.: February 2006 --> February 2006
A photographer said he was looking for investors, an executive said he was seeking "engaging conversations" about globalization and technology and a rabbi said he would like to "schmooze about Judaism." One man provided his photo, with half his hair shocking pink and the other bright blue. One woman promised she 'always smells nice,' while another insisted that any seatmate wear full body deodorant spray.
[ 02.01.06 ]
» Bruce Schneier has written on the inherent insecurity in TSA's Registered Traveler Program, which essentially enables terrorists to pre-screen themselves to see who will be allowed to fly without a security check. Now he reports there's another wrinkle in this hare-brained scheme: privatization. "They want the companies that sell for-profit, Registered Traveler passes to do the background checks. They want the companies to use error-filled commercial databases to do this. What incentive do these companies have to not sell someone a pass? Who is liable for mistakes?" [ 02.01.06 ]
» When you're trying to shoot down a proposed congressional bill that would require you to disclose any harmful side effects of your product, what's the best way to ignite public indignation and rally support? Put your Congressman in a turban. "We’re not even pro-regulation on most vitamins and supplements, but Christ almighty, if this is the response of the vitamin industry to self-policing maybe we should be." [ 02.01.06 ]
» Glyvyns Chinkhuntha is a self-taught Malawian farmer who has used limited resources to create a home-grown irrigation system that feeds a lush farm in the midst of Africa's drought. His prescriptions for African farming: education, independence from Western aid, freedom from debt, and stewardship of resources. "His irrigation system is a four-tiered network of berms that gets its water from the river. Each channel is the width of a hoe. By simply moving a clod of dirt here and there, Chinkhuntha directs water to thirsty plants." [ 02.01.06 ]
» In an effort to understand one of the most influential men in modern history, 10 professors at Vanderbilt University have created an Osama Bin Laden reading club. There's been so little careful reflection on how bin Laden thinks. For most of us, the media presentations ... have been 30- or 40-second summaries, [but] it struck us that he couldn't have all that power if he were simply a sociopath.... What he did was monstrous, but ... he can't be stupid." Volney Gay, director of Vanderbilt's Center for the Study of Religion and Culture. (via rw) [ 02.02.06 ]
» FlyingBeds.com is a purveyor of Murphy beds. " We manufacture FlyingBeds with 3 controlling thoughts: deception of stored wall bed, sleeping comfort superior to sofa beds; quality of murphy bed mechanism and our own furniture manufacture." (via at) [ 02.02.06 ]
» 2005 Social Responsibility Rankings for Gas Stations. Sunoco gets an A and Exxon-Mobil gets an F. (via rw) [ 02.07.06 ]
» Three quotes I agree with:
"What brings more prejudice against Islam? These caricatures or pictures of a hostage-taker slashing the throat of his victim in front of the cameras or a suicide bomber who blows himself up during a wedding ceremony in Amman?" Jihad Momani, editor of a Jordanian newspaper, responding to controversy surrounding the publication in Europe of 12 cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad.
"The Western papers printed these sacrilegious cartoons on the pretext of freedom of expression, so let's see if they mean what they say and also print these Holocaust cartoons." Farid Mortazavi, the graphics editor for a Tehran newspaper, announcing an international cartoon contest about the Holocaust.
"Would Americans be no less outraged at a mocking cartoon of Martin Luther King (say, in some stereotyped Watermelon-eating pose) or Jesus as many Muslims around the world are at the Danish cartoons?" Josh Marshall, considering where he stands on the whole situation.
The Christian Science Monitor has a good timeline of the furor over the Danish cartoons, including Jyllands-Posten's rationale for commissioning them.
Me? Free speech, blah blah blah. Cultural sensitivity, blah blah blah. For me, the question comes down to editorial value. The editor at Jyllands-Posten had, in my opinion, a reasonable aim. However, reprints based on "my right to caricature God" and "my right to blaspheme" are childish at best. Why not defend your "right to further inflame an already explosive situation"? I call it irresponsible journalism.
