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PicLens, The Most Beautiful Way to Browse Photography on the Web

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PicLens, The Most Beautiful Way to Browse Photography on the Web
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Image by Thomas Hawk
Well I've been using PicLens for a few months now, and I'm a bit late with this post, but if you haven't installed PicLens yet for browsing photos on the web you are missing one of the most beautiful ways to view photography on the internet yet.

The screenshot above does not do justice to the visual experience. PicLens is hands down the best I have ever seen photos look online.

PicLens is an add on for Firefox users. You can go get it here. When you add PicLens to your Firefox experience, photos on many internet sites (including Flickr and Zooomr) have a little play type triangular icon over them. When you click on this icon it transforms your viewing experience and takes photos to a brand new level. Only photos are loaded on the screen and you can move your mouse to scroll through the photos or enlarge or shrink photos in your viewing experience.

With PicLens photos float through your browser like beauty flowing from a waterfall. The motion effects are outstanding. Best of all though, PicLens allows you to see photos in the true splendor that they are best seen in. Large. One of the problems with viewing many photos large on the internet is that you have to click and wait for a new page to load. This gets boring and tiresome. Not with PicLens though. Simply move your mouse scroll button up or down and photos get larger and smaller.

As amazing as PicLens is for browsing photos on the web I do wish that they improve one thing.

Right now interacting with photos on PicLens is very difficult. While you can click through to any photo to fave/comment/bookmark/etc., when you do this PicLens ends abruptly. After you interact with the photo there is no easy way to get back to the PicLens page where you were browsing before you clicked out of your PicLens experience.

What would most easily fix this would be if PicLens allowed you to ctl-click (on a PC) or cmd-click (on a Mac) and have that photo's page load in Firefox in the background. This way you could browse someone's entire stream, favorites, etc. in PicLens, all the while cmd-clicking (in my case) as you go to go back and interact with the photos that you liked best once you were done.

Alternatively, TranceMist suggests that people simply could be allowed to fave/comment on a photo from within PicLens.

Looking at photos on PicLens is like seeing them in a fine art gallery or museum. Photos take on a whole new beauty. But more interactive features are still needed.

More on PicLens from Read/Write Web and Webware.

Adriene made me a silver necklace that says PussyPower!
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Image by Tricia Wang 王圣捷
Adriene had this silver necklace made for my birthday. She appreciates my attempts to reclaim this word. When I was in college, I became sick and infuriated when hearing men call other men "pussys" for not being a "real man." But even more untolerable was hearing other women call other men "pussys" for failing at "manhood."

Whenever I heard "pussy" used in such a condescending way, I would always say "excuse me? those are my genitals you are referring to and my Pussy is POWERFUL, not weak. So if you are going to de-masculinize a man, you can de-phallasize him, you can call him an ass asshole, you can call him a dick, a bastard, but never give him the power of your pussy."

After giving that speech once every week I decided something had to be done, women needed to reclaim the word "pussy" and in effect reclaim their own pussies. So I coined the term "pussy power kunt control." Pussy Power stuck while kunt control fell to the wayside. I made buttons with the word "Pussy Power" and I passed it out to women who honored their pussies by referring to it as celebratory word, not a hurtful word.

Adriene has known me for about 10 years now and I think she has heard me give that speech so many times. Finally I have a beautiful necklace for my birthday from one of my best friends! thank you Adriene! you TOO have the power of the Pussy!

We will reclaim an identity that we allowed to be taken away from and reclaim the responsibilities that comes along with it. If YOU have Pussy Power, NEVER let a man or boy and most importantly another woman call another male a pussy in a hurtful or denigrating way. Those are YOUR genitals. PUSSY POWER!

