Thursday, May 29, 2008
apparently, tiny implants @ the motor cortex guide the experimental monkeys as they manipulate a mechanical arm that brings them marshmallows and grapes. eventually, they adapt the arm's uses, going far beyond grab and move gestures, using the virtual appendage to push extra bits into their mouths and lick its fingers to get every delish morsel.
the technology could be used to aid humans suffering from brain and spinal cord injuries.
Tuesday, May 27, 2008
Monday, May 19, 2008
Sunday, May 18, 2008
i tried to love mountain biking. had a diamondback but rarely rode it because i hated hunching over and cramping up my legs like a circus monkey. sold it on craig's list. now, *this* is my new bike, and i *love* it! when they say "cruising," they mean "cruising," with this bike. comfy? absolutely. you can sit up, even back! i couldn't wait until 5/27 (oh, is that me, obliquely dropping my birthday date?).
giant brand, "suede" model in baby blue.
Saturday, May 17, 2008
looking quite well (did he have work done?), speaking smartly and with ease, Penn also remains an unapologetic smoker, which seems oddly brave in today's media landscape (stilll, he's in France, so maybe "brave" is a reach. ha).
Friday, May 16, 2008
Friday, May 9, 2008
first of all, the strange uses of the term "politically correct" . . . the dismissive moves, as though "p.c." concerns were so trivial as to be irrelevant, have always bothered me, but this is what happens when we sloganize important cultural work. still.
but so, a *style* editor -- someone who manages popular information flows (@ The NY Times) of mass communication -- does not see political correctness as "part of her job"? maybe it's part of your humane calling? but . . . oh right, it's *just* a job; i see this attitude a lot, and it's distressing. it's like saying, "it is what it is" (such a dumb, silencing expression; it says, "pleeeeeezzze take your issues somewhere else").
Thursday, May 8, 2008
Monday, May 5, 2008
what i so love about Jennifer Baichwal's beautifully tragic film and Edward Burtynsky's disturbing yet aesthetically engaging images of industrial "landscapes" is the way in which both privilege a minimalist aesthetic, enabling the photographer's soul-crunching images -- alone -- to say what they (need to) say. the film thereby avoids condescending to audiences (with overdone narrative voiceover or too many title cards); instead, it invites its audience to consider and discover what Burtynsky's burnt-out industrial "landscapes" mean (w/r/t globalization and industrializaion) and thus creates a space in which the images do their rhetorical work absent overt direction. in this seemingly ambivalent space, viewers are likely drawn in by the strange beauty of the images even as they are disturbed in ways that perhaps initiate productive reflection, possibly, change. essentially, the film performs the difficult task of maintaining, even nurturing a productive affective tension rather than flogging it mercilessly in the name of rhetorical efficacy (i.e., control). in this way, Manufactured Landscapes aligns, at least partially, with an argument i have been making for a couple of years now, an argument about the context-specific primacy (not a secondary or tertiary nature) of visual communication as language, as rhetoric, as far more than what i have heard one prominent linguist/rhetorician call "mere stimulus."
Sunday, May 4, 2008
"Certeau wrote appreciatively of Foucault's close analysis of 'discipline' in his influential Discipline and Punish, where the philosopher tracked the shift from the old regime, in which torture was used as a public spectacle, to the modern prison, in which coercion was used behind closed doors to 'control' the body. But Certeau commented:
If it is true that the grid of "discipline" is everywhere becoming clearer and more extensive, it is all the more urgent to discover how an entire society resists being reduced to it, what popular procedures...manipulate the mechanisms of discipline and conform to them only in order to evade them.
Certeau examined commonplace activities over which control could in principle be maintained by the institutional organization of space and language and suggested how in fact control was ignored or bypassed. People walk their own way through the grid of city streets, zigzagging, slowing down, preferring streets with certain names, making turns and detours, their own 'walking rhetoric.' People read in ways that escape the social hierarchy and 'imposed system' of written texts: they read in all kinds of places from libraries to toilets. They read with their own rhythms and interruptions, thinking or daydreaming; they read making gestures and sounds, stretching, 'a wild orchestration of the body,' and end up with their own ideas about the book. 'These procedures and ruses...compose the network of an antidiscipline.'"
so then, bit #1: i am seriously looking forward to reading Herbert Weiner's 1948 College English article, "The Motion Picture and the Teaching of English." just 5 pages! (gotta love the brevity of early scholarship).
Saturday, May 3, 2008
2.) go back to acting class (new headshot, visit agency, etc.)
3.) collaborate with Mike on screenplay(s).
4.) get to San Fransisco to begin filming my doc on M. Dot Strange.
5.) keep up my 3 days/week (minimum) workout schedule.
6.) get up early enough to do yoga w/ "exercise tv."
7.) get in at the filmmaker labs (i'll extra; i'll haul ice to parties!).
8.) get more regular with my journal.
9.) go to more concerts and clubs.
10.) go to every new museum exhibit in my immediate vicinity.