Congress in 30 Seconds

A short while before the Foley story broke, I was putting together a post about a contest the Sunlight Foundation is running called Congress in 30 seconds. They have a series of web gizmos at the site that allow you to splice together your own 30 TV spot, with film clips and sound and text on the screen. The idea is to create an ad showing what you think members of Congress spend their day doing.

Josh Marshall, October 20, 2006

I was sent to Marshall’s succinct description by a TechRhet post (a listserv I subscribe to) and I thought it would be a great Wednesday video post. There’s also a contest and the winner gets $5000.00. Right now it’s dominated by “kick out the bums” videos, like the one above, but that may change. Check back often, I bet as more videos and music gets uploaded things will get really fun.

Ignorance More Frequently Begets Confidence


There’s happy news on the science and common sense front. First, The Complete Works of Darwin Online. Here’s a piece of their blurb:

This site currently contains more than 50,000 searchable text pages and 40,000 images of both publications and handwritten manuscripts. There is also the most comprehensive Darwin bibliography ever published and the largest manuscript catalogue ever assembled. More than 150 ancillary texts are also included, ranging from secondary reference works to contemporary reviews, obituaries, published descriptions of Darwin’s Beagle specimens and important related works for understanding Darwin’s context.

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Initial Robot Singer Inconvenient First Public Performance


It’s been a banner year for those of us who dreamed of wearing Star Trek pajamas and Beatle Boots and zooming around the universe. On the transporter front, some Dutch scientists recently figured out how to do something that is, well, pretty much like beaming matter from one place to the other.

On the cloaking front, first introduced by the Klingon, of course, another team has demonstrated the principal of invisibility, although not yet in a visible light range. There’s bad news on the universal translator front, however. Moreover, it’s related to a setback in our quest to build Data.

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Are We Not (Dove) Devo?

It’s a cliché to say that a good artist can do anything with contemporary technology, and it’s not a new idea. I doubt, for example, that the face of the Mona Lisa is exactly the image of the woman da Vinci painted. Still, large-scale, well-organized greed has a way of magnifying the worst of humanity even as it attempts to portray an ideal of beauty. A public relations campaign, of course, is complicated, and now includes a degree of self-consciousness about its methods. The video offers a critique, but also suggests that we buy some soap as a part of our migration from the artificial to the real.

This is an equally instructive example: