Friday, November 05, 2010

Brick, Click and Mortar

Casey Chan at Gizmodo describes a curious practice in New York that manages to infuse viral networking with the nervous anticipation of glory holes. ("glory hubs?")

Why Is There a USB Drive Sticking Out of This Wall?

Across New York, there are USB drives embedded in walls, buildings and curbs. The idea is to create an anonymous, offline file-sharing network in public space. The drives are completely public and anyone can plug in to drop and download files.

...It'd also be interesting to see what people would anonymously share on the public drive, well, until some jackass decides to upload a virus to screw up everybody's computer.

Read more!

Peace Rally?

Question: Which Washington, D.C. rally featured a religious extremist who once advocated the murder of an author and acts of violence against women?

a) Glenn Beck's "Rally to Restore America"
b) Jon Stewart/Stephen Colbert's "Rally to Restore Sanity and/ or Fear"

Answer: b. Yusuf Islam (Cat Stevens) supported the fatwa against Salmon Rusdie and defended the practice of stoning women for adultry.

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Thursday, November 04, 2010

Shark Jumping

In a Sept. 3 Los Angeles Times article, Fred Fox Jr., the writer of the infamous Happy Days episode where Fonzie jumps over a netted section of ocean containing a shark and inspired the "jump the shark" meme, addresses his dubious claim to fame in pop culture history.

Was the "Hollywood 3" episode of Happy Days deserving of its fate?

No, it wasn't. All successful shows eventually start to decline, but this was not Happy Days time. Consider: It was the 91st episode and the fifth season. If this was really the beginning of a downward spiral, why did the show stay on the air for six more seasons and shoot an additional 164 episodes? Why did we rank among the Top 25 in five of those six seasons?
I suppose that if you've heard of Wikipedia (or meme), you don't need anyone to explain what "jumping the shark" means, but according to Wikipedia:

[JTS] has become a colloquialism used by U.S. TV critics and fans to denote the point at which the characters or plot of a TV series veer into a ridiculous, out-of-the-ordinary storyline. Such a show is typically deemed to have passed its peak. Once a show has "jumped the shark" fans sense a noticeable decline in quality or feel the show has undergone too many changes to retain its original charm...
Interestingly, Wikipedia also describes a 1963 episode of Bonanza, "Hoss and the Leprechauns," in which Hoss meets a leprechaun. That episode coined the term "seeing the leprechaun" as a precursor to the "jumping the shark" phenomenon.

This led me to wonder if, perhaps out of sympathy for Mr. Fox, a new term to explain the dynamic could be adopted.

Full Post at Edward Copeland On Film...

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Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Vox Pop

Interesting polling analysis from James Pethokouk at Reuters.

It's certainly fair game to argue about which economic and tax policy approaches work best. But those who would characterize the people currently disenchanted with the president and Congress as simply angry and self-deluded seem, to me, mostly angry and self-deluded.

A "few observations" from Pethokouk:
  1. Americans don’t blame Obama for the economy, but blame him for not fixing it — which is what he was hired to do. Mission Not Accomplished.

  2. The Obama agenda is unpopular, and Americans see it as a distraction from dealing with unemployment.

  3. Americans are worried about spending and deficits, but have not made the mental leap to restricting entitlements.

  4. Americans may not think government is necessarily the problem, but they are pretty sure it’s not the solution.

Read more!