now listening
shared items
...more shared items

11/01/2003 - 12/01/2003

12/01/2003 - 01/01/2004

01/01/2004 - 02/01/2004

02/01/2004 - 03/01/2004

03/01/2004 - 04/01/2004

04/01/2004 - 05/01/2004

05/01/2004 - 06/01/2004

06/01/2004 - 07/01/2004

07/01/2004 - 08/01/2004

08/01/2004 - 09/01/2004

09/01/2004 - 10/01/2004

10/01/2004 - 11/01/2004

11/01/2004 - 12/01/2004

12/01/2004 - 01/01/2005

01/01/2005 - 02/01/2005

02/01/2005 - 03/01/2005

03/01/2005 - 04/01/2005

04/01/2005 - 05/01/2005

05/01/2005 - 06/01/2005

06/01/2005 - 07/01/2005

07/01/2005 - 08/01/2005

08/01/2005 - 09/01/2005

09/01/2005 - 10/01/2005

10/01/2005 - 11/01/2005

11/01/2005 - 12/01/2005

12/01/2005 - 01/01/2006

01/01/2006 - 02/01/2006

02/01/2006 - 03/01/2006

03/01/2006 - 04/01/2006

04/01/2006 - 05/01/2006

05/01/2006 - 06/01/2006

06/01/2006 - 07/01/2006

07/01/2006 - 08/01/2006

08/01/2006 - 09/01/2006

09/01/2006 - 10/01/2006

10/01/2006 - 11/01/2006

11/01/2006 - 12/01/2006

12/01/2006 - 01/01/2007

01/01/2007 - 02/01/2007

02/01/2007 - 03/01/2007

03/01/2007 - 04/01/2007

04/01/2007 - 05/01/2007

05/01/2007 - 06/01/2007

06/01/2007 - 07/01/2007

07/01/2007 - 08/01/2007

08/01/2007 - 09/01/2007

09/01/2007 - 10/01/2007

10/01/2007 - 11/01/2007

11/01/2007 - 12/01/2007

12/01/2007 - 01/01/2008

01/01/2008 - 02/01/2008

02/01/2008 - 03/01/2008

03/01/2008 - 04/01/2008

04/01/2008 - 05/01/2008

05/01/2008 - 06/01/2008

06/01/2008 - 07/01/2008

07/01/2008 - 08/01/2008

08/01/2008 - 09/01/2008

09/01/2008 - 10/01/2008

10/01/2008 - 11/01/2008

11/01/2008 - 12/01/2008

12/01/2008 - 01/01/2009

01/01/2009 - 02/01/2009

02/01/2009 - 03/01/2009

03/01/2009 - 04/01/2009

04/01/2009 - 05/01/2009

05/01/2009 - 06/01/2009

06/01/2009 - 07/01/2009

07/01/2009 - 08/01/2009

08/01/2009 - 09/01/2009

09/01/2009 - 10/01/2009

10/01/2009 - 11/01/2009

11/01/2009 - 12/01/2009

12/01/2009 - 01/01/2010

01/01/2010 - 02/01/2010

02/01/2010 - 03/01/2010

03/01/2010 - 04/01/2010

Friday, June 29, 2007 
sicko vs iphone
virago & i trekked down to the fashion mall today to see sicko. (on the day it came out, no less, just like moveon asked us to... i guess we're good dirty hippies. the theatre was pretty full for a friday matinee.)

on our way in & out of the mall, we passed by the apple store and the long line of mac freaks waiting to get their iphones. in fact, on our way out we walked by at 6:30, shortly after the things went on sale, and saw the unusual spectacle of apple-philes applauding each other for being so fortunate as to buy their precious gadgets. that was a bit surreal (as was watching a young man try to use his old cellphone to take a photo of himself holding his new iphone. eventually a cop came over and took the photo for him. did i mention that a bunch of cops were circling around the apple store to ensure that the consumer frenzy went smoothly?)

