Friday, December 27, 2002

I've said it before, and I'll say it again -- Brett Favre is a national treasure.

And here's Favre himself on the QB mojo.
Just before Christmas, Joe Strummer died of a heart attack at age 50. Here is an obituary from the Guardian and a rememberance from Billy Bragg. Here is an article on Strummer from the Washington Post, and a rememberance written by someone who knew him before he formed the Clash.

Saturday, December 21, 2002

Bigfoot has left the Building

The Seattle Times reports that Ray Wallace died on November 26th. According to Wallace's family members, he orchestrated the prank that created Bigfoot in 1958. He had asked a friend to carve 16-inch-long feet from alder-wood. Then he and his brother Wilbur slipped them on and created the first Bigfoot footprints as a prank. Wallace continued to milk the prank for years with films and photos he supposedly captured of the creature in the wild. Read the story here.

Friday, December 20, 2002

This Sunday's New York Times Book Review includes a review of 6 new graphic novels. The review is written by Nick Hornby, author of “High Fidelity” and “About a Boy.” You can read the review here.

Thursday, December 19, 2002

Turkish filmmakers have acquired the habit of stealing American films and TV series and remaking them with additional characters and "their own unique set of production values." For example, in Turist Omer Uzay Yolunda, better known as the Turkish Star Trek, Kaptan Kirk, Mr. Spak, and Omer face the menace of Profosor Krater, his assistant Nancy, and a Tarzan robot. Here's a review of the Turkish Star Trek from The Wave.

For more Turkish cinema, here are reviews of the Turkish:

Wizard of Oz,

Star Wars, and


Saturday, November 30, 2002

What do the original cast of Saturday Night Live, German idealist philosophers, and the British group called the Lunar Men have in common? Malcolm Gladwell explains in this New Yorker article.

Thursday, November 28, 2002

All five sources of TV news are now divisions of large conglomerates. In this New York Times column, Paul Krugman discusses the question: Will the economic interests of the media undermine objective news coverage?
About 120 million Americans don't vote. This Atlantic Monthly review of the book Where Have All The Voters Gone? discusses who these nonvoters are and why they don't vote.

Tuesday, November 26, 2002

The Wall Street Journal has discovered a new problem -- poor people don't pay enough taxes. The Washington Post's E. J. Dionne explains.

Wednesday, November 20, 2002

In this article from the New Yorker, Hendrik Hertzberg compares and contrasts the Windsor dynasty of Great Britain and the Bush dynasty of the U.S.

Tuesday, November 19, 2002

Will the United States go to war with Iraq? Slate calculates the odds with its Saddameter. As of November 19, 2002, the odds for an invasion are 56%.

Saturday, November 16, 2002

According to this column by Tom Friedman of the New York Times, the war in Afghanistan showed that "most NATO countries have fallen so far behind the U.S. in their defense spending and modernizations, they really can't fight alongside of us anymore". While NATO still exists, "The old NATO has been replaced as a military alliance — not by the expanded NATO but by a totally different NATO. The "new NATO" is made up of three like-minded English-speaking allies — America, Britain and Australia — with France as a partner for peace, depending on the war."

This article shows this new military alliance at work. It describes the blockade of Iraqi oil in the Persian Gulf by the Australian, British, and U.S. Navies.

Meanwhile, the U.S. Marines are training in Djibouti, a small nation in the Horn of Africa that used to be a French colony. This New York Times article describes a recent U.S. Marine amphibious warfare exercise there.

Wednesday, November 13, 2002

Ludwig van Beethoven wrote at least 849 compositions. While several hundred of these works have been recorded on one medium or another, there still remain hundreds of other works which have never been recorded. That's where the Unheard Beethoven comes in. Go to their website to download never-before-heard Beethoven compositions in MIDI and MP3 formats.

