Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Our blog has a new home!

Please update your bookmarks to: http://blogs.move.com/dannyandnina

We'll see you there!

- D&N

Saturday, December 16, 2006

#62: It's Not the Ending, It's the Beginning...

When we decided to launch http://dannyandnina.com back in mid-September, we did so out of a spirit of adventure and curiosity. One of the biggest questions in our minds concerned how our project would be received by the internet public. Would people care about our kooky endeavor? Would anyone vote? How quickly might things unfold?

Much to our delight (and somewhat to our surprise), our idea was received warmly and with positivity not only in the United States but all across the world. What we thought might possibly be of interest to some folks in our country rapidly sparked international interest and we quickly saw that our project had many passionate observers.

For the response we have received we are truly and greatly appreciative. It is humbling and wondrous to know that our site has taken on a life of its own, that it has sparked dialogue between citizens in towns in far-flung corners of the States, and that so many people have been as excited by this idea as we have been. In short, we feel thankful and blessed to have had this response.

At the risk of jumping the gun, it does appear that the voting will wrap up at some point in the next day or so. We know that all of the three towns competing for the number one spot have something different to offer us and are awaiting a winner with understandable anticipation. That isn't rhetoric, it's the truth, and we both look forward to exploring our new hometown and sharing our life there with you. There is no telling what the future holds in store for us but we are thrilled by the possibilities.

It was our sincere hope that this competition would engender discussion, make people smile, cause folks to reconsider their feelings about their own hometowns, and maybe even provide a vicarious thrill or two. Nearly five million votes later, it has presented us with an array of challenges we couldn't possibly have forseen at the project's start.

Throughout the process we have always tried our absolute best to ensure a fair and legitimate vote, dealing with new and unexpected obstacles as they arose. We know very well that no matter what town winds up the victor, some people will feel upset and cry foul. It is the nature of competition, as anyone who has ever rooted wholeheartedly for a football team can attest to. Since this cannot be avoided, we take solace in knowing that we conducted ourselves with integrity and honesty throughout this project.

We have obviously been treading in uncharted waters and we have done the best we can. Life is a learning experience and if we had to begin this process anew we would undoubtedly do certain things differently. However, we are both amazed at how things have unfolded. It has definitely been an incredible trek for us as individuals and as a couple.

Thank you again for your support. We put our lives in your hands and you have responded admirably. This is just the beginning, of course, and we look forward to giving you a window into our new town and our lives there.

With appreciation and love,
Danny & Nina


Thursday, December 14, 2006

Our project is featured on Rocketboom today#61: Rocketbooming & The Rigorous Dictates of Life Around the Country.

This morning our site was featured on Rocketboom, one of (if not) the most popular vlogs on the internet. While we wish we could have been interviewed, it is still a pretty fun piece complete with a mischievous collaboration with Katrin from Ehrensenf. She somewhat predictably encourages the Rocketboom folks to vote for a certain town in Texas, which is a shame for the folks in Ramapo, New York. Click on the image to check out the video.

When you were a little kid did you ever have one of those books that listed all of the crazy laws that are still on the books across the country? Well stop gloating because I didn't. However, after stumbling across dumblaws.com I decided to do a little research into the top vote-getting states. Here are some of the highlights:

In Indiana:
•Anyone 14 or older who profanely curses, damns or swears by the name of God, Jesus Christ or the Holy Ghost, shall be fined one to three dollars for each offense, with a maximum fine of ten dollars per day.
•Smoking in the state legislature building is banned, except when the legislature is in session.
•Moustaches are illegal if the bearer has a tendency to habitually kiss other humans.

In Colorado:
•It is unlawful to lend your vacuum cleaner to your next-door neighbor. (Denver)
•It is legal to challenge a police officer, but only until he or she asks you to stop. (Boulder)
•Keeping a house where unmarried persons are allowed to have sex is prohibited. (Arvada)

In Texas:
•It is illegal to take more than three sips of beer at a time while standing.
•A recently passed anticrime law requires criminals to give their victims 24 hours notice, either orally or in writing, and to explain the nature of the crime to be committed.
•The entire Encyclopedia Britannica is banned in Texas because it contains a formula for making beer at home.

