Eggplant, J-Date and Conan O'Brien: a brief intro to the greatness that is StumbleUpon


I left the cocoon of Harvard, I left the cocoon of Saturday Night Live, I left the cocoon of the Simpsons. And each time it was bruising and tumultuous. And yet every failure was freeing, and today I'm as nostalgic for the bad as I am for the good. So that's what I wish for all of you, the bad as well as the good. Fall down. Make a mess. Break something occasionally. Know that your mistakes are your own unique way of getting to where you need to be. And remember that the story is never over.

, Conan O'Brien, in his commencement speech to Harvard Class of 2000

[posted to SU by Zolox | Stumbled Upon by communicatrix on August 15, 2006]

As someone toward the peak of the early adopter curve, I came late to stumbling. Bonnie Gillespie, who is way geekier than I, turned me onto it in her usual, non-pushy way (i.e., by alluding to it to her blog, which is what blogs are for).

At first, I thought it was just a great way to procrastinate. And it is...oh, how it is. But it's much, much more...



I just received your emails and also your message from last night. I was away and am just getting back this morning. I had every intention of calling you andmeeting to go out but your email has completely turned me off and i find it extremely tacky. I will not be sending you any money since i offered that night to pay and you told me no that you would take care of it.

Please do not call me or send me another email i would rather not hear from you at all. And for future reference in the dating world you may want to rethink the tacky approach about asking someone for money like that perhaps that is why you haven't met anyone or have seen them again.

, Joanne X, in a reply to several email and voice mail requests for cash reimbursement for a failed date from a man whom she met on J-Date

Upon downloading the SU toolbar to Firefox and inputting a few preferences, with every click of the SU button, you are transported somewhere new and wonderful (or not) loosely based in your stated interests. Hi-larious stories. Great portfolio sites. Mesmerizing video. Sexy toys (as opposed to sex toys, which I've always found to be sort of sad and pedestrian and unsexy).


Its most common name, aubergine, is French. The aubergine originates in India where it was called vatin-ganah - bringal in modern India. When it arrived to the Middle East it was named al-badinjan, in France, it was corrupted into aubergine.

, Oded Schwartz, on his aubergine page on

There are great things about wikipedia, including their randomizer, which just took me to a They Must Be Giants Bed Bed Bed page (talk about random). There are different great things about Stumble Upon, but its focused randomness (like delicious) plus its goofy community feature (like epinions, from the old-school dayz) plus its visual goodness (see Flickr) make it super delicious. SU aggregates the caprice of the aggregators, then dispenses it with the self-same caprice. It's pretty much everything I love about the web: deep, wide, infinitely customizable (pick your categories or stumble by favorite stumblers), (almost) infinitely random.


In most religious traditions one prays to the deities of the tradition in the hopes of receiving their blessing, which will benefit one in some way. In the vajrayana Buddhist tradition, however, the blessing and the power and the superlative qualities of the enlightened beings are not considered as coming from an outside source, but are believed to be innate, to be aspects of our own true nature. Chenrezig and his love and compassion are within us.

, from Om Mani Padme Hum, the meaning of the mantra in Tibetan Buddhism

A part of my work, I'm starting to realize, involves copious amounts of play. I get stuck otherwise, in the same books, the same thoughts, the same intake. And since I cannot expect to do anything differently by doing everything the same, Stumble Upon is a great way to change things up, open things up, shake things up.

Not to mention whoop it up...

Etudes on Conan O'Brien by Andrew D Miller, Ms L and Looper-312, all via Flickr and all used under a Creative Commons license, two more bits of Interweb greatness