Twitter Logo
Rex Sorgatz

Screenplay idea: Man gets amnesia and reconstructs his life from blog comments he wrote. Short film -- he kills himself after 11 minutes.

monday
1 comment

Foreign Policy photo feature: An exclusive look inside a booming multibillion-dollar, evangelical, global Thai cult. Lots and lots of meditators. [via]

tuesday
0 comments

Remember that assassination of the Hamas guy in Dubai last year? GQ has a huge investigative piece that reveals, among other things, that the same team tried to kill him a few months earlier (with poison), but failed. Later they were successful, but the Dubai police were meticulous in their investigation, exploited the hit team's mistakes, and revealed all. (If you don't want to read the whole thing, Threat Level summarizes.)

tuesday
0 comments

Haiti, a year later: Great photo on the front page of the NYT today. She's a dancer.

saturday
0 comments

The definitive piece on quicksand, including an entire section on fetishes that I never would have considered.

wednesday
0 comments

so i've grown tired of my snarkiness today and spent a little time looking at things i really love, like robots, and cool, fun stuff.

once i got my head back on all straight and optimistic, i went straight over to see some smart happening on Faris Yakob's blog. because that's where you go when you need an intellectual pick-me-up.

and then, feeling nostalgic for memes & 'idea multipliers', i wound my way over to BBH Labs and some thinking about crowdsourced creativity and open source creativity. and then, glancing at the twitter feed, stumbled upon this:

maybe the optimism wore off just a little. -- FB

friday
0 comments

The Notebook Blog is a strange, yet beguiling, charming thing. Put together by writer Claire Cameron, the site is composed of digital photographs of physical collages Claire has created.

It thus exists in a pleasingly liminal space between old and new, electronic and paper, sincere and wry. With titles like Page 35's "We Like Lists Because We Don't Want to Die", or Page 28's "I Believe Mustard To Be One Of The Most Amazing Condiments", it almost out-Tumblrs Tumblr for that mix of the heartfelt and sheer post-ironic oddness.

Yet, like Tumblr, it's the occasional juxtaposition that's most jarring - most likely to stop you dead in your tracks as you careen through your feeds - like the contrast in pictures and text that appear on "We're a Virus With Shoes, That's All We Are". -NA

friday
0 comments

h+ magazine is an online publication that purports to talk about the scientific and cultural trends that will fundamentally change humanity - and occasionally feels like the imaginary lovechild of Donna Haraway and the guys at Snarkmarket.

Exemplary stories: this recent piece on explaining consciousness; how 'Gamification' is turning work into play (which Rex also presciently wrote about in 2007); Transhumanism and Superheroes; or Jonathan Lethem on Phillip K. Dick. -NA

tuesday
1 comment

The interesting thing about this defense of shyness [via] is that it suggests that the more 'we live in public', the more diffidence is counter-cultural - i.e. it kinda' makes you unreadable in way that Facebook/Twitter et al obviously do not. -NA

thursday
0 comments

But besides his mounting financial troubles, Mr. Goltstein also must contend with bubbles the size of small houses that have sprouted from the pool of manure at his Union Go Dairy Farm. :DS

thursday
5 comments

Tim Rogers has lived in Japan for several years. He's sick of it -- very, very, very sick of it. So sick of it, he's written one of the longest* blog posts in the history of blog posts to explain all the ways he's sick of it. I didn't read the whole thing, but most of it seems to be because they put meat on everything and scream all the time.

*Errol Morris is probably his closest competitor. --ADM

sunday
0 comments

The hit squad that killed the Hamas commander in Dubai apparently used a fast acting muscle relaxant to disable him before they smothered him. Earlier reports on the execution said the door was latched from the inside when the body was discovered. Anyone have any idea how they might have done that? --ADM

Update: Not sure what happened to the comment, but someone here posted a link to this video showing how to do it.

sunday
0 comments

NYT has readers' photos of earthquake damage in Chile. As usual, the Boston Globe's Big Picture collects some of the most dramatic pictures from the mainstream media. --ADM

sunday
2 comments

Why is Toyoda not spelled 'Toyota'? The Washington Post explains. Executive summary: His grandfather started the company, but they changed the name because "Toyota" has a luckier number of brush strokes (8). --ADM [via Consumerist]

friday
0 comments

Gay couples seeking surrogate mothers are the latest group looking to outsource to India through cheap "rent a womb" plans: "We feel we hit the jackpot because we got two healthy and beautiful twins for a fraction of what it would have cost in the U.S." --FD

wednesday
0 comments

From "Destination: Haiti," an unsentimental yet illustrative account of Port-Au-Prince by a young freelancer based in Mexico City: --FD

As the bus pulled into Petionville, on the hills north of Port-au-Prince, some Texas evangelists I had met on the ride invited me to stay with them at the home of a Haitian pastor. We piled into the pastor's white Montero, driving carefully past people sleeping on the streets, too terrified of aftershocks to spend the night in their homes. That night Jose, a freelance photographer I had met on the bus, and I camped in the pastor's large garden. Getting more than one thing done a day in Haiti required an act of violence, the pastor's wife said.

tuesday
4 comments

A real actual question that I want the answer to. -RX

monday
4 comments

I think Zizek just fixed the internet: "I'm not human. I'm a monster, I claim." [via] --RX

sunday
0 comments

Breaking: having gorgeous girls try to sell you clothes may not be a great idea.

tuesday
0 comments

Some new things added to the 2009 List of Lists: Buzzmarketing Daily's 10 Most Important Tweets, The Week's 10 Most Compulsive Twitterers, The Frisky's 10 Worst Boyfriends And Husbands, Onion A/V's Year in Swag, Idolator's Worst Album Covers, Yale Book of Quotations' Most Notable Quotations, Business Insider's 10 Most Infamous Lawyers, Top Recording's Top 20 Albums, Ad Freak's 30 Freakiest Commercials, Wall Street Journal Top Art Sales, and Reality Blur's Top Reality TV Whores.

sunday
0 comments

The monstrous list of 2009 lists leaped up to nearly 700 entires over the weekend. Some new things include WSJ's Year in Photos, Billboard's Artists of the Year, YouTube's Most Watched and Searched For, AOL's Hot Searches, Jezebel's 10 Best Cover Lies, Glamour's 10 Best Dressed, Videogum's Best Viral Videos, and Babble's Best Mommy Bloggers.

tuesday
0 comments

Some new things recently added to the LIST OF 2009 LISTS: Roger Ebert's Best Films, Pitchfork's Top 50 Albums, Mediaite's 50 Innovators and Influencers, Cryptomundo's Top 10 Cryptozoology Stories, HuffPo's Funniest Protest Signs, The Big Pictures' Year In Photos, and Pitchfork's Top 100 Tracks.

tuesday
3 comments

Some of the people speaking at TED this year include Sarah Silverman, Bill Gates, Jamie Oliver, David Byrne, Ze Frank, and moot.

sunday
1 comment

Just in case it got lost in the shuffle of decade nostalgia, Alex Pareene's Encyclopedia of Counterintuitive Thought, which itemizes all the ways in which convention wisdom has been undermined, reveals what may have been the prevailing intellectual trick of the decade.

monday
0 comments

Kottke launched a list of all the decade lists. In the meantime, the 2009 list here has passed 100 entries, but should quintuple by the end of the month.

sunday
12 comments

Random thing I noticed: both GQ and Wired featured this axe in their holiday shopping guides. Axes are hot Christmas gifts this year!

thursday
5 comments

Everyone should be forced to create resumes in the form D&D Character Sheets.

saturday
1 comment

The Last Days of the Polymath. The premise is true, right?

wednesday
0 comments

Have you ever picked up a pill, wondered what exactly it was, noticed an indiscriminate marking on it, and pondered whether you should just toss it down your gullet? Wouldn't it be cool if could look up what exactly the drug was from those indiscriminate markings? Well, there's a website for that!

monday
0 comments

Some things that come out tomorrow: Californication, Season Two; The Last Days of Disco, Criterion Collection; Humbug, Arctic Monkeys.

friday
1 comment

A Short Manifesto on the Future of Attention

I imagine attention festivals: week-long multimedia, cross-industry carnivals of readings, installations, and performances, where you go from a tent with 30-second films, guitar solos, 10-minute video games, and haiku to the tent with only Andy Warhol movies, to a myriad of venues with other media forms and activities requiring other attention lengths. In the Nano Tent, you can hear ringtones and read tweets. A festival organized not by the forms of the commodities themselves but of the experience of interacting with them. Not organized by time elapsed, but by cognitive investment: a pop song, which goes by quickly, can resonate for days; a poem, which can go by more quickly, sticks through a season. A festival in which you can see images of your brain on knitting and on Twitter.

friday
0 comments

For $600 you can fly as often as you like to anywhere on Jet Blu, from Sept. 8 - Oct. 8. (If this were last year, I'd be gone.) [via]

friday
2 comments

This has never happened to me, yet I feel like it's happened to me a hundred times. (Guy goes to Europe for two weeks, but somehow his girlfriend forgot the conversation in which he tells her this. She goes a little crazy. It's nearly eight minutes long, but it's pretty great.) [via]

tuesday
2 comments

I could play with this infographic all day and still not be sure about what I learned: How Different Groups Spend Their Day. [via]

monday
1 comment

Slate's Choose Your Apocalypse. Zero results for the intersection of SEX and MONEY.

monday
0 comments

It seems like just yesterday that you fell off the deck at Emo's (or flash-mobbed The Omni), but registration for SXSW 2010 has opened.

tuesday
0 comments

This is the kind of thing that someone usually leaves as spam in the comments of my site, but is actually pretty cool: A Pictorial History of Dentistry. Those 700 BC braces are wicked.

monday
0 comments

Humans prefer cockiness to expertise. It's science!

friday
0 comments

Trope is the New Meme. "A few years ago it felt like one could scarcely read a think-piece in any newspaper or magazine without coming across some mention of the word 'meme.' Now it seems as though the new meme is the word 'trope.' Trope is everywhere." See also: recent xkcd.

thursday
3 comments

Snarkmarket interviews the guy behind New York Review of Ideas. Turns out it's the outcome of an NYU grad class project.

monday
1 comment

"A recent study has investigated this sentiment in order to understand why some cultural products and styles die out faster than others. According to the results, the quicker a cultural item rockets to popularity, the quicker it dies."

friday
0 comments

The best thing you're going to read on the internet for a while is Errol Morris' seven-part series on frauds and fakes for NYTimes.com. Part 1 is about art forger Han van Meegeren; Part 2 is an interview about the Uncanny Valley with Edward Dolnick; the rest are forthcoming.

sunday
1 comment

What comes around goes around and around and around? The Rise of the Black Hipster.

monday
0 comments

Pretty cool new NYT photoblog: Lens.

sunday
16 comments

I attended the n+1 panel discussion on the '90s on Friday. I had a question that I wanted to ask, but the q&a was dragging on, and raising my hand felt like a complicated extension of a prolonged My So-Called Life marathon (so good, yet who has the time?). Had I raised my hand, this is what I might have asked:

Nostalgia wasn't always like this, right?

History wasn't always this flat, and everything didn't always seem to happen at once. While we like to point at a decade where "accelerated culture" became normative, nothing actually sped up in the '90s. Everything just ground down to a black hole slacker halt. It was timeless, dude.

Sure, there was that whole internet thing, gnawing at time and space while scrapping our quaint notions of subculture and identity politics. But postmodernism was pimpin, and all of history was being prepped for the pillage. Beavis and Butthead, the Beastie Boys, Jeff Koons, Napster -- these were the princes of pastiche, gobbling up the table scraps the Boomers left behind.

Let me say it more clearly: the '90s invented nostalgia. Or at least nostalgia as we commonly now know it. There was always that anxiety of influence playing its fatherly games, but the '90s morphed anxious fear into an international pastime. The decade obsessed about historicizing itself precisely because history felt as flimsy as the Berlin Wall that had crashed into it. I Love The '70s could not have existed in the '80s, but I Love The '90s could only have existed, instantaneously, in 2000.

This way of thinking -- nostalgia for nostalgia -- now seems commonplace. But it didn't exist in the Reagan '80s or the Wategate '70s. Fukuyama was fugged up enough to see these signs and declare it the end of history (the '00s version of which is the world is flat). He saw the right symptoms, but came up with the wrong diagnosis.

Nostalgic for itself, the '90s were indeed a trap. But never mistake ambivalence for apathy. While the rock gods of yesteryear all perished in accidental pools of vomit, it took an act of will -- a shotgun blast to the head -- to break with the past. Or at least try. It was like that Dostoyevsky Wannabe character in Slacker who asks "Who's ever written a great work about the immense effort required in order not to create?"

And that's why this panel itself seemed yanked out of the past, like that Indiana Jones scene where they find the Ark of the Covenant in a warehouse. The format itself seems tied to the days when the culture wars still mattered and you couldn't Skype your way to Tokyo. I remember panel discussions about "the future" all the time on CNN circa 1995. Now they prop up two bozos to fight out the definition of torture. (Look! Nostalgia for nostalgia!)

Oh yeah, a question? Can we talk about Courtney Love please? Oh well, whatever, nevermind.

See also: Foster | Leon | Bakes.

tuesday
5 comments

Slate launched a new woman-focused site today: DoubleX. They made an infomercial that's pretty good, but they also sent out the most embarrassing accidentally-non-BCCed announcement email of all time. Update #1: The Trouble With Jezebel. Hrm. Update #2: Oh yeah, The Stimulist also launched today. Spiers is involved but I don't get it at all.

tuesday
1 comment

What Makes Us Happy? The Atlantic gets access to a 72-year Harvard longitudinal study about happiness.

monday
2 comments

Hang This Up In Your Time Machine.

sunday
0 comments

"There are no hipsters, only anti-hipsters -- or at least the ratio is approximately the same as that of actually existing Satanists to anti-Satanists during the heavy-metal and Goth panics of the 1980s and 1990s." [via]

wednesday
1 comment

"A new status anxiety is infecting affluent hipdom," says The Atlantic in Class Dismissed.

tuesday
0 comments

Adderall gets the New Yorker treatment. In trying to balance the good and the bad effects, it ends up like an affectless jumble. Or wait, maybe that's the point?

monday
1 comment

Sometimes you wonder if the only reason beauty pageants still exist is so that we can see pretty people saying stupid things.

tuesday
1 comment

WSJ: Why the crash of housing market crippled the economy but the dot-com bubble didn't.

sunday
0 comments

New Gallup Poll: Religious Identification, 1948-2008. "None" is on the rise!

wednesday
2 comments

The Crisis of Credit Visualized. Decent 11-minute animation that explain the financial crisis.

monday
0 comments

Wrong Tomorrow. Time vs. Pundits.

monday
0 comments

Do influential people develop more conventional opinions?

monday
0 comments

Steve is doing another Rental Car Rally, this time from SF to Tijuana. The pics from last time will probably entice you Californians.

sunday
1 comment

Google Street View Time Lapse.

monday
0 comments

Add this to your self-help failure regimen: Why Setting Goals Can Backfire.

thursday
0 comments

The 15 Strangest College Courses In America. This sorta looks like my college transcript.

monday
6 comments

Conversant Life: Are You a Christian Hipster? If you don't like contemporary Christian music, megachurches, and mimes, yet do like "Chuck Klosterman, David Sedaris, or anything ancient and/or philosophically important," then yes, you are a Christian Hipster!

saturday
0 comments

The entire Harper's Index is now online and searchable.

friday
2 comments

SXSW sked launched.

wednesday
10 comments

Village Voice does something linkable: Interview with Carles of Hipster Runoff. The guy uses square quotes like there's no tomorrow: "I don't think I'm looking to 'shame' people. I just think that 'being yourself' is a bold decision. However, the decision to declare 'yourself' can leave you vulnerable to criticism. Not sure if that has to do with our modern world or if it has 'always been that way.' So whether you attach yourself to a band, an idea, a fashion sense, or a general aesthetic, I feel like we're all open to criticism and analysis from various perspectives. I just feel like in our world, 'how you present yourself' matters more than ever to everyone else but you." [via]

monday
0 comments

New on Twitter: @Genny_Spencer, the daily diary of a young farm girl in 1937. [via]

wednesday
3 comments

Nancy Cartwright, the voice of Bart Simpson, confirms voicing a commercial in her Simpson's voice for a Scientology promotion.

sunday
8 comments

The best thing found on Google Maps ever. Update: it's an art project -- video explanation.

monday
3 comments

This feels eerie familiar: The Gig Economy, which "helps explain why it now takes a good ten minutes to get the answer to the once-breezy question, 'So, what are you up to these days?'"

thursday
0 comments

Your favorite blog for the next five minutes: Cute Things Falling Asleep.

wednesday
0 comments

Snarkmarket rewinds a year and looks at last year's miserable predictions. Jim Cramer's prediction about Goldman Sachs closing the year at $300/share is particularly spicy.

friday
0 comments

To go with my annual 36 Predictions for 2009 in Media/Tech/Pop, here are a few other prediction links: Rachel's The Year Ahead in Media, Jon Fine's Media Predictions, Path 101's Crowdsourced Predictions, Folio's Magazine and Media Predictions, Read Write Web's Web Predictions, CNN's Political Predictions, The Edge's What Will Change Everything, Peter Kim's Social Media Predictions, Socialized's Facebook Predictions, Biz Week's What Won't Happen, and Louis Gray's 10 Predictions In Tech.

thursday
3 comments

The annual Edge question: "What game-changing scientific ideas and developments do you expect to live to see?" Answers from everyone, including Kevin Kelly, Douglas Rushkoff, Chris Anderson, Freeman Dyson, Eric Fischl, and Brian Eno.

tuesday
5 comments

Word of the year according to Webster's? Overshare. What an honor for you, dear blogosphere. There's a video press release. [via]

wednesday
4 comments

Some of the lists recently added to the 2008 list of lists: Google's Zeitgeist, Pitchfork's 20 Worst Album Covers, Pantone's Color of the Year, Time's Top 10 Everything, New York Magazine's Year in Culture, Jonathan Yardley's Best Books, Christianity Today's Top News Stories, London Times' 100 Best Records, Salon's Book Awards, Sasha Frere-Jones' Best Of 2008, Mr. Skin's Top 20 Celebrity Nude Scenes, Global Language Monitor's Top Words of the Year, Roger Ebert's Best Films, ArtForum's Best of 2008, PetFinder's Most Popular Pet Names, and Candy Addict's Best Candy.

monday
2 comments

Urban Outfitters' breaks down your shopping list -- the narcissist, the name dropper, the party girl. That's everyone on my list!

sunday
0 comments

Saw these within seconds of each other: How To Run a Con (Psychology Today) | How To Avoid Getting Conned (Portfolio).

friday
0 comments

The YouTube spin-off version of the NYT Mag story on experimental philosophy from a couple years ago: Experimental Philosophy Starring Eugene Mirman.

friday
2 comments

Kottke breaks down the cultural logic of old, by showing the half-life of movies and music. "Watching The Godfather today is like watching Charlie Chaplin's Modern Times (1936) in 1972." While this is certainly true in purely linear terms, I wonder if something has happened (postmodernism!) to cause the timeline to shrink in the past couple decades.

friday
0 comments

Huh, Einstein and Freud corresponded. Einstein sends the first volley: "I greatly admire your passion to ascertain the truth -- a passion that has come to dominate all else in your thinking." [via]

monday
0 comments

Flavorpill launches new blog: Flavorwire. This post suggests what you'll find.

friday
0 comments

I told Carney last night that I'd like to do a YouTube show with him where we sit around and review movies like two old curmudgeons. But then I realized that the Glynnie & Carney financial show would be much better.

monday
0 comments

This American Life follow-up: Another Frightening Show About the Economy.

saturday
0 comments

Idaho has the same population as Manhattan? Female voices in #1 hits are slowly becoming more frequent? People in the Deep South and Deep Midwest put their missed connections at Wal-Mart on Craigslist? More visualizations at Very Small Array.

friday
0 comments

Like the Unnecessary Censorship thing that Kimmel does with video, here's the photo version: You Got Blurred. [via]

thursday
3 comments

"The Intelligence Group" (ha!) is offering "classes" (haha!) for "trend school" (hahahaha!). It's over, America. It's really over.

thursday
1 comment

Chris Anderson on the loss of meaning in words that quantify things in open systems. In other words, think about how the term "most Americans" has some meaning, while the term "most writers" is becoming fuzzy. Loosely similar today, Jarvis on the myth of the creative class.

wednesday
3 comments

It's not your imagination, the douchebag count has been growing since 2004, especially in blue states. [via]

sunday
0 comments

Wait, wait, wait. All this time, the identity of the Montauk Monster has been right under our noses.

friday
0 comments

The site for SXSW 2009 relaunched today (with help from my Seattle pals). Registration has also opened; the panel picker surfaces next week.

wednesday
5 comments

Ad Busters: Hipster: The Dead End of Western Civilization. "The hipster represents the end of Western civilization -- a culture so detached and disconnected that it has stopped giving birth to anything new." [via]

friday
3 comments

A list of all 600 Starbucks closures.

thursday
1 comment

Everyone's a critic vs. Nobody's a critic. [via]

tuesday
1 comment

Whah? Provigil? Never heard of the stuff...

monday
0 comments

Four years later, Slate revisits "The Long Tail" and concludes it's probably wrong.

tuesday
0 comments

Getty Images + Flickr Make a Deal. Under the terms, Getty will scour Flickr for photos they think should be part of the Getty library, and if the photographer agrees, Getty pays residuals.

tuesday
0 comments

Entertainment Weekly: 24 Classic Pop-Culture Lists.

monday
0 comments

Recommended: NYT Mag's story on suicide, which focuses on issues like location, historical trends, and method. An interesting stat, among many: twice as many people die from suicide as homicide.

sunday
0 comments

Ron Rosenbaum has always been obsessed with catch phrases. Back when he was at The Observer, I remember a column in which he went on a tangent about the coinage of playahata, which was brand new to the vernacular at the time. Whatevs, he has now devoted a whole column to the idea, which rips through dozens of catch phrases like "not so much," "it is what it is," "my bad," "the party is over," "teh," "at the end of the day," "stay classy," and on and on...

tuesday
0 comments

Slate: Has modern life killed the semicolon?

monday
2 comments

Well, maybe the plot of The Happening (trees are killing you!) isn't so absurd after all (dolphins are committing suicide!). [via]

monday
1 comment

Cool interactive panorama of the new Shibuya subway station. (Warning: huge file.)

thursday
1 comment

10 Zen Monkeys: A complete history of Mat Honan's "controversial" Wired drug story.

monday
5 comments

Yep: "Most people read their college alumni magazines for the class notes, immediately flipping to the back to see who was married, had a baby or was promoted to an envy-inducing job."

tuesday
2 comments

75 Skills Every Man Should Master, sez Esquire.

tuesday
0 comments

A ton of video from the New Yorker Conference just went live. Various luminaries in there: Malcolm Gladwell, Bill Buford, Gavin Newsom, Anne Wojcicki.

monday
0 comments

Long New Yorker story on hangovers. Yeah, you wanted a cure, but you got a cultural history instead. Eat your vegetables, too.

saturday
3 comments

Last week, Slate did a special issue on procrastination. On the internet. Where you waste time.

thursday
9 comments

Radar: Gen X vs. The Millennials.

tuesday
5 comments

The Morning News: Signs You Are A Hipster. [via]

saturday
0 comments

If I see one more editorial about how texting is going to destroy the English language, I'm going to take away all your typewriters. I'm looking at you, Boston Globe.

friday
0 comments

I dare you to memorize this: What's Special About This Number? [via]

thursday
3 comments

Foreign Policy: The Top 100 Public Intellectuals. You didn't make it.

tuesday
0 comments

Falindrome.com. Fake palindromes.

tuesday
0 comments

Radar: guy posing as a 10-year-old boy writes letters to serial killers and politicians asking if he should drop out of school. They write back.

tuesday
1 comment

This link is for Marina: eight-minute documentary about gyaru, extreme Japanese fashionistas. Focuses on the black face fad, but the bit about something called yamanba ("mounting hag") is magnets. [via]

monday
2 comments

From "The Lives of Elevators" in the New Yorker.

In most elevators, at least in any built or installed since the early nineties, the door-close button doesn't work. It is there mainly to make you think it works. (It does work if, say, a fireman needs to take control. But you need a key, and a fire, to do that.) Once you know this, it can be illuminating to watch people compulsively press the door-close button.

tuesday
3 comments

Buzzfeed: Flat chests are in. [Resisting urge to name-check.]

monday
1 comment

Interpathic. n. Knowing what someone is going to do on the Internet before they do it. (With scary accurate example that is, likely, interpathic.)

tuesday
0 comments

New episode of RadioLab: (So-Called) Life.

monday
0 comments

The 2008 Pulitzer Prizes. Junot Díaz, Mark Feeney, lots of Washington Post, and... Bob Dylan? Alright, whatevsky.

thursday
0 comments

Becuz someone had to: StuffNobodyLikes.com. I doubt it gets a $300k book deal though.

thursday
3 comments

"Have you been Turing'd?" | "Benjamin Franklin, blogging role model?" Why those two links? Because I wanted to suggest to you that Marc Andreessen and Kevin Kelly (two names most remembered from very early dot-com successes) are perhaps the two best idea bloggers out there right now.

wednesday
0 comments

For my L.A. friends... Lock just launched Racked LA. The empire grows...

wednesday
0 comments

The other reason I moved to NYC.

monday
3 comments

T-Mobile demands Engadget discontinue using the color magenta.

saturday
3 comments

I could play with this girl all day. [via]

tuesday
1 comment

Adam Sternbergh in The New Republic on Why White People Like 'Stuff White People Like' -- a seven-layer cake of meta that goes down rough.

monday
0 comments

Short is In.

tuesday
5 comments

As expected, the media went bat shit crazy with the puppy story today. In related news, lots of crazy people emailed me!

tuesday
1 comment

To make you feel better today: American Soldiers Playing With Iraqi Puppy.

tuesday
1 comment

21 Accents. L.A. is my favorite.

monday
0 comments

Update to the puppy story from earlier today: military police are investigating the incident.

saturday
15 comments

You know what SXSW really needs? Some social networking device that will tell me exactly which of my friends are going, so I can stop asking everyone in little IM windows, in drunken bar conversation, in garbled Twitter threads. So if you're going, leave a comment, and I'll buy you a drink, or twelve.

monday
2 comments

LAT Op/Ed on Stuff White People Like.

monday
2 comments

Wired's cover story this month: Free! Chris Anderson argues that the best business model is to make your product free.

friday
0 comments

Season 4 of Radiolab starts today. Theme of the first episode: Laughter.

thursday
8 comments

Okay, just one more Tay Zonday link. When my pal Steve Marsh interviewed him, he asked if Tay understood what it means to sell out. Tay opened up a can of theoretical whoop ass on him: "The subtext of that is that this somehow relates to social justice. That's what's behind that. The implication is there is a social justice politic, and somehow a piece of art undermines the social justice politic. And I don't believe an image can cause social oppression. I don't think it can be the origin of social injustice." It goes even more crazy from there.

thursday
8 comments

An Interview with Adrian Holovaty

The first time you try to describe EveryBlock to someone, it can sound kinda boring. It aggregates piles of local information, like restaurant reviews and crime stats, which are then displayed block-by-block. Hm, that's interesting, but is it compelling?

adrian holovaty

If you give it some time, the answer is absolutely. Once you start playing with the site (and "playing" might be the best word to describe the meandering sensation of floating around in the data pools), your mind begins to wander with speculation: how did they get that? what does this say about my neighborhood? what else could be done with all this data? how can I add to this?

Those were just some of the many questions I had about EveryBlock, which launched a few weeks ago with the help of a $1.1 million Knight News Challenge grant. A few stories and interviews popped up when the site launched, but I noticed that the interviewers seldom asked the other questions that I had about the site. So I decided to ask site's founder, Adrian Holovaty, some questions directly. Here's our exchange:

Last year, New York City famously banned trans fats in restaurants. I found a page on EveryBlock that shows all the violations of this ban -- several every day! I love these little hidden narratives inside of EveryBlock. Do you have any favorites?

Great question. Here are a few interesting nuggets:

Also, more generally, it's fascinating to follow address-specific breaking news/events on our site. For example, a couple of weeks ago, a water main broke on the north side of Chicago. Afterward, on the relevant EveryBlock pages -- for example, Ravenswood or the 1800 block of W. Montrose -- you could see a bunch of assorted news items about the incident: newspaper articles from the Trib and Sun-Times, TV station reports and Flickr photos of the torn-up street that were taken by some people who happen to live nearby. Each of those "raw" chunks of information was displayed in the timeline of news for that block.

We've seen a similar thing happen with trendy new restaurants. First you see the business license, then (possibly) the liquor license application a few days later, then the restaurant inspection, then a Yelp review or two, then a writeup by the newspaper's dining critic. The story slowly unfolds over time.

everyblock

One of our post-launch priorities is to clean up the fire-hose of raw information, to introduce concepts of priority and improved relevance -- but I do think there's a certain appeal to that raw dump of "here's everything that's happened around this address, in simple, reverse-chronological order." When significant events happen, they sort of "pop out" of the list.

Can you talk a little bit about what you're doing behind-the-scenes? Are you using Django as a framework?

Sure. The first layer is the army of scripts that compile data from all over the Web. This includes public APIs, private APIs, screen-scraping the "deep Web," crawling news sites, plus harvesting data from PDFs and other non-Web-friendly documents. Some data also comes to us manually, like in spreadsheets e-mailed to us on a weekly basis. For each bit of data, we determine geographic relevance and normalize it so that it fits into our system.

The second layer is the data storage layer, which we built in a way that can handle an arbitrary number of data types, each with arbitrary attributes. For example, a restaurant inspection has a violation (or multiple violations), whereas a crime has a crime type (e.g., homicide). Of course, we want to be able to query across that whole database to get a geographic "slice," so there's a strong geo focus baked into everything.

The next layer is the Web layer, which is standard Django. Oh, and I should mention that we use Python for everything, from the ground up.

What has been the hardest piece to accomplish so far?

I honestly can't decide what the hardest piece has been. A number of pieces were all hard to pull off in their own way.

The user interface was, and continues to be, a challenge. How do you display so many disparate pieces of data together, without overwhelming people? How do you account for the variety of distinct data types? (That's both a user-interface and a backend challenge.) How do you maintain visual interest when dealing with so much raw textual data? How do you make the block page feel like a geographic home page rather than a search result? Wilson, our designer, has done a great job within these constraints, but we all agree there's still much room for experimentation and gradual improvement.

Dealing with structured data is relatively easy, but attempting to determine structure from unstructured data is a challenge. The main example of unstructured data parsing is our geocoding of news articles. We do a pretty good job here, but we're not crawling all of the sources we want to crawl -- again, there's a lot of room to grow.

On a completely different note, it's been a challenge to acquire data from governments. We (namely Dan, our People Person) have been working since July to request formal data feeds from various agencies, and we've run into many roadblocks there, from the political to the technical. We expected that, of course, but the expectation doesn't make it any less of a challenge.

How much of your data aggregation is scraping html pages versus getting structured data?

At this point, we're doing more scraping than consuming formal APIs and data feeds, but I expect (and hope) the balance will shift over time. It's been tricky explaining our concept to data providers in government, but we're hoping that gets easier now that we have a public site that people can browse and understand.

Do you have any fears of scaling the system?

Yes and no. We knew from the start that EveryBlock isn't something that can be scaled overnight to every city in the world. There are too many special cases, too many relationships to build, too many local quirks to work out. There's no nationwide database of restaurant inspections or building permits that we can magically tap into; every city is different. Aggregating local information is a deep, difficult problem.

Some companies try to scale pieces of what we're doing -- like geocoding every news story in the U.S., or making maps of blog entries, or aggregating crime, or aggregating restaurant inspections -- but we're the first ones to do all of that. That's why we're taking a depth, not a breadth, approach: I'd much rather do three cities well than 1,000 cities poorly.

Rather than use Google Maps or Microsoft's Virtual Earth, you built your own mapping service application. Why?

everyblock map

That, along with "When will you bring EveryBlock to city XXX?", is by far the most frequently asked question we get. Paul, our developer in charge of maps, is working on an article explaining our reasoning, so I don't want to steal his thunder. I'll just say that the existing free maps APIs are optimized for driving directions and wayfinding, not for data visualization. And, besides, having non-clichéd maps is an easy way to set yourself apart. Google Maps is so 2005. ;-)

How hard was it to build?

We use an open-source library called Mapnik to render the maps, so that library does the heavy lifting for us. Paul is also working on a how-to article, in the spirit of giving back to the open-source community, that explains how to use Mapnik.

In many ways, what you're doing is taking a bunch of data sources and normalizing them for a single use case. Now that it's normalized, I imagine developers could do a ton of interesting things with this data. Are there plans to do an API?

Yes, I strongly suspect we'll have an API eventually -- it's one of the many things on our site wish list. We had to draw a line and call the thing "ready" at some point, so despite the fact that we're launched, we've got hundreds more features and data sources to add.

I was talking to someone recently about all the cool mashups you could do, and we decided that looking for patterns between Republicans and sex offenders would be the best!

Beyond the technical difficulties of creating parsers and algorithms for geotagging this data, have you had any political/legal obstacles? Is there data you'd like to get your hands on but can't for some reason?

Yes, and yes. I'd estimate we only have about 10% of the data we'd like in the long term, for Chicago, New York and San Francisco. As we expected, some government agencies haven't been able to provide us their public data, and the reasons vary. A common reason is a lack of resources. In other cases, we've simply been stymied by bureaucracy. But we're keeping at it.

An obvious example of data that's EveryBlocky (EveryBlockish? Um, location-specific?) but not yet on our site is the set of recent home sales -- lots of local relevance there. Of course, we're a news site, not a real-estate site, so it'll be interesting managing people's expectations about what real-estate data and features we offer.

I'd like to even out the three cities' data offerings, too. We publish building permits in San Francisco and New York, but not in Chicago. We publish filming locations in Chicago, but not in New York or San Francisco. We publish zoning agenda items in San Francisco, but not in the other two cities.

We're also working on improving the data we already have. An example is crime in San Francisco. After running into some problems having requested a formal data feed from them directly, we get the data by screen-scraping the SFPD's site -- but that site doesn't publish the location of each crime. In fact, the only location data the SFPD site publishes is implicit in the searches you do. The site lets you search for crimes by police district, ZIP code or neighborhood, so the best we can do is to deduce the police district, ZIP code and neighborhood that contain a particular crime. (If you search for ZIP code 94109, you can safely assume the resulting crimes are in that ZIP code.)

That's why San Francisco crime on EveryBlock, lamely, only geocodes crimes to the ZIP code level: because that's the only data we could get, and something is better than nothing. But, anyway, we're hoping the SFPD will release more granular locations in their crime data.

You've mentioned your hope that EveryBlock could introduce some standards for news organizations to do geotagging. I'm sure you've discovered wholes swaths of civic data that could use standardization. Can you talk a little bit about what you want to do in this area?

The standards we're thinking about are related to the geotagging of unstructured data -- namely, news articles. I guess there'd be some value in standardizing approaches to structured data (like, building a nationwide crime database), but we're more immediately interested in standardizing the geocoding of "blobs." The main premise is that locations in news articles should be defined in a machine-readable way. Look for something from us soon.

Everyblock lets me find everything in my neighborhood... except other people. Why is that? Do you have any plans to incorporate direct input of local voices into the site?

In time, Rex. In time. :-)

If we'd launched with awesome reader-contributed content features, that's all that people would be talking about. "EveryBlock: a user-generated news site!" People are very quick to make judgments about a Web site, pigeonholing it into some generic "user-generated" or "Web 2.0" bucket. I wanted to send the message that our focus is on providing a newspaper for your block. The tone was set. Any subsequent features that we add -- whether they involve local voices or not -- are in support of that core goal.

Besides, we already have the problem of offering so many interesting data sets and features that people can only focus on one or two of them. The classic example is that a lot of people haven't noticed that we rolled our own maps (your question above notwithstanding).

I know you constantly get asked the question about scaling the site to other local areas, but here's an idea: say I'm an enterprising small town citizen who's willing to plug in data from my city by matching data to similar fields that you are using. Possible?

Yes, that's possible -- we've built the system in a way that would allow that to happen. Again, as in my response to your reader-generated content question, it's just a matter of implementing it. We had to launch with something, and if we'd included every one of our ideas in the launch version, we'd be on target for a launch in mid 2017. :-)

One of the obligations of the Knight grant is to make all the source code available. Does that affect how you think about the site as an asset?

The open-source requirement affects both our technology and business decisions. We've engineered the thing so that it can be replicated in any area, with any data. I suppose we would've done that anyway, even without the open-source requirement, because it's just the Right Way to do it, but the open-source requirement certainly influenced us.

I'll paraphrase something really smart that Wilson, our designer, said recently: We've created a machine that's capable of publishing address-specific news, and our initial launch is a demonstration of its potential. Now that we're live, it's time to improve the machine and improve the demonstration.

On the business side, clearly we'll have to figure out how the site is going to sustain itself after our grant money is spent. I have a feeling some solution will make itself apparent at some point over the next year and a half. But even before that, we'll find out whether our idea is something that catches on with our audience -- this whole thing is an experiment, after all! For all we know, EveryBlock might be a novelty that doesn't sustain an audience in the long term. Being honest Chicago people, happily far away from the Silicon Valley BS, we have no delusions of grandeur.

I liked your answer to whether EveryBlock constitutes journalism in the OJR interview ("People can define 'journalism' however they'd like"). I'm curious, do you have traffic goals for the site? Or let me ask it a different way: how are you evaluating success?

This is cheesy, but I aim to help people, or improve the world in some way. The tricky thing is that there aren't many concrete ways of measuring that, aside from anecdotes. I suppose we could look at traffic numbers, but, no, we haven't set any traffic goals.

django

Okay, last question. It's a weird one. Your interest in gypsy jazz is well known. (The last time I saw you, it was in a Toronto bar that supposedly had a jazz scene, but was actually a frat bar. We were both gravely disappointed.) Do you ever think about the relationships between your musical interest and your programming/information interests? Is there anything -- structural, cognitive, performative, whatever -- that makes EveryBlock similar to Django Reinhardt?

Wow, a weird question indeed! Hmm. I guess that, in both music and programing, I strive for subtlety, for elegance.

And EveryBlock cannot be compared to Django Reinhardt. That's sacrilege.

Thanks, Adrian!


