Tuesday various

  • Scientists develop ‘golden fleece’ lozenge to fight off all cold and flu bugs [via]:

    The pill, which would cost 20 pence a day and would be taken once before breakfast, could be sold over the counter in as little as two years.

  • “Most expensive” foods like this often seem like a cheat to me — of course it’s expensive if it’s served in a solid gold dish! — but this one seems like it might actually earn its hefty price tag, if only because the most expensive ingredients are also edible. That said, there’s not a chance I’m paying $750 for a single cupcake. [via]
  • Arachne Jericho on embracing the inconsistencies in the Sherlock Holmes universe and why a gay Holmes/Watson relationship really isn’t such a stretch.
  • I once tried getting a book endorsement from Desmond Tutu. When his assistant turned me down, I didn’t turn around and fake one. This is one of several reasons why I am not an African dictator. (Nelson Mandela Foundation accuses Congo president over fake foreword) [via]
  • And finally, a fascinating story about a Wired writer who tried to disappear. I was particularly amused by the idea that his trackers created real Twitter accounts to look like automated spambots to draw away suspicion. Seems like the inverse of how these things usually work. [via]

Wednesday various

  • These comic strip mashups are just terrific. [via]
  • McSweeney’s: Has Bell Invented the “Telegraph Killer”?:

    For agreeing to help lift the contraption, we have been given exclusive access to what experts are already calling “a device which emits sound and is not filled with bees.”

    It’s kind of a one-note joke. And while it’s obviously parodying the idea of the technology-killer (e-books killing print, mp3s killing records, etc.), it’s maybe worth noting that the telephone did play a big part in killing off the telegraph. But still, it’s pretty damn amusing. [via]

  • Your roof is leaking if you think I’m going to start using any of this 1950s hipster slang. [via]
  • Two roads diverged in a wood, and I,
    I took the one less traveled by,
    And then, of course, I blew away the other road with my machine gun.

    Mikhail Kalashnikov, inventor of the AK-47 assault rifle wanted to be a poet. [via]

  • And finally, M. Rickert on storytelling:

    I think that to say every story has already been told is to dismiss the temperament of words, to devalue nuance and meaning. Yes, of course, if stories are summed up into one or two sentence synopsis, then I imagine they all fit into certain categories. But stories are not just a matter of summation; if they were, the summation would be enough to satisfy that need for story. In fact, every word matters. I don’t know why people are so eager to diminish stories. You don’t hear architects bemoaning that every building has already been built. Within each field of creation there is a structure that exists as the foundation of that creation. The opportunity for expansion and artistry lies within that structure and is not diminished by it.

Tuesday various

  • Keith Phipps on Jeremy Piven:

    When did it go wrong? When did the caustic character actor guaranteed to liven up even the dullest movie turn into a walking black hole of smarm from which no joy can escape?

    I’m guessing sometime around the beginning of Entourage.

  • I am strangely unimpressed by this LEGO dreamhouse. [via] Much less with recent news of a planned LEGO movie. I didn’t have an issue with their decision to prohibit a short film from appearing on the new Spinal Tap DVD, but that was mostly because they didn’t have an issue with it’s staying put on YouTube. Maybe it’s time to admit that, while I played with LEGO as a child, it holds no real special place in my heart. (I was much more fond of Construx, actually.)
  • A newspaper printed on a shopping bag is an interesting experiment, but did it have to be on a plastic shopping bag? I don’t think the way to save a dying industry is by helping to kill the planet. Besides, just try do the crossword puzzle on one of those things! [via]
  • I wonder how handwriting as lie detection method will fare in light of the news (reported here just yesterday) that handwriting is dying. [via]
  • And finally, why not take a minute and add your name to the 2011 Mars mission? [via]