Posts from 2006

Bears in the News (Special Video Edition)

Colorado Division of Wildlife officers were called to a school near Boulder on Tuesday to deal with a drunk and disorderly, bear. The wobbly bear was spotted in a neighborhood in Lyons, near Boulder, and she was having a hard time walking. Officers said the bear was probably drunk from eating fermented apples.
With video (!), so you can see for yourself: This bear was wasted!

100 Images From Black Rock City

a Burning ManAs happened last year, it has taken me an embarassingly long time to get my Burning Man pictures up. But here they are, at long last.

The word I’ve been using to describe my third Burn is “transcendent.” I am still feeling the playa’s effects; I am still discerning the meaning of all I encountered and experienced; I am still in a state of flux. It is mostly a happy, happy feeling.

Playa Pictures Posting Soon. In the Meantime…

  • ITEM: The neatest photograph you’ll see on the Web today.
  • ITEM: “American Buddhism on the rise” sez the Christian Science Monitor.
  • ITEM: It made me cry: Brother-sister Holocaust survivors find each other after 65 years. (Thanks, KW!)
  • ITEM: A good take on the disgusting torture debate in Washington. “Who would Jesus attack with dogs?”
  • ITEM: Heard on the radio this morning: A rockin’, twangy country remake of Snoop Dogg’s “Gin and Juice” by The Gourds. (Thanks, KALX!)
  • ITEM: The Knack is suing Run DMC for sampling “My Sharona” in “It’s Tricky”—20 years ago.
  • ITEM: I don’t remember this at all: The original video for “It’s Tricky” features Penn and Teller!

Back From the Burn

I’ve returned to what Burners call “the default world” and it’s all feeling a little weird. Typical. Over at SFist is a report I filed from Black Rock City. I’ll have a picture gallery up here soon.

Spotted On a Southern California Beach

little boy and his parents at the beachJust a few dozen yards away, the boy was squeaking and giggling and splashing up a storm. The best my camera phone could manage to record is the pathetic pixelated piclet you see here. Surprisingly, it does somehow manage to capture (for me, anyway) a bit of the human joy that was present in that moment.

(Note to self: take a real camera to the beach next time.)

Comments Reborn

Thanks in no small part to a wee bit of Perl coding by Majordojo, I have at long last launched a new comments system here. All old comments have been carried over, and hundreds and hundreds of spam comments have been removed. Let’s see how this goes.

End of an Era (?) in Berkeley

Cody's Books (RIP)The Telegraph Avenue location of Cody’s Books closes today. It’s big news. People are sad. I was feeling the same way until I read these latest words from owner Andy Ross:
“Students today, they use the Internet. They read their textbooks,” Ross said. “In the ’70s, they had wide-ranging intellect.”
This is not the first time Ross has blamed his clientele (and elsewhere, the city of Berkeley) for the fact that he failed to adequately respond to changes in his own industry and in his business’s immediate environment. Your bookshop is not shutting down today because 21st-century students suck and don’t read books, Mr. Ross. Your bookshop is shutting down in part because your mindset shaped your business, and that mindset has become a lot more friendly to the yuppies who inhabit your store on Fourth Street than it has to the university students of … read full post »

102 Years Ago On This Very Day…

…a man who never lived had a relatively ordinary day. Quite extraordinary! Happy Bloomsday, everyone!

Joyce's sketch of BloomI usually mark the day by wearing black (as Bloom did), having a cheese sandwich and perhaps some Burgundy for lunch (as Bloom did), and getting ripped on Guinnesses in the evening, but as I am currently on day 20 of a 28-day kidney and liver cleanse diet that prescribes no dairy and no alcohol (along with no meat, no bread, no eggs, none of your usual grains, no legumes, no pasta, no sugar, no salt, no processed foods, no foods cooked in oil, etc.), I’m having to settle for just wearing black. On a gorgeous, bright, warm sunny day. Sigh.

[Also of note: very exciting news in the Joyce world this week. More here and from The New Yorker (!) here…]

Blogstall (Again)

It’s been a while since this blog last completely stalled, but that’s what’s happened again of late. (There were zero posts in April.) What’s up? Truth be told, I am sick of mahnamahna.net’s look, which has largely remained the same since the site’s inception in 2002. I am also sick of comment spam, and defeating it means getting my hands dirty with some serious hacking on the comments system I’ve got in place around here. And lastly, I want to implement modern, whiz-bang templates on my photo galleries, and again, that’s going to be somewhat of an undertaking, as the scripts I use to drive those are not very amenable to different looks and feels. So the upshot is this: Posts are likely to remain infrequent until I get this place whipped into shape. And that could take some time.

