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June 9, 2007

Infinite in Every Direction

"There's something simultaneously earthly and spiritual about the need to fill space with a regularized system. In all of endless possibility, there are only 17 ways to fill a plane with a regular 2 dimensional pattern. Mathematicians call this set The Wallpaper Group. These structures show up in religious art, and in tablecloths. Celtic scribes spent years sitting in poorly lit 10th century monasteries, creating the same type of drawings that we mindlessly scrawl on post-it notes while on the phone."

Doing Local Right

Simon Willison's presentation on the Lawrence Kansas Journal-World.

Is it real or is it...Manchester Cathedral?

The BBC reports outrage from the Church of England: Sony used a simulation apparently based on Manchester cathedral as a setting for a shootout in a violent videogame. In my opinion, this marks a watershed in the public, and possibly in the legal understanding of virtualities. While some would hold that any attention, whether positive or negative, is good advertising, the Church's demand that the game be recalled from sale indicates the losses that will be at stake.

Usually, moviemakers seek a "location release" in advance for any place they film, just like the similar "person release" for anyone who is recognizeable in their footage.

Sony's defense that the cathedral is simulated, not directly filmed, relies on notions that the virtual is somehow "unreal". The law is unclear, but many people will immediately recognize that the reality of virtual places and of other simulations is exactly why they are successful. The virtual is "real but not actual" in the immortal words of the novelist, Marcel Proust. A simulation is more than just fiction - it stands in as good as reality. Splitting hairs on this point... misses the point.

What does this mean for other simulations of places? What places does one ask permission for? If a church is inappropriate, what about a city park? Governments have worried about the security implications of satellite images accessible from the web, but could a Google Earth allow access into a cloistered community of nuns, for example? What control do individuals and communities have over how places are experienced - both materially and virtually, and therefore how they are understood and remembered?

There are also implications for debates on terrorism, as computer games generally dramatize violent assaults not just on people but on places and groups of people in famous places in exciting ways.

More on this as we get our head around the vast implications for videogame design and more broadly, for the way we as a global society treat the virtual.

June 8, 2007

Comfy Subway Commute

2007_06_subwaychair.jpg We totally get why this straphanger needed to bring an armchair onto the L - those seats can get hard and uncomfortable after a while! (Sometimes swings are more comfy, too.) We don't think the color goes with the L's austere pale blue and silver scheme, but maybe we're supposed to respond to the eclectic juxtaposition of objects. Actually, this just makes us wonder what's the most unwieldy object you've ever transported via the train? Of course there are bikes, heavy suitcases, and double wide strollers, but we've been noticing a couple air-conditioners ride the rails lately. And then there's that big fish. Do you have any tips for moving large object by subway? Photograph by meganificent on Flickr; tag your Flickr photo "gothamist" so we can see it!

The Art of Ratatouille

artofrat.jpgThe more I see of Pixar’s Ratatouille the more excited I am to see it. Perhaps I’m still suffering from withdrawal symptoms from not giving a rat’s ass (pardon the pun) about Cars. Yeah, I know, Pixar’s the king of story-telling and strong characters, but still — talking cars.

Every time a new animated feature is released, you can bet there’ll be the ubiquitous “Art of” book along with it. I regularly gobble these books up, because even when the movie isn’t great, a nice heavy book of glossy concept art just can’t be beat (heck, I even bought the one for Robots).

What’s particularly great about Pixar’s books is that they clearly demonstrate the amount of thought, detail, and stylistic cohesiveness that go into establishing the films’ looks from the earliest stages. The Art of Ratatouille may be my favourite yet.

It wasn’t long ago that human skin, delicate foods, and other things that require the most subtle and translucent interactions with light were difficult if not impossible to render convincingly. Now that Pixar no longer has to worry about whether they can render certain things, they are clearly spending their time making things look as lush and beautiful as possible. The book is loaded with some of the most stunningly warm, glowing concept art I’ve seen by the likes of Dan Lee, Nate Wragg, Peter DeSeve, Carter Goodrich, and many more. And if you watch the 9-minute sneak preview of the film, it’s clear they were able to translate that lushness from paper to screen. All this plus Patton Oswalt? June 29th can’t come soon enough.

Previously: Ratatouille trailer and interview with Brad Bird

Goodbye Hed Alps

alps.jpg I was clicking around Hed Cycling’s site

You don’t know how hard it is for me to say this, but I think it is time for us to break up. We had some great times – I’ll never be able to forget your light weight and durability, and you are still super fast. You were an awesome ride but things have gotten stale. It’s not you, it’s me.

The Hed Alps have been replaced by the Jets (were the Alps like a starter wife?), an excellent wheelset that I’ve been racing on this year and have reviewed on Bike Hugger a few times. In most every race I’m in, I see a set of Alps, usually with the decals worn off, and looking a bit worse for wear, but still rolling and racing. My first Hed wheelset was the Alps and I sold them on Craigslist earlier this year. The dude that bought them was thrilled, happy, and amazed that he found a pair on Craigslist. Here’s to you Alps … goodbye.

NetNewsWire 3.0.1b7

NetNewsWire iconNetNewsWire 3.0.1b7 addresses the top-priority bugs from the 3.0 release.

- Smart lists and searching no longer use Spotlight, which wasn’t working for some people. (However, you can still search news items via the system’s Spotlight search.)

- The Combined View is now based on the version that was in 2.x, since that version doesn’t rely on JavaScript and thus doesn’t crash. There is more to do with the Combined View: pagination (for performance) and UI (to make titles easier to read and make it look cooler).

We’re working on other bugs, too—but these are the highest-priority items.

YouTube - Christopher Hitchens on Islam

"if you believe that Jesus is going to come back in our lifetimes and kill everyone who doesn't agree with him, how do you keep that out of your politics?"

del.icio.us bookmark this on del.icio.us - posted by stamen to - more about this bookmark...

Breaking: Red Hook Ball Fields Press Conference Tomorrow

This just in: word is that New York Senator Charles Schumer will be holding a press conference tomorrow at 1:00 p.m. at the Red Hook ball fields in support of the family food vendors. Andrew Carmalini of A Voce and Cesar Fuentes of the Food Vendors Committee of Red Hook Park Inc. will also be in attendance.

Breaking: Red Hook Ball Fields Press Conference Tomorrow

This just in: word is that Senator Charles Schumer will be holding a press conference tomorrow at 1:00 p.m. at the Red Hook ball fields in support of the family food vendors. Andrew Carmalini of A Voce and Cesar Fuentes of the Food Vendors Committee of Red Hook Park Inc. will also be in attendance.

Do You Feel Bad for Paris?

E_ParisCopCar_136.jpgAfter my intial excitement to Paris's reinstated jail sentence subsided, I decided I feel a little, teeny, weeny bit bad for the heiress. That whole yelling for her mom thing as she was being dragged back to Lynnwood kind of tugged at my heart strings. What's your opinion?

It's Official: Paris Is Going Back to Jail!

OMG I just jumped out of my seat and screamed to the entire office that PARIS IS OFFICIALLY HEADED BACK TO THE SLAMMER!

And you have to love karma -- this time she is being sentenced to serve all 45 days of her sentence, instead of the 23 she would have served had she stayed in jail the first time around. Although, the times she has already served (you know, all three days of it) will be comp'ed. I have a hunch she'll only end up serving the 23 days anyway, but I'm a-okay with that.

According to Access Hollywood, she was hauled out of the courtroom screaming, "Mom!!!"

I love it! I love it! I love it! I love it!

Hot 100 women chosen by lesbians. A nice counterpoint to...

Hot 100 women chosen by lesbians. A nice counterpoint to similar lists from Maxim and People. (link)

Quote of the Day: Paris's Judge

"I don't know why the defendant [Paris] couldn't be treated at Lynnwood, because they have a great medical facility."

-- the judge addressing the courtroom during Paris's hearing

This page generates a random pizza for you. I got...

This page generates a random pizza for you. I got a thin crust pie with red sauce, topped with mozzarella, red peppers, tomatoes, black olives, green peppers, and breaded chicken. Yum? (link)

"He Can Sue, But You Can't": Former Nominee Bork Seeks $1 Million In Damages For Minor Fall

This story epitomizes the modern conservative movement. They are filled with Frank Luntz talking points, but when it comes down to actual life experiences...well....I give you Judge Robert Bork: Judge Robert Bork, one of the fathers of the modern judicial conservative movement whose nomination to the Supreme Court was rejected by the Senate, is seeking $1,000,000 in compensatory damages, plus punitive damages, after he slipped and fell at the Yale Club of New York City. Judge Bork was scheduled to give a speech at the club, but he fell when mounting the dais, and injured his head and left leg. He alleges that the Yale Club is liable for the $1m plus punitive damages because they "wantonly, willfully, and recklessly" failed to provide staging which he could climb safely.

Bush Hires Nine Lawyers For His Future Legal Battles

President Bush is signing up legal help as he girds for battle with the Democratic-led Congress. Faced with a flurry of document requests and expanding congressional investigations, the White House announced Friday that Bush had hired nine lawyers, including five who'll fill new jobs in the president's legal office. The recruits have solid experience in white-collar crime, government investigations and constitutional law.

Web 2.0: The Debate

First, thanks for all of the emails I have gotten about thoughts/information about Web 2.0. I am preparing for a panel for Silverdocs and have used this as an opportunity to learn more about the web and the jargon … I mean, the language … created around the new platforms that exist. Getting up to speed on this has taught me that I knew a lot more than I thought. I was a bit nervous because although I have a personal blog and am a pretty internet savvy person, I was not sure that I was ready to speak publicly about these things. Also, I was unsure how to discuss Arts Engine’s role in the whole 2.0 revolution.

I have a much better grasp on the whole thing and will not give up too many of the things I have learned because, well, let’s save the five minutes of information I have for the Silverdocs audience members. I will pass along the definition of web 2.0 because many of my friends have emailed me and said that though they would like to help me in my quest for more information, they have no clue what the heck web 2.0 is. This article gives as a great definition and has some great diagrams. An easy analogy is that web 1.0 is the Encyclopedia Britannica and web 2.0 is wikipedia. Wikipedia allows anyone and everyone to update information. Encyclopedia Britannica simply provides information. A true oversimplification is that, for the reader, web 1.0 is more passive and web 2.0 is more active.

A few days ago, The Brian Lehrer Show featured Andrew Keen, a former Silicon Valley entrepreneur who has written a new book, The Cult of the Amateur: How today’s Internet is killing our culture. Keen believes that blogs, wikis and other web 2.0 phenomena cause a great deal of harm. Listening to him on the show, I was surprised at how pedestrian his arguments were. Haven’t we heard these arguments a hundred times:
• Bloggers aren’t “real” journalists.
• Filmmakers on YouTube are not “real” filmmakers.
• Wikis like wikipedia spread misinformation.

Maybe it was Keen’s glib tone but I thought that he would inspire some new debate.

When Lehrer spoke about some blogs that are deemed “legitimate”, written by living and breathing journalists, he referred to The Huffington Post. Keen then, completely contradicted himself and said that HuffPo is different. It functions more as an online newspaper than a blog because real journalists write it. So if “respected people” write online their work is called online newspapers but the college student, because he or she is an unknown entity, writes on this sub par format known as a blog. This is just more elitist jargon. Writing about what you had for breakfast may not necessarily be news but if there is an audience for it, I argue that maybe it is. I know people would read about what George Clooney had for breakfast if he had a blog. (Is he an eggs and bacon man or a fruit and yogurt kind of guy? These are questions I want answers to. I won't lie.)

As an entrepreneur, Keen did push the idea that many of the artists making videos on YouTube or the musicians putting their music on MySpace for free were not making smart financial decisions. Sure, their work was getting out there but they were making next to nothing financially. Plus (and this was implied) their work was not being seen in a platform that people necessarily respected. People tend to respect work that has to be vetted in some way.

As a filmmaker, I think about how I want to put my work out into the world. I have short films that I have made in film school and they are just sitting on my hard drive taking up space. At first, I did not put them up on YouTube because I want people to see them in a “proper” setting, in a film festival or on some distributors DVD that I can actually make some money off of. The problem with that idea is well, the films are too old to be in any more festivals and only a small handful of distributors take shorts (other than online ones which I have had varied success with). I can huff and puff about other filmmaker friends having their films in [insert fancy film festival here] or being distributed by [insert big name distributor here] but my films still remain on my hard drive.

