xoxox: Saturday, April 24, 2004

No time to unload the lengthy post i've been jotting down between hours of research -- i'm heading to dinner at my favorite restaurant with Elise, who got us onto the guest-list for a show tonight. While you await my return, here's some quick hits that i might develop further when i return.

This week's American Idol bootee Jennifer Hudson has a new fan site. It's quite frightening. I was always on the fence about Jennifer, but after watching her duet with Barry Manilow currently linked from the main page i have changed my mind. That performance easily trumps anything i've seen on idol so far this year.

Is Google the beginning of Skynet? Excellent daily read TDavid urges Terminator fans everywhere to imagine the possibility.

I make it a point not to follow celebrity court cases, but VH1 (of all place) offers a very human peek at how Michael Jackson's current controversy got started. The facts seem to check out, which only makes this latest saga even sadder.

Denmark vs Canada: A Bitter Cold Grudge Match! In a peek at the intellectual humor that marks his concerts, my folk hero weighs in on this conflict over a "small, frozen rock."

I love reading SugarMama. Apparently, so does Jett. I love how Jett continues to make appearances in comments all over the web while she procrastinates in getting her kick ass blog back on schedule. Meanwhile, Look for sugarmama to appear on the sidebar any minute now.

I've stopped being able to tell the fact from the fiction over at Acerbia, but i'm hoping this recent post is the latter. A great example of how you can use blogs for nefarious unbloglike purposes.

Will i shave? I don't want to meet the band looking all scruffy, but this is my last chance to endure the scraggly stages of my virtually non-existant facial hair to see if it can turn into something more dignified before i head out into the work world. Can you imagine me with a moustache? Would i just look like a bad porn star? What about a goatee? Discuss.
... posted @ 5:41:09 PM

xoxox: Friday, April 23, 2004

First off, a big round of applause to Scott Andrew for what sounds like a terrific gig opening for Josh Kellley. Photos here. ::sigh:: I wish i could get out to see more awesome shows like this. ::double sigh:: I wish i was playing awesome shows like this.

Soon. Soon. First, Copy, Right? blogs excellent cover tunes from a range of artists, along with intelligent commentary. With sidebar links to SongFight and a referral from Largehearted, how could it be anything but good?

Speaking of stealing links from the good denizens of my own sidebar: The Go Fish exposes a must-read story about Tami Silicio, a cargo-worker with Maytag Aircraft who snapped a photo of flag-draped coffins being returned to the United States. The Seattle Times published her photo, and she was subsequently fired. The fact that the single picture of these coffins had to be obtained in such a fashion, and the fact that it got its photographer (and husband David Landry) fired are both absolutely beyond comprehension. Please become informed about the facts of this story, but also try to be cognizant of what they represent in the bigger picture. Perhaps Tami had no right to take the picture and deserved to be fired, but the fact remains that American journalists should not be prevented from photographing casualties, let alone in a tasteful and respectful fashion. Photographs are a powerful facet of journalistic storytelling, and the story of America's war cannot be complete without them.

On a brighter note, i had forgotten that GoFish's Nicole was a fellow American Idol addict. Further AI fixes can be had from an editorial lamenting the manipulations of this season as well as an overwrought Washington post recap. My aforementioned monster American Idol post still to come!

Oh, hell, let's just stick with the music theme. I can't believe that Melly convinced me to watch what i thought the worst music video of all time, but then realized is standard fare for the current MTV Generation. Witness as Britney... oh, hell, don't witness it. It was terrible. Britney dies in what was originally scripted as a suicide, but now appears to be an accidental drowning by stupidity. This after her and her boyfriend yell at each other a lot while throwing and kicking things. Also, for a second consecutive single, Britney pretends she has singing range. Ten bonus points to the reader who finds me a Britney drinking game that involves shots every time they use Pro-Tools to correct her pitch or intonation. Hmm... maybe that's why she drowned...

Okay, okay, something about a respectable muscian now. Beck? Do we still respect him? Well, in any case, his website is presenting a special ten-year retrospective slash making of his debut disc, Mellow Gold. You have to give up some personal information to access the feature, but it sounds lovely. In an alarming spate of cultural convergeance: link via both GloNo & MeFi.

