Saturday, June 23, 2018

Quote of the Day (Ian Frazier, on Why Mummies Are Better Workers Than Zombies)

 “I often remind personnel directors at competitive companies that mummies work eighty per cent cheaper than zombies. Mummies are also slightly more articulate, and they are easier to deal with if they become enraged. If a mummy starts to chase you, merely pull on a loose end of one of his bandages and spin him like a top, unwinding him until he collapses in a pile of bones. Unlike zombies, ninety-seven per cent of mummies are not unionized, and some have even been known to threaten union organizers with bloody butcher knives.” —Ian Frazier, “Why Mummies?”, The New Yorker, Feb. 27, 2017

The image accompanying this post shows Boris Karloff in The Mummy (1932).

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Quote of the Day (Lewis Mumford, on ‘Man's Chief Purpose’)

“Man's chief the creation and preservation of values: that is what gives meaning to our civilization, and the participation in this is what gives significance, ultimately, to the individual human life.”— American futurist, historian and urban planner Lewis Mumford (1895-1990), Faith for Living (1940)

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Photo of the Day: World Cup Distraction at NY’s Port Authority

New York’s Port Authority Bus Terminal at 42st Street was built during the second term of Mayor Bill O’Dwyer—which, for anyone keeping score, ended (hastily) in 1950. Commuters like me are familiar with how much it is showing its age, most notably during the winter, when buckets all over the place try to keep the leaks from the roof.

Maybe because it keeps hoping against hope that Something Big (like enough money for a completely new building, perhaps?), maintenance on this structure has been haphazard. Maybe the PA also thinks that, if they can give us some entertainment, bus and subway passengers won’t radiate so much palpable discontent.

In the evening rush hour, passengers have gotten used to seeing musicians and singers (even sopranos, for Heaven’s sake!) in a perch on the second floor. During the last two mornings, though, I’ve noticed something different: a big screen offering footage of the World Cup

I took this photo yesterday, when the crowd, as you can see, was already substantial. This morning, the crowd around this video had grown even more. One possible explanation of the intense interest in these video proceedings: Commuters were suffering delays in getting to their normal destinations, so why not while the time away a bit longer by watching the games?

As you can see, it looked like it worked.

Quote of the Day (Lionel Richie, on Being ‘Very Sensitive’)

“I was your James Taylor guy, you know? I was your Carole King guy. I was your Marvin Gaye guy. Very sensitive. One of the things I heard growing up was, 'Mr. along with Mrs. Richie, the problem with Lionel can be he's too sensitive.' And, of course, all that meant was that I was a songwriter. I was not a football player, along with I was not going to be a hunter. I'm the guy that shot a bird one time and cried over the bird for the next two days, you know? That's just who I am.”—R&B singer-songwriter Lionel Richie quoted in Alex Pappademas, “Pull Up a Seat, the Professor Is In,” The New York Times, Mar. 11, 2018

I don’t hate Lionel Richie, mind you—I just find his music bland (even though, indisputably, he has written songs that worm their way into your ears and won’t come out).

Although I’m not sure I could listen to his music all day long, I’m quite sure that I can listen to him talking all day long. Based on the interview with The New York Times quoted above, Mr. Richie—who turns 69 today—is a brilliant raconteur, insightful and funny. Click on the title link above and see if you don’t agree with me.

(This photo of Lionel Richie was taken at the U.S. Department of State in Washington, D.C. on December 2, 2017.) [State Department Photo/ Public Domain]

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Quote of the Day (Charles Dickens, on Poetry)

"Ah! poetry makes life what lights and music do the stage — strip the one of its false embellishments, and the other of its illusions, and what is there real in either to live or care for?"― English novelist Charles Dickens (1812-1870), The Pickwick Papers (1836)

Monday, June 18, 2018

Quote of the Day (Noel Coward, on the Benefit of Brandy)

“It's a pity you didn't have a little more brandy. It might have made you more agreeable!” —English playwright, composer, director, actor, and singer Noel Coward (1899-1973), Private Lives: An Intimate Comedy in Three Acts (1930)