Monday, August 30, 2010

What booze looks like under a microscope

Pina Colada

A study indicates that heavy drinkers of alcohol live longer than abstainers.


Rabbi Hyman Schachtel's [1907-1990] maxim was that "Happiness is not having what you want, but wanting what you have." However, research indicates that happiness is both wanting what you have and having what you want.


Peter York looks at the development of marketing here:
[In the 1970s] Our reports were more fancy essays, involving intelligent taxonomies, elaborate conceits and a lot of art references. We wouldn’t have called it marketing then because that generic sailed too close to the cheery, cheesy world of promotions, direct mail and what advertising people called below-the-line; in other words, little better than sales.
When I set up in business with a partner, we described what we did as “research-based strategy”, aligning ourselves with the coming world of management consultancy. We chose not to align ourselves with advertising, the more obviously glamorous front end of marketing. Ad-land seemed a bit rackety. I’d learnt my MR trade before I wrote a word of journalism, but it came in handy, especially the taxonomy part – what we called “market segmentation” – when we described people, what they wanted out of life and how it explained their shoes.

Sunday, August 29, 2010


“Success is getting what you want; happiness is wanting what you get.”
- Ingrid Bergman [1915-1982]

Saturday, August 28, 2010

zero birth rate

Vatican City is the world's smallest country.

modus operandi

"Give them pleasure - the same pleasure they have when they wake up from a nightmare."
- Alfred Hitchcock [1899-1980]

Friday, August 27, 2010


Why Americans like Winston Churchill more than the British here.

Via Against Dumb.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

search for enlightenment

"All of modern philosophy consists of unlocking, exhuming and recanting what has been said before."
- V.S.  Ramachandran

Monday, August 23, 2010

Idea of perfect happiness

"A clear horizon."
- Alfred Hitchcock



Yes. The pressures you feel, and again, I am neither labeling nor judging them, are keeping you from fulfilling your potential -- you're in a rut. So stop the Tom Foolery -- the Shenanigan's, Will.


David Frum on Prussia's lost history here.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Most famous painting in Oxford

Paolo Uccello, The Hunt in the Forest, circa 1470

living room

Henri Mattise, The Piano Lesson, 1916


"Performing with Fred Willard is like following someone in a car who doesn't use turn signals - you never know where you're going."
- Martin Mull

Friday, August 20, 2010

the picture that begins modern art

Vincent van Gogh, Wheatfield with Crows, 1890


"If you live long enough and don't embarrass yourself too much, people will take you sort of seriously."
- Bill Murray

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Monday, August 16, 2010

as opposed to theoretically

Jacques-Louis David, The Death of Socrates, 1787

"The great truths we learn experientially."
- Socrates

Sunday, August 15, 2010


Prionotus birostratus Richardson, 1844

98% of the world's organisms have yet to be discovered; the other 2% are here.

Saturday, August 14, 2010



Straight men split earnings 60%-40% with their comedic counterparts, because good straight men were harder to come by.

Friday, August 13, 2010

on Cancer and God

terminal dosage

At the peak of his drinking, Graham Chapman [1941-1989] consumed 4 pints of gin per day.

America's fourth President James Madison [1751-1836] drank a pint of whiskey daily and lived to the age of 85.

the reason he paints big canvases

Roy II, 8' x 7'
"They take longer to walk by in the gallery."
- Chuck Close

Thursday, August 12, 2010


"Make sure you visit all human emotions when you're young, because you won't find them at the other end."
- Martin Amis [born 1949] doesn't disagree.

A countervailing perspective here.

of audiences

"Individually they may be be idiots, but together they're a genius."
- Lenny Bruce [1925-1966]

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

17th century architect

Jules Hardouin Mansart [1646-1708] completed Versailles when he wasn't designing country houses.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Where Paul Simon eats in New York City

Lattanzi Risorante, 361 W - 46th street, between 8th and 9th Avenue

20s 30s 40s 50s 60s 70s 80s

"Very often the best part of anyone's life is a surprise to them."
- Lorne Michaels [born 1944]

The Fool

Jacquemard de Hesdin, after 1386

Saturday, August 7, 2010

time and chance

"I returned and saw under the sun, that the race is not to the swift nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favour to men of skill; but time and chance happeneth to them all."
- Ecclesiastes 9:11

bubble folly

In 17th century Holland, a single Semper Augustus tulip bulb would routinely sell for the equivalent of $15 million.

Friday, August 6, 2010

testicular cancer

Thursday, August 5, 2010

on the merits of organic farming

"For every calorie we get out of our [traditionally farmed] food, 10 calories are invested to produce it."
- Mark Musick

Trust Thyself

"Trust thyself: every heart vibrates to that iron string. Accept the place the divine providence has found for you, the society of your contemporaries, the connexion of events. Great men have always done so, and confided themselves childlike to the genius of their age, betraying their perception that the Eternal was stirring at their heart, working through their hands, predominating in all their being. And we are now men, and must accept in the highest mind the same transcendent destiny; and not pinched in a corner, not cowards fleeing before a revolution, but redeemers and benefactors, pious aspirants to be noble clay under the Almighty effort let us advance on Chaos and the Dark."
- Ralph Waldo Emerson in Self Reliance, 1841

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

18 inches

UNTITLED, 1949, oil on canvas

Mark Rothko in response to how close one should stand to his canvases.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

US Intelligence Agencies

Click to enlarge.


"The longer the patient stays, the longer the patient stays."
- A physician maxim on why it makes sense to leave a hospital swiftly


"A fanatic is one who can't change his mind and won't change the subject."
- Winston Churchill


The best 100 magazine articles written in English here.

Monday, August 2, 2010

A place to eat in Venice

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"According to Graham Thornicroft, a professor of community psychiatry at the Institute of Psychiatrists, between 20% and 25% of adults will have an episode of mental illness in any given year. Over a lifetime, the risk rises to around 40% ... The World Health Organisation warns that by 2030 depression will be second only to HIV/Aids in the toll it exacts on society."
- Mark Rice-Oxley

"Just let the wardrobe do the acting."

Throughout the course of his career, Jack Nicholson [born 1937] has never appeared on any talk show.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

world's biggest stone building

Great Pyramid of Giza, c. 2575–2465 bce