March 2002


Rob of went looking  #

Rob of went looking for the source of all the ugly "Work From Home" signs in his town and came up with a full-blown investigative exposť. Here's a summary of his findings.


Tribeca, Manhattan. Let's play  #

Tribeca, Manhattan.
Let's play the "match faces with sites" game: 990000, Stuntlab, Rion ("rye-on"), bgirl, Brooklyn Kid, Laura, Heiferman, Macrostate, Quarlo. (There are more sites than faces, just to make it harder.)


Houston St., Manhattan. .  #

Houston St., Manhattan.

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I wrote a "How It Works" story for the Circuits section in today's NYT: A Tracking System That Calls Balls and Strikes. It's about the technology used to create 3-D reconstructions of pitches for baseball broadcasts, and ideally to improve umpires' calls. The story was actually written all the way back in October but got held up for various reasons.

. . .

From South Africa: Nice work. Via Rion.


Tribeca, Manhattan. West Village.  #

Tribeca, Manhattan.

West Village.

A milestone.


West Village, Manhattan. Plumbing  #

West Village, Manhattan.

Plumbing problem, Park Slope, Brooklyn.

Flatbush Ave., Brooklyn. See also 2.22.2001.

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Bob Saget and Britney Spears discuss the fleeting nature of fame, using only the 100 most common words in the English language. Via TMN.

Also, Google tells us how not to spell "Britney Spears."


Soho, Manhattan. Lower East  #

Soho, Manhattan.

Lower East Side, Manhattan.

. . . Highway Patriotism.

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Slate picked up the Corante article on Google bombing that mentions my increasingly tedious and possibly doomed quest. Thanks to Jami and Shane for the recent quest-furthering links.


Prospect Heights, Brooklyn. This  #

Prospect Heights, Brooklyn.
This building, last seen here on 7.12, demanded closer inspection.

It's the old-school version of yesterday's sign/building.

Under all the paint, it's really old school (see 9.10).

. . .

Speaking of yesterday's building, Thomas writes:

Date: Fri, 22 Mar 2002 09:47:23 -0800 (PST)
Subject: robert venturi's wet dream

...The building on 7th ave. and 50th is a real joy. Robert Venturi was talking about it on Charlie Rose a few months back as an example of the New Architecture. At any rate, it's a neat facade.

It's built by Morgan Stanley tho it was sold to Lehman Brothers in a post-911 shift towards decentralization. The "rebranding" of the display was the subject of a cute "talk of the town" piece about a month ago.

. . .

I wrote a tiny item (scroll down) for the NYT on the Scientology vs. Google incident.

Lots of other people wrote about this, but the most exhaustive and link-loaded version is at Microcontent News.

Interesting footnotes: There was a protest at Google about this yesterday. And one clever individual bought an ad on Google linking to the home page that Google had pulled from its index. (Google put the home page back last night, saying it had been inadvertently removed. The sub-pages that the Scientologists complained about are still missing.)


Midtown Manhattan. I first  #

Midtown Manhattan.
I first noticed this building back in the fall, when it was covered in very bright test patterns. (So did bgirl.)

In February it featured huge ghostly businesspeople walking up and down the block in slow motion.

Recently, bridges.


Times Square, Manhattan. Greenwich  #

Times Square, Manhattan.

Greenwich Village.

More on the tunnel.

. . .

My query on Monday about online fame has generated some great responses. Thanks for contributing.

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EUROTRASH has been retired.

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The collector. Via Heiferman.


Harlem. Riverside Park, Upper  #


Riverside Park, Upper West Side.

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The NYT Magazine's music issue was quite good, but I'm still trying to make sense of William Safire's related column.

In categories like the chanted patter of hard-core rap, the fast-faded, grubby-dingy grunge, the anguished, rock-influenced introspection of post-grunge, the off-beat, Jamaican ska-punk and the British garage, violent sex is still a seller.


Harlem. In the vast  #


In the vast "Cold Room" at the Harlem Fairway, under the West Side Highway. They have coats you can borrow if you don't want to feel refrigerated.

. . .

I'm seeking some input for a potential story. Why hasn't the Internet made more people famous? The number of people who have entered the pop-culture mainstream purely as a result of their Internet activities is very small. There's Mahir, Drudge and... anyone else? Why does Internet "stardom" so rarely cross over into mass-market popularity? Post your thoughts here or send me an e-mail. I'll ask before quoting anyone. Thanks!

. . .

While looking for a futon I found


Times Square station, Manhattan.  #

Times Square station, Manhattan.

. . .

I wonder if the Straphangers Campaign knew that the discussion boards on their mass-transit advocacy site would attract hordes of subway nuts.

Also a discussion here about something I experienced recently. The conductor kept telling us we were on the "E train to World Trade Center," as if it were perfectly normal to be taking us to a place that isn't there anymore. That is, in fact, the name of the last stop. Should it be?

. . .

Charlene wrote to say that her friend's father runs the Canal Rubber Supply Co., seen here yesterday. She also noted the existence of, which looks mysteriously like


Canal St., Manhattan. Tom's  #

Canal St., Manhattan.

Tom's Restaurant, Prospect Heights, Brooklyn.
They give mugs of coffee to the waiting brunch crowd. Here's a review.

. . .

Blake Leyh: Bowery & Canal.


Tribute in Light, from  #

Tribute in Light, from my roof. See also 9.11.
Rion has photos too.

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The quest is mentioned in an article on the BBC's site: Google hit by link bombers. (That sounds awfully violent.) Thanks to Retroglobe in Sweden for helping out with the struggle.

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Defunct Amusement Parks. One park in Ohio is being swallowed by a forest.


Trash art, Lower East  #

Trash art, Lower East Side, Manhattan.

Abandoned skate, Park Slope, Brooklyn.

Scooter, Soho, Manhattan.


Brooklyn Bridge. The Library  #

Brooklyn Bridge.
The Library of Congress has some better photos.

. . .

A warning to New York City photo nuts: Taking photos in the subway may be considered a criminal act.

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I saw a banner ad for this: Sprint Military Minutes. "Open to family and friends of the military. (Not restricted to military personnel.)"

The concept of non-military Military Minutes piqued my curiosity, so I wrote a little story about them for today's NYT: No Uniform Policy for Sprint's Cards.


Chicago. . . .  #


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Kartoo is a "cartographic" search engine. Looks cool, doesn't really work. It's French.


The El, Chicago. .  #

The El, Chicago.

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Hmmm. The Dia Center has registered No site yet.


Shedd Aquarium, Chicago. .  #

Shedd Aquarium, Chicago.

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Daniel DuVall: Erasures. Lynn Davis: Icebergs. Both via TLH.

. . .

I wrote an article for today's Circuits section in the NYT: Shrinking and Rethinking the Old Vertical Antenna. It's about a new material that will turn the plastic body of your cell phone (or, say, a truck's bumpers) into a big antenna.


Chicago. . . .  #


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Last month I worked at the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum in Manhattan, writing up reports on what happened in various discussion groups and such. They recently posted the reports on their site, so here are links to some of the ones I wrote, in descending order of potential interest. There are smart-quote glitches in some of these.

My favorite quote is from Rem Koolhaas in the first one: "Nothing could be more embarrassing and humiliating for a visionary than to be introduced as the creator of a Prada store."

Rem and friends on the role of architecture
Researchers on developments in artificial intelligence
Cisco, Siemens, FCC's Powell etc. on outlook for telecom and broadband
Media moguls on responsibility post-9.11
Intellectual property, drug pricing, rich vs. poor countries
Secretary of labor, CEOs on unemployment and layoffs
CEOs on dealing with change


Chicago. . . .  #


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It's a media blitz. The quest is discussed in an article in the Sacramento Bee about the sexiness of Google. It's also mentioned in a slightly alarmist article at Corante about "Google bombing." Both make it out to be a largely ego-driven exercise, when it's so obviously a Dada-inspired participatory art project.

Itchy Robot, Kip, Catherine, Obscurantist, Airnie (auto-translation: "I liked gladly one link also here to David Gallagher to set, on that he becomes the Web-most well-known David Gallagher"), Spoom, The Bellona Times and Candace know exactly what I'm talking about.

. . .

Stuntlab photos: Mack metal dog and Catherina.


Something I wrote for today's  #

Something I wrote for today's NYT: In France, Scents Waft Over the Web. The dream of a smelly Internet lives on...

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