Thursday, November 30, 2006

Just in time for holiday shopping

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Via Time: If spending sixty bucks on an ounce of celebrity-line moisturizer made with ingredients from Hungary will win you some points this year, you're in luck:

"Thankfully, Jackie Chan, who always seems to know his way around a tight spot, has stepped up. He just launched his eponymous skin-care line. Why an action star should have a particular expertise in moisturizers, masks and toners is a bit of a mystery, but perhaps all that jumping off bridges, crashing through windows and sliding down buildings can lead to chafing. Or it simply makes sense in light of Chan's other business ventures, which include fitness clubs, apparel and, of course, oatcakes."

Also worth checking out for the cold and flu season is Jackie's action-packed tissue box:

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Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Science gets to the bottom of road rage

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"More than half of drivers in a recent survey identified their vehicle by a gender, and more than a third have given their vehicle a name, according to researchers at Colorado State University. The research indicates that drivers who attribute human qualities to vehicles such as a gender and a name are more likely to be aggressive drivers.

"'Essentially, if you perceive your car to be a jerk, you're more likely to drive like a jerk,' [Jacob] Benfield said, noting that simply assigning a name to your car provides no indication of your driving tendencies."

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Farming can be fashionable

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Via Tokyo Times: The Japan Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries is getting tired of kids heading off to the big cities in search of cool. Thankfully, the government agency teamed up with the Japan Knitwear Designers Association to help keep them down on the farm through fashion:

"...the recruitment and training of young people to farm is a national priority. In support of this goal, JAKDA proposes the establishment of 'agrifashion' as a new genre of fashion. JAKDA believes that 'agrifashion' will help promote farming not only as a worthwhile occupation, but also a cool and trendy one.

"This cool and functional 'agrifashion' will change the way young people look at farming. It will also motivate more people of all generations to try a hand at farming and enjoy the slow lifestyle experience it brings."

Monday, November 27, 2006

Custom Zombie Portrait

A little late for our recent zombie obsession, but these custom made zombie portraits are pretty neat anyway. via BoingBoing (who got it from Neatorama)

Putting a CAP in Yo A**

Death to Caps Lock

Is it time to permanently retire the Caps Lock key?

Perhaps this could be our chance to get the interrobang inserted onto that juicy piece of home row real estate!?

Credit: Jason

Jobbie Job: Real Water

Maybe just a scam on Craigslist, but sumptin' to think about:

Reality TV? Well we all know what that “Really” is, it’s NOT Real TV. We looking for a few brave souls for a new Adventure series that truly IS real. It’s called “Blue Water” which is not only really real, it is the adventure of a lifetime and the CAST is the crew for the production and the yacht, blue water sailing the world’s oceans. No support mega-yacht with catered Sushi and staterooms sitting there just out of frame...A little about the show. Participants in the crew, which is also the cast, ready, rig, prepare and set sail for ports of call aboard a 50 foot blue water rigged sloop, sailing from the west coast of the United States. “Ports of Call” can include or exclude the Mexican Riviera, Central American Coast, Hawaii, Tahiti, Guam, New Zealand, Australia, Hong Kong, Thailand and or ???? ALL dependant on the wind and the crew’s decision(s) on destinations, all of this process is part of the show.

If it's anything like Real World: Miami, it might take the entire season to decide how to get out of port--maybe that's why they want thirtysomethings.


Wind, solar, blah, blah, blah, desert air is the alternative energy with buzz--and it makes water too, says some random link I googled up:
Israel has long been a leader in exploring new possibilities for energy production…The most potentially revolutionary of these alternative energy projects is called SNAP technology, or SNeh Aero-Electric Power.* This program, designed by a group of Israeli scientists at the Israeli Institute of Technology, the Technion, is known in Hebrew as the Arubot Sharav, or Desert Wind Towers. The idea, as explained by the chief designer of the project, Dr. Dan Zaslavsky, is based on a principle discovered in America by a Lockheed Corporation physicist, but never before explored for practical use.

