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Showing posts from November, 2005

Frappr group for Equal Time for Freethought listeners

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(inspired by Brian Flemming 's similar antics with the Church Sign Generator ) Last week, the map I created for listeners of the radio show on scientific naturalism and secular humanism Equal Time for Freethought (for which I am on staff as a researcher/consultant), which airs on WBAI in the metro New York City area, finally went live with a link on the official site. The map is made via Frappr , a super cool site that uses Google Maps to allow people in a group to post their locations on the planet. (For more examples of ways people are using Google Maps, see Google Maps Mania .) I've also created a couple of other Frappr groups: for Distributed Proofreaders ( forum thread ) and dorkbotters (that is, people who go to dorkbot , including the local nyc group ). I'm very pleased to see that the first two listeners to add themselves, besides the staff members of the show, are all the way from Grand Rapids, Michigan and Mayer, Arizona! Clearly, the show is being hea

A decade of Pixar feature films

Today marks the 10th anniversary of the release of Toy Story , rounding out a decade of feature films from Pixar. I literally grew up alongside computer graphics; Tron was released, on July 9, 1982, just a month before I was born; also, the adolescence and adulthood of the medium parallel my own. I remember missing Toy Story during its original theatrical run (remember how back then, it was promoted as a "Disney" rather than a "Pixar" film?), instead seeing Jumanji (what a load of crapola that was) while Toy Story was playing on a different screen of the same theater. However, I didn't miss the revolution for long: I've looked forward to each new release since Monsters, Inc. 's wickedly clever trailer in which the characters wind up in outer Mongolia instead of outer Magnolia (oh, the pain-of-anticipation of seeing that one a full year before the release of the film itself). Pixar has moved from one artistic triumph to another, barely missing a b

Screenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: study on web-using teens

Earlier this month, the Pew Internet and American Life Project released a study about American teenagers on the Net . This showed that not only are teens sophisticated users of the Net, they're also using it as creators. The most impressive statistic is that over half of teens who used the Net created content; particular forms such as blogging, personal webpages, working on webpages for other people, and even remixing of existing content are all fairly common. The report confirms what I've definitely seen of the existence of a "generation gap" in Net use, especially for leisure as opposed to basic activities, like email for everyday communication, and reference. A lot of older people I know don't appreciate the significance the Net, seeing it as just another unproductive diversion for brats with too much time on their hands. For me it's odd, because I was in the era just before the Net came around; it wasn't a significant factor in my teen/high school ye

Nick Sagan (Carl's son) has a blog!

A few days ago, less than a week after reading Keay Davidson's biography of Carl Sagan, I was browsing through the library and randomly came across a science fiction novel by Carl's son Nick Sagan (the third of Sagan's five children). Although I had heard of Nick's career as a TV writer (including, appropriately, for Star Trek series The Next Generation and Voyager ), I had no idea that he wrote science fiction books. In fact he has written two SF novels so far: Idlewild (2003) and Edenborn (2004). I can't opine on the novels, not having read them, but I'm pretty sure that Steven Baxter is right when he says that Nick "has a sense of wonder in his DNA." ;) So I checked his site (see the pictures page for some photos of him with Carl!), and he has a brand-new blog that just debuted earlier this week! In fact, it debuted on Halloween and in his first post he weighs in on his favorite holiday (mine too; in fact, I found my own way to tie it in w