Plays Well With Children

I haven’t yet reached the point on my own life path where I can experience what I imagine is the unparalleled joy of parenthood. But I am very, very much enjoying being an honorary uncle (I really need a better word or phrase than that) to two recent arrivals on this planet. Here I am with young Ben, and even younger Harper.

Me and Ben

Me and Ben

[Thanks to proud fathers Andy and Byrne for the great shots!]

Rainy Monday Items

  • ITEM: Jon Carroll writes with unusually strong language this morning about those who oppose gay families, and hits it out of the park.
  • ITEM: An MP3 recording of what you heard all across the FM dial in NYC the night John Lennon was murdered.
  • ITEM: Michael Crichton in the NY Times: “This Essay Breaks the Law”

Friday Items

  • ITEM: “Enough is enough. I’ve had it with these snakes.”
  • ITEM: “It made me feel phenomenal. It has changed my life… . I didn’t need it. It helped someone who … needed it. ”
  • ITEM: Slate on Groceries #1: An Insider’s Guide to Trader Joe’s (for curious New Yorkers—who got their first TJ’s today)
  • ITEM: Slate on Groceries #2: Is Whole Foods Wholesome?

Item Item Hoozgotta Item

  • ITEM: The Buddha Boy has gone missing. Perhaps he needed greater peace. (Or perhaps it was all bogus from the beginning.)
  • ITEM: The money connection: Nepal freezes assets collected by local committee handling Buddha Boy crowds.
  • ITEM: Slate answers the question “My eyeball just fell out of its socket — what should I do?” (My own answer would be FREAK OUT like you’ve never freaked out before.)
  • ITEM: Former host of “Press Your Luck” killed in small plane crash. (I hope the investigation rules out sabotage by the Whammy.)

Rainy Day Items

  • ITEM: Crime’s up in Oakland
  • ITEM: Walter Cronkite’s speech to the Drug Policy Alliance
  • ITEM: Classical learning curves for some common text editors (I love the one for vi, but that’s probably because I’ve learned vi!)
  • ITEM: Porkchop Sandwiches! (I incapacitated a colleague with this video earlier today—use headphones if you’re at work…)

Bears in the News

This one reminds me a bit of those 90s-era feel-good Chevron commercials: Do people delay their plans to construct new power lines just so a mama bear and her cubs can sleep peacefully through the bitter Wisconsin winter? People do.

Items Du Jour

  • ITEM: I’ve always thought that Segways are kinda ridiculous and would only be worthwhile if we actually tore down and rebuilt our cities to take proper advantage of them. Now Segway inventor Dean Kamen is back with a couple of ideas that could very definitely change the world.
  • ITEM: Homeland Security cop-thugs are protecting us all from … pornography.
  • ITEM: Homeland Security cop-thugs are also interested in the stickers you put on your car.
  • ITEM: Here’s a shocker: Wal-Mart’s CEO, H. Lee Scott Jr., is kind of an asshole.
  • ITEM: reddit.com is without a doubt the best “what’s new and/or interesting on the Web” resource I’ve yet encountered.

They Call Him the Buddha Boy

Ram Bahadur BomjamRam Bahadur Bomjan, a young man of fifteen, has allegedly been “meditating at the base of a peepal tree in Nepal’s Bara District, without food, water, sleep or the need to use the toilet” — for nine months now. A peepal tree is kind of a big deal in Buddhism — the Bodhi Tree, under which the Buddha sat until he achieved enlightenment, was a peepal tree.

I’ve been following this story as best I can for a few months now (here’s an earlier story from which I cribbed the image of Ram), but still can’t make up my mind whether this is an elaborate hoax or something of a miracle. I do not buy into the speculation that Ram is the new Buddha — as I understand it, the next Buddha (the tenth Buddha, the Maitreya Buddha) will not arrive until the Shakyamuni Buddha (the ninth … read full post »

Getting Nailed

Here we have a story from Hartland, Maine. Seems a distraught man tried to do himself in … via self-crucifixion. He didn’t get too far:
“When he realized that he was unable to nail his other hand to the board, he called 911,” Boucher said.
The poor guy. He never read one of my all-time favorite poems, Love Song: I and Thou by Alan Dugan. I was going to quote from the oh-so-delicious ending here, but then realized that doing so would spoil the effect of the work for those who’ve never read it. So just go read it!