Sunday, February 26, 2012

Career opportunities

On a visit to his hometown in 1937, he was walking down a street without an umbrella when a torrential rain forced him to step into the lobby of a building he was passing. It was the Genco company. A receptionist asked if he was looking for a job.

“I had never seen a pin game before in my life,” Mr. Kordek told The Chicago Tribune in 2009. For 45 cents an hour, he was soon doing soldering on the company’s production line. He studied at the Coyne Electric School at night and began working his way up through the Genco engineering department. —"Steve Kordek, a Pinnball Innovator, Dies at 100,"


Rudi landed at Kennedy International Airport on July 4, 2007, to live her parents’ American dream. Nadia, who arrived a year later, gave modeling a try, and graduated from flight school before she discovered she was afraid of heights. —"To Be Black at Stuyvesant High,"


Saturday, February 25, 2012

Weekend Ouroboros

(Via Sarang)


Thursday, February 23, 2012


Or at least an entry in the Invisible Library:

Then when the door was shut, and he was certain of privacy, he would have out an old writing book, stitched together with the silk stolen from his mother's workbox, and labelled in a round schoolboy hand, "The Oak Tree, A Poem." In this he would write til midnight chimed and long after. But as he scratched out as many as he wrote in, the sum of them was often, at the end of the year, rather less than at the beginning, and it looked as if in the process of writing the poem would be completely unwritten. —Virginia Woolf, Orlando

(From F.S. Sam)

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Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Stolmy weather

Jane just wanted to point out these interesting names she ran across:

Righthander Stolmy Pimentel, who was 6-13 with a 6.79 earned run average in the minors last season

Dalton Del Don is a senior writer for


Monday, February 20, 2012


They have abandoned me here in the middle of a river which tilts on its axis, which runs in circles, bending back upon itself like a warped wheel or a snake which bites its own bewitched tail.

From Huidobro's "The Seven Oaths of the Poet" (at 50 Watts)

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Sunday, February 19, 2012

Margin call

Barrett’s connection to the old papers was becoming more than simply technical. It was emotional. He detected life in them. He once found the imprint of a person’s thumb on a page in a Renaissance book. “Maybe the papermaker was rushing to fill an order, and grabbed the corner of the sheet too firmly,” he said. “To me, that fingerprint marked the sheet with the humanity of the person who made it. I could feel his presence.” — "Cellulose Hero," Mark Levine, NYT Magazine, 2/19/12


From the time I came to the palace as a child, each morning and evening I exchanged letters of greeting with my parents, and many of those letters should have remained with my family. However, upon my departure, my father cautioned me, “It is not right that letters from the outside should be scattered about the palace. Nor would it be proper for you to write of anything at length aside from simple words of greeting. It would be best if, after reading the news from home, you wrote us on the same sheet of paper.” As he instructed, I wrote to them on the top margin of the letters that Mother faithfully sent twice each day. Father’s letters, as well as those of my brothers and sister, were answered in the same way. Father also cautioned my family not to strew the letters from the palace about the house. Thus my family gathered all my letters and, at regular intervals, washed away all that was written.* Hence, none of those writing remained in my family’s possession.

—The Memoir of 1795, The Memoirs of Lady Hyegyong (transl. JaHyun Kim Haboush)

*Washing away the ink with water was the standard way of obliterating what was written. Paper was then reused.

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Thursday, February 09, 2012

Vintage Dizzies

For John Christopher:

From August 1, 2006.


Sunday, February 05, 2012

Super Bowl XLVI: a palindrome

From the Believer Logger:

Barry Duncan, master palindromist (profiled in our September 2011 issue), writes in:

“When I woke up on Monday morning, January 23, I learned that the New York Giants would oppose the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XLVI, giving the Patriots an opportunity to avenge their Super Bowl XLII loss.

Having grown up (in the Philadelphia area) rooting for an NFC team, and living now in AFC territory (in the Boston area), I felt uniquely qualified to write a balanced palindrome about the big game.

I tried to mention as many New York players as New England players, all the team owners, Madonna (who will appear at the half during the game and who also appears at the half in this palindrome), FOX Sports, and so on.

By Friday the 27th, the palindrome was 585 characters long; I thought my work was done. Then I heard on Sunday that Kelly Clarkson would be singing the national anthem. I decided to open the palindrome with the anthem and to make the ending a bit more dramatic. On the 30th, one week after I began work on it, this Super Bowl palindrome (699 characters long) was completed.”

Super Bowl XLVI

We now open: “O say” as is. So belt it now, hon, or if one more? Her! A rare KC. (I know.)

Had NE revenge, Bill, or no? W? On top? Same?

To get a flag: Ellis. Tip it! Won’t Osi? One to NY. (Name it now.) NE position: on one.

Curt et al? Aces all. It’s on! Turn a FOX on.

War day, eh? Din. Oh, sure. Now, as if it’s a Feb. 5 SB. Tame?!

Set. Is opposition we felt? It’s so. Two: NY v. NE.

(No risk, nor gain.)

I. Red. Now. Hut! I note: Ball up. No! Wide! Rah!

Seen Kraft (On), Mara (foot), ST (is a hero).

Tom era: W, an ad. Still? Or met Eli?

Madonna fan? Nod. Am I!

Let ‘em roll. It’s Dan (a Ware). Motor, eh?

As it’s too far? Am not far. Knee.

Shared? I won? Pull. A bet on it? Uh, wonderin’—

I a Gronk, sir. On! Envy?

Now toss. Title? Few. No, it is opposites: EM, a TB’s 5.

Be fast! If I saw one rush on, I’d—

Hey, a draw! (No XO, fan.) Rut? No, still a sec.

A late truce? No, no, no! It is open. Won? Tie? Many note, no? Is OT now.

Tip? It’s illegal. (Fate got ‘em.) A spot. Now on roll.

(I beg: Never end.)

Ah! Won! Kicker a rare hero. Men of iron (oh!) won title, boss. I say: as one. Pow! One W.

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