I’ll call you back at the second blue light


Who needs a watch with numbers on it anyway? I mean, OMG that’s so analogue.

Credit must be given to popgadget, for this blog post about Tokyoflash, a company making watches that are more artistic in nature and less function oriented. Well, not so much less function oriented, but more function for a specific audience.

I’m thinking of this in terms of technological literacy. I, personally, have a tough time reading the ye-olde circular clock with hour, minute, and second hands. (I always miss by about an hour; and, really, should anything have 3 hands?). And, I don’t even wear a watch–it’s the digital readout on my cell phone for me. The thing is, I can read the LED readouts on these watches. Is this a generational thing? Since I’ve grown up around more microchips than gears, is this merely a comfort level?


Or would this be an interest thing? Will only the geeky people be willing to wear something like this? It’d either be really cool or really dorky (ie the calculator watch. Nerdville for sure. It just screams Dungeons & Dragons and living in your parents’ basement at 35). And then who would teach the non-techno forward people this kinda gear and would they really care to learn? Are these the watches of the future? Would we all need to learn how to read these specific displays? Mmm, probably not, but who knows, it could happen.

I’m just curious about how my mother would handle something like this. Well, I suppose I don’t have to wonder; she wouldn’t handle it very well. She’d take one look at it and say that the lights are pretty, but it’s a bracelet–not a watch. So, now that brings in the artistic side of things, doesn’t it. It’s visually pleasing–to me, at least–but I’m all about the modern avant-garde mish-mash. I do like the way this brings function into beauty though. It serves a purpose while being a vehicle for visual expression and design. I could live in a future like that. A future that compresses the usefulness of something with artistic vision and, honestly, if I had $200 to drop on a watch, I’d go for one of these.


Harlot gets around . . .

If you’ve never checked out the brilliant blog BrightStupidConfetti, treat yourself to an intellectual feast.


The consistently refulgent Chris Higgs is first-one-on-the-scene to the latest avant-garde escapades, indie serenades, philosophical crusades and, just recently, super neat discussions on all things that persuade. While you’re checking out his latest post on Harlot, poke around the site (digging into the backlog is worth it).

Bookmark him and you’ll never look back . . .

David Byrne rocks the house

Thanks to my brother for telling me about this incredible new installation Playing the Building. Basically, the always-awesome DB (inspired by a similar exhibit in Stockholm) hooked up the the inner workings of the Battery Maritime Building to a wooden church organ, and has invited the public to come play. http://www.davidbyrne.com/art/art_projects/playing_the_building/index.php

In an interview about the project, Byrne calls it a “social apparatus… a shared communal experience.” Audience/participants interact with each other and their environment with a heightened awareness to the art of listening as much as performing. Byrne doesn’t preach that art has intrinsic moral value (“Plenty of monsters like great music and art.”) but believes it can have social value.

As for rhetorical goals: “I’d like to say that in a small way it turns consumers into creative producers, but that might be a bit too much to claim. However, even if one doesn’t play the thing, it points towards a less mediated kind of cultural experience. It might be an experience in which one begins to reexamine one’s surroundings and to realize that culture–of which sound and music are parts–doesn’t always have to be produced by professionals and package in a consumable form.”

I love this guy. Have I mentioned he’s made PowerPoint into an art form? And you haven’t lived till you’ve seen him dance…

Language Alerts

I’ve been reading up on the topic of security and open source software for an upcoming presentation, and I came to a news story a friend of mine forwarded. I’ll be the first to admit I need more practice with tech speak, and some of the language used in this news story really gave me pause. Oddly enough, though, I stopped because of their familiarity. Here’s the first paragraph of the article, Debian, Ubuntu SSH Under Attack:

OpenSSH (define) is one of the most common mechanisms in use for providing secure remote access to servers. A flaw in a key part of how Debian-based Linux distributions like Ubuntu secure OpenSSH has put potentially millions of servers at risk from a brute force attack. The attack could have major implications for the Internet.

