End Oct. 23 Column

Lasusa Links, Dern remembers, MIT's Core, Dan Grobstein File

Tom Lasusa surfs the net so you don't have to: 30 Second Bunny Theatre presents "Fight Club"Agatha Christie's temporary disappearance solved?Hmm, Maybe the Stingrays ARE trying to take us down.Psychology of rumorsNot It! Mass. Elementary School Bans TagData-center built into a shipping containerNo-Fly lists even dumber than suspected… (Currently listed as a threat: Francois Genoud, Nazi
sympathizer and financier of Arab terrorism. Dead for ten years)… Forget Shrimp on the Barbie -- try Shrimp on a TreadmillWhatever happened to the TV Show Theme Song?


Apropos of my annual anniversary column, Daniel Dern noted that I wrote… "I don't believe anyone who reads this column except Peter Peckarsky would remember the original P.S. A Column On Things..." Dern replied:

Now that you jog my memory, I b'lieve I do. If I can remember Ken Skier's column in Thursday, esp. when I was his editor, I should be able to remember your col.

I stand corrected, and will try to remember to write it correctly next year. Dern also found Death of a Pumpkin, from the guys who brought you "Chad Vader."

Another fellow alum notes that MIT is probably going to make some big changes to the core curriculum.

Dan Grobstein File

To say Daniel enjoyed the New Yorker festival this year would be an understatement:

I've been meaning to tell you about the fun I had at the New Yorker Festival this year. I set a personal record in the number of talks that I attended. Coincidentally I saw three of the five events for which the New Yorker has just posted videos on their website.


I saw the Islam and the West (Omar Ahmad, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Mahmood Mamdani, Azar Nafisi, Abdullahi Ahmed An-Na’im, and Lawrence Wright. George Packer, moderator) panel discussion on Friday night. The Justice Breyer on Saturday and the Malcolm Gladwell on Sunday. I tried to get tickets for the Steve Martin/Roz Chast talk but couldn't even get to the page in Ticketmaster. I tried for this and the Jon Stewart talk first by using two computers at work on the T1 line but had no luck.

I started out Saturday with a panel discussion about Global Warming with James Hansen, Martin Hoffert, Robert Socolow, and Timothy E. Wirth moderated by Elizabeth Kolbert.

I then went off to the TV, Movies, and the Mob discussion with Lorraine Bracco, Paul Haggis, Harold Ramis, Gerald Shargel and Frank Vincent, moderated by Jeffrey Goldberg.

Then Liev Schreiber interviewed by John Lahr.

Jeffrey Toobin interviewed Stephen Breyer, though Justice Breyer really took over the interview. He used to be a professor and it shows.

My last show was Randy Newman's conversation with music with Susan Morrison.

It was a long day. The first talk was 10 a.m. and the last one was 10 p.m.

On Sunday I saw Malcolm Gladwell who didn't actually talk about the case for secrets. He told the story that was in last week's New Yorker about software that tries to predict hits. He said that they asked him for the topic months ago.

Earlier in the week I went to the Harper's Magazine forum "Should the US Get Out of Iraq" with George McGovern, John Murtha, William Polk, James Jay Carafano and Salameh Nematt, moderated by Brian Lehrer of WNYC radio.


And on Sunday night my son and I went to the Comedy Central broadcast of the Autism benefit at the Beacon Theatre hosted by Jon Stewart with lots of comedians. Some very funny stuff though they did some stuff on the tv screen interacting with Jon Stewart and not in person. Jerry Seinfeld showed up unannounced. We were in the upper balcony. I'm glad that I brought my binoculars. Interestingly, they wanded us all as we came in.

All in all a very good week. The New Yorker weekend was sensory overload but I really enjoyed it.