Saturday, January 31, 2009

High-definition Lincoln

This image released by George Eastman House is a conserved broken glass-plate interpositive of Abraham Lincoln, taken by Alexander Hesler at the Illinois state Capitol in Springfield on June 3, 1860. George Eastman House International Museum of Photography & Film conserved the glass-plate interpositive, which was used to make copy prints following Lincoln's death. The interpositive is owned by an anonymous collector. (AP Photo/Courtesy George Eastman House)

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Bringing home the bacon

Attention Super Bowl fans looking for a recipe. The following item will make your friends and family say, "My heart! Call the hospital!"

As reported by the New York Times on Tuesday, the recipe for the Bacon Explosion, ground pork rolled in pork bellies, is a hit with manly men.

Here's a slideshow.

And here's the recipe.

You'll need this:

I'm totally making a small version of this monstrosity on Sunday (I may even add some cheese) just to anger my veggie-inclined friends, who'll have to content themselves with uncooked broccoli and my special take on a Virgin Mary (vegetable juice).

If I survive, I'll tell you how it went.

What's in a name?

A paper to be published in March in Social Sciences Journal by economists David E. Kalist and Daniel Y. Lee of Shippensburg University found that unpopular first names can increase the tendency toward juvenile delinquency, as reported by Live Science.

The caveat is that the name has to be mixed with factors like a disadvantaged home life, which I had the fortune of not having, since my name is one of those the study picked as having the biggest chance of creating a criminal.

Then again, I work for the EVIL MAINSTREAM MEDIA!

At least my name is not Adolf Hitler Campbell.

I found the paper, which has a March 2009 date, so enjoy the future.

First Names and Crime: Does Unpopularity Spell Trouble?

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Petit vs. Colbert

French tight rope master and Shokan resident Philippe Petit was the guest at the Colbert Report on Tuesday. Here is the hilarious clip in case you missed it.

The Colbert ReportMon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Also on Tuesday, Colbert made mention of New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand of Columbia County, though the piece was mainly about Papa Bear and Caroline Kennedy.

Is the Tampa Tribune a sleazy newspaper?

If you've arrived here because you clicked on a link in "Indecipherable number is name of the game", the link you are looking for is

Just because you bothered to come here, here's a link about the current state of the weird 6-foot law (just click on it, you'll get it).

And yes, the Tribune does have a strip club database, because apparently, that's the best way to spend scarce newspaper resources.

UPDATE: No. The Tribune is not a sleazy newspaper. But its stripper database is the embodiment of sleaziness.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Karl Rove is following me

As I wrote before in a post you didn't read, I joined Twitter for "research."

Two days later, I received this e-mail from the site. The subject line started like this:

"Karl Rove is now following you ..."

"... on Twitter!"

Rove, of course, follows most of his Twitter followers.

The Architect's posts usually are full of Rove wisdom:

"Hit on Your World w/ Neil Cavuto cancelled. Sorry!"

He's so dreamy.

Oscar nods in Ulster County

Stone Ridge actress Melissa Leo received a best actress Oscar nomination this morning for her role in "Frozen River," a film by Chatham director-writer Courtney Hunt.
Freeman reporter Bonnie Langston is talking to her as I type this.

Leo is in Park City, Utah, promoting"Predisposed" a film by West Hurley West native Philip Dorling, at the Sundance Film Festival. Dorling directed the film and co-wrote it with his mentor, Ulster County resident Ron Nyswaner, who wrote the screenplay for the Tom Hanks film “Philadelphia.” Nyswaner received an Oscar nod then for that screenplay.

Also of note, the Academy nominated “Man on Wire” for documentary feature. The film is about French artist and Shokan resident Philippe Petit, who in 1974 walked across a wire that had been strung illegally between the twin towers of the World Trade Center. The documentary by British director James Marsh was partially shot in Ulster County.

We'll keep you posted.


I received an anonymous call at 6:40 a.m. on Wednesday about "‘Obamabilia’ may save the U.S. economy."

Here's a partial transcript:

"You should seriously be ashamed of yourself for printing such junk. If this is the best that you can come up with for our new president, you do not deserve to be a writer — at all."

I remember a journalism teacher who once said that readers who write angry letters to the editor or make unflattering calls have been made really, really angry by whatever was published.

(Think about it. how many times have you read something that angered you so bad you decided you were going to write something to the paper or call — and then didn't?)

But the thing is, the column wasn't about Obama. And because the call was anonymous, I couldn't call the lady to tell her to relax — with an Obama scented candle ($19.99) and Obama tea. ($15.50)!


I also received an e-mail from a person who did identify himself, thanking me for the column. Then he proceeded to plug the Obama watch.


Wednesday, January 21, 2009

U.S. seal

Here's the law that deals with how to use U.S. seals:


Conclusion? Don't.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009


Above: Barack Obama stands with his namesake cheese in this Lazy Lady Farm photo.

What follows is a list of Obama merchandise mentioned in "‘Obamabilia’ may save the U.S. economy":

* Water

* Wine

* Wine glass (one of them. There are plenty of these)

* Here's an article about the much sough after "Barick Obama Cheese"

* Plate (as unfortunately seen on TV)

Comedian Lewis Black making fun of plate:

Of course, there's a lot more than that. There are condoms, chocolates, beer, shot glasses, soap, playing cards, perfumes, etc. Google "Obama" and a noun, and chances are you can buy that.