I finally gave in a year ago and put my third year film school short on YouTube. After a year of doing absolutely nothing to drive traffic to it, 398 people have watched it. It’s not thousands but I could have 398 people watch my film or I could sit around and wait for some outside entity to legitimize my work. You be the judge. No I won’t get rich from this. But people outside of my inner circle will see my work. This can and has lead to success for other artists.

Again, these arguments are not new but because I was provoked to write such a long entry about it, it is clear that it is still a provocative subject. You can read more about Andrew Keen on, ironically, his blog.

Cross posted on Engine Feed.

Coffee troubles

It's getting hot out, and you know what that means? Time to order iced coffee drinks from the local barrista. Sadly though, the state of coffee ordering has gotten so complex for me that the addition of "iced" seems to throw my whole order into doubt. I switched to decaf ages ago. I used to order soy milk, now I usually get cow's milk, but never skim. And I mostly order small drinks, though sometimes medium. And I never know in what order to place all the different variables. Today I tried for "small decaf iced latte" and when the women said something about milk, I assumed she asked if I wanted whole milk, so I said yes. Two seconds later, I was served an iced coffee.

"Oh, sorry. I wanted a latte," I said, "An decaf latte."

It seemed to be corrected and one women went to make it while the other began to ring me up.

"Iced medium latte," she said.

Apparently at this coffee shop, latte = coffee and decaf = medium. Or maybe I was just mumbly? I'm not anymore, now I'm all ZIPPY! From what seems to be a medium NOT DECAF iced latte!!

comments are open

Indian Mangoes, Goin' to Cali

20070608mangoes.jpgCalifornia, long used to exporting fruit, is buzzing about a certain import: mangoes from India have arrived in SoCal. And blogger (and Serious Eater) Marvin has a great comparison, in words and pictures, between regular Mexican-grown variety and the Kesar mangoes from more distant lands. The imports are more than three times as pricey. Marvin's advice:

You should also find some buddies who are mad for mangoes and go in on a case with them, that way it's cheaper. My wife and I will probably eat one or two more of the dozen that I bought, and I will probably give the rest of them to my parents, who enjoy eating mangoes with white rice -- a simple, tasty, and very Filipino preparation.

Bonus: An '80s flashback courtesy of The Last Dragon.

Photograph from Burnt Lumpia

? kottke.org tags

After working on this -- on again and off again, mostly off -- for much too long, I'm pleased to say that a significant chunk of kottke.org now has tags (around 5,100 entries are tagged, out of ~13,000). Right now, the only way to access them is through individual tag pages, but after all the bugs are ironed out, I'll be putting them in different places around the site (front page, main archive page, etc.).

Each tag page lists all the entries1 on the site that are tagged with that particular word...some good examples to start you off are: photography, economics, lists, infoviz, food, nyc, cities, restaurants, video, timelapse, interviews, language, maps, and fashion. Each page also has a list of tags related to that particular tag and further down in the sidebar, you'll find lists of recently popular tags, all-time popular tags, a few favorite tags of mine, and some random tags...lots of stuff to explore.

I've tweaked the design as well: the main column is a little wider, the post metadata look/feel is consistent among short posts and long posts, faint dotted lines now separate all entries, and per-entry tags were added to the post metadata. I'm testing all that out for eventual site-wide use. Questions, comments, bug reports, etc. are welcome...send them on in.

Update: I almost forgot, the nsfw tag.

[1] Not all the entries exactly. Until I figure out how to do some pagination, I've limited the number of entries to 100 for each tag page. The movies page was more than 1 Mb when all the entries were listed. ?

Crossword compliment

On Wednesday night I forcibly snuggled up to Jonah with a 70% completed Wednesday crossword and said we were going to complete it by team work! As I figured out some tough answers we both remarked how I have gotten noticeably better since I started hard-core crosswording 6 months ago. Just as I began to revel in this, the greatest compliment of all came. "You're really going to be good when you're an old lady," Jonah said. If you were in the apartment across the street you would have been momentarily blinded by a flash of light coming from our apt. because I was beaming.

Kiss Boring Interfaces Goodbye With Apple's New Animated OS: The shift toward nonstandard interfaces isn't necessarily new. Kai's Power Tools, a set of plug-ins for Adobe Systems' Photoshop, featured what was at the time a revolutionary interface for editing image files. But the developer, Kai Kruse, was too far ahead of his time -- the majority of Mac users disliked the novel interface, which broke with conventions and ignored Apple's Human Interface Guidelines, or HIG. I'd love to read a more in depth history of the evolution of the Mac OS outside the HIG, because my guess is that it's way over-romanticized by design bloggers today.

Kiss Boring Interfaces Goodbye With Apple's New Animated OS:

Kiss Boring Interfaces Goodbye With Apple's New Animated OS:

The shift toward nonstandard interfaces isn't necessarily new. Kai's Power Tools, a set of plug-ins for Adobe Systems' Photoshop, featured what was at the time a revolutionary interface for editing image files. But the developer, Kai Kruse, was too far ahead of his time -- the majority of Mac users disliked the novel interface, which broke with conventions and ignored Apple's Human Interface Guidelines, or HIG.

I'd love to read a more in depth history of the evolution of the Mac OS outside the HIG, because my guess is that it's way over-romanticized by design bloggers today.

Paula Abdul's Reality Show "A Gift"

I had planned on watching an episode or two of Paula Abdul's upcoming reality show, Hey Paula, just to get in my daily dose of laughter. I fully expected it to showcase the nightmare that the American Idol judge is, but did I expect to be so entertaining that I would want to watch it all the time? Hardly.

Well, Ben Widdicombe of The Daily News says it's that good! The gossip columnist gave the show a glowing review in his column, claiming that his favorite quote of Paula's , "I'm tired of people not treating me like the gift that I am," is just one of the many highlights of the wacky dancer's Bravo bonanza that debuts on June 28th.

Paula is rumored to have tons of fights with everyone from her personal assistant to QVC executives and, even though she lives a very nice life, complains to be under appreciated by everyone that crosses her path.

I'm in.




Vatican city is a landlocked sovereign city-state whose territory consists of a walled enclave within the city of Rome. The Vatican is the smallest independent nation in the world. With Religion as the back/bone the Vatican is a naturally a Mecca for many visiting Nuns from around the world.


A Dyslexsic is able to find Amor in Roma without much effort! Many people associate Roma with being Romantic. I personally associate Roma with sore abdominal muscles due to leaning over and hanging upside down while painting backwards from a rooftop all night long.... Above

Could Lego Star Wars get any cuter?

Answer: no.

Jabba has a BELLY BUTTON!

Marisa Olson reBlogged from Nasty Nets 1

Marisa Olson Sound Files
Marisa Olson Sound File Animated

Marisa Olson Collections 1: Sound Files
images Olson posted to Nasty Nets, reBlogged

June 7, 2007

Wired.com: Yes, I had permission to talk.

Just in case anyone is wondering (especially people, say, at Apple), I got my entire interview with wired.com cleared with Apple PR before sending it off. (And, no, they didn't ask for any changes.)

In general, talking about the features of their unreleased OS would be a violation of my NDA(s) with Apple, but in this case Apple had already put up public web pages about the CoreAnimation features I mentioned, so legally speaking that creates an exception to my NDA.

But there may be other terms in the Leopard prerelease that I didn't notice, and, as you might imagine, I wanted to make EXTRA SURE I didn't step on anyone's toes, so I got explicit sign-off on my interview from the mother ship. Nobody can call me Jonathan Schwartz. (Interesting fact: Jonathan gave me my first contract when I formed The Omni Group, 16 years ago.)


I actually tried to get an exception for my blog, as well, so I could write a pimp-my-code article on how cool Objective-C 2.0 is. Sadly, no dice, so you'll have to wait until October. Not that I'm saying it's cool. Or not. I'm not saying one way or another. I offer no opinion at this time.

london 2012

Answering Jeff's question about sports logos made me realize how much I like the new London 2012 identity. Seeing it made me recoil at first, but a few things have changed my mind about the identity.

The Saved By The Rave Olympic Remix totally nails the retro aesthetic the brand is tickling. The official brand video even makes some of the same covert references with its sinister electronic soundtrack: new rave is a "thing" and by 2012, we should be just about ready for a 20 year bounce of late 80's/early 90's pop cultural nostalgia. Speak Up calls out two other obvious references: Money For Nothing and MTV.

There's also some incredible stuff going on at the end of that brand video (fast-forward to ~1:50):

The logo defines a basic visual grammar that will survive reproduction in print, video, web, etc., and the use I'm seeing so far crackles with energy. In contrast to Jeff's two other contestants for worst sporting event logo (2006 World Cup and Tour de France), 2012 is the only one that has any sort of life in it. World Cup is flaccid and committee-drenched, while Tour is conservative.

London 2012 is absurd and wants to be shown around, so ridiculous that it spawns a wave of derision for maximum exposure.

well edited breakfast tacos

Via Ben and Mena, this outtake from the Sin City DVD of Robert Rodriguez cooking breakfast tacos is the most well-edited cooking video I've ever seen. You'll never again want to eat store bought tortillas after this.

Blog Stops and Starts

I wanted to write longer entries about these things but I think I'll just bulletpoint them for now:

  • They fired Isaiah Washington from Grey's Anatomy for saying the f-word awhile back!  Apparently they were deliberating for a while about this and just informed him that they were not going to renew his contract.  As much as I loved Burke, ABC did the right thing.  I know Washington made an effort to make things right but he has to be punished.  It sucks for the show though.  Really sucks. 
  • I went to my first big organizing meeting for volunteers for Barack Obama's campaign.  There were hundreds of people there!  This my first step towards making a real, concrete contribution to this campaign.  Although there were people from all races at the meeting, somehow, it still felt segregated.  It felt like the white people grouped with the white people, the black with the black and so on.  Time will tell if this is all in my head.
  • I can't even get into how insane and classist this whole Paris Hilton thing is.  That chick needs to go back to jail, NOW!  This is harder for me to deal with because I have been dealing with someone who was returned to jail after being on parole.  He violated his parole but it was a minor violation and now he may have to go back to jail for the rest of his life!  And Paris can get to be on house arrest because she may have a nervous breaakdown.  True, she is only in jail for traffic violations but if I have to deal with our stupid criminal justice system, she does too.
  • My mailbox has been filled with goodies lately which almost never happens.  (Usually it is filled with people offering yet another way to consolidate my numerous student loans.)   Just as I was pulling my copy of Junot Diaz's Drown off of my bookshelf wondering where was he and when was going to write something else, I got the summer fiction issue of The New Yorker!  It feaures a new story from Diaz and other stories from Miranda July (!), Edwidge Danticat and more.  My main criticism about this issue is how few new faces there are (a typical problem with this magazine).  There was only one writer who has been in this magazine several times, David Hoon Kim.  Spread the love guys!  I am eager for some more new voices.  It's not helping your reputation and you are winning fewer literary awards because of it.  Just a thought.
  • My anemia is bad again.  I am tired a lot and now have to take some insane amount of iron (1000mg)!  I might have to go in for some minor surgery at some point (around August) to deal with all of this.  I have a serious fear of hospitals and I am just trying to deal with that.  They say I will feel like a million bucks after this surgery.  I will feel ten years younger and will drop weight.  These are good things so I am trying to mentally prepare.
  • I am on the fence about the Africa issue of Vanity Fair.  I have not finished the issue yet so I am going to hold my tongue on my feelings overall.  There is a lot of information in this issue that is useful and important.  Still, I am really conflicted about the whole role that celebrities play in all of this.  There is an ick factor to it.  I am not sure if I should just deal with the ick factor because it brings so much attention to parts of the world that need it.   More analysis needed on this one.
  • Oh, President Bush is on one of the twenty covers of Vanity Fair's Africa issue.  Did I neglect to mention that?
  • Chris Rock has a great piece in this Vanity Fair!  He is so brilliant.  I do not want to spoil it but  have to share my favorite bit:

I said I'd write a piece about the non-participation of African-Americans in Pan-African affairs.  I sat down at my computer and realized that piece would only be three words long.  Those words are:  Niggers are broke.  I sent that to Vanity Fair and they rejected it - not because it was three words, but because they didn't feel like getting a call from Al Sharpton.

