Bobulate: Margins

Scrapbooks make me nervous. Diaries, even more so. In a childhood bedroom in Scranton, still, piles of my unfinished diaries sit on a shelf. Unlocked — no need for security — blank pages. Empty. Started, never in earnest, the entries were more interesting as fancy penmanship practice rather than as content. Stories trailed off, while the cursive z’s in my name: perfection.

Bobulate: Margins

Handwritten non-sci-fi contest leads to no entries

Across the lake in Kent, England a H.G. Wells story competition ran into a bit of trouble:

Budding young writers were invited to send their short stories creating a picture of contemporary life in Kent, to Reg Turnill, a former BBC aerospace correspondent who as a young reporter interviewed Wells.

But due to what Mr Turnill now believes were over-strict rules, he has had to change the entry conditions.

Interesting to note, the over 25 years of age category pulled in entries no problem. Longhand is starting to become another lost art (like headline writing) but maybe the “no sci-fi” requirement was the biggest hurdle, especially since last year they were fine when sci-fi was allowed. How can you have a Wells writing contest and not allow sci-fi? Sure he wrote other stuff, but c’mon! (via Boing Boing)

Cleveland Comes To Richmond reporter Stephen Koff comes to Richmond now and then to visit family. And he  likes it, he really likes it:

Reminders of its rebel-with-refinements history abound, including the lovely Monument Avenue, a boulevard of shade trees, beautiful old homes and, in the middle of the road, towering statues memorializing Robert E. Lee, Stonewall Jackson and Jefferson Davis. The late Arthur Ashe, a Richmond son and the first black man to win at Wimbledon, is honored here, too, but his monument didn’t come without a little controversy.

Yet there is another side to Richmond that visitors often don’t see, even though they’re awfully close if they’re driving down Monument.

Richmond has a hip, urbane side.

Well, at least the Fan and Carytown areas. Some good namedropping in there, too. His passing remark on the weirdness of RVA’s “crime and homelessness”. Quick research shows the Cleveland area with more than 20,000 homeless (PDF) while Richmond had just under 1,200. So it’s not all that weird. Just awkward for it to be fairly centralized and on top of VCU.

Friday Five for March 19th

Back in the early days of blogging (well, not early early but early 2000s) there was a meme running around called the Friday Five. I forget the exact history of it and I’m sure there were a few concurrent sites or groups running their own thing, but it existed. It was kinda fun. The one I was following stopped at some point and the world was a sadder place.

Feeling nostalgic, I thought I’d look around and see if anyone’s doing Friday Five still. And the answer was yes. A lot of people are. Sheesh. seems like a good one, though. so let’s give it a go, shall we?

For this week’s questions, how about giving a thoughtful (or sarcastic, or whatever) answer to these too-oft-asked chit-chat questions?

Can do. And, to make things more interesting, my answers will be in the form of a Choose Your Own Adventure.

1. “Come here often?”
When I get in the mood but not nearly as often as I used to.

2. “What’s new?”
The Apple iPad, which is due for release next month.
Not much, man, just hanging out, same old stuff, you know. How about you? Family OK?

3. “[insert your recent weather condition here] enough for ya?”
Ha ha, don’t you know it? I mean, sheesh, when will it end, ya know?

4. “How’s it hangin?”
Well, you know, weather and all being what it is, can’t really tell.

5. “How ’bout them [insert local sports team here]?”
You see that mascot of theirs? I swear, someone wasn’t thinking when they came up with that one.
I’m not a big communist kickball fan.

Links for 4/22/2009

Ev and Biz handle Dowd just fine. It’s not that she doesn’t get it, it’s that she’s afraid of it.

“First, on the most obvious level, Twitter needs to be differentiated from what people write on Twitter.”

Second, the comparison I often make here is with ball-point pens.
Imagine a world where everyone uses typewriters: they write novels, manifestos, historical surveys, and so on, but they do it all using typewriters. Now the ball-point pen comes along. People use it to write down grocery lists and street addresses and recipes and love notes. What is this awful new technology? the literary users of typewriters say. Ball-point pens are the death of humanism.

