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, June 25, 2009

Thursday Top 5

Joss Whedon on Humanism
The popular writer and director of “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” and “Firefly” fame recently received the 2009 Lifetime Achievement Award in Cultural Humanism, previously awarded to people such as writer Salman Rushdie and Greg Graffin of the punk band Bad Religion. The above five-minute snippet comes from his speech which was broadcast on the Cambridge Forum, but sadly their web presence is ridiculously antiquated (they offer cassettes of their programs, so that should give you an idea). A good article on the event (with pictures) is available from the Harvard Humanist(s): Joss Whedon Slays Sold-Out Crowd.

What’s in your box of Kleenex?
Greenpeace offers a paper towel, napkin, tissue, and toilet paper buying guide that rates brands and gives data on post-consumer recycled content, overall recycled content, and whether chlorine is used to bleach the pulp. View it online, or download and print. They also have an iPhone app so you can look brands up while shopping.

Yuto Miyazawa plays “Crazy Train” on Ellen
Okay, so maybe his pronunciation of the English lyrics is not so impressive, but his guitar playing is pretty good for an nine-year old. Watch for the surprise ending. [5:59 min]

Jake and Amir
Okay, I admit it: I can’t help laughing at Jake and Amir. One of my favorite internet shows.

Little Red Riding Hood reinterpreted
In a very cool infographic style.

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Thursday, June 18, 2009

Thursday Top 5

The origin of the “Amen Break”
You’ve heard it before, probably millions of times. You just didn’t know it had a name. The “Amen Break” is a six-second drum break from a 1969 B-side by a band you likely never heard of, The Winstons. But you’ve undoubtedly heard this drum beat sampled in everything from songs (like NWA’s “Straight Outta Compton”) to DJ mixes to commercials. [18:09 min]

Views from the International Space Station
While astronaut Don Pettit was living aboard the International Space Station (ISS), he used some of his off-duty time to make time lapse videos of what he was seeing outside of the ISS window.

“Stand By Me” sung around the world
They recorded musicians around the world singing the classic song, and mixed them all together. There’s a CD of songs and a DVD documentary. [5:27 min] Learn more at

Drink Pussy
A strangely named energy drink from Italy. Gotta wonder what it tastes like. Hm...well it’s only €1,99...

Enter Kazoo Man
Metallica’s “Enter Sandman” performed on kazoo. [3:17 min] [via Jesse K.]

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Thursday, June 11, 2009

Heinlein collection = ~675

Some of my loyal readers no doubt know I collect stuff by science fiction’s Grand Master, Robert A. Heinlein (you could hardly miss the fact if you’ve been to our flat). Indeed, we have a great many books in our place, quite aside from my collection of Heinlein stuff.

Sometimes people ask us how many books we own, and we have no idea really. I thought I’d just count the Heinlein stuff first, since it would only take 15 minutes or so : )

As of June 11, 2009
  • Hardcover books (fiction) by Heinlein: 171 (including 30 leather-bound editions and 19 foreign language editions)
  • Paperback books (fiction) by Heinlein: 191
  • Hardcover collections containing fiction by Heinlein: 33
  • Paperback collections containing fiction by Heinlein: 41
  • Pulp magazines containing fiction by Heinlein: 120
  • Nonfiction books, etc. by/containing Heinlein: ~50
  • Books, articles, etc. about Heinlein: ~47
  • Related books, games, comic books, etc.: ~82
  • Audiobooks and misc. CDs: ~20
  • DVDs: 7
  • Records: 1
Total books and magazines: ~675

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Thursday Top 5

“You bastard! You’ve summoned the fail whale!”
Hilarious! This is for Velma (and anyone else) who doesn’t get the appeal of Twitter. [4:24 min]

Real-life Twitter
lol. [1:20 min]

