There is nothing like Playboy and there never will be again. When Hef founded it in 1953, men’s magazines contained grainy black and white pictures of semi-naked strippers and articles in which men conquered wild animals and bad guys. Sex was shameful. The word smut comes to mind. But Hef, who had grown up on the west side of Chicago in the 1920s and 30s, pursued a different vision. Having graduated from the University of Illinois and worked at magazines, including Esquire (then still in Chicago), he imagined a lifestyle monthly which would attract urban men with a mix of nice clothes, nice cars, culture, and colour photographs of the girl next door, naked.
– Rachel Shteir, Playboy Goes West
Mark Lukach wrote an extensive list of standup desks, which includes this impressive list of people who wrote standing up. Well worth reading:
If you need more reason to stand while you work instead of sit, know that Ernest Hemingway stood while he worked. So did Thomas Jefferson, Leonardo DaVinci, Benjamin Franklin and Valdimir Nabokov. On the contrary, Winston Churchill once said, “Why stand when you can sit, and why sit when you can lay down?” However, it turns out that Churchill was not being completely honest when he said this–Churchill stood when he worked, too. And he lived until 90.
– Mark Lukach, Best Standing Desks
I quite enjoyed this quote from Paul Krugman, the economist and writer at the NY Times:
Yeah, I think that’s probably right, and also, in general, you have to think that the basic trend in military technology — as with everything else — has been towards small and deadly. I think more likely we’re going to have microscopic drones that can kill everybody. So the Death Star is a very antiquated vision of what evil will look like. Evil will come in stylish, Steve Jobs-inspired designs.
– From a lengthy interview in Wired Magazine
I’m a huge baseball fan, so this write-up about “cup of coffee” baseball players was quite interesting. Cup of coffee players are guys who only appeared in one major league game. Here’s one of the stories:
Manager Hughie Jennings was in a bind. The night before, his star Ty Cobb had responded to a fan’s heckle of “half-nigger” by entering the stands and beating him senseless. When onlookers pointed out that the guy being pummeled was missing one hand and three fingers from the other, the player reportedly said, “I don’t care if he got no feet.” AL president Ban Johnson responded to the incident by suspending Cobb, indefinitely. The rest of his Tigers team, knowing they had no shot without him, refused to play until Cobb was reinstated. So here was Jennings, walking the streets of Detroit, trying to patch together a rag-tag team of scrubs to avoid a $5,000-a-game no-show fine from the league. And there, standing on a random street corner, stood 20-year-old Allan Travers. He’d never pitched a game in his life, but he was up for the challenge. That night he’d throw eight innings in front of 20,000 fans and give up 24 runs on 26 hits, closing out his career with a 15.75 ERA. But it most likely wasn’t the bombardment he remembered years later. It was the one batter he managed to strike out.
Finally, two email newsletters that may interest you: