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February 4, 2006

The Times on art, neuroscience and self-harm

razor_blade.jpgToday's Times has two short but interesting articles in its 'body and soul' section, both of which are available online: one on the neuroscience of art and another on self-harm.

Mark Lythgoe is a neuroscientist at University College London who has been involved in art / science projects for over a decade. He discusses the possible neural basis for why Dan Flavin's minimalist light-based artwork has such appeal.

The article on self-harm is inspired by a new book by Carolyn Smith, based on her own experiences of self-harm and recovery. It discusses the phenomenon, its emotional impact, and includes advice if you find out someone you know has self-harmed.


Link to article 'The light fantastic'.
Link to article 'Unkindest cut of all'.

Alan Watts Podcast

Rumor mill was right: Armstrong, Crow split

Statesman.com | Lance and Sheryl are no more

The Austin American-Statesman reports that “a spokesman for Armstrong's agent” confirmed that the pop-singer and the retired 7-time Tour winner have called it quits.

“After much thought and consideration we have made a very tough decision to split up,” the couple said in a joint statement. “We both have a deep love and respect for each other, and we ask that everyone respect our privacy during this very difficult time.”

Also:

ESPN.com | Armstrong, Crow announce they're breaking up

Flickr Coincidences

An all-time favorite thread in FlickrCentral is the legendary Flickr Coincidences (you have to read 'em to believe 'em). There something about the unexpected connection — where it is neither interacting with someone you knew "in real life" nor meeting someone online: it's a strange and unlikely and usually wonderful crossover point.

The Löbmann Family So a few days ago I was delighted to hear that Liz Lawley,  a friend from around the web, told a story that started with "In the fall of 2004, I posted on Flickr a series of century-old photos of my father's side of the family that he had scanned into digital form," and ended with:

My dad and I are totally astounded and delighted by this Flickr-fuelled family reunion, and I'm thinking about trying to find a time to take a trip down to Brazil to meet some of my long-lost cousins.

So, how cool is that?

  How cool is that indeed!? Read her whole blog post for more.

Firing Squad [Flickr]

weevil posted a photo:

Firing Squad

aubreyedwards.com

February 3, 2006

Neat "center of gravity" calculator for Google Earth

Neat "center of gravity" calculator for Google Earth. Inspired by Cory's map of the center of gravity of Manhattan's Starbucks.

RB on CSI

Here is another view of what it looked like when Amanda showed up on CSI last night from 2 of our servers:

Welcome Squid Overlords

welcomesquidoverlords.jpg

Take me to your leader.

Monday night I heard the most esteemed and funny neurologist Oliver Sacks speak at Columbia (he is a super naturalist: into ferns, squids, cuttlefish and stereopsis). It was a fascinating lecture, but his Welcome Squid Overlords shirt transfixed me. It was so strange, I had to find its meaning. Was it from an episode of Star Wars that I had missed? I need to sport one at all times.

With a little help from the internet, I found Mike Monteiro, the Creative Director of Mule Design and the creator of the overlord shirt. He is just trying to make squids a little more user-friendly.

He said that he and his son Henry were watching a Discovery Channel program about what animals might look like in the future and it theorized that cephalopods are best poised to be the next dominant species on the planet. Wow! Move over Cockroaches! Then he read that the squid biomass had surpassed the human biomass on Earth. That means that there are more squids than people. We have to make them feel comfortable. The only way to do that is to stop eating calamari and by wearing “Welcome Squid Overlords” clothing.

Get it for $20 from Mule Design.

Apple's patented the Tablet Mac (part II)

Wow. How long have I wanted this? Also from the diagrams it looks like it is much moch human-centred than tablets that require a stylus and perfect pointing... it looks gestural, casual...

And we shall call it "maclet" -dj

Video of Isaiah Rider's 1994 Dunk Competition Victory

This video clip is famous for the "East Bay Funk Dunk." But the main attraction to me is Rider following it up by telling TNT "I gotta love myself for that."

The Quiet Revolution

The Quiet Revolution, a vibration-free silent wind turbine developed by XCO2, slated for its first installation this March (2006), could produce 10,000 kWh per year at an average wind speed of 5.8 m/s.

The Popsicle Cartel

great unhinged craig's list rant on popsicles

Awwwstrich!

You will thank me for this being one of your first forays into the world this morning. Volume turned up please.

awwwstrich1.jpg

awwwstrich2.jpg

awwwstrich3.jpg

awwwstrich4.jpg

What Could Have Been.

Something caught my eye on Amazon UK that made me smile and wince at the same time.

Keeping SSH Sessions Alive

Scott Merrill writes in to say:

I noticed recently that ssh connections from my Ubuntu laptop to my
Debian server would time out and disconnect if I left the connection
idle for a long-ish period of time. This really annoyed me, because my
Debian desktop does not exhibit this behavior when connecting to the server.

I added the following line to /etc/ssh/ssh_config :
ServerAliveInterval 5

That seems to have fixed the problem, and my laptop can now remain
connected, though idle, to my server. Maybe this will help someone
else, too.

What this does, essentially is every 5 seconds, the client sends a small keep-alive packet to the server to make it look like the ssh connection is being actively used. The reason for Scott’s timeout could be a NAT firewall that seeks to minimize the nember of active connections to reduce its memory footprint, or to improve performance for other clients. Most firewalls and networks let you keep your connections alive for as long as you wish, but some may act up, and that’s when you can use Scott’s trick.

Tip: Change 5 to 240 or 300, so that instead of every 5 seconds, the keep-alive signal is sent only once in 4 or 5 minutes :)

Sorry it took me so long to post this useful tip, Scott.

Surveillance Prompts a Suit: Police v. Police

N.Y.P.D. officers are charging that the police procedures at their demonstrations violated their First Amendment rights.

This will make you chuckle...


Following my recent post of geeky Waka, Dav made this addition to one of the pictures.

Writing Ruby Extensions with RubyCocoa | RubyCocoa Documentation

Seen On The Streets of Duesseldorf, Germany

lesduss.jpg

Artist: "LET"

February 2, 2006

Test-Driving X11 GUIs

Brought-en 2

david posted a photo:

Brought-en 2

It may be a long night.

sigur rós live bittorrents

A fantastic sigur rós (legal) live performance bittorrent tracker sent to to me by Darren who co-runs the sigur-rós.co.uk site (which I've mentioned before for it's enlightened attitude to sharing live music), has a cool blog and is possibly the only Irish person who can speak Finnish (even as I write that I know it's going to come back and bite me).

Posted to

thursday, 6pm PST/9pm EST

Sources have confirmed that MoveOn is planning to use our map application tonight, at 6pm PST / 9pm EST. It's the one we presented at Where 2.0.

Go have a look!

Update, 5:30pm...

This. Is. Hilarious.

This. Is. Hilarious.

Joaquin Phoenix Pulled from Car Wreck by Director Werner Herzog - Los Angeles Times

Phoenix said he was thrown into the passenger seat when his vehicle rolled onto its roof. In the aftermath, the actor said he felt "a bit confused."

"I remember this knocking on the passenger window," said Phoenix. "There was this German voice saying, 'Just relax.' There's the air bag, I can't see and I'm saying, 'I'm fine. I am relaxed.'

"Finally, I rolled down the window and this head pops inside. And he said, 'No, you're not.' And suddenly I said to myself, 'That's Werner Herzog!' There's something so calming and beautiful about Werner Herzog's voice. I felt completely fine and safe. I climbed out."

Link

Mobile phone puzzle scores tracked online

service_MobileSudoku_64.gif The Guardian Unlimited and Solid State have announced the launch of a new Sudoku league which lets players solve puzzles on their mobile phones and submit scores to compete head-to-head in the online league. [via Tom Hume]

How'd They Do That? #3 - Faith71, Hetzer, and Mke Clark Collaborative Wall

From Mike Clark comes this "How'd They Do That?" animation. The wall was painted by Faith71, Hetzer, and Mke on Faith71's roof terrace.

mikehow.jpg
(Click above to view)

This Flickr user really likes photos of people at the dentist

This Flickr user really likes photos of people at the dentist. This one's my favorite. (via janelle)

Akira Kurosawa Poster Cards

Would spend ages watching them (his movies i mean). This way!

card15.jpg

Via Rashomon.

PerplexCity map

Perplexcitymap

Compiled from clues and sites...

Pretty, isn't it? See the draggable, clickable, zoomable, whole thing (to date) here.

XML.com: Fun with Amazon's Simple Queue Service

could be used as a tile server for example

Google's Submission to the Congressional Human Rights Caucus

This is the statement from Google counsel Andrew McLaughlin. It's pretty comprehensive. It reviews Google's approach, and states:

"We believe that our continued engagement with China is the best (and perhaps only) way for Google to help bring the tremendous benefits of universal information access to all our users there."

and

"Google supports the idea of Internet industry action to define common principles to guide technology firms’ practices in countries that restrict access to information. Together with colleagues at other leading Internet companies, we are actively exploring the potential for Internet industry guidelines, not only for China but for all countries in which Internet content is subjected to governmental restrictions. Such guidelines might encompass, for example, disclosure to users, and reporting about governmental restrictions and the measures taken in response to them."

I'd be very keen to hear about progress on this front.

And lastly, the statement concludes:

"There is an important role for the United States government to address, in the context of its bilateral government-to-government relationships, the larger issues of free expression and open communication. For example, as a U.S.-based company that deals primarily in information, we have urged the United States government to treat censorship as a barrier to trade."

Good luck there, guys.

Responses to People on the 6 Train That Hopefully Convey My Feelings in a Polite Way

Responses to People on the 6 Train That Hopefully Convey My Feelings in a Polite Way. "Thank you for so gently cupping my ass when we came to a stop."
Update: The author of this list has a blog with some quick-witted observations of NYC. (thx, robert)

Perl 5.8.8 released

nicholas writes "The Perl 5 developer team is pleased to announce the Perl Release 5.8.8, the eighth maintenance release of Perl 5.8. The CPAN ftp multiplexor will pick a mirror close to you, if you select either bz2 (10123359 bytes) or gz (12829188 bytes) here; or, you can choose your own from one of the 272 CPAN mirrors worldwide. "

Overheard: Burritos

"Fuck that shit, man. I still love New York better. Every single time people from Frisco compare cities with New York, you fools bring up your stupid burritos! Well I got news for you: our burritos are catching up."

C.L.A.V.E

Performance Collaboration through Virtual and Physical Space in max msp and jitter

NODE.London - Networked, Open, Distributed, Events. London - March 2006



NODE.London [Networked, Open, Distributed, Events. London] brings about a citywide cluster of events to ‘mark the ascension of Media Arts as the popular culture activity for London’.

Thomas Hawk's Digital Connection: An Open Letter to Myra Borshoff Cook, Tour Organizer for Jack Kerouac's On the Road Manuscript Scroll

Giant

Giant

One of my favorite graffiti writers of all time, hands down is Mike Giant, aka GIANT ONE. He’s got clean lines, bold colors, and a style that is hard to come by in the graff world: original. Thus, it makes sense that he would make one incredible tattoo artist as well. I’ve been told that he does his blackbook drawings without sketching it out. Just straight up amazing Sharpie skills. One talented guy. Oh, and I would suggest you check out his Skullz Press Compendium in his store section.

UPDATE: Mike has a blog with some great photos outlining some of his tattoo work as well as creating a nice piece on a wall for a friend of his. Check it: Count Trackula. (Thanks, Chris!)

Circles

Mobile Phone as Mouse

Kento Miyaoku, a research engineer of NTT and a visiting researcher at the University of Columbia, developed a technology called C-Blink, which makes mobile phone screen blink with different colors to control external devices (such as a large public display integrated with an image sensor). With this technology, people can for example use mobile phones as a mouse to move pointers on a public display. [reBlogged from WMMNA]

The GNE Mystery, a pre-Flickr interactive fiction game by Cal Henderson

Cal said I'm the first person to ever beat the game without hints  

Mars Rover Update: Sliding Into 'Home Plate', Onward To Victoria Crater

NASA's revered Mars rovers, Spirit and Opportunity, are both on a roll toward new scientific objectives, but two years into their mission, the twin robots are each showing their age.

Cool composite photo of playing in the snow

Cool composite photo of playing in the snow. Take a look at the large size for the full effect.

Nam June Paik Memorial Services

Memorial services for Nam June Paik will be held in New York City Frank E Campbell Funeral Chapel 1076 Madison Avenue at 81 St. (phone 212-288-3500) in Manhattan, New York City, this Friday, February 3rd, at 3 PM. There will be a viewing at the same location on Thursday from ...

rb_06_feb_02

story links: ostrich mash via the huffington post aol contagious festival (thanks, kenyatta!) music by el-p, the sound of young america radio show podcast (direct mp3 link), csi, comment of the week by vinvin, andy carvin uses duct-tape to clean carpet [prior references 1, 2,3], broke mac mountain by mighty mcpilgrim

Awwwstrich! Awwwstrich!

Outsourcing to India No Longer a Bargain

If you're an IT business owner looking to offshore some of your work to cut costs, India may no longer be the best place to look.

High staff turnover and rising wages in India are prompting US and European businesses to look elsewhere to outsource -- namely to China, despite concerns about protection of intellectual property rights there. Says SAP CEO Henning Kagermann, "India is slowly getting expensive... We have decided to hire a certain number there, and then start looking at other locations."

In addition to the fact that businesses are realizing that offshoring is not a panacea to cut costs, and that process improvements at home can often yield as much or greater savings, outsourcing hubs such as India and (eventually) China will invariably become more costly as the laws of supply and demand play out, and the talent pools becomes stretched. Other less-costly regions will likely emerge, but they will need to offer clients the right mix of low-cost talent, technical savvy, easy accessibility, and political stability. India, meanwhile, will likely remain a key outsourcing destination, but because of its tech-savvy, English speaking workforce rather than low costs.

Sources: Techdirt, Network World

Microsoft Offers Its Own Online Option for the Poor

The idea of being the Henry Ford of global computing -- that is, creating an online device that nearly anyone on the planet could afford -- is very appealing these days. Perhaps inspired by the MIT Media Laboratory's $100 computer concept, Microsoft's Bill Gates is pitching the idea of a "cellular PC," a cell phone that could be converted to a PC by hooking it to a keyboard and TV... and that would be running Windows software, of course.

Originally, the MIT Media Lab sought agreements with both Microsoft and Apple to run their software on its $100 laptops. But when talks fell through in both cases, the Media Lab turned to the open source Linux operating system.

Gates contends that a cell phone would be an even cheaper solution than the $100 laptop, though no prices have been announced.

Developing such a device and making it successful is more than just a nice, altruistic idea. Because Bill Gates was effectively the Henry Ford of American computing, Microsoft products are nearly ubiquitous in US homes and businesses. Bringing that power to a global audience would provide the dominant device maker with untold opportunity for growth and profits.

Source: New York Times

February 1, 2006

Ted, Where Should I Host My Website?

"Where should I host my website? is a question I get a lot. Requested needs range from personal to small business to massive business plan estimations. So with no further ado here are my answers to where I would recommend you find hosting."

Tagged, at last

Thanks, AXT.

Four jobs I've had:

  1. hostess at Sanitary Restaurant
  2. barista
  3. inbound call center sales, selling internet dial-up access
  4. project manager

Four movies I can watch over and over:

  1. Amelie
  2. In the Mood for Love
  3. Babe
  4. Monsters, Inc

Four places I've lived:

  1. Cary, NC
  2. Atlanta, GA
  3. Adelaide, Australia
  4. New York, NY

Four TV shows I love:

  1. The Office (UK)
  2. Extras
  3. Six Feet Under
  4. Lost

Four places I've vacationed:

  1. Cape Cod
  2. Lake Tahoe
  3. Barcelona, Spain
  4. Taipei, Taiwan

Four of my favorite dishes:

  1. dumplings, esp. soup dumplings
  2. my roast chicken
  3. N. Carolina barbecue and hush puppies
  4. noodle soup

Four sites I visit daily:

  1. Flickr
  2. Livejournal
  3. NYTimes.com
  4. kottke.org

Four places I'd rather be right now:

  1. New York, NY
  2. New York, NY
  3. New York, NY
  4. somewhere with real weather

You're it!

O'Reilly Radar > Google Maps Extension for GeoRSS

Rails Migration Cheat Sheet

Strich Armstrong

The Huffington Post's Contagious Media Festival launched today, and my early favorite is Awwwwstrich. It's only thirty seconds and well worth your time. In fact, I claim that if you watch it twenty times it's a good use of ten minutes.

Ostrich! Ostrich!

Blackpool Tower

Another member of the World Federation of Great Towers is Blackpool Tower on the famous seaside Promenade. Obviously inspired by the Eiffel Tower in Paris, Blackpool’s version also features Britain’s highest post box and the ‘Walk of Faith’ glass floor, a two inch clear panel that looks straight down to the ground 158m below.

Just to the south is Coral Island, a pirate-themed amusement arcade with some Large Type on the roof to advertise to those visiting the Tower.

Thanks: Craig & Tom

Taking the Charge

82games.com ranks those best at drawing offensive fouls (with certain caveats--they're missing some little chunks of data, but who cares?). The resulting list is a wonderfully gritty set of players, led by Raja Bell and Jarron Collins. Rounding out the top ten are Andres Nocioni, Mike Dunleavy, Nenad Krstic, Allen Iverson, Desmond Mason, Kurt Thomas, Shane Battier, and Andrew Bogut.

82games notes something interesting though: drawing these fouls may not be the best way to win, it seems.

...it's worth noticing that of the top ten teams in offensive fouls drawn, only one of the six powerhouse clubs at the moment (.600+ winning pct) are in the list, and the mighty Pistons are actually 4th from the bottom. Indeed, a bunch of the top ten are likely to miss the playoffs!

RSS Advisory Board Goes Public

Rogers Cadenhead:

A new era begins today for the RSS Advisory Board, an independent organization formed in 2003 that publishes the Really Simple Syndication (RSS) specification, helps developers create RSS applications and broadens public understanding of the format.

The board is taking on eight new members: Meg Hourihan, Loïc Le Meur, Eric Lunt, Ross Mayfield, Jenny Levine, Randy Charles Morin, Greg Reinacker and Dave Sifry.

I’m glad to see this happen. I was on the first iteration of this board, along with Dave Winer and Jon Udell. A larger board is probably a good idea.

(Note that Greg Reinacker, one of the new board members, is the founder and CTO of NewsGator, where I work.)

(Fans of Mac Developer Extreme Trivia(tm) will recall that I did technical editing on Rogers’ book Radio UserLand Kick Start. (The only time I ever did technical editing on a book.))

15 RZA Videos

The Disappearing Act

What happened to Weldon Kees?

America slowly starts to wise up

Last night's State of the Union address saw our President somewhat less ambitious and cocky than in earlier speeches. Alessandra Stanley thought he looked "defensive". And as AP found during interviews with viewers across the country, Bush has good...

Plagiarism - or web 2.0 in action?

Top Ten Sources takes posts from RSS feeds and aggregates them in full for the public to see. Some take offence; some say it goes beyond expected usage; some call it plagiarism - others say it's legal, that detractors should get a life or are even thinking about investing. Some people don't appear to want their RSS feeds to be aggregated at all. Will this discussion set blogging policy for the future? Or will it block the web 2.0 pipe?

Parasitic Subway Projector

Parasitic Subway Projector: High concept German art students cram a Mac mini and a projector into a suitcase and mount it to the side of a subway car with suction cups. The resulting images, projected onto the tunnel walls, make for a fascinating work of public art. [QuickTime] Link via: The Unofficial Mac Weblog

Laser-etched PowerBooks

Laser-etched PowerBooks.

Nam June Paik

namjunepaik.gif

[Quicktime video] In memoriam Nam June Paik 1932 – 2006:
»There is no rewind button on the Betamax of life.«

you can do it

"You can have anything you want, if you want it badly enough. You can be anything you want to be, do anything you set out to accomplish, if you hold to that desire with singleness of purpose."

Abraham Lincoln

I feel so inspired by this quote. Seriously, when you really think about it, it's so empowering. Take this morning for example. I set my alarm clock for 6.30am. I uttered the magical "I'll get up in ten minutes" sentiment to myself, ehm, three times. But I got up.

Why? Because I also repeated 'singleness of purpose' to myself, (more than three times). If I want to run, and run fast, I got to train. Simple.

p.s. it was a good run.

Western Union has stopped sending telegrams after 145 years of offering the service

Western Union has stopped sending telegrams after 145 years of offering the service. This makes me a little sad.

I think about the role of Western Union in the Back to the Future trilogy every week or so.

The best thing about the 21st century

Without a doubt in my mind, I'd like to go on the record and say the best 21st century happening is the "invention" of really soft cotton t-shirts and tank tops! It used to be you had to wear your t-shirts forever and ever to get that super-soft and thin shirt. But now, through some technology I can only imagine was developed in collaboration with NASA (perhaps that's what the mission specialists do on the Space Shuttle?), you can just go to any store and buy a brand new super soft t-shirt. And it's not even expensive! You can get them at Forever 21 and H&M for like $5.99!! The future *is* here. I thought it wasn't, but I was wrong. Oh how I love you brand new super soft shirts!!!

LA Times Opinion Piece on Hot Coffee Scandal

LA Times writer Joel Stein has an opinion piece today on the GTA/Hot Coffee drama unfolding in the city courts. His opinions about the whole incident are as positive as we've seen come out of the media in a while.

"Because if these teen computer geniuses are given the opportunity to unlock a video-game sex scene, then they'll be just one step away from breaking the code that allows them to type dirty words into Google."

via Metafilter

Ajax open source project launches

One thing we didn't get a chance to write about yesterday is a new initiative by computer industry vendors and Internet companies to try to build an open-source community around Ajax. BEA, IBM, Google, Mozilla Corporation and a host of other firms are part of the coalition. Here's a link to a a pdf of the news release....

LastFMProxy

LastFMProxy is a proxy server for the last.fm radio streams. It allows you to use your regular old audio player to listen to the last.fm streams. It does this by acting as a player itself, connecting to the server on your behalf, but instead of playing the stream, it simply relays it to whichever other application connecting to it.

Various ways to kill yourself using Legos

Various ways to kill yourself using Legos. (thx, sharelle)

Prince Sends Lawyers After Youtube?

I knew it wouldn't be long before the Tube Raiding honeymoon ended, and the cease and desist orders started pouring in. Sure enough, looks like Prince is the first to strike, as all files featuring the man seem to have disappeared over the last day or so. I'm not surprised he'd be the one, as Prince never been shy about...

The Only Prince Clip Left on Youtube

From the WFMU News Vault: WFMU Schedule of the Past

1974schedOnce upon a time, WFMU promulgated its broadcast schedule by printing copies on the old chu-chunk mimeograph machine (a circa-1974 example is to the left, and you can see it in a larger version by clicking on the picture).   

OK, so the station used to share air-time with other colleges,  and broadcast the church service from the Upsala College Chapel on Sunday mornings.  Many things have changed.  But not all.

43citations

http://plindenbaum.blogspot.com [YAKAFOKON] I love citations ! It would be really nice that the team who manage 43places/43things/43people create a kind of www.43citations.com.

Frank's Favorite Google Earth Blog Stories For 2005

http://www.gearthblog.com [Google Earth Blog] The following is a list of my 10 favorite Google Earth Blog Stories for 2005 (out of nearly 200 entries) with a brief description why I picked each one (listed alphabetically).

Geotags.org

cannonball banner

all i do is sew the seams. but man, these guys kick ass.

January 31, 2006

ideo identity business card

ideobusinesscard.jpga sketch idea for a business card which helps people identify and characterise those they are associated with. the proposed card uses bluetooth to track a person's movement & spoken activity during a meeting, which is then recorded and displayed.
[ideo.com]

tarimporter 1.1.2

About tarimporter
A Spotlight plug-in. Its primary purpose is to allow fast searches in UNIX tar files. For performance reasons, tarimporter searches only for file names inside tar files. Actually it recognizes tar, tgz, tar.gz, tbz, and tar.bz2 files. Source code is available.

OMG shirt


OMG shirt
Originally uploaded by Mike Monteiro.

I recommend the purchase of this shirt, with apologies to my more sensitive readers.

The Enchanted Shell

A poem by 19th c. African American poet H. Cordelia Ray

Four Things

I usually never do these things, but this has caught my eye on various favorite sites of mine. Plus, Mena tagged me :)

Four Things

Four jobs I've had:

Waitress at Skylark, a Japanese "family restaurant"
English Instructor at various language schools in Tokyo
Teaching Assistant in History at UCSD
Program Officer at the International Monetary Fund
(I won't count my current job since I still have it)

Four movies I can watch over and over:

BladeRunner
Baraka
Miyazaki Hayao animations
Matrix (I'm over it now, but back in the day...)

Four places I've lived:

Essex, Conneticut
Tokyo, Japan
Portland, Oregon
San Diego, California

Four TV shows I love:

Frontline
Firefly (if only it continued!!)
60 minutes
Cook's Tour (don't "love" it, but don't have any other shows to list)

Four places I've vacationed:

Black Rock City, Nevada
Garopaba & Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Pai & Koh Samui, Thailand
Paris, France

Four of my favorite dishes:

sushi
kaiseki (if I'm lucky enough to have that pleasure)
rice with natto, raw egg and soy sauce (comfort food when I'm sick)
duck with port sauce
(I also love stinky cheese)

Four sites I visit daily:

bloglines
gmail
craigslist (looking for a place to move now)
flickr

Four places I would rather be right now:

Ebisu, Omotesando, or Shibuya, Tokyo
streets of the 4th arrondisement, Paris (even in the cold)
on a safari in Kenya
lounging anywhere in the Maldives


Tag Four Other Bloggers:

Dav
Sean
Ele
Helen

tagswarming @ your library

The Missouri Botanical Garden is tagging the illustrations in their collection using volunteers and a shared del.icio.us account. They call this approach TagSwarming. Here is their tag cloud, and here is the blog entry from the digital library guy who created this project. They are always looking for helpers, if this sort of project idea intrigues you.

Things I Learned Today

The symbol of snowman is ☃ (Unicode: 0x2603). (thanks, Null)

I'm Feeling Lucky in Bengali: "Bhagyoban Money Korchhi" (thanks, Finn)

Wasps aren't animals. (thanks, YSA)

Mark Rothko's Seagram murals were to hang in the then-new Four Seasons restaurant in NYC

Mark Rothko's Seagram murals were to hang in the then-new Four Seasons restaurant in NYC. How did they come to hang instead in the Tate Modern in London?

Downtown

david posted a photo:

Downtown

Tue 01/31/2006 15:10 Image108

A big dog on the subway with a fur-coated owner and a brick in its mouth

A big dog on the subway with a fur-coated owner and a brick in its mouth. And I believe it's a "pit bull-type" dog.

Pointing Based Search Solution for Mobile Phones Debuts

pointandbuy.jpg Similar to using a mouse to click on a computer screen to access information, users can now "Click on the Real World" using their mobile phone. With Mapion Local Search, users can walk down virtually any street in Japan and point at over 700,000 buildings, retailers, restaurants, banks, or historical sites to instantly retrieve information on what they are looking at, or find what they are looking for just by pointing their phone.

Is Google doing Goobuntu? -- for internal use only

An article in The Register says: "Google is preparing its own distribution of Linux for the desktop, in a possible bid to take on Microsoft in its core business - desktop software. A version of the increasingly popular Ubuntu desktop Linux distribution, based on Debian and the Gnome desktop, it is known internally as 'Goobuntu'." It seems such a thing does exist, but for internal use only, and Google has no plans to release it, at least before its moon teleporter is finished....

I\'ve been screaming about a Google/Ubuntu partnership at everyone unfortunate enough to be near me. It\'s *such* an obvious fit!

GPS, narrative, geodocumentary in Latvia and Netherlands

(Via Mobile Audience)

Location awareness, narrative, and documentary come together in this project. What else are people going to map?

For their 2005 Golden Nica-winning MILK project, the artists gave GPS devices to people involved in the dairy trade between Latvia and the Netherlands, representing their movements as animated maps, photos, and textual memories on the web. A kind of geog! raphic documentary, MILK conflates the objectivity of mapping with the subjective experiences of economics, politics and, of course, other people. And this MILK is perfectly safe for lactose-intolerant viewers.

New news of the world

wmmna has a new sponsor until the end of May: the Ravensbourne College of Design and Communication. A couple of cool projects by students include: Jee Hyun Oh' GORI Node Garden, Farmer Brown's Journal, Browse del.icio.us, etc.

GORI_Dana002.jpg
GORI.Node Garden

This morning i'm going to Geneva to attend a workshop organised by two guys i like a lot, Nicolas and Julian. It's called blogjects and it's about objects that blog and this exemplify the Internet of Things, i.e. a network of tangible, mobile, chatty things enabled by the miniaturization, the ubiquity of consumer electronics and a pervasive Internet.

On Thursday i'll be speaking at LIFT06.

Then i'm off to Berlin for Transmediale. Oh! and i'll be flat hunting. So if you've heard of a free house/apartment for two person and two dogs in an area with parcs and gardens, drop me a line, i really need help.

Last hours to vote at the Bloggies.

Google Misses Profit Forecast and Stock Dives

An earnings increase that fell shy of Wall Street's targets sent Google's shares plummeting.

Nam June Paik

Toshi Hoo writes:
Nam June Paik has died at the age of 74:
If you are video artist and don't know Paik's work, you should. He introduced the world to video art in the 1960's and collaborated with the Fluxus art movement with folks like John Cage and Charlotte Moorman.


From the Mercury News:
MIAMI - Nam June Paik, the avant-garde artist credited with inventing video art in the 1960s by combining multiple TV screens with sculpture, music and live performers, has died. He was 74.
The Korean-born Mr. Paik, who also coined the term ``Electronic Super Highway'' years before the information superhighway was invented, died Sunday night of natural causes at his Miami apartment, according to his Web site.


MercuryNews.com | 01/31/2006 | Nam June Paik, electronic artist

TED's got the look

TedtableI could lose my blogging privileges for this, but I felt like someone had to point out TED's Headquarters brightening up the pages of this week's New York Magazine. Being that the one-year mark has long since past, it seems our "global new-media migrant" has finally found a home in NYC...

"How'd They Do That?" - Thundercut "Walkers" - A Video From A to Z

thunderman.jpg


Ever wonder how the WALK - NO WALK "Walker" characters are made?

Our friends over at Thundercut have produced a short little film that walks you through the entire process. Very cool indeed.

thundervideo.jpg
(click above to watch)

What's up with the Jerusalem Date Palm?

"This past summer I read about the amazing resilience of the Jerusalem Date Palm, a plant with legendary medical powers that was thought extinct. I have been searching for news and updates about this little guy since then, but I haven't had much luck."

Einstein and Mozart

Einstein_1Many of you have no doubt read Godel Escher Bach, the brilliant and entertaining treatise by Douglas Hofstadter, drawing connections between the work of the legendary mathematician, artist and musician. In today's New York Times, a compelling — though admittedly less sweeping — essay by Arthur I. Miller explores the connections between Einstein and Mozart.

Einstein, Miller explains, was deeply inspired by Mozart's music, and sensed an affinity between their work. Mozart's music "was so pure that it seemed to have been ever-present in the universe, waiting to be discovered by the master," Einstein once said. And he held similar views of his own work in physics, which revealed the "pre-established harmony" of the cosmos.

The link between physics and music may seem abstract at first. But TED has always been about making — and encouraging — such non-obvious connections. With any luck, Lisa Randall will draw such inspiration from the extraordinary musicians in Monterey next month ...

Alito Update



Supreme Court Update

You can follow the efforts to derail the "inevitable" appointment of Samuel Alito, the religious right's man, on this Kos thread. [Update: more recent developments here, but the first link has phone numbers, etc.] Please take a minute to look at the list and see where your Senators stand on this and who might be wavering and in need of a supportive call (the key words are "vote no on cloture"). Clinton and Schumer will vote "no"--meaning they want the nomination to stay open to debate. Menendez is wavering. His staff got an earful from me this morning. 202-224-4744. Keep hitting redial and you'll get through.

Update: A Kos commenter counts 67 for cloture and 22 against. Estimates on the ultimate vote (Alito's appointment as opposed to closing the debate) are 59 for Alito to 41 against, and since a simple majority carries it, that means we get an angry God Squadder on the Supreme Court. I think it's worth expressing your opinion right up until last minute, but that's just me, obviously.

Final tally on the cloture vote.

Just saw the Senate confirmed that pig. Knew it was coming but my stomach flipped over, slightly, at the news. Does anyone reading this blog give a shit? I know a lot of my progressive friends went all soft and cynical after the 2004 election.

Kurt Cobain Doing Karaoke (video)

Nirvana_1You could almost add this to the annals of great moments in televised lipsynching, but no, this is a video clip of Kurt Cobain doing what can only be described as karaoke (download video, 28 meg, mpeg file). The only catch is that he's doing karaoke to one of his own songs, Smells Like Teen Spirit. This is from Nirvana's Top of the Pops appearance from November of 1991. For reasons still unclear to me, the BBC asked the band to perform the song with a live vocal, using the instrumental backing track from Nevermind. Dave Grohl and Krist Novoselic make no effort to appear to be playing, and Cobain turns in a magnificent performance, swallowing the microphone, singing lyrics like "load up on drugs, kill your friends" with a sarcastic lounge-like baritone. A little more info here. And if you enjoyed this, you're sure to enjoy Public Image, Ltd. or Prince on American Bandstand. via fulminatia

'Brokeback Mountain' and Small Films Lead the Way in Oscars

With size counting less than serious intent, Oscar nominations went to small films with deep political and social themes.

a suggestion

gwen suggested i make a quilt expressing my feelings about the social work profession over time.

i responded that i didn't like quilts that express feelings. they tend to be metallic with beads and then, somehow, transmute into "ethnic kimonos" (fiber people, you know what i am talking about).

but gwen was right. here was our exchange:

(me)> sewing + feelings about the children = crap art : discuss

(gwen) i envisioned more something along these lines: sarah w/out table or
phone, standing underneath a huge cross, while ol' dirty bastard revs
up outside smoking crack cigars and a choir sets fire to things.
border of cookies and textbooks and numbers.

people, this quilt needs to be made, does it not?

The everyday lives of come from aways

She's From Away

She's From Away 001 by Hope Larson

"I'm Hope Larson, an American cartoonist living in Canada. In December 2004 I became a permanent resident, and in April 2005 my husband and I moved to Nova Scotia, a fairly isolated province east of Maine. It's so far east that it's in the Atlantic time zone, which we didn't know existed! The locals call people like us 'come from aways.' It's not exactly a term of endearment...In October Mal and I moved into our first house, in a rural area north of Halifax. SFA is a chronicle of our lives as we continue to adjust to life in the Maritimes. Look for a new strip every Thursday."

Just look at how great that final frame is! (via)

Queer Music Heritage

Queer Music Heritage is a radio show and a website. The goal of both is to preserve and share the music of G&L culture. With sections dedicated to Gay musicals, gay marriage songs, mp3 of Camp Record the most outrageous (and queerest) record label of the 60s, an impressive collection of photos of female impersonation and drag artists, etc.

GAYSONG.jpg

Via Digitaler Lumpensammler.

Oscars nominees

The nominees for this year's Academy Awards are out today, and most of the categories include the same movies we've been seeing win all the other awards for the past month--Brokeback Mountain, Capote, Walk the Line, Crash. Overall there...

Academy Award Nominees

Newsweek did a great article with all of the directors nominated. A roundtable with George Clooney, Steven Spielberg, Ang Lee, Bennett Miller & Paul Haggis.

I do not have a lot to say about the nominees. Pretty predictible. I am glad that A History of Violence was able to squeeze in a few. William Hurt was really, really funny and sick in it!

My only criticism is in the Best Original Song nominations. They are:

"In the Deep" - CRASH (I LOVE this song. I just gave Bird York a shout out yesterday!)

"It's Hard Out Here for a Pimp" - HUSTLE & FLOW (OK, I sing this song all the time. It makes me laugh a lot. But nominating it for an Academy Award! This is kind of upsetting and I for one do not want to see Terrence Howard in his suit performing this song on Awards night. I have a big problem with this one and I think I can not watch them do this. Yikes! Friends kept yelling at me for singing this song because it was so insanely offensive but I am a sarcastic gal and cannot help myself. I somehow feel that this nomination is some strange punishment.)

"Travelin' Thru" - TRANSAMERICA (This is the WORST song ever. TERRIBLE!!!! So so so bad. When the credits were going up after Transamerica, Beebs and I looked at one another when this song came on. We thought, "What the heck is this?!" We kept singing it to each other again as a JOKE! Can't Hollywood take a joke? These songs are bad and not bad in a slang way, in a real way.)

Marshall McLuhan

tomorrow.jpg

tomorrow is our permanent address...

Â…McLuhan claimed some decades ago but nowadays we are simply already immersed and embedded Â…Arthur C. Kroker (editor of ctheory) states that we live in the electronic culture that he (McLuhan) prophesied. And since he wrote about it, technology has become more pervasive, but silent. ItÂ’s invisible. An elder article (written 2005 to remind McLuhanÂ’s actuality 25 year after his death) gives..(an) overview on McLuhanÂ’s opinions and as well both the enthusiasm and critique his thoughts evoked.

"For the first time, the central nervous system has been 'exteriorized," says Kroker, U Vic's Canada Research Chair in technology, culture and theory. "It is our plight to be processed through the technological simulacrumÂ…in a "technostructure" which is nothing but a vast simulation and amplification of the bodily senses." McLuhanÂ’s early (1960s) wake-up call about the extent to which peopleÂ’s very identities are determined by the tools that they themselves invent can be listened to via these two links of the old recordings.

The Medium is the Massage; with Marshall McLuhan.
Long-Playing Record 1968.
Produced by John Simon.
Conceived and co-ordinated by Jerome Agel. Written by Marshall McLuhan, Quentin Fiore, and Jerome Agel.
Columbia CS 9501, CL2701.

[posted on mind the_GAP*]

S C R I B B L E R

ok, this is smart, cheap, fun and fast, the way i like it---[dp]

East Village Memorial

East Village Mural

This memorial is painted on the side of Mamma’s Food Shop on 6th street and Avenue C. Click the image above for a larger version. The mural is signed by Taboo!, an East Village drag queen. I couldn’t find much about her online except mention (and a photo) in this old Wigstock release.

The piece commemorates a mix of stars, artists, drag queens, and others. Some died of AIDS, others were East Village locals. Some names I recognize, others I do not. Members of a family quietly fading.

East Village Mural

Alito Update

Supreme Court Update

You can follow the efforts to derail the "inevitable" appointment of Samuel Alito, the religious right's man, on this Kos thread. [Update: more recent developments here, but the first link has phone numbers, etc.] Please take a minute to look at the list and see where your Senators stand on this and who might be wavering and in need of a supportive call (the key words are "vote no on cloture"). Clinton and Schumer will vote "no"--meaning they want the nomination to stay open to debate. Menendez is wavering. His staff got an earful from me this morning. 202-224-4744. Keep hitting redial and you'll get through.

Update: A Kos commenter counts 67 for cloture and 22 against. Estimates on the ultimate vote (Alito's appointment as opposed to closing the debate) are 59 for Alito to 41 against, and since a simple majority carries it, that means we get an angry God Squadder on the Supreme Court. I think it's worth expressing your opinion right up until last minute, but that's just me, obviously.

Final tally on the cloture vote.

Turning Montreal Into A Sunday Morning Cartoon

phoneblue.jpg

Artist: Spekter

77 Water Street Biplane

Crazy, but there appears to be a biplane, complete with runway, on the roof of 77 Water Street, NY.

biplane, complete with runway

So what’s it doing there? NYC Architecture says that it’s a a full-size model of a WWI Sopwith Camel, designed by Rudolph de Harak and built in 1969 - primarily to amuse the inhabitants of surrounding scyscrapers, notably the World Trade Center.

You can rotate around the plane on Windows Live Local, but bear in mind that sometimes the other buildings will obstruct your view. For the ultimate in close-ups, here’s a fantastic photo from a neighbouring building.

Thanks to Chris and Maté Tamasko.

