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Friends With Cool Websites

My friend James Altucher has probably never had to have a resume in his life, but if he did it would include: teen chess whiz, computer-science guy, web filmmaker for HBO, general web wunderkind, poker player, hedge fund guy, financial writer, and author. He’s just launched a new website,, that combines almost all of the above. It’s a sort of stock-picking wiki with such interesting features — a recommendation engine like Amazon’s, e.g.; a way to view a Buffett or Soros portfolio — that, even though I don’t care much about stockpicking, I got totally mesmerized just wandering around the site.

Another friend, Kurt Andersen, does have a resume. He was one of the twisted brains behind Spy magazine, and like James Altucher has also done about a million things. (A Spy retrospective has just been published, btw.) One of Kurt’s current ventures (I am guessing it occupies about .8% of his time) is called the Very Short List, which is described thusly by its creators:

What is VSL? Short answer: a free, daily email newsletter that points to excellent entertainment, media, and other cultural things you may not know about because they haven’t been hyped to within an inch of their lives. Each weekday, we tell our subscribers about just one gem from among the vast pile of new (and sometimes vintage) feature films and documentaries (in theaters and on DVD), television shows, novels, nonfiction books, magazine articles, CDs, radio programs, Web videos, sites and services and more.

Here’s a recent recommendation, a video of the Complaints Choir of Helsinki, which solicits everyday complaints from people and then sets them to choral music. VSL describes it as “the most instantly accessible and funniest comedy/art video we’ve seen in ages.” I pretty much have to agree.