Saturday, August 30, 2008

Life Questions Answered: Why are you able to hear radio stations better at night?


From: How Stuff

"As it turns out, the ionosphere reflects certain frequencies of radio waves. So the waves bounce between the ground and the ionosphere and make their way around the planet. The composition of the ionosphere at night is different than during the day because of the presence or absence of the sun. You can pick up some radio stations better at night because the reflection characteristics of the ionosphere are better at night.­"

In the year 2000: Herman Miller, LEED certification, pyromania

(source) The Eames Chair

In the aftershock of finding out about the truth about recycling, I have become more interested in this whole "burning your trash for energy" idea.

Talking to my sister-in-law's mother, she said "Oh sure, my husband works for Herman Miller and they run their factory off of garbage. They're LEED certified." Whaaaat? Herman Miller, the creators of such genius design pieces as the Aeron Chair and the Eames Chair runs their factory off of garbage? Fantastic. If only I could afford any of their stuff...

Herman Miller's Environmental Policies

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Overview of British vs. American English:

"If I'd only waited, I'd not be stuck here in this hole" - Coldplay, "Amsterdam"

Notice the "I'd not" - I would not. The British combine the I and the would.

The Americans combine the would and the not - "I wouldn't be stuck here in this hole."


In other news, I've been starting to say "innit." I picked it up from watching too many Ali G youtube videos in the past couple weeks. Example: "It's impossible to get into that school, innit?"

On the creepiness of China, again.

The New Yorker: "The Only Games In Town" by Anthony Lane

"Among visitors to Beijing, there was a touch of sympathy for the Chinese, who were reminded the hard way, and at the worst time, that you can build a wall against organized threats from without but cannot legislate for the lone wretch with a knife who lurks within. Wang Wei, the executive vice-president and secretary general of the Beijing Organizing committee for the Games, said in response, "We are living in a world where surprises do happen." True enough, although his next phrase seemed to hail from a different world: "We reassure you that nothing like this is going to happen again." It is the imprint of certainty - the implication that fate itself can be bent back in to position - that rings oddly in more jaded ears."

On the Opening Ceremonies for the Olympics: "China supports a population of 1.3 billion, and the knowledge of that resource was never far away; indeed, the whole evening became an exercise in number-crunching, as mass art was constructed from a mass of humanity. One townful of men and women would race on, swarm into a shape, and race off, to be replaced by the next; if, deep below the spectacle, there was an unspoken suggestion that it would be an extremely bad idea to go to war against this nation, it never rose to the surface..."

"We watch them both and ask ourselves, what kind of society is it that can afford to make patterns out of its people? India is hugely populous, too, but a Delhi opening ceremony would be a more rambunctious affair. Nobody will ever surpass the mathematical majesty of that night in Beijing, and, in retrospect, that may be a good thing."

"It will be scant consolation, however, to Lord Coe. Formerly Sebastian Coe, part of the shining generation of British middle-distance runners in teh nineteent-eighties, he now heads the team that will bring the Olympics to London in 2012. I trid to pick him out among the V.I.P.s on that first Friday, but without success. He may have been hiding in the men's room, calling home to order more light bulbs. You can imagine the rising panic in his voice: "They had two thousand and eight drummers, all lit up. Yes, two thousand and eight. And what have we got so far? Elton John on a trampoline.""

"One of the Italian girls, Francesca Benolli, was up on the balance beam, better known as the Official Olympic Human Life Metaphor. She was standing sideways on it, having a wobble. For a few seconds, she was no longer one of the master race from the Olympic Village, spotless in a silver leotard; she was all of us, gloved and scarved, flapping dumbly on our front paths on an icy morning."

Gosh, I love Anthony Lane.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

We Feel Fine, right?

We Feel Fine
a project that tracks a lot of blogs, and whenever the phrase "I feel..." is typed, the entire sentence is posted on an interactive and ever-changing website. You can specify age, race, weather where they are at, gender, etc., to see how a specific group of people are "feeling."

Very cool design and concept. Check it out.

Thanks to Caroline for this.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

So I finally moved all of my stuff out of my parents' house today and into the Intern House where I will be living until I move away from St. Louis, get kicked out by the church, or get married. So - a pretty long time.

It felt like a very momentous occasion, even more so than my graduation from college.

I was hoping the radio gods would agree and send a good "I'm not a child anymore" song my way. It took awhile, but finally this sweet jam hit the airwaves on 88.1 kdhx.

Move on Up - Curtis Mayfield

Sunday, August 24, 2008

The Abyss

A couple thoughts have been running through my head lately and I'm wondering if they connect at all.

The first thought group was added to by my pastor today at my church. He used the example of middle schoolers and his observation that they spend 2-3 times more energy in one day than he does. He said that this is because

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Orientating and such

I had my first legit seminary experiences last night and today. Seminary is a bizarre world, but I think I'm going to like it.

One thing that worried me about coming to seminary is the effect it would have on my sense of humor. In one of my experiences hanging out with a group of seminarians previous to enrolling, Greek grammar jokes were thrown around and everyone laughed. It was appalling. What if one day I too thought Greek grammar and exegetical jokes were funny? Perish the thought.

Today something (I thought was) funny happened, but in my test runs with telling the story to a couple friends no one laughed. I think I'm beginning to slide down the slippery slope.

Entrants of most of the degree programs have to take a Bible Content Exam. For most degree programs, if you fail the exam you have to take a couple extra Bible classes - no biggie. So - I answer the multiple choice section the best I can, skip over the "outline the book of 2 Timothy" questions, and I'm done in 1/2 an hour. But no one else is. 80% of those who take the exam fail it. What is everyone doing? Trying to fill up the 2 hours allotted?? So, I look around me and stand up and walk out of a room with 100+ seminary students scribbling furiously. wtf. Well, it made me laugh.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

By Belz

reminders for today

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Don’t be a hater.

Stay in touch with friends and loved ones.

Remain aware of sworn enemies but do nothing to provoke them.

Avoid reading lists when there are more interesting things to do.

Stop and smell the flowers, fine; but don’t stop and smell everything. You don’t have that much time.

If you stop and smell something that looks like a flower but turns out to be something other than a flower, relax. It’s okay. We all do that. Don’t worry about it.

If there is a really, really old person in your life, call them and tell them you love them.

If you have a fever, by all means STAY IN BED. We don’t want what you got.

by: Belz

Not to be self-congratulatory, but...

I think I may be due for an award or world-wide recognition for two tasks performed the last couple days:

- making a Thai curry meal without the use of a food processor.
- washing the windows at my parents' house without the aid of weapons to protect myself against fist-sized spiders.

You're welcome.


(1:40) "The best you can do as an ordinary citizen is not to think about waste. Recycling is a waste of time, a waste of money, a waste of moral, intellectual brain energy. The best that happens, and it has been shown with various studies to your waste which you produce at home is being burnt. Being burnt in modern facilities of course, not open fires, modern facilities with high-tech filters where you may even be able to use the energy out of these burning facilities. That is the best for your own soul, the best for your environment, the best for the economy the best for society as a whole."

Thanks to Anthony Bradley for the video.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

China, China, China!

It's very interesting hearing different people's opinions and predictions about what China's future holds. My brother is working on writing a book/articles on how most of the world works on a zero-sum model of business economics (and worldview, too).

China is a great example of this, as seen in a Wall Street Journal article (here) about how in the medal race in the Beijing Olympics the Chinese only really count gold medals.

Personally, the opening ceremonies of the Olympics thoroughly creeped me out (especially this) and made me not all that excited for the Chinese to take over the world.

Linked from Boing Boing, here's 5 predictions for the future of China, they sound pretty plausible: "Coming Soon from China: Dystopic Futures, the Next Steve Jobs, and a World Full of Drumming Androids"

In other news, one of my best friends, Caroline, is leaving for Hong Kong next week for the semester. I can't wait to hear what she thinks about the culture.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Free music on - (here). Including The Walkmen (above).

Pitchfork review of the self-titled album that came out Aug. 5 (here).

check out his very pretty website (here).

Why I'm excited to see Vampire Weekend when they come to St. Louis:

Vampire Weekend - "Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa"

80s references in music videos seem to be popular now, see the Santogold vid below as well as the MTV VMA nominated Jonas Bros.' "Burnin' Up" (sorry, I work with middle schoolers...I have to do research into this stuff).

I love it when music videos actually correspond in some way with the lyrics.

Santogold "Lights Out"

from Kanye West's Blog

Friday, August 8, 2008

Graphic Designer humor:

Thanks, David.

fun facts

- Paraguay's flag is the only one that is different on the front than the back
- Bahrain has gotten in trouble for athlete shopping - athletes that didn't make the olympic teams in their own countries shop around for other countries that have lax citizenship policies and room on their team.
- 2012 summer olympics are in London
- Zhang Yimou is a famous Chinese film director who directed the Olympic opening ceremonies (his wikipedia here)
- Indonesia has the most Chinese people outside of China.
- 100 meter dash is slated to be the fastest footrace in the world.
- Canada pays its athletes for medals they win.
- Question: were the 15,000+ performers at the opening ceremonies paid?
- the President of Gabon, a west African country, has offered it's (4) athletes a dream house and a lifetime of riches if they win a medal.
- Chicago, Madrid, Tokyo, Rio de Janeiro are all cities vying for the 2016 summer Olympic games
- it was 90 degrees in Beijing for the Opening ceremonies
- hilarious outfits from Hungary, Croatia, and Ukraine.
- Where is Oman?
- Where is Azerbaijan?
- Where is Vanyasa?
- 14 year old Tom Daley from Great Britain, a diver?
- where is Tuvalu? (pacific island between Hawaii and Australia)
- Hugo Chavez changed the time zone of Venezuela to 1/2 hour ahead of New York. What?
- Poland's bridesmaid dresses/opening ceremony costumes
- Where's Herzegovina? (former USSR, by Bosnia)
- poor poor Chinese cheerleaders who had to dance for 2 hours.
- I love the US outfits and Lopez Lamong
- China only has one time zone!

Friday, August 1, 2008

Greatest...reviewer...ever: Sasha Frere-Jones

Read his wonderfully written and hilarious review of 'Viva La Vida' in The New Yorker (here).

In other Coldplay news, two videos for the song "Viva la Vida" are available at their website (here).

18-and-over clubs in St. Louis

La Onda

some only on specific nights...