Monday, October 25, 2004

Pieces, Particles XVIII

The following stories spotted recently in print publications might be worth a look. Heads and decks, only. Heads and decks.

Bad Table Manners, but Fancy Names to Quote, by Jason Zinoman, New York Times, Oct. 23, 2004
A Williamsburg troupe that dares eat chicken in public.

Brewing up Goodness, Back in the Day, by Tiffany Elliott, Greenpoint Star, Oct. 7, 2004

The Civic CD, by Rob Walker, New York Times Magazine, Oct. 24, 2004
The goal of this music is not to launch careers but to end one career in particular.

Columbia J-School Students Terrify Locals, by Brian Montopoli, New York Observer, Oct. 11, 2004
The New York World

Con Flicks, by Kathryn Schulz, New York Times Magazine, Oct. 24, 2004
The rise of the right-wing film festival.

Dave Sim on Comics vs. Trades, by John Jackson Miller, Comics Buyer's Guide, August 2004

Death to "Death of the Pamphlet", by John Jackson Miller, Comics Buyer's Guide, August 2004
Welcome to the 21st Century, where it's in vogue to preach the end of the comic book format.

The Flatlands: Certainly on the Level, by Tiffany Elliott, Greenpoint Star, Sept. 30, 2004

F. Scott's Queens: A Guided Tour, by Reed Jackson, Greenpoint Star, Oct. 14, 2004

If the Angel's Broke, Don't Fix It, by Nik Kovac, Greenpoint Star, Sept. 23, 2004

In Character, a Quick Exit Is Required, by Howard Kaplan, New York Times, Oct. 23, 2004
When miming a statue, impressions matter

Johnny Ramone, The Economist, Sept. 25, 2004
Johnny Ramone (John Cummings), a punk rocker, died on September 15th, aged 55

Love on the Rocks, by Bill Arsenault, Northwestern, Summer 2004
What better way to say "I love you" than to put it in permanent paint?

Loving Manifestations, by Mara Bovsun, New York Daily News, Oct. 24, 2004
The trials of Henry Ward Beecher

Miss Subways, Subversive and Sublime, by Melanie Bush, New York Times, Oct. 24, 2004
For three decades, New York women had an icon that was ethnic, real and even covertly feminist. Now, she is set to reign again.

The News That's Fit to Print, by John Leo, U.S. News & World Report, Oct. 25, 2004

The New York Subway 1904-2004, by Joe McKendry, New York Times, Oct. 23, 2004

Pushing Paper, by Nancy Franklin, New Yorker, Oct. 25, 2004
Ricky Gervais does overtime at "The Office."

Quitting the Paint Factory, by Mark Slouka, Harper's, November 2004
On the virtues of idleness

Radio Decades, by Meredith Daniels, Newsday, Oct. 23, 2004
It's a youth-oriented business, but these DJs have staying power

Shop Write, by Amanda Hesser, New York Times Magazine, Oct. 24, 2004
American eating habits, one grocery list at a time.

The Tabloid King's Dilemma, by Devin Leonard, Fortune, Nov. 1, 2004
Can David Pecker, publisher of the National Enquirer and Star, turn his company into a glossy-magazine Bigfoot?

Taking a Train Back in Time (No Need for a MetroCard), by Alan Feuer, New York Times, Oct. 24, 2004

Taming the Monster, by Michael Doran, Comics Buyer's Guide, August 2004
Learning to live with new comics speculation could help the hobby Blogging off Daily Can Make You Blind, by Tom Scocca, New York Observer, Sept. 20, 2004
Wolcott, Sullivan, Teachout: Save It for the Memoirs! At least Kaus reports

Walking America, by Andrew Curry, Smithsonian, November 2004
Twenty-six-year-old Aaron Huey took his dog, his camera and an open mind on a journey from California to New York. Along the way he learned a lot about his country -- and himself.

Weird Love, by Nick Paumgarten, New Yorker, Oct. 25, 2004
In the Vault

What Lies Beneath, by Dan Hofstadter, Smithsonian, November 2004
A vast world of streets and piazzas, aqueducts and catacombs -- rich in history and full of surprises -- is drawing more and more visitors to the subterranean reaches of Naples, Italy

Soundtrack: The Ditty Bops

Friday, October 22, 2004

NetWork X

For the last two years -- plus -- PayPal has dinged me $5 a month for my silver-level Ryze membership. While I regularly respond to people reaching out to me through the service, I rarely if ever visit the site on my own accord -- and I've yet to go to a Ryze event. So I decided today that Ryze isn't worth $60/year to me. That's money better spent. Just now, I've cancelled my silver membership and eagerly await to see what my Ryze experience is like now that I'm not paying to use the service.

