Sunday, June 05, 2011

[Good Links] Top Grade Linkage

Top Grade Linkage: A quick round up of some good reading and miscellaneous nonsense:
  • The story of a master thief.
    Blanchard almost overshot the castle, slowing himself just enough by skidding along a pitched gable. Sliding down the tiles, arms and legs flailing for a grip, Blanchard managed to save himself from falling four stories by grabbing a railing at the roof's edge...The real trick was ensuring that the spring-loaded mechanism the [gem] was sitting on didn't register that the weight above it had changed. Of course, he had that covered, too: He reached into his pocket and deftly replaced Elisabeth's bejeweled hairpin with the gift-store fake.
    I would have thought such people only existed on TV shows.

  • I recently had a problem with ants living in some rotted wood siding. I'm guessing they were some innocuous breed and not Argentinean Ants or I would be in real trouble.
    I have found ants in my underwear. Lots of them, which I didn't find until I put the underwear on. As a person who has had ants in his underwear, however, I have to say that what makes their presence particularly irksome is not the momentary discomfort but rather the knowledge of why they're there. They're not just passing through, you see, on their way to somewhere else. They're not in your underwear by accident. They're nation-building. They're extending the range of their civilization, and they're doing it in your drawers.

  • An actual night club bill from Vegas. Nearly $200,000 for a night in Tryst, a night club at Wynn. Nearly 150 large in champagne. Nearly $200 for Fiji water. Note the tip. Actually tips, plural. $29581 gratuity. Then another $29581 under "other tip". Then of course, there's the gratuity line so you can fill in more. Ah, Vegas...

  • The market is a cruel a mistress for the writer.
    Mr. Grossman, who has been compared to both J.K. Rowling and Jay McInerney, tried his hand at literary fiction before turning to fantasy. He says supernatural fiction is fast becoming a dominant strain of contemporary literature. 'We are the mainstream,' he says. 'Literary fiction is a subculture.'
    Time for me to put some vampires or zombies in my stuff, I guess. Actually this is not all that new. Literature has always had a supernatural bent: Gods in greek theatre, horrors of Hell in Dante, witches and ghosts in Shakespeare, etc. Fiction is lies, after all.

  • Robin Hanson discusses how irrational bike helmet regulations are from a safety perspective. Actually, he's commenting on the nature of status as it relates to safety regulations. But bike helmets, as you know, are one of my personal hobby horses. I'm in favor of a world where riding without a helmet is a source of glory.

  • Paul Theroux is always interesting on travel. His upcoming Tao of Travel will likely be a must.