The extremely digestible

first quarter - second quarter -

december 5, 2000
It's a very special Maglog...
A Library Maglog Spectacular!

november 29, 2000
The Alliance is right: there's an Asian Invasion.

november 8, 2000
An admission about electoral colleges

november 2, 2000
"Vote for Dubya - Messenger of the Gods" : ties together the speaking skills of the presidential candidates, research in brain morphology, ideas on the self and oral tradition, and Woody Allen and brings them all together as evidence that we might be de-evolving.

october 23, 2000
A call to inventory all the planet's living creatures. Did you know that less than 5% are known?

october 18, 2000
"I am anti-Canadian" : a beautiful retort to the Joe Canada beer ads.

september 12, 2000 
using The Simpsons to illustrate the complexities of Quebec, language, class, and racism and why so many Canadians golf left-handed

<I burn out right about here>
<rememeber this is in reverse chronological order>

September, 2000
my fave = my fave

WIRED : July 2000
It's back! The Wired Magazine that I loved. Ok, it's not perfect but it's got more mind-bending articles in this issue than the last three combined. It starts out ambitious and goofy. In April, Wired printed an essay by Bill Joy, the co-founder of Sun Microsystems, in which he admitted fears from such future developments of genetics, nanotechnology and robotics. To me, the article didn't break new ground but if you don't want to take my word for it, read the comments of the contributors who weigh in on the article that are printed in this issue. Some of them are good for a laugh. My fave: "We have to think about Joy's essay as a competing idea in a broad marketplace of ideas about technology. To be successful, though, he needs to form a startup aimed at disseminating his message." Ugh. Luckily Wired promptly redeems itself with a good piece on the web's free advice sites, like epinions.  Then WIRED interviews physicist Thomas Gold who takes on established geology and claims that crude oil is created by a biological process in the earth's core, and is thus a renewable natural resource. After you unwrap your mind around that thought, you can read about the newest competitor to Intel, Transmedia, which seeks to make computer chips a hybrid of software and hardware. But don't invest your life savings until you read about the promise of molecular electronics. Add a fun piece on new entertainment 'experiences' in development, a Bruce Sterling on high tech chairs, a brief interview with Amazon's Jeff Bezos, and the cover piece on the history of Sealand - an offshore structure in the North Sea that just might be sovereign enough to host the world's foremost data - and you have a really good read.

Shift: July / August 2000
There's not a real theme to this issue, but there does seem to be a common thread: how the IT industry has changed the workplace. There's a report for Wall Street that lower Manhattan is learning to loosen up in order to better retain its talent from the clutches of high-tech start-ups. And then there's the required Shift list : the 10 'coolest' indi companies to work for. But more disturbing is the piece called 'Sumo wrestling for the man' in which the outlandish perks that some IT companies spill on their geeky employees to keep them around. I found the extravagance it described really disturbing. Are geeks turning into a new spoiled and intolerable class?  It doesn't look good. Especially when you read that the son of Disney head Michael Eisner co-owns a company called Romp that specialized in rude and tasteless comedy. With millions of start-up funding. Smaller bits include a review of video game chuchu rocket, music group Belle and Sebastian,  movie 8 1/2 women (which is also a nice short piece on misogeny in film), and film maker Miguel Arteta. One item that I found was dubious was the ranking of User Friendly as the number one ranked web site by Shift. What were they thinking? (Doonesbury, I'd understand). The good news is that Shift seems to cover high tech well. The bad news is that they are making me learn to hate it.

Colors: 38, 39; June-September 00
When I brought this double issue of Colors up to the counter at the bookstore, the sales clerk focused intently at the cover and after a moment told me that she had seen the same photograph in GQ magazine. I said that it was possible as Colors often makes use of stock photography. What I didn't say that it was surprising that it would have to resorted to stock photos for this issue as it's theme is fashion. You would expect more from a publication that is sponsored by fashion house Benetton. As I did. And I was very disappointed. Colors, at its best, uses the juxtaposition of photographs from around the world to bring to light a similarity or disparity that if often surprising and illuminating. There's little of such surprises in this issue. Instead, there are many photographs that hammer out the same idea: people around the world love uniforms. I'm chalking up this poor issue on the fact that photographic creative force, Toscani has left Benetton.

Bitch : Issue 12 "Bitch for president"
I have had friends who've asked me whether I've read Bitch and until recently, I've said no. You see, Bitch is a "Feminist Response to Pop Culture" and since I have been trying to avoid Pop Culture I thought it would be best to avoid Bitch as well. My mistake! Bitch is feminism that keeps itself sharp by using Pop Culture not unlike how a knife uses a sharpening stick. What keeps the analysis entertaining is Bitch's sense of humour (my fave: "Putting the 'anal' back into analysis") and the fact that the writers aren't afraid as coming off as, well, bitches. I also liked the fact that Bitch targets sexist ads and dubious products with both criticism and a mailing address so you too can write angry letters. And there's lots of long juicy articles: a comparison of two "how to date" books,  a reading of women's size charts, an interview with Action Girl cartoonist Sarah Dyer, an examination of the entomology of body hair removal products, an interview with Village Voice music critic Ann Powers, the drag-king subculture, a bemoaning of the lack of butch dykes on tv, a critical comparison of two "guy tv" shows - The Man Show and The X Show, an almost scholarly reading of the idea of witchcraft in television and movies, another interview - this time with playwright Paula Kamen, and a first person account of the dealing with the trials of men with Asian-obsessions.  I really like Bitch. It covers playgrounds of thought that no one else that I know of is playing in and its not afraid to be smart. What a bitch.

Rice Paper : Spring 2000
Rice Paper is a west-coast Canadian cultural product geared to those Asian and of Asian descent. RP tackles the issues from an artist's viewpoint so the bulk of the magazine is made up of arts announcements, book reviews, theatre and dance reviews, poetry, and submission alerts. There are articles as well but they are quite short and some of them appear as the result of research for larger artistic projects. Article subjects include: feeling guilty about ethnic media, Dr Feng Shan Ho - a Chinese diplomat who issued life-saving visas to thousands of Jews during WWII, being a Chinese School dropout, Asian sexy men (a comedian and an actor), the struggles and triumphs of Gim Wong - a Chinese Canadian War Vetran, speculationn that Buddhist monks visited North America around 499 BC and the sad story of an all-Chinese leper colony  in the early days of British Columbia. RP is as its best when it is telling stories of remarkable people. But I wasn't completely won over by RP - I think they should take their issues out of the art galleries and into the streets. Actually, this may be the whole point of RP.

you are here: fall 1999
I was lent this copy of this "journal of creative geography" and if you want your own, you're best to contact the Dept. of Geography from The University of Arizona. you are here is a journal of an artistic bent as opposed to a "scholarly publication" which is why I dig it. You see, I hold a personal philosophy that 'where you are' is an important part of 'who you are' and that this important quality is being drown out by the noise of the TV and neon lights of Generica. you are here seems to be attempt to fight this white noise. There's a letter from Kenya, poetry, a conversation with author Barbara Kingsolver on the where of literature, field notes from a prison yard, and my fave, the mental maps of Appalachian Train hikers. Stand in the place where you live. Now face north. Think about direction. Wonder why you haven't before...

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