Stephen Colbert survives a close shave in Iraq
“The Colbert Report” was broadcast live from Iraq this week, and the first show kicked off with guest Ray Odierno, Commanding General, Multi-National Force – Iraq. During the interview, President Obama dropped in via satellite and ordered General Odierno to shave Colbert’s head. [23:42 min, 3 commercials]

Food, Inc. [3:31 min]

Facebook Manners and You
Lolz, this is brilliant. Mind your Facebook manners or ya might end up in the slammer. [4:14 min]

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Thursday, June 04, 2009

What I’ve been doing (May 2009)

list #1
list #2
list #3
list #4
list #5
list #6
list #7

List #8, started May 1:
  • Had Jason and Phu over for dinner. After, we all went to Cafe Gratitude for dessert.
  • Did more laundry.
  • Updated a couple of my posts:
  • Scanned three book covers for the guy who makes high-quality reproductions of pre-1970 first edition jackets.
  • Went to Walgreens with Velma. I’ve decided that the one at 23rd and Mission is small, with a lousy selection, and is organized poorly. Meh.
  • Moved some stuff around in the kitchen and made a new place for a box to collect Tetra Pak containers for recycling.
  • Read the Wikipedia page on space elevators
  • Tried again to get a pound of kona coffee from the Park Bench Cafe. Closed again. At 3pm. With the Open sign on in the window again. WTF, damn place is always closed!
  • Had coffee and caught up with Mike from Whiskey Media.
  • Watched some videos on Flash Catalyst and Flex at Adobe Labs.
  • Talked with a recruiter from a talent agency that works exclusively with creatives,
  • Underwent an excessively long interview (4.5 hours) at a company. Had to do a lot of advance preparation too. More about that another time.
  • Went to the South Bay with Velma to take my mom out for brunch for Mothers’ Day (went to Flea St. Café, which is great), and run some errands. Also picked up a bunch of old SF pulps for a steal of a price, considering their excellent condition.
  • Watered the garden.
  • Washed lots of dishes.
  • Scanned a bunch of old prints and added as much meta data to them as I could, including asking a couple people if they knew the names of people in some of the pictures.
  • Read a bunch of articles on design, UX, technology, etc.
  • Cleaned mold out of the coffee maker since someone forgot to take the filter and used grounds out of it last time it was put away, several months ago (we normally use a single-cup funnel, generally only breaking out the bigger machine when we have party or the like).
  • Wrote a brief list of recommended improvements for CNET’s new email newsletter design (since they asked for feedback).
  • Made some more photo illustrations.
  • Went through, with Velma, our camping stuff, in preparation for a short trip.
  • Wrote out a first draft of categories, tags, and media types for one of my many side projects.
  • Researched a lot of companies for my job search.
  • Perused design patterns and trends at Elements of Design.
  • Updated my Apple ID and account and credit card settings.
  • Designed a new home page for Will probably start developing it in a month or so.
  • Updated my Technorati profile.
  • Read the online version of Getting Real, the product development book from 37 Signals.
  • Listened to Mayor Peter Drekmeier’s State of the City Address.
  • Collected more quotes for Ozark Handspun ads.
  • Went to see Ben Folds with Velma at the Fox Theater in Oakland. Damn good show.
  • Started a one-page design for another side project.
  • Did more laundry. And dishes.
  • Ate alpine strawberries from our garden.
  • Took some pictures of things we were giving away, recycling, or throwing away, which I wanted to kind of have a visual memory of.
  • Pre-ordered a bunch of new UK Hitchhiker’s editions and related books and audiobooks.
  • Organized some more files on my computer.
  • Watched Zia McCabe shaking her ass, and eat an apple, via live webcam feed while she was in the studio while DJing at W+K Radio.
  • Went on a five-day trip with Velma and Bob Merritt to Sequoia & Kings Canyon, with a 2.5-day backpacking/camping trip (a moderate one to test out whether I could carry a full backpack a year-plus after my broken clavicle).
  • Downloaded some podcasts of radio shows I’d missed.
  • Reviewed wireframes, did some industry research, and sketched some logo ideas for a potential new client project.
  • Put our DVDs back in order after someone mixed them all up.
  • Went to a meeting with a former co-worker who wanted some design help.
  • Had coffee with former co-worker Anne M.
  • Had lunch with Peter Drekmeier.
  • Went to a meeting with another former co-worker about a project.
  • Went to see Star Trek at an early show on a weekday.
  • Gave some quick design advice to a former co-worker on a postcard she designed for her business.
  • Took my mom, with Velma, out to dinner for her birthday, at the Beach Chalet in San Francisco.
  • Made another web design for a side project.
  • Kept this list, added links to it, and posted it.

