Tuesday, September 29, 2009

There Goes Whatever Respect I Had for Some Pretty Talented Directors

Lynch, Mann, Wenders, Gilliam, Scorsese, Allen and tons more just made it impossible for me to separate watching their movies from the fact they apparently don't think it's that bad to drug and rape a 13 year old girl.

Get My Drift?

If “Mark Twain Said It,” He Probably Didn’t | GOOD: Twain cited as America's leading recipient of Churchillian Drift.

I wonder if even us non-famous folk have a similar effect with our name on it. Like, C-Dogian Drift might be when you think you know somebody who has a copy of that book, and whether it's c-dog or not, that's who you cite as having it? I hope it's something that mildly endearing. More likely, it's someone got drunk, hurled, was thrown out of the bar, and eventually passed out someplace in Storrs, CT. "Oh, I think that was c-dog."

Saturday, September 26, 2009


The Get Up Kids apologize for helping invent emo:
'If this is the world we helped create,' guitarist James Suptic said, after looking into the crowd at a reunion gig, 'then I apologise.'

Friday, September 25, 2009

No Swimming

4. Nuclear Waste Pools in North Carolina | Project Censored: Errrr, I don't like this at all.

Seventh-Generation Eye

Ralph & Ayn: "
only-the-super-rich-can-save-usThe other day, browsing at the local B&N, I came across an alarmingly thick novel written by Ralph Nader, and now the New Yorker takes a closer look at this development. The book — Nader eschews the term novel for it; prefers the hilariously oxymoronic “a practical utopia” — is called Only the Super-Rich Can Save Us!. (The exclamation point is a part of the official title and “super-rich” is even underlined on the front cover, leading me to believe the novel — sorry, the practical utopia may have been ghostwritten by an 11-year-old girl.)

This is, as far as I can tell, the final step in Nader morphing into the left’s Ayn Rand. For instance, the naming department: Not cowed by the difficulty of beating Rand’s Ragnar Danneskj√∂ld, Nader’s stand-in for the real world’s already-goofily-named Grover Norquist is “a conservative evil genius named Brovar Dortwist.” (The magazine deserves a major prize for coaxing this from Norquist: “I have warm fuzzies for [Nader] on a number of levels.”) But surely Nader can’t match Rand’s imagination when it comes to outlandish blueprints for ideological wish fulfillment? Well, check out this sentence fragment: “Yoko Ono, who in the book invents a logo called Seventh-Generation Eye that causes millions of people suddenly to shed their political apathy . . .”

Oh, my. The book is ranked 166 on Amazon as I write this, so it appears people are actually reading it."

I saw this the other day and thought maybe it was a joke, so didn't post it.  Now it's showing up all over and doesn't seem to be a hoax.  As ridiculous as it sounds, it can't be as ridiculous as Objectivist fiction.  Can it?

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Don't Tell Roger Corman About This

Beware the Bearsharktopus - Boing Boing

The Coywolf

Wylie Coywolf: The coyote-wolf hybrid has made its way to the Northeast: Scientific American Blog

Army of Yetis

Sam Raimi is going to give Yetis the District 9 treatment:
"One of the prerogatives of being a blockbuster director/producer is that you can shepherd new talent, as Lord of the Rings' Peter Jackson nurtured South African director Neill Blomkamp and his hit sci-fi action drama District 9 this summer.
Spider-Man's Sam Raimi is now taking a similar route by sponsoring a newbie British director named Corin Hardy and producing his proposed supernatural horror movie Refuge, about a remote town terrorized by a Yeti, the mythological creature native to the mountains of the Himalayas. (That's 'abominable snowman' to you.)"

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Hammett FTW

Ellroy in Paris:
paris-review-fall-09The new fall issue of The Paris Review features an interview with James Ellroy. In the excerpt available online, he trashes Raymond Chandler and praises Dashiell Hammett:

Chandler wrote the kind of guy that he wanted to be, Hammett wrote the kind of guy that he was afraid he was. Chandler’s books are incoherent. Hammett’s are coherent. Chandler is all about the wisecracks, the similes, the constant satire, the construction of the knight. Hammett writes about the all-male world of mendacity and greed. Hammett was tremendously important to me.

