Thursday, April 22, 2004

Silly Millions in 1,000 words

Sorta like the Reduced Shakespeare Company's 37 plays in 97 minutes. This may be funny even if you haven't read The Silmarillion, but I can tell you that having read the book at least a dozen times, this is absolutely snort-worthy!

For you Linux geeks...

It doesn't take much these days to install Linux - Red Hat has actually gotten easier than Microsoft Windows 2000 to install (still haven't gotten around to deciding to pay Bill for a copy of XP). But this guide might be a bit of a stretch for even the geekiest of you - Installing Linux on a Dead Badger: User's Notes

Who needs an iPod?

Okay, so it doesn't actually say Winnie the Pooh, but come on, dog! He's a little pale, but I know my Poohs. And is that a do-rag on his head or what?

Courtesy of BoingBoing

Wednesday, April 21, 2004

Off the Shelf

Ran across Cory Doctorow's website today (Doctorow is the Outreach Coordinator for the Electronic Frontier Foundation and co-editor of the blog Boing-Boing). I read most of this short story collection A Place So Foreign and Eight More a couple of months ago and really enjoyed it. So now I see that you can download his two novels from his website (which I have now done). There are some very interesting discussions on the site about freely distributing his books, the effect on sales, the Creative Commons license under which the books are distributed and other good stuff. He maintains (as I have about music) that file sharing does as much to promote purchase of books and CDs as it does to discourage it - certainly it helps to have a popular website like BoingBoing to help publicize, but still... I've downloaded both novels in Microsoft Reader format (also available in HTML, PDF, ASCII and pretty much any other format you could want) - I'll let you know what I think when I've read them. And I'll let you know if it prompts me to buy a copy of either!

Oh, crap!

I agreed with Daniel Drezner today on Brad DeLong's blog. At least it was about nothing more sinister than music:

And maybe it's a generational thing, but I prefer the Bangles' version of "Hazy Shade of Winter" to the original Simon & Garfunkel.

Posted by Daniel Drezner at April 21, 2004 10:13 AM

Best cover: The Bangles' cover of "Hazy Shade of Winter" (runs circles around Simon and Garfunkel's original)

Posted by Tony Plutonium at April 21, 2004 10:15 AM

I need to type faster...

The Lord of the Peeps

Maybe not quite as good as Monty Python's Holy Grail done in Legos, but not bad... not bad...

We Bought a New Bar!!

Of course this one seats 2 instead of 200 and we won't be having live music every night, since it's sitting on our screen porch (don't think the neighbors would appreciate it). But it's wonderful (World Market rocks!) - finally extending our living space out onto the porch as we've been intending for some time. My wireless connectivity does usually reach that far, so I anticipate spending a little more time working (and blogging) from out there. But before anyone thinks of sneaking over in the middle of the night, we're NOT storing liquor IN the bar, so you'd be disappointed!

Monday, April 19, 2004

"Yes, Virginia, there really is a vast, right-wing media conspiracy"

So spake Paul Krugman in 111 Carroll Hall at UNC this evening. I got there at 7:15 for a 7:30 talk and the 350-seat auditorium was already filled beyond capacity. They sent pretty much everyone that came in after me over to Gardner where they supposedly had audio and video piped in. After a 10 minute introduction, Krugman spoke for about 35 minutes and answered questions for another 45. I was surprised at the lack of organized heckling by the campus Young Nazis Republicans - the crowd was pretty uniformly anti-Bush. If you've read Krugman's columns, you wouldn't have heard anything that surprised you - in some ways it was just good to realize that there a bunch of other people out there (hopefully enough) that understand that the present administration is a bunch of lying asshats. The funniest thing for me was probably afterwards when driving home - I remembered that "The Majority Report" was premiering on WCHL and tuned in to hear Janeane Garofalo, during a piece on the dangers of black box voting, refer to the US as a "banana republic" due to the feeling that we needed voting monitors (let's call in Jimmy Carter!). That was the SECOND time tonight that I'd heard that, as Krugman, in describing the current administration's budget, made the same "banana republic" comment. The fact that neither of them used the term in reference to the RNC campaign slogans now found at the bottom of every Treasury department memo or the fact that the Preznit was never really freaking elected, just adds credence to the charge. Krugman remarked on the real difference in public attitude toward the current administration from what it was a year ago, when he finished the introduction to his book, to now - let's hope that it's enough to effect change.

Happy Now?

Lex gave me a hard time for not including references to Billy Bragg and Jenny Slash in a previous post. I hope this makes him happy.

Sunday, April 18, 2004

On the Stage

Less than Jake - Saturday, April 17 - Cat's Cradle

(faux grumble mode on)I just do not know what is wrong with the youth of today! Whatever happened to headlining bands starting the show at midnight-thirty? What the hell were we doing walking out of the Cradle before 11pm on a Saturday with the SHOW ALREADY OVER!?! Wimps!(faux grumble mode off)

While that really was weird, there was not a damn thing wrong with the show! I've been listening to Less than Jake since hearing "How's My Driving, Doug Hastings?" on a ska comp I picked up probably 6 years ago, which was the last time they played the Cat's Cradle, so this was the first time I'd had a chance to see them live. You really have to like a band that writes songs like "Johnny Quest Think We're Sell-Outs", "Help Save the Youth of America from Exploding" and "The Science of Selling Yourself Short" to start with and they manage to take the average sort of alienated youth anthems popular with the Dawson's Creek set and somehow make them sound, well, joyous! It was a sell-out crowd (many of whom were apparently there to see the middle band - The Early November - who sounded like a Dawson's Creek band but, unfortunately, without the joy - just extra helpings of angst. I'll give EarlyNov credit for being tight and actually having stage presence (no shoegazers they) and they did indeed have the younger set moshing to the point of exhaustion (a fact not unnoticed by LtJ's Chris who gave them a good-natured hard time for being too tired to keep crowd-surfing), but ultimately, they were pretty damn boring.

Not so Less than Jake - they rocked the house for a good long set and a three-song encore (then apparently split in search of a Brazilian barbecue joint they thought they remembered from 6 years ago - my guess is they were probably too drunk to realize they were actually at Time Out). Chris and Roger's voices are different enough that they play well against each other and Buddy is a fscking awesome trombone player! Suffice it to say, they get a huge thumbs up from me - catch them if you can!

If you have a broadband connection and want to check out a video, click here.