That Which Was Salmonmedia

Sam Cohen admits freely that he is just not cool enough to hang out at the blogger table.

Monday, July 24, 2006

So Basically I Suck At Blogging

I think I can own that now.

Here's how it is: I'm mega-busy and only getting busier.

Here's how it's going to be:
|| Sam Cohen, 7:59 PM || link || (8) comments |

Monday, April 10, 2006

New David Attenborough series next month!

A couple of my old roommates turned me on to the stunning nature documentaries of Sir David Attenborough, and I've been hooked for some time now. Attenborough is an accomplished naturalist and animal stalker (I'd say that he's probably more skilled than that crocodile hunter fellow, but not as interested in bothering the animals that he stalks) and his nature documentaries are simply the best I've ever seen.

I own and have thoroughly enjoyed Attenborough's Life of Mammals, Life of Birds, and Blue Planet series, and I was thrilled a few minutes ago to receive word that Attenborough's new BBC series Life in the Undergrowth will be released on DVD here in the states next month. Life in the Undergrowth focuses on invertebrates, and I'm very curious to see it. Early reviews are very positive...
|| Sam Cohen, 12:38 PM || link || (0) comments |

Thursday, March 30, 2006

*huge sigh of relief*

Jill Carroll, a journalist and activist who was taken hostage by insurgents in Iraq almost 3 months ago has been released unharmed.

bOINGbOING has links to full coverage here.

I've been following the Carroll abduction with particular interest because she and I have some tenuous mutual connections... we're only about 2 or 3 degrees away from one another by the six degrees of separation theory. I know that there are probably a lot of other worthy people in danger who should have equal places in my hopes and thoughts, but I'm honestly just happy that she's free and all right.

Now we just need to get, oh, EVERYONE ELSE in the Middle East out of harm's way.
|| Sam Cohen, 11:52 AM || link || (0) comments |

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Pics From Power Moves

Last week I celebrated the release of my first book of poems, Strange Fire. I marked the occasion by collaborating with the Antagonist Movement (a mysterious and subersive downtown arts collective) on Power Moves, a crazy gallery/bar party featuring showings by upstart artists Pete Fabricius, Rachel Dobkins and Shaun Trujillo, musical performances by The Pee Wee Fist and Voidstar Runner, and a reading by some other guy (ahem). The show was a blast, and the photos collected thus far are now in a publicly-accessible Flickr Set Here. Feel free to take a glance at some of the other public pics if the spirit moves you, too.

I hope you enjoy the pics as much as we all enjoyed the evening...
|| Sam Cohen, 12:29 AM || link || (0) comments |

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Salmonmedia Op-Ed: On Expertise...

A few months ago I watched a documentary on great apes (our closest genetic neighbors in the animal kingdom) and was amazed by an expert orangutan nutcracker. This orang had mastered the skill of using a club and a notched rock to crack nuts, and while her skills were not up to par with, say, a five year old human with a nutcracker, it was still eerie to watch. After mastering the skill herself, the orang master nutcracker tried (with varying levels of success) to teach her tribe how to do so as well. Cracking nuts with hand tools is on about the same plane of difficulty for orangs as advanced physics is for people; some of us just don't have the knack for it, no matter how good our teacher is, but only the most brilliant among us understand the neccesary concepts intuitively. The orang nutcracker was undoubtedly an Einstein or an Edison of her kind, and the thought gave me pause.

Earlier today I watched with admiration and a bit of fear as one of the ridiculously competent partners at the law firm where I work took apart a retainer agreement that I had drafted, asking me all the right questions and catching a handful of small mistakes that I had made. At the end of the review, not only was I certain that the outgoing agreement was flawless, but I had learned a great deal about why things in it were phrased in particular ways, what our priorities as a firm were in dealing with the party to whom the agreement was addressed, and in general, how to someday be a better lawyer than I could have been in the absence of this man's expertise. I later applied some of these lessons in turn by correcting some errors in a much simpler document brought to me for approval by one of my own subordinates, a man that I am preparing to take my place when I leave the firm. So it goes.

The celebrated Chinese general, strategist and minister Zhuge Liang noted that the preparedness of the nation is predicated on first rectifying the self and acheiving expertise in one's vocation. Upon the acheivement of expertise, one may teach ten, who may in turn teach a hundred, that may in turn teach a thousand, who can instruct ten thousand, and so on. How wondrous is the human mind indeed, to be capable of such flexibility, and through such flexibility to sometimes be capable of acheiving such great (and terrible) accomplishments. The kicker of it all is that most people go through life with only minimal acheivements, not because they are incompetent or incapable, but because they lack the teachings needed to maximize their potential.

