Amusements & Diversions

It isn't murder and death 24/7 at the Harnisch hacienda, believe it or not.

"All the big things have been done now; all the great peaks have been climbed; and the depths of the oceans have been reached; and the poles, of course, are just routine nowadays. But the fact remains that there are still hundreds of lower mountains that are technically very difficult."
--Sir Edmund Hillary, New York Times, Mayy 25, 2003

I can only second Sir Edmund. There are some people who would have stopped after teaching a rabbit to balance one pancake on its head. But Hironori Akutagawa took the challenge to teach the rabbit, named Oolong, to balance two.

Update: Oolong the rabbit passed away Jan. 7, 2003, and now presumably has a halo balanced on its head.

I'm listening to "Lazy Sunday" by Andy Samberg and Chris Parnell. Isn't everyone?

The Besotted New York Times

It sometimes seems as though you can't be an arts writer at the New York Times without using the word "besotted." And these are just some recent examples.

" 'Salome' is by far the hardest of Wilde's plays to bring to credible life. He was then besotted with French Symbolist poetry, and ''Salome'' is more than anything a chain of glittering images and metaphors that reflect off one another. "

Ben Brantley, May 1, 2003

"In a pique of lechery, he has selected fair, rather dimwitted Mary (Brooke Peterson) as his intended, not withstanding the fact that she is in love with an equally besotted Clayton."

Naomi Siegel, May 11, 2003

"Within hours of Agust's return, the young man is pounced on by his voracious cousin and former lover, Maria (Nina Dogg Filippusdottir), who remains besotted with him."

Stephen Holden, May 16, 2003

"Ms. Stirling, however, is quite touching as the besotted heroine, and she and her first love, Kitty Butler (played by Keeley Hawes), have chemistry on-screen."

Alessandra Stanley, May 23, 2003

"And for the truly smitten, there is Hummer camp, a sort of 21st-century dude ranch of mud-besotted excess more formally known as the Hummer Driving Academy."

Danny Hakim, May 30, 2003

"My heart sank," recalled Denis O'Hare, who plays the swoony, baseball-besotted gay accountant Mason Marzak in Richard Greenberg's play "Take Me Out."

Bruce Weber, June 1, 2003

"Ray, a besotted spouse, dotes on certain Irisisms the drive-by reader is likely to find less than hilarious."

John Leonard, June 8, 2003

Mendy heeds this advice and is left pathetically besotted after a five-second sexual encounter with Sasha (Tchelet Semel), a 19-year-old Russian prostitute he meets at a topless bar in Tel Aviv.

Stephen Holden, July 11, 2003

And a headline: "Besotted by Nature's Grandeur," July 11, 2003.

Search the New York Times for occurrences of the word "besotted."

The Jungle Scan Web site is one of my new toys. I suppose it only makes sense that two books on hockey rules are the lowest-ranked books at

Found objects