April 29, 2010

Frank Portman, Cult Rocker

A few things I'm doing in May:

On Saturday, May 1st, 1 - 3 PM, I'm going to be at Towne Center Books in Pleasanton along with Gennifer Choldenko, Elizabeth Partridge, Alexandra Bolger, Lisa Brown, Adele Griffin, Hillary Homzie, as part of this Bay Area-wide event thing.

"All of the authors and illustrators will be giving short presentations about their work, leading fun activities and signing books," I'm told. And for me "fun activities" probably means playing a song about Hitler or something.

Towne Center Books is at 555 Main Street in Pleasanton. 925-846-8826.

I'm also going to be doing a couple of library appearances in the Chicago area the following weekend:

Saturday, May 8th, 2 - 3:30 PM at the Arlington Heights Memorial Library, 500 N. Dunton, Arlington Heights, IL 60004


Sunday, May 9th, 1:00 - 2:30 PM at the Palatine Public Library, 700 N. North Court, Palatine, IL 60067.
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Boogaloo (soul) Party

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April 26, 2010

Mohammed's Radio

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April 23, 2010



Netflix is blocking the Super Best Friends episode as well.

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The Holy Ghost Hokey Pokey

(via Andrew Sullivan. Wow.)

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Help You Ann

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April 22, 2010

Thirty-five Seconds


I usually watch South Park on line late Wednesday night, but obviously that was a flawed strategy this time around. I'm really bummed I missed it. And it is also infuriating that even in the program that did air there were bits that were censored, including, apparently, every single mention of the name Mohammed (making the episode "practically incomprehensible" according to this); as well as an entire thirty-five second conversation between Stan, Jesus and Santa Claus.

It isn't hard to understand the Comedy Central people not wanting to stick their necks out, considering that Theo van Gogh's picture was included with the death threat (or friendly death warning or helpful death citation of a previous similar death situation or whatever it was meant to be.) Probably it was just idle, random internetty blather blown out of all proportion (and possibly even welcomed as a publicity opportunity -- that has been known to happen.) But difficult as it is to imagine that kind of thing (e.g. a Theo van Gogh-style assassination of Stone and Parker or some Comedy Central figure) happening in the USA, it's not impossible, and it's easy to complain about free speech cowardice when you, like me, are not actually risking anything.

Still, I want those thirty-five seconds, even though I don't want anyone to get stabbed over them. And may God bless and help Matt and Trey.

UPDATE: and another episode disappears...

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Getting in Tune to the Straight and Narrow

Here's a fascinating article, with sound file examples, on tuning "temperaments" through the ages. It had never occurred to me to wonder what precisely a "well-tempered clavier" was, but I know now.

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April 20, 2010

Engineering "the embedded tastes in a whole generation of people."

The War on Salt, cont.:

The government intends to work with the food industry and health experts to reduce sodium gradually over a period of years to adjust the American palate to a less salty diet.
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Your Government's View of Free Speech

Whether a given category of speech enjoys First Amendment protection depends upon a categorical balancing of the value of the speech against its societal costs.

That theory is "startling and dangerous" according to the Supreme Court, and according to me as well. Jebus.

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April 14, 2010

I wonder if there's anyone who can look at this picture and not think: hey, that was me.

"Sad Vader" by Alex Brown:


(via boingboing.)

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April 13, 2010

Things. And Stuff


I'm gonna be attending this dinner thing on Friday, April 16th at the San Francisco Public Library. Afterwards, I'll be doing this Porchlight All Stars storytelling thing (and playing a song I believe):

Join us for an evening shrouded in folklore and myth as we toast the best and brightest Bay Area authors to this year’s theme—Urban Legends.
It's a fundraiser for the library and admission price ($50) reflects that, but I thought I'd mention it in case anyone with an extra fifty bucks lying around might like to check it out. And there's (uh oh) a hosted bar. Starts at 10 PM. You can get tickets here.

Andromeda Klein won the Northern California Independent Booksellers Association award in the teen lit category. I hear they're making stickers.

My inclusion in this list of "50 Best Book People to Follow on Twitter" led quite a few people to click follow on my twitter account. Unfortunately, the system broke down a bit when I still couldn't think of much of anything to say to these people. Sorry, followers!

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April 09, 2010

Tropical Flesh Mandala

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April 07, 2010

Civilization's Dying

Scrabble rules are being changed to allow proper nouns.

UPDATE: it's not true, apparently. Never mind.

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April 05, 2010

Cherry Baby

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