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NPR managed to do that whole story without a single Notes from Underground joke. It's possible that NPR doesn't know that there is such a book. Anyway, the station looks awsum. Get back, Baker Street.
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Aww, Steinbrenner died.

Maybe now they'll stop singing God Bless America at the 7th inning stretch & I can go back to Yankees games.
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So, last month I was in Milan, visiting friends, and I wasin the big FNAC on via Torino, buying DVDs that can't be found in the US Roberto Benigni reading and explaining Dante; and yay all of Nanni Moretti's movies have finally been reissued). And behind me I hear a twentysomething guy say to his buddy, "Ma no, quella schifezza blu no." Which translates as Oh no, not that blue crap. The tone of distain pleased me almost as much as the fact that I knew exactly what movie he was referring to.

That blue crap; yep.

Water Folly

Jul. 8th, 2010 11:17 am
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In 1858, the water supply of London finally failed to meet the needs of the population, and the result was the Great Stink. Which in turn led to the movement for health and sanitation in English cities, and such curiosities as the London International Health Exhibition of 1884 (which attracted 4 million visitors and was called the Healtheries by Londoners).

Great capitals rise and fall on their plumbing. )


Jul. 8th, 2010 10:05 am
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Reposting this, hopefully with the effing image links working. If they don't, I'll try again, with apologies to my flist. I give up trying to figure out why LJ sometimes likes embedded images and sometimes hates them. (They all showed up just fine in the preview. *sigh*)

So I was in London for a couple of weeks & it was really fun. The Greenwich and Docklands Festival was on, as was the Festival of Architecture, with great programming and exhibitions. I was going to do more of that stuff, but ended up mostly walking around on my own. And a lot of theater, and friends.

It'is ungodly hot in New York and I'm wondering why I didn't stay for another couple of weeks. Cats look at me resentfully, as we lie about panting. I should water the plants. I should unpack. I should answer mail and pay bills.

So, Some London )
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The Centre for Computing in the Humanities has just gone live with the Jane Austen manuscripts online:

Jane Austen’s fiction manuscripts are the first significant body of holograph evidence surviving for any British novelist. They represent every stage of her writing career and a variety of physical states: working drafts, fair copies, and handwritten publications for private circulation. The manuscripts were held in a single collection until 1845, when at her sister Cassandra’s death they were dispersed among family members, with a second major dispersal, to public institutions and private collections, in the 1920s Digitization enables their virtual reunification and will provides scholars with the first opportunity to make simultaneous ocular comparison of their different physical and conceptual states; it will facilitate intimate and systematic study of Austen’s working practices across her career, a remarkably neglected area of scholarship within the huge, world-wide Austen critical industry.

Many of the Austen manuscripts are frail; open and sustained access has long been impossible for conservation and location reasons. Digitization at this stage in their lives not only offers the opportunity for the virtual reunification of a key manuscript resource, it will also be accompanied by a record in as complete a form as possible of the conservation history and current material state of these manuscripts to assist their future conservation.

The digital edition will include in the first instance all Jane Austen’s known fiction manuscripts and any ancillary materials held with them.

How cool is that?
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I hardly post here anymore, do I? Well, I have some questions for the UKers on my flist. I've been watching the election from here (NYC) with more than usual interest, not least because I think we in the US can expect some of the same mixed messages in our fall congressional elections. the rest behind a cut so as not to bore non-UK flist )

Just sayin

Apr. 29th, 2010 09:52 pm
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I've lived in the US most of my life and never been to the Grand Canyon. I've always wanted to. I've flown over it, but never got closer than 30,000 feet.

So it's not particularly useful for me to announce that I'm joining a boycott of a state I've never been to. Instead, here's me saying that when Arizona repeals its deranged immigration law I will go to the Grand Canyon within the year. Reverse boycott: Arizona does the right thing and I'll be one of the people who helps the state recover from the devastating economic impact of its blind, dumbass racism.


courtesy of [ profile] coffeeem

Yay. I've always wanted to see the Grand Canyon.