  • I feel on the brink of something big in my personal life.  I have no idea why I feel this way but I just do.
  • I bought the new Maroon 5 and I love it!  I just love Adam Levine's voice. 
  • I am taking a break from gossip sites (like JustJared, pinkisthenoewblog, TMZ etc).  I don't think I want to know anymore.  It just ruins everything.  For example, like I just said, I love the new Maroon 5 cd but everytime I hear Adam Levine speak in interview, he just seems annoying and pompous.  It just about ruined John Mayer for me!  I just don't want to know anymore!  I don't want to know what kind of people my favorite artists are.  I just want to enjoy their craft.  (I know.  I know.  "Good luck!")
  • Last week we launched The Media That Matters Film Festival at my job.  You can watch the films online.  It features several social issue documentaries that are 8 mins or under.  My two faves are:  Garbage Dreams (#1) and I'm Not A Boy (#11).  Julie Joyce, featured in I'm Not A Boy, has the quote of all quotes in the film.  We think it should be on  t-shirt:  "I want to be something someone craves for and just can't have because they are not on my level."  I always find the events around the festival to be so inspiring.  Watch the films and tell me your faves. 

Book Review : The Linux Programmer's Toolbox

What does it take to start writing programs for Linux ? Most people will guess a text editor, knowledge of a programming language and the compiler and libraries of that language would suffice. But ask a professional programmer who has been writing code for Linux and he will differ with you and insist that while the three things stated above can very well help kick start ones programs, other

WWDC 2007

Next week, San Francisco will become the extremely concentrated stomping ground of Mac developers from around the world. I’m attending this year and am very excited (if a bit overwhelmed!) by the amount of activities that I’m scheduled to participate in both within the official confines of the conference, and outside those walls in various lunch meetings and evening meet-ups.

This is the first WWDC I’ve ever paid for. Ouch! That part stings - but I think it will be worth it. The last WWDC I attended was in San Jose, while I was still working at Apple. I had been several years running, although to be honest I didn’t spend all that much time in the sessions or parties. As a member of the Core Services team I had little time or inclination to be too curious about the various technologies that comprised “complete developer landscape.” Usually I learned about technologies as they related to the Core Services functionality that my team was providing.

This year is going to be different. As an independent software developer, I’m interested in — no, fascinated by — almost every facet of the system. The reason of course is that almost every facility Apple provides has the potential to be useful to me in providing new features to my users.

The other huge difference between now and then is the number of people I have become acquainted with outside of Apple. I have to confess that as an inside developer I didn’t go out of my way to make friends with 3rd party developers. I did meet a few at various developer kitchens and through email correspondence, but mostly I just stuck with my Apple friends. This WWDC will be exciting because I’ll get to see so many of my old Apple friends again, and also see so many of the 3rd party developers I’ve come to know through the web.

Meet Me In San Francisco

If you’re going to WWDC, be sure to wear a flower in your hair. Whoops, phrase-o. If you’re going to WWDC, and you have an interest in meeting me, I’ll be showing up in some predictable places throughout the week. These events all promise to be jam-packed with interesting folks. They’re not the only places you’ll find me, but they’re probably the most reliable (i.e. I’ll be there for a while):

Sunday: SF Mac Indie Soiree. The only for-pay event I’m going to, but so many people from the Mac developer world are going to be there I would feel extremely dumb to skip it.

Monday: Buzz Andersen’s Party. I have been jealous of those who attended this party for the past few years. I guess it turns out I could have gone while I still lived in San Francisco, but I wasn’t “tuned in” enough to know about it. (I was busy earning a BA in Music). Also, right around the corner and at roughly the same time are the WebKit and TUAW parties. So if you get bored anywhere you should find amusement nearby.

Thursday: I don’t know what Apple has in mind for its replacement of the venerable Cupertino Campus Bash, but I’ll be finding out, and hopefully catching up with a bunch of my old Apple friends.

I would be honored to meet any readers of this blog who happen to stumble upon me. Don’t worry, it will be easy to spot me in the crowd. I’ll be the nerdy programmer!

Faile on Chrystie, 4 Days Only

TheFaileNYCshow.jpg Faile, the Williamsburg streetart supergroup composed of two guys named Patrick, is having their first solo NYC gallery show this weekend, and they've asked Gothamist to announce the super-secret location. They've taken over an old glass factory on Chrystie Street just south of Stanton, and filled it with dozens of their canvases and sculptures. If you've enjoyed their street work and are in the neighborhood, check out the show-- today through Sunday, 11am-6pm, at 201 Chrystie. A few pictures from inside the gallery, after the jump.

Buzz Andersen's 4th Annual WWDC Party

Buzz: “Come celebrate the start of the Apple Worldwide Developer’s conference, meet the people who make your favorite Mac software, listen to some great music, and enjoy some of the Mission District’s finest tacos, straight off the truck!”

I’m pleased to be able to say that the tacos are on NewsGator. ;)

A series of visually insteresting ads from Juicy Fruit.

A series of visually insteresting ads from Juicy Fruit. (link)

The High-Resolution 17-Inch MacBook Pro

It’s hard not to see the new high-resolution 17-inch MacBook Pro display as a few months ahead of its time.

Closed by DOH Again, Di Fara's Faces Uncertain Future

2007_06_difara.jpg Di Fara, the famed Brooklyn pizzeria that claims a space in many people's hearts, has been closed since Monday after failing five of the last six Department of Health restaurant inspections. Now, the media has flocked to get sad reactions from customers. The NY Times talks to a Brooklyn College student, who says, "I come twice a week, at least. This is the best pizza. I don't want to find a new place." The violations included rodent infestation as well as preparing food without gloves. Owner Dominic DeMarco does not wear gloves, and his son told amNY, "My dad has a thing where he just can't make pizza while wearing gloves... For him, pizza is a very hands-on experience." Yeah - and the pizza is going into a super-hot oven. Pizza blog Slice created a waiver of liability for eating at Di Fara - we'd sign it! The DeMarcos are awaiting a tribunal (!), scheduled for June 14. DeMarco's daughter told the Times that though they provided a food safety certificate, it wasn't recognized because it was a photocopy. Slice, which has long loved Di Fara, believes this might be a silver lining, given that there's been a problem lately - burnt crusts - writing, "Maybe this break will give Di Fara some time to adjust the oven and fix whatever needs it." Do you think Di Fara's will re-open? And here are DOH inspection results, save for the most recent one. Photograph taken at DiFara's by tud5000 on Flickr

Better Code Through Destruction

tile imagePerl 5's reference counting scheme almost always keeps memory usage predictable...except for one corner case. The Resource Acquisition Is Initialization strategy helps avoid memory leaks--and can improve your use of exceptions, alarms, other resources, and even transactional systems. Igor Gariev demonstrates.

Ugh. Fine, join facebook, but for the love of god, don’t friend

"Ugh. Fine, join facebook, but for the love of god, don’t friend your kids. It’s the online equivalent of trying to hang out with your kid and their friends." A reader comment on a the NYT article "omg my mom joined facebook!! 

“wayyy creepy,” it said. “why did you make one!”

Ah, there she was.

“What are you talking about?” I typed innocently.

“im only telling you for your own good,” my daughter typed.

“Be my friend,” I typed.

“You won’t get away with this,” she typed. “everyone in the whole world thinks its super creepy when adults have facebooks.”

“Have facebooks? Is that what you think a Profile page is called?” I typed.

She disconnected.

And below a favorite Simpson's clip.

A 150-mile walk through the streets (and trails and beaches and parks) of the Big Apple

On Monday morning, June 4, we will set out on a five-day urban adventure. Walking 30 miles each day, we hope to see and experience more of the city than anyone ever has over the course of a single work week. Our route will take us through diverse landscapes and neighborhoods, sights both well-known and obscure.

BurnSomeDust - NYC Trek 2007

A Nokia Mac app! Hooray! Nokia Media Transfer is now out!

I've been using this for a while and it really is nice. It plugs a gap between my phone and my Mac.

Dare I say Nokia is finally playing properly with Apple? Well, I don't know, but I do know that Nokia phones are no longer second class citizens in the Mac universe. This is indeed a step in the right direction. Together with iSync, you can now transfer contacts, calendar, photos, videos, and music between your dearly paid for Mac and your dearly paid for Nokia phone (alas, only Nseries phones).*

This app makes it easier to transfer music from iTunes to your phone. It also makes it easier to get photos and videos into iPhoto (and back). It doesn't work on DRM'd (hiss) music and videos, but free stuff will be properly converted to play on your device (assuming you have the right device, yada yada).

Yes, you can have your cake and eat it!

Link: Nokia - Download - Main - Download software - Get support and software:

The Nokia Media Transfer application enables you to transfer pictures, videos, podcasts, music, and files between your Nokia mobile device and your Mac.

*ah, but I also want to synch my to-dos and notes and bookmarks, too. sigh.

Save Soccer Tacos


It's at once amazing and not all that surprising that the Red Hook ball fields in Brooklyn are getting so much attention from New York City food lovers. From bloggers to anonymous activists to chefs, everyone agrees: The place is a culinary treasure and needs to be preserved.

I love that Save Soccer Tacos sprang up, complete with a sample message that it suggests sending to New York City Parks Commissioner Adrian Benepe and City Councilwoman Sara M. Gonzalez, whose 38th District includes the ball fields.

I hate that the Parks Department website makes you use a black hole of a form to email Commissioner Benepe, so with a little digging, we found direct email addresses to ping him at: adrian.benepe@parks.nyc.gov

Here's some body text, based on the Save Soccer Tacos message, that you can copy and paste into your email to Commissioner Benepe. (Add you name and send as-is, or for a more effective plea, personalize it with what the ball fields mean to you.)

Dear Commissioner Benepe,

Please extend the Temporary Use Agreement to the vendors at the Red Hook ball fields. They are a unique resource in the city, are one of the best things about summer in Brooklyn, and they are irreplaceable.

The vendors bring value to Red Hook by bringing people out to eat who might otherwise not visit the neighborhood, and they create an experience and a range of real, honest food that typical park vendors could not possibly replicate.

I'm asking you to please grant them an extension for this year and to look for a way to make the use agreement permanent.

This is a cultural institution worth saving!


Dinner party anxiety

People don’t want to be associated with the wrong kind of olive oil, points out the New York Times, in one of those articles that makes New Yorkers seem like crazy people. Ah, the stress of throwing a dinner party when you're a lunatic foodie! I avoid this problem by throwing low-key dinner parties and not freaking out, amazingly enough. What I do is plan a menu that can more or less entirely be prepared in advance, say a roast or a tart for a main course. When my guests arrive, we enjoy hors d'oeuvres and appertifs in the living room. They always looks a little anxious when I hang out with them, instead of dashing around the kitchen. Then after a while I say, "Is everyone ready to eat?" and I usually dress the salad (vinaigrette and salad already made in advance too), pull whatever's in the oven out of the oven, and voila! Dinner is served.

Sometimes at this point I have a dessert that's made and that goes into the oven to bake while we eat. Sometimes it's already prepared or doesn't need anything more than a simple assembly. It's amazing how nicely this whole approach to dinner parties can be. I still of course obsess over the menu, and buy high quality ingredients. But for me the fun is having people over, and enjoying their company. I don't care if I'm associated with the wrong kind of olive oil. I care that my friends head home happy and contented after a nice evening.

comments are open

Making cheese out of human breast milk

My extensive experience in making Paneer compelled me to try something different, that is, making Paneer out of my own breast milk. Woman attempts to make "human cheese" with her supply of frozen breast milk. Passed its "three months drinkability period" but not yet expired, she thought it would be fun to try. Alas, it doesn't work because human breast milk doesn't contain enough protein to curdle. Even if it had worked, who'd eat the cheese? [via BoingBoing]

comments are open

[bit] Wayne Gretzky-style ‘field sense’ may be teachable

Wayne Gretzky-style ‘field sense’ may be teachable. “[P]layers who make poor decisions tend to glance at targets, rather than pausing on them. They’re also more drawn to motion.”

Happy birthday Prince!!

