Archive for August, 2009

On Sunday, voters in Japan ousted the Liberal Democratic Party, which has been in power for more than 50 years. What was the party’s response, you might wonder? Today Japan’s prime minister, Tarō Asō, said that he will step down and take the blame for the loss. In his contrite speech, he took responsibility for […]

Almost fall


Old Main Street is one of my favorite spots in Minneapolis. Not only are the lots of rocky bluffs to scramble on (and occasionally fall off of), but there’s also lots of comparatively old architecture—and of course, there’s the river. The days are growing shorter so I’m feeling that seasonal urge to get out before […]

Senator Edward Kennedy was laid to rest last night in Arlington Cemetery, next to the two older brothers he’d long since mourned. I’ve been following some of the coverage over the past few days—including the superb biographical portrait in Time—and what has struck me more than anything is the complexity of Kennedy’s character. There’s always […]

So much for progress. I sprang some serious bucks last week for Adobe’s Creative Suite 4. Among other things, it’s supposed to streamline your workflow so you can be about 30% more efficient. So far, I can’t vouch for that. I’ve just wasted four hours of my weekend trying to do any work. Somehow the […]

TMI on Facebook


Once a week or so, I get an invitation to “friend” someone on Facebook. My sisters are hooked, as are my friends Chris, Jim, Pam, Norine and Sean. But so far I’ve resisted the siren song of the virtual coffee shop—and suddenly, I’m rather glad. On my way to work this morning, I heard a […]

It’s been a big day for weird news. First, we have the story about Microsoft “erasing” a black man from a photo on their Polish-language website. Wow—so awful, on so many levels. But at least they used Photoshop (badly) instead of their own cheesy WordArt, I guess. Then, there’s the bit about the Loch Ness […]

As my husband Esteban will attest, I am forever in search of the perfect camera. My criteria are simple: The camera must have great optics (because your images can only be as good as the lens). It also needs a large sensor. It must be responsive, easy to use in “manual” mode, and it must […]

I usually listen to Minnesota Public Radio during my commute. For the past two weeks, I’ve been treated to a relentless commentary on President Obama’s health care reform efforts. What struck me tonight was how this critical issue is being reduced to a debate about semantics. But whether we embrace a “public option” or fear […]

Classical gas


Poor Beethoven is probably rolling over in his grave: On Tuesday, an orchestra of 1,000 ukuleles tackled the finale of his majestic Ninth Symphony at Royal Albert Hall in London. I haven’t yet been able to find footage of the event, but I did happen upon the Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain’s rendition of “Smells […]

I can’t believe I missed wishing PowerPoint a happy 25th anniversary! Maybe I should take it out for a few drinks. (It would only be fair, considering how many times PowerPoint has driven me to drink.) Millions of happy cubicle-dwellers adore PowerPoint. It has less of a learning curve than its predecessors (remember Aldus Persuasion?) […]