December 2007

When I saw this story: Thick black smoke billowed from a fire Wednesday in Vice President Dick Cheney’s suite of offices in the historic Eisenhower Executive Office Building next to the White House. Cheney’s office was damaged by smoke and water from fire hoses, White House spokesman Scott Stanzel said. I’m sure I’m not the…

Read More Natural reaction

Greta Christina look at the recent Jane Fonda-Ted Turner divorce. The turning point was Fonda’s sudden religious conversion, about which she said: “My becoming a Christian upset him very much — for good reason. He’s my husband and I chose not to discuss it with him — because he would have talked me out of…

Read More Jane Fonda's "weak-ass faith"

Back in the mid-1990s, I started reading a new online magazine called Salon.com. At that time it seemed that Salon and Slate were the only games in town, and I liked Salon’s (relatively) contrarian and feisty style. ((Slate seemed far too concerned with proving how cool and professional they were. Odd, that.)) I was enough…

Read More Farewell, Salon

I’ve had my Kindle for just over three weeks now. I’ve really enjoyed using it: I’ve finished two full-length books (“The World Without Us” by Alan Weisman, and “Takeover” by Charlie Savage), I’ve downloaded and dipped into a couple of Project Gutenberg files (Milton’s poetry and Greek philosophy), I’ve sampled an enjoyably trashy novel ((No,…

Read More Getting serious about the Kindle

I just got back from watching the newly-released film adaptation of Ian McEwan’s novel Atonement. It was, quite simply, brilliant. I can’t remember when I saw a better film. Visually, it leaves everybody (including Merchant Ivory) in the dust: the scenes on the beach at Dunkirk were some of the most powerful depictions of war…

Read More "Atonement"

I’m waiting for the 9:15am showing of “The Golden Compass” to start. The Cinerama was the obvious choice of venue: a big, extravagant setting for an over-the-top film. After reading the reviews ((Decidedly mixed, as you can see.)) , I decided to re-read the books before seeing the film; I’ve finished the first two and…

Read More "The Golden Compass" at the Cinerama

While scanning the evening’s RSS feeds, I noticed a story in El Reg about a security update for Quicktime. Naturally I ran Software Update… to see if the patch was ready to instal. ((“Install” in the US, “Instal” in the UK.)) It was, so I downloaded it, answered the relevant questions, and was surprised when…

Read More Nerve-wracking