This and That

Cleaning up loose ends today, so here are some highlights:

  • Glad to see Colin McEnroe will return to the airwaves.  NPR is brave to let him loose for 58 consecutive minutes a day.
  • It’s 2009. Why does black women’s hair remain a source of angst?And leave the Obama girls alone. They’re little kids!
  • The weather, Hallelujah, has finally broken. Now we have to worry about Danny.
  • Pirates old and new were in the air this a.m. I turned on NPR and got Tom Ashbrook’s “On Point,” featuring Richard H. Patton’s book “Patriot Pirates”  about the privateers who harassed British shipping during the American Revolution. Then I picked up the NY Times Arts section from Sunday (yes, I’m behind again) and read about “At the Edge of the World,” the documentary about saving the whales in which the rescue ship flies a modified pirate flag.
  • I had intended to devote an entire entry to the subject of over-the-top commentary, but Michael Malone said it better than I can. I especially liked his notes about people who can only disagree by calling him a traitor or a Nazi. Also liked his list of types – the troll, the droll, the skimmer, etc. who inject their views online. There’s a sidebar to this issue having to do with whether Google should “out” people who write potentially defamatory material, but it’s too complicated for a quick hit.
  • Again a topic I had meant to cover in depth, but the opening summary and first paragraph of “America’s Worst Drivers” are distressing enough: “Nearly 10% of America’s drivers couldn’t pass a DMV licensing test if they had to take it today. … At least one of every five drivers doesn’t know when to use bright lights, how to follow directional arrows or when highways are the most slippery …” I guess the only surprise here is that there aren’t more crashes.
  • I don’t understand the purpose of wOw. It seems to be a combination of fluff, fizz and gossip. The headline “Paul Podlucky: Get Scientific With Your Hair,” drew me into the photo essay and the article. Here’s what I learned: use a well-lighted mirror, keep it simple, and post an ad for skin products when you don’t have enough to fill a photo essay. wOw’s weather chart includes temp, forecast and the type of hair day, though I couldn’t seem to find Hartford. And in the last article I looked at, Miss Manners, Gossip Girl Liz Smith and a couple of others discuss Sarah Palin: she’s likely to stay in the public eye, just not in Alaska and not in politics.
  • Here are two sites that I click on daily to donate to people and animals. The Hunger Site sends 1.1 cups of food every time you click, though each person  is limited to once in 24 hours. I’m probably going to buy the Wakami Eight-Strand Earth Bracelet, which will count for 50 cups of food. Plus it looks terrific. And even though the photos often break my heart, I click daily on Animal Rescue, too.
  • Ikea Hacker came across my radar screen quite some time ago, but I haven’t looked at it in a while. The products just keep getting better. The idea is to take Ikea wares and “hack” them into something completely different. Among my favorites: An $8 stand for a laptop computer made from shelf brackets and a drawer handle.  And I’m definitely looking at all those ideas to hide cat litter boxes.  What I like best about it all is that Ikea gets in on the action with ads and special offers. After all, people are buying their stuff even if it’s morphing into something unexpected.
  • A site that I don’t look at often enough is The Guardian’s book blog.  Its appreciation of Dominick Dunne captures the essence of the site: “Trash from the top drawer.”
  • And here’s one that I was sure I had mentioned before but didn’t. I’ll probably do a whole entry on The Moth, but in the meantime enjoy the great storytelling.
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