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February 13, 2010

Lady Gaga — before she got big

19-year-old Stefani Germanotta, an alumna of the Convent of the Sacred Heart prep school in Manhattan, phoned Bitter End booker Kenny Gorka pretending to be a huge fan of Germanotta's eponymous band, insisting he had to at least audition the group.

He brought her in to have a listen, then hired her to perform on January 20, 2006 (above) and the rest of the story, well, you probably know it by now.

February 13, 2010 at 04:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (4) | TrackBack

Giraffe Toilet Bowl Brush


Soft grip giraffe print, non-skid base, 16" high.


February 13, 2010 at 03:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

A day in the life of Will Shortz, New York Times Crossword Puzzle Editor

From the Times' Wordplay Blog:


Every day is different, which helps make the job fun. And I greatly enjoy working at home and being on my own schedule.

The biggest part of being an editor isn’t what you might think — editing. It’s examining submissions. I get 75 to 100 puzzles a week, from freelance contributors all over, and every puzzle must be looked at and responded to. I do a lot of this from my living room or during the summer, while lying on a futon in my screened-in porch. When away from home, I may take along a bag of mail to help fill the time.

In my early days on the job, when the number of submissions was lower and I was working 60-hour weeks, I answered every puzzle myself. Now with the increased volume and my working a more reasonable number of hours, that’s impossible. So … I make comments on the envelopes (yes/no, what I like or don’t like, grid changes needed, etc.), and the constructor Paula Gamache, who lives nearby, comes over and does most of the actual corresponding. Small grid changes I handle myself. For major ones, I either return the manuscript to the contributor or ask my colleague Frank Longo for help.

When it comes to actual editing … typically, it takes me two and a half days a week to edit and typeset a week’s worth of puzzles. I do this from my office, surrounded by hundreds of reference books, and sitting next to my computer, with access to the Internet. During the summer, I usually have a college-student intern who typesets, and fact-checks and helps propose clues. Otherwise, it’s just me.

When each puzzle is ready, I e-mail it to the three test-solvers. When they have a whole week of puzzles done, they call me with their comments and corrections. I then make my final polishes and send the puzzles to The Times, where Ellen Ripstein goes in and tests them one more time.

I love lots of things about this job: 1) It’s creative. I’m always stretching myself to find a new clue that I hope will amuse you or twist your brain. 2) I’m always learning things. 3) I laugh a lot (a sign of madness?). 4) The job brings me into contact with some of the brightest, most interesting people in the world, both solvers and constructors.


For reasons not entirely clear to me, a few months ago I started doing the Times crossword puzzle first thing in the morning, with my first cup of coffee — even before shaking out the cobwebs with the Charlottesville Daily Progress.

Now it's a habit.

And like Simon Gray's great character Butley remarked in the play of that name, "Old habits are like old friends. Once you've got them it's almost impossible to get rid of them."

The movie treatment, directed by Harold Pinter, stars Alan Bates as Butley and might serve as a perfect counterpoint to the the rhesus sardonicus grins and forced laughter of the ongoing holiday season.

February 13, 2010 at 02:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Mini Magnet Hooks


4 for $8 (keys not included).

February 13, 2010 at 01:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Back to the Future


Minimal movie posters




Jamie Bolton.

[via mappeal and Eric Alba]

February 13, 2010 at 12:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

What is it?








time tomorrow.

February 13, 2010 at 11:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack



Wrote Paul Boutin in the February 10, 2010 New York Times,


"PingWire creates a live feed that displays a slow, scrolling wall of thumbnail-size versions of photos being posted to Twitter."

February 13, 2010 at 10:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Bell Alarm Clock

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Battery-operated quartz movement with no audible ticking.

Steel bell-and-hammer alarm action, extra-loud ring.


Made in Japan by IDEA.

Red, Black or White.



February 13, 2010 at 09:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

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