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Sites, Sounds, Words and Visuals: FourPlay with Digital Journal

Digital Journal — Get the quick and dirty from Digital Journal‘s FourPlay section! Take a look at hot websites, cool music, good books and the people that keep popping up in the news. Digital Journal showcases the Sites, Sounds, Words and Visuals of today and tomorrow!



SITES

Metafilter.com
Bored? Seen it all? Try stopping by Metafilter, one of the Web’s oldest, most popular community blogs. Combining the news junkie’s passion for novelty with the Web junkie’s obsession with anything remotely “cool,” Metafilter encourages its 20,000 registered users to post interesting links they’ve discovered online. You’ll find thoughtful and nuanced comments pages here, but newbies should brush up on MeFi’s numerous in-jokes — posts that sound too corporate will quickly earn the dreaded “Pepsi Blue” tag.

Epicurious.com
If cooking is your favourite hobby next to eating, Epicurious should be a bookmark worth revisiting. This well-designed site lists thousands of food and drink recipes from Gourmet and Bon Appetit magazines, while also including more than 1,000 tips from experienced chefs (“Trim the fat in chili by using ground turkey breast instead of hamburger”). Gourmands who learn by watching will appreciate the How-To section that features videos demonstrating techniques like poaching eggs and peeling pineapples.

SOUNDS

Buck 65
Secret House Against the World (Warner)
Country twang and folk meet hip-hop in the second major-label effort from Halifax’s Buck 65 (a.k.a. Richard Terfry). It’s not only the witty narratives and unique instrumentals that make this disc such an easy listen; the ragged beats and deft DJ scratching create a hypnotic head-bobbing vibe that will appeal to the snobbiest hip-hop fan. Call Buck 65 a beautiful blend of Rakim, Willie Nelson and Jack Kerouac.

System of a Down
Mezmerize (Sony)
People with extreme mood swings who want a soundtrack to their emotional reversals should look no further than Mezmerize, a quirky, fast-tempo album from System of a Down. One song will rock hard with chunky guitar riffs and the next will have a ska flavour before diving into nu-metal scream-singing. The lyrics can be either playful or political, as evidenced in the song titles: “This Cocaine Makes Me Feel Like I’m On This Song” or the Bush-bashing “B.Y.O.B” (Bring Your Own Bombs).

WORDS

I Can’t Believe I’m Buying This Book: A Commonsense Guide to Successful Internet Dating by Evan Marc Katz. Ten Speed Press, 2003. 174 pp., $14.95 ISBN 1-58008-571-7
Consider this book a primer for online daters — you know who you are. Katz, a consultant for several dating sites, breaks down the basics of wandering the Web in search of love, from writing profiles to juggling responses. A tongue-in-cheek writing style complements the advice, which extends beyond the usual “post photos or perish.” Especially useful is a two-page table comparing
15 leading sites.

High-Tech Crimes Revealed by Steven Branigan. Addison-Wesley, 2004. 412 pp., $42.99 ISBN 0321218736
From the pen of a computer science and forensics expert comes a meaty tome written to educate people on why hackers do what they do. Besides advice on what to avoid, Branigan explains the motives behind computer attacks by interviewing the collared perps. Going deep into the crimes makes the book a valuable resource for paranoid PC users and experienced IT pros.

VISUALS

Title: Chappelle’s Show: Season Two
Studio: Paramount
Running Time: 140 minutes
It started as a sleeper hit but Dave Chappelle’s sketch show on Comedy Central soon sparked a near-religious movement of Gen Xers spastically shouting, “I’m Rick James, bitch!” The second season riffs on racial issues and conjures up some hilarious scenarios — check out the skit on what the Web would look like if it were a real place. Bonus material includes Chappelle’s stand-up routine and an hour of bloopers and deleted scenes.

Title:Freestyle: The Art of Rhyme
StudioSony BMG
Running Time:75 minutes
Rhyming off the dome. Battle rapping. Ciphering. Freestyling has many names and now one DVD to explore how improv rhyming has energized hip-hop performances. Using rare archival footage, this documentary showcases the MCs — from
Mos Def to Supernatural — whose lyrical skills satisfy the most discerning ear. Besides tracking the roots of this freestyling phenomenon, director Kevin Fitzgerald lets the artists themselves offer the viewer a poetic potpourri.



This article is part of Digital Journal’s national magazine edition. Pick up your copy of Digital Journal in bookstores across Canada and the United States. Or subscribe to Digital Journal now, and receive 8 issues for $29.95 + GST ($48.95 USD).

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