Monday, November 26, 2012

Places I Visited on the Internet Today #9

Today I started a new job, one where I cannot look at the Internet, so this list will be shorter than earlier ones. There's always the weekend.
  • Another Monday brings the question, "Was this your weekend?" (via @IncubateBlog)
  • Vintage Portland has a picture of the St. Louis Hotel in the 1930s. This is one of the few blogs where you should read the comments. Great community detective work.
  • On ZooBorns, there are some cute lion twins. I love the pictures of them with their Pop.
  • From Retronaut, Lyle Stuart drawings of puberty/sexuality. I didn't Google him too closely, but I think that he was probably the same artist that illustrated the book of the "birds and the bees" that my parents shared with me when I was a little kid. It was a great book because it didn't shy away from sex and just presented it as something that adults do. What you could communicate with kids in the 70s would get you arrested today. In any case, this illustrator is my immediate reference when I think about the late 70s. The style was appropriated in a more crude fashion in the 80s, but that's a whole post to itself.
  • - thanks to @welshkaren for the reminder. The link is exactly what you would expect. 
  • Police blotter:
    • There was a sexual assault near PSU.
    • Bank robberies are never as sexy as they are in movies.
    • This lady was murdered a few years ago, and the cops need help on the cold case. Side note: regardless of how terrible our city's cops are regarding minorities and the mentally ill, they are pretty awesome when it comes to cold cases. A lot of it has to do with new technologies, but the rest of it is due to retried detectives that keep on cases. I'm too lazy to Google the shit now, but seriously.
    • Cops are going to do a sting for bad drivers at NE 78th and Glisan on Wednesday. If you drive in that area, behave yourself. But really, behave yourself anyway.
Wikipedia pages:
Something that I don't include in these listings are images that I can view within Twitter, and I guess that I should make mention of that. Technically, I am viewing other websites when I do this sort of thing, but it's exhausting to chronical the photos on Twitter or the links to Instagram. Just imagine that you are looking at a lot of pictures of food, sunsets and bikes, and you will be fulfilled.

Also, something that I referenced in an earlier post that I am having a hard time tracking down now was this article in the New York Times about "hipsters". I popped it open and read through the whole thing and want to make a serious response to it - something that is outside the scope of my link postings. For now, all that matters is that I looked at it today as well.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Places I Visited on the Internet Today #8

Here's what I was looking at on the Internet today:
  • I had no idea, but there's still a few ninjas left.
  • A cute lion cub on ZooBorns.
  • I started reading this Vanity Fair cover story on Kate Moss until I paused to ask myself, "Why am I reading this?"
  • "3 Great UX Resources" that I didn't find to be great. 
  • A very short article profiling a few microeconomists who work in online commerce. I wish that this was a more in-depth article, because this felt like a very brief and basic overview of an interesting subject.
  • Newcastle, England, is cutting all of its funding to arts and culture. It seems like dismantling government is in vogue throughout a lot of the world right now, with it being done in the name of "austerity" due to economic circumstances, but it feels like a sham to me. There's been this big push to reduce government debt over the past couple of years, even though most economists say that reducing debt during a period of unsteady recovery is a bad idea. I think that this is occurring because conservatives have been able to push the narrative that it is somehow government debt that is keeping people from having jobs. So now that conservatives are controlling that message, government spending is being cut, and - conveniently - the things that conservatives don't like (arts and culture, social services) are the first things that get the ax. Of course, the irony of cutting government spending is that it puts people out of work rather than creating jobs. Excuse me now while I go look up "Feudalism" "Plutocracy" on Wikipedia. (BBC link via @barryjohnson)
  • From Wired, a fascinating article about cracking the cryptography of a 250-year-old secret society.
  • An opinion piece on micro-apartments. In cataloging all of the links that I visit, I am starting to see a real pattern of articles/posts that are so brief and half-formed as to be negligible. This article is like the one on microeconomists above - it doesn't feel complete. Maybe this pattern only exists for "micro" subjects.
  • Here's a book review of Jeff Speck's "Walkable City", which sounds like it may be worth going to Powell's and flipping through if not buying. I really need to read Jane Jacobs' "Life and Death of American Cities" in the near future.
  • High transit corridors create more real estate demand
  • Refreshingly, there are still parts of the world where they believe in public transit and making the rich pay their share. 
  • CSS Zen Garden, because I was listening to this podcast with the creator of the site. I only listened to the first half of the podcast because it kept cutting out on me.
  • "We are in full apostasy boogie." And, oh boy, from the same source: Obama got re-elected because women love George Clooney.
  • @PortlandAfoot shared this link where he defines his mission statement in response to some crank in the comment sections.
Wikipedia pages:

