Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Fun with sheep and LEDs!

via Crooked Timber

Friday, March 27, 2009

Chris Cornell, Timbaland, and the law of diminishing returns

"Diminishing returns is an economic or financial term that refers to less than proportional increases upon the addition of more resources beyond a certain point.

"Diminishing returns is not only inherently financial in nature. Some skills, learning curves, and other items may display diminishing returns. For example, in learning a new language, an individual may reach a point at which studying that language with the same effort for the same amount of time will no longer provide the same increase in comprehension as it had in the past."

Whatever you think of Justin Timberlake's music, he has sold quite a few albums and helped earn Timbaland a "Midas Touch" reputation for his producing skills. As Weezer notes in the song "Pork and Beans," "Timbaland knows the way to reach the top of the charts. / Maybe if I work with him I can perfect the art."

Anyway, Duran Duran's "Red Carpet Massacre," an attempt at a hip-hopified comeback via Timbaland, fell flat - just to mention one example. Earlier this month, Chris Cornell of Soundgarden and Audioslave fame released his Timbaland effort "Scream." According to Timbaland, the recording sessions were "The best work I've done in my career." He predicted that Cornell will be the "first rock star in the club".

You be the judge:

Thursday, March 26, 2009



Gigapan allows users to upload, share, and explore gigapixel panoramas from around the globe.

Via Wired NextFest: "You don't have to be a world-class photographer (or Photoshop expert) to take a brilliant panoramic shot. The product of a two-year collaboration between Carnegie Mellon and NASA, GigaPan is a robotic tripod device that mounts to your digital camera and can capture thousands of images from all different angles, then weave them into a uniform high-resolution picture with more than a billion pixels. It's compatible with almost any model and will be priced to own at about $200 (or less). According to project leader Illah Nourbakhsh, it can be used to bridge cultural divides by contributing to a global network of community images — or just to produce a breathtaking memento of your next trip to the ballpark."

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

David Lynch Coffee: Hard to describe

Curious? Get yours here. Props to Mac for coming up with the slogan "He'll put his caffeine in you."

Friday, March 20, 2009

Long Before the Carlton Dance...

...there was "Breakin' and Poppin'."

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Are You Professional?

A Mai Shi tribute to Christian Bale and his emotional outbursts.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

How Israel sells arms to India

From the YouTube description:

"The Israeli arms firm Rafael displayed this Bollywood dance number-based marketing video at the recently held Aero India 2009 in Bangalore."

Via Marginal Revolution from whom I also stole the headline.

Friday, March 13, 2009

The smell of impending doom


"Genki Wear, known for its licensed science fiction jewelry and perfumes, has produced what might be the most unusual Star Trek product ever: Star Trek colognes and perfume based on the original 1960s television show.

"Genki’s 'Red Shirt' cologne celebrates the sacrifices of those often nameless crew of the USS Enterprise. Described appropriately as a cologne for those with a 'devotion to living each day as it could be your last' the cologne has top notes of green mandarin, bergamot, and lavender, with base notes of leather and grey musk."

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

PG Porn

When some of my most favorite people get together (James Gunn, Nathan Fillion, and Alan Tudyk), apparently the result is pure, unadulterated sexless porn.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

I am the real Santo Gold!

Delve into the bizarre story of Santo Gold, "a jeweller, filmmaker and infomercial-based salesman" whose powers of self-promotion and lack of shame defy comprehension. His "film" Blood Circus (1985) is characterized thus: "The movie is a wrestling-themed science fiction flick, with aliens from the planet Zoran fighting the US and USSR. It was, perhaps unsurprisingly, never released."

The above quotations are from this Guardian piece, which relates the latest chapter in an otherwise obscure and strange chapter in American cultural history. Santo Gold sued electro-rapper Santogold, who was born Santi White, last year for trade name infringement. Santogold the rapper is now know as Santigold and Santo Gold the crazed Baltimorean (Will, what other horrors are lurking in Baltimore?) wrestling-film promoter has cut an "album" to protect his trade name. The video above contains the title track. Here is Santo Gold's press release on the matter.

In the interest of fairness, here's Santigold:

More on the Santo/Santi kerfuffle here and here.

More on Blood Circus here and scenes, etc. here and here.

The above information provided as a public service by PoF.

Via Kevin

Monday, March 09, 2009

C-C-Catch the Wave: We Made a Page on Facebook!*

Eat your heart out PepbSuber, Coke has just taken the advertainment crown with this genuinely funny video co-starring and written by Hillsdale alum Michael Jedrzejewski. Check it:

Full Disclosure: This blog receives no funding from Coca-Cola or from any other corporation as far as I know. But now that they know how clever and awesome we are here at PoF, I expect we'll be seeing offers any day now...

*No PoF does not yet have it's own FB page, but our crack team of internets specialists are hard at work on that.

Saturday, March 07, 2009

Fourier analysis solves rock mystery

Evidently, the first chord in the Beatles' "A Hard Days' Night" has proved a conundrum for musicians and music publishers for decades. You'll be relieved to know that mathematician Jason Brown has finally put this conundrum to bed .

"Four years ago, Jason Brown was inspired by reading news coverage about the song’s 40th anniversary - so much so that he decided to try and see if he could apply a mathematical calculation known as Fourier transform to solve the Beatles’ riddle. The process allowed him to break the sound into distinct frequencies using computer software to find out exactly which notes were on the record.

"What he found was interesting: the frequencies he found didn’t match the instruments on the song. George played a 12-string Rickenbacker, John Lennon played his 6 string, Paul had his bass - none of them quite fit what he found. He then realized what was missing - the 5th Beatle. George Martin was also on the record, playing a piano in the opening chord, which accounted for the problematic frequencies."

Perhaps this will be part of the quantitative curriculum for the new Master's of Beatleology degree "programme" at Liverpool Hope University.

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Ode to a yellow cup


Last night, March 4, 2009, my wife informed me that she was no longer comfortable drinking from our big yellow plastic cup. It had something to do with bacteria, I think.

In any case, I believe that this is a watershed moment in our relationship, and perhaps our lives. It is a turn of events that merits remarks equal to the occasion. This is my humble attempt.

Goodbye, yellow cup

Before my daughter was born, you were there

Before I married my wife, you were there

Before I had my first job, you were there

Have you always been there, yellow cup?

You lived with us in Ohio

You lived with us in Arkansas

You lived with us in Indiana

In what other fantastic places have you lived, yellow cup?

Sting says that if you love somebody you must set them free

Am I setting you free, yellow cup, or is it you who frees me?

Goodbye, yellow cup


Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Stimulus Flair!

How can the average citizen keep track of all the new boons the magic stimulus is bringing our way? Why stickers of course! Er, ahem, I mean "emblems".

Seaborne & Roach: Taxes and Chicken!

Seaborne&Roach Ep5: Taxes and Chicken


Via Tom Palmer