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Archive for the ‘General Interest’ Category

Weekend Reading, Volume 10

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  • Post-Katrina New Orleans still struggles, of course.  And now there’s an oil spill in the Mississippi River!  But there was good news on Friday.  The Times-Picayune is again awarding beans (here in Philly, the Inky awards Liberty Bells) in its restaurant reviews.  According to the T-P‘s food critic, both he and the local restaurant scene are finally ready.
  • In news that’s not, a study finds that many NYC men don’t tell their doctors they have sex with other men.  Despite what the headline on the NYT blog-post says (“many gays don’t tell their doctors”), though, you’ll see that the vast majority of gay men are out to their doctors.  It’s the bisexual and “straight” men who aren’t being candid.  That’s not all that surprising: Some portion of these men simply haven’t come to terms with themselves.  And for some of these men, too, they’d be in the awkward position of having to admit adultery.  Still, doctors could make this easier.  I’m certainly out to my doctor, and, for an uptight, middle-aged straight man, he’s remarkably dispassionate about my sexuality.  But when I was freshly out, one of my doctors—a formidable woman with a thick Russian accent—didn’t make it very easy to talk.  “Are you still practicing homosexuality?” she’d ask, in a tone that struck me as, well, more inquisitorial than inquisitive.  “I wish,” I’d say, and then we’d move on to how my sore back was probably the result of my unfulfilled sexual desires.  Ugh.
  • One of my Twitter buddies is mentioned—by, of all things, his screenname—in this NYT piece on Comcast’s online attempts to reach out to customers.
  • Another NYT piece mentions Absaroka, which would have been a state—carved out of Wyoming, Montana, and South Dakota—if a few early-20th-century romantics had been in charge.  Absaroka makes a certain geographic sense, as you can see in this Strange Maps post, in the way it gathers up square miles dominated by tall grass.  (If Absaroka appeals to you, check out the somewhat similar movement in northern California and southern Oregon for a State of Jefferson, too.)
  • In some respects, anyway, rock drummers may be fitter than professional soccer players, BBC News reports.  I’m obviously missing out, since I don’t seem to be crushing on any drummers right now.  Who are the fittest, sexiest drummers?

Written by Jimmy

July 26th, 2008 at 6:12 pm

Weekend Reading, Volume 9

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  • Roger Ebert writes about movies that hurt too much to watch.  I can’t bring myself to re-watch either Brokeback Mountain or Schindler’s ListBrokeback breaks my heart or, rather, reminds me too much of my broken heart.  And there’s the recent loss of Heath Ledger, too.  My feelings about Schindler’s List are a little bit complicated.  At the theater, I cried so much that I considered leaving; I felt like I was bothering everyone else.  It wasn’t so much the inhumanity depicted in the film, though there was that, of course.  I was crying in response to the good things that some characters did, at enormous risk to themselves.  It’s a manipulative film, spectacularly so.  (Link via PeaceBang)
  • Mamihlapinatapai: (Yaghan) a look shared by two people with each wishing that the other will initiate something that both desire but which neither one wants to start; eye-contact implying ‘after you…’; ending up mutually at a loss as to what to do about each other (Link via Kottke)
  • In Japan, Buddhism is one the wane, according to this NYT story.  I’ve always really appreciated the “easygoing, buffetlike approach to religion” taken by the Japanese.  We Americans could learn something from that.
  • When I was a kid, way before it was cool, my dad was an organic gardener.  We lived out in the sticks, and no one else got it.  At all.  Least of all me.  So, anyway, this list in the NYT of the 11 best foods we aren’t eating has some, er, special resonance for me.  Actually, though, I already like, and eat, several of these foods.  But Swiss chard?!  Please, God, please tell me I had enough of that stuff in my childhood to last a lifetime.  Please.
  • And another NYT story that I can recommend this week—can you tell what I was reading this week?—details the recent collapse of catfish farming in Mississippi.  Times are hard in the Delta.  Eat more catfish, people!  (Check out the cool slideshow accompanying the story, too.)

Written by Jimmy

July 19th, 2008 at 8:58 am

Mid-Week Reading?

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As promised, it’s time for some mid-week links:

  • In honor of tonight’s All-Star Game, as well as all the recent hoopla about San Francisco Giant Tim Lincecum (including a Sports Illustrated cover story that called him”The Freak”), you can check out video of his trés efficient pitching style right here.  (Link via Kottke)
  • I’m still getting myself ready for the Beijing Olympics (sadly, as a spectator and not as a team handball player), and part of my preparation involves reading about the tricky politics of being an athlete from Taiwan.  Oh, sorry, that’s Chinese Taipei.
  • Atheist and journalist Jeffrey W. Haws runs a very cool blog called The Atheocracy.  In this provocative post, he discusses what it would mean if science somehow proved that God existed.  Among the possibilities: God is uncaring, or incompetent, or even sadistic.  Whether you agree or not, it’s interesting reading.
  • According to a BBC News headline that, er, grabbed my attention: M&S [that’s department store Marks & Spencer, of course] “defends ‘tax on bigger bras.'” Really.  When I visited the site, it listed several “related” stories, too, including one about Shakira’s bra and another about a woman who tried to hide an iguana in one.  One has to keep informed, you know?
  • Stop, You’re Killing Me! is an exhaustive website for lovers (like me) of mystery novels.  The site lists over 2,500 authors with—and this is absolutely crucial when you’re starting a new series—chronological lists of their books.  Here, for instance, is the page for one of my favorites, comic mystery writer Joan Hess.  (Link via Citizen Geek)

Written by Jimmy

July 15th, 2008 at 11:17 pm