Thursday, August 30, 2007

Healia's new Facebook application

Healia, where I've been interning this summer, has just launched a Facebook application: the Healia Health Challenge.

The game tests your general health knowledge with questions that cover nutrition, anatomy, and STDs, among other things. It starts you off as a pre-med student, and if you rack up enough points, you get promoted all the way up to Chief of Medicine.

It's definitely been a lot of fun to work on this as a group over the past few months. If you have a Facebook account, please give it a shot and let me know what you think. And if you like it, please feel free to pass it on. :)


Tuesday, August 28, 2007

This is fun

Warning: there is insta-audio in the above-linked website, which I hate. Still, though, its build-your-own avatar tool is quite fun.

Monday, August 13, 2007

I've jumped onto YouTube

I was with my family visiting my cousin over the weekend; she lives near Port Angeles, WA. My sister Bethany I and availed ourselves of her trampoline.

This little video -- in all its jerky and grainy glory -- is actually the first I've ever uploaded to YouTube. It's a remarkably easy process. I thought there would be some difficulty with the 3g2 video format that my phone uses, but there wasn't any problem; everything gets converted.


Friday, August 10, 2007

Yellow house

My appreciation of music has always been deeply egotistical. I don't pay any attention to lyrics because I frankly don't care about the meaning the artist is attempting to convey. I care only about the meaning that I create -- arbitrarily and subjectively, yes, I admit -- as I hear the music.

For me, Belle and Sebastian = my swirling sunny emotions in the summer of 1999. Camper Van Beethoven = driving back from my Dairy Queen job, night-time, humming merrily along to myself, high school 1990. I'm not so interested in the technical facts about these bands.

Unsurprisingly, then, I've long been a fan of music with lyrics difficult to decipher: R.E.M., The Cocteau Twins, and so on. I'm also quite partial to music without any lyrics at all. This is the sort of music I can easily tack my memories to and claim as my own.

Grizzly Bear's critically acclaimed 2006 release, Yellow House, is such an album. Since I first started listening to it a few weeks ago, it has become ever more entertwined with nostalgia nodes deep within my mind. You know that feeling when you hear a song or an album a few times and you realize: I will always associate this music with this particular time in my life? Yes.

A text message I sent a few weeks ago sums up my experience with Yellow House: "Floating down the sidewalk on a grizzlybear-spun cloud."

I mentioned nostalgia. Again, I don't know what Grizzly Bear is singing about in this album, nor do I care to know. The thing is, I grew up in a yellow house -- lived there from 1981 - 1991. So I declare that this album is all about me and my own memories. I'll sign off with a quotidian quote from my journal written exactly twenty years ago, on August 10, 1987:

Today we went to Ruiz's to get some games. Some of the games: Mule, Alley Cat, Pool 400. Katy and I played a game of Farming Game today down here in the basement. Katy won. When the game ended, she had 140 cows, I had 110.
P.S. Go here (warning: music starts playing when you load the page) and download On a Neck, On a Spit right away. It's a very good song.


Thursday, August 09, 2007

Fun with the Feedburner Headline Animator

I don't post for a week and all of a sudden I post three times in a day. I know, I know, I'm rebelling against blogging best practices. So be it.

I just used the Feedburner headline animator to make a nifty little widget that displays the latest posts from the Healia Blog:

The Healia Health blog

↑ Grab this Headline Animator

Fun stuff!


Daily one-minute webcast of Seattle business news

The Puget Sound Business Journal now offers a daily one-minute online video summary of local business news.

I keep tabs on national and international business news by reading the Wall Street Journal every morning on the bus. But I haven't been covering local business news too closely lately, so I'm happy to see a quick and easy way to do this.


Linkalicious: 8/9/07

Dear readers, here are some interesting tidbits, hastily proffered. More substantial posts coming your way soon.


Thursday, August 02, 2007

I'm not a woman

But Gmail seems to think that I am. These are the ads currently popping up for me (the topmost ad is particularly disturbing, is it not?):

Why am I seeing these? I'm not sure. I guess there's not enough manly talk in my emails.

A year ago, I wondered here whether other people were as curious about Gmail ads as me. Interestingly, 88% of poll respondents said that they, too, discuss Gmail ads with their friends.


Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Appaholic: facilitating obsession with Facebook statistics

If you're curious about which Facebook applications are hot (or cold) at the moment, Appaholic is worth exploring. It displays statistics on Facebook applications, updated hourly.

The Viral Dashboard page is interesting, but I was confused by it at first. The site FAQ doesn't explain this, but the applications are ranked by "% change" -- percentage change in users from yesterday to today. So this list is not based on the total number of Facebook users who have installed that particular application.

Because the appaholic rank list is based on daily percentage growth, it changes frequently. At the bottom of the list are applications that are, for whatever reason, quickly shedding users. In the rapidly-growing universe of Facebook applications, these negative-growth applications might have been at the top of the list not too long ago.