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Places I Visited on the Internet Today #7

I had a lot of Internet to catch up on:

Wikipedia pages:

Places I Visited on the Internet Thanksgiving Edition

There's a lot of stuff to see and read on the Internet, but it's no substitute for real life, especially when real life involves travel and food and relatives that you don't see all of the time. With that said, here are the few places that I went to on the Internet during the last three days:
  • Via @Armbrustco, here's a really 1990s video of Thurston Moore interviewing Beck on 120 Minutes. She also provided a link to some choice 80s hiphop.
  • ancientportland reveals the etymology of Tri-Met. (via @PortlandAfoot)
  • A couple of links from the Retronaut: the very groovy Apple Boutique in 1967 London, and  - in what is bound to be one of my very favorite links of the day - color(ized?) photos of Paris in 1914.
  • Police blotter: a "cutting" machete attack under the Burnside Bridge, and an all-too-familiar instance of a vehicle-versus-pedestrian(s) in East Portland. Hopefully, that lady is able to recover. 
  • The Moberi food cart uses an exercise bike to power the blender for making smoothies. Wacky? Ingenious? Twee? One of those things that make conservative people angry when they hear about it? It's on the Oregonian's website, so I'm sure that there will be a bunch of cranks weighing in on it by the end of the day.
  • "Obama's Moment" by Thomas Friedman in the NYT. This is one of those opinion pieces that has one specific pet subject that it is focusing on - the idea that very high-speed Internet connections would be great economic booms for urban areas (I agree!) - but then wedges it into the "bigger picture", whether it is an appropriate fit or not. Paragraphs 3 and 4 of this piece are so broad that you could follow it up with pretty much whatever you wanted. The Newsweek blowhard Niall Ferguson is kind of my poster child for these opinion pieces; he could find a certain type of vegetable unappealing to his personal tastes and work that into a narrative of Obama causing hyperinflation because of a willingness to work with China. Ferguson would probably also title his piece "Obama's Moment". 
  • From Portland Architecture, a person writes about how they are happy that they moved here. Any where on the coast that is not Los Angeles is better than Los Angeles.
  • After driving and walking around Bellingham, I used Google Maps to look at all of the places that we didn't have a chance to explore.
Wikipedia pages:

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Places I Visited on the Internet Today #4

Boy, have I looked at a bunch of stuff on the Internet today. Some of it was interesting and some of it was not. Here's a list of all of it:

Cute animals department: 
Political stuff:
  • Chris Christie, Republican pariah.
  • Big surprise that the Oregonian editorial board is against the incredibly small amount of tax being raised on the companies that provide landline service. In the article, they frame it as a tax on the elderly, which: sure, but they fail to mention that the tax would amount to something like an extra $4.20 annually. Also, there is some really weird anti-tax/"just tax everybody" logic going on in that article. Remember when the Oregonian used to be a good newspaper without a conservative/anti-tax/anti-bike bias? I wonder if everyone on their editorial board lives in Vancouver.
  • There's finally a plan to do... something? with Veterans Memorial Coliseum.

Coding links:

  • - I keep avoiding doing all of the server-side programming that I want to do, and today I decided that I'd better work on it.
iPhone apps I installed today:
  • HERE Maps - It's no Google Maps.
  • Dinner Spinner - I had this app before, but it got deleted during an iOS update. I think I'll spend the $3 to upgrade it so I have access to my recipes from that site.
Wikipedia pages:

