Archive for the ‘general’ Category

Lui Bolin

October 12, 2009

A man who paints himself out of the scene.

Carl Sagan song ft. Stephen Hawking (with whale impressions!)

September 30, 2009

This is funny, and familiar stuff to anyone who’s watched his science series, Cosmos.

July 30, 2009

I haven’t been able to write on this blogamajig much lately… too many classes, too much work, too much hiking. While on a hiking trip, we also stopped by the waterfall from Twin Peaks. Of course we’d also eaten at the diner from said show. Damn fine cup of coffee.


Speaking of golf…

July 10, 2009

Jim Horwat: “The Big Lebowski” Prints available here. [JH.via.] Earlier: “Save the Clocktower”

"The Jesus" from The Big Lebowski Licks His Bowling Ball on Black Velvet, A Custom Hand-Painted Tijuana Black Velvet Painting from Indignico Inc. by Indignico.

I like the Big Lebowski, but that’s just, like, my opinion, man.

Justin Timberlake’s writing book about golf?

July 10, 2009

Justin Timberlake just might be able to top Britney Spears’ literary output if the rumor is true. Really though, he seems to be a pretty smart guy… he could write a book about himself, which would be boring and typical, or he could write about something sort of off-the-wall and have the chance of being interesting. Go for it, JT.

Passage of the Day

May 7, 2009

Mark Twain and Jesus H. Christ. I had heard this story before, but had heard Mark Twain himself did this. Anyway, Twain clears it up in his autobiography. This is a long one, but funny:

I have said that Wales was reckless, and he was. It was the recklessness of ever-bubbling and indestructible good spirits flowing from the joy of youth. I think there wasn’t anything that that vast boy wouldn’t do to procure five minutes’ entertainment for himself. One never knew where he would break out next. Among his shining characteristics was the most limitless and adorable irreverence. There didn’t seem to be anything serious in life for him; there didn’t seem to be anything that he revered.

Once the celebrated founder of the at that time new and widespread sect called Campbellites arrived in our village from Kentucky, and it made a prodigious excitement. The farmers and their families drove or tramped into the village from miles around to get a sight of the illustrious Alexander Campbell and to have a chance to hear him preach. When he preached in a church many had to be disappointed, for there was no church that would begin to hold all the applicants; so in order to accommodate all, he preached in the open air in the public square, and that was the first time in my life that I had realized what a mighty population this planet contains when you get them all together.

He preached a sermon on one of these occasions which he had written especially for that occasion. All the Campbellites wanted it printed, so that they could save it and read it over and over again, and get it by heart. So they drummed up sixteen dollars, which was a large sum then, and for this great sum Mr. Ament contracted to print five hundred copies of that sermon and put them in yellow paper covers. It was a sixteen-page duodecimo pamphlet, and it was a great event in our office. As we regarded it, it was a book, and it promoted us to the dignity of book printers. Moreover, no such mass of actual money as sixteen dollars, in one bunch, had ever entered that office on any previous occasion. People didn’t pay for their paper and for their advertising in money; they paid in dry-goods, sugar, coffee, hickory wood, oak wood, turnips, pumpkins, onions, watermelons–and it was very seldom indeed that a man paid in money, and when that happened we thought there was something the matter with him.

We set up the great book in pages–eight pages to a form–and by help of a printer’s manual we managed to get the pages in their apparently crazy but really sane places on the imposing-stone. We printed that form on a Thursday. Then we set up the remaining eight pages, locked them into a form, and struck a proof. Wales read the proof, and presently was aghast, for he had struck a snag. And it was a bad time to strike a snag, because it was Saturday; it was approaching noon; Saturday afternoon was our holiday, and we wanted to get away and go fishing. At such a time as this Wales struck that snag and showed us what had happened. He had left out a couple of words in a thin-spaced page of solid matter and there wasn’t another break-line for two or three pages ahead. What in the world was to be done? Overrun all those pages in order to get in the two missing words? Apparently there was no other way. It would take an hour to do it. Then a revise must be sent to the great minister; we must wait for him to read the revise; if he encountered any errors we must correct them. It looked as if we might lose half the afternoon before we could get away. Then Wales had one of his brilliant ideas. In the line in which the “out” had been made occurred the name Jesus Christ. Wales reduced it in the French way to J. C. It made room for the missing words, but it took 99 per cent of the solemnity out of a particularly solemn sentence. We sent off the revise and waited. We were not intending to wait long. In the circumstances we meant to get out and go fishing before that revise should get back, but we were not speedy enough. Presently that great Alexander Campbell appeared at the far end of that sixty-foot room, and his countenance cast a gloom over the whole place. He strode down to our end and what he said was brief, but it was very stern, and it was to the point. He read Wales a lecture. He said, “So long as you live, don’t you ever diminish the Saviour’s name again. Put it all in.” He repeated this admonition a couple of times to emphasize it, then he went away.

