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Category Archives: Mishmash

Unidentified Persons Bureau

Locally speaking, last week’s Phoenix New Times had an interesting story on the Maricopa County Medical Examiners Office and one woman’s efforts to get an unidentified body database going on the county’s website. Apparently Maricopa is one of the few counties in the U.S. to have one of these features online, and it has resulted in many solved missing person cases.

It’s Called Poetic Justice

Futility Vehicle — faced with escalating gas prices, a New York Times blogger wonders why she bought a huge SUV in the first place. This is funny and sad, but mostly sad. It’s a bit nice that this lady is seeing outside her myopic little suburban bubble and finally understanding the greater consequences of the choices she makes. But it also underscores that just as people choose to own SUVs for primarily selfish reasons (I want to protect my family), they’re wanting to dump the vehicles for equally selfish reasons (I can’t pay through the nose for gas). And this woman represents millions of disillusioned drivers (sigh). At least I take comfort that she’s getting blasted in the comments by lots and lots of sane and reasonable people.

Chalk Full of Extras

Attention aspiring writers — Christopher has a good post illustrating why spell checker is not enough. I actually got this promo email from MGM Home Video a few weeks ago and had to laugh. Shame on the spaced out, Starbucks-fetching office intern who made that mistake.

Give a Hoot, Read a Book

Entertainment Weekly continues their hallowed tradition of opening multiple cans of worms with its New Classics issue, subtitled “The 1000 Best Movies, TV Shows, Albums, Books & More of the Last 25 Years.” Equal parts cool and infuriating, EW has taken the “list” concept to its logical conclusion and made up an issue consisting entirely of lists. The movies list is overall pretty good, only hitting the overrated and/or inexplicably popular movies at around #25 (Shrek). The TV list is overrun with lots of superpopular shows that I never “got,” but they’re forgiven since they put The Simpsons on top where it rightfully belongs. Several classic albums appear on the music list, although to be honest music is such a subjective thing that they could’ve had 100 different fans picking 10,000 different albums and they would all have some validity. So, EW, your shit still stinks. Don’t even get me started on the bizarre randomness that is the 50 Pop Culture Moments That Rocked Fashion.

What really got me inspired here is their books list, specifically the top 50. This one seemed a lot more thoughtful than the others, and it covers a wide range of stuff. I’m sure there are a few overrated choices there, too, but what struck me personally is that I’ve only read two books in the entire top 50! Those two (technically three) would be Art Spiegelman’s Maus/Maus 2 (#7) and Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale (#16). If I had an endless bank of time, I’d love to read the other 48. Unlike the other lists, most of them actually appear worth looking into. Another time consuming project I’ve been investigating is to check out various novels that have appeared on the year-end best seller lists from throughout the 20th century. Further tempting is the fact that many of those earlier bestsellers are available as free downloads at Project Gutenberg. Unlike EW, apparently, I have a burning desire to know what rocked the average American reader in, say, the year 1902.

Tell Laura I Loathe Her

Perhaps it was the mood I was in this morning, but Mark Morford’s column on our docile, soulless mannequin of a First Lady made me laugh out loud several times.

By the way, if Hilary gets elected will Bill be referred to as the First Man? I always wondered that.

Wall Art at Home

Due to not having a car (fuel pump gave out), I was housebound for much of this week. Yesterday I took my camera and photographed various pieces of wall art around the house. The pics were assembled in a flickr set creatively titled Wall Art at Home. Most pieces have a little background info on where we got it. Enjoy, amigos!

Wall Art Set