As a Southerner, I have more than a passing familiarity with kudzu, the ubiquitous vine transplanted to the American South in an effort to combat erosion. Like most other such efforts, it backfired — in the lush heat and humidity of Mississippi, kudzu’s growth can be measured in feet per day. It’s been called “a vegetable form of cancer,” among other things, as it overwhelms surrounding vegetation and cloaks buildings and cars in a green net of vines.
Of course, now it turns out that you can eat it. And by “you,” I mean people other than me.
The good folks at ESPN have given Dr Hunter S. Thompson a bully pulpit for some time now — he’s got a column that runs on Mondays that still shows flashes of the brilliance that punctuates his career. And, of course, he’s by no means silent on the events of last week.
Read this, and you never need listen to a politician speaking after a tragedy again.
I’ve become a one-trick pony in the wake of last week’s attacks, but there suddenly doesn’t seem much to be clever or witty about. Bear with me.
Last night, on his first program back after last week’s horror, David Letterman opened with a long, serious monologue about the situation. It’s very, very good and very, very strong. If you’ve got a good connection, go right now over the CBS site and check out the area for The Late Show. There’s a clip (RealPlayer) available under DaveTV – Big Show Highlight; I have no idea how long they’ll keep it up, but try and see it. If you can’t for some reason, at least read this unofficial transcript someone posted at the Well, purportedly from alt.fan.letterman. It appears to be accurate, but it’s definitely a weak sister to the actual clip.
Suck‘s 30 October 2000 column about the bombing of the Cole is both prescient and compelling, especially the discussion of Marshall’s book.
In other news, this purports to be a reasonably recent table of the tallest buildings in the world, though it’s at least partly out of date (Texas Commerce Tower in Houston isn’t called that anymore). I can’t vouch for its accuracy, but I assume it contains a bit of fact.
The BBC has this story that includes both pre- and post-attack 1-meter satellite shots of lower Manhattan. (via MetaFilter)
I’ve gotten this from several of you. It’s a photo page of world reactions to the Trade Center bombing, and it’s genuinely moving. As a child of the Cold War, the Kremlin’s flags at half mast was a particularly resonant image for me.
The events of 11 September are undeniably the most horrible for our country – and the world – in recent memory. On the Well, people have been posting that so-and-so’s checked in, that this person or that person are okay, and even though I don’t know them I breathe a sigh of relief.
The people at MadeByNick.com offer this photo as a show of online unity, for whatever it’s worth, and I figure it can’t hurt.
Giant Flounder Penis (yes) provides us with key assets for doing business in the New Economy: to wit, the Mission Statement Generator.
The scary part is that they’re not all obviously jokes. Somewhere, there’s an MBA hitting the “reload” button over and over…
Aerial photos of Burning Man. Cool.
Jon Carroll does not lie.
NoGators Senior Political Correspondent L. Payne. sends us this. Enjoy.
There’s a reason why there was never a French version of MacGyver.
This is just plain wacked.
If you don’t — or even if you think you do — check out this story in the New York Times. It’s an excellent rundown of why we need them, what the privacy concerns are, and how you can protect yourself from abuses.
After I posted the prior entry, I emailed my brother to tease him about his firm being the 23rd most frequent visiting domain for us here at NoGators. In reply, he says:
I’m proud to be 23rd. And, with a renewed faith in America and solid belief in the ideals that make this nation strong, I know we can move to 22d and then maybe 21st before we know it! This, my friends , is your call to arms! Only a can-do attitude will survive the treacherous slings and arrows of internet visitation placement but we can win! Go! Fight! Win!
Okay, kids. You know who you are. Shouldn’t you be writing briefs or something?
I’ve just reviewed the Nogators stats for August, and something weird shows up. I’m used to seeing all manner of ISP originating domains, but #12 on the hit parade last month was gov.au. Who are you?
My pal Kelly works for PopNYC, a hip online shop in the up-and-coming (read: scary) meatpacking district in NYC. They’re very cool. In particular, I’m blown away by their Aniluxe, a toy they did for the Cartoon Network. Roll your own Mojo Jojo animations with a 1940’s-era animation machine!
Houston-area attorney and crank John Worldpeace (his name was Kenneth Wolter until 1988) is running for governor of Texas. Oh boy. He’s also enlisted the aid of a telephone solicitation firm, so every few days I get another long burst of screed on my answering machine. He’s also actively endorsing non-nutjob Houston mayoral candidate Chris Bell, who in turn is trying to get Worldpeace to stop drumming up votes for him in his phone messages. I can’t imagine why.
Oscar-winning documentary-maker and guitar player Ry Cooder is being shaken down for $25,000 by our lovely government on account o’ him spending time and money in Cuba — while making the Buena Vista Social Club, which of course subsequently won all sorts of awards (I’m guessing director Wim Wenders is also being fined). It seems you still need permission of the US government to spend money there. Never mind all that claptrap about bringing people together, or illustrating what a fool’s errand the embargo is, of course. Wow.
Scientists have discovered that certain types of brittlestars heretofore believed to be blind due to a wholesale lack of eyes (go figure) are in fact all eyes. Somehow, they use the beadlike crystals that make up their external skeltons to create one big compound eye. Neat.
One of you – at least – had a birthday this Monday last (August 27). If I’m not mistaken, you’re now 32. Any Heathen or Knaves in the greater New York area might wish to seek out a certain Australian and buy him a pint, or at least a walker. Enjoy.
Someday, eruptions in the Canary Islands could create enormous tidal waves that threaten much of the Atlantic coast. This may be the first actual reason to consider the midwest as a vacation spot.
