Sunday, November 23, 2008

Best Birthday Present Ever?

Today, as Facebook reminds us, is my birthday. November 23. The date really is pretty unremarkable, except that - at least by some counts - it is the first day of Sagittarius, and occasionally falls on Thanksgiving (my actual date of birth being such an example. O' the irony!).

In any case I'm not a big fan of the idea, celebrating one's birthday. The celebration is fine, but with it comes the gifts and the special treatment and the fuss, all for being born. If anything, I feel, one should celebrate their birthday by GIVING gifts as a token of their thankfulness for having been born in the first place. I will say, though, that several years ago I recieved a gift unlike any other. (Note: right click and save as to view the file. While this is a sketchy way to share anything, it will have to do until I take the time to better present it here.)

It's really quite incredible, what can be done with a bit of free time, bouncy music, and an internet handle.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Youtube Videos We Can Believe In

Already, the President-elect is bringing about change in the way our government works. For those who don't remember their history lessons, Franklin Roosevelt made history by circumventing the press and speaking directly to the people via his periodic Fireside Chats. The tradition hasn't died, and while Presidents Kennedy and Reagan mastered the transition to television, Obama is bringing a new act to the table three-quarters of a century later.

For the first time, the President's weekly messages to the public are taped not only for radio broadcast, but for publication on the web. The weekly videos are to be posted on Youtube for easy access by everyone.

The Obama Administration has created a website specifically for the transition into the White House, which you can find here.

Now if only our new President could stop fiddling with his Blackberry.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Improv Everywhere - Not a Flash Mob

For those of you who aren't aware, a flash mob is described as "a large group of people who assemble suddenly in a public place, perform an unusual action for a brief time, then quickly disperse." The first flash mob occured in Manhattan in 2003, and is credited to Bill Wasik, but similar gatherings have been occuring for much longer (see Mobile Clubbing and Pillow Fights) .

Improv Everywhere, as described on their own website, "causes scenes of chaos and joy in public places. Created in August of 2001 by Charlie Todd, Improv Everywhere has executed over 70 missions involving thousands of undercover agents." But while they seem quite similar to a well organized flash mob, they differ in certain key details, namely the amount of time an action is performed as well as the anonymity of those involved.

Below is, if I may say, one of Improv Everywhere's finest achievements: The Food Court Musical.

The Food Court Musical

Visit Improv Everywhere's official site, or check out the Urban Prankster social network to get involved in your own community.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Soundscapes: Morcheeba

Being away from this blog for so long makes it difficult to get back into the swing of things, but after the excitement of weekly essays and road trip photos I began to run low on truly original content. Between that and the lengthy process of relocating to Orlando, I've neglected my portfolio out of a bit of both necessity and sloth. In short, I've not been very productive lately.

With that said, I'd like to present Morcheeba, the subject of my second Soundscapes post - something I hope to make a regular feature. Spearheaded by DJ Paul Godfrey and his multi-instrumentalist brother Ross Godfrey, along with the lilting vocals of singer Skye Edwards, this British band mixes heavy influences of trip hop, rock, and R&B with the occasional spicy dash of electronica.

While Skye was ousted from the band in 2003 (to be replaced by Daisy Martey), Morcheeba continues to be responsible for intense, soulful soundscapes.

Featured below are videos for the songs Rome Wasn't Built in a Day and Be Yourself from the album Fragments of Freedom.

Morcheeba - Rome Wasn't Built in a Day

Morcheeba - Be Yourself

About Me

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Nick Woll grew up in the Florida Keys, and is furthering himself in the fields of writing, software development, and web design. You can contact him at nwoll27 at gmail dot com.