Miscellaneous Items

–My friend Colin R. recently launched a New York-based software development firm called Cyrus Innovation. If Cyrus’s excellent site is any indication of the work they do, then they clearly produce user-centered, high-quality stuff.

–I mentioned Richard Ford in my last post. He’s a writer I’ve begun reading recently. And man, is he good. I can’t believe I’ve been missing out on his work all these years. “The Sportswriter” is a brilliant book. Ford captures, better than anyone else writing today, what it is to be an American man. And I mean that. Here’s a profile of Ford, and here’s a link to “The Sportswriter.” I now put Ford on the list of my favorite writers, right up there with Truman Capote, Joan Didion, and Flannery O’Connor.

–The Chronicle of Higher Education is running a funny article about how some academics and publishers want to banish the colon from book titles. Someone once said that the problem with academia is that professors get paid to be clever–not to be right. (Related: Check out the Postmodern English Title Generator, which, I must point out, makes ample use of the colon.)

–Tom Friedman says 9-11 “amounts to World War III” and lays out some ways to ensure that Islamic militants can’t “erode our lifestyle.” I’m waiting for the day when Friedman, who’s so good at explaining big-picture stuff like globalization and terrorism, says he was wrong to advocate the Iraq war as an effective way to make America safer. I guess we won’t know for a while either way, though.

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