Archive for July, 2009

associated_press_pay_planAP’s payment plan, explained

Boing Boing shows what the venerated wire service is really doing with their “container” for news content.  A NYT story tries to explain AP’s side of things, while Scott Rosenberg takes a different view (and Ars Technica remains skeptical). What remains to be seen is how AP will enforce such a plan when something like the Associated RePress can be built using AP’s own RSS feed. (Salon’s King Kaufman offers another view on how journalists can make money on stuff people are using for free.)


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venderPorn Book Vender This is just reprehensible. They’ve got this “Book Vender” machine right out in public, where impressionable children can see it. As everyone knows, children are the future — do we really want to see our precious children growing up thinking “Vender” is a word? It’s “VendOR,” dammit! With an “o”! Won’t somebody think of the children?

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Buffy vs. Edward makes a pretty good case that the romantic vampire hero of the “Twilight” series is really just your basic creepy stalker type.

twilight_edwardAnother take by The Last Psychiatrist blog, The Twilight Movie Review Your Boyfriend Doesn’t Want You to Read, makes a good case for why the real danger isn’t that impressionable teenage girls will be enthralled by Edward Cullen (the creepy stalker vampire guy, for those not living in caves), but that teenage boys will figure out that imitating him is a good way to manipulate the girls into falling for a guy who pulls that kind of B.S.

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Washington Post’s Masterful Failure of Online Journalism “The delusion that the web is “an endless newshole” where journalists “have the space to do what needs to be done regardless of length” dates to, oh, the first term of the Clinton Administration.” — Ouch! Guilty as charged. Hopefully we’ve all learned something since then. Although, it must be said that when the writing is good enough, it’s worth putting online no matter how long it is. Gene Weingarten’s epic profile of children’s entertainer The Great Zucchini is an example.

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YouTube labels this blooper collection “Worst halftime show ever” — I think they mean “Most awesome.” I saw my share of cheerleading and band bloopers as a marching-band guy in high school and college, but never anything as wonderful as these.


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Garrison Keillor channels Jay McInerney The “Prairie Home Companion” guy comes off as a Midwestern answer to McInerney in a National Geographic piece, extolling the virtues of state fairs in McInerney-esque second person narration: You and the child stand at the entrance to the midway, barkers barking at you to try the ringtoss, shoot a basketball, squirt the water in the clown’s mouth and see the ponies run, win the teddy bear, but you don’t want to win a big blue plush teddy bear. You have no use for one whatsoever. There is enough inertia in your life as it is. And now you feel the great joy of revulsion at the fair and its shallow pleasures, its cheap tinsel, its greasy food.

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spentAnother take on evolutionary psychology:  A review by Colin Tudge of “Spent: Sex, Evolution and the Secrets of Consumerism,” a book by Geoffrey Miller that examines how ev psych (or “evo psy,” as Tudge puts it) can shed light on marketing and economic theory. Tudge (like Miller, apparently) gives ev psych more credit than is currently popular (while acknowledging that the field “has not had a good press, nor done itself many favours).

Apparently Miller emphasizes the role of cooperation, rather than competition, on making us more “mate-worthy,” which is a refreshing change from the more traditional ev-psych view that it’s all about being (or hooking up with) the “alpha male” in a never-ending competition for dominance.

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