Monday, March 23, 2009

Want to see what I've been reading?

I use Google Reader's "Share" feature to pass on the things that I find interesting. Want to see what I've been reading? Click the "Shared from Reader" tab up and to the right to see my Reader feed.

Also, note that it has RSS feed attached, so you can put it in your RSS reader of choice.

You ARE using RSS, aren't you

I wish I could write

I occasionally binge on fiction. It's like green vegetables, really: I'll go for weeks without remembering that I need them to function. Then I'll sit down for dinner, have a small bite of something green, and then proceed to eat every vegetable in the house. I know it would be healthier to just eat more veggies at every meal, but somehow my mind hasn't gotten the memo yet.

Fiction is worse (and better) than vegetables. I'll go for months without ingesting stories, have a small nibble of one, and then suddenly realize that I've been starving to death. And every time I read, I wish I could write. It's the same feeling you get watching Steve make tables... it's the hunger to create.

Here's a great example of a really short story. Seems like it would be easy to write something this short, but it's not. I've tried. If brevity is the soul of wit, then this thing has some serious soul.

Dwar Ev ceremoniously soldered the final connection with gold. The eyes of a dozen television cameras watched him and the sub-ether bore through the universe a dozen pictures of what he was doing.

He straightened and nodded to Dwar Reyn, then moved to a position beside the switch that would complete the contact when he threw it. The switch that would connect, all at once, all of the monster computing machines of all the populated planets in the universe—ninety-six billion planets—into the supercircuit that would connect them all into one supercalculator, one cybernetics machine that would combine all the knowledge of all the galaxies.

Dwar Reyn spoke briefly to the watching and listening trillions. Then after a moment's silence he said, "Now, Dwar Ev."

Dwar Ev threw the switch. There was a mighty hum, the surge of power from ninety-six billion planets. Lights flashed and quieted along the miles-long panel.

Dwar Ev stepped back and drew a deep breath. "The honor of asking the first question is yours, Dwar Reyn."

"Thank you," said Dwar Reyn. "It shall be a question which no single cybernetics machine has been able to answer."

He turned to face the machine. "Is there a God?"

The mighty voice answered without hesitation, without the clicking of a single relay.

"Yes, now there is a God."

Sudden fear flashed on the face of Dwar Ev. He leaped to grab the switch.

A bolt of lightning from the cloudless sky struck him down and fused the switch shut.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

This is pretty amazing

The mashup is not a new art form. I've been a DJ Riko fan for a long time. But this is taking that to a whole new level. We're talking major composition, here, using Youtube as an instrument. Watch this right now:

In a completely unrelated note, are you familiar with the excellent service called ZamZar? It takes any media source on the internet--video or audio--and transcodes it to any format you want. I'm not saying I *HAVE* done this, since it's legally murky, but one could, if they were so inclined, take all of Katiman's "Thru-You" clips (since "Mother of all Funk Chords" is only the first of seven), run them through Zamzar, get them as MP3s, and drop them into your music player of choice.

I'm just sayin'.

Monday, March 9, 2009

A great thought from one of my favorite feeds

If you don't have Andy Crouch's "Culture Making" blog in your RSS reader, you should add it right now. And if you don't have an RSS reader, stop what you're doing and read this link immediately. It's 2009, peeps. Newspaper is dead and TV is dying. It's time to make the transition to better ways of getting your news.

But as I said, here's a great quote from Andy's book review of Rob Walker's new book "Buying In." I've added my own emphases:

Here, then, is the real problem with the argument that this new generation sees right through traditional advertising and therefore is not fooled by its messages: Everybody sees right through traditional advertising. You’d have to be an idiot not to recognize that you’re being pitched to when watching a thirty-second commercial.

But recognition is not the same thing as immunity. And what’s striking about contemporary youth is not that they are somehow brandproof, but that they take for granted the idea that a brand is as good a piece of raw identity material as anything else. These are the consumers, in fact, who are most amenable to using brands to fashion meaning for themselves—to define themselves, to announce who they are and what they stand for.

Great thoughts. I've already added the book to my amazon wishlist, but maybe it needs to move to the top.

Monday, March 2, 2009

And we're off!

To Louisville, KY. My very favorite sister has accepted a job in L-town, which moves her from Laguna Beach to 100 miles from my doorstep. CA's loss is our gain.

She doesn't actually move until April, but Judi and I are heading down to help her shop for apartments. Two days out of town should be good for us.

Judi and I have our best discussions while driving in the car. Forget candlelit dinners: when we need to reconnect emotionally, the best thing for us is a long drive. Before Jenna, we used to have date nights where we'd gas up the car and drive around town all night. Bad for our carbon footprint, sure, but great for our relationship.

I love the woman I married, and look forward to two days of driving around Louisville looking for a place for my sister. God is good.