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years after Congress passed the Safe Drinking Water Act, some regulators and environmentalists say the law is now so out of date that it fails to protect people from the most obvious threats.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, July 09, 2009

Thursday Top 5

This is a really interesting and well produced video on design strategy, made by product design firm Continuum in LA. I couldn’t embed so you’ll have to go to their site to view it.

Street Sweeper Social Club, “100 Little Curses”
I guess I haven’t been paying attention, because I didn’t know Tom Morello and Boots Riley started a band called Street Sweeper Social Club. Pretty good song. Article Skimmer
A quick and easy way to browse the news.

Laser Tag
The Graffiti Research Lab brings you erasable graffiti.

Possibly the best complaint letter ever
A passenger on a Virgin Atlantic flight from Mumbai to London wasn’t exactly thrilled with the in-flight meal, so s/he wrote a letter to Chairman Richard Branson: “...You don’t get to a position like yours Richard with anything less than a generous sprinkling of observational power so I KNOW you will have spotted the tomato next to the two yellow shafts of sponge on the left...”

The weekly Thursday Top 5 lists the five most 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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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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Thursday, May 28, 2009

Thursday Top 5

Quimby The Mouse by Chris Ware
An animated short produced for the recent “This American Life – Live!” broadcast. Best viewed in fullscreen mode. [3:30 min]

Bill O’Reilly Flips Out
Who ever said Bill O’Rielly has anger management issues? I guess he’s not a Sting fan.

Bathtub IV
A video using the tilt shift photography technique which makes the subject look like miniatures models. Combined with timing that makes it look like stop-frame animation, this makes a particularly interesting short film. Watch it in fullscreen, it’s really cool.

GoodGuide is a recommendation service focused on “safe, healthy, and green products.” It will tell you what chemicals are in your toothpaste, or if your socks are made with sweatshop labor. There’s an iPhone app as well, so you can check on items when you’re out shopping.

E Magazine’s Earth Talk column
The site’s design is atrocious, but this has long been one of the most informative columns around. It’s a Q&A format, so you send in an environmental question and their experts track down the answers for you, almost always in great depth. Very informative.

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Thursday, February 05, 2009

Thursday Top 5+1

Coraline trailer and two behind-the-scenes clips
Velms, this opens this weekend. Let’s go see it!

“The Obama Moment”
Next Agenda’s Peter Leyden gives a TED-style talk about the dramatic historical, technological, and demographic changes that are occurring in our lifetime, and how he believes they are affecting the current (and future) political landscape. It’s an hour long, but very interesting. My favorite quote, when he’s talking about how we are armed today with all the knowledge and technology needed to solve the world’s problems: “If you would have told Franklin Roosevelt or Churchill...that we’re going to give you a machine that you put in not just your desk, but your hand, and you can ask it any question in the world and get back all the world’s related information in a second, they would have said, ‘That’s magic!’. And we just call it Google.” The most appalling thing I learned: According to Leyden, Generation X (sadly, that includes me) is politically more conservative than the Boomers. Ugh, I think I may go barf.

“Blame Us”
San Francisco magazine asked a round-table of Bay Area progressive political figures to comment on the impact of the high tech and outside-the-Beltway influences on the Obama campaign. As usual from this publication, it’s perhaps a bit over the top in its self-importance, but an interesting article nonetheless. Those quoted include Craigslist’s Craig Newmark, DailyKos’s Markos Moulitsas, MoveOn founders Joan Blades and Wes Boyd, and founder David Talbot.

Microsoft is um, going for what market here? Bad singers? [via Jason]

Weezer’s “Buddy Holly” remixed through Microsoft Songsmith
So. Very. Bad. There are a ton of these on YouTube if you really want to torture yourself.

The Future of News: How to Survive the New Media Shift
“News organizations cannot continue to ignore the global shift from institutionally controlled media to user controlled media. They have to redefine their processes and face the obvious question: Do we still need old media for news?...”

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Thursday, January 29, 2009

Thursday Top 5

The Times Machine
See the New York Times from any day between 1851 and 1922. Includes scans of all pages of the newspaper, and links to full-page PDFs.

The redhead on “marriage”
This is still one of my favorite posts on the subject of marriage.

Holiday Inn makes you smart?

1958 episode of the Bell Telephone Hour, “The Unchained Goddess”

Naive New Beaters “Live Good”
There are still some inventive music videos being made.

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Thursday, January 08, 2009

Thursday Top 5

The Website is Down

MacBook Wheel
The new shiny from MacWorld 2009.

Shepard Fairey profile by Time magazine
Fairey created an iconic Obama poster and sticker early in the campaign, and another Fairey portrait was chosen to appear on Time’s Person of the Year cover.

The Blue School
The three original members of the Blue Man Group have started a preschool. More from Time magazine.

The Big Picture: The year 2008 in photographs
I’ve linked to The Boston Globe’s awesome large-format photoblog before. These three links contain their round-up of some of the most stunning news photos from 2008: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3.

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