Ben Wilson

Ben Wilson

ben wilson This is the blog of a one Ben Wilson, a Louisville, Kentucky native who enjoys baseball, beer, music, bikes, things that fly and good food. By day he pushes pixels and makes the Internet happen for a local advertising agency. His wife, Kelly is an Ironman, and his baby Amelia is the cutest thing ever.

A brief, if very enlightening article (from way back in 2004) on Harvard Professor John Stilgoe, who teaches a class in “exploration” (as stated in the article). It strikes me as less exploration and more of understanding the messages that are broadcast to us by things we encounter everyday – the critical understanding of form, function, and in a large part, advertising.

Read here: The Eyes Have It (Professor Teaches A New Way Of Looking At Things)

Having been in the employ of an advertising agency for the past four years, I’ve come to understand that all advertising has been designed for some effect. The shape of a Coke bottle, the hidden arrow in a FedEx logo, the smell of fries from McDonalds. They’ve all been designed – for you. Understanding this can radically change your perspective on the world.

filed under General and then tagged as ,,
Oct 11 2007 ~ 3:29 pm ~ Comments Off ~

Kelly and Ben at the 2007 NATS

It’s just model planes, it’s just model planes… That refrain is constantly bouncing around my head a lot of the time. Isn’t there something bigger and better I should be doing? I’m no doctor, so that’s out. I’m not equipped to be a philanthropist, so that’s a scratch. Failing medicine and philanthropy, I’ve got a drive to help people it would seem. It’s not something I necessarily decided upon, but it’s certainly there. What is truly strange is that I can really, really stress myself out after I’ve committed to something – but it’s like a hardening process. I end up a better person for it in the end, but there are times when that refrain of “it’s just insert inconsequential thing here” comes in.

That, in a nutshell is what the run-up to the Soaring NATS (for which I covered the Soaring events in the NATSNews publication (July 22-30)) was like. Why put myself under such pressure to write about the events and compete at the same time!? You might not consider it a tough job, but the NATS is serious business. 130 pilots from around the country and I did it for-pay for the largest aeromodelling organization in the world. Not to mention that the Soaring crowd (like an hobby) is filled to the brim with opinionated (you could say cranky) dudes who are as passionate about the multi-faceted hobby as I am. I’ve got to take all that into account.

Robert Samuels and Chris Lee at the 2007 Soaring NATS

After I got the first article out, it relieved a fair bit of the pressure I was under. I had most of it pre-written and by that time I was already encamped in Muncie, IN (where the AMA HQ is and where the NATS are held), which is absolutely gorgeous and completely stuns me with silence at night. I got up every morning at 6:30 and went to sleep every night at midnight. I never have more energy, I never eat less and I never more focused than I am at the NATS. It’s like being fired out of a cannon through a week of soaring, and it never fails to inspire me to delve deeper into this hobby.

Despite my focus being elsewhere, I actually managed to do pretty well in the competition at the NATS. I got 5th out of 19 in the handlaunch soaring event, and I placed 6th out of 58(!) in the Rudder/Elevator/Spoiler contest with my EZ Bubble Dancer. RES is one of my favorite events (aside from handlaunch). I got middle-of-the-pack in the Unlimited contest as well, thanks largely in part to a pop-off launch (in which you don’t stay on the towline for very long, leaving you with maybe 75 feet of altitude, as compared to 600-800′, and you don’t get a re-launch!) in the fourth round.

Those successes were good for me, but I count as my greatest success the NATSNews coverage, for which I received universal acclaim. Never was heard a discouraging word from any of the some two dozen guys that came up to me over the week. That’s awesome.

I tried to take a bit of a different tack on the coverage for the NATS, so it was encouraging to hear that so many guys enjoyed my coverage. Soaring has a very committed following, but thanks in large part to the crazy advances in technology, it has become a bit elitist in it’s design. Competition has always been in soaring’s blood, even from the very first years – but now when a competition-level sailplane and gear can set you back $2000-$3000, that raises the barriers to entry considerably for most guys. The NATS is larger than just competition, though, so I thought it crucially important to focus on the “new guys” and let those staying at home for the NATS know that it’s not all about the competition. Doug Pike, a Canadian soaring enthusiast, likened it to “summer camp for sailplanes,” which I think hits the nail right on the head. You’ll never learn more, have more fun or meet more soaring pilots than the NATS. NEVER. If my coverage gets just one more “new guy” to the NATS or interested in soaring, then I’ve done my part.

