Spontaneous Drinking

They say a great idea comes from seeing a need and satisfying it.

In the Web 2.0 world, most of the ideas come from taking what people have been doing and putting an “Un—” in front of it.

So you have BarCamp an un-conference. Then you have Lunch 2.0, the un-power lunch. Heck you’d think this whole Web 2.0 bubble would be powered by 7 Up, the un-cola, but really it’s something more like Red Bull, which as near as I can figure is the un-un-cola.

In case this turns out big, I’m blogging the newest thing in the Web 2.0 social: Spontaneous Drinking Night in SF (join the Facebook group).

It’s an un-event.

After all, what ever happened to kicking it back for a few beers with friends after work and talking about the latest viral video—in this case, the kissy anus face?

Do the kissy-anus-face
Do the kissy-anus-face
Eddie Rickenbacker’s, SoMa, San Francisco, California

Leica M8, Cosina-Voigtländer NOKTON 35mm F1.2 Aspherical
3 exposures @ 1/30sec, iso 320, 35mm (47mm)

Here’s the idea: Need an excuse to drink mid-week? Someone sends out a Facebook message with the deets: some bar in SF, most likely with a bunch of geeks, and no set agenda other than to have a few beers after work.

Oh yeah, you’re thinking: Damn that client was a moron, but I’m not in the capital of geekdom and alcoholism (San Francisco) where they have yet to have a first official event but somehow managed to get 269 members.

That’s okay, “like an STD in the 70’s,” we’ve spread virally to Silicon Valley and Vienna. And if there isn’t a chapter near you, what’s preventing you from setting one up and telling us about it?

Hope to catch you at the next event.

[The ur-un-event and the Long Tail after the jump.] Continue reading

Collapsing the female wave-function

The solution to the greatest paradoxes of the twentieth century physics is the realization that the observer cannot be separated from the experimental design.

  • General Relativity? The observer can’t tell the difference between gravity and an accelerating reference frame.
  • Maxwell’s Demon? Even the observer’s computation cannot be separated from the physical system that implements it.
  • Quantum Mechanics? Observation collapses probabilistic wave-functions.

There is a simple irony in the above.

A 21st century paradox, shared among my friends and with constant teasing, is how someone like me could both emphatically claim and successfully test as a heavy introvert.

The solution to this slightly less prestigious paradox is: I carry a camera.

Like quantum mechanics, my data collection device changes the experimental design.

[How a camera collapses the social wave function after the jump] Continue reading

Feel Good Trifecta

My sister, Mia, has been feeling a little stressed out this week, so I told her to watch the Bouncy Balls commercial I keep sending her.

She did today and felt compelled to rewatch two other videos I sent her before: “Where the Hell is Matt?” and “Otters Holding Hands”—she confessed to me she watched the last one twice this time—thus inventing the Feel Good Trifecta.

I noticed a number of people (perhaps because the SF rain is now here in earnest) aren’t feeling so good this Friday. Watch these three videos and hopefully you’ll feel a lot better. And if you aren’t one of those people, just save this entry for a rainy day.

[The trifecta after the jump] Continue reading

Brain error

Choco-phrenology
19th century German neurophysiologists successfully map out the brain after a transcontinental flight

Researching my last article was amusing, but doing so made me realize an error in something I said last month.

I didn’t recognize someone I should have because I was jetlagged and hungry. She was non-plussed with my behavior and threatened to “take me off her Facebook.” Now, if I were Scoble, I’d be just happy to have room to add a different friend. But I’m not, so I value every person I’ve managed convince into accepting a friend request. This led to this apology-cum-excuse:

“I’m sure you know how it is: visions of chocolate after a transcontinental plane ride will take over the entire parietal lobe of your neocortex—temporary prosopagnosia is an unwanted side effect. It’s a survival thing.”

Since you’ve read the last blog entry, you see the obvious error in my excuse. Clearly the fusiform gyrus is located in the temporal lobe, not the parietal. Doh!

Still, since she hasn’t unfriended me yet, I’d have to say, that it amounts to as good an excuse as any: when in doubt, blame the chocolate.

