"The Magicians," by Lev Grossman

Everyone, it seems, is writing “Harry Potter for adults.” It’s an understandable urge, really. Who wouldn’t want their book translated into dozens of languages, have multiple sold-out printings and be worth a billion dollars? In one sense, The Magicians is like an adult’s version of Harry Potter, but it could just easily by described as an […]

If the car's on fire, don't shine the bumpers

For some inexplicable reason, the majority of educators in America seem to believe that adding laptops or e-readers to the classroom will magically inflate test scores and give rise to a new, educated generation. This recent NYT faux-trend story spurred me to write this, but I’ve been thinking on the topic for some time. In […]

What I took away from “The Orphan”

When first I gazed upon the previews for The Orphan, I admit to being significantly … underwhelmed. It looked for all the world like a typical horror film, with a demon child terrorizing her new family. Then I read this article, referring to this post. In the first case I can remember, having the movie […]

Target practice

Dan Tracy exhaled slowly, sending smoke fuming from his cigar in a lazy, continuous string. Removing the smokable from between his lips to tap in the ashtray, he noted without satisfaction the deep imprints where his teeth had been. Even the best cigars could be ruined by the worst cases. This case wasn’t particularly intense […]

Those darn Internets

For whatever reason (because I worked for newspaper? Probably), I’ve taken to picking up the Everett Herald every day. It’s pretty good for the most part, but today in a cyberstalking article, there was a quote from a deputy prosecutor who’s probably angling for a better job. Police also learned that the man created a […]

Now THAT's an infographic

The Associated Press announced plans to wrap news content in DRM to prevent people from stealing it. It actually doesn’t do anything of the sort, but you wouldn’t know that from their graphic. The original, from the AP: The real graphic, from the internets [via BoingBoing]: Comprende?

The listless times

I am officially le bored, having spent the past three hours sitting in Starbucks and applying for any and every job possible. Since I have nothing better to do, I decided to blog. Since I have nothing to blog about, I’m going to use Twitter. For whatever reason (excitement of having cell phone coverage? Probably, […]

The little things

Strolling into the front entrance like he owned the place, Dan Juan gave the area a quick scan as nodded to the well-dressed gentleman behind the front desk and handed over his sport coat and hat. As Dan Juan padded across the dark blue carpet to the playing floor, the man took the items to […]

On the road

After hitching Reginald (his horse) to the post in the center of town, Dan waltzed over to the general store. Townspeople of various ages were milling around the place, so no one paid him much attention. A young lady in a white gingham dress that clung to her in all the right places walked by, […]

"Idiot America," by Charles P. Pierce

Idiot America, or more accurately, Idiot America: How Stupidity Became a Virtue in the Land of the Free, is best described as a populist follow-up to Kindly Inquisitors by Jonathon Rauch. This is not intended as dismissive or as an accusation of piggybacking, more an offering of explanation and a ringing endorsement. Rauch’s book, put […]

"The Chris Farley Show," by Tom Farley and Tanner Colby

I will admit to approaching this book with some trepidation. After picking it up and glancing at it in the bookstore, I was worried it would be another “Live From New York.” For those of you who don’t keep up on the “Saturday Night Live” books, “Live From New York” was basically a 656-page set […]

"The Peep Diaries," by Hal Niedzviecki

Now I feel kind of guilty for poking fun at all those people who referred to Facebook’s news updates as a “stalker feed.” Hal Niedzviecki’s book, “The Peep Diaries,” is an exploratiion into what he terms “Peep” culture. In Niedzviecki’s view, modern pop culture has been co-opted and transformed into one that is concerned with […]

"Obama's Blackberry," Kasper Hauser

This? This is the big plan to save the publishing industry? “Now, for the first time, ‘We The People’ are privy to our new leader’s epistolary back-and-forths on his wily hand-held device. Weíre about to discover that his emails (and the replies, from his wife and daughters, Biden, Palen, Rush, Hannity, the new first puppy […]

Sanity? In MY Supreme Court?

In a bit of heartening news as the Spring term draws to a close, SCOTUS announced its decision today in Safford Unified School District v. April Redding. By an 8-1 vote (let’s all guess who dissented), the Supremes agreed that, in fact, strip-searching a 13-year-old because somebody said she might have aspirin is illegal. Souter, […]

It's all about the cover letter

I’ve been poring over the Craigslist jobs postings for the tri-state area and beyond, applying to anything that seems like it could fit. A week or so ago, an ad popped up for I Can Has Cheezburger, creators of the ever-popular LOLCats and the FAIL Blog. They were looking for an editor for a new […]

"The Dumbest Generation," Mark Bauerlein

Honestly, I don’t know why I’m even writing this. As someone born after 1980, I’m scarcely qualified to breathe on my own. This, at least, is the case according to Mark Bauerlein, author of “The Dumbest Generation.” That’s not the full name of the book, but I got bored 15 percent of the way through […]

"How To Be Good," Nicholas Hornby

Nicholas Hornby is the philosopher-novelist every struggling English graduate wishes he were. Though he’s British (strike one) and insufferably upper-middle-class (strike two), he still manages to write his characters anonymously enough to allow them to translate across the point. Hornby frequently attempts to tackle life’s larger questions in his novels – why are we here, […]

Things that annoy me more than they probably should

Some people most likely consider me an … irritable person, in that I appear to be angered and outraged by nearly everything that occurs. In the spirit of overreacting, the following is a list of things that, though relatively innocuous at first glance, are in fact egregious insults that are deserving of death, dismemberment or […]

Deep thoughts with Josh Heytvelt

I realize that former Gonzaga basketball player Josh Heytvelt was trying to give a heartfelt interview and express his remorse over being arrested for possession of ‘shrooms, but there’s a reason why athletes usually have people talk for them. This quote is why: Heytvelt was ordered to do 240 hours of community service. He did […]

Nature always wins

Some people (Capt. E.J. Smith* and Thomas Andrews chief among them) think they can tempt fate and get away with it, ignoring even the most obvious of signs. They pay for their arrogance with their lives. (I’d also like to include Timothy Treadwell [of Grizzly Man fame] on this list, since he was eaten by […]

"Pop Apocalypse," Lee Konstantinou

It’s the near future. Money has been replaced by Reputation, which calculates a person’s net worth based on their popularity. The Christians are fighting the Muslims, everyone’s got a camera trying to record the next big thing and the world is about to come to an end. Perhaps the author has a point with his […]

"The Unlikely Disciple," Kevin Roose

Note: This isn’t intended to be a rant or a cure-all for our socio-political problems – it just seems that way for a few pararaphs. Conservative vs. liberal is the defining archetypal dichotomy of our time. It has come to define us in nearly every situation we encounter in life, from politics to fiscal policy […]