The Jean-Paul Sartre Cookbook: Attribution


Last week I noticed that this link to a piece called “Sartre’s Cookbook” was at the top of the popular link list. Unfortunately, the folks who run that site simply put “author unknown” as the attribution.

Because I love the piece and happen to know the author, I’ll right this wrong: The Jean-Paul Sartre Cookbook was written by a gentleman named Marty Smith who lived in Portland, Oregon and attended Reed College around the same time that I did (late 1980s, early 1990s).

Marty wrote some classic pieces for Portland’s alternative newspapers — including one on his summer spent as an ice cream truck driver that earned him the nickname of the “Ill Humor Man” — and the Sartre Cookbook has to be at the top of that list. Go now. Read it.

From the diaries:

October 3
Spoke with Camus today about my cookbook. Though he has never actually eaten, he gave me much encouragement. I rushed home immediately to begin work. How excited I am! I have begun my formula for a Denver omelet.

October 4
Still working on the omelet. There have been stumbling blocks. I keep creating omelets one after another, like soldiers marching into the sea, but each one seems empty, hollow, like stone. I want to create an omelet that expresses the meaninglessness of existence, and instead they taste like cheese. I look at them on the plate, but they do not look back. Tried eating them with the lights off. It did not help. Malraux suggested paprika.

Lycos Europe Loves You, Motherf#$%er


Who — who, I ask you — could have predicted that Lycos’ “make love not spam” screensaver, intended to create an army of drone machines that download data from sites advertised in spam and thereby increase the bandwidth costs associated with spamming, would end up acting like a vigilante-style DOS attack and knock sites completely off the Web?

Well, pretty much everybody except for Lycos, apparently, who stated at release that the software was specifically not intended to overload the target servers. Alas for Lycos, the BBC is reporting today that in the three cases checked by Netcraft, the targeted servers were either completely offline or responding only intermittently. That’s with just an estimated 90,000 downloads of the screensaver, running for less that a week.

It’s not just that fact that Lycos is merrily handing bricks, torches, and bottled water to the angry mob that disturbs me, it’s that they seem to genuinely believe that only the houses of the wicked will get burned to the ground. No apparent thought given to Joe jobs, shared servers, or misuse of the software through security breach or insider abuse, just to hit a few of the more obvious possibilities.