PB & Jenny

A twist to a favorite American standard. My thoughts on new adventures, also with a twist.

Facebook’s Bogglific Shutdown January 27, 2008

Filed under: Games — Jenny @ 8:39 pm
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I signed up for a Facebook account a few months ago, and became addicted to finding cool applications to load.  I wasn’t interested in silly invites from my friends to add fake plants I had to water, or to become an online Vampire and get my fangs in people.  I wanted something to feed my game addiction.

People that know me well know how much I enjoy games.  They are not B-O-R-E-D games to me, but a great way to unwind and have fun.  I’ve always been partial to word games, and to Boggle in particular.

I have a lot of good memories playing Boggle with my family.  As a little kid, I was allowed to make 2 letter words and had a handicap added to my score so that I could play competitively with my parents.

Over time, I could play by the normal rules and my handicap disappeared.  I actually got so good that my parents joked that they should now have a handicap when playing against me.  Another standing joke was that any serious boyfriend of mine would have to pass the “Boggle test” before they were officially accepted.

So, I was extremely excited to find Bogglific which is an online version of Boggle.  Even better, I could play it any time of the day or night, with people from all across the world.

The other week when I logged on to play I was very unhappy to find a note from developer Roger Nesbitt that Bogglific was going to have to shut down.  I’ve included some excerpts from his notice posted on Facebook:

dmca.jpgHasbro, Inc. sent a DMCA notification to Facebook regarding Bogglific.  They claim it violates their trademark, and violates copyright over the Boggle rules.  Scrabulous is in the same boat, but they have the resources to fight their battle.

Since Bogglific will be deleted by Facebook, you may wish to post further discussions to the Bogglific Addicts group (which is not run by me).  A petition group has been sent to Hasbro.

This whole situation reminds me of a philosophy class I took in college called “Contemporary Moral Issues.”  It dealt with the fact that the world is constantly changing around all of us, and that figuring out how to navigate and manage these changes can be difficult (for individuals, businesses, and the government).  Technological changes in particular can take us into previously un-chartered territory and new battles.

The class also covered the overlap (or disconnect) between societal mores and values to legal regulatory changes.  I remember discussing surrogate motherhood, genetic technology and cloning, privacy rights of AIDS patients, and physician assisted suicide.  The internet didn’t exist then, but if it had, this type of situation would have been debated.

I wish that Hasbro could see this as a technological boost to their game playing population, and work out a deal with the developer.  From comments posted at online forums, many of the players were unaware of Boggle until finding and enjoying this application.  Furthermore, many then actually bought the physical games.  From that very non-scientific sample, it seems like their sales would have only increased from Bogglific.

I just know I was addicted, and still want to be able to play it online.  I also don’t understand how the Scrabble knock-off Scrabulous application can still exist, but Bogglific is gone.  I figured I’d post my final standings in Bogglific for posterity:

Your Bogglific rating as of 16 Jan is 1461.

You are currently ranked 1,307th of 41,851.  (Top 3.1% of players)

Played 839 games.  (3 minutes each, so 42 HOURS of my life)

I am already going through withdrawal.  Plus, what am I now going to do with all the hours I had spent playing Bogglific?  Walk outside?  Visit friends?  Those just make no sense as middle of the night substitutes.  Wah!

 

Berry Gordy & the Detroit Motown Museum January 20, 2008

I’ve always liked identifying famous people and products that have a Michigan connection, as well as interesting trivia about my home state.   I have a small sampling listed below.      

  • Food & drink = Faygo (the rock & rye truly rocks), Sanders (mmmm, best hot fudge), Better made potato chips, Mucky duck mustard, Kellogg’s cereal, Jiffy muffins, VRUIT juice, Vernor’s ginger ale (still the best for upset tummies)

  • Nicknames = The Motor City, Detroit Rock City, the Cars & Stars City, the Motown City, the Great Lakes State

