Look Ma, my first mention

Look Ma, my first mention in the New York Times! I’ll probably be as giddy as a schoolgirl tomorrow when I actually see it in print, even though it’s a very small mention. I know it’s nothing, but after spending two days cruising the harsh wastelands that craigslist, monster, and dice have become, I’ll take almost anything as a reason to smile these days.

I was happy to see the work of everyone on MetaFilter get recognized. I think the writer did a good job describing how everyone worked together to build up clues and solve the case. I hoped that the message of the piece would be that a group of users can accomplish more together than individuals can by themselves. Pre-internet this couldn’t happen, but it happened on MetaFilter.

Occam’s Razor states “when you

Occam’s Razor states “when you have two competing theories which make exactly the same predictions, the one that is simpler is the better.”

What’s weird is that faced with the choice that a story was real, and maybe some of the details were sketchy, and the story was an elaborate hoax involving hundreds of emails, dozens of phone calls, hundreds and hundreds of hours of time spent sending instant messages, and megabytes of written text, the one that was much more work seems to be true.

Holy. Cow. So the

Holy. Cow.

So the Kaycee blog was not written by a dying leukemia patient, but by someone else, the identity of which will probably never be known. A lot of what you see and read on the web requires trust on the part of the reader, and when someone betrays that trust, every reader that bought into the story loses something.

Thanks “Debbie” for making me a little more cynical than I was yesterday.

The 280 freeway in the

The 280 freeway in the Bay Area is easily the most scenic and beautiful express highway I’ve ever driven on. It travels through 50-60 miles between San Jose and San Francisco, along the western, undeveloped side of the Silicon Valley. It usually takes a tad longer to get from the Silicon Valley to The City if you decide to take the 280, but it’s always more pleasant and worth it for the view.

I’ve traveled this highway hundreds of times, and for about three months on a near daily basis, and as far as freeways go it’s still by far my favorite. Today I finally realized why, and it’s worth noting.

Not only does it cut through picturesque countryside, but there is not a single billboard ad along any of it.

This is far from being a minor point, many freeways north of San Francisco cut through undeveloped green hillsides, but they’re not nearly as pleasant or relaxing, and it’s the ads. How on earth a heavily trafficked freeway in one of the richest areas in the nation (traveled daily by many gadget freak techies with disposable incomes that are also prone to advertising) can be free of any ads is beyond me. To drive each day free of advertising doesn’t seem like much, but you show up to your destination calm and refreshed. You can hold a conversation in a car without being visually jarred every 30 seconds and you can look out the side windows and see nothing but uninterrupted rolling hills.

You wouldn’t think it’s that big of deal until you realize it. I don’t even have to tell you, it’s a living example. Do an experiment the next time you have a party in the Bay Area. Give half your friends directions to your place via the 101, the other half via the 280, and see who has a better time when they show up.

You can thank me later.

Christina Aguilera is deserving of

Christina Aguilera is deserving of a benefit concert, a tribute album, and special fund to save something very close to her. Take a quick look:

one two three four five

I hereby propose we start a “Save Christina Aguilera’s hair roots fund.” Everytime I see a picture of her, she’s got differently colored and styled hair. It can’t be good for her, or for the children that follow her.

Won’t somebody please think of the hair roots?

I’ll be in Australia for

I’ll be in Australia for a few weeks this August and I need to figure out what to do for a few days. We (Kay and I) have at least eight days to kill between the time we land in Sydney and the time we have to be in the Claire Valley (near Adelaide). Flights don’t seem that expensive, so we’re open to hopping around AUS as needed.

We’re thinking a few days in a nice hotel in Sydney is sufficient, then heading to Melbourne to check things out. After that we’re thinking of doing a train trip from Melbourne to Adelaide, but that leaves a lot of space in between. I know a few people in Australia, and there are probably more that read this site, but what would you do with some free time in Australia? Is there a city I’m missing? What’s the weather like in August? If there’s one thing I have to do in Sydney, what would that be? Should I check out Perth? The northern coast? Hop over to NZ? Try boxing a kangaroo?

Thanks in advance.