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, March 18, 2010

Thursday Top 5

New York Times: Tainted Tap Water
Thirty-five years after Congress passed the Safe Drinking Water Act, some regulators and environmentalists say the law is now so out of date that it fails to protect people from the most obvious threats. The NY Times has been reporting on water issues for a long time now in the series Toxic Waters. More:

Title of Video
Attempt at droll humor.

Kinderwette Star Wars
I thought Japan had the lock on weird TV game shows, but apparently Germany is vying for the title.

Daniel Tammet: The Boy With The Incredible Brain
From “15 Real Life SuperHeroes with Extra-ordinary Abilities.”

The Future of Publishing
Book publisher DK on the dialog surrounding the future of their industry. [via Aaron N.]

The weekly Thursday Top 5 lists the five most notable, interesting, funny, outrageous, cool, or simply strange things of the week. It is intended for distractionary purposes only. Do not take orally. If ingested, seek a doctor’s advice. If you like it, share it with others, or check out the long list of previous entries.

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Thursday, March 11, 2010

Thursday Top 5+5

My Internet connection was down for almost nine days so I’m a bit behind in posting this Top 5. To make up for it, here’s an extra helping of interestingness, lols, and shenanigans.

TED Talks: Juan Enriquez shares mindboggling science
This is why I love science. “Even as mega-banks topple, Juan Enriquez says the big reboot is yet to come. But don’t look for it on your ballot — or in the stock exchange. It’ll come from science labs, and it promises keener bodies and minds. Our kids are going to be...different.”

Captain Kirk deals with a strange alien culture

Adam Carolla Project, Episode 1
I miss Adam.

Céleste Boursier-Mougenot at Barbican Centre, London
Very interesting art installation. Olya will like this one. I bet she’s never seen such musical birds before. [via Jason]

Time Traveling Geek

Dry ice bubble
Fun with science! [via Jason]

Tales Of Mere Existence, “God”

Dante’s Inferno
Amusing review: A scholar of medieval literature wonders if feminists wrote the video game Dante’s Inferno.

On the Media: Facing the (Free) Music
This was a really great OTM on the state of the music business (MP3 available): “For 10 years, music execs have waged a war against digital file sharing — and software like Napster and websites like The Pirate Bay — which have decimated the industry’s profits. But recently, there are signs from Europe that the battle over free music may be changing.” I haven’t mention it in a while, but this is one of my two favorite radio programs; I hate to miss an episode and often listen to them twice.

Top 10 funniest books according to the British
Abebooks asked their UK customers to name their favorites, and now I’m going to have to add some of these to my Wish List.

The weekly Thursday Top 5 lists the five most notable, interesting, funny, outrageous, cool, or simply strange things of the week. It is intended for distractionary purposes only. Do not take orally. If ingested, seek a doctor’s advice. If you like it, share it with others, or check out the long list of previous entries.

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Thursday, January 07, 2010

Thursday Top 5

The Boston Globe’s 2009 in Photos on The Big Picture
I’ve posted this amazing news photoblog before, but their year-end round-up is always especially astounding.

Beatles 3000
What were the Beatles really like? [via Jenny]

A nifty web app for daily to-do lists.

Carl Sagan, “A Glorious Dawn” featuring Stephen Hawking (Cosmos Remixed)
The PBS show “Cosmos” was one of my favorite things to watch with my dad when I was young. This remix just makes it 100x awesomer.

Romance Reader, Unashamed
Daily Kos contributor Laura Clawson examines the myths about romance novels (many of which I held until recently; and some of which I’m still having a teensy bit of trouble disavowing, but mostly just to tweak Velma).

The weekly Thursday Top 5 lists the five most notable, interesting, funny, outrageous, cool, or simply strange things of the week. It is intended for distractionary purposes only. Do not take orally. If ingested, seek a doctor’s advice. If you like it, share it with others, or check out the long list of previous entries.

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Thursday, July 30, 2009

Thursday Top 5

Cory Doctorow’s Makers is serializing Corey Doctorow’s upcoming new novel before its November release, with a new installment every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday morning.