Yikes, i think that's plenty for now, and i have a karaoke hangover to finish sleeping off.
... posted @ 12:17:30 PM

God, i should really know better than to open up Metafilter just before i'm ready to put a post to bed. As if there's not gonna be any interesting links at MeFi. Nope, never happens.

We'll start with the easy stuff. This map scares the shit out of me. Red areas are concentrations of Democrats, blue of Republicans. It scares me 'cause:

A) Aside from that one odd spot in South Dakota i don't even see any heavy red marks
B) Good grief, looking at it this way i can see the logic behind thinking that liberals are really a tiny, mostly coastal and urban voice that's screwing things up for everyone else. Ahhh, bask in the self-loathing.
C) Electoral College results seem almost inevitable if you assume most Americans are partisan voters.
D) It says a lot about self-segregation. That's what The MeFi Post is about, though i think the more informative read would be this Atlantic article's remarks on Thomas C. Schelling.

Schelling's research with artificially constructed societies informs us that like prefers like. Seems elementary, you might think. Yes, it's elementary if every citizen wants to live somewhere where 80% of their neighbors are similar to themselves -- so long as they don't specify what demographic the other 20% should be made up of, they're most likely just going to wind up in a big 100% block of homogeneity.

The revelation (for me, at least), is that even if you say "i'll be happy if just half of my neighbors are similar to me" you will eventually become a part of a stratified neighborhood that looks a lot like the scary map (see figure 2 in the article, via another MeFi thread). Of course, most people think of halfway immersing themselves with a different race, culture, or political viewpoint makes them incredibly open minded. And, furthermore, who doesn't want to find at least one out of two faces to be sympathetic? Still, it says very significant things about human psychology, the basic nature of discrimination, and maybe even why Democrats can only win certain southern states.

Good lord, that took forever. Maybe we'll let that be a post all by itself. Yes. The other dozen links soon to follow.
... posted @ 11:50:18 AM

xoxox: Thursday, April 22, 2004

I am attempting to learn more about the intricacies of RSS, as Philly Future has picked up the feed that i created as a lark. However, for the moment forget intricacy ... this is a Blogger.com nuts'n'bolts question.

My RSS feed currently publishes hyperlinks to where Bloggers thinks my posts live (example), but in reality they ought to point to the posts' home in the archive, where my permalinks point (example). I cannot find anywhere in Blogger's settings to alter this code. Can it be done? Any helpful comments are greatly appreciated.

In fact, if any knowledgeable bloggers out there would like to point me to your daily neighborhood RSS faq, that would score you major bonus points.
... posted @ 7:51:46 PM

So much to link to, so little time to spend not worrying about school. Yesterday got burnt desperately trying to catch up on academic reading while getting my panties into a knot over who would get kicked off American Idol. Good thing i have this misshapen b'twixt class break in which i can finish my daily blogging so i have time for both homework and a drunken karaoke celebration of my roommate's birthday.

The Minor Fall, the Major Life is a pop-culture tracking log from someone who's sardonic wit does a fairly good impression of my interior monologue. Which is to say, the writing ranges from laugh out loud funny to nonsensically cryptic, all while serving up the latest entertainment-related linkage. Perhaps worth keep an eye on? (Cribbed from Strident Harpy, who dishes a good bit of political news herself).

Perennial favorite blogger KevRock launches yet another one of his dazzling side-projects, Random Pixel. In this bit of mischief, Kevin hands off a disposable camera to some good ol' regular folk who proceed to document a bit of their life. When i asked Kevin why he didn't aim for a more bombastically cool "one pic per person" cross-country trip for his darling cameras, he replied with math proving that he was more likely to get the cameras sent back to him with his current method.

Anyone who can use math to explain the methodology of a blog side project is already A-O-K in my book, but Kevin proceeded to tempt me with an invitation to get a g-mail account. If you haven't heard about Google's entry into the world of email, you should read up; watchdogs call it creepy, i call it fucking sexy. One gig of storage, people. One Gig. Of course, KevRock was playing the part of a cock-tease in a whore-house, getting me all worked up for something i was going to get anyhow, as hours later g-mail opened its pearly gates to a number of "very active" Blogger users (thanks to hao2lian for pointing this out, and for the gracious link the other day). Moral - Kevin is a god amongst bloggers. I wonder if the Big G is hiring in their communications department anytime soon...

