: High on the Hog Blog
Purveyor of Idle Observation

Please note: I'm no longer updating this particular blog, but keep it around for archival purposes. Visit me at the current blog at

Ben Stein on the Economics of Love

AS my fine professor of economics at Columbia, C. Lowell Harriss (who just celebrated his 96th birthday) used to tell us, economics is the study of the allocation of scarce goods and services. What could be scarcer or more precious than love? It is rare, hard to come by and often fragile.

Ben Stein, Lessons in Love, by Way of Economics

Everyone Will Be Lonely Eight Months From Now

Slate’s Everyone Will Be Lonely Eight Months From Now: The weird science of stock photography, notes the somewhat disturbing phenomenon of stock photography shops potentially trendsetting the nation’s mood.

A while back, a friend of mine—a guy who does a lot of directing work—was asked to shoot some rather odd film footage. It was all brief scenes of people ignoring each other. Families talking on cell phones, couples tapping at adjacent laptops, everyone looking in opposite directions.

These vignettes were commissioned by a company that sells stock photos and video to various clients—including, in large part, advertisers. The hope was that footage like this would appeal to customers who need to visually convey a mood of modern disconnectedness. Leaving aside the bleak and omnipresent nature of the subject matter—they could have just put a tripod on a random street corner—I was startled to realize that stock photo and video purveyors actually create material in anticipation of demand.

Consider the plight of the stock photo marketer at the mercy of the modern newscycle.

“We had a bad day when Dolly was cloned,” says Denise Waggoner, vice president of creative research at Getty. “We hadn’t been studying biotechnology, and suddenly everyone wanted a shot of 25 sheep on a seamless white background. So now we try to keep our toes dipped in the water in lots of different fields, so we can be ready.”

McCain Thinks He Might Learn to Use the Internets

Wired caught this little gem in the New York Times’ interview with John McCain, McCain’s Conservative Model? Roosevelt (Theodore, That Is) -

He said, ruefully, that he had not mastered how to use the Internet and relied on his wife and aides like Mark Salter, a senior adviser, and Brooke Buchanan, his press secretary, to get him online to read newspapers (though he prefers reading those the old-fashioned way) and political Web sites and blogs.

“They go on for me,” he said. “I am learning to get online myself, and I will have that down fairly soon, getting on myself. I don’t expect to be a great communicator, I don’t expect to set up my own blog, but I am becoming computer literate to the point where I can get the information that I need.”

Asked which blogs he read, he said: “Brooke and Mark show me Drudge, obviously. Everybody watches, for better or for worse, Drudge. Sometimes I look at Politico. Sometimes RealPolitics.”

If we’re going to be talking experience this campaign, I would like to have a President who may be called to weigh in on some kind crazy net neutrality bill at least know how to ‘get online’ by himself.

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Font-geek Humor

via ffffound and todayandtomorrow

Handwritten Typographers

Cameron Adams hit upon a pretty interesting notion with this question –

If we strip away the monitors, and the printing presses, and the typefaces … how would William Caslon have written on a post-it note?

Not satisfied with the thought alone, he took it one step further and mailed away to these imminent typographers to get samples from the field. The results, I think are fascinating – posted with samples Handwritten Typographers

Vanity Plate Blo9s, Wish I Had Thought of That

Spotted in grocery parking lot in Memorial. Cool enough that I’m even willing to overlook for a moment that they’re Aggies. Whoop!

Where Photography Meets Illustration

from Design You Trust.

Christianity’s rapid rise in China

Christianity — repressed, marginalized and, in many cases, illegal in China for more than half a century — is sweeping the country, overflowing churches and posing a sensitive challenge to the officially atheist Communist Party.

Chicago Tribune: Jesus in China: Christianity’s rapid rise

Happiness is Warm Feet

Part of a Austin artist William Hundley’s series, “with cheeseburgers“…. ah, sweet, sweet art. Take a look at Little Naked Person Storage for another delightfully literal set.

Imperial March

All the better without explanation. via Karl Gunnarsson.