Articles Archive for January 2007

Essays »

January 21st, 2007 | 2 Comments | Category: Essays

With all of the semi-recent focus on usability, I’ve noticed a growing countermovement that doesn’t get near as much attention: unusability. I’m talking here about deliberately designing something so that it’s not usable, not the much-maligned negligence of design that renders things unusable.
For example, there are several bus bench designs that allow sitting while waiting for the arrival of mass transit, yet prevent the bench from being used as a bed. Most of these designs involve armrests or ridges in the seat to prevent one from lying prone across the …

Reviews »

January 16th, 2007 | 3 Comments | Category: Reviews

California just might have more religious diversity than any other California-sized region on earth. Interestingly enough, it’s also quite the visible diversity. From the Vendetta Society Old Temple in San Francisco to the San Diego Temple (the latter of which’s proximity to I-5 causes locals to jokingly refer to the “separation of church and interstate”), The Visionary State (Chronicle Books) seeks them out and exposes them.
Erik Davis, who’s been studying mysticism and religion all of his life and who was born and raised in California, treats each faith with balanced …

Essays, Me »

January 16th, 2007 | 5 Comments | Category: Essays, Me

It seems that youth is no longer wasted on the young. In recent years, many social scientists (as well as Jay-Z) have claimed that thirty is the new twenty. Whereas one at twenty used to be considered an adult, now one at twenty is relatively still a child. So, what makes an adult these days? Are there any rites of passage in Western culture in the twenty-first century?
You can make your very own poisonous, despicable man.
Begin by keeping him a boy for as long as you can,
And when the voice …

Essays »

January 07th, 2007 | 2 Comments | Category: Essays

I read somewhere a long time ago that most people die within a couple of miles of their homes.
A few months ago, I helped a friend do some work on his new house. We were painting, and hanging gutters, so we were up on ladders for much of the day. Now, my friend does this kind of work for a living, so he’s on a ladder quite often. I can’t remember the last time I was on a ladder. That day, I was probably more likely to fall and injure …

Reviews »

January 07th, 2007 | One Comment | Category: Reviews

“…which may have also very well been the reason for Martin Heidegger’s mistake, now that one stops to think about it.
Which is to say that very possibly Martin Heidegger was busily writing one of his books through all of that time.
Very possibly the book he was so busily writing was one of the very books in the carton in the basement of this house, in fact, which only goes to show how astonishingly small the world can be.”
— from Wittgenstein’s Mistress by David Markson
Martin Heidegger has one of those bodies …

Interviews, Videos »

January 06th, 2007 | Comments Off on Sadat X: My Protocol is Know-it-all | Category: Interviews, Videos

Sadat X is a certified Hip-hop legend. The God has been blessing mics since Hip-hop’s so-called “heyday” with the group Brand Nubian (one of the first groups to bring 5% knowledge to the masses), and he’s still doing his thing (a little bid isn’t going to slow him down). His first solo outing, Wild Cowboys (Elektra, 1996), proved he could hold his own, Experience & Education (Female Fun, 2005) showed he had grown and matured as a man and as an emcee, and his latest, Black October (Female Fun/Riverside Drive, …

Reviews »

January 05th, 2007 | 3 Comments | Category: Reviews

Twenty years later, Vale Vale and Company finally return to the land of pranksters with Pranks 2 (RE/Search). These interviews, mostly done by V. Vale himself, illustrate just how deep pranks run in our current cultural milieu — and how far they’ve spread since the last volume (RE/Search #11: Pranks). From the spread of culture jamming and parody to the mainstays of satire and social commentary, pranksterism is standard fare. Heck, just the mainstreaming of the lyrical spoof, which has nearly put Weird Al Yankovic out of business, is proof …