Archive for September, 2008

30
Sep
08

Raiders of The Lost Ark: An adaptaion

As boys, Chris Strompolos, Eric Zala and Jayson Lamb spent every summer from 1982 – 1989 (that’s eight summers, folks!) crafting their shot-for-shot recreation of the film they’d later entitle “Raiders: The Adaptation”. Amazingly they did actually finish the film.

Read the article here.

29
Sep
08

Has exoticism lost appeal?

Ralph Potts’ new book, Marco Polo Didn’t Go There: Stories and Revelations From One Decade as a Postmodern Travel Writer.

Of course, the motifs and assumptions of well-told travel stories do change over the years—But I think non-traditional narrative has become a way for writers to wriggle into the complexities of postmodern travel and show the reader things they might otherwise have missed.

The Art of Writing a Story About Walking Across Andorra, a second-person-voice meta-satire about generic travel writing.

Blogs have boomed, so has online video; magazine ad space has shrunk, and traditional newspapers are suffering. Since so much travel media naturally emphasizes consumer and service information, this probably just means that the same kinds of articles are finding their way into new and different venues.

Hat-tip to World Hum; the entire review is here.

28
Sep
08

Ovid: The Amores

Ovid’s first book, Amores, published in 16 BC, and written in the elegiac distich.

Here is the translation from A.S. Kline, as well as the original Latin text.

25
Sep
08

19th Arrondissement–La haine attire la haine!

Writer-director Mathieu Kassovitz’s, La Haine (1995), highlights the marginalization within France’s  banlieues. Hands-down one of my favorite films ( also a Cannes Film Festival winner), if not a cinematography masterpiece.

…butts European urbanity up against American street style as kids clash with cops in suburban Paris.

Here is how the film relates to current society.

24
Sep
08

The bicycle solution

Rising gas prices, increasing environmental concern, and a seemingly obese nation have all contributed to increases in demand for our more humble modus operandi, the bicycle. Unlike most industries bicycle manufacturing has to an effect zero barriers of entry, and as a result maintains one of the most competitive and innovative market environments. Read the article, via Economist.

Bicycle and car production grew pretty much in tandem in the two decades beginning in 1950. But since 1970 bike production has nearly quadrupled while car production has roughly doubled.

23
Sep
08

Sustainable Dave

Two time Emmy award winner David Chameides and his quest of never taking out the trash. [Time]

His blog is here.

23
Sep
08

Subconscious art of graffiti removal

A film by Matt McCormick & Rodeo Film Company; I recognize this everyday while  cruising the cut-through.

The official website is here.

22
Sep
08

Laissez-faire (hey, a French word)

Admit it, mes amis, the rugged individualism and cutthroat capitalism that made America the land of unlimited opportunity has been shrink-wrapped by a half dozen short sellers in Greenwich, Conn. and FedExed to Washington D.C. to be spoon-fed back to life by Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke and Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson

It only gets better..

All Mitterrand did was nationalize France’s big banks and insurance companies in 1982; he didn’t have to deal with bankers who didn’t want to lend money, as Paulson does. When the state runs the banks, they are merely cows to be milked in the service of la patrie.

The article is here.

22
Sep
08

web.browse

a. See what television shows have Jumped the Shark.

b. Kate McAlpine and physics rap.

c. Bizarre Japanese soft drinks; even better are the placenta based beverages.

d. 11 most bike friendly cities in the world.

21
Sep
08

Diminishing role of the Hollywood scribe

What has happened to all of those sitcom writers of the 1990’s? Is there still a mass audience waiting to devour situational comedy? Obviously media models have changed, but in what respect—the emergence of mockumentaries and web-based episodes have allowed viewers to tailor their viewing experience, essentially creating individual niche markets for every viewer.

At one point in the 1990s, NBC had 16 half-hour sitcoms on the air. This fall, it has four. And two of those four—The Office and 30 Rock—though critically beloved (both are up for Best Comedy Emmys on Sunday, Sept. 21), are struggling to be embraced by mainstream audiences.

The article is here, via The New York Observer.

21
Sep
08

Bandes dessinées

This is a great article highlighting some of Europe’s most interesting graphic novelist working today. Bandes dessinées literally translates to “drawn strip,” and is synonymous with Franco-Belgian graphic artist.

Read the WSJ article here.

20
Sep
08

Baiser Voles

The underground pneumatic post of Paris from Truffaut’s 1969 film Baiser Voles.

20
Sep
08

What happens when car manufacturers use drugs?

Determined to engineer an injury proof car by 2020, Volvo turns to the African Locust for answers.

The goal is to incorporate the African locust’s “sensory-input routing methodologies” in a car, making it smart enough to avoid hitting people. “If we could trace how the locust is able to avoid each other, maybe we could program our cars not to hit pedestrians,” says Jonas Ekmark, Volvo’s director of preventative safety.

I myself am skeptical of the useful analogues that can be gained from locusts and successfully intergrated into automotive safety.

Here is the entire article.

18
Sep
08

Do I need insurance coverage against pirates?

Today pirates seized two ships, one registered in Greece and the other Hong Kong, off the coast of Somalia’s semi-autonomous region, Puntland. In the wake of such acts, insurance premiums covering vessels sailing through the Gulf of Aden have increased ten fold over the past year.

The coastal region of Puntland is booming. Fancy houses are being built, expensive cars are being bought – all of this in a country that has not had a functioning central government for nearly 20 years.

Although Somalia boast one of the World’s most competitive telecommunications industry, they can now  gloat the most developed pirate based economy on the globe.

Observers say pirates made about $30m from ransom payments last year – far more than the annual budget of Puntland, which is about $20m.

Read the entire article here, via BBC.

18
Sep
08

Bad news

Short-term treasuries trading at rates close to zero. At one point Wednesday yields fell as low as 0.01%. Not so hot.

17
Sep
08

web.browse

a. A literary blog, via Noble laureate José Saramago.

b. Movies before mobile phones?  Jack Bauer may have difficulty operating; read the article here.

c. BBC’s Portrait Prize finalist.

d. Governor Palin’s reading list.

e. Burn in slacklessness with Church of the Subgenious.

17
Sep
08

Asleep at the switch

Unless you’ve been living under a rock the past two months you’ve probably taken notice to the flip-flop fiscal policies of the McCain camp. Below are some McCain excerpts via The American Prospect.

Today, John McCain said, “Wall Street has betrayed us. They’ve broken the social contract between capitalism and the average citizen and the worker..This is a result of excess and greed and corruption. And that’s exactly what is plaguing Americans today. And we got to fix it and we’ve got to update our regulatory system.

OK John.  Vague political prose.

Three years ago, John McCain signed on to George W. Bush’s efforts to privatize Social Security. He surveyed Wall Street and decided that it was a stable enough institution to entrust with the nation’s pension funds. Three years ago. Even so, McCain has consistently argued that much of Social Security should be turned over to…Wall Street.

Is this an episode of The Twilight Zone?

Either he wanted to tank the nation’s pensions funds or he was one of the people asleep at the switch.

Read the entire post from Ezra Klein here.

15
Sep
08

Bailout central..

Here is a look at the Feds extensive new emergency lending programs.

..taking a wider array of securities, including equities, as collateral for its loans, the central bank said late Sunday.

shizer.

14
Sep
08

Digitisation and the emergence of transliterate writers

Will intelligent literature survive the new world of web downloads, e-books, and the ever shortening attention spans? John Walsh highlights the shifting cultural trends and its impact on the world of literature, here.

“Will books exist in 50 years? Definitely, but they will also be just one of the many ways we experience art. I feel quite cynical about the cloak of preciousness that’s been woven around the novel: it’s such a recent medium – we’ve only had it a few hundred years and yet you often hear people say, ‘We’ve always had novels.’ No we have not!”

Amazon’s Kindle is one of the many new electronic reading devices designed to keep pace with today’s growing constraints.

14
Sep
08

Expected Delays

Here is the average annual commute for some major metropolitan areas converted into units of time it takes to listen to “War and Peace,” or every note of Wagner’s “Ring” cycle, or to watch the “Lord of the Rings” film trilogy.

This could be considered time better spent.

13
Sep
08

Springboks and victory for cultural amity

“It was the moment I realised that there really was a chance this country could work,” gushes a teary-eyed rugby official.

John Carlin’s new novel, ‘Playing the Enemy’, explores how ruby helped bridge a racial chasm in South Africa.

An excellent review via Economist.

12
Sep
08

Should we be scared?

The government is looking for an agreement that would not involve public money.

Recent discussions amongst Lehman Brothers, the Federal Reserve, and Treasury Department in regards to actively selling the financial giant.

And I don’t see where anything has really changed in the last few days to make Lehman a $4 stock versus a $20 stock. So what we’re dealing with, I think, is less fundamentals than fear,” Paulsen said. “It’s spooky because I’m not sure anyone has an answer as to how you’d end it.”

12
Sep
08

90-second book review

I suppose everyone has their own individual heuristic when it comes to deeming a book readable.  Here is a reductive way on making a 90-second decision on whether to read a new book from an unfamiliar author.

Does the cover art contain high heels, Mistral, or any reference to either Oprah Winfrey, Joel Osteen, or “Dr. Phil?”

Some of these are quite humorous…

At the highest level, is this book’s topic based on the typical “zeitgeist” product that gets greenlit by someone who watches lots of golf on TV and who seldom finishes reading the 1,000-word “features” found in in-flight magazines?

11
Sep
08

Go green or bust?

Here is a great look at some negative effects of our incessant green activism. I myself question why there is not more public skepticism on green lobbying efforts.

Anti-science attitudes among aid agencies, poverty campaigners and green activists are denying the continent access to technology that could improve millions of lives, Professor Sir David King will say today.

We have the technology to feed the population of the planet. The question is do we have the ability to understand that we have it, and to deliver?

09
Sep
08

Google Maps–Album cover maps

Using Google Maps, Word music magazine has begun mapping where album cover photographs where taken. Users can browse album covers in two ways: by album title or by clicking markers on the map that display album details. [Word]

07
Sep
08

Mr. Spriggs BBQ

An excellent commercial jingle…

07
Sep
08

McDonald’s theory of war

The logic is thus: countries with middle classes large enough to sustain a McDonald’s have reached a level of prosperity and global integration that makes warmongering risky and unpalatable to its people.

Thomas Friedman, who invented the theory in 1996, finds that countries with a developed middle class, one that can sustain a McDonald’s, is less likely to engage in aggressive behavior. Unfortunately, the Russia-Georgia conflict proves otherwise. What about countries with KFC and Taco Bell?

Here is the entire article via the Guardian.

03
Sep
08

Urban Nostalgia

Vintage photographs of American cities in the 1950s here.

03
Sep
08

3 Degrees of Separation

European mobile carrier O2 claims to have found the conventional “six degrees of separation” is now down to three, thanks to increases in social-networking and information technologies.

All respondents were asked to make contact with an unknown person from destinations selected at random from across the globe using only personal connections. By using their shared interest networks the participants were able, on average, to make the connection in three person-to-person links.

Read the entire press release here.

02
Sep
08

R.A. Childs

Anarchism and Justice, by Roy A. Childs, and further readings here.




September 2008
M T W T F S S
1234567
891011121314
15161718192021
22232425262728
2930  
Crowdsourcing Crisis Information