The perfect Social Media Rum: Foursquare

GermanThis posting is also available in German.

found the perfect drink for tweet-ups and all kinds of social media gatherings: Foursquare spiced rum is way older than geo-location. The golden-brownish spirit is distilled in Barbados:

Foursquare rum

And this Foursquare is a lot older than the first GPS chip:

Foursquare is the name of the oldest sugar plantation (1636) in Barbados. It is home to the most advanced Rum Distillery in the world. Foursquare spiced rum is a combination of rare island spices and specialty aged rum blended in accordance with a centuries old secret formula known only to generations of the Seale family.

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Paper Towel Gang: Bounty Viral

“Bounty, the baddest PT in your county – almost as strong as a Canadian mounty – and I've seen one, they're pretty tough, pretty tough – but can they hold 11 pool palls in their hand – like I know that Bounty can?” Yes, that's a hilarious one:

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Dexter, Season 4: Dex vs. Trinity

If you haven't seen the 4th season of “Dexter” yet, then don't watch this video – not even the first few seconds, because they contain a serious spoiler. In case you already know how the cat-and-mouse game between Dex and Trinity ends, you are going to like this sitdown with Michael C. Hall and John Lithgow:

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Happy New Year!

I wish you all a great party tonight – 2009 has been an amazing year for me, and I'm absolutely sure that 2010 will be amazing +1 for all of us. So have a great night, enjoy yourself and never forget: the party is in your head! The right surrounding does help a lot, but ultimately you're the master of your own device :mrgreen:

Have a great start into 2010 – no need to worry, after all it's just 2009 plus 1. So thanks a lot for your ongoing interest in this dirty little blog of mine, thanks for your feedback, your comments and the encouragement: Can't wait for the next 12 months of blogging!

Happy interfaith-Holidays

It seems we're living in a time and era where religious views, traditions and believes once again cause a lot of misunderstandings. While all big world religions preach at their core that human life is the most precious thingie ever, this general rule doesn't always govern religious leaders' decisions. Let's just hope it does for a change. Have great holidays, enjoy family-time and don't forget to overeat; it's X-Mas after all.

Book Reviews: Pynchon, Whuffies, Fat Food

Yes, we all know how Kindle & Co. are going to steal budgets from paper presses, yet while books are still a common cultural good, I want to recommend three readings which recently filled my days with joy and the priceless gift of offline information. It's not that priceless, though: Amazon quickly has to get rid of tons of books before everyone switches to eInk :mrgreen: As the avid reader might notice, Thomas Pynchon's “Inherent Vice”, Tara Hunt's “The Whuffie Factor” and the infamous picture book “This is why you're fat” do have nothing in common. Just saying.

Thomas Pynchon: Inherent Vice

Thomas Pynchon wrote many great classics. His latest Oeuvre Inherent Vice describes the post-hippie, drug-rich era of the early '70s in California. In between smoking his beloved joints, Larry “Doc” Sportello wades through a mythical surfer-paradise trying to make his living as a private investigator. Pynchon's novel is rich with clich? and features almost any stereotype one can imagine about the psychedelic setting. Even though “Inherent Vice” disguises itself as a story of crime, Pynchon takes the reader into a labyrinth of plots and subplots. Pimps, narcs, super-villains and a mythic entity called the “Golden Fang” populate a colorful, yet sometimes frustrating setting. Thomas Pynchon is a genius when it comes to playing with language, yet still his new book contains too much artificial flavors for my personal taste – yet still it's a fascinating joyride through a fascinating era.

Tara Hunt: The Whuffie Factor

I've mentioned The Whuffie Factor: Using the Power of Social Networks to Build Your Business by Tara Hunt on Twitter before – it's definitely one of my favorite books on the “economy of attention”. “Whuffies” is the name Tara chose for the “currency of attention” – using examples from Moleskine to Willitblend, Tara outlines the fundamental market change fueled by new media. If you ever wondered what all the buzz about crowdsourcing, trust-agents and word-of-mouth effect really means, this book is for you. Even more so if you are planning to include social media channels in your own marketing strategy: Tara not only offers in-depth theoretical insights, she also shares a handful of practical strategies which might give you the edge over your competitors.

Various Authors (and photographers): This is why you're fat

I admit: this one is not a good read. It's all about the pictures of the grossest, fattest calory-packing fast food you could ever imagine. This Is Why You're Fat: Where Dreams Become Heart Attacks does feature a couple of recipes, but if you're ordering this book, you better hide it from your nutritionists ever-critical eyes. He might not be too fond of “Corn dog pizza” or the infamous “Burrito Cake”. The richly illustrated book also features a couple of recipes, but the truth is: you can also find these pictures online at – but a true fan of megalomania burgers and not-so-mouth-watering food photography will warmly welcome this new guest on the bookshelf titled “weird”. The NYT recommended not reading this during, before or after meals – the faint of heart shouldn't take a look between meals either.

When houses go to bed

There's not better visual metaphor for the real estate crash – And if the buildings were closer together, a domino effect would have occurred. This [photo] is not a Photoshop fake. Really not. Mish knows what exactly happened in China [via @muesli]:

  1. An underground garage was being dug on the south side, to a depth of 4.6 meters.
  2. The excavated dirt was being piled up on the north side, to a height of 10 meters.
  3. The building experienced uneven lateral pressure from south and north.
  4. This resulted in a lateral pressure of 3,000 tons, which was greater than what the pilings could tolerate. Thus the building toppled over in the southerly direction.

