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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.”
  • Humpty Dumpty, right; Dr. Johnson, wrong

    You know the passage: There's glory for you!' 'I don't know what you mean by "glory",' Alice said. Humpty Dumpty smiled contemptuously. 'Of course you don't — till I tell you. I meant "there's a nice knock-down argument for you!"' 'But...

    Give Congress a pay raise!

    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...

    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...

    10 things you might not know about immigration

    One of the biggest issues looming when Congress returns from its holiday break is immigration reform. In honor of our nation built by immigrants, we give you our rich, well-sourced and huddled mass of facts yearning to breathe free: 1. A staggering...