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Thursday, May 13, 2010

Boing Boing founder Cory Doctorow’s new YA novel, For the Win hit shelves in the US, UK, and Canada this week. A subversive cult classic in the making, FTW is about gold-farmers, workers who do repetitive work in video games such as World of Warcraft to earn valuable game items which are then sold on to the highest bidder.


Hear an excerpt of Doctorow reading the book here (podcast or mp3 link), or check out his 2004 gold farming story over on Salon.com.



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Friday, Apr 30, 2010

National Book Award winner, Neil Gaiman, has a new picture book this week. Instructions, illustrated by long-time Gaiman collaborator Charles Vess, is a splendiferous, practical guide to the fairy tale world, with much real-world wisdom to boot. Hear Gaiman read the whole story, and follow along with Vess’ gorgeous illustrations.


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Friday, Apr 23, 2010

Raise your hand if you’re looking for a job, but think you’re overqualified and underappreciated, and likely not to be paid enough? McSweeney’s knows how you feel and they’re rubbing it in with a mock-up want-ad for the most work intensive and least rewarding unpaid internship ever. Some highlights include:


* Candidate should be an expert in ALL forms of social media and have a MINIMUM of 50,000 Twitter followers


* Bachelor degrees in communication, new media AND political science required. Masters Degree in Filmmaking preferred. PH.D. in Journalism, a plus. Candidates with a law degree will be given special consideration.


I know what you’re thinking: This parody doesn’t seem to be that much of an exaggeration when it comes to finding work these days.


“A Great Job Opportunity” (McSweeney’s)


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Wednesday, Apr 7, 2010

Wondering if an iPad as e-reader is worth it? Don’t have a spare $500 to find out? Check out Steve Jobs’ preview of iBooks, the iPad reading app.


Of course, iBooks isn’t the only e-reader app for the iPad out there. Industry giant Amazon already has a Kindle app, and a lot of market share. And iBooks isn’t pre-loaded on Apple’s new doohickey, meaning users have to go to the app store—presenting a possibly major stumbling block in Apple’s e-book marketing plan.


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Monday, Apr 5, 2010
The Indian Ocean movie -- Leaving Home -- tells the story of this glorious, path-breaking band. Despite the recent loss of it's vocalist, Indian Ocean seems determined to move ever forward and on.

Indian Ocean turns 20 this year. Leaving Home, releasing this April, celebrates the life and journey of one of India’s most iconic bands.

Indian Ocean is one of very few Indian bands as old as its most ardent fans, and it is a band that has defined a generation. Young urban India is as discerning a rock audience as can be found anywhere, and it was bands like Indian Ocean that blazed the trail of homegrown rock. The story that this movie tells is thus not only about the evolution of a band, it is about the evolution of a kind of music that is today taking India by storm.


Equally inspired by rock riffs and Hindustani tradition, Indian Ocean’s music is a medley of instruments, harmonies, and languages. “Kandisa”, for instance, is lifted from an ancient Aramaic prayer of the Syrian Christian community.“Maa Rewa” is a song dedicated to the contested Narmada river and the Narmada Bachao Andolan’s heroic effort to save it, and draws heavily on local folklore, both for lyrics and melody.  Indian Ocean is one of India’s most consistently political bands, and their music often reflects this. “Maa Rewa” is equal parts protest and elegy. The band’s willingness to stand by their convictions is exemplified by their decision to score Black Friday, a controversial 2004 movie about the 1993 Bombay riots.


“Bandeh”, the album’s chartbuster, is an angry, passionate lament about the folly of communal violence. It was perhaps the strongest condemnation of riots to emerge from the nascent rock scene, reaffirming the old compact between rock music and uncomfortable truths.



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