June 30, 2008


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June 29, 2008

Really Free

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June 28, 2008

The Devil's Answer

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An Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder and a Sense of Bitterness

Strange to say, perhaps, I am quoted in the article on "Geek Chic Fashion" in this magazine.

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Free Salute

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June 27, 2008


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Stuck Between Stations

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June 26, 2008

Winter of '79

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Coast to Coast

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June 24, 2008

Slow Death

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June 23, 2008

Lighten Up, Morrissey

From the twenty-first Sparks album, which appears to be a UK-only release for some reason.

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June 22, 2008

La Quinte Juste

A great little scene on intervals from Kaamelott:

(via the Anchoress.)

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Amazing space pictures, via the Corner.

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June 21, 2008

I Guess I Just Wasn't Made for These Times

It was bound to happen, of course, but it is still a bit of a shock to note that Cody's has closed for good.

Unless I'm mistaken, there is, now and for the first time since just about forever, not a single new book store in Berkeley.

Are there other university towns in that situation? I suppose there must be, but it is a strange thought.

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Look Out Below

Are the Ramones illegal?

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Spread Your Evil Wings and Fly

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June 20, 2008

All Set to Go

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Dina with Book and Home-made "Lawnmower of Love" Shirt


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June 19, 2008

You Light Up My Life

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With a Little Help

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June 18, 2008

Sister Robot

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The True Wheel

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June 17, 2008

Nemesis is On the March

Whatever the merits of Kozinski Kontroversy, the judge's antagonist seems to have amassed a pretty impressive collection of judicial reprimands -- all from "biased" judges, naturally -- but among those posted by Ted Frank of Overlawyered, this is the funniest so far.

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True Love Travels on a Gravel Road

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June 16, 2008

Know Your Product

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Romanes eunt domus!

After single-handedly creating the Kozinski pseudo-scandal with a deliberately misleading and inflammatory story, the LA Times cheekily advises the parties to chill.

Via Patterico, who also posts a courtly, quite well-written letter from Kozinski's wife.

Meanwhile, the seeds sown by the Times's mischaracterization of the material in the Kozinski family's "stuff" directory continue to sprout in unexpected forms.

As you'll know if you've been following this story from any source other than the LA Times, among the files stored on the server (not really a "website" as the articles usually describe it) were a relatively naughty image of some ladies in black and white body paint and a not-in-the-least-naughty video of a drunk man being chased by a donkey.

The LA Times contrived to leave the impression that they were considerably more sinister than the reality.

The San Francisco Chronicle picked up where the LA Times left off and actually characterized them as "images of bestiality" on a "steamy website."

Now enter Bill O'Reilly and his legal analyst Megyn Kelly, who puts it this way:

he had some crazy picture of like a woman with her head on a cow's body, and like some weird other stuff with animals.

O'Reilly thinks the controversy is "karmatic," since the Ninth Circuit wants to "make everything legal," including even raunchy parodies of Mastercard "priceless" commercials and cows except they have like human heads or something.

(By the way, Cyrus Sanai, the kooky vengeful lawyer who started the whole thing, has been quite busy over the weekend leaving comments on legal blogs like Volokh, Overlawyered, and Patterico. Strange guy.)

UPDATE: for some reason links to particular items on Patterico's blog are now returning an error message, but the posts themselves (including the letter) can be read on the main page.

FURTHER: Okay, it looks like Patterico's server was overwhelmed by a link from fark.com for awhile there. Links all seem to work now.

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June 15, 2008

The sky is falling. The ocean is calling. The world is turning round and round.

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June 14, 2008

It's a Happening

I have no serious doubts that M. Night Shyamalan's latest movie is every bit as awful as people say it is, but this list of the eighteen worst things about it actually makes it seem kind of awesome. (Warning: there be spoilers...)

(via Ann Althouse.)

ADDED: the more they slag it, the better it sounds. I wasn't really planning on seeing it before, but, honestly, who would pass up a chance to experience "the most morally abhorent film ever made"?

Not I.

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Strange Poetry

I'm not sure exactly what it means, but this picture of Ohio's Judge James Burge under the USA Today headline "State must change lethal injection law" certainly captures something, and it's weird:


(via Volokh by way of Reynolds.)

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Motorbike Beat

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June 13, 2008

Chinese Whispers

If you haven't been following the Kozinski "porn" scandal, look here and here. I'm not sure I agree with Lessig about how reasonable it is to expect that people won't paw through your personal stuff if you leave it unattended and accessible, but this is right:

What I mean by "the Kozinski mess" is the total inability of the media -- including we, the media, bloggers -- to get the basic facts right, and keep the reality in perspective. The real story here is how easily we let such a baseless smear travel - and our need is for a better developed immunity (in the sense of immunity from a virus) from this sort of garbage.

It seems to me the LA Times is entirely responsible for manufacturing this phony problem and for colluding with the malicious informant's personal vendetta against the judge without disclosing his bad faith to its readers. The description of the material itself seems to have been deliberately constructed to mislead readers about the materials being reported on; I don't see any way read it otherwise. (The article at the LA Times link has been silently "updated" with a paragraph making it appear that it is merely a report on the suspension of the trial. If I'm not mistaken, the original article from Wednesday was published before the suspension, and in fact seems to have actually caused the suspension, and was based on a Tuesday night interview with the judge on the basis of the allegations of the malicious informant, about whom they were, and remain, silent. Bainbridge quotes it here -- it's the second blockquote. I agree it's news now, but I think it's clear that the Times isn't being as forthright as readers have a right to expect.)

I'd say the Times should apologize, retract, correct, and beg for mercy, and should probably also attempt to demonstrate good faith by firing the writers and those others responsible for letting it get into print. It's disgraceful behavior for a major newspaper and it should really be discouraged.

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Ancient Roman d20

From an old Christie's auction:


(via boingboing.)

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June 12, 2008

Let Them Eat Rock

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June 11, 2008

She's a classy, flashy lassie, imitation saphire shine

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June 10, 2008

Xul Solar


Interesting artist I'd never known about till now.

(via lashtal.com)

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Gay Bar

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June 09, 2008

Watch out, Lucy

From Lucy Ellmann's review of Chuck Palahniuk's latest:

So not only has America tried to ruin the rest of the world with its wars, its financial meltdown and its stupid stupid food, it has allowed its own literary culture to implode. Jazz and patchwork quilts are still doing O.K., but books have descended into kitsch. I blame capitalism, Puritanism, philistinism, television and the computer.

This is rather similar to the last Lucy Ellmann book review I noticed, in which Francine Prose played the Palahniuk role as symbol of American degeneracy and malfeasance.

Nicholas von Hoffmann famously said he stopped reviewing books because "it's not worth $250 to make an enemy for life."

That's pretty much why I would have stopped doing it, too, if anyone had ever offered me $250. Maybe Lucy Ellmann still hasn't figured out that no one ever, ever, forgets a mean review, or maybe she just doesn't care, which is perhaps admirable in a way. But maybe, like a lot of reviewers I have met, she just assumes that you'll be a good sport about it if she ever wants to be on a guest list or happens to meet you in a dark alley. Now Francine might well be that kind of sport, for all I know, but if I were Lucy I'd probably feel vaguely nervous about Chuck.

(via The American Scene.)

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I hear ya, brother

From a Financial Times interview with Nick Hornby:

At what hour of the day does inspiration strike?

It tends to be the evening, which is unfortunate as I never do any work in the evening.

(via Clive Davis.)

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Does Your Mother Know?

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June 08, 2008

Through with You

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Hooray for Hazel

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Reefer Man

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June 07, 2008

Let's Build a Car

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June 06, 2008

Time Will Show the Wiser

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Switched-on Coward

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I've been to a marvelous party

Or rather, my book has, which is close enough.


It is apparently "Internet Week" in New York at the moment, and John Carney of Dealbreaker.com brought his King Dork paperback along to the Thrillist.com party just in case the party started to drag.

In the event, it doesn't look like there was a whole lot of reading going on, but the book did get used "a kind of party prop" for photos anyway:


When Young Manhattanite Andrew Krucoff forwarded me these links, I thought he said that dealbreaker.com was "the Wall Street Journal's gossip blog," which cracked me up but didn't surprise me quite as much as it should have maybe. But it turns out it is a plain old Wall Street gossip blog, which is funny enough in its way but not really.

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June 05, 2008

Somebody Made for Me

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Viens avec moi par dessus les buildings

If this clip of Jodie Foster performing Serge Gainsbourg's "Comic Strip" in a rope swing with Claude François on French TV doesn't cheer you up at least a little, I really don't know what to suggest.

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June 04, 2008

God! Show Me Magic

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Martian Sunset


From NASA via Squid List.

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June 03, 2008

Toutes les Nuits

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Room 101

The brainy sophisticates at Crooked Timber take a curmudgeonly turn and nominate movies "to avoid watching before you die," meaning, more or less, films that are so horrible they should never be seen by anyone.

Taste is taste, and like anyone, I have stuff I like and stuff I don't like as much. And I guess there may be movies I hate so much that I wish they had never been born, though to be honest I can't think of any right now. It's annoying to sit through two hours of something you don't like, but you get over it after a while, don't you?

But if you were playing this game, would you cite any of these as films you shouldn't have ever seen and that no one else should see either, ever:

Being John Malkovich, Ferris Beuhler's Day Off, Straw Dogs, Cabin Boy, Braveheart, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Anchorman, Hush, Hush, Sweet Charlotte, The Magnificent Ambersons, and (most shocking of all, perhaps) Rosemary's Baby?

Because I sure wouldn't.


Also: Happiness, O Lucky Man, Kids, Funny Games, and Touch of Evil. The movie the Timberers seem most mad at is Starship Troopers.

Also, according to one discerning fellow (and seconded by a few others) Pulp Fiction only has value as "a litmus test to decide who you’d want to be friends with." Meaning, if I have it right, that anyone who likes Pulp Fiction could not possibly meet the minimum standard of whatever-it-is that you must have in order to qualify for friendship with them. Strict!

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Hey Julie

UPDATE: the comments reminded me of Robbie Fulks's great parody/homage "Fountains of Wayne Hotline," which can be heard here, if anyone's interested.

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June 01, 2008

As you may notice, at one point I got really pissed off, crumpled it in a ball and threw it.

David Hayes is selling some punk rock memorabilia on ebay.

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Sideboard Song

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Lost John

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