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  • News of the Weird: Norway's Battle Against Chaos

    News of the Weird: Norway's Battle Against Chaos
    Norwegian public television (NRK), which introduced the now-legendary continuous, live log-burning show (12 hours long, with “color commentary” on the historical and cultural importance of fire), scheduled a new program for this week in its appeal to serenity (labeled “Slow TV”). On Nov. 1, NRK was to televise live, for five hours, an attempt to break the world record for producing a sweater, from shearing the sheep to spinning the wool and knitting the garment (current record: 4:51, by Australians). (In addition to the log, NRK viewers have been treated to live cams on a salmon-fishing boat and, for five days, on a cruise ship.) Said an NRK journalist, “You would think it's boring television, but we have quite good ratings for these programs.”
  • Looking for a lifetime guarantee on memories

    Looking for a lifetime guarantee on memories
    A few days before our recent wedding, my now-husband and I sat with a dear friend, a newly Internet-ordained minister, to nail down a few details. "The most beautiful thing," he told us, "is that, of everyone there, your kids will have the longest...

    Obama in wonderland

    "Why, sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast." The White Queen, "Alice in Wonderland" The more President Obama talks about the supposed joys of his Affordable Health Care law, the more he resembles a political Mad...

    Should presidents stop pardoning turkeys?

    Should presidents stop pardoning turkeys?
    A tradition -- the president pardoning turkeys from certain death just before Thanksgiving -- has come in for an unusual amount of criticism this year. A Slate.com writer suggests President Obama pardon real people instead of (or in addition to) turkeys....

    Give Congress a pay raise!

    Oh. Have I got your attention now? (Apologies to Alec Baldwin in Glengarry Glen Ross.) This may be a case of the worst timing ever, but the question of whether Congress is underpaid actually is on the table right now. You can thank tin-eared...