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NetNomad 42

Five offbeat, timely reviews of Web sites on the arts, politics and news -- with a dash of the absurd thrown in for good measure. This week: . . . AdCritic.com . . . How Much Information . . . Studio Briefing . . . Cephas & Wiggins . . . John Sayles Interviewed by Leonard Maltin
 
 
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AdCritic.com www.adcritic.com

You might think some people would go out of their way to avoid commercials, but here's a site that boasts that they actually work directly with ad agencies and corporations to acquire commercials that can then be shown online. In fact, the site states that it was "created for those who find advertising more than just an annoyance between TV shows." True to their word, you'll find practically every ad you have seen on TV, all available for viewing via RealPlayer. The site also encourages viewers from around the world to record any commercials they might see that "blows you away or cracks you up for days."

How Much Information www.sims.berkeley.edu/how-much-info/

Yes, we live in an information age, but some of the age-old questions remain the same. At the moment, according to this study, the world produces between 1 and 2 exabytes of unique information per year, which is roughly 250 megabytes for every man, woman, and child on earth. An exabyte is a billion gigabytes, or 1018 bytes. So while it is perhaps technically possible to save every scrap of information, the question now is: what information do we actually want to store? Everything? Or just the important stuff? And who is to decide what is important?

John Sayles Interviewed by Leonard Maltin www.wga.org/pr/0298/sayles.html

John Sayles is one of the true originals, a novelist, screenwriter and director (not necessarily in that order) who has the unique ability to succeed in just about every discipline. He is also one of the few independent directors to consistently buck the system. His films, including "Limbo," "Men With Guns," "Passion Fish" and "Lone Star" are hailed by both critics and moviegoers despite the fact that his films are generally considered to be less accessible than most Hollywood blockbusters. Here Sayles talks frankly and with typical humor with film critic Leonard Maltin who does an admirable job of pretty much sitting back and letting the man tell his tale. And it is a very interesting tale indeed.

Studio Briefing http://newshare.com/sb/

There are dozens of entertainment news and gossip sites, but Studio Briefing is one of the best. Edited by Lew Irwin, Studio Briefing is a solid combination of TV and film news. We're not sure how he does it, but Irwin's column regularly features items we've not seen elsewhere. A typical briefing might include the latest TV ratings, star gossip and a bit of industry news, while the film section includes the latest films either doing very well or very poorly, those in or out of production and a slice of industry news. The Internet Movie Database uses this column as the anchor for its industry news.

Cephas & Wiggins www.cephasandwiggins.com/

If you have never heard this blues duo, do yourself a huge favor and search out some of their music. But do try to hear the music before you actually see a picture of the musicians. You'll swear, as we did, that John Cephas and Phil Wiggins have been playing the blues for 100 years. Such is not the case, however. The two began their career in the mid 1970s just as blues legends Sonny Terry and Brownie McGhee were packing up their gear. Still in their twenties, Cephas and Wiggins began playing a style of blues called Piedmont blues (in which Cephas plays the guitar using two fingers on the top treble strings to supply the melody line while his thumb keeps rhythm on the bottom strings.) Add Wiggins stately harmonica to the mix, and you've got some of the most captivating blues you're ever likely to hear. Their latest, "From Richmond to Atlanta" features a sampling of tunes culled from their Flying Fish CDs.