Archives: [January 2006]
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This is the archive page for the month [January 2006]; below you should see headlines and summaries of all entries found here from that month. Click the appropriate link at each to read the entire entry.

The Mighty O strikes again. | January 30, 2006
Wow, how about that Oprah? Ripping both James Frey and his publisher on live television like that, huh? Today, a formal Apologia (that is, a written justification) for Oprah's recent behavior, and why we should all celebrate that she's out there and kicking ass. Plus: an interesting new viral-marketing idea in the arts I stumbled across in my neighborhood last night.

The Heterotopia Report for January 27. | January 27, 2006
Interesting things from around the internet, including: the Trib shrinks their Books section; a journalist steals from Wikipedia; the Wendy's finger-chili scandal comes to an end; Wham-O sells out; a mysterious stranger appears at Poe's grave; exercise may stave off Alzheimer's; the coolest academic perk ever; the very first el car goes on display; build a large-format camera out of a scanner; short notes; and do you want to help create a bike trail for the entire Mississippi River?

More regarding Germany and nationalism. | January 25, 2006
Yesterday's news about the new "Du Bist Deutschland" public-relations campaign prompted a thought from me - "Should we really be encouraging Germans to be proud of their country again in the first place?" Today, why I don't mean this as an insult, but rather as a compliment!

Those angst-filled Germans are at it again. | January 23, 2006
Oh, those angst-filled Germans are up in arms again; they're arguing over who exactly has the right to call themselves a writer in public, and to have an audience. Today, one American's outsider thoughts on the subject, based on two tours now over there myself, hanging out both those times mostly with writers and other intellectuals. Plus: thoughts on the recent "Bleak House" series on PBS' "Masterpiece Theatre."

I was dreaming of the arts center again. | January 20, 2006
I admit it, I drifted off and had a dream again about my arts center: about how cool it'd be if it was open right now, so I could book this interesting series of columnists at the Chicago Tribune. Today, thoughts on why it's so important to sometimes have these dreams, even while maintaining a sense of reality about it all.

To Pluto...and Beyond! | January 18, 2006
Today: Random geeky thoughts about the new NASA mission to Pluto, set to blast off this week. Rockets ahoy! Plus: thoughts about Kappa Kappa Psi, the music fraternity of which I'm a member: why I joined in college, what kinds of fun (and trouble) we were always getting into.

The Heterotopia Report for January 17. | January 17, 2006
Interesting things from other places on the internet, including: the latest from this week's Macworld convention; cool stuff from Boing Boing; Dave Winer has a great idea for 'reading lists;' announcing the Beat Generation Museum; the "International Baccalaureate" style of education gets hot; Google releases a mobile compressor; WAPReview gets snarky about IM; and the Donner Party might not have been cannibals after all.

My surprisingly emotional weekend. | January 16, 2006
Today: a recounting of my recent trip to Hyde Park, to visit my old friends Carrie Golus and Patrick Welch, who I haven't seen for two years now, since they had their twin babies, and what a surprisingly emotional visit it turned out to be. Plus: helping my friend Kate pack up her stuff, in preparation for her move from Rogers Park to Edgewater, using our old friend "Getting Things Done." Go, GTD, go!

Regarding novels, memoirs, and "The Truth." | January 12, 2006
Well, the recent James Frey disaster seems to at least proven one thing: that the general population really is into memoirs that much, and into novels that little, that some writers will outrageously lie just to try to tap into this audience. Today, my thoughts on why this is such a fucking shame. Plus: Winter bicycling in Chicago; using filters in Gmail; and seeing "Napolean Dynamite" for the first time.

Look at all that new music! | January 11, 2006
Hey, hey; 600 new songs in the mail this week, mostly by bands I've never listened to before, as a belated Christmas present from an old friend. Today, initial thoughts on a whole bunch of bands I'm listening to for the first time, including Rogue Wave, Freakwater, The Hold Steady, Stereolab, Interpol, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, the White Stripes, The Arcade Fire, The Postal Service, Modest Mouse, Bonnie "Prince" Billy, Califone, Spoon, The Shins, Death Cab for Cutie, Young and Sexy, Beulah, Cat Power, Franz Ferdinand, Brandon Benson, Kayne West, The Go! Team, and Bloc Party. Plus: The Mayor wants a 2016 Olympics; reader feedback on my recent field report of Marshall McGearty Tobacco Lounge; alternative lyrics to "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition;" more about Heather Hamilton; and why I'm not too damn excited about all the recent mobile video announcements.

The Heterotopia Report for January 10th. | January 10, 2006
Interesting things found elsewhere on the internet, including: Why it is that 27 percent of Yahoo users are now using RSS feeds, although only 4 percent of them realize it; how to create your own Dashboard widget; advice from a self-employed programmer; the sudden hotness of the old cartography industry; how blogging can help marketing; top 10 failed tech trends of 2005; a milestone in the world of open access; a report from Microformats.org; mobile Flash Player?; Michael Crichton gets ripped off; JT Leroy is a fake!; and Kodak changes their logo, way too late.

Das Audio ist hier! Das Audio ist hier! | January 9, 2006
Good news - all 24 episodes from last year's podcast of mine, [randommedia], are now imported into this Movable Type database. Today: how it was done, how easy it was, and what this all means for you as a visitor. Plus: a preview of my upcoming book of old black-and-white college photos.

Field report: Marshall McGearty Tobacco Lounge, Chicago. | January 6, 2006
Today, my field report (in text and photos) of the new Marshall McGearty Tobacco Lounge in Chicago's Wicker Park, a new experiential marketing project by the RJ Reynolds corporation. It's a pretty cool place!

Regarding the ARG as social experiment. | January 4, 2006
So, I've been thinking about online gaming again, mostly because of talking with Sean Stewart over the holidays (the puppetmaster behind the 2001 "Evan Chan" game I was obsessed with), as well as all the attention the game "Second Life" is getting these days. Today, some thoughts on how I might be able to break into the industry, or perhaps even start my own game at this new place called Multiverse, and how if I did that, I might start my "game" instead as an online social experiment, much like the Well did in the '80s. Plus: a small defense of snooty-pooty urban sex shops.

Odds and ends. | January 3, 2006
Random notes, including: thoughts on if 2005 really was the year blogs tipped into the mainstream, and what comes next; thoughts on Google's "ads as a whisper, not as a bullhorn" policy, and why it's been so damn successful; why in the Information Age there will be no more art movements; what's coming next to this website; and more thoughts about the bitchin' 1970s Mercury Marquis.

Happy 2006! | January 2, 2006
Happy new year! And guess what, I've actually made a New Year's resolution and everything: to finally implement a full and detailed version of the "Getting Things Done" time-management system in my life, which I've been using on a limited basis for about a year now. Today, thoughts on how this is done, and what it's going to mean, not only for my life but for yours. Plus: dreams of 'merry prankster' style computer viruses; and "learning about artists changes artists."