But what wisecracks and similes! Ellroy also accounts for himself during the years 1965-1975 — a section that is, er, not G-rated — and bemoans the focus of the attention he gets:

I’ve told many journalists that I’ve done time in county jail, that I’ve broken and entered, that I was a voyeur. But I also told them that I spent much more time reading than I ever did stealing and peeping. They never mention that. It’s a lot sexier to write about my mother, her death, my wild youth, and my jail time than it is to say that Ellroy holed up in the library with a bottle of wine and read books.
Still getting used to blogging items from other folks Google Reader Shared items. Credit this to Jorn Barger. I wish when using the 'send to blogger' function, Reader made it a little easier to cite the original sharer.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

I Do Not Think That Word Means What You Think It Does

ohnotheydidnt: Dan Brown's 20 Worst Sentences:
17. Deception Point, chapter 8: Overhanging her precarious body was a jaundiced face whose skin resembled a sheet of parchment paper punctured by two emotionless eyes.

It’s not clear what Brown thinks ‘precarious’ means here.

16. The Da Vinci Code, chapter 4: A voice spoke, chillingly close. "Do not move." On his hands and knees, the curator froze, turning his head slowly. Only fifteen feet away, outside the sealed gate, the mountainous silhouette of his attacker stared through the iron bars. He was broad and tall, with ghost-pale skin and thinning white hair. His irises were pink with dark red pupils.

A silhouette with white hair and pink irises stood chillingly close but 15 feet away. What’s wrong with this picture?

15. The Da Vinci Code, chapter 4: As a boy, Langdon had fallen down an abandoned well shaft and almost died treading water in the narrow space for hours before being rescued. Since then, he'd suffered a haunting phobia of enclosed spaces - elevators, subways, squash courts.

Other enclosed spaces include toilet cubicles, phone boxes and dog kennels.

14. Angels and Demons, chapter 100: Bernini's Fountain of the Four Rivers glorified the four major rivers of the Old World - The Nile, Ganges, Danube, and Rio Plata.

The Rio de la Plata. Between Argentina and Uruguay. One of the major rivers of the Old World. Apparently.

I don't have anything against Mr. Brown. I read The Da Vinci Code and didn't think it was the worst pop novel I've read, or the worst written. FCOL, remember The Historian? Anyways, I feel a little mean and would hope that if I ever lived the dream and published well-loved novels that I wouldn't have my every sentence diagrammed and critiqued. Check the history of my posting here for a lesson on How to Mangle Syntax -- I'm clearly in no position to judge. I do think it's worth pointing out that you can be a hugely successful author with, one supposes, handsomely compensated editors reviewing your work and still produce your fair share of laughable clunkers.

If You Are Among the Very Jung at Heart

I Trust KSR's Judgement In These Matters

Science fiction author hits out at Booker judges |Books |guardian.co.uk:
"Kim Stanley Robinson, one of science fiction's contemporary greats, accuses the Booker prize judges of ignorance"

Sadly, I haven't read the winners or his suggestions for who should have won. But now that I know, I can take the list to Lazy Lion tomorrow when I collect my $10 gift cert won for getting their Twitter trivia question right.

"He believes this year's prize should go to Adam Roberts's science fiction comedy, Yellow Blue Tibia, which didn't even make the longlist. In 2005, when John Banville took the Booker for The Sea, he believes that Geoff Ryman's Air should have won; in 2004 – when Alan Hollinghurst's The Line of Beauty won – it should have gone to Gwyneth Jones's Life, and in 1997, the year of Arundhati Roy's The God of Small Things, Signs of Life by M John Harrison should have triumphed."

Friday, September 18, 2009

The Ys Are Throwing Me

Girl, 6, helps mom give birth - FUQUAY-VARINA, N.C., Sept. 17 - UPI.com:
Johnson, a nurse at Raleigh's Tammy Lynn Center, said Diyana helped her deliver baby Madisyn before emergency crews arrived. Johnson and her father, Torris Jones, praised the 6-year-old for her help and bravery during the incident.
'I just thought that was awesome,' Jones said. 'She said, 'I almost cried when my mama was screaming. You told me to be a big girl, and I was a big girl.''

FF X-posting

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

DIY Space Cam

weeklyrob � Cheap Pics:
These guys spent just under $150, total, to send a camera into SPACE and take pictures. Or, almost space. Close enough for me.
Go have a look, and read how they did it. You could do it, too, ’cause they’re gonna post instructions.
[Link from Wired’s Gadget Lab.]

