Men With Mustaches

Here's a drawing I made of the diminished career opportunities for men with mustaches.


An iPhone Application I Cannot Make

I'm actually trying to finish a program for the iPhone. I've always wanted to make a toy or gadget, and since I have zero engineering expertise, I'm happy to let Apple provide that end and leave me to the software.

VCRs duly excepted, I'm new to programming. There is a bit of a learning curve. As with most things, all you need to know is what you can or can not do. I blew this. Apple has made some things easy (you can drag and drop menus, windows, whole interfaces, anything that looks standard on the Mac or iPhone) and they've made one thing very, very hard: every program has to shut down when the phone rings. This completely shattered my dream of building the perfect alarm clock. I've moved on, shattered, and am trying to finish something new that I'll show you in June. Until then, perhaps you can do me a favor and make this application.

Wouldn't it be amazing to use the iPhone's camera as a makeshift barcode scanner (see Delicious Library pull this off)? Consider using this in a supermarket. Suddenly a whole world of information would be available beyond what packaging chooses to reveal:
  • Can you get this thing cheaper online?
  • Scan two products and compare them on cost, nutritional value, or other criterion that matter to you.
  • Vote with your money: is your brand of tuna sustainable or depleting the ocean? is your "All-natural" chicken everything you hope it is (All-natural being a label that has little in the way of regulation and meaning -- I mean, aren't all chickens natural)? Are you being pandered to, is this product 'green-washed', or is there something interesting going on here? Is this company trying to change? Would the cheaper standard bulb save me money or the more expensive CFL lightbulb? Over a year?
  • How much carbon did it take to get your sea bass from Chile to New York?
  • Exactly how many hamburgers did I buy last month? Yikes!
I know that having more information leads to better purchases. It also leads to greater sustainability. Supply chains will wizen up and food will arrive at your market without the need for preservatives as the exact number of buyers is known in advance. Something is to gained here. For starters, preservative free food can be sold for more. More relevant to those of us not in the food business, food will get cheaper and healthier. People just won't stand for bad food as they'll be given the choice of two products identical in price and they'll take the food less doctored. And that will make all the difference.


The dB's

I just managed to get my hands on a CD (!) that I once owned but was stolen -- accidentally, it must be added. The dB's are such a perfect band and this double-album -- Stands for Decibels/Repurcussion -- is such a perfect album that its inspired the audio-evangelist in me. I've begun to find music reviews insufficient, unless they're tearing something apart (and that's a different, easier joy), and so I'll spare you. Ok, permit me an incomplete sentence: bridging the gap between Big Star and Southern power pop -- and modern bands like the Shins -- casually genius, big in England, polite in person, criminally overlooked and not because they're actually bad, good.

Video might do them justice

See them play my favorite song live. Also, as of my last excursion, you can't buy their album on iTunes. One could take that as a perfect excuse to visit a brick-and-mortar record store. That could be fun in and of itself.


The Birth of Blue

I've already linked to Adam Werbach's speech at page left, but I need to draw more attention to it because it needs as much attention as possible. This is something I've been thinking about lately expressed with more authority and art than I could hope to. It's a call to a Blue movement, a push to sustainability, a greater awareness about what one is washing up with, lighting their houses with, moving their cars with, wearing, and eating that works because it does not aim to do away with the corporation and because it's as good as You are. If you can appeal to people's consciences and their desire for purpose -- without forcing them to compromise too much on the consumerables that make them and their families feel good -- then you have something everyone can get on board with. And sustainability will get cheaper.

It's a long speech and I don't want to keep you from it. Please do think about it.


Places I've Been

I'm reformatting my resume and stunned (again) by how little that piece of paper says about me. In an effort to rethink the medium and try and get more of me across, I struggled to make a map of the places I've been. Then I stumbled upon this wonderful web application. Ignoring for the moment that it is very easy to travel from McDonald's to McDonald's -- the smile is the same -- I'm of the opinion that the places I've been have taught me a lot. But I'm biased. And I've got a ways to go: I've travelled to over 30 countries, but look at my dismal record in African and Latin America.