Every so often, you find something on the Net that is mind-boggling in its extensive research, organization, and hilarity. This is one of those finds.
If you click on any link today on any Web page, visit this person’s demystification of those little silica gel packets you get in hardware and shoe boxes. In no uncertain terms, the contents of those packets are, in fact, *edible*. And while you’re there, make sure to look at his gallery of packets. Oh, creds go to Metafilter, as per usual.
I know, it’s really exhausted and I’m exhausted thinking about the sniper and his inanity. But there are a few things that still hold my interest:
1. Here’s the letter that freaked out every parent and guardian in the DC area. As a text, it explains much about the authorities’ wiley messages but it does not get to motive at all. Look at the handwriting, the stars on the first page, and the specificity of the note. Fascinating.
2. Mr. Muhammed has not been linked (nor even remotely connected) to Islamic fundamentalist groups. Is there a connection or not — and will we ever really know? Is he a sympathizer or a mercenary or neither? As a friend of mine pointed out the other day to me, why would the sniper hit WDC? Why not stay in Tacoma where the headlines would not go all the way across the page? I don’t think conspiratorially — I just wish some answers were more forthcoming.
I’ve been called to task for a recent post about how Northern Europeans may be out of touch with real terrorism. I was probably wrong, but for the record, anti-Americanism (whether by the Nobel committee or by Saudi sheiks) is pretty rampant. Of course, it may just be that Americans like to see themselves at the center of attention and anti-Americanism is just more of us liking the fact that we are at the center still.
But here’s an interesting short piece by Richard Reeves about Granta’s findings.
A few weeks ago, I mentioned a good article in The New Republic about the state of contemporary art (or its current lack thereof). The writer reviewed the book Vitamin P: New Perspectives in Painting and it really is something at which to marvel. I don’t think I’ve seen a book that has excited me about painting like this one has in the past few years. Just when I thought it was pretty much over, there still seems to be a few (but perhaps just a few) things to take care of on a painted surface that are surprising, intelligent, and arresting. Many of the more interesting paintings in the book look to formal aesthetic innovations mixed with juxtapositions of content taken from a number of sources. I mean, it sounds like folks like Manuel Ocampo, who is an awfully good painter, have taken the lead in defining how the world can look through the painted lens. Lots of the work seem to have a spiritual bent and much of the paintings look beaten, ragged, or raw. This is a good thing.
Many of the artists featured in the book are the usual suspects – Y(oung) B(ritish) A(rtist)’s like Gary Hume, who I like – but there are many, many here that I do not know and that deserve the attention that this book seems to lavish. Sure would like this one . . .
Okay, I must say that I’m as thrilled and gratified about the End to 3 Weeks of Terror for the Capital Region. My sister and her husband and child live in these parts and I’m relieved to know that the can step outside their door again.
But is it me, or is the fact that Mr. Muhammed’s (albeit new) name is uh, Muhammed? Is everyone afraid of making a connection between this schmuck and radical Islamic fundamentalism? Or is it just coincidence? Why are there no reports on this little fact? I hope, of course, that he’s a lone loony but what gives with the media being so reserved?
I saw this book, The Fall of Berlin 1945, by Antony Beevor (who also wrote Stalingrad), at B & N today in Union Square. It looks pretty remarkable for its reportage of an insanely difficult, horrendously violent, and frightening time period in the history of Europe. I read parts of the book — as the Soviets were knocking on the Eastern Door, Hitler was sending children in on suicide missions to blow up Russian tanks. There appears to be much in here that is applicable, if slightly, to the world we are in or coming to.
I really want to purchase it but paying $20.97 for a hardback these days is a bit difficult what with keeping the household in clothes and food and video rentals.
I just finished designing and building The Hendrickson Group Web site and I like it enough to brag about it here. I’m excited about this site as it brings together many of the ideas and aspirations I’ve had about and for good Web sites over the past few years.
The site is easily managed, it contains abstracted but meaningful imagery, it uses a simple navigation system, and its content means what it says. If you have any comments, I’m always looking for constructive feedback.
I was speaking on the phone with someone from Colorado today and he said something which pushed me out of my chair for a moment. He said, “We are all living in our children’s past.”
It’s a pretty remarkable statement and it took 10 seconds for me to digest. But it’s also filled with tremendous solidity, redundancy, truth, and sadness.
In searching for something interesting to post, I thought I would take a look at what Alexa’s rating of Deckchairs on the Titanic might be. Alexa is Amazon.com’s funny little smart and ornery search engine / Web services / traffic rankings tool that is as humdrum as it is kind of cool. (If you want to write a review of Deckchairs for Alexa, you can click here.)
Well, be that as it may. I’m happy to announce that this Web site is ranked number 3,707,921. Not bad! For comparison’s sake, Google is ranked number 5, Amazon.com is ranked number 23, and Yahoo! is ranked number 1.