Have you found a particularly ridiculous Obama item? Send me the link. is a good place to start.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Word of the Year

Below is the American Dialect Society's report on the Word of the Year, mentioned in "Words for the wise: Ignore these words":
2008 Word of the Year Press Release

David Barnhart's 2008 nominations

By the way, Hyde Park's David Barnhart is a member of the American Dialect Society.

Here are his nominations.

Barnhart 2008 Word Of The Year Nominations


Some personal favorites that didn't make "Words for the wise: Ignore these words":

* the craptalicious suffix "-licious," which apparently can be attached to anything;

* "PUMA," via angry Hillraisers after the Democratic primary. It stands for "Party Unity My Ass," which is fitting because the Democrats are represented by the ass (though I have a feeling that's not what they were referring to). "Hillraisers" was now among the finalists; and

* "long photo," which allegedly means "a video of 90 seconds or less." I guess that makes television news "long newspapers."


One of the words deemed most likely to succeed in the American Dialect Society's Word of the Year announcement is related to the Web site

Tw-, tweet-, twitt- Combining forms all connoting a relationship to Twitter, a free nano-blogging service.

If you are unfamiliar with Twitter, you've probably been at your bunker trying to survive the current economic climate (News Flash: It is still bad, go back underground).

And if you are familiar with it, you might still be wondering what's the use of having a site in which users can only post 140 characters per post. Aren't Facebook's status updates enough?


Because you should know that twitter is great.

If you want to get hacked.

Here are a couple of examples from Jan. 5:

Other twitters hacked that day included Barack Obama, the Huffington Post and Britney Spears.

Needless to say, I started my own - "for research purposes," as I like to name all the projects I'm likely to abandon.

So before I do, visit

You'll be thoroughly disappointed.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Annoying post

At the risk of coming off as an annoying blogger, I'm going to annoyingly complain about things on this blog - as a "journalist."

Here are the things that are annoying, on this Monday, Jan. 11, 2009.

* Monday, Jan. 11, 2009;

* $3 coffee;

* $3 coffee on my lap;

* Six stray cats in front of my house that like to pee on my porch and make me spill coffee;

* One indoor cat in said house who likes to get back at the outside cats by peeing on the entrance of the house.

* Annoying bloggers;

* Newspapers that advertise Golden Globe Awards coverage on their front pages and only have partial coverage, and then send readers online for "full coverage."

As in, "Pay to get half the story. Or don't, and get the whole thing for free!" Nice business model.

(The Freeman was the only daily in the mid-Hudson Valley with full Globes coverage, which wasn't that hard to do, since it was a wire story);

* Annoying and infrequently bloggers with cat pee on their porch and coffee on their lap who complain about newspapers.

* Award shows.


What are yours?

But, most importantly:

Do you know how to scare six cats away from a front porch?

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Melissa Leo also is not Critics' Choice.

Accord resident Melissa Leo lost to Meryl Streep AND Anne Hathaway in the best actress category at the Critics' Choice Award just now.


But there's hope.

Leo is also up for a Screen Actors Guild Award for best actress for her role in "Frozen River"

And she has also been nominated for a Spirit Award for the same role in the film by Chatham director-writer Courtney Hunt.

SAG Award recepients often receive Academy Awards.

In January, "Frozen River" won the grand-jury prize for best U.S. drama at the Sundance Film Festival.

"Frozen River" is about a struggling single mother in upstate New York who teams with a Mohawk woman to smuggle people across the Canadian border.

Vera Farmiga is not Critics' Choice

The best supporting acting category just went to Kate Winslet over, among others, Ulster County resident Vera Farmiga, who played an outed CIA agent in "Nothing But the Truth."

She has told New York Magazine that, "living upstate is nothing but beneficial."

"Man on Wire" is Critics' Choice

The Critic's Choice Award for best documentary was given just now to "Man on Wire" about French artist and Shokan resident Philippe Petit, who in 1974 walked across a wire that had been strung illegally between the twin towers of the World Trade Center. The documentary by British director James Marsh was partially shot in Ulster County.

The award was presented by neighbor Melissa Leo of Accord, who's up for best actress.

One down. One to go.

Extra! Extra!

President-elect and masked vigilante caught doing terrorist fist bump!

Courtesy of the Daily Bugle.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

"Other" iPhone materials

"Appropriate organization full of clutter" mentions "other" iPhone materials.
That is no joke.

But let's be fair. Here's the full Apple iPhone 3G Environmental Report.

iPhone 3G Environmental Report

The National Association of Professional Organizers

As seen in "Appropriate organization full of clutter": the National Association of Professional Organizers does exist.
And it has good tips too.

And Get Organized Month is real (a real fabrication), now in its fifth year.

Here are tips on organizing your workplace.

And here's my an old photo of my workplace, which pretty much looks the same today:

IFart Mobile

"The Best iPhone App Yet" --

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Fake liberal joins fake pundit

Former "Hannity and Colmes" co-host Alan Colmes joined funnier-than-Sean Hannity host Steven Colbert on Monday on Comedy Central's "The Colbert Report."