Wednesday, July 25, 2007

More odds and ends.

A big "Thank you!" to Louise Crawford for posting on Only the Blog Knows Brooklyn her nice words about, and link to, my Fred Exley piece. (Louise, this isn't the P.S. I promised. That will come in the next few days, as we transplanted Appalachian hillbillies say, "Good Lord willin' and the cricks don't rise.")

Sidebar on Larry Tribe: I mentioned the eminence grise of Harvard Law School in the "Guns" portion of the previous Odds and ends. Frayfriend Persephone replied (scroll down to the fourth comment) with the lyrics to a parody song performed by the HLS Drama Society. On reading this, I was reminded of having seen something a couple of years ago about Tribe being accused of plagiarism (a subject about which another Harvard faculty member wrote this song). A little Google research showed that the Drama Society had retracted the song after Professor Tribe complained that it did not reflect the facts. Reading further in the Drama Society blog piece, I discovered a link to this web page, which I assumed to be another parody written by a clever student. I was flat-out amazed when further reading showed it was Tribe's own creation. It strikes me kind of like Rupert Holmes' execrable "Pina Colada Song" (more about that later) fortified with a shot of Arthur C. Clarke and a dash of Janet Evanovich. Particularly mind-boggling is his apparent conflation of an Edith Wharton protagonist with a Mansonette who wasn't involved in the Sharon Tate murders but later may have tried to assassinate President Ford. To paraphrase Horace, even Homer nods; still, this seems more like an episode of narcolepsy.

Watch out, Wellfleet! College Point, Queens is breathing down your neck. Thanks to Tom of NYC Maritime for linking to Greg Beyer's Times piece about the Electric Oyster Experiment, in which scientists are trying, with apparent success, to create oyster beds in the East River (a misnomer; it's actually a tidal strait), where none have existed for many years. Their technique is to place metal racks in water and run an electric charge through them, which stimulates the growth of limestone on the metal. Seed oysters imported from Long Island Sound are then planted on the limestone, where they thrive. The racks are by Brooklyn sculptor Mara Haseltine, who makes them in the shape of DNA molecules.

Good earworm of the day: "Driving the View," by Son Volt. You can hear a sample here, but you'll need to have or download Rhapsody. Anthemic chord progressions; inscrutable lyrics. What more couldja want?

Bad earworm of the day: "Escape (the Pina Colada Song)," by Rupert Holmes. I was subjected to this on the car radio somewhere between Sturbridge and Hartford. If you're into masochism (not yoga), you can hear an especially cheesy instrumental version here. Be warned: I'm not responsible for any consequences.