Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Failure, and the failing failers who respect it

I couldn't agree more, Brad (and Mitchell). Suppressing fear of failure is one of the things that's kept me honest as an entrepreneur over the years. That doesn't mean I enjoy failing; it’s like hugging a cactus. But there's something liberating and inherently healthy about missed achievements, boneheaded mistakes, and commercial pratfalls.

In fact, failure may be the first sign you’ve finally broken free from a silent, stifling routine. See where it leads you next.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Amish Exploitation Alert

Saw a TV ad for this on ESPN during a basketball game. Not sure about the demographic targeting at work here, exactly: “Heat Surge: The Authentic Roll-n-Glow Electric Fireplace.”

No Photoshopping at work here:

Now, my favorite part of the TV voice-over was this line: "Made of solid wood!" Wow! Solid wood. That's honest attention to detail you’ll find hard to come by, I immediately thought to myself.

There are probably are actual skilled Amish woodworkers putting these cases together. The ham-handed marketing put in service of their effort pains me, but then again so does the product. Does an electric space heater on casters, featuring a non-functional Lite Brite aesthetic with (overbuilt?) Mission-style cabinet define what 2008-era America wants? A superficial, nostalgic shell surrounding a dubious convenience?

Been there all along. My bad.

Image credit 1, Image credit 2

Sunday, February 17, 2008

I'm calling “Ziggy” on Leo Cullum

If the New Yorker editorial staff were to ever deny offering staff cartoonists a lifetime pass for back-referencing their own material, I’ve got damning evidence to the contrary. I’m Calling a Ziggy on Leo Cullum for this one. It’s not even close to subtle. If I had seen a series of similar cartoons throughout his archive, I would let it go; every artist is entitled to variations on a theme. But this one just feels lazy. Leo is one of my New Yorker favorites. He's consistently clever and his illustrations feature a visual verve and clean lines that draw your eye to the funny, time after time.

What tipped me off was the fact that the older cartoon in the pairing was one we gave to The Wizard as a gift during the final days of FeedBurner:

The January 13th, 1997 issue:

The February 11th - 18th, 2008 issue:
The official cocktail of schadenfreude appears to be the martini.

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Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Solving for the new MINI


MINI Clubman = (FJ_Cruiser - enviroGuilt) * ±YourKarmaGoingIn

(Tip o' the hat to JZ for pointing this new MINI model out.)

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Just in time for the heart of the Big Tean basketball season

…I come upon one of my all-time favorite media clips from the interwebs, captured for posterity at YouTube, naturally:

The first time I encountered this was around 1998; someone posted it as a WAV audio file to a Usenet newsgroup, and I suspect we had to piece it together manually from several consecutive encoded posts. Funny what a difference ten years makes.