Archive | June, 2012
Ad agency Draftcb has won gold at the Cannes PR Lions for an innovative publishing concept, using disappearing ink to print books that gradually fade away over the course of two months. Dubbed "The Book That Can't Wait," the format — an intriguing one in a world increasingly dominated by Kindles and Nooks — is being pioneered by independent Argentinian publishing house Eterna Cadencia, which is using it to promote new authors. As the promo video (below) points out, "if people don't read their first books, they'll never make it to a second." The specially-developed ink used in the books works via a chemical process, starting to disappear...
The French composer Claude Debussy is quoted as saying that, “Music is the space between the notes”. I think that’s a very apt recognition of the shared responsibility between artist and audience in unearthing the latent content of any piece of art, and I very much like it. Make your work too overtly programmatic, and you end up with stale self-parody, a la Norman Rockwell. Overburden it with too many layers of obscure, self-referential ciphers, like Joyce’s “Finnegan’s Wake”, and risk alienating your most enthusiastic audience.
But if you have a lot to say, it can really be difficult to avoid the “Finnegan” trap. The very fact that you are capable of generating enough observations worthy of communication, of making very fine distinctions in kind and degree, springs from a hypersensitivity that can seem emotionally overwhelming, and very much at odds with one of the inviolable principles of effective communication itself: clarity.
This is where a solid understanding of the rhetorical ecology will come in handy. In order to be truly effective, you need to be able to “play the music between the notes”, which is to say, have an appreciation for the various types of person who will read your work the context in which it will be read, today, tomorrow and 200 years from now, and what they will be looking to draw from it. And you need to accept the fact that some of your strongest, most affecting points will not be articulated by you, but by your critics.… Read the rest
The Swedish diver team investigating the gigantic mushroomed-shaped object says their devices cut out when they go within 200 meters of the structure. Sci-Fi-horror movie troupes bursting into reality, via the the Daily Mail:
Professional diver Stefan Hogerborn, part of the Ocean X team which is exploring the anomaly, said some of the team’s cameras and the team’s satellite phone would refuse to work when directly above the object, and would only work once they had sailed away. He is quoted as saying: ‘Anything electric out there – and the satellite phone as well – stopped working when we were above the object.”
The Swedish diving team noted a 985-foot flattened out ‘runway’ leading up to the object, implying that it skidded along the path before stopping but no true answers are clear. Member Dennis Åsberg said: ‘I am one hundred percent convinced and confident that we have found something that is very, very, very unique.”
… Read the rest
If you’re living in a city, who’s going to be better prepared to survive? Hells Angels, Bloods and Crips and gangs, even survivalist fanatical Christians because they’ve already got loyalty to a group. They’ve got basic core belief. They’re prepared to protect themselves and fight for themselves. They’re more mobile and more paranoid so they’re more able to provide it. People who just live in their apartments in the suburbs and do their 9 to 5 jobs are going to be devastated literally and physically.
Or the Mormons. They are really well-situated for a collapse. They have an international structure, so that if all the Mormons in one city are displaced there are other places they can go. They have physical buildings. They have savings. They have food supply. It’s like their whole religion is built around being ready to take over if there’s a collapse.
The BBC on a burgeoning recession-era parenting technique — towns provide a box in which struggling parents may stick babies they are incapable of caring for:
… Read the rest
Boxes where parents can leave an unwanted baby, common in medieval Europe, have been making a comeback over the last 10 years. Supporters say a heated box, monitored by nurses, is better for babies than abandonment on the street – but the UN says it violates the rights of the child.
There is a stainless steel hatch with a handle. Pull that hatch open and there are neatly folded blankets for a baby. The warmth is safe and reassuring. There is a letter, too, telling you whom to call if you change your mind.
Critics say that baby boxes are a throwback to the past when the medieval church had what were called “foundling wheels” – round windows through which unwanted babies could be passed.
The U.S. Supreme Court has finally decided to uphold the critical part of President Obama’s controversial health care law. Expect some Tea Party fireworks just in time for Independence Day next week… Robert Barnes and N.C. Aizenman report for the Washington Post:
The Supreme Court on Thursday upheld the individual health-insurance mandate that is at the heart of President Obama’s landmark health-care law, saying the mandate is permissible under Congress’s taxing authority.
The potentially game-changing, election-year decision — a major victory for the White House less than five months before the November elections –will help redefine the power of the national government and affect the health-care choices of millions of Americans.
Passage of the legislation by the Democratic-controlled Congress in 2010 capped decades of efforts to implement a national program of health care. The legislation is expected to eventually extend health-care coverage to more than 30 million Americans who currently lack it…
[continues at the Washington Post]
Today we use an ever-shrinking pool of shorter, simpler words as image-based communication eats up word-based language. Not long from now, we’ll be grunting and sending each other extremely complicated emoticons. Lifeboat writes:
… Read the rest
An ongoing “survival of the fittest” may lead to continuing expansion of image-based communications and the extinction of more than half the world’s languages by this century’s end. Not only is the world using fewer languages, but also fewer words. Consider the rich vocabulary and complex sentence constructions in extemporaneous arguments of politicians in earlier centuries against the slick, simplistic sound bites of contemporary times.
The cell phone has become a ubiquitous, all-purpose communications tool. However, its small keyboard and tiny screen limit the complexity, type, and length of written messages. Because no sane person wants to read streams of six-point font on a three-inch video screen, phones today are built with menus of images up to the presentation point of the messages themselves.