Archive for May, 2006

Cory, Ryan and Fred are both writing about Red Hat’s new open source social networking release, Mugshot.

The Mugshot developers on their blog are dissing the MySpace claims and making broader and fairly claims about how Mugshot is to be used — like email but more so, says one.

Their Press FAQ is more informative. But this part makes me, a Mac user, sad:

The Mugshot client software is currently available for Windows XP and Linux. The Mugshot web service also offers limited support for Apple OS X and other platforms.

I’m trying to get a login now…

UPDATE:
Got one! Thanks David and Havoc.

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Caught Alan Garr and the New Hill Echoes playing at the Grand Opening of Chatham Marketplace, Pittsboro’s answer to Weaver Street Market.

In a way it’s surprising that there was no Chatham Marketplace before now since so much of the produce and dairy we have been buying at Carrboro Farmers’ Market and Weaver Street for years comes from Chatham County and the Pittsboro area.

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At dinner with Bill Leuchtenburg and others when someone (me) asked if Harding was the worst president so far. Now Bill knows a thing or two about presidents having spent most of his life writing about them. His tentative worst presidents: Pierce, Buchanan, Grant and Nixon.

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This is s serious question. Maybe it’s because I was eating cafeteria food, but my entire Iowan food experience was with white bread, white meats (chicken and the other white meat), potatoes, rice, noodles, even white beans and white lettuce!

Native Iowan Josh writes:

Wheat bread is the extent of not-white in most of Iowa. It’s traditional midwestern insularity, of course. The only people willing to ride out the winters were crazy northern Europeans. Most of whom just blended in and lost their ethnic identity. Ergo the bland food and blander culture.

In Iowa, the most exotic food gets is Indian; there are about four places in the state. I used to drive 45 minutes just for buffet vindaloo.

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First, I haven’t stayed in a dorm in a long long time, but here we were in the penthouse of Willow Hall at Iowa State University. Well not exactly a penthouse but the top floor, the eightth. This was a Spartan experience to be sure. And no wireless. There was access via wire so’s eventually I made it over to the Book Store and bought an ethernet cable. The official Odyssey id and passwd didn’t work, but luckily a new friend loaned me his sign-in for our visit. Since we spent some time visiting his lab etc, it was even fair to have done so.

A dorm full of K-12 kids and their coaches is quite an experience. Our room was right outside the only women’s showers on our floor. At 5:30 am, a bunch of 3 – 5 graders were having it out in the showers. They had set their clocks up an hour instead of back an hour and were really excited about being at the World competition. Our dorm life was very different than say that at MIT. Elevators were always fun and unpredictable.

[add later]

Pictures that Sally took at Ames and the Competition here.
Official pix of Competition here. The Great Parade by Smith Middle School in the first two pictures here.
Two short movies of the Smith Middle School team destroying their vehicle as taken by Tucker are here and here.

The Smith Team finished 6th in their division.

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Spam  Museum
On our way back from Ames and the Odyssey of the Mind World Competition, we stopped in at the Spam Museum in Austin, Minnesota. It’s not just a tribute to Spam but a history of the Hormel company including the tale of a dark figure from the Hormel past who nearly bankrupted the company. Pictures of the Museum start on the second row of this page.

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Smith Middle School’s team finished 6th in their division today in Ames Iowa during the Odyssey of the Mind World Competition. (Out of 55 teams in that division). All four Chapel Hill school teams competing at World finished in the top 10 in their divisions!

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Get up in the morning, slaving for bread, sir,
So that every mouth can be fed.
Poor me, the Israelite. Aah.

In the local library last month, I picked up a Specials CD. I own the first two Specials collections on LP as well as a bunch of other Two Tone bands, but since CDs have come out I listen to LPs less and less. Tucker, our 13 year old, really started getting into the Specials and Madness once he took the library’s CD and vanished into his room with it.

My wife and my kids, they are packed up and leave me.
Darling, she said, I was yours to be seen.
Poor me, the Israelite. Aah.

Next I pulled some first generation ska CDs in particular the Skatalites which are mostly instrumental. From there I went into my Desmond Dekker and the Aces LP.


Shirt them a-tear up, trousers are gone.
I don’t want to end up like Bonnie and Clyde.
Poor me, the Israelite. Aah.


Desmond Dekker
didn’t end up like Bonnie and Clyde or even like his friend Bob Marley. He had several rough rides but was struck down by a heart attack this week.

After a storm there must be a calm.
They catch me in the farm. You sound the alarm.
Poor me, the Israelite. Aah.

Even here at the Odyssey of the Mind World Finals, I can hear “Doesn’t Make It Alright” coming down the hall as Tucker is turning his friends on the the music that Dekker took to the UK and that the UK took back to the USA.

Poor me, the Israelite.
I wonder who I’m working for.
Poor me, Israelite,
I look a-down and out, sir.

Here’s hoping I can get my LPs digitized soon, Tucker’s generation doesn’t have the patience for the LP format. They need to carry their music and be able to play it on any device anywhere any time.

I think that if what I’ve seen and heard here after introducing Tucker to ska is that Dekker just missed a fourth ska invasion.