The Energy Tower is a machine that produces wind. Hot and dry air is cooled within a very large vertical duct which looks like a high and very large diameter chimney. A fine spray of water is introduced across the top inlet to the duct. The water evaporates and cools the air. The cooled air descends because it is denser. It is the opposite of what happens in a regular chimney where hot air rises. Cold air descends. The descending air can reach a speed of 80 kilometers per hour. Before the air comes out of the bottom of the duct through special openings, it goes through air turbines that run generators for electricity productions.

*Sneh is the Hebrew word used in the story of the Burning Bush, in Exodus 3:2. "... the bush burned and was not consumed." The implication is apparently that like the Biblical burning bush, the Energy Towers will yield energy without the destruction of fuel.

New Pilot Speed album online

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Canadian band Pilot Speed "is derivative of Coldplay and Radiohead." "Into the West," their new album, is now available for free listening on AOL.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

John Safran: Converting the Mormons

I think this is the same guy who did Extreme Mormons. via M&C

Thursday, November 23, 2006

At Least He Didn't Give Them Blankets

Why teachers are stupid:
Teacher Bill Morgan walks into his third-grade class wearing a black Pilgrim hat made of construction paper and begins snatching up pencils, backpacks and glue sticks from his pupils. He tells them the items now belong to him because he "discovered" them. The reaction is exactly what Morgan expects: The kids get angry and want their things back.
And in that great American tradition of overkill:
Becky Wyatt, a teacher at Kettering Elementary School in Long Beach, decided to alter the costumes for the annual Thanksgiving play a few years ago after local Indians spoke out against students wearing feathers, which are sacred in their culture. Now children wear simple headbands [and are forbidden to play lacrosse or engage in blood sacrifice].

...Boughs of Horry,

ra ra ra ra ra, ra ra ra ra...

Recent public opinion polls show a sea change in how Taiwan's residents see themselves. A 2004 poll conducted by Taiwan's National Chengchi University found that 45.7 percent of respondents identified themselves as "Taiwanese," compared with only 13.6 percent in 1991. About 6 percent identified themselves as "Chinese" in 2004, compared with 43.9 percent in 1991.

I stopped identifying myself as Chinese in the mid-Nineties too--Hispanic is much more bankable.

Giving the Bird

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Disturbing Toy Roundup

Dora Aquapet – via BoingBoing

My First Illiterate Tattoo - GR8 TaT2 Maker via Neatorama

Decapitated Horse – assembly required – via Cynical C

Barbie Bling Bling Styling Head – credit to Anne who notes “I know what the niece is getting this year. Bitch needs work, yo.”

Best Beatles cover ever?

Dee Snider gives Mr. Miro a run for his money with this nugget from Stereogum: "One thing 'Eleanor Rigby' never needed was guitar by the dude from Twisted Sister. And yet here you have it: 'Eleanor Rigby' from axe-man Eddie Ojeda's solo record, featuring Dee on lead vox."

Kramer challenges Mel to a match of racial slur feats of strength

...while the rest of the world prays for a Festivus miracle: "The 57-year-old said in a recorded interview with chat-show host David Letterman he had flown into a rage after being heckled.

"'I was at the comedy club trying to do my act and got heckled and I took it badly and went into a [NSFW] rage,' Richards said. Here's a video of his nonsensical, stream of consciousness apology.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Pork, Just One of 100

Political Pork with a Side Salad

Der Fuhrer, I'm Lovin' It

When [Hitlers' Cross] restaurant a Bombay suburb, local politicians and movie industry types were on hand to celebrate beneath the posters of the Nazi leader and swastikas.
"Hitler was a bad man, but what's wrong with having food here?" said Ashwini Phadnis, 22, a microbiology student as she tucked away a piece of chocolate cake.
But after a week of lobbying, the restaurant renamed itself and Ashwini's going to have to have her meatless Eagle's Nest Salad at the Swastika cafe.

Still, Hitler was a vegetarian...

Political porking around the world

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"Two peace activists have planned a massive anti-war demonstration for the first day of winter. But they don't want you marching in the streets. They'd much rather you just stay home.

"The Global Orgasm for Peace was conceived by Donna Sheehan, 76, and Paul Reffell, 55, whose immodest goal is for everyone in the world to have an orgasm Dec. 22 while focusing on world peace.

"The couple have studied evolutionary psychology and believe that war is mainly an outgrowth of men trying to impress potential mates, a case of "my missile is bigger than your missile," as Reffell put it.