Twitter, like blogging, is what you make of it. It can only “destroy civilization” if you pay attention to the noise. Look for the meat.

Links for 3/3/09

Mediabistro – Tired of Twitter?

Daily Beast –Twitter Jumped the Shark This Week

Twitter is not a business. I know its founders would like to think it is. It is, for the most part, a diversion. It’s part of the web 2.0 nonsense that believes if you build anything, venture capitalists will throw money at it and then some old-media dinosaur will buy you for a gazillion dollars. But, I suspect those days are over.

NYT –What Are You Doing? Media Twitters Can’t Stop Typing

Left alone in a cage with a mountain of cocaine, a lab rat will gorge itself to death. Caught up in a housing bubble, bankers will keep selling mortgage-backed securities – and amassing bonuses – until credit markets seize, companies collapse, and millions of investors lose their jobs and homes.

And news anchors and television personalities who have their own shows, Web sites, blogs and pages on and will send Twitter messages until the last follower falls into a coma.

Links for February, 2008

Ripping a ten song CD could end up costing you up to $1.5 million
 if the RIAA and Rep. Conyers (D-MI) have their way.

Global Warming’s greatest threat: ZOMBIES!

Microsoft vs. Yahoo! – Earlier this week Microsoft announced an aggressive buyout bid of Yahoo! valued at $44 billion.  CNet News has put the two companies Web 2.0 properties side by side to see which products might win out in a merger.

iPhone Vs. Semi: a draw?

Can a Jedi lightsaber cut through Superman?

Warner Music’s business plan – Step 1: Report Loss. Step 3: Give Bonus.

Books that make you dumb.

News Corp. might be looking to merge with Yahoo! too.

TMZ is reporting that the medical examiner has ruled that Heath Ledger’s death was caused by “acute intoxication by the combined effects of oxycodone, hydrocodone, diazepam, temazepam, alprazolam, and doxylamine.”

Spice Gun NOT for hunting Spice Girls – BAM!  You just shot some flavor into that dish!

YouTube banned Santeri Ojala’s account earlier this week after copyright infringement complaints.  His videos mash guitar rockin’ footage with his purposefully bad playing skills with pretty funny results.  Never fear, though, WIRED has the videos here.

Charles Fawcett passed away on February 3rd at the age of 92:

When the Nazis invaded Poland in 1939 Fawcett joined the Polish army but had been in barracks for only a week before escaping from the advancing Nazis and hitchhiking back to Paris. When the French rejected his application to enlist, Fawcett joined the Section Volontaire des Américains – the ambulance corps.

He was sharing a studio with another young American, Bill Holland, whose mother was a German aristocrat. One of Holland’s relatives, General Otto von Stülpnagel, had been appointed commander-in-chief of occupied France, and when Holland introduced Fawcett to senior German officers he was able to pass important information to the French Resistance.

In Paris Fawcett also took part in the rescue of a group of British prisoners-of-war who had been placed under French guard in a hospital ward by the Germans. By impersonating a German ambulance crew, Fawcett and a comrade marched in at 4am and ordered the French nurses to usher the PoWs out into the yard. “Gentlemen,” he announced as he drove them away, “consider yourself liberated.”

“You’re a Yank,” said a British voice.

“Never,” came Fawcett’s lilting southern burr, “confuse a Virginian with a Yankee.”

Fascinating life.  (h/t Kottke)

Recommended Reading: Harry Frankfurt’s “On Bullshit”

All the web designing cheat sheets you might ever need.  (via Kottke)

All natural male enhancement, mail fraud, bank fraud and money laundering in one little pill thanks to Enzyte.

Immigration becomes less and less an issue every day.  A report by the Public Policy Institute of California says that foreign-born folks aren’t more likely to beat you up.  In fact, it looks like the opposite.  (h/t Doug)

I, for one, welcome our new robot overlords.

Roger Clemens was totally at that bitchin’ party Jose Canseco threw and he is so busted.  Because, you know, the government doesn’t have better things to do.

Is suburbia the next slum?