Posts tagged #misc

What to Do With The Simpsons

We all worry about the folks who create The Simpsons running out of ideas. (Well, those of us who do not believe that’s already happened worry about it.) If truth be told, the series is just not as consistently funny as it used to be. How much longer can it possibly go on?

Last night as I was watching the show, a solution struck me. What if all the characters changed? I mean, what if they shook up the show with some season-ender that just changed everything, and then picked up from there the following season, and stuck with the changes? It would be sort of like that trick they pulled on you in the original Legend of Zelda, where, at game’s end, you were suddenly told there was a second quest to fulfill. And in that second quest, all the locations were the same, and yet different; all … read full post…

Perfect Moments

In 1997, Zannah, having fallen in love, created an exquisite online monument to her boy, which grew over the subsequent two years. The hopeless romantic in me thinks this is one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever seen on the web. I wish there were more than fifty-six entries; I could page through these all night.

[Zannah also writes two fantastic blogs, vox.machina and #!/usr/bin/girl.]

College in the Web Era

When I was a sophomore at Cal, I remember teaching folks how to use the World Wide Web. It was exciting new technology that a lot of students hadn’t yet experienced.

Less than ten years later, things are quite different, of course. Students now blog and hack together creations like U.C. Berkeley Hot or Not and Final Distance, which, when fed your desired class list, outputs an optimized class schedule. Actually signing up for classes happens on the Web now, too. Wow. I hope the Tele-BEARS phone bots found work.

Why Most of Us Drive Too Much

Conflict of Transportation Competitors is titled like a government report and reads like one too, but it is fascinating nevertheless. Wanna see how the Bay Bridge worked when trains crossed it? How about a map of the old Key System, which at one point connected San Francisco, Berkeley, Albany, Oakland, and San Leandro with electric streetcars? What’s with those “expressways” in San Jose? Also: details on how General Motors systematically destroyed every major transit system in California (with the exception of San Francisco’s Muni). Makes me feel kinda dirty for driving a Pontiac.

[found on Boing Boing]

Not the City It Could Have Been”

How did L.A. becoming the sprawling monstrosity we know today? This amazing essay chronicles the breakdown, and also provides some insight into how New York and Chicago became the amazing cities they are today. Chock full of interesting photographs and fantastic analysis. I love it when I stumble across stuff like this on the Web.

[found on Metafilter]

The Horror of Blimps

Need a good laugh this fine Friday? This tale is beautifully written and funny as hell. “I awoke the way you awake when you suddenly know that there is a large levitating sinister presence hovering towards you with menacing intent through the malignant darkness.”

[found while exploring Deadly Bloody Serious]

No, After You!

Tell me: How much better would your quality of life be if everyone followed these simple rules? Especially C1. Come to think of it, C1 kinda applies to elevators, too. Is there anything more annoying than people who try to crowd into an elevator before folks have a chance to get out?

And since we’ve mentioned elevators, how about those morons — slightly above krill on the food chain — who arrive at the top of an escalator and then just stand there, oblivious to the domino-esque human catastrophe forming behind them?

[found on kottke.org]

The Internet Changes Everything, Part 728

L.T. Smash is a reserve officer in the United States Military who has been recalled to active duty and deployed overseas in support of Operation ENDURING FREEDOM.” Here is his blog.

Interesting reading. If it is not a hoax (hell, even if it is), it’s only a matter of time before the military cracks down on unauthorized blogs, right? It’ll happen after someone spends half an hour explaining to Rumsfeld what a blog is. Then we’ll have to surf over to Stars and Stripes for the official, sanitized L.T. Smash replacement. Who will, of course, be no good at all.

Let Me Take You Down

Here is a great little essay comparing the New York and Washington subways. It makes some keen observations about the world beneath Manhattan (one of my favorite places on the planet).

Infinite Writing

This article at The Onion is spot-on. I have stalled at page 128 of Infinite Jest and am having a very difficult time getting started again. In the meantime, I’m finishing The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K. Le Guin, which is a real mindfuck.