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« For Film Lovers | Main | How to Write Plays »

November 23, 2005


Michael Blowhard writes:

Dear Blowhards --

* Many visitors d'un certain age will recall fondly the scrumptious photograph above, which was a much-loved icon of mid-'60s sexiness. It was the jacket art on a 1965 album -- we called collections of recorded music "albums" in those days -- by Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass entitled "Whipped Cream & Other Delights." Groovy bachelor-pad bliss! God bless the web: I just learned the name of the stunner in the photograph: Dolores Erickson. Still a looker at 63 and now working as a professional artist, Dolores was a successful model, and she remembers the episode fondly. Here's her own website, although at the time I put up this posting her site didn't seem to be working properly. When it starts behaving again, you can go there and buy autographed copies of photographs and record jackets. Me first, though.

* Who says that the aesthetic sense of scientists is limited to appreciating the elegance of math equations? Derek Lowe asks why college labs have to be such depressing places.

* Guys: Have you ever wondered why so many gals have such a hard time formulating what they're looking for? Well, Chelsea Girl isn't one of them. She manages to write a letter to her boyfriend that is darned staightforward.

* Thanks to Bookgasm's Rod Lott, who links to a Guardian list of the 20 Best Geek Novels Since 1932. I've read only 7 of the geeky 20, and I have to admit that my score includes four half-reads. Rod thinks "Lord of the Rings" should have been included on the list.

* George Hunka, a fan of the lordly American novelist William Gaddis, turns out to be an even more enthusiastic napper than I am. I propose a new political movement: Nappers' Lib. Or maybe we should bring ourselves up to date, if drowsily so, and call our organization NWA (Nappaz Wit' Attitude).

* Thanks to Lexington Green, who points out a smart and promising new groupblog named Architecture and Morality. Good stuff is piling up: a blogger who calls himself Corbusier, for example, wonders here and here about how much blame his namesake deserves for the recent French riots. Lex himself has put up a stirring posting arguing that what he calls the "Anglosphere narrative" of history is a substantial and important one. A good commentsfest follows here.

* Neil Kramer confesses that he has a small "bedroom problem" ...

* Right Reason's Steve Burton has just about had it with Crooked Timber.

* Those who know about these things predict that Google's latest effort, Google Base, will out-Craigslist Craigslist. A 2Blowhards prediction: the future will consist of 5 billion channels of Google content, all of them delivered via iPod.

* Arnold Kling wonders why so many people dislike economics.

* Thanks to Claire for linking to this short film of comic genius. You know these men and their work, believe me. They're titans all.



posted by Michael at November 23, 2005


Thank you, dear Michael.

As always, I appreciate the red hott the picture...smokin' hot 60's kitsch! Herb Alpert and the big mound of shaving cream.

I hope it wasn't mentholated.

Posted by: chelsea girl on November 23, 2005 6:21 PM

I guess I'm geekier than thou. I've read 9 of the 20 listed. Most of my reads were near the top of the list which is composed mostly of older books; obviously in the past 30 or so years I've been neglecting my inner geek. Alas.

Posted by: Friedrich von Blowhard on November 23, 2005 8:50 PM

I am going to have to reread "Stand on Zanzibar" to see why the geeks don't like it. It contains one of the earliest descriptions of the "going postal" berserker phenomenon that I can remember, probably inspired by Charles Whitman.

10% of the blogs I visit regularly are hard-core economics blogs, full of charts and numbers and equations. Fed-watchers and currency freaks. Arnold Kling is not among them.

Posted by: bob mcmanus on November 23, 2005 9:01 PM

This is simply the best argument for napping I have ever heard:
"Given what people do when they're awake, the world could hardly be harmed if they did an hour or two less of that every day."

Now anyone who dares question the Wisdom of napping in my presence will hear me quote that sentiment mercilessly.

Posted by: . on November 23, 2005 11:29 PM

My grandparents had that record. At the age of five-ish I would lie on their mustard-colored shag rug and stare at it. I really didn't know why I stared at it. I didn't really get anything tangible out of staring at it, did I. But, oh yeah, I stared at it.

(Of course, I also stared at Pepino The Italian Mouse.)

Posted by: Brian on November 24, 2005 2:11 AM

I hate to puncture someone's fond fantasy, CG, but here's the thing: it isn't supposed to be shaving cream. The title of the album provides a hint.

Posted by: Dave F on November 24, 2005 5:02 AM

Interesting: seems to me I read in Esquire some years back that Ms. Erickson was pregnant at the time of the shoot. Her interview suggests otherwise. Another urban myth deflated - sigh.

Posted by: Whisky Prajer on November 24, 2005 6:11 AM

I'm glad you enjoyed the short. Thanks for the mention.

Posted by: claire on November 24, 2005 1:09 PM

Whew! I really dodged a bullet with the geek-reading list. The only ones I've read voluntarily are 1984 and Cryptonomicon (I had to read Stranger in a Strange Land and Brave New World for college courses, but that shouldn't count).

Somebody ought to come up with an *anti*-geek reading list. The sort of books that no geek has ever read, titles like Advanced Street Fighting Techniques.

Posted by: Peter on November 24, 2005 2:00 PM


I hate to burst your bubble, but it's shaving cream covering the delectable Dolores. I read an article as an impressionable youngster and it stuck with me, as it were.

However, if and when I ever get married, I'm wearing nothing but Marshmallow Fluff.

Keep in touch. Maybe you'll get an invite.

Posted by: chelsea girl on November 24, 2005 4:12 PM

FYI, the article about Dolores Erickson which gave her age as 63 was from July 2000. She's now 68 or 69.

Posted by: Peter on November 24, 2005 8:25 PM

MB -- Thanks for the links. Glad you like the A&M site. Those guys are really top quality. The shaving cream girl is a nice bit of period cheesecake. We sometimes forget the aspect of the sixties that was groovy and playboyish and bachelor-paddish -- Tom Jones, say, rather than the Stones. It has not aged as well, but it has its charms.

I don't really understand the geek novel thing. I've read more than half of them. If that makes me a geek, well groovy enough. I am currently reading Neal Stephenson's book The Diamond Age, or the Young Ladies Illustrated Primer. It is so good that it I am getting spikes of pure mental joy page after page. I grew up on SF, but I found that more and more of it did nothing for me and I gave it up mostly in 1990. But TDA is actually -- so far, halfway done -- than my heroes Gibson and Sterling from the glorious cyberpunk era.

Posted by: Lexington Green on November 24, 2005 10:50 PM

It's interesting the tricks photographers use when taking pictures of something that resists their usual methods of photography. I would imagine that is why they used shaving cream instead of whipped cream in the photo. Food is especially resistant to looking like it should in a photo. My son found this interesting site for a school project.

Posted by: nick on November 25, 2005 5:50 PM

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