Monday, October 31, 2005

Nicholas Lemann explains how a leak became the Valerie Plame scandal in this New Yorker article.

Sunday, October 30, 2005

Burritophile is a website for anyone who likes a good burrito. You can find reviews of burritos from around the United States, a list of the top places for burritos in the country, and a burrito blog.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Elizabeth Hickock built this jello model of San Francisco, including the Bay Bridge.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

While doing a google search I discovered that my friend's blog, Girl Detective, is available in French as Detective de Fille. Now thanks to Jack Vinson, a commenter on Girl Detective, and Reverso Online, I've learned that the French word for Blogenheimer is Blogenheimer.

Monday, October 24, 2005

Time magazine recently published their list of the 100 Best novels since 1923. In this Morning News article, Matthew Baldwin presents dissenting opinions of several of these novels from one-star reviews he found on Some examples:

"The Catcher in the Rye (1951) J.D. Salinger

“So many other good books…don’t waste your time on this one. J.D. Salinger went into hiding because he was embarrassed.”

1984 (1948) George Orwell

“Don’t listen to anyone who tries to distinguish between “serious” works of literature like this one and allegedly “lesser” novels. The distinction is entirely illusory, because no novels are “better” than any others, and the concept of a “great novel” is an intellectual hoax. This book isn’t as good as Harry Potter in MY opinion, and no one can refute me. Tastes are relative!”

Sunday, October 23, 2005

From Homer to Gogol to Hemingway, Stuart Kelly tells the stories of the missing masterpieces of Western literature.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Colonel Lawrence Wilkerson was Colin Powell's chief of staff until last January. In this Financial Times article Wilkerson explains what he saw as a member of the Bush administration:

“What I saw was a cabal between the vice-president of the United States, Richard Cheney, and the secretary of defense, Donald Rumsfeld, on critical issues that made decisions that the bureaucracy did not know were being made.

“Now it is paying the consequences of making those decisions in secret, but far more telling to me is America is paying the consequences.”

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

"Most Japanese consumers can get an Internet connection that's 16 times faster than the typical American DSL line for a mere $22 per month," while "in France, you can get super-fast DSL, unlimited phone service and 100 TV channels for a mere $38 a month." S. Derek Turner explains how internet access in the U.S. is falling behind the rest of the industrialized world in this Salon article.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

The CommonCensus Map Project is redrawing the map of the United States based on your voting, to show how the country is organized culturally, as opposed to traditional political boundaries. It shows how the country is divided into 'spheres of influence' between different cities at the national, regional, and local levels. View the full-size map here.

The CommonCensus Sports Map Project shows the team affiliations of sports fans. View the map of NFL team affiliations here. (The map shows some surprising data from Mississippi and Alabama.)

Monday, October 17, 2005

From Bob Mould to William Shatner, BeatnikPad has compiled a list of Cool Musicians Who Blog.

Sunday, October 16, 2005

In this TomDispatch article, Nick Turse lists the Casualties of the Bush Administration, "the seemingly endless and ever-growing list of beleaguered administrators, managers, and career civil servants who quit their posts in protest or were defamed, threatened, fired, forced out, demoted, or driven to retire by Bush administration strong-arming. Often, this has been due to revulsion at the President's policies -- from the invasion of Iraq and negotiations with North Korea to the flattening of FEMA and the slashing of environmental standards -- which these women and men found to be beyond the pale."

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

This New York Times article explains that Stephen Colbert is leaving The Daily Show to start his own show called "The Colbert Report." The show will be a parody of cable news pundit shows like "The O'Reilly Factor."

"Though not intended to feature a dead-on impersonation of Mr. O'Reilly, "The Colbert Report" will have the feel of "The O'Reilly Factor," with an outspoken host delivering blunt opinions, some of them illustrated by graphics - Mr. O'Reilly calls them "talking points" - that are the equivalent of captions for the impaired, emphasizing what the host is trying to communicate.

"Like O'Reilly, we'll grab the most important word out of every sentence," Mr. Colbert said. " 'The,' for example. Also, I'll say, 'I'm angry,' and the graphic will read, 'Colbert angry.' "

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

According to this Washington Post article, the Republicans are having trouble finding good candidates for the 2006 elections:

"With an unpopular war in Iraq, ethical controversies shadowing top Republicans in the House and Senate, and President Bush suffering the lowest approval ratings of his presidency, the waters look less inviting to politicians deciding whether to plunge into an election bid. Additionally, some Capitol Hill operatives complain that preoccupied senior White House officials have been less engaged in candidate recruitment than they were for the 2002 and 2004 elections."

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Al Gore gave a speech on democracy and the media Wednesday at the We Media conference in New York. His speech begins:

"I came here today because I believe that American democracy is in grave danger. It is no longer possible to ignore the strangeness of our public discourse. I know that I am not the only one who feels that something has gone basically and badly wrong in the way America's fabled "marketplace of ideas" now functions.

How many of you, I wonder, have heard a friend or a family member in the last few years remark that it's almost as if America has entered "an alternate universe"?

I thought maybe it was an aberration when three-quarters of Americans said they believed that Saddam Hussein was responsible for attacking us on September 11, 2001. But more than four years later, between a third and a half still believe Saddam was personally responsible for planning and supporting the attack."

You can read the whole speech here. (Thanks, Mike!)

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

According to this New York Times article, Robert Ryang is a film editor’s assistant who "entered a contest for editors’ assistants sponsored by the New York chapter of the Association of Independent Creative Editors. The challenge? Take any movie and cut a new trailer for it — but in an entirely different genre. Only the sound and dialogue could be modified, not the visuals, he said.

Mr. Ryang chose “The Shining,” Stanley Kubrick’s 1980 horror film starring Jack Nicholson and Shelley Duvall. In his hands, it became a saccharine comedy — about a writer struggling to find his muse and a boy lonely for a father. Gilding the lily, he even set it against “Solsbury Hill,” the way-too-overused Peter Gabriel song heard in comedies billed as life-changing experiences, like last year’s “In Good Company.”

Mr. Ryang won the contest. You can watch his very funny trailer here.

Monday, October 03, 2005

As explained in this New York Times article, Dr. Barry J. Marshall and Dr. J. Robin Warren won the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine today. They discovered H. pylori, a bacterium that causes stomach inflammation, ulcers, and cancer. To prove the theory, Dr. Marshall conducted an experiment on himself.

"He swallowed a gastroscope tube to allow another doctor to look at his stomach and take several biopsies. These procedures and examinations were needed to document that Dr. Marshall had no H. pylori in his stomach and did not suffer from gastritis or another abnormality.

Dr. Marshall waited 10 days for the areas that had been biopsied to heal and then swallowed a pure culture of H. pylori. A week later, he had an unusual sensation of fullness after eating supper and felt ill. Friends told him that his breath was "putrid."

Ten days after the onset of symptoms, Dr. Marshall underwent the first of an additional three gastroscopies. Biopsies obtained through them showed that he had developed gastritis or inflammation of the stomach, but he did not continue the experiment long enough to develop an ulcer. His symptoms quickly disappeared after treatment."