Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Defiance

I recall seeing a preview of this movie online about 6 months ago and it looked like something worth seeing.

Two weeks ago NPR mentioned it in their Day to Day progam of Why Are There So Many Holocaust Movies? (Answer: Actors and produces exploit mass tragety to earn the type of gravitas the holocaust confers in an attempt to win awards.) Defiance was cited as being the exception worthy because "not very jew in WW2 was lead like a lamb to slaughter"

Now I was sent a link to an nice big shiny trailer, and my interest is piqued for a third time. Anyone else think this is worth seeing?

Monday, December 29, 2008

Scientific illiteracy all the rage among the glitterati

I liked this article in the independant.

Scientific illiteracy all the rage among the glitterati

By Steve Connor, Science editor
Saturday, 27 December 2008

When it comes to science, Barack Obama is no better than many of us. Today he joins the list of shame of those in public life who made scientifically unsupportable statements in 2008.


Closer to home, Nigella Lawson and Delia Smith faltered on the science of food, while Kate Moss, Oprah Winfrey and Demi Moore all get roastings for scientific illiteracy.

The Celebrities and Science Review 2008, prepared by the group Sense About Science, identifies some of the worst examples of scientific illiteracy among those who profess to know better – including top politicians.

Mr Obama and John McCain blundered into the MMR vaccine row during their presidential campaigns. "We've seen just a skyrocketing autism rate," said President-elect Obama. "Some people are suspicious that it's connected to the vaccines. This person included. The science right now is inconclusive, but we have to research it," he said.

His words were echoed by Mr McCain. "It's indisputable that [autism] is on the rise among children, the question is what's causing it," he said. "There's strong evidence that indicates it's got to do with a preservative in the vaccines."

Exhaustive research has failed to substantiate any link to vaccines or any preservatives. The rise in autism is thought to be due to an increased awareness of the condition.

Sarah Palin, Mr McCain's running mate, waded into the mire with her dismissal of some government research projects. "Sometimes these dollars go to projects that have little or nothing to do with the public good. Things like fruit fly research in Paris, France. I kid you not," Ms Palin said. But the geneticist Ellen Solomon takes Ms Palin to task for not understanding the importance of studies into fruit flies, which share roughly half their genes with humans. "They have been used for more than a century to understand how genes work, which has implications in, for example, understanding the ageing process," she said.

Hollywood did not escape the critical analysis of the scientific reviewers, who lambasted Tom Cruise, for his comments on psychiatry being a crime against humanity, and Julianne Moore, who warned against using products full of unnatural chemicals.

"The real crime against humanity continues to be the enduring misery caused by the major mental illnesses across the globe, and the continuing lack of resources devoted to supporting those afflicted," said the psychiatrist Professor Simon Wessely.

In answer to Moore, the science author and chemist John Emsley said that natural chemicals are not automatically safer than man-made chemicals, which undergo rigorous testing.

"Something which is naturally sourced may well include a mixture of things that are capable of causing an adverse reaction," Dr Emsley said.

Other mentions went to the chefs Nigella Lawson, who said "mind meals" can make you feel different about life, and Delia Smith, who claimed it is possible to eliminate sugar from the diet. The dietician Catherine Collins said that Lawson's support for expensive allergy foods is a wasted opportunity and too costly for those on limited incomes, while Lisa Miles of the British Nutrition Foundation said that sugars are part of a balanced diet.

Kate Moss, Oprah Winfrey and Demi Moore all espoused the idea that you can detoxify your body with either diet (scientifically unsupportable) or, in the case of Moore, products such as "highly trained medical leeches" which make you bleed. Scientists point out that diet alone cannot remove toxins and that blood itself is not a toxin, and even if it did contain toxins, removing a little bit of it is not going to help.

But top prize went to the lifestyle guru Carole Caplin for denouncing a study showing that vitamin supplements offer little or no health benefits as "rubbish" – it is the third year on the run that she has been mentioned in the review. Science author and GP Ben Goldacre pointed out that the study Ms Caplin referred to was the most authoritative yet published. "Carole should understand that research can often produce results which challenge our preconceptions: that is why science is more interesting than just following your nose," Dr Goldacre said.

Talking sense: Two who got it right

*The writer Jilly Cooper gets nine out of ten for making a stab at why alternative treatments might work: "If you believe them, then they work." That describes the placebo effect, where a harmless but useless remedy seems to work because the patient feels as if it is working.

*The vocal coach and singer Carrie Grant is applauded for raising the profile of Crohn's disease without abusing the science. "There are so many therapies available, but none of them are going to cure you," she said.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

The Final Solution


Jose, do what these guys did and hack your Nerf gun to shoot 500 rounds per minute. Full hack details here.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Not far enough Hose.



THAT will end all doubt.

