Outstreched arm

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Jeremy's Iron

Hey, guess what - The Da Vinci Code (the movie) seems to be a dud. Who knew? Slate's review has a fantastic line about it:

...there's no reason a goofy pulp novel can't be turned into a scary, sexy film. The Da Vinci Code is neither—unless, of course, every line of dialogue in the film is an anagram for another, better one.


Tom's of Maine dental care products

This is an independent plug borne of love for these products:

Tom's of Maine Natural Anticavity Fluoride Mouthwash for a Dry Mouth
This lemon-lime mouthwash tastes better than many brands of lemonade. Forget the alcoholic burn and generic minty tones of Listerine; it may mean "it works", but Tom's is almost a gastronomic experience. No long-lasting itchy mouth, no numbing of the tongue - just a citrusy clean feeling.

Upon first trying it, Christa exclaimed, "I almost wanted to drink this." (Don't drink it, though, ok?) The directions say to rinse for sixty seconds (rather than thirty as with most brands) but you'll want to do it longer.

Ounce for ounce, it costs more than most "blue" brands, but it's worth it. Totally.

Tom's Antiplaque Flat Floss
My dentist says I have very narrow spacing between my teeth (or whatever the dental term is), so flossing is often annoying for me. Most thin brands of floss break sooner in my mouth; one time, I went through several different brands just to remove a piece of floss that had gotten stuck, except each subsequent flossing would result in mroe breakage and a thicker pile of nylon between my teeth. Yikes!

Though it sounds counterintuitive, thicker floss actually works better; it's harder to get it in, but once in, it won't break. Dental tape is the good stuff. Tom's flat floss is thick, strong, and waxed so that it glides smoothly despite its girth. It also has a pleasane herbal taste without the faux mint or plasticky wax.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Hand sanitizer at a gas station

Now this is a good idea - placing a hand sanitizer dispenser at the pump, so your hands don't have to smell of gas fumes. Thanks!

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Nature (a story)


If you live in Florida, you may want to read this. On winter nights, snakes come in your home and seek warm places to hide. They come through open doors, glide through pipes, crawl through holes in your screen doors and windows and corners where wasps nest. Small, black snakes; not all of them, just a particular type good at hiding and with an instinct to enter houses. They’re pencil-thin and have a strange awareness of their surroundings. You could be looking at a clothes hamper or cables behind your desk and never realize that snakes were there, odorless and still. They seem to understand what places we’ll never look, and where they will blend in. A typical garbage bag: a pack of four-inch snakes will be buried in the shapeless mass of paper, food, and plastic, and you will never know. Or in the pantry, behind spices and bags of flour you reach for only on occasion. The snakes hear you coming, too, and they move along the walls, under light bags and behind boxes. It’s of no use to clean out the shelves – the snakes are gone already by the time you’ve taken out the first few cans. They’re always moving when you’re moving, but when they know they’ve found a safe hiding spot they can be motionless for months. Most of the time they stay that way all through the winter, except when even the rooms in your house get too cold for them and they can no longer feed on scraps and bits of unpackaged food unnoticed. Then they rest and hope that you will cook dinner in your kitchen one night. The snakes slide out of your bathroom, behind the bookshelves, out of your clothes, and wait for their chance to hide in the warm food you’re preparing. You don’t always watch your cooking without a break, and even if you did, the snakes would somehow find their way into simmering pots of thick soup and casseroles in the oven. They do this out of desperation, and it kills them. As the heat breaks down their brittle bodies into thin mush and flakes like dandruff, the snakes can’t resist the bubbling mountain of food that now warms them after such a long, cold famine. They eat and they cook themselves and they become food. You may have eaten hundreds of snakes unknowingly - tasteless black strips of animals who killed themselves through drowning and burning. And you can never chase them all out before they do this.

Friday, May 05, 2006

My design portfolio

This needs no setup:

Neven's portfolio

That is all!

Risotto ai funghi recipe

Adriano's recipe:

Saute mushrooms with garlic, basil, scallions, and black pepper. Set aside.

