"Listening to someone else sing about his or her sadness is a vicarious experience, so the sadness we feel isn't as threatening to our well-being. We can just sit back and enjoy someone else's heartbreak." —This is an explanation for why sad songs make us happy, but it is also a metaphor for life.
Did you forget to stay up late waiting for results from the U.N. climate talks in Doha? Well, you'll be happy to know global warming is solved thanks to a bold consensus decision to take aggressive international action on carbon emissions and sustainability. No, wait, that is not what happened. Here's a typically sunny reaction: "It’s very, very depressing. There is nothing [in the text] at all on finance, nothing about emissions reduction, it's all about workshops and talk shops. There is no commitment by [by rich countries] on anything."
Then again, "low expectations" were the only expectation at all. Sorry, polar bears and etc.
Hey, what's Howard Dean up to these days? Oh. He's a filthy little shill.
Happy 40th birthday, River Phoenix! Oh right. Dead. Don't do heroin.
It's been a billion degrees in Russia since mid-June, and as a consequence, 1200 people have drowned-and"49 people, including two children, had drowned in the last day," is what CNN says. "The majority of those drowned were drunk," said Vadim Seryogin, a department head at Russia's Emergencies Ministry. "The children died because adults simply did not look after them." I don't really have a funny name for Russia to go with this because somehow this seems sadder than English people stabbing each other constantly, though it's probably not.
There they go. Sailing out of our lives the same way they just sailed in. Sniff. (Photo by.)
Once, there was Mechanical Turk, where people in the third world would do data entry for you. And also Google Answers, wherein people would do your homework. But you know what's going well these days? The Internet will allow you to hire anyone in the world to do simple tasks for $5, thanks to Fiverr, one of the only web startups that has a chance of becoming profitable. And boy is it ever useful! "I will tell you what name or animal you look like for $5." And! "I will send you a postcard + 10 grams of our purest sand from Mauritius Island for $5." More [...]
When the Arab Spring began jumping from country to country a couple of years ago, it seemed like a good idea to add a "revolution" section to my Google News page. During the Occupy Wall Street protests, it continued to provide interesting news about social unrest and nervous rich people hiring extra security. How is the Revolution section faring today, now that it's okay to be horribly rich again and Jeffrey Skilling is looking at an early release from federal prison?
My 8 year old trick or treated as Artemis Fowl, but people in Brooklyn thought he was Mitt Romney and were actually kind of mean to him :(
— Ben Smith (@BuzzFeedBen) November 1, 2012
Oh no. One of the Internet's most wonderful things is closing up shop: "This morning I received a nice e-mail from Lucian Buscemi, Steve’s son, asking me to discontinue the blog. While the notion of going all V for Vendetta on Park Slope’s ass has its appeal, I don’t want to be slinking around the neighborhood taking pictures in defiance of the Buscemi family’s express wishes. I always said I would honor any request from Steve to stop documenting the activity on his stoop, and this is close enough. Accordingly, this blog is officially discontinued." What's On Steve Buscemi's Stoop was a masterpiece, a commentary on fame, [...]
The Gay Games are starting tomorrow in Germany… and pretty much everyone there is traveling under a pseudonym. Especially Mexico's big gay soccer team.
How come everyone who wins the lottery just doesn't know the rules? Basically, it's just like the Final Destination franchise. You are on death's radar. When you win the lottery, you must immediately stop smoking, stop drinking, stop eating meat, you go to the doctor like once a week (or you get your OWN doctor! Live-in!) and you basically put yourself inside the bubble. No jaywalking. No skydiving. No futzing around. And you know why? Because when you win the second biggest lottery in Britain's history you will inevitably drop dead, at the age of 59, just five years later. (If no one stabs you first, of course.) [...]
I'm not totally opposed to the list of words and phrases banned by for use on WGN radio by Tribune CEO Randy Michaels (a gentleman just described by a former Tribune employee as "crazy/evil.") Some of his banned words are clearly just weird pet peeves of his ("famed"? "diva"? "false pretenses"?) but others-"under siege"! "under fire"!-are the sad things you hear endlessly if you ever turn on talk radio, which of course you don't, because if you're reading a blog you're probably not a full-time cab driver. What's really fascinating is that this list has almost no overlap with the list of words you should never use [...]
Out of nowhere, or Monaco, comes the sad news that Barbara Piasecka Johnson, who was the maid to and then third wife of J. Seward Johnson I (born 1895!), has now died, far too young at the age of 76.
Ms. Johnson was busy until late out-surviving the six children of her husband from his first two marriages. Upon his death, in 1983, the Johnson and Johnson heir left all his money—$402,824,971.59—to her instead of them. They sued; the courts gave them 12% of their dad's inheritance (they all had trust funds anyway! It was just spite!) and everyone moved on happily ever after, rich as fourteen Bush [...]
I'm batting a full "zero out of twelve" on the Booker Prize longlist! I'm basically illiterate.
"For two years, a 36-year-old bear who performed during the 1980 Moscow Olympics has been kept with other retired circus animals in a rusty old bus parked on the outskirts of St. Petersburg…. Since her retirement in 2009, Katya and the painted bus on which she once toured with the circus have not left a parking lot near a busy highway. The aging bear spends the long hours jumping up and down in her cage and trying to crack the rusty metal railings with her chipped and yellowed teeth." It is hard to believe, but this story gets worse.
Has NBC brought the gavel down on the original-formula Law & Order after 20 seasons of telling the stories of the police who investigate crimes and the district attorneys who prosecute the offenders? Nikki Finke's site is saying yes! This is terrible if it's true — not because of the dumb "longest-running show ever" record that Dick Wolf was trying to set (if the cancellation goes through it'll have tied Gunsmoke in longevity) but because the show was just starting to get really good again in both quality of acting and tightness of storylines after a bunch of seasons suffering through the morass of bad plotlines and even worse [...]