Friday, December 25, 2009

Sports: Soccer: Kicked in the arse or the nuts?, perpetrator fakes it

Failblog, December 23, 2k9

I had trouble posting my text the first time around, but seems I've got a second chance.  And with this chance, I find I have to revise my take on the YouTube pix.  Seems the original victim was the arse-kicker who got it in the leg as the ball was stolen from him.   In revenge it now seems to me, he got in one good one, then fell to the ground in pain.  Er, um, how do you read this sports video?

Sports, by Sportikos
I found myself laffing del+tdly and then feeling guilty for taking pleasure in someone else's pain.  But, heck, the sportscasters were guffawing heartedly, did you notice?

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Arts: Sculpture: Australian prize goes to 91 yrs old May Barrie

Top Art News which proclaims itself as "the most popular art, artist, gallery and museum news stories from around the globe!," offers this report of (one of) the world's most visited sculpture exhibition.

91-Year-Old Carves Her Win in Stone ...

Sculpture by the Sea, Bondi
Sydney, Australia

The 13th annual Sculpture by the Sea festival opened this week at Sydney's beautiful Bondi to Tamarama coastal walk. One of the most popular sculpture exhibitions in the world, the Australian event has attracted over 4.3 million people since it's inception in 1997.
vis à visArts, by Artemis
This year's winner was a surprise to many - a 91-year-old grandmother named May Barrie. Her granite carving, entitled Time and Tide Granite Monolith II, was completed in 1996 and beat out 113 other entries for first place. Barrie graduated from the National Art School in Melbourne and has been a sculptor most of her life. "I know it's a good work and now I'm glad that other people agree. I'm surprised and pleased to have been given this award. I hope I'm not just dreaming this," Barrie said. She plans to share the the $54,000 (USD) first prize with her family.
Sculpture by the Sea (Oct. 29 - Nov.15, 2009) | Website
The website referred-to features a wonderful online exhibit of self-changing slides of the various sculptures. Don't miss it!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Techwaves: Videogames : Cultural niche occupied by kin of 'World of Warcraft'

Writing in Prospect (Nov13,2k9), Tom Chatfield remarks regarding videogames (he has a canon of these and a discriminating taste among the vidgames on offer these days:

I believe that World of Warcraft matters. Exactly how and why it matters, though, can be hard to get at from the outside; much of what reaches the mainstream media is a muddle of scandals, statistics and pseudo-scientific scraps. So I’d like to take a few moments to recall just what it was like to play this game for the first time five years ago, in the company of an old friend who had managed to wheedle both of our ways onto the game’s American servers in time for launch—and why, five years on, the character I created then is still soldiering on through the northern reaches of the world’s most famous unreal destination. ...
Technotes, by Technowlb
The gulf between those who do and don’t know what playing a video game is like is now one of the most telling cultural fractures around; and it’s thanks in large part to WoW that it’s no longer clear which is the more dignified side to be standing on.
Cultural Niching -- Arts, Sports & Games by Neetcha Meetcha

To me, somehow philosopher-engineer Hendrik van Riessen's The Society of the Future was prognosticating vaguely, phenoms like today's videogaming digital culture.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Arts: Genius: New theory of Adolf Hitler's personality and self-image as genius

Spiegel Online International, carries an interview with art historian Birgit Schwarz regarding her research on "why Adolf Hitler saw himself as a genius and how his obsession with art affected his political views."

& Romantic Theories of Genius
by Artichokes
The renown Protestant philosopher, Herman Dooyeweerd, also followed the 'genius' notion of European philosophy and letters that rose to become a cultural force thru-out the Romantic Era (cf. Vollenhoven on the concept of "zeitgeist" in the historiography of philosophy). Dooyeweerd's concept however is explicitly rooted in the idea of God's direct activity in giving the gift of creative genius to a mortal, whether he or she be Christian, Atheist, or adherent of another religion.

It seems that with D both a good genius and an evil genius, and much in between, are possible. Genius entails responsiblity. See: Dooyeweerd, New Critique of Theoretical Thought, II, last 10 pages.

Of course, Dooyeweerd opposed the National Socialist system of ideas (I believe D covers this zone also in volume II, NCTT, 1953-1957. When his job became officially defunct, the Free University (VU Amsterdam) where he was professor of law, being eventually closed down by the Nazi Occupation forces. Dooyeweerd lay low until the war was over, teaching secretly during the remaining war years a few graduate students weekly in his home.

Vollenhoven's zeitgeist parameter attempts to account for the macro-shifts in a culture whereby one "spirit of the age" gives way to the ascendancy and supersession of the oncoming spirit of the new age, however sour and dour, however exuberant and cheery. That so disparate a set of opposing views of life coud share a problem, its problematics, and come to vastly different trends of distinctive formulations, is structural but remaining distinctive in the process of Western philosophy. It's important to detail the pinpoint of similarity (in this case of comparison, the same zeitgeist carries along and renews/degenerates "creative genius" notions inherited from the Romantics) and the vast range of differences that pit the Philosophy of the Cosmonomic Idea vs Hitler's National Socialism.

Toronto the Good: Transit costs for customers rise, no seniors discount?

 Yep,  if you're a Tortontonian or you're planning to come here to study, please be advised about public transportation under our Toronto Transit Commission (TTC), and the rise of 11% early in the New Year 2010.

Adult transit riders will need another quarter to ride the rocket starting Jan. 3.
Sic transit mundi, or some such.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Satire of Googlebooks by Mazurke, cartoon in Prospect {UK]

Hat Tip to cartoonist Mazurke and publisher Prospect {UK}

Segksetics: Stardumb: Levi Johnston shrugs wife and mother-in-law (repost)

"I just get naked. That's what I do."

But what about his kid, the 10 month old son in wife's care, him claiming he wants custody ... Levi's wife is Bristol Palin ...

Meanwhyld, the same Levi sets himself up as a h+pr+ce nude model who features for his photographers his own full-monty, mass-displayed in presumably a flacid-state in a forthcoming issue of the sex-picture mag, PlayGirl (just so his heterosegksuality is certified). US mag cawt up with the story and blasted a pleasant portrait of the shameless coxswain on its Celebrity News section (Oct26,2k9), plus the following text:
Get ready for more -- a lot more -- of Levi Johnston.
The hockey-playing dad to Sarah Palin's grandson, Johnston, 19, is ready for his Playgirl close-up. And while a date has yet to be set for his nude photo shoot, his manager Tank Jones told today, "it will be early November" in New York.

When did stars lose their virginity?
And Playgirl readers shouldn't expect many artfully placed pillows in the photos. Jones confirms to Us that full-frontal shots are planned for the shoot -- and that Bristol Palin's ex isn't nervous about exposing himself.

"He's pumped! He's ready to shock the world. The hell with fifteen minutes," Jones told Us over the phone. "As a matter of fact, when I picked him up, he came out the house naked. I said 'not now!'"

Johnston himself took the phone for a moment to chime in, telling Us: "I just get naked. That's what I do."

