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Archive for March, 2008

Christian Lander
Christian Lander, (co?)creator of Stuff White People Like, pictured here doing something white people enjoy doing.

So I hear the the Stuff White People Like blog is being turned into a book. (I also just realized that their blog uses the same site-theme as mine.) Random House, who are known to take some risks (especially with bloggers), have signed Christian Lander, the creator/author of Stuff White People Like, to what is reportedly a six-figure book deal (here’s a link to the to-be-released book). I can just picture Lander doing a little white person jig of joy and celebration.

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Random Numbers (#1)
“Random Numbers (#1)” 2002, by Mel Bochner

This is a post of randomness.

I was surfing the Internets recently (like I do for most of my waking hours), and I came across this nugget of wisdom:

Writing is 1% inspiration and 99% not being distracted by the Internet…

I cannot emphasize enough how true that statement is for me (and too many others). When I have something important to do (usually a big paper, or story, or article, or report, or something related to my increasingly useless-looking major), I freakin’ waste time in every way imaginable — everything from blogging, music, driving around after I convince myself I have to go somewhere, doing laundry and not folding the clothes for hours, etc.

Half the time, the internet and my computer are what keep me occupied. And I’m either blog-hopping, reading about music and bands ad nauseum, or going on a never-ending train of “Hmm…I’ve always wondered about that, I’ll look it up!” Then I go to bed cussing myself out for wasting the whole day away, and I vow never to do it again. The next night usually ends the same way.

* * * *

On another note (pun most enthusiastically intended), are there any songs with “Michael” in the title or lyrics? (more…)

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“I sometimes get this strange and sort of uncontrollable urge to want to go home.

-Georg Hólm, member of the band Sigur Rós

Majestic, grand, expansive, surreal, breath-taking, stunning, arresting, inspiring, beautiful, staggering, personal…and I’m already out of words to describe the fairly recently released film by the Icelandic band, Sigur Rós. (Okay, it was released back in December of ’07. I just hadn’t gotten around to checking it out until a couple weeks ago.)

Sigur Rós is a band that has been making their other-worldly, alien, and powerfully intimate music for close to a decade. They sing in Icelandic and a lyrical non-language that is roughly translated from the Icelandic name for it as “Hopelandic.” It is not a Tolkien-like “language” per se, as its “words” mean nothing in a literal sense but, in many ways, it serves some of the same purposes as language. I don’t happen to be fluent in Icelandic, so I can’t tell the difference between the two anyway — and it doesn’t matter. Each album they’ve released has found them making music that breaks beyond the barriers of language to get as close to communicating feelings and emotions that language can only hope to convey, or struggle to give an idea of.

Yet for most of their careers, the band members themselves have remained enigmatic and closed-off, buffered from the world by their ethereal music. Heima, which means “at home” or “homeland,” takes us beyond that barrier and uses the music to immerse us in the things that make them who they are, where they come from, what their “home” is.

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I came across the topic of this post on Strange Maps last week at work, lost track of it, then found it again today.
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Several years ago, rapper Ludacris released a song that was a big hit, titled “Area Codes,” in which he rapped about the various “hoes” he supposedly has all across the United States. The title of the song comes from the fact that he utilizes area code numbers to pinpoint exactly what regions all his hoes are located in. It’s an absurdly hilarious song.

A studious geography major, Stefanie Gray, apparently couldn’t let this opportunity to inform and educate pass her by. So she collected data from the lyrics of the song and mapped it out. Her diligent work produced this result (click to enlarge):

ludacris_area_codes_big.gif

And here are some of the interesting things she found by analyzing the data:

  • “Ludacris heavily favors the East Coast to the West, save for Seattle, San Francisco, Sacramento, and Las Vegas.”
  • “Ludacris travels frequently along the Boswash corridor.”
  • “There is a ‘ho belt‘ phenomenon nearly synonymous with the ‘Bible Belt’.”
  • “Ludacris has hoes in the entire state of Maryland.”
  • “Ludacris has a disproportionate ho-zone in rural Nebraska. He might favor white women as much as he does black women, or perhaps, girls who farm.”
  • “Ludacris’s ideal ‘ho-highway’ would be I-95.”
  • “Ludacris has hoes in the Midway and Wake Islands. Only scientists are allowed to inhabit the Midway Islands, and only military personnel may inhabit the Wake Islands. Draw your own conclusion.”

Go back to the post on Strange Maps for more details — and the very entertaining comments that are posted there.

Songs of the Day:

Ludacris (ft. Nate Dogg) – “Area Codes” /  (album link)
John Mayer – “Area Codes (Ludacris cover)” /  (live/unreleased)

I think John Mayer gets a lot of undeserved bashing. He’s really a decent artist. Here’s another cover by him.

John Mayer – “Kid A (Radiohead cover)” /  (live/unreleased)

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“Having toured the world over, Sigur Ros return home to play a series of free, unannounced concerts in Iceland.”

A beautiful semi-music documentary on the amazing band, Sigur Ros, and their homeland, Iceland, premiered full and un-cut on youtube yesterday. It’s old news, I know, but I own a copy so I wasn’t really looking out for it and I stumbled on the video like 5 minutes ago. I’m posting it because I’ve been meaning to write a post about the DVD for a while. Trust me, it is worth your time. The youtube quality will not come close to doing it justice but it will have to do:

After you watch it, I think you’ll want to buy it. Thoughts and a review of it will be posted shortly.

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A recent blog-hopping journey of mine landed me at a blog titled, “Planet eBook: The free eBooks blog.” I don’t know how I came across this blog but when I found it, the latest entry had just a short excerpt from the opening lines of Paradise Lost along with a generic book cover for Milton’s epic poem.

Then I saw that it had a “download page” link at the bottom of the post. I clicked on the link, which took me to a page with two available downloads: 1-page version or 2-page version I was like, “No…really? The entire work? It can’t be…” but I downloaded the 2-page version anyway. (The 2-page version shows two pages side-by-side from the book on each single pdf “page.”)

And sure enough, in a couple of seconds, I was electronically flipping through an extremely sharp-looking, easy to read, professionally done copy of Paradise Lost in its entirety on my laptop! Immediately thinking this was too good to be true, and had to be illegal, (more…)

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