(Thanks to Ben, Matt, Robin, Andy, and Matt for suggesting questions for this interview.)

monday
7 comments

When I revisited the first issue of Wired last week, it was obvious that I had unfortunately glossed over several areas (the design, in particular, got an unfair treatment). But as Valleywag ruefully noted, it was already 1,600 words long.

So I was thrilled when the founding editor, Louis Rossetto, emailed me a lengthy response, which serves as a great Round 2 of the first issue. With his approval, the email is printed below.

Rex,

Liked your piece on Wired 1.1.

A few things:

1. There was a beta. Actually two. Back in April 1992, John, Barb, Jane, and I created a "Manifesto" in a three day-and-night charette in the studio of photographer Neil Selkirk in Chelsea that stated what Wired was about, and set out the design philosophy. Barlow was on the cover, swiped from the New York Times Magazine, if I remember correctly. It had a proposed table of contents, proposed masthead (we still hadn't contacted any writers except for Markoff and Michael Schrage), an ad or two, the opening spread of a story. Six months later, I created a second prototype on my own. Learned how to use Quark, Photoshop, and Illustrator in the same month -- and juggle too. Eugene Mosier, who was later to join us as head of production, called in sick to his day job and helped put it together (making him employee number zero since we couldn't pay him anything but cookies). Jane sweet-talked equipment out of Radius (a name from the past) and others, since we not only didn't have money to pay people like Eugene but to buy equipment either. This beta was a full-on 120 page prototype, with actual stories re-purposed from other places, actual art, actual ads (someone quipped that it was the ultimate editor's wet dream to be able to pick their own ads), and then all the sections and pacing that was to go into the actual magazine. The cover was lifted from McLuhan's The Medium is the Massage; it was the startling black and white image of a guy's head with a big ear where his eyes should have been. The whole thing got printed and laminated in a copy shop in Berkeley that had just got a new Kodak color copier and rip. Jane, Eugene, and I went in when the shop closed on Friday evening and worked round the clock through the weekend. Took 45 minutes to print out one color page! We emerged Monday morning with the prototype, which we had spiral-bound in a shop in South San Francisco, before we boarded a plane for Amsterdam to present it to Origin's founder and CEO Eckart Wintzen, to see if he would approve the concept, agree to advertise in the magazine, and then give us the advance we crucially needed to keep the project alive. He did, hence Origin's ads in our early issues.

2. Nicholas's statement about HD was not inaccurate. Resolution is not the big deal -- delivery and access is. YouTube is a bigger revolution than HD by a mile, regardless of how many big flat panels are in people's homes.

3. True, Nicholas's email address was laughably wrong, but I'm not sure even now I know why. It's certainly not because we were shy about printing email addresses. Addresses of writers appear throughout the issue -- a first for any magazine, as far as I know. My email address appeared under my editorial -- got hundreds of replies, each of which I answered. I think there was some kind of screw up in the handling of the text, perhaps someone slugged something in waiting for his real address, and then, in the insane rush to get out the first issue, it ended up being published as is. Nicholas himself was perhaps the most chagrined. It was corrected by the second issue, and yes, that address reached him.

4. I think you radically underestimate John and Barb's design work. As they often said, their job was to imagine what the future looked like, and do it on a medium out of the past. They brought amazing design smarts to the process of putting out the magazine, as well as incredible production chops, which were reflected in Wired from the first issue. That opening multi-page spread illuminating the McLuhan quote which launched the issue, that incredible graphic indulgence which continued for the entire time I was editor, and which is conspicuously absent from the current, was true modern graphic art -- in the case of the first one, a collaboration between John and Erik Adigard (Erik's work would appear regularly in the mag, and, for a while, he worked at HotWired/Wired Digital helping Barb create it's graphic sensibility). John and Barb were the ones who landed us our printer, a company back East in Connecticut John had worked with on slick annual reports. They had just taken delivery of a brand spanking new Heidelberg six color (CMYK plus two spot colors -- ah, that's how it was done!) press as big as a couple of box cars. We were the first clients on the press. The first issue was on press over Xmas 1992, and John, Barb, Eugene, and I were on press check. The pressmen were grizzled 30-year pros. They set up the press, they put on the VW size rolls of our special matte paper, they poured in the gallons and gallons of our eye-burning fluorescent ink, they started the press, they adjusted the print flow, they ripped off the first pages and put it under the calibrated lights to check color, they looked at it through a loop to check the dot gain, they did this half a dozen time, then they pronounced it perfect -- calibration was absolutely nominal. I can still remember how John took one look and said: put more ink on the page. The pressmen were aghast. It was perfect as is, just the way it was supposed to be. John insisted. They ultimately relented. He looked at the new sample. He told them he wanted still more ink. They protested again. They finally relented again. John looked at the new sheet. This time he told them: I want you to turn the ink up until it smears, and then dial back to where it's only just not smearing; and that's how I want the entire job done. The pressmen were appalled, outraged, embarrassed. But ultimately, they did what John told them. That's why the magazine looked and felt the way it did, because it literally carried more and brighter inks than a normal magazine -- they leaped off the matte paper. Later, as the magazine started to get recognition, the Wired job became the one the pressmen all wanted to work on. Under John's direction.

P.S. We collected the opening spreads of the first few years of Wired when we started our book company Hardwired. Called it Mind Grenades. Each of those introductions reflected my trolling through an issue and finding a quote somewhere that seemed portentous enough to be chiseled onto the side of a public building. Funny thing was, taken all together and in sequence, those randomly picked quotes made a coherent argument. As well as a mindblowing visual statement. Eugene did the press check, in Singapore. That book reprinted the original colors used in the intro spreads, which meant, I believe, something like 26 spot colors. Not many printed objects with 26 spot colors.

5. The baby pissing ad got us some shit. We were glad.

6. Wired/Tired was an afterthought, John Plunkett's idea, I think. On the last day of production, we would shout stuff around the office as we were working, and I'd write it down. Utterly subjective. Except, for about the first two years, we made sure that Manhattan was always in the Tired column in some way, trying to stick to the know-it-alls in what they parochially thought was the center of the universe. It was either Clay Felker or Jann Wenner who said that it's not only important for a magazine to have heros, but also pick the right enemies. Course, NY got its revenge at the time of the IPO, but that's another story.

7. The dotcom stock market bubble occurred after I already left the magazine, so I will decline to comment on whether Wired abetted it or not. But while I was there, we frequently indulged our cynicism, as with Chip Bayers' story in our April 1996 issue, "The Great Web Wipeout."

8. The colophon was fun. I wanted to list the stuff we used to make the magazine, because I wanted people to see that it didn't require a huge operation to make a great magazine -- in other words, that you didn't need Hearst or TimeLife or IDG overhead to produce a magazine that looked better than theirs. I think it was Eugene who added the drugs, with some notable exceptions, given that we were figuratively and literally at the epicenter of the SF rave culture. For that first issue, I might have also added adrenaline and optimism.

Thanks for taking the time. Hope your archaeology didn't screw up your issue too much. If so, let me know, maybe I can scrounge up a replacement.

Best,

Louis Rossetto


Thanks Louis!

For anyone who is really into this history, I also recommend Gary Wolf's book, Wired: A Romance, which is basically a biography of the magazine.

monday
2 comments

Rickrolling the Church of Scientology. I can't even explain how complex and brilliant and stupid and wonderful and retarded that doing an IRL Rickroll on Scientology is.

tuesday
0 comments

Ze Frank's video for SXSW Interactive, "the one that's screwing up those other two's business models." (You're going, right? I'm doing the trifecta again this year.)

tuesday
0 comments

Dickipedia. [via]

monday
0 comments

An interview with Monica Peters, who wrote the book Build Your Own Army of Web Bots Within 24 Hours and has started the site AIlegacy.org which offers support for those looking to create text bots.

monday
0 comments

The article from this month's Fast Company that calls BUNK! on "influencer theory" (and its sister, "the tipping point") has finally gone online.

saturday
0 comments

Convergence! Synergy! Well, this one gets some points for modest ingenuity if nothing else... Celebutantes is a new novel coming out next month that has an accompanying web tv series, which will immediately carve out the lovers/haters of the book (is there really any way to intellectualize superficiality?). Tilzy describes it as "a young Sophia Coppola farce with an exaggerated Entourage and/or Californication aesthetic."

friday
0 comments

Leaked Christiantology Video. Mm-hm.

friday
2 comments

My new favorite Tumblr blog is That's Your Boyfriend.

thursday
0 comments

Whoa: visualizing the bible's social network. [via]

wednesday
0 comments

Philosopher or Warrior?

wednesday
0 comments

I had this stupid idea this morning that -- you know what? -- relationships and recessions work in exactly the same type of cyclical patterns. Suddenly, a 2,000-word essay popped into my head. Thank god Twitter exists, so I don't actually have to write it.

tuesday
0 comments

Meme People Suck.

friday
0 comments

Don't freak out, but it turns out that nerds make the best terrorists. So stop picking on them.

thursday
1 comment

Zach Galifianakis + Michael Cera = Between Two Ferns. [via]

tuesday
4 comments

The Tom Cruise Scientology Indoctrination Video: "Gawker is now hosting a copy of the video; it's newsworthy; and we will not be removing it." (The soundtrack creeps me out!)

saturday
0 comments

NYT Styles: Has Gawker Jumped the Snark? Nick's response: Always Jumping The Shark. Gothamist's link roundup: Gawker So Over.

friday
1 comment

I once had a screenplay idea for this very event: Unknowing twins marry each other. I guess now it could be "based on a true story."

thursday
0 comments

More seemingly random words put into a sentence that shouldn't make sense together: n+1 has a great interview with a hedge fund manager. Robin perfectly dissects the bit about "black box trading."

wednesday
0 comments

Fortune has an interesting profile of Melinda Gates -- words I never thought would be put together into the same sentence. [via]

wednesday
0 comments

RulesOfThumb.org.

monday
3 comments

This Video Makes Bill Gates Look Cooler Than Steve Jobs. Cameos by Matthew McConaughey, Jay-Z, Bono, Spielberg, Clooney, and Jon Stewart.

monday
0 comments

Do you remember the guy who went to every Starbucks in Manhattan in 24 hours (171starbucks.com)? His new gimmick is living in Ikea (MarkLivesInIkea.com).

monday
3 comments

Awesome. The English language has always needed a gender-neutral pronoun, but prescribed words like hir reek of east-coast liberal elitism. So I'm down with flipping this inner-city and going with yo.

wednesday
0 comments

BBC's annual 100 things we didn't know last year.

wednesday
0 comments

Interesting USA Today story on how government subsidies keep small-town airports alive. Marginal Revolution makes a chart out of it, illustrating a shocking passenger-per-flight ratio.

wednesday
0 comments

This one will ruin your day in the good way: The Annual Edge Question. 2008's question: What have you changed your mind about? Here are the 17 pages of answers.

monday
0 comments

Pictures of faces with mouths photoshopped in where eyes should be. Happy New Year!

saturday
0 comments

Everyone else is linking to it already, but Matt Webb's 2007 brain dump is quite impressive.

friday
0 comments

Gimme, now.

tuesday
1 comment

NY Mag's annual Reasons to Love New York. (My Twitter account has lately seemed like "Reasons Not to Love New York," but I'm really loving it so far. No, really.)

monday
1 comment

VBS.tv's nine-part series on the Colombia drug scopolamine (aka "Devil's Breath") is INSANE. Warning: 45 mins to watch it all. [via]

wednesday
1 comment

Greg responds to NYT's 53 Places to Go in 2008. "I was intrigued as the next guy by the list of 53 Places we're supposed to go in 2008, then I realized that almost without exception, the 'reason' to go is the opening at long last of that destination's first 'luxury' accommodations. Which seems about the dumbest reason I can think of for choosing where to travel."

monday
1 comment

This is fun to play: The Traveler IQ Challenge. [via]

wednesday
1 comment

If you haven't been paying attention, the temp editor at Kottke.org this week has been lonelysandwich15 -- haha, I mean lonelysandwich -- better known around these parts as the-jerk-who-is-trying-to-be-a-better-Twitterer-than-me (and winning). The best thing so far has been the bit on fictional products becoming real (also covered by Buzzfeed and Karina). Anyway, I'm secretly writing a book about fake things (which I'll probably never finish, so it's ultimately fake too), so I love this little meme and now find it everywhere -- like today when I saw Gothamist report that the fictional grilled fontina cheese sandwich with truffle oil that Serena van der Woodsen eats in Gossip Girl has become real. (Editor's note: If this post had tags, they would be kottke, twitter, defiction, gossipgirl, lonelysandwich, and cheesesandwich. I win.)

monday
1 comment

Huh, the super awesome Ace Hotel is opening a branch in NYC. I lived right next door to the Seattle one, and stayed at the Portland version for the MeFi meetup.

monday
1 comment

The Ten Videos to Change How You View the World. Basically a Best-of-TED compilation.

monday
0 comments

Believer's history of cute is pretty... cute.

monday
0 comments

IsItChristmas.com.

sunday
1 comment

Paul Ford gives The Morning News 100 Ways to Say "I Love You". It's pretty sweet.

wednesday
0 comments

Best message board on the internet: Prison Talk. [via]

wednesday
0 comments

Forbes has a SPECIAL REPORT on the THE FUTURE. Okay, I'm teasing, it doesn't look that bad -- and there's some fiction at the bottom that looks worth checking out.

wednesday
2 comments

Want: Google hits vanity ring.

sunday
0 comments

The NY Times Mag this week is all about college, with several readable pieces, but I'm most intrigued by the college essay "The Posteverything Generation". I often wonder how Gen Y posits itself in relationship to Gen X, simply because there was so much acrimony between Gen X and Baby Boomers 15 years ago. However, this piece suggests that the kids in college today still view themselves, like me, as post-Cold War, post-Boomer. It reads exactly like something I would have written in college, Jameson quotes and all.

wednesday
1 comment

My Roommate Is Such A Dick (dot-com). [via]

tuesday
0 comments

Sorry, gotta do it... Vice's Miss Intern 2007.

wednesday
0 comments

For my snotty friends to the south: Thrillist San Fran has launched.

tuesday
1 comment

"We're drowning in quirk. It is the ruling sensibility of today's Gen-X indie culture, defined territorially by the gentle ministrations of public radio's This American Life; the strenuously odd (and now canceled) TV sitcom Arrested Development; the movies of Wes Anderson; Dave Eggers's McSweeney's Web site; the performance art, music, and writing of Miranda July; and the just-too-wacky-to-be-fully-believable memoirs of Augusten Burroughs." --The Atlantic.

tuesday
0 comments

BuzzFeed: Visions of the Future.

thursday
0 comments

Radar story on everything that can be counterfeited: Ferraris, Cohibas, Bolgheri Sassicaia, etc.

friday
2 comments

Hipster Olympics.

thursday
0 comments

Good Magazine on the Ancient Art of List Making.

tuesday
0 comments

Radar: profile of John Young of Cryptome. [via]

thursday
0 comments

Radar: the most powerful people you've never heard of.

tuesday
0 comments

I haven't ever posted a job listing here, but my pal Ted from Dogster is looking for a Community Manager, which seemed like a gig that might interest someone here.

monday
5 comments

Time for this week's new releases...
DVD: Zodiac and The Host.
Books: Warren Ellis' first novel, Crooked Little Vein.
Music: Yeah, Yeah, Yeahs' The Is Is, Prince's Planet Earth, and Sebodoh's reissue of The Freed Man.

sunday
0 comments

National Geographic: essay and photos on the theme of "swarm theory."

wednesday
2 comments

Onion A/V on hipster-hating hipsterism, a.k.a. why midwesterners like me still have cultural brawls with New Yorkers every chance we get.

monday
1 comment

Both Slate and NYT Mag decide Crocs are an interesting debatable trend.

wednesday
0 comments

Freud Pops.

thursday
3 comments

Good (even though Gawker will make fun of it in 5... 4...): 50 Things You Should Never Say. "We met on eHarmony.com." "Bros before hos." "I actually make my own granola."

tuesday
3 comments

9 Superhero Powers That Would Be More Trouble Than They're Worth.

friday
1 comment

"Groceteria.com is a site about the history of the American supermarket, from both an architectural and a business perspective."

monday
1 comment

If you know me, you know I'm a master of The Silent No.

wednesday
0 comments

Y'all know about the Steampunk meme, right? I haven't linked to any of it because BoingBoing has been all over it like... yeah, that. Anyway, Wired has a decent slideshow to catch you up.

tuesday
1 comment

One of the best blog features around is Cynical-C's Two O'Clock Trailers, a simple daily link to a random movie trailer that somehow manages to apply an element of programming on a seemingly un-programmable medium (by their very nature, blogs resist time-sensitive "programmed" features). I frankly want to steal this idea and link to random video clips every day (today it would be the old John Hodgman interview on the Daily Show for the release of The Areas of My Expertise), but I lack the discipline to be here every day at 2:00.

friday
0 comments

More good 10 Zen Monkeys: RU Sirius interview with David Weinberger, who recently published Everything is Miscellaneous, which I read a few week ago and should really review here, but will just lazy link instead.

wednesday
0 comments

Wikipedia: gigantic list of protologisms, which are make-believe words you hope become real words. So for those of you keeping score, a protoprotologism would be a sniglet (both, uh, literally and semantically).

wednesday
0 comments

So apparently a quote from Edward O. Wilson -- "Imagine an electronic page for each species of organism on Earth, available everywhere by single access on command" -- led to the idea of The Encyclopedia of Life. And this video makes it look like a very impressive project.

tuesday
1 comment

Largest island in a lake on an island in a lake on an island. [via]

friday
1 comment

Phone books are shrinking.

thursday
1 comment

It's another Hot 100 List! But this time, it's which actresses lesbians think are hot, in which you will mutter to yourself, "yeah, I can see that."

wednesday
0 comments

JetBlue is adding real-time Google Maps in flight. (See also: Ben's detailed post on how to improve the in-flight experience.)

wednesday
3 comments

"In the future, I plan on taking more of an active role in the decisions I make." - Paris Hilton, in a written statement.

wednesday
0 comments

Pretty great: dial-a-human shortcuts. Tells you what numbers you need to press to get to an actual talking person on automated-phone systems.

tuesday
0 comments

Time for this week's best new releases. Music: The Afghan Whigs' Greatest Hits. Books: The Cult of the Amateur. DVD: The Sergio Leone Anthology.

wednesday
1 comment

The Top 10 Secret Celebrity Scientologists.

monday
0 comments

26 Reasons What You Think is Right is Wrong. Lists cognitive biases, including such things as the bandwagon effect and the blind spot bias. See also: NYT Mag story on self-deception.

saturday
1 comment

New Yorker: James Surowiecki on feature creep.

wednesday
0 comments

The Onion: Dog Breeders Issue Massive Recall Of '07 Pugs.

thursday
0 comments

Flickr: detailed scans of the Voynich Manuscript.

tuesday
0 comments

It's New Media Tuesday, with one new releases in each category. DVD: Pan's Labyrinth; books: Don DeLillo's Falling Man; music: Wilco's Sky Blue Sky.

monday
3 comments

Entertainment Weekly: The Sci-Fi 25, which counts down the top 25 moments in science fiction over the past 25 years.

monday
0 comments

The Iraq war has cost $456 billion -- which equates to giving every American free gas for a year-and-a-half. Man, that stat hurts to type.

thursday
0 comments

The idea of pop-up stores fits perfectly with just about every theory I have about contemporary consumer culture.

friday
0 comments

Thousands of Wikipedia articles that have pinched from a 1911 version of Encyclopedia Britannica that is now in public domain. [via]

friday
0 comments

Someone needs to explain this one. XXXchurch.com, "the #1 Christian porn website" (WTF?), is holding something called Unscripted 2007 that has something to do with Stryper, Ron Jeremy, and professional wrestling. (UPDATE: ABC News story on XXX Church. [via])

thursday
0 comments

The Onion: Even CEO Can't Figure Out How RadioShack Still In Business.

thursday
2 comments

Does everyone you know have a digital camera? Are you sick of finding pictures of yourself on the internet? Try FlickrBlockrs!

tuesday
1 comment

In conjuncture with its 90th anniversary, Forbes has launched Corporate Org Chart Wiki. Kinda neat. [via]

friday
0 comments

Big Box Watch tracks big box store (Best Buy, Home Depot, Ikea, JCPenney, Kohl's, Lowe's, Target, Wal-Mart) store openings. [via]

monday
3 comments

NYT Mag has a fascinating little article on something that I think about constantly: to what degree random historical factors and self-fulfilling markets determine the success of cultural products. A study from the authors suggests that social influence can affect judgments of quality to exponential degrees.

tuesday
0 comments

Slate.com: The You Decade. Christopher Hitchens asks, "So, whatever happened to the Me Decade? The answer is that nothing happened to it. It mutated quite easily and smoothly into a decade centered on another narcissistic pronoun."

sunday
1 comment

On the list of articles that I want to pitch but haven't gotten around to is something called "The Rise of Hatah Culture." (Think: Simon Cowell, Gawker, Pitchfork, etc.) Although not exactly my story, NYT Styles (dammit! trite idea!) has something today on "The Rise of the Takedown."

monday
1 comment

10 Strange Facts About Einstein. UPDATE: Walter Isaacson, who has a biography of Einstein out next next month, wrote about him in Wired.

monday
1 comment

Zany NYT column comparing knowledge-enhancement drugs and the internet.

tuesday
0 comments

What does the internet think of meh? Meh.

sunday
4 comments

Recently trapped in the Columbus, OH airport, I opened up my MacBook to discover that I had free WiFi. Huh, that's weird, I mused. But apparently I completely missed the trend that has led to so many airports offering free WiFi -- according to this chart, it looks like about two-thirds. (A story in the Times about Starbucks and WiFi elicited this irrelevant post.)

friday
0 comments

How's this for snack culture? Discover magazine is sponsoring a contest in which people attempt to describe string theory in less than two minutes.

thursday
1 comment

Esquire.com redesigned (or perhaps, designed) and now includes some fresh bits, including Chuck on Britney's hair cut: "Because she is a celebrity, it is always assumed that what she does is driven by motive. I see no evidence of this.... Think of the dumbest, goofiest, richest 25-year-old woman you've ever known: Did her day-to-day decision-making process reflect anything about her ambition, her self-awareness, or her ability to deal with reality?"

wednesday
0 comments

Another article on Microsoft's life-caching research, this time from the guys themselves. [Via Scoble, who actually makes some good points about the lag-time of research vis-à-vis products like Twitter.]

monday
0 comments

Great Slate essay on the rise of the interjection, with emphasis on internet-speak. Great discussion of um, meh, feh, haha, ew, awww, and duh. [via]

thursday
1 comment

Top 10 Largest Databases in the World. (Hint: Google is only #4.)

friday
0 comments

Pretty great Slate slideshow that asks Can Photographers Be Plagiarists?

sunday
0 comments

Long NYT Mag story on designer dogs. I'm all about the hybrid, so puggles are alright by me.

monday
2 comments

NYT on the new rad-looking aerial public transportation in Portland.

monday
0 comments

Too often we bloggers point to items, but then never come back to the conversation that proceeds from there. So to revisit a couple: Greg rocks out on the "unfilmable novels" thread from last week, and Robin compares the iPhone with our notions of transparency.

sunday
0 comments

ThingsMyBoyfriendSays.com. Cute. Surprisingly.

wednesday
1 comment

My City. "Urban Outfitters asked 18 artists and designers to describe their city in sticker form."

wednesday
0 comments

37 Fads That Swept The Nation.

tuesday
0 comments

Just when you sorta think the world is going to hell, the New York Times tells you that half of American women aren't married. Hey, you have your version of progress, I have mine. Update: I'm not sure where this fits in, but "ladies night" has been banned in Colorado. If giving women free drinks is anti-feminist, I'm going to hell.

friday
0 comments

Everything You Always Wanted To Know About Sleep.

tuesday
2 comments

Forbes: 100 Best Companies To Work For 2007. 1) Google. 4) Container Store. 5) Whole Foods. 11) Cisco. 16) Starbucks. 31) Adobe. 44) Yahoo. 50) Microsoft. 62) Mayo Clinic. 68) P&G. 69) Nike.

saturday
0 comments

Anil finds a patent from Prince for the PurpleaxxTM.

wednesday
0 comments

Matthew Barney and Bjork on the phone with Ikea. [via]

tuesday
0 comments

Oh great, now that NY Mag says anal is in, I need to find a new transgression.

tuesday
0 comments

Couple more decent '07 predix: Information Architects and John Battelle.

tuesday
0 comments

BillG predicts a robot in every home in Scientific American.

tuesday
1 comment

New Edge question for 2007: What are you optimistic about? Over 150 answers, including those from Daniel Dennett, Walter Isaacson, Chris Anderson, Howard Rheingold, Kevin Kelly, Jared Diamond, Ray Kurzweil, Douglas Rushkoff, Freeman Dyson, Clay Shirky, Xeni Jardin, Rudy Rucker, Richard Dawkins, Jaron Lanier, Jason Calacanis, Stewart Brand, Brian Eno, Michael Wolff, and Cory Doctorow.

sunday
2 comments

BBC quiz: What gender is your mind?

thursday
0 comments

Whah? Have you heard the story about Jesus' foreskin? There's even a Wikipedia entry.

monday
0 comments

This will ruin your day: the last statements of people executed in Texas.

monday
0 comments

For Alexis: Top Ten Sex Toy Patents. [via]

tuesday
0 comments

Wikipedia: Fictional chemical substances: A-M, N-Z. Wow. [via]

sunday
0 comments

Gladwell attempts to outline some criteria for understanding the varieties of racism.

friday
0 comments

What's Bobby Fischer up to? (All the more reason to invade Iceland!)

friday
2 comments

Wikipedia: list of countries without armed forces. (Let's invade Iceland!)

thursday
0 comments

Now this is gaming the system: Google Earth. [via]

wednesday
4 comments

Mobile Alibi. Wicked.

monday
2 comments

A ridiculously comprehensive list of female teachers accused of having sex with their students.

wednesday
3 comments

Khat is the new craze drug, yet one Village Voice writer can't seem to find the stuff anywhere. People talked about it in Minneapolis (the home to the largest Somali population in the U.S.) all the time, but it never seemed to be on the street either, probably cuz it sounds about as strong as caffeine.

friday
1 comment

Saying you hate Paris Hilton is pretty much the most trite thing you can possibly say. Asking why Americans love hating Paris Hilton -- hey, now there's something to think about.

friday
0 comments

My mom sent me this article from home. I'll just give you the lede: "Prosecution of a case involving alleged sexual contact with a dead deer may hinge on the legal definition of the word 'animal'."

thursday
0 comments

Our furry friend Robert Marbury of the Minnesota Association of Rogue Taxidermy (first mentioned way back with their first show at Creative Electric in Minneapolis) has spread the word to NYC according to a Village Voice story.

tuesday
0 comments

A Timeline of Timelines.

saturday
0 comments

You might have noticed that Maureen Dowd has a decent interview with Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert in the new issue of Rolling Stone, but there's also a strange little story that looks at the the baby billionaires of Silicon Valley, which reads like it really wants to have salacious stories but has nothing much to offer.

friday
0 comments

Some researchers fly an autistic dude over Rome... he comes back and draws the whole thing with exacting memory. Pretty amazing. [via]

friday
0 comments

Kottke's coverage of PopTech have been pretty great. There's also a live webcast -- here's the schedule.

thursday
0 comments

10 Seeeeeeriously Cool Workplaces.

thursday
2 comments

Lifehacker: How To Beat A Speeding Ticket. None of this would ever work for me though, cuz I'm constitutionally incapable of being nice to cops.

wednesday
0 comments

Record video or audio directly to iPod with the iRecord. [via]

monday
2 comments

This is pretty cool. The faculty at Cornell was asked to each pick a chart (graph, map, diagram, table, etc.) that has been "the most important, remarkable, meaningful or valuable." The results include some of the best info porn of all time.

monday
1 comment

Finally, single people outnumber married people in American households.

wednesday
0 comments

My new motto: I Fucked My Way Into This Mess, And I'll Fuck My Way Out.

wednesday
0 comments

List of '06 MacArthur Foundation Fellows. John Zorn?

tuesday
1 comment

What was the first double album? Blonde on Blonde. What was the first rock album with printed lyrics? Sgt. Pepper's. More firsts from Blender.

monday
0 comments

NYT Mag: Okay-but-could-been-better look at how satire has taken over culture.

sunday
0 comments

Lots and lots of photos from Banksy's opening in L.A. Strangely, Bradjolina was there, depite the pachyderm controversy.

sunday
0 comments

Sorta funny Vanity Fair prank on The Weekly Standard.

sunday
0 comments

Columnists try to impose their meaning on an image by essentially trying to pull a "caption this photo" on a controversial 9/11 shot, which Gawker brings full circle by making fun of it. Ya know, sometimes an image is worth zero words.

friday
0 comments

Insane mention of Mike Patton on All My Children. Actually, insane is an understatement.

monday
0 comments

Top Tech City? Minneapolis, according to Popular Science.

wednesday
0 comments

Radar is back. Somewhere out there, Kurt Anderson is gritting over 50 Years of Radar.

tuesday
2 comments

Somehow, a post right here on Fimoc got taken over by emo lovers and hatahs in the comments.

tuesday
0 comments

The crazy rules for how planetary satellites are named.

monday
0 comments

10000.org. 10,000 Reasons Civilization Is Doomed.

wednesday
0 comments

Evolution of Speechballoons.

thursday
0 comments

Long P-I story on the new Seattle Weekly regime.

thursday
1 comment

Celebs photoshopped into old people. Amazingly realistic.

tuesday
0 comments

Kottke rediscovers the Mill City Museum in Minneapolis, which really is one of the coolest renovations America has ever seen.

tuesday
0 comments

Added to the list of things I'm missing in Minneapolis: Google The Musical.

monday
0 comments

The evolution of desktops.

monday
0 comments

Sorry about the Paris links, but I can't help myself: she now says she's had sex with two people in her life.

monday
0 comments

The Power of the Marginal. Required reading for anyone trying to figure out business innovation.

sunday
0 comments

The Art of the Shiv (hand-made prison weapons) w/ awesome slideshow.

sunday
0 comments

Imagining the Tenth Dimension.

sunday
0 comments

NYT on the upcoming digital art exhibition in San Jose, ZeroOne, curated by my old acquaintance from The Walker, Steve Dietz.

monday
0 comments

Clip art movie.

monday
1 comment

Disappointing NYT Mag story on underground brand creation.

wednesday
1 comment

"The sexual compatibility questionnaire is a way for you and your partner to discreetly and easily compare your sexual interests without any of the embarrassing chatter and looks that may come up by doing so in person."

wednesday
0 comments

Someone who apparently knows her (an actual writer) tries to convince you that Paris Hilton isn't an airhead. Like with Marilyn Monroe, I've honestly wanted this theory to be true, but I still really doubt it.

sunday
0 comments

I like asking people how many best friends they have, and then asking them to compare it to the number of best friends they had at different points in their life. The Times Mag looks at a study that reveals people say they have fewer confidants than 20 years ago, but then opens up the reasons to some good speculation.

sunday
0 comments

43 countries are expected to decline in population by 2050, including ones you wouldn't guess, like Russia, Germany, and Japan.

sunday
0 comments

This week's Consumed notices an interesting cellphone development: the wireless headset jumped right over youth culture and into middle-management. Can it work its way back, despite the Star Trek factor?

thursday
2 comments

NYTimes: The evolution of 'the slut'.

thursday
0 comments

New soft drink blog: Knowledge For Thirst.

wednesday
0 comments

Paris Hilton is the new Morrissey! She's giving up sex for a year.

thursday
0 comments

Stephen Hawking asks Yahoo Answers a question.

thursday
0 comments

The best part of The Stranger's coverage of the exodus of the Seattle Weekly editor is this line: "The New Times frat boy, Libertarian, hard-news formula is certainly at odds with Berger's utopian, ponderous, hippie vibe." With one quick dash of the pencil, a swipe at all of alt-media!

sunday
1 comment

Usually, when famous people become weird, we start to hate them. There are only a few rare exceptions to this including Bob Dylan, Andy Kaufman, and a handful of other people it hurts my brain to remember. Given this theory, one must ask: where exactly does Amy Sedaris fit in?

sunday
0 comments

The Nation's annual Entertainment State diagram.

sunday
0 comments

Believe it or not, I've actually read every single Zaha Hadid story over the past few weeks (her Guggenheim retrospective has created more press than anything since Bilbao). The only one I'll bother linking to is Slate's contrarian is she really visionary?

sunday
0 comments

I wonder what would happen if I tried to drink only beverages from Amazon's Sports & Energy Drink grocery category.

sunday
0 comments

GenPets. For real.

sunday
3 comments

TOYS

GenPets. For real.

FILM

Clerks 2 trailer.

Anton Corbjin is directing a movie about Joy Division: Control.

I noticed that A Scanner Darkly has an elaborate MySpace page. I wonder if they had to pay for the special treatment or if they just hacked it.

MUSIC

A gigantic Bjork box set comes out tomorrow.

Vice: How To Make A Playlist For A Girl. Condescending as fuck, but funny as hell.

WORDS

The Nerve.com Future Issue, which will feature writing from Joel Stein, Walter Kirn, Jay McInerney, Douglas Rushkoff, Rick Moody, Ana Marie Cox, and others.

Updike jumps up and down like a baby (an eloquent baby, I suppose) over Kevin Kelly's NYT Mag book story from a several weeks ago.

TV

Screens (Virginia Heffernan!) is a new tv/internet convergence blog on... yep, NYtimes.com. I'm calling it a "Lost Remote killer." (Sorry Cory, I kid.)

Robot Chicken is on DVD? How come no one told me?

ONLINE

Wikipedia: List of problems solved by MacGyver.

I'm not on Second Life yet, though I know I should be. I've been watching the site pretty closely for years, and it's fascinating that it's finally taking off, though I have no idea why now. Anyway, there's some reportage that Amazon.com is planning on extending their web services to support virtual stores within Second Life.

Finally, a reason to wed.

DRINK

I wonder what would happen if I tried to drink only beverages from Amazon's Sports & Energy Drink grocery category.

ARCHITECTURE

Believe it or not, I've actually read every single Zaha Hadid story over the past few weeks (her Guggenheim retrospective has created more press than anything since Bilbao). The only one I'll bother linking to is Slate's contrarian is she really visionary?

T-SHIRTS

[Broken Image]

sunday
9 comments

We're half-way through 2006 and I've been listening to more music than usual. So here are my favorite thirteen albums so far:

1) Gnarls Barkley, St. Elsewhere

2) Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Show Your Bones

3) Sonic Youth, Rather Ripped

4) The Streets, The Hardest Way to Make an Easy Living

5) Arctic Monkeys, Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not

6) Peeping Tom, Peeping Tom

7) Flaming Lips, At War with the Mystics

8) Tapes 'n Tapes, The Loon

9) Danielson, Ships

10) The Coup, Pick a Bigger Weapon

11) Be Your Own Pet, Be Your Own Pet

12) DFA, Remixes

13) Built To Spill, You in Reverse

wednesday
2 comments

Great. Now I have to hide my vintage bottle of Cristal, because if friends come over and see it, I'm a racist. On with the links:

MEDIA

The Nation's annual Entertainment State diagram.

MUSIC VIDEOS

Just forget you had a day of work ahead of you: Pitchfork's 100 Awesome Music Videos, with YouTube vids included.

'80s Music Videos.

Moz versus the paparazzi in "The Youngest Was The Most Loved" video.

Tapes 'n Tapes got video!

Flaming Lips cover War Pigs with Cat Power.

Sunday Bloody Sunday. Video of the year.

ARCHITECTURE

So in Minneapolis last weekend, I saw both the new Cesar Pelli library and the Jean Nouvel theater. L.A. Times has a good review of the latter. Those two plus the new Walker and new Michael Graves MIA expansion make Minneapolis the hottest architectural city of the last couple years. (UPDATE: Newsweek's "Design Dozen" drops Minneapolis as #1 in its Design City issue.)

WORDS

New Yorker on Timothy Leary.

FILM

Slate's profile of Keillor is gosh darn good.

Onion A/V: 10 Classic Movies It's Okay To Hate.

ONLINE

You saw Ze Frank in the Sunday Times, right?

T-SHIRTS

You Looked Better On MySpace.

Is This What Passes for an Ironic T-shirt.

KLOSTERMAN

Gnarls Barkley, NYT Mag.

Book cover to A Decade of Curious People and Dangerous Ideas is out. That's Chuck above the 'K'.

On the lack of influential video game critics in Esquire.

monday
4 comments

FILM

So that little movie that got me in a little t-shirt trouble last Fall finally came out this weekend. I wish I still had enough agitprop in me to call for a boycott, but I'll probably go see it this week.

MUSIC

I doubt you watched VH1's Story of Heavy Metal last week, but the best part was a puffy, wasted, maudlin Jani Lane saying he could "shoot himself in the fucking head" for writing "Cherry Pie." Dude, Decline of the Western Civilization was decades ago!

If you missed it, Gnarles Barkley on the MTV Movie Awards.

The boys from Aesthetic Apparatus were on Coudal Partners' Field-Tested Books. I started a MNspeak thread.

Do you think the Flaming Lips snagged the bouncing balls idea from this famous Sony ad for their new video?

BOOKS

Doctorow on Coupland.

ONLINE

I should totally take Scoble's place.

Rocketboom Amanda was on Reliable Sources this weekend.

NORTH DAKOTA

North Dakota continues to befuddle me. I don't know how one can measure this, but it must be the most conservative state in the union, yet it still somehow elects Democrats to congress and has occasional socialist streaks. The latest is the North Dakota Farmers Union opening a restaurant in Washington, D.C. Agraria, which cost about $4 million to open, will feature home-grown product shipped directly from farmers -- about a third of it from North Dakota and the rest from family farms in 25 states. AP has some photos.

wednesday
2 comments

ONLINE

It's not at all fucked up that someone launched a celeb gossip blog in the form of Digg -- it's fucked up it was Conde Nast.

Drop a prospective hottie into SingleStat.us and it emails you when their status has changes to single (after you pay $4).

Google Map of the Apple iPod space advert (zoom in).

MUSIC

Using Cobain's suicide note to see what Google Ads turn up. Ouch.

Awesome history of a ubiquitious six-second drum break, sampled in everything from NWA's "Straight Outta Compton" to jeep commercials. You've heard it a million times but never even realized it.

This is weird. Both The Times (Sia Michel) and The Sun write up Tapes 'N Tapes and cite blogs (positively and negatively, respectively) as the primary reason for their success.