anyway, sicko. what can i say about this powerful film? sicko is a damning portrait of the US health care system. the united states is the only western country in the world that does not have some kind of universal health care. moore starts out by collecting horror stories of people who've been underserved by their HMOs: the dark secret of our health care system is not the 50 million people who have no insurance (like me, currently), but that you can have what you think is good insurance only to have your livelihood destroyed by unexpected medical bills. the system is run by for-profit HMOs, and the way HMOs make a profit is by denying coverage. so it's not necessarily in your HMO's best interest to make you healthy: often the HMO makes more money by letting you die.

sicko compares our health care system to that of several other countries (canada, britain, france, and even cuba) and finds our system severely lacking. the contrast between the happy, healthy citizens of these other nations and the injured, bankrupt americans is startling to say the least. i found myself fantasizing about moving to one of those countries, any of them, just to have access to their medical facilities. (while i'm in fairly good health, my parents have a decent collection of health issues between them, and these issues hit virago even closer to home than they do me. incidentally, here is the website for info on emigrating to canada. toronto is great, and i've heard good things about vancouver as well.)

when i first saw fahrenheit 9/11 back in 2004, i thought it was great and really enjoyed it, but as an avid newsreader and blogger, i already knew most of the information in the film. not so for sicko. while i knew that every other western country had universal health care, i had no real grasp of what that's like. (just as the concept of paying for your health care is so alien to many of the europeans and canadians interviewed in the film.) for that reason, i think this could be the best michael moore film yet, and could have the greatest impact.

i also suspect that right-wingers and moore haters will have a harder time "debunking" sicko than they did fahrenheit 9/11. then again, i thought their attempts last time were laughable, so i'm sure some of them will make an effort, pathetic as it might be.

when the movie was over it elicited a hearty round of applause from the audience, which is always a bit odd when the filmmakers aren't, you know, around to hear the clapping. but there was at least one in the crowd who didn't enjoy it: a right-wing heckler, white and middle-aged in his "michael moore is fat" t-shirt from for the first 30 minutes or so, he would clap as loudly as possible whenever a right-winger appeared onscreen. eventually an usher came over and told him to STFU.

at dinner afterward, virago & i wondered what would possess a man to go to a movie he fully planned to hate (not expected to hate, as i expect the transformers movie to be garbage, but planned to hate, as in he wouldn't allow himself to enjoy it no matter what), just so he could be loud and try to ruin it for others. my opinion was that he was just an asshole.

Saturday, June 23, 2007 
disney to stop defiling its classic films with crappy sequels

In a major strategy shift, the Walt Disney Co. said it will stop making lucrative direct-to-DVD sequels of such classic animated films as "Cinderella," a move that reflects the growing influence of former Pixar Animation executives John Lasseter and Steve Jobs, who once called the films "embarrassing."

embarrassing is right. in perhaps the most powerful symbol of the decay of the walt disney company since walt's death, in the past decade or so, the studio has been pumping out cheap, straight-to-dvd crap like cinderella II (and III), bambi II, and lady and the tramp II. i'm all for breathing new life into old creative works, but these sequels were the basest form of cashing in on old properties. the original disney animated features of the '40s and '50s were true classics, and remain among the best animated films to come out of this country. the reason for this is the obvious care and attention that was lavished on every aspect of these films. for them to be followed up decades later by cheap straight-to-video sequels was the ultimate insult.

in contrast, pixar has consistently been putting out high-quality new films based on new, original characters (well, other than toy story II and the upcoming III) for years. i still believe that the incredibles is on par with some of the best superhero movies ever made, and pixar's latest feature, cars, is still pulling in major merchandising dollars a year after its release.

The change comes with a shake-up at the company's DisneyToon Studios, including the removal of longtime president Sharon Morrill, who will continue with the company in another capacity, Disney said Friday.

DisneyToon Studios will become part of Walt Disney Feature Animation and report directly to Animation President Ed Catmull and Lasseter, who assumed roles there after Disney bought Pixar Animation Studio last year for $7.4 billion in stock.

That deal made Jobs, the former Pixar CEO who also runs Apple Inc., into Disney's largest shareholder and got him a spot on Disney's board.

