March 31, 2005
Yay, Initial D Fourth Stage Episode 12 fansub finally released!
And from Live-EviL, too! Their Episode 11 is also now available. In other news, OB Planning had just announced that there will be two additional episodes (15 & 16) for this stage, to be aired on June 18th.
March 30, 2005
Beers of The Times: NYT surveys pilsners
Victory Prima Pils (from Pennsylvania) came out on top.
Herzog & de Meuron's "bird's nest" arena (Wukesong Indoor Stadium/五棵松體育館) has broken ground in Beijing
I knew all that talk last year about scaling back some of Beijing's Olympic building frenzy was much ado about nothing—there's no way the Chinese would not go all out for 2008. That said, anybody know the latest on Koolhaas' CCTV building?
What Oscar Niemeyer is up to at 97
Hint: still building.
March 29, 2005
Johnnie Cochran is dead at 67
The cause was a brain tumor.
Toshiba has developed a battery that can recharge to 80% capacity in under 60 seconds
Plus it will lose only 1% of its capacity after 1,000 cycles. Almost sounds too good to be true. The fact that it's initally going to be used only in automotive and industrial applications (not portable electronics) makes me think that there are details the article has left out. Like maybe it needs massive input voltage or current to achieve that fast recharge time.
March 28, 2005
Microsoft and EU agree on name for the WMP-less XP
The XPs without WMP will be called "Windows XP Home Edition N" and "Windows XP Professional Edition N". I kinda preferred Microsoft's original proposal: "Windows XP Reduced Media Edition" (maybe because the name makes me laugh at Microsoft's spiteful response to being ordered to strip out WMP). It certainly made more sense than "Edition N", which was suggested by the EC. What the hell does "N" stand for?
How Barcelona stole London's prize gherkin—and had the cheek to improve on it
Jean Nouvel's nearly completed Torre Agbar looks to be a nicer version of Foster's Swiss Re in London. This guy from the Guardian thinks so anyway. I can't say because I've not seen either in person.
Baseball Tonight starts tonight
You know what that means... baseball is almost here! And yes, I did swear I will never watch another Yankee game after the Event We Shall Not Utter, but as the season approaches, I am psyched! BBTN airs at 12:17 am (ET) tonight. That is 00:17 Tuesday in military time, just to be clear. (I once missed a return flight home with a departure time of 12:30 am because I kept thinking my flight is at night and so I showed up at night on the date on the ticket and of course the flight is really the night of the day before the date on the ticket. Doh.)
NYT looks at factors that go into a neighborhood's fate in a real estate downtown
Basically not having established commercial presences or convenient transportation would spell trouble. Is it me or is there a lot of coverage in the media about the real estate bubble lately?
March 26, 2005
Fez under Time Cafe on Lafayette closed
I used to go there all the time during the early to mid nineties, especially on Thursday nights for the Mingus Big Band. But I haven't been there in about 7 or 8 years.
March 25, 2005
March 24, 2005
Seattle P-I has a special section on the troubled EMP at 5 years
The admission price is outrageous and the exhibits suck. See my photos of the EMP. BTW, I think though the building has a few striking details, it is ugly overall and it's set in a charmless location. I think someone described it as looking like something that crawled out of the water and died (Muschamp?).
Have you been watching Star Wars: Clone Wars on the Cartoon Network?
I hadn't until today when I watched Volume I. It's quite good, well worth watching; better than the live-action, actually. The Emperor Lucas didn't direct these... I'll let you draw your own conclusions. You can catch episodes of Volume II which are airing nightly on the Cartoon Network at 7.
NBC's The Office is actually good (though not as good as the original), according to the NY Times
The Hollywood Reporter agrees. NBC badly needs a good sitcom. Joey is not even a sixth as funny as Friends and Will & Grace has become borderline unwatchable. Since I never saw the BBC series, I might actually enjoy this (inferior) American version.
March 23, 2005
Article from last year on another Bansky museum (prank/stunt/art project)... I love this guy
He attached a glass box with a dead rat in the Musem of Natural History in London. The rat was stuffed and clad in wraparound sunglasses, a rucksack on its back, and with a microphone in one paw. Apparently one staff member had thought it was genuine and was seen walking up to it, checking it was attached properly, reading the text and finally walking away.
