Sunday, August 30, 2009
Saturday, August 29, 2009
Friday, August 28, 2009
"What’s maybe best about indie rock is its bargain-basement passions: An “expensive” ticket goes for $20. Even here in town, a show like the recent A.C. Newman appearance at SOhO was $12. Pittsburgh’s Black Moth Super Rainbow charged producers $300 to play I.V. Theater just two years ago. Thus, a turnout of more than 50 kids can be considered a successful show. Beach House played at Muddy Waters, pushing the place to its structural limits with around a hundred kids. Though SOhO’s Zamir said it was a nerve-wracking risk to book some of these bands — she dreamed of bringing Animal Collective — she also admitted that all the bands came close to selling out the 300-capacity venue. I saw Arcade Fire at L.A.’s Troubadour for $15 four years ago, practically standing in the band’s lap, with Beck staring open-mouthed next to me. It was the kind of transcendent experience live rock promises but can’t deliver reliably when the players are millionaires performing in arenas."
Wilco - Everlasting. This has become one of my favorite songs on the new album. Especially the soft, hopeful guitar playing at the end.
The Shins - Past & Pending. A great B-side. I'll never forget seeing the Shins in a beaten down venue in the middle of winter in Chicago. Winter had ceased to be cute and we took a cab from Mercer's apartment to next to nowhere. Inside, the ceiling looked like it would cave in any moment and the coat racks were impossibly full so we through our jackets in the corner and let lose. But we were seeing the Shins first show in support of their new album, and it was amazing.
Fleet Foxes - He Doesn't Know Why. One of my favorite bands of the last few years and magical concerts at the Fillmore and the Fox. Exactly the kind of show the author talks about in the Indie article.
Cat Power - The Moon. I saw her at the Roundhouse in Camden while studying abroad in London. It's a part of town that reminded me of Berkeley, with it's perfect arrangement of clutter and heart. The Roundhouse's smooth circular shape is an architect's response to the chaos of Camden, and somehow it fits perfectly. I waited to hear Cat Power sing The Moon all night and she played it second to last. That's the beauty of Cat Power, of Camden, and of all these Indie bands, you're never sure what you will get, but somehow, they come through for you.
Thursday, August 27, 2009
"A moment later, after some reflection, he added, “But it also sounds an awful lot like what happens in a banana republic or in Putin’s Russia, when the captains of industry did favors for the government in exchange for economic subsidies. How do you stop from going down the slippery slope and becoming like Putin’s Russia?”"
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
Monday, August 24, 2009
Friday, August 21, 2009
Thursday, August 20, 2009
Legislators will correctly perceive that either raising taxes or cutting expenditures will threaten their re-election. To avoid this fate, they can opt for high rates of inflation, which never require a recorded vote and cannot be attributed to a specific action that any elected official takes. In fact, John Maynard Keynes long ago laid out a road map for political survival amid an economic disaster of just this sort: “By a continuing process of inflation, governments can confiscate, secretly and unobserved, an important part of the wealth of their citizens.... The process engages all the hidden forces of economic law on the side of destruction, and does it in a manner which not one man in a million is able to diagnose.”
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
Frankly I don't even think we need to replace Eric, and if we do replace him, I really don't care who we get, as long as it's someone who's a good fit with the rest of the board, meaning someone who does whatever the fuck I tell them to do and signs off on my options grants and jumps under a bus if El Jobso gets in trouble. Since I'm the boss, I got to put two names into the hat instead of just one, and mine were 'Harry Potter, Esq.' and 'Chuck E. Cheese.' Campbell laughed -- it's what he gets paid to do -- but the old guy from J. Crew said he'd never heard of 'this Cheese person' and is he an academic or something? Andrea Jung got all pissed off and said I wasn't taking this seriously at all, and I commended her for having such tremendous powers of observation. She asked me if I'd like to try again, and this time make a serious recommendation, and I said, Sure, I'd like to recommend Diego, my gardener. Andrea told the old guy that she wanted to file a formal complaint against me, and I said I was disappointed that Andrea was opposing my motion regarding Diego, and I wondered whether this was simply because Diego is Mexican, and if that's the case, then I would like to have an official complaint of racism placed in Andrea's HR file. Andrea responded that I should print out that complaint, roll it up into a ball, and insert it into my rectum.
I was actually starting to enjoy this, but then my iPhone buzzed and I said it was really important and I had to step outside to take the call because it was my doctor, even though actually it was Katie doing our pre-planned bail-out call. I went outside and pretended to be talking about medical stuff and kind of wandered down the hall and never went back.
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
Actually, there isn't one, there are three choices that anyone offering higher education is going to have to make.
Should this be scarce or abundant?
MIT and Stanford are starting to make classes available for free online. The marginal cost of this is pretty close to zero, so it's easy for them to share. Abundant education is easy to access and offers motivated individuals a chance to learn.
Scarcity comes from things like accreditation, admissions policies or small classrooms.
Should this be free or expensive?
Wikipedia offers the world's fact base to everyone, for free. So it spreads.
On the other hand, some bar review courses are so expensive the websites don't even have the guts to list the price.
The newly easy access to the education marketplace (you used to need a big campus and a spot in the guidance office) means that both the free and expensive options are going to be experimented with, because the number of people in the education business is going to explode (then implode).
If you think the fallout in the newspaper business was dramatic, wait until you see what happens to education.
Should this be about school or about learning?
School was the big thing for a long time. School is tests and credits and notetaking and meeting standards. Learning, on the other hand, is 'getting it'. It's the conceptual breakthrough that permits the student to understand it then move on to something else. Learning doesn't care about workbooks or long checklists.
For a while, smart people thought that school was organized to encourage learning. For a long time, though, people in the know have realized that they are fundamentally different activities.