Hollywood sex scandals -- recap them here!
Like the up-in-the-air date, the theme of the shoot itself is also to-be-determined, Jones explained. "We're going to play it by ear. I'm going to make sure it's something he's comfortable with and tasteful. This is art."

And what of the New York Post's reports of a six-figure payday for the budding model? "This is not about money," Jones tells Us. "I don't remember how much it is. It's a little bread."
Johnston split with former fiance Bristol Palin, 19, in March 2009 -- two and a half months after the birth of their son, Tripp (now 10 months).

Check out the ugliest celeb splits
November will be a big month for Johnston's would-be mother-in-law:
Sarah Palin appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show Nov. 16 -- coinciding with the release of her autobiography,

Going Rogue: An American Life.

November  16 was yesterday, so I'll keep my eye on any TV news afterwords the book's release.

-- Politicarp

Sports: Basebal: National League picks best pitcher of season

San Fransisco's pitcher has won the National Baseball league's Cy Young award. The panel of judges of "the old school Baseball Writers Association of America" seems to have bawt into the position of fantasy baseball geeks:  "Wins are not the best judge of a pitcher's effectiveness."

Sports, by Sportikos

See USA Today's Steve Gardner's Fantasy Windup, an analysis of why Tim won against two worthy contenders, both Chris Carpenter and Adam Wainwright, both of the Saint Louis Cardinals.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Technics: Personal Computers: MicroSoft's dazzling "unified communications"

MicroSoft touts new unified communications:

One inbox. One interface.

Unified Communications technologies eliminates the separation between phones and computers. Email, voicemail, faxes, IM and calendar events all arrive in one place: the inbox. A single, familiar interface for PC, web or mobile devices makes it easy to use, no matter where you are. Suddenly, a video conference with real-time document sharing isn’t just possible – it’s less costly than collaboration by phone, not to mention taking a plane. When communication is faster and easier, productivity goes up and travel costs go down.
Technotes, by Technowlb
One unified communications platform

Microsoft Unified Communications solutions - Microsoft Exchange Server 2010 and Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007 R2 - don’t just make your people productive, they make you efficient. You can improve productivity while reducing the costs of communication systems by up to 50%. Instead of dealing with separate communication silos, you’re managing an integrated email, phone and conference system with built in protections that help increase security, compliance and availability. Communications work well, are cost effective, and are easy to manage, all within a common Windows-based infrastructure.
This new technical product fascinates me. I'm way below the learning curve on these matters, but I sure can tell how it's different for me technically at present, and in the techno-fantasy horizon MS (that my budget doesn't allow me to acquire).

-- Technowlb

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Aharon Etengoff writng on security, "Rickrolling worm infects jailbroken iPhones" (Nov8,2k9) TG Daily "The Tech Generation" intrigues me with unheard-before terms indigenous to the subculture of what used to be telephony, since become wireless telephony, now become smart-phonery, in process of becoming apps hub tech (on handheld devices, in large part).

A number of iPhones in Australia have reportedly been infected by a worm that replaces the background wallpaper (face of the handheld) with an image of 80's pop icon Rick Astley.

"The worm, which could have [already] spread to other countries although we have no confirmed reports outside Australia, is capable of breaking into jailbroken iPhones if their owners have not changed the default password after installing SSH," explained Sophos security researcher Graham Cluley. "Once in place, the worm appears to attempt to find other iPhones on the mobile phone network that are similarly vulnerable and installs itself again."
Thus, the metaphor "jailbroken" adjectivally refers to an iPhone in a certain technical condidtion where owners have not changed the defaut password after installing [ssh, Secure Shell ].
Technotes, by Technowlb

"The worm will not affect users who have not jailbroken their iPhones or who have not installed SSH," said Cluley. "What's clear is that if you have jailbroken your iPhone or iPod Touch, and installed SSH, then you must always change your root user password to something different than the default 'alpine.'"

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Tech: Consumer/Corporate relations: Bell Telephone, Bell Express VU TV, Bell Internet

I am so disgusted with Bell Canada from which I receive three services -- Phone (Bell Telephone), TV (Bell Express Vu satellite service), and Internet (Bell Internet to which I have been forcibly shifted from the previous email arrangements I had under The conplexity of using these Bell services and their products has risen exponentially, degrading their previous relative value in the new intrusive and clogging arrangements which are operated as they are, under the go--ahead by the Tory time-serving bureaucrats and technocrat economists of the Canadian Radio and Television Commission. Telephony is bundled within the group's mandate.

Also, I must deal with the outsourcing of direct service to a corporation callback centre in India. As a result, the phone help for the Internet service has fallen considerably, not least of all linguistically and in regard to cultural reference. This outsourcing saves Bell Canada money, reduces the quality of service to English-speaking consumers who use the Ontario idiom for this language, and leaves the Ontario customer permanently dissatisfied.

Furthermoere, I've been more or less required to shift over from Apple applications, especially, to the disservices called MicroSoft and its hideous Hotmail, and as a satellite to the foregoing Bell's version of so-called Bell Mail, an online gerryrigging that at present takes me nowhere.

The CRTC, presently in the hands of the Conservative Party's minority federal govt of Stephen Harper, is corrupt in its treatment of Bell customers. To my mind, this cozy relation between govt /CRTC and Bell is to the hurt of consumers, especially ordinary users and seniors like myself who are abused severely by the over-complexity of all the Bell technical "services." This horrid setup is the combined answer of govt and the tech company/ies involved, to the needs of seniors cawt in the technological crunch that is haunting my generation.

Principium Consumers Hub
It seems to me it's time to revive rW's previous regular column on consumer goods and services, g & s that so often runs amok wreaking mayhem, against the modest requirements of lower-income pensioners of older years who are systematically toyed with by these privileged financial blood-sucking corporations like Bell, at the connivance of CRTC and the Harper Conservatives which placate the greed-corporations. I need the services, not least the the convenience of Bell's 1-bill for all the three main services (there are more, like cell phonage which I don't have and don't covet), these "services" and their products do not make up for the greed-driven overcomplicated racket that is Bell Canada in Ontario.

There's one competitor remaining in Toronto (that I know of): Rogers Cable TV, phone, and Internet service. That being a clone of Bell except for TV (Bell is satellite-based, Rogers is cable-based and I guess those cable are actually Bell fibre-optics lines, actually; so, I have no real competitive option. Likewise, the Conservatives have no real competition -- the Liberals, NDP, and Bloc Quebecois are worse than the Tories, I presently think. The Conservs has the elderly ub a corner, and do not regulate Bell to make things technical plain, workable directly, and cheap.
Technotes, by Technowlb
No competition in case 1. No competition in case 2. So, again there's no remedy whereby an inner reformation of the CRTC m+t occur under Conserv provenance. And my increasingly tech- determined lifetime.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Toronto the Good: City reaches 'tentative deal' (not an actual contract) with outside workers, but not even that with insidees

Update: Toronto's striking inside and outside workers reached tentative agreements with the city Monday, deals that could end a lengthy garbage strike in Canada's largest city.