Brute force attack? The violence in this lead paragraph is really surprising. I thought for a moment the author was adding a bit of drama for effect, but, no. A couple paragraphs later, he quotes someone from the “Internet Storm Center” who raised a “yellow alert” because this flaw would allow secure systems to be “very easily brute forced.”

I suppose we should be accustomed to this type of language at this time in our history. How long now have we been fighting wars on poverty, drugs, illiteracy? And our terrorist alert seems to be more-or-less permanently settled at . . . well let’s see. Here’s the National Terror Alert Response System’s embeddable “live alert,” already featured, they say, on over 50,000 Web sites:

Homeland Security Live Alert

Now it’s at least 50,001. But before we get too serious about security in various facets of our lives, let’s not forget to add a little bit of humor. Here’s a link to one of my favorite videos by Ze Frank called “Red Alert.” It cracks me up every time.

Your Dog Says A Lot About You

I made a trip to Boston this past weekend for my brother’s commencement, which means leaving my lovely rottweiler in the care of the veterinarian’s office. It doesn’t always hit you what you’re really like until someone else takes care of something you find so precious.

(Yes, I’m one of those people who worship their dog. She has her very own facebook page. Feel free to friend her. And this is not to be confused with my dog being spoiled or pampered–she’s a good dog and fairly well trained. Although, I will admit that she doesn’t listen quite as well when there are other dogs around….aaand this is getting way off topic.)


Anyway, on returning to Columbus and picking up Daisy, there were two things askew.
1. She had a scarf on. Well, it more like a handkerchief thing, but it was pink and flowery and ridiculous. No rottweiler of mine will be cast down with the lowly chihuahuas that wear sweaters and faux diamond collars. Daisy is a big, slobbery, sometimes smelly dog, and I like her that way. Even the smelly part.
2. They graded her. My DOG got a Report Card! It included things like “your dog enjoyed . . . being pet, playing outside,” but apparently my dog did not enjoy “receiving treats.” Now, I find that highly suspicious. My dog didn’t like getting treats? Daisy? Who drools so much I think she should wear one of those bibs from Red Lobster when she sees that little bone shaped biscuit?

Also, apparently my dog “had a good bath.” Well, I know that she hates getting baths–I mean, she’ll stand there and take it, because she knows that it’s going to happen whether she likes it or not, but it’s not an especially joyful thing for her. So, what constitutes a “good bath.” I’m sure it was good for the groomer, but I’m fairly sure Daisy would’ve taken exception to it. Especially if they used a dryer. My dog runs away from the vacuum cleaner, so a dryer tends to be out of the question–we towel dry and she seems to like it, because it means I’m sitting there for a good hour petting her, which the vet and I agree she quite enjoys.

Anyway, the point in all this is that I find it hard to believe that they could think for an instant that I would leave a well adjusted, happy dog in their care and that they might know my dog better than I do. And then on the other hand, I realize that it says far too much about my own personality. I don’t do the cutesy thing when it comes to animals–babies, yes; dogs, no. I don’t want to see bubbly letters by “Mandy” (please giggle in a high-pitched voice when you read that) about how well behaved my dog is. Well, uh, duh, I wouldn’t allow an ill-behaved dog in my house.

So, I suppose that says something about me, doesn’t it? That my tolerance for what I would consider misbehavior is fairly low, but what constitutes “misbehavior?” That’s probably getting way too much in social set ups and how we treat each other, etc etc, but perhaps I’m just reinforcing what I’ve been taught in this particular social structure. I won’t allow my own pet to act in a particular manner that I was never allowed to act in. So, I’m just continuing this cycle.

Still, though, when she was home, I kept eyeing that handkerchief and preparing to take that ridiculous thing off; however, Daisy didn’t seem to mind and, well, it made a good bib when she ate her treat.

Ringing in Rhetoric

Writes Tom Maurstad of The Dallas Morning News,

It’s the nature of both pop culture and people that we reveal ourselves and offer insights into our ever-changing media environment in the small, incidental choices we make as consumers and users of technology.

That’s a great first line and a pretty insightful article on “futurism and nostalgia.” Read on to see what he has to say about the rhetoric of cell ringtones.