Friday, November 08, 2002

It's official. Brett Favre is a national treasure.
Almost all of the journalists and pundits predicted that the Democrats would retain control of the Senate in last Tuesday's election. Now that the election is over, the journalists and pundits are trying to figure out where they and the Democrats went wrong.

Here are election postmortems from:

E. J. Dionne,

Jonathan Alter,,

Talking Points Memo,

Paul Krugman, and

ABC's The Note.

Meanwhile, The Scrum looks at how the 2002 election results will affect the 2004 Presidential elections.

Tuesday, November 05, 2002

Please vote today. If you don't vote you can't complain for the next two years.

Here's the New Yorker's Hendrik Hertzberg on the election.

For results and comentary on the election try the blogs and TalkingPointsMemo.

Thursday, October 31, 2002

Today is Halloween, a holiday based on an ancient pagan ... uh, well, not really. explains here.

Here's another scary article. Paul Krugman of the New York Times explains why "incompetence is exactly what the people in charge want."

Wednesday, October 30, 2002

Jonathan Alter discusses whether Paul Wellstone's death will influence this year's election in this Newsweek article.

Slate's William Saletan reports on the Arkansas Senate race in articles here and here.

Monday, October 28, 2002

The death of Senator Paul Wellstone is a tragedy for Minnesota and the nation. Here are Wellstone remembrances from E. J. Dionne, David Broder, Paul Krugman, and Joshua Micah Marshall, and a selection of editorials on Wellstone from Minnesota newspapers.

Eric Alterman's weblog Altercation has several Wellstone remembrances. Alterman also discusses the lie being spread by conservative pundits that Coleman was running a clean and respectful campaign against Wellstone. As anyone who watched Minnesota TV over the last few months knows, "Coleman’s campaign was based almost completely on destroying Wellstone."

Many conservatives rushed to praise Wellstone, even Jesse Helms. In this column, Slate's Timothy Noah discusses why conservatives will miss Wellstone.

Politics continues without Wellstone. It looks like Walter Mondale will replace him on the DFL ticket. For Republicans, its back to business as usual. They've chosen Newt Gingrich to throw out the first lie of the Mondale/Coleman campaign. Joshua Marshall explains the truth here.

Monday, October 21, 2002

The midterm elections are a few weeks away. Larry Sabato, Director of the University of Virginia's Center for Politics, tracks all the Senate, House, and Gubernatorial races and makes predictions on a website called Larry Sabato's Crystal Ball Predictions.

Friday, October 18, 2002

Here are three articles about scientific research. First, this article from the New Scientist discusses Blu-Ray discs, which several electronics companies hope will replace DVD technology. Electronics companies are also researching SFFO technology, that one day may let you record, play back and erase five two-hour movies (4 gigabytes) on a three-centimetre disc. Finally, this Slate article discusses NASA's antigravity research.

Tuesday, October 15, 2002

Here's an article Malcolm Gladwell wrote for the New Yorker on auto safety. In the article he explains what a video of a gorilla at a basketball game and a torpedo factory have to do with auto safety. He also explains where American safety advocates went wrong.

Wednesday, October 09, 2002

The new book "Live from New York" is an oral history of "Saturday Night Live". Read's review of the book here.

Here's an excerpt from the review:

"Writer Alan Zweibel on his job interview with Michaels back in the '70s: "He says, 'How much money do you need to live?' I said, 'Well, I'm making $2.75 an hour at the deli -- match it.'"

Thursday, October 03, 2002

In 1900 the remains of an elaborate mechanical device were found in the wreckage of a Greek ship that sunk in the first century BC. This article from the Economist explains why scientists think the device was used to predict the positions of the sun, moon, and planets.

Tuesday, October 01, 2002

What's it like to backup a quarterback who hasn't missed a game since Sept. 27, 1992? Find out in this profile of Green Bay Packer quarterback Doug Pederson.

Monday, September 30, 2002

In "An Important Note from Neal Pollack", Neal Pollack wrote that "Neal Pollack is an icon: proposed running mate of Ralph Nader, husband of Nicole Kidman, role model for Rwandan boys. He is worshipped by the masses with such fervor that the city of Denver had to ban his book readings for fear of rioting. He has in excess of 500 lovers. Heralded, by himself, as the greatest living writer--this is Neal Pollack, the larger-than-life, egomaniacal, mythic hero of The Neal Pollack Anthology of American Literature. "

Read a review of The Neal Pollack Anthology of American Literature here. Read an interview with Neal Pollack here, and a profile of Neal Pollack here.

Neal Pollack has also started a blog where he makes fun of things like Christopher Hitchens leaving The Nation, and the French.

Thursday, September 26, 2002

John B. Judis and Ruy Teixeira wrote the New Republic article "Majority Rules", that I linked to a few weeks ago. The article discusses why they see a Democratic majority forming in the U.S. They have now written a book on the same subject called The Emerging Democratic Majority. Here's a review of the book from the blog Talking Points Memo.

Wednesday, September 25, 2002

In this column, Keith Olberman explains why he isn't surprised by fans attacking baseball players or that some baseball players smoke marijuana. However, he does wonder why no one has noticed that the New York Yankees are negotiating with the Tokyo Yomiuri Giants to bring Japan's best power hitter to the U.S.

Tuesday, September 24, 2002

Here's a New York Times article about journalists who have weblogs. They mention Altercation, Eric Alterman's blog on, and tell the story of Steve Olafson, who was fired from his job at the Houston Chronicle because of what he had written in his blog.

Monday, September 23, 2002

The success of the Harry Potter series has made it easier for authors like Michael Chabon and Neil Gaiman to write children's literature. This article from discusses their new books and other recent children's books.

Thursday, September 19, 2002

The Detroit Lions finished the 2001 season with a 9-7 record. In 2001 they only won 2 games. As the Lions prepare to play the Green Bay Packers at their new stadium, Ford Field, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel's Bob McGinn says the Lions are a franchise with no direction.

Wednesday, September 11, 2002

Did you know that the Earth has more than one moon? As this BBC article explains, Earth's second moon was discovered in 1986 and is named Cruithne. Recently an amateur astronomer discovered another object orbiting the Earth, which has been designated J002E2. Scientists aren't sure if it is a captured asteroid or a piece of space junk.

Monday, September 09, 2002

In his latest Tuesday Morning Quarterback column, Gregg Easterbrook explains why "Almost all sports predictions are wrong?" He's very convincing, which makes me wonder whether I should be happy that ESPN's Chris Mortensen is predicting that the Green Bay Packers will win the Super Bowl.

Sunday, September 01, 2002

I found Neil Stephenson's web page. He wants everyone to stop bothering him so he can finish his next novel. According to, that novel will be called Quicksilver, will be 926 pages long, and will be released in March, 2003.

Thursday, August 29, 2002

The new Queens of the Stone Age album, Songs for the Deaf, is finally out and its good. A limited edition DVD is included with the CD. See them live on September 18th in Minneapolis or on September 4th on The Late Show with David Letterman. Go to their official site for more QOTSA news. Here's an article from L.A. Weekly on the history of the band.

Meanwhile, it looks like Mudhoney are making a comeback.

Wednesday, August 28, 2002

The US Mint is releasing new quarters with designs provided by each of the 50 states. Five quarters are being released each year from 1999 to 2008, in the order that the states joined the union. Nineteen coins have been released so far.

Here's an article from Slate complaining that many of the designs are ugly. It includes a slideshow of some of the designs. has a website dedicated to news on the StateQuarters. Wisconsin's quarter will be released in 2004. Follow the links at the bottom of this page to see the nine finalists for the Wisconsin coin. Minnesota's quarter will be released in 2005, but no official discussions have begun on the Minnesota design.

