Rock, Paper, Scissors

Google Browser Sync is a Firefox plugin that syncs your Firefox browser settings across all your computers. Useful to me because I'm always bouncing between my desktop and laptop.

Al Qaeda leader Zarqawi is dead, killed in an air strike north of Baghdad.

Jon Stewart vs. Bill Bennett on gay marriage. If you wanted to send someone from the right to match wits with Jon Stewart on this issue, Bill Bennett probably isn't on the shortlist.

The Yoda backpack makes it seem as if Yoda is hanging on your back so you can look like Luke in The Empire Strikes Back. Pair this with a Force FX lightsaber and, well, you might as well lop off your manhood and put it in that backpack because it won't be getting any use.

Speaking of Star Wars, the DVDs for the original, unaltered Star Wars trilogy, Eps IV through VI, are being released in September, and the fans are already killing them with customer reviews on All three DVDs currently average about 2 out of 5 stars in customer ratings. It's not just that fans are being forced to buy yet another set of Star Wars DVDs but that the original, unaltered movies will be released in non-anamorphic widescreen and will not have a new Dolby Digital 5.1 sound mix. Some fans say it's just the original laserdisc transfer (I own those laserdiscs, by the way). Oh, the horror.

An online strategy guide to rock, paper, scissors. There's even a book in print called The Official Rock Paper Scissors Strategy Guide. I went to a book reading/signing by Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner today. It was fun to finally meet them in person. They mentioned that they're going to write a sequel to Freakonomics to be titled SuperFreakonomics. Their talk strayed to the topic of rock, paper, scissors. Phil Gordon is going to throw a $50,000 rock, paper, scissors tournament so Levitt can study the play. It just so happens that Levitt is studying the human ability or inability to randomize. He mentioned some initial studies that indicated that football (I think he meant European football) players are superior strategy randomizers. He's not sure why. If given 4 strategies to employ against each other, the optimal mix is something like 40/20/20/20 (or so Levitt said), and football players do that naturally. Rock, paper, scissors is a good test of that human ability. Gordon believes that some people are gifted randomizers and can consistently win at rock, paper, scissors, but it sounds like Levitt's skeptical since different people make the rock, paper, scissors finals each year.

Chip Kidd is the guest blogger at PowellsBooks this week. Among the his to-do's for the week:

  • Design a cover for Christina Garcia's forthcoming novel, A Handbook to Luck.

  • Construct and photograph a miniature set for Martin Amis's new novel, House of Meetings. By Thursday morning.

  • Redesign a poster for a Pedro Almodovar film festival.

  • Do the mechanical for Robert Hughes's Goya, newly in paperback.

  • Get an approval on a jacket for a book on the history of relations between Jews, Muslims and Christians in the Middle East (by Zachary Karabell).

  • Do research on a poster for Sofia Coppola's upcoming film, Marie Antoinette (I'm so, so behind on this and Sony's being very patient).

  • Design a cover for a play by Cormac McCarthy, entitled Sunset Limited.

  • Do same for Kim Deitch's new graphic novel, Alias The Cat, which I am also editing. And which rules.

  • Reconfigure my design for the Surprise CD by Paul Simon in order to adapt it to, of all things, vinyl.

Even Danny Meyer's wife and kids have to wait in line at the Shake Shack.