Officials with CUPE Local 79 and TCEU (CUPE) Local 416 have confirmed ratification votes will take place on Wednesday, said Toronto Mayor David Miller. Union officials said pickets would remain in place until the deals are approved. ["Toronto's striking workers reach tentative agreements, says CBC]


[Earlier today, I wrote and quoted as follows: The latest from the adversarial labour-relations that has stunk up Toronto, having left us to stew in our health-hazard city once again.

Allison Hanes, Canwest News Service (Jul 27,2k9) via, says:

An end may be close for Toronto's 36-day civic strike after the president of the union for striking outdoor workers announced early Monday morning that a tentative deal has been struck with the city. ...

However, Mark Ferguson, president of Canadian Union of Public Employees Local 416, said the strike for 6,000 outdoor members will not end until a contract is reached for its sister union representing indoor workers.

He urged the city to "shift its focus" and get down to business with Local 79.

Toronto civic workers walked off the job on June 22.

One of the most noticeable disruptions caused by the strike has been the halting of garbage service. Mountains of garbage piled up all around the city with city dump sites being picketed by union workers.

Elsewhere in southern Ontario, the city of Windsor on Friday ended a 101-day strike of 1,800 unionized city workers, ratifying a four-year deal. Windsor had also had their garbage service suspended during the strike.

National Post
© Copyright (c) Canwest News Service
Not all public employees shoud be permitted to strike, they shoud have special arbitration boards assigned to decide on issue of wages and benefits, but not on health and safety which is provided for at law outside the Labour Relations Act, in the Health and Safety Act.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Toronto the Good: Garbage stinkpot: "Union sets deadline for deal"

Toronto Star--largest daily-newspaper circulation in town, but always struggling to keep its eroding subscription circulation and its ad revenues up--carries an article, "Union sets deadline for deal" (Jul 24,2k9) by Donovan Vincent. Of course, if you've followed the Toronto the Good series on this rW Backpage, you're aware perhaps that, after working since January with no contract, city workers went on strike. The employees are in a legal-strike period, and are witholding their human labor in order to hike up wages and benefits.

In the Canadian nomenklatura of union establishments, there are two unions on strike. One, is CUPE Local 416, whose president is Mark Ferguson; the other is CUPE Local 79.

416 is "The union representing city of Toronto outside workers," and it "says a settlement in the five-week-old strike must be achieved by midnight Sunday or negotiations will be over."

416's ultimatum woud mean that our city's garbage-removers woud be removing their negotiators from the table, ceasing to meet faces-to-faces the team that negotiates for city management and, ultimately, for the mayor.

79 groups over 20,000 City of Toronto inside workers -- 11,600 full-time inside and 12,750 part-time.

This difference between working inside and outside is so relative, that it pales into something conceptually weak when compared with the differences among these very workers regarding life-philosophy, and sometimes work-philosophy. Why not let workers freely nominate such qualified representation as they want (freedom of assocation and representation), so that each kind of viewpoint among workers on union representation can vote for the union of one's choice.

The adversarial system of labor-relations has produced a stinking city (rat-infested, I'm sure). At the same time, warnings have been issued of diseases like Swine Flu and H1N1 becoming decidely chancier with the garbage build-up, undisposed of.

Adversary anti-pluralist union/employer conflict has resulted in 33 days of plague-encouraging desperation by the citizenry not parties to their side, or this way of settling issue of public employment, paid for by taxpayers who have to live in the filth and cantagion that the unions and city management are toying with. A shame on all!

Technics: Microsoft: The software manufacturer at last blinks in the glare of Europe's exam of its products there

In an ongoing battle with Europe's sales regulators, Microsoft has made a gesture toward internal relaxation of its self-established proprietary r+ts.

Microsoft proposed including a "ballot screen" that would make it easy for Windows 7 users to install a competing Web browser, set it as the default and disable Internet Explorer, the European Commission said in a statement. PC makers would also be able to install competing Web browsers and disable IE.

"The Commission welcomes this proposal, and will now investigate its practical effectiveness in terms of ensuring genuine consumer choice," it said.
This particular infobit (perhaps even factoid) has been revealed by James Niccolai of IDG News Service via PCWorld, "Microsoft offers choice of browsers to satisfy EU."

Technotes, by Technowlb

If Microsoft (MS) makes a serious accomodation to the European market for personal computers, the consumers of said market who woud want MS Windows operating system/s but don't want to take on any version of the failed browser series Internet Explorer (a browser-bias that Microsoft has traditionally imposed), it woud seem a major precedent is about to be set that coud result in backflare demand for the same freedom of choice among MS products in the USA.

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Retrospect: Obit: Michael Jackson, RIP

Who stole the soul of the boy from Indiana?

Michael Jackson has gone from boy wonder to circus freak in his 40-year career, with stints en route as 'king of pop', messiah figure and public enemy. How did it happen, and can we expect yet another incarnation when he takes to the stage in London for his comeback concerts next month? Peter Conrad revisits the life and times of pop's Peter Pan (The Observer, Jun14,2k9).
rW has chosen to point to an evaluation of Michael's life and career, on the eve of his planned appearance in London UK, before the artist's death. The circumstances surrounding the death are presently being investigated.

In the mercies and grace of God, may the aging star now Rest in Peace.

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Toronto the Good: Toronto the Fair: Oh, the stink of the garbage, City garbage workers on strike reports on the deplorable strike that is backing up garbage everywhere in Toronto at present. Maybe the strike is valid, but I doubt it. Nevertheless, the law (based on the adversary system of industrial relations, a holdover from the bad old days) almost requires these periodic strikes, in this case especially because the workers have gone without a contract of any kind for some months. Bad practice by the city, to which the union has responded by waiting for the heat of the summer when the immediate consequences of backed-up garbage affects not just residents alone, but visitors and tourists too.

Some city residents angry over how the city has made Christie Pits park a temporary dumping ground say they've obtained a document that shows the city will be expanding such dumps elsewhere.

Govind Rao of the Friends of Christie Pits told on Monday that his group sent an inquiry about what chemicals are being used to control insects and vermin at the temporary dump sites, one of which is in a hockey rink at Christie Pits, which is north of Bloor Street West and west of Christie Street.

The response came from the pest control company. "In their response, by mistake, they sent us ... a list of all the different dumpsites," he said.
It's time for the province of Ontario which controls labour relations, to dispose of the obsolescent adversary worldview in industrial relations. The province should pluralize the government-related unions, and put the Christian Labour Association of Canada on the secret ballot for garbage workers to elect representation based on labour-relations values (workview), elect representation proportionately from all the union centrals the variously-minded workers choose.

Further Research:

Will strike save city money?

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Entertainment: TV: Gossip news targetting celebrities had source in hospital where Michael Jackson died

Television scooped the Jackson-decease story, beating the actual pronouncing of the death by the officiating medical doctor/s. A n+tly gossip TV program apparently had a 6-minute lead, and when went public with its obit announcement, their report dominated the the rest of TV, the newswire services, and the print media. (In the USA, at least.) is now the hottest Hollywood celebrity gossip website on the planet. So hot, in fact, that when it broke the news of Michael Jackson's death last week, its world exclusive popped up online six minutes before the singer actually died.

