web.

Kottke.org is 10 years old today. Jason’s weblog has been a big inspi­ra­tion for me as a weblog­ger; his enthu­si­asm for design, media, sci­ence, and all things web, has launched a thou­sand memes, and made him an indis­pens­able voice in dig­i­tal cul­ture.

Ari Up and the Slits

The Slits

The Slits, Mercury Lounge, Wednesday March 5, 2008 – NYC

It’s not 1976 any more, but it was great to see Ari Up per­form Slits songs. She’s so full of ener­gy, still sport­ing those crazy dread­locks, and was wear­ing a fan­tas­ti­cal­ly ter­ri­ble Amer­i­can-Appar­el-gone-wrong hand craft­ed space out­fit. At one point she com­plained about the tights, and encour­aged every­one to shoplift from AA.

Cut is still a clas­sic record from the post-punk peri­od, and I espe­cial­ly love their cov­er of I Heard it Through the Grapevine. See them at SXSW, or on tour this spring – see Myspace for details.

Barackula: The Musical

Now that Barack Oba­ma is the front-run­ner for the Demo­c­ra­t­ic nom­i­na­tion, there seems to be a lot of fun­ny web­sites pop­ping up. None is more ridicu­lous (and took more work to pro­duce) than this:

On Video

I didn’t make any excit­ing res­o­lu­tions this New Year, except to get back to my fight­ing weight, and land a more per­ma­nent design job. Look­ing back on 2007, one thing that stands out is that my Flickr pho­to­stream final­ly became a more real-time pho­to reflec­tion of my life, with the con­ve­nience of my iPhone and its unlim­it­ed data plan. Sure, the qual­i­ty of my pho­tog­ra­phy might have dete­ri­o­rat­ed, but I’ve always pre­ferred to shoot from the hip any­way. The iPhone suits what I want to do with Flickr.

But for 2008, I’d like to make one small res­o­lu­tion: do more with video. I bought a new point-and-shoot cam­era that does OK VGA video, (Canon Dig­i­tal Elph SD750), so I want to put it to use. It’s out­put is a lit­tle grainy, espe­cial­ly in low light, but I think it suits what I want to do with it.

Here is a lit­tle idea that I got while walk­ing around the Meat­pack­ing dis­trict this past week­end: the The­o­ry store on Gan­sevoort street has these amaz­ing pul­sat­ing col­ored lights in the win­dow – so I shot them, and then looped them in iMovie, set to The Knife’s live arrange­ment of “Heart­beats”:

Con­tin­ue read­ing ‘On Video’

The Island at the Center of the World

The Iowa Cau­cus results last night got me think­ing about the many com­pet­ing polit­i­cal cul­tures present through­out Amer­i­can his­to­ry. Indi­vid­u­al­ist vs. com­mu­ni­tar­i­an, rich vs. poor, urban vs. rur­al… but, at the core of our nation­al psy­che is this ten­sion between the lofty ideals set forth by the Founders, and our attempts and fail­ings to live up to them. For every shin­ing exam­ple of Lin­coln, FDR, and Mar­tin Luther King Jr., there are gen­er­a­tions of back-slid­ers who prey upon fear in order to gain polit­i­cal advan­tage. Sure, to every­thing there is a sea­son, but I’m glad to see that the vot­ers in Iowa embraced hope and reject­ed cyn­i­cism, on both sides of the polit­i­cal spec­trum.

The Island at the Center of the WorldHis­to­ry is writ­ten by the win­ners, which is why Amer­i­cans tend to think of our colo­nial past and demo­c­ra­t­ic begin­nings as built upon and in reac­tion to Eng­lish insti­tu­tions alone – but the sto­ry is a lit­tle more com­pli­cat­ed. It’s not often that I do book reviews, but I just fin­ished re-read­ing The Island at the Cen­ter of the World, The Epic Sto­ry of Dutch Man­hat­tan and the For­got­ten Colony that Shaped Amer­i­ca [excerpt] by jour­nal­ist his­to­ri­an Rus­sell Shorto, and want­ed to rec­om­mend it to any­one look­ing for some inter­est­ing read­ing on the ori­gins of this coun­try.

The tra­di­tion­al telling of colo­nial Amer­i­ca focus­es almost exclu­sive­ly on the Eng­lish colonies in Vir­ginia and New Eng­land. But, Shorto reminds us that the Dutch were the first Euro­peans to set­tle the island of Man­hat­tan, and built some of the most last­ing ideals and insti­tu­tions into the fab­ric of Amer­i­can polit­i­cal and cul­tur­al life.

Con­tin­ue read­ing ‘The Island at the Cen­ter of the World’

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)

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…

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.