Find me a more varied, cooler crew than these dudes! By Ilan Adler I recently stumbled onto this amazing picture…
How a simple paragraph in the NYTimes shows how bad Wall Street has become By Ilan Adler Like everyone in…
By Ilan Adler
On a recent podcast Bill Simmons was talking about the Mayweather Pacquiao fight with Bryan Curtis. Simmons speculated about what would have happened had this fight occurred before 2008, before the rise of Twitter, social media on a mass scale, and the constant 24 hours news and blog cycle. This was in relation the Internet taking on the villain, Floyd Mayweather, a convicted offender of domestic abuse. Simmons specifically said about Twitter not existing before 2008, which got me thinking, when did I first become aware of twitter?
Its actually pretty sad because I remember it quite vividly, it was right after the Virginia Tech shootings in April 2007. In the news coverage it was reported that some of the students who were in hiding from the shooter were relaying messages to the outside, via a service called “Twitter” which was basically bite size SMS length messages delivered to a group of followers via text or desktop interface. This was the first time I had personally heard of Twitter, and because of the tragic circumstances I remember it to this day.
It only took a few more months before Twitter really blew up and hit the mainstream, mainly on the basis of celebrities loving their new direct line to the crowd, and reporters and others breaking stories live, and having a direct line of communication.
I ended up though actually only joining the service in April 2009, mainly in order to follow Bill Simmons himself, who I believe joined Twitter in April 2009
When did you hear about and join Twitter, or any other social media network? Share your experience in the comments below!
By Ilan Adler
10/25/14 Update: Another tragedy has struck Nepal, as a bus veered off the road and killed 14 people. This is the same bus route that I wrote about in my 2006 Nepal Bus Trip – Blast from the Past.
Nepal has long been one of my favorite places in the world, and a look through the photo section of Putchka.com, can warrant how much I love the country. I have also written one of my favorite travel stories, about a bus trip that I took in 2006 in Nepal, on my way to the Lang Tang trek. Thus it was a real bummer to hear about the second tragedy that befell the country this week, the avalanche on the Annapurna Circuit Trek. So far more than 27 people have been reported as confirmed casualties, and rescue teams are still looking for more than 40 hikers and locals that are still missing. The New York Times has a small video about some of the hikers that survived the avalanche, which tells a bit about the distress that one can find himself in during an extreme situation like this.
This is the second mountain related tragedy in Nepal this year. About six months ago a avalanche on Everest killed 13 sherpas that were climbing the mountain and opening up the ropes for climbers that were later set to attempt the summit.
While not encountering anything like the extreme blizzard conditions that the hikers experienced here, in my travels in the Himalayas, I did have my fair share of close calls, especially since I mostly traveled solo. In one particular case I was making a solo attempt at the summit of Stok Kangri, a 6153m high peak in the Ladakh Indian Himalayas. During the first ascent, which was at the wee hours of the morning, I walked out of my tent in some pretty harsh conditions. On this day the only people crazy (or stupid; depends on how you look at it) enough to try for the summit were me and a pair of hard core crazy Germans from the tyrol, who left a little after me. It was all good till we started crossing the glacier and straight into a full on snowstorm…It was a whiteout and we couldn’t see anything really but we continued nonetheless, starting to climb at around 30 degree angle in more than knee deep snow.
I let the Germans pass since they were much quicker and kept pulling on ahead. At about 1/2 way up to the ridge I noticed them heading for me and when we met they said the weather is not good and there is too much snow. I acknowledged them and said I will continue on up and hope it clears a little. I continued trudging my way in the snow not really seeing anything for about a hour, when I conceded defeat and seeing the weather was not improving at all decided to make another run the next day. A bug part of the decision making was realizing that if anything happened to me, I would probably be a goner, with no one to assist me on the mountain. The next day I did succeed in reaching the summit, although in much better conditions.
