Beautiful Music in a Bathroom

Via Chris Pirillo's blog, I was introduced tonight to Barenaked Ladies, which is actually a group of Canadian men. In the video above, two of them perform "Beautiful" --in a bathroom. I like the music very much, and to see it performed so simply was a beguiling treat. Amateur-looking video featuring real musicians makes the musical talent seem eerie, more powerful than it does in a super-slick big-budget production for MTV. Click here for the rest of the "Bathroom Sessions".

Friday, March 30, 2007

How to Survive the Colbert Report

When Katie Couric embarrassed herself so thoroughly as a guest on The Colbert Report, Comedy Central's mock-conservative news show, I found myself wondering, "What IS the best way to survive Colbert's Bill-O'Reilly-inspired persona?" I've just watched the answer. It's Colbert's interview with Clive James, author of Cultural Amnesia: Necessary Memories from History and the Arts.

The key to Colbert's power as a satiric comic is that he NEVER drops the persona. The mistake Couric made was to assume that, since Colbert is mocking conservatives through his schtick, then he's really on her side, so how can he hurt her? Well, he did, even prompting an "ouch" when he asked which part of her experience had best prepared her for anchoring CBS News, being a cheerleader or a sorority sister.

Clive James didn't make that mistake. He treated Colbert's outrageous personna as if he were a real person, not a harmless comedic pose struck by an otherwise reasonable guy. This enabled James to get in some skillful licks and to maintain his footing throughout his time in Colbert's hot seat.

Flying O'er the Ice Flows

Flying O'er the Ice Flows, originally uploaded by LenEdgerly.

A view of ice flows somewhere near Niagara Falls, which was visible from the other side of the plane today on my United flight from Denver to Boston.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Twitter and the World Smiles with You

Twitter , the latest "it" website, is such a simple thing. It asks "What are you doing?" above a blank box where you can respond in no more than 140 characters. Before I smother my enthusiasm with attempts to explain it, I will simply say that Twitter has made the internet, and thus the world, seem friendlier. It's as if I just realized that we're all sitting at our keyboards with big grins on our faces. The fun is infectious enough if you Twitter only on your computer. If you hook up your cellphone to send and receive Twits as text messages when you're eating at P.F. Chang's, the fun becomes addictive and really irritating to your dinner partner.

Twitter has introduced me to new people. As I watch the steady parade of new "Twits" appear, I click on ones that look interesting, check the profiles, maybe click to someone's web page, then add them as a "friend" whose Twits will appear on my Twitter home page. Today I have 24 friends--make that 25, because I just added a French blogger whose Twit included a link to a music video I don't really understand, but it's nice to watch and listen to. All but one of these new friends are people I have never met in real life.

Many of my new Twitter friends, such as Adam Curry, Robert Scoble, Leo Laporte and French blogger extraordinaire, Loic LeMeur, are web celebs whom I've followed in blogs and podcasts. Receiving their Twits is like going backstage with them after the show and hanging out. Someone--the actor himself?--is Twittering as the outlandish fictional documentary character Borat Sagdiyev, whose Twits include this one. There's even a fake Bill Clinton, Twittering that he might vote for Obama.

I'm still smiling, curious how long the Twitter bubble will last. It's looking pretty strong now, according to the chart below, which you can click on as a link. It shows the daily mentions of "Twitter" over the past three months. On a thousand blogs a day, people are trying to figure out why this small addition to the internet is so much fun, and what the fun might lead to next.

If you're in the Twitterhood, be sure to stop by my place and I'll be glad to add you as a new friend, even if you're already an old one.

Sunday, March 25, 2007


Homecoming, originally uploaded by LenEdgerly.

