iPad as terror weapon (aimed at tech gurus)

“What you’re seeing in the industry’s reaction to the iPad is nothing less than future shock.”

Via John Gruber.

For the last few days I’ve been conflicted about my non-reaction to the iPad intro. The link above resolves the conflict.

Chaplin before The Tramp

I always assumed Charlie Chaplin’s Tramp character was launched fully formed into film history. Not so. CNN has a great feature on the creation of a classic character.

iPad via Mad TV

NPR snagged the Mad TV writers who introduced the world to the original iPad. Funny.

Steve Jobs in 1994: The Rolling Stone Interview

In 1994 Steve Jobs was the man banished from Apple and striving to make NeXT the next big thing. But something else lay in store. Rolling Stone’s Jeff Goodell walks us back 16 years to a simpler time. It’s a great interview.

California needs high speed trains

I hate flying. But I love traveling. Yeah, it’s a pickle. Here’s a slick bit of promotion pushing for high speed trains in California. The Huffington Post has an AP article on the deal. Here’s a piece of it:

High-speed rail projects in California, Florida and Illinois are among the big winners of $8 billion in grants announced Thursday by the White House – the start of what some Democrats tout as a national rail-building program that could rival the interstate highways begun in the Eisenhower era.

President Barack Obama announced the awards during a town hall meeting in Tampa, Fla. – a follow-up to Wednesday's State of the Union address that focused on getting Americans back to work. Thirteen passenger rail corridors in 31 states will receive grants, which are funded by the economic recovery act enacted last year.

Your pad or mine?

NSFW on first

As one who’s worked in the Abbott and Costello building on a certain movie lot, this has special significance. Cue the spit-take.




When I was a kid I stumbled across Leonard Bernstein on tv explaining how and why music is music. I can safely say it changed my life. No, I don’t play an instrument or read or write music. What I was enlightened to by Bernstein was process. The creative process. A few years later, after becoming enamored with movie soundtracks, a good friend suggested that if I loved soundtracks so much I should consider going to the source: classical music. Specifically, Aaron Copland. Life changed again. BoingBoing has been posting a series called Adventures in Music that shouldn’t be missed. The above clip is one of them. Have a good Sunday.

Cantaloupe Island

Crooks and Liars linked to this tonight. Must repost. Pat Metheny is a guitar god.

McGee nirvana

In my humble opinion, there was no better writer of crime fiction than John D. MacDonald. If you’re a fan, you understand. If you like Stephen King or appreciate films like Mystic River (based on Dennis Lehane’s excellent novel) or revel in the dense plotting of The Wire’s good bad-guys and bad good-guys and haven’t yet discovered MacDonald then spend some time over at Steve Scott’s fantastic site, The Trap of Solid Gold. Let Mr. Scott, who seriously knows his stuff, fill you in:

My name is Steve Scott and I've been a reader of the works of author John D MacDonald for over 35 years. In 1981 I had the privilege of assisting Walter and Jean Shine by doing research for a second edition of their definitive Bibliography of MacDonald's novels and short stories. John was an incredibly prolific author of primarily crime and mystery fiction and, between 1946 and 1986, published nearly 400 stories and over 65 novels. I hope to use this blog to share some of my knowledge, opinions, information and artwork from an old and dusty collection of JDM stuff.

Go fall into The Trap of Solid Gold.

Old media is new again

From Daily Finance:

Steve Jobs plans to bring new hope to old media with his tablet device. It will work well as a web-searching tool, but in addition it will almost certainly offer access to a wide array of text books, newspapers, and TV shows. According to The Wall Street Journal, Apple (AAPL) CEO Steve Jobs plans to "expand Apple's influence and revenue as a content middleman." The company is already a dominant force in digital music because of its iTunes business. The Journal reports Apple is in talks with major newspaper companies and textbook firms.

iCannot Wait!

Gizmodo has a great roundup of the Apple tablet rumors. Lots of fun stuff here. Yippee.

The Virtual Revolution

Gizmodo’s heads-up re: The BBC’s upcoming documentary, The Virtual Revolution. Looks cool.

