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.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

freakin' amazing precision driving

A sort of cross between The Italian Job and Dance Dance Revolution, this Japanese commercial for the Isuzu Gemini is from the 1980s, before the age of computer graphics special effects. So all the amazing stunts are done by precision drivers.

filed in: advertising, video, distractions, auto

videos of neighborhoods

This one's for Velma, Dave and Terri, and especially April and Sarah.

TurnHere is a video site featuring short documentary films about neighborhoods and towns, filmed by locals. This video's about downtown Columbia, MO, and features, among other things, the Blue Note and Shakespeare's Pizza.

And for Sarah, who'll be visiting California for the first time in two weeks, here are two little previews of the Mission, the neighborhood Velma and I call home! In the first one you'll see some of the great murals, our cross street, and our favorite burrito place around the corner, Pancho Villa. The first one's great, the second one's alright, it's more about local music history.

filed in: san francisco, missouri, video


"Garpenfargle" is a funny video documenting a stay-at-home dog's life on a typical afternoon. Actually, I think it may apply to Orson as well.

filed in: humor, dogs, video

amazing giant girl puppet

"The Sultan's Elephant" was performed by French street performers at the Royal de Luxe Parade celebrating the 100th anniversary of Jules Verne?s classic novel Around the World in Eighty Days. There's also a giant giraffe and an elephant that gives the girl a shower with its trunk(!), but you don't really see the animals in this video. You can see the animals in this flickr photo set.

filed in: video, art, photo

Muse rocks

filed in: music, video, humor, distractions

"The Internet's First Secure and Confidential Online Sexual History Tracker!"

CNET's Rafe Needleman on "Want to keep track of all your sexual activity? Write it down! In a book! Then lock the book in a safe..."

It's a new site where people can record (privately) their sex lives, supposedly so they can "assess their sexual behavior...and make changes in their life," according to the site's creator, Robert Ianuale.


Sweet Tarts + Sprite = chickens!

Re-envisioning Harry Potter

"Wizard People, Dear Reader is an unauthorized re-envisioning of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, by Brad Neely. To experience it, viewers need to get a copy of the first Harry Potter movie...and watch it with the sound off, replacing Neely's narration with the original soundtrack..."


Monday, September 25, 2006

22nd century buildings of the former USSR

Editor/protographer Frederic Chaubin has taken some photos of fascinating Soviet-era architecture that runs quite contrary to the stark, gray, windowless building style that was the predominant architecture erected during most of the USSR's tenure.

These buildings would actually look more at home on the cover of 1960s sci-fi paperbacks.

filed in: photo, architecture

I gotta stock up on sellotape

filed in: humor, video, cats

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Attack of the dancing Indian midget baby freaks

filed in: humor, video

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Which sci-fi crew would you best fit in?

From Quizfarm: "You scored as Serenity (Firefly). You like to live your own way and don?t enjoy when anyone but a friend tries to tell you should do different. Now if only the Reavers would quit trying to skin you."

Cool! How very apropos, since I just bought the TV series and the movie on DVD and I've been devouring episodes like there's no tomorrow.

What a great show. I hope Joss Whedon does a second movie or returns it to TV, as was rumored.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Commercial break

Sarah Silverman is teh funny.

Review: Restaurant Lulu

Note: This is my latest review on Yelp, which I include here since they unfortunately don't allow links in reviews.

Lulu's thin-crust, oven-fired pizzas are definitely on a higher plane than the hometown Sicilian-style offerings of my absolute favorite pizza restaurant, Cicero's, but Lulu is an entirely different species of restaurant after all, so to compare the two would be amoral.

But Pappy Long said to always try to do three amoral things before lunchtime, so here goes.

I ordered the asparagus pizza with prosciutto, fontina, and white truffle oil. Now, this is the sort of highfalutin fare you decidedly wouldn't see on the menu at Cicero's, which is more of a down-home, checkered-pattern-tablecloth sort of place.

