Thursday, January 28, 2010

Howard Zinn - R.I.P

"I refuse to celebrate them as "the greatest generation" because in doing so we are celebrating courage and sacrifice in the cause of war. And we are miseducating the young to believe that military heroism is the noblest form of heroism, when it should be remembered only as the tragic accompaniment of horrendous policies driven by power and profit. Indeed, the current infatuation with World War II prepares us--innocently on the part of some, deliberately on the part of others--for more war, more military adventures, more attempts to emulate the military heroes of the past."
(From this essay)

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Coyest Lingo

My inbox has finally arrived. I received an email the other day from a lady representing these idiots. Something about her helping people live life to their fullest potential. (A bit like what her organization is doing for the people in Haiti?)

The email had her contact information, LinkedIn profile and her website address. I was tempted to share all that data with the enthusiastic, fun-loving kids who hang out on, but then I decided against it. Seemed excessive.

"Coyest lingo", btw, is an anagram of that organization's name.

Friday, January 22, 2010


I've been watching the "Hope for Haiti" fundraiser on TV (and on YouTube).

Have I grown jaded or do musicians don't commit to performance anymore like Freddie Mercury?

Thursday, January 21, 2010

I'm Looking Through You

Courtesy NatGeo, pics of new species of animals found in Ecuador. (A "see-through" frog, a lungless salamander...this is one weird planet, man.)

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Bobby Charles

Call me crazy, but sometimes I feel early rock 'n roll couldn't possibly have been conceived by human beings.

I mean, what kind of genius does it take to write something like "See You Later, Alligator"? A genius like Bobby Charles.

R.I.P, Bobby.

Here's unofficial footage of him playing "Down South in New Orleans" with The Band in the Last Waltz concert. (Bobby Charles does not appear in the film, though.)

Also visit this Bobby Charles fan-site (via the one of the best fan-sites)

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Cross-Posting From WWH - Collecting Data in Haiti

Just posted this on the World Wide Help blog:
Google's Crisis Response Team has a Haiti Situation Tracking Form (link to; open to everyone).

There is also an online tracking tool called Ushahidi that could be very useful to earthquake victims in Haiti who may not have internet access but still have access to mobile phones.

It's important that word gets out about these tracking tools, so please consider linking to them on your blog, Twitter updates, Facebook profile and website.

(Links via a post on Reddit.)

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Haiti, Partners In Health, MSF

To the folks at Charity Navigator: Why not feature a 4-star organization like "Partners in Health" (profile on Charity Navigator) that's renowned for its outstanding work in Haiti on your home page today?

NPR's website carried an excerpt from a book, written by author Tracy Kidder, about PIH founder, Dr. Paul Farmer. (Wikipedia too has a profile.)

Other than PIH, my charity of choice remains Doctors Without Borders (also a "4-star organization" on Charity Navigator).

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Here Be Giants

(Redemption Song)


Easily the best of the web: Wildflowerseed's post on where and how to find peyote in Mexico. (Though in my current state, I have to learn how to "arrive without traveling" and "do all without doing".)

Thursday, January 07, 2010

"Two Gentlemen Of Lebowski"

What if Shakespeare wrote The Big Lebowski?

The answer can be found right here.

I was suspicious of the quality of the send-up before clicking on the link. Reading film dialog rendered in faux-Shakespearean English is not my idea of fun. Thankfully, this work is much cleverer (and funnier) than that.

Take these lines:
"Forsooth! This be a place
Of residence, and much a private place.—
O excellent marmot!"
Or these:
“Seest thou what happens, Laurence, when thou firk’st a stranger ‘twixt the buttocks?!”
Good to know the Knave still abideth.

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Analyzing New Yorker Fiction

Via the terrific "The Millions" blog, a by-the-numbers analysis of all fiction that has appeared in the New Yorker from 2003 to 2009.

Fun idea, but I wish someone did a TV Tropes' style analysis of these stories' themes, characters etc. (Please tell me you read TV Tropes? I'm sure I've linked to it before. The site's a must-read if you like to analyze stories.)

Me, I'm just going to change my name to Alice Munro. *That* should get me published.

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Tourst Visas For Maximum Fun

From the Times:
"The Indian government recently announced that foreigners holding tourist visas, including ones with multiple entries, are now banned from re-entering the country within two months of their departure."
This worries me a bit. Not because the Indian government is banning re-entry outright but because of this:
"Re-entry may also be permitted in special cases, such as a death or illness in the family."
Oh that will end well. Officials at airports will demand proof of "death or illness in the family" and of course, travelers won't have any...

Tell you what, I'm getting my Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) card *now*. Not that it will be of much use considering this new requirement:
"Under the new rules, visitors are also required to register within 14 days with the Foreigners Regional Registration Office (F.R.R.O.) in India if they return within two months of departure."
What the hell is the F.R.R.O. and has anyone been to one? But naturally, a blogger has been there. Read and weep.

Monday, January 04, 2010

Filthy, Filthy, Filthy Amadeus

You will be delighted to learn that in 1782, Mozart wrote a piece of music titled "Leck Mich Im Arsch". Yes, that's "Lick me in the ass". Pure genius. You can hear it on YT.

But this will probably delight you even more: Mozart composed another piece called "Leck mir den Arsch fein recht schön sauber", which translates, according to Wikipedia, as "Lick me in the ass fine well and clean". The lyrics to that canon, which may or may not have been written by Mozart, are easily filthier than any hip-hop song.

Now I must scour the web for Beethoven's sex-tapes. And you're welcome.

Saturday, January 02, 2010

Happy New Year? My Foot.

Oh isn't *this* turning out to be a happy new year already.

I spent nearly 3 hours in an emergency room on January 1. My left foot was red, bruised and swollen. "You've fractured your fifth metatarsal", the doctor said to me. (Thank goodness it wasn't the third metatarsal, my all-time favorite metatarsal. Clearly, the funny bone's been smashed too, har har.)

The good part about the accident is that I no longer have to worry about going to the gym or showering daily for the next four weeks. Food, beverages and reading material are all magically appearing by my side. The TV remote is mine and mine only. The bad part is getting used to crutches. And getting in and out of the car. And negotiating stairs. And brushing teeth while balancing on one leg. But man, the crutches, they just kill.

Funny, just the other day I complained about 2009 going too fast. Now I can't wait for time to go faster so the fracture can heal and I can walk freely again (or just wiggle my toes.)