It’s stupid day at the office


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Compliments of Everything You Always Wanted to Know about Stupidity but Were Too Smart to Ask. That was a desk calendar I had a few years ago. I pulled off some selected days, and found them in my desk. I’m throwing them out this morning, but wanted to share them first.

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Current Mood: (lethargic) lethargic

Updated Blog Settings


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Well I spent alot of time over the past two weeks redoing my blog design. It’s really a cleanup of the previous style, but I added a few snazzier graphics and altered the CSS code to be cleaner (and designed for a 1024x minimum screeen giving me more room to write). I also updated my plugins for some new functionality. Most notable is the random photo on the left of the blog that will use the Highslide JS to show you a preview, but also allows you to directly link to the picture album. That was actually the start of the inspiration for the rest of the updates. I also finally got around to fixing the issue with the navigation on single post reading to include the previous/next links, and proper headers on the archive pages. Figured alot of folks came here from my LJ crosspost, so they were seeing it in single post view anyway.

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Current Mood: (accomplished) accomplished
Current Music: Brobdingnagian Bards – If I Had a Million Ducats (Live)

World Without Oil


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LogoYou may have noticed that I’ve had two ‘gas related’ posts in the last week. The issue of gas is definately on my mind. However, it just so happens that it coincides with a new ARG(ish) project called World Without Oil. I say it’s ‘ish’ because while it involves a story and interaction, at this point there aren’t the classic puzzles.

What makes WWO unique is that it’s using a game to make people aware of the possibility of an actual event. Rather than waiting until it actually happens, it allows people to reflect and play a ‘what if’. What if there WAS a gas crisis and how would we react to it. Could we be just around the corner from roving gas-stealing mobs in the street, ethanol producing co-ops and economic instability? It’s a very real possibility. WWO is also sponsered by the Coporation for Public Broadcasting, and unlike alot of other ARGs who try to hide the fact that they are a game, this one has had alot of press because of it’s socially conscious nature.

Here’s a few links about it, including an interview with a designer:
Provocative politics in virtual games
* Provocative Politics

Interviews with Jane McGonigal:
* Interview 1 (Information Week)Interview 2 (Gamasutra) –  Interview 3 (SFWeekly)

WWO takes place over the next two months, and explores (in accelerated time) a world that is coming to grips with such a crisis. Rather than develop all the story themselves, the project allows indivduals to post how the gas crisis is affecting them. They can post blog entries, voicemails, videos, pictures, you name it. This gives you the ‘world wide’ impact. The line becomes blurred, because intermixed within the real events and how gas prices are affecting you today, are the fictional accounts of what’s happening in the fictional future. You can usually tell from people’s entries whether it’s fictional or not. There are some core characters who are running the website and posting development entries to keep the timeline on track though. So while it’s very possible to get lost within all the ‘player’ information, you can follow the ‘character’ information a little more closely, and just bridge out when you want to.

Bottom line is that it makes you think ‘what if’. It’s a scary proposition. There are some great ideas and responses out there, and I encourage you to read/listen to them.

When I post with a ‘WorldWithoutOil’ tag, I actually submit the post to the website and it gets reviewed and then added to the overall story. You can follow stories by region and see if your area is in trouble. My posts get accumulated in the Philadelphia Region. As of this post, our region is ranked Chaos (Very Low), Misery (Very Low) and Economy (Good). As the story progresses we may not fare so well. I’ve got 3 entries so far that have been approved and a few more coming.

I’m not taking the fictional approach though, my entries are really thoughts on what if. What if I have to protect my family? What if I lose my job? What if I can’t put food on my dinner table?

Current Music: Danu’- The Beauty Spot/The Maid Behind the Barrel

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Current Mood: (contemplative) contemplative

[On My Mind] Renee C. Byer Won the Pulitzer Prize for Feature Photography


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Compliments of Thomas Hawk’s Digital Connection:

2007 Pulitzer Prizes-FEATURE PHOTOGRAPHY, Works Photographer Renee C. Byer won the Pulitzer Prize for Feature Photography for 2007 for a series of 20 photographs that she ran in the Sacramento Bee chronicling Cyndie and Derek Madsen. Cyndie is a single mother of five and the photographs tell the story of her loss of her 10 year old son Derek to cancer.

It’s a troubling, moving and emotional series of photographs that show in the most poignent way how powerful photography can be.

These photographs broke my heart.

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Current Mood: (grateful) grateful

[Odd] They do exist!


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Jackbenard

You might not want to believe it, but there is always truth in fiction… Now, granted, this poor bugger has tusks instead of antlers, but the same principal applies:

From BoingBoing:

Video of tusked jackalope
Yesterday I posted
an item about Shopes Papillomavirus, a disease that affects rabbits, giving them the appearance of possessing antlers or tusks. {snip}

Original Boing Boing Article:
http://www.boingboing.net/2007/03/12/origins_of_the_jacka.html

And finally, the original article (yeah linking threads…), which has pictures of antlered Jackalopes!!!
http://ww2.lafayette.edu/~hollidac/jacksforreal.html

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Current Mood: (pleased) pleased
Current Music: Paisley Close – He Moved Through the Fair – All On a Day

[Personal] The plural of vortex is vortices


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Irregular pluralization of the (American) English language is something that has to drive our ‘tired, poor, huddled masses’ mad when trying to learn to speak it.

I just had the need to pluralize analysis. For the life of me, I couldn’t remember if it was one of those singular/plural same words like species, or if it was an is/es switch. Luckily, the wonders of the internets led me to Joanna Crump’s Webpage on English Grammar and I was able to get proper confirmation.

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Current Mood: (lethargic) lethargic

[Personal] Blog Update


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So I updated my blog to WordPress 2.1 from 2.03. Not much has changed on the front end, just mostly on the backend. It also means I had to go through and take a look at my plugins, because they don’t always work when you upgrade.

Read more on [Personal] Blog Update…

Current Mood: (giddy) giddy
Current Music: Celtic Playlist