For its many critics this was confirmation that the website, which, amid endless surveillance videos of minor celebs parking their cars and walking to their front doors, brought you exclusives on Mel Gibson's antisemitic ravings at a traffic cop, Alec Baldwin's brutal mobile phone rant at his 11-year-old daughter and the contents of Anna Nicole Smith's bedside table the night she died (Slim Fast and chewing gum), plays fast and loose with the truth.

But for TMZ, the explanation was simple. By the time Jackson was officially declared dead, at 2.26pm Los Angeles time last Thursday, one of the site's sources within the corridors of the UCLA Medical Centre (it has a vast network that blankets the city) had already tipped it off.

Michael Jackson dead was the scoop of a lifetime for any media outlet, and the apogee of the four-year-old celebrity-obsessed site that boasts its snippets are "even more fascinating than the hype". In that time, TMZ (the name stands for thirty-mile zone, the area of central LA thickly populated with stars), which is as voyeristic as it is speedy, has become one of the world's most quoted sources of entertainment news, with rival sites, TV channels and traditional gossip columns, such as the New York Post's infamous Page Six, quoting it regularly./blockquote>Many folks are taking the singer / dancer's death hard.

Jackson's death finalizes his appetite for scandal. May he rest in peace. The surveys and evaluations of his contribution to American pop music, the rise of music videos, and the history of scandal in Hollywood will continue for a long time, as the population shakes his iconic function from its appreciation.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Celebrations: Gay Pride Day: Display of power by a minority still scared by memories of painful past treatment

Today is "Gay Pride Day." I'm homo but don't include myself within the Gay movement, nor do I use its dubious term to identify myself. After all, Christopher Isherwood said, so many decades ago, that ascribing to oneself the ascription "Gay" makes us all sound like "Bliss ninnies."

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Internet: Semantics: 'ReadWriteWeb' explains semantic tagging service

Semantic Tagging Service Zigtag (Finally!) Launches

by Sarah Perez (ReadWriteWeb,Dec29,2k8)

It was two years ago that we first heard of Zigtag, a service that promised to "transform how people search, save and share knowledge & information." Now, after a nine-month private beta, this semantic tagging service has finally launched. But is Zigtag's bookmarking tool intelligent enough for 2009?

About Zigtag

For those of you who don't know, Zigtag is another entry in the social bookmarking collection of tools. Like delicious, Diigo, and Ma.gnolia, Zigtag helps you categorize your bookmarks and share them with others. When Zigtag went into development, bookmarking was all the rage. The company's goal was to make bookmarking easier by adding a layer of semantics to the tags themselves.

Zigtag, you see, understands the meaning of the words you assign to a tag. When you tag to a page, Zigtag actually assigns it meaning rather than just a simple word. If that sounds revolutionary...well, that's because it is. Sort of.

Not the Only Semantic Tagging Service

Because of Zigtag's slow progress, they can no longer claim to be the only semantic tagging application available today. Another, Faviki, also offers an intelligent tagging service based on structured data. Both services attempt to address the problem of user-generated tags. That is, even though what you tag "NY" may be the same link that I tagged "New York," no bookmarking service ever knew the tags were related.
Technotes, by Technowlb
Zigtag and Faviki attack this problem in different ways. Faviki suggests tags for you to use, not from a community of users and their tagging history, but from structured information extracted from DBpedia, a community-maintained database created by extracting information from Wikipedia.

Zigtag, however, eschews suggestions and lets you tag items as you wish. It doesn't matter what personal system you use for tagging (one word, two words, underscores, plus signs, etc.) because Zigtag understands the meaning of the tags. In Zigtag, a link tagged "New York" is returned along with other links tagged "New_York." Zigtag also understands that one tag may have different meanings and groups those items accordingly. For example, there's a New York and Company clothing store and a New York in England that may have been tagged "new york." That level of understanding is something that's unique to Zigtag and sets it apart from other bookmarking services.

Thanks to the service's ability to understand meaning, Zigtag users can join groups related a shared interest. Since Zigtag knows what you mean by your tags, it is, in theory, easier to find links you would be interested in on Zigtag than with other bookmarking services.
This blog has experimented with numerous tagging schemes, but always on the fly and without a full review of past schemes, which m+t have harvested more consistency. The idea of Zigtag, however, comes into its own around a given community of users within the general community of Zigtaggers, the more narrow community able to stabilize protocols and usages, even using an in-group's jargon, technical terms, and coinages--NuSpels, if you cawt the kind uv thing I have in mind.

Technics: MicroSoft's concession to Interoperability and its failure to provide in IE8

<>span style="font-weight:bold;">PressPass interviewed MS's Bob Muglia, senior vice president, Server and Tools Division, MicroSoft Corporation. "New Microsoft Interoperability Principles Ensure Open Connections and Promote Data Portability" Feb21,2k8.

Q&A: Bob Muglia, senior vice president, Server and Tools Division, discusses Microsoft’s new interoperability principles and the steps the company is taking to increase the openness of its products.

Asking the questions (only the first Q of the interview is included here) PressPass: Can you start by providing a high-level overview of today’s announcement?
Technotes, by Technowlb
Muglia: Sure. The announcement covers broad and important changes to our technology and business practices designed to increase the openness of our high-volume products to make it easier to develop highly-interoperable information systems. The changes are embodied in

Four interoperability principles to which we have committed [ourselves as a corporation].

First, to provide an open connection to our high-volume enterprise products;

second, promote data portability;

third, continue to enhance our support for industry standards;

and finally, to create more opportunities to strengthen dialogue and engagement with customers and the industry, including open source communities.

Together, these principles significantly change the way we share information about our technologies and products. These changes help increase choice and opportunity for developers, partners, customers and competitors, which is one of our top long-term goals.
In this general context, IE Blog offers an extremely engaging article on IE Interoperability. Discussing "Quirks mode" and "Stamdards mode, this source offers a pithhy remark worthy of reflection: "Each version of each browser has its own Standards mode, because each version of each browser improves on its web standards support. There’s Safari 3’s Standards mode, Firefox 2’s Standards mode, IE6’s Standards mode, and IE7’s Standards mode, and they’re all different. We want to make IE8’s Standards mode much, much better than IE7’s Standards mode."

I finally found the actual webpage for MicroSoft's Interoperability Principles: Interoperability Principles -- Open Connections, Standards Support, Data Portability Published: February 21, 2008 | Updated: February 21, 2008a>.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Arts Profile: Music: Singer/rapper/poet who makes an artform of cursing and 'talkin' dirty' ...

A protégé of Dr. Dre, rapper Eminem emerged in 1999 as one of the most controversial rappers to ever grace the genre. Using his biting wit and incredible skills to vent on everything from his unhappy childhood to his contempt for the mainstream media, his success became the biggest crossover success the genre had seen since Dre's solo debut seven years earlier. The controversy over his lyrics was the best publicity any musician could afford, and being the first Caucasian rapper to make a significant impact in years may have given him a platform not afforded to equally talented African-American rappers. A gifted producer as well, his talents always seemed overshadowed by his media presence, which was a mix between misunderstood genius and misogynistic homophobe. Both may be true, but his message spoke to legions of disaffected youth who had few role models in the rap world who could relate to the white lower-class experience.

