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Sorry to be tasteless (not really) but: Terry Schiavo, comedian Mitch Hedberg... and the Pope is sick. The mysterious Death in Threes.

UPDATE: Oh dear. Now the Pope is in a coma. I sure hope he has a living will.

March 31, 2005 at 05:50 PM in Dandy Foppery | Permalink | Comments (7) | TrackBack

ANNOUNCING: Digital Television Blog


Think I have enough blogs? Well think again. Okay, stop thinking and go visit my latest endeavor: Digital Television Blog. I actually started it back in August 2004, but then this wacky documentary got in the way and it sat on the backburner. Now it's back and ready to rock - and hopefully make me a few bucks.

Ironically I haven't actually posted about digital television yet. I've been learning a lot about fun toys like the Sony HDR-FX1 HDV High Definition Camcorder (lust!) and the currently troubled state of high-definition DVD technology. Well, that's actually all I've posted about so far - but I plan to keep up. I've learned a fair amount about digital television from my years in public television, and even produced an enhanced version of Almanac for Zenith ETV settop boxes.

As I hinted, I started this blog both out of geek interest, and because I'm looking for ad revenue. I sure didn't want to start an asbestos blog just to get valuable Google Ads – that would bore me to tears. So far I've enjoyed learning about these technologies and lusting after high-def goodies on Amazon, so hopefully this will be a sweet home-based side gig.

So link me up dudes! Digital Television Blog: Paying for Chuck's booze while he videoblogs.

March 31, 2005 at 05:50 AM in Weblogs | Permalink | Comments (4) | TrackBack




My third vid for videoblogging week 2005. Tuesday night we went to see one of my favorite bands, The Soundtrack Of Our Lives. They rock. They played at a sucky-ass club. Actually the sound is pretty good, but the staff and other offerings are lame. Particularly the asshole manager who tried to take my camera and "detain" me for capturing some footage with my still camera - never mind that there were phone cameras as far as the eye could see doing the same thing. So this video addresses some of the issues and frustrations of idiotic copyright friction. Related links: Lessig: Cameras at Concerts | Smart Mobs: Marc Cohn authorizes fans to record his concerts | Swedish concerts pay-perp-view

March 30, 2005 at 01:01 PM in Videoblogging | Permalink | Comments (7) | TrackBack


Story at 10.

March 30, 2005 at 12:54 PM in Local | Permalink | Comments (4) | TrackBack




My second vid for videoblogging week 2005. I won't make you visit Secret Vlog Injection to watch this time.Have you seen our house? Many of you have. Our house is a hobbit house. Today was very warm and springy in Minneapolis, so I ventured out into the yard. Witness also my time lapse fire skills. Our neighbor gave us some blueberry pie while we were enjoying the fire. Yes, I like our house and our neighborhood very much. It's good for the psyche. Music by Ulrich Schnauss.


March 29, 2005 at 05:18 AM in Videoblogging | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack


I am curious yellow. And green. And blue. And magenta...

This week videobloggers are posting a video every day. It's just the kick in the butt I needed to start posting videos again, which is what I love doing. My introductory splash is inspired by video artist Jeremy Blake and was made with nothing but 5 strips of color. It's called PURE ENERGY and features music by Stars.

What're you waiting for? Pick up a video camera and tape yourself every day this week. I challenge you to be the media. Even once. What've you got to lose? If you don't do it I'll know, and then I'll cry. I'll cry a gushing river of blood and it will be all your fault. Less teevee's, more videobloggers please.

Check out what the other videobloggers have created on mefeedia.

March 28, 2005 at 08:03 AM in Videoblogging | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack


The Long Tail is about to bring us millions of video channels. Already I'm seeing hundreds of new videos put on blogs every week. It's interesting to see what people are doing with their camcorders.

Watch guys like Chuck Olsen. He handed me a DVD at the SXSW conference with his "blogumentary" on it. I watched it for the first time last night. Really great stuff. I can't wait until he finishes it and puts it up for you all to watch.

A full documentary film with dozens of interviews. All done by one guy with a camcorder. Just as good a quality as the main stream media TV stations do. In fact, better quality than they do in almost all the markets except for maybe New York and California.

One guy (or girl, for that matter). With a camcorder. With one viewer. That's how markets change. Long tail style.

I just can't wait to see what happens next.

Woo-hoo! Amen Brother Scoble. I'm tickled by his compliments, but more importantly excited that he's such a proponent of videoblogging. He's keenly aware of the impending media shift. Yes, this could be huge. Let's kick things off with VIDEOBLOGGING WEEK 2005.

I almost don't have the heart to tell Scobleizer that Blogumentary actually is finished. But - I need to make a copyright-friendly version that I can release online, where it can be free and evolve amongst the people.

I also got a chance to direct Scoble to the Better Life Blog, as we had his business blogging advice in mind when we created it.

Special thanks to well-connected gentleman Paul Mooney, who introduced me to Scoble at SXSW. (Happy belated blogiversary!)

March 27, 2005 at 09:59 PM in Blogumentary, Videoblogging | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack


And Happy 100th episode Rocketboom!

March 27, 2005 at 02:06 PM in Personal Crap | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack


I just did an interview about Jeff Weise's online postings with Minnesota Public Radio reporter Lorna Benson. Here's her article from yesterday. I'll post audio here if I can catch the piece. (Thanks, Mike!)

MPR.ORG: Jeff Weise's enigmatic Internet persona article and RealAudio.

The piece quotes me as saying "Weise seemed to have a lot of different online identities, and he seemed to reveal different parts of himself to different communities online." I will now summon my blog power to expand on that. BLOG POWER ACTIVATE!

In essense, I said it's natural to reveal different parts of yourself in different online forums. In person you probably don't reveal all of yourself to someone, not knowing how they might react to some of your interests. But online, you can find a community of people who share that interest (say, creepy dolls or umm... Nazis) and you know it's a safe place to talk. We all have multifaceted identities, perhaps more than any one person ever knows.

March 25, 2005 at 02:53 PM in Media | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack


Jeff Weise didn't look like a deranged killer, but apparently he saw himself that way.

We may never know what exactly drove Jeff Weise to kill 9 people and take his own life on the Red Lake Indian Reservation, but there sure is a lot of speculation. Inevitably talk turns to violence in our culture, particularly video games like Grand Theft Auto. Apparently there are reports that Weise was a gamer. I don't doubt that immersive games can blur the line between reality and fantasy — heck, who doesn't want to run stuff over after playing GTA for too long?

But Weise's trail of internet links tells the story of a very disturbed and unstable individual, regardless of what games he played.

For starters, his Yahoo profile:

Yikes. There's much more:

  • Weise's LiveJournal, Thoughts of a Dreamer
  • The Smoking Gun has posted Weise's violent shooting spree Flash animation: 'Regret'
  • Nazi bulletin board postings
  • Many posts to the paranormal/conspiracy forum abovetopsecret.com talking about his strange dreams, National Socialism, guns, and more - summarized here (try these threads), here and here.
  • MSN bio and zombie forum bio

    I hope we can learn something from all of this, but my fear is an overblown and meaningless backlash against goth/metal/game culture. If we took away Jeff Weise's Grand Theft Auto, in the context of his entire fucked up life, would it have changed anything? For all we know, it'd have only made him angrier.

    This zombie forum has the most hilarious final word: I'm appealing to the goths out there...please...if you're going to go on a murderous rampage...wear a teal aligator shirt that day, some kakhi's, maybe some loafers. [...] Oh.. and while you're at it.. be sure to start a webjournal about how Martha Stewart is causing you to do this.. get rid of your x-box, and any heavy metal albums you have, at LEAST several months in advance. [quotes from "deadguy" and "Zombie-A-GoGo"]

    FBI to examine traits of teen gunman
    Knight Ridder Newspapers

    RED LAKE, Minn. - (KRT) - As FBI agents piece together the tragedy of the Red Lake school shootings, they will compile a psychological post-mortem of Jeffrey Weise, the assailant, to see how similar he was to "school shooters" before him.

    Authorities trying to compile the dossier on Weise, 16, knew at least this much on Tuesday: He was a loner, sometimes ostracized by his classmates because of his size; he had a troubled and tragic family history, he had difficulties in school; he spent a fair amount of time online, some of it at a neo-Nazi Web site's discussion forum.

    But Michael Tabman, the FBI's agent in charge of the Minneapolis office, said Tuesday authorities had not established a motive for the shootings, The Associated Press reported. Investigators said they did not know if there had been some kind of confrontation between Weise and his grandfather, who, with the grandfather's companion, were Weise's first victims.