Nam June Paik

paik_nam_june_file.jpg

Paik, Pioneer of Video Art, Dead at 74

"Nam June Paik, the Korean-born artist and composer regarded as the inventor of video art, died Sunday of natural causes at his Miami home. He was 74. Paik is thought to have coined the terms "information superhighway" and "the future is now," as well as having global influence with his work.

Paik's art combined the use of music, video images and sculptures in a way that set the style for future video artists. "Paik's work would have a profound and sustained impact on the media culture of the late 20th century; his remarkable career witnessed and influenced the redefinition of broadcast television and transformation of video into an artist's medium," John Hanhardt, media arts curator at New York's Guggenheim Museum of Art, said in a statement.

"Through a vast array of installations, videotapes, global television productions, films, and performances, Paik has reshaped our perceptions of the temporal image in contemporary art," Hanhardt added." From Paik, pioneer of video art, dead at 74 CBC.CA.

Actor Tom Baker (Doctor Who) becomes voice of text

tombaker.gif Former Doctor Who actor Tom Baker is to be the voice of a talking text message service for three months, reports the BBC.

Matt on Animal Crossing

Matt Webb's blog is full of great entries, but today's really struck me because it's about Animal Crossing, and because I spent much of the summer and fall of 2004 playing Animal Crossing on our Game Cube. I think I was processing the end of Game Neverending.

We don't have a TV any longer, so we don't play, and I'm quite glad about that, but it was a truly beautiful game, so cute, and Japanese. I can't describe it better than Matt, so go read his post.

Pirate Testing (Because Only Ninjas Write Unit Tests)

I've got a new favorite development technique, "pirate testing". I've used it on 3 recent projects, and it rocks.

And while Sam might have meant it literally, I've found it perfectly describes the practice of shanghaiing another tool's test suite to given your own TDD a jump start.

(n.b.: May be harder in languages which don't allow reopening of classes. aka monkey patching)

Max OS X widget for Radio Paradise playlist

radio paradise widget

I made a Mac OS X Dashboard widget that displays the current playlist from RadioParadise.com, a great internet radio station. It's my first ever widget, so it's not very fancy, but it gets the job done.

The widget shows a scrollable list of the last 6 hours worth of music played, and if you click a song title, it opens the web page on RP's site dedicated to that song. Clicking the main logo takes you to RP's site. It refreshes when you show the Dashboard and you can manually refresh it by clicking the "refresh" link. I may add automatic refreshing in some future release.

Once you've downloaded the widget, unzip it by double-clicking it, then double-click the widget file. For older versions of Mac OS X, you might need to move the files into your home folder's /Library/Widgets folder first.

Apple doesn't seem to publicize this fact, but practically anyone can make a widget. Simple widgets are really just small web pages, and can be made using only HTML, JavaScript, and a couple of images. You should give it a try. I just read Apple's excellent tutorial, looked at the source code for one of their RSS-reading sample widgets, and went from there.

This widget uses JavaScript to extract data from an XML version of RP's playlist. I believe it is technically an AJAX-based widget, albeit a very simple one. A few weeks ago, I wrote a PHP script that generates an RSS feed from that XML.

I'm guessing it's trivial to convert Mac OS X widgets to Konfabulator/Yahoo! Widgets, so I will do that when I get a minute.

Your Momma Knew This Already

He eats curryTurmeric, a spice that is a key ingredient in Indian curry dishes, contains a potent cancer-fighting agent, the New York Daily News reported Tuesday.

A study published in the upcoming issue of Cancer magazine related that curcumin, a chemical pigment in turmeric, helped stop the spread of breast cancer tumor cells to the lungs of mice.

Now doctors have launched clinical tests to see if it works on humans, said Bharat Aggarwal of the Department of Experimental Therapeutics at the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, who led the study.

Earlier studies suggest that people who eat diets rich in turmeric have lower rates of breast cancer, prostate cancer, lung cancer and colon cancer, Aggarwal said. He noted that many cancers are 10 times rarer on the Indian subcontinent than in the West.

The breakthrough came as no surprise to the owner of an Indian restaurant in downtown Manhattan. Abu Syed told the Daily News: "We already knew that Indian food tastes good. But it is good to hear it can help with cancer, too. It is one more reason to eat plenty of it." [ more ]

January 30, 2006

Radical Software Group

software of mischief

Smithsonian Picks Notable Spot for Its Museum of Black History

The choice of a space near the Washington Monument thrilled supporters, but some argued the project would clutter the Mall.

The Gang Rule of Four Fourteen Four Four Four Four Four

True friend Meg tagged me with four things. Kenyatta almost did, but apparently he was worried about a self induced overdose of vitamin M(eme). Nonsense!

Four Jobs I've Had:

  1. Perl Programmer - From the first iteration of nea.org in the summer of 1994 to my current work as a full time software architect and programmer, I've always been a programmer at heart. Also at the NEA, I built a link sharing program from teachers in the summer of 1996. There was no auth (or tags) but it did have comments. (I should have kept going with that. :) The search was a regular expression, and the "view all" button was simply a search on the letter 'e.' I'm pretty good at this, but after 12 years I should be even better!
  2. MediaRights - Director of Technology and Distribution. The "and distribution" was only added to my title in the last year I was there, but I loved my job at MediaRights helping filmmakers get their messages further. It was my boss Nicole who gave the folks at Netflix the idea of releasing films from PBS/POV to Netflix subscribers the day they were broadcast, and now that distribution model is all the rage.
  3. Teacher - Both at SEI and the House of Umoja in Portland, Oregon. Both my parents are life long teachers, so it seemed completely natural for me to take teaching jobs in Portland during a semester off from school and again after I graduated. It actually never occurred to me to look for programming jobs after college, although obviously I came back to it.
  4. Odd jobs at Oberlin - I had a million jobs at Oberlin, including working at conference services and in the student union.

Fourteen +2 movies I can watch over and over:

  • The Celebration
  • The Chungking Express
  • Contact
  • Fireworks
  • The Fugitive
  • The Hulk
  • In the Mood for Love
  • The Incredibles
  • The Iron Giant
  • Mullholland Drive
  • Rear Window
  • Rushmore
  • Tampopo
  • Star Trek VI
  • The Third Man
  • Toy Story 2

Four places I've lived:

  1. Fairfax, Virginia
  2. Oberlin, Ohio
  3. Portland, Oregon
  4. New York City

Four TV Shows I love:

  1. The Wire - All 4 entries could be Wire episodes, especially the last half of the third season.
  2. Monk - I'm monkish.
  3. Deadwood
  4. Mets Baseball

Four Places I've vacationed:

  • London, England
  • Paris, France
  • Tokyo, Japan
  • Vancouver, Canada

Four of my favorite dishes:

  1. Pepperoni Pizza - I'm vegan, but this is still my favorite food.
  2. Adriana's Beans and Rice
  3. Dumplings (regular old fried dumplings are fine for me.
  4. Dosa (hopefully from the Dosa Cart)

Four sites I visit daily:

Four places I would rather be right now:

  1. Montreal (never been!)
  2. Alaska
  3. Portland, OR
  4. Houseboat

Who's next???

  1. Adriana
  2. Angela
  3. Mr. Sun!
  4. Claire

amex red

0_1[American Express] will team with Bono and UK-based [Product Red] to launch a new product, American Express RED, a charge card that contributes 1% of spending toward the fight against AIDS and malaria in Africa. AmEx RED will be the first credit card targeted at "conscience consumers" who make decisions about brands based on their social, ethical and environmental values. Besides AmEx, other RED partners are Converse, GAP and Giorgio Armani.

A word from American Express:

"We're a founding member of RED because we're convinced it makes good business sense. We support an ethical initiative which encourages consumers to make a positive impact in the fight against HIV and AIDS in Africa.... There's no other initiative currently working with private enterprise on this scale to help deliver change. We're also committed to coming up with exciting and new products for our cardmembers and offering them opportunities to get involved in new and innovative ideas. That's why we've created American Express RED.....The easy way to do the RED thing. It couldn’t be simpler. You don’t have to make any extra effort to make a difference, because American Express RED is designed to make it simple for you to give everytime you spend. The only effort you have to make is to use American Express RED when making your everyday purchases."

I agree, 'good business' is indeed good for business. But why am I so skeptical? I find myself thinking back to a recent talk at the Strand Bookshop hosted by Tamara Draut, the director of the economic opportunity program at [Demos] and author of "Strapped: Why America's 20- and 30-Somethings Can't Get Ahead." Says Draut, "Sixty percent of young adults between 18 and 34 are struggling for financial independence. I wish credit cards were not so easy to obtain. When you don't have any food in the refrigerator and a pre-approved credit card is on the counter, it's easy to open that card and activate it." Draut wants legislation to stop what she sees as the most egregious lending practices of the credit card companies.

Maybe that's it. 1% of our spending goes to a very charitable cause, but how much interest do we pay on our credit cards? Where does all that interest go? Why is the interest so high in the first place? And why indeed are credit card companies so eager to give out new cards? Is it for the love of RED, or it for the love of GREEN?

foosball

I think this is the first flash piece I ever made - 1998? for bornmag

Celebrity Matchmaker

What with Valentine's Day just around the corner, and our successful peek into Hilary Swank and Chad Lowe's future love lives, we're really getting in to the celebrity matchmaking these days. And as semi-professional celebrity matchmakers, we can't help but...

Go Nintendo

What are you waiting for?

(Draft) I18N and L10N with Catalyst and Template Toolkit.

From SMS fan promotion to SMS activism -- and its political limitations

(Via MoPocket)

Justin Oberman posts in Personal Democracy Forum about a smartmobby political adaptation of what was originally a marketing device -- and how using the technology is not sufficient to achieve political wins. Oberman traces the current use of SMS alerts for political advocacy back to its original use as "Wireless Fan Access (WFX)" -- part of a promotional campaign for Britney Spears and Samsung.

WFX's creator (as well as President & CEO of Rights Group), Jed Alpert, was volunteering at a People for the American Way phone bank during the filibuster debate over judicial nominees last spring when he realized how his wireless technology could help solve some of the inefficiencies involved with voice P2P organizing over landlines.

"I instantly realized that we could use the same wireless technology, that worked so well on a commercial level, to mobilize thousands of activists instantly," Albert told me. Only this time, subscribers would have to be divided and sorted based on location and Congressional representation instead of how their birthday related to the movement of the planets. Embedded in each text message is the telephone number of the subscriber's Senator in Washington with a brief message as to what to call about. Using the WFX technology that Alpert created, PFAW has the ability to send out several thousand text-messages in one moment to the activist subscribers that sign on for the service.

The nomination of John Roberts to the Supreme Court was the first test of Alpert and PFAW's collaboration. "We got an opt-in rate that was 5 times better then any opt in rate our commercial entertainment campaign ever received," says Alpert. "Simply put, we got an opt-in rate of 27 percent, which is unbelievable." PFAW saw it as a huge success as well. According to PFAW's Online Product Manager Matt Pusateri "nearly 25,000 people signed up and used the tool before and during his nomination."

Prince "Baby I'm A Star" at the 1985 Grammys

Brain Age (aka Brain Training) Stateside Release Officially Announced

brain.jpg
According to an article released today on Gamasutra, the wildly popular DS Brain Training series is coming out in North America from Nintendo under the name "Brain Age".

Quoting directly from the Gamasutra article:
Officially revealed is a April 17 release date for Brain Age: Train Your Brain in Minutes a Day (known as Brain Training in Japan), which presents players with a series of short mental brain-training challenges that incorporate word memorization, counting and reading. The Western versions of the series have also added sudoku number puzzles, which have become extremely popular features in newspapers around the country, and especially in Europe.

In addition, second title Big Brain Academy will launch on May 30, and offers players 15 fun activities that test their brain powers in areas like logic, memory, math and analysis. Up to eight people can play with a single game card, and each activity takes less than a minute to complete.


You can find the entire article here.

so, what do you do?

I'm running a little experiment here. I've decided that while the glowing box babysits, I will pretend, for that half an hour that I would normally spend doing dishes or laundry, that I am actually a writer. Dum-dee-dum... I am a writer, and I am doing very important work here at my desk. Really. If I do this everyday, and gradually increase the amount of time as circumstances allow, then I can continue to call myself a writer, even if I am never published again. Surely if I keep this up I will eventually produce something of note; something I can point to and say, "See, I told you I was a writer."

It is becoming clear that my problem is not so much that I don't have time to write, which is true, but more that I don't make time to write. I don't take that time out of my day because it isn't a priority. It isn't a priority because I don't take myself seriously as a writer. I don't take myself seriously as a writer because I do not write. I do not write because I do not have time to write. I don't have time to write because I don't make time to write. The whole thing, spellled out as it is here, is quite pathetic.

I've been thinking a lot about what Mike said, and I wonder if it really is about the urge, the necessity to write. What if that is the missing piece for me; the thing that makes me not really a writer, but simply someone who enjoys writing? And would that be so terrible a thing? I like to pretend I'm something I'm not, but I don't feel a need to call myself an actor. Why must it be tied to my identity?

Well, I think some of it has to do with how I'd like to see myself as opposed to how I really see myself. Like, I want to be a writer. I admire writers. I admire all artists, but I have a special affinity for the writer. I understand that type of artistry that is creative, but still too tied to the intellect to truly transcend this earth, and therein lies the torment that is necessary for any really good art. I can dig it. The other part of it must be tied to my sense of who I am in actuality. I think that the more entrenched in motherhood I became, the more desperately I clung to that other thing.

"So, what do you do?"
"Oh, I'm a writer," and then, as an afterthought, as if it were possible to be an afterthought, "and I stay at home with my kids."

