Nous aurons toujours Paris

April 22nd, 2002 § Comments off § permalink

A Pattern Language is an important and valuable book, not only for its contributions to architecture or to other pattern languages, but because it encourages its readers to pay attention to and make sense of their own communities and homes.

Mostly, though, the book makes me miss Paris, a city so perfect that it seems unfair that anyone should have to live anywhere else.

Sustainable agriculture

April 19th, 2002 § Comments off § permalink

An organic gardening expert has figured out how to grow enough food for one person on just 4,000 square feet of land.

For those who won’t settle for less

April 18th, 2002 § Comments off § permalink

Today’s mail included an offer for a free issue of Robb Report, which purports to be “the unquestioned authority on the luxury lifestyle, covering every angle of affluence.” But wait, there’s more:

No wonder ROBB REPORT is the “must-read” of the successful individuals. After all, where else can you learn about $980 shots of Scotch in Manhattan? Buffalo horn eyewear? What’s hot in luxury bedding? And what $5 million buys on the housing market in Aspen vs. Rancho Santa Fe?

Boy, do they have me pegged.

Big Larry is watching you

April 14th, 2002 § Comments off § permalink

Today’s New York Times Magazine included a great article about Silicon Valley’s post-September 11 rush to help the federal government track its citizens (l/p: pinchydotorg), including a scary interview with some Oracle executives:

As the databases are consolidated, I asked, who should decide the proper balance between privacy and access? How do you avoid a situation in which someone could be kept off a plane because he had skipped jury duty or had an overdue parking ticket? A hush fell over the room, and people looked awkwardly at their sandwiches.

Finally [Tim Hoechst, a senior vice president for technology at Oracle,] spoke up. “You’ll notice that we all became suspiciously quiet when we started talking about policy questions,” he said. “At Oracle, we leave that to our customers to decide. We become a little stymied when we start talking about the ‘should wes’ and the ‘whys’ and the ‘hows,’ because it’s not our expertise.”

The Tom Lehrer song about the Nazi rocket scientist who defected to America popped into my head: “‘Once ze rockets are up, who cares where they come down?/That’s not my department,’ says Wernher von Braun.”

Justification for those philosophy classes

April 12th, 2002 § Comments off § permalink

Sure, you’ve heard of Pascal’s Wager, but are you familiar with Pascal’s Wagering?

In a short time, word spread around Paris that Pascal was the thinker to beat at that year’s World Cup of Philosophy. His rooms were always comped. His purse overflowed with all-you-can-eat coupons. His credit was good in the casinos and in the shops. He could get excellent, same-day seats for ‘Groupe Bleu d’Homme.’

I can’t believe it took me this long to find out about The Morning News.

Sameness

April 8th, 2002 § Four comments § permalink

Homogeneity isn’t necessarily bad; sometimes it’s beautiful. More often, though, it means that something has gone horribly wrong.

The war of the settlements

April 8th, 2002 § Comments off § permalink

From the New York Review of Books, an excellent history lesson in a nutshell, explaining the events that made the current conflict between Israelis and Palestinians inevitable.

Hooray for Bollywood

April 7th, 2002 § Comments off § permalink

I quite enjoyed Monsoon Wedding, except for the part where the old man behind me snored through 10 minutes of it.

In the film, the bride’s father called an out-of-town relative “the 100% most stupid duffer.” It’s my new favorite insult. I plan to use it constantly.

No relief

April 3rd, 2002 § Comments off § permalink

From Salon, an article about America’s crackdown on pain medication. Important though it may be to prevent abuse of drugs like OxyContin, it’s simply cruel to deny appropriate medication to someone who suffers from chronic pain or terminal illness.

Busy busy

April 3rd, 2002 § One comment § permalink

Oops. Distracted again.

I started redesigning pinchy.org a few weeks ago, but then I got busy with CSS wrangling at work. After spending an afternoon trying to figure out which browsers support each CSS2 table property, I’m just not in the mood to come home and do more Web development.

If you want an idea of what I’ve been up to lately, check out Jesse James Garrett’s visual vocabulary for information architecture and interaction design. For everyone else, why not enjoy an adorable, cursor-hungry bunny?

Where am I?

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