Left and Leaving

Is the Dotson Rader who writes celebrity profiles for Parade the same Dotson Rader who was involved in the Students for a Democratic Society -- and who wrote I Ain't Marchin' Anymore?

Googling him, it appears that he's done some hefty writing in the last decade-plus, but his most recent bylines, which include a profile of Colin Farrell and Adrien Brody seem like softballs -- and a far cry from Rader's past work. Any insight, Media Dieticians?

Pieces, Particles XVII

The following stories spotted recently in print publications might be worth a look. Heads and decks, only. Heads and decks.

Cable Vision, by Aaron Dalton, Time Out New York, Sept. 16, 2004
See how the news comes together -- and maybe get a glimpse of Paula Zahn! -- in CNN's new interactive tour

The Dismal Science Bites Back, The Economist, Oct. 9, 2004
George Bush Comes out worst in our poll of academic economists

The End of a Dead End, at Least for Pedestrians, by Christopher Gray, New York Times, Oct. 17, 2004
Streetscapes: 71st Street, west of West End Avenue

Fishing for Clever Toons, by Vicky Hallett, U.S. News & World Report, Oct. 18, 2004

The Long Tail, by Chris Anderson, Wired, October 2004
Forget squeezing millions from a few megahits at the top of the charts. The future of entertainment is in the millions of niche markets at the shallow end of the bitstream.

Marketing Target, by David Hinckley, New York Daily News, Oct. 17, 2004
Teens and their zines

A New Tombstone Sets the Record Straight for Doc Holliday, New York Times, Oct. 17, 2004

One Grid to Rule Them All, The Economist, Oct. 9, 2004
Efforts are under way to create a computer the size of the world

Out with the Long, The Economist, Oct. 9, 2004
"Short words are best," said Winston Churchill, "and old words when short are the best of all"

Peering into the Past, by Joshua F. Moore, Down East, November 2004
Looking for a pitcture of a train wreck in Oakfield in 1917? Your best bet is the Maine Memory Network, an astounding new "virtual" museum.

Phase One, New York, Oct. 18, 2004
Yes, we are renovating this magazine.

A Rail Buffs' Day to Make the Wheels Turn, by Charles Delafuente, New York Times, Oct. 17, 2004
Open house provides inside view of Metro-North repair shop

The Technology of Feminine Allure, by Nancy Shute, U.S. News & World Report, Oct. 18, 2004
Science & Society

What a Street! (But Do You Ever Remember Being There?), by Sam Knight, New York Times, Oct. 17, 2004
Houston has long been eclipsed by its hipper sisters, SoHo and NoHo. As change looms, now is the time to savor its singular charms.

Event-O-Dex CI

Friday and Saturday, Oct. 22-23: Joel Forrester, of the Microscopic Septet and People Like Us, performs with a trio at Palmira in Brooklyn Heights, 8 p.m. Go the first night, and if you like it, go back for more the second.

Sunday, Oct. 24: Misha Mengelberg and the ICP Orchestra take the stage at Tonic in New York with Frank Gratkowski, joined by John Lindberg and Gerry Hemingway. Two sets: 8 and 10 p.m.

Tuesday, Oct. 26: Clare Burson performs with Rachel Davis at Fez under the Time Cafe, New York, 7 p.m. Stick around for her set, and then scoot over to...

Tuesday, Oct. 26: Pindeldyboz puts the fun in fundraising with the Pindeldyboz Literary Cabaret, a night of literature, music, parlor games, and swanky fun with host, comedian Seth Herzog; the literary stylings of Darin Strauss, Michelle Orange, Greg Sanders, and Dalia Azim; and the musical stylings of the Jim Daves. Junno's, 64 Downing St., New York, 8 p.m. And if you're lucky, you'll still be able to cross the East River and get to...

Tuesday, Oct. 26: The Hungry March Band -- think Jumbo, only in Brooklyn, and perhaps less hodgepodge -- struts its stuff at Galapagos in Williamsburg, 10 p.m.

Wednesday, Oct. 27: McSweeney's founder Dave Eggers and his younger brother Christopher will present Giraffes? Giraffes! And Your Disgusting Head, a series of satirical children's books, as Dr. and Mr. Haggis-on-Whey. Coliseum Books, New York, 6 p.m. If that's not highbrow enough for you, leave in a huff and check out...

Wednesday, Oct. 27: Granta celebrates its silver anniversary (that's 25 years) with editor Ian Jack and founding editor Bill Buford, who will host a series of readings, as well as a discussion of the magazine's history. Symphony Space, New York, 6:30 p.m. Regardless of which you choose, you can still catch the...

