So . . . uh . . . MetaFilter again, this time noting a mashup by The Kleptones of Queen with major hip-hop. One of the fine, fine MetaFilter folks has the album mirrored as individual MP3s, which is nice, since the first time I downloaded it I got a .zip 1 hour and 18 minutes long, one big file, and couldn’t cut it up proper-like.
I’m reading Judith Thurman’s New Yorker Fact piece on Teresa Heinz Kerry, and it’s fascinating. Here’s a stripped-down excerpt with some Wikipedia links:
Maria Teresa Thierstein Simões-Ferreira Heinz Kerry was born in Lourenço Marques on October 5, 1938. . . . The Simões-Ferreira family produced some of Lisbon’s most distinguished lawyers and judges (and also a poet . . . who was “crazy as a loon,” and a friend of Sartre’s), so her father’s choice of a career in medicine was . . . mildly heretical. He emigrated to Mozambique about the time Salazar seized power [in 1932 in Portugal] . . . having married a young woman from Lourenço Marques’s cliquish British colony. . . . [Heinz Kerry’s mother], Irene Thierstein, [was] a Mediterranean matriarch of the old school. . . . born in Mozambique to a couple who had immigrated from South Africa at the time of the Boer War. Her father was the scion of a Swiss-German family living on Malta, and her mother was the half-French, half-Italian daughter of an Alexandrian shipowner who traded with Russia during the Crimean War.
When Heinz Kerry’s mother was pregnant with her first child, she contracted a kidney ailment in Manjacaze and nearly died. The family returned to Europe for a few years so that she could regain her health. . . . [T]hey settled in the capital, where Simões-Ferreira opened an oncology clinic. His children had a modern urban childhood that included movies, pop music, and dating. “My life was idyllic,” Heinz Kerry says, “but more modern than Isak Dinesen’s.”
Paying no attention to anything makes me miss out on stuff like how friggin’ cosmopolitan certain aspects of the political scene have become. Is Teresa Heinz Kerry a side effect of globalization or one of the causes of globalization? Jeezum, it’s a weird world.
And, um, MetaFilter mentions this Queen-Hip-Hop mashup done by The Kleptones
Comedians take note. Your new competition works in the travel sector."
Some 5,500+ movie reviews are now available from Roger Ebert’s new website. (Ebert loves Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow, if anybody wondered, though, as John Scalzi noted, “Ebert can be as clueless about a clever film as anyone, and he’s a sucker for pretty lights and cool design.”)
Emory University hosts PDF files of Melvin Konner’s book The Tangled Wing. Who knew?
Damn love spell. I have tried every anti-love spell spell I could find.
Even if you find the right one, the guy would probably just do an anti-anti-love spell spell . . . spell.
—from Buffy the Vampire Slayer, season 7, episode 6, “Him”
Wow. The top search at Google for waybeyondthepale is Buffy slash fiction. (I was looking for a domain name, thinking Tori Amos thoughts.)
For Kevin, among others, a link to a PDF of the September 29, 2001 report Biological Warfare and the Buffy Paradigm. This for-real 42-page document, issued in Washington just a few weeks after the WTC attacks, makes an analogy between the constant, unpredictable threats Buffy and Co. face in show after show, and the constant, unpredictable threats posed to U.S. national security by terrorists with heavy-duty biological weapons. A (badly-written) taste:
Finding a New Paradigm: The “Buffy Syndrome”
The US must plan its Homeland defense policies and programs for a future in which there is no way to predict the weapon that will be used or the method chosen to deliver a weapon which can range from a small suicide attack by an American citizen to the covert delivery of a nuclear weapon by a foreign state. There is no reason the US should assume that some convenient Gaussian curve or standard deviation, will make small or medium level attacks a higher priority over time than more lethal forms.
