*taps on window*  Anyone still out there?

With Katy Perry’s new single “Roar” all over the radio, I kept on thinking “Man this intro sounds so familiar.”

And then I realized:  Sara Bareilles single “Brave” from the summer also used a similar piano background.  Except she paired it with better music, more meaningful lyrics, and a more inspired video.  Plus, nerdy cute beats out standard haawt any day.

p.s.  Haha, I just checked out the Youtube comments, and it looks like I’m way late to the comparison-party

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PBS Remixed

I’m alive, really, I am.  I’ve just been…er…busy.

Something to keep you occupied in the meantime.

“Garden of Your Mind” – Fred Rogers

“Happy Little Clouds” – Bob Ross

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What I’m reading ed. 120506

Iran talks, N. Korea missile failure, Facebook buys Instagram, US-China fiasco, Newt drops Dick Clark passes, Adam Yauch (Beastie Boys) dies from cancer. Murdoch denounced.  NHL Playoffs.  NBA Playoffs.

Top 10:

  1. BP Oil Spill Effects:  Health and Wildlife | (The Nation and Al Jazeera)
  2. Walk the Prank: Secret Story of Mysterious Portrait at Pentagon | (WSJ)
  3. The Gay Debate: The Bible and Homosexuality | (Slog)
  4. Near death, explained | (Salon)
  5. Can gold be used as a currency? (w/ Video) | (Felix Salmon)
  6. Surge of the ‘Second World’ | (National Interest)
  7. South L.A., Twenty Years After the Riots | (Guernica)
  8. FRACKED UP!: Hollywood,Interrupted Visits America’s New Boomtown
  9. (Bee) Colony Collapse Disorder and Pesticides | (New Yorker)
  10. African Men. Hollywood Stereotypes | (Youtube)

And the rest:

  1. The Economics of a Part-time Drug Dealer | (The Billfold)
  2. The Perfect Milk Machine: How Big Data Transformed the Dairy Industry | (Atlantic)
  3. How recruiters look at your resume
  4. Creepy Finance Guy With Spreadsheet of ‘Prospects’ Says He Was Just Trying to Be Organized
  5. Space Shuttle in Extreme Detail: Exclusive New Pictures
  6. CIA’s Secret Fear: High-Tech Border Checks Will Blow Spies’ Cover | (Wired)
  7. Saudi princess: What I’d change about my country (BBC)
  8. What They Don’t Tell You at Graduation | (WSJ)
  9. Our Emotional Styles | (DailyDish)
  10. The Legendary Paul Ryan | (Chait)
  11. In Conversation: Barney Frank | (NYMag)
  12. Diabetes: Myself, quantified | (Extenuating Circumstances)
  13. Peak Plastic
  14. Gamer Harassment | (Penny Arcade)
  15. Tor Books goes completely DRM-free – Boing Boing
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Dating Photography Pro-Tips

Dating Photography Pro-tip #1:  Wide angle lenses make self(s?)-portraits infinitely easier.  They also allow you to capture some of the setting behind you (see below for what not to do, even with the right lens).  That way when you subject your friends to your photo album, they won’t claw their eyes out after the 20th identical photo.

Dating Photography Pro-tip #2:  If someone else is taking your photo, be gracious and say “Please” and “Thank you”.  It’s ok to give some basic directions if you want non-centered framing, but be generous when you see the results (that’s what cropping is for!).  And make sure to set up your shots before asking someone to take it.

Dating Photography Pro-tip #3:  If you’re not naturally photogenic, having a significant other who causes you to smile can do wonders.


Posted in about, fun, reflections | 4 Comments

What I’m reading ed. 120408

Romney seizes, Dallas tornadoes, hope for Burma, China power shift, Hunger Games, Obamacare before the Supreme Court, Trayvon Martin

Ooo…so close…I almost managed to pare the list down to 10.  As usual, top5 and then the rest.

