Tuesday, August 07, 2007

An ending marking a new beginning...

Well folks, I'm officially calling it quits here at Quo Vadis. It's been such a long time since I last posted that I felt the best thing to do was simply start afresh. And so I have. My new blog, the Geistkreis, can be found at the following address:


I hope you get to checking it out sometime in the near future, and to all of you readers out there (especially those who have posted in the com-boxes over the years), thank you for all that we've shared up until now in this little dialogical, digital world of ours. I can only hope that the best of these joint musings will continue in my new blogging home...and that I'll have time to be a little bit more active on the posting side of things.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Open Culture: Enlightened Ideas and Media. Served Up Fresh.

I discovered this Open Culture blog today and had to share it. Think of it as a web nexus providing links to all sorts of great free audio and video files of a more educational and cultural variety. Everything is sorted by the following categories: arts and culture podcasts, audio book podcasts, foreign language lesson podcasts, news/information podcasts, technology podcasts, and university podcasts (lectures, journal articles, etc.). These "podcasts" typically entail an assortment of iTunes and/or .mp3 (and sometimes a text file too) depending upon the material. They certainly don't have everything, but there's definitely a lot to sift (and listen) through.

Their latest "podcast" is something very interesting to me as well: Lawrence Lessig's book, Free Culture: How Big Media Uses Technology and the Law to Lock Down Culture and Control Creativity. As the blog describes him, Lessig, a law professor at Stanford, "has made a big name for himself by developing a sustained critique of how Congress, at the behest of corporate America, has progressively stifled cultural and scientific innovation by extending the duration and scope of copyright laws." He's also the creator of Creative Commons, in case you've heard of them before.

Of course, all of this plays into what I see as the important value of the open source movement, particularly in these current times, but I'm sure you don't want me to bore you with that discussion.

Just enjoy all of the free resources at Open Culture...

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Pandora and the Music Genome Project

Pretty interesting project. You just type in some of your favorite artists into the Pandora database and not only do they bring up similar music, but they play it for you. Then, as you listen you can give songs positive or negative ratings, thus further tailoring your sound that you like, all the while discovering new artists that match your tastes.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Frustrations with "Family Values"

Recently I was forwarded an "Action Alert" email from a friend, which I discovered was orginally sent out by the American Family Association, "America's Largest Pro-Family Action Site" (or so their website tells me). What frustrated me was the content of the email, for the alert was announcement that Wal-Mart was supporting the "homosexual agenda" with thousands of dollars and therefore must be boycotted by Americans with real "family values."

We can debate whether this "homosexual agenda" is a good or bad thing another time though, for what especially struck me was the fact that this "Pro-Family" organizaiton was only now speaking out against Wal-Mart, as if the insidious corporation has done nothing to seriously harm families in the past. Homosexual marriage and other issues may be important to some degree in relation to families, but I seriously question whether they are more important than people being paid fairly, provided with basic health-care needs, and respected in their communities, all three of these things that Wal-Mart is notoriously known for violating. Frankly, I am much more convinced that when these conditions are not met adequately families will struggle more, than I am that increased homosexual activity will tear families apart.

Examples like this also force me to ask, how did "conservative" and/or "religious" groups ever develop a notion of "family values" so narrow as only that which is sex-related? These same types of people seem to blaim our culture for being too sex-obsessed, something that may be true, but perhaps they also need to look at where their own criticisms lie. As far as I can tell, even if a general excessive sex-craze is one of the problems in the world today, it is far from the only one. In the end, I suppose what I'm trying to say then, is that if the American Family Association is really pro-family, they should have been protesting and boycotting Wal-Mart a long, long time ago.

Friday, November 10, 2006

New "Must See" Movies

So I've decided that I won't be posting again until I have the time to type up something a little deeper and more serious (which may not be until Thanksgiving).

In the mean time, however, enjoy these 2 trailers I came across for the new versions of Jaws and The Shining:

Friday, October 27, 2006

Whatcha gonna do when they come for you?

So I just came across this old spoof of Cops, called Troops. Pretty funny stuff.

I recommend the higher quality download, but if you don't have the time or space (28 mb), check out the lower quality YouTube video.

And after that, you'll want to check out the sequel, IMPS.: The Relentless.

Warning: Some of these sequel chapters are huge! (200 mb+)

Sunday, October 22, 2006

The estrangement of modern life?

...we die to each other daily.
What we know of other people
Is only our memory of the moments
During which we knew them. And they have
________changed since then
To pretend that they and we are the same
Is a useful and convenient social convention
Which must sometimes be broken. We must
________also remember
That at every meeting we are meeting a stranger.

~T.S. Eliot, The Cocktail Party