been a subscriber to Wired Magazine for many,
many years but I'm starting to wonder why.
What began as an imaginatively-designed compendium
of all manner of tech-porn has slumped into
a restive middle age, resembling the old Sears
more and more with each passing issue. Its
stance towards novelty consumer goods used
combative edge but now it seems content to
simply grab its kankles and allow the advertisers
to dictate content with a vigorous circular
motion up its chrome-coated poop chute.
However, Harpers Magazine, which I've subscribed to for over
twenty years, never changes. Great stories, commentary, poetry,
and art. Month after
month. This month they even feature a cartoon by adorable
Kate "Hark! A Vagrant" Beaton.
One of the things I love about Harpers is the fiction found
in the back. Nearly every one of the stories end without final
resolution. It's a tribute to the imagination
And let's not forget the Index.
Ah, the Index. A monthly, easy-to-swallow list of the odd, the unusual
and the ironic. It's where I plagiarized the statistics about toilets
and cell phones found in today's comic. It's always good for a laugh,
a knowing smirk or a horrified gasp. This month's Index also included
the following gems:
Average government expenditures since 2005 for military research and
Average government expenditure in the same period for energy R&D:
Percentage of 16-17 years olds who admit to text-messaging
while driving: 34
Percentage of adults: 47
Number of states whose pension plans were fully funded in 2000: 26
Number today: 3
And so on.
Magazines are dying left and right as a result of the digital steamroller
and there are a lot I won't miss after they're gone, but here's to Harpers.
Long may they wave. Check it out.
Today's comic: In case you're feeling a trifle smug
about the modestly doctrinaire information offered in today's comic I
did a quick check and it seems that in the early days of the
outnumbered bathtubs in this country. Phones outnumbered toilets, too,
as indoor plumbing didn't really catch on until the 30s.
If it makes you feel any better, according to current data everyone in America
has on average one cell phone and one toilet. That seems like enough.
In researching this information I learned that public restrooms in certain parts
of the world are lit using blue lights. This makes it hard for drug addicts to
find a vein. Clever.
Oh, and while searching Google for "number of toilets in America by year" one
of the top results was "What is the total number of lawyers in the US".
Oh, Google. You wag.