Month: January 2009

  • Intangible method…an Internet fairy tale

    intangible method by Scotto Moore. A  provocative Internet fairy tale. I heard a reading of this at the very end of an Etech podcast. Wait, here’s a video of this presentation. Watch the video first! More about Scotto Moore later. Humor pieces by John Hodgman.  He pretends to be a literary critic giving advice to…

  • Steve Martin and babies and art

    According to Tricia Olszewski (there’s a name easy to google!), Steve Martin insisted that a wedding scene be written into the Pink Panther movie sequel script because “every movie I’ve done that ends in a wedding or holding a baby has been a hit.” A commenter adds: I once saw a profile of Steve Martin…

  • I swear, I didn’t compose this

  • Ebook Articles

    Regular readers might have noticed my interest in ebooks—the culture, production and technology. I have published quite a few articles on teleread and have stopped touting them here. But I wanted to mention the RSS feed, the widget on the right showing my latest articles (titled TELEREAD posts), a reference guide to how to find…

  • Sex-and-the-City tours

    A.A. Gill lampoons those who take the Sex-in-the-City tours of New York City: “You remember the episode where Carrie spills the cappuccino because she’s looking after the dog and has lost the manuscript with a description of oral sex with the Russian and then oh my God she bumps into Big who she hasn’t seen…

  • Waiting for the Higgs Boson

    Elizabeth Kolbert on the Large Hadron Collider : To theorists, the tantalizing promise of the L.H.C. is that it will, finally, supply the evidence of “new physics” that they’ve been waiting for. Certain patterns of missing energy, for example, would suggest the existence of extra dimensions, as would the creation of mini black holes. Different…

  • Sunday Talk Shows Don’t Talk; They bloviate.

    A random commenter parodies the Sunday ABC This Week roundtable: Donaldson: yabba yabba goober gabba Krugman: That’s not really right. Will: With due respect to the famous perfesser, bloviate bloviate…. Roberts: Isn’t my hairdo especially weird this week? We need bipartisan consensus Fiorina: what’s most important is that GOP views and business views are heard…

  • Wynia invents a National Holiday

    Yesterday, while waiting in line at Walmart and catching up on RSS feeds on my PDA, I read about J Wynia’s idea for a new holiday: National Sit on your Butt and Watch Movies day. Awesome!  Seriously this is awesome. It’s amazing how little time you allow yourself just to relax and enjoy yourself. All…

  • Man Held at Gitmo…for owning a cheap Casio watch!

    After William Glaberson’s excellent wrapup of improper detentions in Gitmo, I took a review of the wiki articles on Gitmo prisoners.  (This is one of the distributed knowledge tasks for which Wikipedia does excel). I skimmed through several of the profiles of Gitmo prisoners, spending a little bit more time on Abdullah Kamel Abdullah Kamel…

  • Secrets to Houston Supermarkets

    KPRC Reporter Amy Davis has a great report comparing the price-cutting strategy of Houston supermarkets. I added this comment: I want to mention a crucial and overlooked fact about these supermarkets. Look at your receipts seconds after your purchase! Frequently supermarkets will have old tags underneath an item and forget to  remove the label when…

  • TARP 1 Sucked, How to make TARP 2 Better

    When I arrived from Ireland on September 28, my mom picked me up from the airport. She was distraught by the hurricane and the economic downturn. I expressed the attitude that Hank Paulson was going to spend on the alleged bailout was misdirected and would probably be completely wasted. It would be better, I said,…

  • How to Make a Movie Ridiculing a Person (and avoid getting sued)

    Last weekend I watched Borat, a film with funny moments, but has way too much crude humor. One thing that crossed my mind: why didn’t anyone win their lawsuits about Sascha Cohen for invasion of privacy? Of course, the Borat people made these people sign release statements. (Here is a copy of the actual release…

  • Journalistic paranoia

    Matt Yglesias on the status anxiety of conventional media heads: Here’s the thing. I’ve never actually heard a crack investigative reporter tell me that the essence of good journalism consists of your work appearing in a non-blog venue. Similarly, I’ve never heard that from an intrepid war reporter. I think those people understand that if…

  • Don’t Eat Chocolate from Ivory Coast!

    I can’t believe I forgot to blog about this important story. Last February, Christian Parenti broke a great story about the exploitative nature of the chocolate industry. The big cocoa exporters – Cargill, Archer Daniels Midland (ADM, Fortune 500), Barry Callebaut and Saf-Cacao – do not own plantations and do not directly employ child workers.…

  • Nice Rims

    Liz Pullam Weston writes an article about 5 Things you should never rent and 5 you should: Rims. You can blame it on MTV’s "Pimp My Ride" or simply a car culture gone crazy, but flashy chrome wheels are big. They’re also expensive, typically costing $1,000 and up for a set. So a bunch of…

  • How to Escape an Anaconda

    Last night a pastor from a small town in Texas called me up to ask a question about snakes. He had heard I was involved with Peace Corps, and he had also heard that Peace Corps had a manual detailing how to prevent an attack from anaconda snakes.  (This detail turned out to be spurious). …