Saturday, sort of

Time’s James Poniewozik has this thing about bringing out Robo-James while he’s on his vacations (Robo-James being just a bunch of automated postings to his blog, pre-fabricated before Poniewozik would leave his desk at Time). So, in honor of Robo-James, this post was done before I got out of town, and if this works, will be posted sometime Saturday, since I’m not sure I’ll be blogging this weekend. Oh, let’s just do this for the heck of it! [edit — umm, pre-programmed posting didn’t quite work, but I tried…]

NY Times’ David W. Dunlap, waxing poetic in the City Room blog on how the FDR Drive gave him shade, or as he put it: “a little bit of shade on a summer morning is all a reporter needs to forget momentarily that he’s on assignment.” Hmm, you can’t possibly forget that you’re at work, can you? Hmm! (actually, he gave some substantive comparative sense of how people hate having highways block the waterfront, as seen in the examples of Boston and San Francisco).

NY Times’ Sewell Chan on a new book on the Woolworth Building.

NY Times’ Sam Roberts on how he touched off nerves with his article on when the heck was NYC actually founded; some good stuff here.

NY Times’ Jim Dwyer on the temptation to jump into the subway tracks to get his fallen notebook; does he do it? Good story! (it wasn’t that long ago that I watched this nutty lady make the quick jump to grab her fallen cell phone; some nice guy helped pull her back up; she was just lucky the train didn’t come for several minutes yet and that her phone was that close to get).

An only in NYC thing: last weekend, when I was in the Time-Warner building at Columbus Circle, this guy somehow walked straight into the women’s restroom, where there were women looking at him like he was a nut. However, he continued to speak into his cell phone in brisk Spanish, and blithely didn’t seem to realize where he was, completely ignoring the International Symbol for Women’s Restroom on the door. He wasn’t even dressed like a woman, wearing a baseball cap and baggy jeans and all. Yeesh!

Watched Eureka on SciFi this week; good stuff! Its newest summer season starts next week.

So, by the time this gets posted, I’m probably still on the road. Oh well.


I wish I had a “staycation”; instead, I’m going to have what will pass for a vacation – a whirlwind of what and a family wedding up in Boston. But, really, I need more sleep. And to cut clutter. The war against clutter has me all but crying “uncle.” The Self-Proclaimed Duchess of Procrastination reigns.

Some stuff:

NY Times does a review of PBS’ “Nova ScienceNow,” which I’ve already raved about. (yeah, that’s right, I was ahead of the NY Times’ curve here!). Anyway, the Times’ Neil Genzlinger writes:

Take a little of the grotesque, a lot of the tantalizing and a heavy dose of friendly analogies, and you have “Nova ScienceNow,” a science program in a newsmagazine format that will leave laymen of almost any age feeling smarter and better informed.

The PBS series, now in its third season, has as its genial host Neil deGrasse Tyson, an astrophysicist and director of the Hayden Planetarium in Manhattan, whose comfort level on camera shatters any stereotypes you might have harbored about geeky scientists. [….]

And pretty much everything gets an analogy, apt or ridiculous. Searching for audio evidence of life in space is like dipping a glass in the ocean and seeing if you catch a fish. Stem-cell treatments would be like putting fettuccine in a blender and making a cheesecake out of it. Yes, Dr. Tyson puts some fettuccine in a blender.

All of this is served up brightly, and at a level that a child can grasp but that doesn’t bore an adult. And the scientists and other experts all seem to have taken lessons from Dr. Tyson: they’re engaging and comfortable on camera. Maybe that stereotype of the geeky scientist never had any basis in reality at all.

Yeah, that’s right too: combat stereotype!

Speaking of challenging misconceptions, the review by Daily News’ Elizabeth Weitzman seems to be the one review I’ve found that isn’t that unhappy with the new “X-Files” movie. She does say that Mulder/Scully fans may be willing to see them back, even if there are episodes that are better than this movie. As a fan, I Want To Believe that it’s a better than average movie…

In “Aliens Are Overrated,” Slate’s Julie Lapidos posits how the better episodes of “X-Files” were the ones not necessarily about the Alien Conspiracy Mythology. She might be right: the Flukeman episode was up there for being strange and compelling and sick all at once; I remembered the episode where Mulder and Scully investigate this community of circus performers/circus freaks as tragic and creepy and funny (particularly the scene where one of the freaks points to Mulder as the example of Good Looking Guy, as Mulder strikes an unintentional (intentional for the actor and writers, though) pose as Good Looking Guy – while also not realizing that Mulder’s a freak like anyone deep inside his own twisted mind).

Checked the mail and saw that Time and Sports Illustrated are doing their Olympic previews. Must…not…get…sucked…in…by…hype…

Hasbro v. Scrabulous begins… Wonder if this means that Hasbro’s going to sue everybody else who’s on the “let’s make a word game that looks like Scrabble” on-line.

Anyway, I’ll see if I’ll be able to blog from Boston/Cape Cod-ish this weekend. Tonight, it’s a game at Shea, to at least take an opportunity to enjoy before the new Citifield opens (I’m not even sure when’s the next Met home game I’ll make, so it goes).


On a rainy Wednesday night – some stuff…

Say it ain’t so: Ebert and Roeper are moving on; the new hosts for “At the Movies” will be two guys named Lyons and Mankiewicz. I saw Lyons and thought: Jeffrey Lyons? But, no, it’s his son, Ben, being paired up with Ben Mankiewicz. Wait a second: two guys named Ben? Hmm. Well, I never quite got used to Roeper, but still miss Ebert on tv.

NY Times’ Mark “The Minimalist” Bittman on a no-bake blueberry cheesecake bars. The accompanying on-line video got a bit funny when Bittman did a Hulk thing to pound the graham crackers into a pie crust. Guess he hasn’t seen “The Dark Knight” yet. 😉 (hmm, so say the Hulk likes cheesecake; what would the Batman like? Hmm.).

Charlie Rose did a fascinating interview with Chef David Chang. Now, I really should try Momofuku, although I may never get to eat at Ko considering the difficulty of getting reservations! But, really, that was a great interview. (see the previous triscribe posts on David Chang, here and here, where you’ll find links to other articles…)

Slate has an article by Huan Hsu, who raises some mixed feeling observations on tennis player Michael Chang, as Chang enters the Int’l Tennis Hall of Fame. Did Chang empower Asian-Americans/Chinese-Americans in sports? Or did he perpetuate stereotype? Or maybe both?

The passing of Estelle Getty, who’s best known for playing Sophia on “Golden Girls.”