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Writing A Great Short Story – Kurt Vonnegut’s Advice in 90 seconds


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Lost Your Camera? Did You Look On The Internet?

In 1977 while hanging out with some friends in Philly, I inadvertantly left my camera at an outdoor lunch joint near Second and South. Having shared a few bottles of Merlot (to wash down the double cheese steaks with onions and mushrooms) I hadn’t realized the camera was missing until later in the evening and by then, I figured I was out of luck. In those days, there was no craigslist on which to post lost & found, and I had no idea of the name of the place where we’d eaten lunch (see Merlot ref. above) so I couldn’t call them to find out if it was there.

That was then. The camera is history and as time goes on, the memories become soft and faded like an old pair of jeans. Fast forward thirty some years – timing is everything. What you lose today, has a good chance of showing up tomorrow, thanks to the internet and a few good people who still believe in reaching out.

In the summer of 2008 while hiking in New Hampshire, a man named Matt found a camera at the bottom of a river. The camera was completely rusted out and worthless. A kind and curious dude, Matt took the camera home and fiddled with it until he was able to retrieve the memory card from which, after a little more fiddling, he was able to extract over two hundred photos and movie clips.

Taking it one step further, he set up a blog ( ) and posted some of the photos there with hope that the owner of the camera would see them and he could reunite the two. Eight days later, that’s exactly what happened, giving rise to a great new site, aptly called: iFoundYourCamera. ( )

Every Thursday the website is updated with photos sent in by people who have found cameras. Those who have lost a camera can browse through the photos and see if they belong to them. The two are then reunited.

The internet provides us with great opportunity, but people and ideas are what bring it to life. For those who look to reach out and perhaps further the greater good, even if it’s only one camera at a time, there is no chasm that can’t be crossed. All you have to do is picture it.

Media The Not-So-Daily Edition

Virtual Networking in a Brave New World

The Social Network As It Was.

Remember when networking was something that was accomplished at blazer-wearing cocktail parties and on the golf course followed by a cocktail?  Even if you don’t remember that, one must realize historically there was such a thing.  Leaving the house and beating the streets socially was absolutely the only way possible to network in the community and create a name, credibility and resource.  It was an era of creating importance amongst people of importance.

Enter the Digital Era of Networking

Got a computer?  Of course you do.  Well, throw away your taste for shrimp cocktail and the smell of freshly cut grass coupled with too many gin and tonics.  Your social and business network has not only become easier to access but absolutely endless.   You are a rock star in the infinite world of your own virtual networking.

There are no people of self importance.  We now understand that importance is relative to the task.  And we also understand that the tasks are constantly evolving.  It’s a better day.

Modern Party Chatter and Tee Off Times

The basic difference between networking in the past and networking now is the comparison of a closed circle to an infinite web.   There are no limits to a social web presence, guaranteed.  And you don’t have to hear the rancid gossip either.

Creating a brand name or identity in the digital era involves a very simple infrastructure of URL presences coupled with what we in the digital social networking industry like to call maintenance.

The infrastructure is the name branding and the maintenance is the social trust building.

Digital Social Infrastructures

Social networking sites are ever evolving.  They change faster than you can beat an egg.  The sites of interest to networkers today are: Face Book, Twitter and Linked In.  These URL’s maintain groups of social networks that constantly interact, change and identify.  It is imperative in modern social networking that you do not only have one presence but many that interlink.  They work together.

Other important factors that assist in connecting equally are:  e-mail accounts, personal or professional websites and blogs.  Each one of these is a necessary piece but not one of them more important than the others..  That chain is the infinite web of digital social networking.

The system works perfectly.

The Hitch

Quite frankly, even though this system is an extremely effective method to achieve niche recognition – there is one major drawback.  It takes a great deal of time to update, connect and communicate.  There absolutely aren’t enough hours in the day to run a business AND keep an interactive web presence for marketing purposes.

It can be done.  It has to be done.  But it doesn’t have to be done alone.

