The Awl: Why Times Square Needs a McWorld – a suggestion for a flagship McDonald’s in Times Square that serves food from all the different McDonald’s menus from around the world.  Fast food localizations is one of my favorite parts of travel.   Man, to be able to get a McVeggie…

The Verge: “I used Google Glass: the future, but with monthly updates”

But I walked away convinced that this wasn’t just one of Google’s weird flights of fancy. The more I used Glass the more it made sense to me; the more I wanted it. If the team had told me I could sign up to have my current glasses augmented with Glass technology, I would have put pen to paper (and money in their hands) right then and there. And it’s that kind of stuff that will make the difference between this being a niche device for geeks and a product that everyone wants to experience.

After a few hours with Glass, I’ve decided that the question is no longer ‘if,’ but ‘when?’

I’ll believe it when I see it.  Google has a horrendous track record with selling hardware, or selling anything, actually, to consumers.  See, Google TV which nearly wrecked Logitech and spawned this amazing TV remote; or Google Nexus Q, the streaming music device, which got press for being manufactured in the USA, but was shitcanned before a single unit shipped.

Nevertheless, this kind of technology in widespread use would be transformative.  And I cannot think of a better company to be leading the push. A company whose business model is selling advertisers access to your personal behavioral profile now wants to be integrated into your eyeball, complete put a personal video camera.   WHERE DO I SIGN UP

Rob Walker: Let’s Make A Mark:

… we need a new punctuation mark that resides in the emotional range between the just-the-facts period and the whoop-to-do excitability of the exclamation point. While the new mark would clearly signal positivity, it would save us from communicating with the unhinged emotionality of a note slipped between junior-high students.

The proposed icon looks like a stick figure playing with a mirror.  At least they didn’t give it a name like the “interrobang“.  Also, doesn’t the emoticon smiley face emoticon serve this exact purpose?  e.g., Thanks =)  Congrats =)  See you soon =)  

That age where complaining about having too much hair approaches complaining about having too much money.

Things I Learned 2012-12

  • Shakespeare’s Sonnet 151 is considered one of the dirtier sonnets. (wiki)
  • Asians have the longest torsos relative to their body size. [WE WILL TAKE IT. -Ed.] (via)
  • The maximum prison sentence you can get in Norway is 21 years, war crimes and genocide notwithstanding. (via) Although, after which you can be preventively detained for 5 years at a time, so the man that massacred an island full of teens is probably never going to be freed. (via)
  • ineluctable – adj. Unable to be resisted or avoided; inescapable (via)
  • TIP: You can remotely roll down your car windows by double tapping and holding the unlock button on the key-fob remote (on certain car models).  (via)
  • cornpone – adj. Informal – Folksy and homespun, as in manner or speech: a penchant for cornpone humor; cornpone political prose. (via)
  • “playa foot” – colloquially refers to a chemical burn on soles of feet due to exposure to alkali dust.  As found in Black Rock dessert (i.e., La Playa) where Burning Man is held. (via)  (See, also, a hula hoop  with video camera attached left on ground + Burning Man’s earnest sense of experimentation = male lizard brain food)
  • apiary – n. collection of beehives (via)
  • There once was a breed of dog called a turnspit, that was trained to work in the kitchen (okay, just to rotate a spittle over the fire, but still.) (via)
  • PATENT OF THE MONTH: Patent No. 6,469 –  Manner of Buoying Vessels over Shoals – by Abraham Lincoln, yes that Abraham Lincoln (via)lincoln patent

 

I only listen to music for the inconsolable heart.

Finding Nemo holds up; Toy Story 3 does not.

Watching a season of Mad Men, then In the Mood for Love, renders a man skeptical of fidelity, and sour on the the human condition.

Time Warner password requirements

Must be 8-16 characters long
Must contain letters and numbers only
Must contain at least one number
Cannot match your username
Cannot repeat a value 3 times in a row
Cannot contain objectionable or prohibited words

Thank god, finally, someone’s doing something about the racist dictionary attacks.

Par for course

In the past month, I have become an avid up cigar smoker, and have just bought my first set of golf clubs. I did not realize that in my 30s I would transform into a middle aged white man.

