Obit watch: November 27, 2014

November 27th, 2014

Noted English mystery writer P.D. James has passed away. She was 94.

TMQ Watch: November 25, 2014.

November 26th, 2014

Two of our new favorite things in the world:

  1. Kickended, an archive of failed Kickstarter projects. And when we say “failed”, we don’t just mean “didn’t meet their goal”; these are projects that attracted no pledges at all.
  2. The Clickbait Headline Generator. The real genius of this is the “View This as a Fake Website” function.
  3. grapes

    We actually want to write the “Three Types of Fun You Should Never Have With a Freelance Nurse” article, as we have some ideas for that. Unfortunately, those ideas make us cringe so badly we can’t bring ourselves to start writing.

    In other news, this week’s TMQ, after the jump…

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I heartily endorse this event or product. (#12 in a series)

November 25th, 2014

Spam Nation: The Inside Story of Organized Cybercrime-from Global Epidemic to Your Front Door, by Brian Krebs.

Blogger, with occasional Krebs.

Blogger, with occasional Krebs.

I actually haven’t read the book yet. (It is at the top of the pile.) But Krebs did a signing here in Austin last night, and he came across as a really nice affable guy. I didn’t get a chance to talk with him much: I’d estimate there were 150 people there for the signing, many of whom were purchasing multiple copies of the book, so time was limited. But he signed everyone’s book, and even posed for photos with those who wanted, and in general it was just a swell experience. Based on that, I have few qualms about recommending that you purchase the book.

Obit watch: November 23, 2014.

November 23rd, 2014

Marion Barry: WP. WP 2.

NYT for an alternative point of view.

Your loser update: week 12, 2014.

November 21st, 2014

You had one job, Kansas City. One job. And you blew it.

NFL teams that still have a chance to go 0-16 this season:


With this, our hopes turn to the NBA: Philadelphia is now 0-11.

Obit watch: November 20, 2014.

November 20th, 2014

I wanted to wait until the media had a chance to do fuller roundups of Mike Nichols and his career.

NYT. LAT. The Dissolve.

Man, what a career.

TMQ Watch: November 18, 2014.

November 20th, 2014

This week’s TMQ, after the jump…

Read the rest of this entry »

After action report: Tulsa, Oklahoma.

November 17th, 2014

I’ve sort of hinted at this, but now the full story can be told.

Mike the Musicologist and I went on a road trip to Oklahoma the weekend of November 8th.

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Your loser update: week 11, 2014.

November 17th, 2014

NFL teams that still have a chance to go 0-16:


The Raiders play Kansas City at home on Thursday. I’m a little nervous about this one.

And in other news, Philadelphia is the only team that has a chance to finish the NBA season 0-82. (Currently, the 76ers are 0-9.)

For the record: Will Muschamp out as coach of the University of Florida Gators. The Miami Herald is representing this as a resignation; reading between the lines, it sounds like he jumped before he could be pushed.

Na na na na na na na….

November 16th, 2014








(USS Batfish home page.)

“Think of the extreme FUN!”

November 14th, 2014

Clif Bar, the people who make Clif Bars, gives out sponsorships to various athletes. There are a whole bunch of sponsored athletes in various sports, including mountain climbing.

Recently, the Clif Bar folks decided they were going to stop sponsoring five of those athletes. Four of them are mountain climbers, and one is a BASE jumper. According to the company:

Over a year ago, we started having conversations internally about our concerns with B.A.S.E. jumping, highlining and free-soloing. We concluded that these forms of the sport are pushing boundaries and taking the element of risk to a place where we as a company are no longer willing to go. We understand that some climbers feel these forms of climbing are pushing the sport to new frontiers. But we no longer feel good about benefiting from the amount of risk certain athletes are taking in areas of the sport where there is no margin for error; where there is no safety net.

One of the funny things about this is that several of these climbers were recently featured in a documentary, “Valley Uprising”; Clif Bar was a major sponsor of the documentary.

The NYT has more coverage of this issue, including quotes from the athletes in question.

This is an interesting debate, at least to me: Clif Bar isn’t saying “don’t do this stuff”; they’re saying “we won’t sponsor you to do stuff that we think is too far out on the edge”. And you can sort of understand that they don’t want to be associated with some guy who reduces himself to a thin red smear while BASE jumping. On the other hand, it doesn’t seem (from what the NYT is saying) that there’s any shortage of companies that are willing to step in where Clif Bar left off. On the gripping hand, if everyone free-soloed a rock, would you? Does it matter that other sponsors are stepping in; isn’t Clif just taking a moral stance? But if it is a moral stance, what about this documentary? Should they still be attaching their name to it?

I’ve got no idea. I just think it is an interesting debate.

Obit watch: November 14, 2014.

November 14th, 2014

Gus Vlahavas, owner of Tom’s Restaurant in Brooklyn.

Noted here because this is a great example of the kind of obit the paper of record does well. Also because there’s a lot of dust in the room:

Mr. Vlahavas lived for Tom’s, almost literally so. To make sure he arrived promptly at 5 a.m. to fire up the grill, he bought a brownstone around the corner at a time when few people were moving into the neighborhood. His dedication was reciprocated by the loyalty of his neighbors, who by the 1960s were mainly blacks from the American South and the Caribbean, who replaced the Irish, Italians and Jews. During the blackout of 1965, when rioting erupted, local people formed a human chain to protect Tom’s.
“All my neighbors, my black American friends, they all held hands around the store, 70 of them,” Mr. Vlahavas told The Daily News in 2009. “It made me feel terrific because these people were very thoughtful and kind enough to protect me,” he continued. “This doesn’t happen every day in anyone’s life.”

Also among the dead: Jane Byrne, former mayor of Chicago.