Stuff from January, 2008

This is the archive of tumbledry happenings that occurred on January, 2008.

That’s it from 2007

Well, I guess this will about do it for 2007. Mykala and I are baking a cake and watching Comcast channel 107 “CURNT,” which is broadcasting the entire Radiohead In Rainbows album, entitled “Scotch_Mist: a film with Radiohead in it”. It’s really fun to see them (Radiohead) record in these video vignettes. Right now, they are performing “Faust Arp” on a hill in front of a sunset. It’s cooler than my adjective-poor description would have you imagine.


Rome Calendar

Rome Calendar

A gift for Mykala.

Angel Ornament

Angel Ornament

Dead Reckoning

I always thought that dead reckoning was a complete guess about distance traveled. Turns out, it is based on an estimation of important factors like speed and time, not just looking back over the distance covered and making a visual guess thereof:


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I’ve learned a new word today: perspicacious; “having keen mental perception and understanding; discerning: to exhibit perspicacious judgment.” Now, if I can only master the pronunciation of such an unfamiliar word.

Movie: Atonement

Yesterday, I saw the movie Atonement. For those of you curious about the movie and who also want a vocabulary work out, take a read through the Washington Post’s review by Ann Hornaday. Now, though I still have yet to decide if I liked the movie or was merely enchanted by the cinematography, there is one flat-out great shot in the movie which I can not forget.


Sleep & Inemuri

Very few folks are getting enough sleep, that’s certainly clear. There are different ways to cope with chronic tiredness, though the time pressure in most jobs (anything from studenthood to parenthood to careerhood) is rather intense. It’s interesting to see how the Japanese culture has adapted:


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Arty Piano

Arty Piano

Notice the super narrow depth of field. Thanks for the new lens, Mykala! It’s a Canon 50mm f/1.8.



New Year’s champagne.

Most Common Birthday

The most commonly occurring day of birth is October 5:

So why October 5? Just a random date? Perhaps, but Anybirthday has a theory: To be born on this date, a baby would most likely have been conceived on New Year’s Eve.

The survey also found May 22 to be the least common birthday. As yet, no guesses as to what it is that happens in late August (nine months prior to that date) that routinely turns so many people off. Perhaps it’s just too darn hot?


Christmas Cat

Christmas Cat

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Staring Contest

Staring Contest

Paper Airplane

A man in New York tosses a paper airplane out of his window, and a home video follows its 55 second flight. Reminds me a bit of that part of American Beauty where Wes Bentley’s character Ricky films the loops and eddies of a plastic bag in the wind.


It is difficult to describe to you the awesomeness that is encompassed by a series of posts over at The Sneeze blog: the intrepid author goes on a hilarious journey of his father’s artistic endeavors. From the introduction, you know it’s going to be good:


Mykala in Repose

Mykala in Repose

Tina Fey Commercial

I love the part in Tina Fey’s American Express commercial where the assistant answers the phone and says “your daughter says it’s octopus time” followed by a screeching taxi, and then Tina going “blaallalalala” with a stuffed octopus. And 30 Rock is very funny.

Life Dunk

For its Japanese market, Honda makes a car called the Life Dunk. There’s also the Honda That’s, which looks absolutely bizarre.

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Santa Glitter Nightlight

Santa Glitter Nightlight

The Office

Big people have a server at the ‘office.’
The office is a boring place
where big people go and do boring things.

Beach Rules

Beach Rules

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Fungiform Papillae

Well, this is about the best quasi-scientific explanation I’ve read that makes the fact I enjoy oatmeal make any sort of sense at all:

In our modern, energy-rich environment, supertasting may be cardioprotective, due to decreased liking and intake of fat, but may increase cancer risk via decreased vegetable intake. It may be a cause of picky eating, but picky eaters are not necessarily supertasters, and vice versa.




Puritanical, Tyrannical, Overreaching Public Schools

You may enjoy the discussion at Slashdot about an Eden Prairie, MN school attempting to punish students for pictures of the students drinking found on Facebook.


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Dental Bear

Dental Bear

A gift from Katy.

