More BrainPickings

I really do like BrainPickings! This from yesterday is yet another really fun piece from her site. 🙂 What I like most, though? She puts so much information in each post. There are many links to follow within each of her pieces. For someone like me that’s fantastic! I can take the time to ferret out each one and just see what contributed maybe even one line to something she wrote. For others, I suppose, it might be a bit tedious. I like to consider her articles somewhat like a clock that you can look inside and see how everything is working together, though.


OMNI magazine at Internet Archive!

I loved OMNI as a kid! I wasn’t usually able to get a hold of an issue but…I always browsed through it at the magazine rack. Someone posted that the Internet Archive had the complete run of OMNI magazine and yeah! It’s true 🙂

David Foster Wallace reading an excerpt

I have nearly everything DFW wrote, but I never knew that he had so many readings that were online.


Research and Resource Commons in Scientific Research

Again, Nat Torkington’s amazingly cool 4 quick links finds something else. If one were say interested in law, public policy, and how they relate to the practice of science, well, this paper might be interesting, I suppose.

Deputy Elton Simmons

I don’t live in California so I wouldn’t normally post something specific to that area. But I had to in this case. I saw this accidentally on the LA Times website. The quick take is that one of traffic cops hasn’t had a single complaint in 20 years. Since 1992, Deputy Simmons has been doing his job, writing tickets, dealing with the public in a highly challenging situation, and has had no complaints from the people he’s stopped.

Why has he been so successful handing people stuff they REALLY don’t want? Consider the following:

The motor cop described recently pulling over a particularly frazzled young man for speeding. “He was shaking like a leaf,” Simmons recalled.

He gave the youth some time alone, meanwhile scanning his driver’s license looking for small talk fodder. When Simmons returned to the car window, he changed the subject: “Your license says you’re 280,” he told the driver, referring to his weight. “You’re not 280.”

Almost immediately, the man about to be hit with a ticket was proudly telling how he’d lost 100 pounds through a strict regimen of swimming and healthy eating.

“All of a sudden the shaking is gone,” Simmons said at the station the next day.

Taking time to consider how to put someone at ease rather than escalating the situation? That’s a rare trait and one much to be desired. Even if this is only just a PR release, it’s still impressive when a police officer has people in court answering that they didn’t want to challenge the citation because, “The cop had been so courteous, the man said, that he didn’t want to cause him any trouble.” That says it all. Fun article and worth the read. 🙂

eBook anniversary celebration from Playboy

I’m sure everyone was only reading Playboy for the articles, *ahem*, so because of that I’m equally sure that this rather nice collection of interviews will be familiar. I stumbled upon this over at the LA Times. In celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Playboy interview, Playboy is doing an eBook a day for 50 days at 99 cents….I’d prefer they make a compendium for 15 or so. But that’s just me, I think. Even so, there’s more than a few interviews that I remember that would probably be worth the 99 cents.

Jennifer B. McDonald’s “Why’s this so good” at Nieman Story Board

This is a great example of an analysis that, quite honestly, I think does almost as good a job as the subject it reviews. It’s a shorter piece, but I wish it were longer. I don’t have much spare time, so I’m picky about what I am willing to read. I’m going to keep my eye out for more things McDonald writes. And I’m also VERY glad that I stumbled upon Nieman Lab. Good schtuff!

Dorothy Parker Interview in The Paris Review

Some few people have a felicity with words. Of that group, even fewer achieve the economy of words that Dorothy Parker did. It’s a shame that she’s not read more widely now, as her essays and short stories are worth the time.

Some thoughts to ponder this upcoming football season

I don’t spend a lot of time getting articles from ESPN, however, this one showed up and I gotta’ say it’s one of the better ones on football I’ve read. Touching upon the very serious issues present in this game, and yet trying to hold on to what we have as an image of the game, it does a nice job of balancing these two, if not opposite, at least powerful forces. In the end, one is left trying to come up with an answer with a clear delineation of the subjects at hand.

I always have been a fan of the essay, and this is a very well crafted example of why.

Football is Dead, Long Live Football, by J. R. Moehringer.

Good reading

I’ve always heard that one of the best things to improving one’s own writing is to read good writing from other people. Accordingly, here’s an article by David Foster Wallace, Consider the Lobster.
The thing I find most impressive is the structure of this piece. He starts out at the very lowest, (maybe even benthic 😉 level regarding the lobster. From there he builds up and goes into an extended treatment about what it is for us as a moral question.
Reading his work reminds me of some fine piece of woodworking or something else equally fine crafted.
I’ve since gone on to purchase pretty much everything he’s written.

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