Monday, June 07, 2010

The stupid leak

When it comes to environmental disasters and the news, they usually have to be big to get noticed. In the case of the Gulf of Mexico leak, it is certainly big. But at least one important reason why it's been such a big news story for so long, is that's it a leak. As of writing this it hasn't stopped leaking. But let's imagine it had. If the same amount of oil had escaped from below the surface in one big explosion, in the course of one day, would it be as a big a story? No, it wouldn't, it would have been a big story for a little while but would have been bumped out of the news cycle a long time ago until the oil showed up on land, at which point it would have received another dollop of attention.

But since it is a leak (if one can call a roaring geyser a leak) following a large explosion, it's kept itself in the news cycle with the simple questions like: Has it been plugged? What's been done to plug it? When will it be plugged? And so on. With the way the news cycle works today this is what it takes for a story to receive the attention it deserves. In the extras of "All the President's Men" Robert Redford makes this case in the context of the 1970's and Watergate, 40 years ago News stories unfolded slowly and and stayed in the cycle much longer. Not so today.

I wish the rig had never been built, and I hope the leak is stopped yesterday; but all told I'm glad is was a leak and not one big event that we could have glossed over. Instead it's been in on our minds and in our faces for a month so far, it's put pressure on the President, BP, offshore drilling, and the industry as a whole. All of which would've been much less significant, without the longevity of the stupid leak.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Now that's a track

DJ Food - Giant (Instrumental) by Ninja Tune
I listen to a lot of instrumental music, often beat heavy/driven. While some only make use of a few nice samples, others are truly full bodied tracks such as this one. An excellent example. Long live Solid Steel, Ninja Tune, and Strictly Kev (aka DJ Food).

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

The streak continues

Okay third map related graphic post in a row! Transit Authority Figures, have a great name and produce some awesome design products. They make imaginary subway maps complete with details such as purposed lines that are planed for the future. They've even made one for the Ocean City, MD and Delaware beach area, which I've been to on a number of occasions. But more familiar to the eye maybe the Cape, which you can see here on their site.

Thursday, April 01, 2010

Print and Send

I know, I know, this is my second Google maps post in a row. I can help it, if you haven't noticed I like map related stuff. Anyway here is a neat concept project by students Rahul Mahtani and Yofred Moik at Syracuse University. Basically Gmail would have a built in "send envelope" option, which would create an envelope with gmaps and route information using your and your recipients address, for a really nice effect. Your message of course being contained inside. Perhaps this is the communication bridge the elderly are looking for! I kid, they wouldn't get it.

Originally seen and more images at yankodesign

Friday, March 12, 2010

Fantastic maps

These "maps" are from the NYT blog Abstract City, there a lot more awesome examples all done in the Google map style, I love this one of "Wrong Island" which features a map of Long Island backwards and up side down.Check out the rest here

Friday, February 12, 2010

very cool!

I'm drooling!

I've done a lot of previous armchair research into housing and I'm a fan of both the cheaper cost and the atheistic of Geodesic domes and lightweight concrete construction. Binishells is sort of a combination of both. Make sure you check out the "technology" section of their site, the process is really cool, basically they lay wet concrete flat on top of flexible steel or re-barb (or something like that) then the whole thing is inflated into place using giant inflatable balloons, which stay until the concrete/structure drys.

It seems they might be the real deal too as they're at least building a prototype:

"Surface magazine has selected the Binishells prototype as its 2009 showcase home. Planned for construction in Q1 of 2010, in the Southern California desert, this LEED platinum certified home featuring the latest eco-technologies and materials, will set the bar for low impact environmental construction."

Lots of nice renderings and more info on their site.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Goodbye Howard

Howard Zinn, passed away yesterday. In his life he was an author, teacher and political activist who's famous book "A People's History of the United States" gave us all the ugly bits of our history that are left out of our textbooks. It's selective in the same way that are elementary history books are selective, but from the opposite perspective, and it was done to make a point; that history is very complex and that people should never buy into the illusion that the world is black and white, that events have to be seen as either right or wrong. He reminds us of the grey areas, that America isn't perfect, and that without awareness we are blind. Among other things, he was trying to fight against that old saying "history is doomed to repeat itself". A noble fight.  

