Aux Morts!

  Singer on Dick Clark’s Caravan of Stars, co-founder of the American Basketball Association, knighted by Pope Paul VI for humanitarian work in Nigeria… And that was before his campaign for president, or his talk show. This is one of the more intriguing obituaries I’ve ever read. (Due to vocabulary and “alignment” issues, I won’t be sharing it […]

Are We Running Out of Band Names?

  So asks this article. Apparently it’s a problem. John Paul Jones noted it a few years back, too: “Every other name is taken,” Mr. Jones explains. “Think of a great band name and Google it, and you’ll find a French-Canadian jam band with a MySpace page.” Well, anyone who knows me knows that I am […]

Mad Cyril!

  This NPR story on meetings introduced me to the term “weapon of mass interruption,” as well as to lawmaker Cyril Northcote Parkinson: Parkinson’s Law (“It is a commonplace observation that work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion.”) Parkinson’s Law of Triviality (Also known, excellently, as “bikeshedding.”) (Meetings don’t make me mad, Cyril…. just bummed.) […]

Bonfire of the Litotes

My sinology is not what it should be, so I found this Q&A with the excellently-named Roderick MacFarquhar very interesting. My close reading and litotes skills got a workout from this statement, though: He’s not yet a figure that so terrifies his colleagues that they couldn’t dream of suggesting to a comrade, “Let’s ally against […]