Next, from the ever-informative Ask Metafilter: Why your shirts don't fit. No, really ... a cool little discussion on why size, width, length, and cut varies from brand to brand and store to store. File under "Things i always subconsciously suspected but never outright knew."

Hopping back over to the media: Sellout Central is brand new music news site that does not suck. Witness as they transition from a discussion on copyright and digital promotion to news on the highly underrated Anastacia to discussing a neat hack on the iTunes store that allows you to search via HTTP. Oh, and the co-writer of the site is the ever-popular Brad, of BradSucks (whose music you can sample at my daily-favorite, SomeSongs).

That makes a lovely segueway to talking about Anastacia for just a second. I remember her coming in second on MTV's proto-American-Idol hip-hop show, partially dreamed up by David Foster. And then she dropped off the face of the earth, as did the Lauryn Hill imitator who won. Except, she really only dropped off the face of the ignorant, flat, American-music-scene Earth, because it turns out she's one of the biggest selling artists in all of the rest of the world. This despite only shipping in the hundreds of thousands in the US. Do we just have bad taste? Is the market so undersaturated over there that viral marketing is more successful? The communications geek in me would love to do a paper titled "From Robbie Williams to Kylie Minogue - Why Doesn't America Get Them?" that examines the differences in communications and marketing strategies here and abroad to try to understand why so many pop acts never make the trip across the pond.

Yeah. Look for me to write that paper as soon as i finish the paralyzingly huge pile of work i have due next week. And graduate. And start a real job.
... posted @ 12:55:17 PM

xoxox: Tuesday, April 20, 2004

Good lord i accumulated a lot of links while i was doing homework last night. Old-me would hoard them like the squirrel that fell through Lindsay's bedroom ceiling, but new-me just wants to get them out there so that i can find more! Cause i am a WEB LOGGER. I LOG the WEB.

(Sorry, i had to explain that to a stupified class of Communications majors yesterday. At least my professor actively mocked them.)

You can watch Walmart from almost any angle these days, but this economist article is great sum-up if you're doing an academic project. Link from daily favorite Largehearted Boy.

How real is American Idol? An excellent report on The Motown Episode remarks on the (sometimes huge) difference in sound between seeing a live taping and watching the show on television. I wish there was a reliable source that provided this kind of analysis every week.

Hockey player takes out a hit on his [male] lover? Or, a study in failed anger management combined with mediafucker agent? Or, trying to kill mediafucker agent? You be the judge.

Why am i not still reading more miserable crap every day? Oh, wait, i am. Lisa, oh Lisa, when will our weekly lunches resume? Probably in July. By-the-by, When i add you to the sidebar again, you will be listed as Libertine Seahag.

I generally don't know what the fuck is going on on my Primary Ballot after i get past the bit about Senators, which is why The Committee of Seventy is a good thing -- a century-old Philadelphia political watchdog group that tracks and explains the ballot. This came to light as i found out that, apparently, a fellow high school thespian of mine is running to be the Representative for Center City, abetted by fellow fellow thespian Ariel. The man is Andrew Hohns, and i'm linking him because i think it's sad that an article about how his opponent has the gayborhood locked up currently tops his domain in google rank.

Also in the political arena: Shocking no one thought of this before. God knows my blood boils...

... posted @ 9:46:10 AM

xoxox: Monday, April 19, 2004

Another day, but not another dollar.

The Global Rich List is neat. I stole it from Wanting Seed. I only have to make 50k to be in the top 1% globally. I can so do that.

Laughing Meme has done me the delightful favor of linking to my last post with the words "groundbreaking epidemiologic footwork," and endeavored to further my investigation of the p23s5 meme. File under: Best. Link. Ever.

RexSavior is a Grad student at Rutgers studying Library Science, and he's interested in the relationships between weblogs and other daily activities, including journalism and scholarly communication. Or something. Honestly, i was reading this page while doing situps, so i didn't absorb that much, but it struck me as the kind of thing that makes me want to be in grad school. I'll be re-reading it later. Linked to and hosted by the impeccable Six Foot 6.

Somehow we went to nights with frost to mornings in the seventies. I need to unearth some t-shirts and put the/my ass in class.
... posted @ 12:09:14 PM