Sunday, August 25, 2002

Let the Pigeons Loose: Blogenheimer can now be found on Google. Click here.
My favorite internet film critic is Mr. Filthy. His reviews are funny and insightful. You can read his reviews here.
Every 10 years, Sight and Sound magazine asks film critics and directors to name their 10 favorite films. The results are compiled into a list of the 10 best films of all time. This year 145 film critics, writers and academics, and 108 film directors voted. Citizen Kane was voted #1 by both the critics and the directors. View the complete results here.

Saturday, August 24, 2002

I write trivia questions for a company called NAQT, which sells them to Microsoft's Sports Trivia and other places. You can play Sports Trivia here in the MSN gaming zone.

Monday, August 19, 2002

A few years ago, law enforcement officials were afraid that Russian mobsters would become a big problem in the United States. But "large-scale, highly structured Russian groups rivaling those of La Cosa Nostra, . . . have yet to materialize in this country". As this New York Times article explains, one reason is that Russian mobsters don't trust each other.

Sunday, August 18, 2002

Follow this link to watch a kung fu action movie using Flash animation. It takes a while to load, but it's worth it.

The same people, who seem to be called "ziao ziao", have also made a first person shooter game that reminds me of a John Woo movie.

Thursday, August 15, 2002

For some real computer fun, click here.
In this DVD review, Slate's Bryan Curtis suggests skipping the new Fellowship of the Ring DVD, and waiting until the Platinum Series Extended Edition is released in November. He also calls the new Cat People DVD "perhaps the worst film ever to arrive on DVD with a director's commentary."
I would not advise you to go to law school. It's a mistake I won't make again. But if you must, it might be a good idea to take the advice of Slate's Dahlia Lithwick in her Letter to a Young Law Student.

Tuesday, August 13, 2002

One of the signs that football season is approaching is the return of my favorite football column, Tuesday Morning Quarterback. This year TMQ has left Slate and moved to ESPN's page 2. In this installment TMQ discusses offseason low-lights including Ryan Leaf's career quarterback rating, Deion Sander's lake, and the top 3 transactions of the year.

Thursday, August 08, 2002

Greil Marcus writes a column for called Real Life Rock Top 10. In the exerpt below from a recent column, Marcus discusses why an annoying Subway commercial shows that "finally, George W. Bush is making himself felt in culture."

"3) Subway commercial for Dijon Horseradish Melt (Fox Sports Net, July 13)

One "Jim" ("a Dennis Miller-type of guy who tells it like it is," says Subway publicist Les Winograd) pulls up to a burger joint in a car full of buddies. He's about 40, tall, well-exercised: "Turkey breast, ham, bacon, melted cheese, Dijon horseradish sauce," he says in the drive-through, exuding an aura of Supermanship all out of proportion to the situation. "That's, like, not on our menu," says the young, pudgy, confused person taking orders. "It's not only not on your menu," Jim says, "it's not on your radar screen!" "Do we have a radar screen?" the clerk asks a supervisor as Jim peels out. "Think I made that burger kid cry?" Jim says to his pals, all of them now ensconced in a Subway with the new Select specials in front of them.

It seems plain that, finally, George W. Bush is making himself felt in culture. The commercial takes Bush's sense of entitlement -- which derives from his lifelong insulation from anything most people eat, talk about, want or fear, and which is acted out by treating whatever does not conform to his insulation as an irritant -- and makes it into a story that tries to be ordinary. But the story as the commercial tells it is too cruel, its dramatization of the class divisions Bush has made into law too apparent. The man smugly laughing over embarrassing a kid is precisely Bush in Paris attempting to embarrass a French-speaking American reporter for having the temerity to demonstrate that he knew something Bush didn't. (Real Americans don't speak French.) Even someone responsible for putting this talisman on the air may have flinched at the thing once it was out there in the world at large, functioning as public discourse, as politics -- the last time I saw the spot, the final punchline had been dropped."
When they took office, George Bush's administration was full of M.B.A.s and successful businessmen. Whether you agreed with them or not, they seemed to know what they were doing. But lately the Bush team's aura of competence has begun to erode. In this Washington Monthly article, Joshua Micah Marshall discusses "Why does the myth of Bush administration competence persist after ample evidence has emerged to show that it simply isn't true?"