Pop Music, by Earfix

He was born Marshall Mathers in St. Joseph, Missouri, USA
Read More of this splendid bio at Amazon MP3 ("music downloads for any device"), plus a complete discography of E's recorded albums, and an online marketplace with shopping cart for purchase of his MP3 Amazon releases, no doubt a lead for attracting buyers to the new Amazon website that's directly in competition with Apple's iTunes -- my past first choice for buying music downloads hitherto. Here on Amazon MP3, Eminem is a 'spotl+t artist for May' and he's #4 on the list of "25 artists to watch in May," says the Amazon MP3 merchandising text, the whole page indeed and many linked to it on this website in the season of its initial marketing.

Did I buy, you ask, a US$8.99-priced version of E's recently-released new hip-hop curse-fest, Release? -- No, but I did go for the cheapest version, that option being one of three; my cheapo option I later noticed (in a post-purchase insite) was the only one not labelled "Explicit" (these two versions or purchase-portals cost a buck more ... so, I began to wonder whether my version is full of blips or instead of that something like, let's say, sound-emptied dead moments, excisions, but even without such distortions to cover up or erase out precisely the over-the-line words of Eminem's vocabulary and metaphory, I ask, can you actually achieve a mature appreciation/critque without experiencing explicitly the way (and with the words he chose in performance and recording, all the words before the blips or cuts removed them, those words...)--can you attain as good an aesthetic experience of what Eminem has to offer?, his art such as it be.

But I should not shy away from my inability to make an online purchase of Release due to the fact as I belatedly noticed--only USA residents can buy online at Amazon MP3. Hrrrumpppffft!

Principium Consumers Hub

On purchase matters, you (residents in the USA) can buy individual songs and slowly collect the songs of the tracks of a given album, single by single, if you want. Just to give you a picture of how Amazon MP3 is competing with iTunes.

Technotes, by Technowlb

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Sports: Soccer: Chicago Fire trashes Toronto Football Club

. "Toronto FC midfielder Amado Guevara and Chicago Fire midfielder Mike Banner battle for the ball during the second half in Toronto on Saturday. (Pix: Frank Gunn/The Canadian Press)." Paul Attfield in Globe & Mail

Sports: Basketball: LA's Lakers vs. Houston Rockets

Kobe Bryant, star and guard for the Lakers' basketball team, in unguarded moment chewing his game-shirt while team heads into a fall -- Houston Rockets 99 - Lakers 87 (May16,2k9, L A Times). One fan called it a "fiasco."

This was the sixth game in a seven-game series of the SemiFinals for the Western Conference of the National Basketball Association.

The winner of this physical, sometimes-testy series will advance to the conference finals to face the Denver Nuggets, who've been resting since eliminating Dallas on Wednesday night.

Kobe Bryant admits it's a mystery why the Lakers have been so wildly inconsistent against a team few expected would reach the second round, let alone push the top seed in the West to a Game 7.
So, it's onward to the finals against the Denver Nuggets, who won entry to the Finals by defeating Dallas.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Arts: Poetry: Poetry Out Loud awards national winners of competition

"Poetry Spoken Out Loud Gaining Popularity in US," by Deborah Block (May14,2k9, Voice of America).

On Tuesday evening at the White House, President Obama hosted an event celebrating poetry, music and the spoken word. In the United States, there has been a resurgence of interest in poetry, especially poems that are recited out loud. For the past several years, thousands of high school students have been learning about poetry through memorization and performance in a program called Poetry Out Loud. The top performer from each state competes in a national championship. It took place recently in Washington DC.

Wiyaka wins competition

This is the Poetry Out Loud champion from the western state of South Dakota who recently competed in the 2009 national competition in Washington. Wiyaka is a Native American whose family name is His Horse is Thunder. Her father is an Indian chief and she is related to Sitting Bull, a famous chief in the 19th century who fought to protect his tribe's land. Native American tribes are known for storytelling, and Wiyaka says she is keeping that tradition alive, in her own way, by reciting poetry to audiences.

"I just want them to feel something when they hear it," she said.

Rebirth of art form

John Barr, head of the Poetry Foundation says much of the poetry written during the past 25 years was difficult to understand, and the public lost interest.

"Fine poems were being written but they were not the kind you would read in a newspaper," he said. "We're trying to get good poetry back in front of the general public."

The resurgence of recited poetry was influenced by two modern trends, beginning with poetry slams that started in the late 1980s. They are usually held in music clubs, where people can recite their own poems. The other influence is rap in hip-hop music.

More than reciting a poem

Students who compete in Poetry Out Loud do not recite their own poetry. They choose from a long list of poems.

Kareem Sayegh from the midwestern state of Illinois came in third in the national competition. His parents are from Egypt and he says he has been influenced by Egyptian poetry.

Kareem says he makes subtle gestures when he recites poems, since the contestants lose points if they are overly dramatic. "I just use my hand lightly and and then it becomes somewhat clearer," Kareem said.

Will Farley from Virginia recited a poem by one of his favorite poets, Langston Hughes, a well known African-American poet in the last century. When he was a university student in New York, Hughes wrote, "Theme for English B."

Will's interpretation of that poem helped him take the top prize. "Before Poetry Out Loud, poetry didn't mean much to me and Poetry Out Loud changed that," Farley said. "For me, poetry is alive, something I can connect with and feel, and express myself with."

Will won a $20,000 college scholarship, which he says will help him with his future ambitions. In the words of Langston Hughes, "Hold fast to dreams, for if dreams die, life is a broken winged bird that cannot fly."

Monday, May 11, 2009

Words: Meanings: A contentious word, that "factoid," to be sure, Bernie ...what's that you say?

As entitled, I'm repeating my immediately preceding blog-entry, but only its lower half (whereas the upper half, the actual factoid in review has since been posted to topleft [sidebar top] on refWrite frontpage). Now, I'm floating-up (Frye) the lower half of the previous entry, and I shall say why after quoting myself, even at the risk of repetitiousness:

I developed a little tidbit now on the frontpage at the top of the r+ts+d s+dbar, where I repristinate the word "factoid." Why bother? I bother because I heard the word defamed on TV--the Fox worldwide cablenews show that recently carried Bernard Goldberg, media critic, former CBS reporter, a serious guy I otherwise respect for his analysis and opinions ... he made "factoid" to mean a fake "fact," a fact so weak or sickly or so fuzzy in meaning that it just did not qualify as a genuine fact (at least, I guess, in the professional journalistic way that said defamer claims to represent). Ah well, I think and use the word otherwise in an otherwise world he can't discern, apparently. Thus, I've already copied the refWrite factoid presented above, to the spot where the former, usual pen&ink image has been pushed below the new factoid spot. I'm sorry that the reader must put up with the lack of proper aligment of all the items on my little list.
The point being, what is a fact?, and what possible constructive meanings could "factoid" have?