FILM

The Criterion version of Dazed & Confused comes out today.

Trailer to Woody Allen's newest (already?!), Scoop, starring Scarlett Johansson.

TV

Daily Show takes a swipe at Katie Couric in industry ad.

sunday
2 comments

ONLINE

The best update of Hot Or Not of all time: Fuck Kill Marry.

The cure for illegal immigration? Webcams, of course.

TV

Typography brought down Dan Rather -- could it reveal the answers to Lost too?

NEWS

Snakes on a plane! Snakes on a plane! (But real.)

FILM

Remnick on Gore in the New Yorker.

Winona has reunited with director of Heathers for something called Sex and Death 101.

Apple on the use of Keynote in An Inconvenient Truth. A design firm actually helped him with the powerpoint.... er, keynote.

Trailer to another off-beat, quirky, indie comedy! Little Miss Sunshine, starring Steve Carell and Greg Kinnear.

T-SHIRTS

McSweeney's Lists: Comeback T-shirts, For "I'm With Stupid" T-shirts.

Boston Globe: On t-shirts and celebrity, aka art and copyright.

GAMES

So at some point I'm going to start reading Future of the Book's experimental collaborative book project on gaming, GAM3R 7H3ORY. But here's the hard question: when do I start? By the very nature of the project, it is never done. More thoughts on Future of the Book.

BOOKS

Slate's JPod review.

MUSIC

Bjork in Street Fighter.

SPORTS

Both Klosterman and Gladwell use Kevin Garnett as important instances of different quasi-economic principles.

sunday
2 comments

ONLINE

The best update of Hot Or Not of all time: Fuck Kill Marry.

The cure for illegal immigration? Webcams, of course.

TV

Typography brought down Dan Rather -- could it reveal the answers to Lost too?

NEWS

Snakes on a plane! Snakes on a plane! (But real.)

FILM

Remnick on Gore in the New Yorker.

Winona has reunited with director of Heathers for something called Sex and Death 101.

Apple on the use of Keynote in An Inconvenient Truth. A design firm actually helped him with the powerpoint.... er, keynote.

Trailer to another off-beat, quirky, indie comedy! Little Miss Sunshine, starring Steve Carell and Greg Kinnear.

T-SHIRTS

McSweeney's Lists: Comeback T-shirts, For "I'm With Stupid" T-shirts.

Boston Globe: On t-shirts and celebrity, aka art and copyright.

GAMES

So at some point I'm going to start reading Future of the Book's experimental collaborative book project on gaming, GAM3R 7H3ORY. But here's the hard question: when do I start? By the very nature of the project, it is never done. More thoughts on Future of the Book.

BOOKS

Slate's JPod review.

MUSIC

Bjork in Street Fighter.

SPORTS

Both Klosterman and Gladwell use Kevin Garnett as important instances of different quasi-economic principles.

sunday
2 comments

ONLINE

The best update of Hot Or Not of all time: Fuck Kill Marry.

The cure for illegal immigration? Webcams, of course.

TV

Typography brought down Dan Rather -- could it reveal the answers to Lost too?

NEWS

Snakes on a plane! Snakes on a plane! (But real.)

FILM

Remnick on Gore in the New Yorker.

Winona has reunited with director of Heathers for something called Sex and Death 101.

Apple on the use of Keynote in An Inconvenient Truth. A design firm actually helped him with the powerpoint.... er, keynote.

Trailer to another off-beat, quirky, indie comedy! Little Miss Sunshine, starring Steve Carell and Greg Kinnear.

T-SHIRTS

McSweeney's Lists: Comeback T-shirts, For "I'm With Stupid" T-shirts.

Boston Globe: On t-shirts and celebrity, aka art and copyright.

GAMES

So at some point I'm going to start reading Future of the Book's experimental collaborative book project on gaming, GAM3R 7H3ORY. But here's the hard question: when do I start? By the very nature of the project, it is never done. More thoughts on Future of the Book.

BOOKS

Slate's JPod review.

MUSIC

Bjork in Street Fighter.

SPORTS

Both Klosterman and Gladwell use Kevin Garnett as important instances of different quasi-economic principles.

sunday
2 comments

ONLINE

The best update of Hot Or Not of all time: Fuck Kill Marry.

The cure for illegal immigration? Webcams, of course.

TV

Typography brought down Dan Rather -- could it reveal the answers to Lost too?

NEWS

Snakes on a plane! Snakes on a plane! (But real.)

FILM

Remnick on Gore in the New Yorker.

Winona has reunited with director of Heathers for something called Sex and Death 101.

Apple on the use of Keynote in An Inconvenient Truth. A design firm actually helped him with the powerpoint.... er, keynote.

Trailer to another off-beat, quirky, indie comedy! Little Miss Sunshine, starring Steve Carell and Greg Kinnear.

T-SHIRTS

McSweeney's Lists: Comeback T-shirts, For "I'm With Stupid" T-shirts.

Boston Globe: On t-shirts and celebrity, aka art and copyright.

GAMES

So at some point I'm going to start reading Future of the Book's experimental collaborative book project on gaming, GAM3R 7H3ORY. But here's the hard question: when do I start? By the very nature of the project, it is never done. More thoughts on Future of the Book.

BOOKS

Slate's JPod review.

MUSIC

Bjork in Street Fighter.

SPORTS

Both Klosterman and Gladwell use Kevin Garnett as important instances of different quasi-economic principles.

sunday
2 comments

ONLINE

The best update of Hot Or Not of all time: Fuck Kill Marry.

The cure for illegal immigration? Webcams, of course.

TV

Typography brought down Dan Rather -- could it reveal the answers to Lost too?

NEWS

Snakes on a plane! Snakes on a plane! (But real.)

FILM

Remnick on Gore in the New Yorker.

Winona has reunited with director of Heathers for something called Sex and Death 101.

Apple on the use of Keynote in An Inconvenient Truth. A design firm actually helped him with the powerpoint.... er, keynote.

Trailer to another off-beat, quirky, indie comedy! Little Miss Sunshine, starring Steve Carell and Greg Kinnear.

T-SHIRTS

McSweeney's Lists: Comeback T-shirts, For "I'm With Stupid" T-shirts.

Boston Globe: On t-shirts and celebrity, aka art and copyright.

GAMES

So at some point I'm going to start reading Future of the Book's experimental collaborative book project on gaming, GAM3R 7H3ORY. But here's the hard question: when do I start? By the very nature of the project, it is never done. More thoughts on Future of the Book.

BOOKS

Slate's JPod review.

MUSIC

Bjork in Street Fighter.

SPORTS

Both Klosterman and Gladwell use Kevin Garnett as important instances of different quasi-economic principles.

sunday
2 comments

ONLINE

The best update of Hot Or Not of all time: Fuck Kill Marry.

The cure for illegal immigration? Webcams, of course.

TV

Typography brought down Dan Rather -- could it reveal the answers to Lost too?

NEWS

Snakes on a plane! Snakes on a plane! (But real.)

FILM

Remnick on Gore in the New Yorker.

Winona has reunited with director of Heathers for something called Sex and Death 101.

Apple on the use of Keynote in An Inconvenient Truth. A design firm actually helped him with the powerpoint.... er, keynote.

Trailer to another off-beat, quirky, indie comedy! Little Miss Sunshine, starring Steve Carell and Greg Kinnear.

T-SHIRTS

McSweeney's Lists: Comeback T-shirts, For "I'm With Stupid" T-shirts.

Boston Globe: On t-shirts and celebrity, aka art and copyright.

GAMES

So at some point I'm going to start reading Future of the Book's experimental collaborative book project on gaming, GAM3R 7H3ORY. But here's the hard question: when do I start? By the very nature of the project, it is never done. More thoughts on Future of the Book.

BOOKS

Slate's JPod review.

MUSIC

Bjork in Street Fighter.

SPORTS

Both Klosterman and Gladwell use Kevin Garnett as important instances of different quasi-economic principles.

sunday
2 comments

ONLINE

The best update of Hot Or Not of all time: Fuck Kill Marry.

The cure for illegal immigration? Webcams, of course.

TV

Typography brought down Dan Rather -- could it reveal the answers to Lost too?

NEWS

Snakes on a plane! Snakes on a plane! (But real.)

FILM

Remnick on Gore in the New Yorker.

Winona has reunited with director of Heathers for something called Sex and Death 101.

Apple on the use of Keynote in An Inconvenient Truth. A design firm actually helped him with the powerpoint.... er, keynote.

Trailer to another off-beat, quirky, indie comedy! Little Miss Sunshine, starring Steve Carell and Greg Kinnear.

T-SHIRTS

McSweeney's Lists: Comeback T-shirts, For "I'm With Stupid" T-shirts.

Boston Globe: On t-shirts and celebrity, aka art and copyright.

GAMES

So at some point I'm going to start reading Future of the Book's experimental collaborative book project on gaming, GAM3R 7H3ORY. But here's the hard question: when do I start? By the very nature of the project, it is never done. More thoughts on Future of the Book.

BOOKS

Slate's JPod review.

MUSIC

Bjork in Street Fighter.

SPORTS

Both Klosterman and Gladwell use Kevin Garnett as important instances of different quasi-economic principles.

sunday
2 comments

ONLINE

The best update of Hot Or Not of all time: Fuck Kill Marry.

The cure for illegal immigration? Webcams, of course.

TV

Typography brought down Dan Rather -- could it reveal the answers to Lost too?

NEWS

Snakes on a plane! Snakes on a plane! (But real.)

FILM

Remnick on Gore in the New Yorker.

Winona has reunited with director of Heathers for something called Sex and Death 101.

Apple on the use of Keynote in An Inconvenient Truth. A design firm actually helped him with the powerpoint.... er, keynote.

Trailer to another off-beat, quirky, indie comedy! Little Miss Sunshine, starring Steve Carell and Greg Kinnear.

T-SHIRTS

McSweeney's Lists: Comeback T-shirts, For "I'm With Stupid" T-shirts.

Boston Globe: On t-shirts and celebrity, aka art and copyright.

GAMES

So at some point I'm going to start reading Future of the Book's experimental collaborative book project on gaming, GAM3R 7H3ORY. But here's the hard question: when do I start? By the very nature of the project, it is never done. More thoughts on Future of the Book.

BOOKS

Slate's JPod review.

MUSIC

Bjork in Street Fighter.

SPORTS

Both Klosterman and Gladwell use Kevin Garnett as important instances of different quasi-economic principles.

sunday
2 comments

ONLINE

The best update of Hot Or Not of all time: Fuck Kill Marry.

The cure for illegal immigration? Webcams, of course.

TV

Typography brought down Dan Rather -- could it reveal the answers to Lost too?

NEWS

Snakes on a plane! Snakes on a plane! (But real.)

FILM

Remnick on Gore in the New Yorker.

Winona has reunited with director of Heathers for something called Sex and Death 101.

Apple on the use of Keynote in An Inconvenient Truth. A design firm actually helped him with the powerpoint.... er, keynote.

Trailer to another off-beat, quirky, indie comedy! Little Miss Sunshine, starring Steve Carell and Greg Kinnear.

T-SHIRTS

McSweeney's Lists: Comeback T-shirts, For "I'm With Stupid" T-shirts.

Boston Globe: On t-shirts and celebrity, aka art and copyright.

GAMES

So at some point I'm going to start reading Future of the Book's experimental collaborative book project on gaming, GAM3R 7H3ORY. But here's the hard question: when do I start? By the very nature of the project, it is never done. More thoughts on Future of the Book.

BOOKS

Slate's JPod review.

MUSIC

Bjork in Street Fighter.

SPORTS

Both Klosterman and Gladwell use Kevin Garnett as important instances of different quasi-economic principles.

sunday
2 comments

ONLINE

The best update of Hot Or Not of all time: Fuck Kill Marry.

The cure for illegal immigration? Webcams, of course.

TV

Typography brought down Dan Rather -- could it reveal the answers to Lost too?

NEWS

Snakes on a plane! Snakes on a plane! (But real.)

FILM

Remnick on Gore in the New Yorker.

Winona has reunited with director of Heathers for something called Sex and Death 101.

Apple on the use of Keynote in An Inconvenient Truth. A design firm actually helped him with the powerpoint.... er, keynote.

Trailer to another off-beat, quirky, indie comedy! Little Miss Sunshine, starring Steve Carell and Greg Kinnear.

T-SHIRTS

McSweeney's Lists: Comeback T-shirts, For "I'm With Stupid" T-shirts.

Boston Globe: On t-shirts and celebrity, aka art and copyright.

GAMES

So at some point I'm going to start reading Future of the Book's experimental collaborative book project on gaming, GAM3R 7H3ORY. But here's the hard question: when do I start? By the very nature of the project, it is never done. More thoughts on Future of the Book.

BOOKS

Slate's JPod review.

MUSIC

Bjork in Street Fighter.

SPORTS

Both Klosterman and Gladwell use Kevin Garnett as important instances of different quasi-economic principles.

sunday
2 comments

ONLINE

The best update of Hot Or Not of all time: Fuck Kill Marry.

The cure for illegal immigration? Webcams, of course.

TV

Typography brought down Dan Rather -- could it reveal the answers to Lost too?

NEWS

Snakes on a plane! Snakes on a plane! (But real.)

FILM

Remnick on Gore in the New Yorker.

Winona has reunited with director of Heathers for something called Sex and Death 101.

Apple on the use of Keynote in An Inconvenient Truth. A design firm actually helped him with the powerpoint.... er, keynote.

Trailer to another off-beat, quirky, indie comedy! Little Miss Sunshine, starring Steve Carell and Greg Kinnear.

T-SHIRTS

McSweeney's Lists: Comeback T-shirts, For "I'm With Stupid" T-shirts.

Boston Globe: On t-shirts and celebrity, aka art and copyright.

GAMES

So at some point I'm going to start reading Future of the Book's experimental collaborative book project on gaming, GAM3R 7H3ORY. But here's the hard question: when do I start? By the very nature of the project, it is never done. More thoughts on Future of the Book.

BOOKS

Slate's JPod review.

MUSIC

Bjork in Street Fighter.

SPORTS

Both Klosterman and Gladwell use Kevin Garnett as important instances of different quasi-economic principles.

sunday
2 comments

ONLINE

The best update of Hot Or Not of all time: Fuck Kill Marry.

The cure for illegal immigration? Webcams, of course.

TV

Typography brought down Dan Rather -- could it reveal the answers to Lost too?

NEWS

Snakes on a plane! Snakes on a plane! (But real.)

FILM

Remnick on Gore in the New Yorker.

Winona has reunited with director of Heathers for something called Sex and Death 101.

Apple on the use of Keynote in An Inconvenient Truth. A design firm actually helped him with the powerpoint.... er, keynote.

Trailer to another off-beat, quirky, indie comedy! Little Miss Sunshine, starring Steve Carell and Greg Kinnear.

T-SHIRTS

McSweeney's Lists: Comeback T-shirts, For "I'm With Stupid" T-shirts.

Boston Globe: On t-shirts and celebrity, aka art and copyright.

GAMES

So at some point I'm going to start reading Future of the Book's experimental collaborative book project on gaming, GAM3R 7H3ORY. But here's the hard question: when do I start? By the very nature of the project, it is never done. More thoughts on Future of the Book.

BOOKS

Slate's JPod review.

MUSIC

Bjork in Street Fighter.

SPORTS

Both Klosterman and Gladwell use Kevin Garnett as important instances of different quasi-economic principles.

sunday
2 comments

ONLINE

The best update of Hot Or Not of all time: Fuck Kill Marry.

The cure for illegal immigration? Webcams, of course.

TV

Typography brought down Dan Rather -- could it reveal the answers to Lost too?

NEWS

Snakes on a plane! Snakes on a plane! (But real.)

FILM

Remnick on Gore in the New Yorker.

Winona has reunited with director of Heathers for something called Sex and Death 101.

Apple on the use of Keynote in An Inconvenient Truth. A design firm actually helped him with the powerpoint.... er, keynote.

Trailer to another off-beat, quirky, indie comedy! Little Miss Sunshine, starring Steve Carell and Greg Kinnear.

T-SHIRTS

McSweeney's Lists: Comeback T-shirts, For "I'm With Stupid" T-shirts.

Boston Globe: On t-shirts and celebrity, aka art and copyright.

GAMES

So at some point I'm going to start reading Future of the Book's experimental collaborative book project on gaming, GAM3R 7H3ORY. But here's the hard question: when do I start? By the very nature of the project, it is never done. More thoughts on Future of the Book.

BOOKS

Slate's JPod review.

MUSIC

Bjork in Street Fighter.

SPORTS

Both Klosterman and Gladwell use Kevin Garnett as important instances of different quasi-economic principles.

thursday
1 comment

...Probably Doesn't Want You To Say While Listening To His New Solo Album

10) "This makes sense."

9) "Pitchfork will give this a -1."

8) "If it weren't for Nigel, this would suck."

7) "Too political."

6) "Rockist!"

5) "Is this that creep dude?"

4) "Despite all my rage, I am still just a rat in a cage."

3) "Is this an NIN remix?"

2) "Where are the guitars?"

1) "Sounds like Coldplay."

tuesday
5 comments

Ya know, I haven't seen the Al Gore movie yet, but how fucking awesome is it that a gigantic powerpoint has been getting raves? It give nerds hope.... too much hope. On with the links:

MUSIC

National Review's Conservative Top 50 Songs. Fuck you, classic rock.

I started watching this commercial for Beck's beer thinking it was a new Beck music video. Actually, is there any difference anymore?

Suicide Girls interview with Mike Patton, whose Peeping Tom came out this week.

ONLINE

The New Yorker revisits Jason and Meg. The original, from six years ago. Gawker's take.

TV

I wonder why Pinky and the Brain isn't on DVD.

Holy shit, there's a lot of bad reality tv coming to network this summer.

LISTS

Chronicle of Higher Ed: The Lure of Lists.

WORDS

Guardian Mag profile of Douglas Coupland, in which 1) he subtly disses Steven Berlin Johnson's game book, 2) we learn he has a movie called Everything's Gone Green coming out, and 3) he delivers his definition of irony.

FILM

Google has movie trailers now too.

sunday
0 comments

TV

I was just thinking the other day how strange it is that Amazon hasn't significantly monetized IMDB.com. Then along came this NYT profile of the founder.

Is Lost the best thing on TV, like, ever? There are too many topics to link to (Dickens?), but here's a strange interview on Jimmy Kimmel with the Communications Director of the Hanso Foundation?

T-SHIRTS

I ♥ [anything].

MUSIC

National Day of Slayer (6/6/06 -- June 6, 2006) is coming up.

Pitchfork's long look at the state of current and future music recommendation systems is pretty good.

Tapes 'n Tapes link: Hey, I recognize that apartment.

FILM

An archive of William Burroughs cut-up films and audio.

Salam Pax's book is being made into a movie.

FOOD

Amazon.com has launched a grocery section. In other news, a certain nerd in Seattle decides his entire life will consists of the Microsoft cafeteria and whatever he can buy off Amazon.

ONLINE

PopURLS.com aggregates the aggregators, or something like that.

The Morning News gives its Online Excellence Awards.

Thanks. No.

tuesday
1 comment

THINKING

Brian Grazer and Malcolm Gladwell have a hair-off on the Charlie Rose show. Among other things, they talk about Gawker.

MEDIA

At the end of last year, I chose Arianna Huffington as an "artist of the year." My lede: "The Huffington Post should completely suck." David Carr notices the one-year anniversary of The Huffington Post in The Times. His lede? "When it began a year ago, The Huffington Post seemed like a remarkably bad idea." Yo, just sayin.

WORDS

NYT Mag: Scan This Book! Surprisingly polemic towards the end, but spot-on.

NYT: Media Immersion Pods in Tokyo.

TV

Okay, why hasn't the Al Gore on SNL thing been yanked of YouTube yet? I'll never understand...

NYT gave my fave girl Virginia Heffernan an upfronts blog. It's snarky!

T-SHIRTS

I'm The Decider.

MUSIC

Klosterman texted me from the ooh-ooh-big-deal GNR show in NYC ("Axl got thin again!"), but the big news is that Axl is obsessed with his online persona.

FILM

Wow. This is the best thing since those Negativland Casey Kasem tapes: Siskel and Ebert behind-the-scenes from 1987.

saturday
1 comment

MUSIC - REMIX

MNstories has a couple videos of Mark Hosler of Negativland setting up his exhibit at Creative Electric in Minneapolis. Hosler has been hanging out in MSP for a few weeks now -- makes me miss home.

Excellent Daily Show segment on Mini Kiss versus Tiny Kiss.

Remix David Byrne and Brian Eno's My Life in the Bush of Ghosts.

Who needs Axl when you have Fergie butchering GNR songs.

Blender: 500 Greatest Songs Written Since You Were Born | Rolling Stone: Most Excellent Songs Of Every Year Since 1967.

MySpace, the music video.

TV

The Lloyd Dobler moment for a new generation, from The Office finale: Jim says "I'm in love with you." Response: "What are you doing?"

ONLINE

On the page listing the NYTimes.com blogs, I see they've given Stanley Fish an education blog called "Think Again," but it's barred in behind Times Select.

Huh, even The New Yorker is getting into online video: Ken Auletta in conversation with Terry Semel.

25 Things I Learned on Google Trends.

LoveLines is an interesting little interface.

FILM

Scanner Darkly remix contest.

WORDS

Compare Kurt Anderson's good essay on plagiarism from last week with Malcolm Gladwell's equally good essay on plagiarism from last year.

MLA Maps.

sunday
7 comments

BOOKS

I've been buying up "Choose Your Own Adventure" books on eBay for the past couple years, and now it turns out they're being reissued.

Back in Minneapolis, the new Ceasar Pelli library is opening, which could rival the Seattle Koohaas library. Alt-Text has some pics.

MUSIC

The new Gnarles Barkley video for "Crazy," from the album, St. Elsewhere, which comes out this week. It will be the best album of the summer. (See also: performing live on Top of the Pops.)

T-SHIRTS

Colbert Has Stones. (Buy the video on C-SPAN.org.)

TV

Best. Website. Ever. IsLostARepeat.com.

CBS launched Innertube, AOL has In2TV, ABC launched full-episode stream, MTV has Overdrive, Comedy Central has Motherload, and NBC.... the Dwight Bobblehead!

FILM

Syndey Pollack has made a documentary of Frank Gehry. Trailer.

The movie that almost got me sued has premiered in St. Paul. Back when the movie was being filmed, I published some exclusive photos of a sickly Lindsay Lohan from the set. She looks so much... less sickly now.

ADS

The new Apple ads, starring John Hodgman.

ONLINE

For the archive, Kurt Anderson on Web 2.0.

tuesday
5 comments

While recently packing my belongings to move across the country, I unearthed a box of wallet-sized high school photographs. I'm not actually sure if the rest of the country did this, but back in the Midwest we would all write little phrases on the back of these photos (similar to the yearbook phenom) and hand them around to our friends. Gathered below is a collection of actual inscriptions from every high school photo I still have:

"Even though it may not seem like it, I think your a real cool guy and good friend." -Kevin

"I'm glad I'm getting to know you better. You're fun to be with." -Diana

"Don't forget we're drinkin' J.D. at the graduation party." -Tom

"To a real loser with the ugly shades. Keep rockin' and breakin' curfew. You have a nice car. I had fun running with and against you. If you want to be backstabbed, just call." -Devin

"To a crazy guy who has a heap of shit for a car, if you call it that. Good luck in the future & hope you party more." -Tommy

"To a pretty cool guy that I have gotten to know a little better this year. Hopefully we can get out and party together some weekend. Take it e-z on the girls and stay out of trouble." -Steph

"To the biggest dirtbag I know who has nothing going for him except a severe case of the herpes and a tight-ass girlfriend who is a dyke. But I still hope we can be butt-buddies. Don't suck too much dick and take it EZ." -William

"You're such an original. You really changed over the summer; I feel that you did, anyway. I consider you a close friend of mine, even if you don't. May God Bless You." -Sandra

"To a funny guy in school. Stay away from Todd in the future and if I will stay away we'll be friends." -Kasey

"To one cool ass guy who knows how to party and get into Deep Shit. Good luck trying to get something off Mac." -Mark

"To a neat and very cool guy. We have had some good times. We can maybe get another Santa. We have to party more." -Danny

"To a real nut who I feel like killing sometimes. But a funny guy. People change, I have told you that. But I hope you don't change too much. Hope we can party together sometime." -Connie

"You are the oddest S.O.B. I know but it's cool I guess." -Troy

Shockingly, McSweeny's Lists passed on this fine collection.

sunday
5 comments

BOOKS

Finally, a follow-up to my very old Amazon list "College Friends Who Punched Me," I have created "My Year As..." in response to the spate of recent books in which people do something (strip, change genders, read the encyclopedia, etc.) for a year. Let me know what's missing from the list.

ONLINE

Amazon's Most-Edited Wikis.

NYT Biz: Making money with MySpace. (Onion: New MySpace Security Measures infographic.)

Onion: iTunes To Sell You Your Home Videos For $1.99 Each.

Be honest, you spent your Sunday reading the Google/China NYT Mag story too.

TV

NYT (Itzkoff again) on Robert Smigel's upcoming SNL retrospective.

Full-length video on IFCtv.com: Behind The Badge (SXSW), with by Ben Brown of Consumating as the interactive lead.

Just when I began to think we had no modern cultural heros left, the Wonder Showzen guys come along.

MUSIC

Love the new Air video.

"Once you hear my audio demo, you'll just be blazed!"

Blender (on AOL?): The 50 Worst Things To Ever Happen To Music.

Smashing Pumpkins. Despite all my rage...

T-SHIRTS

I Facebooked Your Mom.

Please put your sexual picture in your weblog.

monday
3 comments

TV

The single best piece of tv in 2006 so far has been SNL's TV Funhouse take on Disney. Which leads to the question: why isn't TV Funhouse available on DVD? (SNL will be airing a "Best Of" special on April 29.)

MAGAZINES

Diesel Sweeties on the music magazine.

Magazine Death Pool (dot-com).

NOSTALGIA

Do you remember Bill Paxton and Judge Reinhold being in the video to Pat Benatar's "Shadow of the Night"? And that it has a Nazi theme? And that it has Pat as a Dancer In The Dark-era Bjork-like character fantasizing in a Rosie the Riveter get-up? Is this really what the '80s were like?

Kerouac on The Steve Allen Show, interviewed by William F. Buckley, and eulogized by Walter Cronkite. Is this really what the '60s were like?

SODA

I'm obsessed with Coke Blak in the same way I was obsessed with OK Soda.

FILM

Trailer to The Fountain, Aronofsky's newest.

Best Week Ever wants to know if The Legend of Simon Conjurer (starring Jon Voight) is an elaborate hoax. Trailer.

ONLINE

Webcam vids have truly gone postmodern: Watching Norna (NYT) and Webcam Girls Gone Wild.

MySpace, what have you wrought? "thanks for the add you guys rock".

MAPS

Religious Maps.

CITIES

Last time I was in San Francisco, I hung out in a nearly vacant South Park, which now is filling up again.

For the archive, last week's NYT Mag analysis of North Dakota.

tuesday
15 comments

Nearly a dozen years ago, Douglas Coupland published his third novel, Microserfs, at a moment where everyone knew the future was about to happen, but no one knew quite what it would look like.

After moving to Seattle a month ago to work on the campus depicted in the novel, I returned to the same book that many years ago intrigued this Midwestern twenty-something, to see how the world (and my perspective on it) has changed. I have several conclusions, which I'm aggregating for a longer analysis. In the mean time, I have gathered the notes that I scribbled in the margins of the book. Below is a mish-mash of observations about cities, companies, and Microserfs, then and now.

+ The basic plot arc of Microserfs is that an ensemble of 'softies quit their jobs and move to San Fran to create a new software start-up. They begin building something called Oop! (can this sound any more like present?), which actually is a pun off object-oriented programming, but is essentially a 3D modeling program which you can use to create pretty much anything. The idea is loosely inspired by Legos, but in the intervening decade nothing has been invented to compare it to -- until I recently saw Will Wright demo his new game, Spore.

+ Even though the inaccurate predictions are less numerable, they say more about the mid-'90s than the accurate ones.

+ The descriptions of Microsoft campus life -- right down to the soccer fields and hidden paths -- are still quite accurate. The detail that seems to have changed the most is the relationship of employees to Bill. He was apparently a Geek God in 1994, whereas now he's more of a beleaguered Yoda. It's good we skipped over the anti-trust days though.

+ There's a great observation early in the book about how Microsofties don't put bumper stickers on their cars. This is still startlingly true, and it gives campus a sort of post-political feel. Or at least as post-political as 20,000 Audis lined up in a cement parking garage can be.

+ Except for occasional baby pictures and markup boards, Microserfs don't decorate their offices. At all.

+ At the beginning of the book, Apple is at the top of the world -- the computer company that all geeks aspire to. By the end of the book, the boys from Cupertino are sliding into oblivion, rumored to be bought out by Samsung. How many times has Apple died and been resurrected?

+ Quick quiz: what was the subtitle of Coupland's first novel, Generation X? Bzzt. "Tales for an Accelerated Culture." So much for slackers.

+ Off-topic: Has anyone else noticed that Ginsberg's "Howl" needs an update? I'll take a shot at it: "I saw the best minds of my generation, destroyed by Aeron chairs, tattooed hyper fresh, dragging themselves though Ikea on Sundays looking for an angry futon." Perhaps this is where a Wiki could help. Wiki Howl!

+ It seems unfathomable now, but this book was published before Windows 95 even came out.

+ Know what else people forget about this book? It's written in diary form. And you know what else? Less than a third of it happens in Seattle -- the rest occurs in Silicon Valley, except for the second-to-last chapter which is in Vegas (at CES).

+ Microserfs places Seattle in opposition to San Francisco. While there is still a tension between the Emerald City and Silicon Valley, Seattle now posits itself in relationship to Los Angeles.

+ Since moving here from Minneapolis, I constantly find myself appending rows to a grid that I've drawn in my mind with two simple columns: Minneapolis | Seattle. When I decide which city has "won" a particular feature, checkmarks get added to new rows of the mental grid. Traffic, for instance, of course gets a Minneapolis check, while food goes to Seattle. Daily papers, Minneapolis; weekly papers, Seattle; malls, Minneapolis; record stores, Seattle; pizza, Minneapolis. I already have hundreds of rows in my micro-niche grid. By the way, Seattle's Ikea totally sucks.

+ I am convinced this book could not exist today -- not in its current form, as fiction. Our first-person culture would undoubtedly force it into a memoir. Or perhaps Scoble is the modern equivalent. Microserfs even hints at its historical future by being structured like a journal. We all speculate about how blogging is changing journalism, but one should ask if memoirs are doing the same thing to fiction, especially in light of Freygate. Exploring this, you see, is partially why I moved to Seattle, and I hope to devote more thinking in this space. To be continued...

thursday
1 comment

Six months ago, I wanted to write about the trend in which a new type of blogger was emerging -- one who was not happy with just one blog, but needed two or three to satisfy different appetites. Now, however, I want to write about all the bloggers who seem to have let their sites go a little gray as they work double-time for big companies or small startups. Oh wait, both of those are autobiographical stories.

Hey look, some links:

MEDIA

The Times is hiring a futurist. Too bad I'm too busy with the present right now.

ONLINE

Patent infringements that most of us actually believe in: Netflix sues Blockbuster, TiVo sues Echostar.

Danah Boyd was on The O'Reilly Factor talking about MySpace. I wish she had mentioned either a) that MySpace is owned by FOX or b) MyDeathSpace.com.

Gawker has a headquarters.

TV

EW has a screengrab of the Lost map that Locke saw, which you can now stare at for 20 uninterrupted minutes.

Now this is TV blogging: 10 Best 80s Movie Music Videos.

BOOKS

Steven Johnson is writing another book you probably should have written first.

MUSIC

What's the new Spin gonna look like? This! OMG JK!

Onion A/V: Seven Songs With Factual Or Logical Mistakes In The Lyrics.

Tapes 'n Tapes album now available on Amazon.

New Yorker on Muzak.

Relive the Replacements' "Bastards of Young" video. Or fast-forward to today with the new Flaming Lips video.

Sebadoh III is being reissued and Pitchfork reviews it. Love this line, from Barlow himself: "Turning personal vendetta and small-minded revenge tactics into eventual cult status."

PERSONAL

Kurt Cobain died 12 years ago today in the city I now live in.

You know what? My workspace ain't that much different from Bill's. Except I think I have bigger monitors.

I can't possibly be the only one who saw Google Romance (April Fools!) and thought it was real. "When you think about it, love is just another search problem." Nay, hoped it was real.

friday
2 comments

Traffic is to Seattle as weather is to Minneapolis. People love to talk about hating it, but they're all resigned to its existence. Alright, here are a few links:

MEDIA

So I'm listening to last week's On The Media via podcast, and I hear Bob Garfield start swearing at an FCC official. It's both really funny and really good. But I'm thinking, "This can't possibly have aired. This must just be on the podcast." But no, it turns out that it actually was broadcast. There appears to be no fall-out yet, but I can't wait until next week's reax pieces, which seem inevitable.

ONLINE

Digg Soundboard. Indeed.

MUSIC

Since earlier this week we linked to a Tom Waits dog food commercial, this week you get a Rolling Stones 1964 Rice Krispies commercial.

The first eight paragraphs of Melissa's Yeah Yeah Yeahs Spin cover story. Good.

Klosterman wrote a fake review of Chinese Democracy, but half the blogosphere thinks it's real.

SOCIETY

I became obsessed this week with NY Mag's "Up With Grups" story, which is effectively about aging hipsters. I basically took over a MNspeak thread with my theories.

monday
4 comments

My life coach (Daily Show | NYT Styles) says I better get blogging again because not even Amanda reads me anymore. So here are some links:

FRIENDS

I have much to talk about, but first here are some updates from various Friends of Fimoculous:

Tapes 'N Tapes were on last week's Best Week Ever. After taking SXSW by storm (and landing an 8.3 on Pitchfork), last night they played the last show on this tour here in Seattle. They were awesome.

Diablo Cody was on Letterman last week. So best, go girl.

Michaelangelo Matos has exited his perch as the music critic at the Seattle Weekly to join the up-and-coming eMusic. For his final goodbye, he gives a farewell mixed tape to Seattle.

Waxy is still fighting Bill Cosby.

Elizabeth Spiers' DealBreaker.com launches on Wednesday. Interview.

Chuck Olsen interviewed Bruce Sterling.

Klosterman wrote an essay for the upcoming Criterion version of Dazed & Confused. His forthcoming book, Chuck Klosterman IV, is a collection of his previously-published work.

MNstories did a video of my farewell party in Minneapolis. That's really not me crying at the end.

TV

Whoa, did you know Andy Milonakis is 30 years old? According to The Times, he has a growth hormone condition. He's the Gary Coleman of our times!

In addition to VH1's Web Junk 20 and Bravo's Viral Videos, other upcoming projects include a show on USA based upon eBaum's World and a show on NBC called The Net With Carson Daly. In the future, everyone will create a viral video.

The first season of Wonder Showzen is coming out on DVD this week.

BOOKS

Which is more peculiar -- that Terry Gross' interview with J.T. LeRoy is online without any notation of recent events, or that J.T. LeRoy sounds so obviously like a chick in the interview?

Enter the ISBN number of a book into BarnesAndNoble.com and get a quote for how much they will buy it for. Cool.

I've been busy alphabetizing my CDs and running to Ikea for book shelves, so somewhere along the way I missed that Malcolm Gladwell started a blog.

Although I'm morally obligated to read every book even remotely related to the internet (especially if it has something to do with blogging), I haven't decided whether to dive into Kos' Crashing The Gate. The decent NYTBR review includes the first chapter, so maybe that's a good starting point.

FILM

[Insert Snakes on a Plane link here.]

Well, at least William Gibson liked V is for Vendetta.

A second Scanner Darkly trailer.

Bob Saget is friggin nuts.

MUSIC

Go read Douglas Coupland's "interview" with Morrisey, which is really an essay on the state of the interview.

Even Tom Waits once did a commercial -- for dog food, no less. It's especially interesting since he later sued Frito-Lay for impersonating him.

ONLINE

There's hope for all of us: Jason and Meg got married. Remember when they sorta spatted on Blogumentary?

Newsweek's cover story: Putting the 'We' in the Web.

You've probably read Danah's essay on why Friendster lost to MySpace, but here's the link anyway.

CITIES

The Top 15 Skylines in the World.

GAMES

One of the many things I like about Wired is that it truly is a magazine. That is, for all the talk about the death of print, Wired stories are the best example of the perfection of a medium that doesn't easily translate into other mediums. You can, for instance, read most of Will Wright's game issue online, but it's not nearly the experience that the magazine is. (See also: Wright doing a walk-through of Spore.)

GOOGLE

On the new Google Finance, you won't find this info: how much of Google stock that Google execs have sold.

FOOD

Every side-street around Microsoft campus seems to have one of those create-a-home-meal shops, so I'm not surprised to learn that Seattle is home to one of the biggest chains. From the NYT story: "The prototype, a kind of elevated cooking session among friends in a commercial kitchen, popped up in the Northwest in 1999. The concept did not take off until 2002, when two Seattle-area women streamlined the process so customers could make 12 dinners for six in two hours for under $200. That company became Dream Dinners, which opened a year later and now has 112 franchise stores, with 64 under construction." (Old MNspeak thread on the MSP-based versions.)

monday
18 comments

I'm officially a Seattle-ite now, even if I'm here with only a suit case for the next few days. I'll have more to talk about at the end of the week.

sunday
3 comments

QUASI-PERSONAL

I'm moving to Seattle in a few weeks and can't decide whether to change my phone number -- from a 612 area code to a 206 area code. NYT Styles tells me this is the existential crisis of our times, or something like that.

Similarly, there's also this little trend piece about girls taking pictures of themselves. I've asked girlfriends about this peculiar obsession, and they all claim that it's somehow liberating.

FILM

Put this one together: Michel Gondry will direct a Rudy Rucker novel with a screenplay written by Daniel Clowes and starring Jack Black. C'mon, that doesn't even make sense.

A Scanner Darkly trailer. Sweet.

TV

Did anyone else think that the scene in last week's Lost in which Hurley was caught with a stash of food was simply a ploy to explain that he wasn't losing weight on the island? Well, according to a Maxim interview, he has lost 30 pounds.

MUSIC

Video. Of. The. Year. Kanye's "Touch The Sky".

That Arctic Monkey album that the English won't shut the hell up about comes out Tuesday.

