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April 27, 2005


Hot dang! New Murakami story in the New Yorker, via Wood s lot.

April 25, 2005

tossing salad

Casting Off Cookies?

Elmo and Zoe are on an exercise routine. Singing vegetables and talking fruit have invaded the neighborhood. Miles has a new song. It is about broccoli. And, darkest of all, Cookie Monster has been stripped of his piles of quickly and loudly consumed chocolate-chip cookies.

Cookie Monster's gluttonous binges mirrored the insatiable furball inside each of us young viewers and eventually elicited an innate recognition of "too much" — an understanding much more powerful when arrived at personally. If Cookie Monster is now learning lessons of moderation in our stead, we'll have to learn our own lessons elsewhere.

No doubt I'm but one among many former children mourning Cookie Monster's diminished id, but the most frustrating part of this moderately tragic turn of events is that the Children's Television Workshop already had a perfectly righteous Captain Vegetable with his very own catchy theme song.

April 23, 2005


Among the guilty pleasures I may one day have to account for, I admit to being a regular reader of "Hints From Heloise." But the April 17 column in the Comics section reached a low-water mark. "Mark in Philadelphia" suggested that readers use pencils to fill in crossword puzzles. That way, Mark triumphantly declared, you can erase your answers without messing up the puzzle.

I can accept a certain amount of folksiness, some backwoods simplicity and a fair degree of low-tech common sense from Heloise. But this "hint" is a large step in the direction of devolution of the human species. It's on a par with suggesting that we use spoons rather than forks to eat our soup.

-- Donald Evans

Seen in the Washington Post.

Uh, hello? It's NegroPlease.com for you

Uh, hello? It's NegroPlease.com for you
Originally uploaded by allaboutgeorge.

April 22, 2005

Dinosaur Jr reunion

Holy Sh*t! Dinosaur Jr.?! | Ask MetaFilter

I remember reading an interview with Lou Barlow a few years back where he said his dream was to play on SNL and behead J Mascis with his guitar before killing himself live on TV.

songwriters need to dig themselves

One day I walked down Broadway in New York and where Broadway crosses 52nd street there's a drugstore that has a black, plate glass window. Very clearly you can see your reflection in it, if you are of the nature to seek out your reflection in drug store windows. So, anyway I look and Pow! there I am, so I was shocked, I hadn't seen myself in about a year. So I was you know, truth be told, I was digging myself for about 45 seconds, an intense dig. When this bird that was perched overhead, like total disregard for me, just, he defecated on me. I don't know if this has ever happened to you but if it has, you know that it is virtually impossible to maintain your cool under those circumstances. Right? And all I can think of, you know how thoughts raise through your mind in moments of crisis, all I can think of is "there goes a happy bird". And then I'm fantasizing, saying : 'can you imagine this bird, sort of floating above the city of New York for a week, looking for a place to land, like saving up.' Don't dig yourself.

Simon And Garfunkel Concerts or TV appearances with spoken introduction to the songs in RealAudio.

April 20, 2005

Everyone knows now

Everyone knows now
Originally uploaded by megnut.

I wanted to make sure all randomWalks readers knew.

April 19, 2005

Pope Palpatine?

Pope Palpatine?
Originally uploaded by TheBrad.

Where is nedlog's popemobile poem?

you can't bite your own teeth

What to Tell Children About God by Alan Watts.

God also likes to play hide-and-seek, but because there is nothing outside God, He has no one but himself to play with. But He gets over this difficulty by pretending that He is not Himself. This is His way of hiding from Himself. He pretends that He is you and I and all the people in the world, all the animals, all the plants, all the rocks, and all the stars. In this way He has strange and wonderful adventures, some of which are terrible and frightening. But these are just like bad dreams, for when He wakes up they will disappear.

April 18, 2005

background: music

The Village Voice links to a handful of ambient and other unpop musical recordings.

April 17, 2005

hey jude

Wikipedia: The Beatles' "Hey Jude":

That the Beatles selected their first take as the master became even odder when Ken Scott, the engineer in charge, realised that John Lennon had shouted "fucking 'ell!" 2:58 into the song after messing up the backing vocal. Scott later explained, "I was told about it at the time but could never hear it. But once I had it pointed out I can't miss it now. I have a sneaking suspicion they knew all along, as it was a track that should have been pulled out in the mix."

