Archive of August 2008

The Impending Moustache

Just saw these guys perform yesterday night. Great use of dramatic performance for comedic effect.

Breaking Down the 10-Meter Dive

More cool diving material from the NY Times:

John Wingfield, the head coach of U.S.A. Diving, explains U.S. diver David Boudia’s technique from the 10-meter platform.

The Diver’s View

The NY Times has a nice 3D view of the Water Cube in Beijing from the top of the 30M dive. I can’t even contemplate jumping off something that high. (via Kottke)

My Big Fat Straight Wedding

Andrew Sullivan has a Comment piece in this month’s Atlantic, discussing the importance of the language of California’s new marriage law. Here’s the shift he thinks the new law embodies:

The premise used to be that homosexuality was an activity, that gays were people who chose to behave badly; or, if they weren’t choosing to behave badly, were nonetheless suffering from a form of sickness or, in the words of the Vatican, an “objective disorder.” And so the question of whether to permit the acts and activities of such disordered individuals was a legitimate area of legislation and regulation.

But when gays are seen as the same as straights—as individuals; as normal, well-adjusted, human individuals—the argument changes altogether. The question becomes a matter of how we treat a minority with an involuntary, defining characteristic along the lines of gender or race. And when a generation came of age that did not merely grasp this intellectually, but knew it from their own lives and friends and family members, then the logic for full equality became irresistible.

Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog

I just can’t help it, I have to link to this, available free on Hulu. Neil Patrick Harris and Felicia Day are excellent in it, and Nathan Fillion delivers a super-creepy superhero. My favorite songs are the opening and closing of Act II and the next-to-last song of Act III. Great stuff.

Oh, Snap

Jason Santa Maria exclaims his new Polaroid SX-70 in yet another beautifully art-directed post. Somehow when I look through his new posts, I get a queasy feeling like the whole setup he’s got is a house of cards getting ready to come tumbling down. I just hope the Internet Archive is keeping up with him.

Ninjawords

Speaking of words I like, I found the online dictionary Ninjawords in 2006 when I discovered Wordie, the social network for pedants and grammarians. Ninjawords has since become my favorite general-purpose online dictionary. (At school, I use the OED when I want to see some etymology.) Ninjawords is light on features, which itself is its greatest feature next to its speed. I personally like the lookup history, which makes it easy to see what words you’ve looked up recently. Great for, among other things, reinforcement when learning new words.

Blather and Lather

blather (v) : to talk rapidly without making much sense (n) : nonsensical or foolish talk

lather (n) : the foam made by rapidly stirring soap and water (v) : to cover with lather

I don’t know why, I just love the word blather.

The Joy of $8 Gas

Joel Stein in the LA Times:

If the U.S. were to slowly jack up gas taxes until we’re in the $8 range, life would be better. We’d not only be safer and have reduced greenhouse-gas emissions, we’d probably be happier too. Studies show that the only thing that consistently increases personal happiness is social interaction; high gas prices have led to real estate prices falling faster in suburbs and exurbs than in cities, so we may soon have more content downtown-dwellers. Those same studies show that the thing that makes people least happy is commuting, and telecommuting is way up this year. We could use the tax revenue to fund public transportation. And we’d go back to the days when driving a car was a way to show people what a rich jerk you were. In other words, we would no longer need SUVs for that.

(via Big Contrarian)

Roger Cheng on the Gap Between Web-based and Desktop Office Software

I agree with the major points of this article; I think most online office-oriented tools aren’t currently much more than proof-of-concept. We use Google Docs in our editorial process at Sadie Lou. Collaboration is clearly where these web apps shine.

No review of online word processors is complete without a mention of Buzzword, an excellent Flash-based app – probably the best I’ve ever seen. My money is currently on Google Docs however, which seems to continue developing in great strides.

I still think Textile’s the shit.

(via Khoi Vinh)

Marvy Le Pen

A bunch of these came in the mail today. Wonderful pens if you tend to have small handwriting.

Birthday Type

Another nice edition of Sunday Type from ILT. The Linotype video is an especially neat find.

Tell Me A Story

Robert Krulwich of Radio Lab gives an excellent commencement address at CalTech about the power and importance of attempting to communicate science stories and truths to non-science-minded people.

TypeCulture Academic Resource

I came across this great online resource the other day full of essays and short videos related to typography. I’ll be exploring the essays in particular over the next few weeks.

Comestible

(adj) : suitable to be eaten; edible (n) : anything that can be eaten; food

I was absolutely convinced the word for this was combustible. Oh well.