Monday, May 28, 2007

Prisoner inventiveness

Stuck with almost no raw materials, prisoners have to be inventive. It makes for some honest, functional 'non design.' This is a cigarette lighter.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Maya Lin's Black Sea

One of a series of beautful sculptures showing the volume of water as a solid object, in layers of plywood.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Arcade Fire

...were great tonight, live. Full marks for excitement.

Here's one of the songs:

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

US$12.5 million

Amount the US spends on Iraq every hour.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Farewell the Cutty Sark

The beautiful merchant sailship from the 19th Century was badly damaged yesterday by arson. Now it will be 'renovated' and it will look similar, but will it still be the Cutty Sark?

Sunday, May 20, 2007

The tenacious Henckel von Donnersmarck

"The Lives of Others" ("Leben der anderen, Das") writer/director/co-producer Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck is a remarkably able 34 year old. At 18 he wished to read the great Russian novels in Russian, and so studied Russian Literature in St. Petersberg. Then he went to Oxford to study Economics, Politics and Philosophy. There he interned with David Attenborough and began to work on the idea that, 8 years of grind and research later, became this amazing movie, winner of the Best Foreign Film at the Academy Awards. In an interview with Charlie Rose, he told the story of his unbent tenacity to get it made, within the tight budget of $2m..
One part of his story touched me. He desperately wanted to involve the "English Patient" composer Gabriel Yared. After several failed atempts, Yared agreed to read the screenplay and told von Donnersmarck to send him a copy in French. Von Donnersmarck sat down with a friend and translated the entire screenplay. It was probably the only time a screenplay translation has been made for an audience of one. One copy for one man to read.
Yared agreed to do the movie and he wrote a truly stunning piano sonata, "Sonata for a Good Man."

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Unfathomable Injustice 1

Julie Amero is a substitute teacher who was arrested for the crime of being present in a classroom equipped with an adware-infected computer that displayed porn pop-up ads. She faces 40 years in prison sentence, and will be sentenced on Friday.

Julie Amero, the Connecticut teacher, found guilty exposing children to pornography after popups appeared on her school computer, will face sentencing this Friday, May 18th. Amero, who says that malware on the infected PC was responsible for the popups, could face up to 40 years in jail. Even if she receives no jail time, Amero will be labeled as a sex offender and unable to teach, and be stuck with tens of thousands of dollars in legal fees.
This case gained a lot of publicity earlier in the year, but as the prosecution has delayed sentencing three times, the story has fallen off the radar. The Amero case could have a chilling effect on efforts to get computer into classrooms if teachers are afraid of losing their careers (or freedom) over an infected PC.

On March 6, 2007, a $2,400 advertisement appeared in the Hartford Courant signed by 28 computer science professors who said that they think that Amero could not have controlled the pornographic pop-ups.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Prom night

Nick dons a tux.