Buzz Beast

We just got a new blog follower of FIWK, so I looked at Buzz Beast to see what their blog is all about. It's a pretty cool site. They use the Google Blogger back end but have a custom url at and I like the slickness and color of the blog layout. They also have a recent comments section, like we do.

The site focuses on cool product design, which is a blog topic covered by Caitlin, among others. For instance, Buzz Beast just featured a post about the design of the new Facebook office, which is a topic we recently discussed on FIWK.

How awesome? So awesome

One of my favorite regular sites to visit is Penny Arcade. It's a web comic mostly about video games and game culture. In addition to the comics, which are enjoyable on their own merits, the writing is really sharp and consistently comical from a language standpoint.

I also love the basic themes that always reappear: the intricacies of nerd culture and a general apprehension of all things popular culture.

One of the phrases turned by Jerry Holkins (the language half of the creative team - Mike Krahulik does the art) several years ago appears in the below comic: the phrase "How awesome? So awesome". I use it on a regular basis now and I've seen it creep into regular use in many places since then. As a general fan of language, I find it interesting to watch the evolution and adoption of a turn of phrase into the general cultural lexicon. Any examples of this phenomen that you've witnessed?

Tuesday Morning Crabtree Watch - 9/27

I started this last week; again, here are Crabtree's current options:
  1. Sign with the San Francisco 49ers
  2. Sign with some other NFL franchise
  3. Hold out and re-enter the 2010 NFL draft

Business Week: The World's Best Cities to Live In

Since I never get tired of geography rankings like this, here are the Top 30 Best Cities to Live In according to a survey passed along by Business Week.

The official BW title is "The World's Best Places to Live," but since they only ranked big cities I think that's a misnomer. As far as rankings go this list actually kind of sucks - I have no idea what their criteria are, so it's impossible to say if they've chosen well or not. You might as well call this the "top 30 cities in Germany and Scandinavia, with a few other places thrown in" because that's basically all that's on here. And I mean, weather obviously can't be a big factor, cause how did so many relatively cold-weather places get on here? Isn't "not freezing to death" high on these rankers' priorities? Anyway what would you rank as your top places to try living for, say, a year?

The Dutch like the bathroom more than sex

A recent poll revealed that the Dutch enjoy dropping a deuce more than they like getting it on, as passed along by That tickled me. Here's my question - I spent about 30 minutes trying to think of the best way to phrase that... what's the best you can come up with?

Week 3 NFL Picks early look

My roommate leaves for Vegas in a few days and I want to send him off with some picks. Below are the lines as of Wednesday, 9/23. I've bolded the ones I think have potential, help me flesh out the best picks

Washington @ Detroit 6.5
Green Bay @ St. Louis 6.5
Minnesota vs San Francisco 7.0
New England vs Atlanta 4.0
New York (NYJ) vs Tennessee 2.5
Philadelphia vs Kansas City Off (0)
New York (NYG) @ Tampa Bay 6.5
Baltimore vs Cleveland 13.5
Houston vs Jacksonville 4.0
New Orleans @ Buffalo 6.0
Chicago @ Seattle 2.0
Pittsburgh @ Cincinnati 4.0
Denver @ Oakland 1.5
San Diego vs Miami 6.0
Arizona vs Indianapolis 2.5
Dallas vs Carolina 9.0

Frankfurt Auto Show Highlights

Business Week put up some good slideshows of the Frankfurt Auto Show highlights in addition to the coolest concept cars on display both there and via production photos. The Frankfurt, Germany show seemed to have a lot of carmakers showing off electric cars, a topic we've covered, as well as variants of production-minded green cars. These green cars are interesting to me because they appear to satisfy my wish for cooler eco-friendly cars that add economy to good car design.

How Do We Crush It? F*ck if we know...

Grace Boyle has posted an interesting contest related to the new book by Gary Vaynerchuk titled Crush It: Why Now is the Time to Cash In On Your Passion (full disclosure: I've already ordered the book on Amazon but it hasn't shipped yet). We of course remember Gary Vee from his antics on Wine Library TV and his social media thoughts. Here is the prompt that Gary lays down for Grace:

"Take this quote from Gary in Crush It: “Skills are cheap, passion is priceless,” and write a blog post about how you’re crushing it, your dreams to crush it, and what this phrase means to you.

But what to do if you lack skills and passion? Every single 'personal branding expert' will advise you to pick a single topic, be really passionate about it, and then proclaim that you are an expert in that subject. Well, our whole premise is that we just talk about stuff we find interesting, with no discernible focus or expertise. Hence the self-conscious blog title. But maybe we're actually crushing it by just doing what we feel because we like it, critics (and readership) be damned?

