Tuesday, 11 October 2011

closing tabs

In an article about Massive Yachts at the NYT:

“When it comes to motorboats, ever bigger is still the trend,” Thomas Mee, marketing director for Camper & Nicholsons, the international yacht broker, said in an interview from Antibes.

Mr Mee, no fool he, pointed out that superyacht sales correlate directly with the rising number of billionaires in the world. The problem, some other guy in the Antibes points out, is that supermegayachts, as opposed to normal massive yachts, are all about ego rather than practicality: 'When you see that Eclipse is too big to enter the port and forced to anchor in the open seas, you realize the inconvenience.' It must be incredibly inconvenient. I suppose he has to take one of his three launches when he wants to go to land, or his helicopter, or his minisubmarine.

There's a magazine called Superyacht Times.

Are you interested in that amazing looking yacht in the picture, by the way? You should be. She's super-amazing, and she's sort of the model for a massive yacht in my interminably awaited tuna novel, which I have basically finished.

2. Also in the NYT is a biography of Pete Gent, an ordinary sort of Wide Receiver for the Dallas Cowboys in the late seventies who wrote the novel North Dallas Forty later filmed with Nick Nolte. The movie is about the brutality of the system and what players will do to play. It was, among other things, a very druggy era - uppers, downers and painkillers. The protagonist is coming to the end of his career, and although he's a relatively young man, he's a complete physical wreck. What he writes about football is not what I feel about hockey, which I will retire from sooner or later, but I won't say it didn't resonate:

I still remember vividly the struggle to nourish desperate desires to be alive as a man can be – to live each day as if it were the last – feeling life pumping through us with the hammering of our hearts. It was a great life. A lot of scary high wire work, too many injuries, and lots of pain. But I felt more in one Sunday afternoon than I did later on in whole years – writing is the only thing I have done that comes close to being as terrifying as being a football player.

3. Just in case you haven't read the story about the guy having sex on the moon:

On July 20, 2002, star NASA intern Thad Roberts stole a 600-pound safe, which contained moon rocks from every moon mission since 1969, from the organization's headquarters. He brought the rocks to a cheap Orlando hotel, scattered them out on the bed and had sex with his girlfriend on them. He eventually tried to sell the ill-gotten goods on the internet and was busted by a Belgian mineral collector.

4. An excellent Guardian piece from Marbury (on the right) re Amanda Knox and how people assume all kinds of things from looking at her face. One of the many, many ridiculous things: the cartwheels as a signifier of guilt. Really? I mean, if you were bright and had done a murder, wouldn't that mean you'd be less likely to do cartwheels? But we were told they were associated with guilt rather than innocence and many of us made a connection that makes absolutely no sense.

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