Over the last few weeks I've been privileged to learn a great number of things from brilliant artists, master craftsmen, wise moralists and sage counselors of many stripes, and I am indisputably richer for the experiences. Part of this is because I've been blessed with a truly fascinating and wonderful circle of acquaintances, but more of it is because I confront every situation I enter with the goal of maximum learning firm in my mind. I invite you, the reader to consider your own expertise(s) and your desired legacy, what you will strive to accomplish. If you are uncertain of what you wish to do or what you can do, consider first the teachers available to you, then do your best to learn as much as you can from them.

We are all capable of tremendous things, if only we remember it is so.

SC
3/28/06
|| Sam Cohen, 2:47 PM || link || (0) comments |

This little piggy is rich in Omega-3, most little piggies are not...

I personally don't eat pork, not for religious reasons, but rather because it just creeps me out- human meat and pork are alleged to be very similar in consistency and flavor, and the idea of even eating something similar to people bothers me. I wouldn't eat monkeys for similar reasons.

monkey_and_stuff_duck_2
Breathe easy, my monkey friend. I, for one, will not eat you.
photo found on cuteoverload

However, for the pork-lovin' masses, there is a ray of good news on the horizon: scientists have genetically engineered a pig that produces high levels of omega-3 fatty acids, a nutrient that helps people maintain high-functioning cardiovascular, reproductive and immune-systems.

muuuuuuuuuuuuuuuud
I will not eat you, either, little piggies...
photo found on cuteoverload

Omega-3 fatty acids are normally found in fish and flaxseed oil, but at a time when rising environmental mercury contamination is causing scientists to urge people to cut down on their fish consumption, this genegineered little piggy may come in quite handy, indeed.

Toronto's Globe and Mail has more on the story. Link!
|| Sam Cohen, 2:30 PM || link || (0) comments |

Promising Possibility in the fight against AIDS

The Houston Chronicle is reporting today on a pair of current AIDS treatment drugs that have been shown to be very effective at preventing HIV infection in a series of tests on monkeys.

snip:

Six macaques were given the drugs and then challenged with a deadly combination of monkey and human AIDS viruses.

Despite 14 weekly blasts of the virus, none of the monkeys became infected. All but one of another group of monkeys that didn't get the drugs did, typically after two exposures.

"Seeing complete protection is very promising," and something never before achieved in HIV prevention experiments, said Walid Heneine, a CDC scientist working on the study.

What happened next, when scientists quit giving the drugs, was equally exciting.

"We wanted to see, was the drug holding the virus down so we didn't detect it," or was it truly preventing infection, said Folks, head of the CDC's HIV research lab. It turned out to be the latter.

"We're now four months following the animals with no drug, no virus. They're uninfected and healthy."

This is some extremely promising news, indeed. Let's see how it works on people, eh?

Link to article...

|| Sam Cohen, 2:23 PM || link || (0) comments |

Monday, March 27, 2006

The Atomic Cafe: This is, pardon me, a DAMN FINE cup of coffee...

I spent this last weekend visiting friends and making new ones on Massachusett's North Shore. Along with many breathtaking vistas, interesting peoples and a true buddha of a gas-station dog named Jake, the North Shore (Beverly, MA in particular) is home to The Atomic Cafe, who produce what might be the best coffee that's ever passed my lips. I had my first sip of the House Blend and fell into a kind of gentle apoplexy, stammering and swearing in ecstasy. I recovered the next morning, begging my lovely and charming guide to take me back for seconds. She obliged, and on that second trip I tried their "Diesel" Dark Roast, and it too was genuinely sublime.

Along with making brilliant custom roasts, Atomic also is renowned for its latte art:

latte art from the atomic cafe

with a showing of many such photos adorning its walls.

After such caffeinated bliss, my office coffee seems flat and bland. Perhaps later I'll go to Ninth Street Espresso for a quick pick-me-up from some equally inspired NYC style java...
|| Sam Cohen, 10:38 AM || link || (0) comments |

laser monks...

The laser monks are a monastery of Cistercian Order monks in Wisconsin who have taken the plunge into the new millenium, supporting their monastery not by brewing or cheesemaking, but by refilling inkjet cartridges and selling high quality (and ostensibly cruelty-free) office supplies. They also have a small selection of candies and gregorian chant cds for sale through their website. Their monastery only costs about 150k per year to run, so they channel the remaining profits from the 2.5 million dollar a year business into various charitable works.

oh strange, strange, strange brave new world...

(initial pointer found via bOINGbOING)
|| Sam Cohen, 10:12 AM || link || (0) comments |

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

The Old Folks Are All Right...

I'm back, it's been a while, things are still crazy. I just had to share this pic found via bOINGbOING:

bullshitdeflector

That's Bill Moyer, a 73 year-old vet listening attentively, albeit with appropriate protection, as our esteemed chief executive gave a speech in Idaho the other day.

Bill's OK- I like his style.

More goodness to follow. In the meantime, I'm gonna have another cup of coffee.
|| Sam Cohen, 10:04 AM || link || (3) comments |