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, lightningfield.com; “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.