April 30, 2004
"Don't Be Evil."

Google's Owner's Manual (ie, the letter from the Founders in Google's registration statement with their SEC filing) reads like a "fuck you" to most of Wall Street.

Posted by tmonkey at 10:51 AM

Attack. Decay. Sustain. Release.

Posted by kevin slavin at 01:50 AM
April 29, 2004
Pithy title here


I've seen a lot of trends come and go, but nothing in my experience would have led me to predict the identical-gay-twins-in-matching-circa-1986-banana-republic-adventurer-gear-and-pith-helmets look.

Posted by dbrown at 06:22 PM
Saturation Broadcast System: General Notes

Some recent contacts between saturation and the outside world -- one to San Mateo, one, apparently, to Littleton CO or environs -- made me think about the different methods proposed to communicate over long, long distances, like light days or light years. If I remember, one approach is for both parties to simply keep talking -- sending as much data as possible. So there is no dialogue, but somehow there is a conversation. Sort of. And then there's the Battlestar Galactica model, also know as the Contact model, where we (earth or saturation, take your pick) just naturally beams information out to space, and maybe someone sees it. Maybe.

Posted by dbrown at 05:44 PM
April 28, 2004
Saturation Broadcast System: Island Query

Off MeFi is the story of Tuvalu. I thought I knew the story of this tiny island, and it's .TV domain, the geography of boom. Now broke, and that too is old news, but what's new is that the island may very well disappear, reducing its domain to a singular sense of the word.

It reminded me of some story -- maybe 3 years ago -- about an island, or a nation, maybe, that "went dark." Something happened there, maybe a revolution, something of people and not of earth. For a day or two, it was impossible to reach it by telephone, radio, anything. There was a brief hole in the grid, and there was a piece of the earth that dropped through it.

Because I don't dream, I think it may have really happened. Oh, Saturation, I need your help, because it's a good story to tell, and a great one if it's real. Did I make this up?

Posted by kevin slavin at 10:25 PM
Operation Take One For the Country

We have SuicideGirls. And they have CharityGirls.


Though wasn't the whole Summer of '69 one big Operation Take One For Those Not Taking One For the Country? At least one, probably a lot more though.

(via BoingBoing via wonkette)

(File Under "Fucking Americans")

Posted by tmonkey at 07:26 PM
The neighborhood comes to us

This WSJ article proves my hypothesis that the Chinese have been playing SimCity, Disneyland, and the globalization game far longer than, say, McDonald's.

Posted by tmonkey at 12:31 PM
That's what I call a protest

"During the Harlem rent strike of 1963, after tenant organizer Jesse Gray urged strikers to "bring a rat to court," people brought them dead and alive, rolled up in newspaper or held up by the tail; the rats are generally credited with ending the strike. No one needed to bring rats anywhere during the garbage strike five years later—they brought themselves to the mountains of trash piled high on the sidewalks, causing the mayor to declare a health emergency, the governor to demand an end to the strike, and the sanitation workers to get a raise"

Also, rats are, it turns out, "thigmophillic," which means they need to be in constant touch with walls. That's poetry right there, if you ask me.

More here.

Posted by kio at 09:59 AM
August, 1969.

I'm not exactly sure how to explain why I wanted it, but I was high bidder this evening on this 34-year old Intel C3101 chip. This was Intel's first product, and the world's first solid-state memory device.


I know this: that this was the first time that memory in its most modern form was ever in its most modern form. That the C3101 is a monument to the day that happened, and that the monument is small like a microchip and just as dense. I know that it was born the same month I was, and that the idea of this chip aging with me provides comfort.

Perhaps it's because the the chip will outlive me, and perhaps it's because it will always be blank. I don't aspire to permanence or blankness, but it would feel like I had a home on the earth, if I could just have those things in proximity.

Posted by kevin slavin at 04:13 AM
How Many Years

How many years before ads for foods have the same kinds of warnings as the ads for pharmacuticals?

Posted by kevin slavin at 04:02 AM
April 27, 2004
Global and Local, Thinking and Acting, Variables. (Auto)


Martin Liebscher (an old and fine friend) is the artist who builds his own cameras to make the world reflect his own movement and rhythm as he rolls film through the gate. You sort of have to see them big, but here they are anyway, I think you can find Kio or me in a few of them. Point is, they change how you see the real world. You realize that the way you see the world has been trained and shaped by photographic lenses, and that there are other ways to see it. You just got to get new lenses. For example.

