October 27, 2001
``Keep the web human"
I think they're onto something:
...the world wide web is the largest human network in existence.
yet, to a large degree, the web does not reflect the quirky
personalities of real, individual people.
is about self-expression through visual media, and our appreciation
for some people and things that make life great: musicians,
artists, writers, travel, technology, opinions, and stories....
Have some fun! Field
Guide to Snapping is tight and clever. Slang's music grooves.
d.i.k. is capturing a self-portrait
of the web
Honoring the anniversary of his mother's
passing, Jeffrey Zeldman posted a link to this farewell
he'd written a few days before her death. It is touching,
candid and very moving.
I spent a little time with Warren the other night.
The trip took me through Union Square and a bit
of the East Village, one of my favorite parts
The Union Square memorial to the WTC disaster
is essentially gone. Now, there are a few flowers
stuck into a wire fence that surrounds the statue
at the southern tip of the park, but the tributes
and the signs have disappeared.
The musicians never left the park, but they're
singing upbeat songs again. The cafes seem to
be alive again, and it seems to be OK to be romantic.
The village is a place where people proudly wear
their personalities in public. From living mural
to collector of the exotic, they're all there.
By the way, the car was in primo condition. We
took a look at the registration sticker in the
window. It read "1998 BMW."
[Click the pix for a larger
A little under the weather today. Spent a lot of time surfing,
and looking for one other goodie that I want to add to the
site. Not saying anything just yet... I like doing the surprise
Came across Feeling
Listless. I didn't read a lot of it, but what I read was
fun. The site's billed as a ``cultural review from the clueless"
- very eclectic, and it's got lots of links.
October 26, 2001
Feeling skittish about "The big A"? If you think you've got
symptoms, here's a self-
... or maybe you're into maps.
... And then, there's treatment: Bayer's getting a lot of
bandwidth for their CIPRO brand, but it has its problems.
not all. By the way, the CDC
says Penicillin and Doxycycline both work on this strain
of anthrax, but there are no sexy brand names to report on
TV. [Yeah, call me cynical.]
Ever notice how many solutions create
new problems? There is a phenomenon called infectious drug
resistance - the creation and propogation of drug resistant
bacteria - that increases whenever people take antibiotics,
particularly when they're not needed.
An "upgrade" to the MSN web portal essentially tells you to
lost, if you're not browsing with IE. Amazing. Ironically,
the change also locks - out Pocket IE users.
Is Britney channeling Elvis? Have
you seen the posters for her Live in Las Vegas show? The make
up is over the top. The costume is unreal. The posters make
her look like a cross between the mummy of Elvis and a Revlon
ad. How old is she supposed to be, anyway?
October 25, 2001
Question - do I need protection from these guys?
While on the subject of protection, did you know that the
RIAA (the organization that represents the interests of the
recording industry) is in the midst of controversy
over changes to the language of the anti-terrorism bill? Seems
that an early draft of the bill would have precluded them
from using "technical measures" to prevent music copying through
services like Gnutella. There are conflicting versions of
how this came to light, and what happened after, but apparently
the language got changed. If they want to use technical measures
like Denial of Service attacks in the future, they can, without
worries that it would be illegal.
Another kind of whitewash
I took a picture of this newsstand a
few weeks ago. What's different? The Pakistani
flag has been painted-over. I guess they got a bit of feedback
in these twitchy times.
The latest on the site upgrade: I've switched to a
new format for the archive section, that's hopefully more
legible and compact. I'll have to maintain it manually, but
it won't be too bad, especially if I switch to SSI. I've also
added an Atomz search. I haven't tweaked the display format
yet, and it appears that there's something a little screwy
with the indexing (it doesn't always find stuff I know
is there), but all of that should be sorted out shortly.
The Atomz search tool is pretty easy to set up and use. The
most tedious part, is finding your way around their site.
I think it's one of those sites where they try to steer you
past certain content, instead of taking you right to the stuff
you want. I also had to enter my e-mail, and they didn't offer
any chances to opt out of e-mail promotions. I doubt that
they're the ultimate e-mail clearing house for spammers, but
it's nice to have that concern addressed.
The free search engine that comes with my hosting agreement
only indexes 100 files, but the free Atomz engine indexes
500. Speed looks good, and best of all, you can format the
Formatting is essential. That's one of
the main reasons I went with SnorComments instead of BlogBack
or ReBlogger. That way, I can keep all the branding on the
Trading freedom for security: the slippery slope
"This bill, ironically, which has been given all of these
high-flying acronyms -- it is the Patriot bill, it is the
USA bill, it is the stand-up-and-sing-the-Star-Spangled-Banner
bill -- has been debated in the most undemocratic way possible,
and it is not worthy of this institution."
- Rep. Barney Frank on the new anti-terrorism
October 24, 2001
Yesterday, it's been six weeks since we experienced a disaster
like nothing in my lifetime, and everything changed. It's
long enough, that I have to start using a calendar to keep
track of how long ago it's been.
I recently got another look at the steel that's being hauled
down to the barges near the South Street heliport. Massive
girders look like shredded broccoli. One can't help but recognize
and be humbled by the tremendous forces that were applied
to those girders.
There's an odd political correctness emerging. A Chrysler
sales promotion TV ad starts out "Everyone's working together
to get things moving again." Some companies are finding ways
to advertise their services, while only making the most oblique
references to the WTC disaster. People are busy deleting images
of the World Trade Towers from unreleased movies.
Anthrax. Anthrax. Anthrax. Anthrax.
