Entries filed under "flash mobs"
June 08, 2005
"Brand New Flashmob Opera"

There's a new opera about flash mobs on the BBC. Please someone, send me a rip of this.

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July 09, 2004
"Flash Mob" in the Oxford English Dictionary

This just in:

Date: Fri, 9 Jul 2004 12:42:13 -0400
From: Bill [censored] <[censored]@[censored].org>
To: sean[at]cheesebikini.com, mike[at]satanslaundromat.com, [censored]@[censored]
Subject: ha!

"Flash mob" made the OED:

http://news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/afp/20040708/ts_afp/afplifestyle_britain_040708124818

Together, we have permanently altered the English language. Will
future humans forgive us?

(Future humans? We're still working on the present humans!)

[I pasted the text of the article below, because the Yahoo link will expire soon.]

- - -

Thu Jul 8, 8:48 AM ET

LONDON (AFP) - Thanks to a French footballer's television commercials for a popular French car, the English language officially has a new word: Va-va-voom.

"The quality of being exciting, vigorous, or sexually attractive," say the compilers of the 11th edition of the Oxford Concise English Dictionary, which hits bookshops Thursday.

Thierry Henry speaks the word -- or more precisely, asks just what does it mean -- in prime-time plugs for Renault, which hired the suave Arsenal striker to give its humble Clio sedan a more masculine image.

Few anglophones outside Britain may have seen the ad, but July Pearsall from Oxford University Press said va-va-voom now was common enough to merit a place in one of the world's most widely consulted dictionaries.

"We have evidence of it going back to the 1950s from the US as imitating the noise of an engine," she said.

"But it is Thierry Henry's use of the term in the TV adverts that has earned it a place in the dictionary. We have seen it used more widely as a result."

Other new entries owe their introduction to the Iraq war, she said.

They include "blue-on-blue" ("denoting or relating to an attack made by one's own side that accidentally harms one's own forces) and "bioweapon" ("a harmful biological agent used as a weapon of war)".

Other new terms include "congestion charge" ("a charge made to drive into an area, typically a city centre, that suffers heavy traffic") and "designer baby" ("a baby whose genetic make-up has been selected in order to eradicate a particular defect, or to ensure that a particular gene is present").

"Speed dating" ("an organised social activity in which people have a series of short conversations with potential partners in order to determine whether there is mutual interest") also makes the Oxford dictionary pages.

So too does "flash mob" ("a public gathering of complete strangers, organised via the Internet or mobile phone, who perform a pointless act and then disperse again)".


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September 10, 2003
The "Last" Flash Mob
Photos from the 'last' Manhattan flash mob, courtesy of fredhoysted.com

Tonight another Manhattan flash mob went down, and they say it was the last.

But what was it the last of? Supposedly it was the last flash mob in New York to be organized by "Bill," the mysterious inventor of flash mobs.

"Bill" might be one of the men photographed above. Of course Bill might be neither of these men. And of course, more New York flash mobs might take place tomorrow. Life offers no guarantees.

Thanks to Fred's Journal for the photos. You can see more coverage of the "Last Flash Mob" there, as well as at Satan's Laundromat. These are both intriguing accounts; check them out. (But what are they accounts of?)

Thanks, Bill, for flash mobs. Thanks for the mystery.

And thanks for not selling out.

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September 08, 2003
Flash Mobs, Doonesbury Style

Flash Mob organized via comics! Click to see the full comic.Today a flash mob invitation appeared in the classic comic strip Doonesbury.

Via this comic, artist Gary Trudeau is organizing a flash mob to take place in Seattle this Saturday, in support of U.S. presidential candidate Howard Dean.

This will be the first flash mob to be organized via comics. It should be a big one too, because no other flash mob invitation has appeared in so many mainstream newspapers.

Here's a link to the comic/invitation. Thanks to "Michael D." for the tip.

UPDATE: Doonesbury has addressed flash mobs daily for several days now; check out the latest strip here.

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August 18, 2003
Yahoo! Silences Boston Flash Mob?

A group of flash mob organizers in Boston reports that Yahoo! Groups suddenly and unexpectedly removed the Bostoncitymob Web site, where Boston flash mobbers were organizing. Along with the site, the organizers lost a list of more than 1,000 people who signed up to receive announcements about the next Boston flash mob. They lost their Yahoo! e-mail account as well.

The group posted a new Yahoo! Group here, but perhaps flash mob organizers should consider using services other than Yahoo! to host their Web sites from now on. At the least, keep a backup copy of any Yahoo-hosted mailing lists that you own, in case they disappear.

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August 15, 2003
Slash Mobbing, Flesh Mobbing, Flash Mugging

Rich at happyrobot.net reports on the biggest flash mob yet. And you wondered what caused those blackouts.

