Opium Made Easy →
Last season was a strange one in my garden, notable not only for the unseasonably cool and wet weather—the talk of gardeners all over New England—but also for its climate of paranoia. One flower was the cause: a tall, breathtaking poppy, with silky scarlet petals and a black heart, the growing of which, I discovered rather too late, is a felony under state and federal law. Great, thorough...
Let's Talk About Football
I get great pleasure from watching competitive sports. Regardless of the sport itself, there’s not much that can match the excitement of representatives from different countries or states or cities battling it out to see who’s the best. And at the end of it, you can say without any doubt: Roger Federer is the best tennis player in the world, Lewis Hamilton is the best Formula 1 driver...
I think it’s encouraging for writers and editors because they can say we can...– A rather reassuring quote from this NYT piece on Rolling Stone’s return to investigative journalism and their General McChrystal article from last week.
Are we really in a cultural golden age? →
Sallust, the Roman historian who made his name by connecting great events to the moral outlook of the people involved in them, said it more than 2,000 years ago: “The golden age is before us, not behind us.” Twenty centuries later, we still don’t seem to have learned his epigrammatic lesson: We—both the critical we and the popular we—spend an inordinate amount of time looking backward and...
Recipe for Success
Welcome to another edition of Cooking With Nostrich. Today we’re going to be making Content. Let’s not waste any time, the masses are hungry! The first thing to note is that this differs a lot from the traditional recipe for Content. I find the more traditional methods don’t leave enough of a bad taste in the mouth. First you’re going to need your main ingredient: the...
The American Scholar →
Do you subscribe to The American Scholar? You ought to. From their website: The American Scholar is the venerable but lively quarterly magazine of public affairs, literature, science, history, and culture published by the Phi Beta Kappa Society since 1932. In recent years the magazine has won four National Magazine Awards, the industry’s highest honor, and many of its essays and articles...
My Problem with Shmups →
Have you ever wondered while playing one of those space shooters what the imaginary crew on the inside of one of those massive boss ships ever do? Well, it might play out like this. This is pretty good.
65daysofstatic - “Piano Fights”
"Login" is not a verb →
So glad our finest programmers are spending time arguing about this.
Heather: I made a film reference!
Oh Man, That Jim Lynch Guy
First, let’s recap, with a heavy dose of paraphrasing. Jim Lynch, last week: “This Safari Reader stuff is bullshit. It’s going to cannibalize advertising revenue right across the web, and it will be a nightmare for publishers who are, after all, entitled to that revenue by virtue of the mere existence of their ad-riddled blogs.” The world, in reply: “It’s...
Save your venom for the self-appointed language... →
Obviously this is absolute horseshit. By what authority would [the Queen’s English Society] sit in judgment? Where is their evidence that manacling our language to past usage is at all helpful or necessary? It would only stand in the way of the all-conquering self-diversification that has made English the global lingua franca, and allowed “lingua franca” to become an English...
Fuck England! Go USA!– Heather. Oh boy is she going to regret that.
Sainsbury’s said it had prepared for a 500% increase in pizza and pint...– World Cup 2010 fans await England game against USA Say what you want about British people but we know how to prioritize.
Me: So I got my filter cone, it's pretty awesome.
Heather: [to the dogs] Do you want to go outside guys?
Me: Why are you ignoring me?
Me: Why are--
Heather: Aw Jill you're so cute!
Me: Stop ignoring me!
Heather: I'm not!
Testing the flotation dynamics and swimming... →
One of the most significant papers ever published in the annals of science appeared recently; it deals, for the first time ever, with one of the biggest scientific questions ever faced by the scientific community, and uses cutting-edge technology and awesome powers of deductive reasoning and logic to reach shocking, paradigm-shifting conclusions. We finally figured out whether giraffes can...
There’s a bigger truth here, though, hidden amongst all of that spammy content...– Little late with this, but that jimray fella is a smart guy.
Why We Built Readability →
The gentlemen behind Readability — the original bookmarklet powering Safari’s Reader — got hip to the Reader debate and added their own 2 cents. In the comments, we find Danny Sullivan providing this valuable insight into the mind of a web publisher: Alternatively, try putting a little work into perhaps making a plug-in that can incorporate existing ads in an attractive way....
Ok, ok, you guys don’t like shmups, but you might make an exception for this one. Taking influence from Gradius-era shmups, this independently developed (read: free) bad boy has been 3 years in the making, and it shows: it’s amazingly polished. If you liked games like Gradius, Eliminate Down, or R-Type, and maybe even a little Metroid and Castlevania, you’re going to want to try...
Pedants’ revolt aims to protect English from spell... →
An Academy of English is being formed by the Queen’s English Society, to protect the language from impurities, bastardisations and the horrors introduced by the text-speak generation. Their website commands the exact amount of respect this idea deserves. I’m impressed.
It’s interesting that so much of the coverage of Safari’s new Reader feature focuses on its removal of ads, with numerous pieces actually referring to it as an ad-blocker. While the Average Joe reader is sat at home today, thrilled that this new feature provides him with a unified, tasteful reading experience (albeit one that doesn’t allow you to change the width, font, or text...
Safari Reader: Apple's Weapon of Mass Destruction →
Jim Lynch — whose blog is covered in ads, sharing icons, and short but nonetheless multi-paged articles — doesn’t like Safari’s new Reader feature. Surprise!
Witness, for instance, the difficulty with which even the well-mannered among us...– Do We Really Want to Hear Someone Say “I Was Wrong”?
Give Me Something To Read: collecting long-form... →
From “a really little town” in Berkshire County, England, Richard Dunlop-Walters hopes to give you something worth checking out at a site called, well, “Give Me Something To Read.” Andrea Pitzer wrote a little thing about me! Ok, about Give Me Something to Read, but she had to talk to me first to do it. Take that! Now I’m going to quote something that I said, to double the chance...
65daysofstatic - “Dance Dance Dance” ...
What Causes “Eye Floaters” →
Kind of mind-blowing and super interesting. Every assumption I’ve made about these things was completely wrong. Preview of mind-blowing knowledge contained within: The reason you can see floaters better when looking at, for instance, a bright blue sky, is because your pupils contract to a very small size, thus reducing the aperture, which in turn makes floaters more apparent and...