Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Update: The Photoshop Guys Revealed!

Previously, on Today on the Interwebs we featured Youtube series sensation You Suck at Photoshop (YSAP), where angry Photoshop dude Donnie Hoyle teaches pixel-smelting techniques while letting on way too much information about his failing marriage and life. The wildly popular series racked up eight million page views and two Webby Award 2008 nominations, while keeping its creators mysteriously out of the limelight. Who is behind YSAP?

TIME's Josh Quitter quips:
You're probably assuming that the series is the work of a pro, a well-known stand-up comedian…

Wrong! You suck at guessing.

That's right folks. It's not Dane Cook, or Will Ferrell, or anyone you've heard of. TIME's Josh Quitter interviews YSAP creators in his article The Photoshop Guys Revealed. The voice of Donnie is done by real-life Photoshop export and Foghorn Leghorn look-alike Troy Hitch, 37.

A lot of Donnie's character is improvised on the fly by Troy, and the rest is presumably filled in by hanger-on Matt Bledsoe, 39. The TIME article is not really clear about Matt's contributions, so I'm going to go ahead and guess he fetches Troy's juice boxes from the fridge in exchange for creative credit.

The Covington, KY duo originally made a website full of flash and nostalgic wonder. Web video impresario Rob Barnett saw it, and proposed they embark on a joint venture: to build MyDamnChannel, a funny video site. They did, and it was humming along. One day, facing a tight deadline they created YSAP as filler, when they couldn't think of anything else.

Matt explains that he and Troy, "had both been in the agency business so long that after a while we'd seen every kind of person in the advertising world." One stereotypes, he said, was the "insane designer, basically. He has horrible social skills and horrible things going on in his life and the only thing he has going for him is he can out-Photoshop the guy in the cube next to him." They made it in two hours and posted it. The first video of the series got 50,000 views, and the second episode gained 400,000 views in 5 days. YSAP went viral.

Donnie is cornered by a SWAT team in YSAP #10, which ends with a "Where'd he go?" It's not clear what happened to Donnie in that cliff-hanger, but YSAP has taken this opportunity to launch a spin-off, Sn4tchbuckl3r's Second Chance.

Sn4tchbuckl3r was my least-favorite character in the YSAP series, and the debut is not promising. The premise is that Sn4tchbuckl3r has started a gaming-addiction rehab program. It doesn't live up to YSAP because YSAP combined a useful teaching tutorial with a tightly-woven, emotionally interesting (hyperbolically melodramatic) narrative. We learn a lot about Donnie: where he works, how his marriage doesn't work, his hobbies, sense of humor, friends, likes and dislikes.

On the other hand, Sn4tchbuckl3r is just Sn4tchbuckl3r. So far he's a one-dimensional character. He likes WoW, and he likes it a lot. That's all we know about him. Let's see if Matt and Troy can do with character development in the next episodes.

Overall, it's a quality series, and a quality interview. MyDamnChannel as a website is visually little cluttered but still functions okay. (If it's too annoying, you can always watch YSAP on Youtube. Too bad you can't turn off Sn4tchbuckl3r's Skype calls.) I'll give it an A.
(From Laughing Squid)

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Master the Internet

Today, the Internet produced all sorts of crazy-rad things. It was really hard to pick the most awesome thing on the net today, but Master of the Internet won in part to balance out the week with more videos.

Master the Internet (MTI) is a spoof video directed by Peter Atencio. In it, Dale Cossanigan Jr. (sp?) time-travels back to 1994 and teaches mastery of the Internet. In this helpful video, you learn Internet secrets such as what A/S/L/#/Z means, as well as real-world factoids such as "the capital of Dallas is 73 degrees with the lows of 42." The awkward phrasing is almost as atrocious as the weakling mustache and therapist glasses.

The 80's corporate-training-video music combined with the Napoleon Dynamite cinematography places this on the so-bad-it's-good category. I love it.

MTI is from the TBS Networks venture, a site which strives to bring "television-quality" comedy video to the Interwebs. SuperDeluxe juxtaposes big names of funny alongside "comic geniuses waiting to be discovered at their day jobs." They will purportedly help propel you to Interwebs stardom if you have the comedic chops and a fast Internet connection (don't ask how, just put on your helmet and cape and get inside that canon. Wheee!). Enjoy learning about the Internets.

(From Wikipedia and Lauhging Squid, which was hilarious today.)

Monday, April 28, 2008

What Teachers Make by Taylor Mali

Taylor Mali is a self-described teacher, poet, and vocal advocate of the nobility of teaching. In 1999 he wrote the poem "What Teachers Make," which according to Taylor has since been "elevated/reduced to the level of Inspirational Cyber Spam." On his personal website, Taylor explains how his poem went viral:
Since the poem appeared on my website, I figured my name was unnecessary. But I was wrong. I suspect the text of the poem got copied, pasted, and sent by well meaning teachers and fans. Soon enough, the poem became anonymous, and people began to edit, alter, and "sanitize" it. There are, to my knowledge, at least five different versions of the poem out there circulating. All of them are anonymous.

The poem has taken on a life of its own. Thomas Friedman, the New York Times columnist, quoted one of the anonymous versions in its entirety as part of his Yale graduation speech in 2003. This led to quotation by Harvey Mackay, the syndicated business columnist. National Public Radio did a story about the adventures of the poem in 2004. Am I disappointed not to have received credit for writing this poem that has inspired so many? Used to be. But the truth will always come out in the end. And if I had to choose between inspiring teachers anonymously or not inspiring them at all, I would choose anonymous inspiration every time.

Taylor has been on seven National Poetry Slam teams, of which six appeared on the finals stage and four won the competition. He has appeared on the HBO original series 'Russell Simmons Presents Def Poetry,' and is still active in the Poetry Slam circuit. Taylor also currently lectures and leads workshops on teaching.

Here he is performing the unsanitized "What Teachers Make:"

And here is a second, shorter video titled "The Miracle Workers," originally performed in 2007 at Bowdoin College (Taylor's alma mater).
Taylor is captivating because of his inherent intensity. The crazy Willy Wonka eyes help. The delivery is top-notch, the flow fantastic, and the message inspiring without being cheesy. A+ teach.
(From my friend Justin 5 eons ago, and Wikipedia.)

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Cool Business Card Designs, Part 2

Cool Business Card Designs, Part 2 is a follow-up gallery of awesome business cards by Ivan Raszl from Creative Bits. The cards are admittedly largely impractical, but nonetheless extremely creative. The first gallery was digged 3,850 times and reached over a million hits.

