Thursday, August 24, 2006

On Topic

As if on cue, the Onion is already here to mock me for my etymological prowess.

I am always telling my other struggling artist, freelance graphic designer, and independent T-shirt-maker friends that this is the neighborhood to take it to. It's the next big thing. Sure, it's an hour from my day job and right next to a stinky canal and a power station, but that's the whole charm—it keeps the yuppies out.

Onion: Sometimes I Feel Like I'm The Only One Trying To Gentrify This Neighborhood

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

I made up a new word

white blight |(h)wit blit| noun:
the opposite of white flight.
occurs when honkeys move back from the suburbs and blight previously distinctive urban neighborhoods with comforting chain stores, corporate coffee and bad condo architecture.

Call the OED!

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Fair and Balanced

Someone has decided to make (somewhat snarky) commentary over the infamous Loose Change video I touted earlier. If you love your 9/11 conspiracy theories stomped all over, this is the video for you.

Of course, I love conspiracy theories, so I'm still not allowing myself to be convinced that it was all OBL's plan.

Monday, August 21, 2006

All Things in Moderation

FYI - Comment moderation now turned off. Sorry for the delay.

Faster than you can say "Clear History"

This is old news, but a few weeks ago AOL released 2 gigabytes of raw search data from it's users. Basically, this document contains every web search every AOL member made for a period of several months. The "reason" given for releasing this was academic research -- and I have to agree....seeing the search terms of my fellow Americans is very academic:

(crazy search histories from our friends at Something Awful. More here and here.)

In aggregate, this data is downright fascinating (when it's not totally disturbing) Aside from the trainwreck/cringe factor, I could (actually) understand the rationale of releasing it. It's another snapshot of the zietgiest -- and much more personal than (the now bland seeming) Google Zietgiest's revelations that "ricky bobby" is a gaining query. Figuring out what's really on America's mind has been a hobby of socialogists for decades.

The problem is folks have been conditioned to see that little text field and "Search" button as a great anonymizer. And it is -- except that your searches, with a little detective work, can reveal who you are. . In fact, last week the interpid New York Times managed to, using only the searches of one person, figure out who that AOL user was in real life -- a 62 year old grandmother.

(Sidebar: Bri spent a nice a chunk of time yesterday on my computer trying to find the pictures mentioned in this article. Can't wait til Google decides to release my search history.)

What this little incident has taught me, however, is to now be much more worried about the NSA wiretapping boondoggle. Honestly, before, it wasn't particularly worried about it. Yes, Bush broke the law. Yes, creating huge call lists is generally not something I'd like my government to be engaged in. But overall, my feeling against it were more about due process of law being ignored -- not the actual program itself.

See, I actually believed the whole notion of "We're just data mining it! There's soooo many numbers that we're just shuffling them through the computer as fast as we can looking for patterns that suggest terrorism." But that was the same rationale for the AOL search leak -- use it for data mining. Run those 2 gigs to data through a computer and try to decide how to market to people. The problem is not the data mining -- it's the file itself. Because when the file get broken down and you focus on one person (either AOL subscriber or phonejack) whole lives can be sussed out.

And, in a wierd way, I'd expect AOL to do a better job of keeping information safe than the Feds, so I think this bodes poorly for all of us.

Friday, August 18, 2006

78 and Sunny.

Of course, I totally disagree...but I can appreciate:

via Curbed


I certainly enjoy me a (as Liz famously calls them) "pukey puke" roller coaster every now and then.

Except this....

...I'm positive would actually make me have a "reversal" (to use the proper Coney Island terminology). Perhaps that's why they don't do it anymore.

Welcome to the sidebar

A nice round of applause for another victim of compulsive-navel-gazing coupled with uncontrolable egomania -- Dianna now has a blog. This children's musical theater songstress is keepin' it real over in Friendsterland by reviewing shows and making me feel lame by buying a house.

Check her out at Snarky, Self Effacing Blog Title.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006



1) Fire Island

2) Getting a movie out for Sundance

3) Weddings (x3)


1) I'm back, bitches.