Stuff from September, 2006

This is the archive of tumbledry happenings that occurred on September, 2006.

Fondue Wars

Fondue Wars

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A great interview with Conan O’Brien

A great interview with Conan O’Brien - It’s a two-parter, with the second avaliable here.

St. Thomas Crest

St. Thomas Crest

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Boxing Gargoyle

Boxing Gargoyle



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New McNeely Light

New McNeely Light

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Monsignor Terrence Murphy

Monsignor Terrence Murphy

A Different Perspective

A Different Perspective

Shot from the 8th floor skyline suites of Morrison Hall.

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Hang On

Hang on, you loyal tumbledry readers - I know it’s been an absurdly long time since my last update … but rest assured that I have something in the pipeline that will make your wait worthwhile. Feel free to speculate what it is exactly that you are waiting for.

Hang in there. Go team.

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Explaining Bowling Scoring

Explaining Bowling Scoring

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Knock ‘em Down

Knock ‘em Down

The Father of the Bride House

The Father of the Bride House - Shown on HGTV, turns out it doesn’t quite look like it did in the movie. Thanks, Mykala!

The Bletchley Park British Turing Bombe, used to crack the German Enigma machines

The Bletchley Park British Turing Bombe, used to crack the German Enigma machines - An article outlining the rebuild of this device from blueprints, etc. This is one of the most stunning electromechanical achievements of our time - it is said to have shortened world war II by two years.


Zoroastrians in the New York Times

Zoroastrians in the New York Times - A tertiary yet fascinating overview of Zoroastrians today and how (ironically) their views towards religion are causing their numbers to dwindle. The heart of the article, I think lies here:

Mr. Dastur is a priest in much demand to perform ceremonies because of his melodic chanting of the prayers. He and his wife, Jo Ann, have two grown daughters. Neither married a Zoroastrian.

“They’re good human beings,” Mr. Dastur said. “That’s more important to me.”

The very tenets of Zoroastrianism could be feeding its demise, many adherents said in interviews. Zoroastrians believe in free will, so in matters of religion they do not believe in compulsion. They do not proselytize. They can pray at home instead of going to a temple. While there are priests, there is no hierarchy to set policy. And their basic doctrine is a universal ethical precept: “good thoughts, good words, good deeds.”

I must only scratch the surface of a tough question, but this seems to point towards the fact that religions, by their nature, must threaten their members with “ours is the one true way” in order to grow.


The Juggling Bus Driver

The Juggling Bus Driver - Things like this restore my faith in humanity.

OK Go’s famous music video for ‘Here It Goes Again’

OK Go’s famous music video for ‘Here It Goes Again’ - Stunning choreography.



Pluto Replies

Pluto Replies - A tshirt summing up the recent “pluto isn’t a plant anymore” fiasco.

Thanks, Katy!

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Einstein co-invented a fridge in 1926

Einstein co-invented a fridge in 1926 - It was powered by heat and uses no moving parts.

Great Expression

Great Expression

Rubber band shooting Lego gun

Rubber band shooting Lego gun - 64+ rubber bands all in a spinning Lego weapon of awesomeness. This guy is brilliant.

Justin, do you understand this?

Justin, do you understand this? - There’s some humor here, but I think it’s over my head. Wait, I found some: there’s actually an application called “Chicken of the VNC.”

You know … Chicken of the Sea.

Banana Guard

Banana Guard - Plastic container storing and transporting individual bananas.

Sky at Home

Sky at Home

You thought the Nano was small

You thought the Nano was small - The new iPod shuffle is so small, the headphone cord almost dwarves (dwarfs?) it.

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Visiting the oral surgeon

Visiting the oral surgeon - Only Matthew Baldwin could make this anecdote funny. Hilarious, even.