But not to worry, mind you.  You will notice more agencies that specialize in the area of social networking maintenance to assist in the process.  

And you will notice more specialized niche business coming your way as well as higher sales in the process.

And lastly, you never had to lift a cocktail fork or listen to so and so go on about his bum knee and his bad marriage.  Imagine that.

It’s a brave new world.

Art Commentary Media The Write Stuff

Requiem for The Polaroid

The days of the in your face – no touch-up’s – crappy lighting – crappy paper – instant photograph have come to a close, as Polaroid ascends to the big darkroom in the sky.I could write about the history of Polaroid, but then you could Google it if you were really interested. And you should because it’s pretty good reading. Instead, today, I’m going to tell you the story of Amelia.

Amelia was just ten years old when I was a volunteer at the Bancroft School in Haddonfield NJ, a residential/boarding school facility for children and adolescents with mental and emotional disabilities. I was seventeen and working toward community service hours, spending Tuesdays and Thursdays at the facility after school. Amelia was there for lack of a better place to stash her because, while her parents had means, they had neither the time nor inclination to take proper care of a deaf child.

On my second Tuesday there, I was assigned to over-see the residential pod where the girls slept and hung out while not in school. There were perhaps fifteen girls to the pod, all of varying levels of disability ranging from proufound Autism to mild social adjustment disorder.

Amelia had neither. She simply couldn’t hear, and henceforth, had never learned to speak.
Having gone to sleep away camp, I’d learned how to sign the alphabet and I attempted to communicate with her as well as I could, spelling out entire words instead of proper signing with symbols and such. And being a 1970’s hippy, I carried a napsack instead of a purse and Amelia, like any pre-adolescent, was curiously curious about it’s contents and immediately wanted to see what I had inside. What was inside was a camera- A Polaroid One Step.  The picture would come out and develop right there in front of your eyes.

I took her picture and let her watch it come to life. Mesmerized, Amelia had never seen such a thing and I must admit, I thought it was pretty cool too.

I handed her the camera and let her shoot. Her first shot was of the ceiling of the dorm. Having no idea why she would shoot a picture of the ceiling, I let her continue, figuring that she was having fun and who really cared what she was shooting. The next was of the corner of the hallway near the bathroom door. Then more. I reloaded the film and let her have at it. There were probably ten to twelve photos in all, not counting the ones that were blurry.

I took the photos and placed them on her bed, one next to the other, and we looked at them. Touching them ever so gently with her fingertips, she held them up to me and smiled, pointing to the places in the photo she wanted me to notice. I focus in, then, I see it. Little black spots in the ceiling that look like a constellation. She shows me a book she has under her pillow. It’s a book of planets and stars. She opens it to the page of constellations and shows me Orion’s Belt. It looked just like the pattern of the little black stains on the ceiling of her dorm room. She points out the photo of the wall near the floor by the bathroom door. There are scratch marks. Many of them. I come to learn later it is in this corner they sit for time out.

Each photo, a story in it’s own right. There was the photo of the empty bed, the bed of a girl who went away. Story was she had a seizure and choaked on some food and that was it, but they just told the kids she went away. The kids knew better though. Even the ones you couldn’t really reach.

She picked up two of blurry photos and held one in each of her hands. Stretching out her arms like the wings on an airplane, she began to spin around and around. She spun for a few moments and then flopped on her bed and laughed a deep, gutteral laugh. She signs to me the letters for DIZZY, and points to the blurry photos. I come to realize that the blurry photos are how she feels when she spins. I get it. I nod and sign YES, and smile. She smiles, takes my hand, and shows me the proper sign for I Love You.

A photograph. A connection. A link between two people in diametrically opposite worlds.

I leave my camera with Amelia and bring her some more film the next time I come by. After a few weeks I am transfered to a different pod and then school is over and that is that.
I don’t see Amelia again.

Then, In 1994 I receive an email. She’d found me.