Of course you have the right to be offensive. So what? Publish a hard-hitting investigative report that will put your relationship with those in power in jeopardy, and then come back and talk to me about the importance of this principle. / (5) Comments / [ 02.07.06 ]
» A Portland, Maine program allows seniors to trade in their keys in exchange for 24/7 rides. "Katherine Freund, who founded the program as an outgrowth of her graduate school project, says the key is that it uses no taxpayer money. Even if society wants all seniors to be entitled to transportation, she says, there is not enough money to meet that goal. That is how she came up with the model of a car trade-in. 'I thought, "here is all this equity depreciating in driveways from coast to coast,"' she says." [ 02.07.06 ]
» Instead of chasing cars, LAPD is now testing adhesive darts equipped with a global positioning system to track them instead. [ 02.08.06 ]
» Researchers did MRIs of 5 subjects watching Superbowl ads and found that the best ones stimulate the brain’s empathy and reward centers. (via c'ist) [ 02.08.06 ]
The Walkman, introduced in 1979, Hine says in an e-mail, "probably set the precedent; it allowed people to be physically in a space, but mentally detached. The plethora of 'communications' devices we carry are also tools of isolation from the immediate environment."
(via 43f) [ 02.08.06 ]
The Collection begins with Lomax’s first field trips with his father in the penitentaries of the American South in the 1930s, and follows his journeys throughout Haiti in 1936 and 1937, Great Britain, Italy and Spain in the 1950s, his subsequent trips throughout the American South in the late 1940s and again in 1959 and 1960, and his visits to the islands of the Caribbean in 1962 and 1967.
[ 02.10.06 ]
Included in the collection are sound recordings of traditional singers, instrumentalists, and storytellers made by Lomax during numerous field trips to the American South, the Caribbean, Britain, Scotland, Ireland, Spain, and Italy; original video footage, shot in the South and Southwest, Washington, D.C., and New York City, that was used as the basis of Lomax's American Patchwork television series, as well as videotapes of all the programs in the series; 16mm footage of performances by Howling Wolf, Son House, and others during the Newport Folk Festival in 1966; videotape of folk dance performances; and work elements and originals of numerous films made by Lomax.
[ 02.10.06 ]
So fans of jazz, music in general, or just the incomparable richness of the human scene can relish Morton's musings complete, in state-of-the-art sound. Softly strumming the keys like a singer of tales, he recalls the "tough babies and sweet mamas" of the fabled red-light district of Storyville, and such denizens as Sheep Bite, Toodlum Parker and Chicken Dick. He conjures up a New Orleans funeral, from the wailing dirge to the graveyard to the raucous march back to the wake, with all its sorrow and jubilation—in his words, "the end of a perfect death". [...]
Throughout, he uses these sessions as a platform to demonstrate his views on jazz—not loud and blaring in the modern style, but subtle and melodious, with an irresistible beat and ample scope for dynamics and imagination.
(via dm) [ 02.10.06 ]
» Artistshare has developed a new music business model that allows artists to build and manage their fanbase, and to monetize their "creative process" by enlisting the help of their fans and involving them in the creative process. In 2005, ArtistShare produced the first Grammy-winning recording with internet-only distribution.
The creative process is delivered to the fans through the Participant Offers. These Participant Offers are specifically tailored to the Artist’s fan base and include unique opportunities for the fan to witness the creative process of their favorite artist. This creates a myriad of product possibilities for the Artist as well as a very personal experience for the fan.
Meta sells. (via c'ist) [ 02.10.06 ]
Participants who could see how often a song had been downloaded tended to give higher ratings to songs that had been downloaded often, and were more likely to download those songs themselves. That created a snowball effect, catapulting a few songs to the top of the charts and leaving others languishing.
