Archive for August, 2002

In Hamlet the pompous old windbag Polonius sends his son Laertes off with this speech: And these few precepts in thy memory Look thou character. Give thy thoughts no tongue, Nor any unproportioned thought his act. Be thou familiar, but by no means vulgar. Those friends thou hast, and their adoption tried, Grapple them unto […]

Aaron Haspel | Posted August 31, 2002 @ 4:44 PM | Literature

I oppose capital punishment on the grounds that the worst thing the state, with its monopoly on force, can possibly do is execute an innocent person. This, however, is the only argument against capital punishment with any merit. And of all the usual arguments, the worst is that to punish a murderer with death is […]

Aaron Haspel | Posted August 31, 2002 @ 2:02 AM | General

In the walls of the cubicle there were three orifices. To the right of the speakwrite, a small pneumatic tube for written messages; to the left, a larger one for newspapers; and in the side wall, within easy reach of Winston’s arm, a large oblong slit protected by a wire grating. This last was for […]

Aaron Haspel | Posted August 30, 2002 @ 2:12 PM | General

It might be wise for companies to consult a historian before naming new products. (Not to mention a linguist: remember how big the Chevy “Nova” went over in Mexico?) Calling a sneaker Zyklon really isn’t too bright. Nonetheless the Jewish organizations, predictably aghast, could put a sock in it once in a while. Or maybe […]

Aaron Haspel | Posted August 30, 2002 @ 12:24 PM | General

Danse Macabre Who was who and where were they Scholars all and bound to go Iambs without heel or toe Something one would never say Moving in a certain way Students with an empty book Poets neither here nor there Critics without face or hair Something had them on the hook Here was neither king […]

Aaron Haspel | Posted August 29, 2002 @ 11:29 PM | General

Looks like my “eight-page, ultrasuede-covered ‘photo album’” invitation to Puffy’s post-MTV Video Music Awards party got lost in the mail, although it’s not clear to me how even the U.S. Postal Service could lose an item like that. Damn, and I was stoked to bust out my flyest shit too: The Dress Code Must Be […]

Aaron Haspel | Posted August 29, 2002 @ 7:26 PM | General

Someone said a very bright man invented poker, but a genius invented chips. In the same way, a very bright man invented the income tax, but a genius invented withholding. How else could the government take an enormous chunk of your money and pose as Santa Claus at the same time? Radley Balko says enough.

Aaron Haspel | Posted August 29, 2002 @ 10:33 AM | General

Today Lileks has at some killjoy named George Monbiot, who’s arguing in The Guardian, where else, that money can’t buy you happiness. Actually he argues further, and rather less intuitively, that money buys you misery: I hardly dare to mention this for fear of being accused of romanticising poverty or somehow conspiring to keep people […]

Aaron Haspel | Posted August 28, 2002 @ 3:02 PM | General

Tim Noah is upset with The New Republic for claiming that Saddam has used “weapons of mass destruction.” Those pesky chemical and biological weapons with which he periodically massacres his own people aren’t nuclear weapons, so they don’t count. And after all: If Saddam has already used “weapons of mass destruction” (and, moreover, suffered little […]

Aaron Haspel | Posted August 28, 2002 @ 10:21 AM | General

Guess I won’t have to break the bank to pay British Telecom for that hyperlink license after all. “Everyone sues all the time in the States anyway,” said BT Chairman Sir Christopher Bland, blandly, when asked why BT was pursuing this absurd lawsuit. Yeah, but at least everyone doesn’t always win.

Aaron Haspel | Posted August 27, 2002 @ 12:33 PM | General