NATSNews @

The Road to the 2007 NATS @ RCGroups

Gallery of Photos @

filed under Soaring,Travel and then tagged as ,,
Aug 3 2007 ~ 9:55 am ~ Comments (2) ~

Onyx JW Sailplane

I finished up my newest sailplane last week and got a chance to fly it on Sunday. It’s an Onyx JW from SoaringUSA, which I purchased with the aid of the 2006 “Rookie of the Year” award from the Ohio Valley Soaring Series.

It’s my first “molded” ship coming, made in the Ukraine and imported here by SoaringUSA. It’s really a thing of beauty – beautiful, immaculate white wing with red tips and really strong to boot. The wing and fuselage are full of carbon fiber and kevlar for strength… It’s so strong and so quiet when it flies! I’m really excited about it.

My next contest is the 2007 AMA/LSF Nationals (aka the NATS) in beautiful Muncie, IN. I’ll be flying handlaunch, RES (rudder/elevator/spoiler) and unlimited class (which the Onyx JW falls into). I’ll also be towing for F3J (link is YouTube), and writing the soaring coverage for the NATSNews. I’m sure I’ll have my hands full…

filed under Soaring and then tagged as ,,
Jul 16 2007 ~ 8:47 am ~ Comments (1) ~

It’s just about that time, cats and kittens for another installment of “What has Ben been listening to?”. I’ve been getting good response from a number of folks about my past installments, and I’ve got a backlog of stuff to dump now. (Update 2005/10/03: see end of post)

First up, I can’t say enough about The Heartless Bastards, a steady and loud trio from up-river in Cinci. Fronted by a diminutive straight-up hottie chick name of Erika Wennerstrom with a just huge voice. As with fellow Fat Possum alums, The Black Keys, their sound is the pounding blue-collar-and-denim romp that comes out of so many great industrial towns (think White Stripes out of Detroit / Black Sabbath from Birmingham UK). You couple that with Wennerstrom’s strong, steady and yet expressive voice and you get something that is truly great. I suggest you find out their debut Stairs and Elevators and give it a spin. (Also, they are playing at Uncle Pleasants on October 14th here in Louisville. Ticketweb will get you in.)

matt pond pa

The Matt Pond PA was something I stumbled upon thanks to Pitchfork’s free MP3 singles a few years back. That section of the site I came to find out as a dumping ground for small labels (like Polyvinyl). You can imagine there was a lot of listening for the ultimate rewards, but I did manage to find Mclusky and the Matt Pond PA in there, and considering my appreciation for both bands I’d say it was worth it.

The Matt Pond PA single I picked out was “Fairlee”, the excellent opening track on their 2002 release The Nature of Maps. At the time the MPPA were just a really good multi-piece conglomerate band that rarely toured outside of their home-base of the Northeast. But now, they are opening for Liz Phair on her tour and have readied Several Arrows Later, their 4th or 5th full-length album, for release. Thanks to the wonders of the intarwebs, I have managed to get a listen to this new album.

On Several their songs still remain as yarns about the changing seasons, or perhaps snapshots of wasted fall afternoons, but now with a bit more polish and weight. Something that originally drew me to MPPA was their obvious talent with the modest arrangements to match the subject matter in the songs. A good match, and having been to Vermont, I guess I’m pining for such humility. With Several Arrows Later they’ve made a heavier, more lush album. This jump in production and sound might ordinarily strain other indie bands, but the Matt Pond PA have the talent and patience to take on that load, and do it well.

Self-references: 2003.01.07 – Rainer Maria Rocks, mclusky breaks up, mclusky.