I bring it up because Martin's great, and his work is great, and also because I just stumbled upon Robert Spahr's work. Like Martin's work, it's about building a lens, it's just that the world is the world that is the New York Times. Which is not to say that the NYT is the world. But the latest three images from the nyt.com are as good an index as many.


Like all photography, it's about fixing in light a moment in time. Spahr's "hourly crufts" have some of the beauty that Martin's work does; they clearly represent the world you live in, but they don't look like you remember it. Or, maybe, they look more like a memory of the world than conventional photography does.

Spahr's work -- here's a good cross-section of it -- asks some of the same questions that Jason Salavon's work does. Similarly, there's Mark Tribe's NYT work, or Thomas Bayrle's. They are good questions to ask, about time and media and vision and memory. They are questions that have something to do with wondering this: where do the images go, when we've stopped looking at them?


The question can be a desperate one, think of the Collyer brothers, think of Patrice Lumumba Moore. Where do the images go when we stop looking at them? From these three artists, the answers suggest residue, distortion, mutability. They suggest Lev Manovich's Principles of New Media, specifically Variability: "As new media theorist and architect Marcos Novak notes, a computer - and computer culture in its wake - substitute every constant by a variable."

Liebscher, Spahr and Salavon (for example) all substitute the constants with variables. For Liebscher, the variable is in the object, and for Spahr and Salavon, the variable is in the subject. But these variables are not about computers. These are the variables of the rest of the world, whether New York Times or the New York City. No computer will ever be more variable than these.

Posted by kevin slavin at 03:48 AM
To Find Which Way

During the last futile and horrifying war, we never really had students throwing the same kinds of cobblestones that the French did, and we never had a Baader or a Meinhof. No Red Brigades, no Shining Path, no particular path at all. We had some Panthers, though, whose courage and accomplishments can't be overestimated.


But we also had the Weather Underground and what I just found out, mostly we still have them.

I was just curious, because the weather's changed, but the climate's about the same.

Posted by kevin slavin at 02:20 AM
April 26, 2004

When I started freelancing at the New Yorker, in December of 1994, my boss took me on a little tour. It was really near Christmas and the offices were chilly and near-empty. But lodged in an office off in one side cooridor was Philip Hamburger, who smiled warmly and welcomed me to the magazine. Philip came on staff when Harold Ross edited the thing; I met him under the leadership of Tina Brown. Can you imagine? I did not say many words to Philip in my year or so at the magazine. He wasn't publishing much, if at all (Tina and Philip were an odd pair), and when he did it usually wasn't illustrated. He had really made his name during the war, with frequent and, I'm told, great dispatches.

He shared the little corridor with two other writers: Susan Orlean and David Remnick. An interesting trio. Philip died a few days ago. Remnick's postcript to him is in this week's magazine. It's worth a moment.

Hamburger was no George Plimpton. But Plimpton was no Philip Hamburger.

Posted by dbrown at 09:31 PM
Art Can Be Fun


Lot #453

Ray Kenzer
Penis Bookends
6.5 x 5
Signed on Band-Aid attached to bottom of one.
Estate of Vera G. List

Posted by dbrown at 05:36 PM
One Fucking Day

Apologies in advance for overzeal and word count.

The other day Cubemate and I were discussing how, exactly, we would leave the country if this year's election comes out wrong. Not out of pragmatism, (though this too) but more from the full weight of the humiliation. The humiliation of being associated with the policies and the actions of these barely United States.

Then, I landed in this hotel room in Seattle, plugged into the ether, hit MeFi and watched this 3 MB video, which rendered me hollow and mute. I read through the MeFi thread looking for consolation, but found dismissiveness instead, in 100 forms including a sub-thread on Grand Theft Auto.

Most comments centered around how this video should be read in America. Not around how this action will be read in Iraq. Not how this is the thing that can bring an Iraqi citizen to hang someone high over the Euphrates river, to rip him up and to drag him through the streets. How this is what inspires an Iraqi to do whatever he can to take out a tank, and everyone in it. And if he holds all 280 million of us responsible for the violence of a few troops and an exceptional event, then he's well acquainted with our own justification for cluster-bombing Afghanistan. Which I myself reluctantly support.


I defy any American to describe the things they could be told that would dissuade them from terror and retribution, if they themselves endured explosive violence and degradation at the hands of some foreign power. Which Americans did experience, for one fucking day, real early in the 21st century.

