the photography, music and ramblings of Matt Lipstein

Damn You Canada - You've Done it Again!

This video has it all. The song is catchy as all get out, it's in
French and the video itself is just precious. This band is Malajube and the song "Montreal -40°C". Enjoy yourselfCanada. Watch out U.S.

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Click Click

Three new batches of photos on the aptly named Photo page.

See stilt walkers and ice sculptors from this week's Winter's Eve celebration at Lincoln Center

Warm the cockles of your heart with shots from my Thanksgiving festivities

Hang out in sunglasses and hats with a few friends of mine



Have you ever felt hyper-connected? Too much screen time and too much happening while you're on the computer? I'm on machines for an average of 8-10 hours a day. Yowser. I've made some changes in how I use these machines recently. Changes that are supposed to make me more productive, but they are simply leaving me frazzled.

Here are the new technologies that should be stepping it up but are just leaving me down:

Web Browser: Flock

I've been using Flock for a month now. It's a really good web browser that integrates my Flickr account so I can just drag and drop photos in that I'll want to post to this site. It's built on the FireFox platform, so it allows for tabbed browsing and the like, and is secure and stable. But now I'm finding myself with 128937 tabs open in 213 windows.

Home Page: Personalized Google
The personalized google page let's me see my gMail inbox and Google calendar, as well as additional info like the weather, word of the day, and extra crap (no - I do not have the Dilbert comic of the day there, but I do have the daily photo from NASA)

This is supposed to make me more efficient, not less! Every time I open my homepage I immediately feel stressed that there is so much more I need to be looking at, digesting and processing. It's a bad feeling.

Google crazy: When my new laptop came into the mix a few months ago, I decided I would use web-based applications to track my information. Using a work desktop, a home PC and a home laptop necessitates the ability to access the same information anywhere.

Enter Google and it's array of free services.

As mentioned, I'm using gMail which is incredibly robust. Instead of simply reading my emails I'm flagging, labeling and archiving conversations. I'm also using Google Calendar to track my events, and Google Docs to keep tabs on different lists of crap I'm updating. If you can't tell already, I can be a bit obsessive.

Blogging: Blogger Beta

I'm using the newer features in Blogger Beta which are great and make this very blog you are reading right now (no, NOW!). It's a great system that I've been able to tweak beyond the templates that they offer, but it's just another elaborate system that I've been using, leaving me overwhelmed.

Photo Storage and Sharing: Flickr
A good service, made easier when using the Flock browser. Just another large step in a multi-stepped process in having a digital identity. They do create those great slideshows you've seen on my Photos page.

I NEED TO UNPLUG! Or at the very least simplify this situation. So - what to do:
  • For the time being I'm switching back to the simplified, classic Google homepage.
  • I may (may, mind you) switch back to Safari as my browser. Although it doesn't have as nice an interface when I log into Blogger.

Any suggestions? Add a comment and let me know how else I can sloooooow down without turning off completely.

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Best posts from other blogs - 11/28/06

Here's the best stuff I've found (so far) today:

Song: from Music for Robots, The Gossip - Listen Up (mstrkrft remix)

Just straight up funky. For real. Press the lil' green button to listen.

Photo: from Gothamist, Light Waves in Brooklyn

"We've been admiring some gorgeous pictures of last night's start of the Prospect Park in Lights installation on Gothamist Contribute. We love this photograph by Atomische, showing ocean waters created out of lights. According to Prospect Park, "more than half a million light emitting diodes (LEDs) will be used to illuminate four gateways to the Park: Grand Army Plaza, which encompasses the historic Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Arch and the Bailey Fountain; Bartel-Pritchard Circle; Park Circle; and the Parkside and Ocean Avenue entrance to the Park."

Skate Deck: from turntablelab, Iron Mike

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Turkey Weekend Redux

It's been quite a busy past few days! I'll be posting photos in a day or two to illustrate the weekend, but until then, a quick recap:

Wednesday: Randomly had a few people over to have some drinks, wear sunglasses and hats indoors and watch a double feature: Eddie Murphy Raw and Blazing Saddles.

Thursday: Off to NJ for Thanksgiving. Our family has been going to the Hilton for the past few years, which isn't as bad as it sounds. Hey, no dishes!

Friday: Stopped into the Spotted Pig to eat up some Nudie (pictured) and hit up Rose's Turn, a West Village piano bar. Wild times.

Saturday: Thanksgiving part two at Amanda's sister's place. Letting my stomach reach maximum density.

Sunday: Finally bought a new winter coat.

More to come... Tonight I'm heading over to the (balmy) Lincoln Center Tree lighting. Check back soon for more updates, photos and fun!


Sign of the Times

Not like you couldn't see this one coming: The Blockbuster video on Court Street in my hood has gone and closed up! While this isn't as drastic as Tower Records closing all their stores' doors, I do think it's important to notice.

With the proliferation of DVR, Tivo and Netflix it is inevitable that traditional brick and mortar video stores are going to bite the dust.

