Rawalpindi Tragedy

Just had one of those moments when two apparently disconnected memes collide and touch at an emotional level.  First of all, the assassination of Benazir Bhutto is described in poignant detail by John Moore on the New York Times website.  At the same time that I was listening to his recounting of the assassination, I was also listening to the Barber’s Adagio for Strings.  I had only heard the frantic versions that Orbit and Tiesto had performed.  The original version is so somber, so serene.  It runs 7:46 minutes but sets an almost exquisite mood for this sad scenario.

This will take at least two browser tabs.  Start the audio (below) in a separate window and let it run a few minutes to set the tone.  Then open a separate window to listen to John describe the assassination on the New York Times website while pictures of the emotional scene play out.  It works – and regardless of your position on the situation or your feelings about the woman or the country, you can’t help but be touched by the tragedy.

P.S. The audio I’ve included has no license issues.  I’m certain if I was making money on this, the photo the would be an issue for Getty.  I’ve given them all the link goodness I can muster.  Other then the photos in the NY Times montage, I think this is the best shot.  The version of Barber’s Adagio is unencumbered by a license – and not my favorite version.  I’d have included my favorite by Charles Munch but the version I have is copy protected and Vox wisely won’t let me include.  It’s a shame because it is a much more powerful version then you’ll hear now.

Feed Reader Best Practices #1

I just dropped ComputerWorld’s SharkTank from my feed reader.  I’ve been cleaning up my subscriptions.  I have way more subscriptions then humanly possible to consume (and he’s not human – so don’t interrupt me).  When I started using Google’s reader I had imported my feeds from another tool that organized feeds differently.  I ended up carrying a folder full of ComputerWorld feeds and never reading them.

It turns out there is a reason I don’t read them.  The one feed I didn’t immediately remove was SharkTank.  I remembered the stories were humorous.  The problem is the publisher insists on only publishing partial feeds.  I mean what’s the point.  Each story is so short I spend more time navigating to the story then I do actually reading it. And then to top it off, this is user submitted material.  An editor somewhere is cleaning up this content but otherwise they are trying to monetize readers content and inconveniencing me.  Never mind.

Partial feeds can work but most of the time they are an inconvenience.  If you insist on shackling content then your hurdle is much greater for attracting readers.  I have got to want to navigate to your page and step out of the feed reader context. It’s your prerogative but you are going to lose readers like me if you don’t have really compelling material.

Originally posted on villiageidiot.vox.com

The Gael

Update: An anonymous friend has posted link to a live video of Dougie MacLean performing The Gael. In the interest of driving link karma his way I’ll add a link to a web site selling his CD The Searcher from 1991.

My 17 year old daughter says “I don’t get it” watching the latest Nike commercial.  The commercial, featuring Sean Merriman transitioning seamlessly between games with different opponents and different playing conditions.  She’s trying to find the logic in the action.  There’s no logic.  This is all about emotion.  It makes me want to get out and tilt at windmills – it’s just motivating.  Lets go kick some ass!

I get it.  The commercial hits an emotional key few commercials reach.  The music in the background is “The Gael” by Dougie MacLean and is most familiar to everyone that enjoyed The Last of the Mahicans.  In fact, what really works is to watch the clip from the movie and then watch the commercial.

So go out and rent the video and reward Michael Mann for some really good work.  The cinematography, the music, the direction – he’s done some good work and this is some of the best.  (And if you’re inclined, rent The Kingdom – another movie of his that hits the right chords.  It’s hard to believe this is the same guy that subjected us to not only the original Miami Vice series but had the cojones to bring the series to the big screen (no link recommendation for that POS).

Originally posted on villiageidiot.vox.com