Monthly Archives: July 2007

BaconSalt – now everything can taste like bacon (even kosher food)

Bacon Salt is a “zero calorie, vegetarian, kosher certified seasoning salt that makes everything taste like read bacon”. As Homer might say: uuummmmm, baaacccoooonnnn. πŸ™‚

Thanks to Leta and Accordion Guy for the notice. Get some today!


The demise of the Weekly World News

Like alot of newspapers, the WWN is suffering. So much so, that it will no longer be printed. While it is still online, it’s not the same. However, if like me, you miss it, here’s a link to it and one of the great columnists they have. πŸ˜‰

Here, the entrepreneurial Sammy the Chatting Chimp solves the question: Work Harder or Smarter?

Monkey Business | Weekly World News

The Great Roy Orbinson

How great was Roy Orbinson? Great musician, great music, and great partners too (George Harrison, Bob Dylan, Tom Petty and k.d. lang). See here: the incomparable Roy Orbison @

How to visit 171 Starbucks in 24 hours in Manhattan

Apparently Manhattan has 171 Starbucks in it, and this man decided to try something in EVERY one in less than 24 hours. Not something smart people I know would do, but interesting to watch…see
YouTube – 171 Starbucks

Old folks (boomers) and young folks (gen Y) at work

The has a story about Gen Y at work. It is obvious that it is sympathetic to the older generation. For example:

Managers tell stories of summer associates who come to meetings with midriffs exposed, baring a belly ring; of interns who walk through the halls engaged with iPods; of new hires who explain they need Fridays off because their boyfriends get Fridays off and they have a share in a beach house. Then there is the tale of the summer hire who sent a text message to a senior partner asking β€œAre bras required as part of the dress code?”

I am sure the Gen Y crowd could talk of

old managers wearing ties or nylons, having two hour lunches, who work overtime on projects that are irrelevent and who wear clothes that haven’t been in style in 10 years or more

Read the article: it seems to me that the boomer who wrote the article is wrong. See:

When Whippersnappers and Geezers Collide – New York Times

Geek culture: not an oxymoron

Yes, they have their own culture (notice how I said “they”, not “we” πŸ™‚ ). And you can learn all about it here at:

Geek Culture/After Y2K/The Joy of Tech: pretty much everything you’ve ever wanted.

Make your own Google Maps and share them

I like the new MyMaps feature of Google maps. You can create a new map and then grab the link to the page and share it with others. Smart and simple. Like Google.

Here’s my map (BLMtest), courtesy of Google.

New Music and David Byrne

David Byrne has a great web site jam packed with interesting information and ideas.

One thing I really like is his “radio” portion of the site. If you are bored with what you are currently listening too or are in a rut in some other way, check out Radio – Archived Playlists: 2007

Philips > Apple

Apple does great design. So does Philips, even though, at least in North America, they don’t get the ovations that Apple gets. As well, Philips has MANY more products and product lines than Apple. It’s not a competition, but people should look at others besides Apple as designers of great products.

See some of it here: PHILIPS – The Simplicity Event

Design your house (or computer system) online

Cumulate Draw is great online tool for doing straightforward design. And you can save the file to your PC to include in other documents. See: Cumulate Draw 0.5.5 Release (Supporting IE 6+,Firefox 1.5+)

My favourite blog: (fake) Steve Jobs

A scathing satire of the IT industry and genius-boy himself. πŸ™‚

And here’s the blog.

NOTCOT – a great Design blog

The NOTCOT has alot of great design featured on it’s site (it’s not all Homer Simpson). It’s well worth checking out.

I really liked this WWF billboard that uses shadows to illustrate…well, read the blog. πŸ™‚

Homer Lagerfeld! C’est d’oh!

I don’t read Harper’s Bazaar, but thankfully others do and blog about it. So I get to see the Simpsons in all their haute couture glory. I particularily like this one of Homer and Karl. (I also like the Gautier). See NOTCOT: Simpsons Couture

See what the world eats at TIME magazine photoessay

Time has a great photoessay on what people eat throughout the world. Some things I picked up were:
– the amount of packaged vs fresh food
– the fact alot of people were photographed not in kitchens or dining rooms but next to televisions
– and of course the wide discrepancy as to what people pay for food every week

What the World Eats – Photo Essays – TIME

Prince: Genius

There was lots of derogatory comments awhile back about Prince, when his name was a symbol. Nevermind that in a stadium of popular musicians, he would be one of if not the smartest. (Not to mention the best guitar player.)

Proof of how smart he is can be found in this article:

The Once and Future Prince – New York Times

He and Steve Jobs should hook up: they could decide the near future of music in the 21st Century.

New York’s Chelsea Hotel

The has a great study of the (in)famous Chelsea Hotel and the artists – famous and not so – who live there.

Wonders of the world: a triple sunrise

The site oddee has a great collection of oddities and wonders. I’ll post more later. This one is of an….

event that occurs twice a year. What we see here is a set of ice halos, recorded on a cold winter morning near Green Bay, Wisconsin, USA. Produced by sunlight shining through common atmospheric ice crystals with hexagonal cross-sections, such halos can actually be seen more often than rainbows. The remarkable sunrise picture captures a beautiful assortment of the types most frequently seen, including a sun pillar (center) just above the rising Sun surrounded by a 22 degree halo arc. Completing a triple sunrise illusion, sundogs appear at the far left and far right edges of the 22 degree arc. An upper tangent arc is also just visible at the very top of the view.

Go see the rest at 10 Most Amazing Illusions

Feminism and Aliens

I remember when I first watched Aliens, I was taken by how the movie flew by, even at 2+ hours. It was thrilling.
I thought about it later and how well it was made. We had already seen the Alien in the first movie, which was a great cross of the genres of science-fiction and horror films. James Cameron made a different movie by crossing the genres of war film and horror film with Aliens. This was interesting in itself. But he also did another interresting thing: he explored the notions of feminism within the film, or at least, the bonds between mother and daughter. (Just like he explored the notion of Father and Son in Terminator 2.) Cameron is not Renoir or Bergman, but Arnold might not have been joking when during the “Titantic” Oscar he joked about starring in Cameron’s “art films”.

The other interesting thing is the juxaposition between maternalism and the action film genre. The contrast gives the films punch. I am sure Camille Paglia would approve. πŸ™‚ See:

As Andrew Sullivan said, one of the best movie lines ever.

Linked In Update

LinkedIn has a new (to me) feature that allows you to essentially set up a home page with your profile. Here’s mine:

LinkedIn: Bernie Michalik

And it has a nice and simple URL:

So go get your own url with your name before someone else grabs it! πŸ™‚

Where Karl Lagerfeld Lives

When I first saw this article in the New Yorker, I thought it was going to be about his apartment in Paris! And in a way, it was. But the subtitle, “In the Now”, describes where Lagerfeld really lives.

I used to have a poor opinion of KL, but after reading the article, I was impressed by his energy, drive and imagination.

See the article here: Profiles: In the Now: Reporting & Essays: The New Yorker

Find out where people are calling you from by

…by going to this site NPA.RMLABS.NET – Phone Number Geolocator and typing the fix 6 digits of a ten digit phone number. It’s a pretty cool mashup.

Stockholm Subways

Unlike Toronto subway stations, which look like washrooms without the necessary plumbing, the Stockholm subways have a presence to them, the way great architecture should. See Ueba – Stockholm Subway these photos to get an idea of what I mean.

Even Faith Hill gets photoshopped

Jezebel has an interesting background story on this, but the picture says it all.

It’s a sad and beautiful world, indeed

The next time you are in a (good) video store, try and rent “Down by Law”. It is smart and funny and very cool. It’s been ages since I have seen it, but it still has stayed with me all this time. It has great lines , great scenes and great music. Check out the trailer for a taste:

YouTube – Down By Law – Theatrical Trailer

A Hard Day’s Night of the Living Dead

What do you get when you cross The Beatles with Zombies? (Well, Beatlemania, yes…but…). You get this fantastic mashup! See:

A Hard Day’s Night of the Living Dead

FTP: not just for techies anymore.

The has this article: U.S. Military documents found unprotected on FTP servers

I think it is a sign of the adoption of technology that the Globe could mention “FTP servers” in a headline: they must assume that people will know what that means.

Of course, there is a good article in there on the lack of security when it comes to such matters, but that is another story. πŸ™‚

The maps of our world that we live in

My friend Alina sent this very intriguing video, which manages to capture the interconnectiveness of the world. It ‘s related to DaDa, but without the irrationalism (perhaps).

Check out:

YouTube – Royksopp – “Remind Me”

More G.B.

Gnarls Barkley – Crazy

Who is Gnarls Barkley?