Monday, November 19, 2012

Places I Visited on the Internet Today #3

I'm a real citizen of the Internet. Here's all of the places I went to on the Internet today:
  • After a two week hiatus, one of my favorite websites, Vintage Portland, is back! This post is my favorite kind - where they don't know where the photo's location is, and everyone in the comments works to figure it out.
  • Here's a short photo essay about the destruction from Sandy that has occurred to a cable vault owned by Verizon. As @webframp, who I got this link from, says: "Just reminds me how fragile the infrastructure really is."
  • My buddies at the Dutch festival Incubate run a blog with a regular Monday feature called "Was This Your Weekend?" It's not always SFW by American standards, but this week's installment is just a picture of a guy and his sweet pigeon tattoo
  • Over at ZooBorns (a site I go to daily), they have thirteen minutes of video of the four new baby lions up at Seattle's Woodland Park zoo. I have not watched the whole video - yet. Also: baby giant otters! They will get up to six feet in length as adults!
  • In other animal baby news, Rose-Tu (an Asian elephant) is expected to give birth to her second calf any day now!
  • I ended up at "The Movie Cliches List" for a minute, then used the Wayback Machine to confirm that the site has not had a design update since it debuted back in 1999. (Apparently, it became a USA Today "Hot Site" back in March of 2000!) (via @nonobody)
  • So I guess we had an earthquake right before I woke up this morning?
  • Here's a photo of Vice President Richard Nixon at the 1959 Oregon Centennial Exposition. And here's an early 20th century photo of a woman steering an experimental personal paddle boat. Looks fun. (Facebook links)
  • Hey, if you live in the Metro (Multnomah, Washington, Clackamas counties) area, you should take this survey about a possible 5-year parks and natural areas levy that Metro is considering.
  • Al Gore's blog always has rosy news about our warming future.
  • Geez, I've got a lot of bummer links in my browsing history today. Here's a depressing article about the civets that they cage in order to make civet coffee. "Civet coffee". (via @welshkaren)
  • Today's "Yo, Is This Racist?" podcast. It's pretty much the only podcast I really listen to. I also listened to Episode 22 and Episode 23, since I didn't listen to them last week. So after I listened to that last one, I went and watched "The Lone Ranger" trailer, and yep, Johnny Depp in Magical Indian face looks pretty racist. Then, since i was already at IMDB, I watched the "Iron Man 3" trailer.
  • OSPIRG is accused of union-busting.
Obligatory links to Huffington Post articles that were harvested from someone else's work:
  • Sarah Palin 2016. After reading a few sentences of the HP piece, I went to the original editorial arguing in favor of Palin 2016, and, oh boy. The writer argues that Palin would do better than Hillary Clinton because she is hotter than Clinton (then she makes an ad hominem attack on Hil's hairstyle); suggests that Palin could get the gay vote because there are some gay people out there that like her (presumably this would be the same logic that she could apply to racial minorities?); and that general voters are blue-collar dummies that don't pay attention to current affairs and care about the ''tugs on their emotions, fears, revulsions and heart strings provided by hours and hours of uninterrupted television watching." The piece ends with a biographical blurb about the author who "writes frequently about feminism, politics, and religion." Lotsa big YIKES and GROSSes in that editorial. 
  • Marco Rubio will not tell you that the Earth is 4.5 billion years old. Y'know what? I'm fine with this dude not outright agreeing to science. He has a base of crazy-ass people, and in the respect that he has political ambitions, this is the sort of thing that he has to say. I'm pretty sure that there's some places in Florida where they'll put burning crosses on your lawn if you admit that you believe in science. This is kind of like if someone asked Mayor-elect Charlie Hales if he should Keep Portland Weird.
Pop culture/celebrity links:
  • "Lana Del Ray, the joke's on us" - I read four paragraphs, and then I became really bored with it and that I really don't go for articles like this. (Also, I am an old person who gets confused and cranky by current pop culture?) (link via @_lucky)
  • Penn Jillette writing about being on "Celebrity Apprentice". The article's title states "Donald Trump is a whack job", which, yes, sure, but the actual article is more about a guy trying to explain why everyone acts like an idiot on reality television, then attempting to provide a justification for acting like an idiot on reality television.
  • Videogum's recap of this weekend's SNL, which was not very good (I only made it up through Weekend Update when we were watching it). Watching SNL on Saturday is when I was reminded that Jeremy Renner and Liam Neeson are not the same person.
  • Also, Videogum's Thursday night TV recap. I come for the GIFs.
Links about people who have recently taken their own lives:
  • Bike Portland remembers Justin Drawbert, a bike racer who committed suicide.
  • Here's a brief Willamette Week article covering the memorial for "Working" Kirk Reeves. It includes a link to the fundraiser to put some kind of permanent remembrance to him at his old station on the Hawthorne Bridge.
  • Reading those two articles made me want to link to this page to Multnomah County's Mental Health Crisis resources. The county has a 24-hour crisis number and a walk-in clinic that is open until 10:30pm everyday. 
iPhone apps that I briefly considered downloading but did not:
Links I went to that I wasn't interested in, but you might be interested in:
  • Here's something that indie developers who make games for the Wii might be interested in, I guess? I was 0.5% interested in the contents of this article.
  • I was going to read this NYT article about hipsters or irony or something, and I didn't even make it past the opening illustration. I managed to read the two paragraphs included in the Mercury's link to the article, and just: ugh. I'll have to go back and read this article sometime when I feel up to dissecting why this sort of article is so wrong in its thinking.
  • Okay, I am done reading the Hostess bankruptcy post-mortems.
  • Sometimes I just click on links because I don't know what they are.
Wikipedia Pages:

