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27th October Weekly Roundup

  • I had a great chat with Marly about the fall issue of IC last week, which should go out in her next podcast.
  • Massive kudos to Apple and Google for seeing the issue of gay marriage for what it is: a question of civil rights.
  • Speaking of Apple, I’m digging iTunes’s Genius. It’s playlist-making for the lazy or uninspired. What do you think of it?
    • Know what I’m not digging? Bad bad bad DRM. Did you know that if you buy a movie through iTunes you can’t (without use of 3rd-party software) burn it to a DVD so you can, you know, watch it on your television? This is wrong on so many levels. I’m stifling a rant right now.
  • I finally finished reading Watchmen. It is brilliant, though I didn’t enjoy it very much until the end. Despite thinking hard about it over the last few weeks, I can’t figure out exactly what it is that didn’t click with me. It might be as simple as the annoying bit that I didn’t like the art very much. The story is brilliant, and I highly recommend the book.
  • I jumped from that into sci-fi in the form of The Ghost Brigades, which I didn’t enjoy as much as Old Man’s War, but which is worth a read. Scalzi goes deeper into the nitty-gritty of consciousness transfer and how stuff in his universe works, and I’m not so much a details person when it comes to reading sci-fi, favouring plot advancement and character development. That said, he did a bang-up job of fleshing it all out, and my failure to geek out on it is my own, not his. Not to let a storyline run dry, I’m now reading The Last Colony, which is thoroughly enjoyable so far.
  • I’m using last.fm more (painted black, thanks very much). Are you on there? Be my friend!
  • There are two constant themes in the Werker home right now: Halloween and the U.S. election.
    • I love Halloween, but I find it almost unbearably stressful. I don’t know why, and it’s not important enough for me to spend a lot of time figuring it out. The man feels no stress about it, and so I pretty much follow his plan. This year: late-’80s movie pair. I’ll let you guess.
    • I might die from anticipation before next Tuesday. I’m less and less able to keep calm about it. On the one hand, a two-year campaign is obscene and it’s bad for democracy. On the other hand, without such a long campaign, Obama wouldn’t have become a contender. Regardless, I very unreasonably feel like the fate of the world is resting on this election, and I can’t talk myself down from it.
  • Joss Whedon wrote about Dollhouse. So. excited. for. Dollhouse. And also for the last half of the final season of BSG. Time to wrap that baby up, already!
  • Speaking of television, we’re into the second season of The Wire. Good good good.

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Carrie

ooh! so many good links. I'm loving the Genius playlist too – it's just a nice way to shake up the order I play my music in – otherwise I would just play the same CDs in the same order over and over and over.

That Joss post was awesome. I can't wait for Dollhouse either!

kristi

Most heartening election news I heard this week: they are predicting the biggest voter turn out in a century! I have felt so much a part of a generation X, and thought it would be slacking, cynicism and irony for the rest of our days. Apparently, we have found reason to get off our collective butt and get involved in the democratic process. Yay us! My husband immediately asked whether that was just number, or actually percentage (see that cynicism thing is hard to kick!).

On music geekiness: We've been using Pandora which creates a “radio station” for you based on a certain song you feed it. Sort of like the genius feature, but Pandora just plays stuff for you, you don't own it (or buy it). You have the option of skipping stuff, but it's really much more of a radio model. And for a long time, I've made iTunes playlists by doing keyword searches. I have a great knitting playlist. Crochet just doesn't come up so much in song. Maybe you should get somebody on that. Or at least contemplate why knitting is a more commonly used metaphor than crochet.

kpwerker

I hear you on the cynicism. The first time I cried during an Obama speech (the one on race) I had no idea what to do with myself. My entire cynical worldview—the one that makes me roll my eyes at even the hint of politician-speak—crumbled. I, like, sobbed, and looked at the man with pleading eyes and told him I hadn't thought I'd hear those words in my lifetime.

I don't think we can use Pandora north of the border. Last.fm builds playlists of recommended music, which is pretty cool.

I dream of a day when artists and distributors begin to live in a world where the internet has no borders…

kristi

Most heartening election news I heard this week: they are predicting the biggest voter turn out in a century! I have felt so much a part of a generation X, and thought it would be slacking, cynicism and irony for the rest of our days. Apparently, we have found reason to get off our collective butt and get involved in the democratic process. Yay us! My husband immediately asked whether that was just number, or actually percentage (see that cynicism thing is hard to kick!).

On music geekiness: We've been using Pandora which creates a “radio station” for you based on a certain song you feed it. Sort of like the genius feature, but Pandora just plays stuff for you, you don't own it (or buy it). You have the option of skipping stuff, but it's really much more of a radio model. And for a long time, I've made iTunes playlists by doing keyword searches. I have a great knitting playlist. Crochet just doesn't come up so much in song. Maybe you should get somebody on that. Or at least contemplate why knitting is a more commonly used metaphor than crochet.

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