Archive for the ‘Stuff On the Web’ category

Blogging with Gangsters

February 22, 2009

If you haven’t read Sudhir Venkatesh’s posts on the “Freakonomics” blog from last year, you really need to check them out. For those of you who don’t know, Sudhir is a socialogist who spent several years in the ’90s hanging out with real gangsters in Chicago.  I first became aware of him when I read the “Freakonomics” book (which everyone should read). Apparently, last year he sat down with some gansters in NYC and watched season 5 of “The Wire” with them (or most season 5 – you’ll have to read ll nine blogs to see if they finish…)

Here’s a link to the first one. It’s worth reading them all.


The internet is a series of tubes

August 11, 2006

I’m pretty sure we all know what Senator Ted Stevens said a couple of weeks ago about the internet when he was debating some net neutrality language should be included in a telecommunications bill (if not, click this link). Since Stevens, the longest-serving Republican Senator, said “The Internet is not something you just dump something on. It’s not a truck. It’s a series of tubes!” and “An Internet [sic] was sent by my staff at 10 o’clock in the morning on Friday and I just got it yesterday. Why? Because it got tangled up with all these things going on the Internet commercially,” I have come across quite a few parodies of Stevens’ idiocy on my series of tubes. A friend pointed me to this one, which happens to be my favorite so far. If you know of any others that are worth watching, please let me know. Just don’t send them all to me at once, because my tubes are pretty clogged and I haven’t had the internet man come by for maintenance in a while.

Ted Stevens

Don’t put those papers on the tubes that run into your computer, or they might smash them and block the flow.

The Sports Guy Picks an EPL Team

July 20, 2006

In my opinion, one of the best sport’s writers out there right now is Bill Simmons. He’s writes for page 2 on and I really enjoy reading his stuff. I like his work because he goes beyond the normal sports writing and offers interesting critiques and comments about current sporting events. Anyway, as a result of the recent World Cup, he has decided to pick an English club soccer team to follow for the upcoming year. He writes about it in his most recent column (actually, two columns because, as he says, “the whole process was more enjoyable than I thought it would be”). If you’ve ever been a fan of English soccer, or just think that the Brits are funny in a weird, depressing way, you’ll like his article. I loved it, and I hope to see lots more about soccer on Page 2 in the coming years.

Baby Panda

July 10, 2006

If you get bored at work and want to watch a black and white bear follow it’s mom around all day, you can watch the Panda Cam at the Smithsonian National Zoo (scroll halfway down the linked page to see the little bugger in live action). Enjoy.

baby panda

Intriguing Offal Breaks Through

July 3, 2006

Finally, some recognition for this blog. I slave away at least 1 hour / week on this puppy, and, up until now, have yet to reap any profit or praise for my work. I was just days away from quitting blogging altogether, when I received a notice asking me to fly to LA for a blog festival award ceremony at the Kodak Theatre (all expenses paid). Unfortunately, I will have to accept the award by videoconference, because I have to meet with my colleagues on the Nobel Prize committee to begin reviewing this year’s nominees. Right after that, I have to fly to Berlin for the World Cup Finals. They’ve asked me to take Barthez’ in place in goal (if the French make it), or to be the center ref (if the French don’t make). I’m still quite honored by the blog award, though. Also, check out the sweet banner they made for my blog. I think I’ll tatoo it on my back.

A Giant Meteor Hitting the Earth

June 27, 2006

In case you haven’t seen it yet, a Japanese group made an animation of what would happen if a giant meteor hit the Earth. It’s 7.5 minutes long, but I think it’s worth watching. Click on the image below for the link to the video. It’s important to emphasize that this meteor is not some little 3 mile rock. The group who made the video describe the meteor as having a diameter roughly the breadth of the island of Honshu, which, according to Wikipedia ranges from 50 to 230 km wide. Basically, it’s huge. Huge enough that Bruce, Billy Bob, and Ben aren’t going to save us, no matter how hot Liv is. My advice is to not worry about the odds of this happening to us and enjoy the video.


One more comment/question:

If this did happen, would you rather be:

1) Right in the impact zone of the meteor, so that you were crushed by the big rock instantaneously (after getting to see the coolest eclipse ever),

2) On the total opposite side of the Earth so that you get roughly 6 minutes to live and then get to see the biggest fire ever (i.e. buildings burning and oceans evaporating),


3) An astronaut on the spacestation, where you’d get to see the whole thing for real, and then know that you were totally hosed because you can’t ever go home?

Along this line, do astronauts get cyanide pills or do they just open the door to space and start floating away? Because if I were an astronaut up at Mir with Lance Bass and Dennis Tito with no hope of going home, I think I’d take the longest walk ever rather than try to restart society on the moon with them.

Shipping Rice to the North

May 17, 2006

I monitor Google News a lot because I like the fact that the stories are being selected by a computer rather than by a person. I also like how Google News bundles stories and photos from many different media outlets under the same subject. For example, a story about a recent suicide bomb in Iraq will have the same story from hundreds of different newspapers and media websites linked to it. Also, they include photos that are relevant to the stories. This allows the reader to get several different perspectives (sometimes) on the same story.

Anyway, the photos that they include are not always pulled from the same source as the lead article. This "feature" led to one of the funniest accidental postings I've seen in a while. A few months back I was on Google News and I noticed that the lead article was titles "South Korea to Ship Rice to North." I thought that the article was about an announcement from the South Korean government that they were going to provide humanitarian aid to North Korea in the form of rice shipments. However, the photo that was next to the article was one of Condoleeza Rice waving at some administrative function. Ha, Ha! I guess this means that the South Koreans don't like Secretary of State Rice any more than we do and they're ready to ship her off to North Korea for a good-old-fashioned-communist-enemy-of-the-state punishment party.

shipping rice