Last Saturday was Bicycle Day. A great day had by all and a near-death experience for me and my very old bike tires. Pictures are here and favorites are below. A HUGE thank you to Ian and Nicole for organizing this, and an extra thanks to Ian for fixing up my bike both before the trip and during. The company was great, Marin county was beautiful, and the ferry ride back into San Francisco reminded me of how beautiful of a city I live in and how lucky I am to have the friends that I do. Here’s our route (thanks to Heather for mapping it out), and a quick rundown of the events:
– Waking up at 9am after getting home from Yuri’s Night at 6am to find that it is raining. We somehow get out of bed and catch the ferry on time.
– Last minute supplies at a bike store in Sausalito
– Bay Model
– Getting lost in suburbia. “I know everything about biking around here except for this exact one spot you are in.”
– Greenbrae Boardwalk (unfortunately noone took photos, but these will give you an idea of how unique of a place it is)
– Waiting for the ferry and watching the clouds grow in the distance over Katamari-esque hills
– A beautiful ferry ride south through the Bay into San Francisco
– A long BART ride back to the Fort where good food was made, fire was spun, and people hung out for hours
I’ve had a love/hate relationship with pop culture and advertising for quite some time. While I find quite a bit of it insulting and manipulative, I also find it incredibly intriguing at the same time. Hip-Hop Pop-Up is one of those sites that extracts and exposes the subtle advertising in mainstream hip-hop today. With a culture built around brand names, what’s hot now, and flashy possessions, it’s not too surprising to see how often inadvertant commercials are dropped in the lyrics. However most of us are so used to it that it doesn’t stand out. Hip-Hop Pop-Up will play a mainstream hip-hop song and launch pop-ups for each of the products/brand names that are mentioned in the lyrics. The current song on there is Kanye West’s “All Falls Down” which clocks in with 11 product placements and 10 companies, generating 12 pop-ups. You’ll want to turn off your pop-up blocker to get the full effect. Yes, kind of annoying, but so is the fact that we’re advertised to almost every second of our lives.
via ni9e blog
Monday, April 9, 2007 1 p.m. ET
Post Magazine: Too Busy to Stop and Hear the Music
Can one of the nation’s greatest musicians cut through the fog of a D.C. rush hour? Gene Weingarten set out to discover if violinist Josh Bell — and his Stradivarius — could stop busy commuters in their tracks.
HE EMERGED FROM THE METRO AT THE L’ENFANT PLAZA STATION AND POSITIONED HIMSELF AGAINST A WALL BESIDE A TRASH BASKET. By most measures, he was nondescript: a youngish white man in jeans, a long-sleeved T-shirt and a Washington Nationals baseball cap. From a small case, he removed a violin. Placing the open case at his feet, he shrewdly threw in a few dollars and pocket change as seed money, swiveled it to face pedestrian traffic, and began to play.
It was 7:51 a.m. on Friday, January 12, the middle of the morning rush hour. In the next 43 minutes, as the violinist performed six classical pieces, 1,097 people passed by. Almost all of them were on the way to work, which meant, for almost all of them, a government job. L’Enfant Plaza is at the nucleus of federal Washington, and these were mostly mid-level bureaucrats with those indeterminate, oddly fungible titles: policy analyst, project manager, budget officer, specialist, facilitator, consultant.
Each passerby had a quick choice to make, one familiar to commuters in any urban area where the occasional street performer is part of the cityscape: Do you stop and listen? Do you hurry past with a blend of guilt and irritation, aware of your cupidity but annoyed by the unbidden demand on your time and your wallet? Do you throw in a buck, just to be polite? Does your decision change if he’s really bad? What if he’s really good? Do you have time for beauty? Shouldn’t you? What’s the moral mathematics of the moment?
On that Friday in January, those private questions would be answered in an unusually public way. No one knew it, but the fiddler standing against a bare wall outside the Metro in an indoor arcade at the top of the escalators was one of the finest classical musicians in the world, playing some of the most elegant music ever written on one of the most valuable violins ever made. His performance was arranged by The Washington Post as an experiment in context, perception and priorities — as well as an unblinking assessment of public taste: In a banal setting at an inconvenient time, would beauty transcend?
With a recent massive harddrive failure, I’m going back through all sorts of backups that had to be scattered across drives to save. Every now and then I come upon a little nugget or memory. Here’s one about the college radio station I was a part of. I’m not sure what this was written for, probably the 50 year anniversary of the station.
It was the end of our Senior year (2002). For 4 years WDUB had been a part of our lives and we weren’t quite ready to leave it behind. We didn’t want to just fade out like the music before a PSA about Bigfoot stealing your shoes, we wanted to leave a memory in people’s minds that made them think back fondly about the station and the slightly-odd DJs that controlled the 91.1 frequency. A prank was most definitely in need. Abe, Jess, and Ed (names not changed cause noone is innocent) came up with the idea of making the entire CD library disappear. There had been a great deal of “disappearing CDs” by malicious or careless parties around this time, so we thought we’d take it so far that people would laugh.
During Finals Week, Jess and Ed scheduled back to back radio shows so late into the night that we would have to shut down the station when we were done. This gave us plenty of time to get the job done. Abe met us at the station, and we began moving the CD catalog. We pulled every single CD, yes every single CD, and began stacking them in the newsroom downstairs. Using the mail bins, we did our best to keep everything in a decent order for the poor souls that would have to move them back (us). After several hours, we finally accomplished the gargantuan task of relocating 7000 CDs. The FM room and every drawer in the back room was completely empty save for the thick layer of dust that had built up over the years. I guess not cleaning is truly a Doobie tradition. With all of the CDs relocated, we settled down to making the “ransom note” in true ransom note fashion. Unfortunately at this point we could no longer say, “No issues of CMJ were harmed in this prank.” Ransom note made, evidence stupidly left behind in the trash can, we locked up the station and ran into the darkness of night.
Later that night a DJ stumbled into the station, didn’t see the CDs in the newsroom and thought they were truly stolen. A late night call woke up a very grumpy station manager, and the fur started flying. Over the next few days, rumours of suspension, criminal charges, and even not being allowed to graduate began to circulate. The station was closed down, locks changed, and students were not allowed to broadcast during finals week. This being the unexpected result of a prank that had many people laughing and some not so happy, we decided it was time to fix things. After some anonymous negotiation through a 3rd party, we were finally allowed back into the station to put the CDs back where they belonged in hopes the station could be reopened. Along with a true band of dedicated Doobie DJs, we spent the night carting the CDs back upstairs, alphabetizing and reorganizing, as well as finding many of the “missing” CDs.
Early into that morning, with all the CDs put away, many of the senior DJs bid a final farewell to the station they knew and loved so well. But we had all contributed our part to the crazy history that makes WDUB the best student organization at Denison University. Here’s to 50 more years or music, fun, pranks, and something to do from 3-5am! To all the present and future DJs, keep the spirit alive.
I just checked out the WDUB website myself and find it kind of insulting that they say:
“In the fall of 2004, WDUB began a second era of its history as the station began streaming its on-air content to worldwide internet users.” That’s utter crap as I was streaming the station online via shoutcast while I was there and I graduated in 2002! Hell, I even had a webcam going for my shows. But maybe evidence of my existence with the Doobie was wiped clean after the above debacle.