A lot has happened today. Apple released the new iPad, which, in turn, released a wave of terrible jokes on the internet. President Obama will deliver the State of the Union address tonight. So, yeah, it’s a big day. Read all about it:
- Author and historian Howard Zinn passed away today. He is, of course, best known for his book A People’s History of the United States, one of the most influential and widely read history books of the 20th Century. I distinctly remember reading the book for the first time. It was an illuminating experience. I suspect PHUS is on the shortlist of books that changed lives. His voice will be missed.
- If you’re anything like me, you’ll love this photo gallery of literary drunks and addicts. I’m especially fond of Jean Cocteau’s picture. It’s how I feel most of the time.
- Speaking of the iPad, Farhad Manjoo wants one: “Many times during the presentation, Jobs hailed the iPad as the world’s best Web browser. “It’s like holding the Internet in your hands,” he said. He’s right. Because you hold it right in front of your face, just as you would a book, everything online seems closer and more intimate than it does on a desktop or laptop.” Interesting. I’m not sold yet, but maybe it’s the kind of device that plays well in person.
- And finally, Alex Balk at The Awl on a certain similarity between today’s two big events: “This is a very rough thought that I may or may not refine, so take it as such, but the iPad is a lot like Barack Obama: Everyone was able to project their own fantasies and aspirations on a product with which they were mostly unfamiliar, only to sour on it once they realized that it did not live up to their impossible expectations.” As always, the comments are worth reading, too.