Your leaking thatched hut during the restoration of a pre-Enlightenment state.


Hello, my name is Judas Gutenberg and this is my blaag (pronounced as you would the vomit noise "hyroop-bleuach").


decay & ruin
Biosphere II
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Irving housing

got that wrong

appropriate tech
Arduino μcontrollers
Backwoods Home
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(nobody does!)

Like my brownhouse:
   hypothetical next big thing
Wednesday, July 11 2007
I read an article this evening in Slate about a new web-based karaoke site. "Ridiculous!" I thought, "Karaoke is an inherently group-based activity, and there is no way to assemble a karaoke audience online." But I was wrong. It is possible, and the fact that it is gets to the essence of the sorts of creative syntheses behind the most intriguing new web communities. Take an activity, any idea, and imagine it on the web, and you have a hypothetical next big thing. Bowling? Horseshoes? Alcoholics Anonymous? Space travel? Sushi dining? High-tech lynchings? Who knows?
The karaoke site is called, and somehow people record their vocals on top of vocal-free audio tracks and they end up available for play on the site, where they can be rated and commented about. As with many web communities, everyone leaves supportive comments no matter how terrible the performances are (and there are some doozies). Aside from its many early-stage "American-Idol-style" thrills, this site is great for someone like me who finds a lot of songs ruined (or just rendered less than what they could otherwise be) by the vocals of the famous vocalist who originally sang them. For example, while Elton John's version is great, I prefer this version of "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road" as sung by "katiepup," a somewhat nasal and reluctant female vocalist whose dog joins her when she sings "Amie." One rarely hears dog backing vocals in conventional karaoke!
The site is obviously new, because there are no songs outside the standard small-town karaoke selection. I looked for the Moody Blue's "Candle of Life" in vain; doesn't even have "Nights in White Satin" yet.

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