As the Iraqis experience nearly 365 days of victory like this, I try to imagine what it might be like to experience every day like that day. And then I don't know what to look at, Metafilter, hotel room porn-on-demand, the framed Impressionist 4-color repro, I don't know what to look at without feeling that it too is complicit.

If necessary, I would defend the United States against anything that threatened it. Anything except the slow and steady manufacture of that threat, against which I have no defense but to vote.

If they're counting anything like votes, this year.

Posted by kevin slavin at 04:34 AM
April 24, 2004
My Name is Pubby & I'm Crippled

classified ad in the Ulster County alm@nac, 4/22/04 edition:

MY NAME IS PUBBY & I'M CRIPPLED. I'm very pretty but a bit shy. I'm almost 1-year-old & need a loving home. I'm a colorful calico kitten. Call 626-0221.

Posted by dbrown at 10:10 PM
April 23, 2004
Googleplex Synthetic Memory, Chapter 57.

I don't care one way or the other that this regards an Anglican web site. What interests me is the use of Google's cache as a last-resort backup server.

We remember when every search engine sought to capitalize on high traffic by becoming a "portal" for "entertainment," or whatever it was they became portals for. But Google, by increasing the richness and complexity of information it provides, shows that the greatest value is the information itself. The raw and valuable commodity that we call information.

Posted by kevin slavin at 04:37 PM
No, Virginia.

My friends at nonfamous.com have come across something very alarming in the commonwealth of Virginia:

"A bill before the Virginia legislature proposes to render any contract between same-sex partners void. This isn't just about banning gay marriage. It's about banning same-sex couples from using ordinary legal contracts -- like the living will that Jay and I had a lawyer prepare so that one of us can make medical decisions for the other if he is incapacitated..."

That's pretty new, and pretty bad. But Jay has arrived at an interesting means to address this unprecedented proposal: Let's boycott Virginia. I haven't bought J. Crew in a while, but now's a good time to say I won't ever or until. Also, I'm not buying any more of Lockheed-Martin's F22 fighter-bombers.

Which is not to make light of. Seriously, spread these words: Let's boycott Virginia.

Posted by kevin slavin at 03:42 PM
Voting For Him Anyway

I don't know what you guys think about Kerry, but now I know what Alan Blevins thinks about Kerry. Since he's voting for him anyway, I'm linking to his site. Well, also because it's funny, in a couple senses of the word.

Posted by kevin slavin at 03:09 PM
Lipstick Traces

The sound of sputnik's telemetry as it passed overhead, 1957.

Posted by dbrown at 11:59 AM
April 22, 2004
Growing Pains

Kirk Cameron asks: Are you a Christian? (Turn your sound on.)

Posted by elia at 12:50 PM
April 21, 2004

Josh Marshall makes this point, and I will, too: Dig the first line of this June 1968 memo from Kerry's military records: "I request duty in Vietnam."

Posted by dbrown at 06:04 PM
April 20, 2004
Fire of Unknown Origin

In the spirit of the mundane, I present you the daily news from the National Fire Paging Notification Network. Latest, as of 4-17-04:





Posted by dbrown at 05:12 PM
April 19, 2004
Lessons Learned


1. Fabric paint is a pain in the ass to deal with, and must be applied with a heavy hand if sharp edges on lines are desired. It would have probably helped if I had not worn and washed the unitard before painting, as that caused the fabric to pill somewhat, making it much harder to get the paint down into the fabric.

2. If you superglue something to a painted surface, you're not gluing to the item itself, but to the paint. I should have waited the specified 7 days for maximum chip resistance (which means maximum hardness and curing) before trying to glue the el-wire to it.

3. No matter how hard you try, the colors will never match exactly. Don't obsess about it; do the very best you can and quit worrying.

4. I got some slack cut because this was my first masquerade. It'll be tougher to win something next year...and it was suggested that, while I could re-enter this costume, doing so very many times would not be wise. Now, all I have to do is come up with another idea...

Posted by elia at 06:39 PM
We Never Forget Who We're Working For, Part II


Speaking of the Lockheed-Martin Aeronautics Corporation, hurry up, kids! Only two weeks until Space Day!

Posted by kevin slavin at 06:02 PM
A German Company

Off Boing Boing's rip from Cache Op via Engadget, I wouldn't bother replicating the link to the ESC key chairs "from a German company" except that they are from my friend Peter, who stores them in his house.


