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9/20, 9PM





Friday, November 14, 2003
11:00 AM      

Happy Birthday, Kev!



Finally saw “Lost in Translation” last night. It's the kind of film that reminds you that not every movie maker is out chasing the next popcorn blockbuster, that there is more than one way to tell a story, and that good films with more than surface value still get made. It's a slow and subtle film with delicate tensions. I suspect there are a lot of things to be picked up in a second viewing. Thank goodness for Soffia and Francis Ford Coppola.


It's pronounced “say.”


Speaking of music, I spotted a place that features karaoke suites yesterday. Karaoke clubs are still popular in spots around the city, but private suites? Then, wouldn't you know it, a karaoke suite was one of the settings featured in “Lost in Translation?” But still, that was Japan; this is New York.


Alien: The Director's Cut is playing in Union Square. Might have to go. The print's been cleaned-up, and there is new footage. Ridley's re-cut of “Blade Runner” was an improvement. I figure he's got a few tricks up his sleeve this time, too.

Why Things Break: Understanding the World by the Way It Comes Apart sounds like an intriguing book.

[ link | e-me ]

Thursday, November 13, 2003
12:40 PM      

This story was on this morning. Those punsters are at it again: “unveils,” eh? How cute. But, think about it – have you noticed what the women in the Wal-Mart commercials look like? Please, no. Bad images are stuck in my head already!



Hey, what exactly is “laser-assisted cruise control?” I heard it mentioned in a car ad that's been running over the last few days. Maybe it's a kind of civilian Star Wars thing: if you're cruising down the road and somebody slower gets in front of you, the laser gently zaps the driver ahead of you, so they get out of the way...



<- I'm entering this design in a logo competition today. Wish me luck!


Art Carney,
most famous as “Ed Norton” in “The Honeymooners,” was quietly laid to rest a few days ago. His family didn't even alert the press until after services were over. I think it's good they handled it that way. He received a best actor Oscar for his role in “Harry and Tonto.” I'll have to see if I can find that movie. I'm sure it's worth a rent.


Ray Charles
donated $1 mil. to my parents' alma mater, Dillard University. The money will create an endowed faculty position and program devoted to the musical, culinary, artistic and linguistic contributions of African Americans.

Thanks, Ray!



French-fried/half-baked word games
Remember how some congressman made a big deal over deciding to call French fries “Freedom fries” at the height of the France-bashing over Iraq? The joke is, French fries weren't even invented by the French. (I'm not sure that kind of kiss was either!)

Well, I just found out that the style of film that we call Cinéma Vérité is called Cinéma Direct in France. Both phrases come from the Russian Kino Pravda, coined before we even had the technology to make that style of film. Oh yeah; a Frenchman invented synch sound – one of the most important pieces of the technology.


I'm not sure what prompted me to look this up...
but did you know that the word “epithet” is not necessarily derogatory?

1. a. A term used to characterize a person or thing, such as rosy-fingered in rosy-fingered dawn or the Great in Catherine the Great.
b. A term used as a descriptive substitute for the name or title of a person, such as The Great Emancipator for Abraham Lincoln.

2. An abusive or contemptuous word or phrase.

3. Biology: A word in the scientific name of an animal or plant following the name of the genus and denoting a species, variety, or other division of the genus, as sativa in Lactuca sativa.

- The American Heritage Dictionary

Still, 80% of of the AHD's usage panel see the common usage of the term as a synonym for “slur.”


Comments from a Keannoisseur

...So, if you'd just like an answer for those who are hounding you, you can say:

"Well I asked a girl who runs a Keanu website and spends way too much time editing the hundreds of pictures she has on her hard drive and she said 'Close, but no Keanu' but she'd totally do me if she had the chance."

Hope this helps,

[Was that too slutty?]

- from Keanuvision

You can read the whole thread and answer her question, if you like.


[ link | e-me ]

Tuesday, November 11, 2003
9:06 AM      

Safari K-Os IE?
Microsoft is ending development of the Mac version of IE, and sharing customer requirements info with the Safari team. They've also updated the Mac Windows Media player to integrate with the Safari browser, and match the look of the new Panther release. It also supports the newer Windows media formats, so it's worth the download.

