Globalization is freaking awesome

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Chinese Hammer fucking rules, originally uploaded by mathowie.

I stumbled across Chinese Hammer tonight and fell in love with it for a thousand reasons. Just the thought of someone halfway around the world mimicking a video from 1989 in a move-for-move remake. Also, the mom on the couch crocheting, oblivious to the awesome dancing. Then I posted it to MetaFilter only to find there’s a such thing as YouTube Doubler to play them side by side.

I captured the best bits in a short movie here. About 30 seconds in, things start matching up and it just keeps staying awesome for another minute or so.

update: cool, the dude has a ton of other videos (Thriller, more MC Hammer, etc)

More fun than a pile of powdered sugar

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You might have seen a hilarious / bizarre / historical set of found photos someone picked up at a swap meet of a 70s cocaine party. It’s really oddball stuff.

Even more odd, Astro Zombie (and friends) from MetaFilter started recreating the photos with their own mirrors and powdered sugar and a ridiculous new flickr pool was born.

Domain related junk mail

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Domain related junk mail, originally uploaded by mathowie.

In the beginning, I listed my home phone number and apartment address on all my domains. By the late nineties, the marketers/spammers showed up and after the tenth early morning phone pitch and junkmail blast, I gave up and fabricated a generic-sounding address and slapped a movie-style 555 phone number on all my domains.

Last Fall I finally buckled down and got a PO Box and I decided to try putting a real business address and phone number (at least my SkypeIn number) back on my domains. Today I did my monthly PO Box check and it was full. For the first three months of my mailbox, I got almost no mail but today it was stuffed with special offers for the owner of I guess I shouldn’t be surprised since there’s almost no cost to blasting out ads to every domain owner but it was still unexpected.

My biggest worry when looking at this stack of mail? I hope the person living at 123 Fake St. in San Francisco knows how truly sorry I am for the past eight years of junk mail.

Planning to attend the MeFi party in Portland, July 14th?

For MetaFilter‘s 8th anniversary, we’re throwing a party at Ground Kontrol (511 NW Couch St.), a bar/80s arcade in downtown Portland. It’ll be from 7pm until 2am on Saturday, July 14th. It is strictly 21 and over because there will be free drinks (roughly 5 free drinks per person, $1.50-$2 per drink after we run out the tab) and games will also be on free play mode. The venue can accommodate about 100 people so I need to do a head count beforehand (at this point I’m not sure if 50 people or 500 are actually coming).

The party is open to any and all current members and you can bring one guest if you want. Please mark “Yes” if you’ve made plans and would like to attend, “Maybe” if you’re not sure yet. If you can’t make it, no worries, feel free to ignore this. Thanks, and I look forward to seeing everyone on the 14th!

RSVP here

What does “MeFi” mean in the background of Mythbusters?


I figured I should write the answer to this entry in case some fans of the TV show Mythbusters ever wonder what a small easter egg in the background of the show set means. For anyone typing the title of this post into Google, here’s your answer:

Adam Savage, the co-host of the show is obviously a geek and spends some time online each day between shooting scenes for the show. Among many popular blogs, he reads MetaFilter, which goes by the shorthand “MeFi” by its members. Most of his participation takes place on Ask MetaFilter, a question and answers area of the site. This is his profile on the site.

Early this year, he posted a question asking members of the site to suggest some myths they could test from the Old West. The show had already covered a bunch of standards in previous shows and Adam wasn’t too happy with the suggestions for new myths from his producers, so he asked on the site. There were over 200 answers, but these three made it onto the show:

Adam talks about how the myths were chosen and how they were filmed in a podcast interview I did with him a couple months after the original question. In it, he talks about how he wanted to thank the website by having some small “easter egg” mention of MetaFilter, Ask MeFi, or MeFi somewhere in the blueprint and credits at the end of that episode.

Turns out that instead of a temporary small mention on that one specific episode that aired this evening, it was done in masking tape on a door in the set’s background several episodes before and has since stuck around. Time will tell how long it lasts, but now you know what it means and why it’s there and thanks again Adam for the shoutout. Mythbusters continues to be my favorite show on TV due to the great simple science and geekiness displayed each week. Mythbusters is probably doing more to help steer kids into engineering and adults into DIY/hacking projects than anything else on TV today.

I’ve been playing with for a few minutes (here is the Portland feed), and my first thought was that this is exactly what friends told me to do in 2000. MetaFilter was just taking off being barely a year old, and San Francisco friends urged me to make city-specific local news hubs that interested people could find links and news for and post to. Tom Coates had a great write up in fall of 2000 asking for precisely this. I was (and still am) too busy to take on such an effort, but it’s good to see someone trying to pick up the reins and try it.

I’m surprised they didn’t use URLs instead of though.