Who Wants to Watch Me Code?

The startup that wants to turn coding into a spectator sport

“Seagulls left a young man with a black eye when they swooped down and attacked him for his bacon sandwich…. The latest attack in Cornwall comes just days after a four year old boy James Bryce was left bleeding in St Ives after a gull tried to pinch his sausage roll, and left him terrified of birds. He nearly lost a finger after it was bitten while on holiday with his family…. There has also been a string of attacks on animals in the county which have left a pet Yorkshire Terrier in Newquay and a tortoise in Liskeard dead.”
Maybe they could pit the birds against the badgers.#

Dip the Vegetables

7565050308_d425bac54d_bCrudités—raw vegetables for dipping—are, I think, a good example of the typical American meal’s grudging inclusion of vegetables. “Well, we have all the food we actually want to eat, but it feels like we should have some vegetables. How about some, I don’t know…celery. With ranch dressing to make it tolerable.” There’s nothing exactly wrong with celery dipped in ranch dressing—actually, it’s pretty good—but the usual array of carrots, celery, maybe some broccoli, and cherry tomatoes, pre-sliced and brought home from the grocery store in its own sectioned plastic container, has some serious room to grow.

Because, really, there’s nothing about crudités that would stop them from being delicious and impressive, especially now, in the peak of summer produce (“peak peach,” I call it), when crisp summer fruits and vegetables are so good that sometimes you just want to eat them raw, or prepared as simply as possible.

Many, many cultures have their own variations on the vegetable platter; some, especially in northern climes like Scandinavia and Eastern Europe, lean heavily on pickled vegetables. In the Middle East, especially Lebanon, Israel, Turkey, and Syria, the mezze platter is an intensely laborious, complex collection of mini-dishes, from salads and stuffed vegetables to breads, cheeses, and dips.

But because American cuisine is so indebted to western European cuisine, especially that of France and Italy, our conception of the vegetable platter tends to be very French, and come with a French name: Crudités. There are basically no recipes for crudités in any classic French or Franco-American cookbook; neither Escoffier nor Julia Child saw fit to write down instructions for serving raw vegetables, though Julia was known to serve it. I do see fit, though. In this way I am better than Escoffier.

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Carly Rae Jepsen's "Song Of Myself"


Carly Rae Jepsen doesn’t write love songs; she writes about what lives before and lingers after love, what pulses beneath it, the swarming galaxies of desire which do not originate from the longed-for body any more than the rays of the sun emanate from our open eyes.”

It’s nice to be surprised, so it is an absolute pleasure to find an accurate appraisal of late period Led Zeppelin from the people Pitchfork and a completely credible assessment of Max Beerbohm’s genius from Adam Gopnik. Do bear in mind that my effusion for both of these pieces is based on the fact that they tend to agree almost completely with my own estimate on the subjects, but don’t let that stop you from investigating further because they are so totally worthwhile. Related: I am super-old.#

Heathered Pearls, "Abandoned Mall Utopia (ft. Shigeto)"


How hot will it be today? It will be so hot today that you will stand there stunned, looking at the sun and wondering why it is doing this to you. It will be so hot today that the winter in your soul will go quiet and seek to stay hidden because it cannot win an argument right now. It will be so hot today that tomorrow, when it is actually warmer, you will lack even the energy required to roll your eyes at anyone who tries to talk you about how hot it is. It will be so hot today that you will consider wearing shorts and then, if you are a man, realize you can’t because the price you pay for all the privilege is having to adhere to a standard of sartorial behavior which, however stultifying or disagreeable, is a worthwhile trade-off for walking around feeling like you have the answers to everything and are being asked for them anytime someone looks your way and stops speaking for a second. It’s going to be hot, is what I’m saying. The only advice I can give you is to listen to this track and think cool thoughts. Enjoy.

New York City, July 26, 2015

weather review sky 072615★★★ Panhandlers were out on Broadway. There was no pretending that the heat was pleasant, nor was it too unpleasant to go around in. The clouds gathered but didn’t succeed in pulling together; when they were at their maximum, it was tempting but misguided to turn off the air conditioner. The children, on a balance bike and two-wheeled scooter, were willing to go take the old red-and-chrome tricycle to Goodwill, and were almost willing to ride all the way back. After dinner, it really was time to shut off the air and open the window, as a furious ember glow swelled behind the apartment towers.

Who Wants to Watch Me Code?

Screen Shot 2015-07-27 at 12.19.39 PMIndieDeveloper is trying to change the color of the ground to something that’s more red. He’s not succeeding; it is still very green. “I don’t fucking understand,” he says. “That didn’t do shit. Oh my god I’m getting so fucking mad right now. It is seriously pissing me off.” He’s tabbing and moving through code so fast that my screen becomes a manic strobe of code and pixels.

IndieDeveloper is building a game called Dungeon Looter, a Legend of Zelda-like overhead quest, where your character walks around collecting stuff while dodging bad guys and doing adventure-y things. A few minutes later, IndieDeveloper is still on the hunt for the rogue color controller. “It feels darker but it’s really not,” he says. “Is it darker?” He moves closer to the screen. “No it’s not! It’s not fucking changing!”  Fifteen people are watching, but no one is offering assistance in the chat bar. The only other noise on the video stream is IndieDeveloper’s techno music, which is calm and soothing, the tones sharp and exact; you can almost detect the value of each note on a grid.

Finally, IndieDeveloper makes a change, and the ground and walls in the game tint crimson. He starts singing along to the music, mimicking the beeps and boops. But now there’s a small time gap between his keystrokes and when the dungeon looter actually changes direction. “It’s laggy as shit,” he says. “Why is it so laggy?”

Customer Supported

ubermailAfter Uber crushed the De Blasio administration when it feebly attempted to halt the service’s explosive growth in New York City, a customer wrote to the company to ask about the F U T U R E. Fortunately, customer service representatives are standing by to answer any of your questions and concerns about the machines or, presumably, anything else.

The full email exchange below.

The Power Outlets of VidCon


Thousands of teenagers mobbed the Anaheim Conference Center this weekend during VidCon, the annual conference that celebrates online video and the young people who make it (as well as the young people who watch it).

At VidCon, if you’re not texting your friends to see which panels they’re attending (jk teens don’t attend panels), you’re posing for a selfie with one of the many Internet celebrities roaming the Con halls. (Imagine nearby Disneyland, but instead of Donald Duck, it’s a 16 year old who goes by “Lohanthony”.)

If you’re not doing that, however, you’re probably charging.

-4

“Speaking of books… Sorry, but I put the Wikipedia pages in for Novels, as well as Fiction, and also Literary Criticism, Literary Theory and also Literary Modernism, just because it seems like it would be really agonizing if everyone had to go through all that again.

I hid Poetry and French New Wave inside the entry for Anarchy, which obviously is right after Alcoholics Anonymous and Ambivalence but before Aorta abdominalis. I was getting kind of weird and emotionally jumbled at the end, please don’t make a big deal out of this!!!#