Speaker Laminate

Speaker Laminate

Giant Oreo Ice Cream Cookie

Giant Oreo Ice Cream Cookie

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Five Pointed

Five Pointed

A Warm Glow

A Warm Glow

Back to School Blogging

In a rare move, Abercrombie & Fitch Co. (NYSE: ANF) announced details on an upcoming line of clothing for their “abercrombie kids” stores in their press release this past Wednesday. The “innovative line of young women’s clothing” from the popular retailer would prominently feature the words “jailbait” on a variety of styles, cuts, and colors. “We feel that the new JB line from abercrombie kids resonates with the overarching brand image of the attitude and individuality of a younger generation, coupled with the sensibilities of classic style,” said Bert Giusepe, Abercrombie’s director of public relations. In response, upper middle class fathers across the nation issued a collective groan.


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A Fair Street

A Fair Street


I am scared of p-chem. Literally scared. It is not only difficult, but sometimes it makes almost no sense at all. This is the first class where I have sat in lecture and thought “this makes little to no sense.” I guess I’ll have to try even harder.

Back to it, then.

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I suddenly began humming and whistling “New York, New York” in biochem lab today, which in and of itself is not all that interesting (and a bit embarassing, as I am embarassed by most things that I do). However, when I got back to my room - amazingly - there were round-trip plane tickets to New York slid under my door! No, no there were not. That was a lie. A fib. A stretcher. In truth, I returned to my dorm room and promptly looked up the lyrics to said song.


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Jumping to Conclusions is Dangerous

I’d like to issue an apology to the rather frumpy student at the cafeteria who I made some incorrect assumptions about. I assumed that a rather unpleasant cocktail of body-odor type smells issuing from his general vicinity were due solely to his presence. However, I later found out that it was a unique combination of brocolli, cauliflower, vinaigrette, and (possibly moldy) bleu cheese dressing that were the source of the most unsavory and (un)surprisingly BO type smell.


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Sky Ride

Sky Ride

On Peace of Mind

Nina works at the Binz Refectory, and has been there well beyond my four short years at St. Thomas. The thing that amazes me is her ability to stay cheerful, day in, day out, through all those years. I’ve stopped to get food from her in the balmy fall days of September, the early, dark, snowy mornings of February, and on springtime days looking forward to a summer change of pace. I am sure she’s been subect to belligerent students, dropped plates, and the monotony of a food service job … but she never seems unhappy.


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Fresh French Fries

Fresh French Fries

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Too Busy

If I did anything other than write this sentence to keep my promise of one week of consecutive updates, I would be wasting time I could be spending studying.

Tom Thumb

Tom Thumb

Celebrities Playing Table Tennis

Celebrities Playing Table Tennis - Check out the one of Conan.

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A fun picture

A fun picture - Someday, I’m going to write a blog post this awesome

Visual Task Tips

Visual Task Tips - Install this program, and when you hover your mouse over the task bar, it’ll give you a thumbnail preview of the represented window. Very useful. What caught my eye was this is extremely lightweight: just 90kb!

Cautiously Optimistic

Cautiously Optimistic - A this picture is great find by Mykala.

Gumby theme

Gumby theme - Katy found the Gumby theme. Just how I remember it!

Beer cannon

Beer cannon - The best slow motion video of a beer can running through a cantelope that I have ever seen.

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The fabled American Express black card

The fabled American Express black card - This thing began life as an urban legend which American Express picked up on - it’s basically a credit card that you can buy anything with: like, say, jets. The bearer is entitled to amazing perks: “A personal concierge - one person assigned to your account, with a direct phone number and email address …”


The War Over Salt

The War Over Salt - Via kottke.org a couple weeks back, I couldn’t pass up passing this link on the ridiculous amounts of salt americans consume and the consequences of trying to reign big food conglomerate’s use of the substance.

Ze Frank’s presentation at TED

Ze Frank’s presentation at TED - TED stands for Technology Entertainment Design. Even if you don’t find the tech-geek humor funny, Ze Frank has some undeniably useful presentation practices that would be highly beneficial to the typical power point garbage. Via Waxy … you know waxy … the guy who coined the term “star wars kid.”