Imagine a school that's built around free, abundant learning. And compare it to one that's focused on scarce, expensive schooling. Or dream up your own combination. My recent MBA program, for example, was scarce (only 9 people got to do it) and it was free and focused on learning.
Just because something is free doesn't meant there isn't money to be made. Someone could charge, for example, for custom curricula, or focused tutoring, or for a certified (scarce) degree. When a million people are taking your course, you only need 1% to pay you to be happy indeed.
Eight combinations of the three choices are available and my guess is that all eight will be tried. If I were going to wager, I'd say that the free, abundant learning combination is the one that's going to change the world.
Monday, August 17, 2009
Now that Mad Men's much-anticipated premiere has come and gone, leaving us as conflictingly ravished as a freshly fingerbanged comedian's wife in the bittersweet, panting moments after a lantern-jawed, emotionally detached ad man has had his way with us, Movieline would like to pause to reflect upon the happenings of last night's Season Three kick-off episode before we all return in earnest to our lives of quiet desperation. (I.e., toiling in workplaces which discourage hard-won alcoholism by cruelly refusing to provide well-stocked, in-office bars.) As everyone's favorite newly corporatized advertising agency is a place where one's status is always rising and falling, we thought it appropriate to take an inventory of where each of our Sterling Cooper Repertory Players stand following the premiere's developments, and thus are born our Mad Men Power Rankings.
Meant to post this earlier today, but here is Usain Bolt from the Berlin track & field world championships setting a new world record of 9.58s in the 100m. While there was a following wind of 0.9m/s, it is still an astonishing run from someone for whom superlatives seem insufficient.
By the way, Bolt’s start in the final, while good, wasn’t his best at this year’s meet. Consider the following chart, which shows reaction times out of the blocks in the 100m final. Of the 8 sprinters, Bolt was third-slowest, making the outcome even more remarkable.
More here from Ross & Jonathan.
Sunday, August 16, 2009
Saturday, August 15, 2009
Here is my favorite quote. This is an important article in my opinion.
Friday, August 14, 2009
I've also begun to think about Sunday Morning 13, my annual chill music disc that I produce for friends. Throughout the year I stockpile songs I like and listen to them all the time. This year's list of potential songs is already in the 70's so there will be a lot of editing to get down to the inevitable 15 best. It's a lot of fun to put the disc together and you'll be getting it in early December.
Enough about me, let's get to the music.
Blind Pilot is a band I've discovered lately. Great mellow toons and I'm just starting to get into the lyrics. Here is one of my favorites, Poor Boy.
Elderly Woman Behind the Counter in a Small Town is one of my favorite PJ songs and I'm ramping up my PJ listening in advance of Outside Lands. I'll be there and I hope you join me on Friday night.
Bands Like Girls With Bangs is a new music blog written by my friend Sarah. She's in the I'm All Ears music club and is on the cutting edge. I've never hear of Ha Ha Tonka and I'm not even sure why I like this song, I just do. It works.
Bone Tired is one of my favorite new Gomez songs. This guy has an amazing voice.
I've been jogging more and Closer by Kings of Leon is a great track to start a run with. It builds slowly and pumps me up in a deliberate, mysterious way. Hope you have a deliberate, mysterious weekend!
Thursday, August 13, 2009
"There’s a scene in “Sixteen Candles” where my character, Samantha, and Michael’s character, “the geek,” have a heart-to-heart talk. The scene lasts all of six minutes, but it took us days to film because we were all laughing too hard. John, too. He sat under the camera — his permanent place before directors retreated to the video monitor — while the assistant directors stood around rolling their eyes waiting for him to stop laughing and reprimand “the kids.” But how could he? He was one of us."
Wednesday, August 12, 2009
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
However the Neandertals obtained their food, they needed lots of it. “Neandertals were the SUVs of the hominid world,” says paleoanthropologist Leslie Aiello of the Wenner-Gren Foundation in New York City. A number of studies aimed at estimating Neandertal metabolic rates have concluded that these archaic hominids required significantly more calories to survive than the rival moderns did.
Monday, August 10, 2009
Sunday, August 9, 2009
- AVM Survivors - www.AVMsurvivors.org (the original & 950+ members)
- Living With Trigeminal Neuralgia - www.livingwithTN.org (2nd & 245 members)
- Living with Ataxia - www.livingwithAtaxia.org (3rd & 240 members)
- ALD Support - www.ALDsupport.org (4th and started two weeks ago!)
Saturday, August 8, 2009
Click through to their Primate Swimwear promotion that introduces their new swimwear line for guys.
Friday, August 7, 2009
I used 8 Tracks to put together a playlist inspired by Gomez and the bands I'll be seeing in the next month. If they're on the list, I'm seeing them.
Thursday, August 6, 2009
Wednesday, August 5, 2009
Tuesday, August 4, 2009
Kelli Aitchison sent this card to brighten my day, and it did.
Monday, August 3, 2009
I post it because 1) I'm sensitive and think the content is cool, and 2) to demonstrate that there is going to be a mountain of digital video content coming online now that everyone has a Flip or iPhone. This looks professionally shot and edited, but I think it still demonstrates a huge opportunity in shooting and editing video. Huge opportunity.
/////SARAH&KURT * SDE////////////////// from Casey Warren | MIND CASTLE on Vimeo.
Sunday, August 2, 2009
Saturday, August 1, 2009
"Curiously enough, what got Segway into this problem was that the company was itself a kind of Segway. It was too easy for them; they were too successful raising money. If they'd had to grow the company gradually, by iterating through several versions they sold to real users, they'd have learned pretty quickly that people looked stupid riding them. Instead they had enough to work in secret. They had focus groups aplenty, I'm sure, but they didn't have the people yelling insults out of cars. So they never realized they were zooming confidently down a blind alley."