Any structured intellectual approach to describing this situation—and planning for it—is so uncertain that a valid structure can only be developed as an exercise in complexity or “chaos” theory. I, however, would like you to think about the biological threat in more mundane terms. I am going to suggest that you think about biological warfare in terms of a TV show called “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” that you think about the world of biological weapons in terms of the “Buffy Paradigm,” and that you think about many of the problems in the proposed solutions as part of the “Buffy Syndrome.”
I realize that those of you who are workaholics or who are simply mature and without children or younger relatives may never have seen this show. It is, however, about a teenage vampire slayer who lives in a world of unpredictable threats where each series of crises only becomes predictable when it is over and is followed by a new and unfamiliar one.
Yes, it’s the “Buffy Paradigm” at work. You may have heard it here first. (I first heard it in Michael Adams’ book Slayer Slang. Crazy book, people. Incredible scholarly detail focused on language as employed by the Buffy writers. At Powell’s in hardcover for only US$7.98.)
Mostly a reminder for me: Drezner wrote about Buffy when the show ended a year and a half ago, with many links.
Last night (this morning) just after 02:00 hours, Kristian and I finished copy-editing the index to Our Enemies in Blue. One more once-over for the single-page entries and it’ll be ready to send back to the publisher.
Sven and Gretchin are back from Burning Man; Sven sounds okay-happy-enough about it.
Anybody who reads MetaFilter or Caoine.org probably saw the AudioStreet.net member who made a cover of George W. Bush doing U2’s “Sunday, Bloody Sunday” (direct link to an MP3 at ca.lcul.us). It’s really ridiculously good.
Also, if the people who downloaded Fredo’s “Sad Song” are not already aware, and if they’re reading this (you know who you are), the guy got totally swamped with a US$4,800 bandwidth bill from his ISP because of our downloads, and really we ought to help the guy out, if we can (his account is fredo-at-aviola.com with an @ for the “at”).
Numbers are crucial tools for imagination. A specific number can integrate enormous quantities of data, making an image that has almost the quality of narrative. For example, the number 58,226 seems arbitrary, but it also indicates the number of U.S. soldiers known to have been killed or gone missing in action in Vietnam. The vaguer number 6 million is an icon of the Nazi attempt to exterminate European Jewry during the Second World War. We can use 6 billion as shorthand to think of 6,391,300,000, the estimated number of all human beings alive on Earth today. Seeing 365 makes many of us think immediately of one year, and 1,001 calls to mind Scheherazade’s tales and the time of Harun al-Rashid. Calendar dates are also numbers chockablock with narrative. We hear 44 and 622 very differently if we know of Caesar’s assassination or Muhammad’s flight from Mecca, and if we can hear the pivotal zero year which Christ’s life represents in the Gregorian calendar used throughout the western world; and 1999’s millennial resonance reminds many now also of a popular 1983 song recorded by a musician formerly known as The Artist Formerly Known As Prince.
Encyclopædia Britannica says its recent DVD edition comprises 54,592,999 words and costs 6,995 U.S. pennies (7,804.5 words per penny!).
Today is the birthday of the nice guy from Future Dreams. His name may be Don Riordan.
I just realized the New Yorker link I talked about a few days ago with Kevin (whose web site apparently only works with Flash and so is un-bloggable from where I am now) was to an article by Louis Menand. Skimming doesn’t always pay, is the lesson here. Time to read.
This afternoon at work I spent an hour reading the The Vice Guide to Everything. Very het, I guess, very not gay. Straight and narrowly hip (but not copping to being hip, no, no). It’s like an extreme close-up photograph of something, but it’s so close you can’t figure out what it’s of. Puzzling, off-putting, kinda funny, righteous, and probably a waste of time. Oh, well.
Tonight in a push I will watch the final six episodes of Buffy to finish the seventh season, all that remains, after I visit the Fresh Pot for the first time in many, many days.
Tomorrow I will help Kristian complete the index to Our Enemies in Blue.
Sunday I'll upgrade to OS 10.3.4 at last.
A U.S. Bank credit card now absorbs any fees I incur from overdrawing my checking account.
My move-in date is 020041001 at the Weidler apartment.