Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Funky Fresh Freddie's Fine Art is Fab

Okay. These paintings may not be the art you want to hang over your fireplace but FFF's would fit fine in your home office, the den, your very cool workplace, the garage, the playroom (do people still have playrooms?)
These works of art are by Funky Fresh Freddie. I think they rock. You can see more on his site but if you don't have an open mind, save yourself the trip. FFF is radical.

Monday, July 25, 2005

Jossip Gossip

My new favorite site... It has news (gossip) about the magazine industry. It's got the lowdown on Nadine Haobsh, the (former) beauty editor at Ladies Home Journal, who was blogging and apparently telling it like it is (or was) on the job, unbeknownst to her bosses. They know now. The NY Post broke the "story."
This from Nadine's site:
It would be an understatement to say that this was the weirdest week of my life. On Tuesday morning, I had a job I loved, a nice salary and was living in blissful oblivion. Flash forward to today, and I've given interviews to the New York Post, Fox 5 News and CNN (are you kidding me??), have a very, very big interview set for tomorrow (until it actually happens, my lips are zipped), have meetings this coming week with multiple book agents and—oh, yeah, that—am quickly approaching the poverty mark. 24/7 ramen: can't wait!

I say it was a publicity ploy (and a good one at that)!!! Nadine is trying to get a book published, now she's all over the news.
Let me say here that I don't and won't blog about my job and that I like my job, thank you very much.
Jossip also had the news today that Jane Pratt of Jane magazine is leaving the magazine she started in Sept. No word on why.

Saturday, July 23, 2005

CD Baby

All I did was order a CD... CD Baby was efficient and funny.
Here is my confirmation:

Your CD has been gently taken from our CD Baby shelves with
sterilized contamination-free gloves and placed onto a satin pillow.

A team of 50 employees inspected your CD and polished it to make sure
it was in the best possible condition before mailing.

Our packing specialist from Japan lit a candle and a hush fell over
the crowd as he put your CD into the finest gold-lined box that money
can buy.

We all had a wonderful celebration afterwards and the whole party
marched down the street to the post office where the entire town of
Portland waved 'Bon Voyage!' to your package, on its way to you, in
our private CD Baby jet on this day, Saturday, July 23rd.

I hope you had a wonderful time shopping at CD Baby. We sure did.
Your picture is on our wall as 'Customer of the Year'. We're all
exhausted but can't wait for you to come back to CDBABY.COM!!

Thank you once again,

Derek Sivers, president, CD Baby
the little CD store with the best new independent music

Friday, July 22, 2005

Domino Harvey

An interesting -- and well-written -- story of a privileged girl trying to make her way through life, battling a drug addiction, working as a bounty hunter. Ultimately, you know how this one ends, her funeral was July 1, autopsy pending.
You have to register with the LA Times to read it but it's well worth it.

Thursday, July 21, 2005

The Big Pharoah

I heard about this site on NPR today. Insight from Egypt's "The Big Pharoah"

Here's a quote from his site:
"I will tell you something that you ought to never forget. Write this statement on a piece of paper and stick it on your fridge: The sky is the limit with terrorists. If a terrorist in Baghdad found legitimacy in slaughtering over 20 kids who were receiving candy from US soldiers, then another terrorists will find his own "legitimacy" in attacking a target in Cairo, Riyadh, Paris, and London. Don't worry; they have a bag full of "legitimate motivations."

Oh, and while we're at it, yesterday our local newspaper wrote a story about the number of civilians dead in Iraq because of the war. I was surprised they wrote it -- Iraq Body Count's research team is made up of peace advocates. Turns out, Iraq Body Count put out a release and it was covered by the AP and several media outlets.

In short, about 24,000 Iraqi civilians are dead; 37% of those were killed by US-led forces, according to the report.

Here it is:

New analysis of civilian casualties in Iraq: Report unveils comprehensive details

"A Dossier on Civilian Casualties in Iraq, 2003-2005" is the first detailed account of all non-combatants reported killed or wounded during the first two years of the continuing conflict. The report, published by Iraq Body Count in association with Oxford Research Group, is based on comprehensive analysis of over 10,000 media reports published between March 2003 and March 2005.
Findings include:
Who was killed?

