Saturday, February 23, 2008

Clothes Whore XVIII

Originally uploaded by h3athrow
And this fuzzy photo makes four.

Clothes Whore XVII

Originally uploaded by h3athrow
Yet another shirt from Northern Sun.

Clothes Whore XVI

Originally uploaded by h3athrow
Another shirt from Northern Sun.

Clothes Whore XV

Originally uploaded by h3athrow
One of the shirts I got from Northern Sun.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Products I Love XXIII

I used to be a religious -- as in, frequent -- customer of Northern Sun, a progressive mail-order retailer based in Minnesota. I was especially fond of their "recycle this envelope" labels, which you could affix onto a business-reply envelope in order to address it and use it. For years, I just reused business-reply envelopes. Now, I'm not so picky, and the labels appear to be discontinued, so go figure.

But I recently dropped $20 their way in order to get some T-shirts I could work out in at the Greenpoint YMCA. We joined the Y in early February, and I've been hard pressed to single out T-shirts -- and I have too many -- that are worthy of sweating in... and then still wearing in other settings. So far, I've pegged a ratty Septophilia Records T-shirt as one that's not nice enough for everyday wear, but otherwise, it's Threadless and other shirts too nice to sully.

Northern Sun has this deal where you can get discontinued T-shirts for $5 a pop. You can't choose them, but you can buy them. I just got four -- and they're awesome.


So, I've been writing more poetry lately, even though I don't consider myself a poet.

A couple were just published by Klyd Watkins in The Time Garden. Today, you can see them by clicking down the nav bar twice.

More to come, I'm sure.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

The City As Video Game

Jim Munroe's promotional video for the video game N makes me want to go outside and run around.

It's like parkour crossed with Pac Manhattan.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

A Book I'd Like to Read

I might not be -- far from! -- one of the first 50 people to blog about this book -- John Grant's Green Marketing Manifesto, but if I am -- or even close -- dude, email me.

I'm on a conference call right now with What Is Enlightenment? editors and readers about their recent feature story "A Brighter Shade of Green." They name drop Bruce Sterling, WorldChanging, and William McDonough as inspirations. And there's tons to think about -- and do.

Just recently, I read about a new book about green marketing that focuses on the shift from environmentally oriented marketing to health-oriented marketing. And for the life of me, I forget its title and author. Do any Media Dieticians know what book I'm remembering? I've got some loose threads I need to tie into a knot.

(P.S. Brooking rocks.)

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Media Diet Book Club: February-March 2008 selections

I'd like to start a Media Diet Book Club. I'm not totally sure how it will work, but my thinking is that I'll select a title each month, Media Dieticians can buy it if they're interested, and we'll have an email-based discussion group to explore key topics and themes in the text.

If you'd like to join the book club, sign up for the list.

Here are the first two titles:

February 2008: The Telephone Gambit: Chasing Alexander Graham Bell's Secret by Seth Shulman

March 2008: The Making of Second Life: Notes from the New World by Wagner James Au

We'll see what happens! If anything, this'll help focus and direct my reading somewhat.

Media Diet Book Club: Forthcoming Books 2008

This is an incomplete list of media- and journalism-related books scheduled to be published this year. If you're aware of others that you think are worth mentioning in Media Diet, let me know!

  • Ultimate Blogs: Masterworks from the Wild Web
  • A Journalism of Humanity: A Candid History of the World's First Journalism School
  • Can We Trust the BBC?
  • Principles of Convergent Journalism
  • Media in the Digital Age
  • The Place to Be: Washington, CBS, and the Glory Days of Television News
  • The Flash Press: Sporting Male Weeklies in 1840s New York
  • Center Field Shot: A Hitory of Baseball on Television
  • Scandal and Civility: Journalism and the Origins of American Politics
  • Understanding Media Economics
  • From Betamax to Blockbuster: Video Stores and the Invention of Movies on Video
  • Deep Time of the Media: Toward an Archaeology of Hearing and Seeing by Technical Means
  • Stealing Empire: P2P, Intellectual Property and Hip-Hop Subversion
  • Shock Jocks: America's Talk Radio Problem
  • Power, Politics and Identity in South African Media
  • Coming of Age in Second Life: An Anthropologist Explores the Virtually Human
  • Virtual Identities: The Construction of Selves in Cyberspace
  • The Dumbest Generation: How the Digital Age Stupefies Young Americans and Jeopardizes Our Future (Or, Don't Trust Anyone Under 30)
  • It's Not News, It's Fark: How Mass Media Tries to Pass Off Crap As News
  • Playing the Past: History and Nostalgia in Video Games
  • The Environment and the Press: From Adventure Writing to Advocacy
  • We're All Journalists Now: The Transformation of the Press and Reshaping of the Law in the Internet Age
  • Off the Record: The Press, the Government, and the War over Anonymous Sources
  • The Media and Peace
  • The Mechanical Bride (Facsimile)
  • Infotopia: How Many Minds Produce Knowledge
  • Two Bits: The Cultural Significance of Free Software
  • White News: The Untold Story of Racism in American Media and the Journalists Who Fought It
  • A TV Guide to Life: How I Learned Everything I Needed to Know From Watching Television
  • The Conservative Resurgence and the Press: The Media's Role in the Rise of the Right
  • Sounds of Change: A History of FM Broadcasting in America
  • Echo Chamber: Rush Limbaugh and the Conservative Media Establishment
  • The Social Media Playbook: Listen, Look, Join and Lead
  • Global Bollywood
  • Digital Destiny: New Media and the Future of Democracy
  • Global TV: Exporting Television and Culture in the World Market
  • The Encyclopedia of Reality Television: The Ultimate Guide to Over 20 Years of Reality TV from The Real World to Dancing with the Stars
  • The Al Jazeera Effect: How the New Global Media Are Reshaping World Politics
  • Losing the News: The Uncertain Future of the News That Feeds Democracy
  • Cory Doctorow's Futuristic Tales

