Rode the Mariachi Bullitt to breakfast w Jon. Sat outside, in the shade, and talked for an hour and a half. Lovely morning.
The May slideshow can be found here. Please click on the little fullscreen symbol on the top-right. Canton an I are also cooking up a new photoblog that will look like the P-O-P WordPress page, but will only contain photos. No text, no links, no distractions. Newest photo at the top. We’ll have it ready before the tour starts. It’ll also look great on iPads and smartphones!
The Walled Garden – Neven Mrgan’s tumbl
It is the Portland Japanese Garden, a city landmark that should be on any visitor’s shortlist. It’s beautiful, peaceful, clean, and well visited. Some consider it the most authentic Japanese garden worldwide (outside of Japan).
The garden is also walled off. Literally. It is run by a private, nonprofit organization, and it’s funded solely by admission earnings and donations. Adults pay $9.50 to get in. Once you’re in, you can’t smoke, you can’t use a cell phone, you can’t have a snack – you can’t even buy a snack on premises. No pets, no professional photography, no weddings.
This is because the garden is meant to create and foster a certain tranquil mindset, a contemplative mood of oneness with Nature. You may find this corny or old-fashioned; if so, you’re better off seeing other city sights. If you buy into the garden’s premise, however, it’s a rewarding and unique experience.
and the post ends with this:
I’m not saying the App Store is a beautiful garden. That is not a very good metaphor at all — but insofar as it applies, it doesn’t strengthen any App Store detractor’s case… unless they’d also argue that the Portland Japanese Garden should open its doors, run on monopoly money, and turn from a meditative oasis into a busy bazaar.
Portland Japanese Garden. I must visit in July!
Cell Phone Culture
The ubiquity of the cell phone has caused changes in certain cultural norms, as well. Businesses, movie theaters, parks and restaurants are just some of the spaces in which the appropriateness of cell phone conversations is disputed and unclear. The Metropolitan Museum of Art doesn’t allow cell phones, but this doesn’t always stop people from using them. (Katz shows a picture of a museum patron crouching to avoid being seen while using his cell phone.) Cell phones seem to prioritize communication with distant people over those sharing one’s space, and the ethics of this new behavior are not universally agreed upon.
Cell phones are enabling people to create their own micro-cultures; they are changing cultural norms and values, and demonstrating consumers’ ability to modify and repurpose technology for their own use. I believe that cell phones, by allowing people to insulate their private interactions from the culture around them, will encourage a kind of “walled garden” of micro-cultures that is complex, but exclusive. — James Katz
(Via Pop Wuping)
Cell phones seem to prioritize communication with distant people over those sharing one’s space, and the ethics of this new behavior are not universally agreed upon. – I don’t think that’s limited to cell phones. It’s a valid observation regarding all telephones. How many times have I stood in front of a cashier, waiting to get rung up, when s/he gets a phone call and spends the next ten minutes explaining something to the caller. Several times I walked away, leaving the items I was going to buy on the counter. It could be a store policy, because the management assumes that a customer who is already in the store and at the counter will not leave, or, and I rather think this is morel likely, there is an inherent perceived cultural value in dealing with the person who is not present in the space. What do you think?
Kimiko Hahn, “Pinguinus Impennis”
Toxic Flora is the eighth collection of poems from Kimiko Hahn; other poems from the collection include “Cope’s Rule” (from W.W. Norton’s Poets Out Loud site), “The Fever” (The New Yorker), “Xenicus Longipes” (Poetry Daily), “The Sweetwater Caverns” (Academy of American Poets), and “Bumblebees” (OnEarth).
Large, flightless, and defenseless,
the great auk was captured
for feathers for featherbeds—
hunters loosening the plumage in cauldrons
fueled with the oil
from the freshly killed auks before them.
After the 1830 volcanic eruptions in Iceland, after
museums and collectors vied for the near
extinct “penguin of the North,”
in 1844, the last pair was beaten to their deaths
and their solitary egg dashed on the rocks of Eldey Island.
Could we not sleep on straw or goose-down?
What dreams are worth such extinction?
And are they dreams I’d wish to own?
The great auk. I love the last two lines of that poem: What dreams are worth such extinction? And are they dreams I’d wish to own? That’s a mantra we should repeat daily, I think.
