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« Bill Kauffman | Main | Hot New Restaurant »

February 23, 2006


Michael Blowhard writes:

Dear Blowhards --

* Nice casting! BTW, I hear that this book about Dusty Springfield is heaven for fans of celeb bios, even those without much of an interest in Dusty. Haven't read it yet myself, but I do have a copy.

* The good life, the Forbes way: The biz mag recommends the world's best topless beaches. Razib kicks off a GNXP-style discussion about the good life here.

* Why have there been so few Whit Stillman movies? Whit Stillman himself wants to know.

* WhiskyPrajer reviews and evokes ten songs that mean a lot to him. Start here.

* Yahmdallah is flippin' for Temple Grandin's latest book.

* On hearing that Literary Theory is in crisis, Oran Kelley asks a sensible question: Who cares?

* Alice wonders why women shouldn't give as well as receive romantic presents on Valentine's Day.

* DarkoV confesses that he can't stand the singing of Emmylou Harris. Cowtown Pattie thinks that DarkoV ought to come to his senses.

* Breakdancing from the raised-on-Pixar generation. Wait for the guy in the orange shirt.

* Beach vollyball is obviously the greatest sport ever invented, or at least the most photogenic.

* Alan Little kicks off a personal photo-a-week project with a beautiful view of a room where some yoga giants studied and taught.

* Sex-bloggin' Jill examines her motivations.

* I say, Give 'em all a trophy. (Link thanks to Tyler Cowen)

* Louisville's going to regret it. Check out the architect's academic training: Ivy, with a specialization in philosophy. Which pretty much explains the building he has designed. Cool effects on the video, though.



posted by Michael at February 23, 2006


I read Temple Grandin's book (Animals in Translation) not too long ago. Where she's coming from is that she's autistic and thinks in pictures rather than in words or abstract concepts, and she believes animals think like she does. Professionally, she designs and trouble-shoots meat packing plants from the animals' point of view.

Of course, the one thing I would come away from her book with is her anecdote of going to visit a certain prominent behavioral scientist whose name everyone would recognize, in his office when she was a young student, and he promptly, er, uhm, made inappropriate contact with her legs. She had to tell him he could look but not touch. Now, this was a world-famous scientist. She was a young student with an obvious mental developmental problem. How sleazy does it get? Maybe he could blame it on operant conditioning or something, and he couldn't help it...

I saw Grandin not too long ago on a NATURE program on PBS ("Animal Minds"), which is out on DVD as well. Autistic she may be, but she sounds like she'd be a lot of fun to talk to, especially about animals and what she perceives to be on their minds. It didn't seem like her mind was slowed down much, or else she compensates very well.


Posted by: Dwight Decker on February 23, 2006 07:37 PM

(1) the guy in the orange shirt is pretty amazing.

(2) all the guys in the NBA dunking contest are, well, amazing too(sorry to overwork the word, but I can't think of one more appropriate.)

(3) the Louisville building would be perfectly fine...if Louisville existed solely as a computer simulation. Real buildings in real life are experienced in an entirely different time scale, however, and I would hate to be anywhere near that thing in reality. The whole experience that video leaves me with is being trapped inside somebody else's television!

Posted by: Friedrich von Blowhard on February 23, 2006 09:07 PM

have you noticed the black stripes across the modelmakers in theat Louisville' building video?
They're ashamed to show their faces!

Posted by: Tat on February 23, 2006 09:10 PM

You might be interested to know that Temple Grandin's co-author on Animals in Translation is Catherine Johnson, who blogs here, at Kitchen Table Math. She and Carolyn Johnston have built a really good community for discussion of education issues.

Posted by: Doug Sundseth on February 23, 2006 09:11 PM

I did a little research on Whit Stillman's background, i.e., way-way-background, like to 1635. I posted it at Better Than Fudge, but I'll repeat it here, as it takes a few hours to take hold over there:

"A bit of ancestral trivia, some of which even he may not know:

"He says his first name is John. He's in fact John Whitney Stillman. So he's related, through the ur-Whitneys John and Elinor, not just to the railroad-racing-and-art Whitneys of New York, inventor Eli, surveyor Josiah (of Mount W.), and Gen. Courtney Whitney (MacArthur's aide who wrote Japan's constitution), but also to other notable entertainers, such as mother-and-daughter actresses Whitney Blake and Meredith Baxter, and (of all people) singer Jerry Jeff Walker.

"Who would ever have connected Metropolitan with Mr Bojangles? "

Posted by: Reg Csar on February 24, 2006 05:35 AM


I went to the topless beach site, and I couldn't find a boob for my life.

Where's the boobs?

First rule of marketing: Don't promise boobs if you can't deliver.

Posted by: Shouting Thomas on February 24, 2006 09:53 AM

Googling Mr. Orange Shirt kid led me to a site which I can only describe as counter-intuitive: a breakdancing-instructor-slash-right-wing activist - probably the first example of that breed since Albert Jay Nock died.

The videos show him irritating PETA folks and war protestors with his right-wingery, then breakdancing at them. The site also shows you how to moonwalk.

What a country...

Posted by: Brian on February 26, 2006 09:30 AM

Anse du Gouverneur? Everyone knows the best topless beach on St. Barts (and the known universe) is St. Jean. Plus try swimming in Gouverneur. If the half naked French women don't kill ya, the undertow will.

Posted by: William Sauer on February 26, 2006 05:54 PM

Dusty Springfield is brilliant, the only female British singer who can compete with the great American white country divas (Tammy Wynette, Patsy Cline, etc.) for singing ability. If you don't have it, it's VERY worth picking up the Rhino Records reissue of "Dusty in Memphis", which not only includes that great album but a whole set of unreleased tracks from her career. What a magnificent, soulful voice, a great combination of majestic power and quavering vulnerability.

Question: there were many great male British acts inspired by soul, blues, etc. but very few female ones. America kicks ass on Britain in female vocalists. Why? (Maybe because the great British bands rarely featured great vocalists anyway, but great songwriting and guitar work, and female vocalists rarely wrote their own songs back in the 60s and 70s).

Posted by: MQ on February 27, 2006 02:43 PM

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