Monday, March 30, 2009
A: Because of extenuating circumstances involving travel, a busted laptop, and a puggle. Okay, the puggle is not at fault. But there is a puggle.
Thursday, March 26, 2009
If you haven't seen it yet, this might be my favorite thing the Onion has ever done.
Prague's Franz Kafka International Named World's Most Alienating Airport
Wednesday, March 25, 2009
It's 2009, we have a black president who narrowly defeated a woman for the Democratic nomination, yet the White House press corps is apparently a wall of dweeby white guys.
Tuesday, March 24, 2009
I believe it was sometime after I noticed the NYT had set up Twitter accounts for all its columnists that I decided to do this cartoon. Sometimes I feel like Web 2.0 is just a big plot by tech entrepreneurs and publicists to convince everyone of their necessity and divert attention away from actual work. "Tweet it and they will come!" they say. It's like high-tech snake oil for the self-promoter's soul. On the other hand, I will admit that social networking apps can be fun. (Did I just type "apps"?)
Regarding the "Plorker" utility in the seventh panel: there is in fact an entity called PLOrk -- the Princeton Laptop Orchestra. According to their site:
each laptopist performs with a laptop and custom designed hemispherical speaker that emulates the way traditional orchestral instruments cast their sound in space.There is also a social networking site called "Plurk." I believe I got some web hits recently from a Plurker, which led to my use of the term "Plork."
Monday, March 23, 2009
I was recently startled by the cap on a carton of Tropicana orange juice:
It's a little plastic orange! There's something very strange and intriguing about this. Maybe because it also looks slightly, er, penile. I will resist making any jokes about "fresh-squeezed." Okay, I guess I just did.
Wednesday, March 18, 2009
I am a 40+ year admirer of Ayn Rand, advocate of her philosophy of Objectivism, and long-time supporter of the Ayn Rand Institute (www.aynrand.org).
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
If you want to get your rock on, head over to the NYT article about protopunk band Death and download their MP3 "Politicians in My Eyes."
What's really amazing is that this song is from a time when everyone was listening to, like, Bread.
As a nonviolent kind of gal, I don't actually advocate any of the measures Rambank takes in this cartoon. Except for the Classmates.com ad, that is. But it was fun to draw.
In case you haven't heard about ex-Merrill Lynch CEO John Thain's $1.2 million office redecoration, you can read about it here.
While Googling that Classmates "She married HIM??!!" ad, I came across a story in the Seattle Times about what the people in the photos are doing now. I must say, I have always felt a peculiar empathy for that girl with the bowl haircut.
Monday, March 16, 2009
A rather unsettling detail in an article about local boxing in C-VILLE Weekly:
Robles’ braided topknot hangs down from the top of an otherwise shaved head and tattoos crawl up his shoulders and neck. He wears a hemp necklace holding a small, one-and-a-half inch shriveled yellow thing that looks like a finger.You can see a photo of the pinky necklace here.
Friday, March 13, 2009
My RSS feeds are displaying an error message today. A number of Blogger bloggers are reporting the same. Of course, if you're unable to get my feed, you won't be reading this.
[UPDATE, 3/15: Looks like they finally fixed the problem.]
Thursday, March 12, 2009
A detail in yesterday's NYT article about Michelle Obama's promotion of healthy food caught my eye:
The former first lady, Laura Bush, insisted that fresh, organic foods be served in the White House, but did not broadcast that fact to the public, according to Walter Scheib, who served as executive chef under Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush.Oho! So while Republicans were busy fighting food safety regulations and environmental laws, and trying to weaken organic standards -- and commentators like the odious David Brooks sneered at organic produce and the people who ate it -- Laura was insisting on only the purest, freshest food for the Bush clan. Isn't that typical of these swine? Screw everyone else, then protect you and yours. It's the dietary equivalent of living in gated communities.