Too bad the economy is tanking, and the jobs you can get likely won't require the exchange of wacky cards. If all else fails, just start handing out cards with those fries. Sigh. Enjoy the highlights anyway!

The tremendous use of white space in this card is refreshing:

Yuka will hit gold when the 80's crimped hairstyle comes back. Oh wait, it's already coming back. Lookout!

Kevin Mitnick was imprisoned for hackery (ok you're right, I did just make that up. Although I'm pretty sure I'm paraphrasing the prosecution.). Now he has a profitable business in security consulting and handing out lock-pick kits disguised as a business card for a fee:
Good stuff!
(From Digg, and Mefi)

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Young Me Now Me

Young Me — Now Me (YMNM) started as a contest on Color War 2008, a website side-project by Ze Frank and Erik Kastner. Color War is a site devoted to putting on a series of online contests, from rap battles to scavenger hunts to merit-badge making. Although you don't have to be on a team to play on Color War, you have to join one to claim any prizes. And you have to understand Twitter. And the Interwebs.

The rules of YMNM were that users must submit a recent photo of themselves recreating a childhood photo (along with the original for comparison). The photo could not be Photoshopped save for color adjustment. The winners were announced on Tuesday, and so far as I can tell, they won a picture of a trophy on a weird website. Though the contest is over, people can still submit photos just for fun-sies.

Flipping through the gallery is like perusing your extended family's photo album, but way less boring. The whole site is charming. Grade: A for nostalgia.PS: In case you're wondering, yes, I re-sized, re-cropped, and re-framed the pictures because I have OCD.
(From Boing Boing and Buzzfeed)

Friday, April 25, 2008

Worth 1000 Words

Worth 1000 Words is a website dedicated to images, text, and Photoshop contests. The site dates back to January 1st, 2002 when it was created by Avi Muchnick and... the Ben Affleck to Avi's Matt Damon, Israel Derdik.

Avi named the site after that overused proverb about pictures being able to quickly convey complex stories (a picture is worth a thousand words, therefore watching TV is like speed-reading War and Peace. Q.E.D. ).

After being laid off as a graphic designer, Avi decided to go to law school. Bored in the 3 months before school began, he came up with the idea for a quality Photoshop contest site, which then ended up consuming most of his time during law school. The site's popularity grew due to its loyal community cultivated around registered users, forums, and regular contests. Contests have now expanded to include photography, text, media, and paid gigs.

Anyone can submit photos to the contests, but shoddily-made entries will be erased no matter how much they like you. Though the site is ironically in need of a re-design, its content is quality. Worth 1000 Words is unabashedly an insult to the field of user interface design. but the pictures are just simply incredible. The galleries and closed contests are fun to flip through, and they are thankfully sorted by best entries first. Overall it gets an A, solely on content. Enjoy a couple of recent favorites.

The winner from the Demotivational Posters Contest #3:
(Because mocking those Successories posters will never ever get old.)

The winner of the Literal Song Tiles Contest #13:
(Duke Ellington would be proud.)

PS: Avi's latest project is Plime, a "Wiki-like" user-editable news aggregator.
(From Wikipedia, Matt Sparkes interview, JD Bliss)

Thursday, April 24, 2008


Newsmap is a visual Google News aggregator by Marcos Weskamp and Dan Albritton. It gathers the latest headlines from Google News, and groups them according to topic. When you click on a headline, a blurb summary of that news article appears.*

Predictably, headlines that have the most related articles get the biggest font sizes, as well as the most attention from gentleman callers. Headlines are also are conveniently color-coded according to genre: world (red), nation (orange), business (purple), technology (olive green), sports (gold), entertainment (forest green) or health (dusky mauve).

If Suzanne Sommers used her Home Shopping Network money to stage a coup d'état taking over the nation and world with the help of a giant animatronic baseball bat, not only is the world screwed, but the newsmap will become one giant pulsating rainbow. I digress.

Newsmap's archive check boxes show you what headlines were hot up to a week ago. In addition to the US-centric default, you can also read headlines from Australia, Austria, Canada, France, Germany, India, Italy, New Zealand, Spain, and the United Kingdom (sorry Latin Americans, Africans and non-subcontinent Asians; make a real continent and then check back).

Newsmap originally launched March of 2004, and according to the website, Marcos is still taking donations in an attempt to temporarily quit his job and "bring newsmap to the next level." I'm pretty sure Marcos himself doesn't know what that means, only that it worked so far and it generally sounds good to potential investors/potential girlfriends.

Marcos explains that his website is not a replacement for any news aggregator, but that its purpose is to,
"reveal underlying patterns in news reporting across cultures and within news segments in constant change around the globe. ... Its objective is to simply demonstrate visually the relationships between data and the unseen patterns in news media. It is not thought to display an unbiased view of the news; on the contrary, it is thought to ironically accentuate the bias of it."
Or if you don't believe in relativism, newsmap exposes the judgment of editors who decide "Area man mistakes Onion story for reality" is not news. Either way, glancing at newsmap will make you feel informed without the actual need for reading or thinking. Kind of like subscribing to USA Today.

Oh snap, son! Grade: A for awesome.
*If you turn off your pop-up blocker AND click on a headline, you will be taken to the source article.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Passive Aggressive Notes

Passive Aggressive Notes (PAN) is a blog by Kerry Miller about the painfully polite and hilariously hostile notes people leave each other. If you've ever been a college dorm resident advisor, complained to a resident advisor, or watched Felicity, this will bring back memories of the least-effective method of dealing with domestic dispute: the note.

This blog is great at capturing increasingly awkward roommate relations in single snapshots. PAN dates back to May 2007, and records disputes in all sorts of shared spaces: from workplace cafeterias to apartment bathrooms to shared kitchens. I'm still gagging from the post where someone wrote in poo.

Anyone can submit photos for the blog. (You get the feeling that half the posts are submitted by the authors, in an extra dose of passive-aggressiveness and pride.) PAN asks that users include name, city, e-mail address, and back story details... along with either the physical note by mail, or a high scan photo of it via the Internets. They are currently compiling a best of the best for a book. In other words, typical Web 2.0. You, the user, do all the work, and they'll make a profit out of it. Gosh, I love web 2.0.

If the design looks familiar, it's because they use a slightly modified Cutline for Wordpress template, just like Stuff White People Like. The masthead is cute and clever, setting a very domestic tone for the website. Also, it makes me hungry for scrambled eggs. Also, the edges are encrusted with adds, tag clouds and announcements (they're a Webby Award 2008 honoree!). Annoying, but at least they had the decency to keep out of the top left corners of the page.

Overall, cute concept, cute site. B.
(Source: google. Also, that's it.)

