WIlliam Gaines On "To Tell The Truth" via Classic Television Showbiz

Classic Television Showbiz, a blog run by Kliph Nesteroff, is far and away one of my favorite sites on the World Wide Wasteland. As the name implies, it’s all about that vast wasteland we know and love/loathe called television. More to the point, it’s about old clips from TV, culled from the even vaster wasteland known as Youtube, featuring a bevy of celebrity heavy hitters, also-rans and complete obscurities who polluted the airwaves during, oh, let’s say the 50’s up through the 80’s….


WIlliam Gaines On “To Tell The Truth” via Classic Television Showbiz

I Ching, or Yijing

Dragons fight in the meadow.
Their blood is black and yellow.

I have been throwing hexagrams for a week now, and trying to understand the I Ching. I have only the barest understanding of what is going on, but even so, they have been wildly, almost frighteningly, accurate at representing what’s going on in my life at the time. Today I was very pleased to throw 2. K’un, The Receptive

On the recommendation of my Doctor of Chinese Medicine, who has been studying with the I Ching for almost…


I Ching, or Yijing

Steve Jobs on connecting the dots

Here, on the morning of the Macworld keynote address, some earlier words from Steve Jobs, from a Stanford commencement address, June 12, 2005:

Reed College at that time offered perhaps the best calligraphy instruction in the country. Throughout the campus every poster, every label on every drawer, was beautifully hand calligraphed. Because I had dropped out and didn’t have to take the normal classes, I decided to take a calligraphy class to learn how to do this. I learned about serif and san…

Steve Jobs on connecting the dots

Carrot2, a clustering search engine

Mary Ellen Bates raves about Carrot2 in her latest InfoTip newsletter. Carrot2 clusters search results, much as Clusty.com does. Carrot2 differs in that it's using a Swiss meta search engine, etools.ch, as the basis for its initial group of search results, while Clusty uses US-based meta search engines. Both the Carrot2 and Clusty home pages look like mirror images of each other, down to the various selection tabs on offer. As a test, I entered "information retrieval" as a search term in both. I didn't do a hard analysis, of course, but I found Clusty's clusters generally more scannable and valuable as a starting point for further searches, as the clusters tended to be more granular. Carrot2's fewer clusters seemed to survey the landscape at a slightly higher level; specifying different sorting algorithms (available under Show Options) was fun though--"Rough k-Means" and "HOAG-FI" shook up the clusters and yielded a more interesting display.

By the way, I'm also subscribing to Mary Ellen's Info-Entrepreneur newsletter. I'm able to visualize myself doing that kind of work soon; up to now, I've not had a real picture of where my IS degree may take me. The Info-preneur/Information Broker idea at least gives me a start at something to form ideas around. I also consider it a good omen that her initials (MEB) are the same as mine. :)

Mary Ellen also runs a blog on the side, Librarian of Fortune, where she "contributes white noise to the blogosphere." Highly recommended, as are her newsletters.

Two New Anthologies

Designer names to come

The BDR loves anthologies: see a few more here , here and here. (And for something even cooler, keep reading.)

The Book of Other People (gotta be Charles Burns illustrations, right?) comprises 23 stories by writers such as David Mitchell, Dave Eggers, George Saunders and Chris Ware. According to Publisher’s Weekly, “(Zadie Smith’s) instruction was simple: make somebody up.” I’m dying to know if there are more illustrations on the back cover.


The…
Two New Anthologies

Doomsday is Friday

For 2008, that is. Here’s Wikipedia on the Doomsday rule:

The Doomsday rule or Doomsday algorithm is a way of calculating the day of the week of a given date. It provides a perpetual calendar since the Gregorian calendar moves in cycles of 400 years.

The Diving Bell and the Butterfly

This movie, with its hints of Metamorphosis and Maya Deren, probably will stand as one of the best of the last ten years.  Of course it has a deeply economic theme: how much of the value of life stems from our ability to trade, and how much from our ability to play games of pure coordination?  Plus the French health care system is so good that all the nurses are beautiful and pay infinite attention to a single patient, or maybe that is just how French movies are made.


