Thursday, April 29, 2010


cartoon exclamation pointApparently the Washington Post "can't tell" Barak Obama from Malcolm X . . . Eesh

(via a BagNewsNotes tweet)

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Some interesting bits (Us and Them Edition)

Monday, April 26, 2010

Better than nothing

I've never heard anybody discuss this: giving up red meat has more than health perks -- it can produce most of the ecological benefits of a vegetarian lifestyle, because chickens are so much more efficient than cattle/pigs at making meat out of grain . . .

Friday, April 23, 2010

Friday link roundup

  • Rafe notes two ways to break news, only one of which actually leads to informing the public.

  • The Civil War can be seen as a battle with three sides, the South, the North, and African-Americans.
    What you see, as the war goes on, is a gradual, and rather amazing, process by which blacks, free and enslaved, force the North to accept the cause of emancipation as their own. The logic of the war makes it unavoidable.
    A good example of a frame that changes the way you see a wide range of events, in illuminating ways. I recommend the whole thing.

  • Washington, D.C., has to balance its desire to be a national monument against the benefits of becoming a modern liveable city...
    The monumentalist vision of Washington has choked nearly all urban life from the Mall and its environs. It has fashioned large sections of our city into pleasing vistas for tourists but has given the rest of us lifeless wastelands ... The monumental core should be the city's heart, not its parasite
    This issue arises in many different contexts, and in other cities as well.
    (via Atrios at Eschaton)

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Quote of the day

candle burning in the darknessYou are flawed, you are stuck in old patterns, you become carried away with yourself. Indeed you are quite impossible in many ways. And still, you are beautiful beyond measure.
- John Welwood
(via whiskey river)

Tuesday, April 20, 2010


Ah, in the pre-parental days, Spouse and I often made pilgrimages to New York, to visit friends, walk the streets, and visit MOMA. It's been a long time, so thanks to YouTube for this quick eyeful of modern art. Will have to hold me for a while yet...

(via pourmecoffee)

Monday, April 19, 2010

Our great post-feminist era

One cannot help but be happy that those in positions of power are so full of wisdom and open-mindedness. [mindless gnashing of teeth]

(via a Medley tweet)

Friday, April 16, 2010

Impatient for the DVD set!

art deco-style New Orleans jazz playerHaving been completely engrossed (and appropriately depressed) by The Wire, I'm already excited for David Simon's new series, Treme, which takes on the challenge of conjuring the complicated atmosphere and culture of New Orleans. We don't pay for fancy TV channels, so will wait for Netflix to get its hands on some DVDs (or maybe we'll just spring for the set ourselves).

Meantime, here's an episode of NPR's Fresh Air that combines description and interview to preview the show. Also, I immediately wondered how Harry Shearer would feel about it, since he's a native, an opinionista, and a man who's had a lot to say about the nation's inadequate handling of Katrina -- here's his first take. I can't wait to get a look for myself!


Wow, the number of ways in which this video is fantastic is hard to count!

Pixels invade New York

(The Tetris-block part made me particularly happy, although the vanishing subway entrances boggled my technical understanding.)

(via Travis Provick, a guy I don't even know -- yay, Internet!)

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Maybe they're not teflon after all...

kicking donkeyThe GOP seems to be setting up a political pie-in-face with their opposition to Wall Street reform. Sure, their base is more wealthy than that of the Dems, but that doesn't mean they were asleep for the last couple of years (or any less angry about watching their portfolios disappear into Big Bonus)...

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Tuesday round-up (= link-dump)

  • A couple weeks old: Ohio Pastors File IRS Complaints Over C Street House. Weird Christian "frat house" set-up may be a taxable rent-subsidy.

  • Don't Mess With Texas (Mortgages, That Is) -- they actually regulated mortgages and home equity loans, and thus avoided the worst disasters of the last couple of years. Maybe the rest of the country could learn something!

