5k CONTEST: The contest is now closed. Phew. The contest pages will be updated frequently.
- - -
In the From-Behind-the-Curve-to-Ahead-of-It Department: you can now link to individual words on sylloge. Just click on the "" icon and grab the URL out of your location bar.
Expect Kottke to leapfrog ahead with links to individual letters sometime next week.
* * *
Of course, that's not really true. But you will be able to use the "" icon in just the manner described, wherever it is placed.
In a few years, after XML and XLink/XPointer are widespread, we will (hopefully) be able link into any arbitrary DOM object in a URI, rather than just to the document itself. That'd make life easier.
* * *
Went to a smashing party at Blast Radius last night. I thought I would know two or maybe three people there, but it was more like 1/3 of the 200+ people (including Team Lounge, spinning the records). Vancouver is small. Vancouver is wonderful.
Blast is the home of FameWhore, mediaboy, Skilla, mwg and elixirstudio (I think) and many other huge talents, including Chris Nott (who made several good entries into the 5k). The really cool thing is that everyone I talked to who worked there -- from a DBA to BizDev, codegeek to creative director -- loves it. Most design/development shops are so chronically fucked up; nice to see that it can work out sometimes. Congrats to everyone at Blast for building something special (and thanks for the invite Lee).
* * *
John Allsop's new article at A List Apart is an excellent synthesis. Although I still misobey, I am getting into the flow. One thing I'd add:
"Governing a large state is like boiling a small fish."
(That rendering is a little bit different than the translation Mr. Allsop is using.) This has always been among my favorite passages. It is advice for the W3C. Or Microsoft. It is easy to fragment something delicate.
Lao Tze, Tao De Ching (Chapter 60, Verse 138)
* * *
You may remember this picture of Gummi Pizza. Ms. Meighan Makarchuk writes in to let me know that she has also come across a similar "Gummi" product from Trolli, the Mini Burger. I present her scans of the product
and the wrapper.
But, of course, Trolli has a website (don't know why I didn't think of that before). There's a section on the site called "Ask the Gummiologist". Here's something I found:
Danny, from Corvallis, OR wants to know how many Mini Burgers are made each year?
For a little of that "oh, ain't that just the way of the web" feeling, trying clicking on the "Trolli Gift Shop! Always Open!" link on their front page.
Well Danny.... the Mini Burger was introduced about a year ago and we have made and sold... are you ready for this??... over 100 million of them!!... Awesome isn't it?!
* * *
I'm going to be on the road for the next few days, and then again a few days after that. I probably will take a long time to respond to non-urgent email. Having said that, if anyone knows anything good to do in St. Louis, where I will have Monday night to kill, please let me know: email@example.com
updated: Oh, I can hardly wait until that future golden age of a Vannvar-Bushy semantic web and the glorious XMLification of everything. I just blew an hour searching The Economist's archives for an article I remember reading about a 6 weeks ago. It said something like: "Perhaps Andy Grove is right and by 2003 every business will be an e-business, but then it will cease to be significant: every business now uses telephones, but none calls itself a 'telephone-business'". (If you remember the article/issues/quote, let me know: firstname.lastname@example.org. There could be a KitKat ChunKy in it for you.)
But the happy side effect is that I found this excellent article about people not behaving rationally which screws up the models of classical economists everywhere. (This is one of the articles I most enjoyed from last year's Christmas special issue. I remember reading it, bleary-eyed in the cafeteria line-up on a BC Ferry, going home for the holidays.)
* * *
What the hell does "props" mean? (As in "big props to all the people to who answer this question for me".) I know how to use it (pace Wittgenstein, meaning is not always use), but I want the origin. Is it short for something?
updated: Ms. Claire Amundsen Schaeffer writes in with what I can only imagine is the correct answer.
Ah, but Claire, you do know. And now I know, and some other people who might not have known now also know. That collective knowledge space could have gone to better preserve the wisdom that our elders taught us, the distilled experience of generations, the cultural amino acids which make up the proteins of our moral lives.