So there's new buzz on the internets that Axl will actually release Chinese Democracy soon. Even Slash says so. Stereogum has some MP3s. They suck.

ONLINE

Video of Daily Show's MySpace segment. Brilliant. Here's Demetri's MySpace page -- 19,000 friends!

Daytrading is back -- in Japan.

Just when you thought you heard everything about Web 2.0, how about a Marx comparison!? Oh, Weekly Standard. Doy.

WORDS

Cliche finder.

Could this be my first link to a William Safire column? Let's just assume so: Blargon, which looks at blog jargon. Some people are already looking for errors.

Good interview with The Smoking Gun regarding the Frey scandal.

FOOD

The real reason that people like a New York Times food critic should have a blog is so that they can occasionally write about Hooter's.

thursday
1 comment

PERSONAL

City Pages this week has interviews with Craig Newmark and... ME! It reads pretty nerdy, but it sprawled into an interesting citizen journalism conversation on MNspeak.

USA Today gives props to our Olympics videoplayer strategy, but points to a future in which everything will likely be online. (This topic is huge, and maybe I'll write about it after the Olympics.)

TV ON THE INTERNET

Matt Haughey's little essay on Blogging TV and YouTube is right on. I hope lawyers don't squash this.

So best: Tom Cruise on Oprah, as it should have been.

Fox Reality is a new entire channel dedicated to reality tv. Reality Remix is a show -- staring Kennedy! -- that is now completely available online.

FILM

When did this sneak up us? Basic Instinct 2, starring MILF-ish Sharon Stone. Who knows, it could even be okay (I actually love the campiness of the first). No Michael Douglas though.

The 10 Best Sci-Fi Films That Never Existed is pretty darn awesome.

ONLINE

NYT reports on on sites like Don't Date Him Girl, which are out to ruin my life. (C'mon, I'm kidding.)

Ya know, I really liked Clive's NY Mag blog story. Nice seeing my pal Rojas on the cover.

I've ditched my Netflix account because I had stopped using it (too much TiVo, too much DVD buying), but now I see they are testing a $5/month plan, which could bring me back.

DRUNKS

Nerve.com: Last Night on Earth, a photo-essay inspired by the wrtings of Bukowski.

MUSIC

Yeah Yeah Yeahs in the New Yorker. Would you like to see the video for the first single? Okay.

PRETTY GIRLS

Kristen Bell (i.e., Veronica Mars) in Maxim.

I heard Sports Illustrated half-naked girls on the internet today.

What the Victoria's Secret catalogue looked like in 1977. Weird.

sunday
1 comment

TV

Did you skip the Olympics to see the last two hours of Arrested Development? Thank you, TiVo. (The show finished fifth in ratings for the night -- after the Olympics, Dancing with the Stars, WWE's Friday Night Smackdown, and a Ghost Whisperer re-run. Go America!)

It was pretty good, but it's also a mystery why the Pamela Anderson roast is being released on DVD.

Biz Week: Can MTV Stay Cool?

DATING/SEX

TiVo is holding a Wishlist Mixer in San Fran. Dammit, I'm moving to the wrong city.

The editor of Modern Love give his stake on the state of love in contemporary America. I seem to disagree with half of it.

Mike Figgis made a short film, Tied up at the Office [not safe for the office], for lingerie peddlers Agent Provocateur. I get it as much as I got Demon Lover.

Found on Amazon: Pierced Attachable Nipples. C'mon, for real?

DESIGN

Design Megadeth's new logo!

T-SHIRTS

That controversial Mohammed cartoon has been turned into a t-shirt.

Cheney gun t-shirts already.

BOOKS

There was actually a book (Nic Kelman's 2003 novel, Girls) that had blurbs on it written by both James Frey and JT Leroy.

FILM

Kottke on Ebert on "hyperlink movies."

ONLINE

The Huffington Post's Contagious Film Festival is out. Meh. I wonder if the Gawker one will be better.

Which internet company is the least willing to provide financial information about itself? Not Google -- it's Amazon.

NYT has does a quick story with examples of searches on the new Google.cn.

Google, cover of Time. Blah, blah.

ART

On made-to-order artwork for offices.

MUSIC VIDEOS

I don't care what you say, these last few Madonna vids have been good. Her new video for "Sorry" has more street dancing, this tine looking like crumping-meets-Barbarella-meets-Mad-Max.

Night! Of! Fire!

thursday
0 comments

Check it out, two updates in one week. Someone call the Weblog Awards, pronto.

QUASI-PERSONAL

Intel is debuting a new DVR-ish technology called Viiv with us on NBColympics.com. This Biz Week story explains.

The SXSW Interactive list of evening events. Looks fun. I still haven't decided if I'm going -- will have moved to Seattle just days before it starts.

TRAILERS

Dave Chappelle's Block Party, directed by Michel Gondry.

Film Geek.

New Jack Black: Nacho Libre.

Let's watch that Sofia Coppola Marie Antoinette trailer again, shall we?

MUSIC VIDEOS

Harmony Korine directs new Cat Power video.

New Goldfrapp video: Ride a White Horse.

CEREAL

Cereality, the cereal cafe that first opened in Philly, is starting to spread.

New Johnny Depp cereal. Which would you rather have -- your own cereal or your own scent?

ONLINE

Current Rocketboom ad price: $30K. Biz Week has an audio interview with Andrew.

MAGAZINES

Vanity Fair steals a scene from my life for its cover.

BOOKS

Bloggers chicks with book deals.

FOOD

Google food photos.

TV

The Stephen Colbert Newsweek story.

FUN

Plant techno.

The JT Leroy hoax is sadly over.

tuesday
8 comments

This feels like turning in a term paper a month late, but here's an idea I've been playing with: James Frey blew it.

Or rather, James Frey blew it twice. First, he blew it by writing a mediocre fictional tale and passing it off as the truth. But then, he blew it again by posturing as guilty and sorrowful and repentant and worst of all -- tedious.

a million

Hear me out.

Do you remember how Jason Blair handled his succès de scandale? Bold, without regret. How about the author of Sokal Text? With absolute glee. Sure, these are different scenarios (Blair was trapped; Sokal's entire plan was to expose the academic publishing as fraudulent), but they open a glimpse into a radical alternate history, one in which James Frey had scoffed at Oprah's wimpy "embarrassment" and laughed this in her face:

"Ha, ha, gotchya sucka."

Frey could have quickly followed it up with a perfectly lucid explanation: he was merely trying to expose the slippery line between fact and fiction that our age has created. He could have pointed out that his book isn't all that different from, say, Brett Easton Ellis' novel Lunar Park. In fact, Lunar Park has probably as much truth in it as A Million Little Pieces, and everyone wanted to know which of the stories were real. He could have laughed in the face of authenticity, chuckled at the do-gooders and their truthiness. He could have cited that Harold Pinter nobel speech that everyone surprisingly saw online. He could have ripped apart the artifice of reality tv and MySpace profiles and tabloids. He could have torn down the curtain that is PR being passed as news -- and don't forget our government's staged news events. Instead of the pathetic villain, James Frey could have been the heroic villain, the necessary foil that exposes the weakness of all you self-righteous supermen.

Who oh why, James, didn't you just suck it up and call the whole damn thing a sham, one big fucking Matrix, dude.

Imagine for a moment how the punditocracy would have reacted. Would Gawker have applauded him? Would Oprah book clubbers have gasped? Would Jon Stewart have called him wile? What the hell would the Situation Room have said? Who would get the next night's interview -- Charlie Rose? Or just Larry King? Would he have sold more books? Would Gawker have changed its mind by the end of the day and condemned him?

Would Oprah have recanted?

James, I wish you could go back and do it all over again -- not erase the lies, but dared us to live with them. Alternate histories are always the scariest.

monday
0 comments

TV ON THE INTERNET

Look at all this: 1) NBC is producing an internet-only reality tv show called Star Tomorrow. 2) Bravo will launch a site, OutZone.tv, with original gay programming. 3) AOL and Mark Burnett are working on an internet reality tv show called Gold Rush. 4) NBC is greenlighting Carson's Cyberhood, a showcase of homemade videos. 5) Amazon is starting an original talk show hosted by Bill Maher called Amazon Fishbowl. All of these online-only -- no broadcast.

Occasionally funny: MySpace: The Movie. "Why am I not in your top eight?"

Current Rocketboom ad price: $15K

Super Bowl ads via Google Video.

MUSIC

Alright, what the hell is this about? Disney hijacked Devo for... Devo 2.0?

ONLINE

This is painful: Blogonomics Blog Cruise.

New Denton blog: Valleywag. Gotta love the post about the Larry Page's girlfriends.

FILM

More trailer mashups: Brokeback to the Future.

Or how about fake trailers? Tarantino and Rodriguez have crazy ideas.

What was the weirdest part of the Super Bowl? Noticing during the Mission Impossible III trailer that Philip Seymour Hoffman is the main villain in the movie. Here's a PSH interview with David Remnick.

SPORTS

Klosterman's ESPN.com Super Bowl blog was quite fun, right? He talks about blogging here.

MEDIA

The editor of the SF Bay Guardian thinks that Craig Newmark isn't the hero you think he is. Anil responds.

TV

Time's tv critic, James Poniewozik, has a blog: Tuned In.

FAKE NEWS

A new journal for cross-disciplinary studies in plagiarism, fabrication, and falsification: Plagiary. [via NYT story.]

monday
1 comment

Next time. Next time I'll live blog Frey on Oprah too. Kick it:

PERSONAL

Hey, I sold my community website, MNspeak.com. Now if I could only sell this dumb thing...

ROCKETBOOM

Psst, Amanda is going to be on this Thursday's episode of CSI.

Andrew has decided to auction off his first Rocketboom advertising on eBay.

ONLINE

So I had been away from the blogging world for a few weeks and I come back to see embedded video everywhere via You Tube. Looks like this could quickly become what Google Video and Current.TV and Brightcove (and several others) wanted to be overnight.

Wow, someone did the research that I've been dying to know: how much is a viewer in advertising revenue versus download revenue? The answer: $.57 for advertising to $1.44 for download (with a ton of caveats applied).

The Joshua Schachter interviews is becoming the new Craig Newmark interview.

Very long yet surprisingly uninformative NYT story on Yahoo.

FILM

Via a WSJ story not online, weekend box office reports on Bubble are quite disappointing.

Veronica Mars is in a computer movie! Looks like it sucks though.

Filmmaker interview with Linklater on A Scanner Darkly. Res has one too, but it's not online.

COMEDY

Decent NYT Styles story on the rise of the alternative comedy scene.

ADVERTISING

Alright, PETA has gone too far.

CONSUMPTION

Gillette Fusion is out. Five! Fucking! Blades! My Mach3 is totally Atari 2600 now.

MUSIC VIDEOS

Huh, the Gondry-directed video for Kanye's "Heard 'Em Say" came out after all.

Trent Rezor pre-NIN is very Flock of Seagulls.

LISTS

Oh yeah, the lists of lists aggregation machine.

sunday
2 comments

FILM

Media pundits are flopping around like suffocating carp over Soderbergh's new movie, Bubble (trailer), which will be released on DVD (now available for pre-order on Amazon) just a few days after it comes out in theaters.

T-SHIRTS

Is Chuck a t-shirt merchant now? I guess so. His newest (and strangest) Esquire column invites you to buy one of these t-shirts.

ONLINE

From last month, a Rolling Stone profile of the guy who created NowThatsFuckedUp.com, which is extremely fucked up -- among other things, the site contains gruesome unedited photos of people killed in Iraq.

Tag everything: TagWorld.

Last year's totally old rumor is back: Yahoo to buy Technorati?

Current.TV has put up a training module for citizen vlogging called survival guide. Meanwhile, Blogumentary has Vlognomics.

VisualComplexity.

TV

Anyone else notice that nearly all the skits on this weekend's SNL contained musical numbers, including the intro monologue by Scarlett Johanson? Lazy Sunday, what have you wrought?

Outrageous Firsts in Television History. First toilet on tv, first use of the word fuck, first abortion, first rape, and of course first lesbian kiss.

Did you catch the first episode of Web Junk 20, the new show created by Viacom for VH1 after purchasing iFilm (VH1 link | iFIlm link). Why does it suck so much?

GADGETS

Although I've already got a Harmony 880 remote, this new SimpleRemote with WiFi sure does look tantalizing.

MUSIC VIDEOS

Wikipedia entry for Trapped in the Closet. The DVD is awesome.

3030Media.net is collecting some of the best hip-hop vid clips on tv, including the amazing Lil Wayne / Robin Thicke performance on Leon last which, which Kelefa gave a NYT shout-out to.

ADVERTISING

Cool Sony commercials in which balls are set free in San Francisco.

The Go Daddy commercials that won't air on the Super Bowl. Boring.

MEDIA

Think your a hot shot in forecasting the big events in 2006 culture? Take the USA Today quiz to make your predictions.

BOOKS

I've had several conversations with people who so greatly misinterpreted Gladwell's Blink that it seemed they never read it, but I never realized someone could write a whole book about his misinterpretation: Think.

I should really start a whole blog about last week's James Frey scandal, but here are just some related links: mammoth Kottke thread, Laura Miller at Salon offers her take, a history of literary hoaxes, and what will happen to Frey's and JT Leroy's movie deals?

MOVIE TRAILERS

Idlewild, the new Outkast film.

Miami Vice, the Jaimie Foxx / Colin Farrell version directed by Michael Mann.

Apocalypto, in which Mel Gibson goes native.

Tristram Shandy, the first postmodern novel turned into movie.

Manderlay, in which Lars von Trier continues his Beckett-inspired movie-plays.

monday
6 comments

Apologies for the navel-gazing nature of this post, but a lot has happened in my life lately, and since this is ostensibly a personal blog (hi Mom!), here are some notes on recent personal events:

+ At work, we recently launched this new little site: NBCOlympics.com. The winter games are in Torino, Italy in February.

+ Friends, family, and pretty much all of Minneapolis already knows this, but I've never officially announced it to the estranged readers of Fimoculous: After the Olympics, I will be moving to Seattle, where I took a new job at MSNBC.com. As you probably know, MSNBC.com is co-owned by NBC and Microsoft, so I'll be working on the Microsoft campus in a fun new capacity. I'll have more to say about it later, but in the meantime... Seattle, holla fo' me, yo.

+ I was hoping to make an exciting announcement on the future of MNspeak (my local citizen journalism site) by now, but we're still sorting that out. Soon....

+ The annual list of lists got some press attention again this year. A sampling: NY Times mention (text), WCCO story (video), WAMC interview (audio), Rocketboom mention (video), Rex Blog interview (text).

+ For City Pages' annual "Artists Of The Year", I wrote about Arianna Huffington (second entry).

+ I have an essay in the new book Digital Think from the New Media Institute.

+ Random quote in a Pioneer Press story about the effect blogging will have on the '06 political season: "I'm not sure those kinds of blogs are going to change anything in the world."

That's all for now. My '06 resolution: Make Fimoculous cool again.

tuesday
0 comments

Although I'll continue to add lists as they come in, it looks like List of Lists: 2005 is winding down. As a final punctuating coda to the year, here are my Top 20 Lists of 2005:

1) Mug Shots Of The Year from The Smoking Gun
2) Top 100 People from USA Today's Pop Candy
3) The Year In Ideas from New York Times Magazine
4) 100 Most Annoying Things from Retro Crush
5) The Best Links from Kottke.org
6) Top Viral Videos from iFilm
7) Top 20 Public Domain Files from Public Domain Torrents
8) Year In Review from Week In Review
9) 100 Most Annoying People from Am I Annoying
10) The Year In Swag from The Onion A/V Club
11) Top 50 Music Videos from DoCopenhagen
12) The Year In Corrections from Regret The Error
13) Top 10 Baby Names from Babycenter
14) 10 Sexiest Geeks from Wired News
15) Best Cast & Dogs from Dogster / Catster
16) Words of the Year from Merriam-Webster's
17) Banished Words from Lake Superior State University
18) Google Zeitgeist from Google
19) 10 Grossest Things We Saw On TV from Entertainment Weekly
20) Top Cryptozoology Stories from Loren Coleman

thursday
18 comments

Are we there yet?

While everyone else tells you that 2005 was the year of disasters and chaos, I was too busy trying to figure out the cultural significance of Million Dollar Homepage and the E!'s Michael Jackson trial re-enactments.

Okay, it wasn't a great year, but at least you didn't hear anyone use the phrase "year of the blog" anymore. So just thank your lucky stars the whole friggin world didn't blow up, and prepare yourself for next year when it undoubtedly will.

And with that shot of optimism, I present my idiosyncratic mix of Predictions for 2006 in Media, Technology, and Pop Culture.

1) Netflix will be bought by TiVo, which will be bought by Yahoo. Since I obviously should be drawn and quartered for last year's prediction that Apple would buy TiVo, I might as well double-down on my bet.

2) Absolutely no one will buy Knight Ridder. C'mon, would you?

3) NBC's new Thursday comedy line up will be a big enough success that tv execs will once again try to invoke the phrase "destination tv," while the rest of us have no idea what network or time the shows are even on because our TiVo neglects to tell us.

4) A new Pew study will reveal something about internet use that will be drastically over-cited by people who are reading this blog post.

5) David Chappelle will do something that makes everyone ask "why the hell did he do that?" It will be "brilliant," but "enigmatic and frustrating."

6) Showtime will pick up Arrested Development. And then Showtime will announce a deal with iTunes in which the show becomes the first of its kind to have more viewers watching via portable player than on tv.

7) "Hello Katie, welcome to CBS."

8) After a guest appearance on Veronica Mars, Amanda Congdon will sign a deal to host a new show on UPN. That's Viacom-owned UPN, peeps. You know, CBS. So get ready for the Katie and Amanda show in '07.

9) Book publishers will drop their silly little fiat and announce a triumphant partnership with Google Print.

10) Nonetheless, Google's stock price will slip 20% by the end of the year.

11) Someone in Seattle or San Francisco will get beaten to death at a dinner party after saying the words "Web 2.0" for the five-trillionth time before the first course.

12) 2005: the year of search. 2006: the year of mobile. No, for real this time! The big change will be that carriers open up the deck to external providers. Why? Because Google releases the killer mobile apps that everyone needs. Seriously!

13) Current TV will start to show up in Nielsen. The numbers will be good, not great.

14) The break-up of Viacom will have unforeseen repercussions. Okay, that's vague, but I predict no less than three essays from Marketwatch.com about the failure of the split.

15) Steve Jobs will announce a DVR. That one's a no-brainer, but the big deal here is that iTunes video downloads will skyrocket. No wait, that's a no-brainer too. Fine, I predict...

16) iTunes will give in to record labels and adjust pricing such that songs will range from $.50 to $2. Oh hell, another no-brainer.

17) Sirius will double subscribers but it still won't be enough to pay Howard Stern's salary.

18) David Letterman will announce his retirement. Or at least I hope so, because right now it's like watching your favorite band from the '80s do a reunion show.

19) Microsoft's new operating system, Vista, will launch in mid-summer, and will get surprisingly good reviews.

20) Despite the L.A. Times' dismal failure, several media organizations will release successful wikis -- this time, in areas that actually make sense.

21) Martha Stewart will quietly become a nobody. Donald Trump, however, will still somehow manage to remain famous.

22) Mary-Kate and Ashley will return. Where the hell did they go, anyway? Some upcoming indie film director will cast them in a "quirky New York film" with Parker Posey playing their mom. Gen-Xers suddenly realize they're the next Baby Boomers.

23) One person will finally figure out a cool use for Google Base, sparking over-use of the word "mashup" by Slashdot nerds.

24) At the end of the year, the New York Times will drop Times Select. Soon after, CNN.com will make Pipeline free.

25) Despite some inspired ideas, Craig Newmark's new journalism project won't be a gigantic success, but it will inspire others sites that quickly take off.

26) News Corp's purchase of MySpace will yield a decent record label that has a surprise hit.

27) FBC -- Fox Business Channel -- will launch. Pundits describe it as "more fun" than CNBC.

28) Ten major cities will release city-wide WiFi.

29) Fergie from Black-Eyed Peas will announce a solo album. It will be Entertainment Weekly's worst album of the year for 2006.

30) The New York Times Sunday Styles section will write a trend piece about the trend of trend pieces. It will then implode.

31) Chuck Klosterman will announce he's writing new columns for Vanity Fair, Wired, and Modern Midwestern Living.

32) Fimoculous.com makes a triumphant return as an "almost decent" blog.

33) Anderson Cooper will claim he's the father of Katie Holmes' baby. A wicked paternity suit -- in which everyone refuses to take DNA tests -- ensues.

Note: I have zero insider knowledge on any of these predictions. And except for the last one, I actually believe them all, if only metaphorically in some cases.

wednesday
0 comments

FILM

The trailer to Sofia Coppola's Marie Antoinette looks almost like a parody music video.

TV

NYT Styles tries to convince you that men like Neanderthal TV.

Rocketboom is now available on TiVo. (Lookie, Amanda in the Times.)

Season Seven of The Simpsons came out on DVD yesterday. And so did Season Two of Miami Vice.

SEX

The teaser on the print edition of this NYT story was "Pamela Rogers Turner was 28; her lover, or victim, 13. Discuss." I've had about a dozen conversations recently about these cases.

ONLINE

Yeah, you know already: Yahoo bought del.icio.us.

Adam Penenberg used to write a column at Wired News, but has moved over the Slate where he's done a couple great piece on Apple/iTunes/iPod: Apple's Next Move | The Right Price for Digital Music.

GAMES

#1 sign you're already too late on buying an xBox 360.

thursday
7 comments

MUSIC

So best. Amazon has put up a page for GNR's Chinese Democracy -- check out the release date. It seems optimistic that Axl will be dead by then. (Update: drat, it's already been removed. For those who missed it, the release date was listed as December 31, 2025.)

New Fiona Apple video.

TV

Lost + wikis = Lostpedia

WEALTH

Everyone keeps emailing me Forbes' list of the 15 Wealthiest Fictional Characters to add to the list of lists, but it's not a "of the year" list.

CHRISTMAS

Sarah Silverman: "Give The Jew Girl Toys" (video).

FRIGGIN WEIRD

Oklahoma Full Auto Shoot. And I thought North Dakota was nuts.

Eminem is getting back together with his ex-wife. This guy is so Axl it's sick.

ONLINE

So yeah, CNN.com launched Pipeline, their subscription broadband multi-stream portal. I haven't even looked at it yet.

Google's 10 Golden Rules.

DESIGN

Someone did a parody of Jakob Nielsen's infamous 2000 column about Flash 1996 column about frames and pretty much just supplanted "Ajax" for "Flash" "Frames" -- even the Slashdotters got tricked for a bit.

Uh-oh, lookie what's changed: Macromedia.com.

BLOGGING

Kottke: do you keep a secret site?

The Gawker kids launched another: Consumerist.

43 songs about the blogosphere.

monday
3 comments

The annual list of lists has started to take off. Rex (no relation) at RexBlog did an interview with me about list-making.

I have some big personal announcements to make soon, but first a small one: I have an essay in this new book from the American Press Institute.

Okay, some links:

MUSIC

Everyone I know wants to talk about Camille Paglia on Madonna in Salon. Seriously.

Remember The Strokes? Here's the new video for "Juicebox," the first single off their next album. It, like, rocks in that, like, MTV way, right?

DATING

Rexie's dreams really do come true: Poddater.

TV

Whoa, Veronica Mars this week, right? See the alternative ending. Double whoa!

See the new TiVo features?

ONLINE

Rocketboom: IE or Firefox? Good.

That's a whole lotta words that SF Weekly gave to Craig Newmark.

The debate at the New York Public Library between publishers and Google is now online (mp3).

Google has started a new blog for Google Base. Hopefully it will tell me what the hell to do with Google Base.

BLOGS

Panopticist: Gawker as purchased by NYT.

Holy nobody-cares-but-everybody-cares: Calacanis and Jarvis are cat-fighting.

FILM

Long Ebert profile in Chicago magazine.

sunday
3 comments

MUSIC

iTunes now sells more music than Tower Records, Sam Goody, and Borders (but it's still behind Wal-Mart, Best Buy, Amazon, etc.).

Who's gonna play Janis Joplin in that new biopic? Pink!

Here's a clip of Kanye on BET in which he talks about his Bush-hates-black-people remarks, plays a strange game of name-that-historical-quote, and introduces his new video for "Heard 'Em Say."

TV

Remember the guy who won a bjillion dollars on Press Your Luck? Here's the video from the episode.

NYT: Itzkoff does a nice job getting at the mystery behind Dave Chappelle and his Las Vegas shows.

MACHINIMA

Haven't seen any xBox 360 machinimas yet, but The Codex is getting rave reviews lately.

Machinima about the riots in France.

MEDIA

Stock prices of broadcast companies over the past year. Ouch.

PBS NewsHour's story on citizen journalism.

ONLINE

Gawker Media shut down the site Oddjack. Weirdness ensues.

Wired: Who's Afraid of Google? Everyone.

tuesday
4 comments


1) The Boondocks is much better than you've heard. Some dude on NPR said he didn't like the show, but wondered aloud whether it was because he was a politically correct white guy. Word.

2) No fibbing, Breaking Bonaduce has been one of the most amazing reality tv shows of all time. The night in which Danny goes ballistic and the producers are all scattering around, dropping their cameras, and trying to prevent him from killing himself or others -- it's that Man Bites Dog moment you wished would happen on every show. The fourth wall has fallen.

3) Talking about Lost is better than watching Lost.

4) Prison Break is less believable than Harry Potter, but ya gotta love these kinds of confined structural puzzles. Marti Noxon of Buffy fame is a producer on the show, and I credit her with every harrowingly claustrophobic moment.

5) Did you watch the short movie that the kids on the Real World created at SXSW? It sucked so hard that they only put it on the internet.

6) There was the briefest moment in the last episode of The Girls Next Door where the lead hen quit playing her role and blurted out something about being a clone who was probably too smart for Hef's taste. Then she cocked her Stepford head back into place, and with a quick giggle was a blonde bimbo again. Those two seconds have made the show the most important reality tv show of the year. It is the definition of simulacra.

7) Because America isn't as classist as Britain, The Office isn't quite as good here in the States.

8) With Bree on the show, I'll watch Desperate Housewives until I'm 137.

9) Did you see that episode of Veronica Mars where Joss Whedon and the lesbian chick from America's Next Top Model guest starred as coworkers in a car rental shop? More of that, please.

10) Invasion is still on the TiVo sked -- just barely. At any second it could take a red state turn, and it's bye-bye baby squid martians.

11) Though it took a while to get used to, shows like Politically Incorrect and The Daily Show have made us accustomed to this kind of joke interview where media celebs are asked a mix of funny and serious questions. The Colbert Report has extended that idea into some sort of hyperreal fantasy of what talk shows are like in another dimension. Let's get this straight: Colbert interviews serious people in character -- and not only that, but pretending to be a real character from another show (Bill O'Reilly). Yes, we live in an era in which no one finds anything odd in what is effectively Space Ghost: Coast To Coast for the Charlie Rose set. Can he possibly do this 200 times per year? I hope so.

12) When did Letterman stop mattering? And why can't Conan stop that humility shtick? And can we possibly say that Jimmy Kimmel is the best thing on late night network tv? Is there any chance Chappelle comes home and saves us?

13) I told you that the new Daily Show set would eventually grow on you.

14) What the hell happened to Wonder Showzen?

15) Fuck you, Fox, for canceling Arrested Development, which actually might have been the best sitcom of all time.

sunday
5 comments

For those of you who read this site via RSS, I've launched the 2005 List of Lists page. (Previously: 2004 | 2003 | 2001.) As usual, email me if I'm missing something.

DATING

Is it true that Match.com had its employees go on bogus dates just to keep people subscribed to the service? And do they post faux-profiles that present flirtatious intent? Yes, according to a lawsuit...

New York Magazine has six sex columnists compare notes.

BOOKS

Not sure what this rebranding is about, but print.google.com has become books.google.com.

GalleyCat has an excellent first-hand account of last week's New York Public Library debate between Google and publishers groups. (Also in NYT.)

I didn't even realize that NYT gave Marjane Satrapi (the author of Persepolis) a blog which apparently illustrates her experience growing up in Iran. I say "apparently" because it's behind Time Select.

MUSIC

The only good thing about reissues is getting to read contemporary rock critics on classics. Pitchfork, somewhat surprisingly, rolls out a 10.0 for Springsteen's Born To Run 30th Anniversary Edition.

CELEBRITY

Google Maps + Celebrity Addresses = Celebrity-Maps.com

PHILOSOPHY

Deborah Solomon calls up Jean Baudrillard for an interview in the Sunday Times Mag. Peculiar answers.

TV

Did you hear about this supposed reality show where contestants will be tricked into believing they're in outer space!? (via)

FILM

The trailer to some crazy ass shit that Tarantino produced.

sunday
7 comments

Wouldn't it be fun to turn this into a Maureen Dowd blog for a couple months? Yeah, okay, maybe not.

TV

Arrested Development is going bye-bye. Steve Holt!

Rich people love The Apprentice.

Biz Week's interview with MTV's Jason Hirschhorn covers a lot of interesting ground, including Comedy Central's Motherload, MTV's Overdrive, and iFilm.

MEDIA

NY Mag's long look at Mike Lacey (New Times' exec editor) and the history of the Village Voice is the best piece so far on this whole alt-weekly skirmish.

ONLINE

WaPo does a conspiratorial Google rant, but it's also the first mention of Google's dream to make your DNA searchable. You read that right: "Sergey Brin says searching all of the world's information includes examining the genetic makeup of our own bodies, and he foresees a day when each of us will be able to learn more about our own predisposition for various illnesses, allergies and other important biological predictors by comparing our personal genetic code with the human genome, a process known as 'Googling Your Genes'."

Paris Hilton doesn't change facial expressions.

For the true nerd: digg vs. dot.

MUSIC

Madonna's new album comes out this week. Have you seen the video to the first single? Yowza.

New White Stripes video staring Conan, directed by Michel Gondry.

New Shakira video. NYT is all hyped on her this week: The Shakira Dialectic.

A large Wikipedia entry on Paul Is Dead.

FILM

NYT has a small item on the film Zizek, which I saw here in Minneapolis last week.

SARAH SILVERMAN

Even more: Rolling Stone | Slate | Newsday | NYT.

sunday
4 comments

Shut up, where have you been?

SARAH SILVERMAN

With recent profiles in Radar, Believer, L.A. Times, and The New Yorker, it seems our hipster pinup has truly made it. Her movie, Jesus Is Magic [trailer], was in festivals over a year ago but is finally hitting mainstream theaters next week. Popbytes has some video clips.

MUSIC

You've heard the White Stripes' version of Tegan and Sara's "Walking with a Ghost," right? Good.

Slate.com: Anatomy of a rock snob.

It's old news, but let's not forget that MySpace has a record label starting soon.

BLOGS

The production blog for the new Danny Boyle film Sunshine.

The CEO for Whole Foods has a blog.

ONLINE

100 Greatest Internet Moments.

Discuss: Would you pay $5/month to use Google?

Interview with our pal Andrew of Rocketboom.

Revver is a new get-paid-to-upload-your-video site.

NYT: Just Googling It Is Striking Fear Into Companies | A Journey to the Center of Yahoo.

Yahoo's new Google-ish Local Maps uses Flash instead of Ajax (or actually, uses both). [See also: Yahoo Maps pranks Google.]

WORDS

Financial Times has lunch with Brett Easton Ellis.

McSweeney's has a new online store, and the first thing I notice is a new DVD magazine called Wholphin.

PORN

Just weeks after the new Video iPod comes MyDirtyIpod.com.

monday
14 comments

Entertainment Weekly did a story on the average age of viewers on some tv shows. Here are some of the published results:

AGE SHOW
29.0 The Simpsons
30.5 The O.C.
31.3 Veronica Mars
32.0 Everybody Hates Chris
35.6 Prison Break
42.6 Desperate Housewives
43.3 Lost
43.7 ER
45.0 Survivor
46.4 House
48.7 Medium
49.1 CSI
49.6 Two and a Half Men
51.8 Without Trace
53.0 Ghost Whisperer
54.0 Commander In Chief

Some surprises in there, no? Who would've thought that Jennifer Love Hewitt's new show (Ghost Whisperer) would draw mostly 50-year-olds?

sunday
17 comments

I'm in NYC Oct. 27-30 for the ONA Conference.

tuesday
3 comments

MUSIC

Panopticist has the first music video shot entirely using cell phones, from the Presidents of the United States of America.

New Boards of Canada out today.

TV

NYT Mag: Chuck watches too much tv.

Don't have Current.TV but you'd like to see that Google Current thing? Then Google "Google Current" on Google Video.

ONLINE

IMDB is 15 years old.

Fortune has a long profile of BitTorrent.

You know about this already, but I need to put it here for the archives: Yahoo Podcasts.

SEARCH

New blog search engine: Sphere.com.

New news search engine: Inform.com.

NEW BLOGS

Business Week has a new blog on media and advertising: Fine On Media.

Regina Lynn (the sex columnist at Wired News) has a blog.

Blogebrity relaunched.

PUBLISHING

The American Society of Magazine Editors chooses the top 40 covers of the past 40 years. Nice.

Congrats to Elizabeth on the book deal. Last week's Gawker drama was just too much.

TECH

NYT Mag's life hackers story does a good job of getting its arms around a complex topic, but I gotta believe that so much of this is still sci fi.

Time assembles a bunch of smart people to talk about technology.

wednesday
0 comments

Yo, I'm in Seattle Oct. 12-15. If you are too and wanna hang, drop me an email.

sunday
4 comments

While being interviewed the other day, someone asked me about my political affiliations. After stammering for a bit, I said, "Do you know the phrase 'South Park Republican'? I suppose I'm a 'Daily Show Democrat'." You heard it here first.

TV

Metacritic.com (which you might remember was recently purchased by CNet) has added tv reviews. So far, Prison Break has been my favorite show of the year, while critics have Everybody Hates Chris as the best.

So you're watching Lost, right? At first all this talk about the curse of The X-Files / Twin Peaks seemed a worthwhile concern, but season two has been great so far. So "4 8 15 16 23 42," right? The site 4815162342.com has been the best for gossip and theories, including one that concludes that the numbers are GPS coordinates. Damn, that's so... post-Google.

ONLINE

Back when my pal Andy launched Upcoming.org, I asked him what he'd do with all that money when Google bought him out. I was only wrong about one thing. Congrats, man.

Oh hell, Google launched a newsreader.

Blogebrity has more details on the Weblogs Inc deal with AOL.

After weaning myself off Gawker, the comments on threads like this just might bring me back.

WORDS

A full list of Dubya nicknames.

Chuck did a face-off with Bill Simmons last week. It turned out pretty good, except when they talk about blogging.

MUSIC

List: cool musicians who blog.

Ratsin-fratsin Spin.com didn't put up all of Phoebe's outrageous interview with Courtney Love, so here it is.

Pitchfork reviews the new Director's Label Series.

FILM

Hilarious remix of The Shining as a family flick.

Trailer to that new Woody Allen starring Scarlett Johansson.

SHIRTS

No, I Don't Want To Read Your Blog (or hear your demo).

GADGETS

Just the other day I decided I was tired of having eight remotes to run my house and bought a Harmony 880. And then PVRblog got one too.

MEDIA

Is it my imagination or has Wired News sorta fallen off the radar since they did those lay-offs a few months ago?

Salon.com redesigned. It looks like a mashup of Slate.com and The Huffington Report.

FUNNY

Aziz carries the world's shittiest mixtape around on a boombox.

The Onion: Project Manager Leaves Suicide PowerPoint Presentation.

The most awesome quarters players ever.

Hey, I was "on" the Harry Shearer show (audio) a couple weeks ago.

sunday
17 comments

TECH

Biz Week profiles Google hottie Marissa Mayer but doesn't mention that she's rumored to be Larry Page's girlfriend (which is revealed in a footnote of Battelle's The Search, which I'm just finishing up).

Engadget gets their hands on the new Windows-powered Treo 700. Looks like an upgrade to Rexie's life is coming soon.

IM Prank Bot.

ONLINE

Gawker opened up to invite-only comments. I'll give you one if you sneak me into a Kate Moss bathroom party.

SaveMyAss.com: "a personal assistant that keeps your girlfriend or wife happy by sending her flowers on your behalf, on a regular but semi-random basis." Created by James Hong, a HOTorNOT founder.

The Million Dollar Homepage is cruising along. I can't decide which I hate more: the idea, or that I didn't come up with the idea.

MEDIA

Nominees for the 2005 Online Journalism Awards. I'll be in NYC for the awards & conference next month.

NYT Mag's Funny Pages archive.

NYT interviews Christie Hefner: It's Not Her Father's Playboy.

Reporters Without Borders publishes a Handbook for Bloggers and Cyber-Dissidents (pdf).

This happened a while ago, but I'm finally getting around to reading CBSnews.com's new blog, Public Eye, which is supposed to bring transparency to CBS News. Oh, the magic of blogs.

MUSIC

Golden Fiddle reports that the new Gang of Four CD comes with an actual $1 bill inside. Ya gotta love that Marxist marketing.

Listen to a stream of Metric's new album, Live It Out, which comes out in a couple weeks. Or watch the video to the first single, "Monster Hospital." I've been hoping that Metric breaks through for a long time, and this might finally be that moment.

Stereogum has Liz Phair doing a cover of "Mother's Little Helper" (and here's a NY Daily News profile) while Dreams of Horses has M.I.A. covering the Kaiser Chiefs.

Ultragrrrl has a book, and I don't.

TV

Reality Blurred reports that the next Real World will be in Key West.

Boston.com: Top 50 Sci-Fi Shows of All Time.

FILM

Joss Whedon interviewed in the Times.

Trailer to Clooney's Good Night and Good Luck, about some guys named Murrow and McCarthy.

sunday
3 comments

FILM

Who wants to play Tube Poker? Cool, here are the rules and a trailer.

Trailer to Walk The Line, wherein Joaquin Phoenix plays Johnny and Reese Witherspoon plays June.

Cronenberg in the Times Mag.

ONLINE

A lot of people are talking about Yahoo's recent forays into content, including hiring Kevin Sites (who some people know as an intrepid Iraq blogger, but I know as the guy who beat me for the Wired Rave Award -- I kid). Yahoo has already launched a promotional page, Kevin Sites in the Hot Zone, which hints at some of what he will be doing.

Google Earth used to discover Roman ruins. Up next: WMDs in Iraq.

