Archive: February, 2006
Anagrams of transit maps have been spreading around the web like a hacking cough, thanks to Boing Boing, and former Inky editorial assistant Ian Mount celebrated the local twist Monday on Gridskipper.
Would love to see more of this map (left). Anyone know where it came from? Someone want to try one of your own? It's got promise, with such stops as Gym Wino, Rad Pig, I Mourn Fat and the euphonious Lit a Hip Hop Handler.
A blogger at The Third Battle of New Orleans turned to the language of Sept. 11th to describe the urgency for filling the streets with grass skirts, plastic beads and trumpet blasts:
"If we do not have Mardi Gras, the hurricane has won."
The hottest Olympian? No longer the bust that is Bode Miller. Tanith Belbin gets the online gold medal, according to Yahoo's buzz index. She's a newly American ice dancer, whose good looks made her name the most-searched-for term during the winter games. There was a run on "tanith belbin photos" and "tanith belbin pics," suggesting a hunger for something worth more than a thousand words.
Last year the Washington Post's Dana Priest told a chilling story about a German man of Lebanese decent who was abducted on vacation in Macedonia and wound up spending months in an Afghanistan prison cell until it was determined that he was not a member of al Qaida. The rendition of Khaled El-Masri didn't help U.S.-German relations. Some recent German press reports question just how innocent El-Masri was.
Apple crowed about selling its one billionth song for download last week (Coldplay's "Speed of Sound"). But someone got there first: TouchTunes, which delivers to digital jukeboxes, has sold more. But it isn't rumored to be readying a slick new boombox.
This is something you already know if you thought Nick Hornby stole your idea for High Fidelity, where record-shop owner Rob Fleming recommends judging potential mates by their album covers. (Historical note: When Blinq saw a Southern school teacher had Little Feat, the Jefferson Airplane and Barry White in her closet, a marriage proposal was not too long to follow.)
Psychological Science is to publish a study called "Message in a Ballad" by Samuel Gosling, an Brit teaching at Texas, and Peter Jason Rentfrow, an American teaching at Cambridge. It rises from a series of tests that judge personality traits based their students' compilations of 10 favorite songs. A panel of student judges rated their peers' personality profiles according to their musical choices. And the authors found these ratings remarkably accurate, compared to their own psychological profiles of the participants.
After hearing this, I'm convinced that we should declare Brooklyn to be Philadelphia's next borough.
The Kid From Brooklyn just wants a cup of coffee, and winds up at a Starbuck's.
Warning: So not safe for work.
How about Frontline's brutal hour-long piece on the insurgency, titled "The Killers," which helps sort out who's who in the ranks of those responsible for the hundreds of deaths a week? Using intermediaries, the journalists got interviews with the fighters to show how al Qaida in Iraq has muscled former Baathists out of the way and changed the lines of the battle.
Juan Cole's Informed Content, where the University of Michigan professor closely reads the local papers and breaks down the week of sectarian violence that has the ominous look of civil war. He's fond of this NYTimes piece on the role of Shiite clerics in the rising attacks.
The rubber-faced, shiver-voiced actor died at age 81 on Friday, his passing announced by TV Land, which is how it should be. His five Emmies marked a career of prime-time cheese that spanned a quarter century, and enjoyed a glowing afterlife in odd-hour re-runs. We should turn off our sets for a minute to mark the passing of a giant.
There is not a stage of my life when Don Knotts could not be seen, reminding us that it was not necessary to be competent to be cool, whether he was fumbling with his service revolver as Deputy Barney Fife in The Andy Griffith Show, fumbling with his ascot as the lecherous replacement landlord in Three's Company, or fumbling with his conscience in the half-animated film The Incredible Mr. Limpet, where - turned into a Nazi-hunting fish - he approaches the spawning grounds and wonders if this would technically constitute cheating on his wife.
Remember Jeremy? The cute little 7-year-old who believed in the Easter Bunny and Santa Claus, and that if he named his Web site F.U.T.O. people would believe he actually meant "For You Terrell Owens?"
And all those T-shirts he sold on the same page as his "Open Letter to T.O." (which sounded as if two Horsham brothers with a little experience in marketing might have been looking over his shoulder)? Well, a good idea is a good idea.
Jeremy's back. With another plan. To raise money so the Eagles can buy a new receiver: