Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Dave Eggers on Internet Distraction

PSFK - "Dave Eggers On His Latest Novel And The State Of The USA"

Q: Is it true you write without the distraction of the internet? Do you think the internet helps or hinders thought processes?

Eggers: I’ve never had WiFi at home. I’m too easily distracted, and YouTube is too tempting. About eight years ago, I had a DSL line for about three months, and I remember waking up one day, thinking I’d spend a few minutes on YouTube before getting to work. Next time I looked up, it was 1pm, and I was watching a 20-year-old video by Kajagoogoo. That proved that I couldn’t have WiFi at home.

Inside Llewyn Davis

The Coen Brothers new film. Yet to have an American distributor or release date, Inside Llewyn Davis, stars Oscar Isaac, Carey Mulligan and Justin Timberlake.

New York Times - "Macdougal Street Homesick Blues"

Photos of Coen bros' 60's-era NY folk music film

Monday, January 28, 2013

"It All Goes Back to Ron Mexico"

It's crazy to think back a few weeks to when Manti Te'o was in the discussion of top 5 NFL Draft picks. Now 63% of ESPN.com fans wouldn't want their favorite team to draft him in the first round.

Can you imagine an Internet or media that didn't have a site like Deadspin to fact check stories major news outlets manage to overlook?

It's actually not all as courageous as the investigative report on Te'o, but the oral history of the blog Deadspin is worth a read.

Adweek - "Deadspin: An Oral History"

"It all goes back to Ron Mexico.

In 2005, The Smoking Gun broke the story of a legal complaint about a prominent athlete who "knowingly failed to advise" a partner that he was infected with a sexually transmitted disease. The athlete, then-phenom Michael Vick, was reported to have used the alias Ron Mexico during herpes testing, a story that quickly spread across the nascent blog culture of the Internet.

Will Leitch, an early, struggling blogger, got the idea for Deadspin after taking note of what he believed to be a failure in mainstream sports media: It wasn’t covering or even mentioning stories like the tale of Ron Mexico—stories that sports fans were eating up. Partnering with Nick Denton’s Gawker Media, Leitch launched a site that would talk to the average sports fan like a real average sports fan, eschewing, as the site’s motto goes, "access, favor and discretion."

Over the last seven years, Deadspin has grown from a one-man operation run out of a bedroom into a formidable counterweight to the sports media industrial complex of Sports Illustrated, ESPN and other players. Along the way, Leitch and successive editors have exposed star athletes and top media personalities, offended countless readers and managed to make over the culture of sports journalism, all from the outside."

Twitter has arrived on college basketball jerseys

The Verge - "University of Akron adds Twitter handles to basketball jerseys for social media stunt"

The stunt is like a reminiscent mix of the XFL days and the embarrassing-looking-back AOL Keyword search commercials.

Sunday, January 27, 2013


Director Spike Jonze (Being John Malkovich, Adaptation, Where the Wild Things Are and some of the best music videos of the 1990's) filmed a movie "Her" starring Joaquin Phoenix, Amy Adams, Rooney Mara and Olivia Wilde in mid-2012. Expect a release sometime this year.

The Verge - "Spike Jonze's 'Her' is a romance between Joaquin Phoenix and an operating system"
IndieWire - "Set Photos Unveil A Mustached Joaquin Phoenix In Spike Jonze's Untitled Romance"

"In the not so distant future, Theodore (Joaquin Phoenix), a lonely writer purchases a newly developed operating system designed to meet the user's every needs. To Theodore's surprise, a romantic relationship develops between him and his operating system. This unconventional love story blends science fiction and romance in a sweet tale that explores the nature of love and the ways that technology isolates and connects us all."

Seems especially relevant with the Manti Te'o story?

Creative Genius: Spike Jonze

Friday, January 25, 2013

Frank Ocean - "Wiseman"

Written, but not used, for Django Unchained.

Museum of Old and New Art

New Yorker - "Tasmanian Devil"

"Walsh is a leader of what Australian newspapers describe as the world's biggest gambling syndicate, a group of seventeen known as the Bank Roll. The Bank Roll's leader is Walsh's best friend, Zeljko Ranogajec, a fellow-Tasmanian who's been described by the Web site Blackjack Insider as one of the "most innovative" blackjack players of all time. Frequently portrayed in the media as the world's biggest gambler, Ranogajec is perhaps its most elusive."

"It's an amazing story," Zeljko Ranogajec said, reflecting on their lives. "But the most amazing thing is the museum"

"Walsh calls MONA a secular temple and a subversive adult Disneyland."

"Designed like a Borgesian labyrinth, lit like a night club, MONA, since it opened on a remote island, with a population of five hundred thousand, has attracted more than seven hundred thousand people. Visitors came first from Tasmania, then from Australia, and now, increasingly, from the world -- a growing caravan of celebrities, art lovers, aficionados, camp followers and the curious. In less than two years, MONA has become Tasmania's foremost tourist attraction and a significant driver of its languishing economy. Lonely Planet listed Hobart as one of the world's top ten cities to visit in 2013, largely because of MONA."

Kim Dotcom's Plan for the Internet

"The U.S Justice Department wants to extradite you, a German citizen living in New Zealand operating a business in Hong Kong."

"My goal is, within the next five years, I want to encrypt half of the Internet. Just reestablish a balance between a person — an individual — and the state. Because right now, we are living very close to this vision of George Orwell and I think it’s not the right way. It’s the wrong path that the government is on, thinking that they can spy on everybody."

Wikipedia - Kim Dotcom
Gizmodo - "Hands on With Kim Dotcom's New Mega: This Service Could Dismantle Copyright Forever"

Best News Story of the Weekend


NYT's Jon Caramanica named him Hip Hop's Spirit Guide in a story today. ASAP Yams, half Dominican, half Puerto Rican, is the Puff Daddy to #1 Billboard ranking ASAP Rocky's Notorious B.I.G. Although, Caramanica notes, Yams rather sees himself as the Irv Gotti - the mogul who helped shape Jay-Z, DMX and Ja Rule's careers in the late 90's/early aughts at Def Jam.

"That meant almost daily work in the studio: listening to records from all sorts of hip-hop scenes, trying out different rhyme patterns and melodies, seeing which sounded best on Rocky. Soon he was incorporating Houston’s woozy moods and the intricate double-time rhyme patterns of the Midwest. “Yams is the hip-hop encyclopedia,” Rocky said. “He’s no joke. That’s one person I can’t front on when it comes to music.” New York rap is typically hermetic, but they were not. For years New York was hip-hop’s center of innovation and its historical repository, so for a young rapper to look explicitly elsewhere for influence verged on heretical.

The sound they arrived at for Rocky after two years of work included DNA from all of those other places, a platonic ideal of deeply schooled hip-hop.

This is a thoroughly modern idea. The Internet has collapsed eras and places, and ASAP Yams spent most of his childhood downloading. That the first artist he molded would sound like the sum of his accumulated taste was no accident. 

“We wanted to become big,” Yams said, “but we didn’t want to do it by hopping on somebody else’s wave. We wanted to come in the game with our own wave.”"

Coachella 2013 Lineup

Nothing on last year's. Notable highlights though:

Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Lou Reed, Passion Pit, Band of Horses, Japandroids, TNGHT, Earl Sweatshirt, Polica, Phoenix, the XX, the Postal Service, Sigur Ros, New Order, Moby, Major Lazer, 2 Chainz, Danny Brown, Pusha T, Theophlius London, Action Bronson, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Wu-Tang Clan, Call On Me, La Roux, James Blake, Rodriguez (song below), Jessie Ware and Justin Vernon (of Bon Iver-fame)'s current project: the Shouting Match (song below).

Thursday, January 24, 2013

New Orleans Pelicans Logo

The New Orleans Hornets basketball team officially announced today that as of next season they will be named the Pelicans-- Louisiana being the Pelican State.

Above is the team's official logo and new colors.

Many questions come with this change. Will the Sacramento Kings rename their team the SuperSonics if they move to Seattle? Will the Charlotte Bobcats take back their city's Hornets name?

New York Times - "Hornets Switching to Pelicans in N.B.A. Name Game"

Not a fan of the new logo? "Presenting the winner and top designs from the New Orleans Pelicans logo contest!"

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Spring Breakers

Starring James Franco, rapper Gucci Mane and Disney stars Vanessa Hudgens and Selena Gomez.

Written and Directed by Harmony Korine (writer of 1995 classic Kids).

March 22, 2013.

Just Blaze's move to EDM

From Grantland's Amos Barshad:

"Production on Jay-Z's 2001 album The Blueprint, arguably the man's crowning achievement, was split almost evenly between Kanye West and Just Blaze, both, at the time, hungry, scrappy beatsmiths operating with the full expression of their considerable talents. The years since have been quite different for the two: Kanye's now a polarizing Kardashian-impregnating superstar; Just Blaze's now a grand old man of hip-hop, no longer defining the sound, but punching in for a mind-blowing banger or two seemingly whenever he feels like it. And so unlike his former peer and creative rival, Just Blaaaaaze has never really enjoyed the full burn of the spotlight, and that doesn't seem right (in 2006, he told the Village Voice, "I could rap. I could rap right now if I wanted to. I rap probably better than most rappers ... But do I want that lifestyle? Do I want that hecticness? No. I got bad asthma. I don't want to be running around onstage for an hour ..."). Which is why I have no problem with JB teaming up with the young producer Baauer to wander into the strange big world of EDM, where DJs are superstars. Let's let Just Blaze get all the shine he deserves."

EDM = Millennials - 4/23/12
Quote of the Night - 3/19/12
Just Blaze: The Making of "Song Cry" - 9/5/11
The Livest Rapper Today - 2/1/10

Burning Man 2012 Timelapse

Burning Man - 8/30/11
Burning Man Photos - 9/10/11

David Carr - Reddit AMA

New York Times media and culture columnist and Minnesota's own David Carr did a Reddit AMA (Ask Me Anything) this past Tuesday. Highlights are here, but click this link to read the post in its entirety.

Reddit - "IAmA columnist and reporter on media and culture for the New York Times"

On Lena Dunahm:


On The Atlantic's Ta-Nehisi Coates:

On standing out:

Beijing or Blade Runner?

Gizmodo - "This Is Not a Scene From Blade Runner"

Monday, January 14, 2013


After playing one of the longest, hard-fought playoffs games I can remember, in some cold-ass weather, class-act and one of the greatest Quarterbacks of all-time, Peyton Manning, went over to the Baltimore Raven locker room to say what's up to one of the greatest Linebackers of all-time, Ray Lewis.

Grantland's Hua Hsu on Ray Lewis is Truly Awesome:

"Ray Lewis has described many things as “awesome.” He dieted and exercised before this season and showed up to camp at his lightest weight in some 15 years: “It’s awesome,” he said, “I feel great.” Earlier this season he described Joe Flacco and the Ravens' much-improved offense as “awesome.” Last week, as he took a victory lap around the Ravens’ stadium one last time, he described it as “the most awesome thing you could ever ask for in any professional career.” After Baltimore’s twist-filled victory over Denver on Saturday, Lewis began doing that postgame proselytizing thing that’s common in such contexts. Maybe it’s the awareness that Lewis is nearing the end or maybe it was the delirium of the game, but there was something wildly moving and strange about his incantations. He said some cold-blooded shit about “weapons,” just as the tool that had been forged for his demise, Peyton Manning, walked up to hug him. Then his eyes got gone and serene as he admired his team’s mile-high handiwork: “Man … it’s just awesome,” he said, all blissful and blessed, clouds of mist surrounding his face, as though the Creator had taken a highlighter to him. There’ve been few players over the past decade as intense and absorbing as Lewis. For those of us who remember when “Ray Lewis weapons” turned up a different kind of search-engine result, there hasn’t been another athlete whose path to righteousness has felt so visceral and extreme.

When I sent the “Elon speech” to the most intense friend I know, he watched it and then told me he was re-evaluating his entire work ethic. Ray Lewis speaks, and it’s like I finally understand The Tree of Life, the concept of infinity, “Christina’s World,” my father-in-law, and Jules from Pulp Fiction. He understands what he's saying, and you want to follow along. “Awesome” is one of those words where we tend to forget its original meaning: To be awesome is to feel awe. It’s not just an expression of approval and appreciation but also one that suggests fear, discomfort, the presence of something sublime, mysterious, and overwhelming. That’s the “awesome” the God-fearing and God-loving Lewis meant to use, and for a moment — the first moment in many, many years — I wanted to know what that state of being possibly felt like."

Define the Truth

The 2013 Class Baseball Hall of Famers

GQ - "Make It Stop: Baseball Hall of Fame Edition!"
by Drew Magary

"And now for a special edition of MAKE IT STOP, where we list everything in the past week that was tiresome, exhausting, and downright exhaiusting.

I think one of the funniest things about Hall of Fame controversies is that athletes care so much about getting into them. You're Jack Morris. You've won two World Series titles, earned plenty of money, and got to ply your craft in front of tens of thousands of admiring people for years and years. Does your life really need any further validation? Who gives a shit if you don't get a plaque in some rural museum?

Because that's what a Hall of Fame is. It's a museum. It's not some magical place that determines literal immortality. There are plenty of forgettable human beings jammed into various Halls of Fame. There are plenty of unforgettable players who are on the outside looking in. Bo Jackson isn't a Hall of Famer in any sport. Do you care? No. He's Bo fucking Jackson. His legacy on the field was plenty. He doesn't need an ugly yellow jacket to let him know he was awesome. And I don't know why so many other players do. Roger Clemens risked going to jail just to get into the Hall of Fame. He still has his records. He still has his World Series ring. He still has his money. HE WON. Yet he still risked everything just to get his name on a plaque. Can you imagine how tiny that guy's dick must be?

The Hall of Fame is a con. It's a tourist attraction designed to make news annually. The people presiding over who deserves and doesn't deserve to get in are a comical mix of misanthropes, drunks, hacks, and bitter old fogies with axes to grind. There's nothing legitimate about the process, but we're so used to the Hall of Fame's bullshit by now that we just take it and move on. And it does a disservice to actual visitors of the Hall. The reason people visit a Hall of Fame is to get a sense of a sport's history. Ideally, this means both the good and bad of it. Of course Barry Bonds should be part of that. Of course Clemens should be part of that. Instead, you're gonna have that part of the sport's history whitewashed from the museum because JEEZ GUYS, WHAT KINDA MESSAGE IS PEDRO GOMEZ SENDING IF HE VOTES THESE FELLAS IN?

Someone is gonna wise up and open up an independent, competing Baseball Museum that's located somewhere convenient and includes EVERYONE. No judgments. No morality plays. Just the history of the sport as it ought to be told, without Joe Asshole walking around bitching that his favorite Texas Ranger didn't make the cut. That's a Hall of Fame I'd visit."

Comedian - Rebel Wilson

Rajon Rondo's Hands & Birds Hitting Windows

ESPN's SportsCenter ads are the best. Wieden + Kennedy.
WDA - "Best SportsCenter Commericals"

Chevrolet Bringing Back the Corvette Stingray

Jalopnik - "New Corvette: The Stingray Returns"

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

National Geographic Photo Contest 2012 Winners

The Atlantic - "Winners of the National Geographic Photo Contest 2012"

Digital Globes and Invisibility Cloaks

New York Times - "Digital Globes Offer a Dynamic Vision"

"Until recently, cost and technical limitations have largely confined these modern spheres to institutional settings like science centers. But as technology improves and prices fall, it’s growing more likely that a digital orb will someday arrive in a classroom or boardroom — even a living room — near you."

"A digital globe can illuminate the human planet: wars, colonization, the formation of diaspora, modern trade flows or air traffic. It can also help teach math, play games, show movies or serve as a blank canvas for one’s inner, spherical artist."

"It can animate complex phenomena, like the formation of weather systems, the effect of global warming on wolverine habitats or the annual pulse of sea ice. It can display the surface of the moon, the churning azure cloudscapes of Neptune or the celestial globe — the night sky."

"Since 2007, the Mayo High School in Rochester, Minn., has used a digital globe in earth science lessons. Lawrence Mascotti, director of the school’s planetarium, noted that children today display such confidence with digital media that he regards the globe as a means for teachers to “play” at the students’ level, rather than vice versa."

Smart Planet - "Is this a real-life invisibility cloak?" 

"...a little-known Canadian defense firm called HyperStealth Corp claims to be closing in on a breakthrough technology that should soon lead to a true, in every sense of the term, invisibility cloak. And to allay skeptics, company CEO Guy Cramer told CNN in an interview that they’ve even garnered strong interest from the U.S. military after demonstrating to officials how the fabric’s light-bending properties prevent the wearer from being detected entirely."