Slinky Links

12 11 2006

Bored? Looking for something to read? I haven’t been blogging enough lately (sorry), but I have been saving up some links for you. Let’s get to them.

1.) At Slate, Dan Kois asks whether R.E.M. or U2 was the best rock band of the 1980s. The answer, it seems to me, is obviously R.E.M.

2.) Joe of Joe. My. God. tells a great Christmas story about the time a bathhouse moved in across the street from his mother’s house.

3.) Lexicographer Benjamin Zimmer, who blogs regularly at Language Log, discusses the Cupertino effect—which occurs when an imperfect speller and an imperfect spell checker combine to place the wrong word, often something obscure, in text. Speaking of Zimmer, I also enjoyed his Slate piece about whether American couples are really blending their surnames more and more. (They’re not.)

4.) The Nietzsche Family Circus pairs a Nietzsche quote with a panel from the (wretched) comic strip. The results are sometimes wildly profound. Don’t forget to refresh, again and again and again. Highly, highly recommended! (Link via Minor Wisdom.)

5.) Recently, Roger Federer, the world’s top male tennis player, bruised his knee after a nightmare caused him to jump out of bed. Federer, who managed to win the next day, blamed a sake bomber he had with dinner.

6.) A New York Times article, prompted by the opening of the Museum of the Portuguese Language in São Paulo, discusses Portuguese as a newly respected world language—one spoken in Angola, Brazil, Cape Verde, East Timor, Guinea-Bissau, Mozambique and São Tomé and Príncipe (not to mention Providence, R.I.). It’s good stuff. Among the highlights: Brazilian Portuguese is described as “Portuguese with sugar,” and it’s contrasted with “the clipped, almost guttural sound” you’d hear in Lisbon.

7.) Red Fork Hippie Chick explains how to take good photographs of neon signs at night. Even if you’re not interested in the technical stuff, the examples of awfully nice.

8.) Speaking of photographs, here are some of my favorite shots featured at some of my favorite photoblogs: “Passing in Red,” by Sam Javanrouh, Daily Dose of Imagery; “Portland Outdoor Store,” by David F. Gallagher,; “I Smell Something Fishy,” by Razzi, Razzi’s Photolog.

9.) Via Kottke, I’ve learned about a cool blog devoted to, well, Strange Maps. Some recently featured maps: Ten Regions of American Politics, Sri Lanka on Top, and Manhattan Neighborhoods. I’m adding Strange Maps to the blogroll.

10.) Open Source, the public radio show, examines why evangelical Christians have become fixated on the gay man. Killing the Buddha‘s Jeff Sharlet is featured.

Too many?


Three Short Items

19 09 2006

Links: The Non-Partridge Family ‘Come On, Get Happy’ Edition

18 09 2006

I’m having a bad day week month, so I went looking for something that might cheer me up. Here’s what I found:

1.) The Kronos Quartet (the coolest string quartet ever) covers “Flugufrelsarinn” by Sigur Rós (the coolest rock band ever). Listen to that, and some other cool stuff, at Kronos’s MySpace page. By the way, I saw Kronos do “Flugufrelsarinn” earlier in the year at Carnegie Hall. That was so cool.

2.) It always makes me smile when the NYT features a gay couple on its Weddings & Celebrations page. This week, it’s Adam Berger and Stephen Frank. They were college suite-mates, who—somehow or other—didn’t “know”. Didn’t know about themselves. Didn’t know about each other. “I haven’t been totally straight with you,” one said a few years later. And before you know it, they’re getting hitched at a Pocantico Hills, N.Y., restaurant.

P.S. I don’t know what to say about the article’s reference to Princess Di’s funeral. Yikes.

3.) “Noodle Shop,” a Sushicam photograph by Jeff Laitila, made me forget my troubles for a few minutes. It also made me hungry.

4.) Tomorrow, September 19, is International Talk Like a Pirate Day. Arrr!

These links are 35% less hairy than before.

16 09 2006

I haven’t been a very faithful blogger this week. Those evil people at work just won’t leave me alone! Go here, go there, come back here, do this, do that. Yikes.

Anyway, let’s do some links:

1.) The Impulsive Buy hilariously reviews a product I can actually recommend: the Philips Norelco Bodygroom. Here’s, um, a snippet:

Many of you with testicles may be wondering if it hurts or if having cutting blades near your Humpty Dumptys make them have a great fall and crawl back into you….

Without an attachment it doesn’t hurt either, but every time I trim the trees along my main street and cul-de-sac I keep thinking of a possible scrambled eggs mess, so I’m surgeon-like careful when I cut down the Christmas trees on my snow globe.

P.S. I actually think hairy men should generally just be as hairy as nature intended. That said, I do, um, even things up a little bit here and there. (I can’t believe I told you that! Blush city.)

2.) I wouldn’t ordinarily blog about something like this, but how can I pass up this particular segué: A Michiana man underwent a full body wax in order to get tickets to the Notre Dame-Michigan football game. Really. (Link via Towleroad)

3.) All this talk about hair has me remembering a recent Savage Love column about a gay man who wanted to run with the bears but didn’t seem to be welcome. I hate it when the reindeer won’t let Rudolph join in any reindeer games—especially when there’s absolutely no good reason for it.

