Archive for May 2003

Sorkin to leave West Wing

Drat, series creator and frequent script writer Aaron Sorkin is leaving the West Wing at the end of this season. The West Wing is one of my favorite TV shows, though I've been a little behind this season after missing some episodes while in France and when I was TiVoless in NY. The article says there were "reports of tension between Sorkin and the studio that produces the show, Warner Bros. Television." The supposed tensions relate to production delays and budget overruns.

The conspiracist in me wonders if there isn't some political pressure as well. Warner Bros. Television is of course owned by media juggernaut AOL/Time Warner. But in looking up their campaign contributions for 2000 (as AOL and Time Warner) and 2002 (now merged), I find that they contribute more to Democrats. I guess the conspiracist in me is wrong.

Goodbye Old Man

New Hampshire's Old Man of the Mountain collapsed some time on Friday evening and is no more. I saw the profile many times when I was younger and spent my summers hiking in the White Mountains. It was such a neat, familiar face looking out of the hills and it makes me sad that it's gone. But I suppose I also feel lucky that I got to see it so many times in person before its collapse.

A new office for the LP

When Evan and I started Pyra, we worked in my living room for the first three months or so. While that was fun, there was something really special when we got our own office space and moved to SOMA. Somehow it felt more official, and I remember how my enthusiasm and productivity soared when we set up our new shop.

On Friday the Lafayette Project relocated to its new space (no longer on Lafayette St., is a name change in order?) and again I feel the elation and amazing sense of potential. Mark and I now occupy the end of a large loft, next to big old windows looking out onto the streets of TriBeCa. We have walls on which to hang our numerous diagrams, flows, charts, and models. We even have a meeting table! With my increased productivity, I may just have the whole thing built by the end of the day! :)

West Village eats

MUG highlights Cornelia Street's array of moderate restaurants today. Though they sound tempting, I've yet to explore any of them except Home, where last October (on our visit to find an apartment) we stopped in for some comfort and warmth during a downpour after a brutal altercation with a real estate broker. Home was homey alright, alas Jason's macaroni & cheese had plastic in it. They apologized and gave us free desert and coffee, but the damage was done and our appetites disappeared. We slogged back to my cousin's apt. in the rain, wondering whether we had the stamina to live in NYC. I think I'll try Le Gigot if we dare eat on Cornelia Street again.

Tribeca Drive-In

As part of the Tribeca Film Festival, there's a drive-in setup on Pier 25 (West Side Highway at N[athanial (not orth)] Moore Street) and they'll be showing movies Thursday, Friday and Saturday night. My childhood favorite Grease will be shown Saturday. Details about tickets, films, and start times are here. All shows are free, but you must have a ticket to enter. I jogged by this morning and they have a movie marquee at the entrance and everything, it looks fun.

USA does Village People

Because I rarely post those totally goofy yet entertaining things that people send around in email, I will this time. If you haven't seen it, here's a Flash movie of Bush, Rice, Powell and Rumsfeld doing the Village People. About Iraq. Honest to God.

The social software hype

With a lot of references to last month's Emerging Tech conference, Guardian writer Jack Schofield examines the hype around social software:

Social software is the next big thing: everybody's talking about it. A lot of people are developing exciting new programs to aid social interaction. Social software is being massively overhyped. It's just a sideshow run by a few geeks with a tenuous grip on reality.

BBC's weekly news quiz

I hadn't seen this before, but the BBC offers a weekly world news quiz. And they mean world. If you're limiting your news intake to Fox News, or even the New York Times, you might not be able to answer all the questions correctly. My showing was a pathetic 2 for 7. Granted, I've been head's down in development mode for the past few weeks, only coming up for food, sleep, and the NBA playoffs. But that's no excuse, I must up my ingestion of foreign news products at once! (Wait a this some sneaky BBC marketing ploy to make me spend more time on their site? And did I just totally fall for it?)

Weblog roundtable Saturday in Boston

I'll be speaking tomorrow on a weblog roundtable at the Boston Public Library from 3 - 5 PM. It's some joint thingy between the Boston Cyberarts Festival and eNarrative. There's some information here but not a whole lot. I'll be doing a 15 minute presentation (don't know if others will as well) and then there'll be discussion and Q & A. I believe it's in the old building of the BPL. If you attend, come by and say hello to me afterwards.

