[ f e c k l e s s ]

Monday, April 29

Evolution, Alienation and Gossip: The role of mobile telecommunications in the 21st century
The study found that men gossip at least as much as women, especially on their mobiles. Thirty-three percent of men indulge in mobile gossip every day or almost every day, compared with twenty-six percent of women. Men gossip for just as long and about the same subjects as women, but tend to talk more about themselves. The study did find a sex difference in 'gossip partners', with men more likely to gossip with work colleagues, partners and female friends, while women gossip more with same-sex friends and family. Male and female gossip also sounds different, as women use more animated tones, more detail and more feedback.
In other news, we saw VNV Nation again, Billy Bragg for the first time, visited a Pirate Shop, and I got to witness Chris Hitchens skewer stupid people live and in person. Yay on all counts.
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Sunday, April 21

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Tuesday, April 16

textarc.org is a wonderful thing, and gets better (and more impressive) the more you play with it.
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Thursday, April 11

And now for a few pointers from all-knowing quiz-whiz Ryan Moore, a D.C. native who not only represented Wilson High (class of '91) three times on It's Academic but recently did battle in Jeopardy's hallowed Tournament of Champions. The king of the brainy set, Moore could be teamed up with Lenny and Squiggy and still come out on top, right? Right?

"Oh no, we stunk on It's Academic," Moore laughs. "We weren't too hot."

Nevertheless, the 28-year-old, now working at an entertainment-marketing start-up in Venice Beach, Calif., is adamant that the hard lessons he learned on McGarry's show made him the celebrity he is today. Plus, in his senior year, Moore did lead Wilson into the second round of playoffs. ("Then Holton Arms kicked our butts.")
"Then Holton Arms kicked our butts." Hah. Hah. Hah.
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Apparently moving back to D.C. will result in a drastic drop in good bread availability:
"You can do [so much] in-house bread here because people's expectations are low," says Madani. "If you did that in San Francisco, there are wholesalers who would put you to shame!" In San Francisco, bad bread simply isn't tolerated. The city is famous for having the most insufferable bread snobs outside of European capitals. And they can hold their noses up because the Bay Area is one of the most competitive markets for bread makers in the country. "You can get better sourdough boules in the San Francisco airport than you can here. And that stuff is for tourists!" says bread aficionado Lucy Bisognano, an executive of a Washington nonprofit who recently moved from Glover Park to Baltimore.
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I can't believe this article on the evils of CVS doesn't even mention their worst crimes.
Anyone who has stepped in one of the approximately 50 CVS stores sprinkled around the city has been conditioned to expect a standard of surliness and disarray that's nowhere to be found at the South Capitol Street decoy.

. . .

The chain's characteristic clutter is nearly always on display at the Penn Branch outlet on Pennsylvania Avenue SE, where empty boxes and an overflowing Dumpster grace the entrance. The strip mall's tiny parking lot is generally overwhelmed by CVS traffic—idling cars wait in a long line, hoping that a space will open up. One man leaving the store on a February evening clutches his red-and-white bag and mutters to himself the thought that most of us have after leaving CVS: "I can't stand this fucking place."

. . .

But the corporate spinmeisters might consider another tack: "At least we're better than People's."
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Tuesday, April 9

Trench art. (via bruces)
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Friday, April 5

James Nicholas Reffell, almost certainly a relative of mine, was a greaser (def.) on the S.S. Lagosian for the British Merchant Navy. He died on Sunday, the 28th of March 1943. He was 37 years old. This is from the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, found via the budding Reffell family website. There are 7 Reffells and 263 Carmichaels listed.
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Today's Spectator:
He said, that he had observed the great Trouble and Inconvenience which Ladies were at, in travelling up and down to the several Shows that are exhibited in different Quarters of the Town. The dancing Monkies are in one place; the Puppet-Show in another; the Opera in a third; not to mention the Lions, that are almost a whole Day's Journey from the Politer Part of the Town. By this means People of Figure are forced to lose half the Winter after their coming to Town, before they have seen all the strange Sights about it.
We had this problem when visiting New York. Especially the part about finding the dancing Monkies.
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Monday, April 1

''We get the good, the bad and the ugly,'' Eric Stubin tells me as we tour the factory. ''Ripped sweaters, the occasional sweater with something disgusting on it, the pair of underwear you don't want to talk about. We're getting what the thrifts can't sell.'' There are more than 300 export categories at the factory, but the four essential classifications are ''Premium,'' ''Africa A,'' ''Africa B'' and ''Wiper Rag.'' ''Premium'' goes to Asia and Latin America. ''Africa A'' -- a garment that has lost its brightness -- goes to the better-off African countries like Kenya. ''Africa B'' -- a stain or small hole -- goes to the continent's disaster areas, its Congos and Angolas. By the time a shirt reaches Kisangani or Huambo, it has been discarded by its owner, rejected at the thrift shop and graded two steps down by the recycler.
How Susie Bayer's T-Shirt Ended Up on Yusuf Mama's Back (via Monkeyfist)
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Did you know that the line from the Sisters of Mercy's Mother Russia is a reference to a Bob Dylan song? I sure didn't.
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Hendrik Hertzberg on the new New York Sun:
For them, it's enough that expression will at last be given to political views that—apart from a few lonely voices at the New York Post, the Wall Street Journal, two or three score nationally syndicated columns, a couple of dozen magazines, a few hundred 24/7 talk-radio stations, the Fox News cable network, the Bush Administration, the Supreme Court, and half of Congress—have been ruthlessly suppressed by the liberal establishment.
For the record, I'm a huge fan of any new print newspaper, and I'm going to do my level best to get my hands on both The Sun and (from the opposite side of the political spectrum) the new War Times. (more on the WT here).
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