Thursday, November 30, 2006

Watchdog Blog » Blog Archive » On Calling Bullshit:

What is it about Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert that makes them so refreshing and attractive to a wide variety of viewers (including those so-important younger ones)? I would argue that, more than anything else, it is that they enthusiastically call bullshit.

Calling bullshit, of course, used to be central to journalism as well as to comedy. And we happen to be in a period in our history in which the substance in question is running particularly deep. The relentless spinning is enough to make anyone dizzy, and some of our most important political battles are about competing views of reality more than they are about policy choices. Calling bullshit has never been more vital to our democracy.

10:14 PM


9:10 PM


Nintendo has dropped out of this race. The Wii has few bells and whistles and much less processing power than its “competitors,” and it features less impressive graphics. It’s really well suited for just one thing: playing games. But this turns out to be an asset. The Wii’s simplicity means that Nintendo can make money selling consoles, while Sony is reportedly losing more than two hundred and forty dollars on each PlayStation 3 it sells—even though they are selling for almost six hundred dollars. Similarly, because Nintendo is not trying to rule the entire industry, it’s been able to focus on its core competence, which is making entertaining, innovative games. For instance, the Wii features a motion sensor that allows you to, say, hit a tennis ball onscreen by swinging the controller like a tennis racquet. Nintendo’s handheld device, the DS, became astoundingly popular because of simple but brilliant games like Nintendogs, in which users raise virtual puppies. And because Nintendo sells many more of its own games than Sony and Microsoft do, its profit margins are higher, too. Arguably, Nintendo has thrived not despite its fall from the top but because of it.

4:59 PM

Sun Beams:)

4:59 PM

Weekend America >> Saturday, November 25, 2006 >> An Open Letter to Lifetime Television:

Dear Lifetime,

Look at the two of us. Me, buried in the couch cushions, surrounded by soggy mugs of tea and a half-eaten bag of Nestle's Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips. You, blinking your one eye against the dying sunlight reflecting off its surface. You lured me in just like Lisa Rinna seduced that guy in Another Woman's Husband.

Where has the time gone? It seems like mere moments ago that I was waking up full of good intentions. I was going to go to the gym. I was going to purchase and wrap several belated birthday gifts. I was going to do three loads of laundry. I only flipped on the TV to check the weather, only sat down for a moment, just to see if little Emily's estranged biological father was a match for the bone-marrow transplant she so desperately needed

4:24 PM

The end is the beginning is the end

10:48 AM

Cosmic Jellyfish!

10:47 AM

sam beckett's ohio impromptu

1:19 AM

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Playbill News: MacIvor, Daisey, Bogart and Others Announced for Public's Under the Radar Festival:

Daniel MacIvor, Mike Daisey and Anne Bogart are among the artists who will participate in the Public Theater's annual 12-day Under the Radar festival from Jan. 17-28, 2007.

The works include MacIvor's play A Beautiful View, about "two women who forge a romance that keeps falling apart," according to a release. Solo writer-performer Daisey's Invincible Summer is about the New York subway and Daisey's Brooklyn neighborhood in "the last glorious summer before everything changed."

1:27 PM

The Pirate Keyboard!





1:17 PM

The Gowanus Lounge: Is Coney Island the New Atlantic Yards and Joe Sitt the New Bruce Ratner?:

The interesting thing is that Deno's Wonder Wheel Park sits between Sitt's other properties and Astroland. Is that the next shoe to drop? Will Deno's end up hemmed in by Sitt projects like the proverbial building whose owner refused to sell surround by highrises? Will the only things left of the past in Coney Island be the Cyclone, Wonder Wheel and Parachute Jump, the equivalent of those big, old signs that are preserved when the factories to which they were attached are torn down? Will Thor use preserving Astroland as an amusement park as the bargaining chip to get the zoning changes to allow boardwalk condo towers? Is the grand plan--as cynics have suggest--to turn Coney Island into an absolutely desolate ghost town by the end of next year to pressure quick action on their plans?

11:09 AM


10:59 AM

Joel on Software:

I'm sure there's a whole team of UI designers, programmers, and testers who worked very hard on the OFF button in Windows Vista, but seriously, is this the best you could come up with?


Every time you want to leave your computer, you have to choose between nine, count them, nine options: two icons and seven menu items. The two icons, I think, are shortcuts to menu items. I'm guessing the lock icon does the same thing as the lock menu item, but I'm not sure which menu item the on/off icon corresponds to.

On many laptops, there are also four FN+Key combinations to power off, hibernate, sleep, etc. That brings us up to 13 choices, and, oh, yeah, there's an on-off button, 14, and you can close the lid, 15. A total of fifteen different ways to shut down a laptop that you're expected to choose from.

10:22 AM

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

First mention of our run at the Public this January:

Bogart, Daisey, MacIvor, et al. Set for Under the Radar 2007 Festival

11:14 PM


11:09 PM

Red Gum Balls

11:09 PM

Mon cher

10:57 PM


5:05 PM

Buy cheese, fly for free (

This weekend I was handed an opened wheel of processed cheeses by a friend. He said that his brother-in-law had caught wind of a frequent flyer promotion whereby you get 500 miles for each purchase of this cheese wheel and had purchased 75,000 miles for ~$300, which also means he's got more opened cheese wheels than he knows what to do with. The frequent flyer forums and blogs are already on the case. These forums are actually pretty fascinating...there's a lot of free/cheap travel to be had for those with a little time on their hands. This fellow claims to have taken advantage of airline pricing errors to fly 16 flights this year for a total cost of $77.57.

5:04 PM


5:04 PM

Slashdot | Newt Gingrich Says Free Speech May Be Forfeit:

At a dinner honoring those who stand up for freedom of speech, former House speaker Newt Gingrich issued his opinion that the idea of free speech in the U.S. needs to be re-examined in the interest of fighting terrorism. Gingrich said a "different set of rules" may be needed to reduce terrorists' ability to use the Internet and free speech to recruit and get out their message. The article has few details of what Gingrich actually said beyond the summary above, and no analysis pointing out how utterly clueless the suggestion is given the Internet's nature and trans-national reach.

3:57 PM


2:56 PM


2:53 PM

Red Sky

2:49 PM

It's a Wonderful Life - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:

National Telefilm Associates took over the rights to the U.M.&M. library soon afterward. However, a clerical error at NTA prevented the copyright from being renewed properly in 1974. Around this time, people began to take a second look at this film. A popular fallacy began that it entered the public domain and many television stations began airing the film without paying royalties. The film was still protected by virtue of it being a derivative work of all the other copyrighted material used to produce the film such as the script, music, etc. whose copyrights were renewed. In the 1980s (the beginning of the home video era) the film finally received the acclaim it didn't receive in 1946, thus becoming a perennial holiday favorite. For several years, it became expected that the movie would be shown multiple times on at least one station and on multiple stations in the same day, often at the same or overlapping times. It was a common practice for American viewers to jump in and out of viewing the movie at random points, confident they could easily pick it up again at a later time. The film's warm and familiar ambiance gave even isolated scenes the feel of holiday "comfort food" for the eyes and ears. The film's accidental public domain success is often cited as a reason to limit copyright terms, which have been frequently extended by Congress in the United States.

1:17 PM


12:40 PM

BACK IN FASHION / Savannah Knoop has survived the JT Leroy scandal and is trying her hand at a new career:

Knoop was paid for her impersonations of LeRoy in wigs and sunglasses, which allowed her to quit her waitress job. For six years, the charade went on -- until this January, when writer Laura Albert was outed as the author. Albert's former partner, Geoffrey Knoop, is Savannah Knoop's half brother.

"It was a relief when it was over,'' says Knoop, 25, with considerable understatement, about the controversy.

These days, she is out of the literary limelight and back pocketing tips on the night shift at Soi 4, a Thai restaurant in Oakland's Rockridge district. Her customers would no doubt be shocked to learn about the entry on her in Wikipedia, the online encyclopedia, for playing LeRoy.

12:14 PM

2006 11 Brooklynmus

12:10 PM


11:57 AM

Slashdot | RIAA Subpoenas Neighbor's Son, Calls His Employer:

"To those who might think that I might be exaggerating when I describe the RIAA's litigation campaign as a 'reign of terror', how's this one: in UMG v. Lindor, the RIAA not only subpoenaed the computer of Ms. Lindor's son, who lives 4 miles away, but had their lawyer telephone the son's employer. See page 2, footnote 1."

From Ray's comments:
"You have a multi-billion dollar cartel suing unemployed people, disabled people, housewives, single mothers, home healthcare aids, all kinds of people who have no resources whatsoever to withstand these litigations. And due to the adversary system of justice the RIAA will be successful in rewriting copyright law, if the world at large, and the technological community in particular, don't fight back and help these people fighting these fights."

11:53 AM


11:52 AM

C.W. : Zune Reinforces Microsoft's Dorky Image:

The reason, I think, is a little unexpected -- iPod. With a little help from Microsoft's wannabe music player, Zune. Zune, just out in time for Christmas, is not only getting some lukewarm reviews, it is reinforcing Microsoft's worst image problems.

Either the Micro-guys are clueless dorks -- Zune is as expensive as iPod, bulkier, and is neither as easy to work as iPod nor as cool. Or, worse yet, the boys up north are malicious bullies. According to at least one review, the music system only works with the Microsoft Explorer browser, not Firefox, which many others and I prefer.

11:50 AM

Blood lily

11:50 AM


6:24 AM

423smith: hijinx from Carroll Gardens » Blog Archive » Bye-bye Banania:

Banania was always THE brunch place. I would come all the way from my native Kensington (so far that most of you have probably never heard of it!) and friends would come from the city just to meet there and enjoy a delicious omelet with goat cheese, or eggs benedict, or any of their other great dishes, along with the terrific accompanying home fries, salad, and basket of crazy-good breads.

As we all know, the place we renovated and renamed - to “Porchetta,” perhaps a bad sign of things to come - but the brunch menu remained the same. So I kept eating there happily.

However, two weeks ago I convinced two former Brooklynites to make the trip from the city for a Banania/Porchetta brunch, promising that even though the name was changed, the menu remained.

I was in for one of the worst changes since Han shooting first.

6:21 AM

Mormon Sacred Underwear!


5:27 AM

267717015 Fcd86E1Dc5

4:35 AM

2006 11 Birds1

4:34 AM

The amazing electric sports car, the Tesla Roadster. - By Paul Boutin - Slate Magazine:

A week ago, I went for a spin in the fastest, most fun car I've ever ridden in—and that includes the Aston Martin I tried to buy once. I was so excited, in fact, that I decided to take a few days to calm down before writing about it. Well, my waiting period is over, I'm thinking rationally, and I'm still unbelievably stoked about the Tesla.

The Tesla Roadster won't hit the streets until next year. If you see one on the street, then, you should ask for a ride. Even from the passenger seat, the car feels impossibly stronger, faster, and safer than it should be. The trick is Tesla's torque curve—the arc of the motor's strength as it revs from a standstill to top speed. Compared to gasoline-engined cars, the Roadster's torque curve feels—and is—impossible. That's because the Tesla's motor is electric.

4:32 AM

St Johns Bridge, Fog

4:22 AM

The Rites of Manhood

It's snowing hard enough that the taxis aren't running.
I'm walking home, my night's work finished,
long after midnight, with the whole city to myself,
when across the street I see a very young American sailor
standing over a girl who's kneeling on the sidewalk
and refuses to get up although he's yelling at her
to tell him where she lives so he can take her there
before they both freeze. The pair of them are drunk
and my guess is he picked her up in a bar
and later they got separated from his buddies
and at first it was great fun to play at being
an old salt at liberty in a port full of women with
hinges on their heels, but by now he wants only to
find a solution to the infinitely complex
problem of what to do about her before he falls into
the hands of the police or the shore patrol
—and what keeps this from being squalid is
what's happening to him inside:
if there were other sailors here
it would be possible for him
to abandon her where she is and joke about it
later, but he's alone and the guilt can't be
divided into small forgettable pieces;
he's finding out what it means
to be a man and how different it is
from the way that only hours ago he imagined it.

Alden Nowlan
4:21 AM

Multi window

4:21 AM

UK surveillance cams may get mic'ed up to detect aggression - Engadget:

Pretty much every time we glance over at our friends in the UK, they seem to be implementing surveillance technology that surely wouldn't make George Orwell too thrilled. In the last two months alone we've seen those CCTV cams with accompanying loudspeakers debut in Middlesbrough, which was more recently followed by a handful of London cops getting some head-mounted cams. Sure, it's easy to invoke the spectre of Big Brother into any conversation about the expansion of the watchful eye of government, but the new discussions afoot have even us Yanks a little concerned for our British brethren. According to The Times, UK police are considering using high-powered microphones that will home in on a particular public conversation, if "aggressive tones" are detected, based on decibel level, pitch and the speed of the speaker's voice.

1:48 AM Owner's Manifesto:

The Maker's Bill of Rights

*Meaningful and specific parts lists shall be included.

*Cases shall be easy to open.

*Batteries should be replaceable.

*Special tools are allowed only for darn good reasons.

*Profiting by selling expensive special tools is wrong and not making special tools available is even worse.

*Torx is OK; tamperproof is rarely OK.

*Components, not entire sub-assemblies, shall be replaceable.

*Consumables, like fuses and filters, shall be easy to access.

*Circuit boards shall be commented.

*Power from USB is good; power from proprietary power adapters is bad.

*Standard connecters shall have pinouts defined.

*If it snaps shut, it shall snap open.

*Screws better than glues.

*Docs and drivers shall have permalinks and shall reside for all perpetuity at

*Ease of repair shall be a design ideal, not an afterthought.

*Metric or standard, not both.

*Schematics shall be included.

1:40 AM

Friday, November 24, 2006

And now, I present HEDDA GOBBLER: The Drama Of The Turkey 2006:

1:46 AM

Thursday, November 23, 2006


1:44 PM

2006 11 Pasita

1:43 PM

2006 11 Kramercrazy

1:42 PM

Image 13 Jpg

12:59 PM


12:03 AM

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

2006 11 Empireview

1:44 AM

Trencher2 Smd Big

12:50 AM

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

8:05 PM

Ruby Droplets

7:48 PM


A great one falls--Robert Altman has died.

4:28 PM

Boing Boing: Berlusconi used Hollywood studios for money laundering:

Former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi is on trial for laundering money by purchasing copyright licenses from MPAA members. Accused of co-conspiring with him is David Mills, the "estranged husband" of Tessa Jowell, the British copyright minister who has taken many extremist stances in support of the handful of US-led Fortune 100 companies that dominate global entertainment.

Next time you hear an entertainment exec spouting evidence-free garbage about P2P being used to fund terrorism, ask him about Berlusconi and his company's complicity with high official corruption and money-laundering.

1:24 PM


1:05 PM

hungover welsh stick figure

10:56 AM

When Apple Rules The World / What does it mean when you really, really want to lick a new MacBook Pro, and swoon?:

Because these days, this is pretty much the feeling Apple products instill in millions of increasingly dazzled and devoted fans. Their products have become coated in some sort of hot golden fairy dust. Their gizmos come freely adorned with a luminous halo that tastes of hope and sex and candy. Their incandescent tech junk possesses a reek, a perfectly intoxicating stench that heralds another world, some sort of sleek well-lit utopia where people never steal and vibrators are free and dolphins teach babies to sing.

10:54 AM

2006 11 Batteryreflection

10:26 AM

On the Stair

10:22 AM


10:20 AM


10:15 AM

McSweeney's Internet Tendency: Fragments From If I Did It! The Musical.:

- - - -

(JUDITH REGAN is in bed. She wakes up.)


Last night I had the strangest dream.
An angel came to me. It seemed
As though he tumbled down from heaven high.
He had the gentlest tone. His voice, it did beguile.

He wanted me to make a book
That turned back time to take a look
At the O.J. Simpson murder trial.
Then he flew back up into the endless vault of sky.

Part of me would like to go right back to bed.
Instead I think I'll do just what the fallen angel said.

(While she is singing, O.J. SIMPSON appears at her bedside. He walks slowly as a result of his injured knees, but when he hears his name mentioned he brightens.)

9:45 AM


9:45 AM

9:11 AM

Two Weeks With A MacBook Pro, Gavin Shearer, - Geek punditry / Seattle stuff / Things I'm enthused about:

Two weeks ago, I bade fond farewell to my trusty PowerBook G4, and welcomed - with very, very open arms - a shiny new Intel (Core 2 Duo-based) MacBook Pro.

Without putting too fine a point on it, this is the machine I've been waiting for.

(I've just made this jump myself, and my experiences mirror Gavin's.)
8:31 AM

Leonid06 Heden Big

3:37 AM

Lyrics Celebrating Bank Merger Impress Only Copyright Lawyer - New York Times:

A video of two Bank of America employees singing a version of U2’s “One” to commemorate their company’s acquisition of MBNA recently made the rounds of the blogs, prompting amusement and some ridicule from online viewers.

But the intended comic effect of their performance and the retooled lyrics (“One spirit, we get to share it/Leading us all to higher standards”) seemed lost on lawyers on the lookout for copyright violations.

On Tuesday, a lawyer for the Universal Music Publishing Group, a catalog owner and administrator, posted the text of a cease-and-desist letter in the comments section of, a Web site carrying the video. It contended that Bank of America had violated Universal’s copyright of the U2 song.

3:34 AM

E. E. Smith - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:

Robert A. Heinlein and Dr. Smith were friends. Heinlein reported that E.E. Smith perhaps took his "unrealistic" heroes from life, citing as an example the extreme competence of the hero of Spacehounds of IPC. He reported that E.E. Smith was a large, blond, athletic, very intelligent, very gallant man, married to a remarkably beautiful, intelligent red-haired woman named MacDougal (thus perhaps the prototypes of 'Kimball Kinnison' and 'Clarissa MacDougal'). In one of Heinlein's books, he reports that he began to suspect Smith might be a sort of "superman" when he asked Dr. Smith for help in purchasing a car. Smith tested the car by driving it on a back road at illegally high speeds with their heads pressed tightly against the roof columns to listen for chassis squeaks by bone conduction—a process apparently improvised on the spot.

3:08 AM

277837767 231A1Aa849

2:11 AM

Paul Boutin ::

I just cured sinus problems that had plagued me for weeks with one dose of original Sudafed. If you've been dogged by what seemt to be allergies or a cold for an unusual time, I finally realized my symptoms started after I stopped buying Sudafed Non-Drying capsules in September. The stuff had been removed from stores because of the revised Patriot Act. When it came back, it had been made much more inconvenient to buy.

Instructions for Americans

To buy original formula Sudafed, Wal-fed, or other pseudophedrine sinus medicine that actually works (not the new Sudafed PE), go to your supermarket or drugstore and look in the cold remedies sections where it used to be. They now have little fake boxes or cards you take to the pharmacist to say "I want one of these." The pharmacist checks your ID and you sign for it.

Why can't you buy Sudafed over the counter anymore?

The renewed USA PATRIOT Act signed into law in March includes a "Meth Act" aimed at reducing production of methamphetamines, which can be manufactured from pseudophedrine, aka Sudafed. That's why Sudafed changed their over-the-counter formula to Sudafed PE. You can still buy Sudafed original if you go to the pharmacist at Safeway or Walgreens. But you can only buy one box a day and three a month, and you need to present a photo ID and sign a log for the pharmacist. The idea is to keep meth dealers from buying Sudafed in quantity to cook it into methamphetamine. The bill was attached to the Patriot Act after co-authors Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) and Jim Talent (R-MO) were unable to get it passed by other means.