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

The Funniest

The Funniest is one of three website side-projects by Randall Munroe of fame. The three sister sites (,, and all work the same way. They are each a continuously-running contest to find the cutest picture, the fairest picture, and the funniest picture, respectively. Randall explains:
People vote to select the best choice from a large pool of user-submitted options. Instead of the usual voting methods where people rank things or vote things up or down, we let people choose which of two things is better. Then every few minutes the server does some analysis, and comes up with a list of the best things. It's a good system, and is free of a lot of problems other web-voting systems have, like a bias toward older items.
To vote you simply click on the best picture. The site will refresh with new pictures. Repeat ad nauseam. The pictures are user-submitted and most have been floating around newsgroups and such for years. Thus Randall does not lay claim to any of them, nor does he keep track of authors (besides what you can see in the source URL).

Users like to submit meta-pictures by taking screen shots of two related funny pictures making a serendipitous funny due to placement.

The best part of the site is the "top" page, where you can see which pictures are currently winning. The sad part of the site is, the "top" page is broken. Or maybe the update mechanism is broken. The winning pictures have been stuck that way for months. I kept holding off writing this entry hoping that the site would be fixed, but alas.

I assure you, this all once worked fine. There is a large notice up top stating, "These sites are broken. Fixed versions coming!" Note the convenient lack of time frame on the notice. I'm still waiting. So far, I'm guessing they will be coming sometime near the 2nd coming of Christ. NO ONE KNOWS THE DAY OR THE HOUR. C'mon Randall, fix it.

The voting portion still works though.

Grade: B for broken. Would have been an A+. Tsk tsk.
(From the funniest.)

Monday, April 21, 2008

For One Year: by Harry Chong

For a nanosecond today on the interwebs* this was the 7th most saved link on The premise of this was that, for one year, Harry Chong bookmarked everything on the Interwebs that made him LOL.

Harry compiled his list of lol-links, and then posted it on crap-tastic Internet eyesore site If Internet sites were houses, would have three cars in various stages of disrepair propped up on cinderblocks on its front yard, surrounded by a plantation of broken beer bottles. It's that ugly. is bedazzled with advertisements on every margin, and it claims to pay writers and commenters based on how many times their post is viewed. So far it has been viewed 15,260 times. If this is true, I imagine Harry is on his way to buying a small island-nation right now.

I digress. This is not a post about how ugly is, but a post about Harry Chong's year-worth of links. There's a lot of disappointing crap on the list, so I've condensed it down to the best 7 pictures and 5 links. Here they are, in random order:

Pip, pip! QUICK! Someone give this guy a magnifying glass and a pipe. He'll use them to locate his green checkered hat and opium stash.

Q: Must this really be a picture?

A: No.

! This lolrus is happy because he stole your bucket.

This photo was first taken without the Flash, then with the Flash. Clearly, a vast improvement.

Too bad they couldn't Photoshop out the dorkyness in this photo though. Sigh. I guess it is a camera, not a magic wand.

I don't know why I like this one. I love nonsequiturs. Their chief weapon is surprise.


PS: Eye for an eye doesn't leave everyone blind, it leaves everyone one-eyed.

I wish they could make the little arms shake forebodingly.

Also, I wish I had a pony. Or a home.

Now the links:
Realfield. There is another site that improves Garfield the comic by taking Garfield the cartoon cat out of the strips. This one takes it one step further and replaces it with a real cat. Only this cat looks really professionally stuffed by a taxidermist.

Text funny. The quote Harry liked is currently at #2 most popular. I took a huge Interwebs detour on this site.

Awkward surprise visit. Oldie video that makes you think twice about sharing refrigerators with pubescent teens.

If celebrities moved to Oklahoma, they'd look like your aunt Marge. A gallery of homely-looking celebrities.

Guy fight on the blackboard. Every guy at one point has imagined himself as an awesome fighting cartoon. These guys made their vision come to life.

Grade: B for ...b'okay.
(*according to PopUrl. From Popurl. All jokes by my friend Justin, from two years ago. Justin, please send more. I'm running out.)

Sunday, April 20, 2008


Zombieurl is today's most useless site ever because it solves a problem not yet created: it shortens URLs and adds zombies. For all those times you need a short, zombified URL.

This site is made by Bottlecap Labs, a group of 5 geeks in Portland, Oregon who have way too much time on their hands.

Okay, fine, it is a little useful to have shorter URLs. Let's say, hypothetically, that you visited a site with a ridiculously long url. You want to take a cross country road trip from Zuma Beach in Malibu, California to New York's Times Square. But instead of flying, like a normal person, you plugged that route into Google directions and found out you can drive that distance in 1 day and 18 hours.

Sweet, now all you need is 2 more friends and you all can drive without stopping, surviving only on coffee and nicotine. Again, hypothetically, say you have two friends. You go to give them the URL, but you can't directly link them to the URL because it's too long and the line breaks mess it up. What do you do with this?

You can plug that hot mess into Tiny URL, or Metamark, or Snipurl, and instantly have a petite URL like But that would be no fun. None at all. Hence, Zombie URL!

It shortens AND adds zombies. Check out Zombie URL in action: Google as a Zombie URL.

Tehee. This would work better if the pictures and sound came on sooner, and were less disjointed. Or I had a faster Internet connection. Or not so many people were looking at this site at the exact same time. One of those three.

The point is, you can hide famous URLs so next time some idiot savant Rickrolls you, you can Zombie Rickroll them right back.

As Bottlecap Labs member and author Andy Baio explains, "Put in a URL, send it to a friend, and enjoy. Keep a camera nearby to capture the fun... We're not responsible for emotional scarring, concussions, or heart failure as a result of using ZombieURL."

( From waxy )

Saturday, April 19, 2008


If you have not yet contracted carpal tunnel, and would like to get it, Doeo(s) is the flash game for you. You have 40 seconds to gather 100 Doeos!

Doeo is an incredibly addictive and ridiculously intuitive flash game by Raitendo. I'm not entirely sure what Doeo means, although it probably has something to do with unibrow. Or ear-less square rabbit-face. Or compressive neuropathy. I dunno, definitely one of those three.

The game takes a little while to load, then it lets you choose game subtitles in English, Japanese, Swedish, or Crop Circle. You will then immediately feel like you're trapped inside a Japanese game show, whose catchy soundtrack was written by an addict hopped up on amphetamines. Just start clicking away at the Doeos like they were those whack-a-moles from your childhood.

