Rants & Ramblings

random commentary about culture, media, politics, technology and whatnot.

mar
13
2012

Twitter analysis gets elections half right | USA Today

Scott Martin quotes Rebecca MacDonald of search analytics firm Attensity: “The fact that people are talking about candidates on Twitter doesn’t necessarily correlate to those people going out and voting.” (Via Derek Willis)

'West Wing' Babies | Vanity Fair

Juli Weiner writes, “Just as ‘All the President’s Men’ made newspapers seem cool—imagine!—and propelled legions of baby-boomers into journalism, so Aaron Sorkin’s ‘The West Wing’ has inspired a new generation with its vision of a Washington brimming with lofty ideals. Six years after the series finale, the Sorkinization of politics is still under way.”

mar
12
2012

Williamsburg and Jamestown

Pocahontas

At the end of January, after a particularly trying week, Rob and I decided to skip town for the weekend, packing up the bikes (the weather was unseasonably warm) and heading down to Williamsburg.

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mar
08
2012

Penguin Cam


Streaming video by Ustream

The live Penguin Cam at SeaWorld San Diego is my favorite thing ever this week. These awkward little (and not-so-little) guys are so fun to watch.

(Note: I usually watch the feed with the sound off. All the squawking can get a little loud.)

Soup Dumplings in Philly

Philly Chinatown

A few weeks ago, Rob and I drove up to Philadelphia (about 2½ hours away) to celebrate our friend Rachel’s birthday. She wanted to have lunch at Dim Sum Garden, a vaguely divey dumpling eatery under a bridge near Reading Terminal Market known for its soup dumplings (steamed dumplings with meat and broth inside). We’d all heard of soup dumplings, but this was our first chance to actually have the dish. And they were delicious.

Soup dumplings!

CHOW has a good video on where xiao long bao come from and how they’re made.

mar
07
2012

Tiny Desk Concert: Laura Gibson

Bob Boilen and Stephen Thompson of NPR’s All Songs Considered say they got the idea for Tiny Desk Concerts when they went to see singer Laura Gibson perform a few years ago. The patrons at the bar were loud, drowning …

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mar
05
2012

SND Best of Digital Design 2012

NPR received four nods in this year’s contest:

Congratulations to my colleagues and all the winners!

mar
02
2012

Japan Earthquake: Before and After | In Focus | The Atlantic

Alan Taylor writes, “In just over two weeks, Japan will be observing the one-year anniversary of the disastrous magnitude 9.0 earthquake and tsunami that struck its east coast in March of 2011. The destruction was unprecedented and the loss of life and property were staggering — more than 15,800 are confirmed dead, with another 3,300 still listed as missing nearly a year later. Photographers documented the many faces of this tragedy and have now returned to give us a look at the difference a year can make, re-shooting places that were photographed during and immediately after the quake. Collected here are 20 of these pairings. They are interactive: Starting with number 2, click the images to view a fading before/after comparison.”

mar
01
2012

How The Guardian Might Cover 'Three Little Pigs'

Clever new ad campaign from The Guardian (UK):

If you can’t see the video above, it’s available on theguardian.co.uk.

(Via seemingly everyone I follow on Twitter)

Intense rockhopper penguin stare

New Year's in Chicago

For Christmas this year, Rob promised me penguins — and he delivered, booking tickets for Chicago (and Shedd Aquarium) for New Year’s weekend. It was a short but productive trip, in which we were able to catch up with some …

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feb
29
2012

Elephants and Whales on the London Tube | The Atlantic Cities

Animals on the Underground is an ongoing project that casts the London Underground as a wild menagerie of elusive animals, who disappear in and out the thicket of abstract lines which comprise the map of the Tube.”

feb
28
2012

Back from Yet Another Globetrotting Adventure, Indiana Jones Checks His Mail and Discovers That His Bid for Tenure Has Been Denied | McSweeney's Internet Tendency

Andy Bryan writes, “Moreover, no one on the committee can identify who or what instilled Dr. Jones with the belief that an archaeologist’s tool kit should consist solely of a bullwhip and a revolver.”

feb
23
2012

How Waiters Read Your Table | WSJ.com

Sarah Nassauer writes, “Called ‘having eyes’ for a table, or ‘feeling’ or ‘reading’ the table by restaurant workers, it’s how the best waiters know what type of service you prefer before you tell them. From fine dining to inexpensive chains, restaurants are working to make service more individualized as the standard script (‘I’m so-and-so and I will be your server tonight’) is sounding dated.”