“The Show” continues to impress me

“The Show” continues to impress me - “First off, i’d like to apologize for whoever told you that your degree would be useful. That was irresponsible of them.” - Ze Frank

Bob Ross, Painting Extraordinaire

Bob Ross, Painting Extraordinaire - I don’t have really clear memories of Bob Ross and his painting show, but I know that it’s hard to argue with someone with such a life outlook: “we don’t make mistakes, we just have happy accidents.” More at Homestar Runner (thanks, Katy!) and the official Bob Ross website.

Useful tips for those on Carroll Ave

Useful tips for those on Carroll Ave - The first link is pointers on finding house plants that are hard to kill. The second covers dealing with pesky cat allergies.


Put down the ducky

Put down the ducky - A Sesame Street classic - this is the extended version. And yes … it is amazing. Thanks, Katy!

Protein Fun for Everyone

The calmodulin protein has two sites where it binds calcium ions in the cell; after it has bound them, it serves as a signal to other proteins of calcium levels within said cell. As an introduction to some of the basic conformational changes proteins undergo, we covered this figure in our cell biology slides yesterday.


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If you are having problems with iTunes 7

If you are having problems with iTunes 7 - This provides information for a fix to the garbled or distorted sounds that iTunes 7 will sometimes make when you change the volume (Windows XP version). This actually didn’t work to fix my iTunes 7 volume problem, so I reverted to iTunes 6 and will wait for a later release of iTunes 7.

Small Clothespin People

Small Clothespin People - This is nothing short of brilliant - make adorably amazing clothespin people, take pictures of them, and then offer them for sale on the global marketplace of the internet. Part of a larger project called … “The Small Object.”

Carting around a 20 inch Notebook

Carting around a 20 inch Notebook - My screen here at tumbledry headquarters is 18 inches … here, Laptop Magazine tests the social impact of carting around (and using) this Dell twenty inch (20 inch!) notebook. The subway picture is especially funny.

Blunt views from ex-college president William M. Chace

Blunt views from ex-college president William M. Chace - This is, hands down, the best, most blunt, most perceptive look at the increasing cost of college, the university-student relationship, and the changing landscape of collegiate life that I have ever read. And it’s only about 18 paragraphs long.


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Primer - a movie of many awards

Primer - a movie of many awards - Made on a budget of only $7000. Time for me to rent this one.

Update: watch the trailer!

One of the best blog posts of all time

One of the best blog posts of all time - It starts like a made up story, but continues with all the humor and twists only real life can provide.

Seasons Pass and Approach

What is it about people that makes us always want the season we are coming up on? The long days of summer with their warm dewy mornings and long nights of sunlight were amazing; somehow, though, during the past three days of clouds and rain I’m not hoping for an indian summer, but I’ve come to look forward to the color changes of autumn, the crisp night air, and the sweet smell of a wood burning fire in a cozy house somewhere near.


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Well, that was awesome

Well, that was awesome - Ben Folds cover The Postal Service song “Such Great Heights.” This is nothing short of tremendous. Nils, I expect commentary from you about said video.

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Sailing Sunset

Sailing Sunset

Mykala and I had a lovely rollerblade around Lake Calhoun.

Quickly, Now

While my slides for tomorrow’s lectures are printing, I thought I would update you all (and my future self … while I write, I typically tend to think of “future Alex” reading “present Alex’s” musings) with my current musical enjoyments.

Dashboard Confessional
They’re coming to St. Thomas, and we are treated to an exclusive (St. Thomas students only), free (FREE!) concert. Intimate venue, big band, all going down about two hundred yards from where I’m typing this. The excitement builds.


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Mykala Face

Mykala Face

Slap in the Face

Slap in the Face

Here Comes an Unexpected Rant

In the central Minnesotan radio market, Clear Channel Communications owns more than one station. Initially, I didn’t think much of this, until I realized truly how many stations it controls: 101.3 KDWB (Top 40), 102.1 K102 (Country), KFAN (AM Sports), KFXN (Sports), 107.9 KQQL (Oldies), 97.1 Cities 97 (Adult Alt.), and 100.3 (News/Talk). If you expand your search across the state, you’ll find 19 stations owned by Clear Channel. Combine this monolithic parent company structure with payola through a third party loophole and non-musical compression techniques, and you have what appears to be a musical wasteland. Grating as it all is, one thing bothers me far more: the capacity to introduce listeners to new music and to provide mechanisms for their feedback is being squandered. The same dang list of songs is being repeated over and over when a simple hour or two per day could be used to facilitate a “we play it and you vote on it online” format. The profits of blaring the same set of songs repeatedly is too attractive to allow for any other methods of playing music.


