Thursday, August 30, 2007

Insight from Daniel Schorr

On Wednesday's All Things Considered, Daniel Schorr observed of President Bush, "Lying as a matter of convience has become almost a conventional technique." About two and a half minutes long, it's a short piece but, as is typical of Schorr, there's plenty of information crammed into it. Listen to the whole thing here.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Friday, August 17, 2007

Mike Wieringo

Just found out one of my favorite comicbook artists suffered a fatal heart attack last Sunday (Aug 12). I was just rediscovering Wieringo's art via his internet presence, and perhaps even took for granted the diligence with which he kept his fans in the loop. My friend Dan-David hipped me to Wieringo's artwork when he gave me a stack of Sensational Spider-Man comics, all in Hebrew. I went out and bought the corresponding English copies, so I could try and learn some Hebrew. Mostly, I just read books in English and really started to dig on Mike Wieringo's style.


The first thing I remember noticing is how he draws a chin. The guy just really knows how to draw a chin (fig. 1). His lyrical visual style (fig. 2) has developed a bit of an edge in the past ten years (fig. 3). Wieringo's return to Spider-Man felt like he had come full circle as a comicbook artist, seeing Marvel's flagship hero through an era of major changes, i.e. Marvel's Civil War.


Judging from the online response to Mike Wieringo's passing, it seems like he was a popular guy in the comics community. He was also a health nut, supposedly, which makes his heart attack that much more tragic.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

We Are Jolly Laddies, We're Riders of the Night

Came across my fraternity's entry in Urban Dictionary.

"The greatest fraternity that ever existed. Composed of individuals who are [. . .] known for being non-discriminatory towards everybody and propagate freedom for all men of all creeds." (source)

For a something slightly more objective, you may want to try the actual Pi Lambda Phi website. There's an in-depth history of the fraternity, a list of famous Pi Lams (e.g., Sandy Koufax and Rodgers & Hammerstein), information on their activities philanthropic and educational and humanitarian, etc.

You can skip all that shit because it's boring. All you need to know is the Creed of Pi Lambda Phi Fraternity.

The Creed of Pi Lambda Phi Fraternity
  • That all Men are created Free and Equal.

  • That no Society of Men can flourish unless Members of that Society are endowed the Opportunities and Privileges of Freedom.

  • That Freedom implies the Elimination of Prejudice -- That the Elimination of Prejudice means a Better Understanding 'twixt Men.

  • That it is incumbent upon me to fight for such Freedom even with my Life.

  • That it is incumbent upon me in my Personal Life to be devoted to the Highest Standards of Honesty and Justice.

  • That because my Country is dedicated to the Highest Standards of Freedom and Justice for all Men of all Creeds, I hereby pledge Allegiance to my Country, and to its National Symbol.

  • My parents raised me by these and other, similar values. It's worth mentioning that my parents are Pi Lams. My Dad is an active alumnus; my Mom's status is less official, and that's a story for another time.

    Sunday, August 12, 2007

    Time Isn't Just a Magazine

    Anyone else ever notice Lynyrd Skynyrd is kinda shaky about keeping time? I can only cite "Free Bird" and "Tuesday's Gone" as examples, since those are the only two Skynyrd songs I really listen to, but in both tunes the band seems to exhibit the same tendency to rush a little bit.

    Thursday, August 02, 2007

    John Scofield's A-Team

    John Scofield has a new record coming out on Emarcy, and it looks fantastic.

    The album finds Scofield once again in the company of what he calls his "A-Team" - bassist Steve Swallow and drummer Bill Stewart. [. . .]
    Joining the trio is a four-part horn section featuring Roger Rosenberg on baritone sax and bass clarinet, Jim Pugh on trombone, Lawrence Feldman on tenor sax and flutes and John Swana on trumpet and flugelhorn.
    (source)

    Scofield's reputation as a hip alternative to the piano has been well documented since the 1970s, in ensembles ranging from saxophone/guitar/bass/drums to trumpet/guitar/bass/drums to trumpet/saxophone/guitar/bass/drums. As far as I know, this is his first outing in a medium sized, guitar-only group.

    If this sounds at all interesting to you, bassist/composer Alexis Cuadrado cut a record, Visual, with a sextet of similar instrumentation (alto sax/ten sax/tromb/gtr/bass/drums) that I highly recommend. If you're feeling adventurous, Nels Cline has a sextet record of Andrew Hill compositions, called New Monastery; the sextet includes cornet, clarinet, and accordion.

    Wednesday, August 01, 2007

    The Story of BOB

    David Lynch recalls Killer BOB's origins.