Rants & Ramblings

random commentary about culture, media, politics, technology and whatnot.

dec
21
2005

pardon our dust

This has been floating around for a little while now, but I’m posting it anyway because it’s caused me no end of amusement this week… The Gap hired director Spike Jonze to produce a TV spot to promote the company’s …

dec
19
2005

yuletide

Random holiday-related tidbits… You know those mailings from charities that you get with the address labels pre-printed with your information on them, along with a solicitation for your information? Not a particularly efficient way of raising money, reports the St. …

dec
16
2005

i know your secret

After a busybusybusy couple of weeks, Rob and I decided to have a “date night” tonight, starting with dinner at Georgetown’s Pizzeria Pardiso. Afterward, we walked across the street to the former Staples that’s been converted into an art space, …

dec
11
2005

gratuity

I generally see some kind of story or sidebar about proper holiday tipping around this time of year, and this year was no exception, with this weekend’s Sunday Source featuring a long explainer about how much to tip the various …

dec
10
2005

ideas issue

Fascinating stuff in this week’s New York Times Magazine, their annual “Year in Ideas” issue: Musings on a collective way to mediate cellphone interruptions, and how best to signal an interruption. (“Consensual Iterruptions” - 12/11/05) Having solved the problem of …

dec
09
2005

delicious yahoo

Yahoo! has been on quite the buying streak lately. del.icio.us, my favorite online bookmark service, announced today that they had been acquired by Yahoo!. It’s a great move for Yahoo!, and it makes perfect sense, given the company’s focus on …

pieces of flair

The Washington Post had an interesting feature yesterday about the evolving decor of T.G.I. Friday’s and Ruby Tuesday and the networks of people who supply the kitch that adorns the restaurants’ walls. Since the dawn of the shopping-mall era, people …

dec
01
2005

unhappy feet

A women's health column at Newsweek.com today explains, in plenty detail, all the damage high-heeled shoes do to women's feet. Ow.

nov
23
2005

cambodian profiles

We just launched a new multimedia feature at work today called “Cambodian Profiles,” a student-produced documentary video project looking at the lives of Cambodians in Stockton, Calif., and Phnom Penh. The project is part of a program called “Digital TV …

nov
19
2005

interviewee

I had an interesting conversation last night over IM with a friend of Kat’s at Stanford. He’s a PhD student doing research on blogs and bloggers, and he interviewed me about my own blog and blogging habits. (Incidentally, the class …

oct
06
2005

best. cutline. ever.

You must check out this photo and caption, spotted in the Roanoke Times and reposted to Flickr. (Link found via Newly Purnell via DCBlogs.)

spymommy

Interesting story in the New York Times today about Alias and the evolving depiction of pregnancy on television. (“On ‘Alias,’ the Star Is Now Spying for Two” - 10/06/05) (Warning: The article contains spoilers if you haven’t seen the premiere …

sep
27
2005

adventures in multimedia

Doing research / inspiration-gathering for an upcoming project, I went looking for sites that do interesting things with design and video. Some of the highlights: Churchill and the Great Republic - An online exhibit for the Library of Congress. Yet …

sep
25
2005

'bob' no more

The home field of the Arizona Diamondbacks is no longer Bank One Ballpark. JP Morgan Chase’s recent acquisition of Bank One necessitated a name change, as Bank One is being absorbed into the Chase fold. The ballpark’s new name: Chase …

sep
24
2005

in vogue

An interesting observation in a Salon.com article about the recent Kate Moss cocaine fiasco (a British tabloid published front-page photos of Moss snorting cocaine, which led to Moss getting fired from some of her most high-profile contracts, including Burberry and …

cultural memory

An interesting observation about the 1960s and nostalgia for that era, from an article about Bob Dylan by David Greenberg at Slate.com: We’ve been drenched for so long in so much mass-produced 1960s kitsch that our Pavlovian responses to the …

aug
26
2005

gen y at work

An interesting observation about Generation Y in the workplace from a Poynter article about how to manage Gen Y employees. I don’t know how fully I agree with the author’s generalizations about my generation, but then maybe I don’t really …

aug
16
2005

social utility

The New York Times reports today about a recent book about group behavior which posits that gossip serves important social functions. (“Have You Heard? Gossip Turns Out to Serve a Purpose” - 08/16/05) When two or more people huddle to …

jul
30
2005

creative process

I’ve run across a couple interesting blog entries about various points in the creative process from people whose work I enjoy: Jackson Publick offers a glimpse into the making of an episode of the animated series The Venture Brothers: So …

jul
16
2005

disaster averted

Given how much of my life seems to run through my laptop, it’s amazing that my personal mantra isn’t “backup. backup. backup.” I keep meaning to do comprehensive backups of all my documents, photos and music files on a regular …

jul
15
2005

blogger on the street

Fascinating story in this month’s Wired about Jorn Barger, one of the first bloggers: He says he avoids the need for a job by living on less than a dollar a day. “I was carrying a cardboard sign when we …

jul
05
2005

podcasting

Last week, Apple released iTunes 4.9, offering built-in support for podcast subscriptions via the iTunes Music Store. It’s a huge step forward in simplifying the process of distributing and subscribing to the audio feeds, as it offers a central podcast …

jul
04
2005

folksonomy

I’ve been intrigued of late by the concept of “tagging.” It’s a deceptively simple idea: Organizing content — writing, photos, links and the like — by keyword. (I’m not keen on the working term for it, “folksonomy,” because I don’t …