The Pope’s Balls, Nagel’s Bats, Barthes, Baldwin, and other pleasures

I’ve been head-down on a complicated piece of writing this week; an enormous pleasure, but it steals you away. Forgive the quiet. Below is what broke through.

The week’s upper-deck shot was hit by Joe Posnanski:

In the car that day, I finally figured it out … finally figured out what kept Dad going through all those long, dull, painful, agonizing days at the factory. He didn’t say it. I didn’t say it either.

And Joe Posnanski is smart enough to not say it here. Instead he plants it and lets it grow inside you. When I got this the other day, I  read it all before breakfast and thought about it all day. Work, love, family, and Bruce Springsteen’s ‘The Promise’. Wonderful. Via @taylordobbs and Hugh Willett.

The other hits:

Penis Spines, Pearly Papules, and Pope Benedict’s Balls. This post by Eric Johnson is so entertaining that it’s easy to miss that it’s great post-publication peer review.

“‘Librarians are the boots on the ground,‘ Grimes told me. ‘We don’t care what the tech is, we care about what the user actually needs. That’s our mandate.'” Great stuff from SXSW, via AtlanticTech.

Hollywood career advice from Alec Baldwin. One of the few good things to come out of the Sheen shining.

“Writing is not only a technical activity, it is also a bodily practice of jouissance.” One more reason to love Roland Barthes.

What is it like to get hit by a bat? David Brooks just learned. He learned from Thomas Nagel, who once penned a seminal essay on consciousness called What is it like to be a bat, and last week took a swing at Brooks’s pop-neuro book.

Older elephants know the best anti-lion moves With some great vid. From Ed Yong

Why do some people cling desperately to the  Twisted Psychology of Bloggers vs. Journalists?. Jay Rosen explains.

The Strange Case of Josef Oehmen | Genius Now This is the guy who wasn’t worried about the Japanese nuclear reactors. I’m thinking he’s got plenty to worry about now.


Image: Mickey Mantle, courtesy NY Daily News. In one of his bios, Mantle said that every time he swung, he swung as hard as he could; he wanted to hit it 700 feet. He almost did, yet he still hit .298 lifetime. Man wasn’t human — except when he faced Koufax.

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