  1. Confessions of an Ivy League Frat Boy: Inside Dartmouth’s Hazing Abuses | (Rolling Stone)
  2. Antiviral Drugs Could Blast the Common Cold—Should We Use Them? | (Wired)
  3. Chinese politics: The sacking of Bo Xilai | (Economist) & The Revenge of Wen Jiabao | (FP)
  4. American diplomacy: What Hillary did next (& Interview) | (Economist)
  5. Obamacare and the Supreme Court: A guide to the health-care case | (Economist)
  6. History’s a Bitch: A Dog Walk Through Time: Moves Like Snoopy. | (McSweeney)
  7. The slacker is back – and this time she’s female | (Observer)
  8. Comic Con Episode IV: A Fan’s Hope – Official Trailer [HD]
  9. Murray Lender and frozen bagels: The man who made America better by making bagels worse. | (Slate)
  10. What Comes After the Hipster? We Ask the Experts | (Flavorwire)
  11. Voting patterns of America’s whites, from the masses to the elites | (Monkey Cage)

And one for fun:  Google Tap:

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The Passion

As I caught the tail end of The Passion of Christ on TV on Saturday afternoon, I thought

1.  “Wow, this is really gory.”

2.  “Why did Mel Gibson portray the Crucifixion with so much (if historically precise) bloody detail?”

3.  “What was God’s intent in making Jesus, his Son, undergo such a gruesome death anyways?”

The standard “Sunday School” answer is that Jesus had to undergo the punishment that I, as a rebel and sinner, was supposed to suffer, so that He could serve as my substitute when it was my turn to be judged by God, the Father.

Sure, that explanation, “made sense”, but it never really sat well with me.  After all, why should Jesus’ physical suffering have spiritual significance?  Why couldn’t Jesus just have died of “natural causes”?  He’d have still lived a perfect life and been able to serve as the perfect sacrifice, no?

Then, today, an alternate (and personally more satisfying, though not theologically verified) explanation came to me.  The physical pain that Jesus experienced during his trial and crucifixion WAS NOT all that he suffered.  The physical torment was an outward reflection of, and served to illustrate, the spiritual agony Jesus was about to undergo:  the timeless and infinite connection between the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit was soon to be sundered.  The Son would be a momentarily yet eternally torn from the blissful fellowship of the Trinity.  He would be banished from the Light of Life, Goodness, and Hope and plunged into the Darkness of Death, Evil, and Despair.  The Darkness that I was headed for, the Darkness that I deserved.

That was the price that Jesus, the Son of God, paid for my soul.

Because of His payment, I have instead been invited into to be a son of the God who made the universe, the God of Light and Life.

Jesus. Savior, Lord, and King.

Cross of Our Lord Jesus Christ
Groom, TX


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Riddle me this

I took this picture of my balcony over the  weekend.  Can you tell what I found so strange about the scene?  (Hint below the cut)

Continue reading

Posted in fun, photos | 2 Comments

What I’m reading ed. 120324

Romney v. Santorum slugfest, Trayvon shooting, Kony 2012, Syria strife, Iran tensions, Gas prices rising.


  1. What Isn’t for Sale? | (Atlantic)
  2. Why I Am Leaving Goldman Sachs | (NYT)
  3. SXSW 2012: ‘Seeking Asian Female‘ Explores World of Mail-Order Brides | (WSJ)
  4. No Pulse: How Doctors Reinvented The Human Heart | (PopSci)
  5. Atomic Bread Baking at Home: The story of white grocery bread

And the rest:

  1. Stephen Wolfram Blog : The Personal Analytics of My Life
  2. A world within a tumour – new study shows just how complex cancer can be | (Discover)
  3. What We Lose in a Post-PC World
  4. 2012 – eVolo Visions of future skyscrapers | (ArchMag)
  5. The New Suburban Poverty | (NYT)
  6. The Most Scientific Birth Is Often the Least Technological Birth | (Atlantic)
  7. Minimum Rage: Will Gen Y’s Career Waiters Occupy the Service Industry? | (GOOD)
  8. BBall Shooting Stats: CourtVision by Kirk Goldsberry
  9. Scientific Hubris:  Why Monsanto Thought Weeds Would Never Defeat Roundup | (NPR)
  10. Nazi rules for jazz performers | (Boing)
  11. Resume, Cover Letter And Your Facebook Password? | (NPR)
  12. Dear Science Fiction Writers: Stop Being So Pessimistic! | (Smithsonian)
  13. Drive-by harassment: I’m fourteen, running late for Global Studies….
  14. Stakeout: how the FBI tracked and busted a Chicago member of Anonymous
  15. Spread Reckoning: U.S. Suburbs Face Twin Perils of Climate Change and Peak Oil [Excerpt] | (SciAm)
  16. Search for Faster, Better Antidepressants Makes Progress: | (SciAm)

And one for awesomeness.  Coloring Bach: as played and seen by Evan Shinners, who has synesthesia

