November 30, 2008

Atlanta Cyclorama

Before going to the Atlanta airport yesterday and watching an iPhone movie on the flight home, V and I visited the Atlanta Cyclorama. It was a bit weird going to a Civil War exhibit and museum, one that featured several items for sale that were emblazoned with Confederate flags. We were the only Negroes at the 3:30 tour, but some of the workers were also African American. Additionally, while most of the other tourists were White (and many of them had strong Southern accents), I noticed two groups that included Asian Americans, a Spanish-speaking Latino/a family, and a couple that appeared to be Native American. Welcome to the New South!

Posted by wrjacobs at 3:13 PM

iPhone movies

Yesterday I flew back from a Thanksgiving trip down South, and watched Gattaca on my iPhone. Watching a movie one has seen several times before works OK on an iPhone, especially when there is much time to kill; I don't think I'd want to watch something for the first time on it, though.

P.S. I think that Gattaca was one of the first movies to have an elaborate website tie-in: a site where one could design a child, just like in the movie. Unfortunately, the site does not appear to be operational anymore....

Posted by wrjacobs at 2:58 PM

November 24, 2008

football playing Rhodes Scholar

A Florida State University football player has won a Rhodes scholarship. Go 'head on and bust those stereotypes, Brotha!

Posted by wrjacobs at 9:22 PM

November 20, 2008

iPhone apps

Last week I downloaded Shazam for iPhone, an application that identifies music: press record to capture a sample of something you are curious about; sample is sent to a database for identification; results sent back to your phone, including a link to iTunes. This reminded me of an app I thought of a while back that I would love to have, but don't think exists: a service that lets you search movies by scene and/or approximate elapsed time to identify a song, and link to iTunes or something so you can download it. If any iPhone app developers are reading this, get to work!

Posted by wrjacobs at 7:56 PM

November 14, 2008

new car rental fee

Last week I rented a car while in Florida for a conference. The checkout counter guy tried to push a product I'd never heard of before: a "loss of use" insurance policy. I declined, thinking that my normal insurance covered this, as it does all of the other optional insurance coverages hawked by rental agencies. This week I double-checked on this and learned that this item is NOT covered by regular insurance. So just what is loss of use rental car insurance? According to my agent, "If you were to be in an accident with the rental car, then the rental car company would charge you for renting the car while it is being repaired." Frakking Capitalists are vultures, man! What will they think of next?

Posted by wrjacobs at 5:11 PM

November 10, 2008

newspaper quote

I was quoted in a recent University of Minnesota campus newspaper article. The reporter did a good job of capturing one of my comments, but then devoted most of the space in the rest of the article to some haterization. Oh well, one can't win 'em all....

Posted by wrjacobs at 7:29 PM

November 4, 2008

football players busting stereotypes

While waiting in line today to vote I saw one of the current players on the University of Minnesota football team come in. I don't know his name, but I did see the football player ID tag hanging from his backback. This was the second time I've encountered a football player at my polling place; two or three years ago Matt Spaeth (who currently plays in the NFL) rolled in. I saw some other students in line too, of course. Props to them for being civic-minded, but double props to athletes who break stereotypes!

Posted by wrjacobs at 6:28 PM

November 1, 2008

Halloween 2008...or 1958?

Last night a relatively steady stream of trick-or-treaters came through from 6:15 to 8:15. Around 7:00 two 7- or 8-year old White boys rang the bell. One of them was dressed as a Native American "chief" (!). The kid must have noticed the shock on my face, as he didn't say anything and hung back as his brother rushed forward. It flashed in my head to not give the kids any candy, but I realized that it was the idiot parents at fault, not their offspring. I should have gone down to the curb to have a word with their adult handlers....

Posted by wrjacobs at 9:20 AM