hell to the naw

We had our fantasy football draft yesterday. I didn’t really get into the proper mental state/flow until the end when it didn’t matter as much.

I just christened my team “Whitney’s” “Hell to the naw”.

See over on this site Four Four, he pretty much does a detailed rundown of the Whitney and Bobby Brown reality show every week and while I haven’t actually seen the show, I’ve grown to love it via a serial blog recounting it for me.

Anyway, I guess Whitney says “Hell to the no” or “Hell to the naw” all the time, which is terrific and now stands for “You think your team is going to beat me this week, hell to the naw”


shake shack

BurgerYou know for all the people in line, I would have expected more friends to have heard about it.

I’m speaking of Shake Shack. Located in the Southeast corner of Madison Square Park (23rd & Madison), Manhattan.

Since my girlfriend Emily picked up a bizzare physical affliction to hamburgers (not steak, not turkey burgers), suspiciously around the time we visited India and she is out of town this week, I decided that I could use the opportunity to try out the hamburger place I had read on A Hamburger Today as being better than In-N-Out, which we all know is impossible, but still to be used in the same sentence is saying something.

I went on Saturday night at around 7pm by myself (no teasing). I waited around 30 minutes in line to order and about another 10 to pick up my burger, I ordered the namesake Shack burger which comes with lettuce tomato and a secret very-light-horseraddishy-mayo kindof sauce. I need to go back another time to try the fries or some of the supposedly good custard style ice cream.

Easily cracked my top 4 lifetime hamburgers. Super-good. Recommended.


non-obvious excel tip of the day

I’m working on my fantasy football draft in Excel. Part of the job is sourcing material by copying and pasting from web sites. But since the sites have links to the players detailed info, it makes working with them in Excel difficult. I needed to remove a bunch of hyperlinks at once and the stuff I tried didn’t work. Not one to ask for directions I reluctantly asked Excel’s help to point me right in the right direction. Here is what they suggest:

Deactivate several hyperlinks at once

  1. Type the number 1 in a blank cell, and right-click the cell.
  2. Click Copy on the shortcut menu.
  3. While pressing CTRL, select each hyperlink you want to deactivate.
  4. Click Paste Special on the Edit menu.
  5. Under Operation, click Multiply and then click OK.



Outlook Tip: Two Time Zones

Outlook Tip: Two Time Zones:

My company has offices on both the east and west coasts. People often schedule video conferences or phone calls with people on the opposite coast and there is confusion about when the meeting is taking place. Outlook has a feature that can help avoid confusion.

1. In your Outlook calendar, right click on the time and select “Change Time Zone.”

2. Click “Show an Additional Time Zone”

3. Select the additional time zone that you need

[via Lifehacker]



EPH dream team

My post on Erotic Photo Hunt from way back continues to be one of my most popular. Check this line out:

We took the step of dividing up the team into specialties – hair, apparel, background, with secondary targets of footwear, breasts, pool balls.

And then today I read this:

…here’s a study that suggests that different cultures literally see things differently.

Shown a photograph, North American students of European background paid more attention to the object in the foreground of a scene, while students from China spent more time studying the background and taking in the whole scene, according to University of Michigan researchers.

The researchers, led by Hannah-Faye Chua and Richard Nisbett, tracked the eye movements of the students – 25 European Americans and 27 native Chinese – to determine where they were looking in a picture and how long they focused on a particular area.

“They literally are seeing the world differently,” said Nisbett, who believes the differences are cultural.

“Asians live in a more socially complicated world than we do,” he said in a telephone interview. “They have to pay more attention to others than we do. We are individualists. We can be bulls in a china shop, they can’t afford it.”…

Aristotle, for example, focused on objects. A rock sank in water because it had the property of gravity, wood floated because it had the property of floating. He would not have mentioned the water. The Chinese, though, considered all actions related to the medium in which they occurred, so they understood tides and magnetism long before the West did.

Nisbett illustrated this with a test asking Japanese and Americans to look at pictures of underwater scenes and report what they saw.

The Americans would go straight for the brightest or most rapidly moving object, he said, such as three trout swimming. The Japanese were more likely to say they saw a stream, the water was green, there were rocks on the bottom and then mention the fish.

