What's a Modern Girl to Do? - New York Times:
Decades after the feminist movement promised equality with men, it was becoming increasingly apparent that many women would have to brush up on the venerable tricks of the trade: an absurdly charming little laugh, a pert toss of the head, an air of saucy triumph, dewy eyes and a full knowledge of music, drawing, elegant note writing and geography. It would once more be considered captivating to lie on a chaise longue, pass a lacy handkerchief across the eyelids and complain of a case of springtime giddiness.
Tween girl #1: So like apparently my brother is engaged.
Tween girl #2: Really? Since when?
Tween girl #1: I dunno, found out at breakfast this morning.
Tween girl #2: Didn't he like just finish high school?
Tween girl #1: Yeah, but she's like still 17 and she's got a two year old so she's way worse off than him.
Tween girl #2: Well is it his kid?
Tween girl #1: Who knows? He's not tellin'.
Tween girl #2: Probably is...what a man-ho slut wedder.
Quentin Tarantino's REPUBLIC DOGS:
[Thrasymachus is tied up in a chair. Socrates is brandishing a gun in his face]
Thrasymachus: Don't kill me, man!
Socrates: Are you finished, fucker?
Thrasymachus: Look, look, man, you can have my ten yoke of oxen. My virgin daughters? My pomegranite orchard?
Socrates: You like pomegranites? Shit, motherfucker, I hear they've got a fuckin' all-you-can-eat special going on on pomegranites where you're headed.
Thrasymachus: Don't do it, Socrates. Be fair.
Socrates: [Suddenly contemplative] Fair?
Thrasymachus: [Sees an opportunity for survival] Yeah, fair... think about my wife and children --
Socrates: Would you say that to be fair is the same thing as to be just?
Socrates: Well, I'm just a dull, wandering street philosopher, so I don't understand quite where you're headed with this particular line of reasoning. Perhaps [motions with gun] you could further elucidate your theory of justice.
Brevity 19: J. Stephen Rhodes:
When I had arrived at the emergency room a few days before, the nurses told me that she was resting in a darkened X-Ray room. I went to the door and asked, “Mina, are you in there?” to no answer. I spoke again, louder, adding, “It’s Steve. Do you remember me?”
She answered, “Steve? Of course I remember you. I loved you before you were born.”
How Bush will deal with the Libby indictment:
Whether this line will play with the public the way North's good-solider act did remains to be seen. Scooter is no Ollie. He's shy and evidently sane and doesn't wear a uniform. He also won't have the public stage of congressional hearings that North did to make his case. But conservatives may cast him in that role anyway. The Miers pick was a symbol of what much of the "base" sees as a general flabbiness at the White House. They think Bush shrank from a fight by nominating a tepid nominee who could pass liberal muster. They'll be watching to see if he shrinks again by shirking Libby.
And even if Republicans decide not to embrace Scooter as a martyr, Democrats are hardly going to ignore the issue. They're intent on using the indictments as a way to relitigate the case against an increasingly disastrous and unpopular war.
Greatest. Post. Ever.
Okay, motherfucker. With your pencil-thin moustache and your fake French accent. We could ignore the fact that you offered us "still" water, knowing we would not realize you were charging us eight dollars a bottle (thinking it was tap water). We could ignore that you acted like wine was only available by the bottle until we specifically asked about getting just a glass. We could even ignore the cheesy glissando-laden piano versions of "Imagine" and "Memory" playing earnestly above, and the blindingly dim mood-lighting. But FUCK YOU for not even INTIMATING that the one item you nearly begged us to order (the "special") was FIFTY DOLLARS MORE than the most expensive thing on the menu. Did you not notice that my pearls were fake, that my husband's shirt might have been (and was) bought on the street for a dollar? Did you not notice that we were the only couple in the restaurant under 50? Did you also not notice that we didn't even FLINCH at the idea of spending one third of the money we had saved for our vacation on a piece of second-rate meat? That's because perhaps WE HAD NO FUCKING CLUE YOU MOTHER FUCKING DICKWEED BALL OF SHIT. And maybe you shouldn't take advantage of two giddy gullible honeymooners just so you can get a better fucking tip. WE HATE YOU! WE HATE THE FUCKING SHIT OUT OF YOU! YOU MASTURBATE WITH YOUR FEET AND DREAM ABOUT HAVING SEX WITH YOUR MOTHER'S FRIENDS AT THE NURSING HOME!! Oh god do we hate you.
Sheila and Sophocles
There's even more wonderful stuff here.
The Stranger Forums - To You Predators Preying on the Homeless:
Just what the hell is wrong with you? Did I not tell you from the beginning that I am in constant communication with the Holy Spirit? That I’m psychic? That my gifts come from God? Of course I did, but you never believed because of your narrow-mindedness. You thought that simply because I practice High Magick and believe in the Sovereignty and Equality of the Goddess I couldn’t possibly have a line in with JXC. But you were wrong. And your shortsightedness, prejudice and hate are now your downfall.
The Stranger - Features - Feature - Power Hungry:
Desperation is a quality that most people leak from their pores. It is an identifier that everyone can relate well to. At mixers such as this, social custom dictates that we sniff each other’s desperation like eager dogs, eventually befriending those lucky few whose sad stench blends best with our own.
I was desperate and creepy, which were two good qualities that the Columbia Tower crowd lacked. The Power 25 and Friends did not nearly shit themselves at the sight of a free wet bar, nor did they scuttle to the buffet table nine times to double-fist appetizers, and then scuttle back to their corner like harassed spiders. These people were sedate. Sterile. Successful. Social drinkers. They don’t take risks in public; there are too many paperweights at stake. It is no fun being around successful people. I wished I could bite them.
It's the story of a math genius posing as an imbecile or the one
where Porky is saved form the slaughterhouse by a woman
who wears no underpants. It's the story of a rapacious weed
that takes over the earth, of One-Breasted Wanda falling in
love with Jungle Jack. Ed Anger writes the story up. It's the
story of a rash. And the story of a rash of deaths caused by a
sea hag. It's the story of a woman who could not open her
mouth and a woman who could not close her mouth. Maybe
they meet. Maybe they don't. Maybe they are the perfect
couple. It is the story of a man possessed by his tattoo. It's an
exclusive. It's a curse or a commandment; it's a commandment
on cursing which says for God's sake thou shalt not laze about
on your chaise lounge. It's a true story. It is the story of a man
who talked his way out of credit-card debt. It is the story of
the sunrise on July 10, 2003. It is the story of a traveling
shadow. It is an old-man-walling-down-the-road story. It has a
sculpted base to rest upon which can be yours if you act now.
Publisher Jennifer Bergstrom (of Simon and Schuster) explains, "The thing that impresses me most about our editors is that they understand that it's not all about the book. It's about the money you can make from that book."
Kazanjian is a self-described practitioner of "poor theater," famously advocated by European directors Peter Brook and Jerzy Grotowski. Disciplined and economical, poor theater doesn't try to compete with cinema's spectacle (à la lavish musicals) but sticks to the basic elements of performance: actor, text, room, audience. "When you have money, you can add Aristotle's element of spectacle," Kazanjian says. "In commercial culture, spectacle is the dominant element. Emerging artists—because they lack mentorship—think spectacle is most important, and they spend more on sets than their artists. Always pay the artist!"
He has similarly strong opinions on "fringe theater" ("It is a politicized term that pigeonholes emerging artists as extraneous and that's bullshit"), regional theater ("Managers are full-time but the artists are part-time—regional theaters are not homes for artists, they're motels"), and arts real estate ("Business and government should partner to help arts organizations move into empty warehouses and reduce their overhead").
AS reacts to Miers withdrawl:
it's again amazing how unable this president is to take full responsibility for his decisions and choices. Face-saving is not an unusual thing in politics. But equally it is never a sign of real strength. A strong president takes responsibility for his own choices, even if he feels misunderstood or misled. Reagan's Iran-Contra confession was an example of someone strong enough to admit a failure. This president is not internally strong enough to do something similar. His strength is a form of brittleness. Like all brittleness, it is prone to cracking suddenly and without warning. It just did.
The ups and downs of preparing for war:
Active-duty soldiers and drilling reservists typically get many months of notice before a deployment; as an inactive reservist, I got roughly three weeks. Being mobilized for war involves changing jobs, moving, and leaving your family behind all at once. I was sorely tempted—as one lawyer at my firm suggested—to take a three-week-long siesta on the beach with my dog and some potent margaritas until my report date. But the Army officer in me knew better, so I developed a plan. When I was a young lieutenant in Korea, a charismatic brigade commander of mine likened mammoth military tasks to eating an elephant, saying that the only sure method was to eat it one bite at a time. And so I set out to tackle my deployment one piece at a time.
No one wants this, so we're doing it, and fuck all y'all:
All U.S. passports will be implanted with remotely-readable computer chips starting in October 2006, the Bush administration has announced.
Sweeping new State Department regulations issued Tuesday say that passports issued after that time will have tiny radio frequency ID (RFID) chips that can transmit personal information including the name, nationality, sex, date of birth, place of birth and digitized photograph of the passport holder. Eventually, the government contemplates adding additional digitized data such as "fingerprints or iris scans."