Yanni Papadapolous

A few weeks back, I joined Brad and Hunter to go and see Clutch in Indianapolis. I was already hyped to see Clutch (though I’m not the biggest of Clutch fans) because of their “awesome live show” reputation. But, as we were driving up, Brad and Hunter told me of the opener (which they had seen at the Louisville Clutch show) — a band called Stinking Lizaveta, fronted by a bearded man-beast named Yanni Papadopoulos.

Milling around before the show, Brad would occassionally point to some dark corner off-stage and say “That’s him! That’s the YANNI.”. Glancing in that direction, I only say a dark mass of hair above what appeared to be a Hawaiian shirt. Some sort of dark yogi not on a hill-top but in the dingy green room of the Vogue. Still, I had not been witness to the Lizaveta.

Finally, the show began and out came someone who appeared to be a young Edgar Allen Poe (actually Alexi, Yanni’s younger brother). His weapon of choice? Upright electric bass. I knew this was going to be good. Behind the drums sat a woman who Brad described as having “huge guns!” – her name is Cheshire Augusta. And then, out from the shadows behind the stage – pot-bellied, unshaven, shirtless, haggard and wearing ripped jeans came… Yanni.

Being an instrumental band, Yanni spoke few words. He didn’t need to. He’d simply walk over to the mic, and say things like “Day of Dust” or “Caught between worlds” or “Man-day. This song is about going to work.” and then proceed to crush our souls with some of the best punk-metal-jazz fusion I’ve ever heard or seen. He enjoyed the crowd and the crowd enjoyed him. He even passes his guitar around the audience at the end of the set. We all converted to Papadopolism that night, my friends. We all agreed we’d easily pay the $20 cover just to see the Lizaveta. Hunter dropped the $10 for their album III, and we listened to it on the way home, but it lacked a certain urgency and certain visceral element that I think raises Stinking Lizaveta to another plane.

My Morning Jacket

Thanks to my buddy Jackson, I managed to get a pre-release version of My Morning Jacket’s soon-to-be-released album Z. It is good.

Let me say that MMJ has all of the hallmarks of a “Southern” (read: Lynyrd Skynyrd) band – the big bearded lead singer, the drawl, the multiple guitarists, the jams. They have all of the hallmarks save for one thing: their actual music. You can’t peg it down easily, especially on Z, their most ambitious outing yet. (“Ambitious” being rock-criticism-speak for “what-the-fuckitious”) They still throw down the jams like they did on their true “breakout” album, 2003′s “It Still Moves“, but they’ve added more depth, more dynamism and more just plain weirdness “a kitten on fire / a baby in a blender” perhaps in reaction to their “Southern” label. Losing two founding members in the last year or so probably had something to do with this “ambitousness”.

Z is a great mix of the old and new – which any “ambitious” album really should have in it’s mix. The songs are varied, with enough rock jams with catchy riffs (“Off the Record”) and enough new, more adventurous fare (“Into the Woods”) to make this a good album and a good step onward for MMJ. In this creative “fanning out” that I heard in the album, I also heard some of their more varied influences cropping up — from Nirvana to Elvis Costello to the Clash to perhaps even a little Pink Floyd. And for those wondering, yes, MMJ is still friends with Mr. Reverb.

It is a time for many happenings in the MMJ world, and so the very different newness of Z seems fitting. For instance, they feature prominently in Cameron Crowe’s newest film Elizabethtown, where they play a local band and yes finally, after years of taunting by that one drunk dude in the audience, they play Skynyrd’s “Free Bird” (which they have never, ever played live). How’s that for irony? Anyway, if you get a chance to give Z a listen, be prepared for something different, something so Southern it’s un-Southern, and enjoy. P.S.: They are sporting on the front cover of Velocity Weekly this week, and Z comes out next Tuesday. Jackson is also hosting a pre-listening party at The Outlook on Bardstown Road tonight from 6-8PM.

Explosions in the SKy

I was introduced to Explosions in the Sky after having re-discovered and re-evaluated fellow Austintonians …And You Will Know Us By The Trail of Dead (another post all together) at the urging of Jackson Cooper. Explosions in the Sky is such a great name — how could I not listen?