On a personal note, now when I give directions to people on how to get to my pad I'll have to say " near where the Blockbuster used to be"

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Driving In the Dark

Driving back from the Jers tonight, we saw an amazing sight from the road. A giant set of neon letters was beckoing from a huge warehouse space. As we got closer, we deciphered that it said "IN THE DARK".

We rounded the corner, bringing the warehouse right up against us and saw that the letters were also spread across the long side of the warehouse. The total message read: "IT IS GREEN THINKS NATURE EVEN IN THE DARK"

I love me some public art. The experience of seeing this form the road was thrilling and frightening. The letters were HUGE! Where did they come from? What did it mean?

A little investigation found that the artwork is called "indestructible language" and was done by Mary Ellen Carroll . The piece is a commentary on global warming and on living green. Check the info on The Precipice Alliance's webpage.

Go public art go.

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Gobble Gobble

Happy Thanksgiving!

If you are cooking your own turkey this year, you should be thankful for the Butterball Turkey Talk -Line. If you are having a cooking emergency, call Butterball and they can help you.

And as they say in Trading Places: It ain't cool being a Jive Turkey so close to Thanksgiving.


Standing on the shoulders of giants

There' s quite a bit of good electronic music coming out these days. Hot Chip are one band who have really been doing it for me (check their album "The Warning" - it's tight from start to finish). This renaissance of electro-pop kicked in a few years ago with The Postal Service and their unique brand of digital music coupled with emotional lyrics. It was right up my alley.

But is it unique?

I got to thinking about the bands I enjoyed when I was a young teenager. Bands like Joy Division, Erasure, Yaz, Depeche Mode. And New Order.

I had this VHS tape (remember those?) of New Order videos, and the one for their song The Perfect Kiss stands out in my mind. In the video they are performing the song live in the studio. What blew me away (and still does) is how organic their production of the song is even though it has such an Electronic sound to it. You'd think it was all done using synthesizers and computers but there is as much good ol' electric guitar in there as there is digital equipment.

Thank goodness for YouTube where we can all re-live our childhood memories. Watch this New Order video for The Perfect Kiss and then think of all the "ground-breaking" indie music you like now. Wild.

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Unleash Your Inner Pollock

I came across an amazing website while researching a book called "A Whole New Mind".

The book has an interesting theory: left-brain thinking has dominated our culture for the past few centuries, but due to external factors (abundance, automation of tasks and the Asian work force) right-brained thinking must now be honed in order to succeed in the coming decades.

One way to develop the artistic side of your mellon is via this Jackson Pollock website. It's surprisingly enjoyable. An insider's tip: click once to change colors.

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Professor Shufflebones I Presume?

View the shocking & funny snapshots of what happens when you put glasses on your dog.


The $100 laptop

Started at M.I.T., the One Laptop Per Child team is gaining speed. This group is committed to producing fully functioning laptops for students around the globe at a purchase price of $100.

They just released a batch of photos of their new prototypes from the factory, and they look GOOD! Read through their wiki and get excited for the future.


Photos back online

After much hemming and hawing, I've got the photo page up and running. I'm going with embedded slideshows from my Flickr account. Just click through - you'll see what I mean.

Because the slideshow starts right when you hit the page, I've elected to only leave the most current post up. For ealier slideshows you'd need to click on the permalink for that group.

There is also a post that shows where all the old photos are.

This is all nerd background (of which I have much more to offer). Go enjoy the photos!


Two Great Tastes that Taste Great Together

Together at Last: The Temptations and the Supremes on Ed Sullivan. Just wait for David Ruffin's howl and the synchornized dancing. DAMN. I mean - DAMN.

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Nasty Jams

I just got to posting all my old songs in the music section.

I'm hoping to have some new tunage up there soon, but honestly I've been focusing more on photography these days. the transition to the new computer has also made it hard to record while the state of my lab is in flux.



Believe the Hype

I'm adding another link to my sidebar today. It's the greatest online tool for finding music you want to hear and learning about new stuff you might enjoy. It's a music blog aggregator - basically they pull from all the MP3 Blog sites and show what tracks they are posting. You can also search so if you want the new 45 minute LCD Soundsystem track "45:33" - you can find it there.

The Hype Machine

Remember: If you like something always support artists by legally purchasing their music and going to see their shows!

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Birthday nerdjoy

In looking online for a birthday eCard (happy b-day Rebecca!), I stumbled upon a Wikipedia page on the Birthday Paradox. Quite simply:
A graph showing the probability of at least two people sharing a birthday amongst a certain number of people.
In probability theory, the birthday paradox states that given a group of 23 (or more) randomly chosen people, the probability is more than 50% that at least two of them will have the same birthday. For 60 or more people, the probability is greater than 99%, although it cannot actually be 100% unless there are at least 366 people.

Sorry to nerd out, but that is so cool. I love the fact that it's 23 people (my favorite number). Get a group of 23 or more together and test this theory!


