Wednesday, October 29, 2003

Michael Dirda discusses the humor of Gary Larson in this review of "The Complete Far Side."

Tuesday, October 28, 2003

Michael Kinsley explains "One Reason Not to Like Bush" in this Washington Post column.

Monday, October 27, 2003

The Internet offers access to incredible amounts of information, but a lot of information is missing because most books are not available on the Internet. is trying to solve this problem with a new feature called "Search Inside the Book," which allows you to search the text of more than 120,000 books. Gary Wolf explains how Search Inside the Book works and discusses other projects designed to bring books to the Internet in this article from Wired magazine. Steven Johnson also discusses Search Inside the Book in this Slate article.

Thursday, October 23, 2003

Yesterday's amusing bass guitar website reminded me of another funny music website. Follow this link to Rock and Roll Confidential's Hall of Douchebags. It's a gallery of over 500 photos of rock bands with snide commentary added. Click on the pictures in the index to begin your tour. You will see the three great cliches of rock band photos: brick walls, chain link fences, and railroad tracks.

Wednesday, October 22, 2003

BunnyBass maintains the Archive of Amusing Bass/Guitars. According to the site, "some may just be weird-looking, some are somewhat odd-but-pleasant, and still others may make you almost physically ill." You can browse through all 62 pages from this index. Some of the more unusual basses are the Watermelon Bass, the Big Wood U.S.A., the Stoneman Nude, and what can only be called the Wangcaster.

Tuesday, October 21, 2003

This Boston Globe article examines General Wesley Clark's record during the war in Kosovo.

Monday, October 20, 2003

This New Yorker article by Seymour Hersch explains how and why the Bush administration's prewar assessment of Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction was wrong.

Sunday, October 19, 2003

Here's a review of Al Franken's new book from The Oregonian newspaper. The reviewer, a conservative columnist, writes that the book left her "utterly shocked" because it made her realize that,

" The leaders we conservatives have trusted have taken advantage of our trust to line the pockets of the wealthy and powerful, and it's time we rose up and drove out these greedy liars. They've hijacked and distorted our belief system for their own gain, and in doing so are destroying our credibility. "

Thursday, October 16, 2003

Here are two Slate articles on rock music. First, Alex Abramovich wonders "What might School of Rock tell us about the state of rock 'n' roll?" Second, Chris Suellentrop takes a look at the career of R.E.M.

Wednesday, October 15, 2003

This article from Reform Judaism magazine explains "How the Jews Created the Comic Book Industry."

Tuesday, October 14, 2003

"Mitsi Kato's fifth-grade class at Roosevelt Elementary in San Leandro consented to a simple experiment: We will play a career-spanning selection of Radiohead songs; the kids, equipped with Sharpies and blank sheets of paper, will simply draw whatever the music suggests to them. We don't even give them the name of the band. They don't know anything about Radiohead, the mountain of criticism, the mythology. Their thoughts and interpretations are pure, unsullied, literally unique.

They are also extremely bizarre."

The experiment's results are reported in this article from the East Bay Express.

Monday, October 13, 2003

Frank Rich sees the California recall election as Disneyland with an Audio-Animatronic Candidate in this New York Times column.

Sunday, October 12, 2003

The second season of the British TV show "The Office" premiered tonight on the BBC America cable network. The first episode show was as funny and excruciating as last season. Here are reviews of the show from the Boston Globe, New York Times and USA Today. The New York Times also has this interview with Ricky Gervais, the show's co-creator and star.

Thursday, October 09, 2003

Thomas Pynchon will be a guest voice on The Simpsons next season according to this interview with Al Jean, the show's executive producer.

Wednesday, October 08, 2003

Angle-Grinder Man calls himself "the world's first wheel-clamp and speed camera vigilante cum subversive superhero philanthropist entertainer type personage." He wears a homemade blue and gold superhero costume and offers free wheel-clamp removal to stranded motorists in London. Read more about him in this Reuters article, this New York Times article, or at the Angle-Grinder Man website.

Tuesday, October 07, 2003

General Wesley Clark explains what went wrong in Iraq in this article from the New York Review of Books.

Monday, October 06, 2003

Here's a game called The Office Space: Surviving ‘til Vacation. Click launch to load the game.

The rules are simple:

1. Finish your work by collecting folders.
2. Avoid the supervisors.

Sunday, October 05, 2003

Jonathan Chait discusses his hatred of President George W. Bush in this article from the New Republic. Chait writes that he hates Bush because he thinks "his policies rank him among the worst presidents in U.S. history." Chait also admits that he hates Bush for more personal reasons: "He reminds me of a certain type I knew in high school--the kid who was given a fancy sports car for his sixteenth birthday and believed that he had somehow earned it." Chait doesn't think that he's the only American who hates Bush. He quotes Pollster Geoff Garin who says hatred of Bush is "as strong as anything I've experienced in 25 years now of polling."

Several conservatives, such as David Brooks in this New York Times column, have responded that the hatred Chait discusses is a "threat to democracy." Brooks ignores Chait's policy differences with Bush, and conveniently downplays conservative hatred of President Clinton.

Chait responds to Brooks in this article.

Thursday, October 02, 2003

The Original Illustrated Catalog Of ACME Products includes "information and pictures of all ACME products, specialty divisions, and services featured in Warner Bros. cartoons from 1935 to 1964." The catalog includes everything from ACME Anvils, to the ACME straight-jacket ejecting bazooka, to the ACME do-it-yourself tornado kit.

Wednesday, October 01, 2003

Bruce Sterling discusses Ten Technologies That Deserve to Die in this article from Technology Review.