Wednesday, December 29, 2004

In this post from his blog "The Big Picture," Barry L. Ritholtz examines the music industry's new pricing tactic of offering both "stripped down" and "deluxe" versions of CDs.

Tuesday, December 28, 2004

Digital Globe has aerial photos of the damage caused in Sri Lanka by the December 26th tsunami, including his view of the tsunami striking land and these before and after views of the Sri Lankan beach.

Monday, December 27, 2004

On December 26th a magnitude 9 earthquake struck off the west coast of northern Sumatra. The earthquake created a tsunami that spread across the Bay of Bengal. This US Geologic Survey page is the preliminary report on the earthquake. This NOAA page shows an animated Quicktime movie of the tsunami that followed the earthquake. This page shows a shorter animated gif movie of the tsunami.

Sunday, December 26, 2004

Admiral Bob Inman served as director of the National Security Agency, vice director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, director of Naval Intelligence, and deputy director of the Central Intelligence Agency. In this Slate interview, Inman answers questions about the 9/11 intelligence failures, the Echelon Project, Donald Rumsfeld, and William Casey.

Wednesday, December 22, 2004

David Foster Wallace discusses the question, “Is it all right to boil a sentient creature alive just for our gustatory pleasure?” in his Gourmet magazine article "Consider the Lobster." You can access the article here as a PDF file.

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

Dave Eggers discusses the history of Monty Python's Flying Circus in this New Yorker article that previews Eric Idle's new Broadway show Spamalot based on Monty Python and the Holy Grail.

Monday, December 20, 2004

Recently I've discovered some interesting blogs about books and reading. So far my favorite literature blog is Conversational Reading. This post from Conversational Reading explains how to know When You Have Too Many Books.

Sunday, December 19, 2004

From The Village People in Can't Stop the Christmas Music—On Ice! to Noam Chomsky: Deconstructing Christmas, National Lampoon came up with some funny ideas for their list of The 10 Least Successful Holiday Specials of All Time. Unfortunately all these made-up shows pale before the real and unbelievably bad Star Wars Holiday Special.

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Todd Gitlin explains Why the Democrats Lost in this Columbia Political Review article. Michael Tomasky looks at the future of the Democratic Party in this American Prospect article.

Monday, December 13, 2004

As he did last year, Fimoculous is compiling his "List of Bests of the Year" in categories such as film, books, and music.

Thursday, December 09, 2004

Tim Hunkin discusses the history of safes and safecracking in this illustrated lecture.

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

Virtual Bubblewrap - Pop bubblewrap online.

Monday, December 06, 2004

The announcement that the artifacts from King Tut's tomb will return to the United States next year inspired Steve Martin to write this New York Times column to set the record straight about King Tut and "the silly song" Martin wrote about him:

"It does strike me as ironic that the song has become the standard reference work on the subject of King Tut. Many of the lines in the song are now believed to be fact. In this article I should - as a serious scholar - set the record straight:

King Tut was not "born in Arizona."

He did not live in a "condo made of stone-a."

King Tut did not "do the monkey," nor did he "move to Babylonia."

King Tut was not a honky.

He was not "buried in his jammies."

The song does, however, make a valid assertion that scholars still regard as a breakthrough: King Tut was, as explained in the song, "an Egyptian."

Sunday, December 05, 2004

This New Yorker article discusses the differences in how well doctors treat the same diseases. It shows the difference between average cystic fibrosis treatment and excellent cystic fibrosis treatment. It also discusses why information on differences in the quality of medical care is almost never made public.

Thursday, December 02, 2004

Wimblehack is a competition to determine the country's Worst Campaign Journalist. This year's winner is Elisabeth Bumiller of the New York Times. Matt Taibbi explains why Bumiller won in this New York Press article.

Wednesday, December 01, 2004

Merriam-Webster released their list of the Top 10 Words of the Year. The list is drawn from the most researched words on Merriam-Webster's Web sites.

2004's top word is Blog, which has the following definition:

"Blog noun [short for Weblog] (1999) : a Web site that contains an online personal journal with reflections, comments, and often hyperlinks provided by the writer."

Follow this link to see the Top 10 Words of the Year.