Friday, January 29, 2010

Learning

"Bernard Shaw once remarked: "If you teach a man anything, he will never learn." Shaw was right. Learning is an active process. We learn by doing" - Dale Carnegie.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

New Apple iPad

Watch the video and tell me what you think.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Saab's Salvation Has Come!

Saab has stared through the gallows on multiple occasions over the last year. On multiple occasions it seemed as if a savior (first Penkse, and then Koenigsegg, among others) had swooped down in the 11th hour.

But as each savior turned and walked away, Saab's doom appeared increasingly definite.

This makes Spykers successful bid of Saab all the more glorious!

Macro View of Google, Microsoft, Apple, Yahoo

This is a handy chart to see how the Big 3 (and Yahoo) face off. I thought this was particularly interesting before tomorrows big launch.

There's no doubt that Apple will be unveiling big changes for their mobile range (top 6 rows on the chart) between the iPhone OS and the anticipated tablet.

I don't think it is any coincidence that Apple is pushing hardest where Yahoo is all but non-exisent, Microsoft is weakest, and Google is still spinning their tires trying to get traction.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Gadget Anticipation

When Steve Job's himself is quoted as being "extremely happy" with the project that he has described as being "the most important thing I've ever done", it's worth perking an ear to.

Remember, this is the guy that resuscitated the dieing Apple brand by making sexy products like the iMac and MacBook.

The guy that revolutionized the way we listen to music by defining the previously nonexistent market of MP3 players in 2001 with the release of the iPod.

The same guy who did it again with the iPhone in 2007. Except this time, he was breaking into the smart phone market that had been well established for over half a decade.

Oh, and $3.38 billion in net quarterly profits isn't to shabby either.

I recommend tuning in to MacRumors regularly over the next couple days. Everything you thought you knew about technology is going to be redefined on Wednesday the 27th at 10am pacific time.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

120 New Horses in The Knepprath's Stable

She's not pretty, but she gets 33mpg and was only $300.

1998 Chevrolet Prizm, the twin separated at birth from the Toyota Corolla. 3rd generation of the body style with a bullet proof motor.

I plan on doing some minor bodywork as she's missing the passenger side indicator lens and has a pretty depressing front bumper.

All and all, I'm content. She makes for an enjoyable commute, if not lonely. Commuting with your wife for the first 7 months of marriage will do that to you.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Barberrian Villagers Anthem



This is a great song to go with my post "You live there!? Why?"

You lived among the least of these
The weary and the weak
And it would be a tragedy for me to turn away.

All my needs you have supplied.
When I was dead you gave me life.
How could I not give it away so freely?

And I'll follow you into the homes that are broken.
Follow you into the world.
Meet the needs for the poor and the needy God.
Follow you into the World.

Use my hands, use my feet
To make your kingdom come
Through the corners of the earth
Until your work is done
'Cause Faith without works is dead
And on the cross your blood was she'd
So how could I not give it away so freely?

And I'll follow you into the homes that are broken.
Follow you into the world.
Meet the needs for the poor and the needy God.
Follow you into the World.
(X2)

I give all myself.
I give all myself
I give all myself... to you.

And I give all myself.
Yes, I give all myself.
And I give all myself... to you.

And I'll follow you into the homes that are broken
Follow you into the world.
Meet the needs for the poor and the needy God.
Follow you into the World.

(X2)

By Leeland.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Would You Drive This Buick?

It's not your Grandma's Buick.

4 cylinder running 250hp and 295 lbs of torque, 6-speed manual gearbox, heavily bolstered Recaro seats, brembo brakes, and AWD.

Buick is rocking it with the new LaCrosse and a compact sedan on the horizon.

More info and pics at the link.


Saturday, January 09, 2010

OnLive Innovation (Video)

From the standpoint of a visionary, designer, innovator, and tech-geek this video is fascinating. I love this guys energy and his challenge to not let current paradigms create mental barriers that create us from accomplishing great things.

This is a long video. It might not be on a topic that you are very interested in, but give it a shot. I personally received the same enjoyment I get from a solid TED talk.


You can catch the 5 part video on youtube.





Friday, January 08, 2010

Is Environmentalism a Religion?

The late Michael Crichton was genius. Our society desperately needs his voice today. He gave this message on the danger of "green dogma" to students in 2005 (based on a speech he originally wrote in 2003):


Imagine what he would have to say in 2010? He gives words to something I have merely sensed and have grappled to define the last two years living and attending university in Portland.