2:06 AM

Monday, November 20, 2006

Rising Angel

11:32 PM


11:30 PM

The Stranger | Seattle | Slog: The Stranger's Blog | John McCain is a Total Asswipe:

John McCain doesn’t believe that being gay is a defect or a sin. But he’s against gay marriage. McCain doesn’t think gay people should be discriminated against. But he’s against laws that would protection gays and lesbians from being fired solely for being gay or lesbian. McCain used to be against overturning Roe v. Wade. But now he’s for it. McCain used to bash “agents of intolerance” like Pat Robertson. Now he tours the country with his tongue lodged in Robertson’s asscrack.

5:02 PM

Come on out and see me this evening, performing with the ladies of the Variety SHAC-


Tonight! Monday, November 20th, there will be a
special Park Slope edition of The Variety Shac at
Union Hall!

Our guests are:

Debbie Shea
Chris Anderson
Mike Daisey

MUSIC, COMEDY, FILM! For more info go to

brought to you by:
Shonali Bhowmik
Heather Lawless
Andrea Rosen
Chelsea Peretti

Come out - to Union Hall

702 Union Street @ 5th Ave.
Brooklyn, NY 11215

Union Hall is located in Park Slope, Brooklyn, right
off the corner of 5th Avenue on Union Street.

R train to Union Street. Walk 1 block east.

F train to 4th Avenue. Walk north on 4th Ave and
turn right on Union Street. 1 block up.

Q, 2, 3, 4, 5 trains to Atlantic Avenue. Walk south
on 5th Ave. Make a left on Union Street.

4:00 PM

Liar Head Logo

Short clips from THE LIAR SHOW are available if you missed the show--check it out here.

3:57 PM

Pigeon Point Anniversary Lighting

2:53 PM

and when you feel so powerless

2:52 PM

2:51 PM

Sunday, November 19, 2006


1:36 PM

The Stranger | Seattle | Slog: The Stranger's Blog | Items... Miscellaneous Items.:

Item the first: There has never been an actually good James Bond film. Good for their time, ok. Good relative to other Bond films, sure. Good for a few laughs, absolutely. But in the end, these once trusty barometers of intrigue and suaveness are terrible movies.

Item the second: Casino Royale kicks fucking ass. Daniel Craig is better than a thousand Sean Conneries (Seans Connery?), and all the other Bonds can suck it anyway. Craig rules. The movie rules. It’s like they went in and just surgically removed all the terrible bullshit that made the old movies suck and made a movie that looks and feels like the kind of Bond movie the old Bond movies were meant to be: i.e. thrilling (because they’re thrillers), actually funny (instead of wincingly “funny”), properly sexy (Eva Green, ladies and gentlemen), and, you know, GREAT. It’s fucking great. What a great action movie. It opens with the best running chase ever, and then gets better. Great fights, great plot, great integration of Ian Fleming’s obsession with games of chance, et cetera. Hooray.

4:57 AM

autumn pool, the second

4:33 AM

The men killed in the battle had been buried hastily in shallow graves with haphazard wooden markers, but in the months since the battle, a man named David Wills oversaw the task of identifying and burying the dead properly. There would be a ceremony to dedicate the new cemetery, and Wills invited the most popular poets of the day to write something in honor of the occasion they all declined. So David Wills invited Edward Everett, a well-known speaker who was famous for his speeches about battlefields.

It was almost as an afterthought that Wills decided to invite President Lincoln to the ceremony, and Lincoln chose to attend the ceremony even though his wife begged him not to. One of their sons was sick, and they had recently lost another son to illness. But Lincoln thought the event was too important to miss. It would give him a chance to clarify the reasons for continuing to fight the war, even as it continued to claim tens of thousands of lives.

No one is sure exactly when Lincoln wrote his speech. Most people who knew him said that he spent a great deal of time writing every public statement he ever made, so he probably composed the first draft in Washington D.C. Witnesses said they saw him working on the speech on the train ride to Pennsylvania, and others said that they saw him working in his room the night before the event."

It was a foggy, cold morning on this day in 1863. Lincoln arrived about 10 a.m. Around noon the sun broke out as the crowds gathered on a hill overlooking the battlefield. A military band played, a local preacher offered a long prayer, and the headlining orator Edward Everett spoke for more than two hours. At that time, a two-hour speech was quite normal. Everett described the Battle of Gettysburg in great detail, and he brought the audience to tears more than once.

4:32 AM

Windswept Path

4:32 AM


In sophomore year the great philosopher,
Then ninety, out of retirement came, to pass
His wisdom on to one more generation.
Reading his last lecture to our class,

That afternoon the mote-filled sunlight leaned
Attentively with purpose through the tall
Windows in amber buttresses that seemed
To gird the heavens so they wouldn't fall.

The blaze of his white mane, his hooded eyes,
The voice that plumbed us from reflection's skies
So far above temptation or reward—

The scene has never left my mind. I wrote
His lecture down, but, in an old trunk, my notes
Have crumbled, and I can't recall a word.

Daniel Hoffman
2:44 AM

Saturday, November 18, 2006


17 Google1 Lg
New Google Cafeteria Crushes Competitors' Cafeterias - Grub Street - New York Magazine:

About six weeks after its move south to the old Port Authority at 111 Eighth Avenue, Google's New York office finally has a cafeteria. (Don't worry, sympathetic searchers, the staffers' free lunch had been catered before this week.)

So what do you serve hungry programmers? Our mole slipped us an excerpt from Wednesday's inaugural menu.

Zucchini Pasta Marinara
Soft Tacos With Fresh Tomato Salsa
Beetroot-Marinated Tofu With Chile Scallion Glaze
Tempeh, White Beans, Tomato, Basil

Roast Butternut Squash With Cinnamon and Sage
Roast Eggplant
Roast Red Peppers
Grilled Chicken With Roast Apples and Curried Cashews

Chelsea Grill
Grilled Hanger Steak
Sauce Bordelaise
Pomme Frites
Sautéed Spinach, Garlic, Shallots, and Extra-Virgin Olive Oil

(French theme)
Cassoulet, Toulouse Style
Beef Bourguignon
Pommes Gratinee

(Indian theme)
Braised Mangalore Salmon in Coconut Milk
Curried Chicken Legs With Potatoes and Tomatoes
Fried Chickpea Salad
Curried Organic Fingerling Potatoes

Earth and Water
Wild Striped Bass en Papillote

12:14 PM

Castle and town of Jindřichův Hradec

12:03 PM

The Stranger's Blog | Welcome to the Theocracy:

Bush’s new appointee to oversee the federal office family planning and reproductive health, Eric Keroack, is a nut job who thinks having too many sex partners causes brain damage. (A revealing presentation by Keroack on this subject, replete with apparent crayon drawings and claims like “PRE-MARITAL SEX is really MODERN GERM WARFARE,” can be found here.

Keroack is currently medical director of A Woman’s Concern, a Christian “crisis pregnancy” organization that opposes not just abortion but contraception, on the grounds that it increases out-of-wedlock pregnancy and abortion rates. Among other inaccurate assertions, A Woman’s Concern claims that abortion causes breast cancer, “emotional coldness, repeat abortions, and suicide,” and infertility.

12:01 PM

Friday, November 17, 2006

Royal Door

10:03 PM

Leopard vs Vista 3: A Risk Strategy:

With Apple however, Microsoft faces a threat of lost sales that it can not easily regain. Remember that Microsoft didn't take market share away from Apple, as historical revisionists like to claim, but instead built the PC industry outside of Apple’s core markets.

Individual Mac users may have moved to Windows PCs, but Apple's Mac sales never appreciably dropped. It was Apple's growth against the rest of the PC industry that stalled.

Microsoft didn't build its Windows empire by wooing Mac users to PCs, but rather migrated the rest of the world from calculators, workstations, and mainframe terminals to PCs running Windows.

10:02 PM


Oh, You Brightlings

What is this strange logic? It is news-
papers and apples, cored to the
core. Bright garlands of nonsense, ir-
-reverent whistling. A strategy of
and a coldness that scores the bones.

In her appled cheeks he thought he saw
himself, but stripped of mistakes, new
life without sin; blameless. Almost sin-
full-y so. An
to be admired, not scored.

But these stories have been told before.
There is seldom news in this land.
Only reverent gossip and depraved
A modicum
of violence mistaken for tenderness.

An eye for an eye, a fish for your
cheek—and garlands of popcorn to ring
the new year in, all of us having made a mess
of the old one. The annum nova
lies before us, blame-
She does not speak or beckon.

Somewhere, somewhere, some
—where else?—in another land, some-
where, not here
there are no fools left. Only reverent angels
carrying strings of apples, all of them
their seeded cores.

Jean-Michele Gregory

10:37 AM

Chiltern Autumn

10:35 AM


10:34 AM

Variety (magazine) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:

For much of its existence, Variety's writers and columnists have used a jargon called slanguage a.k.a. varietyese that refers especially to the movie industry, and has largely been adopted and imitated by other writers in the industry. Such terms as "boffo box-office biz," "sitcom," and "sex appeal" are attributed to the influence of the magazine, though its attempt to popularize "infobahn" as a synonym for "information superhighway" never caught on. Its most famous headline, "Sticks Nix Hick Pix" [1][2] was made popular—although the movie prop renders it as "Stix nix hix flix!"—by Michael Curtiz' musical-biopic Yankee Doodle Dandy where James Cagney is explaining it to some kids. Translated it means that rural audiences were not attending rural-themed films. Its headline after the stock market crash of 1929 is also famous: "Wall St. Lays An Egg". The popular 1990s animated series Animaniacs celebrated Variety's "slanguage" in a song called "Variety Speak."

Daily Variety's down-the-street competitor, The Hollywood Reporter, avoids showbizzy headlines in favor of a contemporary newspaper reporting style, and without drastically altering the English language. The papers have a long history of bad blood, but editorial talent migrates between them.