* 24,865 civilians were reported killed in the first two years.
* Women and children accounted for almost 20% of all civilian deaths.
* Baghdad alone recorded almost half of all deaths.

When did they die?

* 30% of civilian deaths occurred during the invasion phase before 1 May 2003.
* Post-invasion, the number of civilians killed was almost twice as high in year two (11,351) as in year one (6,215).

Who did the killing?

* US-led forces killed 37% of civilian victims.
* Anti-occupation forces/insurgents killed 9% of civilian victims.
* Post-invasion criminal violence accounted for 36% of all deaths.
* Killings by anti-occupation forces, crime and unknown agents have shown a steady rise over the entire period.

What was the most lethal weaponry?

* Over half (53%) of all civilian deaths involved explosive devices.
* Air strikes caused most (64%) of the explosives deaths.
* Children were disproportionately affected by all explosive devices but most severely by air strikes and unexploded ordnance (including cluster bomblets).

How many were injured?

* At least 42,500 civilians were reported wounded.
* The invasion phase caused 41% of all reported injuries.
* Explosive weaponry caused a higher ratio of injuries to deaths than small arms.
* The highest wounded-to-death ratio incidents occurred during the invasion phase.

Who provided the information?

* Mortuary officials and medics were the most frequently cited witnesses.
* Three press agencies provided over one third of the reports used.
* Iraqi journalists are increasingly central to the reporting work.

Speaking today at the launch of the report in London, Professor John Sloboda, FBA, one of the report's authors said: "The ever-mounting Iraqi death toll is the forgotten cost of the decision to go to war in Iraq. On average, 34 ordinary Iraqis have met violent deaths every day since the invasion of March 2003. Our data show that no sector of Iraqi society has escaped. We sincerely hope that this research will help to inform decision-makers around the world about the real needs of the Iraqi people as they struggle to rebuild their country. It remains a matter of the gravest concern that, nearly two and half years on, neither the US nor the UK governments have begun to systematically measure the impact of their actions in terms of human lives destroyed."

Monday, July 18, 2005

The Boy Who Didn't Want to be King

This is a poem by Iva, who lives in Serbia and Montenegro. English is not her native language but you wouldn't know by reading it. I thought was beautiful and wanted to share it here.

By Iva
The Boy Who Didn't Want To Be The King

The boy who didn't want to be the king
Dug himself a well by the sea, jumped in it
And drank poison instead of water every day.
He replaced the big world for a nightmare,
Shadows and demons from the other side of his eyelids;
He was begging them to come, he wanted them to take him away.

Where is he?
He's about to die. No one can help him.
Maybe he won't make it until midnight.
What is he doing?
He's melting like snow. Disappearing.
Only the legend seems to be right.

Suddenly, he snapped out of it and he took a look around,
He was scratching the side of well with his nails and climbing up,
And he started breathing life every day.
He replaced the nightmare for a long road home,
The healing hands and friends who were coming back again,
He was begging them to come, for there was a way.

Where is he?
He's coming back. Taking deep breaths.
He's staring at the rainbow after the thunder.
What is he doing?
He's looking at dry branches getting leaves again.
There's life on this side and it's a wonder.

A wide smile, gleam in his eyes and energy,
The prodigal son from the past is an angel today,
And every day he's planting trees and shooting stars.
Wherever he goes, the storm is turning into a breeze,
Sorrow is disappearing and love is crashing the barricades,
And so, every day, he's saving another soul from behind the sadness bars.

Where is he?
He's doing miracles by the speed of light.
He's bringing dreams from the future.
What is he doing?
He's creating. For him, every day is a long jump, a diamond ring;
Yes, that's him, just right, the boy who didn't want to be the king.

Iva is a student and Web designer. You can visit her here

Monday, July 11, 2005

Danny Way Does China

This is from one of ochairball's readers: http://dannydoeschina.com/. You gotta watch these clips even if you hate skateboarding. The jumps are narrated in Chinese -- that's fun. Way is out of his mind.
There's also a Q&A on his site. Here's one of the questions that I'd for sure ask, and his answer:

Q: What are you thinking when you are standing at the top of a ramp before you begin your roll in?

How soon until I can get to the bottom of this thing?! Some people may not believe this, but I am not a fan of heights, and the sooner I can get down from the top in one piece, the better.

