Archive for December, 2008
I’ve always loved blank books. How beautiful they look while they’re waiting to be defiled with ink.
They’re bulky and heavy though, and crossing out something you’ve written is agony.
You suspect the beautiful book is sneering at your inept prose.
Writing longhand is a kind of meditation.
Not to mention psychotherapy.
The catch is, no matter how bloodcurdling your journal you can’t burn it.
Happy Solstice and Merry Newton’s Day.
Literary Venice, or How to attract readers without books.
Here’s a tract by a theologian who argues that Santa IS Satan. And it’s not just dyslexia!
There’s a reason the area immediately inside the entrance to the supermarket is stacked with promotional items and bargains. Those magazine racks are there for a purpose. And if you’ve ever wondered why the fruit and vegetable section is up front when these items are easily damaged and should be the last things you get before going to the checkout, it’s not because the store managers are dingbats. Same reason the everyday necessities are located near the back of the store.
The sellers have studied us, they know how we shop, and now they’re using MRIs and cellphone position tracking to know more. Consider that as you do your last-minute holiday shopping. (In our experience there’s a lot less human traffic at the mall on Xmas eve, so maybe last-last-minute shopping is a good idea.)
The way the brain buys, in The Economist.
Shoppers already know that everyday items, like milk, are invariably placed towards the back of a store to provide more opportunity to tempt customers. This is why pharmacies are generally at the rear, even in â€œconvenienceâ€ stores. But supermarkets know shoppers know this, so they use other tricks, like placing popular items halfway along a section so that people have to walk all along the aisle looking for them. The idea is to boost â€œdwell timeâ€: the length of time people spend in a store.
Thanks to all the readers who sent pictures of their cats. Some of them were actually doing yoga-like poses. The winner of our Lazy Fat Cat Yoga contest is. . .Mushy! Mushy’s human, please email your postal address in the Philippines to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Are you shopping for a present for your cat? Think again. Does your cat actually play with the expensive toys, playgrounds and stuff that you, the human slave, humbly offer her/him? Mine regard all store-bought toys with disdain. When I bring home something from the pet store they ignore it, but they’re wild about the box. Days of fun and excitement! They play hide and seek or fortress under siege, and finally they shred the box to bits. If the box is tied up in string, double the fun!
So this holiday season, I bought stuff for myself, then I had the items boxed, gift-wrapped, and tied in ribbon. Everybody happy!
There’s only one way to get through the Xmas party season: Drink. You’ll find your false cheer swiftly turning into real cheer! And if you’re a Trekkie, you can reenact your favorite episodes involving alcohol. My favorite: The Enemy Within, in which a transporter malfunction causes Captain Kirk to split into Good Kirk and Bad Kirk, and Bad Kirk immediately goes for the liquor.
Modern Drunkard Magazine has a handy guide to alien libations consumed in Star Trek.
The intergalactic version of Thunderbird. Enjoyed by Captain Kirk, and sometimes the crew when he wasnâ€™t hogging it all. This liquor seems readily available on even the most backwater of planets and was responsible for Kirk landing in the brig at least once. The prop bottle was actually a George Dickel Tennessee Sour Mash Whiskey carafe.
This is the infamous alcohol-substitute served up by the Ferengi on the latter-day Star Trek spin-offs. Itâ€™s designed to supply the taste and odor of alcohol, without the hangover and kick. Check, please!
Very intoxicating to alien races, the Vulcans claimed this insanely strong liquor merely served to clear their minds and palettes. Uh huh. My dad used to say the same thing about Jim Beam. Reportedly tasting like crap until itâ€™s been aged at least two-hundred years, it is not recommended for the casual homebrewer.
The Klingons claim warnog is a ferocious ale with more bite than a Kazakian Saber Shark, but it sounds to me like theyâ€™re trying to toughen up the local version of eggnog.