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September 9, 2009

Await Your Reply — by Dan Chaon

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Who are you?

That's the question Dan Chaon implicitly asks in his new book, and reading it will either confirm your sense that you're not the person you thought you were or leave you feeling exhilarated about the freedom you have to be whomever you like.

Within limits.

But the thing is, the limits are malleable and permeable by not much more than a wish or a dream or a nightmare, and therein lies the rub.

Although the book's ending — much ballyhooed in reviews as perfect and its ilk — baffled me (something that's always, in truth, been the case for me, what with my habit of believing everything and thinking anything's possible, which lack of filtering invariably results in blatant contradiction), that didn't make reading it any less absorbing.

It was another past 2 a.m.-er, what with the impossibility of putting it down before finding out how things played out.

It's always amazing to me how a story about losers and dead-enders can end up being a winner.

I guess that's the magic of a good writer, the ability to let you inhabit, if only for a while, the mind and consciousness of another person entirely alien to oneself.

One project of mine over the past few months has been trying (without success, methinks) to become Gray Cat, see the world as she does and experience things from her point of view.

I sometimes lie down right next to her and look at what she's looking at and try to do a mind-meld with her cat brain but so far nada.

If only I had fur and whiskers to make the incoming more realistic....

The closest I've ever come to being a cat was reading Jack Williamson's 1948 sci-fi classic, "Darker Than You Think."

I love how Chaon's last name is only a letter away from chaos, which is what the world he depicts ultimately devolves into.

Read the first pages and/or look inside the book here.

Read/download a 13 page excerpt here.

Watch a trailer here.

September 9, 2009 at 04:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Film Clock

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21cm x 17cm x 10cm (8" x 7" x 4").

Nice analog x digital mashup.

$62.

[via Alistair Why and Coolest Gadgets]

September 9, 2009 at 03:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

'Manhattan Bridge Piers'

"In fact, though 'Manhattan Bridge Piers' was played on TV for shock value, the video — which was uploaded by a YouTube member named kvertrees, whose work includes other silent films, of mushrooms and swallows — works better as a tribute to suspension technology," wrote Virginia Heffernan in her "The Medium" column in this past Sunday's New York Times magazine.

September 9, 2009 at 02:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Ring Size Reducer

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Why bother with a jeweler when you can do it yourself (and reverse it) far more cheaply and quickly?

$7.50.

September 9, 2009 at 01:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Hagar the Horrible x Andy Capp: Parallel World Mashup

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I never read the Sunday comics (or any comics, for that matter) but for no good reason, last Sunday I decided to have a look.

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Not really paying attention, I read "Hagar the Horrible" but went straight across without realizing I was supposed to drop down mid-page to the next series of frames.

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I couldn't figure out why the strip didn't seem to make sense until the penny dropped and I glanced up to see that I'd moved seamlessly to "Andy Capp."

Then I read them correctly (below)

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but I must say the original wrong-headed approach was more entertaining (and disconcerting).

I like disconcerting.

[William Burroughs — along with countless others over the millennia, both intentionally and inadvertently — was here a long time ago]

September 9, 2009 at 12:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Pixel Pencils

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12 colors

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+ 1 #2.

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$10.

[via Heavenly Flames and Better Living Through Design]

September 9, 2009 at 11:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Full day time-lapse video of California wildfire

Is it just me or does this seem to happen every year, each time a bit more threatening to greater L.A.?

[via Milena]

September 9, 2009 at 10:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Etch-a-Sketch iPhone Case

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$22.

[via The Daily What and Geeky Gadgets]

September 9, 2009 at 09:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

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