First of all, I just saw the 2007 ACL lineup and I'm totally pumped for it! If you plan on going, definitely let me go. If you look in my September 2005 archives, you'll notice that The Decemberists, Bloc Party, and Arcade Fire were among the top 5 acts that year. Anyway, the Number Theory final this morning was about as hard as I expected, and Business Law was harder than expected, but I think I did well enough on both, and now I just have Programming Languages left (next Tuesday) as I had already secured my As in Object Oriented Programming and Accounting (woot). Before I get to the real post, I'll share a few pictures:
This was Chris's Mii at our Cinco de Mayo Wii party. (I have a sweet video from them playing Super Monkey Ball, but Bethany would kill me if I posted it)
That's the plate I put together at the Mongolian Grill for NSC exec dinner on Sunday before being cooked...
and here's the after!
NSC Boat Party was on Monday, and there's a good pose from Henro and me.
Ok, so the topic today is parenting in our modern society because I like how Will over at Suicide Girls brought up the topic. I think what's really scary about today's world aside from our current geopolitical situation is that our future isn't really assured. I see more and more kids lost in a dizzying array of the convenience of modern comforts such as television and video games. What's funny is that this happens about every decade and everyone who's older believes it to be a huge tragedy because it's not how they were brought up. However, I think there's a real concern now because we're actually seeing the detriment to these kids. We're seeing kids becoming physically unhealthy and socially awkward, two things that I loathed being when I was growing up. Though I loved video games, both of those were brought on more or less by my own personal issues. Nowadays though, I think we're seeing families with more professionals at the head where their job never stops so they don't have time for quality time with their kids. I often see two extremes. One is where the kid gets everything he wants (not literally, usually, but more than most of our parents would've allowed) and the other is where the kid is sheltered. Both approaches are wrong. If the kid always gets what he wants he'll never learn to make due when things don't work out, and if he's hidden from something then he'll only want to rebel and get at it more. What I wish more parents would do is actually discipline their children and teach them moderation. All technology is wonderful in moderation, as goes with work, time with friends, food, etc. I honestly think that if parents really stuck to this concept of moderation, we'd have a lot more kids growing up normally. I have absolutely nothing to back that up, but don't you think it would be at least a step up?
Another great editorial to read is Joe Dolson's post about redesign being more conceptual than visual if it's done right. I totally agree with him. I think that a layout change should definitely come with interface improvements and such, but I don't think that modifying the usability of a site or adding to it necessitates changing its look, and I believe that it plays second fiddle to the long-term goals of keeping the site convenient.
Let me just pool together all the Google news here. They've overhauled the Google Analytics interface in an effort to probably entice more advertisers to trust them and determine how best to market themselves. Though I've been using the normal Google Analytics (still am until the migration is complete), I've actually noticed that I often have to guess at what to click to get what I want, so I'm glad they've fixed it (I use it anyway because I like the visuals better than Statcounter). Supposedly, Google is considering acquiring a job search site called Simply Hired that aims at the long tail of the market through widgets, though I think the service really isn't anything groundbreaking at first glance, personally.
Joost has taken on some more high-profile clients, and it's worth noting that this is still largely vintage content. It's not like you get new episodes of The Daily Show or anything, but I still say that it's amazing that they're able to attract networks faster than even Apple initially was with iTunes. This bodes very well for free, streaming television because I'm sure we'll see more valuable stuff if it works out. I still have unlimited free invites if anyone wants Joost, by the way.
Couple of one-liners now. Intel has unleashed its Santa Rosa chipset to be the Centrino of Core 2 Duo processors (i.e. optimized for laptops, especially on power consumption). It looks quite pricey, but I'll wait on unbiased benchmarks before passing judgement here. I've been using xplorer2 for a while now rather than Windows Explorer and love it. If you still use Windows Explorer (and are running Windows, of course), you should totally check out this article on the amazing things xplorer2 does.
I'm really tired, so I'm only going to run through some quick movie items. A mediocre clip from Transformers aired on the Ellen Degeneres Show. Yeah, we saw a decepticon, but only for like 3 seconds. The trailer for You Kill Me isn't much better video fodder either. Why is Ben Kingsley doing a movie like this? The mobster comedy angle is getting old, Hollywood. If you want videos to watch, check out HappySlip on YouTube; I just discovered her channel today because of the Buzz Out Loud podcast (which I can listen to now on the bus because of my Sansa). This is funny, too.
Would you watch a continuous video feed of Natalie Portman's life? If so, you're scary, but apparently Natalie wants you to do just that. I'm still confused as to how this would work, I just wanted to remark on how stupid I think this is (largely because most reality television sounds like this and already sucks).
Apparently, we may see a sequel to Grindhouse. Dimension is apparently interested, but I think they'd have to get the movie down to two hours, and I wonder if Tarantino is really willing to work on something like this sooner than the end of next year, if even then. I think I remember him having another project (a Kung Fu movie remake) to do after Inglorious Bastards, and I doubt that Robert Rodriguez would do a sequel without Tarantino.
Masswyrm is usually a pretty harsh reviewer, but he really enjoyed 28 Weeks Later, which definitely offsets my skepticism. Maybe this is another actually great horror film after all?
Now for a Wednesday Mind Hump:
1. What is your favorite song with "Thank You" or "Thanks" in the title?
Probably the song "Thank You" by Boyz II Men.
2. Who do you want to thank, and why?
I'd have to say God, for bringing so much joy in my life more recently through one particular thing.
11 hours ago