His concise and perceptive observations of environmentalism almost seems prophetic.

In Portland you have people standing on every street corner selling penance for your sins of consumptions and excess. "Sustainability is salvation in the church of environmentalism. Just as organic food is it's communion."

In portland condemnation and guilt is heaped (directly or indirectly) on to the shoulders of those who don't buy the right products, eat the right foods, live in the right neighborhood, wear the right clothes, use the right bag, drive the right cars, shop at the right store, and talk the right way.

For many this religion gives purpose and meaning to their daily lives. It's a religious framework that gives satisfaction and a sense of superiority to the "true believers".

This is not to say there is not truth in environment concerns. Most certainly their are environmental concerns, even crises. I say none of this as a "get out of jail free card" for selfless and irresponsible consumption. But religious dogma will not do. I do call for the breaking of the chains of religion by seeing the current environmental movement for what it is, allowing us to better address the issues.
  • Has anyone heard of environmentalism spoken of in these terms (His original BRILLIANT speech from 2003 can be read on his official site)?
  • Does Michael Crichton have a successor in this regard (I'm not speaking of the billion bitter environmental reactionaries that a simple google search will reveal)?
  • Is all of this a load of BS?
  • Have you been burned by environmentalism as a religion?
  • Do you find ways that you have submitted to this form of religious fundamentalism?
This couldn't be more timely with the release of Avatar. I might be doing a followup to this post, disseminating the content of Avatar as it relates. In the meantime, feel free to jump back to my last post on Avatar, as there is already a good discussion rolling about the themes of environmentalism there.

Thursday, January 07, 2010

Indescribably Beautiful CG Video

I'm in awe. What words would you use to describe this video?

Watch in HD and fullscreen with sound for full experience!


I was gripped the whole way through, not wanting to miss a texture, trying to soak in the beauty of each scene as the focus changed. This is truly inspiring work.

Arrested Development: The Movie (Update!)

Interview with Michael Cera about his latest film Youth in Revolt.

Towards the end:
"MovieRetriever: I ask every year – any progress on the Arrested Development movie?

CERA: I think it's going to happen next year. Next summer."

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Upular

Song and music video composed completely from chords, bass notes, and vocals from the Disney Pixar film Up.



A brilliant piece of art created from a brilliant piece of art.

Monday, January 04, 2010

Reflections on Avatar (No Spoilers)

What struck me within the first 5 minutes of the movie has continued to dominate my reflections 2 days later.

I could go on about:
  • The mind blowing animation
  • The engaging story line with it's multitude of poignant social commentaries
  • How Zoe Saldana is the luckiest (self-proclaimed) sci-fi geek, first scoring the role of Uhura in Star Trek, and now costarring in Avatar
  • My excitement that it brings sci-fi to a wider audience
  • James Cameron's epic biography that has brought him to this point
Avatar has ensured that 3D will dominate the future of film, but not for any of these reasons. James Cameron has set the standard for 3D as a story-telling art form.

There was zero gimmick. I never felt like the fact that the movie was 3D was shoved in my face.

The third dimension was not used to create an experience in and of itself, but it was utilized as one of many tools (such as audio and color).

Within minutes you forget that you are watching a "3D movie". This is not to say that the third dimension is not appreciated. In fact, I can't think of a scene where the heightened sense of clarity and depth of 3D did not amplify the story. You forget that it is a "3D movie" in the same sense that you "forget" that color schemes and soundtracks are used to convey emotions, and resultantly, amplify the audiences immersion in the story.

The beauty is not in the flashy effects, but in the subtle angles and perspectives of the artists eye. I anticipate many film makers will learn, replicate, and continue to evolve this art in ways that the audience does not, and needs not, fully appreciate. We will simply appreciate more immersive stories through film.

I'd love to hear your thoughts. What did you think of Avatar (the story or the films significance in other capacities)?

Top 10 Office Pranks

IGN compiled a list of their Top 10 Office Pranks. Agree? Which are you favorites? Are they missing any of your favorites?

I am particularly fond of 9, 7, 5, 4, and 2.

They gave a mere Honorable Mention to "Memos from the Future". This prank would find it's way onto the top 5 for me.

Related: We all know the US version is a copy of the UK version, but did you know the UK version was a copy from the Japanese version?

Sunday, January 03, 2010

Sail Away

Some classic Enya to brighten this cold gray breezy Portland day.