Guess and Check


Bill Clinton Plays Not My Job

Filed under: General — 9:02 pm

It’s from last June, but President Clinton played Not My Job and got all three questions about My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic correct.


Seinfeld Economics

Filed under: General — 6:20 pm

Do you like Economics but just can’t get yourself to want to learn about it? Well if you enjoy Seinfeld, you may find The Economics of Seinfeld rather interesting and helpful.


Fan Death

Filed under: General — 5:29 pm

I’m not sure if MythBusters would or could actually do a show on Fan Death, but I know I’d be interested in seeing it and seeing the reaction of lots of South Korean people to it. Especially 5th and 6th graders in Seoul.


Andy Mooney

Filed under: General — 11:01 pm

I’ve posted about this elsewhere recently, but I think it warrants repeating here:

I find the story of Andy Mooney and the Disney Princess franchise interesting.

This New York Times article speaks to his inspiration:

It was about a month after Mooney’s arrival that the magic struck. That’s when he flew to Phoenix to check out his first “Disney on Ice” show. “Standing in line in the arena, I was surrounded by little girls dressed head to toe as princesses,” he told me last summer in his palatial office, then located in Burbank, and speaking in a rolling Scottish burr. “They weren’t even Disney products. They were generic princess products they’d appended to a Halloween costume. And the light bulb went off. Clearly there was latent demand here. So the next morning I said to my team, ‘O.K., let’s establish standards and a color palette and talk to licensees and get as much product out there as we possibly can that allows these girls to do what they’re doing anyway: projecting themselves into the characters from the classic movies.’ ”

And Wikipedia summarizes the financial aspect nicely:

Despite limited advertising and no focus groups, the various Disney Princess items released became a huge success. Sales at Disney Consumer Products rose from $300 million in 2001 to $3 billion in 2006.

That’s an order of magnitude in just five years. Astounding!


Photographers posing with their famous photographs

Filed under: General — 8:36 pm

In his new book Behind Photographs Limited Edition: Archiving Photographic Legends, photographer Tim Mantoani took lots of photos of photographers posing with prints of their most iconic work.

This Wired article has a collection of a few of them, and they’re rather interesting.

Via Kottke.



Filed under: General — 7:02 pm

I need to remember that $39.95 is (one of) the magic number(s) when purchasing New York City MTA Pay-Per-Ride MetroCards with the current fare pricing.

Remembering that with the 7% discount given with purchases of more than $10 and the limit of only being able to make purchases in $.05 increments, a $39.95 purchase gives a $2.80 bonus so you’ll be able to get exactly 19 rides at the regular fare rate of $2.25 per ride from the $42.75 you’ll end up with on the card, leaving no money left over at the end.

There’s also other numbers that work: $35.75 gives 17, $37.75 gives 18, $73.60 gives 35, $75.70 gives 36, and $77.80 gives 37 rides; but I think $39.95 will be the easiest to remember.


Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga

Filed under: General — 12:12 am

Gay Talese wrote a good article for the New Yorker about the recording session of Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga‘s version of The Lady Is a Tramp for Bennett’s Duets II album.

And because Random House has it listed on Gay Talese’s website’s essays page, the PDF of the article is available for download. Read that; then watch this:



Seven Second Summits

Filed under: General — 12:32 pm

It’s generally considered much more difficult to ascend the seven second-highest peaks on each continent than the seven highest.

See Seven Second Summits for details.


Comerica Park

Filed under: General — 7:32 pm

I went to the Orioles/Tigers game this past Saturday.

Justin Verlander did not get his 25th win for the season, but watching this suicide squeeze that turned out to be the winning run was really cool.

Here’s a photo I took; that’s Willie Randolph in the third base coach’s box. Oh, and that hot dog vendor in the lower right seems like he has a lot of fun with his job.


Edit: (10/3/2011) That hot dog vendor? His name is Charley Marcuse and he’s been selling hot dogs with the Tigers since 1999. And he does have a lot of fun with his job. I can hear him in the background of tonight’s radio broadcast and the announcers took note of it at one point just a moment ago.


Jerry Gretzinger and his map

Filed under: General — 8:06 pm

Since 1963, Jerry Gretzinger has been partaking in a pretty interesting hobby: he’s been making a map. It’s a map of an imaginary world of his own creation. He speaks about it in this video by Gregory Whitmore:

I found the link to the video in /r/Minecraft, and the fact that I found it there goes a long way in describing my appreciation for what he’s doing. I see some parallels in what goes on in Minecraft and what he does.

