Monday, April 26, 2010

Use your illusion

“PowerPoint makes us stupid,” Gen. James N. Mattis of the Marine Corps, the Joint Forces commander, said this month at a military conference in North Carolina. (He spoke without PowerPoint.) Brig. Gen. H. R. McMaster, who banned PowerPoint presentations when he led the successful effort to secure the northern Iraqi city of Tal Afar in 2005, followed up at the same conference by likening PowerPoint to an internal threat.

“It’s dangerous because it can create the illusion of understanding and the illusion of control,” General McMaster said in a telephone interview afterward. “Some problems in the world are not bullet-izable.” —NYT

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Look like the lunatic

To cultivate a ruinous grimace for the upcoming office softball season, ditch the stickers AND the grease stick. The answer is original eye black, homemade with just a cork and a flame. Here's how:

Burning a cork's end until it's blackened and moist will produce a convenient and disposable char applicator. Just smear two fat streaks under the eyes—preferably en dashes, not hyphens. Perfectly rounded edges be damned, eye black isn't supposed to be neat, and it isn't supposed to be pretty. Your pores plugged with red wine-scented carcinogens, you'll look like the lunatic taking the intra-squad scrimmage way too seriously. But you'll also look like the guy least likely to abide a high and tight fastball (albeit delivered underhand most likely).

No doubt by the seventh inning stretch, sweat will have made a mess of your mug—probably something resembling a bridesmaid with a bad case of beer tears. Now, that's intimidation.

—Martin Mulkeen, GQ