On the matter of appropriate names for bands, Explosions in the Sky is certainly at the top of the list. For that matter, Stinking Lizaveta and Clutch might be up there, too. At the bottom end of the scale, …Trail of Dead will probably roost. Explosions in the Sky do sound like the fireworks that name might invoke — both the percussive, gasp-worthy delight that a light-show and chest-thumping report would cause, but also for the falling sparks left behind and the inevitably drifting clouds of smoke. The rising crescendo of light and sound with great ends that leave you wanting for more. The dynamic impact of Slint, with a dash of the ominous God Speed! You Black Emperor, and with the silken touch of perhaps the Rachels. Careful, masterful work by a shy group of dudes from Austin, Texas.

How Strange, Innocence, their most recent release, was actually recorded in early 2000! Less that 100 pressings were made and considering their growing foothold on the indie conscience (they contributed heavily to the Friday Night Lights soundtrack — did you know that?), they’ve released this as new material. Do yourself a favor, and check them out at your earliest convenience. I’d also recommend their The Earth Is Not A Cold Dead Place (2003) and Those Who Tell The Truth Shall Die, Those Who Tell The Truth Shall Live Forever (2001)

filed under Music and then tagged as ,,
Sep 26 2005 ~ 1:48 pm ~ Comments (1) ~

I have never really considered myself an expert on much of anything save for “What does Ben think about when he lays down at night?”, but it’s becoming apparent to me that people at here at work consider me an expert in THE INTERNET. Obviously they hired me because I had a working knowledge thereof, but I figured there were people here that knew better than I. I apparently was wrong.

By saying “THE INTERNET”, I use the broadest of terms here because while the Internet is as wide as say, space – you don’t find many people with a Doctorate of Space studies. Perhaps you did when the idea of Space was new, perhaps even 10 years after we realized that we could poke holes in the sky. Now there are many, many specializations in Space Science, like astronomy, astropaleontology, astrophysics, temporal physics, etc. Again drawing from the Space/Internet parallel, there are many different aspects of the ‘web to be knowledgeable in. There are the programmers who create the application that you are using to view this web-page. There are people who do nothing but consider how best to bombard you with ads. There are people who consider how best to shield you from those ads. There are people who agonize over font-sizes, “site-flow”, metrics, returnability, content freshness and all sorts of media dynamics. There are grunts like me who help to create and publish the content created by the great hive-mind that is the marketing world. Somehow, I’ve managed through no real effort to be considered an expert in some of these areas. Lets consider that for a moment.

How did this come to be? Is it just that I had been trapped in the insular world of the I.T. world and didn’t bear to think about the other 99% of people who use the Internet like a toaster-oven? I guess that might be the case. I worked a co-op position for an in-house development staff, so there wasn’t a whole lot of “outside contact”, and then moved onto a job in an web-only agency which expanded and imploded in the Great Boom and Bust. For a period of about 4 years there, I was surrounded by either in-house IT complacency or being held aloft by the dot-com who-needs-the-rest-of-the-pie bubble. It was a little like the whole evolution of IT, condensed. Going from slaving away in a cave to being fired out of a cannon, exploding, then drifting lazily back to Earth. Now that I’m in a world and a time where this Internet technology is finally considered as just another tool in the handy-bag, I’m learning more about the rest of it all and at the same time spreading what knowledge I’ve gained on my albeit short journey. It’s nice to feel wanted.

It’s not to say that there aren’t people here at work who don’t get the Internet (I’m sure there are a few, but they don’t necessarily need to get it), but there are folks who just aren’t confident in their knowledge thereof. Like the toaster-oven analogy before, they know it makes toast, but don’t care and don’t need to know just how hot it gets or why it gets hot in the first place. They come to me and say “so can I cook a pizza in that?” and I respond (as per the usual) with “yes and no”. I am assuming that the next part is where I’ve gotten myself into that “trusted expert” role. I usually then attempt to explain to them why you can or cannot do that, or sometimes even why you shouldn’t do that, and then suggest something completely different, like a bagel. It’s all about understanding a communication.

Too many times, I’ve seen or heard thing that other IT-related folks do that simply make me cringe. I ask “Why do you want to do that?” but with a positively inquisitive tone. I’ve heard on a number of occassions a dismissive slant to that question – think of that character from Saturday Night Live – “Nick Burns – Your Company’s Computer Guy”, and you’ve got it about right. Dang. That just gives IT folks a bad name! The whole reclusive, mind-boggling, superiority-grappling nerd thing is so played it makes me sick. I know it’s hard for people in the IT departments of the world to realize that technology is just a tool and we are but mechanics. I’m talking humility here.

Maybe that is what I’ve been angling for my whole life. The whole mechanic/artist thing. Mixing technology with the intangible to create something more than both. I still don’t think I’m very good at it — that is to say I know folks who are certainly better than I am. But having people look to me for recommendations and information is both nice and bewildering.

filed under General and then tagged as ,,
Jul 8 2005 ~ 8:03 am ~ Comments Off ~


Podcasting. Perhaps you’ve heard of it, perhaps you haven’t. For the latter, here is a succinct definition: Podcasting is a way of publishing sound files to the Internet, allowing users to subscribe to a feed and receive new audio files automatically. (definition from the Wikipedia). Having been asked many times over the years to explain the mystery and voodoo that is the weblog, I offer to the humble reader this treatise on podcasting.

“Podcasting” — I’ve been hearing this term for some time, specifically starting with Warren Ellis’ Bad Signal list. Ellis, a prolific science-fiction/futurist/whatever writer is always on the lookout for the newest of the new trends in communications, and he picked up the term sometime last year. He had this to say about it:

“Podcasting is a very interesting idea.
You record your own little radio
show to mp3, release it off your
website as a RSS enclosure, and a
little bit of software like iPodder
sucks it on to your computer for
shunting into your mp3 player.
Podcasting is just a few months old,
and most of it is very bad — but
there weren’t any good blogs in
the first six months of blogging,
either. This could be very interesting.”


While the term podcasting is reasonably new (and while it’s usage has doubled/tripled as of late), and while it could have a very bright and interesting future, don’t be fooled: this technology and this very idea have been around almost since the dawn of the Internet — perhaps even time. It’s nothing new, but as much as anything on the Intarweb, you can sprinkle an idea with technology-dust, slap a new name on it and web-denizens will lap it up.

The analogues between podcasting and the now-debunked mystery of the weblog are many and similar. A weblog ain’t nothing but a diary, but on the Internet! It’s just as simple as that. Do not be fooled by the high-wizardry of the Internet. There is still some dude on his couch banging out his latest political commentary or his recipe for chicken sauce piquant. Anyone can do it. Back in the days before the glorious intarweb, this was limited to those with access either to a mailing list or the school newspaper. With barriers such as those, only the determined were published, and fewer were even read.

In the same way, podcasting has been around for years. In the days before there was an FCC, all you needed was a radio to get on the air. Crank up your spark-gap transmitter and read off your recipes and/or political commentary! The FCC decided that it was better to save the airwaves for emergencys, radio payola and advertisements, so away that went. How is a man to rouse rabble or read his manic break-up poetry now?! Tell me that, Uncle Sam! If only there was some medium with no boundaries or limits…

Well, along comes the Internet. Complete and total unfettered global access to any and all with a computer. Imagine it! A thousand thousand thousand political hacks, diary writers and wannabe Yeats’ publishing at the same time! Well, that future is here and now — we call it blogging. Take a vast and vastly mediocre group of publishers, and give them an infinite media, add splash of technology, and voila! Total information overload.

Whereas weblogs are nothing but words and the occassional picture, podcasting is the next natural step (just add audio). It’s not like you couldn’t cast a pod before, but now it’s just easier. Before there was such a thing as MP3 (compressed audio) it was unfeasable to put up a 30-minute 300 meg radio show on the web. Even then — did you really expect people to download and listen to your drivel whilst chained to their desks? But then — oh, then — the iPod! The portable, digital music vault! Combine small audio files, the increase in bandwidth for the average user, the availability of portable music devices, and man’s insatiable desire to be heard and there you have it — podcasting.