Over the last year, opposition to the idea of implanting RFID chips in passports has grown amidst worries that identity thieves could snatch personal information out of the air simply by aiming a high-powered antenna at a person or a vehicle carrying a passport. Out of the 2,335 comments on the plan that were received by the State Department this year, 98.5 percent were negative. The objections mostly focused on security and privacy concerns.
Yelping Warriors, and Rocks in the Broth - New York Times:
CONFUSING the point of a restaurant with the mission of a "Saturday Night Live" skit, Ninja New York deposits you in a kooky, dreary subterranean labyrinth that seems better suited to coal mining than to supping. You are greeted there by servers in black costumes who ceaselessly bow, regularly yelp and ever so occasionally tumble, and you are asked to choose between two routes to your table.
FBI Papers Indicate Intelligence Violations:
The FBI has conducted clandestine surveillance on some U.S. residents for as long as 18 months at a time without proper paperwork or oversight, according to previously classified documents to be released today.
Records turned over as part of a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit also indicate that the FBI has investigated hundreds of potential violations related to its use of secret surveillance operations, which have been stepped up dramatically since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks but are largely hidden from public view.
Wired 13.11: Battle for the Soul of the MP3 Phone:
Why won't Apple open iTunes by licensing FairPlay to a wide range of manufacturers? "That's a good question for Steve Jobs," replies Alberto Moriondo, a Motorola executive who helped lead the development of the ROKR. (Jobs declined to be interviewed for this story.) Another handset person says he asked the same question in a meeting with Apple execs, only to have them roll their eyes and mutter, "If only …"
Jobs' refusal to license FairPlay is reminiscent of his refusal to license the Macintosh operating system to other hardware manufacturers back in the '80s - a key factor in the Mac's dismal 2.5 percent market share today. Over time, open standards inevitably win out. "If Apple continues to rely on a proprietary architecture," says Clayton Christensen, Harvard Business School professor and author of The Innovator's Dilemma, "the iPod will likely become a niche product." Anyone doubting that need only consider that Microsoft is licensing its DRM to all comers, at prices that are hard to refuse.
New York City grocery competitors - FreshDirect - Fairway - Whole Foods:
Two fierce rivals go after the same turf. Tempers flare. Names are called; sometimes even bad language is heard. On Wall Street, in politics, at the ballpark, it’s no big deal. In New York’s grocery industry, though, where the heat is usually limited to the habaneros and the high-end purveyors consider themselves members of a small, sophisticated club, the raw hatred between the owners of Fairway and FreshDirect is unusual. “In our business, everyone’s fairly friendly,” says Andy Arons, a co-owner of Gourmet Garage. “And we’ve all been at it for a while. Now you have this blood feud. They loathe each other. It’s hilarious.”
Check out this optical illusion.
San Francisco, modeled in Jello. Link
How my faux French band wound up in federal court:
On June 20, 2005, my faux French band Les Sans Culottes showed up for our strangest gig to date: an appearance in federal court.
I can only imagine what was going through the mind of the Honorable Richard C. Casey. Here was a judge who had presided over numerous prestigious cases (he rendered the verdict declaring the Bush administration's 2003 partial-birth abortion ban unconstitutional). He now commanded the bench before a splintered band that, for the last seven years, had dressed in psychedelic outfits, playing loud music in stinky bars while pretending to be French. I suspect Judge Casey was thinking the same thing I was: How did I get here?
The theme from SHAFT in Chaucerian English:
Wha be tha blake prevy lawe
That bene wantoun too alle tha feres?
Ya damne righte!
Wha be tha carl tha riske is hals wolt
Fro is allye leve?
If you had to reduce all of Spalding's work to its essence, its core, if you wanted to locate the subject to which, no matter what else he talked about, he kept returning, I suppose you could say that his work was a profoundly metaphysical inquiry into how we manage to live despite the knowledge we are someday going to die. How are we to love the world and the people we care about most even when we know that someday we will lose it all and our loved ones will have to continue without us?
My friend John reading 700 hobo names. Check out John's website for his remarkable new book.
Singer Prince needs a new hip:
Pop star Prince has been rocking the joint a bit too much . . . and now he needs a hip replacement.
Twilight on Álftafjörður, Iceland
Mark Cuban's plan to break the video window:
To be sure, Hollywood has a long history of resisting new forms of delivery. When television first came on the scene in the 1940s, the studios attempted to kill this infant medium by refusing to let the networks show films from their libraries or use their facilities to produce programs. When the VCR was introduced, the studios attempted to strangle it with eight years of litigation. Even when Sony and Warner Bros. launched the DVD, the other major studios did not join them for a year or so. By now, the top studio executives recognize that the electronic delivery of digital movies is inevitable—it is only a question of who will defy Wal-Mart and when.
Erasing the Image of the Ugly American - New York Times:
In Germany, I asked an executive to tell me about his perception that Americans were arrogant. He said, "O.K., Wal-Mart makes their German employees stand up every morning and sing the Wal-Mart song. We're uncomfortable about that in view of our history."
A brief history of HDTV:
Broadcast Industry asks for bandwidth for HDTV
FCC says "OK, we'll set aside bandwidth for HDTV"
FCC says "What standards?"
Industry says 'No Standards Please' and come up with EIGHTEEN recommended formats for HDTV. I am not shitting you.
FCC says "Isn't 18 different standards a bit much?"
Industry says "Shut the fuck up FCC, we know what we are doing. The 'market' will handle this!"
Consumer Electronics dudes whine "18 formats make every thing cost more, you are fucking us!"
FCC says "OK, it's your call on standards, 18 formats is fine, infact there are NO STANDARDS AT ALL, 'cause we are letting the 'market decide', but you start broadcasting HDTV now or we take back the FREE bandwidth."
Industry says "What? We really just want the free bandwidth. You really want us to do HDTV??
Congress says "Fuck you Industry. Broadcast HDTV or we'll legislate your asses back to Sun-day!"
Industry says "We're fucked. 18 formats? Why the hell did we do that? Let's change it."
Consumer Electronics dudes say "You ain't changing shit. We are already building the boxes you said you wanted built."
FCC says "Yah, ya boneheads we told you 18 was too many, now you gotta live with it."
Industry says "Well FCC, will you at least make the cable companies carry the HDTV at no charge?"
Cable companies say "Fuck you! You gotta pay! Bwah-ha-ha-ha!"
FCC says "Yep, no federal mandated on HDTV must carry, we are letting 'the market' handle that"
Industry says "We are so fucked. We are spending 5-10 million per TV station in hardware alone and have 1000 HDTV viewers per city, even in LA!"
Consumer at home says "Where is my HDTV? Why does it cost so much? Fuck it, I'm sticking with cable/DirecTV."
Consumer electronics dudes, broadcast industry, FCC, and congress all cry. Cable companies laugh and make even bigger profits.
Scotty The Blue Bunny, being spanked.
In my local park, where the Italians rule.
Email sent to AS on his article about the end of gay culture:
Thanks for your thoughtful essay. I'm a straight, 39 year-old guy who learned a lot from it. An interesting parallel struck me: I'm a Russian-speaker and studied at a Soviet literary institute in 1986, before Gorbachev’s reforms had taken hold, and was exposed through friends to the vibrant samizdat culture of the time. Marvelous works that could never have passed the official sensors for publication, such as Venedikt Yerofeyev’s Moskva-Petushki, passed from hand to hand and were copied in pen or typed. An elderly lady I met held informal art showings in her apartment, including modernist religious paintings. Young people would head with a few hours' notice to the woods outside the outer ring of Moscow to hear impromptu acoustic concerts by underground bands. There was a stratum of Soviet bohemenians who were far more cultured and literate than their counterparts in the West, who survived through menial day jobs in archives or museums, and lived semi-secret lives of creativity and expression. In the late 1980s, this subculture very temporarily exploded into the mainstream, as glasnost allowed publication of long-banned works and everyone on the subway would be simultaneously reading the most recently released, previously unavailable work of Bulgakov or Solzhenitsyn.
In the (relative) freedom of the Yeltsin and Putin era, that subculture died, and indeed Russian culture seems to have temporarily gone sterile (with a few bright exceptions, such as the novelist Viktor Pelevin). No sane person would want a return of the Soviets, but there is no denying that something moving and beautiful has been lost. I even wonder if a certain kind of creativity flowers best in captivity, like a plant that can only grow in a confined space. And here's a question for you: As gay people suffer less from isolation and oppression, will they lead less often in creative expression?
The only debate on Intelligent Design that is worthy of its subject:
Moderator: We're here today to debate the hot new topic, evolution versus Intelligent Des---
(Scientist pulls out baseball bat.)
Moderator: Hey, what are you doing?
(Scientist breaks Intelligent Design advocate's kneecap.)
Intelligent Design advocate: YEAAARRRRGGGHHHH! YOU BROKE MY KNEECAP!
Scientist: Perhaps it only appears that I broke your kneecap. Certainly, all the evidence points to the hypothesis I broke your kneecap. For example, your kneecap is broken; it appears to be a fresh wound; and I am holding a baseball bat, which is spattered with your blood. However, a mere preponderance of evidence doesn't mean anything. Perhaps your kneecap was designed that way. Certainly, there are some features of the current situation that are inexplicable according to the "naturalistic" explanation you have just advanced, such as the exact contours of the excruciating pain that you are experiencing right now.
The Most Beautiful Machine, 2003:
"The Most Beautiful Machine" is an idea of Claude E. Shannon, who died in 2001. His "Mathematical Theory of Communication" is the fundament of the digital machine. It's a communication based on the functions ON and OFF.
In this special case the observers are supposed to push the ON button. After a while the lid of the trunk opens, a hand comes out and turns off the machine. The trunk closes - that's it!.
Church of Reality:
The Church of Reality is a religion based on believing in everything that is real. What makes it a religion is that what a person believes in is a personal choice. Most people choose to believe in some sort of fictional based religion. A Realist who practices Realism is someone who has dedicated himself to the pursuit of reality the way it really is and is committed to evangelizing reality to move society in a reality based direction. Realism is a doubt based rather than a faith based religion where truth is purified through scrutiny.
Seattle Weekly: News: The Super Flood by Frank Parchman:
Some 5,600 years ago, the body of water we call Puget Sound had an arm that extended 30 miles inland from present-day Elliott Bay in Seattle to a point halfway between Auburn and Sumner. Today, of course, that is the Green River Valley—the narrow, flat suburban land of Kent and Renton and the industrial lowlands of South Seattle. It would be reasonable to think that this change happened gradually, but scientists have determined that most of the long-gone stretch of inland sea was transformed by a single event that created 200 square miles of land in a matter of hours, with waves of mud 20 feet to 600 feet high. Imagine a wall the consistency of wet concrete traveling up to 60 mph. This mudflow destroyed everything in its path, uprooting entire old-growth forests. It hit Puget Sound with such force and with so much material that it flowed underwater for 15 miles, maybe farther. An area of hundreds of square miles was covered with mud and debris up to 350 feet deep.
Overheard in Washington Square Park:
Girl on cell: Listen, listen. What I'm saying is, why can't we just try to find a way to keep all of the Jews and the non-Jews from like, marrying? Or even interacting?
Random Vin Diesel Fact
Go here and collect them all.
"There were exactly 704 stories in the  campaign about this flap of Gore inventing the Internet. There were only 13 stories about Bush failing to show up for his National Guard duty for a year. There were well over 1,000 stories - Nexus stopped at 1,000 - about Gore and the Buddhist temple. Only 12 about Bush being accused of insider trading at Harken Energy. There were 347 about Al Gore wearing earth tones, but only 10 about the fact that Dick Cheney did business with Iran and Iraq and Libya."
--Paul Begala and the myth of the liberal media.
"The one thing we need to understand is that if you're going to French kiss another woman, it doesn't mean you're going to be an ingenue at 40. If you're 20, it doesn't mean you're going to get wisdom. You're going to get some cute lipgloss on and a yummy feeling inside, but there's a bit of a devouring going on. When someone French kisses another woman to try and get something, that isn't passion; it's very interesting to me, an intriguing study. If you're going to French kiss somebody, French kiss a woman that can say, 'Okay, honey; okay sister, come with me and I'll show you a tongue like you've never seen before'. If you're going to walk down that road, do it! A tongue does not touch the intelligence inside another person. you know, Madonna's stayed around for 20 years, but Britney is not going to get that, and Madonna isn't going to become 20 years younger. I did not see 'I honour you' in that kiss. But that's me; that's what I saw."
* (Said by singer Tori Amos, re: Madonna's kiss with Britney Spears)
Packingheat: The Blog » Blog Archive » Printers Giving You Up to the Feds:
The watermarks are only visible with a blue-light and a magnifying glass, but they are there. Our good friends over at the Electronic Frontier Foundation have cracked the code of these watermarks. That’s right, major companies such as Xerox, HP and Epson are hiding tracking signals in products which you, a private citizen, purchase.
"The power of the Executive to cast a man into prison without formulating any charge known to the law, and particularly to deny him the judgement of his peers, is in the highest degree odious and is the foundation of all totalitarian government whether Nazi or Communist,"
Winston Churchill, November 21, 1943, describing what is now legal and constitutional in the United States, under president Bush.
Happy Birthday Free Culture Movement:
Creative Commons wanted to find an appropriate way to celebrate. So we put together this version of "Happy Birthday," sung by, we might say, some of the leaders of the free world (The EFF Staff, Mitch Kapor, Dan Gillmor, Brian Behlendorf, Ian Clarke, Jimmy Wales, Brewster Kahle, and Gigi Sohn). Of course, to do this, we had to license the rights from Harry Fox (who represent Warner Chappell Music, the copyright owner of the composition) — yes, "Happy Birthday" is still under copyright — but the folks at Harry Fox were willing to give us a pretty good deal. Unfortunately, that deal does not transfer, so while you're free to download this version and play it "for personal use", and free to engage in any "fair use" of the song, the rights we have to give don't include much more than that.
This is because clearing rights to use music, under our current system of copyright is very complex. You need to clear every element you use. So in this recording, Warner's owns the lyrics and the composition and we have a limited license to use those & make them available to you for your personal use. The loops and sounds are owned by a loop distributor and licensed to us under a limited license that means we can't make it available to you to remix. But we own the rights in the recording in its entirety. We can — and we do — license the rights to the recording under a Creative Commons Attribution license. But because the nature of music is that the recording, the lyrics and the music are inextricably linked, to be able to exercise any of your rights in the recording under the Creative Commons Attribution license other than for personal or fair use, you will need to contact Harry Fox or Warner Chappell Music for permission to use the lyrics and composition and PowerFX to use the loops and sounds.
Alas, them's the breaks for free culture for now. Maybe if the Free Culture Movement is successful, things might become a bit less complicated. But for the moment, all we can do is wish the students of FCM good luck, and ask you to help us help them. We've set up a donation box to raise money for the Free Culture Movement. So if you download the song, and would like to help, here's where to donate. All money collected will be used to support the Free Culture Movement.
Our license from Harry Fox requires that we make the following statement: song written by Mildred J. Hill & Patty S. Hill, publisher is Warner Chappell Music.
The Nobel Fool: Harold Pinter's strident politics.:
Finally, the Nobel Committee for Literature got something right: Harold Pinter.
But for all the wrong reasons. The Nobel citation applauds Pinter, who was named a laureate last Thursday, for "forc[ing] entry in oppression's closed rooms," as though he were the author of a journalistic exposé about Abu Ghraib. The Los Angeles Times quoted Edward Albee as saying, "He's a splendid writer and a good political activist." The same article quoted David Hare, who suggested that the award vindicated Pinter for his "bold and brave political stand against the policies of the British and American governments."
The truth is that about five or six of Pinter's plays are works of great genius, but the leftist politics that he has embraced over the last two decades has nothing to do with them.
Bog Face: RIP Andrea Dworkin:
She was heartbroken and full of wrath when the ERA failed, and sitting in the office of the non-profit literacy organization where I work, looking around at all those worn-out books with their silly covers I suddenly was full of wrath too. Where did they go all those women? Where are the "feminists" who started the place where I work? WHERE DID THEY GO? WHO WERE THOSE MASKED WOMEN? God, I miss them, those 70's superheroes, brilliant and fucked up and shrill and fabulous I miss those avenging harpies, I miss my 70's mom, I miss her fury.
In fact, it kind of makes me want to yank on a pair of brown corduroy pants and big collared brown shirt and march angrily to work to teach Yemeni women how to read. Sometimes when I sit down close to them I can smell that morning's breakfast clinging damply to their hijabs and I have a sudden vision of a kind of thick and spongy darkness, a dream of endless days of housework without even the relief of being able to read or write IN ANY LANGUAGE, without being able to READ or WRITE AT ALL. And when one of their husbands comes to me and says, "Please teach my wife the alphabet" I desperately want to fistfight him but instead I say, "I ask the same of you, sir. Please teach your wife the alphabet."
That's where the sweatpants come in. Because you have to FLAUNT your writer lifestyle, people.:
But we've strayed just an inch or two from what my larger point is: Ties, suits, pressed pants, collared shirts, these are not monkey clothes.
These are zookeeper clothes.
And friends, if you want to be a motherfucking infinite simian, you cannot also be a zookeeper.
greg.org: On A Complex Relationship With The Dry Cleaners:
It's the kind of thing you'd expect, sadly, of a clothes horse in a bubble economy: he buys a the turquoise-est, maroon-est, and black-est striped Yohji Yamamoto shirt he can find. That it cost $675 in 1999 is no surprise. That it's made of 100% polyester of the kind that litters mid-western thrift shops also raises no eyebrows.
"Dry Clean Only," the label said, and that's what he did, religiously. He respects the dry cleaner, cowers a bit, even. Does what he's told. You want your $675 shirt ruined by your own cheap laziness? I didn't think so.