Way cool little webapp that shows the distribution of zipcodes around the U.S.
Written in Processing.
Firefox 1.0.2 released
Release notes here. If you are installing under Windows, you might want to uninstall the previous version first if you don't want a bunch of Firefox entries under the Add/Remove control panel. It's a known bug that they for some reason are not fixing.
Dude surreptitiously installed his own art in the Met, MoMA, Brooklyn Museum and Museum of Natural History
Complete with authorative name plaque and explanation. Hilarious.
NYT looks at China's dependence on fixed investments as an engine to drive growth
Fixed investments represented 45% of GDP last year. In other words, take out government spending and China's annual growth rate would not be anywhere near the 7% that is needed to prevent massive social unrest.
Yahoo! Mail finally matches Gmail and will offer 1GB
Starting in April. Gmail is still better.
March 22, 2005
Moleskine has a new model
I always carry a Moleskine with me when I travel.
Libeskin unveiled his design for a Cincinnati condo
He repurposed some of his WTC ideas in, from what I could tell from the one rendering in the article, a really bad design. Maybe he should stick with designing museums and memorials.
How come the NY Times writes about Andrew Feinberg (the owner-chef of Franny's) all the time?
Is he like best friends with someone from the Dining section or something?
After many delays, the Fulton Fish Market is finally moving on June 10
Go see this 184-year-old market one last time before it moves to Hunts Point. See my photos from my visit in December 2003.
WSJ: Cost of owning is much higher than renting
And the gap is widening.
The tastiest morsel in the world
Is a toasted cheese sandwich found in London, according to Ruth Reichl, the editor-in-chief of Gourmet magazine, which recently proclaimed that city as the food capital of the world.
March 21, 2005
France is ending the 35-hour workweek
Fine, I've been reading headlines related to this for awhile but never bothered to read any of the articles. All I gleamed was that the French are, quite predictably, up in arms over it. But guess what? It turns out they are going to a whopping 39-hour workweek. 39?!? They are getting worked up over 4 hours a week? How lazy are they? And when can I move there?
It just got more expensive to eat at Per Se
Tasting menus are now $175 (instead of $125). You have a choice of a five course menu with selections, a nine course tasting of vegetables or the nine course Chef's Tasting Menu. I guess if Masa can charge $350 next door, I would totally raise my price as well.
Funny credit card prank
Guy tries to see what kind of crazy things he could sign (or draw, haha) on credit card receipts and get away with it.
1/50-scale remote controlled Gigantor robot
This is the freaking coolest toy I've seen in a long time! 15"/38cm tall. Remote controlled. Can move and walk and something about controlling/playing with 12 of these robots at once and having 17 movable/programmable/controllable joints (can't read Japanese, sorry!). ¥351,750!! (That's ~USD3,350!) Plus, you have to assemble it youself. But... Man. I. Want. One.
March 20, 2005
It's official: Flickr announces that they will be acquired by Yahoo!
As a (teeny-tiny) long-time Yahoo! shareholder, I applaude this move. It's about time they bought the cool startups instead of Google. That said, I would have preferred Google buying it and integrating Flickr with Picassa. That would have been an awesome combination.
Canadians face long waits for surgeries
Letter from hospital to heart-transplant patient: "[Your appointment is in 3 months, but] if the person named on this computer-generated letter is deceased, please accept our sincere apologies."
March 19, 2005
NYT Magazine on Yohji Yamamoto
If I had more money I wouldn't mind dressing exclusively in his cloths.
This site tracks the lowest fares out of NY area airports
Seems to basically monitor Travelocity but they've caught quite a few very low fares. Copenhagen for $285 RT! Let's go for a long weekend!
Interview with Stephen Hawking from last December's NYT Magazine
Funny interview. I guess I missed it when it was first published. In response to "What is your I.Q.?" Hawkings said: "I have no idea. People who boast about their I.Q. are losers."