(“Israelites” by Desmond Dekker and Leslie Kong)

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The list of who voted how is on My Direct Democracy (aka Mydd.com). NC Congressmen Watt and Coble need your attention. Watt was not voting and Coble voted against. From more on Net Neutrality see Fiona Morgan’s the recent Independent article and visit Save The Internet.

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Fred Stutzman is announcing a BARCampRDU. Check it out. Come on down. Get involved.

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In Ames Iowa where all the food is white or at best yellow with occassional red smears from tomato sause. Odyssey of the Mind has about 800 teams in the World Competition this year including teams from Kazakstan and from Cuba (Guantanamo Bay the accouncer quickly noted without irony). Irony on the part of the adults is in short supply but in the skits and problem solving by the kids there is plenty of irony, pun and wit.
Dorm life is no life however. Terrible coffee and no wireless on the 8th floor, where we are staying. I gave my ethernet cable away last trip saying “hey I haven’t used this in two years. you can have it.” Now I’m looking for a computer store in Ames ;-> or :-<
Ames lovely Cafe Diem is a good second home tho.

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Dan Gillmor and Ed Cone (for two) cover the Wall Street Journal sponsored email exchange between telecom industry PR guy Mike McCurry and principled enterpreneur Craig Newmark (not that I’m biased ;->) on Net Neutrality. Both Gillmor and Cone point out that Newmark wins on the facts. He gets extra points by actually knowing them as opposed to McCurry who cites his employers without, he admits, clearly understanding what it’s all about. McCurry can spin, but Newmark clearly wins.

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Fred Stutzman proposes an interesting approach to Cross-Institutional Social Network Research. A smart ideas which uses social networks to build a network to do research that could not otherwise be easily done.

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Arrived to semi-hostile wireless access. The Cafe Diem has great access and it’s free and the coffee and veggie fare is great. The campus ISU is not ready to give access to just anyone. Odyssey of the Mind must ask they tell me. The library wasn’t much help either although I only chased that access via the Ask-a-librarian service.

But all is not lost. Thanks to David McConville, I’m hooking up with Steve Herrnstadt and heading for a trip in the C6 tomorrow!

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June 6, 2006 = 666? How about 6:06 am on that day? The School of Information and Library Science took a call yesterday from a reporter looking for a numerologist to help him with those questions. My collegues wisely sent him to Religion (specifically to Revelations). But what of September 9, 1999? Is it 9/9/99 and so more satanic for being inverted? Or 9:09 am of that same day? Is it a double 999999? or June 9, 1999 at 6:06 am? Is that a mirror 666999?
The Arockolpyse happened on Saturday
already!

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Tonight is packing and tomorrow traveling. First a flight up to Minneapolis then a drive straight South to Ames. We’re headed to the Odyssey of the Mind┬« 2006 World Finals at Iowa State University.

Yes there will be some live streaming of the various ceremonies on Wednesday at 7 pm CST and Saturday at 7 pm CST. And there will be podcasts posted every day after 6 pm CST.

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Back in the late 1960s and the early 1970′s I loved going to the old time music festival down at Union Grove, NC. The first year that I went, the festival was held mostly in the school house where it had started some 40 odd years earlier. By 1970, the festival which had far outgrown the school house and the school yard was moved to the Van Hoy farm where we all camped out and heard the music under big tents.

There was along the way a big blow up between the two Van Hoy brothers, Harper and Pierce, supposedly over whether the festival should become more family friendly (meaning no alcohol, no long hair etc) or more musican friendly (alcohol, long hair etc). We ended up at the Pierce musican friendly version rather than the one at Harper’s Fiddler’s Grove in part because we followed a banjo player named George Pegram. Perhaps too we prefered the more organic (read chaotic) culture over at Pierce’s place.

Also our friend Elizabeth Booker, who was the model for the LP cover of the Jim Scancarelli produced Union Grove Records (I think the Union Grove Hub of the Universe cover), was very emotionally attached to Pierce’s productions and the folks who played there.

The Southern Folklife Collection now has digitized material from the Harper Van Hoy Fiddler’s Grove collection online and it’s worth a visit. Particularly interesting are the various paragraphs describing the two festivals in the Historical Notes. I must have been having more fun than I realized at the time!

Fiddler Bill Hicks wrote an article back in 1970 for the NC Anvil about his choice of Pierce’s festival.

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Cory at BoingBoing points us to the One Laptop Per Child project’s new images and in the process reminds us that http://www.laptop.org is the home of the $100 laptop project.

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BBC reports on Sir Tim Berners-Lee speaking at WWW2006 in Edinburgh strongly advocates for Net Neutrality.

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ibiblian alum Jesse Wilbur writes to let us know that the GAM3R 7H30RY site is open for use and for comment.

The Institute for the Future of the Book is pleased to announce a major networked book experiment with McKenzie Wark, author of A Hacker Manifesto (Harvard 2004). Wark has shared a draft of his next book, GAM3R 7H30RY (Gamer Theory), in an open web-based environment designed to gather feedback and spark discussion. GAM3R 7H30RY 1.1 envisions a new kind of book that evolves over time and brings authors and readers into conversation.

In GAM3R 7H30RY, Wark turns his attention to video games, the emergent cultural form of our times. He is interested in two main questions:

1. can we explore games as allegories for the world we live in?
2. can there be a critical theory of games?

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