Tuesday, March 10, 2009
A couple weeks ago, over dinner with Mr. Slowpoke, I marveled at how this would be the first "ironic" Great Depression. Here, finally, is something so big it cannot be encompassed through self-conscious parody. Losing your job or your home pretty much trumps anything you can say about it. There's something poignantly absurd about this.
The $150 Bear Stearns t-shirt is based on a true story. As Reuters reported last year, someone paid $151.76 on Ebay for a men's t-shirt bearing the Bear Stearns logo shortly after the firm's collapse. Tons of other Bear crap was also being peddled as collectible:
"Be the first to get your paws on classic Bear Stearns memorabilia," read one post auctioning a miniature plastic toy bear that was going for $28 on Tuesday morning.While I would never pay such a premium, my colleague Matt Bors and I agreed the other day that owning a Bear Stearns shirt would actually be kind of cool.
Monday, March 09, 2009
David Carr makes some excellent points about the newspaper business, such as the fact that the Huffington Post is like a bloated gray dog tick sucking the lifeblood out of journalism (my words, not his).
Thursday, March 05, 2009
Whenever I see a real estate listing nowadays, I play a little game in which I try to guess the asking price. I shoot for the high end of what anyone would reasonably pay for the property. Then I check the actual price, and more often than not, it's shockingly higher than my guess -- sometimes twice as much. Take this listing from the latest issue of the University of Virginia alumni magazine:
And to think a million dollars used to mean something! Now it won't even get you a Cape Cod.
Granted, this is Charlottesville, where real estate prices remain totally insane. I gather other places aren't quite as bad.
Tuesday, March 03, 2009
This is weird. It looks like someone put a line of code on many pages on my site that causes pages not to load properly in a browser. I've uploaded clean versions of everything, but let me know if you notice anything funny.
Maybe I shouldn't have insulted the lolcats.
Tom Tomorrow manages to poke fun at Arianna Huffington, citizen journalism, Twitter, and LOLcats all in one cartoon!
I suppose I can now safely confess that I have always found LOLcats to be way more irritating than funny. I can haz no more lolcats, plz?
Monday, March 02, 2009
I watched an interview with Amazon's Jeff Bezos last week on Charlie Rose. Bezos was there to hype the Kindle, and I could not help but think the guy came off as a bit of a salesputz. After the tenth time he touted Amazon's undying devotion to the customer uber alles, I went for the power button. Let me just say the phrase that comes to mind when I think of Amazon's customer service is "impenetrable fortress." But I digress.
After reading this cartoon, you may be surprised to know that I used to make ebooks at my old job. They've been around for years, though not in the Kindle format, of course. I don't actually have any objections to electronic books as long as authors and publishers are getting paid. (This editorial in the NYT by the president of the Author's Guild about Amazon's attempt to usurp audio rights has made me a bit leery. Amazon has since made the text-to-audio feature opt-in for publishers.) But I do object to the assertion that the Kindle is necessarily THE future of reading, and books are a thing of the past. As someone who appreciates the immediacy and aesthetics of a physical book, I'd like to think the two can coexist.
I'm reminded a little of this cartoon I drew a couple years ago, about our tendency to think our technology makes us all that and a bag of chips.
Sunday, March 01, 2009
I finally fell prey to a Facebook meme: the internet-generated album cover. (Thanks, BTW, to all you people who included me on your "25 Things About Me" lists -- I started to write one, then gave up after "I once dressed up as Chewbacca for Halloween.")
This one is, however, irresistible to anyone with basic graphic design skillz and an interest in album cover art. And since I wasted 20 minutes of my life doing this, I figured I'd get some blog mileage out of it.
"Not in a Closet" by Roosevelt Expressway. Cover art photographer: Nika Fadul
To quote my friend Tim J:
"Roosevelt Expressway successfully combine Brooklyn attitude with samba and electronica influences on their new release, 'Not in a Closet.' Watch out, Vampire Weekend!" -- Blogcritics.org (3 out of 4)
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