In that day the common swearers of the region had a way of their own of emphasizing the Saviour’s name when they were using it profanely, and this fact intruded itself into Wales’s incorrigible mind. It offered him an opportunity for a momentary entertainment which seemed to him to be more precious and more valuable than even fishing and swimming could afford. So he imposed upon himself the long and weary and dreary task of overrunning all those three pages in order to improve upon his former work and incidentally and thoughtfully improve upon the great preacher’s admonition. He enlarged the offending J. C. into Jesus H. Christ. Wales knew that that would make prodigious trouble, and it did. But it was not in him to resist it. He had to succumb to the law of his make. I don’t remember what his punishment was, but he was not the person to care for that. He had already collected his dividend.

Real Good Moments in Journalism

May 7, 2009

Leonard Nimoy has a posse. If you don’t believe me, believe this. That posse has got to be cold pissed about this fabulously aweful trainwreck lede:

“Outside of Leonard Nimoy’s Bel Air home, workers are busy constructing a new driveway, replacing flagstone with sleek cement as part of an ongoing coversion from Mediterranean to modern. Though the 78-year-old actor is also undergoing a metamorphosis of sorts, he isn’t paving over his past.”

Turns out the article doesn’t tell us any more about the driveway at all! The writer apparently spelled J.J. Abrams’ name wrong throughout before the AP or Yahoo corrected their version of the article. This guy landed an interview with a movie star? Leonard H. Nimoy nonetheless? Videogum spotted this one.

Tolkien’s new book out tomorrow!

May 4, 2009

Tomorrow’s the day for the new J.R.R. Tolkien book, The Legend of Sigurd and Gidrun. It’s a long set of two verses based on 1000-year old Nordic legends. There’s a good article on it here, and more info on the Tolkien site. Over the past few years I’ve not been into the fantasy books much, so I don’t know if I’ll be first in line for this. But if you see more Nordic swordsmen and hobbits than usual out by the bookstores, that’s why.

Plush Book Deal for “Satan’s Mentally Challenged Younger Brother”

May 4, 2009

funny pictures of cats with captions

Satan’s mentally challenged younger brother, “Glenn Beck,” has landed quite a book deal. Did I put the quotes in the wrong spot? Oops, too late now. Anyway, he’s got a profit-sharing deal. Steven King gave “Beck” his satanic nickname, and “Beck” is now apparently a little smug that he’s getting the same treatment King receives. But hey, most people can’t tell the difference between pâté and dog food, so there’s room for authors of all tastes.

Not much changes for ghost hunter Holzer; Dies at 89

April 30, 2009

House on Haunted Hill skeleton attack

Hans Holzer, author of more than 100 books on the paranormal, and investigator in what would become memorialized as “The Amityville Horror” died today. Holzer says it’s about what he expected, and that he doesn’t feel his next book should be pushed back much by the complication.

Atwood book to become movie

April 29, 2009

Another book by Margaret Atwood, Payback: Debt and the Shadow Side of Wealth, is set to become a movie. We’ll have to see which is better, it or Wall Street 2.

2001: A Space Odd… WTF?

April 29, 2009

Please find enclosed a mash-up that’s making the rounds now. I don’t often like mashes but this one’s pretty good.


Saw it on videogum.

The best show about books evarrr

April 28, 2009

My wife have been on a British TV kick for a few years now. We don’t have cable, so we watch DVDs. Right now we’re watching The Royle family, which is odd but funny. We also like Spaced, the IT Crowd, Father Ted, the Vicar of Dibley, Chef, the Young Ones… all funny stuff. Below is one episode of one of the best shows ever, Black Books (if anyone doesn’t like my posting it, ask and I’ll take it down). If you haven’t seen it, it’s worth buying the entire three seasons. Also, congrats to Graham Linehan’s other show, the IT crowd, for winning a BAFTA. Now I know what a BAFTA is.

