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July 31, 2005

It's On

Robin says,

I think this homepage is pretty sweet.

Comments (3) | Permasnark | Posted: 11:11 PM

Quite a Combo

Robin says,

Bikinis and museums? Unexpectedly hot in juxtaposition.

Comments (0) | Permasnark | Posted: 2:56 PM

July 29, 2005

Famous on the Internet

Robin says,

Minus Kelvin, Creative Commons darling, is back in the mix at ccMixter with some new tracks and some hot hot heat. Check him out in the two-slot on the Mixter Favorites chart.

Comments (0) | Permasnark | Posted: 9:05 AM

July 28, 2005

BEHOLD!

Robin says,

A team of engineers at the University of Liverpool has helped reproduce an ancient Iraqi harp ... the Lyre of Ur. I don't know why, but that just seems cool.

Comments (0) | Permasnark | Posted: 8:23 PM

The Fine Art of the Lead

Robin says,

It's been a while since I read a news article that really grabbed me. And I haven't even gotten halfway through this NYT story yet; all I know is the lead is a killer:

When they rewind the video of the fight in the cage, all the blood will spray back into Gervis Fool Bull's nose, all the screams will be sucked into the collective chest of the sweating crowd, and the fist will snap back toward the big truck driver from Iowa who threw it, a man with a mohawk haircut who grew up fighting his twin brother in the neighborhood junkyard.

Good lord! It's so well-written!

Comments (0) | Permasnark | Posted: 6:54 PM

July 27, 2005

Slow News Day

Matt says,

I just posted a looooong item on morph advancing the argument that the Internet has not (just) sped the news cycle up, it's slowed it down considerably. I'd love to hear your thoughts, if any strike you. (Except for your comments on my use of the profoundly dubious phrase "hot breaking scoop.")

Comments (2) | Permasnark | Posted: 10:23 PM

July 26, 2005

VOLTRON!

Robin says,

Oh yes: There will be a Voltron movie. Even (especially?) if it's bad, it will be good.

Noted: Pharrell Williams is doing the score!

Also noted: God I love that robot.

Comments (1) | Permasnark | Posted: 4:15 PM

July 25, 2005

The Era of Slow News

It's common knowledge that since the advent of 24-hour news networks, the cycle of news has sped up considerably. With the rise of the Internet, it's gotten even faster. In this world of up-to-the-nanosecond news, we've learned, facts and context are thrown to the wind as our information train wreck speeds down the tracks.

Right?

Let's play devil's advocate.

My argument: The Internet is slowing the news cycle down. Way down. It's so slow, it's turning the clock backwards.

... Read more ....
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Posted July 25, 2005 at 1:36 | Comments (0) | Permasnark
File under: Journalism
Saheli's thoughts: I was thinking the exact same thing, but Tim makes a very good point about society being more clo... >>

Just Egypt?

Is it just me, or was the news storm swirling around this weekend's bombing in Egypt a good bit more humble than the one around the London bombings? Since I was out Friday night, I didn't get the word until checking the papers Saturday morning. By that point, the news cycle was revolving around the fact that the terrorism-related death toll of the innocent in London had belatedly risen to 53.

I know terrorism-related deaths aren't quite as alien to Egypt as they are to Great Britain, but shouldn't news outlets strive for at least a pretense of parity in their coverage of each disaster?

I might also be completely wrong in my assessment of the relative play given to each story, but nothing in the Egypt coverage leads me to suspect the bombings there will still be getting front-page mentions in the national papers two-and-a-half weeks from now. Call me on this if it's not so.

To be fair: The editors may just be accused of going where the readers are. First and only Metafilter thread on Egypt bombings: 37 comments. First of at least a dozen threads on the July 7 London bombings: 712 comments. There are probably many more British MeFites than Egyptian ones, but dang.

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Posted July 25, 2005 at 8:23 | Comments (3) | Permasnark
File under: Journalism

Sleepless in Sudan

Matt says,

Here's a good blog by a "dazed and confused aid worker in Darfur."