I shall have to find a visual semiote (other than speech-bound typography) for this new series on fact, factoids, and manufacting.

Saturday, May 09, 2009

Technics: Blogging refWrite: a factoid is not necessarily a bad thing

Factoid refWrite

Here's a complex decontextualized ("floated" when dissociatively quoted, litcrit Northop Frye, The Anatomy of Criticism, or for that matter Paul Ricoeur's Metaphor) but that takes me far afield from this list of computing systems with which refWrite readers connected to us:

MicroSoft Window .... 1078.... 70.05%
Apple .............................. 326.... 21.18%
Linux/Unix ...................... 89.... 5.78%
Other Systems ................ 35.... 2.27%
Mobile Systems .............. 11.... 0.71%


I developed the little tidbit above, where I repristinate the word "factoid," because I heard it defamed on TV--the Fox worldwide cable news show that recently carried Bernard Goldberg, media critic, former CBS reporter ... he made "factoid" to mean a fake "fact," a fact so weak or sickly or so fuzzy in meaning that it just did not qualify as a genuine fact (at least, I guess, in the professional journalistic way that said defamer claims to represent). Ah well, I think and use the word otherwise in an otherwise world he can't discern, apparently. Thus, I've already copied the refWrite factoid presented above, to the spot where the usual pen&ink image has been pushed below the new factoid spot. I'm sorry that the reader must put up with the lack of proper aligment of all the items on my little list.

Movies: Box Office: new Star Trek movie whammos the box office this weekend. But here, it's raining

I've never viewed a Star Trek flick in a movie theatre, or in the last several years, any other film either. I've come to enjoy several of the space-trekking series of episodes on TV as well replays of the movies, but not the early one/s where William Shatner stars. I like/d Spock, but he's wearing thin in the reruns (TV series) and replays (movies on TV) especially. For some unknown reason, Star Wars movies seem far more durable to me; that flick is scheduled to be "episoded" in 2010, but these will be built around minor characters that appeared in the story of the movies. So much for the chief theme-competition between Treks and Wars.

Back on the main track:

J.J. Abrams' Star Trek is on its way to boldly going where no Star Trek movie has gone before: to a huge opening weekend. The film bowed at 7 p.m. Thursday night and grossed an impressive $7 million in 3,849 locations. Sure, those numbers were boosted by the geeky fanboys who were salivating to catch the movie as soon as possible. Still, such a great start should help propel Star Trek's weekend gross to as high as $75 million. Quite impressive for a franchise that was considered dead a few years ago.

Nicole Smith so reports on Hollywood Insider (May8,2k9).

Movies, by FlickSleuth

Another report forecasts a weekend take even larger than what Smith forecasts.

If early comments (there are lots on the cited webpage) are a good indication, the new movie takes the brand into another dimension.

In passing, I should add that on TV I've found the series Andromeda often engaging, but onot always. I could stand only so much of the series The Battlestar Galactica but it mercifully substituted the old-stock f-words and derivatives to the neologism "frikkin'," which was a good move (a substitution word I want to discuss further later in regard to ths Galactica TV context). It's released its finale episode, its finale. Good riddance. I'm hoping for a lot more from the new trekkie flick, but of course it could be years before, presumably, it moves from the theatres to DVD rentals or TV.


Star Trek starts off fast.... -- Laremy Legel "Movie Review: JJ Abrams gets it right with new 'Star Trek'" ( via

slows down a bit for a few laughs, and then furiously culminates ... but not before setting up the franchise for the next decade. At its Treky heart, this is an origin story: how Captain Kirk got to the Enterprise, and how his good pals Scotty, Spock, Uhura, "Bones" McCoy, Sulu, and Chekov came to join him on that iconic vessel. We're transported to a time before the entire Shatner mythologies, with Chris Pine taking the helm as the new Kirk. He's very, very good in this film, far better than I've seen him, and his performance here gives me a lot of hope for the compulsory sequels.

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Sports: Baseball: Drug penalty of suspension and 7 millions fine hit LA Dodger's superbatter, Manny Rodriques

Dave Sheinin, Washington Post Staff Writer, (May 7, 2K9), "Dodger's Ramirez Suspended 50 Games."

The riveting, uplifting story of Manny Ramirez's transformation from cancerous malcontent in Boston to dreadlocked, beloved eccentric in Los Angeles was derailed today by the news that the Dodgers slugger has been suspended 50 games for violating baseball's policy against performance-enhancing drugs.
Sports / Major League Baseball, by Sportikos

The Sheinin artcle is a good read about a sad story. But the wealthy baseball player will payback 7 million, from a $25 million contract.

The Dodgers are in the lead with a record 13-game winning streak. "I'm sorry about this whole situation," the slugger said.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Music: Classical: I got an ad email from iTunes and impulse-bawt 27 Mozart Piano Concertos and am in heaven on earth

I'm listening to Piano Concerto #6 in B-Flat which has three movements (Allegro Aperto, Andante un Poco Adagio, and the final one to which I'm listening now Rondeau (Allegro), performed by Vladimir Ashkenazy & Philharmonia Orchestra, disk Mozart: The Piano Concertos. There are 27 concertos overall, most have 3 movements. These so far don't bolster the fictional image of Mozart in the movie Amadeus, so far these concertos are less frenetic by far than what the movie conveys--from enthusiastic young prodigy to driven old man writing masses for the dead, anticipating his own...perhaps.

These concertos are a different world, with an over-riding gentleness (how's that for a rather self-contradictory phrase).

Classical Music, by Museaos

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Movies: Review: Questions to readers who've seen this film

A. O. Scott's movie-review article in New York Times (Feb18,2k9) discourses captivatingly on "Katyn" (2007). The director is Andrzek Wajda. Says reviewer Scott:

The first scene in “Katyn,” Andrzej Wajda’s solemn and searing new film, takes place on a bridge somewhere in Poland in mid-September 1939. The bridge is aswarm with people fleeing in opposite directions. Panicked families trying to escape the Germans, who invaded on the first of the month, collide with equally terrified compatriots coming from the eastern part of the country, scene of a recent Soviet intervention.
Scott has a wonderful write-up of an apparently-exemplary movie that reconstructs history to cast l+t on a horrible moment in a horrible war and crosscurrents of wars in Poland 1939. I was born a year later in July in the USA.

If you've seen the movie already, use the comment facility below to convey your impression of Wajda's Katyn (2007), briefly.

Had you heard of the Katyn Forest Massacre before you saw the movie?

Cinema, by Kinematographikos

Does the Polish Jewish minority population receive any focus in the movie?

Has the movie been released in DVD for rental?

Is the tone unrelenting? Is there any agreeable comic relief?

Make a comment in answer, please -- as O. A. Scott's movie review is so well written and so in awe of Wajda's cinematic achievement that he certainly leads me to seek more info. Where better to comment on recent movie, than here in refWrite Backpage?

