Saturday, February 28, 2004

"I dunno man, he manages to rip free of three of the nails before the Romans finally have to shoot him. Mel really macho'd the fuck out of this thing. Also he fights a shark near the middle. I dunno, with eyebeams. JesusBeams, whatever, it's badass. No, you don't see beams, the shark just burns up. Then he decapitates one of the Bad Jews with his halo. No, I'm not kidding, the thing is nutty. I know. Well, somehow it works. It's not like I'm making it sound. I don't know, people don't want to badmouth it, I guess. I really didn't expect the bukkake scene in a mainstream movie like this. Well, it's off-screen but implied, you see it all over his face. I know. I can't believe the Pope was cool with that."

(Courtesy of Dong Resin)

Ah, Trump Ice.

The label features Trump's unmistakable mug plastered next to the water's pedestrian logo. But its background appears to be a lake of fire in the deepest bolgia of the Inferno itself. The Donald's beady eyes burn into the helpless soul of the thirsty consumer, as a corona of hellflame licks the edges of the world's most celebrated comb-over. Drink this, say the eyes, or sail in desiccated agony on a stream of magma as the blaze of the Trump Empire melts your internal organs into primordial soup. Drink Trump.

(Courtesy of Bunsen.)
"Earlier this month, shortly after 4 one afternoon, sunshine streamed into the concourse through an open-air clerestory above the scrims. Skyscrapers rose in the distance. In the foreground, bundled-up commuters crossed concrete floors etched with shadows.

The sun highlighted the red letters on one of the scrims, forming this quotation from Truman Capote: 'New York is a diamond iceberg floating in river water.'

Cold. Brilliant. Inextinguishable. At that moment, in that place, it was."

Friday, February 27, 2004

Interesting article on firmware upgrades for all your home electronics. Why include features today when you can defer them to later?

Actually, I shouldn't be so snarky--there are some very good reasons for this, and I'd rather see devices gain abilities through firmware upgrades than simply be told to buy a new device. At the same time, the article points out that the pitfalls of firmware upgrades are very real when every Tom, Dick and Harry has to do them.

From an email I just wrote that displays the depths of my APPRENTICE addiction:

I think Nick is Sam #2...not as volatile, but very prone to delusional thinking. He deserved to go, but Ereka has repeatedly racked up emotional outburst points since episode one, and I think she does such a terrible job defending herself in the boardroom that it wasn't too hard to see what would happen.

Troy is my favorite right now, though I like Bill as well. Amy has a lot of potential to actually win, because she's competent, everyone likes her and she doesn't attract negative attention...and at the end of the day, despite all the hype, Trump could be looking for an excellent subordinate more than an actual "leader".

I do expect Omarosa to last forever because she's cursed with incredible luck. Watching her undercut Amy's negotiating last night was worth the entire season.

That's why this feels familiar! We've been here before--

On Dec. 12, 1912, Rep. Seaborn Roddenberry (R-Ga.) proposed this amendment to the Constitution:

'Intermarriage between negros or persons of color and Caucasians . . . within the United States . . . is forever prohibited.'

The amendment did not pass, even though the majority of Americans opposed interracial marriage and advocates argued this amendment was necessary to save the sacred institution of marriage.

Wednesday, February 25, 2004

And now, the Geek Hierarchy:

What is up with Mel Gibson's THE PASSION OF THE CHRIST? I know, I know, that's the question of the hour, so let's focus on this: the IMDB entry lists "God" in the writing credits, under the category "novel".

What is the logic of this? It would appear that it glorifies God by recognizing that the Bible is His Words, but if that's so, why is he listed as a novelist? Shouldn't he be "chronicler"? "Overlord"? "Most High"? Don't novelists only write works of fiction?

It's a bizarre, indulgent symbol and I don't think it's even a coherent symbol.

Tuesday, February 24, 2004

Many thanks to all the folks who came out for last night's inaugural show--you were wonderful, and I'm so glad to have kicked off this series right. I may follow up later with more, but for now we're digging ourselves out--opening night parties are always hard, but opening nights on Mondays are much harder.

Monday, February 23, 2004

Opening Day. I'm looking forward to these new shows--I'm antsy, but so far today it's a very good, energetic kind of antsy. I'm headed over to the space now to do some light tech and get everything ready for tonight.

Friday, February 20, 2004

I love OS X in many ways, but here's a very good list of issues one new, experienced user is having. Some very good observations here.

Business as usual at AT&T Wireless. Nothing new, but it's always galling, isn't it?

Thursday, February 19, 2004

The creative process for him has two stages. The writing is preceded by a long period of "sitting grumpily, staring out the window." That explains why his nine books, all of which are still in print, have appeared at unpredictable intervals. "The typing on the keyboard takes about a year. The staring out the window can be any length of time and is usually harder."

