Monday various

Friday on my mind

So today I finally got a chance to make use of the good part of these summer hours at work, namely leaving the office at one o’clock. Naturally, I was busier this morning than on any other day all week.

I don’t know if I’d characterize leaving early on Friday totally worth it, but on on a Sunday Friday afternoon, it as a lot of fun.

Meanwhile, my sister and her husband were woken up this morning by an earthquake of all things, which you don’t really expect in Maryland. The epicenter was right in her neighborhood. Supposedly a Canadian earthquake was felt in New York sometime last month, but nothing that woke anybody up at five in the morning. (No doubt it was too polite for anything like that.)

I didn’t do anything more exciting with my afternoon off than go buy some clothes, buy some groceries, and get caught up re-watching Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince on cable as I trimmed some steaks for dinner and sliced up some watermelon for afterward. But in a choice between that and a full day at the office…

And my back, while far from perfect, did feel better today. So there’s that.

Yeah, I remain unconvinced about these summer hours, but half days are very nice indeed.

Wednesday various

Monday various

  • Two from Roger Ebert: on racial intolerance and on why he tweets.
  • On the set of David Lynch’s Dune with Sean Young. Weirdly fascinating. I wonder if it’s at all worth revisiting that movie. I keep thinking I’ll re-read the book, but I think I’m worried it will just encourage me to read them all. [via]
  • Charlie Stross on the iPad [via]:

    The iPad doesn’t feel like a computer. It feels like a magic book — like the ancestor of the Young Lady’s Primer in Neil Stephenson’s The Diamond Age. It’s a book with hypertext everywhere, moving pictures and music and an infinity of content visible through its single morphing page. The sum is much weirder than the aggregate of its parts. Criticizing the iPad for not doing Netbook-or laptop-like things is like criticising an early Benz automobile for not having reins and a bale of hay for the horses: it’s a category error.

  • The Sea of Galilee is out of fish. [via]
  • And finally,inside the Vatican’s private library. [via]

Thursday various

  • Yesterday, when I was posting links to stories about babies, I neglected to mention Ardi Rizal a two-year-old Sumatran baby who smokes some forty cigarettes a day. I think, mostly, because I wanted to pretend he doesn’t. [via]
  • Meanwhile, this is just heartbreaking [via]:

    A German biologist says that efforts to clean oil-drenched birds in the Gulf of Mexico are in vain. For the birds’ sake, it would be faster and less painful if animal-rescue workers put them under, she says. Studies and other experts back her up.

  • Whereas this is just…fingerprinting to take out a library book? Seriously? The huge privacy issues aside, how does this improve the system for the library or the patron? [via]
  • A couple of periodic tables:
    • The Periodic Table of Superpowers — I shall henceforth refer to Superman always as OAFSISpVxVhSn. [via]
    • And Periodic Table of Women in SF — There is, of course, a meme going around for this, where you bold the names you’ve read and star the ones you’ve never heard of, but if I were to do it, I think it would just reflect how unread I am. If nothing else, this is a good place to start a reading list. [via]
  • But finally, speaking of women I don’t want to spend any more time with, A.O. Scott’s review of Sex and the City 2:

    Yes, it’s supposed to be fun. And over the years audiences have had the kind of fun that comes from easy immersion in someone else’s career, someone else’s sex life, someone else’s clothes. But “Sex and the City 2” is about someone else’s boredom, someone else’s vacation and ultimately someone else’s desire to exploit that vicarious pleasure for profit. Which isn’t much fun at all.