Posts tagged #misc

The Man Who Saved the World

I imagined if I’d assume the responsibility for unleashing the third World War — and I said, no, I wouldn’t.”
Ever heard of Stanislav Petrov? Nearly 22 years ago, his job was to watch a screen for signs of an American attack on the Soviet Union, and press a big red button to launch a nuclear counterstrike if necessary. Late one night, the screen lit up. But Petrov didn’t push the button.

[spotted at dashes.com]

Visions Of a Place I Want To See

Hong Kong towerIt’s been a while since I’ve encountered a photoblog that stopped me in my tracks. The images of Hong Kong appearing at overshadowed have me totally mesmerized. The city, bathed in artificial light on a foggy night, looks like a cleaner, saner version of Blade Runner’s “Los Angeles 2019.” And the subway shots! Don’t even get me started about the subway shots!

[thanks to the_lucky_duck for the link]

Caring For Your Fruit

  • Whether you are on a hiking trip, day trip, athletic event, between classes, or at a board meeting, the BananaBunker will keep your fruit safe until you are ready to snack.
  • The Banana Guard currently comes in 9 colours, available online: Ravishing Red, Outrageous Orange, Mellow Yellow, Sublime Green, Skyhigh Blue, Brilliant Blue, Passionate Purple, Pretty in Pink, Glow in the Dark.
  • Our BanaBox is the perfect second skin for your bananas. Your days of worrying about smashed bananas in your bag are over.
Who volunteers to write a comparitive review of these products? Anybody?

Of Streets, Signs, and Sumps

I usually love it when an Adam Gopnik piece shows up in The New Yorker. But a coupla issues back, Gopnik chose to rant about the new street signs popping up around New York. His first complaints make him sound like a bitter old copyeditor:
[The new signs] name the street that runs beneath them (and therefore, of course, announce to drivers the street they may want to turn onto), and they do this loudly and with unfortunate abbreviations. Over the intersection of Park Avenue and Eighty-sixth Street, for instance, there is now a long green sign proclaiming “Park Av,” with no period. A couple of blocks east, it gets worse: the green sign rubbernecks its way out into the middle of the street and announces “3Av.” This keeps up (2Av, 1Av) until 86St runs, at last, into East End Av.
Me, I thought that “unfortunate abbreviations” were part … read full post…

How To Get Decent Service In France

When I visited Paris in 2001, I was told ahead of time, “Just be friendly and try to speak the language, and you’ll be treated well.” Uh, no. Pretty much everywhere I went, I was treated with disdain. This piece in The Observer is fantastic in that it both (a) makes it clear your poor treatment is probably not your fault and should not be taken personally and (b) gives you specific tips for vanishing that snooty little garçon’s attitude.

Don’t Point That Thing At Me

aroused statueOne of my guilty pleasures is Jon Carroll’s column in the Chronicle — which of course I never read in the Chronicle, but instead on SFGate. Today’s column is fantastic for at least three reasons:
  1. He refers to “fine East Bay people,” which many City dwellers think is a mythical species. No, friends: We exist.
  2. He speaks of folks who send him angry e-mails about his columns. My own column (very different from Carroll’s, and orders of magnitude less exciting) only posts once a month, but still generates messages from malcontents who write like this: “CLEARLY you are one of those PATHETIC tech journalists who has ABSOLUTELY NO IDEA what he’s talking about.” As Carroll notes: “Clearly they are not trying to persuade. I know what persuasion looks like … and it rarely involves words like ‘pathetic.’”
  3. When he gets to the meat of the column, so to speak, he …
read full post…

They Left Off Gwyneth Paltrow, But I’ll Let It Slide

The Buffalo Beast brings us the 50 Most Loathsome People in America (the 2004 edition). I don’t think I disagree with a single choice they’ve made. Some excerpts:
Colin Quinn: “Blamed cancellation of his awful show on reverse racism, ignoring his pathetic ratings, stumbling speech and the fact that his entire C-list entourage couldn’t beat Pamela Anderson at Trivial Pursuit.” … Dick Cheney: “The kind of guy who starts talking cannibalism the minute he steps on the lifeboat.” … Ben Affleck: “His uncanny ability to produce an unending stream of shitty movies and still get work rivals that of even Kevin Costner.” … Dan Rather: “Made Peter Jennings the most credible anchor in the business.” … Jessica Simpson: “The aesthetic equivalent of vitamin D milk.” … Donald Rumsfeld: “Carries himself in press conferences like a cranky grandfather who is sick of hearing his daughters whine about how he molested them …
read full post…

Idiot Parent of the Year

My vote for Idiot Parent of the Year goes to “Confused in Virginia,” who wrote to Dear Abby this week:
My 16-year-old daughter went to a party at a frat house where she was given a great deal to drink. Feeling “woozy,” she went outside. One of the “boys” suggested she go back to his room to lie down. She had known this fellow before that night and trusted him. She was drunk, and he had sex with her. It was her first time. She claims she tried to make him stop, but he wouldn’t.

Shouldn’t the young man be punished in some way? I feel something should be done, and I also worry about him doing this to some other girl. Would this constitute date rape?
Let’s get this straight: You let your daughter, at the tender age of sixteen, attend a frat party, where she boozed it … read full post…

I’ll Try the String Bean Chipotle Tomato Enchilada (Page 3)

This is apparently making the rounds today, as I spotted it at both the J-Walk Blog and Kottke.org this morning. Shopsin’s is a New York City diner that has the most extensive, all-inclusive, wacky, eleven-page menu you’ve ever seen. I am so definitely stopping in the next time I’m in New York. Looks like a Downtown 1 or 9 to Houston St. will get me there…