Some years after I’d left, during a showing of some of the Bancroft student’s art for a fundraiser, a few of Amelia’s photos caught the eye of a teacher from the Moore College of Art, who, after some string pulling, arranged a grant for Amelia to attend some classes on campus. It was there she met a student professor who, as it turns out, had been raised by a hearing impared single mother. They date for five years and in 1988, are married in a small ceremony behind the Philly art museum, overlooking the Schuylkill River and a backdrop of vintage boat houses.

Today, Amelia teaches hearing impared children in a small town in Maine and helps her husband (the student professor) with his photography business on the weekends. They have two adopted sons, both hearing impared, and one biological daughter with no hearing disability. The family is happy and thriving.

It is with a heavy heart that I have come to accept Polaroid’s imminent demise, but in the words of Bob Dylan, ‘The Times They Are A Changin’. And while we can’t interfere with progress, I take this moment to raise my glass and bow my head to Polaroid and it’s legacy – for it has done far more than just capture moments, it has in many respects, set spirits free.

Namaste, Polaroid. Gone but not forgotten.

Art Commentary Media The Write Stuff

Power To The Poster

Nobody in their right mind becomes an artist for purpose of making a sensible living. And most artists will tell you that one doesn’t become an artist, an artist is born and merely polishes his or her skills and knowledge over the years in hopes of people noticing what they do. Garnering a following is a notch better and causing conversation and intelligent debate, two notches. Dead presidents are the cherry on the pallet.

Introducing Power to the Poster, a somewhat user generated yet creatively moderated site that offers free downloads of powerful, culturally important, high quality art and graphic posters for you to print out and use and share for free.
There are artists who would shudder at the thought of giving away their work, saying it cheapens the importance and is a waste of their time. And there are artists who use their work as a form of political protest, and what better way to protest than to go against the grain and give your message away for all to see, hear and feel? Art doesn’t become important until someone other than your parents, significant other, or aunt Petunia want more of it. It’s one of the reasons many historical artists didn’t get famous until they were mealworm. The ability to disseminate one’s work was limited. As social and technical civilization evolved, more people were able to get their work noticed. The country opened up as did the world, by ship, car, and aviation, and because it’s in our nature to seek. And now there is the almighty internet. A massive labyrinth of galleries of artists all around the world if you’re so inclined. Today, if you’re an artist, there is no excuse for obscurity. And if your agenda is about reaching an audience with a message, evoking someone’s spirit to speak or their ego to listen, then go check out Power to the Poster.

My husband, who went to art school in upstate NY but who opted for the mortgage, the car payment, the orthodontist and college tuition bills in lieu of his true passion, counseled our eleven year old son recently when he informed us that he wanted to be an actor and be really rich and famous like Josh and Drake.
"A true artist is one who does it for the love of the art, whether or not he is able to make a living at it. The actor will act in the village square, the musician will play on the steps of the library if need be, and the painter will paint until his pallet runs dry, but never will they deny their passion. Do you understand?"
To wit our son answered "Yep. So, you’re saying I should come up with a plan B?"

For more information, visit

Digital Lifestyles Hardware The Not-So-Daily Edition

iLaundered but Still iPod

I pulled my workout pants with its myriad array of pockets out of the dryer and felt an all-too familiar lump in one of the tie-pockets. "*&^%" I thought, while pulling out my iPod Nano. There was not any visible damage. The only evidence that it went through the wash at all was the trapped moisture in the silicone case that was around it. The first thing I did was slip off the silicone case, hoping that it offered some protection. However, it was the type that left the jack exposed at the bottom in order to dock. I was fairly sure the soap and water from the washer crept into its innards. Additionally, it may have gone through the dryer twice while on a high heat setting since the pants shared space with heavy jeans. I’m thoroughly kicking myself at this point as the Nano, nicknamed "The Bat Pod," was a gift from my husband. It’s name comes from the engraving on the back: "Does it come in black?" (You get engravings like that when you get asked on the spot "What do you want on your black iPod?" when Batman Begins just gets released. His coworkers think I’m quite insane.)

