Stefan Fatsis at Slate gives us a very in-depth look at Merriam-Webster, dictionaries, and lexicographers.

Now Merriam-Webster is pushing into the future by making an audacious nod to its past. More than half a century after it was published, the company’s landmark book—Webster’s Third New International Dictionary, Unabridged, known in lexicographic circles as Webster’s Third, W3, the Unabridged, or the Third—is getting an overhaul. The Third is a behemoth—4 inches thick, 13½ pounds, 2,700 pages—that falls like a crashing wave when opened. A fourth edition, by contrast, might never exist as a physical object. This latest revision, a project Merriam-Webster hopes will secure its dominance in the tenuous business of commercial lexicography if not ensure its future survival, is happening entirely online.

This is a fascinating, and long, look at what dictionaries are and whether they are really necessary in the digital age. Set aside a few lunch hours to devour this one.

January 28, 2015

Action Comics #1 and Detective Comics #27, the first appearances of Superman and Batman respectively, are available together on eBay.

Only $1.5 million…but, hey, free shipping!

January 23, 2015

Ed Levine at Serious Eats spends more time on diners than anyone rightly should.

Diners, or proto-diner establishments, have been a part of American life for more than 140 years now […] They have played a significant role in art high and low, from Edward Hopper’s ‘Nighthawks’ painting to Barry Levinson’s Diner movie. You’d be hard pressed to find a year in American television and film that doesn’t have at least one scene set in a diner. I’d even go so far as to call it the quintessentially American restaurant.

He even goes on to recommend some NYC diners and which dish to get at them, which, to me, defeats the purpose of the diner…they are not destination establishments, but purely about convenience.

January 17, 2015

Vincent Laforet took a helicopter up 7,500 feet to photograph NYC.

One veteran pilot that we often fly with refused to go up to the altitude we were at … He said that “helicopters are not meant to live in that realm” – which I kind of agree with following this flight.


I have to admit that it was very odd to be looking at airplanes – big ones: jetliners – flying beneath you!

I don’t use “stunning” as a description often, but I think it’s appropriate in this case.

January 15, 2015

What They See is a tumblr that shows us what sculptures/pictures see while hanging out in a museum.

You visit museums to see works of art. Have you ever wondered what they see instead?

This is the best use of a camera that I’ve seen in a long time.

January 14, 2015

Instead of writing about every single product that might or might not ever ship, The Wirecutter gives us their list of the things they like at CES 2015.

The items we picked are a mixture of things: those that we feel people will find useful or need in their daily lives, a few whimsical picks that we think will make life more enjoyable, and the things we suspect—but can’t definitely know until we test—might be our new favorites in their given categories. That’s it.

I will try the Sling TV as soon as it’s available. The ChargeAll’s ChargeTech looks good if it actually ships.

January 9, 2015

2014 in Movies

January 7, 2015 at 10:00pm • Zero comments

I didn’t start off the year wanting to watch more movies than any other year since I started keeping track of my movie watching in 2001, but apparently there isn’t a whole lot of anything good on television, so it just sort of happened.

Since I had gotten a box set of all the Bond films for xmas, I did start the year with a plan to watch them, which is 23 right there. I also wound up watching all of the Alien movies which merged into the Predator franchise and, after threatening for years, I finally watched all of the Fast and the Furious films, and the man with no name trilogy. I also enjoyed the Dark Knight trilogy, the Indiana Jones trilogy, and Memento had to be watched twice…once in the original format and a second time in chronological order.

So, which was the best new movie seen in 2014? Well, I don’t believe in such things because, unless they are very similar subject matters, they shouldn’t be compared. Olympus Has Fallen and White House Down are basically the same so they could be compared to each other fairly, but you can’t really compare The Maltese Falcon to Casablanca. And in no circumstance should either of the former be compared to either of the latter.

However, I will say that of the new movies I saw in 2014, the two where the expectation going in was completely blown away by the actual movie were Snowpiercer and Coherence.

Continue reading ‘2014 in Movies’ . . .

The NY Times, having finally given up on the Knicks, asked its readers to suggest better basketball for their Knicks beat reporter:

So the Sports department’s editors feel it is only merciful to give our Knicks beat writer, Scott Cacciola, a break from such woeful basketball. He deserves to see the game played at a higher level. For the next month or so, we would like to point him to some good, quality basketball, wherever it may be. Any suggestions?

Why only a month or so? It’s going to take years to fix this mess.

January 7, 2015

Max Temkin lists the essential 42 TNG episodes to watch for people who have never seen this great series:

The silver lining here is that TNG is a show designed for syndication — each episode is a self-contained story, and it’s okay to skip around. My episode guide below is designed to get you through the bumpy early seasons to see what TNG looks like when it becomes more than the sum of its parts — a great ensemble, world-class writing, and science fiction that is unparalleled today.

It’s been a while since I watched TNG with any real purpose, but I think I’ll be watching these episodes shortly, maybe with some tea. Earl Grey. Hot.

January 2, 2015

Poynter brings us its year-end list of media corrections. It includes this gem from Slate:

This post originally quoted photographer Tom Sanders as saying it takes him five years to get on the dance floor. It takes him five beers.

This is what happens when you dictate stories using Siri, although it has improved a bit in Iowa State.

Correction: it has improved a bit in iOS 8.

December 22, 2014