Just to clarify, I like both sorts of places. As long as the pizza's good, that is.

Where Cicero's pizza is sometimes drenched in oil, Lulu's is crispy and barely oily at all. The asparagus pizza was simply delicious, better than I had imagined it might be, with the prosciutto and fontina adding just enough extra flavor to the asparagus but not masking its freshness. Where Cicero's amazing taste comes from its secret-formula sauce, Lulu's rates as nearly mouth-watering more for its interesting blend of toppings than its zestiness.

Overall, Lulu is a little pricey but definitely worth it for a special or even semi-special occasion. They also have an excellent and comprehensive selection of wines and spirits. In fact, my first time there, I noticed that they had amontillado, a sort of sherry that I had never seen in any restaurant, but I recalled from reading Edgar Allan Poe's "The Cask of Amontillado" back around the 6th grade. So of course, I had to try it.

I've eaten at Lulu two times now and my food, and that of my companions, has exceeded expectations on both occasions. The portions are not huge but they are undoubtedly delicious, and just sizable enough when coupled with bread, a little wine, and an appetizer. The pizza is $16.25 and not huge, but was decently filling.

Glancing at the other reviews by Yelpers, it seems one's experience with the service is hit-or-miss at Lulu. Ours was fine that night, and on my previous visit. But nothing special to write home about one way or another.

Lulu is related to Palo Alto's Zibibbo, which I need to try sometime.

A note to Yelper Liz S., whose one-star review begins with "The waiter opened with, 'The food is provincial. That's a part of France'. You can't say we weren't warned..." — The waiter's enunciation may be poor, but the information was accurate. S/he did not say "provincial," as you heard. S/he said "Provençal," which is the French-English adjective meaning "from Provence," the Mediterranean region of France.

filed in: food

Wha-? A Google page with pictures!

This promotion aimed at college students breaks from Google's standard (and ugly, albeit functional) non-designed web page format and actually uses photographs and *gasp* an image for header text. Must've been done by an outside agency...