    In 2000, a year after the shootings at Columbine High School, the FBI published a two-year study of 18 school shootings. The researchers found the assailants tended to share 28 personal traits, six family attributes, seven school traits and five social traits.

    Chief among the 28 personal traits the assailants tended to share was something known as "leakage," described as intentional or unintentional actions that reveal feelings, thoughts, fantasies or other clues "that may signal an impending violent act." Such clues include threats, boasts or predictions, the report said.

    In a post to a National Socialist Web site's discussion forum last April, Weise wrote, "By the way, I'm being blamed for a threat on the school I attend because someone said they were going to shoot up the school on 4/20, Hitlers birthday, and just because I claim being a National Socialist, guess whom they've pinned?"

    He never denies that he made the threat, but five weeks later he wrote, "... the school threat passed and I was cleared as a suspect, I'm glad for that."

    Leakage also could be exhibited in the recurrent themes that show up in a student's writings or artwork. Classmates said Weise drew comic books with frightening drawings of people shooting each other, as well as zombies. Many of the figures he drew wore German Wehrmacht officer hats.

    Other personal traits the FBI found include a low tolerance for frustration, poor coping skills, depression, alienation, a sense of superiority, masking of low self-esteem, a lack of empathy, intolerance, an exaggerated sense of entitlement, refusal to take responsibility for one's actions and problems managing anger.

    Weise exhibited several of those traits in a post to the neo-Nazi site last May:

    "You encounter a lot of hostility when you claim to be a National Socialist, but because of my size and appearance people don't give me much trouble as they would if I looked weak," he wrote. "I already had a fist fight with a communist not to long ago over me being what I am (I also won), but it was worth it."

    The FBI found that the families of student assailants tended to exhibit six common traits. They included a turbulent parent-child relationship, the parents' acceptance of pathological behavior, lack of intimacy, no limits or monitoring of TV or Internet use, access to weapons and a dominance in the household.

    Again, Weise's life seemed to incorporate several of those traits. He lived with his grandparents because his father committed suicide and his mother was, until Tuesday, in a Minneapolis nursing home because of head injuries suffered in a car accident. His grandfather - who was among Weise's victims - was a member of the tribal police department, and the FBI has said the youth used his grandfather's firearms in his assault on the school.

    And there appeared to be few limits on the hours Weise spent online. Time-dated entries to the forum the teen frequented show him making lengthy posts at all hours of the day - 12:09 a.m., 2:43 p.m., 11:33 a.m., 2:27 a.m., 4:39 a.m.

    The FBI's Tabman acknowledged "there could be some clues" in Weise's Internet messages, according to The Associated Press. He said the investigation does include looking at Weise's Internet activity.

    Among the school traits was a "detachment" from school, the school's tolerance of disrespectful behavior, inequitable discipline, "inflexible culture," and teachers and staff giving some students more prestige and respect than other students.

    Because of unspecified problems, Weise wasn't allowed at the school and was part of a program in which a school tutor came to his home.

    The FBI found that among the social dynamics shared by the school assailants were easy and unmonitored access to violent movies, television, video games and Internet sites; use of drugs and alcohol; a peer group that accepts his behavior; and his interests outside of school.

    Weise was a frequent visitor to an Internet forum called "Rise of the Dead," a site where people collaborate to write stories about zombies. Writing under the name "Blades11," he wrote this in his biographical profile:

    "I'm a fan of zombie films, have been for years, as well as fan of horror movies in general. I like to write horror stories, read about Nazi Germany and history, and someday plan on moving out of the US."

    The FBI study said attempts to identify the next would-be school gunman by coming up with a profile was near impossible. "This may sound like a reasonable preventative measure, but in practice, trying to draw up a catalogue or `checklist' of warning signs to detect a potential school shooter can be shortsighted, even dangerous," the report said.

    The reason: "Such lists, publicized by the media, can end up unfairly labeling many nonviolent students as potentially dangerous or even lethal. In fact, a great many adolescents who will never commit violent acts will show some of the behaviors or personality traits included on the list."


    © 2005, Saint Paul Pioneer Press (St. Paul, Minn.).

    March 24, 2005 at 03:38 AM in Local, Weblogs | Permalink | Comments (30) | TrackBack