Thursday, October 30, 2008

The Best of Mad Street Cred

Well, I was reading Nubby Twiglet today, and her "Best of" sidebar inspired me to add one of my own. But I thought I'd write a little something about it too. I've fallen into a habit of mostly posting videos or links with a small bit of commentary, instead of writing actual blog posts. It's due to my lack of free time, but it's really a shame, because I like writing real posts. So in honor of my former real blogging, I've gone ahead and picked some of my favorite past posts on Mad Street Cred. Perhaps you disagree - maybe there are other of my posts that you particularly liked. Leave it in the comments and I'll consider adding it to the list. Or maybe you hate my blog. Regardless, here are my favorite posts of days gone by, with a mini-summary of each:

1) "Waiting on the World...": After the producers of So You Think You Can Dance apologized on-air for the sub-text of choreographer Wade Robson's choreography to John Mayer's "Waiting on the World to Change" (which was meant to be about the war), I wrote this post about patriotism.

2) "starry skies": In this post, I talk about movies like Chasing Amy and why they're so much more realistic than romantic comedies without being depressing like indie films. I also talk a bit about hope, and love, and Meg Ryan.

3) "Why Spell-Check is Dangerous": You all know I'm a grammar nerd. Well this time, a spell-check error led to a crazy, hilarious law getting put into effect. (This post includes a cute poem too.)

4) "My Bottom 10": Pretty self-explanatory - these are 10 things I seriously hate.

5) "Top-ish Ten": I felt bad about being such a cynic after I posted My Bottom 10, so I counteracted it with 10 things I think are fantastic.

6) "Plane Clothes": Two separate instances of people being forced to change their clothes because flight crew deemed their outfits unacceptable for flying. One instance was a girl wearing a halter top. Another was a guy wearing an Arabic t-shirt (which I own).

7) "Supersize My... Report Card?": This post questions the morality, legality, and wisdom behind Seminole Cty, Fla. letting McDonald's advertise on its report cards.

8) "I'm With Stupid?": Is Google (and other associated technology) making us stupid? Find out what I think.

9) "The Porn Myth": This one is about porn.

10) "Reading about the unspeakable in fiction... and the shocking real-life news story about something even more unspeakable": After reading Joyce Carol Oates' book called Rape: A Love Story, I was inspired to write this article about hate crimes.

Those are my favorite 10. Enjoy!

Fall Inspiration

Over at CMYKaboom! my friend Cindy has a series called "Inspiration Machine." I just love it. Her blog rocks, but those posts are my favorite. Well I just read the latest Inspiration Machine - you too can read it here.

My favorite bit of inspiration from the latest post?:

6. Organize a fall cleaning: pack up summer clothes, bring out the heavy blankets and humidifiers, and decorate your home in warm autumn colors. Personal favorite: stocking up on delicious pumpkin candles. Or even better, make your own pumpkin candles, out of real pumpkins!

Right now my apartment is in a strange limbo between summer and fall. I still have tank tops and t-shirts strewn all over the place, but sweaters and jackets are what I'm actually wearing. I put the heat on when I get home, but I also still have fans in my rooms. I finally put out a few fall decorations this weekend, but my summer decorations aren't put away yet.

As someone who absolutely loves fall, it's ridiculous that I haven't embraced its return. Pumpkin candles, cider, blankets - what have I been thinking not making the transition to fall?? So I'll take Cindy's inspiration and hold a fall cleaning this weekend. And you should too!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

I'm a Mac strikes back

Genius. Eat it, Microsoft.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Quote of the Day

"The recipe for perpetual ignorance is: be satisfied with your opinions and content with your knowledge." -Elbert Hubbard

Monday, October 27, 2008

Beheading???

Worst thing I've heard in a long time:

"Arrests in Plan to Kill Obama and Black Schoolchildren"

The two men “planned to drive their vehicle as fast as they could toward Obama shooting at him from the windows,” according to an affidavit filed in federal court in Jackson, Tenn...

The assassination was to be the culmination of a “killing spree” that would also single out children at an unnamed, predominately black school, federal officials said. The men talked of “killing 88 people and beheading 14 African-Americans,” according to the affidavit.

The two men each had “very strong views” about Aryan white power and “skinhead” ideology, the federal officials said, and the numbers 88 and 14 have special significance in the white power movement. The number 88 is shorthand for “Heil, Hitler” — H is the eighth letter in the alphabet —and 14 signifies a 14-word mantra among white supremacists: “We must secure the existence of our people and a future for white children.”


