Playing the Building

by Jon Mandle on July 23, 2008

David Byrne – you might have heard of his old band – has an installation at the Battery Maritime Building in New York called Playing the Building. Basically, he placed an old organ keyboard in the middle of a big room and rigged it up so that each key makes noise by banging, blowing, or grinding some part of the building. It’s a great effect and a lot of fun to play. When I was there, Saturday afternoon, there was only a 15 minute or so wait to play it, and everyone was in good spirits and having fun. The building itself is in poor shape and you need to sign a release form to enter. Probably not worth a trip to NY by itself, but if you’re already there, stop by and have some fun making noise.

Minority Pre-Tort

by John Holbo on July 23, 2008

“Mr. Marks, by mandate of the District of Columbia Prepardon Division, I’m placing you under acquittal for the future murder of Sarah Marks and Donald Dubin that was to take place today, April 22 at 0800 hours and four minutes.”

I like the way in which, thanks to Bush, Republican government inevitably entangles us in serious moral dilemmas: “Wait—can a president really pardon someone who hasn’t even been charged with a crime?”

And you thought that Republican science fiction was all about Intelligent Design.

UPDATE: In my defense, I didn’t really think this could work. I just wanted to call the post that.

24/7 Solar Madness

by Kieran Healy on July 23, 2008

Via Jim Lindgren at Volokh, some article from the Rocky Mountain News about Al Gore’s recent call for the U.S. to be fully running on renewable energy within a decade. The piece itself is hackery (though it does deftly compare Gore to Chairman Mao) but contains the following gem:

Stanley Lewandowski, the general manager of the Intermountain Rural Electric Association, is one of the few utility officials willing to suggest that the prophet of global warming is strutting about like an emperor without his clothes. “Al Gore’s statement of obtaining 100 percent of our power from renewables in 10 years has as much a chance of happening as the sun shining 24 hours a day,” Lewandowski quipped. “It’s nonsense.”


Seriously, Beware Finland

by Kieran Healy on July 23, 2008

Beware Finland” jokes Matt Yglesias in a post about education policy. But, frankly, this is good geopolitical advice. Just ask the Soviets. Or consider the following statistics.

I’d watch out for them, if I were you.