5/26/08

Artist in Residence @ San Francisco Dump


I'm so impressed that there is an artist in residence at the actual San Francisco Waste and Recycling center (or something to that affect). When I first saw some pictures at Laughing Squid I thought he was referring to a gallery called "Dump".

5/21/08

word of the day - Neologism

A neologism is a word, term, or phrase that has been recently created (or "coined"), often to apply to new concepts, to synthesize pre-existing concepts, ...

5/5/08

Teen describes role in MySpace hoax

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MSNBC.com

Teen describes role in MySpace hoax
Says mother of a friend was more active in the ruse than she has admitted
The Associated Press
updated 6:24 p.m. PT, Tues., April. 1, 2008

DARDENNE PRAIRIE, Mo. - A teenager involved in an Internet hoax blamed for a 13-year-old girl's suicide said Tuesday that the mother of a friend was more active in the ruse than she has admitted.

Ashley Grills told ABC's "Good Morning America" that Lori Drew called it "a good idea" when Grills and Drew's daughter suggested communicating with Megan Meier over the Internet to see what Megan was saying about the daughter, a former friend.

Megan, of the suburban St. Louis town of Dardenne Prairie, hanged herself in October 2006, after mean-spirited online comments from what she thought was a boy she had befriended, "Josh Evans" and others. The boy was fictional.

Grills, 19, said she created a false MySpace profile of Josh Evans and even found a picture of a good-looking boy to use. But she said Lori Drew wrote some of the messages to Megan.

Drew's family previously said in a statement that Lori Drew was aware of the MySpace comments to Megan, but didn't send them or direct anyone to send them.

Drew's attorney, Jim Briscoe, did not return a phone message left Tuesday by The Associated Press. Grills did not have a listed phone number, and no one answered the door at her home Tuesday evening when the AP tried to get comment.

Megan's story drew international attention when a newspaper first reported details late last year.

At first, "Josh" flirted online with Megan, but eventually the messages turned mean. Grills told "Good Morning America" that she wrote the message that the "world would be a better place without you" that was sent to Megan, who committed suicide not long afterward.

Grills said the message was aimed at ending the online relationship because she felt that the joke had gone too far.

"I was trying to get her angry so she would leave him alone and I could get rid of the whole MySpace," Grills said.

Grills said she tried to commit suicide in the wake of Megan's death. She said she rarely leaves her house.

Drew has been villified by many in her community since news of Megan's suicide became public. Prosecutors have declined to file charges in Missouri, though several communities have either adopted laws, or are considering measures, to penalize Web-based harassment.

The Los Angeles Times has reported that federal prosecutors are considering charging Drew with defrauding MySpace for the false account used to communicate with Megan. ABC News reported that Grills had been granted immunity in exchange for testimony in California.

Thom Mrozek, spokesman for the U.S. attorney's office in Los Angeles, told The Associated Press on Tuesday he could not comment.

URL: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/23908375/


© 2008 MSNBC.com

Teenage Online Behavior | MSNBC | 4.29.2008

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MSNBC.com

Growing up online: Is your teen baring all?
Coming of age in the wired world is entirely different from what you knew
By Dr. Laura Berman
TODAYShow.com contributor
updated 9:49 a.m. PT, Tues., April. 29, 2008

Sexual experimentation has always been a part of adolescence, but in previous years it was confided to games of Spin the Bottle or Seven Minutes in Heaven. However, thanks to the Internet and the development of recent technology like camera phones, a new generation of teens is experimenting with sexuality in a whole new way.

Their first forays into sexuality no longer occur on a small scale within a circle of peers, but on a very large one, such as on MySpace and Facebook. From racy pictures posted on these online social networks to sexy photos being sent on camera phones, teens are making their first sexual decisions with an audience of thousands.

Even Disney star Miley Cyrus has received a barrage of press lately for photos that have surfaced on the Web which feature her in flirtatious poses. (Get the scoop here.) How can parents monitor this new wave of sexual experimentation and keep their kids safe from online predators or other serious consequences?