  • Musicians = Bob Seger, Iggy Pop, Aretha Franklin, Madonna, Eminem, Kid Rock, many Motown musicians
  • Actors = Tim Allen, Gilda Radner, James Earl Jones, Pam Dawber, Tom Skerritt, Marlo Thomas, Lily Tomlin, Selma Blair, Kristen Bell 
  • Business execs = Jon De Lorean, Henry Ford, Thomas Edison, Oscar Mayer, Tom Monaghan
  • Born in Detroit = Francis Ford Coppola, Charles Lindbergh, Ed McMahon
  • Movies set in Detroit = Beverly Hills Cop, Out of Sight, Grosse Point Blank, True Romance, 8 Mile
  • Fun trivia =
    • Only state that can claim to be north of Canada
    • We have more miles of shoreline than any other state
    • The Great Lakes hold one-fifth of the world’s supply of fresh water
    • Only state made of 2 peninsulas, an upper and lower (and we know what trolls and yoopers refer to)
      • The Mackinac Bridge connecting the upper and lower peninsulas is one of the longest suspension bridges in the world
    • We can use the palm of our right hand to point out where we live in MI (for lower peninsula), and left palm perpendicular to the right for the upper
    • We get to experience the 4 seasons in all their glory (though I could do with a shorter winter)
    • We have incredibly long summer days. It doesn’t get dark until really late because we’re a westernmost state in the Eastern time zone.

    And, of course, we’re internationally known for the MOTOWN SOUND! 

    I’m behind on my newspaper reading, but just saw an article from last week that indicated Motown Records founder Berry Gordy will be honored after the 50th Grammy Awards on Feb 10th with the Recording Academy’s “Grammy Salute to Industry Icons.”  You know he’s hoping that the WGA strike doesn’t cancel the show.  He was previously inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1990.

    I recently went to the Motown Museum for the first time.  I used one of the free museum passes sponsored by Macy’s which are good for admittance to about 30 museums in Michigan.  Before I went, I knew very little about the history of Motown or Berry Gordy.  I just knew I liked the music.   I am listening to some now to inspire me, and I can’t help but do the white girl head bop as well as groove in my seat while I’m typing.     

    I learned that Berry started Motown Records in 1959 when he was in his 20s on an $800 loan from his family.  He based his business on an assembly line approach that he learned from the auto companies.  Each of his buildings was compartmentalized for a specific purpose – – this building for recording, that one for finance/payroll, this other one for etiquette training, etc. He nurtured the careers of Smokey Robinson, Marvin Gaye, Diana Ross and the Supremes, Stevie Wonder, The Temptations, and The Jackson 5 among many others.  

    He also founded a movie production company called Motown Productions.  Their first feature film was Lady Sings the Blues, a film based on Billie Holliday’s life starring Diana Ross.  It was well received and earned Diana an Academy Award nomination, as well as 4 others for the film.  Such success wasn’t enjoyed by one of their later films, The Wiz.  I don’t know how well The Last Dragon did either, but it looked campy cool from a poster displayed at the museum.  

    The special Motown Sound came courtesy of the Funk Brothers musicians.  They played on more number one hits than the Beach Boys, the Rolling Stones, Elvis and the Beatles combined(!!!), but they were virtually unknown.  A documentary film called Standing in the Shadows of Motown was made about the Funk Brothers in 2003 which gave them a chance to bask in the limelight for the first time in their lives.  While their talent is phenomenal, and their back stories are interesting (I think I gleaned most of that from bonus features on the DVD), the movie was not so great.  I’m glad though that it was made, since it was a tribute to these musicians, and gave them the opportunity to get some fiercely deserved credit. 

    (more…)

 

ART BATTLE UPDATE – WINNERS January 16, 2008

Filed under: Art — Jenny @ 7:33 pm
Tags: , , , ,
     I’ve been wondering who won the art battle, and just found the results online.   
  • 1st place $1000 (52 votes) = Artist space #27
  • 2nd place $250 (49 votes) = Artist space #13
  • 3rd place gift bag (37 votes) = Artist space #11 

It was thisclose between 1st and 2nd place.  Which means it’s possible that if any of my 4 friends and I had voted, we would have changed the outcome.  See, your one little vote can make a difference! The power of ONE vote has also been reinforced in my mind by a couple current events: 

  1. Two metro Detroit tied elections in Nov 2007.  A coin toss ultimately decided the winner for the final seats on the Grosse Pointe City Council and the Mt. Clemens City Commission.   
  2. Catching those fabulous commercials from “ONE: The Campaign to Make Poverty History.”  Here’s just one example:     

So, shame on us for not casting our votes at the art battle.  I’d therefore like to support them further by sharing more pictures and video that I located of the event.    