MUSIC

It took a full month for the New York Times to retaliate Salon's heavy-metal-is-smarter-than-you-think feature with their own heavy-metal-is-smarter-than-you-think feature.

Oh what the heck, another M.I.A. profile (WaPo). But the one in The Observer a couple weeks ago was better.

Please, someone else read the NYT Mag cover story on Bono and tell me if it's worth it, cuz it's just going to lay untouched by my bed for a week otherwise.

PRODUCTS

A while ago, The Onion did a parody of the Gillette vs. Schick battle over blades on the razor. Then it became real.

NOT FOOD

Smoking Gun: Hooter's Employee Manual.

MUSIC VIDEOS

I think Prodigy only exists to make music videos. The new one for "Voodoo People" is a reality tv sendup.

DESIGN

Huh, Business Week gave John Maeda a column.

tuesday
16 comments

Hey, what's new with you? Oh yeah? I got ceased and desisted.

monday
12 comments

WORDS

The Ten Stupidest Utopias. Good stuff, but B.F. Skinner's Walden 2 is missing.

FILM

Wait, how come no one told me about a Capote biopic starring Philip Seymour Hoffman?

Edge Codes is a film about film editing. Trailer.

A website for all those viral Serenity clips: Session 416.

MUSIC VIDEOS

Royksopp's "49 Percent".

Kano's "P's and Q's".

tATu's "All About Us".

Sigur Ros' "Glosoli".

BLOGS

You saw Sploid's redesign, right? Yeah, I dunno either.

monday
4 comments

TV

The new Danny Bonaduce show coming to VH1 in September sounds like the best celeb reality tv breakdown ever. Although the details about binge drinking, vicodin, and steroids might be the most interesting to some, I'm most enamored with the story about how he married his wife, the co-star of the show: drunk, on their first date, because she wouldn't have sex with him unless they were married. Awesome.

The first season of Lost came out on DVD today.

The NYT Mag cover story on Les Moonves is okay, but for its length, it left out several things, such as his tepid public relationship with Letterman (those are the only good episodes Letterman does anymore) and any crafting of how splitting up Viacom will affect CBS. For instance, look at something like Rock Star: INXS, which started on VH1 but eventually migrated over to CBS -- that kind of, er, synergy won't happen in a split-Viacom world.

If you still somehow don't have a TiVo, just follow Haughey's instructions on how to get paid to own one.

If you're a fan of Lost, I suggest The Lost Master Plan.

EW's Fall TV Preview is out. Unlike last year (Lost, Desperate Housewives, Veronica Mars), nothing looks great, except for maybe Martha Stewart's Apprentice.

MUSIC VIDEOS

Waxy.org says exactly what I think about the state of music videos online (and I've even thought about starting a business around this gripe). With Feist videos!

FILM

New Atom Egoyan, starring Kevin Bacon: Where The Truth Lies.

MUSIC

Who will be the first to sample Kanye's "George Bush doesn't care about black people"? Here's the video.

ONLINE

Ballmer: "I'm going to fucking kill Google." Heh.

WORDS

NYTBR wonders what happens to letters in the age of email.

wednesday
1 comment

DVD

The Suicide Girls have a DVD out. Amazon says 15% of the people who buy it also bought the Prozac Nation DVD. Not rated.

MUSIC

Lookie! New Franz Ferdinand video.

Plastic discusses "the perfect album."

New music releases today: Kanye West's Late Registration and Death Cab for Cutie's Plans.

TV

Awesome news for the best show on tv: Charlize Theron to be in this season's Arrested Development. She'll play Jason Bateman's love interest.

New on TV DVDs today: First Season of Roseanne.

MEDIA

Even the New York Times is paying attention to the Flying Spaghetti Monster now.

ONLINE

The Onion has a big new redesign, and the lead story right now is Google Announces Plans To Destroy All Information It Can't Index. Ouch, Google backlash from the hipsters.

Doonsbury: I'm so stealing that blog idea.

sunday
3 comments

MUSIC/ONLINE

When News Corp announced it was buying MySpace for $580 million, there was some speculation that Murdoch would use the site as a backdoor to competing with Viacom's MTV. News Corp execs shrugged this off, saying they were just interested in audience, not in changing MySpace. Then comes NYT Styles (yes! NYT Styles!), which throws MySpace as its lead story this week, with a final line quoting co-founder Tom Anderson (the guy who is friends with everyone who joins MySpace by default): "It's kind of like, who cares about MTV anymore?" Also revealed: MySpace will be creating a new record label, which will work under a major label's supervision. So with one purchase, Murdoch managed to sneak in a way to compete in three industries (internet, cable tv, and music).

For the second time this summer, business coverage of MTV lands on the front page of NYT Sunday Arts. This time, it's basically a look at MTV's "multi-plat-fornication" efforts disguised as a profile of the network's president, Van Toffler. The focus is on MTV Overdrive, which I predicted a while back would quickly disappear, but last night's VMAs were an attempt to prove the "broadband video channel" (blech) is a real competitor. I suppose this is one prediction I wouldn't mind being wrong about.

TV

Iraq has adopted Western-style reality tv in many forms, including Materials and Labor (basically Extreme Makeover: Home Edition) and Iraq Star (basically American Idol).

More on those viral Serenity promos over on Ponderance. I guarantee Whedon has been reading Gibson.

WORDS

The lead review in this week's NYTBR is Jay McInerney. He reviews a new novel that I've never heard of, but it's an interesting essay on first novels and the bildungsroman.

Umberto Eco on KCRW's Bookworm.

New Yorker: Dictionaries slip in fake words.

MUSIC

An obscenely large collection of Madonna through time: Madonnashots.com.

ILM thread on the VMAs. It's way to easy to be sarcastic about the VMAs, but this was easily the worst one in several years.

BLOGS

CJR interviews Jessica Coen and Jesse Oxfeld.

MUSIC VIDEOS

Me likey the new LCD Soundsystem video.

Mark Romanek guest hosts NYT's Playlist. Because the site doesn't nicely link to everything, here are most of the clips he mentions: Nine Inch Nail's "Only" | Beck's "E-Pro" | Iron and Wine, "Naked as We Came" | The Sun's "Romantic Death"| Bright Eyes' "Easy/Lucky/Free".

sunday
4 comments

ONLINE

I don't know if these are new, but I recently found links to some funny Ze Frank featurettes (i.e., commercials) on my Amazon wishlist: "History" and "Use".

Score one for our pals at Rocketboom who got on CBS the other night. Chuck has the video.

HEAVY METAL

Slate.com on heavy metal. Surprising number of underground metal bands cited.

Unbelievable. Slipknot is suing Burger King for that Coq Roq thing.

Top 10 Most Ridiculous Black Metal Pics of all Time: Part 1 and Part 2.

ADVERTISING

On my other site, I posted some of the ads from the Target issue of the New Yorker.

MUSIC

Ask Metafilter: Bands named after members of the band that aren't the lead vocalist.

Radiohead is sorta kinda blogging.

"Gwen Stefani's 'Hollaback Girl' is one of the most baffling pieces of music of the modern age."

FOOD

New foodie blog: Slashfood.

FILM

Roger Ebert himself jumps into the comments on a Cinematical thread.

This is either something stupidly viral or Joss Whedon is reading William Gibson.

Trailer to 10 mph, about riding a Segway across America.

MUSIC VIDEOS

New Smog video starring Chloe Sevigny.

New peculiar Mountain Goats video for "This Year".

FUNNY

The worst of HotOrNot.

Dilbert on tv news.

Carrot Top is disturbing.

sunday
7 comments

BLOGS

Yeah, Trump has one now too.

Comedy Central starts a blog, with links to videos.

Blogebrity: Kottke interview.

G.W. Bush: Podcaster.

FILM

Aeon Flux trailer, starring Charlize Theron and Frances McDormand.

The trailer to Doom would seem to suggest that movies based upon first-person-shooter games completely miss the point. See also: ItPlaysDoom.com.

Ebert gives his most-hated films.

Titles Designed By Saul Bass.

MUSIC VIDEOS

The new Green Day video is getting a surprising round of accolades.

New White Stripes video.

TV

Joss Whedon loves Veronica Mars too. See, I told you.

Engadget has pics of TiVo's upcoming download service. Looks like the first partner will be IFC, which is awesome because they happen to not be part of my Time-Warner cable package.

FOOD

NYT Mag is excited about cryovacking (sous vide).

I've been talking a lot again about trying to start a restaurant. I'm rather enamored by this idea to mix tv and dining, although it would play horribly in Minneapolis, which has the lowest tv-viewing rates per capita in the nation.

ONLINE

Rumor: Technorati about to be sold. Debate ensues on whether its to Google or Yahoo, while DataMining watches the rumor spread.

Rumor: Google and Apple to partner. Apple stocks rise.

Google halts Google Print. BoingBoing gathers some reactions.

Elizabeth Spiers and Danah Boyd were on To The Point for an episode on Google and security.

WORDS

NYTBR: Brett Easton Ellis reading from Lunar Park. Here's the review.

NYT looks at the change in books being stocked at airports (more smart non-fiction).

sunday
6 comments

Why lie, I need a beer. Correction: why lie, this is a link blog. As of today. Again.

FILM

Encyclopedia of Lesbian Movie Scenes.

The Strangers with Candy movie appears to be no more, which is odd because Stephen Colbert and Amy Sedaris are pretty much at the top of their game right now.

MUSIC

Bjork's soundtrack to Barney's Drawing Restraint 9 comes out Aug. 23. There's also an import.

WORDS

NYT calls Brett Easton Ellis "The Man in the Mirror." His new book, Lunar Park, comes out next week.

GAMES

Busting open machinima to the masses, the NYT Mag: The Xbox Auteurs.

TV

If you heard that HBO's Entourage was good, here's your chance to judge for yourself.

MUSIC

Cool (literally) Ladytron video.

T-SHIRTS

Freakonomics t-shirts.

GADGETS

It's been a long while (a whole year!) since I cared about new cellphones, but the Treo 670 running on Windows Mobile is intriguing.

BLOGGING

So Microsoft is back in the content game? Color me confused! Filter is apparently a blog network. After poking around at them for a bit, I can't even get into how horribly executed they are.

And I have no comment on that thing in Gawker, Current.TV, or Robert Novak.

sunday
7 comments

MEDIA

Tucker Carlson and Jon Stewart are going head-to-head again. Their shows will air at the same time.

NYTBR has Richard Posner looking at the media.

MUSIC

NYT's Sunday arts cover story is on the history and future of the music video.

Spin.com: Klosterman Q&A.

ONLINE

Wired's 10 years cover story is starting to appear online. Good stuff, including Kevin Kelly's We Are The Web.

Of all the uses for Google Maps, this is by far the mostest awesomest. Instant maps of where the hotties are.

Speaking of which, did you know that there's a Google TV ad campaign for Google Maps?

FILM

NYT Mag profiles Jim Jarmusch.

Quirk ensemble indie film or trite remake of the genre, you decide.

An excellent list of good upcoming movies. (New ones by David Lynch, LaBute, Aronofsky, Tarantino, Linklater, etc.) Looks like 2006 will be a good year for film.

T-SHIRTS

What Is Scientology?

BLOGS

The Onion A/V Club has a blog.

BlogHer was the place to meet babes this weekend. Oh, I'm so bad. Here's a Flickr stream.

wednesday
0 comments

Don't ask. Really, just don't ask.

DVD

You saw that Errol Morris' First Person and DVD Collection came out yesterday, right? Delish.

BLOGS

Forbes: Best of the Web, The Blog Edition.

Lockhart (Curbed, Gawker) has a strange video profile where you see him blog. And Elizabeth Spiers (Mediabistro) has a profile of her own.

ONLINE

I'm not unbeaten at AimFight, but I've got a pretty good record. (Username: ibsrex)

How Craigslist has changed New York.

OJR is trying to do a Wiki story on video journalists.

MUSIC VIDEOS

NIN's "Only".

ADVERTISING

Yeah, another Burger King minisite. This one is a faux metal band named Coq Roq.

FILM

The reason you've seen Natalie Portman bald: V for Vendetta trailer.

DATING

Whoa, this NYT story says that 58 percent of people have dated someone at work.

saturday
5 comments

Big news! Because I really didn't have enough to do, I launched a t-shirt line on my local (Twin Cities) site. The options are mostly -- but not exclusively -- local, but you'd be surprised how many snarky t-shirt buyers we have. In addition to plugs in both local dailies, the New York Times even mentions one of our t-shirts today in a profile of the movie version of our little home-grown radio franchise. To quote: "The movie [A Prairie Home Companion] is being shot digitally, so the Altman crew has managed to feather itself into the old theater with a minimum of impact. And because it is a local boy's project, the locals have taken to the filming with calm and equanimity -- give or take a 'Prairie Ho Companion' shirt -- even though Major Hollywood Stars are in downtown St. Paul, a little city that takes pride, not offense, in its general reputation for sleepiness." That tee -- "A Prairie Ho Companion" -- is our best seller, so buy now before they run out.

tuesday
15 comments

Alright hipsters, now's your chance to wrangle with your midwestern nightmare. I will be in New York City very soon -- July 15-19. Each day already has an event attached to it (HiFi on Friday, Siren Music Festival on Saturday, Eyebeam on Sunday, Chuck's book launch party on Monday), but if you drop me an email, we can probably find a place to meetup.

TV

So I'm watching the Daily Show yesterday and I'm instantly concentrating on the new set. I understand what they're trying to do -- move away from being a night time talk show set (think Johnny Carson) and be more of a conversation set (think Charlie Rose). That part doesn't bother me. But the graphics are just weird. Dana Stevens at Slate was freaked out.

Who cares that Paris and Nicole aren't on speaking terms -- they're still being forced to do a tv show together.

PUBLISHING

A long academic paper that studies students' motives for using RateMyProfessors.com. There's irony in there somewhere.

FILM

Today I downgraded my Netflix account to the two-movies-at-a-time option because I was using my three-movies option enough. But now, HackingNetflix discovers that Netflix' download service may be coming soon, which makes me wonder what the pricing would be.

I haven't watched much yet, but I'm immediately excited by some new machinima: This Spartan Life, which is a live talk show using the Halo engine. Future of the Book has a profile.

Kevin Smith has a blog.

The trailer for Wedding Crashers lets up you upload a picture of yourself and become one of the characters. It's gimmicky, but it also has beginnings of a good idea.

Trailer to Shopgirl, based on a Steve Martin novella, also starring Claire Danes and Jason Schwartzman. Funny, I didn't think of Lost in Translation until the font for the titles appeared.

GAMES

Wired News on the new alternate-reality game, Perplex City.

monday
9 comments

MEDIA

Somehow Newsweek got ahold of the Cooper/Rove emails, and Isikoff says that Rove was the source but probably didn't knowingly reveal Plame's name. Dude, I've tried that excuse so many times, and she's never bought it....

On The Media has a decent piece (audio) starring Clay Shirky on Wikipedia's coverage of the London bombing.

Did you see who's replacing Howard Stern? The '80s are truly back.

The New York Observer redesigned their website, which needed it very badly.

ROOFTOPS

You know already these two things about me: 1) I hate New Yorkers who talk about their stupid rooftop parties (I even said so on Rocketboom), and 2) the Sunday NYT Styles section makes me reach for the revolver. Put those together and you get The High Life. That sound you hear is a growl.

BLOGS

PostSecret.com.

File under: blogs will eat themselves. The guy who started Gawkerist is now the new editor Gridskipper.

ONLINE

Can't Find On Google (dot-com).

Amazon.com is 10 years old. USA Today did an interview with Bezos, and NYT gave him a (mildly negative) full-length profile.

TV

Hooking Up, which is sort of reality-tv-meets-documentary look at online dating, premieres this Thursday on ABC. NYT has a quick interview with the director.

GAMES

NYT on the making of the Godfather videogame.

MUSIC

Mash-up: White Stripes + Jay-Z.

The Scotsman likes the new Franz Ferdinand tracks.

Sexy album covers.

MUSIC VIDEOS

Kayne West's new video looks like one of those a Flash intro screen for one of those "design your house" websites.

T-SHIRTS

"Hey, Aren't We Friends on My Space?"

CELEBS

Tom Cruise Is Nuts (dot-com).

tuesday
5 comments

What did I do over the long weekend? I saw both War of the World and Star Wars: Episode Three, so that you don't have to. But mostly I waited for the "Karl Rove is the Valerie Plame leak" plot to develop -- but it hasn't even made it onto NYT yet. Please God, let it be Rove.

BLOGS

Someone should write a crazy-murderer-speech-algorithm that catches things like this blog, which was written by Joseph Duncan, who's being held for murder in Idaho. I have a ton more links over at MNspeak.

Reading NYT's piece on writers who are using blogs to help write books, it's immediately glaring how many of these books are exactly what my friends and I are reading right now (including Steven Levitt's Freakonomics and Steven Johnson's Everything Bad Is Good For You) and are looking forward to reading (including David Weinberger's Everything Is Miscellaneous, Chris Anderson's The Long Tail, and John Battelle's The Search.

Tony Pierce lists the 100 Greatest American Men of All Time.

FILM

In a wait rivaling Chinese Democracy, the release of the movie Prozac Nation is finally upon us today -- but it went straight to DVD.

MEDIA

Wired has most of its Remix issue online. It's my favorite issue in many months.

NYT reports on Romenesko's salary, a cool $169K/year.

MUSIC

NME has a bit about Franz Ferdinand's new album, due in September. And another bit about The Darkness' new album, due in October.

127 is a Iranian band that has been trying to play in the U.S. since at least SXSW, but hasn't gotten in yet. And they don't sound bad. Here's one profile from the Chi Trib about them.

Missy Elliot's new album, The Cookbook, comes out today.

CELEBRITY

Finally, it took Tom Cruise to get the brilliance of Brooke Shields onto the NYT Op/Ed pages.

BOOKS

Suicide Girls interviews Rick Moody.

DESIGN

158-image slideshow from IDEA / Business Week's annual designs awards.

SHOES

Casa Camper is a Barcelona hotel designed by Camper shoes. Yeah, I don't get it either.

ART

Decent NYT story on wetware (aka bioart).

thursday
4 comments

Am I a blog casualty? Heck no, I've just been busy over at MNspeak. You have to understand, we have Lindsay Lohan in town right now, and the whole state is a-twitter.

TV

Did you watch the first episode of Stella on Comedy Central? The promotion machine has been gigantic (I heard that somewhere here in Minneapolis they were giving away free Stella Artois to promote the show). Here's Slate.com's view. My thoughts: I didn't laugh once. Sorry guys, it's not even as funny as The Office remake.

WORDS

Suicide Girls interview Chuck Palahniuk.

ADVERTISING

How many burgers did that racy Paris Hilton advert sell? Almost none.

Nike apologized for their Minor Threat ad. But the ILM thread on this was quite good.

Ad-free versions of Gawker and Page 6.

ONLINE

Gothamist has a salacious interview with Washingtonienne. The best part is where she talks about her night out with Ana Marie Cox, and then says they don't talk anymore but suggests there's an off-the-record story to be told.

What happened to Suck.com? The full (very full) story.

Lately, I spend several hours a day reading what other dot-com media companies are doing (today, I read at least a dozen different articles on Yahoo's new My Web 2.0 ). It takes something like this NYT story to remind me of all the stuff that's happened in the last couple weeks -- and since that article yesterday there has been updates to Google Print, Yahoo's Map API, Amazon's A9, etc., etc. It's a crazy time.

I completely missed this... did everyone know that the new iTunes supports videoblogs too? Rocketboom on my iTunes, delish. And since you can charge for feeds.... could this be intro to micropayments?

FUNNY

Best. Blog. Ever.

The Onion: New Us Quarterly To Explore Celebrity Issues In More Depth.

FILM

The trailer for King Kong, which stars Naomi Watts and Jack Black, looks like outtakes from Jurrasic Park.

tuesday
8 comments

Let me tell you a story.

    The first couple months of college sucked. I was a pre-med student at a boring midwest state school who hung out with other boring pre-med kids from the midwest. It was like high school, except everyone wanted to be valedictorian. The best thing I could say about my doctor-to-be friends was that they were as exciting as organic chemistry.

    One day, I accidentally walked into a dorm room where a couple slacker kids were on the floor playing Nintendo. Not even bothering to notice what game they were playing, I immediately focused on the poster hanging on the wall. It was a standard-issue Michael Jordan dunk shot -- the kind of poster that has no purpose other than to hang in a dorm room. Except the ingenious Nintendo players had taken a standard 8.5 x 11 piece of paper, cut a 3 x 3 hole in the center, taped it over the poster so that the hole highlighted one player in the fuzzy background on the bench beneath Jordan's splayed legs, and scribbled "Detlef Schrempf" on the poster.

    I instantly knew that these guys were going to be my friends.

And now, let's have Chuck give his version:

    I met My Nemesis in November 1990. I walked into somebody's dorm room to play Nintendo, and he was sitting on the bed, holding an acoustic guitar on which he could play only one note -- the opening note of Tesla's "Love Song." He was wearing a denim jacket, and he had used a black Magic Marker to draw the symbol for anarchy on the back. It was just about the silliest thing I had ever seen. We immediately became friends.

The first story is how I remember meeting Chuck Klosterman; the second is how he tells it in his new book, Killing Yourself To Live, which officially comes out today.

I'm not here to tell you Chuck is lying about how we met. For his last book, I did a point-by-point response to what he wrote about us, and he almost seems to concede fuzzy historical remembrances this time around by subtitling the book "85% of a True Story." Actually, I might be completely wrong about what really happened. In fact, "what really happened" is probably a useless concept when discussing drunken Nintendo battles.

(But just for the record, let's get a parenthetical in here. I am resisting the temptation to tell you the 15 percent that is inaccurate in his telling of our times together -- which you can hear for yourself in this MP3 of him reading from that chapter. But again, that's not what I'm here to talk about, because, for the most part, it's "true" (especially when you put it in quotes), and whatever isn't true is better this way anyway.)

Here's where I should tell you about the book. KYTL is basically a travelogue disguised as a memoir. First devised as an article for Spin, the ostensible narrative is Chuck travelling around America and visiting the places that rock stars died -- but that's all subterfuge for reflecting on various relationships and friendships from the past (and that's all subterfuge for reflecting on life and death). When he comes to Minneapolis (in theory, to visit the place Bobby Stinson died), the book recounts how a group of music critics (plus me, "someone who probably should have been a music critic") go to the Kitty Cat Klub, drink too much, argue way too much, go back to my house, drink more, climb on the roof, and nearly kill ourselves. And yeah, there's some stuff about the fist-fights we had in college.

Now that's out of the way, so let's get back to what I wanted to say. Look at the two different stories at the top of this page -- now ask yourself this: Which story is better? In college, this was the kind of thing that Chuck and I would have argued about for a week -- not just whose story is better, but what percentage of other people would think each is better, and who told the story most economically, and which story was more historically true, and if historical accuracy even matters, and who would play the parts in the movie of this story, and what Kant thought "better" actually meant, and so on. It was completely nuts.

But it was also probably the most important time of my life. Even though there were several occasions where I literally wanted to strangle him, nowadays my emotions about Chuck are pretty simple: I think he's funny, and he only occasionally pisses me off. As for "what really happened," it's all a blur, some of it intentionally so. But I now know this: I learned more about friendship from him than anyone else in my life.

But I can still totally kick his ass.

The link farm:
Buy the book
Listen to part of the book
Discussed on Stereogum.
On The O.C.
Entertainment Weekly review
KYTL being made into movie.
The Dessert Island Question.
Book Notes from Large-Hearted Boy

sunday
2 comments

TV

The stupid TiVo auto-recorded the final episode of the Capital Gang this weekend, and it made me wonder if political shows have always been this dull.

MUSIC

NYT Mag profiles Nic Harcourt, "the star maker of the semipopular," of KCRW radio.

Nike rips off Minor Threat. And Hot Topic is selling John Coltrane t-shirts.

BOOKS

Why someone isn't translating these Saddam Hussein novels into English is a complete mystery to me.

The world's most popular authors (according to Google Adsense).

Apparently NYTRB couldn't avoid reviewing The Washingtonienne and finally caved in.

ART

The Salvador Dalí Museum (which is right next to the Poynter Institute in St. Petersburg) is moving, thanks to Jeb Bush.

McSweeney's: Things Not Overheard At A Conceptual-Art Gallerying Opening.

MISC. WORK THINGS

Little Lost Robot likes my "Send To Proof" button!

Whenever someone uses the word juvenile to describe some piece of cultural junk, I immediately want it. That said, I've never really understood the appeal of NewsBreakers.org, the pranksters behind the tv live-shot media stunts. However, NYT chooses to stack them next to Howard Stern and the Merry Pranksters. I guess if there were more of a point to what they do (like, say, The Guerilla Girls), I might be more sympathetic. Then again, saying that these pranks lack a point is, well, missing the point. I guess.

In college, Lawrence, Kan. was synonymous with William Burroughs (for me, anyway). Now, in my new media work world, it's forever associated with online news innovation. NYT looks at what The Lawrence Journal-World is in The Newspaper of the Future.

tuesday
2 comments

MUSIC

Does anyone else find it suspicious that Billy Corgan has taken out an advert (pdf) to reunite Smashing Pumpkins on the very day that his new solo album came out. Billy, why didn't you just become a contestant on Rock Star?

New LCD Soundsystem video.

TV

This is sorta interesting... to synch up with the release of the Bewitched movie, the first season of the tv show has been released in both color and black and white.

ONLINE

Suicide Girls DVD trailer (NSFW, duh).

Thanks for nothing.

FUNNY

The Onion in the year 2056.

FOOD

New York jumps into the foie gras fracas.

DESIGN

History of the Starbuck's logo.

sunday
3 comments

ONLINE MEDIA

The L.A. Times has pulled down Wikitorial (announced here and touted and denounced in many places).

MSN is hiring bloggers.

In the past, you needed a RealOne subscription to watch video on CNN.com. Starting today, you no longer do.

MSNBC.com teases its redesign.

I have been ignoring the debate about whether Google is a media company (such absolutist categorical thinking -- similar to "are bloggers journalists?" -- bores me), but here's NYT mentioning it in their "What's Online" column, which is clearly struggling at this point.

MUSIC VIDS

Forget those wannabes, here's the real deal: Nancy Sinatra's "The Boots Were Made For Walking" (1966).

TECH

Microsoft is developing a BitTorrent alternative.

I have no idea why everyone is surprised that Google is developing a PayPal rival. The second that Google Video was announced, it was an obvious step (and Google Print will likely be next).

YouTube. It appears to be Flickr for video... and I think it's new. At the same time, Vimeo has moved out of beta.

SHOES & TEES

Custom M.I.A. Reeboks.

Gimme.

WORDS

Dave Eggers issues a "small correction" on Neal Pollack's strange essay in NYTBR.

AUDIO

Steve Jobs' Stanford Commencement Speach.

Sexy podcasts.

MUSIC

The Onion A.V. Club presents this mixlist of highlights from moments when gaming and music collide.

wednesday
0 comments

ART

Finally! Bjork and Matthew Barney are working on a project together: Drawing Restraint 9.

ONLINE

Good stuff: EFF's Legal Guide for Bloggers.

The winners of the Contagious Media showdown have been announced.

GAMES

McSweeney's: Top Three Things Q*Bert Is Pissed About.

Pac-Man turns 25.

FILM

The 30th Anniversary DVD of Jaws came out yesterday.

Huffington Report: Errol Morris interview.

MUSIC

This week's new releases? Oh, alright: Foo Fighters, Dwight Yoakam, and Pernice Brothers.

WORDS

Wonkette's novel, Dog Days, is now available on pre-order on Amazon (though it's not out until 2006). Oooh, read the description -- looks like there are some roman à clef opportunities there.

The Anarchist Cookbook author disavows his book on Amazon.

sunday
4 comments

RANDOMLY FOUND ONLINE

World Beard and Moustache Championships.

55 Optical Illusions & Visual Phenomena.

24 Different Ways To Lace Shoes.

T-SHIRTS

Free Katie tees.

From the "pro-life store": Former Embryo.

There's some buzz online right now about the American Apparel models being a tad on the youngish side. You can judge for yourself.

MUSIC VIDEOS

Willie Nelson is really the highlight of Jessica Simpson's "The Boots Were Made For Walking" video. No, really.

The new Bloc Party video goes the way of Gorillaz: "Pioneers".

MUSIC

Slate.com: What's the worst ad song ever?

Mashup: Snoop Dogg vs. Led Zeppelin (mp3).

Mondo Kim's raided. Huh?

Liz Phair acoustic tour.

Pitchfork gives DJ Shadow's Entroducing... Deluxe Edition a 10.0.

Pink Floyd reunites with Gilmour, Waters, Mason and Wright.

For those who didn't even hear the music: Eleni Mandell, who sang the song in that Paris Hilton Carl Jr.'s advert, to release "I Love Paris" single.

WORDS

Malcolm Gladwell: My work space.

BLOGGING

NYT has launched their column that purports to be a snapshop of blog talk. Their first topic? Mark Cuban. Hm.

FILM

David Lynch's new movie: INLAND EMPIRE (and yes, it's apparently all in caps).

sunday
4 comments

I will be in New Orleans for the Interactive Media Conference most of this week. Blogging could be light until next week.

friday
4 comments

ONLINE

The Washingtonienne snuck onto bookshelves this week. A few reviews: Wired | DCist | WashPost. And an excerpt.

The Gawker kids launched a new blog: Oddjack, about gambling.

MEDIA

80 Years of The New Yorker to Be Offered in Disc Form. Comes out in October. Amazon pre-order.

MUSIC

Someone must remix these: World Livestock Auctioneer Championship MP3.

New White Stripes video: Blue Orchid. Also, Jack White just married a Brazillian supermodel.

Some of my favorite music bloggers have created the Music Blog Network.

Celine Dion Weird Al-ing Michael Jackson. Strange.

MARKETING

MTV's new viral campaign: MTV Video Awards Categories That Didn't Make It.

Okay Stella Artois advert.

Interview with Rob Walker, who does the highly-recommended "Consumed" column in the Times Mag.

EDUCATION

Have you seen the essay question that has been added to the SATs? Being a kid today sucks: "A sense of happiness and fulfillment, not personal gain, is the best motivation and reward for one's achievements. Expecting a reward of wealth or recognition for achieving a goal can lead to disappointment and frustration. If we want to be happy in what we do in life, we should not seek achievement for the sake of winning wealth and fame. The personal satisfaction of a job well done is its own reward."

FILM

Did you hear that Johnny Depp tries to act like Michael Jackson all the way through Charlie and the Chocolate Factory? Seems to be true: a new trailer.

New Wong Kar-Wai! New Wong Kar-Wai! New Wong Kar-Wai! (We've only been talking about it for two years, but at least there's a trailer now.)

I haven't read it yet, but you can be sure it's bookmarked: Zizek on Revenge of the Sith.

ART

10 Most-Faked Artists.

LOCAL

I've been putting a lot of time into MNspeak lately, so we've been a little slow here on Fimoc.

tuesday
6 comments

WORDS

Awesome: List of fictional curse words.

Common Errors in English.

McSweeney's: Pickup Lines: The First Drafts.

Random House: Twentysomething Essays by Twentysomething Writers Contest.

ONLINE

Best CNN.com homepage ever.

Best TV promo ever.

First indication [?] of who's behind Blogebrity.

I haven't been following Podcasting on this site, but I found it odd that TV Guide is now podcasting.

MUSIC

That immensely annoying frog song is at the top of the British charts.

Kaleefa Sanneh sings the praises of the new White Stripes.

New releases today: A Bjork remix and covers album, a new Oasis (which is getting a surprising amount of attention), and a new Smog.

New Yorker: The Record Effect.

In Spin, Chuck dissects music genres. "IDM: This is an acronym for 'Intelligent Dance Music.' Really. No, really. I'm serious. This is what they call it. Really."

Nerve.com: Sex Advice from Accordion Players.

TV

The first and second seasons of Moonlighting came out on DVD today.

TVsquad interviews Kendra from The Apprentice, who will be heading down to Palm Beach to oversee construction of a new Trump mansion, and according to this Palm Beach Post story, taking a salary cut.

FILM

New Wallace & Gromit trailer.

A lucious six-flick Steve McQueen box set came out today. Makes me want to watch Bullitt right now.

Oliver Stone Arrested on Drug, DUI Charges.

MEDIA

Are you reading NYT's series on Class? Here's a fun interactive graphic showing how much class you have.

Kurt Andersen thinks Radar looks just a wee bit like another magazine from the '80s.

BOOKS

Bookforum: Pynchon From A to V.

NYT Styles this week looks at the glut of sex-themed books, which I won't say a thing about because I know at least two girls writing these.

I don't know if anyone is reading Umberto Eco's new book, but here's a profile of him in the Telegraph.

Orson Scott Card Has Always Been an Asshat.

friday
15 comments

SHAMELESS SELF-PROMOTION

I was on Rocketboom earlier this week, talking about MNspeak.com and sparring with Amanda about rooftops.

SCIENCE

Finally, the've found the part of my brain that's overstimulated.

TV

For unexplainable reasons, the Lost Remote thread about Lost (the tv show) goes ape shit with comments. Also, there are two viral websites related to the show: Oceanic Airlines (the airline in the show) and Drive Shaft (Charlie's band).

FILM

New Cronenberg: A History of Violence trailer.

More details on Linklater's Fast Food Nation.

Me And You And Everyone We Know is getting mass attention right now (on the cover of both Filmmaker and Res). Trailer and blog.

Chronicles of Narnia and Dukes of Hazard trailers.

ONLINE

It's weird how I completely forgot that FuckedCompany.com (who were sorta important at one time) existed. The L.A. Times has a profile of its creator, who has a new dot-com venture.

Wired News' Media Hack on Salon (who maybe should be the company that we forgot yet it somehow survived).

Top 50 Internet Advertisers In April.

MUSIC

Steve Malkmus on Daddytypes.com.

tuesday
2 comments

BLOGS

Jessica Coen of Gawker interviewed in Gothamist.

I'm on Blogebrity's "A-List." Now I'm blushing. Anyway, this attempt to get megalomaniac bloggers like me to link to it is of course part of the Contagious Media Showdown.

Did I say jokes are dead? Your blog is so....

MUSIC

Pitchfork's Summer Reading List.

New albums from Sleater-Kinney, Gorillaz, and Steve Malkmus came out today.

Billy Corgan hates Zwan too. And it turns out I've seen James Iha 5 more times than Billy has in the last four years.

sunday
2 comments

LIFE

It should be that time of the week to roll out the Times Styles section and ridicule the cover story. Except this week, the story happens to be something that I've been saying for a while: the joke is dead. There was a time when people told jokes all the time at parties, but now everything is situational humor and nuanced wit. I will even occasionally tell jokes at parties, wait for people not to laugh, and then launch my shtick about the death of the joke. Yeah, that's right, I use the concept of jokes to set up idea humor. So anyway, NYT Styles, I applaud you for not being one big joke again this week.

Merriam-Webster: Top 10 Favorite Words Not in the Dictionary.

MEDIA

Who says the flash-in-the-pan media doesn't follow-up on stories after they've faded as talking points? WaPo has a long story on the hacker behind Paris Hilton's Sidekick scam.

I found an issue of Radar today (not supposed to be available for a couple days), and you know what? It's actually pretty good.

ONLINE

My dear internet, you have jumped the shark. Blogebrity.

NYT on Rocketboom's search for a weather person.

MUSIC

David Cross: Albums to Listen to While Reading Overwrought Pitchfork Reviews.

MIDI GNR: SelfSimilarGNR.com. Sounds a bit like Axl done by Kraftwerk.

NYT: Neil Diamond hanging with Rick Rubin.

New Basement Jaxx video: "U Don't Know Me."

FILM

Richard Linklater to direct movie version of Fast Food Nation (that isn't Supersize Me).

New documentary on the history of women's wrestling: Lipstick & Dynamite trailer. (This would have been the perfect opportunity to finally have a female voice do the trailer.)

Film Critic: The All-Time Top 100 Voices in the Movies.

NYT: For $1 You, Too, Can Be an Executive Producer. Profiles the attempts of MovieForTheMasses.org and IBI Films to micro-fund movie projects.

New Greg Araki: Mysterious Skin trailer.

WORDS

The meta-ness of Brett Easton Ellis.

LOCAL

Over on MNspeak, the Rogue Taxidermy cabal have a new website, Chuck was on the O.C., Flashmobs revisited, and Bob Mould releases new songs.

tuesday
4 comments

Early warning: I'll be in New Orleans June 7-9. If you will be too, let me know.

MEDIA

Yeah, Radar launched. We have officially entered the age of The NYC Media Glut.

MUSIC

Gang of Four's Entertainment! was re-released today.

50 Fun Things To Do With Your iPod (besides listen to music with those white earbuds).

Whatever happened to the kid on the Nirvana Nevermind cover?

TV

What's life really like for one of Donald Trump's apprentices?

FILM

Fearless Freaks, the Flaming Lips doc, came out today on DVD. So did Season Three of Six Feet Under.

monday
5 comments

TV

Time catches up with David Chapelle in South Africa.

It would appear that Arrested Development did not get axed.

MTV: Pimp My Trailer.

NBC's upcoming summer shows. Meh.

MUSIC VIDEOS

New Hot Hot Heat, directed by DNA's Marc Webb.

CONSUMPTION

Levi's new campaign: metrosexuality + naked GI Joe's + opera.

ONLINE

In something you just don't expect to see in your Sunday Times, James Fallows writes about Ajax, Flash, and other asynchronous internet strategies.

After leaving San Jose Mercury News, Dan Gillmor has started his first project: Bayosphere.

MUSIC

Own the audio to the shows you saw last summer: Pixiesdiscs.com.

Look, Nobody Cares That You're a DJ.

LOCAL

Over on MNspeak, we track every local reference on the new Hold Steady album and connect the Blu Dots.

thursday
3 comments

FILM

What would it look like if the Times started to blog? Like this. Not bad, really.

The trailer to David La Chapelle's Rize is finally out. If you've forgotten, this is the documentary about Krumping, which is basically clowns meet hip-hop.

NSFW

What's up with the recent trend of R-rated music videos? Here's one Louis XIV did with a few Suicide Girls.

ONLINE

Google bought Dodgeball.com earlier this week.

DAILY SHOW

Get paid to watch (and write about) The Daily Show.

If you missed it, here's the hilarious Daily Show spot about cable news and blogs. The "Inside The Blogs" show on CNN is a favorite laughing point for me at work every day.

T-SHIRTS

Some new tees at La Fraise.

