Like this and like that

The sequel to Popular Science's list of the Worst Jobs in Science, which amused me last year
Christo and Jeanne-Claude are going to wrap Central Park
In a world where the costs of prescription drugs and health insurance are rising, one procedure has bucked the trend: laser eye surgery. In fact, it has decreased in price. How can that be?
Howl's Moving Castle, Hayao Miyazaki's latest animated film, set a Japanese box office record with $15 million in its opening weekend. I can't read Japanese, but you can guess what most of the links are by hovering over them with your cursor and reading the link name in English in the browser status bar. Studio Ghibli's online site hosts an extended preview (Quicktime).
Football Outsiders will produce Pro Football Prospectus 2005
That's good news, as the team at Football Project put out by far the weakest of the three Prospectus books.
Java-powered Monkeys trying to write Shakespeare
While I watched the simulation run, the record was the first 22 letters of Cymbeline. [From an article in the NYTimes about computer programs that can write fiction]
A 3G virtual girlfriend, supposedly driven by artificial intelligence. She'll send you text messages asking "Do I look fat on your cell phone VGA screen?" and throw a hissy fit if you take a discreet camera phone pic of some hottie wandering by.
Mint Lifestyle
For just $12,000 a year, and with just 200 members in every city, this luxury personal concierge service will set up just about whatever your filthy rich little heart desires. Examples on their site include:
"I want a Porsche GT Coupe. Can you get me to the top of the list?"
"I would like to have dinner with President Clinton. Can you make it happen?"
"Can you put the kids on the G5 and send them down to Cabo?"
"There's a really beautiful Miro on display at Christie's. Do you think I could borrow it for the evening?"
"I think Wynton Marsalis is fabulous. Do you think he could play at a small dinner party I'm planning?"
Like Google SMS, except you can simply reply to a template they send to you so you don't have to remember any numbers. For those of us who can't afford Mint Lifestyle, I guess we could try sending "Porsche GT Coupe 212" as a test message and cross our fingers.
The DNA of Literature
I've been reading some of the archived Paris Review interviews, which they've announced they'll be putting online for free over the coming months. Some are already posted. I've always been a huge fan of the Paris Review interviews of writers at work, and they seem even more relevant now that I'm back to writing regularly. A quote from Faulkner's interview (PDF):
Maybe every novelist wants to write poetry first, finds he can't, and then tries the short story, which is the most demanding form after poetry. And, failng at that, only then does he take up novel writing.
The current issue contains an interview with Tobias Wolff. You'll have to buy a copy to read it in its entirety, but it's worth it for those who are interested in writing as a way of life.