February 19, 2014by Eric Marcarelliin Culture, Nature, Walking, Writing0 comments
Recent days have been the coldest I can recall. In previous years I’ve seen a few -1° or -3° days, to be sure, but they’re usually the apex of cold, sprinkled among relatively warmer days. This has been quite a stretch. Most notably, last Friday, the day of the season’s biggest snowfall to date, there was a combination of strong, snow-filled wind and a temperature of -9° when I ventured out into the pre-dawn darkness. I dressed for adventure. I started with two pairs of pants, which was not unusual, as I often wear sweat pants over my jeans when it snows. But this was the first time I ever put on both my lighter weight and heavier winter coats at the same time. Luckily I was still able to lower my arms. It may be the first time I’ve worn not two but three pairs of socks, and it was definitely the first time I wrapped a scarf around my face so that only a slit remained for my eyes. Over the scarf I wore my heavy coat’s hood. Under it, in ascending order, I had a winter hat, a sweatshirt hood, and the hood of my lightweight jacket. […]
August 13, 2011by Eric Marcarelliin Books, History0 comments
Super Mario: How Nintendo Conquered America by Jeff Ryan was a fun, quick read. I have to agree with other reviewers that the book lacks a certain amount of depth, and anyone interested in the history of video games probably already knows most of the material in the book. It manages not to feel like a rehash, however, and there are a number of interesting trivia gems throughout. The humor is mostly corny, and not always in a good way. It doesn’t add much for me, but isn’t too distracting either. The book kept my interest all the way through, and it certainly makes you want to go play Mario. Overall I’d recommend it for any Nintendo fan.
August 04, 2011by Eric Marcarelliin Books, Culture0 comments
This book is a classic, but until now I’ve never gotten around to reading more than a chapter of it. The major premise of the book is that things should be designed in ways that make it as easy as possible to use them. While this sounds obvious enough, Norman points out how the every day objects around us, from doors to telephones, consistently violate the principle. He gives concrete guidance for designing just about any sort of project, be it physical or digital. At times the book delves deeply into psychological analysis, yet it provides many entertaining antidotes throughout and avoids coming across as dense. Definitely a must read for anyone who designs (or uses!) any product.
July 24, 2011by Eric Marcarelliin Poems, Writing0 comments
I’ve uncovered a lost character from the Canterbury Tales: A watchmaker was anachronistically there, His bent back and crooked hands his sins to bear. He carried the tools of his wicked trade, The masters of men he slavishly made. No longer a dial, a candle, a glass; Banish the sun and moon alas. Equal hours were his dark art, Crafting time as empty as his heart. The Prince of Darkness beside him as he rode, A pilgrimage was his hope’s last abode.