Thursday, November 30, 2006

The $150 Laptop

A very interesting idea and an impressive accomplishment. Although these items will still have to come down in price. And they are still less relevant than clean water, stopping violence, and properly feeding people in many parts of the world that they are meant to help. I would imagine these laptops to be most useful in more stable developing countries.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Forget Total Recall

Here's a better idea of what would really happen if you were exposed to the void of outer space. Overall, this site should keep you entertained for awhile. Thanks MR.

And while you're in the mood take a look at this site about movie physics. Thanks Todd.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Ads from Japan

We all know that Hollywood stars have been doing ads over there for many years. But now you can easily watch them "perform" on the internet at Fans of 24 will especially appreciate this pair of ads. Also, check out The Simpsons, the Governator, Sly Stallone, Steven Seagal, Michael Jackson, Ben Stiller, Eddie Murphy, and many more.

Hat tip to the Freakonomics blog.

I'm with this guy

Let the Juice's book/video loose!

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Smile if you like E-meters!

This woman sure seems to love them:

This was the scene at the Union Square subway station last night. Regrettably, I was already late for dinner so I did not stop and test myself. I plan on doing that soon though. Scientology is very fascinating to me.

Today in the subway I found out that "By God's standard of righteousness even the most moral person is looked upon by God as a desperate sinner on his way to Hell." Thanks Family Radio! Now I know for sure that I am a terrible person. Isn't religion grand?

Saturday, November 25, 2006

More racism

This story is an oldie but a goodie. A teacher called a student a "niggah" in the classroom and got suspended for it. Seems to make sense, right? Watch the video and wait for his explanation starting around the 2 minute mark.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Timing is Everything

I turned on the TV just now and what did I see but this:

Boy, we really should have seen this Michael Richards rant coming!

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Hats for bats, keep bats warm

Jobu, you will not believe this, but President David Palmer is Pedro Cerrano. Amazingly, Dennis Haysbert played both characters! And in real life, he can hit a curveball...maybe...

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Blogger Beta

I want it and I want it now. Please? I'm already way changed over 3 months ago!

The Death Knell for OPS

From a Rob Neyer chat today:

Ben (Chicago): Carlos Guillen OPS = .919, Derek Jeter OPS = .900

SportsNation Rob Neyer: (12:34 PM ET ) Ben, OPS was nice for a few years, and still comes in handy sometimes. But we've moved on, my friend.

Monday, November 20, 2006


The O.J. interview better get leaked onto Bittorrent or YouTube (and thanks to the wonders of the internet, I am sure it will).

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Tailgate Fun

I love pig roasts. I was introduced to them by a kind-hearted young man in Trumbull named James. Since then, I have been hooked. And at the Yale-Princeton game tailgate, I was lucky enough to stumble on one in my drunken stupor. This one was being run by a friendly Yale Dining Services gentleman who posed for this picture with me.

Me: I just love these pig roasts, what are you cutting up there?
YDS Guy: Well, we can do lamb, chicken, beef, veal, pig, whatever you want. You find a meat, we'll cut it up. Just make sure to call up Yale Dining Services for all your meat preparation needs.
Me: Um, where can I find the jowls? That's my favorite part of the pig.
YDS Guy: You know your stuff there buddy, check out that table over there.

At this point, I proceeded to pick at the back of the pig's head with my fingers, and then a fork, until the people staring at me made me too self-conscious to continue.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Banya baby!

I visited the Russian baths in the East Village last night and I loved it. Think of the hottest place that you have ever been. Now double the heat. That might give you an idea of how hot it is in a banya. Just as an example, after spending some time in the banya, stepping into the regular 180 degree sauna felt like being outside at Christmas. The best feeling that you can get in the banya is when you dump a bucket of ice-cold water on your head and the combination of shock and relief is remarkable. Then, after spending some more time in the banya, take a dip in the ice-cold pool. Trust me, it's exhilarating.

I may sound like a maniac, and the experience was extremely intense, but by the time I left, I could not have felt more relaxed. The Russians have been doing it for hundreds of years, they must be doing something right.

Blaine is Back!

He will be suspended over Times Square starting on Tuesday. I would say that I am psyched.

Friday, November 17, 2006

No Pennies For You!

If we're lucky, this will be the case. Pennies are always so dirty. I throw some of them on the ground. Here's a discussion of the issue. Thanks MR.

My favorite line:

However, I think eliminating the penny would be a good idea even if the Mint could make pennies at zero cost.

It's all about the Friedmans

Check out what Milton had to say about spending money.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Are you a New Yorker?

Here are some things that Time Out New York says you should do to make sure that you can answer "Yes." And here's the big quiz about New York! I got robbed on some bullshit (e.g. writing "The Apollo Theater" did not count when the answer was "Apollo Theater"), but it was entertaining.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

She's got guts at least

But she is pretty stupid. I'm talking about Emily Yoffe, a woman who admits as much in this train wreck of a piece for Slate.

