Saturday, December 12, 2009

Gift Cards are Broken

The industry term is actually "breakage." Just send cash.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

More Marketable than Soylent Green

But they probably have a focus group working on that...

Friday, November 06, 2009

Resourceful Drunks

The guy is drunk, but manages to open another bottle without a corkscrew. Impressive.


Monday, November 02, 2009

Firewood Sculpture

'Best Albums of the Decade'

Suspect there will be LOTS of these lists in the coming months, so let this be our first "Best of the Decade" post.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Drop Trou for Wine

Not sure what this accomplished for Greenpeace, but presumably a bunch of guys got laid.

Sunday, October 04, 2009

We CAN taste the difference

Starbucks VIA. Like Starbucks, only more bitter.

Friday, October 02, 2009

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Sell Your Used Gadgets

Turns out iPods hold value pretty well. Smartphones, not so much. NextWorth.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Summary of All Arguments Against the Nanny State

Man accused of harming rare & endangered turtles by keeping them at his house. State confiscates turtles. Man subsequently acquited. State returns a few injured, sickly turtles; 300 of 500 died under State custody during the trial.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Texas Likes the Death Penalty More Than Science

This should end the death penalty, but nothing else has.

Good Eats on Martha's Vineyard

Water Street, at the Harbor View. The sommelier made us laugh, but he was really a jovial man who meant well. And the food was excellent.

Monday, September 07, 2009

Sunday, August 30, 2009

People of Walmart

Words cannot describe this.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Free MP3s from Paste Magazine

Always great for the price.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Obama Turns Bachmann Pro-Choice

How'd you like that for healthcare reform?

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Saveur Mag on the Web

We like this site, because it is a blog/aggregator of other foodie sites. Only complaint: It takes at least two clicks to get to the actual article to read it.

Bob Dylan Picked Up By Cops

No, really. They thought he was a "weirdo," possibly a "joker or a thief," and he didn't have his ID with him, so the beat cop and her partner escorted him back to his tour bus. Professor Gates, perhaps this is a lesson for you in how to interact with cops?

The Hubble Ultra Deep Field in 3D


Saturday, August 15, 2009

The Frank Gehry Cocktail

We can only assume this is a joke, although if you follow the instructions while making it, you'll still be happily drunk.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Best Epithet Ever

"Unemployed Alaskan blogger," Sarah Palin. --Keith Olbermann, August 13, 2009.

Sunday, August 02, 2009

Cooking as Spectacle

The demands of the industrial food system have redefined "cooking" and the Food Network is turning it into a spectator sport... Nothing new. Michael Pollan says this will ruin us--his song for some time now--and he is probably right. "The skills are already lost. Who is going to teach the next generation how to cook?" And his recipe to cure us? Right from Hippocrates, paraphrased by the Food Network:

I have the diet for you. It’s short, and it’s simple. Here’s my diet plan: Cook it yourself. That’s it. Eat anything you want — just as long as you’re willing to cook it yourself.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Monday, July 27, 2009

One More Round

Antique carousel in downtown Hartford, of all places. And only $1 a ride!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Perfect Place for Seafood

The patio at S&P Oyster Company, by the Mystic Highway Bridge in Mystic, CT. They also make a perfect Dark & Stormy, made with Gosling's Black Seal and, the bartender promised us, Gosling's ginger beer.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Whale Watching

This is a great read, but does the Hubble Telescope really contain whale oil? WE'd like to see a source on that.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Disco Demolition Night turns 30

Spurned on by the allure of blowing up a dumpster full of disco records, 75,000 spectators-turned-rioters nearly destroyed Comisky Field 30 years ago this weekend.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

More from Matt Taibbi

Taibbi writes like an in-line six hurling down the highway. He's got guts that just don't quit. Moreover, who needs "thrillers" like The International with Goldman Sachs out there?

Wednesday, June 24, 2009


The masters of do-it-yourself furniture assembly were out of the bookcases we wanted--how does a furniture warehouse run out of bookcases?--but I was just going to give Ikea a shout-out for their keyboard tray (Summera) and the under-desk cable management rack (Signum), but searches for both on their website turned up nothing, so there you have it.

Monday, June 08, 2009

Poor Wingnuts

What will they do now that they can't protest outside Dr Tiller's clinic?

Craft Beer--and lots of it!

