california san francisco tech


Steve Jobs on the floor of his apartment

baseball ixd web

Halladay's no-no over the Internet airwaves

Yes­ter­day after­noon I watched Roy Hal­la­day's no-no on the Hot Cor­ner, which is Major League Baseball's con­ces­sion to the Inter­net. The Hot Cor­ner allows you to choose a sin­gle cam­era angle from which to watch the game, which has the advan­tage of show­ing you stuff you might not see in the mul­ti-cam­era, fre­quent-cut-away tele­vised expe­ri­ence. The down­side is that you miss every­thing that hap­pens out­side of that sin­gle cam­era frame, which, as it turns out, is a lot. When Hal­la­day was pitch­ing, I chose the angle that kept the cam­era on his face the entire time, and this time I didn't miss much because every sin­gle impor­tant moment hap­pened right there. You could sense (not "see" exact­ly) the flow that Hal­la­day was in; the announc­ers kept remark­ing on how "calm" he looked, but it wasn't calm­ness as much as it was qui­et, focused intensity.

DocThe final out.

The New Yorker's Roger Angell even men­tions the flow in a blog entry about the game:

Pitch­ing his no-hit, 4–0 mas­ter­piece against the Cincin­nati Reds last night, the Phillies’ ace Roy Hal­la­day restored the smooth­ing, almost sym­phon­ic sense of plea­sure that lies with­in the spare num­bers and wait­ing pos­si­bil­i­ties of every ball­game. Even from a dis­tance, at home again in your squalid liv­ing-room loge, you felt some­thing spe­cial this time about the flow of pitch­es, balls and (most­ly) strikes, the inex­orably approach­ing twen­ty-sev­enth man retired …

And of course the Philly fans were deeply engaged through­out the game. In the lat­er innings, each strike was cheered, and Reds bat­ters received hearty, cas­cad­ing boos each time they asked for time to try to dis­rupt Halladay's rhythm.Red doctoberThis guy brought the right sign to the game.

The remain­der of the post-sea­son will have to be pret­ty remark­able to out-shine this unique achieve­ment. (And I per­son­al­ly hope that the Giants are up for it).

bikes visual

The rider completes the bike

Shinya KimuraShinya Kimu­ra is a cus­tom motor­cy­cle builder, and the sub­ject of a beau­ti­ful short pro­file on YouTube.

bikes california

Only worn when mobbin'

Scraperbike - Oakland

So I was catch­ing up with the haps in my new city today on Berke­ley­side, and I noticed a ref­er­ence to yet anoth­er cool thing that orig­i­nat­ed in Oak­land. No, it's not turf danc­ing, or whis­tle tips, or ghost rid­ing, or even hyphy. It's scrap­er­bikes, old beat­ers total­ly tricked out with col­or­ful, cheap, home­spun dec­o­ra­tions. Not only are they cool-look­ing, the scraper crew wrote some by-laws to keep it all legit:

In order to become a mem­ber of the Orig­i­nal Scraper Bike Team, you must: Be a res­i­dent of Oak­land, CA. Be at least 7y/o or old­er. Retain A 3.0 Grade Point Aver­age (GPA), Cre­ate your own Scraper Bike…(It Has To Be Amaz­ing, Or Else You Can't Ride.) A sin­gle-file line when rid­ing. After 10 rides The Scraper Bike King and his Cap­tains will decide if your bike is up to stan­dards and if you can fol­low sim­ple guide­lines. After your eval­u­a­tion we will con­sid­er you a mem­ber and hon­or you with an Orig­i­nal Scraper Bike Team Shirt. Only worn when Mobbin'.

The above quote, and the still are from a beau­ti­ful short movie called Scrap­er­town by Zackary Canepari & Drea Coop­er, which you should def­i­nite­ly watch for the sheer awe­some cam­er­a­work alone. They have a series of love­ly videos about Cal­i­for­nia called Cal­i­for­nia is a place, also worth check­ing out.

bikes california new york san francisco

Why does cycling in SF suck more now than in 1994?

Cycling seems more dan­ger­ous, more has­sle-filled, and gen­er­al­ly more aggro than when I moved here. Why? Maybe it's me. I moved to Berke­ley recent­ly, and I'm pret­ty close to hav­ing a lawn that I can tell kids to get off of. Maybe it's that the city has changed a lot. There are more cyclists, more peo­ple in gen­er­al (60,000!) and more den­si­ty, espe­cial­ly down­town. On the oth­er hand, there are more bike lanes and sig­nage, and there's more bike aware­ness among the pedes­tri­an and motorist pop­u­la­tions. You'd think that more cyclists + more cycling aware­ness + more cycling accom­mo­da­tion would have result­ed in some kind of net improve­ment, but it hasn't. Pedes­tri­ans seem more antag­o­nis­tic to bikes; motorists of all types are much more antag­o­nis­tic; and some of my fel­low cyclists seem to be the most antag­o­nis­tic of all. Why?Felix Salmon has writ­ten a real­ly inter­est­ing, and wide­ly quot­ed, "uni­fied the­o­ry" of cycling that touch­es on what I think is the heart of it all: That most cyclists think they're pedes­tri­ans, when we're actu­al­ly more like motorists.