Filed under: design, branding, Google

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

The never-ending list of projects

Updated October 21, 2009

Updated November 18, 2007

This is where I keep my list of personal projects I’m constantly trying to find enough time for. It’s my life’s work to perpetually juggle these. They are listed here in no particular order...
  • Update my portfolio, now that I have to start looking for a new job. Update Oct. 2009: Spent much of 2008 and early 2009 on this, and it’s pretty much done. Just need to add a few more critical projects to it. Many people have already seen it, although I haven’t launched it publicly.
  • Finish the Ozzy logo vector. Update Oct. 2009: 88% done. I already used a version of it in a design.
  • Finish the Google personal project.
  • Start that web design group blog I’ve been wanting to do for a year. Update: Registered the domain, made some designs, but haven't gotten much further. Update Oct. 2009: Since I had this idea in 2006, a plethora of great design blogs have burgeoned on the net, so this one’s getting shelved indefinitely. Might have to sell that domain though, it’s a pretty decent one.
  • Spec out the use cases and user flows for the software Jenny and I are going to make (codename: Stacks). Update Oct. 2009: This project evolved a lot and I worked on it a lot in 2008 and 2009. I evaluated several ways to do it, but decided to keep it as a smaller side project for now.
  • Make a logo/icon for Stacks. Update Oct. 2009: Done in early 2009!
  • Write web design tutorials.
  • Decide which camera to buy — Update: approaching a decision... Update: Done! Bought a Sony Cyber-shot F828 before our Mexico honeymoon last year (Dec 2006)
  • Hitchin' favors — Update: 1 down, 1 to go. Done!
  • Redesign my website/blog. Update Oct. 2009: Mostly done. See “Update my portfolio” above.
  • Convert all my CDs to MP3s. Update: Continually making progress. Update Oct. 2009: Made more progress in 2008 but had a setback in 2009 when out iTunes library became corrupt and the only was I could build it was to re-import the XML file. Unfortunately, this file doesn’t include your playlists, so we lost all those, although we recovered play counts, star ratings, and some other metadata. iTunes seems to have misplaced several tens of thousands of songs, too. They’re still on the HD, but for some reason they aren’t in the library anymore. So I have to try to fix that still.
  • Set up the Mac Mini as the home theater. Done!
  • Try out software for remotely operating iTunes.
  • Have my dad’s old slides scanned and archived, added to Flickr. Update Oct. 2009: Sent a trial batch to ScanCafe in late 2008, and was impressed enough to send the rest, which I haven’t had time to do yet. Although I just recently started organizing a batch to send off as soon as they send me a good coupon.
  • Back up all my HDs; buy a Terraserver or something. Update Oct. 2009: Bought LaCie Rugged Drives for Velma and I to do off-site backup. Set hers up but still need to do mine : \
  • Back up all my music to DVDs or something.
  • Back up all my photos to DVDs. Update Oct. 2009: Done in 2008. Need to update for 2009.
  • Buy a Mac Pro. Done!
  • Watch and sell/get rid of all my old VHS tapes; for those I want to keep, add them to my Netflix or Peerflix list. Update: Mostly because of Velma’s help, I was able to donate about half of the VHS tapes to charity.
  • Convert one-of-a-kind and hard-to-find VHS tapes to digital (forests footage, etc.).
  • Convert my personal one-of-a-kind Hi-8 tapes to digital (forests footage, protests, etc.).
  • Hang more photos at home
  • Sort through boxes.
  • Make photobooks. Update Oct. 2009: Did many, many of these in the last two years. Got rid of a ton of stuff and finally properly filed a bunch of paperwork.
  • Make personal business cards. Update: Working on some Moo cards. Update Oct. 2009: Made Moo cards. Need to do a new batch soon, now that they’ve upgraded them.
  • Re-do and convert to strict xHTML and CSS. Update Oct. 2009: Made a first design, but haven’t had time for the coding yet.
  • Implement blog on Done!
  • Check all software for updates/upgrades (should do quarterly). Update Oct. 2009: Have done about once or twice a year.
  • Back up all fonts (work and home).
  • Decide on iPhoto or iView Media Pro. Done! (Decided on iView) Update Oct. 2009: Switched to Adobe Bridge in 2008. Also started using iPhoto again in early 2009 when they added face recognition and geolocation data.
  • Buy another stackable HD for the Mini, and a spindle of CDs. Update Oct. 2009: Done!
  • Put up shelves Done! (bookcases)
  • Create a Douglas Adams fan blog that Will and I can post to. Update: Started a design but didn't have time to finish yet.
  • Fix photoblog’s browse function.
  • Fix photoblog’s comments.
  • Update to latest PixelPost version.
  • Fix Velma’s self portraits gallery for IE.
  • Write a case study about the Webshots icons.
  • Fix phone and voicemail. Update Oct. 2009: Cancelled the VOIP.
  • Convert to blog. Done!
  • as public wiki?
  • as blog?
  • Update Olya’s art website.

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"On these 16 empty acres, the terrorists are clearly, still winning"

I never watch MSNBC, but this commentary by Ken Olbermann is pretty damn good. And not just for the sentiment, which I heartily agree weith. It's a damn well crafted piece of editorial.

filed in: politics, journalism, tv

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Bike messengers in NYC are nuts

This is an insane video that shows, first-hand, what's it's like to be a bike messenger in New York.

And these guys aren't wearing helmets! WTF?

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Is the Web worth celebrating for a day?

"OneWebDay is one day a year when we all — everyone around the physical globe — can celebrate the Web and what it means to us as individuals, organizations, and communities.

As with Earth Day — an inspiration and model for OneWebDay — it's up to the celebrants to decide how to celebrate..."

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Another video inline test (this one's for Brian)

Just testing video inlining

Monday, September 04, 2006

Greenpeace cites Apple as 4th worst tech firm

Story on Mac Rumors and on