: High on the Hog Blog
Purveyor of Idle Observation

Please note: I'm no longer updating this particular blog, but keep it around for archival purposes. Visit me at the current blog at

Charlie Rose Interviews Charlie Rose, My Head Explodes

Via Boing Boing, Andrew Filippone Jr.‘s video “‘Charlie Rose’ by Samuel Beckett”. If you’re a Charlie Rose junkie like I am this is funny on an existential level.

google…………. google…………..

Jack J. Valenti School of Communication

From the Houston Chronicle: Welcome Wilson Sr., A Fitting Way to Remember Valenti, on renaming the University of Houston School of Communication in his honor:

Those who didn’t know him need only turn to his memoir, This Time, This Place, in which he celebrates his childhood growing up in modest circumstances on Alamo Street, attending Sam Houston High School, ushering at his uncle’s Iris movie house downtown then working at Humble Oil while taking evening classes to obtain his college degree.

“The day I enrolled in the University of Houston was the most exalted day of my life,” he writes. “If there had been no UH, I don’t know what turn my life would have taken.”

I know a lot of people who would say that, including myself.

Living Out Every Kid’s Fantasy for those Infuriating Claw Games

Video: Australian Kid Stuck in Lucky Dip Game, via Engadget: Enterprising youngster gets himself stuck in a claw machine

Toogle Search: Image to Text

Very cool, Test it out in Toogle Search: Houston Cougars

Toogle is a Text version of Googles Image Search. Currently it creates images out of the very term that was used to fetch those images, later we will endeavour to create images out of the search terms entered by users past and present.

via Digital Inspiration: Six Wonderful Google Games To Keep You Entertained


modern art + lolcats = the lolvant garde

Etymology of Nerd

Overlooking the potential for irony for a second – did you know the word nerd was first coined in Dr. Seuss’s If I Ran the Zoo? Not that that’s…um… cool or anything…

via commenter ‘mollusk’ in Wired’s Geekster Handbook, a Field Guide to the Nerd Underground, which contains the following guidebook image:

Quite handy I would think if you were running an IT department.

Free Range Kids

New York Sun Columnist Lenore Skenazy touched a nerve when she published an article about dropping off her nine-year-old son at Bloomingdale’s in New York and letting him find his way home on the subway. She continues the theme in a new blog, Free Range Kids. The story seemed to trigger a nigh universal response in readers (at least those who weren’t horrified enough to check the GPS Lo-Jack devices installed on their own kids) to recount their own independence experiences.

For me, it had to be riding my bike to summer league baseball games, probably about the same age as the Skenazy kid, maybe a little older.

It’s interesting to think about our children as an investment. If we really do that we should recognize that there’s a limit to the optimal level of investment we can productively make – teaching your kids to read is good; writing their term papers is probably counterproductive. My intuition is that as a society we tend to overinvest in things we think make our kids happy but don’t; more likely they secretly give us more satisfaction that our kids. I’m looking at you, Webster’s dictionary I got for my sixth birthday.

Since my intuition isn’t really worth a damn, I googled up some stuff from Steven Levitt, the economist of Freakonomics fame, who points me to the Greater Good Center at Berkeley with this note:

The Greater Good Center’s stated goal is to raise “happy and emotionally literate kids.” Those are laudable goals, but certainly not the only ones, or even the first ones that come to mind. I care most about raising kids who are happy and successful as adults, even if that happens to mean that they aren’t very happy as children. I want my kids to like me when they are grown up, but I also want them to do what I tell them to do, the first time I tell them to do it. I don’t want my kids to be sissies, the way I was — I want them to be tough, and able to take whatever criticism and misfortunes the real world has to offer. I also want them to be creative, and to take risks (but not too many risks).

I have a feeling the statistics on likelihood of abductions would be persuasive to people like Levitt. That’s NOT to say there aren’t dangers to take into consideration. Chapter 5 of Freakonomics outlined the now popular comparison of swimming pools and guns. Spoiler alert – having a swimming pool in your backyard is statistically more likely to harm your child than having a gun in the house.

So if we’re interested in making ourselves feel better our parenting, by all means no subway pass for junior; if we’re really interested in keeping our kids safer we shouldn’t let our actions be dictated by the sensationalism we see on the news.

Then again, I don’t have kids – so what the hell do I know.

Jordan Crane’s gorgeous cover art for Michael Chabon’s Maps and Legends

I really don’t have time to read anything besides law books anymore and my time as a graphic designer now seems a far distant memory, but I may have to pick this one up on looks alone. Yes, yes, I know, so it turns out you can in fact judge a book by its cover.