"By promoting what they hope to be a synchronized global orgasm, they hope to get people to channel their sexual energy into something more positive."

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Political Porking in Peru

When Peruvian officials set out to spread the wealth, they probably didn't mean mayors should build extravagant town halls and heated swimming pools. And they almost certainly didn't expect this wind-swept hamlet high on the Andean plateau to spend its windfall on an erotic sculpture park.

The sexually explicit creations in this isolated village 100 miles northeast of the capital have become the focus of a furor over public spending that is dominating Sunday's nationwide local elections and posing a political headache for President Alan Garcia just four months after he was elected in a stunning comeback.
People in Huayre are bemused by the uproar. National rulers, they figure, have been squandering their riches for centuries, so what's the big deal if Mayor Wenceslao Alderete hoped to attract tourists by gracing the village's central plaza with outsized images of genitalia and of the maca root, a tuber traditionally consumed as an aphrodisiac?

The federal government had hoped for more attention to priorities in communities like Huayre, which still lacks paved streets or a sewage system — typical among Andean towns in a country where half the population lives on less than $2 a day.

Alderete, an independent who is not running for re-election, said he is aware that his $158,000 park is being skewered in the media as typical of towns that are misspending their money.

But he says it's the job of the regional government, not the mayor's office, to build infrastructure such as sewer systems so that people don't have to rely on outdoor toilets.

"It pains me to watch my fellow villagers having to take care of their bodily needs that way," he said.

Ryan Simonetti Stunt Reel

I think this calls for a Gleaming the Cube sequel.

Canada Can Talk to the Hand

For the first time, a non-Canadian has won the International Rock Paper Scissors Championship!

Google's hosting some great clips, including the 4-minute highlight piece.

The World RPS Society has some great strategy information (including the The Official RPS Strategy Guide* published by Simon & Schuster) which you can try out with the online trainer and the trading cards are sure to increase in value like crap from the Franklin Mint.

BTW, is also currently selling it at a discount with the Real Ultimate Power: The Official Ninja Book which in turn is being sold with The Zombie Survival Guide: Complete Protection from the Living Dead. I guess the next song-off should be in tandem with the 2007 RPS Championships in Toronto.

Friday, November 17, 2006

The Modern Child Unfriendly Alphabet

via Presurfer.

Martha Stewart, Is She Living?

July is always our favorite MS Living issue of the year. It's the one that's always the most relaxed, it makes for perfect summer beach reading, it's full of color and cool creamy deserts. And this year it comes in two flavors: Martha and kids eating parfaits on the subscriber edition, and a close-up of the red white and blue parfaits on the newsstand edition. And don't worry, even if the congress does succeed in passing the anti-flag burning amendment, we hear it will still be legal to eat food that looks like the flag, just as long as it's not cooked on the barbecue!

Marc and Matt Movie Review: Lolita

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If you have ever wondered why it is that more young ladies aren’t named Lolita, a simple explanation is available through exposure to the girl envisioned by Vladimir Nabokov in 1953 (incidentally, the novel that earned fourth place on the Modern Library of America’s list of the best novels of the 20th Century was not available in the U.S. until 1958 - prior to that "custom officials refused to deliver copies of the book to those who had ordered it"). Arguably one of the most notorious books ever written, the movies spawned by the text are surrounded with similar controversy.


This tale of European professor Humbert Humbert craving for his landlady’s young daughter and his eventual loss of her to Clare Quilty is perhaps the most famous and celebrated examination of pedophilia and unrequited love ever penned. The story is not, however, simply a black-and-white Sunday school cautionary tale, nor is it a pornographic fantasy of a depraved middle-aged man. Instead, Lolita (in all its forms) is a heavily nuanced, thought provoking and ultimately deeply disturbing depiction of the possibilities inherent in human nature.

The amazing director Stanley Kubrick directed the first version of Nabokov’s novel in 1962. Barely skirting the production code then in effect, James Mason plays a more menacing Humbert and Peter Sellers a much more extended (though humorous) Quilty than in either of the other treatments. Perhaps it was more acceptable to present the dirty old man as the instigator of the romance that ensues rather than an “innocent” young girl.