You progress by memorizing where the most Doeos will show up, and by keeping your mouse still while clicking the quick cascading processions. For an extra challenge, click "hard" or try to play Doeo with a track pad. I dare you! Enjoy!
(From Mefi)

Friday, April 18, 2008

Kevin Smith Talks About Superman

Kevin Smith is the screenwriter, film director, actor, and comic book writer best known for cult movies like Clerks, Mallrats, Chasing Amy, and Dogma*, as well as being pudgy. Additionally he has been known to do ridiculously long Q & A sessions, his longest to date reportedly clocking in at over seven hours long.

For no particular reason, this Q & A session bit where Kevin talks about Superman has been translated into Spanish. It's awesome. Somehow though, I have an inkling that the Spanish verb "pelea" isn't quite as colorful as "razzlin' " is in English. Small quibbling, I know.

In verbose, long-winded Kevin fashion, this video is 19 minutes and 25 seconds long. Don't worry it's totally worth it if you have 20 minutes to waste. It's a fun insight on the Hollywood screenwriting world, told by a terrific story teller. Every irrelevant snippet of the story is tied in and wrapped up by the end in one neat, obscenity-ridden bow.

Grade: A for excellence in storytelling, Interwebs.

(From Wikipedia.)
*Confession: I've never watched any of those all the way through, because they look terrible.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

¡Ask a Mexican!

I first saw Gustavo Arellano's column ¡Ask a Mexican! (AM) at an airport newsstand, while trying to kill some time during a layover. I was idly flipping through UTNE magazine, and the column jumped out and punched me in the nose like a rogue masqueraded Mexican wrestler. I immediately bought the magazine.

I proceeded to show AM to all my friends, and they invariably responded with two of three reactions: shock, confused offense, and belly laughter.

¡Ask a Mexican! is a nationally syndicated column written by Gustavo Arellano. It runs in the Village Voice Media owned publication, OC Weekly. Gustavo, who has crowned himself "The Mexican," answers reader's questions about Latin American culture in the most offensive and enlightened way possible. The column runs beside a horribly offensive logo of a fat mustachioed Mexican caricature, replete with five o'clock shadow, gold tooth, and sombrero.

In an interview with UTNE, Gustavo explains his column's mission:
What we tried to do right from the start was just slam people and challenge everything [Americans] believe about Mexicans. That's why we run that logo. Of course it's a racist logo. But it's also the Mexican that has been perpetuated by American culture for the past 150 years. This isn't something I just made up.
There is a definite but subtle line between making fun of racism, and promoting racism itself. Some distracted readers miss the distinction entirely. While those readers charge Gustavo with promoting racism, to them he says, "I respect your opinion, but just read the column a little more and then you will see what I am trying to do." Usually such readers later respond with, "Wow, thank you so much, now I get the column, and I think it's so great. Keep up the good work.'" Or so Gustavo claims.

Gustavo challenges stereotypes in an unconventional manner. His column is part bawdy in-jokes, and part cultural scholarship. Gustavo explains his motivation:
The word Mexican to Americans is really a dirty word. Mexicans are still viewed as an alien race, and so part of the column is really a joke. But that's what the United States wants to read. They want to read about Mexicans. They want somebody to explain to them what Mexicans are. That's such a ridiculous concept that, of course, I'm going to take it on, but I'm also going to mess with it and screw with people's minds as much as possible. There is a lot of racism out there, and stereotyping continues. As a child of Mexican immigrants, I'm not going to stand idly by and let people perpetuate those stereotypes. I'm going to go after them with everything I have.
This is fear of the Mexican is likely ingrained in everyone who chose to take French or German instead of Spanish in high school, but they will never ever admit it. To those who missed out on the cultural enlightenment portion of Spanish class, there is no better way to learn about the unknown than from the utmost authority: THE Mexican. Gustavo explains his self-coronation as "The Mexican" to UTNE:
That's just playing it up to the hilt. Sometimes I tell people I am the world's primary authority on Mexicans . . . but, of course, I'm not. Anybody could write this column. I mean, anybody could try to write this column. But to make it succeed, you need the academic background to do the research, you need to have a wicked sense of humor, and you need to have skin like steel. Not only that, you [need to be familiar] with Mexican culture. I think the reason the column has been so popular is that I have all those attributes, and I am able to do it week in and week out.

And academic cred he does have. Gustavo earned a master's degree in Latin American studies from UCLA with an emphasis in history, sociology, and anthropology. He uses his training as an investigative reporter, and goes after misinformation with a machete:

Especially during these times, which are so contentious and fraught with animosity, when you have a column that's addressing these [race] issues, not in a namby-pamby way but as blisteringly as possible, people want to read that. It makes no qualms about it. The column attacks everybody. Sure, I'll go after white racism, but I'll also go after Mexican racism with the same knife.
Enjoy a few samples of ¡Ask a Mexican!


Dear Mexican:
Why do Mexicans call white people gringos?

Dear Gabacho:
Mexicans don't call gringos gringos, only gringos call gringos gringos. Mexicans call gringos "gabachos."

Dear Mexican:
Having been called a gabacho, I couldn’t help being interested in the etymological root of that word. I’m never sure what the reference is with the term gabacho, since in my Spanish dictionary (“Bantam New College Revised” from 1987), gabacho means “Pyrenean” (someone from the Pyrenees, the mountains between France and Spain), “Frenchy” or “Frenchified Spanish.” My question is which came first: the Spanish “gabacho” for the French, or the Mexican “gabacho” for the gringo? Does this go way back to those French vatos who got their trousers kicked on Cinco de Mayo in Puebla?
— Ramen is yummy.

Dear Readers:
Few features of this column are more controversial than the Mexican’s preference for gabacho instead of gringo to describe gabachos. Technically, gabacho refers to an inhabitant of the Pyrenees, but it became a Spanish slur for a Frenchman over the centuries. The Royal Academy of Spanish states gabacho originated from the Provençal word gavach, which means “bad-speaking.” (Quick note for amateur etymologists: Don’t believe the 2000 collection “Chicano Folklore: A Guide to the Folktales, Traditions, Rituals and Religious Practices of Mexican Americans,” which states gabacho comes from an arcane Castilian term meaning “a current of water,” or the “NTC’s Dictionary of Mexican Cultural Code Words” edition claiming, “When Mexican men noted that foreign men often helped their wives in the kitchen, something a Mexican male wouldn’t dream of doing, they began calling such men gabachos or ‘aprons.’” )

(funnily, none ever ask I stop slurring our pasty amigos). So why does this Mexican use When the French briefly conquered Mexico during the 1860s, the Mexicans correctly ridiculed the occupying army as gabachos; after los franceses left, the term remained, and Mexicans applied it to their perpetual European antagonists: Americans. Nevertheless, many Mexicans grumble that I should call gabachos gringos since it’s the more accurate term for gabachosgabacho? Besides growing up with the word, it allows Mexicans to smuggle two ethnic slurs in uno handy word — not only are we calling gabachos gringos, but we’re also calling them French. Parlez-vous double insult, cabrones?