Twin Cities “Cheap Eats”

Kathie Jenkins wrote an article entitled “10 cheap eats under $10” in the Thursday, September 27, 2007 edition of the Saint Paul Pioneer Press. Naturally, the Pioneer Press doesn’t have a version of the article online, and Jenkin’s Pioneer Press-hosted blog only has a teaser for the article, probably due to editorial restrictions. That said, some of the comments at her blog about cheap eats are rather helpful. So, I’ve decided to reproduce her list here, since I’ve been to exactly one of these places and would like to keep them in mind for the future. So, to be clear, what follows is Jenkin’s work, abbreviated here because the Pioneer Press apparently doesn’t want the advertising revenue that could result from carrying old articles. Finally, I’ve eliminated IKEA from the list of places to eat, because my experience there was atrocious. A list of 9, then!


Lens Cap

Lens Cap

Red Paperclip

Red Paperclip

Jet Plane

Jet Plane

This one is a stellar flier.


If you keep saying “bear with me for a moment”, people take a while to figure out that you’re just showing them random slides.

Magnetic Poetry

Magnetic Poetry

Found this in an abandoned office.

Carpet Depth of Field

Carpet Depth of Field

Movies: Cloverfield

Here’s the holding page for forthcoming reviews of the scary movie Cloverfield. Quick summary:

Five young New Yorkers throw their friend a going-away party the night that a monster the size of a skyscraper descends upon the city. Told from the point of view of their video camera, the film is a document of their attempt to survive the most surreal, horrifying event of their lives.



Now this, this is a softbox.

Michael Cera Interview

Michael Cera went on Letterman to promote Superbad this past summer, and he’s unbelievably poised for a 19 year old. Also: he’s 19?! Anyhow, some (63% on Polls Boutique) are saying he’s the next Ben Stiller. We shall see.



Now this is how to shoot a portrait: diffuse light and some good cropping when the photo was taken… instead of cropping after!

Dawkins on Human Perception

A great talk by Richard Dawkins in July 2005, The universe is queerer than we can suppose. A quick summary:

Biologist Richard Dawkins makes a case for “thinking the improbable” by looking at how our human frame of reference — the things we can perceive with our five senses, and understand with our eight-pound brain — limits our understanding of the universe. Think of it: We can’t see atoms, we can’t see infrared light, we can’t hear ultrasonic frequencies, but we know without a doubt that they exist. What else is out there that we can’t yet perceive — what dimensions of space, what aspects of time, what forms of life?


It’s Cold Outside

Forecast for tomorrow: “Bitterly cold. Sunny, along with a few afternoon clouds. High near 0F. Winds WNW at 5 to 10 mph.” That’s a high of -18°C.

Welcome Home

Welcome Home

This wreath hung on our apartment door in 1990 while my family’s house was being built.

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Slashdot Metrication

Ahhh, the advantages of metrication:

Actually, the metric equivalent to a ‘shitload’ is the metric ‘assload.’ As in, ‘That’s an assload of storage!’

It’s much easier to talk in terms of milliassloads, centiassloads, assloads, kiloassloads and mega-assloads than in shitloads; who can ever remember that one shitload=4 ‘whole piles of’ = 7.46 ‘whole lotta’s = 14.5 (14 even in certain states) ‘whole buncha’s = 31 ‘fair chunk of’ which, finally, contains 252 ‘bitta’s.

After all, isn’t it easier to say ‘there’s 40 centiassloads of storage on that mem card’ than ‘there’s a whole lotta and a bitta space on that mem card’?


Star Trek

Star Trek

Katy checked out the Star Trek seasons from our local library — they look really great remastered. This is the title card for an episode from season 2.


43Folders is a website dedicated to the finer points of organization, task tracking, and goal-completion. As such, an essay about the huge value of underachievement would seem orthogonal to the site’s goals. However, the ideas mesh quite well with the larger fabric of 43Folders; plus, this is easily the best blog post I have read in a long while (the vocabulary alone is perfection)… the mythology and philosophy references don’t hurt, either. A snippet:


Decorative China

Decorative China

Leather Test

Leather Test

Trying out the sharpness of the new lens.

Mykala’s Birthday

Happy Birthday, dear Mykala! As you turn a year older, I’d like to take a moment to remind you that the best is yet to come. You are always on my mind, and always in my heart. It bears repeating: Happy Birthday — I’m looking forward to celebrating many more with you.


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Warm Cake

Warm Cake

Mykala’s red velvet cake was a little too warm for frosting. Whoops.

