Monthly Archives: May 2007

The Grifters

I just finished The Grifters by Jim Thompson, one of the best hard-boiled crime dramas I’ve ever read. Told entirely in the first person, it’s the dark and evil story of crooks, marks and no innocence whatsoever. Notable in it’s absence is any objective description (well, there’s almost none). Almost no “it was raining”, “the night was cloudy”, etc. Lots of impressions, feelings and lies, but no independent reality.

Highly recommended.

A retort I didn’t say

While I was in Borders today I overheard someone say “I wish they’d just get what they have right instead of coming out with something new”. I think she was talking about Microsoft Vista. I thought, “That’s what they’re doing, they’re just adding a new skin and saying it’s new.” The the “fixed” features create other problems because that’s just the way technology works.

Willful blindness in the media

I read the headline of this CNN.com article Ohio lethal injection takes 2 hours, 10 tries and was thinking how tough that guy must be, after all, 10 tries! Then I read

Death penalty opponents called on the state to halt executions after prison staff struggled to find suitable veins on a condemned man’s arm to deliver the lethal chemicals.

The execution team stuck Christopher Newton at least 10 times with needles Thursday to insert the shunts where the chemicals are injected.

Officials said the delay was due to Newton’s size — he weighed 265 pounds. In May 2006, the execution of Joseph Lewis Clark was delayed about 90 minutes because the team could not find a suitable vein. He was a longtime intravenous drug user.

This is ridiculous. Not being able to find veins is quite common in any hospital, nursing home, or drug den. After a prolonged period of being jabbed with needles the veins (quite sensibly) appear to retreat and get much harder to find. A high percentage of body fat will makes it hard as well. It’s not like this guy withstood the lethal dose ten times or anything.

This is why everyone should read The Corner.

The wheel turns full circle

Feminists arguing that adult women shouldn’t be allowed to make decisions on what to do with their bodies. In this case raising the age of consent to appear on Girls Gone Wild videos from 18 to 21. Oddly, the author supports her argument by pointing out the many lawsuits filed against GGW producers by people who did not consent to be photographed/videotaped. It’s a bit like saying Iraq is a horrible disaster, therefore we need to invade Iran.

I suppose the right of women to control their bodies only applies below the waist.

Random Thursday links

A needed innovation

Last night I spent about seven hours trying to get a particular Microsoft web product to work, only to discover at the end of a long search that you simply couldn’t make it work that way. I was trying to update the error message dynamically and have it appear in the VCE

It would be quite handy to have a list of things that a product CAN’T do, it would save so much time trying to prove negatives. Perhaps that should be a new site idea.