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Friday, October 31, 2003  

Get Your BoingBoing Fix
Some of you may have noticed that BoingBoing has been either down or replaced with a graphic of the sun for a couple of days. Turns out it is some hosting issues causing the SNAFU, but there is a back-way into the site! You can access BoingBoing.net at: Thanks to Meg Hourihan's site, Megnut.com, for the IP address. Enjoy!

posted by JMV | 10/31/2003 11:12:00 AM

Thursday, October 30, 2003  

Hack Your Body
A nifty article up at Salon about geeks and low-carb diets. The whole Atkins fad is hitting the coder/hacker/geek culture now, as a lot of geeks see low-carb diets as a way to hack their own bodies. The article quotes a laundry list of A-list geeks, including Cory Doctorow who lost over 70Lbs eating double-bacon cheese burgers sans bun. If I didn't love pasta and french fries do damn much...

posted by JMV | 10/30/2003 02:34:00 PM

Wednesday, October 29, 2003  

Oh Jam It All
Here is the answer to a question that came up on the long drive to San Francisco this weekend. It turns out there really isn't a whole lot of difference between marmalade and jam; it's all in the rind.

posted by JMV | 10/29/2003 12:40:00 AM

Tuesday, October 28, 2003  

Take Two, They're Small
Well not really. 120 gigabytes is nothing to sneeze at. But the point is the insanely good deal on a 120GB, 7200PRM, 8MB cache hard drive is back. After rebates the cost is 50 cents a Gig. Tell a friend.

EDIT: I forgot to mention that this deal is only good until the 1st, so act fast!

posted by JMV | 10/28/2003 11:33:00 PM

Friday, October 24, 2003  

Thinking Differently
I officially been a Mac owner for 6 month and I haven't looked back. It seems like the switching bug is beginning to spread even more now that iTunes for Windows is out. I ran across this article in SF Gate that covers the detail that Apple goes into for their packaging, and begins to hint at why their products have so much meaning for their owners.

And today is a big day for Mac Fans as the latest major update to the amazing OS X, Panther (or OS 10.3,) comes out. It greatly frightens me that I'm so excited about the release of a damn operating system, though I'm not quite excited enough to go to the Big Apple Store Event. The update is a whopping $130, and I'm almost ready to pay for it. There are a bunch of kick ass new features that promise to make using a Mac an even better experience.

For those people still living in the WinTel world, but beginning to think differently, or those that are on the fence about switching, now is a great time to take the plunge! Apple just released an updated iBook that now supports an 800Ghz G4 processor, as well as some kick ass features like slot loading CD drive, faster RAM, and Wi-Fi (802.11G even) and Bluetooth compatibility, and it is all crammed into a super-compact 11x9x1.3, 5Lbs, super-durable shell. And all for under $1100. If this machine had come out 6 months ago it would have been the model I bought. But I'm super happy with my first-gen 12-inch powerbook!

posted by JMV | 10/24/2003 12:58:00 AM

Thursday, October 23, 2003  

Bush gets heckled by members of the Australian Parliament.

posted by JMV | 10/23/2003 09:51:00 PM

Wednesday, October 22, 2003  

Super 8
Ventured out to Hollywood Blvd tonoight to catch the 3rd annual Attack of the 50 Foot Reels, which is a screening of 25 short films shot on super-8mm. But the catch is each filmmaker selected to participate is given ONE roll of film (just over three minutes) and 30 days to shoot their film. There is no post-production allowed, and all the edits must all be done in camera. The filmmaker then sends the unexposed film to the organizers (Flicker LA) and provides a non-synched soundtrack. The filmmaker, or anyone else for that matter, doesn't see the finished film until it is projected in front of 700+ people at the Egyptian Theater at the screening. I can only imagine how nerve racking it must be for the filmmakers as their film starts, and they don't even know if there will be an image, let alone if it is in focus or if the film works!

The show was really good, and I found it quite inspirational. The films ranged from "student film-like" conceptual pieces, to simple narratives, to studies in time-lapse and stop-motion. 3 minuets is a great length for short films because even the ones that don't really work are over quickly, and the best films can pack quite a punch into 200 seconds. Seeing all the filmmaker types that turned out for the show also helped me realize that there is a large community of filmmakers here IN Hollywood that are not a PART of Hollywood. The show really showcased the true sprit of "independent film:" filmmaking for its challenges, filmmaking for entertainment, and film for films-sake. It wasn't about making money, building a reel, or even networking as much as it was about having fun with a super-8 camera and watching the results with your friends and peers. Now I feel like making a couple of ultra-short and simple films just to get the creative juices flowing again. And since I have nothing but time on my hands...

posted by JMV | 10/22/2003 01:18:00 AM

Thursday, October 16, 2003  

12 Year-olds Can Be Funny
The editors of Electronic Gaming Monthly sat down a group of 11 and 12 year-olds and had them play classic videogames, and The results are pretty funny. One of the highlights is when the kids are discussing who the woman Mario is trying to save while they play Donkey Kong and one of the kids exclaims, "Oh wow—she's one of those pole dancers."

posted by JMV | 10/16/2003 09:33:00 PM

"Hell Froze Over"
Today Apple released the long awaited iTunes for Windows and with it millions of Windows users now have access to the iTunes Music Store. So, if you are a Windows 2K or XP user I highly sugjest you head over to the Apple site and download it. Seriously, it is easily one of the best of the digital music juke boxes, and definatly THE best digital music download service. 99 cent songs, ten dollar albums, nearly half a million songs, very little in the way of DRM, and one-click ordering make iTMS a winner, and I highly recommend it to all you Windows user who don't know what they are missing.

posted by JMV | 10/16/2003 08:41:00 PM

Wednesday, October 15, 2003  

Dolly Chops
What exactly does cloned meat mean for Americans and the megamarts? If the FDA approves the sale of labeled cloned meat will you pick some cloned bacon at Safeway, or avoid it and go for the "natural" pig? I'm willing to bet that the second the FDA approves coned meat all the fast-food chains will the serving up clone-burgers. And it sounds like a great idea to me because then we are one step closer to snaking on baby seals and caribou eyes. And maybe I'll finally get to try dolphin!

posted by JMV | 10/15/2003 10:34:00 PM

Tuesday, October 14, 2003  

Holy Shit
A few hours ago China became the third country in history to put a man in space. Was I totally out of the loop on this one, or was it a surprise to everyone else? Regardless, I'm ecstatic. Maybe this will light a fire under the US administration's ass and get them moving on writing some damn checks to NASA again.

posted by JMV | 10/14/2003 09:55:00 PM

Kick Ass Hellboy .MOV
The the new live-actionGuillermo del Toro helmed cinematic adaptation of one of my favorite comic books comes out this winter. There is still precious little (if any outside of comicon) footage of the movie to be seen, but some very talented fan has put together a (very) short sample animation of everyones favorite demonic detective. It does an amazing job of capturing the visual style of the book, and even has Del Toro excited about the prospects of an animated series! Check it out here.

posted by JMV | 10/14/2003 07:58:00 PM

The Cubs Do What They DO Best
...Blow it late in the game. They lead the Marlins 1-0 until the 7th inning, where they increased their lead with some nice hitting to 3-0. I was just starting to wonder which cub fan in my family I should call when they got that last out in the ninth to win the game. And then it happened all too quickly. In the top of the eighth they fall apart after a couple of base hits, a tough play, and an error. Before anyone could blink they're down 3-8. And now as we head into the bottom of the ninth the announcer mentions that Chicago has lost 67 consecutive games that they trailed in the eighth. It doesn't look good. But hey, at least there is game 7.

posted by JMV | 10/14/2003 07:51:00 PM

Monday, October 13, 2003  

Don't Say I Didn't Warn You...
This story about researchers who have created a robotic are that is controlled by a monkeys thoughts is all over the web today. So I thought I would speculate that once again "researchers" have been short-sited. Humans have been poking, drugging, and shooting monkeys into space for a LONG time, and now we are building them robotic limbs that can be controlled with their minds?

