Heard it through the Newsvine

The latest addition to the Web 2.0 landscape is a new site called . Newsvine is a new web service that is available to Beta testers and the twenty people they choose to invite into the system.

Here’s the gist. It’s basically a news site, like CNN, NYTimes or MSNBC — with a twist. There are three types of stories: Your run of the mill wire stories, user-written content/stories, and seeded stories. All stories, regardless of which of these three it is, have the ability to have comments and “rank.” If your find the story interesting, you can give it a +1 and it will increase the rank by one. Stories with the most rank and the most comments bubble up to the front page of their particular section.

The first two content-types are fairly straightforward. The third, however, is a link to an article living on an external site that they think is interesting. You can then give your summary and comments when you post. This is taking the and including all sorts of news.
Continue reading Heard it through the Newsvine

Exercising in Schools

According to a recent article in the San Francisco Chronicle, West Virginia Public Schools are bringing Dance Dance Revolution to the classroom. They’re planning on bringing these games to 765 schools across the state.

If you’ve never seen Dance Dance Revolution, you’re certainly not missing anything. It looks something like this and it’s insane how good some kids are. You basically try to follow the pattern of lefts, rights, ups and downs that fall down the screen to make a rhythm. Some kids are so insanely good, however, that they stomp their feet to and fro and it’s “amazing” to watch. But to bring these games to schools — to try to reduce obesity? Wow. That’s a stretch.

No Love for Cool Jesus

You might remember my musings about annoying co-worker WWIII.  She’s the one who calls herself “The Source” and nearly did the happy dance when I told her I was eating Chinese food.  Her office is on the floor above mine and just minutes ago, she came downstairs to chat with her buddy Big Pappy (also of Diatribe infamy) and ask if Big Pappy wanted a coffee from Starbucks.  Big Pappy declined and WWIII moved on to Hardy Train in the cube next to me.  Hardy Train likewise declined and, since my cube is closest to the door, I braced myself for her intrusion into my cube to ask me if I was interested in a coffee.  I braced, but there was no intrusion.  She just kept on walking right through the door and to the parking lot.  Hardy Train immediately emailed me to confirm I had been dissed.  That’s fine.  It stung for a moment, but I’m over it.  I didn’t want a Starbucks coffee, but it’s always nice to be asked.  Unfortunately for WWIII, she is now dead to me.  Unless she does something extraordinarily generous, like buy me the Ice Man comic book series (only 4 issues, but the Holy Grail for Cool Jesus) for my birthday, then I will treat her like the ghost she now is.  That’s how I roll.

No love for the Diatribe

Well, I’m sad to announce that The Diatribe did not get nominated in the 2006 Bloggies awards. Not that I really expected to be nominated, I mean considering how many sites are out there, and how The Diatribe is still an undiscovered Diamond in the Rough, and all.

But in case you’re interested, check out this year’s nominees — as it’s a great place to find some very humorous and popular Web Logs (they are deemed the Best of the Best for 2006, remember).

In need of assistance

Ok, so.. I take it that nobody really digs my new icon.. well, then.. let’s try this..

I’ll give you guys the opportunity to find something better. I agree, I think my new one is a little intimidating, so I open it up to the public. Post a comment with a link to your suggested icon, and if it works — then I’ll swap it out.

Baby, it’s warm outside

Not that I’m particularly complaining — but what the heck is going on with the weather? It’s just about 60 degrees outside, and has been for the past week or so. Everyone told us that when we moved here it was warmer than Boston, although this is ridiculous.

Take last weekend for instance. It was about 50 degrees Saturday afternoon. By the time evening rolled around however, it was snowing and in the 30’s.

What a crazy winter.

Matthew’s Advertising

Advertising Services

If you walk the streets of Hoboken as much as I do, there’s no doubt that you’ve seen the ads for Matthew’s services on every pole across the one-mile town. At first it started out with the and ads. But then Matthew decided to take it one step further. He felt his skills of self-promotion were so world-class that he started his own ad agency of sorts.

What I find so incredibly entertaining is here is this guy has a flyer that says “Own your own business, I’ll advertise for you: -Poles, -Bullboards, -Stores, -Last Minute Advertising” — but do you really want someone to do your advertising that doesn’t even know how to proof-read their own signs? C’mon man, get a clue.

What’s amazing is that people have taken his phone number. Unbelievable.