Dear Mexican,
Why do Mexicans love public rest rooms so much? It seems like any one you visit has a minivan-load of Mexicans waiting to get into it. Also, why do Mexicans wipe after a No. 2 and then throw the crappy toilet paper into the trash can rather than flushing it away? So gross! Let’s try to put an end to that madness.
— Flushed Out

Dear Gabacho,
¡Felicidades! You have just stumbled upon the most surefire way to tell if a Mexican is fresh from the border—or, as Mexicans who have lived in this country for years like to describe them, “si tienen un nopal en la frente” (“if they have a cactus growing from their forehead”)! See, flushing toilets remain a novelty in rural Mexico, so Mexicans new to this country treat public rest rooms with the same anticipatory awe Japanese tourists save for Disneyland—hence, the long lines. Regarding the popó-gunked Charmin: those precious few ranchos that do have indoor plumbing suffer from inferior pipes installed on the cheap by Mexico’s government. Anything heavier than last night’s menudo would rupture the sewage system and ruin the rancho’s water supply, so used toilet paper must go in the wastebasket. Nopal-wearing Mexicans keep this tradition long after emigrating here, though…can you do me a favor, gabacho, and tell nopaleros that here in los Estados Unidos, we’re much more sophisticated with our No. 2—we flush it into the ocean.

As an Asian person, would I be considered a gabacho? Or do I fall into the yellow bucket labeled chinito, even though I'm not Chinese?
— OC Asian

Dear Chino:
Like Americans assume all Latinos are Mexican, Mexicans think all Asians are chinos-Chinese. When I used to go out with a Vietnamese woman, my aunts would speak highly of mi chinita bonita-my cute little Chinese ruca. When I'd point out she was actually Vietnamese, mis tías would think about it for a bit and respond, "¡Que chinita bonita!"

But just because a Mexican calls you a chino doesn't necessarily mean we think you're Chinese, OC Asian. "Chino," like so many of our swear words, has multiple negative meanings. In the colonial days, a chino was the offspring of a half-Indian/half-black and an Indian. This association with race also transformed chino into a synonym for "servant" and "curly." The term "barrio chino" (Chinatown) also became a euphemism for a town's red-light district. And a popular schoolyard refrain that all Mexican kiddies eventually chant at their Asian classmates is "Chino, chino, japones: come caca y no me des" ("Chinese, Chinese, Japanese: eat shit and don't give me any").

So why the Mexican chino-hate? After all, Chinese were the Mexicans of the world before there even was a Mexico, migrating to Latin America a couple of decades after the fall of Tenochtitlán. And our most famous native dress, the billowy, colorful costume worn by baile folklórico dancers known as a china poblana, was supposedly first worn by a 17th century Mexican-Chinese woman. Bigotry is bigotry, though, and since Mexico's Asian population is still small and overwhelmingly Chinese, we lump Asians into the chino category-makes the racism easier, you know?

Dear Mexican:
Sitting on my desk is a levy from the Internal Revenue Service for more than $12,000 in unpaid taxes. Turns out some dude used my Social Security number for two years in Albuquerque to get paid and didn’t bother to pay taxes. It’s taken me plenty of time and attorney’s fees to figure it out, and we’re still fighting with the feds so that I can continue to get paid for doing MY job. If the 12 million number of illegals getting thrown around is real, it’s a safe bet I am not alone. Stealing ID numbers is a widely unreported crime that does have victims. As a card-carrying liberal whose grandfather was a Mexican immigrant, my feelings toward this are pretty mixed. What are your thoughts on it?
— I’m Really Sad

Dear IRS:
Thoughts on what? Identity fraud? Muy bad. Unpaid taxes? Even worse. And when illegal immigrants do it to wabs like you? Chingao, the Mexican gets his chonis in a bunch. It’s one thing to use someone’s identity with their permission—as I’m currently doing gracias to a generous pendejo named Gustavo Arellano—but quite another to screw over an unwitting individual. But the most infuriating thing about this situation? Ultimately, the government wins. Even if an illegal immigrant doesn’t file his or ella taxes, the government still takes out Social Security and Medicare impuestos that neither the offending illegal nor the SSN’s rightful owner can claim without wrapping themselves in bureaucratic red tape. Rather than immediately investigate most discrepancies, the Social Security Administration dumps the money into something called an “earning suspense file” and lets it subsidize the current Social Security pool to the tune of more than $7 billion annually. Coffin-dodging gabachos should be grateful for the illegals’ infusion, but let’s not kid: Rather than revile people so desperate for a better life that they break numerous laws for that chance, shouldn’t we criticize the system that makes it so damn easy to do it? [Insert cricket chirps from Know Nothings here.] By the way, the Federal Trade Commission estimates that the number of identity-theft victims has gone down despite the illegal-alien invasion of the past couple of years, from nearly 10 million cases in 2002 to 8.3 million in 2005 to 8.1 million last year.

Dear Mexican:
I understand that Dallas spent several million dollars for a Latino cultural center a couple of years ago and is now considering spending money for an Asian cultural center. Please explain why the city is spending money on things like this instead of hiring a few more police and fire people with names like Gonzalez and Chen. Also, when do we get an Irish cultural center to celebrate our rich cultural heritage of whiskey, poets, fistfights and rain?
— The Leprechaun

Dear Mick:
If you’re looking for a bit of Erin, move to San Francisco, Phoenix, Chicago, New York, Philadelphia and the many other cities in the United States that host Irish cultural centers. I’m with you that city officials should spend taxpayer money primarily on infrastructure and services, but the way you and other gabachos whine about ethnic studies and cultural centers being exclusionary is mystifying. Mira, the only reason why Mexicans, chinitos, negritos and every other aggrieved minority group in this country demand recognition for their cultural contributions is because they went a good two centuries being treated as beaners, chinks and Sambos. Besides, cultural institutes are manifestations of what legendary Columbia sociologist Herbert Gans deemed symbolic ethnicity: the idea that America’s ethnics eventually become assimilated and choose what parts of their heritage to celebrate. So celebrate, America! For every Cesar Chavez Day and Cinco de Mayo holiday imposed upon the land by P.C. pendejos, that’s just one step closer for Mexicans to become Americans.

