Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Totten on the Mideast Quagmire

Dan Schueftan made a similar point much more bluntly when I met him last week in Israel. “Ariel Sharon believed we could change the world by force,” he said. “Shimon Peres believed we could change it by being nice and stupid. They are both megalomaniacs.”

Michael Totten, read it all here:

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Save MAD, Not Some Bullshit Car Co.

MAD goes quarterly, reflecting the crisis in print pubs and the lack of pride at Time Warner.

Handling the news with style typical of MAD, Editor John Ficarra said, “The feedback we’ve gotten from readers is that only every third issue of MAD is funny, so we’ve decided to just publish those.”

Story at The Beat, via Comics Journal

New Nails Pt 5769

The more things change dept. This doesn't surprise or shock, it's just more piles of shit. I don't regard the Pope as a "friend". Remember:

Almost every year, Israel's two chief rabbis travel to the Vatican in order to convince the pope to return all the Jewish original writings and the Temple Menorah. Until today, the Vatican possess the greatest Jewish library in the world and especially during the Middle Ages, the church stole (or took) many Jewish original writings. The Rambam (Maimonides) may be the most famous case. When the Romans plundered the Second Temple after its destruction, they obviously took the Menorah to Rome. The question is "Where is the Menorah today?" And many people say: "In the Vatican".

But occasionally I manage to work up a spark of outrage anyhow, over the fuckupness of these shits:

"Among the men reinstated Saturday was Richard Williamson, a British-born cleric who in an interview last week said he did not believe that six million Jews died in the Nazi gas chambers. He has also given interviews saying that the United States government staged the Sept. 11 attacks as a pretext to invade Afghanistan."

NYT full article.

I know, it would be preferable to resort to snark here, like, "Williamson also believes that Paul is Dead and has accused Brian Wilson of hiding the real tapes for Smile" but the evil compounded stuns me into sobriety.

Lyrics to New Nails by Mission of Burma here:

"There was once a special book
It got changed by facist crooks "

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Aftermath in Gaza

Read this:

Having Hamas as a neighbor is like living next door to a serial killer who abuses his children and threatens to kill them if you go in after him. You can defend yourself, but if the police won't arrest him, the only choices left are to build a wall around him, stop him from getting weapons, and send in food.
Barry Rubin, Jerusalem Post

IDF officer: Hamas use of children during Gaza op was 'monstrous'
Haaretz story:

Israel has been heavily criticized for the high number of Palestinian civilian casualties in the operation. Eisenberg, however, asserted that Israel Defense Forces soldiers adhered to moral principles while fighting in Gaza.

Palestinian civilians, meanwhile, have accused Hamas of forcing them to stay in homes from which gunmen shot at Israeli soldiers during the recent hostilities in Gaza, the Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera reported Thursday.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

"Here I Am To Save The Day!"

Although my preference was for Obama to show up on stage singing the Mighty Mouse theme song a la Andy Kaufman with a record player next to him the HERE I AM TO SAVE THE DAY message was delivered loud and clear.

President. Obama.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Bat Gadgets, YES.

The new The Brave and The Bold cartoon brings back the bat-joy that the "gourmet" Dark Knight movie missed with all that "grown up" horseshit. (Though Gary Oldman as Gordon was Mazzuchelli-licous!)

Is this the living personification of Gizmodo meets Engadget Fighting Crime? Cool.

P.S. If they let Batman have all-white'd out blanks for eyes for the whole movie next time, I might revise my mixed opinion of the live action series somewhat. But this is more fun.

Related post: Bat Sorbet
"'s only in the last ten years that he's been, like, Dracula."

Shimon Peres

Shimon Peres:
"When I'm asked on [the operation's consequences for] Israel's public image, I answer we need to stay alive," the president said. Read it here.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Dashboard #2 
Listening to the Albini-ized version of Cheap Trick, In Color. (recommended via Merlin Mann's vblog.)

 It's cleaner than I thought it would be, I imagined a mannerist Big Black-ized version, it's actually cleaner than Live At Budokkan. 

Does Rick Nielsen talk to the audience at Budokkan as if he were trying to make a stray Japanese tourist understand him, or am I just imagining that?

Dashboard entry #1

Blogging from the Dashboard widget. Let's see how it formats.

Probably I will be doing more text only posts if this works, but probably more posts.

Reason To Be Cheerful:
Compare & contrast phones. My 8 year old self would have spazzed out to see how cool these toys are. Of/c I am an index card & Moleskine guy now...

Update: The Dashboard widget doesn't format for titles or tags, so I will indicate that this tool is being used. Flawed but interesting, possibly useful tool.

Friday, January 16, 2009

"So, What's Hindering YOU?"

Book review quote:

King of the Road is a quintessentially Israeli book, as Ladany splices races with professional achievements and fighting Israel's wars. An industrial engineer, he speaks nine languages, has written 13 books and holds eight US patents. He also served as an officer in the IDF. One typical account: On October 5-6, 1973, Ladany set the world record for the 100-mile walk in Columbus, Missouri. After battling extreme heat followed by rain, leg pains, bloody blisters and sucking mud, he took the last lap at a sprint, setting a new world record of 19:38. Hardly pausing to shower, he hopped two planes back to Israel, and within hours found himself in the Jordan Valley, serving with the IDF in the Yom Kippur War.

Now, simply checking email takes up most of the time formerly devoted to such activities. Seriously, it is important to keep the heroic efforts of others in mind. Why didn't I go for a run yesterday? It was cold out?

No Madonna, Boy George or The Rolling Stones in 2009

What fucking year is this, anyway? Joey, Dee Dee and Joe Strummer are dead and these people are still in my morning news.

"Newsflash: Vacuum Cleaner Sucks Up Budgie!" (at about 3:00 in).

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Steve Jobs

Steve Jobs is the John Lennon of tech. Creator and destroyer.

Hope he makes a recovery to full health, we still need him around. I think it would be great if he moved away from Apple and did more teaching and speaking as in his really inspiring commencement address. text | podcast link to Stanford's itunes page (no direct link was easily available, sorry)

Update: Here's a good Ars Technica posting.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Ode to Clutter

What we have all suspected all along...
A Perfect Mess
The Hidden Benefits of Disorder
How crammed closets, cluttered offices, and on-the-fly planning make the world a better place

Eric Abrahamson, professor of management at Columbia Business School and author of A Perfect Mess, says many people function well with cluttered workstations and the real problem is that they offend tidy types who make them feel guilty. In fact, says Prof Abrahamson: "If I had to make a new year's resolution it wouldn't be to declutter my desk, it would be to stop feeling guilty about the clutter on my desk. Take the time you'd spend organizing your workplace and spend it with your kids instead."
(from an article in about another neat freak preaching cleaning things up, etc. etc.)

Right On! Amen! Wa-Hoo!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Timothy Ferris Art of Speed at SXSW 2008

This is a really useful discussion on the value of speed in creating a business, videocasting, book writing... Podcast here. Ferriss' post on it and a good summary with links to books which the participants cited.

Friday, January 09, 2009

David Carson Quote

Finally, what advice would you have for other graphic designers...?

Carson: Do what you love, trust your gut, your instincts, and intuition. And remember the definition of a good job: If you could afford to, if money wasn’t an issue, would you do the same work? If you would, you’ve got a great job! If you wouldn’t, what’s the point? You’re going to be dead a long time. So find that thing, whatever it is, that you love doing, and enjoy going to work for, and not watch the clock or wait for weekends and holidays.

Read it here.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Macworld Comes Late, Courtesy of Palm This Year

Left Hemisphere Phone (2003):
Right Hemisphere Phone (2009):

The Palm pre just got previewed at CES. Looks good. It's much more likely that this will succeed my faithful i500 than any other phone I have seen. It Cuts! It Pastes! It's relatively small!

I don't want to get all hung up on losing the lowfi traditional Palm OS, but the basic basic basics are important. I honestly can't imagine that they would fuck up on the core PDA utilities, whatever form they take.

For all media & email this looks like a great phone. The one holdover I would prefer from the traditional Palm OS would be local contact/calendar/memo/todo sync in some form or another.

Perhaps locating all my info in "the cloud" and then sync'ing local devices is the way to go, but there's still stuff I don't want to post to Google or whoever.

Great to see Palm come out fighting!

Dan (Fake Steve) Lyons wrote a good article on this for Newsweek, though it reads as if it were translated from FSJ-ese into english. I miss the outrageous, trippy, snark that would have accompanied this, alas.

Thursday, January 01, 2009

My Favorite Doppelganger

I had to become Stevensolo because was taken. The good news is, that he's one of the neatest Steven Solomons out there. He is an 18 year old professional pianist in the Chicago area. Happy New Year, Steven and everybody else.