Posted: July 3rd, 2008
at 6:20pm by Koookiecrumbles
Categories: "ninja",10th dan,2 hours on the internet,9th dan,architecture,art,bling,boredom killer,business,celebrity,contemporary,diy,et cetera,fo' real?,gear,green,home,hood status,life,mnp is for the children,myninjaplease,politricks,real life news,robots,science,too good to be true,travel,walk the earf,weaponry,web,whips
Comments: 3 comments
…shoulda copped oil futures when the time was right.
It’s Monday, my ninjas - a perfect opportunity to reflect on precisely why it is that you aren’t one of the richest people in the middle east. As usual, you can check this out in larger format by simply clicking on the video.
Nothing much to say here - because you already know what it is. BTW, this must be the wildest post-game speech in the history of the NBA. I love this game.
"That should be yo’ mantra - ommm, never let up.’
David Weinberger somehow manages to find time to write books, write thoughtful blog posts, AND produce a periodic newsletter - Journal of the Hyperlinked Organization - thata€™s one of he best reads on the a€net. Ia€™m deeply flattered that the current issue features Davida€™s thoughts on some of the topics Ia€™m obsessed with: media attention, caring, international understanding. More generously, he gives me the chance to react to his essay within the essaya€¦
Davida€™s generosity isna€™t the main reason Ia€™m linking to his piece - ita€™s that hea€™s broken some important theoretical ground with his important new concept in media criticism: The Ninja Gap. It takes a moment or two to explain - bear with me.
Almost anyone whoa€™s heard me give a public talk has heard me observe that Japan and Nigeria have roughly the same populations, but vastly different media representation: youa€™re roughly 8-12 times more likely to find an article focused on Japan in an American newspaper than an article on Nigeria. There are a lot of possible explanations for this phenomenon, from racism to comparative economic power. David offers a new one: Japana€™s got ninjas, and Nigeria doesna€™t.
Ita€™s a brilliant observation because ita€™s funny, true and highly relevant to conversations about media attention. Johan Galtung, in his seminal a€oeThe Structure of Foreign Newsa€oe, draws a persuasive metaphor between a radio receivera€™s ability to tune in one of many radio stations, and a listenera€™s likelihood to a€oereceivea€A a piece of news:
F4: The more meaningful the signal, the more probable that it will be recorded as worth listening to.
F5: The more consonant the signal is with the mental image of what one expects to find, the more probable that it will be recorded as worth listening to.
F7: The more a signal has been tuned in to the more likely it will continue to be tuned in to as worth listening to.
Context matters, Galtung argues. If wea€™ve got a mental image of Africa as a backwards and technically retrograde place, wea€™re likely to miss stories about innovation in mobile commerce (see the lead story in issue 407a€¦) or success in venture capital. Galtunga€™s fifth maxim is closely linked to the idea of cognitive dissonance - ita€™s uncomfortable to attempt to resolve new information that conflicts with existing perceptions, beliefs and behaviors.
Context doesna€™t just come from hard news - we all consume far more entertainment and advertising content than we consume of hard news. This information helps shape our views of these countries, and likely helps us unconsciously decide what sort of information to accept or reject. These perceptions construct something over time that might be thought of as a a€oenation branda€A - as the man who coined that term,marketer Simon Anholt, observed, a€oeEthiopia is well branded to receive aid, but poorly branded as a tourism destination.a€A
In this context, Japan is a place branded in many of our minds as a place thata€™s innovative, high-tech, and more than a little strange. Whether or not wea€™ve been to Japan, wea€™ve encountered anime, monster movies, martial arts flicks, SONY tva€™s and Toyota trucks. Whether or not our ideas about Japan are well-founded, reflect the reality on the ground, are rich in stereotypes, etc., wea€™ve got preconceptions about Japan. On some level, the fact that we know that a€oeJapan = Ninjasa€A means that wea€™ve got receptivity for a story about Japan that we might not have for Nigeria.
And so, Nigeria needs ninja. Or as David explains:
One reason we care about Japan more than Nigeria (generally) is that Japan has a cool culture. Wea€™ve heard about that culture because some Westerners wrote bestselling books about ninjas, and then Hollywood made ninja movies. Love them ninjas! Nigeria undoubtedly has something as cool as ninjas. Ok, something almost as cool as ninjas. If we had some blockblusters about the Nigerian equivalent of ninjas, wea€™d start to be interested Nigeria.
In other words, wea€™re more inclined to pay attention to Japan because wea€™ve got some context - a weird, non-representative context, for sure - while we have almost no context for stories about Nigeria. The context we do have for Nigeria - 419 scams - tends to be pretty corrosive, and may make us likelier to pick up only the stories that portray Nigeria as wildly corrupt and criminal.
Davida€™s observation leads him to some concrete advice for those of us trying to inspire xenophilia: write better: a€oeGood writing can make anything interesting. We will read the story about the Nigerian peddler and his neighborhood if there is a writer able to tell that story in a compelling way.a€A
Thata€™s harder than it sounds. But ita€™s also one of the best pieces of constructive advice Ia€™ve seen on cultivating xenophilia: tell good stories in a compelling way. And it wouldna€™t hurt to throw a ninja or two in there while youa€™re at it.
This post originally ran on Ethan’s excellent personal blog, My Heart’s in Accra.
