Archive for April, 2008

New Brink Issue: Variety for the Homepage

Saturday, April 19th, 2008

We’re excited to announce the fifth issue of Brink Magazine, our fast-growing online literary publication. In addition to the wonderful short stories and poetry in this issue, we were blessed as creative directors to have beautiful photography submissions to use on the homepage. To maximize the dramatic effect of the photos, we made full use of the top box and decided to feature only one photo at a time. Since Brink is published quarterly (and updated only 4 times a year), we thought having the homepage randomly rotate between the selected photos of the two featured photographers would help extend the freshness of the site. We hope you enjoy!

When you visit the site, you may see either of these (press refresh on your browser to see both):

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The Food

Monday, April 14th, 2008

Hardly an hour goes by at Barrel without a mention of food. It’s not that we’re gourmands or big snobs about fine dining. We just love eating, and talking about food makes us feel that much closer to eating.

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A few months back, we started having these ambitious dreams that we would one day open up a restaurant. We even came up with a concept and gave it a name. It’s called Happy Bibmbap, and it’s pretty much bibimbap done Chipotle-style (the process, not the ingredients!). Last Friday, we had our third “product development” trial, and we feel ever more confident about creating the ultimate bibimbap. And believe it or not, we used chicken instead of beef.

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There was a time when we would eagerly hit up various lunch spots around our office every day, often referring to Midtown Lunch as our guide. But expanding waistlines and shrinking wallets made it necessary for us to consider alternatives. We started by packing turkey sandwiches and romaine lettuce salads – money-savers but not the tastiest choices. Then we each became a bit fancier, trying different recipes and even making extra for dinner the previous night in order to bring in leftovers for lunch. The result: Barrel Eats, a continuously growing exhibition of our packed lunches.

We used Tumblr to create Barrel Eats, and thanks to its incredibly easy-to-use interface, we were able to set things up and have images uploaded in less than half an hour. It’s much easier to use than WordPress or even Blogger, and although it has some feature limitations (no commenting), we think more blogging platforms should be like Tumblr. Speaking of which – please check out Gobbl! We have a lot of new features and content coming soon.

Filtering Out the Good Stuff on Muxtape

Thursday, April 10th, 2008

We were super-impressed with Muxtape.com when it first came out (for those who haven’t checked it out yet, it’s a site where you can upload up to 12 songs of your choosing to create a custom mixtape that you can share with the public). It’s incredibly easy to use, community-driven, and a great way to try different music. After spending a couple of days wading through the Muxtape, we noticed one thing – where’s all the hip-hop? There was only so much Justice and Coldplay we could tolerate, and since Muxtape doesn’t categorize or allow search of its lists, we found ourselves clicking through list after list, seeking ones with hip-hop constitution.

So that’s where we got the idea to come up with Hip-Hop Muxtape. It’s a simple app that keeps track of the rare hip-hop dominated playlists on Muxtape.com. It also allows people to submit or filter out Muxtape for hip-hop – the more people participate, the more playlists we’ll be able to access. Please check it out, and help us filter out the good stuff!

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A Rugged Run, Then Ribs

Sunday, April 6th, 2008

Here at Barrel, we spend most of our time slouched over in our chairs in front of our computers. Besides the few pull-ups we manage everyday, we don’t get out as much as we should. So when we found out about a trail run competition a few months back, we thought it’d be a good way to get some fresh air while forcing everyone to start training. Some of us began training very early while others left preparations until the week of.

The Urban Environmental Challenge is a 10K (6.2 mile) trail run in Van Cortlandt Park in the Bronx. In chilly 48-degree weather (it felt much colder), we geared up in our new navy Barrel long-sleeve shirts and got down to business. Avoiding tripping over rocks and slipping on piles of leaves, we weaved our way through the trail loops and successfully completed the race.urbanrun1.jpg
Matt Baron and Sei-Wook kept at each others’ pace the entire race. Right, Reggie Soang picks up his prize: a muffin.

Reggie Soang, our resident Sweaty Guinea Pig, finished an impressive 21st place overall and 3rd place in the 20-29 year old age group. Sei-Wook, who was anxious earlier in the week about his ability to finish the race, overcame two severely blistered feet and surpassed his own expectations.

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A rare group shot outdoors.

After the race, we went down to Dinosaur Bar-B-Que and ordered pitchers of beer and big plates of meat like this one:

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A fine way to cap a company outing. We’re hoping we won’t be too sore tomorrow. View all of our times here.