Of course, the 'classic' even with less rubberbands, being that you fire by cranking you can keep the ROF to a reasonable limit and acutally get much more effect from it, plus you don't have to build it you can just order it. It looks really great too. Even when not being used, you'd be glad to have it around

gatling gun


for more routine warfare, a double spinner wheel is wonderful

hog leg

Of course, a bit of wood cut to shape and the $3.00 parts and you can make your own. Heck 10 of those for $20, some dowels, I bet you'd be able to create your own functional gatling gun, even if not quite as fancy as the other two.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

The next evolution

So we have a pair of Nerf pistols at work to blow off steam with. Now that I've seen the video below I'm thinking it's time to up the ante.

http://video.google.com/videosearch?hl=en&q=nerf+n-strike+vulcan+ebf-25+blaster&oe=UTF-8&um=1&ie=UTF-8&sa=N&tab=wv&oi=property_suggestions&resnum=0&ct=property-revision&cd=2#

Monday, December 22, 2008

Just for the NIMBY lulz

and the Alanis Morissette irony.

Full story here:
"MPR, churches oppose proposed LRT route

MPR said noise and vibrations from the train, connecting Minneapolis and St. Paul, could harm their ability to record and broadcast. The churches say those very same effects could rattle their aging buildings and disrupt their worship services. "

The fact that the, assumed, heathens - nay pagans have teamed up with the local churces makes my smart-alecy-cynical side giggle. So many bad jokes; so little time. I guess it is good that these ones write themselves.

(follow the smart alec link for a good story)

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Cr0n

As much as I enjoy the Food Channel, Rachel Ray does nothing for me. Until now. Wait for it...

Monday, December 15, 2008

Wet Fucking Blanket

Sorry for this one, guys. Watch if you have an hour and a lot of patience. The official site is here. If the video isn't working you can see it here.



I'm watching this on PBS as I type ... guess I wanted to share the misery.

36 days left

Feeding The Animals


Tyler Doshier explores the experience of a Girl Talk show as an example of "collective effervescence." The video was Tyler's final video project for his "Religion in Culture" class and comes via his buddy mason at NeoGAF.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Promises Kept


When I was a teenager two of my favorite entertainers vowed similar oaths. George Lucas said he'd never use special effects except to forward the story he was trying to tell. Metallica said they'd never make a music video unless there was a very special idea behind it. I can't say that Lucas ever followed his own rule. But for a second Metallica only made videos like "One" and "Unforgiven." Then when the black record came out they made not-so-special clips like "Enter Sandman" and a whole slew of performance clips followed. 

The video you see above is what I see as Metallica returning to form. Their new  record may not be the second coming of "Master of Puppets" but I'll be damned if this isn't the coolest fucking music video I've seen in years.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Who Is Your Daddy And What Does He Do?


From the brilliant record "Total Brutal" by Austrian Death Machine.

I hope this website got some kind of producer credit on the record.

R.I.P. Forrest J. Ackerman


Forrest J. Ackerman, the king of science fiction fandom passed away today. 

To learn more about the publisher of Famous Monsters of Filmland and curator of perhaps the greatest collection of science-fiction memeroabilia ever assembled read this 2003 profile from the Los Angeles Times

Ackerman's collection was one of legend. And he gratiously shared it with anyone who came calling to his Los Angeles home. One of my great regrets is that I never took a tour of the Ackermansion when Forrest was in good health.

Yay, Norway!


They've already blessed us with the best vampire movie in ages. Now Dead Snow, a horror comedy about frozen Nazi zombies, will be playing Sundance.

Go to Twitch for the teaser.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

The Hit & Run

Here's a great mini-documentary about the Hit & Run t-shirt crew. My buddy Brandy, one of the co-founders, figures prominantly in the clip. You also get a look at a some of Kime's art.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Tim & Eric in Minneapolis!


January 22 at the Pantages. Their live shows are great. Not to be missed.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Is This Song on RB or GH yet?

"Children of the Sun" by Billy Thorpe (the official site is pretty slick)
To get the full effect you want to hear this song in stereo.
Here is the song put to a tribute to the Hubble Space Telescope. It has a long intro, insturment solos and rock vocals. Sounds about right.


Auditorium



Best Flash game I've played in a long, long time. Just try it already.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Let The Right One Inhale


Because the world doesn't appreciate how hard I can rock a caption, here's Twilight Star Kristen Stuart smoking out on her porch.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Matisyahu - SRSLY

My soon too be Orthodox brother has been forwarding this guy my way for months now. I can't tell if I just like novelty of it; the Beastie Boys could be considered step one here, I guess. Or if I just plain enjoy it.

Official Video.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Game of Thrones Greenlit


HBO ordered a pilot. If my calculations are correct Peter Dinklage's agent is currently embroiled in a Blackberrying frenzy. 

Monday, November 10, 2008

Christian Monk TACTICS

Just in time for Christmas 2008.
Coming to all Next-Gen systems.
Christian Monk TACTICS




Six different factions give you many fighting traditions to choose from. Which one best fits your playing style? Will you go with the punch to the back of the head Armenian sneak attack? Or will you go with the stoic but suprising strategies used by the Greek Orthodox?




The Old Testament genre that TACTICS is has been updated for this New Testament video game world. In this game you don't just fight over relics and artifiacts. You fight with them. The game starts with an FMV of you strutting through the front door of the Church of the Holy Sepulcher with the True Cross ( " " ) slung over your shoulder just after you kicked down the ladder that had been over the front door since the 19th century.

What side will you choose when God isn't on any?