Monday, August 05, 2002

You can now email me by clicking on the Email Blogenheimer link below the archives list.

Wednesday, July 31, 2002

Raymond Chandler's books have been reissued in new editions this summer, causing new articles on Chandler to appear. In this Salon article, Allen Barra discusses Chandler's place in American literature. The official Raymond Chandler website is here.

Chandler had a knack for turning a phrase. Some examples:

"I needed a drink, I needed a lot of life insurance, I needed a vacation, I needed a home in the country. What I had was a coat, a hat and a gun." Farewell, My Lovely (Chapter 34)


"From thirty feet away she looked like a lot of class. From ten feet away she looked like something made up to be seen from thirty feet away."--The High Window (Chapter 5)

For more examples, go to the Chandlerisms web page.

Monday, July 29, 2002

The New York Times' Maureen Dowd thinks this year's election for governor of California is boring. But in 2006 she predicts there will be a much more interesting race between actors Rob Reiner and Arnold Schwarzenegger. Prepare yourself for the epic battle of Meathead vs. the Terminator
President Bush's chief political adviser, Karl Rove, argues that Bush's victory is part of the formation of a new Republican majority. The authors of this New Republic article think Rove has it backwards. They see the formation of a new Democratic Majority in the United States.

Thursday, July 25, 2002

So let's say you are someone who really liked The Lord of the Rings and you have some extra time on your hands. How do you fill that time? Well you could make your own custom Lord of the Rings Fisher Price People. Of course, if you really have a lot of extra time you could dramatize The Lord of the Rings in Lego.

Wednesday, July 24, 2002

I'm not a big fan of New York Times columnist William Safire, but this is a very interesting column. Safire gives evaluations of various spies and intelligence agencies around the world based on his sources in the intelligence community. For example, "In the Middle East, individual Spook of the Year is Gen. Saeb Khier of Jordan, though no panel member is willing to say why."

Tuesday, July 23, 2002

The Royal Tenenbaums has been issued as a Criterion Editition DVD. This Slate review of the Criterion Edition discusses the DVD's special features including a browsing feature that lets you examine the director's favorite sight gags, an episode-length parody of Charlie Rose, and footage of one of the film's minor characters entertaining the crew by twirling plates.
Do you remember the movie Bullitt? This Steve McQueen movie was filmed in 1968 in San Francisco, and is probably best remembered for its car chase scenes. Here's a web site created by someone who really remembers Bullitt. It shows photos of places featured in the film as they appeared in 1968, and 31 years later in 1999.

Monday, July 22, 2002

Here's another conservative commentator who sees disaster for the Republicans in the 2002 elections. In his article Why Republicans Should Be Afraid The Weekly Standard's David Brooks explains that "a sharp rise in the percentage of people who say the country is on the wrong track," means that "incumbents, and the party perceived to be in power, suffer."

Sunday, July 21, 2002

I've seen several columns by middle-of-the-road and left wing writers on why the recent corporate scandals may cause problems for the Republicans. But here is a column by a conservative writer that predicts "a catastrophe for Republicans," that "will probably destroy this administration." The problem for the President is Who Bought Bush’s Stock?

Saturday, July 20, 2002

Its late July, so its time to start thinking about Green Bay Packer football. Training camp is just around the corner. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel 's season previews begin with a look at the Packers wide receivers.
Why is John Madden the "big white male Oprah"? What is "the sports-announcing equivalent of Bill Mazeroski's home run in the seventh inning to defeat the Yankees in 1960''? The answers to these questions can be found in this New York Times magazine article on sportscasting.

Monday, July 15, 2002

How did George W. Bush turn a $606,000 investment of borrowed money into $14.9 million? As Paul Krugman writes in this New York Times article, he did it through "the conversion of institutions traditionally insulated from politics into tools for rewarding your friends and reinforcing your political control."