DESIGN

Netscape.com has redesigned completely in Flash.

monday
9 comments

WORDS

In the New Yorker, Malcolm Gladwell reviews the new Steven Johnson book.

MUSIC

Le Tigre is writing a track with Paris Hilton.

Weezer's new album, Make Believe, which Pitchfork gives a 0.4, came out today. So did Spoon's newest, Gimme Fiction.

The Hold Steady are reviewed in the New Yorker and are on the cover of The Village Voice.

M.I.A. finally reviewed on NPR.

The History Of Sampling.

DJ Spooky Raps in Wired News on Remixing.

MARKETING

Three new Firefox spots.

Nike finally created a spot to follow-up Tiger Woods' 16th hole shot at the Masters.

TV

I haven't given the Huffington Post a real ride around the block yet, but I did read Tina Brown's mildy funny 10 Things I Learned at Topic A.

Today's the big day: the season finale of Veronica Mars. Here's a new interview with the creator, Rob Thomas, which contains a question about the DVD release.

DVD

Four notable new releases today: The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou, The Complete First Season of The Partridge Family, Hoop Dreams, and Kinsey.

sunday
7 comments

MUSIC

Some video involving Paris Hilton and Fat Boy Slim. I'm told this is a viral video to promote the release of Fat Boy Slim's new video. Which is the most hyper-real thing I've heard this month.

TV

Last week, AP ran a story about my pals at Rocketboom.

Tina Brown's Topic A goes bye-bye.

Systems of the Down got the F-word in SNL. Yawn.

Pat O'Brien Soundboard.

BLOGGERS

Apparently because they haven't put Gawker on the Business page yet (next up: Travel?), NYT chats up the Gawker gang. What's the scoop? Blogs are over-hyped. Yeah, tell that to Calacanis, who is being stalked.

Tony Pierce was fired from his job at E!

NYT Editorial page gets all sappy about blogger ethics. Jarvis responds.

Tick-tock, tick-tock, tick-tock.... (Update, it launched.)

LOCAL

Over on MNspeak, some notes on Low, a non-debate about IFP MSP, and the phone book doubles in size.

friday
0 comments

ONLINE

I feel like the entire internet is debating the Google Web Accelerator at this very moment.

Casting The Blog movie.

T-SHIRTS

Did T-Shirt Hell Find God?

CONSUMPTION

The Japanese keep inventing new ways to tell time.

WORDS

Steven Johnson's new book, Everything Bad Is Good for You, came out yesterday. If you don't know about it, Kottke can bring you up to speed.

Amy Sedaris interviewed in Bust.

MUSIC

NIN covers Johnny Cash. Heh.

FILM

Buried in this piece about Hayden Christensen it says that Tom Stoppard was a writer behind the new Star Wars.

tuesday
7 comments

MUSIC

It's Tuesday, so what are the new music releases? Glad you asked. We have a new Nine Inch Nails (With Teeth), a new Raveonettes (Pretty In Black), a new Aimee Mann (The Forgotten Arm), and a new Hold Steady (Separation Sunday).

Since there's no such thing as linking to an Esquire column, I'll point to Stereogum's large excerpt of Chuck's 21 CDs From the Past 3 Years. I think several of these are actually inspired by real people, and #10 is very likely me: "The Thrills, So Much for the City (2003): You will like this album if your apartment is actually a bar." And #1 couldn't be more perfect: "1. The Hold Steady Almost Killed Me (2004): You will like this album if you used to like AC/DC but now you just read a lot."

CELEBRITY

I thought the Michael Jackson trial on E! was pretty creepy, but putting Elizabeth Smart on People's 50 Most Beautiful People is downright insane.

NYT: Paris Inc.

TV

Does CNN have a stupid keyword stuffing campaign going on?

ONLINE

That's cool, Peter Rojas got a Bill Gates interview on Engadget.

WORDS

A new Chuck Palahniuk book, Haunted, is out today.

INTERACTIVE SHOES

Nike has a new towering presence in Times Square -- 22-story digital screen that you can control by calling a phone number build a personalized pair of shoes. A friend sent a picture.

monday
6 comments

Many of you have written to ask why I haven't said a word about Tina Fey's baby announcement. Yes, okay, I am a little upset that she didn't tell me first. Now that the humiliation is out there, let's check in with the scary & sexy nerds known as the blogosphere:

INTERNET/SEX

Nerve.com does Sex Advice From Bloggers. They never asked, but my answer to "What's the best way to get a blogger to go home with you?" would have been "tell him he looks hotter in real life than in that weird picture on the blog."

In Wired News, Regina Lynn take a look at HighJoy, a melding of dating, chat, and teledildonics.

FILM

New blog: Posterwire, a movie poster blog.

WORDS

They'll let anyone write a book nowadays... even fictional characters.

How Google is conquering TLS's Author Author quiz.

DESIGN

Amazon.com is trying to clean up the way they look -- no more infinite tabs.

MEDIA

File under: New York Post is doomed. Google is developing an algorithm for determining quality in news.

Unless you're in the creepy parts of the blogosphere, you don't see people linking to The Nation much anymore. But there's a decent story on the challenges that Al Gore's new network, Current, faces.

TV

Did anyone see the last episode of Wonder Showzen? The theme was patience, and until half-way through the show, the joke was that everything was going to be drawn out to stupidity. It was as funny as tedious gets. Then the second half of the show was the entire first half of the show played in reverse. There hasn't been anything this weird on tv since Andy Kaufman.

The TV News Drinking Game.

MUSIC

Video of New Order performing "Love Will Tear Us Apart" on Jimmy Kimmel's show.

NPR interviews Ian MacKaye about his new band, The Evens, which sounds surprisingly like a lot of Twin Cities bands.

SHOES

New book: Sneakers: The Complete Collectors' Guide.

LOCAL

Over on MNspeak, we've got news about the only two world-famous Minnesota Jews: Tom Friedman and Al Franken. (I know, I know, Dylan is sometimes Jewish too. But he doesn't write or call home anymore.)

thursday
6 comments

MAGAZINES

Here I was talking about the Steven Johnson and Tom Friedman excerpts in magazines, but I completely overlooked that I was excerpted in Wired this month. Well, it's a blurb excerpt of this piece I wrote about viral marketing. Here's a picture of the excerpt, which you'll find on page 89 of the current issue on newsstands (the Star Wars one).

TV

No surprise, NBC's version of the The Office is about to get cancelled.

Ladies and gentleman, the most boring tv show of all time.

FILM

Batman Begins trailer.

BLOGS

ifuckedanncoulterintheasshard.blogspot.com. "hard" is such a nice touch.

The Guardian pretends to get a peak on the new Huffington blog. And here's a list of 47 of the supposed 250 super-bloggers lined up. In what could be the strangest list of people of all time, we have Bill Maher, Christie Hefner, David Geffen, David Mamet, Diane Keaton, Gary Hart, Gwyneth Paltrow, Harry Shearer, Jann Wenner, John Cusack, Larry David, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Mike Nichols, Norman Mailer, Nora Ephron, Tina Brown, Vernon Jordan, and Walter Cronkite.

LOCAL

Over on MNspeak.com, we have news about Best Buy and some crazy ESPN.com guy.

wednesday
0 comments

It's about time we had some babies around here.

Today, Chuck Olsen and I are announcing a new site (still in beta!) that we are putting the finishing touches on. We present to you:

mnspeak.comMNspeak.com
Twin Cities, All Day, All Night


What the heck is it?

It's a few things, yet it's also something very simple: a one-site stop for Twin Cities conversations about culture, media, politics, and entertainment. MNspeak.com's primary function is to answer these two questions:

1) What are people in the Twin Cities talking about today?

2) What is going on around town tonight?

So yes, it's a blog -- or partially a blog. But it's so much more! The left column works like a traditional blog (but with a community of participants). In addition, there is an events calendar, a community feedback device, a local blog/media aggregator, and sponsorship opportunities. And if all goes well, there will be more soon.

I've been working in digital media for almost a decade, and I've seen a website or two in that time. A "community site" could mean innumerable things to innumerable people (photo-blogging, topic-driven bulletin boards, etc.). But we think MNspeak.com has crystallized the possibilities down to a few essential features done well.

Perhaps the best way to describe the site would be to compare certain parts to sites that have influenced me. Here are some of MNspeak.com's main features, with mentions of sites that influenced the idea:

Writing -- No one realizes quite yet what a huge effect Gawker is having on the way we talk to each other. I'm respectfully describing the tone of MNspeak.com as Gawker Minus The Mean-ness. If that doesn't grab you, try Putting The Irony Back In Minnesota Nice. In other words, expect information plus attitude, but we'll try not to hurt your feelings, unless you're Norm Coleman or CJ.

Email Newsletters -- There is no Flavorpill in the Twin Cities yet -- and now there never will be! We are offering two simple email options -- an every-day calendar email and a week-day blog email. Click here to sign up.

Calendar -- If you've known me more than five minutes, you've probably heard my rant about the media sector that's really missing the boat on the digital publishing revolution: the alt-weeklies. I honestly believe CityPages.com is doing interesting work with Babelogue, and VillageVoice.com seems to be giving it the college try -- but the rest are trapped in the dogmatic slumbers of a weekly publishing schedule. The goal of MNspeak.com's calendar is not to compete with the gigantic comprehensiveness of an alt-weekly -- rather, it's to offer a clear resource for answering this simple question: "What's going on tonight?"

Participation -- We are so lucky to have one the leading "open-source journalism" thinkers in America in our city (don't let the scatological humor fool you!). Chuck's Blogumentary has been getting accolades wherever the film screens, and it's a pleasure to finally be working on a project together. We'll be adding in more voices to the site, so stay tuned for some surprises.

Aggregator -- The problem with blogs is there's just too much. Aggregators like Kinja are doing a nice job of condensing the blogosphere into digestible units. Our aggregator still needs some work yet, but it has the potential to be -- and I don't mean this hyperbolically -- the leading community news source in the Twin Cities.

Design -- Often cited by big media as the little site they wish to be, Lawrence.com is the "disguised" entertainment site of a daily Kansas paper, The Lawrence Journal-World. The design has gotten a little messy lately, but the general structure is something that pleases me. (There are rumors that many daily papers -- including local ones -- are considering similar sites. How much you wanna bet on them "getting it"?)

Interviews -- When I met Gothamist publisher Jake Dobkin at SXSW, I talked him out of launching a branch of his growing empire in Minneapolis. Actually, he mentioned some mumbo jumbo about "market size," and I knew he'd never bother with our mini-metro. Seriously though, one of our favorite Gothamist features is the interviews, which we plan to blatantly steal.

Business Model -- Oh, bring that up, will you? Yes, we're selling ads right now. If you'd like to advertise with us, click here. You'll be shocked how inexpensive they are. I can't reveal much more, but we're also talking about creating revenue opportunities for other Twin Cities bloggers. If you think about it, you can imagine how that might work. More on that later...

We're obviously excited about the site. Check it out, leave comment, sign up for the newsletters, take out an advert, check out the aggregator, and tell your friends.

tuesday
4 comments

MUSIC

The big music release this week is New Order's Waiting for the Sirens Call. If that's not your thing, there's also a new Essential Barry Manilow.

You've certainly heard by now that the White Stripes released a new single exclusively on iTunes. No? Then here's the link.

The audio to the Lawrence Lessig / Jeff Tweedy conversation is finally available.

It looks like it finally launched: MTV's Overdrive, which is basically a video portal with videos/trailers/etc. My guess is it'll be gone by the end of the year.

Chickfactor.com.

Hipstserpod.com.

BLOGS

NYT has more on Arianna Huffington's crazy blog adventure.

DrudgeReport turns 10 years old.

Cool Hunting redesigned.

DVD

Two new releases this week: Orson Wells' F for Fake and Charlton Heston's Soylent Green. There's also a new $21 Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind / Lost in Translation value pack.

monday
6 comments

We've got a lot to talk about today, and I'm not not even going to link to Lohan's new blonde hair. Deep breath... ready, set, GO!:

TV

The TV season hasn't even come to the moment of finale spoilers and already ABC has scheduled the DVD releases of the first seasons of Lost and Desperate Housewives.

TVCarnage.com. "Hundreds of hours of exceptionally bad TV lovingly fused together into hour plus, glorious cesspools of retardation." Amazing clips. NYT says DVDs are available for free, but it looks like the link might be gone.

NewsBreakers.org. They break into local tv liveshots. Is it a sign of getting old that what once seemed funny is now lame? [via]

A look at the new TV Guide spin-off, Inside TV. Certainly no shocker: TV Guide's revenue's are plummeting.

The Gladwell-esque Opus Of The Summer is certain to be Steven Johnson's Everything Bad Is Good For You (released next month). The ususal suspects are already excerpting it, including NYT Magazine (with a section about narrative tv) and Wired (not online yet).

GAMES

In Guess-the-Google you see 20 images from a one-word Google Images search, and you have to figure out what the word is. Deceptively difficult.

Koerner's column this week is on the Star Wars version of the game Risk. (In other Star Wars commercialization news, here's Darth Vader in an Orange advert And more.)

CONSUMPTION

Rappers love to make liquids that you consume. Here's a sample of real hip-hop energy drinks: Lil Jon's Crunk!!!, Ice-T's Liquid Ice, Nelly's PimpJuice, and Russell Simmons' DefCon3. The new issue of Wired reviews them all (not online yet).

MUSIC VIDEOS

Music videos and movie trailers belong in approximately the same category, so why not just mix them? Voila: the new Unleashed trailer / Massive Attack video.

NME has the new Juliette Lewis video.

New Sleater-Kinney video (.mov) for "Entertain," off the new album coming out next month.

SIMPSONS

For no apparent reason, another profile of The Simpsons / Matt Groening.

Real Life Simpsons House. Freaky.

A gigantic MP3 archive of Simpsons music.

MUSIC

Been a while since I read an entire ILM thread: Songs about Heroin and Songs about Crack. Okay, I didn't read all of that one either.

A tidbit on Reverend Billy and the Church of Stop Shopping says that Wal-Mart is not stocking the new CD.

Tom Waits, who won a lawsuit against Frito-Lay in 1992 for using a voice that sounded like his, now unhappy with Opel commercial.

Pitchfork can't decide whether to give the new Rob Pollard album a 0.0 or a 10.0, so they give it a (1)0.0 .

MEDIA

New rule: No using "MSM" unironically.

BLOGS

I finally read the Biz Week cover story Blogs Will Change Your Business, which says nothing important to important people. The accompanying blog looks pretty elementary.

CONSUMPTION

The trailer to the new Lars von Trier flick, Manderlay, gets an internet NSFW rating for its use of the n-word.

T-SHIRTS

Some good ones at Future Relic and Glarkware.

If you've got a kid, dress it in something from PottymouthShop.com.

WORDS

London Review of Books Personals. Hot. [via]

LOCAL

Psst, wanna hear a secret? This LOCAL category will be disappearing soon, as we launch a new Twin Cities blog. We? Yes, we! Shhh, more details soon.

thursday
comments

TV

The Onion A/V Club wishlists "war" on TiVo and records the results. Lots of Nickelodeon, ABC Family, and VH1.

Video: Jon Stewart's appearance on Oprah. Why the hell Cameron Diaz is sitting there is the biggest mystery since... since... since they gave Jimmy Kimmel a tv show. (Sorry, I know I can do better than that.)

Video of Ann Coulter getting freaky on FOX.

FILM

Here we are in 2005, and who could have guessed the words "the new film by Rob Zombie" would appear?

Those Taschen books are always so tempting, aren't they? Erotic Cinema. [Amazon link.]

ONLINE

You knew it was big news when you saw the 40-point hyperbolic headline on Drudge: GOOGLE KNOWS WHAT YOU SEARCHED LAST NIGHT.

WORDS

Village Voice hangs out with the famous lit bloggers.

MEDIA

It's been a while since we've seen a Romenesko profile.

MUSIC

Slate recounts the Fiona Apple fiasco, addressing the obvious Wilco comparisons.

LOCAL

Many months ago, I was actually thinking the best localite to review the new Walker would be Peter Ritter. And there he is in CP today. He nicely conjures the Death Star, the Cheshire Cat, and an REI climbing wall to describe out new fave ediface. Hoorah, our first readable Walker review.

tuesday
comments

Today is either huge day in Fimoculous history, or it's a brief moment of crazed myopia. After avoiding it for 4+ years, I've finally added comments. The little link appears at the bottom of the posts -- and it will probably disappear the second I start getting comment spam. Be kind, young netizens. (Oh, and you probably noticed the Google Ads. I'm making about $.08/day on those, so they also might be short-lived.)

TV

I know some of you are having a hard time seeing Wonder Showzen, which MTV2 buries in the after-hours. So I've uploaded a video of the entire first episode. Download it now before my ISP (or Viacom) calls. Yeah, that was short-lived. Server slowed down to a near dead-stop. I'm sure you can find a Torrent out there.

If you watched Arrested Development on Sunday, you heard them close with the line "Next season on Arrested Development...." What'd that mean? This season is over and next season is still iffy. And in a profile of GetArrested.com, NYT says we'll know next month whether FOX renews the show for next year.

The first season of Dynasty came out on DVD today.

PUBLISHING

Scary Ann Coulter on the cover of Time. (UPDATE: Drudge's take and giving bon mots at St. Olaf.)

MUSIC

Dinosaur Jr. tour schedule.

FILM

Out on DVD today: House of Flying Daggers and Primer.

BLOGS

Andrew Krucoff launched a blog mostly about obits (I think): Young Manhatttanite.

LOCAL

How come it took some NYC guy to inform me about The Walker's New Media Initiatives Blog?

monday
comments

CONSUMPTION

The Scrolling Belt Buckle is friggin brilliant.

A friend of mine worked on the market research for the new prescription bottle that Target is hoping will turn pharmaceuticals into destination shopping.

Another new viral campaign from BK, this time in the form of a game: NeedForFeed.com. No relation to MailOrderChickens.com.

MUSIC

The reverse of the censored album, these versions of NWA's "Straight Outta Compton" and "Fuck the Police" are the bomb.

TECH

Put away the rumors about Microsoft owning Flash, cuz Adobe is buying Macromedia.

TV

So best. Jimmy Kimmel is hiring for a "TV Watcher" who will watch the tube all day looking for the best clips for the show. If a blogger doesn't get the job, something's wrong.

Anderson Cooper Fan Blog. [via]

In a little ditty about ending the whodunit on Veronica Mars, this story also says UPN has renewed the show for a second season.

FILM

Trailer to the new Gus Van San movie, Last Days, a fictional account of the demise of Kurt Cobain that includes appearances by Kim Gordon and Harmony Korine.

Interview with EW's long-time film critic Owen Gleiberman.

MUSIC VIDEOS

"The Sad Song", "created entirely using 15 second jpg movies from my little Nikon Coolpix 775 still camera, reconstructed in AfterEffects."

WORD GAMES

The 20-question What Kind of American English Do You Speak? says I'm 75% General American English, 15% Upper Midwestern, 10% Yankee, 0% Dixie, and 0% Midwestern.

Slate on how Trivial Pursuit became the great repository of middlebrow boomer culture.

LOCAL

Varsity reopened.

If you missed it, here's NYT's architecture review of the new Walker from Friday. Best part of the opening party? Most people will tell you open access to Bjork (or Kim Gordon, or Yoko Ono) in the Target tent was cool. I'll tell you that the blinking red LEDs were attrocious.

wednesday
comments

ONLINE

Google has released a video upload tool. As the FAQ says, you have to own the rights to the video, but you will be able to charge people to view it. This completely breaks open the doors for micropayments.

Webby Awards Nominations, blah, blah, blah.

MUSIC

Does Bush's iPod contain stolen content?

Salon contends that Gwen Stefani neuters Japanese street fashion. By its very definition, doesn't Japanese fashion seem completely open to unbridled reification?

TV

New Frontline Punk Rock in the Holy Land.

MEDIA

Onion staff profile.

LOCAL

CP's What the hell does the Walker addition look like? contest. Funny.

Citywide Wi-Fi? Starbuck's is gonna be pissed.

Saul Bellow's Time in Minnesota.

tuesday
comments

TV

If you're watching The Apprentice, you know that Chris being arrested for disorderly conduct couldn't be scripted more perfectly.

Big (and by big I mean bad) day in DVD TV releases today, with all of these first seasons coming out: Knight Rider, The A-Team, Magnum, P.I., and The Bob Newhart Show.

C|Net has a three-day future of tv series.

GAMES

New Xbox to debut on MTV next month.

ECON BOOKS

Kottke has an interview with Steven Levitt, the author of Freakonomics, which comes out today.

MEDIA

According to NYT, the Spy-ish Radar Magazine is making a comeback next month in the form of a website. Although the site has some interesting ideas (such as a 15-minutes-of-fame image uploader), I have a bigger question: will my subscription from two years ago finally be validated?

FILM

Out on DVD today: Almodóvar's Bad Education and Hotel Rwanda.

MUSIC

NYT: What's on President Bush's iPod? Everything from Alejandro Escovedo to Kenny Loggins.

And what's new in music releases today? The only noteworthy item this week is the new Garbage album.

BLOGS

I seem to be trading nicely on Blogshares.

LOCAL

Sarah Vowell is reading tonight.

Greil Marcus and Crooked Fingers and Ben Lee (all audio links) did in-studio's on The Current.

monday
comments

NON-TRENDS

Yes, I realize it's a little silly to show up here at the beginning of every week to watch me get upset about the lead story on the NYT Styles section. But c'mon, the man date? Dear New York Media, why must you write trite trend pieces that cause the rest of us to consider molotov cocktailing Michael's?

MARKETING

Found on eBay: Scream Advertising. (Via BizarreBids.com, a good resource for strange eBay items.)

NYT Mag's cover story, "Our Ratings, Ourselves", tells the suprisingly fascinating story of the Portable People Meter -- a device that records all the media you've consumed in a day for marketing purposes. Pioneered by Arbitron and implemented by Nielsen, the PPM, which is about the size of a pager, accomplishes this by having all media encoded with an audio watermark. A broad range of other topics covered in the long piece: personal media device consumption, the arcane life of Nielsen labs, the shift from active to passive measurement, cable box innnovations, and direct measurement of advertising success. Two related items:
CJR asks Can Nielsen Keep up with the Way America Watches?
NPR's Bob Garfield foresees the Impending Period of Transitional Chaos for Media.

MEDIA

Fun idea: ask four people -- Lizz Winstead (co-creator of The Daily Show), Don Hewitt (founder of 60 Minutes), Mark Burnett (creator Survivor and The Apprentice), Al Primo (creator of Eyewitness News) -- how to reinvent CBS's evening news. The results are chaotic. (Reminds me of the time Wired asked for Google redesigns, and the results were a mess.)

MUSIC VIDEOS

I pretty much never have to link to a music video again after looking at this page.

BitTorrent link for the newest Daft Punk video of "Human After All."

IDEAS

William Safire's critique of privacy is a good place to jump into understanding ChoicePoint and other nefarious data-collection agencies. Sample quote: "The first civil-liberty fire wall to fall was the one within government that separated the domestic security powers of the F.B.I. from the more intrusive foreign surveillance powers of the C.I.A... But the second fire wall crumbled with far less public notice or approval: that was the separation between law enforcement recordkeeping and commercial market research."

CONSUMPTION

Fake bags become a brand unto themselves.

BLOGS

Google Sightseeing.

Kottke gives book-length update on his blogging micropatronage.

MUSIC

Slint in The New Yorker.

TECH

NYT asks "Will the Next Version of Windows Be Worth the Wait?"

LOCAL

Varsity what? Still closed.

I read every word of the Strib's multi-story Walker spread, but can't say it told me a thing. The online audio slideshow is a bit better though.

Huh, did you know that City Pages owns a local adult website, TC Uncovered (nsfw). The meta keywords include "escorts" and "domination," and there's employment and personals sections. Naughty.

thursday
5 comments

If you know me, you know I love t-shirts. Compulsively and annoyingly so. Saying I'm a t-shirt collector would be stupid, but I do occasionally buy sweet tees with a "just to have it" mindset.

I dug through my closet and pulled out my favorites (an idea blatantly stolen from Preshrunk's "What's In Your Closet" feature). Click the thumbnails to see the fullsize (or view them on Flickr).

Atmosphere
Keepin it real.
Stryper
I bought this beauty during a drunk eBay binge. Klosterman tried to buy it off my back one night. I told him I'd trade it for his Cenex tee.
Rx
It's, like, personalized for me, dude.
Save Mary Kate
Yep, the one that brought on a lawsuit.
Wonkette Operative
Shill.
Hyperboy
Probably my fave, this is early Bjork.
Talk Nerdy To Me
This tee doubles as my pajamas.
Sheena, Suzi, Judy
No one gets this one. They're all Ramones girls. Bought it from a store in Portugal for vastly too much.
Nordeast
Local favorite.
I Read Your Email
Total ThinkGeek.
I Just Love Corporations
My only remaining Onion t-shirt. The rest burned in the fire of '97.
Not Helping
From a Creative Electric show.
Rumsfeld
This guy is friggin Nietzsche.
Radiohead
The last non-ironic band tee I bought.
Sonic Youth
Very, very old. Long out of print.
I Fuck Like A Girl
I really do.
Faux News
I'm technically a journalist, but I still wore this to work one day. To hell with objectivity.

Thanks for stopping by my closet. Here are some resources:

Preshrunk
Cool Hunting
Threadless
Nerdy Shirts
Busted Tees
Non-Zero Chance

wednesday
comments

BLOGS

NY Observer has more about the Huffington Report, with copious comments from Drudge.

And that story launched today's juicy announcement -- a new Denton blog, Sploid.com, a tabloid site in direct competition with Drudge. Editors include the inimitable Ken Layne.

Sure, Sploid made a splash today, but the real action is this new cupcake blog.

Or maybe an NFL Cheerleader Blog is more your style.

Am I the only person in America following this stupid Belle de Jour identity thread? The Evening Standard has its own dude theory.

OJR profiles the aggregators, including CNN's Inside the Blog, Slate's Today's Blogs, and Kinja.

MUSIC

MTV.com beta launched Overdrive, which will download large videos in the background. FAQ.

PHOBIAS

My mom sent me this one: PhobiaList.com, a list of all phobias.

DESIGN

'70s Design.

TV

The Daily Show is coming to DVD.

Video of Best Week Ever's Frantina Dulee spot that tricked me.

FILM

NYT's paid-for aggregation of Woody Allen's Filmography contains some old trailers and reviews.

LOCAL

There's nothing that says "Spring In The Midwest" more than spending the afternoon watching the local punks "debate" the smoking ban.

tuesday
comments

MEDIA

This is pretty neat: The Annotated New York Times. The site lists NYT stories with real-time reaction from the blogosphere. Curious if NYT Corp will frown on this.

Last time I saw Robin [blog], he wouldn't even whisper to me what the real name of INdTV would be. It officially launched today as Current TV. (C|Net story.) Looks exciting, even though The Post is being all playa-hatah about it.

MUSIC

McSweeney's: Implausible Claims Made By Vanilla Ice In His 1990 No. 1 Hit "Ice Ice Baby." "My style's like a chemical spill."

Tuesday is new-release day, but there's not much. Hot Hot Heat has a new album (Elevator) and so does Fisherspooner (Odyssey).

ONLINE

Google Maps has added Keyhole data, so you can now see satellite pics too.

FILM

Stereogum is all over this Pretty In Pink sequel.

New on DVD today: The Corporation and Sideways.

If you like Hal Hartley, you might want to check out the DVD collection of his short films. Includes an obscure short with Adrienne Shelley and Parker Posey as roller-blading, lip-synching cupids. (Trailer.)

TV

FOX is creating a reality tv cable channel.

If you feel like dropping $160, The Complete First Four Seasons of The West Wing came out on DVD today.

PEOPLE

Xeni lives in L.A.? Huh.

LOCAL

The Strib likes The Rake this week.

monday
comments

TECH

Can you imagine getting a text from the Vatican saying the Pope died? TTYL.

The best part about this Google piece in Newsweek is where Google claims they just "forgot" to put ads on Google News. Uh-huh.

REALITY ENTERTAINMENT

I fell for Best Week Ever's joke on Friday. In the recurring segment "Who's having the best week ever?" they name-checked Frantina Dulee. I was Googling her name 30 seconds into the segment, but by the end it was obvious she's, duh, not a real person.

The interesting proposition in this Chicago Tribune piece is that while sports has become increasingly scripted, entertainment has become increasingly competitive.

MUSIC VIDEOS

Cool pop & lock video: Futureshock's "Late At Night".

Bloc Party did a second (and better) video for "Banquet."

The new Moby video is peculiarly Flaming Lipsish.

New Interpol video: "C'mere".

The new Weezer album isn't out until May, but here's a video for "Beverly Hills", filmed at the Playboy mansion.

FASHION

John Malkovich has started a clothing line. If it weren't $70, I might buy this tee.

DATING

TrueDater.com is a date-rating service. That's right, people who frequent date sites are reviewed as though they were Amazon.com books. I feel so violated. [Via a Wired News column.]

In a review of The Hookup Handbook, NYT Styles tries to explain girls who aren't into relationships and aren't into casual sex either. I don't know where the hell these girls live (New York, you say? Never heard of it), but it sure is nice to have an article lying around that provides a definition of hookup.

GAMES

NYT has a nice profile of New Games Journalism, which includes a link to the manifesto.

John Woo to direct and The Rock to star in the Katamari Demacy film. What the hell with this script look like? Like Super Mario Bros. minus the brothers? Stupid April 1.

DRINK

Moby released a book about tea and shit last week.

Google's April Fool's drink: Google Gulp.

Not a joke: Kabbalah Energy Drink.

ART

It seems odd that NYT Mag did a long Murakami profile without a news peg, but it's not bad at using otaku as a means to talk about Japan. (Previous profile in Wired.)

LOCAL

KSTP and Star-Tribune fell for an April Fool's gag claiming that a Three's Company remake was coming to St. Paul.

Lookie! A school for strippers, right in our backyard.

friday
comments

ONLINE

Eek! Someone stole my modus operandi for meeting girls and turned it into a website. At Consumating.com, you "show off your quirky personality with zany answers to our constantly rotating questions." It also has some nicely-executed tagging functionality that allows you to sort people by their interests. Ba-bye, Friendster.

The Guardian on how Yahoo just passed by Google.

FILM

Onion AV on Bad Scenes in Great Movies and Great Scenes in Bad Movies. Fun.

Ebert gives Sin City four stars. Enteratainment Weekly only gave it a C+. But Metacritic is clocking in at green. See also: Wired's profile of Rodriguez.

MEDIA

Those damn bloggers are killing Liz Smith. Finally, an answer to Jack Shafer on the good that comes from Gawker.

TECHTV

Engadget scores a beta peak at TiVo Desktop 2.1.

Couple new blogs: Chuck Olsen's Digital Television Blog and TVsnob.com.

FOOD

Slate.com reviews Applebee's. Contains interesting info, and nails the success with this scrap of analysis: "How did Applebee's and its heavily sauced pork chunks make it to the top of the casual-dining heap? By treating sit-down dining establishments like fast-food outlets."

LOCAL

INdTV is holding a contest that will give $15K to the best video submission. I hope the winners are these hip-hop kids who give Mark Dayton a bling-bling chain and get Walter Mondale spinning records. Excellent.

Someone please call the insider police -- the Minneapolis alt-media just jumped the whole damn ocean. Okay first, a strange Rake Mag blog post gushes all over Wonkette (who would stoop to such a low?!) and casually drops reference to publishing her pre-fame. Okay, whatever, right? But then Steve Perry (editor of City Pages) jumps into the comments to... get this... line edit a blog post. Guys, guys, take it outside!

Star Tribune and Pioneer Press stories on the death of Mitch Hedberg, a MN native. Some other resources: Metafilter thread | LA Weekly profile | Wikipedia entry.

See ya at the opening party for M-SPIFF this weekend? Good.

thursday
comments

STRANGELY FAMOUS

I would do anything to make NY Press' 50 Most Loathsome New Yorkers (which mentions the word "blog" 19 times -- hoorah!). Well, except move to New York.

Wikipedia's list of most sexually active popes. To make that list, I'd even move to New York.

FOOD

You see this new BK Enormous Omelet? 730 calories, 47 grams of fat -- more than a whopper. Delish, I'm sure.

GAMES

New Sony PSP advert featuring Franz Ferdinand's "Take Me Out."

MUSIC

As Greg said, Bjork and Matthew Barney are the last people on the planet you'd expect to live in New Jersey. And yet...

David Byrne's online radio station.

TV

No popup ads on my TiVo yet, but I'm ready to be pissed off too....

BOOKS

Cheney's daughter is writing a memoir.

BLOGGERS

This is the weirdest dot-com news we've seen in quite some time. Arianna Huffington is starting something called The Huffington Report, a culture and politics webzine that will have a group blog with a strange cast of characters: Larry David, Barry Diller, David Geffen, Vernon Jordan, Gwyneth Paltrow, Tina Brown, and more.

FILM

Thank god Courtney Love is back. She will be playing Linda Lovelace in a biopic.

SCIENCE

This New Scientist article was a fun read: 13 Things that Do Not Make Sense. Includes the placebo effect, dark matter, and cold fusion.

Slate reviews Make, which I have to confess I had a very hard time reading, and I'm probably the market demo.

LOCAL

To coincide with the smoking ban, City Pages did a printable guide to the only remaining smoker bars in the Twin Cities (all in St. Paul, of course).

Wow, that Strib story on punk rock glasses sure was fun, eh? I'm not going to say anything more than that because I see all the people in this story around Uptown, and I don't want any of them to punch me and break my non-retro glasses.

CP's music writing sure ain't slowing down with Missy Miss flying the coop. First off, Julianne Shepherd calls Beck's newest album his best ever. Whoa there, cowboy! And then there are Bridgette's and Lindsey's nice SXSW accounts, parts of which I got to see with them.

tuesday
comments

POLITICS/CULTURE

The America Spectator names Jon Stewart's America the worst book of the year. Can't wait to read the rest of the conservative's four-month-old recap of 2004. Maybe the Spectator staff will finally reveal what they think about this whole Franz Ferdinand phenom!

Pitchfork has a surprisingly good essay on The Pop Culture of 9/11.

BLOGS

Across the pond (did I just use that phrase? oh fuck it), the blogger Belle de Jour was a pretty big deal -- well, to pervs. The hidden identity of this supposed call-girl memoirist was even in the tabloids (yes! tabloids wrote about bloggers!). It seems she's been pegged as Lisa Hilton, a British author based in America. This was the blog that ostensibly revealed her identity. It's not really stated, but I think this means that the escapades were fiction. At least our secret salacious journals were real (well, probably). Update: of course the bloggers had her pegged months ago.

I am almost certainly the only person who gets giddy to see Lizzy Spiers write about the Tina Brown and Ana Marie Cox quasi-feud via a Liz Smith column. Move along.

MUSIC

Beck's new album, Guero, is out today.

The new Chemical Brothers video is adequately rad.

Guaranteed punchline headline for Weekend Update, Daily Show, and every late-night talk show: Rappers are being asked by McDonald's to name-drop big macs.

Somewhat funny New Yorker Shouts & Murmurs today: My Exes: The Set List.

FILM

David Duchovny is blogging. And not one damn word about Scully.

Closer came out on DVD today. Buy it for your girlfriend, and she'll always wonder how messed up you are.

If you watch the trailer to Bewitched, you'll get to see Nicole Kidman wiggle her nose, which is all you really wanted to see, so you can now skip the film.

TV

Grandmothers rejoice! The First Season of Murder She Wrote came out on DVD today.

Gotta love those fake blogs: I'm Stuck In Rehab With Pat O'Brien.

Salon pepper-sprays and then pees on PoweR Girls, the Lizzie Grubman reality tv show that I simply can't stop watching. And since you're waiting through the day-pass over there, might as well read an interview with the creator of Veronica Mars.

ADVERTISING

Fast Company profiles Crispin Porter + Bogusky.

ONLINE

Andy added some new features (tagging, API, etc.) to Upcoming.org. Cool.

LOCAL

The Rake's story on "Minnesota's greatest invention," the Post-It Note, is quintessentially Rakish.

sunday
comments

ONLINE

So there's a name for those "enter the word to verify you're a human" things you see on consumer websites: Captcha, which stands for "completely automated public Turing test to tell computers and humans apart." What I really hate about these is that some of them are completely unreadable.

News Nerd Alert! Someone is aggregating a list of all sites indexed by Google News. You can also see it sorted by frequency.

Yet another panel (long streaming .wmv video) with the usual blog suspects, including Wonkette, Sullivan, and Shafer,

FILM

I forget to read Gawker on Friday, and Jessica lands a funny phone interview with Sir Vincent. (See also: Defamer's IM interview with David Cross.)

Stephen Tobolowsky's Birthday Party looks a less-funny Being John Malkovich. The trailer.

MUSIC

A couple new vids: Gorillaz' Feel Good Inc. and Daft Punk's Robot Rock.

I wish there were a way to scientifically prove or disprove the recent string of NYT arts trend stories (such as the one a couple months back that posited that SNL was more issue-oriented in the past). Sunday's lead music story is about the instant cover -- the proposition that musicians are covering more songs from their contemporaries than from previous generations. I feel obliged to come up with contrary examples (weren't Dylan and the Stones always covering each other?), but that seems to also be missing the points of these trend stories. I guess it's better than obsessing about band names like they do across the pond. Anyway, in addition to mentioning nearly every band recording music today, the story also name-drops Stereogum and Fluxblog.

A reason to read Magnet again? Sleater-Kinney interviewed by Eddie Vedder. Okay, maybe not.

ADVERTISING

NYT on The Future of the 30-Second Spot, which basically says Minority Report-ish ads are right around the corner. Includes numerous profiles of those in the personalized ads business including OpenTV, Navic Networks, Invidi Technologies, and Visible World.

For the three of you into this meme, more GoDaddy.com ads.

TV

Biz Week on Social TV.

LOCAL

Although my first reaction was "people still care about Gore Vidal?", CP's interview with him has been getting lots of blogosphere attention. Okay, I promise to read it this week.

New segement on The Current: Sounds Around Town (.rm audio stream). Dangerously close to tacky, yet still almost good. Hear also: Mark Mallman in-studio.

thursday
comments

BLOGS

Rocketboom included the secrets to my blogging technique in a post a couple days ago. (It's toward the end of the segment.) You crazy vloggers! See also: some video of Chuck and I drunkenly quizzing Amanda about her role on The Restaurant at a strange house straight outta the movie Slacker in Austin at SXSW.