This art is junk
Literally. Artists Tim Noble and Sue Webster make shadow art out of piles of trash.

NPR Road Trip station finder
NPR has relaunched a redesigned site and there are lots of improvements and new features. One I like is the ability to find NPR stations for a road trip, plotting between two points. You can also find local stations and the map gives you an indication of their signal strength in the area. They haven’t redone the NPR Shop or the Music section yet, but the overhaul of rest of the site must’ve been a tremendous project and I suspect the other two sections will come in time.

“The Trooper Believer” by DJ Schmolli
Austrian DJ/remixer DJ Schmolli has mashed up of Iron Maiden’s “The Trooper” with The Monkees’ “I’m A Believer.” [via Dave W.]

Do you know what your official state fossil is?
This really should be on the SAT.

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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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Saturday, May 16, 2009

And Another Thing book cover released

Here’s the first look at the book cover for the forthcoming And Another Thing, by Eoin Colfer, the 6th book in The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy trilogy, due from Hyperion in October (pre-order from Amazon).

The actual books probably won’t have Colfer’s signature on it like this picture. I think the original pictured here was an early version of the artwork, signed by Colfer himself. The covers seen on and don’t have the signature, and have slightly different typography.

Scanned from issue 112 of “Mostly Harmless,” the newsletter of ZZ9 Plural Z Alpha, the Douglas Adams fan club.

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Thursday, April 23, 2009

Thursday Top 5

Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody” played by old computer parts
The maker says there was not sampling or effects used.

Japanese Olympics
Featuring awesome low-fi 3D effects.

Punk Kittens
My favorite new cover band. And then there’s this one.

The Lord of the Rings re-read
Kate Nepveu’s re-reading the entirety of The Lord of the Rings and writing about them on

San Francisco Center for the Book
Awesome. I didn’t know they have letterpress printing classes!

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Thursday, April 02, 2009

Thursday Top 5

Youngme Nowme
A thread full of photos of people posed the same way, then and now.

Think Taste — Not Waste!
My friend Laura Stec is featured on MSN’s Health & Fitness channel in this article and short video. She shows a quick tip for making soup stock from the detritus of your cooking chores, using mushroom stalks, pepper “skeletons,” carrot peelings, and more. This “food waste,” which you might otherwise throw in the garbage, causes our nation’s landfills to output more harmful methane (a climate-disruptive greenhouse gas like carbon dioxide) than all the livestock in the U.S. Buy Laura Stec’s book, it’s great!

San Francisco Bay Model
Velma and I were thinking of going to see this last weekend since we were going to explore Sausalito a bit, but it’s only open until 4pm on Saturdays, so it’ll have to be another trip. The walk-through hydraulic model takes up two buildings and is apparently the size of two football fields. According to the guy in the video, it was built by the Army Corps of Engineers in the 1950s to test an idea they had to dam the bay. I once saw an old map of another Army Corps concept they had in the ’50s or ’60s, to fill the entire bay with landfill except for a narrow shipping channel. Communities could then build all the way into the middle of the bay. I shudder to think of the Bay Area we would live in today if that had been allowed to happen. [3:51min] More about the Bay Model (yes, their site is awful).

Neverland on the Block: Inside the Michael Jackson Auction
Michael Jackson’s Neverland is going up for auction. Rolling Stone has pictures of some of the creepy stuff for sale.

Interview with sci-fi author John Scalzi
I really enjoyed his book The Ghost Brigades, and I really enjoyed this interview too. It starts with this intro by interviewer Jason Henninger: “John Scalzi’s Old Man’s War took me by surprise. I picked up the book because I’d heard a lot of good things about him and decided I’d give it a one-page tryout. Either he’d grip me right away or I’d drop it. Twenty pages later I realized I hadn’t moved from the spot. OK, John. Grip achieved.”

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Thursday, March 26, 2009

Thursday Top 5

TED Talks: Bill Stone: Journey to the center of the Earth...and beyond!
Stone goes to the depths of the Earth, and the reaches of the sky. 17:43min

Forbidden Lego
A book featuring a candy catapult, a continuous-fire ping-pong ball launcher, and more. More about Forbidden Lego: Build the Models Your Parents Warned You Against!.

