[N]ine-to-fivers have the connotation of someone with no passion, who’s just there for the paycheck. The spectrum is a lot wider than either you’re a nine-to-fiver or you’re a workaholic. That’s a bullshit dichotomy.

— "Fire the workaholics" by David Heinemeier Hansson at Signal vs. Noise

“Closing a door on an option is experienced as a loss, and people are willing to pay a price to avoid the emotion of loss,” Dr. Ariely says. In the experiment, the price was easy to measure in lost cash. In life, the costs are less obvious — wasted time, missed opportunities. If you are afraid to drop any project at the office, you pay for it at home.

— "The Advantages of Closing a Few Doors" by John Tierney in the New York Times

[A]nnoyed executives and analysts are wondering why someone would want to play a game with dry business calls that normally follow a tightly controlled formula — unless the game is the whole point. They can’t figure out how the caller is getting any benefit from so closely mimicking them. “If he was spoofing I would hope he’d be funnier,” says Bill Schmitz, an analyst at Deutsche Bank Securities.

— "Hoaxer Haunts Earnings Calls" by Betsy McKay in the Wall Street Journal. From the random humor department.

While continuing to hold Power, UP and HotSync, press and release the RESET button on the back panel of your device. This is very difficult to do with only one person; you may wish to hold the stylus in your mouth and use your hands to press Power, UP and HotSync.

— "Zeroing Out Palm" by Khoi Vinh. No wonder the iPhone is taking over.

In 1937, having run away from Greenville senior high school, where he had learned to wrestle and to play American football, he made his way to New York and then Washington DC, where a cousin happened to be the US assistant postmaster-general and took him in. By his own account, when he was 15 Fawcett had started an affair with his best friend’s mother. “If that’s child molestation,” he declared, “I would wish this curse on every young boy.”

Obituary of Charles Fawcett in the Telegraph. In 92 years he fought the Communists (in several wars), rescued refugees and POWs, married six concentration camp survivors, acted in over 100 movies, slept with Hedy Lamarr, and convinced Charlie Wilson to fund his covert war in Afghanistan. Quite a full life.

Advertizing images display the Hydrogen 7 against a backdrop of wind turbines and solar panels. But the image is one of deceit. Because the hydrogen dispensed at the new filling station is generated primarily from petroleum and natural gas, the new car puts about as much strain on the environment as a heavy truck with a diesel engine.

— "BMW's Hydrogen 7: Not as Green as it Seems" by Christian Wüst in der Spiegel Online

May your coming year be filled with magic and dreams and good madness. I hope you read some fine books and kiss someone who thinks you’re wonderful, and don’t to forget make some art — write or draw or build or sing or live as only you can. And I hope, somewhere in the next year, you surprise yourself.

— "As I was saying" by Neil Gaiman

So it’s not about language, and it’s not about “modeling the wrong behavior,” and it’s not about the color of your skin or your fur. It’s about class — the one subject that’s still taboo in America.

Mark Pilgrim on why classic episodes of Sesame Street are now labeled as "not suitable for children"

Among music industry insiders, Sergio Gómezs death and the previous killings are also forcing a quiet assessment of the influence drug trafficking kingpins wield over the business. It is common knowledge in Mexicos music industry, but not known to the general public, that drug cartels finance the careers of some budding musicians, then launder money through unregulated concert ticket sales.

— "The Savage Silencing of Mexico's Musicians" by Manuel Roig-Franzia in the Washington Post

I think the easiest mistake in the world is to — at the moment you recognize the flashbacks, as they come — throw up your hands and say, “I know this story.” The whole point of this movie is to tell you that you don’t, and never did: it’s a story that plays out in faces. It could be boring to hear or see the same stories we already know, so you have to come in at a different angle: not the horrors and the acts, but the faces and the feelings behind the horrors and the acts. That’s the story here.

Recap of Razor by Jacob Clifton on Television Without Pity

Riding a bicycle in Boston is something akin to combat. Cyclists routinely rank the city America’s worst. Stung by national criticism and hoping to take a bite out of traffic and air pollution, Mayor Thomas M. Menino is vowing to change that.

— "Pedal Pushing" by Matt Viser in the Boston Globe

Playing around on the Daily Show site, I saw for the first time how the Web might really change TV — not by streaming a promotional teaser here and there or allowing users to post random screen grabs on YouTube, but by providing searchable online databases of years’ worth of content that are updated to include current episodes. When The Daily Show does come back (please Lord, let it be before Super Tuesday), I may well start watching even new episodes this way: at my desk in the morning, instead of on the couch at 11 o’clock at night. Multiply that defection by the size of the show’s fan base and the subsequent migration of advertising dollars from screen to Web, and the writers’ demand for a piece of the online action starts to make plenty of sense.

— "Why it's pointless to watch The Daily Show live" by Dana Stevens in Slate

Pushing Daisies is like nothing else on television. Sure, it’s still a bit too in love with its own cleverness, and sure, sometimes it threatens to get a bit cloying. But it tugs at my emotions in a way few shows have ever done, and it does so episode after episode, without fail. It’s the only show I’ve seen in ages that has me not only impatient for next week’s episode at the close of each installment, but actively interested in going back and watching the same episode again.

Sweeter Than a Strychnine Lollipop by Nathan Alderman on TeeVee.org

Orson Scott Card offers a Christmas gift to his millions of fans with this short novel set during Ender’s first years at the Battle School where it is forbidden to celebrate religious holidays.

The children come from many nations, many religions; while they are being trained for war, religious conflict between them is not on the curriculum. But Dink Meeker, one of the older students, doesn’t see it that way. He thinks that giving gifts isn’t exactly a religious observation, and on Sinterklaas Day he tucks a present into another student’s shoe.

This small act of rebellion sets off a battle royal between the students and the staff, but some surprising alliances form when Ender comes up against a new student, Zeck Morgan. The War over Santa Claus will force everyone to make a choice.

— Jacket copy for A War of Gifts: An Ender Story by Orson Scott Card. Oh my.

For someone standing on the North Rim of the Grand Canyon on a moonless night, the brightest feature of the sky is not the Milky Way but the glow of Las Vegas, a hundred and seventy-five miles away. To see skies truly comparable to those which Galileo knew, you would have to travel to such places as the Australian outback and the mountains of Peru. And civilization’s assault on the stars has consequences far beyond its impact on astronomers. Excessive, poorly designed outdoor lighting wastes electricity, imperils human health and safety, disturbs natural habitats, and, increasingly, deprives many of us of a direct relationship with the nighttime sky, which throughout human history has been a powerful source of reflection, inspiration, discovery, and plain old jaw-dropping wonder.

— "The Dark Side" by David Owen in the New Yorker

Four years into our occupation, we have failed on every promise, while we have substituted Baath Party tyranny with a tyranny of Islamist, militia and criminal violence. When the primary preoccupation of average Iraqis is when and how they are likely to be killed, we can hardly feel smug as we hand out care packages.

— "The War as We Saw It" by five soldiers in the New York Times

The success of _High School Musical 2_ is an indication of Disney’s long-term efforts to reposition its cable channel to appeal to the underserved 9-to-14 age group and to rope in youngsters for whom Mickey Mouse seems too babyish. For the time being at least, the movie has made a trio of fictional high school students named Troy, Gabriella and Sharpay as recognizably Disney as that 79-year-old mouse.

— "Move Over Mickey: A New Franchise at Disney" by Dave Itzkoff in the New York Times