Competition for the Kindle–I’d wear Gameboy shoes before I’d buy either

April 28, 2009

I was wondering where Apple was on this. I remember when that type of technology first came out. It was called a Gameboy and it was rad. And I’d rather wear these shoes than go out carrying a Kindle. I will pay $350 for neither Kindle nor Apple’s rumored device until they stop making out-of-print books.

Take Gaming To A Whole New Platform

Photo from

How to get published, Rule No. D: Write a Book on How to Get Published

April 27, 2009

Rule No. D on getting published is: write a book on getting published. These three authors did it. They’re published and you are not. Granted, one was Stephen King… he can write whatever he wants.  But with a book on getting published, you have a thing of interest to an audience predisposed toward reading (one might hope, anyway).

Passage of the day

April 24, 2009


How do you like Ragey Smurf there? I think it’s the raddest thing going, myself. Anyway, the passage of the day is from Jacob’s Room by Virginia Woolf:

Youth, youth–something savage–something pedantic. For example, there is Mr. Masefield, there is Mr. Bennett. Stuff them into the flame of Marlowe and burn them to cinders. Let not a shred remain. Don’t palter with the second rate. Detest your own age. Build a better one. And to set that on foot read incredibly dull essays upon Marlowe to your friends. For which purpose one must collate editions in the British Museum. One must do the thing oneself. Useless to trust to the Victorians, who disembowel, or to the living, who are mere publicists. The flesh and blood of the future depends entirely upon six young men. And as Jacob was one of them, no doubt he looked a little regal and pompous as he turned his page, and Julia Hedge disliked him naturally enough.

How to Get Published, Rule No. C: Antht… Anthrop… Pretend animals are people

April 24, 2009

Rule Number C in getting published is anthropomorphization. For example, Martha Stewart’s dogs now apparently have a book deal and you do not. People love the talking pet. This worked to great effect in Leonie Swann’s first novel, Three Bags Full, which accomplished the rare feat of getting me to read a detective novel. I have not, however, read any of those sleuth novels with the cat that solves crimes. That’s just silly.

Leonard Cohen–Definitely worth catching live

April 24, 2009

I saw Leonard Cohen last night, and it was one of the best concerts I’ve been to. It lasted about three hours–he’s in amazing shape for someone in his mid-seventies. I will probably have to pick up the new Live in London album or DVD. Should pick up one of his books, too.

How to Get Published, Rule Number B: Steal the idea before the ten-year-old gets it

April 21, 2009

Rule No. B to getting published is to steal ideas before the 10-year-old writing phenom gets to them. As I noted in Rule No. A, this particular 4th grader has three published works. He has a pattern–you may not have noticed it at first as it is rather subtle. First was How to Talk to Girls. Next came How to Talk to Moms. Third, but surely not last, comes How to Talk to Dads. If you want to get published in today’s market, you are going to have to jump on the bandwagon.

For example, one two-year-old has already swiped the idea for How to Talk Like a Preacher:

And there’s this wiki on How to Be a Pretty 10-Year-Old Girl:

That one, while being a little wordier than published works in the How to line, does not count because it is a wiki–the idea’s up for grabs. Also note, and I’m not making this part up, the wiki says you need “a little bit of money” to be a pretty little girl.

These are merely two examples. And if you don’t steal the idea, it’s inevitable that the 10-year-old author will get published again before you do.


I got the Baby Preacher from Graham Linehan’s blog Why, That’s Delightful 

How to Get Published, Rule Number A.: Write in Crayon

April 21, 2009

Rule No. A to getting published is to write in crayon. While you were working on your period novella How to Talk to Dads, a ten-year-old stole your idea for his THIRD PUBLISHED BOOK. This, of course, follows his social commentaries How to Talk to Moms and How to Talk to Girls. I hear his work has been compared favorably to F. Scott Fitzgerald’s early output. Of course Fitz never landed a movie deal for a ten-page book on how to talk to girls. And you, you’ll never get published at all unless you start writing in crayon too.