A gift to all of you on this special day, compliments of YouTube:

Douglas Adams: It's Just People Talking

"What should concern us is not that we can't take what we read on the internet on trust – of course you can't, it's just people talking – but that we ever got into the dangerous habit of believing what we read in the newspapers or saw on the TV – a mistake that no one who has met an actual journalist would ever make. One of the most important things you learn from the internet is that there is no 'them' out there. It's just an awful lot of 'us'.â€

‘omg my mom joined facebook!!’ - New York Times

“You won’t get away with this,” she typed. “everyone in the whole world thinks its super creepy when adults have facebooks.”

del.icio.us bookmark this on del.icio.us - posted by revgeorge to - more about this bookmark...

People who living in Greenland are loving this global warming...

People who living in Greenland are loving this global warming thing. "At a science station in the ice-covered interior of Greenland, average winter temperatures rose nearly 11 degrees Fahrenheit from 1991 to 2003. Winters are shorter, ice is melting, and fish and animals are on the move." 11 degrees in 12 years! (link)

Mo' Momofuku Ssam Bar!








Top Chef: It's Ba-ack!

Last night, the folks at Bravo offered a one-hour amuse bouche for the imminent third season of Top Chef. The format was one part reunion special, one part business as usual, with a dash of coming attraction.

We met the newest judge, Queer Eye's Ted Allen; we learned that the show is stopping in Miami for the upcoming series; and we saw a four-course challenge between teams of finalists from the first two seasons.

The courses were judged independently, and each featured a different main ingredient: scallops, lobster, duck, and Kobe beef. The team with the most head-to-head wins got to donate $20,000 to their favorite charity.

Here's the tale of the toques:

Dave (Season 1) vs. Elia (Season 2), preparing scallops
Stephen vs. Marcel, lobster
Harold vs. Ilan, duck
Tiffani vs. Sam, beef

I won't spoil the results, since you can still catch the show on Bravo this coming week or streaming at the Top Chef website. However, I will say this: The real winner, as always, was the relative insufferability of the contestants. Some chefs had mellowed a bit, others had clearly been toughened up by notoriety. But there's no denying that the people you love to hate are the real stars of Top Chef, and it looks like Season 3 continues on tastefully in that grand reality-show tradition.

Quote of the Morning: George Clooney's Thoughts on Paris and Lindsay

"If I were as famous as some of those kids who are on the magazines right now at 21 years old, I’d be shooting crack under my eyeball. We are always going to be that society that slows down to look at the car wreck on the side of the road. I think we’re just in one of those places right now, and it seems to be focused on younger kids Paris Hilton and Lindsay Lohan and people like that. They’ll get through it, but I wouldn’t want to be growing up around that.”

--- George Clooney, on being a young Hollywood star.

Open Source Software in Libraries

Casey Bisson has written a Library Technology Reports issue on Open Source Software in Libraries with a chapter by yours truly. I got to install and run Mac and Windows versions of the more popular desktop open source applications and take screenshots and make recommendations. Of course it’s not hard to recommend something like Firefox with all its sexy add-ons and Greasemonkey scripts, but you might not know that VLC is a pretty good media player, or that for advanced users Gimp can do a lot of what Photoshop does for no cost. Now if we can just get our style guides properly updated to not suggest hyphenating it all the time, we’ll be golden.

, , ,

Vanity Fair Covers the Stars

In an unprecedented move, Vanity Fair is releasing twenty different covers of their July 2007 issue, with over twenty different celebrities, all with one common goal – improving Africa.

In the issue edited by U2's Bono, the covers are meant to be a "visual chain letter," said photographer Annie Leibovitz, who was tapped to shoot all the celebs singled out for their do-good work in Africa. "These are incredible people of our time, involved in this effort to make Africa better, to get Africa self-sufficient, and to try to get rid of AIDS on the continent."

From Oprah to George Clooney to Jay-Z to Brad Pitt to Chris Rock, Bono said it wasn't tough to get the big names to participate.

"It’s like what do all these people have in common? They don’t but one thing they do [share] is their passion for Africa and they believe the problems of Africa can be solved,” he said.

“That’s what this issue of Vanity Fair is all about – to bring some sex appeal to the idea of wanting to change the world,” he added.

To see all twenty gorgeous covers, click here.

Frugal Gardening

Gardening On The Cheap. Tips on getting free plants for your yard, wherever you live.

Street Art in Google Street View


Ever since Google launched their Street View enhancement to Google Maps people have been on the hunt for interesting images that have been captured during the process. Matty found this piece by Adam5-100 in San Francisco.

Has anyone found any other examples?

Is Iran Next? Think Again!

Is Iran Next? Think Again!. In an effort to grab the attention of politicians, think tanks, and lobbyists through the masses of identical form letters, petitions, and faxes, this project encourages inventive hand made or “modified” postcards to spread the word. (The site includes a handy list of politicians, think tanks, and lobbyists.)

June 6, 2007

hacked sites

Today I received an e-mail from Dreamhost that they had suffered an incident in which over 3,500 FTP passwords were accessed by a third party. And of those only 20% of the sites run off of these accounts had been compromised. And that even then all the hacker had done was replace the index pages with other pages. It turns out that all of my sites were affected. Incredibly annoying!!! Makes me feel vulnerable. I've been able to restore 95% of them. Since these sites are primarily for some author friends and one not-for-profit and they don't pay for hosting, at least real hosting, I guess we were lucky.

Sea Turtles Release

Library - 4749.jpg

The Karen Beasley Sea Turtle Rescue and Rehabilitation Center on Topsail Island, North Carolina, released thirteen Sea Turtles back into the wild earlier today. I'm not sure if this is Surf City, Kayak, Nelson, Progress II, Cedar III, Nettie, Fisher III, Harley, Buzz, Taylor, Pi, Frosty or Shacklford II, but we wish him (or her) bon voyage.

Photo from abourgie. See more of today's photos in her Sea Turtle Release photo set.

Congrats on openid.sun.com; I'm not sure why we don't have

Congrats on openid.sun.com; I'm not sure why we don't have openid.ibm.com yet. It's a little interesting that they let users choose their own identity and Sun doesn't vouch for the user's name, just for the fact that they're a Sun employee; now BM Seer can run wild on the Web.

WWDC Afterhours Event Calendar

Colin Barrett has made an iCal “ics file for all the ‘unofficial’ events happening after hours at WWDC this year (that I know about).” Cool. I’ve subscribed. Colin’s da man.

Does Anyone Use the Honey Thing?


Steven of The Sneeze takes a look at the widespread use of "the honey thing"—also known as a honey dipper, honey wand, or honey drizzler—on cereal boxes despite that few people seem to actually use these honey things:

You have done well for yourself, little wooden honey thing. I suspect you have a kick-ass publicist, since NOBODY ACTUALLY USES YOU.

If I were that cute bear-shaped squeeze bottle of honey in my kitchen, I'd be on the phone with my agent right now, tearing him a new one.

I've actually wondered about the use of honey dippers too; does anyone actually use them? My honey-removal tool of choice is a spoon, which, conveniently, has many other uses. The use of a honey dipper appears to be limited to being dunked in honey. Enlighten me, oh, Serious Eaters.

The profile of an iPhone line-waiter

Who are you going to run into while waiting in line for an iPhone? A 31-year-old college graduate, male New Yorker (or Californian), who may or may not already own an iPod and has a yearly household income of $75,600.


Wagyu steak salad at Per Se

per_se_steak_salad.jpgPer Se’s summery Wagyu-steak salad keeps appearing on the frequently-changing menu. It's made with Japanese Wagyu, "graded A5, one of the very highest grades," watercress, vinaigrette made with rendered Wagyu fat, carrots, chive blossoms, radishes, and spiced peanuts. Mmmm, looks and sounds fantastic. I could go for that for dinner tonight!

comments are open

I predict the iPhone is going to be a hit.

I predict the iPhone is going to be a hit....

I predict the iPhone is going to be a hit.

Sun CEO Jonathan Schwartz: ZFS to be the file system in Leopard

The CEO of Sun drops word that ZFS will be "the filesystem" in Leopard. Now we just need Bill Clinton to parse what the meaning of "the" is...


Replacing One Problem with Another

"...the lack of data synchronization in Google Gears is a significant oversight. If Google intends for Google Gears to become a platform that will be generally useful to the average Web developer then the company will have to fix this oversight. Otherwise, they haven't done as much for the Web development world as the initial hype led us to believe."

Top 20 plays of the 2007 NBA playoffs (so far)....

Top 20 plays of the 2007 NBA playoffs (so far). It's a good list but YouTube sucks for watching sports highlights...the quality is just too low. (via truehoop) (link)

2007 MacTech 25

The results are in for the 2007 MacTech 25, a community-selected list of the 25 “most influential” members of the Mac community. (Apple employees are not eligible, or else the list would probably look a lot different!)

I couldn’t be more thrilled, because not only does the list include everybody I suggested as good candidates, it also includes me!

I’m particularly happy to share the honor with so many people I have so much respect for. I would try to itemize them but there are just so many that I am still in awe of actually being listed among them. Many thanks to those who voted for me. It feels great to be recognized, and I’m glad if it means I’ve had a positive influence on you.

I would also like to point out that everybody who has programmed for MarsEdit is on the MacTech 25 list this year :) This project has the golden touch!

Research suggests that those who fidget are less likely to...

Research suggests that those who fidget are less likely to be obese. Fidgeters of the world say, "well, duh, all that moving around is good exercise". (link)

Mail-Order Assistant apply within!!

Talk about temptation!!!


Ars reader plays with iPhone, describes functionality as "amazing!" (updated)

An Ars forum poster claims to have played with an iPhone with his own two hands yesterday. We are cautiously optimistic about his account of the iPhone's screen smudginess, typing speed, and the packaging.


The Visual Art of Mark Mothersbaugh

Speaking of postcards, Mark Mothersbaugh (yes, that one) has been drawing and sending postcards to friends and family for the past thirty years. Check out a gallery of recent ones here.

more metrics: distributions and packages

Top 30 Authors by Number of Distributions:

ADAMK, 143
RJBS, 108
INGY, 73
TMTM, 50
XERN, 43

Top 30 Authors by Number of Packages:

ADAMK, 389
INGY, 257
JRED, 253
RJBS, 250
GAAS, 211
EVO, 185
CLKAO, 178
GUIDO, 165
LDS, 160
ABW, 151

Top 30 Authors by Ratio of Packages to Distributions:

author, packages, dists, ratio
VELTZER, 380, 1, 380 *
AREIBENS, 152, 1, 152
KSTEPHENS, 294, 2, 147
TWITTEK, 95, 1, 95
BIRNEY, 371, 4, 92.75
JLAVALLEE, 83, 1, 83
WYRD, 82, 1, 82
BOUMENOT, 228, 3, 76
CODYP, 76, 1, 76
PMEVZEK, 145, 2, 72.5
EXIFTOOL, 72, 1, 72
JCOHEN, 63, 1, 63
EMILLER, 53, 1, 53
CZBSD, 52, 1, 52
JHOWELL, 50, 1, 50
IPPO, 50, 1, 50
JONALLEN, 295, 6, 49.167
MDUPONT, 47, 1, 47
JBNIVOIT, 46, 1, 46
DBURDICK, 88, 2, 44
STRCEK, 44, 1, 44
DZHUO, 44, 1, 44
MAMAWE, 43, 1, 43
HANJE, 128, 3, 42.67
AKIMOV, 42, 1, 42
BSHENRY, 41, 1, 41
MIKFIRE, 41, 1, 41
HAMPTON, 40, 1, 40
DISSENT, 40, 1, 40
MILSO, 120, 3, 40

* The infamous "Meta" dist :)