Anil pays tribute to Suck.com. I've been telling anyone who would listen that Suck.com doesn't get the cred it deserves. Everyone fondly remembers Spy and Might and even Inside.com, but I honestly feel that the attitude expressed in Suck was more influential than all of them.

ONLINE

Having crashed hours after launching, OurMedia.org is back online. And another social media site launched today: NowPublic.com.

MUSIC

Hey, Thurston Moore is in Wired. No, really.

Mashup: MIA's "Galang" vs Super Mario Theme Tune

Wired News story about the Decemberists releasing their newest video via BitTorrent.

This could pass for parody: Beck intereview in Elle. Sample questions: "So do you cry at movies?" and "If tomorrow you became a woman, who would you be?"

POLITICS

Don't ask why I have a Maxim subscription (it was free, honest), but I also stumbled when I saw the Bush twins.

LOCAL

Thoughts of a Dreamer, the LiveJournal of Jeff Weise. And the scary one: Weise posting on the Nazi.org message boards.

MBMA.net , Minneapolis Bike Messenger Association.

wednesday
comments

This Is Not Really A Review Of Soul Asylum's After The Flood. And While We're At It, Please Ignore Any Perceived Attempts To Compare A Natural Disaster To A Music Scene, Because That's Just Silly.

Even though we naturally resist reducing our lives to simple anecdotes, we all have had one momentous event happen to us that comes to completely summarize our life, typify our personality, or recapitulate the rest of our existence. You might try to deny this, but I'll call you a liar, because most of the time you are like me and resent that this event happened against your will.

My event was a flood, and then a fire.

You probably have a fleeting memory of the flood and fire that hit Grand Forks, ND, in 1997. Maybe you remember the famous picture of an apocalyptic downtown, or perhaps the "Come Hell And High Water" headline on the daily paper, or possibly President Bill Clinton coming to town and crying on live television (Monica notwithstanding, the only time that has ever happened).

For you, this is a scrap from the memory dustbin of natural disasters (although maybe a prominent one -- for two nights in a row, it was the lead story on all three networks' nightly news). For me, it completely changed my life in ways that I still feel I have no control of. Even as I type this, I'm resisting the urge to tell you the story -- I've told it so many times that it now seems like taking advantage of a community's tragedy. So let's modernize the story by reducing it to bullet points under the heading "Strange Things that Happened to Me Because of the Flood and Fire of 1997":

  • Near the geographical center of North America, a scary stat. The largest evacuation of an American city in the 20th century -- over 50,000 people -- was foisted upon this little town in the Midwest when a dike broke in the Spring of 1997 and flooded 90 percent of the town.
  • I was rescued from my apartment by the coast guard when a downtown building caught on fire in the middle of a flood. Firemen couldn't put out the fire because they couldn't get to it -- there was six feet of water in the street.
  • I watched my apartment burn down live on CNN. I was positioned about a half-mile away, so I could see the flames in real time, but I could also glance up at the tv that was beaming it to me from a helicopter that could be seen on the horizon.
  • Within hours, I was interviewed by Time, NPR, the New York Times, the Star-Tribune, and many of publications I've long forgotten. My story was resonant because I had stayed behind during the flood despite a city-wide decree of mandatory evacuation. There are now three books in print that contain parts of my narrative.
  • I won a Pulitzer prize. Actually, the Knight-Ridder-owned paper I worked at won the Pulitzer for community service, but I have a very nice certificate because the website that I managed was given "special notation" for using the internet in a unique way. (To this day, no other website has been mentioned in a Pulitzer award.) Even though the press burned down, they never missed an issue of the paper, which was printed out of the Pioneer Press plant.
  • I received $2,000 from the heiress to the McDonald's fortune. Joan Kroc donated money to the city that was divvied up into $2,000 endowments to nearly every resident.
  • I did two different video reenactment shows. Late at night on the Discovery channel, you can still occasionally see me recreating my escape from the fiery inferno -- easily the funniest re-enacted tragedy ever put on television.
  • Soul Asylum played the prom. Of all the strange events that happened, this somehow seemed the most otherworldly.
  • "Hi, welcome to, uh, the prom," were the first words Dave Pirner gave the teenagers that night almost eight years ago. I remember his intonation perfectly -- it was the line that began my live review for the local alt-weekly at the time.

    +++++++++++++++++

    This is where this story should end, and I should be banned from talking about any of this ever again. But then (you didn't see this coming?), completely by accident, while dumpster diving the used bin at Cheapo Records in Minneapolis, I happened upon After The Flood: Live From The Grand Forks Prom, June 28, 1997, which I instantly assumed was an obscure bootleg. But apparently Capital released the show earlier this year as a live album. It seems no one really noticed -- including me, and probably you.

    There's Pirner again, sounding even more bemused than before: "Hi, welcome to, uh, the prom," just before launching into Alice Cooper's "School's Out," which has never made a group of kids more happy than it did that night at the Grand Forks Air Force Base (the school gymnasium -- and most of the city -- was still in post-flood disrepair). You see, we kids in the hinterlands probably never experienced Soul Asylum quite like you wise city folk. Even though they were beginning their descent from fame by this time, in our minds Soul Asylum was still the band the Village Voice dubbed "the best live band in America." We all knew and repeated this phrase all the time, even though we had nothing to compare this to, other than a guess that they sounded better than the Bad Company show at the Civic Center.

    Soul Asylum plays the prom? It seemed an inconceivable fairy tail -- like a story about losing everything you ever owned in a fire that couldn't be extinguished because of too much water.

    +++++++++++++++++

    Although people like to say that music is best when it evokes certain memories from your life, it's a completely different scenario when a musician is literally attempting to elicit a specific memory out of you. After The Flood is packed with these moments, which is why it's nearly impossible for me to tell you whether this is a good album or not. It's just too strangely historical and personal, at the same time. When the line about "drama queens" in the hit "Misery" is changed to "prom queens," I'm not sure whether to grin or grimace. And in "Black Gold," the lines "This flat land used to be a town" and "This place just makes me feel sad inside" are intoned with such heart-felt anguish that I want to find somebody to shove.

    But here's what I'll concede: the album perfectly captures that time and place, both in Grand Forks and where alternative culture was at the moment -- coming off a exhilarating and infuriating high that probably never should have been.

    And what would a prom be without covers? There were strange ones: "Tracks Of My Tears" (the Smokey Robinson song about a dealing with a breakup) and "I Know" (the 1995 Dionne Farris hit that you instantly know when you hear it). Throw in Marvin Gaye's "Sexual Healing," Johnny Nash's "I Can See Clearly Now," and Glen Campbell's "Rhinestone Cowboy" -- you've got yourself the strangest cover set the prom has ever seen. All of them are on the album.

    +++++++++++++++++

    Here's the weird thing: this is the only Soul Asylum record I own now. Before the flood, I had all of them. For reasons that seem vaguely unjust, every Replacements record eventually made it back in to the collection after the flood. So did all those little Husker Du's. And you can't live 'round here without the Prince oeuvre.

    But Soul Asylum is left as a sad memory of commercialization gone bad -- a big sparkly burst of popularity followed by dismissal and anonymity. Would it be trite for me to say that last sentence is also a fair description of both the entire '90s alt-rock scene and my little college town? Perhaps. But I know two communities who synchronously lived through a burst of fame, and at least one wasn't so sad to see it go.

    +++++++++++++++++

    Links:

    Soul Asylum's After The Flood on Amazon.
    Flood Stage And Rising on Amazon.
    Red River Rising on Amazon.
    Voices from the Flood on Amazon
    Archive of the story on CNN.com.
    Bill Clinton's Speech.

    tuesday
    comments

    FILM

    A movie about Friendster? Oh, boy. Well, it stars Topher Grace...

    Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead came out on DVD today.

    Parker Posey joins Superman cast, playing Kitty Koslowski, Lex Luthor's partner in crime.

    TV

    The Star Wars kid inspires this week's Arrested Development. With video.

    Mars Investigations, for catching up on Veronica Mars, the best teen-show-really-for-adults on tv.

    MUSIC

    A flotilla of big new releases today: M.I.A.'s Arular, Block Party's Silent Alarm, Queens of the Stone Age's Lullabies to Paralyze, Moby's Hotel, Decemberists' Picaresque, and MF Doom's Live From Planet X. There are even a couple big re-releases: Dinosaur Jr.'s You're Living All Over Me and Brian Eno's Music for Films.

    BLOGS

    USA Today reports on "Inside the Blog," created by Joe Klein, the new head-honcho at CNN previously known for dissing blogs. From a couple weeks ago: Wonkette playa-hating the segment.

    MSNBC story on vlogs [via Blogumentary].

    Just a little bit jealous of Kottke today for landing an Eyebeam fellowship.

    ONLINE

    Ourmedia.org launched, and then quickly crashed. JD has the details.

    ADVERTISING

    New Yorker: Do ads still work?

    LOCAL

    The website for the MSP International Film Festival (April 1-16) went public today. Here's the schedule and the parties. At a quick glance, Olivier Assayas' Clean looks like the highlight.

    monday
    comments

    FILM

    New Line Cinema picked up Klosterman's new book (not out until July) for a potential film. I'm a "character" in the book again, and am demanding to be played by someone no less handsome than Giovanni Ribisi (which I'm sure means Steve Buscemi will be Rex Sorgatz). I'll do some kind of review of the book here in a couple months, but if you're curious, it's Chuck's modern-relationship-cum-dead-rock-star opus. (Previously: Rex Rock City.)

    Pedro's house in Napoleon Dynamite is up for sale.

    Everyone's talking about Old Boy (trailer), which won Cannes this year.

    War of the Worlds trailer. Starring Tom Cruise; directed by Steven Speilberg.

    Finally a Joss Whedon comeback? He will direct the next Wonder Woman movie. Radosh predicts the lead.

    Woody Allen interviewed in... SuicideGirls.com? Huh.

    ONLINE/TECH

    Yahoo bought Flickr. A great move for Yahoo, which is kicking Google's ass in the user-generated content arena.

    And Ask Jeeves is being bought by Barry Diller.... for $1.9 billion. Jeesh, Jeeves.

    Somebody please stop Christine Rosen from publishing this story again. First in The New Atlantis, she wrote about how cell phones and TiVos are ruining our lives. Now she's done it again in a NYT Mag essay.

    Agence France Presse is suing Google News. Although I'm sure this will quickly get settled out of court, this raises an interesting spectre around Google News, which makes no money because there are no ads -- and this almost gaurantees it never will.

    The upcoming Microsoft typefaces for the next version of Windows.

    SHOES

    Pimp my shoe! NYT Mag story on shoe customizers who will turn a pair of Nikes into $500 collector's items.

    Adidas' computerized sneaker.

    Converse's "Spin The Bottle" commercial.

    Reebok's controversial 50 Cent spot.

    TV

    Someone is aggregating all the Daily Show video links on one page. Sweet.

    The video of the Lessig on West Wing episode.

    Firefox advert or Franz Ferdinand video? You decide.

    Everyone who wasn't talking about Flickr/Yahoo rumors at SXSW Interactive last week was talking about the Tivo/Comcast deal. Here's a good follow-up interview with the CEO of Comcast, which clears up some of the questions. [Via LostRemote.]

    GAMES

    For those who don't think Vice City is gritty enough, here's a preview to the new 50 Cent game, Bulletproof.

    MUSIC

    Tom Waits lists his top 20 albums.

    Pitchfork gives the new Moby album a 2.4.

    SXSW

    Why can't it be SXSW every day? Here's a small selection of people that I had the great pleasure of speaking with for somewhere between 5 minutes and 8 hours in Austin last week: Malcolm Gladwell (author: Blink, Tipping Point), Chuck Olsen (blogger & filmmaker: Blogumentary), Rex Hammock (blogger: Rex Blog), Rob Davis (marketing maverick: Mozilla Foundation), Tara Hacker (blogger: HumminaHummina.com), John Vars and Ted Rheingold (web guys: Dogster), David Hudson (blogger: Green Cine Daily), Andrew Krukoff (blogger: Krucoff.com), Amanda Congdon & Andrew Barron (videobloggers: Rocketboom), Michaelangelo Matos (writer: The Seattle Weekly), Molly Steenson (blogger: Girl Wonder), Chuck Klosterman (author: lots of stuff), Lockhart Steele (editor: Gawker Media), Jason Kottke (blogger: Kottke.org), Jake Dobkin (publisher: Gothamist), Jason Calacanis (founder: Weblogs Inc.), Ricky Engelberg (digital guy: Nike), Ross Raihala (writer: Pioneer Press), Melissa Maerz (editor: Spin), Jennifer Maerz (editor: The Stranger), Matthew Haughey (web community guru: Metafilter & PVR Blog), Lindsey Thomas (editor: City Pages), Craig Finn (rocker: The Hold Steady), Bridgette Reinsmoen (editor: City Pages), Dave Campbell (publicist: 2024 Records), Alex Pappademas (editor: Spin), Anna Lee (fashionista: Voltage), Keith Harris (writer: freelance writer), and that one coke dealer. And how come no one told me Tony Pierce was in the house? Here are a few pics.

    LOCAL

    They love us! Both Newsweek and the Sunday New York Times wrote about our new museum expansion this week. In Newsweek, The Walker is called "probably the leading American venue for cutting-edge artists (both visual and performing)." Description: "The tour de force of their building is the silvery five-story cube, with its daredevil cantilevered corner hovering over the entrance -- anchored by hidden tons of steel and concrete -- and the whole shebang wrapped in shimmering aluminum-mesh panels that look as light and luscious as crumpled silk." In NYT, The Walker is dubbed "a place that prefers artful provocation to blockbuster entertainment, privileges the obscure and experimental over the tried-and-true, and cultivates a willful insouciance about the forces that govern most big museum establishment." And many arty lavishes are dished on our fair city.

    It's sad that the problems that The Varsity Theater is having sound like something out of Kafka. The only good (if selfish) news is that the TC ElectroPunk Show might be rescheduled to a date that I'm in town.

    friday
    comments

    I will be in Austin for SXSW the next 10 days. I have a platinum pass, so I'll be at all three segments: film, interactive, and music. The plan is to blog about all of them -- we'll see how much time there actually is. Update: There's just so many people to see, so much to absorb, so much to drink... I'll never be able to keep this site updated over the next week. Later.

    TV

    PVRblog has the video of Bruce Willis on The Daily Show talking about how much he loves TiVo. Interesting sidenote: Bruce was acting very strange on this episode -- talking about how he hadn't even changed clothes from the night before, full of innuendo. Then yesterday the NY Post does a gossip blurb about him possibly hooking up with Lindsay Lohan. Connect the dots?

    Spike Jonze directs a commercial for Adidas. Music by Yeah Yeah Yeahs' Karen O.

    The 100 Greatest TV Theme Songs.

    Audio of Daily Show's Stephen Colbert on NPR's Fresh Air.

    MUSIC

    Looks like Spin is planning a redesign of the website. Here's the current site; here's a new site. (This isn't leaked information -- Spin sent out an email that [accidentally?] has the URL in it.)

    FILM

    Yowza. Tarantino might direct the next Friday the 13th movie.

    New Woody Allen comedy: Melinda and Melinda trailer. Looks better than most recent films from the Woodster.

    Website for the Wallace & Gromit movie, coming to theaters later this year.

    Trailer to Herbie Fully Loaded, starring Lindsay Lohan.

    WORDS

    Another Eggers interview, this time in Salon. Topics include the start of 826 Valencia, the animosity directed at the McSweeney's crowd, and the film adaptation of Where the Wild Things Are with Spike Jonze. It's really pretty good.

    New Yorker on Bukowski.

    Convicted killer reviews book about himself on Amazon.com.

    BLOGS

    If you don't have access to daytime cable tv, you might not know that Jeff Jarvis of Buzzmachine has pretty much taken over MSNBC during the day. Here's a video of him running down news on the blogosphere.

    I was going to tell you that MSNBC was ahead of everyone else in their blog reportage -- especially with things like the web-only Hardball Blogcast. But then Wonkette reminded me of the "The Blog Report" on CNN. Funny ha-ha.

    NYT Arts does strange back-to-back blogger profiles of Rosi O'Donnell (blog) and Will Wheaton (blog).

    MEDIA

    WatchingAmerica.com is a real-time collection of links to news stories about the United States by media organizations outside the United States. When necessary, they are translated into English.

    CJR: The Case for Comics Journalism.

    Slate takes a crack at the ol' 'who is a journalist?' conundrum.

    DESIGN

    The nominees for the 2005 Flash Film Festival are out. There's a ton of good stuff in there.

    LOCAL

    I hope you're noticing that Diablo Cody is doing excellent work at CP. Her analysis of Conan O'Brien this week is spot-on.

    Twin Cities Pinball Database.

    Made it over to Varsity Theater yet? Peter has a good historical story, which includes info about the genesis of the word Dinkytown.

    North Dakota pops up in this Marketwatch interview with the CEO of Sportingbet, an online casino. It speculates that the casino might move to North Dakota if the legislature legalizes (and the public accepts) online gambling.

    Even more anti-Star-Tribune blogging: Anti-Strib.

    Greg debates our similarities with Canadians. He's so dead.

    Dan Rather retires, and what do the kids in the local right-wing blogosphere (who helped oust him) do? Party!

    tuesday
    comments

    TV

    That Out profile of Anderson Cooper.

    Oddly fascinating blog of screengrabs of people blinking on TV: Blink O Rama.

    TECH

    Official note about killing NYT Circuits.

    In Dot-Con Job, the Seattle Times dissects the lies behind InfoSpace.com, which PaidContent.org calls "perhaps the most amazing piece of business journalism to come out in years."

    MEDIA

    Hot girl is the face of democracy in the middle east -- at least on American magazines.

    ONLINE

    About.com CEO on why NYT spent $410 million to buy the company.

    Wonkette dolls.

    WASAW (Writers And Artists Snack At Work) is a good spot for junk food reviews. The delish Take 5 (9.3 rating) just showed up at the vending machine at work.

    MUSIC

    Bono as World Bank Pres?

    Get your Google buttons ready... Femminem is a Bosnian trio.

    Futureheads video.

    LOCAL

    I'm not sure what to make of Blogologue, "a live web browsing sketch comedy multi-media stage experience" (in other words, a play) at the Bryant Lake Bowl.

    Looks like there are two geek conferences coming to Minneapolis in June: Podcasting World (for Podcasters) and Flashbelt (for Flash developers). And of course there's CONvergence in July.

    Popular goals of people in Minneapolis (according to 43 Things). #11: Live in Canada.

    Hey look, a Melodious Owl video, directed by Chuck Statler.

    CP has a bit of breaking news about the Star Tribune hiring a conservative columnist.

    Oooo, music critic fight! (or the closest we come to it), in which The Rake takes issue with Dylan Hicks' review of Kings of Leon in City Pages. And Reimenschneider's name is evoked for some reason or another.

    sunday
    comments

    In the 5+ years that I've been doing this site, I've never run advertising or asked for donations. I'm not quitting my day job or anything that ambitious, but if you feel like dropping me a few dollars of appreciation, you can do so through PayPal or Amazon. That's the beginning and end of this pledge drive.

    MUSIC

    Oh boy, you simply gotta hear Usher's new single, "Dot Com". "Oh, I love the way you dirty type. Oh, I need your back space in my life.... Oh baby, if you log on, I'll make you dot com... I can't wait to give you megabytes. I got all the memory you need." I would call this a hoax if it weren't on AOL. This is so bad it's post-bad.

    Long NYT Mag profile of Beck, which is somewhat boring until half-way through when he starts talking about Scientology and his posse -- he's married to Marissa Ribisi (Giovanni's sister) and hangs with Adam Goldberg and Christina Ricci (who contributed a Japanese-inflected line on the song "Hell Yes").

    Mike Skinner talks to the Guardian about starting a label.

    Axl is the cover story of the Sunday NYT Arts section.

    ONLINE

    Fred Durst sues Gawker . (And I can't even think of anything snarky to say. Well, except maybe a pun about having a Limp Bizkit.) See previously: Felix Salmon thought Gawker jumped the shark.

    Google adds weather search. Brr, it's cold again this week.

    What Happens to Your Online Self When You Die?

    TV

    NYT previews what the Fox vs. CNBC match will look like.

    Exactly 48 hours ago, I was having a beer with Chuck Olsen and he told me about Plum TV (a new tv network for rich people), and I thought, "This would be a good story to pitch to the New York Times." Then the Sunday paper showed up.

    Profile of the Korean animation studio that produces The Simpson's.

    FILM

    McSweeney's: "Who's On First" at the video story.

    NYT: Is a Cinema Studies Degree the New M.B.A.?

    Amazon.com: Short Film Competition.

    PUBLISHING

    Issue #2 of Work mag is out.

    MEDIA

    It looks like Michael Musto is outting Anderson Cooper.

    Dan Rather historical interactive at CBSNews.com.

    Kurt Andersen on the state of journalism in the age of bloggers.

    Interview with Craig "Craigslist" Newmark where he talks about getting into citizen journalism.

    GAMES

    For New Yorkers, Moving Image Exibition on Digital Play; for San Franciscoans, Start SOMA Video Game Art Show.

    Online Iron Chef game.

    DESIGN

    All of Mediabistro's interviews in the Design Spotlight series.

    LOCAL

    We've got a local girl on the next America's Next Top Supermodel. ("Favorite movie: Snatch. Favorite TV Show: Poker Championship." Grrrowl.) Anyone know her?

    The Current launches an events calendar.

    The local right-wing bloggers are officially scaring me. I can already hear the echo chamber that is SwarmingTheStrib.com.

    The Rake asks: Will Time Out come to the Twin Cities? (No.)

    saturday
    comments

    Over the weekend, I did a segment about online viral marketing on public radio's Weekend America. Here's the audio file (mp3 - 6.3mb).

    Although most of us sentient beings think of advertising as predominantly evil (or, if forgiving, necessarily evil), an interesting contradiction arises out of viral marketing -- it's both detestable and fascinating at the same time. In that sense, viral marketing introduces complex issues about how we relate to media, how we want to believe in fantasy, and how we still cling to the notion of authenticity. Sometimes it's strangely addicting (Subservient Chicken), and other times it's like watching your parents dance to Outcast (Raging Cow).

    As a compendium to the radio show, below are links to some online viral marketing campaigns. (If they aren't hyper-linked, that means the site no longer exists.) It's a long list, so skim it as you see fit:

    Subservient Chicken -- Burger King
    http://www.subservientchicken.com
    Although it wasn't the first, it seemed to kick-off the trend. It also created spin-offs, including Crystal Clear's Ask Crystal Show and Subservient President.

    Chicken Fight -- Burger King
    http://www.chickenfight.com
    Trying to follow-up the buzz behind Subservient Chicken, this was a game with a boxing bout between two chickens. It was pretty dumb.

    Pimp My Burger -- Burger King
    http://www.pimpmyburger.com
    A recent take-off of MTV's Pimp My Ride. Long but mildly entertaining.

    Angus Diet -- Burger King
    http://www.angusdiet.com
    Another BK one. A fake inspirational speaker and personal interventionalist espouses the benefits of eating beef.

    The Beast -- A.I. Artificial Intelligence
    http://www.cloudmakers.org
    The Beast is the respected grandfather of the movement. The story: Evan Chan is murdered in the fictional world of the movie A.I. Clues are available on the internet on approximately 30 interlinked websites (disguised as universities, businesses, personal homepages, etc.). Over 7,000 people combine their knowledge to figure out the murder mystery.

    I Love Bees -- Halo 2
    http://www.ilovebees.com
    Perhaps the most ambitious example of a new medium called "alternate-reality gaming" (which includes The Beast, above). Participants go to a website to learn what pay phones will be called that week (to make it even more geeky, they're listed by GPS coordinates). When they answer the phone, a message is given with a clue. Back on the website, you enter the answer to a question and then hear a 30-second clip of new material. Sometimes when you pick up the phone, you talk to with a live person, and what you say can be incorporated into the online game. The final episode, which had a War of the Worlds feel, was timed to the launch of the videogame. Millions of people came to the site.

    MSN Found -- Microsoft/MSN
    http://www.msnfound.com
    MSN Found has six fake online personalities in their mid-20s (with profiles more stereotypical than MTV's The Real World) write blogs and post video clips. The blogs contain words ("hypnodragon" and "define vertigious") that are intended to drive you to use MSN Search for clues. The hook is that you're supposed to get interested in the personalities, and then use MSN's new search product to find out more about these people. Strangely, the site doesn't use Microsoft's own blogging software, Spaces.

    The 2-Headed Dog -- MTV2
    http://www.the2headeddog.com
    This came about because of MTV2's new branding strategy to compete with the upcoming music video station, Fuse. The site (now defunct) didn't contain much more than strange visuals of two-headed dogs, but it made you scratch your head if you stumbled across it before the station redesign. MTV hired people to spread the word on message boards, which caused a backlash.

    The Lincoln Fry Blog -- McDonald's
    http://lincolnfry.typepad.com/blog/
    http://lincolnfry.yahoo.com
    A Super Bowl commercial about a couple who discovers a McDonald's french fry that looked like Abe Lincoln triggers this escapade. A fake blog chronicles the couple's adventures. After the ad ran, McDonald's decided to sell the fry online, where an online casino (GoldenPalace.com) paid $75,100 for it. So it's like buying someone else's viral marketing scheme to create your own.

    Axe Feather -- Axe Deodorant
    http://www.axefeather.com
    Dumb.

    Counter Counterfeit Commission -- BMW Mini
    http://www.counterfeitmini.org
    This somewhat clever campaign is a fake "detect a fake Mini" site, which contains photos on detecting a fake Mini and a $20 documentary DVD on the Mini counterfeit underworld.

    Elite Designers Against Ikea -- Ikea
    http://www.elitedesigners.org
    Another fakie. Elite designers are against Ikea because their stuff is so cheap. I mean, inexpensive.

    HalloweenM3 -- Mazda
    http://halloweenm3.blogspot.com
    This short-lived experiment from Mazda had a fake blogger talking about the new Mazda M3. The internet community generally disliked this disingenuous attempt. (NOTE: I somehow misidentified this site's name on the radio show. I called it "Raging Cow," which is below.)

    Raging Cow -- Dr. Pepper
    http://blog.ragingcow.com
    Dr. Pepper enlisted six blogging teens to promote the product Raging Cow, a new milk-based drink. The strange thing is that the bloggers aren't paid, yet they enjoy talking about the product -- a clear precursor to the persuaders.

    Find The Message -- GM Onstar
    http://www.findthemessage.com
    17 different words plus the URL FindTheMessage.com are placed on billboards around the country. The goal is to put all the words together to figure out a message. Pieced together from L.A. to New York, it turned out to be "This is the last time you will ever have to feel alone on our nation's roadways," which advertised GM's OnStar navigation product. A prize was to be given to whoever figured it out first, but someone cracked open the site's flash file, and revealed the phrase before actual terrestrial sleuths could figure it out.

    Pump Up The Movie -- Best Buy / Nokia
    http://www.pumpupthemovie.com
    It too me a while to realize that this was a fake movie site which includes a "toss the cheerleader" game. (Created by Space150.com.)

    Fight Big Overcoat -- Transglobal Vacations
    http://www.fightbigovercoat.org
    Another one involving billboards.

    Rubber Burner & Super Greg -- Lee Jeans
    http://www.rubberburner.com
    http://www.supergreg.com
    These long-gone fake homepages of out-of-touch losers were modeled on Mahir, the dancing Turkish hipster from 1999. Fallon was behind the project. (Sidenote: This one was first brought out into the open by Kottke on Metafilter, which seems like a million years ago.)

    Who Ordered Room Service -- Not Bryan Adams
    http://www.whoorderedroomservice.com
    And now there's even parody viral marketing campaigns. At first this looked like a viral campaign by Bryan Adams for his new album, Room Service. Except he had nothing to do with it.

    VW Suicide Bomber -- Probably Not Volkswagen
    http://www.boreme.com/bm/JAN05/a/vw-suicide-bomber/fr.htm
    Because viral marketing is now so prevalant, there's the danger that people will think parodies are real.

    MORE RESOURCES

  • The Viral Awards -- There was even an awards show held a couple weeks ago in New York City.
  • Cripsin Porter + Bogusky -- This is the firm behind many of these, and is generally credited with pioneering the movement.
  • Viral Marketing Manifesto -- Created to fight the backlash and create effective campaigns.
  • The Persuaders -- Great Frontline episode on marketing.
  • Wikipedia -- "Viral marketing" defintion.
  • The Hidden (in Plain Sight) Persuaders -- NYT Mag story on BzzAgent, the company behind a kind of second-generation of viral marketing tactics.
  • GOOD BLOGS & SITES

  • AdFreak.com
  • Adbusters.org
  • Ad Rants
  • Ad Jab
  • Adland
  • Adtunes.com
  • Agenda Inc.
  • All Marketers Are Liars
  • Cool Hunting
  • Adweek
  • TRACKBACKS

  • Adjab -- The prominence of viral marketing
  • Adrants -- Viral Marketing Discussed on NPR's Weekend America
  • Rexblog -- All you ever wanted to know about viral marketing
  • FM Gold -- Is It Effective...And Why Do We Have To Keep Asking?
  • Much Ado About Marketing -- Viral Marketing Discussion On MPR


  • friday
    comments

    POLITICS

    Another design contest from MoveOn.org: BushIn30Years.com.

    DRINK

    Adjectives Rarely Used By Wine Tasters.

    MUSIC

    Sasha Frere-Jones on ringtones in The New Yorker. Contains surprisingly detailed info about the development of polyphonic ringtone and true tone, and some good-to-quote-at-parties information about such topics as the most popular genre (hip-hop -- 56%). My personal ringtone right now is the theme to Cops -- "Bad boys, bad boys, what'chya gonna do?" It's instantly recognizable. My last ringtone was the theme to Six Feet Under, which was also surprisingly recognized by anyone in their 30s.

    A strange mashup of The Beatles' Revolver, which includes tracks with Beck, Madonna, Portishead, Coldplay, Genesis, Hendrix, Deeelite, The Who, The Cure, The Monkees, and Goldfrapp. This is what the kids call "good."

    Beck is debuting five new songs on The O.C.

    Dizzee Rascal arrested (cops found pepper spray and weed).

    Rafat at PaidContent.org has started a blog with Billboard on the economics of digital music.

    FILM

    You've been hearing me complain about movie trailers getting their own releases, and now we have an example of a trailer to a trailer. Madness.

    Just noticed the Illegal-Art.org is selling a DVD-R that contains a bunch of good stuff, including that banned Todd Haynes / Karen Carpenter video.

    The SXSW Film site has trailers to most of the films. Here are some that jumped out at me: Sarah Silverman: Jesus Is Magic | Childstar | Palindromes.

    DESIGN

    Amazingly cool visual representation (using Flash) of Coltrane's "Giant Steps."

    Google Image Search Montage Maker. Fun.

    TV

    Lawrence Lessig on CSPAN's Digital Future Series (that link has an archive).

    The "I Hate Arrested Development" Contest.

    I wonder how many other people (besides me) googled "4 8 15 16 23 42" after this week's episode of Lost. Yep, nothing.

    VH1's Best Week Ever has completely revved up their website. Includes lots of video and a new blog.

    BLOGGERS

    Video to last night's Daily Show segment on bloggers-as-journalists that featured Jay Rosen.

    As a run-up to her keynote at SXSW, Wonkette interviewed in the Austin Chronicle.

    Kottke interviewed in Newsweek.

    MEDIA

    Alright, who photoshopped all the real media celebs into the FishbowlNY Launch Party pics? Ariel Kaminer, Ira Silverberg, John Homans, David Carr, Maer Roshan, and whoever-the-fuck else? When the hell did launching a website make you famous enough to dine at Michael's?

    Ten unmissable examples of New Games Journalism.

    ONLINE

    The guy behind GroupHug.us has written a book. Boston Globe interview.

    Almost a year-and-a-half ago, I did a post about what Friendster can do to keep its users, and perhaps develop a subscription model. Sixteen months later, some of those features are finally starting to show up. Yesterday, they added a subscription-based blogging tool powered by Typepad. (It kinda sucks.)

    MARKETING

    Dunkin Donuts is trying to go middlebrow.

    LOCAL

    Best news since they tore down the plexiglass: First Ave redesigned their website.

    Cool! Amusement rides as transportation!

    New Patriot is delving into video blogging by interviewing a candidate for Minneapolis Library Board.

    Club 331 quietly opened in Northeast this week.

    wednesday
    comments

    LIFESTYLE

    Slate.com asks Which Condom Is Best?

    ONLINE

    Yahoo is 10 years old today. A 10-Year Netrospective. They're giving away ice cream.

    TECH

    No! It looks like NYT is cancelling Circuits [second item], the Thursday tech section. Actually, the section, which used to be a must-read, has been on the slow downward slide toward irrelevance for the past year.

    AIM At Work allows you to synch your AIM Buddy List with Outlook.

    TV

    NYT has more on the reality tv show about the art world mentioned here a couple weeks ago.

    FILM

    WSJ reports that Green Cine Daily (which is one of my favorite blogs) "sparked a 20-fold rise in hits" for Green Cine (the rent-by-mail DVD service). See also: Netflix' corporate blogger, The Rocchi Report.

    More ridiculous trailer premieres: Star Wars Trailer to Premiere On The O.C..

    MARKETING

    Slate loves that "All about the 'O'" commercial from Overstock.com.

    T-SHIRTS

    Some new ones at Non-Zero Change. I like "I'm Somebody's Fetish" and "I'm Not Your Damn Search Engine".

    TIVO

    Forrester Memo to Steve Jobs: Buy TiVo.

    LOCAL

    Dylan Hicks does a great job on a suite of stories about 89.3 The Current in CP. Paul Demko talks about the successes (sometimes forced) of the station, Diablo Cody looks at the personalities behind the station, and Dylan critiques the whiteness of the programming. Have you noticed that everyone is talking about radio lately?

    I completely missed the story about a screenwriter who took out an advert in City Pages to contact Josh Hartnett about his screenplay. I almost hate to tell the guy that Josh regularly gets orange juice at my neighorhood coffeeshop.

    You a nerd? Then MarsCon, which is going on this weekend, is probably for you.

    A friend of mine from college has published her book about the Grand Forks disaster of 1997, where I lost my apartment and everything else in a flood and fire. (Previously: Ashley Shelby's book, where I'm a prominent "character.")

    I haven't made it over to Creative Electric for the new poster show with Squad19 (CP story), but it looks like Minneapolis has another great design collective to add to the list.

    tuesday
    comments

    The past five days have involved sleeping in a different city every night, in this order: San Francisco, Minneapolis, Toledo, Ithaca, and New York City. I have only one piece of advice from this experience: don't attempt to drive a Uhaul into Manhattan via the Holland Tunnel. Just trust me on this. But I'm home and safe, and here is where we left off:

    BLOGS

    Ana Marie is back at the helm of Wonkette.

    The Guardian has launched a blog.

    MARKETING

    Burger King's take on Pimp My Ride: PimpMyBurger.com.

    TV

    Copyright issues are preventing shows like WKRP in Cincinnati from showing up on DVD.

    CELEBRITY

    In what must be a first, Halle Berry picks up her Razzie in person. (Update: A reader writes in to say that Tom Green showed up for his Freddy Got Fingered Razie.)

    A little profile of Portia de Rossi in Paper.

    PUBLISHING

    For self-publishers: How to Sell Your Book, CD, or DVD on Amazon.

    ONLINE

    Wired mag profiles Yahoo as the UnGoogle. It's a good comparison the strengths of each company.

    GADGETS

    You'd expect a T-Mobile backlish with the newest Paris Hilton scandal, but the exact opposite happened.

    MEDIA

    Now Michael Wolff (through a proxy) has told Felix Salmon to take down the speech text. Now it's on Cryptome, therefore guaranteeing its legacy and creating even more controversy. Silly Wolff.

    Profile of the Vice empire, which is now multi-million dollars strong.

    MUSIC

    Gothamist interviews Lou Barlow.

    I hate that new Interpol puppet as much as that goddamn Arby's oven mitt. MTV.com has everything you wanted to know about the ugly marionette.

    New Fiona Apple tracks.

    TECH

    While I was out of town, it looks like Odeo launched (NYT story), and then unlaunched.

    LOCAL

    Lookie! The Walker relaunched the website with a new design. The plans for openening weekend (April 16-17) have been announced too.

    Jayhawks: unbroken up.

    Buffalo, MN becomes one of the first cities to have a mesh network.

    If you read between the lines at this post from 89.3 The Current, it seems as though the station is failing to meet its financial (membership) goals.

    friday
    comments

    Back from San Fran, here are some pics from the Wired Rave Awards party. My posse included Alexis, Maud, John (of Dogster), and Robin (of INdTV). Talked to a few people, including Xeni Jardin and Kevin Sites. Now I'm off to NYC, but first, today's links:

    ONLINE

    Wonkette on Howard Stern in Wired.

    MSNBC.com's "Big Picture" for the Academy Awards is always pretty cool.

    Vimeo, "a site for organizing and sharing your video clips." In other words, a video Flickr -- it even includes tags.

    Panels for SXSW Interactive have been announced.

    So Meg and Jason broke up. And Justin quit. And now Jorn is back? Slow down, internet.

    DUMB CELEBS

    How did Paris' Sidekick get hacked? Actually, it was cracked -- by using her pet's name as a password reminder. Brilliant.

    Absolutely everything you wanted to know about George W. Bush's media/culture consumption, from what's on his iPod to his awareness of John Stewart and The Fockers.

    MERGERS

    Reuters is reporting that Apple might buy TiVo. I knew I should've bought stock when it was under $4.

    Rumor that Yahoo is buying Flickr.

    MUSIC

    Video to LCD Soundsystem's "Daft Punk is Playing at my House." Excellent.

    Beatallica.org shut down.

    SXSW music schedule announced. 1300 bands in five days... how many will I even remember?

    FILM

    Trailer to A Scanner Darkly. Looks like another Linklater smash.

    Google adds a new category (sorta): Movies.

    DESIGN

    When Multimedia was Black & White.

    Macromedia gallery of Flash Apps on Mobile Devices.

    WORDS

    Dave Eggers interviewed in Onion A/V.

    The first page of DeLillo's White Noise annotated.

    BLOGGERS

    Rappers and Bloggers, seperated at birth.

    Slate.com has started a column called Today's Blogs, similar to the Today's Papers concept. Dumb thing: no permanent index page to link to or bookmark.

    FASHION

    New t-shirt: paris made me change my number.