Wednesday, Oct. 27: Total lunar eclipse, to begin around 9:14 p.m.

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

Music to My Ears LXI

Back in the early '90s, while in college, one of the cutest girls in the world introduced me to the music of David Garza. Based in Austin, Texas, and an occasional contributor to the Austin Chronicle, Garza continues to release interesting, important music. In fact, he just came out with a multiple-CD project featuring something like 70 songs.

At the time, his appeal for me sat largely in the lap of his band Twang Twang Shock-a-Boom. I cannot find the cassette that cute girl in the world made for me that captured some of his early songs, and I couldn't even remember the name of his first band until this afternoon when I came across Bright Orange Folder, a small mp3 archive of his previously cassette-only songs.

"Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, she's got it." Now all I need to do is track down mp3's of Bouffant Jellyfish and the rest of the Texas Funk alumni. It'll be like hearing the Smoking Popes on the 7-inch for the first time.

Trivia: I also just learned that Billy from Dillinger Four was in Scooby Don't. "Trailer Park Queen," anyone?

Magazine Me LIII

A friend and former coworker of mine, Anni Layne Rodgers, is working to launch a new general interest magazine for young men.

Created by and for teen guys, Krank reflects the fierce independence and raw energy of its readers with words and images that live loud.

What I've seen of the trial issue is impressive -- and extremely well designed -- and if you're interested in helping fund the title, you can download a pre-launch media kit.

I've long wondered why publishers haven't succeeded with a general interest magazine for young men. I don't think it's an impossible goal, and I think Krank might have what it takes.

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

d20 Dicey Proposition

I love the fact that stuff like this exists. Dungeon Majesty is a Hollywood-based low-budget TV show in which four young women play Dungeons & Dragons. The names on their character sheets include such gems as Devastina and Shakuntala, and the overlaid action scenes in which the cast clowns around in full D&D regalia are great fun. In December, they'll be shooting at GenCon.

Monday, October 18, 2004

Murray Hill Moment II

I stepped outside for a moment this afternoon and was momentarily taken aback from a sight on the sidewalk just outside the Lexington Avenue entrance. At first, I thought I saw several dozen eggs littering the ground. As I neared, they looked more like plums and potatoes. Perhaps apricots. In the end, I realized that they were Dunkin' Donuts Munchkins. Someone had dropped an entire box of Dunkin' Munchkins. And just left them for the doormen, the birds, and the businessmen.

Greenpoint of View

While my neighborhood in Brooklyn, Greenpoint, tends to be relatively quiet and family-oriented, several area events have gotten some media attention of late.

I live across the street from McGolrick Park, where, earlier this month, a toddler fell into a hole or storm drain. He was quickly rescued by his grandmother.

In mid-September, the park became the scene of a more dangerous event. The New York Press reported -- by way of of a Johnny Dwyer column -- that a gang of teenagers beat a homeless Polish man to death. The column, while disturbing, captures my neighborhood well. The people hanging out in the park. The kids who loiter along its edges, smoking and drinking. The older men who also linger on the edge -- they've been lingering longer, their skin cracked brown by the sun and wind, and their binges beginning early in the day. Perhaps the youth are threatened by the vision of what they may become.

And in Williamsburg, one neighborhood over, a woman was raped last week. The attack occurred early in the morning near N. 8th Street and Driggs, a corner I walk past almost daily. Two men in their 20s were arrested this weekend. Oddly enough, they live close to the scene of the crime.

Other than the nature of the events noted above, another thing interests me. Many of the newspapers reporting on the goings on refer to the park on which I live as McGoldrick Park. Signs clearly indicate that it's McGolrick Park, and such a simple error makes me wonder what else the reporters are getting wrong, not to mention what else they -- and I -- are missing.

Tuesday, October 05, 2004

Music to My Ears LX

If you like music, and you like magazines, you'll love my new iMix, Music to Read Magazines By.

Update: Oh, and here's one called Newspaper Chase, which is about, yep, newspapers.

Monday, October 04, 2004

Magazine Me LII

Looks like Seed magazine, which posits that science is culture, may soon -- or not so soon -- face some competition. Not only is there the journal Acumen, which seems to have gone AWOL online since Jason Pontin jumped to the Technology Review, there's the forthcoming Galileo.

Charter subscribers to the new title from the Economist Group, of which I am one, recently received a letter indicating the launch may be even more forthcoming than previously believed. "We received an excellent response to our subscription offer, confirming the appeal of the magazine," writes biz-dev director Matthew Batstone. "However, launching a magazine is a major project and there still a few more steps we must take before Galileo becomes a reality."

Can we say, "Delay"?