Meanwhile, anonymous organizers in Austin, Texas are preparing for the world's first Slash Mob:

The Slash Mob Project is an interesting phenomenon where people gather at a determined point, kill all surrounding onlookers, and then disperse as fast as arriving, thus leaving the onlookers dazed, bewildered, and hopefully dead by what they just experienced...

Join the group to find out what great ideas pop up around Austin, to show off your new fannypack, and to kill people.

Dark flash mob humor isn't limited to Texas; someone in the U.K. coined the term Flash Mugging.

In Montreal, "André" is trying to create a FLESH Mob:

All must bring a back pack to recognize themselves and gather so as to become a small compact crowd...

At a specific hour, all the participants will strip and collect their clothing in their back pack. Some can only wear a g-string...

All the participants will have to dress and disperse before that becomes an illegal demonstration.

(I'm sure Spencer Tunick would appreciate that.)

This week, flash mobs took place in Brazil and in South Africa. If a flash mob goes down in Melbourne, Australia next week as planned, Antarctica will be the only continent yet to be flash mobbed.



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August 08, 2003
Antimobs, Mob Hacking, and More Evolution
London flash mob photo - courtesy of nyclondon.com

Last night a flash mob finally went down in London. It almost was a disaster because the owner of the targeted sofa store closed up early to hit the pub, but he headed back and opened up the doors to let the flash mob in. Thanks to nyclondon.com for the photo above; here are more photos.

Photos and accounts of last night's New York flash mob have been posted at the usual places: moistandtasty.com, fredhoysted.com and satanslaundromat.com. Apparently the flash mob scheduled for last night in Toronto was cancelled due to "overwhelming media coverage and police presence."

Last night's New York and Toronto flash mobs both targeted outlets of the same giant multinational toy store chain. That's an ugly coincidence.

New York flash mob #6 photo - courtesy of moistandtasty.comOrganizers: consider steering clear of the large corporate retail stores; these places get enough business as it is. Participants: remember that a corporation could easily create fake flash mobs designed to spur more business to its retail outlets. Don't be a sheep! Consider the consequences before following any flash mob instructions. Avoid purchases during, after, or on the way to a flash mob.

Meanwhile in Germany, folks are still going absolutely nuts over flash mobs. Over at twoday.net there are flash mob groups assigned to dozens and dozens of German cities and towns, and people are joking about a fictional flash mob in Iraq.

Still, no mob organizers have taken this to the next level. The sarcastic creativity behind the Antimob Project might spark some ideas:

While the Mob Project seeks to materialize a mob of people at a place for a brief period of time, the Antimob Project seeks to create the opposite effect. In a given 10 minute period with the participation of everyone in the world, we will create a ghost town atmosphere in a famous public space… If we can get everyone in the world to participate in our non events, we can produce some dramatic results.

"Tom" seems more organized in his flash mob backlash; he wants to hack the events. Who knows what he's cooking up at flashhack.blogspot.com, but it smells good from here.

The folks at flashmob.com are working to build what sounds like a group of open-source community-based Web tools designed to power evolving flash mobs. They've opened the flashmob-dev mailing list to serve as a discussion forum for people developing flash mob related applications.

Micah at why-war.com looks forward to using flash mobs for political purposes, and she has written up some thoughtful strategies for doing so.

San Franciscans: remember the next local flash mob is scheduled to take place tomorrow (Saturday) afternoon. Details here. Let's hope the organizers have put together something new.



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August 04, 2003
Flash Mobs and The New York Times

The first flash mobs took place nearly two months ago in New York — yet the first New York Times flash mob coverage appeared today, in the "Berlin Journal" portion of the International section. What were they thinking?

Anyway, the piece contains one of my favorite flash mob quotes:

Tobias von Schönebeck, a tour guide, shook his head when he heard about how the phenomenon was traced back to Macy's. "This is just the sort of thing that happens when you forbid New York to smoke."
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July 31, 2003
Press Mobs and Cop Mobs

Florian Greb reports that yesterday, during Germany's first flash mob in Berlin, "About 75 mobbers did some spontaneous gymnastics like jumping and appauding, turning around several times with arms spread. This was organized by a man with a rainbow-colored umbrella and watched by two to three dozen press people." (Thanks to Florian for the photo; more "photos der flashmob-aktion" at radioeins.de.)

Photo courtesy of Florian Greb

Are we approaching a moment in time when sending out a last-minute flash mob announcement will trigger a mob consisting of more cameras and reporters than anything else? If so, that could be a lot of fun in itself. Take advantage of this, people; it won't last.

Now the word "flash mob" seems to summon legions of police as well; check out Brad Searle's cornucopia of cop photos from tonight's Boston flash mob.

The Germans seem particularly taken by this whole thing. Judging from the list of groups rounded up at flashmob.twoday.net, there are already flash mob groups online for 21 different cities in Germany.

Today Swiss flash mobbers converged on the the main Zurich train station and, judging from the photos, they formed a large single-file line of people with hands linked, dividing the station.

