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Preview: Snarkmarket


Not actually that snarky.

Published: 2005-04-17T18:35:32-08:00


Hotspot Hookups


Awesome. Robin has been saying for a while now that he'd love to have some sort of online hub for his local coffeehouse, so the hordes of laptoppers inside could communicate in digital space. Well, here you go.

Video of the Month


Remember how we were all obsessed with M.I.A.'s Galang video?

Well, here's the new object of my devotion: The Sad Song by Fredo Viola. Captured with a Nikon still camera taking 15-second movies, built in After Effects.

(Actually, I had to kinda fast-forward some parts to really enjoy this. But still, I think it's amazing.)

In the Style of the Chapel


It's nice to see college a cappella get a little MeFi love.

Rocket and the Great Chicken Chase


I've got to strongly recommend the movie City of God, although I have nothing particularly insightful to say about it. (Ebert.) But there's this: I kept a stiff upper lip all throughout the film. Afterwards, as I'm wont to do, I visited its IMDB trivia page. Then came the tears. That's never happened to me before. (Watch the movie before you read the trivia.)

Snarkmarket Is Waiting for Its Review Unit


Matt's been waiting for this for a long time: a cell phone with a tiny laser projector.

The Conscience Clause


Are we seriously still talking about this? Pharmacists are licensed to cover a basic range of services, including providing emergency contraception. States should not license pharmacists who are unable for any reason to provide this range of services. They are welcome to develop an alternative licensing scheme for people who only sell drugs that promote the cult of life, or whatever. Just don't call it pharmacy.



The form feels a little Choose-Your-Own-Adventure-ish (in a bad way) to me. The tiny bit of agency that allows me to choose one path over a second one doesn't, like, mind-crushingly alter my entire relationship with the text or anything. So read Same Day Test because it's a good story, any which way you slice it.

Peak Oil


So yeah, if you want about twenty crazy interesting links to read about oil and energy, go check out this spaz-out Boing Boing post on the topic.

Don't forget the spheromak, though.

By Your Command



I have rediscovered TV, and its name is Battlestar Galactica.

Never saw the original series, so the setup was all new to me: The human race gets wiped out by the Cylons, an army of killer robots. That we created. Rats.

But! A rag-tag caravan of transports escapes the holocaust, led by humanity's one surviving warship: the eponymous Battlestar Galactica.

The Galactica is helmed, in turn, by Commander William Adama -- played by Edward James Olmos.

Elevator pitch: "It's Stand and Deliver in outer space!"

Best of Google Maps


The Google Sightseeing blog filters out the most awesome satellite images from Google Maps. Via Micro Persuasion.

It's Pronounced SHEH-Nee


The LA Times has a profile of ultima blogtrix Xeni Jardin this weekend.

I met her at the WIRED Rave Awards this year. Let me just paint you a word-picture here: Dim room... it's all dark wood and black suits... clumps of people in their brown sweaters and gray button-downs... and then Xeni Jardin swoops in, shockingly blonde, in a full-on BRIGHT WHITE BALLROOM GOWN. It's like a frame out of Sin City.

Actually, uh, I just realized that's the scene that is cited in the first graf of the LAT story. Go checkitout. It kinda reads like a crazy 21st-century Dickens novel.



I've been meaning to read one of Ha Jin's books. Deborah Solomon interviews him in the NYT mag:

What is your idea of perfect happiness?

I often tell my wife and son that the best life for me would be to get up in the morning and go to a cafe and have coffee and meet friends and read the newspaper. But you can't do it every day, because if you did, your life would be effortless. And an effortless life is a meaningless life.

Integrated Circuit as Literature


Just after Robin posted this Gamespot link on storytelling and video games, I left for a vacation in Orlando and my parents' dial-up connection, so I could not contribute a proper reply. Here it is.

My favorite text addressing the place of video games within the spectrum of art/literature is Ernest Adams' lecture at the 2004 Game Developers Conference, "The Philosophical Roots of Computer Game Design."

You have to remember that Adams is talking to computer game developers, not academics, so he's reductive at best and flat-out wrong at worst. (You may have to struggle to trust anything he says after he begins by boiling the last 200 years of Western philosophy down to English philosophy -- logical and deductive -- and French philosophy -- touchy-feely. Germans, apparently, need not apply. And of course, you forgot Poland.) But once you get over his sketchy broad-brushing of history, he makes some wonderful points.

Adams maps video game storytelling onto the timeline of modern literary storytelling, and essentially decides that we're just exiting the classical era. This feels spot-on to me. As much as I love Final Fantasy IV, it appeals to me emotionally in the same blunt, soaring, epic way Beowulf does.

Video game storytellers of today, Adams says, are still coming around to the Victorian age:

Best Google Map Ever


OK, this is going to be everywhere in approx. 30 seconds (in fact, too late), but it's cool enough to be posted in here in the dim, dim chance you don't see it in your travels through the Web.

Where My People At?



S.F.-based blogger Brad Plumer (who also works at Mother Jones, nice) just wrote a post that begins with this exclamation:

God, the House of Representatives is a fucked up way of doing things!

And follows with this lament:

For instance, I could almost certainly never be elected to the House. But why not? After all, I'm reasonably well-educated, know a bit about politics, care about people, am decently outgoing, etc. etc. Nonetheless, facts are facts: I was born in upstate New York, moved to Tokyo when I was three, came back to attend college in backwoods New Hampshire for four years, and have since bounced around between Boston and San Francisco, and will probably bounce around some more. Where's my local constituency? Oh, that's right, I have none.

Now listen, I don't want to be too presumptuous here, but I've watched C-SPAN, and like Plumer, I think I could totally hack being a representative. But, also like Plumer, no geographically-contiguous group of people in the entire country would ever elect me. Which is a bummer, you know?