Thursday, July 11, 2002

Here's another Nicholas Kristof anthrax article from the New York Times. Someone made fake anthrax attacks in 1997 and in 1999. Kristof suggests that it may be the same person who made the real anthrax attacks in 2001, and that it may be Mr. Z.
I will be traveling for the next few days, so there won't be any updates until next week. But before I go, here's a link to one of the strangest articles I've found on the internet. The article, from The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, is about a group called "Diggers of the Underground Planet," who explore the tunnels under Moscow. Here's an excerpt:

"Under Bolshaya Pirogovskaya Street the Diggers discovered a deserted laboratory with an old telephone, chemical-protection suits hanging on the walls, and old-fashioned respiration masks. The room appeared to have been abandoned in a hurry. In adjacent rooms there were huge flasks, and the floor was covered with crystals."

Wednesday, July 10, 2002

Mission of Burma were before my time. They broke up in 1983 and never became well known outside the northeast. I recently discovered the band after reading about them in the book Our Band Could Be Your Life by Michael Azerrad. (read the Onion's review here) Although Mission of Burma were only around for 4 years and only recorded 21 songs, they influenced many bands that followed them. They never sold a lot of records, but it seems everyone who bought one of their records started a band.

Now almost 20 years later, Mission of Burma are undergoing a resurrgence. This article on Mission of Burma from Slate, discusses their history, their resurgence, and why they deserve to be remembered.
I'm a big fan of bicycle racing and especially the Tour de France. Here's a good article from the New Yorker about the Tour de France, Lance Armstrong, and what it takes to be a professional cyclist.

Monday, July 08, 2002

Here's a link to a website that teaches you how to spin a pen on your thumb.
Yesterday I posted a link to Jonathan Lethem's review of Spiderman. This caused my friend Michael to email me a link to this article Lethem wrote on novelist Philip K. Dick.

Sunday, July 07, 2002

Here's a good review of the Spiderman movie from the London Review of Books. It's written by Jonathan Lethem, the author of Motherless Brooklyn, and other novels.
There's very little Green Bay Packer news in July, but you can find good articles on new Packer wide receiver Terry Glenn here and here. The articles are from ESPN the magazine.
Last spring, the New York Times sent veteran political reporter R. W. Apple, Jr. to Wisconsin. Apple calls Wisconsin his second favorite state. So far, he has written two articles from his trip. His article on driving across the state is called Wisconsin's Beguiling Back Roads. He also wrote an article on bratwurst, which he calls "The Meat That Made Sheboygan Famous". (You need to register to view NYT articles on-line. It's free. If you don't want to register email me and I will email you the article.)
Hello, welcome to my weblog. I will use this blog to post links to interesting articles on different topics.

The first topic is anthrax. You remember anthrax. It was in all the papers a few months ago, but we haven't heard much about it lately. Here are a few articles that might explain why.

First, here's a column by Nicholas Kristof of the New York Times accusing the FBI of a "lackadaisical ineptitude in pursuing the anthrax killer". According to Kristof, "Some in the biodefense community think they know a likely culprit, whom I'll call Mr. Z." Mr. Z has "close ties to the U.S. Defense Department, the C.I.A. and the American biodefense program." (You need to register to view NYT articles on line. It's free. If you don't want to register email me and I will email you the article.)

Here is a longer article by the Chair of the Federation of American Scientists Working Group On Biological Weapons on the same subject. She writes that:

"nearly everyone who has followed the situation closely-knowledgeable biodefense insiders, investigative reporters (who have turned up a great many pertinent facts that have not yet been reported), and interested outsiders like myself--knows who a likely perpetrator is. The FBI continues to claim that it has no suspects and few clues."

The FBI says in this Newsweek article, that they have "no evidence implicating" Mr. Z and are worried he might be another Richard Jewell.