But, maybe the move has little to do with how good Safari is – i.e., better than IE. I just read that in June, MS also announced that they plan to cease development of IE as a separate application on the Windows platform, meaning that it will only be available as an embedded part of the Win OS. Microsoft Watch has some interesting speculation.

[ link | e-me ]

7:58 AM      

November 10, 9:37 PM [phone rings]

Me: "Hello."

Phone: "This is an important public service announcement for denture wearers..."

[I hang up]

You've got to be kidding me.


On IFC last night, someone said “You don't know anything about your tribe. Your tribe is Parisian.” I think that means my tribe is New Yorker. Or, is it Brooklynite? Breukeliner? Is tribe only about where you live? How about Mac User? Music Lover? Art Geek? Ivy Leaguer? Freelancer? So many tribes to get to know.


I think there's a way out of here... all we need is a map
Nico Macdonald has an interesting article in Eye magazine this month, about how map design may hold a key to new web interfaces. If you can find a copy of the magazine, get a look – the online version doesn't have illustrations. It does, however, have a rich set of links.


Al Green's back! I Can't Stop is scheduled for release November 18. It's described as a “continuation” of the kind of music he was making when he was at the top of his game in the '70s and retired to gospel music after a freakish incident involving hot grits, a woman, and a gun. Interesting that he's on Blue Note records now. Rolling Stone gives the CD high marks, for what that's worth. Additional tracks in Real and Win format at


Mothers and Inventions

Truth be told, I haven't fired up the music store in iTunes yet, because I figure it's like candy. 99¢ here, 99¢ there, and before you know it, you've spent a $half-mil!

Smart and Smarter

The Smart Car was featured prominently at this year's NYC Marathon. Right now, you can only get it in Europe, but It's a Daimler Chrysler brand, so I figure it won't be long before it rolls out here in the US. If you want something with a little more pep, they're coming out with a roadster, too.


vo - lan - tor (vo-lan'ter) n. A vertical takeoff and landing aircraft that is capable of flying in a quick, nimble, and agile manner. –intr. & tr.v. -tored, -toring, tors. To go or carry by volantor. [Lat. volare, to fly. Fr. volant, to move in a nimble and agile manner]

Looks like the flying car is more than a Johnny Quest/Blade Runner fantasy. The Moller Skycar is well into development – Dr. Paul Moller has been working on the concept for the last 40 years, and he's got a working prototype. On January 7, 2002, the M400 Skycar completed its first stable, tethered, out of ground effect hover. (In other words, they tied a rope to it, and got it to hover several feet off the ground without crashing.) It'll have three times the speed and double the range of a helicopter. NASA and others have given a thumbs-up to the technology.

Moller explains: “The world is facing a transportation crisis... The miles traveled will continue to grow; the infrastructure won't, just as we've seen in the Bay area in the past ten years. One flat tire and you're delayed five hours. They keep making faster, more powerful cars, but the average speed of an American car is now 30 MPH.”


One more musical thing. These words from an REM tune were running through my head-radio: “Stand in the place where you live (now face north)...,” when it occurred to me that the music sounded like a note-for-note match with the intro to “La Bamba.” I'll check into this.

[ link | e-me ]

Monday, November 10, 2003
4:56 PM      

"They should realize that the retrospect on Florida concluded Gore won Florida... It was stolen from the Democrats. And they should concentrate on the thieves and the blunderers in Florida, not on the Green Party... I think the Democrats can be fairly charged with chronic whining, and they ought to look at themselves first and foremost."
- Ralph Nader as told to the Wisconsin State Journal

Meanwhile, the whining continues. This time, it's about Dean's seemingly rational decision to refuse public funding. In light of the fact that the competition isn't accepting public money and will spend like a fiend, why should Dean or any of opposing candidate submit to spending limits if they don't have to? I know campaign finance is broken. It's not likely to get fixed by next November, though, and it's a principle that's not worth losing the election over.


AREA - by Phaidon Press
100 designers, 10 curators, 10 design classics. This book, like so much from Phaidon, looks extremely well-done.

More than simply cataloging good contemporary design, it presents the rationale behind the designs, as well as the view of the curator. In other words, you get the what and the why.

The web site, created by GIOSTRA | GOMPF ain't bad, either.


“People are like monkey poo, from afar, you think, hey that doesn't look so bad, but as soon as you get close, you realize you're appalled.” - Barbra Jean Loveless, online somewhere

[ link | e-me ]
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