Watching the secret footage of the funeral of Korean dictator Kim Jong-il has an eerie Cold War feel to it. While the footage is certainly better than what James Bond might have shot with a camera embedded in a shoe or ball point pen, the snow, the huge military presence and the 1970s-era Lincoln Continentals are all reminders of the not-so-distant past.
The New York Times points out that it’s odd to see the body of Kim Jong-il transported on a vehicle made by his sworn enemy – the USA. Car aficionados were quick to pounce on the video and photos like this one with their opinions of make and model. Perhaps a 1975 or 1976 model, brought in through China – North Korea’s largest trading partner. (Read more at Backflashes)
(Photo credit: Associated Press)
By making a shift to the opposite side of the International Dateline, the archipelago of Samoa will now join Australia and New Zealand in being a day ahead of the United States.
The change will be made by canceling Friday, December 30. Samoans will go to bed this Thursday night and wake up on Saturday morning, December 31. At the end of the day, Samoa will be the first place to welcome 2012 instead of one of the last.
According to CNN, Samoan prime minister Tuilaepa Sa’ilele Malielegaoi has said the shift to the eastern side of the dateline would put the Pacific island nation of some 180,000 people on the same footing as its key trading partners in New Zealand and Australia, taking advantage of those economies links to China and the Pacific Rim.
Currently, Samoa is 21 hours behind Australia and 23 behind New Zealand. Sunday in Samoa has been Monday in these two countries and Friday has been Saturday. With the dateline shift, Samoa will be 1 hour ahead of New Zealand and three ahead of Australia.
The dateline shift is not the first change Samoa has made to keep up with the Aussies and Kiwis. CNN reports that “Two years ago the government switched to driving on the left so that expat Samoans in Australia and New Zealand could send used cars home to their relatives.”
Source: CNN International edition, “Samoa to go back to the future with dateline shift.”
Last month I indulged in one of my guilty pleasures and bought a bunch of CDs at my local music store, which also happens to be the best music store in the world – Amoeba Music , the one on San Francisco’s Haight Street. For $28 (plus tax) you can get a pretty good haul at Amoeba, which specializes in selling and trading “previously owned” CDs, DVDs, videos and vinyl. That day I scored five discs – Booker Ervin (“The Freedom Book” – $1.99), Grant Green (“Idle Moments” – $3.99), Norah Jones (“Come Away with Me” – $9.99) and a compilation called “Night Train to Nashville: Music City Rhythm & Blues, 1945-1970” (a double album! – $11.99).
The usual routine is to come home and rip my new CDs to my iTunes account, but on that particular day I remembered we had this device hooked up to the big, flat screen in the living room. Once upon a time we played DVDs on this thing, before streaming came into our lives, and it could also play CDs – five of them as a matter of fact. I put the CDs in, pushed and punched a lot of buttons, and then I puttered around the house for the next four-plus hours listening to albums in their entirety. (Read the rest on OpenSalon.com)
When I was a kid growing up in Connecticut, we didn’t have a fireplace. But we did have Channel 11, WPIX, which my father always had on at some point on Christmas Eve for the Yule Log.
Nothing was more cheesy than the Mormon Tabernacle Choir singing “O Tannenbaum” over the crackles of the Yule Log. While the Yule Log blazed away – it never actually stopped blazing and became an ember, or smoldered along like a real fire would – the carols merrily carried on. Soon we would open presents, my parents would have a few eggnogs and someone would change the channel.
Now I live in California and I have a fireplace, but I hadn’t thought of the Yule Log in years. Until last night. That’s when I found out that San Francisco and the entire Bay Area would be under a Spare the Air lockdown for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Suddenly I wanted a fire for the holidays and couldn’t believe I couldn’t light one. Suddenly, I recalled those Christmases in Connecticut and the Yule Log and thought – there must be an app for that!
There is – in fact, there are several. I logged onto the iTunes store and found the iYuleLog for my iPad. It was free. While the audio choices that promised me a crackling fire, babbling brook or some original music by someone named Amber Snider didn’t work, the various fire selections did. When we get tired of the traditional fireplace Yule Log tomorrow we can switch to a Napa ranch campfire or a wood burning stove (also both banned in real-life under the Spare the Air regulations).
Fun with my iPhone 4S and the Quick Lomo Pro app on a photo stroll through San Francisco’s Haight-Ashbury.
What are people talking about online this week? Kim Jong-Il, the Dear Departed Leader of North Korea, who left this world for that big dictatorship in the sky last Saturday. By Tuesday there were at least two Tumblr microblogs competing on the social networks in the LOL department – “Kim Jong-Il Liked to Look at Things” and “Kim Jong-Il Dropping the Bass” (which superimposes the dictator in deejay booths around the globe). Check them out over at the Online Media Roundup, along with “Is Ryan Gosling Cuter than a Puppy?”
The Tumblr blog craze can mean one of two things – or both. It’s the week before Christmas and while many people sit at their computers pretending to be working, they’re really not and/or microblogging, and Tumblr in particular, has really caught on. It’s not cited as one of the “Six Social Media Trends for 2012”, but perhaps that’s an oversight. Also not cited, but one we predict will continue to grow is “Video Chat Reshapes Domestic Rituals”. A story in the New York Times highlighted a family celebrating Hanukkah together from three different locations. Pregnant women, however, are leading the trend – being honored at virtual baby showers, announcing the sex of their child to up to 27 family members online at once and even allowing grandparents to “virtual babysit” an older sibling while pregnant Mommy puts her feet up and lets Daddy make a run for some chicken soup.
What else are people talking about online this week?
- American Idol runner-up Adam Lambert and his Finnish reality star boyfriend were arrested in a domestic dispute outside a Helsinki gay bar
- Suri Cruise threw a tantrum in a New York City toy store and passersby duly recorded it on their cell phones
- The 2012 Super Bowl will be live streamed – meaning anyone with a Verizon account can watch the big game on their cell phone when they’re supposed to be working…or driving
- Jon Bon Jovi was reported dead for about 5 minutes, only to be “out-hoaxed” by a viral video claiming Facebook was really part of the CIA
- A Saudi Prince invested $300 million in Twitter, and
- How the co-founder of FourSquare chills on Sundays is profiled in the New York Times – damn, he’s cool.
How was your week? If it was any less exciting than this, then what are you waiting for? Head over to the Online Media Roundup and join the digital conversation.