On invading Russia

It’s a singular fact of the Great Conflict against Russia that no one — certainly no one on the Allied side — had any clear idea of how to go about it. You will think that’s one of these smart remarks, but it’s not; I was as close to the conduct of the war in ‘54 as anyone, and I can tell you truthfully that the official view of the whole thing was:

"Well here we are, the French and ourselves, at war with Russia, in order to protect Turkey. Ve-ry good. What shall we do, then? Better attack Russia, eh? H’m, yes. (Pause). Big place, ain’t it?"

Flashman at the Charge

We got some new publishing equipment delivered to the newsroom this week. Can’t wait to fire it up.

We got some new publishing equipment delivered to the newsroom this week. Can’t wait to fire it up.


Here’s a bunch of stuff that made my life better this year that I think a wide range of other people would like, too. It’s all $5-$25, so great for stocking stuffers or people on a budget.

Parquet Courts, Light Up Gold - Loud, obnoxious punk. Best played loud. $16 on vinyl.


The speed of light compared to the fastest objects known to humanity. Also see what happens on Earth in a single second. 


The speed of light compared to the fastest objects known to humanity. Also see what happens on Earth in a single second

(Source: )

The definitive Web 1.0 Nostalgia Top Ten

Jennicam. Mahir Çağrı. CIndy Margolis. The Trojan Room coffee pot. Admit it — things were better when all there was to the web was Web 1.0.

And so, following the rule that the rate of nostalgia-mongering increases proportionally to the square of technological change, herewith are the definitive top ten Web 1.0 moments. 

10. Gawker wanted nothing more than to be Suck.com. We loved it especially for that one picture. You know the one. "A fish, a barrel, and a smoking gun". Damn straight.

9. Before there was the Browser and Brainpicker, there was the Arts and Letters Daily, the first great middle-brow aggregator. It’s still going, but it hasn’t been the same since its founder, philosopher Dennis Dutton, died too soon.  

8. The Visual Thesaurus. They’ve ruined it now, but when it first launched it was magnificent. Search any word and see its relationships to the rest the language mapped out in a dancing, playful semantic web. Absolutely mesmerizing. 

7. Hot Chicks with Douchebags. There’s not much to it. Pictures of hot chicks with douchebags, with extended captions written like prose poems from the gutter. The founder was a graduate student in literature, naturally. 

6. The precursor to College Humor and Funny or Die, Brunching Shuttlecocks was one of the first great humour sites. Your roommate plays the Indigo Girls

5. The Best Page in the Universe. It’s still going, and it still has that appalling design. And he’s an asshole. But lord Maddox is funny. So, so funny. 

4. If there was ever a site that was too smart for its time, it was Fametracker, the “Farmer’s Almanac of Celebrity Worth.” Along with its sister site, Television Without Pity, Fametracker was run by Adam Sternbergh and Tara Ariano. I wish it were still up just so I could link to the Fame Audit of William Shatner, one of the greatest short hits on celebrity ever written. 

3. They had a website. They had a plan. Generals Jenny and Claire even had T-shirts promoting their goal of Canada World Domination.  I interviewed one of them, sort of, by email. We all had crushes on them, back when I was part of the gang running This Magazine in Toronto. 

2. You can do anything at Zombo.com. The only limit is yourself. 

1. Sometimes, the culture is poorer because people aren’t willing to sell out. What could we have had, if the brothers Chaps had been less interested in just amusing themselves, and more interested in making more lucre? I suppose what we have is plenty enough: Halloween cartoons, Sbemail, Marzipan’s answering machine. At the core of it all was Homestar, a lisping, moronic, fantastically endearing cartoon knockoff of a Japanese popsicle. Everybody! Everybody!

"Och — a ned shat doon the chimney," or, why I want to work for a tabloid.

"Och — a ned shat doon the chimney," or, why I want to work for a tabloid.

Tags: tabloids


WOOT CANADA EXPANSION: Launching today, welcome Eater Toronto • Curbed Toronto • Eater Vancouver • Curbed Vancouver • Eater Montreal. 


WOOT CANADA EXPANSION: Launching today, welcome Eater TorontoCurbed TorontoEater VancouverCurbed VancouverEater Montreal

1971 was a different planet

I work in the newsroom at the Ottawa Citizen. A member of the maintenance staff who has been there for ages has this amazing archive of print journalism going back decades. The other day he brought in a copy the Toronto Telegram’s TV guide from 1971.

Here is the cover:

Fashion-wise, this could be the cover of the next issue of The Brooklyn Times. But here’s the inside page:

This is clearly some sort of Page-Three-Girl prototype. Note that Diane Derry has a “wide range of spare time activities” that involve sewing, singing, acting and gymnastics.

Oh, and in the future, she “hopes to work helping mentally retarded children.”

Nietzsche, le philosophe de l’anticonformisme

Nietzsche, le philosophe de l’anticonformisme

A message from the Queen, via her Chinese publicist

 I get about one of these a week. Usually from Obama, but occasionally from the Queen. Authentic? Hard to say. 

 From: chang19710819@sina.cn [mailto:chang19710819@sina.cn 


 India, in March 2013 the newly revised Criminal Law, apply to this all occurred before the rape and gang rape and violence causing death.

Please Indian government strictly in accordance with national law have occurred black bus gang rape and violence caused the victim’s death case to trial according to law, have occurred more than gang rape and rape trial according to law, must be punished criminals, and according to law, victims and their family economic and spiritual compensation.

India’s government in accordance with national laws, please investigate black bus earlier criminal suspect the real cause of death in the prison, and the results made public.

Please the government strictly in accordance with state laws, follow the principle of equality between men and women, in accordance with the law, safeguard the legitimate rights and interests of women and children, in accordance with the law, the protection of women and children are not violated, in accordance with the law to ensure the safety of women and children.

The government of India must be in strict accordance with the implementation of the declaration, otherwise it will punish with due severity.