The researchers divided the socially influenced group (which could see the download information) into eight different "worlds", so that only the downloading decisions within that world were visible. [...I]n one world, a Milwaukee pop punk band called 52Metro were stars, reaching number 1 in the download charts. In another world they were losers, ranked 40 out of 48.
This, of course, is the complaint bloggers have always had about the "democratic" nature of blogging and the power of A-list popularity. [ 02.10.06 ]
Four Jobs I’ve Had
- Boat builder's assistant.
- Administrative Director for a non-profit media arts center.
Four movies I can watch over and over
Four TV Shows I Love to Watch
(I don't watch very much TV.)
- Arrested Development
- Battlestar Galactica.
- 1940s House. (At least, I did love it at the time.)
Four Places I’ve Been on Vacation
- Kyoto, Japan.
- Sydney, Australia.
- Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
- Black Rock City, Nevada.
Four Favorite Dishes
- Brown Rice Risotto.
- Red Beans and Rice.
- Beet Borscht with Sour Corn Rye Bread.
- Vegetarian Cassoulet.
Four Websites I Visit Daily
Four Places I’d Rather Be
- With my husband.
Four Bloggers I’m Tagging
There are no books on this list. Why is there no reading on this list?
Four Books I Recommend
- 1491, Charles Mann
- The Red Tent, Anita Diamant
- The Thurber Album, James Thurber
- Perfection Salad, Laura Shapiro
[ 02.13.06 ]
Cozies contain generally a minimum of violence and graphic unpleasantness (blunt instruments and poisons are popular weapons), and they often take place in a house, village, small town, academic setting, or other benign, familiar and conventional social setting, with characters who are usually civilised and mannerly. The mystery is usually solved by an amateur detective who understands human nature and is gifted in observation and deduction. "Cozy" is pretty much the opposite of "hard-boiled."
The Game's Afoot (Johnson County Library, KS)
Novels featuring puzzles and games. Author, title, summary, webcat link for more than 40 novels, from David Baldacci's The Winner to D.B. Weiss's Lucky Wander Boy. Some games include gambling and casinos, the lottery, video games, dominoes, bridge, charades, go, chess, mah-jongg, cribbage, word games, Scrabble.
There are lists of Financial, Business and Math Fiction, Fiction Featuring Modes of Transportation, and of course a metalist of lists of thrillers to read if you like the DaVinci Code. And they have a blog. [ 02.13.06 ]
» The quote at the top of the page is funny [context] but I'm very impressed with the message contained in St. James UCC's Top 10 Reasons to check out the United Church of Christ. If more churches were preaching this message, I have to think Christianity would have a better name among non-believers.
5. One God, One Faith, One Baptism for All
When we baptize you into our community, we promise that we will never take it back — no matter what you discover about yourself or what others discover about you along life's journey. We believe that baptism...is big enough, strong enough and cleansing enough to last forever. We believe that everyone — old, young, straight, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered, physically or emotionally challenged, rich or poor, sure or unsure, lost or found, Democrat or Republican has a place in the body of Christ. Baptism is like a badge that says, "you’re a full member of the church and no one can take that away from you."
Bonus: "Party Church". (via jc) [ 02.13.06 ]
» Evangelical Leaders Join Global Warming Initiative. "As Christians, our faith in Jesus Christ compels us to love our neighbors and to be stewards of God's creation. The good news is that with God's help, we can stop global warming, for our kids, our world and for the Lord." The Rev. Joel Hunter, pastor of a megachurch in Longwood, Fla., in a television spot that links images of drought, starvation and Hurricane Katrina to global warming. (via jc) [ 02.13.06 ]
» Money-Saving Secrets [slithy popup!]. It's from Real Simple, which always seems like it's just another magazine designed to get you to buy more things, but maybe with cleaner lines — but this list has some decent suggestions. Any additions? What are your favorite "plugs"? (via jc) / (2) Comments / [ 02.14.06 ]
» NYT: Aging at Home: For a Lucky Few, a Wish Come True profiles Beacon Hill Village, an innovative nonprofit organization created by and for local residents determined to grow old in familiar surroundings, and to make that possible for others. "I don't want a so-called expert determining how I should be treated or what should be available to me. The thing I most cherish here is that it's we, the older people, who are creating our own universe." Susan McWhinney-Morse, one of the founders of Beacon Hill Village. (via at) [ 02.14.06 ]
» Britain is working to produce wheat-based bioethanol, hoping it will provide 5 percent of all fuel used annually by British motorists by 2010 — and bolster the lot of the wheat farmer. "In a pleasing symmetry, the amount of wheat required would be around 3 million tons, roughly equal to the excess produced each year that is unwanted by the domestic market." [ 02.14.06 ]
» The Battery Hen Welfare Trust is a British rescue mission that rescues "spent" hens from factory farms and places them with adoptive families.