GM cars to feature a line-in jack
I still wouldn't buy a GM car, but this will come in handy when I rent. Hopefully other car manufacturers will follow suit.
March 18, 2005
Metropolis on Chang Yung Ho, mainland China's star architect
"Chang himself describes his architecture as 'Duchamp marrying a Chinese painting marrying urbanism producing a child that could be called contemporary Chinese architecture.'" I've never seen his work nor does this article show any so I have no comments on this.
Microsoft to ship 6 new typefaces in 2006 created especially for extended on-screen reading
I welcome anything that will improve on-screen reading since about 98% of my reading is done on a LCD screen.
If you haven't been paying much attention to the whole China-Japan-US-Taiwan quagmire (and if you are American, chances are, you haven't), this long article will give you a good overview of what's happening in the region.
Interview with Harold McGee, every cook's favorite food geek
There's an updated edition of his classic tome out (look for a red cover instead of the familiar turquoise one).
March 17, 2005
That OS X-style Google page I linked to yesterday has disappeared
Here is a mirror if you didn't see it yesterday. I wonder if Apple had anything to do with this.
March 16, 2005
Le Bernardin retains its 4-star rating from NYT, which it has held continuously since it opened in 1986
Should Bruni retire from restaurant reviews? He wrote that he was "repeatedly recognized" at Le Bernardin. Isn't that a bad thing for a restaurant critic?
Apple is rumored to be working on a two-buttoned wireless mouse
Somehow Steve will manage to introduce it as some sort of technological breakthrough and everyone will believe him. There will be funky ads set to cool music bestowing the wonders of the two-button mouse and Apple will sell a gazillion of these things to every Mac user out there.
March 14, 2005
NYT on newspapers' how-to-make-money-online dilemma
Interesting factoids: Of 1,456 papers, only one national, WSJ, and about 40 small dailies charge readers to use their sites. NYT's circulation is only down about 4½% from its peak despite their free website (believe me, that's not how they phrased it in the article). And online advertising, while "booming", only makes up about 3% of most papers' revenues. Also something about NYT making an announcement "soon" about I guess whether they'll continue offering free content. I think the Chicago Tribune model is pretty good: Print subscribers get access to archives and other bonuses.
March 11, 2005
Guide to mercury levels in sushi
I didn't realize pregnant women need to be careful about which sushi to eat. No worries, though. Uni is safe!
Cringely's take on the rise of Stringer at Sony
Insightful as usual, and with some wild predictions (also, as usual).
The Economist is praising Shanghai's Xintiandi as an example of China preserving its history while looking forward
As it happens, I think Xintiandi is horrible. It's a Disneyland version of what Westerners think traditional Shanghai should look like. And how does it show preservation? They demolish old shikumen and rebuild them in a similar style, albeit with expensive cafés and boutiques. It's not like they take the old buildings and modernize them somehow. See my photos of the rapidly disappearing shikumen.
Article looking at how much China would consume if its per capita GDP is the same as the U.S.
It shows both just how big China's population is and how much Americans consume. I know we all know that already, but it's still interesting and frightening to read some of the numbers.
Ending his professional career with a loss, though he still won the tournament.
The real story behind those "hacks" that got a bunch of people rejected from Harvard Business School earlier this week
Basically the system where the records are held is so poorly designed anyone who've used the web for more than 2 days would be able to "hack" it. The applicants who took a look? Unethical? I don't think so. If Harvard's pissed that their out-sourced web system stinks, punish themselves, not the applicants.
The Emperor is on this Sunday's 60 Minutes to talk about Episode III
Darth Lucas may be the evil Emperor but he looks more like Jabba the Hutt.
Episode III trailer from last night's OC
Link goes to a (very well seeded) torrent of a 50.7mb DivX file. Lucas doesn't know how to direct a movie (or write dialogue) anymore, but he sure can cut an exciting trailer.
Flickr is finally going to offer prints
Fulfillment through EZ Prints. It's amazing that it took them this long to get a very basic functionality, but I guess most people are like me and don't care about ever making a single print from digital photos.
Official Lego Death Star
I haven't played with Legos since I was a kid, but man, I want to buy this. USD299 and 3,441 pieces of Lego goodness.