Top 30 Distributions by Age

FileKGlob, TYEMQ, 1995-08-20 07:27:16
SGI-FM, AMOSS, 1995-08-20 07:29:54
SGI-GL, AMOSS, 1995-08-20 07:30:34
SGI-SysCalls, AMOSS, 1995-08-20 07:31:05
perl_archie, GBOSS, 1995-08-20 14:48:11
InitializeServer, JACKS, 1995-08-20 17:19:41
Prolog-alpha, JACKS, 1995-08-20 17:24:24
CallerItem, JACKS, 1995-08-20 20:09:52
DumpStack, JACKS,1995-08-20 20:17:04
IPC_SysV, JACKS, 1995-08-20 20:23:19
Des-perl, MICB, 1995-08-20 20:41:46
HTML, GAND, 1995-08-29 08:51:46
SetDualVar, KJALB, 1995-09-28 17:48:59
Ptty, NI-S, 1995-09-28 18:00:13
HTML-QuickCheck, YLU, 1995-10-01 11:20:25
Religion, KJALB, 1995-10-09 02:52:25
c_plus_plus, ILYAZ, 1995-10-20 08:45:00
DBD-QBase, BENLI, 1995-11-04 08:42:05
NIS, RIK, 1995-11-10 10:47:56
Ar, RIK, 1995-11-19 01:10:52
Tk-SelFile, ALSCH, 1995-11-20 16:33:46
CGI-Response, MGH, 1995-12-02 07:05:46
SGMLSpm, DMEGG, 1995-12-07 11:30:00
Devel-RegExp, ILYAZ, 1995-12-20 03:20:00
Math-Fortran, JARW, 1995-12-29 11:34:29
Math-Derivative, JARW, 1995-12-29 11:36:17
Math-Spline, JARW, 1995-12-29 11:36:21
Math-Brent, JARW, 1995-12-29 11:36:36
Include, GBARR, 1996-01-04 13:15:23
Log-Topics, JARW, 1996-01-05 14:14:56

People yearn to break bread with neighbors

In these isolated times, people yearn to break bread with neighbors. Communal tables are all the rage at Bay Area restaurants. Though the article points to NYC's Asia de Cuba as the trendsetter, I can't say communal tables are all the rage here. Of course, most tables are packed so close together in Manhattan that it seems like you're sitting with the folks next to you anyway.

comments are open

Photo of the day: Paris Antler Bike

This photo works as the photo of the day on several levels:

  • it’s an antler bike, in Paris
  • the cyclist is wearing a beret with matching uniform that matches the spoke reflectors
  • the cyclist strikes a saucy pose
  • it says I’m French and fun!

Thanks to Pally for the tip and finding the Paris Antler Bike on the Paris Deconstructed blog.


Win Two Bubba Passes to the Big Apple BBQ Party

There's still time to win two Bubba Passes to the Big Apple BBQ Block Party this weekend in New York City's Madison Square Park.

To enter to win this barbecue fantasy, simply tells your favorite barbecue joint here. Typical Serious Eats contest rules apply. Commenting will be open until Thursday at 6 p.m. ET. We'll announce the winner Friday morning.

Justin's Lucky New Lady

Justin Timberlake has a new girl in his life.

Pretty, Dutch singer, Esmee Denters, is the first artist that has been chosen for JT's new recording label, Tennman Records. The 18-year-old first began generating buzz when she used a web cam to record herself doing covers of songs by stars such as Alicia Keys and Mary J. Blige (she's singing Mary's No More Drama above) and posting them on YouTube. People went crazy for the gal.

"Esmee is the real deal and I cannot wait for the world to hear her," he says, "but all of her fans on YouTube should not worry … we will keep you in the loop every step of the way."

The lucky lady will write and record a CD for release later this year, and will join fairy godfather Justin on tour this summer.

"Words can't describe how amazing it is. I am so excited!" Esmee said in a statement. "It is something I have always dreamed of doing. I have to thank YouTube and its viewers for giving me the opportunity to show the world my voice. I also have to thank Justin, one of the biggest artists in the world, for believing in me and making my dreams come true."

I love a good Cinderella story.

Meet Our New Recruit

robyn-disneyland.jpgLongtime readers of Serious Eats have already met Robyn Lee (aka The Girl Who Ate Everything). Robyn served as our spring semester intern here until she graduated from college.

We're now pleased to announce that she has made the leap from intern to staff editorial assistant at Serious Eats world headquarters. (So much for us thinking we'd scared her off.) In her new role, she'll be working with us all on site content; creating graphic collateral (she designed the super-cute PBJ and doughnut logos); and taking kick-ass, mouthwatering, I-hope-you've-eaten-lunch-'cause-if-not-you're-going-to-be-hungry photos.

Welcome aboard, Robyn!

June 5, 2007

Meatpaper subscriptions available

Remember I told you about Meatpaper, a cool new magazine "of art and ideas about meat" awhile back? Well subscriptions are now available The first issue will ship at the end of summer, 2007. So go sign up now!

comments are open

Save the Red Hook Ball Fields


Josh Ozersky reports on Grub Street that the food concession contract at the Red Hook ball fields in Brooklyn are going to be put up for bidding by the city this fall and that the last day to eat the terrific grub found there will be September 7.

This, my friends, should not be allowed to happen. The Red Hook ball fields, where Latino families put up makeshift restaurants serving real, honest food of their home countries, is one of the last bastions of real food to be found in New York City. If it's replaced by a series of dirty water dog carts, a sausage-and-pepper stand, or some generic high bidder, it would be a travesty.

Serious Eats is going to start a petition and movement to try to get the city to see the madness inherent in this misguided notion. Apparently the parks commissioner should be the object of our attention. Mr. Commissioner, you will be hearing from us.

Photograph from my friend Peter Cunningham

Why there's no Rails Inc

IDC predicts the market for open-source software will reach some six billion dollars in 2011. No wonder the VCs are getting anxious to play on that roulette.

Which brings me to why there's no Rails Inc. It certainly isn't for lack of VCs wanting to fund. I've had more than a handful conversations with various outfits eager to pour big money into such an operation, but I'm just not interested.

There are many reasons not to be interested in VC money these days, but let's just give two specific ones for Rails.

First, Rails is not my job. I don't want it to be my job. The best frameworks are in my opinion extracted, not envisioned. And the best way to extract is first to actually do.

That's really hard if your full-time job is just the extraction part since you now have to come up with contrived examples or merely live off the short bursts of consulting. For some that might work, but I find that all my best ideas and APIs come from working on a real project for a sustained period of time.

Second, the growth of the Rails ecosystem has been staggering. There are so many shops out there offering Rails consulting and training. I believe part of that proliferation is due to the fact that there's no core-group monopoly that can dominate the market.

I believe a Rails Inc consisting of a large group of core committers would have an unfair advantage in the training and consulting space — easily siphoning off all the best juice and leaving little for anything else. There are plenty of examples in our industry of that happening around open source tools.

It's much more satisfying to see a broader pool of companies all competing on a level playing field.

Eat Free in Florence

Photo by Optical Illusion on Flickr

I usually find the New York Times "36 Hours" pieces to be formulaic and unexciting, but Danielle Pergament's 36 Hours: Florence made me really hungry, especially since she talked about free bar snacks that made my mouth water. With the strength of the euro driving prices up all over Europe, free Florentine bar snacks sound pretty good to me.

My only question: What is Buontalenti gelato? I'll try to find out. In the meantime, here's where she went for the free food, great gelato, excellent pastries, and dinner.

Viale dei Mille, 20r:
Ph: 39-055-578-682, is where Danielle had the Buontalenti gelato.

Free bar snacks for the price of a glass of wine (5 to 8 euros) at the following three spots. Bar snacks include cheese ravioli, seafood risotto, crisp artichoke salad, grilled vegetables, and tomato bruschetta:

Fuori Porta
Via del Monti alle Croci, 10r
Ph: 39-055-234-2483

Rifrullo (rooftop bar)
Via San Niccolo, 55r
Ph: 39-055-234-2621

La Dolce Vita
Piazza del Carmine
Ph: 39-055-284-595

Dolci & Dolcezze--"the city's best pasticceria-capuccino and croissant"
Piazza Cesare Beccaria, 8r
Ph: 39-055-234-5458

Trattoria Toscana Gozzi Sergio: "juicy Florentine steak (34 Euros a kilo)"
Piazza San Lorenzo, 8r
Ph: 39-055-281-941

Osteria Belle Donne: "arugula salad with pecorino and artichokes, eggplant parmesan, and roasted chicken with peppers"
Via delle Belle Donne, 16r

Teatro del Sale: Boutique grocery, theater, and private club (memberships at door for 5 euros
Via dei Macci, 111r
Ph: 39-055-200-1492
Dishes: buffet table features olive tapenade, rigatoni with ricotta cheese, spaghetti with pesto, sauteed fennel, bean salad, roack of lamb, and chocolate mousse with whipped cream and wafer cookies" Plus entertainment that begins at 9:30. The bill for all this is seriously cheap: 25 Euros a person

For more info on where to eat in Florence or just to cross check where Danielle ate check out faith willinger's website. Faith is an American who has lived in Florence for many years. She really knows her stuff. Also, Mario Batali has great tips on eating in the rest of Tuscany on his site.

I think I solved the mystery of Buontalenti ice cream. According to many sources Bernardo Buontalenti invented gelato in 1565. The owner of Badiani claims he found Buontalenti's recipe in some old manuscripts. Sounds like an Italian urban legend to me.

NetNewsWire 3.0 for Mac out of beta with tasty new features

The new NetNewsWire 3.0 has hit the streets in full glory, complete with Spotlight, Growl, and Twitterrific integration. It also has improved performance, and can tell you which feeds you use a lot and which ones you don't.


MarsEdit 1.2

Red Sweater Software released an update to MarsEdit today. Highlights include support for Growl, Picasa, and Vox.

Readers' Favorite Burgers


Over on Serious Eats burger site A Hamburger Today, there was some serious discussion last week about readers' favorite local burger joints. There are some serious-sounding places submitted by AHT readers. After the jump, all 61 recommendations. If you have your own to add to the roster, feel free to do so in the comments, and we'll include it in later revisions of this list.

Burgerama!My favorite burger is at the James Joyce Public House in White Plains, New York. My mouth is watering just thinking about them! ?Dan Bruno

Burgerama!I'm all about the burger at Charlie Beinlich's in Northbrook, Illinois, just north of Chicago. ?AlexG

Burgerama!I grew up in Havre, Montana, home of Rod's Drive-In's Ugly Burger. It's a moist, crumbly patty of beef covered in pickles, lettuce, and a "special sauce" that is definitely not just Thousand Island dressing. Best enjoyed with a side order of "gems" (greasy-in-a-good-way tater tots) and the flavored soda of your choice. (When I was 14 it was the fruit-punch Mountain Dew, but I have a feeling that much sugar would kill me now.) Haven't had one in about ten years, but I know they're still pretty much the most famous burger in Northcentral Montana. How's that for obscure? ?Jess

Burgerama!My favorite place is Ruby's. ?Jim Richvalsky [But where, Jim? Where??Adam]

Burgerama!Hunter House in Birmingham, Michigan and Detroit. ?gorilla

Burgerama!Norm's Old Homestead in Brewster, New York. Great Bloody Marys, too. Norm himself is no longer among us, but he was the best blind bartender ever. http://normsbrewster.com/default.aspx ?gratefulted

Burgerama!My favorite burger joint here in scenic St. Louis has to be Carl's Drive-In in the suburb of Brentwood. Small burgers, grilled in front of you, crispy edges, melty cheese. Accompany with a large mug of house-mixed frosty root beer.

The preferred high-end burger in my house is the Bill's Burgermeister Burger at Cardwell's at the Plaza. A large patty, with bacon, bleu cheese, and house-made barbecue sauce. Accompany with sparking lemonade and follow with cappucino ice cream filled profiteroles. Yum! ?Ms. B

Burgerama!Hamburgers in Sausalito, California. I just moved here and they serve excellent flame-broiled burgers, all fresh and 'juicy'. ?amino

Burgerama!My hometown, Peculiar, Missouri, has a little place called the Peculiar Drive In. I just went back at Thanksgiving time last year to see if it was still as good as I remembered, and it was. Big hand-crafted patties with just the right blend of produce/cheese/condiments. They also still hand crank their fries. The grease was oozing through the plain-brown paper sack before I even made it to the car. The true sign of burger nirvana. I can't recommend it enough. ?Eric Braun

Burgerama!I have two favorites?both home to fresh ground dive-bar burgers at their finest. In Wichita, Kansas, it's Ty's. In my new home of North Carolina, Abbey Road Grill in Cary is one of the best burgers around. I wonder if John T. has tried it? ?Chad Ward

Burgerama!When I was in college at RPI in Troy, New York, we used to drive to this little place called Jack's Drive-In in Wynantskill (a short drive). Perfect sliders and delicious cheese fries.