Such departures from the original text place the Kubrick version more in the realm of lighthearted entertainment than disturbing social commentary. Kubrick’s decision to place the most violent scenes at the outset of the film so that they can largely be forgotten by the end, and his clever use of implication as opposed to graphic depiction both serve to further this view.

Adrian Lyne filmed a far more faithful version of the original novel in the mid 90s. It was so controversial that initially no studios would distribute it in the U.S. Eventually the Showtime cable network bought it, however, and the Samuel Goldwyn company agreed to distribute the movie on a limited basis. Jeremy Irons is superb as Humbert, and a 15-year-old Domonique Swain plays the tempting Lolita.

In this version, as in the book, Lolita is at least as much the seducer as Humbert. In fact, she eventually controls him more than he can control her. But Humbert’s corruption is hardly shown in a positive light. Actions do have consequences, and he surely reaps what he sows. Like the other versions, the only “normal” character in this one is Lolita’s mother, Charlotte Haze. She is, however, held up to ridicule for her shallowness and generally annoying personality (indeed, a fairly accurate criticism of most “normal” people).

The Lyne version is a good, solid film. A little slow at times, it allows the characters to develop and shows how seduction plays out on a variety of levels. Granted, some scenes may be a bit gratuitous, but all in all Lyne manages to address the results of the subject matter without ignoring the actions that led to those outcomes better than one might expect.

In the end, readers and viewers come to see that the story of Lolita not only wrestles with the reality of pedophilia, but speaks more generally to the seduction of youth by their elders and vice versa. One should consider the nuances of the subject before taking in (or condemning) either the book or the films, and allow ample time for reflection on the themes afterward. All three versions of Lolita are highly recommended.

Vincent Gallo wishes he looked more like George Will

Via M&C: "Vincent Gallo, the enigmatic and idiosyncratic underground film-maker, artist, musician and porn star, discusses politics, Joe Namath, and his views on Hollywood. From an AMC show called 'Republicans in Hollywood.'"

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Snack genius

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Tired of sucking on plain old salted sunflower seeds? Leave it to Canada to come up with the new taste sensation that's sweeping the snack aisles of gas stations everywhere - the satisfying crunch of sunflower seeds combined with mouth-watering dill pickle taste!

CAUTION: The makers of Spitz Dill Pickle Sunflower Seeds do not recommend using this product in their European Chocolate Sunflower Cake recipe.

Proponents of wireless electricity "fairly optimistic" about safety

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"Because the energy would jump only to a receiving device that resonates with the originating source, wireless energy transfer would be harmless to people, Soljacic says. 'The only energy that would go into free space is magnetic energy of the kind that human beings are around all the time,' he says, such as that given off by Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) machines in hospitals or when high-speed magnetic levitation ('maglev') trains are suspended slightly above their tracks to cut friction.

"'We are fairly optimistic that the safety issues will be OK,' Soljacic says.

"But proving a new technology is safe can be a tall task, Saffo notes. 'Even if it's harmless, someone's got to test it and confirm it's harmless,' he says. 'We have a long history of consumers being very sensitive about things that the experts tell them are very safe, like food irradiation.'"

Wednesday, November 15, 2006


Well, I'll have to get my health care from a Ghanaian with a good job some other way now:

Hunch Unravels Immigrant Wedding Scam
Odd Behavior at Arlington Courthouse Leads to Arrests in Probe of Green-Card Marriages

Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, November 13, 2006

They didn't hug. They didn't kiss. They didn't even sit together.

Many couples going to the Arlington County Courthouse seemed more like strangers than people applying for marriage licenses. A man named Sam often escorted them to the sixth-floor clerk's office. Sometimes, there would be a furtive exchange of money in the elevator.

Circuit Court Clerk David Bell tipped off police about the sham marriages, triggering a nearly four-year investigation.

Before long, some of the same people would be back, filing for divorce, their court papers littered with mistakes -- always the same mistakes.

"They misspelled 'circuit,' " said David A. Bell, the longtime Circuit Court clerk. "It was obvious something was going on."
Informally, he named his business "the program." [I hate football movies.]
Acquah set up shop in his government office, using his government-owned fax achine to communicate about illicit marriages. [well, at least he's more responsive than he normally is when doing his actual USCIS work.]

