July 24, 2005
The Indivisibles — by Campbell McGrath
They exist: atoms,
components, letters, vertebrae.
It exists: the totality of it,
historical spine, the universal
discourse of space
composed of numerals
causal and oblique as berry pickers
scouring the thickets of the mind
which is the wind and so
windmills to crush the berries
and flavor the wonderful
bread with jam at breakfast.
Sun up, the world begins
and it is composed
of energy and matter
like pigs in blankets or eggs
in cartons despite the odds.
Cities rise to face the dawn,
lathes, potter's wheels, smoke
from the censers of hilltop temples,
the mind chasing a wagon of illumination
through the mechanical universe,
dutiful dog, eager and oblivious
as the worm in time's apple
or the kid telling jokes
in the planetarium
the instant after the lights go out
and before the stars turn on.
EZcarry — Ergonomic bag handle
You place the loops and handles of all your bags, be they paper or plastic, into the little dip in the red area, then pick up the whole shebang with the comfortable black carry handle.
No more discomfort from your bags cutting into your palms or wrists.
Put the handle down to rest, then pick it up again to continue without having to gather all the bags together again.
Holds up to 50 lbs.
'It's addictive. There's compassion. There's want. There's misery.'
What blog is that, as described in the first sentence of a story appearing on the front page of the Sunday Styles section of today's New York Times?
It's none other than... Greek Tragedy, the website of Ms. Stephanie Klein (above) of New York City.
She began it in January of last year — on January 20, to be precise — and since that time has acquired "an international readership" and "legions of followers."
She has done very nicely for herself, to be sure: consider her two–book deal with Judith Regan's ReganBooks, the first due out in April next year and titled "Straight Up and Dirty."
She received an advance of over $500,000.
Even in Manhattan that's serious walking around money.
But wait — there's more: NBC is developing her book into a half–hour comedy series.
Meanwhile she continues with her day job and writing books as well as her blog, which she "updates nearly every day."
Especially by her numbers: no, not the money — her blog's readership.
- From the Times story by Stephanie Rosenbloom:
According to Technorati, which ranks blogs based on "net attention," or the number of people who are linking to them, Ms. Klein's blog has a rank of 2,132, meaning that of the world's more than 13 million blogs, there are only 2,000 or so with more inbound links than hers.
"That would put her in the top 1 percent of all bloggers," said David L. Sifry, the founder and chief executive officer of Technorati.
Like I said, I'm impressed by her numbers.
But I must say that I like the ones below even more.
It's amazing what can happen when you become G-rated.
"Glass onion keeper keeps your onion fresh longer!"
Tell us more.
"Domed design ensures offensive oniony smells don't make their way to other foods in the fridge."
3.5"H x 5"D.
Also quite useful for Epoisses and other exquisite cheeses of its ilk — and pungency.
The sad case of Roman Polanski
At 71 he thinks the highest and best use of what little time may remain in his life is going to court to contest an assertion that he groped a Norwegian model named Beatte Telle at Elaine's in August of 1969.
Vanity Fair magazine, in its July 2002 edition, ran a story about the mystique of Elaine's, the Upper East Side restaurant where all the contenders and pretenders hung out back in the day.
The article recounted an anecdote by Lewis Lapham, now the editor of Harper's magazine, about an encounter he said he saw between Polanski and the model while Polanski was en route to the funeral of his wife, Sharon Tate, who had just been murdered by Charles Manson and his accomplices.
Two years ago Polanski (above) sued Vanity Fair but brought the suit in Britain, where he stood a much better chance of winning due to more plaintiff–friendly libel laws.
However, because he feared being extradited to the U.S. and imprisoned for his having pleaded guilty in 1977 to having sex with a 13–year–old girl, he brought his case from Paris, where he testified via live video link, a concession made by the English court.
France prohibits extradition of its citizens, of which Polanski is one, to the U.S.
On Friday a London jury declared that Polanski had indeed been libeled and awarded him $87,700 in damages along with legal costs.
Testimony and a detailed chronology at the trial showed that the incident could not have happened before the funeral but only afterward — if it happened at all.
Elaine Kaufman, of Elaine's, said in a story in yesterday's New York Times story, "I'm saying I don't believe any of it."
She added that she herself did not remember any particular details or even any particular night and "seriously doubted that any of those involved could either."
Guess what: today's Times of London features an interview with the model herself: she said it never happened.
This post isn't about what happened in 1969 but, rather, about what's happening now.
At 71 a person should be at the height of his powers, inquiring deeply and with insatiable curiosity about the nature of the world.
And a great artist like Polanski should be making the greatest films of his career.
Instead he's spending his energy trying to clear his name and his reputation, which will never happen no matter what the verdict?
What a waste of a life.
Voltaire famously remarked, "I was never ruined but twice in my life — once when I lost a case and once when I won."
What if Polanski drops dead tonight?
He'll have spent the last two years of his life dealing with this court case.
You mean to tell me that's the thing he finds most enjoyable in the world out of all the things he could be doing?
Next thing you know I'll blow off this blog and get a regular job giving anesthesia, make zillions of dollars, work 80 hours a week, always be tired and in a bad mood and say, "Hey, this is really great."
I don't think so.
Oh, sure, they call it a portable back stretcher but who are they trying to fool?
Us joeheads didn't just fall off the turnip truck, you know.
Look at the guy above, stretching his back in the device: doesn't he look like he's dreaming of speeding down an icy course millimeters from unforgiving, rock–hard walls en route to a gold medal in 2006 in Turin?
Of course he does.
- From the website:
Lengthen and decompress your spine.
Help realign the spine, increase joint flexibility, promote relaxation, and improve posture with the Lynx, your own portable back stretcher.
Moderate traction works by securing ankles in contoured foot supports, then applying gentle pressure to the handles to stretch out your back.
Can be used by anyone 4'2" to 6'6".
I wonder how many people reading this fall outside those parameters? But I digress.
Folds compactly to 20" x 11.5" x 3.5".
Weighs 5.5 lbs.
Comes with nylon travel bag.
I remind you not to attempt to carry this device on board an airplane lest you be forced to simulate your luge ride in a little room behind an unmarked door.
Be a beta tester in your spare time
You can apply to be a beta–tester, evaluating products from all sorts of companies.
What's in it for you?
You might get the final retail product (if there ever is one) for free or at a reduced price and you might be invited to participate in future beta tests.
[via Edward C. Baig and USA Today]
World's Best Measuring Cup
There's as much red on this device as there is plain glass.
Meant for liquids (you know very well you shouldn't be using your dry measuring cups for liquids), this clear glass tool measures from 1/8 to 1.5 cups and everything in between.
"Other markings include tablespoons, teaspoons, fluid ounces, grams, and milliliters."
"Best of all: it's accurate!"