Monday Morning “Impediment to Productivity” – 20081020

Hi,

Well are we having fun yet? We are back with yet another of our “on again off again” missive.

To those readers (yes there are more than one) who scurrilously suggested that it was Single Malt rather Midsomer Murders that was responsible for last weeks absence in the inbox. I must fervently deny this unfounded accusation. And further am quite happy to come around and drink yours anytime (Oban is the current tipple of choice)

Moving on, Vanity Fair’s Christopher Hitchens wrote a wonderful article about –
“Every successful society needs its Bohemia, a haven for the artists, exiles, and misfits who regenerate the culture. With the heart of New York’s West Village threatened by developers, London, Paris, and San Francisco have a message for Manhattan: Don’t do it!”
http://www.vanityfair.com/culture/features/2008/07/hitchens200807

This was another of those synchronous events, I had a coffee with MFI (My Friend Ian) in town earlier in the week and as we chatted about music, bands we are listening to and some businessy things, I though about just how long we had known each other and how all the suburbs(Carlton, Fitzroy etc) had gentrified and wouldn’t let us in these days. We would lower the tone.

Then again we can both afford single malts and guitar strings these days, so change isn’t all bad.

Have a read of the article it’s an interesting if unfunny read.

Otherwise it’s time to get on with the sillies…
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TED Talk of the week: Stefan Sagmeister (a very cool designer) delivers a short, witty talk entitled “Things I Have Learned in My Life So Far,”. It’s about life lessons, expressed through surprising modes of design (including his infamous inflatable monkey).

There is a nice article about him in the International Herald Tribune.
http://www.iht.com/articles/2008/02/01/arts/DESIGN4.php

And in a wonderful piece of synchronicity Jools sent this along.
http://www.designboom.com/weblog/cat/8/view/3978/stefan-sagmeisters-installation-is-removed-by-amsterdam-police.html

Just priceless.

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I was sitting there this afternoon and suddenly the thought “They’re voting for the wrong Palin, they should get Michael Palin instead of Sarah” popped into my brain, rapidly followed by the thought “Someone else will have thought of this”. I was right.

A quick look at Google turned up this, John Cleese on Sarah Palin
http://au.youtube.com/watch?v=jMyNk8J1c8g
and this from the “Michael Palin For President” website. Put down your coffee before watching this one.

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Eye Candy? The Boston Globe has a photo blog that highlights a mix of current events and lesser-known news stories through some awesome high-resolution pictures that are sourced from AP, Reuters Pictures, Getty Images, NASA (check out http://www.boston.com/bigpicture/2008/10/the_sun.html ), and other private photographers.
http://www.boston.com/bigpicture/

Time Magazine also has a similar idea, each photo essay includes a collection of 10-12 pictures that narrate (in text and sometimes you get audio) a story related to current news events. I really liked The Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta http://www.time.com/time/photogallery/0,29307,1848313,00.html
http://www.time.com/time/photoessays

Last up is the ever astounding National Geographic. Lets face it, they really do set the bar awfully high. This is the place to go if you need a daily dose of photos from the world of science, nature or the animal kingdom. http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/photo_in_the_news.html

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From The Wall Street Journal Tech Diary (via Make), there is a video profile of Andrew Schneider, a tech artist from New York University’s Interactive Telecommunications Program. It’s called “Making of a Performer -A performer takes electronic tinkering and DIY-angst to a new professional level as WSJ’s Andy Jordan discovers in Tech Diary”. http://online.wsj.com/video/tech-diary-making-of-a-performer/2B8F055F-CF47-4251-B17C-BDB4FFC66205.html

I really was intrigued by Andrew’s stuff when I spotted his technologically augmented performance stuff earlier this year. His blog is at http://andrewjs.com/blog/

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The “Duggup was a lot of fun this week” bit. Jools wrote up “The Lovely Sparrows”, an indie pop outfit from Texas, sparse arrangements and a slightly eerie feel. My pick would have to be “The Secret Machines” really yummy and surprisingly interesting. Have a listen and let me know what you think. http://duggup.com.au/

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Flash Game Dept: BoomBot is one of those impedimentia that when you write about it, it just sound stupid (really, really stupid), fortunately when you play it, the whole thing is a hoot. This is a game where all those episodes of Mythbusters blowing things up will finally come in handy, yep you try to blast your robot character to the goal door on each level.

Simple huh? Just flail around and blow things up. Well no. It starts out simple enough, but soon goes to hell in a hand basket as you have to dodge stuff, such as rubber blocks, boxes, and even explosive things like oil barrels and boxes of TNT (yaay Level 3), each of which obviously behave just how they like. So you bung down your bomb (you can control the bang by holding down your mouse button and the bomb gets bigger or smaller) The fun(?) is trying to get the timing right. You are so going to hate me for this one.

http://games.mochiads.com/c/g/boombot/BoomBot.swf

Well that’s enough for this week.

Have a good one.

thatch

{Currently listening to Show Of Hands and Ametheysium }
{Currently reading: Stephen Krug’s “Don’t Make Me Think”}
{Quick Status Check: Hell, is once again an aspirational option}
{Crop Circle Status: None: Only 193 Sleeps until we do it all again. http://www.cropcircleconnector.com/2008/2008.html }

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