1:25 AM

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Kensington's lost lives:

There's K-Rock. He's black, 42, and has lived in Cuba and South America, has had two wives and millions of dollars, pesos and francs. He sells cocaine here every day and when his day is done, he returns to his apartment up in the Annex. He's saving up money to go to Colombia, to get things "set up again."

There's Little Lou, 30, Chinese. He's ended up here because he used to be a gambling man. Making runs to the casino, loansharking large amounts, was married once, now has run through all that, the money and the people, that life. Lately he's been selling $20 packages of heroin and spending what he makes on crack. He spends a lot of time smoking crack, finding the alleyways. Lou has no real home, but tells me he has "lots of places to stay." He gets his drugs from that Jamaican lady or the Asian kids who skulk around the public housing project, the hopeless brown boxes that pass for a place to live, handily just a hop over the streetcar tracks. Often some black kids gather in packs, huddled together on the steps selling drugs, pretty openly. You wonder why this is apparently "allowed" to go on here.

Then there's the guy who I've never seen off his bike, always a hat, always with the Grizzly Adams beard; he runs dope around the market.

4:53 PM

Shadow Play

3:06 PM


From Ted Hughes to Anne Sexton: Why good reviews are bad for poets.

"They tend to confirm one in one's own conceit--unless they praise what you yourself don't like. Also they make you self-conscious about your virtues--just as when you praise a child for some natural charm. Also they create an underground opposition: applause is the beginning of abuse. Also they deprive you of your own anarchic liberties--by electing you into the government. Also, they separate you from your devil, which hates bein

3:06 PM

Milton Friedman, a Leading Economist, Dies at 94 - New York Times:

Milton Friedman, the grandmaster of conservative economic theory in the postwar era and a prime force in the movement of nations toward lesser government and greater reliance on free markets and individual responsibility, died today. He was 94 years old.

2:40 PM


2:39 PM

2006 11 Jr11Spring

2:38 PM

Boing Boing: Bank of America loses $50 million from customers upset by false arrest:

In August Matthew Shinnick sold a pair of bikes on Craig's list for $600. After shipping the bikes, he received a check for $2000, not $600. The buyer explained that the extra money was for shipping costs and for his "trouble."

Shinnick was suspicious, so when he went to a San Francisco branch of Bank of America to deposit the check, but expressed concern that the check might not be good. He asked the teller to find out before depositing it.

"The teller contacted the business and was informed that no check had been written to Shinnick for $2,000 or any other amount. She immediately passed the check to the branch manager. "I saw him talking on the phone and staring at me," Shinnick said. "A few minutes later, four SFPD officers came into the bank. They didn't say a thing. They just kicked my legs apart and handcuffed me behind my back." The police report for Shinnick's arrest says he was taken into custody "for the safety of the bank employees as well as the bank customers." -- SFGate

Shinnick was hauled to jail, stripped of his clothing and put into an orange jumpsuit. His father posted $4,500 bond to spring him. Shinnick ended up spending $14,000 to get out of the mess Bank of America caused.

2:13 PM

Celebrity Week - Where Hollywood Meets the Las Vegas Strip - Tina Fey: Paris Was a Nightmare Host:

Appearing on the Howard Stern Show this morning to promote 30-Rock, Tina Fey dished about Paris Hilton’s hosting appearance on Saturday Night Live.

“Paris was a nightmare!” Fey bemoaned, claiming the heiress “took her self super-seriously” – rejecting any and all bits that in any way poked fun at the socialite. When Paris grew frustrated with SNL’s writers, she would “lock herself in her dressing room.”

The cast had a running bet to see if the self-obsessed Hilton would ask a single personal question to any cast member at any time during the entire week. She asked one, according to Fey, to Seth Meyers, about the ethnicity of another cast mate.

When the discussion turned to Hilton’s looks, Fey complained that strands of Hilton’s “gross Barbie hair” were found all over the set, and that up-close, Paris actually “looks like a tranny.”

2:09 PM

hello friends.....

1:37 PM


1:33 PM


1:32 PM


12:17 PM - VHS, 30, dies of loneliness:

After a long illness, the groundbreaking home-entertainment format VHS has died of natural causes in the United States. The format was 30 years old.

No services are planned.

The format had been expected to survive until January, but high-def formats and next-generation vidgame consoles hastened its final decline.

"It's pretty much over," concurred Buena Vista Home Entertainment general manager North America Lori MacPherson on Tuesday.

VHS is survived by a child, DVD, and by Tivo, VOD and DirecTV. It was preceded in death by Betamax, Divx, mini-discs and laserdiscs.

3:20 AM

st. pauli

3:09 AM


When I was a girl, I knew I was a man
because they might send me to Alcatraz
and only men went to Alcatraz.
Every time we drove to the city I'd
see it there, white as a white
shark in the shark-rich Bay, the bars like
milk-white ribs. I knew I had pushed my
parents too far, my inner badness had
spread like ink and taken me over, I could
not control my terrible thoughts,
terrible looks, and they had often said
that they would send me there-maybe the very next
time I spilled my milk, Ala
Cazam, the iron doors would slam, I'd be
there where I belonged, a girl-faced man in the
prison no one had escaped from. I did not
fear the other prisoners,
I knew who they were, men like me who had
spilled their milk one time too many,
not been able to curb their thoughts—
what I feared was the horror of the circles: circle of
sky around the earth, circle of
land around the Bay, circle of
water around the island, circle of
sharks around the shore, circle of
outer walls, inner walls,
iron girders, steel bars,
circle of my cell around me, and there at the
center, the glass of milk AND the guard's
eyes upon me as I reached out for it.

Sharon Olds

3:08 AM


3:07 AM

things i know for sure: "A Banner Day"*:

On to the MTV interview. I am, after being kept waiting for more minutes than I wish to recount, led into the fabulous office of a fabulous woman and her equally fabulous underling. I can't stop thinking about what a great outfit she has on. The duties of administrative assistant are explained to me very carefully, as if I will be taking apart highly explosive devices right there on the floor of her office, and when asked about my background, I explain (in my now day-job rehearsed way) that I am an actor (along with being a TOP NOTCH administrative assistant) to which her underling replies;

"Well, we have plenty of would-be actors here, I'm afraid that position is FILLED!"

I do not think that I will be taking that job.

3:06 AM

Adam Szymkowicz: The Internationalist:

The problem with this show, and it is a problem, is that Heid Schreck is sorely missed. Now, Heidi is a friend of mine I should probably say. That said, she brought an energy to this play in the first two incarnations that could have made this production transcendent. Annie Parisse, try as she might, is just not able to fill these shoes. I don't know that I can even put it into words exactly what Heidi brought to the part that Annie didn't. I want to say that Annie is not a character actor and when she put on a wig to play an old woman it didn't work. But that's just a small part of it. An Annie is a capable actress but her storyline fell back a little for me whereas Heidi brought it forward which is more what I think the play needs.

3:02 AM

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2:34 AM

Warm weather wrecks bears' winter slumber - Yahoo! News:

Insomniac bears are roaming the forests of southwestern Siberia scaring local people as the weather stays too warm for the animals to fall into their usual winter slumber.

The furry mammals escape harsh winters by going to sleep in October-November for around six months, but in the snowless Kemerovo region where the weather is unseasonably warm, bears have no desire yet to hibernate.

2:29 AM

brooklyn bride 2

2:15 AM


2:06 AM

Union Station

2:01 AM


1:50 AM

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

L'escalier (or Where's Ivan?)

11:55 PM

F Train

11:54 PM

298153544 B2A6Ad0658

11:35 PM

Think Progress » Larry King Admits He’s Never Used The Internet: ‘Do You Punch Little Buttons and Things?’:

Last night CNN’s Larry King confessed to Roseanne Barr that he’s never used the Internet. King expressed doubt that the Internet was a viable political medium because “there’s 80 billion things on it.” When Barr said she liked the Internet, King acknowledged that “I’ve never done it, never gone searching.”

Barr said King would love the internet if he tried it. King replied, “I wouldn’t love it. What do you punch little buttons and things?” Barr even offered to show King how to use the Internet. King declined.

7:27 PM


11:07 AM


11:05 AM


11:04 AM

Slashdot | Physicists Promise Wireless Power:

"The tangle of cables and plugs needed to recharge today's electronic gadgets could soon be a thing of the past. Researchers at MIT have outlined a relatively simple system that could deliver power wirelessly to devices such as laptop computers or MP3 players. In a nutshell, their solution entails installing special 'non-radiative' antennae with identical resonant frequencies on both the power transmitter and the receiving device. Any energy not diverted into a gadget or appliance is simply reabsorbed. The system currently under development is designed to operate at distances of 3 to 5 meters, but the researchers claim that it could be adapted to factory-scale applications, or miniaturized for use in the 'microscopic world.'"

11:01 AM


10:56 AM

Mini Snow Globe

3:36 AM

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2:48 AM

Home Bocce

1:22 AM

2006 11 Squad18

1:19 AM

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

The Volokh Conspiracy - -

"Recent research shows that Internet Addiction is just a special case of what might more broadly be called Communication Addiction. Most healthy individuals tend to spend their time doing normal, productive things like eating, sleeping, working, caring for their children, and having sex. But recently, some have started to devote an inordinate amount of time to the clearly far less valuable and more dangerous activity of Communication (and a related behavior, Information Gathering).

Not only does this distract them from other activities, but extended bouts of Communication are often accompanied by other unhealthful behavior, such as consumption of intoxicants and sometimes excessive quantities of food. Addicts have often been known to express regret over the time this disease takes away from much more vital activities (such as sleep), and over behavior -- such as possibly unsafe sexual activity -- that Communication has indirectly facilitated.

