Monthly Archives: June 2007

Sunflower seeds

My old digital camera (Toshiba pdr m5) had a fun feature. It would take 16 small pictures in short intervals and put them in one image file. That camera could shoot short videos too, so there was no real function for the interval feature. As I was preparing for my trip next week, I found an old memory card (8 meg smart disk) with a picture from 2002. The picture is of a friend showing off for the camera how fast he can eat sunflower seeds. I took 11 images out of the 16 and looped them. I find it very funny, but it could be funny just because I know him.


Today is the deadline for the cities named Springfield who want to host the premiere of The Simpsons Movie to beg for attention. There are 35 Springfields in the U.S.
Two predictions:

  • The movie will open in ALL of the Springfields.
  • Videos that were made by cities to promote their bid will be made public and look like the one above.

Another clever promotion for the film is a site where you can make your own Simpsons character.
That’s me.

UPDATE: Springfield, Vermont won the bid to host The Simpsons Movie premiere. I still think that opening in all of the Springfields is a better idea.

14 hours

Next week I am flying to see my family on the other side of the pond. On my way, my plane makes a 14-hour layover in London from 08:00 to 22:30 — enough time to be a tourist without having to stay in a hotel. I arranged for this with Chaim, my travel agent. It was a better deal than what Orbitz had to offer, plus Orbitz does not let you plan extended layovers without an extra charge. Any recommendations for what to see and what to avoid will be highly appreciated.

Podcast Pickle

When podcasting was in its beginning, I listened to a lot of ones trying to see what is available. One podcast had an advertisement about a competition to find a name for the mascot of a site called Podcast Pickle. “Find a new name for the pickle man” was the slogan. I am always game for this kind of competition, so I entered several names. My suggestion won and I got a $100 gift certificate, which was nice. I forgot about the incident until today when I saw that the podcast pickle is on Time magazine’s 50 Coolest Websites. The name I suggested is now the name of the blog of Gary Leland, the guy who runs the podcast pickle. P. Dilly’s.

In the interest of disclosure, let me state that the other name I suggested for the “Find a new name for the pickle man” contest was the pickle person.

US Open

Is there a reason to get into a fight you are sure you are not going to win? I competed in a Rubik’s Cube competition (the US Open) this weekend. I did not even make it to the second round. To qualify for it I had to solve it in under 24 seconds. My best time in the competition was 1:33. Besides solving a 3×3 cube, there were other events in the overall competition. My absolute favorite thing to watch was the team event.
Two people, one cube. One move and passing it to the partner. It looked like some kind of dance/performance art. They are either very good at reading each other’s minds or they follow a strict protocol — something like “we solve the blue side first”.

Being with all the cubeheads and talking methods and watching them was very educational. I never met someone to share my algorithms with. I learned ways to shave precious seconds off my time. I did my best ever times in the competition. One simple thing was just the in way I was holding the cube. Another thing was “lube the cube” — putting some oil in it. The average time for the winner was 14 seconds. A friend made a banner to cheer me on. She got there after I already finished competing. It is okay; it’s not like I was going to win.