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Monday
Feb092015

Shiny Objects -- No. 5

1. Citra -- Lottery winner!

My Citra lottery winKern River Brewing recently released a fresh batch of Citra, a Double IPA that has earned a Gold Medal at the Great American Beer Festival and a 100 rating from the Beer Advocate. This beer is that good, and brewed in such small batches that the brewery conducts a lottery to dish out each new batch. I got lucky, and won a six-pack. The genius part is you have to drive to Kernville to pick up your winnings, which means you get to drink Citra fresh from the tap, and save the bottles for later.

I may sound like a homer but Citra is a seriously good beer and well worth the effort to win a six-pack or drive up the hill from Bakersfield to taste it right from the tap. But move fast, because the scarcity of the Citra hop means supplies are limited.

 

2. The Bakersfield Sound

The Bakersfield Californian recently partnered with Zocalo Public Square on an in-depth discussion of the state of The Bakersfield Sound. It was a great evening at Metro Galleries in Bakersfield, and spawned a number of related pieces of media in addition to this video:

Click to read more ...

Sunday
Jan252015

Shiny Objects -- No. 4

More  things big and small that have distracted me over the last week:

1. How to Think Like Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos

This podcast interview with self-help guru Tim Ferriss is frequently insightful, but this conversation with X-Prize man Peter Diamandis is smart and inspiring throughout. Key comment was Diamandis encouraging smart people to stop developing new photo-sharing apps in pursuit of ideas that can change the world.

Side story: Something I learned: I once did business with Zip2, a company started by Elon Musk.

 

2. Top Ad Campaigns of the 21st Century

This is one of those items worth saving over the course of a week. Ad Age has settled on the top ad

Click to read more ...

Sunday
Jan182015

Shiny Objects -- No. 3

Here's some of the things that have distracted me over the last week:

1. Barrelhouse Brewing

I've written previously about Barrelhouse Brewing, a Paso Robles-based brewery that in its short life -- it's not yet 2 years old -- has shaken up the regional beer scene long dominated by Firestone Walker. I first tasted Barrelhouse at the Bakersfield Beer Festival and have enjoyed it in bottles since. But I visited the brewery -- not too far from Firestone -- for the first time Friday and was blown away by the excellence of its beers across the board. 

My four-beer sampler -- Blonde, Rye IPA, IPA and Stout -- was as consistently good as any brewery I can recall. My wife proclaimed the IPA and Stout the best beers she's ever tasted, and I'll admit they're at or near the top of my lists. We bought bottles of the IPA and Stout -- we had to chase the Stout down at Albertson's because Barrelhouse was sold out -- and are already planning a return visit. 

Take my word -- plan a visit of your own so you can later brag you knew about them before they got big.

 

2. Why Apple Pay may be DOA

 I’m thinking Ben Thompson has quickly become the most brilliant strategist in tech.

Click to read more ...

Sunday
Jan112015

Shiny Objects -- No. 2

Here are a few of the more interesting things that have distracted me this past week:

1. Buzz-Fueled Media Startups

Wired has an illuminating article on how digital news startups like Buzzfeed is reshaping how we deliver and consume news, moving from the concept of a traditional destination-centric news site to organic vehicles that use everyday people to deliver the content for them. Here’s a key graf:

"But the thing is, the media isn’t just competing with your little sister—it’s co-opting her, using her as a vector to spread its content. She is the new delivery mechanism. We don’t learn about the world from The New York Times, we learn about it from the Times stories that our family and friends share or that show up as push notifications four minutes before one from The Guardian does. Thirty percent of American adults get news from Facebook, according to the Pew Research Center, and more than half of Americans got news from a smartphone within the past week, according to the American Press Institute. And these metrics are just going up, up, up. The question for news publishers is no longer how to draw an audience to their sites, it’s how to implant themselves into their audience’s lives."


2. Pitch podcast: “The Clearmountain Pause”

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Jan012015

Shiny Objects -- No. 1

Here are a few of the more interesting things that have distracted me this past week: 

1. “Where They Raced: Speed Demons in the City of Angels”: This fun documentary of SoCal race tracks over the past century is currently streaming for free on Hulu. It’s remarkable how many classic tracks peppered the Los Angeles area over the years, only to be overrun by developers.   

Here’s a trailer for the film:

2. The Best American Infographics 2014: I’ve long believed in the power of great infographics and this terrific collection captures the depth and breadth of prime visual storytelling from around the world. I was given this book for Christmas and am finding it ideal for browsing for a few minutes here, a few minutes there. 

For more on the book and background on infographics, here's Leo LaPorte interviewing editor Gareth Cook on a recent episode of “Triangulation”: 

Click to read more ...