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Best phone I’ve seen in years

Best phone I’ve seen in years - Ok, get this. This MOTOFONE F3 cell phone I linked to a bit ago … it looks amazing in these pictures. It does nothing extraneous … no pictures, no silly color screen; all in a 9mm thin package. It gets a reported 400 hours of standby time … take a quarter of that to make it realistic and you still get over 4 days of standby time.




Like Like Like, You Know?

Ever overheard conversations that make you sad to share the distinction of humanity with the individuals conversing? How about the ones that make you wish you didn’t have ears? I thought so. Well, on the way to dinner this evening, I was treated to a doozy. As two St. Thomas girls walked south, their paths briefly intersected my own …


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Simple Shoes brand

Simple Shoes brand - Sustainable (renewable) resources go into these shoes. Plus, they look cool, too.

Wondermark, a great comic from last week’s Onion

Wondermark, a great comic from last week’s Onion - A bit of the graphical feel of Married to the Sea, with a more traditional panel layout for the strips.

Wondermark is a funny comic.

Snake and phone

Snake and phone - This is, to me, the essence of hilarity. Thank you, Natalie Dee.

Colbert Roasts President Bush

Colbert Roasts President Bush - Supposed to be overly harsh or something - it all seemed to be simply humor, appropriate for an event of this type. I especially liked the chase scene at the end.

Also … this is old news. See Colbert interviewed on Letterman about the dinner.

New World

New World

Conan O’Brien Sings “Trouble”

Conan O’Brien Sings “Trouble” - With a capital T and that rhymes with G as in “gee we’re screwed.”

Genius opening skit

Genius opening skit - Goodness this is brilliant. As a fan of House, I especially like Hugh Laurie’s cameo in the skit.

Best line: “No, I did not have Conan O’Brien fall through the ceiling.”

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The theremin is played without touching it

The theremin is played without touching it - An electronic instrument invented by a Russian scientist in the early 1900’s … it’s responsible for some creepy sound effects in movies (especially in the 50’s), but also playable as a ligitimate musical instrument.


Musical Pruning

I just hacked out a big music list from my Facebook profile that came off as elitist and pretentious. For posterity, I’ll preserve it here.

(in no particular order), George Winston, Keith Jarrett, Beatles, Jimmy Eat World, Verical Horizon, Death Cab for Cutie, The Postal Service, Nickel Creek, Peter Gabriel, Stephen Speaks, Lifehouse, Radiohead, Dishwalla, Bright Eyes, Dashboard Confessional, Enya, Dirty Vegas, Cornershop, Aberfeldy, The Raveonettes, The Strokes, Dexter Freebish, The Afters, Switchfoot, Cake, The White Stripes, Franz Fredinand, Imogen Heap aka Frou Frou, The Dead 60’s, Coldplay, Silvertide, Steadman, Weezer, Weird Al, The Arcade Fire, Paul van Dyk, DJ Tiesto, Darude (not Sandstorm), DJ Encore, Paul Oakenfold, ATB, Moby, Hoobastank, Something Corporate, Jem, Jamie Cullum, Wheat, St. Germain, Queen, Five Iron Frenzy, Keri Noble, Jack Johnson, Bjork, Benny Benassi, Kasabian, Snow Patrol, Anna Nalick, Smashing Pumpkins, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Paul Simon, Simple Plan, The Shins, Sheryl Crow, Semisonic, Scatman John, Scissor Sisters, Rufus Wainwright, Rockapella, Frank Sinatra, Ben Harper, Loreena McKennitt, Fountains of Wayne, Damien Rice, The Cynic Project, Howie Day, Keane, Telecast, Vince Guaraldi




These adorable little guys had just heard an interesting sound and ran over to see what it was.

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