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August 2 to 8, 2004
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Topic of the Week: Supporting Local Arts and Designs

Hawaii is one of the toughest states for those involved in the arts to make a living. The word on the street is that Studio One, a popular gallery and entertainment venue (and home to the nation's largest registered poetry slams), will be closing in October. Despite what you might say about their business model, it provides a needed outlet for artists (poets, painters, and musicians looking for a voice) as well as the audience (which is willing to pay for cheaper alternatives to the opera and the symphony).

The state will be left with no other mid-sized downtown venue for locals with a stage layout that can pull in 300 to 500 (restaurants don't count), meaning that small local acts and events won't be able to grow, or will be forced to play large venues. And it's very, very hard for growing acts to turn a profit in large venues here.

If you think such an operation cannot be financially viable, think about the bigger, hidden economic net benefits for nearby restaurants, stores, galleries, and bars. And without attracting nightly crowds, downtown will sink deeper into its perceived image as a drug-addled ghost town with an uninspiring night life. We're going to lose new, upcoming cultural voices like this:
And audiences like this, interested in theatre, poetry, and music in the round:
Here's a few suggestions:

1) Tax incentives for local artists in particular areas to spur growth. Here's a model:
2) Encourage smaller mixed-use artist loft/working exhibition spaces.
3) Expand the ARTS at Marks to a larger, multi-use downtown arts space.
4) Implement arts-specific loan programs and small-business assistance.
5) Foster programs that exploit the independent local arts to tourism/Waikiki economic connection.
"Quest for logo a fruitless pursuit"
The University of Hawaii is still having a tough time with this. Send your design ideas and other suggestions/comments to!
New Tech
Casio develops the world's first transparent ceramic lens, enabling smaller, thinner cameras:
New foot pontoons actually allow you to walk on water. Great for fishing, water testing, workouts, and tourism:
The new, groovy world of open-source business models:
All manner of new stamps have been appearing! The first stamps to use lenticular printing (which gives an interlaced 3D effect):
Scratch 'n' sniff stamps:
Stamps made of wood:
A new building system is making polystyrene homes for the rebuilding effort in Afghanistan:
Terrorism and You
Although over 80% of the public feels that e-voting is safe (or have no opinion), over 80% of security experts feel that current e-voting systems are much less secure than traditional paper-based voting. If teenage hackers can rig a vote, why would it be any harder for organized, professional criminals to?
A 11.7 foot high-resolution screen is displayed at a homeland security conference:
Check out the incredible satellite images you can view on this baby:
"Onion routing" may help make anonymous communications over the net more secure:
"Stealth wallpaper" can prevent insecure wireless networks from being hijacked:
Some amazing bluetooth hacking - address book contents can be stolen from up to a mile away! Or run a sneaky bluetooth content-grabbing program from your PDA and walk around unnoticed:
The Kensington computer cable lock can be opened in 30 seconds with $1 worth of material:
Bush's approval poll data, mapped against terror alerts:
Modern Life
Students in India and China commit suicide (and spark riots in the process) due to their inability to pay tuition/testing fees:
About 22 year-old Ryan Pitlak, a marketing student who may have made hundreds of thousands from spam, coming from hundreds of shell companies he set up:
"...the information superhighway... will collapse"
A few of the really stupid things Jack Valenti (outgoing head of the MPAA) has said about new media technologies and intellectual property:
The FCC, by the way, would like to prohibit you from recording anything from the Internet:
The story behind the Internet Movie Database, one of the most popular, useful Web sites ever made:
Amsterdam needs cheap temporary housing for 7,000 college students quickly! A developer is building a temporary, modular, and easily moveable student city made of 1,000 40-foot cargo containers:
As seen in recent floods in Hawaii, storm drainage systems can clog up due to improper use. Could the use of permeable pavement systems help alleviate flooding in areas such as Manpunapuna? It's certainly more eco-friendly, filtering polluted runoff:
Semi-transparent solar panels can be used as a new building material and video projection surface, and they generate 3.8 watts per square foot:
The Everyman Photo Contest - great amateur photography!
Last year's "Most Discussed" award winner:
See how a family changes, via similar photos taken every year for 28 years:
Clubbo Music, a fabulously detailed and funny site about a nonexistant record label:
The African can guitar, made of old oil cans:
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