Word of the scheme spread to immigrants even before they left Ghana. "Those who were coming over here knew where to find an apartment, where to find a job and where to find a spouse," said one law enforcement official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the investigation is ongoing. [it was like Craigslist-Accra]
the vast majority went to Arlington. The courthouse is on a Metro line, and plenty of civil magistrates nearby can perform a quick ceremony. "Everything was right there in the same spot," [all for a $1.35!]
T. Lee Horne, III for Governor

Mr. Libertarian Party, are you trying to seduce me?

Nail wins Popular Science grand award

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PopSci editor Mark Jannot states that "by far the coolest technology in my mind" is the Bostitch HurriQuake nail. "Since we can’t stop natural disasters, Bostitch engineer Ed Sutt has dedicated his career to designing a better nail. The result is the HurriQuake, and it has the perfect combination of features to withstand nature’s darker moods." Nails, bladders and more are all featured among the magazine's Best of What's New 2006.

Cartographic Fetish Site

Strange Maps is the new PoF!

Finally, someone who probably shares my appreciation for the curves on China.

Credit: Suomi Swami Kapushion

Seasonings Greetings

Courtesy of Beancounters which also has a nice link to the George W Bush Speechwriter.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Express Your Inner Self With a Facial Tattoo

via ModBlog.

Mythbusters tackle burning question

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Via M&C: "Un-airable Mythbusters episode where the guys tackle the most asked question they receive on the show: Can you light your farts on fire?"

Monday, November 13, 2006

Ridley Scott claims history will vindicate G.I. Jane

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Via Time: "You've had huge hits such as Gladiator and Alien and other movies that have disappeared, such as G.I. Jane and Kingdom of Heaven. Can you tell which ones audiences are going to embrace?

"'You can never tell. A word on Kingdom of Heaven: if you get the four-disc set, which is 3 hr. 8 min., you'll see why it's such a good movie. It was a real passion project, and it's the film I'm most proud of. I think it was treated incredibly unfairly. It did a very delicate job of literally profiling the Muslims when it was not a good time to be doing that, and actually Fox really followed through. I've got many letters from Muslim organizations thanking me for making Kingdom of Heaven. And people are rediscovering it. So it ain't disappeared, love. I was very happy about G.I. Jane. It just was unpopular, but it's going to be turned into a TV series. So it ain't a bad idea."

What Would Siddhartha Do?

Lama Surya Das (the spitting image of Richard Gere, might I add) sets out to answer the question How Would the Buddha Date?

The essence of Buddhist relationship is to cultivate the cling-free relationship...I notice that children let go of anger and would rather be happy than right [and eat dirt], unlike so many of us adults. Like them, my dog [through an interpretive dance] reminds me that love is a verb, not a noun. [As in, "Stop loving my leg."]

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Jenny, I am Not a Smart Man

Brewster's Millions ala Floriduh:

How much is one vote worth?

In the case of an absentee ballot and an antique stamp, it could be hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Absentee ballot had stamp that could be rare, valuable 'Inverted Jenny'

Friday, November 10, 2006

Rumsfeld Gets Cute At The Podium

This is brilliant. Along similar lines, check out the Nov. 8 edition of PennFreeFM.

The Ghost of B Movies Past

- Having seen that movie more times than Commando and Red Dawn combined (but not as many times as I've seen Predator), I found this hilarious.

Marc and Matt Movie Review: Easy Rider

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“I mean, it’s real hard to be free when you are bought and sold in the marketplace. They’re gonna talk to you about individual freedom, but they see a free individual, it’s gonna scare ‘em.” These words are spoken by George Hanson (Jack Nicholson) in the classic 60s film Easy Rider, and they serve in a way as a summary of the entire film.


Easy Rider stars Peter Fonda and Dennis Hopper as Wyatt and Billy, two motorcycle rebels who travel east across the U.S. on their way to Mardi Gras. Hopper is the film’s director, and he and Fonda both helped write the script.

This 1969 movie is not unlike The Odyssey – on the surface it is a journey narrative, but it operates at the same time on a much deeper level in seeking to find what the journey itself can mean. Easy Rider delves into what it means to live in America – both in terms of the freedoms that life allows as well as the limitations it imposes.