Dubliners and Parisians are planning their own flash mobs. Londoners are still talking it over, but in London that's been going on for weeks. Rome's second flash mob is scheduled for tonight.

I haven't detected any flash mob interest in Latin America or in Africa, and aside from Japan I haven't heard much from Asia. A Shanghai newspaper reporter e-mailed me and said that interest in flash mobs is growing there. But the Chinese government must approve any large gatherings in advance; so much for that idea. It's hard to imagine a flash mob bound in red tape.

I can no longer keep up with all the local flash mob groups in the U.S. They're popping up everywhere. The next flash mob here in San Francisco is scheduled to take place Saturday August 9. As for the rest of the country, flashmob.info and mob(b)log seem to be tracking the groups pretty well. Howard Rheingold and company continue to provide decent roundups at smartmobs.com

I'm working and moving to a new apartment this week, so I won't even try to keep up with all of it. But I've yet to see a truly new flash mob idea, something that takes this to the next level. The world is hungry for photos and coverage of any compellingly original new flash mobs; please send them to sean[at]cheesebikini.com, or post links below in the comments.


 
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July 26, 2003
Vienna Flash Mob

A small Austrian flash mob took place yesterday. Here are links to coverage in the original German and in babelfish-translated English.

UPDATE: Here's an English description of the event, from Boingboing.

UPDATE: "Matix" posted a video of the event .

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July 25, 2003
Flash Mobs Swamp Cheesebikini

Last night cheesebikini was Slashdotted, and combined with all the other flash mob traffic this brought the server to its knees. (Sorry Dav!)

For the moment cheesebikini must be replaced with this placeholder.

Many goodies don't work, including comments, the alert list, etc. The only two pages available are this page and the list of free San Francisco wi-fi cafes. Links to outside sites still work.

UPDATE, 7/26/03: We're up and running on a new server, and with an upgraded moveabletype backbone to boot. On Friday alone, more than 9,300 visitors came to that placeholder page that I put up in place of cheesebikini. The server just couldn't handle it, but the new servers can support a lot more traffic. Thanks for your patience.

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July 24, 2003
Flash Mob in Central Park

Photo courtesy of satanslaundromat.com. Visit that site for a larger version and for more photos.Fred Hoysted was first to chime in with a report and a photo from the Fifth New York Flash Mob. SatansLaundromat.com was quick on Fred's heels with a report and a nice group of photos, including a larger version of the cropped shot to the right.

They seem to have carried out a fantastic, bizarre idea: make a bunch of increasingly surreal "nature sounds" in Central Park.

UPDATE: Our Chief Manhattan Correspondent David Danzig posted an audio recording of the event (MP3 format, 750K, 3 minutes long).


 
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Europe's First Flash Mob

Photo from la Repubblica: www.repubblica.itA flash mob went down today in Rome, as an estimated 100 to 300 people flooded a books and music megastore. They asked employees for nonexistent books. They broke into a round of spontaneous applause. Then they dispersed.

Here's coverage in Italian from the newspaper la Repubblica, and here's a clumsy English translation. The photo, courtesy of la Repubblica, shows mobbers evacuating the megastore.

In the comments attached to this posting, you'll find a report from our Senior Rome Correspondent "JJFlash."

If you have more photos, please send them (or links to them) to photos[at]cheesebikini.com. More to come.

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July 23, 2003
Flash Mob News from Minnesota, Texas, Austria

Minneapolis organizers put together an event (or rather, a series of events staged in different locations) at a huge shopping mall. Participant turnout was estimated at 50, but perhaps reduced secrecy about the next Minneapolis event will spur a larger crowd?

New flash mobs are brewing in Vienna, Austria and in Dallas. (Here's an English version of the Austrian flash mob page, as automatically translated by babelfish.altavista.com.

Flash mobs are a widespread phenomenon now with lots of people around the world taking part, so from now on when I mention flash mobs I’m going to focus on the most compelling flash mob coverage and opinion. For more exhaustive listings of the numerous local flash mob announcements, groups, sites and press coverage, check out flashmob.info, where anyone can sign up for an account and submit mob news or a link to a new mob group, or mob(b)log, whose creator "Alex" is doing a good job of listing media coverage but strangely fails to provide any way to reach him or to comment on his postings. In the meantime, Rob Zazueta is designing a site to make it easier for people to organize what he calls "flocks;" it's not done yet but you can keep track of it at flocksmart.com. Thanks for the resources, people!

(By the way; have you seen The Word Spy's entry for the term "flash mob?")

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July 19, 2003
The First Italian Flash Mob

Londoners have been talking about organizing a flash mob for weeks and weeks. Now, with minimal talk, it seems the Romans will beat the Brits to the punch and create Europe's first flash mob.

