Inside The Stern Pinball Factory, Again

About six months after the Popular Mechanics article about the last great pinball factory, Stearns gets the video treatment from the Onion’s A.V. Club. Stearn is the “oldest and largest designer and manufacturer of arcade-quality pinball games [remaining] on the planet”



I was surprised to learn that about fifty percent of all pinball machines produced by Stern are exported out of the country. Additionally, most of the parts are manufactured in Chicago and the machines are hand assembled. I think if Trump truly wants to throw some money at American manufacturing the pinball machine industry would be a great place to start.

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Denver Has The 3rd Best Looking Flag In The Nation.

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According to the North American Vexillological Society, Denver has the 3rd best looking flag in the nation. In a 2004 internet survey, the design qualities of the flags of 150 municipalities in the U.S. were rated and Denver’s came in just under Washington D.C. (#1) and Chicago, Illinois (#2).

The top three worst designed flags originate from Rapid City, South Dakota (#148), Huntington, West Virginia (#149), and lastly Pocatello, Idaho (#150). The flag for Pensacola, Florida is horrible but didn’t make the list.

Personally I’m particularly fond of the flags hailing from Oakland, California (#47), Ocean City, Maryland (not listed), New Orleans, Louisiana (#5), and Mesa, Arizona (#146 but they have since created a new flag).

If you are really interested in flag design you’d be doing yourself a favor if you checked out Ted Kaye’s Good Flag, Bad Flag (It can also be downloaded online for free).

US Electoral Map

United States Of Electoral Votes

In an unearnest attempt to rethink the electoral college, Neil Freeman redrew the US into 50 new states with equal population. In an effort to reduce the disparity in size and influence of individual states in the current electoral college, Neil Freeman redefined geographical boundaries of all 50 states (and renamed them) so that they each contain a population of about of about 6,175,000. For example California is split into nine states while Colorado gets divided among Shiprock, Ogallala, and Salt Lake.

US Electoral Map

The map began with an algorithm that groups counties based on proximity, urban area, and commuting patterns. The algorithm was seeded with the fifty largest cities. After that, manual changes took into account compact shapes, equal populations, metro areas divided by state lines, and drainage basins. In certain areas, divisions are based on census tract lines.

Keep in mind that this is an art project, not a serious proposal, so take it easy with the emails about the sacred soil of Texas.

via kottke

That’s About All I Can Tell You, Really.

photo courtesy of clusterflock.

The stories mentioned above have been mentioned here back in 2007. As for any of Salinger’s manuscripts that might have hidden away in a cabinet somewhere to be printed posthumously, I believe his thoughts about them are the same as stated above, or we all would have seen them by now.

Listen to the last chapter (Chapter 26) Of “Cather In The Rye”

Quimby The Mouse

A couple of weeks ago (April 23rd) my girlfriend and I went to see the live broadcast of This American Life at the United Artists Denver Pavilions. I’m a huge fan of This American Life but this show was a failure. Mostly the theater was a failure.

First off tickets prices were $20. Way too steep for anything on a movie screen. Technical difficulties abound and the entire audience missed the entire first segment of the show. Since it was a live telecast there was nothing the theater could do. Every paying customer was given a free movie voucher at the end of the show, but with a value of about $7 this was only a third of the actual ticket price paid.

What we did see was great though. And if you missed it you can download the episode online or go see the encore event on May 7th. Unfortunately I would recommend against spending your hard earned dough in this way, donate it to your local public radio instead.

One of the highlights of the live episode was this video called “Quimby The Mouse” put together by Chris Ware (with music by Andrew Bird, Animation by John Kuramoto).

Chris Ware just makes you want to kill yourself. The more you hurt from his art the better he feels – and that’s what I like about him.