Past experience with Macintosh computers in academia has taught me that liquids when spilled on Apple products are not necessarily a disaster as long as you give the device a chance to dry out thoroughly before attempting to power it on. So I let it sit on my desk for a couple of days. When it seemed certain that it was dry, I turned it on. Nothing. Then I remembered that the battery was low prior to its "trip." It connected successfully to the USB cable and gave me the familiar charging screen, which at the time seemed to me a digital "thumbs up." Sure enough, after an hour "The Bat Pod" came up in iTunes and on the Desktop. And the media was still on it! To be safe, I went ahead and reset it to factory defaults for a clean *cough* start. Only one injury persists, and that the menu button doesn’t work anymore. But I deserve that.


Gadgets Media The Not-So-Daily Edition The Write Stuff

Simplicity In A Box

Last year, I asked my husband for a radio for Christmas. Something for my kitchen counter. Something that would allow me to listen to NPR while I cooked. Nothing fancy, I didn’t even really want anything digital, as I grew up in the day of the radio dial. I’ll even go so far as to admit that in my preteen years, all the cool stations were still on AM.

In recent years, I had a boombox, one that had a CD player on the top and looked like a WMD with an antenna. Big and oblong and obnoxious with a handle, should I want to take it with me to the mall. Over time however my kids had borrowed it and eventually, it went the way of all things that kids borrow, to the beach, perhaps a few tailgate parties and then to hell.

I wasn’t upset over the loss of the box, but rather that I was then relegated to watching re-runs of "My House Is Worth What?" on mute, just for something to keep me company while I was cooking dinner. It didn’t take me long however to decide exactly what it was that I wanted.

A little radio with a little dial. Done. Nothing fancy schmancy with digital displays and flashing lights and shuffle and search and seizure, and a million buttons that I have no idea what they do and that I can’t see anyway. Just a radio. Is that so difficult? I have an IPod, I have a computer, I have a car with a radio and a CD/cassette player. We have Wiis, TVs, MP3s and DVDs enough to choke a horse.

And just when I thought things would never be the same again, he came through. A little radio in a handmade wood cabinet, with nothing but one little speaker and a dial, and a little light to tell you if you’re tuned in properly. That’s it. Pure and simple. Oh, and I might add, killer sound. The Model One AM/FM table radio by Henry Kloss for Tivoli Audio is touted by MSNBC as "the best sounding table radio ever made." We got ours at Target. From their collection of nostalgic goods. Nostalgia is a great trendsetter.

These days, I find that even if I have nothing to cook, I sit in the kitchen and listen – sometimes, it’s all about listening.

Digital Lifestyles Media The Write Stuff

Virtual Prostitute Wrecks Marriage

Considering all the recent news about people getting in trouble for virtual crimes committed while playing online games involving virtual people, virtual places and virtual things, it seems to me that there is probably a valid and tangible market for a virtual legal profession.

In a recent divorce case involving a British couple and the internet game Second Life, his avatar was found cheating on her avatar with a virtual prostitute. Suspicious, her avatar hired a virtual investigator who slithered and sleuthed his way through the game and found the rat bastard (er, avatar) dead to rights. (not to be confused with dead dead, as in the murdered Japanese avatar in Maple Story, where the avatar’s killer and virtual wife was hauled off to jail in real life.)

In the Second Life case, not only did she dump his sorry boo-tay in the game but also in real life, as they were in fact, married to each other. Oh to be a fly on the wall in that divorce courtroom. "Well your honor, you see, his avatar cheated on me with an avatar whore (would that be a whorevatar?) and who knows WHAT kind of VIRUS he could have given me!!"