March 10, 2005
More on the missing cube at Astor Place
"It’s right there..." Robert Hawks, Cooper’s vice president for business affairs, started to say before turning around. “Holy shit! It’s not there.” Hawks called over several of his colleagues who were equally surprised.
For some godforsaken reason, I kept waking up last night thinking about VGA, SVGA, SXGA and what came after that... something with a U or a Q or a + or a W or a... and I had a most fitful sleep
Must have been that bottle of 2002 Ca'Marcanda Promis I had last night. So do yourself a favor, click through and memorize it all so you won't suffer the same fate as me.
March 9, 2005
Astor Place cube is gone
The Parks Department removed it for repairs. Village Voice reports that it'll be back in 60 days. It's hard to trust these things. Sometimes when a piece of public art is removed "temporarily" for whatever reason, it never returns.
March 8, 2005
One man's quest to register an expiring domain
Fascinating read. I, too, have a domain I wish to get if it ever expires.
I heard Astro's closer Brad Lidge was good, I didn't know he was this good
So when's he becoming a free agent?
'Storytime': Spike Lee's Mars Blackman telling the story of Jordan commercial
Because of TiVo, I never watch commercials. I accidentally stopped short in my commercial zapping today and caught this. [Link goes to a 12.5mb zipped QuickTime file.] Spot is for the ~quite ugly~ 20th Anniversary Air Jordan (check out the "Watch Them Play" section on the Flash site).
NYT is getting rid of the "Circuits" section on March 24
I think it's a smart move. "Circuits" was never cutting-edge enough to warrant its own section.
March 7, 2005
80,000-ton, 150-foot ice tower in Alaska "grown" from a sprinkler
The tower has developed into one of Fairbanks' top winter tourist attractions.
Another article about Julius Shulman, this time from The New York Times
Also see the LA Times' article about him I linked to a few days ago..
Restorations have badly damaged the crypt designed by Gaudí located at Colònia Güell, outside of Barcelona
The crypt is one of the few Gaudí works that I didn't get a chance to see it when I was in Barcelona in 2002. See my photos of Casa Milà ("La Pedrera"), La Sagrada Familia and Parc Güell.
Zhang Ziyi/章子怡 pictures
Yes, I am unhealthily obsessed with her.
People are camping out overnight in sleeping bags to buy condos these days
So buying real estate is like buying concert tickets now? I have to wait in line in the cold overnight to have the privilege of paying over half a million dollars for a 700ft² 1-bedroom apartment in DUMBO? Insanity.
A small peek into the innerworkings of Google
Not detailed enough, but I'm sure Google doesn't want to give away the farm.
Stuyvesant Class of 2005 is dumb
Evidence? No Westinghouse (sorry, I mean Intel Science Talent Search) finalists and only 4 early admissions to Harvard. The lamest thing is that the school is blaming the "Brooklyn Tech"-level performance on 9/11.
March 5, 2005
MS leaving MSNBC?
It made little sense back then, and it makes no sense now, that Microsoft is part of a cable news channel. I wonder what a MS-less MSNBC would be named? Anything would probably be better than its god-awful name now.
NYT finally got around to questioning how much 'The Gates' really cost
As best as anyone can tell, Christo more-or-less pulled the number out of his ass. The article is so funny. First, it basically intimated that Christo might have fired off an anonymous email to berate greg.org. Then, at the end of the article, Christo made an appearence, acting "royal" and sounding "dismissive". Christo is probably fuming over this and is typing out an angry anonymous email to the NYT editors with "European-sounding put-downs" right now.
NYT on the Olsens and what's supposedly the latest fashion trend, "Bobo" style
Though if the Times is writing about it, it's probably so over. Either way, I've never heard of this term, which stands for bohemian bourgeois. What an annoying term, makes me want to hurl.
Things other people accomplished when they were your age
Though some of the "accomplishments" are downright silly. For example, listed under Age 10: Benjamin Franklin began to help in his father's candle shop. What kind of an "accomplishment" is that?? But still, at age 31, I have not done diddly. Not even help out in a candle shop.