Saturday, May 31, 2008

Coldplay - "Viva la Vida"

I used to rule the world
Seas would rise when I gave the word
Now in the morning I sleep alone
Sweep the streets I used to own

I used to roll the dice
Feel the fear in my enemy's eyes
Listen as the crowd would sing:
"Now the old king is dead! Long live the king!"

One minute I held the key
Next the walls were closed on me
And I discovered that my castles stand
Upon pillars of salt and pillars of sand

I hear Jerusalem bells a ringing
Roman Cavalry choirs are singing
Be my mirror my sword and shield
My missionaries in a foreign field
For some reason I can't explain
Once you go, there was never, never an honest word
That was when I ruled the world

It was the wicked and wild wind
Blew down the doors to let me in.
Shattered windows and the sound of drums
People couldn't believe what I'd become

Revolutionaries wait
For my head on a silver plate
Just a puppet on a lonely string
Oh who would ever want to be king?

I hear Jerusalem bells a ringing
Roman Cavalry choirs are singing
Be my mirror my sword and shield
My missionaries in a foreign field
For some reason I can't explain
I know Saint Peter won't call my name
Never an honest word
But that was when I ruled the world

I hear Jerusalem bells a ringing
Roman Cavalry choirs are singing
Be my mirror my sword and shield
My missionaries in a foreign field
For some reason I can't explain
I know Saint Peter won't call my name
Never an honest word
But that was when I ruled the world

listen to the song here


89.1 the wood, how i love thee

My favorite radio station in the world (I've been trying to get into KCRW too) is 89.1 the Wood, the radio station for Lindenwood University in St. Charles, MO. I dug Ingrid Michaelson when I heard her single on the radio a couple months back but then forgot about her. The Wood played her song "Breakable" a couple days ago and I wrote down some lyrics so I could look up the song later: "Have you ever thought about what attacks our hearts?" Here's the song with a fan collage vid:

near laguna beach, ca

While I was in LA this past weekend for my friend Dan's graduation from Biola, I met his rockin' friend Felicia. While we were in the car (45 min to get anywhere in LA from Biola) she was playing a band called City and Colour. I like them a lot, here's their myspace.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Public art/Graffiti at Venice Beach, CA this past memorial day.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Things I've always wondered:


What would happen if you threw your car in reverse on the highway? Well, this answer from Howstuffworks is for a manual transmission, but I'm sure the same rules apply for my automatic.

"The reverse gear on any car with a manual transmission is an incredibly simple piece of machinery. There is a shaft that gets its power from the engine, and it has teeth on it that are used for reverse. There's another shaft that will drive the wheels, and it, too, has teeth on it that are used for reverse. To engage reverse, a gear literally gets pushed in between the two shafts to engage the two sets of teeth. It simply slides its teeth into the teeth on the two shafts and engages them."

The whole article (here).

Animals on the London Underground

more (here).
normal tube map (here).

Heatherwick Rolling Bridge

After reading this article on the architect/designer Thomas Heatherwick (website) in an old New Yorker, I had to look up some of his designs online. They're awesome. This footbridge in London curls up like a scorpion tail when a boat comes by.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Place to hit up this summer: The Rotten Apple

Man, it's good to be back in the STL.  Here's a place I'm looking forward to going to, even though it's an hour away in Grafton, IL.  They have cajun food, St. Louis Framboise (Belgian raspberry beer) on tap, and specialize in hard ciders.  Love.  

Here's a sweet Sauce Magazine article on The Rotten Apple.
Here's how to get there (google maps)

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Darkon: Everybody wants to be a hero

I think the reason I love this trailer is because it provides evidence for an idea I have about why 95% of my guy friends love video games. I think there's an intrinsic part of us, as humans, that wants to go to war. Especially in men, there is a desire to fight a battle, to defend something, whatever. But it's there, and it doesn't leave. Maybe it's the desire to be a hero that then turns violent. Whatever it is, I think it's fascinating. And role-playing Darkon is comparable to playing Halo 3 for hours.

larping: (def) Live Action Role Play-ing

Thanks to Julie for finally finding this thing.

Darkon website
Darkon IMDB
Darkon Wikipedia

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Something to Study: Cloud Computing

"Cloud computing." From what I can gather (and not from the horrible wikipedia article on it), it's the future of computers.