What is it about being a— do I dare to say it? yes, I do— Stay-At-Home Mother that makes me feel ill at ease? I don't feel uncomfortable while I'm doing it, except for those times when there is a tiny finger up my nose, or thirty pounds on my back, or a seemingly interminable shrieking in my ear. And even those aren't as bad as they sound, well, at least, much more tolerable than they sound. It's just when I say it out loud, which I don't, ever. You see, normally, I find comfort in labels. What is not to love about a nice, neatly lettered sticker that tells me exactly where something fits in, like the files in my box or the cans in my cupboard. When everything is where it should be, then I can relax. Only, I don't really want to fit in. In actuality, I require a bit more freedom than that.

When people think I'm a writer, they want to talk to me. When they think I'm a stay-at-home mom, they assume I don't have anything to say. I am reminded of how little we value children. That is really what it comes down to. I remember this from working in childcare. There is very little pay, and very little respect. I was a college student, and was therefore treated a little better because I was going on to do more important things eventually. We think of this kind of work as not really working at all. It's not professional work; basically unskilled labor. In fact, can it really be called work if there is no money involved? And it's not like I'm saving the world. No, just shaping the new one. The thought that my life would have seemingly more value if I went to work everyday and sent my children to be cared for by someone else, is baffling to me. I might be more at ease with that label, but I wouldn't be comfortable.

I have to remind myself that I choose this life. Everyday, I, we, make sacrifices so that our children can have this. So that they can have this foundation, which I feel is essential to who they are. I'm lucky I get to choose. So, really, what's a little identity theft when all of that is taken into consideration?

NYC - THE BICYCLE FILM FESTIVAL'S WINTER PARTY (01/30/06)

THE BICYCLE FILM FESTIVAL'S WINTER PARTY Anthem and Brendt Barbur are proud to present a party for bikers and their friends. Almost all the Bike Film Festivals sold out in 2005 with fun loving crowds from London to Tokyo....

High tea

Picture_3_8

London is synonymous with high-tea and where better to enjoy a cup or two than [Prêt-à-Portea], the new tea offering from London’s Berkeley hotel. Twice a year, éclairs, French fancies and macaroons are given a makeover inspired by the creations of the world’s top fashion designers. Head pastry chef Oda Weese’s current collection includes a John Galliano-inspired lace mint cake, a Chloé chocolate button slice and Burberry Prorsum ginger boot biscuits. Tea for two has never been so fashionable.

You gotta roll with it

Picture_4_10

First presented at London’s Royal College of Art, the PixelRoller uses paint or ink to copy onto any surface – be it walls, floors, or grass – a text or pixel-based graphic from the internet, a camera or even a phone. Inventors Stuart wood and Florian Ortkrass of [Random International] sure know how to roll with it.

Seriously impressed. I want one.

Random Videos

Google Local - 44 binney st, boston ma

MC Escher-esque satellite photo stich puts buildings at impossible angles right near each other.

Marshall McLuhan on the Dick Cavett Show in December 1970

December of 1970 along with Truman Capote and Chicago Bears running back, Gayle Sayers. Both Capote and Sayers participated in the discussion with McLuhan.

Just how good are you at Mario Kart? - DS Fanboy

Jason Bruges Studio

chanderlier.gif

PSP Image Cloud

Unique content was driven through a PSP and split across an array of organically arranged screens.

...Jason Bruges Studio created a chandelier (PSP Image Cloud) with 50 small TFT screens hanging from it. They created video content for a PSP, which was then broken up via a grid on to each of the small screens. The PSP video was then fed into a computer, where Isadora software was used to split the signal into components, through multiple outputs and up to the chandelier. Here are my Flickr Photos and a quick poor quality video (962kb).

chandelier2.gif

Also Playstation promotions staff were on hand to give you a demo of the PSP, plus lending out PSPs to play with exclusive content. Designers Intro were running a workshop studying unconcious explorations of mind mapping and thought patterning. There were animation screenings and short films, plus four literary walks through the V&A organised by Zembla Magazine.

Missed it? BBC2 were filming and will be showing the event on the Culture Show, Feb 16th at 7pm... [blogged by Chris on Pixelsumo]

The Theater of Social Networks

I don't want to participate.

I don't want to tag my photos, or rate my movies, or see how many people have been to the same places I have, or build the venn diagram of our friends-in-common. I don't want to know which bar my friends, family or contacts are drinking at right now. I don't want to actually date anyone on Consumating. I don't want to update my mood on my LiveJournal blog and I don't want to update my list of music for you to see.

But I'm glad you do.

I am a lurker.

I look at my friends photos to see where they are. I read Metafilter and don't post. I recently uploaded my first picture to filepile just to see what it was like. I read Best of Craiglist and Missed Connections because they're fun. I enjoy the theater of social networks much more than participating in them. I want plot, I want drama, I want villians, I want the social network equivalent of Roddy Piper hitting Jimmy Snuka in the head with a coconut. Amuse me.

While I enjoy the current push to build social network tools and the current drive to interconnect and mash-up everything on the planet I think (and this is not a number based on any fact, or truthiness) that about 80% of social network activity is done by about 20% of its member base. These are the hardcore participants. The actors, as it were. So what about the other 80%? What are we doing for the people coming to see the show?

Nam June Paik 1932-2006 : Top News

Artist, musician, and video provocateur Nam June Paik past away yesterday, Lunar New Year's Day January 29, 2006. l $NA l Chosun l...

My four things

Ok, this has been going around for a while now, and Jason's tagged me, so I'll go:

Four jobs I've had:
1. Pie baker
2. Ice cream maker
3. Management consultant
4. Canoeing counselor at girls summer camp in VT (I worked very hard on my tan that summer)

Four movies I can watch over and over:
1. Old School
2. Office Space
3. Star Trek II: The Wrath of Kahn (KAHN!!!!!!)
4. Ocean's Eleven

Four places I've lived:
1. Buffalo NY
2. San Francisco
3. Cuernavaca Mexico
4. Nearly every neighborhood in "Boston", including Somerville, Medford, the Back Bay, JP, Brookline...

Four Two TV shows I love:
1. American Experience (PBS)
2. Six Feet Under

I really don't watch that much TV. I used to like Seinfeld, but that was a long time ago...

Four places I've vacationed:
1. Kauai Hawaii
2. Nantucket MA
3. Winter Park CO
4. Zipolite Mexico

Five of my favorite dishes:
1. Bread pudding
2. Potato pancakes
3. Lasagne (no meat, no veggies, just cheese, noodles, and sauce)
4. Thomas Keller's torchon of foie gras
5. Nantucket bay scallops

This list is ridiculously short! Five dishes? I could go on to twenty-five, np!

Four sites I visit daily:
1. kottke.org
2. Yahoo! most popular
3. www.flickr.com
4. www.google.com

Five places I would rather be right now:
1. Someplace I've never been, like Italy or New Zealand
2. Jogging through Sanford Farm and Ram Pasture on Nantucket
3. Paris (of course!)
4. Vermont, skiing at Mad River
5. The moon

Four bloggers I am tagging:
1. My running amigo DJ
2. My mom
3. G-Trap
4. You! If you feel like doing this, go for it!

Take that Kottke! "too old school" my ass!

Google.cn: Tibetans protest, misspellers evade, updates.

Xeni Jardin:


Roughly 20 protesters from Students for a Free Tibet -- including a number of Tibetan nationals -- gathered in front of Google's headquarters last Wednesday to protest the company's launch of a government-filter-compliant search engine in China. Link, more images here. (Thanks, Telendro)

Paul Boutin has discovered that one way to thwart internet filters is too spel yur serch qweries inkorreckly. Link.

Over at News.com, Declan McCullagh reports that Google.cn not only omits politically sensitive material, but "goes further than similar services from Microsoft and Yahoo by targeting teen pregnancy, homosexuality, dating, beer and jokes." Link


Link to Joy of Tech comic by Nitrozac and Snaggy. (Thanks, Robert)

Here's another comic by Metin Seven: Link.

Reader Comment: Simon says,

Someone on the IP list spotted that the blacklist is case sensitive. Link.

Reader comment: Suomy Anona says,

I saw Googlecompare posted on a blog forum. You enter a search term and it compares the english results to the chinese results then gives you the links that are in the Google.com results but not the Google.cn results. Some of the things blocked (or put miles down in the results) are quite interesting (including BoingBoing's "Photo: lesbian kiss in Tiananmen Square under guards, Mao"). Obviously it is affected both by ordereding of results and complete censorship, but it can check the first 300 chinese results: Link

Atomic MSDN

Hey, MSDN blogs have started generating Atom 1.0; here’s the IEBlog feed. Good stuff! There are a couple of little glitches: they use rel="self" instead of rel="alternate", and they provide published but not updated timestamps. Both totally forgivable in a 1.0 release, and presumably easy to fix. Take-away: we need to have better tutorial material (others have made the same self/alternate mistake), and to do better at telling the world about the Feed Validator.

The Right Tools.

Abraham LincolnÂ’s Productivity Secret.

Nam June Paik

Nam June Paik
Nam June Paik, pioneering new media artist died Sunday.

Posted to

magic beans

Sometimes I wonder whether “Getting Real” is a 37Signals plot to eliminate competition through unqualified absolutes masquerading as business advice.

“Why bother with that frumpy old cow, when you can have these magic beans?

Oh snap! -dj

Seen On The Streets of Montevideo-Uruguay.

thein.jpg

Artist: Santiago

The Onion interviews Stephen Colbert

The Onion interviews Stephen Colbert. "It used to be, everyone was entitled to their own opinion, but not their own facts. But that's not the case anymore. Facts matter not at all. Perception is everything."

Rocketboom: Let the Bidding Begin

Here's the link to Rocketboom's eBay auction for five days of ads. The video blog's reserve opening bid is $500. On any given day, Rocketboom reaches at least 130,000 people per day. This will be interesting to watch.


Nam Jun Paik dead

Looking for confirmation, but got an email via RHIZOME_RAW that Nam Jun Paik passed away yesterday evening.

Will link to reliable sources when I find them. According to this web site (which says it’s the official Paik web site); it’s true.

Shit. The world has lost a great and influential artist.

There’s an article on MSNBC too.

Below, the entire NYT obit by Roberta Smith.
Nam June Paik, 73, Dies; Pioneer of Video Art Whose Work Broke Cultural Barriers

By ROBERTA SMITH
Published: January 31, 2006

Nam June Paik, an avant-garde composer, performer and artist widely considered the inventor of video art, died Sunday at his winter home in Miami Beach. He was 73 and also lived in Manhattan.

Nam June Paik in 2004 with one of his installations at the Deutsche Guggenheim Museum in Berlin.

Mr. Paik suffered a stroke in 1996 and had been in declining health for some time, said his nephew, Ken Paik Hakuta, who manages his uncle’s studio in New York.

Mr. Paik’s career spanned half a century, three continents and several art mediums, ranging through music, theater and found-object art. He once built his own robot. But his chief means of expression was television, which he approached with a winning combination of visionary wildness, technological savvy and high entertainment values. His work could be kitschy, visually dazzling and profound, sometimes all at once, and was often irresistibly funny and high-spirited.

At his best, Mr. Paik exaggerated and subverted accepted notions about both the culture and the technology of television while immersing viewers in its visual beauty and exposing something deeply irrational at its center. He presciently coined the term “electronic superhighway” in 1974, grasping the essence of global communications and seeing the possibilities of technologies that were barely born. He usually did this while managing to be both palatable and subversive. In recent years, Mr. Paik’s enormous American flags, made from dozens of sleek monitors whose synchronized patterns mixed everything from pinups to apple pie at high, almost subliminal velocity, could be found in museums and corporate lobbies.

Mr. Paik was affiliated in the 1960’s with the anti-art movement Fluxus, and also deserves to be seen as an aesthetic innovator on a par with the choreographer Merce Cunningham and the composer John Cage. Yet in many ways he was simply the most Pop of the Pop artists. His work borrowed directly from the culture at large, reworked its most pervasive medium and gave back something that was both familiar and otherworldly.

He was a shy yet fearless man who combined manic productivity and incessant tinkering with Zen-like equanimity. A lifelong Buddhist, Mr. Paik never smoked or drank and also never drove a car. He always seemed amused by himself and his surroundings, which could be overwhelming: a writer once compared his New York studio to a television repair shop three months behind schedule.

Mr. Paik is survived by his wife, the video artist Shigeko Kubota.

Mr. Paik got to television by way of avant-garde music. He was born in 1932 in Seoul, Korea, into a wealthy manufacturing family. Growing up, he studied classical piano and musical composition and was drawn to 20th-century music; he once said it took him three years to find an Arnold Schoenberg record in Korea. In 1949, with the Korean War threatening, the family fled to Hong Kong, and then settled in Tokyo. Mr. Paik attended the University of Tokyo, earning a degree in aesthetics and the history of music in 1956 with a thesis on Schoenberg’s work.

He then studied music at the University of Munich and the Academy of Music in Freiburg and threw himself into the avant-garde music scene swirling around Cologne. He also met John Cage, whose emphasis on chance and randomness dovetailed with Mr. Paik’s sensibility.

Over the next few years, Mr. Paik arrived at an early version of performance art, combining cryptic musical elements — usually spliced audiotapes of music, screams, radio news and sound effects — with startling events. In an unusually Oedipal act during a 1960 performance in Cologne, Mr. Paik jumped from the stage and cut off Cage’s necktie, an event that prompted George Maciunas, a founder of Fluxus, to invite Mr. Paik to join the movement. At the 1962 Fluxus International Festival for Very New Music in Wiesbaden, Germany, Mr. Paik performed “Zen for Head,” which involved dipping his head, hair and hands in a mixture of ink and tomato juice and dragging them over a scroll-like sheet of paper to create a dark, jagged streak.

In 1963, seeking a visual equivalent for electronic music and inspired by Cage’s performances on prepared pianos, Mr. Paik bought 13 used television sets in Cologne and reworked them until their screens jumped with strong optical patterns. In 1963, he exhibited the first art known to involve television sets at the Galerie Parnass in Wuppertal, Germany.

In 1965 he made his New York debut at the New School for Social Research: Charlotte Moorman, a cellist who became his longtime collaborator, played his “Cello Sonata No. 1 for Adults Only,” performing bared to the waist. A similar work performed in 1967 at the Filmmakers Cinematheque in Manhattan resulted in the brief arrest of Ms. Moorman and Mr. Paik. Mr. Paik retaliated with his iconic “TV Bra for Living Sculpture,” two tiny television screens that covered Ms. Moorman’s breasts.

Mr. Paik bought one of the first portable video cameras on the market, in 1965, and the same year he exhibited the first installation involving a video recorder, at the Galeria Bonino in New York. Although he continued to perform, his interests shifted increasingly to the sculptural, technological and environmental possibilities of video.

In 1969, Mr. Paik started showing pieces using multiple monitors. He created bulky wood robotlike figures using old monitors and retrofitted consoles, and constructed archways, spirals and towers, including one 60-feet tall that used 1,003 monitors. By the 1980’s he was working with lasers, mixing colors and forms in space, without the silvery cathode-ray screen.

For his 2000 retrospective at the Guggenheim Museum, Mr. Paik arranged monitors faceup on the rotunda’s floor, creating a pondlike effect of light and images. Overhead, one of the artist’s most opulent laser pieces cascaded from the dome in lightninglike zigzags — an apt metaphor for a career that never stopped surging forward.

The New World


Most of the lukewarm reviews I have read about Terrence Malick's The New World betray a kind of deadening of the intellect, emotions, and attention span that I can only assume is a by-product of reviewers being forced to watch one too many McDonald's commercials masquerading as movies (two and a half stars from the Austin Chronicle? Jesus Marjorie, that's less than you gave The Beverly Hillbillies). The New World has grace and emotional subtlety that is so lacking in today's American cinema that you'd think that people could force themselves to take pause, or at least pop a ritalin and watch with open eyes. I hope the film gives Q'Orianka Kilche a great career as well, because she's phenomenally natural and open with the camera in this film.

News: Bunny Bunny brainteaser game released

A new casual puzzler modeled after Japanese arcade games called Bunny Bunny is available for download.

Placing Sept 11 in historical context

Over the weekend there was an interesting op-ed in the New York Times by Joseph J. Ellis, Finding a Place for 9/11 in American History. First he questions the threat of September 11 to national security, "in the grand sweep of American history" and finds, "it does not make the top tier of the list." And as such, he questions whether the broad changes to domestic and foreign made in its name are justified. Second, he examines when such changes have been made (e.g. 1789's Alien and Sedition Acts and the internment of Japanese-Americans during WWII) and finds:

In retrospect, none of these domestic responses to perceived national security threats looks justifiable. Every history textbook I know describes them as lamentable, excessive, even embarrassing.

It's ridiculous that in the effort to "win" the war on terror, we're scraping the constitutional protections that make America the great country that it is. And as Professor Ellis writes, history will likely show that once again, we've overreacted.

Gloves for Text Messaging

gloves_main.jpg This is clever. girl 32's Smart Glove with removable hooded fingertips on the digits you actually need to use - thumb and forefinger. Now you can make a call or send text messages while keeping warm. Comes in Citrine/Spearmint, Boysenberry/Chocolate, Hot Pink/Bubblegum and Black Licorice. [via Cape Cod Times]

The E Programming Language

Internet Game Provides Breakthrough In Predicting ...

Internet Game Provides Breakthrough In Predicting The Spread Of Epidemics, Report Scientists:



Using a popular internet game that traces the travels of dollar bills, scientists have unveiled statistical laws of human travel in the United States, and developed a mathematical description that can be used to model the spread of infectious disease in this country. This model is considered a breakthrough in the field.
Link

The Racismomaton

The Racismomaton is an autonomous computarized cabin that, by means of a computer game, allows passersby to take a test that will unveil his/her implicit attitudes towards foreigners. Attitudes that usually are found under discriminatory behaviours.

Four elements have inspired the design of the installation:

racismomaton.jpg

1. Apart from consciously racist people, there are people having racist behaviours without being conscious of it. The hope is that a portion of these "unconscious racists" would change their attitudes after a rational thinking process. Racismomaton intends to be a catalyst for these people to think more deeply about the issue.

2. The process should happen in an strictly private space (hence the photo booth-like design with curtain.)

3. The machine should be autonomous: the installation runs on the street and batteries are charged by photovoltaic cells. Besides, the system regularly sends short messages to state it is working OK.

4. An Implicit Association Test (IAT + PDF) has been developed by psychologists at Washington and Princeton universities. IAT tests unconscious bias that indicate the existence of stereotypes and prejudices that are the basis of racist behaviour. The mechanism is very simple and the test can be completed in less than five minutes.

The Racismomaton has already been installed in several Spanish cities for a few days. I'm afraid other countries need a Racismomaton experience.

By Julio and Íñigo Fernández Ostolaza, aka LaFabricaDeCosasBonitas.
Image Getxo.

LIFEBLOG.anina.net: slides gave me an ultimatum

This is shocking. I don't know anything about modeling, but I always assumed that Anina's phone work raised her profile in a way that was positive for her career.

Judith lost her camera (and most of her pictures) on her trip to Hawaii, so she's using other people's photos from Flickr to produce a trip journal

Judith lost her camera (and most of her pictures) on her trip to Hawaii, so she's using other people's photos from Flickr to produce a trip journal.

"Oh, dogs are everywhere that I go..."

Reading Nelson's account of his hatred for his Nintendog reminded me of Mena's new habit of playing Nintendogs every day in the car on the way to work.

Nintendogs: Chihuahua

Mena bought the Chihuahua version of Nintendogs on December 31, so in addition to Trivial Pursuit, New Years Eve 2006 was marked by the rhythmic, repeated "Augie... Augie... Augie!... Augie", as Mena trained her new Sheltie puppy (named Augie, after her parents' Sheltie). This is the training process: you have to repeat the dog's name over, & over, & over again, until it will respond to commands.

In other words: if you think it's infuriating & repetitive to play the game, try listening to someone play the game. It's much, much worse.

Augie, the Nintendogs Sheltie

And so the thing is: Mena's now got four dogs. Why so many? Because they're basically puppy prostitutes, working for money, & they can only turn 3 tricks per day, metaphorically (or, actually, quite literally—each dog can compete in only 3 competitions per day).

So Mena's invested her agility competition proceeds in a little army of dogs. Her first was Augie, the Sheltie; she's followed that with Binky, the terrier; Evita, the German Shepherd; and Baby, the King Charles Spaniel. & of course, in a very encouraging Hey-Let's-Get-A-Dog-Ourselves! way, she's quite tired of walking them, feeding them, & cleaning up after them.

Her dogs are, in turn:

  • unable to catch a frisbee, because of pathetically short legs (Binky)
  • aggressively useless (Evita)
  • lethargic & depressed, & just lies around moping [1] (Augie)

Baby is the newest, & Mena's not yet tired of her, apparently.

& the best of all: last night Augie met Alaina's dog Rofl, which meeting unlocked the Shiba Inu puppies at the kennel in Mena's game. Hooray! Another begrudged puppy!

[1] Though apparently he's still quite good in agility competitions.

Nam June Paik

Nam June Paik, the artist who made me like media art, passed away at his Miami home at 8:00pm EST on Sunday, January 29th, 2006.

aapaik.jpg

Microsoft Would Put Poor Online by Cellphone

Microsoft executives are discussing their alternative to the $100 laptop: turning a cellphone into a computer by connecting it to a television and a keyboard.

January 29, 2006

snesDS WIP

SNES emulator for the DS? I need to get a card.

EnergyBulletin.net | Peak Oil News Clearinghouse

interactive waterfall display

interactive_waterfall.jpgan interactive art installation built in a new children's hospital. as people move in front of this display they affect ripples of virtual water colours. the more they move, the faster the colours change, encouraging children to be more active & playful. when there is no or little activity in front of the waterfall, the display phases simple rainbow colors & ripples lightly. [setpixel.com]

Rice Admits U.S. Underestimated Hamas Strength

The secretary of state said the U.S. failed to understand the depth of hostility among Palestinians toward their longtime leaders.

Tuberaider Video

It's come to my attention that not everyone knows about Tuberaider, J-Smooth's best of YouTube blog. Enjoy The Meters live, Popping and Locking Lessons and Chaka Khan Playing the Drums.

OverClocked ReMix - Unofficial Game Music Arrangement Community

Hands down THE video-game-music-remix headquarters of the www.

Who Will Steal the Enron Show?

It could be lower-level Enron employees, not the star witnesses, who seal the fate of Kenneth L. Lay and Jeffrey K. Skilling.

Super Mario Brothers soundpack

create all the sounds from the original super mario game!

Electro-Graf V1

Q Branch posted a photo:

Electro-Graf V1

electro-graf1.jpg

Q Branch posted a photo:

electro-graf1.jpg

Rhythm Science @ The Studio Museum in Harlem

Harlempaulmiller

Temporary architecture in Geneva

For fans of temporary architecture only: this bunch of temporary work capsules had been installed close to my place in Geneva. I like the way it looks - kind of apocalyptic shelter - though:

Prefa 2

On the same issue, see Alain Bublex’s work.

Yahoo! Maps Web Services - Maps Application Gallery [del.icio.us]

a couple Upcoming.org mashups, other really cool stuff

Reason: Rethinking the Social Responsibility of Business [del.icio.us]

A Reason debate featuring Milton Friedman, Whole Foods’ John Mackey, and Cypress Semiconductor’s T.J. Rodgers

Introduction - In search of the One True Layout [del.icio.us]

Must read. (One CSS to bring them all and in the darkness bind them)

Tupac Rips the Lecture Tour, 1992

Old Mini-Documentary on Def Jam Records

Mobil

Mobil Oil

Parody of the old Mobil Oil logo seen along Silverlake Blvd in Los Angeles.

The Consumption of Space

Building SectorIn November 2003, I blogged Edward Mazria’s analysis of the environmental impact of architecture in the U.S. Namely, that buildings are responsible for a whopping 46 percent of carbon dioxide production in the U.S.

Yesterday, Mazria and company launched a Web site to spread the word and promote a response. From the press release:

www.architecture2030.org is part of an ongoing effort, initiated by architect Edward Mazria, to provide information and innovative solutions in the fields of architecture and planning, in an effort to address and reverse the destructive trend toward global climate change.

CO2 EmissionsThe website clearly illustrates, using the latest research, that the Building sector is currently responsible for about half of all U.S. and global emissions annually and that this sector’s emissions are increasing at an alarming rate.  Architecture2030.org outlines the steps necessary to address this situation.  As part of this effort, the website includes a variety of resources to help professionals, government officials, and those in the building sector, plan and design for a carbon-neutral future....

The website will report on the activities and progress in the building sector around the globe and critical information will be updated regularly.”

In particular, I liked the case studies.


Also of particular note is the organizing work of the American Institute of Architects, a professional association:

“The American Institute of Architects, representing 74,000 prefessionals, recently announced a bold initiative to reverse the environmental impact and greenhouse gas emissions of the U.S. building sector. The AIA... set a goal of reducing the fossil fuel consumption of buildings by 50 percent in four years, with additional 10-percent reductions every five years thereafter. The implications of this initiative are considerable and when implemented will transform the built environment in a way we have not seen since the time of the industrial revolution.”

AIGA where are you?

Contextual Advertising Gone Bad

A week before today’s 61st anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz by the Red Army, Landeszeitung Lüneburg, a national newspaper in Germany, ran an article about the deportation of a Sinti boy from Lüneburg to Auschwitz.

The article was accompanied by a large red ad from one of the biggest energy companies in Germany bearing the tagline (roughly translated): “E.ON provides today for the gas of tomorrow!”

Ad

Click for a larger version.

The paper later published an apology to the author, readers, and energy company for the ad placement, claiming they had not checked the content of the ad.

(Thanks S.K.)

Newsdesigner has the front pages of newspapers from when the Space Shuttle Challenger exploded on takeoff twenty years ago

Newsdesigner has the front pages of newspapers from when the Space Shuttle Challenger exploded on takeoff twenty years ago.

brave new walls

Shinya_wllppr_450pxBarcelona-based [Maxalot] (a gallery, boutique and website) is turning the hopelessly outdated aesthetic of wallpaper into a modern declaration. Exposiflatest artistic venture, sees them heading into some serious innovative terrain by introducing a limited-edition wallpaper by some of the hottest talents in the graphic design world. It’s no doubt a direct reflection of consumer’s ongoing infatuation with underground art. Eboy, The Designers Republic, Takora Kimiyoshi Futori, Kinpro, We Work For Them, among others, have all put a contemporary spin on the traditionally drab medium. More than just a funky backdrop, the Exposif project underlines the re-emerging trend of wallpaper as a way for people to personalize their space. Think more of a painting than wallpaper. All of the collection comes custom-printed in any size to fit from floor to ceiling, left to right. If you're planning on decorating soon, you know who to call.

Filmmaker Magazine: The Schizoid Man

Scott at Filmmaker Magazine talks to Rick Linklater about A Scanner Darkly. (I even get a little mention for suggesting the project).

the medium that is eating the world

"Fun is learning. Consider: animals play to learn behaviors that later on help in survival of the species. Fun is an endorphin dump, just like chocolate & orgasm, that you get from playing and learning."

