Archive for January, 2010
“If you really want to hear about it, the first thing you’ll probably want to know is where I was born and what my lousy childhood was like, and how my parents were occupied and all before they had me, and all that David Copperfield kind of crap, but I don’t feel like going into it, if you want to know the truth.”
- The Catcher in the Rye
One of my favorite authors died today. Much has been written about his work, and perhaps even more has been written about his reclusive lifestyle. I have only two things to add:
1. If you haven’t read his works, I can’t recommend them enough. Like so many other teens, Catcher in the Rye was the first book I truly connected with. I unfortunately haven’t revisited it since I was 15, but I think about its themes and characters on a weekly basis. His short stories are equally compelling. One of my favorites, which I hope to re-read soon, is A Perfect Day for Bananafish.
2. Hopefully now we can put to rest all of the rumors about what will happen to his work from the past fifty years. Some say his will demanded that it all be destroyed, while others (including his daughter) claim he has carefully categorized his writings for publication after his death. I hope it’s the latter, and we should find out within the next few weeks.
This is the first week of the spring semester, and I have been trying to stay on top of my work. And by work, I mean reading and watching things on the Interwebs.
First, I just discovered this Jimmy Fallon cover, which is both impressive and hilarious. See the original clip here.
Second, I watched the series premiere of ABC’s The Deep End, which was horrible by all conceivable standards. I was expecting Grey’s Anatomy in a law firm, but instead witnessed a shitty Melrose Place re-tread set in an office full of ugly people. I think the Hollywood Reporter summed it up best: “There are hundreds — well, perhaps dozens — of reasons why anyone would want to become a lawyer, but after watching ABC’s new Thursday drama “The Deep End,” it’s hard to think of one.”
Finally, I just finished reading The rise of the Tea Party movement, an interesting and fair article in the latest issue of the New Yorker. As much as that faction of center-right infuriates me, I think it’s clear that they’ve managed to mature to a point where we can no longer dismiss them outright. It’s important for both parties to look at how the movement has changed and understand their motivations in order to win future races. They may be misguided fear-mongers, but their votes carry tremendous power in a close election.
That’s all for now. Bye, everybody, bye!
The best article I’ve read on the Prop. 8 litigation. It’s 11 pages, but worthwhile if you’re looking for the legal and policy background motivating Boies and Olson. I’ll have more to say on the case once I’ve had some time to read about the actual trial. I was hoping to watch it on YouTube, but SCOTUS prevented that from happening last week.
(via The Economist)
This article came up in my Food and Drug Law class today, and I thought it was interesting. It is basically a pill that will notify you when you forget to take it, and notify your doctor if you stop taking it for a long time.
Generally, I’m in favor of this kind of thing when it is completely voluntary. I forget to take medication all the time, and wouldn’t mind a reminder. I’m more concerned with intrusion when courts require people to take medication and follow up through “smart-pill” technology.
The irony mark or irony point (؟) (French: point d’ironie; also called a snark or zing) is a proposed punctuation mark that was suggested to be used to indicate that a sentence should be understood at a second level (e.g. irony, sarcasm, etc.).
I had never heard of this, but it’s interesting. I used to wish there was a clear way to denote sarcasm (or irony) online, but as I grow older I’ve become less enamored with that idea. Sarcasm’s ability to be misread and adopted by the people it is meant to ridicule (see: Colbert) is part of what makes it so effective.
Update: evidently a company has recently attempted to market a new symbol specifically for sarcasm. It’s called the SarcMark (below), and looks like alien hieroglyphics. I’m not a fan, if only because the mark is so different from established typography symbols — it draws too much attention to itself.