9/30/2010 3:45:49 PM
Every week we share links to stories, articles, and other interesting things we’ve come across online for you to enjoy over the weekend. It’s the utne.com crockpot; we add the ingredients for a great online meal. Enjoy!
Michael H. Miller hangs out with New Yorker poetry editor Paul Muldoonin the New York Observer.(Thanks,harriet.)
An unlikely place for sustainable urbanism. . . Waco, Texas. (Yes, that Waco, Texas.)
An artist experiments with interactive art, including wooden mirrors.
Newslite reports on vending machines that can print a book before your very eyesin mere seconds.
There’s a response to Rachel Laudan’s piece “In Praise of Fast Food” (from our Sept.-Oct. issue) over at Dissertation on Dirt.
Technology Review’s latest issue features its annual list of 35 innovators under the age of 35.
Filmmaker Gary Hustwit (Helvetica, Objectified) is at work on Urbanized, the third film in his design trilogy.
Paste has an update on David Foster Wallace’s final book.
Bill Murray: From comedian to indie movie star, a Flavorpill gallery shows his many faces.
In a new photoessay, the New York Times captured the geometric beauty of suburban sprawl in the American Southwest.
9/21/2010 9:03:59 AM
Attention, class, if you refer to page four of your syllabus you’ll see that tomorrow’s lesson is about homoerotic shower-scenes on HBO. Next week, we’ll be discussing the economics of pornographic magazine distribution. Now, please find a writing utensil and take notes on shifting power relationships in this stag film.
An academic course about pornography, especially for high-school students, seems outré, but California State University, Long Beach professor Shira Tarrant thinks it is a crucial, missing piece of early education. “Digital technology is increasingly shaping our analog relationships,” writes Tarrant in an essay for AlterNet.
Pop culture infuses our everyday lives. We must put media literacy at the top of our cultural to-do list because this provides the critical skills that enable adults (young, or otherwise) to identify sexism, misogyny and racism in all forms of pop culture, including porn. As a generation of porn-watchers comes of age, it is to society's benefit that they are taught a kind of ‘porn literacy’ that encourages an understanding of what constitutes mutually consensual sex in real life.
Can’t we just make sure that our children and peers aren’t watching pornography? Perhaps write a ban into law? “‘Just say no’ just doesn't work,” Tarrant writes. “This slogan did not erase drug addiction, it is ineffective in terms of sexual abstinence and it does not work for pornography, either.” And,Tarrant argues, society-wide discussions have worked marvelously in the past:
Public conversation about drugs helps promote better solutions to addiction. The HIV and the AIDS epidemic transformed ‘condom’ from a word uttered in private hushed tones to a common vocabulary term on billboards and public service announcements. Effective solutions to social problems require brave conversations that are our cultural realities.
(Thanks, Atlantic Wire.)
Image by lovarakotomalala, licensed under Creative Commons..
9/16/2010 9:48:40 AM
It happens all the time—you’re just about to board a 747 to fly back across the Atlantic to resume life as usual and, all of a sudden, an Icelandic volcano erupts, stranding you in Europe for the next week. What to do with all that thumb-twiddling time trapped in airport purgatory? Inspired by the thousands of people just waiting to get home, Stranded is a new magazine for desperate souls delayed by blameless crises.
The one-shot, 88-page magazine was compiled and edited by Andrew Losowsky, who runs the magazine-industry blog Magtastic Blogspolosion. After Eyjafjallajökull blew its top this past April, the volcano’s ash plume grounded air traffic in Europe and indefinitely stranded Losowsky in Dublin. After sending out a creative call-to-arms, more than 50 contributors—also stranded by the eruption—pieced together a compelling, mixed-format primer on having someplace to go but no means of getting there. Losowsky writes:
It's filled with true stories and amazing visuals, including volcano cocktails from around the world, the thoughts of a famous vulcanologist, a horror story set inside the ash cloud, 54 journalists in a 16-hour race to catch a boat, a chance encounter with a cute Parisian waiter, a playlist for abandoned airports, and much more.
Caption: Scenes from airport terminals around Europe.
Caption: An excerpt of “Losing Altitude,” a short story set inside the volcanic ash cloud.
Caption: Pictures of temporary beds inhabited by grounded travelers.
Source: The Magtastic Blogsplosion
Images courtesy of Andrew Losowsky.
9/15/2010 10:26:30 AM
David Byrne’s successful book, Bicycle Diaries, probably would have sold just fine as a traditional audiobook, as well. However, never one for the status quo, Byrne wanted to do something a little more interesting than simply reading the book in silence and releasing it as a download or cd. Instead, he looked to other successful audio formats for inspiration, namely NPR shows that incorporate scene sounds and podcasts.
Starting with the chapter on New York, Byrne experimented with the sounds of the city to bring his book to life. He liked the results so much that he decided to make the whole book a fuller experience, with sounds working in tandem with the author’s essays about his experience viewing the world from his bike. Chapters are also available separately, similar to a podcast model.
Technology had, it seemed, created an opportunity for a whole new format to come into being. I’m not sure anything exactly like this has ever been done before. Sure, there are NPR radio shows with sound effects (Joe Frank comes to mind) as well as ye olde radio dramas (The Shadow was one), but if there’s anything similar out there I’m unaware of it. And yes, there are loads of downloadable audiobooks—but you have to listen to the chapters in the prescribed order, unless you are into self created meta fiction.
You can listen to and download the introduction, and pre-order the rest, which will be released on September 28.
Want to gain a fresh perspective? Read stories that matter? Feel optimistic about the future? It's all here! Utne Reader offers provocative writing from diverse perspectives, insightful analysis of art and media, down-to-earth news and in-depth coverage of eye-opening issues that affect your life.
Save Even More Money By Paying NOW!
Pay now with a credit card and take advantage of our earth-friendly automatic renewal savings plan. You save an additional $6 and get 6 issues of Utne Reader for only $29.95 (USA only).
Or Bill Me Later and pay just $36 for 6 issues of Utne Reader!