two cents

The economy is imploding...

...and my head is spinning with people I respect on both sides of the issue proposing completely opposite solutions to the problem. One thing is certain, doing nothing with frozen markets doesnt seem acceptable. The finger-pointing on both sides is reprehensible.

In the end, as Americans, what should we think? The Onion, America's Finest News Source sums it up well (foul language ahead):

Stock Market Posts Record Point Loss

After the defeat of the bailout bill, the Dow Jones plunged a record 777 points. What do you think?

Charity: Water, Twitter, and the way we connect these days

I first heard about Charity: Water through my church, but recently read more from Mashable and TechDarling:
On September 18th 2008, Mashable’s Twitter followers donated $3536 to Charity:Water, an initiative to build wells in Ethiopia. On the same day, our Twitter friend Paul Young raised a further $637 through his Twitter and Facebook accounts. And Twitter user Sarah Townsend hauled in $400 - that’s more than $4500, almost exclusively from Twitter, in a single day. With $4000 buying an entire well to supply water to 200 people for 20 years, we can truly call this the “well that Twitter built”.
Incredible idea for a cause and how to fund it, incredible ideas to use these technologies to spread the word, and incredible success all around. How can we continue to use these technologies to make a difference? More on Charity: Water below

The September Campaign Trailer - from charity: water on Vimeo.

I'm inspired that he started this at 32 and is only 33 now. Gives me hope! More on Charity:Water

Mesmerizing audio visualizations

I stared at this for a while last night totally engrossed. According to the creator,
In this movie, each of the 48 dots is moving in a circle. Each of the dots is on a 3 minute cycle. At the end of 3 minutes, the outermost dot will have moved around the circle once (this dot represents the first harmonic or fundamental). The next dot will have moved around the circle twice (representing the second harmonic). The next dot three times, and so on. The innermost dot moves around the circle 48 times.

He goes on:
You may notice some interesting links between the visuals and the audio, especially if you are a musician. For example, when the pattern forms a 3-arm starfish, the chords you are hearing are diminished chords, which consist of minor thirds, an interval in which the notes are 3 chromatic steps apart. The chords you hear always bear this type of relationship to the pattern you are seeing, consisting of intervals which match the arrangement of arms.

Fascinating. Apparently the Source Code is also available for you to play with yourself.

via SpaceCollective

Windmills for Malawi

Love this. Seeing a need. Applying the talents you have. Being creative. Making a difference.

A side-note - Summit Church was where I went when I lived in Orlando, and it is amazing.

Japanese water hologram

For all i know they could be talking about how gullible Americans are, but from the looks of it they seem to be projecting light onto airborne water particles to produce a really impressive hologram effect. Really cool looking.

via Benjamin

Fifty people, one question

Fifty People, One Question: Restored from Benjamin Reece on Vimeo.

Beautiful, fascinating and inspiring. Worth watching fullscreen.

via Shawn Kelley


Swype is a new input method for touchscreen devices. Instead of pecking each character, the user drags their finger over a keyboard graphic, and based on your finger's path, an algorithm spits out relevant word results. Think T9, but faster and for touchscreen. Worth paying attention to because it's the guys who actually invented T9.


A good friend and I decided to do an experiment. What would happen if we tracked the lies told by this years presidential candidates and their campaigns from the conventions until voting day? Would that tell us anything about them and their parties? Perhaps it will, perhaps it won't - but certainly it is an interesting perspective for this election.

So we started

Counting lies won't tell the whole story, to be sure. Gross hypocrisy is not an outright lie, for example. It does a poor job of gauging intention. It doesnt measure waffling on issues, temperament, leadership qualifications, or poor policy formulation. Regardless, it is important to keep these people accountable for their words. After all, they're interviewing for arguably the hardest job in the world...

In the week that it's been launched, there have been various other reports discussing the role that lies have played in the campaigns this year. I think we're on the right track. As Nathan pointed out
"An imperfect system to be sure, but certainly valuable...sort of like America's political system."

Would love if you participated in the conversation and/or submit whoppers you've heard.

I need more cowbell is perhaps a few years too late but excellent and funny nevertheless. Upload any song and tell it how much more cowbell to add, and enjoy the results.

Here's a nice one:
Make your own at

via the agitator

Balance of press coverage

You probably know at this point I love information visualization.

Every Moment Now is visualizing the balance of press coverage of the two candidates. Really cool to see at a glance.

Granted it doesn't map favorable coverage vs. disfavorable, but it measures the collective conversation balance. Neat.

Via Mike Ryan


The grand experiment is underway. From CNN:
Deep underground on the border between France and Switzerland, the world's largest particle accelerator complex will explore the world on smaller scales than any human invention has explored before.

The collider's ALICE experiment will look at how the universe formed by analyzing particle collisions.

The Large Hadron Collider will look at how the universe formed by analyzing particle collisions. Some have expressed fears that the project could lead to the Earth's demise -- something scientists say will not happen. Still, skeptics have filed suit to try to stop the project.

Thank goodness for Check it regularly to see if we still exist.

Link via Amanda

bios [bible]

Robotlab has created an interesting exhibition:
An industrial robot reproduces all 66 books of the bible in calligraphic script. The process takes seven months, non-stop.
Very cool, of course, but the "why' is still a question only sort of answered on their site:
‘bios [bible]’ is focusing on the questions of faith and technical progress. The installation correlates two cultural systems which are fundamental for societies today – religion and scientific rationalism. In this contexts scripture has all times an elementary function, as holy scripture or as formal writing of knowledge.

In computer technology 'basic input output system' (bios) designates the module which basicaly coordinates the interchange between hard- and software. Therefore it contains the indispensable code, the essential program writing, on which every further program can be established.
Regardless, pretty cool to see.

More photos and video on the Robotlab site

More on Robotlab:
robotlab creates experimental situations in exhibition spaces, in which the public has the opportunity to interact with robots. The massive appearance of the robots, the movements and the machine sounds effect the visitor, are interpretated individually and evoke ideas which may lay in the field of practical purposes as well as formulate an utopian image of a future culture with man and machine.

via Brand Spanking New

John McCain Gets BarackRoll'd

Fantastic. The best thing about this might just be that since McCain doesn't use the internet he might just never see this.

If you're unaware of the multiple pop culture references here, may God have mercy on your soul. Here's a primer:
BarackRoll ("like a rickroll... only Presidential")
John McCain greenscreen challenge

Funny stuff from Hugh Atkin


Jesus Is My Friend

This is sort of like a band i was in once...

Have a great weekend!