Archive for January, 2009

Electronic Newspaper, 1981

January 31, 2009

(Hat Tip: The Daily Dish)


Birmingham bans apostrophes

January 30, 2009

A city in England apparently overwhelmed by complaints over the punctuation of certain street signs has decided to throw in the towel on apostrophes, according to a Telegraph article that reads like a piece from The Onion.

The Birmingham City Council recently said goodbye to the apostrophe on signs for St. Paul’s Square and other streets in the city, despite understandable protests from folks like John Richards, the founder of what sounds like an Onion-fabricated organization named the Apostrophe Protection Society:

“This is setting a terrible example,” Mr Richards said. “It seems retrograde, dumbing down really. All over Birmingham, and in other cities, teachers are trying to teach children correct grammar and punctuation. Now children will go around Birmingham and see utter chaos.”

Mr Richards suggested the move could prove to be the first step towards linguistic anarchy. “If you don’t have apostrophes,” he said, “is there any point in full stops, or semi-colons, or question marks? Is there any point in punctuation at all?”

Of course, the article also notes that the city has been “quietly phasing out apostrophes since the 1950s.”

Caution! Zombies ahead!

January 30, 2009

Fleet Foxes not signing to Virgin

January 29, 2009

In hopes of emphatically putting to rest a rumor stoked by the Seattle Weekly that Fleet Foxes had signed to Virgin, the band’s frontman, Robin Pecknold, posted a mouthful about major record labels on the band’s MySpace page Thursday.

The meat:

Fleet Foxes will never, ever, under no circumstances, from now until the world chokes on gas fumes, sign to a major label. This includes all subsidiaries or permutations thereunder. Till we die.’

I just don’t see the point. Most major labels seem anti-music. We’ve pursued no such deal with Virgin (or been pursued to my knowledge, I think it was just a bit of news they reported) and would be idiots to be unhappy with our fam of label folks…

And some more for good measure:

My perspective is that if we make choices we feel good about intrinsically, it all comes out in the wash, and you’ll all know what kind of band we are or are not, for better or worse! As a kid / teen, I’d get bent out of shape when my favorite bands did things that seemed motivated more by money than by art or seemed to not be honoring the core group of listeners that got them to where they were. But I’d be even more stoked on a band when they did well on their own terms. So, every time someone says something like “half a million bucks to appear at the Republican National Convention playing Mykonos BUT you have to say “McCain, Yo!” instead of “Mykonos” and work in something about drill baby drill” I think back to my young self and if he’d be into that. And then say no.

Irving and Updike

January 29, 2009

“We weren’t friends. We knew each other socially for the brief period of time when I lived in Massachusetts—in Cambridge—and he was in Beverly Farms. We had dinner together a few times. We had a polite but not frequent correspondence, too. For a period of time—no longer—fans used to confuse the two of us. How could this have happened? Because we were both “John”? It was baffling, but I got numerous fan letters that were meant for him, and he got fan letters that were meant for me, and this gave us the occasion to write to each other—and send the misdirected fan mail to each other. This has stopped; it hasn’t happened in five or six years. Maybe this was mail from a single demented village or the same deranged family; maybe it was generational, and they’ve died out—those idiots who thought I was John Updike and John Updike was me.”

John Irving

(Hat Tip: Mighty Red Pen)

The Boat That Rocked trailer

January 29, 2009

(Hat Tip: yvynyl)

Beneath the facade, a fragile man

January 29, 2009

Although Haggard’s work to “save” other homosexual men from their sinful ways has made him an enemy of gay people everywhere, Pelosi’s film strips away the knee-jerk assumptions about him to show us a fragile man trying desperately to keep his life together. More important, his struggle to stay in the good graces of his family and the church hints at the countless dark stories playing out in towns across America today: gay people struggling to beat back their natural urges, and failing, only to find themselves ostracized by their communities.

Even if you condemn Haggard’s choices and question his smiling, “Jesus will deliver me from evil” facade, it’s tough not to feel some sympathy for the man as he places pamphlets for health insurance on doorknobs throughout an Arizona neighborhood or moves boxes out of a U-Haul into a bleak-looking apartment where his nomadic family will be staying for a few months.

-Heather Havrilesky’s review in of “The Trials of Ted Haggard.” The documentary makes its debut tonight on HBO.

Is sprawl killing the postal service?

January 29, 2009

Blogger Rob Pitingolo floats an interesting theory over at Extraordinary Observations about a possible relationship between suburban sprawl and the problems with the U.S. postal service.

It makes sense.

I mean, can we really blame $2.8 billion in losses all on e-mail?


January 28, 2009

Another Updike classic.

Oklahoma buzzer beater

January 28, 2009