Supplemented Show Promotion: Opening Weekend!

Requisite Plug: Opening weekend for The Farm has been a blast. Good friends, old friends, new friends, and an awesome show. Of course, if you’re looking to learn more about it, you can just read this preview in the Boston Globe. Choice quote:

[McGough]’s other works are humorous and often fantastical. “The Farm’’ is a departure, but not as much of one as he thought, McGough says. Working with Gammons and the cast, “We’ve been discovering that it’s a little simpler than the other stuff I’ve written, it’s a little less crazy and out-there, but it’s definitely not realism.’’

Of course, having an audience this weekend was a nice reminder that there’s funny stuff in there, too. We’re all about balance here on The Farm.

Requisite Link to Buy Tickets
They can be yours!


Fun Stuff:

For today’s show-promotion supplement, you have two options. You can watch this adorable short film that won a competition where the theme was “Love Mondays”:

Or, if you’re more into the whole brevity thing, you can just check out this awesome picture of a pug going down a slide, and reacting appropriately:

Somewhere along the line, this blog became very pug-heavy. I see you no problem with that.

The Things We Do for Art

So, this book comes out today, in case you hadn’t heard. However, due to both the wonderful fact that I’ve got lots of projects right now, and the less wonderful fact that I have historically terrible self-control, I can’t allow myself to purchase the book until August. Because the second I do, man. It’s all over.

So in the meantime, I get to try to avoid the rampant spoilers that are already being posted upon the internet. Which is fine. I mean, it’s not like Martin is known for sudden and dramatic deaths, or anything.

Anyway, this is really all just an excuse to post this discussion I had this morning, with a friend who doesn’t have the same scheduling issues as I.

Tom: i have read the first chapter

me: I was afraid to ask.
me: They’re all dead, aren’t they.
Tom: oh most definitely
me: I knew it.
Tom: they were all in the same car
Tom: and tyrion was driving drunk
Tom: and right as they were about to hit a tree
Tom: their planet plunged into the sun
So there you have it, folks. I just saved you 1,000 pages.

A Robotic Pricing Arms Race

Over fruit flies, of all things:

Amazingly, when I reloaded the page the next day, both priced had gone UP! Each was now nearly $2.8 million. And whereas previously the prices were $400,000 apart, they were now within $5,000 of each other. Now I was intrigued, and I started to follow the page incessantly. By the end of the day the higher priced copy had gone up again. This time to $3,536,675.57. And now a pattern was emerging.

As far as “computers run amok” stories go, this one is pretty purely enjoyable. I can’t see any weird ethical quandries about pricing bots on Amazon, since they essentially just let the natural bartering of the used-books marketplace happen on a larger scale, and in the end we get a cheaper book.

But the completely unchecked lack of proportion is a bit worrying in the long-term; one hopes that we’ll find a more reliable “Don’t be crazy” algorithm before we start applying these kinds of methods to other determinations, like health care or, oh, missile launches. It’s reassuring to know that we humans aren’t quite obsolete yet, even though we might be lazy enough to trust our machines more than we should.

Web Musings Clearinghouse

This is what happens when I work on Paper City Phoenix for a while; I wind up reading all sorts of ridiculously awesome things aboutthe Internet, on the Internet. I guess it’s all part of the “aggragation” phase of writing. Here’s a few neat ones from lately:

I need to get this book (which also seems like it’d be a good read for dramaturgs or librarians):

People are going to be the new keepers of the flame,” proclaims Steve Rosenbaum, author of Curation Nation, a book that celebrates humans as “essential software” in today’s technology.

His Big Idea: We need quality filters for the daily data deluge that overflows from our inboxes, Twitter feeds, blog posts, Google alerts and Facebook notifications.

And speaking of curation and presentation, here’s a beautiful and really clever way to demonstrate the way WiFi is all around us. (It would be pretty interesting for True Places, as well, it being a map and all):

And, lastly, a situation that might help Gale from PCP sleep a bit better at night: some countries are archiving their internet. (Their way saves a bit more paper, too.)