Horrible. Absolutely horrible. I'm disgusted.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Who the hell votes in early elections?

I just found out this year (yeah) that there is even such a thing as an early election. It boggles my mind. So I've started reading anything I can about early elections. This column in Time Magazine that I read today is hands-down the best thing I've read about early elections, and it's hands-down the funniest thing I've read in quite some time. I was getting strange looks on the subway this morning because of my chuckling.

If you need a laugh, enjoy reading good writing, or basically are a human being of any kind, please read Joel Stein's article from Time Magazine, called "My Own Election Exit Poll."

Stein writes about the kinds of people who vote in early elections, based on his extremely unscientific personal exit polling in Ohio. (Hint: About half of the people polled by Stein applied early admission to college.)

My favorite quote from the article: "If all Americans were like early voters, we'd have a perfectly run country that would get beat up by all the other countries."

Once you're finished reading the article (it's short - one page), you can check out the results of his exit polls here. My favorite question he asked was "Did voting early just give Ohio more time to lose your vote?" Followed by "Would you like to vote for an American Idol winner now too?" as a close second. Seriously, it's great - give it a read.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Quotable

"[Obama] told me, when we talked, that Washington's us-versus-them divisions had made it impossible for any president to find solutions to a series of generational challenges, from Iraq to global climate change. 'If voters are similarly polarized and if they're seeing two different realities, a Sean Hannity reality and a Keith Olbermann reality, then we're not going to be able to get done the work we need to get done.'"
- Matt Bai, The New York Times Magazine, 10/19/08

Is your relationship bad for the planet?

As someone who has been in numerous long-distance relationships, I can think of a lot of reasons long-distance couples should break up. Here are a few -

1) There's a better-than-even chance one of them is cheating. Let's just be honest. It seems like everyone cheats these days. Sigh.

2) Talking on the phone is SO annoying. And inevitably, the phone and computer being the only usual means of communication between two people does not make for a close and lasting relationship.

3) There are plenty of fish in the sea, and probably lots right around you who are single. (Yeah, I'm talking about me. Guys, why are you dating people in other states and stuff? Some wonderful people are right here. And available.)

4) It inevitably is turning one or both of them insane. Be it from worrying that you're cheating or just going crazy not being with you. One of the two of you is going insane right at this moment.

5) Which is more realistic - one of you uprooting your life and moving to be with each other, or you eventually breaking up?

There are plenty of other reasons, but those are 5 good ones. Clearly I hate long-distance relationships and think they're the worst.

But there's one reason I hadn't considered. In Slate today, Barron YoungSmith posted an article that talks about the best reason I've heard yet - environmental consciousness. Read the article here: "The environmental case against long-distance relationships."

There are some great comparative facts in here, like that breaking up with your long-distance partner would be about 10 times better for the environment than going vegetarian. And that someone in a long distance relationship's lifestyle is about 6 times worse for the planet than the average gas-guzzling American - and about 10 times worse than someone living in San Francisco. Ouch.

It gets better from there. Read the article to find out more.

And don't forget. Date local.

Turing Tested

Something interesting I learned today, thanks to Ben and Jerzy's blog.

They recently posted the Dilbert cartoon you see below. I didn't understand the joke, because I didn't remember what the Turing test was. Apparently I missed that day in my 15 years of schooling. Here's the cartoon:



Well in case you're an idiot like me and don't remember what the Turing test is, here's a pretty good description from the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.

I won't attempt to explain it in my own words, since Stanford can do a much better job than I can (and since I'm sure my philosophic friend Ben would not hesitate to correct me if I'm wrong), but read about the Turing test and then come back and read the cartoon.

Funny now, right? Thanks guys!

"An Adman from A to V"

Apparently Ogilvy Athens created a 60th Anniversary tribute to David Ogilvy. As a warning - the credits say, "Caution: The following clip is an amateur effort." And the credits are right.

But there's still something great about it, almost even more so because it's so low-budget. This sentiment behind the video is part of the Ogilvy culture and permeates the halls around Ogilvy NYC, albeit in not quite as "funny" of a way. People my age never knew David Ogilvy, as he died several years ago, but the company does a great job in orientation of making you feel like you do. We're proud to work for this man's company, and his ethics, paradigms and quippy quotes are ingrained in our culture here. It really is David Ogilvy's company, even post mortem.