Talk to your teens
What seems like innocent fun to your teenager is actually potentially dangerous. Not only do online predators surf the Web for vulnerable teens, but racy photos can serve to harm your teenager’s reputation. Many teenage girls see sexy photos as something harmless and totally innocent — after all, most of them have no intention of carrying out sexual acts with anyone in the audience. However, by displaying pictures such as these, they are opening themselves up for attack and potentially putting themselves at risk, not just from strangers, but from people in their own peer groups who might not understand the pictures are just for show.

Realize there truly is a generation gap
Teenagers develop much more quickly from a physical standpoint than they do from a mental standpoint. In fact, the frontal cortex (which is the part of the brain responsible for judgment and decision making) doesn’t completely develop until after adolescence. Therefore, teenagers are awash in burgeoning hormones and newly developed bodies, but they do not yet have all of the mental tools that adults have to regulate decision making.

This isn’t to say that teenagers are not smart and capable beings, but they do not have the life experience and brain development that adults have. This makes them more likely to make impulsive or rash decisions. But in the past, these decisions weren’t on display on the Internet for thousands to access. However, now that the Internet is part of almost every American teenager’s life, we need to find ways to address this new trend of adolescent sexual experience. The Internet is not going away any time soon, and neither is MySpace or the iPhone, so adults have to find ways to bridge this generation gap and warn teens about the dangers and responsibilities associated with this new technology.

Acknowledge their maturity
One of the biggest mistakes parents can make is not letting their teenagers have some form of freedom and right to self-expression. Although they are not adults yet, they still need some room to grow and make their own mistakes. It can be extremely helpful for parents to talk about this issue with their teens and play out the potential consequences. Acknowledge how much fun it is to flirt and how exciting it feels to realize others find you attractive. But if you send off a sexy picture to a friend, what would happen if they send it on to 30 others? What would be the reaction? How would he or she feel? Help guide them through the decision-making process and lend them your own frontal lobe function without the judgement.

We can monitor our teens' behavior to make sure they are behaving safely, but after a certain point, they still need a little bit of breathing room. By keeping the communication lines open and letting them know that they can always come to you with questions and concerns, you can help your teen safely monitor the new trend of growing up online.

Even though the platform is new, teenagers still face many of the same battles that we did during our own teenage years. Teens today have the same questions about sex, body image and self-expression that we did, and they are seeking the same acceptance that we were. Let’s help guide them through this process with patience and a watchful eye.

Dr. Laura Berman is the director of the Berman Center in Chicago, a specialized health care facility dedicated to helping women and couples find fulfilling sex lives and enriched relationships. She is also an assistant clinical professor of OB-GYN and psychiatry at the Feinberg School of Medicine at Northwestern University. She has been working as a sex educator, researcher and therapist for 18 years.

URL: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/24356473/


© 2008 MSNBC.com

Great New Twitter Research / Entertainment Reviews Tool


Summize lets you search on a word and it brings up the recent tweets which has that word. It also offers "Trending Topics" which let you know which topics are hot at that particular moment. It's just one of a family of products from the Summize labs. Others are Realtime Sentiment where you input a word and the program reports how those talking about that subject feel about the word. For instance I put in "love" and it reported that the prevalent attitude toward this word was "great" (the highest grade). I put in "hate crimes" and the attitude was wretched, the worst grade.

Reviews, potentially very interesting, it summarizes attitudes and opinions from millions upon millions of comments throughout the web. (47,056,81 at this particular time). You can query for movies, books, music and interesting data magically appears. This is the search result for Madonna it provides opinions on all her products and even shows which bloggers are talking about her the most. Blogger Trends is another way of parsing the review data. It's like a techmeme for entertainment only done automatically which is fairer and while the numbers of sentiments look small, the results look fairly representative. And finally you can find reviews on the iPhone.

New eMarketer Study - User Generated Content


eMarketer projects that by 2012, 50% of the online population or 108.5 million people will be creating UGC (User Generated Content). This includes audio, photos, personal blogs, personal web sites, online bulletin board postings, personal profiles in social networks or virtual worlds and / or customer reviews on sites like Yelp!

The full report costs $695 and is available at eMarketer.