I'm not going to pretend this post contains any deep truths orÂ world-changing ideasÂ or heck, any actual information, but -- lately I've been noticing a wee mini-trend of ridiculously named reporters:
Denisa R.Â Superville (writing a column called "City Living")
Helen Couture (writing about dumpster diving)
Rebecca Fairley Raney (who would make an excellent weathergirl)
And that's not even getting into the horde of absurdly named male meteorologists, as listed by McSweeney's and The... READ ON
I generally don'tÂ go toÂ the kind ofÂ gatherings where I might be asked for my opinion of Philip Roth's new book, Everyman -- I mean, I spent my weekend at Six Flags -- but, as I'm sure to be hanging out with my absurdly overeducated in-laws this summer, I thought I ought to prepare for such a question. Rather than, y'know, actually read the book, I came up with several strategies:
1. Announce that the book "is a great focal point for a broader discussion of Roth and his place in American... READ ON
I have been meaning to blog about Ze Frank, theÂ crackbaby lovechild of Jon Stewart and Greg Kinnear,Â for about as long as this blog has existed (which admittedly isn't long). Now the Times has beaten me to it -- and, again, because I am crazy busy, I'm going to let the article do most of the talking:
Like a lot of young adults, Mr. Frank, 34, has a Web site, zefrank.com. There, he documents elaborate and often ridiculous stunts of his own creation, like having two people on opposite sides of the... READ ON
I am crazy busy today, so I'm letting my friend AaronÂ do my work for me -- he just sent me this email and I had to share it with the rest of you, especially as you've already demonstrated interest in the audible-to-teenage-punks-only ringtone:
Today I stumbled across a story NPR did about [the ringtone] and they included a link to download the ringtone for free.
The ringtone is not actually the same tone as the device, and consequently it's more audible to adults (I can hear it well enough that it... READ ON
I just got the best piece of weight-loss spam I've ever seen. The headline was "If you like to taste but have an ugly waist..."Â I like my waist just fine, thanks, but I have to commend the authors of the email for their literary flair. Anything that brings poetry back into American life is good by me.
Speaking of weight-loss and spam, the Jan/Feb issue from this year covered them both: there was a very serious piece on fat vaccines, and an only-slightly-less-serious piece on 10 bizarre museums, one... READ ON
The smearing of Heather Mills McCartney -- okay, it's not really "smearing" if the tabs say you've been in hard-core German porn, and you have -- has left one-legged young girls bereft of a role model. May I nominate Virginia Hall, my favorite female spy this side of Mata Hari?Â Apparently, the CIAÂ has a book reviewer (what a desk job!), who says:Â
The Wolves at the Door does more than chronicle Hall's extraordinary career. Pearson gives vivid detail about Hall driving a crude ambulance... READ ON
Whenever I feel so sleep-deprived that I just. can't. go. any. further, I think of Randy Gardner -- not because he cheers me up, but because compared to himÂ I have no excuse for whining. As Gelf magazineÂ says:
Gardner holds the world record for sleep-deprivation. In 1965, as a high-school student, he went 265 hours without so much as a nap. In the past 41 years, no one has equaled his mark.
This wouldn't be a terribly difficult feat for an insomniac, but then Gardner isn't one of those:Â
Even... READ ON
The job market is tough for a lot of us, but apparently at least one segment of the population has its career search well in hand (or paw): dogs.
A year ago, Jada, a frisky black mutt, was living in a Florida pound, her days numbered. Today she commands hundreds of dollars an hour at some of Manhattan's most exclusive hotels and apartment buildings. Her fate turned on her newly gained ability to sniff out something reviled in New York these days: bedbugs. ... Dogs have long been partners in law... READ ON
As Slate points out today, the rich are different from you and me: They die more glamorously.
If you survive paycheck-to-paycheck, you can also rest easy about dying while fleeing paparazzi (Princess Diana); at the hand of a servant jealous of your other servants (Edmund Safra); at the hand of the president of your fan club (Selena); at the hand of a lunatic stalker (John Lennon); at the hand of an impatient heir (the royal family of Nepal); from a face lift (Olivia Goldsmith); in your Porsche, while drag... READ ON
Over on The Morning News, there's an article on how music soothes the savage beasts -- okay, not really savage. The author likes to sing to cows, and they like it right back. Apparently, music makes cows produce more milk.Â Judging by the two studies he cites, cows' tastes are as sedate as your parents': They don't like Lynyrd Skynyrd, but they do rock out to "Everybody Hurts" and (unsurprisingly) Beethoven's "Pastoral Symphony." For theÂ younger, hipper cow, however, here's a more up-tempo playlist:... READ ON
Yawning is so contagious that it can spread to dogs and monkeys.