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What I’m reading ed. 120308

Israel v Iran, Romney v Santorum, Contraception Coverage, Olympia Snowe retires, Andrew Breitbart passes away, Farewell Berenstain, More singles, McDonald’s phases out gestation crates, Women on the front-ish lines

A top 5

  1. Obama to Iran and Israel: ‘As President of the United States, I Don’t Bluff’ | (Atlantic)
  2. We, the Web Kids
  3. A Year of Shopping Only at Black Businesses (MoJo)
  4. Africa’s Amazing Rise and What it Can Teach the World | (Atlantic)
  5. 10 Things You Didn’t Know About Drones | (Foreign Policy)

And the rest

  1. (The Magician) Teller Reveals His Secrets | (Smithsonian)
  2. Rick Santorum and prenatal testing: I would have saved my son from his suffering. | (Slate)
  3. The Brain-Focusing Power of the Lab Coat
  4. The Forgetting Pill Erases Painful Memories Forever | (Wired)
  5. The world’s most boring journal — and why it’s good for science | (Wonkblog)
  6. Berenstain Bears co-creator Jan Berenstain dies | (AP)
  7. Google to Sell Heads-Up Display Glasses by Year’s End | (NYT)
  8. Meat grown in lab may yield first ‘test-tube burger‘ by fall
  9. 48 Pictures That Perfectly Capture The ’90s
  10. Surviving MIT
  11. Billy Sammeth, the Manager Fired by Cher and Joan Rivers, Tells His Side of the Story | (Daily Beast)
  12. Zap your brain into the zone: Fast track to pure focus | (New Scientist) (Another Take)
  13. The Mystery Monk Making Billions With 5-Hour Energy | (Forbes)
  14. Brainstorming Doesn’t Really Work | (New Yorker)
  15. Harvard’s Liberal-Arts Failure Is Wall Street’s Gain: Ezra Klein

And one for fun: Pure Michigan by Mitt Romney

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La Burque: One month in

Now that I’ve been here for a month, here are some initial thoughts on the place I now call home.

  1. It’s dry here. Like “put a line-item in the budget for lotion and lip balm” dry.
  2. Once you get over the brown-ness, it is quite beautiful here. The sunsets are gorgeous, the Sandia Mountains make for a great backdrop, and the lack of trees means that you can see the city lights twinkling as you drive in from the outskirts at night.
  3. The “city” basically consists of sprawl. There’s wealthy new sprawl and poor older sprawl, but outside of 1 or 3 neighborhoods, the population density is too low to even be considered pseudo-walkable.
  4. And after the sprawl is…barrenness.  Like the city just ends.  And then there is desert.
  5. I’m not sure which is more destructive to walkability: strip mall parking lots or 4-6 lane, 45mph roads.
  6. Pet Peeve:  The inability to make left turns half the time due to road medians (see 4-6 lane, 45mph roads.)
  7. Both chiles are really good.  I’m a fan of the green.  The red tends to be a bit smokier, the green a bit smoother.
  8. As far as I can tell so far, New Mexican food is essentially Mexican food + green/red chile
  9. Evidently, to qualify as a New Mexican male, I need to (a) buy a truck, (b) own a motorcycle, and (c) shoot a gun.
  10. Speaking of which, there are a LOT of trucks here. LARGE trucks.
  11. And if you don’t drive a truck, there’s a 25% chance you have a very large spoiler (>6 in) on the back of your car.
  12. Weather:  The sun is hot. 42 + sun feels perfectly fine.  The lack of cloud cover means it cools down a lot at night. 35 degree temperature swings over the course of a full day aren’t uncommon.  And by the sound of the wind howling outside my window, spring is just around the corner.
  13. Stars. I can see them. Easily. I can’t wait to go on a legit stargazing trip.  And a hiking/camping trip.  And a snowboarding trip.  A snowshoeing trip.  A mountain biking trip.  And evidently there’s good whitewater and flyfishing as well.  Just you wait.  I’ll be an outdoorsman in no time.  Once I manage to step away from this computer…
  14. I like good bread as much as the next person, but sopapillas are decadent pillows of fried deliciousness (especially with honey.)
  15. There is a greater variety of McDonald’s facades here than I’ve seen anywhere else in the US.  I think I’ve counted at least 6 types.  There’s even a Rock ‘n Roll McDonald’s!

Western Albuquerque with Sandia Mountains in the background
Taken from Petroglyph National Monument, 111119


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