This is quite audible if you listen for it. Only recently have I discovered that Wikipedia is a fantastic resource for music information and trivia.

April 15, 2005

say it loud

I have argued strenuously that bloggers rarely function as journalists — that, in fact, we are stronger standing outside the established media than we ever can be as junior reporters. However, all bloggers are publishers, and for legal purposes, should qualify as "the press". Consider "the press" this amendment was designed to protect. There was no establishment media at the time. It was, literally, some guys with printing presses, publishing pamphlets and the occasional newspaper. Journalism is a practice, not a professional title, and bloggers who add to the record of verifiable fact are clearly journalists. Whether this work is practiced online or on paper — or by one person with a notebook and a computer, or one person in a crowded newsroom — is irrelevant. A fact is a fact even when revealed by an amateur. Fiction is fiction, even when broadcast by an established news organization.

remembering rebecca :: april 2005

April 13, 2005

savaging the pope

John Paul II had more "no's" for straight people than he did for gays. But when he tried to meddle in the private lives of straights, the same people who deferred to his delicate sensibilities where my rights were concerned suddenly blew the old asshole off. Gay blowjobs are expendable, it seems; straight ones are sacred.

Dan Savage sticks it to the expired Pope, thank goodness. Because someone had to. Much of the media coverage of the man's death came off as dispatches from some fantasy world, where religious figureheads float above earthly reproach, capable only of selfless and saintly deeds.

We're all going to die.

According to the BBC, we're in trouble.

It is only a matter of time before a major outbreak of potentially deadly flu, according to scientists. Could the world cope?

There have been three flu pandemics during the past 100 years.

The 1918 Spanish flu is estimated to have killed up to 50m people worldwide.

The Asian flu of 1957 was caught much earlier but still claimed one million lives. The Hong Kong flu of 1968 was responsible for a similar number of deaths.

It has been 37 years since the last major outbreak and scientists, health professionals and some governments are getting twitchy.

I saw Mike Davis give a talk a few weeks back about Avian, which he's written on. He's got a book coming out on later this year.

It was nice knowing you.

originally posted by zagg

April 12, 2005


It's part of Robbins' mythology that, in 1963, he tried acid for the first time. It was the early days of psychedelics and LSD was still legal. Robbins had coaxed a pharmacology professor into letting him try the drug. He told Rolling Stone magazine that the day of his first trip, July 16, was the most rewarding of his life. Robbins said that after dropping the acid, he sat in a chair for eight hours, not moving except to go to the bathroom. The next six months were, literally, a trip. He couldn't read or write, and he eventually quit his job as an art critic for the Seattle Times and moved to New York to better explore the depth and breadth of acid trips. A few years later he started writing his first novel.

It is quite possible, though frightening, to think that you, reader, are 16, 17 or even 18 and have not heard of Tom Robbins. This is alarming. You are passing the sweet spot in your fontanelles and time is limited. So we are here to help. When I was a young man my father handed me Another Roadside Attraction and thus whisked the veil off the markerboard of life.

We shall start drunk.randomwalks.com, on which it will only be possible to post when you are drunk (a Breathalyzer will allow entry). Also fathers.randomwalks.com, on which it will only be allowed to write about your father.

April 11, 2005

perverted content : ADULTS ONLY!

Hey pal...

My name is Fred. I used to have some corny web pages posted on metascene.net but obviously, I slept on the domain renewal thing. I know I hadn't been too dillignet about updating it lately, but I do sorta plan to start posting stuff again and it would be really...I dunno. I guess I have a sentimental kind of attachment to the metascene thing, it being my first domain and all. Especially since it was a gift. Anyway, I guess I am asking if there is any way you could find it in your skintied heart to sell it back to me. You can contact me at metascene@hotmail.com. You would really be doing me a solid.

Thanks for your conisderation,


Metascene: Sleeping

April 10, 2005

on the road

On NPR, Roy Blount Jr. takes a reporter on a walk through New Orleans. Also, French philosopher Bernard-Henri Levy discusses his travels through the United States, comparing the current state of affairs to that described by Alexis de Tocqueville in his Democracy in America (which I have been meaning to read for years).

man dates

Simply defined a man date is two heterosexual men socializing without the crutch of business or sports. It is two guys meeting for the kind of outing a straight man might reasonably arrange with a woman. Dining together across a table without the aid of a television is a man date; eating at a bar is not. Taking a walk in the park together is a man date; going for a jog is not. Attending the movie "Friday Night Lights" is a man date, but going to see the Jets play is definitely not.