DisneyToon will now only produce original DVD films, including the upcoming film starring the fairy Tinkerbell. "Little Mermaid III," currently in production, will be the last DVD sequel released.

maybe those pixar guys can start to turn disney around.

Friday, June 22, 2007 
big glitches
one of my current goals for my databending/glitch art work is to eventually do a show of all databent stuff at a local gallery. participating in a smaller group show, maybe something like the visual fringe at this year's indy fringe festival, might be a good step toward that.

but transferring a digital artform to a more traditional venue like a gallery... therein lies a problem.

the problem is image size. the majority of my databent images—in fact, almost all the glitch art i've seen—uses relatively small image sizes. a 2200x1600 photo might look big onscreen, but in print it's still fairly small. so while it's possible to order 20"x30" prints of your photos on flickr, for the vast majority of my stuff, it is "not recommended" that i go bigger than 8"x10". and 8"x10" just isn't that big in the art world. (the max submission size for 2d work in visual fringe is six feet by six feet.)

of course i could still blow them up huge even though it's not recommended. because these are databent works, rather than normal photographs, the increased graininess of the prints might not detract too much from the works. (indeed, for some works, the graininess could even make the pictures look better.) i bought a databent poster from cafepress a couple years back, and it doesn't look too bad. but if we're talking about a serious art show where i expect people to pay real money for my work, the "not too bad" standard is too low. and at $20 a pop, i can't afford to just buy tons of prints and see which ones turn out okay.

the obvious solution is to simply create larger databent works, but that creates surprising new challenges.

recently i stumbled across a flickr photographer from amsterdam named peter klashorst. he has lots of creative commons–licensed nudes in his photostream (so you need to turn off safesearch to see a lot of it), and he has a multi-micropixel camera that takes enormous, crisp photos. so his stuff was a natural choice for my latest bending experiments. but the huge size of my base image has had some surprising effects.

for one thing, photoshop crashes whenever i try to resave the base image as a PNG. the calculations are just too big and my computer chokes. i'm sure it could be done with better hardware (maybe on my laptop), or on this hardware with more-efficient software, but for the time being i simply can't do it. so no poster-sized PNG bends.

for another thing, and this was really surprising, when i open these files in sound forge and then save them again, the data gets corrupted. so without me making any real changes, the image goes from this (not work safe) to something like this (same disclaimer). and what's really weird is that if i save again, the data gets uncorrupted! then if i save yet another time, it's corrupted again, and so on. perhaps this behavior should trouble me, but it's so fascinating that i can't leave it alone... and it's produced some very nice bends.

the image posted above, for example, was created by running sound forge's "acoustic mirror" effect on the corrupted version of a photoshop RAW file based on this image (which was itself a glitched jpeg version of the klashorst original). running the same effect on the uncorrupted data yielded far different, and far less interesting, results.

but then, once the bending is done, we run into yet another problem with bending big image: flickr has a maximum image size of 10mb (for pro users). and while the klashorst originals were under that size, a really glitched-out image with the same dimensions takes up a lot more disk space... closer to 30mb. this is because jpeg compression is optimized for the kinds of color patterns that occur in normal photographs, not the noisy chaotic colors of an image that has been databent beyond all recognition.

so in my attempts to create bent works that i could print at poster size, i have also created images that were too big to upload to flickr. ironically, in order to get them onto flickr, i had to shrink them down to a size where once again 20"x30" prints are not recommended. at least i still have the full-size versions on my hard drive, and can look into getting them printed elsewhere.


