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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

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  • Do you have Olympic fever yet?  I do, and I’m feeling all nostalgic about Olympic baseball and softball, since it looks like this is the last time they’ll be official Olympic sports.  In those sports, and others, the host nation gets an automatic berth in the Olympic tournament.  This NYT article on China’s baseball team suggests, well, that the Chinese aren’t taking their chances too seriously.  Oh, and American baseball-isms don’t translate into Chinese all that well.
  • If you’re wondering whether a website is down, or if the problem is with your own set-up, Down for Everyone or Just Me? may be the answer.  Warning, though: The site always tells me that Amazon is down.  (Link via NYT)
  • It looks like the Discovery Channel is going to devote a little attention to beer.  Isn’t it about time the Food Channel offered up an entire series on beer?  I’m available for hosting duties….
  • Planet Earth is running out of indium.  And several other elements, including gallium, hafnium, and even zinc.  There’s not much copper left, either.  If you like TV screens, solar panels, and computer chips, this is bad news.  (Link via Kottke)
  • Do you like your murder mysteries to have, er, a spiritual bent?  Then check out Clerical Detectives.  I’m going to check out the Rabbi Small mysteries.  (Link via Thousand Voices)

I have a backlog of cites, so look for a very special midweek edition of Weekend Reading soon.  If I get my act together….

Written by Jimmy

July 13th, 2008 at 4:03 pm

Weekend Reading

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Well, I’m writing it at the end of this weekend, but here’s what captured my attention this week:

  • Fittingly, since we’re in the middle of the Wimbledon fortnight, a NYT article looked at all those strange on-the-court habits of the top tennis players.  Novak Djokovic bounces the ball up to 25 times before the ball toss, and Maria Sharapova tucks hair behind each of her ears.  But my favorite?  The way Rafael Nadal obsessively towels off between each point.  And, then, of course, there’s the way he’s always digging his clam diggers out of his, er, butt crack.
  • When I was a kid, I resisted—fiercely—the afternoon nap.  I didn’t understand why grown-ups wanted to waste any part of the day.  Now, I’m downright grateful for this advice from the Boston Globe on the art of napping.  (Link via SteveP)
  • Before Bloomsday gets too far away from us, this accurate, but oh-so-brief summary of the plot of Ulysses sure made me smile.  (Link via Prettier than Napoleon, who wonders why Joyce captivates some of us so)
  • Speaking of little obsessions, this NYT article on casino chip collecting was sort of fun.  But I don’t really need one more excuse to love Las Vegas.  That place has gotten under my skin.
  • Dustin Fenstermacher is a talented photographer.  Be sure to check out his gallery of images from the cat show.  Highly recommended!  (And I’m allergic to cats.)

Written by Jimmy

June 29th, 2008 at 10:20 pm