My favorite part comes while she is doing some simple multiplication (stuff like 638 x 6). For the record, I agree with everything she assumes her husband is thinking:

He [my husband] flipped the pages and asked, "This is hard for you?"

"Yes," I replied.

"Seriously?" he said, eyes widening. When I assured him it was, I realized I was looking at the face of a man staring into the evolutionary abyss. I could see he was regretting that he had allowed his DNA to be carried into the future merged with mine.

Don't believe the hype

Conventional wisdom says that a fat person's opinion on what constitutes good food or a good restaurant is very reliable. I say that this is ridiculous. In fact, I believe that fat people are less reliable judges of food quality because they enjoy eating so much that they indiscriminately eat terrible food, and lots of it.

"Hey blog, thanks for letting me rant. You're alright kid."

Either remarkable or a remarkable hoax

But it's definitely hilarious. The Juice is loose. Thanks Todd and Eric.

Monday, November 13, 2006

John Kerry Humor

Here's a good group of jokes referencing the long-faced one's tendency to insult people who didn't go to Yale.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Friday, November 10, 2006

Very Topical

The Sunlight Network is trying to increase transparency in Congress. Maybe all the new Democrats will help. Maybe not. Either way, you can have some fun by making your own commercial about Congress at this web site. Read more here.

A new fun pastime

I love walking around the city and seeing storefronts that used to be Blockbuster video stores and thinking about how much better they are now as anything else. Thank you, Netflix.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Identity Theft

Someone at either The Village Voice or Saturday Night Live has been watching too much "BeRiched." Although can you ever really watch too much of such a good thing? Look at Andy Samberg on the cover of The Village Voice. The similarities to "BeRiched" are striking.

It's the little things (Part XXI)

Guess who is writing this blog post in Firefox 2.0? I'll give you a hint. It's not Kingspawn (Tom, can you PLEASE get on that for him?).

This morning I was able to finagle a complete overhaul of my computer simply by putting in a service request form for an upgrade to my Java Plug-in (thanks Steven!). Not only is my Java up-to-date, but I now have Firefox 2.0, double the RAM, and my computer was defragged. Everything about my work computer is better. I feel like a new man.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

BeRiched Finale!

You have no idea what I had to go through to get this footage. But here, finally, is the end of the 4-part saga of BeRiched. Please make sure to watch part 1, part 2, and part 3 first. Then sit back and treat yourself to the gripping conclusion.

Thank you to Tom for putting this together (and Sarah for guest-starring). Also, I could not have done this without the support of Jen (take a bow, sugar beet) and Dan. It was a collaboration of the highest order.

Monday, November 06, 2006


With Election Day fast approaching, lots of people are writing about voting. Check out this post from Marginal Revolution and make sure to read all the related links. In my mind there are some pretty good arguments about the "Myth of the Rational Voter" and the idea that maybe not everyone should vote (if you're not very well-informed, etc...)

All this said, I plan on voting tomorrow. And I hope that I don't randomly influence a close race in the wrong direction...

Hitting Close to Home

Turns out that I'm not the only one who has had some troubles on the NYC subway...

(Hat tip to Susanna)

Sunday, November 05, 2006


I was lucky enough to attend a great party with a sick view of the NYC Marathon. These are my pictures. You like?

Friday, November 03, 2006

Quote of the Day

“A really smart person will come up with what you would come up with,” Murphy answered, “only faster. A genius will come up with something that you would never come up with, no matter how long you worked on it.”

From this profile of "genius" economist Kevin Murphy.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Best Sentence of the Day

"He makes the startling claim that gains in health are the worst thing we can bring to modern Africa."

From Tyler Cowen's discussion of Professor Gregory Clark's new manuscript, A Farewell to Alms.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

NFL Cafeteria Fun

Halloween fun that is! Check out some menu items from October 31:

Goblin Mushroom Bisque

Count Dracula Chicken Tenders

Transylvania Taqueria

Freddie Krueger Cupcakes

MySpace, ByeSpace?

Great headline from The Wall Street Journal (which is now the 2nd-highest circulation paper in the U.S.).

Nut graf:

The guerrilla marketing has driven away James Kalyn, a 30-year-old technical writer in Regina, Saskatchewan. He kept receiving friend requests from half-naked female strangers through his MySpace page. Clicking on a request usually led to a profile that turned out to be an ad for a pornography site. At first, Mr. Kalyn was excited that "these hot girls allegedly wanted to be my friend." But after looking at a few profiles, he realized: "If it's a picture of someone fairly attractive, they're probably not my friend in real life." Last spring, Mr. Kalyn killed his MySpace profile.

Some pretty good other costumes

The Berger Boys went pop culture. You liiiike?