Three Best Things, 11/2/09 - 11/8/09: Derek Jeter Needs Your Help On His Facebook Farm

  • I’m sure many people caught the dichotomy between the New York Times’ puff piece on scammy Facebook gaming company Zynga (aka the people behind FarmParty or whatever) and TechCrunch’s super truth-diggy journalism on the same subject. Fake Steve collated the whole story well, so we’ll roll with his perspective.
  • You know when you hear those stupid woe-is-us “91% of American high school seniors have never heard of Thomas Jefferson, Barack Obama, or God, but they know all the words to every rock ‘n’ roll song by Lil Diddy” things? You know how common sense always tells you that can’t possibly be true? Somebody finally put it to the test: Yes, the kids are allright. Of course they are. I mean, they have freaking Wikipedia to fall back on.
  • The Yankees’ payroll is larger than the payrolls of several other teams combined. This may be possible to repeat often enough, but Joe Posnanski isn’t taking any chances; in fact, he’s written the perfect antidote to watching the Yankees try and squeeze into Everybody Doubted Us hats and We’re Just Having Fun Out There shirts.

American Museum of Natural History Hires ENGINE for Multiple Projects

The American Museum of Natural History, one of the world’s five most-visited museums, has had us create a subsite for the Margaret Mead Film & Video Festival two years in a row. The sections needed to fit the website’s feel, but in a distinct fashion. We contributed custom PHP and themed up the site’s design, leaving breathing room for big, crisp, quick-loading images.

Armistead Booker, associate media designer at AMNH and this project’s point of contact, describes our coding contributions as a “completely overhauled backend to the site, which was a vast improvement from the festival site in previous years.” He also confirms that we were “on budget for this project … accommodating our demanding schedule and timing just as we requested.”

Be sure to click around the rest of the AMNH website so you can get a feel for how our contributions fit in.

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Some AMNH fast facts:

  • Founded in 1869
  • Four million annual museum visitors
  • 460,000 field-trip visitors annually
  • 13 million annual website visitors
  • 200 scientists on staff
  • Over 90 publications per year
  • International expeditions yielding 60,000+ new exhibit items annually

Much, much more on the museum here.

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The New -- by ENGINE

We need you to pay a visit to, the new web home of Dr. Katina Rae Stapleton.

She’s a highly accomplished educator who’s taught at Duke, Georgetown, Syracuse, and St. Lawrence and currently works for the Department of Education. We designed and built her a lively WordPress site from scratch, giving her a place to combine her diverse interests and pursuits. Take a look, and follow her on Twitter @krsprof.


Three Best Things, 6/14/09-6/20/09

  1. Fan-made video for Kanye’s “Robocop.” Count the references… I spotted Battletoads, Double Dragon, and Punch-Out!, and maybe Contra and Metroid. Obviously Mega Man. The slickest thing about this video is how, by including Kanye’s bear mascot thing as the boss, it hits the big secret of Kanye’s relationship songs: he’s not exactly the good guy.
  2. Yes! 50 Scientifically Proven Ways to Be Persuasive
  3. One of Seth Godin’s best ideas yet—his call for open-source scholarly databases to replace the useless textbook industry. Too good an idea to happen, of course.