Andy on the Road

5 May 2009

Welcome Back, Folks


After finals effectively destroyed any chance of keeping up with my feeds, I turned on my RSS reader for the first time in a couple weeks. I was met with over 4000 items. There’s no way I’ll be able to give these a full treatment (and to pile these all together makes for pretty scattered reading), but here are a few highlights:

  • Perez Hilton responds to a negative ad by the National Organization for Marriage (of the horrible “Gathering Storm” ad fame) by sending them a near-frivolous DMCA Takedown notice. Sorry, Perez: this isn’t cool even when I agree with your message.
  • My buddy Greg Whitney is featured in an Emerson student’s profile of Boston’s own Louie (better known as The Tricycle Man). Seeing this made me miss Boston more than anything else during finals week.
    Thanks to Bostonist and Ms. RDP for the scoop.
  • Swineophobia hit close to home this week. My Alma Mater Northeastern opted to forgo with handshakes for commencement. I don’t think the Garden counts as a “small confined space” to avoid under VP Biden’s analysis.
  • Early reports from the iTunes Music Store’s new variable pricing system are not favorable. Digital Music News reports that revenues are down, and consumers are increasingly leaving iTunes in favor of other alternatives.
  • The Boston Globe did a nice profile of Justice Souter’s hometown of Weare, NH. I was a little surprised to find that Justice Souter lives relatively close to my house. He lives a few dozen miles due north of me, straight up Rt. 13 (which turns into NH Rt. 77 in Milford). To help understand his (and to an extent, my) upbringing: equidistant from our towns is Peterborough, NH, best known as the town credited as the inspiration for Grover’s Corners in Thornton Wilder’s Our Town. I feel a deep affinity for that play, and the towns in the Monadnock region that it celebrates. I have a feeling he does too. While I’ll miss reading Souter’s opinions, I’m sure he’ll enjoy his return to our figurative neighborhood.
  • On a related SCOTUS note, Justice Scalia’s opinions on the “privacy right” (which GWU Law Professor Dan Solove characterizes here) were tested when Fordham University Professor asked his legal privacy class to create a dossier on Scalia. Scalia responded with gusto.
  • EFF’s Hugh D’Andrade gives the Obama White House partial credit for licensing photos taken by White House photographer Pete Souza under a Creative Commons Attribution license, but suggests the fairly obvious: shouldn’t these, as government works, be in the public domain?
  • Japanese designer surgical face masks. Now I’ve seen everything.
  • Iron & Wine are (is?) going to release a 2CD/3LP collection of rarities and outtakes called Around The Well on May 19th, spanning the entirety of Sam Beam’s career. This week we have new St. Vincent and Akron/Family for your listening pleasure.
  • Wired’s marks for Obama’s first 100 days: Copyright, D; Cyber Security, C; Science, A-; Net Neutrality, B+; Transparency, B-; Privacy, D-. Saddens me to say, but I have to agree on most of these marks. But let’s not forget that he’s getting damn close to an A on virtually everything else.
  • co-founder Ethan Zuckerman wrote a lovely and humorous eulogy for Geocities, which officially closed last week.
  • Is A&R dead? Music Think Tank poses the question, and the comments are generally in favor of the rarified profession. (I for one still prefer my old sensei Dave’s joke on the subject: “How many A&R guys does it take to screw in a lightbulb?” “I don’t know. What do you think?”)
  • A lot of people complained that theĀ  White House photo op of Air Force One over NYC could easily have been done in a matter of an hour or two on Photoshop. Scott Kelby demonstrated, creating a rather lovely shot that could have saved us over $300,000.
  • And for the finale: in March of 2007 WFMU posted 79 versions of Gershon Kingsley’s “Popcorn.” Using the EchoNest API Paul Lemere was stitched them all together into a 12 minute anthem. I’m very glad I didn’t find this until after finals, as I would have listened to only this, and that probably would have done my brain in. Paul Lemere – A Big Kettle of Echo Nest Popcorn

I hope to be back to more regular schedule now that my 1L year is over and the summer has begun. I make my return to Boston tomorrow; can’t wait to see you all. And to my new DC friends: congrats and thanks on a wonderful year, and I hope to see a lot of you up here or down there soon.

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