Your President, brought to you by Exxon Mobil

The New York Times and again The New York Times

The Los Angeles Times and again The Los Angeles Times

The Huffington Post and again The Huffington Post

Crooks and Liars


Get lost

The music of your childhood

Links to iTunes
The movie Funny Bones relied heavily on Raymond Scott’s music to salt the comedy-drama with just the right amount of wacky. Listening to it, you might be surprised to find it spiced up your childhood as well. From classic Warner Bros. cartoons up to Ren, Stimpy, Spongebob, Pee-Wee and beyond. The roots are Scott’s. Fun and funny.

Kid stories

If you have kids, or even if you don’t, this article is worth a read. About three years ago, when our twins arrived, I wasn’t paying much attention to the artwork in the Little Golden Books what with feedings, diapers and lack of sleep crushing my very soul. But lately, now that they’re walking, talking, joking and hurling books at me with shouts of “Read this one,” I’ve come to appreciate the wonderful worlds depicted in my kids’ first published brush (pun intended) with art. The terrific site, The ASIFA Hollywood Animation Archive, is recent discovery (via BoingBoing) devoted to art and animation at its most whimsical and imaginative.


The Story of Macintosh

The Unofficial Apple Weblog links to some insanely great promotional footage regarding the original Macintosh. I’m misty-eyed. A big thank-you to Greg Pruss for introducing me to his Mac Plus in 1988.



roundup of the facts.

Haiti Help

Three links to donate to Haiti. Via iTunes and the White House (links to the Red Cross).

Sports Illustrated's tablet mag demo

Sports Illustrated put together a demo of what their magazine might look like on a tablet. If you’re curious as to what Apple’s tablet might look and feel like, after watching this we can only hope.

Keeping Facebook private

Mahendra Palsule explains it all for you.

Teslas on full!

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

The year we make contact

Tim VanDamme via John Gruber.

It looks like everyone and their next door neighbor is super excited about whatever Apple will supposable reveal on January 27th. We’re no longer asking ourselves “Will Apple launch a tablet,” or “When will the tablet be available?” No, we’re completely certain Apple will reveal a 10” touchscreen pumped up iPhone/scaled down Mac in the upcoming weeks.

Hey, Zuckerberg. Get F'Booked!

This just in over at CNET. Apparently all you Facebookers are just grist for Mark Zuckerberg’s vision of an open society. Completely open. As in NOTHING IS PRIVATE. Read on if you dare to see just how wide open you truly are in his world. And, just so you know, in his world, he’s king. And you are a cash cow getting gored.

Read this. Then decide if you’re willing to ditch your privacy for Zuckerberg’s wallet.

Chris Matyszczyk writes:

And in it [see attached video], around the three-minute mark, he [Zuckerberg] says: "People have really gotten comfortable not only sharing more information and different kinds, but more openly and with more people. That social norm is just something that has evolved over time."

Perhaps you weren't aware that people's comfort with sharing had become a new social norm. Perhaps you were naive enough to think that people used laptops and social-networking sites to connect very specifically with certain other people in order to share certain things. You know, in a relatively private way. Like letters that fly at the speed of light. You were mistaken.

End of the world

Waiter, there's shit in my soda

This from the L.A. Times.

Do want ice with that crap?
Amina Khan writes: All right, two burgers with a side of fries coming up ... would you like a large fecally contaminated soda with that? Like it or not, that's what you may be drinking, says a study published in the January print edition of the International Journal of Food Microbiology. The study looked at 90 beverages from 30 soda fountains in Virginia. A follow-up study took a look at the microbes they found in 27 drinks (including water). Researchers found that 48% of the drinks were harboring "coliform" bacteria -- which means they could contain fecal matter. 

Get the full poop

Photo credit: Los Angeles Times

Mind your morning commute

VH1 Reality Show Bus Crashes In California Causing Major Slut Spill

Mark your calendar

Screening at midnight on 2/26/10 at the Fairfax Cinema in Los Angeles.

The Nautilus in Paris

Courtesy of Martin Smith.

DLP Mysteries of the Nautilus from Martins Videos on Vimeo.

Police Story Teller

Thanks, Mr. Gerber.

