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MIT staff blogger Mikey Yang '05

Diabolo, Pandora, and Bad TV Shows by Mikey Yang '05

You figure out what they have in common, 'cause I sure as heck don't know.

Now that things have calmed down a bit at work, I finally have some more time to do some blogging! Here is a random smattering of things I’ve been wanting to blog about.

A while back, on the front page of the Boston Globe was an article about two brothers at MIT who perform (juggle? spin? What’s the correct verb for this?) diabolo (those of you who went to the Closing Remarks and Variety Show at CPW may recognize them as the closing act). I never ceased to be amazed by these guys!

If you want to see them in action, you should go to YouTube and search for “Sharpe Brothers” – they have some pretty sweet videos up there. :)

Speaking of YouTube, I found this video of someone who put together a short montage of the performances at the Closing Variety Show at CPW this year…a nice little taste of some performing arts groups at MIT. :)

By now, many of you have probably heard of (or use) this, but I’m in love with Pandora. There are, of course, many similar music sites out there like it, but after honing my station over the past couple years, I thought I’d share my station with y’all if you’re interested. You can also go here to see how I defined the station, what I liked/disliked/bookmarked/etc.

For those that don’t know about Pandora yet, it’s basically free online radio, but you can customize your own stations by telling it which songs you like or dislike. It’s based off of the Music Genome Project, where a bunch of people have gone through and assigned traits to tons of songs, so based on what you tell the station, it will play successive songs that have similar traits to the songs that you like or ‘seed’ the station with.

It’s basically one of the awesomest things ever – if you’ve never seen or used anything like it before, you should. The only downside I have with it is the audio ads (which will occasionally play between songs), but I don’t mind them that much – they happen so infrequently that it’s not a big deal. Pandora also has some limitations for legal/revenue reasons (e.g., you can only skip a certain number of songs per hour, and you have to interact with the player at least once every 30 minutes or it will pause until you click to let it know you’re there again (unless you pay a subscription fee that allows unlimited playing). But hey, they have to make money somehow, right?

(Actually, I don’t pay the fee because – well one, I’m cheap, and two, I actually like the ‘auto-sleep’ that happens; if I forget to turn it off, I know it won’t keep playing all day and drive my housemates crazy while I’m at work, hahaha)

What’s your favorite kind of music? Do you have other sites like it that you use?

So, ever since my last post about TV, I’ve started watching a couple new shows. Most notably, I’ve started watching Weeds via unlimited streaming on our “family’s” Netflix account. Unfortunately, only the first two seasons are on there, so I have to figure out how I’m going to watch Seasons 3, 4, and 5 (currently airing).

I also caved to Gossip Girl…I’m only part way through the most recent season, though, so I need to finish it at some point. I don’t know why, but I just keep watching it. Just one of those guilty pleasures, I guess.

And as the summer* TV season begins, shows like Wipeout and I Survived a Japanese Game Show are some other guilty pleasures of mine. I’m glad Burn Notice is starting up too, but it seems to be going further downhill, imo. Speaking of which, House (formerly my #1 favorite show) has now dropped in my ranks – I really think that show is reaching its limits. Hopefully I’ll be able to get around to some other good shows I’ve been meaning to watch, like Dexter and Mad Men.

Any other suggestions?

*a.k.a. bad

14 responses to “Diabolo, Pandora, and Bad TV Shows”

  1. Monica '10 says:

    Watch “Big Bang Theory” (CBS on Mondays). It’s funny– even funnier when you’re at MIT, because it’s a comedy about socially challenged astrophysicists who talk in science, and I feel like I know these people.

  2. Snively says:

    Mikey! Word on the street is that you’re running the Portland info session. . . want company?

  3. Liz ('14?) says:

    Big Bang Theory is hilarious, for math/science lovers anywhere.

  4. navdeep says:

    absolutely right monica ..
    big bang theory is a lot more funnier if u do know abt the things they are talking about

  5. Keri says:

    “Gossip Girl here, your one and only source into the scandalous lives of Manhattan’s elite.”

  6. Sara Harper says:


    I was looking over the MIT admissions page and on the aid tab it said to ask certain students questions and I saw your e-mail address up there! I’d be really appreciative if you could help me out in any way. I’m not a computer person at all, I tend to lean more towards science and medicine. I know how to use a computer and use them often but I’ve never taken a technology based class and don’t plan to. I was wondering if MIT would be a good fit for me?

  7. A says:

    I totally agree with Monica. The Big Bang Theory is one of the best TV shows out there.

  8. Anon says:

    Pandora Pandora <333!

    I’m currently almost done with the first season of “Chuck” and enjoying it immensely. :D

  9. Anon says:

    Darnit, that was supposed to be Pandora followed by a heart, but I guess it read it as an HTML tag :|

  10. Quinton says:

    The guys who were painting our office today LOVE Gossip Girl. I overheard them talking about an episode today.

  11. Judy Garland says:

    I love big bang theory too! its funny when i watch it with my sisters, because they do not know what those guys are talking about. it sounds pretty corny, but i adore ceasar millian’s “Dog Whisperer”. He is hillarious when he acts out the dog’s behaivor. And its always nice to see evil dogs turn into good dogs.

  12. Garrett '13 says:

    @Monica: I would love Big Bang Theory even more if it didn’t take place at the other institute of technology. wink

  13. Ahana says:

    Numb3rs smile I can’t wait for season 6!

  14. Zeki Uyan says:

    Have you ever tried “True Blood”?It is in its second season.Channel,HBO.You can buy the first season.I loved its first season.This is their description;

    “Thanks to a Japanese scientist’s invention of synthetic blood, vampires have progressed from legendary monsters to fellow citizens overnight. And while humans have been safely removed from the menu, many remain apprehensive about these creatures “coming out of the coffin.” Religious leaders and government officials around the world have chosen their sides, but in the small Louisiana town of Bon Temps, the jury is still out.

    Local waitress Sookie Stackhouse (Anna Paquin), however, knows how it feels to be an outcast. “Cursed” with the ability to listen in on people’s thoughts, she’s also open-minded about the integration of vampires — particularly when it comes to Bill Compton (Stephen Moyer), a handsome 173-year-old living up the road. But at the service of Bill’s less virtuous vampire associates, Sookie is drawn into a series of catastrophes that will put their love to the test.

    The latest hit series from ‘Six Feet Under’ creator Alan Ball, ‘True Blood’ delves into the meticulously-crafted world of novelist Charlaine Harris. Described by the Emmy®-winning Ball as “popcorn for smart people,” the first season of ‘True Blood’ caused an overnight sensation — and the new installments only build on his colorful cast of supernatural misfits.”