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Jesse Brown


How to Sample Wine Without Looking like a Clown

Jesse Brown, a BoingBoing guest-blogger, is the host of TVO's Search Engine podcast.

Here's some more unpretentious wine instruction from Kathryn Borel Jr.

And here's a link to Borel's new memoir, Corked (link). Free sample chapter here (PDF).

9/11 hoax fools all of Germany

Jesse Brown, a BoingBoing guest-blogger, is the host of TVO's Search Engine podcast.

Here's what DPA, Germany's national news wire reported this past September 11th 10th:

A terrorist attack occurred in the city of Bluewater, California. The suicide bombers were German rappers, the "Berlin Boys".

A half hour later DPA issued a correction: there had been no bombing. The "Berlin Boys" are not a rap group. The city of Bluewater does not exist.

It was all an elaborate publicity stunt to promote the satirical German film Short Cut to Hollywood. Filmmaker Jan Henrik Stahlberg and his team fooled their entire nation by creating fake websites and videos:

Here's the fake city of Bluewater (link).

Here's the fake local Bluewater news station, KVPK (link).

And here are the "Berlin Boys" with their club hit "Hass":

Wired has a detailed report (link).

Peter Bagge's Everybody Is Stupid Except for Me

Jesse Brown, a BoingBoing guest-blogger, is the host of TVO's Search Engine podcast.

I've been enjoying cartoonist Peter Bagge's contributions to Reason Magazine for years now, which I've always read on their website. But now Fantagraphics has collected them into a great-looking trade paperback! Here's a PDF of a free chapter (link).

Fans of Bagge's from his HATE days are sometimes turned off by the politics of his Reason comics. I'm not. I think Bagge has been doing really interesting work, mixing field journalism with humor and opinion in an entirely novel way.

As an essayist Bagge is never preachy, and he often points out the shortcomings of his fellow libertarians (his account of meeting Ron Paul is particularly funny). He explores more than he rants, and when he does let loose, he's got a healthy sense of self-satire.

These comics will piss you off, and that's good. (Amazon link)

How Islamist gangs use chat rooms to lure, torture and kill Iraqi gays

Jesse Brown, a BoingBoing guest-blogger, is the host of TVO's Search Engine podcast.

The Guardian has a chilling report on how fundamentalist murderers are using the Internet to locate, entrap, and brutally murder dozens of gay Iraqi men:

Sitting on the floor, wearing traditional Islamic clothes and holding an old notebook, Abu Hamizi, 22, spends at least six hours a day searching internet chatrooms linked to gay websites. He is not looking for new friends, but for victims.

"It is the easiest way to find those people who are destroying Islam and who want to dirty the reputation we took centuries to build up," he said. When he finds them, Hamizi arranges for them to be attacked and sometimes killed.

(link)

Thanks, Phillip

Griddleville: amazing cartoon made entirely by one dude.

Jesse Brown, a BoingBoing guest-blogger, is the host of TVO's Search Engine podcast.

The most creative guy I knew in high school was this kid Ba Blackstock. He drew hilarious cartoons, directed theatrical adaptations of Dan Clowes comics and made crazy short movies.

Later, he spent years of his life making this cartoon. He went old-school, penciling by hand over a light board (he's entirely self-taught). Then he inked and colored it and added 3D stuff digitally. Of course, he nearly lost his mind in the process.

The resulting cartoon speaks for itself.

NOTE: this is just one chapter. I recommend watching the whole 14 minute thing (link.)

How to saber a bottle of champagne

Jesse Brown, a BoingBoing guest-blogger, is the host of TVO's Search Engine podcast.

Here's notorious Toronto lubricator Kathryn Borel Jr. teaching us how to festively slice open a bottle of bubbly without swallowing a single shard of glass!

Borel's memoir Corked just came out. It's really funny and makes wine seem interesting and meaningful (even to an oenophobe like me). Check it out! (link)

The Burley Boys: feral children who want TV

Jesse Brown, a BoingBoing guest-blogger, is the host of TVO's Search Engine podcast.

Here's a cartoon I made starring my adorable little cousins. The person they're beating up is me.

Tonight: Search Engine launch party in Toronto

Jesse Brown, a BoingBoing guest-blogger, is the host of TVO's Search Engine podcast.


poster by Emma Segal

If you live in Toronto, come have a drink with me at the launch party for the new season of my podcast! It's tonight at The Ossington (61 Ossington) from 7pm on.

If you can't make it, you can still have fun with us by putting words in my mouth: I'm crowd sourcing my toast, and will hold forth with whatever 400 words end up here.

I will illustrate my speech with a slideshow using whatever pix end up here.

Here's a sample of what's up there so far:

"I'm Jesse Brown, and this speach (sic) is a dream come true...And it goes out to the ladies. To Search Engine! [Chewbacca sound here]"

Jonathan Goldstein's Wiretap finally has a podcast!

