Ballast Point - Victory at Sea Imperial Coffee Vanilla Porter

Ballast Point is a San Diego brewery (woot) that you may know from their Calico Amber Ale and Yellowtail Pale Ale beers, among others. They also have a seasonal beer out called the Victory at Sea Imperial Coffee Vanilla Porter, which I picked up at local wine and beer shopWally's.

Youtube - Rank vs. Like?

Since I think Lost has about 5 million too-many characters, I'm going to ask our vast audience which method of rating YouTube videos they prefer - the old-school 5-star rating system, or the new-school like/dislike rating system:

I'm personally a fan of the star-system. While 5 isn't too much higher than 2, and overall, I'd imagine the average rating for a video is very similar between the two methods, I would at least enjoy the opportunity to think my nuanced 4-star rating makes a difference. Call me old-fashioned or adverse to change, but I don't think I'll be changing my mind anytime soon.

LOST Season 6 Discussion

In honor of last week's super interesting episode and to prepare for tonight's, I want to do a little LOST talk to discuss where we're at right now and what we know. Aaron offered some thoughts, which I will quote, then I will offer my own. Add anything you want in the comments!

This is all spoilers so don't click to read more if you aren't current on the show.

Weekend Comedy (on Tuesday) 3/30

Scott has duly shamed me for missing my Weekend Comedy post. As penance, I introduce you to communitychannel (real name: Natalie Tran), a video blogger on YouTube:

Music Tuesdays via Small Hands, Big Ideas - Dog Days Are Over by Florence + The Machine

Once again our friend Grace aka KGB of Small Hands, Big Ideas has found a good song for Music Tuesdays. Thanks Grace!

Tech Thursday: 3D Television

Thanks Avatar.

Cablevision (CVC) announced today that it will be making its 3D debut this evening with their broadcast of the Rangers-Islanders game. While CVC states that their current set-top boxes will be capable of delivering the feed, the consumer will still need to have a 3D-capable TV (same deal we have with HD); however, Samsung's the only manufacturer with a 3D-capable TV currently on the market (Sony plans to release a model in June). The 3D version of Samsung's models appear to only be a couple hundred USD more expensive than their non-3D counterparts, yet we just bought the latest Sony Bravia a few months back! This whole scene reminds me of the video game system wars we grew up with...grrrrrrr.

Music Tuesdays - Get By by Talib Kweli

Joining us this week is Caitlin McCabe (aka C-Mac) with I Need a Dolla by Aloe Blacc. I like her song more than mine, actually.

Also, Aaron recommends a St. Patrick's day choice after the fact, because we did not dutifully honor said holiday last week. So here's Drunken Lullabies by Flogging Molly:

Alternative Healthcare - Yay/Nay?

I stumbled across this post in the NY Times Bits blog this morning, and felt compelled to share. The headline is overly sensationalistic (worked on me though!), but the approach to care that this researching is trying to achieve, definitely qualifies as unconventional. This seems almost too good to be true, but if Mr. Hesselcan at least gain some traction, it might be a bit of that disruptive innovation we're seeking in the current health care space.

Alice Schroeder on Buffett and Lehman

There is an interesting blog up by Alice Schroeder, the Warren Buffett expert and author of his biography, The Snowball. She posted comments on a report about Buffett's potential purchase of Lehman before that bank collapsed. Schroeder is always interesting to me because she is the world's foremost Buffett expert, and she has great insight into his thinking. For example, Schroeder's comments are in brackets in the below quote:

Buffett wanted Lehman executives to buy under the same terms as Buffett. Fuld explained to the Examiner that he was reluctant to require a significant buy‐in from Lehman executives, because they already received much of their compensation in stock. However, Buffett took it as a negative that Fuld suggested that Lehman executives were not willing to participate in a significant way. [With the stock trading at a price where you could entice Buffett to buy it, if the Lehman folks will not make a bet alongside Buffett that his investment can help raise enough capital to save the firm, they've just acknowledged that in their hearts they know Lehman is doooomed...]

Although it's short, I find the entire article to be one of the most fascinating I've read in a while. We learn a lot about three critical components of the financial system: Buffett, Lehman, and the behind-the-curtain conversations of Paulson. What about this article intrigued you, if anything?

Aside: I didn't realize that Schroeder and Buffett had a falling out after The Snowball was published. She even titled a blog response to the falling out "Am I Bitter...?". "Inside sources" have implied that Buffett did not enjoy the portrayal of his love life. Schroeder covers the subject a bit in this Business Insider video interview.

Tech Thursday: GM Augmented Reality

GM is currently developing a system that would assist drivers with directions and relevant safety information via a windshield display. This is the latest in a long series of computerized tools (ABS, parking assist, etc.) to improve the ease and safety of driving. A GM spokesperson said it wouldn't be available commercially until 2016 at the earliest, but I have to admit it's a pretty neat concept. The fact that it tracks a driver's eyes and head movements to determine what to display is, to me, the best part of the proposed software.

Music Tuesdays - On Melancholy Hill by Gorillaz

As recommended by Grace, yet again. Thanks Grace! And happy recent bday, one day before me!

By the way, one of my recent favorites, Marina and the Diamonds, is apparently playing at South by Southwest. If you're there, tell me how her show is.

Happy Birthday to Me

Today is my birfday, also known as Pi Day. I share the 3.14 bday with Einstein - he must be bummed, I'm sure before I came along he thought he had the "coolest person born on Pi Day" contest all wrapped up.

To commemorate, here is one of my favorite things from my childhood and one of my favorite things from the last year.

Tech Thursday: Google v Apple v Microsoft

It's no secret that I've become somewhat of a tech geek, especially when it comes to mobile tech. Therefore, I'm going to try and start a "Tech Thursday" weekly piece where I'll ramble on about some tech news on which I'm currently geeking. First up: The Big 3 and their battle over the mobile space.

Required Reading: "Lessons of a $618,616 Death"

Rather than discuss this at length, I'd like to use this Friday to just present Business Week's cover article titled "Lessons of a $618,616 Death" by Amanda Bennett. It's a personal story, and to me with its simplicity and candor stacks up with the best non-fiction short stories. The article's straightforward questioning of health care reminds me of the best of Atul Gawande. Its breakdown of the facts and figures of the charges, bills, and insurance coverage strikes me as the best anecdotal analysis I've seen of where our health care system currently stands.

Senator Bunning and "Passing the Buck"

I don't have much time to elaborate on my thoughts on Senator Bunning's filibuster in the Senate this week, and its eventual resolution, but I ask you this: this was a one-month extension; given the current political situation, do we honestly believe this to be fixed with a long-term resolution w/in the next month?

Business Week on Warren Buffett

Is Warren Buffett a good manager?

It's no secret that I love me some Warren Buffett. He is the subject of a cover article on Business Week this week about his management style. Buffett makes for fascinating study because he is a direct contrast to the same issue's articles on greedy CEOs hedging their own companies' stock, and because he is a famous proponent of using praise and condemnation to motivate his managers rather than purely financial incentives. In other words, he has a great deal of confidence in the effects of his own managerial focus on people and companies.

(sorry for the giant close up of his face, but this image tickles me)

Music Tuesdays - The Journey Continues by Sarah Cracknell

This find is from Scott. The official version with music video cannot be embedded, so here is an acoustic version:

Apologies to Aaron for including an acoustic song... I recommend you listen to the original version, it's quite good.