(n) An abbreviation of "propers" or proper respects. A show sits
on physical and non-physical props. At an award ceremony the
winner gives props: 'And I would like to thank...'. "
For the life of me, I can't recall why I even know the above site
Think of all the synapses which reformed around the world as those sentences are read, over and over again. The potassium ions inside the neural membrane exchanging places with the calcium without ("think of it as a banana floating in the ocean," I remember the lecturer droning . . .), the neurotransmitters released, the SSRIs doing their thing (in the brains of those of our readers who are currently "on" SSRIs), the hydrogen atoms which might have later been part of water molecules in the cup washed down by that future philosopher queen of the reamalgamated supercontinent on the day of her inauguration, but which instead get sucked into all manner of mundane hydrocarbons, including toys which seemed compelling in the advertisements but which were never played with once they got home. An enormous number of almost imperceptible physical changes which set the universe on a continually divergent path which leads towards in a radically different tomorrow. Sensitive dependence on initial conditions. http://www.rapdict.org/ http://www.rapdict.org/ http://www.rapdict.org/ Sure we know the answer to my original question. But was it worth the terrible cost? I am so ashamed.
But, thank you Claire, wherever you are.
* * *
Big thanks to Lisa Marshall, Sam and Michael Fergusson for help with the reviewing. There will be presents. Good ones. And a big thanks to Jason Classon for coding the database and custom app we are using to track, review and judge the entries.
Want to know how to thank him? Go sign up for Jason's free site Gradfinder, which allows you, as it were, "keep it in touch with friends from school" which is not altogether bad a thing, providing that you are not the sort of person who despises all the people you went to school with. Or the sort of person who is completely without nostalgia. Or the sort of person who thinks it would be "I dunno, really weird" to get in touch with friends form school. Or if you are snooty and don't want to mix with the common people in such a forum.
But if you are not one of those types of people, then you should sign up. And then tell all your friends about it. Hooray. Some venture capitalists will thank you. And all because you want to help me thank Jason. Thanks. Zoom. Bees in my hair. Thanks. Plug. Zoomplug. Thanks. Zoom. What goes around, comes around.
* * *
A friend introduced me to KitKat ChunKy (capitalization as per the product packaging), a reformulation of the classic chocolate bar. This variation comes in a cellophane wrapper. A British import. Absolutely delicious. You just can't compare this thick, engorged, oversized version of a single "finger" of the original to a "regular" KitKat bar.
In the tradition of Mr. Pants, I have scanned in the wrapper and made a picture available (no witty comments though -- partly for lack of imagination, and partly because there is no funny-text-which-was-translated-from-Japanese for fodder). I also bought a "Gummi Pizza" just so I could scan it in and make it available to all of you. (After that, it will go on my wall.)
(I went to this site a month or two ago that was about (pop culture and deconstruction) or (pop culture, the deconstruction of) or something. It had a story about crackerjacks and their distinctive boxes. Does anyone remember the URL? I can't find it anywhere. Tell me: email@example.com.)
updated: Mr. David Chess writes in with the correct answer:
Perhaps "inconspicuous consumption"? /usr/bin/girl cited it awhile back,
and I recorded it on openlog. It's "http://www.core77.com/inconspicuous/".
Thanks David. You win a KitKat ChunKy. Consumption deconstruction inconspicuous pop culture. Ta da!
* * *
Which brings the mind the fact that it is my father David's birthday. Happy birthday dad.
* * *
And speaking of Japanese . . . I actually stayed up a whole hour later than I intended to a few nights ago just so I could hear the news come around again (all syndicated radio news services seem to be fairly static between 12:00am and 4:00am where I live). As you probably heard, Japan's Obuchi in coma, political leadership in question (which was the freshest link when I originally wrote this -- it is no longer in question). Well, the AP Network News reporter uttered exactly these words when reporting on the story when it was breaking news:
"Japanese were told that the Prime Minister was in the hospital when they went to work this morning and they were shocked when they got home to learn that he was now in a deep coma."
Eh? Re-read it. Does everyone in Japan live in the same house? He makes it sound like there are 5 people there, tops. Don't they have radio or internet access at work?
* * *
OK, April Fool's is over. What is going on at McSweeney's? How long are they going to keep this going?
* * *
You know what I would pay good money for? A small IR remote control, like the ones used to unlock cars, which would cause my Palm to beep (and louder than its current feeble "ep") so I could find it. The only reason I am able hold on to a cell phone is that I am able to call it when at a loss.
* * *