Friday, October 31, 2008

Foto Friday Riposte

ed note: the photo will be posted soon, bear with us

Foto Friday - Lives

Even if Tempelhof Airport is no more.

Fabrizio Bensch/Reuters - From NYT

That's a DC-3 leaving Tempelhof as the last flight ever. The DC-3 and Tempelhof were made famous during the Berlin Airlift in 1948-49, you really ought to know what I'm talking about.

Read the article on the airport's final flights in the NY Times.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Brave New World

photo from New York Times

I just finished reading an article from the April 13 issue of the Sunday Times Magazine (I've been saving them for the crosswords) about the future applications of cell phones (or mobile phone if you're just about anywhere else in fact most phones I've owned have used the label 'mobile' when classifying the type of line for a contact) specifically their economic and social impacts in the developing world.

The developing world, both rural and in the slums of the worlds largest cities (Mumbai and Rio spring to mind), is the next market for cell phone manufacturers, seeing as how everywhere else folks already have phones (cell and otherwise).

If you're interested in technology and its impact you'll know a lot of whats covered in the article already, if not you'll probably be a bit surprised at the ways in which cell phones are changing peoples lives throughout the developing world. My favorite tidbit was the home grown money transfer program running in Uganda where you buy a pre-paid card and call the PIN to someone else to use, normally someone running a business as the village phone, who then gives that amount to who you were trying to send it to. Very cool.

So go read the article, and then check out the blog of the main guy, Jan Chipchase.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Beyonce - The Cliff Notes

Sasha Frere-Jones (The New Yorker's pop-music writer) has a great listener's guide for Beyonce tucked into his latest post, ostensibly on pop-producers and the direction of the genre today...

BeyoncĂ©, for all her traditional behavior as good-looking good girl, is building a catalogue of songs that have little to do with traditional expressions of love or pain. She is most fond of the second person, and her hits, in the aggregate, form a sort of default advice column. She isn’t as interested in her own pain as she is in telling others what mistakes not to make. I’ve made a small list of her key talking points, reaching back to her work in Destiny’s Child:

No, No, No”: Be entirely clear with your partner; vague language can lead to confusion and hurt feelings.

Bills, Bills, Bills”: Money and romance do not mix, so keep separate bank accounts and go Dutch until your relationship is stable.

Bug-A-Boo”: Constant communication can feel more like harassment than affection.

Say My Name”: If your partner is avoiding you, arrange a face-to-face meeting. Monosyllabic answers and lack of affection can be an indication of deeper troubles.

Jumpin’, Jumpin’”: Couples do not necessarily need to spend every night together. Plan one night a week where you are with your friends, and he with his.

Independent Women Part 1”: If you pay for your own shoes, you are more likely to judge your relationship on its own merits rather than a tallying of goods exchanged. (Get Cameron Diaz to help you count your belongings, if you feel like you’re losing track.)

Bootylicious”: If you are more experienced than your partner, make sure to be explicit about your needs and expectations. Direct questions will save time and decrease anxiety. (Comfortable jelly levels, for example, should be established early on in any relationship.)

Check On It”: If a man shows sustained interested, allow him to get close to you over dinner, or a movie. Leave your options open. If he has a friend, perhaps invite him along; the friend can act as a control group for the evening.

Ring The Alarm”: Fights are not always unhealthy. Sometimes, a blowout can be cathartic and release pressure that might be damaging your ability to communicate. Introduce a sense of play into your arguments—megaphones are fun (make sure your neighbors are familiar with your routine, and don’t call the police), and role-playing can help defuse anger with humor.

Irreplaceable”: If your ex is having trouble finding his way out of the house, provide clear and consistent directions. Men are sometimes challenged by the word “straight,” which has sexual overtones. Suggest that he go left or right, terms familiar from both baseball and driving. Also, keep several empty boxes on hand. (Once broken down flat, boxes can fit horizontally into a closet or under a leaky houseplant.)

