Tag Archives: videos

Thank God for the Internet

Happy Monday, as they say. Ride hard.


The Unhappy Mediator, Sewing the Seeds of Innovation

A few months back I wrote a story for O, The Oprah Magazine about a designer in Long Beach, California with a bright idea to make a public sculpture that’s also a solar generator. His name is Darren Saravis and he calls his invention the SolarFlora.

I liked the idea enough to pitch it to O. O liked it enough to run the story. And someone liked the story enough to call Darren and invite him to give a TED talk at a local SoCal event. Well, the circle was completed when I got an email from Darren asking if I’d work with him to write his speech. He was having trouble putting his thoughts into words and hoped I could help. A big fan of both Darren and TED, I was more than happy to collaborate. We went back and forth for a few days and here’s what we came up with. Darren was nervous about the talk, but I think he pulled it off swimmingly.

This Show Is the Bomb (I mean, I hope it bombs)

Yesterday I was ushered out of Columbus Circle by NYPD officers while the bomb squad investigated a suspicious package left under a bench near the central fountain. Then I came home and saw on TV a commercial for a new Amazing Race-ish game show Take the Money and Run.

Call me prude, but in this if-you-see-something-say-something age is it really appropriate to produce a show that encourages contestants to hide a locked steel suitcase from investigators? Here, citizen, take this unmarked package and bury it somewhere. Stash it out of sight. And show America the best way to elude authorities while you do it. Moreover: Parody criminality for profit.

There’s a lot of value in that case. But what happened to values?

Gaming the Google Game… for Charity!

If you Google “Sweet Home Alabama: A Performance to Aid Disaster Relief” you don’t get any automatic suggestions. But you do get a northern spin on a southern classic and an easy and duly rewarding way to contribute to the relief efforts in Alabama.

Listen if you want to, give if you can — and for goodness’ sake, pass it the heck on.

Arranged and performed by members of The Shake, Apollo Run and other yankee gonnabes. Directed and edited by our own Nick Schupak. Promise, you’ll never feel better (read: less regretful) about listening to Skynyrd.

Updated May 18: Go to help-alabama.org to care/give/help.

In case you forgot to hate the world today

They’re making another “No Strings Attached.” Except they cleverly swapped  out the leads (look close, it’s hard to tell: Justin Timberlake for Ashton Kutcher, Mila Kunis for Natalie Portman), and changed the name from one lame cliche to another. Miraculously, this one is even more explicit. “Friends with Benefits.” Behold and be sad:

I don’t know how many times I can endure this.

Old Testament, New Media

It’s important for observant jews to adapt to the evolution of modern technology. But remember, you can’t block God. He’ll totally know.

Case of the Mondays? It could be worse.

It’s Monday morning, but try not to freak out.


[Thanks, Mikey.]

Hacking the Planet

The current issue of the Journal Nature includes a commentary on a decades-old goal to drill toward the center of the Earth:

Comment: Journey to the mantle of the Earth

This spring, researchers will mark the 50-year anniversary of an ambitious project by taking another step towards the same dream. They aim to drill through Earth’s crust under the ocean floor and down into the mantle and, for the first time ever, pull up a sample. In a Comment in Nature this week, the two co-chief scientists of that upcoming mission — Damon Teagle and Benoît Ildefonse — say that drilling into Earth’s mantle is now possible, and should hopefully begin within a decade.

The mantle makes up the bulk of our planet, stretching from the bottom of the crust — at 30–60 kilometres under the continents but just 6 kilometres under the oceans — down to the core 2,890 kilometres below. Retrieving a sample direct from the mantle would provide scientists with “a treasure trove comparable to the Apollo lunar rocks”, they write, and it would provide insight into the origins and evolution of our planet. But this goal has proven as difficult as going to the Moon: so far no one has drilled deeper than about 2 kilometres into the crust — a third of the way through.

The idea to drill into the mantle was born at a drinking club of notable earth scientists in 1957. ‘Project Mohole’ sailed in 1961. It took the first scientific core from the sea floor, and developed techniques for ocean drilling that are still used by the oil industry today. But it failed at its mission. Over the next few years, scientists will practise their deep drilling and assess three Pacific Ocean sites, looking for the best place to reawaken this dream.

Do I think this is news? Meh, maybe once they actually embark. But is it a great excuse to get you to watch the trailer for The Core? Absolutely:

If you’re wondering, yes, the trailer pretty much sums it all up. But if you haven’t seen, and don’t make a point of seeing, the whole thing, you’ll miss out on the origins of Unobtanium and the notion that the Earth’s core is, indeed, made of cheese.

You’ll also miss out on the potentially prophetic power of the film, which, eight years ago, predicted worldwide weather phenomena of apocalyptic proportions and birds falling from the sky. For all we know, San Fracisco Bay boiling and the Golden Gate Bridge befalling the fate of an ant in a young boy’s back yard might be next. Watching The Core could be our only hope of survival.

Semicolon? More Like Semi-Awesome.

I love it when I see two of my favorite things put together. In this case: proper punctuation and going out for Japanese.

For more on how to use the semicolon, please see the Oatmeal’s summary lesson.

For another pleasing paring, watch the okonomiyaki robot in action. Okonomiyaki, a type of Japanese omelette-pancake, roughly translates to “your favorites, grilled.” Try not to drool; he might short circuit.

I love the taste of egg and innovation.

Buy One Now

Whether or not you speak Spanish, you’ll understand the simple elegance of the product being presented in the video above. It’s a truly transcendent technology. Transplendent, even.


[Thanks, Kate.]