Ah, sweet bureaucracy in action! Good thing no one needs encyclopedias anymore, huh?


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Wednesday, December 13, 2006

james murphy aka lcd soundsystem#60: New LCD Soundsystem MP3 & Eden Prarie Tosses in the Towel.

It seems as though certain people never sleep. We've blogged about James Murphy once before; the multi- instrumentalist and producer is half of DFA and all of LCD Soundsystem. Having already released two compilations of DFA remixes this year as well as the amazing 45 minute workout anthem 45:33 he's already eyeing 2007.

In late March, LCD Soundsystem will release his sophomore full-length, The Sound of Silver. Even Amazon doesn't have this up for pre-order yet, but we thought we'd whet your appetite with the second track, "Time to Get Away." Enjoy the download and let us know what you think--we're definitely loving it.

Meanwhile in Eden Prairie, Minnesota, some folks and even the local newspaper are lamenting the fact that their town is effectively out of the running in the voting. Things are getting very interesting as of late, with Plano, Texas having been dethroned not once but twice--first by South Bend, Indiana and this morning by Denver, Colorado. I wonder if this has something to do with the disenfranchised Fort Collins voters who held a big lead for so long in the early stages of the vote. Looks like we're in for a nice finish!


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Tuesday, December 12, 2006

a hungry--nay, a hungry hungry--hippo#59: A Trip to the Zoo, New Shins & New Pas/Cal!

Nina and I took a trip to the zoo a couple weeks back and never got around to posting any photos, so please enjoy
these creatures. Our only thought about the elephant is that the lady elephants are all either terrified or very, very happy. While I thoroughly enjoy the occasional trip to the zoo, Nina revels in it with a glee surpassing that of the children around her. It's really adorable to witness her wide-eyed appreciation as she darts from species to species.

Our favorite live band in the world, Pas/Cal, just released their third EP. Entitled Dear Sir, it offers another five
no comment.excellent songs from a group fond of exploding pop songs with falsetto harmonies and unexpected bursts of melody. We hope the boys (and girl) don't mind, but "The Lot We Came Home With" was so wonderful we had to share it with you. They also do the world's best cover of Wham's "Last Christmas," but we'll get to that later. As always, visit their page if you like the MP3.

Nina and I have debates about the relative merits of the Shins (she really #1 on the Threatdown!likes them, I tend to find them a little boring and they certainly didn't "change my life") but we both agree that the first track from their upcoming record, Wincing the Night Away, is not only excellent but also reminds us a lot of... Pas/Cal. "Sleeping Lessons" (not to be confused with "Wake Up Wake Up Wake Up" on the new P/C EP) simmers to a boil and then bursts forth with precisely the sort of enthusiasm a record should begin with. Even I have to admire this one. Although the album doesn't come out until 2007 you can buy the Phantom Limb single now.


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Monday, December 11, 2006

#58: The Fighting Irish & 3.5 Million Votes.

It's been an interesting weekend on the voting front as South Bend and Plano continue to duke it out for first place. When we went to bed last night, the Bend seemed to be enjoying a comfortable lead (about 10,000) votes. However, Plano has since reclaimed the lead. There has also been a previously unparalleled level of banter about South Bend on the forums where residents are debating the merits and drawbacks of their Indiana town.

All of this was fueled in part by a follow-up piece in the South Bend Tribune on Saturday. The first piece generated such a flurry of feedback that the newspaper decided to run the second article (which also had a front page placement).

Looks like things are heating up! We also crossed the 3.5 million vote mark today--crazy stuff!


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Friday, December 8, 2006

San Diego, you're so purty.#57: 3,000,000 Reasons to Move & San Diego Love!

We've hit another amazing milestone in the voting: today we surpassed the 3,000,000 vote mark. When Nina and I began this project back in mid-September, we had no idea how people would react to our idea (or whether they would respond to it at all). Three million votes later, it's clear that there are a lot of people who are as excited about our project as we are and that is, well, pretty rad.

