That Much-Despised Apple Ad Could Be More Disturbing Than It Looks

Apple has apologized, but like writer Peter C. Baker, I’m not quite ready to let go of that really horrifying ad depicting a roomful of beautifully displayed musical instruments, sound gear, art supplies, and even toys being slowly squashed by a huge hydraulic press (ostensibly to highlight the creative potential of the latest iPad). Picture…

A crushing backlash to Apple’s new iPad ad

Have you seen Apple’s “Crush” ad? It features a huge huge hydraulic press crushing musical instruments, art supplies, google-eyed toys, and other beloved artifacts of imagination and creativity. I remember seeing a video years ago that showed how a smartphone replaced a desktop full of tools like a calculator, notepad, rolodex, and so forth. But…

Geometric shapes, with several embedded figures that could be dancing or raging, occupy the upper left corner of a mostly blank canvas, with streaks that suggest the artist's own interrupted life.

A.I. ‘Completes’ Keith Haring’s Intentionally Unfinished Painting

After learning of his AIDS diagnosis, artist Keith Haring created the work, “Unfinished Painting” (1989), which is mostly a blank canvas, with streaks that evoke his own interrupted, incomplete life. Someone who thought it was “so sad” that the painting was unfinished used AI to “complete what he couldn’t finish.” Needless to say, the bot…

AI generated image that relates in no meaningful way to the content of the page on which it appears.

This is what the techbros are excited about? Really?

Some 2300 years ago in ancient Greece, Plato wrote a dialogue featuring his mentor Socrates, who argued that the ability to churn out the longest written compositions on trivial topics or the shortest compositions on important topics is a shallow skill that has nothing to do with human understanding, much like demonstrating that you can…

The Assignment #StarTrek #DS9 Rewatch (Season 5, Episode 5) Keiko is not herself after a trip to Bajor’s haunted Fire Caves; Rom hopes to impress O’Brien

Rewatching ST:DS9 On a bustling morning in Quark’s, Rom sours his brother’s good mood by ordering human cuisine — O’Brien’s favorite breakfast.  Bashir commiserates after he accidentally killed the plants Keiko entrusted to O’Brien. Little Molly tells her daddy, “You’re in trouble.” Keiko seems strangely unmoved by the news. “They’re just plants.” When Keiko tells…

What Deathbed Visions Teach Us About Living

This is not only powerful material for thought, it’s also compelling storytelling. At the time, only a handful of published medical studies had documented deathbed visions, and they largely relied on secondhand reports from doctors and other caregivers rather than accounts from patients themselves. On a flight home from a conference, Kerr outlined a study…

Nor the Battle to the Strong #StarTrek #DS9 Rewatch (Season 5, Episode 4) Jake Sisko, cub reporter, tests his belief in courage under fire

Rewatching ST:DS9 On an assignment to write a profile on Bashir, budding writer Jake tags along to a medical conference, and nothing really surprising happens. Their casual, character-based banter is not interrupted by a distress call from a colony in desperate need of medical assistance, and no side-quest, custom-tailored to appeal to the people who…

I was ‘raped’ in VR – the effects can ‘mirror’ real sex assaults

This is offensive, deeply troubling, and, sadly, totally predictable. Julian Dibbell documented similar behavior 30 years ago in his article about sexual assault in the text-only virtual world LambaMOO. (Content warning… sexual assault in a multi-user virtual environment.) A woman has revealed she was ‘virtually gang raped’  by four male avatars in Meta‘s Horizon Worlds –…

The Ship #StarTrek #DS9 Rewatch (Season 5, Episode 2) Sisko defends his claim to salvage a Jem’Haddar warship

Rewatching ST:DS9 The Ship On a mineral survey of a planet that just happens to look like Southern California, O’Brien trades playful barbs with crewman Muniz. Unlike most episodes where the leads have all the fun, this mission is fairly crawling with random crew we’ve never seen before. An unidentified ship appears randomly and crashes…

George Joseph Jerz (1933-2023)

George Joseph Jerz, born on September 3rd, 1933, the son of Joseph and Clara (nee Kuta) Jerz, died peacefully in hospice care at Sunrise at Fair Oaks in Fairfax, Virginia on December 5th, 2023. He grew up in Chicago, Illinois, was interested in gymnastics and weightlifting in college, and then after serving in the military,…