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Today Was a Good Day (for the Internet)

  • Najib Benouar

If you could just look away from the steady stream of Tumblr, Instagram and blog photos scrolling across your screen for a moment, we’d like to direct your attention to this poorly photoshopped album cover for a nerdy parody pop band. (Stick with us.) Twenty years ago to the day (July 18, 1992), the first picture ever was uploaded to the World Wide Web—by the guy who actually invented the Internet, Sir Tim Berners-Lee. And you’re looking at it. Thanks to the intrepid aesthetics crusaders at Design Taxi, who recently brought the photo to light along with its backstory (as you can imagine, it’s filled with happenstance). All right, now you can get back to uploading that rose-tinted cameraphone snap of your workwear-inspired crotch.

Online Poker Goes Underground

Word came down today that Full Tilt Poker, one of the largest poker sites on the internet, has been playing fast and loose with its bookkeeping. There’s $440 million missing, and more than a few people are likely headed to jail.

If you were waiting on a payout from them, it’s very bad news. If you were hoping to play an honest online game of hold’em at some point in the next decade, it’s just moderately bad news. But if you’ve ever had a nostalgic pang for the days of genuinely sketchy black-market games…it might actually be a good thing.

Allow us to explain…»

Dusting Off: the Snow-Day Radio Roll Call


As connoisseurs of history, we sometimes find styles, trends and turns of phrase from the past that we wouldn’t mind bringing back to the present, Doc Brown-style. This time around, we’re dusting off the snow-day roll call.

If you were in grade school before the internet era, you might remember a certain pre-dawn ritual for days like this. We’re thinking of a radio and a seemingly unending list of snow-bound school districts…

Unless you heard your school on the list, you had a bus to catch. Unfortunately, the names were fast and if you missed your school, you’d have to wait another five minutes for the whole thing to repeat—making for one of the more dramatic radio broadcasts since Orson Welles.

It’s a custom we’d like to dust off»

Konichiwa, Internet


The pop star/elf queen known as Robyn has given us a lot this year—in particular, a great album and an excuse for hipsters to listen to pop music—but apparently she’s got a few more plans. Also, she may have a future as an interactive ad guru…

To promote one of the underheralded singles of her latest full-length, "We Dance to the Beat," the canny Swede has put together a self-remixing microsite that lets you tweak the song into your own version, or just scan through the grid of videos like an aleatoric DJ in search of the perfect combination. The result is a mind-boggling number of variations of the same basic rhythm, paired with leftfield videos for an aesthetic somewhere between Brian Eno and Zoo TV.

Of course, it helps that the original song is awesome, and unusually tinkerable…but we’re pretty sure this is what the internet is for.

Supercharging Your Brain


Productivity tools have become something of an arms race lately but staying focused doesn’t have to be complicated. We’d start with a pen, a pocket notebook and a habit of writing things down…

A web version of that combo named Workflowy is currently changing lives in Silicon Valley with the tagline “a better way to think.”

The result looks like what you see to the left: a ranked, ordered list of whatever’s on your mind at the time. It’s not much to look at, but the right structure can do wonders for your thought process, and the folks behind the scenes claim to have built it up according to the structure of modern thoughts.

Of course, hawking a product with the pitch “it’ll change the way you think” is bound to be a little unsettling…but in this case, we’re pretty sure it’s an upgrade.

Check out Workflowy’s video introduction»

Amber Anderson is Uncombed

The Internet is On Fire: As you may have heard, some pretty scary internet privacy stuff is happening right now, specifically surround a program called Firesheep. Here’s how to keep yourself protected. [Boing Boing]

Rabbit Redux: Roger Ebert, the wise grandfather of the internet, descends to mount an impassioned defense of Hugh Hefner. Good stuff. [Chicago Sun-Times]

Sharpee Art: David Shrigley is the coolest person ever. [World’s Best Ever]

Loom Porn: Another day, another throwback denim line. 14 ounces of glory, people. [The Bengal Stripe]

Isabeli Fontana is Not Making Breakfast

The British Invasion: Our new favorite anorak, courtesy of Mr. Williams. [A Continuous Lean]