Wednesday, February 18, 2004

Good lord, this Slate diary about eating dinner with Tilda Swinton is over the top. I mean, really. I think she's great as well, but this is really rather ghastly.

This essay may be my favorite thing Neal has written.

You know, I've stayed out of the presidential race so far, but I have to say that I'd be really pleased if Edwards was able to upset Kerry for the nomination. I don't know how the Conventional Wisdom became certain he was the most electable, but I know Edwards is a better speaker and has more potential to win against Bush than Kerry does.

Is an upset possible at this late date?'s been a strange year. Who knew Dean would self-destruct so completely?

I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

Tuesday, February 17, 2004

Well, EMAILGATE appears to be passing, and things aren't quite as dire as I feared they would be. Many folks appear to have received only one copy of the email, and no death threats have been lodged with me...yet.

Thought I'd time-out from the self-promotion to link to Andrew Sullivan's moving piece on marriage. Regardless of your feelings about Sullivan, (I'm rather fond of him myself), it's a heartfelt and simple piece that really moved me.

If that's a bit heavy for you, read about how a hemorrhoid creme maker wanted to use Johnny Cash's RING OF FIRE in their ad campaign. No, really. I can't make that stuff up.

Or take a look at this:

State officials dismiss the notion they are playing Big Brother, but the potential is rather Orwellian. In theory, said Revenue Department Commissioner Alan LeBovidge, the state may eventually be able to track down so much information about a resident's finances that the state, rather than the individual, could complete the individual's tax return.

And the world keeps getting smaller.

Monday, February 16, 2004

This is a fine mess. The email server at appears to have exploded while I was sending the new email list through it. Granted, it is a large list, but I spent a lot of time over the weekend getting ready for this mailing and thought I had secured every variable.

I was wrong. Many people received one (1) copy of the email, while others received 4, 5...even 7 copies. It's a total meltdown, so I wanted to post this here so that people know that I am dreadfully sorry. I've been banned by spamcop, which makes me feel like some sort of inhuman scum.

Mea culpa. Mea maxima culpa.
One week from today, ALL STORIES ARE FICTION begins.

The press has been rung, the contracts signed, the emails sent--and now I settle down and get comfortable with the idea that I'll be testing new material every week with live audiences.

Check that: not just material. Whole shows. I don't have the luxury of being a stand-up, so I can't start these pieces in two, three and five minute chunks. These have to be full-bodied stories, lectures and evenings that make it worth good people's time to come down to P.S. 122.

I can't wait to get started.

A very interesting piece by Felix Salmon on the ethics of blogging. Yes, everyone has written one of these pieces, so I'm skipping mine and just linking to his.

You also may be interested in music composed on a Nintendo GameBoy. Or perhaps not.

My name is Dave Louthan. I'm the guy who killed that mad cow.

Sunday, February 15, 2004

In May of 1946 Dr. Louis Slotin, a Manhattan Project scientist, died of severe radiation sickness caused by plutonium. Slotin was engaged in an experiment called tickling the dragon's tail in which two beryllium-coated plutonium hemispheres were brought together in close proximity. The combined mass of the two hemispheres equaled the critical mass required to initiate a fission chain-reaction; that is, if they touched. The idea was to come as close as possible without touching. Slotin was holding the top hemisphere with his left hand when the screw driver separating them slipped. The room was filled with a blue glow and a massive emission of neutrons.

Slotin immediately pulled the hemispheres apart but still received a fatal dose of radiation. He died nine agonizing days later. His left hand swelled up, developed severe blisters, and gangrene shortly after the incident. Doctors kept it packed in ice rather than amputating it. Slotin was thirty-five at the time of the tragic incident.

Saturday, February 14, 2004

Sometimes Tynes has the best lines.

I guess no one should be surprised, but this NYT article on Amazon reviewers makes me very glad that I've never engaged in such behavior. Ick.

Watched a movie last night without losing all coherence--the puppy is such an attention-seeking whore that it's been impossible up until now. It may also have been possible because it was Everyone Says I Love You, a bizarre Woody Allen musical. Now, I love Allen--he's a weakness of mine. I even love mediocre Allen. But's like they weren't even trying. The film meanders and sloughs along, stopping here, joking there, and nothing happens for the whole length of it while people sing in a spacey, lip-syncey kind of way. And at the end the main character says, "And that's the end. It's all so unbelievable, I had to write it down..." which is such bullshit that it actually made me laugh.

Compare this "weird" family to The Royal Tenenbaums--there's an erratic wealthy New York family.

And a happy Valentine's Day to you and yours, while we're at it.

Friday, February 13, 2004

"M&M's pack more tightly in your mouth than gumballs." Stories like this make me wish I'd pursued science more ardently.

Wednesday, February 11, 2004

Well, cat's out of the bag. More on the new project shortly.

