Thursday, December 31, 2009

My favourite songs of the decade (2000 - 2009)

100. You Know You're Right - Nirvana
99. I Believe In A Thing Called Love - The Darkness
98. California - Phantom Planet
97. Look At Me (When I Rock Wichoo) - Black Kids
96. The Real Slim Shady - Eminem
95. Empire State of Mind - Jay-Z (f. Alicia Keys)
94. Hold On, Hold On - Neko Case
93. Portland, Oregon - Loretta Lynn (f. Jack White)
92. Song 4 Mutya (Out of Control) - Groove Armada
91. You Know I'm No Good - Amy Winehouse
90. Carolina Drama - The Raconteurs
89. Hate To Say I Told You So - The Hives
88. Into Your Hideout - Pilate
87. A Certain Romance - Arctic Monkeys
86. Inside and Out - Feist
85. Fit But You Know It - The Streets
84. Antichrist Television Blues - Arcade Fire
83. Still In Love Song - The Stills
82. Feel Good Inc. - Gorillaz
81. Bandages - Hot Hot Heat
80. Pretty Good Looking (For A Girl) - The White Stripes
79. Wolf Like Me - TV on the Radio
78. American Idiot - Green Day
77. Remember The Good Times - Cuff the Duke
76. Happy Alone - Kings of Leon
75. The Underdog - Spoon
74. Irreplaceable - Beyonce
73. Weak Become Heroes - The Streets
72. Can't Get You Out Of My Head - Kylie Minogue
71. Kids - MGMT
70. Pork and Beans - Weezer
69. Somebody Told Me - The Killers
68. Astounded - Bran Van 3000
67. One More Time - Daft Punk
66. Crabbuckit - k-os
65. Fight Test - The Flaming Lips
64. Crazy - Gnarls Barkley
63. Elevation - U2
62. Letter From An Occupant - The New Pornographers
61. Neighbourhood #1 (Tunnels) - Arcade Fire
60. Reconstruction Site - The Weakerthans
59. Don't Give Up The Fight - Magic Numbers
58. Gimme Sympathy - Metric
57. Let's Get Retarded - Black Eyed Peas
56. Steady, As She Goes - The Raconteurs
55. Chelsea Dagger - The Fratellis
54. Phantom Limb - The Shins
53. Take It Easy (Love Nothing) - Bright Eyes
52. The Great Escape - Patrick Watson
51. When You Were Young - The Killers
50. Lost In The Plot - The Dears
49. The Dire Wolf - The Tragically Hip
48. The Rising - Bruce Springsteen
47. Boulevard of Broken Dreams - Green Day
46. An Honest Mistake - The Bravery
45. Dancing In The Moonlight - Toploader
44. I Bet You Look Good On The Dance Floor - Arctic Monkeys
43. Dark of the Matinee - Franz Ferdinand
42. Jesus Walks - Kanye West
41. Clint Eastwood - Gorillaz
40. Maps - Yeah Yeah Yeahs
39. In Da Club - 50 Cent
38. Sing Me Spanish Techno - The New Pornographers
37. Bohemian Like You - The Dandy Warhols
36. Mardy Bum - Arctic Monkeys
35. Pounding - Doves
34. Float On - Modest Mouse
33. Can't Stop - Red Hot Chili Peppers
32. Hey Ya! - OutKast
31. Can't Stand Me Now - The Libertines
30. Rest Of My Life - Sloan
29. Take Me Out - Franz Ferdinand
28. Grace Kelly - Mika
27. Gold Digger - Kanye West
26. Combat Baby - Metric
25. Hung Up - Madonna
24. All These Things That I've Done - The Killers
23. I Predict A Riot - Kaiser Chiefs
22. Ms. Jackson - OutKast
21. Take Me To The Riot - Stars
20. All My Friends - LCD Soundsystem
19. Where Is The Love - Black Eyed Peas
18. Young Folks - Peter, Bjorn and John
17. Fell In Love With A Girl - The White Stripes
16. Yellow - Coldplay
15. Last Night - The Strokes
14. Lose Yourself - Eminem
13. Rebellion (Lies) - Arcade Fire
12. Ignition (Remix) - R. Kelly
11. The Reasons - The Weakerthans
10. Rehab - Amy Winehouse
9. Fake Empire - The National
8. Time To Pretend - MGMT
7. Hurt - Johnny Cash
6. Paper Planes - M.I.A.
5. New Slang - The Shins
4. The Scientist - Coldplay
3. Such Great Heights - The Postal Service
2. Stronger - Kanye West
1. Seven Nation Army - The White Stripes

