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So apparently one of the Jonas brothers has been blowing up the Internet airwaves with his rendition of “Single Ladies.” I have not (and will not) watch this video on principle, having proudly never consumed a single piece of Jonas Brothers media. Based on the barrage of Jonas Brothers merchandise I see every time I visit Target, however, I am already a staunch non-fan.
However, by scrunching up my eyes, holding my breath, and rapidly sliding the video playhead back and forth, I did manage to screencapture a number of stills from the Single Ladies video. I have compiled these stills in a photomosaic so that you can get the general gist of this travesty.
So, without further ado, here is the same concept applied to Joe Jonas:
Unsurprisingly, “Joe Jonas” was one of the trending topics on Twitter this evening. Here are a few of my favorite tweets:
And, best of all:
If you simply must see Joe Jonas channeling Beyonce, here’s the video. May the Force be with you.
I’ve decided to start blogging again this month only, during my brief reprieve between spring semester and summer classes. I will admit that this is mainly because I’m jealous of all the fun Jack and Dash are having with their new blogs, Chopped and Skewered and Red Car, Good Point, respectively.
If you followed me in exploringberkeley’s heyday, you know that I originally began this blog as part of my marketing internship at TigerLogic to promote their search tool, ChunkIt!, to college students. My bosses were great, and I had a pretty sweet job while it lasted — getting paid to blog about whatever as long as I threw in a bit of ChunkIt! here and there — but understandably, these days, experimental Web 2.0 marketing of a free product is kind of … not a top priority.
I am now blogging for you, and me, and nobody else. (Of course, I’m going to choose to write about much the same as I did before. But the point is, I have the choice.) For instance, instead of posting a nice family-friendly photo of the Dead Kennedys at the 1890 Bay Area Music Awards just now, I could have illustrated my point with a photo of Rage Against the Machine at Lollapalooza in 1993 during their protest against censorship by the Parents Music Resource Center (Wikipedia article). But you can use Google Images to do that for yourself.
Are some of your friends on Facebook wearing out their welcome? Suppose you added someone who turned out to be a Superpoke superuser. Suppose someone won’t stop sending you invitations to the Ninjas vs. Zombies application. Suppose you would like to punish all of those who jumped on the recent “write a note with 15 interesting facts about yourself and tag 15 people” bandwagon of narcissism.
Now suppose you like free food.
Burger King has created a new Facebook application called “Whopper Sacrifice” that enables users to choose to unfriend 10 of their least worthy Facebook friends in return for a coupon for a free Whopper.
You already know that TigerLogic, the company Katelyn and I intern for, has a search tool called ChunkIt! that makes researching for a paper a breeze. But what you may not know is that we’ve recently released a new ChunkIt! feature called Chunk Store that makes shopping online faster and easier than ever before. So if you didn’t get exactly what you wanted for Christmas, here’s how to shop online for the perfect gift in five easy steps:
That’s it! Five easy steps and you can be on your way to your very own Sherpa Tashi Wool Winter Hat, or whatever floats your boat. Visit www.getchunkit.com to download ChunkIt! in seconds, or to see the multitude of other applications this powerful search tool has.
To see the Chunk Store feature in action, check out this video narrated by our fellow intern Brian:
The newest addition to my to-do list of Internet procrastination is Vulture, New York Magazine’s entertainment blog. It combines news about the arts and entertainment scene with just the right amount of cheekiness to keep it from taking itself too seriously.
Vulture not only titles its articles with snarky headlines such as “Recording Industry to Quit Suing Downloaders, the Dead” and “Disney Slays Narnia Franchise, Andy Samberg Weeps“, but it also gleefully keeps readers abreast of new ridiculous quotes by the Hollywood set:
“‘We definitely need a kid ASAP.’ —Spencer Pratt threatens the world with potential devil spawn [MTV]
‘I guess God just wanted to prepare me for this role.’ —Diddy on how his past legal problems helped with his role on CSI: Miami [E!]
‘Favorite song of 2008? I haven’t had the chance to listen to anything but my stuff … so, um, “Right Now.” Favorite Album? Freedom. In stores right now.’ —Akon [MTV]”
Vulture, New York Magazine’s culture blog
Most recently, Vulture put out a year-in-review list of its most popular articles with readers and bloggers in 2008. Here are some teaser photos:
Check out Vulture’s 2008 year-in-review list for such gems as a slideshow of Vulture’s Complete Field Guide to the Facial Expressions of Keanu Reeves, a flowchart to help moviegoers decide Which of This Fall’s Oscar-Baiting Holocaust Movies Is Right for You?, and some handy advice on When Should You Take Your Bathroom Breaks During ‘Che’?
One more reason to read Vulture: without it, I never would have discovered this fan video featuring “talented super-nerd” Timothy Edward Smith’s musical score from his fan project Star Wars: The Musical:
when I read Vulture’s post George Lucas Finally Relents, Signs Off on Star Wars Musical.
Laura Ingalls Wilder is freaking hilarious.
What? No. Not the Laura Ingalls Wilder who wrote Little House on the Prairie. At least, not the real Laura.
Someone on Twitter has started tweeting as the renowned author of American pioneer literature under the pseudonym HalfPintIngalls. Whoever it is combines a wicked sense of humor with a bookworm’s knowledge of Wilder’s life and work. Here’s a sampling of HalfPintIngalls’ delightful tongue-in-cheek humor.
On venerated cultural traditions:
On modern marvels:
On the 2008 presidential election:
On daily life:
If this mysterious HalfPintIngalls is a man, I am adding him to my list of Internet crushes, along with Randall Munroe and Dan O’Brien. If you can’t get enough of HalfPintIngalls either, follow “Laura Ingalls Wilder” on Twitter.
I didn’t always blog for ChunkIt! at exploring berkeley. My illustrious blogging career began this summer during my internship at TigerLogic’s San Jose offices, when I teamed up with Michael to craft a post about our crazy intern field trip to Berkeley to shoot a promotional video.
Without futher ado, here’s some vintage Katherine from TigerLogic’s blog:
By all outward appearances, I have a perfectly respectable grown-up job this summer. Every day from 9 to 5 (okay, 9:30 to 5:30) I sit in a cubicle and, as part of a team of interns, brainstorm ways to market ChunkIt! to college students. We have weekly objectives to accomplish, payrolls to be filled out, and status reports to be written. But once in a while, we all get to go out of the office and do something wild and crazy. And that’s when we transform from square-minded Clark Kents into marketing Supermen (and -women).
This week, we took a field trip to stage a protest in (where else?) Berkeley. We marched under the auspices of T.I.G.E.R. (The Innovative Group for Effective Research). Our topic of protest? Slow search times on the Internet. Our mission? To enlighten the good people of Berkeley about the birth of a solution. Armed with classic hand-painted protest signs adorned with biting witticisms such as “URL Sinners” and “Practice Safe Search”, we stormed through historic Sather Gate and up the steps of Sproul Hall. No longer would we stand by and watch as millions toiled through the daunting labyrinth of the Interwebs. As the 300 Spartans before us, we stood bravely on the steps of Sproul Hall and shouted, “This is CHUNKIT!”
Well, not really, but close. My fellow intern and cubiclemate Joli unleashed her talent as a singer/songwriter/choreographer with catchy protest anthems such as “ChunkIt Like It’s Hot” and “I Chunked a Page and I Liked It”*. JJ and Rob raged against the machine, leading the crowd in chanting “Orange Power” and “What do we want? (Faster searches!) When do we want ‘em? (Now!) How we goin’ to get ‘em? (ChunkIt!)” Meanwhile, cameraman Brian and aspiring reporter Steven recorded the day’s events with stunning cinematography and journalistic integrity.
