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.