Thursday, June 21, 2007 
good news/bad news
the good news: girl talk is coming to talbott street in august! i've never been to talbott street so this should be a good opportunity to check it out. girl talk always puts on a great show, and it's been a couple years since i've seen him.

the bad news: the rest of the lineup makes no sense. i might have been willing to check out we are hex (at least they're sort of electro-poppy), but not if i have to sit through those other bands to do so. (if you have to put a disclaimer on your myspace page that you "aren't a pop-punk band, god dammit", you should consider that perhaps you really are pop-punk after all. if it walks like a pop-punk band and squawks like a pop-punk band...)

methinks this is one show where we'll be arriving fashionably late.

bmv continues to waste money
everyone is talking about the fort wayne journal gazette editorial on those "in god we trust" license plates:

The BMV needs to review the legislation establishing the "In God We Trust" plate and set uniform policies to be followed at each of its license branches. Its uneven procedures appear to place the state in the position of promoting "In God We Trust" as the standard state license plate.

The emphasis on distributing the specialty plate is especially puzzling considering the agency’s recent efforts to control costs. The “In God We Trust” plate costs more to make than the blue-and-green standard tag – 50 cents more per plate, to be precise. With 824,504 "In God We Trust" plates distributed as of last Saturday, that’s an additional $412,000 the agency has spent on plates. Six months into the year, that takes a hefty chunk out of the $1 million annual inventory cost savings the BMV boasts will be realized by replacing the one- or two-digit county indicator plates with a county sticker.

The BMV has even discouraged car owners from choosing the more cheaply manufactured standard plate by placing a premium on it. Those who request a new standard plate because their 2003-issue plate has been damaged must pay a $9 replacement fee. But they can accept a new "In God We Trust" plate with no replacement fee.

The state requires motorists who want certain specialty plates to provide additional paperwork to obtain their plates. Anyone requesting a Taylor University plate, for example, must produce an authorization form from Taylor and pay a $15 administrative fee and $15 group fee, which supports university programs.

There were early indications that the "In God We Trust" plate will cut into sales of plates supporting such worthy programs. In the first three months of this year, sales of the popular environmental trust plate were almost half what they were for the same period a year ago. Group fees from that plate go to the Indiana Heritage Trust fund to buy and protect land.

but there was another interesting bmv story in today's indy star:

Problems with the BMV's new computer system have cost taxpayers at least $6 million, and the tab is still running.

That added cost represents a nearly 20 percent increase over the project's original $32 million price tag -- and it may be the end of the year before all the problems are addressed and late 2008 before the Bureau of Motor Vehicles is sure the full system is working properly, officials said Wednesday.

"While we have made progress, we're not there yet," BMV Commissioner Ron Stiver said.
The botched conversion threw license branches into disarray and left customers fuming for months.

Stiver said about 80 percent of the widespread problems have been fixed.

The conversion -- which took place during a four-day period over the Fourth of July holiday last year -- generated more than 2,500 system glitches as more than 250 million records were merged from three separate databases the BMV had used since the mid-1990s.

At times, Stiver said, problems were cropping up faster than the agency and vendor could fix them.

Early on, more than 100,000 customers a month were required to go to license branches to resolve questions about conflicting information from the three old databases before they could finalize new transactions.

That number has dropped to about 2,800 a month, and all of those problems should be resolved by the end of one more registration renewal cycle, roughly the end of 2008, Stiver said.

while i have no doubt that the situation is improving and problems are getting fixed, i must remain somewhat skeptical, considering the orwellian metrics the bmv uses:

Stiver said the average wait for license branch transactions in May was 15 minutes. The agency defines "wait time" as the period between the moment a customer sits down with a clerk until they make their payment; it does not include time spent in line or waiting to see a BMV worker.

The May wait was down nine minutes from May 2006 and is 44 minutes shorter than in May 2005 at branches that were using STARS.

in other words, "wait time" does not include time you spend waiting. but at least, while you wait, you can once again look at the clock, or maybe even take a piss:

Many customers say they have noticed significant improvements in branch operations -- from reduced waits and access to restrooms to courteous service and the return of clocks that had been removed from some branches by Stiver's predecessor, Joel Silverman.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007 
war of the cereal mascots
i'm a few days late on this story, but considering the themes of some of my recordings, i'd be remiss if i didn't mention it. kellogg is going to stop using licensed characters to advertise sugary cereals.

The Kellogg Company said yesterday that it would phase out advertising its products to children under age 12 unless the foods meet specific nutrition guidelines for calories, sugar, fat and sodium.