Our Senior Rome Correspondent "J. Jack Flash" reports that a flash mob has been planned in Rome next Thursday, July 24. Here's the invitation: in Italian and in English.

In other news: Flash mobs are arising in Boston and in Phoenix, Arizona.

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July 18, 2003
Invitation: Manhattan Flash Mob #5

Below is the invitation to the fifth New York flash mob as it was e-mailed to me. It's scheduled to take place next Thursday evening, July 24th.

(If you’re wondering what a flash mob is, see this entry for an explanation.)

Here's the announcement for the fifth New York flash mob:

Date: Fri, 18 Jul 2003 09:16:19 -0700 (PDT) From: The Mob Project To: themobproject@yahoo.com Subject: MOB #5

You are invited to take part in MOB, the project that
creates an inexplicable mob of people in New York City
for ten minutes or less. Please forward this to other
people you know who might like to join.

FAQ

Q. Can there be more photographers at the next mob?

A. There seemed to be plenty at MOB #4.

Q. I was being sarcastic.

A. "Sarcastic"...?

Q. Meaning that my real question is the EXACT
OPPOSITE of that question. Can there be *fewer*
photographers at the next mob?

A. In general, people should feel free to take
photographs at the mob. But at certain times in
certain mobs, photography dampens the effect. From now
on, the instruction slips for each mob will specify
when and where NOT to take photographs during that
mob.

Q. OK. Hey, how about an uptown mob?

A. Are you being "sarcastic" again?

Q. No.

A. Well, then: sure.


INSTRUCTIONS - MOB #5
Start time: Thursday, July 24th, sometime after 7:15pm
Duration: 10 minutes or less

(1) At some point during the day on July 24th,
synchronize your watch to
http://www.time.gov/timezone.cgi?Eastern/d/-5/java/java.
(If that site doesn^Òt work for you, try
http://www.time.gov/timezone.cgi?Eastern/d/-5.)

(2) By 6:55 PM, based on the month of your birth,
please situate yourselves in the bars below. Buy a
drink and act casual. NOTE: if you are attending the
MOB with friends, you may all meet in the same bar, so
long as at least one of you has the correct birth
month for that bar.
January, February, March: Dublin House, 225 W.
79th St. (just east of Broadway). Meet in the back by
the jukebox.
April, May, June: McAleer's, 425 Amsterdam Ave.
(between 80th and 81st). Meet in the back, by the
enormous television set.
July, August, September: Bourbon Street, 407
Amsterdam Ave. (between 79th and 80th). Meet in the
back, by the even more enormous television set.
October, November, December: 420 Bar and Lounge,
420 Amsterdam Ave. (at 80th St.). Meet in the back,
near the constrained tree.

(3) Then or soon thereafter, a MOB representative will
appear in the bar and pass around further
instructions. The instructions will specify the mob
site, the start time, and the duration. The
instructions will give you what you need and then
some.

(4) In particular, the instructions will tell you when
to disperse. Make sure that two minutes after the
specified time, you are no longer at the mob site.

(5) Return to what you otherwise would have been
doing, and await instructions for MOB #6.


 
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Ma che diavolo è un Flashmob?

"J. Jack Flash" in Rome, Italy republished most of cheesebikini's flash mob coverage, after translating it into Italian. (For real fun see the translation back into English, courtesy of the automatic translation service at babelfish.altavista.com.)

How strange and wonderful. Thanks to Dave Danzig for tipping me off to this.

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July 16, 2003
Coverage of the Fourth Manhattan Flash Mob
 Photo from satanslaundromat.com.

UPDATE: Our Senior Manhattan Correspondent David Danzig made a video of the mob. It's a 5.5 Megabyte download; get it here. David badly needs help serving up the video. If you have a little extra bandwidth and server space and you wouldn't mind mirroring the file, please contact David (david [at] danzig.com).

The fourth New York City flash mob headed to a hoity-toity fancy-pants SoHo shoe store, where participants pretended they were on a bus tour from Maryland, and acted excited yet bewildered about the whole thing.

For more great photos, visit Satan's Laundromat and moistandtasty.com and Happy Robot. For more details about this flash mob, see David Danzig's description. Bravo, New York.

Were you there? Post links to your coverage in the comments below.

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Snapshots from the First San Francisco Flash Mob
Click for more photos.

At least 150 flash mobbers spun in circles this evening while crossing busy Market Street in San Francisco. They spun and crossed over and over again, back and forth, until the flash mob suddenly disappeared, 10 minutes after it began.

Click for more photos.

More photos here. Post links to your coverage in the comments below!

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July 14, 2003
Invitation to San Francisco Flash Mob #1

Someone has distributed an invitation to what will be the first San Francisco flash mob; I've pasted it below as it was e-mailed to me.

IMPORTANT NOTE: After the flash mob, please don’t head directly to the BART (subway) station. Part of a flash mob's beauty is that it dissolves immediately; everyone heads off in different directions, leaving onlookers completely confused. Because this event will take place near a BART stop in an area with almost no available parking, most participants will arrive by BART and will tend to leave by BART. But if everyone heads to the Powell BART station at once, the mob will stay together, destroying that tasty mob-disappearance effect. So if you’re taking part, at 6:37 depart in a direction OTHER THAN towards the BART. Just stroll up to Chinatown, or go grab a beer at your favorite Tenderloin bar, or just take a walk around the block.

(If you’re wondering what a flash mob is, see this entry for an explanation.)

Here's the announcement for the first San Francisco flash mob:

You are invited to take part in MOB, the project that creates an inexplicable mob of people in San Francisco for ten minutes or less. Please forward this to other people you know who might like to join.

INSTRUCTIONS - MOB #1
Start time: Wednesday, July 16th, 6:27 pm
Duration: 10 minutes

(1) At some point during the day on July 16th, synchronize your
watch to http://www.time.gov/timezone.cgi?Pacific/d/-8/java.

(2) By 6 PM, based on the month of your birth, please situate
yourselves in the bars below. Buy a drink and act casual. If you
are attending the MOB with friends, you may all meet in the same
bar, so long as at least one of you has the correct birth month for
that bar. January, February, March, April: Union Square Sports
Bar near Powell and O'Farrell. May, June, July, August: Gold
Dust Lounge near Geary and Powell. September,October,
November, December: Red's Corner at Ellis and Mason.

(3) Then or soon thereafter, a MOB representative will appear in
the bar. He or she will pass around slips of paper with your
instructions. Commit the instructions to memory and put the slip
in your pocket. ONCE YOU ARE AT THE MOB SITE, NONE OF
THESE SLIPS OF PAPER SHOULD BE VISIBLE.

(4) Leave the bar and walk to the MOB site. If you arrive near the
final MOB destination before 6:27, stall nearby. NO ONE
SHOULD ARRIVE AT THE FINAL MOB DESTINATION UNTIL
6:26.

(5) The MOB begins at the designated location at 6:27.

(6) At 6:37 you should disperse. NO ONE SHOULD REMAIN AT
THE MOB SITE AFTER 6:39.

(7) Return to what you would otherwise have been doing.

* * * * SPECIAL NOTE: We need FOUR VOLUNTEERS to assist
in passing out instructions. Please reply only if:
(1) You will absolutely positively 100% be at the MOB and can be
in the area by 5:30 on Wednesday.
(2) You are not a squealy.
(3) You are not concerned that passing out small slips of paper
may harm your future chances to run for office.
(4) Your initials are not L.G. (you know who you are)

If you meet the above criteria and would like to volunteer, send a
message with your cell phone number to
mobproject@yahoo.com.

-The San Francisco Mob Project
(writing credit to "Bill")


 
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July 13, 2003
Flash Mobs Eye Mall of America and San Francisco

Trusted sources in Minnesota slipped cheesebikini an invitation to the first Minneapolis flash mob, and now you're invited too. It's scheduled to begin next Tuesday, July 22 at 6:25 pm Central Standard Time. And it looks like it will happen in the infamous Mall of America. I've pasted the announcement below; if you attend, please send us links to your photos and other coverage.

PLEASE NOTE: Don't be a sucker! Large corporations might try to organize their own flash mobs to increase consumption of their goods and services. Keep this in mind during any flash mob. If you participate in this event, please don't purchase a single item within the Mall of America during the flash mob, or while traveling to or from the event. If we all adopt this policy it will prevent transformation of the flash mob movement into a series of crass corporate marketing ploys. (The organizers of the Minnesota flash mob emphasize they are not affiliated with the Mall and do not intend this to be an event supporting the Mall; nonetheless this is a good policy to keep in mind.)

Rumor has it that the first San Francisco flash mob will happen this Wednesday night, July 16th, although the invitation has not yet been distributed. Stay tuned. (That's right, it's scheduled to take place on the same night as the next New York city flash mob.)

(If you’re wondering what a flash mob is, see this entry for an explanation.)

Here's the announcement for the first Minneapolis flash mob:

You are invited to take part in MOB, the project that creates an inexplicable mob of people in Twin Cities Area for 10 minutes or less. Please forward this to other people you know who might like to join.  If you don't want to participate, you can just observe the results by visiting the web site. If you don't participate, please forward it to a friend anyways! -- Minneapolis Mob Event #1: "Mob Of America" or "MOB the MOA"   INSTRUCTIONS - MOB #1 Location: ??????? Start time: Tuesday, July 22nd, 6:25 pm Duration: 10 minutes   (1) At some point during the day on July 22nd, synchronize your watch to http://www.time.gov/timezone.cgi?Central/d/-6/java/jaVa. (If that site doesn^Òt work for you, try http://www.time.gov/timezone.cgi?Central/d/-6.)   (2)The day of the event, you can get detailed plans for the event by meeting at the following locations at 6:00 PM based on the month of your birthday. NOTE: if you are attending the MOB with friends, you may all meet in the same bar, so long as at least one of you has the correct birth month for that location.   Jan. Feb. Mar. Apr.: Original Sports Bar, Mall of America May  Jun. Jul. Aug.: Gators, Mall of America Sep. Oct. Nov. Dec.: Players Bar and Grill, Mall of America   (3)Then or soon thereafter, a MOB representative will appear in the bar. Look for this individual with the broad rimmed hat at 6:00 PM.  Details will be disseminated to attendees at 6:00 PM at these locations when you say ^ÓCheck out this MOB!^Ô or some remark in regards to a mob. This person will then provide you details. He or she will provide you a slip of paper, on which two important pieces of information will be printed: (a) the MOB site, and (b) secret event details.  Commit these details to memory and put the slip in your pocket. ONCE YOU ARE AT THE MOB SITE, NONE OF THESE SLIPS OF PAPER SHOULD BE VISIBLE.

 
(4) Leave the bar and walk to the MOB site as quickly as possible. It will take you
longer to get there than you think. If you arrive near the final MOB destination
before 6:25, stall nearby. NO ONE SHOULD ARRIVE AT THE FINAL MOB DESTINATION UNTIL
6:22.
 
(5) Find the site and begin the objective.  Be animated and follow the intended
script.

(6) [Step 6 removed 7/7/2003 by MinneapolisMob@yahoo.com ]
 
(7) At 6:35 you should disperse. NO ONE SHOULD REMAIN AT THE MOB SITE AFTER 6:37.
 
(8) Return to what you would otherwise have been doing. After the event, come back
to the Minneapolis Mob forum and discuss your experiences. Minneapolis Mob site is
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/minneapolismob/ or
http://www.geocities.com/minneapolismob/ or you can email your remarks back to me
and I can post them as anonymous feedback on the site for all to see. Share your
comments by posting a subject of ^ÓShare my comments^Ô to minneapolismob@yahoo.com.
 
 
Have fun,
-Minneapolis Mob
minneapolismob@yahoo.com
----
Please forward this email to friends you think would enjoy participating in this
event! Please remove the original sender from the email so to keep other people^Òs
email private. You may also blind carbon copy (bcc) individuals so to keep
participants anonymous. FAQ and details available in Yahoo group:
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/minneapolismob/


 
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July 09, 2003
Plans for the Fourth Manhattan Flash Mob

A fourth flash mob is scheduled to begin in New York City at 7:18 pm next Wednesday, July 16th. I’ve pasted the event announcement below, as it was e-mailed to cheesebikini. (Thanks for the tip, anonymous tipster.)

(If you’re wondering what a flash mob is, here's an explanation.)

Here's the announcement for the next New York event:

Date: Wed, 9 Jul 2003 16:40:21 -0700 (PDT) From: The Mob Project To: themobproject@yahoo.com Subject: MOB #4

You are invited to take part in MOB, the project that
creates an inexplicable mob of people in New York City
for ten minutes or less. Please forward this to other
people you know who might like to join.

FAQ

Q. Why would I want to join an inexplicable mob?

A. Tons of other people are doing it.

Q. Why did the plans to MOB #3 change?

A. The National Guardsmen with machine guns had
something to do with it.

Q. What should I do with my MOB $1 bill?

A. Spend it, if you like. But you may be asked to
make another, for a future MOB.

Q. Can we do a MOB downtown, for a change?

A. Sure.

INSTRUCTIONS - MOB #4
Start time: Wednesday, July 16th, 7:18 pm
Duration: 10 minutes

(1) At some point during the day on July 16th,
synchronize your watch to
http://www.time.gov/timezone.cgi?Eastern/d/-5/java/java.
(If that site doesn^Òt work for you, try
http://www.time.gov/timezone.cgi?Eastern/d/-5.)

(2) By 7 PM, based on the month of your birth, please
situate yourselves in the bars below. Buy a drink and
act casual. NOTE: if you are attending the MOB with
friends, you may all meet in the same bar, so long as
at least one of you has the correct birth month for
that bar.
January, February, March: Puck Fair, 298
Lafayette St. (just south of Houston). Meet just
inside the front door, to the right.
April, May, June: 288 (a.k.a. Tom & Jerry's), 288
Elizabeth St. (just north of Houston). Meet in the
back to the left, by the jukebox.
July, August, September: Bleecker St. Bar, 58
Bleecker St. (at Crosby). Meet in the back to the
right, by the jukebox.
October, November, December: Pamela's Cantina, 1
W. 3rd St. (just west of Broadway). Meet near the
right side of the bar, by the television sets.

(3) Then or soon thereafter, a MOB representative will
appear in the bar and will pass around further
instructions.

(4) If you arrive near the final MOB site before 7:18,
stall nearby. NO ONE SHOULD ARRIVE AT THE FINAL MOB
SITE UNTIL 7:17.

(5) At 7:28 you should disperse. NO ONE SHOULD REMAIN
AT THE MOB SITE AFTER 7:30.

(6) Return to what you otherwise would have been
doing, and await instructions for MOB #5.


 
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July 08, 2003
More Flash Mob Forums

Two new flash mob announcement lists and discussion forums have emerged.

The “dutchessmob” Yahoo! Group was created by folks in Dutchess County, New York, who are planning a flash mob out there.

The “flashmobs” Yahoo! Group seems to cover flash mobs worldwide.

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July 02, 2003
Photos: Third Manhattan Flash Mob
Manhattan flash mob #3 takes over a gigantic hotel lobby. Photo from fredhoysted.com.
Manhattan flash mob #3 takes over a gigantic hotel lobby. Photo from satanslaundromat.com.

The Manhattan flash mobs keep growing. Above are photos from the third flash mob held in New York, courtesy of fredhoysted.com (top photo) and satanslaundromat.com (bottom photo). You'll find more photos at Satan's Laundromat.

It seems that between 200 and 500 people (reports vary) gathered along the city-block-sized railing above the lobby of the Hyatt Hotel near Grand Central Station, then at a given moment they all engaged in 15 seconds of raucous and unexplained applause, before filing out again.

Attendees were instructed to bring dollar bills too for some reason, but they weren't used. (There were three terrorism scares reported earlier today in New York City; perhaps that's why the dollar-bill plan was nixed.) Thanks to fredhoysted.com, to satanslaundromat.com, and to our Chief Manhattan Correspondent David Danzig for early coverage.

UPDATE: Jane has more photos at moistandtasty.com.

Do you have photos from the event? How about video or audio? Please link to your coverage in the comments below.

(For background information, see the first flash mob post.)

Our Chief Manhattan Correspondent David Danzig posted the following dispatch at 8:29 pm Eastern Standard Time:

I just returned from Flashmob #3. This was called "The Grand Central Mob Ballet," and was supposed to involve claiming to be waiting for a train, and writing the word "MOB" on a one dollar bill, but none of that came into play.

Instead, we got a form saying:

*** MOB #3 ***
Change of Plans

If you are reading this, we have decided to change venues.

(1) By 7:02, walk out to 42nd St. and look for the main entrance to the Grand Hyatt. Enter and take the escalator up one flight to the main lobby. Loiter until 7:07.

(2) At 7:07, start taking the escalator and elevators up one floor, to the wraparound railing overlooking the lobby. Stand around it, looking down. Fan out to cover as much of the railing as possible. If asked why you are there, point down to the lobby and say, "Look."

(3) At 7:12, begin applauding. Applaud for fifteen seconds, then disperse in an orderly fashion,

(Note: the exit on that floor is not a pedestrian exit.)

I was actually a little suspicious that this was someone's attempt to divert the mob, so I found another Mob project representative at Grand Central who handed me the exact same form.

The turnout was about 300 to 500 people, I'd estimate. It went off just as it was described, and much as you'd imagine, with very nervous security people very nervously scampering about, but never interracting or thinking to ask anyone what was going on.

[End of dispatch]


 
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Flash Mob Updates

NEW YORK MOB REMINDER: The next big New York City Flash Mob will take place tonight at 7:04 pm -- details here. If you'd like me to post your photos and coverage (or links to them), send them to (sean[at]cheesebikini.com) or post them in the comments below.

Also, the Minneapolis Mob group is putting together plans for their first flash mob to take place on July 22, and they've built a Yahoo! groups site to manage the madness. Minneapolitans can find details at their FAQ page.

Meanwhile, we're very slowly getting our mobs together in San Francisco. Folks have created at least two separate mailing lists (1, 2) for people interested in San Francisco activities along these lines. I'm plugged in to both mailing lists and will post news of any event announcements on cheesebikini.com as soon as I receive them.

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June 26, 2003
Upcoming Flash Mobs

Plans for two upcoming flash mobs have been announced.

Wake up, London, Tokyo and San Francisco. New York already scooped you on this; will you let Minneapolis beat you to the punch?

A group in Minneapolis is planning that city’s first flash mob ever, to take place July 22 at 6:25 pm. For more details visit the new Minneapolis mob homepage. (Thanks for the tip, Minneapolis Mob.)

New Yorkers are planning a third Gotham flash mob to begin July 2 at 7:04 pm; I’ve pasted the event announcement below, as it was e-mailed to cheesebikini. (Thanks for the tip, MOB project.)

Mob safely.

(If you’re wondering what a flash mob is, see this entry for an explanation.)

Here's the announcement for the next New York event:

Date: Wed, 25 Jun 2003 21:45:21 -0700 (PDT) From: The Mob Project To: themobproject@yahoo.com Subject: MOB #3

(Apologies to those who received an incomplete version
before.)

You are invited to take part in MOB, the project that
creates an inexplicable mob of people in New York City
for ten minutes or less. Please forward this to other
people you know who might like to join.

FAQ

Q. For a mob to be inexplicable, does it need to take
place in an otherwise empty space?

A. No.

INSTRUCTIONS - MOB #3: THE GRAND CENTRAL MOB BALLET
Location: Grand Central Terminal
Start time: Wednesday, July 2nd, 7:04 pm
Duration: less than 10 minutes

(1) During the day on July 2nd:
(a) Synchronize your watch to
http://www.time.gov/timezone.cgi?Eastern/d/-5/java/java.
(If that site doesn^Òt work for you, try
http://www.time.gov/timezone.cgi?Eastern/d/-5.)
(b) On the front of a $1 bill, write the word
"MOB" over the word "ONE" on the right-hand side. If
you are concerned about the legality of this, write in
pencil. Keep the $1 bill handy.
(c) Wear comfortable shoes.

(2) Arrive at Grand Central by 6:45 pm. By then,
representatives of the MOB will have stationed
themselves in or near the downstairs food court. They
will all be reading The New York Review of Books.
(NOTE: the covers of their copies might not be
visible. Please familiarize yourself with the fonts
and layout of that periodical before arriving at the
MOB.)

(3) Based on the month of your birth, specify one of
the following letters to the MOB representative:
A: January through April
B: May through August
C: September through December
You will be given a slip on which further instructions
will be printed. This slip is your "travel itinerary"
and may be consulted in public.

(4) MOB #3 consists of a series of short mobs. The
first will begin at 7:04. You may place yourself at
the MOB site up to two minutes beforehand -- i.e.,
anytime after 7:02. NO ONE SHOULD ARRIVE AT THE FIRST
MOB SITE UNTIL 7:01.

(5) Unlike in MOB #2, you do not know each other. Do
not speak to anyone, including other MOB participants.
If you are asked a question, limit your responses to
one of the following:

* "I am looking for my train"
* "I think these people may be taking the same train I
am"
* "My train is supposed to leave from down here"
* "When I saw all these people come down here, I
figured I should too"
* "I am taking a train to [suburban town] to visit my
[relative]"
* "I am taking a train to a mob"

(6) Based on the itinerary, the MOB will end and you
will disperse. NO ONE SHOULD REMAIN AT THE MOB SITE
MORE THAN TWO MINUTES AFTER THE MOB IS OVER.

(7) Return to what you would otherwise have been
doing. Await instructions for MOB #4.

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June 19, 2003
"Matrix" Mobs Take Japan
click for more photos from rottentomatoes
Swarms of people dressed as Agent Smith converged in Tokyo and Osaka this week, following the Japan premiere of "The Matrix: Reloaded." (The movie features hundreds of clones of the character Agent Smith.)

They even reenacted fight scenes from the movie. This looks almost as scary as a Star Wars opening night in Silicon Valley.

Photo courtesy of rottentomatoes.com, where you'll find more photos and video clips. Thanks to chanpon.org for the tip.

UPDATE: Xaky from rotten tomatoes reports that a new, bigger Matrix mob event will take place in Tokyo Sunday, June 29. If you want to participate, see details here.

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June 17, 2003
Manhattan Flash Mob Photos
click for more photos from moistandtasty.com
Here's photographic evidence of the flash mob's successful takeover of the Manhattan Macy's fancy-rug department, courtesy of moistandtasty.com (above). Visit that site, as well as Satan's Laundromat, for more photos.

New Yorkers used e-mail to coordinate a huge, instant gathering of people around a particular rug. Participants were instructed to tell questioning salesmen that they all lived together in a warehouse in Queens, and they were considering purchasing the item for use as a "Love Rug" back at the house. After precisely ten minutes the crowd dissipated.


UPDATE: This week's edition of National Public Radio's All Things Considered included a segment about the flash mob. (Thanks to Mike from Satan's Laundromat for yet another tip.)

UPDATE: Here's a look back at the event from Wired News. (Thanks for the tip, Mike.)

UPDATE: Here's another money shot of the salesman, from ephemeroi.com.

Do you have photos from the event? How about video or audio? Please link to your coverage in the comments below.

(For background information, see the first flash mob post.)


 
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June 16, 2003
Flash Mobs Take Manhattan

Our senior Manhattan correspondent David Danzig reports that New Yorkers are using e-mail to coordinate "inexplicable mobs" — huge crowds that materialize in public places and suddenly dissipate 10 minutes later.

Below I've pasted the e-mail announcement for the next mob, scheduled to take place Tuesday, June 17, 2003.

UPDATE: Be sure not to miss the photos of the event.

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