Body Bouncer


Guess what this is?
  1. bouncy pregnancy exerciser

  2. peek-a-boo baby amuser

  3. special chair for hemorroid sufferers

  4. modern design cat jungle gym

  5. creative sex toy

  6. wedding gift

e home from work one day, and found it in our bedroom, I thought it was #1. How sweet of Dav to be so considerate. Then I noticed the hole, and thought of a friend experienced with preganancy and childbirth who suffered horrible hemorroids. Maybe she sent this chair I had not known she had.

Then I saw the instructions to the thing. Or actually a set of images exemplifying the positions possible when using the thing. No mistakes about it: it's #5. (If you don't mind the non-work safe video, it's actually kinda funny to watch.)

Now, if Dav and I purchased this, I'd be way shy and not blog all about it! But here, this wonderful Body Bouncer is a wedding present that had been ordered and arrived at our door. From Sean and Lani. Of course, there is the question about what Dav and I communicate to our friends to inspire such a wedding gift... ; )

So although I'll spare you the details about our learning curve in using this, I do feel only a little bashful in sharing the fact that we received it. It is a great wedding gift: unique, thoughtful, for the couple, not something most already have, etc. Thanks, Sean and Lani!

Jan. 28, 1986 | MetaFilter

Shuttle memory from someone that went to the same high school the teacher-astronaut taught.

Daily Kos: The 4 biggest oil fields in the world are in decline

Black cottonbuds

Coco:

black cottonbuds

Caught my eyes at 100yen shop. I guarantee these will drive you crazy once you start picking ears. it is embarassing to say but I spent two picks at one time.

Comments

Interview With Ladybird, The Moss Graffiti Artist

Yesterday, I e-mailed Ladybird and asked her a few questions. She answered them promptly, so here is the interview.
For those who have no idea who Ladybird is, she's been making waves all over the art blogosphere with her moss graffiti.. Her best works appropriate cracks in the ground and in walls, where she puts weeds and insects on display. Best described as "folk surrealism," she inspires childlike wonder with her fake beetles and insect houses. She subverts the cracks and potholes of modernity with her miniature dreamscapes.


Luis Buñuel film posters

Luis Buñuel posters, a flickr photoset by bittercinema

Documentary Exposes MPAA Hypocrisy

The Salt Lake Tribune carries an interesting story today, Documentary exposes ratings board's hypocrisy.

The article discusses a recently released documentary, This Film Is Not Yet Rated, that highlights the hypocrisy in the movie ratings system, specifically when it comes to sexual content. Similar charges have regularly been leveled at the ESRB.

Through interviews with filmmakers who have gone through the process, and illustrated with clips from the offending films, Dick shows what I and many critics have been saying for years - that the reasons why the MPAA assigns ratings are arbitrary, and reveal a pattern of biases that go beyond the ratings board's stated mission of protecting children.

iWalks Rolling Out in Dublin

iwalks Dublin
The Official Online Tourist Office for Dublin has begun publishing free podcast audio guides that tell the story of Dublin. The guides are written and narrated by Irish historian-author Pat Liddy. Each talk will have a downloadable brochure. Talks and brochures can be downloaded from the tourism website. If you subscribe to the podcasts the new ones will automatically download to your computer as they roll out. Georgian Dublin is now available. It will be followed by The Historic Northside, Viking and Medieaval Dublin, and eight more titles. The podcasts and brochures are offered so that “You can download the guides and use them as free walking tour guides to the city, or you can just listen to them to discover the fascinating story of Dublin.”
Via PHYSORG.COM

Blame it on the txt

Chortle, the UK Comedy Guide, writes that comedian Stan Boardman blames text messaging for ruining his act. "The comic blamed the technology for his material dying sometimes. He said: ‘I can tell a new joke on stage one night and get a huge laugh. ‘But all it takes is for someone in the audience to text it to their mates and it spreads so quickly that the very next night you only get a little ripple."

Zéro de Conduite

OMG! Bibi has found an online version Jean Vigo's Zéro de Conduite/Zero for Conduct (1933). I haven't seen it so far but L'Atlante is one of my favourite movies ever.

vigo.jpg

Identity soup and igloos for the homeless

Right wing groups in France and Belgium have for weeks been handing out pork soup to homeless people on frigid winter's days. But Muslims and Jews are forbidden by their religions from eating pork -- and excluding these groups, say many, is exactly the point of the handouts.

336169.jpg

Strasbourg has banned the distributions of the so-called "identity soup" earlier this month. Authorities in Paris have recently stopped the handouts at both Montparnasse and Gare de l'Est train stations on the grounds that the group had no permit. Elsewhere, for lack of legal violations, the pork soup philanthropy continues.

"Identity soup" is on its third winter in Paris, though this is the first year it has spread elsewhere. Local groups behind the scheme are planning a "great festive meal of European solidarity" in Paris in February. The goal is to defend the European identity. Anti-racism groups are concerned that the far right is attempting to drum up has support ahead of the 2007 presidential elections.

Via Der Spiegel.

Image: To protest against the lack of shelters for homeless in winter, the ONG Médecins du Monde distribuited a few weeks ago 150 "igloos" in prestigious zones of Paris. Picture shows the tents in front of the Centre Pompidou. (via Libération and 20 minutos)

Moving labyrinth at the ARTEFACT festival

NEVEL (picture on the left), by Lawrence Malstaf, is a moving labyrinth (11 X 11 m) consisting of 9 programmable walls able to rotate 360° and react to the presence of the visitors, determining their route. Architecture comes alive, walls become doors, spaces open and close, visitors are locked up, desoriented and set free again.

malstaffffffff.jpg malstaf15x.jpg

Performers, visitors and their shadow are part of a tablaux vivant set for each other. The space itself is turned into an actor in the performance. An abstract place in to go astray like in a mutating city.

During the ARTEFACT festival that runs from February 13 till 18 in Leuven (Belgium), four artists / scientists will get to work with or within NEVEL and create new presentation forms and performances. For the festival, artists and scientists will research space, place & distance and translate it into new forms.

There's more about Malstaf and his works (which include curiosities such as Shrink, a 1995 installation inviting visitors to be vacuum-packed in plastic, with only an air bubble through which to breathe, picture on the right) in kopenhagen.dk and Frame magazine.

Ecstatic Gumnaam!

GumnaambBack in the 1980's when WFMU had its public access TV show that Mark Rudolph put together, one of my favorite bits was the dance number clip from the 1966 Indian film Gumnaam. Masked dancers bug out and go completely apeshit to a totally high-energy, mutated surf number "Jan Pehechan-Ho" performed by Bollywood music legend Mohammed Rafi (though, as Michael Cudahy once pointed out to me, the band's drumkit in the film wields the name "Ted Lyons and His Cubs"). Eventually Terry Zwigoff used this song in his film Ghost World, where his counter-culture-immersed heroine Enid kicks off the flick by mirroring the film's dancers while watching the clip on TV. The song appeared in whole on the soundtrack, and as if that wasn't enough, WFMU's Rob Weisberg sang "Jan Pehechan-ho" (Real Audio) a few years back with the Hoof N' Mouth Sinfonia (WFMU's fundraiser finale in-house covers band comprised of staffers!) My wife still doesn't let me play "Jan Pehechan-ho" in the house because she had to listen to me practice the guitar line along with the stereo nonstop for three weeks (I blew it anyway when we actually performed it). Besides the grainy, nth-generation clip I have from WFMU-TV, I have yet to see a clear complete video version of this great number, but thanks to Turbanhead and WFMU friend (and fellow FMU blogger) James Allenspach, we have it in its full glory right here (mpg file, 55 MB).

Pat Robertson Uncensored (video)

Patrob_1After his last few wacky pronouncements, calling the Reverend Pat Robertson "anti-gay" actually rehabilitates his image a bit, in an intolerant, religious-right kind of way. But here is a video clip of him letting his true feelings out during a 1992 taping of The Larry King show [download video, 13 meg wmv file]. This footage came from the satellite feed of the show, and was not broadcast on CNN. In it, you'll see the Reverend complain about being ambushed by homosexual callers, while a CNN handler (or a Robertson aid, I can't tell which) bitches about the call screener and most significantly, reminds Robertson not to answer the questions asked of him, but to speak about whatever Robertson wants. The clip gets good at the 1:56 mark, but you can't fast forward due to a weird conversion error. Found this on youtube.com but I think the original came from Brian Springer's 1995 documentary Spin, which featured uncensored, un-broadcast satellite footage of Robertson, Bill Clinton, Ross Perot and others.

Sensei Rebel's Archive Picks of the Week (1/16/06 - 1/22/06)

Hum_3 The_sounds_of_tomorrow_6All RealAudio links are streaming links from the WFMU Archives.

Rock And Roll

Standards of Living - "Don't Worry" RealAudio
from Brian Turner's show, January 17, 2006

International
Die Welttraumforscher - "Kleines Madchen" RealAudio
from Ken's show, January 18, 2006

Experimental
Daedelus - "Something Bells" RealAudio
from Charlie's show, January 16, 2006

Dance

Awesome 3 - "Don't Go (Kicks Like A Mule Mix)" RealAudio
from Janitor From Mars with R. Lim, January 16, 2006

Ambient

Sawako - "Pink Liquid Cotton Candy" RealAudio
from This Is the Modern World with Trouble, January 19, 2006

Fave Song of the Week
Sounds of Tomorrow - "Overnite Run" RealAudio
from Scott's show, January 19, 2006

Kokochi

Today's Front Pages

todaysfrontpages.jpg

A project of the Newseum, Today's Front Pages began in 1997 as an exhibit when the museum first opened in Arlington, VA. When the museum re-opens in its new Washington D.C. location (currently slated for 2007) they will display 80 newspapers in a gallery that looks out on the U.S. Capitol. Similarly, the online component that launched last year is a daily compendium collecting the front pages of newspapers from 45 different countries, a total of over 400 different papers. Organized alphabetically, a quick browse-through is a telling glimpse at what makes for news across the planet, particularly on major news days. (Today, a Golden Globes-winning Reese Witherspoon made several U.S. papers, while most other countries ran items of a much more somber nature.) The site also features a map-based locator, downloadable pdfs for easier reading, and an archive of pages from historical dates.

via Jungle Life

Blathering in the Blogosphere

I've been watching all the blathering about Yahoo! giving up search dominance to Google, which, I might add, is bullshit*. Quotes taken out of context by company executives do not an overarching business strategy make. This is exactly the kind of thing that most annoys me about blogs (and, I guess, media in general): the piling on, as also noticed by Jeff Clavier and Thomas Hawk, among others. Based on this sensationalistic headline, Steve Rubel says he has stopped using Yahoo! Search.

People!! Try to keep your knees from jerking! Of course, doing the legwork is a lot harder than jumping to conclusions, in the Olympiad of life. Loren Baker, in the comments in Micropersuasion quotes what CEO Terry Semel said in his Q4 Earnings report, which explains what the Yahoo! business priorities are, and is thus worth looking at in the context of the blathering:

Yahoo is concentrating on SEM and YPN. From Terry Semel's Q4 Earnings Report:

"I would like to briefly give you an overview of our key priorities for 2006. Our #1 priority is building and expanding the suite of tools services and solutions for Internet marketers and publishers. In search marketing, our monetization efforts can be grouped into 3 categories.

First, we are expanding our content match services through the Yahoo Publishers Network to take advantage of the growing number of small publishers on the web. We plan to add new features to beta over the coming quarters including search and enhanced ad targeting. We believe the service will ultimately position Yahoo as one of the preferred advertising partners for small and medium-sized publishers.

Second, we are focused on improving RPS to better matching in relevance algorithms. While our matching initiatives will largely benefit coverage, we're also focused on improving tools to drive higher relevance and click through.

And third, we are increasing the number of easy-to-use tools for advertisers and publishers, so they can buy more keywords, touch more creative and add more listings faster."

Etc., etc.

Moreover, I really think people should be paying more attention to what's said by people working in Yahoo! Search. Amr Awadallah, who sits near me at Yahoo!, is typical of the many people who should always be paid attention to at Yahoo! -- he's one of the smartest guys around (I love Amr, he's bold, brusque and brilliant). He predicts Google will miss 2005-Q4 quarter revenue estimates.. He outlines the way Google padded their Q3 earnings a couple months ago, and this quarter too, with what are called in the industry accelerator changes: they added more ads to the top of their pages, and made them wrap when you ensmallen your browser window; they also jumped up the text size for AdWord listings, and Danny Sullivan also notes that Google has apparently embiggened their ads. We'll see what happens in about a week, when the earnings come out.

------------------------

* You'll notice I reserve swearing on this blog for occasions of particular exasperation. :-)

Every Lunch Wish


Last week i took a detour to Viet Nam Banh Mi So #1 after work. It's a tiny hole-in-the-wall serving up numerous kinds of banh mi, delicious Vietnamese-style sandwiches on toasted baguettes, plus freshly squeezed juices, snacks and other goodies like fresh spring rolls. Alongside boxes of Pocky, you can also buy jars of pickled fruits and vegetables and sriracha sauce from Thailand!* Anthony (the owner) once gave me a grand discount when he realized i worked with Q. Every moment i'm alive, i thank Q for introducing us all to the wonders of fresh spring rolls and banh mi!

On this most recent trip, i picked up 2 packages of vegetarian fresh spring rolls, which are filled with noodles, mushrooms, tree ears, carrot and radish shreds, tofu, cilantro and fresh mint leaves, with a side of sweet plum sauce and fried, crushed peanuts. These things are utterly addictive due to their amazing flavor combination. be served some for his birthday party last May, and i hear through the grapevine that people are still talking about these rolls!

