Homo homini rodentius est

Short bites

One red paperclip = One house
Follow up on the guy I wrote about [here], who was trying to trade up from a paperclip to a house. He did it! Quite an accomplishment, but the strangest part of all may be his [interaction] with Corbin Bernsen. Could any interaction with Corbin Bernsen not be strange?

Cat Under The Hat
I’ve known plenty of guys who had pussy on the brain, but [this explains] more than we ever dreamed. Really bizarre science.

Stephen Hawking is depressed…
That’s the only possible explanation for his posting the question How can the human race survive the next hundred years? on [Yahoo Answers]. Almost 20,000 responses include, “It can’t” and my favorite: “It does not need to do anything. The human race has lived for thoasands [sic] of years already and has survired [sic…] things from the ice age, to plaques [as in dental plaque? Sic], wars, and other acts of wickness [you guessed it, sic] caused by the human race.” Thanks for sharing! I prefer to think about this [Hawking-related question].

One Father’s Story
Revenge and [redemption] in Iraq. Very moving.

Gawker deathwatch?

Gawker logoActing just like a real media company, Gawker Media waited for the start of a long holiday weekend to announce a big shake up: they are dropping two of their sites, Sploid and Screenhead and have axed Gawker editor Jesse Oxfeld. Hoping I suppose that the news would cool somewhat while New York media hounds were moisturizing their leathery hides on the beaches of Fire Island and the Hamptons, it still managed to get picked up by [The New York Times] and [The Huffington Post] (where Arianna may have taken [special pleasure] at the news). Denton explains on [his blog] that they’re “battening down” in an uncertain advertising climate. But online advertising is booming. Curious…

Read the rest of this entry »

Dreaming of the 4th

Declaration of IndependenceWhen I was a kid — probably no more than 15 or 16 — I wrote a 10-page essay entitled “Should We Follow the Dream?” in which I came up with arguments for why the American Dream (really Jefferson’s vision of liberal democracy) was still meaningful to young people and a worthy ideal to dedicate one’s life to. As soon as I had finished writing it, I read it approvingly, placed it into an envelope and mailed it off… to the President of the United States. Not as insanely egocentric as you might think — actually, it was an act of some desperation. About the same time I visited my local parish priest, Father Murphy, to tell him that my faith was failing — I had started to think that there was no one listening to my prayers at night (his impatient response: “Pray harder”). I wrote to the president not because my fervor for America was so great, but because it was weakening. I grew up through the tail end of Vietnam and Watergate, witnessed the paralysis caused by the Iranian hostage crisis, the partisan rancor over Reagan’s policies, the inattention to AIDS and poverty. The disconnect between the ideals of the nation and its practice was so great that I started withdrawing a personal committment and trust. I didn’t want to be hurt anymore. That continued for a long time, helped along by a generation of craven politicians who, it seemed, would sink to any depth to win power. It has only recently started to change. For the first time in a long time I feel like I’m in sync with many of my fellows, who have grown weary of vicious partisan politics from the extremes of the two parties. In my own life a feeling of boredom and weariness is often a sign that some situation has grown unbearable and must be changed. It feels like the country is on the verge of deciding something big.

Here are a couple of suggestions for things to do to mark the 4th:

1. Take a few minutes out of your day (no more than 20, to be sure) to re-read something you haven’t read since high school. [Read all of it]. It’s accessible, it’s important and I guarantee you’ll be glad you did.

2. If you have a few dollars you can spare, send them to the folks at [The Wounded Warrior Project]. They’re doing good work, but they can’t do it alone.

Happy Independence Day

Amy Sedaris and Martha Stewart – a classic

In this clip from Conan, Amy teaches Martha how to make a grilled cheese sandwich in prison. This was early 2001, long before Martha’s legal troubles. Amy clearly saw it coming. Also, a foul-mouthed earful of her most hilarious character: Piglet (no… not that Piglet). Enjoy.

Short Bites

Darwin’s Tortoise Rolls onto Back for Last Time…
Harriet the tortoise, believed by some to have been brought back to England from the Galapagos by Charles Darwin himself [has died] at the age of 172. DNA testing has raised questions about the Darwin link, but it is still amazing to think that when this creature was born Andrew Jackson was President. Kinda’ puts your own life in perspective, eh?

Are Blogs Bad for You?
[This fellow], writing in ChristianityToday, thinks so. He makes some valid points about the limitations of today’s technology that, for all of the hype, doesn’t map very well to the needs of human communication. Blogs may very well be bad for you. But not this one.

America’s War on Science
In a slightly [breathless editorial] over at SEED Magazine, they’re taking a marketplace approach to the problem of production of home-grown scientists and engineers. In short, we’re not producing enough of our own and need to import more. Apparently, this is one area where we need more of a trade imbalance. What they neglect to address is the fact that we still [produce a lot of techies] — just not as many, per capita, as when the Russkies were breathing down our necks with a bazillion missles…

10-year Erection Leads to Stiff Penalty
Some poor guy in Rhode Island has been walking around with a [Bionic Boner] for 10 years. You might think that’s a good thing, but it isn’t — to the tune of $400,000.

« Previous Entries   Next Entries »