Do nothing with Simon Amstell

Heard Simon Amstell on Wait Wait, Don’t Tell Me yesterday. Extremely funny and insightful. I enjoyed his thoughts on comedy and other videos.  I hope you enjoy this performance, which is probably rated R. If you don’t, it’s a big internet out there and I’m sure you’ll find things you do like.

If you end up being a fan (cue Facebook), there’s a great feature with Simon in Interview magazine. If you’re in New York City in the next couple of weeks, you can catch him on tour at Theatre 80.

The Impulse to Supress

I don’t know who made the original. Found it with hundreds of others on the peppersprayingcop tumblr.

Gawker reports that UC-Davis Officer John Pike, the Pepper Spraying Cop is now a meme (see this one for sure)

Regardless of whether or not Davis – a campus police officer - is representative of anything other than a dude with authority, firepower and poor judgement, I think it’s really strange how polarizing the issue of police violence is.

For my own part, I can’t fathom the situation where a non-violent protester deserves violence in a free society. I am surprised by how many do feel that way.

Mainly for my own future viewing, here’s video of the situation.

They don’t write ‘em like that anymore … gearing up for the Traverse City Film Festival

All next week Absolute Michigan will be On Location at the Traverse City Film Festival and I came across this in researching an article for Wednesday (tune in for sure!). I also coordinate online media for the festival and in 2010 we will be posting daily video digests, and the link above and traversecityfilmfestival.org are the place to get all that and much more!

Bridging the gaps

ETHAN ZUCKERMAN: I spent 20 minutes this morning researching Kenyan wedding rituals.

BROOKE GLADSTONE: But you’re weird!

Mike sent me this interview from On the Media with with Ethan Zuckerman, founder of Global Voices, and Clive Thompson, technology writer for the New York Times Magazine and Wired. They were discussing homophily: the tendency for individuals to seek out others who share their preferences, ideas, age, gender, class, organizational role, etc. and whether the internet was increasing it or helping build bridges of understanding. They also discuss people who are getting beyond what’s known as the Dunbar number and having deep (or not totally shallow) connections with well more than the 150 or so people we’re thought to be able to “know” through social media. Clive relates that as a result of his network, he’s shocked at how much more he knows about things.

For example, I mean, some people’s homophily problem might mean they don’t know anything about international relations. My homophily problem is I don’t know anything about pop culture. I don’t watch any TV. I don’t watch any movies. I don’t listen to much music. And this becomes a real social deficit. I’ll go a party and people like will mention a major A-list star and I have no idea who the hell they’re talking about.

And so, what happens is that in the periphery of my large number of weak links, something will sort of begin to move. Like I’ll see a bunch of people say, wow, Christian Bale is a total badass, and someone else will go, go Christian Bale, go. And I’ll be like I sense a disturbance in the Force.

Mike thought I’d like it, and I did. It’s 20 minutes of very interesting discussion – have a listen if you can.

The photo is Bridging the East River by Randy Wick and you should definitely check it out bigger or in his Most Interesting slideshow.

Saturday Afternoon Cartoon Break: Spiderman vs. 1980s Toy

You find the strangest things lying around these days…

dynamanI’m pretty sure that the giant robot is this toy, pieces of which are in my son’s closet.

I never knew that the Dynaman toy was based on Kagaku Sentai Dynaman (aka Scientific Squadron Dynaman).

This video of the opening of Dynaman I think proves that the Japanese have 12% more awesome on average than any other people of the world.

Accidental Theatre presents Elite Snowstorm of Lies III: Attack of Pyramid Squad

Somehow I ended up watching How The Elite Control Politics on YouTube. While I was watching it, I was inadvertently playing Snow (Hey yo) by the Red Hot Chili Peppers. The result was a pretty mesmerizing 5:50. You could try it by clicking those links … if you want.

If not, how about this?