    Science fiction and comic books have almost always led parallel lives. Their history and fandoms have many similarities, and the two have almost always had a slightly uneasy relationship. While there have been several examples of successful licensed science-fiction properties in comics -- for example, Star Wars -- two examples of sf comics have affected me most strongly.

    In the early '50s, Al Feldstein adapted 27 of Ray Bradbury's stories for EC Comics. They accurately capture the tone and tenor of Bradbury's writing, particularly stories such as those in the Martian Chronicles, where Bradbury blends malaise and energetic speculation quite ably. And I vaguely recall a backup story in an issue of Captain Victory, that Jack Kirby comic published by Pacific Comics in the early '80s, that almost blew my mind. I don't remember the artist or writer, much less if there were a previous source, but it's about a comet that turns out to be inscribed with alien script. Shades of Arthur C. Clarke and Stephen King's Tommyknockers, things don't turn out so well for the astronauts who make that discovery.

    The first issue of Cory Doctorow's Futuristic Tales of the Here and Now doesn't hit me as strongly as those previous examples of science-fiction comics, but it is an interesting case. And I'd like to thank Andrea Larson of Elure Marketing for sending me the issue. With a Sam Kieth cover (oh, that Maxx! That Zero Girl!), the first issue adapts Cory's story "Anda's Game," which is a play on Orson Scott Card's Ender's Game.

    The interior art by Esteve Polls isn't as impressive as the cover, but it's a solid interpretation of Cory's story, which was originally published in Salon and Cory's collection Overclocked. Perhaps more interesting is the brief interview with Cory by editor Tom Waltz, which touches somewhat on the adaptation process.

    So, does Cory's work translate well to comics? "Anda's Game" might not translate especially well because it's an idea story and a political story that doesn't lend itself terribly well to action or high-impact visuals. But I enjoyed the read and hope to see the others at some point -- perhaps they'll be collected.

    Burn to Shine: Seattle

    I can think of few better ways to spend a welcome, sunny but cold Saturday afternoon than watching the fifth DVD in the Burn to Shine series. Produced by Brendan Canty and Christoph Green, the series is impressive on multiple levels. One, each edition meets the needs of the best mix tape or compilation record: They turn you on to great new music, while including and introducing some elements you might not seek out on your own. Two, it's a fun concept: Gather a bunch of local musicians who represent a given scene in a certain state in time, and film them in a house that's about to be destroyed; then film the demolition. And three, visually and musically, the DVDs show a love and care for music that's not precious or protective; they're pure celebration.

    Thanks to Deb, who turned me on to a previous edition, I ordered the Seattle DVD, which was recorded on Jan. 27, 2007. There's nothing on here that's bad, and what's good is great. I especially appreciated the performances by Harvey Danger, Dave Bazan, Benjamin Gibbard (who organized the musicians who performed), and the Long Winters. I was a little surprised by how much I enjoyed the Eddie Vedder selection, and it was really Gibbard who emerged as my favorite. He's a songwriter and performer to follow.

    This is a wonderful project -- elegant in its simplicity and beautiful in its execution... if not sheer existence.

    Friday, February 15, 2008

    Class Inaction II

    Due to low enrollment, my NYU course, Enter the Blogosphere, has been canceled. Sadness!

    We'll see if I can get back on the teaching tip next semester.

    Friday, February 01, 2008

    Class Action II

    I just received an email from a student who's registered to take this spring's NYU class Enter the Blogosphere. While I've yet to confirm that there are enough students registered for it to be a go, things look heartening.

    It's not too late; if you're interested in taking a 10-session media studies course focusing on blogs and blogging, check out last time's class blog to check out the syllabus, reading list, and other reportage on the course.

    And please consider signing up! Should be a great class.