Thursday July 26, 2007
Maybe it’s because I was a teenager in the ’80s, but I am loving the re-emergence of The Iron Sheik as a foul-mouthed, beer-swilling maniac. Watch this clip to see what I mean. (Or this one. Or this one.) Howard Stern has been playing all these clips, and the Sheik is set to appear on Stern’s show next Thursday. I’m positively giddy.
A perennial heel, the Sheik was Iranian during the hostage crisis and an Iraqi during the first Gulf War. It perhaps says something about the current conflict that he now comes off like an angry, homophobic Red Stater who is obsessed with B. Brian Blair. Or maybe it doesn’t. It still tickles me.
Sunday July 22, 2007
When I was subbing at Radosh.net a few weeks ago, I posted about the Atlas of Creation, an elaborate and incredibly expensive anti-Darwinist tome that argues for creationism from an Islamic perspective. The book, which weighs 14 pounds, has been showing up in the mailboxes of everyone who’s anybody in science, media, and education—running up quite a FedEx bill for someone. This week, the Times tracked down many more of the book’s recipients, whose biggest decision seems to be what to do with the damned thing. While the Atlas created a public stir in France, the U.S. response has been much more low-key. “We are used to books that are totally wrongheaded about science and confuse science and religion,” Kevin Padian, an evolutionary biologist at UC Berkeley, tells the paper. “That’s politics.”
[Thanks to Francis for the tip.]
Thursday July 19, 2007
Wednesday July 18, 2007
Alexandra went to Las Vegas for a conference last weekend and returned with this fantastic find. While it might look like some manga-inspired rave flyer, it’s actually the cover of the Japanese edition of Michael Moore’s Stupid White Men. Look at W. The six shooter. The Speedo. The crazy stage glasses. You really have to take a closer look.
So that’s how they view us. Either that or they’re still mad at George Sr. for barfing on their PM.
Saturday July 14, 2007
Slate’s Meghan O’Rourke and Rob Walker at the Times Magazine both offer up assessments of the Crocs phenomenon, here and here. My own work in the field—which Walker mentions in passing—can be found here.
Wednesday July 11, 2007
The folks at Gawker have been having something of an identity crisis this week as they try to decide whether they love or hate Park Slope. This found list of “benes”—hastily scrawled by someone who was apartment-shopping in the neighborhood—just might break the deadlock. While a lot of us do come to the Slope for the “cheap travel/access,” we stay for the “great blow.” Wouldn’t you?
[Thanks, as always, to resident archeologist Alexandra.]
Tuesday July 10, 2007
In 1995, the Greater New York Savings Bank asked children to “draw their dreams” for the bank’s annual promotional calendar. Some of the kids dreamt of going to Harvard, travelling the world, and becoming paleontologists. Things like that. But one 9-year-old from Flatbush produced this uncanny depiction of the personal banking mecca that New York would one day become. Eerie, right?
[Thanks, of course, to Alexandra, who finds all this awesome stuff.]
Wednesday July 04, 2007
Last fall, my Columbus Circle correspondent Alexandra documented the growing resistance to the bankification of Manhattan with these photos of some clever anti-bank graffiti on the Upper West Side. Now Gawker is bemoaning the opposite trend, as banks turn into other things—like cloying night clubs and twee grocery stores. The forces of banking convenience have not been completely routed, however, as you can see from this sign A. found hanging in the window of a shuttered D’Agostino on 57th Street near 9th Avenue.