There are so many intelligent and articulate people covering the hard-hitting
issues in our country these days, that I felt it was my duty to cover the
rather inconsequential bullshit that tends to make up the vast majority of
our lives. Actually, I'll just be griping a lot which, if you weren't aware,
doubles as a synonym for complaining, and as a descriptor for
a sharp pain in the bowels.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

The House [in which] YouTube Was Built

My time in California is about to draw to a close but I want to thank it for a jolly good Christmas. I thought it would be nice to get a post in while situated in the locale where much of YouTube was developed. I will not give this place a name (which I initially typed as name a place) because I like certain vagaries and anonymity to things, especially in this ever-expanding creepy universe of everyone knowing seemingly everything about everyone. Diminished privacy would be the Cliff's Notes way of putting it. What I like about this place, aside from being a vaguely charming independent coffee house with tasty coffee and treats, is that within its bounds very much of what is used on the internet these days was developed here. Yes, these people work, and have worked for, a broad range of companies, and it is an extraordinarily small community that completed the bulk of what the bulk of folks are using these days.

It's not that I'm trying to make this seem cool and exclusive, because this is just a regular shop that a crapton of people come into. The anonymity of the folks who are behind-the-scenes is what I would like to preserve. I am not sure the view that many people have of programmers/computer engineers, but for many of them the interest is in solving a problem, improving efficiency and the like. And all along the way there are bunch of really cool things created that most of us don't even realize are out there. I like to think of myself as moderately technically proficient; I am not whiz, but I can get by. One of the nifty little tools I came across just the other day is in Google Labs. This little thing lets you search the frequency of a word or words over a period of time (you can set these and other parameters). Google has uploaded at this time, I believe, roughly fifteen million texts (and by that I mean books) in several different languages. Your searches, then, are run through all of the words that have been uploaded. It's kind of a fun thing to play around with.

The other night I was viewing the roast of Frank Sinatra. It is pretty great if you have a chance to check it out, even if some of the jokes are dated. What I mean by that is only that they reference certain things relevant to that time period and the years prior which I did not witness and continue to be unaware of. One thing I did note, though, was what I deem an uncanny resemblance between comedian Milton Berle and strange ad/marketing production Noid from 80s Domino's pizza advertising. You will see both of them below.

Milton Berle


Without having said much of anything, I think this is a good place at which to call it. Hope you all had delightful holiday breaks there and have prepped your livers for some good living on New Year's Eve and beyond.

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