Monthly Archives: June 2007

Oh, the wonder of it all!

At the end of that Stonehenge drug-induced solstice love-fest article, it added a little comment about how Stonehenge is a finalist for one of the seven new wonders of the world. Not knowing much about worldly alien rock formations or much about the history of the OLD wonders of the world, up until that point I had assumed it was one of the wonders. A quick peak on Wikipedia informed that clearly I did not do very well in 6th grade social science since, nay, only one of the original seven ancient (not OLD) wonders of the world still exists, the great pyramid of Giza.

Well clearly these are not such wonders of the world if they could not withstand the true test of time (2000 years of time. Lightweights.) So maybe it is good that some Swiss “adventurer” (how do i get a title like that??) decided to take a global poll to see what the new generation of timeless architecture will be.

This guy has a better plan than the first Greek dudes that DECLARED the first seven wonders (Why don’t people DECLARE things anymore?? Ohhh democracy. That’s right.) based on amazing man-made structures they had seen. Well, in 500 BC Greece, there wasn’t a whole lot to see (They didn’t travel far for fear of fall off the edge of that blasted flat Earth of ours) so all the ancient wonders were around the Mediterranean Sea. Not a very complete list.

So this new Swiss guy, Bernard Weber, desided to give the people what they want! and let them vote on what they think the new seven wonders should be (There’s that damn democracy again). I think this is sweet. But then you see your choices (and that you probably have to pay $1.50 per txt message to cast your vote) and you see that this is going to be a no-brainer:

1. Stonehenge. The aliens win again.
2. Effiel Tower
3. Colosseum
4. Taj Mahal
5. Great Wall of China
6. Statue of Liberty
7. Sydney Opera House

Boring but we all know they will be the winners. Its like voting on prom king and queen. They are the popular ones. Most people have probably never even heard of the other 14 places. But I’ve always got my heart out there for the underdog so who knows! Prove me wrong you crazy statues of easter island!

You don’t have to wait for much longer. The new 7 wonders will be announced on July 7th (07.07.07 CLEVER)

Summer Summer Summer Tiiiiiime

Anther happy first day of sunny summer in this dark, rainy, cloudy, humid, frizzy-hair-inducing city of Cleveland! I never give much of a though on the official calendar date of the seasons as I believe opening a window or checking weather.com is a much more effective means of understanding the temperature changes. But it seems there is a handful of New Age people that are in tune with the earth and moons and suns and unicorns that celebrate the sacred summer solstice. And while I smile at my smirky unicorn joke, i have to admit that one of these new solstice celebrations is getting added to my “things to do before I die” list…..Time Square + yoga = My urban ashram dream come true (Shout out to Erin for pointing this out to me) I love that idea of trying to find calm in the busiest intersection in the US. Imagine – If you can shut that out, the morning commute should be a cinch! The comments from the testy and trendy New Yorkers about this event are priceless:

“Amazing! I love it! Great message for the whole world: Relaxation, Meditation and Peace…It’s what we need in this times. hugs to everybody!”-Posted by Pachecosita
“The absurdity of the west knows no limits. The west is is a pioneer in distorting traditional wisdom and packaging it into some kind of superficial commercial product.” — Posted by Farahnush
“next up: kamasutra at piccadilly circus, london.” — Posted by sattu
“Absurd…just another marketing gimmick” — Posted by Manoj
“freaks. “— Posted by weirdo
“yoga forever!” — Posted by julie marlowe-hesterly

I could go all day with these crazy comments! I love it!

And over on the motherland, British hippies came out to Stonehenge with their red bull and vodka and third eyes to ringing in the new season. There are too many batshit crazy awesome parts of that article to pick just one. Ok, the vibe of the living, breathing, rocks is pretty psychedelic, dude.

What can I say? JD Salinger used to get me high

I spend most of my days mulling over the ideas of generational generalizations (say that 3 times fast) for Gen Yers such as myself and buddies. But I wonder if one way to get to the bottom of differences over the ages is to look beyond Gen Y, back into Gen X and more importantly, into the baby boomers. I was very lucky to have fell upon this idea randomly through my constant Wikipedia-searching.

Last week Kristen sent me a post by the Fug girls on my favorite actress, Zooey Deschanel. I have a not-so embarrassingly huge girl crush on her and her bluest eyes. She strikes me as that friend that you can call up when you cant really decide if you want beer or your comfy jeans more, settling on a dive bar down the street that plays “Sweet Caroline” every hour, so you can drink IN your comfy jeans and discuss that always impending road trip that your really going to do this time! And anyone that ALSO celebrates Champagne Thursday like me (Failure to Launch reference. She was the sole reason I spend $20 on that movie. And SJP. and Matthew. And Matthew without his shirt on. Ok I love that movie.) is worthy of my friendship. Anyway, as most people who have a slight stalker status with their undying love do, I named my pet after her. Zoey (The double oo’s seemed a little unnecessary to me) I decided to do a little more research into my little kittys namesake. Wikipedia gave me some fun facts, including the fact that HER namesake is the title character in the JD Salinger short story Franny and Zooey.

JD has never been an author I knew much about, although Catcher in the Rye is one of my favorite books, as it is with any high school student that realizes how awesome it is that a story about sex, drugs, and rock and roll in NYC by an angst 16 year old scalawag can be considered classic literature to be discussed in school. But I was increasingly interested in Salinger after this naming game plus I remembered a Sex and the City episode when Carrie is dating a guy and realizes she might be with him only because she likes his family so much. His two sisters are named Zooey and Franny and the mom makes a comment that “JD Salinger used to get me high”. How do I find this man?? This man that has slipped himself into American cultural cross-references? Wikipedia, as always, gave me more fun facts! The fact that suck out for me was that he has an alleged love affair with an 18 year old up and coming writer when he was well into his 50s. Midlife crisis or finding new blood for the next literary revolution after his has passed? Well it clearly wasn’t the latter since we aren’t exacting in a writing war against conformity right now. Nicole Richie just wrote a memoir for christ sake. So I looked up who this little typewriter vixen was that stole the heart of this progressive mastermind. Joyce Maynard.

Maynard must have been at her peak when she was with Salinger in the 70’s, because she hasn’t written anything quite as brilliant since her 1972 article, An 18-year-old Looks Back on Life for the New York Times and first published novel, Looking Back. Both of these writings, written when she wasn’t even 20 yet (!), are her views on life in the 60s and as her generation, the baby boomers, grew up. I will admit that I haven’t read the whole article yet (Its roughly 12 pages) but she does an amazing job at making gentle generalizations while retaining everyones individuality and giving credit where credit is due. She makes great references to how current events of the time helped shape the way they lived. All and all, I wish I could write something like that for our generation. I just need to find a 60 year old writing genius to “mentor” me. I wonder if Steven King is available…..

25 million faces

(I don’t know if it’s just a slow week at work or if I am getting lucky finding sweet news these last few days)

You have to believe I have been waiting for the perfect opportunity to shine my praise on all that is Facebook. I search WSJ archives for a blip on the social happyland or a quick interview with the CEO (who is frighteningly only a year older than me). I looked through Time, Newsweek, NYTimes, any credible source of news-making to tell us what we already know is a sweet story parallel to the Google dorm start up. And today, while reading my favorite Fortune girl’s blog, there it was. A 3 page article on the new applications that Facebook slide under our noses earlier this week. Facebook is slowly taking over the cyberworld. Then there was the followup article the ran a week after the launch of the new stuff. A week later…..

When I was playing around with the iLike app, posting my favorite songs (K-OS remix on Feist “Mushaboom” Loves it!) and finding out who else is going to the Tegan and Sara concert, I wasn’t thinking about the revolution of the internet that I was involved in. The articles do a much more articulate and term-accurate way of explaining these changes so I will leave that to the expert and make you read it.

When I told Elaine about this evolution, she said “so if it crashes it will take down the world is what you are saying. or at least the under 24 world.” my response “25 million people worldwide. yup. it will be a spectacular crash if nothing else….”

I think some of the most fascinating parts of this little update is

1) The freedom of anyone being able to create an app to share with us eager Facebook lovers. Within this one awesome week, the apps list has gone from the initial 65 mostly corperate-sponsored applications to 800 applications created by the guy in the apartment next to you. The creative spark of those closet techies will either be a flop (which I’m sure many will be) or the next Yahoo. And as a certified Facebook junkie me and my junkie peers will be at the helm of the success of whatever this next big thing could be. Its like an exclusive club that has access to the hip joints before the rest of the world even knows about it or can get in. An exclusive club of 25 million people and 150,000 new members every day……

#2 sweet thing is the natural Hot or Not of these applications as they find free members. When you eliminate the money and advertising aspect of anything, your going to see the true trend and activity of it with people as a whole. It goes hand in hand with my philosophy on free mp3s for up and coming bands to get a solid fan base (see uofm application essay) The part of the article (I don’t know which one) where they say that Facebook didn’t even announce the changes, that people found out about the applications was through the Mini Feed. After a week, iLike (which seems to be the most popular app so far) had 1 million members within Facebook. I can attest to that. That’s exactly how I found it. I logged on one day and found that the guy that is subleasing my friend’s room for the summer “added the iLike application” You put an i in front of anything and you’ve got me hook line and sinker (pod, phone, mac, tunes) So I clicked and signed up. 1 million and one.

iii) The best and most awesome (I’m running out of awesome adjectives) aspect of this, from a former Marketing major’s standpoint, is the idea of friends reviewing products for friends. I haven’t come across this app yet so I don’t know much about it (or if it even exists yet), but i do know that it could be the demise of advertising-induced hypnotism that companies have over us with commercials and ads and an overabundance of awesome adjectives to use on their own products and less on the actual quality of the products. People are always going to listen to their friends over the 60 year old 3 piece suit CEO’s marketing team with $$ in their eyes. So what terribly awesome new ways are they going to have to come up with to get us to buy their product. I say if you can’t beat em, join em.

So I just did a once over on my 3 awesome Facebook points and I saw a huge parttern that makes me kind of embared to realize that I am basically talking about the same thing 3 times over. The user is in control. Freedom. God that is a great word.