Comments (0) | Permasnark | Posted: 7:55 AM

July 23, 2005

A New Kind of Movie

Robin says,

The trailer's up for Mirror Mask, a movie written by author Neil Gaiman, directed by illustrator Dave McKean, and brought to life by the Jim Henson Company. I am really curious to see it.

Also: The V for Vendetta trailer.

Comments (3) | Permasnark | Posted: 8:37 PM

July 22, 2005

'Barely-Somebodies'

Robin says,

Saheli has an interesting observation:

When you look at the local histories of this nation, they're filled with barely-somebodies enthusiastic enough to write up a charter and recruit some friends.

It's part of a longer post about corporations and principles and new forms of organization... checkitout.

Comments (0) | Permasnark | Posted: 7:00 PM

Forest Grove

forestgrove.jpg

Forest Grove is a haunting, beautifully shot Web narrative based on John Cheever's short story "The Swimmer." You might want to watch it before you read the rest of this, 'cause I think it might help to be a little bit unspoiled. (Warning: When I say "Web narrative" I don't mean it's some frothy little 8-minute distraction. Forest Grove runs about 45 minutes altogether.)

... Read more ....
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Posted July 22, 2005 at 5:08 | Comments (0) | Permasnark
File under: Media Galaxy

Tagore on Tour

Robin says,

Sepia Mutiny has the story on the Bengali poet's trips to America. Cool.

Comments (1) | Permasnark | Posted: 1:52 PM

July 21, 2005

The Story Behind EPIC

Robin says,

At last... it can be told!

Man, it's nice to have some text beneath that teal banner again.

Comments (7) | Permasnark | Posted: 7:09 PM

July 20, 2005

It's Not Failure

Robin says,

It's "deferred success." Ah ha hahahahaha!

Comments (2) | Permasnark | Posted: 11:43 AM

Quiz Time!

Robin says,

Who said the following?

[...] They don't want to rely on the morning paper for their up-to-date information. They don't want to rely on a god-like figure from above to tell them what's important. And to carry the religion analogy a bit further, they certainly don't want news presented as gospel. Instead, they want their news on demand, when it works for them. They want control over their media, instead of being controlled by it.

A. Matt Thompson
B. Jay Rosen
C. Rupert Murdoch

You guessed it!

Comments (0) | Permasnark | Posted: 10:12 AM

July 19, 2005

Reporting the End of the World

Matt says,

McSweeney's made a funny.

Comments (0) | Permasnark | Posted: 7:33 PM

Officially a Nerd

Matt says,

I got the shirt. Not "got" as in "purchased" but "got" as in "understood." I'm not that big a nerd. But yeah, by the way, if you other nerds never got the memo, uninstall the monkey (or at least roll back to install version 0.3.5-, test here to see if you're vulnerable).

Comments (2) | Permasnark | Posted: 7:05 PM

Skip the Encore

Matt says,

This is what I want for Christmas.

Comments (0) | Permasnark | Posted: 10:48 AM

Political Videos

Matt says,

From Robin's alma mater comes this excellent Flash repository of footage related to political events. Try looking at political ads with the theme of flip-flopping and viewing Hubert Humphrey's "Wind" ad attacking Nixon next to G.W. Bush's "Blowing" ad attacking Kerry. (Via David Weinberger.)

Comments (0) | Permasnark | Posted: 7:00 AM

July 18, 2005

Folding Windows

Matt says,

So you've got four windows open on your desktop, and the one you want to drag your file into is at the bottom of the stack? A French researcher has imagined a method of leafing through overlapping windows to get to the one you want, almost like a book.

I think you'll have to watch one of the video demonstrations on this page to fully comprehend the coolness of this user interface scheme.

Comments (1) | Permasnark | Posted: 8:18 PM

News Corp. Buys MySpace

Robin says,

For $580 million. E-gad. (Waxtastic.)

Comments (2) | Permasnark | Posted: 1:06 PM

July 16, 2005

Tim's thoughts: Just on an intellectual-historical note: there's something to be said for "throwing oneself into ... >>

On Leadership

20050717_leaders.jpg

I read the latest Harry Potter book this weekend. And I don't think it's giving anything away to say that the big theme of this volume is leadership.

I also just read a book called "The Crazed" by Ha Jin, which is not about leadership so explicitly, but is certainly about moral courage and guidance. (It takes place in China in the lead-up to the massacre at Tiananmen Square, if that's any indication.)

So I have been thinking a bit about moral leadership today. And, to my distress, as I look around the world, around the public sphere, I can't find any.

At least not the kind I want.

(Note: A cut-and-pasted line from Harry Potter in the extended entry. It doesn't give anything away, but fair warning all the same!)

... Read more ....
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Posted July 16, 2005 at 10:46 | Comments (9) | Permasnark
File under: Society/Culture

July 15, 2005

Don't Look Now

Robin says,

Heh heh... I like this comment in response to a new article about monitor-level DRM on engadget:

Are they next going to ask everyone to replace our eyeballs with DRM enabled CCDs such that if we dun pay a fee, we will go blind? *shiver*

The story with monitor-level DRM is that if the video signal being sent to your monitor isn't, you know, all DRM-certified, the monitor won't show it. It either degrades the resolution or blacks it out entirely. Suckola.

Comments (1) | Permasnark | Posted: 3:15 PM

July 14, 2005

The Cylons Are Coming! The Cylons Are Coming!

Robin says,

TV Squad is running a Battlestar Galactica primer so you can be ready when the new season premieres tomorrow.

It's not the best-written thing in the world, but serves as a useful reminder that THE NEW SEASON PREMIERES TOMORROW!

(Previous Snark-love for BSG here.)

Comments (0) | Permasnark | Posted: 3:51 PM

E-Paper's Here, Pt. 2

Matt says,

Take a look at Fujitsu's entry in the e-paper wars. It's not as pretty as Sony's Librié, from what I can see, but it's meant more for display technology, it seems, than reading. (Via if:book.)

Comments (1) | Permasnark | Posted: 11:21 AM

And If You Call Now ...

tv.jpg

Great Ask MeFi question: Why are infomercials so darn addictive?

Most of us have been pulled in by an early-morning infomercial at some point, right? I remember being up late one night as I was packing up my dorm room after my junior year in college, when the infomercial for Nads came on the TV. Drawn at first by my incredulity that anyone would actually name a product "Nads", I quickly got sucked in by the fun Australian accents, the video (shown over and over) of a wife waxing her husband's back hair, and the infectious exuberance of the product demonstrators. ("I got Nadded!" one of them squeals.)

One of the staged scenarios for the infomercial features a group of ladies cheerily talking eyebrow waxing over cocktails around a picnic table. One of them mentions that Nads is organic, and another wonders aloud what it would taste like. At that point the lead product demonstrator whips out a spoon, grins conspiratorially at her tablemates, and digs right in to the tub of bright green hair removal cream.

The next day, I was telling all my friends about this amazing show. Most of them couldn't wait to see it, and one of them had caught it too. The next night, we waited for "Nads" to air again, and this time we were ready with a tape in the VCR. That summer, we watched "Nads" over and over. It was great.

To this day, when I see Nads available for sale in any drugstore or supermarket, I feel a tiny frisson of delight.

The last best infomercial I saw was for a ceramic hair straightening iron, which proves that you don't even have to have any shred of consumer interest in the actual product to find its infomercial fascinating.

Last year, NPR took a look at the infomercial in honor of the genre's 20th anniversary.

Update: More highlights from the Nads infomercial, which posed as a show entitled "Worldwide Health and Beauty Discoveries." Ha! I love it! I got Nadded!

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Posted July 14, 2005 at 8:58 | Comments (0) | Permasnark
File under: Gleeful Miscellany

In the Mood

Matt says,

Surprisingly interesting: the LiveJournal mood tracker. Also: wow, the United Airlines flight attendant uniforms were beautiful in the late '60s (and then took a drastic turn towards utter hideosity from which the airline still struggles to recover). (Both via Things.)

And from Gadgetopia: I want this keyboard to exist NOW.

