Bittorrent and the Shins

So if you are still afraid of Bittorrent, now would be a good time to get your feet wet. The software has gotten easier to use, the hype about it has gone down a bit, and more importantly, there are more sources for downloading files than ever. Still don't believe me? Follow these two steps:

1) Download a Bittorrent client. I recommend uTorrent because it walks you through how to set it up. You can also download the original Bitorrent client. Another popular one is Azureus.
2) Find some files to download. Instead of downloading the file directly, you download the torrent package file which contains the file (or a bunch of files). You don't have to worry about all that though. Just download .torrent files and open them using your software from step 1, and it should take care of all that stuff.

Some popular places to get torrent files are:
Bittorrent (they try to stay legal)
The Pirate Bay (they try to stay illegal)
Oink Music Site (invite only site, but very good)

To start you off here is a link to download the new Shins music video, "Phantom Limb".

Oh and if you are wondering what makes Bittorrent so useful:
1) it keeps files organized as packages (good for albums)
2) as the popularity of a torrent goes up, the faster your download becomes. look for torrents with lots of seeders (people sharing the file).

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the good, the bad, and the queen

From my friend mike about the good the bad and the queen:

"Yeah, that guy Damon is the singer(from Blur/Gorillaz), Paul Simonon is the bass player
(from the Clash), the drummer is Tony Allen (from Africa 70/Fela Kuti)
and the guitarist is Simon Tong (played in The Verve). It's a super group."

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Why the F@#K is it so cold!

-30 below wind chill today/tomorrow. This is absurd. My eyelashes froze the other day.

Boston Terror Suspects Nonsensical Interview

Aqua Teen Hunger Force hired these guys to essentially do an LED graffiti marketing stunt. I first heard about "LED Throwies" a few years back on the Graffiti Research Lab. Looks like the campaign worked beyond their wildest dreams...below is a series of videos, the first is a vid of them putting them up, the second is Fox News reporting the panic in the city (the police blew one up), and lastly, the nonsensical interview from yesterday. The second video is really the best. It shows the absurd level of fear and paranoia in america right now. TERROR suspects?

As my sister points out, it's sad that such a stunt which is based on graffiti tactics and culture jamming is being used (and effectively) as essentially a marketing tool for a media conglomerate (Turner Broadcasting Co). It reminds me a lot of the "corporate graffiti" tactics that companies such as microsoft, sony, and other have done in the past. Sadly they are the ones with enough money to fuel these campaigns to a level where it can gain such widespread attention and get their (albeit corporate) message out.




Chi-town reflections

My neighborhood is not very trendy. Aside from the corner stores, numerous hair salons, and pancake house, there isn't really anything of interest. Not even a small cafe where local longbeards hangout.


Yes, it's true, while walking down Pulaski and its numerous large, windowless brick factory buildings, I came upon something magical.


Plastic Capacitors, Inc!!!

mike love boingboinged

Genealogy of Influence allows you to visually trace the connections between the most influential writers, artists, philosophers, scientists, and mathematicians of Western culture. You can pull up a short bio (stripped from Wikipedia) by hovering over a person's name, or click through to the full Wikipedia article. I also made a colorful hierarchical image of the same data.

Kicked the bucket

So, the Spaceship didn't make it. Insurance claimed a total loss and right now the car is being towed to the salvage yard most likely...

Also, looks like the 1985 sampling keyboard I had used in Black Tie Elephant also has kicked the bucket.

I should write a country song about this past week ;)

OE has "made it!"

Olde English is getting paid to do what they love to do fulltime! They have struck a contract deal with Super Deluxe, Turner's new online comedy site. The site is bubbling with over-the-top Web 2.0, but all that's important is that lots of new people will be exposed to Olde English and everyone can quit their day jobs. Yes, you can quit your day job too. In other news, I just saw Ben Popik's face on a mountain dew commercial on BET. It was pretty surreal.

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Bands I've been in

Here is a semi-comprehensive list of every band I've been in, even if they only existed for a day. If you think I've forgotten any let me know. I have a pretty bad memory about these sorts of things.

aaron and farsheed
automatik (w/drew)
euphio/boomi (w/kaveh)
redbus (w/ drew, kaveh, aaron)
banana jazz projects (w/ dave)
dr. bootybot (w/ dave, asif, doruk, kaveh, drew, allen, amir, aaron,
ganesh girls, and more)
mr. candycanes (w/ dave)
operation destroy urbana champaign (w/ spinnerty, brendan, justin, paxton)
stone forest ensemble (w/ jie, brendan, spinnerty)
fortnight trio ( w/ blair, popcorn popperson)
quince (w/ my sisters)
taciturns (w/ mike, onur, brendan)

Chuck Knaublauch's Inspiration (for bunting the third pitch in the
fourth inning in the 1987 World Series against the New Jersey
Rhapsodies...He was thrown out.)(zacker, dan droller, nacera)

the shenegals (w/ dave stecher, zack)
midnight drink (w/ drew)

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Blindsided and RollerSkated

At approximately 1:31 AM on Saturday, January 13, 2007 I was driving northbound on Austin Avenue. Halfway through the intersection I was blindsided by a car that ran the red light. He was going eastbound on Grand Avenue. All I saw out of my left side was a glimpse of a white car before it rammed into the backside of my car and caused me to spin out. I immediately slammed on the brakes and was able to regain control and come to a stop just north of the intersection.

I got out of my car and glanced at the back of my car, and it looked like my car had gotten into a bad bar fight. Its eyeball lights were all popped out of its eyesockets and its smile was slanted, with half of the bumper dragging on the ground. You could see the chassis of the car from the back, the bumper and backside were completely gone.

I go to look for the guy and there is NOBODY at the intersection. The mysterious white car ran off, leaving just a trail of debris in the intersection. That pissed me off. The two cars behind me that witnessed the whole thing didn't stop at all, not even to see if I was alright. They just drove by me. That really pissed me off, especially since it was a hit and run and they could have possibly identified the car.

I called the cops to report a hit and run at approximately 1:33 AM. I saw two cops drive by me afterwards but waited until about 2:00 AM. I called the police and they said that someone was coming. I saw another cop drive by but they didn't stop. A man across the street came over to ask what happened and asked if I had a cigarette. I was about to call again around 2:30 but finally some cops showed up. They were some rookie cops I think, about my age. Of course they didn't get out of their nice toasty car but had me come over to their window so I could hand them my info to fill out the paperwork while standing in the cold sleet/rain.

I think it's kind of messed up that

1) the guy who hit me ran off.
2) the two cars behind me didn't stop to see if I was alright or to say if they could provide any information about the car.
3) it took an hour for the police to come.

I went back into the intersection to see the wreckage and parts of my car were everywhere. I noted that part of my bumper was about 30-35 paces away. Estimating one pace is about two feet, that would mean my bumper flew 70 feet after getting hit. Assuming my bumper is about a 1.5 feet of the ground and that gravity is 32 ft/s^2 then it took about .306 seconds to fly 70 feet, although it probably landed first and then rolled.

In the end I'm glad nobody got hurt and that the accident wasn't too bad. I mainly feel bad for my car since he just got crossed the 200,000 mile mark last week. It's been a rough year for him, poor guy. Dave and Lisa's adventure (The Shenegals go to Shaumburg) also involved some major car problems (like the brakes not working while driving on the highway!)...bleh. Maybe it's a sign that we should have all realized long ago that rollerskating is the future of human transportation and start learning now before the oil shortage forces us all to roller derby our way around town.