Joss Whedon is making a movie adaptation of Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing featuring a who’s who of Whedon actors, including Nathan Fillion, Amy Acker, Alexis Denisof, and Fran Kranz. I'm not usually a fan of modernized “reinterpretations” of the Bard’s work (though I do have an inexplicable fondness for 10 Things I Hate About You), but I can’t wait to see this. Impressively, Whedon completed principle photography for the film in twelve days, and he did so without anyone on the Internet finding out until Fillion tweeted about it earlier this week.
Filmed in just 12 days entirely on location in exotic Santa Monica, the film features a stellar cast of beloved (or soon to be beloved) actors — some of them veterans of Shakespearean theater, some completely new to the form. But all dedicated to the idea that this story bears retelling, that this dialogue is as fresh and intoxicating as any being written, and that the joy of working on a passion project surrounded by dear friends, admired colleagues and an atmosphere of unabashed rapture far outweighs their hilariously miniature paychecks.
Back in the mid to late '90s, I frequented Kaliber10000 (aka K10K) on a daily basis. This was before Twitter and design blogs, when web design portals like K10K, Surfstation, and Pixelsurgeon reigned supreme. K10K was the mightiest of them all, with regular news and updates, photographic essays and exhibitions, design experiments and galleries, and of course, a regular comic strip from the disturbed minds at Wulffmorgenthaler.
In addition to releasing the album for free, Billen will also be releasing it on flash drives. To help pay for the costs, he's launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise $600 before November 14. Even just the donation of a single dollar will let you access the project before it’s officially released and folks who make larger donations will get custom flash drives to share with friends and family, artwork prints, and/or bonus songs and CDs.
An insightful column by Ryan Irelan regarding the pros and cons of EllisLab’s new openness regarding ExpressionEngine 2 development. This part is gold:
EllisLab, please announce products and services when they’re ready. Not when you think of them and not because you think announcing early will make the company seem like it communicates more. That’s just playing into the hands of the curse.
Being transparent about major bug fixes is, of course, important. And those active in the forums and the bug tracker know that EllisLab is responsive and transparent about bugs, bug fixes and when they will be rolled out into releases. You’ve even updated us on your release schedule so those people who maintain a lot of sites can plan and schedule updates.
As your customers that’s what you owe us. You don’t, however, owe us to expose your entire annual master plan 12 months before you want to see it come to fruition. If you ever feel like you did, I’m sorry. I think that sucks.
As someone who has been involved in web application development, I know firsthand that transparency is a noble ideal but sometimes it’s a bad idea. On the one hand, you want to assure your clients that you’re working on cool new stuff that really will help them — and that will increase their loyalty to your services. But it’s also easy to set false expectations and to build yourself into a corner where, if you don’t deliver exactly what clients have heard you talk about (perhaps because you’ve thought of something better) and/or deliver it in the expected timeframe, you will face client disappointment.
An excellent, even poignant article from Salon’s Kim Brooks regarding how we handle and react to dissent — political or otherwise — on our Facebook pages.
As I asked others about political discourse on Facebook, this was the sort of story I heard again and again. One person got into a hardcore scuffle with a friend’s Republican mother when she posted about the need to protect funding for NPR. Another talked about how enraged she was when, during the general jubilation over Obama’s election, one “friend” posted about the need to pray for the future since the “anti-christ” had been elected. And the common thread in all of these instances was a feeling of shock, a profound bewilderment at one’s private space having been invaded by the political-cultural-socio-religious “other.” We block, we hide, we un-friend, we condemn. And in doing so we can all feel like we’re doing something. It’s wonderful, in a way; we can occupy Wall Street without leaving our living room.
We all have memories of such friendships, relationships we might never have chosen, but that challenge and change us in unexpected ways. In Facebook, we have the choice to simply opt out of such challenges, to crop the frame in whatever way suits our political orientation or cultural sensibility. In a world of friending and unfriending, the 99 percent versus the 53 percent, Obama as antichrist against Obama as savior, who, I wonder, has the tolerance anymore for such messy contradictions, such tainted, imperfect kinships? Who has the patience?
Smithsonian Magazine’s Meghan Daum reflects on the four years she spent in Lincoln, Nebraska, and the effect it had on her:
After those acid trip sunsets, that’s the thing about Lincoln that rocked my world. That you can’t really mess up too badly. You can marry too young, get a terrible tattoo or earn $12,000 a year, and the sky will not necessarily fall. The housing is too cheap and the folks are too kind for it to be otherwise. Moreover, when you live underneath a sky that big, it’s hard to take yourself too seriously. Its storms have a way of sweeping into town and jolting your life into perspective. That jolt was Lincoln’s gift to me. It comes in handy every day.
Even with all of the numerous ways out there to aggregate and find content, I’m partial to the good ol' RSS feed. As such, Google Reader is still one of my favorite online tools — indeed, I find it well-nigh indispensible. So I'm happy to hear that it’ll be getting some design love to bring it in-line with Google's other products, e.g., Gmail and Google Docs. And while some people might find the loss of Google Reader’s social tools disappointing, it doesn’t bother me. Opus, Twitter, Facebook... those are my tools for sharing and disseminating content. Google Reader is for my eyes only, a private, carefully curated info stash.
As someone who finds the wide open spaces of my state beautiful, I heartily concur with this recent Curator Magazine piece by Matthew Miller.
At the risk of sounding obtuse or narrowly regionalist, I want to claim that while the Plains may not be as showy as other landscapes, not as appropriate to calendars or billboards, they hold a beauty as powerful as any other region. If mountains and oceans impress us with their vastness, I counter with the vastness of the sky and the plains—only on the Great Plains do you get a sense of the hugeness not of one particular geological formation, but of the world itself: earth and sky distilled to their essentials. And if this seems too simple and stark for you, if you prefer the complexity and detail of forests and hills, I put to you the prairie grass after a rain, when infinite nuances of oranges, yellows, greens and grays arise on the land. I have lived and traveled in other regions, and I remain baffled as to why even we Midwesterners, in a place of such compelling if simple beauty, allow our tastes to be defined by other people’s land.
1991, as it turns out, was a banner year in music, and saw the release of such seminal albums as Nirvana's Nevermind and U2’s Achtung Baby. Click Track — the Washington Post’s music blog — reflects on several albums that have been unfairly overlooked.
I’m not sure I’d include The KLF’s The White Room — though I dug “3 a.m. Eternal” when I was a a freshman in high school — but I'd certainly include My Bloody Valentine’s Loveless, Matthew Sweet’s Girlfriend, Massive Attack’s Blue Lines, L.S.U.’s This is the Healing, and Talk Talk’s Laughing Stock if I were compiling such a list.
Opus is where Jason Morehead writes about music, movies, video games, pop culture, religion, technology, web development, and anything else that interests him at the time. Jason has also written for Christ & Pop Culture, Filmwell, and Twitch. More Info…