Communication Addicts generally find it acutely emotionally painful to quit. Sometimes after only a few days away from their addiction, sufferers begin to feel symptoms that are quite similar to clinical depression. The refusal of others to continue communicating with them has been known to lead to lowered self-esteem, psychological injury, and in extreme cases even suicide."
6:14 PM

4:07 PM

4:06 PM

Monday, November 13, 2006

Hi Dad
6:55 PM

MSI in Fog
6:53 PM

6:15 PM

Guernica / Seeing Things Straight:

Guernica: You’ve done quite a bit of screenwriting, mostly with your husband. Are there things that are transferable between screenwriting and playwriting?

Joan Didion: No, none. Once in a while there were things in screenwriting that taught me things for fiction. But there’s nothing in screenwriting that teaches you anything for the theater. I’m not sure I’ve ever fully appreciated before how different a form theater is.

Guernica: How would you distinguish screenwriting from playwriting or playwriting from fiction?

Joan Didion: Something I’ve always known and said and thought about the screen is that if it’s anything in the world, it’s literal. It’s so literal that there’s a whole lot you can’t do because you’re stuck with the literalness of the screen. The stage is not literal.

6:06 PM

Frustration Grows at Carousel as More Baggage Goes Astray - New York Times:

Since Aug. 10, when a ban on most carry-on liquids sent the amount of checked luggage soaring, airlines have been misplacing many more bags, and the fumbling could well escalate during the busy holiday travel season.

The Transportation Department reported that 107,731 more fliers had their bags go missing in August than they did a year earlier, a 33 percent increase. It got worse in September, with 183,234 more passengers suffering mishandled bags than a year earlier, up 92 percent.

Globally, about 30 million bags are mishandled each year, according to SITA, a company that sells software to airlines and airports for baggage and other systems. Airlines spend about $2.5 billion to find those bags and deliver them to waiting, often angry, passengers.

All but about 200,000 bags are eventually reunited with their owners each year — a number that sounds pretty high on its own, but that represents less than 1 percent of the billions of bags that are checked annually.

1:14 PM

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12:18 PM

1:40 AM

A Chance to Be Mourned - New York Times:

At first he was just another homeless man taking refuge from the bitter New York winter. Then he collapsed. He was unconscious when paramedics pulled him out of the subway car. He died a few hours later at Brooklyn Hospital Center in Downtown Brooklyn of an inflamed pancreas and a weakened heart. It was two days before Christmas 2003. He was 48.

In life he was a stocky man with gentle eyes, a short beard and a wide smile. His name was Lewis Haggins Jr., though everyone called him Lou. As it turned out, he had a large circle of friends in the homeless community, along with family in New Jersey. But like many who teeter on the city’s edge, this man carried no ID. For weeks, his body lay unclaimed in the city morgue.

Two months after that final subway ride, Mr. Haggins’s body was placed in a pine coffin and sent to Potter’s Field on Hart Island, east of the Bronx, the city’s cemetery for the poor, the unknown and the unclaimed. Over the past 137 years, an estimated 800,000 people have been buried there. On Feb. 25, 2004, Mr. Haggins was placed in a common grave with 149 others.

1:30 AM

2006 11 Flatlandsgrocery
1:10 AM

Saturday, November 11, 2006

I got arrested this week at a checkpoint!:

So the LEO grabbed my bag and he, myself, the TSA "boss," and a TSA agent went behind a curtain. They dug through my stuff and took the rubber band ball away for further screening. They came back with the rubber band ball and told the "TSA boss" that it was positive for flammable residue and that it had something metal at the core. He started up at me accusing me of wrongdoing and saying things about it being a "precursor" or a "trigger." I told him to "quit running at the mouth" and that it was "nothing of the sort." I explained that it had been in the trunk of my car for a long time and probably picked up a bit of oil or gas or something from that. I also told him that there was nothing at the core and that it was 100% rubber bands.

The cop started in on me, and I finally said, "look, I'll give you the ball. I just want to get on my flight." The TSA guy ignored me, and kept asking me what was in the center of the ball. I kept telling him it was nothing but rubber bands. The TSA took it away again and x-rayed it again and said there was something metallic in the center. I kept denying it and denying any wrong doing.

The cop then switched tactics and asked, "are you smuggling drugs?" I told him that was "outrageous" and produced my SIDA badge and my airline ID. I asked him if his question was serious. He started asking why I didn't have any checked luggage to which I replied, "Dude, I load bags all day. I know better than to check them." He again accused me of "smuggling something."

This had gone on for about 1/2 an hour and I knew the flight was leaving soon. I repeated, "you can have the rubber band ball. I just need to get home, so I need to get going." The LEO said, "you're not going anywhere." At that point, I knew I was in trouble.

2:52 PM

flaming pumpkins
2:18 PM

"Americans will always do the right thing, after they have exhausted all the alternatives."

- Winston Churchill
2:15 PM

Autumn Sunrise
2:14 PM Exclusive: Charges Sought Against Rumsfeld Over Prison Abuse:

Just days after his resignation, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld is about to face more repercussions for his involvement in the troubled wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. New legal documents, to be filed next week with Germany's top prosecutor, will seek a criminal investigation and prosecution of Rumsfeld, along with Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, former CIA director George Tenet and other senior U.S. civilian and military officers, for their alleged roles in abuses committed at Iraq's Abu Ghraib prison and at the U.S. detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

2:08 PM

Making Out On Car
1:44 PM

Angular Momentum
1:43 PM

Brass Goggles
12:34 PM

fasting for my gear
12:33 PM

Couleur du temps...
12:33 PM

We Have Seen the Future, and It Is Rusting - New York Times:

Once there were elevators gliding up the sides of the towers to reveal a city unfolding; now they are rusted in mid-rise. Once there were stairwells winding within those towers; now they are rotted through. The call for a better tomorrow, for “Peace Through Understanding,” is answered by the flutter and coo of its hidden inhabitants.

Seeing again the New York State Pavilion, the massive space-age remnant of the 1964 World’s Fair that looms just beyond the Grand Central Parkway, seeing it in all its premature decrepitude, you cannot help but wonder: If this was built to evoke the future, then may the gods have mercy on us all.

12:20 PM

294454202 80F45Cdc00 O
12:17 PM

Friday, November 10, 2006

Pillar of the Earth
6:44 PM

Upside down
6:43 PM

2006 11 11Springb
12:52 PM

Gothamist: Crispin Glover Asks 'What Is It?':

With your admission price, you'll be treated to a full Crispin Glover evening. In addition to showing his 72 minute, independently produced movie, Glover also reads aloud from his books to Power Point type slide show, answers audience questions and sign books. The slide show features pages from Glover's books, which are a mix of anatomical drawing, found photographs, disjointed narratives and hand-drawn modifications in the margins. They look and sound like flea market finds but with a patina of Glover weirdness. Plus, Glover's reading style on top of the bizarre visuals becomes almost a performance art piece.

What Is It? played at last year's Sundance Film Festival and as the first part to a proposed trilogy, it's more of an art piece than a narrative movie. A bunch of themes intermingle throughout the film, evoking a other-worldliness and a stream of consciousness, cultural unloading. Most striking of course is that the actors in the film have down syndrome--save for Glover, a few women in monkey masks and a man with cerebral palsy--and they appear in modern street clothes as well as elaborate court costumes. There are images of Shirley Temple, the swastika, and black-face mixed in with talking snails and subterranean tunnels. A strong sexual theme also runs through the film, including a sun-dappled outdoor love scene between two of the actors. All in all, there's a lot to look at, with one shock-inducing tableau after another, reminiscent of Luis Buñuel and Jack Smith. But by the end, it does feel like quite a lot of weirdness to take in.

12:47 PM

11:31 AM

Guardian Unlimited: Arts blog - theatre: Where are all the good new playwrights?:

A decade on, all those writers are going strong, but where are the emerging talents of today? My guess is that they are clogged up somewhere in Britain's burgeoning playwrighting schemes unable to find their way out. Over the last few years many theatres have put in place extensive play development programmes, yet despite these schemes there has been a tailing off in good new plays by great new writers since the heady days of the mid-90s.

While many new writing theatres and companies have seen an upturn in the number of plays they receive and generate through such schemes -in some cases more than 3,000 scripts a year - from where I'm sitting it often doesn't feel as if there has been a similar upturn in quality. Perhaps - perish the thought - all that play development schemes do is to encourage not particularly talented people to write more and more plays. The danger here is that genuine talent will be missed because with so many plays in development it gets increasingly hard to see the wood for the trees.

11:30 AM

11:05 AM

1160997898 Naturalhistoryvi
10:48 AM

RoadTrip 008
10:43 AM

3:57 AM

2006 10 Chocolate-Thumb
3:55 AM

Create Digital Music » Universal, Microsoft Screw Over Artists, Set Absurd and Dangerous Precedent with Zune:

The interesting question is, why would Microsoft agree unless they’re completely out of their minds?

Don’t bother bringing up the “pirated music” argument, because that doesn’t make any sense, either. Piracy, of course, isn’t mentioned in the Microsoft press release. The New York Times claims piracy was part of the argument. But let’s not kid ourselves: this isn’t about piracy, it’s about money. My strong anecdotal suspicion is that most of the music on people’s iPods, for instance, is actually ripped from their CD collection. But record labels don’t care that that’s theoretically legal, because they’d rather charge you again each time you move from one storage medium to another. The record companies were always in the business of making money off of distribution. If the money to be made shifts to electronics manufacturers and they don’t get a piece of it, they’re unhappy — not because they’re concerned about the ethics of the situation, but because they want to make more money than they’re making now, not less. And frankly, that’s their prerogative; the job of corporations is to make money, which is why we don’t look to them for a moral compass. But why Microsoft, also in the job of making money, would give money away is another question. Apparently, Universal scared them into doing so under the threat of removing their releases from Microsoft’s Zune store. This is tribute money, nothing else. But the fact that Microsoft agreed is a little scary, and it’s even scarier in terms of what it means for artists.

3:51 AM

Deus ex machina
3:38 AM

Thursday, November 09, 2006

The Stranger | Seattle | Slog: The Stranger's Blog | Rove's Delusions:

I ran into a high-profile member of the local Republican party last night, and they made it clear that indeed, Rove was totally delusional about the elections. This source is close to another high-profile Republican who now works as a GOP lobbyist in DC. This GOP lobbyist is pals with Rove.

Well, my source was talking to this lobbyist on the night before the election and said: “Man, I’ve been out doorbelling, and we’re going to get crushed.” The lobbyist, stunned, replied, “No. The polls are wrong. Don’t believe the liberal media reports. Karl is looking at the real numbers and we’re going to win.” My GOP informant replied: “No. Listen, I was out doorbelling, and when I told people I was a Republican they slammed the door in my face.” His comrade replied: “No. No. Karl’s on top of this. We’re going to win.”

My source then chastised his colleague for being lost in the D.C. loop and not understanding what was happening on the ground.

7:32 PM

My life swelling around your feet
7:13 PM

My friend and school chum (I've always wanted to use that word) Zach has a film showing this weekend at the New York City Short Film Festival. Zach was always a talented actor and playwright, and post-college he found a passion for animations--his pieces have been playing festivals all over the country.

Filmfestival Poster

Zach's The Cell-Phone will be playing at 8:30pm this Friday, and then again at noon on Saturday, along with what is sure to be tons of other interesting digital shenanigans.
7:05 PM

6:56 PM

6:55 PM

Personal Technology -- Personal Technology from The Wall Street Journal.:

Zune's online store offers far fewer songs, just over two million, compared with 3.5 million for the iTunes store. In fact, as of this writing, songs from one of the big labels, Universal, were missing from Zune Marketplace, though Microsoft says it is confident it will have all the major labels when it launches Zune on Tuesday. Also, despite the player's capability, Zune Marketplace offers none of the TV shows, movies or music videos that iTunes does, and has no audiobooks or podcasts.

Even worse, to buy even a single 99-cent song from the Zune store, you have to purchase blocks of "points" from Microsoft, in increments of at least $5. You can't just click and have the 99 cents deducted from a credit card, as you can with iTunes. You must first add points to your account, then buy songs with these points. So, even if you are buying only one song, you have to allow Microsoft, one of the world's richest companies, to hold on to at least $4.01 of your money until you buy another. And the point system is deceptive. Songs are priced at 79 points, which some people might think means 79 cents. But 79 points actually cost 99 cents.

6:53 PM

Slashdot | Zune Profits Go To Record Label:

"The New York Times reports that Microsoft has a new deal with Universal to share profits from Zune player sales. David Geffen, the media omniboss, is quoted: 'Each of these devices is used to store unpaid-for material...' The new business rationale is that stolen music should be paid for by profit sharing of newly sold Zune music players. Does that mean if you are not stealing music, you should get a discount on the players? Universal expects a similar deal from Apple when their current contract expires."

6:51 PM

Trying Out the Zune - New York Times:

What’s really nuts is that the restrictions even stomp on your own musical creations. Microsoft’s literature suggests that if you have a struggling rock band, you could “put your demo recordings on your Zune” and “when you’re out in public, you can send the songs to your friends.” What it doesn’t say: “And then three days later, just when buzz about your band is beginning to build, your songs disappear from everyone’s Zunes, making you look like an idiot.”

Microsoft says that the wireless sharing is a new way to discover music. But you can’t shake the feeling that it’s all just a big plug for Microsoft’s music store. If it’s truly about the joy of music discovery, why doesn’t Microsoft let you buy your discoveries from any of the PlaysForSure stores?

6:26 PM

12:50 AM
12:50 AM

Andrew Sullivan | The Daily Dish: Rumsfeld Shrugs:

The truth is: it was Rumsfeld who little understood and was unfamiliar with the actual conflict he was tasked with managing. It was not too "complex for people to comprehend." It was relatively easy to comprehend. If you invade a post-totalitarian country and disband its military, you better have enough troops to keep order. We didn't. Rumsfeld refused to send enough. When this was made clear to him and to everyone, he still refused. His arrogant belief in a military that didn't need any actual soldiers was completely at odds with the actual task in Iraq. But he preferred to sit back as tens of thousands of Iraqis were murdered and thousands of U.S. troops died rather than to check his own ego.

So let me put this as simply as I can: Rumsfeld has blood on his hands - American and Iraqi blood. He also directly ordered and personally monitored the torture of military detainees. He secured legal impunity for his own war crimes, but that doesn't mean the Congress shouldn't investigate more fully what he authorized. He remains one of the most incompetent defense secretaries in history (McNamara looks good in comparison). But he is also a war criminal: a torturer who broke the laws of this country. The catastrophe in Iraq will stain him for ever. His record of torture has indelibly stained the United States.

12:49 AM

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

7:19 PM

Santorum, Santorum. Goodbye.
6:13 PM

Fish market
4:49 PM

Andrew Sullivan | The Daily Dish: Bitter, Party of One:

Watching the president's press conference, we have finally gotten to see what happens when George W. Bush is forced to face reality. It wasn't pretty. He was prickly from the word go, defensive, and also revealing. He was trying to say (I think) that he had already decided to fire Rumsfeld last week, even as he was insisting that Rummy would stay for two more years. So Bush's own spin is that he was lying through his teeth last week. Good to have that confirmed in his own words. The removal of the increasingly deranged Rumsfeld is, of course, great news. This blog has been calling for such a move for close to two years. Frankly, I doubt it would have happened without what Bush called the "thumping" of last night. But it's a start.

4:49 PM

down low at the qfc
3:05 PM

Theater News:

From Beckett's letters, 1952: "You ask me for my ideas on Waiting for Godot and my ideas on the theatre. I have no ideas on the theatre. I know nothing about it. I never go. That's reasonable."

From Edward Albee's 2006 introduction to the Grove Centenary Edition of Beckett's complete plays: "I am always deeply puzzled when people say of Beckett, 'Oh, he's so difficult!'—or avant-garde, or complex, or ambiguous. It is the profoundest nonsense, for Beckett is perhaps the most naturalistic playwright I know of, as well as the clearest and least obscure."

3:03 PM

289209766 Cf4D8D2B79 B
2:54 PM


A driver is stuck in a traffic jam on the interstate. Nothing is moving.

Suddenly a man walks over. The driver rolls down his window and asks: ‘‘What’s going on?’’

‘‘Terrorists down the road have kidnapped George W. Bush and Dick Cheney. They’re asking for a $100 million ransom. Otherwise they’re going to douse them with gasoline and set them on fire. We’re going from car to car, taking up a collection.’’

The driver asks, ‘‘How much is everyone giving, on average?’’

‘‘Most people are giving about a gallon.’’

1:58 PM

Podb77 51
1:08 PM

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

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11:12 AM

Wynn Lanterns
10:08 AM

Noodlings » Antisocial Software:

A while back, I got a report from a customer that Hazel was not working. Looking at the logs, the customer noticed that it would stop working whenever he ran Logic Pro. When he quit Logic, Hazel would magically work again. At first, I didn’t believe it. It seemed too weird but I downloaded a trial of Logic Express and sure enough, I experienced the exact same behavior. After a bit of poking around I discovered what was happening. Logic Pro/Express stops all launchd jobs. Hazel uses launchd to start its background processes so it was a bit disconcerting to see another program, especially one from Apple, disabling yours on purpose, albeit indirectly. At least Logic is nice enough to start the jobs again when it quits.

Now, I’m sure the Logic team is probably doing this to ensure a level of performance but scouring the Apple lists and the web at large turned up nothing about this behavior. Maybe a tech note somewhere would have been nice. It’s unclear if any of Apple’s other pro apps exhibit this behavior but at least now I know what to look for.

10:05 AM

Spicules of Light
10:00 AM
9:59 AM

Slashdot | MSN Music Purchases Not Compatible with Zune:

lewiz writes "The BBC is reporting that music purchased at MSN Music will not play on the new Zune music player."

From the article: "The problem has arisen because tracks from the MSN Music site are compatible with the specifications of the Plays For Sure initiative. This was intended to re-assure consumers as it guaranteed that music bought from services backing it would work with players that supported it. MSN Music, Napster, AOL Music Now and Urge all backed Plays For Sure as did many players from hardware makers such as Archos, Creative, Dell and Iriver. In a statement a Microsoft spokesperson said: 'Since Zune is a separate offering that is not part of the Plays For Sure ecosystem, Zune content is not supported on Plays For Sure devices.'"

8:30 AM

1:45 AM

2006 11 Sunsetbridge
1:09 AM

Monday, November 06, 2006

Upcoming events:

Tonight I'll be on
NEWS TO ME, a current affairs quiz show, taping at the Actor's Playhouse. Apparently there will be funny Republicans in attendance, so bring cameras to document this rare event. Doors open at 6:30, and the show starts at 7pm. Details

The next night I'll be telling a story at
SPEAKEASY at the Cornelia Street Cafe. Jean-Michele Gregory will also be telling a story, and we will adjourn after the performance to have a drunken, awkward fistfight in the alley behind the venue. Doors open at 8:00, and the show starts at 8:30pm. Details

On Friday, November 10th I'll be a guest at a live taping of the delightful radio program
THE SOUND OF YOUNG AMERICA, where I'll be joined by David Wain of Stella, The State and sketch comedy infamy. I will try to make out with Mr. Wain, but I will not use tongue, because I am not a slut. It's at the People's Improv Theatre, the show is at 8pm, and here are the details.

Finally, as a fitting end to the first run of TRUTH, I will be performing on Monday, November 13th in
THE LIAR SHOW, also at the People's Improv Theatre, also at 8pm. As this falls on a Monday I will neither punch nor make out with anyone--those are the rules.

2:16 PM

The Bird's Eye
2:10 PM

Talking Points Memo: by Joshua Micah Marshall November 6, 2006 10:02 AM:

Saddam's verdict of death was read out yesterday. But apparently only that -- death. Not precisely what he was convicted of or why. One of NBC's blogs explains ...

