Archive for February, 2006
The Texas Juggling Society held its 13th annual Jugglefest earlier this month. The festival just keeps getting better every year. This year, visiting performers included Alex Chimal of Circus Chimera, Luke Burrage from Europe, and unicyclist Connie Cotter.
I’ve posted a few of my photos from the event on flickr.
Tonight I stumbled across Malcolm Gladwell’s new blog:
In the past year I have often been asked why I don’t have a blog. My answer was always that I write so much, already, that I don’t have time to write anything else. But, as should be obvious, I’ve now changed my mind. I have come (belatedly) to the conclusion that a blog can be a very valuable supplement to my books and the writing I do for the New Yorker. What I think I’d like to do is to use this forum to elaborate and comment on and correct and amend things that I have already written. If you look on my website, on the “Blink” page, you’ll see an expanded notes and bibliography, which mostly consists of copies of emails sent to me by readers. Well, I think I’d like to start posting reader comments for everything I write, and this is a perfect place for that.
There are also times when I think I’ve made mistakes, or oversights, and I’d like to use this space to explain myself and set things right.
Gladwell is an author and regular writer for the New Yorker magazine. He’s one of my favorite non-fiction writers, as he has a knack for explaining things about the world in ways I hadn’t previsously considered. I’m interested to see what makes it onto his blog. Check out Gladwell’s main site to sample even more of his writing.
One of my favorite blogs, Creating Passionate Users, has a great post and discussion going on about using music to increase performance. When trying to be productive, I’m partial to up-beat or electronic music that is either instrumental or in a foreign language. Some favorites include:
Check out the comments and trackbacks for lots of pointers to good music from others.
My friend Jeremy, a SXSW volunteer, just sent me a link to the 2006 Bittorrent of SXSW music. It’s a great way to help decide what bands to try to catch at this year’s festival. But even if you’re not braving the crowds at SXSW, it’s also good for some free/guilt-free music. And chances are you’ll find a few bands you hadn’t heard of before.
If listening to 700+ songs seems daunting, check out my tips from last year on weeding through the SXSW MP3s.
Update: The official SXSW bittorrent page is now live. And they’ve included a bittorrent of this year’s movie trailers. Keep an eye out for more music releases too. They released an update last year, as the festival got closer.
I would love it if the LazyWeb could provide a Google Desktop plug-in that would allow me to index and search the text of pages I’ve bookmarked in del.icio.us. It doesn’t seem that far-fetched considering that del.icio.us has an API and someone already developed a Google Desktop plug-in that indexes external websites. Indexing every site bookmarked in del.icio.us would probably be too resource intensive, but individual pages should be doable.
I’ve been pretty busy lately and haven’t been keeping up with news much. My weekly dose of news often comes from the Week in Review.
Each week, a group gathers in a bar in L.A. to draw a visual representation of the week’s news. It’s a fun way to get a quick glimpse of what has been happening in the world.
In addition to books, many libraries loan movies, music, audio books and more. Though they may not have the latest BillBoard Top 40 or box office blockbusters, you will likely find many of the 500 Greatest Albums of All Time or IMDb’s Top 250 movies. If you’re lucky, your library might even loan audio books on iPods.
Many libraries also provide access to reference databases and other resources online. With just your card number and a password, you may be able to access databases like Academic Search Premier or Student Resource Center Gold Edition. Don’t be fooled by the names; these databases aren’t limited to dry academic journals. You’re likely to have access to archived articles from newspapers and magazines like The New York Times, National Geographic, and Sports Illustrated.
In OS X 10.4, iTunes comes with a decent stack of Automator actions (including several designed for use with iPods) you might like to play around with.
It’s easy, using Automator, to create a workflow that looks out for important mail messages, or those filtered in any way you choose, combines them into a new text file, and syncs it to your iPod every time you plug it in.
There’s a funny article on OpinionJournal about Cookie Monster singing.
Death-metal vocalizing is also known as Cookie Monster singing, if not in tribute to, at least in acknowledgment of, the “Sesame Street” puppet that blurts in a guttural growl, his words discharged so rapidly that they tend to collide with each other.
I’m not a fan of death metal, but the detailed examination of screaming is oddly interesting to me.