Jul 31, 2012

Snoop Dogg is dead

Long live Snoop Lion:
Snoop Dogg, the veteran West Coast rapper, says he underwent a spiritual and artistic rebirth while making a new album in Jamaica last February.[...] Along the way, he says, he shed the name and persona of Snoop Dogg and was rechristened Snoop Lion by Rastafarian priests.

Jul 27, 2012

Jul 26, 2012

Jul 24, 2012

She IS like us, after all

Last week we wondered how long would it take before the first story describing ways Marissa Mayer gets along with regular employees is published.

Here it is:

Yahoo employees already excited by the arrival of new CEO Marissa Mayer have been pushed into paroxysms of bliss to find her, like any normal employee, getting her own lunch in Yahoo's cafeteria.
These sightings have "delighted more employees than you might imagine," reports Kara Swisher.
What do you know, she is just a regular person, plus or minus a few hundred million dollars. 

One of those videos that keeps getting funnier

Jul 20, 2012

Jul 19, 2012

Owen Wilson is one smart dude

Why are they so damn attractive?

From Marginal Revolution, quoting Savage Continent: Europe in the Aftermath of World War II:
The number of sexual relationships that took place between European women and Germans during the war is quite staggering. In Norway as many of 10 percent of women aged between fifteen and thirty had German boyfriends during the war. If the statistics on the number of children born to German soldiers are anything to go by, this was by no means unusual… 
Resistance movements in occupied countries came up with all kinds of excuses for the behaviour of their women and girls. They characterized women who slept with Germans as ignorant, poor, even mentally defective. They claimed that women were raped, or that they only slept with Germans out of economic necessity. While this was undoubtedly the case for some, recent surveys show that women who slept with German soldiers came from all classes and all walks of life. On the whole European women slept with Germans not because they were forced to, or because their own men were absent, or because they needed money or food — but simply because they found the strong, “knightly” image of the German soldiers intensely attractive, especially compared to the weakened impression they had of their own menfolk. In Denmark, for example, wartime pollsters were shocked to discover that 51 per cent of Danish women openly admitted to finding German men more attractive than their own compatriots. 
Nowhere was this need more keenly felt than in France…

Jul 17, 2012

Funny (although not fair)

"The only person who has seen Romney's taxes is John McCain and he took one look and picked Sarah Palin."
--James Carville

Slumming it with the common folk

When a CEOs or a high level executive accepts a position at a new company, usually stories follow describing how they understand the rank-and-file employee and hang out with Joe Shmoe the janitor.

Gladwell describes how Ed Whitacre, the former CEO of AT&T, was appointed to lead GM even though he had never worked for a manufacturing company in his life. However, the decision makers are convinced that Whitacre will be successful because he is a leader:
The men and women listened intently as Ed explained in his measured Texas drawl that he had no interest in presiding over a second-rate company. He praised the people. He stressed the need to make decisions [...] He takes lunch in the food court, mingling with the rank and file. "Hi, I'm Ed. Who're you?" he'll say to some dumbstruck middle manager in the elevator.
When Sheryl Sandberg started working at Facebook, she was also kind enough to hang out with 20 somethings:
Sandberg began work at Facebook in March, asking questions and listening. “She walked up to hundreds of people’s desks and interrupted them and said, ‘Hi, I’m Sheryl Sandberg,’ ” recalls Chris Cox, the vice-president of product, who sits next to Zuckerberg. “It was this overt gesture, like, ‘O.K., let your guard down. I’m not going to hole up with Mark. I’m going to try and have a relationship with you guys.’ ”
How long will it take for the first article to appear describing how Marissa Mayer, the newly appointed CEO of Yahoo, is spending time listening to regular employees? Send it to me when you see it.

Jul 16, 2012

Courtroom troll

David House is being investigated by the US government about his potential involvement with Bradley Manning and Wikileaks.

His courtroom exchange, and repeated use of the Fifth Amendment, jury prosecutors is a good read.