I really wish there was a word to describe the phenomenon of re-labeling something, but for the Internet. It was sort of done with the “e” and “i”, like “e-Commerce” and “i-Pod”, but “podcasting” and “weblog” are of a different sort. They are not technologies, per se, but really re-inventions of current, perhaps even mundane, activities. Prestiwebitating, perhaps, I don’t know. Perhaps I’m not looking far enough ahead. (What? You mean like vidblogging or holocasting? YES — that far!)

Do not fear the Internet. It is only there to confuse and annoy.

Further: Come One, Come All: The Rise of Podcasting at Also, the earliest mention of “podcast” on Google Groups appears to be October 2004, linked to this article. This American Life has been podcasting for years and years now, releasing each of it’s episodes (webisodes?) the week after they air on NPR. Finally, that photo of ex-MTV VJ Adam Curry up there is due to his involvement with the genesis of podcasting as a syndicatable/auto-updating thing (see his Adam Curry’s Wikipedia article).

filed under General and then tagged as ,
May 23 2005 ~ 11:33 am ~ Comments (10) ~

Whilst looking for info on today’s All Things Considered (who, oddly enough are hosting the aforementioned The Decemberists), I happened to notice an article by NPR’s Ombudsman Jeffrey A. Dvorkin entitled “When Those Pesky Blogs Undermine NPR News“. The crux of the story is in regards to a Defense Department PDF obtained and posted by NPR detailing the unfortunate death of Italian agent Nicola Calipari due to US fire at a checkpoint in Iraq. Some “bloggers” downloaded this PDF, and using some publically known unredacting techniques, released a “clean” version of the document to the internet at large. The information revealed, among other things, the US service personnel involved in the shooting.

In light of that fiasco, it is understandable for Ombudsman Dvorkin to take offsense. That aside, Dvorkin seems, with his occassionally dismissive remarks regarding the “blogosphere” to have some thinly veiled contempt for bloggers and “amoral place with few rules” that they habitate. That underlying current is what originally seeded my interest in his column, and upon further research it would seem that he has just recently provided a “mea culpa” on the subject of blogs. So, perhaps my hunch was right. But, that salacious point is not really the reason I’m writing.

I think Dvorkin’s underlying (though admirably publically displayed) contempt/concern for bloggers’ journalistic meddle is understandable from someone in his position. However, I do believe that bloggers and their “misbehavior” are a necessary evil. For each unredacted piece of information that might “endanger lives”, there are a handful of blog entries with substantive opinion and fact that would not have come to light save for this “lawless West” (my words, not his). It’s not as black and white or as unchangeable as some may think.

The Internet, and the “blogosphere” as sub-universe is a frightfully organic beast by its very design, so Dvorkin’s statement that “bloggers tend not to care if they, and their readers conflate opinion and fact” is, I believe, uncharacteristically one-sided. For every loud, obnoxious, factsimile-spewing blogger, there is an equal and opposite blogger that does value the same journalistic ethics that he stands for. Being a living, breathing organism, the Internet does not just create new ideas, but also ingests them as well. The blogosphere has taken a cue from the sound-and-fury news channels of the world and makes blogs in that image. I imagine that anti-drug commercial from the 80s with the kid saying to his coked-up father “I learned it from watching you!”.

In the end of Dvorkin’s article, he concedes that the mainstream media may be “the King Canutes of latter-day media, hoping that we can order the tide to recede at our command”. I don’t think you can order this tide to recede, necessarily, but I do think that you can certainly make it work for you. I applaud Dvorkin for his frank remarks regarding the interaction between blogs and the mainstream media, but I truly hope they realize that the blogosphere is what you make it. After all, it isn’t a big machine sitting in a bunker 30 floors below sea-level — it’s people like you, me, Dvorkin and Drudge.

