D.R.M. has created a new dynamic between consumers and the vendors of digital media like books and movies. People do not so much own, but rent this media. And the rental agreement can be breached by the manufacturer at any time, sometime with little or no notice.Brad Stone, “Amazon Faces a Fight Over Its E-Books“, New York Times
[A]s night fell over the tumultuous capital, gunfire could be heard in the distance. And from rooftops across the city, the defiant sound of “Allah-u-Akbar” — “God is Great” — went up yet again, as it has every night since the fraudulent election. But on Saturday it seemed stronger. The same cry was heard in 1979, only for one form of absolutism to yield to another. Iran has waited long enough to be free.Roger Cohen on the turmoil in Iran
Despite changing attitudes, polls continue to show that atheists are ranked lower than any other minority or religious group when Americans are asked whether they would vote for or approve of their child marrying a member of that group.
— "More Atheists Shout It From the Rooftops" in the New York Times
Mr. Obama is the only popular politician left in the world. He would win an election in any one of the G-20 countries, and his fellow world leaders will do anything to take home a touch of that reflected popularity.
— A.A. Gill in the Times
These delightful gentlemen have attained the holy grail of sloppy-chef cooking: Saturday Night Lives Taco Town Taco: a taco in a taco in a gordita in a pizza in a blueberry pancake in batter, deep fried. Yes, you can buy these at every kebab shop in Glasgow, but its a very good effort for Americans.
— Boing Boing. So true about Glasgow.
For what it’s worth, it’s never too late, or in my case too early – to be whoever you want to be. There’s no time limit; stop whenever you want. You can change, or stay the same – there are no rules to this thing. We can make the best or the worst of it. I hope you make the best of it. I hope you see things that startle you. I hope you feel things you never felt before. I hope you meet people with a different point of view. I hope you live a life you’re proud of. If you find that you’re not, I hope you have the strength to start all over again.
— Benjamin, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (film)
Every golden age is as much a matter of disregard as of felicity.
— Michael Chabon, The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay
It’s no exaggeration to say that at least half of our losses and casualties in [Iraq] have come at the hands of foreigners who joined the fray because of our program of detainee abuse. The number of U.S. soldiers who have died because of our torture policy will never be definitively known, but it is fair to say that it is close to the number of lives lost on Sept. 11, 2001. How anyone can say that torture keeps Americans safe is beyond me — unless you don’t count American soldiers as Americans.
— A veteran US Air Force interrogator, in the Washington Post
“Wendy and Lucy” is rated R (Under 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian). It has some swearing, a little drug use and a brief implication of violence, but no nudity, sex or murder. The rating seems to reflect, above all, an impulse to protect children from learning that people are lonely and that life can be hard.
[T]he characteristics derived from an expat childhood may be well suited to the challenges facing the new administration. The economic crisis, for one, demonstrates how interdependent world cultures have become, and its solution will undoubtedly require the unconventional thinking that comes more easily to a Third Culture Kid.
— Ruth E. Van Reken, discussing Obama's cross-cultural childhood and his penchant for picking advisors with similar experiences.
Everything had turned into blacks and whites and misty greys. No colour anywhere. That’s how you know Winter’s started. The colours are the first things to go.
— Neil Gaiman. Lots of color around here still, but I can feel the gray creeping in, slowly but inexorably.
[T]his newspaper is so important to this school—and to me in particular—because it is “the other.” It is the path not taken. It is the excitement and pride and camaraderie that comes with doing good on this campus. It’s the most interesting, most exciting, most rewarding thing I have done as an undergraduate.
— David Pepose, reflecting on his four years with The Brandeis Hoot, the newspaper Igor and I co-founded in 2004. Warms the heart. :)
At McCain-Palin rallies, the raucous and insistent cries of “Treason!” and “Terrorist!” and “Kill him!” and “Off with his head!” as well as the uninhibited slinging of racial epithets, are actually something new in a campaign that has seen almost every conceivable twist. They are alarms. Doing nothing is not an option.
In its broad strokes, McCains life story is oddly similar to that of the current occupant of the White House. John Sidney McCain III and George Walker Bush both represent the third generation of American dynasties. Both were born into positions of privilege against which they rebelled into mediocrity. Both developed an uncanny social intelligence that allowed them to skate by with a minimum of mental exertion. […] In one vital respect, however, the comparison is deeply unfair to the current president: George W. Bush was a much better pilot.
— "Make-Believe Maverick" in Rolling Stone discusses McCain's "disturbing record of recklessness and dishonesty."
For the next two hours, we drove through the city. She showed me the building where she had once worked as an elevator operator. We drove through the neighborhood where she and her husband had lived when they were newlyweds. She had me pull up in front of a furniture warehouse that had once been a ballroom where she had gone dancing as a girl. Sometimes she’d ask me to slow in front of a particular building or corner and would sit staring into the darkness, saying nothing.
For years now, they’ve told us that we can’t afford — that the government providing healthcare to all people is just unimaginable; it can’t be done. We don’t have the money to rebuild our infrastructure. We don’t have the money to wipe out poverty. We can’t do it. But all of a sudden, yeah, we do have $700 billion for a bailout of Wall Street.
— Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT)
On the plus side, there’s a cow. Far too few science fiction dramas involve cows as regular cast members. I wholeheartedly approve of this bold leap forward for bovine representation on TV.
“Palin Power” isn’t just about making hockey moms feel important. It’s not just about giving abortion rights opponents their due. It’s also, in obscure ways, about making yearnings come true — deep, inchoate desires about respect and service, hierarchy and family that have somehow been successfully projected onto the figure of this unlikely woman and have stuck.
— "No Laughing Matter" by Judith Warner
It’s one of the biggest challenges in the digital age: When you can bombard people with everything, it’s tempting to do so. That’s why taste, restraint, and editing are so important. Sometimes it’s about throwing out the 35 bad shots and revelling in the one great shot.
— Matt at 37signals reveals the secret to why people think I am a good photographer. If I take 300 shots, about 10 of them end up on Flickr.
I am not saying that Obama and Biden didn’t take their shots at McCain. However, their speeches in almost all cases said, “I respect McCain, just not his ideas.” This type of civility was completely lacking in Palin’s speech and for me was the most disappointing part. Her speech demonstrated that Republicans want to win the election by dividing the country, where as the Democrats want to win by uniting. I know that this is a vast and unfounded generalization, but the tones of the speeches so far between the two conventions seem to fall that way.
— Dave Birken. That's the feeling I get as well.