Prosecutor: Mr. House, can you identify the man on the right?
House: I invoke.
Prosecutor: Can you identify the man standing second from right?
House: I invoke.
Prosecutor: Ok, can you identify the person with bright-colored hair, standing here?
House: I invoke.
Prosecutor: Mr. House, have you ever been to the Oxford Spa restaurant in Cambridge, MA?
House: Allow me to consult with my attorney.
[House leaves the grand jury and returns one minute later.]
House: As to the previous question, I invoke.
Borrowed from kottke.org

Jul 13, 2012

How do Olympic athletes protect themselves?

But the image of a celibate Games began to flicker in '92 when it was reported that the Games' organizers had ordered in prophylactics like pizza. Then, at the 2000 Sydney Games, 70,000 condoms wasn't enough, prompting a second order of 20,000 and a new standing order of 100,000 condoms per Olympics.
From ESPN article on the Olympics.

Here's the image from article.
Now observe the lengths.

Jul 11, 2012

Famous quotes, redefined

Reddit had a great thread recently: Which famous quotes would take on a totally different meaning if said by someone else?

Some of the good ones:

"I'm selfish, impatient and a little insecure. I make mistakes, I am out of control and at times hard to handle. But if you can't handle me at my worst, then you sure as hell don't deserve me at my best."
-Chris Brown

"I did not have sexual relations with that woman."
-Anderson Cooper

"Here's looking at you, kid."
-Humbert Humbert

"I don't know who you are. I don't know what you want. If you are looking for ransom, I can tell you I don't have money. But what I do have are a very particular set of skills; skills I have acquired over a very long career. Skills that make me a nightmare for people like you."
-Carly Rae Jepsen

Jul 9, 2012

An Open Letter to People Who Take Pictures of Food with Instagram

From McSweeney's:

Dear People Who Take Pictures of Food With Instagram,

Just because the picture looks artsy doesn’t mean you are. I get it. We all went through our creative, experimental stages. There is a period in all of our lives where we think we can probably make money off our pseudo-artistic talent of choice. And now, you think you are a photographer because Instagram does the work for you. Do you have to focus anything? Do you have to worry about lighting? Do you have to think at all? Not really. You are part of a fast growing legion of people that have been duped into believing they are visionaries, auteurs, even.

[...] You proceed to take various angled shots of the avocado being sliced, the blueberries getting washed, and your bearded boyfriend plucking feathers from the partridges because the Farmer’s Market only sold them with feathers, because plucking out the feathers themselves would be too mean and they’re the nice kind of farmers who kill with love.

Jul 5, 2012

Busyness - part 2

Follow up to this post in WSJ: http://blogs.wsj.com/juggle/2012/07/05/busy-a-four-letter-word/

The author's argument boils down to:
"telling somebody that you are really busy remains the only socially acceptable way to avoid events hosted by people you aren’t that into."
I am interested in hear how others see the response. I find the author a bit obnoxious. 

Jul 2, 2012

I am busy

If you are too busy to read this article, then you need to read this article

Everyone I know is busy. Work, side projects, workouts, family events, travel, kids, home repair, weddings, visits, etc. And we feel anxious and guilty when we aren't working or doing something "productive."

I'll quote couple of memorable sentences without context, you'll get the rest from the piece.

"They’re busy because of their own ambition or drive or anxiety, because they’re addicted to busyness and dread what they might have to face in its absence."
"I recently wrote a friend to ask if he wanted to do something this week, and he answered that he didn’t have a lot of time but if something was going on to let him know and maybe he could ditch work for a few hours. I wanted to clarify that my question had not been a preliminary heads-up to some future invitation; this was the invitation."
"Busyness serves as a kind of existential reassurance, a hedge against emptiness; obviously your life cannot possibly be silly or trivial or meaningless if you are so busy, completely booked, in demand every hour of the day."
"Idleness is not just a vacation, an indulgence or a vice; it is as indispensable to the brain as vitamin D is to the body, and deprived of it we suffer a mental affliction as disfiguring as rickets."
Just read the article.