June 12, 2009

Free Software vs free software

Category: Uncategorized — Biella @ 1:23 pm

Should I or should I not capitalize Free Software?

June 11, 2009

In Defense of Distraction

Category: Books/Articles — Biella @ 2:32 pm

This article on the benefits of distraction published in New York Magazine is a bit old (by I-time, at least). But with 30+ tabs open I could not get to it until today when I did the job of pruning my tabs.

At first I was a little taken aback by its length (sort of ironic for an article on distraction: one is bound to be distracted but I read it in one sittings (actually couch lying). But I got really into it: the prose is excellent and he maneuvers through the landscape–the bad, good, and ugly–of today’s digital distraction with ease, insight, and humor. I think you will enjoy it.

June 10, 2009


Category: Uncategorized — Biella @ 6:50 am

Despite its name Apartment Therapy, does not act therapeutic. It actually makes me quite depressed, frumpy to be specific. Everything is so cutesy and pretty pricey. I know I will never have home/apts/ like these people and perhaps that is for the best. But the sad thing is it is not only depressing but has induced a mild case of OCD as well: Despite the fact it makes me feel bad, I love looking at the site and like the trillion similar blogs. It is like peering into people’s apartments … everyday.

But there is only one apartment so far that left me pretty breathless. It is French, of course. Wow, what a place.

Man Succumbs To 7-Year Battle With Health Insurance

Category: Uncategorized — Biella @ 3:54 am

Struggle.article.jpg, originally uploaded by the biella.

Funny but true. I am still getting a trickle of comments on my rant against Blue Cross NO Shield as they, like most American insurance companies, s.u.c.k.

June 9, 2009

Follow Alice Ramsey on Twitter

Category: Alice Ramsey — Biella @ 7:51 am

You can follow Emily Anderson recreating the Alice Ramsey drive on Twitter.

June 8, 2009

Lazy Web

Category: Aesthetics,Lazy Web — Biella @ 3:12 pm

Can people point me to websites that they think pleases the aesthetic soul but are ferociously user friendly and pragmatic (that is, easy to navigate, easy to read, etc)?

June 6, 2009

OY Vey, Enid did you hear? Fieldwork is not…

Category: Academic,Books/Articles — Biella @ 4:24 pm

OOOI Vey: Fieldwork is not what it used to be! So, when I hear the title of this new book, I basically hear/see an old Jewish academic kvetching about the glory days of anthropology and fieldwork and complaining about his aching back. But that is just my mind in humorous mode as I am extraordinarily excited to read the book and pretty psyched that fieldwork is not what once was.

Not only does the collection have a piece by one of my dissertation advisors but it has a motley collection of folks who basically helped push along anthropology to a better place. Most of them (in fact all of them, I think) had some connection to the Rice Anthropology department. Clearly something in the water and air makes folks from there hang tight with the experimental mode!

The penubra of privacy

Category: Privacy,Quotes — Biella @ 3:40 pm

“Specific guarantees in the Bill of Rights have penumbras, formed by emanations from those guarantees that help give them life and substance.”

SC justices can be so poetic.

Commemorating Alice Ramsey!!

Category: Alice Ramsey,Events,Gender — Biella @ 8:24 am

Alice’s Drive from Bengt Anderson on Vimeo.

My partner Micah is pretty good with his hands, well, so long as they are attached to a computer. Otherwise, he is a bit lost. His father, however, is a master craftsman, rebuilding old cars, making his own houses, you know, the sort of stuff that really puts me in awe.

Thanks to his efforts, his family, notably his sister Emily Anderson, are about to kick off and commemorate Alice Ramsey who in 1909, did the unconventional, which is somewhat an understatement, and drove across the United States in what then was called a horseless carriage. Apparently, she loved to race cars and took that love to trek across what were really gnarly roads and earned the distinction as the first woman to do so.

Using the same model (Maxwell Model DA) that Alice drove, one that Emily’s Dad, Richard, restored (and it is the very last one in existence!), she will be starting off the drive in just a few days.

The whole family is pretty involved, so Bengt Anderson is making a film (short clip featured above), Micah has helped with the website side of things, and the ‘rents will be in the trailer (especially since Emily just had a baby).

Anyhow, more to write about cars and this trip but thought some folks might be interested in following her across the US. I am super bummed I am not in NYC to watch her go, but I will be watching with a lot of excitement from the Internets!

June 5, 2009

70s Wndsurfer (with matching sailboat)

Category: Uncategorized — Biella @ 4:23 pm

70swindsurfer, originally uploaded by the biella.

So as part of my efforts to work in PR, I bought a printer. The one that was 1) the cheapest 2) worked with the Linux (an HPJ4550) also had a scanner. I thought it would never work on Linux, or not without some series fiddling and tweaking.

But I bought the postcard, pictured above, to do a test run, and the run of test worked immediately. Go Linux!

Now on to the postcard: love the postcard because it is so 1972-1982 or so. It would be hard to find such a scence today.

Not only are windsurfers a dying breed (kite surfing is the new kid on the block), well, current windsurfers are definitely not so 1970s orange, yellow, and blue.

And so you have to ask: are there just truckloads of these postcards printed decades ago or do they actually print them anew?

Can’t answer but at least I know the scanner works!