Friday, December 05, 2008

Excellent, Clear Explanation of the Subprime Crisis

Here, on the Litotical Construct blog by my friend "Jack Roy."

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Reminder: Report Deadly Peril

No wonder the P.A. system on the subways this morning kept warning everyone to "say something" if they "see something."
As if New Yorkers usually let bombs go unreported to avoid seeming nosy.
If I can offer Al Qaida some advice -- to paraphrase Rick in Casablanca -- there are certain sections of New York that I wouldn't advise you to invade.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Ice Age Retro!

The NYT reports that we may be able to re-create wooly mammoths and Neanderthals using their near-relatives as mothers and DNA from the extinct animals' hair.
"The big issue would be whether enough people felt that a chimp-Neanderthal hybrid would be acceptable, and that would be broadly discussed before anyone started to work on it," Dr. [George] Church said.
Oh, I'm sure people wouldn't have any problem with ape-protohuman hybrids if you explained that they would be awesome:
Of course, this is a modification of Russian scientists' plan, reported back in '05.  So it probably won't be done in time for me to ride a mammoth to work this winter.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Everybody's a Critic

No 12-year-old should be aspiring to be a food critic.
In the age of Google, this kid may never live this down.
Red State readers, please note that most kids in Manhattan are not dining alone on expensive arugula salads.  Some, I am informed, prefer roasted beets with goat cheese.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Friday, October 17, 2008

"Almost as good as Sammy Davis Jr.”

Is "Joe the Plumber" implying that Barack Obama is secretly Jewish?:
"Neighbors were outside asking him questions, and I didn't think they were asking him tough enough questions," he said.

He went on, "You know, I've always wanted to ask one of these guys a question and really corner them and get them to answer a question," he said, "for once instead of tap dancing around it. And unfortunately I asked the question, but I still got a tap dance."

He added, "Almost as good as Sammy Davis Jr."

At least Obama isn't pretending to be a licensed plumber...

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Sylvan Migdal Nails It

(bonus points for including two of my favorite NYC landmarks -- the Brooklyn Bridge and the WIlliamsburg Bank building)



Wednesday, September 24, 2008

The Nation Needs His Two Cents

McCain announced that he needs to put off being whupped by Obama in the debate so he can use his complete lack of economic knowledge to help save the economy.
Tenderfoot and I were having people over for beer and shouting at the TV! The Fret in Lafayette! The De-bate in the Dirty State!
If Obama doesn't reject this completely, the Republicans could drag out the bailout legislation until November and blame everything on the Democrats. Or at least until no Friday night prime time slots are left.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

So the Markets Are Falling Apart...

...I thought Bear, Lehman, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and AIG failing was the end of the world until I just read this:  the IAEA is pretty sure Iran is designing nuclear missiles.
Now that's the end of the world.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008


(pun intended)
NYT article on reports by Earl Devaney, the Interior Department's inspector general, about shenanigans at agency that collects oil and gas royalties.  You know, it's just the usual "financial self-dealing, accepting gifts from energy companies, cocaine use and sexual misconduct."
According to one report, about one-third of the program's staff accepted prohibited gratuities from oil companies.
The report also indicates that staff improperly steered business to former agency employees, abused expense accounts, and accepted tickets to a Toby Keith concert (which should be a capital offense).
The program's manager (allegedly) "mixed official and personal business, and took money from a technical services firm in exchange for urging oil companies to hire the firm," and "ha[d] intimate relations with two subordinates, one of whom regularly sold him cocaine."
And on, and on, and on.  A pirate ship has less corruption than this place.  And if it'd been prowling the Gulf when Katrina hit, probably could have saved more people than FEMA did...
Anyway, the best excerpt even has a pun:

On one occasion in 2002, the report said, two of the officials who marketed taxpayers' oil got so drunk at a daytime golfing event sponsored by Shell that they could not drive to their hotels and were put up in Shell-provided lodging.

The same two women also "engaged in brief sexual relationships with industry contacts," the reports' cover memo said, adding that "sexual relationships with prohibited sources cannot, by definition, be arms-length."

Friday, September 05, 2008

Roger Cohen

...expresses just how I feel when I fly back to the States these days...

Thursday, September 04, 2008

My favorite Wikipedia editor's note

This article may contain an excessive amount of intricate details which may only interest a specific audience.
See, e.g., klaatu barada nikto
Or this great xkcd cartoon.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Friday, August 22, 2008

Our Country Is Now A Game Show

"Barack?" Our future president doesn't even go by his last name?

So, uh, yes, I DID sign up to be the FIRST TO KNOW.

I think Obama's going to randomly select one person's email and make that person his vice presidential candidate! Kind of like the boule in old Athens...

