Monday, October 29, 2007

CrankCast Vid Picks: Zombies Abound

Between the recent vogue of zombie-memehood and the advent of Halloween you can barely go out to the grocery store without tripping over some zombies. Here are some informational videos that will better prepare you for the eventual war between the living and the undead.

I chatted with Lee LeFever and he explained that a video like this one takes 30 to 40 hours to make. Also, a note for the San Franciscans: In case of a zombie attack we will rendezvous at the Costco on 10th and Harrison.

This video has a really beautiful animation style. Watch how the background changes shades throughout the cartoon. And a good Hannibal Lecter reference goes well with zombies and a nice chianti.

I'm still sad that the Bush/Zombie Reagan ticket back in '04 was never recognized. However, Cheney is very zombiesque.

Zombie Crank would need coffee... and brains. Coffee and brains.

It's strange that a movie whose one-liner pitch is "Lassie, but with zombies" got made. But thank god it did.

Also, check out this cool project my buddy Bill Cammarack told me about at NTV in NYC. It's called Node666 and it's a video blog project where you can submit your own zombie experience in video link form. This episode,simply titled "Goddamn Zombies," is probably what my final hours would like, except if zombies touched my computers I'd totally start lobotomizing the zed-heads.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Bioneers 2007

I am attending the 18th Annual Bioneers conference in San Rafael, CA. As the mission statement reads:

Founded in 1990, Bioneers is a nonprofit organization that promotes practical environmental solutions and innovative social strategies for restoring the Earth and communities.

"It's All Alive, It's All Intelligent, It's All Connected."

Bioneers offers pragmatic solutions that honor the living web of the natural world as the most fertile source of inspiration and models. It's all alive.

One of the beauties of biology is that its facts can become our metaphors, and these underlying codes serve as inspiring parables for how we can organize a more just, humane and authentically sustainable society. It's all intelligent.

Interdependence also teaches us that there are no single issues because it's one whole that can be addressed only by bringing together all the parts. Bioneers gathers people at the crossroads of ecological restoration, human health and social justice. It's all connected.

I'll be blogging and vlogging on the official Bioneers Community Network, so check out my stuff.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Blog Action Day

Sooooooo... this is happened:

Old media disdainfully calls us "the blogosphere." Intweb dweebs call themselves "the blogger elite." The corporations whose stock prices we effect call us "the bloggerazzi." I like the last one the best.

More on Blog Action Day soon.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Here There Be Dragons: Cartographical Hegemony

I fear that the increasing ubiquity of GPS is further removing the user from their environment as opposed to connecting them. Gone are the days of the compass and the quadrangle map. No longer does one orient the map, take a bearing, and plot a course. Sure, I bullshitted my way through the knots Boy Scouting holds so dear but I was an orienteering fiend. But what's the use of a map if you don't know how to use it? Or worse yet, don't understand how it represent geography, topography, and cartography? Worst of all, what if the maps your were using, the indelible guides informing your understanding of a city, country, world were wrong? Or, more precisely, not what you thought.

In 1569, German cartographer Gerardus Mercator created a map designed to aid sailors crossing recently charted seas. He titled his map "A New and Enlarged Description of the Earth With Corrections for Use in Navigation." Mercator's map, with some fine tuning across the last half millennium, has been in nearly every classroom in America since American classrooms have had maps. It is how we understand the earth to be.

Seemingly unrelated, I am enjoying some of the best TV I'd never seen and watching The West Wing. (oh, to speak like Sorkin writes!) The following clip is from episode sixteen of season two, original air date February 28, 2001.

All those days playing Risk, all those geography tests studied for, all those supposedly educational place mats for naught. Well, not quite, but still, a striking bit a cartography, no?

Dr. Arno Peters first presented his map in 1974. The Peters Projection is what is known as an "equal-area" projection, having fidelity of proportion while sacrificing true shape. No single map is "better" than any other. All two-dimensional maps have weaknesses as they try to represent a three-dimensional globe. There are different maps for different purposes. Maps are tools for understanding the world we live, they are not a one-for-one representation of the orb we inhabit.