Since we're on the subject of Peter, you should check out Pictoplasma, the site, the book, and the book. He's kind of brilliant, kind of mean-spirited, and kind of selfless, so support him however you can.

Posted by kevin slavin at 05:51 PM
Hey, you want to buy this castle?

Wired news runs an update on Julian Dibbell's career in virtual sales. He did well. via kottke.

Posted by dbrown at 04:08 PM
April 18, 2004
BC '04 Key Findings

While Laura Bush sat reading a book, Rove gave a PowerPoint presentation on the campaign's strategy, themes and timetable. Opening his laptop, he displayed for Bush in bold letters on a dark blue background:

Strong Leader
Bold Action
Big Ideas
Peace in World
More Compassionate America
Cares About People Like Me
Leads a Strong Team

woodward, via wapo

Posted by dbrown at 12:15 PM
April 17, 2004
eBay for the blind

This is 1 postcard. It is of Beautiful Harmon Park In Kearney, Nebraska. There is not a picture of this card in this listing. There is a picture of this Kearney Park postcard in my listing of the 17 in 1 postcard listing. So, if you want to see a picture of this postcard, go to that listing and look. I am sorry about that. But I am out of batteries for my camera. There are alot of trees in the background of this postcard, blue sky. There are alot of bushes and a big pathway(sidewalk), that goes down the center of this card. There are 2 ladies in the far background in front of tall, blooming, whitish flowers. There is a 2 cent stamp on this postcard and it is postmarked in Kearney, Nebraska is 1951. This postcard is to Miss M. George at the Lutheran Medical Center. Richard H. Young Memorial Hospital in Omaha, Nebraska and it is from Ray/Roy & Doris A.

Posted by dbrown at 12:55 PM
April 16, 2004
made real


For me, the most indelible image from Ellison's Invisible Man has always been from the opening, where we see his set up -- basement, free electricty, a ceiling-mounted heaven of incandescent bulbs. There was the sticking-it-to-con-ed aspect, and the Notes From Underground side to it, and the forecefulness of the words. The closest I'd seen anyone come to making it physical was Droog's chandelier with 85 bulbs (scroll down, on the left). Until today, when I came across Jeff Wall's actual representation of the scene, which is about as successful as one can imagine.

Posted by dbrown at 06:29 PM
April 15, 2004
Rockets of the Mekong

>I made my first work composed from field recordings in the fall of 1998.

>While traveling in Vietnam, I recorded musicians, trains, moving water, crickets, monks, markets, metalwork, tired animals, and drunken tourists. The earliest work on this site is the result of my discovery of ways of working with that sound as sole medium...

>I currently have one album, Plumbing and Irrigation of South Asia, on and/OAR; one album, Rockets of the Mekong, on Grain of Sound.

(and, from the album notes:)

>On the outskirts, near an airport and a series of rarely visited six-century-old cave-temples, I lay on the ground and stuck my head in a concrete irrigation cistern to capture this gurgle.

Posted by kevin slavin at 04:24 PM

This lunch hour, outside the Trump Tower, three women are handing out balloons for Adecco, the temp agency. Their T-shirts read: "We're Hiring!" The tourists pass them by to take digital photographs of Donald's giant visage.

Posted by dbrown at 02:10 PM
April 14, 2004
Double Secret Probation


Please identify this person.

Posted by elia at 05:53 PM
Beauty Pageants in the Age of the Internet


The largest internet vote ever in Russia was not about Putin, but rather about this girl, who received 40,000 votes to represent Russia in the Miss Universe contest.

"Ivan Zassoursky, the beauty pageant's producer, argued that the popularity of the online contest had drawn attention to Alyona.

'This competition has set two records,' he told BBC News Online.

'It is the largest ever internet vote in Russia and the first nationwide beauty pageant to be held without a jury - as far as I know, in the world.'

'The reason why the Alyona phenomenon arose is that it was an open choice - ordinary people could vote freely.'"

How beautiful.

Posted by tmonkey at 02:23 PM
April 13, 2004

Pavement + Jay-Z = The Slack Album

Posted by dbrown at 06:28 PM
April 12, 2004
kids these days


From images most recently posted to LiveJournal. I'm unsure of the methodology, but the results are fascinating. (Offa mefi)

Posted by tmonkey at 09:07 PM
the same everywhere

easter sunday, main drag in greenwich, connecticut. A late middle-aged couple in their Easter best are having a fight on the sidewalk. Her: "You just twist a knife in my soul."

not sure how a man is supposed to respond to that.

