Archive for May, 2006

Links for 2006-05-17

Wednesday, May 17th, 2006

Links for 2006-05-16

Tuesday, May 16th, 2006

Links for 2006-05-15

Monday, May 15th, 2006

Campaign songs

Sunday, May 14th, 2006

For your weekend listening pleasure, some Hungarian political campaign music. I had meant to blog about this a few weeks ago during the elections (it’s just one of about a dozen posts I haven’t managed to get around to recently), but it’s not as though it’s any less relevant now.

The song was written explicitly for the Hungarian Socialist Party‘s campaign in the recent parliamentary elections. I like it – it’s reminiscent of Hungarian pop/covertly political songs from the 1970s. I didn’t like it the first time I listened to it, but got pretty hooked the second time. I wonder if it’s at all of interest if you do not understand the language and/or are not familiar with the style. (No need to get into how unique the style is, maybe it’s not, but it still reminds me of lots of Hungarian songs from a while ago, songs that don’t tend to make it to the Billboard charts despite being quite good.)

The most commonly recurring words are “igen”, which means “yes” and “Magyarország”, which means “Hungary”. The bottom of the page suggests that the song was also made available as a ring tone for cell phones, which seems like an interesting idea.

So what are other exampes of political campaigns creating their own songs? I can think of campaigns adopting songs for their purposes and playing them at victory time, but those songs weren’t written for the campaigns explicitly. Bonus points if you can link to the examples.

Links for 2006-05-14

Sunday, May 14th, 2006

Links for 2006-05-13

Saturday, May 13th, 2006

Links for 2006-05-12

Friday, May 12th, 2006

Beyond Broadcast

Friday, May 12th, 2006

Berkman in Second Life
Today (Friday), the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at the Harvard Law School is hosting a conference on Reinventing Public Media in a Participatory Culture. In addition to the face-to-face discussions, the conference is also integrating digital media in neat ways for participation by those who can’t be at the meeting physically. For example, there is a Berkman Island (including a 3D replica of the Ames Courtroom at the Harvard Law School) in Second Life. If you get a chance, come join us, it looks like there will be some very interesting presentations and discussions.

Recent travel

Thursday, May 11th, 2006

If you’re even just a semi-regular visitor to this blog, you will have likely noticed the lack of action around here. Here is a bit of update about what’s been going on and some pictures in case you’re curious for a visual recap.

I have been on the road a LOT in the past few weeks and will continue to travel quite a bit in the coming weeks. And as if things weren’t busy enough, my laptop’s hard drive decided to give up service a couple of weeks ago so that’s made things even more insane than usual. More on that later.

For now, a rundown of recent events with links to related photos.

Three weeks ago I was in New York for an NSF-sponsored meeting at NYU about creating a research network for people doing work in Social Informatics. It was a small group made up of really neat folks whose work I admire so it was a Saturday well spent. More on that as things progress.

I stayed at the Washington Square Hotel (it’s rare that I stay at a hotel when visiting NYC) and got to take part in an unrelated event, my friend Marcy’s birthday celebrations. Pictures from this trip are here.

Next, I boarded a plane on early Sunday morning (Apr 9th) to participate in the Santa Barbara Forum on Digital Transitions. Luckily, I got upgraded to business class, which was very helpful given that I was in the midst of a 6-day 4-stop trip.

The meeting turned out well and I plan to be writing about it in more detail as soon as things calm down. Santa Barbara is beautiful so it was nice to have the opportunity to visit. Pictures from this trip are here.

Next came a talk in the Information Science speaker series at Cornell. My last trip to Ithaca was 15 years ago when I participated in the Cornell Summer College Program. It was great to be back. There are numerous folks on campus who do work related to my interests so it was a really fun and engaging visit. See photos here.

In the meantime, I’ve also been to Princeton twice and will be returning again as I’m reinterviewing my dissertation respondents. But I’ll post about that some other time.

The Beauty Academy of Kabul

Thursday, May 11th, 2006

A few weeks ago I saw the documentary The Beauty Academy of Kabul and wanted to recommend it as I thought it was a very interesting film. It’s playing now in a few U.S. cities and will continue to show up in a few others over the summer. (Just click on “Where to see it” on the flash page.)

A small group of American women (a couple of them immigrants from Afghanistan) decided to open up a beauty school in Kabul to train local women about their craft. (It turns out that most of these Afghani women had already been pursuing this line of work previously, but they had not received any training in a while.)

The film does a nice job of giving some historical context starting with footage from the 70s about life in Kabul and the introduction winding up with images of all the destruction on Kabul’s streets today. It is really fascinating to see the transformation. The focus is mainly on day-to-day life, a perspective we don’t usually get to see much.

The movie seems to be very honest about portraying various sides of the parties involved. Although the American women go into all this with a reasonably open mind, not surprisingly they remain naive about the local women’s lives. This comes through clearly in the footage, there does not seem to be any attempt at making them seem more sophisticated or in-touch than they are. The toughest parts, for me, were the heart-wrenching realizations about the situation of women in Afghanistan today, regardless of certain changes.

It’s a bummer that films like this don’t get wider distribution. If you happen to be in one of the few towns where it’s playing, I recommend checking it out.

Links for 2006-05-11

Thursday, May 11th, 2006

Links for 2006-05-06

Saturday, May 6th, 2006

Links for 2006-05-04

Thursday, May 4th, 2006

Links for 2006-05-02

Tuesday, May 2nd, 2006

Links for 2006-05-01

Monday, May 1st, 2006