In the ads, a pair of Millennials and their out-of-touch parents have a variety of cringeworthy conversations as they watch HBO shows in the living room. During a scene of adultery in True Detective, Dad reminisces on the other women he could have bedded over the years. Mom uses a make-out scene between two women on Girls to discuss her daughter’s sexual preferences with her. Perhaps most upsettingly, the mother shows no outward uncomfortableness watching an intense True Blood sex scene with her son in a spot titled “Appreciation.”

These are amazing.

I’ve long recommended the Elevation Dock, and this new Kickstarter project comes from the same company. It looks fantastic. I’ve already set my monitor at the correct viewing level — but I backed this to get a couple of those “headphone” anchors (check out the bottom of the page). I’ve been looking for an elegant solution to how and where to store my headphones1 when not in use and this looks great.

  1. I have recently realized that when working I focus far, far better with headphones on than listening to music via speakers. Also, there’s a great headphone thread on now.

Portugal. the Man have put together a very cool promotion for Earth Day. They’ve recorded an “endangered song” to help raise awareness of the endangered Sumatran Tiger. I got a rare vinyl in the mail (one of only 400 were created) with the message that it will degrade after a certain number of plays and that the only way to make sure the song lives on is to share it — so, I ripped the file and have uploaded it for you (check the replies). Take a listen and don’t forget to check out this website for more information on this entire project and the Sumatran Tiger.

Please share.

But the notebooks also contain years of failure, frustration, miscalculation. At every turn, the AeroPress — like most of Adler’s other inventions — encountered innumerable roadblocks, faced skepticism, and was doubted. Like anyone who has forged new ground, Adler had a choice at each junction: throw in the towel, or return to the drawing board; he consistently chose the latter. In many ways, the AeroPress is a reflection of its inventor: it’s simple, but precise, it’s highly adaptable, and it squeezes every last drop of flavor from the bean.

Great piece on Alan Adler (also highly recommend the AeroPress for great coffee).

Horace Dediu’s piece on innovation has been making the rounds the past few days for good reason: it’s a must read on the topic.

The definition of innovation is easy to find but it’s one thing to read the definition and another to understand its meaning. Rather than defining it again, I propose using a simple taxonomy of related activities that put it in context.

Novelty: Something new
Creation: Something new and valuable
Invention: Something new, having potential value through utility
Innovation: Something new and uniquely useful

Side-bar: I find more value in what I read each day online than I did getting my degree in business.

When Batman learns that he has a son, Damian, who is the grandchild of Ra’s Al Ghul, he takes the boy under his wing, hoping to change him from the assassin he was being groomed to be.

For the most part I’ve been really enjoying the DCU animated movies — and it’s Batman, I’ll see just about anything with Batman in it (yes, I own this). I think a burrito and a Batman animated movie is in my near future.

What if, instead, you had confidence in your business? You created something of value and believed it would help people? You made its value and how much it helps people your metrics.

You’d do none of those things. All you’d do is create great things, and people would spread the word for you. You’d opt for simplicity and trustworthiness.

You build confidence by putting everything you have into what you’re building. By listening to people and seeing whether what you’re doing is helping, resonating. Adjusting if needed. Those who don’t come to you … you let go. What you’re building isn’t for everyone.

General Mills, the maker of cereals like Cheerios and Chex as well as brands like Bisquick and Betty Crocker, has quietly added language to its website to alert consumers that they give up their right to sue the company if they download coupons, “join” it in online communities like Facebook, enter a company-sponsored sweepstakes or contest or interact with it in a variety of other ways.

Instead, anyone who has received anything that could be construed as a benefit and who then has a dispute with the company over its products will have to use informal negotiation via email or go through arbitration to seek relief, according to the new terms posted on its site.

I can’t wait.

Also, pretty interesting article in Vanity Fair about the “real” Alex:

In other words, as Wolters is clear on: the two women most certainly did not consummate a will-they-or-won’t-they narrative arc in a burst of prison-chapel passion, as the show has it. On the whole, Wolters says that the true story would be “so wretched and stinky, it would quite possibly result in a collapsed universe. So I guess it’s a good thing Piper and Jenji stick with the fun little tidbits.”

Contrary to popular belief, the presence or absence of certain sex organs isn’t the determining factor when deciding which animal of a species is female and which is male. In fact, biologists don’t use sex chromosomes either. They actually rely on the size of an animal’s gametes — sperm in males and oocytes in females. As the rule goes, females are the sex that contribute the largest gametes, whereas males are the sex that contribute the smallest gametes and therefore expend the least amount of energy on producing these cells. So, in this particular instance of sex-role reversal, the convention still applies: the female in these species of insect produces the largest gametes — egg cells. She simply also happens to sport a penis that she introduces into the male’s vagina during copulation.

Science is awesome.

It reminded me of how much I loved the game, but it was only a temporary reprieve. As soon as I got back, I turned my attention to one of the hardest decisions I’ve had to make up to this point in my life: whether to remain in school or enter the NBA draft.

Lately I haven’t slept much. Although my dream is to play in the NBA, I’ve gotten pretty attached to life at Duke and I don’t want to utter the word goodbye.

I thought Jabari’s letter and decision was pure class top to bottom.

With this model I am hopeful I can make a living, increase my audience, and reward those who value my writing the most. None of this would be possible without the Internet, and if I am successful, I hope Stratechery will stand as an example of the positive and transformative effect the Internet will have on writers and writing everywhere.

One of my favorite blog authors, Ben Thompson of Stratechery, has decided to try and take his writing full time. He quit his job and has set up a sponsorship and membership model for his blog. I think this is a fascinating example of where writing online may be headed (an almost patron-esqe model). Oh, and yes, I went ahead and decided to sign-up and support Ben’s writing and dream.1

  1. I have a Wordpress version of this blog that I designed a while back. Maybe someday I’ll “retire” and just run and write this blog … Ben’s model is very inspirational.

There was a time when AIM dominated practically every interaction online, and this is a really good piece from Mashable on the now all-but-forgotten messenger:

"My biggest job as a manager was to keep AIM alive internally, because every single executive vice president wanted to shut it down and kill it. They could not understand the concept of giving away for free something that was of real value to the paying subscriber base," Bosco said. "It was always AIM versus AOL. They hated us."

We often seek happiness outside of ourselves, through pleasure (food, shopping, video games, TV, Internet, alcohol, cigarettes, drugs) or other people (the person of our dreams, approval of others, social networks) or big life goals (travel, creating a business, art).

But I’ve learned that none of those things actually makes you happy. Sure, they can give you a boost of pleasure or joy, but it’s temporary and soon you’re looking for the next thing that will make you happy. This leaves you in a constant state of seeking pleasure, distraction, approval, comparisons to others, and so on. And it doesn’t result in contentment.