Here's how it goes: instead of having computers with massive amounts of memory and installed software, you have a (comparatively) simple piece of hardware that connects to the internet (another version, but pretty much the same idea) where you access all programs and files that you bought access to.

Kind of like Google Docs. Most of my documents and presentations for the last semester have been on Google Docs. It's super convenient especially because I can access my files with ease when I work at the computer labs - I don't have to worry about a jump drive.

The more I think about this concept, the more it makes total sense that this is where technology is heading. Of course, I might be completely wrong. But this all sounds really sweet.

Another thing that makes me excited about cloud computing is the future of music files. At last, when I buy a U2 CD online, I don't have to worry about the license files being lost on my laptop or iTunes/ erasing the records that said I bought it. Once I buy something, it will be eternally mine. Along the lines of the Apple Air not having a disc drive, we won't need hard copies of anything anymore.

I'm still looking into this: "Cloud Computing Gains Steam With New I.B.M. Gear" "
Google and I.B.M. Join in 'Cloud Computing' Research" "
I.B.M. to Push ‘Cloud Computing,’ Using Data From Afar" "
Software via the Internet: Microsoft in ‘Cloud’ Computing" "
Computing Heads for the Clouds" (really helpful) "
Google and the Wisdom of Clouds"

End Results of Senior Year Tour

This whole senior year tour thing has been awesome. It's made me appreciate my time at Mizzou a whole lot more. Although I still have a couple things that I haven't done, I'd prefer it that way. Or else I'd feel like I tapped out the city. There needs to be the potential for more things to do. The things I haven't done are go to the Wardrobe (thrift store that has dime and quarter days - where everything in the store can be bought for a 10 or 25 cents), go to the 63 Diner (whatever), and go in the tunnels under Mizzou (this is difficult and hot and there are reportedly video cameras down there, I don't know).

BUT, I did finally get to go to the Mizzou Observatory!! And, since my blog comes up when you google Mizzou Observatory, I'm going to give the information on it, since Mizzou sucks at this.

It's open on most Wednesdays from 8-10pm on the top (5th) floor of the Physics building, which is next door to the new Life Sciences building on College Ave. Take the elevator. It's just two Physics professors up there and they'll show you how to work the massive telescope. Perfect for dates. Do it.

We went up there twice when it wasn't open and waited hours for them to come open it. When you come out of the elevator, it's the door to your left. The door in front of you goes out onto the roof of the Physics building (which is also pretty cool, as it is one of the highest points in Columbia and you can see a lot of stuff).

Thanks to Julie for the photos.

There was another movie almost exactly like this a few years back that was really intriguing, but I can't remember the title. All I remember is a quote from the trailer where a girl was explaining

"Monster Camp"

There was another movie almost exactly like this a few years back that was really intriguing, but I can't remember the title. All I remember is a quote from the trailer where a girl was explaining why she did this. She said "At work, my boss tells me what to do; at home, my mom tells me what to do. Out here, I do what I want."

This stuff is fascinating, especially because (if you watch their interactions) they have the same types of drama that any sorority would have, or any other subculture/group. It's all just humans making communities and interacting with each other, just in different styles. Interesting.

IMDB: Monster Camp
Wiki: World of Warcraft

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

"Give a Damn" documentary trailer

My friends Dan Parris and Rob Lehr (and David Peterka) are doing a documentary on poverty in Africa. Watch the trailer.

"Give a Damn" Documentary Site

How to Make a Krew Movie by Dan Parris

This is by my friend Dan Parris on how to make a Krew (my youth group) video. I'm in it. It's pretty funny.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Maestre: stitched-together pencils


Jennifer Maestre

Architecture in New Orleans


Last summer I interned with a company called Evolve24, which was in the business of tracking companies' reputations and giving them advice about the future. My job the whole summer was reading every article written about a couple companies. One of the clients was an insurance company that took a lot of flack for their policies in Louisiana, Alabama, and Florida because of Hurricane Katrina.

So basically I learned the ins and outs of the insurance industry for three months. Not too great for summer hang out conversation, but I learned a lot. Here's what the issue was in a nutshell (sorry for the typos, it's finals week): People bought home insurance from a company, in which 'hurricane insurance' is included. Hurricane Katrina hit and wiped out millions of homes in the Gulf. The insurance company claims adjusters came in and looked at the houses and said "no, no, this is flood damage. that coverage is extra and you didn't sign up for it." People were pisssssed.

But, after a summer of reading these articles, and comparing this American insurance company with ones overseas (UK, France, etc.) I learned that for insurance companies to actually offer full hurricane insurance to everyone in the Gulf who gets hit by hurricanes every ten years, no one would be able to afford the rates. In some areas of the UK, no insurance companies will offer coverage at all. You just live there at your own risk and rebuild after your house is blown over.

All this to say (I've been long-winded lately...), I had a conversation with my boss last summer about what houses would withstand a hurricane. A bomb shelter? Then I asked Julie's brother Andy (who's at architecture school in Arkansas) about it and he said that some people came up with an idea for a house that was on an axis, so the house could be blown by the wind and just move with whichever direction the wind was going. Weird. But then I was looking at my friend Marion's architecture and design magazine (Metropolis) and they had an article about Brad Pitt trying to figure out the same issue: what houses can withstand hurricanes in New Orleans?

Well, he started a campaign called Make It Right, where he had a design contest for architects to design homes that would withstand a hurricane and be under $150,000. The house above is designed with pylons underneath the house so it will float if there is a flood. Pretty sweet idea. "Brad Pitt Commissions Designs for New Orleans"
Metropolis Magazine "Saint Brad" - click here for pictures of the designs

Fernando & Humberto Campana Banquete Chair


Why yes, that is a chair with a bunch of stuffed animals stapled to it. And it would be the most comfortable thing ever.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Studying in Public


Studying in public places has kind of puzzled me during my high school/college careers. Why do it? You usually leave your house to engage in social activity, and I feel like leaving your house to do a solo activity is kind of strange. Yet people love it. I have friends who couldn't study without leaving their house. Maybe it's a mental-environment thing where there are too many distractions in your usual environment and you need a place that is not your own to clear your head. Strange.

Whenever I see people studying alone in public, I always assume that they'd rather be hanging out than studying and if a group of their friends came in they'd drop what they were doing. But that's mostly because I'm projecting my feelings on others. Or they have a crush on a barista at the Artisan.

I have been mulling this issue over in my head for the last couple years and am trying to get myself to appreciate the frame of mind that would honestly be influenced enough by their aesthetic surroundings to travel somewhere to study.

Tied to this is the issue of solo dining (there's a crappy website about it, if you're interested - here) or solo drinking. I respect the ability to walk into a place and be comfortable enough in one's skin to sit and enjoy a beer or burger all by one's lonesome. The closest I've gotten to this is taking a walk by myself. And that took two years. And I'm not talking about picking up some chicken nuggets between classes and sitting and reading a newspaper in a student union. The kind of solo dining I'm taking about is not practical but done out of sheer enjoyment of being alone.

(I'm officially rambling, now...) There's something called a 'dream team,' which I'm pretty sure happens on any large college campus. They're people who catch your eye on campus and somehow end up in all of your classes and you see them everywhere. They're just outside of your social circle and none of your friends know them, but the friends of your friends do. They hang out at all the places you do, etc. They're in your dream team (to be fair, I stole the term from a girl I know named Libby). There's a French dude on campus who is on my dream team. He's super cool looking and one time I saw him solo dining like a pro in Brady and he looked so comfortable in his surroundings that he looked like he was meant to be there, like another piece of furniture. I want to be able to do that.

AAA magazine: "The Pleasures of Dining Alone" "
Dining Alone - Tips and Tricks to Get You into the Solo Dining Mood"

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Blast from the past: Nelly + N'Sync "Girlfriend"

This is inspired by Mary Kate's post (here). I used to loooove this song. Enjoy.

Word of the Day: 'phytoremediation'


Again with class stuff. On our field trip with my Environmental Biology class to the land fill, our guide pointed out some trees bordering the property and said they were Cottonwood trees, which absorb toxins from the ground. Once the trees have reached capacity for the toxins, the land fill cuts them down and uses them like they would any other wood. Awesome.

Other plants known to take specific toxins out of the ground through phytoremediation:
clover - motor oil
mustard plants - lead
ferns - arsenic
alpine herbs - zinc

Wednesday, May 7, 2008


(the sartorialist)

cool. i wish my bike seat didn't make my butt hurt.


Environmentalism + Christianity

Here's a link to my friend Patrick's project on environmentalism and Christianity!

Mizzou Wiki

PANCAKES + per diem

can't find the picture i'm looking for now, of Claire at the Artisan. I'll find it later.