Bikes can and should behave much more like cars than pedes­tri­ans. They should ride on the road, not the side­walk. They should stop at lights, and pedes­tri­ans should be able to trust them to do so. They should use lights at night. And — of course, duh — they should ride in the right direc­tion on one-way streets. None of this is a ques­tion of being polite; it's the law. But in stark con­trast to motorists, near­ly all of whom fol­low near­ly all the rules, most cyclists seem to treat the rules of the road as strict­ly option­al. They're still in the human-pow­ered mind­set of pedes­tri­ans, who feel pret­ty much com­plete­ly uncon­strained by rules.

I real­ly agree with this. I don't know how to make it so, and I'm real­ly not a law-and-order type. But I think that agree­ing to fol­low the rules of the road would do a lot to make us all more pre­dictable. Also, I'd like to add: Pass on the freakin left.

kansas city music

HTML5 disturbingly close to bringing a tear to my eye

Aw, man. It just got a lit­tle dusty in my office at Coop­er. See­ing my old child­hood home in Lea­wood, Kansas will do that, espe­cial­ly when the Arcade Fire pro­vides the sound­track and when Google engi­neers work with a music video direc­tor to cre­ate the experience.

8710 Lee Blvd - Wilderness downtown

The pho­to above is from an "inter­ac­tive video" called "The Wilder­ness Down­town," and it's actu­al­ly as tech­no­log­i­cal­ly inter­est­ing as it is emo­tion­al­ly-provoca­tive. (It's espe­cial­ly emo if the Google Maps satel­lite imagery from your home looks appro­pri­ate­ly old and nos­tal­gic; see image above). Any­way, it's referred to as an "exper­i­ment" with Google's Chrome brows­er, which is prob­a­bly why, at times, it start­ed to feel like a show­case of whizzy HTML5 ele­ments — win­dows get launched and shuf­fled around; you're asked to scrib­ble on the screen; graph­ics are ani­mat­ed and lay­ered. I don't know, maybe I'm just the right mix of cheese­ball and geek, but it kind of worked for me.


Something which can last

There's a great three-minute account of a meet­ing with Borges. About the life of an artist, he says:

The task of art is to trans­form what is con­tin­u­ous­ly hap­pen­ing to us, to trans­form all these things into sym­bols, into music, into some­thing which can last in man's mem­o­ry … as the years go by, if the stars are on your side, you may dis­cov­er that you are at the cen­ter of a vast cir­cle of invis­i­ble friends whom you will nev­er get to know but who love you. And that is an immense reward.

cinema comedy

The best heckle ever?

Via The Times:

Kirk Dou­glas had a son, the lit­tle-remem­bered Eric Dou­glas, who was an actor and stand-up come­di­an. He once came over to the UK to do some gigs and inad­ver­tent­ly cre­at­ed one of British comedy's finest leg­ends. Eric wasn't hav­ing a great gig at a Lon­don club; he was going down the pan. His open­ing line, I seem to remem­ber, focused on the fact that he lacked the cleft in his chin pos­sessed by both his father and broth­er. The audi­ence was not in the least inter­est­ed. Their indif­fer­ence even­tu­al­ly over­whelmed him and he final­ly shout­ed: "Do you know who I am? I'm Kirk Douglas's son!" The room looked on in silence, then some­one in the audi­ence stood up and said: "No, I'm Kirk Douglas's son." He was swift­ly fol­lowed by sev­er­al more. With­in sec­onds, the entire audi­ence was on their feet, all claim­ing to be Kirk Douglas's son, in a pitch-per­fect par­o­dy of the scene in Spar­ta­cus. That, by anyone's stan­dards, is a tough gig.

Read on: A nice dis­cus­sion of the dark side of heck­ling going on at The Guardian.

basketball flickr politics



There's an inti­ma­cy in this that so res­onates with me. I mean, it's impos­si­ble to imag­ine that I wouldn't be charmed by the sub­ject mat­ter alone — a Pres­i­dent I great­ly admire, plus two NBA play­ers. But this moment is espe­cial­ly great, because I love Der­rick Rose's game and I will always appre­ci­ate that he OD'd on can­dy before the 2008 NCAA Final with Kansas. And I admire Joakim Noah's grit­ty post play and his seri­ous media game. And I love that there's gen­uine emo­tion in this shot. It has got a lit­tle bit of stagey-ness, but it also feels, like I said, inti­mate, like the pho­tog­ra­ph­er took this pho­to and emailed it to me, and said: "You'd appre­ci­ate this."


They don't think it be like it is, but it do.

Oscar Gamble - Glorious afro

All this time, I thought the best thing about Oscar Gam­ble was his epic afro. But now I've learned that the title of this post is said to have orig­i­nat­ed from Gam­ble dur­ing a dis­cus­sion of the 1975 Yan­kees; those were the ear­ly days of George Steinbrenner's tenure, and the first of Bil­ly Martin's five man­age­r­i­al stints. And yeah, Gamble's assess­ment sounds about right to me. (I first saw it in the com­ments sec­tion of an excel­lent post by Joe Pos­nan­s­ki, which is worth read­ing for the wealth of sports quotes).