Monday, November 3, 2008

This one's for AVK



You know what this means....

Amerikkka: The RPG



I know Dock loves reading home-spun RPGs -- so I'll share this one with the group. It's Amerikkka: The Game, a pencil and paper that imagines where the country would go if all the extremists simulaneously got their way. It's was co-written by my editor over at Giant Realm, Joe Blancado. 

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Synth Pop For Dock


They're called Max Tundra. The album, "Will Get Fooled Again." Don't I know it.

via Chris Dahlen's tweets.

Bad High Fantasy Television.


HBO better hurry up with AGOT. On local channel 45 there is a TV adaptation of Wizard's First Rule called Legend of the Seeker. Overacting abounds. Bad accetns aplenty. They did get a pretty lady to play the Confessor though. The book was only bearable and doesn't hold up to time so this isn't a terrible fall. On the positive side the special effects are actually very good. Suprisingly good.


Now don't get me wrong I am totally going to watch it - continue to watch it I should say.

Friday, October 31, 2008

A Halloween Flash Adventure

In my continuing series intended to occupy Tim at work, I give you Ghostscape!

It took me about half an hour to finish it. Unfortunately, it took me about ten minutes to guess the reveal. Still, it's very well-done for an amateur production. I hope you all enjoy it.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Another October Light Horse Charge

Battle of Beersheba on October 31st, 1917

The Austrians and Turks held a fort and a 800 Aussie Mics rode across 6 kilometers of bare desert in an attempt to capture it.


I love this scene. For starters, I always love it when a filmmaker gets 800 horses together rather than 8000 digitally rendered copies of one guy on a horse

Second I love it when a filmmaker takes the time highlight true historical 'tidbits' that played importantly in the outcome of the battle. In the film they take the time to show the Turks failing to readjust their sights from 1600 meters to something lower when the Aussies got closer. Leaving the sights cranked resulted in the Turks shooting 3 meters over the heads of their targets.

Some people label this 'the last successful cavalry charge in history' while others claim it isn't even a cavalry charge at all.

In military parlance, not everyone who has a horse is cavalry. People who were to ride horses to battle and dismount (Mounted Infantry) weren't cavalry. Of course, that would make things too simple. There were groups that started out as mounted infantry and who later began training for mounted combat, making them 'half cavalry half mounted infantry'

Then there are groups like the Dragoons, who started out as mounted infantry and then developed along the lines of 'half cavalry' but were generally used to counter true heavy cav. Of course, they didn't have the training of true heavy cav, and were burdened by short rifles and ammunition, etc, but not nearly the same amount of armor. Dragoons never measured up vs Heavy Cavalry. Plus there was a big pay difference and social standing difference. In many places, Dragoons retained the name but stepped into the role of heavy or light cavalry...and got the pay and perks that came with it.

Of course the Brits did just the opposite. To cut costs in 1746 the Brits retired their true heavy cavalry and true light cavalry and renamed them as light dragoons and heavy dragoons. Hence even in the 'Charge of the Light Brigade' it wasn't true cavalry who were making the charge, creating a strong parallel between the 'Light Brigade' and the Australian '4th Light Horse Brigade' depicted in this film.

Of course, they stand in opposition because the charge by the 4th Light Horse was planned taking current intelligence reports into account...and it didn't turn into a disastrous failure. (There are some strong parallels between the Oct 25th charge and Gallipoli however)

Plus I like that it is Austria vs Australia.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

I never actually knew what day St. Crispin's day was.

It's today. I always thought of October 25 as the anniversary of the Charge of the Light Brigade (as immortalized in verse by Tennyson). That co-incidence makes the following picture (graciously made available to me by the Internet) much funnier. Well, much funnier to me, anyway.



Edit: I forgot to dedicate this post to Tim, as the battle of Agincourt (1415) was a kingmaker.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Monday, October 20, 2008

30% anything from Microsoft

Not sure what Microsoft is doing, but they are offering rebates on just about anything you buy from using their shopping search. Type "Buy it Now" into live.com's search and click on the Ebay link. 30% off up to $200 on any 1 item (you have to wait 60 days to get your money). Add that to the 10% coupon Ebay is currently offering and you can get a nice deal on those World Series tickets, or the My Little Pony Collectors Edition.

Anathem

Are any of you reading Neal Stephenson's new book? My brother gave it to me Saturday night and I am now over 100 pages in to the over 900 page book. It has religion, sci-fi and some politics all rolled into one presentation. Perfect for me but I wonder if all of you guys would like it. In it Math equals Catholocism to baseline it; I am thinking of you here Wolf.

So far I am not picking up the normal Stephenson voice. The one that says, "I am badass, you know I am badass, soak in the awe of my badassery." This books says something more like, "Heh, I made this world up between the time my right foot hit the floor and my left foot in the floor when I got up this morning." It is not as good as his other stuff which only means it is six times better than other writer's current works. I can't tell if he has a trigger to pull later in the story or if he is just enjoying telling the story. Is he commenting all along or is he setting up something big?

This Happened.



Neutral Milk Hotel - Engine - 10/18/2008 Brillobox, Pittsburgh PA from Engine on Vimeo.

The clip above is the first time Jeff Mangum has performed a song by Neutral Milk Hotel in a very, very long time. It the video you'll note more than a few heathens gibbering in the background -- their debt will be paid in the depths of Hades, where the only radio station that comes in is Jack FM.

If you're reading and don't get the significance. Jeff Mangum is the former lead singer of Neutral Milk Hotel -- the band that recorded one of the best records of the past twenty years. Soon after Mangum freaked out, walked away. We'd pretty much all given up on the idea of him ever gracing us his music again. But the way things are going we may hear more yet.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Blind Pony Books







This guy has an interesting eye

Friday, October 17, 2008

One More Thing

Well, the last debate is over, but if you needed just a little bit more from the candidates to make your decision, these might do the trick.  Senators Obama and McCain were at the same dinner Thursday night and spoke back to back, making fun of each other and themselves.  Both are worth watching; these are not stump speeches, and they are funny and a little moving at times.



Thursday, October 16, 2008

Why Don't I Get A Banana Sticker?

I fell a little bit in love with Metalocolypse this week. Then, with preternatural timing, a blog post from Jen about her new job at Best Buy and the distribution of stickers reminded me of a particular episode I'd just seen.



Here's the best part. Turns out you can just go out and buy psychological validation.


Those who give us stickers may go away from our lives, but their impact on us lives on. Dethklok wrote a song about it.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

The Movie With Chimp Curse Has Been Broken!

And not just because Christina Ricci plays Trixie. *blush* The intro is one of the best EVAR for this type of movie; it does it's job amazingly well. The brothers Wachowski use every cliche in movie history but almost make them new again. And they do it visually instead of with writing. You have to watch it to understand.

They do lean a bit too much on one thing from the cartoon but it works and doesn't take away from the experience. (it is a better scene transition than any of the ones in the apocryphal Star Wars films)


This will be one of the movies I wont mind my boys playing over and over. Hmmm, Transformers or Speed Racer? I will have to get back to you on that one.


Eight out of eight 'childhood inducing memories of a thrill ride shared with your girl and the next generation of dorks' cylnders for this film.

Monday, October 13, 2008

I, For One, Welcome Our...


Ars Technica is running a three part series on a topic of interest to me: self-driving vehicles.  The second in the series was posted today and attempts to predict what societal changes might occur after the widespread adoption of autonomous cars.  Good science fiction-y stuff that can't happen soon enough for me.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Am I being detained?

Look, I am all for securing our borders, but Law Enforcement needs a reason to stop you. Simply mass-checking people on the road inside the US but NEAR a border is not acceptable.

You need to have some reason to suspect the people are in the vehicle are breaking the law. Simply having dark skin or a high burrito diet is not sufficient.

Still, I wonder the skin color of the videographer. I certainly didn't detect a Spanish accent. I wonder how much longer someone with a Spanish accent would have had to continue that banter before being either let go or illegally yanked from the cab and beaten.

I note how she says "I am required to ask you" not "You are required to tell me"

You got to have a pair of balls to pull that one off, and I am sure a camera helped.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

What Has Two Thumbs and Is Passing Multivariable Calculus?



This guy.

He couldn't make the same claim at any point last year.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Grass

I love the New York Times' slideshows -- the ones with audio, kinda like a miniature NPR radio piece. So liberal, yeah? This one is pretty interesting, it's about guys in Ft. Meyers code enforcement trying to mow all the lawns of abandoned houses to prevent crime.

Ding! (The Bad Kind)

Looks like Netflix is dinging Blu-Ray early adopters for an extra buck a month. Sucks when the ratio in your queue is 50 DVDs for every one Blu-ray.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

BUSTED: The Citizen's Guide to Surviving Police Encounters

45 minutes but definately worth it

The Upside of 'Twilight"



Thanks, no doubt, to the wild sucess of certain series of vampire novels, we're getting the chance to see one of the year's most acclaimed international horror pictures without the requisite twenty-month wait.

Let The Right One In opens at the Lagoon on November 14th. From what I've heard this isn't one to miss.

Here's the trailer:

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Get Lamp

Infocom lovers unite.

Get Lamp

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Tiernan Dinged Four Today

Azeroth is saved!

If you see a NE Warrior named Teeman running around lend a hand and please refrain from naughty chat. Mail him some money or gear so he can see how that part of the game works. He is on our RP server and is larping a mute as far as he knows. I am also doing right by teaching him HotKeys and not mousing. It still hasn't 'clicked' in his brain that he is now in a 3D world. He is used to side view flash games. I can't wait to see the new brain connections form and him get his in game bearings.

A proud day for papa and a great day for son. After his one hour session he said, "This is fun."

He then donned his IRL armor and is now out chasing squirrels with a wooden battle axe (5-9 damage 2.20) and plastic sword (1-3 damage 1.9).

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Dance Floor Dale

This video below contains some explicit cartoon scenes, flashing lights and is FOR OVER 18's ONLY.


Directed by Eric Wareheim (Tim & Eric) in association with Warp Records and Warp Films. Music by Flying Lotus. Co Directed/ Animation by Devin Flynn. Co Directed/ Edited by Eric Fensler. More info at dancefloordale.com

Believe the warning, kids. Watch this one someplace very safe.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Missed the Debates

But I read Bob Odenkirk's latest blog post, which is pretty much the same thing.

America, it's time for change. (HOLD FOR APPLAUSE) The current city of Washington is a cesspool. (HOLD FOR APPLAUSE). It’s worse than a cesspool. It’s a bilge pond. (HOLD FOR CONFUSION) I say it’s time we wipe out Washington as we know it and establish a new city of Washington. (HOLD FOR SHOUTS OF "YOU GO, GIRL!") A city I propose that we call..."New Washington". (HOLD FOR UNCERTAIN APPLAUSE) If I run, and if I am elected -- that is, if I let you vote for me – (SWALLOW, SMILE, ADJUST CROTCH – HOPEFULLY THEY’LL HAVE A PODIUM – MUST HAVE PODIUM!)


Read the whole thing here.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Get Your Engineer On



Interesting decisions(TM) abound! Every level of "Fantastic Contraption" has any number of possible solutions. Get your little pink ball into the pink field any which way you can. I call the level pictured above "If you build it, it will fall down the hole."

I spent way too much time trying to build a walker by hooking a leg to the outside of a drive wheel.

I find this game extremely relaxing. I'm concerned that there may be something wrong with me. Play it at its own, dedicated website.

Monday, September 22, 2008

You're Safe for One More Week

Because next week Cartoon Network's [Adult Swim] starts airing episodes of "Superjail." I won't speak to what it might do to you, but it blows my mind and rocks my ass simultaneously.



I find the animation reminiscent of the work of Sally Cruikshank (notably "Face Like a Frog") in the interplay of reality and surreality, though Cruikshank's work tends towards the whimsical if somewhat insidious, whereas "Superjail" plunges directly into the downright brutal.

Become initiated by watching the pilot. (Probably best not to do this at work. Tim, wait until the kids are in bed. Or possibly wait until they've moved out entirely)

"Superjail" is painstakingly and lovingly brought to us by Augenblick Studios, who are responsible for any number of other awesome things (see their site, linked above, for proof). Explore Superjail's pedigree in the press release.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

The Corpus Clock is a Chronophage


It eats time.

via Slashdot.

Oprah Duped By 4Chan

Eager to spook parents with pedophilia fear mongering she quoted a forum post full of 4Chan-isms, including "we do not forgive, we do not forget" and "over 9000."

Still, who's the joke really on? Millions of ignorant soccer moms just put their kids on lock down.

 

via Tyler Durden



EDIT: MOAR

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Where's Annie?


Starting October 2nd Altered Aesthetics will host a group show called "Tales From The Black Lodge" featuring art inspired by Twin Peaks. Also: That gum you liked is coming back in style.

Quiz of the Week

I could survive for 47 seconds chained to a bunk bed with a velociraptor

Created by Bunk Beds Pedia


Found via Hart Shafer -- Thanks for sharing!

Monday, September 15, 2008

My mother-in-law gave me this T-shirt for my birthday.

Progress is being made.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

R.I.P. David Foster Wallace

My favorite author is dead. I can't believe it.

I can't believe it.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Zombies?

On MPR this morning I half-heard a story about some election. I didn't hear what they were saying, but they referred more than once to "frankenvoters."



Who and/or what are these monstrosities? Genetically engineered super-delegates? Poll participants pieced together from the parts of the parts of the population that have passed away? Demonic Democrats? Revenant Republicans? How do I find out more about them and, more importantly, more about how to defend my family from them?

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

HBO Options A Game of Thrones



This comes from George himself.  (Wikipedia explains the Hollywood lingo). Doesn't mean the show is happening, but it's good news in that the show isn't dead.  Ten Internets to the first person who gets what the picture is referring to. One DKP minus for bitching about the net book.

When Overqualified Jazz Musicians Go Rocker

That is the title for an intersting story NPR had on an upcomming documentary. They have the audio link up here.

Here is the blurb that goes with it

Day to Day, September 9, 2008 · Music reviewer David Was takes a look at a new documentary about the The Wrecking Crew. They were talented, but relatively unknown musicians responsible for hit songs from famous bands like The Beach Boys and the Monkees in 1960s and 1970s.

It sounds interesting, I just hope someone reminds me of this documentary when it hits DVD or, more likely. some internet video site.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Will Wright on Care Bears


A bunch more over at the X-Play website. Matt Keil links 'em here.

How long has it been since I posted some Kanye?



Here's his new single "Love Lockdown" as performed live on the VMAs.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

If You've Seen Totoro

Otherewise enjoy it as surreal. I could have sworn I posted this video once before, though.

There Will Be Funny

http://www.worldofwarcraft.com/community/comics/gallery.html#232

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

HALP!

School has started so the kids are going to bed early at night and leaving early for school in the morning. This allows me to just grind some flowers and fishing for an hour at night. Or to just check the AH in the morning.

Blackmouth Oil is going for a gold a bottle.

Um, I guess by 'halp' I mean I need help on Theramore Isle.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

A Slick Quickie

Only when you master the 21st mini-game may you lay claim to the Ninja Glove.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

America Needs a President for Barney Smith not Smith Barney!

