My favorite Super Bowl commercial

Super Bowl commercials tend to scream at you, both literally and metaphorically. So a quiet, subtle commercial like the one Google aired is easy to miss. (The Focus on the Family commercial, for all the fervor preceding it, was also easy to miss.)

Luckily I didn’t miss the Google commercial. It was simple, and simply brilliant. Maybe it’s because I have a life-changing event in my own past that is at least partially traceable to a Google search, but I think the message here is powerful and moving: in the Internet age, profound events in your life can stem from things you find online. And what better way to find things online than Google?

My favorite moments are “What are truffles?” followed by “Who is Truffaut?” and when the user changes “Long distance relationship advice” to “Jobs in Paris.” It’s silly, I know, but I start to tear up at that one.

New room34/music site launched

My brief foray with Bandcamp is over, and a brand new room34/music site has officially launched!

This new version, I am proud to say, runs on cms34, a Content Management System I developed based on the CakePHP framework. I’ve been running numerous client sites on it for the past couple of years, along with my own Room 34 Creative Services site, but this is the first time I’ve really pushed its capabilities on a site of my own. The site has a few tricks up its sleeve (although most are in the admin interface right now), and more is on the way, including automatic transcoding of MP3s into Ogg Vorbis format for playback in the Firefox and Chrome web browsers.

Yadda yadda yadda. It’s not about the web geekitude (well, maybe for me it is)… it’s about the music. I’ve posted streaming and downloadable MP3s, cover art, background information, and CD purchase links for about a half dozen of my most recent projects, and over the coming weeks I’ll be filling in the rest of my “back catalog” going back to at least 2001, and perhaps even to my debut “album” from 1992, if I can round up the old cassette currently decaying in a box in the basement somewhere.

Some mathematicians are best off sticking with the purely theoretical…

A Game Theoretical Approach to the Toilet Seat Problem

Clever, yes. And fairly well-reasoned (if decidedly tongue-in-cheek). However, for the paranoid and germophobic (including myself on both counts), this entire line of reasoning leaves out the most important component of the system: the lid.

Extra effort be damned, the lid must be closed! And if my anecdotal experience is any indication, women are far more likely to leave the seat down and lid up than men are to leave everything up vs. closing the lid.

C’mon people, the lid is there for a reason! (Several, in fact.) Use it! Besides, we all know the average American leads a far too (and increasingly) sedentary lifestyle. You need the exercise.