How things change in a decade.... Ten years ago I was in Chile with a group of friends to see in the new millennium (ignoring the actual new millennium date, same as everyone else on the planet). We were each assigned a year in the '90s and had to make a mixtape that represented that year. Needless to say, the task is now much easier with iTunes and MP3 players.

Food for thought as the decade winds down....

On this day in 1999.... From ForeignPolicy.comblog:
  • Lou Dobbs was a respected, middle-of-the-road journalist.
  • The prospect of achieving Middle East peace seemed imminent.
  • Beltway pundits believed Al Gore and George W. Bush were centrists who would govern similarly.
  • You could meet your loved ones at their arrival gate.
Read the rest of the Foreign Policy post here

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

My favourite movies of this decade. Part 4 - "regular" movies

  1. The Lord of the Rings trilogy (I'm ranking it as if it is one, big movie) 
  2. Garden State 
  3. Batman Begins 
  4. Casino Royale 
  5. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind 
  6. Lost In Translation 
  7. Catch Me If You Can 
  8. The Constant Gardener 
  9. Everything Is Illuminated 
  10. Bourne Identity 
  11. Spiderman II 
  12. Memento 
  13. Harold and Kumar Go To White Castle 
  14. Gladiator 
  15. Sin City 
  16. In Bruges 
  17. The Wrestler 
  18. Hotel Rwanda 
  19. Almost Famous 
  20. Kill Bill 
  21. O Brother Where Art Thou? 
  22. Little Miss Sunshine 
  23. The Squid and the Whale 
  24. Borat 
  25. Igby Goes Down 
  26. High Fidelity 
  27. Traffic 
  28. Hot Fuzz 
  29. Pirates of the Carribbean 
  30. Moulin Rouge 
  31. The Ring 
  32. Adapdation 
  33. The Lookout 
  34. Sideways 
  35. Cinderella Man 
  36. The Aviator 
  37. Children of Men 
  38. Collateral 
  39. Juno 
  40. Before Sunset 
  41. The Last King of Scotland 
  42. Syriana 
  43. Blood Diamond 
  44. Munich 
  45. I Heart Huckabees 
  46. Wonder Boys 
  47. Mean Girls 
  48. A History of Violence 
  49. The Wedding Crashers 
  50. Thank You For Smoking
Honourable Mention:
  • Walk the Line 
  • Control 
  • 8 Mile
  • The Prestige
  • Frost / Nixon
  • No Country For Old Men
  • Minority Report
  • Atonement
  • Into The Wild
  • Insomnia
  • 21 Grams
  • The Departed
  • Bad Santa
  • The 40 Year Old Virgin
  •  The Dark Knight

    Sunday, December 27, 2009

    My favourite movies of the decade. Part 3 - Animated Features

    1. Finding Nemo
    2. WALL-E
    3. Ratatouille
    4. The Triplets of Belleville
    5. Team America: World Police
    6. The Incredibles
    7. Persepolis
    8. Shrek
    9. Up
    10. The Simpsons Movie

    Saturday, December 26, 2009

    My favourite movies of the decade. Part 2 - Documentaries

    1. U2-3D
    2. Dogtown & Z-boys
    3. Spellbound
    4. Bowling for Columbine
    5. Murderball
    6. Touching the Void
    7. March of the Penguins
    8. An Inconvenient Truth
    9. DIG!
    10. Man On Wire

    Thursday, December 24, 2009

    My favourite movies of the decade. Part I - Foreign Language Films

    To better list my fave films of the 2000s I've decided to break them down into various categories:  Foreign language; Animated; Documentary; and, well, regular movies for lack of a better category. First up:  Foreign language films:
    1. Infernal Affairs
    2. In the Mood for Love
    3. The Lives of Others
    4. Man on the Train
    5. The Motorcycle Diaries
    6. Bon Cop, Bad Cop
    7. Letters from Iwo Jima
    8. Goodbye, Lenin
    9. Tell No One
    10. Defiance

    Wednesday, December 23, 2009

    Best of 2009

    'Tis the season for lists and I'll not disappoint. The next few posts will likely all be lists. Many will focus on "Best of the Decade" but we need to close out 2009 first. Without further ado here are some of my faves from 2009:

    1. Gimme Sympathy - Metric
    2. Empire State of Mind - Jay-Z
    3. Kids - MGMT (released in Oct. '08 but everywhere in '09)
    4. Sometime Around Midnight - The Airborne Toxic Event
    5. Love is a First - The Tragically Hip
    6. One Track Mind - Classified
    7. One Day - Matisyahu
    8. Follow Me - Cuff the Duke (love the whole album but in the year of Twitter I had to go with this one)
    9. Cornerstone - Arctic Monkeys
    10. I'm Throwing My Arms Around Paris - Morrissey
    Being Here - The Stills
    Sweet Child 'O Mine - Taken By Trees
    I Wish I Knew Natalie Portman - K-OS
    Laces Out - USS
    Sweet Tides - Thievery Corporation

    Sadly, my movie going took a major hit this year so I can't really put together a 'Best Of' list for 2009. That said, I did just see Up and Star Trek and highly recommend them both. Also, you should take in the documentary Trouble the Water; it was nominated for a 2008 Academy Award, losing out to the also amazing Man on Wire.

    It is not a 2009 book, but I read it this year and can't recommend it enough. Do yourself a favour a read What is the What by Dave Eggers. It is immensely sad while also being hopeful and inspiring. An incredible book. 

    Monday, December 21, 2009

    World's largest spherical panorama

    Somebody once said to me, "Prague is a winter city." Well, here today, on the first official day of winter (although let's face it, winter has been here for a while already), let me take you to Prague.... This is pretty amazing.

    From Wired:

    360 Cities, a Dutch company, has created a stunning panoramic photo of Prague in the Czech Republic. “The creation of this image represents my previous five years’ obsession with all things panoramic,” says Jeffrey Martin, founder and CEO of 360 Cities. “If you’re stuck at home over Christmas, feeling humbuggy and don’t feel like hanging out with your family, you can explore Prague instead.”

    What makes this panoramic photo interesting to viewers is that you can zoom in and out, move up or down or change your view–much like with Google Street View maps.

    The photo has been assembled from 600 shots clicked by a 21-megapixel Canon 5D Mark II camera and a 70-200mm lens, set to 200mm. The camera was mounted on a special robotic device that turned it tiny increments every few hours. The resulting data from the camera was about 40-gigabytes.

    The photo measures 192,000 x 96,000 pixels, or 18.4 billion pixels altogether.

    The Economist to go Social in 2010

    Interesting to see The Economist zigging while many competitors are zagging. The august magazine (or, newspaper as they would say) it launching an aggressive social media campaign to create deeper engagement with their readers and to attract new readers.

    Tough to say if this will work but it seems a more promising strategy than (a) sticking your head in the sand and hoping the danger goes away; or (b) fencing in your content and limiting access only to subscribers.

    The Economist newspaper plans to acquire 500,000 fans on Facebook and 750,000 followers on Twitter within six months, says the FT, calling it another sign that traditional publishers are looking to social media as a substantial source of web traffic and new readers.

    The Financial Times’ report says that users of The Economist’s website will soon be able to log in to the site and make comments using their Facebook identity, through Facebook Connect. The website will also take on features similar to social networks, allowing readers to create profile pages and earn a reputation through other users’ recommendations of their comments on the site. (read the rest of the article here)

    Thursday, December 17, 2009

    A city in the clouds

    Cool / eerie photos of fog shutting down the city of Wuhan. I can only assume the mayor of this town is Lando Calrissian.

