Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Shoe Protest

The Maliki government in Iraq said that the throwing of shoes at President Bush was a "shameful, savage act." Certainly Muntader al-Zaidi should suffer some minor penalty for his attempted assault. But "savage?" The NY Times reports:
Mr. Zaidi was subdued by a fellow journalist and then beaten by members of the prime minister’s security detail, who hauled him out of the room in his white socks. Mr. Zaidi’s cries could be heard from a nearby room as the news conference continued. [emphasis added]
Not his "shouts" or his "protests" -- his "cries." So who's the savage in this story?

Monday, December 15, 2008

Sweater = Sloth

Have I mentioned that I'm the laziest man alive? I've got some good ideas for blog essays -- commentary about on-line identity creation, for example, or musings about how magical our apartment would seem if described by someone from the Middle Ages (lightning harnessed in the walls, levers that bring water of any temperature into three different rooms) -- but when faced with the choice of either putting these thoughts into words or doing nothing, I choose sloth.

Here's evidence of how lazy I am:

Some of you are thinking, "You knit a whole sweater in 19 days!? You call that lazy?" Yep, 19 days of sitting on my butt. That's the dirty secret of gorgeous, prolific knitting: it's tangible evidence that the maker has done little else. (Still, win-win for me; I indulge my slothful ways, and wind up with a beautiful sweater).

It was super-easy, too. It's my third seamless hybrid sweater, so I've pretty much got this pattern down. Time for a challenge. When I finished knitting and writing up Wash's Sweater, I was eager to find a new fanboy knitting project. This week, Pushing Daisies came through for me with two sweater possibilities:

I'll have to wait until the series comes out on DVD to grab good pictures of the sweaters, but it looks like a great project for long, snowy weekends.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Grow up, old man

Yesterday, I finished listening to Maze of Bones, the first installment in Scholastic's The 39 Clues series, which the publisher hopes will help keep sales up now that the Harry Potter series has concluded.

It's not bad, certainly better than author Rick Riordan's other series, Percy Jackson and the Olympians, which I found ghastly and unreadable. To be fair, I started it after working through all of Anthony Horowitz's Alex Rider books, which I loved. Riordan oversees the story arc, but he is only one of the writers that Scholastic is using to churn out the 10 book series in 2 years.

Time magazine described the series thusly: "If you forcibly interbred Lemony Snicket and National Treasure and chose the most viable of their mutant offspring, you might come up with something like The 39 Clues." Orphans Dan and Amy Cahill discover at their grandmother's funeral that their family is old and powerful, including seemingly all of the major figures of history. The will sends them off on a dangerous worldwide quest to track down the 39 Clues and find the Cahill Treasure, the secret of the family's power.

I found it interesting enough to create an account on The 39 Clues website. I felt a bit creepy scrolling all the way down to 1964 to select my birth year, but the site doesn't seem to be judging me. It asked me a series of questions to determine which Hogwarts house branch of the Cahill family I belong to.

I'm guessing it was a close call between this scientific branch and the Janus branch of artists and performers.

The second book in the series comes out today.