If you dread decorated trees and Christmas cheer, today is your day! It's Festivus, that is, the anti-commercial holiday that steers clear of the dreaded 25th, beating merrymakers to the punchbowl by celebrating on December 23rd instead.
Festivus, whose origins can be traced back to legendary curmudgeon George Costanza, or rather his father Frank (of Seinfeld mythology), is now a bona-fide holiday to celebrate everything Christmas — dead trees, twinkling lights, good cheer, fancy seven-course meals, and most importantly, an empty bank account — is not. — Read the rest
Jim Toole, the proprietor of Capitol Hill books in D.C., appears as a curmudgeon in Caroline Cunningham's wonderful profile of him and his overflowing store.
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You also have a list of words that no one is allowed to speak in your store.
A little gross, a little genius. iPhone Oil Paintings (by JK Keller via Gautam Ramdurai).
I'm a lifelong fan of Rumpole, John Mortimer's grumpy, poetry-spouting criminal defense barrister, star of books, TV, and radio. John Mortimer died in 2009, and Rumpole at Christmas was published last Christmas season, but I missed it then. I just picked up a copy and inhaled it in a day, and I'm back to tell you just how pleasurable it was. — Read the rest
Xeni reminded me how with each iteration, the monolith gets bigger. But one thing stays the same — what it ends up looking like after sapient apes get their hands on one.
In 1995, astronomer, amateur hacker tracker and Klein-bottle maker Clifford Stoll wrote an essay (and a book, too, but I haven't read that) explaining why this Internet thing will never work. His main argument seems to be, "Hardware and software will all top out in the mid-90s and, thus, the Internet will never ever get any more user friendly or portable. — Read the rest
Lovable financial curmudgeon, goldbug, and activist Max Keiser has a new show on BBC Worldwide: The Oracle, in which he predicts the future outcomes of today's financial chaos. You might know Keiser from his startup, the Hollywood Stock Exchange, or from his wooly, profane and hilarious radio programme in London, Karmabanque. — Read the rest
Our Phone Fingers are made for iPhone's touch screen to prevent smudges and fingerprints. With the Phone Fingers you won't have to clean your touch screen all the time and it's an eye catcher too.
I hope this is a joke. — Read the rest
Jack Vance interviewed on SciFi.com. He's old, he's blind, he's cranky, but lovable for all that:
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I don't read other science fiction. I don't read any at all. I haven't been to a movie since somebody gave me free tickets to Star Wars, which I went to.
Curmudgeon king P.J. O'Rourke explains celebrity and modern trends to old people. Favorite quote: "Techno being a form of music that sounds like a combination of a skipping record, the chime when you leave the car door open, the microwave telling you it's finished with defrosting and the spin cycle on your washing machine." — Read the rest
Those who harbor nostalgia for the soot-smudged, graffiti-covered New York, the one that predates Rudy Giuliani's Marie Kondo writ large act, will delight in this 1984 TV advertisement for Honda scooters featuring Lou Reed. To say Reed stars in the commercial would be a misnomer; his inscrutable visage, obscured by aviator sunglasses with lenses as opaque as a welder's mask, only flashes briefly onto the screen once or twice. — Read the rest
Wow, after all these years of making cookies with a grubby black-smudged baking sheet, a dad of four shows us how he scrubbed up his own grimy tray to a mirror-like, perfect shine.
The secret ingredients are simple: just baking soda, vinegar, and "ample amounts of elbow grease." — Read the rest
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The good thing about buying this robot vacuum:
It's pretty simple actually. The good thing about buying this 360 Smart Life S10 Robot Vacuum Cleaner + Mop with Smart Connect Wi-Fi & Lidar is… well… it cleans your house. — Read the rest
The Great Wizard of Northampton, the author Alan Moore, recently spoke to The Telegraph to promote the upcoming paperback release of his (fantastic) short story collection, Illuminations. Despite Moore's reputation as a grump, the interview starts off on a positive note:
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I'm having a very good time of [prose fiction.
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TL;DR: The Digi Pen for iPad and Tablets is a great way to take notes on your iPad or tablet and give your keyboard a much-needed break. — Read the rest
The tabloid weight police are out in force again, dominating this week's 'Enquirer' cover with "Hollywood's 10 Biggest Losers!"
Equating a thin body with social acceptability, the rag praises "heavyweight stars" who have gone "from flab to fab!"
Naturally the 'Enquirer' eviscerates the stars for "Extreme diets! — Read the rest
In 2010, Mary Strand, of Rogers, Minnesota, accidentally flushed her diamond ring down the toilet. Shitty luck. Her husband snaked the drain and even asked municipal worker to check nearby pipes, to no avail. Recently though, workers at a nearby wastewater plant were repairing a piece of equipment when they noticed a few objects in the, er, "muck" they had cleaned out. — Read the rest
The two most hotly contested household debates are over which way to hang a roll of toilet paper and which way to point utensils in the dishwasher. I don't care about toilet paper, but I wondered about silverware orientation, so I read four articles about it:
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The New Yorker recently published a fascinating article about David Mills, a computer engineer who worked for COMSAT and ARPANET in the early days of Internet development. Mills was one of the first people to realize that networked computers would need to be running on synchronized internal clocks — and has essentially spent the rest of his life as the Internet's very own personal Father Time, making sure the computerized clocks around the globe are ticking at the right time:
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Mills called his creation the Network Time Protocol, and N.T.P.
I can't stand having smudged eyeglasses, but I'm also lazy about cleaning them properly. Usually, I just wash the lenses with handsoap and dry them on my t-shirt. The result is that my lenses are mostly smudge-free, but they are fairly scratched. — Read the rest