PS "Repeal" means repeal: not "change a few details slightly to sound less disgusting"


Apr. 15th, 2010 03:16 pm
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On the Markarfljot, the day began long before dawn, when the lamps were lit and the work of loading and disembarkation started again. It continued all morning under a thunderous sky, while the ether crackled like cannonfire, and the lightning played blue on the crests of the Eyjafjalla Jökull. Every now and then their breath caught with the smell of it. It smelled like gunpowder. [...] )

Nobody writes descriptions like Dorothy Dunnett.
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On a 12 question political news quiz, Pew Research found that the average American answered just 5.3 questions correctly.

I missed 3, including the one about how much oil we import.
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*taptaptap* Is this thing on?

Haven't been here much lately. *looks around* Huhm, could use a fresh coat of paint.

This winter I finally got around to watching all the Doctor Who episodes since the show was revived, after having watched Torchwood first. Needless to say, because I am a sucker for UST and angst, I fell headfirst into the deep end of the fandom. No fandom will ever replace my original love, the UberUST and MegaAngst La Femme Nikita, in which all the characters dressed in black and talked in shades of grey and betrayed one another weekly, and Doomed Love was their stock in trade. But I had a grand time with Doctors 9 and 10, and lost my heart to Christopher Eccleston and David Tennant every bit as much as ever I did to Tom Baker (Doctor 4) when I was a kid and coveted his 16-foot scarf. (Hey, I was growing up in Chicago; a 16-foot scarf would have come in handy, some winters.)

So now I've been watching the newest season. The show is in the hands of the fellow who was its best writer, Steven Moffat. This is good: a good TV show, a literate, clever one, should be script-driven. (Cf. The Wire, the best television show in history, bar none.) And Moffat at his best really understands fantasy. He's also pretty good at speaking simultaneously to an adult and a kid audience, which is not easy. The rest of this won't be of much interest to people who haven'y seen or never liked Doctor Who.It's behind a cutbecause it's full of spoilers for season 5. )


Apr. 2nd, 2010 01:47 pm
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Zooborns had a great April Fool's post yesterday. Ugliest Bebeh Evar!

Today, however, they have the world's cutest kiwi chick.
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The Buffalo Beast has posted its annual list:

As always, extremely funny and satisfying.
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Mind you, I don't give a damn about football, and the Superbowl encapsulates everything most loathsome and fatuous about American culture--from the halftime show to the obsession with expensive ads for useless crap and badly engineered cars to the fact that the game is usually a dull blowout even if you do like football. Which I don't.

But here's wishing luck to the Saints because everyone in New Orleans is so happy right now, and they had a, um, pep rally in the Quarter last week and 14,000 overweight guys showed up in drag.

And I remember what pleasure I had in the Yankees going to the World Series a month after 9/11, and how great the crowds were and how much fun it was to have fun again.

And because Drew Brees is a class act--a rare thing in that bloated, steroided sport, like Walter Payton of old.

And because even Peyton Manning and his brother are New Orleanians and went to the same high school my friends did, which was hardly noted for its sports.

So yay New Orleans, and I'll see yall in a couple of months at Jazzfest. (Which, BTW, has a fantastic lineup this year.) In the meantime, roulez the bontemps and pour on the Zatarains.
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January is the season of blood oranges, which in Italy are called tarocchi. California has started growing them, although the color is not as deep a red, they tend to be tart rather than sweet, and the flavor is not the intense mouthbomb of a real Sicilian blood orange.

In celebration of the season, here is my favorite recipe for blood oranges:

Insalata di Tarocchi )
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Oh man, as if Haiti weren't suffering enough already. It sounds like Port au Prince is destroyed--a city with a bigger population than Rome. And no services or equipment to start with.

Donation link for Doctors without Borders
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