Tuesday, April 26, 2011

“Put the cow horns back on the Cadillac/ change the message on the codaphone"


I know John Hiatt’s coming to town soon (with Lyle Lovett, a show I saw and loved last year) but I don’t think he’s here yet. Maybe this was an advance man ...

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Sunday, April 24, 2011

Researching "Write Hard, Die Free": a time machine to Alaska 1972-1992


I've been busy doing the first major revision of Write Hard, Die Free, the history I'm writing about the Alaska Newspaper War. Sometimes I play music we once listed to in The Club China Doll while I work and it feels like I'm actually living in 1974.

The working title is 
Write Hard, Die Free
Battling corruption, Big Oil and bad journalism
to win the Alaska Newspaper War (and two Pulitzers)

I'm working toward release in the spring of 2012, Insha’allah Boukrah Ma’alesh. Seems slow after living at internet speed for so long.

I'll have a Facebook page for the book when things are a bit more certain. Please watch for it; I've been telling the truth, so I'll need all the friends I can get.

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Saturday, April 23, 2011

Is Silicon Valley going the way of Hollywood, creating little lasting value?

This Tech Bubble Is Different [longform.org]

My fear is that Silicon Valley has become more like Hollywood,” says Glenn Kelman, chief executive officer of online real estate brokerage Redfin, who has been a software executive for 20 years. “An entertainment-oriented, hit-driven business that doesn’t fundamentally increase American competitiveness.”

(via Instapaper)

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Friday, April 22, 2011

George RR Martin (Game of Thrones) makes the case for comic books

This excerpt from a 1981 speech by George RR Martin makes good on its promise: The Case for Comic Books:

Block Quote: ‘The Case for Comic Books’

Every would-be writer needs comic books. I certainly did. I can still vividly recall my discovery of comic books, followed closely by the revelation that this reading stuff was actually good for something. Because comic books had it all over Readers. Comic books had pictures, and so did Readers, but in comic-book pictures somebody was flying or punching somebody, while in my Reader little Sally was crying about her little red boat. Even in my prepubescent days I had this vague feeling that Wonder Woman had it all over Jane, although I couldn’t put my finger on the reason. I did know that watching Spot run was a real drag when I could watch Krypto the Superdog fly instead. And I knew that if they ever met, Krypto would bite Spot’s head off.

So I read every comic I could get my hands on, and my reading got better and better. My teachers soon began to marvel that I read with such “expression,” while the rest of my class read . . . like . . . this. I knew the reason. You need a lot more expression for, “Aha, Superman, now my red kryptonite will turn you into a BOILED EGG!” than you do for “See Spot. See Spot run. Run, Spot, run.” So if the schools don’t do it, remember comic books. Maybe your kid won’t be as quick as I was, and regular comic books won’t do, but even that’s no problem in this day and age. There’s always the undergrounds. “Tales of the Leather Nun” should do it every time.

Adapted from a speech delivered by George R. R. Martin at Ambercon 3 in Wichita, Kan., on May 31, 1981.

I also found a lot to nod in agreement with in this review of Game of Thrones by Heather Havrilesky in the NYT Mag -- not everything, but a lot. http://www.nytimes.com/2011/04/17/magazine/mag-17Riff-t.html

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Twiiter as the anti-TV for news coverage: personal, transparent, real

Importantly, this discussion isn't about Twitter as citizen journalism as it is about the way a professional journalist uses the medium to gather, filter and disseminate news. Very insightful:

"One important way in which the curator/anchor role differs on Twitter compared to television relates to the second mechanism, the availability of unfiltered, graphic content. There has been a steady stream of photographs and videos depicting the reality of war and violence: images of the dead, dying and wounded of all ages, from small babies to elderly men and women have been circulating on social media sites. Understandably, victims of such violence did not feel a need to censor their very real suffering and keep it from us, the way television steps between us and the victims and isolates us, the audience, from reality."

View full story at http://technosociology.org/?p=393

via News.me

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Sunday, April 17, 2011

A poem that begins "Lost and trapped, there's naught but dirt between him and the sky..."

I found this poem via Seoul Brother, a Tacoma blogger I follow ("Good, Clean. Fun. Pick two."). It's apparently by somebody who posts as drcairns at Talk Dirty to Me, Paul Krugman.

I don't understand these people, but I enjoy them. And I liked this poem a lot:

under ground

Lost and trapped, there’s
naught but dirt
between him and sky.
Buried alive there are
monsters down here,
always hunting;
his only company,
the dragons,
they dig too, but
he kills them with a 
bicycle pump or something.

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Saturday, April 16, 2011

Donald Trump Blames "The Blacks" For Obama’s Presidency

Just rediscovered my old web gallery with pix of European street art. God, I love this stuff. http://bit.ly/edtn4K

I've long collected photos of street graffiti in Sacramento (a pal and I called it Expression Without Permission). Today I came across another web gallery of mine with photos of stencils and grafftiti from a European vacation.

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Wondrously creative ads for a bookstore from a Lithuanian agency. http://thurly.net/1brq


This is just one from a series of marvelous ads created by Love Agency advertising for the Mint Vinetu bookstore.

