Moneydick

Technology, Art, and Power

Month: August, 2007

Music Video – Wir Tanzem Im Viereck

Back when I started this site in 2003 I would make lots of pages that looked like this [just to confuse people]:

jonasmencken
"I hope you enjoy my musical
video…
I came up with the idea during a rainstorm in Helsinki.
Working primarily with the portrayal of the relationship between these
two cultures [Japanese/UK], I developed what I believe to be an effective
representation of their dynamism, interrelationships, and tastes.
Only by violently satirizing these two distinctly different cultures
can one dissect what extremes each can repectively attain."

-Jonas Mencken 2004

The Senica tale – A Geo Mystery

I saw that Google Earth was now doing web searches through .kml files. Interesting thought I. For some reason, the first thing that popped in my head was “I wonder if someone has pinpointed where Apocalypse now was filmed.” When I typed that in, the only result Earth returned was an unnamed kml (map) file found on quikmaps.com. It was a group of waypoints, numbered as though demarcating a route. Attached to waypoint 1 was this:

The lone sliver of sunlight that came in through the blinds was enough to cut through his sleep like a razorblade. Unaware of what woke him, he sprung upright in bed, panicked and wet with sweat. Blood bounced through his head and his heart filled his chest cavity. His throat was constricted with last night’s vomit and he felt like he was drowning. Slowly, the shape of his bedroom came into place: the dresser filled with athletic medals and a gun, the pile of clothes at the end of the bed. Something stirred under the blankets next to him and for a moment he thought that maybe it was a monstrous python. Maybe he wasn’t really awake but living a dream inside of a dream. With care‚Äìas if he were delivering a baby on a bus‚Äìhe lifted the covers to a find a nude woman in his bed that very obviously wasn’t Zlatica. He let the blanket fall back on the woman. “Jesus, Mary and Joseph,” he said aloud. “This is going to be some God-damn day.”

Then I said to myself ‘Web 2.0 is fucking nuts.’ This group of waypoint was in Slovakia, in a small town called Senica. The story ungracefully tumbles into a Dubliners-type tale set within 17 placemarks. Each placemark contains about two paragraphs of text. This is strange on a number of levels.
I’m used to seeing waypoints in Google Earth where someone points out a lighthouse or their grammas house… but this is an actual bit of creativity. I was fascinated. The mystery writer (all I know about him/her is that they published on quikmaps.com) created a story that walks you through one man’s day, laying out his hopes, suspicions, habits, and desires. To read it yourself, you can simply open this file. If you do not have Google Earth, I highly recommend you download it here and open that golden nugget of mystery.
The unnamed story reads like a story written by someone who’s read a lot of stories. Sadly, he forgot the first rule of writing stories: You need a catchy title. I think he meant to call it ‘Brewskies for the Huskies.’ And so it goes. Waypoint 17 is titled ‘Four Beers’

Four Beers

Fero sets four beers on the table. Each is a half-liter. Brewed in Topalcany. Golden and diffused like sunlight shining through a muslin curtain. The head is so thick and white with foam that a one Krown piece would easily stay afloat on top of it. The four of them stare at the beers. Petey runs his tongue across his lips, raises his eyebrows and smacks his hands together and begins to rub them like he is starting a fire. Palo laughs at Peter. “Here we go again, baby. And Dave reaches for his beer, the beads of moisture wrap around his fingers and he slowly draws it towards him. Jim is the last to take his beer. It is heavy in his hand, comforting, a feeling he has grown used to in three years and one he will miss in the years to come. They lift their glasses, touch them, look each other in the eyes and in that moment that will stay with them, the moment laced with possibility and the descent into joyful drunkenness where all decisions are good ones and all women good-looking. There will be a few bad nights, nights soaked in double vodkas, nights when they will question (God, purpose, country and themselves) and nights of boredom where they will empty pack after pack of Petra cigarettes. But those nights are few and this certainly will not be one of them. The moon is bright and they are young and coming through the gate are four women–blondes and brunettes, tall, short, but all soon to be beautiful. Palo is the first to say “na zdravie” and the other three follow. Fero is on the porch bathed in the light pouring out of the door from inside the bar. His wife calls him and he turns and disappears into the light.

Oh there’s more didn’t you hear?

Occasionally he reminds you that…

On his way there, like every day, he stopped at the corner market to buy a pack of Sparta cigarettes and a single bottle of Trnavan beer that he drank on the way to work.

I really don’t care how bad this story is, or where it will take me. I just want to know why someone chose to input all these wacky paragraphs into a map. I’ve had no luck trying to uncover anyone who’s mentioned slovakia, senica, or quikmaps.

Reading those first sections had me thinking that it was actually a personal diary of a lonely internet geek who was dramatizing his day. Then I read this:

By chance, though not a big enough chance to save Vlado’s life, the ambulance squad was half a block away, tucked in behind the clinic. Paul ran out of bed and into the hallway before he was fully awake. Pan Doctor grabbed his arm and pulled him out into the already warm summer morning. They were both on the scene before Tomcat had a chance to pull the ambulance out of the garage. A small crowd of mostly Trencin bound bus passengers and workers from the nearby market circled the body‚Äìafraid to touch it or check for pulse for fear that death is contagious. Paul and Pan Doctor pushed through the circle. It wasn’t easy to look at death but Paul was getting used to it. Last week in one of the smaller villages a man tried to commit suicide by placing a shotgun under his chin. Just at the moment when he went to pull the trigger, the gun slipped, blowing the front of his face away. “Unfortunately,” Paul thought, “he lived.” He prayed for steadier hands when his time came. He had not been to many death scenes, but the ones he had been at contained certain ironies that were not lost on him. Near Vlado’s crushed skull lay a broken beer bottle and just out of reach of his twisted hand was a cigarette that would burn longer than Vlado’s life.

kmlGet the KML

Bids for The SF Transbay Terminal

It’s going to be really exciting to see the new San Francisco Trans Bay terminal go up. Life Without Buildings has pictures of the 3 final bids.
The World Trade Center buildings replacing the giant hole in the ground are much less fascinating. The “Freedom Tower” and the disjointed simple silvery other 4 buildings near it aren’t that fascinating. More here.

International Federation of Phonographic Industry (IFPI) Shut Down by Judge on Allofmp3 case

From p2p.net:
After a ridiculous and drawn out court case against Allofmp3.com (Russian web-based music store similar to the Itunes store) a Russian judge found no wrongdoing on the part of Allofmp3. Because Allofmp3.com was legitimately paying royalties to ROMS (Russian Royalties Collection) they were told they could keep on movin on.
This means the world can once again download songs legally at a price that is far more fair than the base .99 cent price set by the Itunes store monopoly. Here’s an explanation why Allofmp3 is cheaper:

Unlike some US-based music stores such as Apple’s iTunes Store, AllOfMP3 charges for the volume of data downloaded, not for individual songs. As of August 13, 2006, the basic price for downloaded music is US$0.03 per megabyte, increased from the previous US$0.02 per megabyte set on January 15, 2005. Previously, the price per megabyte was only US$0.01. As a basis of comparison, a typical four-minute, 128 kbit/s song downloaded from the iTunes Store would cost US$0.99, whereas this same song at the same bitrate would cost US$0.12 to download at AllOfMP3.

This price is often reduced by a complicated system of discounts based on cumulative usage, promotions, and type of payment. These discounts can reduce the effective price of downloads by up to one third of the original cost.

This is great news. With AllofMp3 back in business, perhaps open source solutions like SongBird will incorporate it to produce an Itunes Killer. That’ll be the day.

The Morgan Town

I’m redirecting my personal matters to a more personal place: The Morgan Town. It’ll be the new home of my photos, random links, and more self-related ideas.
Moneydick will now be more of a technophilia blog with more posts like this:

That means more posts along the lines of Social Networking, Web Tools a la mashable, and a techie’s take on new digitali movements.
This is a relief for me. I was alienating one segment of readers when I would post Vassar party photos and another when I wrote about some Mac application. Now there’s a place for both.

WTF Japan 04 – Rose Flavored Water ad

CHOMP

thanks JapanProbe

The top 11 Facebook Leak Comments

oh no facebook leak of seguridadBecause of a minor glitch on facebook, a wee bit of their php code was released to the sweaty swarms of digg users and techcrunch fiends. Because I’ll probably get a cease and desist letter for posting the code, I’ll just post the coment codes that gave me a laugh. They could only be written by a carefree gymnasium of funky fresh Facebook employees.

  • Line 57:  // an error can also be here because the
    profile photo upload code is crazy
  • Line 85: // make sure big tunas haven’t moved around
  • Line 121: // Merman’s Admin profile always links to the Merman’s
    home
  • Line 247: // We special case the network not recognized error
    here, because affil_retval_msg is retarded.
  • Line 359: // MONETIZATION BOX
  • HA!

And this just in…. the photo.php has also been discovered. Here’s some gems from that fine bit of code ripe with more Sophmoreshpeal!

Japan WTF 03 – Japanese Energy Drink

WTF Japan 02 – Wee Wee Theme Song


Previously: Man with Tail

WTF Japan 01 – Man with Tail & Harry Potter in Japan


Man With A Tail???The most popular videos are here