Wednesday, February 27, 2008

15 feet waves moving at 35 mph:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boston_Molasses_Disaster

I want to know how I missed this for the last 20+ years of my life. Someone had to have heard about this. Juravich? Anyone?

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Self-Promotion and Social Justice

I'm a recorded artist!
So last winter I recorded a few tracks for an album called "Dare the Untried" with a Chicago-based group named Voices. I was really excited to be asked to play on this because I've been listening to their music ever since I was a little kid and my parents took the fam to one of their concerts in a big old church on the North Side. I used to play Voices cassettes in my car on the way to high school. They sing both traditional and original folk music, mostly with themes of social justice, civil rights, and non-violence. 
The new album is all original music by current Voices members, and you can hear clips of it (or even order the CD or download the mp3) at http://cdbaby.com/cd/voiceschicago. I play viola on 'Eyes Wide Open', 'The One I See' and 'About the Boys'. 
I'm really excited about how the CD turned out. Let me know what you think. 

Monday, February 18, 2008

U of C Advertising on the NYT website

Has anyone else seen this ad for the U of C summer school placed on the NYT website?  It doesn't seem to be showing up on the front page, but I've seen it in several places, like Stanley Fish's (Blurghf!) column.

Interesting that we're advertising ourselves in a national newspaper -- especially given that the summer school program is pretty clearly just a cash cow for the university.  

Selling out, or just getting more savvy? I'm conflicted.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

My Favorite Post-Grunge 90s Moment

Two weeks into the 8th Grade, I was a devout follower of all things 90s rock courtesy of the local station "Today's 99.3" in Northampton that played all the monster hits by Orbit, Spacehog, Better Than Ezra, Gin Blossoms, and of course, The Wallflowers, who made the cover of Rolling Stone that summer and were making waves with that heartthrob son of Bob Dylan's fronting the band. Hell, they were my first concert in 7th Grade at Mount Holyoke College. But I'm rambling already.

Point is, I was probably as big a Wallflowers fan as one could be, but also a closet Springsteen fan (nobody admits this in 7th grade when you hate your parents' music as a matter of principle, but I'd grown up on the Boss, and I could play his entire first 6 albums on guitar), when THIS happened at the MTV Video Music Awards. It was f-ing incredible. I don't think I could have been more pumped if I tried. They take this video down pretty quickly whenever it goes up on youtube, so have a gander while you can.

For a great analysis of what's happening here, I quote awesome ESPN columnist Bill 'The Sports Guy' Simmons, and one of his readers. 

Craigslist Gold Digger Ad

http://www.bankersball.com/2007/10/03/500k-gold-digger-gets-slammed/

“$500k” Gold Digger Gets Slammed

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Sports and Politics

So, Britain will be requiring its athletes not to criticize China, as will New Zealand and Belgium. Angry commentators are pointing to this incident as a reason that policies like this are a terrible idea. 

This dredges up the old divide/replacement debate about sports and politics. Someone with a better handle on the specifics could speak to the role of the ancient Olympics in greek society, but certainly they were intended as a counterpoint to battle at some level, and the modern olympics have retained this in their ideals, even prompting a UN-sanctioned notion of the 'Olympic Peace'.

But, of course, politics have found their way into the modern Olympics. Hitler used the 1936 Berlin games to showcase the supremacy of the Aryan race (until Jesse Owens blew a few holes in that theory), and the USA and USSR traded boycotts in 1980 and 1984 (ours was ostensibly to protest the invasion of Afghanistan, theirs was basically a 'right back atchya' maneuver). I'm of the opinion the boycott was a terrible idea, mixing sport and diplomacy in all the wrong ways and accomplishing nothing in either arena. However, I think Tommie Smith and Juan Carlos' salute at the 1968 games was completely within their rights as athletes and citizens, showing solidarity with people struggling against oppression. 

