Triumphs of the Human Spirit

Blurb is hosting Lunch 2.0 today on Valentine’s Day!

Reading people’s twitter’s I think

Am I the only single person who loves Valentine’s day?

Oh the gifts, flowers, chocolates, singing telegram, and the the restaurant dinner reservation! I love watching the public trauma this day brings to two people in love. Sometimes it is like a romance sped up. Other times it is a romantic comedy in miniature, but mostly it is a complete disaster—still memorable in a “visit the inlaws” sort of way.

To that last one, I remember how my friend Jay broke up with his girlfriend by taking her to McDonald’s for Valentine’s—given how I love fast food, this would probably be my ideal date. 😀

I thank that I never have had to privately experience that public trauma. Historo-mathematically, it should have happened—I know that I’ve been in a relationship during some February 14th of the past, but somehow I’ve been spared any compulsion to participate.

Instead, I normally celebrate it by spamming friends and family with an e-card.

Not this year.

[Triumphs of the Human Spirit]Continue reading

Geek. Set. Match…

Just now, Mager messaged me:

“I am excited for Lunch two dot oh—I don’t say “point-oh” anymore.


In the summer of 1992, a friend was reading me a geek purity test he got from USENET.

One of the questions was:

Do you pronounce “*.*” as “star-dot-star?”

Of course, since he was reading it aloud, I heard:

Do you pronounce star-dot-star as star-dot-star?

Needless to say, I was quite confused. 😀

[More geek after the jump]Continue reading

Why I love Lunch 2.0

I love Lunch 2.0. It’s ironic that something that started as a prank on Web 2.0 could become representative of the very thing it teases: free and open communication and “the lunch as a conversation.”

Even though I missed Lunch 2.0 at Oodle, you have to love this mobile post via Utterz by Chris Heuer catching the first words of this utter by Randy Corke of Utterz, talking at Lunch 2.0 to Devon Holmes about social media.

Now that’s so meta. 🙂

I wish I could have jumped in on the social media circle jerk. Of course, I’m not as hip as them so I went “old skool” and twittered it. You see these sort of random circular connections in my blog posts, so I obviously love it.

Lunch 2.0. It’s been a great year.

OMG we made the front page!

OMG we made the frontpage!
North Beach, San Francisco, California

Nikon D200, Nikkor 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6G VR, SB-800, Gitzo G1228LVL, RRS BH-55 ballhead
1/100 sec @ f/16, iso 100, 26mm (39mm)

Lunch 2.0 makes the front page of the San Francisco Chronicle. Believe it or not, this is how we got a Facebook Lunch 2.0.

I thought I’d finish with how this last Silicon Lunch 2.0 of 2007 incident is a great way to close out the year, which began with the linked blog post above about how we created Lunch 2.0.

[Epicycles and thanks after the jump]Continue reading

Quantifying beauty

“You called me earlier?”

D— replies, “Oh yeah, I was at the hardware store. Something there reminded me of a blog entry of yours.”

“Which one?”

“I forgot. So hey, speaking of that. Chris was annoyed about your lame post.”

“Yeah, it was so lame that it was actually a rehash of an earlier blog entry.”

“Oh really? The article didn’t make any sense to me. What’s a Y Combinator?”

“It’s a Paul Graham idea, where they give you a chunk of mon…”

D— cuts me off: “Oh yeah! I remember now. It’s the ‘microloans for geeks’ thing. That sounds pretty stupid to me. I don’t know…you probably think it’s a good idea since they’ve had a single success.”

“It’s a good idea for Paul maybe. But it’s like no money. It seems a lot when you are a student. But… you know $5000 would have been 1/4 of our yearly income when we were grad students and we were the king of the hill back then so that seems like a lot. But, shit, their parents are paying $100k for their education here—you’re telling me they can’t hit them up for 5% of that? As for the rest. One trip to Lunch 2.0 or any other geek event in the city and you’d have a better network than… it’s still an echo chamber, but at least it’s a bigger chamber you know?”

“Yeah, it’s like no money now.”

“The problem is we can’t determine the null hypothesis: how would those startups do without that ‘assistance.’ My suspicion is that those that succeeded would have succeeded anyway and might have even done better without some half-assed business guidance. And those that failed would have failed faster. Anyway. So I was thinking that you could talk about how you could look at anything in terms of how many ‘Combinators’ it is worth. You bought that new car recently: 8 combinators. So you can go, ‘Shit, I could have funded eight startups with this car.’ I thought it was a hilarious.”

“Heh. Terry, you should set up a micro-Combinator. Since a micro is 10-6…”

“That’s like half a cent. If they have two founders, it works out to a penny. At least that’ll force them to have multiple founders if they want my money. What a great idea!”

“Haha. Remember T— in grad school and his Helens?”

“Uhh. I forgot.”

“You know. he said that Helen had a thousand ships. But nobody is that beautiful so they’re like one ship…”

My turn to cut D— off. “Millihelen! I forgot that one! Hehe. Thank you for reminding me about that. Now I have something to blog.”

