C’mon, with a title like that, do you really need anything but the link?
Here’s a lovely photo of Mt Etna from space. It’s erupting.
Hey, It’s SummertimeAnd the living may be easy, but my company’s still in Chapter 11. Maybe that’s why I’m resorting to reruns about shrews. (Flash)
All I can say about this is that, contrary to this example, not everyone in my home state is a goofball.
Literary giant Eudora Welty died today in her hometown of Jackson, Mississippi. She was 92. Her literary career includes a Pulitzer Prize (in 1973, for The Optimist’s Daughter) as well as the National Book Critics Award, the American Book Award, several O. Henry awards, and the Medal of Freedom (presented to her by fellow Southerner Jimmy Carter in 1980).
The headline for this entry comes from a fan letter of sorts sent to Welty in 1943. At the time, her work was gathering mixed reviews, largely (I’ll wager) because she was writing over the critics’ heads. After William Faulkner had a chance to read “The Robber Bridegroom,” he took it upon himself to send along some encouragement. Doing all right, indeed.
Ego Place begs the question “are all Objectivists also dorks?”
I don’t think the advertisement referenced here necessarily communicates exactly what Microsoft wants us to think about Office XP. Maybe things are just different in Germany. (Link updated to point to the Register after MS removed the ad from their own servers.)
After thirty-odd years, Mr Rogers is hanging up the cardigan.
These goons have taken pictures from Oscar-winning films, but with a twist. See if you can figure out the source film.
Update/Warning:: It has been pointed out to me that Snood for Windows actually installs something else, too, without giving you the option to skip it. This is bad, bad, bad behavior, and there’s no justification for it. Additionally, it has been suggetsed that Snood makes unauthorized use of your Internet connection, though I have not yet verified this claim. Exercise caution.
Dialog with the Snood author has been pretty fruitless except that he’s given me a link to a Gator-free version of Snood. Both links here are now to that version.
Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the Christopher Walken Audio Library.
People, I just can’t stress this enough. Listen very carefully to me. The life you save may be your own:
Please be very, very careful where you store your fireworks, especially if you are an idiot.
Remember that stripper/runner who was cut from the Cal State-Fullerton cross country team because of her job choice? They’ve reinstated her, based largely on the fact that they were about to be sued into oblivion. My favorite part of the story is this sentence:
Meanwhile, Rios continues to dance part-time at Anaheim’s Flamingo Club, a nude juice bar where she earns money to pursue her studies in kinesiology.
I can’t decide if this reminds me more of Thomas Pynchon or Carl Hiaasen.
The conventional-wisdom rule demanding celebrity deaths in sets of three has unfortunately claimed 77-year-old guitar legend Chet Atkins.
Ubergeek Steve Gibson — of Gibson Research, publishers of one of the coolest pieces of software ever, the original SpinRight — was the victim of a distributed denial of service attack recently (in the vernacular, he “got DDOS’d”). This annoyed him, so he started digging.
While his actions in no way protect him from what the true hardcore hacking community could do (a fact he acknowledges completely), his account makes for pretty compelling reading even if you’ve only got a vague notion of how the Internet works (actually, his site includes some basic information on that, too). From a technical standpoint, it’s also pretty damned impressive.
Make up your own joke.
Here it is, kids: Tod Holton, Super Green Beret.
The good people over at Saint Aardvark the Carpeted have provided this handy timeline discussing the disembodied, floating head of Ayn Rand and her (its?) exploits through the last fifty years or so, at least up to that ugly episode at the Montreal Olympics. Enjoy.
It’s also worth noting that these guys have the best 404 error page I’ve seen yet.
Ladies and gentlemen, now there’s a company that can service all your leech-related medical needs.
A Swedish study suggests that any two people could be connected by a chain of only 2 or 3 sexual relationships.
Make up your own joke.
Apparently, if you’re cool enough and have enough money, you, too can take a ride on the infamous Vomit Comet.
And, if you’re also a famous magician, you can ride with Billy Gibbons. Cool.
Reuters reports that Mississippi blues legend John Lee Hooker died today (21 June) in San Francisco. He was 83 (according to the Reuters story, which lists no birthdate) or 80 (according to the bio at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, which claims 20 August 1920). We’re running out of blues legends. If you get the chance to see B. B. King, Koko Taylor, Bo Diddley, or Gatemouth Brown, by all means go.
Tom Stoppard has a great piece in the Times Literary Supplement about the nature of art and the role of the artist. It’s short and thought-provoking; check it out.
I found this pleasantly odd. We’re all very used to seeing publicity or concert photos of Jim Morrison, but candid snapshots aren’t typically part of the mix. These photos were taken in June of 1971, about two weeks before he died (or, if you’re one of the faithful, “about two weeks before he went underground to await Elvis.”).
Presumably, this is what happens when unresolved childhood Pinewood Derby issues resurface in the power tool department of Home Depot. Or something. (Thanks, Mikey!)
Ladies and gentlemen, I give you Cooking with Bigfoot (episode 1).
The Sunday Times notes that certain Bond gadgets have become a reality — and at less than twenty large.
They’ve got all sorts of cool stuff, and all if it’s better than what we’ve got — better cell phones, neater gadgets, funnier government, and even square watermelons.
A lovely collection of signs, some of which are amusing (some, alas, are not).
Modern life is difficult, and it’s hard to know which way to go — but Journey understands.
A guy in the UK has set up his consumer-grade telescope and web cams in such as a way as to capture very cool images of, among other celestial objects, the International Space Station. Well worth checking out (big page, though).