A few bystanders tentatively approached us to see what the commotion was about. Other onlookers, mostly unsuspecting tourists, chattered excitedly amongst themselves. Some, possibly under the impression that they were witnessing the rebirth of the free speech movement, took photographs and home videos to show their friends and family why the town has earned the nickname “Berserkeley”. Our protest gained a touch of symbolism with a computer-shaped piñata labeled “Slow Search”. Hungry college students and small children partook in the festivities, wielding a ChunkIt! bat to bring slow search to its demise. One Berkeley native approached me to say, “I really approve of what you guys are doing here. I’d totally jump in and help you protest, but I’m so high at the moment, I don’t even know what I’m saying.” I thanked him politely anyway.
After exhausting our supply of business cards, losing our voices, and leaving the town plastered with “I Got Chunked” stickers, we trudged back to Shattuck Avenue for the long BART journey home. Just as Superman returns to his phone booth, we returned to our cubicles at the office and became Clark Kents once more…until our next mission.
The result of our trip to Berkeley was the following video, edited by whiz kid Brian. If you’re friends with me or another TigerLogic intern, look closely, and you may be able to spot us.
All riled up and hungry for more? Browse ChunkIt’s YouTube channel or download ChunkIt! to save yourself from slow search before it’s too late.
*It should be noted that I do not under any circumstances condone listening to Snoop Dogg or Katy Perry.
My Firefox bookmarks toolbar is rigorous to-do checklist for procrastination. There’s Gmail that needs checking, Facebook that needs stalking, Woot! that needs wooting, and Twitter that needs tweeting. It’s a wonder that I manage to get it all done.
My bookmarks probably also say a lot about me: the person that I am, the things I’m interested in, where my priorities lie:
Note the rightmost bookmark, labeled “vicarious living”. I must here confess to you that I am a Craigslist Missed Connections addict. Hey, I hear that scoff. Don’t judge.
Just in case you don’t know about Missed Connections, it’s basically a section on Craigslist that allows people to post descriptions of chance encounters with mysterious strangers — in a coffeeshop, on the morning commute, at the post office — when they felt a compelling connection. Perhaps a smile was shared, or there was fleeting eye contact as the two strangers looked at each other, then away, then at each other again. Missed Connections gives them a place to try to find each other again if they find themselves thinking about that stranger and can’t quite let it go.
Oh, shut it. I like this stuff.
Jess over at Smiles in Easy Open Packages wrote last month about the delightful trashiness of Mills & Boon paperback romances. Wikipedia succinctly sums up every Mills & Boon story, ever, in just one sentence:
“Common themes are rich, ennobled and initially unattainable males (often of Mediterranean–especially Greek–origin), the desire of a character to have a baby (with this being thwarted by infertility or an unsympathetic husband), and the breakup and mending of a relationship.”
Wikipedia, “Mills & Boon”
If Mills & Boon allows little old ladies to live vicariously through personal assistant Sienna as she falls for her billionaire playboy boss Alexander Wentworth, CL Missed Connections is like the Mills & Boon of the Internet generation. And best of all, it’s real life.
Here’s why I love reading CL Missed Connections. Each cryptic three-line post offers a snapshot, a fleeting glimpse, into the life of an anonymous stranger, allowing me to see the world through their eyes if only for a few moments. Viewed rapidly, one after another, I think the posts form an endearing picture of humanity, filled with billions of individuals that are just bumping into each other trying to go about their daily lives and, once in a while, have a chance encounter that could possibly be something special.
Here are some of my favorite posts from last week:
Cute blonde girl that works at Cafe Intermezzo around lunchtime) – m4w – 21 (berkeley)
Thanks for mixing-in the extra dressing when I asked for an extra on the side. “That way you save some money!” I appreciate the financial advice. Good looking out — you must have a really good eye for poor college students. As it turns out, I was laid off from my job a couple weeks ago. So saving me that extra $1 might go a long way!!
You’re cute. And you also have a rad smile.
Pho Yoga girl ….. why were you eating alone ? – m4w – 26 (berkeley)
You were the very pretty girl in the lululemon top eating by yourself at Pho-Hoa in Berkeley.