Please Fix the iPhone
Hate that you can’t X with your pricey Apple gadget? Ask for it here, or just peruse what other people want changed/added/fixed.

Iron Maiden, “The Trooper” (cover) By Gauchos
I love the little headbangin’ girl! lol! She has her own mic, but I think it’s a flashlight : )

Nerd Merit Badges
There’s no way I’m every going to earn the Inbox Zero badge.

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Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Terrible news: Stacey’s Bookstore in SF to close in March

SFGate reports that the 85-year-old store on Market near 2nd has taken a severe hit with the latest plunge in the economy, on top of a 50% drop in sales since 2001.

I’m very sad about this. I used to shop almost every week at the Stacey’s in Cupertino when I lived in the South Bay, and I was bummed when they had to close that location years ago. I shopped all the time at the SF location once I moved up here, in part because it was only a few blocks from where I worked, but also because they have a great selection of magazines and design books, the two things I buy most of.

I buy a lot of stuff from Amazon, so some might call me a hypocrite. But I buy a lot of books and a lot of my magazines at independent local bookstores. And anyone who’s been to my house knows I have a lot of books.

Here are my top local (San Francisco) fave bookstores, in no particular order:

Stacey’s Bookstore
581 Market Street, near 2nd
Great selection of magazines and design books, plus one of the best selections of computer/technical books. Stacey’s is large, clean, and well organized, and I will miss it a great deal.

Alexander Book Co.
50 2nd Street, near Market
It’s easy to miss this store if you don’t know it’s there, but they have a fantastic selection of graphic design books, maybe the best in the Bay Area, probably because they cater to students at the nearby Academy of Art University. Design books are pricey, typically being $35 to $55. I try not to go here too often ; )

Borderlands Books
866 Valencia Street, near 20th Street
This place only has sci-fi, fantasy, horror etc., with some graphic novels and a small selection of DVDs. I buy a lot of science fiction here and sometimes get really good recommendations from the staff. They carry some used but mostly new.

Modern Times
888 Valencia Street, near 20th Street
Full of leftist propaganda and I love it for that. Modern Times has a brilliant selection of progressive books on everything you can imagine, and it’s my go-to place to get the Slingshot organizer for Olya.

Dog Eared Books
900 Valencia Street, at 20th Street
I occasionally buy a used book here, but mostly I like Dog Eared’s selection of graphic novels and their terrific variety of outsider art books.

Aardvark Books
227 Church Street, near Market
I don’t get to this place very often but when I’m in the Castro I try to drop in here for a look through their big, round table in the front of the store featuring a ton of used graphic novels, comics, and art books. Most are in very good condition.

Adobe Books
3166 16th Street, near Valencia
I like this funky used bookstore but it’s really hard to find anything worthwhile in the mess of unorganized stacks of books. I usually take a quick look in the two or three sections I regularly peruse (art, photo, and sci-fi) when I’m waiting for my Pakwan takeout order to be ready. One of the coolest things I saw in 2004 was when a local artist was allowed to rearrange all the books by color for a couple months.

Please go support your local independent bookstore!

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Thursday, November 06, 2008

Thursday Top 5

Jetpack Dreams
Trailer for a book.

Shatner–Hasselhoff ’08
I shoulda voted for these guys instead.

Interesting ad for a bank
Featuring treesitters.

Imapatient Texas cop tazes a woman in 45 seconds
Is he a bigot, a bad cop, or just having a bad day? Trick question. Those attributes are not mutually exclusive. Yet another example of why people distrust cops.

Funny Graduation Musical Speech
I wish the speech at my graduation had been half as creative as this.

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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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Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Hitchin’ site featured in a new book

Just in time for our anniversary (well, a day late, since it was yesterday), I received this book in the mail today. Before we got hitched in 2006, Velma and I created a custom wedding site, Mark & Velma’s Hitchin’ Party.

It was featured on a bunch of CSS design galleries, and now it’s in The Web Designer’s Idea Book. Get your copy from Amazon.

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