If you have Netflix, there's a Howard Zinn documentary that's pretty good available for instant watch here

and here's a preview of the doc:

Tuesday, January 19, 2010


I would simply like to share how beautiful 
the description of "Frugality" on Wikipedia is.

Frugality is the practice of:

1. acquiring goods and services in a restrained manner.

2. resourcefully using already owned economic goods
and services, to achieve a longer term goal.

Strategies for frugality
Common strategies of frugality include the reduction of waste, curbing costly habits, suppressing instant gratification by means of fiscal self-restraint, seeking efficiency, avoiding traps, defying expensive social norms, embracing cost-free options, using barter, and staying well-informed about local circumstances and both market and product/service realities.

Frugality, in the context of certain belief systems, is a philosophy in which one does not trust (or is deeply wary of) "expert" knowledge, often from commercial markets or corporate cultures, claiming to know what is in the best economic, material, or spiritual interests of the individual.

Different spiritual communities consider frugality to be a virtue or a spiritual discipline. The Religious Society of Friends and the Puritans are examples of such groups. The basic philosophy behind this is the idea that people ought to save money in order to allocate it to more charitable purposes, such as helping others in need.

There are also environmentalists who consider frugality to be a virtue through which humans can make use of their ancestral skills as hunter-gatherers, carrying little and needing little, and finding meaning in nature instead of man-made conventions or religion. Henry David Thoreau expressed a similar philosophy in Walden, with his zest for self-reliance and minimal possessions while living simply in the woods.

"Frugality" on Wikipedia

Monday, January 11, 2010


Why isn't SNL very good? The writing the writing the writing.
here is a recent SNL sketch:

it, is like most of their current stuff, is okay. What's so disappointing is that it seems obvious there were a lot of ways they could went with this. In their version a kid with a terminal disease gets to play game announcer via a wish foundation kind of thing. The kid says "nothing but the bottom of the net" like 20 times, and it wears thin very fast, SNL often suffers from this and it's one of the many reason the why the bad sketches suck. They seemed to be ruled by the rule of three. I don't know wether they just do it to fill time or they really believe the ad nauseam repetition is funny. A good example is a sketch from not that long ago where a game show host kept taking contestants wives backstage to have sex. The first time it was funny, the second time it was still a little funny, but by the third time they did it the joke was dead already, you could see it from a mile away and there was no spin/evloution or any difference to keep it interesting, for instance if the third time he actually invited the husband backstage it might have been funny.

But back this sport announcing sketch. What if "Danny" had a real macabre sense of humor and said things like "Wow a rim-rattingling dunk by Lewis, that was louder than my death rattle's gonna be" or "wow with the Magic down 20 these fans look more upset then my family and friends are going to be at my own funeral". Or they could have gone a sexual route and have the kid say things like "A powerful dunk by Howard, he's one sexy beast, makes you wanna just tear his clothes off" either of these two directions would have been weirder and more interesting and I believe more funny. Charles and the other guy are basically playing straight men, but they are doing it against a G rated character, boring! Am I the only one who thinks it's funny when adults playing kids go out of their way to say ridiculous things instead of just acting like a believable kid? Lastly the OCD bit wasn't too bad but they seemed to miss an obvious laugh, don't we want to know what "overwhelming corpse disease" is? How bout the kid explains it (in a cheerful manner of course" as something really horrible like "yeah, basically it's like my skeleton is trying to escape from within my body"

I know it's easy to play Monday (of Sunday) morning quarter back
, but that's not it, here's an old sketch along similar lines, it has a few different little twists, and yes Ray does repeat "sweet sassy molassy" a few times but it's funny as a both a parody of the sports center sayings, and for it's possible racial undertones. Not to mention it's weird. It's a lot more interesting and funnier than "the bottom of the net"

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

The journey of a sample

This samples journey starts with this beat I heard a few years ago by Swedish beatmakers The Studio4Cruw aka Shadow.People, who have 97 beats you can listen to on there site ranging from 1:00 to 4:00min.

