mahna mahna .net

Like many personal blogs of its era, this blog is moribund, a casualty of what we might call "the Facebook effect." However, as of late 2015, two things are clear: (1) The Indie Web is a thing, and (2) the re-decentralization of the web is a thing. So who knows? 2016 2017 (!) could be the year this blog rises from its own ashes. Stay tuned!

Wednesday, 23 December 2009
JWZ’s Christmas present to the whole interwebs is a post detailing how to get all your Facebook updates without logging in to Facebook. Yep, all those notes, links, and status updates can flow into your feed reader of choice, where you can read up without the lunacy of The Facebook Experience. Perfect.

[What’s that, you say? You like logging in to Facebook, spending time there? I see. You and I are not wired up similarly. You also like going to the mall this time of year, yes?]
posted to /tech at 12:57pm :: 0 responses
Monday, 30 November 2009
It’s odd to think back on the time — not so long ago — when there were distinct stylistic trends, such as “this season’s colour” or “abstract expressionism” or “psychedelic music.” It seems we don’t think like that any more. There are just too many styles around, and they keep mutating too fast to assume that kind of dominance… . We’re living in a stylistic tropics. There’s a whole generation of people able to access almost anything from almost anywhere, and they don’t have the same localised stylistic sense that my generation grew up with. It’s all alive, all “now,” in an ever-expanding present, be it Hildegard of Bingen or a Bollywood soundtrack. The idea that something is uncool because it’s old or foreign has left the collective consciousness.
— Brian Eno on The Death of Uncool. I love this idea; I hope he’s right.

[spotted at The Morning News; emphasis mine]
posted to /news at 4:18pm :: 0 responses
Monday, 26 October 2009
I will never forget the date that my longtime colleague Rex Farrance was murdered: It happened on my birthday in 2007. The better part of a year passed before we had suspects in custody. Of the three, one turned state’s evidence, and the other two, including the alleged shooter, stood trial earlier this year. I attended a portion of that trial, which ended in conviction for the shooter and a hung jury for the accomplice. Said accomplice was retried and convicted earlier this month. Today came sentencing. Both men will spend the rest of their lives behind bars. No possibility for parole. The accomplice who testified against his cohorts will also spend a decade or two in a cage. A fourth accomplice was never identified or apprehended. Rex is still dead. Families are forever scarred. Nobody wins. Nobody wins.

[Thank you, Contra Costa Deputy District Attorney Harold Jewitt, for your work on behalf of the People.]
posted to /news at 5:25pm :: 0 responses
Thursday, 17 September 2009
the Burning Man The 2009 edition of my annual Burning Man slideshow, complete with the requisite annotations, is now open in the museyroom: Visit the index or begin with the first shot.
posted to /site at 12:55pm :: 1 response
Thursday, 18 June 2009
Are there any of you out there? Folks who crave a challenging, somewhat traumatic, and ultimately immeasurably-rewarding reading experience? Let me recommend something on the highest possible terms: Infinite Summer is your chance to spend the summer reading David Foster Wallace’s Infinite Jest with online guidance and support sponsored by The Morning News and An Event Apart.

After Wallace’s death last fall, I pulled my copy of the Jest off the shelf. more...
posted to /art/books at 12:14pm :: 0 responses
Friday, 01 May 2009
Cheat Sheet
1A - NO
1B - YES
1C - NO
1D - NO
1E - NO
1F - NO
Oohwee! Look, folks! It’s a Special Election! Meaning, in this case, the people of California have a special, bonus chance to inflict grievous harm upon their beloved state via the initiative process. Is this your first time with Mad Props? Then just know that as a native Californian and lifelong student of politics, I’ve come to view statewide ballot measures as something of a menace. In several elections, I’ve voted NO on every single proposition; any given measure has a very steep uphill climb to convince me it’s worth a YES. more...
posted to /politics/madprops at 4:38pm :: 0 responses
Tuesday, 14 April 2009
We all remember George W.’s dog, Barney, and most of us remember the senior Bushes’ scribal pooch, Millie. The Clintons of course had Chelsea’s cat, Socks, and Buddy, the chocolate Lab that Bill got himself after everything went all wrong and he needed a friend. But can you name any of Reagan’s six dogs? (Only a Republican could name a Golden Retriever “Victory.” That poor, poor creature.) Jimmy Carter’s daughter Amy had a cat called Misty Malarky Ying Yang, which is a bit of a hoot, but as always, deeper history is far more entertaining. So: more...
posted to /news at 8:17am :: 0 responses
Thursday, 19 March 2009
  • ITEM: What does one trillion dollars look like?
  • ITEM: I cannot visit New York right now, but reading a first-hand account of a subway adventure helps dull that pain. (Once again, yay for blogs.)
  • ITEM: Obama’s gift to Prime Minister Brown ruined by DVD region encoding.
  • ITEM: “Brain decline” begins at age 27, sez a University of Virginia study.
  • ITEM: Ray Ratto reminds us the present owner of the Oakland Athletics is a scoundrel.
  • ITEM: If you are a “content person” or a “Web 2.0 person” you have already read it; now everybody who loves newspapers needs to read it, too: Clay Shirky’s “Newspapers and Thinking the Unthinkable”
  • ITEM: The wise man was wise indeed: Frankincense relieves anxiety and depression.
  • ITEM: Children with older fathers have lower IQs (and some health risks too). (And then again, IQ tests are shite.)
posted to /misc/items at 6:19pm :: 1 response
Monday, 09 March 2009
Firefox 3.1 beta 3 is expected to arrive this week. If you’re running the current version of Ubuntu Linux, this new Firefox edition (codenamed ‘Shiretoko’) is already easily installable via an unofficial package repository.

However, due to an oddity in Ubuntu’s default font settings, the fonts in Firefox 3.1 look spindly and kinda bizarre (though in no way unreadable) on Ubuntu Intrepid (8.10) machines. (The same apparently happens in the nascent Jaunty (9.04) version of Ubuntu; it’s being treated as a bug.) This issue has been noticed over at Ubuntu Forums but no simple solution was forthcoming. Until now. more...
posted to /tech at 12:09am :: 1 response
Monday, 02 March 2009
I learned many-many things from “The Unfinished,” a piece by D.T. Max about the late David Foster Wallace in this week’s New Yorker, but I want to focus on one. I learned that Wallace in fact knew something about true happiness. He was writing about it. It was the subject of his incomplete novel. Quoting:
A typed note that Wallace left in his papers laid out the novel’s idea: “Bliss — a-second-by-second joy and gratitude at the gift of being alive, conscious — lies on the other side of crushing, crushing boredom. Pay close attention to the most tedious thing you can find (Tax Returns, Televised Golf) and, in waves, a boredom like you’ve never known will wash over you and just about kill you. Ride these out, and it’s like stepping from black and white into color. Like water after days in the desert. Instant bliss in every atom.”
more...
posted to /wisdom at 2:02am :: 3 responses
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