Music Tuesdays at Smile Like You Mean It

Speaking of running blog series, Caitlin (we call her C-Mac) over at Smile Like You Mean It consistently drops some good music links on Tuesdays. Today she has offered up 'We Are the People' by Empire of the Sun. Last week was a gem by Marina and the Diamonds called 'The Outsider'. Incidentally, that song shares the same name as one of my favorite songs by A Perfect Circle:

Chip Kelly is a class act's Hot Clicks directed me to this blog with a story of an Oregon fan who traveled to watch the Boise State game, and was so disappointed he sent an invoice to Oregon's head coach, Chip Kelly, which he paid.

Tuesday Morning Crabtree Watch - 9/22

Here's a new "feature" I'll try to comment on throughout the season - Michael Crabtree's current 'options' in the NFL:
  1. Sign with the San Francisco 49ers
  2. Sign with some other NFL franchise
  3. Hold out and re-enter the 2010 NFL draft

The sale of

Last week the personal finances website was sold for $170 million to Intuit. The company was started by Aaron Patzer, age 25 at the time, who discusses his entrepreneurship in an interview with Patzer and remind me of the entrepreneurship of Facebook which we just discussed. But unlike Facebook, sold its business after two years where as FB appears to be angling to be "the next Google" - a supergiant, hands-in-everything internet platform.

NFL Week 2 Picks

To drop a a second link to Simmons' NFL picks column I want to talk about the actual games this week. Three are particularly tough to call:
Bucs (+5) over BILLS
Saints (PK) over EAGLES
Ravens (+3.5) over CHARGERS

Who you picking in these games?

Why hold cash when you can Twitpay?

I just heard of Twitpay via CNBC, and then found this post on the interwebs, and find the concept fascinating!

Aight, Dawg

It's official: Steve Smith is the Anti-Terrell Owens. Hat-tip to Sports Guy for the video link, which was fascinating to watch because
A) of the way Steve Smith offers unqualified support to not one, but two teammates - even encouraging DeAngelo Williams to "bomb on me" to vent his anger. I didn't even know that "bomb on me" was an learned something today.
B) of the half-dozen plays shown (in whole or in part), including 3 interceptions, Smith never stops hustling. He's like Rip Hamilton, only if Rip was allowed to tackle opposing players after turning the ball over. Again, fascinating to see, which is both an encouraging & a sad statement on the work ethic of the modern NFL.
C) what you see at the end of that video is about eleventy billion times more genuine than Terrell's lame Rod Tidwell imitation.
Great players are hard enough to come by; finding a great player who's also a great teammate is even harder, so the Panthers should count themselves lucky that they have # 89 on their side week in and week out.

$150 > $50M

Just cause I found this awesome and haven't posted in a while: found this Wired article the other day about a group of MIT students who took the picture below. Here's the kicker: it cost them only $150

Gilbert Arenas, the new Ron Artest

I always knew Gilbert Arenas was eccentric. But his most recent comments about his injury and the Wizards' treatment of him makes me think he's just downright crazy. The defining quote is "sometimes you have to protect players from themselves" - he regrets his decision to play and wishes the Wizards hadn't let him do it. He has one foot into Bill Simmons' Tyson Zone in my mind, just like Ron Artest riding a team bus in his underwear just before a playoff game.

Yet Another Reason To Hate Derek Jeter

Ok, "hate" may be a strong word. Let's at least go with "strongly, strongly, vehemently dislike" After all, there is no shortage of reasons. For Oakland fans, it is this. For Arizona fans, it is this. For Boston fans, well - take your pick.
And for the rest of us? There is this. That's right. Minka Kelly - of Friday Night Lights and, more recently, (500) Days of Summer, fame - is off the market. If the New York Post's Page 6 is to be believed, Mr. November has claimed Ms. Kelly has his latest prize. Gentlemen, start your weeping (and cursing Jeter's name).
I can't say fall nuptials are likely, though. The way the Yankees are playing, The Captain may be booked well in to November.

Facebook Was Losing Money?

I just read in BW that Facebook hit a milestone - it made more money than it spent during the last quarter. Zuckerberg's exact quote is "cash-flow positive" for Facebook. I infer from this that during its five years of dominating social networking online it hasn't been profitable? How is that possible?