He’s even got a blog. He really seems to enjoy what he’s doing, and I think he does a great job doing it.

Via Reddit.


Zack Hample and Mike Trout

Filed under: General — 3:07 pm

Zack Hample is a writer. He also goes to a lot of baseball games and gets a lot of balls from going to those games. He also blogs about his experiences. This recent post he made about catching Mike Trout’s first home run is a great read.

What comes though to me the strongest is Zack’s love of baseball. It’s nice to read about something he so obviously cares about.

Also of note is that I saw Mike Trout play AA ball about three and a half months ago. In that game (recap, box score) I didn’t get to see him hit a home run, but I did get to see him catch a fly ball, walk, advance to second, steal third, get stranded at third, strike out swinging, catch another fly ball, field a line drive, ground out, catch another fly ball, walk again, and then get thrown out at second in the first out of a double play that ended the game.

Trout is just shy of his twentieth birthday, but it seems like he might go pretty far.

Via Ben.



Filed under: General — 11:45 pm

Diphenhydramine HCl is an antihistamine. You can get it over the counter as Benadryl or many various generic offerings in 25mg doses to treat allergy symptoms. The main side effect, however, is drowsiness.

But have no fear, for some it’s a side effect, but for others, that’s exactly what they are looking for. So, interestingly enough, you can also get it as a nighttime sleep aid, just down the aisle. Same dosage, same availability in generic form: just a different color pill.

Even more interesting is that one randomized, double-blind, crossover study has shown that tolerance to the sedative effect of the drug after just three days was indistinguishable from a placebo. So that’s good news for the allergy sufferers who don’t want to be sleepy in the daytime, but not so good news for the people that can’t sleep and attempt to use it a few days in a row.


I could have danced all night

Filed under: General — 8:54 pm

I’ve recently been on a binge of Audrey Hepburn movies; and boy, was she a great actress. Marni Nixon is also a good singer.


Aren’t you glad?

Filed under: General — 9:27 pm

Today I learned that the color orange was named after the orange fruit.

And that as new and improved apples with better color and earlier harvests have been cultivated, the Red Delicious has begun to fall by the wayside.


Bill Evans on Piano Jazz with Marian McPartland

Filed under: General — 5:58 pm

Marian McPartland has been for quite some time one of my favorite musicians. This is one of her more famous Piano Jazz recordings, when Bill Evans was her guest:

Embedded here:

Or watch the playlist on YouTube.

It should be noted she’s old (and still doing amazing work); this was recorded on Nov. 6th, 1978.



Filed under: General — 10:34 pm

I can’t believe it took me this long to realize what Star Trek helmsman etc. mean when they say things like “bearing one eight zero mark zero” and “bearing zero nine zero mark two seven zero” and so forth.

I was watching DS9 Episode 5×13 For The Uniform, and when Dax was backing the Defiant out of docking bay three it just clicked.

Read all about it over at Memory Alpha’s bearing article.


Google Cr-48

Filed under: General — 3:50 pm

Sweet mother!

Guess who’s got two thumbs and never expected when he filled out that application to test Google’s new Cr-48 laptop as part of their pilot program that he would actually get one? This guy!

I’ve got to share the text from the card that was included in the box.

Don’t Panic.

Read this paper. Then recycle it.

Or make it into a super cool paper airplane that you can give to your nephew.

Safety Notices

(This is the usual yada yada … just more fun)

[figure showing components of laptop]

This product contains sensitive components. Do not drop, disassemble, open, crush, bend, bake, deform, puncture, blend (guess we’ll never know if it’ll blend), shred, incinerate, paint, bring to the moon, or insert foreign objects into the device. Do not spill liquids, rocks of any size, or food on the device, Do not expose the device to water, moisture, or rap music.

This product contains small parts, which may present a choking hazard to small children, as well as men who have not emotionally matured. Keep the device and accessories away from small children, regardless of how much they want to bang on the keyboard.

When you perform repetitive activities such as typing or playing games on the device, you may experience occasional discomfort in your hands, arms, shoulders, neck, or other parts of your body. Take frequent breaks and if you have discomfort during or after use, stop use and see a physician. We’d make jokes here, but we really want you to look after yourselves.