Better Luck Next Season

What was that word I learned back in October, when the Yankees lost to the Angels in the ALDS? I believe it was Schadenfreude. Well, for some reason, I have a great feeling of Schadenfreude for the Colts loss this past weekend to the Steelers. Yes, it was a hard-fought, and poorly-refereed game, but the Steelers did end up the victors. I’m not a steelers fan, but I’m even less of a colts fan. I think it all goes back to the outstanding performance of Peyton and the gang, and how intent they were on defeating the Patriots in the past few years. Well, that didn’t really pan out — did it?

I found this Interesting Story on Editor and Publisher about the Indianapolis Newspaper’s plans for covering the Superbowl. They had the whole thing figure out, and even booked the hotel rooms and had publishing rights to the book entitled “The Superbowl Season” that was set to be released on 2/10/2006. Talk about being cocky. Granted, the team did play well throughout the Season — but to continue to expect them to play the same after Dungy’s son died, and having resting your started for 3 weeks, and losing the last two games of the season. In true GOB fashion… C’MON!

Among the efforts in the works had the Colts gone 16-0 were: a special late edition distributed after the final regular season game via hawkers; a commemorative 32-page magazine for sale the week following that game; and a poster of the Star’s front page reporting on the undefeated season.

If I think back to what the Boston Globe was doing back when the Red Sox finally made it to the World Series in 2004, after defeating the Evil Empire in the most inhumane of ways, it was nothing compared to this. We were all still waiting for the other shoe to fall — why wasn’t Indianapolis? They’ve not won in 35 years — and when that happened, the Colts were stationed in Baltimore. So, it’s unfortunate that the city had to start counting it’s eggs — but thems the breaks my friends.

The Source?

I was heating up some leftovers for lunch the other day when strange and annoying co-worker WWIII approached.  She sniffed around the microwave and this transpired…

WWWIII:  “Hmmmm…smells good.  Whatcha makin’?”

Cool Jesus:  [Hesitant to respond because she is Chinese and I could envision this becoming an incident, but I finally answered] “Chinese leftovers.”

WWIII:  “Oh yeah!  Right on.  From the source!” [and then she walked to the ladies room]

I was left scratching my head over that one.  The source?  Was she saying that, since she is Chinese, she is the source?  Was I symbolically eating her?  And why was she so excited?  Does she always get that way when she sees non-Asians eating Chinese food?  It’s not like I go to IHOP and high five everyone eating crepes. 

No Ordinary Monkey

My dad wanted a monkey when he was younger, before he and my mom had kids.  My mom wouldn’t allow it because she heard they can be unruly and messy.  Well, they never saw the monkeys I saw on the news last night.

CBS premiered Love Monkey last night, so it was hardly a coincidence that Boston’s Channel 4 news at 11 pm ran a story about a helper monkey.  Incidentally, I was doing tearing my apartment apart looking for a DVD, so I didn’t get to fully watch the whole hour of Love Monkey.  However, there probably aren’t many people out there who like Judy Greer and Tom Cavanaugh more than I, so I hope the show succeeds.  Anyway, when Channel 4 cut to reporter Scott Wahle with a monkey on his shoulder before going to commercial, I rolled my eyes and groaned.  It’s a major pet peeve of mine how the news shows all these fluff pieces.  BBC news doesn’t do this, so why do the national and local news stations do it here?  You’re telling me you can’t find enough news to fill 22 minutes? 

The three-minute story about these monkeys was heartwarming, hilarious, and inspiring.  A company trains monkeys to assist diabled individuals so they can lead more normal lives at home.  It costs $35,000 to train each monkey and, so far, 100 have been placed with disabled people across the U.S.  First, they showed a monkey with its new owner, a quadriplegic, and this monkey can do everything.  The guy aims a laser pointer at what he wants the monkey to bring him, says “fetch” and other words of encouragement, and that little guy snaps into action.  He can turn on the TV, put your eyeglasses on you, bring you a bottle of water AND put in a straw, and he can even turn on the stereo and put in a CD!

I had never been a fan of monkeys before, but if I ever come into some money, I’m getting one of these trained little guys.  The disabled owner sounded so grateful to not only have someone to help him around the house, but to have a companion.  And according to the experts who train these monkeys, they are extremely loyal and love having human companionship.  The sight that made me almost lose it was when a monkey hopped into the sink and began giving himself a bath.  A clean, sweet-smelling, cute little friend who will sit on your shoulder and watch TV with you – what more do you need?