Archive | December, 2005

brainstorming tools

21 Dec

I’m always looking for new ways to brainstorm. Occasionally when I’m strapped for ideas, I visit websites that start the wee gears spinning again. Here are a few I just thought of:

the visual thesaurus: Great tool to visualize interconnected associations of concepts
flickr: Fun to search different tags to see variations on themes, especially through the slideshow feature. This site has the potential to become fairly addictive, so beware!
css zengarden: Always inspiring how many different designs can come from the same html.
zefrank’s scribbler: Relaxing/stimulating to do a scribble which automatically develops over time.
wallpaper design zine: Design-o-rama with pics.

If you have any others that help you out of those creative blocks, feel free to share.

37th street lights

18 Dec

I just did a quick write-up about the 37th Street Christmas lights for the Austinist. I’ve enjoyed this street for several years and was glad that I could finally learn a little bit more about it for this. Lots of people have pics of the lights tagged with “37th street” on flickr.

google analytics are fun

15 Dec

I’m pretty impressed with the Google Analytics service. I was one of the first to subscribe right after they started offering the service for free, and have been very pleased with how well it performs compared with other web trend software I’ve used. I really like that it’s a flash-based interface, so I can see all the charts and stats with cool dynamic features. There’s even a little map that shows where in the world I’m getting visitors to my site from.

Unfortunately they’re not currently allowing new signups (due to the extremely large response they got), but for all those interested in site stats, I’d recommend signing up to be notified when they’re going to open it back up on the Google Analytics site.
I heart google.

how do you say “virtuous shell” in chinese?

11 Dec

Last night I went with a friend to see “Napoleon Explosive: The Chinese Napoleon Dynamite” at the Alamo Drafthouse (which is one of the many places that I consider makes Austin the wonderful place that it is.) It was Napoleon Dynamite in “Chinavision,” which basically means that they show a DVD of the film from China which was subtitled in Chinese and then translated back into English subtitles. It was very surreal.

I completely understood the translation of “Napoleon Dynamite” to be “Napoleon Explosive,” but how did Pedro’s name translate to “Virtuous Shell?” Is it a phonetic thing? Hopefully there is someone reading this out there who knows some basic Chinese and can resolve these profound questions of life.

One of my favorite translations from the movie was when Napoleon asks about the chicken’s “large talons”, and it was translated to something like “big marketable skills.”

For those wondering, no, alas, I was not one of the lucky ones to win a “Vote for Virtuous Shell” t-shirt. I like how those shirts made what was originally a somewhat obscure movie reference (and which became so mainstream that even Target was selling “Vote for Pedro” shirts) back into an obscure jest.