EJM Designs Limited Blog

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Tech Love: WISE, Cursed Phone#, Cyborg, HTC Evo


What's wise? NASA's new Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer. And what's id doing? Already taking images like this:


They call that the Heart and Soul Nebulae.

Cursed Phone Number?

Bulgaria - no one will be issued the cell phone number 0888 888 888. Why? The last 3 people who had that number have died under suspicious circumstances.

Also noted: bad business, mob boss, and coke dealer might have had something to do with those deaths. Spooky?

Infected Wit teh Tech

After having the brilliant idea that he needed to implant an RFID microchip in his hand, Dr. Mark Gasson thought it would be interesting if he purposefully infected that chip with a malicious virus.

He says he apologizes in advance should this result in the simultaneous creation of a true biomechanical and the rise of the machines as our new masters. He also claims "safe" as their Adam.


I'm kind of a tech whore. In articles and blogs, we call ourselves early-adopters. There's an art to it, measurement of risk, etc. that lets many jump on the newest iPhone while still running Windows XP at home.

You'll remember me about a year ago fawning over and reveling in the release date capture of my Palm Pre. And not 12 months later, the joints are a little loose, I've gained a small crack, and, well, since I saw this one thing...our relationship hasn't been the same.

What I saw was the HTC EVO.

Sprint's HTC EVO

Android-running, 4.3 inch touchscreen, streams HD video on the new 4G network, dual cameras (8MP back, 1.3 front-facing), 1GB Snapdragon processor.

Nom, nom, nom.

I've got about a 20% chance of getting one soon. Sprint's "eligible upgrade" time period is 2 years, not one, so I'd pay a mint for the phone. But I will continue to drool. And hope.

Sidenote: Palm's guru Matias Duarte has moved to Google.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Videos: Awesome Chemistry, Pacman, Wedding FAIL

The Awesome of Chemistry


Pacman Ghosts Discuss TV

...and because it's just not Friday without some FAIL,

Wedding Photo FAIL

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Inspiration: Try Something New!

I wasn't here Monday, so here's your weekly inspiration, completely planted into my head by my recent trip to Los Angeles!

Sometimes, working as most of us do on a day-to-day basis and getting so into what we're doing, we whittle ourselves down into our specialty, we unconsciously have installed blinders to everything except what we're doing right now. We get tunnel vision.

And anyone who's experienced that phenomenon knows the reality of monotony. And monotony is living in a rut. It is drab, slow, and joyless. And who wants to lose the joy in their work, in their life?

(Note: If you're not finding some joy in what you do every day, stop now. Walk out the door. Then DO SOMETHING ELSE!)

So there's the problem: drab, slow, joyless. How exactly do you get away from that? Easy! Do something new.

Now I'm not saying you need to take off to LA for 5 days or even one day, but that's why vacations are so important to the vacationer: you get a breath of fresh air, do something new or different and come back with fresh eyes, a reinvigorated spirit. (European employers genuinely trust the productivity increase which is why you'd start there with 4 to 6 weeks of paid vacation per year. Yum!)

So you don't have the vacation time. So what? You can still do something different! Go for a walk after dinner. Spend your lunch hour in the park. Try writing a short story. Get out that To Do list and actually DO something on it instead of whining about how old some of those goals are. And if you've got a little over a hundred bucks, nerves of steel, and a Saturday afternoon, go skydiving. Seriously. It will change your life.

But all of these suggestions are for one reason: expanding your horizons. By doing something new or different, by changing your patterns, you change the physical chemistry of your brain - you actually alter how it works. So when it is time to go back to the daily grind, you will see it differently, gain new perspective on the day-to-day.

And if not? At least you've got the next new thing to look forward to.

Make it a great weekend!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Los Angeles, I'm Yours

As many of you know from my Twitter/Facebook updates, I spent the last several days in Los Angeles to visit my brother. This is a random listing of some of the things we did and some of the thoughts I had.

Please note: this is by no means a comprehensive compendium of what LA is actually like as a whole. I spent most of my time in Hollywood and Burbank and only 5 days at that.