The Artisan coffee shop, one of my favorite places in town, is kind of struggling lately and started a great thing: staying open 24 hrs/day and serving all-you-can-eat pancakes & sausage & bottomless coffee from 11pm-6am for $8.60. Just for this week and next week (finals week). Awesome.

I inherited my Mom's body in many ways, but one of them is that we're extremely affected by caffeine. I forgot about this and got overly excited about the bottomlessness of the coffee and had two cups tonight and this is why i'm up at 2:40am instead of asleep for my 9am class tomorrow. Sigh. I am just as affected by beer, except in the other direction. (depressant vs. stimulant, thank you, two years of D.A.R.E.)

But I'm here to tell you about something interesting I learned today in my Global Perspectives class. Also, my professor is a total badass. Why? One reason: we didn't have class the last two weeks because he was in Bolivia. Cool. Another reason? Even when in Columbia, MO, he carries a copy of his passport and a $100 bill in a secret compartment in his belt, as well as carries his wallet in his front pocket to avoid pickpockets. Hilarious. This is probably only funny if you have his class, my apologies.

We talked today about planning our sojourns in countries and how to plan them out financially. In the military (mostly) they have calculations for this based on a 'per diem' rate, which is kind of a daily cost of living which takes into account lodging costs as well as meals. Here are a couple cities' per diems (per day):

St. Louis - $162
Kansas City - $145
Columbia, MO - $99
Seattle, WA (for Ailsa) - $216 (Tacoma is $167, Mexico City is $273)
Sao Paulo, Brazil - $251
Hong Kong (for my friend Caroline studying there this fall) - $361
London, UK - $336


Saturday, May 3, 2008

Brazil: Minister of Ideas

Brazil has a Minister of Ideas! Well, he's officially the minister for strategic affairs, but very cool none the less. His name is Roberto Mangabeira Unger and he started teaching at Harvard Law when he was 24. Here's a article on him ("'Minister of Ideas' tried to put Brazil's future in focus").

“I regard myself as a man without charm in a country of charmers,” he said from his office here in Brazil’s capital. “But I am very tenacious, and I have never given up.”

"Some of [Brazilian President Lula] Mr. da Silva’s top advisers view Mr. Unger as a political wild card, somewhat awkward and eccentric. He speaks Portuguese with a decidedly American accent. During a tour of Africa last summer with the president, Mr. Unger could often be seen engrossed in Milton’s “Paradise Lost.” Supporters say Mr. Unger’s intellect is an asset to Mr. da Silva. “He turns out ideas in a machine-like pace,” said Jorge CastaƱeda, a former foreign minister of Mexico and a close friend of Mr. Unger."

Brazil: I'm glad people like this exist


"I ended up here in late November by invitation of Lance Ranger, an Englishman living in Switzerland whom I met in Newfoundland last summer. Ranger, 47, bought the camp in the Amazon earlier that year. He fell in love with the raw beauty of the place when his brother-in-law took him on a fishing trip here. I met up with him at the camp, or, rather, intercepted him, as he was on his way to Antarctica to ski to the South Pole to raise money for his charity for disabled children in Mauritius. (link to Ranger foundation here)

One night I asked Ranger why he bought the camp. He laughed and said, “I’m looking forward to finding the reason.” He listed a series of personal setbacks, including the death of his father and a separation from his wife, that drew him to do it, then added: “I plan to spend as much time as I can here. This place has affected me. I want to be a good steward of this river, just keep it the way it is.”

What appealed to him most about the Amazon? “It’s all out there,” he said, and explained that he liked how nothing was concealing its true nature. “Everything wants to eat you.”"
- "River of Danger, River of Peace" by James Proseck,

Friday, May 2, 2008

this post was pirated from the Freakonomics blog:

*this is by the main author of Freakonomics and made me laugh out loud:
(original post here)

May 1, 2008, 9:36 am

More Analysis of the Environmental Impact of Walking vs. Driving

Last month I blogged about Chris Goodall’s claim that walking could exacerbate global warming more than driving if the person doing the walking gets his or her calories from foods like beef or milk.

A group called the Pacific Institute has done some further analysis of the data. Their analysis suggests that for most reasonable assumptions about the diet of the walker, driving generates a greater carbon footprint.

I like how the Pacific Institute approached this issue. They used data and clearly articulated assumptions to better understand these claims. They put everything out on the internet so that people can check what they have done and challenge it if appropriate.


website: Tokyology Documentary

found on: BoingBoing

Brazil: Bet you didn't know...

