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.: April 2011 --> April 2011

April 2011

» The Enduring Power of Virtue, Kentaro Toyama.

Concern for virtue simmers within the public sphere, and it bubbles over on occasion. [...] Despite these occasional mentions, public discourse about virtue is muted. To abuse a recent parlour game, below is a graph of the rate of occurrence of the words "virtue" and "technology" in Google's Ngram Viewer, which plots frequency of words occurring in books over time. We see a rapid rise of technology in the last forty years against a two-century slide in virtue. [...] Somewhat similar results are had with "virtue" against "institutions," "policies," and "systems."
But is virtue still relevant today? For many people, talk of virtue brings to mind chastity belts and shining armor. I prefer definitions, however, that distance themselves from the moralizing.

(via @alanatcra) / (1) Comments / [ 04.01.11 ]

» Read this:

In October 2006 a 32-year-old milk truck driver barricaded himself in an Amish schoolhouse in Pennsylvania and shot 10 young girls execution style before putting his nine-millimeter pistol to his head and pulling the trigger.
The crime shocked America, but what came next was perhaps more stunning. Within days grieving parents reached out to the widow of the killer, offering forgiveness and financial assistance.

A new University of British Columbia study suggests that just by reading about such an extreme act of human goodness, you are now primed to be better to others - at least temporarily.  [ 04.04.11 ]

» If you're as anxious as I am to dine at Next Restaurant - the perfect convergence of my great loves: fine food, food history, and theatre - you will enjoy this tour through their first menu's (Paris 1906) hors d'oeuvres selection.  [ 04.05.11 ]

» What do you get when you mix Harold Perrineau from "Lost", Victor Garber from "Alias", Cherry Jones from "24", and Margaret an 3-month long Role Playing/Alternate Reality Game...that human rights organization Breakthrough created for Facebook? That's not a convoluted in-joke, it's America 2049 and it just started on Monday.

If all you want to know is "Why a game, and why Facebook?" you'll have to ask the organization's founder, Mallika Dutt:

Human rights have to begin at home, and we really feel the best way to reach people at home is through the power of pop culture, which is what distinguishes us from other social groups. [...]
There's a lot of literature out there right now about how gaming has the potential to be a transformative experience. We've always been looking at what's trending, what's changing, and where young people are, and try to connect to them that way. Right now the answers are games and Facebook.

 [ 04.06.11 ]

» I am a 91-year-old bodybuilder. Wow. And he's looking good.

At 85 I had a crisis. I looked at myself in the mirror, and saw an old man. I was overweight, my posture was terrible and there was skin hanging off me. I looked like a wreck.

(via rc3)  [ 04.07.11 ]

» LA TImes: National Grilled Cheese Day: 12 recipes from the Test Kitchen. Click through the description of the sandwich for the recipe. Also, "test kitchen"? At a newspaper in this business environment?  [ 04.13.11 ]

» Top 10 Dying US Industries. (Read the original report. [pdf])

This is an ongoing game my husband and I play: industries that are dying and product categories that turn out, like the telegraph, to be transitional (for example, the small, stand-alone consumer video camera). I thought of another last week when our new Yellow Pages was delivered. How are phone directories still in business at all?  [ 04.14.11 ]

» The Wall Street Journal reports that luxury hotels are scrapping the bathtub in favor of increasingly elaborate showers. This matches my experience - and makes me sad. Showers are great for washing up in the morning, but after a long day of travel, work, or sightseeing I crave a long, hot bath. And, as noted at the end of the article, many of these showers are pretty, but turn out to be very badly designed.  [ 04.15.11 ]

» It seems that book publisher Random House is jumping on the multi-platform bandwagon with a partnership with a video game company to create multiple properties around the same story.

The Holy Grail here would be for Random House to produce a book that sells well, with us ultimately investing $35 million in a triple-A console game backed by a $12 million marketing campaign that draws a commitment from Hollywood for a movie or television event.

Well, I guess so. If you spent half that much marketing a single book might it not also draw some Hollywood attention? (via tra)  [ 04.18.11 ]

» I can hardly believe it, but today Rebecca's Pocket is 12 years old. I don't have as much time to update now as I did then, but it is still a pleasure. Whether you've been visiting here since my first post, or discovered the Pocket just last week, I appreciate your attention - and I hope we can meet together here 12 years from now.  [ 04.27.11 ]



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