[Chocolate blogging and another nitpick after the jump] Continue reading

A religious experience

“Oh, God! Oh! OhhhHHHH!!! God!!!!! Ohhhhh”
—anonymous neighbor who didn’t close her window last night

Right before I fell asleep last night, I heard someone in my apartment complex shout this. My window was closed, but the voice penetrated it with uncompromising clarity. If a woman’s auditory systems is tuned to hearing a baby cry, a man’s is tuned to hearing a woman at the peak of coital orgasm. After all, that space in the temporal lobe has got to be used for something, right?

Or, maybe she was just loud.

In any case, it reminded me of two jokes told to me in high school. They popped into my head right before I fell asleep.

[Two jokes, obviously sophomoric after the jump] Continue reading

The open office

See our open offices with free food, beer, and t-shirts at Lunch 2.0 today!

Photos of my workstation are like photos of “What’s in my bag”—they seem to draw a voyeur-like fascination just short of a shot of a pretty girl.

Well since we recently tore down the cubes, I finally set up my workstation. You can come to Lunch 2.0 this Friday and see for yourself, but just in case you happen to be in Mexico drinking Corona’s that day:

My new open office setup
My new open office setup
North Beach, San Francisco, California

Leica M8, Cosina-Voigtländer NOKTON 35mm F1.2 Aspherical
1/16sec, iso 320, 35mm (47mm)

Click on the photo and mouseover the image for some tagging goodness.

[Inventory and open office after the jump] Continue reading

At ZendCon tomorrow – see my talk, drink their drink

I love teasing Zend and right now their conference, the largest PHP conference in the world, is going on.

As I mentioned earlier, I’ll be giving my talk on “The Internet is an Ogre” tomorrow at 10 AM. It’s a fun talk so you better go see it! (Besides, if everyone goes to this, I’ll have satisfied my life-long dream of rasmussing Coogle’s talk. :-D)

As a teaser, I might point out that Keith Casey finally gave me and my talk the proper billing it deserves, in front of BoingBoing, the Foo fighters, Joel on Software, and digg!

The presenter list is once again extensive and includes Terry Chay, Cory Doctorow, Chris Shiflett, Joel Spolsky, and Eli White.. with sponsors ranging from Microsoft to Oracle to Zend.

This ordering has everything to do with talent and relevance and nothing to do with something as arbitrary as alphab… (Why yes, I haven’t seen Andrei’s talk on ICU collation keys, why do you ask?)

If you aren’t attending ZendCon, then stop by to H2.O- a free Happy Hour 2.0 at ZendCon. I’m told the exhibit hall will have lots of space so you can meet all these cool people of the PHP world—I guarantee, they’re “nerd-orable.”

Oh yeah, stop by and say hi to me. I’ll be the drunk photographer mooching all the free food and drink:

Moving forward…

[Terry Chay, Terry Chay, Terry Chay after the jump] Continue reading

Job: PHP Application Engineer

Received this a couple days ago. It involves a project of combining two codebases, updating the Ajax, and building out the scalability in each. Might be interesting to some of you:

Abby is working with a client owned by one of the nation’s largest, innovative, billion dollar companies. My client provides an online product that is the leading destination of its kind, targeting the audience of expecting parents. Millions of users use their product. They have received a lot of attention from the media, having been featured on CNN and CBS and in hundreds of articles, including in Fortune Magazine and The New York Times. They have 4 million registered users and recently acquired a very successful smaller start up and are looking PHP people with core PHP experience.

Their executive team have strong track records of success, with leading companies such as AOL, Time Inc., Neiman Marcus and Smith & Hawken.

[Job description after the jump.] Continue reading

Happy Sputnik Day!

Happy Sputnik Day
Text reads:
Dear person-with-vaguely-Russian-sounding-name,

Fifty years ago today, the Soviet Union threw a beeping metal sphere into low earth orbit scaring the be-jesus out of every American and touching off the Space Race which gave us 100+ TV channels, GPS tracking, orbital mind control lasers, Google Earth, and Tangall of which, by some coincidence, scare the be-jesus out of me.

How are you going to celebrate this greatest day in history?

—Terensandr Mydadovich Chayarov

I was thinking the other day how White Russians may be my favorite ethnic group named after a decent cocktail and it is a shame that they don’t have a cool day like the Irish do—you know to show off their heritage and give the rest of us an excuse to imbibe way too much alcohol.

That is, until Cindy pointed out that today is International Sputnik Day—the 50th anniversary!

[Tell us how you plan on celebrating the possibly greatest day in history of artificially-flavored orange juice after the jump] Continue reading