Archive for the ‘Online’ Category

Mysteries of the internet

I just got this ad in a Google search this morning. Someone needs to tell Sam the election’s over!

Drill, Baby, … Still?

Drill, Baby, ... Still?

My downtown neighbor Deborah just posted this great pop/rap video protesting the handling of the recent BP disaster and other massive spill created by offshore oil drilling. That’s Deborah singing lead. She’s joined by AshEL Seasunz for rap vocals.

If you upload a photo of yourself holding a hand-written sign saying “Clean Up the Mess. Start Building Our New Green Economy” to the Drill, Baby, … Still? Facebook page, you may appear in the next version of the video.

New Blog on the Block

Every week, SJ77 presents a topic of local interest. You submit a poem up to 77 words long on the subject for visitors to read. Your poem should be recognizably about San Jose or nearby areas. That seems to be pretty much all there is to it. Be sure to check “Upcoming Topics” to get a head start on your literary masterpiece.

Here’s a sample, on the topic “The Convenience Store”:

The Park Hester Market at 10:00 PM

Your outside fluorescent light
Attracts Smokers, Six-Packers,
Ice Cream Sandwich Seekers,
some cook who Forgot The Flour.
And the moths

— Dan Felton

South Bay Blog Roundup #2

It’s been nearly a year since our first South Bay Blog Roundup, and there’s been a few changes in the local online scene. San Jose Revealed is long gone, at least one newsblog has become a spam factory, and there’s a couple of newcomers you’ll really want to read:

As before, I’m sure I’ve missed some good blogs. If you know one that isn’t listed here, let us know in the comments!

I♥SJ, U2?

If you’re interested in San Jose history, and you’re on Facebook, check out I♥SJ.

I Heart SJ is a Facebook group for San Jose nostalgia.

The group is run by Marie Millares, a San Jose native who recently discovered the urban side of our city when she returned from 8 years living in San Francisco. Millares grew up all over San Jose: her family lived at different times in the east side, the west side, and in South San Jose. When she moved back to San Jose from the smaller city to the north, she was inspired to rediscover her hometown and learn about its neighborhoods. She soon started the Facebook group, encouraged by a friends success with a group called E$$J. As a graphic designer and web developer, Millares was inspired to name her group after the iconic Milton Glaser “I♥NY” logo for New York State. Starting with just a few of Millares’ friends as fans, the I♥SJ group has now has well over 2,500 fans.

The group focuses on photos of San Jose’s landmark buildings, but maybe not the landmarks that would appear in tourist brochures. Responding to a few questions I sent her by email, Millares described the photos as “mom and pop restaurants, local haunts, high school billboards–anything to spur some nostalgia and storytelling”. And the photos she and her fans posts do spark nostalgic commentary. “The personal reflections people post on this page are almost like reading excerpts from a diary”, according to Millares.

Asked what she’s learned from the fans, Marie Millares talks about how San Joseans can have vastly divergent views on some topics, but then agree completely on others: “I asked SJ what should be done with the vacant Burbank. Responses were all across the board–renovate and retool for public use–restore for private art commissions–tear-down and drop big box franchises onto it … Thirty minutes later, the same posters would then come together in agreement on how awesome the strombolis are at Tony DiMaggio’s.”

Asked what’s next for I♥SJ, Millares says to look out for video posts in the near future, which will be used to “retell some of the stories posted on the site”, and more exploration of local history, probably documenting the sprawl of San Jose, because “changing urban landscapes are are a great way to timeline history.”

Finally I asked Marie Millares if she recommends any other websites of local interest and she gave one tip: The Soft Underbelly of San Jose, a website that definitely looks worth some exploring.

I♥SJ is a great place to share reminiscences about what San Jose was, and how it got where it is now.

From My Yoga Mat to The Movie Maverick

I was on my yoga mat this morning at 24hr, trying to focus on my breathing in savasana (or corpse pose, the much anticipated final super-duper relaxing pose of any yoga class). Usually my mind wanders off into space and I feel pretty floaty, but today it just kept going back to Tuesday night at Cinequest.

While I didn’t see any movies that night, I did have the pleasure and privilege to see the one, the only, a man perhaps referred to as The King of Ayurveda; Dr. Deepak Chopra.

Cinequest 2010 brought Chopra to San Jose’s California Theater to present him with their Life of a Maverick Award. The audience, filling the seats, were first (after some rather embarrassing sound issues) treated to a showcase of Bikram yoga. Luckily they didn’t turn up the heat in the theater to match the 90 degrees of Bikram Yoga San Jose, and we were simply reminded of the beauty and power of yoga.

Chopra discussed many abstract topics, touching on the cosmos and atoms to the conscious and the soul. A favorite moment of the night was near the end where he went into the audience to answer questions. I knew what he was talking about for most of it, at least sort of. Others in the audience either seemed perplexed or completely enthralled. Either way, the general feeling was that of respect and positivity.

Dr. Deepak Chopra transformed his own life and then helped to do the same to millions others. I left feeling inspired, as I assume the filmmakers did as well, to turn the balance you can find in life into a conscience piece of art. Get more info below, I’m off to give my yoga some much needed focus.

Bikram Yoga San Jose

Deepak Chopra

– tonight’s the last night, go check it out!

This’ll get people talking

A new, extra smart-alecky, theory on the origins of Silicon Valley’s success in all things “tech”: “The lack of single women in the Silicon Valley has a huge effect on what men do in the free time…”

Remember when?

Do you remember the days when a power outage at a store meant all sales stopped, because anyone who knew how to make change without electronic assistance had been hired away as a new media consultant? So does Simon, and he’s not looking forward to those days coming back according to his great post over at Silicon Valley Mom’s Blog.

Santa Clarans can learn languages online

I just caught this on the City of Santa Clara press release feed:

If you want to learn Spanish, French, Mandarin, Japanese, or Russian, and you live in Santa Clara, go and get yourself a library card right away. With your Santa Clara City Library card you can now access Mango Languages, an online language learning site that focuses on teaching conversational language skills.

Visit the Santa Clara City Library Electronic Resources page for a link to Mango Languages library access.

Go Go Gadget, Library!

I’m a big fan of gadgets. I don’t go anywhere without my smartphone, iPod, and GPS receiver (that last one just in case a new geocache shows up). So when I heard about the San José Public Library’s new collection of gadgets, I got all excited and stuff.

The tricks that SJPL’s technology team has up its collective sleeve include an iGoogle tool which allows you to search for library materials right from your Google base page. There’s also a Google-like search bar that you can add to Internet Explorer or Mozilla Firefox.

But my favorite gadget on the widgets and web tools page is the library lookup bookmarklet for Firefox. You just drag the bookmarklet onto your links bar in Firefox. Then, say you’re looking at a book’s page on Amazon and you’re wondering if the library has it. Just click on the bookmarklet and pow! — you get the library’s catalog page showing the availability of the book. This bookmarklet functions on any page with an ISBN on it. Wow, cool, huh? My favorite bookmarklets, which I use every day, have long been the Google Reader subscription bookmarklet and the “share on Facebook” bookmarklet, but this library one rivals them for usefulness.

The library is promising more gadgets to come, so keep an eye on this page for further developments. And enjoy these gadgets!

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