The Curse and Cherpumple Pie

I am fairly sure a curse has fallen upon me.

Yesterday I managed to rack up $1300 in car expenses, and while attempting to shake off the lingering unease from that encounter with the mechanic (I mean, think how many books I could have bought with $1300!!), I sat down in front of the television and my TiVo promptly died.  No warning.  Just total hard-drive collapse after less than a year and a half.  Tsk, TiVo.  I am a devotee of your brand, but this hardly seems like a just reward for the fervor I have exhibited in recommending your product to others.  I practically bullied my poor parents into getting one (which they now love) with several years of constant, tiresome, superior references to how much better their viewing experience would be if they could pause, rewind, watch shows on their schedule, etc.  And this is how you repay me.  Sigh.

At any rate, since I am now cut off from access to my television until I can acquire another DVR or figure out how to rewire my entertainment system, how 'bout I take a few minutes to assemble an enthusiasm of links?

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Something brainy:

I am always intrigued by the neurology of theatre, despite being of a rather unscientific cast of mind myself.  In this video piece from the Guardian, the actress Fiona Shaw (who is always up for an experimental approach to the issues of her field) agrees to have her brain scanned while "performing" to see how this state of mind differs from normal human use of language.

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Something tawny:

On ethnicity and the aesthetics of fake tans.  As, of course, exemplified by my beloved Dancing with the Stars, and expressed by... and here's where we enter the realm of the surreal... The Wall Street Journal.

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Something tasty:

Or at least I thought so.  D sent me to the website This is why you're fat, expecting me to join him in deploring the state of our culinary culture.  He was horrified when I kept exclaiming that the items displayed there were sublime and I wished I was eating them right now.  "No!!!" he cried, "This website is not a meal-idea-generator! It is an apocalyptic warning!".  But really, there is something about the Cherpumple Pie that touches on the sublime.

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And something punny:

The best wordplay I have seen in quite some time comes courtesy of a decade-reviewing column for the New York Times by Richard Powers, one of my father's favorite authors.  Speaking about how the Wii defies our sense that the inevitable drift of a cyberculture is towards the incorporeal, the mental, the fleshless, he finally concludes:

Three years on, we’re less easily fooled by the Wiimote. We game the system. Gullible tennis pros still make their grand forehand smashes, but they also serve who only sit and flick their wrists.

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