Howdy, I’m Stephen

I help startups, agencies, and friends of the web connect with users. Currently building web apps for Connected TVs.

posted about 1 month ago

Richard Serra has died

I consider Serra to be one of the greatest artists who ever lived.

I was personally inspired by him as a child. It blew my mind comprehending the scale and process of his works. Serra has been a large part of my life growing up. Below, I’ll share two of his pieces from my hometown(s): Dallas and Fort Worth.

He, like so many of his contemporaries, drew upon their own life experience to forge their own path. I mean, Serra himself worked in a steel mill at a very young age. Him and so many other artists cross-pollinated ideas and inspiration with each other. They supplanted the status quo, questioned everything and re-wrote what art meant. They were chasing exaltation, the avant garde artists were simply vibrating.

Above, a photo from my hometown at The Modern in Fort Worth, Texas. Vortex, Richard Serra. 2002.

I swear to god, these people were fucking visionaries:

The years 1957-61 Serra studied at the University of California at Berkeley and at Santa Barbara. To support himself, Serra worked part-time at a steel mill, which was to have a strong influence on his later work. The period 1961-64, he studied painting at the Yale University School of Art and Architecture. During his years at Yale the worked and studied with Philip Guston, Ad Reinhardt, Robert Rauschenberg, Nancy Graves (his first wife), Frank Stella, and Chuck Close, among others. Supported by fellowships, he spent time in France, where he spent a great deal of time drawing near a reconstruction of Brancusi’s studio and Italy where he began painting a series of grids in random colors. He later learned that Ellsworth Kelly was painting in a similar style, so Serra abandoned the technique. In 1966 he moved to New York. There he met other future Minimalists and Environmental Artists such as: Eva Hesse, Carl Andre, Donald JuddBruce Nauman, Steve Reich, Robert Smithson, and Michael Snow. In New York, he began making his first sculptures out of rubber-said to have been inspired by the horizontal progression in Jackson Pollock’s painting. In 1968 Richard Serra made his piece titled “Splashing” by throwing molten lead in the corner where the floor meets the wall in the warehouse of the art dealer Leo Castelli.

You can look up photos from that Pollock-lead splashing exhibition. Pretty wild stuff. Insane? Yes. Groundbreaking? Yes. Later, his quieter, less chaotic works were forged in some of the biggest foundries in the world. He became more focused on scale. His works became more pensive over time, and less reactionary after the 1970s.

It’s a joy to see how many people participate in the installation process of his pieces. It can take an orchestra of people to bring Serra’s work to our eyes. It’s a miracle these masterworks ever appear in public spaces or museums. I think it’s tremendous.

Photo taken at the Nasher Sculpture Center in Dallas, Texas. My Curves Are Not Mad, Richard Serra. 1987

Richard Serra spoke with the Museum of Modern Art about his works and shed some light on his processes (YouTube link here). Briefly, he gave us a bit of wisdom I cherish deeply within my heart of hearts. Touching and feeling is so important. I would argue, it is paramount to the human condition. Interacting with physical art can be restorative:

Now, in this century into virtual reality, where everybody reads images through the virtual. That’s one of the big problems that art confronts right now — in fact, probably we all confront — is that the virtual denies tactility.

It denies your physical presence in relationship to something other than a lighted screen. The nature of art has given way to photographs and images — we receive information through images — that we don’t receive art through our total senses in terms of walking, looking, and experiencing, and touching and feeling. And that’s kind of been lost.

That’s not to say it’s not going to come back.

Don’t deny yourself the feeling or grace he granted us. The next time you experience a work by Serra, you better put both your hands on it.

He will be sorely missed.

about 1 month ago·

City officials at the time proposed fitting out deep underground stations with shelter rooms that had plumbing, pantries and first aid kits. But those plans were shelved due to a lack of federal funding.

The 190th Street station opened in 1932 and is situated underneath 140 feet of bedrock at Fort Tryon Park. It’s been 80 years since the first atom bomb exploded on Earth, and we still haven’t outfitted the station with fallout survival materials. I’m no doomsday prepper but this would be a worthy investment as the current Russian-Ukraine conflict continues to evolve.

about 1 month ago·

From the video description: “While scavenging the deep ends of a derelict space station, a group of young space colonizers come face to face with the most terrifying life form in the universe.”