The money and time spent in the virtual gaming world is astounding. Because of the state of the world economy, more people are choosing to stay home rather than go out. Twenty dollars a month for a life in a virtual world is a helluva lot cheaper than dinner for two on a Saturday night, not to mention that you can make your avatar look like yourself only with larger breasts or perhaps, hung like a racehorse. Who needs a plastic surgeon? I have an avatar and I’m not afraid to use it!

The potential for a virtual legal system where you would elect virtual judges, hire virtual lawyers and conduct legal proceedings in a virtual courtroom is enormous. I’m pretty sure that if nobody has thought of it yet they will soon because hey, if there’s a whore to be screwed, there’s money to be made.

As for the British couple, sad yes, but as luck would have it, we hear she has moved on to a new lover from World of Warcraft. I hope she’s careful. That game involves sharp objects.

Media The Write Stuff

Online Hoax = Computer Fraud

Alright. Now maybe we’re getting somewhere. The last time I wrote about an alleged cyber crime I debated the efficacy of the Japanese police regarding a woman who had logged into a friend’s internet game account (with the login info he himself had given to her) and killed off his beloved avatar. A "crime" for which she was arrested and jailed. (See Murder On The Avatar Express)
Recently, a federal jury in Los Angeles handed down what legal experts say is the country’s first cyber-bullying verdict, convicting a woman from Missouri of three counts of computer fraud. The woman, Lori Drew, created a MySpace page under the false name of Josh Evans, specifically to communicate with and screw around with her daughter’s "arch rival" Megan Meier, who was only 13 and who had a history of depression and suicidal ideations. Drew spent weeks online as “Josh” courting Megan and making her fall in love with "him." Then, Drew suddenly became hostile and told her “The world would be a better place without you.”
This, prosecutors said, pushed Megan over the edge to suicide.

I’m a mother and I have to say that there have been times along the way when I wanted nothing more than to drop kick some little snot-nose-street-rat friend of one or two of my kids, right the hell into next week. And if I’m to be honest I’ll admit I’ve probably read one or two of them the riot act over the years – something to the effect of "The next time your mother sends you over without giving you your ADHD meds you can FUH-GETABOUTIT!!" We all have our moments of temporary insanity where we say or do things out of anger or frustration that we later wish we could take back. But to be a parent and go to the trouble of making a false account for the sole purpose of tormenting someone else’s child for extended periods of time is just plain over the top.

Sentencing is soon, though I’m not sure it’s worthy of the potential jail time she is facing as our prison systems are painfully overburdened and the cost it would take to keep her in jail would be a waste of needed tax dollars. Instead, along with a journey through federal court hell, her name and face is splashed all over the evening news thanks to a tireless media in constant search of shocking material. She should serve something like ten years of community service, along with competent therapy. Lots of it. At her expense. And a good bitch slap or two if you ask me.

And while embarrassment and loss of credibility in the community can be a fairly stigmatizing punishment, it wasn’t my child who died. The universe is a funny thing. For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. Call it God, Karma, or Quantum Physics, what goes around comes back around. And something tells me the universe ain’t done with her yet.

Art Commentary The Not-So-Daily Edition Tutorials

Prometheus to the Cave Man and Now Igniting Ingenuity

At the beginning of the Disney movie Ratatouille, the main character, a small rat, says there is something interesting about humans:  “they don’t just survive; they discover; they create.”  The young child, cave woman, adult, professional, pirate, educator and artist in me held on to this observation by Remy, the rat, as the cornerstone that supports art and art making.  When asked to articulate a low-tech metal casting process to a high-tech computer crowd, I felt compelled to investigate a new angle. 

With 3D scanning, modeling, and rapid prototyping acting as the new hammer and saw in the metalworking and jewelry field, I often find myself questioning all the tools we use and how we can use them collectively.  The computer designers have access to so many new programs and novel technologies, but I would argue that they never completely forget their paper, pencil and individual human creativity that originally offered up these advances.  In order to rediscover the beginning of our inspired innovations, I have rummaged through the vaults of religion, anthropology, history, philosophy and frankly anything else that will prove my point.  “And what is your point?” you ask.  Keep reading.

