Monthly Archives: September 2014

The September Country

It’s that time of the year again.

The time when, while the “regular” world is just starting to notice Halloween on the horizon, I-Mockery has been celebrating it nonstop for an entire month.  Because that’s what the website does every year: try to TAKE OVER THE WOR… I mean, morph into Two Months of Halloween all September and October long.

One of the most venerable survivors from the early Internet (the “I-” is a parody of dot-com names, not Apple products), the website has kept the spirit of a more laid-back and fun era; despite the “mock” in its name (from an era when “using the Internet to make fun of stuff” was novel), its lampoonery has always been good-humored rather than mean-spirited.  The site’s old-school, endearingly clunky design makes it look like a box o’ goodies waiting to be opened.

dorkbot-nyc returns!

dorkbot

Tomorrow, dorkbot makes a glorious return to NYC after a 5-month hiatus!  After a self-dorkbot last month and an, um, non-dorkbot in May in addition to the usual summer break,  the original “people doing strange things with electricity” (“We’re very flexible on the people, strange and electricity parts.”) meeting finally returns for the first time since April with presentations by three longtime regulars (well, four since one is a duo) who have done great presentations in the past (one of who has also made the ultimate icon of revolution, and another who presented at my first meeting!).  Details are in my snazzy flyer.  As I blogged in 2005:

Founded by artist and Columbia University Computer Music Center professor douglas irving repetto, its motto, “People doing strange things with electricity”, gives the impression of what to (un)expect. Its dorky arena includes almost anything within the wide bounds of electronics, including both hardware and software, with a square emphasis on low-budget, do-it-yourself, personal projects. The results are geeky, goofy, technical, off-beat, and as wacky as the presenters’ personal interests; the three presentations of a typical session will have almost nothing in common.

Over the years, hanging out at dorkbot has gotten me quoted on NPR, resulted in my head being fragmentarily visible in a Rocketboom episode (it’s what we used to do on Fridays on the Internet in between cat pictures, young’uns), introduced me to cory arcangel and del.icio.us before they were cool (del.icio.us was cool once, young’uns), and gotten my animated GIF of dorkbot’s logo featured in a successful Kickstarter project.

And the only way to see what a new season will bring is to experience it.

The 42nd Annual Meeting of the Friends of the Modern School this Saturday and modern school week

addams-family-reunion

This Saturday is your chance to head over to New Brunswick, New Jersey (a short walk from the NJ Transit station) and meet some of the alumni of a unique educational experiment.

I’ve been going to these reunions as an interested outsider for a decade now, and have written intermittently about it over the years on my old blog.  But now that I’m making a new start on this blog, and the reunion will be featuring the long-lived-but-overlooked Lakewood modern school one of whose alumni commented on my old blog, and some guy named Martin Scorsese who collaborated with one of the speakers on film preservation has apparently done kind of well lately, and my New Jersey buddy Darian Worden has just posted his own take on the movement’s history, I hereby declare it modern school week!

So stay tuned for a week of writing about all the stuff I’ve wanted to write about the modern school movement but never did.

The End of Summer Halloween Resurrection Day Blogging

Ever since my start as a semi-regular blogger in the old BlogSpot days, whenever I’ve started to notice that I’ve had a longer hiatus from blogging than I realized as a new month is about to roll around, I’ve wanted to get back into gear by posting something, however brief, every single day of the month.  (Yes, this was before microblogging was a thing.)  And then it would be halfway through the month and I’d have nothing up.

But if there’s ever a day worth trying it yet again, it’s a day that’s simultaneously “the end of summer” (in more ways than one), what our chums at I-Mockery reminds us is the official start of Halloween season, and the day I finally realized that it’s actually possible to edit HTML source on WordPress.com rather than have to figure out hosting a real domain to make WordPress usable (but wait, still no <BLINK> tag support?!?).  Let’s hope that I can turn the page on a bleary, frustrating summer season.