March 28, 2007

Time Capsule Puzzle Hunt

Did Squonk (Scott Weiss) and his wife Susan's puzzle hunt, which they presented at last weekend's American Crossword Puzzle Tournament - I didn't attend the ACPT, just did the hunt afterwards. The puzzles are all pretty easy (some of them take well under 30 seconds) but they are well constructed and fun. This hunt was obviously intended to be doable by teams with no puzzle hunt experience at all so there are full instructions on most puzzles. Recommended.

Posted by aarondf at 03:14 PM | Links | Comments (0)

Posted by aarondf at 03:14 PM | Links | Comments (0)

March 21, 2007

Flash Game

This Flash game/puzzle, Desktop Tower Defense, is excellent and immediately addictive. If you don't have a bunch of time on your hands, I recommend you NOT check it out. Link from Kottke.

Posted by aarondf at 04:00 PM | Games | Comments (5)

March 20, 2007

Ricky Gervais Meets ...

Ricky Gervais, creator of The Office, apparently did a show in Britain where he meets and interviews other well known comedians for an hour. A bunch of the episodes are on YouTube and they are really very funny and interesting. I've watched the interviews with Garry Shandling, Christopher Guest, and Larry David and all are worth watching.

Posted by aarondf at 02:55 PM | Links | Comments (2)

March 16, 2007

Stranger than Fiction

Really enjoyed this. The acting by everyone in the film is excellent, particularly Maggie Gyllenhaal who commands every scene she is in. I've always liked her but in this movie she is much more powerful than in anything else I have seen her in (note, haven't seen SherryBaby). ***1/2

Posted by aarondf at 12:41 PM | Movies | Comments (0)

March 13, 2007

The 300

Andrew pointed me to a trailer for this like 8 months ago and I have been looking forward to it ever since. Went to see it last night at the Jordan's IMAX in Framingham and have to say it exceeded my high expectations. The visual stuff was just absolutely incredible (the best of any movie I have seen for years), really feeling like a comic book brought to life. And I thought the plot stuff was pretty effective as well. The Spartan politics stuff was not very interesting or believable but something was needed for quick breaks from the long and intense action sequences. The warriors seemed to me to have a very believable attitude - not wanting to die but accepting that they were likely to do so and believing in Leonidas and that their deaths would be worth something. The training and esprit de corps they have is very well presented too. Highly recommended if you can handle the blood and see it on the biggest/best screen you can. ****1/2

Posted by aarondf at 01:49 PM | Movies | Comments (0)

50 States in a Week's Vacation

This is a very cool story of a guy who took 9 days to visit all 50 states (48 by car and AK and HI by plane). The level of planning and detail is quite impressive. Link from Kottke.

Posted by aarondf at 01:41 PM | Links | Comments (0)

March 09, 2007


Mentioned on David Farber's IP list, I went and installed Hyperwords, which is a pretty cool Firefox addition. It both greatly enhances the functionality of the little search box in the upper right (which I never use but many people do) and also lets you select text in a web page and then directly look it up in Wikipedia or Google or a Translator or a bunch of other options. Free and pretty cool and for some tasks seems like it could greatly speed them up.

Posted by aarondf at 04:04 PM | Links | Comments (0)

Hillarious new Apple product - check it out

The iLaunch is set to revolutionize product launches for all time.

Posted by aarondf at 01:04 PM | Links | Comments (0)

March 06, 2007

Cool new Google tool

The name Gapminder for Google's new tool doesn't do anything for me but the tool is very cool. Basically it lets you look graphically at demographic data (where it is available) for a very large number of countries over the last 30 years or so. Can choose which countries to plot and what statistic to show. The coolest thing is to choose the stats on the axes and the countries in the right sidebar and then drag the time slider to the beginning and hit play - it shows the track over time of the chosen stats.

An interesting example is Vietnam with Fertility Rate vs Life Expectancy. In a single generation, the fertility rate has gone from the incredibly high 6 to around 1.8 (under replacement rate) while over the same period life expectancy has increased from 45 to 70 years.

Posted by aarondf at 02:21 PM | Links | Comments (0)

March 02, 2007

Ira Glass on Storytelling

Here are some really nice short videos of Ira Glass (host of This American Life on NPR) giving hints and help on the basics of doing storytelling and creative work.

Posted by aarondf at 04:02 PM | Links | Comments (0)