Business Week on Glock

The new cover story on Business Week is titled Glock's Secret Path to Profits and it contains several interesting related links as well. It's a fascinating article even if you don't care about Glock or handguns, because it's surprising how much drama took place in a big, profitable, international corporation like Glock. The amount of corruption and bad apple executives caught me off guard

Adrian Peterson is a Man

Adrian Peterson had the manliest touchdown run I've ever seen yesterday against the Browns. He made no fewer than 4 grown men look like children

Michael Jordan in the Hall of Fame

From ESPN's countdown of Jordan's top 23 plays, my single favorite Jordan moment ever:

The End of the UC As We Know It

From today's Chronicle comes the news of an unprecedented round of fee hikes that, as the article notes, will likely deny access to the University of California system for a large segment of middle and lower-income students in California. That the UC is facing a budget deficit (mirroring one for the State of California as a whole, and exacerbated by the statewide shortage) is not news; that both UC Executives and Regents will be keeping their exorbitant salaries in place while pricing out 10 public universities is a more recent development and one that makes my blood boil. I'm safe - having bid farewell to UCLA 4 years ago - but I cringe when thinking of the future of what was once the most robust and vibrant public university network in the country.

Wine and Cereal Pairing

Gary Vaynerchuk is at it again - in addition to strategizing about social media, Gary Vee's most famous gig is helming Wine Library TV. No matter what you think of wine and pairing it with food, you have to give him props for having the creativity and the cojones to ask the question "What wine pairs with cereal?" We are talking Cap'n Crunch, Cinnamon Toast Crunch, and Lucky Charms... is this as cool to you as it is to me?

(Can't find a way to embed it so just click the link to see the video)


Aaron wrote in the Content DJ comments that he wanted to coin the word "clicko," defined as being like a typo but with an accidental mouse click instead of a keystroke. I love this word because you instantly recognize what it means. Aaron's example: “Dude, why did you draft the Jaguars defense, when the Bears and Panthers defenses were both available?” “It was a clicko on my part.”

The word clicko returns a few Google results and has an Urban Dictionary entry dated Dec 26, 2005 so someone thought of it before. But it only has 9 thumbs so it appears it hasn't been popularized it yet.

Missing Ted Kennedy

It's been over two weeks since Ted Kennedy died and many of us, as we listened to President Obama last night, finally felt the emptiness his death left behind. In many ways, the loss of the final Kennedy brother shouldn't impact me too greatly - Teddy was from a clan that, by the time I came of age politically, had lost some of its luster; his one campaign for the Presidency occurred before I was born. His death - and his life - shouldn't have been so momentous in my mind and my life. So why is it?
If you haven't read the letter yet, you should. In it, Kennedy speaks to all of us - not just about health care, not just about politics, but about who we are as Americans, and all we can accomplish. In an age of cynicism and lowest-common-denominator politics, it is a refreshing breath of hope and humanity.

It's Football Time

The NFL season starts tonight - which means a classic Simmons NFL column and me doing some last-minute fantasy drafts because I love managing fantasy teams. Who you got in tonight's Titans-Steelers game?

Better by Atul Gawande: Chapter 1

I had originally tried to combine the intro and chapter 1 of Atul Gawande's Better, but chapter 1 actually had some of the most profound "wow" moments in the book. The focus is on hand washing, in the context of diligence in the pursuit of excellence. The basic problem is this: doctors don't wash their hands enough, so how do we get them to do it? Much like Starbucks' solution to not wasting milk was pioneered by one of its in-store baristas rather than management, the most effective tactic for hand washing was to outsource the solution to the employees of the hospitals.

Gary Vaynerchuk: Content DJ

You may remember Gary Vaynerchuk, marketing blogger from his comments about AOL's use of blogs. Now in a recent video he talks about the value of being a content DJ with a blog. We have already kind of touched on this with the content of bloggers like Penelope Trunk and sites like Brazen Careerist. I think the content DJ philosophy is relevant to FIWK because it is half of the stated goal of the FIWK blog - the other half being conversation around the content we post.

Strangers on a Plane

I just got back from New York and really enjoyed it (though some think traveling is a waste of time). I had a question though - do you talk to the strangers you sit next to on planes? Do you only respond if they initiate it? Do you prefer to have no contact and simply sleep or read?

Wired: Craigslist and Simplicity

Two great articles in the most recent Wired Magazine - the first is titled The Tragedy of Craigslist and the second is titled The Good Enough Revolution" (it's about the popularity of simple-to-use technology). There is some parallel logic in the two articles that I find interesting.