Archives: 2010 December

Archive for December, 2010

A (Good) Day In The Life

Double Down: The Curious Case Of Robert Sylvester Kelly

We all know that R. Kelly has done some stupid things, but most of our geniuses have had their quirks. All we can do is hope that they manage to strike some sort of equilibrium, that they can shower (no golden) us with their words, their art, their gift, and keep the foibles in check.

Since falling from grace, R. Kelly has made a case for absolution. Need evidence? One word: Ignition (Remix). I could easily list 100 reasons why Robert’s rapturous chestnut of a club jam is better than anything, ever, but it’s already been done. The good didn’t stop there: Since 2003’s Chocolate Factory, Kells has bequeathed the tempting-to-post-in-its-entirety Trapped in the Closet hip-hopera, countless summer jams, the funniest faux-confessional ever uploaded to YouTube, unspeakable album art, R&B yodeling, and the most definitive songs about nightlife ever written. The man’s filler is better, or at least more interesting, than the hits most hip-hop and R&B artists can muster.

We haven’t even addressed the fact that Kelly is one hell of a showman. No one can better attest to the sublime mystery of R. Kelly live than Aziz Ansari:

It may seem that the sheer cryptic craziness of Kells’ show is what makes it the hot ticket, but Aziz is remiss not to mention the fact that, when he wants to, R. Kelly can rock the house like no other. Here he is on the other Jimmy’s late night show earlier this week:Killer transition from specs to shades.

Robert Sylvester Kelly: Misogynist? Maybe. Megalomaniac? Without a doubt. Genius? Surely. Crazed libertine? Proudly. Deserving of your forgiveness? We certainly hope so.

SpaceCorp Has Arrived

SpaceX (tee hee), a for-profit, astronautical company successfully launched their “Dragon” space capsule this week. The event was described as,

the first privately developed and launched spacecraft to be put into low Earth orbit and return to Earth for a successful recovery.”

But what we’re really seeing is this: a milestone that marks an age where commerical space transport will not only be viable, but the norm.


Photos: SpaceX

Companies like SpaceX may have lots of work coming their way in the future. NASA is currently shutting down its space shuttle program and already has a contract in place with SpaceX to resupply the International Space Station.

For my part, I see this as a good thing. I’m sad to see NASA taking a step away from certain aspects of space exploration but the emerging SpaceCorp sector (as I’m dubbing it) has the potential to significantly propel (pun very much intended) the next wave of space exploration. And let’s be honest; we’re all waiting for Southwest and JetBlue to begin flights to the moon aren’t we?

Read more at: Wired.

Giving Hack To Society

There’s an undeniable negative connotation attributed to the term “hacker.”

QUICK! What are you thinking of?

Wikileaks? Sinister e-terror? A mid-90s thriller starring a short-haired Angelina Jolie?

How about saving the lives of those afflicted by natural disasters with free software that leads to faster response times?

That was one of the successful outcomes of last year’s Random Hacks of Kindness, a friendly competition held annually with the aim of creating software to make life better and safer for all humans.

What started as a couple of software engineers having a “hackathon” in Silicon Valley last year has blossomed into a weekend of coordinated competition between 1000 code writers in over 21 cities around the globe. In a rare collaboration, Google, Yahoo, Microsoft, NASA, and the World Bank organized this year’s RHoK. Hackers got into groups and — with the assistance of bottomless coffee and wall-to-wall white boards — tinkered and toyed with application ideas. Winners were showered with electronic gadgets and libations, but the real win is efficiently utilizing the brain trust to change the way we respond to humanitarian crises.

Suffice to say, these cats are hacking away at some of our most pressing problems.

Happy hacking.

Good Quotations: John Lennon

“I’m not claiming divinity. I’ve never claimed purity of soul. I’ve never claimed to have the answers to life. I only put out songs and answer questions as honestly as I can … But I still believe in peace, love and understanding.”

— John Lennon in a just-released interview recorded three days before his murder, which took place 30 years ago tomorrow

Goodosphere Tells A Joke: Canadians Humour

Lost

Via seattlewinegirl / dolmansaxlil

Double Down: All Of The (Christmas) Lights

For a state with a sizable energy crisis on its hands, California is a veritable hotbed of Christmas light excess. Residents, industry, and even state parks team up to ensure that every last house, tree, tunnel, and boat is bedecked in Yuletide.

The tradition isn’t exclusive. In fact, it sometimes seems divorced of the Christian connotation, pagan even. It may have more to do with sharing something bright and beautiful with your fellow man. In Awesometown, this tradition has manifested itself in the form of a full on radio show spectacular on one unassuming block. A Disney Imagineer has been treating passersby to quite a seasonal show. All they have to do is tune into a shortwave transmission on their car radios and they get to bear witness to stuff like this:

Or, in the spirit of Guitar Hero, this:

It’s hard to find a flaw with such ingenious effort. It may be tempting to roll down your window and yell, “Unsustainable!!!” but nobody likes a Scrooge. One thing that is objectionable, is the total lack of Slayer, but if that’s your thing, a Southland neighbor has you covered:

All Of The Lights

The phrase, “Whoa, dooooouble rainbow,” has somehow entered the public lexicon, but what we REALLY should all be saying is, “Whoa, Aurora Borealis!”

And to make this post a double down, I’d like to once again point in the direction of The Big Picture, who have posted an admittedly less-chocolatey but far cooler 2010 Hubble Space Telescope Advent Calendar. Check every day! I will be.

Eight Nights Of Miracles (Not ICP Miracles)

Hanukkah (a.k.a. Chanukah) is upon us. The Festival of Lights commences at the stroke of midnight.

Thanks to Adam Sandler’s product-laden animated feature and that one song, we all know that the celebration of the Maccabees‘ triumph over Antiochus IV Epiphanes can often be overshadowed by that other fete in December.

With all the competition, it’s easy to forget that it’s really all about the miracle — and we’re not talking about virgin birth. What we are talking is the wicks of the menorah burning for eight consecutive days, with oil sufficient for only one.

The magic is not lost upon Hebraic reggae powerhouse Matisyahu, who recently made his submission to the Hanukkah songbook. It’s called Miracles (as noted above, no relation) and it’s crazy kosher:

Happy Hanukhah!