what i’ve been reading today

Another list of completely unrelated stuff that circulated through my news feeds in the last couple of days and makes me feel intelligent and superior. Of course I still will fail to recognise you and forget your name next time we meet. (And you’ll have to tell me things several times over the course of weeks before they stick… pi to 100 digits anyone?)

Somehow I got onto Keith Olbermann, who is quite simply the Orson Welles/Citizen Kane of political media in America and what media really should be – partisan, accurate and extending a swift middle finger to right wing imperialism. Reading the transcript of his special comments is a joy, seeing him in video delivering burning waves of unfettered rage against the Bush administration. Countdown Special Comment: Death of Habeas Corpus: “Your words are lies, Sir.”

Back to China. And of far more importance to anyone unfortunate enough to be discarded from the world’s circus of runting: smut. Other people’s smut. Or important men in China and the mistresses they keep. Quantity or quality?

Hawaiian earthquakes and Hollywood movies, physicists and American football, using grammar to fight bacteria. What does it mean? Who knows. Does it sell papers? Apparently. I really love Language Log.

Back to China again for the Chinese Blogger Conference 2006 or 中文网志年会.

After the mayor of Guangzhou got a bunch of poor fools to swim in the newly-cleaned Pearl River, and spent a long time dredging the toxic oily black sludge from the city’s canals, the United Nations Environment Programme has declared the Pearl River estuary is a “dead zone”.

Continuing optimistic doom, certain extinction and rising sea levels, the Greenland ice sheet is on a downward slide, and mass extinctions in the past have been caused by a ‘sick earth’.

Neal Stephenson, as any of you who come here even slightly often or know me personally will attest to my absolute admiration of, is in no small way responsible for my next performance, pestilence. In a roundabout way, he also got me intrigued with poisons and other chymicals, and so naturally I am salivating at the thought of reading Elements of Murder: The History of Poison.

Oil. This is a fight to the death.

Ja, so anyway, let’s end on happy things from Virtual China. Food. Chinese food. eatingchinese.org. Even in blog form … drool.