Kellogg also announced that it would stop using licensed characters or branded toys to promote foods unless the products meet the nutrition guidelines.

The voluntary changes, which will be put in place over the next year and a half, will apply to about half of the products that Kellogg currently markets to children worldwide, including Froot Loops and Apple Jacks cereals and Pop-Tarts.

Frosted Flakes, for example and Rice Krispies with Real Strawberries will still make the nutritional cut, though regular Rice Krispies will not (too much salt).

The president and chief executive of Kellogg, David Mackay, said that the products that did not meet the guidelines would either be reformulated so that they did, or no longer be advertised to children.

while part of me mourns that i'll no longer get to see characters like toucan sam or dig'em on my tv, this is a great step. these characters are deliberately designed to appeal to young children, inspiring millions of kids to eat unhealthy crap.

but as far as cereal mascots go, the kelloggs mascots are pretty innocuous. tony the tiger, toucan sam, dig'em, and the holy trinity of snap, crackle, and pop—these characters might be nothing more than marketing tools, but at least their personalities are benign. as far as we know, tony the tiger and his pals are all cool dudes, regular chaps who just want to hook up their friends with some tasty cereal. the truly troublesome mascots belong to other brands.

consider the big G cereals. there's trix rabbit, who undergoes the constant job-like suffering of never being able to eat his favorite food. just who are all these kids who are so routinely cruel to trix rabbit, and who do they think they are? moreover, where do they get off? let the rabbit have a damn bowl of cereal, already.

still more troubling is lucky, the lucky charms mascot, who does everything in his power to deprive children of the sugary cereal they crave. and worst of all is post's legendary sugar bear, who not only refuses to share his cereal, but beats the living crap out of anyone who dares to ask. share your cereal, asshole!

these characters not only shill for unhealthy products, but they simultaneously promote unhealthy, anti-sharing messages. in comparison, toucan sam is a saint.

Thursday, June 14, 2007 
flickr plays it a bit too safe
i'd been wondering why my none of my camera toss pics were showing up in the flickr badge on my blog (and also why nobody seemed to be looking at any of them) and i finally figured it out. in my initial confusion over flickr's new(ish) content filters, i'd set my default safesearch to "moderate" shortly before uploading them, thus they were all flagged "moderate" (despite being completely unobjectionable), which meant that not only were a lot of people not seeing them, but they wouldn't show up on my badge either. i'm not sure if there's a way to create a badge that will display moderate- or restricted-tagged images, but now that i better understand how the system works, i think it's probably best if my badge doesn't show them anyway.

in the olden days, you just weren't supposed to have any "objectionable" photos in your public photostream. if you wanted to upload, for example, nude photography, you were supposed to mark all those photos as "private". private photos are only visible to users you have marked as friends or family, so effectively it was impossible to publicly share any such content. (the only real workaround was to join adult-themed photo pools, and then you could only share your work with other members of the pool.)

it was an overly restrictive system, and a bunch of users simply ignored it and publicly shared their photos, as i did with my databent nude work. but there was a danger in this: if you got caught, your account would be marked NIPSA and your photos wouldn't turn up in public searches.

the new content filter system works differently. users are expected to moderate their own content by flagging their photos with an appropriate "safety level". accordingly, flickr now has a "safesearch" filter that shields users from images based on these flags.

in theory, it's a much better system, because it allows artists who do nudes or other potentially objectionable work to share their art with anyone who wants to see it, while allowing people who don't want to see that stuff to never see it.

in practice, there's a bit of a snag:

Note: If your Yahoo! ID is based in Singapore, Germany, Hong Kong or Korea you will only be able to view safe content based on your local Terms of Service so won't be able to turn SafeSearch off.

a few days ago, flickr launched several new languages to make the site more accessible to users worldwide. but somehow, things got twisted. as staff member stewart explains:

Currently, switching the SafeSearch function off is not available for German members. It is a really complex situation -- we have been in deliberation on this for a while, and we had to make the decision whether or not to leave Germany and the German language out of the international launch.

