Recent Encounters with Modernity

Sometimes, something makes you stop and give pause to modernity. Or humanity. Or both. I have had a few such moments lately, like when I saw one of these Mobile Gyms in Vancouver for the first time the other day. Talk about a band-aid on a bullet wound:


And then I came across a book to read so you can talk about books you haven't read:


This Office Depot advertisement is shockingly perverse, given how many small stationary businesses it has probably put out of business:

And this was no biggie, except that it is posted on the door of a public library in Aiken, South Carolina:


And I'll end with an uplifting photo that would encourage any amateur woodworker to pick up a router and start sawing (taken from American Woodworker magazine in their 2010 Router Special issue):


Watch for another post like this, except focusing on the eco-friendly, come Earth Day...

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Ok, aside from the fact that it is neither a router (as per the special issue) nor a bandsaw (as per your title of the pic itself) but a table saw, and aside from the questionable removal of the blade guard, I am not getting what your problem is with the last photo. Could you enlighten me?

I'm not getting the last picture either. Aside from the mislabeling pointed out by the comment above, I don't understand the point. Are we not supposed to buy wood?

By Bradley S. (not verified) on 18 Apr 2010 #permalink


I assume you're referring to office products, not non-mobile businesses? ;)


I'm assuming it has something to do with the missing/deformed finger/nail?

This is a photo of a table saw, which you can use if you don't have a bandsaw, to build the chest of drawers, or whatever it is he is making. I was just pointing out the irony in the photograph of a man with a missing top digit in a magazine on woodworking. I think it's actually quite nice and manly. Sort of an antidote to the other stuff above it (although also ironic).

What, you think he's missing a thumb? It's probably down along the bottom edge of the wood, pressing the wood into the fence. It's probably not missing, just hidden by the rest of his hand.

By GoatRider (not verified) on 19 Apr 2010 #permalink

If you think that's manly, you'll positively swoon for Cubs catcher Koyie Hill. And let's not forget Forthman Murff, who practically cut off his own head and still managed to drive to aid.

The movie of life gets stranger everyday?!?! Alfred E., was an invaluable visionary...

How to talk about books is fascinating, and frightening. A book titled, "How to talk about Ecology without actually studying the concepts" might seem appropriate these days. Maybe that is the real environmental dilemma, the public stage is flooded with surface sound bytes, but mostly people are not doing the deeper reading.

Thank heaven for actual research scientists.

Mobile gyms. Now I feel really guilty for wasting precious time riding my bicycle down to the public fitness facility. When instead, I could be using that valuable time reading a book learning how to not read a book.

By Chris Martell (not verified) on 19 Apr 2010 #permalink

That book seems like something George Castanza would have... and indeed, fascinating and frightening. Going off of 9, it seems like with the increasing ease and simplification of data mining, from web of science to google scholar, instead of making everyone smarter because of free and open accessibility it has made "us" lazier, even dare-I-say dumber, and probably fuels the "it's all been done before" attitude and apathy in science that is readily apparent in the undergraduate environment...

Just wanted to thank you again for this introduction to: "How to Talk about Books..."

This answers so much of my confusion sometimes when I happen upon social setting discussions where topical social and environmental books (and even movies) are being talked about. There are often implicit discussion fences that prevent deeper content explorations. Often, when content questions are inserted into the discussions, I hear responses like, "Oh, that is an interesting question... oh my, look at the time, I am late for my Yoga class."

No wonder people get depressed when a television series get cancelled, all of our easier than book reading, tribal reiteration talking points get vaporized, of course until the next show comes along.

How to talk about the environment...?!?!

By Chris Martell (not verified) on 19 Apr 2010 #permalink