Since our brains are really overhyped pattern-recognition devices, our species has a tendency to see significance where perhaps there is none. Like when you buy a new car then suddenly, it seems, the same make and model is everywhere – as if your particular purchase somehow unleashed the others from the Guf. You’re like the first Japanese macaque to wash a potato – now they all do it. You’re a trendsetter – or your witnessing a frequency illusion also known by the rather sinister-sounding (or at least extremely German) name Baader-Meinhof Phenomenon. [click here to continue…]
Last Thursday, we marked the official launch of poet Lisa Summers’ Star Thistle & Other Poems with a wine and music drenched reading at the Epicurean Connection in Sonoma, CA. The evening was a capacity-crowd -smash (and I was smashed as well). Fortunately, I had already prepared the affectionate toast-n-roast below…
The late French publisher Maurice Girodias had a bold approach when marketing his line of smutty books. He would list provocative titles in a catalog, then hire writers to write them once a title was actually ordered. And he had a crack team of hacks on-call that included expatriate writers Henry Miller, William Burroughs and other names that eventually became big.
And the titles rocked. Among them:
The Convent of Satan; A Flutter of Lashes; Chariot of Flesh; Dr. Onan; Classical Hindu Erotology and one simply titled White Thighs. But pronounced with a Z, I bet. The best title, however, was on a book by someone called Greta X about five women, or more specifically, ”four sadists and one nymphomaniac,” on a sex spree across Europe. [click here to continue…]
If you, people of the world, don’t already know, permit me to inform you that today is World Information Day. This is the annual acknowledgement of worldly information first observed in 2006 by the International Telecommunication Union, a specialized agency of the United Nations.
So, why haven’t you heard about it until now? Like many specialized international agencies (S.P.E.C.T.R.E. comes to mind), sometimes information is hard to come by.
When trying to fix this, I enjoyed a brief correspondence with Sanjay Acharya, the ITU’s chief of “media relations and public information,” who directed my request for a quote to a four-and-a-half minute YouTube video of ITU Secretary-General, Dr. Hamadoun I. Touré. Well-played, Sanjay, but if I were going to quote a YouTube video, it would probably be something a little more viral than Dr. Touré’s monotonic admonition not to text and drive. Though a worthy sentiment, the doctor should also warn drivers not to watch his video lest they fall asleep at the wheel. [click here to continue…]