Rio Napo

"Francisco de Orellana (cousin to explorer Gonzalo Pizarro) floated down the Rio Napo to its confluence with the Amazon, near Iquitos (Peru), and then to the mouth of the Amazon. Along the way his expedition suffered numerous attacks by Indians; some of the Indian warriors, they reported, were female, like the Amazons of Greek mythology, and thus the world's greatest river got its name." (Lonely Planet guide to Brazil, p.602)

Free iTunes download: Santogold!

Santogold! (

I've been hearing about Santogold for awhile and am getting to be a pretty big fan. iTunes has free weekly downloads, and they're usually trippy Reggaeton hits, but THIS WEEK THEY HAVE A FREE SANTOGOLD SONG!!!

It's "L.E.S. Artistes", the song rocks. Download it from this link (here). Work fast, there'll be a new song by next Tuesday.

Thursday, May 1, 2008




A beard cap!

Also, word/phrase of the day "Brezhnevian" - bureaucratic (i think), for Leonid Brezhnev
who was General Secretary of the USSR under Stalin
"They must hold the mystery of the faith with a clear conscience."*

I like that this is a qualification of being a deacon.

*1 Timothy 3:9

Utopic Communities: Paulville


I don't know very much about Ron Paul, besides that he is a Libertarian, and that I was once told that he is so conservative he is now considered by some to be liberal. Whatever that means.

His supporters have a dream, and it is Paulville. Here's from their website:

"The goal of it to establish gated communities containing 100% Ron Paul supporters and or people that live by the ideals of freedom and liberty.

The process is forming a co-op of people buying shares in the community and these people would be granted land use at a minimum of 1 acre per share, for as long as they homesteaded the land. The community would be privately held by the co-op to establish private property for the general community thus preserving the community is 100% freedom and liberty lovers. The community votes on all community efforts, such as utilities etc. However no one is forced to consume these utilities and or pay for them, AKA people can be off grid on their share of land. This is in line with the ideals that you're free to live your life the way you want and not be forced to do or pay for other people's life styles you may not agree with."

Apparently a community already exists in West Texas (Ron Paul is a Congressman from Texas, something else I didn't know). You can read about the community in West Texas (here).

Thanks to Marion for this.

Ida Maria "Oh My God"

Very cool. Also from Sasha Frere-Jones' blog. Warning: this video takes a lot of energy to watch.

Ida Maria's MySpace.

Get yer free Coldplay song here:


Coldplay, to follow in the footsteps of Radiohead and Nine Inch Nails, is giving away their music for free, for a limited time. They're offering a free song for a week (starting this past Tuesday). Download it (here). The email didn't work for me, and I don't know why. I'm still working on it.

I'm a huge sucker for Coldplay. I saw them in concert a couple summers ago at Riverport in St. Louis and it was probably one of the most artistic shows I've ever been to. (Well, besides of Montreal, I suppose. But that was mostly weird). It was absolutely beautiful.

I'm digging their website lately. It's very very pretty. I read an article awhile back (and blogged it) that they were recording their new album in Barcelona churches. Very cool. I can't wait.

Bisphenol-A: Way to go, Nalgene!


Awesome told me yesterday that Nalgene stopped producing bottles with BPA. Yay!

From my research, a good rule of thumb is that opaque Nalgene bottles are pretty safe.

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (April 18, 2008) – In response to consumer demand, Nalgene® will phase out production of its Outdoor line of polycarbonate containers that include the chemical Bisphenol-A (BPA) over the next several months, it announced today...

The company recently unveiled its Everyday line, an assortment of bottles manufactured with Eastman’s Tritan™ copolyester. The line includes favorites such as the OTG (“On the Go”), the iconic 32-ounce Wide Mouth and the Grip-N-Gulp sippy cup. Tritan is impact resistant, withstands a wide range of temperatures and does not contain BPA. The new Everyday products are already available in stores and will be available through next month....

“Today, everyone from hikers and outdoor enthusiasts to commuters and kids on the go are using Nalgene products to reduce the use of disposable bottles and containers,” said Silverman. “Based on all available scientific evidence, we continue to believe that Nalgene products containing BPA are safe for their intended use. However, our customers indicated they preferred BPA-free alternatives and we acted in response to those concerns.”