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Current Topic: Arts

Apple G3 Mailbox
Topic: Arts 4:06 pm EDT, May 19, 2008

[ But is it approved by the Postmaster General!? -k]

Apple G3 Mailbox

Apple Mac Music Video
Topic: Arts 1:30 pm EDT, May 16, 2008

Like the CCTV video from yesterday, these people made their music video with stop animation and a Mac Desktop.

[ Very clever... i like it. -k]

Apple Mac Music Video

We Tell Stories
Topic: Arts 1:26 pm EDT, Apr 21, 2008

Six Authors. Six Stories. Six Weeks.

Super cool. 21 Steps is freaking rad... a story told via google maps, like the Indiana Jones travelling sequences, but with text bubbles. Very neat.

We Tell Stories

Topic: Arts 1:25 pm EDT, Apr 21, 2008

Typography from the 1980s.

[ Oh this video is the awesome. I've been playing it every couple days for about a month or so now. So damn cool. -k]


The King of Wrong
Topic: Arts 6:01 pm EST, Feb 16, 2008

An awful lot of people have mentioned the documentary The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters, which came out last year. The mail usually goes along the lines of:

"Did you know about this fantastic arcade documentary that came out? I thought it was amazing, you should see it if you haven't already."

So to all my helpful compatriots, I just want the message clear: I hate that movie. I hate it on principle. I hate it on personal, selfish grounds. I hate it on ethical grounds. I dispute its content and I despise its message. That it is being considered a modern classic grinds my teeth and riles my fists.

Huh.. very interesting, and quite disturbing.

The King of Wrong

Pass The Popcorn! Study Finds That Film Enjoyment Is Contagious
Topic: Arts 1:03 pm EST, Dec 10, 2007

Loud commentary and cell phone fumbling may be distracting, but new research suggests that the presence of other people may enhance our movie-watching experiences. Over the course of the film, movie-watchers influence one another and gradually synchronize their emotional responses. This mutual mimicry also affects each participant's evaluation of the overall experience -- the more in sync we are with the people around us, the more we like the movie.

Very true. It's risky to try and share a movie with someone... if they hate it, you might not like it either. All of which paints a fairly distressing picture of our ability to critically evaluate what we actually like.

Pass The Popcorn! Study Finds That Film Enjoyment Is Contagious

Faithless - Mass Destruction
Topic: Arts 5:13 pm EDT, Sep  9, 2007

Whether long range weapon or suicide bomber
Wicked mind is a weapon of mass destruction
Whether you're Soaraway Sun or BBC 1
Misinformation is a weapon of mass destruct
You coulda Caucasian or a poor Asian
Racism is a weapon of mass destruction
Whether inflation or globalization
Fear is a weapon of mass destruction
Whether Halliburton, Enron or anyone
Greed is a weapon of mass destruction
We need to find courage, overcome
Inaction is a weapon of mass destruction

This song rocks. I love the rhyming, especially in the second verse.

And you ain't going to nirvana
or far-vana,
you're coming right back here to live out your karma.
With even more drama
than previously, seriously.
Just how many centuries
have we been waiting for someone else to make us free?
And we refuse to see
that people overseas
suffer just like we:
Bad leadership and ego's unfettered and free
Who feed
on the people they're supposed to lead

The "talking to the wall" imagery is great.

[ Agreed, and one of the better videos too... very powerful. -k]

Faithless - Mass Destruction

Tufte and the Triumph of Good Design
Topic: Arts 4:07 pm EDT, Jun 13, 2007

"Edward Tufte's Beautiful Evidence is a masterpiece from a pioneer in the field of data visualization. His book is brilliant. The Galileo of graphics has done it again. It's not often an iconoclast comes along, trashes the old ways, and replaces them with an irresistible new interpretation. By teasing out the sublime from the seemingly mundane world of charts, graphs, and tables, Tufte has proven to a generation of graphic designers that great thinking begets great presentation. In Beautiful Evidence, his fourth work on analytical design, Tufte digs more deeply into art and science to reveal very old connections between truth and beauty -- all the way from Galileo to Google."

I have two of Tufte's books, and, yes, that Minard print hanging on my wall as well... the difference between a well designed information graphic and the garbage we're used to seeing is quite astounding. I suppose I shall have to add Beautiful Evidence to my purchace list...

Tufte and the Triumph of Good Design

The movie magic is gone
Topic: Arts 12:10 pm EST, Mar  1, 2007

This was an interesting article. I have some comments, though not really a cohesive reply...

Eighty-three percent of its respondents said they were satisfied with the content of the films they saw, but 60% nevertheless expected to spend less of their income on moviegoing in the future, citing dissatisfaction with the moviegoing experience and the emergence of better alternatives for their time and money.

This is the thing I understand the least. I love the experience of going to the theater, I like the sound and the big screen and I like, as the author indicates, the communality of it. I can sit on my couch alone and do a million things. In a town like this one, where the bars are shite and we haven't had a good concert in months, the movies are a way for me to at least be *around* people in a public place, and for only 10 bucks. Not bad. My movie going has increased dramatically in the past year or so. I now see between 2 and 4 movies per month at the theater and another 4 to 6 on DVD (though some of those are re-viewings of favorites). I know I'm the exception because I see less and less people at the theater.

We're becoming homebodies. I know it's asinine for *me* of a all people to say that, who rarely goes out socially, but it seems to be the trend.

...another phenomenon has battered the motion picture industry, attacking one of the very fundamentals of moviegoing: the movies' communal appeal. Before demographics became the marketing mantra, the movies were the art of the middle. They provided a common experience and language — a sense of unity. In the dark we were one.

Now, however, when people prefer to identify themselves as members of ever-smaller cohorts — ethnic, political, demographic, regional, religious — the movies can no longer be the art of the middle.
In effect, the conservative impulse of our politics that has promoted the individual rather than the community has helped undermine movies' communitarian appeal.

This I agree with wholeheartedly. I had a coworker about a year ago tell me that she refuses to go to the movies, even ones she's otherwise interested in "because of Hollywood's left-wing agenda". It was a politically motivated choice not just to not see particular movies, but to boycott the entire industry. This is that niche mentality at it's extreme, in which nothing outside one's personal belief system can be tolerated, because tolerance is a form of approval. I was floored by that moment... it really brought home just how divided we are these days.

Anyway, I do think the industry is endangered, for the reasons above and a number of others. I haven't even the faintest suggestion for a response. The world has to change and i guess the democratization of media (which I argued strongly in favor of a couple of days ago) has some negative aspects we ought to be concious of as we move forward. Primarily, we have to keep in mind that the point of all these media is to connect people... if we're all just sitting in our living rooms, connection is harder.

The movie magic is gone

YouTube - colonel angus
Topic: Arts 10:32 am EST, Feb 20, 2007

This skit had me in stitches when I first watched it.

[ Agreed. This is a high water mark for SNL, i'd say. -k]

YouTube - colonel angus

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