Stuff from August, 2007

This is the archive of tumbledry happenings that occurred on August, 2007.



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I believe that oatmeal consumption and an interesting personality are not mutually exclusive. Good news for my oatmeal habit.

Auto Prefix

I’ve been thinking about the prefix “auto.” Scientifically, there’s the autoionization of water, autotroph, autoclave, etc. So, of course, the word “automobile” makes sense in that the machine appears “self-mobile.” These all are very simple on their own, but it is interesting to see the intersection between science and an Americanism. (Forgive me, my use of that term is a bit of a misnomer, given that the shortening of the word resulted in the word “auto,” which is the actual Americanism).

Microwaves and Grandpas

Yesterday, I uninstalled my family’s old microwave from the wall on which it hung for over a decade. The darn thing weighed 90+ pounds. The thing is, though, I had help (and I needed help; I had no idea how to get the contraption off the wall). My grandpa Bup was there: he’s 81. The thing is, Bup is still downright sprightly - he brought over a bucket of tools appropriate for the job, and immediately set to work.


Puppy vs Kitty

Yes, a video entitled “Puppy vs Kitty” is exactly what you’d expect. If shown to everyone around the world, this could bring about world peace.

Conan O’Brien Quote

If you can laugh at yourself loud and hard every time you fall, people will think you’re drunk.

— Conan O’Brien, Harvard Commencement Address, 2000

Bridge News and Updates

I don’t know if those of you in the area will be coming to tumbledry for updates, but here’s what I can gather about the bridge collapse so far. I’ll try to keep this updated with facts as they roll in.

Today, August 1, between 6 and 6:15pm, the north and southbound lanes of 35W collapsed at the bridge over the Mississippi River. Here is a Google Map of the location. The bridge, built in 1967, was undergoing routine repairs to the bridge deck this summer, but not to the underlying structural girders. Crews working to repair the bridge were on site at the time of the collapse; their status is currently unknown. A school bus full of children was on the bridge during the collapse; they were all evacuated safely from the back of the bus. At least one casualty has been confirmed, though I have heard reports of up to 3 dead. At around 7:30pm, I heard reports of 16+ injured.


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The Whole Gang

The Whole Gang

I really like the way this picture turned out.

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Murdoch and Wall Street Journal

Andrew Ross Sorkin speaks about Mudroch’s seemingly imminent purchase of The Wall Street Journal in this video clip from the Charlie Rose Show.

“The New York Times is going to have to compete against a business [The Wall Street Journal] that will likely lose money and not care.”


Steve Says Hey

Steve Says Hey

Finding Your “This”

Conan O’Brien’s commencement address at Harvard makes a pretty quick read and an excellent examination of fantastic comedy writing. In addition to functioning on the levels of entertainment and humor, the speech goes a step further: it actually inspires. This line between laughter and inspiration is particularly difficult to walk in public speaking, but Conan did so quite successfully here. I’d highly recommend reading the entire speech, but here’s my favorite part, in which Conan speaks about starting up [Late Night with Conan O’Brien] in 1993.


Hello, Pups

Hello, Pups

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Federer Slow Motion

This slow motion video of Roger Federer gives a person a good perspective on how expertly he uses his wrists and follow-through form. It’s a nice compliment to the occasionally fuzzy but always amazing Top 10 Best of Roger Federer.

Hans Rosling and Statistics

Have you ever seen software that animates and compares data in an utterly useful yet also entertaining way? I hadn’t, until this presentation… At last year’s Technology, Entertainment, Design (TED) conference, the Swedish leader of the organization Gapminder gave a fantastic talk. Here’s the video of “Hans Rosling: Debunking third-world myths with the best stats you’ve ever seen”.


Sousaphone Hero

The picture is only the beginning in “Activision Reports Sluggish Sales For Sousaphone Hero.”

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This is a Tree

This is a Tree

The rented lens made shooting just about anything fun.

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Interesting Logo Placement

Interesting Logo Placement

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Bridge Collapse Resource

I’ve stopped updating my recent post about the bridge collapse, as information can reliably be located at many places online. One particularly useful website to follow is the Star Tribune’s Ad-Free dedicated page covering the collapse and all the associated, from the human stories to the engineering work to assess the cause.




Chuck Picture

Welcome to the best picture ever. “dooce: Not very happy about his recent bath.”

Bias Lighting

In the Instructables article “Bias lighting on the cheap,” an extremely inexpensive way to backlight your monitor is described. These backlights (also called bias lights), cast a pool of light behind your monitor, significantly reducing eyestrain. I’ll have to try this sometime. The interesting part that makes this all so cheap: “Most expensive bias lights are 6500K (which is the colour tempature of white on nearly all LCD and plasma screens) Fortunately, most daylight simulation bulbs are that, too.”

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Simple Portrait

Simple Portrait

Mykala’s Funny

Mykala’s Funny

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Pull Chain for Light

Pull Chain for Light

Metro Jam

This is the Twin Cities band my uncle Chris is in: Metro Jam Band - Classic Dance Favorites Plus Today’s Top Hits. I dig the sound, and they’re great live! Oh, and Chris also teaches guitar lessons.

Flowery Field

Flowery Field

Ikea Warehouse

Jason Kottke writes, in a caption of a picture of the inside of Ikea: “The Ark of the Covenant is in there somewhere.” A commenter replies: “And you have to build it by yourself.”

