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{ Monthly Archives } July 2011

The Underground Empire of Joseph Wunderkind

I won’t review this book here, since it’s not published yet, but I just finished reading an early draft and enjoyed it very much.  You should check out the teasers over at Andrew Kozma’s blog, An Experiment on a Bird in the Air Pump. And for visual enjoyment, here are six first-page images that the […]

2011-07-31 Tweets

Weird. Just days after I wondered why 409 scams suggest illegal transactions, a message opens "pardon the unethical way I'm contacting you." # The joy of shuffle: the kids are currently rocking out to Chris Cornell's alternatastic 90's era singing on Temple of the Dog's "Reach Down" # Our five year old Finn cutely mispronounces […]

Gender Pretending

So apparently, some researchers have come up with an algorithm that can predict the gender of a Twitter user based on his/her language use: The crux of the research relies on the idea that women use language differently. “The mere fact of a tweet containing an exclamation mark or a smiley face meant that odds […]

Nostalgia

Super 8 and Clash of the Titans Super 8 follows the adventures of a group of middle schoolers (or early high school?) in their adventure to make a zombie movie in the midst of a military trainwreck and mysterious goings on in their small town.  Clash of the Titans follows the adventures of reluctant demi-god […]

Murder for Two

Jenny and I saw Murder for Two, a musical murder mystery comedy at the Chicago Shakespeare Theater (at Navy Pier) this evening.  It’s an excellent show, very funny and entertaining.  Well worth the modest ticket price. The premise is simple: a police officer who aspires to be a detective has his chance when he’s assigned […]

A Northern California Adventure, part 3

6. Go South, young marrieds. After breakfast in Eureka, we left to head back to San Francisco.  Since we’d be driving on the 101 at 65+ mph for most of the trip, we kept the top of the convertible up.  On our drive down toward Santa Rosa, we reflected on three major differences we’d noticed […]

Something From the Night Side

by Simon R. Green John Taylor was born in the Nightside, the secret dark side of London where awful things live and awful stuff happens.  He has magical powers of badassery, including the ability to find anything that’s gone missing.  When a beautiful dame walks into his private detective agency, well, you get the picture. […]

In case you aren’t reading LOWERING THE BAR

You should be.  I mean, check out this opening: The Detroit Free Press reported on July 7 that “three intoxicated men stole a 14-foot flattened and preserved alligator, strapped it to a pickup truck and took it off-roading to a mud bogging party,” a sentence that raises the obvious question: why no hyphen in “mud-bogging”? (20 July) […]

The brandished sword

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Reel Big Fish and Streetlight Manifesto

We went to the Reel Big Fish / Streetlight Manifesto show at House of Blues last Tuesday (19 July).  It was a fun show, with good music all around (we arrived after the first band’s set was over, though, so I don’t know how they were).  A few thoughts: The second opening band was Rodeo […]

Planetary

by Warren Ellis, John Cassaday I’d read volumes one and two of Planetary at least twice in the last five years, but only this month did I finally get volume four of the series.  As I understand it, the comic is finished.  But as with all such awesome works, it may not be. Planetary tells […]

I’m home, for reals!

In response to Clancy’s musings about checking in, I posted: For some reason, when I was young, my mother instilled in me that you shouldn’t put your home address on your luggage tags, because some person working in the baggage department could see that you’re traveling and burgle your home while you’re away. So she […]

2011-07-24 Tweets

Have you ever noticed that most 409 scam emails propose illegal transactions? Usually they offer to give you a cut of stolen money. # Reel Big Fish and Streetlight Manifesto tonight at House of Blues. # On Judge Dredd: Dianne Lane hilariously young, Sly hilariously croak-voiced, plot hilariously similar to Demolition Man. # Four hours […]

What’s Up Doc?

The preview material for What’s Up Doc? says that Peter Bogdonovich loved screwball comedies when he was a kid, and set out to make one of his own.  In retrospect, that’s clear from the beginning of the movie, in which the first five minutes show us four matching travel bags belonging to four different people […]

Northern California Adventure, part 2

3: Big Ass Trees Day three began with another drive up Highway one, this section even more curvy and slow than the last, with the convertible top down again.  While it was fun, we probably could have just driven in to get on the 101 and wouldn’t have missed too much.  It was more of […]