One of my favorite illustrators, Jordan Crane, has designed a beautiful and elaborate package for Michael Chabon’s new book, “Maps and Legends.” This new McSweeney’s publication lives up to the standards of high production values and design aesthetics McSweeney’s Publishing is already known for.

via Karen Horton and Boing Boing

Curiously enough, perhaps predictably, as the book deals largely with critics misunderstanding and underestimating the genre writer, Maps and Legends is excoriated in this Publishers Weekly review:

You would hardly think, reading Chabon’s new book of essays, that he won the Pulitzer Prize for a book about comics. Rather, he is bitter and defensive about his love for genre fiction such as mysteries and comic books. Serious writers, he says, cannot venture into these genres without losing credibility. No self-respecting literary genius… would ever describe him- or herself as primarily an ‘entertainer,’ Chabon writes. An entertainer is a man in a sequined dinner jacket, singing ‘She’s a Lady’ to a hall filled with women rubber-banding their underwear up onto the stage. Chabon devotes most of the essays to examining specific genres that he admires, from M.R. James’s ghost stories to Cormac McCarthy’s apocalyptic work, The Road. The remaining handful of essays are more memoir-focused, with Chabon explaining how he came to write many of his books. Chabon casts himself as one of the few brave souls willing to face ridicule—from whom isn’t entirely clear, though it seems to be academics—to write as he wishes. I write from the place I live: in exile, he says. It’s hard to imagine the audience for this book. Chabon seems to want to debate English professors, but surely only his fellow comic-book lovers will be interested in his tirade.

Reeeeowwwww! phfft! phfft!

Twitter Account for Sale, With Friends Like These Who Needs Telemarketers?

Via TechCrunch we learn that former Rocketboom-er Andrew Baron has put his Twitter account up for sale on Ebay

I really love my Twitter account but I feel like I haven’t been using it the way I want to. Quite honestly, I feel sorry for all of my followers because they wind up with my tweets in their timelines and I haven’t been able to utilize the medium the way I want to. I also participate in another Twitter account over on Rocketboom so I’m thinking I’ll post more over there and start up a new account to do what I want to do next.

It would be silly to just delete this account I have here, especially if there is someone out there that had like interests and had something to say or wanted to get involved in some relevant conversations. In terms of monetary value, I have no expectations or needs at all so I decided not to put a minimum bid on this. Whatever will be, will be.

The winner of this auction gets my account with all of my followers. The account is in my name now, but the winner of the auction can pick any other name that’s available on Twitter for the transfer. For example, you could have where x=any name thats not already taken. You can change it yourself at anytime too, one of the cool features about Twitter settings.

So basically it’s like getting a new account with your own name, but having a pre-installed audience.

The first sign of value to most people would be the number of followers I have (the audience size). At the beg. of this auction, there are 1397 followers and I am actually quite proud of the actual quality of these followers, moreso than the number. Feel free to explore everyone to see who’s there.

Also, as with any dynamic group, there is obviously risk. My followers could jump ship at anytime. There is no guarantee on this part. People will come and go, thats just the way it is. Whether you represent a company, a group or just yourself, this group will not want to be sold to, Im sure. The successful winner will share a reciprocal value with the followers.

Finally, I’d just like to give props to all of you out there who are following me on Twitter. No offense what so ever – we can easily find each other again.

At least he was considerate enough to notify his Twitter contacts beforehand. From the feed -

Lots of people are really offended. Lots think its really interesting. Im mostly amazed at the larger questions this raises. 44 minutes ago from web
Getting lots of and lots of feedback. The amount of questions this is provoking is really amazing. about 1 hour ago from web
Thanks @zadi I was thinking it could be be better. Maybe everyone here could help someone out who has great ideas but cant plug in. about 1 hour ago from web
This Twitter account is now for sale. Followers included. Ebay listing here: Thanks for your support! about 1 hour ago from web
Ok, well, you’ve had plenty of time – no one seems upset. Im going to set it up, brb. about 6 hours ago from web
Im seriously considering auctioning this Twitter acct. on Ebay. No offense or anything, I wanted to check with you 1st. Any objections? about 7 hours ago from web

Hopefully who ever buys it will come up with a socially redeeming use for this, but somehow I doubt it.

New York Review of Books, The Case for Judas

In the forthcoming New York Review of Books, Harold W. Attridge, Dean of Yale Divinity School, expounds The Case for Judas, Continued, revisiting the subject of a 2006 article in the same publication – The Betrayer’s Gospel – in light of two new works – Elaine Pagels and Karen L. King, Reading Judas: The Gospel of Judas and the Shaping of Christianity and Bart D. Ehrman, The Lost Gospel of Judas Iscariot: A New Look at Betrayer and Betrayed.

I’ve grown both wary and weary of the supposedly ‘revelatory’ nature of new books examining gnostic tracts, which at times differ from the conspiratorial gaspings of the Da Vinci code only by degree and subtlety. In the Half-Priced Books down the street, the Bible is outnumbered 10 to 1 by the Dead Sea Scrolls which leads me to believe that the economics of the book business has quite a lot to do with the resurgence of interest in these ‘new’ revelations. But I seem to have stepped on a soap box here…

To the contrary, Attridge is refreshingly willing to contextualize the disappearance of the Gospel of Judas. The difference between a gospel that is “lost” or “discarded” lies in the value one attributes to it. The value of the Gospel of Judas is substantially greater to the historian of ancient Christianity than to the theologian. The conflict he seeks between its pages is substantially more relevant to the believer and casual observer alike than what he attributes to Pagels and King, whose focus on martyrdom as class struggle seems to value the improvement of the human condition more than the importance of claiming their beliefs to the early Christians, then castigate early church leaders for failing to see it that way as well.

To the extent that contemporary believers engage the form their faith has taken in relation to the scripture they’ve come to accept, the Gospel of Judas informs our imagining of the alternatives and should leave us a more thorough understanding of what we believe and why.

Or you could just follow these 17 steps to becoming happier than God.

Lord, help us.