Wednesday, November 30, 2005

struggling without an art

A classmate reveals his fantasy to drop engineering and become a struggling artist (he heard chicks dig that sort of thing):
Do you paint?
Musical inclination?
So what is it that will make you a struggling artist?
I'd be struggling - that's the important thing - the struggling.
I would think you would have to make a claim to some sort of artistic leaning to be a struggling artist...
Well, alright, I'll learn how to crochet.

Monday, November 28, 2005

You can sell your paintings on the sidewalk

Boston gets covered in the NYtimes travel section this week. Now, when (and if) friends come visit me, I won't be sure if they're coming to spend time with me, or they're just trying to avoid the $149 a night rate at the Hotel@MIT, but at least I'll have a slightly better idea of where to take them in Boston.
The adage "you can't get there from here" originated in New England, and sometimes in Boston you literally can't.

Saturday, November 26, 2005

degradation of technology

"The Toshiba Satellite Pro 400 comes with a 75-MHz Pentium CPU, 8 MB of EDO RAM, a 770MB hard disk, a 10.4-inch display, an infrared internal power supply...and a quad-speed CD-ROM dirve...A lithium ion battery provides over 2 hours of use. " (PC Magazine)

The list price for the Toshiba Satellite Pro 400 in 1995 was $4,899. You can buy one today on ebay for $0.99.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005


Check out yesterday's Express Train photo.

Sunday, November 20, 2005

on why not to aspire to become a great writer*

New York interview with Frank McCourt:
If you were to meet a young man like yourself, would you have any words of advice?
I’d say, “Go find somebody you can talk to.” A wise man or woman. We’re all looking for the father figure—Telemachus and Odysseus all over again. I had nobody.

Would you have become a writer if you had?
Probably not. It would have made me more mellow. As it was, I was ill-adjusted. And that makes for a story. So thank God for making me miserable.
*Frank McCourt's words are not so much enlightening, since it's well established that to be a great writer you have to have problems, as they are interesting in that he's thankful for his miserable years while suggesting that others go find someone to talk to as to avoid his misery.

Thursday, November 17, 2005


My laptop decided to have an “electronics problem,” something the tech guy said he gets calls about multiple times a day. Basically, windows won’t start up unless I reset the system and lose everything stored on my hardrive: all my files, programs, pictures, music, emails…I’m going to visit the tech support people on campus tomorrow with the hope that they might be able to extract my stuff and save it before I reset. But henceforth, I vow to chronically back everything up...

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

American Supremacy

1 Number of people killed in two weeks of riots outside Paris
58 Number of people killed in five days of riots in Los Angeles in 1992

- Numbers, Time Magazine

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

clever proof

"If there were no God, there would be no Atheists."

- G. K. Chesterton

Sunday, November 13, 2005


Overheard in New York:
He's Not Allowed to Give Directions on Saturday

Tourist guy: Excuse me, do you know how to get to the PATH train?
Hasidic man: Are you Jewish?
Tourist guy: No.
Hasidic man: Ask the policeman.

--42nd & 6th

Overheard by: B. McClintock

Saturday, November 12, 2005

when did the term "freethinkers" get traded in?

My father was a Socialist and a freethinker, but he went to shul every Friday night and Saturday and attended synagogue on every holiday and every ceremonial. Once when I chided him about his piety in view of the fact that he was a freethinker, he answered me, "These people are my brethren, they are the people among whom I was raised, and I love them. Dudja Silverberg [a very pious Jew] goes to shul to speak with G-d, I go to shul to speak with Dudja."

-Isaac Metzker in A Bintel Brief.

name the film

Fran: I never catch colds.
C.C.: Really. I was reading some figures from the Sickness and Accident Claims Division. You know that the average New Yorker between the ages of twenty and fifty has two and a half colds a year.
Fran: That makes me feel just terrible.
C.C.: Why?
Fran: Well, to make the figures come out even, if I have no colds a year, some poor slob must have five colds a year.
C.C.: [sheepishly] Yeah... it's me.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

more yesterday

Steven Wright quotes:
A friend of mine once sent me a post card with a picture of the entire planet Earth taken from space. On the back it said, "Wish you were here."

I like to reminisce with people I don't know.

when the news gets to reporters

After spending 85 days in prison for refusing to reveal a confidential source, New York Times reporter, Judith Miller, steps down:
Ms. Miller said she was leaving partly because some of her colleagues disagreed with her decision to testify in the C.I.A. leak case. "But mainly," she wrote, "I have chosen to resign because over the last few months, I have become the news, something a New York Times reporter never wants to be."

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

"think different"

and you're likely to run into trouble with compatibility...

Monday, November 07, 2005

maintaining anti-feminist feminist stance

On passing girls wearing "I am a feminist" t-shirts promoting their cause in Lobby 10:

Male Classmate: What I would do to get one of those t-shirts...
Me: Uch, I think they're awful. Blatant feminism is pathetic.
M.C: Yeah, there should really be a group promoting male rights...
Me: But that wouldn't make any sense, since this is a male dominated society...
[M.C. spends the next two minutes adamantly denying the fact that we're living in a male dominated society...]
Me: Oh, come on, in what way is this not a male dominated society?
[and the slip:]
M.C. Well, in that women have a lot of influence--

Sunday, November 06, 2005

pretty neat

Very cool illusion.

disputing the "Quote of the Day"

"Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself."

~ Leo Tolstoy (1828 - 1910)

This is surely not relevant in this era of the "Id," where self-help, self-promotion, excessive therapy, etc. rule and hardly leave time for individuals to notice that there's a world out there. Perhaps Tolstoy was specifically referring to the period of revolution...

Thursday, November 03, 2005

protecting the not-so-innocent

Author's Note from Busting Vegas:
The events described here took place over the course of eighteen months in the 1990s. Some names and identities were changed to protect the innocent and not-so-innocent.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

assimilation, education, or what?

Interesting Commentary article exploring the possible causes for the decreasing Jewish birthrate in America. And while Alan Dershowitz already delved into much of these issues in The Vanishing American Jew, Wertheimer looks at it from a slightly different perspective,
provides updated statistics, and raises some interesting new questions:
Almost two-thirds of Orthodox women are wed by the age of twenty-five, and 90 percent by thirty-five. (For Conservative women, the comparable figure at age twenty-five is 9 percent, for Reform women 3 percent, and for women who identify themselves as “just Jewish” 14 percent; by age thirty-five, only slightly over half of Reform women are married.)

Is it true, as one hears, that Jewish men do not want to marry someone who reminds them of their mother, or that Jewish women do not want to marry someone who reminds them of their father? And if it is, why have they only recently begun acting on this disinclination in such massive numbers? Might it be the reverse—that, for example, Jewish men want to marry someone more like their mother than the typical young Jewish woman of today, and that Gentile women happen to fit the bill?