4.) I’m not entirely sure how this fits into the evolving (hairy?) theme, but PeaceBang is getting a gay vibe from the men in those eHarmony ads on TV. Hee. eHarmony, of course, doesn’t offer its services to same-sex couples. Hmph.

5.) And, finally, check out the mane on the horse in Sam Javanrouh’s Daily Dose of Imagery photograph from Times Square.

Could you go for some links right now?

10 09 2006

1.) Jeff Laitila of Sushicam reports on his night in a capsule hotel in Tokyo. If, like me, you’ve wondered what that would be like, you’ll want to check out the accompanying set of photographs, too. Although Laitila doesn’t make his stay sound at all, er, comfortable, I’m still game.

2.) James Ford—a Unitarian Universalist minister and Zen Buddhist—discusses marriage as a spiritual practice:

One reason I see this as an authentic spiritual path is how hard it can be. It may be a bed of roses, but there are plenty of thorns in that bed. And there’s something of the point here (as it were). Commitment and working together to make a life means the sharp edges get rubbed down, or even, occasionally, knocked off. The ego shifts from center stage to being part of something larger.

And every once in while with continued commitment, continued work, and just a little luck, something even deeper may be found.

Good stuff, and—truthfully—a post that makes me feel just a little bit lonely (sigh). Anyway, I’m looking forward to what Ford writes at his site, Monkey Mind, while he’s on sabbatical.

3.) Contradicting what Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales has argued, a study by Aaron Swartz suggests that most of the online encyclopedia’s content is written by outsiders—not the so-called Gang of 500 insiders who actively help format and maintain the site. (Link via Google Blogoscoped)

I’m not a Wikipedian, but I do stop by occasionally to marvel at the intricate (cumbersome?) dispute-resolution system the insiders utilize. I’ve wondered how so much time and effort could be devoted to arbitration when there was all that research and writing to do. But it may well be that mediation, ongoing negotiation, and arbitration are just part of the maintenance provided by the Gang of 500.

P.S. Did you see Atlantic Monthly‘s recent article on Wikipedia? (Link via Kottke)

4.) Take a look at a couple of cool photos from Razzi’s Photolog, a photoblog I’ve been following for a long time: “Know Your Rights” and “Nunned.” Razzi is from Belgium, and you definitely won’t mistake either picture for something that might’ve happened in my Philly neighborhood.

5.) For Slate, Justin Peters asks why NFL head coaches must work so hard, as if they “have the most demanding job in the world—medical intern, first-year associate, meth tweaker, and 1920s-era trans-Atlantic pilot rolled into one.” There seems to be no good (i.e., believable) answer. Instead, all those long hours seem to be the result of some need to uphold the macho CEO ethic in a testosterone-laden, athletic world. Ugh.

Mid-Week Links

6 09 2006

At mid-week, here’s what I’ve found interesting so far:

1.) Wow. Zoroastrianism is prominently featured in an interesting NYT article this week. The religion—monotheistic before, um, monotheism was cool—is in serious decline. (If you’re interested in the topic, you should check out the NYT‘s accompanying slide show, which features a voiceover by the article’s author, Laurie Goodstein. Highly recommended.) I wish I could visit a fire temple.

2.) PeaceBang captures many of the feelings I had on learning of the death of Steve Irwin. I stumbled onto Irwin on Animal Planet years ago, and the ex and I quickly got a little bit hooked (in the same way we’d later get hooked on other cable TV staples like Trading Spaces and Iron Chef). In that first show, Irwin was going on and on about freshwater crocodiles, which he called—in that infectious hyper-enthusiastic way of his—”freshies.” From then on, we thought of Irwin as the Freshy Guy. We’d watch as Freshy Guy was wrangling deadly snakes, and I’d just be absolutely horrified at the risks he was seemingly taking. All at the same time, I’d be completely attracted to his passion for nature. When I think of those times, I smile. Freshy Guy was something the ex and I had in common at a happy, early stage of our relationship. That makes me miss Freshy Guy all the more.

3.) Gaping Void has me playing in the cool sandbox at

4.) I’m sure I wasn’t the only person hoping the Japanese imperial family’s newest member would be a girl, forcing—perhaps—the nation to grapple with its sexist law of succession. What’s wrong with having an empress, Japan?

5.) I want my next “big” trip to be to Turkey, so I’m absolutely enjoying Salon‘s literary guide to Turkey (link via Bookslut). Orhan Pamuk’s Snow is prominently featured, of course.

Labor Day Weekend Links

3 09 2006

I’m not having the best Labor Day weekend of my life (more on that some other time, I’m sure), but I hope you’re making the best of your long weekend. Here’s what I have to offer:

1.) Hugh MacLeod of Gaping Void says he doesn’t understand the color green.

2.) My blogging buddy Chris Baskind has a new blog, more minimal. In two of his first posts, he explained why blogs should embrace minimalism and how doing so would make blogs more readable. Rivers Are Damp feels so cluttered now.

3.) Via PeaceBang, how about some really, really, really cool ukulele music? Really.

4.) I’m a regular visitor to Your Waitress Photos, a photoblog by Valerie J. Cochran. Two recent shots I enjoyed: “three” and “and a four.” Will there be a five?

5.) Speaking of cool pictures, this composite photo of Andre Agassi is worth your attention. When I play tennis these days, it always feels like I’m facing nine opponents at once. (Link via Kottke)