Is Facebook Making Us Bad at Our Jobs?

Some weeks ago we posted a piece about whether or not Facebook is making us stupid. To bring you up to speed: Of course it is. Now we’ve come across this bit of news from Australia: Twittering and watching YouTube videos makes workers more productive. Unless they’re reporters at the New York Times and crashing computers. … Read More

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Spanish 9-Year-Old Publishes Thok, the Vain Dragon [Literary Links]

Cut through the buzz around the Oxford Chair of Poetry position and hear a statement from Ruth Padel regarding her resignation [via Guardian]

I hope we can expect a sequel before Spanish author, Manuel Alguacil, reaches secondary school [via Telegraph]

Check out the latest in writing implements: the Swiss Writing Knife! [via … Read More

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The Death of Crunk:

Recession life ain’t easy. Harder than pimpin’, that’s for sure. But while reading this article on about the death of bling culture, I felt like I’d been hit with something harder than the tremendous anvils that have been slamming us all: slowing economic activity, useless credit, foreclosure, and unemployment. Rappers are turning to imitation… Read More

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Tights that Look Less Like Tights and More Like Chaps

Woody Allen probably wouldn’t even dress Soon-Yi Previn in American Apparel’s latest creation: “backless tights.” Why would you ever refer to tights as backless? No tights cover lady-backs (or man-backs). We read about the “Exciting New Style” via New York Magazine and then went in search of the primary source material. Unfortunately, Dov’s innovative creations weren’t posted on the website yet… but we’ve got the NSFW image after the jump for you to ogle. Or vomit it over. Whichever,… Read More

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Fan Rant: A Call for an Emily Haines Intervention

I’m one of those people who sometimes goes to the gym. Like everyone else, I get sucked into the many televisions strategically placed in front of the stationary bikes, elliptical machines, and treadmills. And what’s on? The same channel as always: mtvU. Insipid music videos stream steadily. However, there are news updates from ABC… which features the FOX news logo. Blargh. Sometimes you can’t help watching the changing colors and images with voyeuristic curiosity. TV on the Radio showed up one day this week. Their video for “Golden Age” is pretty mythological and psychedelic; I’d argue that the costumes are more stimulating than the song, though.

After their video, a blonde chick appeared on-screen. She was one of those girls who sing and dance up against a microphone stand. Keyboards were placed next to her; she touched them once near the end of the song. Initially, I thought it was Ashlee Simpson. Then Heidi Montag from The Hills. And then the band was identified as Metric. It was the video for their new single, “Gimme Shelter.” Whaaat? What happened to you Emily… Read More

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Is Facebook Making Us Stupid?

Last night over tea, a friend and I debated how many miles long the island of Manhattan is. I knew the answer: 13 and a half. He “knew” the answer: 26. What did we do? Well, we do what all people who don’t know/can’t remember a fact do. We went to the library. That’s not true. We went onto Wikipedia. The island of Manhattan is “13.4 miles long and 2.3 miles wide at its widest.” I was much closer than my friend. (I knew the answer because of an edition of Vice from a few years back: The Vice Guide to Girls. Writers had two girls strap on some mother-heels and walk the island of Manhattan. They did not make it far. They also took pictures of their feet throughout the trek. The photos were really quite disturbing. It’s why I wear flats.) … Read More

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Jane Lynch: My Comedic Hero

I don’t what it is about her. Jane Lynch is an uncanny, unrelenting character. I wish she were my aunt. I can easily envision her at annual family dinners making every single relation feel incredibly awkward by her seemingly passive and deliberate assertions. Grandma complains of the difficulty of getting from one place to another because of her aching, aging body. Aunt Jane shoots, “You think [that’s] hard? Try living with hepatitis. That’s hard.” … Read More

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What’s Up with Donovan’s “Mellow Yellow”? [Lyric Detective]

“They call me Mellow Yellow”  —  whether you heard this hook in a Cadbury’s commercial, a Gap ad, or your parents have been diehard Donovan fans since the ’60s, you’ve probably wondered what in the heck it means. Let’s ask James Joyce, shall we? Please turn to page 604 of Ulysses (at least it is my copy) Chapter 17, where Leopold Bloom’s wife gets the “mellow yellow” treatment: “He kissed the plump mellow yellow smellow melons of her rump, on each plump melonous hemisphere, in their mellow yellow furrow, with obscure prolonged provocative melonsmellonous osculation.” … Read More

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