Mark Bult Design: San Francisco, CA, Established 1988

Web design and development for small and large business, e-commerce, b2b, b2c, SAAS, and community websites. User experience design and usability testing.


Thursday, May 21, 2009

Thursday Top 5+3

Velma and I are going on a site visit to beautiful Sequioa National Park for a few days and I thought I’d be generous and post some extra distractions for those of you stuck behind desks while we’re backpacking through the redwoods. So here are three bonus links along with your normal five. Don’t say I never gave you nuthin’.



“Barney Miller” on Hulu
I loved this classic sitcom from the ’70s and ’80s, so I was pleased to see Hulu has added every episode. I’ve watched several so far, reliving my childhood with pre-adolescent glee. Plus the show had one of the all-time raddest theme songs (I can say “rad,” it was the ’80s!), and I found a free MP3 at TelevisionTunes.com. Now I just need to find all the episodes of “Taxi” somewhere online.



TelevisionTunes.com
Of course, I then spent half an hour looking up TV theme songs on this site. Best finds were the aforementioned Barney Miller, a semi-good quality version of the “Hitchhiker’s Guide” TV theme, and the awesome “Streets of San Francisco” intro, which I’ve been wanting for years.



The Unofficial Apple Weblog’s Mac 101 series
I’ve been a Mac user for almost 25 years now (*whew*) so it’s not surprising that I’ve picked up a lot of power-user tips over the years. But even I learn something new once in a while. For PC-to-Mac switchers, novices, and even old timers, the Mac 101 series on TUAW is a great way to pick up quick and easy tips that will make you more productive and save time and effort. I perused the entire series a few nights ago and there are some great shortcuts and tips that will undoubtedly leave most Mac users thinking, “Aha! That’s how you do that!”



The Evolution of Apple.com
Snapshots of Apple’s home page, from 1997 to today.



Brute force Hubble fix saves the day — again
Play-by-play description of the second time spacewalking astronauts had to resort to brute force to repair part of Hubble on this latest, and so far very successful, trip. Some other interesting play-by-play descriptions of the recent trip are available in other posts on CNET News’s Space Shot blog.



What Would Penis Do?
The artist of these shorts has a new book.



Aerial Virtual Tour of New York
Dizzyingly cool. Switch it to full-screen and be amazed.

“Space Oddity: Steve Lamacq Live’s guide to the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy”
I recently found this broadcast from BBC Radio 1 about the history of the Hitchhiker’s phenomenon, produced to introduce the 2005 movie. Features interview snippets with Douglas Adams, Simon Jones, Stephen Fry, actors from the original BBC TV series and radio shows, fans, and a bunch of people involved with the movie. Oh, and it’s hosted by the original Marvin, in character of course. It’s actually quite a good show, regardless of the movie being rather a let-down. [31:24 min, RealPlayer stream]

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Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Lolita Lebrón and others attack congress

No other woman in the Hemisphere has been in prison on such charges for so long a period [as Lolita Lebrón]; a fact which Communist critics of your human rights policy are fond of pointing out.
– National Security Advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski, in a secret memo to President Jimmy Carter in 1979

When early American revolutionaries chanted, “Give me liberty or give me death” and complained of having but one life to give for their country, they became the heroes of our history textbooks. But, thanks to the power of the U.S. media and education industries, the Puerto Rican nationalists who dedicated their lives to independence are known as criminals, fanatics, and assassins.

On March 1, 1954, in the gallery of the House of Representatives, Congressman Charles A. Halleck rose to discuss with his colleagues the issue of Puerto Rico. At that moment, Lolita Lebrón (b. 1919), alongside three fellow freedom fighters, having purchased a one-way train ticket from New York (they expected to be killed), unfurled a Puerto Rican flag and shouted “Free Puerto Rico!” before firing eight shots at the roof. Her three male co-conspirators aimed their machine guns at the legislators. Andrés Figueroa’s gun jammed, but shots fired by Rafael Cancel Miranda and Irving Flores injured five congressmen.

“I know that the shots I fired neither killed nor wounded anyone,” Lebrón stated afterwards, but with the attack being viewed through the sensationalizing prism of American tabloid journalism, this did not matter. She and her cohorts became prisoners of war for the next 25 years.

Why prisoners of war? To answer that, we must recall that since July 25, 1898, when the United States illegally invaded its tropical neighbor under the auspices of the Spanish–American War, the island has been maintained as a colony. In other words, the planet’s oldest colony is being held by its oldest representative democracy — with U.S. citizenship imposed without the consent or approval of the indigenous population in 1917. It is from this geographical paradox that the Puerto Rican independence movement sprang forth.

This movement is based firmly on international law, which authorizes “anti-colonial combatants” the right to armed struggle to throw off the yoke of imperialism and gain independence. UN General Assembly Resolution 33/24 of December 1978 recognizes “the legitimacy of the struggle of the peoples for independence, teritorial integrity, national unity and liberation from colonial domination and foreign occupation by all means available, particularly armed struggle.”

Prison did not dampen Lebrón’s revolutionary spirit as she attended demonstrations and spoke out to help win the long battle to eject the U.S. Navy from the tiny Puerto Rican island of Vieques in 2003.

[From the book 50 American Revolutions You’re Not Supposed to Know, by Mickey Z and Disinformation]

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Sunday, September 28, 2008

Stonehenge not created by Spinal Tap after all

The first excavation allowed inside Stonehenge since 1946 has brought some interesting new interpretations as to its purpose, and scientists have for the first time been able to carbon date the bluestones (there are two types of stones in the ring, sarsen being the other) as having been placed there about 2,300 BC, which is about 300 years later than originally thought.

Based on a variety of factors, the two professors in charge of the dig have concluded that Stonehenge was considered to be a place of healing. And then there's the mysterious “Amesbury Archer.” The BBC has an interesting article and two cool vids (especially the second).

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Sunday, July 20, 2008

Jerry Levitan meets the walrus

In 1969, then-14-year-old Jerry Levitan, armed with a reel-to-reel tape deck, snuck into John Lennon's hotel room and convinced the Beatle to do an interview about peace. Thirty-eight years later, Jerry and director Josh Raskin have produced an animated short film using the recording as its soundtrack, and featuring the pen work and digital illustration of artists James Braithwaite and Alex Kurina.

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Thursday, June 12, 2008

Finding the fallen

Over half a century has passed, but thousands of WWII U.S. servicemen and women still remain unaccounted for.

In the jungles of Papua New Guinea, a chain of islands north of Australia, a Pentagon team of forensic anthropologists searches even today for the wreckage of over 2,000 downed U.S. fighter pilots who were embroiled in the Pacific Theater struggle against the Japanese army.

The Boston Globe has published a compelling multi-story series about the search for these lost warriors and the families they left behind.



Note: Apologies for cutting off a slice of the video player. Boston.com's Flash player wasn't built to industry standards; it has several problems: 1) the player is wider than the standard of 425px, 2) the normal way one would scale the player to make it fit into a narrower column doesn't work, 3) the player creates an unnecessary margin and also puts in that ugly gigantic Boston.com logo at the top. Very bad form.

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