Fuck. Yes.

posted 3 months ago

Megan Thee Stallion x Nike Collaboration: Hot Girl Systems

Today, Megan Thee Stallion announced that she’s got a collaboration with Nike. Megan’s line is called, Hot Girl Systems. On Instagram, she gave us a little preview of her debut long-sleeve bodysuit:

So sick. So fire. Tough vibes. I love it.

For the uninitiated (or perhaps the out-of-touch?), Megan is deeply passionate about staying fit and has a savage workout routine. She’s aspirational, iconic and a cultural vanguard. All attractive traits to Nike who regularly works with those who dare to just do it. I am so proud of her.

Personally, I’m digging the look and feel of the Bomber Jacket. Check the back Nike symbol on the zipper and back. So sick:

3 months ago – Nathan Fielder and Benny Safdie sit down to chat with Christopher Nolan about The Curse. Nathan reveals the inspiration for the series. A great talk that wanders around a range of creative angles with no spoilers. An unresistible roundtable that can’t be missed.

posted 3 months ago

Carl Weathers has died

I’m a little at a loss for words.

Carl Weathers has played so many wonderful roles over his tenure as an actor. I always thought he had such a lovely voice and brought us so much delight on the screen. It wasn’t until recently I learned he was an Oakland Raider in the NFL briefly!

Weathers has had some iconic roles in the past, and frankly it’s a tragedy he doesn’t have a Hollywood Star. Maybe that could change posthumously. The man had major roles in Toy Story, Rocky, and Predator. Those 3 titles alone, were some heavy-hitters.

Take a few moments to take in Weather’s considerate thoughts about how he perceived the character Greef Karga. You can tell that he was very jazzed to be him. Weathers is a studied man of many talents — chief among them is theater and he’s a director himself too. I just love hearing him carefully choose his words here. You can really tell he’s excited to have such an amazing opportunity to essentially take part in a modern western, and carve out Karga as a benevolent complex character on-screen.

Here’s a few other noteworthy (and hilarious) characters he’s portrayed.

High Magistrate Greef Karga

(a starving) Carl Weathers as himself in Arrested Development

Who could forget Chubbs Peterson?

Rest easy Carl ❤️

3 months ago

@filmatic via Instagram – The Art of Character Transformation in ‘Poor Things’. The look of Willem Dafoe as Dr. Godwin Baxter is wonderful. Always fun to get to see behind-the-scenes with this kind of stuff.

3 months ago

AI can do your homework. Now what?“This presents a major challenge to educators, who now need to rethink their curriculum to either incorporate chatbot use or to attempt to deter it. In this video, we hear from students and teachers about how they’re thinking through the problem, and review research in the science of learning to understand how the “fluency” of a chatbot experience could disrupt the learning process that we go to school for.”

posted 3 months ago

True Detective: Night Country is finally here

In many ways, Night Country sings a different tune than the previous seasons of True Detective. Previously, follow up seasons reception was less than favorable. Fans are salivating for a follow-up that can meet or exceed the original grit and pull of the debut season. In season three, Mahershala Ali delivered a refreshing saga that was draped in nods to the first season, but didn’t thread the needle completely. Season four however takes the core of what made season one so fantastic: murder and mysticism.

Theology and mysticism have long treaded a thin line which Carl Sagan has touched on. Understanding our natural world is the only thing that can aid us from steering toward superstition:

“Science is a way to call the bluff of those who only pretend to knowledge. It is a bulwark against mysticism, against superstition, against religion misapplied to where it has no business being.”

Carl Sagan

Night Country gives us many opposing parallels to consider within its narrative walls: Native Americans and white men. Cultures and conquests. Science and mysticism. Light and dark. Order and disorder. Environmentalism and exploitation. Machine and organic.

The twilight of the long arctic night is a frightening backdrop. The severe darkness beckons for relief. I can hardly fathom enduring more than a few days of darkness myself. Isolation in a such a harsh dark world ratchets up those anxieties even further. The arctic night is a brief pause in an otherwise mundane cycle: daybreak is always followed by the night.

But, not in Night Country. A chilling start, capped off with a dizzying end. SO much more is yet to come and I couldn’t be more happy with where this is headed.

posted 3 months ago

The Original Star Wars Logo

The original Star Wars logo from 1976, which was suddenly dropped before the official theatrical release.

