Megnut

The Two Towers Thoughts

I haven't posted my thoughts about the Two Towers yet because I'm not sure what they are. On one hand, it was exciting just to see it because I'd been anticipating its release for so long. On the other, it was disappointing, because I find things rarely live up to the expectations I set for them. I felt a little disappointed with it when I left the theatre, but I find it's growing on me as time passes. Certainly the introduction of the new characters, especially Eowyn and Eomer, was great. And yet -- well, I don't even know why I'm bothering to write this "review," my opinion about it hasn't sorted itself out yet.

New York bans cells phones

The New York City Council approved a bill to ban cell phone use at public performances in the City, not including sporting events. It includes places like movies, galleries, and lectures (but allows for emergency use). Does "I'm at the front of the line at the concession stand, did you want butter on your large popcorn?" count as an emergency? I agree it's annoying and obnoxious when someone's phone rings during one of these events, but is total prohibition the answer? How about something along the lines of driver's ed instead? Before you can buy a phone, you need to receive some sort of "phone etiquette" certification. Topics to be covered include: "Talking on phone OK before movie starts, talking on phone BAD once movie begins" etc.

US does it better

Having sampled many many many salad niçoises both at home and in Paris, I can say without a doubt that American chefs have elevated this salad to a gastronmic height unachieved in Continental lands. Their substitution of seared tuna for plain-old canned fish provides a Gladwellian salad tipping point, and moves this humble dish of tuna, lettuce, beans, potatoes, eggs, and olives into the realm of culinary magnificence.

UN conference on population

A Salon premium article (so I only read the intro) about Assistant Secretary of State Arthur E. Dewey's remarks, on behalf of the United States, at the United Nations conference on population. "The United States supports the sanctity of life from conception to natural death," he said as US delegates demanded that phrases such as "reproductive health" and promotion of condom use be stricken from the proposed policy. (Aside: are electrocution and lethal injection natural forms of death these days?)

The New York Times responds with an editorial, An Anti-Life Crusade, pointing out that a refusal to promote condom use ("on the theory that it encourages underage sex") can lead to far more dangerous consequences than pregnancy (such as AIDS in teenage girls pressured into sex with older men). Fortunately, the United States position was unanimously rejected by the 30+ representatives of Asian countries in attendance.

A new megnut column: Dial-Up Revelations

Finally, after months of nothing, I've got a new megnut column over at O'Reilly: Dial-Up Revelations, some thoughts based on my experience in France using a dial-up connection for Web access. One of my resolutions for the New Year is to actual write one of my "monthly columns" every month.

SXSW adds more women photos

The other day I bemoaned the lack of photos of women on the SXSW interactive panels page. Well it looks like someone was reading, because now there are four additional speakers' photos posted there, all women. Yippee! [props to Mena for the tip]

Danny O'Brien on immigration paperwork

Danny O'Brien's got some interesting points about the difficulties in acquiring permanent resident status in the US and what happened to the hundreds of Middle Eastern immigrants who've been arrested in southern California. [via Anil's linky thingy]

Mail going down

My mail server is moving so my mail will be down for a few hours today beginning at 10 AM EST. If you need to reach me, use mhourihan@yahoo.com instead.

Elite circle of dolphin people

Now that Gawker is actually live, I can point you to my favorite post to date regarding "[o]ur elite circle of dolphin people." Can't you hear the high-pitched squeeking?

The Two Towers

The Two Towers! Tonight! After all the anticipation, I can't believe it's finally here. Though I wanted to go to the first showing (at midnight), I opted not to since last time I tried that (for Star Wars Episode II) I feel asleep in the middle for like 20 minutes! I couldn't risk something like that for the Two Towers, so we're going this evening, when I'll be all bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, as they say. I'm most looking forward to seeing the Ents. Less than 12 hours to go! :)

Gawker's going live

Gawker, "a live review of [New York] city news, and by news we mean, among other things, urban dating rituals, no-ropes social climbing, Condé Nastiness, downwardly-mobile i-bankers, real estate porn -- the serious stuff," goes live today at noon EST. I've been reading this site for the past few weeks in its "beta" form and it's become one of my favorites already. It's a guilty pleasure, like reading InStyle on the airplane or a trashy paperback at the beach, but with a touch of the practical thrown in. Let everyone else quote the New Yorker, quippy Gawker references will make you the true talk of the town.

Lower Eastside Girls' Club

Looking for a yummy holiday gift? The Lower Eastside Girls Club bakes and sells their own holiday cookies. Click here to order. "Your purchase supports programs that teach inner-city girls culinary arts and business skills." Culinary arts and business skills -- two of my favorite things! The Club is also in the process of raising funds to build their own Girls' Club building since they don't have their own place (though the Boys' Club has several, more info here.) So suport NYC girls and order some cookies today. [via DailyCandy]

One good thing, one bad thing

One good thing about New York: Christmas trees are for sale every few blocks and the air smells wonderfully of pine as you walk down the street. Visions of Christmas (and sugarplums) dance in my head.

One bad thing about New York: my downstairs neighbor has two yowling dogs that won't shut up. These are the same dogs that lunged at me the first time I saw them and snarled. Visions of apartment complex dog mauling completely freak me out in my head.

Interview with Cameron Marlow

There's an interview with Cameron Marlow, creator of Blogdex and researcher at MIT Media Lab over at kiruba.com. Good stuff. Also, that's where pb was interviewed last month.

Better RSS

I've changed my RSS feed to include the entire contents of each post (before I was only doing excerpts). First, this will make it easier for people who'd prefer to read megnut entirely through an RSS reader to do so. Second, since the new Creative Commons license I've adopted includes a non-commercial component, the RSS feed provides an easy way for anyone who wants to use my content in some other manner.

Supernova follow-up

Scott Rosenberg follows up in a Salon column with some thoughts on the Supernova conference, what was discussed there, and the lack of business models present for what was discussed.

Creative Commons launches licenses

Creative Commons has released version 1.0 of its licensing project which allows you to, "build licenses that will help you tell others that your works are free for copying and other uses but only on certain conditions." This is the first step in getting creators to easily adopt other copyright schemes rather than the default © and its associated (and continuously extended) length.

I went through the wizard and chose a less restrictive copyright for this site than I'd had before. My only suggestion to the CC team: some improved definitions of the terms, with examples, so copyright newbies like myself know what "to distribute derivative works under a license identical to the one that governs the licensor's work" means in even less legally speak than that.

I'm really excited to see this project finally go live after hearing so much about it these past few months, and knowing folks who've been involved in getting it out the door. Congratulations to the whole Creative Commons team on a job very well done.

Photo of Google-cooking mom

My mom's posted her photo from last week's Newsweek article on Google. I especially like how she's wearing oven mits, as if she's been baking her laptop prior to searching for recipes.

Lance Arthur on shoes

Lance on shoes over at Glassdog. As someone with the potential for a full-blown case of Shoe Fanaticism, I loved ever bit of this tale.

Miss Maggie on Hats

Miss Maggie is at it again with Women's Fashion: Part III, Hats. I've always wished we women still wore hats and gloves while out and about. Perhaps fashion (thanks to Maggie's influence) will turnaround and we'll begin to don hats again even when we're not on the ski slope.

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