Used to drinking from drip-feeders, they didn't recognise a dish of water until dabbled under their beaks, and their unfamiliarity with solid ground led to some unsteady wobbling.
But once former battery hens find their feet, they pick up very quickly. After just a few days, their egg yolks went from pale yellow to a deep orange that looked and tasted delicious. Once into their stride, they started laying eggs faster than we could give them away, to the delight of our neighbours, who at once began contributing kitchen scraps: veg peelings, apple cores, lettuce leaves, stale bread. [...]
Last year the Battery Hen Welfare Trust rehoused 11,457 hens; all now lead happy and productive lives. Hens live for up to eight or nine years, but a farming cycle clears out the tired birds at just a year old, even though they still have plenty of eggs left in them.
Perhaps the most shocking figure from the Trust's site is this one: On average a battery hen lays a mere 15 more eggs a year than a hen that has been kept in barn or free range conditions.
» Supersize Me: When a 7th-grade student cultured samples from several restaurants' ice machines and toilets, she was startled by the results. "I thought there might be a little bacteria in the ice, but I never expected it to be this much. And I never thought the toilet water would be cleaner." Benito Middle School student Jasmine Roberts. [ 02.16.06 ]
» Ask Yahoo: Which city has the cleanest drinking water? "Here are the cities that scored a perfect 50 points for water quality: Portland, San Jose, Buffalo, Columbus, San Francisco, Denver, San Diego, Sacramento, Las Vegas, Salt Lake City, and Riverside (CA)." (thanks, Jeremiah!) [ 02.16.06 ]
» The Death of Handwriting. No kidding. I was thinking that all this typing has made my handwriting as atrocious as it is, but I just came upon the business card on which I wrote my phone number when I first met Jesse — and it's a good thing he had my email address. (via dm) [ 02.16.06 ]
» PressThink: Dick Cheney Did Not Make a Mistake By Not Telling the Press He Shot a Guy. Rosen has this nailed. [ 02.17.06 ]
» Holy.... During a commercial break in the counter-terrorism television thriller "24", viewers saw a commercial questioning the wisdom of "weakening" the Patriot Act. "The producers of this ad are playing off fictional fears to create pressure for their point of view on legislative reality. I think it's unique." Peter Hart, a Democratic-leaning pollster.
It's brilliant. It seems unethical. It certainly reduces an important and very complex problem to a simple marketing scheme. If I agreed with their position, I might be less troubled by this. And I'll bet it's the wave of the future. / (1) Comments / [ 02.17.06 ]
Looking beyond the Iraq and Afghan battlefields, US commanders envisage a war unlimited in time and space against global Islamist extremism. "The struggle ... may well be fought in dozens of other countries simultaneously and for many years to come," the report says. The emphasis switches from large-scale, conventional military operations, such as the 2003 invasion of Iraq, towards a rapid deployment of highly mobile, often covert, counter-terrorist forces.
