Franz Ferdinand (the band) came through Boston a couple of weeks ago, and even though the band was apparently named after Archduke Franz Ferdinand (the racehorse), the concert got me thinking about Franz Ferdinand (the actual archduke). He is, of course, most famous for being shot "“ his assassination in 1914 sparked World War I "“ but I find his personal life more intriguing than his role in international affairs. As a young man, he went to a dance and fell instantly in love with one of the... READ ON
Great. David starts the day talking about theÂ NobelÂ Peace Prize and I'm all like "hot chicks!" Thanks, David; I feel so very intellectual.Â
So according to a new study in Nature, if you show a macho man a picture of one of the aforementioned hot chicks, he becomes a blubbering idiot:
Researchers at the University of Leuven in Belgium asked men to play an ultimatum game, in which they split a certain amount of money between them. High-testosterone men drove the hardest bargain — unless... READ ON
When I am 85 (or whatever the life expectancy is by the time I'm old enough to worry about it) and lying on my deathbed with my past flashing before my eyes, one of the highlights I will surely see will be the night I went swimming in the stars. Not under them, in them. I was still in college, camped out with friends in a rickety rented beach house in the Outer Banks, on the coast of North Carolina. After a barbecue one night, someone got the idea to run fully clothed into the ocean "“... READ ON
I tried to come up with a witty title taken from a Stones song ("Don't Lie to Me?" "Just My Imagination?") but I really couldn't, because I was too flabbergasted by the fact that Mick. Jagger. Is. Making. A. Sitcom.
And here's the really amazing part: It sounds like it might actually be funny. The premise: Donal Logue, the lovable schlub from The Tao of Steve, is a resentful janitor who decides to take revenge on a greedy celebrity by robbing him blind, with... READ ON
A few years ago, KaavyaÂ Viswanathan, a hard-driving Indian teenage girl who wanted to go to Harvard, scored a huge book deal at age 17 for "How Opal Mehta Got Kissed,Â Got Wild, and Got a Life," a sparkling little novel about"¦ a hard-driving Indian teenage girl who wants to go to Harvard. As documented by the Harvard Crimson this week, it seems that K.V., now a sophomore at her beloved university, didn't take her inspiration solely from her own short life "“ she also apparently... READ ON
Speaking of Einstein, if you have any interest in putting words in his mouth, check out this new InternetÂ playthingÂ -- you can take the famous photo of him at the chalkboard and quite literally rewrite history, changing his scribblings from R(subscript)IK = O2 to whatever fanciful text you desire. I know what my Christmas cards will look like this... READ ON
This ought to interest the six people in the world who still find "dumb Polack" jokes funny "“ it turns out Poles are smarter than all the other Europeans, save the Germans and the Dutch. A British professor recently surveyed all the nations on the Continent and found that those three nations had the highest average IQs (107 for Germany and the Netherlands, 106 for Poland), while the poor Serbians clocked in last at 89.
I'm not sure the nutty professor's work is... READ ON
I have no doubt that NASCAR-flavored bacon will be a big hit with red-state folks, but what about those of us in the blue states who love a good cheeseburger "“ and also were moved by the "little tortured baby cow" episode of South Park? What are ethically-minded carnivores supposed to eat? IfÂ scientists have their way, we'll soon be chowing down on test-tube hamburgers. Researchers have already been able to grow mouse and frog meat from stem cells in Petri dishes "“ the... READ ON
Orson Welles' last role was the voice of "Unicron" in the 1986 Transformers movie.