Welcome to the home of Noah Brier. I'm the co-founder of Variance and general internet tinkerer. Most of my writing these days is happening over at Why is this interesting?, a daily email full of interesting stuff. This site has been around since 2004. Feel free to get in touch. Good places to get started are my Framework of the Day posts or my favorite books and podcasts. Get in touch.

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Maps, R Kelly and Miss Teen USA

Once again, I don’t have a coherent entry to put together, so instead I’ve got a bunch of links and stuff. Sorry for the recent slowdown.

  • First off, I’ve done a bit of a redesign of the likemind site. The big reason I finally got around to it is that Google finally made their maps embeddable. Now with MyMaps (which allows you to create custom maps with your own locations) you can embed them in any site. Check out the likemind map I put together

  • Now I’m not sure how I’ve missed this for so long, but I finally got around to watching the beginning installments of R Kelly’s trapped in a closet. If you haven’t seen it, it’s a bizarrely brilliant “hip-hopera” based on Trapped in the Closet. Chuck Klosterman put it well when he said: “Describing TITC [trapped in the closet] to anyone whose hasn’t seen it themselves is virtually impossible, simply because there’s no other art to compare it with (it falls somewhere between a parody of musical theatre, a soap opera from the late 1970s, and a BET version of The Red Shoe Diaries).” I’ve embedded the first two episodes below.

  • Not to keep harping on this one, but it’s seriously blown me away (to the point that I just bought both DVDs. Now beyond the amusement of the whole thing, it’s pretty amazing that this guy made something over an hour long that held my interest in the way it does. Sure it’s totally absurd, but who cares? I can’t watch 10 minutes of music videos without switching the channel . . . In addition, it’s a fairly shrewd business move. It’s not a high-quality production or anything, couldn’t have cost a ton, and the DVDs go for $16.99. As Klosterman wrote, “In practical terms, this all might be nothing more than a way to sell DVDs instead of CDs.” As I’ve made quite clear in the past I’m all for music finding new revenue streams.
  • Now onto different topics. Here’s another interesting Guardian article about how almost all attempts to squash drug use has failed. It’s quite interesting to think that no one has been able to find a way to help this problem . . . I wonder if it’s not a good candidate for the verifier approach.
  • Back to music for a minute, here are three very different articles: David Byrne on music packaging, Time Magazine looks into hip-hop’s downturn and my friend Andy thinks about why it’s better when a song comes up randomly.
  • Finally, one last video for your enjoyment. This one comes from Miss Teen USA 2007 . . .

Think that’s it for now. Hope your weekend’s went well, will try to write something with a bit more substance this week. It’s amazingly easy to tell where my head’s been by these link posts isn’t it?

August 27, 2007