03.23.09 – Monday

Whereabouts: Philadelphia, PA

Word: jejune (request from Marc Schuster) [ji-joon] adj. 1. without interest or significance; dull; insipid  2. juvenile; immature; childish  3. lacking knowledge or experience  4. deficient or lacking in nutritive value

Birthday: William Kidd (1645), Schuyler Colfax (1823), Joan Crawford (1905), David  Grisman (1945), Ric Ocasek (1949), Ron Jaworski (1951), Chaka Khan (1953), Moses Malone (1955), Amanda Plummer (1957), Hope Davis (1964), Richard Grieco (1965), Yasmeen Ghauri (1971), Keri Russell (1976), Perez Hilton (1978)

Occurrence: 1775Patrick Henry delivers his famous “Give me liberty or give me death” speech. It is strange that he said those words while he had his wife, who had gone insane, straitjacketed and locked in a room in the basement since 1772.

Standpoint: Twitter has replaced Facebook as the most talked about social networking site on the web. This past week, “tweets” (Twitter’s 140 character status updates) were big news. During the weekend festivities at SXSW, members of many bands (Jane’s Addiction, The Decemberists, Grizzly Bear – to name a few) were keeping their followers constantly updated before, during and after their shows. Shaquille O’Neal announced before the Phoenix Suns’ Saturday night game against the Washington Wizards that he was going to tweet something big during halftime. (Later, he found out that his coach knew about it and simply typed the message, “Shhhhhhh.”) Someone even jeopardized a job she had been offered after bad-mouthing the proposed employer in a tweet. Whether we like it or not, we’re living in a pretty amazing/insane time. Cell phones make sure that everyone is constantly accessible. Facebook makes it possible for everyone to stay friends until death or account deactivation. Now Twitter affords people the ability to follow the actual events of someone’s daily life. The globe is shrinking and there’s no end in sight.

Quotation: Time is an illusion. Lunchtime doubly so.Douglas Adams

Stupefaction: United States Armed Forces have turned down 48,000 potential recruits since 2005 due to obesity.

Tune: If you’ve recently been the victim of a bad break-up, trying doing what I did last time a relationship went awry – listen to “Rootless Tree” by Damien Rice about 400 per day. ATTENTION: IF YOU ARE LISTENING TO THIS AT WORK, DON’T PLAY AT A HIGH VOLUME. CURSE WORDS ARE SUNG LOUDLY.

Link: Multicolr Search Lab – Find images employing your favorite colors.

Gallimaufry: I am still watching “Kings” and enjoying it…This past weekend, Nicholas Cage’s new movie, “Knowing”, opened. I haven’t seen it but is Cage going to make another viable film? Not sure, but I’m of the opinion that he needs to sit down and figure out a way to star in a movie that doesn’t suck. The Washington Post’s John Anderson has more to say about the actor’s once-great careerThe Onion is chronicling President Obama’s first 100 days in office. My favorite so far? Day 42…Anyone catch the Morrissey show last night in Philadelphia? If so, I would love to hear how it was. He’s on “Late with Jimmy Fallon” tonight.

Advertisements

03.19.09 – Thursday

Whereabouts: Philadelphia, PA

Word: zeitgeist [tsahyt-gahyst] noun the spirit of the time; general trend of thought or feeling characteristic of a particular period of time

Birthday: Wyatt  Earp (1848), William Jennings Bryan (1860), Earl Warren (1891), Richie Ashburn (1927), Sirhan Sirhan (1944), Glenn Close (1947), Harvey Weinstein (1952), Bruce Willis (1955)

Occurrence: 1987PTL Club televangelist Jim Bakker resigns due to a sex scandal, handing the reigns over to Jerry Falwell, who proceeded to lead a very esteemed career crusading against such evils as civil rights, homosexuality and Teletubbies, just to name a few.

Standpoint: The new Facebook interface is dreadful. The social networking site is claiming that it’s receiving “mixed reactions” to its new design but I haven’t found anything to suggest that anyone likes it at all. As I’m writing this on Wednesday night, the new Facebook application, “New Layout Vote on Facebook”, has the votes for at 31,825 and the votes against at 514,610. By my calculations (and math is not my strong suit), that’s a 16 to 1 ratio. Not exactly a close-call. Facebook seems to be emulating Twitter with the new design and I’m baffled as to why. Facebook dwarves Twitter in pure traffic volume so why would it change to a more Twitteresque appearance? The “News Feed” on my Homepage now gives me a staggering amount of information about my friends like their results of the “Who Sings That 80s Song?” quiz. I’m glad everyone seems to be scoring so high but do I really care? Not really. At this point, I’m wondering if/when Facebook will cave the way it did last month when it announced a new user’s terms of service only to rescind it days later. Bottom-line: If something is working perfectly fine, don’t redesign its homepage and make navigation cumbersome to the point of disinterest.

Quotation: The truth will set you free. But not until it is finished with you.David Foster Wallace

Soupçon: In the movie Game of Death, the studio changed the plot and used actual footage from Bruce Lee’s funeral after the actor died midway through filming.

Tune: William Shatner has made a name for himself in the music biz by working with the likes of Ben Folds and Brad Paisley. Check out “I Can’t Get Behind That” – a spoken word duet with Henry Rollins. (I like the puppets in the video.)

Link: Ultimate Flash Face – This is too cool. Hours of fun. Try it.

Gallimaufry: The previews for the new NBC drama “Kings” made the show seem pretty ridiculous. Somehow, I found myself watching it this past Sunday night and guess what? Pretty strong. Christoper Egan (Julian Shepherd) is a little too Ryan Phillipe and Ian McShane (King Benjamin Silas) seems to play the same guy in everything I see him in but neither of those things will keep me from watching next week… I’ve read Tucker Carlson’s article “How Jon Stewart Went Bad” a couple of times now and I do feel Carlson isn’t completely off-base about certain points like Stewart’s softball tactics with Kerry in ’04 and Obama in ’08. But, Mr. Carlson, please. If the rest of the media feel that they can’t attack him out of fear or reverence or whatever, I don’t see how the blame falls on Stewart…Check out the 2009 National Douchebag Tournament. And before the comments start coming, the answer is no, I’m not one of the contestants.