    There has been much discussion about the changes in the arts due to computer usage.  In all respect to the importance of computers, I am simply giving a friendly reminder for those of you who have forgotten about the element that has helped spark most of modern technology…fire.  Why is the discussion of fire important in modern days?  It is important simply because it is a reminder of our human abilities, and gives us hope in our responsibility of creating and exploring future technologies. 

    Fire is one of the most celebrated and technologically advanced pillars of our human existence.  Religions, philosophies, wiener roasts, and birthday cakes all over the world hold fire in esteem difficult to match.  The earth diligently worked to maintain the correct mixture of atmospheric gases and offer combustible materials to allow fire to be possible.  The oceans prove that life can exist without fire, but fire would not exist without the living world.  Although we can harness the power of water and wind, we still must wait for a wave or gust.  But fire, the bringer of warmth, light, protection, purification, and the start of most technologies can be created, harnessed, and lost by man.  This utilization of a “wild” unpredictable but maintainable element divides humanity from the rest of creation. 

    “Fire was a god, or at least theophany; fire was myth; fire was science; fire was power.”1 Social relationships are affected by its entrancing ability to give light in the dark, provide warmth, allow conversation for questioning the world’s other wonders, and provide safe food and drink.  Without fire, we would be a scared and helpless being, digging holes for food and hiding at night from predators with no means to care for ourselves.  Just as we can’t imagine our world without computers, cell phones, and Wal-Mart (just kidding), man and fire have lived together from the beginning, and man carried fire into most applications of basic and advanced human needs. 

    To explore fire and its uses, I recently hosted a workshop for numerous college students that explored a low tech casting process called cuttlebone casting.  Cuttlebone is from the squid-like mollusk that is commonly referred to as a cuttlefish.  The bones are frequently used today at pet stores as a dietary calcium supplement and for beak sharpening for parakeets.2  In a moment of genius or insanity (they generally go together), someone discovered that this bone could withstand temperatures up to around 2000°F and was soft enough to carve into with a wooden stick, fingernail or dental tools. 

The dense outer shell makes it strong enough to hold metals ranging from pewter to gold.  After cutting the tips off the cuttlebone and rubbing two bone fragments together until they are perfectly flat, the maker carves or presses their design into the piece.  There are considerations to be made when designing to avoid areas that the metal would be forced to “back-flow” against gravity.  Generally, adding sprues or channels to connect certain areas of the design can solve these problems.

If an intense line quality is desired, which is why most people use this process, the artist can lightly stroke the design with a small paintbrush to reveal more of the calcium rich line.  Gates and sprues are cut into the piece to give the metal routes to flow and a large opening (button) is created at the top to make pouring the metal effortless.  The two parts are fastened together with binding wire and placed in a dish of pumice stones or sand to keep the form upright and catch any spilled metal.  The fire comes back into play but is easily started with a small propane torch ignited with a striker that forcibly slides flint across a textured metal wheel.  The artist melts the metal in a crucible or cast iron ladle in this case, and pours the molten metal into the cuttlebone mold.  We used pewter in this workshop because it melts at such a low temperature (500°F) and the process would require less supplies.  The form is then opened to reveal a metal positive of the mold that was originally carved.  You simply cut off the excess metal, file, sand and finish accordingly. 

This process might not be useful for all, but I do contend that every human should use fire to make metal molten at some point in their life.  I remember that my former foundry Professor would get a “crazy look” (as her assistants called it) when she would participate in the large pours.  I understand that “look” after years of working myself.  It is the gaze the prehistoric man directed toward the fire that was caused by lightning striking. 

This is the moment of realization of an element of such promise and danger, and a force that you must possess, release, and learn from.  If melting metal is on your “Bucket List”, contact your local art center, art school, or helpful website ( immediately to fulfill an act that everyone needs in their life.  When you first control and contain fire to melt metal into liquid form, pour into a mold, and cool to result in a hard and lasting metal form, you truly feel that same “crazy look” that the original prehistoric caveman felt when using fire.  Every time I work with fire, I have a link with the past and every important development we have created.  If you don’t feel this soul-stirring link to humanity, meaning of life experience that I’ve described, you will at least have a nice new keychain out of the process.