"Friday & Saturday - June 19 & 20 - the east coast's largest celebration of American craft beer at the Seaport World Trade Center Boston, featuring 75 American brewers, 300 craft beers, and more ..." The American Craft Beer Festival!

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Leave it to News Corp to Screw Up Hulu

When Hulu stopped playing nice with the Apple, we worried that it was the beginning of the end. And now that there is talk of running the service on a paying basis, we are ending our brief affair with them. SurftheChannel, or there is always TVTorrents.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Kansas Doctor Killed for Providing Healthcare

and The Right Wing is spending their weekend celebrating the murder--what is wrong with these people? The Ten Commandments--the same Ten Commandments Christianists want displayed in every court house in the nation--explicitly forbid murder, and here they go murdering. In church, no less.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

X Prize in Healthcare

This is obviously a great idea: A $10 million prize for designing a better healthcare system. Thumbing through the website, this stuck out:

Consumer(1) engagement: Consumers must opt-in to any programs the teams offer. The assignment of people to a team makes high rates of participation a requirement for success.
And there's the rub: People do things that are harmful to themselves. And, just as infuriatingly, people irrationally do other things with no demonstrable benefit in hopes of protecting themselves. An X Team can tell people not to smoke, for example, but who hasn't heard that before? In fact, is there anyone in America who smokes but hasn't heard, at least a million times, that smoking causes lung cancer, emphysema, chronic bronchitis, bladder cancer, hastens heart disease, etc, etc, etc? Or food: who would choose hypertension, hypercholesterolemia, diabetes, coronary artery disease, and non-alcoholic steatohepatitis over health? Everyone who eats beef more often than once a week, it turns out, and probably everyone who eats McDonald's more than once a month.

But on the other end of the spectrum are those who obsess over organic produce, ear candling, full body CT scans, executive physicals, and the like, who waste just as much effort from an overtaxed cohort of physicians, nurses, hospitals, and fellow insurance purchasers as the souls who indirectly choose tobacco, fat, and salt over health.

1. Healthcare is not a commodity for consumption. Medical care is the energy, skill, and literally care a physician or nurse uses to lighten the load carried by a patient, a sufferer, a fellow human being who bears a burden.

Monday, May 18, 2009

"As per..."

Can we all just agree not to say "as per..." ever again? It is annoying, because no one seems to know what it means. It is impersonal, shifting authority, blame, and responsibility to the cloud.

Next time you are about to say it, just ask yourself if you really need both the "as" and the "per," and since you probably don't, ask yourself if you wouldn't sound like an ass if you said "per." Since you would, and the "as" doesn't add anything, you sound like an ass when you say both together.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Free Chocolate!

From the Mars Real Chocolate Relief Program: A free candy bar to the first 250,000 people who sign up every Friday.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

The Espresso Book Machine

A souped-up copy machine to print books (trade paperbacks) on demand. Fun to watch it work.

Friday, May 01, 2009

$100 million

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Dorkiest Blog Yet

Stapler of the Week. Also, they don't seem to have that famous red swingline.

Monday, April 20, 2009

db Bistro Moderne

We swear the waiter was German, which would make his thick French accent a complete affectation, but the food here was phenomenal.

Also, the wine, Ramsay Pinot Noir, rocked. If you know where to pick up a bottle or two, let us know.

May We Recommend

A Moleskine City Notebook. The combo of map, pocket to hold tickets, and notebook to jot down restaurants, etc, was perfect to navigate the city while we were on vacation this weekend. You are going to want a map in your pocket, so why not grab one of these and fill it with your trip plans a week or so before you leave?

Dylan's Candy Bar

Just came back from NYC, where the inner child went wild for this over-the-top candy store, the brain child of Ralph Lauren's little girl. More pictures here.

Saturday, April 11, 2009


from the Washington Post.

Thursday, April 09, 2009

What a waste

Most of the Beatles' catalog will be re-issued. On CDs, because EMI thinks that is state of the art in digital audio, not Blu-Ray, DVD-A, or, God forbid, iTunes. Whatever. Chances are the new CDs were mastered on a Mac with ProTools.


Britney Spears stops performance because of cloud of pot smoke hanging around the stage in Vancouver.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Microsoft v. Apple, Round Whatever

Apple is trying to innovate its way through the Great Recession, but only just: they shipped a workstation with Intel's latest and greatest chip a full month before Intel officially released the chip to other computer makers, but they tethered it to a neutered graphics card, so it is not clear what anyone would do with the $3000+ MacPro if they could actually afford one.

