Link based

Steampunk Iron Man

Apparently this is a thing:

“Steampunk is when Goths discover the colour brown.”

–Origins unknown, but probably popularised by William Gibson

I totally disagree, and I’ve got really elaborate identity constructs in my mind for what exactly “steampunk” and “goth” entail, as subcultures. But that’s not the point of this post.

This is the point of this post:


Link based

Evening Edition

I don’t have an essay-length post for you today, just a lot of links. I’ve been clearing out my RSS Reader and it’s approaching zero for the first time in weeks. Here are some of my favourite links from the past little while:

Gorgeous movie poster for the upcoming movie Black Swan.

Here’s a great piece of writing from someone with a gambling addiction. A little poignant, a little sad, but very honest. Takes about 20 minutes to read.

A 5-year-old boy with leukemia is selling his art o raise money for his treatment.

Gorgeous food photography (no, it’s not the IKEA catalogue art).

Motorist flips off of his motorbike a split second before a brutal crash, walks away from the scene. If you’re impatient, the money-shot starts at about 20 seconds. The news anchor is reporting that the truck driver called in the crash immediately, but that the motorist had already left the scene by the time the police arrived, with only his wrecked bike lying on the street.

Jonathan Blaustein presents you with a fascinating visual gallery of food you can buy for one dollar.


Aaaand, that’s it. This is the stuff I spend my waking time on, people. Appreciate the curation, please.

Link based

Clip-it USB

I’d been pretty disillusioned with Design Milk for a while, but this gadget they featured recently is awesome:

They’re USB keys that function also as paper-clips! This is so brilliant I can’t believe it’s taken people so long to come up with the concept. Load it with appendices and exhibits and clip the USB onto a report you’re handing a client, or slip it in your wallet for ease-of-carrying around.

(How awesome would it be if you could also order custom graphics for the front of the USB, instead of the Verbatim logo? Talk about branding.)


On Being a Quitter

I’ve quit a bunch of things recently.

Well, I prefer to think of it in terms of downsizing and streamlining. There are only so many things I can do with my time, and I would prefer “sleeping” and “eating”, and maybe, if I’m lucky, “personal hygiene” to feature on that list.

My overdeveloped guilt complex ensures that I feel terrible every time I send an email explaining this to someone, whether it’s someone I’m working for or something I’ve casually signed onto. “Why are they all so nice and understanding?!” I wail to longsuffering friends. “I just feel even more guilty for letting down such nice people!”

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Blog, Commentary

Spam Comments

Most spam is pretty easily spotted, but I’ve noticed two trends in spam comments I’ve been getting recently that I find really intriguing:

1. Instead of linking directly to the offending website, they link to a profile on a forum somewhere, and the only information on that forum is their spam website. That seems like a lot of effort to go to, especially since the click-throughs must drop precipitously due to this extra step, but… hey, I’m not the astro-turfing jerk here.

2. Most “intelligent” spam comments say something generically nice about the post. You know, “great information, thanks!” or “I found this through Google, it’s a very interesting post” or whatever. The grammar and punctuation are usually just a little bit off, and obviously the track-back information is totally sketchy. But I’ve gotten a whole bunch of comments recently that point out something wrong with the design of the site. Either my site won’t work in Internet Explorer, or there’s something wrong with my navigation menu, or whatever.

This is so clever. Most of my web projects probably would’ve taken 20% less time if I didn’t have to worry about IE integration. Probably 40% less time, if we drop IE 6 from the mix. So when I saw those comments saying something on my site was broken, I freaked out–a totally irrational response, since this site is hosted on an off-the-shelf theme. The downside is that once I realized what was going on, I deleted those comments with that much more gleefulness.

Damn spammers.