Archive for October, 2007

The Best Timewasting Game Trailer Of All Time

Friday, October 5th, 2007

Once again, YouTube is sort of sucking this week, but I did find one good video, professionally-produced though it may be. If only I’d seen it years ago; so many lives could have been spared/papers turned in on time.

Happy Furry Friday

Friday, October 5th, 2007

857929775_966e2c1b8b.jpgHere’s wishing everyone a Happy Friday… or rather a Happy Furry Friday. Flickr users have posted some awesome “Happy Furry Friday” pics that I just had to share. Plus, if you’re having a lousy day at the office, these will definitely put a smile on your face.

Unless you hate cats.

Sorry, I’m a cat person, but I did include two pooches, you know to be nice.

Here’s a question: do you have special voices for your pet, like when you’re making them “talk?” Discuss amongst yourself—or, better yet, tell us!

Happy Happy Furry Friday SMITHs!


255533588_2e6be1e855.jpg (more…)

Eat, Pray, Oprah

Friday, October 5th, 2007

LizG-BN.JPG I was on line at the bookstore at the airport yesterday (New Yorker? The Atlantic? SI with my fightin’ Phillies on the cover? I went with Vanity Fair, perfectly sweetened plane candy) and saw that the woman in front of me was buying Eat, Pray, Love. “Is it a gift or are you buying it for yourself?” I asked her (she looked so ecstatic about the purchase I figured that, like me, she took serious delight in gifting it people she was sure would devour it).

“For me,” she said. “I’m on my way to Rome.”

As Eat, Pray lovers know, the first section is set in Rome, and one of the greatest 100-page sprints of a memoir opening I’ve ever read. My Rome-bound friend was in for a treat.

I told her that the book’s author Elizabeth Gilbert would be on Oprah tomorrow (today) and that the little online magazine I run was one of two spots graced with an excerpt (Oprah’s O was the other), which we asked for back before the book’s publication after reading the galley. What I didn’t tell my new friend was that I first met Liz back when we were both writing stories about Burning Man (she for SPIN, me for P.O.V. magazine) and that such wild success—E, P, L has sold more than 1 million copies—could not have happened to a more talented, humble, groovy person.

“I haven’t been this excited since Bono was here,” Oprah tells Liz today. Here’s to that—and the power of a great story.

Professor Rushkoff Will Persuade You Now

Thursday, October 4th, 2007

___Douglas_Rushkoff___.jpgDouglas Rushkoff (who has not only published 10 bestsellers but also was a SMITH blogger—the kid’s got a future!) teaches Technologies of Persuasion: From Propaganda to Paranoia at the Maybe Logic Academy. “This seminar will explore persuasion in a wide range of media,” he says. “Our task will be to evaluate humanity’s ability to maintain agency in the face of the increasingly sophisticated influence techniques used against us.” The course is a very reasonable $145 and runs through November 25. It’s already started—no star for me, I was late on the homework assignment to blog this—but you can still jump in. Prof. Rushkoff tells, “You may not be able to go back to your job at the advertising agency after this.” SMITH’s own JahFurry is enrolled, and will turn be offering periodic book reports here.

Bowled Over Again by A.D.

Tuesday, October 2nd, 2007

adc07p06.jpgJosh Neufeld has just finished another chapter (part 1 of a two-part chapter) of A.D.: New Orleans After the Deluge, the webcomic whose images The Atlanta Journal-Constitution says “are sure to linger in memory, perhaps even longer than hours of news footage already have.” Chapter 7, The Bowl Effect, is live now, with part two of this installment coming in a week (or so). Linger over it.

Weird Job: The Book Man

Monday, October 1st, 2007

1225274637_85fac883b1_1.jpgHere’s my theory on why people hate their jobs so much: we never get the chance to embrace our passions. That and a lot of people, sadly, follow a very linear path to “success,” never exiting the straight and narrow to revel in one of life’s many exciting detours. I.E. 1) Graduate high school. 2) Go to college. 3) Major in something that has the potential to earn you a pay check. 3) Graduate college. Get Job ASAP, those student loans aren’t going to pay themselves. 4) Get married. 5) Start to realize you hate job. Change job. 6) Realize it’s not your job. It’s your career. 7) Succumb to societal pressures—and mother or mother-in-law—and have a baby, because the birth of a child always makes things better. 8) Panic and misery set in.

OK, OK this is extremely grim, but you get my point. We all want to make money—enough to retire on an island somewhere or send our kids to college. But I often wonder how much damage do we inflict upon ourselves (and others we love) when we stay at a job we hate simply because it pays well. Do we make good parents, husbands, wives, domestic partners, brothers, sisters, or friends if we’re miserable five and a half days a week (face it, if you hate your job, Sunday evening is totally shot because you’re dwelling on how much you HATE your job and your boss).

Well, I think this latest Weird Job speaks to this idea, that it’s not always about the dough. Now, now, don’t get me wrong; I’m all about the Benjamins (and health insurance) too—but balance is a beautiful thing.

Meet Russell Wattenberg, founder of The Book Thing of Baltimore, a non-profit organization that gives books away—for free.

In an interview to The Christian Science Monitor:

“At no point did I consciously think I was going to give away books,” says Wattenberg. Nor was he animated by an epiphany of some sort. It was more like a benign impulse, such as that felt by someone holding a door for someone in need: no big thing for the door opener, important for the one enabled to pass. (more…)

SMITH Magazine

SMITH Magazine is a home for storytelling.
We believe everyone has a story, and everyone
should have a place to tell it.
We're the creators and home of the
Six-Word Memoir® project.