Microsoft, which doesn't actually make PCs, has answered with a campaign of their own: Settle for us.

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Monday, April 06, 2009

Physicians and Torture

Medical workers--by which they seem to mean physicians, physician's assistants, and others--helped the CIA torture prisoners at Gitmo. We are physicians, and we remember the oath we took: the physicians who took part in this should be stoned.

Maybe this is how I'll decorate my new apt

Like finger painting, but with spaghetti.

Sunday, April 05, 2009

What exactly is a depression?

It is an excellent question, and there really isn't a well-defined answer.

Some combination of negative economic growth, greater than 10% unemployment, and widespread destruction of durable assets for survival, ie, burning furniture for warmth, desperately selling the family land for cash, eating the milk cow--what else? And how to quantify?

Shout-out: Penfold's Bin 128 Coonawarra Shiraz

Pricier than our usual fare at $25 a bottle, this wine rocked. It's a beautiful purple-red tooth stainer of a wine, but deceptively light on the nose. Then you sip and find it filling your mouth almost to the bursting point. This is some highly structured stuff, with a mix of black pepper and fresh blackberries on a background of moderate acidity. We drank a bottle on its own, but the acidity would be great with most any meal.

Saturday, April 04, 2009

Steven Spear on Constant Innovation

Blog for Steven Spear's Chasing the Rabbit. McGraw-Hill needs to run a PDSA cycle on that website's formatting, btw.

Wow this sucked

Went to ImprovBoston last night and saw this steaming pile of crap. When we think improv comedy, we think of 1) audience interaction and 2) comedy. This had neither. Worse, it amounted to little more than 4 people practicing their Irish accents on stage for an hour--and all of them still need more work.

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Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Could airlines directly post any changes in departure time or expected delays to passengers' twitter accounts rather than announcing them at the gate area? In our experience, each such overhead announced spawns 200 phone calls that all sound roughly like this: "Hey sweetie. I'm at the gate now. We're supposed to be taking off at 7:20, but they just said we'll be delayed 20 minutes... Is that junior? Hey boy-o! Daddy'll call you when I land!... Oh, wait, they are making another announcement. Gotta go!"

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Hulu for Academics

Academic Earth. via.

Guilty Unless Proven Innocent

A 13-year old girl was stripped searched because her middle school principal thought she might be smuggling ibuprofen (aka Motrin or Advil, similar to those other street drugs, aspirin and Tylenol, that the kids go for these days)--seems another girl at school was caught with two pills of the stuff and fingered the girl in question, an estranged friend, as the source. So the school nurse and administrator strip searched her, playing right into the first girl's plan to get her "friend" deeply, truly humiliated and ruining the second girl's life. Or something like that.

Her case is now being argued before the Supreme Court. Asked by the New York Times reporter about the perp's pristine permanent file--straight As until the incident, and not a single disciplinary report--the school said, "Yes, but that does not mean she followed school rules, just that she did not get caught breaking them."

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Saturday, March 21, 2009

Digital Photography

See, if only we had time, we would cultivate a skill/talent/hobby like photography. We have a nice little camera, so this is going to be our starter project: The Art of Panning, from Digital Photography School.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

BSO Tix on the Cheap

BSO tickets are $20 if you are under 40. They just make being over the hill hurt that much more.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Monday, March 16, 2009

Thanks for Clearing That Up

Coffee: The nature of "varietal" coffee, generalizations about caffeine content, but not how to brew a good pot.

Sunday, March 15, 2009


From an artist in NY by whom we're obviously impressed.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Stereogum MP3s

Free music, even for those who are reluctant to hop on the BitTorrent bangwagon. See also Sonos on Twitter.


Anyone else using this? Maybe we're seduced by the Apple-brand marketing, but seems like a nice motivator/feedback tool. Anyone know if it works on a treadmill?

See also: Nike-brand marketing for same.

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Sunday, March 08, 2009


Wine's first duty, they say, is to be red. If you are going to drink the white stuff, though, riesling really is the way to go. Rieslings actually span a gamut from sweet & apple-scented to nearly dry and spicy, so each new bottle is a little adventure. This Dragonstone was near the dry end of the spectrum and cries out for some hearty pork-roasted-with-apples dish. Wine via.