1Pyne, Stephen J., Fire:  A Brief History.  Seattle & London:  University of Washington Press, 2001.
2McCreight, Tim, Practical Casting:  A Studio Reference.  Maine:  Brynmorgen Press, 1994. 

Art Commentary Digital Lifestyles Media The Not-So-Daily Edition

Murder on the Avatar Express

I bought my first computer in April of 93 after my typewriter broke. A trip to the local electronics store and two thousand dollars later, I walked out with a Compaq 386 windows 3.1 jam packed with 2 megs of ram. I could have gotten 4 megs but as the salesman noted, "Nobody will ever need that much memory."

Fast forward fifteen years. Today, we can do virtually anything online. Our computer is an office. A school. A university. A shopping mall. A tennis court. A baseball stadium. It allows us to see and speak to people around the country and around the world. You can be at work and watch your nanny and your child at home. Computers can speak for the mute, type for the handicapped and remind you to take the roast out of the oven. You can create your own universe, your own countries, cities and neighbors. You can live a whole nother life in a whole nother virtual world and interact with all sorts of people and their avatars and like reality, you can get virtually screwed.

Por ejemplo: A 43 year old woman in Japan was arrested at her home in Miyazaki and jailed some 620 miles away in Sappporo, for virtually killing a virtual online husband from whom she was virtually divorced, in an online game called Maple Story. The virtual murder took place last May. When the 33 year old man discovered that his online avatar was dead, he called the police.

The woman has not been formally charged but if ultimately convicted, could spend five years in prison and pay a fine of $5,000.00. "I was suddenly divorced, without a word of warning." she is quoted as saying. "That made me so angry," Using login information she got from her virtual husband when their characters were happily married, she logged into his account and killed his character. There is no evidence that the woman plotted any revenge in the real world.

That he gave her the log-in info suggests that she didnt hack at all but merely logged in. Actual hacking is a different story. And while computer hacking is a crime, Im going to assume that the Japanese police have more important things to worry about than a dead avatar, hacked or not.

And I gotta believe that somewhere in the virtual land of Maple Story, there is a virtual lawyer with a bad virtual tie, a virtual divorce court, and a virtual judge sporting a vitual set of mismatched socks under his virtual robe. If the woman was really smart, shed have sued her virtual husband for virtual alimony and virtually half of everything he owned, and called it a day.


Read The Story on CNN



Graphics © 2008 Madbadcat Graphics
Blue Avatar with Gun ©Rudolf Tittelbach |
Composite & Design: Madbadcat Graphics



Digital Lifestyles Media Photography The Not-So-Daily Edition

Photojojo can set your creativity free

No kitsch here. is an original, exciting breath of fresh air. The slightly irreverent tenor and decidedly different ideas and photo projects make this site required reading for photographers and other artists in general.

This self-described "newsletter" of photography has projects with detailed how-to projects (at least enough detail to get you started), as well as some quirky cool photo accessories and services to purchase. The sell isn’t hard, and all the items seem to fall into the category of "things you might have missed" and are appropriate for our digital photography age.

If you want to open your horizons, visit and spend a few minutes or a few hours exploring.

One of my favorites… Tim Hughes reviewed project of photographing vacation icons. To see the article, go to and click the Newsletter tab at the top. Scroll to the bottom of the page and find the search box, type in "souvenirs" and click search… in the results, select Michael Hughes’ "Souvenirs" – Bring Your Vacation Souvenirs to Life. Photojojo reports on a fun and funny way to document your next vacation, or even your hometown… one I would not have thought of. Of course, after viewing all these great photography ideas and inspirational how-to articles, you have to go make photos of your own. Good shooting!