I'm voting for Barney Smith.

Are you all watching the run-up to Obama's speech? (I'm supposed to be packing.) If you aren't you missed a suprising speech from Mr. average American, Barney Smith. When he took the podium I actually flinched. Yes, I judged a book by it's cover. There were so many assumptions to be made based on life experience that one of them had to be correct. But not at all. I was wrong; forgive me Barney Smith. It wasn't the best oration ever by any means but he did it and he meant it. It was a great explaination point to the delegate part of the evenings speeches. It is to soon to be on the net anywhere but this guy could be meme gold. The sound byte of the orchestration is as follows:

"America needs a President for Barney Smith! Not Smith Barney!"



Barney! Barney! Barney! Barney! ...

Gus, This is Your Chance...

... to influence my musical taste.

To any and all (not just Gus):

I have 30 free downloads left on eMusic before I cancel the trial subscription. I've already pulled several albums to my taste and am willing to give some new stuff a try.

My commitment: find something in their catalog that you like, post the track here (link if you can), and I'll put the first 30 into rotation. Try to keep individual artists to a track or three so I can mix it up. I can't promise to like it, but I will give them all an honest listen.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Klingon threat....averted!




A spokesman for police in Gloucester, where it was surrendered, said: "It is a particularly nasty weapon that can, literally, take someone's head off. We are very glad it is off the streets and we want more weapons handed in."

The blade is believed to be a stainless-steel copy of a Klingon weapon used in the science fiction series Star Trek. "It's an extremely dangerous weapon," said a martial arts expert last night.


I can tell some fanboy will be VERY mad at his mom when he returns from Uni.

p.s. could they have gotten a guy FURTHER from the Klingon standard to pose with this weapon?

Light Sabers are next because "People might not be able to tell if it is a real lightsaber or replica"

Not a Photoshop


Yep, that's Will Farrell and a Sleestak from the upcoming Land of the Lost movie. Fun trivia: Sid and Marty Kroft recruited USC basketball players to play the Sleestak in the original show.

To Take Up Arms Against a Sea of Something Unpleasant


This is not a new game, but one of many excellent flash games that appeared earlier in the year (this past spring was a great time for casual browser gaming) and persists in my mind as a true calssic. I had intended to do a big round-up of all of them, but as the weeks slipped away it felt less and less timely.

All for the best, though, as now I can trickle them out a few at a time. Aside to Waters: I'm not an enabler, I'm an encourager.

The Winter Is Coming


The song "The Albatross" by Elf Power just popped up in iTunes from their album "The Winter is Coming." I never made the George R.R. Martin connection until today. I listened to this record a bunch when it came out. They're band is part of the Elephant 6 collective, and as such, are close cousins to Neutral Milk Hotel.

There are no overt references to the Starks in the title track. But there are parallels. Crows. Lots of crows. And maybe someone spying from the skies?

"The Winter is Coming"

trailing out through the golden dawn
veering into the angry swarm carried by the birds into the dark
swooping down through the blurry clouds
peeling back the enormous shroud to release the beast that lurks behind

mother nature calls your name
leads you to an open space
the winter is coming and you have no time to waste

later on at the lair, see the birds melt into the air
no one could protect them from the sun
blazing on for another world, setting off through the silent swirl
think of all the faces they may know

mother nature calls your name
leads you to an open space
the winter is coming and you have no time to waste

free at last now, the bird has flown
looking down from his floating throne
just a lonely stranger in the sky
down below, people walk the road they never pause as they scurry home
they never see the birds are floating by

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Directions


MCTC just opened a new science building. So today, before class, I'm doing some math and a pretty, young woman approaches me with a look of concern and rising urgency on her face. She addresses me politely.

"Excuse me. Can you tell me where the Science Building is?" As usual, my internal editor is asleep at the controls.

"Is it that obvious?" The subtlest adjustment of her expression tells me that she hasn't got time for anything but directions.

Seattle rocks, or why I'm also going to PAX next year



Seattle is my new favorite city - wired, friendly, walkable, clean, and fun. We just got back from a 4-day weekend there and I've convinced the wife we need to go back next year for PAX.

Here's my blog/trip plan

Monday, August 25, 2008

Obnoxious

http://www.instantrimshot.com/

Love it.

I like this song

...but I really like seeing a double bass in the back. I think that is a very interesting instrument. I also like to see those bass players really working their fingers. The fact that these guys are 'thumping' the string just below the actual note's string to give a fuller sound. Check out this but I really like seeing a double bass in the back. I think that is a very interesting instrument. I also like to see those bass players really working their fingers. The fact that these guys are 'thumping' the string just below the actual note's string to give a fuller sound. Check out this but I really like seeing a double bass in the back. I think that is a very interesting instrument. I also like to see those bass players really working their fingers. The fact that these guys are 'thumping' the string just below the actual note's string to give a fuller sound. Check out this video at the 2-3 minute to see a bit of this explained and some nice finger dancing.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NCwtJbVPRas

The double bass is found in wide varieties of music, from classical, to bluegrass, to jazz, swing, polka, 1950's rock, rockabilly (okay, some folks will say 1950's rock is rockabilly, but no one was calling it that, but I reserve the use of rockabilly for the modern resurgence of 50's style rock)(did people use the term rockabilly in the 40's and 50's?) and rockabilly leads to psychobilly.