Tuesday, February 10, 2004

The writers of the Cluetrain Manifesto break it down real simple-like:

What the Internet Is and
How to Stop Mistaking It
for Something Else.

It's clear and concise reading on the nature of the Net as a social compact found here.

Earlier in the week I posted pictures of the new addition, but here he is in his full glory:

His name is Baci. Specialties currently include fetch, sleeping, making small noises and chewing on approved objects. The person in the pink hat is his servant who attends his every last whim.
Good thinking by Dave Wiener on why Howard Dean is not a soap bar.

Necessary reading.

If no commentators have noted, or perhaps even noticed, this new spin on American military policy, it may be because they don't take Bush's unscripted remarks seriously. (It's just Bush, talking off the top of his head. No sense parsing the implications.) That in itself is quite a commentary on this president. But it's not clear that these particular remarks were unscripted. Bush used the same phrase—"a capacity to make a weapon"—three times; it was almost certainly a part of his brief. Either the statement means something—that we now reserve the right to wage pre-emptive war on a hostile power that has the mere capacity to make weapons of mass destruction—or it's empty blather. It's unclear which would be more unsettling.

Monday, February 09, 2004

Paris Hilton's book proposal is on the web. It's about what you'd expect...and contains life-changing rules like:

Never drink Diet Coke. Diet Coke is for fat people. Only drink real Coca-Cola. Or Red Bull. Hate champagne because that's what everyone expects you to love. Red Bull is the best party drink. You never get tired.

Especially if you do two lines of coke with each Red Bull, dear.

It's pretty remarkable--I remember when Paris only belonged to Page Six and us, the masses of New York, and now she belongs to the world. And to tell the truth, this memoir is a kind of death, because Paris is at her best on Page Six--briefly mentioned, smiling an enigmatic smile with impossibly bright teeth, laughing. When you read this proposal it becomes blazingly clear what she's really like, and it isn't very pretty at all, as it spoils the illusion. There's rarely been a glamorous person who more needs to NEVER, EVER SPEAK.

Call me silly, but I find the whole thing heartbreaking.

I've Been Trying To Increase My Animal's Longevity.

Saturday, February 07, 2004

Friday, February 06, 2004

Ladies and gentlemen, the most ridiculous end-user agreement on the internet is here.
Cities in the Snow

Thursday, February 05, 2004

Article on the industry of Google-optimizing that has sprung up now that the big G is used for 80% of internet searches.

Things are, frankly, a mess. We had torrential rains on Tuesday that flooded into the back of the apartment, bringing rainwater and SILT in under my desk and all over my electronics. It was a Back To Nature moment...we always think of our homes being indoor spaces, and not having any connection to the outdoor spaces that lurk just six or eight inches away. Suddenly having all this alien material inside my home was really shocking--and having it come up at my desk was incredibly annoying, as I had to tear the whole thing apart to dry the electronics and clean everything.

Could be worse--nothing seems to be permanently damaged, and now that the ice on a pipe has melted the runoff shouldn't come shooting into the house that way again. It's still amazing how you can totally lose momentum for an entire week because of a little rain.

Wednesday, February 04, 2004

I can't believe they finally completed the TW Center. Here's one of a gi-normous pile of articles on the subject, which gives some sense of the cash and scale involved.

Monday, February 02, 2004

An outstanding event: a man who creates albums that never existed, complete with covers and liner notes, and then distributes them through the flea markets of America. NYT story over here.

This is the actual Cold Mountain, in an image captured by the Cold Mountain webcam.

Just in the nick of time, someone has developed a method for piercing fish so that they can have lip rings and other baubles. Fortunately someone with even more time than me has interviewed the inventor of the process.

Hey kids! Straight from Revland comes this most excellent videogame walkthrough of IKEA as text-based video game:

__ __ ___ _______ ___
| | | |/ / | ____| / \
| | | ' / | |__ / ^ \
| | | < | __| / /_\ \
| | | . \ | |____ / _____ \
|__| |__|\__\ |_______| /__/ \__\


IKEA is a fully immersive, 3D environmental adventure that allows you to role-play the character of someone who gives a shit about home furnishings. In traversing IKEA, you will experience a meticulously detailed alternate reality filled with garish colors, clear-lacquered birch veneer, and a host of NON-PLAYER CHARACTERS (NPCs) with the glazed looks of the recently anesthetized.

Sunday, February 01, 2004

An index of outstanding aphorisms is here. Notables include:

If you suspect someone likes to do a lot of cocaine, don’t let them “borrow” your CDs.

Try not to get too depressed. There’s always something to look forward to. Keep alert, and sooner or later you’ll see someone slip and hurt themselves.

When it comes time to pick out that first tattoo, remember: it doesn’t matter how much you like that one comic book. There’s always a chance that eight years later someone will make a movie of it that stars Sylvester Stallone. And you’ll be fucked.

Wisdom for the ages!