Dear Mexican,
What is it about the word “illegal” that Mexicans don’t understand?
— Mondo Minuteman

Dear Gabacho,
Take your pick, Mondo. Mexicans don’t understand the word “illegal” because: (A) when paying their gardeners, nannies, busboys and factory workers in cash (and forgetting to withhold payroll taxes), U.S. employers don’t seem to understand the word “illegal,” so why should Mexicans? (B) The Anglo-American trappers and traders whom you and I were taught to admire as tough, self-sufficient frontiersmen and pioneers were among the American Southwest’s first illegals. Who are you calling illegal, gabacho? (C) Presidente Bush’s proposal to offer amnesty and a guest-worker program to all illegal immigrants—a move designed to appease his supporters in the business community—means even Republicans don’t understand the word. (D) Whether they buy a fake passport or take a citizenship oath, Mexicans will never be more than wetbacks in the eyes of many Americans, so why bother applying for residency? (E) The Tennessean stylebook reportedly requires its reporters to describe as “undocumented workers” the men and women you call “illegal.” (F) Little-known fact: the fragment of poetry on the Statue of Liberty (“Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,” etc.) does not, because of a French engraver’s error, include Emma Lazarus’ rarely cited footnote: “No Mexicans, please.” Fucking French. But the real answer is the word itself. “Illegal” is an English word; Mexicans speak Spanish—yet you never hear Mexicans whine that their bosses don’t understand such easy Spanish phrases as “pinche puto pendejo baboso,” do you?

(From UTNE, Wikipedia, The OC Weekly, Mefi)

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Behind the Typeface: Cooper Black

Behind the Typeface is a mockumentary video by "Cheshire Dave," font-lover and web geek. For all the VH1 junkies that remember "Behind the Music," this will bring back memories and then ruin those memories by teaching you way too much about this Cooper Black font.

I realize I probably just made everyone cry with that last statement, but bear with me cowboys! See, non-font people think fonts are super-boring (this is correct 90% of the time), and font people are an irrationally emotional bunch. Every time anyone misuses the term "font" when they really mean "typeface," a font-lover gets their panties in a bunch. FONT FONT.

Anyway, this video is super long, but worth it. Simply because mockumentaries are hawt.

Note: this video was previously kicked off of YouTube. Chesire Dave had posted it there, but Youtube tore it down at the request of Viacom (supposedly). Now it's hosted on Enjoy!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008


Biographicon is a website that allows the common internaut to make biographic wikipedia-like pages about themselves, their friends, and their enemies. This curious hybrid between facebook and wikipedia smells of desperation. But it's well-designed desperation, so we're featuring it here on this slow internet news day.

To get the site up and running, CEO Ethan Herdrick told The Chronicle of Higher Education that the company copied about 1 100,000 Wikipedia bios of “notables.” And by notables he means losers.

Biographicon is like but one notch less annoying. A small notch. Everyone join together and count down with me, how fast will all of these entries end up here?

D for dull, Internets.
(From Mefi)

Monday, April 14, 2008


Have you ever wanted to make your own font? Anybody?
No? Okay.

Really though? Just me huh... Well I'll tell you how anyway. FontStruct is a website that lets you make your own fonts online.

Fontstruct is made by FontShop, a website that conveniently sells digital type. This clever marketing scheme of a website drives up the perceived value of fonts by letting you see first-hand how hard making a pretty one is. But it's so fun that frankly, who cares?!

FontStruct requires you to sign up, which is annoying, albeit circumventable (via the latest Bug Me Not usernames and passwords). Members can rate fonts, as well as leave comments. Because sometimes, rating a font half a star doesn't drive the point home enough. Sometimes, when someone creates something truly horrendous, they need to be repeatedly reminded and beaten over the head with it, so they never do something like it again. I'm just saying, accidents like the atom bomb, dynamite, and Gigli could have been prevented with harsh social commentary. I digress.

If you don't like the commercial aspect of FontStruct, you can check out its free ugly sister, FontForge. What FontForge lacks in beauty it makes up for in wit. According to its FAQ, FontForge's raison d'être is "#7 Everybody wants a font of his/her own handwriting." True story.

(Condensed from Mefi)

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Olde English

Olde English is a 5-person comedy group based in New York City, comprised of Caleb Bark, Ben Popik, David Segal, Adam Conover, and Raphael Bob-Waksberg. They have been together for four years, and have produced over a hundred short videos. Olde English is fond of collaborating with guest comics, giant beer banners, and mocking their detractors.

The above video spoofs Diablo Cody, Academy Award Winner for Best Original Screenplay (Juno, 2007). Before writing Juno, Cody wrote a memoir, Candy Girl: A Year in The Life of an Unlikely Stripper. If you haven't heard what the book is about, you've been hiding under a rock. Here it goes (inhale!): Cody graduated from the University of Iowa, got a boring copy-writing job after college, then decided to buck the conventional life by signing up for amateur night at a seedy Minnesota strip club at which point she liked it so much she kept at the pole for about a year. According to Videogum:
... no matter your feelings on the Diablo Cody Industrial Complex, it's about time she got the parody treatment (even though, in the real world, Cody is hardly famous.) Comedian Jackie Clarke does her best (breast) Cody impersonation in this SuperDeluxe video by the comedy team Olde English.
The video is well-shot, and manages to be mildly pointed yet endearing. Jackie Clarke seems to beam as Diablo Cody, and you get the warm fuzzy feeling that she's actually razzing on her best friend.

Besides the Cody video, Olde English shows off their versatility while goofing on T-pain, Akon, and that Cher-voice-effect. Olde English paired up with Puny to create Akon calls T-pain. The animation features a surprise appearance by Snoop Dogg. Did I say surprise? Oops.

Everything on the Olde English site seems to inhabit that nebulous space between amateur and professional, which is half a notch above most Internet content. The website layout feels a little squished, and the monochrome sepia/green pictures give it that kitsch factor. They do have access to above-average equipment and a great grasp of white-boy comedy, music, and sound. Overall, they're good at what they do, and that's what matters. B+, guys. Good stuff.

(From Videogum, and Wikipedia.)

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Ze Frank

Ze Frank is the stage name of Hosea Jan Frank, best known for his quirky nerdcore personal website. He is a blogger, Interwebs guru and spastic entertainer extraordinaire. Ze studied nerdoscience at Brown University, then quickly put his talents to better use on the Interwebs.

Back in March of 2001, in preparation for his 26th birthday, Ze put up an online birthday invitation on his personal website featuring himself dancing to Madonna's "Justify My Love*," and sent the link to 17 of his closest friends. Who then sent it to their friends, who sent it to their friends' friends, and soon his dinky site had over 1 million visitors. Ze then got a letter from his web hosting service (Earthlink) stating that, "due to a 10 cents per megabyte overcharge, you owe us $30,000." And thus, Ze was thrust into doing online shenanigans full time.