Posted by dbrown at 03:50 PM

>Since people in the U.S. would need to risk great shame and embarrassment in having a huggable video game heroine pillow, it is safe to say that the bundle (or at least the pillow) won't see a statewide release.

Posted by kevin slavin at 03:12 PM
OK, it's happening.

Signal Orange still happening, but back to semi-secret status until a few things become concrete. Thanks for checking in.

Posted by kevin slavin at 03:28 AM
April 10, 2004
Jour de Poisson


And speaking of Clay Shirky, here's his analysis of an otherwise inscrutable act of resistance among Live Journal anti-fundamentalists.

Posted by kevin slavin at 03:37 PM
Until the Cars Can Photograph Themselves

From the Gothamist interview with Clay Shirky:

I was coming home in a cab from LGA in the pouring rain a few months ago, and sliding through a pool of water, we rear-ended the cab ahead of us. Both drivers got out, furious, and, before saying a word to one another, took out their phones and photographed each other's license plates.

It was the first use of a camera phone I'd seen that wasn't just for those "Hey! I'm drinking a margarita!" snapshots, and it convinced me that the unexpected uses of these things were going to be much more interesting than anything Nokia has dreamed of.

Streets, uses, things, &c.

Posted by kevin slavin at 03:30 PM
Don't Worry

"It's a gross mischaracterization to say the entire country is at war," Brig. Gen. Mark Kimmitt told reporters. "The entire country is under combat."

Posted by dbrown at 12:41 AM
April 09, 2004

no comments, just can't pass it up:

Enron Ex-CEO Skilling Taken to Hospital

By DONNA DE LA CRUZ, Associated Press Writer

NEW YORK - Former Enron CEO Jeffrey Skilling was taken to a hospital early Friday after several people called police saying he was pulling on their clothes and accusing them of being FBI agents, a police source told The Associated Press.

Police found Skilling at 4 a.m. at the corner of Park Avenue and East 73rd Street and determined he might be an "emotionally disturbed person," said the source, speaking to the AP on condition of anonymity. ...

Skilling was at two bars in Manhattan — American Trash and The Voodoo Lounge — where he allegedly ran up to patrons and pulled open their clothes, the source said.

"He was shouting at them 'You're an FBI agent and you're following me,'" the source said.

Posted by dbrown at 04:34 PM
If You Can Imagine It You Can Make It Happen.

Fake. Real.

(thanks, zhan)

Posted by kevin slavin at 12:30 PM
Missed Connections

because there's no Craig's List: Tikrit.

Posted by kevin slavin at 03:29 AM
The Business of War is Business

There's a soldier's blog that's made me absolutely stop thinking about my own stupid problems for a few hours. It's what Mr. Foucault referred to as a "liminal horizon," the place where people disappear not from view, but from imagination itself. I think it's impossible to imagine Iraq, but this blogger's got some good concrete images.

One particular point relevant to others we've made here is about the problems between the female soldiers and the Dick Cheney-related corporations that our tax dollars pay for in Iraq. Since the army doesn't seem to have jurisdiction over these companies, female soldiers (like the blogger) are dealing with sexual harassment by Brown and Root (Halliburton) and there's little to do about it.

And thank god all the infrastructure has been outsourced, otherwise the hell that soldiers go through just to take a shit could be blamed on the military, and not a publicly traded company.

As she herself writes here: "It’s like the stories one reads about in the Civil War, where corrupt defense contractors sold exorbitantly-priced cardboard boots to the Army in winter."

"Halliburton: Leading the Way to Darwin." You bet.

Posted by kevin slavin at 03:22 AM
April 08, 2004
Just to Elevate Our Rank in Google

First satuation post about Crispin's subservient chicken.

Posted by kevin slavin at 10:46 PM
The New York School

Helen Levitt speaks in today's Times:

"You don't like talking, do you?" I asked. "No," she said. "I sure don't."

