LOST: 1 U-Lock

Physical Description: One half of a black and orange Kryptonite brand u-lock with blue and yellow duct tape hap-hazardly applied around the barrel.

Last seen: September 22, 2010 @ 11:00 p.m near Darling’s Cafe in No Libs.

Reason for losing half of a u-lock: Unlocked bicycle, placed lock upside in rear pannier, must not have fully engaged lock, causing it to bounce out during the ride home in the rain.

Have you tried using the “Find my U-Lock” iPod application? Yes.

Didn’t you secretly want an excuse to buy the Knog lock pictured below anyway? Yes.

knog strongman lock

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Life Update

I graduated from college, I think. (Still waiting on that “diploma.”)

Still volunteering once a week at Mighty Writers. It’s an awesome feeling when I walk in there and a handful of kids run up to me, yelling “MARC!,” and jump up for a hug. One of my little buddies there, Mukhtar, is a prolific comic book artist who wants me to help him “animate” his drawings in Illustrator. “Animate” is his word for coloring them in using vectors…

The internship at WHYY is super awesome. Like Mighty Writers minus the kids, it’s a great feeling to walk in at 9:00 a.m. to the sound of Radio Times playing live in the background. I’m anxiously awaiting for the moment when I run into Marty Moss-Coane or Terry Gross in the hall though… Such a fine line between stalking and happenstance.

Kidding aside, they’re really dedicated to giving me a good experience there, and I’m even getting some good stuff for my writing portfolio. (I’m working with the senior publicist.) This week I did lots of editing, and interviewed and wrote a profile for a staff radio producer. It’ll appear in an upcoming newsletter that goes out to their employees.

I’m also working on a bunch of new stuff for b minus which I’m going to share with you soon. I’m also excited to finally move into a new apartment, and settle into a new routine in a new place. New new new. Work at the coffee shop has been pretty good too — it’s awesome to be able to make so many friends at a job. One of them, an ex-New Yorker, even offered to help us move! Until next time…

Revolving Resolutions

newbike copy

I’ve been putting off a badly needed repair on my bicycle for at least a year. It clicked, more-or-less constantly, whenever I pedaled. Not to mention that the freewheel was loose as hell.

I took it to Bicycle Revolutions, a shop whose boutique carries my bike shirts. For a reasonable fee, I got a new cog, free-wheel, chain, and an extra pair of brake pads. She’s (yes, she) is completely silent now; she doesn’t even make that pleasing bicycle click most do when they’re coasting. I hadn’t even realized how unresponsive she had gotten. It’s like a totally new bike, and that’s my resolution and my advice to you: Get those small annoyances fixed fast, because it’s likely indicative of a larger problem, and getting it fixed will make all your rides better.

What Would Jesus Search For?

Although not quite as apocalypse-inducing as the new Google Instant, there are no less than three search engines that cater to users’ religious beliefs — namely Christianity (SeekFind), Judaism (Jewogle), and Islam (I’mHalal). While the Jews certainly take the prize for sense of humor, which search engine censors delivers personalized religious results the best? {via npr}. For this test, I will conduct three different searches using the same query, “sex.”

SeekFind gets an ‘A’ for usability, and a few extra points for the ads to Christian book stores on the right-hand side. The substance is there too; the first result is from the website All About Worldview, and features a discussion about the morality of pre-marital sex. One highlight:

But maybe there is something inside you, like a voice in your head, that is making you uncertain about whether or not sex before marriage is a right or wrong action. Many people refer to this voice as their conscience.

Next up: Jewogle. Usability: ‘C’. Why is there a calendar of events on the results page? Where’s the targeted advertising? As for censorship personalized search results, I give them a failing grade. Unless I’m using it wrong, Jewogle doesn’t actually search the web, it’s merely a search engine for a database of articles they compiled. Not sure that sort of “functionality” is really worthy of ripping off this logo…

jewogle search engine

Last but not least: I’mHalal. This Web site gets an ‘A+’ for design and usability — although it’s clear that I’mHalal and Jewogle were inspired by the same search engine. Advertising is sparse, and the layout is tasteful and unobtrusive. Results were in line with the aesthetic — open and to the point. An excerpt from the second result:

The west approves of this evil act, and has introduced new laws in its favour of same-sex marriage.

Although the operators don’t believe they’re engaging in outright censorship, just “tailoring the results to specific demographics,” a search for porn on SeekFind yields no results, and the first result on the query “Democratic Party” is about Marxism.

Good one guys.