nov 4

mixing tapes

 I have my feelers out there to find out more about this tidbit from the latest Ansible:

China Miéville has the inside story: "My supervisor, an expert in the Middle East, told me about a rumour circulating about the name of Bin Laden's network. The term Al-Qaeda seems to have no political precedent in Arabic, and has therefore been something of a conundrum to the experts, until someone pointed out that a very popular book in the Arab world, Arabs apparently being big readers of translated sf, is Asimov's Foundation, the title of which is translated as "Al-Qaeda." Unlikely as it sounds, this is the only theory anyone can come up with."

 Michaelangelo Matos, whose work I've followed in City Pages and Seattle Weekly, has a new online project: The Mix Project. For a year, he'll choose one song per day to write 500 words about. He admits there's nothing terribly unique about this idea, but his mixedtapes are probably better (or at least more evocative) than most.

 ArtForum asked smarties to recommend books in the post-WTC world. (Homi K. Bhabha picks Wittgenstein; Avital Ronell, Derrida and Rilke; Andrew Ross, the WPA Guide to New York City.)

 The Times has a theory about How The Simpsons Survives.

 BBC had a cool Afghanistan Who's Who.

 Witty twist on "porn star name game" over at McSweeney's. "Take your middle name as your first name. Take your mother's maiden name as your last name. That's your Romance Novelist name."

 Journalists are funny. (I think I can say that since I still sorta am one.) Poynter has a forum called "Songs for Writers" where people talk about music to write to. I never knew my colleagues were so tasteless.

 I think all websites should be as helpful as

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