Sunday, May 03, 2009

Sports: Golf: Tiger Woods still struggling to get back to form after his knee-surgery

Mike Cranston AP Sports Writer (May3,2k9) gives us a glimpse of Tiger Woods' slow recovery:

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — When Tiger Woods shot a 30 on the front nine in a seven-under 65 in the opening round of the Quail Hollow Championship, he appeared poised to dominate on a tough course with a major-like feel.

But Woods was still working out the kinks in his fifth tournament back from knee surgery. Entering Sunday two shots out of the lead, Woods wasted several birdie chances and one eagle opportunity, closing with 10 straight pars for a 72.

He finished at 9-under 286, good for fourth place, two shots behind winner and buddy Sean O'Hair.

"I've been very pleased with some of my progress. I'm also not so pleased with some of it," Woods said. "It's been spotty, streaky. I just need to get a little more consistent."
Sports Note, by Sportikos

The gentleman sports hero may well turn out to be the all-time king of golf. At least, he's got a sporting chance.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Semiotics: Earth Day: photo set on a digital-page, juxtaposed to a text of Earth piety and politix
photo (above, of course) and text (below)
for a particular Earth Day piety & politics.

The ad's message in textual form (alphabetized, fontized, written!--Roland Barthes); but, so texted, is precisely juxtapositioned to a quite different semiotic-medium (the medium being in this second case the digitization-driven graphics where a specific electrodigitally-designed picture in colours and occupying a specific number of pixels, to attract, "captivate" (Strauss), "shimmer" (Seerveld), "shiver" (Dorothy Day), to stimulate however fleetingly the human perceiver's imagination

Established in 1970 by then Senator Gaylord Nelson, Earth Day began as a nationwide environmental protest against the abuses common with major industries at the time. The concerted effort rallied 20 million people, and led to the organization of the Environmental Protection Agency [USA Federal EPA]. Today, the focus of the Earth Day campaign centers around finding clean sources of energy to help create a healthy and diverse world for generations to come. As a homeowner, making a difference on Earth Day is easy and cost effective.

Keeping in line with the Earth Day campaign’s clean energy iniatitives, take a look at Nicole Maxwell’s list of energy-saving tips to see if there are ways you can cut down on your household energy waste and on your energy bill:

“Happy Earth Day! Today I will be sharing some tips on how to green your home on a budget. If every American home replaced just one incandescent light bulb with an Energy Star bulb, like a compact fluorescent, by some estimates we would save enough energy to light up more than 3 million homes for a year. In the average home, 75 percent of all electricity used to power appliances is used while those appliances are turned off, according to Matt Golden at San Francisco home performance consultant Sustainable Spaces. Think phone chargers, laptops and DVD players. If you’re not using it, unplug it.”

Semiote Analytics, by SeMiOtIkOs

Energy waste can take its toll on the environment and your wallet. Taking a closer look at how energy efficient your home is will undoubtedly save you money over time. What’s better than helping the environment and saving money? Getting paid to do both, of course. The Obama stimulus plan provides credit and incentives for homeowners making green upgrades to their homes. With so many reasons to act now, doing your part is easier than ever.
Next to an Earth Day rhetoric-and-discourse that cites passionately and compassionately the grandeur of the Creator/Creation relation (yes, the spine and underbelly of an ad-worthy rhetoric), including on Earth Day the modally-different law-structures for creation and all creatures, including us humans of course--sphere by sphere, each relation in each societal sphere recognized in its due ("due recognition").

Calendar: April 22, 2009

Back to the digital graphics quoted from at the top of this page. With this particular ambiguous, fuzzy, hazy near-picturation, but with a blue blue-green sl+tly neon-lit optimism, overlapping near-spheres, even good-cheer, this superb graphic rings true as a vision for an environment-loving society. Yet, it is not just neonlit eye-candy, with its full shine-thru of the sun (or, is it the moon?) as in . One m+t read it as actually a graphics case of "troubled cosmos" format (Seerveld says there are basically only 8 or a dozen of these formats in the whole history of Western art painting).

Lingering a moment, you notice below all its br+t optimism, you notice its troubled sea darkening down where it drains full-darkly into the solid black colour of the bottom sector the graphic, the bottom sector also handsomely (so-aesthetically-sweet electrodigitally) doubles as the background for the poster-label text which reads in two simple lines: Earth Day, and in a second line with a smaller font-type saying, April 22.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Humour: Dirty Talk: TV anchors use faggotry to mock Anti-Tax Tea Parties, says homo

In an article on Fox News reporting mistakenly that the coded obscenity played with at length by TV anchors and their guests in hatred against the Anti-Tax rallies, those expressions Fox Politics says originated in Frat Houses (implying the terms arose at the universities, not today's internet-porn version of "frat houses"). Actually, the tea-metaphor was used "humourously" for faggot-conversation in gay bars as long as forty years ago; the deed itself took place in "tea houses" (gay-sex bath houses), so I was led to believe. "Cable Anchors, Guests Use Tea Parties as Platform for Frat House Humor: Cable anchors and guests covered the anti-tax tea party protests by cracking a litany of barely concealed sexual references" (Apr16,2k9). Make that faggot-sexual references. And think consumption of the butch's urine by the nellie tea-drinker (different from a "Golden Shower" where the urine is not necessarily ingested). A number of websites viciously speak of "the Homosexual Agenda" and insultingly use homo as tho it were synonomous with "Gay," faggot, etc. Bullsh-t! It's dishonest to confuse the Gay Agenda (which is real) with simply being homo or even with wanting legal recognition of a 2woman or a 2man intimate union. But that's not marriage, in this homo's thawtful opinion. Anyway, here's the generally informative article from Fox:

For thousands of Americans, Tax Day was a moment to protest what they see as bloated budgets and a pile of debt being passed on to their children.

For CNN, MSNBC and other media outlets, it was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to use the word "teabagging" in a sentence.

Teabagging, for those who don't live in a frat [or gay-sex bath] house, refers to a sexual act involving part of the male genitalia and a second person's face or mouth.

So when the anti-tax "tea party" protests were held Wednesday across the country, cable anchors and guests -- who for weeks had all but ignored the story -- covered the protests by cracking a litany of barely concealed sexual references.

CNN anchor Anderson Cooper interspersed "teabagging" references with analyst David Gergen's more staid commentary on how Republicans are still "searching for their voice."

"It's hard to talk when you're teabagging," Cooper explained. Gergen laughed, but Cooper kept a straight face. [Gergen was Cooper's "straight man".]

MSNBC's David Shuster weaved a tapestry of "Animal House" humor Monday as he filled in for Countdown host Keith Olbermann.

The protests, he explained, amount to "Teabagging day for the right wing and they are going nuts for it."

He described the parties as simultaneously "full-throated" and "toothless," and continued: "They want to give President Obama a strong tongue-lashing and lick government spending." Shuster also noted how the protesters "whipped out" the demonstrations this past weekend. ...

