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Tuesday, November 30

Iraq adopts terror alert system (via the Onion.) Okay, "Guarded" takes it way too far.

Pedro Martinez, a New York Met? And Cabrera wants a bigger contract than he's probably going to get. Do the hand games mean nothing? He should get a bonus just for those crazy Miss-Mary-Macks.

It gets even more surreal -- Martha's housemate is a 57-year-old nun.

Heh -- type "Arabian Gulf" into Google, and click on the first result. (Accompanying story.)

So this kid, when he was a freshman in high school, bought a pair of shiny black Gucci pants for $450 -- all the money he had received for his 14th birthday. Apparently this is the trend. (Reg. req'd)

A recap on exactly what Apprentice-Andy did wrong.

As if Hummers weren't nauseating enough, here's one that's shrink-wrapped to look like a Barbie-mobile (with image). (Reg. req'd)

What would you do if you were accepted to your first-choice college, but were told you'd have to wait until January to enroll? The current me thinks, "Whatever," but I wonder how I'd feel at 17. (Reg. req'd)

Wednesday, November 24

And a new Jonathan "The Corrections" Franzen, too.

Forget the spork. The cutting-edge buffet utensil this holiday season is the Knork. (Reg. req'd)

Monday, November 22

Playing video games into your 20s? Nintendo is onto you. (Reg. req'd)

For those who've always hoped, but never had the street cred: Get your gangsta name here. (You want to hear about street cred -- I found this link through the Knot. Word.)

Sunday, November 21

A story on the ubiquitous Nalgene bottle. When I first started working in Boston, my coworker-friend had one, and I told her that I saw "her water bottle" everywhere. I did not realize they were a near-cult. Honestly, I have heard people refer to them simply as "my Nalgene." (Reg. req'd)

Clearly, they haven't been to Sunset on a Saturday: Beer falls flat for younger drinkers. So what do beer makers do? They violate beer -- "St. Louis-based Anheuser-Busch last week launched a new beer -- spiked with caffeine, ginseng and fruit flavors -- to help broaden its appeal to young consumers."

Bill will always be the big dog.

Friday, November 19

Can I vent about wedding planning for a second? It's all a big, ridiculous INDUSTRY. For example, we are meeting with a florist Saturday, so I had to sift through old wedding magazines for pictures of flowers. I barely found any pictures. Why? Because it's all BULLSHIT. These magazines? Bullshit. Ads everywhere, pissed-off-looking models everywhere. It's ... never mind.

I want a beautiful wedding as much as the next guy, but the industry, man, it kills your spirit.

Thanks. Back to our regularly-scheduled links.

This woman, on her deathbed, reveals she killed her husband 13 years ago, and put him in storage. How I love a good deathbed-confession story. It's so ... noir.

Entire 8th-grade suspended after food fight. Eighth-grade teachers are thrilled by their free day off.

Another cat is cloned. Currently it costs $50,000 to clone a cat, but prices expected to drop.

Interesting story about the interpersonal subtleties during the opening of Clinton's presidential library. (Reg. req'd)

Thursday, November 18

Yet another Firefox story ... [sigh]. We're all so ... beyond that, aren't we? (Reg. req'd)

Long story short: This NYT columnist was thrilled to finally sell his house, which was stagnant on the real-estate market for some time. But the buyer? Well, this is how the sale fell through: “I just can’t understand what went wrong,” she told them. “I was ASSURED that the money was on its way. The Nigerian lawyer PROMISED!(Reg. req'd)

Some Red Sox-backing wiseguy in Brooklyn is doing his best to get under the skin of Yankees fans by spray-painting the saintly image of Johnny Damon -- long hair, beard and Red Sox cap -- all over town. Oh, and Johnny Damon is an egotistical maniac (third paragraph).

The people of Extreme Makeover Home Edition built a house in five days. Normally, I wouldn't care, but FIVE DAYS??

Bill Gates gets 4 million e-mails a day. Ha ha.

Two 13-year-old girls baked a cake out of corn bread, bleach, glue and Tabasco sauce; and covered it with green icing made from Play-Doh. They let other kids eat it. Those girls are evil.

Wednesday, November 17

Since I don't watch, or care about, football, I missed this one. But apparently a lot of people are upset. I was more upset that Desperate Housewives wasn't on. Yes, I know the two are unrelated; all they share is the actress. (Reg. req'd)

A profile of Judy Blume, who's 66 [!!!!!]. She talks very girlishly. I mean that in a complimentary manner. (Reg. req'd)

So TiVo couldn't skip commercials forever. Now they will flash "billboards" over commercials on fast-forward. (Reg. req'd)

'Virgin Mary' 10-year-old grilled cheese (but curiously mold-free) back on eBay. (link w/ image.) Come on. Quote I heard just this moment on CNN: "When I went to take that first bite, she was just looking back at me."

PETA is now defending fish, thanklessly serving an underrepresented population.

