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October 29, 2008

Filed under: random»linky

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Lots of video in this collection. I'm not embedding them, because the page is already heavy enough at the moment, and I just got it CSS'd the way I want it.

  • It's a little back-dated now, but Lance Mannion's look at Katie Couric and her conduct during the Palin interviews is dead on.
  • Tom Whitwell at Music Thing has put up 7 Things I Learned Building My First DIY Stompbox, modifying an off-the-shelf delay pedal into a weird, Tom Morello-sounding noisemaker. I'd love to do something like this, and his list sounds very familiar from when I've played with DIY in the past.
  • Now we start the video stuff: director Adam Green (Hatchet) makes a little horror movie every year for his family. This year it's The Tivo, starring Parry Shen. What really makes it is the sound clips--it's a reminder of just how good the sound design on TiVo really is.
  • Quake's been ported to the Silverlight runtime, and runs in a browser. Which is cool and all, but I miss the days when the standard "look what I've got running" app was Doom. Makes me feel old.
  • Also from MSDN's Channel 9, Bill Hill talks more about reading onscreen. It's interesting listening to Hill talk about the biological constraints of display technology, as well as font embedding. There's a lot of geeky-cool stuff about resolution-independence. Then he starts messing with multi-column blog layouts, and he kind of loses me, personally. There's a notable tension in Hill's conversations between the traditionalism of print, which is a strong part of his background, and the recognition that publishing for screen does have fundamental differences from publishing on paper. I also love his comments on the number of spaces after a period.
  • That said, have you noticed the incredible number of font geeks online? It sometimes seems like there are stages that tech people go through, and at some point that means obsessing over, say, the tiny differences in sans-serif fonts. People get into deep feuds over this kind of thing, seriously. I think it may actually indicate a deeper personality type. When doing design, I obviously pay attention, but other than that, I really couldn't care less whether it's Helvetica, Arial, or Verdana. What that means, I don't know.
  • I spent an hour the other day watching Tim Wise talking about racism and privilege, starting with comments on the use of Whiteness by elites and followed by his longer talk in Seattle. These are really fascinating anti-racism talks, but part of what caught my ear was his discussion of the terms used in speech regarding class, particularly the phrase "less-fortunate": "Here's fortunate," he says, gesturing with one hand at head height before dropping it a couple of feet, "and here you are, just a little less." It reminds me of language that the Bank uses, and which I myself used without thinking, dividing the world into "developed" and "less-developed" or "under-developed." As Wise would point out, we don't say the opposite of under-developed is "over-developed." But maybe we should.
  • Another terminology-related thought that I had while on our trip was inspired by seeing ads in Vancouver along the lines of "9 out of 10 Canadians..." Reading it with another country substituted for my own kind of accentuates how often we refer to ourselves as "Americans" when what we really mean is "people." I wonder if we would have better luck with global initiatives if there were a short, punchy term that described us as humans living on Earth, instead of tying our identities closely to our nationalities.

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