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Friday, March 06, 2009

Weekend Project

Always happy to lend a hand, Tris: Peter Wehner, go eat balls.

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Bill Clinton's iPod

Sorta. His playlist for an autographed iPod being auctioned for charity:

  1. Brown Eyed Girl (Van Morrison)
  2. I Get Along Without You Very Well (Carly Simon)
  3. Bahia (Stan Getz with Charlie Byrd)
  4. Bridge Over Troubled Water (Simon & Garfunkel)
  5. Crown Imperial (“The Presidents Own” U.S. Marine Band)
  6. Angel (Sarah McLachlan)
  7. Philadelphia Freedom (Elton John)
  8. English Folk Song Suite [1-3] (North Texas Wind Symphony)
  9. A Song for You (Willie Nelson)
  10. Winds of the Old Days (Joan Baez)
  11. Concierto de Aranjuez [1-3] (John Williams)

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Wine Blogging

Finalists for the 2009 American Wine Blog Award.

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Sunday, February 22, 2009

Bears. Beets. Battlestar Galactica.

At the risk of allying ourselves with Dwight--really, it's just the beets that catch our attention--God, does this soup look good.

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Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Worth Every Penny.

Or, more aptly, worth every dollar: Hamersley's Bistro.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

There Is Nothing New Under the Sun

Other People's Money--And How the Bankers Use It, published in 1914. Via.

In Defense of Pink Drinks

David Wondrich is breathing new life into Esquire's formidable Drinks Database, starting with this raspberry pink cognac-based smiling handgun.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

How could we miss this?

Fatwa on Rushdie now 20 years old.

Entry post-dated for dramatic effect.

Friday, February 13, 2009

The Ultimate in Personal Music Recommendations

People's Music Store--a commie-sounding mp3 site--takes amazon's "people who bought this also bought X" to the next level, web2.0 style, by letting you roll your own music store with mp3s from their catalogs. Right now, the stock is mainly indie, with big labels testing the waters. We're exploring the stockroom now and will keep you updated, but expect a forthcoming Notions Oceans Music Store. Via.

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Gramophone Archive Goes Live

The entire archived issues (1923-present) of Gramophone, the classical music rag, are now available online. Unlike the New Yorker, they're free!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Remember the End of Grapes of Wrath?

Intellectually, it seemed so optimistic when Rose of Sharon put aside all pretensions to help a stranger in need. Viscerally, it made us want to vomit.

Salma Hayak went with the first response, and somehow, Salma doesn't make us want to vomit:

New Cocktail: The Sully

Honor Capt. Chesley "Sully" Sullenberger, the pilot who gracefully ditched US Airways Flight 1549 in the Hudson last month after the plane was struck by geese in mid-flight, by raising one of these:

The Sully
Two shots Grey Goose
A splash of water

Wonder what Salon's Patrick Smith would say to this...

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Monday, February 09, 2009

Plants to Green Up Your Air

From TED 2009 comes a presentation summarizing a 15-year effort to green up a New Delhi office building:

Practically speaking, we think that if you had 4 "shoulder height" palm trees, 6-8 "waist height" plants, and 1-2 bushy things for good measure per person in your living space, you'd be living in a jungle. Via.
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Tropicana's New Label

Looks like the sort of package generic drugs would come in.


Thursday, February 05, 2009

Bet on Movies

This has been around for a while, but still compelling in its own way:, the Hollywood Stock Exchange. You bet, with fake money, on how much movies will gross at the box office. This has the side effect of keeping you in the know about upcoming flicks.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Creepy Creeperson

"Hi Doc! I just got married!"


"Yeah, the paperwork is all done, and in April, I am going to China to meet my bride!"
True story. No joke. We still feel dirty for congratulating him.

Sunday, February 01, 2009

2009 Bloggies



Secability, n: the ability of an object to be cut. See

Friday, January 30, 2009

Prayer for the Dying

Watch, O Lord, with those who wake, or watch, or weep tonight, and give your angels charge over those who sleep.
Tend your sick ones, O Lord Christ;
Rest your weary ones;
Bless your dying ones;
Soothe your suffering ones;
Pity your afflicted ones;
Shield your joyous ones.

O Lord Jesus, who once died in agony, have mercy on those who will die today.

Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, grant that they may breathe their last in peace with you. †

What ISN'T disgusting about this?

