reCAPTCHA is a great distributed computing idea, a joint effort between The Internet Archive and Carnegie Mellon to use captcha's to correct OCR errors in scanned texts. I wish TypePad would implement this. Any chance?
I'm still thinking about my responses to The State We're In series I did at kottke.org (maybe I'll have something up this weekend), but in the meantime: kudos to Mark Sarvas at Elegant Variation for getting this hilarious response to a French academic conference on Michel Houellebecq translated (by Doma Khazeni, who also translated Houellebecq's H.P. Lovecraft: Against the World, Against Life for McSweeney's):
Day 1 SPERM
Wednesday October 24. 10:30 a.m.
The day’s first lecture sounds very promising: Cunnilungus and fellatio: the sexually correct in Houellebecq’s work.
Murielle Lucie Clément, an independent academic, has inventoried the
sexual practices in Houellebecq’s work. Today, we are beneficiaries not
only of her meticulous study but also of the aphorisms she has
gathered, such as this one by Romain Gary: “Fellatio may be used as
caress in the usual progression of the embrace, but certainly not as a first-aid method.”
3) Really: one of the 5,000 or so of you who've been here in the past couple weeks must have at least onefavorite political book not on my list. Would be great if there were, oh, I don't know: two of you?
Combine one of my favorite political bloggers (Matthew Yglesias @ The Atlantic Monthly) and one of my favorite sports blogs (Free Darko), along with my favorite spectator sport (Hoops) and you get... uneasy satire? I don't know what to make of this piece:
... an alternative does exist: liberal
internationalism or, as they say in the sports world, basketball
(hockey, of course, represents a dystopian vision of Canadian global
hegemony, I don't know anything about soccer, and cricket is the
rotting corpse of British imperialism) . Basketball, like baseball, is a
global sport but it rejects baseball's domineering imperial mien.
Instead of spreading through conquest and invasion, basketball spreads
through Joseph Nye's soft power, gaining adherents through the inherent appeal of this American cultural product, marking out of sphere of influence wider than the American military into the heart of rival great powers like the Soviet Union and Communist China.
would see mere coincidence here, but internationalism is in the game's
very bones -- invented as it was by a Canadian living and working in
the United States, basketball has always been a sport capable of
looking across national boundaries and doing so in a spirit of
I do, however, know of one movie scene that serves as a kind of complicating counter-example to much of Matt's (only possibly serious) piece. It's from Srdjan Dragojevic's exceptionally-twisted (and possibly brilliant) Pretty Village, Pretty Flame:
Within minutes of this shot, Halil on the left and Milan on the right are going to find themselves on opposite sites of the Bosnian conflict, ca. 1992.
Meantime, in the spirit of "the sport that really is the world's sport," I was going to post some highlights from Arsenal's AMAZING games these past two weeks (1-1 v. Liverpool and 2-2 v. Man U), but seems as though every single one that's not a bunch of drunken Gunner fans has been replaced with this message:
"This video is no longer available due to a copyright claim by NetResult." It's been a few years now that NetResult has been doing this and I wonder: Is this really helping the Premier League?
If you haven't noticed yet, I'm guest-blogging at kottke.org this week (except: 90% of you are probably coming from kottke.org anyway--in which case, see: GoTo Statement Considered Harmful (hmmm... we do have visited hyperlinks--but what about more robust, stateful hyperlink objects with n-node lookahead? Is there a Firefox extension that tells me I'm linking around in a circular graph?)). I'll be taking several friends and otherwise interesting folks out for a test-drive in Jason's Porsche until next Tuesday, at which point I'll have to hand over the keys and return to this little VW I'm driving here at Hotel Zero.
I will, however, be posting a few things here this week--so don't just up and disappear altogether.
OK, folks... noticed traffic is going down to a trickle--need to feed the RSS meter here with a little update.
Been crazed getting ready for big guest-blogging event next week: will post with details when things are finalized/announced there. Looking forward to it & think it'll be a blast.
Also, my pal Mickey Kross of the FDNY called this morning to say he's flying into town on a surprise visit. He's one of my biggest fans & can't wait to show him the Twin Cities. Meantime, here's a nice YouTube clip of an interview Mickey did on surviving the collapse of the WTC North tower on 9/11:
All right, I'll be in touch in next couple days with details on guest posting gig for next week.
OK, so I see that my pal Kevin has meme-tagged me: I'll bite.
1. Hardcover or paperback, and why?
I actually have an algorithm for this...
If CLASSIC & STUDY then one each: hardcover first for sentiment; paperback for savaging with Post-It flags and pencil;
If CLASSIC & NO STUDY then hardcover first;
If REVIEW & LIKE then hardcover first;
Like all algorithms related to human affairs, this one is extremely fragile: I break it all the time (especially when the hardcover first edition is priced at $1200-1500 or some similarly outrageous sum).
2. If I were to own a book shop I would call it…
"Crazy Bird and Cat Piss Books," because it would be a used book store.
Still getting up to speed on Typepad, especially the "under the hood"/"make it cherry" options... Googling around but still haven't found what I'm looking for: if you have Typepad customization tips, pass 'em on.
Meantime, a few quick hits from the last day or so.
A Thousand WTFs: Over at Metafilter, fantastic post on Israeli military's embrace of Deleuze & Guattari. Now, I knew some dumb guys, a lot of average guys, and enough really smart guys in the Marine Corps to annoy the shit out of me anytime someone makes blind assumption that Marines are morons... but Eyal Weizman's reports would have bent the minds of even the smartest. I'll be revisiting these pieces.
Dereliction Now Redux: It's a kind of dark joke that Col. McMaster, author of Dereliction of Duty, is one of Petraeus ideas guys in Iraq... but then: what is life in the military, most days, if not a dark joke? Philip Carter previews the upcoming Petraeus report over at Intel Dump and provokes usual rants against the U.S. leadership--civilian and military. What's so great about the Intel Dump rants, though, is that they're usually exceptionally well-informed by guys who spent years commanding grunts--and nobody bitches better than a former grunt.
Reporter at Loss: George Packer gives our looming exit from Iraq the New Yorker treatment: lots of experts expertly quoted between snippets of profile and sprinklings of perceptive character treatment. A nice piece, but it's strangely hesitant... as if Packer still hasn't made up his mind about how wrong he was about Iraq--or what to do about it.