It’s always interesting to see how major foreign press covers the insanity we’ve all become somewhat numb to.
“The vast tar sands of Alberta in Canada hold oil reserves six times the size of Saudi Arabia’s.“
“In my first 24 hours in Fort McMurray, every conversation I overhear involves cash. Hourly rates; possible hourly rates; hourly rates the other guy is getting. People talk ostentatiously about how much overtime they do because it means they’re coining it, and that’s what counts in terms of status. In the lift at my hotel, a Thai woman asks me, unsolicited: “So, you here to visit your husband, or to look for work?“ - there being, it seems, no other categories to fit into.“
“sometimes i think i can not do things like make a halloween costume because i am not creative. but then i have to tell myself that i am going to have to be at least kind of creative because some of the stupidest people i know are kind of creative and i can not be worse than stupid people at anything or i will have to kill myself.”—self titled: and when you dream, dream big, like defying the laws of science big.
“US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice testified Wednesday in front of the House Foreign Affairs Committee that the rendition of Canadian citizen Maher Arar was not “handled as it should have been,” but stopped short of apologizing to the 37 year-old Syrian-born engineer. Arar was detained in the US in 2002 after flying to New York from Tunisia on his way home to Ottawa after a holiday and later deported to Syria, where he was tortured. Rice added that the US government has told the Canadian government that it will “try to do better in the future.” This is the first time that the US government has admitted any mistakes in its handling of Arar’s case.”—'Rice admits shortcomings in US Arar rendition, but offers no apology' (via AZspot) …and he is still on the US no-fly list.
“It is important that the people who wear our clothes are really attractive, vain hipsters, and any priority they exhibit that runs counter to looking really awesome should be a warning sign that maybe they should not work here.”—Dov Charney, CEO of American Apparel
the most obvious idea ever. "“I can’t tell you how many times I come out of the subway wondering which way to go… Usually, I have to walk half a block to get my bearings, looking at the sky, looking for a landmark, looking for a street sign, and even then you don’t know which way to turn at the corner.” Seems like it was a 50/50 shot when picking the first direction to try upon getting to street level. It is much worse south of Houston where the numbered streets end and the names tell you nothing about direction.
“The clean, minimalist drawings, the sarcastic humor, the unflinching emotional honesty, the inner thoughts of a household pet, the serious treatment of children, the wild fantasies, the merchandising on an enormous scale — in countless ways, Schulz blazed the wide trail that most every cartoonist since has tried to follow.”—Bill Watterson "The Grief That Made ‘Peanuts’ Good"
“I don’t hate these novels at all — in fact, I suspect they’re quite good. Moreover, I find it astounding that the unifying cultural currency for modern teenagers are five-hundred-page literary works about a wizard. We are all collectively underestimating how unusual this is. Right now, there is no rock guitarist or film starlet as popular as J.K. Rowling. Over time, these novels (and whatever ideas lie within them) will come to represent the mainstream ethos of our future popular culture. Harry Potter will be the only triviality that most of that coming culture will unilaterally share.”—Chuck Klosterman "Death by Harry Potter"
“But holy smokes, I am so sick of this dynasty crap. Bush? Then Clinton? Then Bush? Then Clinton? If Hillary wins she will likely be re-elected as well; when she leaves office, this nation will have been ruled exclusively by two families for 28 straight years—an entire generation! In 2020, no one under the age of 30 will remember a time when neither a Bush or Clinton was running the joint. And you know Jeb will be waiting in the wings. What’s the point of having a democracy if we only use to to elect monarchs?”—defective yeti
Insane article on the attempt to break the legendary 22-year-old Cannonball Run record for driving from Manhattan to Santa Monica: 32 hours, 7 minutes. (via DF)
To beat the record, Roy has calculated that he needs to maintain an average of almost exactly 90 mph from Manhattan to the Santa Monica Pier. For occasional spurts, 90 is not uncommon on the highway. But for a day and a half of barreling across the United States, 90 miles per hour is essentially insane.
“There are several layers of irony and poetic justice wrapped into this honor. The first is that the greatest step for world peace would simply have been for Gore not to have had the presidency stolen from him in November 2000. By every just measure, Gore won the presidency in 2000 only to have George W. Bush steal it from him with the critical assistance of the US Supreme Court. It’s worth taking a few moments today to consider where the country and world would be without that original sin of this corrupt presidency. And yet this is a fitting bookend, with Gore receiving this accolade while the sitting president grows daily an object of greater disapproval, disapprobation and collective shame.”—Josh Marshall (via aatw)
“All the loves in the strip are unrequited; all the baseball games are lost; all the test scores are D-minuses; the Great Pumpkin never comes; and the football is always pulled away.”—Charles Schultz on Peanuts (via Caterina)
“The full Ginsburg" is the term for appearing on all five of the big Sunday morning political shows: This Week, Meet the Press, Face the Nation, Fox News Sunday, and Late Edition. The term is named after William Ginsburg, Monica Lewinsky’s attorney and the first person to complete this political Pokemon collection.”—Kottke