Comments (1) | Permasnark | Posted: 6:04 AM

July 12, 2005

RPC on the Record

Matt says,

Snarkmarket favorite Roy Peter Clark laid down the immortal Truth about journalism in a Washington Post chat today.

Comments (0) | Permasnark | Posted: 1:02 PM

Gayglezon

Matt says,

Nice! EPIC gets a mention on must-read gay blog Towleroad. Robin, Aaron, we have truly arrived.

Comments (1) | Permasnark | Posted: 9:44 AM

July 11, 2005

Global Voices Even Better Now

Robin says,

Global Voices just got a makeover, and it looks great.

I know I re-recommend this site like every two weeks, but seriously: Click over, pick a country you like, sign up for the RSS feed, checkitout.

It is projects like this that will help the internet live up to all the techno-triumphalist hype.

Comments (0) | Permasnark | Posted: 11:40 PM
acline's thoughts: Tim re: 1. Agreed. But rhetoric is always open to re-evaluation. It was today's headline.... >>

Mum's the Word

mcclellan.jpg

When I read the transcript of today's White House press briefing with Scott McClellan, I knew someone was going to pull this "McClellan's a rhetorical genius" bit. Nonsense. People did the same thing with Ari F., and I call foul. Dogged question avoidance does not make one the second coming of Cicero.

In fact, from The New Republic last March (subscription required):

Fleischer was in this sense the perfect Bush press secretary. His ability to prevaricate and dodge, without betraying himself through physical or verbal tics, represented a kind of genius. Alas, what came so easily to Fleischer utterly eludes McClellan. If the two of them ever sat down at a poker table, Fleischer would probably walk away with all of McClellan's money and the shirt off his back.

Again, nonsense. In many of Fleischer's most heated press exchanges, he reverted to the exact same rote repetition thing McClellan does here. Both men do a perfectly functional and transparent job of stonewalling the White House press corps. Wouldn't a true rhetorical genius be so slick and insinuating about his point that you wouldn't even recognize it was just the same thing with different wrapping paper?

... Read more ....
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Posted July 11, 2005 at 9:10 | Comments (7) | Permasnark
File under: Snarkpolitik

July 10, 2005

Paul's Google News

Matt says,

Google Blogoscoped brings us a mock-up of "Paul's" personalized Google News home page. Methinks Paul would quickly get bored with this arrangement.

Comments (0) | Permasnark | Posted: 2:09 PM

'The Dumpling Seller Approached the Foreigner'

Robin says,

Interesting NYT article on linguistic diversity in China. It uses the "I cannot refer to myself in the first person, even though this story hinges entirely on a first-person experience" convention, which you know I LOVE, but is still worth reading.

Comments (0) | Permasnark | Posted: 11:52 AM

Now That Is a Comic I Would Like to See

Robin says,

BoGlo's Joshua Glenn reports:

It seems that Salvador Dali tried his hand at drawing comics as early as 1916, when he was 12.

Egad!

Comments (0) | Permasnark | Posted: 11:44 AM

July 9, 2005

Howard Weaver's thoughts: One word about all this: Wow.... >>

Coming Out

facsa.jpg

I tried to reform. After leaving college, I had to confront the fact that my activities during those four years were not socially acceptable. I assiduously removed all references to that lifestyle, reforming some of those dead-giveaway behavioral tics, brushing up on new conversation topics, even tweaking my music collection.

It was hard. It had been a wild four years, and I was still in the thrall of college a cappella. I had to move on.

But last week, my former a cappella group's CD was released, it arrived in my mailbox on Thursday, and folks, I have backslid completely. I have not stopped listening to this thing since I got it. I am absolutely swimming in six-part harmony cover versions of contemporary pop songs, and I'm no longer going to hide it. Call me a degenerate. I don't care anymore.

In fact, I'm posting three snippets of the album, three of my favorite parts. How I love this stuff.

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Posted July 9, 2005 at 2:05 | Comments (3) | Permasnark
File under: Music
chanel micallef's thoughts: The book the Witches is a great buzzzzzzz. I usually don't like to read but this book has somethi... >>

What I Learned from Witches

20050709_witches.jpg

Roald Dahl is the subject of a big New Yorker deconstructo-piece -- in this week's issue and on the web. (Via Brad Plumer.)

