Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Don't Blame Revit

Revit is just a tool. It'll let you do silly things.

Questions of the Day:
  • Does great design require intelligent intervention?
  • Is great design an accident?
  • What are the odds of creating statistical randomness through mere chance?
  • To honestly bake from scratch must you start by creating the universe?

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Christmas Comes Early

AOL acquires About.Me four days after official launch. Undisclosed sum.
More links and info here.
Congrats About.me team!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Happy Holidays

It's a great visual storyboard.

2 Shot'a Punk Rock 1 Shot'a Shine

If you were in Jr. High school in the 70's, there was all this music called disco. It was white-collar, over-produced, over-hyped and over-here (thanks Australia). But in the midst of all this incredibly popular music the needle took a violent swing in the opposite direction.

Bands like the Ramones, Bad Brains, Sex Pistols, Dead Kennedys, The Clash took the style over substance and injected incredible amounts of energetic angst. Overnight, disco was dead and raucous rock and roll was back in. Yeah - disco hung around for another 5 years, but it was the kind of music your recently divorced mother's new boyfriend liked. Wanker.

And while few of these punk and hard-core/rock bands became commercially successful, they worked incredible hard and as a result influenced music for decades. Once again, rock and roll wasn't something used to sell cars. It was something that was supposed to piss off your neighbors, your teachers and your mother's new boyfriend.

So here we are again. 2010. IMO rock music has been incredibly bland for the last 10 years or so. U2 sounds nearly as whiny as REM.

Here's what's popular right now. As a (for the most part) self-taught musician that started playing piano at six, then picked up brass and strings over the next 15 years it unnerves me that kids would rather pretend to play popular music (ala "Rock Band") than actually learn to tune a guitar. It's an irony hasn't gone unnoticed. Just watch the first 2 minutes.

Where's the present day musicianship?? Who's playing the instruments on these pop records? You wouldn't know, because it's all the cult of personality about the lead singer. Just like disco. Here we are again. Mark my words:

When the children of movie stars release instantly successful rap and hip-hop records free of hard-earned and poorly payed dues, it's time to look somewhere else.

So between Disney Radio and pre-pubescent, auto-tuned boy/girl bands and first-name-only solo acts that are far too warm, well-fed - I recon the needle is about to swing. Really, really hard.

There's hope over the horizon. Hard working, blue-collar, cold-weather and dry knuckes kind of hope. Jack White is leading the rock and blues charge with his ex-wife. Old Crow Medicine Show is the standard bearer for the Bluegrass revival and selling out venues in Europe. Hank Williams III is giving his granddaddy something to get drunk to and sing along for a change.

And from the end of a dirt road in Hickory, North Carolina comes 3 guys and a lead singer that wields pipe wrenches and cans of PBR like Odin's hammer. And I recon these guys are going to help swing the needle.

This is from 2007.

And this is from 2010.

These guys have been ripping up the east coast for the last 5 years and now they're starting to head inland. Leading the way is another collection of original and live tracks that goes to press today. In the next few weeks it'll all be available from distro and iTunes. The cover looks something like this:

And the back looks something like this:

They're called "crazy eyes" people. So don't stand too close to the stage. Not unless you want to get knocked over by a flying bottle or sprayed with beer. You think I'm kidding? NSFW.

See you at SXSW. Maybe even AU 2011. And hopefully a lot sooner. If there's a venue in your town (or country) where you think these guys should play - let me know. And when you decide to see them when they pass through your town, I recon you shouldn't wear your good shoes.


Thursday, December 16, 2010

What What What???!!!

Xmas Lights? ZZZzzz.... Synchronized music? Yawnnn....

Whatwhatwhat?! Rollercoasters?

Okay...now that I've got your attention - enjoy! :)

About Me

A new web site about.me is poking its head out of the ground. The UI is very elegant and I can imagine this taking off pretty quickly. I've already registered for myself (and each of my kids). Many of the posted profiles are a little too "Glamor Shots + Internet" from the look of things but don't let this distract you. I think there's a lot of potential.

Where's the value? You're able to track your recent and historical profile views and statistics as well as understand your "reach" based on Twitter, Linkedin, etc. There are also some tools to help you promote and extend that reach as well. As an option, you can allow people to contact you via email. But while their return address will be shown to you, your email address is hidden from them. Very nice feature.
  • Not Facebook.
  • Not Twitter.
  • Not Linkedin.
  • Not Blogger.
Overall, a really great website to gather all of your pointers and links in one place. Like having your own personal splash page.


Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Blame Canada

Nothing like having a fresh supply of factory unlocked iPhones just across the boarder and a friend that likes to travel to far away places for the weekend.
The only scary part was turning a regular SIM into a Micro SIM with a pair of scissors and a nail file. Line up the contacts very carefully kids! Measure twice and cut once - and don't forget to file off the little burrs of plastic. :)

In other news, I'm quite sorry that I forgot to wish you all Happy Special Day (December 13th). Tiki Bar TV was an absolutely wonderful podcast. Gone but not forgotten. Wonderful, joyful and full of drink-driven non sequiturs. Watching what three incredibly talented people could do with new media convinced me that commercially approved media was in for a long, creative decline. If you haven't seen the podcast it's available here via iTunes. You're in for a wonderful surprise!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Environment v. Energy

As a post AU blog post, I wanted to take a moment to tell you about all the cool classes I got a chance to attend, who I got to speak to, and suggest some stuff for you to download if you didn't make it to some of the classes. There was some great stuff out there to listen to and see, and the interesting thing about this year (for me) was the number of Aussies I got to meet. They were seemingly everywhere. All good fun.

But instead of all that, I have to share this. The first law suit at the supreme court over carbon emissions. Several states on the East coast are suing several major energy companies for their carbon emissions citing that they should be considered a public nuisance and should have their carbon outputs capped. What makes this a real potential game changer is the fact that the supreme court is willing to hear the case and weigh in on a verdict. Should be an interesting outcome.

The question then becomes what does this mean for the individual? Does Dick Cheney get called out as a public nuisance for his $186,000 annual electric bill? Or Al Gore for his $30,000 in yearly utility costs?

HOK Open House and Book Signing

If you’re in New York City, please consider attending HOK’s first open house event at our new office location. I’ll be giving a brief presentation about Mastering Revit Architecture 2011 and the IPD process for designing and building our new space.

  • 1065 Avenue of the Americas, 6th Floor
  • Thursday, December 16th from 6:00-8:00 pm

Click here to RSVP before December 10. (Note that you MUST RSVP to gain access to the building.)