Archive for the ‘Failure’ Category

Wed 9 Apr 2008 12:00 pm   //   Posted in: Failure, Technology

Some things just don’t work

At work, we use an e-mail and calendar program called Microsoft Entourage. It’s supposed to tell us when and where our meetings are. Problem is, it always displays the meetings one hour prior to when they are scheduled. This problem seems to be an incorrect time zone setting on a server somewhere, but no one at the company has bothered to fix it. So rather than use the calendar program on my computer – since it fails hopelessly at the single task it is designed to do – I keep my schedule in a massive, ungainly Word document. Hooray computer!

Sat 29 Mar 2008 8:15 pm   //   Posted in: Failure

A Pontiac for people who want to be laughed at

Don’t ask how, but I ended up at the New York International Auto Show this afternoon with some friends. I’m not a car buff. I haven’t owned a car since 2003. But I’m kind of interested in the machinery of branding, industrial design and politics that produces the cars we drive. (Related post.)

Most cars are boring. But once in a while, a car appears that’s fascinating because it’s unbelievably bad. You stare and wonder how an act of pure bungling ever made it off the drawing board, much less onto an assembly line.

I think I found one. Behold, the worst car at the car show:

Pontiac G8 Ute sport truck pickup

This picture has not been Photoshopped. It’s actually a real car: the 2010 Pontiac G8 sport truck. Blueprint: Take the front half of an uninspired, plastic-grilled General Motors sedan. Saw off the back and replace it with a pickup bed.

It’s an El Camino for the new millennium. Did someone ask for this?

Mon 24 Mar 2008 7:00 am   //   Posted in: Brooklyn, Failure

This Ikea is going to suck

Ikea, Red Hook, Brooklyn, New York

Why am I all hating on the Brooklyn Ikea before it’s even open? Two reasons.

1. Big box stores, even good ones, fall to pieces in Brooklyn. (Exhibit A: The Atlantic Terminal Target.)

2. There’s no way to get to it. Every Ikea I have ever seen sits next to an Interstate ramp. Not this one. It’s built on an old shipping pier. The F train is a 20-minute walk away. Cars (and delivery trucks and buses) will have to negotiate a labyrinth of four-way stops on the Red Hook street grid. The photo above – no kidding – shows the main road in. Can you picture this street the day after Thanksgiving?

More photos:


Thu 13 Mar 2008 6:04 pm   //   Posted in: Failure, In the news, Media

Two more notes on the fall of Spitzer

1. I was curious about those pictures that everybody’s running of “Kristen.” I did some reporting and wrote this story for work: Press Taps MySpace For Photos Of Spitzer Call Girl.

2. I have no further comment on this detail that appeared in The Times today: “Late Saturday afternoon, the governor hopped an Amtrak train to Washington, changing into a white-tie tuxedo in the train’s restroom.”

Wed 12 Mar 2008 9:28 pm   //   Posted in: Failure

Great disappointments

The most breathtaking failures are ones that began with such promise, every advantage, every reason to succeed.

– The Edsel

– New Coke

Star Wars: Episode I, The Phantom Menace

Talk magazine

– Enron

– Eliot Spitzer