Here’s what 20th Century Fox went with instead in 1977:

And here’s the Star Wars worm-like logo we know and love today:


posted 4 months ago

James Doolin, American painter and muralist

James Doolin was an American painter and acclaimed muralist. Known for his urban and natural Californian landscapes. His works elevated everyday urban life under his lens, his style and his palette. His works were brimming with vibrant locomotion and depicted a certain reverence. Los Angeles artist and writer Doug Harvey described Doolin’s work in LA Weekly in 2002 when Doolin passed:

“His paintings were successful in a way that is rare and precious — they enabled us to see the places we overlook every day and to recognize that, in spite of its ominous industrial overtones, the city is shot through with a luminous, electric vitality and a psychological potency verging on the mythic.”

The Last Painter on Earth, 1983
4WD, 1983
4 months ago – F1 Steering Wheel buttons explained. Clearly, I’m behind on my F1 lore. But, this video blew my mind.

4 months ago – Japan’s delinquent girl gangs. The Sukeban were massively influential in popular culture. Influences were wide across manga, anime and even films. For example, the film Sukeban Deka (1987) inspired several characters in Kill Bill such as O-Ren Ishii and Gogo Yubari.

4 months ago – Priced at $199, the Rabbit R1 features a 2.88-inch touchscreen, camera, and built-in assistant that uses your existing subscriptions and services. Its ambitious design hints at a potential future as a smartphone alternative.

posted 4 months ago


Today is my birthday. It’s only a day after Matt Mullenweg’s. As a little gift to myself and to him, I’m publishing a little post to reflect upon turning 35.

This past year was especially busy and special. I travelled quite a bit. Visited the family in Texas a lot. Spent some quality time with my aging grandparents. We roadtripped to Maine, Montauk, and traveled to Cancun for a lovely beach wedding. 2023 was full of plenty of ups and plenty of downs. We even roadtripped from NYC to Texas for Christmas and rang in the New Year from Washington DC.

I’m a little tired. Ready for much needed rest as winter begins to rev its arctic engines 😅

Initially, I had planned to plan a big birthday party for turning 35. Instead, this birthday weekend consists of a low-key weekend staycation at a mystery hotel in the city (planned by my partner)! Tomorrow evening, a few friends and I will get together for drinks, but nothing huge is really planned other than the standard social meetups.

I’m really looking forward to focusing on my health (yes, this includes my mental health as well) this year. I want to do more hiking and more exploring this year. If you too want to do more hiking and live in the tristate area, lemme know if you’re looking for a hiking buddy! I’m also beginning to feel the pains of growing older ever so slightly. So, I’m eager to stay in shape so I can continue doing what I love doing most.

Now, that I’m halfway through my 30’s, it’s time to organize my time and resources to spend a good deal of time with loved ones, re-connect with old friends and maintaining my current relationships. I hear it gets harder to make friends as you age, so I’m taking stock of who’s in my orbit now and trimming the fat so to speak.

In other news, this blog itself got a facelift. I was thinking, a new year calls for a new theme. Frankly, every time this blog gets a new theme, I get a renewed sense of urgency to blog more myself. Last year, I published about every other day. My big goal for 2024, it to double that.

4 months ago

Super Mario 64 on the Web – this little site is a gem. It’s powered by WebGL and is frankly, incredible. It’s essentially Javascript rendering/drawing onto a <canvas> element. Chances are it renders really well on your modern browser and looks great on your computer screen too. This is because it taps hardware graphics acceleration, also known as GPU rendering.

4 months ago – an anonymous blogger documenting their life on a research station in Antarctica. Easily one of the coolest and most interesting blogs I’ve come across in a while. They document the processes, systems and ind-and-outs at the southernmost point under jurisdiction of the United States, Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station.

posted 4 months ago

How to make perfect eggs every time

I always look forward to Sohla El-Waylly’s tips on cooking. She is a master in culinary arts. She’s got legendary wit and has great perspectives on cooking. Sohla studied at CIA, previously had a show on Bon Appetite, went solo with her own show and now has a show on NYTimes Cooking.

To be brief, she’s incredible. Buy her books.

This all brings me to her Cooking 101 segment on NYTimes Cooking, on how to make perfect eggs every time. Eggs are the building block for so many recipes. It’s a unique protein that has been used in cooking for a millennia. To achieve perfection here requires some knowledge of chemistry, tame temperature on the skillet and understanding timing. All of these skills can inform your cooking in other recipes since eggs are such a crucial component in many dishes.