They entitled their song "2 black barettas" added a drum beat that sort of sounds like banging on a table or something, plus some nice crisp hand claps.

And then of course I heard the sample most recently in the Jay Z song
"Empire state of mind"

And where did it orignialy come from? It came from the The Moments "Love On A Two Way Street"

Here's an excellent parody of Jay Z's song/video! The Dude is crazy looking with that hair/facial hair

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

The Coconut and the Octopus

"Australian scientists have discovered an octopus in Indonesia that collects coconut shells for shelter – unusually sophisticated behavior that the researchers believe is the first evidence of tool use in an invertebrate animal.

The scientists filmed the veined octopus, Amphioctopus marginatus, selecting halved coconut shells from the sea floor, emptying them out, carrying them under their bodies up to 65 feet (20 meters), and assembling two shells together to make a spherical hiding spot" -AP

Full story on Huffpo

Friday, October 30, 2009

One location for the Olympics!

The world has just gone through another round of Summer Olympics location competition. The summer games are by far the largest and most costly of the Olympics. There have been approximately 42 contests since the modern Olympics started in 1896 and the countries that have been lucky enough to host have enjoyed it there’s no doubt. But It’s 2009 and for the world to fight climate change we have to make sacrifices, we all agree on that. I’m not saying we shouldn’t hold the Olympics anymore, which I’m sure some would call for, not at all, the Olympics and the world cup, are the only two events of large scale where the world comes together for something peaceful and average citizens actually care. Yes politics usually make it in somewhere, but by in large I think the Olympics are a positive event for the world to share. What I purpose is that one neutral location be chosen and used every four years, over and over again. The amount that nations spend when they hold the Olympics just seems wasteful and irresponsible. Much better things could be done in the world with that money, fighting a number of problems. But I believe the biggest motivation for this change is the environmental cost. The enormous amount of construction is hugely damaging to the environment. Viewed from a far it seems silly and suicidal to keep building new stadiums and the Olympic village every four years. With the next Olympics held in Brazil the Olympics will have taken place in Every continent except Africa, which is one reason why it seems a logical choice to permanently house the Olympics.

An African country given an economy.
The Western world, which are the true purveyors of the Olympics, have left the 3rd world behind. Perhaps nowhere more then Africa. So,
Just think If a Small African country was chosen as the future site of all summer games. Such a boost would transform the country and with the summer Olympics there every 4 years it might be enough to keep the economy going for decades. Instead of building new disposable Olympic villages every 4 years, why not build one permanently sustainable Olympic City. Instead of new stadiums, roads and airports every four years, we could build them once - in a place that could really use them, a place where an upgrade in infrastructure would mean a real increase in the quality of life for its citizens and would really stimulate growth. Plus with only one location for the Olympics, a tourism market would have a good chance for growth in the off years.

We don’t have to give up the idea of the host.
Different countries could still be the “host’ every 4 years and have the chance to have their people and culture highlighted just like we currently do now. With all the money saved on construction, host countries could instead fund good will projects like water projects, solar projects, education. The Olympics do this already but on a much smaller scale than what could be. Additionally with the role of host being significantly less challenging, it would be easier for smaller, underrepresented, and developing counties to play host.