Posted by dbrown at 10:28 PM
Divers Types de Points Coniques


Did you know this? "Beginning in the late 18th century, some mathematicians and scientists began to produce models of mathematical surfaces in space. This model building reached it height in the mid-to-late 19th century..." Poincaré may have been one of the masters; in the 1930s Man Ray made a series of photographs of Poincaré's mathematical objects. (The photograph above is for sale at Sotheby's later this month.) A student -- of math, I assume -- named Angela Vierling has done us the favor of making a page about mathematical models -- and another one about mathematical models in modern art. A side track led me to some eddy in Stephen Wolfram's tide of wisdom, visualizations of Riemann Surfaces of Functions with Complicated Branch Cuts.

Posted by dbrown at 10:12 PM
Byron fucking Coley

this is how it went: regular old Pettibon search on ebay turns up the SY Forced Exposure 7", which includes the unforgettable b-side "I Killed Christgau With My Big Fuckin' Dick." Which makes me wax poetic to an ex girlfriend about Forced Exposure in the 1980s, reading it in San Mateo, thrilled. So I type Byron Coley, FE's editor, into goooooogle, which gets me some of his recent poetry, which I reproduce here without permission:


amidst my dreams

i licked yr pussy
so long and so hard

that a halo of steam
rose from its glorious depths

and hovered over yr belly
like a smoke ring

pulled by castro's gentle lips
from a twenty dollar cigar

Posted by dbrown at 07:57 PM
War in Pictures

We're working on a Henry Luce documentary here at work so I've been looking at a lot of Time and Life photos. Convienently enough, both magazines have their entire collections online and Life covers are searchable by keyword. Check out the results for Vietnam. This produces a quite amazing document (about 50 covers), taken as a whole. It shows the entire progression of America's feelings about the war.

Posted by hirmes at 01:47 PM
Dr. Rice's Testimony [Apr 8, 2004]

Neal Pollack blogs the testimony, which I 100% missed:

"Lie, lie, distortion, half-truth, pander, manipulation, pseudo-intellectual bombast. Dodge, dodge, feint, lie, dodge, avoid, subject change, lie, slander, pretentious generalization, character assassination, bald-faced lie.

Oversimplification, undersimplification, condescension, insult, insult, lie, avoidance of responsibility, avoidance of question about avoiding responsibility, cheap political point, utter, malicious lie.

Grimace, slither, dodge, lie, deliberate misinterpretation of history, nonpartisan character disparagement, narrative designed by public-relations experts to create maximum “connection” with American public. Appearance of professionalism, resoluteness, capableness, preparedness. Major omission of lie to create partial truth. Lie for political convenience. Lie for partisan gain. Lie to protect the economic interests of an incredibly small number of people. Reception of flattery. Dispersal of flattery. Abuse of good will afforbed by ten people who are trying to gather evidence without partisan bias. Backhanded dismissal of all criticsism. Denial of any responsibility in orchestrating what will almost certainly become the most tragic and bloody war of this generation."

Posted by dbrown at 12:42 PM
Some Pun Using the Words "Monkey" and "Business"

Forwarded from my friend Randolph:

Date: April 7, 2004 6:13:09 PM PDT
To: monkeywire@lists.ibiblio.org
Subject: [monkeywire] (no subject)

Can apeing around resolve workplace conflicts?

The Zoological Society of London (ZSL) is calling for
volunteers to take part in a major new study into
human and chimpanzee behaviours. Chimps are our
closest living relatives, and as such share a variety
of similarities, not only in genetic make-up but also
in expression and behaviour.

Animal behaviour experts at ZSL are asking volunteers
to 'talk chimp' in everyday life and see how primate
patter can resolve workplace conflicts, express
emotions and strengthen human bonds. The results of
this major study will be published later in the year
to see just how 'talking chimp' can help in everyday

To take part in the study, click here to download our
survey, then use the chimp behaviours in your everyday
life, complete the survey and return it to be analysed
and included in our report to be published later in
the year. All completed surveys returned by 31st May
2004 will be entered into a free prize draw to win a
family ticket to visit Whipsnade Wild Animal Park.

This research coincides with the opening of our new
chimp facility at Whipsnade Wild Animal Park, we are
investigating these similarities to enable us to
communicate even better with our chimps and to also
see what we can learn when it comes to communicating
with our human colleagues.

Posted by kevin slavin at 11:55 AM
Paging Doctor Ender

Evidently the skill required for laparoscopic surgery is like "tying your shoelaces with 3-foot-long chopsticks." I don't know any videogames that feel like that except maybe Super Zaxxon, but it doesn't matter which videogames surgeons play, they're better surgeons for playing them.