POTUSOA video filmed entirely with arrays of cameraphones. Link
After 'NY Times' Probe: Keller Should Fire Miller--and Apologize to Readers:
My view: Miller did far more damage to her newspaper than did Jayson Blair, and that’s not even counting her WMD reporting, which hurt and embarrassed the paper in other ways. The Times should let Miller, like Blair, go off to write a book, with no return ticket. We all know how well that worked out for Blair.
Smell and Envy
You nature poets think you've got it, hostaged
somewhere in Vermont or Oregon,
so it blooms and withers only for you,
so all you have to do is name it: primrose
--and now you're writing poetry, and now
you ship it off to us, to smell and envy.
But we are made of newspaper and smoke
and we dunk your roses in vats of blue.
Birds don't call, our pigeons play it close
to the vest. When the moon is full
we hear it in the sirens. The Pleiades
you could probably buy downtown. Gravity
is the receiver on the hook. Mortality
we smell on certain people as they pass.
Is this not the true romantic feeling; not to desire to escape life, but to prevent life from escaping you.
Telegraph | Opinion | Someone needs to have a word with Amis:
Usually, when you make a decision in life, unless you have access to parallel universes, you can't truly judge how right that decision was. You were happy to go and live in Rio de Janeiro, but who knows, maybe you would have been happier if you had stayed in London.
Some years ago, I fired my agent, Andrew Wylie, alias The Jackal. I want to stress this wasn't an amicable parting of the ways or a hankering on my part for fresh representation. I fired him because his agency wasn't doing enough for me. This wasn't a tantrum because he hadn't sold my book to Hollywood for a couple of million. It was a well considered verdict as I climbed the stairs to his office to collect the German edition of one of my novels which had been sitting on a shelf there for months and which I had politely asked to be sent to me four times. It suddenly occurred to me that an agent should be making my life easier, not harder.
Are the nominee's critics sexist? Get serious:
Dr. James Dobson, who got a special early briefing from Karl Rove on the pick, has confirmed what we already knew: The White House limited the field of potential choices to women. In ordinary English, that is called a quota. This admission of truth, which Bush's father never made about Clarence Thomas, makes it hard for the president to rebut criticism that Miers is not the most qualified person for the job. We know for a fact that half of humanity—and a good deal more than half of the federal bench—was deemed ineligible to be chosen at the outset. I thought conservatives like the president believed that women could withstand open competition? Instead, Bush has subjected Miers to what he calls the soft bigotry of low expectations.
The president, who knows Miers so well and who has so often boasted about how tough she is, could offer some help here. Bush needs to rustle up one lean anecdote about her leadership, judicial philosophy, or some instance where she lived up to the image he's pushed. Instead, he repeats her résumé and slightly patronizes her. Bush has always had trouble getting the gender thing right with Miers. When he promotes her, he's always patting her on the back in a way that undermines the case he's making. "She looks so petite and, well, harmless. But put her on your case," Bush said once before introducing her to a lunch crowd, "and she becomes a pit bull in size 6 shoes." Another time he boasted, "When it comes to a cross-examination, she can fillet better than Mrs. Paul." When you protest that much in public, it reinforces the underlying stereotype that Miers needs a lift.
It Is Not the Fact That I Will Die That I Mind
but that no one will love as I did
the oak tree out my boyhood window,
the mother who set herself
so stubbornly against life,
the sister with her serious frown
and her wish for someone at her side,
the father with his dreamy gaze
and his left hand idly buried
in the fur of his dog.
And the dog herself,
that mournful look and huge appetite,
her need for absolute stillness
in the presence of a bird.
I know how each of them looks
when asleep. And I know how it feels
to fall asleep among them.
No one knows that but me,
No one knows how to love the way I do.
www.AndrewSullivan.com - Daily Dish:
The Bush explosion of government spending needs more exploration. Heritage has put together a PDF document you can find here with all the relevant facts - from the government's own records. Some data: Washington now spends a record $22,000 a year per household. Defense and 9/11-related spending accounted for less than half the growth in spending between 2001 and 2003. Overall federal spending is accelerating in Bush's second term, not declining as he promised. Entitlement spending is set to explode in the next decade or so - requiring massive spending cuts, huge tax hikes, or real entitlement reform. Bush has made the entitlement problem far worse rather than better in his first five years. Under the post-1994 Republican Congress, pork barrel spending has gone from around $10 billion to $25 billion today. The number of "earmarks" under today's Republicans has gone from 1,439 in 1995 to 13,999 this year so far. The feds cannot account for $24.5 billion spent in 2003. This is what big government conservatism does for you. Happy now?
Could this be what Apple is about to announce? CONFIRMED.
Salon.com | I'm at your service, Mr. DeLay:
Corporate money not used for political campaigns? The thought is preposterous on its face. Any schoolchild knows that politics is not about highfalutin debates and policy papers; it is about putting the screws to the fat cats and squeezing them until they squeak and then hiring agents to level your hapless opponent with a barrage of rotten fruit and dead cats as you yourself stand above the fray, Bible in hand, your arm around some orphans, eyes upraised to Old Glory, your face nicely lit. And you win the race and go to work flogging your timid colleagues and raising truckloads of dough and building your war chest and scaring the bejeebers out of people. That's how it's done.
Greetings to everyone coming by from the BBC radiocast—thanks for stopping by. Feel free to check out my biography, read about other monologues, check the sidebar to see upcoming events—and yes, we're thinking about bringing THE UGLY AMERICAN to the UK in the future.
Cheney's $241K in Halliburton options worth $8 million now. That's an impressive 3,281% gain. Who says the White House is "losing" in Iraq?
The Wicked Stage: From One Invalid to Another: Dying Is an Art:
It has become fashionable in some quarters to prophesy the end of movies, or the end of movies as we know them, or, for the really cautious Cassandras, the end of moviegoing as we know it. Look, the doomsayers say, at the rate of DVDs flying off the shelves—it's rising, though not, alas, as exponentially as it was last year. And just look at Hollywood's bleak summer of 2005, in which theatrical releases made a few hundred jillion dollars less than they made last year and the year before.
Before long, goes the conventional dig-erati wisdom, we'll forgo the communal experience of the neighborhood cinema, with its sticky floors and chattering teenagers, and stay home to watch Hollywood blockbusters on plasma screens as big as bay windows.
Maybe the movies should welcome these death knells, premature or not. Dying can do a lot for an art form. Just look at the theater: It's been pronounced dead, or dying, for many centuries now. And the theater is not just pulling off the longest, most enthralling death scene in the history of drama; it is fairly thriving in its mortal throes, if Broadway box-office receipts are any indication.
Death becomes the theatre. So why can't the movies, wobbling as they are on their Olympian heights, learn a few things from the fabulous invalid for whom dying is an art?
Steve Miller's vision of the post-bourgeois workforce:
On Saturday, Delphi, the giant auto-parts company, filed for bankruptcy, kicking off what is sure to be one of the great cram-downs in American history. In a series of interviews with the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, and the Financial Times, Delphi CEO Steve Miller offered unionized workers a choice: They can accept pay cuts of about two-thirds or face the termination of their pension plan, which is underfunded by several billion dollars.
When he ruminates on the dialectics of global capitalism, Miller calls to mind a famous, simplistic big thinker with prominent facial hair. No, not Tom Friedman—Karl Marx. Because what Miller is talking about—and the effort he's been engaged in at companies in the steel and auto industries—is the re-proletarianization of industrial work.
Suzanne has been referred to as the "Mother of the MP3" as it was her voice that was used as the model for Karlheinz Brandenburg's compression algorithm. From Business 2.0 Magazine:
"To create MP3, Brandenburg had to appreciate how the human ear perceives sound. A key assist in this effort came from folk singer Suzanne Vega. I was ready to fine-tune my compression algorithm, Brandenburg recalls. Somewhere down the corridor a radio was playing [Vega's song] Tom's Diner. I was electrified. I knew it would be nearly impossible to compress this warm a capella voice.
Because the song depends on very subtle nuances of Vega's inflection, the algorithm would have to be very, very good to select the most important parts of the sound file and discard the rest. So Brandenburg tested each refinement of his system with Tom's Diner. He wound up listening to the song thousands of times, and the result was a code that was heard around the world. When an MP3 player compresses music by anyone from Courtney Love to Kenny G, it is replicating the way that Brandenburg heard Suzanne Vega."
From a Christian coloring book:
A little ditty for all the megachurches out there: I Ain't Afraid.
Battle blogging for profit - Los Angeles Times:
Look back to 2004, when reporters at a Hunan province newspaper listened as their editorial director read a statement from the Communist Party's Propaganda Department about the upcoming 15-year commemoration of the Tiananmen Square massacre. It warned that dissidents may use the Internet to spread "damaging information."
One reporter used an anonymous Yahoo e-mail account to ask a colleague in New York to post a report about the statement on pro-democracy website Minzhu Tongxun (Democracy Newsletter).
But as the 37-year-old married reporter behind the numeric pseudonym "198964" learned, he shouldn't have assumed that Yahoo defends press freedom. When Chinese security agents asked executives at Yahoo Holdings (Hong Kong) to identify the man, they did so. Police grabbed him on a street, searched his house and seized his computer and other belongings, according to documents filed in his defense.
Mr. "198964," whose real name is Shi Tao, is serving a 10-year jail sentence for "divulging state secrets abroad." Bloggers, human rights groups and journalism organizations, including PEN and Reporters Without Borders, condemned the action.
Yahoo co-founder Jerry Yang brushed off responsibility. At an Internet conference Sept. 10 in Hangzhou, China, Yang said Yahoo and other U.S.-based multinationals "have to comply with local law."
Or else what? They lose access, that's what, which means losing profits.
On the Death of a Colleague
She taught theater, so we gathered
in the theater.
We praised her voice, her knowledge,
how good she was
with Godot and just four months later
She was fifty. The problem in the liver.
Each of us recalled
an incident in which she'd been kind
I told about being unable to speak
from my diaphragm
and how she made me lie down, placed her hand
where the failure was
and showed me how to breathe.
I only could do it when I lay down
and that became a joke
between us, and I told it as my offering
to the audience.
I was on stage and I heard myself
wishing to be impressive.
Someone else spoke of her cats
and no one spoke
of her face or the last few parties.
The fact was
I had avoided her for months.
It was a student's turn to speak, a sophomore,
one of her actors.
She was a drunk, he said, often came to class
Sometimes he couldn't look at her, the blotches,
the awful puffiness.
And yet she was a great teacher,
he loved her,
but thought someone should say
what everyone knew
because she didn't die by accident.
Everyone was crying. Everyone was crying and it
was almost over now.
The remaining speaker, an historian, said he'd cut
his speech short.
And the Chairman stood up as if by habit,
said something about loss
and thanked us for coming. None of us moved
except some students
to the student who'd spoken, and then others
moved to him, across dividers,
down aisles, to his side of the stage.
Red Rose Stories:
Announcing the death of Red Rose Stories
Posted by: redrose
Date: October 3, 2005 06:24PM
I am sorry to inform all interested parties that Red Rose Stories is a DEAD site.
The FBI has suceeded in closing me down.
I am being charged with 'OBSCENITIES' and face charges for having posted fantasy stories.
They are trying to say fantasy stories are illegal.
The men in black (FBI) took ALL of my computer equipment, and many of my diskettes, and have access to ALL my files and site information. They came when I was NOT home and seized my belongings, I had no choice, and no recourse.
Americans playing risky game of sexual roulette:
Americans are playing a risky game of sexual roulette, according to a new poll that found only 39 percent of respondents always ask a new lover if they are infected with HIV, the virus that causes AIDS.
The new poll by Zogby for MSNBC.com also found that 73 percent of respondents were involved in a monogamous relationship and 66 percent of those surveyed had had unprotected sex while under the influence of alcohol.
Maybe it's just me, but that sounds about right—and in fact, I find it hard to believe that 39% actually ask people if they have AIDS. That seems like a hard question to work into before sleeping together, no matter how "safe" it is.
With a deep, abiding hatred. And embarrassment. I have this fantasy that I’m walking past Bretano’s or wherever and I click my fingers and all my books on the shelves go blank. And then I can start again and get it right.... They’re all so far below what I had hoped they would be. And yet one goes on. Here I am starting a new book. This is the absolute best stage of it, because when you’re writing the opening pages of the book, anything is possible, you might actually get it right this time. In my heart, of course I know that I won’t. In a couple of years’ time when I finish the book, I’ll hate it just as much as the others. I won’t deny that every now and then I write a sentence and I can hear a chime. I can hear that ping that you get when you hit your fingernail on the side of a glass, and I think, "Yeah, that’s right."
John Banville, winner of the Booker Prize today, on hating all his books.
The Seattle Times: Did local vice cops cross the line?
Lynnwood police concede they engaged in "rarely used" tactics during an undercover investigation into a suspected prostitution ring.
Those tactics, which included officers allowing prostitutes to masturbate them in exchange for cash, have raised questions among law-enforcement officials, legal experts and the Snohomish County Prosecutor's Office.
Harvey Weinstein, Master Illusionist:
The deal also tied Miramax's capital budget for acquiring and producing films to its annual performance. So, the more money Miramax made in a fiscal year, the more money the Weinsteins made and the bigger the capital budget of their Miramax division. Disney further agreed to calculate Miramax's profits in a fiscal year solely on the films released that year. In making what seemed like a minor concession to Weinstein so that he could use his discretion in timing the marketing of art films, Disney did not foresee how brilliantly he would game this loophole. Through it, Weinstein was able to create the illusion of profits for Miramax and the reality of huge bonus payments for himself and his brother.
How did Harvey do this? He simply shifted potential money-losing films into future fiscal years so that they didn't reduce either his bonus or Miramax's capital budget.
A slide-show essay about the architecture of megachurches.
An American in chains - Sunday Times - Times Online:
James Yee entered Guantanamo as a patriotic US officer and Muslim chaplain. He ended up in shackles, branded a spy. This is his disturbing story.
Eight years of email analyzed:
So there you have my finer-grained interactions 'laid bare'. Allowing ZERO minutes of response time for some finer-grained categories (e.g. semi-junk, self/meta, which don't require reading at all) and ONE-THREE minutes of response times for most categories, plus, say, TEN minutes of response time for an important research category such as 'main project work, paper writing', it is trivially easy to get to 2.5 hours per workday assuming a fairly ruthless, 'one-touch', knee-jerk email interaction regime. And worse if you deviate from the regime.
A real email sent to the fine folks responsible for Kashi cereal:
Dear Ms. Kashi
Thank you for your response. After absorbing the news that Kashi Medley has been discontinued, I have sought solace by expressing my feelings in poetry, as follows:
ODE TO KASHI MEDLEY
Circles of oat and flakes of corn,
Plump raisins and apple bits adorn,
Granola clusters and puffs of wheat,
All the things I liked to eat.
As I would wake and rise from my bed,
Visions of Kashi Medley filled my head.
But without the medley in my bowl.
I feel the loss to my very soul.
I take my shower with no more zeal
Now that breakfast is just another meal.
Walking the dog is just not as fun
When my only reward is a honeybun.
Bring back Kashi Medley, please!
I don't want any more toast and cheese.
I will mourn my mornings until I see
More Kashi Medley in front of me.
KASHI MEDLEY HAIKU
I was so content.
Kashi Medley is no more.
I will go hungry.
Hey. It's CAKE TIME.
A Flier Status Elite Enough To Eclipse Mere Platinum:
On United and on other airlines, members of the secretive, invitation-only clubs are met at the airport by employees and whisked past the check-in line. They wait for their flights in unmarked V.I.P. lounges and are offered liberal upgrades and personalized attention by airline employees. And at a time when airlines are obsessed with improving their on-time records, it is not uncommon for a plane to be held for a super-elite member who is stuck in traffic.
''Super-elites are the Skull and Bones of the sky,'' said the frequent-flier expert Joel Widzer, referring to the blue-blood secret society at Yale. ''Don't bother asking how to join. If you qualify, they'll let you know.''
New Orleans cops accused of swiping cars from dealership:
State authorities are investigating allegations New Orleans police officers broke into a dealership and made off with nearly 200 cars -- including 41 new Cadillacs -- as Hurricane Katrina closed in.
Check out Bush's weird jaw twitch in this clip—it keeps happening and happening.
A hoax most cruel:
At first, scam seemed too bizarre but then the reports kept coming in.
The first report of such a call came in 1995, in Devil's Lake, N.D.; another came later that year in Fallon, Nev. The caller, usually pretending to be a police officer investigating a crime, targeted stores in small towns and rural communities -- areas where managers were more likely to be trusting.
Most were fast-food restaurants, where the male and female victims were young and inexperienced, and assistant managers were likely to be working without supervision.
At first, nobody believed store managers when they insisted after the fact that they had just done what they were told to by someone they believed to be police.
Welcome to the Hackocracy:
If there's an underappreciated corner of the bureaucracy to fill, the administration has found just the crony (or college roommate of a crony), party operative (or cousin of a party operative) to fill it.
The man who took on George Bush and won (the Nobel Peace Prize, that is):
In a dramatic rebuff to President George Bush, the Nobel Peace Prize has been awarded to the man who dared to tell the Americans that the main plank of the US argument for waging war on Iraq was based on a lie.
The Secret Life of a Restaurant Critic - The Boston Globe:
Sure, it's a fun job. But when an owner threatens to get a gun because of my review, that's not so fun.
Tilda Swinton, one of our most unique actors, talks to Gaby Wood:
The year after Jarman died, Swinton lay asleep in a glass box in the Serpentine Gallery for eight hours a day. The performance piece, called The Maybe, was conceived by Swinton as part of a show by Cornelia Parker, which included the relics of illustrious ghosts - a cushion from Freud's couch, Churchill's last cigar. An eerie take on Sleeping Beauty, and a beautifully posed question about mortality, The Maybe included a small sign next to the display case. 'Matilda Swinton (1960-)'.
Thinking about Swinton, I keep returning to The Maybe. When she said that people couldn't be explained, she was probably right.
I find your lack of faith disturbing: I'm Your Friend, Eddie:
If any of you have checked me out on IMDB you'll note that I wrote the Oscar-winning screenplay to Keanu Reeves's most famous movie "Chain Reaction." I've only got a shared story credit now but it began as a spec script sold by yours truly some months after making his first $20,000 on the previously discussed serial killer movie. I got paid pretty well but I was still living in the attic and driving my mother's Honda. In the future I'll write about selling this script but all you need to know right now is this: There is ONE line in the movie left over from my spec.
"I'm your friend, Eddie."
I was fired after writing three drafts which included three totally different third acts. The studio told me they thought I was "burned out." This happens when people set you on fire.
Boing Boing: A Directory of Wonderful Things:
Bill Gates got into a shouting match with Sony CEO Howard Stringer over Sony's support for Blu-Ray, a stupid DRM standard for suck-ass next-gen DVDs, arguing that Microsoft's sellout suck-ass next-gen HD-DVDs are better.
Me, I say they all suck ass. The idea that the entertainment industry should design next-gen technology is hilariously stupid. These are the dumbasses who are calling for mandatory watermark detectors on analog-to-digital converters, after all. They still believe in crazy snake-oil like robust watermarks! They believe that it's practical to control the design of analog-to-digital converters, even though high school science students often build them as class projects!
This is ideological science, Soviet in its approach: like the Soviet apparats who insisted that it was possible to make ideologically correct weeds that would magically transform themselves into wheat; these boneheads insist that it's possible to make computers and networks that are less-good at copying files.
Gates has lain down with dogs and now he's waking up with fleas. Inviting the entertainment industry to design Windows for him was a move of such breathtaking commercial stupidity that it's hard to credit. Where's that monopolist swagger when we need it?
Turning the Pages™, the British Library:
14 great books, scanned in so you can see Leonardo da Vinci's original handwriting, the early work of Jane Austen, the original Alice in Wonderland and many more.
Our enemies are innovative and resourceful, and so are we. They never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people, and neither do we.
George W. Bush
"Women's modesty generally increases with their beauty."
The local newspaper reports
a Houston housewife has found
a three foot long snake indigenous
to California in her electric toaster.
I need to talk to this woman. I want
to know what kind of bread attracts
snakes, if she goes to church on Sundays
and if she believes in chance.
While I have her on the phone, I want
to ask about other irregularities, such as
the Osage orange that showed up
on my front step, a fruit so large
no creature could have carried it.
And what does she make of the wild card
I found in a pile of leaves-a Jack of Spades
masquerading as some variety of oak?
Or the crow who paces the patio,
carrying a packet of taco sauce,
dipping his beak casually, as if
hot sauce were his natural food.
I'd ask about the mouse I found
this morning in the dog's bowl,
frantic, half drowned, the small cap
of his skull bobbing like a tiny buoy.
Still, he swam, betting against all odds
that some housewife might appear
on this Sunday morning, looking for eggs
or waffle mix, and the opportunity to tip
the bowl onto a sunny porch where
a small thing, who has never questioned
the implacable nature of the universe,
could have another chance.
iliketorap.mp3 (audio/mpeg Object):
Oh—snap—I like to rap.
My name is Will Carlough and I like to rap.
Owners assume their pet's brain works like their own. That's a big mistake.:
The reality is, we don't know that much about what dogs think, because they can't tell us. Behaviorists tend to believe that dogs "think" in their own way—in sensory images involving their finely honed instincts. They're not capable of deviousness or spite. They love routine: Nothing seems to make them more comfortable than doing the same thing at the same time in the familiar way, day after day: We snack here, we poop there, we play over here. I am astonished at how little it takes to please them, how simple their lives can be if we don't complicate them.
God told me to invade Iraq, Bush tells Palestinian ministers:
[Palestinian Foreign Minister] Nabil Shaath says: "President Bush said to all of us: 'I'm driven with a mission from God. God would tell me, "George, go and fight those terrorists in Afghanistan." And I did, and then God would tell me, "George, go and end the tyranny in Iraq …" And I did. And now, again, I feel God's words coming to me, "Go get the Palestinians their state and get the Israelis their security, and get peace in the Middle East." And by God I'm gonna do it.'"
Radar Cover Subject Generator:
1. Take four consecutive UsWeekly issues.
2. Add one (1) randomly selected Vanity Fair cover.
3. Find which celebrity appears most often.
4. Wait two months.
5. Add crappy photoshop.
6. Mix liberally with cred-saving “ironic” take on said subject.
7. Sell out!!!*
Look for the Winter 2006 issue, featuring Lindsay Lohan’s car crashing into Harriet Miers.
*Out = 34%
Republican lawmakers are drafting new legislation that will make marriage a requirement for motherhood in the state of Indiana, including specific criminal penalties for unmarried women who do become pregnant "by means other than sexual intercourse."
According to a draft of the recommended change in state law, every woman in Indiana seeking to become a mother through assisted reproduction therapy such as in vitro fertilization, sperm donation, and egg donation, must first file for a "petition for parentage" in their local county probate court.
Only women who are married will be considered for the "gestational certificate" that must be presented to any doctor who facilitates the pregnancy. Further, the "gestational certificate" will only be given to married couples that successfully complete the same screening process currently required by law of adoptive parents.
More details here.
This is bizarrely and completely incorrect:
My Songs, My Format - New York Times:
And downloads from Apple's iTunes Music Store come exclusively in a version of AAC that includes FairPlay, Apple's digital rights management technology, to prevent illegal copying and sharing of music. "One of the problems I see a lot is that people who are using iTunes-iPods have ripped their entire CD collection to the AAC format because that is the default setting in iTunes," said Grahm Skee, who runs the Web site AnythingButiPod.com, in an e-mail interview. "Now they are stuck with a format that can only be played on iPods."
I don't quite know how this happened in the NYT technology section, but it's important to know this little equation:
AAC tracks you rip yourself are not the same as Protected AAC tracks that include FairPlay.
AAC, Apple's default format for converting music, is simply an open source format that anyone can make a player for—and many do! In fact, as of now I haven't actually seen a new portable audio player that doesn't support AAC in the last year or so unless it was absolutely terrible. It's free to support the format, and thanks to the popularity of iTunes people are supporting it—which is good, as no one contests that AAC sounds a lot better than MP3s at the same bit rates.
Protected AAC is the format that tracks from the Apple Music Store are in. It's just an AAC file with DRM copy protection wrapped around it...and it's the DRM that prevents it from being played on non-iPod players, which is definitely annoying. But there's no situation where you would have ripped your own CDs and somehow made the resulting files unreadable unless you have a very old mp3 player...and the fact that on its 1999 era shell it probably says MP3 PLAYER should probably have been a clue that it only likes those files. After all, it won't play .jpegs, either.
Check out Sheila's entry to this very iconoclastic film festival.
* you did it all solo
* your film must be under 5min
* you only made incamera edits
* your subject is inanimate object(s)
* minimum post soundtrack allowed
A pretty wonderful commencement speech at Kenyon by David Foster Wallace:
Greetings and congratulations to Kenyon's graduating class of 2005. There are these two young fish swimming along and they happen to meet an older fish swimming the other way, who nods at them and says "Morning, boys. How's the water?" And the two young fish swim on for a bit, and then eventually one of them looks over at the other and goes "What the hell is water?"
This is a standard requirement of US commencement speeches, the deployment of didactic little parable-ish stories. The story ["thing"] turns out to be one of the better, less bullshitty conventions of the genre, but if you're worried that I plan to present myself here as the wise, older fish explaining what water is to you younger fish, please don't be. I am not the wise old fish. The point of the fish story is merely that the most obvious, important realities are often the ones that are hardest to see and talk about. Stated as an English sentence, of course, this is just a banal platitude, but the fact is that in the day to day trenches of adult existence, banal platitudes can have a life or death importance, or so I wish to suggest to you on this dry and lovely morning.
It gets better and better. Thanks to the person who sent this to me. Link
When the wind works against us in the dark,
And pelts with snow
The lowest chamber window on the east,
And whispers with a sort of stifled bark,
‘Come out! Come out!’--
It costs no inward struggle not to go,
I count our strength,
Two and a child,
Those of us not asleep subdued to mark
How the cold creeps as the fire dies at length,--
How drifts are piled,
Dooryard and road ungraded,
Till even the comforting barn grows far away
And my heart owns a doubt
Whether ’tis in us to arise with day
And save ourselves unaided.
Is Maureen Dowd Boycotting TimesSelect?
Despite promises from the newspaper that its high-profile columnists--now hidden behind a pay wall on the Web--would provide bonus content and services at the site, Dowd so far has offered nothing original, beyond her twice-weekly print column. This stands in stark contrast to her colleagues, Frank Rich, Bob Herbert, Thomas Friedman, David Brooks, Paul Krugman, Nicholas Kristof, and John Tierney.
The Phonebook is a telephone, answering machine and message printer from Krohn Design. Not only does the design inspiration come from the trusty old file-o-fax, so does the operational inspiration. To change modes on the phone you turn the plastic "pages." Link
Overheard in New York: The Voice of The City - Not as Fast as Bolivian Marching Powder:
TA guy: There are different types of pains, some of which go all the way to the brain and others that only go to the spinal cord.
Ashley Olsen: So do, like, emotional pains go to the brain?
NYU Psychology building, Washington Place
Popgadget: Honda has designed a dog-friendly prototype car.
Winchester Mystery House:
The Winchester Mystery House is one of my absolute favorite Bay Area tourist-attractions. Built by the widow of the Winchester rifle fortune, the old barn house had over 800 rooms added and removed over several decades in a crazed bid to confuse the ghosts of dead Indians slain by Winchester rifles whom the widow believed to be haunting her.
(via Boing Boing)
Today was a day that began with my car keys, glasses, billfold, and cellphone in four different locations around the house, which sometimes happens if you are in motion. You set things on a shelf or dresser, or perhaps under a pile of your child's homework, and the next morning you must track them down by tearing around and yelling quietly to yourself. "This is how my life is spent," I cried out to nobody in particular. In the time I have spent looking for car keys, I could've read all of Charles Dickens. Why does this happen? WHY CAN'T I LEAVE THINGS WHERE I CAN FIND THEM? Do I need to hire a personal valet, a small dandruffy man named Basil? Should I install Velcro strips?
(No. The answer, young people, is: Don't Change Your Clothes. Have one jacket with big pockets that you wear every day, no matter what, and keep your essentials in it. People will talk, but it'll save you about six months in your lifetime and you'll get to read "David Copperfield.")
Is happiness worth losing your memory?
There was a time when I didn't have a memory. It was the spring of 2001, after I suffered a Grade 3 concussion when a tow truck hit a taxi in which I was riding. For six months, I forgot conversations as soon as they were over, lost track of names and addresses, and often found myself on the street, or the subway, without any idea where I was headed or why.
After about six months, the symptoms eventually lifted and my short-term memory returned. I had suffered no retrograde amnesia and should have been back to my "old self." Except that my old self was no longer there. In the six-month space of my memory loss, I had quit my job at the software company I'd founded, unable to keep track of the many meetings, tasks, and personnel of which I was in charge. My longtime girlfriend had left me, prompting me to come to terms with my sexuality and come out to myself and my friends. And fundamentally, something about me had shifted—I had been skeptical, uptight, nervous. But now I was performing poetry at slams, dancing at bonfires in the desert, and traveling to new countries on a whim. At the time, it felt like a rebirth.
Whoever dined in this café before us
Took just a forkful of his cherry pie.
We sit with it between us. Let it lie
Until the overworked waitperson comes
To pick it up and brush away the crumbs.
You look at it. I look at it. I stare
At you. You do not look at me at all.
Somewhere, a crash as unwashed dishes fall.
The clatter of a dropped knife splits the air.
Second-hand smoke infiltrates everywhere.
Your fingers clench the handle of a cup
A stranger drained. I almost catch your eye
For a split second. The abandoned pie
Squats on its plate before us, seeping red
Like a thing not yet altogether dead.
The first genocide of the twenty-first century is drawing to an end:
At last, some good news from Darfur: the holocaust in western Sudan is nearly over. There’s only one problem – it’s drawing to an end only because there are no black people left to cleanse or kill.
The National Islamic Front government has culled over 400,000 “Zurga” – a word which translates best as “niggers” – and driven two million more from their homes in its quest to make western Sudan “Zurga-free”. Their racist Janjaweed militias would love to carry on rampaging and raping, but the black villages have all been burned down and the women have all been raped with “Arab seed” to “destroy their race from within” – what’s a poor militiaman to do? The first genocide of the twenty-first century has proceeded without a hitch, and the genocidaires have won.
BBC NEWS | World | Americas | US army sacks gay Arabic experts:
The United States Army has forced six linguists trained to speak Arabic to quit after they admitted that they were gay.
The decision comes when American military and intelligence services are suffering from an acute lack of translators and interpreters needed for their war on terror.
My friend Jonathan's new book has the most oustanding fucking cover, doesn't it?
How to score a book deal in 10 easy steps:
1. Work at New York Times
2. Unquestioningly run spoonfed information regarding WMDs
3. Look like an asshole, embarrass your publication
3. Write MASH notes to cabinet members
4. Declare yourself Queen of Iraq
5. Muddle up some espionage leaks
6. Look like an asshole, embarrass your publication
7. Refuse to talk about anything, despite having full permission to do so
8. Reinvent self as First Amendment freedom fighter
9. Go to jail for 12 weeks, listen to hip-hop
10. Sign $1.2 million book deal
Slippers with built-in LEDs.
If you're curious, here's how the studio "director meeting" went a month earlier:
EXEC: So we got Martin Lawrence. He's black...
OTHER EXEC: And we got Asian Action Starlet. She's...Asian?
EXEC: That's what her agent says. I've never seen her movies. Hong Kong, is like, far away.
OTHER EXEC: Totally far...So for a director we need...An Asian guy?
EXEC: Sure. Good idea. But...how 'bout a black guy?
OTHER EXEC: Hmm. Yeahhh. A Black guy. Now you're thinking...
EXEC: Wait! I got it! How about...an Asian guy...who thinks he's black!
OTHER EXEC: Awesome. Do we have a list for that?
EXEC: Of course we do...It's here somewhere...I think it's on the same page with "Female Directors We'd Actually Hire for Movies Budgeted over 30 million...Here it is.
OTHER EXEC: There's one name there.
EXEC: Let's call him.
Heh heh heh.
Old friends are performing plays at the Seattle IKEA, where art is colliding with commerce twice weekly.
Real-life woes crash into picture-perfect rooms.
In a rare burst of conversationality, I thought I would write in my own blog. You see, this blog mainly serves as a repository for links, fragments and images which interest or titillate me, and much less frequently as a "blog" in the traditional sense of "place where shitloads of pointless narrative is expelled as attempted low-rent self therapy". I think it's a reaction of this blogs age: it's been around, in one form or another, since mid-2000, and so over the years I think I've become all talked out. I'm also an author and monologuist, so I prefer, as a general rule, to save myself for the stage or the page.
Tonight I performed at the Cornelia Street Cafe, which was much lovelier than I initially expected it to be. It's tiny, but the stage works far better than it has any right to, and they had fantastic attendance, considering it was Rosh Hashanah. All the storytellers were terrific, which I don't say lightly—and it's rare that it happens—but indeed, everyone who made it up to the plate hit the damn ball, and most made it to second or further. I was delighted to hear Joe Limone's "Red Sox Nail" story, and James Braly's surprise appearance with an utterly reprehensible (and unforgettable) story of afterbirth—I had heard about both these stories, so it was neat to hear them from the original tellers. Brooke Delaney and Josh Lefkowitz rounded out a very strong evening, and I was happy that I performed with them all.
UNINTERESTING GEEK CRAP ALERT
About a month ago I switched from using Microsoft Entourage for all my email and calendaring to using Apple's built-in suite of Mail, iCal and Address Book. Some may have wondered: how did the transition go? I know you were concerned, Mike, and you answer over 100 emails a day—was it hard?
No one is asking this, I know—I'm just humoring myself.
As a matter of fact, it wasn't nearly as hard as I thought. A few add-ons really saved my sanity, so let me list them if someone else is making the switch:
Menu Master: this essential haxie lets you change any menu command in any app. Saved my bacon, as I have all of Entourage's key combos memorized into my muscles, so I just switched Mail's to match them.
Mail Act-On: this plugs into Mail's rule system to speed up sorting and processing of incoming mail. Very fast, clean, intuitive interface.
Mail Type Select: this gives you Type Ahead Find in your mailboxes. Type a few letters and presto, you are at your email.
Apple Mail Plug-Ins: every tool under the sun. Get Google Maps, autocomplete addresses—everything else.
All that said, the switch has paid dividends for me. No more Office running 24/7, which is good because even after the latest service pack it always sucks up processor cycles for no reason. All the Apple apps are more nimble than Entourage, and JM and I now (finally!) have a working calendar solution—we both have .mac, but weren't using 1/8th of the features.
YMMV, but for me it was an unmitigated success—and I really doubted I could switch at first, after seven years addicted to Outlook Express/Entourage.
END UNINTERESTING GEEK CRAP ALERT
Nicolas Cage names new child after Superman
"His wife, Alice Kim Cage, gave birth Monday to a boy, Kal-el Coppola Cage, in New York City."
I've always considered writing the most hateful kind of work. I suspect it's a bit like fucking, which is only fun for amateurs.
Jacket Copy for Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas,
Hunter S. Thompson
Even the conservatives don't like her.
"Just talked to a very pro-Bush legal type who says he is ashamed and embarrassed this morning. Says Miers was with an undistinguished law firm; never practiced constitutional law; never argued any big cases; never was on law review; has never written on any of the important legal issues. Says she's not even second rate, but is third rate. Dozens and dozens of women would have been better qualified. Says a crony at FEMA is one thing, but on the high court is something else entirely. Her long history of activity with ABA is not encouraging from a conservative perspective - few conservatives would spend their time that way. In short, he says the pick is 'deplorable.'"
"It's not as bad as Caligula putting his horse in the Senate."
"Bush is a deeply arrogant and insecure person (the qualities go together), a man who refuses to cower in the face of criticism. This can be a good thing, as in his tenacity in the war on terror. But it is also a hubristic flaw - evident as early as "Mission Accomplished" - which has only been reinforced by his re-election. The one thing that could motivate him to appoint a crony as obviously unqualified as Miers is precisely to stick a finger in the eye of those accusing him of cronyism. Tell him we need more troops in Iraq? It's the one thing he won't do. Tell him he's a big spender? We get: "It's going to cost whatever it costs." Tell him he has botched the Iraq occupation? He'll give the architects Medals of Freedom. There's an adolescent streak of pure willfulness in the man. He cannot and will not self-correct. If pushed into a corner, he will simply repeat the error in order to prove himself immune to criticism. We had one chance to correct this - the only one he understands. And he got away with re-election after four years of spectacular, unconservative incompetence. I'm afraid I have limited sympathy for those complaining conservatives who were silent when it mattered, and are now living with the consequences."
Formerly Bush's personal lawyer in Texas, Miers came with him to the White House in 2001 as staff secretary, the person who screens all the documents that cross the president's desk. She was promoted to deputy chief of staff before Bush named her counsel after his reelection in November.
From the Washington Post's June profile of her. Regardless of people's feelings on the nomination, it's clear that Bush considers himself above reproach—he won his second term, and he'll nominate whomever he pleases, and do whatever he likes. And he likes his cronies and bootlickers something fierce.
Even better than the TITANIC trailer from last week is this one of THE SHINING as a romantic comedy.
My good friend Aaron has a new show playing in Houston.
He explains in his email:
What You’ve Done is part-play, part installation – it’s performed in a shotgun house in Houston’s 3rd Ward, and the audience is limited to 12 people per night. The story starts after a sister’s disappearance, and gives three different perspectives on what caused her to depart. Viewers become voyeurs, confidantes.
What You’ve Done opens October 20 and runs three weeks, with six shows per week. It is performed by the lovely and talented Eleanor Colvin, Autumn Knight and Troy Schulze, with the help of a TV/VCR and a telephone answering machine named PhoneMate. The piece is designed by local installation artist Eric Zapata. Tory Vazquez has helped fix the script.
Do you know anyone in Houston? Do you think they might like to see a show by me? Please tell them – it opens Thursday October 20 and runs three weeks, six shows a week.
A good Explainer piece in Slate on what it means when someone says there was a "runaway" grand jury.
"Nine days I hung myself on the world tree," he says, "with the Bat-spear in my side; and for this reason, you shall call me the Hanged Superfriend, or the One-Eyed Boy Wonder. I have learned the secrets of the runes, and thus have learned all things."
"The battle fares poorly; my sister burns, but the flames are cold. Tell me, Hanged Superfriend-is this a battle we can win?"
"No," says the One-Eyed Boy Wonder. "It is not so. We cannot hope for victory; only that some few might survive. This is the end of the dream and the darkest of all days." He holds up the Bat-stave on which the laws of the Superfriends are writ. "I break our code."
He snaps the Bat-stave.
"I see," says Zan, and bows his icy head. "SISTER, TO ME!"
They touch, one last time. "Form of... a world-drowning ocean!"
"Shape of... the Midgard Serpent!"
"The lie of human form is past," murmurs the rising sea. "The lie of hearts and minds recedes. Ah! Batman, thou were wise and cruel, to bind us so."
Airports Step Up Effort to Seize Porn:
Spurred by recent announcements that the FBI is creating an anti-obscenity squad to target pornographic content in the country, U.S. customs agents are beginning to increase efforts to confiscate pornography coming into the country’s airports.
The news comes just days after it was discovered that Attorney General Alberto Gonzales told the FBI that establishing an anti-obscenity squad was one of his top priorities.
August Wilson, Playwright, Dies at 60 - New York Times:
NEW YORK (AP) -- Playwright August Wilson, whose epic 10-play cycle chronicling the black experience in 20th-century America included such landmark dramas as ''Fences'' and ''Ma Rainey's Black Bottom,'' died Sunday of liver cancer, a family spokeswoman said. He was 60.
This is a sad webpage.
Stumbling Storm-Aid Effort Put Tons of Ice on Trips to Nowhere:
When the definitive story of the confrontation between Hurricane Katrina and the United States government is finally told, one long and tragicomic chapter will have to be reserved for the odyssey of the ice.
Ninety-one thousand tons of ice cubes, that is, intended to cool food, medicine and sweltering victims of the storm. It would cost taxpayers more than $100 million, and most of it would never be delivered.
The somewhat befuddled heroes of the tale will be truckers like Mark Kostinec, who was dropping a load of beef in Canton, Ohio, on Sept. 2 when his dispatcher called with an urgent government job: Pick up 20 tons of ice in Greenville, Pa., and take it to Carthage, Mo., a staging area for the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
Mr. Kostinec, 40, a driver for Universe Truck Lines of Omaha, was happy to help with the crisis. But at Carthage, instead of unloading, he was told to take his 2,000 bags of ice on to Montgomery, Ala.
After a day and a half in Montgomery, he was sent to Camp Shelby, in Mississippi. From there, on Sept. 8, he was waved onward to Selma, Ala. And after two days in Selma he was redirected to Emporia, Va., along with scores of other frustrated drivers who had been following similarly circuitous routes.
At Emporia, Mr. Kostinec sat for an entire week, his trailer burning fuel around the clock to keep the ice frozen, as FEMA officials studied whether supplies originally purchased for Hurricane Katrina might be used for Hurricane Ophelia. But in the end only 3 of about 150 ice trucks were sent to North Carolina, he said. So on Sept. 17, Mr. Kostinec headed to Fremont, Neb., where he unloaded his ice into a government-rented storage freezer the next day.
Andrew Sullivan's email inbox:
"It's always been clear to me that you have a fine mind and the ability to write, but these talents are attenuated by your unremitting homosexuality - the emotional need to have aberrant sex. Clearly, your perversion and deviancy have affected your reason. Thus, you have no credibility as an observer of the current social and political climate. You are simply another frustrated fag who is trying very hard to legitimize his sexual perversion by striking out against anyone who wants to maintain thousands of years of normalcy. God, what must the average and decent American do to put the sexual deviates in their place (in concentration camps or mental institutions)."
(Every now and again, I post emails like these, which I receive regularly, not to grandstand but simply to remind people, especially in relatively enlightened circles, what pockets of hatred still exist in our culture).
The Politicker: Freddy Can Win Week Officially Over - NYO:
A correspondent who was in Chelsea last night reports that when Freddy campaigned at the 23rd Street and 8th Avenue Station, "not a single Chelsea elected showed up."
"And he's passing out these blue photocopied half-pieces of paper, no real lit, and to top it off, the blue paper wasn't even cut with a cutter, it was hand-cut with scissors. Brutal."
The film about John Kerry's campaign won't tell you why he lost:
As for the candidate himself, we don't see much of him that we haven't seen already. But there are a few surprises. Kerry the candidate seems tantalizingly less stiff than we remember. As he waits in a locker room for a satellite interview, he pretends to interview himself. It's a goofy, amusing moment. I've watched presidential candidates in this familiar, tense setting and seen them anxious that time's wasting, irritated by a local anchor's gooey snap, bark at their staffs, or even, in one case, bolt from a Marriot ballroom. Off-camera, Kerry is surprisingly at ease. "I don't know who exercised in this locker room last," he jokes with his aides, "but they left a lot of themselves here." Alas, when the interview starts, he snaps back into that familiar wooden image.
If the movie has a star, it's Jim Loftus, the Kerry press wrangler who made sure the photographers stayed behind the rope lines and that the press got on the buses and into their seats without getting too close to the candidate or delaying his schedule.
He's manic and insane. Loftus rails at the New York Times for an unflattering picture of Kerry and rags on the campaign's own press spokesperson for her bad relations with the media. At one point, he tries as a birthday prank to get a pony into the room of Marvin Nicholson, Kerry's personal aide and the other star of the film. "Get the fucking pony and put it in the hotel room … if you can't get a pony get a goat but I want it in women's lingerie … and in that case you do have to stay with the goat or the goat will fucking eat the lingerie and the joke will be ruined."
NYC Traffic Camera and Block Photo Map—see what's going on with the traffic, all over the city.
A trailer for the movie TITANIC, recut and remastered into a fantastic looking HORROR film...which, if you think about the situation under all the mythology, is probably what it was in the first place. Link
An oldie but a goodie—The Apple Product Cycle.
Sub-$100 laptop design unveiled:
Nicholas Negroponte, chairman and founder of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Media Labs, has been outlining designs for a sub-$100 PC.
The laptop will be tough and foldable in different ways, with a hand crank for when there is no power supply.
Professor Negroponte came up with the idea for a cheap computer for all after visiting a Cambodian village.
His non-profit One Laptop Per Child group plans to have up to 15 million machines in production within a year.