Anyway, that's the context behind the company and Athens' video. Hopefully you get a laugh, even if it's AT them.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

FAIL

This is a great article from Slate Magazine about the increasing use of the word "FAIL": "Why is everyone saying "fail" all of a sudden?"

I myself am saying "fail" lately. Last weekend, my sister left her music binder in my car, and she needed it the next day. I had to drag it up to my apartment and then lug it in to the city to get it to her. You know what I said to her? "FAIL." (It actually wasn't that big of a deal, but that's a good example of me using the word fail.)

I suspected the popularity was because of FAILBlog.org. According to the article, that's basically true. But read it for yourself to track its popularity. And check out FAILBlog to find out the meaning of FAIL, and its correct usage. (My example above isn't a good one. The picture featured here is a better one.)

The other words the article mentions are: w00t and pwn. Apparently w00t is an acronym for "We Owned the Other Team" (even though the double "o" is actually supposed to be double zero). The ever-mysterious "pwn" is derived from the word "own" and means to dominate or humiliate a rival. Apparently both of these words come from "leetspeak" or "l33tspeak" - a computer hacker language that puts together numbers and symbols to look like letters. Huh. Who knew.

So there's a little pop 3tym0l0gy for you.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Silly old bear...

Colbert should mention this on the Threat-Down. Thanks HowStuffWorks --

"How to Survive a Grizzly Bear Attack"

Also, "15 Tips for Surviving a Bear Encounter"

I figure I'm headed back up to Buffalo this weekend, so it can't hurt to study up on crazy wildlife attacks. Am I right?

Sister Blog

Check out my sister's awesome new blog: The Way That Life Happens. She only has one post so far, but it's really funny. And true. :)

Monday, October 6, 2008

Blast from the Past

Today I remembered my old blog. After going back and checking it out after over a year, I've come to one conclusion. I used to be more fun than I am now. :)

Check it out for yourselves:

Lisa, Interrupted

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Google BlogSearch

This week, Google relaunched its blogsearch:
http://blogsearch.google.com


I never even knew it existed in the first place. But I know it's not bogus, because I searched for Nielsen Ratings, and a post on my other blog came up in the first page of the results!

Read about Google's revamp here. And also check out another similar site I had never heard of, called Techmeme.

Quote of the Day

"My loathings are simple: stupidity, oppression, crime, cruelty, soft music."
- Vladimir Nabokov

Blogger "Follow" Feature

A short post to encourage you to start using the "Follow" feature on Blogger. I didn't understand what it was at first, but now I'm using it and it is amazing.

Just go to your dashboard, scroll down to the Reading List section, click the blue "Add" button at the bottom, and paste in the URLs of blogs you want to follow. It doesn't email you when the people post, which is what I thought. Instead, it aggregates blurbs from all your favorite blogs whenever there are new posts - right on your dashboard. It shows a slight excerpt and then a link so you can click to read more. Tonight when I get home, I'll augment this post with a nice screenshot so you can see what it is for yourself.

Regardless, this is a terrific feature. I never have time to go check all my friends' blogs, but this way I can just scroll through and see new posts. It's fantastic. Try it out and follow me!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

NYC becoming home

An article my friend sent to me from the New York Times really touches on how it feels to be a newcomer to New York City, and it also offers some inspiration for those newcomers -- telling them that eventually, New York will start to feel like home. Check out the article here: "City Fits, Eventually, for New Arrivals"

In my own experience, it is tough starting out here in New York, especially coming here alone like I did. It's tough to meet friends, because people can seem closed-off here and because it's nearly impossible to break into someone's already-established group. They either grew up here with the people in their group, or they went to college together, neither of which lends itself to late joiners. Beyond that, it's tough to meet significant others here. People here seem to be either in relationships or not looking for them. On top of all that, there are TONS of people here. It can all make a person feel very lonely.

But after living here for over 2 years now, you learn that it also can be a really inviting place. There are certain things that really unite this city, and the distance from people that you initially feel on, say, the subway actually is a kind of closeness. There's a huge camaraderie with people who live in New York. And it really starts to grow on you. And the more people you meet, the more you love it here. There are a million reasons why I love New York City, but those are only a few. I'm thankful that my sister moved here recently, but I also was loving it before that. What starts out as loneliness eventually is counteracted with all the great things about this place. And now I'm very defensive of my city. Hate to hear haters of it complaining. Come live here for two years and then we'll talk.

So if you're new to the city, take heart. If you were considering moving here, read the article and reconsider. And if you do move here, call me. I've been through it all and have come out the other side. :)