Things that sound like other things

Something that never fails to entertain are videos that fall into the category of:

things that sound like other things

In fact, I keep a collection of them, thanks to the great work of Jason Kottke. I’m talking about stuff like this:

And this:

And this:

And this:

And this:

And this:

And this:

As always, I try to deliver high-quality content, and I hope this fits the bill. Have a great day.

Sites I read every day

If you’re ever curious about my daily Internet routine…

Kottke.org

Jason Kottke posts 4 or 5 interesting internet things each day. Similar to this blog, there is no real theme, so you never know what you’re going to get.

Crossing Wall Street

I had the pleasure to interview Eddy back in October. He updates a few times each day with his insights on the financial markets and his world-renowned Buy List.

Joe Posnanski

I’ve written this before, but Joe Posnanski is my favorite writer. His posts about baseball are always fun, but I think he’s at his best when he’s writing about his family or Springsteen or random observations.

River Avenue Blues

Yankees.

Ben Lindbergh

Baseball writer for Grantland. Lots of statistical, analytical, nerdy-type posts.

The Reformed Broker

Josh Brown is a financial advisor who also writes books, appears on CNBC, and tweets to over 100,000 followers. He updates his blog a few times each day with financial news and links while also adding his unique brand of humor.

LoHud Yankees Blog

For 10 years it’s been the one-stop shop for Yankees news.

Drew Magary

Drew is hilarious and tends to point out how ridiculous everything is.

Jeff Pearlman

I’ve been reading Jeff’s blog since 2008. It all started when I met him at a writer’s conference in my junior year of high school.

Funny story about that conference – I was in a room with about 20 people, and he gave away his book to the first person to name three players on the 1983 New York Yankees. I won because, come on, that’s just a layup.

(Ron Guidry, Dave Winfield, Bobby Murcer)

A Wealth of Common Sense

Pragmatic views on the market. Ben makes the complex more understandable and puts difficult concepts into common sense language.

Oh let the sun beat down upon my face

This week was the 40th anniversary of the release of Led Zeppelin’s Physical Graffiti. If the album were a person, it would be middle aged. Maybe it would have kids. It would be time for a colonoscopy. As Louis CK says, 40 is half dead.

A lot has been written this week about the album’s anniversary, and it’s been interesting to read some of the columns in Rolling Stone and NPR and Fortune. The writers talk about listening to the album in high school, or college, or their formative years right after its release in 1975. I can’t say the same, because I was -16 years old when the album came out. I could not listen to this album forty years ago – because, as far as I’m aware, I was not living in 1975.

It’s a damn good album, one of the best. A nice round anniversary gives us a chance to look back and celebrate it.

Anyway, here’s the best video on the internet.

My favorite tweets of 2014

Five years of Twitter

I have officially been on Twitter for five years. Twitter has changed how I get my news, how I consume media, and how I release thoughts into the world. All 3,770 of them.

Mostly, Twitter has been there for the big moments.

Like when I finished my freshman year of college. freshman And the night LOST ended. lost And when John Isner won the longest tennis match of all time. isner In late 2010, I applied to study abroad in Australia. study abroad Twitter was there the night we caught Bin Laden. history And when I traveled to Florida to broadcast BC/UCF. orlando I got a little excited on the epic final day of the 2011 season. final day of season Twitter allowed me to ponder life’s biggest questions. n64 It was even there when I started this blog. blog And when I left for Australia. leaving1 leaving2 It was there through pain. wasp And fortune. berroa Fall 2012 was all about Raul Ibanez.

raul1

raul2

raul3

raul4

raul5

Twitter was there when I experienced my first earthquake.

earthquake

quake2

And when I ran the marathon. marathon

Twitter was there for my last radio show.

lastcrowdnoise

And when Google Reader shut down. Not that I cared or anything.

reader

And for many, many other things along the way.

I’m not sure how Twitter will be used in five, ten, twenty years. I don’t know if it is something I will use for my entire life. But it’s been an important part of these past five years.

Google Reader – parting thoughts

I wrote an ode to Google Reader back in March when it was announced that Google would discontinue the service after July 1st. And, well, here we are.

I’ve already written a lot about how much I loved Reader, and how much of my internet browsing and consumption relied upon it. Reader was like the team of paperboys that delivered me the news every morning. While its death won’t be the end of my affair with RSS readers (I’ve already transferred all of my feeds and saved items to Feedly), it feels like the end of an era.

Here are some of my final stats:

– Currently I’m subscribed to 28 feeds. Most are baseball-related, and the others consist of my friends, tumblr, the business world, some comics, and an assortment of writers I enjoy reading.

– Since I first logged into Reader on February 2nd, 2009, I have read over 86,000 items.

– Of those, I starred and saved a few hundred. Here are some of my favorites – feel free to check them out if you have an hour or three to spare:

– Supercut of movie scenes that break the fourth wall

– Every Woody Allen stammer from every Woody Allen movie

– 25 great Calvin and Hobbes strips

– How to live without irony

– Louis Armstrong in Copenhagen, 1933

– A time lapse of a day in New York

– Procrastination vs. Incubation

– I do not fear death

– The annotated wisdom of Louis CK

– Seven myths about cooking steak

– Happiness vs. Money

– A few great posts from Joe Posnanski: thisthisthis, and this

– Radio time machine

– VOICE OVER, an awesome short film

– Some XKCD comics: thisthis, and this

– Behind the scenes photos of Raiders of the Lost Ark

The death of Google Reader

I have written before on how much I love Google Reader. It is my favorite RSS reader out there. It is a great resource for organizing websites and blogs – and it is the first place I visit every day. It has become my morning newspaper.

