Monday, September 08, 2014

One World Trade Center: how New York tried to rebuild its soul

As for the future of culture at the World Trade Center, that may be the trickiest problem of all. Numerous cultural institutions, among them the Signature Theatre, the Drawing Centre and the now-defunct New York City Opera, had envisioned a move downtown. But during the planning process Pataki, still in presidential-wannabe mode, proclaimed: “We will not tolerate anything on that site that denigrates America, denigrates New York or freedom” – and this threat of censorship was enough to send many prospective tenants packing. A site is still designated for a cultural institution, but its location between 1WTC and the PATH terminal guarantees headaches for construction, and Frank Gehry, the project’s initial architect, was dismissed last week. Still, there will be Eataly, there will be 50 different kinds of olive oil to buy! In the city that Bloomberg made, that may be culture enough.
Vivienne Gucwa writing for the Guardian

Tuesday, March 25, 2014


Hi guys.  Play Dark Souls 2.  This game is the most fun i have had playing a video game.  Only playing in Jason's world have i had this much fun.  play it.  

Thursday, January 30, 2014

100 Million Dollars

DIA pledges to raise $100 million for art, Detroit pension rescue fund
A $100 million promise equates to an additional $5 million in annual fund-raising a year on top of the roughly $12 million it already raises annually for operations and the approximately $200 million in endowment funds that museum has committed to raising over the next decade.
That, my friends, is some rather incredible and admirable arts fund-raising . . .

via ArtsJournal

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Just another day in Detroit

I was trying to find images of a rumor that artists had filled a car with explosives and driven it off of this roof, but alas the search engines have not found that video to date.

"Riding around Detroit's derelict Packard plant on a homemade dirt-bike"

via boingboing

Detroit Fire Sale

Gov. Rick Snyder is expected to announce today a state financial pledge toward boosting Detroit’s pension funds and protecting Detroit Institute of Arts paintings from a bankruptcy fire sale, sources told The Detroit News.
Bankruptcy fire sale of a major museum collection to pay unsecured creditors would be a terrible precedent. Slashing pensions for the same would be pernicious.

Detroit Institute of Arts fire sale: The worst idea out of Motor City since the Edsel (Washington Post)

Since I am traveling to Detroit once a year now for work, I find the 50 year saga of its diminishing population and fortunes, and what kind of urban space that has created fascinating.

Good photo essays here:

Monday, December 30, 2013

Antiques Roadshow discovers Van Dyck

I used to be interested in this show back when I had a television and watched PBS. In each episode everyone is hoping exactly this will happen . . .


Thursday, November 28, 2013

Friday, October 18, 2013


The announcement by Canonical that they are creating their own graphics stack called MIR has been inciting quite a bit of vitriol and drama among developers in a number of open source streams this year. The future of my preferred Linux distributions of late Kubuntu and Lubuntu is rather unclear at this point for future releases in 2014. I have already been plagued by broken graphics server updates a couple of times this year and it was not much fun.

As such I have been thinking about distro-hopping. Something with a big developer base, stable but not immensely fiddly to set up and maintain. After many years happily trucking along as a newbie with Ubuntu Linux and GNOME 2, and since migrating away from the "test our shiny touchscreen telephone interface with your mouse and keyboard desktop" paradigm of the Unity desktop environment, I have become a satisfied user of KDE 4 and its Qt based programs. I am much more comfortable with the command line and system management than I used to be. The enormous and easy to use Debian/Ubuntu/apt-get package tree is great, but . . .

As openSUSE is often remarked as the best implementation of KDE I started looking at that. Lots of good things have been written since the release of 12.3 earlier this year. Yast for all the system settings has often been disparaged in the past but upon testing so far seems to be great tool for nerdy total control. The rolling release Tumbleweed repository maintained by Linux hyper-guru Greg Koah-Hartman is also inviting, as well as susestudio. Lots of in depth documentation wikis are available for the things that I do not know how to do. Word is that they have reorganised the business side in a positive way under Attachmate, and openSUSE looks robust and secure as a community and foundation. They contribute a lot to the Linux Kernel in code and funds.

What are you using these days? Any comments or suggestions?

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

"It's the new Capitalist Realism."

Jerry Salz on the big four mega-galleries:

But we have to ask what kinds of pseudo-museums these institutions are, because in mega-­galleries, quality, quantity, availability, opportunism, and marketability are often interchangeable. One’s never sure whether these are shows of available product, stuff floating around the secondary market, collectors liquidating assets or looking to pump and dump, or the deeply felt personal passion of the dealer. One month the megas show gigantic installations of shiny crap and bric-a-brac. The next month they’re showing Reinhardt, Rauschenberg, or De Kooning.

New York Magazine

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Harlan Ellison on government surveillance

Harlan Ellison has a healthy attitude towards government surveillance. This video is worth watching, though you may want to skip the first sixty seconds of establishing shots and news anchor banter.

The crunchbang forums have some good posts about how not to be a stooge: Here's a security guide, and a link list. And the Debian project maintains a guide to securing Linux. I admit I've yet to work through these myself, but I find them very worthwhile. It's worth mentioning that the default installations of any Linux or BSD distribution are pretty secure. But we're entering a time where it's wise to have some street smarts regarding these things.

Now pardon me. I have to go plot the violent overthrow of McDonald's.