The Olympics are a source of pride for host countries, and if such a move was made there would be lots of outcry against it, mostly because people would think it’s unfair for a variety of reasons each unique to them. But fairness with the Summer Olympics location will never be achieved, the USA has hosted 4 summer games, there are currently 204 member countries, for each to host 4 times and have everybody be equal it would take 3,000 years; so let it go. It’s time for the worlds countries to think about what we can sacrifice so we can have a less negative, and a more positive impact on our environment and our future. The Olympics are a perfect example. The level of competition would not change, and despite what some would say, I don’t believe our excitement level would change, hopefully the only change would be a better Summer Games. Of course the IOC won’t do this on there own, they are corrupt and self interested. It would only be possible given enough outside pressure. If it seems an impossible fight, just remember the Olympic Creed:

“The most important thing in the Olympic Games is not to win but to take part, just as the most important thing in life is not the triumph but the struggle. The essential thing is not to have conquered but to have fought well”

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Ever been to Coxsackie, NY?

If you answered no, then you should visit. And while there, after Coxsackie, check out near by Climax, and continue on to Paradise hill to finish off the day. Actually I've never been up there, but it's up near the Catskills, it's probably nice.

View Larger Map

Wednesday, April 01, 2009


State Size in Square Miles
Here are the 10 largest         10 smallest states in the US.

1. Alaska          570,374         1. Rhode Island       1,045
2. Texas           261,914         2. Delaware            1,955
3. California     155,973         3. Connecticut        4,845
4. Montana       145,556         4. Hawaii                6,423
5. New Mexico  121,365         5. New Jersey         7,418
6. Arizona         113,642         6. Massachusetts     7,838
7. Nevada         109,806         7. New Hampshire   8,969
8. Colorado       103,729         8. Vermont             9,249
9. Wyoming        97,105         9. Maryland             9,775
10. Oregon         96,003         10. West Virginia     24,087

Alaska with 570,374 square miles is more than twice the size of number 2. Texas. As you can see the rest are nearly 100,000 square miles or above. On the smallest side, we have Rhode Island at number one, which could fit into Alaska 569 times. The smallest states are mostly made up of the original 13 colonies (Vermont was part of New York, Old Virgina included part of West Virgina), Hawaii is the exception. It's easy to see the history of our expansion with our original states being so tiny and growing so large as we expanded, as our ability to move across larger distances also increased.

And now for population

Here are the 10 largest in Pop and 10 smallest in Pop

1. California  36,756,666                1. Wyoming 532,668
2. Texas        24,326,974                2. Vermont 621,270
3. New York   19,490,297                3. North Dakota 641,481
4. Florida      18,328,340                4. Alaska 686,293
5. Illonis      12,901,563                  5. South Dakota 804,194
6. Pennsylvania   12,448,279           6. Delaware 873,092
7. Ohio        11,485,910                  7. Montana 967,440
8. Michigan  10,003,422                  8. Rhode Island 1,050,788
9. Georgia    9,685,744                   9. Hawaii 1,288,198
10. N. Carolina      9,222,414        10. New Hampshire 1,315,809

Starting again with the larger side, Texas is number two again, and of course California is in the number one spot with about 12% of the Total United States population. The rest of the People heavy states are clustered around the rust belt. Sitting between New York City and Philly, New Jersey the 5th smallest state but just's misses the top 10 at 11th in population, and is one of the most developed and diverse states in the Union. On the "next house isn't for miles" side, we've got a lonely cluster in the north midwest, with Montana, North and South Dakota, and Wyoming-the 9th largest state-having the least amount of people. I read a wired article once that explained WY was the best place to live if you wanted to survive a pandemic. Few people, who don't do much traveling, and no major airports near by. It's worth noting that Dealware and Rhode Island, the two smallest states, both have larger populations than Alaska. I also find it interesting that in the North East we have some of the most populated states right next to some of the least populated in New England. Also, Maine which makes up half of New England, would come in the 12 spot for fewest pop. But this is mostly an issue of the size of the state. As far as density goes the New England states are probably still denser then a lot of the Mid West.

