Capn Design

September 2006

This month I posted 14 entries, listened to 537 songs, bookmarked 6 sites, took 23 photos and favorited 1 thing.

NFL Pick'em League, A Week Late

Posted September 14, 2006

In an effort to further entrench myself in the football season, I have decided to start a Pick'em league. Yes, it's a week late, but it's not that big of a deal since we're all starting at the same time. Basically, each week you'll pick the winners of each game and get a point for each correct guess. At the end of the season, the top point earner will get, ummm, nothing! Okay, maybe I'll come up with a good prize. We'll see how many people join the league.

Below is the sign-up information. After signing up, you'll need to pick the winners at least 5 minutes before game time. Good luck this season, kids.

Sign-up Link
League ID: 62721
Password: seriously

This Article on Zune Makes Me Think Microsoft is Doing Too Much

I'm gonna get in the 37 Signals camp and say that a media player should be about playing media and not much else. Sorry J. Allard, I don't "want to know what [Kanye] had for lunch."

Ordering Streetcart Food and Usability

Posted September 13, 2006

Tony Dragonas Food CartA month ago I went to Tony Dragonas' food cart to get a chicken gyro. While I knew that all of New York calls it a JAI-row, I insisted on calling it a YEE-ro, as I'd been taught that this was the correct pronunciation. When it was my turn I said, "One chicken yeero please." Before I could do anything about it I heard, "One chicken hero, coming up." Oops.

Today, I went for another one and my friend suggested I just call it a chicken pita. Hmm, good point. Then I realized that the word "gyro" is broken in the Mark Hurst This is Broken sense.

The most import aspect of ordering your food is properly conveying what you want. While I might impress a Greek man with a true pronounciation, saying "yeero with tzatziki" instead of "chicken pita with white sauce" will probably confuse the other 95% of servers. This seems especially true at a streetcart where speed and price are their two greatest assets.

Cultural heritage may be worth preserving, but not if I get my chicken on a hero instead of a pita. More broadly, it's often worth sacrificing something that benefits those in the know to help the general public. A parallel in web design would be the question of semantic mark up. In this case, <b> is to "yeero with tzatziki" as <strong> is to "chicken pita with white sauce". The first tag is more concise but could be confusing, while "strong" is more easily recognized by those who are new to HTML.

Really, how you order your food is a "know your audience" issue. Try ordering a hoagie outside of Pennsylvania and you'll see what I mean.

Lonelygirl Ends in Disappointment, But Leaves a Door Open

Posted September 13, 2006

20060913lonelygirl_1.jpgIt was approximately a month ago that pointed me to a new video blog by Youtube user lonelygirl15. A high-school age girl named Bree, who had been home-schooled but was now out in the real the world, posted videos about her life that were well-edited and cute. She had a soft-spoken delivery that made you feel like you were in on a secret, really looking through a peephole into her life.

While it was clearly very well edited, it was easy to believe that her friend (and more?) Daniel was responsible for this. He had the look of a kid who spend all of seventh and eighth grades teaching himself Final Cut Pro. I was blindly following along, being drawn deeper into their lives, when I hear whispers that the production is a little too good and the scenario is a little too manicured. People start questioning the authenticity of the vlog and a womanhunt begins.

Initially, people thought it might be Brian Flemming of or the minds behind The Blair Witch Project at 42 Entertainment. The waiting ended when the creators of lonelygirl posted this message to a fan site's message board. Some aspiring young filmmakers were behind the production and they planned to continue "usher[ing] in an era of interactive storytelling."

20060913lonelygirl_2.jpgLater that day the LA Times broke the story wide open and on Monday of this week the actress playing Bree was revealed to be Jessica Rose. Today, the New York Times filled in all the missing details, outing the creators by name and explaining that this was all a lead-up to an eventual commercial movie.

While I can't blame the blogosphere and the journalism world for snooping around, I wish they hadn't. Several episodes into the lonelygirl series we learn that Bree's family belongs to a strange religion that many believe to be Satanism. First people caught clues in the "Bree the Cookie Monster" episode and then there was a photo of Aleister Crowley in "A Change in My Life". At this point, no one had proven that the videos were fake, but there was quite a bit of buzz and I couldn't take my eyes away. While I knew there was a good chance it was a ruse, the possibility of this being real was mindblowing. Imagine a Satanist discovering the outside world via YouTube and outing herself in front of everyone. It was too exciting a concept to dismiss.

In the end, finding out that this was all a ruse left me deflated. I didn't mind that everyone thought it was fake, so long as there was a slim possibility Bree was really out there. When I found out she was struggling actress Jessica Stone, I lost all interest. I'm not even sure if a new video has been posted.