Robots Royale With Cheese

This speaks for itself. Spotted on Boing Boing.


Keep your daughter OFF the pole

British company Tesco is gearing up for christmas in a horrible way. Their distributing a new product, the Peekaboo Pole Dancing Set and while it's marked for adult use, it's within plain site of the youngsters. From the Tesco Direct website:

The Tesco Direct site advertises the kit with the words, "Unleash the sex kitten inside...simply extend the Peekaboo pole inside the tube, slip on the sexy tunes and away you go!

"Soon you'll be flaunting it to the world and earning a fortune in Peekaboo Dance Dollars".

I mean come on. Really, come on now. No - Really. Let the outrage begin.

Thanks to Zach for the tip.


Get inspired about Technology

If you don't know, I am the Director of Technology for an independent school in Brooklyn, NY. The main part of my job is finding ways to use technology in classrooms to help enhance kids' education. It's challenging and rewarding work.

Last week I went to a conference in Mohonk to meet with my colleagues. It's always inspirational, and opens my eyes to the big picture. I can get very brought down into the minutia of day to day life: a particular laptop not working, or the internal politics of working in a school. Stepping back and seeing the big picture of how we are effecting children's education and ultimately their future is heavy business!

I was forwarded a link to the TEDBLOG. A description from their site:

The TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design) conference is an annual event where leading thinkers and doers gather for inspiration. (More at The TEDBlog covers the same ground, on a rather more frequent basis.
It's higher-level thinking and incredibly inspirational for anyone interested in technology. They have videos of their speakers from the last few years.

And they have a video of Bono speaking (which could be good or bad)

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For the word nerds

I do love me some Scrabble. I haven't been playing as much as I'd like recently, but that doesn't mean I can't throw down a fat Bingo across a Triple Word Play to devestate you!

There's a new edition of the board game that just came out called the Scrabble Onyx Edition .

Here's the details from Barnes & Noble:

The centerpiece of the Onyx Edition Scrabble is the elegant black rotating game board, featuring a silver playing surface. In addition to its stunning appearance, the board enhances the playing experience by turning on a built-in stand to allow a clear look for all contestants. A raised grid holds the tiles - made of black wood with silver embossing - firmly in place as the board rotates. Other matching elements include a unique timer with black sand, a black velvet tile pouch, four black tile racks, and a silver-accented score book with official score sheets an pencil.
Looks pretty sweet, - not sure if I'm going to get, but I know a few scrabble-holics who already have this in their sights.


Bustle in your hedgerow

Another hot tip from the Welsh. Dolly Parton doing Satirway! Yes - Stairway to Heaven!

The best I could do was track down the real player stream
Cover for Parton's latest CD


It brings tears to your eyes

On Sunday night I went to check out Amateur Female Jello Wrestling at Arlene's Grocery. Now that's real jello wrestling, not a band. It was surprisingly disappointing - the wrestling was all staged (I guess I'm a purist) and the crowd energy was non-existent.

All was not lost however. I met some of Amanda's friends who were in from Wales. We got to talking about music, and I was pointed in the direction of The Broken Family Band. The first link I clicked on was for the video below, "It's All Over".

I must be their target audience because it totally floored me - both the video and the song. A note from YouTube to explain the background a bit:

The song is from the album BALLS by The Broken Family Band.The video is edited from a silent film made by Natalie Toumbas ( called Silent Treatment - she asked two strangers to sit in a room for an entire hour - all they had to do was look at each other and not speak while being filmed (They could not hear any music.)
So in any event, here it is. It would be interesting to watch the full hour of footage from the silent film, but the images coupled with the song is breathtaking. Thanks for the tip Alex!

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Back at it again...

So here I am changing the look of Stupidfresh yet again! I can't seem to make up my mind how I want to publish this thing. Let's give this version a go.

Way back in the day I started with a modified version of Blogger. I tweaked the hell out of it to get it just right. Then, a few weeks ago when I got my new Macbook I decided to try their iWeb software. It's actually really cool, but if you don't fork over the 100 clams to buy a .mac account, it's really difficult to publish with it.

After a brief foray into WordPress (which is what my other site, A Picture's Worth is published on), I have come back full circle to Blogger.

I'm hoping this will give me the flexibility to:
  • post from any computer I am working on
  • make posting super simple - so I can get my stuff up as soon as possible
  • allow me to make easy to posy/easy to use interfaces for photoblogging and musicbloggin (of my own material of course) - for starters, click on the picture of Kojak on the bottom of this post
  • give me the flexibility to post frequently on more topics, with more links to more timely information - and maybe get more personal too
So far (tonight anyway) I am pretty pleased with how it is going. I modified a Blogger template and added in some bells and whistles. Updates to come.

So it's pretty dry right now, but I'm hoping to keep things fresh - Stupidfresh that is.

Stay tuned and thanks for checking in!

Who loves ya' baby?

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