Let me say publicly that DonBoy’s answer exudes a combination of intuitive genius and confidence that make me think DonBoy is going to do big things in his life. -- Steven D. Levitt (Freakonomics blog)
Wednesday, February 28, 2007
More Misc

-- a "senior administration official" on the Vice President Cheney's plane gave an interview to reporters on condition that he not be identified. Since he refers to Cheney as "I", there's a limited list of suspects. (via)

-- in the absence of popup blockers, if you double-click on a single word in any article at, you get a popup with a dictionary entry it. This is infuriating to people who routinely double-click words at random while reading web pages. How many of these people have this Tourette's-like twitchiness? To my surprise, plenty of the readership at Drum and Yglesias.

[UPDATE: This is far worse than I thought:

Maybe it's just a multitasker thing? I also find I can't usually limit myself to doing one thing at a time. I usually have half a dozen tabs open in Firefox and am switching all between them -- I can't read more than a paragraph or two of any piece before I get restless and switch to another page -- then back after a bit. Seems my brain just needs something to do while reading.

The earlier Unfogged thread had several references to ADHD. I no longer think that's an exaggeration.]

-- there are people in the UK who "refer[] to the ground outdoors as the floor". New one on me.

-- cheap headline joke:

Rock stars get all the breaks.
Sunday, February 25, 2007
Terry Gilliam's Iraq Joke....from 1985's Brazil
The interviewer poses a question regarding the unknown terrorists responsible for the citywide destruction: “The bombing campaign is now in its 13th year. How do you explain this?” To which the official replies, in that very British stiff-upper-lip manner, “Beginner’s luck!”
(From "Nuts To Brazil", at the blog "Sergio Leone and the Infield Fly Rule"; the piece is part of the Jim Emerson-launched Contrarian Blog-a-Thon of last weekend.)
Friday, February 23, 2007

Among Jewish Democrats, a whopping 89 percent say the war was a mistake. The rest are on Joe Lieberman's staff and will probably be switching parties soon.

Speaking of which, Political Insider via Hilzoy:

If Lieberman were to caucus with the Republicans, they would still not take full control of the Senate, despite Vice President Dick Cheney's ability to break 50-50 ties. This is because of a little-known Senate organizing resolution, passed in January, which gives Democrats control of the Senate and committee chairmanships until the beginning of the 111th Congress.

Via the Good Roger Ailes: Martin Peretz at TNR complains that the Clintons are all about money. Oh, by the way, Peretz sold a controlling interest in the magazine today...probably for money.

If you have 12:30 to spare, listen to Craig Ferguson on why he's not going to do Britney Spears jokes.

The Nielsen-Haydens and friends explore Conservapedia.
Wednesday, February 07, 2007
Guaranteed Better Than Justin Long, Though

The "I'm a Mac/I'm a PC" campaign has been translated into English. I mean, British. English/British humo[u]rist and TV personality Charlie Brooker has the right idea:
The ads are adapted from a near-identical American campaign - the only difference is the use of [David] Mitchell and [Robert] Webb. They are a logical choice in one sense (everyone likes them), but a curious choice in another, since they are best known for the television series Peep Show - probably the best sitcom of the past five years - in which Mitchell plays a repressed, neurotic underdog, and Webb plays a selfish, self-regarding poseur. So when you see the ads, you think, "PCs are a bit rubbish yet ultimately lovable, whereas Macs are just smug, preening tossers." In other words, it is a devastatingly accurate campaign.
Here's the problem: you might think, given the existing imbalance between Mac and PC users, that the goal of the campaign is to get PC users to switch. But when the PC -- and by extension, its users -- is shown to be a loser, even a genial loser, the message reads as "You, the PC user, are a loser". People don't like to be insulted, so one reasonable response to such an ad is "Well, fuck you too, my good man."

Perhaps this is a conscious choice; maybe the target audience is people who've never bought a computer before, and aren't already "a PC". In which case, they're not talking to me, so I shouldn't be surprised. But fuck them anyway.

Samples: here, here, here. Via the unpermalinkable quicklinks at Plastic.
Sunday, February 04, 2007
A Mathematical Formula That Plots Itself

Back when I was in college, this would have burned my brain out for a week.

Via, via.

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