Merlin

Image

I’m delighted to see that season four of Merlin is making good on the promise of the show.

I love the Arthurian tales. Their telling is like pizza — good, even when it’s bad. Not that there’s anything wrong with the first three seasons — on the contrary, there is much there to love and admire.

But toward the end of the third season, the show really seemed to find its legs with the coming together of the round table. No doubt the good people who bring us the series realized they have a hit on their hands.

Now the story is going from strength to strength — with verve, sweep, and romance … and magic!

Good for them. Good for us.

____________

PS,

O, drat — they’ve cancelled the series.

____________

 Merlin @ BBC 1

Advertisements

Surfing, the future: 2

The Channel Wire
August 27, 2008

Mozilla Labs has opened its doors again to share its ingenuity with the rest of the Web. Looking for a way to change the way we browse, Mozilla Labs has launched Ubiquity, a visual interface that plugs into Firefox, Mozilla’s open source browser, and may change the way users interact with the Web.

It’s still a little early in Ubiquity’s life to call it a game changer, but there are some promising elements in place.

Writing on the Mozilla Labs blog, Aza Raskin lays out the plan for Mozilla’s Ubiquity. “Today we’re announcing the launch of Ubiquity, a Mozilla Labs experiment into connecting the Web with language in an attempt to find new user interfaces that could make it possible for everyone to do common Web tasks more quickly and easily,” wrote Raskin.

Right now adding a map to an email requires you to go to an online map service, type in an address, copy the link and paste it into the email for the recipient to click on and peruse. Ubiquity changes that approach. By installing Ubiquity on a machine with Firefox, users can open the Ubiquity window, type in the address they are looking for, insert the image into an email message and send it along.

Not satisfied with just the map? Maybe you want to attach a review of the restaurant where a group of friends are meeting up? Ubiquity can search Yelp and attach the review to the same email. Now all the information the recipient needs is on hand and in one message.

Currently, Ubiquity is only compatible with Gmail. And that’s just one example of what Ubiquity can do. Google searches, Wikipedia searches, a calculator function and text translator are just a few of the other functionalities that come built into Ubiquity.

ChannelWeb

Fresh Air

A big part of the pleasure in the summer’s talent programs on TV comes from discovering new faces and amazing young talents.

In this wise, I’d like to showcase two bands I love — one’s a local favorite and the other was news to me before last weekend:

Euforquestra

Lake Street Dive

I can’t say enough about these youngsters — they have an amazing command of their voices and instruments, a sure sense of their material, and terrific energy, for starters.

I don’t mean to sound the least bit patronizing, but it’s truly remarkable to me that both groups deliver a sound that — for all its wonderful complexity and sophistication — is yet so much pure fun … and issues forth from kids who are really just beginning what I hope are long and prosperous careers.

In brief, they rock!

I’m also delighted to provide word-of-mouth to a local venue that’s coming on strong here in Iowa City, namely the Java House.

Time and again in recent months I’ve been surfing the channels and … settling in for an extended listen to the musical acts found there — on local cable! Rarely in my experience has this kind of outlet lived up to its promise.

Excuse a bit of hometown pride, but I do believe that this program will go on to garner the kind of national audience that our Live from Prairie Lights has long enjoyed.

I wish them all the very best.

Must read

 

 

I love this woman.

Hunter Lovins

 

Natural Capitalism: Creating the Next Industrial Revolution, by Paul Hawken, Amory Lovins, and L. Hunter Lovins, is the first book to explore the lucrative opportunities for businesses in an era of approaching environmental limits.

In this groundbreaking blueprint for a new economy, three leading business visionaries explain how the world is on the verge of a new industrial revolution—one that promises to transform our fundamental notions about commerce and its role in shaping our future. Natural Capitalism describes a future in which business and environmental interests increasingly overlap, and in which businesses can better satisfy their customers’ needs, increase profits, and help solve environmental problems all at the same time.

Natural capital refers to the natural resources and ecosystem services that make possible all economic activity, indeed all life. These services are of immense economic value; some are literally priceless, since they have no known substitutes. Yet current business practices typically fail to take into account the value of these assets—which is rising with their scarcity. As a result, natural capital is being degraded and liquidated by the wasteful use of such resources as energy, materials, water, fiber, and topsoil.

 

Download chapters for free:

Natural Capitalism – Read the Book