Burgerama!The best place in Jacksonville, Florida, is Col. Mustard's. Great burgers and also fantastic breakfast menu. He lines up all his meatballs and flattens them as they are ordered. Adds special spice blend and secret sauce, and whatever specials for your particular order. If you're a guy, prepare to be ragged on; women and children are angels, however. Photos on flickr (Col Mustard). ?Buzz

Burgerama!Weber's Burgers in Barrie, Ontario, Canada. Weber's has been in business since 1963 and is one of the provinces most famous burger restaurants. The place is quite historic because it is on the main highway to cottage counrty?so generations of people have stopped at Weber's during the cottage commute. Check out this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C...h?
?RJ Pauloski

Burgerama!When I was in Boston, I was a slave to Mr. & Mrs. Bartley's. And in San Francisco, it would have to be Hot 'n' Hunky. They are fried but absolutely delicious. ?Sam B

Burgerama!J. G. Melon in New York City. Bacon, cheese, sautéed onions and some cottage fries on the side. Christ, I'm having a heart attack just thinking about it. Yummmmm. ?Anthony

Burgerama!We love to go to the Hot Grill in Clifton, New Jersey. ?tom

Burgerama!I went to college in Bloomington, Indiana, and had two favorite burgers there?for regular burgers, there was a bar just off campus named Opie Taylor's. They had amazingly good fries and damned good burgers?not huge, but cooked to order and well seasoned. When I was in a mood for something more local, I would get a Steak 'n' Shake burger?thin, crispy burgers?there's nothing like them back here on the East Coast. ?Rob

Burgerama!Pie 'n' Burger (Pasadena, California); Kirk's Steakburger (Campbell, California) ?J. Scott

Burgerama!In New Mexico it's Blake's Lotaburger! The made to order Green Chili and Cheese burger can't be beat. If you are traveling through NM on I-40 be sure to treat yourself! No fancy decor but who cares? One of their recent billboards reads, "Do you know the infield fly rule?.... You're a Lotaman! ?Elaine

Burgerama!You'll find no better burger than the ones at Frisko Freeze in Tacoma, Washington. A Tacoma institution since the '50s, it's the first stop for former Tacomans when they visit their old hometown. Order at the window and mingle in the parking lot until your name is called over the loud speaker. Great fries, shakes and cherry and vanilla Cokes made old-style. ?GregWA

Burgerama!Krekel's Custard in Decatur, Illinois. Other burgers have no clue. Mentioned by Sufjan Stevens, (not in a wholly positive light) in the song "Decatur, or, Round of Applause for Your Stepmother" from his Illinois album:

"Chickenmobile with your rooster tail,

I had my fill and I know how bad it feels.

Stay awake and watch....."

Here's a photo of the famed "Chickenmobile": http://www.krekelscustard.com/

We now return you to your program regularly scheduled program. ?Gottfried

Burgerama!Here in Boston, it's definitely Bartley's Burger Cottage. ?hdaemon

Burgerama!In the suburbs of Chicago, there's nothing better than a Country House burger. Pretzel roll or rye, it's tops in my book. Plus...they have a great URL: burgerone.com ?Jake P.

Burgerama!The best burger I have ever had came from Hungry Herb's in Medford, Massachusetts. They have since closed, but I still dream about the teriyaki cheeseburger with double grilled onions. ?Sarah

Burgerama!Manhattan's Corner Bistro has cute waitresses, a great jukebox, and the juicest slab o' beef you could ever slap on a bun. The ideal thing to slurp down before heading home after a long night. Also, the place is apparently like Brigadoon: You can only find it when you really, really need it. (It's on the corner of Fourth and Jane if you must cheat.)

Burgerama!Philadelphia: Good Dog ? For a "gourmet" burger, this is hard to beat anywhere in the country. Roquefort cheese and onion nestled INSIDE the burger. You get that Juicy Lucy thing going on. Served on a brioche roll inside one of the best bars in the city. $10 is more than fair. Worth making up excuses for meetings in the city. They open late on the weekends (4 p.m.) so this is a mid-week lunch for those of us working stiffs with young-uns to attend to on the weekends. ?Marc

Burgerama!The one that wins all the accolades is Zips in Mount Lookout [in Cincinnati]?I have no idea why, the burgers there are average at best?but the really good burger is at Arthur's in Hyde Park ?Anon

Burgerama!I admit it. I've been distracted by Jamaican food here and Malaysian food there, and I've neglected my burgers. I haven't done nearly enough research to find the best burger in the area and it's been a long time since I've had any burger at all. I do have fond memories of burgers at Yours Truly. I like the club (bacon, cheese) and the patty melt (swiss, onions on rye). ?Stuart [And Yours Truly is where, Stuart? Inquiring minds want to know.?Adam]

Burgerama!The Vortex in Atlanta is my favorite. They have a "coronary bypass burger" (among other equally interesting combinations), which consists of a fried egg, cheese, and bacon on top of a delicious hearty meaty slab of beefy goodness. Mmm ... *drool* ... ?Ellen

Burgerama!Vancouver, B.C., Canada: Vera's Burger Shack ?Darren Enkin

Burgerama!White Mana, Hackensack, New Jersey. Hands down the best. ?davey

Burgerama!D.C. has its share of good burgers (from the chain Five Guys to haute Cafe Burger at Cafe Atlantico, to the legendary at Ben's Chili Bowl), and I've eaten my share of them all. But my current favorite is Cheff Geoff's D.C. burger. It's a simple affair, just bacon, cheddar, pickles, a chipotle mayo and soft buttery bun, but it is heaven. And it's $5 at happy hour! ?David P.

Burgerama!Dan's Hamburger's in Austin, Texas, and the sister store, Fran's are most excellent! ?Frank M.

Burgerama!Geneva's on Harper Avenue on Detroit's eastside. Small sliders with grilled onions. Still doing business after many years. If memory serves when I was a kid they used to be five for a buck. When ever I'm back in town I always stop by. ?Colorado Jim

Burgerama!My favorite burger is right around the corner from me. Mike's at the Crossroads in Cotati, California. ?Mike Henkel

Burgerama!I'm partial to Falls View Grill in Pequannock, New Jersey. Keith W.

Burgerama!Five Guys is a great burger place in Orlando, Florida. They have the best burgers, and they don't skimp on the meat. ?Amanda Helle

Burgerama!Calamity Jane's in a nearby Dundee, Oregon. Large non-traditional burgers, with tasty fries, to boot. ?Peter Crackenberg

Burgerama!Next time you're in Brooklyn, you must stop by my favorite place in Sheepshead Bay/Marine Park, Perry's Restaurant. Just the right amount of char, perfect size, needs nothing but cheese and an order of their fries. Yumminess abounds! ?Patrick

Burgerama!Willie Mae's Kitchen in McGehee, Arkansas. All homemade, all the time. Cooked on a well-seasoned grill by a true southern gem of a cook. ?Sandy Hammond

Burgerama!If ever in Norfolk, Virginia, you need to look up Dog & Burger. Always freshly cooked to order and delicious. Combo #1 best deal around. http://www.nofrillgrill.com/

Burgerama!Kathy's Carryout in the South Valley of Albuquerque has The Kathy Burger. Double Meat, flat grilled with American cheese, thick cut bacon, onions and tomatoes and topped with either green or red chile sauce both guaranteed to toasted your taste buds. Only $4.75 and they have hand cut fries, too. ?JFoote

Burgerama!Born and bred New Yorker here. The one burger I've never seen on any of the best-burger-in-New York lists is the one at Joe Allen. It's on the lunch menu; you can have it for dinner but you have to ask for it. Truly superb. I've dragged a lot of friends there over the years, and they've have all (!) agreed with me. ?BaHa

Burgerama!I grew up in the UK, and the defining burger for me was The Great American Disaster, a chic chain of restaurants in trendy neighborhoods now long gone. Can I pick White Manna instead? ?Nick

Burgerama!Monk's Pub in Chicago is a great place for a burger. ?Eric

Burgerama!There's a great place in Breese, Illinois (about 20 miles east of St. Louis), called Dairy King that has GREAT cheeseburgers. Bonus: the Excel Bottling Company, just a few blocks away, is the local bottler of Ski, one of the greatest pops ever created. Hence, the Ski flows freely at the Dairy King. In fact, the popularity of Ski with a shot of cherry syrup at the Dairy King prompted the Double Cola Company to manufacture Cherry Ski in cans, bottles, 2 liters, etc. If you don't like the burgers at Dairy King, head across the street to Wally's for a Wallyburger. Another great burger. You can't go wrong in either place. ?Jeff

Burgerama!Dangerous Dan's is another great Toronto establishment. Dangerous Dan's specializes in HUGE multi-topping bugers. A great photo of one of their special burgers is here: http://
. The best choice is the "Quadruple C": 24oz burger served with a quarter pound of cheese, a quarter pound of bacon, and 2 fried eggs. Also comes with a large shake (flavor of your choice) and a small poutine. A Toronto LEGEND! The restaurant's URL is http://www.dangerousdansdiner.com/ ?RJ Pauloski

Burgerama!Naps Grill in Hamilton, Montana, has the best burger I've ever eaten. ?Elyse

Burgerama!So many good choices out here in the Bay Area, but I have to say "Just Burgers and Q" on El Camino/Scott in Santa Clara. A tiny hole in the wall that does burgers and, well, barbecue. It seats no more than 6. The kindly gent grills 1/4 burgers over an open flame, and serves them over a lightly grilled sesame with american cheese -- the PERFECT bread to meat ratio. They come with lettuce, tomato, onion and a special sauce, but feel free to custom order. I swear I can taste the subtle, smoky residue of the Q going on in this patty. Best with just cheese, special gooey sauce (with dots of relish in it?), onion, and a dollop of extra yellow mustard. Last time, I just sat in my car and went to heaven. ?Tim

Burgerama!Mugs Ale House in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Mmm...my favorite. Not a giant burger like Dumont's (which I also like) but has great bun to meat ratio. Also the fries are lightly sprinkled with Old Bay seasoning. One of the only places I actually clear my plate! Plus it's $7.95! ?Carissa

Burgerama!Yes, it is a chain, but Culvers Butter Burgers are wonderful and really don't get enough attention in my opinion. ?CKOne

Burgerama!Gotta go for Riverside Grill in Charlottesville, Virginia. "Flat Out the Best Burgers in Town" motto and truth. ?Walker Travis

Burgerama!You can't beat Lindburgers in Delray Beach Florida, for just about any burger you want. If it isn't on the menu, they will create it for you. ?Charlie Slee

Burgerama!Schoops and Red Robin in northwest Indiana and I love to grill a good burger, either beef, turkey or chicken. ?margsie

Burgerama!"Burger Joint" in the The Parker Meridian Hotel in New York City beats J. G.Melon and Shake Shack for two major reasons: consistency and price. ?Sebastien L.