New York Times: "The Man Date," by the colorfully named Jennifer 8. Lee. I was surprised this article did not mention the ultimate man date: My Dinner With Andre.

April 7, 2005

The Crisis in the Green Party

Peter Camejo: The Crisis in the Green Party:

I think all Greens recognize that something rather peculiar has happened in our history. The formal Green Party vote for President dropped 95% in 2004 as compared to 2000, quite unusual even for a third party. We came in sixth not third like in 2000. We also lost ballot status in seven states and are now down to 15 (Ballot Access News). In many states the party has declined. Two important exceptions stand out at least partially, California and New York. In both states our large registration has held or increased (NY went from 36,000 to 41,000 and California remains above 150,000). In California we hit a new record of elected officials. Nationwide our total number of elected officials also increased. So while we have declined in some areas in others we have held our own or increased.

The pro-Cobb leadership needs to recognize reality and note that most Greens who did not vote corporate voted for Nader overwhelmingly. Most Greens who actually participated actively for Cobb or Nader were overwhelmingly involved pro Nader. Nader was only on the ballot in states with half the population of the country, and nonetheless he received almost 500,000 votes. If you assume in the other states his vote would have been just half of that, Nader would have received some 750,000 votes in spite of the massive ABB campaign. If you calculate Cobb's vote and also project what he might have gotten being on the ballot in all states, you end up with a combined total of both Nader and Cobb of close to 1 million people who refused to vote for either pro-corporate party.

originally posted by zagg

April 5, 2005

The Ball Clock

Design without Reach: “Tootsie Pops and a few other household items can be used to imitate a Nelson clock” fantastic!

April 4, 2005


Having lived this long, there is so much that is miraculous to me. It's like the first time I ever went to a A's baseball game at the Oakland Coliseum. I had only ever seen an A's game on a small black and white television. As I walked through the breezeway, I saw the players in green and yellow uniforms and caps, playing on the lush green grass, and I gasped in wonder.

I feel like the same wonder all the time, at being a mother, or when I cook, or in my garden, at the miracle of DVDs or the internet.

. . .

I wouldn't exactly say that 40 is the new 30, but 40 is excellent and I recommend it to everyone who hasn't reached it yet.

oh fuuuuuuuuuuuudge

Jones, 29, of San Diego, plans to restore the home's exterior to the deep yellow with green-trimmed windows it had in the movie and revamp the interior to resemble its movie appearance.

He also wants to create a museum in the home and open a gift store selling items linked to the movie, including Ovaltine, Little Orphan Annie decoder rings and "leg lamps" like the one Ralphie's father proudly displayed in the front window of his family's house.

Associated Press: "Christmas Story" Home Sold on eBay

April 3, 2005

some bands' mothers

To me, The Smiths mean cheap hair gel, unwashed sheets, damp walls, badly ventilated gas fires and impossible expectations. A beautiful fury with everything, because it isn't you.

The Independent Online Edition > Some bands are bigger than others. "It seems entirely right to me that there should be a symposium - although academia needs The Smiths far more than The Smiths need academia."

April 2, 2005


Quite possibly, the best thing ever.

folkways online

When we saw the blossoming of the Internet, we thought, what if we could use this as a device for opening up the archives? People who don't usually have a voice can have a voice in a democratic, central way.

In June the Smithsonian Folkways label will launch Smithsonian Global Sound, reports The Washington Post, where it will sell songs from its huge collection of folk and international music for a dollar a pop. (Seems to be operational already.)


One day the Sixth Patriarch was visiting a temple. The temple flag was flapping in the wind. As the Sixth Patriarch approached the temple he came upon two monks arguing. One monk said, "The flag is moving." The other monk said, "No, no -- the wind is moving!" They argued back and forth. Then the Sixth Patriarch said, "It is not the flag; it is not the wind. It is your minds that are moving." Then the monks said, "Ahh, you are correct -- our minds are moving! Thank you very much."

April 1, 2005

Is the Web 2.0 passing Apple by?

A revolution is happening based on web standards, it can either help or hurt the Mac, a lot depends on Apple and right now a lot of us don't have a lot of confidence in the decisions Apple is making so it can go either way.

Applepeels: Switching from Apple. I agree. The painful truth is that signs of cluefulness from Cupertino are few and far between these days.