This Makes Negotiating Busy Intersections Much Easier for Them

Gene Therapy Cures Color-Blind Monkeys: Scientific American Podcast:
In one type of squirrel monkey, the males lack a visual pigment called L-opsin. Its absence renders the monkeys color-blind, unable to distinguish reds and green. Most of the females, on the other hand, see in full color. So the scientists got to wondering: what would happen if they gave a boy squirrel monkey the same opsin that girls have.
Using a harmless virus, the scientists introduced the pigment gene into the eyes of color-blind adults. Lo and behold, about a month later, the monkeys with the new L-opsin gene were able to see hues they’d never seen before.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

New Barrel Monster

Barrel Monster at SparkCon | New Raleigh:
"Guerrilla Artist, Joe Carnevale, is working on a new Barrel Monster for SPARKcon. The new project is expected to be a “Seventeen foot tall dinosaur.” Look for it at the corner of Hargett and Fayetteville Streets."

Barrel Monster looks a little less ominous in the light of day.

Lenny the Rat

Lenny Dykstra would like to sell you his 1986 World Series ring - Big League Stew - MLB - Yahoo! Sports:
For years, Lenny Dykstra used the glare from his World Series ring to fool people into believing he was building a vast financial empire that would eventually make him the modern day equivalent of John Pierpont Morgan.
Now that Dykstra has gone from fake financial wizard to a fine pawn shop jeweler you have the opportunity to do the same!
As reported by the NY Daily News over the weekend, the World Series ring that Dykstra won as a member of the 1986 Mets is part of an upcoming auction featuring memorabilia from Mr. Chew's career.
Dykstra, you might remember, recently filed for bankruptcy and said he only had $50,000 in assets to $31 million in debt. The championship ring is currently listed by Heritage Auctions at a bid of $7,000, but is valued at over $20,000. If only super Mets fan Bernie Madoff were around to make an offer, Dykstra might have found his way out of this mess.
It's wrong to take pleasure from the humiliation of a fellow human being, even an '86 Met.
It's wrong to take pleasure from the humiliation of a fellow human being, even an '86 Met.
It's wrong to take pleasure from the humiliation of a fellow human being, even an '86 Met.
I keep telling myself that and yet, all these years and two (!) World Series titles later, I still like to see Keith Hernandez hawking magic marker for your greybeard.

Two Too Many

BBC - Earth News - Scale of gorilla poaching exposed:
An undercover investigation has found that up to two gorillas are killed and sold as bushmeat each week in Kouilou, a region of the Republic of Congo.

Saturday, September 12, 2009


Book Review - 'Inside of a Dog - What Dogs See, Smell, and Know,' by Alexandra Horowitz - Review - NYTimes.com:
Dogs do not just detect odors better than we can. This sniffing “gaze” also gives them a very different experience of the world than our visual one gives us. One of Horowitz’s most startling insights, for me, was how even a dog’s sense of time differs from ours. For dogs, “smell tells time,” she writes. “Perspective, scale and distance are, after a fashion, in olfaction — but olfaction is fleeting. . . . Odors are less strong over time, so strength indicates newness; weakness, age. The future is smelled on the breeze that brings air from the place you’re headed.” While we mainly look at the present, the dog’s “olfactory window” onto the present is wider than our visual window, “including not just the scene currently happening, but also a snatch of the just-happened and the up-ahead. The present has a shadow of the past and a ring of the future about it.” Now that’s umwelt.
Sounds like an interesting book. As a dog lover, I'd like to read it. And, I like the title -- "inside of a dog it's too dark to read." But the problem I have with the passage above is the idea that because dogs smell things on the breeze, they have this totally different perception of time that includes "the up-ahead." Sounds kind of cool and mind-blowing at first glance, but don't we see things up ahead as well as what's right in front of us when we're walking? And we can smell the peanut roasting wagon that's around the street corner that we can't see yet, too. So, maybe not as much as dogs do, our perceptions would seem to give us the now and the up-ahead in the same way. This reminded me of the whole "eskimos have twenty words for snow" thing, like it's supposed to blow my mind there's more than one way to refer to snow. I'm no eskimo, but I have lots of words for snow myself: flurries, flakes, blizzard, white-out, drifts, slush, powder, sleet, etc.

Freethinker Style

20 coolest atheist T-shirts for sale on the web - Telegraph

No. Wrong. Just. No.

Warren Ellis : Your AAA WHAT THE F-BOMB IS THAT Moment For Today: I'm not going to include the picture of the parasite that eats the fish's tongue, then takes its place. If you follow the link it will be looking right at you. It's going to give me nightmares. You may not want to click the link.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Choose Wisely

Flickchart is either the best or worst thing to happen to making lists since ... well, since numbers.  The premise is simple: you make your list of favorite movies.  You do so by picking your favorite in a head to head match up.  The thing is, the match ups are sometimes surprisingly difficult.  That movie you loved and watched a dozen times in high school and can still quote from at length vs. that cool indie flick you caught a couple years back that got you thinking, deeply, about something you hadn't thought much about before -- which do you choose as your favorite?  They're totally different movies, different genres, maybe one's "art" and the other's not; but, the other's the one you and your friends saw together and use as a touchstone for shared memories.  One may be clearly better than the other in a critical sense but how do you separate your critical sense from your nostalgic fondness?  Should you even try?  The great thing is you have to choose one to move on.  The bad thing is you immediately get faced with another choice, then another, and before you know it hours have gone by and you're still clicking away.

