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Frozen Toothpaste

Frozen Toothpaste
A blog of ideas. All stripes, colors, and sizes, but ideas.
Articles: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7


OPW: Anthony Bourdain on Sunsets
2008-08-07 04:45:00
I meant to post this last week, but better late then never. In response to my last post and eric’s comment, I had to share this short snippet from a 2006 interview of Anthony Bourdain: …you?re standing alone in the desert, and you see the most incredible sunset you?ve ever seen and your first instinct is ...
More About: Sunsets
Serendipity and Ephemerality
2008-07-25 05:46:00
Making twilight more beautiful, since the dawn of time Because I nearly missed it, and because it wasn’t going to be around long, I seemed far more concerned than anyone else that tonight’s twilight, in this time and place, was full of beautiful and unexpected colors, in beautiful and unexpected places. I suppose it started with an ...
More About: Serendipity
OPW: ?The Summer Day?
2008-07-23 05:13:00
This poem by Mary Oliver has a few lines I quite like: Who made the world? Who made the swan, and the black bear? Who made the grasshopper? This grasshopper, I mean? the one who has flung herself out of the grass, the one who is eating sugar out of my hand, who is moving her jaws back and forth instead of ...
More About: Summer
The Perfect Day
2008-06-26 00:45:00
I was struck recently, by a bit of profundity in the oddest of places. Twitter, as you may know, is a “micro-blogging” system that allows you to post thoughts of at most 140 characters. It sounds like thoroughly pointless technology, but it was there that I found this: so many different ways i could have lived ...
More About: Perfect , Perfect Day
Review: Lars and the Real Girl
2008-06-14 00:53:00
There’s something irrevocably odd about Lars Lindstrom. He seems to be the consummate loner. Completely willing and able to see people no more than he needs to, while always being friendly to those he does see. He’s a good worker and a church-goer. He lives in a run-down garage next to his parents old house, where his brother and wife live. He seems in no hurry to find a girlfriend, but as he tells the nice lady at church, he’s not ...
More About: Review , Girl , Real
How Blogs Die
2008-06-10 05:03:00
wickenden (ASA) There are two general signs that a blog is heading toward extinction. The first is a declining frequency of posting, and the second is a proportional rise in the number of posts about the blog itself. These two don’t always go hand-in-hand; sometimes it’s just one or the other, sometimes you don’t get either ...
More About: Blogs
The One-Off News
2008-05-30 23:30:00
Recently I’ve been giving some serious thought to my aversion to cable news, local news programs, and the vast quantities of stories that circulate on the internet. I came to this rough conclusion: There are essentially two kinds of news: events and trends that change the lives of millions of people, and one-off stories about violence, ...
More About: News
The Narcissism of Communication
2008-05-28 21:33:00
All communication is narcissistic. By writing something that I intend for others to read, I am saying that my idea — the one expressed in this, the prior, and next sentences — is good enough, clever enough, interesting enough, that people should pay attention to it. By making any effort to communicate with anyone, I’m saying that I’m worthy ...
More About: Communication , Narcissism
OPW: ?Man Writes Poem?
2008-05-27 21:28:00
I like this one by Jay Leeming, not least of all because it reminds me of something I wrote. This just in a man has begun writing a poem in a small room in Brooklyn. His curtains are apparently blowing in the breeze. We go now to our man Harry on the scene, what’s the story down there Harry? “Well ...
More About: Poem
Progress Report, May 2008
2008-05-23 18:28:00
You’ve probably noticed, if you visit this site often, that I’ve essentially dispensed with my old schedule. The write-about-this-today workings of that schedule were rather easy to attend to when I (thought I) had wealth of interesting ideas. Recently, I’ve have a dry-spell in that category. And coupled with an even more stifling inability to sit ...
More About: Report , Progress , 2008
A Drop in the Bucket
2008-05-21 19:54:00
raspberreh (ASA) A few years ago, my understanding of the state of the world and it’s need for change was rather pessimistic. I saw a great flood of things going wrong. That the dam that had been holding catastrophe back for decades was beginning to leak. At best, I thought, I could hope to plug a ...
More About: Drop
Vestigial Fear
2008-05-19 20:30:00
Fear is rightly synonymous with anxiety. Like anxiety, fear is essentially a feeling of discomfort or unease with a given situation. Dark alleys in dangerous neighborhoods are something of which I am fearful. They make me anxious. Such a fear is reasonable in the proper amount. And should my fear make me more aware of my ...
More About: Fear
OPW: Stephen Colbert?s Knox Commencement
2008-05-16 20:21:00
Since it’s that time of year, and I wanted to avoid another day like this, some word’s from Stephen Colbert ’s 2006 Address to the graduates of Knox College. But you seem nice enough, so I’ll try to give you some advice. First of all, when you go to apply for your first job, don’t wear these ...
More About: Stephen Colbert , Commencement
Review: Bloggingheads
2008-05-15 19:53:00
I’ve been faintly aware of for about 18 months, and a loyal “viewer” —  more on those quotation marks in a minute — for about six months. Bloggingheads is a talk show with little production value but constantly compelling guests. Most episodes are about an hour long from end-to-end and features little more than two heads presented side-by-side ...
