Mixed Media

Internet Time Waster of the Day: Idee Multicolr

| Fri Jul. 11, 2008 6:16 PM EDT

mojo-photo-multicolr2.jpgVia the also-pretty-addictive Apartment Therapy, it's a crazy little internet widget that allows you to select a set of colors (up to ten) and then happily goes off and searches Flickr's "Interesting Photos" pool for pictures that prominently feature your selected hue or hues. First, pick orange, and watch the pumpkins, oranges, and fireworks line up. Then click on blue, and suddenly there are orange-brick buildings against blue skies, and spray-tanned babes in front of turquoise oceans. What's it good for? Well, I suppose you could click on your living room's color scheme and then print out a couple photographs for a do-it-yourself wall hanging, or something, but mostly it's just hypnotic, grid after grid of scenes whose hilariously diverse subjects are united by tint. Ooh, orange, black and pink gets you lots of nice sunsets. There goes my whole afternoon. Have your secretary hold your calls and click here.

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Lab Equipment Slow Jam

| Fri Jul. 11, 2008 4:40 PM EDT

In case you haven't had your fill of goofy-commercials-turned-Internet-sensations, man, do I have one for you.

So pretend you're a scientist. Which would make you want to buy a piece of lab equipment more? This slogan:


With our new Plug'n'Prep® concept for the epMotion pipetting system, automate virtually any nucleic acid purification kit with protocols from your favorite kit provider—just load the deck and press start!

Or this:

Yeah, I thought so. This excellent slow jam is a real ad created by a lab-tools manufacturer called Eppendorf. The product in question, epMotion, is some kind of automatic pipette system. Or so the lyrics seem to suggest:

Pipetting all those well-plates, baby, sends your thumbs into overdrive And spending long nights in the lab makes it hard for your love to thrive
What you need is automation, girl, something easy as 1 2 3 So put down that pipette, honey, I got something that will set you free

H/T Mental Floss.

Image and video courtesy of Eppendorf.

Chicago Tribune Redesign: Will Desperation Breed Success?

| Fri Jul. 11, 2008 4:37 PM EDT

mojo-photo-papers.jpgThings are tough all over for newspapers, as Mother Jones has covered here, here, and just below. But could the prospect of, well, abject and total failure potentially spark some creative breakthroughs? It was reported this week that the Chicago Tribune is set to lay off up to 10% of its workforce, with COO Randy Michaels creepily announcing executives are "evaluating the productivity of individual journalists." Erp. But the Chicago Reader sees a possible silver lining amidst the despair:

Some 30 Tribune editorial employees have been appointed to the various committees that now meet daily to reimagine their paper. These committees take seriously the idea of giving quality some room to breathe, and they're looking hard at Britain's Guardian for inspiration. "If we can be anything like the Guardian," my source wrote in an e-mail, "I'd be over the moon."

Subscriber Sues Raleigh Newspaper After Layoffs

| Fri Jul. 11, 2008 3:50 PM EDT

When the Raleigh News & Observer announced last month it would cut 70 jobs, Keith Hempstead could have written a letter to the editor expressing his disdain for the subsequent reduction in news coverage.

Instead, Hempstead, a lawyer, sued the paper for "fraud" because the N&O sold him a renewal subscription before announcing the layoffs.

Hempstead, a former reporter, seems like the overzealous type, but, as he told a Raleigh reporter, he's suing to make a point:

Apple Bricked my iPhone

| Fri Jul. 11, 2008 2:46 PM EDT

Tell you what, Apple. If you'll just release my iPhone 1.0 from whatever iTunes automatic software upgrade hell you've got its soul synced into today, you can keep your fancypants 3G, the GTD app I'm dying to try, and that phone-as-a-remote thing people seem to like so much.

I know your servers

are down. You're busy with all your new friends, I get it.

I just want my commuter podcasts back and the chance to make a phone call, OK?

New Music from Around the Blogs: Dungen, Annie, Chemical Brothers, Bloc Party

| Thu Jul. 10, 2008 8:11 PM EDT

mojo-photo-newmusic0710.jpg

Everybody's favorite Swedish psychedelic rockers Dungen have released a track from their upcoming album 4, which is technically their 5th album, but maybe they count differently in Sweden. The track is called "Satt Att Se" (which an online Swedish-English translator says means "Was to See") and you can listen to it in 96kbps glory at their MySpace page. (For fans of: Jimi Hendrix, Beck, magical unicorns)

On the lighter side (and crossing the border to Norway), via Pitchfork comes a link to Pardon My Freedom, who has an mp3 of the new Annie single "Songs Remind Me of You." This song reminds me of New Order. Her new album, Don't Stop, is supposed to be out soon, but who knows. (For fans of: "Blue Monday," Kylie Minogue, chewing gum)

After the jump: is midnight too early for madness, and would you let these monkeys operate on you?