I love Dahl, but I've heardly read any of his books. Roll call:

  • His two-part autobiography.
  • "Witches." (More on that in a sec.)
  • "Matilda."
  • A big book of his short stories. (Which are really grim!)

No "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory," no B.F.G., no giant peaches.

So I wouldn't be a proper Dahl fan at all, except for the fact that "Witches" was no mere grade-school read: It was an essential part of my moral education!

... Read more ....
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Posted July 9, 2005 at 12:13 | Comments (9) | Permasnark
File under: Books, Writing & Such

July 7, 2005

The New Sonic Obsession

Robin says,

Ratatat. Check it out.

Here's the sound-bite:

... their unique sound born of a combined love of Jay-Z, The Rolling Stones, Timbaland, and Beethoven.

No lyrics, which I often can't hang with it, but in this case it's fine great blowing my mind.

I love this effusive praise for one of Ratatat's songs, from an Amazon.com reviewer:

"germany to germany" could bring the world peace if it was played at negotiations.

These guys are Bill & Ted!

Comments (2) | Permasnark | Posted: 11:07 PM

Never Scream 'NOOO' in Anguish Like Darth Vader Again

Robin says,

I just installed this Firefox extension, and haven't even used it yet, but I already know it's the best thing ever: Scribe saves the contents of all form fields on a page when you hit ctrl-S.

For instance... blog entries.

Even if you don't have a blog, you probably know the crippling disappointment of typing out a long message in webmail and then somehow... accidentally... closing... the window.

Nevermind, this doesn't work like I thought it would. That should teach me to post pre-emptive recommendations. Ha!

Comments (0) | Permasnark | Posted: 5:39 PM

July 6, 2005

My Interview with Scott McCloud

Matt says,

He's awesome. Can't say I was the most inspired interviewer, but this was fun to do.

Comments (4) | Permasnark | Posted: 7:38 PM

July 5, 2005

Façade Released

Matt says,

The interactive short story Façade has been released. I'll post with thoughts after I play it.

Comments (1) | Permasnark | Posted: 2:16 PM

Yay, Gender Subversion

Matt says,

It was really nice to see the President showing us the meaning of freedom on Independence Day. (Via.)

Comments (1) | Permasnark | Posted: 7:52 AM

Virtual Band for a Virtual World

Robin says,

I am not a huuuge fan of The Gorillaz-as-band, but I do totally love The Gorillaz-as-idea. Neil Gaiman interviews Damon Albarn and Jamie Hewlett in the new issue of WIRED and it's super-good.

Comments (0) | Permasnark | Posted: 12:10 AM

July 1, 2005

If Only I Had a TiVo

Robin says,

Guns, Germs, and Steel: the PBS series. Coming week after next. AWESOME.

Comments (1) | Permasnark | Posted: 8:26 PM

Don't Leave Me Hanging

Robin says,

Excuse me, but it should be illegal to write about the winner of an ugly dog contest without actually including a picture of the dog!

Instead we get a descriptive paragraph. THANKS FOR NOTHING.

Comments (1) | Permasnark | Posted: 8:08 PM

Noooooooo---

Matt says,

---ooooooooooooo...

Comments (5) | Permasnark | Posted: 8:24 AM

Trailer Crashing

Matt says,

This is kind of awesome. The website for Wedding Crashers (the upcoming movie with Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn) is allowing anyone to digitally insert herself into the movie trailer. Thus ensuring that new pseudo-movie-stars like my friend Ryan McGee become the viral marketing brigade for the film.

Comments (1) | Permasnark | Posted: 8:21 AM

RomenRSSko

Matt says,

Workmanlike RSS feed for the Romenesko sidebar. Not pretty, but it gets the job done.

Update: This feed had stopped working properly after the Wotzwot RSS tool's hiatus. I've updated it to scrape the page properly again.

Wotzwot = busted. Here is the new feed, courtesy of the awesome Feed43.

Comments (0) | Permasnark | Posted: 7:59 AM
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