August 21, 2006


Filed under: culture, politics — ted @ 4:39 pm

I’m finding that blogging has quickly become a snowball of a problem: when I take a day or two off, it seems like too much to even bother. I’m considering posting more often, in shorter sections. I may have had this plan before, and clearly failed to implement it. Does anyone who actually reads this have any preference?

Onwards and upwards…

Engrish is always a riot, but this is categorically better than most:

Some general world-political notes:

  • A family of passengers recently stormed off a plane in the U.K., fearing that the “suspicious” Asian men, who were “speaking in a foreign language thought to be an Arabic language” were terrorists. The degree of foolishness captured in quotation marks to be read in this article is mind-boggling.
  • More reasons to hate Wal-Mart: the corporation is mailing “voter guides” to its employees in Iowa, in preparation for the 2008 primaries. As you can imagine, the guides are rather one-sided in favor of Republicans.
  • Of 34 countries, the United States posted the second-highest percentage of people who consider the following statement false: “Human beings, as we know them, developed from earlier species of animals.” The lowest? Turkey. In case you haven’t been keeping up, this is not the sort of cultural company we should be keeping.

Last week, three “planets” were added to the solar system. This comes as a result of the International Astronomical Union’s extension of the definition of “planet.” About this, Stephen Colbert has something to say.


August 11, 2006

Two Lovely Photographs of Philadelphia Graffiti

Filed under: graffiti, photos — ted @ 3:37 pm



August 8, 2006

Stepping Out

Filed under: music, poetry — ted @ 2:30 pm

First of all:

The pope has awesome shoes and — from what it looks like here — he’s taking every opportunity to demonstrate this to the world.


  • Check out this informative and rather handsome artice from the Wall Street Journal on the business of literary translations. I’m pretty fired up about mentioned-in-passing new translation of Camus.
  • We all know how important it is to punctuate correctly, but this is a most extreme example: a rogue comma in a contract written by the Canadian company Rogers Communications Inc. is going to cost them 2.13 million dollars.
  • Amid lots of misfires, there are a few absolute gems in Nerve’s The Hollywood Guide to Infidelity. Their leading example: “Rule #14: It’s possible to be married and faithful, just not in a Woody Allen film.”

Do you like nerdcore? Never heard of it? Check out MC Plus+‘s rhymes about writing code and surfing MySpace. For example, here’s a tight hook:

I’m a gangster nerd, strapping USB
I’m a gangster nerd, you can’t code like me
I’m a chip hop nerd, writing code in C
I’m a chip hop nerd, a rapping Ph.D

My favorite tracks include “Chip Hop Nerd,” “My Space Pimpin'” and “The Empty Sets.” It’s all worthy of a download.

And finally, a bit of Cruise-Zen:

(more here)

August 7, 2006

Nerd Alert

Filed under: graffiti, nerd, tech — ted @ 4:42 pm

Biggest news today in my world (and that of thousands of others who were surfing the web today) was Steve Jobs’s keynote speech at Apple’s WWDC 2006. This afternoon, I followed engadget’s liveblog with thinly veiled fanaticism, and — while there were no huge surprises and no new iPods — found the new Apple news to be exciting.

Besides the announcement of a new Mac Pro, the keynote was all about Mac OSX Leopard, which is supposed to premiere this Spring. It has a handful of sweet new features and updates, the best of which is certainly Time Machine, an application which works with an external storage device to automatically back up all your data, and even allows you to “browse through your entire system as it appeared on any date.” Coolness.

Stuff not relating to Apple:

Speaking of graffitti, this sweet piece can be seen in the city of Toronto, which was forward thinking enough to commission ten artists to paint Bell Utility boxes around the city.


August 3, 2006

Back in Action

Filed under: culture, politics — ted @ 3:28 pm

It’s been approximately two weeks since I last posted, and for that I apologize.

The best thing I’ve read of late is a Pew study concerning how people consume and interact with the news. It’s broken down into all sorts of fascinating chunks, and certainly reflects poorly on the American public. Take, for instance, the abysmally low percentage of people who were able to answer the survey’s “three news knowledge questions”: (1) which party has a majority in the U.S. House of Representatives; (2) the name of the current U.S. Secretary of State, and (3) the name of the current president of Russia. The national average of people who answered all three questions correctly was 24%. I smirk while I report that folks whose primary news source is “religious radio” came in last place by a significant margin — but even those who fit the profile of “New Yorker/Atlantic” readers only scored 44%. As I see it, this means that people were either lying about how much news they actually do read/watch/listen to, or that they don’t pay attention to what they’re reading/watching/listening to. At any rate, this is all very distressing.

This, on the other hand, is lovely:

This costumed style-czar demands the highest praise. How brilliant!


  • Even wondered how you should refer to your corn syrupy carbonated beverage in, say, Ohio? Or Nevada? This map is most informative. Good luck in Virginia.
  • John Irving and John Grisham have both written to J. K. Rowling asking her not to kill Harry in Book 7. “Referring to a scene in Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s The Final Problem, in which Doyle killed off his famous detective, Sherlock Holmes, King told reporters, ‘I don’t want [Harry] to go over the Reichenbach Falls.'” Tear.
  • The Necons are actively trying to start another war, having become bored with the one they’re losing now.
  • Looking for more evidence of our President’s foolishness? Read this vicious essay.

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.