However, Smith and Carlos were commenting on their own country--would there be more of a breach if an American athlete wore a 'Free Tibet' T-shirt on the podium in China? I don't know. Still, I hope someone does--ideally, I hope a Chinese athlete does, but I sincerely doubt that will happen. 

Just to close out my rambles, here's another wild story about the collision of the olympics and politics

Ice Herms, 2008 (Update 1)


Breaking news: More ice herms to be erected tonight. Round two begins.

More info coming soon.

UPDATE (2/12): Here is the first documented sighting. More photos coming soon. Way to represent UCXC 2008!

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Saturday, February 9, 2008

An embittered tirade against Adam Sandler

I'm pretty sure this article is a pile of shit, although I think I agree with parts of what it's trying to say. An excerpt from the full article:
Child-Man in the Promised Land
Today’s single young men hang out in a hormonal limbo between adolescence and adulthood.
By KAY S. HYMOWITZ
It’s 1965 and you’re a 26-year-old white guy. You have a factory job, or maybe you work for an insurance broker. Either way, you’re married, probably have been for a few years now; you met your wife in high school, where she was in your sister’s class. You’ve already got one kid, with another on the way. For now, you’re renting an apartment in your parents’ two-family house, but you’re saving up for a three-bedroom ranch house in the next town. Yup, you’re an adult!

[...]

Not so long ago, the average mid-twentysomething had achieved most of adulthood’s milestones—high school degree, financial independence, marriage, and children. These days, he lingers—happily—in a new hybrid state of semi-hormonal adolescence and responsible self-reliance. Decades in unfolding, this limbo may not seem like news to many, but in fact it is to the early twenty-first century what adolescence was to the early twentieth: a momentous sociological development of profound economic and cultural import. Some call this new period “emerging adulthood,” others “extended adolescence”; David Brooks recently took a stab with the “Odyssey Years,” a “decade of wandering.”...
Nostalgia posing as thought.

Responses?

Friday, February 8, 2008

Too good

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2008/02/08/mistake-fox-news-identi_n_85656.html
(the screenshot says it all)

Page Hits So Far


This is the geographical distribution of the peeps visiting our site, on the second day of its creation.  Who is out in Arizona?

More maps of this nature to come in the future.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Bill Belichick's Genius


Another article on the genius of Bill Belichick.

http://sportspickle.com/features/volume7/2008-0206-belichick.html

Photos of Downtown LA

Yesterday as part of my Urban History class we took a walk around different portions of downtown Los Angeles. As we walked around, I took photos with my old D1H and an 85mm lens. What I find interesting about the photos are the range of urban locales found within a relatively small distance. Its also pretty amazing to see an LA that isn't just the beach, the freeways (though it is that here too), or vast sprawl. First photos I've taken in a while but its nice to have captured some of LA, a city I spend far too much time biking around without a camera. Enjoy.
:: Link to Picassa Photo Gallery ::

The Greatest Graphic Ever?

According to a whole lot of people, it's this, drawn by Charles Joseph Minard to depict the size of Napoleon's army as it advanced on and retreated from Moscow. There's some commentary and another, slightly smaller image here, as well as some more excellent graphics.

I was looking at this because for my thesis I've gathered a whole bunch of data on civil rights protest in Britain, most of it qualitative but with over 100 discrete events in a spreadsheet, and I want to design something to visually represent the changing nature of black protest (as an extension of political participation) in Britain from 1960-1965, my timeframe.

What I have in terms of data for each event, culled from newspapers and organizations, are the date, the type of protest (strike, boycott, sit-in, etc.), the location, a rough estimate of the number of participants, the organizations involved, and the goal/target of the event, as well as some other odds and ends. General trends I can observe are an overall increase in protest events, an increase in participation in those events, a change in the events from 'low cost' protests such as marches to 'high cost' protests like boycotts and strikes, and a move from 'solidarity protests' held in London to address concerns about empire and allies (namely the US) to protest directed more specifically at Britain and local authorities.

If anyone has a great idea of how to represent that with an image, or two or three, lay it on me.