links for 2009-04-17

  • "There's been a lot of talk of "teabagging" lately. Conservative anti-tax advocates in the United States have been organizing "tea party" protests, fashioned after the colonial-era protests of British rule. In doing so, they and the right-wing TV punditards who cheer these spectacles on for ratings have ranted about "teabagging," and the desire to "teabag Barack Obama" and such, without apparent knowledge of the word's more common street use.

    More recently, news anchors and bloggers have giggled knowingly over that sexual reference, but nobody has acknowledged how the word first entered popular American slang.

    I'll tell you how. John Waters."

  • "The Smithsonian Folklife Festival is an international exposition of living cultural heritage annually produced outdoors on the National Mall of the United States in Washington, D.C., by the Smithsonian Institution's Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage.

    The Festival takes place for two weeks every summer overlapping the Fourth of July holiday. It is an educational presentation that features community-based cultural exemplars. Free to the public, like other Smithsonian museums, each Festival typically draws more than one million visitors."

  • "An affordable housing project inspired by an old Welsh tradition is being prepared for shipping to a prestigious festival in the United States."

    "Historically, a t? unnos was a Welsh tradition based on the belief that if you could erect a property with four walls, and have smoke coming from a chimney between sunset and sunrise, you could take ownership of that land."

  • "Adbusters challenges you to do the unthinkable: unplug. Say good-bye to Twitter and Facebook. Turn off your TV, iPhone and Xbox. For seven days, reconnect with the natural world and the people around you. You’ll be amazed at how the magic creeps back into your life. Don’t be afraid and don’t find excuses, just take the plunge and see what happens."
  • "This project is an effort to revive and improve the work first started in LucasArts' Desktop Adventure series (Indy's Desktop Adventures and Yoda's Stories). While those games left plenty to be desired, I admired them for the potential that they contained – potential, I might add, that was no even remotely expanded on."
  • "Kairosnews is an open community of members interested in the intersections of rhetoric and pedagogy with technology."
  • "inspired by the sailing canoes of the 1800s, caillou takes its design cues from both classic and modern day boat building. created with an ease of use in mind – never a hassle or a struggle – caillou gets you to your destination no matter what the conditions."
    (tags: gadgets retro)
  • "I finally determined that for a protest to be effective it needed to:

    be novel and/or unexpected

    have a sympathetic, singular, and media-friendly message

    provide great visuals

    tap into a hot-button and timely issue."

  • "Is it possible that the idea of "realism" as a guiding principle for fiction is itself unrealistic? After all, there are no Newtonian laws in stories—an apple can just as easily fly upward from a tree as drop to the ground. Characters can ride a magic carpet as easily as walk. Any restrictions are imposed by the author, not by any external "reality," however defined.

    The first storytellers understood this intuitively. That is why myths, legends, folk tales and other traditional stories recognize no Newtonian (or other) limitations on their narrative accounts. These were the first examples of what I call "conceptual fiction"—in other words stories that delight in the freedom from "reality" that storytelling allows. Conceptual fiction plays with our conception of reality, rather than defers to it."

  • "Marks and Meaning is a work in progress; an evolving exploration of visual language, visual thinking and visual work practices by the founder and Chairman of XPLANE, the visual thinking company. An unfinished work, it's a hybrid: part sketchbook, part textbook, part workbook. It's continuously updated by the author, based on feedback and conversations with readers. When you buy the "book" you'll be invited to an email discussion group where the book's ideas and content are being discussed. This is version 0.5: the second version available to the public, last revised 14 April 2009."
  • "What lessons from the book can be applied to the web browser and other digital technologies? How might digital technologies alter or enhance the way that we interact with books as physical objects? What do the book and browser interfaces have in common? What is the future of the book? Of the browser?"
  • "Now in its seventh (!) year, the quarterly Library Connect Newsletter offers articles by librarians, industry experts and Elsevier colleagues. Here information pros can learn about best practices, read thoughts from leaders in the field and stay up to date with Elsevier news."