Jesse Brown, a BoingBoing guest-blogger, is the host of TVO's Search Engine podcast.
WireTapArtistPoster.jpg

Jonathan Goldstein's Wiretap is the greatest radio show you may have never heard of. That's because, despite being on CBC Radio for five years, building a dedicated cult audience, and just being generally wonderful, it's never been offered as a podcast.

Until now! Subscribe with RSS here or via iTunes here.

And check out the "unofficial" Wiretap archives here.

If you've never heard Wiretap before (or heard Goldstein on This American Life, or read his books) then you're in for a treat- he's a humble weirdo semi-genius. Whether he's imagining a hostile correspondence between Fred Flintstone and Barney Rubble or rewriting the Bible, or absorbing abuse from his supporting cast of equally funny Montreal cronies, Goldstein is always dry as a bone and completely original. Check it out.

KlezHop freak Socalled

Jesse Brown, a BoingBoing guest-blogger, is the host of TVO's Search Engine podcast.

Socalled AKA Josh Dolgin is an annoying, talented, annoyingly talented "buddy" of mine.

We used to make cartoons together but these days he's a big star on the European Klezmer circuit (!).

He fuses klezmer with hiphop, rediscovers aging novelty musicians and does stupid magic tricks. His live show is incredible.

I like this video of his better than his more successful one, but I'm usually difficult in that way. Enjoy!

Ira Glass talks about the Internet

Jesse Brown, a BoingBoing guest-blogger, is the host of TVO's Search Engine podcast.

My podcast Search Engine launches a new season this week with a discussion between me and (my radio hero) Ira Glass, host of This American Life.

Ira is a pleasure to talk to, nimble and playful in his conversation, even when he's insisting that he has nothing to say! Ira Glass on Search Engine (mp3)

Subscribe to Search Engine: on iTunes

with XML

All publicly funded content should be in the public domain.

Jesse Brown, a BoingBoing guest-blogger, is the host of TVO's Search Engine podcast.


A few years ago I hosted a mini-series for CBC Radio called The Contrarians, a show about "unpopular ideas that just might be right". Each week I'd take a controversial opinion and try it on for size. Sometimes the show was serious, sometimes it was silly- I rarely agreed with the positions I took, but operated on the principle that no idea is so radical or offensive that we should be forbidden to contemplate it (if only to learn why we should discard it). The CBC brass was incredibly supportive of the project and I was given license to explore a lot of unorthodox subject matter. Topics included:

  • *Multiculturalism doesn't work (we just eat each other's sandwiches).
  • *Feminism isn't dead, it's just finished (take a bow, ladies- you won!).
  • *It's a myth- Canadians aren't funny.
  • *Copyright should be abolished.

I'd love to link to these shows now, but I can't. They were never posted online or offered as podcasts. I tried posting them on my personal website, and was instructed to take them down by CBC management. I was told I was violating their copyright. Every now and then I'll get an email from a teacher or listener requesting an episode of The Contrarians, and I have to explain that I'd be breaking the law to send one.

Let's put aside my personal frustration at having my work locked away. The real question here is, since CBC content is funded by the public, shouldn't the public own it? Or at least have access to it? Actually, the CBC archives are just the tip of the iceberg: the overwhelming majority of stuff made for Canadians with Canadians' money is inaccessible to Canadians.

In Canada, movies are supported by Telefilm, TV by the Canadian Television Fund, books and art by The Canada Council for the Arts, and so on. But most of this stuff isn't distributed very well or for very long, and you can only get your hands on a fraction of it.

So I want to put forth one more contrarian position: I think that any publicly funded content should (within, say, 5 years of its creation) be released to the public domain.

Thoughts? (Un-Canadians welcome. Let's open an international discussion about this.)

Beloved artist to nation: "Keep Your Mouths Shut"

Jesse Brown, a BoingBoing guest-blogger, is the host of TVO's Search Engine podcast.

Norman McLaren is well-known to Canadians as the creator of the Oscar-winning anti-war animation Neighbours (which seemed to air every hour past midnight on public TV when I was a kid). But the NFB's extensive and amazing archives contain a wealth of other McLaren creations- including the following piece of terrifying WWII propaganda: Were there Nazi spies in Canada during WWII or was McLaren a paranoid propagandist? I am completely ignorant about this period of Canadian history- can some BoingBoinger educate me?

Mommy, where do cartoon characters come from?

Jesse Brown is a guest-blogger on BoingBoing. He is the host of TVO's Search Engine podcast.

Noticing that most cartoon characters lack genitals, I made a short animation explaining where new cartoon buddies come from...

The Birth of Century Sam from Jesse Brown on Vimeo.