Richard Yates was a fine writer, an exemplar of the postwar ennui just under the surface of the booming 50’s economy. His work is sort of a precursor to the minimalism and tiny heartbreaks of Raymond Carver and others, but few have read his amazing books or short stories.
I got to know Yates when he was a visiting writer at the University of Alabama; I was still an undergraduate. He liked it there, and stayed until his death in 1992. By then, most of his work was out of print — the worst of all possible literary fates.
Just now — May, in fact — Holt has published his collected stories, which you should buy and read. Additionally, perhaps his finest novel is actually still in print: Revolutionary Road may break your heart, but it’s one of the finest novels I’ve read. William Styron called it a “deft, ironic, beautiful novel that deserves to be a classic,” and Vonnegut referred to it as “The Great Gatsby of my time . . . one of the best books by a member of my generation.”
In any case: James Crumley has a fine rememberance in the Boston Review; a few months ago, Stewart O’Nan had a piece there as well. Don’t miss either. If that’s not enough, I’ve reposted an essay I wrote about him about six years ago.
I’m amazed — and pleased — at the attention I’ve received from far-flung friends and family about the Houston flooding. The answer is: I’m fine, and everything I own is precisely as dry as it should be. Thank God. For a while my street was more of a small river, but my it appears my townhouse is both far enough back and high enough (maybe 12-18″ up from the street) that water never seriously threatened my home. The Intrepid Dr. Science Girl wasn’t quite so lucky, and had water enough in her bedroom to soak her carpet, but no real property damage (or, rather, no damage to property that belonged to HER).
Perhaps the most amusing bit is this: many folks got marooned in bars Friday night, and were unable to leave until six-ish on Saturday morning. Oh, Damn!
A few links with flood photos. Some are quite dramatic, particularly the ones of US 59 and Interstate 10 (best at the Chronicle and the personal site).
Years ago, when Java first came out, we joked about Java-enabled toasters. Turns out, it’s not such a joke.
Well, first it looks a lot like scientists may have managed to exceed the speed of light, but only sort of. Senior NoGators physics correspondent Dr. Carla Finch points out that:
“This sounds kind of fishy to me. It seems to use a similar phenomena to that was used to ‘stop’ a light pulse. This whole methodology requires using pulses of light, not beams of light. A pulse or a wave packet of light or of matter is a whole different creature from a basic beam or ray. A pulse actually consists of several different light waves superimposed to create a discrete package.
“The apparent time travel described has all the markings of aquantum mechanical effect. As much as we would like to describe the worldof matter and light as ball and stick figures, we know that in realityposition and momentum are quite fuzzy. (Heisenberg Uncertainty and allthat.) The ability for a particle, especially a particle having no mass, tobe in two places simultaneously does not break any major laws of physics.According to quantum mechanics there is some probability that the particleis in an infinite number of positions simultaneously. As for travelling 300times c, I imagine that the quantum mechanics involved in dealing with aphoton wave packet could allow the information needed to reconstruct thatwave to be broadcast well in front of the actual packet. There is all sortsof weirdness allowed when it comes to space-time and information travel. Essentially, when an electron tunnels through a barrier there is no evidence of it ever being within the barrier, and yet it somehow appears onthe other side. My imagination would allow me to believe that if matter waves can transmit over a measurable distance then light waves shouldlikely transmit over much longer distances.”
So did they do it? I thinks she means “Sort of.”
In other (dramatically funnier) news, The Onion is reporting that Haggar physicists have developed ‘Quantum Slacks’. No word yet from Dr. Finch on the implications of these developments. Watch out for the anti-pants.
There’s just no room in my world for things like this.
David Manning, a film reviewer for the Ridgefield Press, seemed completely normal — if curiously vapid. His blurbs appeared in marketing material for several Columbia films last year. Manning raved over “Hollow Man,” “Vertical Limit,” “A Knight’s Tale” and “The Animal,” which strikes me as almost comically bad at best and an example of movie-review payola at worst.
Actually, that wasn’t the worst. Manning does not in fact exist. He was invented by [Columbia parent] Sony’s marketing department. It’s not as if they don’t essentially buy reviews already with gravy-train perqs like free trips, posh meals, and the like for much of the movie press — maybe these films were so bad even bribery couldn’t generate good ink. The scandal here, as MSNBC points out, isn’t so much that Manning didn’t exist — that’s clearly unacceptable. The troublesome bit is what IS acceptable.
I don’t know about you, but I’m pretty sure I know who’s gonna win this face-off.
I always thought my mom was being paranoid when she wouldn’t sit on hotel bedspreads. Apparently not.
This guy is all about figuring out both the secret to immortality AND world peace! Somebody call the Nobel committee!
See title. Always Mount a Scratch Monkey
Ladies and gentlemen (and Mr Young): I present text mode Quake.
Billy Joe Shaver has had one hell of a year — and a hell of a life before that. MSNBC is running a long piece on him right now. I’ve been a fan for years; if you don’t know him, check him out. Here is a good place to start: his 1996 album Tramp On Your Street, featuring his son Eddy on lead guitar.
Eddy died last New Year’s Eve.
This is just about the coolest thing I’ve heard of in quite some time. Check it out. (New York Times, free registration may be required)
If you’re anything like me, you just can’t get enough Silly Putty.
Apparently, Glen Larson — 1970’s-era TV god behind McCloud, The Six Million Dollar Man, Quincy, BJ and the Bear, Buck Rogers, Magnum PI, and others — is a Mormon. Which isn’t all that interesting in and of itself unless you take the time to check out The Mormon/Battlestar Galactica Connection.
Douglas Adams died Friday morning from a heart attack. He was 49.