Things I Learned 2012-07

  • Starting in the 1930s, in regions of Spain captured by the anti-communist Nationalists during the war, doctors and nuns abducted over 300,000 newborn babies from “red parents” and gave them to families that would raise them in accordance with Nationalist and Catholic beliefs. [via]
  • Martha Gellhorn had one helluva life: considered one of the greatest war correspondents ever, covering every major world conflict from 1930 to 1990; married Earnest Hemingway  (third wife), divorced him when he kept trying to block her from battlefield assignments; cancer stricken and blind at age 89, committed suicide by drug overdose.  [wikipedia] [via no idea, I think I was reading about Earnest Hemingway’s family tree. His granddaughters are runway models]
  • “six of one, half a dozen of another” – idiom. two things are almost the same or equal  [via]
  • The modern Olympic pentathlon seems like a random hodgepodge of events (épée fencing, pistol shooting, 200 metre freestyle swimming, show jumping on horseback, and 3 km cross country running), but its origins are based on simulating the experience of a 19th century cavalry soldier behind enemy lines: he/she must ride an unfamiliar horse, fight with pistol and sword, swim, and run. [more info]
  • There is a species of termite that produces and stores toxic blue crystals in an external pouch on their abdomen.  When enemy termites attack the nest, older worker bugs are sent to the front lines along with soldier bugs (the younger bugs’ toxins are less potent). The poisonous blue crystals they have amassed react with salivary gland secretions to create a type of “toxic goo.” When an enemy takes a bite, the explosive backpack ruptures, covering nearby foes in a deadly, paralyzing venom that also kills the worker in the process.  Fucking suicide bomber termites.  [via]  [actual video of this]
  • Journalism sentence of the week:

    “Every now and again Isis disengages Deen’s cruller so that the camera can get a load of Proxy’s keister, which footage you should track down if you happen to adore the sight of a yawning, defanged lamprey with strep throat.”

    [via GQ: “The Well-Hung Boy Next Door,” a lengthy profile of male adult actor James Deen.  The article is a masterpiece of euphemism, and also almost entirely gratuitous.

  • Any human friendship  can be sundered.

Insult

I once quarreled heatedly with a friend, where he said– okay shouted– that I was a horrible person; that the only reason people were friends with me was because they had known me since childhood; that in every group of friends there is always some loser that is tolerated out of sheer loyalty; and that I was that loser.

Yknow, in fights and arguments, there are good ways to fight and bad ways to fight… And then there are fucking dirty-nukes-in-briefcases-hidden-in-grade-schools ways to fight. Oof.

On Airports

I find airport terminals to be places from which one can replenish one’s pre-existing notions and prejudices. It seems logical, dunnit; a spectrum of people all heading to or coming from a single common place. Eg., Them people from that state sure are fat. Lotta Asians over there live in that city. And yonder: a real horror show, a parade alternating betwixt the ugly and the grotesque. Take this gate for a flight bound for LA, for example. All the attractive people are obviously would-be actors.

One girl, tall, slim, a substitute Thandy Newton, and wearing pink heels that match her pink shirt. She’s accompanied by a squat man with greasy skin and purple dyed hair, dressed in all black, adorned in too many rings, necklaces, and charms (and lacking in any his own). I want to call him Roadie, or Roach, or Toad. They appear to be a couple, but a reluctant one. He puts his hand on the small of her back, and she is uncomfortable, but somehow feels obligated to oblige him. At first glance, I thought he was a fanboy asking an autograph from a starlet, but now I almost suspect some form of low level sex trafficking.

There are also children. Lots and lots of children. They are making noises. It is chaos, and I want to lie down, and I have been standing here for 5 minutes. To be clear, it’s not crying or yelling that upsets me– I’ve put up with worse flails from human adults– but rather it’s their chaotic sense of merriment that irks me. They have a positive feedback loop where yelps beget shrieks, shrieks beget aural maelstrom. I pray that the flight attendants permit us to place them in the cargo hold.

Here is another girl who i recognize from before the layover, all the way from LGA. She must have been the pretty girl in her class the one everyone said would make it. She is encased in light coffee skin, wrapped across a toned body. She must be a yoga instructor, because only professional aptitude would explain her body; there is no way that is the product of a mere hobbyist. She is wearing a tank top, yoga pants, and an actual fanny pack because it seems that functioning pants pockets would ruin the clean silhouette she is currently burning into the collective memory of the world. She has a stern face. This is a protective measure she learned long ago, lest she appear approachable, because if she did, um, men would approach her.