In Austria we have a proverb about news which aren't actually newsworthy that translates: “This is as interesting as a bag of rice which toppled over in China”. But his is definitely not a bag of rice in this case – spooky!

Austria must not leave CERN!

Some of you may yet not have paid any attention to the fact that I'm living, working and teaching in beautiful Vienna, capital of Austria. No surprise, as I usually don't blog about .at-specific topics on this blog. But today I have to make an exception as Austrian minister of scientific affairs Johannes Hahn recently announced – as a complete surprise to all involved parties by the way – that Austria will quit the CERN project. Naturally, a massive wave of protest has risen among Austrian scientists and a petition has been put online.

CERN explained in 3 minutes


Even though the page is in German, signing should be quite doable. It's a simple online form, after clicking on the approval list your name is going to appear on the list of supporters which will be presented to the Austrian parliament soon – these guys are the only ones able to stop Hahn's completely erratic plan. There are plenty good reasons for this:

  • The ministry of scientific affair's budget has been raised by 15% percent this year. CERN project accounts for a mere 0,47% of that sum or, in absolute numbers: 16 mio Euros. But from 1994 to 2007 Austrian industry grossed an average total of 6 mio Euros per year via direct CERN projects.
  • The kind of experiments conducted at CERN are so expensive that one single country could hardly handle such a project. Austria has been a partner for 50 years now. The CERN is seen as the top European science cooperation showcase – being a part of that has huge benefits for a countries scientific community.
  • In the past, many great inventions were direct or indirect results of CERN: among them the world wide web, computer tomography, new cancer therapies – to name just a few. And thanks to Prof. Oberhummer I got some more I got some more numbers to put this situation into perspective: 16 Mio Euros is the sum the Austrian public railway company is currently losing – every 3 days.

By the way: Albany, a much poorer country than Austria, recently applied for a CERN membership. Pls Mister Hahn, don't be short sighted. The Austrian scientific community will suffer for years from the aftermaths of this historic misjudgment! As Prof. Herman Feshbach, physics Nobel Prize winner in 2004, puts it:

Scientific prospects at CERN have never been brighter and more exciting, as the great Large Hadron Collider (LHC) project approaches its operational phase. Many years' investment in research, development, and construction are about to bear fruit. There are good reasons to anticipate discoveries that will dramatically advance our most basic understanding of what the physical world is made of, how it works, and even how it came to be. While the primary goal of CERN is to address such fundamental issues, the laboratory is also a treasury of engineering marvels. It has been a seedbed of innovation in computer and communications technology, cryogenics, and large-scale, high-tech project management. Young people learn cutting-edge skills at CERN that they take back to businesses and schools of their home countries. For these reasons I believe that CERN has yielded, and will continue to yield, excellent long-term returns on investment, just as a matter of economics, even apart from its unique scientific value. In addition, since its origins in the aftermath of World War II, CERN has been an inspiring, visible symbol of European unity and cultural vitality. It would be a great loss for Austria, and a blow to Europe and the scientific world, if short-term thinking and lack of vision caused Austria – birthplace of Ludwig Boltzmann, Erwin Schr?dinger, Wolfgang Pauli, Victor Franz Hess, and Lise Meitner – to pull out of CERN now.

Particle Hunters: the CMS-experiment at CERN


Fluid Forms: New Design Interface

When Walter Benjamin wrote his famous essay on technical reproduction of art pieces, he couldn't have anticipated a trend that is currently redefining the relationship between designer and consumer. Unique products, designed specifically to the users wishes, are going to replace ready-made products of everyday life. Sounds too theoretical? Just think of T-shirts: online-retailers like Spreadshirt made single unique prints available at a reasonable price and they became extremely popular in no time. Fluid Forms is taking the whole concept of unique design to a new level – this week, the company launched their new design interface.

There's an intro video on my German blog, but unfortunately it's only available in German yet. But luckily, the makers of fluid forms run an in-depth blog on unique and generative designs which is a must-read for everyone who wants to be up to date on the current transition from fixed to fluid design forms. I really like the usability of the new interface – check it out at to try the editor, just chose a product and then select “start”.

Fluid Forms on Makerbot

Snowy city-winter on tilt-shift fire

Vimeo really sends out a lot of e-mails, but once you start reading the daily recommendations, you just can't stop – there's always at least one clip which really captures my imagination. Like this music video: Erik West set the visual scene for Codebreaker feat. Kathy diamonds track “Fire” (Jimmy Edgar Remix), and he did a fantastic job: it's all plain footage and post production: Read more

Happy Christmas to you all!

“May the good luck / shine a light on you / may every song you sing / be ever with you!” Thanks a lot for constantly stopping by at my blog – I just started datadirt this year and I'm pretty amazed by all the feedback I got so far. I promise that I'll keep things fresh and keep you folks updated about the latest in web 2.0 and online marketing. Thanks for your support, have great holidays! (And treat elks gently!)


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