Ze slowly added to his website, and in its present form it features videos, games, humorous writings, and interactive toys. One of his most popular website features, a daily** video blog called "The Show with Zefrank," ran from March 17, 2006 through March 17, 2007. It included commentary on world events, songs, observations, and occasional games or challenges for his viewers to participate in.

Another perennial favorite is the Scribbler. The way it works is, you draw crappy outlines with your mouse, click "done drawing" and "start scribbler." The computer fills in scribbles making your chicken scratch look "artsy" and "purposeful" or "studied." For example, check out the moon to the left. It took 6 seconds to sketch, and scribbler polished it into a much improved 12-second sketch. Eh? Eh? Bravissimo.

For those of you who believe websites are made exclusively for reading, Ze also has short writing pieces like this:

The Brighter Sides of Breaking Up By Ze

  • Dieting is easier when you don’t have an appetite.
  • Boggle is easier to win when you play by yourself.
  • You get to experience what its like to be a depressed, tormented artist… just without the motivation or talent.
  • You get to hone your marketing skills by attempting to sell “beauty on the inside” in noisy bars.
  • Crying at movies no longer makes you feel stupid, since it’s the only place where its okay to do it in public

As a whole, Ze is hard to categorize or explain. He thrives on stream-of-consciousness ideas. Everything he touches is understated, gritty, and raw. It's a little spastic and a lot nerdy, but most of all it's unique. Watching him speak at TED 2004, you get the distinct feeling that someone forgot to give him his ADD meds. His intensely distinct point of view and complete disregard for segues nevertheless indubitably fuel his success.

*The song is not audible.
**To get technical, it was posted Monday-through-Friday-ly... but that doesn't sound as good.

PS: Part 5 is obviously the most beautiful part of the page.
PPS: I'd give this site a grade, but I'm pretty sure Montessori school grads like Ze don't believe in grades.

(From Wikipedia, and Mefi )

Friday, April 11, 2008

Photoshop Lady

Ah, Photshop Lady. Photoshop Lady (PL) is a website that takes free Photoshop tutorials from around the Internets and collects it one one well-designed place. Web-o-nauts can vote on how good or bad the tutorial is (measured in light bulbs). The tutorials are labeled with approximate time estimates of how long it would take you to follow the tutorial in order to create your own masterpiece, if you were to follow it through instead of just downloading the finished source file.

If you create a user name, you can save up to 9 favorite tutorials on PL by clicking and dragging them to the left side of the screen, where they will be stored indefinitely (until the end of time or when their server crashes — whichever comes first). So far there are 131 tutorials to choose from, sorted under 7 possible categories: 3D Effect, Abstract Effect, Drawing Effect, Photo Effect, Text Effect, Texture & Patterns and User Interface Design.

The source of the tutorial is prominently displayed with link backs. Clicking on the title of the tutorial will take you outside to the site that originally posted the tutorial. One could say that while polite and lady-like, this makes PL nothing but a fancy mask. It doesn't contribute anything, because it doesn't create anything. Poppycock. PL edits. It adds enormous value to the Internets by filtering out all the crappy tutorials and presenting the good ones in one soothing place.

Some of the tutorials are cheesy, sure. Okay most of them are. But so's your face. Tutorials are a fun way to level-up on Photoshop techniques. It's nice to not to have to suffer Donnie's abuse or sort through long-winded drivel whose clarity rivals a Vicodin-addled 3-year-old's.

My favorite part of the site are the pretty pictures that let you know right away whether or not it's worth trying the tutorial. The site could be improved by a sort-by-most-light bulbs feature. Overall, Photoshop Lady shows that you don't have to choose between great form or function: a site can have both. A+. Bravo.

Thursday, April 10, 2008


Gridskipper bills itself as "The Urban Travel Guide." That's right folks, they up and whipped out that definite article. The. THERE IS ONLY ONE GUIDE!

Reading Gridskipper is like reading the quirky local newspaper's leisure section... of every city ever. It lets you know what's happening in Berlin, London, Los Angeles, New York, and Paris, as well as a host of smaller cities. Founder Nick Denton explains that Gridskipper is "all about giving you the essentials, as opposed to other travel guides that are all inclusive and tough to filter through." (Wait a minute... there is more than one travel guide?!)

The site will tell you where to find Bookshop Cafés in London, tango halls in Berlin, and custom-made perfume in Paris. If you're looking to tour New York's nerdiest hang-outs or ugliest buildings, Gridskipper has you covered. Wonder no more: "Donald Trump [the Building] is so ugly that if ugly was bricks she'd have projects."

Besides cities, Gridskipper also covers tangential travel-related things. Want to know why your travel blog has no traffic? Gridskipper will come right out and tell you 10 Reasons Why Your Travel Blog Sucks.* Likely you're a filthy backpacker, an aspiring elitist, not funny, or you swipe stories and don't link back ("dick move"). Take your pick.

Gridskipper is part of the Gawker Media Sites empire, the online media company founded and owned by Nick Denton. Like most Gawker sites, Gridskipper's content is stronger then the design. The goofy watercolor Gawker masthead and million little pictures constantly keep you guessing as to what is important and content-related and what is an advertisement (Hierarchy? What's a hierarchy?).

Gawker is currently the parent company for the following high-traffic blogs:

  1. The Consumerist
  2. Deadspin
  3. Defamer
  4. Fleshbot
  5. Gawker Blog

  1. Gizmodo
  2. Gridskipper
  3. Idolator
  4. io9
  5. Jalopnik

  1. Jezebel
  2. Kotaku
  3. Lifehacker
  4. Valleywag
  5. Wonkette
Resistance is futile. The spirit of the Gawker sites is perhaps best described by Slate's Jack Schafer: "They're so fixated on the hunting of the snark that they're prepared to flame everybody to a crisp." True. The worst part is, torching everyone works. Gawker delivers acidic bile by the gallon in order to hook readers with its strong voice. (Their high school English teacher would be proud.) The Maddox-like contempt and confusing web design keep you entranced in a guilty-pleasure marathon. Incidentally, it also keeps Nick Denton rich with ad revenue. Not to worry, no price is too large for entertainment!*Ironically, the graphic in that story was swiped from without a link back.

(From my friend JenK, Cool Hunting, Autumn Leaf, and Threadless.)

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Overheard in New York

Overheard in New York (OINY) is a repository site for quotes heard around New York, published by Michael Malice and S. Morgan Friedman.