Tea Party participants were not amused. The events were held in dozens of cities across the country, and while some demonstrators were criticized for wielding off-topic and sometimes insensitive protest signs, most took to the streets to speak out against government spending.
Dirty Humour, by Homo

Andy Cobban on YouTube

Brent Bozell, president of the conservative Media Research Center, said the media coverage was "insulting," reacting specifically to CNN reporter Susan Roesgen's combative interviews with Illinois demonstrators in which she declared that the protests were "anti-CNN" and supported by FOX News. She left the teabagging jokes to her colleagues, though.

"I've never seen anything like it," Bozell said. "The oral sex jokes on (CNN) and particularly MSNBC on teabagging ... they had them by the dozens. That's how insulting they were toward people who believe they're being taxed too highly."

Max Pappas, public policy vice president at FreedomWorks -- a small-government group which promoted the tea parties -- said it's a "shame" media outlets cracked jokes at a genuine "grassroots uprising."

"I think what that reveals is how worried they are that this might actually be something serious. You make fun of things you're afraid of, I'd say," Pappas said.

If anyone thinks the orally charged remarks on mainstream cable were just a coincidence, MSNBC's Rachel Maddow's segments over the past week with guest, Air America's Ana Marie Cox, would dissolve all doubt. Their on-air gymnastics, dancing around the double entendre of the week, looked like live-action Beavis and Butthead.

By one count, the two of them used the word "teabag" more than 50 times on one show. And on Monday, Cox even let the viewers in on their joke -- referencing, a site which offers a number of colorful definitions for the term "teabagging." [Not really, the term is hedged and "fratted" and insufficiently a urine analysis.]

"Well, there is a lot of love in teabagging," Cox said. "It is curious, though, as you point out, they do not use the verb 'teabag.' It might be because they're less enthusiastic about teabagging than some of the more corporate conservatives who seem to have taken to it quite easily."

Jenny Beth Martin, a Republican activist who helped organize one protest in Atlanta, said she's not too worried about the protests being dismissed by some media outlets. She estimated 750,000 people attended more than 800 protests in all 50 states, and that at the very least the local media and community newspapers documented it.

"Our message definitely got out where it needed to get," she said.
And what of those of us who went to no public assembly but had cups of Red Rose tea together in a kitchen or living room, watching the telecasts? Add a million.

On the other side, there was a mention of the Gay Tea Party in Boston Harbour. Now, there you m+t have seen some lowdown dirty "teabagging" of the metaphorical kind, because aggressive Gay agendistas promote public sex.

-- Homo Christian

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Arts: Architecture: Top prize in discipline goes to Swiss, Peter Zumthor

Lawrence Pollard of the BBC reports "Swiss architect wins top honour" (Apr13,2k9):

The most prestigious award for architecture, the Pritzker Prize, has been awarded to ... Peter Zumthor [most of whose works are located in his home country of Switzerland].

The prize, worth $100,000, is given for a body of work across a career, and is mainly valued for the prestige and commissions it can bring.

Zumthor's works are found mainly in his native Switzerland, as well as elsewhere in Europe and the US.

His most famous commission is the thermal baths in Vals in France.
Architecture, by Archibald

Here an artist--who is not celebratarian, so to speak--is recognized for his craftsmanship and creativity. He was trained as a cabinet-maker and has attended to his interiors and materials with special care over some 30 years.
He says he doesn't ally himself to an ideology or school of architecture, but aims above all at creating an interior suited to place and use, simple principles aimed at producing human architecture.

One extraordinary recent building is a chapel built by wrapping concrete round a wigwam structure of tree trunks.

Zumthor then burnt away the trunks, leaving the imprint of the wood as the texture of the interior, which retains the smell of charred wood.
Congratulations to the artist and to the Prize judges. Refreshing!

Monday, January 05, 2009

Technics: Google wants to become a corporate Pontiff of Books

A projected "Book Rights Registry" (which seems more like a proprietary "Google Books registry") is being orchestrated to control the registration of books worldwide, the English-language books being my keenest zone of interest (even to the point of longterm interest in orthography, semiotics > calligraphy, text design, text/imagery interlacements, perhaps intertwined with English or another/s language, perhaps random or novel alphabets like the Owlbirdbet). I love homemade books deploying graphic-imagery skills and text, even on interpenetrating aesthetic levels, nuancing from level to level, row by row (the perichoretic aesthetics of Vollenhoven [see Kuyvenhoven on the role that a trinitarian aesthetics had in V's thawt, and, I would add, in Seerveld's).

It matters if Google even nominally controls the books registry.
Indeed, "a registry can tell you who owns the content you found," in the first place.

Indeed, the finder has feelings of aborginality in this matter: s/he found! It! Perhaps, a ramifying sense of almost-creation of the found something, even as intangible as an insite mayhaps it be. But in the coming computer-driven age (that age is still in its youth, I would say) everything becomes totally paperized digitally (to coin an oxymoronic expression of my own). The thawt I am embellishing, as it may be expressed more clearly by Chris Castle, in the UK tech mag The Register, traceable back to his original post in the Music and Media section, Dec31,2k8: Castle's report is well worth the delve.
"As such a dominant player in the online world, Google will now occupy a unique gateway position that, if abused, could easily create a de facto monopoly. A situation where competition is removed from the market place by placing the keys in the hands of one company cannot, ultimately, be good for the consumer. This is a bridge too far," the British Booksellers Association noted.
Technotes, by Technowlb
The Castle article, apparently quite a newsbreaking report, dissect the Gooogle project:
If a competitor tried building a competing book registry by negotiating licenses for in-copyright works, that competitor would have to bear the startup costs — and the cost of licensing. If the competitor is rewarded for respecting authors’ rights by obtaining favorable terms, that advantage can be taken away by Google. Why? Because one of Google’s goodies from its dominant position in the settlement negotiation is “most favored nations” price protection.

The registry is contractually required to offer Google any better terms it would give to anyone using any data or resources that Google provides the registry, or that is of the type that Google provides. So even if a competitor wants to build a parallel infrastructure from scratch, and wasn’t using any of Google’s data—any reward for their legitimacy would be trumped by Google’s MFN. There is no advantage in “doing it right” except a clear conscience—an MFN inhibits competition.
I love Google, I blog on Blogger--nowadays owned by Google. I avail myself of other Google services and features, free! But, dear Sirs and Madames, Messiers et Mesdames toutes che`res, please Google take a more neutral stance than "Most Favored Nation" (MFV).

There's a juridics angle too.

There's also the market pressures of competition. Castle asks rhetorically and then answers:
"How about Yahoo!’s Open Content Alliance? Google leads OCA in scanning [books, other textual materials], and then there’s Google’s MFN. Now that may be kind of interesting to regulators. As one commentator noted, "[a]s a condition of settlement approval, the Registry should be required to negotiate and sign an antitrust consent decree with the Department of Justice.” Since ASCAP and BMI each already operate under consent decrees, there is a predicate for Justice Department scrutiny and "rate court" oversight of the registry, particularly given Google's market domination. Why should societies have to suffer the rate court burden when Google does not?
For this blog-entry, we have to leave the matter somewhat dangling, as we watch for further developments.