Capn Design

February 2004

This month I posted 24 entries, watched 3 videos.

Great Photo from Heather

I just love this photo and think you should see it.

NYC Photobloggers Come Together

Posted February 27, 2004

I went down to see the NYC Photobloggers Event at the Apple Store in Soho. I only frequent a couple of the sites regularly, but I wanted to go down and see what people had to say about their relationship with photoblogging.

I'm not sure who put this all together, but there was a good mix of styles and scope. The mix lead to a variety of thoughts on why people photoblog. The two main groups seem to be those who document their life and those who are posting their art. Obviously, there is crossover, but most gravitate more towards one of these. An interesting case was Mike of Satan's Laundromat. He is someone who started out taking photos of interesting/funny signs but eventually started to get "artsier." I couldn't help but wonder if he felt pressured to do so by the community around him. It's mor likely that he just began appreciating the art more as he continued to do it, but I also think that people look at each other's sites and get inspired.

I also found it interesting to look at the volume of photos people shoot and post. I'm not so sure what I think about it or where I stand, but I know that I shoot a lot more photos than I post. At least 10:1, probably more like 20:1.

I had fun at the event, but I was forced to leave early. Thankfully, I was able to see one of favorite photobloggers, rion, and learn about a new one, Infrangible. Good times.

More at...

The Passion of the Mel

Posted February 25, 2004

The Passion of the Christ opens today in theaters across America. According to Box Office Mojo, the film is opening on just over 3,000 screens. Relatively, Lord of the Rings opened on 3,700, Lost in Translation maxed out at 800 or so, and In America maxed out around 400 after opening on just 11 screens. Even more interesting is that Box Office Mojo is predicting a first weekend gross of $81.9 million. That is crazy.

Metacritic is giving it a score of 50 and Rotten Tomatoes is rating it at 54%, which is officially a stinker. One of my favorite critics, A.O. Scott, panned it whie Roger Ebert loved it.

I am presenting you with all this information because this movie is an anomoly. It is a religious movie that is making it big due to its hype, which includes the strangeness of having an action star directing a movie about the death of Christ and accusations of anti-Semitism. Personally, I don't plan on seeing it in the theaters. From what I've heard, the film is anti-Semetic on some level and I don't want to contribute to that. As people I know start to see it, I may change my mind, but for the moment I don't want to give money to a project that is potentially racist.

Despite my personal views, I am intrigued by the film's potentially huge first-weekend gross. On the one hand it is frustrating that a religious movie, which I wouldn't expect to have mass appeal, is expected to do so well and open so wide when movies that I think are amazing get overlooked. As I mentioned earlier, it sounds like this movie is riding on its hype. Think about it logically -- do you think that a highly controversial religious film that is mostly in Latin and Aramaic would do well in the theaters if done by a no-name director? Of course not, but that discussion will be saved for a future post.

I shall leave you with a final thought on the violence in this film, from my home-town critic, Roger Ebert.

Note: I said the film is the most violent I have ever seen. It will probably be the most violent you have ever seen. This is not a criticism but an observation; the film is unsuitable for younger viewers, but works powerfully for those who can endure it. The MPAA's R rating is definitive proof that the organization either will never give the NC-17 rating for violence alone, or was intimidated by the subject matter. If it had been anyone other than Jesus up on that cross, I have a feeling that NC-17 would have been automatic.


A new weblog tool from Dean Allen. If I wasn't in love with Movable Type, I would consider switching.

NY Subway: What Does This Mean?

Posted February 25, 2004

What does this triangle and star stand for?

Triangle and Star on the NY Subway

Ladies and Gentlemen

A new magazine designed by the men of Aesthetic Apparatus. 12" square, comes with a record and has some great interviews and essays.

Bush is Crazy. C-R-A-Z-Y.

Posted February 24, 2004

This morning, Bush backed a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage. I suppose I shouldn't be surprised, but I was getting very excited about the chances of legal gay marriages becoming a reality. Apparently, Bush was not feeling that notion like I was.

Bush spoke to the country about twenty minutes ago in order to quell the "growing confusion" surrounding this issue. He wants to make it clear that marriage is a union between a man and a woman. This, clearly, is a religous notion. In the eyes of your chosen God, it likely matters if you are thinking about marrying someone of the same sex. In the eyes of the government, all that should matter is the benefits provided to those who are married.

