Person Career

12 famous logos

SvN talks about 12 iconic logos created by graphic designer Saul Bass:

He is more renowned for his groundbreaking work in movie title sequences, including Alfred Hitchcock’s North By Northwest:

Foo Fighters at the Key Arena

The Foo Fighters performed at the Key Arena last night, yours truly was there to witness the epic event. These guys sure know how to put on one helluva show. Since no blog post is complete without a wikipedia citation, let me copypaste the lines that a friend quoted near-verbatim at the concert, when another friend asked about the band’s name:

Grohl completed an album’s worth of material in five days and handed out cassette copies of the sessions to his friends for feedback. Grohl hoped to keep his anonymity and release the recordings in a limited run under the title “Foo Fighters”, taken from the World War II term “foo fighter”, used to refer to unidentified flying objects. However, the demo tape circulated in the music industry, creating interest among record labels. Grohl formed a band to support the album.

Openers for the show Minus the Bear didn’t impress me that much; the second act SuperGrass was very slick and enjoyable. SuperGrass seems to be a big favorite of the Foos — the rather funny Foo Fighters purchaser contract specifically says “Artist shall not be required to share dressing room with any other performer, except Supergrass, Oasis or maybe Led Zeppelin.”

In David Grohl’s own words, “this isn’t your 1 hour show… or your 1 and a half hour show… or your 2 hour show… we’re going to play till we’re done!”. And boy did they play — one hit after another, set after set, all the way close to midnight.

Image (c) hermosawave

They played all the songs I was hoping for; my all-time favorite Learn To Fly was in the first set, and they ended the show with Aurora. I was impressed with the “2nd stage” they had — it was an accoustic stage at the rear end of the arena, much closer to where all the “sucky seats are” (Grohl’s words, not mine). The stage was lowered from the top of the arena, and hosted the extended version of the band, including violinist Petra Haden and original Foo Fighters / Nirvana guitarist Pat Smear. (The calculator + egg video in the previous post is Petra’s song)

All in all, a great show, well worth the time, money, and temporary loss of hearing.

Rock el Casbah

Algerian artist Rachid Taha covers The Clash’s hit Rock the Casbah:


biggest drawing in the world

via Core77:

Erik Nordenankar uses a GPS tracker and an extremely detailed set of delivery instructions to enlist DHL help in sketching his mug across the surface of planet earth.

Link to official website carrying detailed videos and other cool stuff.

update: Professor Nate Clark writes in to point out that this is a hoax.

reaching out

  • Russel Davies painted his laptop to work as a blackboard. I think the acrylic casing for the iBook makes an excellent whiteboard too.
  • Friend and mentor Cong Yu just got an honorable mention in the SIGMOD Dissertation Award:
    …Two other nominees receive Honorable Mention recognizing their outstanding work on theoretical foundations and development of algorithms with great impact on important practical problems: Cong Yu, for his dissertation on “Managing Complex Databases in a Schema Management Framework” at the University of Michigan, and, Nilesh Dalvi, for his dissertation on “Managing Uncertainty Using Probabilistic Databases” at the University of Washington.

    It’s interesting to see the hiring trends : the Award was won by now-MSR researcher Ariel Fuxman. Nilesh and Cong are both Yahoo! Researchers.

  • Natalie Du Toit’s “wonderful story of courage, determination, discipline, hopes and dreams”, becoming the first amputee to qualify for the Olympics.
  • It’s not every day that the White House asks you to become a Vampire Slayer.

linked list

people at the opera

A picture from acclaimed photographer Bill Henson ‘s rather amazing low-light series, Paris Opera Project:

How the baby was sitting still through such a long exposure shot escapes me. More commentary by the photographer and Rachel Hulin here.

Another impressive picture by Andy Batt, also found on Rachel’s blog. This one’s more of a hi-speed shot:

linked list

conan o' brien is crazy

He brought in MIT professor Peter Fischer to perfect his ring spinning on TV:

You can skip to 5 minutes into this clip for the actual ring spinning. I left in the initial bit to demonstrate HOW MUCH TIME it takes for PhD folks to talk about what they do for a living.



In the light of the American Media Machine, I find this article very disturbing:

When University of Michigan social psychologist Norbert Schwarz had volunteers read the CDC flier, however, he found that within 30 minutes, older people misremembered 28 percent of the false statements as true. Three days later, they remembered 40 percent of the myths as factual.

Younger people did better at first, but three days later they made as many errors as older people did after 30 minutes. Most troubling was that people of all ages now felt that the source of their false beliefs was the respected CDC.

I’m really looking forward to the day when they’ll have a “Top Story” about how eating organic food inside hybrid vehicles causes certain chemical reactions in the food that trigger “bouts of homosexuality”.