    Wednesday, December 16, 2009

    Now THIS is urban density

    Sichuan, China.

    Tuesday, December 15, 2009

    A spectacular time waster - 20 Greatest Monty Python Sketches

    In honour of 40 phenomenal years of comedy, Gnews takes a look at the 20 greatest Python sketches ever.

    Monday, December 14, 2009

    Seth Godin's free ebook of big ideas

    Seth Godin has compiled a new, FREE(!) ebook called What Matters Now. Here's some information about it and a link to where you can download it. A worthy read for some 2010 inspiration while you roast chestnuts by the open fire this holiday season.

    Now, more than ever, we need to shake things up.

    Now, more than ever, we need a different way of thinking, a useful way to focus and the energy to turn the game around. I hope a new ebook I've organized will get you started on that path. It took months, but I think you'll find it worth it the effort. (Download here).

    Here are more than seventy big thinkers, each sharing an idea for you to think about as we head into the new year. From bestselling author Elizabeth Gilbert to brilliant tech thinker Kevin Kelly, from publisher Tim O'Reilly to radio host Dave Ramsey, there are some important people riffing about important ideas here. The ebook includes Tom Peters, Jackie Huba and Jason Fried, along with Gina Trapani, Bill Taylor and Alan Webber.

    Sunday, December 13, 2009

    Raise a glass for health reasons

    Chemical In Beer May Prevent Prostate Cancer
    Beer-drinking men may be reducing their chances of developing prostate cancer with every pint, tests by scientists have revealed. Experiments have shown that xanthohumol, a compund derived from the hops in beer, blocks a chemical reaction that can lead to the development of cancer. Click here for the rest of the article..
    Honey, I'm not going to the pub just for me. I'm going there for us.

    Tuesday, December 8, 2009

    An amusing slice of life

    Saw this today on the ever-awesome My Life Is Average (MLIA) blog.
    Today I was at the dentist and they were asking me questions while they had instruments in my mouth. When they took them out I said sorry I can't talk when I have something in my mouth. The dentist said under his mask 'That's what she said'. I no longer hate going to the dentist. MLIA

    Monday, December 7, 2009

    Sunday, December 6, 2009

    Looking back at analysts and the iPhone

    From Brainstorm Tech 

    The great iPhone death watch
    Palm CEO Ed Colligan, commenting on then-rumored Apple iPhone, 16 Nov 2006

    “Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone… What Apple risks here is its reputation as a hot company that can do no wrong. If it’s smart it will call the iPhone a ‘reference design’ and pass it to some suckers to build with someone else’s marketing budget. Then it can wash its hands of any marketplace failures… Otherwise I’d advise people to cover their eyes. You are not going to like what you’ll see.”
    John C. Dvorak, 28 March 2007

    “There’s no chance that the iPhone is going to get any significant market share. No chance. It’s a $500 subsidized item. They may make a lot of money. But if you actually take a look at the 1.3 billion phones that get sold, I’d prefer to have our software in 60% or 70% or 80% of them, than I would to have 2% or 3%, which is what Apple might get.”
    Steve Ballmer, Microsoft CEO, 30 April 2007

    "What does the iPhone offer that other cell phones do not already offer, or will offer soon? The answer is not very much… Apple’s stated goal of selling 10 million iPhones by the end of 2008 seems ambitious.”
    Laura Goldman, LSG Capital, 21 May 2007

    “We Predict the iPhone will bomb.”
    Seth Porges, The Futurist, 7 June 2007

    “The forthcoming (June 29) release of the Apple iPhone is going to be a bigger marketing flop than Ishtar and Waterworld combined. Because its designers forgot Platt’s First, Last, and Only Law of User Experience Design (“Know Thy User, for He Is Not Thee”), that product is going to crash in flames. Sell your Apple stock now, while the hype’s still hot. You heard it here first.”
    David S. Platt, Suckbusters!, 21 June 2007

    More than 33 million iPhones, 100,000 apps and 2 billion downloads later, the death watch continues. To see AAPLinvestors' full collection — including comparisons to such "iPhone killers" as the Palm (PALM) Pre, Research in Motion's (RIMM) BlackBerry Storm and Motorola's (MOT) Droid — click here.