We know our idea isn't for everyone and have heard our fair share of cynical responses to what we're doing, but the positive feedback outweighs the negative by far. This project has allowed us to connect with places and people across the country and the world and we would do it again in a heartbeat. Of course, there is still a lot of voting to be had, so we hope you'll cast another ballot or three.

Meanwhile in San Diego, folks are picking up this week's copy of CityBeat to find this article about our project. Thanks to Kelly Davis for asking us some questions and bringing us some California love... and hey, what do you call people from San Diego anyway? San Diegans? Diegoites?


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Thursday, December 7, 2006

South Bend, Indiana#56: Newspaper Double Dip.

Wow--it's never happened before, but today we have not one but two newspaper features

about our project to share with you! They're both very well written, to boot.

The first comes from today's South Bend Tribune and from what we can tell it was actually a front page item, which is a very humbling first for us. South Bend, Indiana has been tearing it up in the voting over the past few days, so it's likely this will help continue the trend. We've already received a couple encouraging e-mails from folks in South Bend, something Nina and I always appreciate.

Article number two is from The Gazette in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. It's a lovely piece but, sadly, is not archived free of charge on their site. No worries though: we posted the feature in its entirety on our site for your reading enjoyment.

For those out there who enjoy following the media reaction to our project, it should be interesting to see how both writers give their stories a different focus. We're very grateful to both Mike Wanbaugh and Nicole Riehl for taking the time to interview us and helping spread the word.

In case you don't know, you can always have an updated look at all of the press our project has received.

Finally, I'm still under the weather but that made all of the birthday wishes I received all the sweeter. Thanks to everyone who dropped me a line!


UPDATE: The e-mails we've received have been very pro-South Bend, but the naysayers are taking to the forums. If you've lived there, we'd love to hear you weigh in!

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Wednesday, December 6, 2006

The fabulous Moomintroll.#55: Birthday Wishes & Moomintrolls.

Yesterday we woke up to find that our internet connection was not functioning properly again, only this time we interpreted it as a sign from the heavens that we should take the day off. Why? Because it was Danny's 24th birthday. Unfortunately, hours into the revelry Danny got sick. Too much excitement. If you're feeling generous, you can make him feel better by sending a birthday donation gift:

Danny mentioned my love of Harry Potter books earlier, but
my first adventure book love was the Moomintrolls. They aren't trolls, they are really cute somewhat Hippo-like characters from Finland. Author Tove Jansson wrote the original books in Swedish (further proof that everything awesome has a Swedish connection) and they have been translated to 33 different languages. For some unexplained reason, they aren't as huge in the States as they are in Russia, but nevertheless: I love Moomintrolls.

If you are in the mood to check out some art go to artfaceoff.com. Love this site. The way it works is kind of like Hot or Not for art. Artists upload their images and they are rated for a month, after which the highest ranked pieces face off. The winner of the face off gets to go on to the next face off, and so on, playoff elimination style. By the way, if you want to help me out vote for me here. All 10's would be nice, but please vote for whatever you feel is appropriate.


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Friday, December 1, 2006

The unhealthiest city in the U.S?#54: New Newspaper Article, Unhealthyville & YouTube on Your Phone.

Love to Asheville, North Carolina! Yesterday their Citizen-Times newspaper featured this short article about our project. It's a beautiful town I've been to on a couple of occasions and is certainly better than...

...the cities featured in this New York Times article, which outlines the least healthy places in the United States. The booby prize goes to Detroit, Michigan (see photo above) which--not coincidentally--is not one of the 250 towns in our project. Oklahomans were saddled with the most cities toward the poor end of the spectrum, securing the 98th and 94th (out of 100) worst spots. If anyone out there has spent a lot of time in any of these places, I'd be curious to hear your thoughts on the list.

Also noteworthy is another Times article about YouTube's imminent arrival on cell phones. The rollout itself seems somewhat underwhelming, but it's interesting as part of the wider migration of "internet" content to other handheld devices. It's not difficult to imagine where this leads us ten or fifteen years down the road, when accessing web data and resources is as commonplace as cell phone ownership is today.


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