Okay, I'm done.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

The stupidity of AIG

AIG is taking a lot of heat right now because of the $165 million in bonuses it's recently given out, as you may know they were recently given $170 billion of our money via the US Gov. Now $165 mil represents a very small percentage of $170 billion, that's for sure, but to the average Joe $165 mil still sounds like a lot, and sparks out rage. And their in lies the problem, AIG claims they would not be able to get "the best and the brightest" to work for them if they didn't give out bonuses. This is a terrible argument, if the best and brightest are only in it for short term gain...and you as an employer encourage short term thinking by offering ridiculous bonuses...and the result is your company crashes into the ground...Then maybe you don't need the best and the brightest, maybe mid-range talented people who aren't so self interested would work out better for you. And besides, the more the anger grows against AIG and other companies like them, the more their brands are going to suffer. You think I'm signing up for AIG insurance anytime soon? Hell no! I'm sure many people feel the same way. So I wonder what would lose AIG more money, not letting millions fly out into their employees bank accounts and there for not "attracting the best and brightest". Or to keep letting the cash fly, and continue to piss of existing and potential customers.

Friday, March 06, 2009

Voodoo Science

I just read this interesting article about how terrorism risk varies across space and time, which talks about the risk of attacks when it comes to distance (space) and time. The article gives you that voodoo/law of nature kind of feeling, but at the same time the same kind of guess work, and assumptions went into models on Wall Street and we know how that turned out. Turns out the world is a pretty complex place. Anyway, just graphing The two major terrorist attacks in the US from 1989--2009 looks like this. Which is scary. But this of course doesn't take in to consideration many factors, for instance how does one graph attacks that were thwarted? Does that push the time line further? And obviously we've stepped up security much more after 2001 then after 1993, but we also got two wars going on in the middle east, so how does that throw things off? Anyway thought it was kinda interesting.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Mini Manhattan

For the first time today, I took a good look at the Manhattan Mini Storage logo. I've seen it many times before,—I'm sure all us New Yorkers have as their ads are all over the subway. Anyway I noticed today that the little illustrative changes in the type that turn the letters into buildings, are geographically accurate. From left to right I'm pretty sure they are meant to represent the bank at 53rd street (Citigroup Center, Uptown) with the angled roof, in the middle of course is the Empire State building (midtown), and the two t's represent what where the twin towers (downtown). I'm pretty sure it was created pre-9/11. Of course this would be representing the city as seen from the Jersey side, but hey I'm not going to nit pick, it wouldn't work as well from the Brooklyn/Queens perspective with the word Manhattan.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Shoe talking to me?

I've been thinking about the now infamous shoe throwing incident recently. I know, I know, it's almost time for it to be shewed out of our hyper fast News cycle. But sill I think there is a lot there. Does the simple fact that it was only a guy throwing a shoe, and not somebody blowing themselves up mean we've made progress? True it's a very large insult in their culture, but compared to say beheading, it seems pretty tame. And the fact that the Iraqi people are so behind him is telling too, I haven't heard anyone saying it's was good but he should of shot him! Or anything along those lines. They seem pretty happy with the shoes. Maybe we have made progress, maybe Iraq is on the up and up.

But I think this scenario is probably closer to the truth: The reporter is an Iraqi, not a terrorist, and the Iraqi people are not extremists. There are Iraqi's who have joined A.Q. in Iraq but that's mostly due to the pressures of the situation, poverty, anger, hopelessness, revenge, and many other factors. Iraq will one day stabilize, how long that will take is unknown. What we do know is that is by needless invading and occupying Iraq, despite Bush's claims of keeping us safe since 9-11 (as if we are to ignore that) he hasn't. By creating a war where there was none, and no need for one, he put many Americans in danger and 4,000 + have died. How can we call positioning ourselves in a foreign land, with little familiarity with it's culture or language, and giving the enemy perfect surroundings to hide in plain site amongst civilians, SAFE!

We can't, it's a joke, and it makes no sense. We brought this thing to their country, because of or own interests, and 90,000 Iraqi civilians have died as a result. Let us be glad when this thing is over, and lets us be glad they're only throwing shoes.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Pitcher of Health?