Saute rice in olive oil with chopped onion and garlic. Add vegetable stock, evaporate, add white wine, evaporate again until rice is al dente. Add saffron, mushrooms, butter, and lots of parmesan.

In the summer, my parents would serve fresh, washed green onions with a bit of salt. It's a simple, refreshing salad replacement.

Monday, May 01, 2006

Apple finally puts Mac ads on TV

Mac TV adAfter a failed Erol Morris campaign that never launched (apparently the ads just weren't cutting it) Apple has finally released TV ads for something other than iPods. Behold the Mac ads:

Get a Mac
(I posted some YouTube links earlier; now they're on Apple's website)

Both feature a nerdy aging guy in a cheap suit who says he's a PC, and a hip young guy who says he's a Mac. In the first ad, the PC reads a quote from Walt Mossberg's article in The Wall Street Journal calling the new iMac "the best desktop PC at any price." In the second ad, the PC complains about having a virus, while the Mac points out that he's doing peachy. Both ads are brief and done with a great sense of comic timing, I think. No word on who directed them yet - they certainly seem Morris-ish.
(Edit: there are six ads; I had only seen two when I wrote this.)

The ad about viruses might seem like a taunt; it's often been said that Macs are no safer, they're just less popular. Personally, I disagree, but we won't know until Macs really grab more of the market share (they are now in the perfect position to do so). I think that the confidence Apple displays in the ad is actually a positive thing: they wouldn't so boldly make security an issue if they weren't sure about just how safe OS X is. It's an intriguing thought that either their internal tests show that Macs are safe enough to brag about unconditionally, or they're preparing something that will boost security - who knows. Those who say the iPod became famous solely through marketing should think twice before dismissing this ad campaign; Apple's most likely smarter than you.

Two more Mac bits: after a long and uncertain battle, Steve Jobs has managed to convince media companies to stick with Apple's one-price idea for iTunes. Songs will continue to be sold at 99c each (record companies wanted to sell popular music at higher prices and discount poor sellers.)

A wild but allegedly well-confirmed rumor claims that Leopard (OS X 10.5, scheduled to come out by the end of this year or Q1 2007) may include BitTorrent-like software that would make participating Mac users into servers of data for Apple's growing digital media sales. What this means is that, like with BitTorrent, users would be uploading chunks of data they had downloaded from Apple to other users wanting to download the same. This would reduce Apple's server upkeep costs and, according to the system's developers, save the company hundreds of millions of dollars annually. What would be in it for the user? A reward system is described which would give users iTunes credits for data they served to others. (Keep in mind that the iTunes store will most likely start selling movies and other content.) It's also possible that this system would serve other data-sharing purposes. According to the rumor, the development team has full confidence in the system's profitability, security, and convenience to the user, but you can imagine the Legal department having doubts about it.

An interesting idea, sure to generate a lot of negative buzz (I say that because the above ads will do the same). But, if your idea of marketing is reading a bullet list of system specs and your idea of innovation is chronic featuritis, I can't help you.

Sorry about the crummy language

Adriano Santi: I didnt have breakfast today
Adriano Santi: so I'm so fucking hungry
Adriano Santi: (just saw the salmon pic again lol)
nevenatwork: i often don't eat till 4:30, lol
nevenatwork: hahaha
Adriano Santi: ah
Adriano Santi: I'm going home for lunch in a few mins
Adriano Santi: got leftover mushu pork from last night
Adriano Santi: (we got lazy and ordered in)
nevenatwork: (i get hungry, too, but after about 3:00 i cross the threshold of hunger and can't really eat much)
nevenatwork: do you ever get that?
Adriano Santi: I usually eat before that
nevenatwork: there's a word in croatian for it
Adriano Santi: cos I can't function when I'm too hungry
nevenatwork: we use the same words for hand and arm, for foot and leg, for fingers and toes, for time and weather, but we have a word for getting so hungry you can't eat
nevenatwork: tells you a lot about the country's history, doesn't it