February 29, 2008

Feel Good

Anybody want to listen to a song that just makes you feel good?

Can you guess which movie it's from?

Click (Not Right-Click)

February 28, 2008


When: April 25th
Where: Harvard (or maybe MIT soon!)
Who: Me of course, I just registered!

Mix up a bunch of super famous internet memes, some brainy academics, a big audience, dump them in Cambridge, MA and you've got ROFLCon.

The conference is slated for April 25th and 26th of 2008.

It's a group dissection of internet culture. What makes it work, why it works, how it works. We'll talk about where internet culture has been and where we think it's going.

Then, there'll be parties. A music show, with memes performing their work live. And then a big blowout party at the end, with everyone dancing and rocking out.

Needless to say, this might be the most important gathering since the fall of the tower of Babel.

Who's gonna be there???

1) Jay Maynard, Tron Guy
2) Kyle Macdonald, Paperclip to House Guy
3) Martin Grondin, LOLCat Bible
4) Ryan North, Dinosaur Comics
5) The Brothers Chaps, Homestar Runner
6) Ryan and Arija, LOLSecretz
7) Stephen Granades, LOLTrek
8 ] Leslie Hall (Gem Sweater)
9) Bert Is Evil Guys (Dino Ignacio/Dennis Pozniak)
10) OCRemix — David Lloyd
11) Alexis Ohanian (LOLDeconstructed/Reddit)
12) Randall Munroe, Xkcd
13) Group X
14) Adam Lindsay, LOLCode
15) StupidFilter
16) Martin Leung, Video Game Pianist
17) Drew Curtis (Fark.com)
18) Cyanide and Happiness/Explosm.net guys
19) Rooster Teeth (Red versus Blue)
20) Matt Harding (Where the Hell is Matt?)
21) moot (4chan)
22) Ian Spector, Chuck Norris Facts
23) Rocketboom
24) Joe Mathlete, Marmaduke Explained
25) Brad Neely, Creased Comics and Super Deluxe
26) “Cheezburger,” I Can Haz Cheezburger
27) Chris Hastings, Dr. McNinja
28) Joey Comeau, A Softer World
29) Brian Finklestein, Snakes on a Blog
30) Jeffrey Rowland, Wigu/Overcompensating
31) MC Frontalot
32) Matt Haughey, MetaFilter
33) Neil Cicierega, Lemon Demon
34) Jeph Jacques, Questionable Content
35) Joe Peacock, Mentally Incontinent
36) Justine Ezarik, iJustine/300-page iPhone Bill
37) Richard Stevens, Dumbrella/Diesel Sweeties
38) Leeroy Jenkins
39) John Hargrave, Zug.com
40) James Zetlen, Sorry Everybody


The Early Bird Gets Screwed

I'm mad and this is a rant. Consider yourself warned.

I was on top of things in July. On late July is when Best Buy began pre-orders for Super Smash Brothers Brawl and I had a bunch of gift cards that I was ready to use. I went online and made the pre-order on July 28th for the anticipated December 4th.

On October 12th I get an e-mail telling me my item is backordered. Seems BestBuy decided to be retarded and allow preorders for a time window that extended the maximum backorder length. I called them and told them that the game doesn't come out until December 4th and that I had preordered it. They were very helpful, extending the backorder cancellation date to December 5th.

Three days later Nintendo drops a bombshell, delaying the release of Super Smash Brothers Brawl until February 10th, 2008. I got an e-mail from Best Buy telling me about this. The next e-mail I get is in November (BEFORE the backorder cancellation date of December 4th that we established prior) and it says:

The item listed below is still not available to be shipped and remains on backorder. We are unable to identify the exact shipping date at this time. If this order remains unavailable for shipment in 5 days, it will be canceled.

THANK YOU VERY MUCH! I called them again, they helped, and they extended my back order (I received an e-mail confirming this). Then I got ANOTHER e-mail from Best Buy, saying they had no idea when the new release date was going to be and that they were canceling my order (they offered me a $10 digital coupon to make up for it). I found this amusing because in their last e-mail to me they said it was on February 10th. I called again, this time telling them their own release date. They apologized and sent me another digital coupon, this time for $5.

Uh-oh, another Nintendo bombshell. Brawl is now delayed until March 9th. I think this was the death knell to Best Buy's sense of ethics, intelligence, and altogether ability to function correctly as an organization. This time I didn't get an e-mail saying "We're about to cancel your backorder" (at this point I'd pretty much resigned to this purchase being labeled a 'backorder,' no matter how many times I called and told them it was a preorder), no, I got an e-mail that simply said "We canceled your backorder, have a good day."


Wait, re-order? Where's my money!? I spent a gift card on this thing and they said that they credited my account. I don't have an account, so where'd the money go? I called and spent 20 minutes getting passed around from clueless headcase to clueless headcase, explaining how retarded Best Buy's backorder system is, before finally landing with somebody who seemed to understand. She explained that she could send me a giftcard for the full amount of the game but could not actually purchase the game for me using that giftcard, I would have to wait until it arrived in my mailbox before placing the order.

This is a problem. Brawl is going to sell out fast, perhaps before I get the gift card. I explain this to her, emphasizing that this is ALL BEST BUY'S FAULT and she presented me the following solution. Just order with Debit now and when you get the gift card in the mail you can just switch the balance of the order from Debit to gift card.

"Are you sure I can do that?"
"Can I do it online?"
"Yes, and you can even just call us and we'll do it for you."
"Are you sure I can do that?"
"Just buy with my Debit, wait for the gift card, and then I can transfer any money I put on my Debit to this gift card?"
"Yes, just go online or call us."
"Ok, thank you."

