I was catching up on some recent recordings on the PVR with Nick this morning, and this made us laugh: a segment from Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, in which the producers sent rising star but rather anonymous-looking New York Mets pitcher Matt Harvey out with a camera to Bryant Park, seeking advice from fans for Matt Harvey.
This is the most interesting thing I've seen so far today.
It's called Soccket, and it's one of the featured projects from the American Express-sponsored Take Part program. Four students at Harvard came up with a soccer ball that retains energy every time it's kicked, dropped, passed and so on. At the end of the day ... plug in a light. The idea is to provide affordable energy in the poorest places. Fifteen minutes of play means three hours of reading light. Remarkable.
Nick and I took in a Padres game last week, during our visit to San Diego; Martha was off to the convention that brought us there. It was a great day in the sunshine, and we had a wonderful chat with four of the folks who hold season passes in the outfield area where we sat in Petco Park. One of them was kind enough to snap this shot just after the game ended.
The Padres, incidentally, lost to Washington 2-0, after a scoreless run through the first eight innings. The funniest thing I heard that day was one of the fans saying to his buddies on the way out, "Someone should tell the Padres baseball has nine innings."
Ouch. Nonetheless, we had a fun time. It was Nick's second MLB game.
The winner of the Indy 500 race downs a bottle of milk upon victory, making it one of the more wholesome beverages to be associated with a sports victory (but not, of course, precluding other drinks from later being quaffed). The Los Angeles Times explains why:
After three-time winner Louis Meyer drank buttermilk in Victory Lane in 1936, a milk industry executive made an effort to have future winners repeat the gesture, and it eventually stuck.
This Mental Floss trivia quiz will give your mind a bit of a workout, unless you're a hockey savant. I got all but five, which isn't bad ... even though I'm kicking myself for missing the St. Louis Blues!
This video has had seven million - yes, million - views since being posted last week, and has probably brought Idaho State's team more attention than any other kind of media coverage. Have a look at what happens when Kamil Gawrzydek makes a free throw against Utah State.
This video has been making the rounds the last few days: it shows Oscar Milton, a 17-year-old hockey player from Sweden, scoring a goal. When you watch it first, you may not even notice how he accomplished it from behind the net, but the instant replay (and a zoom) shows a pretty clever way to get a goal.
I started using the digital storage service Dropbox for a few reasons, but the key reason is simple enough: the utter fear that I might lose some things that simply cannot be replaced.
Well, they actually could. But I frankly don’t have the time to put it all together again, and I can’t imagine where my head would be if something catastrophic happened to my laptop.
I back up my drive, I’ve burned CDs, and I’ve even emailed key things to my Gmail account, just so I have the peace of mind of knowing I can get this or that specific thing later.
But I signed up for Dropbox for that extra feeling of security, knowing that not only is are copies being archived somewhere, but (sweet!) Dropbox actually updates those copies, in real time, as I save the primary records.
Dropbox The phrase “the cloud” has gained currency over the last few years, to describe how computing is using networks to store and exchange data. Sure, I rely on my hard drive a lot, but I store many of my things offsite, in part so I can access to them when I sign into another workstation.
For work as a journalist, quite a lot of the files I generate or edit reside on off-site computers, and some never actually download to my desktop. Remarkable, when you think about what constituted normal workflow just a few years ago.
Dropbox and its cousins are convenient for a whole other reason. More and more, many of us need to move relatively massive files (videos come to mind) that are simply too big to send as an email attachment. A quick solution? Setting up a digital drop where someone can log in and securely download the file.
A few weeks ago, Dropbox added a sharing feature for its users (look for the “Get shareable link” tab) that will make it easier to move things about.
Conveniently, the service is free … at least, that is, as long as your storage needs are within limits.
There are other options.SugarSync gets good reviews from users, and it will set you back for five bucks a month so long as you keep your storage pegged at 30 gigs of data. A free trial is free.
A competitor like Mozy wisely pitches its $5/month fee as a reasonable cost compared to the expense and effort of backing up photo CDs and the like.
Shop around: there are plenty of others. You don’t want to back yourself into a corner, but you’re definitely going to want to have a backup plan, too.
Elsewhere this week
Google Sightseeing Google Earth and Google Street View have each changed how we look at the world – specifically, very particular corners of it. Zoom in on an archeological wonder, cruise by a famous address, peer at a place described in your guidebooks … all without looking away from your laptop. Google Sightseeing is a long-running and popular blog, and not officially connected with Google itself. Poke around to see the latest curiosities (a Terry Fox statue, for instance) or browse through the geographic index to see what’s on offer.
Worst Hockey Logos The Anaheim Mighty Ducks, folks, are just the tip of the iceberg of these design guffaws. Imagine what the sods wearing the jerseys must have felt as they tried to skate with their dignity intact.
St. John’s Cricket Club I did not know until given this address that St. John’s even had a cricket club. The members appear to operate fairly quietly, but if you’re curious, look here to get started.
Dot Dot Dot is Morse code for the letter 'S,' the full message Guglielmo Marconi claimed to have received atop Signal Hill in St. John's in 1901. It ushered in the age of telecommunications. My maternal grandfather worked as a telegraph operator for Canadian Marconi on Signal Hill for many years.
As well, I have a habit of overusing the ellipsis when I write ... as frequent readers might notice.