Thoughts, comments, images and reflections from the people who bring you BeansAboutIt [dot] com.


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9/20, 9PM





Saturday, October 27, 2001
9:33 AM      

``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.

rangermag 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.

[ link | e-me ]

11:21 AM      

d.i.k. is capturing a self-portrait of the web

[ link | e-me ]

11:43 AM      

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.

[ link | e-me ]

1:56 PM      

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 of town.

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 view]

[ link | e-me ]

7:03 PM      

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 thing.

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.

[ link | e-me ]

Friday, October 26, 2001
11:52 AM      

Feeling skittish about "The big A"? If you think you've got symptoms, here's a self- test.

... 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. And that's 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.

[ link | e-me ]

9:59 PM      

Screwed shut
An "upgrade" to the MSN web portal essentially tells you to get 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?

[ link | e-me ]

Thursday, October 25, 2001
6:57 AM      

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.

[ link | e-me ]

8:16 AM      

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.

[ link | e-me ]

11:36 AM      

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 results page.

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 site in-sync.

[ link | e-me ]

3:39 PM      

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 bill

[ link | e-me ]

Wednesday, October 24, 2001
2:31 PM      

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!

[ link | e-me ]

6:44 PM      

Another quality site: Exitwound Name's a little edgy, tho.

[ link | e-me ]

Monday, October 22, 2001
1:49 AM      

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.

Bates 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].


"Former Assistant 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.

[ link | e-me ]

12:32 PM      

Speaking of art, Polaroids and Pinholes is an interesting site.


Life imitates art?
Robert 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"

[ link | e-me ]

5:09 PM      

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.

[ link | e-me ]

5:23 PM      

The new comment tool is switched-on. The format is a little wonky right now, so please bear with me while I get the final format cleaned- up... Shouldn't take long. Go ahead... say something!

[ link | e-me ]
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