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March 6, 2009

'Fly Duet' — Dessay and Naouri

Wife and husband opera stars Natalie Dessay and Laurent Naouri rarely work together, since one or the other tries to be home with their two children whenever possible.

Above, their "Fly Duet" from a 1997 production in Lyons of "Orpheus in the Underworld," in which Dessay played Eurydice and Naouri played Jupiter.

Jupiter, in the guise of a fly, seduces Eurydice.


March 6, 2009 at 04:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Coming soon: Pay toilets on airplanes — gives new meaning to the phrase 'holding pattern'


Better hope your credit card's valid because they won't take cash on Ryanair — even if you are held up over Stansted for an hour waiting for a gate to open.

I guess it's not news to most of the world, since I'm seeing stories from last month about it, but the first I heard was when I read the news in this morning's Washington Post.

According to Ryanair CEO Michael O'Leary, "The problem is that Boeing can't come up with a mechanism on the toilet door to take coins. We're suggesting they go back and look at a mechanism where you'd swipe the credit card."

No word on if — and, more important, when — you'd have to sign for your transaction.

As it were.

March 6, 2009 at 03:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (4) | TrackBack

Too much 'screen life' ... may cause users to become 'almost infantilized, characterized by short attention spans, sensationalism, inability to empathize and a shaky sense of identity' — Susan Greenfield


One of Britain's best-known neuroscientists, she was thus quoted by Financial Times Science editor Clive Cookson in a February 26, 2009 sidebar to Richard Waters' main event about Twitter and its prospects for making money.

Any of those characteristics present in anyone you know?

Well, then.

March 6, 2009 at 02:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

What is it?


Answer here this time tomorrow.

March 6, 2009 at 01:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

A Midwesterner in the Middle Kingdom


From Patrick Radden Keefe: "Good English-language information on Fuzhou and its environs is difficult to come by, but just before leaving I discovered this fantastic blog, which I'd recommend to anyone who wants to visit that corner of China, or learn more about it. Its author is Ben Ross, a Kansas City native who moved to China after college and chose not to live in Beijing or Shanghai, but in Fuqing and Fuzhou, where he worked as a barber and became an accidental game show star."

March 6, 2009 at 12:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Bottle Cap Tripod


Slides onto the vast majority of water bottle caps.


Universal adapter fits most cameras.


Small hinge allows for gentle swivel.


$9.95 (bottle/camera not included).


You say black just doesn't work with your camera?


Hold on a sec... let me see what we can do.


OK, here you go:



March 6, 2009 at 11:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

A heartbreaking work of staggering sadness


That's how I would characterize D.T. Max's long, riveting article in the latest issue of The New Yorker about David Foster Wallace's amazing journey through life, terminated by his suicide last September 12.

The piece is compelling reading, taking you as close as you can get — if you haven't been there — to what it's like to have your world collapse around you as clinical depression unfurls its talons and proceeds to slowly, inexorably squeeze the life out.

I cannot recommend Max's piece highly enough.

I believe it unfair to criticize or find any fault with either Wallace or those around him — Karen Green (his then-wife/now widow), friends, doctors, therapists, editors, publisher, agents, students — for not somehow preventing Wallace's suicide.

If a person is determined to take his or her life, it is almost impossible to stop them — they will find a way, because inevitably the guard lets down just a little bit and in that momentary window the decisive act transpires.

Having said that, I do believe that it is eminently possible for those who care for a suicidally depressed person to protect them from themselves long enough for the urge to pass.

The only way to make this happen with certainty, though, is with very, very heavy medication — to the point of rendering the afflicted individual nonfunctional.

This requires either psychiatric hospitalization or 24/7 observation at home.

A very difficult thing.

Nevertheless, doable.

March 6, 2009 at 10:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Time is Money Clock


Ceramic; 30cm (12") Ø.


March 6, 2009 at 09:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack

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