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Places I Visited on the Internet Today #2

I spend a lot of time looking at things on the Internet. Here's where I was today:

  • Sweetpea Baking because I was thinking about breakfast and was wondering if they still did their Sunday brunch. They had a vegan mozzarella pesto quiche, but since two of those nouns shouldn't be vegan, I passed on that. Instead I got a cherry almond streudel and it was super good.
  • Because I confused Liam Neeson with Jeremy Renner, my pal Angela sent me this YouTube link to a piece called How Big is Liam Neeson's Cock? from Hollywood Babylon. I will never confuse Liam Neeson with anyone else again.
  • I read about some comics art forger named Rob Granito, although the story of his comeuppance happened over a year and a half ago. I enjoy stories about frauds who get their comeuppance. 
  • Via @Steve_Lieber, I learn that someone in the city has a pet alligator. (That barks!?)
  • On the Retronaut, there are some pretty fascinating non-gruesome old pictures of car crashes in Boston. I think my favorite one is the car that's rolled back into a metal fence, which is now preventing it from tumbling off of an embankment. 
  • Also on the Retronaut are some pictures of the crew of Star Trek hanging out with the space shuttle Enterprise in 1976. Shatner was too stuck up to show up or something. In a picture with a lot of great suits and outfits, I think it is George Takei's that I would want to wear the most.
  • So I didn't realize that the AV Club has a new regular feature called Hatesong, where they have a musician describe what song they hate the most and why. Steve Albini describing why he dislikes Cher's "Believe" is just great. (via @nonobody).
  • A baby sloth on ZooBorns! Let's all go to the Pueblo Zoo!! And a baby rhino! How awesome would it be to bottle feed a baby rhino?!
  • Heather posted a link to this sweet little guy on my Facebook wall. We really want to get a kitten to keep our cat company, so we look at an inordinate amount of kittens on the Internet. I think that Heather's Internet consumption is probably about 70% kittens, actually. Here's another kitten.
  • Speaking of kittens... (via @ErikLuyten)
  • From the Portland Police bureau: a guy tries to break into a dental clinic with a switchblade. This isn't a particularly exciting story, but I think this is the sort of press release that the PPB puts out to make it sound like they're being confronted by ultraviolent criminals all the time. The switchblade sounds potentially dangerous, but it also sounds like it was just being used as a tool. Maybe not in this instance, but sometimes I feel that the descriptions of altercations that they get into with suspects sound exaggerated for affect.
  • Barry Johnson of OregonArtsWatch has a long article on Measure 26-146 (the "arts tax") that passed, a post-mortem of the attempts to defeat it, and where it is going now that it has passed. He was a good counterbalance to the Oregonian and Willamette Week's over-the-top anti- positions during the election campaign.
  • GIFs. (via @_lucky)
Twinkies/Hostess Links:
  • Here's a dumb Huffington Post link to some dumb/boring facts about Twinkies. Every time I click a link that leads to the Huffington Post, I get really disappointed. The Huffington Post is the Twinkies of websites.
  • And here's an article explaining the demise of Hostess, and how it did not go bankrupt because of a union strike, but because of venture capitalists. I take some issue with the bias in this article, with its repeated references to Bain Capital and Romney - I get that it's a reference to the AFL-CIO president's comments, it's just a little ham-fisted here. Total tangent: I'm always wondering why partisan political websites have the shittiest designs - I mean, look at the resolution of that logo! Why is it so blurry? Couldn't you find someone to re-create that for you at a higher resolution? (For some terrible looking conservative websites, please see: or
  • From the same site, Rush Limbaugh has some completely reasonable, perfectly sane, totally non-racist person thoughts on why the President wanted Hostess to go out of business. (The gist: the First Lady hates junk food, and the President wants more people on welfare. Sure.)
Non-Hostess Political Links:
Wikipedia pages:
  • Band on the Run - I don't have access to the Beatles discography via our music service (MOG), so I occasionally find myself trying to give Paul McCartney a chance. "Ram" wasn't cutting it for me, so I looked to find what album "Band on the Run" was on because I'd heard that was a good album. Ergo:
  • Wings
  • Ram
  • Reichstag - This after reading an essay on Christo and Jean-Claude's Wrapped Reichstag.
  • Flak Tower
  • Zoo Flak Tower
  • Kent State Shootings
  • Nixon Tapes

