House-Breaking Your Phone–and Lowering Your Blood Pressure

I was too calm at work.  Something had to be wrong.  Then I realized that I had left my phone at home—on the kitchen counter–probably under the bread wrapper.  It was the same unnerving peace I felt on a vacation last summer–when we left the dog with friends. Smudge is a hybrid, a schnorkie-poo, who, in the thankful absence of rats, is obsessed with one thing—the perfect blend of dye, felt and rubber toxins that is the tennis ball.  He is so completely focused on bringing you that ball for you to obediently throw it across the yard/basement/bathroom that he’ll forgo food, rest and common sense—crashing into fences, couches and unsuspecting two year-olds.  If you don’t follow his escalating sequence of hints (sitting patiently, rolling the ball closer, grumbling, grumbling louder), he’ll finally bark at the perfect frequency to shatter even our cheap wine glasses. When we’re having dinner, he’ll politely wedge the ball under my left buttock, sit… Read More…

Barney Fife, Steve Urkel and Lies A-La-Carte

Journalist Michael Hastings died in a one-car collision last Tuesday morning. He was by reputation an in-your-face, truth-to-power journalist who could only be described in three-word-hyphenates. He became famous after an article he wrote for Rolling Stone led to the resignation of the general in charge of the US Afghanistan operation, General Stanley McChrystal. Hastings spoke about the government’s “war on journalism,” about governmental attempts to cover up and manipulate the press, but his death may stand more for the death of accuracy in journalism. Although his focus was the government and the military—he was apparently working on a Petraeus story when he died—the “takeaway” from his career seems to be that the news is agenda-driven at the expense of accuracy. If there’s a war on journalism, it’s being waged by journalists. Opening statements began yesterday in the George Zimmerman trial. Here’s what we think we know in that case:… Read More…