The Dork Report for January 27, 2007

Horning in on our spottily-updated territory, Mean Teacher gets her Dork on and pens a proper concert review (but not before paying the price). That said, no, you’re never too old. Although it’s probably best The Peppers don’t rock out with their socks out anymore… do they?

Peter Gabriel’s gone indie. (spotted on Genesis-Movement)

This came out of nowhere… at least to me! Microsoft enters the web design & production market with Expression, analogous to Adobe Creative Suite in every area except Flash. Poor Adobe didn’t have a chance to properly enjoy themselves after buying their only competitor. (spotted on Daring Fireball)

Videos of the 20 Greatest Guitar Solos of All Time (according to Guitar World, that is, leading to an extreme “classic rock” prejudice). In other words, 20 ugly men posturing and grimacing before thousands of sycophants. (spotted on Boing Boing)

Khoi Vinh notices the iPhone uses Helvetica throughout. (spotted on Daring Fireball)

Do you have Design Disease? Is it wrong that I’m jealous I have only a mild case compared to this laundry list of advanced symptoms? (spotted on Kottke.org)

The Dork Report for January 18, 2007

Wikipedia’s Unusual Articles entry does exactly what it says on the tin, and it’s a veritable goldmine. Just to name a few gems at random: Buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo, famous body parts, list of self-referential songs.

Bouncing back from last year’s biking injury, Michael Brook lines up his 2007 tour dates.

Hey, there are dorks in Congress, too! (guest submission from Andrea)

Frack up your desktop with some Battlestar Galactica icons from The Iconfactory.

I’m not done with Battlestar Galactica dork items yet! This gag reel is a rarity: genuinely funny to someone outside of the cast & crew, and perhaps even to non-fans. (spotted on TV Squad):

The Dork Report for January 15, 2007

A belated announcement: Mean Teacher opts for a new blog persona in the new year: Ordinary World. Thrill and wonder at her first-class movie reviews and tales from the catbox.

Nintendo stuff on my cat: WiiKitty.

Twitterific, a new (free!) application from The IconFactory. Twitter allows one to never lose touch with all your virtual friends, Web 2.0-style, and strike a blow to privacy and productivity everywhere.

DGM Live News uncovers a startling, previously unheard track featuring an extremely rare (perhaps for good reason) vocal performance by Robert Fripp over some Peter Gabriel noodling, circa 1977-78 or so. More where this came from, please!

The Dork Report for January 12, 2007

Fortune‘s piece on Apple’s secrecy surrounding the iPhone highlights two points I’ve always wondered about: 1. in a business world where Hewlett-Packard is the news for literally spying on its own employees for high-level boardroom leaks to the press, Apple’s security measures look decidedly quaint. And 2. as a web designer, I often think that of the privlieged few assumed to have early access to items like this goes beyond the highly-paid CEOs, managers, and industrial design teams; what about the poor schmoes who have to crank out the web sites, product packaging, and manuals without even being able to tell their family and loved ones what they did at work all day, honey?

The New York Times examines 24‘s politics, and strongly reminds me why I refuse to watch the show to which I was once addicted.

Rolling Stone posts video of Joseph Arthur and The Lonely Astronauts live.

The Illusionist

The Illusionist

 

The Illusionist perhaps suffers from being released in proximity to The Prestige, a far superior period piece sharing the use of magic as a storytelling conceit. However, The Illusionist has two strong assets to point out:

  • The cinematography is truly beautiful, comprised of sepia images (seemlingly projected by oil lamp) and old-school iris out transitions. These are no doubt digital approximations of the real thing, but lovely (and less distracting than it sounds) nonetheless. In a brief moment of meta-commentary, the solution to a magic trick is deconstructed on screen as involving an early movie camera.
  • As if Paul Giamatti still needed to prove anything after his recent run of top-shelf performances, he is extraordinary here; not merely content to affect a realistic Viennese accent, he transforms the entire timbre of his voice.

The Iron Giant

The Iron Giant movie poster

 

The Iron Giant is a sorely underrated animated film remarkable on so many fronts, not the least being a rare film among the company of The Incredibles (not coincidentally also directed by Brad Bird) as a story truly for the ages and for "all ages." Also one of the few films capable of choking up such a hardened emotional rock as myself.

The Dork Report for January 6, 2007

Python Terry Jones steps out of drag and crunches the numbers on the Iraq war (spotted on Neil Gaiman’s Journal):

This will bring the total spent on the White House’s current obsession with war to almost $500bn – enough to have given every US citizen $1,600 each. I wonder which the voters would have gone for if given the choice: shall we (a) give every American $1,600 or (b) spend the money on bombing a country in the Middle East that doesn’t use lavatory paper?

Of course, there’s another thing that George Bush could have done with the money: he could have given every Iraqi $18,700.

A dream interview, no matter which way around: RAW runs the complete transcription of Alan Moore vs Brian Eno originally on BBC Radio 4.

The Dork Report for January 5, 2007

The condensed Kottke.org, 2006 edition.

Holy frak! Battlestar Galactica hasn’t merely been granted a fourth season, there’s also to be a direct-to-dvd feature film. (spotted on BattlestarGalacticaSite.com)

After a period of relative quiet after being hounded by Apple’s lawyers (during which they often focused on scooping other companies’ unreleased projects like Adobe CS3), ThinkSecret returns to form with a real piece of Apple news: actual screenshot from a forthcoming spreadsheet app likely to be a part of iWork ’07 almost sure to be announced at MacWorld next week.