Freakum Dress”: Be sure you own at least one freakum dress. If you find one you really like, consider buying several of them in different colors. (Make sure you have a friend who can explain what a freakum dress is.)

Single Ladies”: If a man values your relationship, be prepared to demand a commitment. Suggest that he signal the value of his commitment by buying you an enormous piece of jewelry, something big enough to kill a hamster with one mild blow.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

I Like Turtles - Berkley Breathed On the End

BB talks about Opus, the comics, kids' books, and the political climate...
The very, absolute last comic strip characters destined to become true household words across America were invented 23 years ago: Calvin & Hobbes. There are and will be no more new ones.
(b/c I'm a C&H fanatic)

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Does That Look Right to You?

The eyeballing game is tons of fun.

Just start playing you'll figure it out, there's also a good about section if you're the kind of person who reads the instructions first.

My best (and so far only) score is a 3.59 (the lower the better, you'll see when you play).

This is definitely my new favorite time waster...

(from Kottke who only got a 4.34)

Monday, October 6, 2008

Sound Investing...

I just received this advice from the theater we subscribe to...


TO: All Woolly Mammoth Investors

FROM: Howard Shalwitz, CEO & Jeffrey Herrmann, COO

Washington, DC • October 3, 2008

As the U.S. Government plans a financial bailout of historic proportions, we write to assure you that Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company remains solvent and your investments in our institution secure.

We ended our most recent fiscal year with a modest surplus, thanks to strong 4th-quarter sales and a careful eye towards expenditures.

Meanwhile, our recent investments in R&D have served to replenish our inventory and diversify our product line. And several of these new additions – DEAD MAN'S CELL PHONE, THE K of D, and STUNNING – have recently been re-purchased by other firms and sold to audiences across America. We have steered clear of sub-prime liabilities precisely because of this commitment to investing only in quality properties and employing the most creative and skilled workers to develop them here in our state-of-the-art facility.

Further, we have maintained our investments in our local community to ensure that demand for our line of products remains strong. And, in partnership with firms like The SEED School, Metro TeenAIDS, Univ. of Maryland, and The Corcoran School, we continue to develop the workforce of the future.

Next year will mark our 30th year in business, and we are proud of our past accomplishments and our present stability during this turbulent time. Still, we remain fundamentally dependent on our investors to provide us with the funds we need to pursue our mission with confidence and vigor. This year we have set an ambitious goal of raising $350,000 in capital.

We hope you will maintain Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company in your portfolio of investments with the confidence that your dollars will generate rich dividends – payable in provocation, laughter, and surprise – for years to come. Together, we can continue to lead our industry and electrify our customer base with the most innovative line of theatrical products available for consumption in America.

Visit Woolly

Friday, October 3, 2008


Cheapest beer in DC

There are probably bars where you can get a cheaper beer than the $2 Natty Boh's at the Red Derby, but I don't think I'd want to drink there. The Derby, at 3718 14th St. NW, only accepts cash and does most of it's business in cans. They've got a nice selection of beers I haven't tried because I'm broke.

It was packed last night for the debates, the crowd getting a little loud and then shushing itself so that we could all hear. I had a great time, it's relaxed and the red walls and beat up couches are just what I'm looking for in a bar. There's even a pool table in the back, but bring your ATM card, because they only take cash (there's an ATM in the bar).

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Sarah Palin and Wasilla's Rape Kits

Okay, so about a week ago Maya sent me to Get Your War On to check out the episode about Sarah Palin and her policy on rape kits. GYWO was, as always, completely over the top, so I did some research. The issue (according to Jessica Yelin at CNN) appears to be that the chief of police Palin appointed in Wasilla was one of the most vocal opponents of legislation banning the charging of victims for thier own rape kits. His objections were based in fiscal concerns. There was a lot of pressure to eliminate budget items while Palin was Mayor, but that she didn't specifically target the cost of rape kits. It's still pretty messed up, but I see it more as an issue of callousness than delibrate targeting of rape victims.

I can't really do a better job of making this funny than the comic that brought this issue to my attention:

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