OK Go videos: They’re surprising, clever, and eminently re-watchable. They also have an appealingly handmade feel to them, harkening back to aÂ timeÂ when digitally manipulating images was too expensive for a music video. For the stop-motion classic “Sledgehammer” (1986), Peter Gabriel had to lie still for hours, beneath a plate of glass, while people from Aardman
Delightful remix of clips from Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood, in which (thanks to auto-tune) Fred Rogers extols the virtues of being curious. Â John Boswell (a.k.a. MelodySheep) has done a fine job here. Â If you’re interested in purchasing a copy of the song (“Garden of Your Mind”), it’s included on his album Remixes for the Soul. And
The clock contains the right number of letters to announce the time in a complete sentence.Â Its sans serif typeface is easily legible, telling us that “IT IS TWENTY TO TWO,” and then “IT IS A QUARTER TO TWO” in crisp, white lettersÂ (it measures in five-minute increments). But what I especially like is the way it slows down the experience of time, converting something precise into something precise enough.Â I also enjoy the gentle irony of having an iPhone app that translates the digital precision of 2:16 p.m. into the comfortable analog, “IT IS A QUARTER PAST TWO.”
As the iTunes reviews indicate, it would be great if one could make this app the phone’s background.Â As reviewer JLSchend notes, “I see the time on the wallpaper long before I open the app.”Â However, the point of the QlockTwo app isÂ not instant access to the time.Â The point is to provide an aesthetically and emotionally different experience of time.
Digitally rendered time, with numbers and colons, is exact, keeping track of each second as it slips away.Â The second hand on a clock face also tracks time’s relentless dissipation, but, without numbers marking each second’s passing, clock time seems to move with less insistence than digital time.Â The Qlock’s rendering of time as text, however, abstracts the temporal from both the spatial (clock face) and digital (numbers and colons).Â Time’s past and future are not mapped as they are on a clock face.Â And the absence of a digital timepiece’s swiftly accruing seconds gives a feeling of slowness, of being in the present.
Unlike other timepieces, the Qlock does not emphasize time passing.Â Instead, it narrates the gradually changing present.
Since Lady Gaga’s new single “Born This Way” made its debut last month, critics have alleged that the song is “derivative” or even a “rip off” of Madonna songs like “Express Yourself.” And, of course it is. But that also doesn’t matter in the least. All pop music is derivative. “Express Yourself” (1989) borrows from
1. Best novel that I missed when it came out: Guus Kuijer’s The Book of Everything (Scholastic, 2006).Â Narrated by a nine-year-old, this is an all-ages book about love, faith, and growing up.Â It has a sense of humor, too.Â I devoted a post to this book earlier in the month. 2.Â Album of the Year:
If you’ve not already seen Matt Rogers‘ brilliant kinetic typography video of Stephen Fry‘s critique of linguistic pedantry, then you’ll want to watch it. Â And if you have already seen it, then you’ll want to watch it again. Before my fellow teachers raise an objection to Stephen Fry’s injunction that writers be less constrained by
How many people have lent their names to a speech act? I’m not thinking of proper nouns that denote a literary style (Dickensian, Kafkaesque, Proustian), but of a specific syntactical, grammatical, or other linguistic act named for a person.Â This is what I’ve come up with. Bowdlerize: named for Thomas Bowdler (1754-1825), who in who
Just back from Scott Pilgrim vs. The World, which (as you may have read by now) is a fantastic adaptation of Bryan Lee O’Malley’s siÂx-volume series of graphic novels.Â This is why.Â Director Edgar Wright understands what O’Malley is trying to do.Â As in the books, the film treats narrative as a playful, allusive, genre-bending
Different kinds of scholars, different kinds of scholarship. But many paths to success in academia.