As George says, “This used to be a helluva good country. I can’t understand what’s wrong with it.” The characters in this movie recognize that the reality of America doesn’t necessarily live up to the ideal it projects. To them the Land of the Free and Home of the Brave is neither.

Easy Rider
places the age-old conflict between social libertarians and conformists front and center on the screen. These rugged individualists are frequently harassed by small-minded folks who turn to violence when confronted with a worldview that differs from their own.

In fact, the only place they are truly accepted is at a commune on the ranch of a laid-back Christian farmer, who, according to Wyatt, “does his own thing in his own time.” Could Jefferson have stated the agrarian ideal any better?

Ultimately Wyatt questions not the ends they sought, but the means they chose to achieve those ends in the search for their version of the American Dream. While at the commune, a passage from the I Ching is read – “Not every demand for change in the existing order should be heeded.” Wyatt echoes this concept when after leaving New Orleans he laments that they “blew it.” For those who haven’t seen the movie, we aren’t going to give away the ending. Suffice it to say that you can’t fight the Man.

Easy Rider is a modern film classic and repeated viewings will reward the movie enthusiast with a fuller appreciation of the directing, music and message it conveys. For others, at least a single viewing of this groundbreaking picture is necessary to better understand the development of modern American cinema, particularly the “New Hollywood” renaissance that took place in the decade to come.

In the end, Easy Rider serves as a type of memento mori for the cause of searching for your soul in an America that can only appreciate homogeneity.

Let everyone know about your love of creative financing

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David O'Hara asks, "Ever wish you were doing something a little more 'fun'?"

Happy Mother's Day

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"An Ottawa County family has learned the hard way that getting behind a passenger bus on an interstate highway can be dangerous to one's health.

"Robert and Angela Stokes of Graytown are suing Greyhound Lines Inc. in Lucas County Common Pleas Court over a load of human waste one of its buses released on their sport utility vehicle as they were on I-75 in Toledo on a spring day in 2005.

"The waste from the bus' sanitary tank went through the open windows and sunroof of their 2002 Ford Explorer, contaminating the outside and inside of the SUV and drenching the occupants, including their son, 9, and daughter, 10.

"The Stokes, who were covered with urine, feces, toilet paper, and human waste, were returning home after celebrating Mother's Day on May 8, 2005, at a Toledo restaurant."

'Bout time...

Todd's got a blog!

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Office Space Recut

Just for all the folks who end up here actually looking for Office Space stuff.

The moral high ground battle is on

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Nalgene bottles function in a way like SUVs, letting suburban types feel as though - if they really wanted to - they could head off from their classrooms and cubicles at any point and venture out into the wilderness. There's nothing wrong with acting on an active fantasy-life in the marketplace, of course, but Nalgene bottles tend to serve as the granola-eating do-gooder demographic's answer to the guilt-inducing SUV. These folks want to pretend they can leave their desks and venture into the mountains in an environmentally-sensitive manner - taking only pictures and leaving only footprints. Such consumers might therefore be saddened to learn that their water bottles are filled with the tears of baby bunnies.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

YouTube wins Time Invention of the Year

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"In the past 12 months, thousands of ordinary people have become famous. Famous people have been embarrassed. Huge sums of money have changed hands. Lots and lots of Mentos have been dropped into Diet Coke. The rules are different now, and one website changed them: YouTube."

2006 Pieces of Flair Zombie Song-Off winner announced!

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Behold the power of MySpace! I think H.L. Mencken put it best when he said "Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard."

So, without further ado, congratulations to Josh Hotchkin of The Shitty Wizards! His song, "Zomby Gurl," was the clear winner!

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According to the The Shitty Wizards MySpace site, the band was "formed in the spring of 2004 by long time friends Josh Hotchkin and Jason Wickman. The name Shitty Wizards was taken from a line on a Seattle Public Access television show called The Jerkbeast. The line was, 'Thats not Jesus, thats just a shitty wizard.' Although there are no definite plans for new works under the name The Shitty Wizards, the possibility is never distant or ruled out."

