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Things I've Found 16 (The Whole Concept of Cutting Edge Is Just So...Yesterday)—2/27/2002

by Mark Rose

Bad Technology: Clever bobs in the UK have invented an automated DJ device that not only will play and mix music, but based on automatic feedback from the dancers, will change the mix to suit audience reaction. Each club attendee will wear a small wristwatch that communicates wirelessly with the DJ brain. The watch sends the person’s heart and activity rate, and the music is adjusted to keep the person dancing. At first, it sounds interesting and cool. But when you think of it, all it’s really doing is putting artist DJs out of business. The whole feedback thing: that’s what a human DJ is PAID to do! So what good is this automated version? Is the only thing technology really good for is to put people out of jobs?


Good Technology: Now here’s a good use for technology. Drink coasters can detect whether a date rape drug is present in the drink placed on the coaster:


Kentucky: You know I’m beginning to fall in love with the loonies in this state. A beauty pageant goes tragically awry when “Miss Congeniality” attempts to peform her on-stage talent of lassooing a stuffed pig. A student affairs coordinator is angered by this (?) and assaults her. No, I’m not making that up:


Television: This is the most perfect thing in the world for us television freaks. An episode guide for tons and tons and tons of television shows. This is the single best site we have ever previewed in this zine. I am in heaven.


[Man, this site has everything, from Ellery Queen to Banacek to The San Pedro Beach Bums to Salvage 1! There is enough fodder on this site for a whole ‘nother zine: TV Shows I’ve Found. Has anyone else watched the brilliance that is say, Hamish Macbeth?]

Julia Child’s Kitchen is Being Restored at the Smithsonian:


Biology: Please tell me this is a Photoshopped image and not the real tongue of a boxer dog:


Magazines: Some of you know that I achieved my all-time personal record of receiving 72 subscription magazines in a single year. That number has now dwindled considerably. I still check out the new magazines, and the year 2001 was a banner year for new titles. Here’s a list of all the new magazines that debuted in 2001:

http://www.magazine.org/resources/fact_sheets/new_and_noted_2001.html [This of course is now down. But if you really want a list of all new magazines launched in this country, every month, you only have to visit Mr. Magazine himself: http://www.mrmagazine.com/home.html. Recommended.]

Now I’ve found a whole bunch of new zines to subscribe to. How about these sure to be popular titles, maybe for your gift subscription list?

Anabolic Insider — do I even need to say anything here?

Axis — this is an Orlando monthly magazine with the same stupid name as a downtown Seattle restaurant. Perhaps they could join Bush’s Axis of Evil?

Backyard Flyer — for the home drug enthusiast. Oh no wait, sorry, it’s for people who like radio-controlled things. Whoo, confusing title.

Bear Hunting — note to hunters; this is the magazine you want, not Bear Xtra which is geared to a, shall we say, more specialized market?

Climbing Eyewitness — with its sister magazines, Murder Eyewitnees and Couch Potato Eyewitness.

Dime — a men’s basketball lifestyles magazine. Do YOU have a basketball lifestyle?

Elle Girl — I’ll simply quote from the offered description: “Says editor-in-chief of the magazine Brandon Holley, ‘We’ll take the verve and sophistication of Elle and put it toward a younger audience.’ ” Now I’ll simply bite my tongue until it bleeds.

GameNow Magazine — for those of you who receive this and work in the industry, note that this zine will be “aimed at youth video game players from 10-to-16-years old. The focus will be on PlayStation 2, GameCube, Xbox and GameBoy Advance.” Oh, so that’s cool because it’s TOTALLY DIFFERENT from every other game magazine on the market.

Gastronomica — I’m not making fun of this one; it’s a cool title and I was in one of the recent issues. Regardless of my own presence, it’s a good read for foodies!

Gothic Beauty — winning the most oxymoronic title award for this year.

House of Roses — the description reads “the re-launch of  . . . the laddie magazine . . .subtitled ‘Universal Entertainment for Men.’ ” But why is it titled House of Roses? Oh wait, it’s all about my life, yeah, that’s it, now it makes sense. Sorry.

Infantelligence — infants at least would have more intelligence than to name their magazine something this dumb.

Latinos on Wheels — my tongue continues to bleed, though I note that the description states they will discuss the importance of Latinos to the auto industry. Let’s get that first issue and see if they really do have an historical article on the trends of Latino designers in the Buick shops of the 1950s.

The New Energy Economy — special issue: Enron and how they mimic the dotcom success!

Browsing History: One of the things that consistently fascinates this reviewer is your own personal browsing history, i.e., the Favorites folder in Internet Explorer (or whatever it might be in Netscape, Mozilla, etc.). I think it’s interesting how our “favorites” change over time, how we organize that folder and its subfolders, how we sometimes simply store a URL somewhere in the Favorites hierarchy and forget about it, like the Ark of the Covenant in the giant storehouse at the end of Raiders of the Lost Ark. Every day, I prune my Favorites folder and add to it. It’s like digital gardening. Some sites die off and you have to uproot the URL and throw it into the trash. Other sites grow, expand and bloom, putting forth new sites (pollen) that you also add to your Favorites file, allowing your digital garden to grow. The history of your browsing garden is not just a mirror of your own personal growth and portfolio of your interests, it reflects the way we look for information, what we expect from the information that we look for, and what we hope to find useful in the future. Stay tuned for a special issue of Things I’ve Found where I root through my own browsing history of the Favorites folder and share some of the results. I promise it will not be pretty.