Do you think they talked about the Zimmer twirl?

Celebrity phone calls? If you're a devoted reader of this blog, you'll know this is sooo played out. Now Target's got Heidi Klum and Ice-T calling people at 4 a.m. to go and buy crap.

Starbucks to begin using recycled-paper cups to sell their coffee. This is the first time that a national food chain has incorporated recycled material into packaging that comes into direct contact with food or beverages. Yet they still raise their prices. (Reg. req'd)

Monday, November 15

GOOD: FDA orders Viagra to pull 'Wild Thing' television ad. I hated that commercial.

Sunday, November 14

Was so shocked to see this I yelled it out in my living room: rapper Ol' Dirty Bastard dropped dead in a recording studio Saturday. He was 35. (Don't laugh, but I loved him with Mariah Carey in the song, "Fantasy," when I was like 14.)

Okay, this is not "news," New York Times -- "[S]tudents these days are consuming breakfast cereal as if their grade-point averages depended on it - for breakfast, yes, but also for lunch, dinner and in between." (Reg. req'd)

Saturday, November 13

To Avoid Divorce, Move to Massachusetts: "As researchers have noted, the areas of the country where divorce rates are highest are also frequently the areas where many conservative Christians live. Kentucky, Mississippi and Arkansas...had three of the highest divorce rates in 2003...

The lowest divorce rates are largely in the blue states: the Northeast and the upper Midwest. And the state with the lowest divorce rate was Massachusetts, home to John Kerry, the Kennedys and same-sex marriage." (Reg. req'd)

Thursday, November 11

You heard it here first! (or, if you read Slashdot, probably second): Google is adding POP access to Gmail.

Wednesday, November 10

Not sure how accurate this is, but meet Martha's roommate. (via Gawker)

The new T pass will be .... The Charlie Card! It's so cute! And probably overpriced!
(Here's its namesake song.)



Goodbye, Internet Explorer. I've made the switch months ago, both at home and the office.

A voice behind many books-on-tape. Interesting tidbit: The reader profiled holds a pillow to his stomach to mask rumblings. "Stomach noises are the bane of our existence," he said.

Think you've got a lousy job? You ain't seen nothing. (Reg. req'd)

Turkey Gravy Soda perfectly complements Tofurky.

Monday, November 8

The WSJ has a free week this week (usually everything is paid subscription), so I am honored and excited to bring you something I read a while ago at work: Boys who think their lives will change after application of Axe body spray. Witness this poor, poor kid: Ross Lovern, a 14-year-old spray user in New York City, says he and his friends decided to go to the drugstore and buy Axe after watching a commercial on MTV featuring a woman crawling all over a mannequin that had just been sprayed with the product. The ad, says Ross, made him think, "This is the perfect deodorant for me." Ohhhhhhhhh maaaaaaaan ...

Raytheon, particularly IDS, is so on top of flu prevention, the CDC gave them a medal. (See third paragraph.)

For $5, you too can be a card-carrying member of Red Sox Nation. (What a scam. Scam scam scam scam scam.)

This lady gets paid $40 for 20 minutes of talking to strangers' cats. I take the Red Sox thing back -- this is an even better scam.

Reporters from around the world offer their views of the coverage -- and the conduct -- of the American presidential election.

Children are brats, parents are indulgent. Worst example: "One mother laments that changing her 2-year-old's diaper can take up to 45 minutes, because the child has grown accustomed to being able to decide where in the house the changing will take place and often insists on multiple mid-change moves before the new diaper is finally fastened."

What we always knew -- living in the heartland is cheaper than living on either coast.

What some people in Florida do for fun: Kill exotic animals that are trapped on wild-game preserves for kicks. That's such a nice hobby. (Oh, never mind on just Florida -- it happens in Connecticut, too.) (Holy crap! Connecticut story written by my former journalism professor! But the hunting -- still hideous.)

Friday, November 5

Brian was so worked up after hearing this on the radio that he called from the road with it: A small town in Georgia allows residents take their rampant squirrel population in their own hands. With shotguns. But only between the hours of 8:15 a.m. and noon, and only three days a week.

We're not all "stupid Massachusetts liberals" in Massachusetts -- 64 percent of Charlton residents voted Republican. (Charlton is adjacent to Southbridge, where we used to live.)

A Globe editorial devoted to Waltham's Moody Street.

The advertising deals for the Red Sox come flooding in, but they're not necessarily fair to the entire team.

An entire story about specialty vodka. Experts advice you to "swirl it over your palate." Perhaps I am unrefined, but that sounds kinda gross. (Reg. req'd)

All about Google's many products, and secondarily about broadband over power lines. I love gmail, but I will never stop thinking the desktop search could potentially be a yooge (™Donald Trump) invasion of privacy. (Reg. req'd)

Thursday, November 4

Man, people at CNN aren't too bright -- look how they slugged pictures of Bush for their sites.