    Oversized baggage


    Saturday, December 5, 2009

    Does having kids stupid make you?

    A guest post from my lovely and talented wife.

    I am the hippo, goo goo goo-joob. From

    Is my kids making me not smart?
    Stay-at-home fatherhood dulls my intellect to a nub. Excuse me while I ponder the subtext of "Hippos Go Berserk"
    I don't know if parenting makes you chronically stupid or just temporarily slow, but after nearly four years of child rearing, most of them spent as a stay-at-home dad, my intellect has been dulled to a nub. Women have known this for generations. Maybe that's why the "stay at home vs. get out and work" debate is so contentious. Of course, I've never heard anyone talk about it. But maybe I just wasn't paying attention until now. All I know is, while my wit may never have cut with the precision of a Ginsu blade, my mind was a bit sharper than the rusty pair of kindergarten safety scissors I'm working with these days.  
    How often have you been at a fancy dinner party, or a rocking kegger, and overheard someone lamenting the fact that their friends with children have suddenly been rendered incapable of discussing anything except the contents of the baby's diapers or the adorable thing little Cullen did to the dog? There are Facebook groups for venting frustration with parents who constantly yammer about their offspring and the business of raising them. I understand where these people are coming from. But it is hard for me to understand why they are so annoyed — after all, those people are free.
    Click here to read the full article.

    World's Best Pie Chart


    Thursday, December 3, 2009

    Today's something or other #47

    Are you ready for some Jihad?! Well, we had Fantasy Football: The Musical, so I guess, why not?

    Mike Tanier reviews Monday Night Jihad, Jason Elam's novel about a linebacker turned government operative tracking a tight end turned international terrorist. Yes, that's actually the plot.

    The book review is priceless, here are a couple choice quotes:

    “...the novel plays out like an elaborate game of learning-disabled cat and narcoleptic mouse...”

    “They create intentionally silly dialogue that seems to insult the reader's intelligence while rewarding deeper analysts who appreciate the sardonic irony.”

    Wednesday, December 2, 2009

    More drinking with your iPhone - never go thirsty again!

    Have you ever said to yourself, 'self, I need a Guinness and I need one now.' You lie, of course you have. Okay, let’s say you’re out and about and you have a thirst for some Vitamin G. Now there’s an iPhone app that helps you “locate a pint.” The app also shows you how to pouring a perfect pint and provides an alcohol FAQ. 

    I got to get me one of them iPhone things.

    And here's an added bonus for your viewing pleasure. (I add value because I care.) There are three stages to the perfect pour: 
    1. You craft the pint
    2. You revere it
    3. You savor it

    Good god I'm thirsty.

    A whole new level of insanity

    Did you have Hot Wheels cars when you were a kid? If you did then you'll remember the loop the loop. Ever thought about trying it in a real car? Crazy, non? Well the guys at Fifth Gear TV have replicated the classic Hot Wheels set, and will attempt to perform a full 360 degree loop in a full size car.

    Tuesday, December 1, 2009

    A whole new level of awesomeness

    So, if you're like me and, well, most people who aren't non-dairy vegans, I'm sure you like bacon. Mmmm... bacon. It really is tough to beat.

    Do you like fudge? Mmmm... fudge. 

    Ever wonder how to make candied bacon fudge? Well, wonder no more. The Kitchen tells you how. Whoa! Did I just blow your mind or what

    Candied bacon fudge. Perfect for the holidays.

    Drinking alone has never been so much fun

    Can the iPhone make beer even better? Well, perhaps. Check this out from Fast Company:
    Turns out there's a keg's worth of new beer-themed iPhone apps that have recently bubbled to the surface of the iTunes store. In the brave new AR world, you'll always be able to find craft beers and a cozy watering hole wherever you go. Unlike last year's hokey iBeer app, the following actually have practical applications.(click here for the rest of the article)