I went out today to get the weather for tomorrow so that I could decide whether or not I should bike to work. When I got to weather.com’s homepage, I was confused. It took me a few seconds to determine whether I’d even landed on the right page.
Weather.com has steadily declined over the last couple years from a useful source for weather information to the TLC of the internet (don’t you just love learning by watching Honey Boo Boo and My Strange Addiction?). It’s really a shame.
The decision is certainly a conscious one and these types of decisions are almost entirely motivated by money. And don’t get me wrong, I don’t think that’s a bad reason to make a decision. But, BUT, if you do that, you have to make sure there’s someone watching the big picture. The big picture will disappear into a sea of discontinuity if no one is paying attention. What your left with is a weather site that is simultaneously trying to get me to watch a video about a bridge being destroyed (thanks for autoplaying that by the way, I LOVE it when sites play unsolicited videos), read an article about America’s tallest buildings by state, and see which of my friends are in dire risk of the next snow flurry all while I’m trying to look at the 10-day forecast for my city. And yes, those are real examples taken from the 10-day forecast for New York that I’m looking at right now.
Moral of the story: making money is great, but do it with a big picture in mind or you’ll be the next TLC or weather.com.
New song idea.
In a case of wonderful coincidence, two good friends are reaching milestones this week:
My friend Rebecca Thomas has her film, Electrick Children coming out in the U.S. this week. It’s been fun for me to watch the film evolve from a related but very different short film that was shot a few years back, to a beautiful, thoughtful movie.
You’ll be able to see the film this week if you live in New York or LA. If you live elsewhere, you’ll have to wait; though it couldn’t hurt to let Phase 4 to know that you’d like to see it.
Also this week, my longtime friend—Ryan McIlvain—had his first novel published by Hogarth:
The book is the story of a young American missionary in Brazil. I’m only 16 pages in, but so far I’ve enjoyed the eloquent and accurate descriptions of Brazilian life and people. If you’re interested, you can buy the book from Amazon.
Now all I need to do is work on producing something equally amazing.
I bought a new lens recently. It’s an old, comparatively cheap Mamiya/Sekor 55mm lens. I didn’t have any other subjects around, so I shot Doug.
I can’t wait for it to be warm enough for me to bike past this on the Westside Bike Path.
The other day I decided to roll and deposit some coins that I’d been accumulating from the last couple of years. As I was counting my hordes of coins, I started looking at the ages each coin was minted. That got me wondering what a distribution would look like. And before long, I (though I couldn’t have done it without some help reading out dates) had recorded the minting year of 200 pennies, nickels, dimes, and quarters. I ended up leaving out a couple of earlier coins just because they would have made the chart much wider and unwieldy—though I was surprised by how few coins there were from before 1965 (i.e. maybe only 5-6 between all the different denominations).
Here’s how the distribution shaped up:
A couple things that were interesting to me are how precipitously the number of coins drops off before 1980 (with the exception of some quarters from the mid 1960s), how there seem to be peaks in production from 1999-2001 and 2005-2007, and how there are strange outliers in some of the denominations (e.g. dimes in 1977 and 2006).
It ended up being a pretty fun and was a great way to satisfy my curiosity.
A sunset from my parents’ house
Another photo from Ireland. It was hard to tell whether a wall like this was closer to 10 years old or 1000 years old.
A view of Dingle Harbor