We are supposed to have a seperation of church and state, but that seems to be less and less important these days. Think about this: Republicans want the government to be smaller and less intrusive when it comes to economic matters but want to have more control over our social and spiritual choices. Conversely, Democrats typically want a bigger government that provides more economic support while allowing greater personal freedoms. What seems to make more sense?

This brings me back to my original point. Bush is Crazy. In fact, anyone who thinks that our government should decide who I can marry, give money to religious interest groups, or tell me what I am allowed to do with my body is crazy. C-R-A-Z-Y. Period. The end.

Update (Noon EST): It just hit me that Bush wants to make this a Constitutional Ammendment. He wants to change the Constitution. I cannot fathom how big this really is and the shitstorm that is likely to follow in the next few weeks. I can only imagine what he'll do during the two months between when we elect John Kerry and when he has to leave office. Gah.

Related: The text of Bush's speech
More gay marriage talk at Capn Design - The conversation brings up the important question of, "What is marriage?" Any thoughts?

Climate Change Will Destroy Us

The Pentagon has kept this from the public. This is freaky. (via Ned)

Cub Fever

Posted February 18, 2004

As of today, I am completely sick with Cub Fever. The signing of Greg Maddux has sent me into a mini-frenzy, especially as I realized they may have the best rotation in the game with Maddux, Wood, Prior, Clement and Zambrano. I began reading the end of that article and then I started hopping up and down.

The Cubs should be even better this year. Hendry upgraded the bullpen, adding LaTroy Hawkins and Kent Mercker. He also traded for Gold Glove first baseman Derrek Lee, and bolstered the bench with Todd Walker and Todd Hollandsworth.

Truly, Jim Hendry and Dusty Baker have turned this baseball team around. Our farm system has been pretty strong, but these two really gave the team the kick in the butt they needed. Hendry has made some spectacular trades and acquisitions while Baker inspired the team to go from a losing season to within 6 outs of a World Series. Pretty impressive.

This morning I printed out this year's schedule as I hoped I'd get a chance to see the Cubs while home for Passover. Alas, their first home game isn't until April 12th so I'll have to wait a while until I can see them. One thing's for sure, I'm buying my tickets now for their series with the Mets from September 24th-26th. Rodbard, you want in?

Mazda 3 5-Door

Posted February 13, 2004

Man, I love this car It is beautiful. I'm also really liking the Mazda 6 5-Door. Mazda is definitely doing some of the best design today.

Mazda 3 5-Door

Mony Mony

How come I never knew Billy Idol sang this song? That's kind of depressing.

Pazz & Jop 2003

Posted February 12, 2004

The Village Voice Pazz and Jop special is now on newstands, and there aren't too many surprises. The top albums are pretty standard, but I am surprised to see Hail to the Thief at number four and Drive-By Truckers at number twelve. The first seemed to be not loved by many* and I had no idea people liked the DBT album. I haven't heard it myself.

The singles are pretty standard as well, but I'm happy to see Johnny Cash's "Hurt" so high up on the list.

Pazz and Jop is so much better in its online form as you can take a look at the individual entries from all of the critics who have submitted lists. As they put it:

This poll combines ballots from 732 critics, who divided 100 points among 10 2003 albums. Maximum per album: 30. Minimum: 5. Points determined placement, with total mentions (indicated in parenthesis) used for tie breaking.

First, I love that system. Second, I've enjoyed looking at all of these ballots. Here is a list of critics that I have worked with or like: Chuck Klosterman, Greg Kot, Adrienne Day, Jim Derogatis, Sasha Frere-Jones, Andy Greenwald, Nathin Rabin, Stephen Thompson. Please add your own favorites in the comments.

Also: WWB Top 25, My Best of 2003

* I was listening to Hail to the Thief on the way to work this morning and I finally understand why it was underwhelming for a lot of people. It is definitely much better than most music in the world, but compared to what they accomplished with their last three albums, this one seems to fall a little flat in the originality department.

I Feel Great.

Amazing Nutri-Grain commercial. This ad is so good I am going to buy a Nutri-Grain bar tomorrow just because I love this commercial so much. Thanks to Andy for hosting the video.

More Encore Bashing

This time it's from the Washington Post, not me (via

How Well Will The Passion Do?

Posted February 9, 2004

Mel Gibson's new movie about Jesus, The Passion of the Christ, is due to be released on February 25th and there has been an unusual amount of press for the film. Today, the NY Times published an article on the supposed success of its predecessor. Sources in the article claim that the film Jesus is the most-watched movie of all time. One quote states that the film has been seen 5,057,743,333 times while another mentions that it only made $4 million at the box office. Believe what you'd like about the specifics, but I don't doubt that many people have seen this movie. The question remains, will The Passion have the same success?

Personally, I think it's going to do pretty well. According to Box Office Mojo, it is opening on over 2,000 screens. As a comparison, 50 First Dates, the Sandler/Barrymore movie, is opening on 3,400 screens this weekend. With such a wide release and all this hype, I'd be surprised if it makes under $20 million in the first weekend. That seems like a success as it cost $25 million to make and I would assume marketting a highly religious film is a difficult task.

I'm still not sure if I want to see it. On the one hand, viewers claim that the film blames the Jews for the death of Christ and I don't know if I want to support a movie like that, but I'd also like to make up my own mind. It will definitely be interesting to watch as this develops.

Any thoughts from you about its potential success and your viewing plans?

Award Show Medleys

Posted February 8, 2004

Right now I am sitting on the couch watching Beyonce and Prince perform a medley of hits, new and old. It is definitely entertaining. Prince comes out and you say, "Sweet, Prince." Then Beyonce comes out and you're like, "Huh, Beyonce." But the truth is that these medleys remind me of Bar Mitzvahs. Granted, it would be the best fucking Bar Mitzvah of all time, but it would still be Bar Mitzvah-esque.

This further cements my disdain for award shows. They have become way too predicatable. If I have more to say as the show progresses (honestly, I'm just watching until Sex in the City comes on), I'll be sure to put it here.

Update (8:13PM): Dave Matthews, Vince Gill, Sting and Pharrell?!? Very odd. Please, no one let Dave Matthews sing anything but his own songs, ever. And poor Pharrell had to just play that boring Ringo-beat. Ringo definitely still kinda sucked in 1964.

Two Sanctioned Blanks with Purchase

The band Eisbrecher is offering two blank discs that have the same label with their new album. Interesting.

Jobs Created by US Presidents

These stats are impressive. (via Nedward)

Staten Island Ferry Loses Power

Posted February 5, 2004

A week ago I rode the Staten Island Ferry and it lost power. Here's what it looked like.

Powerless Staten Island Ferry

Pizza Party U.S.A.

I'm seriously considering throwing a pizza party on February 29th. You are invited.

Hey, Here are Some Infographics

Posted February 4, 2004

The Race for the Nomination
This graphic is from the New York Times and shows the primary results. It appears that new information is automatically loaded each time you select a new section. My favorite graphics are the "Results by Candidate," and "Bush's Approval Rating" (pictured below).

Bush's Approval Rating

State-By-State Comparison on Same-Sex Marriages
This one comes from CNN and isn't all that graphically pleasing, but it is incredibly user-friendly. I looked at a similar graphic from, which is much more difficult to understand, and realized the CNN one is quite effective. Below are graphics from a number of major news sources. You can decide which one is the best. (The graphics at their original size.)

CNN Infographic



If you know of others, gimmie a holler via email (on the left).

I Need a Couple Roommates

Posted February 4, 2004

My two roommates are moving out on February 15th and I need to find a couple replacements. The rooms are available for a MINIMUM OF SIX MONTHS. So, I'm bringing this to my blog, hoping that you'll know someone who needs a place or you yourself might want to move in. I figured that if you read my blog then you probably are an amazing person.

Click on the "Continued" link to get all of the details on the apartment.

Read the rest of this entry »

May 1st Reboot

Compete to win a lifetime of free hosting by redesigning your site for May 1st. I competed in 2002 and this design was a runner-up from a group of 1300. I am redesigning the site now, so if it takes three months I'll compete again this year.

10 to 6

Posted February 2, 2004

The New York work day. Today I begin my first day as a full-time employee at my company. Up until now, I have been living the life of a freelancer and coming and going as I please. That all ends right now.

The last time I had such a regular schedule was my senior year of high school, nearly six years ago. I'm not sure how well my mind and body will handle this new schedule as I'm typically a night owl. If I can manage to adjust, it should be good for me. Waking up at 8am really isn't that bad and my life as a teacher (in two years or so) will require me to be at work by 7:30am. So, this is a good primer.


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