Posted by kevin slavin at 11:30 AM
Velvet Strike

I'm too tired to say anything about it, you'll just have to click the link. And I know it's old now, but I was sure I blogged it already and it turns out I didn't. This is more bookmark than blog, but whatever.


I've got extremely mixed feelings about it, but it's interesting like the moon shot was interesting, like, ok, so we're there now, and we're doing this.

Posted by kevin slavin at 12:54 AM
April 07, 2004
Take the Quiz!

Drop by the now famous Which New York Times Op-Ed Columnist Are You? quiz.

It turns that I am Maureen Dowd.

"You are Maureen Dowd! You like to give people silly nicknames and write in really short, non sequitur paragraphs. You're the most playful of the columnists and a rock-ribbed liberal, but are often accused of being too flamboyant and frivolous. You tend to focus on style over substance, personality over politics. But your heart is in the right place. Plus, you are a total fox."

Posted by dbrown at 05:09 PM
Lenny's Head

This happened today: Lenny asked to borrow Dan's mouthwash, and then stuck his full head in a garbage can to spit it out. Full head, I mean it looked like he was wearing Dan's garbage can, or like there was an apple in there to bob for. Then he pulled his head right out and continued his sentence, which used the word "vexed."

Interesting times.

Posted by kevin slavin at 12:49 PM
Ending in Fact

I can't find any google entries for pompiers pyromanique, but I can't believe I made it up. Firemen who love fire, I think I heard it once as metaphor rather than fact. But still, every metaphor starts in fact, or ends there.

Posted by kevin slavin at 12:42 PM
For the Record

For the record, it was on Water Street and Pine, around 2PM today, that a car drove by. The driver of the car was wearing some electronic apparatus that went from the back of the head, over the head, covering his left eye.

Borg, or Steve Mann, or what, I dunno, but it happens sometimes like this: you see something and you know it's the only one you'll see. And then, later (maybe much later) the next time you see it, it will be everywhere. There will be an explanation at that time, or just before it, and I hope it's a damn good one.

Posted by kevin slavin at 02:35 AM
April 06, 2004
It Boogles the Mind, or Why Microsoft is shitting its pants

Kottke was in fine form today. In particular, a link to Rich Skrenta's weblog in which he analyzes what Google has up its sleeve, and it sounds nothing less than the beginning of the Matrix. Or at least SkyNet.

Posted by tmonkey at 09:39 AM
April 05, 2004
And what will Saturation's T-shirts say?


Mighty Girl's got merch.

Posted by dbrown at 09:33 PM
I know you have been trying to ignore Iraq

You may not be the only one. Via Josh Marshall, some snips from the Nelson Report:

"Comes word from Very Senior Foreign Policy Observers that the situation now unfolding in Iraq is "a qualitative change of very profound significance." ... the Observer goes on to warn that, on the basis of personal soundings within the Administration, the conviction arises that the White House has "no concept of how to manage the crisis, no plan in place likely to work." This Observer last week relayed a concern that President Bush was not being given accurate reports from Iraq, but today, one assumes that even a President who prides himself on not reading the newspapers now grasps that things are not necessarily proceeding to our advantage, to borrow an historic phrase. "

Atrios summarizes the Bush policy: "Clap Louder!"

Posted by dbrown at 08:23 PM
Pardon my language of freedom


Via boing boing, a blogger goes to wash his new laptop bag, looks at the tag, and by george, actually bothers to read the entire thing, including the french translation. (It's like viewing the source, kinda.)

Translation: "We are sorry that our President is an idiot. We didn't vote for him."

The bag-maker's site even lists the White House's commentline number: 202 456 1111.

Great piece of resistance.

Posted by tmonkey at 06:48 PM

a couple of years ago I asked a lawyer friend whether camgirls could be prosecuted for underage, umm, nudity. The Pennsylvania state police think so. To say this raises some odd legal questions and distinctions is an understatement. via mefi.

Posted by dbrown at 06:41 PM


Posted by elia at 04:14 PM
Send me Anything

The latest 23 requests from Books for Soldiers:

books about massage
Tony Hillerman
paganism or wicca
family guy or any Southpark
Koontz, murder or medical mystery
Dungeons & Dragons
dictionary and suspense books

Posted by hirmes at 10:55 AM
Let's Go! Ether. (Requiem)

Any of you who know about the .U cell phone project I worked on together with Mr. Wodkowsky and Mr. Zim, know that it was a great idea but that there's more to great work than great ideas.