Hailing from Newton, Iowa, Hotchkin says that the Zombie Song-Off "may not be a big deal in the scheme of things, but I just want for there to exist somewhere a document that says there was a zombie song contest, and I won it!"

Not only does he get to hold the title of 2006 Pieces of Flair Zombie Song-Off winner, but he gets to take home a lovely prize package of indeterminate contents. AWESOME! Will this victory lead to a duet with PoF Robot Song-Off Winner Lesley Braden of Sequin Socks? All we can do is dream.

Victor Lams came in second place with "Deadly Friend," and Tom Smith's "Zombie Blues" came in third.

Honorable mentions go out to "Zombie garden" by Niko, "Zomboni" by Markleford and "I Heart Zombies" by The Rigormorticians.

Thanks to all that participated!

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

The Geek-a-Cycle

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Via The Presurfer: "The Geek-a-Cycle is a computer work/exercise station. While you work, you pedal. Set the drag on the magnetic resistance to light. As you think, pedal. When you type, stop pedaling. Over the course of the day you will find you pedal miles without even thinking about it. At the end of the day you have completed your work and you have completed your exercise."

Arkansas tourist attraction: dirt

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Via The Los Angeles Times: "Since an illiterate farmer named John Huddleston found what he called 'diamints' here a century ago while preparing to plant turnips, this gravelly, greenish patch of dirt about two hours from Little Rock has yielded more than 75,000 diamonds: shimmering marvels worth thousands as well as brownish stones too cloudy to cut into jewels. It continues to attract dreamers in search of instant riches; cheapskate fiances desperate for free engagement diamonds; and die-hard rockhounds yearning to uncover a gem so precious that it will grant them immortality."

Monday, November 06, 2006

6 Word Short Stories

We'll be brief: Hemingway once wrote a story in just six words ("For sale: baby shoes, never worn.") and is said to have called it his best work. So we asked sci-fi, fantasy, and horror writers from the realms of books, TV, movies, and games to take a shot themselves.

Rock stars love fake rock

The Wall Street Journal reports that members of Korn, Nine Inch Nails, Tool Rascal Flatts and My Chemical Romance are all big fans of Guitar Hero:

"On tour with his multiplatinum hard-rock band Korn last summer, Jonathan Davis regularly whipped crowds into a frenzy with classic-rock staples such as 'Iron Man,' 'Smoke on the Water' and 'More Than a Feeling.' And that was before he even got off the tour bus.

"Mr. Davis, Korn's lead singer, is part of an unlikely but growing fraternity: Rock stars who are also avid players of Guitar Hero, an electronic game that lets gamers pretend to be, well, rock stars."

Band of Horses
has apparently also experienced Guitar Hero, but not in quite the same way:

"One entertainer is hoping to use Guitar Hero to further blur the line between rocking a crowd and pretending to rock a crowd. Fred Armisen, a cast member on 'Saturday Night Live,' recently decided that Guitar Hero was enough like real musicianship to play it at a nightclub. Booked to open two New York gigs by the Seattle rock group Band of Horses, the comedian decided to forgo his usual standup routine and instead play Guitar Hero.

"Mr. Armisen strode on stage at New York's Bowery Ballroom, tiny plastic guitar strapped on, and told the audience he would be playing 'a couple of songs I've been working on.' He then turned to a giant projection screen at the back of the stage and played along with White Zombie's 'Thunder Kiss '65.' Mr. Armisen says he couldn't see the audience reaction, because he was facing the screen with his back to the crowd. Nor could he hear the live audience over the deafening roar of the videogame. 'The fake crowd on the game loved it,' he says."

Credit: Klevay.

"Gravity always works, and it always works in one direction"

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Yoga plus trapeze - the best of both worlds: "Aerial Yoga is a new type of Yoga that combines Yoga Asanas with movements done on an Aerial apparatus."

How to predict the subject of the next PoF song-off

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After failing to complete an entry for the 2006 PoF Zombie Song-Off in time, an embittered Mr. Miro points out Jeffrey Rowland's helpful guide to spotting cultural cliches and the song contests they inspire.

Speaking of song contests, if you haven't already voted for your favorite song, now's the time to do so! Voting ends at midnight on the 7th!! When everyone else is finding out on the 8th who will be spending their money and restricting their freedom, PoF readers will be finding out which zombie song rocks hardest! So rock the vote, zombie song fans!