4 months ago

How do you feel about three screens? At CES, Asus introduced the ZenScreen Fold OLED monitor, a 17.3-inch portable OLED monitor you can fold in half for easy storage. Read more at

posted 4 months ago

How to Write according to David Ogilvy

In September of 1982, David Ogilvy shared the following:

  1. Read the Roman-Raphaelson book on writing.* Read it three times.
  2. Write the way you talk. Naturally.
  3. Use short words, short sentences and short paragraphs.
  4. Never use jargon words like reconceptualize, demassification, attitudinally, judgmentally. They are hallmarks of a pretentious ass.
  5. Never write more than two pages on any subject.
  6. Check your quotations.
  7. Never send a letter or a memo on the day you write it. Read it aloud the next morning —and then edit it.
  8. If it is something important, get a colleague to improve it.
  9. Before you send your letter or memo, make sure it is crystal clear what you want the recipient to do.
  10. If you want ACTION, don’t write. Go and tell the guy what you want.

*Writing That Works., HARPER & ROW,

posted 4 months ago

“The Real Toy Story” photo series by Michael Wolf

In 2004, photographer Michael Wolf traveled to Southern China to document the lives of the toy factory workers that live there: their days consisted of sewing, painting, and other repetitive tasks. He documented how they slept, ate, and live under the often brutal conditions and demands of global consumerism and capitalism. (h/t

posted 7 months ago

Learning Korean (한국어) Day 523: Express necessity

Today, I began on Unit 21 in Duolingo. This is day 523 learning Korean 한국어 😅 This Unit’s subject is Express Necessity. Cute and useful.

줄 서야 합니다.

You have to stand in line.

죄송하지만 지금 퇴근해야 해요.

I’m sorry but I have to leave work now.

저는 퇴근해서 집에 가야 해요.

I have to leave work and go home.

민지는 숙제를 오늘 해야 해요.

Minji has to do the homework today.

오늘 저녁에 출근해야 해요.

I have to go to work this evening.

의사는 빨리 준비해야 해요.

The doctor needs to prepare quickly.

9 months ago

I came across this really cool project on Hacker News a while back and it’s just been sitting in my bookmarks. It’s an excellent little toy to fiddle with and explore chiptune music from the past. was created by Matt Montag, and it just the neatest little thing I’ve seen in a long time. I’m going to enjoy spending my downtime browsing through these archives. I may even sample a few tracks with my used OP-1 I picked up earlier this year.

Screenshot of the UI. I was smitten to discover the tracks from the Alien 3 SNES game 😊
posted 10 months ago

Reddit is sunsetting coins and community awards

From the u/venkman01 on Reddit’s Product Team:

TL;DR: We are reworking how great content and contributions are rewarded on Reddit. As part of this, we made a decision to sunset coins (including Community coins for moderators) and awards (including Medals, Premium Awards, and Community Awards), which also impacts some existing Reddit Premium perks. Starting today, you will no longer be able to purchase new coins, but all awards and existing coins will continue to be available until September 12, 2023.

Many eons ago, Reddit introduced something called Reddit Gold. Gold then evolved, and we introduced new awards including Reddit Silver, Platinum, Ternium, and Argentium. And the evolution continued from there. While we saw many of the awards used as a fun way to recognize contributions from your fellow redditors, looking back at those eons, we also saw consistent feedback on awards as a whole. First, many don’t appreciate the clutter from awards (50+ awards right now, but who’s counting?) and all the steps that go into actually awarding content. Second, redditors want awarded content to be more valuable to the recipient.

While I never fully understood Reddit Gold as a product (and neither did Reddit it seems), it was much beloved by the community. Gilding fellow redditors comments felt good and was honestly pretty novel at the time. It was also an awesome indicator of high-quality content. Seems like Reddit is likely killing off this feature because gilded content would otherwise identify high-quality content to would-be web crawlers, and Reddit wants a piece of the pie.

I think coins and micro-transcations certainly can be a successful model for creators (see Twitch). But Reddit, has historically never understood their general userbase and has historically never leaned into empowering creators/powerusers. Each year, they shed more and more classic nostalgic features while product inherits tech debt. Coins and Rewards were certainly more useful than RPAN (yikes). Honestly, some of the best features are user-generated, maybe Reddit is making a grave mistake here.