Her on-flight reading material? A script, of course. The word WIN is scribbled across the cover page. Mid flight, she gets up to retrieve a pouch from the overhead compartment. She reaches up, on her toes; her back arches; and half of the cabin sighs. The Frenchman sitting next to me notices her and instantly furrows his brow in disbelief. He mutters something in French, which I assume is a curse word for “gods curse this unfortunate seating assignment.”

The plane is delayed one hour for plane maintenance, and then another hour because the engineer working on the aforementioned maintenance forgot to return a logbook to the airplane, and he was now nowhere to be found, so until someone returns a physical item made of bound and dried parchment having information describing the maintenance of a modern avionics device, we should– WHY IS SAID LOG BOOK NOT DIGITIZED AND WHY CANNOT THEY JUST WHISK THE INFORMATION VIA TELECOMMUNICATION. I mean, i keep a maintenance notebook in the glove compartment of my 2001 Honda Accord, but I don’t have 150 people waiting on a Tarmac. Crab out.

Question of the day

Is this considered prostitution if it’s a prize raffled by lottery for charity?

Things I learned 2012-06

  1. ojeriza – a characteristic of the dog Fila Brasilerio, which roughly translates to xenophobia, or a deep dislike of strangers. Is often controversially selected for in that breed. [via]
  2. MOLLE – a system of webbing sewn into most modern military gear for modular attachment [via]
  3. Meanwhile, the Marines had their own system designed by outdoor outfitter Arc’teryx
    [via].
  4. “The skunk’s scent glands have evolved into structures that look like swollen nipples, each able to swivel independently of the other to take perfect aim, and to perfectly calibrated effect”. [via]
  5. sinecure – n. well-paying job requiring little work. [via book Ghostwritten]
  6. Forget Battle Royale, Hunger Games is inspired by the legend of the Minotaur:

    “After his son was assassinated in Athens, King Minos ordered the Cretan fleet to set sail for Athens. Minos asked Aegeus for his son’s assassins, and if they were to be handed to him, the town would be spared. However, not knowing who the assassins were, King Aegeus surrendered the whole town to Minos’ mercy. His retribution was that, at the end of every Great Year (seven solar years), the seven most courageous youths and the seven most beautiful maidens were to board a boat and be sent as tribute to Crete, never to be seen again.”

    [via]

  7. From the what-not-to-do-during-patent-litigation archives:

    The Cadence group Quickturn was also involved in an unusual series of legal events with Mentor Graphics/Aptix. Mentor purchased rights to an Aptix patent, then sued Cadence. In this case, the CEO of Aptix, Amr Mohsen, forged a notebook in order to make the patent case stronger. When suspicions were raised, he staged a break-in of his own car to get rid of the evidence, resulting in charges of obstruction of justice. Trying to avoid this, he attempted to flee the country, only to be caught with an illegal passport and a pile of cash. While in jail for this offense, he was recorded offering money to intimidate witnesses and kill the judge.[9] In order to fight these charges, he tried to show psychological problems, but left a trail of evidence of his research into this defense, and how it might be done. He was charged with attempting to delay a federal trial by feigning incompetency, but was convicted anyway. According to the lawyers concerned, the original notebooks were not needed for the trial. The patent filing date, which was not in dispute, would have sufficed.

    [via saisai]

  8. The Nickeldeon 90s stars, including Pete from Pete & Pete, Ferguson from Clarissa explaisn it all, and the kid in Salute Your Shorts have grown up and live in Brooklyn now, and they somehow agreed to be cast in some cheesy music video starring Marc Summers from Double Dare. [via]
  9. The old TWA terminal at JFK airport is being preserved historically and may one day e adapted for use as a hotel. [via]

Retirement

I hear them kids. Their racket, their cock blooded cacophony spilling into the streets. I ain’t so old, but I could retire with what I know. I get it– the future– this future we pretend not to recognize, in an awkward dance around a former acquaintance, as if to do so would gainsay its basic essence as a repackaged form of the past. I see the patterns, the repetition, the inevitable periodic pain, like a boxing glove whirling around on a string– the kids…

I am a sourpatch kid in reverse: sweet-looking on the outside, and…. utter poison on the inside.

Sorry I was unable to attend

Am proud of this note I scribbled for a gift offa wedding registry last week:

May your marriage retain warmth,
be free of rust, and full of lovin’
just like this Le Creuset
enameled cast-iron Dutch oven.

Clear eyes, full hearts, can’t lose,
Crab and Co.