While this experimented ended badly for me, it leaves me hopeful. Seeing how far the creators took this and the attention they received, I realize that some kids will produce a YouTube-powered serial story and fade into obscurity, leaving all of us to wonder what really happened. In the meantime, go watch all of Bree's videos if you haven't yet and just pretend like you didn't read the rest of this entry.

Hello Onyx

Posted September 12, 2006


Today, I am upgrading to a small, sleek DS Lite Onyx. I do love my Mario Kart DS, but it's a little too big and clunky. Time for something svelte. Since it's no fun to get a system without a game, I also picked up New Super Mario Brothers.

In other Nintendo news, I'm excited about the possibility of a $150 price point for the Wii. Although the leak is from Vibe magazine, I think this is more trustworthy than if the scan was from a gaming mag. It's often a non-industry publication that forgets us fanboys get the shivers when we hear the words Shigeru Miyamoto.

If the console ends up being $150, which we'll find out for sure on Thursday at Nintendo's Wii event, the Big N will sell a boatload of these consoles and take a dominant role in the console market again. Aside from always having Nintendo's back, I'm happy that a product that innovates while promoting fun over graphics is going have a major role in the next wave of video games.

Peace out Sony. Take your $600 PS3 and shove it.

Season Four of The Wire

Posted September 11, 2006


Jason's post reminded me to post about one of my favorite shows on tv, The Wire. Last night was the official start to its fourth season (although it's available a week early on HBO-On-Demand). Not a lot went down during the first episode, but that's the way the show rolls. It gives you time to meet the characters before the shit goes down, which is how I like it. I was able to get some catch up time with my favorite character, Bunk Moreland, who will have some fantastic one-liners based on this first episode.

If you haven't been watching the show up until now, there's always time. I suggest you rent, buy or steal previous episodes as soon as possible (steal enough to get your appetite whet, then buy up the first three seasons). If you need convincing, I'm going to let the New York Times take care of that with an article and an opinion piece from this weekend.

The show airs Sundays at 10pm EST on HBO and hits on-demand the Monday before.

A Hamburger Today Interview with Frank Bruni

I don't usually link to things from other projects, but I'm excited we got this

Three New Mac Ad Ideas

From the folks at McSweeney's

Rob is Lost, Improv Everywhere's Newest Mission

Rob can't find his friends in Yankee Stadium and his entire section yells for him as he emerges in different sections of the stands

Sneaker Icons for Mac

Posted September 8, 2006

While perusing High Snobiety, I came upon a post about a release of Mac OS X Sneaker Icons. They just released a pack of 13 shoes with more coming soon. The first set are all Nike and they're totes free.


Orange Claw Customs was started by two Sneaker/Mac lovers in Melbourne, Australia. The Boy's mission is to deliver super high quality system icons of cult sneakers from all the biggest names in footwear. The icons are for use on Mac OS X, and soon Windows XP. The two founders created the site to coincide with their belief that sneakerheads should be able to cover every aspect of their computer with sneakerama. The custom section of the site also allows for requests for specific models and colourways.

Apple OS X's Built in Dictionary

I knew there was a built in dictionary, but didn't know you could hover over words to get definitions. Thanks for the tip Giz-NERD-o. He he.

Real Ones Playing Two Nights in NYC

Posted September 6, 2006

Real Ones - Home with the Girls in the Morning One of my favorite bands from last year, Real Ones, is playing two shows in NYC today and tomorrow. The shows are cheap and I highly recommend you check them out as they are from Norway and won't be coming back soon (as far as I know).

They're playing at Sin-e tonight and The Living Room tomorrow. I'm definitely going tonight and would go tomorrow if anyone is interested.

To further intice you, I've uploaded my favorite song of theirs:
Real Ones - "Disharmonic Ears"

p.s. Sorry for the late notice for tonight's show. I was hoping to post this earlier today.

Update (9/7/06): The show last night was awesome. Don't forget, they're playing tonight too and have no other U.S. dates.

District B13

Posted September 5, 2006

20060905districtb13.jpgOne of my favorite films from this summer was District B13. It's a French action film that takes advantage of the Parkour (like freestyle walking, but more intense) craze. The characters are a little forgettable, but everything else (action, style and setting especially) is great. Personally, I'm just happy a good non-english/non-asian action movie is out.

The movie is out on DVD today. I suggest you either buy it from Amazon or rent it from Netflix. When I reviewed it for The Movie Binge, it passed the yo-dude test while satiating the indie snob in me.

Video: OK GO Perform Treadmill Dance Live at the VMAs

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