This product does not contain any user-servicable parts. Repairs should only be made by an authorized technician. Note that authorized technicians do not necessarily include your neighborhood 15 year old brainiac that you call anytime you get an antivirus pop-up on your computer (note: you shouldn’t see antivirus pop-ups on this device anyway). As cool as laptop ground effects are, unauthorized repairs or modifications could result in permanent damage to the equipment, and void your warranty and your authority to operate this device under applicable regulations.

Battery: This device includes a lithium-ion battery, as that whole cold fusion thing hasn’t been figured out yet. There is a risk of explosion, fire and burns if the battery is handled improperly. Don’t do anything silly with the battery. Don’t puncture, incinerate, short the contacts, try to disassemble the battery, or expose the battery to water or high temperatures (>60 degrees C/140 degrees F). We already said not to bake the device, but apparently we need to repeat ourselves. Replace only with the specified replacement battery. Recycle or dispose of used batteries according to local regulations.

[figure: "Install the battery"]

[figure: "Attach the power cable"]

Install the battery as indicated in the figure (I drew it myself – I think I’m going into art after being a copy editor). Then connect the power cable as indicated. The battery is not fully charged, but, like most things in life, with some work you can change that. So please please connect the power cable and fully charge the battery before using the device for the first time. The power indicator will be orange until the battery is fully charged. It’s tricky like that.

Display: When opening or closing the display panel, place one hand on the palm rest to hold the device in place and use the other hand to slowly open or close the display panel. You can try opening the display panel with one hand, but that goes into extreme display opening and may be frowned upon by someone special in your life. You can turn on the power by pressing the button indicated in the figure, or just by opening the display panel. That’s right – we removed one step between you and the Internet. Shock. And. Awe. Do not use excessive force when opening or closing the display panel, or we may ask you to take an anger management class. Be careful not to open the display panel too far as this could put stress (physical and emotional) on the display panel’s hinges and cause damage.

[figure: "Open the display"]

[figure: "Turn on power"]

Regulatory Notices

FCC Compliance

This device complies with part 15 of the FCC Rules. Don’t worry, we’ll wait for you to get your FCC rulebook out. … Operation is subject to the following two conditions: (1) this device may not cause harmful interference, and (2) this device must accept any interference received, including interference that may cause undesired operation. This equipment has been tested and found to comply with the limits for a Class B digital device, pursuant to part 15 of the FCC Rules. (You didn’t put the rulebook away, did you?) These limits are designed to provide reasonable protection against harmful interference in a residential installation. This equipment generates, uses, and can radiate radio frequency energy and may cause harmful interference to radio communications if not installed and use din accordance with the instructions. If this equipment does cause harmful interference to radio or television reception, which can be determined by turning the equipment off and on (it’s a complicated procedure, we know), the user is encouraged to try to correct the interference by one of the following measures:
A) Reorient or relocate the receiving antenna.
B) Increase the separation between the equipment and the receiver.
C) Connect the equipment to an outlet on a circuit different from the receiver.
D) Consult the dealer or an experienced radio/TV technician for help.
E) All of the above

Okay, so many props to the writer(s) and editor(s) of that.

Now, enough typing, I’m going to play with my new toy.


Kid sings on stage with Michael Bublé

Filed under: General — 2:24 am

Holy shitballs, Mom!

(you can stop watching at 8:14)

For the uninitiated, this is the wonderfully talented Michael Bublé. And teenager Sam Holyman. The BBC covered Sam’s singing in this article. And here’s another clip with a little more context from what looks like someone’s camera phone.

(embedded video via Guustaaf, the subject itself via Reddit)

Edit: (12/30/2011) The above video was removed for copyvio, so here’s the newer version. They edited it a bit differently; for instance they removed one of the times Michael uses a swear word.


Thunderstorm photo

Filed under: General — 10:18 pm

I saw a really cool picture of a thunderstorm today, titled “The Mothership”. It was taken by Sean R. Heavey and can be seen over on his site. It was taken as part of his weather series.

It’s also available larger over on the National Geographic page for the photography contest it won.

(via Astronomy Picture of the Day, via reddit)


Halloween 2010

Filed under: General — 12:58 pm

I went as Sudoku this year, using a modified version of Rob Cockerham‘s 2006 version of the same costume.

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