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“If you build a bridge to nowhere, that might be a bridge that you’re going to use that I’m not going to use,” said Ed Pound, spokesman for the government board charged with investigating waste and fraud in the stimulus package. “That’s not a call we’re going to make.” –“Eye on the Stimulus: Stimulus for cotton candy, tango and a fish orchestra? Wacky, or actually worthy?” by Michael Grabell, ProPublica
Related: CJR commends large press organs for actually covering regulation, government;
Toyota smacked down by Highway Safety Administration;
percentage of young Americans unfit for military service, due to fatness, criminality, or stupidity: 75 (via);
post-exercise “afterburn” is a lie and meaningless for weight loss;
doctors’ intuition problematic
The Kcymaerxthaere is a vast alternate universe created by Eames Demetrios, a California-based artist and filmmaker who began installing the plaques in 2003. The premise of the project is that the Kcymaerxthaere exists as its own parallel world, but its remnants are often visible in our own, “linear” world—intersections that Demetrios endeavors to commemorate by physically marking their presence. He has already installed over sixty of these faux historical markers, and hopes to increase that number to seventy by the year’s end. Most are in the United States (that is, Kymaerica), while others dot the globe, materializing in Singapore, Spain, Dubai, and Australia. This August, Demetrios even lowered a plaque onto the ocean floor, under forty-five feet of water in the Garvellach Islands of Scotland. In addition to the plaques, there are lectures, websites, travel guides (including Discover Kymaerica), and bus tours. He funds the project through gallery shows that display photographs of the plaque sites, as well as “texture flags”—dense images of physical objects that he says are carried by the people of the Kcymaerxthaere as their national banners. Demetrios calls the project “three-dimensional storytelling,” and says that he hopes to mark some two thousand sites before he is through. –“Discover Kymaerica,” Michael A. Elliott, The Believer
Pfizer introduces revolutionary new gradient;
old people sexting and sending X-rated pictures amongst themselves (given the tendency among the aged to hit “reply all,” this may destroy the Internet);
related: a gallery of goats
I don’t know if it’s my bad luck or if it happens to my colleagues as well, but every time that I’ve found myself on American soil—at the airport bar, at a social gathering, wherever—and I’ve made the mistake of admitting to a citizen of that country that I’m a fiction writer who comes from Latin America, that person will immediately pull out García Márquez, and will do it, what’s more, with a self-satisfied smile, as if he were saying to me, “I know you, I know where you come from.” (Of course, I’ve found myself with wilder ones who boast about Isabel Allende or Paolo Coelho, which, ultimately, makes no difference at all, since Allende and Coelho are little more than the light and self-help versions of García Márquez.) As time goes by, however, those same North Americans, at those same bars and social gatherings, have begun to pull out Bolaño. –“Bolaño Inc.,” Horacio Castellanos Moya, Guernica
Wired weaves a web of speculation and concludes that Steve Jobs will use the secret superpowers in his new liver to singlehandedly save the written word;
Ana Marie Cox hearts “Glee”;
could there come a great rain to wash away the cuteness that plagues our world?
related: video of red panda cubs in Cleveland engaged in “high-activity play” (via);
a cloud of atlases;
“hello, world,” in Semacode, mowed into German field;
related: Mahmoud Darwish: “I see what I want of the field … I see/braids of wheat combed by the wind, and I close my eyes:/this mirage leads to a nahawand/and this serenity to lapis”
Chances that a deep breath inhaled today will contain a molecule from Julius Caesar’s dying breath:
Innumeracy: Mathematical Illiteracy and Its Consequences, by John Allen Paulos, Hill and Wang (N.Y.C.)
The earth once had three moons; the two lost moons may have crashed into the surviving moon, or been sucked into the sun, or flung out of the solar system to drift through deep space.
In Florida, an 87-year-old World War II veteran flying touch-and-go drills in a Cessna collided with an airborne skydiver. “There was a ‘woof’ sound,” said a witness, “like falling on your face into your pillow.”
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“American politics has often been an arena for angry minds.”