Welch's grape juice has a new commercial out touting the grape juice's health benefits. What's funny to me is though the guy in the commercial is telling us about how healthy and great grape juice is, he hardly looks healthy himself. He has a terrible hair line and near zombie like features and skin. Props to Welch's for keeping it real I guess, but I would've thought they would have used some young, healthy looking guy instead, interesting.

For the record, I love Welch's.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Money, Money, Money?

The barriers to what one "wants to do" or "wishes could do" are often money. Financial freedom allows one to do many things, including going to college and or getting other higher education. But if one want to remove barriers as much as possible, one should endeavor to change ones wants and wishes, ones needs and desires, into things that are free or cost little money.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Some stats from the 5th

Looking over the results at, I found the following interesting. Every county in New England save one in Maine went Blue. The one county McCain won in Maine, 9,215 voted (95% reporting) and it was decided by about 4% or 355 votes. In comparison in 2004 Bush won 1 county in CT, 1 in VT, 4 in NH, and 2 in ME (none in MA or RI), although he lost each state. Anyway just saying proud of good old New England this time around.

The other thing Found interesting was poking around to see which counties Obama won by highest percentage wise. The most lop sided one I could find was DC, with 93% going for Obama. Another county in MD had 88.9% for Obama. Other top performers: NYC: Bronx with 88% Manhattan with 85%, Brooklyn with 79%, and Queens with 75%, Staten Island actually went to McCain, with 52% they are the odd borough out. Baltimore went 87.5% for Obama, New Orleans 79%, Atlanta 79%, Boston 77% In Hawaii Oahu went 69% Obama while every other Island went for Obama at about 75%. Last but not least the town I grew up in, Norwich CT went 65% for Obama, and my new county, Westchester came in at about 63%.

On the McCain side I'm not that interested and it would take a while to look troll through all the tiny red Counties, I did see one in north Texas that went 92% for McCain, but that's based on about 3,000 votes so it's got to be a sparsely populated place.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Let the dollars ciruclate

The McCain campaign has been attacking Obmama for "spreading the wealth around" basically Saying it's unAmerican to raise taxes on the rich. But as Wall street's meltdown proves, having to much money and power concentrated at the top is terrible. When the income gap of the top few widens this much it only leads to more greed, and gives way to abuse and spectacular failure. In my city, NYC, there is talk of the significant loss of tax revenue from all the Wall street guys who will lose there jobs and with them their 20 million dollar bonuses. The blow to the city would be much less if we didn't a have only a few people making so much money. The negative effects would materialize much slower and be much easier to contain. The bigger you are the harder you fall.

It's the same with industry, There should be no such thing as a bank that is "too big to fail" if a bank it too big to fail then it's a monopoly. We've done a piss poo job of breaking up Monopolies in recent history and it's no wonder since corporations of the world control our government. But if we agree that Monopolies are unfair, and go against America's competitive spirit, then why wouldn't the same logic apply to our taxes. When people get rich, even through hard work, they think they are entitled to every penny, but that's not the case, you still have a responsibility to society. You have to pay your share, if you don't want to pay more taxes then convince you company to pay your workers more. But like a large company, just because you make it to the top doesn't mean you get all the spoils automatically, if people, in this case the middle class and the poor, are being taking advantage of, then you should, and you will, be broken up.

I wouldn't call it greed, I'd call it fairness: but MD's character makes a good point:

For the record I haven't seen this (Wall Street) yet, but I shall like to.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

WOW! Since Moscow is just a stones throw from New York City, And I'm so close to the Eastern part of Russia, where I'm guessing by the looks of it like 80 percent of the population of Russia lives, I guess I have enough foreign policy experience to be Vice President too!! Yay! But don't get me wrong the part of Russian that's close to Alaska is super important, Enemies could be hiding any where in that frozen tundra. It's really dangerous too, don't forget it's where the Tunguska Event occured: an air burst of a large meteoroid exploded with a force about a 1000 times as powerful as the bomb dropped on Hiroshima, Japan, and like nobody even noticed, BECAUSE NOBODY F'N LIVES THERE!