Anyone can submit snippets of conversations that they overhear (or pretend to). Choice quotes are published, and any reader can vote a quote up or down (no registration required). The tally is kept by Movabletype's content recommendation system, and OINY also has its own proprietary software that can organize the site and manage the submissions, queues, and editors.

But not very well; managing the editors has previously been treacherous work, according to Wikipedia:
In April 2006, Friedman fired original editor Malice after a dispute concerning editorial control. Malice immediately created New York, Overheard, a nearly identical site with the same format and layout. The two settled their dispute in May 2006, announcing a return to "regularly scheduled eavesdropping". At that time, Malice removed his competing site, and Friedman credited Malice on the original site as "Founding Editor".
The catty site has similarly-styled sub-sections: overheard in the office, overheard at the beach, overheard everywhere, and celebrity wit. The slightly goofy but still semi-professional design is by Diseño Porteño, as well as the readers who submitted mastheads/banners.

A quick sample of quotes:

Kids These Days, I Tell Ya...

Kid #1: Paper beats rock. BAM! Your rock is blowed up!
Kid #2: "Bam" doesn't blow up, "bam" makes it spicy. Now I got a SPICY ROCK! You can't defeat that!
--6 Train

The Riddler's a Cop Now
Mom: Excuse me officer, can you tell me where the Crown Building is located?
Cop: Lady, if the building collapsed you would be crushed.
--57th & 5th

Sadly, This Isn't Fiction Either
Woman: Do you have a non-fiction section?
Book guy: Well, everything that's not fiction is non-fiction. [Over] there's cooking, and there's history.
Woman: No, that's not what I asked. Do you have a section for non-fiction?
Book guy: Well, there are no non-fiction novels. Everything here that's not a novel is non-fiction.
Woman: But you don't have a non-fiction section?
Book guy: No. Everything that isn't fiction is non-fiction.
--Barnes & Noble, Staten Island (Overheard by: Dr. Ballon)

Pre-Class Registration Starts Once A Month

Dumb teen: Hey, look at this! It says "Train for jobs in biotch."
Smarter teen: Fool! That word is biotech. Why you gotta be ignorant all your life?
--1 train (Overheard by: Manhattman)

Wednesday One-Liners Keep Things on Track
Conductor: This is a Brooklyn bound B train. Like bitch.
--B train

Wednesday One-liners Cook the Afterbirth
Girl on cell: Wait, was this the eating disorder cousin or the crack dealer cousin?...Oh, she's having a baby? Wow, I hope it doesn't die.
--Waverly & University

Now Shut the Fuck Up, You Unwanted Accident
Little Girl: Mommy, why do people in New York always wear black?
Mommy: I don't know. Maybe they just don't like looking pretty.
--Upper East Side

And without the Personal Touch IM Would Provide
Teen girl #1: He broke up with me on Facebook!
Teen girl #2: Like, on your wall?
Teen girl #1: No, he just changed his status back to 'Single'!
--Metro North terminal, Grand Central

Time to Take a Break from the Studying
Guy #1: I'd totally hit that.
Guy #2: Dude, I'd hit that so hard whoever could pull me out would become the King of England.
--College Walk, Columbia University (Overheard by: King Arthur)

Overheard in New York: The Movie
Suit: I think you would really like As Good As It Gets.
Woman: Is that the one with Jennifer Aniston?
Suit: No, it's Helen Keller.
--75th & 3rd (Overheard by: Aaron Hotfelder)

(From my friend Guy, Joe Howell, & theogeo)

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Voice Talkers (by Poykpac)

POYKPAC is a 5-person Internet film troupe from Brooklyn, New York. They have an eye-maimingly hideous website (warning: website will indubitably cause blindness).

Despite their collective color-blindness, Poykpac managed to make a watch-able comedy clip for Sketchies II, a Youtube contest where entrants have to use the word "indubitably". Here is their attempt to win $40,000 worth of prizes, a video called "Voice Talkers:"

It's cute. Bonus points for believable use of the word. Double bonus points for the Don LaFontaine reference. Minus points for stepping all over Pablo Francisco territory:
Overall grade: B. Good hustle, Internets.

Monday, April 7, 2008


To close out Mom Weekend here on Today on the Interwebs, we have the mother of all mom blogs,!

Dooce is an old-school blog with a fresh face. It is the personal blog of Heather B. Armstrong, who writes under the pseudonym "Dooce." She explains she got that nickname from her inability to quickly spell "dude" during IM chats with her former co-workers.

Her blog is old-school because in ye olden days of the Internets, personal blogs like this ran amok. They were focused on promoting the author and/or chronicled the authors' daily life in an open-diary format. This practice stopped because most authors are pretty boring; Heather Armstrong is not. She keeps her blog fresh with witty prose, daily photos, and new mastheads every month. used to be about Heather and her work, until she got fired. In her own words:
I started this website in February 2001. A year later I was fired from my job for this website because I had written stories that included people in my workplace. My advice to you is BE YE NOT SO STUPID. Never write about work on the internet unless your boss knows and sanctions the fact that YOU ARE WRITING ABOUT WORK ON THE INTERNET. If you are the boss, however, you should be aware that when you order Prada online and then talk about it out loud that you are making it very hard for those around you to take you seriously.
This allegedly spawned a term. Supposedly. According to, getting "dooced" means "to lose one’s job because of one’s website." Now that's a source! If you ask me, if it's on Urban Dictionary it might as well get placed in the Smithsonian.

Don't feel too sorry about her losing her job though. Nowadays is now about Heather's life as a self-described "Stay at Home Mom (SAHM) or a Shit Ass Ho Motherfucker," both of which she claims to do equally well. She started running ads on her site in October of 2005, and it now generates enough revenue for her to support her family. Heather sums up her transition from web designer to jobless drunk to professional blogger (wait... did I just state the same thing twice?):
This website chronicles my life from a time when I was single and making a lot of money as a web designer in Los Angeles, to when I was dating the man who would become my husband, to when I lost my job and lived life as an unemployed drunk, to when I married my husband and moved to Utah, to when I became pregnant, to when I threw up and became unbearably swollen during the pregnancy, to the birth, to the aftermath, to the postpartum depression that landed me in a mental hospital. I’m better now.
Her blog won THREE 2008 Weblog Awards: best-designed blog, blog of the year, and a lifetime achievement award. (I swear I did not make that up, those are real awards.) Anyway, you wish your mom was this hip.

Enjoy a sampling of entries:
1. Dooce gets dooced.
2. Dooce talks about her post-partum depression
3. Dooce's daughter Leta can't poop.

(From Wired and Wikipedia)