Containing over 400 songs and a 42 page history, Stan Hugill's (wikipedia) Shanties of the Seven Seas is probably the definitive book on sea shanties.

hultonclint has been working his way through Shanties of the Seven Seas, posting his versions of each song, along with commentary, on YouTube.

hultonclint's Shanties of the Seven Seas YouTube playlist

hat tip @RayBeckerman

To commemorate the start of the RIAA v Thomas-Rasset trail, I'll take a look at an aspect of the band/fan relationship. In particular, the fan reaction to Lar Ulrich's testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee. Lars Ulrich is the drummer for Metallica (wikipedia), a band with many devoted fans. After testifying before the Senate Judiciary Committee in July 2000, many fans reacted negatively to his testimony.

Why the backlash? Clearly people downloading Metallica's music were infringing on the band's copyright. Why would fans react in anger to Lars and Metallica for defending their legal rights? I believe there are a number of things going on here, but today I'll just focus on one, the clash between the "social" and "market" worlds. In Predictably Irrational, Dan Ariely (whose work I've discussed previously) talks about this in the chapter The Cost of Social Norms. When these two worlds clash problems occur, as Ariely discusses in this video.

Despite the fact that fans do spend money a band's CDs, concerts and merchandise, they don't view their connection with a band as a commercial relationship, they see themselves as FANS of the band not CUSTOMERS. By going before the Senate Judiciary Committee and complaining about Napster and their users, Lars and Metallica were defining the relationship between Metallica and its fans as a commerical relationship.

Canadian writer Cory Doctorow discusses this in his article Macropayments:

"When you take money directly from someone, they become your customer, a relationship that’s fundamentally different from the "writer-reader" relationship that you get when the reader is the publisher’s customer."

Fans reacted negatively, in part, because Lars and Metallica had redefined them as customers not fans.

see also
Larry Lessig discusses what he defines as the commerical and sharing economies (starting at 26:45) in this presentation.


Christine and Justin have found an interesting way to purchase the things they want. They make paintings of the item and offer it for sale for the price of the desired item. Here are some of the things they have purchased through selling their paintings.


photo credit Wants For Sale

Find out more at WantsForSale.

hat tip boing boing

This video shot recently at the Sasquatch Music Festival demonstrates the idea of the tipping point as Derek Sivers (wikipedia) discusses in How to make a movement. Lessons learned from dancing guy.

see also
Calgary Herald - Calgary's 'Dancing Man' a hit after YouTube video

The 2009 24 Heures du Mans takes place June 13-14. NFL Films/Intersport were asked by Audi to produce a documentary about Audi's 2008 24 Heures du Mans. The result is the film Truth In 24 (IMDB, wikipedia) and it is fantastic. Not everyone is a motorsports fan and may not find this type of documentary interesting. However, Truth In 24 is well put together and has just enough history, atmosphere and intrigue to keep most people interested. It is well worth watching. The documentary is available free on iTunes.

Trailer for Truth In 24

Here is a short video from Garage419 on the making of Truth In 24.

Heineken created this great commercial.

And then followed it up with this one.

hat tip BuzzFeed

avoidantconsumer put together this video mashup using clips from The Breakfast Club, Pretty In Pink, Footloose and Mannequin for the song Lisztomania by Phoenix (wikipedia). Phoenix apparently likes the video as they've embedded it on their MySpace page.

The following video was created as a tribute to avoidantconsumer's video. The video was shot on a rooftop in Williamsburg.

The bridge you see in this video is the Williamsburg Bridge, you can find more pictures of the bridge at Concrete Span - Williamsburg Bridge. You can also catch glimpses of the Brooklyn Bridge (Concrete Span - Brooklyn Bridge) and the Manhattan Bridge, most notably in the final shot.

see also
Rolling Stone - Flashback: Phoenix’s “Lisztomania” Makes Ringwald And Cryer Feel Like Dancing

hat tip boing boing

Fire Design is a French company designing some unique looking fire extinguishers.

hat tip

Here are some of my favorite literal music videos.

Total Eclipse of the Heart makes another appearance on the blog (FITM: Top 3 Music Videos of All Time). Radiohead (wikipedia) also makes another appearance (FITM: Fake Plastic Trees) albeit a different song. Plus a first time appearance for Meatloaf (wikipedia).

see also
Rolling Stone - Rocking Literally: The Story Behind “Take on Me,” “Head Over Heels” Video Parodies
Entertainment Weekly - "Total Eclipse of the Heart": The literal video

hat tip boing boing

Hmmmm, this post contains two outta three Jim Steinman songs...

Recently a judge threw out a lawsuit by a woman who had believed that Crunch Berries (as in Cap'n Crunch Crunch Berries) were a real type of berry only to discover there is no such thing. I won't comment on the actual case because I'm not a lawyer (not that this stops me from commenting on legal issues) and I haven't read much about the case. Rather, I find it interesting that a number of people commenting on the case find the entire notion of the case laughable... because, obviously Crunch Berries don't exist.

At first glance, it is easy to agree with the Judge that any 'reasonable' person would know that Crunch Berries don't actually exist. And if someone is arguing that they thought the colourful, berry shaped cereal were "Crunch Berries" then yes, that's kinda silly.

As an aside, the name "Crunch Berries" suggests to me Cap'n Crunch cereal with berries, in the same way "Raisin Bran" suggests to me Bran Flakes with Raisins. So why aren't there berries in the cereal? And why is Quaker Oats allowed to call their product Crunch Berries when it doesn't contain berries?

Ok, back to the question that interests me. How does the average (presumably reasonable) person determine that Crunch Berries don't actually exist? Is the average person a berry expert? a berry grower? I don't think so. So how do they make this determination? I don't think they really know, they just think they know. They think of all the berries they do know about: Raspberry, Blueberry, Blackberry, Strawberry, Cranberry.... hmmm.... Gooseberry... uh... Loganberry... oh, Boysenberry... Nope, no Crunch Berry listed there, so obviously they don't exist. If they existed we would know about them, wouldn't we? However, people don't know what they don't know and unless they think about what they don't know they are going to make some assumptions that might not be right or fair.

When I first heard about the case, I wanted to know more about berries. How many varieties are there? What oddly named berries are there? I couldn't find an answer to the first question, although I did see a reference that there are about 200 different types of berries growing in Canada. However, a quick look at wikipedia - berry yielded a list the following oddly named berries: Bearberry, Crowberry, Sea Grape, Mayberry, Nannyberry, Hackberry, Cloudberry, Salmonberry, Thimbleberry, Wineberry. How many of the reasonable people who know there is no such berry as a Crunch Berry, also know there really are Crowberries, Nannyberries, Wineberries, etc.?

I also discovered that 'berries' is a loosely defined category and not all berries are "True berries," In fact, most of the commonly known berries aren't True berries. And further, I found out that Tomatoes, Eggplants, Chili Peppers, Kiwifruit and Grapes are all True berries. The wikipedia entry has a chart comparing Botanical and Common parlance, and it appears that the general public doesn't really know what is and isn't a berry.

I wonder how many of these allegedly reasonable people knew all (or any) of this?

In my opinion, unless one also knows that Bearberries, Nannyberries, Thimbleberries, Cloudberries, Chili Peppers, Grapes and Tomatoes are all berries (loosely defined) then any claim that one knows that Crunch Berries don't actually exist is little more than a guess.