April 2005

Seda’ Club (or: "Hey Shabot, It’s Your Pesach…")

by Joey deVilla on April 22, 2005

Hip-hop and Passover meet in the latest edition of the webcomic Shabot 6000 when 50 Cent (or at least his doppelganger) drops by for seder in a hilarious Flash animation!

Screen capture: 'Seda Club', starring 50 Cent and Shabot 6000.

Be sure to check out:

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Passover Plague Masks

by Joey deVilla on April 22, 2005

My co-worker Adam brought

these masks depicting the plagues that hit Egypt as a reprisal for the

Pharoah’s refusal to free the Jewish slaves. Never before has God’s

wrath looked so cute!

Photo: Masks depicting the plagues visited upon Egypt.

Click the photo to see the slideshow.

My favourites are the “lice” mask with the googly-eyed bugs, the

“firstborn” mask with X’s for eyes, and the flaming “hail” mask, which

for some reason reminds me of the “Hot Hail” that Ming the Merciless

rained on the Earth in the 1980 Flash Gordon movie.

(Yes, I know that there were ten plagues and that there are only nine

masks in the shot. Those are all the masks Adam brought. Adam, what

happened to “darkness”?)

If you want to see larger photos of the masks, I posted them in a photo album, which you can click through manually or see as a slideshow.

Happy Pesach to all my Jewish readers and future relatives!

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"Oh, He’s a Journalist and He’s Okay…"

by Joey deVilla on April 21, 2005

I’ve got to hand it to those old Superman comics — not only were they the first to use the word “blog”, nobody else tackeled the issue cross-dressing quite as often as they did. This page at the Transgender Graphics and Fiction Archive pays tribute to Superman’s pal, Jimmy Olsen, and his predilection for getting into women’s clothing.

Comic: Scene from 'Miss Jimmy Olsen!'.

Ah, 1950’s dialogue. Don’t laugh — the “whoo whoo” line worked on Wendy.

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Eric Rice’s Video of the Podcaster Gathering

by Joey deVilla on April 21, 2005

Eric Rice, who attended the Podcaster’s Gathering we had on Tuesday,

has managed to live through his hangover and post a 3-minute, 51-second

video blog entry of what happened. You can get it in two flavours:

The Low-Bandwidth “Extra Crispy” Version

[7 MB, QuickTime] — I took Eric’s original video and compressed it for

those of you on a slow connection or who want to see it pronto!

Get a load of that beefy forearm! You don’t get muscle tone like this playing electric guitar like those skinny wusses from Slayer.


The High-Bandwidth “Original Recipe” Version [23MB Quicktime] is hosted on Eric’s blog. The price you pay for better video and audio quality is a larger filesize.

Eric Rice and Rannie Turingan.

Usually, when they cut to a black-and-white still in VH-1’s “Behind the

Music”, the voice-over says, “…and that’s when the band started

getting into drugs.” In this case, we started ordering the Yellow

Menaces (Smirnoff Ice with a tequila shot).

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Paul Graham’s “The Submarine”

by Joey deVilla on April 21, 2005

Paul Graham, who’s on some kind of mad essay-writing binge, starts his latest essay, The Submarine, this way:

“Suits make a corporate comeback,” says the New York Times. Why does this sound familiar? Maybe because the suit was also back in September 2004, June 2004, September 2003, November 2002, and February 2002.

Why do the media keep running stories saying suits are back? Because PR firms tell them to. One of the most surprising things I discovered during my brief business career was the existence of the PR industry, lurking like a huge, quiet submarine beneath the news. Of the stories you read in traditional media that aren’t about politics, crimes, or disasters, more than half probably come from PR.

Later in the article:

[PR firms] feed the same story to several different publications at once. And when readers see similar stories in multiple places, they think there is some important trend afoot. Which is exactly what they’re supposed to think.

In the article, Graham proposes a new activity called “PR diving” (whose name evokes the activity known as “dumpster diving”) in which you try and determine which news “stories” in various sources came from the same PR release.


Later in his piece, Graham talks about what is often the antithesis of PR companies: folks who self-publish online. Many of them you know as “bloggers”:

Imagine how incongruous the New York Times article about suits…

The urge to look corporate– sleek, commanding, prudent, yet with just a touch of hubris on your well-cut sleeve — is an unexpected development in a time of business disgrace.

or the Business Week article about tagging…

Joshua Schachter used to be a lot like the rest of us online. When he surfed the Web, he’d zip through interesting articles only to find that days later he couldn’t remember where he had seen the stories or sites that had caught his interest.

…would sound if you read it in a blog. The problem with these articles is not just that they originated in PR firms. The whole tone is bogus. This is the tone of someone writing down to their audience.

Whatever its flaws, the writing you find online is authentic. It’s not mystery meat cooked up out of scraps of pitch letters and press releases, and pressed into molds of zippy journalese. It’s people writing what they think.

(To be fair, Graham also points out in a footnote that “PR has at least one beneficial feature: it favors small companies. If PR didn’t work, the only alternative would be to advertise, and only big companies can afford that.”)


I recently talked with a number of developers of tools who were a bit miffed that although they had created working versions — not just barely functional, but refined and quite well-engineered — of an application in a soon-to-be-hot field, all the press attention was going to internet big-name people who had naught but vapourware and press releases. I think at least some of it has to do with their having a PR firm at their disposal.

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…Or Else It Gets the Hose!

by Joey deVilla on April 20, 2005

Coulter-bashing and a Silence of the Lambs reference. How can I resist?

Photo: Another parody of the Ann Coulter cover on 'Time' magazine.

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He’s "Julie", and I’m…

by Joey deVilla on April 20, 2005

If Ross’ part in last night’s podcasting dinner was that of “Julie”, the cruise director from The Love Boat, I was this gentleman. [850KB animated GIF]

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