(via rw) [ 02.17.06 ]
» I'm excited to be giving the opening keynote at this year's New Communications Forum in Palo Alto, CA, which runs from March 1 - 3, 2006. Most of the business blogging luminaries will be there, including organizers Elizabeth Albrycht and Jennifer McClure, and Dan Gillmor, Robert Scoble, DL Byron, Denise Howell, Debbie Weil and many others. If you are a business owner or communications professional and you want to learn how to leverage social media for your organization, this looks to be a very comprehensive 3 days.
Update: Use promo code NCFR200 to get a $200 (!) discount on the conference when you register online. [ 02.21.06 ]
» Zoomba is using the Netflix model to automatically ship member boks they have requested, one a month, for $9.95 each. Thanks to the library bookmarklet, I now use the library this way, requesting any book that seems interesting to me, and then picking them up from my branch as they come available. (via elv) [ 02.21.06 ]
» Aiming to put together "a children's canon on which people might like to draw", The Royal Society of Literature asked top children's authors for a list of 10 books every child should read before they leave school. Here are the 7 resulting lists, including ones from Philip Pullman and JK Rowling. These lists are erudite enough that they would make a good year's reading for any adult, and it would be fun to read them one list at a time to try to extract the message each author was trying to get to the children. Of course, everyone likes Ben Okri's list of "10 1/2 Inclinations" the best. ("1. There is a secret trail of books meant to inspire and enlighten you. Find that trail.")
» Protestant and Catholic leaders are speaking out against the Intelligent Design movement, joining scientists who have been battling to remove the ideology from science classes across the United States. [ 02.22.06 ]
» In his second opinion on the Supreme Court, Chief Justice John Roberts affirmed that a small congregation in New Mexico may use hallucinogenic tea as part of a four-hour ritual intended to connect with God. Tell me: what does this portend for the Roberts court? [ 02.22.06 ]
» Why doesn't the tech industry create its own content and tell Hollywood to stuff their Digital Rights Management schemes?. It all makes sense to me except for the repeated use of the word "fab", which may mean a semiconductor plant. [ 02.22.06 ]
» The Historical Statistics of the United States, Millenial Edition is 5 volumes, weighs 29 pounds, costs $825, and took 11 years to compile. "The critical skill that's more required than formal statistics is more like literary criticism. You look at a number and don't say that's a fact. You want to say where did it come from, who generated it, why, is it consistent with what we would get from looking at other sources, does it make sense? What sort of insight can the quantitative record give to the qualitative one?" Professor Susan Carter, editor in chief of Historical Statistics of the United States. [ 02.23.06 ]
» A transgendered candidate for the Italian Parliament (considered a sure winner in her race) says she will dress conservatively if elected because she wants to be seen as a serious politician. "Parliament is not a theatre, it’s not a discotheque. It’s already revolutionary that a transgender gets into parliament. It wouldn’t be useful to provoke in such a stupid way." Vladimir Luxuria, Italian Parliamentary candidate. [ 02.23.06 ]
» San Francisco is about to start collecting dog waste — which makes up an astonishing 4 percent of residential waste — and converting it into methane, which can generate electricity and power gas appliances. [ 02.23.06 ]
» When Erika Thereian changed to a black-skinned avatar in the online game Second Life, she found that some of her friends no longer sought her out, certain men assumed she was sexually promiscuous, and that some people just don't like black folks. "Well, I teleport into a region where a couple people [are] standing around. One said, 'Look at the n***** b****.' Another said 'Great, they are gonna invade SL now.'" (both via rw) [ 02.24.06 ]
» David Sirlin examines the messages inherent in games ("Chess appears to be vaguely about war...but it's really a game of controlling space, of reading the opponent's mind, of trickery and tactics and so on") and reflects on what What World of Warcraft really teaches: Time is worth more than skill, groups are more important than individuals, and "us" is more important than "them". [ 02.24.06 ]
» Is World of Warcraft the New Golf? argues that the world's high-tech movers and shakers are making connections and making deals in the massively multiplayer online game. "Warcraft is like a really, really well-designed UI for real-time, ad-hoc group collaboration and management of tons of people. The tools are really interesting because they apply to stuff that we'll be using in the real world." Joi Ito, venture capitalist and entrepreneur. [ 02.24.06 ]
» Cameron Sinclair is an architect whose unorthodox organization, Architecture for Humanity, shuns television coverage, refuses to put AFH or donor names on the buildings he builds, and makes his building designs available to anyone who asks, for free. "People don't realize that the largest humanitarian group in the world is the US military. They do more help around the world than most people realize. Where's the PR for that?" Cameron Sinclair, architect and founder of Architecture for Humanity.