I don't know a thing about the bookstore (translated website here) but I know I like it. A quick search turned up a series of YouTube poetry videos, too. One guidebook says, "Hooray for the lovely people who opened this very welcome second-hand bookshop with small attached cafĂ© in Old Town. The choice of books, including titles in English, may be small but it’s the best anybody’s managed to do so far."

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Hawaii hotels use washable RF chip to track stolen towels, saves $16k/mo. No kidding. http://thurly.net/1bqw

Hawaii's Civil Beat news site reports that one Honolulu hotel is one of the first in the country to use washable radio frequency tracking chips to track linens. Stolen pool towels have dropped from an average 4,000 per month to 750, the RF manufacturer says, saving the hotel $16,000 a month.

(Disclosure: I did some work with the folks at Civil Beat. And I like them.)

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Friday, April 15, 2011

About a minute of audience reaction at Animal Collective concert in SF Wednesday

We had nearly perfect seats for observing Animal Collective Wednesday (slightly less oiptimal for listening, on accoutn of speaker locations). I shot about a minute of video in the dim light during the first encore (maybe "Brothersport"?) that does show how fully enthralled the audience was.

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Thursday, April 14, 2011

President Obama starts playing offense in the budget war: http://thurly.net/1b1l

As Kevin Drum points out at MotherJones.com, the president threw down in plain language during his budget speech: the deficit is the Republican's fault. Pure and simple. Nearly 100%.

America’s finances were in great shape by the year 2000. We went from deficit to surplus. America was actually on track to becoming completely debt free, and we were prepared for the retirement of the Baby Boomers.

But after Democrats and Republicans committed to fiscal discipline during the 1990s, we lost our way in the decade that followed. We increased spending dramatically for two wars and an expensive prescription drug program — but we didn’t pay for any of this new spending. Instead, we made the problem worse with trillions of dollars in unpaid-for tax cuts — tax cuts that went to every millionaire and billionaire in the country; tax cuts that will force us to borrow an average of $500 billion every year over the next decade.

To give you an idea of how much damage this caused to our nation’s checkbook, consider this: In the last decade, if we had simply found a way to pay for the tax cuts and the prescription drug benefit, our deficit would currently be at low historical levels in the coming years.

But that’s not what happened. And so, by the time I took office, we once again found ourselves deeply in debt and unprepared for a Baby Boom retirement that is now starting to take place. When I took office, our projected deficit, annually, was more than $1 trillion. On top of that, we faced a terrible financial crisis and a recession that, like most recessions, led us to temporarily borrow even more.

Shame on any Democrat (or Republican who cares about the country's future) if they don't follow suit. This has been about giving huge breaks to the hugely wealthy and taking things away from people who need them—mostly while paying for wars we didn't need and probably can't win.

How can this be tough to sell to the majority of American voters? Honestly, how??

More about Howard

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Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Non-profit raises $1.2 mill, pays Bristol Palin $262K, gives only $35K to charities. http://thurly.net/194x

from Forbes columnist Elisa Doucette:

This week, in Oops They Did It Again, the Associated Press is reporting on the financial statements from “non-profit” charitable organization, The Candie’s Foundation. At the center of the firestorm is Bristol Palin, America’s most idolized teen mom, behind those MTV kids (pictured above, with Palin at an event sponsored by The Candie’s Foundation in NYC).

Apparently, the organization was only able to find $35,000 to grant to charities from the $1,242,476 donated from the public. Meanwhile, the young Ms. Palin managed to pull in a $262,500 paycheck for her role as an ambassador for their teen pregnancy prevention campaign in 2009. Other celebrities affiliated (past and present) with The Candie’s Foundation include: Hayden Panettiere, BeyoncĂ©, Ciara, Jenny McCarthy, Vanessa Minnillo, Ashley Tisdale, Hilary Duff, Ashlee Simpson, Usher, Rachel Bilson, and Teddy Geiger

An ambiguous unnamed source from Palin’s camp spoke out yesterday afternoon, citing the work that she had done for the organization. Palin filmed numerous PSA’s, shot print and internet ads, hosted and participated in town hall meetings and attended multiple events for the charity she represented. A quarter of a million dollars is apparently in line with celebrity endorsements.

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Friday, April 01, 2011

If you ever drank coffee in Anchorage: http://thurly.net/17q3


Kaladi Brothers Coffee President Tim Gravel, right, said the Cafe del Mundo brand built by Perry Merkel (left) wouldn't be changed in any way after the sale. (Anchorage Daily News photo by Bill Roth).

More about Howard

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Dear Glenn Beck: Take this domain and shove it. http://thurly.net/17pu

The satirical site at issue here was GlennBeckRapedAndMurderedAYoungGirlIn1990.com, a protest against Beck's use of scurrilous accusations in his commentary.

The way the story of Beck's protest and subsequent loss in a WIPO appeal is a perfect example of how *not* to deal with internet criticism. And, in my opinion, a well-deserved "up yours" to Mr. Beck.

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Here's correct link for How To Steal Like An Artist: http://thurly.net/17po

I've been using Posterous to cross post some things to various media and apparently haven't got it all figured out yet. Regrets to all you searched and found naught.

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