Anne Tyler has published eighteen novels. I would guess that I've read most of them. There's something distinctive and evocative about her style. They conjure up a certain feeling in me. I said to Sue yesterday that if you took the covers off of twenty novels, told me that one of them was by Anne Tyler and asked me to pick that one, I thought I could do it.
I've just finished reading Tyler's latest, Noah's Compass. I liked it very much. For some reason, it reminded me a lot of Breathing Lessons, the great book for which Tyler was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in fiction in 1988.
If you know Tyler's books and like them, be sure to read Noah's Compass. If you're not familiar with her work, this new book is a good place to start.
If you want to see really interesting maps (showing worldwide economic inequality) and cartographic thought experiments (how the map of the U.S. might be redrawn to equalize population across the 50 states), scroll through Jim Fallows's last couple of weeks of posts at his Atlantic blog.
But here's an interesting map that Fallows hasn't yet brought to his readers' attention. It shows Europe's three different "alcohol belts." See analysis and another version of it here.
Maybe some smart folks could produce something comparable for the United States? Get at it, readers.
In a wonderfully ironic twist on the recent Supreme Court ruling,
an actual corporation has announced it is running for Congress. Why
not? If corporations have all the rights of people, why can’t they run
for public office? Murray Hill even have an “official” campaign website, so it must be real! Watch their campaign video:
Quickly flipping through Andrew Sullivan's blog tonight,* I came across this Monty Python clip which I featured prominently in the early days of Sense and Nonsense. In light of the recent ascendance of genital and reproductive subjects on this site (see here and here; what is it, a full moon or something?), I figured reprising this would not be out of order.
* For a while, I had stopped reading Sullivan's blog. There's just too damned much to wade through every day. (Can't he and his minions be a bit more selective about what they throw up onto the web? Need they post a hundred or more items a day? good lord.) I think I'll again drop his blog from my feed. But occasionally there are gems in there. Like this one above. So good to revisit it!
Jon Stewart wants to make out with her. (See video below). Others think she should be Massachusetts Democrats' candidate in 2012 to try to take the U.S. Senate seat back from Scott Brown.* Well, there's no doubt that she would be a lot better candidate than Martha Coakley. I'll sign on to support a "Draft Warren" movement now.
* Meanwhile, see this item about that miserable low-life, Joe Kennedy, who is now going around pissing in his pants, thinking, "Oh, woe is me. Maybe I should have run for Uncle Teddy's Senate seat after all. Surely, I would have won. I could have saved the state from the ignominy of Scott Brown." Well, I'm not happy about Scott Brown's victory. But even Scott Brown might end up being a better U.S. Senator than Joe Kennedy would be. What is it with these asshole Kennedys? What makes them think they are so goddam wonderful?! Note what the Globe says about Joe: "He was delivering oil in person today with the media looking on, as he has in previous years, to highlight the efforts of Citizens Energy, which provides low-cost oil to low-income people." Joe doesn't do anything without making sure the media are looking on.
Apparently, the REAL buzz in Washington today isn't about Obama's State of the Union message itself but about the amazing breach of protocol committed during the speech by Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito.
Here's interesting commentary on why Alito's conduct Thursday night was so much worse than Rep. Joe Wilson's "You lie" outburst during Obama's September speech on health care.
On my very first day after having successfully clawed my way out from under huge piles of work, I am confronted with THIS:
Apple has decided to name its bold new product an unfortunate new name: iPad. Immediately, comedy writers and others began having fun with the name. Even the once-staid Washington Post today ran this article, poking fun at the iPad. Excerpt:
Boyfriends everywhere promptly refused to purchase it unless they could simultaneously buy some really manly products, like shaving cream and batteries. . . .
Meanwhile, the blogosphere found the name debate totally absorbing -- "How will it stand up to other tablets if I pour a test tube full of blue water on it?" one Lemondrop blogger wondered. And a heavy flow of iPad-related Twitter traffic led "iTampon" to become a top trending topic. . . .
Apple has yet to address what women everywhere anticipate will obviously be the iPad's biggest problem: You can't use one while swimming.
The amazing thing is that back in 2005, MADtv did a parody of Apple in which the writers of the skit imagined an Apple tablet called the iPad and came up with a commercial for it. (See the video below.) Did Apple not think seriously about how this product name would be mercilessly skewered? Maybe they like the idea of the free publicity. Incidentally, NPR today did an interview with the writers of that MadTV skit. Even that interview is pretty funny.
There will undoubtedly be much more on this. You know you can expect updates. (Why confine our concerns to dentata? Right, RED?)
Update: CNN also did an interview with the writers of the MADtv parody. See it here. (Thanks, Kater.)