Friday, June 27, 2003
CNN interview with Arnold Jarecki, director of the acclaimed Capturing the Friedmans
CNN: The film doesn't draw any conclusions about the guilt or innocence of Arnold and Jesse, it seems. Previous post.
JARECKI: It doesn't feed them to you with a spoon. It is usually [shades of gray] in a legal case. We'd like to think when we read the paper and the guy pled guilty to 42 counts of something or other and we think he must have shoplifted 42 different items. But in the end you find out it's this incredibly complicated dance with the prosecutor about what you're willing to say you did. ... It's more about cutting a deal -- like everything else in America is now at the moment. ...
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Art for the post-tourist
For four weekends this winter, the Dencity Bus Tour made its pilgrimages through the city's trash and raw sewage. The ride, says Rene Gabri, one of the three artists who conceived and produced the tour, was meant "to interrogate the format of the tour itself, which relies on verbal information that is often incorrect anyway." His collaborators, Erin McGonigle and Heimo Lattner, produced the live soundtrack, largely made up of samples taken from the industrial area itself.
According to Gabri, the tour evokes what wireless gadgetry promises to provide: "Moving through space, yet having a constant stream of information." But all tours do that, or at least they try. Unique to Dencity is the detachment and illusory sense of privacy encouraged by the atmospheric music and darkness. On the bus that night, one couple made out, another gossiped, while others stared out the windows. Without the unifying element of a tour guide to produce a sense of community, Dencity has hit on, perhaps accidentally, a lonely vision of a supposedly hyperconnected world where each person has electronic access to all varieties of data, anytime, anywhere.
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Thursday, June 26, 2003
Polynesian island of Niue casts wifi net over whole island
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Researching translations of Potocki's Saragossa Manuscript I discovered that Wojceich Has actually made a well-received film of the gothic classic in the 60s -- with music by Krzystof Penderecki
"Head movies" -- those mind-bending epics like 2001 or El Topo that are supposedly best viewed under the influence -- frequently require drugs just to get through them. In the case of The Saragossa Manuscript (1965), the equation is reversed; anyone going into this three-hour mind-fuck straight may well come out feeling stoned. Those who like a challenge and can handle a dizzyingly dense structure that's more puzzle than plot will be well rewarded. A great score by Krzystof Penderecki and gorgeous cinematography (black-and-white Cinemascope) keep the ear and eye riveted even while the brain is in meltdown. [Bright Lights review]
Another reason to get a DVD player and sign up with Netflix, since it'll be a cold day in hell before this baby shows up in Cottonwood.
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I like this guide to CD-R recording, though I'm no expert, I think it lays out the issues and info very well
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Edward Miller mentioned The Complete Review today, "a Literary Saloon & Site of Review"
Worth a look for avid readers.
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Wayne Cunningham at CNET on dealing with Orrin Hatch and his anarchist cohorts in the record industry:
First, I can't stress enough the value of a personal firewall such as ZoneAlarm or Sygate. They're very easy to set up. Second, don't leave your P2P client on all the time. Many of these applications default to launching when you start up Windows. Find that setting and turn it off; and only turn on P2P software when you are looking for or downloading a file. Also, check which folders your P2P client shares with the rest of the world. Ideally, you should use a removable storage device such as a separate hard drive or a CD-RW drive, making it harder for someone to hack into a shared folder on your main system.Since I have a dialup, I don't use firewall tech, but if this gets out of hand, I will anyway.
10:39 AM - [Link] - Comments ()
Norman Rush's Mortals: James Woods' review
Rush recalls Conrad not only in theme but also in language, even if he does not precisely resemble him. The Conrad of whom Ford Madox Ford wrote that he practiced a "ferocious avoidance" of the ordinary sentence, who would go to great lengths to disrupt and to ornament the standard literary vernacular, must be an example to Rush. One reason that Rush has so excited literary readers -- and excited them on the strength, until now, of only one novel -- has to do with his extraordinary prose, which could only be American, and which, like Bellow's language, combines high and low registers in greatly unstable compounds. He is very interested in speech, in the slightly barbaric twisting of language that we commit when we speak, or speak to ourselves. Sounds tasty, though it might be too dense for my addled brain these days.
Mortals is a deeply serious, deeply ambitious, deeply successful book. Like all such books, it is not without faults. Ideologically speaking, Ray, the liberal who eventually leaves the agency, is perhaps too good to be true, so that one wonders about the likelihood of such a right-thinking (or, rather, left-thinking) fellow ever joining the CIA in the first place. And the novel has the air at times of a once fatter man whose thinner frame is now making his skin sag a bit: there are abrupt transitions and sudden deposits of information. But big books flick away their own failings and weaknesses, make insects of them. And how much is accomplished here! For once, knowledge in an American novel has not come free and flameless from Google, but has come out of a writer's own burning; for once, knowledge is not simply exotic and informational, but something amassed as life is amassed, as a pile of experiences rather than a wad of facts.
Also of note: lê thi diem thúy's The Gangster We Are All Looking For:
While the novel brilliantly illuminates its unlikely troika, what the narrative leaves out is just as striking....In this way, the relationship of this engaging and original novel to more conventional American narratives of Vietnam may be thought to be like a photographic negative: What's white is dark, what's dark is white, and the image is strange and mesmerizing. -- Peter Zinoman, LA Times
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Tuesday, June 24, 2003
Here's the next generation of mouse: the Gyration Ultra Review
All kidding aside, the new version of the Gyration Ultra mouse isn't exactly the next Greatest American Hero, but it's in the running for the Greatest American Mouse. This little beauty gives you the amazing and uncanny ability to mouse around, free from your desktop with natural hand movements. Even more unique, you can use the mouse either as a standard desk mouse -- it rolls around like a standard optical mouse -- or held in the air, like a remote control.
Whether standing or sitting, as long as you're within 25' of the base receiver, you can surf the web, play games, and control your home theater PC, all with the swipe of your hand. There's no need to own a mousepad ever again.
With its own built in dual-axis gyroscope (called the MicroGyro 100, or MG100), the Gyration Ultra detects the motion of your hand (in mid-air or on a desk) and relays this information to your computer, eventually leading to movements of the mouse-pointer on your monitor. In other words, raise your hand up and the mouse pointer should move towards the top of your monitor. Lower your hand, and the mouse pointer should move towards the bottom of your monitor.
There's also a small laptop-style wireless keyboard for $30 more than the $79 the mouse costs, which means I can kick back from the desk finally.
This is one of the few times something is a must-buy for me. When I have the cash I mean.
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Jane Juska's A Round-Heeled Woman: My Late-Life Adventures in Sex and Romance: review
2:32 AM - [Link] - Comments ()
Monday, June 23, 2003
Selected search referrals
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americans fascinated by watching people being punished [#1!!]
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lakes in Manitoba that has 31 letters in its name
WHY PEPYS USE THE WORD ORDER AND THE WORD CHOICE IN HIS DIARY
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