    New blog: Purseuing, "a blog obsessively covering purses, bags, totes, clutches, and just about anything else you can carry on your shoulder." (See previously: Wrist Fashion.)

    LOCAL

    Did you see the detailed piece that Pitchfork did on The Current? Good stuff, including some speculation that the model could spread.

    State Of Minnesota Too Polite To Ask For Federal Funding.

    Diablo Cody -- yes, she of the defunct Pussy Ranch -- is the new associate arts editor at City Pages. She brought back the blog.

    wednesday
    comments

    LOCAL

    A day of mixed emotions for me today as I fly back to Minneapolis to say goodbye to my roommate and favorite person in the world. (If you live up north, I hope to see you at the going-away party, which has four of the best local bands performing: Melodious Owl, Friends Like These, Thunder in the Valley, and Revolver Modele.) Melissa is leaving The Cities to work at Spin, where she'll join the rest of the Minnesota Music Mafia. Her final column is a big wet kiss for the Minneapolis music scene. I'll miss ya, kid. I expect drunken phone calls from Brooklyn rooftops.

    tuesday
    comments

    Just a couple notes today: Kevin Sites won the Wired Rave Awards nod in the blogger category. I hope to congratulate him (though he's in Iraq, I think) and the others at the awards party tonight. Also, we should mention that Kottke has officially quit his job and moved his site to a contribution model. I'm sure everyone in the blogosphere is cheering for me. See ya in a couple days, unless I post something from the awards party.

    monday
    comments

    Blogging might be light for a while, as this week marks the beginning of Rex's Pre-Spring World Tour. Over the next month, I'll be in San Fran (Feb. 21-23), NYC (Feb. 25-27), and Austin (March 12-20). Holler if you wanna hang.

    TV

    How convenient! The Parent's Television Council keeps a gallery of what it considers the "Worst Clips Of The Week." In other words, the best tv of the week.

    TV Sked: When is Law & Order on? Answer: pretty much always.

    Anderson Cooper becomes a tough guy when interviewing Jeff Gannon.

    WORDS

    Hunter S. Thompson killed himself.

    Microsoft: A parent's primer to computer slang. Can you say grungegate?

    CELEB

    In a story ready-made for every site in the Denton network, Paris Hilton's phone was hacked, revealing naughty cam pics of her making out with Nicole Lenz and a gigantic address book of celebs, including Anna Kournikova, Vin Diesel, Victoria Gotti, Stephen King, Usher, Ashlee Simpson, Lindsey Lohan, Avril Lavigne, Lil John, Seth Green, Eminem, Russell Simmons, Christina Aguilera, Nicole Richie, Pat O'Brien, Fred Durst, and countless other strange aliases. Don't bother calling though -- no one's answering.

    BLOGS

    The video to the Charlie Rose special that featured bloggers.

    The godfather of blogging, Justin Hall, stops updating his site and SF Chron writes about it. Includes mentions of other bloggers who have quit, including Andrew Sullivan, Peter Merholz, and William Gibson.

    Gothamist interviews Best Week Ever's Jessi Klein.

    IPOD

    Wikipod, a wiki for iPods.

    FASHION

    Devastating. Dolce and Gabbana have split up.

    FILM

    Huh, they're letting David Duchovny direct: House of D trailer.

    MUSIC

    Guardian: 10 Greatest Rock 'n Roll Myths.

    Performance video of Arcade Fire's "Wake Up."

    LOCAL

    The New York Times continues its fascination with all-things-North-Dakotan with a story that mixes Grand Forks fishing and podcasting.

    friday
    comments

    Primo links today. Honest:

    ONLINE

    Someone finally posted the video from Wednesday night's Daily Show segment on blogs. Super excellent. (Chuck also has it.) See also: Daily Show Slash Fiction.

    In addition to new instant messenger features, Friendster has added discussions, which have Craiglist-ish qualities. But ya gotta wonder: does anyone even notice or care anymore?

    Friday Flash Fun: EndOfTheWorld.net.

    Cool audio historical analysis of Wikipedia, with the Heavy Metal Umlaut as the subject.

    MEDIA

    I don't care what you say, I think it's weird that the New York Times bought About.com. I mean, imagine writing that headline five years ago.

    FILM

    From Errol Morris' Aborted Projects: Donald Trump on Citizen Kane. Friggin brilliant.

    MUSIC

    Beatallica (the Beatles-Metallica mashup) has been issued a cease-and-desist from Sony.

    Ryan Adams has either lost his mind, or he's working a marketing angle in which you're supposed to think he has. His site now is just a big ball of worms -- literally. A couple of the worms make noise if you click them. A small area in the lower-right has a hidden link to a crazy recorded phone conversation between him and his label, which is probably staged.

    GAMES

    NYT Circuits hangs out with the designers and developers of America's Army while they are in turn hanging out with the U.S. military.

    Of all the features to make available in video games, it's actually surprising that it took so long to add pizza delivery.

    Looks like it's worth checking out: This Is Not A Game: A Guide To Alternate Reality Games. First two chapters available for download.

    Kotaku has a minor scoop on the Xbox 360°.

    ART

    It's about time that the art world got its own reality tv show. Artstar is an unscripted television series about trying to make it big in the New York art world

    Wall Street Journal story on digital art, with links to Mark Amerika, Mark Napier, and others.

    MEDIA

    I wonder if I should post the copy of the Michael Wolff speech that he demanded be removed from I Want Media. Does this remind anyone of, oh, say, Eason Jordan? And isn't he smart enough to realize that now everyone will seek out this speech? Or might he actually know that, hoping dumb bloggers like me give him more attention for a couple days? Oh, whatever, who cares, here it is. And that's the weird thing -- it's pretty good.

    BOOZE

    Slate.com: Which Celebrities Make The Best Wine?

    SWIMSUITS

    Slate.com: An Intellectual History of The Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue. And The Superficial has some very NSFW pics of the supermodel on the cover before she was, um, super.

    LOCAL

    Hey FOX9, editorialize much?

    Is anyone attending any of the Spark festival? I feel kinda bad for not going to a single event so far.

    thursday
    comments

    FILM

    Amazon.com of all places has the "world premiere" of the Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy trailer. Since when do we have world premiere's of trailers? More info.

    BLOGS

    IDisagreeWithMaureenDowd (dot-com).

    Interview with Mark of Whatevs.org.

    NPR interviews Slate political blogger Mickey Kaus.

    TV

    More signs of Yahoo getting into content: it will stream the entire first episode of Fat Actress.

    Jon Stewart now has a production company.

    ONLINE

    MSN's new viral game: MSN Found. [via]

    Peter Jennings interviews Bill Gates.

    MUSIC

    Madonna's next album will be inspired by The Darkness. [via]

    wednesday
    comments

    IPOD

    11 percent of America owns one.

    ONLINE

    Yahoo released a little new search tool called Y!Q (beta). The idea is that you do contextual (rather than keyword), inline (rather than new window) searching. I don't think this will take off (except maybe in automated cases, like "related links" on pages), but I like the idea. Interview with the creator.

    I'm so going to blog hell. Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue.

    DVD

    The director's cut of Donnie Darko came out on DVD yesterday.

    WORDS

    Why stop now? Malcolm Gladwell interviewed in Nerve.com.

    No one even noticed that Bill Clinton won a Grammy (his second).

    MEDIA

    Michael Wolff, who I actually like, goes a little crazy.

    Mark Cuban: Political Bloggers - The New Paparazzi.

    The first issue of Make is out.

    Al Jazeera is hiring executive producers in D.C. for its English-language network. [via LR]

    TV

    The first cool app to come out of TiVo opening the box to developers is an eBay client.

    If you're one of those people who didn't understand the Buffy phenom until it was too late, then you should be watching Veronica Mars right now. It's the best show on TV that isn't Arrested Development. A couple stories: Veronica a Worthy Successor to Buffy (Philly Daily News) and Alyson Hannigan Talks About The Show.

    T-SHIRTS

    I Have Political Enemies.

    MUSIC

    The much-anticipated LCD Soundsystem album came out yesterday.

    ART

    I swore not to write a word about The Gates in Central Park, until Greg.org did some math on the $20 million price tag. Also: space image and flickr photos and saffron is so hot right now.

    DESIGN

    Design Observer (today in the form of Tom Vanderbilt) on band fonts -- or actually on the rise and fall of rock and roll graphic design.

    CELEBRITY

    Jenna Elfman: crazy Scientologist.

    LOCAL

    The Current's playlist on Valentine's Day (audio). See, I told you it was pretty good.

    Rob Nelson and Terri Sutton do their entertaining side-by-side film views again -- this time on Inside Deep Throat. Meanwhile, a long look at the history of Clear Channel.

    monday
    comments

    FOUND ONLINE

    Found on Amazon.com: JL421 Badonkadonk Land Cruiser/Tank. ($20K. Read the reviews.)

    Found on Wikipedia: Twoallbeefpattiesspecialsauce
    lettucecheesepicklesonionsona
    sesameseedbun
    .

    Found on McSweeney's: Necrophiliac Pickup Lines.

    MUSIC

    Someone mixed that Nina Gordon cover of "Straight Outta Compton" with video from NWA.

    NYT: We Hate the 80's. The premise is GenX-ers aren't buying the nostalgia machine. I wonder.

    New Gorillaz. Excellent.

    WaPo: the future music format is no format.

    FILM

    A mobile film festival: Mobicine.com.

    New film from Rebecca Miller (daughter of Arthur Miller): The Ballad of Jack and Rose.

    Hanging out in Roger Ebert's four-and-a-half-story Chicago town house.

    PUBLISHING

    NYT profiles the site InsideHigherEd.com, "the first significant competition in higher education publishing since the intellectual-if-gossipy Lingua Franca folded." The site was started by two Chronicle of Higher Education alums.

    Nerve.com: My Unrequited Love For A McSweeney's Writer.

    At Salon.com, Laura Miller profiles H.P. Lovecraft, "America's greatest bad writer."

    MEDIA

    Rolling Stone profiles the Sinclair Broadcast Group, which is more to the right than Fox News.

    In an otherwise unessential read, the first paragraph of this NYT story reveals that Armstrong Williams' partner in the Graham Williams Group was Stedman Graham -- yes, Oprah's boyfriend.

    Jeff Jarvis was on Reliable Sources this weekend, talking Eason Jordon and Jeff Gannon. Here's the video.

    NYT: Bloggers as News Media Trophy Hunters.

    FUNNY DOGS

    NYT Mag: Questions For Triumph The Insult Comic Dog.

    TV

    Morgan Spurlock of Supersize Me has a new film tv show in development in which a group of mothers drink what the average college senior drinks over the course of a month. Gawker has the casting call.

    ManiaTV, a streaming tv network with music videos. I watched during the Grammy's and it wasn't bad.

    NYT: The History Of Girls Kissing On TV. (I thought the first was Roseanne -- turns out, it was L.A. Law.)

    B&C looks at the insurance costs inside Fear Factor and others. Includes a list of all the lawsuits filed against reality tv shows.

    DESIGN

    Cool interface for looking at baby name popularity.

    Authenticity: A User's Guide.

    NETFLIX

    Ever wondered what a Netflix distribution center was like? Okay.

    LOCAL

    Did you know that Charlize Theron and Woody Harrelson are hanging out in the Iron Range?

    Chalk up another quasi-win for Minnesota bloggers. Captain's Quarters was one of the leading blogs behind Eason Jordon's ouster.

    thursday
    comments

    MUSIC

    It seems Pazz & Jop comes out later every year. Everyone knew Kayne would win, but Brian Wilson and Loretta Lynn coming in next was a surprise. Plus Green Day and U2 in the top 10 makes this the most conservative P&J that I can remember. The ballots.

    Lessig on Wilco.

    Smoosh, a shockingly good indie rock band consisting of two sisters, ages 10 and 12. Album and samples on Amazon. [via Waxy]

    MUSIC VIDEOS

    Another Beck video: "Black Tambourine". Is he planning to do a video for every damn song on the new album?

    ONLINE

    Video from Vloggercon is now available.

    Salon.com looks closely at 43 Things, which is funded by Amazon.

    Friendster added a chatting service (one-to-one chat, like IM). I have no idea if this will save the company, but I suddenly have a bunch of friends using it.

    IPOD

    Sirius is trying (and failing) to hook up with the iPod.

    GAMES

    Alex Garland (28 Days Later) is pegged to do the movie version of Halo 2. Ridley Scott was rumored before. [via greg.org]

    TV

    Marcia Cross: not gay. And a good thread tracking the rumor.

    Onion A/V: Interview with Mitchell Hurwitz, creator of Arrested Development. At the same time, bad news for the show.

    Questions Frequently Asked About TiVo, Answered by Someone Who Loves TiVo Too Much. "Is TiVo male or female?"

    NY Observer: The SNL Skit That Paris Hilton Wouldn't Do. What's she got against Joey Buttafuoco?

    Cory at Lost Remote has some ideas on how to fix tv for our demographic. Includes ideas sampled from Fark, reality tv, and viral marketing.

    WORDS

    Neal Stephenson in Reason.

    ART

    A Yahoo Slideshow for a Lucien Freud painting (it's of a pregnant Kate Moss).

    MEDIA

    After its first profitable quarter ever, Dave Talbot is leaving Salon.

    Paris Hilton is on the cover of Playboy, but her publicist says, "I don't even know where they got that photo." Is this a first for Playboy -- throwing a celeb on the cover without having pictures inside? The cover story -- "25 Sexiest Celebrites" -- seems like a shift toward a Maxim audience.

    LOCAL

    CityPages.com redesigned. What do I think? Well, let's just say I think they're under-playing what people want from a site like this: daily content. Too much "cover story think" for the wrong medium. Editor's note.

    I guess MPLS Happy Hour wasn't enough -- we also got Thrifty Hipster.

    Ross reports that The Current has started airing "Sounds Eclectic," the KCRW show which everyone cites as "what Minneapolis really needs."

    Guess who's #1 on ESPN.com's Top 10 Overpaid Players? Spreeeeeeweelllll!

    KARE11 did a long piece (5+ mins) on the power of blogs. They actually use the word "information superhighway" in the video.

    tuesday
    comments

    GOOGLE

    Someone slow them down. Just launched: Google Maps.

    Kottke noticed that Google switched their Dictionary.com link to an Answers.com link. (How does he always noticed things like this before anyone else?)

    Wanna buy an internet company? About.com is for sale. Bidders include: Google, Yahoo, NYT, and AOL.

    DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES

    CNN just reported that Marcia Cross is a lesbian. She will come out in The Advocate, and apparently her character (Bree Van De Camp) will come out on the show.

    The DVD version of Desperate Housewives will probably include some nudity and stuff.

    SEX + VEGETARIANS

    The PETA Super Bowl advert that was rejected.

    Vegan Sex Shop (dot-com).

    MUSIC

    Banned 50 Cent video. I can't believe MTV won't air orgies.

    FILM

    Waxy's annual investigation into the Oscar-nominated films leaked onto the internet.

    Wired News reviews the documentary 24 Hours on Craiglist (trailer), which chronicles the outcome of more than 80 craigslist postings from a single day.

    ONLINE

    Economist: The economics of sharing.

    Interview with Stewart Butterfield on Flickr.

    MARKETING

    Business 2.0: MTV2's Two-Headed Dog Isn't Paper-Trained.

    TV

    If you missed Rumsfeld on Meet the Press last week, you missed quite a doozy. Lisa Rein has it.

    LOCAL

    Malcolm Gladwell is reading tonight at the Edina Barnes and Noble at 7:30.

    sunday
    comments

    Even though my friends chuckle when I say it, I don't think of myself as a gadget person. "Rex, you carry around your email in your pocket everywhere you go," they say. "And you move music videos from your TiVo onto a cell phone just so you can show them to people at parties."

    Okay, maybe that's a little nerdy. But I don't identify with more reputable gadgeteers because I only believe in technology that makes my life better. I have a simple set of criteria for a gadget to make it into my world: if it makes my life more complex, slow, or tedious, I don't want it; if it creates new, quick experiences, I do.

    With that in mind, here's an average day in my life, with digital devices being the organizing principle.

    8:00 AM -- Treo

    The alarm on the PalmOne Treo goes off.

    The best thing about my Treo is that I need fewer devices because of it. In addition to no longer tinkering with an alarm clock, there's no longer a home phone. And, for a long time, I didn't have a digital camera either. (The Treo's cam is pretty sucky, so I eventually bought a Sony Cybershot.) Some people think that forcing gadgets into a swiss army knife device will ruin them, but I actually long for the day that I can get a phone with a bottle opener.

    8:02 AM -- Cuisinart Coffee

    I can hear beans grinding in the coffeemaker.

    Saving me the messy tedium of moving coffee grinds from grinder to maker is almost enough to make this device worth its money. Additional cool features: the timer, a filter-less setup, and the R2D2 look.

    8:05 AM -- GoToMyPC

    I sit down at my home computer and am instantly controlling my work desktop.

    I'm not sure how I lived before GoToMyPC. Through some kind of miracle in engineering, I'm allowed to remotely take over my work PC. If someone were sitting in my office while I do this, they would see my mouse moving around and emails being typed. I could turn on iTunes for them, and play the new Daft Punk single.

    I usually spend an hour answering email from home with GoToMyPC. This allows me to avoid early morning traffic while still being "in the office."

    9:30 AM -- PC

    At home, I drive a Sony Vaio with a dual-monitor setup. At work, it's just one monitor, but I consume so much media through other screens, including a couple TVs that play CNN/MSNBC/FOX all day.

    Here are the applications that are usually running on my work PC all day: AOL Instant Messenger, Microsoft Outlook, Adobe Photoshop, Macromedia Homesite, Macromedia Flash, Microsoft Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Sony Vegas Video, and Apple iTunes.

    3:40 PM -- Razor Scooter

    Time for a break.

    My razor scooter is probably the most stereotypical dot-com thing I own. I mostly use it to speed back and forth between the coffee machine and my office.

    6:00 PM -- Sirius

    This is where I tell you that I listen to Sirius radio on the way home from work.

    But I don't. It would make sense -- Alexis bought me Sirius for Christmas, but I haven't used it yet. It seems impossible to somehow fit this into my bulging media diet. Instead, my half-hour commute home is usually the only time where I attentively listen to music on CD. Oh yeah, I drive a Mustang, which is one of America's last remaining attempts at good automotive engineering.

    6:30 PM -- RadioShark

    Time to catch up on the radio programming I missed today.

    Part of the reason I'm not using Sirius is this little gadget. RadioShark is basically TiVo for radio. You tell it to record programs at a given time, and it will create audio files (WMVs) that you play on your PC or transport to other devices. In conjuncture with the iPod/iTrip, you can record programs and play them back in your car. I use it to record Marketplace, On The Media, and Future Tense. In the future, this device will hopefully evolve with more advanced futures like those on TiVo, such as keyword recording and recommendations.

    6:45 PM -- iPod Mini

    Time to go running.

    Some people use their iPod everywhere they go, but I only use it for two things: jogging and parties. I happen to still love the compact disc, and enjoy the presence of my thousand-disc music collection.

    7:15 PM -- Treo SMS

    Alexis texts me that she'll be coming over later to watch last night's Desperate Housewives.

    She uses SMS more than she uses the phone. I've always thought that texting was for people under 25, but she's out to prove the demo wrong.

    8:15 PM -- TiVo

    I quickly fly through last night's Daily Show. I tend to watch most of the monologue, skip the middle skit segment (unless it's "This Week In God"), and then watch my favorite part -- the interview -- closely.

    Putting the plasma TV / TiVo combination in my bedroom has completely changed social aspects of my house. Previously, the focal point of the house was the living room; now, people hang out in my bedroom. This has been immensely advantageous to certain parts of my life.

    8:30 PM -- TiVoToGo

    I'm traveling this weekend, so I move a couple episodes of Veronica Mars onto my Toshiba laptop for later viewing.

    TiVo once commandeered my bedroom, but now with the TiVoToGo software, it's a portable genius. Beyond allowing me to play recorded TV all around the house (on TVs and computers), it also functions as a webserver, so I can remotely access what's recorded on it. The potential is just starting to reveal itself.

    9:00 PM -- Creative Zen PMC

    I load up the PMC with the latest Beck, Atmosphere, and M.I.A. videos.

    For the most part, this is still a device waiting for a use. The concept is basically "iPod Video," but I haven't really figured out how to fit this kind of viewing into my life. Right now, I load it up with music videos, and then take it to parties, where I pass it around for people to watch and talk about. This is very fun, but it hasn't exactly justified the $500 price tag yet.

    I've moved full-length movies onto it (and television programming from TiVoToGo), but it doesn't quite feel right watching long programming on it.

    11:00 PM -- Blogging

    Time to blog. The mechanics of this part of my day are a complete secret.

    Midnight -- xBox

    I play a couple rounds of Halo 2 before falling asleep. No need to set the alarm for tomorrow -- the Treo knows.

    sunday
    comments

    ONLINE

    Google has added the "Local" tab to its homepage. I'm a heavy user of Google Local, so it's great to see it up front. (Who wants to bet on Video, Print, or Scholar being the next to move to prime time?)

    BLOGS

    New Calcanis blog: AdJab, from the author of The Media Drop.

    Lizzy Spears responds to the cat fight accusations between her and Gawker.

    Jay Rosen from Pressthink is the latest blogger writing a media book. Tentative title: Gatekeepers Without Gates.

    Ask Jeeves has purchased Bloglines.

    MARKETING

    In the future, only car companies will make movies. Here's some new crazy thing from Mercury.

    MEDIA

    Barb's most recent AJR column starts with a story about a guy watching The Apprentice. That guy is me. (Oh yeah, the column is about RSS. It's good.)

    Being on a panel with Dan Gillmor last week was pretty cool. His recent post on how to improve editorial pages is a good example of how he's infiltrating newsrooms.

    Chris Anderson has an interesting take on abundance economics affecting the notion of objectivity.

    I really wanted to go, but couldn't make it to Poynter's Web+10 seminar. Here's a collection of audio clips.

    MUSIC

    DJs will probably do amazing things with these: John Bonham drum outtakes.

    Extremely cool: Band Fonts. Expect all future emails from me to be in the Kix font.

    With mixed effects, NYT tries the sociological approach on the Montreal scene, in which you're supposed to feel sorry for Canadians who speak English.

    TV

    Video of Joe Klein on the Daily Show.

    Biz Week has a series of articles on The Future of TV, including one on IPTV.

    GoDaddy.com has both the Super Bowl ad they showed and the one that was turned down.

    NYT: The L behind The L Word.

    A new show from BBC about the media called The Desk has some buzz. The creator of the magazine Wallpaper, Tyler Brûlé, is brains behind the show.

    FILM

    Trailer to a Klaus Nomi documentary.

    Cinema Bed. Gimme.

    IPOD

    Newsweek: Does Your iPod Play Favorites?

    Slate: How to make your iPod an audiophile's dream.

    CNET: My iPod beats satellite radio any day.

    Salon: Hallelujah, the Mac is back.

    GAMES

    Onion A/V talks to Will Wright and Howard Scott Warshaw.

    Gamespot reviews Playboy: The Mansion.

    Cool video of augmented reality technology.

    LOCAL

    MNDodgeball.com.

    Today in literature, Sinclair Lewis was born in Sauk Centre.

    Anyone visited the Mill City Museum? Completely by accident, I drove by it the other day, and it looks kinda cool. Designed by the local firm MS&R.

    If you haven't noticed, the Cesar Pelli library is starting to take shape. BTW, I hear the Walker is reopening in April.

    thursday
    comments

    LOCAL

    Chuck has a post about yesterday's Blogumentary screening.

    IDEAS

    Since everyone else is interviewing Malcolm Gladwell, why not ESPN. Probably the best conversation that I've ever read about the Super Bowl.

    MEDIA

    Buy Might magazines through the 826 Valencia site.

    Strange yet cool Flash thing at BBC: Onelife. You feed your little dancing boy some booze, coke, weed, E, shrooms, or speed -- and then you watch him dance. Pro-drug or anti-drug?

    ONLINE

    The Absolute Bottom 50 Blogs. #50: MyBlogAboutHowLameIThinkBlogsAre.com

    Ikea chat bot.

    I've been complaining for a while that Amazon doesn't offer special deals to heavy users of the site -- people who spend, say, a thousand bucks a year there (who you lookin at?). A small step is Amazon Prime, which gives a year of free two-day shipping for $79. (But if this takes away free shipping for the $25+ orders, I'm gonna be pissed off.)

    Oh goodie. MSN is launching a gigantic ad campaign for its new search engine. And if you're into that kind of thing, MSN redesigned their homepage -- and it's even using strict XHTML.

    In Business 2.0, a profile of eBay's global expansion. Almost half of its business is now from outside the U.S.

    BLOGS

    Yahoo Japan launched blogs, so you can probably expect it in the U.S. soon.

    The Associated Press is starting a blog called Bad Language.

    In addition to the all the new blogs, MediaBistro changed their entire front page into a blog.

    Wonkette has hung up the typewriter while she finishes her novel. Choire Sicha fills in.

    TV

    Martha Stewart has been hired by Donald Trump.

    Wired's profile of Comedy Central.

    MUSIC

    For you music journalists who will be interviewing Beck when his new album comes out this spring: The Secret Life of Beck Hansen - A Guide for the Professional Journalist. Who will be the first to get him to talk about Scientology?

    The new Index (the one with the real Yoshimi on the cover) has a one-page blurb on Kim Gordon, but the picture of her is priceless.

    Coachella lineup announced. Surprisingly '90s.

    Audio-Video Mashup of Monkees' "I'm a Believer" and Beatles' "Paperback Writer."

    iPoditude.com: The iPod Blog.

    The Flickr Song.

    Pitchfork: The Top 100 Singles: 2000-04.

    MUSIC VIDEOS

    Kinda cool 360-degree video. The music is by a band called Two Lone Swordsmen.

    Death Cab For Cutie's "Title & Registration".

    FILM

    "The first film to be made from a Don DeLillo script, Game 6, had its premiere at Sundance a couple of weeks ago." More info.

    Michael Tortorello reviews the documentary Game Over, which recounts the 1997 Deep Blue versus Gary Kasparov match.

    Flashback: trailer to Godard's Maculin, Féminine.

    Another maybe-interesting documentary: Inside Deep Throat.

    MARKETING/BIZ

    Top brands of 2004. 1) Apple 2) Google 3) Ikea 4) Starbucks 5) Al Jazeera.

    Business 2.0's 101 Dumbest Moments and The Smart List.

    DESIGN

    MediaBistro interviews the legendary Roger Black.

    LOCAL

    CityPages.com is doing a redesign, and here's a screenshot of what it will look like. Hm, looks busy.

    Yo, yo, guess who's blogging. Your mayor (and it's not fake -- PiPress article).

    I think I'm on Jim Walsh's side on our new radio station. "Predictably, and sadly, within hours of the station's launch last Monday came the bitching. It wasn't this enough or that enough. It was too soft or too hard. The porridge wasn't just right." My friends like to debate The Current, and that's what I like most about it. Plus, it does things like interview Low.

    monday
    comments

    TV

    Petition to make the Daily Show an hour long.

    The Sunday Times Arts section chooses video filesharing as its cover story. While pondering recent developments in media control -- including MythTV (basically a homemade DVR) and Videora (basically a mix of RSS and BitTorrent) -- the article takes the now-common tone of "tv executives don't want their industry to be the next Napster." But, as usual, there's little substance on what they might be doing about it. (And not even a passing note on Google Video or Blinkx.) It also mentions EFF's Television Digital Liberation Front, a protest against the upcoming broadcast flag mandate.

    Coming to a DVD nearest you: the first season of Dynasty (April 19 release).

    NYT: Class issues in The Apprentice. Glad to see the grad schools are still churning out people who talk like this.

    BizWeek: Microsoft May Be A TV Star Yet.

    Waxy has more on the A9/OC connection, including video of the episode.

    MEDIA

    So you always wanted to get into the news business? Now's your chance: Al Jazeera is up for sale.

    ONLINE

    Elizabeth Spiers' Fishbowl NY is supposed to launch today. NYT exaggerated in calling it a "face-off" between it and Gawker. UPDATE: It launched along with other new MediaBistro sites, including Fishbowl LA, Fishbowl DC, and Unbeige. UPDATE UPDATE: Denton has launched two new ones too: Gridskipper ("urban travel") and Lifehacker (tech tips).

    iPod Stories (dot-com). Wired News has the story on the man behind it. He likes the word technotranscendent. Good line: "The iPod is no longer just an instrument or a tool, but a part of myself. It's a body extension. It's part of my memory, and if I lose this stuff, I lose part of my identity."

    NYT Styles puts blogging moms on the cover with a profile of Heather Armstrong of Dooce.com. And the San Francisco Chronicle profiles Anastasia Goodstein of YPulse and a recent INdTV hire.

    FILM

    Have you heard who's set to direct Jonathan Franzen's The Corrections? Robert Zemeckis.

    In a somewhat strange case, some people think Clint Eastwood is a bigot for his Oscar-nominated Million Dollar Baby. Roger Ebert isn't one of them.

    MUSIC

    M.I.A. seems to be the most hyped artist of the moment. Her new album isn't even out until next month, yet she's appearing on music blogs everywhere. NYT had her do a playlist this week.

    Wanna hear a track from the upcoming FisherSpooner? Sure ya do.

    MUSIC VIDEOS

    Another new Beck video: "E Pro". (This one's directed by Shynola, not the one that I pointed to the other day.) It rocks.

    Guardian: Top 20 Music Videos Ever. "Thriller" isn't #1!

    BOOKS/IDEAS

    NYTBR gives the backpage to Steven Johnson to ruminate on software that helps the writing process. His blog has more info on the software. Recommended.

    Bookforum takes an extensive look at copyright.

    The Guardian has an excerpt of Haruki Murakami's Kafka on the Shore.

    GAMES

    There's a lot of talk in the game industry about introducing more narrative into games. Clive Thompson at Slate.com argues the exact opposite. Excerpt: When a game has a story that "ends" after 40 hours of play, you have to throw it away -- and go spend another $50 on the next title. That's movie-industry logic, not game logic. Chess doesn't "end." Neither do hockey, bridge, football, Go, playing with dolls, or even Tetris.

    Some details on Katamari Damacy 2. (I highly recommend playing the first one while very wasted.)

    DESIGN

    Probably the coolest Flash slideshow that I've ever seen.

    POLITICS

    Ever wonder what Newt Gingrich has been up to? Really, you do? Well, WaPo has a long profile for you.

    LOCAL

    Everyone and their daughter was at the Melodious Owl / Olympic Hopefuls / Faux Jean show on Saturday. The queue outside could have you waiting in the cold for up to an hour, but I was lucky enough to have friends sneak in the back. I guess that's what happen when there's nothing going on in January and the Strib puts you on the cover.

    NYT looks at the age-discrimination suit going on over at Best Buy. Interesting tidbit: the average age of its 5,000 employees is 29.

    What is the only state that has never had a tv series located in it? North Dakota.

    Following a Blogumentary screening, I will be on a panel at the U of M St. Paul Campus Theater. The author of We Media, Dan Gillmor, will be there too. More details.

    friday
    comments

    TV

    Someone has posted the video of the new American version of The Office.

    Amazon plugs A9.com on The OC.

    ONLINE

    Yahoo introduces a new mobile tool, which moves online content to your cellphone.

    FILM

    A couple new documentary trailers: Gunner Palace (Iraq) and Watermarks (female Jewish swimmers).

    Oh, and finally Christina Ricci is back, in a Wes Craven flick, Cursed. (Plus Portia de Rossi!)

    TOYS

    Action figures from Hieronymus Bosch, Salvador Dali, -- my fave -- Pieter Breughel.

    Probably the first time we've linked to a poem here: I Ate My Ipod Shuffle.

    MEDIA

    Up next: Marketwatch's Jon Friedman answers how CBS can salvage the evening news.

    MUSIC VIDEOS

    Norman Cook's Bikini Wax.

    MUSIC

    Mojo's Top 100 Soundtracks of All Time.

    LOCAL

    Old friend, Sarah Henning reviews Low for the Duluth News Tribune.

    thursday
    comments

    ONLINE

    I know, you already know: Google Video Search.

    The 2005 Bloggies site is back up. (It was down most of last week.)

    ANT is out. It allows you to subscribe to RSS feeds that automatically download video.

    Amazon has added a new feature onto its A9 search engine that lets you see photos of the location you're trying to find. (Only available in 10 cities right now.) Here's how they did it.

    That Wired Firefox story is now up. So is the faux-memo-from-the-future that imagines Linus Torvalds dropping Bill Gates a note.

    TV

    Two Johnny Carson Clips You Won't See on CNN This Week.

    Prices are dropping! The entire first season of Buffy is on sale at Amazon for $15. That was short-lived. It's back up to $30.

    MUSIC VIDEOS

    Beck, "Hell Yes". Directed by Shynola.

    The Postal Service, "We Will Become Silhouettes". Directed by Jared Hess (director of Napoleon Dynamite).

    Death Cab for Cutie, "Title & Registration".

    LCD Soundsystem, "Daft Punk Is Playing at my House".

    BOOKS

    Do you need another Malcolm Gladwell interview? Okay, here's one at Nerve.

    WORDS

    Wikipedia: Heavy metal umlaut. Take that, Encarta!

    FILM

    Hal Hartley did something or other that got the attention of Wired News.

    David LaChapelle made a movie about krumping, which is mix of clowns and hip-hop.

    Yahoo heads for Hollywood. And here's an interview with the mastermind.

    Top 50 Movie Deaths.

    Crispin Glover asks too many questions.

    LOCAL

    The 89.3 The Current blog had 265 comments on its first post-launch post.

    CP's story on the Art Shanty, which a few of my friends are part of.

    monday
    comments

    ONLINE

    Think of an object. 20Q.net can usually figure it out in less than 20 questions.

    Remember Friendster? Apparently, the site is finally planning to offer new products, though what they are is still unclear. MySpace is already several times bigger than Friendster.

    My Yahoo RSS Ticker.

    McSweeney's Recommends.

    eXeem -- the next generation in P2P -- is out.

    BLOGGERS

    Video interview with Salaam Pax.

    Howard Kurtz had Ana Marie Cox and Andrew Sullivan on Reliable Sources yesterday. Here's the transcript.

    MARKETING

    Alright, someone's gotta start a backlash on this viral marketing stuff. For instance, this one appears to be MTV2, this one appears to be TransGlobal Vacations, and this one appears to be GM. I think all of them involve billboards too. Stop it, before you hurt someone!

    TV

    The Sims is being made into a TV show. They should really get Strangerhood to consult.

    Lisa Rein has the Daily Show Inauguration Speech video. (This "Freedom vs. Liberty" comparison came up everywhere last week, from SNL to the New York Times to NPR.)

    New on Flowtv.org: interview with Jason Reich, a Daily Show writer.

    Lost Remote thread: How Would You Fix CBS News?

    MUSIC

    New Bjork / Spike Jonze video: "Triumph of a Heart".

    Simon Reynold tries to explain why dance music is dying. Even dance music subculture fans will like to see Black Strobe, DJ/Rupture, LCD Soundsystem, Mu, Tiefschwarz, Teamshadetek, and Kiki name-checked in The Times. If you're into that kinda thing, the ILM thread.

    If you haven't heard it, you probably should hear Nina Gordon's version of "Straight Outta Compton" (mp3). Refresher: Nina Gordon was in Veruca Salt.

    Gawker on Spin's Killers cover: "There's surely someone in North Dakota who has yet to discover these guys."

    ILM debates "Southern Man" (Neil Young) vs. "Sweet Home Alabama" (Lynard Skynard).

    FILM

    Low Culture on Crispin Glover's new project, What Is It? "The film features a cast consisting largely of actors with Down Syndrome, a snail with the voice of Fairuza Balk, and legendary publisher Adam Parfrey playing 'Jealous Minstrel'." Crispin has either lost it, or he's deeply inspired by Prince Harry.

    On eBay: Napoleon Dynamite - Rex's Bad Boy Stars & Stripes Pants.

    Robert X. Cringely: The New Mac Mini is All About Movies.

    DRINKING

    NYT Styles on the GOP-friendly bar that the Bush twins hang at.

    T-SHIRTS

    I Can't, I'm Mormon (dot-com).

    I Stole Brad (dot-com).

    ART

    I had no idea that taxidermy was so in. First the Creative Electric brouhaha, now NYT Styles on taxidermy art.

    LOCAL

    89.3 The Current launched today. Audio stream, staff list, and a list of the music played in the last six hours. When I turned it on for the first time, Low's "Radio Transmission" was playing. Good sign.

    Slate.com explainer: How Embarrass, Minn., Got Its Name.

    Locally-shot short film, Ma Ma's Revenge. Um, weird.

    I'm slightly embarrassed to just now find out that local boy Rob Davis is the person behind the NYT Firefox advert. (Discovered this via a Wired mag cover story, not online yet.) Rob was also the creator of BushBoy.com (CP story), Deanie Babies, and Butter Palm. More so than any one else in this city, Rob needs a blog.

    sunday
    comments

    Proving I have no idea what demographic reads this site, here are products purchased in the past three months on Amazon.com in which this site served up the referral:

    APPAREL & ACCESSORIES

    Reaction Kenneth Cole 'Over the Moon' Pump

    BABY

    HALO SleepSack Wearable Fleece Blanket in Blue
    Take-Out Baby Bibs - Moo Baby

    BOOKS

    Alexander The Great
    American Dream
    Art Objects
    Art Theory
    Blink
    Blood Song
    Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?
    Doomsday Book
    Fargo Rock City
    Goodnight Moon
    Hadji Murad
    He's Just Not That Into You
    Home Baking
    How Do I Feel?/Como me siento?
    I Love Colors
    Jemima J
    Jorge el Curioso (Curious George)
    Life and Times of Michael K
    Life of Christ
    My Clothes / Mi Ropa
    National Geographic Almanac of World History
    Nobody's Fool
    On Food and Cooking
    On the Road
    Peace of Soul
    Peekaboo Baby
    Spongebob Superstar
    Stan Lee Presents: Elektra: The Complete Saga
    The Bedford Companion to Shakespeare
    The Cluetrain Manifesto
    The Complete A**hole's Guide to Handling Chicks
    The Contingent Object of Contemporary Art
    The Fannie Farmer Cookbook: Anniversary
    The New Whole Foods Encyclopedia
    The Slow Mediterranean Kitchen
    The Trouble Begins
    The Way You Wear Your Hat
    We Media
    What Color Is It? / Que color es este?
    What Happened at Midnight
    Where Is Baby's Belly Button?