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Good Reads: Edward Snowden, Jazz, and More

Thursday, August 21, 2014

The Most Wanted Man in the World: Catching up with Edward Snowden in Moscow.

The High Priest of Jazz: A 1964 profile of Thelonius Monk

The Trials of Phillip Halliday: The story of the cocaine smuggling fisherman.

The Global Business of Satorial Slumming: A pair of jeans, pummelled by a bored animal with a four-digit price tag.


The Internet Killed Nostalgia

Monday, July 14, 2014

James Wolcott made me hate my computer this week when he put nostaliga in perspective

Nostalgia isn’t the worst narcotic, but it used to feed a different vein. It was both generational and individual, a distillation of personal experience as unrecoverable as blushing youth. When F. Scott Fitzgerald, the dewiest prose lyricist of the Jazz Age, peered back at the reckless abandon and champagne fizz of the 20s through the clouded curtains of the Depression-era 30s, he elegized himself, Zelda, and the rest of his strewn generation for who they were and what they did. Sixties nostalgia operated that way too, the pang of regret over who so many of them were (rebels, hippies, wanderers, crusaders) and what they became (reactionaries, office drones, commuters, cynics). In our media-saturated age, when every couch potato is king, this mode of nostalgia no longer applies. It isn’t about who we aspired to be as fledglings leaving the nest—full of hopes and dreams and boogying hormones—but about what we watched, played, listened to, downloaded, and identified with as junior consumers. Before the Web became our neural extension, when print and celluloid held reign, the passage of time and the discrimination of critics and enthusiasts winnowed away the flotsam and jetsam of the past, allowing its true achievements and revelatory visions (even those unheralded or derided at the time) to surface and radiate. The Internet, however, is an inexhaustible suction pump that indiscriminately dredges up the dreck along with the sunken pearls. Search engines are scouring devices, algorithms have no taste buds, and monster Web-site aggregators such as BuzzFeed—which one writer called the Hellmouth of 90s nostalgifying, with its inane quizzes (“Which ‘Dawson’s Creek’ Character Are You?”) and dipstick listicles (“32 Reasons Christmas Was Better in the ’90s”)—are to curating what hoarders are to connoisseurship.

Everyone knows everyone. Everyone knows everything. And if they don't, they can twiddle their thumbs and be Moses. Word to James Murphy, we've all lost our cool. 


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World Cup Round of 16 Posters

Monday, June 30, 2014


Check out the rest here.

$$$ Graph Lesson No.1: Major in Petroleum Engineering

Thursday, September 12, 2013

According to NPR, every kid starting college this fall should forget all their Broadway dreams and go straight petroleum. 

Cause hey, the world always needs more of those...


Follow Anthony on Twitter: @antbrent

Tech / Ghetto Tracker: A Case in Bad Form

Thursday, September 5, 2013


So, some geeks thought it would be cool to put together a site that gives travelers or would-be neighborhood prospectors a way to separate nice hoods from the undesirables. 

Sure, it's a noble 1 percent thought, but where's some political correctness when you need it? And what's the criteria?


Is downtown NYC still undesirable when half the city is getting priced out of it and there's a Starbucks on every corner?  

Even worse the start-up and website looks to have conveniently changed to Good Part of Town since it got exposed for its foolery. 

Double bad job all around.

Read more at The Week.


Follow Anthony on Twitter: @antbrent

Computer Love

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Spike Jonze's latest project Her is supposedly about a loser who falls in love with his computer in a semi not too distant in the futuristic, but not Marty McFlyish Los Angeles. 

However, for Hollywood "effecture" the computer in this case is Scarlett Johansson, the loser is Joaquin Phoenix, and his ex-wives and girlfriends in the episode are Rooney "Dragon Tat" Mara, Amy "I'M IN EVERYTHING NOW" Adams, and somewhere along the way supposedly Olivia "SUDEIKIS" Wilde. 

So guess what, instead of corny and uninspiring, it's going to be heartbreaking and oddly romantic. 

Check the trailer below and ball your eyes out. 


Follow Anthony on Twitter: @antbrent

Allow Me to Introduce Ryu Fujimoto: Human Electro Beat Boxer

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

In this clip Ryu Fujimoto the human beatboxer uses LEAP Motion technology to become a musical magician.  

He weaves. He deflects.

He twists his fingers in all directions to activate sounds to complement a beat he creates purely from his vocal chords.

All in all, it reinforces the notion that a brave new world is already alive and well, at least in the musical sense.  


Via Fast Company:

Using a Leap Motion--along with the platform’s $10 Geco MIDI software--he’s developed a unique performance that combines beatboxing with his mouth and filters and synthesizers through the motions of his hands. With his left hand, he can lift, rotate, and slide three different synths. With his right hand, he gestures to induce flanger, delay, beat repeat, and more.


Follow Anthony on Twitter: @antbrent

WATCH / Jay-Z - Picasso Baby: A Performance Art Piece

Monday, August 5, 2013

"It runs about ten minutes. There's an intro and an outro with people's interviews, just about their anticipation and their reaction afterwards. When it came to footage, we had an incredible amount of choices every time he sang a line. You know, he did it about 40 times, and we had eight cameras running, so what's the math on that? It was a quite a slog to troll through all that footage to make sure you're not missing some gems, but editing for me is the funnest part." - Mark Romanek, Director

Read more on the making of the video @ NY Mag.


Follow Anthony on Twitter: @antbrent

New York Citi?

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

If you've been in New York City anytime in the last few months, you've probably noticed people trying to get a grip on the handle bars of the Citi Bike, a new wrinkle in the Big Apple's quest for cleaner and more versatile transportation.

Detractors and haters notwithstanding, the Citi Bike has been a smashing success giving summer dwelling commuters and New Yorkers another option to sweaty subways and crowded sidewalks. 

Predictably, as is the case with anything nascent in an urban environment, the demand for analysis usually leads to the creation of an interactive infographic, which in this circumstance was charted recently by the New Yorker

How to accommodate a more biker friendly culture in NYC has been a slow progression for years, but the creation of the Citi Bike station is a quality step.

Now if only somebody could find a way to track which riders are part of the S**ty Bike movement.

I mean if Leo (above) and Louis C.K. can get on board, can't we all just get along? 

View the New Yorker's infographic here


Follow Anthony on Twitter: @antbrent

The Goods

Saturday, June 29, 2013


You Listen to This Man Everyday Rick Rubin got Black Sabbath to return to its roots. He crashed Kanye’s new album in 15 days. From Def Jam to Adele, the hit-maker gets intimate about his last 30 years—and how he’s about to make history. [daily beast]


Jimmy Wales is not an Internet Billionaire  The founder of Wikipedia has a brand-new life in London with Kate Garvey, his third wife, whom he often describes as “the most connected woman in London. [NYT]



Silent War Washington and Tehran are ramping up their cyber-arsenals, built on a black-market digital arms bazaar, enmeshing such high-tech giants as Microsoft, Google, and Apple. With the help of highly placed government and private-sector sources, Michael Joseph Gross describes the outbreak of the conflict, its escalation, and its startling paradox: that America’s bid to stop nuclear proliferation may have unleashed a greater threat. [vanity fair]


Follow Anthony on Twitter: @antbrent