And so you can imagine how upsetting it was to read that Google is killing Reader, effective July 1st. It is a tough pill to swallow – Reader has defined so much of my internet experience over the last few years. It is fast, reliable, allows me to save items for later, and integrates with almost any website. A few readers of this blog even subscribe through Google Reader (like, 4).  I will still be able to consolidate my reading through other feed aggregators like Feedly or NewsBlur, but it won’t be the same.

Since February 2nd, 2009, I have read over 80,000 updates* through Google Reader. And while that sounds daunting (over 50 per day), Reader organizes the information so well that I have never felt overwhelmed by the amount of content I subscribe to.

*80,932 to be exact. 

It is true that RSS readers have been used less as Twitter and Facebook have evolved. But even though usage has declined, it is important to note that ‘Google Reader’ was the #1 worldwide trending topic on Twitter tonight. On the same day a new Pope was elected. Google Reader’s cultural relevancy is still strong, and there has been lots of negative backlash since the announcement. The people are responding, and Google has to take note of that. Sadly, I don’t think any of it will impact their decision.

The curious part about this move is that Google puts almost no resources into maintaining Reader. Killing the service won’t save the company any money. Their reasoning was vague – Google didn’t say more than “usage of the service has declined.”

I am saddened by the news in a very first-world-problem way. The impact on my life is minimal. However, it is still difficult to see a long-standing and useful service disappear so suddenly. Rest in peace, Google Reader.

Youtube and the evolution of media consumption

During my three and a half months in Australia, I probably watched a total of 13 minutes of television.

Now that I’m back in America, I find myself watching less and less television. Outside of sports I rarely watch TV anymore. There are a few shows I like to keep up on, but I never watch them live – it’s usually a day or a week or a month later.

I do spend a considerable amount of time on the internet, and I would say that, for me, Youtube has become the #1 place where I watch video. And Twitter is where I get all my news.

The internet in 2012 is much, much different than it was in 2005 – and a lot of people have no idea what’s out there. Part of this, I think, is that the web has been bogged down with a ridiculous amount of content. But that’s why I love Twitter and Youtube and Google Reader – there are ways to tailor content that reflect your interests and passions. I know that, for the most part, every new tweet or video upload will be something that I enjoy reading or viewing.

In the meantime, I’d like to share with you some of my favorite Youtube channels. In the past I would find myself watching one random Youtube video after another, but recently have I honed in on specific channels that are intelligent, engaging, and just plain awesome. No TV studios, no commercials, no famous actors – just people with good stories to tell. If you’re reading this blog, you probably share some of the same interests as me, so I think you would enjoy them as well:

Wheezy Waiter:

Wheezy Waiter is probably my favorite Youtube channel. It’s run by a guy named Craig Benzine, who is like, the funniest person ever. His videos are fast-paced, chaotic, self-depracating, and just plain ridiculous – but beneath all of it are just genuine life lessons. And explosions.

Vlogbrothers:

Back in 2007, two brothers (Hank and John Green) ceased textual communication and communicated only through video blogs. Eventually the channel grew into something more – a community of people dedicated to literature, music, charity, and in their words, awesomeness.

Ze Frank:

Ze Frank is known as the ‘godfather of video blogging.’ He was one of the first to regularly post video blogs (he posted a video every day for a year starting in March 2006). His first video blog was called ‘the show.’ A few months ago, he started a new video blog called ‘a show.’

CGPGrey:

Complex things explained. Good ol’ fashioned learning.

Vsauce:

Another channel that posts really interesting and at times mind-blowing videos.

PBS Aside Channel:

This is a new one I came across recently. Good stuff.

Basically, to sum it all up – the way we consume media has evolved so that interesting and engaging content is easily accessible. And the nature of Youtube is a meritocracy, so good channels do tend to rise to the top. But still, I think there are sooo many people out there that are interested in this stuff, but don’t know where to find it.

I assume if you’ve made it down here you’ve watched all the videos. But if you haven’t, you should. And subscribe to these channels because they’re constantly creating new content.

A recommendation – Google Reader

The internet is awesome – that goes without saying. But I think sometimes it is too awesome. There is so much interesting content out there, and it’s hard to keep up with everything. That’s why RSS feeds like Google Reader are so useful. Every new post is automatically added to your feed, which means you don’t have to waste time loading your favorite web sites when they update. I’m surprised that very few people I know actually use Google Reader, even though it’s been around for years.

It’s really simple to use – all you have to do is create a Google account and you’re set. Once you start adding sites, it will notify you when they update. You can find the link to this blog’s RSS feed on the top right portion of the sidebar.

Personally, I have over 40 feeds in my Reader, which gives me a good amount of reading material each day. Here are some of my favorite feeds to follow:

kottke.org

kottke.org is one of the longest-running weblogs out there (founded in 1998!). It is updated around 5 or 6 times each day with really cool articles, videos, and photos from around the web. It covers a wide range of topics – music, art, movies, television, sports, pop culture, and tech. It’s one of my go-to feeds each morning.

Joe Posnanski

Joe Posnanski is my favorite sports-writer for many reasons, but his blog covers more than just sports. Read this post to get a feel for what the site is all about.

Letters of Note

As they state on their site, “Letters of Note is an attempt to gather and sort fascinating letters, postcards, telegrams, faxes, and memos.” Basically the site posts letters written by important people of the past with scans of the originals when possible. This one by Kurt Vonnegut was one of my favorites.

High Heat Stats

Lots o’ good stuff in here for the baseball nerd inside all of us.

These are just a few of my favorites – other feeds I enjoy include: this, this, this, and this. Check ’em out if you get a chance!