A site for men to track SO's menstrual cycles. Thank you, Dwight Schrute.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Drinks with LBJ

Now that cocktail parties are once again allowed at the Whitehouse, we'd like to share this beautiful anecdote about LBJ, drinking and driving:

In the early afternoon, the President, with me next to him in the front seat, took his white Lincoln convertible, top down, for a drive around the ranch. It was incredibly hot; the dust clouds made it hard to breathe. But there was relief. As we drove around we were followed by a car and a station wagon with Secret Service agents. The President drank Cutty Sark scotch and soda out of a large white plastic foam cup. Periodically, Johnson would slow down and hold his left arm outside the car, shaking the cup and ice. A Secret Service agent would run up to the car, take the cup and go back to the station wagon. There another agent would refill it with ice, scotch, and soda as the first agent trotted behind the wagon. Then the first agent would run the refilled cup up to LBJ’s outstretched and waiting hand, as the President’s car moved slowly along.
See, if we were President, that's what we'd be doing.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Word of the Day

Agnotology: Culturally constructed ignorance, purposefully created by special interest groups working hard to create confusion and suppress the truth. Via.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Monday, January 19, 2009

Arrested Development Fans Just Blue Themselves

Portia Di Rossi confirms that she is excited to be Lindsay Bluth again, and says that all the cast is onboard but they just need to schedule some face time to finish up the movie. With cluuub sauce.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Friday, January 16, 2009

Gadget Obsession

The iPhone is hot, sure, but we love the QWERTY keypad on our Treo. Also, it only does one thing at a time--can't chat without interrupting whatever else you're trying to do with it, for example, or pull up a webpage while talking on the speaker phone. Enter the Palm pre. Other than the dumbass name, it has lots going for it: it fixes all of the above shortcomings of the iPhone, and adds magic-level synchronization of contact info, calendars, email, and so on. That alone is worth the price of admission.We're getting one as soon as they hit the shelves.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Baker Artist Awards

Check out our buddy Samuel Burt's nom and do him a favor and vote for him!

Friendship vs Burger King

Which means more to you?

Monday, January 12, 2009

Shout out Victrola

A "quirky ambient lady band" including a friend of a friend from our good ol' undergrad days.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

More with Less

Espousing the idea that frequent flier miles add up.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Missed by That Much

A 4-alarm fire broke out across the alley early this morning and destroyed half the block, taking 2/3 of the neighborhood's restaurants out. Pics at and also at the Herald.

Quotes on Love & Wealth, and a Resolution

"Foul cankering rust the hidden treasure frets,
but gold that's put to use more gold begets."
- William Shakespeare
"Love in your heart wasn't put there to stay;
Love isn't love 'til you give it away!"
- Oscar Hammerstein

Just thinking.

Sunday, January 04, 2009

How Facebook Adds to the Trials & Tribulations of Dating

Months ago, happily in love, we posted our relationship status with a gorgeous, wonderful woman on Facebook. She de-friended us on Facebook (and otherwise), and Facebook updates to say we are "in a relationship," the change being that it no longer lists the wonderful, gorgeous woman. Facebook also tells all of your friends the new status, ie, that you are "now in a relationship."

Thanks to all you well-wishers out there, though. We know you mean well.

For Free Culture, Please Send Money To...

Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales breathes a sigh of relief now that 6 million dollars has been pledged, PBS style, to keep the free online encyclopedia afloat until June--but please send more. Even better, if you try to donate a few bucks, you'll find that the suggested minimum donation is $30.

The Wiki project does not lend itself to the usual kinds of advertising:

[Even] companies like YouTube have had serious trouble trying to monetize user-generated content through advertising, and it's not hard to see why; what big-time brand wants to take a chance on appearing above unvetted and potentially libelous entries that could, at any moment, have key words replaced by terms for genitalia?
The obvious solution is to allow people and corporations to write their own entries (and have them protected from editing) for a fee, which hasn't been working well to-date. Or you might charge people for the right to edit, may $30/year or $100/life. Anyway, there's no such thing as a free lunch.

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Box Wine in Nine

Dr Vino rounds up the best boxed wines of 2008, to which we'd like to add Hardy's Stamp of Australia shiraz. One of our favorite restaurants in Harvard Square offers it for about $8/glass, so the prospect of buying 3L in a box for $15-20 dollars rocks.