As if Johnny Damon could get any hotter, now we learn about those arms get so ... buffilicious. (First item)

No, I am not a marketing queen, but I got such a kick out of the new eBay commercial I just saw 10 minutes ago. It's about people doing these small, kind things for each other, and let me tell you, I was devastated that it was for eBay. It takes some of the sparkle out of the commercial. Apparently others love it too; it was number one on a recent AdCritic top 20 list. I couldn't find it online, so here's a story about it (it's the second one mentioned). Keep an eye out when you watch TV.

Because I simply cannot let go of the Red Sox -- another essay on the WS win (by a guy who is famous for his writing on baseball.) Here's how you know I can't let go: I lovingly washed my championship t-shirt in a load by itself, in Woolite, on the gentle cycle. Of course, it was gently placed in the laundry machine inside-out, as to not hurt the screen-printing. Oh, and I air-dried it. I tell this to you, and no one else.

Well ... now we know what our friends across the pond think of the election.

PSA: If you're really, really pissed that Bush is back, and can't possibly function for four more years: A reader’s guide to expatriating. (Note: Uzbekistan is very choosy about who they let in.)

Wednesday, November 3

Later (7:30-p.m.-ish) ...

Okay, it's over. What are you going to do?

I read two things today that made me think. Here's one, by a guy I typically don't like all that much. (Reg. req'd):

One of the Republican Party's major successes over the last few decades has been to persuade many of the working poor to vote for tax breaks for billionaires. Democrats are still effective on bread-and-butter issues like health care, but they come across in much of America as arrogant and out of touch the moment the discussion shifts to values ...

"There is a very upper-middle-class flavor to liberalism, and that's just bound to rub average people the wrong way," [this author] said. He notes that Republicans have used "culturally powerful but content-free issues" to connect to ordinary voters.

To put it another way, Democrats peddle issues, and Republicans sell values. Consider the four G's: God, guns, gays and grizzlies [too much high-handed environmentalism] ...

Bill Clinton intuitively understood the challenge, and John Edwards seems to as well, perhaps because of their own working-class origins. But the party as a whole is mostly in denial.

And here's the other:

[I]f you're dissatisfied with Bush -- or if, like me, you think he's been the worst president in memory -- you have a lot of explaining to do. Why don't a majority of voters agree with us? How has Bush pulled it off?

I think this is the answer: Simplicity, simplicity, simplicity...

Think about the simplicity of everything Bush says and does. He gives the same speech every time. His sentences are short and clear. "Government must do a few things and do them well," he says. True to his word, he has spent his political capital on a few big ideas: tax cuts, terrorism, Iraq. Even his electoral strategy tonight was powerfully simple: Win Florida, win Ohio, and nothing else matters. All those lesser states -- Michigan, Minnesota, Wisconsin, New Hampshire -- don't matter if Bush reels in the big ones...

What Kerry lacked was simplicity. Bush had one message; Kerry had dozens. Bush had one issue; Kerry had scores. Bush ended his sentences when you expected him to say more; Kerry went on and on, adding one prepositional phrase after another...

If you're a Democrat, here's my advice. Do what the Republicans did in 1998. Get simple.

And finally, I must admit, I got a teeny bit misty when I saw all the people heading to the polls. Some stood in line for hours, waiting to vote. My mom voted for the first time in my lifetime, and I am very proud of her for that. So that is what I am going to take with me from this election.

8 a.m.-ish: AND it's STILL not over. We both fell asleep on different couches (mine on the left, his on the right) (okay, not really) and at 2:30 a.m. I woke up. Still no president. Woke up this morning to NPR, couldn't tell if there was a winner on the radio. Looked at the Internet ... Oh. Really, truly still no winner.

So I am holding my breath until there is one. Okay, ready? {GASP} Go.

(Pithy comment I read this morning: Ohio is the new black. Heh.)

Tuesday, November 2

It's Election Day. I hope you voted. We are camped out in front of the TV, watching the results. We were both seriously considering going to Copley and trying to hear Kerry's speech, but it's going to be late, and cold, and allegedly you need "tickets" for a "public" event, so that idea was scrapped.


From a New Yorker: "[L]ately, I could swear I hear the footfalls of New Yorkers jumping off the Yankee bandwagon and scurrying onto another." Ugh, that is so lame. When the Yankees won their assorted series, none of us cheered. (Reg. req'd)

About geeks who are members of the "Geek Squad" (™Best Buy)

At the Wisconsin Kerry rally, a bunch of roommates scrawled, 'Bruce come up for a beer' on a flattened box and hung it outside their window -- and Springsteen took them up on the offer. (Reg. req'd)

Politics makes estranged bedfellows. (Reg. req'd)



What I've read:

Teresa Mendez-Faith, Mary McVey Gill
¡Hablemos Espanol!
This could be yours for $135. What a f***ing rip-off.


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