Now on a separate note - Several friends commented on how they were so amazed I could post these photos about Adriene's pussy power necklace gift for me openly on flickr. My birthday was back in April - and those few comments made me pause before posting this on my blog. So here are my thoughts on this matter.

so when my friends told me that I was brave to openly post these- I ask them why exactly should I have been embarrassed or afraid? They would say well you know you get google searched for jobs and grants and people might think that you are a liability or they may judge you before they get to meet you. Academic colleagues have said well your students are going to find it and you're never going to get tenured for posting this or what happens if your professor sees this online? Well duh - I always googled people before I would interview, hire or even meet someone. I would like to remind everyone that I was openly doing internet searches on potential dates and hirings back in the late 1900's and early 2000's before Google even existed ok?

So of COURSE I understand that this public internet posting will be potentially seen by my past, current and future colleagues and/or students. But I don't think I am doing anything wrong or embarrassing when I insist that women not allow the word "pussy" to be used in a derogatory way. I am not using it in a nasty way - so how is that a liability? What I find offensive is when people remain quiet when something offensive is said. And worse off I find it offensive when people judge others for unsubstantiated reasons. To be anymore hush-hush with pussy feeds into larger schemas of patriarchy and misogyny.

I stand behind my attempts to un-dirty the word in a fashionable way. For too long (not in all communities) women's reproductive organs have been considered to be profane and unworthy of equal respect to the phallus. The sexuality associated with vaginas have been seen as a threat and rituals are created to take away the power from their vaginas. The menstrual cycles that women go through are seen as filthy - requiring physical separation of women from the community. I find it problematic that although we have formal gender equality, this is not always reflected in our vernacular. The heavy association of the word "pussy" is too weighted on the side of the "nasty" or as lacking a cock which means lacking power. So powerful and normalized is the cock that we celebrate and laugh at the word. Even when a male is called a "cock" - like "he's such a cock," he's a cock precisely because of his unwarranted use of power. We laugh at jokes about "dicks' - such as Justin Timberlake's Dick in a Box - but the word pussy is so nasty and weak that it can't even be intellectualized or comedized (I made this word up) in popular culture. My point is that the verbal representitive use of genitals reflects underlying real world inequalities and tensions between males and femals.

I simply will not be embarassed by the names of female genitals - And if this prevents me from being hired - then I certainly don't belong at that organization, institution or company. And if students can't take me seriously after reading this, then they need to grow up. Really. and if Professors find this and are horrified then I am sure glad that they aren't working with me.

When we make a claim to an identity, it's not just about claiming rights or something abstract like belonging - but it's about claiming responsibility to that identity. So in claims that I make - like I claim I am Chinese-American or I claim that I am from the U.S. or that I live in Brooklyn or that I a female- then I take a responsibility in those claims to act and to practice what I claim.

And hopefully future colleagues who do come upon this will see that this is a sign of character - that I am not afraid to stand behind someone or something. Now I am not some militant gender freak - so I feel no need to parade my thoughts or beat up people for calling men pussies. Nor do I lack the sense to wear this necklace when I interview someone or when I am being interviewed - or at some funding meeting or my dissertation defense or even at any professional meetings. I don't believe in drawing unnecessary attention to myself and detracting from the larger goals or messages in professional situations because I do understand wearing this necklace entails the burden of explaining the message - which I embrace in moments when I want to teach people about pussy power. BUT I will wear it when I find see fit and fashionable! And if after reading this explanation and you still find my pussy power offensive, horrific or distasteful then it's time to bring in some humor into your life and chillll out! Go turn on Prince and Mozart and watch some South Park.

"Video Art Adrenaline" - a 45-second Video Art Production by mimitalks, married w/children (view in HD)
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Image by mimitalks, married, under grace
45 seconds of pure energy and having nothing better to do :).
Buffer first, then view again for the full effect. Interestingly enough, the music (via my Pinnacle Studio HD Ultimate program) is a discordant mix of tunes titled "Adrenaline" and "Evolution", respectively.

All graphics are originals, created with the use of Paint Shop Pro vs. 6 (no longer available online, but my version of choice for ease of use). The strobe lighting effect was purely accidental - I liked it, so I kept it in...

Should you find yourself bored on a lovely spring day and wish to view more of this type of Video Art, please see my set:

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