The Japanese gave 60 percent more information on the background and twice as much about the relationship between background and foreground objects as Americans, Nisbett said.

In the latest test, the researchers tracked the eye movement of the Chinese and Americans as they looked at pictures.

The Americans looked at the object in the foreground sooner – a leopard in the jungle for example – and they looked at it longer. The Chinese had more eye movement, especially on the background and back and forth between the main object and the background, he said.

[via Worthwhile Magazine]

Our background guy? Korean. Did we stumble on to this deep cultural phenomenon?


fifty percent world record

BannisterI once shared that I could long jump 16 feet. I was immediately ridiculed as a braggart and there was no way that was possible and I should shut up etc. I still hold that I can as long as a) I have running shoes on b) there is a legitimate sand pit c) an accurate tape measure. As a justification for my comments, I offered that the world record in the long jump is 29.3 feet and I could surely come within 50% of the record.

Then I stepped up the rhetoric: Could I come with 50% of any world record? My thoughts were centered around track events at first and there is a reasonable chance that a lot of those I could do with no training. Eight minute mile? Beat that. The marathon record is 2:04:55, and I could handle 4:08 on either the first or second try. Stuff like the pole vault would require training, but I’m sure 10’ is within the first week’s sessions.

Despite my lack of game lately, I can indeed shoot a sub 120 shot round of golf. I could finish the tour de France in 6 weeks with time to take some snapshots along the way. I bet I could luge my way down in twice the time.

So here’s the question, what athletic events could I *not* achieve 50% of the world record?


Groundhog Day is a great movie

Groundhog Day is one of those movies that I love more and more with repeating viewings. Coincidence or irony?

Anyway, I almost always go to IMDB for trivia at some point during a home viewing of any movie. Here are my favs on this one:

    • Phil Connors goes through February 2nd, 34 times. There were many more days implied, for example how he knew everyone so well in the diner, but only 34 days were actually shown.
    • Supposedly Paul Lynde was the inspiration for a line in Groundhog Day. After a high-speed chase through the Valley one night when he was driving recklessly while intoxicated, Lynde crashed his car into a mailbox. The police came to the car, guns drawn, and he lowered his window and told them “I’ll have a cheeseburger, hold the onions, and a large Sprite.”

Paul Lynde was Uncle Arthur in Bewitched, which, by the way, spawned the horrendous, movie-ruining impression in the most recent Bewitched movie.



a nice place to have a drink


[photo credit Emily Wilson]

[that’s Vinod striking a pose]

I work in the fashion district and our office is close to Bryant Park. Some of you New Yorkers might be familiar with the bar at Bryant Park, but you probably only know about the one on the North side that gets mucho crowded and rubs me the wrong way for whatever reason (crowding aside). There is a better option if you go South, climb the stairs to the upstairs part of whatever this restaurant is called. The view is better, the breeze is better, the crowds are thinner. They also have what is affectionately known, by us, as Liquid Crack or Liquid Cocaine, aka Blue Point Summer Ale. A regular beer with an explained potency means one or two is all you need. I should be clear this picture was taken during the “you don’t have to go home, but you can’t stay here” phase of the evening.


opener thingamagic

ThingermagicYou know how there are tools that exist that make what your doing pleasurable and you find that you actually want to do whatever work is involved? For me, a while ago it was the 38 gallon butterfly $189 trash can; I seeked out trash just so I could use it.

I picked one of these up for a couple of cents back in my Boston days and I relish opening mail. The chore becomes so effortless, the sound it makes ripping open (and so cleanly!) the envelope is addictive.

Well, y’all should get one just for that alone, but I just found another fantastic use: cutting pages out of magazines. Putting those little Cargo magazine tabs in the pages works, but you have to keep the whole magazine and if you’re like me have a stack of the entire production run with little tabs sticking out just waiting for the cash flow situation to justify that $450 slim-line laptop case or whatever. This little guy rips right along the spine making a clean cut all along. I now just have a Manila envelop with the loose pages waiting for it to be accidentally discovered, say around Birthmas time. (my birthday is the day after Christmas, dual presents – hence Birthmas)