How to quantify beauty

A unit of measurement. The amount of beauty necessary to launch a thousand ships.
Since nobody rates a full helen anymore. Beauty should be expressed in terms of one-one thousandth of a helen. This is the amount of beauty necessary to launch a single ship.
Fractional milihelen. See above.
Fractional Millihelens

Brain error


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

Adobe’s AIR MAX

Ever since Ed Finkler found out I use twitter a few months ago, he has been bugging me to install Spaz. Then, when Spaz became Spaz.AIR, he did it again.

But so far I’ve been able to resist his sexy advances.

Then one day, Adobe hosted a Lunch 2.0 with an Adobe AIR contest. I suggested to Ed that he submit that app of his that is so good that I don’t use it.

He did.

The problem was Ed and I were going to be at php|works. Whoops!

What to do if he won?

So I checked the RSVP and sent an e-mail to the two people who most remind me of Ed: Morgan and Karen asking if one of them would be West-Coast Ed.

2007-0097 57

2007-0097 57
CNET Headquarters, SOMA, San Francisco, California

Nikon D200, Tokina 16-50mm AT-X PRO f/2.8 DX, SB-800
1/60sec @ f/2.8, iso 100, 16mm (24mm)

Morgan (center) introduced me to Karen (right). Those of you who know Ed, can already see the similarity.

Karen was up to the challenge.

The strange thing is, he did win. Andrew Mager was on hand to record Ed accepting his prize:

Ed, it’s her stripey socks that does it for me. Consider getting a few pairs.

All I have to say is, Ed you’re looking a lot hotter. (Maybe I should install Spaz.)

[AIR, Funkatron, Karenism, etc. after the jump]Continue reading

The double switch

*iPhone rings*

“What’s up?”

“You called me earlier.”

“I’m at work now.”

“What’s that noise in the background.”

“I’m watching the latest BubCast. There is something about Spock. They’re hosting a Lunch 2.0 soon and I need some fodder for our announcement. All I found so far was that shit TED posted.”


“You know…from Uncov? I met him last week. Someone on the website said he looks like Steve Jobs and John Lennon’s love child.”

TED drinks the blood of Web 2.0 startups

TED drinks the blood of Web 2.0 startups
Mars Bar and Restaurant, SOMA, San Francisco, California

Nikon D200, Tokina 16-50mm AT-X PRO f/2.8 DX, built-in flash
1/60sec @ f/3.2, iso800, 17mm (25mm) is everywhere. I was talking to some guy the other day saying how is everywhere and he says, ‘I write for’”

“Who was it? Alex Ho?”

“I don’t know.”

“Asian dude, carries a Canon, takes event photos.”

“Yeah, I think that was him.”

*watching video* “Geez, what’s up with this cute-girls-reading-geek-news thing anyway?”

Alison McNeill does BubCast

“I suppose that’s the new booth babe. That reminds me of the double-switch. Did I ever tell you about the double switch?”


[The double-switch, t-shirts, and Lunch 2.0 after the jump.]Continue reading

Socializr is looking for kick-ass-coders

Jonathan Abrams, the junior programmer at Socializr, sent me this. He is looking to double the size at the Socializr World Headquarters!

They have put together #1, #2, and #3, but they need #4, #5 and #6 to complete Socialzr.

Jonathan needs you to complete (his company)

Jonathan needs you to complete (his company)
Socializr World Headquarters, SOMA, San Francisco, California

Nikon D200, Tokina 16-50mm AT-X PRO f/2.8 DX
1/80sec @ f/2.8, iso250, 16mm (24mm)

Jonathan sez: “Form feet and legs; form arms and body; and I’ll form the head…FORM BLAZING SWORD!

I’m behind on my Lunch 2.0 postings so I’ll post it here first.

Socializr is looking for Kick-Ass Coders — Employees #4, #5, and #6!

Socializr is a new Internet startup founded by Jonathan Abrams, the award-winning serial entrepreneur who created Friendster, and the co-owner of San Francisco nightclub Slide. Socializr is a free web service for sharing event and party information with your friends. It is our mission to be the best site on the web for online event invitations, event promotion, social planning, and event photo sharing. Socializr’s offices are located in the South of Market area in San Francisco.

Socializr is a very unique new company offering a dynamic and fun work environment. The company is currently only three people, and we plan to stay lean and mean. We are looking for our first additions to our software development team. The ideal candidates will be able to quickly contribute and create results. We need energetic and fun people who are passionate about building a great consumer web application with large traffic and growth.

If your idea of a fun afternoon is rapidly prototyping a cool new feature, creating an API, integrating with 3 other web services, AJAX-ifying something by hand with tight code instead of bulky libraries, and tuning a SQL query to be 100 times faster, all in one day, this may be the job for you. On the other hand, if your idea of fun is sitting around in meetings or working on code that doesn’t scale or products that no one will ever use, Socializr is probably not the right place for you.

[Mad skillz after the jump.]Continue reading