Monday, June 25, 2007

Gioia to graduates: 'Trade easy pleasures for more complex and challenging ones'

Poet, NEA Chair, and former VP of General Foods Dana Gioia's commencement speech at Stanford talks about his father, the value of arts education, the dumbing down of culture, and of not being famous enough.
For the last few years you have had the privilege of being at one of the world's greatest universities—not only studying, but being a part of a community that takes arts and ideas seriously. Even if you spent most of your free time watching Grey's Anatomy, playing Guitar Hero, or Facebooking your friends, those important endeavors were balanced by courses and conversations about literature, politics, technology, and ideas.

Distinguished graduates, your support system is about to end. And you now face the choice of whether you want to be a passive consumer or an active citizen. Do you want to watch the world on a screen or live in it so meaningfully that you change it?

Monday, June 18, 2007

L channels Apolo

L skates at Yerba Buena with his pal Alex:

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Thanks YouTube: Love is a Battlefield

If you and I were hanging out at a party, or over dinner, and the 80s came up, and you said, "Hey, remember Pat Benatar? Her video to 'Love is a Battlefield' was the worst. video. ever." --if you said that, I'd laugh, and confess I don't remember it, I must have seen it, but it couldn't be the worst, could it, if I have no memory of it. And then we'd go on to dessert and I'd forget all about it by the next day.

But if I read the same discussion on a blog, which handily provided a link to YouTube, well... I'd just have to click. I couldn't stop myself.

And then... and then I'd realize that I actually had seen this video. I probably was there for its premiere on ABC's Friday Night Videos.

And then... oh good Lord.

They're right.

This very well could be the Worst. Video. Ever.

And the worst of it... it was gone from my mind for the past 25 years. Now it's back. AND I CAN'T GET IT OUT OF MY HEAD.

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Reforming the Pancake Church

The Onion:

Modern-Day Martin Luther Nails 95 Comment Cards To IHOP Door


Tuesday, June 05, 2007


Here's a stunningly elegant and simple microsite from McCann Erickson for Nikon's new entry-level Single Lens Reflex, the D40.

They gave 200 people in Georgetown, South Carolina, Nikon D40s to play with. It's a picturesque town, to be sure, so there's plenty to shoot. And then they put them all on this web site, portraits, action shots, landscapes, everything. And they let each of the featured photographers tell their story of how much they enjoyed the camera.

And the photos look really, really good.

I know it's a commercial site, but I spent a full hour the other night exploring it.

Here's the twist: it's really hard to find any details about lenses, or what megapixels, or any technical stuff. The pitch is really about: anyone can take a great picture with the camera. About as technical as they get is to say that there's less shutter lag and really good autofocus so "you'll never miss the moment."

Adweek likes it too

I'm almost ready to buy one.

You had me at pelicans.

If you dig around on other photo sites, and look at the reviews, you realize that McCann Erickson probably got thirty thousand photos for the project and could show off the best two hundred or so. And, if you dig around Picturetown, you realize that the flash still does weird things to pictures. And there are tradeoffs involved in buying the low end of the SLR market.

But ooooh. Picturetown.

Friday, June 01, 2007

When Turkeys Attack

"BERKELEY -- Wild turkeys went after Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory technician recently as he rode his Segway to the office."

NBC 11 broke the story... and has photos taken during the attack!!!
I like the response from The Daily Cal's staff blog: "We don't like Segways either."

(photo by jdng)