Also, just as an aside — Dvorkin reported back in January on emails received by NPR between mid-October 2004 and Janunary 2005, giving tallies by subject. “Criticisms of NPR as too leftwing”: 210. “Critiques that NPR is too rightwing”: 484. Heh.

filed under General and then tagged as ,,
May 4 2005 ~ 8:54 am ~ Comments Off ~


There are some people I know – even some readers of this not-so-anonymous blog – who blog about any number of things that would normally be confined to either their subconscious or chatted over a neighbor’s fence (perhaps over a fabulous martini). In the case of work-related gossip, I would wager that if you are going to involve yourself in such an endeavor, it is best to do this anonymously. So, whilst trolling through MeFi earlier this morning, I happened upon a link to the Electronic Frontier Foundation‘s How to Blog Safely (About Work or Anything Else).

One thing they don’t mention here is that any traffic (read: email) that you send using your company’s email servers is their property and so you should not consider your work email “private”. That is what a Gmail account is for!

While they do mention “limiting the audience” of your blog, I have found that unless you restrict your readership manually, anyone and everyone you know will eventually stumble upon your blog. My furthest stretch has been the dairy farmer that lived down the country road in Botetourt County, Virginia, where my great-uncle Joe lives. He mentioned to my Uncle Joe that he had read a website about my and Kelly’s adventures in Eagle Rock, VA. This should underscore how important not giving away your particulars is when attempting to stay anonymous. The careful and intrepid information-seeker will no-doubt attempt to put together a sketch of you through the scraps of info they can find on the internet. For example — I once had a man keep calling my house and requesting that he speak with Pablo Escobar (the now-deceased Columbian druglord). After a pair of short calls, I decided to find out just who my caller was, only armed with his phone number. Thanks to reverse phone directories, Google, and some luck, I found his name, address, his AOL username (which could be contacted via AIM), his homepage, highschool, job history, etc, etc. That turned his next call into an hour-long tango of “I know more about you than you probably ever cared me to know”. I really just wanted the guy to quit calling the house at all hours, but I figured I might as well have fun with it.

So — take care out there on the Intarweb. It is a wild and wonderful place. But, as with most wild and wonderful places, you could be eaten by bears (and by eaten by bears, I mean your job or life could be mauled. Not by bears, but by people who just don’t get the joke).

“With super-powers comes super-responsibility”

– “The Amazing Strobe”

filed under General and then tagged as ,,
Apr 8 2005 ~ 8:33 am ~ Comments (4) ~

A couple of years ago, at the urging of Najati, I read Joe Sacco’s account of life in the Palestinian state, aptly entitled “Palestine”. Sacco is an award-winning journalist, which is kind of odd because his medium is not newspaper or television or even radio, but rather the graphic novel. “Comm-ick books” you might say, but if you’d give over an hour or two to read “Palestine,” you’d think differently. “Palestine” details the day-to-day struggles of the ordinary people in the Palestinian state in the early 1990′s (before the most recent intifada) with unusual detail — gritty, gruesome, and often comic.

This time, he has published a short 8-page report from Iraq alongside American troops, entitled
Complacency Kills (32meg PDF). Again, he manages to detail the real-life details of war and its effects on the average person with stark detail and wry humor. Well worth the read.

If you are interested in any of Sacco’s stuff, I highly suggest good ol’ Fantagraphics. Also, here is a good interview with Joe Sacco.

“Comics are just words and pictures. You can do anything with words and pictures.” — Harvey Pekar.

filed under General and then tagged as ,,
Mar 1 2005 ~ 1:05 pm ~ Comments (1) ~

I knew it would come to this some day, but not so soon and in such a form:
Animal-Human Hybrids Spark Controversy (namely chimeraea).

To quote the article: “What new subhuman combination should be produced and for what purpose? At what point would it be considered human? And what rights, if any, should it have?

Me? I say NO RIGHTS ONLY WORK. Hunter agrees:

HunterDixon: giant posters with Darkseid on them
HunterDixon: exes over the eyes
HunterDixon: WORK IS LIFE
filed under General and then tagged as ,,
Jan 27 2005 ~ 2:14 pm ~ Comments (3) ~
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