Keep your fingers crossed -- you could be calling me "Mr. Veep!"

Tuesday, August 19, 2008


Here's a great story about Henry Cejudo, who just won the gold in freestyle wrestling at 55 kg for the U.S.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Toddlers with MTA-mania!

This piece in the NYT by Christoph Niemann about his young sons' shared obsession with the NYC subways is bizarre -- and great!
Christoph Niemann - The Boys and the Subway

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Until TODAY?

Whoa, whoa, whoa--
Robert Mugabe was knighted by the Queen of England, and she only stripped him of his knighthood today?

Tuesday, June 17, 2008


A day for celebration, but ... now that gays can get married in California, am I supposed to disapprove of this couple because they had a baby outside wedlock?
Or... one of them did?  Or they adopted?  Someone help me re-learn how to be judgmental!!
Also, that baby looks bored.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008


I know it's been a long time since I've posted, and you're probably expecting something worthwhile.
Monkeys controlling robot arms with their brains!!
If there has ever been more exciting news, I want a monkey to grab the article and show it to me with a brain-operated robot arm.
Seems a little rough on the monkeys, but I'm sure they'll let us know their displeasure in five years when they're tromping through the ruins of Manhattan in their giant robot exoskeletons.  Better have a piece of banana with you then or it's ... WHAM! Robot Arm in Face! time for you and the other human refugees.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Lock and Load, Arizona!

How much do we love guns?
So much that when we're afraid of gun violence, our solution is -- more guns!
Think I'll design a hipster derringer with an integrated MP3 player, cell phone and digital camera so people get used to having guns waved around and pointed at them.  Steve Jobs, are you reading this?

Friday, February 29, 2008

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Yub! Yub!

Today's NYT reports that Hassan Nasrallah, the leader of Hezbollah, threatened Israel and accused it of killing terrorist mastermind Imad Mugniyeh.
He threatened to take the fight outside the "natural battlefield" of Israel and Lebanon.
Which would be a lot more of a threat of Hezbollah didn't already do things like blow up Jewish community centers in Argentina.
And if he didn't look so much like an Ewok:

Friday, January 11, 2008

Tram Hacker!

A 14-year-old kid in Lodz, Poland built a remote control device that he used to switch the city's trams to different tracks at junctions, causing several derailments and other accidents.
This is why I wear a tinfoil hat.  No genius teenager's gonna malfunction my junction!

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Mission, Movie, Move?

Overcompensating inspired this inspired trivia quiz in which you guess whether a phrase is an operation in Iraq, an action movie, or a wrestling move.
Iron Fury II?  Three Swords?  Big Boot?

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Watch Out Below

I work in the new New York Times building. On windy days, panes of plate glass occasionally snap off the skyscraper and shatter on the sidewalk below.
And hurt people.

Another one blew off today, on the 40th street side of the building.

I think that deep down the architect, Renzo Piano, believes he won't be respected as an artist until his work kills someone. Like Christo with that killer beach umbrella.

In apparently unrelated news, building management just announced that the birch and moss garden in the lobby will now house three live velociraptors behind new "unbreakable" glass.

Monday, January 07, 2008

Work Is Heck

This comic is in no way reflective of my law firm experience.
1) We don't sit around getting to know each other.
2) We can't go shirtless in the office.
3) I think the demon on the right is smiling.
I love donuts.
I work right near a Dunkin' Donuts.
Their donuts are terrible.

Why did God create evil in the world?

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Gorilla Inflation

Go ahead and Google "pound gorilla" -- as in "Microsoft is the 500 pound gorilla" -- and I think you'll see a trend of disturbing inflation in gorilla weight.
Used to be a silverback tipping the scales at a mere quarter ton was the metaphorical tough guy who everyone else had to respect.
Now I see mention of the 600-, 700-, 800-, 900-, and even thousand-pound gorilla.  I mean, big silverbacks weigh about 440 pounds, maybe 500, with obese captive gorillas reaching 600 lbs.  Do bananas now grow to five pounds each to feed these horse-sized gorillas? 
The idiom isn't about diabetic apes eating tourists' thrown Doritos.  Just because we've all seen 800 pound humans on Oprah doesn't mean a gorilla half that size couldn't beat the snot out of the five strongest humans at once. 
This is an animal that can punch you so hard your shoes will bruise and your 400-pound gorilla bodyguard will retire and teach middle-school P.E.
I am calling on the Federal Reserve to raise the interzoo rate on gorilla flesh half a point to bring the weight of the "X-pound gorilla" back down to a fighting trim 500 pounds.  You can do your part, too, by referring to "the 500 pound gorilla" in conversation and adding, "..that really is as big as a gorilla needs to be to really, you know, be as big and strong as any gorilla."  Catchy!