Monday, June 6, 2016

Koi Child, Dumb URLs & Pho-dog-rapher

Weekly Update 2016-23: Tame Impala's Kevin Parker serves up an awesome new jazz-funk band called Koi Child, the cognitive load involved in using custom domains, and a dog that takes better photographs than me.

Music: Koi Child
I don't know what it is about music out of Australia but I've got another winner. Koi Child is genre-labelled as hip-hop, but I feel like they're so much more than that. The varied use of a gamut of instruments and a simply amazing mix of funk, soul, and I don't even know what, makes a truly standout self-titled debut album. Listen to the first track I heard:

P.s. I should be honest that this album was produced by Tame Impala's Kevin Parker, so maybe I do know why I love it so much.

I biked to work three days last week! And it would have been more, except that I still have to finish up some extra-curriculars that are continuing after work in far-away (unbikeable) locations. That said, I'm tracking all my rides and my average pace is consistenly dropping with each ride. Imagine how fast I could be if I didn't stop at red lights (which I always do, of course).

I also returned my drum kit (a month earlier than expected due to ongoing construction in my living room) without need for a car. I disassembled and packed up all the pieces, and returned everything in series of three reusable shopping bags over four walking trips to Long & McQuade. This is how I know that I can never be a drummer in a real band (unless I somehow manage to wrangle some roadies together), because it was a hell of a workout and an electronic kit is much, much lighter than a real kit.

I can also now divulge that my sister and I finally threw the surprise party for our parents that we had been planning for over a year now. It was a long time in the running, and now that I'm on the other side of a successful surprise party, I can say that I'm relieved that it's all done. Since I know my mother is probably the biggest fan of my blog, I can now share the invitation with you (and her)!

And a polaroid snapshot of us in the photobooth! How cute!

My Brazilian drumming instructor has informed me that I need to start taking the band more seriously (which translates to the fact that I am going to start attending Wednesday evening practices and building up my skills to eventually play with the actual band)! Since there are no lessons on Sundays in the summer, I get my weekends back and get to play with the band all in one fell swoop. So I'll need to get myself to Steve's Music sometime this week (maybe tomorrow) to get some real mallets. Levelling up in a skill is always bittersweet because I'm going to have to spend some real money on this in the near future.

Random Thought: Dumb URLs
I'm sure you've seen the trend cropping up of shortened URLs that include a custom domain (.com,, etc) cleverly chosen so that it can be semantically included in the domain name. For example, if I had chosen to purchase the custom domain of .er (which, if the country of Eritrea will even sell it to me, is probably very expensive), I could be the proud owner of"". I completely understand why these URLs are popular. Nobody likes having to include a ".com" at the end of their brand.

But when I really think about it, this sort of thing is pretty dumb for a few reasons. In order of importance from lowest to highest:

  1. The sites have nothing to do with the domains they are using
    Eritrea retains the right not to sell me a ".er" domain for a specific reason. They want to control the content of those domains for specific Eritrean-related content, and I am in no way whatsoever a creator of Eritrean content. Therefore it is a sensible thing for me not to try to put my content on an Eritrean domain.
  2. We see an association of ".com/.ca" with a URL
    Seeing common words or phrases separated by a period does not immediately reveal the fact that I am looking at a URL. In fact, it is entirely plausible that the URL may be seen as a typo of someone's brand. Yes, I know that people from Eritrea may be used to seeing URLs ending in ".er", but I don't know anyone from Eritrea. Anyway, this can be mitigated by including the "www." or the "http://", but then we're just back where we started with the ".com/.ca" business. 
  3. The cognitive load is too high
    Even if I somehow automatically knew that "" was a URL that would work if I typed it into my address bar, I would find it incredibly hard to remember. I know that I am looking for the website of someone named Chloe Silver, but the word is broken up in such a foreign way that it would constantly take me a few seconds to remember where the dot goes. And honestly, I am so used to typing ".com" that I'd probably add one in anyway. But maybe that's just me. 

Inspiration: Pho-dog-rapher
Apparently the experimentalists at Nikon have been working overtime because they've 3D-printed a camera case that can be attached to dogs, to let them take pictures of things that they find interesting. I can't think of a single better use for time or money.

Every time the dog, Grizzler, gets excited, his heart beat reaches a certain rate and the camera snaps a photo. Check out his shots below:

Check out more about the project here.

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