Check out this video from “Motor City Blogspot”, and another slideshow from “Picture This Detroit.”  I’ll give you the scoop on some of the photos, and wish I could point out who came in 3rd, but I have no idea beyond the space number.  

  • Slides 19, 49 and 50 = 1st place winner
  • Slides 3, 45, 46, 47, 106, 108 and 119 = 2nd place winner
    • I can’t help but think while looking at slide #45 that the two Thor artists decided to create a “mash-up” of themselves.  Let’s take my flowing golden locks, add in your full beard and mustache (but change them to blond), tweak both our hats, and infuse Thor with our party spirit.
  • Slide 57 = The cosmonaut is free . . . lost in space
    • Here you can see the woman prior to being duct-taped and plastered to the exhibit, as well as a nice frontal view of the skirt wearing male artist.
  • Slide 65 = Sweatshop for the PB&J assembly
    • Again, why did they need to wear masks while making them?  Was this supposed to be symbolic of the Jonestown grape kool-aid massacre?  There were a few strawberry PB&Js, but mainly grape.  They’re both nostalgic, kid friendly, very American food staples.  Was part of the statement that our food might not be what it appears, and can in fact be dangerous?  Am I reaching, or being very astute and deep?
  • Slide 97 = Cool chandelier
    • Made out of recycled pop bottles, including their twist-off tops, and the plastic rings that hold 6 packs together.  Could this be the 3rd place winner?  It was located very close to Thor.
  • Slide 97 and 98 = The DJ getting his area set up 

I hear that they’re planning a 2009 Art Battle, so mark your calendars.       

 

ART BATTLE January 13, 2008

Filed under: Art — Jenny @ 2:30 am
Tags: , , , ,

I have visited online art battles before, but just got back from my first evening out at a LIVE art battle at the Russell Industrial Center in Detroit. If you’re wondering what this is, below is a description from the event organizer:

“Over 30 visual artists of all genres (Drawing, Painting, Sculpture, Fashion and Graphic Design, and more) will compete for cash prizes in a live performance. Artists are given 3 hours to create an original piece of art in front of an audience. The audience will judge as they walk around and interact with the performing artists. At the end of the 3 hours voting cards will be collected and tallied.

The winners will then be announced ($1,000 for first place, $250 for second, and a gift bag for 3rd). Artists from Cranbrook, College for Creative Studies, Wayne State, Kendall, and all around the Metro-Detroit area will be participating. There will be live music, food, and alcohol. ”

In reality, the event was essentially an art rave party. A basically abandoned warehouse was the setting for hordes of alternative students to congregate and flirt, and who got to listen to throbbing techno music while getting a contact buzz high from the paint, glue, and pot fumes. My friends and I joked that our breast-feeding friend should probably avoid feeding her daughter when she got home.

So, definitely an interesting event to kick off my blog. I got especially excited about this being my first post when some of the live art was random placements of PB&J sandwiches throughout the space. You can see some examples in my slide show, but they were everywhere.

While I love art, I have a hard time appreciating contemporary and avant garde art. Usually I feel that the exhibits would be perfect for a Saturday Night Live skit. Or a candid camera show, where behind the scenes we’re laughing at the people who took the art so seriously (those that infuse the art with symbolism and meaning), when in fact it was done by an elephant with a paintbrush.

Large museum exhibitions help give credibility to such art. I know that art and beauty is in the eyes of the beholder, but I can’t help but feel that such shows are a variation of buying into the Emperor’s New Clothes mentality.

For example, last year at Chicago’s Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) I saw an exhibit by Richard Tuttle. I just couldn’t understand the enthusiasm over his work. I found at least some others have agreed with me since the curator of The Whitney in NY was fired after booking a special exhibition of his work in the 70s. However, since then, at least one piece of his work has sold for an exorbitant sum. He sold Letters (the 26 series) for over $1Million at Sotheby’s auction in 2002.

My friend Mellanee mentioned that the impressionist artists weren’t understood and appreciated in their time. Am I just behind the curve in appreciating modern art?

Here are some photos from the event. Be sure to open up the slide show to see my comments on the pictures.

 

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