Burgerama!I'm from Calgary, Alberta, and there really is only one place up here that it can possibly be: Peter's Drive-In. It's the kind of place where everything is done by hand, including the milkshakes and the math on your bill. Ordering a single burger will often get you a full patty plus at least half of a second. If you order a double, you can expect almost three full, delicious tasty patties. People kept trying to convince Peter to go chain, but decades later it's still the one, the only, the fabulous. Mmm - I think I know what I want to eat this weekend. ?Morgan

Burgerama!Despite all the recent hype about Ann's Snack Shop and her Ghetto Burger on Memorial Drive, I second the nomination of The Vortex as the best burger joint in the ATL. Now if only Mulligan's would resurface with the Hamdog and the Luther Burger.. ?Jack Regan

Burgerama!Tessaro's in Pittsburgh. Yum. As a kid my oral surgeon (who i had to see on a regular basis) was right next to Tessaro's?I looked forward to the oral surgeon. Come on, that's a good burger! ?Phox

Burgerama!I'm from Michigan and was raised on burgers. My favorite is actually my mom's (steamed buns finishes it off nicely), but since moving down to the Dearborn/Detroit area I have become pretty fond of the burgers at Miller's Bar. This is the only pub I know of where the line extends outside the bar, not for dancing, not for entertainment, not even for booze! It is the burgers that put (and keep) Miller's on the map. Thanks for the chance to tout them. ?Bob [Awww. Nice shout-out to your mom, Bob, but not all of us have access to your mom's burgers. Thanks for giving us the Miller's recommendation. ?Adam]

Burgerama!Metro Diner, 100th and Broadway on the Upper West Side of New York City. Yes, it's a "diner burger", but it's the PERFECT diner burger. ?PJ

Burgerama!Wetson's [in Queens]? The one on Northern Boulevard near Francis Lewis Boulevard was a big fave for my family in the 60's, as it was a little closer than the nearest White Castles at Bell Boulevard or Union Turnpike. One night in the earlyn 70's I saw Wetson's scion Errol Wettanson grabbing a couple of cones in an East Side Baskin-Robbins with his squeeze Margaux Hemingway. Damn, that girl was tall. ?FM Fats

Burgerama!In Buffalo, New York, the best burger can be found at The Sterling Pub, a modest neighborhood bar on a street that is full of jazzier looking places to eat. The Sterling burger is thick, cooked to order, and dressed to order. It is juicy, with a perfect crust, and a bun that holds together and soaks up the flavor. It doesn't hurt that the Sterling takes its taps seriously?I like my burger with a Burning River pale ale. ?Bill Altreuter

Burgerama!Dan's Hamburgers. Formerly four locations in Austin, Texas, became two when Dan and Fran got a divorce. Now Dan's is two and Fran's is two. I still like Dan's more, though. Yep. ?intheyearofthepig

Burgerama!Cisco Burger in Long Beach, California! American Kobe beef, lightly charred taste but buttery with really crispy lettuce and nice organic vegtables. The bleu cheese burger is *amazing*...onion rings crispy NEVER soggy. Great tasting bun-not dry. And I gotta agree with you, Morgan, about Peter's Drive In in Calgary...omigod...it must be the Alberta beef. Brought home a dozen burgers to freeze. ?Trish

Burgerama!Thurman's in >Columbus Ohio, just awesome! Best Burgers! ?Jeff Jones

Burgerama!Boston specializes in big, pub-style burgers (all the Irish bars, etc.). My favorite of those is ... R.F. O'Sullivan's in Somerville, Massachusetts. ?Weekly Journalist

Matt Webb's presentation slides and transcripts are always worth reading through...this...

Matt Webb's presentation slides and transcripts are always worth reading through...this one is no exception: Products Are People Too. I hope to catch one of his talks in person someday. (link)

NetNewsWire 3.0

I swear we didn’t coordinate this, but MarsEdit’s older sibling NetNewsWire also celebrates a new release, turning 3.0 today!

I’ve been using this in its pre-release form for months and am very confident about its power and stability. A really excellent update. Nice work, Brent!

MarsEdit 1.2: Growl, Picasa and Vox!

MarsEdit 1.2 is now available for download (or just “Check for Updates” from the app). This is a free update for all registered MarsEdit users.

Three relatively big changes in this release:

Growl support. MarsEdit now triggers Growl notifications after publishing, refreshing, and uploading an image or file.

Picasa image uploads for Blogger.com. This is pretty transparent. Just select your Blogger blog as the upload target from Images & Files, and MarsEdit will pop the images into a MarsEdit album in your Picasa Web Albums account. Note that Picasa only accepts JPG format images for upload.

Vox support. Currently a bit limited by the Vox implementation of Atom Publishing, but a welcome start for you Vox users who are tired of blogging through the web interface. Main limitations right now are you can’t edit or delete previous posts, and you can’t upload images.

On top of that we’ve got a few smaller enhancements and fixes:

  • Edit Date panel now defaults to existing post date if it has one
  • Context menu item for “Copy URL” when control-clicking a published blog post
  • Workaround for MovableType bug that could cause incorrect timezone offset
  • Fix memory leaks & improve performance of Images & Files window
  • Images & Files upload target now defaults to currently selected blog


KNOW HOPE's Beautiful Candlelit Street Art



KNOW HOPE is an artists from Tel-Aviv who creates handmade drawings out of paper and then lites them up with candles.

The artists tells us:

"What i like about the lanterns is that it deals with the frail temporary aspect of putting up art in street.if i take the best case scenario (that nobody takes the piece after a short while and there are no extreme winds or rain) then the longest life span of these pieces will be that of the candles, which is probably just a few hours. therefore, when someone runs into it on the street they know that it was placed there not so long ago and they, by coincidence, got there in the small time frame that the piece was "active", hopefully giving them the feeling that it was placed there especially for them, and maybe guiding them,following them home and subtly lighting up their way."

The Richest People in America

Nominees for the 2007 Richest People in America List—and they're not who you'd expect:
Shane Claiborne, Founder of the Simple Way Shane lives among the poor in a Philadelphia suburb which has long since had its heyday. His group helps renovate homes for the poor, works with former homeless kids on after school arts and literacy programs, provides food and clothing for the area homeless, and he shares his faith with street people. All of this is done out of the home he shares with other Simple Way residents. The Simple Way has no paid staff or administrative costs. Each of the community members contribute part of the money that they raise through part time jobs. The group believes in relational tithing, with each contributing ten percent of their income to a common account to fund their work.

via (ramit)

June 4, 2007


The site you once knew as hiphopmusic.com has been assimilated. We appreciate the intelligent, rational, and educated insights and opinions that have been posted here over the years. However, over the next few days a few changes will be...

geographical buzz map

a map of "neighborhood buzz", projected over both time & space. the outside.in map tracks the the neighborhood hotspots in an area of Brooklyn that people have been talking about online for the past 6 months. the larger the icons, the more conversations about the place. each circle represents the ratio of coverage by local bloggers (in orange) to the mainstream media (in gray).

a similar map is available to show all the posts by a given blogger that are associated with a specific place, such as those from boing boing or kottke.

[link: outside.in]

Joy Ang

$ 25

Ooohh, boy I got an email from somebody over at inPRNT, and wow. They have so much great work on their site that I couldn't just pick one, so I'm posting a couple. The first one is from Joy Ang, who has three lovely prints available. She also has some fantastic work on her own site that's not available for sale, like this, this, and (only click on this if your ready for toe curling cuteness) these.

New York magazine has a great collection of stories about...

New York magazine has a great collection of stories about how various NYC businesses go about making their money. They cover everyone from a taxi driver to a sex shop to Goldman Sachs to the MoMA. (link)

Has Anyone Cooked with this Weird Contraption?

orion.jpgI'm a big fan of Brendan Koerner's "The Goods" column in the New York Times Sunday business section. Yesterday he wrote about a newfangled outdoor cooker, the Orion. Here's how he described it: "a cylindrical, stainless steel gadget that resembles something out of the Apollo space program. Powered by charcoal, the Orion envelops meats in waves of hot air, also known as convection currents."

According to its inventor, Christian Fitzgerald, "This not only eliminates the need for turning but also preserves juiciness and reduces cooking times. He estimates, for example, that the Orion can cook a 20-pound turkey in two and a half hours, and six racks of baby back ribs in 75 minutes."

Here's my question: Does the Orion make anything crisp on the outside? I, for one, need that crisp, crusty exterior on my meat.

The Blog Is Over

This blog, in its current form, is retired as of today. Something new is around the corner though....

? Pirates 3 not so bad?

Last week's post about the third Pirates of the Caribbean movie hinted that I was having difficulty reconciling its summer blockbusterness (and all the suckiness that usual entails) and the feeling that there was something more to be discovered under the distracting explosions and swordplay. Ryland Walker Knight, writing at The House Next Door, says that Pirates trilogy is a film series worth watching seriously (emphasis mine):

The Caribbean world of Verbinski's trilogy is, after the first film, one of constant shuffling, of tangential narrative ruptures: the world of the film, like the world we audience members live in, is chaotic. Of course, this Caribbean world is not the world we live in. In our world, there are no giant mythological squids or sea goddesses, but there are, however, pirates - and daily acts of piracy. And there are social dictums, social pacts, that we appropriate and reconstitute on an individual basis, to live with ourselves, to live with the world. The main thrust of this trilogy is that reckoning: How will we live in the world when our autonomous freedom is continually challenged?

It's certainly not a stretch to make the connection between the autonomous freedom theme and the US government's recent actions to limit freedoms in the name of fighting the "global war on terror". The Onion AV Club's Noel Murray didn't read that much into it, but he did think it was more than just swashbuckling and gunnery:

No, I'd rather argue that Pirates is not junk. It may be a lousy movie -- I'll accept that argument, even if I more or less disagree -- but it's not just, as Nathan Lee writes in his Village Voice review, "a delivery system for two kinds of special effect: those created by computers, and those generated by Johnny Depp." I believe that a genuine effort to delight -- and not just subdue -- has been made here. The movie contains the same kind of preoccupation with clockwork gags and bad guys accidentally doing good that's been part of The Verbinski Method since Mouse Hunt. Like it or not, Pirates does have a brain, and a soul.

I almost want to go see it again, to watch it not as a blockbuster but as a film that might have a little something to say.

I Heart Christoper Hitchens

I'm a little late in posting this but in case you missed this too, check it out. I am delighting in Hitchens, my new BFF. He said everything I've wanted to say about this topic and with a British accent to boot!

Angelina Jolie Does Esquire

I have just one word about Angelia Jolie's upcoming cover of Esquire: stunning.

Damn her! Damn her! Damn her!

Cover: Just Jared

The Frontier

"You have been recruited by the Star League to defend the frontier against Xur and the Ko-Dan armada...this is it."


Support Rising For Vermont Secession Movement

Supporters have published a "Green Mountain Manifesto" subtitled "Why and How Tiny Vermont Might Help Save America From Itself by Seceding from the Union."

In 2005, about 300 people turned out for a secession convention in the Statehouse, and plans for a second one are in the works. A poll this year by the University of Vermont's Center for Rural Studies found that 13 percent of those surveyed support secession, up from 8 percent a year before.

Torino meet London The logo ... is meant to embody four key

Torino meet London

The logo "... is meant to embody four key "brand pillars" of access, participation, stimulation and inspiration.

"This is not just a marketing logo," said the culture minister, Tessa Jowell, "but a symbol that will become familiar, instantly recognisable and associated with our games in so many ways during the next five years."

Rumor: Apple to release iPhone SDK at WWDC

Based upon recent comments by Steve Jobs, and even more recent anonymous comments, signs point to yes on third-party iPhone development. But it may not make much of a difference.


Cook the Book Giveaway: 'Peace, Love, and Barbecue'

books-peace-love-and-barbecue.jpgThis week, to honor our barbecue brethren cooking at the Big Apple Barbecue Block Party, we are giving away five (5) copies of championship pit master and yarn-spinner Mike Mills's terrific book Peace, Love, and Barbecue. (Shout-out to Mike's daughter and co-author, Amy Mills Tunnicliffe, and Rodale Press for supplying the books).

Peace, Love, and Barbecue is part novelized memoir, part cookbook, part barbecue primer, and all wonderful to read for both pleasure and info. The five recipes we are going to run on Serious Eats include some legendary barbecue preparations never before published in any book. I was going to say I don't know how Mike talked some of these folks into giving him their recipes, but then I realized that Mike can chew the fat better than anyone and could charm anyone out of anything if need be.

To win a copy of Peace, Love, and Barbecue, just tell us what your favorite kind of barbecue is. It could be any cut of any meat you've eaten at a barbecue joint. Typical Serious Eats rules apply. Five winners will be chosen at random. You have until 9 p.m. PDT Friday (June 8) to answer.

Is Imitation Always the Sincerest Form of Flattery?


Last week on Ed Levine Eats, I wrote about the problems I had with a blogger writing about lobster rolls and not crediting New York City restaurant Pearl Oyster Bar chef and owner Rebecca Charles as the woman who introduced the lobster roll to, and popularized it with, many New Yorkers. Unfortunately that's just the claw of the problem. In fact, there's something else going on with Pearl and its imitators that is relevant to every creative person and craftsperson in the food world and beyond.

In 1997, Rebecca Charles opened Pearl Oyster Bar and starting serving her lobster roll, shoestring fries, chowder, raw clams and oysters, fried clams, salt and pepper shrimp, and blueberry pie to a New York hungry for authentic, honest seafood cooked by a really talented chef.

In 2002, after a series of ugly and unpleasant personal and business interactions, former co-chef and minority partner Mary Redding left Pearl and opened Mary's Fish Camp a few blocks from Pearl with an almost identical menu and overall concept. There's nothing illegal about doing that, but that doesn't make it right. Cooks, sous-chefs, and chefs de cuisine leave their jobs to open their own restaurants. It's a time-honored tradition that's not dissimilar to what happens in many other businesses I have been involved in or reported on. But most of these kitchen or restaurant professionals don't then turn around and open a restaurant with an identical concept and menu—within spitting distance of their former workplace.

But it happened, and Pearl and Mary's have both prospered—with good reason. Pearl remains a superb restaurant, and Mary's has attracted its own following. I've eaten at both (don't tell Rebecca), and you can't go wrong at either.

Fast-forward to this spring, and we are all reading about Ed McFarland, another of the Pearl alumni leaving the restaurant and opening Ed's Lobster Bar within a mile of his former employer. Again, Ed's menu is almost an exact replica of Pearl.

What's going on here? When Andrew Carmellini left Café Boulud to open A Voce, he was smart enough and respectful enough not to open a clone of Café Boulud. When Marco Canora left Craft to open Hearth, he had the good sense to differentiate the latter from the former, even though Canora had played a significant role in the seminal development of the Craft concept and menu. Sure, there were similar elements, and perhaps a dish or two overlapped (I frankly don't remember), but no one would confuse Craft with Hearth.

Now I understand that a Maine lobster shack menu and concept is not anything that can be copyrighted or patented. There are probably a hundred of them in Maine, and they've been around a long time, at least in Maine. But Pearl Oyster Bar is a New York City lobster shack opened by a highly trained chef who took that style of food and made it her own, armed with cooking technique and some original ideas.

Pearl became its own unique animal, something that is in fact quite different from the lobster shacks of Maine. The Pearl situation seems very different from, say, the seemingly inexhaustible supply of Peter Luger knock-offs (with better wine lists) opening all over New York City. A New York City steakhouse is a steakhouse is a steakhouse. After all, even before several Luger's employees went out on their own, there was no shortage of classic New York City steakhouses to compete with the Williamsburg-based steak mothership (Ben Benson's, The Palm, and Old Homestead, to name three). Such was not the case with Pearl, of which there was really only one when it opened.

So wouldn't it behoove the Ed McFarlands of the world to bring some original thinking to Ed's? It seems to me that by doing so, they would be showing Rebecca Charles some respect. At the very least, these clones show a paucity of imagination.

But maybe I'm being too harsh in my assessment here. I don't know. What do other serious eaters think? I urge all of you to go to Menupages and compare the menus of the three.

Menupages links: Pearl Oyster Bar, Mary's Fish Camp, Ed's Lobster Bar

Photograph from iStockPhoto.com

59 and a Half!


Until Saturday in the world of competitive eating, Japan's Takeru "The Tsunami" Kobayashi loomed large (however thin he himself is) as the fiercest gut around. Although skinny and from a country not often associated with tubesteaks, the dude ruled, having established a record of 53 3/4 dogs in 12 minutes at last year's annual hot dog?eating contest on July 4 at Nathan's in Coney Island.

No more: American Joey Chestnut shattered Kobayashi's record over the weekend, consuming 59 1/2 wieners in 12 minutes. (Twelve minutes is the duration of all speed-eating contests sanctioned by the International Federation of Competitive Eating.)

Chestnut set the new record in Tempe, Arizona, while competing in a qualifying event for the Nathan's hot dog chow-off, considered the Super Bowl of competitive-eating contests, by those who care at least.

Kobayashi told the New York Post last year that he was thinking of retiring, preferring to go out on top without disappointing his fans. I'm hoping this new turn of events, however, has him reconsidering. A Chestnut-Kobayashi match would truly be spectacular, as Chestnut is now the only eater to rise to such Kobayashitastic heights.

Twilight of the Curmudgeon Class

Jay Rosen's summary of the Neil Henry call for reparations from Google for what it's done to news. Too many links to follow right now, but I'll get to them eventually.

Paris Hilton's Mug Shot

Oh, yes -- the moment I've been waiting for... Paris Hilton's mug shot. Or is it a photo she had taken at Glamour Shots over the weekend? No -- it's the mug shot.

So what do you think? Will she survive 23 days in jail? Will she take it seriously? Will she come out a changed woman?

Personally, I'm just dying to see her roots when she gets out. They're going to be darkkkkk.

More sausage makers less bakers

We need more investment bankers becoming butchers and sausage makers. I think we have enough cupcake bakers in this country. Ed Levine on the demise of family-run artisanal food shops and the rise in cupcake baking. "Every time we lose a sausage maker, a bread baker, or a mozzarella maker, we lose a little piece of our food heart and soul, our gustatory generosity of spirit. Those are precious commodities in our culture, and we should do everything we can to preserve them."

I agree, but I don't see it happening. The thing with baking cupcakes is, it's easy. You don't need to spend years learning to do it, you don't even need to go to culinary school to make cupcakes. And you can get away with selling mediocre cupcakes that people will still adore simply because they're sweet and better than store-bought. But to be a butcher? Or a sausage maker? That's so much more work, and it's not cute and pink and fun. It's back-breaking and bloody and dangerous.

comments are open

? Embiggen, a perfectly cromulent word

Embiggen, the fauxcabulary word created for an episode of The Simpsons, has found its way into string theory. Here's the usage from a recently published paper on Gauge/gravity duality and meta-stable dynamical supersymmetry breaking:


Here's the original quote from The Simpsons episode, Lisa the Iconoclast:

A noble spirit embiggens the smallest man.

The uses are probably not related, but you never know.

June 3, 2007

Making Netflix “Smarter”

Darts and cobwebs part II

NYTimes has an article on the ongoing Netflix recommendation open challenge thing. ($1mil to a team that can produce the best collaborative filtering mouse trap)

Unfortunately the project is flawed, because the basic question is flawed, fundamentally and in a very simple way. We have moods, we have shifting interests, and trying to compile all those multi-variates into a single vector of interest is impossible.

Rather then making the computers super smart, I’d rather see an interface like the Pandora channel creation where you choose 2-4 songs that suit your mood and the system finds the common elements.

Tonight at the video store I wanted something that was smart and fast enough to be engaging, without being so smart that it took work to follow. Maybe a political thriller? If I could have mixed a recommendation queue out of 3 Days of the Condor meets Wag the Dog meets something like Enemy of the State to find something in that vein that would have been better then all the weighted neural nets.

And I’ll wave the million dollars if they just build it already.

Not sure where this systemic biasis for computer as deep thinker comes from, probably dates all the way back to the Ultra project and other primordial computer science legends. But its the wrong metaphor here and now, smarter, smaller tools to extend the human reach, not replace humans.

(can you tell I didn’t find my movie?)

Google Gears : Your Web applications can now be used even when not connected to Internet

Microsoft has had a definite advantage in being a virtual monopoly in the PC market. In the past few years Google has been trying to grab this enviable market share enjoyed by Microsoft by releasing web applications which have similar features of popular Microsoft software products. Thus you have Google spreadsheet as a potential replacement for MS Excel, Gmail, Google Docs as a replacement for

Brooklyn - Stax Records 50th Anniversary Celebration (06/07/07)

Midtown Lunch blog -

Midtown Lunch is a blog that covers where to eat in Midtown. I expect that I'll be looking at it for inspiration several times a week.

(Via outside.in.)

Blogging Live from the MTV Movie Awards

Kimmy Ratican, who writes my sister blog Hollywood Life, will be blogging live tonight from backstage of the MTV Movie Awards. So check out her blog and see what's going down. (Like are Cameron Diaz and Jessica Biel going to thrown down backstage?) And check back here later for MTV Movie Award photos.

Hollywood Life blogs the MTV Movie Awards TONIGHT beginning at 8pm EST.

google tears another hole in reality

Five Years

It was five years ago this week that I wrote my first Letter to an Unknown Audience (with a strange dream about New Zealand) and started "blogging." Back then I didn't know what I was getting into, I was just full of raw excitement; I just wanted to get in. I wanted to say something to the people out there who were reading, who were writing, and who were ultimately participating in this great big community: people who were thoughtful enough to write a couple of paragraphs on a regular basis and respond to other people who were doing the same. Those are my people.

Since then, this column has been an always-ready seminar room for me, a chance to make use of the truest thing I've ever been told, that "You don't learn something until you've spoken up and been told why you're wrong." It's always been here, taunting me, a gaping maw for the food of experience, and dozens of times, just having it here has been an inspiration to go out and live, to observe, to bring back life and process it. It's introduced me to people (now some of my best friends) and ideas and experiences. It's been like a lover.

There've been dry spells, times when it's been hard to write (hard to live) and arguably this year has been one of them. There's a temptation to get out of the game by the five-year mark. How much can one person have to say, after all? Especially when tapping that stream on a daily basis, rather than saving it up for years like a novelist (like a proper writer). Yet, although it's arrogant to think so, I believe I've got more in me. I intend to keep writing, here and elsewhere, on a semi-regular basis. Whatever I haven't said over the past five years is only a hole, only a gap that needs to be filled. In the future I hope to leave fewer gaps.

If you, reader, grow weary of this column, you have two options: one is to leave a note, and the other is to unsubscribe. I heartily encourage you to take advantage of the first. Be polite—but don't be quiet. I value nearly every comment that's ever been left, every note I've ever received on this blog. As they say, "Feedback is a gift" (Hello, David).

As it is, we are young, we are fierce, and there is lots more to be done. Onwards and upwards; blog on.

King Kobayashi's long rein is over. Joey Chestnut broke the...

King Kobayashi's long rein is over. Joey Chestnut broke the record for eating the most hot dogs in 12 minutes yesterday: 59 1/2. He bested the previous record by a whopping 5 3/4 dogs.
Update: To put this in perspective, Chestnut bested the old record by roughly 10%. This would be like running the 100m dash in 8.8 seconds, long jumping 32.5 feet, or completing a marathon in 1:51. (link)

We Need More Sausage Makers and Fewer Investment Banker Cupcake Makers

I know I'm probably the only person in the world who read the Sunday NYT stories on cupcake-making career-changers and the closing of Kurowycky, a beloved East Greenwich Village butcher, and connected the two pieces in any way, but bear with me for a moment. Serious Eats of course had reported Kurowycky's closing well before it was in the Times, and I loved the outpouring of grief and rage I saw on the thread. But I was struck after reading the two stories back to back (though they were in different sections) that we live in a weird world that glorifies seemingly infinite numbers of cupcake bakeries owned by investment bankers and ignores a great, and I mean great, Polish-Ukrainian butcher.

Do we need more cupcake "concepts" coming to a mall near you while true food artisans like the Kurowycky family are forced for financial reasons to close up shop?

Don't get me wrong. I like a good cupcake as much as the next fella (though most cupcakes are too sweet, too dry, and lack flavor), but we as a culture seem all too willing to cast our lot with sweet fashion while simultaneously letting go of important things like artisanal sausage makers of all stripe, whether they're Italian or French or Polish-Ukrainian.

Many years ago I had lunch with Heritage Meats co-founder Patrick Martin, who was at the time the head of Slow Food USA. I told him then that if Slow Food wanted to do something really helpful they could adopt as their principal cause in the US the saving of family-run artisanal food shops, be they latticini or sausage makers or bread bakers, threatened with extinction. Those are the places in our culture worth saving, worth promoting, and worth calling to our attention.

That must have been five years ago, and every time I read about things like the proliferation of designer cupcake shops I think back to that conversation. Not much has changed. Slow Food USA still feels like an organization looking for an actionable cause to get behind as artisanal food makers continue to fall by the wayside, the victims of changing tastes, economic conditions and an inability to adapt. We need more investment bankers becoming butchers and sausage makers. I think we have enough cupcake bakers in this country.

Every time we lose a sausage maker, a bread baker, or a mozzarella maker, we lose a little piece of our food heart and soul, our gustatory generousity of spirit. Those are precious commodities in our culture, and we should do everything we can to preserve them.

we’re going to move some sand

I’m hoping this’ll be as successful as last year’s Style Contest, and that Automattic will be as generous with their support as Six Apart were with theirs. (Matt has already thrown in $500 prize money, which is a good start, but a little linkage wouldn’t hurt.) I’m not worried about the two-month deadline from a [...]

Serena Williams could kick your ass.

Serena Williams could kick your ass. (link)

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