The full verdict, a document of several hundred pages, explaining how and why today’s judgment was reached was not released. U.S. officials said it should be ready by Thursday. So why issue the verdict today? U.S. court advisors told reporters today it was delayed mainly for technical reasons.

They put in all manner of caveats explaining how there's no proof the verdict was timed for political purposes. But it certainly seems like they couldn't actually get the verdict ready for the November 5th slam dunk. So they announced it for US electoral benefit. And they'll do their best to get the actual verdict done by Thursday.

1:29 PM

12:12 PM

12:12 PM

10:47 AM

2006 11 Hrdmanhattan
10:16 AM

Swan Gralak
12:57 AM

Boing Boing: Iraq invasion sim from 1999 warned of problems:

A secret US wargame called "Desert Crossing" produced during the Clinton era showed that an invasion and post-war presence in Iraq would require around 400,000 troops -- about three times the number of troops stationed there now. Even with those resources, according to simulation output, the mission could result in chaos.

12:54 AM

Sunday, November 05, 2006


Aerogel - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:

Aerogel is a low-density solid-state material derived from gel in which the liquid component of the gel has been replaced with gas. The result is an extremely low density solid with several remarkable properties, most notably its effectiveness as an insulator. It is nicknamed frozen smoke, solid smoke or blue smoke due to its semi-transparent nature and the way light scatters in the material; however it feels like styrofoam to the touch.

1:57 PM

12:28 PM

Lifes Journey
12:24 PM

Can’t Read Music. No Italian. Directs Opera. - New York Times:

SOME directors show up at the opera house on Day 1 of rehearsals with the opening-night performance all mapped out in their heads. Bartlett Sher, who usually works on plays or musicals, is not one of them.

“Oh no, no, no,” he protested a week and a half ago over a glass of cabernet sauvignon at a bar near Lincoln Center. He had just spent seven hours in an underground studio at the Metropolitan Opera, at work on Gioacchino Rossini’s comedy classic “Il Barbiere di Siviglia,” his first production for the Met, opening Friday. Singers, a mime, stagehands, the conductor and Mr. Sher had been pouncing on their scenes with the absorption and mischief of children at play. There was harmony, and there was chaos.

12:23 PM

4:24 AM

Boing Boing: UK is a surveillance society:

The UK information commissioner called Britain a surveillance society, where "dataveillance" of buying habits is combined with cameras and other surveillance methods to track practically every movement of Britons.

I saw this first hand, as when the London Underground phased out almost all forms of paper tickets in favor of the inherently less private RFID-based Oyster card (the only paper tickets remaining were single-ride tickets, and the LU doubled the price of those). Even the banks get in on the act -- Citibank UK sent me a "mandatory questionnaire" that demanded that I disclose every source of income I have or might have or had, all property I owned all over the world, whom I loaned mney to and why, and so on -- they claimed that this was to comply with British terrorism rules. When I confronted them on this, they backed down and said it was an optional mandatory questionnaire.

Not only are cameras all over Britain -- especially London -- but many indoor spaces have rules that say you aren't allowed to shield yourself from their gaze, prohibiting motorcycle helmets and even hooded sweatshirts. The hoodie has become a symbol of surveillance-dodging hooligans -- a favorite (ab)use of the expansive, extra-judicial "anti-social behaviour orders" (ASBOs) is to order kids to stop wearing camera-foiling hooded jumpers.

4:21 AM

4:21 AM

Saturday, November 04, 2006

ABC News: Govt. Tells Singles No Sex Till You're 30:

If you're single and in your 20s, the federal government wants you to steer clear of sex.

That's the new guidance for states under the Department of Health and Human Services' $50 million Abstinence Education Program. HHS officials say it's not a requirement — just another option for states to combat what they call an alarming rise in out-of-wedlock births.

A record 1.5 million babies were born to single mothers in 2004, according to the National Center for Health Statistics. More than half of them were born to women in their early 20s.

Critics of the guidelines, such as James Wagoner, president of a group whose top goal is a "society that views sexuality as normal and healthy," say such statistics illustrate that most people in their 20s are already having sex.

Wagoner's group, Advocates for Youth, argues that it's futile to try to sell 20-somethings on chastity. He says birth control is a smarter way to prevent pregnancies.

"This is a clear signal that they're using these resources — taxpayer dollars — to promote an ideological agenda," Wagoner says. "It has nothing to do with public health."

2:02 PM

1:57 PM

1:44 PM

A Job Prospect Lures, Then Frustrates, Thousands - New York Times:

The call for job applications seemed routine; certainly nobody at corporate headquarters gave it much thought. A new candy store that would be opening in Times Square needed workers. Starting pay was $10.75 an hour.

But by midmorning yesterday, a huge, swelling, discontented crowd of job seekers was milling around the sidewalks of Midtown Manhattan, not far from Macy’s in Herald Square, filling the air with curses.

The crowd put a human face on jobless statistics at a time when the city’s unemployment rate, 4.5 percent in September, was the lowest since 1988.

Several thousand people — mostly young, black and Hispanic — had shown up to apply for fewer than 200 positions, only 65 of them full-time jobs. They came, they said, because of a phrase that had leapt out of the advertisements for the jobs: “on-the-spot hiring.” But there were too many people clogging the sidewalk outside the building on Eighth Avenue between 35th and 36th Streets where the company was conducting interviews, and everyone was abruptly told to go home and mail in the job applications.

Tamika Jones, 28, a Brooklyn mother of three school-age children, looked at the faces of other disappointed job-seekers and said: “This is what unemployment looks like in New York City. I wanted to cry.”

Alphonzo Puzie, 31, from the Bronx, used to work in a laundry and is desperate for work. “I was very disappointed,” he said. “It burns the spirit.”

1:44 PM

A Touch of Color
12:59 PM

Friends of Liberty - We're All Prisoners, Now: US Citizens to be Required ''Clearance'' to Leave USA:

Forget no-fly lists. If Uncle Sam gets its way, beginning on Jan. 14, 2007, we'll all be on no-fly lists, unless the government gives us permission to leave-or re-enter-the United States.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (HSA) has proposed that all airlines, cruise lines-even fishing boats-be required to obtain clearance for each passenger they propose taking into or out of the United States.

It doesn't matter if you have a U.S. Passport - a "travel document" that now, absent a court order to the contrary, gives you a virtually unqualified right to enter or leave the United States, any time you want. When the DHS system comes into effect next January, if the agency says "no" to a clearance request, or doesn't answer the request at all, you won't be permitted to enter-or leave-the United States.

12:58 PM
12:51 PM

Under Western Skies
12:50 PM


Even when the rain falls relatively hard,
only one leaf at a time of the little tree
you planted on the balcony last year,
then another leaf at its time, and one more,
is set trembling by the constant droplets,

but the rain, the clouds flocked over the city,
you at the piano inside, your hesitant music
mingling with the din of the downpour,
the gush of rivulets loosed from the eaves,
the iron railings and flowing gutters,

all of it fuses in me with such intensity
that I can't help wondering why my longing
to live forever has so abated that it hardly
comes to me anymore, and never as it did,
as regret for what I might not live to live,

but rather as a layering of instants like this,
transient as the mist drawn from the rooftops,
yet emphatic as any note of the nocturne
you practice, and, the storm faltering, fading
into its own radiant passing, you practice again.

C.K. Williams

11:25 AM

2:42 AM

The Scourge of Arial:

Arial is everywhere. If you don't know what it is, you don't use a modern personal computer. Arial is a font that is familiar to anyone who uses Microsoft products, whether on a PC or a Mac. It has spread like a virus through the typographic landscape and illustrates the pervasiveness of Microsoft's influence in the world.

Arial's ubiquity is not due to its beauty. It's actually rather homely. Not that homeliness is necessarily a bad thing for a typeface. With typefaces, character and history are just as important. Arial, however, has a rather dubious history and not much character. In fact, Arial is little more than a shameless impostor.

Throughout the latter half of the twentieth century, one of the most popular typefaces in the western world was Helvetica. It was developed by the Haas Foundry of Switzerland in the 1950s. Later, Haas merged with Linotype and Helvetica was heavily promoted. More weights were added and it really began to catch on.

2:31 AM

2006 11 Joetrain
2:12 AM

Classic Gawker Stalker: James Frey Makes Fabulism Look Fabulous - Gawker:

A very surly James Frey picking up his Porsche at Manhattan Motorcars on the corner of 11th and (the boulevard of deviants) 27th St. He is a man of quite the small stature and his gray car matched his equally wan disposition.

2:10 AM

Friday, November 03, 2006

2006 11 Arts Crans
6:45 PM

torn liberty
5:00 PM Mike Daisey's TRUTH:

Any writer will accept that memoir is a slippery medium. And I don’t think that any artist would hold another artist accountable for a so-called “personal” story that is less-than-entirely true. We know that, ideally, art is the willful manipulation of raw life in the service of a larger truth – and by that standard Frey’s greatest crime is probably that of being a very bad writer.

But what about the underlying urge for truth in our culture, the feeling of being constantly lied to with no recourse, no-one to blame, no way to call out? What about the enormous sense of powerlessness that comes from the knowledge that we are constantly being deceived and can do nothing to stop it?

And while Daisey doesn’t specifically address the idea of lies in interpersonal relationships, it is implicit. We exist post-truth in an age of absolute relativity. It is almost too obvious and facile to say that we live in a media-saturated age where truth is manipulated by video, tv, film and the internet – that is generally acknowledged. But I think what is less acknowledged is the degree to which we are affected by our environment. We’ve all text-messaged people saying we were somewhere we weren’t. It is easy enough to call someone from a cell phone, to leave a voice mail or send an e-mail to create an alternate personal narrative that allows us to avoid responsibility or buy ourselves time or make excuses or just plain lie. But since we live beyond right and wrong, we accept it. After all, everybody does it so... how can it really be wrong? It is just a little lie.

