Category Archives: Just For Fun

mario

IGN’s Museum of Mario an interesting look back.

By | Design, Just For Fun | No Comments

There’s no question that the video game industry has had huge influence on modern design. The gamers amongst us will tell you that Mario is inarguably one of the greatest video game stars of all time, rising from a simple arcade game to global mega-franchise. “IGN presents Museum of Mario” is a new website examining the 30+ year history of the world’s most famous Italian plumber, and for those of us who grew up with him, a nostalgic trip down memory lane. (Where is the minus world? How do I get there? Does it really exist at all??) Read More

clutter2

Clutter…ugh…clutter

By | Just For Fun | No Comments

Okay, I admit it, as a creative type I tend to have issues maintaining the sort of environment that would best suit creative work. Sometimes it feels like I should hire an OCD intern to file everything away in the exact best place. So, when I ran across this article on the effect of clutter I stopped to read it. If you’re already the supreme commander of the North Atlantic neat-and-tidy forces, then perhaps the section on Apple’s use of a clutter-free environment to promote sales might be of interest.

Was I truly interested in the article, or just putting off cleaning up my desk? Perhaps a little of both…

SciAm offers a little help to aspiring chefs.

SciAm offers a little help to aspiring chefs.

By | Just For Fun | No Comments

I cook and I’m always looking for new flavor combinations, so I was interested in this SciAm article and interactive flavor combination infographic. The “flavor map” seeks to discover new palatable combinations based on the chemical makeup of the corresponding ingredients.

Does it work? Well, after spending a few minutes playing around I discovered that it indicates that rum, citrus and almond do not go together, despite this being the flavor combo of Trader Vic’s 1946 invention, the Mai Tai, one of history’s most popular cocktails. It does, however, indicate that rum, blue cheese and sauerkraut pair very well. Huh. Thanks, scientists, but I think I’ll stick to Ina Garten, Alton Brown and Epicurious for my recipe ideas.

flavor map

1977 Star Wars logo

Attention SciFi and Design Geeks!

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We’ve attended San Diego Comic-Con as a company for several years, and I’ve learned that there’s not much about Star Wars that hasn’t been discussed, debated then discussed some more in excruciating depth. But usually these conversations are about who shot first or who would win in a Death Star / USS Enterprise showdown. This really well-written and documented article examines the Star Wars logo, taking a fascinating look back at the evolution of the now-iconic centerpiece to the Star Wars brand.

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getty center

Told You So…

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The sun is shining, it’s a beautiful day, REM has a gigantic royalty check coming their way, and the world didn’t end. Can we take a break from the stupid end-of-the-world news stories for a bit? Even NPR was becoming intolerable. Sheesh.

apocalypseBig

(Totally Not) The End of the World As We Know It

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I have to hand it to REM for writing that song. In terms of ongoing licensing revenue, it may be more profitable than even a song about really loving your car (another good option, since such a song would be used ad infinitum in auto commercials).

Today, the day the world will supposedly end, I feel obligated to offer more of a rant than an informative article. And that is simply this: the 2012 phenomenon is stupid. It’s boring. And it’s not even based on a real end-time myth. Many religions predict the end of the world, but the Mayans by no means predicted that it would happen on December 21st, 2012. On that date, the long count calendar they used simply flips over. It’s the modern day equivalent of tossing out our copy of “Exotic Chickens 2012” and replacing it with “Overly Cute Kittens 2013.” Very dull. So all the hype and furor is nothing more than a marketing ploy, and one that’s brought us nothing good. Take the movie 2012, for example. Now there’s a disaster. Ugh. 150 minutes of special effects, flat dialogue and inane plot twists all set off by “mutant neutrinos.” Really?? Mutant neutrinos? Blech.

So feel free to put off telling your loved ones you care (or don’t – there’s still a lot of texting while driving going on) and leave your stock portfolio in place. The world will still be here tomorrow. But the Mayan calendar does eventually end, so you might reset your “panic alarm” for that date. When is it? Oh, about the year 26,870,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000. This is about 2 quintillion times the length of time scientists believe our universe will exist, so good luck waiting around for that. It’ll come about long, long after electromagnetism and the other three fundamental forces have broken down, preventing the existence of even atoms and making for a pretty lousy time all around.

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NASA and Foursquare Make Check-In History

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I’ll admit that I’m not the biggest foursquare fan. In my experience it’s led to fewer conversations like ,”Hey, you tried that restaurant? How was it?” and more like, “You said you were too busy to hang out but I see you’re not too busy to spend time with Craig at the restaurant I told you I wanted to try.” Ha…yeah…technology. Ultimate good and evil rolled into one five inch display.

Okay, but this was really cool. Recently Expedition 25 Commander Douglas H Wheelock made history by becoming the first foursquare user to check in from space when he arrived at the International Space Station. Our Creative Director, Aaron Harvey, has been on foursquare since it launched and loves checking in and earning exclusive badges. Something tells me this is one badge just slightly out of his (and most everyone else’s) reach.

turkey

Thanksgiving Food Questions Answered

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I’m a cook, so this time of year I tend to receive MANY calls from friends who are planning their holiday dinners. They want to know my opinions on brining and stuffing a turkey (a big yes on brining, a big no on stuffing) or how many pies they should bake (generally two per guest is excessive, but yummy).

This year, I’m thinking of answering questions only after having pointed my friends to The Food Lab, which has very kindly published a guide to some of Thanksgiving’s biggest quandaries. As both a science nerd and a cook, I had to read the whole thing.

I’ll also point my friends to one of the most indispensable websites/apps in my life – epicurious. Free both online and in iPhone/iPad form, the app collects thousands and thousands of recipes from Bon Appétit and Gourmet Magazines’ history, and includes meal planners and featured recipes. I wouldn’t undertake a holiday meal without it.