Anthrax. Anthrax. Anthrax. Anthrax. Anthrax. Anthrax.
[Have I said it enough? Are you scared yet?] TV news teasers
say things like "we'll bring you the latest updates on the
anthrax...[scare]" Usually, the latest update is no different
than two days before...
I had this thought about how we all connect to each other,
and how our society connects to the physical world. If you
were involved in a car accident where another car ran into
yours, It would be quite normal to describe the accident this
way: "I was crossing the intersection... then he hit me."
Even though it's more accurate to say "his car hit my car,"
it's as if we extend ourselves into the entire space occupied
by the car. The car becomes an extension of ourself.
Living in New York, it's normal for us to unconsciously extend
ourselves into the neighborhoods we live in. So it is, that
we experienced the World Trade Center attack, as if it were
a direct physical assault. They didn't attack the buildings,
they attacked us.
An interesting bit of legal wrangling is going on right now.
The company that handles a majority of the insurance related
to the World Trade Center is trying to cut their exposure
in half. How would they do that? They are arguing that two
separate planes crashing into two separate towers were in
fact part of a coordinated single attack, and should be lumped
together: Viewing it as two distinct attacks would mean double
the claims and twice as much exposure.
I didn't get to see the Poet Laureate and company on Monday
night. It was an SRO sell-out. As I joined the already-long
line outside the Great Hall, I had my doubts. I got inside
the building, and progressed with the queue down a corridor,
to the place where the line doubled-back on itself. Someone
from the staff came back and announced that it was likely
to be standing room only from the point where he was standing.
I held on for a while longer, telling myself If it's not too
crowded, I'd stay.
The line inched forward more and more slowly. A man standing
some ten people ahead of me was joined by a woman who appeared
to be his date. She said something to him, and left the building.
A couple of minutes later, she returned with a couple of other
women. Over the next few minutes, several more women appeared,
roughly two by two. There were now approximately 8 extra people
ahead of me on the line.
Another staffer came back and said it was definitely standing
room only. The not-so-fresh smelling man standing immediately
in front of me flailed his arms, and said "Standing room!?...
They should get some folding chairs!..." At that point, I
was convinced it was time for me to leave.
I keep hearing that poetry has experienced a rebirth. Judging
by this crowd, I'd say it has.
Just discovered a very compelling site by Noah
Grey. Really, it's a family of sites, several of which
are separate weblogs. Good work is always inspiring.
At lunch, I saw a woman with a tote bag
emblazoned with the typical company logo. What intrigued me,
was the tagline: "Theosophical Publishing House." I figured
theosophical was some marketing genius' creation- the
bastard child of theological and philosophical - but no, it's
a real word!
Another quality site: Exitwound
Name's a little edgy, tho.
October 22, 2001
Fish by Bates Wilson
This thing didn't move very fast,
but the guy was cool, anyway.
The D.U.M.B.O. festival was good. There
were lots of people and lots of art to peruse. Studios were
open for visiting everywhere. Some of the work was especially
impressive. It's also a fascinating part of town.
Wilson is doing some very interesting work.
The story with Dianne (girlfriend-in-law):
She was mugged! Some punk waved a gun in her face. She managed
to push it away, and scream like hell. The guy disappeared
without hurting her, and without her purse. [Sigh of relief.]
Dianne's lived in a bunch of bigger cities.
She had to move to Ft. Wayne Indiana, to get mugged. She's
only been there a couple of weeks. Nice welcome.
I had another disaster dream over the
weekend. I was on a train going somewhere. We were near water.
Looking out the window, you could see a waterspout dying down
in the nearby lake. A second later, a new spout started up,
and mercifully headed off away from us. The train rolled on,
and I looked out the window toward an asphalt road bed. Branches
and debris was stirring up in a whirlwind pattern. The funnel
wasn't visible, but it was clear that it was a tornado on
land. It had just touched down, and it was headed right toward
the car that I was sitting in. I had the thought to pin myself
to the floor, and grab onto anything I could, but there was
only a second or two left...[exit dream sequence].
Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs" - What a title! This
woman's been on the news several times in the last week to
talk about bioattacks. I love that: when the press can't get
to the people who are currently in the job, they find some
former something, and ask them to speculate.
Speaking of art, Polaroids
and Pinholes is an interesting site.
Life imitates art?
Altman thinks so. I think people were cooking up gruesome
ways to attack each other long before there were movies to
depict their acts (remember Jack the Ripper?)...
Now you could argue that artforms such as novels filled the
role that movies fill today, but the idea of banning or even
self- censoring books has always been problematic.
I think there's one other problem with Altman's theory: just
how many action movies does the typical terrorist-in-training
get to see? I might be wrong about this but I don't think
there are a lot of theatres showing American shoot-em-ups
over in Pakistan and Afghanistan. Oh, but maybe they rent
them specially to play in the terrorist training camps...Or,
maybe it's only the leaders who get to see those movies.
Finally, there's this idea of "holy war." Not a new thing.
Remember the Crusades? People did some really attrocious things
in the name of God, church, and country. Do you want to cut
censor those institutions, too?
Nylon Magazine is doing some clever and effective work with
Flash -- none of that whizzy visual noise -laden "skip intro"
stuff. It doesn't always work, but it's commendable work,
for its use as a story vehicle, instead of being the center
of attention. Be sure to try "Dress Me Up"
Have you been wondering who
those Taleban guys are?
Historically speaking: On this day in
1962, President Kennedy announced the blockade of Cuba - the
beginning of the Cuban Missile Crisis.
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