later he added:

Unfortunately I can't give a more detailed update yet or any concrete good news, but please don't take our silence to mean that nothing is happening. We are doing our best to make the situation better as quickly as possible. I'm sure it doesn't make a lot of sense from the outside, and we would prefer to be able to share all the context -- believe me, this is extremely uncomfortable and we'd *strongly* prefer not to be in this position -- but we don't have a choice at this time.

no more is known about why this policy went into effect (or when or if it might change), but it would seem to have something to do with deals between upper management at yahoo! and these foreign countries (or yahoo!'s investors in those regions).

german flickr users are particularly upset, as it's particularly bizarre that countrywide censorship would hit a liberal country like germany (though it might have something to do with german laws restricting display of nazi imagery). and they're protesting up a storm.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007 
circuitbending in nuvo

this week's nuvo has an article about circuitbending and its place in the local "noisecore" scene. the thrust of the piece is about local bender baconhanger, who's also part of the bad taste roster and a member of animals within animals. but it also includes some quotes from yours truly as well as reed ghazala.

here's a taste:

There are a limited number of ways to mutilate and reconstruct old Speak ’n’ Spells, but Zach Fisher might know them all.

Fisher — better known by his alias, Baconhanger, in the Indy noisecore scene — has been putting the popular 1980s toys to good use. He’s a circuit bender, part of an underground movement in music that’s been growing since at least the 1960s, in which electronic devices are disemboweled and rewired to produce new sounds.

“Old technology is the most bendable,” Fisher says. “Old toys have bigger circuit boards. When bending, you short circuit the various components on the board, and sometimes get interesting results.”

These short circuits produce sounds anywhere from a low, scratchy growl to a high-pitched whine. (Imagine the static on your radio, but beamed in from another, angrier planet.)

i tried to sell the author on databending as well, but no dice. i doubt he had the space to cover it. still, it's good press for baconhanger, AWIA, and bad taste.


Tuesday, June 12, 2007 
endings and spoilers
i admit... for a moment there, i too swore at my cable provider, thinking my reception had died right in the middle of the closing moments of the sopranos finale. but no, that was really how it ended.

i'm still not entirely sold on the sheer abruptness of the ending. (then again, if meadow had gotten inside and the show faded to black from a dinner-table shot, i'm not sure it would've been any better.) but beyond that, i was relatively pleased with the sopranos finale... and am amused that so many people are still so upset about it.

i understand that a lot of people were expecting some sort of closure. dramatic, cataclysmic closure, even. and they're upset that they didn't get it. but the sopranos has never been about tidy little endings or easy-to-illustrate three-act narrative arcs. real life isn't like that: events that you'd expect to have major consequences end up boiling over, and the most seemingly minor details can change everything.

take a show like 24. now that's a show that is completely dominated by its format and genre conventions. you might not always be able to predict the plot turns exactly, but it gets pretty easy to predict when they will happen. hell, the show even telegraphs when its plot points will happen: "how long until they arrive?" "about 30 minutes, jack."

when something happens on 24, it happens because the plotting demands something happen at that moment. and as that show progresses from season to season it becomes increasingly formulaic and absurd, bearing less and less resemblance to reality.

(and even then, 24 producers smartly switched to two-hour finales a couple years back, because the final hour of a 24 season inevitably has 20 minutes or more of the surviving characters hugging each other in relief. don't make the mistake of confusing the finale with the climax. just like on 24, the real climax of the final season of the sopranos was really the penultimate episode, not the finale.)

the sopranos, like real life, doesn't work like that. bad stuff happens, and you just have to adjust and move on. in the real world, you rarely get closure. you just buck up and keep on living because you have no choice. and that's how the sopranos ended, too. sure, it would've been exciting if the show had ended with a rain of bullets, but it wouldn't have felt true to the series, let alone true to life. as i've seen at least one critic write, any ending would've been a copout. instead, we just don't get an ending. life goes on for the soprano family and crew; we just won't be around to see it. (and don't believe the hype about this being a cliffhanger for a sopranos movie: it wasn't. there will be no movie.)