I couldn’t have been more than 12 or 13 when I found a copy of Joseph Wambaugh’s novel,
The New Centurions, on my mom’s nightstand. Read it. Then saw the movie with George C. Scott and Stacey Keach. Loved it. More than anything, I was intrigued with Joseph Wambaugh. His cop tales were so much more than what Jack Webb was turning out. Wambaugh’s stuff was sexy and violent and for a kid in the midwest growing tired of “Just the facts, ma’am,” Wambaugh’s cops were the perfect antidote. David Gerber brought it to our living room. Cool.

Action News!!!

Again, from BoingBoing. A seriously slick 1980s news promo for Milwaukee station WITI. Genius!

Prison Fashion

This has nothing to do with pants-worn-under asses by those young men seemingly unaware that the style denotes a willingness for prison ass f*cking.

This is about IVP Designs.
Get familiar here.



Suicide is (Facebook) Painless

I had to do it. Several months ago I walked away from Facebook and Twitter. The endless poking, quiz bullshit and anonymous followers was wearing me down. However, while Twitter erased me completely, Facebook promised me that my online identity was always be there should I ever choose to come back. Honestly, it tempts me. Freakin’ weird.

Then there’s this. My salvation.

web 2.0 suicide machine promotion from moddr_ on Vimeo.



Stephen Colbert, the comedian, political satirist, and host of Comedy Central's "Colbert Report," is funny on his show. The animated characters on "South Park," created by Matt Stone and Trey Parker, are hilarious.

But will they be as witty on the witness stand?

Colbert was recently questioned by Google attorneys during a legal deposition as part of Viacom's $1 billion copyright lawsuit against Google and YouTube.

Stop. Give it away. We’ll want it more. Lesson #1 from The Wire’s drug dealers.

Slipping into Steampunk

Those familiar with my love of Harper Goff’s Victorian design for Disney’s 20,000 Leagues Nautilus might assume I’m a huge Steampunk fan. Not so. I’m a fan, sure, having become enamored with the look through my work on Warehouse 13, but I’m not a rabid follower. Not yet. Prowling Steampunk on the net, this exhibit at London’s Museum of the History of Science popped up and peaked my interest.

If you don't know John Martyn

Get to know him. “Musician” doesn’t even come close.


Via Boing Boing.

See further

Robbed by the Bank of America

Ever feel like you’re living in story by Kafka? If so, I could show you around. But you’re paying because the Bank of America stole $5,000 from me and refuses to give it back.

Here’s the deal: Up until the end of November the mortgage on the home I share with my wife and kids was held by Countrywide/Bank of America. We refinanced this past fall with Bank of America (no Countrywide) to lower our mortgage payment. So far so good. However, on December 2nd an automatic mortgage payment I’d set up with BofA’s online bill payment service went, by mistake, to the old now defunct Countrywide/BofA account
and to the new, less expensive BofA mortgage account. Simply put, we paid two mortgages. One payment went to a black BofA-owned hole. The other payment went to the proper account.

No problem. I call BofA and tell them to look at my checking account (they do), note the Dec. 2 debit withdrawn by mistake (they do) and ask them to either return the money to the checking account or apply the money toward our current mortgage. Easy peasy.

Thirty-six days later... BofA will not, seemingly cannot return my money. I’ve called. I’ve emailed. I’ve pleaded. The responses I get from the various representatives all revolve around “the payment research department.” It seems that this “department” must “research” this “payment” before a return can be made. However, this “department” is always down. The computers are down? The employees are down? Their thumbs are down on my missing money? I don’t know.

The latest email received today tells me that this problem will be resolved by January 6th, 2010. Note that this email from BofA is the fourth in a series that has promised resolution “within 5 to 6 days.” These emails go back four weeks.

Adding insult to injury, our Christmas-weary checking account has been repeatedly hammered (the $5,000 cushion ain’t there) and you would not believe the insufficient funds charges that are piling up. We’re talking hundreds of dollars. Money I’m sure they’ll be expecting from me
after they took my money in the first place!

This brings me to the
Huffington Post. Specifically their push to get people onto the Move Your Money train. Trust me, I’m on board. The moment the Thieves of America give me my money back I am so gone from those bastards and into my closest community bank. I’ll keep you posted.

Oh. And Happy New Year.