Why the Digital Fast – Like Sex, It’s Counterproductive In Excess

This weekend I visited my sister in Baltimore, MD.  On Saturday we took a day trip to Shenandoah National Park in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia to climb Old Rag Mountain – a hike that is boasted as “most popular and most dangerous” in Shenandoah.  I have been trying to make it a habit to not do “work” on the weekends i.e. spend limited time online, refrain from answering emails, tweeting, blog writing, etc.  During the hike, my cell phone was in my bag but there it stayed.  Above is a picture of myself and my sister as we were more than halfway to the summit.  Our friend Brett used the chance to answer a phone call about a client.

The beginning of fall brings to mind the thought about fasting and sacrifice and many entities are suggesting a “Digital Fasting”.  I was reading Wired’s Gadget Lab post “Should You Give Up Gadgets For A Day?” and found out about The New York Times’s Unplugged Challenge” and Offlining, Inc., who actually proposes a one-day digital fast on Yom Kippur.  They reassure me that I don’t have to be Jewish to do a digital sacrifice (I grew up Catholic and we are supposed to do 40 days of sacrificing/fasting in the spring for Lent, but that is besides the point).  One of their examples for heinous digital use is Lindsay Lohan’s Tweeting:

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I Was There – The Black Keys at Terminal 5

If I had to pick a book best explained my thoughts of the human condition, it would be Milan Kundera’s Unbearable Lightness of Being.

If I had to pick an artist whose style was the closest to how I would like to paint, it would probably be Georges Seurat.

And if I had to pick a band that spoke the most to my soul, it would be The Black Keys.

In all seriousness, and with all dramatics aside.

My first introduction to The Black Keys was when my friend Michael Douglas (not the actor) put “Do the Rump” and “I’ll Be Your Man” on his first mix for me back in high school.  Growing up in the 90’s and not really learning to appreciate music until after 2000, you don’t hear blues-rock with the same sultry and the ability to be bold.  Five years later and I can never get tired of a Black Keys song.

Skip to when Pandora first came around, and I can proudly say my Black Keys Station is on point.  If an algorithm says that The Black Keys have the same musical stylings as Buddy Guy and John Lee Hooker, by god I am not going to disagree with math.

Skip to last month when I didn’t have any sort of job and had $300 to my name.  I watched the video for “Tighten Up” , saw that The Black Keys were coming to New York, and that the Central Park Summerstage shows were already sold out.  So do I buy tickets for myself and my beau that I can’t afford?
me and bill @terminal5 to see @blackkeyss on Twitpic


I went to see The Black Keys last night at Terminal 5.  It was my first time at the venue and I was impressed with its three floors and the on-point grilling station on the roof.

All I can say was that for over an hour and a half set, my expectations were met and Dan Auerbach and Patrick Carney’s performance exceeded anything I could have imagined.  Every song I ever loved they played, and played with a prideful, loving attentiveness for the audience.  It was like how when your lady friend/gentleman friend kisses you, but in a way that says “you think you’ve been kissed before? Psh then let me take my time and SHOW you what it’s really like.”

Auerbach and Carney reminded me what it’s like to listen to music that a recording cannot do justice for.  Both had the chance to take time with each song, exploding into a riff, leading one song into another, reminding all the young folks in the audience what real musicianship was.

Anyone I talked to today can attest to this: I feel depressed knowing that when I listen to “Strange Times” on my iPod, it’s not the same.  I will probably invest in a long search for their albums on vinyl – if I can find them, if they exist.

This is the review that they deserve, not what Nate Chinen of The New York Times wrote about how The Black Keys are not prepared for the mainstream and they have big adjustments to make if wanting to play larger audiences.  Shut up.  Going mainstream is overrated.  If The Black Keys sold out on a grand scale (I do not count their work with Danger Mouse), I will probably crawl into a deep hole that I will never climb out of.  So don’t do it. Ever. Please.

Some photos:

will this be a good show?
Le Grilling Pit
Me and Boy Milk

Another Concept for an E reader

Everyone is coming out with their own concept for an E reader, everyone – including your mom. this is “The Page” from Jae Kim, a prototype e-reader makes use of a semi-transparent e-ink screen to display images and text with more clarity. It looks like a newspaper, kind feels like a newspaper, but oh no – it’s not a newspaper. This e reader allows those with some e – reservations to have their cake and eat it too. They still have the feeling of holding a paper in their hand, but now they can jump on the e reader bandwagon as well.

What’s cool is that you can scroll through articles and surf through content just as you would surfing the web. Check out the video.

On a separate note: The New York Times is always used as an example newspaper in concepts for e readers. Do they collect royalties?

via The Design Blog

Smart House, Sharp Writing

I have been obsessed with this graph since I read the “How Smart Could I Make My Dumb Manhattan Apartment?” article in the NYTimes Home section last Thursday.  Go to the full article to see a larger image of the graph.  Not only is the visual aesthetic pleasing, but the captions with each icon are humorous and memorable.  Joyce Wadler makes a somewhat dry topic of making your apartment “smart” (television screens in bathroom mirrors, creating a “romantic mood” with lights and music from your iPhone) entertaining and funny.

The idea of incorporating “smart” technology into your home is one’s tech dream, but the above graph not only gave an idea of a “day in the life” in a smart apartment, but gave a glimpse of what the future may hold in terms of outfitting your house to match your every day needs.

A girl’s needs just don’t agree

i literally woke up from a dream this morning about a buttered chocolate chip muffin. of course i satisfied my dream after French this morning. does this happen to other people?

my sad little LG of two years officially failed me yesterday. it only works when it’s charger is plugged in, therefore defeating the purpose of a cellular phone. though I have been planning on buying a blackberry, now is not the time – i need to save for Venice and money has been especially tight this semester. Also, I know nothing about cell phones and need any one’s recommendations. I have Verizon Wireless and have been happy with it, therefore the Iphone, Google phone, or Sidekick is not going to work out.

I usually get random friend requests on Facebook. As long as they go to my school and we have similar friends, I honestly see no harm. This morning I was “friended” by this grad student who has a little project called New York Twist Magazine – “dedicated to the lovers of multimedia art” (that’s me that’s me!) The Myspace itself didn’t say too much about the content of the magazine, but evidently issues are available around the area. When I pick up a new phone tomorrow at the Verizon Wireless store in Roosevelt, I’ll stop by FYE to pick up a copy.

There is a great article on the front page of the New York Times about how Obama is adapting to his new life as President-elect, from not being able to visit his bartender Zariff to having a date with Michelle at Chicago’s Spiaggia accompanied by 30 secret service agents. I can’t help but think of the comparisons to Kennedy when I read articles about Obama’s life. Idk if it will extend to the extreme voyeurism that most celebrities experience today.

I’m going in for another interview in the city with Joe Carozza of Rogers & Cowan, an alum of Hofstra. It’s odd – I looked at a picture of him and I recall seeing him around campus my freshmen year. Professor Frisina said to give him a hug for her – but he may be put off by that first impression, who knows. Hopefully today will go well (i.e. make the train on time and not have to pay for a taxi).

I’m going to try to run into the MOMA for their free Target night in order to see some van Gogh afterwards. can’t stay long – I need to get back to LI tonight to work at an event at LICM.

I found The Cribs’ Men’s Needs (Remixes) at WRHU, which has three different versions of “Men’s Needs”, which is awful since I will listen to those three versions in succession, constantly over and over again.

(just filled out survey about improvements on the Computer Labs at Hofstra. pat on the back for taking time out to do a good deed)