Monthly Archives: May 2008

Chabon reads from the Yiddish Policemen’s Union

followed by Q&A session from the same reading.

I picked up the book in the Pittsburgh airport and have been enjoying its improbabilities. Not surprising that it’s a Nebula Award winner, and up for Hugo and Sidewise awards too. An example of its descriptive and analytical astuteness:

A pine box slick with rain pitches and tosses on the surf of weeping men. Satmars hold umbrellas over the heads of Verbovers. Gerers and Shtrakenzers and Viznitzers link arms with the boldness of schoolgirls on a lark. Rivalries, grudges, sectarian disputes, mutual excommunications, they’ve been laid aside for a day so that everyone can mourn with due passion a yid who was forgotten by them until last Friday night. Not even a yid –the shell of a yid, thinned to transparency around the hard void of a twenty-year junk habit. Every generation loses the messiah it has failed to deserve. Now the pious of the Sitka District have pinpointed the site of their collective unworthiness and gathered in the rain to lay it in the ground. (pg. 197)

I’m interested to see that Christianne Alarmist-Librarian identified the very same passage as the quintessence of the book…

Something is Happening Here but you don’t know…

Sometimes you realize that Time is Passing You By, but there are ways to get yourself Up to Speed again, like deconstructing this (some Extra Help at Wired):

(once again, I’m rediffusing something that Everybody Already Knows About, just in case you don’t…). To further confuse/inform yourself, immerse yourself in these two:

Any Student of Americana surely needs to include Liam Kyle Sullivan in the Canon: and Liam’s YouTube videos will be efficacious, but caution is probably advised in the where and when… Still, Let Me Borrow That Top, Muffins and Text Message Breakup strike me as Contemporary Cultural Essentials.

Amy Walker introduces herself

via BoingBoing, which probably means that everybody has already seen it, but just in case you haven’t:

One may ask just what a native speaker of each dialect would identify as bogus, but one doesn’t need to really.

Back again

A several-days outage due to some server snafu… teaches me that the Blog matters to me, and I have a considerable backlog of stuff ready (or almost ready) to post. I note that the feed from my collections hasn’t updated, so that’s another thing to try to fix manually:

U.S. Gas Temperature Map temp=$$

NY Times archive, 1851-1922 “All the news that was fit to print”

1973 Sears catalog progress has been made…

Chris Harrison’s Amazon book map “…10,316,775 connections (edges) between books Amazon believed were related. This allowed me to throw the data into my old wikiviz engine to spatially layout a huge mosaic of books (I let it run for a 140 hours). Items that were noted as being similar had attractive forces, bringing them together, often into large groups.”

Teddy bear stuffer from Shorpy brrrrrr…

Duckies on parade: “On January 10 1992, a container holding almost 29,000 plastic bath toys spills off a cargo ship into the middle of the Pacific Ocean and breaks open. The unsinkable toys, which were en route from Hong Kong to Tacoma (Washington), include a lot of iconic yellow rubber ducks that have since been caught up in the world’s ocean currents and continue turning up on the most improbable shores.”

YouTube takedowns by requester

links for 2008-05-15