I also had a few close calls in Nepal itself, on the Lang Tang Trek following the wrong trail, along with a few slips and falls that could have ended very different, all depending on a few inches here or there.
I’m optimistic that the ministry in Nepal in charge of tourism and mountains will learn from these two tragedies, and if needed, take the steps to help make things safer for travelers. The mountains of Nepal are a true wonder of the world, and I hope that more and more tourists will continue to visit them, and be awe inspired by them. I hope that all those injured will be able to make a speedy recovery, and offer my deepest condolences to family of friends of those who didn’t make it. On a personal side I have friends who know some of the reported victims, and it is indeed a very sad and trying time for the families of the deceased. “May they be comforted among the other mourners of Zion and Jerusalem”
By Ilan Adler
David Choe is a renowned graffiti/street artist, probably best known in the mainstream as the millionaire Facebook painter. As the story goes, Choe was contacted by Sean Parker to paint a mural at Facebook HQ. After talking to Parker and Zuckerberg, Choe was on board with the idea of receiving stock in lieu of cash payment for his work. This stock is now estimated to be worth over 200 million dollars, and this cutesy story has elevated Choes’ name in countless media reports about “the secret millionaire Facebook artist”. Listening to him today on the Adam Carolla Show Podcast, I found David to be an intriguing guest, and I would love for him to come back to the podcast for additional stories and words of wisdom. He just seemed to touch the tip of the iceberg with his stories of his roughnecking as a teenager, his arrest and jail sentence in Japan, and his living in Israel in 94′. In addition I was reminded that David was a contributing reporter on HBO’s fantastic TV series, VICE, notably in the memorable episodes about scrap collecting and thieving in Detroit, and the effects of the legalization of marijuana on the Colorado economy and the local weed scene. Having seen all this I also stumbled onto this gem of a youtube video, via his website. Featuring Choe painting, traveling, and embarking on his adventures. Sometimes you just gotta say “Fuck It!” and don’t let life bring you down!
By Ilan Adler
Me and Shalhevet have been following Casey Neistat’s YouTube videos for quite some time now. Besides the fact that he is now well established and get generous amounts of budget money to do practically whatever he wants, he still has his own unique and personal touch on the films that he makes. I really think that we can learn a lot from him, as Casey is of a rare breed, a true storyteller. This is enhanced even further by the equipment that he uses (while his studio has expanded, a lot of his shots are still from simple point and shoot cameras), his flat editing style (he still edits all his films on iMovie 6!), and his DIY typography and design. In spite of all the lack of fancy editing and cinema quality shots, Casey still can take a mundane subject, and make a truly interesting short film out of it. Besides offering a fresh perspective on the subject matter, these shorts are very enjoyable (as evidenced by his ever growing subscriber base), and keep people coming back for more. He has also taken commercial projects to a whole new level, most famously captured in his #MakeItCount short made on Nike’s dime.
I’ve created a playlist of twelve very different Neistat videos that I have enjoyed and watched and enjoyed over the last couple of years.
Let us know what your favorites are in the comments below!
By Ilan Adler
A colleague of mine, Shira Blank, recently got married. Shira is the main content writer on the SEO/Content team, and does fantastic work. I thought that I would geek out and have a little fun with her wedding card, making it SEO friendly. Check it out below:
Stefan Sagmeister talks about the amazing things Digital Technology contribute to Art and Design
By Ilan Adler
This post is just a cool little 90’s playlist that I drew up one day. The reasoning behind it is not songs that were hard to find, or B-sides, but just the nineties music that I grew up on listening to on the radio. Remember this was long before the iPod, and when a discman with a 3 second anti-skip was still considered somewhat of a status symbol. This isn’t the place to look after those long lost Pearl Jam or Nirvana bootlegs, but rather just a sort of best of of some of the great music. Most of it was played in the golden age of alt. rock and grunge, in the early to mid-nineties.
Please feel free to add more suggestions for relevant songs in the comments. Remember this is still a preliminary list, which keeps growing with good suggestions.