And there's more people than there are ideas, so it's not surprising that many of the things we hoped to see someday are now visible in the game Mogi. There are some key differences, but some of the things we said over and over again, with passion, are now being written as reportage:

...a good example of a style of entertainment suited for mobile devices. It's very casual, playable on your way somewhere. It nestles in your every day life, rather than requiring you to change your behavior.

It amplifies your ordinary behavior - it changes going on an errand into a piece of a game.

All the trips I make in the city are now randomized, as I will often divert a few hundred meters to go and collect an object around me. I get a chance to discover parts of the city that I ignored, a motivation to check out that parallel street I never took.

These have been translated from French to Japanese to English but they still sound like they're lifted directly from our old pitches. I guess that's why you got to do what you think of (and with the right people). I wish we could still do it, but since the project is © all three of us, and we're no longer together, it's just not an ethical reality.

And it's not even that Mogi is the only one, there are other lenses for this same world here. So this is only to say that it's sad that someone else did it first, but that's it's great that anyone did it at all. It's a different world, the one with geography in the ether, and I look forward to spending time there. I hope Mogi gets recognized for what it is, which is an iteration of everyday life, not of video games.

And that it comes from Newt Games, and that they are HQ'd in Paris, is no real surprise.

Posted by kevin slavin at 02:08 AM
April 04, 2004
Pot to Kettle: "It's a Little Dark."

Let's talk for a moment about Crispin Porter Bogusky. An ad agency in Miami, they are getting a lot of attention for the work they do, like this article in Business 2.0. That's what happens when you do the brilliant anti-smoking campaign "TRUTH." And Ikea. And Molson.


Truth. Truth, truth, truth. Strategically, it's quite bright, and it's been widely effective in reducing teenage smoking. Here's how Business 2.0 wrote about it:

Cigarettes tapped into teens' desires to establish identities, be associated with brands, and take risks. For the antismoking campaign to work, CPB had to push these same buttons harder and turn teenage angst against the tobacco industry. To do so, however, Bogusky couldn't use conventional marketing such as slick TV commercials. Only guerrilla-ambush tactics could promote an "anti-brand" that kids could latch on to.

Which is great. Unless other things latch onto that anti-brand as well. Things like brands, is what I'm saying, and here's why I'm saying it (PDF). Because you look closely at that TRUTH ad when it's a double-page spread, and then tell me how it is that Mini and Sirius Radio -- both CPB clients -- managed to find their way right into the middle of Times Square. Right into the center of the shot.


I know it's a bit of joke about outdoor advertising, but it's not just a joke, it's also free national media for clients, paid for with Tobacco's filthy anti-tobacco money. Guerrila-ambush tactics, indeed. Anti-brand that kids could latch on to, sure, I follow. I read you. I follow.

Posted by kevin slavin at 11:49 PM

It all begs the question, what the fuck is a friend, anyways?

Posted by kevin slavin at 03:51 PM
April 02, 2004
I regret nothing

I have a funny feeling that this is a party I'm arriving late for, but the unintended consequences of the Bush/Cheney Sloganator are making me happy anyway. I know I've been talking for years about why brands need to absorb the lessons of open source, and I know this proves exactly why I'm wrong, but still, I'm glad it happened. I regret nothing.

And yes, I know, it's amc. I know. I know.

Posted by kevin slavin at 11:17 PM
April 01, 2004
"Bush Invigorates America's Youth"


Letterman shows this clip, makes joke, CNN shows clip from Letterman, makes quip, cuts to commercial, gets call from White House saying it's a joke, then Letterman says no the video was real, then CNN retracts, saying White House never called....

Posted by tmonkey at 04:56 PM
The Psychology of Strike-Outs

File under: I shoulda thought of that and did it myself.

"Why not run a gentle web spider against all Microsoft sites in English, specifically looking for other instances of tracking data not removed from documents? I coded a bunch of scripts and let them run through the night, fetching approximately 10,000 unique documents; over 10% was identified as containing change tracking records. I decided to collect only those with deleted text still present, yielding a crop of over 5% of all documents. Quite impressive. Below, you will find a brief (and rest assured, incomplete) list of the most entertaining samples I've run into, along with some speculation (and only speculation) as to the reasons we see them."

Posted by tmonkey at 03:51 PM