Correction: Longtime Arrant Knave Joe M., late of Iowa, writes:
I can’t be more adamant here….there is absolutely no good reason to visit the midwest. I would take death by an enormous wall of water over waking up one more day in this godforsaken hell hole. Please inform the rest of the Arrant Knaves.
We stand corrected. NoGators regrets the error.
Filmmaker Kevin Smith has written a pleasantly sweet comic recounting how he met and first kissed his wife. It’s running in the New York Times, of all places.
Can you imagine Dubya in this picture instead?
By now, we’ve all gotten used to the weird fundamentalist thrashes foisted on the Afghani people by the Taliban; this time around, they’ve banned the Internet, which I figure means precisely squat in a country with virtually no technological infrastructure. Though I’m sure it will help with their educational trouble.
But Iran isn’t Afghanistan, and moderate forces seem to be making progress there. Of course, they’re still working through their issues with dogs.
At the risk of being culturally insensitive: Wow.
I thought we were in a bad way — until I read about Austin-based Agillion. They raised $45 million 2-1/2 years ago — and are currently in bankruptcy with debts exceeding $23 million. Their total sales? $146,000. They win. Now I feel much better.
How on earth can Alabama governor Don Siegelman not realize that comments like “If God had wanted you to wear earrings, He’d have made you a girl” make him like an uneducated backwoods cracker? Link.
It’s that time of year again, and someone suggested I provide a fresh link to this bit. Enjoy.
Who knew that Alderaan still had a home page?
The aforementioned Afroman, Mississippi hip-hop legend, has a hit on his hands with “Because I Got High.” Of course, loyal Heathen knew about him several weeks ago, but the single is climbing the charts in the wake of its inclusion on the Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back soundtrack. It’s a charming ditty with lyrics like
I messed up my entire life because I got high
I lost my kids and wife because I got high
now I’m sleeping on the sidewalk and I know why
because I got high, because I got high, because I got high.
Of course, the next step is a video, presumably one clearly documenting the dangers of the nefarious weed named in the title. Nevertheless, the goons at MTV are insisting on — you guessed it — changes to avoid explicit references to or images of (right again!) smoking pot.
This from the network that gave us Jackass?
I know you’ve been waiting for a way to really appreciate the world’s amazing array of corporate news and media outlets. Fortunately, AlterNet has the answer. Enjoy!
If you have a DVD player, you really ought to check out NetFlix. The summary: DVD rental by mail via the Internet with NO LATE FEES.
Apparently, Israel is experimenting with some, er, minimalist uniforms for some soldiers.
It’s sort of a virtual mobile kit. This is distinct from a virtual Mobile kit, which I suppose would involve brackish water and a bad smell.
At least if you’re in Houston. Tamalalia 6 is running at Stages through September 8.
Denver-based mutual fund firm Invesco has agreed to pay $60MM over the next 20 years to rename Denver’s Mile High Stadium to Invesco Field. But never mind that; the Denver Post has announced that they’ll ignore the name change and continue to refer to it as Mile High Stadium. Denver’s mayor, while “astonished,” appears to support the move.
I’m not sure if I can express how much I like this.
The degree to which hard-hitting stories about cricket spitting were the motivating factor behind Salon‘s new round of funding is left as an exercise to the reader.
I blogged this animation back in July (see archives), but their server went down at some point. (Go figure.) It’s now mirrored on a new server, so if it didn’t work for you the first time, don’t miss it this time.
Safety Tips from Anubis!
Link updated 30 Aug 01; Thanks, Tom!
The Onion has an excellent suggestion.
Excellent Flash animation by Tom Tomorrow: Escape from Planet of the Dubyas!
I love the South. I really do. For all its flaws and problems, it is my home. Its rhythms and cadences resonate with me in ways I can’t completely explain. Which I suppose is why I’m so pissed off by the behavior of the ignorant slack-jawed yokels among us.
Like, for example, Alabama Supreme Court Justice Roy Moore, the “Ten-Commandments” judge. Moore has, in his infinite wisdom (and arrogance), decided to commission and deploy a 2.5 ton Ten Commandments sculpture/monument for the state courthouse in Montgomery — all without checking with anyone else. Great move, Roy. Way to go.
Most of the discourse I expect about this development will trivialize and marginalize the South as a region, painting us all with a wide brush. Mitch Albom of the Detroit Free Press, though, manages to highlight the absurdity of this (via MSNBC) without resorting to such tactics.
You heard me. Go on. Click it. How often do you see a site that includes the term “understated terracotta penis cozy?”
But this is just too funny.
The Washington Post has a nice, long article on Christopher Walken that includes a few bits I didn’t know (his wife of thirty-odd years is a casting director, most recently on the Sopranos; he’s written a play about Elvis) as well as this quote:
You can’t fool Bugs Bunny. That’s all I have to say. He’s on to everybody.
We have the Internet to thank for thorough documentation of widespread perversion in the animal kingdom.
There are so many things wrong with this that I really don’t know where to begin.
I’m not sure how we ended up talking about Liberace. But this post was the funniest thing I’ve read in weeks. The Well is a 16-year-old online community. It predates the wide availability of the Internet, which means it’s ancient by net standards. I won’t say it’s for everyone, but I certainly enjoy it.
Topic 476 [popcult]: Come out, come out!
#234 of 235: well-coiffed and surrounded by finger-pointing attorneys (vard)
Thu Aug 2 '01 (18:48) 11 lines
When I was a very little girl I was terrified of Liberace.
My mother used to carry around a photo of him from a magazine, folded up
in her purse, and if I misbehaved in public she would threaten to take it
out and make me look at him.
It always worked.