The Diving Bell and the Butterfly

The Intelligent Woman's Guide to Atomic Radiation

Design by Bruce Robertson

Finding it a little hard to get to the bookstore lately, so I turn once again to the incredible Seven Hundred Penguins. Predictably, it didn’t take long to find an example of what has made Penguin such a great publisher over the years.


Published in 1964, The Intelligent Woman’s Guide to Atomic Radiation is a fantastic example of how two colors and geometry can jump out and kick your photo-illustrated cover’s butt.

(And if anyone knows more about…
The Intelligent Woman’s Guide to Atomic Radiation

Tribes of Burma

“There is in this particular region a collection of races
diverse in feature, language and customs such as cannot,
perhaps, be paralleled in any other part of the world”.
[Gazetteer of Upper Burma and the Shan States, Sir George Scott, 1899]

“We shall never be able to trace all the people who
now inhabit Burma back fully to their original seats,
or say precisely where they had their beginnings”.
[‘The Tribes of Burma’, C.C. Lowis, 1919]


Tribes of Burma - Kaw (Ahkra) 1900

Kaw (Ahkra)



Tribes of Burma - Kaw (Si-Saw) 1900

Kaw…

Tribes of Burma

Milk and Cheese Vinyl Set Given Props @ Plastic And Plush

The Plastic and Plush toy review site has started posting their “Best of 2007” lists and the Milk and Cheese vinyl set nabbed a slot on the list for “Best Packaging”.





Plastic and Plush gave the figures a nice write-up back when they were released and the virtual ink they’ve given the project has certainly been appreciated. Especially since most of the toy world virtually ignored us. Oh, cruel toy world! 
Milk and Cheese Vinyl Set Given Props @ Plastic And Plush

Super Minimalist Micro Calendar Reduced

It’s the little calendar with the great big name!

It’s difficult to imagine a scenario in which this calendar would offer a compelling alternative to a pocket calendar, but the 2008 Super Minimalist Micro Calendar Reduced appeals to my inner ten-year-old, who read and reread Alvin’s Secret Code and kept cipher keys on little rolled-up pieces of paper inserted in bits of paper straws. Why? To protect those ciphers from enemy agents.

An explanation of this calendar is available from…
Super Minimalist Micro Calendar Reduced

American Crescent

Designer name to come

When I first saw American Crescent, I immediately thought of an Economist cover I saw a year or so ago. Turns out the magazine has an archive of their covers, and I was able to find it.


In less talented hands, American Crescent would feature a shot of the Statue of Liberty facing us, with the crescent somehow affixed to the statue. And that would betray the nature of the book, which is about an acceptance of Islam that’s (perhaps) yet to come. The photo…
American Crescent

Eva Kor, a Mengele twin and Auschwitz survivor, was giving a talk on campus that semester, and I encouraged my students to go hear her. What could be more relevant? “Extra credit?” someone asked. The question made me crazy with exasperation. Here’s a woman who survived the Nazis, I said, and you want me to turn her life into points to add to your grade? I couldn’t do that. The best kind of extra credit, as I told those students and still tell my students, is the kind you give yourself: by working harder on an essay, by doing some extra reading, by taking in an exhibit or lecture for its own sake, because you might find it interesting, because you might learn something.

this is not your father’s library

Library bookshelvesWe’ve heard it so often, it seems like a truism: in this era of instant electronic information access, libraries are like dinosaurs that don’t know they’re already extinct.

Well, maybe not.

A new survey has found that Generation Wired uses libraries far more often than you might think. In fact, Internet-savvy youth between 18-30 are the largest user group for library research services and resources. Furthermore, the survey found that library usage actually declines with…


this is not your father’s library

Something to Tell You

Designer name to come

Briefly noted in the Guardian’s preview of upcoming fiction for 2008 is this: “Hanif Kureishi also returns to the 70s, and the territory of his enduringly lovable The Buddha of Suburbia, with a much-tipped new novel, Something to Tell You (Faber, March). His narrator is an analyst looking back on the violence, confusion and first love of his youth, while deeply engaged in contemporary politics and culture: Kureishi’s London landscape is a vivid kaleidoscope of…


Something to Tell You