Code, nerd culture and humor from Greg Knauss.

When I’m in the car, I mostly listen to KPCC, a public radio station run out of Pasadena City College. I like it more than KCRW, the big NPR station in Santa Monica, because it completely lacks the larger station’s West Side latte-sipping hipster smugness. Or, if it has any West Side latte-sipping hipster smugness, it at least has the courtesy to disappear into nothing when standing next to KCRW, the blinding supernova of West Side latte-sipping hipster smugness. “World-famous music library” and “Become an Angel” fund-raising and special screenings of touching foreign films at the Laemmle, my ass.

In fact, KPCC’s self-produced shows are so relentlessly bland that the promo for one illustrates the show with a brief clip where the host says, “A press conference is scheduled to begin at this hour…” Or, another way, not only are we lazy enough to cover a spoon-feeding press conference as news, but we’re doing it off the schedule we were fax’d. We couldn’t even be bothered to send somebody. And this is the promo.

But at some point in the past year or so, someone at KPCC has been given a marketing budget. They’ve put some billboards up and redesigned their logo and they’ve gained a new on-air tagline: “FM with IQ.”

And, yeah, clever and all, in a West Side latte-sipping hipster smug kind of way. Until you realize that “IQ” is a scale, without any implied value. (“FM” is too, but its value can be presumed.)

The slogan might as well be “FM with Fahrenheit.” Or “FM with Pounds.” Or “FM Without Really Thinking It Through, Because It Sounds Good.”

Which KCRW is already in charge of.

Hi there! My name's GREG KNAUSS and I like to make things.

Some of those things are software (like Romantimatic and Buzz Clock), Web sites (like the Webby-nominated Metababy and The American People) and stories (for Web sites like Suck and Fray, print magazines like Worth and Macworld, and books like "Things I Learned About My Dad" and "Rainy Day Fun and Games for Toddler and Total Bastard").

My e-mail address is I'd love to hear from you!

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