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Day 1009: Surfing The ‘Tubes

Not at work, hacking like a tuberculosis-ridden dog, dutifully not passing germs along to co-workers, and bored out of my skull despite five books that are waiting to be read, I present you with the results of today’s internet scouring:

* Desi Fix: Proving that there are desis a lot less lame than me, Sameer Mishra won the 2008 Scripps National Spelling Bee on Friday, May 30th. In true spelling bee fashion, Sameer beat out another bhaiya, Sidharth Chand, to claim his first prize. As Jon Stewart said in 2006 after Anurag Kashyap’s 2005 spelling bee win, “Your names already have like 20 letters in them. That’s a huge advantage. That’s always going to win against the Bob Smiths.”

* New Orleans: Wonderful visual aid for those on the don’t-know-where-this-is-going-but-can’t-get-off New Orleans Recovery School District Express Train: Andrew Turner and Francine Stock have created a mashup of schools facility data. Much thanks to Cliff, G, Liprap, Sarah Elise and E for keeping us informed on the state of education in post-K New Orleans via their lengthy, personal posts.

* New Orleans: In Lies, Damned Lies & Statistics, Mominem points out that Mayor Nagin’s assertion in the last State Of The City address that “Downtown office occupancies are the highest they’ve been since the 70s oil and gas boom” is a damned lie. Incidentally, I hear that Chevron’s new Northshore offices already have a mouse problem.

* Louisiana: Louisiana drivers aren’t the worst in the nation, they’re only the eighth-worst. (Did they count Wet Clay PIleup Jerk?) According to the 2008 GMAC Insurance National Drivers Test, Top Lousy Driver award goes to New Jersey and the best drivers are from the Midwest. To paraphrase D, does this include the FIBs, I mean, Chicagoans?

In The Lincoln Tunnel
After many rounds of Lost In New Jersey, we made it into the Lincoln Tunnel. Even on a weeknight, it was packed and scary, yet very cool.

* Movies: Best indirect review of Sex And The City: The Movie, which I refuse to watch, from Jezebel:

If you don’t get married, or if you botch your prenuptial agreement, or if he leaves you at the altar (a.k.a. Big) or sleeps with a random stranger (a.k.a. Miranda), you lose all dignity; all of it, gone. And without that dignity, what is left? Shoes. The end.

* Books/Science: To bring our collective IQ back up again after that last topic, Michael Shermer’s beautifully-penned review of Alan Sokal’s Beyond The Hoax.

“Beyond the Hoax” is an essential text for anyone interested in the history and philosophy of science, or for that matter science itself … Why did academics fall for [Sokal’s 1996 hoax]? The hindsight bias and the confirmation bias. Once you believe that science holds no privileged position in the search for truth, and that it is just another way of knowing, it is easy to pull out of an article like Mr. Sokal’s additional evidence that supports your belief. It is a very human process, and since science is conducted by very real humans, shouldn’t it be subject to these same cognitive biases? Yes, except for one thing: the built-in defense known as the scientific method.

* Fashion/Photography: First Bo Diddley, now Yves Saint Laurent. Interesting retrospective from The Luxist on a Dior and Saint Laurent photo shoot in Paris, 1962.

* I Can Haz Internet?: Explosion at Texas data center may explain why our ‘tubes are often tied these days.

* Srsly, I Can Haz?: In other outage-related news, the Center Networks posts on Twitter are funny!

* Technology: Lastly, another reason I need an iPhone

2 comments… add one
  • liprap June 2, 2008, 4:26 PM

    Damn, my dad is RIGHT! Jersey drivers ARE the worst! I always thought it was a New York-New Jersey rivalry thing.

    I just finish reading “The Beautiful Fall”, all about the Paris fashion world in the 1970’s and that dichotomy between Yves Saint Laurent and Karl Lagerfeld at that time and how it defined fashion as we see it today, and then I hear of YSL’s death. AND Bo-frickin’-Diddley’s! What the hell?

    Please feel better. As we keep saying to my son ad nauseum: “Cover your mouth when you cough!” ;-)

  • Clay June 3, 2008, 9:48 PM

    I like this review of Sex and the City. The reviewer was one of 6 men in the audience.

    I’ve heard that Chevron’s move up to the northshore has been plagued by problems. Their southshore employees don’t like the commute, the employees to the south and west of NOLA can’t sell their houses and afford anything on the northshore, and now they’ve got a rodent infestation. Karma is a bitch.

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