A high rise pokes up over the Market Street bus station, framed by a tree just about to bud. After a month in Cambridge that saw plenty of cold, snowy, hard weather, Denver welcomed us home with 70-degree weather and flowers.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

It's All About Me. of the Week

I've been a blog slacker here on my own blog for the past few days, because I was invited to be "Me. of the Week," or guest blogger for a week at Me.dium, so all my bloggerings have been posted there. I've really enjoyed posting at Me.dium, a lively new site that lets you wander the internet with other people, or at least with their little icons, which show you who's looking at what, and why you might want to check it out, too. So far, I've posted about the perils of podcasting as my self-imposed deadline approached, the wonders of the vacuum elevator my folks are going to install at their house in Maine, my love of David Allen's Getting Things Done (GTD) system, and the media feast I enjoyed today flying home to Denver after our long stay in Cambridge, Mass.

Part of the fun at Me.dium has been the comments. I was particularly impressed with a guy named Grant's response to my podcast musings about what constitutes a friend on the internet, and I'd like to copy what he wrote at the Audio Pod Chronicles here:
I was intrigued by your questioning of the meaning of "friend" on the internet. I use a simple definition for myself - a friend is someone I've interacted with once, and wouldn't mind interacting with again in the future.

And you are absolutely right about technology breaking the barriers between people.

For example, before traveling to Bangkok last year I was doing some internet research on the city - and discovered a website called "Virtual Tourist." Through this website, I was able to meet many friendly Thai people who were more than happy to meet me and show me around their amazing city. Needless to say, the places they took me I would have never been able to find on my own!

There are many such traveling websites today - which hope to bridge that gap between a tourist and the locals. My favorite is, of which I am an active member of. I even recently hosted a couple from Prague traveling through Denver. We drove to Aspen to see the fall colors and met up with other CouchSurfers (Aspen locals) for drinks!

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Shoe Shapes

Shoe Shapes, originally uploaded by LenEdgerly.

Robert Mathews makes shoes by hand in Deerfield, New Hampshire. This is a view of his custom wooden shoe forms, taken yesterday on a trip to his shop in a classic New England barn.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Web-Smart Skunkworks at The Economist

The venerable Economist magazine has a smart innovation project going, called Project Red Stripe. They created a team of six web-savvy staffers and let them loose on a six-month project to come up with new ways to use the internet and expand the business. You can follow along on their blog, and there's even a web cam set up in their office, now showing a desk and no people, but I'll check back once in a while. Their recommendation to management is due in May.

The Red Stripe team has just set up an easy way for the world to give them ideas, and I couldn't resist. I suggested that they gather into an RSS feed the blogs of anyone who has ever written for The Economist, because that's probably a smart group, and I'd be interested in seeing what they're writing. It might include my Wyoming friend Sam Western, a long-time stringer for the magazine.

Mike Seery, team leader and self-described "all round good guy," solicited members for the team in September using a flash show you can watch here.

I'm sure there are many teams in many companies tasked with this sort of innovation hunt, responding to some higher-up's directive to "figure out how we can get rich on Web 2.0." What's particularly cool about Red Stripe is that the process itself is unusually transparent, overcoming the natural tendency to keep things under wraps, especially from competitors. By doing this, the team has already accomplished something significant for The Economist.

And, as my own post shows, the blogosphere is helping the team gather ideas, and that's exactly what Seery anticipated:

In the more public domain, the invitation is expected to snowball and become a topic of conversation in the blogosphere, drawing those who have little or no affiliation with any of our businesses to consider submitting their ideas.

Very smart. And, just as a byproduct, learning about Red Stripe makes me more likely to pick up a copy of The Economist today in Harvard Square. The magazine also has a good podcast summarizing what's in the print version. Well done, chaps!

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Cat Music

A purr-fect little bit of fun from YouTube....

Friday, March 09, 2007

Portrait of White and Gray

Portrait of White and Gray, originally uploaded by LenEdgerly.

We've scooted out of the city for a few days to the coast of Maine, where yesterday's snow created artful patterns of white in the snow and foam. It's cold outside, but inside the cottage I've got a real fire going in the fireplace (no gas logs up here, thank you), and the broadband internet connection is up and running. I love it here in any season, especially winter.

Saturday, March 03, 2007

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