Tuesday, November 15, 2005

The commanding general of Abu Ghraib tells her story

The commanding general of Abu Ghraib tells her story

This is a fascinating interview with Janis Karpinski, who was head of the Abu Ghraib jail during the prisoner abuse scandal. She's retired now and trying to clear her name and her reputation, and does a decent job of it here. She shares some frightening details about the prisoner abuse scandal, the institutionalization of torture and the use of women in the army as scapegoats for these scandals.

JANIS KARPINSKI, Brigadier General who was the commanding officer at Abu Ghraib during the prisoner abuses talks about her memoir "One Woman's Army: The Commanding General of Abu Ghraib Tells Her Story."
Listen to this show via Real Audio | mp3
Originally aired 11/07/05

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Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Pherret Phestival

Pherret Phestival
On occasion, you miss somthing really big. Really important. And you find out the day after that maybe your favorite band was at your friend's party or an amazing author spoke at the class you missed or they were giving away free iPods at this fundraiser or selling $99 tickets to Bangkok for one day only.
My big regreat of the year is missing the Philadelphia Pherret Phestival. A weekend full of ferret fun, where people dress their ferrets in strange costumes and take great pleasure out of it. I find ferrets quite unpleasant, so I get a little joy out of seeing one like this:

As we saw in beedogs, there is nothing quite as savage as dressing up animals in costume.

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Saturday, October 08, 2005

Europe, immigrant kids and video cameras

Europe, immigrant kids and video cameras
Put them all together and you get this:

There are some beautiful short videos that are part of this project, where immigrant kids in 6 different countries created videos to share and create community.

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Guerillas in the Museum

Guerillas in the Museum
Guerillas in the museum: using podcasting for homage and subversion

David Gilbert teaches kids at Marymount Manhattan College how to create podcasts that subvert MoMA's audio tour and pay a different brand of homage to modern art masterpieces. Gallery hacking, art pranks, good!

Check the site!

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Monday, October 03, 2005

NAMAC conference

NAMAC conference
This weekend was the NAMAC (National Alliance for Media Arts and Culture) conference here in Philadelphia. A whole slew of interesting folks came to discuss projects, ideas, developments and more.

Scribe Video hosted the conference; the ubiquitous Gretjen Clausing was in full force to make it all happen.

I got a videoblogging training from Michael Verdi, who's fun and funny, and helps his daughters make fun and funny blogs too.

John Henry Thompson, new media smartypants and Macromedia Director inventor, presented some of his past work, along with his "capoeira theory," relating the learning of programming to the inventiveness of capoeira, in which every player must know how to sing, fight, play instruments and must be steeped in the history and mythology of the sport, all within the concept of play. He also discussed introducing into education a programming language that would be easily accessible and easily taught...I wonder if and how this could be applicable in developing regions, where computer training might bridge a digital divide, but where equipment and access might be more key....

A fascinating debate concerning the digital divide started in a panel with Jared Ball, who distributes free mixtapes (on CD), Fred Ritchin of Pixel Press, Josue Rojas of YO! Youth Outlook Magazine, and this artist named Steve Bull who's working with cellphones and opera. The gulf between the white-man New-York-Times-and-opera crowd (Steve and Fred) and the people-of-color Mix-tape-and-graffitti crowd (Jared and Josue) deserves a capital-G. But at one point, people really began to talk about this divide and its origins, functions, and most importantly, bridge-ability. Make your own occupation photo gallery out of Pixel Press's "Notes of a Former Peacekeeper" and YO!'s "The Things They Carried Home." Not only will these photo-essays show you what American presence on foreign soil means, they will also spur you to consider the function of photography, as journalism and as memoir, as professional and as amateur, just as these lines are blurring.

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Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Having Broadband=Dem?

Having Broadband=Dem?
Broadband Households and Presidential Preference Parallel

Leichtman Research Group, Inc., in their updated report,
Broadband, Cable and DBS Across the US 2005, found that at
the beginning of 2005 broadband penetration of households in
the US stood at close to 29% nationwide. Significant state-
by-state disparities in broadband penetration remain,
however. While these disparities are largely related to
variations in household income across the states, these
differences are strikingly similar to the state-by-state
splits in the 2004 presidential election.

Eight states had broadband penetration over 35% - all voted
for John Kerry in 2004

Eleven states had broadband penetration at or below 20% - all
voted for George Bush in 2004

Cumulative broadband penetration in states that voted for
Kerry was 33% - compared to 25% in states that voted for

My comments: hard to say what this means without getting individual data.

Does having faster connection speed=higher income+more education=dem?

Does having access to more varied info via broadband lead one to vote dem?

Does wanting more varied info lead to investing in broadband?

Or is it all just a huge coincidence?

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Monday, September 26, 2005


Mediamatic mediamatic mediamatic mediamatic. They host amazing new media artist projects in Amsterdam, and although it's my hometown, I've never had a chance to experience a live and direct mediamatic moment. As live and direct as anything hosted by an organization combining the root words media and -matic could be.

A favorite of mine is A Secret Service, a project by Sasker Scheerder and Olaf Matthes. You submit your secret secret password and it will be read at a time that you specify everyday. You can tune in at that time to get your password - just set your alarm!

Currently they're hosting a lot of work around flickr.com. A few different artists use the concept of flickr's metatags to play with our ideas of personal and public, and our curiosity about images and strangers' ideas - to which we have unprecedented access in this age.

Also, check out red herring's article on the founders of flicker, Caterina Fake and Stewart Butterfield.

Nothing like the business perspective to complement the arts perspective...

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Sunday, September 25, 2005

Early Warning Systems

Early Warning Systems
Have you noticed an increase in how many newspaper articles reference blogs as sources, or at least as a flag flying above something that's going on that the traditional journalism has overlooked? How about how many personal blogs - with just a few readers - serve as repositories for personal ideas? How about finding something new out from a blog versus a magazine?

I've recently started reading blogs for a bunch of different reasons and about a bunch of different things. I'm curious to start writing one.

In a lot of different ways, we can conceive of blogs as an early warning system. Most obviously in the world of politics, in that bloggers have set the agenda for traditional journalism on more than one occassion, and now they are part of the information-gathering that lays the groundwork for what traditional newsreaders understand is THE news. I'm not interested in doing political blogging, but am in awe of how much it's changed the landscape. And I think blogging's effects on the news system is what put it on the map.

I think it's also an early warning system for ideas - take a look at what you've written, recorded, uploaded, noted and see what patterns there are emerging. This is my selfish reason for starting a blog.

And finally, I find out unexpected things from blogs all the time - support material for my own research, cool music, web, article links, and of course, more blogs. Hopefully I can serve this purpose for others too.

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