Articles Archive for November 2010

Marginalia »

November 30th, 2010 | One Comment | Category: Marginalia
The Rules of the Road

I was walking to class today, and I was almost mowed down by a guy on a fixed-gear. I was crossing a street, in the crosswalk, where I clearly had the right of way, but he rang his bell and blew by right in front of me, running the stop sign on the corner. I’d already been conceiving this post in my head and that was the last straw. Being a frequent rider of bikes on the streets of many cities, as well as a frequent pedestrian, I have come …

Announcements »

November 29th, 2010 | No Comment | Category: Announcements
Geekend Notes by Raise Small Business Marketing

Hilton Head, South Carolina’s own Raise Small Business Marketing did a brief summary and write-up of my “How to Do Stuff and Be Happy” talk from Geekend 2010. Here’s the run-down:
I was excited for this session, mainly because doing stuff and being happy are two major challenges!  Roy Christopher gave a laid back presentation that basically went through some ideas on how to keep your focus and try and stay happy while actually getting things done.
Roy covers a lot of the information that was in his presentation …

Reviews, Videos »

November 26th, 2010 | 6 Comments | Category: Reviews, Videos
Book Byrning: Books by and about David Byrne

Though I am unlikely to be alone in this, I have a confession to make. There is a group of artists whom I tend to romanticize because I missed a certain time their careers. I will always wonder what it must’ve been like to see Peter Gabriel, Laurie Anderson, David Gilmour, David Bowie, David Byrne, or Brian Eno in the early-to-mid-80s. I’m old enough to remember buying Talking Heads records in junior-high and high school and to have seen their odd videos, but not old enough to have grasped the …

Reviews, Videos »

November 25th, 2010 | 5 Comments | Category: Reviews, Videos
Nubile Noir: <i>Veronica Mars</i>

One writer described Veronica Mars during her pre-fandom days as “outrageous,” writing that the writing was “clunky,” the one-liners too “crisp,” and the teens too “clever and in charge.” The show was saved in her book when someone called it “camp.” That made it all click for her. I only take issue with that designation because I have a narrower definition of camp (I immediately think John Waters), but by her estimate, if Veronica Mars is camp then so are the Scream movies. The thing she’s referring to is the …

Announcements »

November 25th, 2010 | 2 Comments | Category: Announcements
R.I.P. Peter Christopherson

With the passing of Peter “Sleazy” Christopherson today, we lost a prolifically creative soul.

Christopherson is probably best known as a pioneer of industrial music. He explored confrontation and sound with such germinal outfits as Throbbing Gristle, Psychic TV, and Coil. He directed commercials and music videos (including most of Rage Against the Machine’s best ones, a few for Ministry, Van Halen, and Yes‘s chart-topping “Owner of a Lonely Heart”) and was also the designer of some of the most memorable album covers in music history. Pink Floyd’s Wish You Were …

Marginalia, Videos »

November 24th, 2010 | 2 Comments | Category: Marginalia, Videos
A Small Victory: How Rock Climbing Keeps Me Sane

In my “How To Do Stuff and Be Happy” talk, I tell people that everyone should have one “head-clearing activity.” Let me explain that by example. My friend Ben Hiltzheimer used to ride motorcycles. When he started learning how, he said that you can’t think about anything else while you’re negotiating the streets and traffic because all you’re thinking about is not dying. I have equated this experience to learning to ride a fixed-gear bicycle.
I started rock climbing a little over ten years ago, and since there’s a wall on …

Reviews, Videos »

November 22nd, 2010 | 3 Comments | Category: Reviews, Videos
Rappin’ is My Radio: New Books on Rap Poetics

One of my favorite Hip-hop studio tales is from the recording of “Brooklyn’s Finest.” The story goes that Jay-Z and Biggie were sitting in legendary D&D studios in New York City listening to Clark Kent’s beat, a pen and a pad on the table between them. “They’re both looking at the pad like, Go ahead, you take it. No, you take it,” says Roc-A-Fella co-founder Biggs, “That’s when they found out that both of them don’t write.” That is, neither of these emcees write …

About, Announcements »

November 12th, 2010 | One Comment | Category: About, Announcements
<i>21C Magazine</i>: This is Your Brain Online

I compiled my thoughts on a bunch of recent books about the internet, social concerns, and brain matters into a piece called “This is Your Brain Online: Recent Books on Cognition and Connection” for 21C Magazine, many of which have been hashed out right here on this site.

Here’s an excerpt:
Regarding public cell phone use, comedian Bill Maher once quipped that if he wanted to be so privy to one’s most intimate thoughts, he’d read his or her blog. Nancy Baym addresses this technologically enabled collusion of public and private, as …

Reviews, Videos »

November 11th, 2010 | 7 Comments | Category: Reviews, Videos
A False Sense of Obscurity: <i>Rush: Beyond the Lighted Stage</i>

Self-identifying as a Rush fan has often felt like admitting that I used to play Dungeons & Dragons or, as I recently proclaimed to the folks at Geekend 2010, that I used to solve the Rubik’s Cube… competitively. Well, I’m coming out of the nerd closet: Rush is one of my all-time favorite bands, and Rush: Beyond the Lighted Stage (2010) finally tells their story.

Contrary to what some might tell you, Rush is not a legacy band. Sure, they have some old, dusty hits that people still want to hear …

Marginalia »

November 10th, 2010 | 5 Comments | Category: Marginalia
Get Em to the Geek: Geekend 2010

I scarcely know where to start. Geekend is the beautifully geeky brainchild of Sloane Kelly, Jacob Hodesh, and Miriam Hodesh. 2010 marks the second annual meeting of what everyone familiar hopes will be many years of the interactive conference. It has just the right balance of size and intensity.
I didn’t get to Savannah until late on Day 2, so I roamed around downtown by myself Friday night. I stepped into a raucous karaoke session and had the biggest beer I’ve ever seen. No problem not finishing it because in Savannah, …