<a href="" target="blank">Texts from Hillary Clinton Tumblog</a>

She's been Secretary of State, a US Senator, First Lady, the world's most admired woman... and now she's gone viral. Hillary Clinton is a meme, thanks to the Texts from Hillary Tumblog.

As I write today's entry for "Here's What's Awesome," I'm listening to a tune by Richard and Linda Thompson called "Lonely Hearts." The chorus speaks of lonely hearts in "an ocean of loneliness" and "a shipwreck of pain." As if that wasn't sunny enough, along comes this cheerful verse:

No-one needs a friend, no-one cares no more
They'll look hard at you but they won't take the chain off the door
O they work and slave, keep their conscience clean
They come home at night and they talk to an empty screen

The notion that technology equals freedom is a frequent trope, and was used frequently in the early days of the Arab Spring. As the Egyptian Google exec- slash Facebook activist Wael Ghomin put it “if you want to liberate a society, just give them the internet.” How the digital realm is governed, accessed, and controlled is one of the issues addressed in consent of the networked, a new book by longtime reporter Rebecca Mackinnon. For more than a decade, she’s been active in evolving debates about how the internet will affect democracy, privacy and individual liberties.

Drawing and Photo by Evan Hahn, via Flickr Creative Commons

NHPR's All Things Considered host and Word of Mouth Internet Sherpa Brady Carlson joins us for his latest round up of what's viral on the web.

Brady's awesome links:

African voices respond to the hype over the KONY2012 film.

Just one of the criticisms of the campaign.

Photo by Anthony Reeves, courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons

Vents in Egypt and Tunisia prove that although the internet can’t be destroyed per se, it can be more or less “turned off” – a fact that has some digital-rights activists questioning the centralized, top-down organization of internet service providers.  Julian Dibbell is a tech journalist and author of The Shadow Web, an article in the March issue of Scientific American outlining growing efforts to provi

Photo by F H Mira, courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons

“Critical infrastructure” once referred to things like roads, bridges and power plants. But today, the term includes the unseen digital networks that control our visible world. An easy way to protect this infrastructure from hackers is to simply keep it disconnected from the internet, but it turns out many of those systems indeed are connected to the web, unbeknownst to the people that operate them. Joining me to talk about this is Kim Zetter, senior writer for Wired.

Photo by Criterion, courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons

Despite the spectacular congressional flop that was SOPA and PIPA, “piracy” is still a dirty word to most, with file-sharing sites like the Pirate Bay remaining in the eye of the storm and, of course, that made-for-TV takedown of Megaupload making international headlines a few weeks ago. It’s fair to predict we should expect more battles in the name of copyright protection  in the near future, but computer historian and writer Benj Edwards has a somewhat different take.

NHPR's Brady Carlson, host of All Things Considered provides us with brain food from the Internet buffet - including the censorship of Twitter.  


Beats so fresh, they aren't even born yet.


The Green Bay Packers are not going to repeat as Super Bowl Champions this year. That you surely already know. But it's not because Eli Manning and the New York Giants managed to contain the Packers' offense or outplay the Pack's defense. It's because of some sparkly nail polish and an Aaron Rodgers jersey that sat at home, unworn, during the most important playoff game of the year.

So explains our senior sports analyst, Sad Packer Fan:

 The Stop Online Piracy Act now in front of Congress – and its Senate counterpart bill, the Protect IP Act, or PIPA, are both stirring up vigorous debates in political, media and  IT circles.

Crossing the BLVD

Jan 18, 2012
Photo by mgarbowski via Flickr Creative Commons

Archie Bunker wouldn’t recognize the Queens of today, where cultures normally  thousands of miles apart live on the same block, and 138 languages can come together in a classroom. On the streets of Queens, passers by might hear Albanian hip-hop wafting from a market stall, or a  gypsy punk riff sill out of a café.  The diverse colors, accents and clothing illustrate “globalization” and “multiculturalism” in a way that corporate strategists cannot. Judith Sloan and Warren Lehrer are finely attuned to these sounds.

Gwarlingo's Michelle Aldredge

Somewhere on the list of why making a radio show is so fun would be this:  surfing the internet is part of the job. In other office pods, people have to Google on the sly. We consider following links and electronic crumbs rather productive. You never know when you might accidentally stumble onto your next guest.

Photo by, eurleif, courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons

In 2007, Tay Zonday uploaded his video, “Chocolate Rain” to YouTube.  Before the rain soaked the ground, it became a viral sensation. Unlike many VH1 one-hit-wonders, Zonda’s career continues to thrive more than five years after the chocolate storm ran its course.  For musicians, finding a label was been traditionally been the way to stardom. For aspiring actors, heading to Hollywood has been the well-trod, yet equally unreliable gateway. Would-be YouTube celebrities can come from anywhere.

We all go to Wikipedia, which means we've all seen those banners. "Please Read: A Message from Wikipedia Founder Jimmy Wales." Where the "face of Wikipedia" has his face all over Wikipedia, asking for donations to keep the system running.

That alone was meme fodder, but then the late 2011 drive included new faces along with Jimmy's - programmers, server managers and other staff. All of which led to a sometimes disturbing but sometimes very funny series of revisions to the "please read" banner ads.

Kim Jong Il's funeral was probably not intended to give birth to any memes, but when the hearse in the military procession featured a giant picture frame, the Photoshoppers' eyes got wide and the ideas started to flow.

If you're a hockey fan, you know Don Cherry, or at the very least you've seen his amazing collection of suit jackets.

<a href="" target=Blank">Kim Jong-Il Dropping the Bass</a> Tumblog

The famous Tumblog Kim Jong-Il Looking At Things has already updated its "about" section to read in the past tense - it now says "the dear leader liked to look at things." Now the remixers have found a whole new side of the North Korean leader - as a DJ. Check out Kim Jong-Il Dropping the Bass to see him in action.

[via Cifanic]

(Photo by Colinaut via Flickr Creative Commons)

Awesomator Brady Carlson runs down his top ten awesomest online moments of the year.  

From this Friday forward, Here's What's Awesome will bring you a fresh meme from the depths of web culture. This week, Misleading Doctor - who sets you up with a little news at the top of the image, only to turn that news on its head at the bottom of the image.

Photo by Vaporizers, courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons

Our guest Sabrina Rubin Erdely describes her journey down the Silk Road, an underground website where hack-savvy browsers can buy virtually anything, assuming it's illegal.


Sabrina's article about the Silk Road

Sabrina's website about other stuff

Photo by Evan Hahn, courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons

NHPR's host of All Things Considered and resident web-guru pilots us through the interweb's latest viral videos and telling finds.  


Herman Cain's webpage "error"

How to win a Russian election