Some Things I Set Aside to Share
Head Shaving as a Form of Solidarity. Senator Arlen Specter was on NPR's Diane Rehm show some weeks ago, talking about his bout with cancer with the fill-in host, USA Today's Susan Page. He noted that at one point, he lost all of his hair, and his colleague, Sen. John Sununu, shaved his hair in sympathy.
Golden Arches Coffee Wins. Whenever I stop at a Starbucks, it's only to purchase a copy of the New York Times. I wouldn't pay for the designer coffee, which in addition to being overpriced, is really awful stuff. So I was pleased (if not altogether surprised) to learn recently that Consumer Reports last year ranked their coffee below that served by McDonald's. I think any real coffee drinker could have told them that.
No Ghosts Here. I think one of the too-infrequently-mentioned reasons why Barack Obama remains a favorite of the national media is the fact that he wrote what's said to be a pretty good book, and he didn't need the obligatory ghostwriter to do it. Not long ago on NPR, Slate editor Jacob Weisberg argued that the candidate's first book "is so good it's almost like he was a writer turned politician." On the other hand, the Washington Post's Ruth Marcus said of Hillary's autobiography that there are "long stretches where it sounds like a bad travel writer who's being paid by the word." Ouch.
Great Use of Metaphor. Not long ago, I linked to a great Wall Street Journal piece that I thought did the best at explaining the real stakes of the subprime fiasco. In an interview published in the New York Times Magazine a couple weeks ago, former Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill offered by far the pithiest explanation of the crisis. Asked how these subprime mortgages could spark a global crisis, he responded: "If you have 10 bottles of water, and one bottle had poison in it, and you didn't know which one, you probably wouldn't drink out of any of the 10 bottles; that's basically what we've got here."
He's Only Too Happy to Service Seniors. Finally, we couldn't help but bring you a quick outtake from a cover interview in the March/April AARP Magazine, with Hollywood bad boy Jack Nicholson. Asked if he would date a woman of AARP age (50 and over), he had this piquant reply: "Well, yes--I'd do everything to a woman of AARP age, and have."