Well, this mockumentary explains it all.

Early 70s music comes back

If you need any proof that (good) 70s music is coming back, check out Amy Winehouse

Or the superb Gnarls Barkley, who not only have great videos, but one of the best albums in a long time in St. Elsewhere.

How to save a life…with Web 2.0

The New York Times has an article on J. N. Jayashree, who “did not want her husband to die the death of an Indian whistle-blower” and adopted a unique way of protecting him. How did she do it? By blogging.

β€œWe’re creating a fortress around him β€” a fortress of people,” she said
in a telephone interview. β€œI wanted to inform the people that this is
happening, that my husband is a whistle-blower, so that it becomes the
responsibility of every citizen to protect him.”

For more, see the article: In India, Protecting a Whistle-Blower.

Tiny generator turns vibrations into electricity

I had an idea once: why not put some generator under roads and highways to turn all that displaced energy into electricity? Well, it looks like someone had a similar idea, and the good folks at Engagdet wrote about it.

Tiny generator turns vibrations into electricity – Engadget

On the need for Post Mortem P.R. flacks

If this Telegraph obituary is any indication, in the future, rich people should put aside some money in their will to deal with scathing obits such as this one! I have a quote here, but you really have to read the whole obituary! I wouldn’t be surprised to find out that after the funeral, the author went and stole the flowers from the grave site!

Count Gottfried von Bismarck | Obituaries | News | Telegraph

Count Gottfried von Bismarck, who was found dead on Monday aged 44, was a louche German aristocrat with a multi-faceted history as a pleasure-seeking heroin addict, hell-raising alcoholic, flamboyant waster and a reckless and extravagant host of homosexual orgies.The great-great-grandson of Prince Otto, Germany’s Iron Chancellor and architect of the modern German state, the young von Bismarck showed early promise as a brilliant scholar, but led an exotic life of gilded aimlessness that attracted the attention of the gossip columns from the moment he arrived in Oxford in 1983 and hosted a dinner at which the severed heads of two pigs were placed at either end of the table.

Twitter takes off

The has an article on the rise of Twitter. Well, they call it micro-blogging :(. Like anything in MSM, they get things wrong. But it is still interesting. See: enter the micro-bloggers


With the cost of gas being what it is, scooters start to make more and more sense. For more on scooters in Canada, see the article in Are you cool enough?

Sex and the News

It is interesting that on Reuters web site, there is this article

Risque EU defends Internet orgasm clip

with a link to the YouTube video from the EU (it is not explicit, but it is NSFW).

The same article more or less on

Orgasm clip spices up EU meeting

has an image of the video but not a URL link to it.

I guess the software that CNN uses to make their web pages wasn’t working properly. πŸ™‚

Here it is:

judge for yourself.

Be smart: eat chocolate

This study says eating dark chocolate lowers blood pressure. The participants in the German study ate just a small amount of Ritter chocolate. (Ritter is good and easily available in Toronto). The article goes on to say:

Every day for 18 weeks, the volunteers were instructed to eat
one-square portions of a 16-square Ritter Sport bar, or a similar
portion of white chocolate. White chocolate doesn’t contain cocoa.

Systolic blood pressure,
the top number, fell an average of nearly three points and diastolic
dropped almost two points in the dark chocolate group, compared with no
change in blood pressure readings in the white chocolate group.

Tests suggested that steady exposure to dark chocolate prompted
chemical changes that helped dilate blood vessels and regulate blood
pressure, the researchers said.

So there you go: take two blocks of chocolate every day, have a glass of red wine, and don’t forget the apples, and you should live to be 100!

For more details, see Chocolate reduces blood pressure – Yahoo! News

Anyways…that’s just the way we roll…and other infuriating thing-a-ma-bobs

Years ago, the Globe and Mail seem to take on a large number of columnists, likely to compete with The National Post. Over time, many of those columnists dropped off the paper. One who did not was Leah McLaren.

I have a love/hate relationship with her column. I read it every week, even when it is annoying. Perhaps it is her (professional?) self-obsession. Whatever.

Speaking of that, her latest column in At the end of the day, you are what you say. Totally
is one I found very funny. A nice, condensed summary of the banal cliches we use during the week and on the weekend.

Hmmm….banal….cliches….it makes sense now.

Running makes you smart

..but you likely already knew that. I am sure it is the same for walking, swimming, biking, &c. See:
Exercise Grows New Brain Cells | LiveScience