i remember when the final issue of the comic preacher came out, a small but very vocal portion of the audience hated it. they wanted a bloodbath and grotesque humor, but instead they got a relatively heartwarming comic about reconciliation. that issue did provide closure—closure regarding the human relationships that had formed throughout the series—it just wasn't the kind of closure that some fans wanted. what struck me about that uproar is that those people just didn't get what the series was truly about. and i have to wonder how many of those people who are so upset about the sopranos finale really understood the show in the first place. sure, i understand the desire for closure, but after everything that's come before, did you really expect it?

anyway, since i'm talking about finales already, here are my thoughts on other finales from this season:

24: pretty lame, really. the whole season was little more than a mishmash of things we've seen in previous seasons: threats on the president, the inevitable mole, an assault on CTU headquarters... give me a break, already.

heroes: fun, but not perfect. i wasn't expecting the resolution to the bomb threat, which is good. my favorite stuff from the season was around episodes 19-20, though.

the office: awesome. this is easily one of the best comedies in the country right now.

my name is earl: really? seriously? i like a good cliffhanger as much as the next guy, but... this cliffhanger? on this show? and how contrived will it be next season when they press the undo button?

battlestar galactica: the trial was handled imperfectly (i liked the ruling, but not with how the trial itself was staged), but i totally loved the cylon stuff. wasn't surprised by the return of starbuck. next season is the final season, and i for one am glad, because as much as i love the show, i want the producers/writers to end it on their terms, and not get cancelled before they can resolve their storyline. next season should be amazing; it will be difficult to wait until january.

Sunday, June 10, 2007 
i don't give a toss
it feels like i've been waiting for something to inspire me to start blogging regularly again, but whatever i've been waiting for hasn't arrived. we're still averaging only one post every 5 days or so. but at least i haven't been entirely unproductive.

i'd seen camera toss stuff, where you literally throw your camera up in the air while the shutter is open, through one of my regular flickr contacts. but i'd never tried it for myself.

since we now use virago's camera almost exclusively, i figured i might as well get some use out of my old one, which has just been sitting around collecting dust, so if i drop it and it shatters, i won't really lose much.

it took some grumbling and fumbling while i got used to the automatic timer, but eventually i was able to get a few decent shots.

of course, these are just my first few attempts. to really see what's possible with this technique, check out the camera toss poll. there's some amazing stuff there. (for one thing, to get the really good stuff, i'm going to have to wait until it's dark outside.)

there's also a camera toss blog for those interested in reading more.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007 
back home again
i've been spending the past few days in kentuckiana for a nice rainy vacation by the ohio river, but i'm back to let you know i can really shake 'em down. some photos from the trip will probably turn up sooner or later in my flickr photostream.

my vacation was relatively uneventful, but a lot of big stuff happened elsewhere while i was gone:

rep "dollar bill" jefferson of louisiana was indicted for soliciting bribes.

bush administration fall guy scooter libby was sentenced to 30 months... but tv newsers seem much more preoccupied with paris hilton going to jail. (the tv talking heads have totally turned on paris, seemingly oblivious to the fact that they are the entire reason she's famous in the first place.)

an appeals court ruled that the fcc's recent crackdown on inadvertant profanity is bunk, reasoning that "In recent times even the top leaders of our government have used variants of these expletives in a manner that no reasonable person would believe referenced sexual or excretory organs or activities." in other words, in a world where the vice president tells opponents to go fuck themselves on the senate floor, it's absurd to punish broadcasters for the occasional profanity that slips through.

Friday, June 01, 2007 
okay, this is seriously the last google street view glitch i'm posting to the blog (you'll just have to look at the set for more) but i couldn't resist this one, as it's possibly the coolest street view glitch i'll ever find... there seems to be an enormous wormhole at the intersection of howard street and 6th street in san francisco.

as you might expect, the wormhole is invisible from the other side.


Powered by Blogger hosted by Sensory Research