Patrick deWitt is the author of The Sisters Brothers.
"Doesn't the act of noticing matter as much as what's noticed?" So asks the narrator of Harry Mathews' masterpiece of minutia, The Journalist.
On the mend from a nervous breakdown (though it's mentioned only in passing — "the steering wheel came off in my hands," he says), he's been encouraged by his doctor to keep a journal. A seemingly benign idea, and he throws himself into the task with gusto — far too much gusto, it turns out, as the journal soon eclipses his entire life.
Modern computer games and their fast-paced graphics require an incredible amount of computing horsepower. So much, in fact, that the kinds of chips commonly used for gaming are now being built into some of the world's fastest supercomputers.
If you're a serious gamer, if realistic, detailed graphics get your pulse racing, you should write Jen-Hsun Huang a thank-you note.
<strong>Design Within Reach?</strong> The cool sterility of <em>2001: A Space Odyssey </em>is just one example of how pop culture expresses an anxiety that's seemingly about technology, but may be as old as time.
When Hollywood imagines the future, from Logan's Run to Avatar, it tends to picture living spaces as sterile and characterless, without any cultural clues to the person who lives there. No record library, no DVDs, no Hemingway on bookshelves ... often no bookshelves.
A big reason for the slow recovery has been that the nation's battered banks haven't been able or willing to lend. There are signs that's changing and that bank lending is helping to support stronger growth.
Paul Kasriel, chief economist at Northern Trust, a Chicago-based bank, say his reading of Federal Reserve data has convinced him that banks have finally taken the baton from the Fed and are now making credit more available.
"We've seen a sharp increase in business loans on the books of banks," he says.