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Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Thursday Top 5+2

Last night of “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno”
I haven’t watched Leno for years, and he was never my favorite, as I preferred the wacky ’80s and early ’90s era of Letterman, but Leno’s not bad at all. Last week was his final night on “The Tonight Show” before Conan takes over the reins in L.A., so I decided to watch it for history’s sake. They did about ten minutes of “Jaywalking,” the man-on-the street comedy segment where he just asks simple questions of normal, everyday Americans on the streets of L.A. (assuming there is such a thing in L.A., I suppose), such as “Who was the first president of the United States?”. This segment has always struck me as funny and excrutiatingly painful at the same time, as it shows just how terribly stupid Americans are. Worse yet, on this last show Jay tells us that they don’t even have to work hard to compile the funniest/dumbest moments after each outing. They only go out for about an hour, he says, they talk to a dozen or so people, and they use nine or so. That means over half the citizens of the republic are so retarded they can’t tell you which countries border on the U.S. or name any of the Founding Fathers. Oh, cry for our future! [43:29, 5 commercials]

First night of “The Tonight Show with Conan O’Brien”
Meanwhile, across town at the Universal Studios lot, the finishing touches have been put on a new studio for Conan, who took over the reins from Leno the very next week. Andy Richter returns as the show announcer, Max Weinberg and the band now get to call themselves The Tonight Show Band, and Conan was in fine form for his first time hosting the legendary show that’s been around since 1954. Musical Guest was Pearl Jam. [43:31, 5 commmercials]

Schwarzenegger answers real people’s questions
The member communities of’s iReport and Digg Dialogg teamed up to interview CA Governator Arnold Schwarzenegger on May 27. In an unusual example of democracy, the Republican actor-turned-guv answers questions posed by and voted on by the Digg and iReport users. Showing a little more moxie than even the traditional press can sometimes muster, there were a few hard-charging queries, leading off with “Do you support same-sex marriage and do you think the GOP should become more gay-friendly?” Of course, there were some softies too, like “Does the term ‘Governator’ bother you?” All questions and video here [30:31 min].

BART swingers
Apparently a few weeks ago somebody surreptitiously installed swings on a BART train. And thus the fun did ensue. More pics...

New Yorker cover created on an iPhone
Artist Jorge Colombo painted the cover illustration using the Brushes app on his iPhone.

Beatles come to Rock Band
Apparently Microsoft has been able to make inroads where Apple hasn’t, since the two remaining Beatles and the widows of the other two members joined various tech and gaming notables to announce that the Beatles are coming to Rock Band this fall. The animation sequence at the beginning is cool enough to merit watching in HD, but the rest of the long presentation isn’t probably interesting to you unless you’re into gaming. I watched the whole thing, though, and as a non-gamer I’m always impressed at the continually-improving, nearly-cinematic quality of the visuals in today’s games. In fact, if you’re really into seeing where the entertainment and social media technology is going in the next few years, there are some pretty amazing things unveiled in the last 25 minutes or so; look for Steven Spielberg’s appearance to tip you off.

“We Didn’t Start the Flame War”
Warning: nsfw. Gotta hand it to the CollegeHumor folks, they nail the ridiculousness of the internets (including self-satire) in this one. [2:44 min]

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