Flickchart's database has been growing ... it used to pain me to see my list without The Maltese Falcon at the top because it just wasn't available ... and it's getting a little more social: you share match ups that intrigue you on Facebook now, as well as FriendFeed.  While there are social elements, the site is nicely designed in that they aren't in your face and you can rank to your heart's content without having to read how a bunch of idiots think The Dark Knight is the greatest movie ever made and anyone who doesn't think so obviously doesn't know anything about movies.  Yeah, the chuckleheads are there too but you can easily ignore them.  If you  score a beta invitation, try it out.  Then share your list with me. Update: You don't need an invitation any longer, they went live a couple days ago. So, do it.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

He's Smart Enough

Senator Al Franken draws map of USA: And does a fine job of it. Sort of a random link after the speech last night, I know.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Hum the Jaws Theme Now

Great White Sightings Prompt Cape Cod Swim Ban - US News Briefs | Newser

Shared via AddThis

Downhill is a Little Dicey

Kevin Cyr’s Camper Bike:

I was first introduced to Kevin Cyr’s work through his contribution to 20×200, I’m a proud owner of his ice cream truck. But he’s taken his work to another level with this creation, a Camper Bike. He’s created a tiny mobile house, essentially, which has some of the most basic elements you’d need to survive. He’s also created a series of paintings around it as well, which are just as beautiful as ever.
I would love to know if he actually transformed the inside like the blueprint shows or if he only created the outside. There are no photos of the inside, so I’m not sure. Anyhow it’s a really great idea. I also love his Camper Kart, which is an even smaller version of this one using a shopping cart.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Pre-Holiday Link Dump

Clearing out the starred items in my Google Reader to hold us over through the long weekend. Happy Labor Day, y'all.
11 More Companies Flee Glenn Beck [News Hounds] - If Murdoch wants to keep putting these rantings out there, let's make sure he's paying for it.
Animator Emily Hubley Plays Volleyball in Her Living Room [Vulture] - Georgia's sister gets a little pub. For hardcore Yo La Tengo fans.
Long before Hideo and Ichiro, there was Masanori Murakami [Big League Stew] - A little baseball history/trivia.
"Crisis and Hope," Noam Chomsky [Boston Review] - Sobering reading.
Can Atheists Be Parents? [Time] - It's an article from before I was born. Still I feel like slapping the judge that said, "no."

I Often Dream of Trains

The Joy of Reading in the Subways of New York - NYTimes.com: This is the real reason I support public transportation. Sure, it's 'green' and all ... but there is nothing better than turning a crappy commute into a chance to read.

Art About Town

The metal does the talking - Lifestyles - News & Observer: Interesting article that'll prompt me to drive by and check it out. Wish a photo was included in the article though. Google Street View is probably a bit out of date and not exactly easy to make out.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Enter Monkey Man

Monkey-friendly tunes shed new light on evolutionary role of music - Times Online:
The idea that human musical appreciation stems from the same evolutionary root as the vocalisations that primates use to bond and alert others to danger is not new, but it has always been hard to test because monkeys do not generally respond to music.
When monkeys have been played music, from classical to hard rock, they generally prefer silence. The sole exception has come from one experiment in which monkeys appeared to be calmed down by listening to the heavy metal band Metallica.
Now playing on YouTube: The Specials - Monkey Man
via FoxyTunes

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Vlad's House on His Route

Paper carrier gets impaled on fence :: WRAL.com:
"On a scale from one to 10 – 10 being the worst pain – it was about a 10,' he said. 'Blood just kept running out of that the whole time I was there."
Now playing on YouTube: The Fall - Everything Hurtz
via FoxyTunes

The Second Thing is to Carry On

Geek With (Lots of) Books: The First Step is to Admit You Have a Problem: I like this because I'm bad but not as bad as this guy. Did I mention my new Ikea bookcases are up and looking wonderful? A few things to tidy up and then I'll be flickring my new beauties.
Now playing on YouTube: Lloyd Cole and the Commotions - Are You Ready to Be Heartbroken?
via FoxyTunes
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