November 23, 2010
Football night in Kazan
The Google translation of the title, "Фанаты КС в Казани," is "Fans of the COP in Kazan."
The only comment: "Самара Молодцы!!! Футбол для Фанатов!!!"
Oh, yeah, sorry: "Well done for the Samara Football Fans!!!"
Retro Pac-Man Business Card Holder
"Two sections to separate your cards from those of your clients."
Screen or Game versions.
"Would you pay $12 to get your pencil sharpened?"
Some people would and do, according to The Observer's Euan Ferguson, who interviewed David Rees (above and below) for a story which appeared this past Sunday, and follows.
When Only a Really Sharp Pencil Will Do
An enterprising New York cartoonist has started a bespoke pencil-sharpening service — at $12 a pop
Would you pay twelve dollars to get your pencil sharpened? Hand-sharpened, admittedly; lovingly so, and it comes posted back (including overseas) with a certificate, and its own shavings in a bag, and careful little rubber protectors. But, still … that's something like £8.40 in Limey-money.
If you do David Rees, a New York state-based cartoonist for, among others the Nation and Rolling Stone, is your guy, blade at the ready. He describes himself as a "craftsman" who "practices the age-old art of manual pencil sharpening". We called him to check if he was for real.
A pencil-sharpening business. You'll have to excuse this, but … what's the point?
I forgive you. Well, in late spring of this year I had a temporary position with the US Census, and on the first day we all had to pull out our No 2 pencils and have them hand-sharpened. I had such a good time, I wondered if there wasn't a way to make money by sharpening pencils. I've had a great deal of encouragement and enjoyment, and while it might not be entirely serious, it's not done at all as a joke, and I'm delighted to answer any questions on it.
Obviously, I want to ask: 2B or not 2B? But I should probably change that to: is it making money?
Oh God, no. I've sold about 100. But that's around the world. And it is, slowly, taking off. Someone heard about it in Germany recently, and I've had a sudden run of orders from there. Anecdotally, I hear people don't like to use them: often they're given as a present, and just sit there, sharp forever. 2B? Well, I'll do pencils sent me, but more often now I'll prepare my own, which are the standard yellow No 2 – I think that's HB2 over there – with the metal band, the iconic childhood pencil. And I do do it lovingly. Sometimes with a box-cutter, but I've been given a nice German single-blade hand-sharpener, and take great care with the packaging, and it comes with a poster. And it gives me happiness, because at that stage life had just become a little bit …
Something like that indeed. And since then I have, honestly, had satisfaction, and people have said good things about artisanship, and individuality. Is it art or is it stationery? Bang in the middle, I would hope.
And no one accuses you of sharp practice?
The reaction has said, I think, more about the US than about me. The LA Times ran a piece recently and the reaction, the many comments, were split completely along the lines of what it means to be an American now. Half of them celebrated the fact that, in their words, anyone could have the inventiveness to make a go of anything, and thus they should abolish the welfare state. The other half professed despair that there are people rich enough to spend 12 bucks getting their pencil sharpened.
Rees' website, artisanalpencilsharpening.com, now offers a hand-sharpened pencil (he provides the pencil so you need not mail yours in) for $15.
$55 CAD (Jewelry page 5).
"You are enormously insignificant" — really?
The reasoning behind the conclusion drawn in the figure above seems airtight, doesn't it?
That you and I and everyone we know are not even dust in the wind?
Perhaps that's not the case.
"Enormously insignificant" at first glance seems pretty convincing, until you think about it for a moment and realize it's redundant: insignificant by definition means "not signifying," having no appreciable impact or effect on anything else.
So "enormously" adds nothing, it's just an empty adverb.
So we're left with "insignificant" and its apparent dismissal of each of us in terms of mattering at all.
But stop for a second and consider that without your attention to the world, to this very post, in this moment of your existence, the world you're thinking you're not a very big part of wouldn't exist.
Because to bring your world into existence requires your presence and consciousness.
I would argue, therefore, that not only are you not "enormously insignificant" but, rather, that the world depends on you for its existence as much as you need the world.
And that makes you significant.
I won't make the mistake of adding "enormously" because your presence alone is significance enough.
6.5" long x 2.25" wide.
Movie-Censorship.com — It's not what you think
No, not a rant about ratings and whatnot but, rather, a very useful comparison site for theatrical vs. extended version/director's cut et al variations on a regular release theme.
I used it to opt for the extended version of "Date Night" on Netflix as opposed to the theatrical version.
Search by all titles or the first letter.
Free, the way we like it.
A note of caution on automatically opting for the more elaborate version: I still think the original theater release of "Blade Runner" was better than Ridley Scott's extended director's cut, even though the story made much more sense with the added footage.
But then, I was so overwhelmed when I first saw "Blade Runner" – one of the few films I've seen at least three times — that perhaps nothing could beat that initial impression of shock, awe and wonderment.
Ribbon Bottle Opener
A smooth polished stainless steel ribbon, the same on both sides, designed by Scott Henderson.
3" x 3" x 1".