Daily Office:


Matins: You laugh now: “The Inspector Clouseau of robot cops.” Wait till it comes back as Peter Weller.

Lauds: A new blog to follow: The Footnotes of Mad Men. (via kottke.org)

Prime: Are there really any such thing as “banking stars,” worth being hired away for that competitive edge? Jeffrey Pfeffer thinks not.

Tierce: The irresistible Mr Wrong wonders why no one wants to shoot the breeze at Starbuck’s.

Sext: Almost as good as “Rollo Tommasi”: When people ask where you’re vacationing next summer, just tell them, “Buss Island.” Tell ’em it’s the undiscovered Nantucket.

Nones: North Korea will send a delegation to the funeral of former South Korean president Kim Dae-jung.

Vespers: Alain de Botton will be writing from Heathhrow Airport.

Compline: That really was a storm on Tuesday night! More than a hundred trees were felled in Central Park alone. (Thanks, Tom!)Oremus…

§ Matins. This sort of clip will be even funnier ten years from now. (Twenty?)

§ Lauds. This will be a good resource for the overwhelming majority of viewers who have never heard of London Fog , wouldn’t know what to make of a reference to Dorothy Draper, and can’t spell “formicarium.”

“Once Milt and Joe saw the demand to be real, they created a clear injection-molded plastic habitat with a green art-deco frame and stand. They wanted to add a “fun” context in which to watch ants – they didn’t want their product looking like some kind of laboratory apparatus. They settled on a farm theme and came up with the name, “Ant Farm.” (Yes, “Ant Farm” is a registered trademark.)”

§ Prime. Mr Pfeffer’s findings would have fostered a more subdued bank bailout, certainly.

Grosyberg concluded that hiring stars didn’t do much for the firms’ or the stars performance, and that everyone would be better off by growing talent inside the firm. (Groysberg has more to say about the portability of talent in “The Risky Business of Hiring Stars” and “The Effect of Colleague Quality on Top Performance.”

Although Groysberg’s results may initially seem surprising, that is only because we have succumbed to the idea that how people perform depends on some stable individual characteristics like talent or innate ability rather than where they work, the technology and systems available to them, the quality of their colleagues, and the ability of their leaders. 

§ Tierce. He’s lucky that they don’t shoot him.

And another thing, just because you brought your laptop as your date to the coffee shop doesn’t mean you get to hog a whole table, OK? If I come in with a human companion and there’s no suitable place for us to lay our cups, we’re sitting with you at “your” fucking table, OK, lapster? Yeah, that’s how they do in Europe or something, they share tables and get all jacked up on coffee and orange juice and discuss shit like the fucking Postage, right? Stamps? “Franking” or whatever? When’s the last time you mailed a letter?

Still, I gotta mail something (usually a Parking Fine, because I refuse to let those fuckers steal another $3.95 or whatever outta my Virtual Wallet just to make the transaction over the Internet) and it’s like wait, how much is a stamp? $3 cents? 47 cents? Can’t we just get it up to 50 or a buck? I mean, you can send a piece of paper thousands of miles for under a dollar, it’s a deal if it’s 50 cents instead of 49 or whatever’s a fucking stamp is, right? See? Why you wanna stare at that lappie when you can engage in Stimulating Discourse such as this, eh? If you really wanted to work you would work in your house or your job, if you have one. I mean work at what you want to do, like you’re trying to do in this coffee shop, not your job, you know? I mean, no offense to your job but you know you can do that shit in like three days elapsed time, right? Yeah!

Wouldn’t it be funny if Mr Wrong walked in to your local coffee shop and sat down at your table and wanted to start a conversation and you could say, “Shut up, I’m reading you.”

§ Sext. If they believe you, you’ll have the satisfaction of knowing that Buss Island does not exist.

Shepherd’s description was tantalisingly precise (this map by John Seller, from 1673, details Shaftesbury Harbour and  Arlington Harbour and a small, outlying Shepherd Island, among other illegible data). But of course, the elusive island would only reveal itself to sailors not looking for it, not to those who sought it out. This stubborn refusal to be found, coupled with an increase of transatlantic traffic, caused the presumed size of Buss Island to shrink and later its very existence to be questioned. Eventually, it was presumed the island had ’sunk’, a theory that reconciled the earlier, incontrovertible eyewitness reports with its obvious absence.

It took another Arctic expedition to also put the sinking theory to rest. In 1818, the Isabella, captained by John Ross (and still looking, as Frobisher had been, for the Northwest Passage) established that there were no shallows in the area proposed for Buss’s sinking.

§ Nones. One of the more rigid Cold War icicles continues to melt.

In recent years, most diplomatic contact between the Koreas has taken place in Beijing, at the United Nations or across a conference table in the neutral zone between the North and the South.

The official North Korean news agency also said Wednesday that Kim Jong-il had sent a note to the family of the late president, who died Tuesday at age 85 of heart failure.

§ Vespers. It’s a publicity stunt, of sorts, dreamed up by publicists called Mischief of London. Just what Heathrow needs! The book will be coming out next month!

“They’re not looking for someone to say the airport is brilliant,” Mr. de Botton said. “They’re looking for someone to say the airport is interesting — that the airport is more than, ‘There’s a long security queue.’ It’s almost as if their only goal is that something else is going to be said about the airport.”

As for how Mr. de Botton will deliver the manuscript to his publisher by the end of August, he said the book, which will feature many photographs and be only 112 pages, will run as short as 20,000 words (magazine articles often run over 10,000). He also said he made previous excursions to the airport and is “assembling bits now.”

Mr de Botton may show us how us how to go meta, instead of going into a coma, the next time we’ve got a long wait. If anyone could do it, it’s he.

§ Compline. Now they tell us: it wasn’t a tornado. Who was thinking tornados?

Despite the intense damage, the storm, which lasted between about 9:55 and 10:30, was not a tornado, Mr. Wally said. The damage in Central Park, he said, was caused by strong, damaging, straight-line winds, also known as downbursts or microbursts, not the violently rotating columns of air characteristics of tornadoes.

3 Responses to “Daily Office:

  1. Quatorze says:

    Now Central Park has another thing in common with Versailles other than being the first American version of a park open to the public (from Versailles inception, to be imitated by great landowners all over Europe). It has now had its catastrophic storm which may now lead to replanting (as at Versailles, if not quite in the Versailles manner) and a continued timed/phased replanting program as is now in place in France.

  2. Migs says:

    But I would like to know what you think about Bryan Batt!

  3. Migs says:

    And Mr. Wrong: He kisses his mother with that mouth?