I was also hankering to try some of the vegetarian banh mi. They offer 3 meatless versions, each for under $4.00:

11. Veggies:  pickled carrots, cilantro and cucumber
12. House Special Vegetarian:  tofu, mushroom, clear noodles, carrot and sweet radish
13. Vegan Chicken with Lemongrass:  (NOT Meat)


I asked for #12 and #13, both of which also included generous sprigs of cilantro and a spread of homemade mayo and rich butter. The smelled so good on the subway ride home, i bet the whole car was salivating like i was! However, upon opening my bag i found that i actually accidentally received #11 and #12. Like expected, #12 was absolutely delicious; the filling is similar to what's inside the vegetarian fresh spring rolls (minus the tree ears and mint) but heartier since it's on a toasted baguette with mayo and butter. I was skeptical of #11 since it sounded like a carrot sandwich, but in actuality, it was very delicious as well! The filling was so fresh, crisp and refreshing - combine that with creamy mayo and butter, cilantro and hot peppers and you have an amazing taste & texture sensation!

Of note were the hot peppers. I asked for them on the side since be doesn't like his food crazy hot. The man behind the counter gave me a little paper packet of a dozen tiny green peppers, the kind that look quite harmless compared to giant bright red ones. I'm aware that the smaller peppers are usually the hotter ones, but i didn't think they were that hot! I put a few whole peppers in my #12 and began eating, when all of a sudden my entire mouth was on fire. I opened the sandwich to inspect when i realized that i had only bitten into THE TIP of one tiny pepper! At this point, i knew i'd die if i ate 4 or 5 whole ones, so i removed them, chopped them up and sprinkled the bits over both the #11 and #12 sandwiches. Halfway through the #12, i was sweating and proclaiming to be that VNBMS#1 does not kid around!

The NY Daily News ran an article last year on banh mi in New York. I haven't been to any other shops so i can't compare, but if anything, the vegetarian fresh spring rolls are to die for at VNBMS#1!

*Huy Fong makes the best known brand of sriracha sauce in the US - you know those green-capped squirt bottles whose labels are in English, Vietnamese, Spanish, Chinese and French. Sometimes it's renamed "rooster sauce" or "cock sauce" by fans (but it's probably because they didn't know how to pronounce "sriracha!") Did you know it's made in California? Check out this interesting article on David Tran, the Emperor of Hot Sauce.

Soy Luck Club

Slow

Can’t say I’m terribly impressed with the speed of my “blogging” so far.

try reblogging

I am a repeater [4]

(Off to the side: I’m a Buddha fan, like everyone else I s’pose, but I have to admit that most Buddha-stories I happen to come across in daily life leave me a little “Yeah, but so what?”-ish. This one conveyed its profundity directly to the centre of my attention and difused nicely.

Attempting the radical shift of perceptual stance from which one of us (humans, I mean) looks at all of us (ants! gods! fish out of water! eddies in the ambient material, swirled in the dissipation our sun’s heat!) is a great practice. And one at which I am solely out of practice. Up to the mountain!)

And here [blog -Ed.] I’ll try again, acting as a repeater for the repeating of Frank Boosman (Ludicorp board member and friend)’s on that aforementioned Buddha’s position, as repeated by the author of of a book about the same, as transposed to the situation of a guidebook for dealing with contemporary daily life.

(Parse that. I think I may have the worst part of Kant (the sentences) without the good.)

Anyway, this is what Frank republished:

Quote for the Day

From What Would Buddha Do? 101 Answers to Life’s Daily Dilemmas by Franz Metcalf. First the specific quote:

The real possession is life itself, and even that is only on loan.

Now the context:

What would Buddha do about material possessions?

See them floundering after their cherished possessions, like fish flopping in a river starved of water.

Sutta Nipata 777

Buddha compares us to these tragic fish, gasping in the brutal air, frantically looking for heaven-knows-what. Are we searching for deeper water? Are we struggling to snatch the last shred of food? Most pitiful of all, are we aggressively defending some useless possession in the very face of death?

We are some spectacle, I no less than the rest of us! I’ve told you about my computer—wait until you hear about my house and car. Meanwhile I age, I slowly die, but I continue to vainly thrash around. We have got to remember, the real possession is life itself, and even that is only on loan. Buddha doesn’t say we cannot enjoy the beautiful things we are lucky enough to have. He does say we should not let them distract us from our real job: awakening to our life and death.

to me has been the ultimate, complete, unencumbered, freedom to imagine myself.

(Bonus link from Frank: The Onion U.S. Troops Draw Up Own Exit Strategy.)

back to business



thank you library book sale

NYC - Conversations with Artists: Andrea Zittel (02/02/06)

Conversations with Artists: Andrea Zittel Thurs. 2/2, 6:30-8PM Andrea Zittel discusses her work with New Museum Curator Trevor Smith. This event will take place at New York University's Steinhardt School of Education, Einstein Auditorium, Barney Building, 34 Stuyvesant Street (between...

NYC - King Yellowman Performance (01/28/06)

Come celebrate the closing of Jim Drain and Ara Peterson's HYPNOGOOGIA with a super special bashment featuring live performance by Jamaican dance hall legend: KING YELLOWMAN SATURDAY JANUARY 28 9PM 18 WOOSTER STREET NEW YORK NY 10013 FREE! FIRST...

Yojimbo

Dock

Yojimbo is a new snippets-saving app for OS X. I've been enjoying it and I'll probably stick with it. It allows you to drag text files, text snippets or URLs into an unobtrusive sidebar, which adds them to your "library." Your Library is a sortable Mail-like view of all your snippets, and you can sort them into sub-libraries that are like iTunes playlists.

I've tried a bunch of note taking solutions but never quite stuck with one. vi was my old favorite when I was on Unix and a terminal was always open, but that's often not the case on OS X. BBedit is fast, and I love the diff tool and other flourishes, but keeping "notes.txt" open all the time felt ... wasteful. Voodoo Pad was fast and fun, but I always forgot to open it, and then I would have versions that were out of sync. I felt like I had to maintain it more than I wanted to. Most commonly I had a file of URLs and short snippets "to sort," but that was obviously suboptimal. I know people love and swear by DevonThing, but it just seemed like overkill for my needs, which are "keep" and "search." The absolute best-in-class notekeeping app in the world is still Microsoft OneNote, but Yojimbo is the first piece of OS X software that deserves mention in the same sentence as the heretofore undisputed champion.

There are some more features I'd like to see. I suppose this is a wish list of features that would be true of any of the above apps as well, but like I said Yojimbo is currently closest to my ideal.

  • Clipboard Integration - Jumpcut is still the best-in-class OS X clipboard manager, but it's getting a little long in the tooth. I'd love to be able to sort and save anything from my clipboard within Yojimbo. I often realize too late that I actually wanted to save that thing that was in my clipboard ten minutes ago. A nice view of the last n (50?) items from my clipboard which I could easily mark as "saved" would be a lively feature people would appreciate. Like I said, no one besides Jumpcut (not even Quicksilver or Launchbar) does this right.
  • "Smart" Collections - Right now you can create as many "collections" as you like, but their behavior is static. What I really want is smart collections as intuitive as iTunes' smart playlists. For instance, I'd like everything that starts with "#!/usr/bin/perl" to be a code snippet, and I'd also like to to look at everything I bookmarked last Tuesday. Luckily for Bare Bones, the company that produces Yojimbo, the text factory tool built into Uncle BBedit is a great start on the kind of intelligent regular expressions that regular people may want to use.
  • A Better Dock Icon - The Dock icon looks amateurish, dare I say beta. It's the kind of "cool" dock icon that a college kid would put out or that would be attached to an internal build of an application. I don't keep any "persistent" icons in my dock, but at any given moment I may have fifteen to twenty applications open and Yojimbo's icon just doesn't sit right yet. Unless you're the Adium duck, your icon should make some attempt to describe what your app is doing, even if it's in a very abstract way (a la Camino or NetNewsWire's dock icons). And no, "kick ass" does not qualify as descriptive enough.
  • Image support - This is the one area where OneNote eats Yojimbo's lunch $4.99/lb buffet style. Image support would be useful in a million ways, especially for web developers who often have desktops full of chopped up web mockups and icons. I could say "media" support, but I don't care about audio at all. I know other people will, I just don't.
  • Outlining - I don't need this, but if I can't have smart collection lists I'd like some way to group items together logically, and an outliner is a tried and true way to accomplish that. It only needs to be one level deep, and it doesn't need any of Omni-outliner's magic. It should output OPML and XHTML lists regardless.
  • Scriptability - This is a no brainer, and I'm shocked that it was absent from the first release. Bare Bones has always had fantastic Applescript support in their software, but in this case it's totally missing in action. Blog posts always start as fallow thoughts and bits of text or a few URLs open in tabs. Scriptability would also allow cool things like social bookmarking support. A few examples:
  • MacBook Tablet Support - This is obviously notional, but it has flawless support for capturing chicken scratch and funny sketches so that the app is ready when Apple drops the Maclet on us. This is another area where OneNote absolutely thrives.

n to spend so long on that. While writing this post I realized that I really want a better "snippet" management app. All told, Yojimbo 1.0 is a great start.

Marketing Brokeback Mountain

There's a nice article in the Wall Street Journal about how delicately Brokeback Mountain was marketed. The goal was not to draw controversy, but rather to avoid it. The strategy worked, and Brokeback is one of the biggest hits this year. They also played very close attention to the social "microclimates" of New York City, bringing a little chaos theory into their marketing ideas. Me likey.

Like microclimates in Napa Valley that can produce dramatically different wines, neighborhoods in Manhattan can draw entirely different audiences: Chelsea attracts gay viewers, the Village students, the Lincoln Center-area affluent boomers. Word of mouth from a Manhattan opening can determine with what audience a film succeeds or fails.

Normally, 'Brokeback' would have opened in downtown theaters in the SoHo-East Village areas -- typical for an art-house film. Instead, on its opening weekend Dec. 9, Mr. Foley placed 'Brokeback' into a megaplex in Chelsea, another uptown at Lincoln Center, and only one near Greenwich Village. 'I didn't want New York to say this is an art-house film,' says Mr. Foley. 'I wanted a mix of voices talking about it to defeat it being called 'a gay cowboy movie.' '

ntic, I also think that the movie does well because the crafting of the cinematography, editing and sound is well worth repeated viewings on the large screen. The incredible acting from top to bottom helps too - I think people are taken aback when they see actors who really act.

You can track the box office results at the always excellent Box Office Mojo.

How Pixar Adds a New School of Thought to Disney

How Pixar Adds a New School of Thought to Disney is a fantastic article in the New York Times about how Pixar shunned the Hollywood style freelance/contract working model in favor of building long term talent. You're going to see this article linked everywhere because everyone in the world who takes pride in their work can relate to the lessons herein.

"The problem with the Hollywood model is that it's generally the day you wrap production that you realize you've finally figured out how to work together," Mr. Nelson said. "We've made the leap from an idea-centered business to a people-centered business. Instead of developing ideas, we develop people. Instead of investing in ideas, we invest in people. We're trying to create a culture of learning, filled with lifelong learners. It's no trick for talented people to be interesting, but it's a gift to be interested. We want an organization filled with interested people."

This reminds me a little bit of Big Mouth Productions and MediaRights, where I used to work (they're hiring, by the way).

The title of the article is a little misleading since Pixar obviously hasn't added much to Disney in the six days since the merger became official. As a movie and animation lover, here's hoping that some of these ideas find their way into the notoriously worker-unfriendly Disney workflow.

Shipping Firmware

Remember Mark Lucovsky's rant about how Microsoft can't ship software?

Do you want to know how Nintendo ships software to your DS? A friend of mine got it straight from Nintendo's mouth: every time you connect to Nintendo wi-fi, your Mario Kart DS or Animal Crossing cart is upgraded to the latest firmware. So enjoy those fat turnip/snaking hacks while you can, they're going to disappear soon.

don’t let me forget this.

a bit stunned, Katrina was one of a number of recent tragidies on which i didn’t blog. however, this report from the Human Watch is a nugget i mean to keep in mind: Inmates in Templeman III, one of several buildings in the Orleans Parish Prison compound, reported that as of Monday, August 29, there were [...]

Growing Problem for Military Recruiters: Parents

Growing Problem for Military Recruiters: Parents Two years into the war in Iraq, as the Army and Marines struggle to refill their ranks, parents have become boulders of opposition that recruiters cannot move.

Justin Timberlake - Rock Your Body

no more vegan marshmallows?

Vegan marshmallow scandal! AFB's favorite marathon-running vegan librarians Kate and Jenny couldn't find their beloved vegan marshmallows at Whole Foods or Teany and eventually discovered that the marshmallows weren't vegan after all -- it turns out that Emes Kosher-Jel, the...

RFID cooking

RFID cooking: A pan, cooktop, recipe card and RFID. Each pan handle is embedded with an RFID chip that uses a proprietary signal to communicate with coordinated chips in the cooktop and special recipe cards that monitor each cooking step...

two-buck chuck's a-comin'

Trader Joe's to Open in New York. At 15,000 square feet, including the wine shop, the new Trader Joe's will be less than a third the size of the Whole Foods that opened last year at 4 Union Square South....

The Saveur 100

The Saveur 100 is one of my favorite lists, featuring 100 favorites (food, drinks, restaurants, people, places, things) from the world of food. NPR spoke with the Colman Andrews, the magazine's editor-in-chief about the list. Listen to the interview...

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