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How is the "Blo & Go" Like the "Suck Kut"?

| Thu Jul. 10, 2008 7:13 PM EDT

Earlier this year, the Washington Post's Robin Givhan brought us the story of the Blo & Go, an ingenious hair-drying invention of Laurie Coleman, a former model and wife of the Minnesota Republican senator Norm Coleman. Here's what the recently resurfaced Post piece has to say about the genesis of "Blo & Go":

Against the backdrop of this kind of marketing savvy, it is hard to believe that the name Blo & Go was not chosen to, at the very least, amuse. This, after all, is a world in which the term "wide stance" churns up easy chuckles.
Coleman's voice registers shock -- and dismay-- that anyone would make such a connection. "I didn't think of that," she says. And then she goes further to point out that the name wasn't even her idea. It came out of a committee. It was all in the brainstorming, during which "Freedom Styler" was rejected. And so it went: You get your hair blown out. You need a blowout. You get blown . . . out. And then you go. Bingo: "Blo & Go!"

Givhan (a Pulitzer winner) also extracted the line, "The whole key to this is the suction" from Coleman, whose husband is in a tough reelection fight this year against Al Franken. All of this reminded me of another classic suction-based hair care device. Who else remembers the Suck Kut?

"Eco Nightclub" to Generate Electricity From Dance Floor

| Thu Jul. 10, 2008 6:28 PM EDT

mojo-photo-electricclub.jpgHas anybody ever told you your dance moves are shocking? Wocka wocka! Ahem! A new nightclub in the UK has realized you can get tons of international press by incorporating a few token "green" tricks into your venue [Edit: as Nichole Wong already covered over here on Blue Marble, whoops]. Actually, that's mean, some of the ideas seem pretty good. The club, called Surya, will feature its own solar energy system and will offer free admission to cyclists and walkers (although how they know you didn't just get out of the cab around the corner is anybody's guess). Then there are the iffy ideas: "air flush" waterless urinals and low flush toilets might work at your home or office, but after seeing a variety of different nightclub bathrooms, let me just say I wouldn't recommend reducing flush capacity there in any way. Finally, there's the grabber: dance floor power!

The dancefloor uses the concept of piezoelectricity, where crystals and ceramics create a charge to generate electricity. "We estimate that if you had loads of clubbers dancing vigorously it would provide 60 percent of the club's energy needs," said the club's promoter.

Hey, baby, wanna join me on the floor and generate some sparks? No? Somebody used that line on you already? Like 300 times? Okay, fine, I'm heading for the air flush urinals.

Slang White People Like

| Thu Jul. 10, 2008 3:51 PM EDT

I don't know much about the folks at Soft Skull Media. Apparently, it's some kind of underground publishing house, or used to be. I dunno. But, I got a 'please review this book' plea from them today, which is utterly unusual in my line of work, free books being one of the decidedly few perks of my job. If that sad benny is is meant to offset the myriad "why is Debra Dickerson so stupid" blog posts, it's failing miserably.

Anyway, just another day on the job, just another pitch for a book which, for once, sounds at least initially interesting, until I get to the sign-off: "Holler for review copies, eh?". Holler, not holla, but in either case: ironic wiggerness in the workplace.

I'm intellectually anal-retentive, so I can't help but burn daylight wondering: Did potential white reviewers get the same sign-off? Or have white folks developed several sets of 'pitch' macros with labels like "black, but an Uncle Tom who'll find this ironic," "white, but living in dream world wherein they're cool," and "confused, but too cowed to make waves."?

I don't know if it's better or worse that it's not a 'black' book...ok. It's better. But just what is it with white folks and black slang? And how do y'all know when it's appropriate?

And since we're on the subject: Why is the cabbage patch the universal dance of white joy?

I'm gonna ask the Soft Skull folks what up with the 'holler' and how long the staff meeting in which they debated the merits of 'holler' vs 'holla' was. Maybe they were being ironic. I often use formulations (with white institutions) such as "give a sister a...." etc—but I do it to be a bitch who makes her white friends uncomfortable in a way in which they can't respond. What's their motivation?

Warm, Fuzzy Satanists

| Wed Jul. 9, 2008 5:30 PM EDT

satanist150.jpgSome divorced couples argue over whether their kids should have dessert. Some over homework.

And some argue over whether their kids should be brought up Satanist.

From the Chicago Tribune comes the story of an Indiana mom who wants a court to make her Devil-worshiping ex-husband take her kids to Christian church. Long story short, Satanists are not exactly the role models she had in mind for her offspring. But the Beelzebub fans themselves say she's got them all wrong. From a related Trib blog post:

"Some of your readers might wonder what exposure to Satanism might do to a developing child," Gilmore said. "I recognized myself as a Satanist at age 13 and was subsequently the valedictorian of my high school class in 1976, being quite open about my religion."

Uh, yeah, Gilmore? Chris Kattan wants his material back.