Sunday Burst of Weirdness Linkage

I don’t have much by way of weirdness for this week, but I do have some linkage to offload at clearance prices, so here we go!

:: The “Cultural Anniversary” thing is gearing up for the 40th Anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing, but there’s a mildly-less-important 30th anniversary today, an anniversary that marked a major shift in pop culture history. Thirty years have passed since Disco Demolition Night.

:: One of the niche sports you don’t hear much about at all, even at Olympic time, is kayaking. You certainly never hear about Extreme Kayaking. To that end, here’s an article about Extreme Kayaking. What is extreme kayaking? It’s doing things like kayaking over waterfalls — some up to 100 feet in height. (To envision a 100-foot waterfall, the American Falls at Niagara vary between 70 and 100 feet from brink to the pile of rocks at the bottom. The Horseshoe Falls, by comparison, are more than 170 feet high.) I used to do a bit of kayaking, in my youth, but I never came near to being proficient enough to run any kind of waterfall, and the largest waterfall I ever saw that people would occasionally run was the Ohiopyle Falls on the Youghiogheny River in Pennsylvania. Those falls tower at eighteen feet in height, and even at that, I remember looking at them and wondering how on Earth any paddler could run them. Running a fall that’s half the height of Niagara? The mind reels!

(This also reminds me that I have an unfinished short story about a pair of kayakers that I should finish one of these days, just as soon as I figure out how to end it.)

:: James Wolcott surveys one implication of the proliferation of digital media: that our media will become more and more private.

In the same car is another, older woman—do men not read anymore? (Seinfeld’s Jerry, defensively: “I read.” Elaine: “Books, Jerry”)—holding up a Kindle at an angle to catch the light. Unless you were an elf camped on her shoulder, what she was reading was hoarded from view, an anonymous block of pixels on a screen, making it impossible to identify its content and to surmise the state of her inner being, erotic proclivities, and intellectual caliber. She might be reading Alice Munro, patron saint of short-story writers, or some James Patterson sack of chicken feed—how dare she disguise her download from our prying eyes! And reading an e-book on an iPhone, that’s truly unsporting. It goes the other way as well. How can I impress strangers with the gem-like flame of my literary passion if it’s a digital slate I’m carrying around, trying not to get it all thumbprinty?

I love it when people notice the cover of a book I’m reading and either comment on it or ask about it; likewise, I tend to be one of those people who will crane my neck to see what someone nearby is reading, on the off chance that it’s something I know well and love. “Oh my!” I’d say. “Isn’t that Locke Lamora a scream?” Or something like that. Oh well.

:: I’ve been meaning to link this for a few weeks but keep forgetting. The annual Bulwer-Lytton contest happened recently, honoring bad writing in the name of Edward Bulwer-Lytton, a writer once prized but who is now seen as the poster child for overly purple prose. Jess Nevins makes the case that Bulwer-Lytton’s negative legacy is unfair, and he makes his case pretty convincingly. (Not that I’d know, having never read Bulwer-Lytton.)

:: Huzzah! I finally managed to break through and win an installment of Becca’s weekly movie quotes/pics quiz.

Of course, my win this week wasn’t so much a function of me knowing more than her other readers, but my being in the right place at the right time. Her quizzes operate on a “who answers right first wins” plan, so if you happen to get there an hour after the quiz has been posted, you’re almost certain to join the party after all the queries have been answered. This time, though, I was first. Yay, me! (One time I got there when no one else had commented, but in the course of typing in my responses in her comments thread, someone else managed to type faster than me and get their answer in first. Aieee!!! But this time I was first, fair and square.

:: I don’t know anything about the Green Lantern, so do any of my readers have an opinion on Ryan Reynolds as Green Lantern? I’ve only seen Reynolds in one thing — the romantic comedy Definitely Maybe, in which I liked him while not finding him especially charismatic — so I have no real opinion here.

:: Lard! Whiskey! Sexy! (I may have linked this before, but as I did not delete the bookmark if I did, here it is again.)

And with that I should be able to clean out my bookmarks a bit.

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One Response to Sunday Burst of Weirdness Linkage

  1. Geoff Valentine says:

    Re: Becca's movie quiz.

    That's exactly what happened to me this time. I got there and there wasn't a comment to be seen. I said to myself, "Oh, boy! I know a bunch of these," and started typing away. When I posted my comment, there yours was, taunting mine from its lofty perch. Well played, sir!

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