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Saturday, December 31, 2011

Happy New Year from Nyan Cat

To ring in the new year, I would like to point your attention to a video meme from 2011 that I have belatedly run across, known as "Nyan Cat."

Yes, it's a cartoon cat with a Pop Tart body flying through space accompanied by an over-caffeinated repetitive soundtrack. (According to the Nyan Cat Wikipedia entry, "The Japanese word for the sound cats make, 'nyā' [にゃあ?], is the equivalent of the English language word 'meow'.")

It's not bearable for more than a minute or so, but somehow, I find it hilarious. I think the fact that it has had tens of millions of views is part of what makes it funny, because viewing it makes you think of all the tens of millions of other people who have taken the time to watch such a willfully pointless (and annoying!) video. Pulling on that same thread of humor, the website Non-Stop Nyan Cat allows you to tweet how long you've spent watching their Nyan Cat knockoff.

Also, I must add that the Smooth Jazz Version of the meme is amazing.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Postcard from the past

I was poking around in my parents' basement while home for Christmas, and found this postcard:

It caught my eye because it looked familiar. Not the postcard itself, but the view, from Glacier National Park. In fact, I took almost the exact same picture on my own trip to Glacier this past September:

The postcard was from my paternal grandparents, sent in September 1984 -- almost exactly 27 years before I inadvertently took the same picture.

I must admit that Doug is right -- there's something special about physical postcards, compared to all the different flavors of instantaneous electronic communication. If I had run across an old email, it wouldn't have been quite the same, never mind that emails won't just hang out in a box for a few decades to be stumbled upon later.

Warmth of home

I've enjoyed being at home for Christmas. I didn't take any pictures of the family get-togethers, but here's a picture of the ash basin underneath my parents' wood furnace. It does actually feel a bit like winter here, although still unseasonably warm. Heading back to DC tomorrow...

Sunday, December 04, 2011

The DC I know

I thought it'd be interesting to map out the parts of DC that I'm familiar with. It would be cool to see many different people's version of this map, as the shape of their DC would probably have a strong correlation with their demographics and lifestyle. For instance, I bet my friends who live in the District (nearly all of whom, naturally, live in areas I'm familiar with) and use their bikes to get around would have a very similar shape. Someone in their 40s, however, might be familiar with a different set of neighborhoods.

Thursday, December 01, 2011

Songs of the Moment (An Occasional Feature)

> Wilco - Born Alone
> Dismemberment Plan - The City
> TV on the Radio - Caffeinated Consciousness
> Modest Mouse - Guilty Cocker Spaniels
> Broken Social Scene - Ibi Dreams of Pavement
> Gorillaz - DARE (DFA remix)

That Wilco track is from their new record, which I like a lot.

My interest in "The City" was rekindled by listening to the remix on "A People's History of the Dismemberment Plan," but the original remains the best. I think the synth line makes the song. (Okay, probably the drums, too.)