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Peace Through Pork

"Peace Through Pork" is an evolving practice that is based on interpersonal contact and dialog.

The core element of "Peace Through Pork" is the offering of delicious, fried, cured, pig flesh to passers by. This is done in front of a banner proclaiming the event in english, arabic and hebrew. The desired result of this situation is to provoke individuals to approach a representative and inquire about either the theory of "Peace Through Pork" or express an interest in eating some bacon.
If we can't talk about bacon in a rational and thoughtful manner, then how can we ever hope to talk about any other issue that we allow to infect our lives with fear and superstition. Bacon is so simple and so tasty, how could it ever be a flashpoint? If it can not be addressed how can we address real issues; our distrust of each other, our misunderstanding of each others customs, our lack of respect for each others humanity.
Can we allow bacon to be that first step towards a broader conversation?

Is bacon not the metaphor for all of our fears and desires?

via BoingBoing

Friday, November 03, 2006

Marc and Matt Movie Review: Boogie Nights

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The 1997 film Boogie Nights opened to much critical acclaim. The buzz around Pulp Fiction is probably the best example of an opening of comparable attention. So, being minor-league critics ourselves, we thought it only appropriate that we weigh in as well.


Based loosely on the life of legendary thespian John Holmes, Boogie Nights stars Marky Mark Wahlberg as Eddie Adams (a.k.a., Dirk Diggler) – a young southern California man with a “gift from God” that lands him in a career in movies. Burt Reynolds also stars inn what is possibly a career-best performance as Horner, the director who discovers Eddie. The excellent cast is rounded out by Julianne Moore as Reynolds’ wife, and Phillip Seymour Hoffman as a maladjusted hanger-on.

The writer and director, Paul Thomas Anderson, had only made one previous feature film when Boogie Nights was released – Hard Eight (Anderson has since directed Magnolia and Punch Drunk Love). Watching Boogie Nights, however, one would be hard-pressed to tell that he was a relative novice to the business at the time.

The works of Martin Scorsese and Roger Altman heavily influence this work, but it is far from a blatant copy or misguided re-telling. With Boogie Nights, Anderson manages to pull off a film that is both fresh and original while at the same time paying homage to earlier masters.

The story, however, is not wholly original. A young stargazer dreams of success in Hollywood, achieves the dizzying heights of fame, and then falls back to earth and hits rock bottom. What is unique about the subject matter is that this dreamer finds success not in the mainstream movie industry. Instead, endowed by his creator with more than just inalienable rights, he finds an opening in the world of adult entertainment.

From this perspective, Anderson beautifully parodies Hollywood. Instead of reading reviews in Variety, Horner sees how he made out in the skin trade magazines. Instead of winning the Oscar for Best Actor, Dirk wins awards for his portrayal of the physical achievements of his characters.

These people take their jobs very seriously, even though they are in an industry that almost no one else respects (but apparently a lot of people enjoy, as it is a billion-dollar industry). Horner is concerned about making a movie that “is true and right and dramatic,” for instance, despite the fact that it is pornographic. He does not see any contradiction in that goal, and many of the characters throughout the film echo his convictions.

Perhaps this is because Anderson seems to share this goal. He has made a move dealing with a subject many deplore, and turned it into a candidate for the year’s finest film. He shows that a person’s line of work does not negate their value as a person. Dirk has quite a successful movie career, but he never loses his basic humanity. Essentially, we all have a common bond (a theme explored further in Magnolia), and Anderson uses this as a tool to strip away our prejudices and let us examine the subject with an unbiased eye.

Boogie Nights is a truly fine film, and one that we recommend highly. Don’t let your misgivings about the subject matter deter you; watch with an open mind and enjoy a quality production by a talented director.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Semis in the sky

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Ohio Airships would like to see highway spending diverted to the airship industry: "The most profound difference between Dynalifters and other trans-continental modes of transportation is the low cost of ground infrastructure. It is a little known fact that a $100K semi-truck is traveling on a $1T highway network. Despite their relatively high unit cost of $100M per aircraft (compared with a semi-truck), Dynalifters require almost no ground infrastructure (only short runways)."