I was the shy guy in the black sweater trying to catch your eye, but you were very into your newspaper.
Shucks! Hopefully you read this.
guy at the co-op party in berkeley – w4m – 28 (berkeley)
I was a greek goddess, and perhaps a little drunk… you were the “un-you” in a button-down shirt. We talked for 20 minutes in the hall during the party, and all my friends wanted to know why I didn’t give my number to “the cute guy.” I’d love to give it to you now… drop me a line?
Class Crush – m4w – 19 (berkeley)
So you are in my japanese history class and i noticed you day one, but the more and more i see you the more i would like to get to know you. Ive been making futile efforts to sit next to you for the past few weeks and succeeded twice (actually once you sat next to me it was exciting). For some reason i have a hard time saying anything around you, once i commented on our quirky professor consistently popped collars and today i ‘woke you up’ from your mid-class doze. I would love to talk to you sometime maybe over coffee, i hear thats what kids are doing these days. Anywho you probably wont read this so sucks to be me, maybe ill have to pluck up the courage to talk to you.
Cute, right? Read the latest Berkeley Missed Connections here, or bookmark your own city’s.
Today, Boing Boing featured a post about a “Gender Analyzer” algorithm created to determine whether a blog was written by a man or a woman.
Gender Analyzer allows you to enter the URL of any blog, and through AI, makes a guess about the gender of the blogger. To my indignation, Gender Analyzer thought that exploring berkeley was written by a man. In fairness, this could have something to do with the fact that my most previous post contained phrases like “drafted in the NFL”, “loud explosion”, and “Sports Illustrated”. When I tried Natalie’s and Michael’s old blogs, which are based around baking and technology, respectively, Gender Analyzer was spot-on.
Gender Analyzer was created using a website called uClassify, built by a three-person team in Sweden; the people behind uClassify are endeavoring to bring classification tools to the public for free under a Creative Commons license.
“We find it enormously exciting to see what happens when a tool for creativity is given to the community. We hope to see all kinds of beyond-our-imagination classifiers and incredible web applications being built around the API.”
Jon Kågström, Emil Kågström, and Roger Karlsson,
the uClassify team
(I include this quote partially because it ties in to a future post I will link to about the Free Culture Conference 2008 I attended a few weeks ago, but another part of me just likes to see the cool rings and umlauts in their Swedish names.)
Absolutely anyone with an interest in classification can build their own analysis tool on uClassify’s website. Another popular application of uClassify’s technology is the Typealyzer, which claims to determine the blog author’s Meyers-Briggs personality type. At the risk of turning this post into the blogging equivalent of a pimped-out MySpace page or over-apped Facebook profile, this is apparently what my brain looks like when I blog for you.
I won’t paste the full analysis here, but you can go to Typealyzer yourself to see the alleged inner psychological workings of me and other bloggers. Here’s a taster, though: ISTPs, which based on my blog I can apparently count myself amongst, “enjoy adventure and risk” and should have future professions “driving race cars or working as policemen and firefighters”.
I’ve written a few times before about my marketing internship at TigerLogic, a San Jose-based tech company with a new product called ChunkIt! that’s making waves with its unique approach to finding information on the Internet.
Sometimes, it’s hard for me to verbally explain how ChunkIt! extracts your search terms by previewing links. I suppose it’s actually one of those things that is easier done than said. But this month, a few people at the office made this new paper animation video as a tactile explanation of the ChunkIt! process:
The narrator is my friend and fellow intern Brian, while the hands in the video are my boss Jeff, the Marketing VP. The paper animation method they used is pretty creative; it combines visual, auditory, and tactile learning all in one. I liked the appealingly cheesy sound effects, and I think Brian and Jeff do a good job of explaining how our product works without being overwhelmingly technical.
As someone who isn’t necessarily as familiar with how ChunkIt! works as our intern team is, what do you think about Brian and Jeff’s video?