04.07.10 – A Wednesday

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word

extant [ek-stuhnt, ik-stant] adj. 1. in existence; still existing; not destroyed or lost: There are only three extant copies of the document 2. Archaic.  standing out; protruding

birthday

Francis Xavier (1506), William Wordsworth (1770), Allen Dulles (1893), Walter Winchell (1897), Percy Faith (1908), Billie Holiday (1915), Ravi Shankar (1920), James Garner (1928), Wayne Rogers (1933), Jerry Brown (1938), Freddie Hubbard (1938), Francis Ford Coppola (1939), David Frost (1939), John Oates (1949), Janis Ian (1951), Jackie Chan (1954), Christopher Darden (1956), James “Buster” Douglas (1960), Hugh O’Connor (1962), Russell Crowe (1964), Bill Bellamy (1965)

standpoint

Instead of working on today’s standpoint, I decided to do some other writing. Come back tomorrow for some more.

quotation

To be nobody but yourself in a world which is doing its best, day and night, to make you everybody else means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight; and never stop fighting. e. e. cummings

tune

I used to have this really great collection of live songs from The Samples. And the best one was this live version of “Feel Us Shaking” from a show in which this genius threw a beer can at the head of the bassist. (Who does that?) Lead singer Sean Kelly did the song acoustically while his bandmate got his head checked out. I haven’t been able to find it since but below is the closest I’ve discovered.

gallimaufry

Couldn’t have put this better myself. My favorite reason? #35 – Phillies aren’t rude enough to chant P-H-I-L-S during Eagles games.

→ If you live in the San Francisco area, go check out my good friend Kevin Rolston in his newest endeavor, Noises Off. If Kevlo is involved, it’s bound to be worth your while.

→ Holy shit, as I’m linking to this, Stephen Colbert is talking about it on The Colbert Report. I’m not sure how I feel about the rule changes. But, really, isn’t a personal decision? Does anyone actually follow the official guidelines?

04.22.09 – Wednesday

Today is Earth Day!

Word: espouse [i-spouz, i-spous] v. 1. to make one’s own; adopt or embrace, as a cause 2. to marry 3. to give (a woman) in marriage

Birthday: Immanuel Kant (1724), Vladimir Lenin (1870), Vladimir Nabokov (1899), Robert Oppenheimer (1904), Charles Mingus (1922), Aaron Spelling (1923), Charlotte Rae (1926), Richard Donner (1930), Glen Campbell (1936), Jack Nicholson (1937), John Waters (1946), Peter Frampton (1950), Paul Carrack (1951), Marilyn Chambers (1952), Ryan Stiles (1959), Byron Allen (1961), Jeffrey Dean Morgan (1966), Daniel Johns (1979)

Ocurrence: 1970 – The first ever Earth Day is held.

Standpoint: Twitter. You can’t escape it. It’s everywhere. In the past month, I haven’t read a newspaper or watched a talk show where there hasn’t there wasn’t some reference to Twitter, “tweets,” “twittering,” “tweeting” or one of the myriad of other new terms that has invaded the English language because of the overwhelming popularity of the social networking site. If you haven’t heard of it, you must be purposely trying to avoid it. Twitter (and everything to do with it) is currently big news. Last week, Ashton Kutcher challenged CNN to a race to see which one could get to 1 million followers first. Kutcher won. Also last week, Oprah Winfrey publicly joined Twitter on her show where her guest was Evan Williams, Twitter’s CEO. Her first tweet was unsuccessful. Some guy named Corey Menscher has invented the Kickbee, a device a pregnant woman can wear that will detect her baby “kicking” and post a tweet about it.

I joined Twitter a little over a month ago. I railed against it for a while, but finally succumbed. Really just to figure out what the hell it was all about. So, what have I learned? In essence, Twitter is primarily an outlet for people to braindump. Some denominate it microblogging. I think it of it as more full-dress insanity. The tweets come fast and furious. I’m not particular about who I follow or who I allow to follow me. I employ Twitter to drum up additional traffic for this blog, so I figure, the more the merrier.

But individuals are on Twitter for all kinds of reasons. As I’m writing this, I’ve just passed 400 followers. In addition, I’m following close to 800 people in the Twitterverse. I know all of 12 of them personally. The rest are celebrities (Kutcher, P. Diddy and ,yes, even Wil Wheaton), news sites (CNN, E! Online, The Huffington Post), musical acts (Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin, Band of Horses), companies trying to sell stuff (which is seemingly effective) or fellow bloggers.

Some that I’m following (or they’re following me, it becomes increasingly difficult to keep it all in order), are simply odd. One guy I was following was actually posing as Christopher Walken. His tweets were pretty funny and I could picture the actor writing them. The guy was caught and booted. (He’s now back.)Another person contantly updates conditions on the highways in and around San Jose, CA. I’ve no use for this information but I don’t drop anyone so I’m continually informed on what roads not to take around a city I’ve no current plans to step foot in. These are just two examples. There are hundreds, probably more like hundreds of thousands, more.

So, is Twitter useful? I’d love to give some snarky response about how it’s not, but that would be dishonest. My blog traffic has increased because of my Twitter activity. Not because my clever tweets are necessarily reeling everyone in but because of the promiscuous following habits of most users, myself included. I’m pretty certain that hardly anyone is reading even 10% of all the tweets that appear on their Twitter homepage. So, while it’s doubtful that everyone in TwitterLand is paying real attention to one another, it doesn’t really seem to matter. It’s more about being involved in swirling mayhem and telling people, “Yeah, I’m on Twitter.” 

Quotation: Thank God man cannot fly, and lay waste the sky as well as the earth. Henry David Thoreau

Tune: Sadly, I didn’t get into Guided By Voices until last summer. After listening to Robert Pollard and crew’s many great songs, I quietly wondered what planet I’d been living on that I never ran across them before. Listen to “Echos Myron.”

Gallimaufry: After being hospitalized a few days ago, it appears that physicist Stephen Hawking will make a full recovery…President Obama sure has had his fair share of firsts. Here’s another one. He’ll be the first US President to appear topless on the cover of a magazineFacebook groups are popping against, of all people, martial artist and movie star Jackie Chan for comments he made over the weekend, including that “the Chinese need to be controlled.” Apparently, the guy’s a fan of oppression. Who knew?

Incoming: TomorrowAnnoying Sayings & Misused Words. Friday3 Things To Do in Philly When You’re Dead and more.

04.07.09 – Tuesday

Word: defunct [di-fuhngkt] adj. 1. no longer in effect or use; not operating or functioning: a defunct law; a defunct organization 2. no longer in existence; dead; extinct: a defunct person; a defunct tribe of Indians

 

Birthday: Francis Xavier (1506), William Wordsworth (1770), Percy Faith (1908), Billie Holiday (1915), Ravi Shankar (1920), James Garner (1928), Wayne Rogers (1933), Jerry Brown (1938), Freddie Hubbard (1938), Francis Ford Coppola (1939), John Oates (1949), Janis Ian (1951), Jackie Chan (1954), Christopher Darden (1956), Russell Crowe (1964), Bill Bellamy (1965)

 

Occurrence: Today is World Health Day 2009. Click here to see where the World Health Organization is concentrating its efforts this year.

 

Standpoint: 53. That’s the number of people who have been killed by violent gunmen in the past month. Each incident is totally saddening. The most heinous one (in my opinion) occurred this past Saturday night in Pittsburgh, PA when Richard “Pop” Poplawski shot and killed three police officers from point blank range. Positively nauseating. Truly. Since the shootings and his subsequent arrest, we’ve come to know some things “Pop”. We know that he was stockpiling weapons due to the assault weapon ban proposed by President Obama. We know that he thought law enforcement was unable to protect society as a result of the current economic crisis. We know that he was discharged from the United States Marine Corps for attacking his superior. We know that he was a white supremacist who despised Obama. Lastly, we know that no one around him thought those facts were cause for alarm. His friends and family are sounding off about him like he was a normal guy who simply had a bad day. Here are a few samples: “He wasn’t a racist. He was a cool person. He thought he was losing some of his rights. He said he’d be ready if there’s ever an invasion of the United States and that he had stockpiled food and guns.” “I mean, he’s not a bad kid.” “He was just an easygoing, fun-loving guy, telling jokes.” Huh? A cool person? Not a bad kid? Easygoing, fun-loving guy? I’m confused. I live in Philadelphia, not Pittsburgh, so I’m not an expert on how people talk on the other side of Pennsylvania. When I describe a guy as “cool,” it usually means he’s a relaxed guy, not a guy who’s buying massive amounts of assault rifles online. When I say someone’s “not a bad kid,” I’m always referring to an individual who hasn’t had a standoff with the law. When I think of an “easygoing, fun-loving guy,” I don’t think of a guy who spends his time on white supremacy websites, writing angry rants on ‘the Zionist takeover of America.’” These people should be ashamed of and hold themselves partially responsible for the events of last Saturday night. (To be continued in tomorrow’s post.)

 

QuotationIf by gaining knowledge we destroy our health, we labour for a thing that will be useless in our handsJohn Locke

 

Tune: Joshua Radin is flat-out amazing. His songs have a way of making you happy about feeling miserable. Confused? Listen to “Star Mile”.

 

Link: Create Your Own Flower – Just what it says – Create your own flower.

 

Gallimaufry: Tired of sad and depressing news? Me too. Try this article about a family reunited with its dog, found after months at sea…You can’t attempt to reproduce actual US currency, but no one’s stopping you from creating your own. Communities in Boston and Detroit are printing their own money. Really…The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame announced this year’s inductees. After I’m sure what was a long and intense deliberation, the selection committee decided to include Michael Jordan.

 

Incoming: Tomorrow – More on this past weekend’s violent events. Later this week – Your Annoying Saying contributions. Cross my heart. I promise.