Monday, February 26, 2007

Good tells you the best

Good, the magazine that seems to have a larger endowment than my college, has come out with a list of the 50 Best Magazines Ever. It's a good (har har) list, and I like how they make distinctions between different eras of in the magazine's history (i.e. "pre-Conde Nast buyout"). But Good is definitely walking a fine line. How do they get to be so definitive? They're like, three issues old. And they got Graydon Carter to write an introduction? How much do you have to pay to get the editor of Vanity Fair, someone who I imagine dictates syllables and trends alike from high in an ivory tower, to write an introduction? There's something about Good that makes me uncomfortable... like Jesus walking on water. There's obviously something bigger behind it, and I'm slightly suspicious of that thing.

Edited: They also got this Teen Beat worthy photo:

I'm going to put it up on my wall and frame it with kisses.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

It's official

I'm moving to Texas. Austin, to be exact. People have been very resolved in telling me what a progressive city Austin is... in fact, the word "progressive" has been mentioned several times with several different people who have no relationship to each other. I think "progressive" in this case means "an oasis of liberalism and independent thinking in an otherwise barren Republican desert which has launched the political career of the worst president in the history of the United States."

I can't really believe that I'm moving to Texas. TeXas. What other state has an X in its name? It's a letter other states dare not mention, lest put in their names. X blares out like a buzzer. But Texas sticks it proudly in the middle. It's like, "Look at my X! Look at my cowboy boots! Aren't they awesome?! I'm BIG!"

The reason I am moving to this prairie oasis is because I got a job there. And I think it's going to be really great. It's with Earth & Sky. I'll be the production assistant and get to write and work in radio. So I'm excited. And I have to pack up and move. Saddle up my burro and ride 'em and stuff. I think it also means cowboy coffee.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

North Korea

An amazing series of photographs:

by Phillippe Chancel

Tuesday, February 06, 2007


You should listen to this really fantastic radio show out of New York. It's called Radiolab, and it's an hour long show that combines science with culture. It's got a really interesting aural athestic, in which people frequently tell the same story over each other, and sound runs underneath almost every part of the show. It's hosted by two men, and they play their parts like they're having a casual conversation that's incredibly interesting and happens to have sound bits. It's more transparent than This American Life. I'd say it's investigative where This American Life is narrative.

I recommend starting with Detective Stories.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

This is what I'm talking about

I'm not much in the mood for comprehensive blogging recently, so here's a select gathering of things I find interesting.

An image by Landsat, a government satellite system.

I've been loving The Morning News for some time now. It's like what would happen if Salon and McSweeney's had an internet love child... plus art. I've developed a real affection for Sarah Hepola, who wrote this charming piece called, "The Key to a Successful Freelance Career: A Diary" and a serial called "Celebrity Magazine." Their content isn't updated nearly frequently enough (weekly), but they do provide a non-stop stream of entertaining links, and mp3 and video digests. And it's been around since 1999. It's virtually an internet geezer.

Here's a thing I did about mass transit in the U.S. I think this was my favorite interview thus far, simply because the transportation expert was so admittedly cynical. He doesn't actually work with transportation in America, because "I only have one life and I don't want to waste it." He's the director of a program that put effective mass transportation in Mexico City and India, and he says the U.S. is almost completely hopeless. Not only do Americans really love their cars, and want to use them, but even if we were willing to ride buses it would be hard to set up a good system. There's a huge multitude of factors that go into this that don't really seem to fit together. We have "bedroom communities" where city workers have to commute 60 miles one way so they can own a large new house rather than rent a small place; the government is more than willing to subsidize gasoline and ethanol at a high cost; and cities create "boutique" subways that cost staggering amounts and no one uses. (A subway costs $1,000 an inch.) It all adds up to one thing: America discourages intelligent decisions.

And interesting piece on NPR news last week about the term "mental retardation." Sounds familiar.