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content? what content?
did you notice that google maps learned intersections? it's great -- search for "market & montgomery, san francisco, ca" to see where the hot bike messengers hang out in the morning.
oh. yahoo! buys flickr. so, um, do i need to start worrying about finding a self-hosted moblog solution again? at least the service might not suffer from the same random outages and misfires now. or not. but i wish it had been google instead.
just in case anyone else is as obsessed with finding a good server-side (non-hosted) moblog option as i am: this is my next point of exploration.
heads turn, lights flash, cars crash and i'm smiling from ear to ear when my boy walks down the street. happy fourever, jessie.
one of the most interesting articles i've read in a while is on a subject that i have no interest in. this profile in the new yorker is on the man who is tasked with inventing new smells. or improving old ones. depends how you read it. writer chandler burr profiles perfumist jean-claude ellena as he constructs his latest scent for hermes. do i really care about the state of the european fashion houses? no. do i care about perfume? no. yet, in spite of both factors, i couldn't put the article down. burr makes the process of designing scents fascinating, and his evocative, lush descriptions of the smells the he encounters are beautiful, almost tangible. more than anything, it made me itch to go into sephora and start spritzing.
tivo and comcast strike a deal. (finally!) it sort of sounds like they'll put tivo software onto existing set-tops too, or am i reading that wrong? regardless, this is great (life-saving) news for the beleaguered tivo.
and now the bad news: alexander payne and sandra oh are splitting up. and they looked so happy at the oscars!
Court invalidates California's ban on same-sex marriage
another step closer...
when i told jessie that i was sad nobody had invited me into the latest music meme, i meant as more of an aside, the kind that couples share amongst themselves. i wasn't trying to get him to include me now i look desperate! sadly, not far from the truth.
bel canto is a meticulous novel. the writing, the simple formation of words, is intricate and delicate, with the kind of subtly and perfection that one expects in a nice glass of wine or a delicate tea. honestly, it's one of the most well written novels i've ever read.
briefly, bel canto is the story of a hostage situation. a group of important and wealthy foreigners are taken hostage in a small, unknown country by a small rebel army while attending a birthday party at the home of the vice president. and then, well, the story happens.
excellent craft-work does not necessarily make for an excellent story. this one is good, of course; in comparison to so much else, it's a fantastic story. but something crucial is missing from the characters, some breath of life. they're not exactly two dimensional; rather, it's as if the author was distracted from them. as a reader, i felt sympathy for the characters, but i could not identify with them, as if they were actors on a screen.
this becomes most obvious at the end of the story. necessarily tragic (without giving anything away), i really should have felt more of an emotional pull, some deeper sadness at the outcome, or even the simple absence one feels in the wake of a book's end. perhaps that's due to the story's arc. the final outcome is really not unexpected. in fact, i felt as if i was being prepared for it from the very beginning. it's less a story about what will happen than it is about when will it happen. which makes for a pretty relaxed plot. as i was reading, i could tell by the weight of the right side that there was nothing to worry about. the course of the story is neatly laid out, and the reader is simply waiting to see what interesting attractions may appear along the roadside.
although the back of the book might lead you to the conclusion that this is a story, more or less, about stockholm syndrome, it really isn't. it should be, or it could be, but the terrorists are never painted in anything less than a sympathetic light. and when the thin, gauzy idea of these characters as the bad guys is finally dropped, you almost don't notice. an argument could be made, i suppose, that the reader himself experiences a kind of stockholm syndrome, but in this case it isn't true. in order for that idea to have any merit, the actions of the captors would need to continue to be malicious or violent, while the story itself weaves around their actions psychedelically, building in the reader a growing sense of attachment, in spite of the circumstances. but bel canto doesn't even attempt this. it's a romantic story, a love story from the very beginning, and there's really not the slightest attempt to break from that path or to introduce anything much more complicated than the ebb and flow of a challenged love affair.
still, i have to come back to the sheer beauty of the novel. i'm focussing here on what the book isn't, instead of what it is, but that should not dissuade you. as a love story, it's beautiful, and manages to deftly avoid the cliché's and traps of the genre. the characters, all of them, are warm and lovable, none terrifying or scary, and the paths they chart are interesting if not entirely adventurous. there's not much thrill to the novel, but neither does not want for it. it is, quite simply, an enjoyable story.
you know me as mac-using chris, but there was a time, long ago, when i was pc-using chris. not just a pc user, i was a pc defender. as a graphics student, i lived a charged, angry life, always on the defense against the mindless hordes trying to convert me to apple. then my pc crashed. and jessie will tell you that my mac crashes too, that my old mac used to crash a lot and that i've reformatted/reinstalled about 5 times more than he has. but that's irrelevant, because when my pc crashed for the last time, it took down with it into the murky depths a project that i had spent an entire quarter working on. it was a huge, mammoth shockwave file, one that was destined to be an interactive CD containing thousands and thousands of words, images, animated menus and painstaking tweens. i had learned shockwave for this project, had slaved, had struggled for nearly 3 months, and now it was gone, less than a week before it was due. i took an incomplete in the class and then spent the next 2 quarters (6 months) spending my free moments recreating this thing (of course i didn't even think about it for almost 2 months, i was so heart broken). needless to say, i bought a mac and have been experiencing multiple orgasms ever since.
that story means nothing when compared to this, the winner of engadget's Worst Data Loss Story Ever contest.
historical statistics on baby names very cool. and good to know if you're picking names for a baby, i suspect. via steven johnson, who has interesting things to say about it, of course.
i am fully prepared for the new doves album to be my favorite of 2005. it's a long year, but i'm ready for it. expect an mp3 as soon as i can dig my way out of this record.
i know i said i wouldn't post so much nerd stuff, but since i'd previously mentioned my need for a better image viewer on the mac, i wanted to be sure and mention coco view x. it's small, simple and speedy. it's a image browser, converter and slideshower -- perfect for p0rn or other, loose images that don't belong in iphoto. also great for photos fresh off the digital camera, so you can sort out the junk before you bring it into iphoto.
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