grand finale

i thought that it was maybe an april fool’s joke, but kevin and sutter, the superest team have sadly put away their pens and laid their amazing blog to rest.

completely devastating. and completely understandable.
i’m sure they’ve gone on to do the superest of things. maybe they had a hand in the awesomeness that is kick-ass. or not.

either way, thanks to them, for making my day over the last few years.

ps. this blog turned 4 years old last friday. whee!

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death 2.0


it’s time to talk about death again.

ok, so i happen to have an exhibition about death and magic coming up soon, but this post was primarily sparked by the experience of a friend and the recent passing of JG Ballard. this friend, whom i happen to know IRL, but only because i first knew him online – through our blogs, friend’s blogs and the early, heady days twitter (where we blogged about having cups of tea, and no-one used tiny.url).

anyway, i had been in email contact with john while he was in new york and not long after he returned and in it he mentioned that his mum was quite ill – she’d fallen whilst he was away and was back in hospital. it was more serious than her previous long-term illness had been.

i didn’t hear anything for a while, figured that everything was going OK, although he was strangely absent from some of the usual online blagging and there were some cryptic ‘take care’ kind of comments flying around on other blogs, but nothing all that clear.

then, last week, in a blog post about bureaucracies and customer service, he slipped in an innocuous line “i had to register a death the other day”…

now, being a maths whiz, i put 2 and 2 together and emailed him. we spoke and i got the full story about his mum’s death. i was shocked and saddened. and, unsurprisingly, i felt quite powerless and that i should have known what happened somehow.

in our discussion about it, we spoke about death and how announcing death within the digital social realm doesn’t have any etiquette yet. it’s easy to celebrate people’s weddings, announce the birth/conception of your first child, birthdays, parties – all other kinds of social rituals and customs – except death. i’m yet to see a facebook tag of people at the funeral. including the dead guy. [blogging about the end of your own terminal illness seems to be ok, but not so that of others’]

announcing the death of your loved ones on your blog, or as a facebook update/tweet is still a bit, well, rank. but how do you notify people who are now friends with you primarily through these means. we’ve all got permission now to be friends with people just in binary form, but how are the more complex or intimate elements of friendship broached?

i thought about emailing the people who i knew, mutual friends, to let them know that doddsy’s mum had died (because he sure as hell didn’t want to) – but then i kind of chickened out. i guess this post will let a couple of people know, so that they can be there as a support, but what of the rest of his friends?

and of course, with that line of questioning came the inevitable, self-centered question of ‘what if i die?’. who will notify all you guys? who is going to set up the ‘lauren is permanently out of the office’ auto-responder on my emails? i have left my mother a list of passwords to some of my accounts, so that, should she be the one who has to do it, she has access to some of that information. but will she even want to do that? in the future, will there be a section on our last will and testament, outlining the online social activity which will need to cease and the accompanying passwords?

just say we’ve all accepted the future of social interaction will include twitter, facebook, blogs, flickr and probably a bunch of other cool/necessary sites, how do we continue to accept the fact that we are humans participating in a social forum, which includes the incredibly anti-social business of dying?

UPDATE: since i wrote this, i’ve seen The Satorialist post that his dad has died recently, and Dan The Man let us know that his granddad died. Times, they are a-changing.

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memetic dancing*

ok, so i know i recently did a meme thing. and in it i tagged age. well, instead of doing that meme, he flipped it, made his own thing up and tagged me back. crafty little bastard 🙂

so, the aim is to track your year, based on what you’ve been listening to – or at least what new stuff you’ve added to your itunes in the last 12 months:

New Smart Playlist
Match the following rule
Date Added
Is After
Limit to 30
Selected by most played often
Live Updating

funnily enough, i didn’t actually add a whole bunch of new music this year. this year, my music was quite frugal, mostly nostalgic, full of mix-tape goodness and love. a bit of an insight into the kinds of comfort i sought this year.

also interesting to note (well, interesting to me) that my music taste was largely rated on what sounds good while riding a bike. i listen to a lot of music while riding, even though i usually only get to hear about 5 songs in a trip. i discovered the joy of ipod’s on-the-go playlists in the last month and that, kids, is where your insight is..

anyway, below is a snapshote of how my year looked, itunes-wise. note the top song. heh.

[click to enlarge]

and to add to the mix, here’s my blip playlist.

sending it back the other way, i’d love to see the lists of:
miss jones – ‘cos that girl is a fiend when it comes to fine taste
stan j – his midday tweets are already on fire, and
marcus – the blip cast he did during the year was amazing and anyway, he just rocks.

* title pinched from paul colman’s made-up plannery phrase thing from life in the middle.

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my favourite secret to date

i don’t know if it’s quite as good as it used to be, but i still read postsecret. this one was in the mix yesterday and i think it’s my favourite one to date – the perfect start to a week and a nice little antidote to all that schmaltz about love 🙂

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everyone is shit, except you love. part 2

my dearest friend in the whole world is an environmentalist. her adorable partner is a racing car driver. somehow they share common ground when it comes to the ethical dealings of government and business regarding issues of environmental sustainability. here’s an email he sent her that is not only relevant to our current climate, but so goddamn cute.

[originally posted on her blog, but i just had to reproduce it. they will both be mortified. sorry sar.]

“As I am always suggesting, this constant chasing of the perfect fix to saving the environment by changing the type or source of the fuel we use is simply marketing crap. V8 Supercars Australia are changing from 5% ethanol mixed fuel to an 85% ethanol based version for its Racing Green program to become more carbon-neutral.

The result of this change is that the cars will use 25-30% more fuel as ethanol burns much hotter and therefore more rapidly. Another problem is that although ethanol produces much less carbon dioxide ethanol blended fuels produce much more nitric oxide due to the higher burn temperature. Nitric Oxide is also harmful to the environment so is this all a matter of moving the problem from one source to another as I have indicated all along. As you know I am one for making change but only when there is real benefits from the change, not marketing cover ups.

The other problem is not the output from the engines but the sourcing of ethanol based fuels, how much goes into producing this stuff including the clearing of land for crops, the cultivation of crops, the water used to obtain the crops (reducing another of our precious resources), etc.

Anyway, I just thought I would get that one off my chest as too many companies (including V8 Supercars) are full of shit about making changes to protect the environment with programs such as ethanol and carbon offsets etc. If everyone planted a tree for all the carbon offsets we would not have any land left for houses, roads, crops, picnic grounds and footy ovals. I don’t yet know the answer but I do know that everyone is crap (except for you).”

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