Posted: June 6th, 2008
at 4:18pm by Koookiecrumbles
Categories: "ninja",9th dan,apple,bling,business,celebrity,cell phones,clothes,design,et cetera,film,fo' real?,gear,green,hood status,life,mnp is for the children,myninjaplease,not ninja-worthy,politricks,real life news,robots,science,too good to be true,weaponry,web
Comments: 1 comment
Fly from Paris to a€¦ Ronkonkoma?
Charter flight company ExcelAire is making a pitch to swank European travelers to park their private jets at its hangar at Islipa€™s Long Island MacArthur Airport.
The reasons: Fuel is cheaper there, taxi time are as short as ever, takeoff delay is non-existent, and youa€™re right next to the Long Island Expressway for a quick drive to the city (depending on the time of day of course a€" aim for 4 a.m.).
NAIROBI, May 30 (Reuters) - Somali pirates fired rockets as they seized two freighters off the lawless Horn of African coast bringing to three the number of ships hijacked this week, a Kenyan maritime official said on Friday.
"The two ships were hijacked on Wednesday," Andrew Mwangura, head of the Kenya-based Seafarers Assistance Program, told Reuters.
"We do understand that the pirates on board two fast boats fired rockets at the ships. The number of crew on the ships are still unknown," he said.
Hijackings are common in the chaotic country’s un-patrolled waters, where pirates normally treat hostages well in anticipation of hefty ransoms.
He said there was little information available on the seized vessels — Arean and Lehmann Timber — other than where they were registered and who their owners were.
Local officials said the two ships were commandeered towards the Ras Bina area in the relatively peaceful Puntland region where pirates were also holding a Dutch-owned ship seized over the weekend along with its Russian and Filipino crew.
Somalia has been mired in anarchy since the 1991 ouster of a dictator.
An interim government formed in 2004 struggles to assert its authority but is facing an Iraqi-style Islamist insurgency in the capital Mogadishu and elsewhere.
In the latest of such attacks, residents of the south-central town of Baidoa, 245 km (152 miles) southwest of Mogadishu, said on Friday suspected Islamists hurled a grenade at a house belonging to a lawmaker in the interim government, badly wounding his family.
The legislator was not in the house at the time of the attack.
"We received 10 wounded people mostly children including the lawmaker’s wife. The mother and three children are in serious condition. The rest are stable," Abdikadir Bare, a doctor in a Baidoa hospital where the victims were taken told Reuters. (Reporting by Aweys Yusuf in Nairobi and Mohamed Ahmed in Baidoa; Writing by Guled Mohamed; Editing by Matthew Jones) africa.reuters
[R. Kellya€™s attorney], in an attempt to suggest that Kellya€™s head could have been superimposed onto somebody elsea€™s body in the sex tape, asked [gal on witness stand] whether she had seen the Wayans brothersa€™ movie a€oeLittle Man.a€A [Attorney] said, a€oeThey put the head of Marlon Wayans on a midget and it looked real, didna€™t it?a€A But, to widespead laughter, [gal on witness stand] replied, a€oeNot really!a€A paulscheer via tumblr
That’s what the New York Times, via an article today by theater critic Charles Isherwood, calls the various plaques and signs honoring philanthropists’ donations to cultural venues, schools, hospitals, charities, libraries, parks, museums, etc.
With his personal interest focused on performing arts, Isherwood concentrates primarily on the "naming" of theatrical venues; but the implications of his lede line: "WHATEVER happened to Anonymous?" include the many other instances in which benefactors are identified by name.
One can only wonder if the Times’s resentment of the practice might stem in some small part from the curious absence of the name Sulzberger on any local buildings or public facilities. Certainly, there are no hospital wings, university labs, concert halls, or charitable organizations widely known for affiliation with the Sulzbergers — even in the weekly Sunday Styles pages of the family’s own newspaper, a reader would be hard pressed to see any photo of Pinch or pAAre among the attendees at charity balls, galas, and fundraisers. Which makes it unlikley that he and his family are anonymous donors.
Indeed, as far as a quick mental review by this lifelong New Yorker extends, there is no recollection of any public involvement of the Sulzbergers — certainly one of the city’s premier business dynasties — in any philanthropic endeavors save one. That’s the Times’s annual "Neediest Cases" drive, in which readers are asked to donate money for which the Times later takes credit by turning the funds over to various organized charities.
In a city where names from Andrew Carnegie to more recent philanthropists like Weill, Rose, Paley, Tisch, and many others are firmly attached to the walls and canopies of so many public structures, would it be so terrible if the Times’s Isherwood stopped whining so loudly about the recognition given to public-spirited citizens and spent his energy entreating his boss to become one of them?
Not long before Curious Expeditions came to Eastern Europe to search for the wondrous and macabre, we had the opportunity to travel through Puerto Rico. It was a magical trip filled with rain forests, the gigantic SETI radio telescope in Aricebo, and the landing port of Ponce de Leon. However, one experience shines above the rest. On the island of Vieques, in a dense mangrove swamp is one of the most magical places we has ever had the pleasure to visit.
We had come on a moonless night and the stars shone down as perfect pinpoints. It was a cool summer night when we slipped into the warm, dark water. (Actually I less a€oeslippeda€A and more fell face first out of my kayak into the salty bay.) As we glided into the water, our faces were suddenly bathed in an eerie, otherworldly green. Brilliant plumes of translucent green swirled all about our limbs making us glow. The light wasna€™t coming from above, but was radiating from all around us. From the water itself.