Birds as Bloggers

Researchers often tag birds and other animals so that their movements and activities can be traced and studied.  A website entitled Blogging Birds takes data about kites (a kind of hawk) in Scotland and applies language algorithms, translating it all into a narrative of the bird’s day. [Read more…]

Storming Wikipedia

Wikipedia depends on readers and volunteer editors to write, edit, and correct its entries.  Theoretically, the vast network of contributors will make for an online encyclopedia that is accurate, objective, and self-correcting.  But this also leaves Wikipedia open to contributors with an ideological agenda.  Which is the plan for an organized effort–for college credit, no less–“to advance feminist principles of social justice” by “writ[ing] feminist thinking” into Wikipedia.  The project is called “Storming Wikipedia,” an image from the French Revolution, with the revolutionary masses storming the Bastille.  But the feminists doing this could inspire other sans-culottes. [Read more…]

Pay per emotional response

Chris Taylor at Mashable discusses how Google Glass (a set of glasses connected to Google) will change advertising.  According to the patent application, the technology will track gazes, charging advertisers for what ads  the wearers look at and for how long they do so.

But that’s nothing:  These glasses are also looking back at the wearer.  The patent application includes a method for determining how much the wearer’s eyes dilate when they see an ad.  (Our pupils get bigger when we see something we like.)  So advertisers will be charged more when the ads create an emotional response.

After the jump, an excerpt from the patent application and some serious questions.

[Read more…]

And now, the worship DJ

Trying to be “contemporary,” as in contemporary worship, requires hitting a moving target, since, by definition, what is up to the minute changes every minute.  This is especially true when it comes to pop culture, which depends for its commercial success on spinning out fashions that rapidly go in and out of style.  And what is “out” becomes looked down upon even more than it was considered cool a few months ago.  (In contrast, what is “classic” never goes out of style.)

So what are churches that want to feature contemporary music supposed to do? Michelle Boorstein of The Washington Post writes about a congregation that has gotten rid of its praise band and brought in a DJ.  Read about it after the jump, but here is the killer quote:

And to people younger than 30, the drums and electric guitars of the contemporary rock that dominates much of American Christianity are not only not edgy, “but for them, it’s like singing hymns,” [DJ Hans] Daniels said. “Why does the music you worship to and jam out to have to be completely separate?”

How would you answer that question?

And let’s test the premise:  Those of you who go to dance clubs, do you really want that same kind of music in church?  Wouldn’t you find that embarrassing? [Read more…]

News costs money

I like to read newspapers.  Those big floppy papery things.*  (*Who can catch that allusion?)  I am aware, though, that fewer and fewer people share my affection.  Among the young adults I know, including those who are very interested in current events, hardly any of them read a newspaper.  They have become technologically obsolete, so the newspaper industry is fading.  More and more people, maybe most people by now, get their news from the internet.

But you know what?  When you get your news from the internet, clicking links from Drudge or Google News or this blog, you are taken for the most part to articles from newspapers!  For us to have all of that information, somebody has to pay the reporters. [Read more…]


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