Monthly Archives: February 2009

Happy Clouds!

English artist Stuart Semple released “2057 pink smiley faced clouds float from the Tate Modern over Londons Southbank towards the financial district.” Why? To make people happy.

Nice touch: they were made to disappear after 30 minutes (so they are pink and “green”).

YouTube – Stuart Semple, Happy Clouds, Tate Modern, Southbank, London

(Tip to AndrewSullivan.com)

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Quote of the day (to end the month of February)

“In the depths of winter I finally learned there was in me an invincible summer.” — Albert Camus

Umm…..ok….maybe the future is stupid. :)



Lily Allen is smarter than you might think

It is easy to dismiss Lily Allen: she is cute, she is poppy, and she sings about shallow things. Don’t be deceived: she is really smart. Too smart, almost. And she is getting better and better.

A superior version of the green bag


Throughout Toronto (and likely Canada and many other parts of the world), stores are promoting “green” bags over plastic. While it is better to use these green bags versus disposable plastic bags, I am not a big fan of the design of the green bags. What I am a fan of and what I would recommend is something like these Oxfam Shop’s Jute String Bags. Unlike alot of green bags, they collapse into nothing practically, making them easier to carry with you than green bags. They are made out of a natural material (unlike alot of green bags). They are highly expandable. And they are super strong. I think they are superior to green bags. Plus if you can get them from a fair trade organization like Oxfam shop, you are doing some additional good.

I’ve had mine for years, and I have loaded it up so heavily I could barely carry it, and it shows none the worse for all that.

Animal Collective: My Girls

Brilliant. Infectious. Animal Collective.

Thanks to Tuneage.tumblr.com for the pointer.

Is the e-book the end of the printed book?

David Pogue has a thorough review of Amazon.com’s Kindle at the NYTimes.com. There’s been alot written about the Kindle, but I like Pogue’s review for how he points out all little details you may want to know before you buy it. He’s a good tech writer.

But what I want to highlight is something he addresses towards the end of the review, where he asks and answers the question:

“So, for the thousandth time: is this the end of the printed book?

Don’t be silly.

The Kindle has the usual list of e-book perks: dictionary, text search, bookmarks, clippings, MP3 music playback and six type sizes (baby boomers, arise). No trees die to furnish paper for Kindle books, either.

But as traditionalists always point out, an e-book reader is a delicate piece of electronics. It can be lost, dropped or fried in the tub. You’d have to buy an awful lot of $10 best sellers to recoup the purchase price. If Amazon goes under or abandons the Kindle, you lose your entire library. And you can’t pass on or sell an e-book after you’ve read it.

Another group of naysayers claims that the Kindle has missed its window. E-book programs are thriving on the far more portable (and far more popular) iPhones and iPod Touches. Surely smartphones, which already serve as cameras, calculators and Web browsers, will become the dominant e-book readers as well.

The point everyone is missing is that in Technoland, nothing ever replaces anything. E-book readers won’t replace books. The iPhone won’t replace e-book readers. Everything just splinters. They will all thrive, serving their respective audiences.”

I put in bold what I think is crucial. Actors still act on stage despite movies and television, musicians still perform concerts despite recordings, radio and YouTube videos, and readers will still read books regardless of the quality and quantity of e-books that come out. The publishing industry will be affected, of course, but that is a different matter. When it comes to the printed page, there will still be people who long and look for that, and there will still be books to meet that demand and desire.