Now, Lets all take a minute and think about what could be a historical Baseball season. The Cubs are poised to win their first pennant in 58 years. The Verive's are all born and raised cub fans, and yet they haven't seen a world series in TWO GENERATIONS, so we are all pretty excited about the possibility. Even if you don't like baseball, you should get behind the ultimate underdogs tomorrow at 8pm EDT when they take Wrigley field against the Marlins. Oh, and lets hope the Yankees fall apart in the second half of the series with Boston. The last thing I want to see is the Cubs loose ANOTHER series to the damn Yankees.

posted by Julie | 10/13/2003 06:27:00 PM

Sunday, October 12, 2003  

And Now We Return To Our Regularly Scheduled Program...
Really. I mean it this time, I'll be back to more-often-then-not daily entries this week. Things have been pretty crazy around the house this week and this weekend especially. Friday I began some freelance work for a photography studio in Santa Monica doing mostly computer related projects. I have some pretty promising leads though, so hopefully something more permanent will firm up shortly... After work Julie and a couple friends ventured deep into the Valley for the Laser-Floyd show at the planetarium. I was pretty blown away, as it was my first time seeing a "Lasarium" show. I had no idea the whole show was run by a guy doing all the effects in real time. The show really reminded me how friggin cool Pink Floyd is, and I wish I could find my copy of "Dark Side of the Moon." After the show we got HIDEOUSLY lost in the bowels of Northridge and barley made it out of the Valley with our lives.

Saturday we threw a little gathering to celebrate Julie's impending return to the work force, and it went swimmingly! We had just under 10 people here, which turned out to be a good number for the first soiree in our new place. We hope to have a bigger party in the near future once we are finally settled in.

Today Jules and I walked down to Hollywood Blvd to catch an afternoon show of "Kill Bill." It was every bit as over the top and blood soaked as the critics have been saying, and while entertaining it left me wanting more. And not just Volume 2 (due out in February) but more substance. I think I need to give it a day or two before I put my final thoughts on the film down, but right now I don't feel like I got the Tarantino movie that I waited 6 years for. More on that to come...

posted by Julie | 10/12/2003 09:01:00 PM

Sunday, October 05, 2003  

Best Laid Plans...
Friday night in Hollywood, and nothing to do. After our thoughts of hitting up the Baked Potato to see Fusion Legend Alan Holdsworth were scraped we decided on a low-key night at a dive bar. We made the drive into China Town on Mary's suggestion to visit "Hop Louie," a tiny bar under a Chinese food restaurant. The Digital City review begins, "Does anyone else love the movie Blade Runner so much that it informed your preferences for everything from clothes to cities? Anyone? If you are one of these people, go to the Hop Louie bar tonight." Well, I certainly AM one of those people, and Hop Louie certainly feels like a interstitial space existing outside of time, geography, or even reality. Walking across the secluded courtyard that houses Hop Louie and into the smoky, (Yes, smoky! In LA!) dark bar you feel like you are falling backwards through time. An ancient Chinese man works the bar while Sinatra, Elvis, or in our case Johnny Cash plays on the vintage Juke Box. A juke box that is actually spinning vinyl 45s. The decor is standard chinese-restaurant over laid with christmas lights and 50 years of tobacco smoke. On this particular night there was maybe another 20 people, all hip Hollywood twenty-somethings, but instead of the typical LA hot-spot these people were there to purposefully NOT be seen. They were there to visit with their inner circles, and to drink. Needless to say, we had a great time and I imagine Hop Louie will become a regular haunt.

posted by JMV | 10/05/2003 08:11:00 PM

Wednesday, October 01, 2003  

Old-Material Girl
Madonna is getting sued (again) by the son of the late French fashion photographer Guy Bourdin who claims Madonna's video for "Hollywood" is a blatant visual theft of his fathers ground-breaking work. The Smoking Gun has some side-by-side comparison photos and they are all strikingly similar. I still think that the suit is a bunch of hooey though. Samuel Bourdin is clearly just looking to cash in on his fathers legacy, if not from the suit then from the publicity generated from it. I fully support the protection of intellectual property but at the same time homage is powerful tool, and I feel it was important for the concept of this video. At the very most, perhaps Madonna, Maverick Records, and MTV should add something to the video the acknowledges Bourdin's inspiration. But if this went to trial and was decided in favor of Bourdin I think it would be a great blow to film as a visual medium. Discuss?

posted by JMV | 10/01/2003 08:15:00 PM
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