Green Tint

Green Tint

The lens blurred that green background into something very pleasing to the eye.

Pollen Time

Pollen Time



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Cookie Dough

Yesterday, just before the late-night power outage at Mykala’s apartment, we discovered that she is the same age as cookie dough ice cream.



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Tokyo Pool Packed

In this short article and accompanying movie clip, “Tokyo Summerland wave pool manages to fit in some water,” we find that the pool was packed really really closely because the wave mechanism was broken. Then, said mechanism begins working. I’ve never seen so many people floating in such a small space.

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Round Sunset

Round Sunset

I’m thinking it may have been good to crop to the sunset a bit closer. Who knows.

Finished Deck

Finished Deck

Bird Comic

Great comic: “man it’s great to be able to fly!” It actually took me a while to figure out the location of the scene… I doubt you’ll have the same problem.

Perfect Day

Perfect Day

Alone in a Crowd

You may have all read the mainstream media blip two years back about an extensive thread on a message board simply called “i am lonely will anyone speak to me.” In fact, over three years after it’s creation, you can still read the thousands and thousands of responses to one person’s plea for a human connection. The stark reality is that three years ago, many of the most active citizens of the internet were technologically minded, shy individuals. So, from this preponderance of socially awkward people, there was bound to come a post like this, with a corresponding outpouring of responses. Naturally, as the demographics of the internet have evolved, the responses have also diversified. However, the central point remains: the cold online world still feels lonely to many people. A 2004 article in the New Yorker, called, “Hello, Loneliness” put forth a good summary:


Ordinary to Extraordinary

Here’s a great write-up from blurbomat.com about “How to Turn an Ordinary Photo Into an Extraordinary Photo”. I really like his masking technique - I never got around to figuring out how to feather the edges of a selection properly. Good stuff.

Flower Zooming

Flower Zooming

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Trading Yesterday

Trading Yesterday is a great take on uplifting alt rock. Very major chords — which I’ve been known to love. They’re changing their name soon and releasing an album in the next month or so.

I’m not sure why they are changing their name… I wonder what they will be called in the future?

What Do You Think?

What Do You Think?

Rain Luminosity

Rain Luminosity

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Silly Job Interview

Katy showed me this hilarious Monty Python sketch on the DVD’s I got her for Christmas. It’s called the “Silly Job Interview.” I like how the guy starts hyperventilating with “Oh dear, I don’t think I’m doing very well!”



They should have a store that sells Harry Potter themed furniture named Potter Barn.




Flat out, without a doubt, straight up, indubitably gorgeous letter pressed wedding invitations are produced right here in Minneapolis, MN by Armato Design. Watch their quick video (the one labeled “2 color job”) of the printing process, complete with fun music from the movie Amélie (the song’s called “La Noyee”). If you would like to buy some of their work straight away, Armato’s on etsy, too: http://armatodesign.etsy.com.

Top Speed

We’ve all already heard it in the news already: Steve Wozniak, the co-founder of Apple Inc., was recently pulled over in California for driving at a rate of 104 mph (167 km/h) in his Toyota Prius. You may read the original article by Gary Richards at the San Jose Mercury News website: “Can Prius top 100 mph? Ask Wozniak.” Now, according to the list of speed limits in the United States, Mr. Wozniak was likely in an area where the speed limit was 70 mph, putting him 34 mph above the legal limit and therefore justifying his approximately $700 ticket. I believe Woz’s story of 104 mph (though cops do sometimes get speeds wrong, as in this recent story from my state: “Motorcycle enthusiasts question 205 mph ticket.”) I do not, however, believe Woz’s explanation.


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This technique makes for interesting people photography: close-up, brightly lit, incorporating the element of surprise. These are surprised flowers.

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Rooster Doorstop

Rooster Doorstop

Baby Beluga

Follow a mini blog about a week-old beluga whale calf at the Shedd Aquarium’s Beluga Calf Update. This is all old-hat for the whale mom Mauyak (which means “melting snow” in Eskimo), because this is her 6th calf. I particularly appreciate Cute Overload’s commentary in their post titled My First “PPPBBBBFFFFTTTHH!!!:




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50 States

Can you name 50 states in 10 minutes? Find out at David Friedman’s website, “Ironic Sans.” Mykala and I got 47 states. I won’t tell you which ones we missed.

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Through Some Glass

Through Some Glass

Wide Kitchen

Wide Kitchen

This is how you take pictures of rooms if you are selling a house: high up, wide angle, well lit with multiple light sources.

Methane Rocket Video

The video of this recent test of NASA’s methane-powered rocket is a dazzling feast of color and sound. The evening sunset desert surroundings (which I am sure were chosen for their scientific, not artistic, value) provide the perfect backdrop for the futuristic looking flame. The part of the video where the rocket goes from pre-burn to ignition is absolutely outrageous. A bit about the methane rockets:


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Deja Vu

Deja Vu

YouTube Comments

Thank goodness, YouTube has finally added comment ratings; set the threshold to “great (+10 or more),” and bask in the pleasure of not being assaulted by the fallout from illiterate morons writing the first thing that pops into their heads.


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Saturated Burlap

Saturated Burlap

From My Nikes

From My Nikes