This year, TED is granting him $100,000 and the chance to present one wish to conference attendees: To build community that actively embraces open source design to create innovative and sustainable design to improve living standards for all. [ 02.24.06 ]
Update: The water filter comparison chart may be fake! And when I look around, I find that same chart repeated on many a site, including the Aquasana site itself. At the very least, read the comments in this thread, read this article and consider this rundown of water filter reviews from different sources. [ 02.24.06 ]
» I'm shocked to discover that an estimated $13 billion worth of nanotech-based products — including paints and cosmetics — were sold globally in 2004. The CSM reports on nanotechnology advances in batteries and solar cells and a possible technique for using infrared light to detect signs of nanoparticle contamination in plant and animal cells. [ 02.24.06 ]
» Uh-oh. The water filter comparison chart may be "skewed". [ 02.27.06 ]
» Brilliant. A new KFC commmercial rewards DVR users, who can only crack a hidden message if they play the spot back slowly on a digital video recorder or VCR. As it was and ever will be, businesses who can exploit opportunities inherent in new technology will thrive; businesses who spend their time trying to turn back the clock, not so much. [ 02.27.06 ]
» Further evidence of the balkanization of American culture: the rise of DVD clubs that cater to niche audiences. It works for book clubs, why not film? "Basically, we just noticed that within the [Conservative Book Club] we were selling more DVDs. [...] Our long-term goal is to sell product, but also to be a place where conservative filmmakers know that they can market their wares." Jeff Rubin, head of the Conservative DVD Club. [ 02.27.06 ]
» General Motors wants their Hummer vehicle to be hip, but in spite of their best efforts, most indie bands won't sell them their music. "My standard line is you guys will play a hundred million gigs before you see this amount of money. Usually they come back with, 'We'll do anything BUT Hummer.'" Lyle Hysen, head of Bank Robber Music, a licensing group that pitches songs to film, television and advertisement companies. (via rw) [ 02.27.06 ]
» A short roundup of knitting clubs on Whip Up (Ashford Club, the most affordable, looks the best to me. The articles in their magazine cover the wide range of crafts that Threads did back in its heyday.) [ 02.28.06 ]
» Bookins is a free, automated swap-by-mail book exchange. "Q: Does Bookins profit from this service? A: The goal of our service is first to provide a worry-free way for booklovers to swap books, and second to eventually make a profit. We make money on the shipping fee ($3.99 to receive a book using prepaid postage provided as noted on the homepage). About $1 per book is profit, after we pay for the postage itself, delivery confirmation, credit card fees, and fee for printing prepaid postage." (via swiss miss) [ 02.28.06 ]
» Jesse and I have been talking about this kind of thing for a long time: Two University of Minnesota professors have modded the world of a medieval role-playing computer game into an American small town — and are using it to teach journalism. "As the class instructor, Hansen has access to the log of each student's movements through the game; students must also turn in their reporter's notebook and their stories so she can see the type of notes taken by each student, and how those notes were used in generating each story." (via rw) [ 02.28.06 ]
» Obituary, Robert Rich: How a war-time ice-cream manufacturer invented a soy-based, frozen topping and coffee creamer, fought off 42 separate lawsuits from enraged dairy men, and created the biggest family owned food-service company in America. [ 02.28.06 ]
» Preliminary studies hint that Viagra 'could be a remedy' in the treatment of Crohn's disease. [ 02.28.06 ]