August 28, 2005
The dismal science of freelancing
Grim piece at Slate on the economics of freelance writing:
My Life as a Hack - It was glorious. Now it's over. By Ben Yagoda
I'm guessing he didn't get paid $1 a word for that piece.
August 24, 2005
Yahoo, the TV Network
My god, was that one a bear to report. I'm guessing the Y! PR department made things so difficult because they had some sort of exclusive arrangement with Fortune, which was (probably simultaneously) putting together a cover story about Yahoo's advertising strategy. Thank goodness for Bradley Horowitz, a fascinating guy doing some very cool stuff.
August 14, 2005
"Father, what is that?" asked the little boy, leaving his play, and pressing betwixt his father's knees.
"Oh, some drunken man, I suppose," answered the lime-burner; "some merry fellow from the bar-room in the village, who dared not laugh loud enough within doors lest he should blow the roof of the house off. So here he is, shaking his jolly sides at the foot of Graylock."
"But, father," said the child, more sensitive than the obtuse, middle-aged clown, "he does not laugh like a man that is glad. So the noise frightens me!"
August 10, 2005
I was really glad to see Nick Paumgarten's article in the July 11 New Yorker, in The Talk of the Town, about the word "whatever".
I've been fulminating against the W word for years, and the piece is an eloquent examination of why, in some sense, Russell Crowe was in the right when he went after the Mercer hotel concierge. If this case goes to court, I forsee a verdict of whatever.
August 05, 2005
How To Get Your Theory of Everything Accepted
On BoingBoing, I spotted an entry about science journalism rock-star Michio Kaku's helpful FAQ-style page for all the emails Michio gets from people who have it all figured out. Here: What to Do If You Have a Proposal for the Unified Field Theory.
I like the helpful tone of it. I think it's in earnest. Well done.
August 03, 2005
Earworm, the phenomenon
This morning, waiting for the Bay Club shuttle, I read another great Billy Collins poem over at MerrinDonahue.com, about a cheesy song sticking in one's head. That happened to me on Monday when my buddy Scott Banerjee suckered me into an entire day's rotation of "Fantasy," by Aldo Nova.
July 27, 2005
The Dunk Project now has its own site: Dunkumentary.
Have a look to see updates, trailers (coming soon), and, ultimately, the answer to the infernal question: will I ever dunk?
July 20, 2005
East Coast has some big 'uns, too
Check out the pictures of a very large tiger shark caught during a Martha's Vineyard shark fishing derby.
July 17, 2005
The Psychopathology of Everyday Mash-Ups
In which the mashup mentality pervades.
July 08, 2005
Good article in the SF Chron about the ridiculous state of affairs that attends getting rights clearances for documentaries
Some great stuff here on the visual remix tip:
Hoping to get to BootieSF this Saturday to see the latest from these Eclectic Methodists
June 30, 2005
Looking (like) "Glass..."
Here's an iChat exchange I had with a buddy of mine that illustrates a couple of things: one, the kind of wacked-out stuff you get to I.M.-ing about with a fellow journalist, and two, just how far behind the vanguard I am.
J: how do you beat-match visuals?
J: cut back 'n' forth between scenes like those HBO spots?
B: my treat for finishing [x] and [y] is turntables
J: I think dj[ing] will eventually be a skill that almost everyone has. like word processing used to be something only a few did. Now it's required to graduate from the 2nd grade. dj-ing will be like that - like handwriting or using a phone.
B: frisky [internet radio station] is good right now
J: your kids will be djs
J: my kids will be djs
J: remixing every kind of media and info on the fly
B: how fucking cool
J: ever read the Glass Bead Game, by Herman hesse?
cackling like a madman
Check this mashup pile-up at GoodBlimey and you will be, too:
June 10, 2005
Deb: What are you drawing?
Napoleon Dynamite: A liger.
Deb: What's a liger?
Napoleon Dynamite: It's pretty much my favorite animal. It's like a lion and a tiger mixed... bred for its skills in magic.
But thanks to the T-shirt vendor, I found the Sierra Safari Zoo page about the Liger in capitivity there. Yes!
May 19, 2005
XBOX 360 article is up
Here it is. A tad chagrined that Time's cover story is on same. Funny though - I didn't see any mad mountainbiking scenes in the Time piece - actually, I barely saw J Allard at all.
Just finished a two-day stint at The Hill School, my alma mater. It's a gorgeous place to be at this time of year. I had a blast presiding over classes (6 before lunch yesterday!). In one of the classes I talked shop with a cadre of programmers (I learned as much as they did). In another I fielded questions about the writing life in a press conference format, which was lots of fun (I hope I didn't bore them with the five-minute answers).
In the rest of the classes I ran an exercise where the students came up with story pitches, then voted to determine the most interesting ones. The ideas that came out were, for the most part, great - all over the place, from handy service pieces ("Top 10 Methods to Escape from your Prep School") to hardcore investigative (an undercover report on racial and gender bias in police departments) to stupid funny (Tupac's Martian Exile) and everywhere in between.
An interesting issue I picked up on: The school is trying to figure out how to come to grips with student blogs. Apparently there was a recent chapel talk in which the students were flat-out discouraged from blogging. I'll need to find out if that was really the case, or whether the message was the one I would convey: look out - once you've got a public blog, you're living in the real world; at the same time, if you do it right, you've got the power to change your organization for the better.
My main reaction to the school's co-ed-ness this time around: it's a little more civilized, a little less feral. It was good to see some old friends among the faculty and staff and to make some new ones. One more thing: Ann Marshall rocks.
May 08, 2005
Mags and I spent the anniversary weekend at the Inn at Occidental. Yow. that was nice. Dreary weather, which was perfect. When we went outside, we found great victuals at River's End (Elk steak!) and Dry Creek Kitchen Thanks, Mike and El!
May 05, 2005
Installed Mac OSX Tiger last night. Some minor snafus, but all in all a pretty cool set of improvements. All the old things still work (had to re-install printer driver and Firefox) and the new search system, spotlight, is nice, as are the widgets; I'm writing this here entry on a widget now.
May 04, 2005
Guillermo Gómez Peña
Fascinating site: La Pocha Nostra. Guillermo Gómez Peña is a MacArthur fellow who I read about because, well, because the NTSA confiscated someone's sombrero and sold it on eBay. Peña said in a piece he did on NPR that part of his strategy when travelling in the hyper-paranoid post-9/11 era has been to suit up to match various stereotypes that his looks evoke. Some of those get-ups include a sombrero.
April 29, 2005
WFMU: the funnest sounds in the world
This is fricking cool. G. W. Bush remixed to rap vocals on a Wild Side/Imagine mashup. Hah!
Don't miss this amazing whistle-fest, which sounds like our own Deter on a really, really good morning.
Oh yeah, here's the trove itself.
p.s. in case you've been hankering for a little Nazi propaganda delivered in the form of swing music, feast your ironies on this.