Tuesday, August 02

Happy Wi-Fi Day with Mr. Whiskey

by Jason Hinklin-Lauderdale

La la la, writin' copy, la la la, writin' up some stuff, la la...

Whoa! Hello there, Mr. Whiskey! And a happy, um, Wi-Fi Day to you, too, I guess. Wait, is that even a real thing? I've never heard of... Oh, I get it! It's because it's 8.02.11 and IEEE 802.11 is a set of standards of implementing wireless local area network computer communication (according to Wikipedia). Very clever, Mr. Whiskey, but I'm afraid it's much too early in the day to celebrate anything with you, especially a holiday even Reddit seems to be fighting about. Besides, you know what my therapist said about substituting real friends with ones I've made up from my hidden office liquor cabinet.

 

 

Aw, I'm just joking, buddy! Wi-Fi Day is the perfect excuse to hang out with the only real friend I have in the whole world! Now then, since this is the very first Wi-Fi Day and probably the last until 2111, how should we celebrate?

 

 

What an excellent idea! Haikus will be the perfect way to ring in such a glorious nerd-created thing! Let's see...

our shackles broken / wires will reign no longer / freedom in the air

are you connected? / I can't find a good signal / stupid coffeehouse

downloading so slow / speed throttling is murder / a cherry tree dies

a, b, g, and n / the protocols of love / a paper crane is born

it was Wi-Fi Day / we drank until it was gone / how very splendid

So how are HIC how are HIC What are YOU gonna do for Why-Fry HIC Fry-Guy HIC today, huh? HUH? YOU THINK YOU'RE BETTER THAN ME AND MR. WHISKEY? YOU'RE JUST LIKE MY DAD!

 

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Friday, July 29

Up Against The Wall: Why I'm Keeping My Print Books

by Sean Adams

While planning his move from New York to San Francisco, New York Times Lead Bits Blogger Nick Bilton had an important decision to make: should he pay to ship his enormous collection of print books across the country when he does most of his reading on an e-reader? The answer, to me, seemed to be clearly to be “Yeah, duh! How could you not bring your books?” But after thinking about a moment more, I realized that I didn’t understand where such a strong sentiment was coming from.

The e-reader vs. print debate is an annoying one because, like so many things that essentially come down to differences in personal preference, it is argued as if there is will eventually be some definitive we-solved-for-x answer. I’m in the faction of people that like to say, “We just like reading print books better” which actually translates to “We just like reading print books.” I’ve never read an entire book in its digital form, so the idea that I like reading books more in print than on an e-reader is ridiculous. Sure I’ve used display models in stores, and sure I didn’t particularly enjoy my experience. But then again, I hated wearing my glasses when I got them a year ago, and now I can do so many amazing things, like read the score when I watch Celtics games and sit more than three inches away from my computer screen while I write.

No, I think my true passion for print books comes from their secondary use as wall art. If it’s bad to judge a book by its cover I guess it’s worse to judge a book by its spine, but I guess that’s exactly what I’m doing. A wall with a bookcase against it is a wall I don’t need to hang a painting or a poster on to fill out the room. The spines – with their varied widths, heights, and colors – do the work of a painting. Bilton even describes his books as possessing the two qualities that make art, well, art: “beautiful and important to me.” While an ebook can certainly be beautiful and important to its reader, it cannot liven up a dull, empty area of your living space the way a print book can. So while I may not always need to read books in their printed form, I feel that I’ll always need books in their printed form around, to make my home feel like my home.

What about you? Are those lovely shelves worth the clutter and hassle of owning the books that fill them? Or would you just as soon throw them into the shredder?

Photo by Flickr member CarbonNYC. Used under a Creative Commons License.

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Thursday, July 28

It's An Action Figure Thing. You Wouldn't Understand.

by Jason Hinklin-Lauderdale

Like many fans of John Carpenter's The Thing, I was more than a little disappointed by the trailer for the remake prequel coming out later this year. Don't get me wrong, Mary Elizabeth Winstead sure is nice to look at and everything, but I've already seen the movie they're making. It's called John Carpenter's The Thing. The filmmakers could've saved themselves a lot of trouble and money and just made the thing with action figures.

Oh, wait. Someone's already done that, too. Kinda. (Warning: if watching some of your favorite G.I. Joe figures die in horribly whimsical and bloody ways, it might be best not to press play.)

