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Location: Ann Arbor, MI // Madrid, Spain

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Sam's Dead......


Only in America, poor, but famous Sam.

For those of you who think I'm being sarcastic .... come on.... you have to feel some sadness knowing that he's been put down. Everyone loved Sam, where else would he have been loved by everyone?

Thursday, November 24, 2005

....Predictions...


Okay, I know nobody's reading this now, since glaciers have carved lakes quicker than I've updated this blog. I have ridiculous amounts of work, no time for holidays (yes, it's Thanksgiving right now, and I'm awake at 4 am writing about fashion, how sad), finals in two and a half weeks and my girlfriend coming in a week and a half, but thought I should get something on record.

The rebellion against "Metrosexual"-ism is about to begin (or already has). The evidence is in the recent surge of down coats. I haven't decided whether this is a permanent or seasonal happenstance (not the down coats, of course THEY are, I mean the bottom line of choosing down coats over the 3/4 metrosexual choice). I give "metrosexual" as being cool for about one more year. In my opinion, it seems relatively easy to dress metrosexually in the spring and summer, but relatively harder in the winter. It's not hard to put on a crisp (recently dry-cleaned) white Thomas Pink shirt with your reasonably-flared jeans in the summer, but what in the winter??? what?? Cashmere? Camel hair? Man, that's MUCH harder if you have to pay attention to more than three pictures in a magazine on the first warm weekend in spring. I'm pretty sure that's why we see (at least in the past seven years) a lot of north face. Summer style is easy for everyone. Just buy a copy of GQ and copy. Winter is more complicated, and so, most just reach out for the latest Abercrombie-esque fad, such as North Face. To be honest, I see some homemade bell-bottoms in the near future.

That said, go out and buy a down coat. Urban. So warm. But, for those still listening, I need some help. I've been trying to find a pair of sunglasses for about three years, to no avail, unfortunately. What I want are minimalist sunglasses in the same style as those worn by the protagonist in Fellini's 8 1/2 (pictured above). Black. Perfectly rectangular (lenses of significantly more width than height). No brands. Thick frame. No curvature (all angles 90 degrees). Thanks.

Saturday, November 05, 2005

Halloween



The 'fro's too big, the beard's shoddy, but hey, Bob Ross is hard to get down perfectly.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

CIA's Secret Prisons

A Washington Post article (free registration) today discusses the clandestine CIA prisons outside the U.S. AND the CIA's lack of firearm skills:

The CTC's chief of operations argued for creating hit teams of case officers and CIA paramilitaries that would covertly infiltrate countries in the Middle East, Africa and even Europe to assassinate people on the list, one by one.

But many CIA officers believed that the al Qaeda leaders would be worth keeping alive to interrogate about their network and other plots. Some officers worried that the CIA would not be very adept at assassination.

"We'd probably shoot ourselves," another former senior CIA official said.


The piece is definitely worth reading in its entirety.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Fun with Taxes!

Calarco v. Commissioner, 2004 WL 1616387: a decision in three Acts (including a prologue and epilogue and funny footnotes)!! Tax law makes you insane:


From the Prologue:

This case follows in that long, but little-noted, tradition. Petitioner, N. Joseph Calarco, is a respected professor of theater at Wayne State University in Detroit. He also writes plays. On his 1997 tax return, he deducted his playwriting expenses as a Schedule C business loss. Respondent disallowed both the loss and several itemized deductions that petitioner took on his Schedule A. These disallowances created a deficiency of $3,869 to which respondent added an accuracy-related penalty of $774. Petitioner, following the lead of Henry VIII's first Queen Katherine, [FN11] filed a timely petition in this Court . . .


From the Second Act

In extreme cases, this can even lead to a kind of deduction fever:
"Itemizing? What's that, Satan?"
"Well, you see, Josh, now that you're not just a salaried copy editor but also a freelance television critic, you can file a Schedule C and deduct your legitimate business expenses....
So I went home, waded as usual through the pot smoke of my roommates, shut the door, and looked around my room. What was a "legitimate business expense"? Okay, I'm a television critic, so ... the television! Yes! Because I need something to criticize!
Okay, so the television ... And then--yeah, the VCR, because I can't watch every episode of "T.J. Hooker." ...
And, of course, the videotapes.... And the replacement labels for the tapes, which I get from Radio Shack.... Oh---and the TV Guide, which guides me to the television! ... And the books of television criticism I've bought. And actually, the books I've bought that aren't television criticism: they've still informed my criticism of the television.... Oh---and the chair I sit in, of course: very important what your posture is when you criticize a television. And the food I eat--which literally makes up the cells that form the critic of the television....
Kornbluth, supra.

Petitioner has fallen victim--at least at times--to this fever, claiming many quotidian activities, such as reading newspapers and renting movies, to be "business-related". He is, at some level of abstraction, no doubt correct. But we must administer the tax laws as they are . . .


From the Footnotes:

FN22. See Master of the House on Les Miserables: Original Broadway Cast (Geffen Records) (suggesting benefits of enhanced substantiation requirements for certain innkeepers).

FN24. Although best known to tax lawyers for his rule, George M. Cohan was also a playwright, actor, and songwriter, who wrote such stage classics as "The Man Who Owned Broadway." His life outside tax litigation was the source material for the classic Jimmy Cagney film, Yankee Doodle Dandy (Warner Bros.1942). (We also note that this year marks the centennial of Cohan's breakout role in Little Johnny Jones, featuring Yankee Doodle Boy (I'm a Yankee Doodle Dandy) and Give My Regards to Broadway.)



The Epilogue:

Dramatists used to finish with some rhymes, Mostly iambs with a pinch of dactyly, But in these more prosaic times Works usually end more matter-of-factily.
In our Court, though, the oldest ways seem somehow to survive--
A decision will be entered under Rule 155.


... Makes you go insane, I say.

Fun with Corporations

In the spirit of bringing up old links that I think are cool, thought I'd send out a link to www.theyrule.net. It's an interactive website linking companies and people on the boards of directors of corporations. Go to "Load Maps" and then "Popular" for some interesting maps already generated and submitted by others. It's amazing how different the "Ten Richest People" map is than most others.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Cat Sites Part Deux
















Also for you:

The Infinite Cat Project

and

My Cat Hates You


Images from the latter.

Cat Site

... I still like http://www.stuffonmycat.com/

Particularly funny is the "Creatures on Cats" section.

Saturday, October 22, 2005

"Damn Cool" Optical Illusion

It is pretty cool.




Link found at Volokh.

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