“there’s something reassuringly predictable about AC/DC, and about hard rock or heavy metal in general. Maybe if we can’t get consistency and straight talk from our political leaders, our banks or our bosses, we should at least be getting it from our music. Let’s be honest: AC/DC isn’t going to throw us a curve ball, change time signatures in the middle of a song, muddy up its chosen genre in the name of eclecticity or collaborate with a jazz singer for the sake of reaching a broader audience. In fact, despite all the rabble-rousing, posturing and fist-raising it tries to drum up, and despite its double-entendre-laden lyrics and thick riffage, AC/DC might be the least musically volatile band ever. AC/DC is safe; it will not break your heart. And who needs more heartbreak and disappointment in these difficult times? No one.”—NPR: For Those About To Rock (via Jaime, who asks “But has anyone run a regression on economic indicators’ effect on people’s susceptibility to sleazy double entendres? Where’s the real scholarship here?” I demand graphs and charts!)
“Even though the lander revived, its demise is probably less than a month away. Peter H. Smith of the University of Arizona, the mission’s principal investigator, said it would be nice to watch winter develop through the lander’s instruments. “But that’s gravy,” Mr. Smith said. “We got what we came for.”—Mars Lander, Still for a Day, Stirs Again - NYTimes.com I’m a bit sad about the lander shutting down. Here’s hoping it sends a few chirps in 2010 when it unfreezes.
…Mark Cuban took a few minutes to answer some questions we had about his idea for an exchange traded fund (ETF).
We first heard him discuss his idea on NPR’s Planet Money podcast. The deal would be that instead of the government handing out money to banks or buying their bad assets or stocks - why not bundle those assets into an ETF and let the markets decide how they’re priced?
NPR is evolving into my podcast and feedreader. Now if I could port them all to a reliable smartphone….
IT WAS POTTS who first instructed me to read David Foster Wallace’s article on cruise ships in the January, 1996 issue of Harper’s.
IT WAS MY FIRST exposure to his brilliance and his many beautiful footnotes.
INCLUDING THE SHORTEST, MOST BEAUTIFUL FOOTNOTE of all time.
BEGIN quoted text:
But it turns out that, of these six guys [a group of skeet shooters DFW has encountered on a cruise ship]…. the last has not only his own earmuffs, plus his own shotgun in a special crushed-velvet-lined case, but also his own skeetshooting ranger in his backyard (130) in North Carolina.
END quoted text.
IT WAS JUST A LITTLE PUNCTUATION JOKE, but in it I found so much to aspire to: the cynicism undone by fearless wonder, the formal playfulness, and the utter and inspiring freedom…
THESE ARE THE THINGS that make his work so challenging, and yet also so gracious. By reading him, we all got better.
I AM NOT ONE OF THE SAD ONES who have the privilege to miss him personally. But I do miss him.
NO ONE HAS EVER INVENTED PUNCTUATION MARK that can contain all the shock and sadness we felt when we learned the news,
AND NOW THAT HE IS GONE, I am afraid that no one ever will.
That is all.
John Hodgman captures exactly my no-turning-back connection to ASFTINDA. Via Katy, and I’m ashamed I never thought to look for Hodgman’s blog or Twitter.
In between hounding @phillygirl, @jimray and @lisasho about EODM, I remembered you can stream most of their songs on ilike. Makes for a happy Tiff, wrapping up work singing “Kiss the Devil”. Too bad @shezad is still here and I can’t sing out loud.
Note to self: if I’m ever seriously considering executing this strategy, hand it all over to my financial advisor and back far, far away. But think about when I hit that ceiling of competence anytime I get the urge to play in the market.
“Bee Gees hit could save your life. US medics have found the Bee Gees’ 1977 disco anthem, “Stayin’ Alive,” provides an ideal beat to follow when performing CPR on a victim of a cardiac arrest. A University of Illinois medical school study said it contained 103 beats per minute, close to the recommended rate of 100 chest compressions per minute.”—NPR: Five Songs That Could Save A Life via Jaime.
“The comments [on presumed knitting website of the alleged child-abuser] degenerate into troll-baiting, not to mention strings of vulgarity that would violate Seattlepi.com’s terms of service. Still, there was this: “Hello Rebecca. Don’t mind these people posting, they’re just jealous of your knitting talent. BTW, I knit you a beautiful orange jumpsuit with some numbers stenciled across the front. I think it would look great on you.”—Blogosphere strikes back in Carnation child abuse case
“So there’s our cultural tendency to tell ourselves (in both ads and entertainments) that we have choice, are autonomous, can make that great life-changing moment or relationship or epiphany happen. But, behind that: the appearance of freedom, not freedom itself. Our ideology is not freedom itself — freedom is scary, and I’d agree with DFW here that we’ve more or less rejected it by this time in our history, if we ever actually embraced it — but its image. We have admitted that we do not know what’s best for us and will gladly accept a life of wildly proscribed activity, provided we’re kept safe and entertained.”—The Appearance of Freedom « The Ambiguities