The First Step is Hiding Your Valuables: Explaining the internet to a Dickensian street urchin is more difficult than you might think. [Fast Company]

Late Period: Michael Stipe has a question mark tattooed on his hand, is endlessly fascinating. Also, doing art stuff with Levi’s. [Cool Hunting]

The Big Drop: Just because it’s Tuesday, here’s a 1200-pound pumpkin dropping onto an old Pontiac. [Gizmodo]

Daria Werbowy Has Really Let Herself Go


Just Kidding: Zach Galifianakis brings his distinctive brand of crazy to the pages of Vanity Fair. [Vanity Fair]

Postcards from the Sideline: A sports agent comes clean on a career’s worth of crimes and misdemeanors. Jerry Maguire this ain’t. [Sports Illustrated]

We’ve Seen the Future: The most convincing prediction for the future of the internet we’ve heard so far. It involves lots and lots of sensors. [Mashable]

Nothing is More Attractive Than a Woman Menacingly Swinging a Baseball Bat: The video for Sleigh Bell’s “Infinity Guitars” is the coolest thing we’ve seen in quite some time. [Lost at E Minor]

Guinevere van Seenus Just Really Loves Cool Whip

Yeezy Strikes Back: XXL’s new Kanye cover story is basically unedited excerpts from his diary. He’s officially broken the fourth wall of journalism. Awesome stuff. [XXL]

Shouldering Responsibility: A guide to the many varieties of shoulder on tailored suits. Advanced studies. [Men’s Flair]

Still the Man: Steve Albini on GQ: “I would like the fashion industry to collapse…. At least pornography has a function.” Running with this one took gumption. Our hats are off. [The Q]

The Internet Must Pay: Just because it’s Wednesday, here’s your chance to turn a helpless website into an Asteroids-style demolition derby, thanks to a clever new browser toy. Just leave us out of it, please. [Wired]

Has Anyone Heard of This Facebook Movie?

The Longform Poke: Aaron Sorkin thinks Mark Zuckerberg isn’t really such a bad guy… [NYMag]

The Script-Quoting Blog Poke: …he’s just a product of his tech-saturated generation. [io9]

The Windy Blog Poke: Also, maybe he’s a “terror nerd,” which is internet for someone made creepy by computers. [TechCrunch]

The Soundtrack Poke: On the bright side, the soundtrack is pretty awesome. [Dealzon]

Julianne Moore Has Been Stealing from the Zoo

How Your Noise Rock Sausage is Made: The Times peers into the tortured soul of Pitchfork Media and finds a reasonably fastidious, self-reflective media organization. Go figure. [NYTimes]

Your New Media Ad Guru Smells Like a 16-Year-Old: People sure are going crazy for those Old Spice spots. [TechCrunch]

First, Ditch the Water Bottle: A new app/website gives you live updates on the wait at airport security lines. [Lifehacker]

Heart of Darkness: Once again, the internet succeeds in finding the most depressing, nihilistic thing you’ve ever seen—this time, in a parking lot in Oakland, California. Your move, smoking baby. [Deadspin]

Career Opportunities


The Webby nominations came out this morning, and while there are plenty of nits to pick, we prefer to appreciate the oddball feats of cracked-out web obscuro that somehow made it through unscathed. For instance, this site promoting one Lawson Clarke, Male Copywriter, nominated for best landing page and best portfolio site. We don’t want to spoil anything, but it’s every bit as awesome as the logo suggests. Someone hire this man.

Tanith Belbin is our Favorite Name So Far


She’s a Figure Skater, Apparently: Seriously, just say it out loud. Tanith Belbin. Ta-nith…Bel-bin. [Esquire]

Soon, Facebook Will Poke People in the Eye: Unvarnished is the evil LinkedIn, which is impressive because we were already calling LinkedIn the evil Facebook. [Gawker]

Mighty, Mighty: Some wise soul has cast Agyness Deyn as Aphrodite in the upcoming Clash of the Titans. [Fashionologie]

It’s Evergreen: A reminder of how awesome a tailored navy suit can be. Our only objection: Can we swap out the black dot for a Magritte-style apple? [Put This On]