More About: Review
Tomorrow, You?ll Be Dead
2008-05-14 20:17:00
It can seem like there are hundreds of them. Those little phrases that tell you that you should make the most of today. Like, “Eat drink and be merry for tomorrow we die.” Or “We’re only dancing on this earth for a short while.” Or “Live everyday as if it were your last.” Or “Tomorrow , ...
More About: Dead
Good, Necessary, and Just
2008-05-13 20:15:00
The wars about which there is the least dissent, both contemporary and historical, are those which are judged to have been good, necessary, and just. And though there can be extensive debate against how much any war fits any or all of these categories, it’s hard to doubt that a war that is seen as ...
More About: Good
OPW: Harry Chapin on Tiredness
2008-05-13 00:28:00
I recently stumbled upon a spoken track by the folk singer Harry Chapin called “My Grandfather,” and was pleasantly surprised by how much it resonated. My grandfather was a painter. He died at age 88. He illustrated Robert Frost’s first two books of poetry. And he was looking at me and he said, “Harry, there’s two ...
Review: The Story of Stuff
2008-05-09 20:04:00
Let me be clear from the outset: I think that The Story of Stuff , a web video starring Annie Leonard and aimed at raising awareness about the dangers of mindless consumption, is an admirable project with an even more admirable goal. And were I a few years younger I may have even felt it was ...
More About: Review , The Story
Every Nation is an Illusion
2008-05-08 19:28:00
Emiliag (ASA)
More About: Nation , Illusion
OPW: Assignment #1
2008-05-07 19:47:00
Today’s Other People’s Words was selected mostly because I’m a sucker for clever titles. It’s not that I don’t like Philip Burnham’s poem, it’s that I wouldn’t have payed attention if not for that title. Assignment #1: Write a poem about Baseball and God And on the ninth day, God In His infinite playfulness Grass green grass, sky blue ...
Necessarily Callous
2008-05-06 20:20:00
Current figures suggest that more than 22,000 perished in Myanmar (Burma) this weekend. Now the story seems to be the most consequential in the world. Yesterday’s figures suggested that more than 350 perished in Myanmar (Burma) this weekend. Then the story seemed like a regrettable natural disaster. There’s that old axiom, attributed to Josef Stalin, that “one ...
Consuming and Creating
2008-05-05 19:48:00
In school, Sunday’s the day where you have to make up for the procrastinating you did all weekend. Out of school, Sunday’s only the day where you recognize that you’ve done nothing all weekend. Surely this doesn’t hold true for everyone, but my weekends tend to naturally fill themselves with consumption of media. All the things ...
More About: Creating
In Defense of Voting on Character
2008-05-02 19:55:00
Public Domain Law making, like many things in life, is about compromise. But the problems with which politicians must deal are not always about compromise. Some things are too important and too urgent to be dealt with adequately through endless compromises with other politicians and the public at large. Sometimes, in the course of running a ...
More About: Defense , Character , Voting
A Review of this Review
2008-05-01 19:28:00
You could feel, almost as soon as you’d read the title, that this was one of those ideas that was going to be a little too clever for it’s own good. One of those things that at first brush sounds rather clever, but fizzles after about eight sentences when it shallowness becomes clear. Surely writing a ...
More About: Review
Some Days You Just Can?t Write Anything
2008-04-30 22:23:00
Today is one of those days.
More About: Write , Days
No Going Back
2008-04-29 19:16:00
Sometimes it hits. It’s rarely anticipated. That desire to feel that feeling you felt in the past. Maybe it was your first day of school, or your first kiss, or your first home run. Maybe it was that night when you did that thing, or that afternoon when you did that other thing. Maybe it ...
More About: Back
OPW: Reallocating Social Surplus
2008-04-28 20:29:00
Clay Shirky, author of Here Comes Everybody, has some very interesting ideas about how the internet’s changing society and why. So on today’s “Other People’s Words,” a selection from a recent speech he gave on the topic. Video of the speech is available, as is the full transcript. He begins by describing the role gin played ...
More About: Social , Surplus
Length and Strength
2008-04-25 19:23:00
If you’ll indulge me, I’m going to try something. I’ll present the same argument three different ways. I hope that by the end, you’ll understand why. First The length of an argument is directly proportional to it’s strength. Second Generally, the length of an argument is proportional to it’s strength. Barring excessively and pointlessly wordy arguments, five words are ...
How To Steal an Election
2008-04-24 18:46:00
There have been a number of recent attempt to steal elections. Of course not all have succeed, and probably, not all have been known. Though I don’t have much advice about how to keep your fixing from being known, I have some ideas about how you can succeed despite it being known. First, there are some ...
More About: Election , Steal
OPW: ?Snow, Aldo?
2008-04-23 19:25:00
Since it’s been warm outside recently (at least where I live), what better time is there for a poem about snow? This fun little poem, “Snow , Aldo ,” is by Kate DeCamillo. Once, I was in New York, in Central Park, and I saw an old man in a black overcoat walking a black dog. This was springtime and the trees ...
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