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Places I Visited on the Internet Today #1

I spend a lot of my time - especially now that I'm not currently working - looking at stuff on the Internet. Here's everything I looked at today:
  • AIGA (American Institute of Graphic Artists) Portland is soliciting images for a zine about finding inspiration in Oregon that they are putting out: It looks like a fun idea, and after taking a look at some of the existing submissions on their zine blog, maybe I should actually submit something to it. Deadline for entry is November 30th.
  • Here's a round-up of some of the stories that were covered this week on There's a lot of times when I disagree with the opinions or tone of voice of Jonathan Maus, the guy who runs it, but it's still a site that I check out a lot. 
  • A report/rumor that a Google Maps app is in the process of being tested for the iPhone. I really hope so, because Apple's new native maps application for iOS 6 is pretty terrible.
  • I'm kind of a junky for the Portland Police Bureau's press releases - really just for police blotters in general - and I really like the weird details that pop out in some of the descriptions. In this update about a guy who tried to rob a porn store and ended up being choked by the employee, it's noted that the suspect "simulated a weapon." That means that he put his finger in his coat pocket and made a gun shape, right? What else could it be? On an unrelated press release a few days ago, there was an update that simply said something like "Original release should have read 'robbery suspect' not 'rubbery suspect'."
  • According to the Retronaut, this is "Picasso as Popeye". That's a fun picture, but since when does Popeye have a beard? I think he's looking more like Captain Haddock.
  • Also from the Retronaut: "Watercolors and sketches by James Dean." Huh.
  • My absolute favorite website for the past month has been the Tate Museum's Gallery of Lost Art, which has completely re-invigorated my love for modern art and art history in general. If you have any interest in art history at all, you should check out that site.
Political Stuff:
  • Some non-piece on Huffington Post about the two former Bush First Ladies. Basically: they sat on a panel and had really boring and unsurprising things to say about being the First Lady.
  • Here's an article on RT (Russian Times? Russian Television?) about a HR 347, a "Trespass Bill", which sounds like a small erosion of our civil liberties. I'm generally against anything that is going to curtail rights to protest, but I it bugs me when people freak out disproportionally to things like this, saying it "essentially criminalizes protest in the States" (in the words of the article).
Wikipedia Pages:

Programming Links:
Here are the websites that I always have open in my browser tabs, because I am always using them to learn:
  • Up until a year ago, I didn't know how to type by touch (it's kind of embarrassing), but now I'm typing around 45 WPM. My goal is to someday be as fast as my wife - Heather's got to be around 70 WPM.
  • There's a lot of good websites for learning languages out there, but this flashcard-style site is a pretty easy way to build up your vocabulary. Ik wil spreken nederlandse!
  • This is where I practice my math. I'm struggling a little with my trigonometry and pre-Calculus.
  • An imperfect resource for learning web programming languages, but something that I keep up on. 
  • I'm taking "An Introduction to Interactive Programming in Python" from Rice University, and it's great! I was taking "Introduction to Logic" from Stanford, but the instructor for that course was kind of terrible.
Favorite tweet of the day:

  • Translation: "Justin Timberlake explains the new Myspace." Help me a minute. Who was Justin Timberlake and what was Myspace?