Normal, Just Big

Growing up in the Midwest, you get this iconic, fabled view of what Los Angeles and Hollywood actually are from movies and teevee and popular songs. Which proved surprising when everything was so normal. Sunset. La Brea. Santa Monica. Busy, stacked with restaurants, stores, bars, but pretty normal ones. We didn't walk into any place I didn't feel comfortable

Population Makeup

Again, from news and television, I guess I expected a much larger Hispanic population, but in Hollywood - while that existed - there was also a noticeable Asian and Armenian population. Even a "Little Ethiopia." And it all makes for a fantastic selection of little restaurants and a very diverse culture.

As far as the idea of "pretty people everywhere," you can knock that to the curb. The population appears to have a much larger percentage of fit people, but if you match the overweight with the unhealthily gaunt, I think the averages weigh out.


Terrifying. I spent some time driving in Boston, some time driving in Dublin (Ireland), and this beats all. The traffic here can be best described as erratic and random with punctuations of straight up danger. Constant lane-changing almost into your car, motorcycles swerving between larger vehicles. Basically, if you're not "on" you're going to get into an accident.

Much love to my brother Adam for taking the helm for my entire visit.

Jay Leno

A great co-worker of Adam pulled us some Leno tickets. After going to Guest Relations, were were pooled with some 20 other people and we walked through the back lots to Studio 11 where we turned the corner and ...hundreds of people were waiting 2 and 3 deep on the right and left. And we walked past them all. It was exciting and elating and I had the biggest grin on my face.

We entered the studio audience ahead of everyone and it appeared we were getting sweet front row seats in fixed-seat house (yeah!), then a coordinator pointed to us and said "you two, come with me." He ushered us out on the floor house left and pulled tape off a couple seats to plant us in row 2. On the floor. Of Leno. Waaahaa!?

Eric Marschall, Adam Marschall on Leno
My brother in blue, me: to his left

It aired Friday, May 7th, and you can still see it on NBC.com as well as Adam's other screenshots on Facebook here.

Don Cheadle, Erin Andrews guests, George Takei showed up to say "panties," amongst other words, and Landon Pigg & Lucy Schwartz performed. All-round, a great show.

Celebrity Sighting

On Sunday, we headed over to Hollywood's Happy Ending bar on Sunset (an excellent sports bar in its own right) for some Cavs :( and grub. Amazing food, great staff, great clientele.

As a matter of fact, Neal McDonough stopped in to root for the Celtics against the Cavs.

Neal McDonough

You may know him from Desperate Housewives or Minority Report. I loved him in SyFy's "Tin Man" and he was also in an old episode of Quantum Leap, Angels in the Outfield, and Band of Brothers.

But he was just another guy in a bar watching the game. And that was cool.

Business Expansion Potential

I don't want to generalize or pine romantic about Los Angeles, but as a web developer, the problems I've seen there for production companies and restaurants are pretty much the same as here:
  • Sites built entirely in Flash; this is still not a viable option, especially if you expect someone to pick it up with a smartphone.
  • Remnants of a site built several years ago that has used duct tape to keep it up with minor updates.
  • A website composed by a cousin who had this class this one time and looks like 1995 (read: cheesy animated gifs)

Yes, these sites exist, even in LA. Which is sad and disappointing, but a fantastic opportunity, especially for the markup potential in what the market will actually support.

Ending Notes

I'd like to thank my parents. Really. My dad was a local celebrity on Cleveland television and my father always said: "I'm just a regular guy; I'm just on TV." And that helped ground us growing up and I don't think any one of us four kids ever got big-headed or name-dropped for any reason. It was just Dad. And seeing celebrities in Los Angeles it's the same thing: they're normal people, just with a job on TV or in movies.

I can't wait to go back. As I said before, it's not demonstrative, but you can see what I did while I was there through Foursquare and check out my pictures on my Facebook profile.

I leave you with The Decemberists. Yes, Los Angeles, I'm yours.


Unfortunate Facebook

Juxtaposition can sometimes have unfortunate consequences. This appeared as a Facebook update in my feed. Blurring to protect the innocent.

Facebook Unfortunate

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Demonstrable Generally Works Better

Sometimes I find myself just being me and think it's a good idea to lay it out to let my readers get a little insight into who I am.

It's 11:30pm. I'm watching "How the Universe Works" (Black Hole episode), beginning a book to bone up on my PHP ninja coding skills, and drinking a Miller Lite. (and pausing in the midst of it all to blog)

Is that too much? Or refreshing?