War is peace

Apparently a Norwegian parliamentarian has nominated President Bush and Prime Minister Blair for the Nobel Peace Prize. I can't think of anything more 1984-like in my life. It's like the culmination of all the propaganda we've been dealing with. Anyway, the link is to a GOP site which lists an email address and postal address where you "can send a letter of support for the nomination of George W. Bush and Tony Blair for the Nobel Peace Prize to the Norwegian Nobel Institute." Of course, one could also send a letter conveying shock and outrage at the mere suggestion of such a thing. Unless you believe we've always been at war with Eurasia.

Best of NY food

It's that time of year again when the "best of" lists are out. Here's's Best of New York 2003 food. Local spot Jefferson won Best New Neighborhood Joint. I haven't eaten there yet, but have been meaning to. Now I'll have to get on it before it becomes too crowded!

More info on today's talk

I've found some more information about today's weblog roundable on the eNarrative site (well actually my mom did, thanks mom!) The session is entitled, "weblog to webtale: living and writing as electronic art" and will take place at 3 PM in the Raab Auditorium at the Boston Public Library. In addition to me, there will be: George P. Landow (Hypertext 2.0), Dave Winer (Radio Userland), Noah Wardrip-Fruin (The New Media Reader), Mark Bernstein (Tinderbox), and George Fifield (Boston Cyberarts Festival). Oh, and it's free!

Cyberarts/eNarrative slides

Here are the PowerPoint slides from Saturday's talk at the Boston Public Library [108 KB] and here is the HTML version. There's not much different in here from the last few presentations I've posted. The session was very interesting and I learned a lot from my fellow presenters, especially relating to hypertext. Looks like I have lots of reading and research to do!

Things we do for love

People will tell you the key to any successful relationship is compromise. Without the ability to compromise, long-term love affairs don't make it beyond short-term trysts. Compromise done well is like any negotiation, the trick is to give so that in return you get something you want. In that vein, I'm going to see The Matrix: Reloaded tonight. I didn't like the first Matrix. But I also don't want to go alone to the premiere of Seabiscuit this summer. No wonder people say relationships are hard!

Remaindered linking!

I've been invited to contribute to Jason's sidebar of "Remaindered Links" for the next few weeks. I've been posting up a storm, though my contributions aren't distinguished from Jason's so you'll have to guess who's whose. I like the idea of being able to point to something neat without having to write about why it's neat. Perhaps if this experiment goes well, I'll add my own remaindered links to megnut. In the meantime, be sure and check in there for links on things like CSS, hypertext, and the American Chestnut Foundation.

Update: Mike writes in to point out that if you read the remaindered links via an RSS reader, you get the author information because it's in the feed. So there you go, not so secret after all.

Pretty in Pink pedicure

It's sandal time of year again, and you know what that means, time to get your feet in shape! If you're looking to splurge, the Sweet Lily Spa in Tribeca is offering a new Pretty in Pink pedicure ($55 for 60 minutes). Your soles will be soaked in a cocktail of grapefruit, mint, and essential oils and the treatment also includes reflexology and of course, application of polish. Your feet will smell delicious for days.

This week, a list

Road Runner Sports at Amazon

Amazon seems to be teaming up with everyone. Today I noticed Amazon's now partnered with San Diego's Road Runner Sports, my favorite place to buy running shoes. RRS used to be an all-catalog outfit and they won me over the very first time I called them, in 1990. I'd seen the shoes I wanted in the local running store in Cambridge (MA). I called RRS for a price quote. The price was the same as the local store, so I told the guy on the phone, "Thanks but I don't want to order them."

He asked me, "Why not?"

"Because the price is the same as the store nearby and I could get them today, without paying for shipping."

So he lowered the price by $10 and overnighted the sneakers to me for free. Yup, I like RRS. And I like them even more integrated into Amazon's super-duper shopping and recommendation engine.

Hodgman on food

John Hodgman, former professional literary agent, is now a food columnist (my dream job!) for Men's Journal. In April he went In Search of the Next Big Fish. In May, we discover him Rediscovering the Lost Art of Bitters. And a quick search yields many more results, including an article extoling "the Lobsterwich - the perfect summer sandwich." Move over, Steingarten, there's a new man on the block!

Blogger Gary Hart?

Woah, Gary Hart has a weblog. And a blogroll too! Very cool. [via B-May]

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