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January 1, 2010

Umberto Eco on what's needed to transform a book or movie into a cult object

Deep in Dwight Garner's December 30, 2009 celebration of the film "The Big Lebowski" appeared the following:


Reading “The Year’s Work in Lebowski Studies,” it’s hard not to recall some of the profound and not-so-goofy things the novelist Umberto Eco had to say about cult movies in his 1984 essay “ ‘Casablanca’: Cult Movies and Intertextual Collage.”

“What are the requirements for transforming a book or movie into a cult object?” Mr. Eco asked. “The work must be loved, obviously, but this is not enough. It must provide a completely furnished world so that its fans can quote characters and episodes as if they were aspects of the fan’s private sectarian world, a world about which one can make up quizzes and play trivia games so that the adepts of the sect recognize through each other a shared expertise.”

(If the phrases “Nice marmot,” or “You’re entering a world of pain,” or “I can get you a toe” mean anything to you, then “Lebowski” has entered your private sectarian world.)

Mr. Eco certainly seemed to presage the existence of “The Big Lebowski” when he wrote in his essay about “Casablanca” that a cult movie must be “ramshackle, rickety, unhinged in itself.” He explained: “Only an unhinged movie survives as a disconnected series of images, of peaks, of visual icebergs. It should display not one central idea but many. It should not reveal a coherent philosophy of composition. It must live on, and because of, its glorious ricketiness.” 

January 1, 2010 at 04:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Mini Ratchet Set


Included is a Torx head made for Apple computers.


January 1, 2010 at 03:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (4) | TrackBack

Life next to the fast lane: living on a busy street

Laura Barnhardt Cech's December 12, 2009 Washington Post Real Estate section front page story took a look at living on a heavily trafficked street, and why it may be, for some people, ideal as well as offering the chance to live in a neighborhood otherwise out of reach financially.



Life on the highway, whether it's in the shadow of a Beltway sound wall or along a city thoroughfare, isn't for everyone. But there are advantages to living near the road more traveled, real estate experts say.

Such homes are often priced below comparable houses off the beaten path. They are convenient, shaving commuting time. And they can be more peaceful than you might think. Some owners even say the hum of the traffic sounds a bit like ocean surf.

Homes on a busy road are almost always priced below similar properties, which can put an otherwise unaffordable neighborhood, school district or type of home within financial reach.

On average, real estate appraiser Wayne Wallace said, he deducts 10 to 12 percent for a property on a main thoroughfare.

For buyers who like the convenience and affordability of a home near a high-traffic area but want to mitigate the less desirable aspects, there are solutions, according to property owners and real estate agents. Fencing and landscaping, for example, can make a big difference.

"A lot of noise is psychological," said Paul Kohler, a Virginia Department of Transportation official. "If you see it, you hear it."

Fast-growing cypress trees, well-insulated windows and a quality privacy fence can go a long way toward selling a home, real estate agents say.

In the end, road noise is something you can get used to, according to Nesemeier and others who live on busy roads.

Some homeowners find that it's kind of like a sleep-aiding sound machine, providing a gentle background lull. The only difference, Nesemeier said: "You're looking at cars instead of waves."

January 1, 2010 at 02:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

French Envelope Box


Red or brown 




3"W x 2"D x 2"H.









January 1, 2010 at 01:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (7) | TrackBack

Is Clif Marsiglio first person on planet to browse bookofjoe on the Nook?


If there is anyone who disputes that this is a fact, let her or him speak now or forever hold their Skiff.

Above, proof from the pioneer himself.

FunFact: Clif has decided to go to medical school and bag his current line of work.

I'm hoping he'll go into anesthesiology.

Stay tuned.

January 1, 2010 at 12:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (5) | TrackBack

Bacon-Flavored Popcorn


What took so long?

3 bags for $4.99.

[via Milena]

January 1, 2010 at 11:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

mitto.com — 'free online password manager'


Good or bad idea?

[via Milena]

January 1, 2010 at 10:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack

What is it?


Answer here this time tomorrow.

January 1, 2010 at 09:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack

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