4:55 PM

V838Sep06 Hst C61
10:38 AM

Boing Boing: Microsoft orphans suckers who bought DRM music:

"MSN Music is shutting down, in favor of pushing Zune and Real Rhapsody for their 'Buy Now' links. says MSN Music files won't play on Zune or Rhapsody, and there's no upgrade path."

As for those who have bought MSN Music tracks, Microsoft said on its Web site that users will still be able to use their songs, transfer them to compatible music players and burn them to CD.

You were a sucker if you bought MSN Music tracks. You're a masochist if you buy Zune tracks.

10:34 AM

Slashdot | Diebold Demands That HBO Cancel Documentary:

"According to the Bloomberg News, Diebold Inc. is insisting that HBO cancel a documentary that questions the integrity of its voting machines, calling the program inaccurate and unfair. The program, 'Hacking Democracy,' is scheduled to debut Thursday, five days before the 2006 U.S. midterm elections. The film claims that Diebold voting machines aren't tamper-proof and can be manipulated to change voting results. 'Hacking Democracy' is 'replete with material examples of inaccurate reporting,' says Diebold. 'We stand by the film," said a spokesman for HBO. "We have no intention of withdrawing it from our schedule. It appears that the film Diebold is responding to is not the film HBO is airing.'"

10:30 AM

Andalucia - Spain 14/20
10:01 AM

Pattern Changing
9:57 AM

Bush's bogus document dump |

While the world has watched claim after claim about Iraqi weapons of mass destruction dissolve like a mirage, the Bush administration has never deviated from one assertion in its shifting case for war: that there was an operational connection between Saddam Hussein and al-Qaida. As evidence of the manipulation of prewar intelligence keeps surfacing, the administration has now taken that equally dubious claim and made it virtual.

Lacking evidence of a real-world link between Saddam and the perpetrators of 9/11, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, headed by Bush appointee John Negroponte, has apparently decided to create one in cyberspace -- by seeding its new online Operation Iraqi Freedom Documents archive with suggestive jihadist materials, and by linking the site to an entirely unrelated database of al-Qaida materials.

9:56 AM

Zen in Agriculture II
9:56 AM

Edge: THANK GOODNESS! by Daniel C Dennett:

Two weeks ago, I was rushed by ambulance to a hospital where it was determined by c-t scan that I had a "dissection of the aorta"—the lining of the main output vessel carrying blood from my heart had been torn up, creating a two—channel pipe where there should only be one. Fortunately for me, the fact that I'd had a coronary artery bypass graft seven years ago probably saved my life, since the tangle of scar tissue that had grown like ivy around my heart in the intervening years reinforced the aorta, preventing catastrophic leakage from the tear in the aorta itself. After a nine-hour surgery, in which my heart was stopped entirely and my body and brain were chilled down to about 45 degrees to prevent brain damage from lack of oxygen until they could get the heart-lung machine pumping, I am now the proud possessor of a new aorta and aortic arch, made of strong Dacron fabric tubing sewn into shape on the spot by the surgeon, attached to my heart by a carbon-fiber valve that makes a reassuring little click every time my heart beats.

As I now enter a gentle period of recuperation, I have much to reflect on, about the harrowing experience itself and even more about the flood of supporting messages I've received since word got out about my latest adventure. Friends were anxious to learn if I had had a near-death experience, and if so, what effect it had had on my longstanding public atheism. Had I had an epiphany? Was I going to follow in the footsteps of Ayer (who recovered his aplomb and insisted a few days later "what I should have said is that my experiences have weakened, not my belief that there is no life after death, but my inflexible attitude towards that belief"), or was my atheism still intact and unchanged?

9:54 AM

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Tonight is our penultimate performance at Ars Nova:

{the heart is a million little pieces above all things}

Ars Nova

Come on down!
2:35 PM

2:32 PM

2:20 PM

1:49 PM

Moonplane 468X250
1:44 PM

Wednesday, November 01, 2006
11:18 PM

they arrived!
11:11 PM

Q & A:

I wrote my dissertation on him. I was only third person to write on him and I actually wrote him a letter and said can I actually talk to you. And it’s really weird, you know, when you’ve actually spent days in a library reading everything this man has ever written and then you get to meet him.

I had the last chapter not written because I knew what I wanted to talk to him about which was religion actually. And I finally found him. He lived in a slate cottage on the edge of a cliff in Dorsett in England.

This is a man who turned down a knighthood from the queen, has no interest in worldly honors or fame. He was interested in thinking. He was a real philosopher.

And he took me inside and he made a fire and we sat down for one of the most wonderful afternoons of my life, and talked about God, and politics, and faith. And his work, undoubtedly, has profoundly affected me and I’ll tell you in so many different ways. But one of them, one fundamental one that he insisted upon was that – was that there was a distinction between what you know in theory and how the world works in practice.

7:44 PM

365 Days : Day 59
7:36 PM

"Some impose upon the world beliefs they do not hold; others, more in number, impose beliefs upon themselves, not being able to penetrate into what it really is to believe."

Michel de Montaigne

7:35 PM

Eye in The White Vase...
7:30 PM

Andrew Sullivan | The Daily Dish: Unhinged:

George W. Bush just gave the most powerful reason for voting Democratic next Tuesday. He has reiterated unconditional support for the two architects of the chaos in Iraq, Cheney and Rumsfeld. He intends to keep Rumsfeld in his job until 2008! Why not a medal of freedom while he's at it?

Let me put this kindly: anyone who believes that Donald Rumsfeld has done a "fantastic job" in Iraq is out of his mind. The fact that such a person is president of the United States is beyond disturbing. But then this is the man who told Michael Brown he was doing a "heckuva job." And, yes, our Iraq policy begins to look uncannily like the Katrina response.

7:21 PM - The modern world killed off the nap:

We are a culture that celebrates action, doing, achieving, an attitude that leads to a disdain for sleep in general. We stay up late and get up early. We pull all-nighters. We'll sleep when we're dead, and in the meantime there's always a Starbucks on the corner.

It's a misguided attitude. A good nap is one of life's great pleasures, and the ability to nap is the sign of a well-balanced life. When we nap we snatch back control of our day from a mechanized, clock-driven society. We set aside the urgency imposed on us by the external world and get in touch with an internal rhythm that is millions of years old.
7:14 PM

homemade robot

ACTUAL WORDS SPOKEN: "I'm working on a Podcast!"

WHAT I THINK I'M SUPPOSED TO HEAR: "Soon you will be able to search for my name on iTunes which means I am literally on the brink of making it right now, Hollywood-style!"

WHAT I ACTUALLY HEAR: "Hey, guess what? I removed the tube from my old television set and now I'm going to put my face inside the space where there used to be a screen and act out funny little skits. I will be a superstar in my own make-believe TV universe!"

11:02 AM

This greets me in the dark
11:01 AM

Abstinence message goes beyond teens -

The federal government's "no sex without marriage" message isn't just for kids anymore.

Now the government is targeting unmarried adults up to age 29 as part of its abstinence-only programs, which include millions of dollars in federal money that will be available to the states under revised federal grant guidelines for 2007.

The government says the change is a clarification. But critics say it's a clear signal of a more directed policy targeting the sexual behavior of adults.

"They've stepped over the line of common sense," said James Wagoner, president of Advocates for Youth, a Washington, D.C.-based non-profit that supports sex education. "To be preaching abstinence when 90% of people are having sex is in essence to lose touch with reality. It's an ideological campaign. It has nothing to do with public health."

11:00 AM

The Sandman (IMG_5816)
10:59 AM

Wired 14.11: The Outsider:

But The Fountain is a major departure from Aronofsky's previous work. Gone are the twitchy visuals and funky Brooklyn storefronts – "I burned out on my own schtick," he says. Here the director's canvas is stretched from the top of a Mayan pyramid to a modern neuroscience lab to the incandescent core of a nebula in deep space. And while π and Requiem were intimate art house fare, The Fountain – equal parts sci-fi, swashbuckling adventure, and medical thriller – tries to be three blockbusters in one.

Former X-Man Hugh Jackman and acclaimed British actress Rachel Weisz play time-tripping lovers whose devotion spans a millennium. In the 1500s, a conquistador named Tomas, played by Jackman, is dispatched to the Yucatan jungle by Queen Isabel (Weisz) on a desperate mission to find the tree of eternal life prophesied in Mayan myth. Cut. In the present day, Weisz is a writer named Izzi suffering from advanced brain cancer, and Tom is her neuroscientist husband obsessed with finding a cure. Cut. Five centuries later, Tom pilots a bubblelike biosphere toward a star that is about to explode. Tattooed and gaunt, he's haunted by memories of Izzi's deathbed request to help her finish writing a book called The Fountain.

10:57 AM

Izzle! Izzle pfaff!:

Our guests certainly did not disappoint, apart from the fact that nobody showed up for the first 45 minutes--"Nobody likes me!" moaned the wife while I helpfully watched football--but when they showed, they brought the goods. Either we're accidentally hanging out with a higher class of friends or we're getting older, because the food that came with them, rather than being bags of chips or store-bought salad plates or half-eaten bottles of cocktail onions, were good. The first guy to show up--looking a little haunted by the fact that he got stuck with the "first arrival" tag despite his good efforts--brought prosciutto-wrapped figs. Figs? Prosciutto? Later, others brought things like Pecorino skewers with marinated vegetables; mozarella, tomato and basil salad; and wine! People brought wine! Nobody brought bottles of apple liqueur, say, to be hugged to one's body greedily, as if anyone on the planet has any desire to take it from anybody. Nobody hid a six-pack of Schaefer's in the dryer. And most importantly, I didn't see one person taking long pulls from my premium bar liquors. Who the fuck were these people, and what had they done to the rapacious, destitute booze jackals that we remembered so clearly?

1:22 AM