September 26th, 2008

“Make it work!”: not just a catchphrase. It’s a philosophy.

Tim Gunn reveals his philosophy behind “Make it work!” in this Time Out interview:

Q: Do people make you say “Make it work” all the time?
Tim Gunn: More frequently they’ll ask me to say, “Where’s Andre?” or “What happened to Andre?” But people tend to shout at me, “Make it work!” It happened coming into this building.

Q: Do you sometimes wish that maybe you had a different phrase?
Tim Gunn: No! I love “make it work.” It’s so good in the classroom for my students. If something isn’t going well, students are always inclined to put it aside and start over again. And I maintain that you don’t really learn anything that way. If you can take something that isn’t working well, and you can wrestle with it, move it to a new level and have it succeed, you learn so much from that. My students can run back to the store and buy a different fabric or a different color, but the Project Runway designers are stuck. They really have to make it work, and I don’t believe in talking to them about things they can’t change. So you don’t hear me saying things like, “You can’t use this red fabric.” It’s more about, “How are you going to make this red fabric work?”

I like that philosophy.


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September 26th, 2008

Jesus saves his money at the Chase Manhattan Bank

(As goes the terribly blasphemous rugby song that I can’t seem to find a link to)… and now so do we. Like David, I’m wistful… I opened a WaMu account on my second or third day in town when I moved to Seattle back in 1999 and have always been 100% pleased with the customer service. Sad that it failed on the very date of its 119th anniversary. But the FDIC appears to have managed an awfully smooth transition… a run on the bank would have been really scary and much more damaging to the health and sanity of the market. We do have a lot of friends who work for WaMu and hope that their jobs are secure for as long as possible.

I suppose JP Morgan Chase is about as strong a bank as exists in these uncertain times, but I would have preferred Citi to have bought WaMu out… our Australian bank account is with Citi and at the rate things are going we might just need to make a transfer and cut our losses. Only, of course, if America goes all battered wife on us and re-elects the party that has given her 8 years of black eyes, red ink and moral bankruptcy. Here’s hoping Barack wins decisively against Grandpa Simpson tonight!


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September 25th, 2008

Why am I not freaked out?

Maybe it’s because I’ve been readying myself for the inevitable sci-fi movie misery that will result from the Large Hadron Collider starting up–the black holes, the tiny dragons, the fact that we can’t understand particle physics without smashing subatomic particles into each other–maybe that just puts everything in perspective. My bank just got taken over by the Fed. The economy is collapsing. A third of the world’s species are likely to become extinct in the next few years. The dumbest person in the country is a vice presidential nominee. The presidential campaign seems like a surreal clusterfuck of…well…things that oddly seem more unlikely than string theory.

So, we’re on the verge of handing over nearly a trillion dollars to a dude in our administration, which has an history of making monumentally stupid decisions, with no oversight, no process for appeal, no agreement that this is even a good idea, no idea whether this really even addresses the main problems in the economy… excuse me if I feel like we’re 37 minutes into an episode of House. Let’s start chemo, even though we don’t really think she’s got cancer, because, well, we’ve run out of other ideas. But of course we’ll figure it out by the end of the episode, right?

So maybe that’s why I’m not freaked out. Even though I know I should be. Even though Henry Paulson is clearly no Hugh Laurie. And I’m probably going to be homeless in a year when all this posturing plays out and the economy collapses and the tiny dragons release an EMP that destroys all electrical signals, thus rendering Microsoft useless and Jessica Alba a post-apocalyptic bike messenger…but for some reason I haven’t been able to internalize the peril yet. Or maybe I’m just inured by the last four years of increasing fear of iminent doom, which comes, just a bit less dramatically than a category 3 hurricane, and doesn’t seem as bad as the fear.

Oh, the heart is a bizarre muscle, ain’t she. The brain knows we’re screwed. The body can’t quite imagine life without prime time hospital soap operas. Or that life isn’t a prime time soap opera. Perhaps the Matrix is correcting itself? Or I need to stop watching so much television. Or watch more Dr. Who. Or just buy a lot more sci-fi books before I can’t afford them and stash as I’m on the run from the 21st century.

Do I sound paranoid to anyone?


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September 9th, 2008

Quantum Physicists Rap

I just think this is awesome.  Countering all the nonsense about the Large Hadron Collider spelling the the end of the universe, this song is both entertaining and informative:


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