Lorelai on speed

This interesting tidbit about TV syndication is brought to you by lonelysandwich, who originally read it at neonmarg:

A lot of TV shows when run in syndication are sped up slightly and voices pitch corrected to sound normal (this lets the station get more commercials in). We observed that this is an unwise techinque when applied to the fast-talking Gilmore Girls.


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Cake from the top

Cake from the top

The “Birthday” text got a little cut off, but I really thought that gave the cake more character.

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Cake from the side

Cake from the side

Little Characters

These little hand drawn characters are adorable, though they are “a blatant rip-off of Lewis Trondheim’s style.” Still, very nice. My favorite of this series is probably “The Pessimistic Rector.” By the excellent artist Meng Shui.



Happy Birthday, Mykala!

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22 with Background

22 with Background

Moroccan Style

Moroccan Style

I got this Moroccan style lantern from Patina.

Dragon Movies

Guy talking to his girlfriend at Blockbuster: “See, this one has dragons in it. Every movie is better with dragons. What movie have you seen with dragons in it that you didn’t like?”

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This is a folding bookshelf, also for Mykala’s birthday — see, the presents go together!

Nose and Ears

Mykala, just a second ago: “I’m going to bite your earlobe off and spit it up your nose.”

Jacket Hood

Jacket Hood

Magnetic Knife Holder

Bench Crafted makes a magnetic knife holder called the Mag-Blok, which is both beautiful and functional; oh, and it’s made out of wood. Extremely strong neodymium-iron-boron magnets are sandwiched under the surface of the wood, making anything metallic (ostensibly) stick to the wood… makes for a tiny bit of cognitive dissonance. As an added bonus, the wood does not damage your knives. Given such good looks, I would expect a high price… but this thing is affordable. Dan’s Data writes:


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Office Supplies

Office Supplies

Facebook Pictures: And Again

I recently wrote about the absurdity of using social networking photos as indisputable evidence in a piece called Puritanical, Tyrannical, Overreaching Public Schools. I centered my argument around events at Eden Prairie High School, events which have been essentially repeated at Woodbury High School (my alma mader). I’ll keep writing the same journal until something changes, I guess. Here’s the story this time around: instead of controversial pictures being reported to the school by an anonymous meddling informant (as they were at Eden Prairie), they were shown by a student at Woodbury High School as part of a health presentation about underage drinking. The common reaction is: “wow those students sure are stupid for putting these pictures online, then presenting them to a class.” Such a statement is an oversimplification of the situation and it conflates stupidity with naïveté. Allow me to explain.


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Corporate View

This picture of the corporate headquarters of Nestlé has the best view from an office building I’ve ever seen. It sits right on Lake Geneva, with mountains in the background.


Put your hands up if you dig live pedal looping. Check it out on YouTube with KT Tunstall and her performance of Black Horse And The Cherry Tree. You only have to watch the beginning because… I know you’ve already heard the song 56,000 times.

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Judging Music

Sasha Frere-Jones blogs music at the New Yorker online, and he provides interesting details about about Britney Spears’ latest album.

Perhaps to offset consumer anxiety generated by Spears’s well-documented personal struggles, she and her advisory committee have spared no expense and have exhibited exceptionally good taste in hiring. The songwriters and producers who contributed to “Blackout” are as close to an all-star team as pop has right now: the producer Nate “Danja” Hills, a protégé of Timbaland who co-produced many of Timbaland’s recent hits; the proven songwriters Sean Garrett and Kara DioGuardi, as well as the up-and-coming and increasingly reliable songwriter Keri Hilson; the once dominant, now dormant super-producers the Neptunes; and, best of all, the Swedish production duo Bloodshy & Avant, responsible for older songs such as “Toxic” and “Me Against the Music,” which made Spears as deservedly ubiquitous as she wanted to be.


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Losing Faith in Humanity

Let’s speak metaphorically for a second and say I own a rock labeled “faith in humanity” — well, an event today is responsible for taking a sharp chisel and hammering off a large chunk from said rock. Here’s what happened.

The search box in Firefox pulls results from something called “Google Suggest”. Here’s a description of the feature from Google (emphasis mine):


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Old Magnetic Tape

Old Magnetic Tape

Old magnetic tape — it holds 60 megabytes on 620 feet of tape! Wow!