 

 

 

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Wednesday, July 27

Let's All Visit East St. Louis! (from a safe distance)

by Randall Cleveland

Detroit gets a lot of flak in the media for being a sort of ground zero of the recession: every media outlet has at one point run a story about how it's a bombed out, abandoned, lawless city and how we should all feel terrible for the poor souls doomed to live there. Thing is, East St. Louis has been doing that stuff for damn near 50 years. And now you can catch a haunting, oddly beautiful glimpse with Doors of East St. Louis...

 

Screen shot 2011-07-27 at 12.16.35 PM

 

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Tuesday, July 26

This is Why I Don't Exercise

by Randall Cleveland

People go to great lengths to present just the right image of themselves to the outside world. Hell, there are billions of dollars spent every year on make-up, plastic surgery, "miracle" diets, and clothing to make us look our very best in public. But Sacha Goldberger wanted to look at the other side; the side that's not too far removed from sprinting across fields to try and spear a mammoth. So he and his team set up an outdoor photo studio near Paris and asked joggers passing by to sprint, then let him take a picture while they were gasping for air. Now, thanks to My Modern Met, you can see the debut of the results...

 

Screen shot 2011-07-26 at 10.51.24 AM
"Jogging? Uh, yeah. I'm jogging. If the police ask, that's what I'm doing."

 

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Wednesday, July 13

This is What You Look Like Right Now.

by Randall Cleveland

We spend a LOT of time looking at screens these days. Televisions, smart phones, tablets, laptops, monitors, desktop computers, and other electronic stuff I'm sure I'm forgetting have become so ubiquitous that the human experience is starting to move towards sitting, stooped over, and passively absorbing information rather than, y'know, running or swimming or talking to people. Kyle McDonald's been thinking about that fact a lot, so he set up an art project on the subject over at People Staring at Computers. Here's a video about it with the most annoying music I've ever encountered on the internet:

People Staring at Computers from Kyle McDonald on Vimeo.

 

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Monday, July 11

The Calm Before The Storm

by Scott Lydon

If there's one think you WON'T be lacking on our site this week, it's something to read. But while we all sleep off our long weekend full of work, why not get a word fix with a trip to Storychord? In their own words: "Every other Monday, Storychord.com features one story, one image, and a one-song 'soundtrack'-- each by underexposed talent."

 

sunday night

 

You can tell by the photo that we visited yesterday, but assuming they update on time, today's the thirty fourth Monday in a row they've published. That means a visitor's going to find thirty four different stories, photos, and songs, most of which tend to be pretty good! And unlike some wall-of-text internet novelists, each Storychord page is bite-sized in a way that fits neatly into a lunch break, even if you're the kind who savors their sentences slowly.

Throw on some headphones or warn your co-workers they're gonna get a surprise, then head over to their site for a nice day of reading. It'll get you primed for when we meet you back here later in the week.

...oh, no reason. Just a little birthday party we're thinking about having is all...

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Friday, June 24

Stand in Awe of the Majesty That is The Food Reviewer

by Randall Cleveland

We're in a golden age of culinary enthusiasm. Celebrity chefs appear on nearly every channel, people enthusiastically refer to themselves as "foodies," and food even has its own cable network. America has suddenly taken a deeper interest in what we eat beyond, "Can I hold it one hand and eat while driving?" And like any fad in America, people are jumping on to cash in. Of course for every home chef pushing healthy, locally-sourced, natural recipes, there's someone like The Food Reviewer who sees that and just laughs in their face:

 

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Thursday, June 23

Why Do I Feel Like I've Seen This Before?

by Randall Cleveland

It's a joke so old that it's come full circle to be accepted truth: Hollywood loves recycling. Be it a reboot of a successful old movie franchise, a remake of an old television show, the same exact plot as some other movie, or, worst of all, the same actor playing an extremely similar character in an extremely similar movie to the one they did last year. Everyone knows it. Everyone complains about it. But no one complains with such artistic vision as the people behind The Many Faces Of...
  

Screen shot 2011-06-23 at 10.36.49 AM

 

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Monday, June 13

iBracadabra

by Scott Lydon

It's going to be a lonnng week (especially if you're a Mavs fan who stayed up late) so why don't we ease into things slowly? Here's a little low-impact technological magic that combines quality timing and slight of hand with, well, iPods.

I personally think this sort of magic might be a little more impressive than just the plain old fashioned kind, because not only did the magician have to learn the physical skills, he also had to figure out iPod programming. What's your take on it? Is this the new direction of magic or an abhorrent abomination destroying the art?

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