Floating along on the Internet Slush Pile.

When I’m watching TV, or playing a game, or reading a magazine, I’m always a little bit removed from the experience; even when I’m really engrossed by it, there’s a part of me that’s fully conscious of the fact that I’m consuming media, not having an out-of-body experience. I think it’s a good thing: suture is cool and all, but I like to keep a little bit of critical distance from the things I interact with.

The Web always fakes me out, though. I’m almost always interacting with it, yet I never think of it as media; in fact, I hardly ever think of it at all. It’s probably not a good thing that I’ve internalized it so completely, but when I read pages or thumb through RSS feeds or google an unfamiliar name, I never think twice about it, or even once. The Web just happens.

This is just a roundabout way of saying that my list of unfiled bookmarks has again grown unwieldy, and it’s time to subject you all to another sample of the flotsam that’s been floating through my browser:

Steven Johnson relates a story of abused italics, something I constantly struggle with.

I keep telling myself that one of these days, I’m going to actually visit New York City. The Morning News has advice on what to do in Manhattan when I do.

Lisa Schmeiser lays the smack down on TV critics who unfavorably compare shows to comic books, which is like the lowbrow pot calling the lowbrow kettle black.

The initial Iron Chef America looked a little too much like American Gladiators to attract me, but the revamped version sounds a lot better.

Adaptations of books are always a dicey proposition, but when the author comes out and publicly slams a production, as Ursula LeGuin did with Sci-Fi’s Earthsea miniseries, it’s a bad sign.

There are multiple shows in production about the war in Iraq, one of which is a sitcom. Can art reflect history before it’s even made?

Thinking about media consolidation the other day got me wondering just who owns what.

I’m trying not to obsess over the fact that I’m turning 30 this year because it’s an idiotic thing to worry about, but the question of what it means to be a grownup has been weighing on my mind a bit. Sars has advice on how I should be behaving, or rather, how I should have been behaving five years ago.

The site is pretty confusing, but all of Thomas Edison’s notes are archived online.

Dave Barry has quit writing his long-running humor column. Bryan Curtis thinks that maybe he should take up political writing.

Search engines are now getting in on the fight against comment spam.

I’ve mostly gotten over the little fanfic bender I went on a while back, but that doesn’t mean the ever-present danger of Mary Sue has gone away.

There’s a nice article on the maturing of games journalism at Westword.

The phrase “New Games Journalism” makes me cringe as I picture an army Hunter S. Thompson manques writing unfocused, unending manifestos and calling them “reviews.” In Kieron Gillen’s defense, though, that’s not really what he’s calling for, and the idea of comparing games writing to travel writing is pretty darn interesting.

Taking the “video” out of “video games,” people are now making audio-only games for the blind (and for people who could use a little less eye-strain, perhaps).

If Halo is just too much for you, you can now download its ancestor, Bungie’s classic Marathon Trilogy, for free.

Jesper Juuls struggles with the ideological implications of Nutella and games, which mostly reminds me that one of these days I need to go read some Althusser.

Fun with induction: Guess the dictator and/or sitcom character.

Everything you ever wanted to know about Rhetoric, and then some.

Last but not least: a complete listing of Choose Your Own Adventure books. ‘Nuff said.

Skimming more fat off the Internet slush pile.

People send me links to things, I see stuff on other people’s weblogs, I plug random words into Google and hit the “I’m Feeling Lucky” button, and pretty soon I’ve got a pile of URLs and no idea of what to do with them, so I’ll just post them here for you to enjoy — unless you’re the person that sent a particular link to me, in which case you’ve already enjoyed it.

Today is apparently the tenth anniversary of the PlayStation’s release. The BBC has a feature on its significance as the console that brought video games out of the “kids and geeks” cultural ghetto and into the mainstream.

The BBC has also put up the first teaser for their revival of Dr. Who (RealPlayer required). I haven’t watched this show in fifteen years, but I’m still all aquiver at the thought of its return.

It makes total sense if you think about it: a comic adaptation of The Secret of Monkey Island. (If you’ve never played that game, be warned: because it follows the game so closely, it basically amounts to a graphical walkthrough, and as such is pretty much a long chain of spoilers.) It’s interesting, though, to see how a video game that derived much of its success by appropriating the language of cartoons is itself appropriated and translated into a third medium, the comic.

The organization H.O.P.E. (Horrified Observers of Pedestrian Entertainment) is sponsoring a CD exchange program: you can trade in an album by Ashlee Simpson, J-Lo, Limp Bizkit, etc., and get back an album that doesn’t suck.

I’ve recently discovered that lurking on academic listservs can be a great form of entertainment, if you can build up a tolerance for words like “problematize.”

I’m not sure what to make of Amazon’s A9.com. It’s a personalized web-annotating… thing… I think. Kind of interesting, but I already have tools to do most everything it does. Between this and GMail, though, we seem to be in some sort of renaissance of JavaScript-based applications.

Web design pioneer Joe Gillespie is retiring his site, Web Page Design for Designers. If you’ve ever used the 212-color web-safe palette or 1-pixel spacer GIFs in your page design, you probably either learned about them from him or from someone who learned it from him.

The debate is over: like those red-vs-blue maps that were circulating after the election, someone has done a county-by-county breakdown of how people use the terms “pop,” “soda,” and “coke.”

It’s not really massive, and it’s not really a game, but Someone Keeps Stealing All My Letters is a persistent multiplayer online environment. Fighting over resources has never been so much fun!

Mozilla.org announces launch of the Mozilla Foundation.

It’s about time.