I ordered it with my Debit card and awaited the gift card in the mail. I got it 5 days later and called customer service. I explained what I wanted and I got the following:

"We can't do that."
"Once a method of payment is submitted for an order there isn't a way to change it."
"But I was told by this lady that I could!"
"I'm sorry sir, there's no way."
"What am I supposed to do?"
"The only thing to do is to cancel the Debit order and re-order with the gift card."
"I had this thing preordered in July and I'm having to go through all of this because you guys have no idea what to do with backorders."
"I'm sorry sir, just cancel the order and re-order with the gift card."

Not being stupid, I wanted to order the game with the gift card before canceling ANYTHING. Guess what! SOLD FREAKING OUT! Ok, so now I'm mad. Best Buy just stole $50 from me and now I'm left with this crap gift card that I didn't even want. I call again, now I'm angry.

[finally forwarded to somebody who knows what's going on]
"I can't just cancel my order and re-order, it's completely sold out. This is why I preordered in JULY!!! I didn't want to have to mess with this TWO WEEKS BEFORE THE GAME CAME OUT!!! Now I'm stuck with a $50 bill and a gift card I don't want. How are you going to fix this."
"We can't sir."
"You're going to."
"I'll forward your case to our crediting department, here's your case number. You'll hear from them within 5 to 10 business days."

4 days later I get a voicemail from Hilary (she neglected to leave a number but said she worked for teh Best Buy customer care research department):

Hi, we just got your case and we can't move money from a Debit purchase to a gift card. You'll just have to cancel the Debit order and re-order with the gift card. Have a great day!

Somebody almost died. Seriously, if I had been within swinging distance of ANYBODY they would have felt it. I called. . . .AGAIN!. . . and explained my story. This is when I discovered that Hilary is an enigma and that the Best Buy customer care research department doesn't exist. Seriously, they said they didn't have a department called that. Anyway, I talk to another altogether unhelpful woman he repeats everything everybody else has already said.

"Look! It's SOLD OUT! I can't just re-order it!"
"Well, then I'm sorry, there's nothing I can do."
"Fix it!"
"I can't sir."
"What you're telling me is that after spending a gift on a product, I am now being forced to take the gift back and purchase the product with my own money? That's stealing and wrong."
"I'm sorry sir, there's nothing I can do to fix it."
"Is there somebody who can?"
"I'll get you my supervisor."

"Hello, this is Mark, I'm the supervisor."
"Hi, do I need to summarize things for you or do you know what's going on."
"I'm the one who told [altogether unhelpful lady] that there was nothing we can do."
"Well that's not quite what I'm looking for. I'm looking for $50 and for you to take this gift card from me."|
"We can't."
"Ok, this is stealing. You realize that? I was told I could do this by some lady who works for customer service and now I'm being told that you just took my money."
"I'm sorry for the miscommunication, there's really nothing we can do."
"What you can do is make sure that EVERY SINGLE EMPLOYEE THERE never tells anybody that they can switch payment EVER AGAIN!"
"I'm sorry we couldn't help you."
"So am I."
"Thank you for shopping at Best Buy."



February 25, 2008

Funny Units

Passage from my 2.001 book:

"The column is made of concrete having a density of 2.30 Mg/m^3."

it's not every day you encounter MEGA-GRAMS!!!


So, I saw the stack of MIT applications from India for this year. I won't say how many there are or how many they'll accept. About all I can do is point you to this website:


Divide that number by four and you'll get approximately how many they'll accept. The only other publicly available numbers are how many international kids applied last year, which is 2,745. Not all were Indian, mind you, but it puts into perspective just what admissions is up against.

I hope they didn't carry all of the applications up from the basement in one trip, you could hurt your back that way. It was impressive!

I'm sorry to anybody this is discouraging for, but it's the truth. Be confident in your application, you've played your hand, now it's down to MIT. Good luck, decisions in a month-ish!

February 19, 2008


Ever have one of those moments where you're faced with a problem for a hw assignment that would appear to be straightforward, is supposed to be straightforward, shouldn't be hard, but you have no idea how to do it?

That's me right now. Due tomorrow. Nobody to ask for help. Bummer.

February 16, 2008


The amazingness of my weekend is to not be rivaled by anything ever. Look forward to a blog entry to rival all others! Seriously, best story ever!


Almost as good as getting in to MIT, seriously, it's just that cool!

New York City here I come!

February 15, 2008

February 08, 2008

More Research

Some more studying, but I've an issue with this one:

When two vowels go walking, the first one does the talking
Which works great for meat and neat and soar and oar

But what about "you?"

U is obviously a more manly and persuasive vowel then O.


Some research I did today for my Toy Design class:

February 07, 2008


Spam frequents the internet and I've noticed that it normally haunts certain individuals more than others. I've been lucky up until this point, receiving very little spam. I attribute most of this to Gmail's amazing Spam filters.

The MIT Blogs get about 20,000 hits a day and are prime objectives for SpamBots, leaving nonsensical comments and linking to inappropriate websites. Recently I fell under attack by a SpamBot and the results were so overwhelming that I felt the need to post about it here. Luckily all of these comments were blocked by MovableType (the blog software we use for the MIT blogs) but I still received an e-mail every time one was published. How many Spams? How long did it take? I took a screenshot of my inbox, just check out the times to the right.


It's the most aggressive Spamming I've seen, so kudos to you Spambot, now GET OFF MY BLOG!

February 03, 2008

Best Commercial of the SuperBowl Thusfar


Who's played Brawl? I have!

That's right, be jealous.

In fact, I think I'm going to play some right now.

At MIT, games have this weird tendency to become available before they're released. Fancy that!

Improv Everywhere: Frozen

Another awesome Improv Everywhere performance hack: