Monday, January 3, 2005

Marry Blaire

I followed a link to Marry Blaire and could hardly believe my own eyes. Blaire wants to get married, and asks us all: Do you know my husband?

I wonder, why is Blaire not using an ordinary dating site like the rest of us? Perhaps it is all the attention she is attracting by doing this on her own? She has so much faith in her site that she is even making space for a few other dream guys/girls to ask for love!

Actually.... would Madison like Dave? She certainly fits into what he asks for - a woman with "some kind of education".. (sorry, could not resist!)

Monday, January 3, 2005

DAC 2005

Digital Arts and Cultures is back! This time in Copenhagen, Denmark, December 2005. We'll be there... will you?

Browse previous DAC conferences:

DAC 2003
DAC 2001
DAC 2000
DAC 1999
DAC 1998

Monday, January 3, 2005

ALIVE@9th Street

ALIVE@9th Street Presents

Storytelling and the Internet Age:

New Media, Nonlinear Expanded Cinema, Flash Animation and Interactivity

What do Java Script, Stock Market Ticker Tape Machines, Web Services and User driven interactive digital experiences have to do with storytelling? Find out the answer to this and more as storytellers and technoids who get your heart thumping and have you hanging onto the edge of your seat come together for the second program in the Ninth Street Independent Film Center's inaugural Forum Series ALIVE@9th Street. Storytelling and the Internet Age takes a look into possibilities for the future of techno-storytelling. Join moderator Peter L. Stein (Executive Director, San Francisco Jewish Film Festival) for a evening with documentary filmmaker, writer and teacher, Carroll Parrott Blue (recipient of the 2004 Sundance Film Festival Online Award); Flash technology pioneer Louis Fox (founding partner Free Range Graphics); animation whiz, entrepreneur and activist Brad deGraf (credits include Jetsons: The Movie, Robocop 2); and acclaimed video and digital artist, and pioneer in digital innovation, Lynn Hershman-Leeson (Technolust, Conceiving Ada), Wednesday, January 12, 2005, 7:00pm, 145 Ninth Street, 1st Floor Screening Room, SF (between Mission & Howard). $10 advance, $5 students, call (415) 552-5950.

ALIVE website

Tuesday, January 4, 2005

O'Reilly Emerging Technology

Another conference I'd love to be at... The O'Reilly Emerging Technology conference, March 14-17, 2005, San Diego, CA

The slogan is Remix: your hardware, your software, your media, your world.

Many interesting sessions here. Like Reinventing Radio: Enriching Broadcast with Social Software:

How could you enhance a one-to-many national radio station by building in the many-to-many-style interactions of Flickr or the weblog community? How might lessons from social software further blur the distinction between listeners and broadcasters by pushing interactivity beyond the phone-in or the online poll?

Some of the session doesn't have descriptions yet, but sound fascinating, like this one titled Folksonomy. A quick google search gave me a broad introduction to the term, and I found some weblogs to watch as well:

Thomas Wander Val (who coined the term folksonomy)

Gene Smith (very interesting weblog)

Thursday, January 6, 2005

The Stone Wall

The Stone Wall... this small literary piece resonates with me, somehow. Move your mouse over the little arrow and the sentences wash in like waves over the sand.

"And how his eyes always saw strands of his daughter's hair when he glanced at the yellow sun."

These words.... what would my own daughter's hair remind me of?

Thursday, January 6, 2005

Playboy: The Mansion

- or, The Sims, on Viagra?

I can't say from the previews if this game is going to be any good or not. I know for SURE that there will be some real discussion around Playboy, The Mansion when it is released (January 15th, I think). Just have a look at this. Ironlore, the developers, are putting real people into the game:

Have you ever dreamt of living at the Playboy Mansion, roaming freely in the world's most stylish pad, meeting with celebrities and enjoying the Playboy lifestyle in the place where it all started?

This could be you. If you're willing to look sexy on the web, enter a contest, and you could be the one they'll invite into the game. Their website is full of hopeful, sexy young people. Are they competing with porn sites? You've got to wonder when you come across pictures like this one:

The rules: You've got to be 18. Could they perhaps add another, small rule? Like... keep your panties on, at least?

Are you feeling turned off, or is this just me...

Friday, January 7, 2005

Congratulations, Dr. Leishman!

We wish to congratulate Dr. Donna Leishman on her doctoral thesis: Creating Screen-Based Multiple State Environments: Investigating Systems of Confutation:

The culmination of the research and an example of the fragital at work -- is located in the project Deviant: The Possession of Christian Shaw. The artwork is elucidated using critical insights from a group of twelve invited expert participants and an in-depth self-analysis. This group was invited on the basis of their interdisciplinary abilities, personal voice and commitment to my research area. The objective viewpoints of these participants was used not only to aid further understanding of the perception of the project but also to help me as the artist to extract extra arguments, complement my subjective understanding and gain additional contextual insights about my work..

The possession of Christian Shaw was published in TEKKA, Volume 1, Issue 3.

From Diane Greco's foreword:

In Leishman's reinterpretation of 17th-century Paisley, crummy grey high-rises shoot up, in defiance of all known laws of perspective, from a deep green landscape of popsicle contours. The formerly-reliable cursor hops around and changes shape alarmingly. You click on a bush; a pair of reptilian eyes opens and does not close. And although you find, after a few tries, that it is possible to remove the heads from trees, this opportunity to violate the landscape does not advance your progress. There are, in fact, no buttons or other obvious way finding devices in Leishman's vision of Paisley-- that would be too easy.

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

A lead?

The old wise man, the Griffin, spoke again. "Think back," he said, "the answer is somewhere in your memories."

I've been trying. How can I bring my memories back? Our brain doesn't store everything that happens to us, I've heard, but bits and fragments encoded in engrams. I need something to bring back those bits and bites, I suppose, if I'm ever going to find her. I've decided to visit the places I used to bring my dates, in hope that I remember something about them.

Here is a good inspiration for going places.

Thursday, January 13, 2005

Women + Video Games = Profit

Women have money to spend. As with the rest of the world, they are seeing games as one of their main sources of entertainment. Tap into their desires for fun, and *poof*, instant profits.

Yesterday, Clarinda Merripen of Cyberlore spoke at the Boston Postmortem. She had a lot to say about women and games - to an audience of almost all male game developers. "Women are the new powerhouse", she said, quoting sales statistics from Fast Company. Apparently, women purchase 66% of all home computer equipment in the U.S!

She accused the game industry of alienating women by their marketing campaigns. As an example, she mentioned the absolutely ridiculous Gameboyd Advance SP ad - the one with the guy and his girlfriend in bed. She is sleeping, while he is playing his gameboy in the dark. It practically spells out "women - this isn't for you" (and worse - guys would rather play with their gameboy than with you!). Clarinda asks the industry to reinvent their image. If Nike could get women to wear sports shoes, why can't the game industry get women to play games?

She also accused the retailers of catering only to guys, and boy, is that true. Every-time I pop into Best Buy in the mall, a bunch of "I know games better than you" clerks hang around the game section, looking at me as if I should rather be shopping at Victoria's Secret.

Anyway, she got the crowd excited about the new Playboy, The Mansion game - it just went gold and will be out on the 25th of January. I'm curious though - will women buy this game?

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Keeping track

I'm always buried in email, and all the replies I'm getting from the dating site listings I made for Madison aren't helping!

I made a mailbox just for my life as Madison's matchmaker. Mark Hurst, the GoodExperience guy, has a great report on living with the email torrent.

Come to think of it, perhaps Tinderbox might be a great help in organizing Madison's potential new dates? I'll keep you posted.

Thursday, January 27, 2005

A baby daughter!

Pinky Widegrin and Buggy Yellownose both volunteered to travel to Denmark this morning, to cover the birth of Susana Tosca's daughter for TEKKAlogue. "I should be chosen because, " said Pinky Widegrin, "I will smile my friendliest smile and tiny baby girls love pink". "That's not true," protested Buggy firmly, "but even if it were, I should be chosen because I have the biggest nose, which will detect upcoming diaper shifts before any great harm is done!" Miss Yellownose added that she thought the newborn's mother would most certainly have a strong preference for this kind of help and Tindertroll skill-set, while Miss Widegrin confidently and quietly let her teeth shine while demonstrating her big, friendly smile.

TEKKAlogue wishes both daughter and mother well - congratulations! A Tindertroll is on its way.

Friday, January 28, 2005


The Oxford International Centre for Publishing Studies is delighted to announce:


Oxford Brookes University, 11-13 September 2005

The conference will address a range of critically important themes relating to the book - including the past, present and future of publishing, libraries, literacy and learning in the information society. Main speakers will include some of the world's leading thinkers and innovators in the areas of publishing, editing, librarianship, printing, authorship and information technologies, as well as numerous presentations by researchers and practitioners. Publishers, librarians, academics, teachers, authors and associated professionals are all welcome to attend. For further information, please visit the conference website, or reply to the above email address.

For those wishing to submit a proposal to the conference call-for-papers, 30 minute paper, 60 minute workshop and 90 minute colloquium sessions are available. The deadline for the first round call for papers is 17 February 2005. Visit the conference website for the closing dates of subsequent rounds.

Wednesday, February 2, 2005

Beacon Street Girls

Are girls aged 9 -13 too old for toys, and too young for boys? Do they need their own stuff? B*tween Productions, Inc thinks so, and launched this interesting Web site to complement their "Beacon Street Girls" books. The Beacon Street Girls are 4 fictional girls from Brookline, a suburb of Boston: Avery, Isabel, Charlotte and Mauve.

I'm so curious about how these characters were developed. Intended to be role models for young girls, they teach "socially responsible values in a delectable hot fudge sundae of fun and friendship." The Web site design is sugar sweet and upbeat in tone. All the characters have their own sections, with a "this week in my life" section. Avery's is a blog, of some sorts. In one post, she asks:

"Question of the week: Why do people call short people cute? It's really annoying. We don't like to be called cute. It makes us feel like windup toys!"

Well, I hate to say it, BUT... aren't these character "cute"? They are all slim, wonderfully dressed, some equipped with almost "adult" jewelry. Katani, at this young age, seems way too vain and writes in her "this week in my life" section that before she goes to bed, she'd like to "try new mud masque". Did her parents buy this stuff for her? Katani even has her own design line named K-girl (Wow. That's some pressure right there, if you're 12. Why don't YOU have your own design line?).

After some browsing around the website, these Pollyanna characters all began seeming like the same person to me. They all have the same smiles, eyes, noses, and faces (although they have different colorings). Sigh.

Actually, it was heart breaking. At the Web site's surface level, none of these characters seem to have any of the problems my peers and I experienced when we grew up. Has the world changed this much? Am I already out of touch..?

In my class room when I was 12, fat Anne wanted to be an opera singer. We all laughed, rolling our eyes. I was skinny and tall: they boys once locked me inside the bathroom when the school bell rang... I could escape through the keyhole, couldn't I? There was Celia, with the black, shiny hair and blue eyes, who grew perfect breasts before any of the rest of us. After Phys Ed classes she'd proudly flaunt them in front of the mirror in the girls wardrobe, shaking them from side to side so we'd have the opportunity to see precisely how big & bouncy they were. Wearing socks and toilet paper in our own (otherwise empty) bras, we publicly adored her and silently hated her. Then there was Lina, who claimed she was born a boy! Could girls be born boys?? We didn't think so. Appalled and disgusted, we kept her at a distance, except when she brought us goodies (which we inhaled and then ditched her). We were mean little bastards and proud of it.

Not exactly hot fudge sundae, or what? Do we need fudge and upbeat to teach young girls values?

I got curious about where these characters came from, and found an online interview with Addie Swartz, the CEO of B*tween Productions. Here is what she said:

We interviewed a healthy cross-section of girls from different socio-economic groups. We met them in after-school programs, at Boys and Girls Club centers, and at soccer games.

They provided great ideas and input about what the characters should be like — even how they should look and dress. School emerged as a common theme among the girls we spoke with. From this field research we created composite characters.

So I have to wonder. Did these characters emerge from a blueprint of the average young American girl's fantasies? From the imaginations (or aspirations?) of their parents? Their teachers? Are they the real young American women to be?

Friday, February 4, 2005

Something like a tennis elbow in a thumb

Gamespy interviews Hugh Hefner about Playboy: The Mansion. Hugh thinks of himself as an "old-fashioned cat" who won't play The Mansion in "any obsessive kind of way", was born into a"puritan society" and would love to be Elvis Presley in a game!

GameSpy: You have a game room here at the mansion. How often do you go in there and play?

Hugh Hefner: In the '70s and early-'80s, we were in there almost every night. I am, and have always been, a big game player. There was a time when I played Pac-Man so incessantly that I had to get a glove because I was suffering from something like tennis elbow, but it was in my thumb.

What is interesting is that while Hugh played Pac-Man incessantly - he won't play Playboy The Mansion obsessively... is this just an "old-fashioned" cat's preference, or....

Monday, February 7, 2005


Earlier this morning, I was arranging a table with some new titles near the entrance. I couldn't help but yawning non-stop. Arranging displays isn't really my thing! Besides, the super-bowl party yesterday really knocked me out. Way tense.

So I'm stacking up copies of Gladwell's Blink. Suddenly, this old guy who has been a regular here lately, came up to me. I've been wondering about why he is here so often. It seems like he is searching for something, but doesn't know quite what.

"Now isn't this interesting," he said with a slow, friendly voice, pointing towards the books, "this writer claim that all the time it takes to form an impression of someone, is a blink!" "That's creepy!" I responded. Tilting his head slightly and taking off his glasses, he glanced at me for several seconds. "People aren't always exactly the way the come off, so don't you analyze me, please!" I warned. Lately, I've been having some trouble with customers who seem to know an awful lot about me. Come to think of it, they've all been male? It is downright annoying!

He didn't take my advice. "You seem like a sweet, caring, young girl with many healthy interests? I often see you over in the religious section!" "Well, that's because in the last month, those books have been pulled out over and over again. It's my job to put them back, so no need to make any assumptions. I don't believe!"

"Oh!" he said, with disappointment. "Putting the books back must be a nuisance?"

Sigh! How slow can you be. He himself is the special someone who pulls out all the religious books but never puts them back in place! How could he miss the sarcasm… "You bet! You'd be surprised to know how people treat books in bookstores." I finished the table. Blink all over.

"May I ask you a personal question?" he said, picking up a copy. "Depends on the question." I'm not generally eager to answer any "personal" questions.. But coming from someone his age, at least I wouldn't risk being asked out.

"What's your first impression of me?" he asked, nervously. Something in his voice told me that my answer would be important to him. Why? I didn't really have a clear impression of him at all! What did I think of him?

Friendly? Old-fashioned? Lonely? Aloof? Quirky? Sad?

I didn't want to hurt his feelings. "Friendly," I said with a smile, and told him I had to go and get some more work done. He brought his copy of Blink to cashier and left.

Monday, February 7, 2005

What is conceptual writing?

- Kansas City Venues Put Forth Answers

Kansas City's leading arts publication, Review, will feature a special section on conceptual writing in its March 2005 issue. Guest edited by Kansas City writer Debra Di Blasi, the pages will include original text, images, interviews, and dialogs by some of the nation's most prominent innovative writers and publishers like Eduardo Kac who writes living, mutating poetry in genetic code, and collaborators Alexandra Grant and Michael Joyce literally move writing from page to canvas.

Two events will parallel the issue's publication: An exhibition of conceptual writing will open at the Van Ackeren Gallery on the Rockhurst University campus March 4, 5-8 PM. Exhibited works will include original texts and images by the Review contributors, and pages from innovative texts of the past. On April 30, 2 PM, Steve Tomasula will read from his highly acclaimed novel, VAS: An Opera in Flatland, also at Van Ackeren Gallery, followed by a discussion on conceptual writing by visiting writers. Additional conceptual works and information about the writers will be available online at

Di Blasi, who studied creative writing at University of Missouri-Columbia and San Francisco State University and took a degree in painting from Kansas City Art Institute in the 1980s, feels conceptual writing is likely to find a more sympathetic audience in the visual arts. "There is a sense of risk-taking and fearless exploration in the visual arts that is sadly lacking in literature today. American fiction, for example, is still closely allied with 19th century naturalism and far less interested in the possibilities of the form than the visual arts. It's increasingly difficult to get published these days if your literary investigations occur far from the mainstream center."

For information on where to obtain a copy of Review, go to, or call 816-471-2343. For exhibition and reading information, contact Anne Austin Pearce at Rockhurst University, (816) 501-4407.

Tuesday, February 8, 2005

Closed doors

I picked up a copy of Malcolm Gladwell's Blink yesterday. Suddenly, standing in the store with this book in my hands, I had this thought... what would my daughter's first impression be of me? Would she reject me? Would she accept me as her father?

I wanted to go and hear his talk at the First Unitarian Church in Harvard Square last evening. But when I arrived, the church doors were closed, and a large, disgruntled crowd were standing outside. "What is going on," I asked someone. "They won't let us in," he said, angrily, "they're fully seated and have no room for us... this is a church, for heavens' sake!"

I'm not sure why I feel such disappointment. The Griffin seemed to think I needed to hear this talk and now I feel that I have lost an opportunity. I must read this book carefully.

Tuesday, February 8, 2005

The Electronic Theater

The Electronic Theater is one of the world's most prestigious film and video extravaganzas, showcasing dazzling and innovative imagery in invited and submitted works selected by a distinguished jury of computer graphics experts and specialists. The works selected for this year's Computer Animation Festival take us on a remarkable journey that combines the talent and brilliance of the current and future trends in art and science with the very best imagery depicting comedy, drama, romance, action, adventure, fantasy, science fiction, and science fact.

The Electronic Theater melds art with the latest trends in hardcore computing. It's the place to spot future trends in films and commercials.

Selections Include:

An amazing look behind the scenes at Shrek 2; from the Matrix "Making of The Superpunch"; from Weta how they created the world of "The Return of the King"; and backstage at The Polar Express. From the utter cutting edge of the research labs the absolutely incredible "Output-Sensitive Collision Processing for Reduced-Coordinate Deformable Models" and the sublime "Gratuitous Goop"

Thursday, Febuary 10, 2005, Boston Public Library - Rabb Auditorium, 700 Boylston Street, Copley Square, Boston MA

Networking time at 6:30pm, Presentation starts at 7pm

Visit Web site at