Accidental poetry (or metal lyrics) from a “Hello Kitty” cake

Yesterday at the office, we celebrated a birthday with this “Hello Kitty” cake:

Click the photo to see it at full size.

We ended up cutting it with a nice sharp metal knife, which meant that the cheap plastic cake cutter that came with it went unused. While clearing off the table in our kitchen, I noticed the warning on the packaging for the cake cutter, and I had to stop what I was doing to appreciate its beauty:

Click the photo to see it at full size.

Sound it out, either in your head or say it out loud:


That’s pretty much poetry. Or metal lyrics. Or a cryptic tattoo, t-shirt slogan or bumper sticker.


I can’t tell if they’re trying to be edgy or just got a bad translation

Banner at bubble tea shop: 'I'm bubble tea. Suck my balls.'


The real you vs. the social media you


The Smart and Sustainable Cities Panel: this Wednesday at USF’s Patel College of Global Sustainability

On the evening of Wednesday, September 27, my friend Taylor Ralph will be moderating a panel of experts in what promises to be “a fun evening with an amazing panel of experts on the hot topic of Smart & Sustainable Cities.”

What’s a smart city?

A smart city is one that makes use of information, communications, and internet of things technologies to manage infrastructure and service assets such as its water supply, transportation systems, power plants, law enforcement, hospitals, waste management, schools, and so on. It uses these technologies to interact engage directly with and improve communications its citizenry, monitor and control the city infrastructure, reduce costs and resource consumption, and adapt to changing circumstances.

A prime example of a smart city initiative is Amsterdam, which has a smart city initiative collaboratively developed by local residents, government and businesses. There are street with “smart lights” that adjust their brightness to current conditions and pedestrian usage, real-time traffic monitoring that’s broadcast to drivers so they know which routes to take and avoid, and a resident-developed app that allows parking space owners to rent them out for a fee and allows the city to determine parking demand and traffic flows.

What’s a sustainable city?

What’s a sustainable city? It’s one that manages it environmental impact and attempt to meet present needs with sacrificing the ability of future citizens to meet their own needs, and balances ecological, economical, cultural, and political factors to create an enduring way of life. With over 50% of the world’s populations living in cities and urban areas and urbanization increasing at almost 2% annually for the next few years, making cities sustainable is becoming an increasingly important endeavor.

Who’ll be on the panel?

Here’s what the event’s page says:

Panelists include a private developer from Tampa working on a large re-development in downtown Tampa and trying to make it WELL Certified; the sustainability lead from the University of Florida to discuss their smart, sustainable buildings and curriculum on campus; a vice president of a large technology company who will share the completion of one smart community in Japan and one in progress in Denver; a local Sustainability Manager from City of St. Petersburg, a leader in City of Orlando Smart City effort, and a vice president from Metro Development. Quite the list of experts!

There will be lots of time for questions and robust discussion.

Here are the panelists:

  • Bahar Armaghani, LEED Fellow, LEED Faculty, Director, UF Green Building Learning Collaborative, and Lecturer, Sustainability and the Built Environment College of Design, Construction and Planning
  • Kartik Goyani, VP of Metro Development
  • Mike Hess, PE, LEED Fellow, Vice President, Smart & Sustainable Buildings, Panasonic Enterprise Solutions Company
  • Sarah Mason, WELL AP, LEED AP, Wellness and Sustainability Analyst, Strategic Property Partners
  • Charles Ramdatt, Co-Chair of City of Orlando Smart City
  • Sharon Wright, AICP, LEED AP BD+C, ENV SP, Sustainability Manager, City of St Petersburg

And they’ll all be moderated by Taylor Ralph, LEED AP, President of REAL Building Consultants, native of Tampa, and all-round great guy.

When, where, and all that

The Smart & Sustainable Cities Expert Panel takes place this Wednesday, September 27th, from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. at the USF Patel College of Global Sustainability (4202 E. Fowler Avenue).

Register here — the registration fee is $15 for USGBC members and students, and $25 for non-members.


You might not know what the term “Millennial Whoop” means, but chances are you’ve heard it

There’s a certain pattern in pop music that I started to notice a couple of years ago. I mentally referred to it as the “Fifth-third uh-oh’s”, because it’s the lyric “uh-oh” sung repeatedly with the “uh” using the fifth note in the song’s key, and the “oh” using the third note. Patrick Metzger came up with a better term for a pop music pattern that’s been bugging me for the past decade: the Millennial Whoop.

Rather than describe it to you with words or show you the notes (both of which are meaningless if you haven’t studied any music theory), I can simply show you several examples of the Millennial Whoop in recent pop music:

(I find it amusing that the theme music at the end of the video also follows the Millennial Whoop pattern.)

Here’s a compilation of pop tunes that use the Millennial Whoop:

Here’s a follow-up compilation:

And here’s the song that features the most self-aware use of the Millennial Whoop (along with every other over-produced pop song trick): Andy Samberg’s Justin Bieber parody song, Fuck Off (warning: super-sweary; it even uses the “c-word”.)

And ads have caught onto the Millennial Whoop. Here’s an Uber ad, which I’ve set to start at the 25-second mark. You’ll hear the Millennial Whoop at 0:32:

And now, like me, you’ll never be able to unhear it.


Conference call bingo: I play this game every day!

Whiteboard illustrating a 'Conference Call Bingo' card.

Click the photo to see it at full size.

If you can think of other things to put in the squares, write ’em down in the comments!

Also worth checking out:

If conference calls happened in real life: Photo of a Polycom conference phone.

If conference calls happened in real life is one of those “it’s funny because it’s true” videos.


That one New Year’s Eve when I was totally forbidden fruit

A friend of mine posted a linked to Bored Panda’s article, Maps Reveals Europe’s Most Racist Countries, And You Won’t Like It, which color-codes European countries based on how their people would feel if their children dated a black person, a Muslim, a Jew, or…a me!

I decided to take a look at the map for the question “Would you feel comfortable if your of your children was in a relationship with an Asian person?”, and wouldn’t you know it, I was totally taboo-ing it up a couple of hours outside Prague at André Fenton’s “Millennipalooza” party on December 31, 1999 / January 1, 2000:

Click to see the miscegenation map at full size.

I guess that like Hasan Minhaj, I’m the cure for racism.