  • On Flexing Your Rights. Or at Least Meagerly Trying to Hold on to Them. Advice on dealing with cops always recommends calm and courtesy -- good on a practical front, but seems to imply that the absence of meekness is an opening for aggression, as evidenced by the crazy story here of police tazing a pregnant woman on a routine traffic stop...

  • When did the Senate become such a lonely, cynical place?
    "My father used to quote it: `The Senate allows you two years as a statesman, two years as a politician, and two years as a demagogue.' " He gave me a wistful look right then, and proceeded to say exactly what I’d been thinking. "And that’s actually changed. You’re now a demagogue the full six years."
    Hope we can find a way to salvage the institution.

  • The Bias of Veteran Journalists
    The journalists at the press conference didn't have a bias as the term is normally used; that is, I didn't get the sense that they were inherently for or against the company or its product. They just appeared to think they knew the subject well enough, or had a set enough idea in their heads as to what this kind of story was about, that they pursued only the lines of questioning necessary to fill in the blanks of that presumed story line.
    If it's bad for product reviews, imagine what it does to ones ability to develop an understanding of the political landscape, policy, and the future of both!

  • Robert Reich argues Why More Immigrants Are An Answer to the Coming Boomer Entitlement Mess. Not sure that his numbers game will convince the fundamentally xenophobic, but it's a good perspective for the rest of us.

  • Think Before You Speak, a great video campaign to get kids out of the habit of using "so gay" as the ultimate put-down for things uncool. Worth watching all of the initial vids.
    [Someday, maybe we can take on the whole late-night talkshow host vocabulary, of calling people "pussy" and "douchebag" and the like, for similar reasons. But the urgency is almost certainly greater on this chosen front.]

  • Just fun: Music video with a whole school as the instrument. Video and sound-mixing are a realm in which today's kids have a whole different fluency than do the middle-aged set, however computer savvy.

  • Just mind-bending: This is not a spiral. Say, wha...?!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Oh, *this* is what it's like

keeping too many balls in the airSemi-sick kid + definitely sick usual caretaker = lots of time off and disrupted schedules for parents. Have been lucky on both counts for most of last two years, so still startled by the degree to which it throws our aspirations and energy levels for the week. Can't imagine what it's like with less flexible employment!!

Onward, ho!

Thursday, April 08, 2010

Stop it, iPad-lovers!

Kind of blown away by this: Gizmodo's Essential iPad Apps
drool, drool...

(via NowThis, whom I hold directly accountable!)

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Gratuitous baby-blogging

Because what could be more adorable than Speck and Daddy reading in bed together? Except, maybe, that they're both perusing guides on parenting strategies...

Speck and her Daddy reading in bed

(This is from just about a month ago, so just over 2 years old...)

Quote of the day

The door of a bigoted mind opens outwards so that the only result of the pressure of facts upon it is to close it more snugly.
- Ogden Nash, author
(via A.W.A.D.)

Monday, April 05, 2010

Growing up

Well, it looks like the Iraqi voters have grown up politically since their last elections, refusing to vote for incumbents, political bigwigs, or religious parties as instructed, and instead picking and choosing. Look at that! always nice to see the public being smarter than they're given credit for, especially in places that we like to dismiss as primitive...

(via a BagNewsNotes tweet)

Thursday, April 01, 2010

iPad intrigue

iPad images from AppleAm quite intrigued by the iPad, even more than the iPhone, both because I websurf (et al.) much more than I talk on the phone and because the bigger screen hugely increases the number of things you can do with this critter. Of course, still too big for your pocket, so some lifestyle adaptation required...

Am not a first-adopter type, but was curious to see how real people would find this gadget. The first reviews are pretty impressive and make me want to see one in person, just to play a bit. Also struck by the possible impact that this could have on publishing (see, e.g., much of this review), particularly the ability to seamlessly integrate pretty advanced multimedia aspects. The future is ever more intriguing to imagine!

Update: well, here's the counterargument on just about every front. I think he undervalues the magic of techno-love -- I mean, many of the same arguments could be made about the iPhone and many many people love it -- but he has some points too. Only time will tell.