Saturday, July 09, 2005

Nine Inch Nails

Trent Reznor learns he can write sober-- an interview from Dimple Records

He Hurt Himself Today
By Gary Graff
June 2005

It's been six years since Nine Inch Nails' last studio effort; suffice it to say, architect Trent Reznor didn't spend all of them making With Teeth. Much of the period after 1999's double album The Fragile was pretty bleak, in fact. Reznor-a Pennsylvania native who started recording under the Nine Inch Nails moniker in 1987-had gone through rehab to overcome substance abuse prior to that behemoth. It proved to be a stopgap measure.

"I wasn't ready to completely believe that I was an addict," Reznor reveals. "So The Fragile comes out, debuts at #1, and I feel that I'm cured, so I start having drinks. We immediately go on tour for a year, and it's the worst year of my life. I almost die several times. By the end of the tour, I come back utterly defeated, spirit broken, soul gone, hating myself. That lasted a couple more months until I finally had enough and did whatever it would take to get better or I was gonna die."

Reznor resolved to take time off in 2001 and returned to rehab with a new mission in mind. "I needed to figure out who I am, what my priorities are, what matters to me, and what doesn't," he explains. He would eventually change residences-from New Orleans to Los Angeles-and ditch his longtime manager and friend John Malm in an effort "to do everything on Earth I can do to stay healthy and get my brain out of the living hell that I'd put it in.

"It was the best move I think I've ever made," Reznor says now. "I spent a couple years learning, listening, realizing I'm not the smartest guy in the world and I'm not the only person in the world, that the world doesn't revolve around me. Maybe I do need other people. Other people actually can have good ideas. Maybe I do need love. Maybe I need help occasionally, and that's okay.

"Mostly I learned that my way wasn't working, so I needed to find a new one."

Reznor worked on music throughout that process of self-discovery, too, but his priority was healing, not recording. He dealt with not only his substance addictions but also their root causes, which included self-esteem alarmingly low for an artist with three multi-platinum albums and a reputation as a leading force in and beyond the industrial rock world.

"I hadn't ever realized how governed by fear I had been up to that point," he explains. "I could walk backstage at a show, into a party-for me-and feel like I don't belong there, or I wasn't good enough to be in that room.

"That had also crept into the studio and the music environment that I thought I was confident in. There was always a nagging self-doubt that was plaguing me."

By the time Reznor started writing in earnest for With Teeth in January 2004 he felt healthy-but there were different kinds of doubts. As he sings on the album, "I think I used to have a purpose/ Then again, it might have been a dream."

"I wasn't sure that I could do it," he explains. "I didn't know if I'd destroyed my brain or could write sober."

He didn't have to worry long. "I started with lyrics and ideas just poured out of me," Reznor recalls. "It was the most creative burst I've probably ever had in my life, and during that time I regained my confidence on a musical level."

With Teeth was written over a period of five months, Reznor says, during which he came up with about 50 concepts for songs, as well as a somewhat convoluted thematic thread for the album-"It had a number of pretentious elements to it," he acknowledges-that was eventually abandoned. Instead, he held on to the best ideas, some of which were recorded with chief Foo Fighter Dave Grohl on drums.

"It all kind of happened at once," Reznor says of the album. "It wasn't any one song that came out that I thought 'Hey, this is really good.' It was just a lot of ideas, and I'd prepared myself that no matter what I did, it was going to be okay and I'd just keep writing more until I was happy.

"When I thought about it, I'd never turned to drugs or alcohol or anything for inspiration. It was always just to try to not feel so bad."

Reznor still vents much of his tortured soul throughout With Teeth, but there are also moments of unconflicted happiness. And of new musical ambitions. The opening track, "All the Love in the World," begins with hushed, foreboding ambience and builds into soulful, almost gospel-style testifying over a buoyant piano pattern.

"I thought it was kind of daring, starting with a track that was probably the least like Nine Inch Nails, but it seemed like the right thing to do," Reznor says. "I realized that the ultimate criteria really should be what it always has been, which is do I like it, and is it great? Do I get goosebumps when I listen to it? Yes? Then, okay, that's what it is.

"I don't remember sessions going like that in the past. They seemed to be a lot more cerebral, a lot more chin-scratching and thinking and discussing. Not that there's anything wrong with that, but this was just a different feel. I like it a lot better now."