Thursday, August 14, 2003

Link Up

As promised, here's the reasoning behind the recommended links in the right-hand column. I see this as a fluid list; as more sites find a prominent place in my browser, they'll be included, while others might fall off as I visit them less often. The only criterion for inclusion is that these sites -- or the entities they represent -- interest me in some way.

* Philadelphia Inquirer/Daily News: The City of Brotherly Love has two daily papers, both owned by the same chain (Knight-Ridder), published under a joint operating agreement, and sharing the same building. Despite the coziness, the Inky and DN compete fiercely against each other, especially in coverage of local news, sports, and, of course, gossip (see here and here).

* WXPN/88.5-FM: The University of Pennsylvania's noncommercial, listener-supported radio station is a national treasure, offering up a mind-blowing diversity of musical styles and artists. If I ever leave Philadelphia, I'll be hard-pressed to decide what I'll miss most: 'XPN or cheesesteaks.

* Only a Game: Boston's NPR affiliate produces this hour-long gem, which chronicles the sporting life in much the same way Marketplace covers business. In other words, you don't have to be an insider or an expert to enjoy it. Heck, just listen to Charlie Pierce's weekly segments alone and you'll get a laugh. Alas, Philly NPR affiliate WHYY-FM dropped Only a Game a few weeks ago; when I e-mailed the station to complain, I got a terse reply saying it was part of a larger programming effort to enhance the listening experience, or some such nonsense. So a big Bronx cheer for 91-FM.

* Radio Paradise: The Web is lousy with radio stations, many of which, like 'XPN, are listener-funded and thus can stretch beyond the realm of classic rock and Avril Lavigne. Radio Paradise just happens to be the one I glommed onto; nice mix of the old and new, and the familiar and eclectic.

* Jayson Stark: The former Inquirer baseball writer was one of many lured to ESPN. Stark has one of sports journalism's deepest source lists, and infuses his writing with a pop-culture sensibility and a combination of respect for and skepticism of the game. He pulls his punches a bit now that he has a national audience, but it's still an entertaining, informative read.

* Tuesday Morning Quarterback: He's a Brookings Institution Scholar, an Atlantic Monthly contributing editor, and the author of a ton of highbrow articles and books, but Gregg Easterbrook's greatest achievement, for my money, is his weekly column on's Page 2. In addition to a detailed look at each weekend's NFL tilt, Easterbrook slips in commentaries on politics, movies and TV, babes, and more. This guy has found a way to use his incredible smarts in a very fun way.

* Slate Sports Nut: Microsoft's online magazine publishes regular sports stories by good writers. They're a nice diversion from Slate's D.C.-centric orientation.

* King Kaufman's Sports Daily: Slate's chief competition, Salon, runs daily sports commentaries. Kaufman is a decent writer who often presents provocative ideas, and his work, like the Sports Nut column, provides a welcome change of pace, in this case from Salon's lefty coverage of politics, technology, culture, and society. Not that lefty coverage is wrong, but after a while it kinda wears on you, y'know?

* Carolyn Hax Live Online: Finally, an advice columnist for people under the age of 60! Hax supplements her syndicated Washington Post column with a weekly chat that is at turns hilarious, heartbreaking, and inspiring. She kicks people's asses when they need it and provides a shoulder to cry on when that's what's called for.

* The Onion: If The Daily Show had a real online site, this would be it. That it reads so much like a real paper is a testament both to its writers' talents and to the pathetic state of contemporary journalism.

* TopFive: Remember the list of movie titles translated into Chinese and then back into English? It ran as a news story in a bunch of major outlets, including ABC's World News Tonight. Well, it was bogus, and it was from here. There is much hilarity at TopFive.

* Get Fuzzy: I'm the rare 34-year-old who reads the comics pages every day, and this is my new favorite strip. It sounds really stupid when you explain it -- there's a guy and his irritable talking cat and hapless talking dog -- but in reality it's subversive, offbeat (in a good way), and slyly amusing. Hell, just the rendering of the cat is funny. Yesterday's strip, which featured the rare neutering joke, made me laugh out loud. That's just something you don't get with Ziggy.

Happy linking!


Post a Comment

<< Home