Archive for the 'geekery' Category


Why, hello there!

A friend* recently nudged me to post something new on my blog, so here I am. I know I’ve been neglecting this place lately, but the weird thing is that I think about my blog all the time. I compose posts in my head almost every day, but always when I’m not able to sit down at a computer and write them. And when I do find myself at a computer, well, the inspiration is gone (or at least hiding in the back of my mind, behind all the other-things-I-need-to-take-care-of-when-I’m-at-a-computer).

I’m finding that most of the “quick” things I usually would have posted here are instead finding there way to my Google+ page. I’m still staying far away from Facebook, but I am spending time on Twitter** and Google+***, and of course I still read lots of blogs. Each of these social media outlets has its own function for me: I use Twitter mainly for information gathering and sharing, Google+ for conversations, and blogs for in-depth reading. I like them all, though sometimes I feel overwhelmed by the sheer volume of information out there. It’s a bit like drinking from a firehose. I’ve discovered that the only way to stay sane (and have a life that isn’t completely tethered to the Internet) is to take occasional sips rather than try to drink all that water.

Some people say that blogs are dying—or even already dead—especially in the wake of the arrival of Google+ on the social media scene. Last summer a number of prominent bloggers publicly announced that they were moving all their content to G+ (none of them were people I read, so I have no idea if they followed through on this). G+ does facilitate conversation much better than Twitter and Facebook do (and so far, I’ve been really impressed by the intelligent discourse and genuine interaction I’m finding on G+, as well as the lack of ads and Farmville updates there). But for longer treatises and for customizing how you want to present yourself, your images, your text, etc., to the world, I think blogs still come out ahead.

Unfortunately, many of the blogs I used to read that were written by friends and acquaintances (either from real life or people I’d met online) have fallen mostly silent over the past few years. People are migrating to different online communities (especially Facebook), getting busy with life, getting bored with their blogs.

Many bloggers, however, show no signs of leaving. One of my favorite bloggers, John Scalzi, tweeted while watched the Lord of the Rings trilogy the other night. I saw the tweets unfold in real time and spent much of the evening laughing my head off. Happily, Scalzi collected all of those tweets into one blog post, which you can read here. Trust me—it’s well worth your time.

After you’ve read through that list, look at this video, which someone created in response to Scalzi’s tweet “Dear world: I am deeply disappointed there is not a dubstep version of the Smeagol Fish Battering Song.”

[youtube][/youtube] (via)

Some days, I really love the Internet.


* Said friend is, unfortunately, blogless. I keep trying to convince him to spread his wit beyond the confines of Facebook, but so far he’s not interested.

** On Twitter I am here.

*** On Google+ I am here.



Life update

Feeling: Fine.

Marveling: At how this 300-square-foot apartment can be transformed into 24 different rooms. I’m frequently reminded that fierce limitations (in this case, geographical) can result in amazing creativity and innovation. (And here’s another variation the same theme.)

Disliking: This story. I heard about this woman a couple of years ago, and again a few months ago when the update was posted. It’s amazing how many people thing she is awesome because she has this massive yarn collection. I know that knitters like to boast about (or bemoan) the size of their stashes, but this seems like a case of hoarding to me. I should point out that I’m not a fan of collecting for collecting’s sake—the “I just had to have it!” thing. On a similar note, I think people like Jerry Seinfeld and Jay Leno, own own so many cars or motorcycles that they actually need entire buildings in Manhattan, no less, to house them are idiots. Yes, there’s the argument that people can spend their money on whatever the hell they want, and to a point I’m on board with that. But this kind of spending just seems so incredibly wasteful, irresponsible, and meaningless. Maybe my opinion of this woman’s spending and hoarding habits is a bit harsh; but by the same token I’d say that people who idolize her are misguided.

Loving: Everything about this playground. And wishing something like that would be possible where we live.

This is the best thing I’ve seen in a long time.


Would this embarrass you?

Personally, I think this dad is pretty freakin’ awesome.

Click here to see his blog with a photo of each costume he wore. I think he gives Shatner a run for his money.



May the fourth be with you!

Happy Star Wars Day, everyone!I actually posted this on Twitter at 2:30 in the morning (during one of those “woke up in the middle of the night and now can’t get back to sleep” episodes), but an e-mail from my friend Tall Rob reminded me that I hadn’t yet mentioned it here.Interestingly, #maythe4thbewithyou is now trending on Twitter. Looks like this meme has gone mainstream. I certainly don’t claim any credit for it—I think the geek presence on Twitter just reached a critical mass.

Right here.


I am really looking forward to this

Portal is one the best videogames I have ever played. EVER. There’s so much awesomeness going on there: unique game mechanics, compelling storyline, a psychotic computer, and the promise of cake at the end. I love this game. I even have Companion Cubes hanging from my rear-view mirror.

Unfortunately, it’s a fairly short game.

Fortunately, there’s a sequel.

Portal 2 drops in April, and I can’t wait to play it. It has a co-op mode, which looks like a lot of fun. You can get a sense of the gameplay in the second video on this page. I don’t know if you actually play robots, though; in the original game you play a human woman, seen only a few times in reflective surfaces, since the game is a first-person shooter.

I am such a geek.


Life update: Bits and bobs

I’ve been stockpiling a bunch of links I think are interesting but am having trouble finding the time to give each link the proper writeup it deserves. So I’m just going to dump them into one post and let you wade through them as you like. Enjoy!

Get your SQUEE on: the Battlestar Galactica series bible (PDF).If you liked the recent BSG series even one little bit, you will like this document.

Mark Bittman recently announced that his column “The Minimalist” was leading the New York Times cooking section after  thirteen years. He promises bring his recipes and commentaries to other pages of the NYT (including his blog), so he’s not leaving us for good. If you’re one of his fans, take a look at this page, which functions as a quasi-index/TOC of all of his columns.

I have several friends who run marathons regularly. I admire them for their discipline and dedication. At the same time I think they are slightly nuts. I like the idea of a marathon but feel a bit muddle-headed when I start envisioning all the training that goes into preparing for one. Which is why I found this post intriguing: How to Hack a Marathon If You Aren’t a Runner. So what do you think, those of you who run a lot—would it work for you?

“Are Disney Princesses Evil?” The short version of my response to this is “yes.” But it’s not just Disney—it’s the onslaught of branding that children are exposed to from infancy. This branding seeks to limit their choices and to turn them into consumers, and I think both of those aims are Not Good Things.

The content and language here are a bit crude. But wow, this post just cracked me up: “Neil Gaiman made up this myth.”

Any of you who have ever owned cats or spent a lot of time with them can surely relate to this:[youtube][/youtube]Here’s an anti-unicorn-chaser to follow all that feline cuteness: the Zombie Tabernacle Choir.


Chainmail suits + Tesla coils

It’s like a meeting of tech geeks and the SCA.

Would any of you try this?

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