Another Reason to Elope

Or perhaps not get married at all? Fun piece today by Beth Teitell in today’s Globe (probably free only today.)

The bride and groom were making the rounds at their reception in East Bridgewater when the wedding coordinator at the Villa at the Ridder Country Club noticed a major problem. Uh-oh. Was the bride’s bra showing? Had a child swiped a fingerful of frosting from the cake?

If only.

“Guests were sending very inappropriate texts,” said Jennifer Gullins, the marketing director of Saphire Event Group. And they were far from private. The happy couple had sprung for a DJ package that included a large plasma screen on which text messages could be displayed. Some guests had taken the opportunity to send nasty (and anonymous) comments about other guests’ outfits and sizes.

“We approached the bride and groom and said unfortunately we have to ask for this service to be discontinued,” Gullins said.

….

“Most guests are going to bring their phones with them,” he said, “and most brides would prefer that the phones at least somehow relate to the wedding, rather than what the Sox or the Celts are doing.”

Never mind that a wedding is supposed to be a social event — people need entertainment beyond conversation, music, and food. And that means interacting with their phones. “Now during cocktail hour, you’ve got something [live texting] that engages all the guests,” said Al-Mahdi. “They’re not bored.”

Apparently a nuptial without live streaming, twitterfall like social media, and perhaps a “rights and appearance” release just is so 20th century. I’m horrified, predictably, but I do see some freelance opportunity doing [snide] wedding IT phone support. “Thanks for your call, it’s important to us. If you’d like faster service, please contact your designated hardware maid of honor or best man of software support to open a ticket. And please do press one if you think the bridesmaids’ dresses in off-silver really were an unfortunate choice. You’ll be entered in a raffle for free IT desk support for your event!” Click.

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Poetry Interactive: 60 Poems in 60 Years (in honor of the Jubilee)

Here’s a kind of nifty interactive of 60 years of British Poetry (Wendy Cope pulled me in.)

1972

1972 was the year
Of the hippy librarians from Islington.

From “The Space” an online arts site supported by the Arts Council England.

http://thespace.org/items/s00007p8

(They aren’t kidding about ‘scrolling down.’ It’s one giant below the fold page. Not intuitive to me at least.) But great poems and readings once you get there.

Maybe I’m a “Power” Something After All?

Interesting piece from Julio Ojeda-Zapata on E-books at the St. Paul Public Library and news of a Pew Report about e-Book use in libraries in general. It’s a secret apparently to many patrons that the service even exists.

Includes this line,

“Those who borrow e-books “are power users who read a lot, electronically and in print,” he said. “They check out a lot of books and buy a lot of books. They just want to read, and do not care if it’s electronic or print.”

I’m not just a big reader, I’m a “library power user.” I like it. The only other thing I’m even close to a power user on is Excel for the Mac, and that has not–to date–been an a big personal selling point, except possibly with the shade of my late grandfather, who was a CPA.

Interactive Graphic on the State of Gay America

From the Guardian’s Data Blog (impressed that the Guardian has a beat just for data, “the oil of the 21st century”).

Achieves the rare goal for an interactive figure of being pretty intuitive, and working both at the “glance” scale and the “detail” scale.

Certainly does a good job of letting me disqualify states and regions for my next move!

http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/datablog/2012/may/10/data-visualisation-us-gay-rights

Nice rundown on the new MacBook Air

Looks like it’s worth the upgrade (particularly since I’m still using a 2008 Air, referred to as a “toy computer” in the article, ouch!). The ridiculous audio port overhang issue of the first generation ones is long since solved. But no retina display 😦 And their restlessness with reconfiguring MagSafe is annoying.

Still for $999? Pretty sweet.

Jacqui Cheng’s ArsTechnica review is clear, candid and helpful.

Interviewing Žižek

Not for the timid! Decca Aitkenhead (a magnificent name, no?) is up to the task in The Guardian. In addition to spouting lots of showily transgressive, obscenity-laden nonsense (sexual and otherwise), he makes a few trenchant points.

I try to steer Žižek on to the financial crisis, and to the role his admirers hope he will play in formulating a radical response.

“I always emphasise: don’t expect this from me. I don’t think that the task of a guy like me is to propose complete solutions. When people ask me what to do with the economy, what the hell do I know? I think the task of people like me is not to provide answers but to ask the right questions.” He’s not against democracy, per se, he just thinks our democratic institutions are no longer capable of controlling global capitalism. “Nice consensual incremental reforms may work, possibly, at a local level.” But localism belongs in the same category as organic apples, and recycling. “It’s done to make you feel good. But the big question today is how to organise to act globally, at an immense international level, without regressing to some authoritarian rule.”

Makes me wonder what an interview of Karl Marx by Oscar Wilde would have been like.
Full piece at http://www.guardian.co.uk/culture/2012/jun/10/slavoj-zizek-humanity-ok-people-boring?INTCMP=SRCH