I.H.T. Op-Ed Contributor – The End of an Era in Publishing – NYTimes.com
And that is the future of publishing: 18 million authors in America, each with an average of 14 readers, eight of whom are blood relatives. Average annual earnings: $1.75.
Flavorwire sought responses to the above op-ed piece in the New York Times. You can find them here.
At D, all hail the iPad | Beyond Binary – CNET News
Dreamworks CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg sang Jobs praises for several minutes, before declaring: “His greatest accomplishment is going to be this tablet.”
“As Steve said last night, there is something indescribable about the connection,” Katzenberg said. “Our children are going to get educated on it. They are going to play on it. They are going to consume more media on that than any other (device).”
Katzenberg said he now only carries his BlackBerry and iPad and not a traditional laptop.
“The laptop is yesterday’s news,” he said.
Comcast COO Steve Burke also sang the device’s praises, saying that his company wants to use it as a better means of navigating through television listings.
“I think the iPad is just extraordinary,” Burke said. “I bring it everywhere I go.”
Update, 1:30 p.m.: The iPad lovefest has continued, with eBay CEO John Donahoe praising the tablet as offering the best eBay experience–even better than the PC Web version.
Meanwhile, FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski said that he recently went on a trip to India and packed his Kindle, iPad and laptop. “I didn’t open my laptop once,” he said.
Daring Fireball Linked List: Adobe Digital Viewer for Magazines
Adobe Systems Incorporated has unveiled a new digital viewer technology that enables print publishers to bring stunning digital versions of their magazines to life. This new publishing software was developed with input from Condé Nast’s Wired magazine, a publication that recently debuted a digital edition for Apple iPad, utilizing the new digital viewer technology. Wired’s June issue Reader application, now available through the Apple iTunes App Store, is built using Adobe’s digital viewer software.
Well, I think it’s another Adobe:Fail. Why?
Daring Fireball Linked List: Wired’s iPad App: Pictures of Text
Joe Clark on the severe shortcomings of Adobe’s “digital viewer technology”, as presented in the Wired magazine iPad app:
There’s no live text, meaning there’s no search. It also means there’s no accessibility on the first computers that are accessible by default if you the developer do no extra work at all. (Follow the spec exactly and your app is accessible right away.) Think of how much effort it takes to blow an opportunity like that.
No copy and paste, either.
One can’t highlight a sentence or a paragraph one wants to file away for personal use. Without being able to select text, for example, what makes the Wired app better than the printed edition, besides saving paper that is.
“What do I think?” Good Customer Service – A. Employee answers the phone, not punch 1,2, or go through all the first few letters of someone name – NOT A RECORDING- Only if it is after hours of normal operation, and the best is that the call is answered by an answering service. B. Take Care of the Customer!!!! Be Thankful that You HAVE A CUSTOMER! GET CUSTOMERS AND KEEP YOUR CUSTOMER!
Possibly, in your situation, of the employee answering the phone and trying to check customers out, the EMPLOYER IS AT FAULT Because if the Employee did not answer the phone call and attempt to check people out, the employer may FIRE THEM.
I know it is difficult sometimes to be patient, be we rarely know, why people do what they do. Well, I only know why I do what I do and yes, God knows also but he accepts unconditionally.
Yes, I get very impatient also and I walk out also but I have been trying to slow down a little.
I take care of my customer that is front of me, and I do not answer the phone to take care of another customer.
Well, you did ask “What do you think?
I think it is really very simple. I worked in retail in Santa Fe – I quit the month NF was released twenty years ago – and a situation like the one I mentioned would occasionally arise. This might happen around noon when some of the other people in the shop were at lunch. If I had to answer a call, while dealing with a customer at the counter, I would head off any lengthy explanation by saying, I am with a customer right now. You can call back later or give me your phone number and I will call you back. There, problem solved. Minimum time spent making the customer in front of me wait for my attention.
Good for you, yes, happened to me this week at lunch, in retail, yes, I did answer the phone,told them I was with a customer, I did return the call, and the best part, the customer in front of me ordered 100 more t-shirts the next day. :-)
That is a great poem. It also makes me think of another awful practice that needs to stop, mountaintop removal mining. Context: http://silashouseblog.blogspot.com/2010/06/sufferings.html .
I’m enjoying everything about POP: of course the music, the links, the look of the CD, the ultra-fast shipping. A great way to kick off the summer.