Further, the bass players of all the non-bow genre are very much an interconnected group, spending time learning and teaching each other. I don't think many up and coming rock guitar players seek out country music guitar players to learn from, or vice versa.

Anyways, I find it interesting the wide variety of play options you have with this instrument. Bowing of course, and the the basic pluck. Banging on the body proper like a drum to keep time was very common in jazz, and then they also moved to slap-string where the string was pulled then banged against the fingerboard. Now, people are even playing the strings with drumsticks, some going further to have sticks in a variety of woods and lengths to produce different 'taps' to compliment the string's sounds.

Granted, this bass player isn't doing a lot, but with an instrument that big, just being there adds to the visual composition.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Sampled Music: "What It's All About"



Here's a diagram of the samples used in the song "What It's All About" by Girl Talk aka Greg Gillis. Click the image to full size or go to Wired to see the diagram in full size while you listen.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Friday, August 22, 2008

Looks Like Magic to Me

Wireless power may soon be a marketable reality.

The background.

See Clarke's 3rd Law.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

SF occupied by The Empire

Death Star Over San Francisco

Someone's Willing to Call it Early

In an article you may have missed, Tribble Ad Agency went on the record Monday with the news of Obama's running mate.
We have a credible lead that Barack Obama will be announcing Kathleen Sebelius for Vice President / VP. [sic]
Of course, the article politely requests that the reader "file it as rumor" until verification, but that's a bit of a backpedal after titling the article "Barack Obama chooses Kathleen Sebelius for Vice President."

If you're like me, you're fired up about the disagreement I just described between headline and article. If you're like everyone else, you're wondering who the heck Kathleen Sebelius is. I guess I can choke back my frustration and refrain from beating myself in the crotch with a copy of Strunk and White long enough to tell you everything I know about the woman:

She's the Governor of Kansas, and

She delivered the Democratic response to the 2008 State of the Union Address (Transcript):

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

The Archive


The Archive from Sean Dunne on Vimeo.

What Did We Ever Do To Him?


From Sen. McCain's site, via Boing Boing:

It may be typical of the pro-Obama Dungeons & Dragons crowd to disparage a fellow countryman's memory of war from the comfort of mom's basement, but most Americans have the humility and gratitude to respect and learn from the memories of men who suffered on behalf of others.

What Does Leonard Cohen Listen to When He's Sad?

Without a doubt, he dims the lights, pours himself a glass of scotch, and puts on the Jacques Brel.


It kills me that the video cuts off before the music finishes, but that's the video with the best translation. I love that song for the reveal- in the middle you sort of wonder what he's getting all worked up about, and it isn't until the last couplet that you discover that his rising disgust is not directed at the stereotypical sailor in the narrator's imagination but at the narrator himself. "Amsterdam" debuted to a three-minute standing ovation.

If you've known me long enough, you may have noticed me in a state similar to the narrator in "Mathilde". I forgive you if you didn't notice because I'm sure I never articulated it so coherently.

Both of these songs were popularized in English by Scott Walker who used the loose translations written by Brill Building fixture Mort Schuman and Eric Blau for the musical review "Jacques Brel is Alive and Well and Living in Paris", which enjoyed an off-broadway revival recently.

A Brel song that still tightens my gut every time I listen to it (like Cohen's "Famous Blue Raincoat") is "Ces Gen La." The impact of the performance is enhanced, in my opinion, by the sparsity of the arrangement. Unfortunately, the volume is a little low on the video but, again, it has the best available translation.


I hate ending on a downer, so I'll include something a little more upbeat. Heat it up, Marcel!

GenCon Photos


Here's a link to my GenCon set at Flickr.

Monday, August 18, 2008

I Predict a Decline in Productivity for the Banking Industry

Because there's a good flash game, and then there's a flash game good enough that Tim will burn the whole work week playing it:

Protector: "Reclaiming the Throne"


This one has a lot to offer, even for someone who's spent a lot of time with Tower Defense-style games. Chief among these features is the "Time Wasted" counter which brings a much-needed level of quantitative analysis to this aspect of the genre.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

that's cheating

Someone needs to tell the russians that the top bit is supposed to be spinning.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Sneak Attack!

Police are now working with civilians to simulate an attack by zombies on bicycles.

As you all know, the fatal weakness of zombies tends to be their slow plodding nature, hence we'd be in a world of hurt if zombies learned how to bike.

Never fear, if faced with bicycling zombies, these police will promptly knock the zombie off the bike. Who knows how long it will take a real zombie to re-orient and again climb atop the bike, but I am betting it is plenty long enough for you to run away.

Or bash the zombie with your trusty golf club

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

It's Following Me...

So my mom bought this printer, and asked me to hook it up for her. What the HP website doesn't mention is that while the Officejet J5700 series features a fast USB 2.0 jack, it does not come with a USB cable through which your computer can transmit information to be printed. So, I'm off to the store for a 6-foot USB-A to USB-B cable. Once there, I beeline across the front of the store to the electronics section, blissfully unaware of the sight that awaits me when I arrive.

Now, it's one thing when I do it to myself as I've done from time to time over the last decade. I'm going into the situation eyes-open. I know what I'm getting into, and am prepared for the various varieties of disappointment and, yes, pain that I'll experience depending on the current information available (or, at times over the years, lack thereof). Even had I planed it, there was no way I could have prepared myself for what I saw on the bank of TVs along the back wall of the electronics section...




I knew what I was looking at immediately. I'd seen it before. Dozens of times. I've been tracking this beast for about a decade, only to have it taunt me as it stays just out of my grasp. Oh well. I'm sure I'll find something to fill the void.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Champion


Kanye West "Champion Video" Official Directed by NEON from nabil elderkin on Vimeo.
I just realized. It's been forever since I posted a Kanye West video!

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Get MS Points Cheaper


The 1600 point cards are on sale at Target starting tomorrow for $14.99. That's five bucks off. Buy a couple. You know you'll spend 'em.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Meme-watch 2009



The last exchange with the line "I can break these cuffs" is getting tons of traction at YTMND.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

New Images From The Road


USA Today has a slideshow featuring six new images from the film adaptation of Cormac McCarthy's the road. They make a big deal about how Pittsburgh passed for post apocalyptic America, negating the need for CG. What? Was Detroit too over-the-top?

Pictures may contain spoilers.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

The Dock Knight

Have we all seen it yet?! Karri took me to see it again. I hardly see movies once so to see one twice is amazing. Tuesday evening a month later and the place was 2/3's full. What a movie.



Monday, August 4, 2008

The Game




There's hype, and then there is Agricola. 9 months after payment, it arrived on my doorstep.

Flickr

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Actually not a bass groove.

Wow cool.
*Although it sounds like a bass guitar (an instrument the group had famously never previously used), the sound is actually created by running Jack White's semi-acoustic guitar (a 1950s style Kay Hollowbody) through a whammy pedal set down an octave. from wiki

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Another reason I love the Internet

My music modus operandi is a little different than most people's. I like listening to my music collection on random, discovering and re-discovering songs I haven't heard or haven't heard in forever. I just recently ripped my entire collection (a week long undertaking that resulted in a final count of over 23,000 songs and 176 gigabytes of music all backed up across two drives).

Just now the song "Be Happy" by mansbestfriend popped up in iTunes. Among the noise in the early part of the track I recognized a bit of mournful wailing from my youth, when most of the music I adored was played on Dr. Demento. I couldn't recall the name or source of the song so I Googled the lyric "and there I stood with an arrow in my back" to learn that the song was "Mr. Custer" by Larry Verne. I'd heard the songs millions of times listening to the old K-Tel records compilation Goofy Gold. The same label is selling the song on Amazon via their compilation Dumb Ditties. Instant access to the track was totally worth the .89$

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Special Edition Game Packages are Such Rip- (*gasp*) MUST HAVE LUNCHBOX!

So don't buy this:



I can't promise I won't break a potted plant over your head and abscond with your metal Vault-Tec lunchbox so that I may un-ironically carry my lunch in it.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

And it continues...

When the Supreme Court of the United States makes a ruling, it sticks. When they say jump, you say 'how high?'

I can believe how incredibly happy DC has been to take the bait laid out for them.

Heller walked in to register his Colt 1911A1 semi-automatic handgun (which requires you to pull the trigger once for every round fired...just like, say, a revolver) capable of holding 7 rounds in a magazine, plus one in the chamber for a total of 8. It is a handgun, and that specific model, the 1911, is the MOST common model of handgun in the USA.

It was the very common nature of the handgun's use in being kept for self defense that was a key part of the court's ruling. But it didn't need to be, simply because this is their finding

“We hold that the District’s ban on handgun possession in the home violates the Second Amendment, as does its prohibition against rendering any lawful firearm in the home operable for the purpose of immediate self-defense. Assuming that Heller is not disqualified from the exercise of Second Amendment rights, the District must permit him to register his handgun and must issue him a license to carry it in the home.”

It is a handgun. In the most narrow view, they could possibly deny someone other than Heller. It would be struck down, but they'd at least have a leg to stand on. SCOTUS specifically ordered that Heller be allowed to register a handgun. Not a rifle, not a shotgun, but a handgun. Maybe they could possibly deny him if he was trying to register TWO handguns, but again, that isn't the case here.

DC says they will only allow revolvers to be registered. DC goes further. DC says because it has a bottom loading clip, it is a machine gun. Are they actually co-operating with the NRA? SCOTUS revokes laws, it does not write them. Hand DC 'stuck to their guns' and said 'revolvers only, that is a semi-auto' they'd have only a little bit to loose, but by redefining a semi-auto handgun as a machine gun (a class allowed to be highly restricted) they run the real risk opening up the entire machine gun can of worms. Do they really want SCOTUS to say 'Fine, you play word games and declare a semi-auto handgun as a machine gun, we'll simply rule he can register a machine gun'

The first page of the Washington Post article makes it sound like that all he needed to do was show up with his gun, but later they reveal
"Newsham said if anyone shows up to register a semi-automatic pistol that fits the city's definition of a machine gun, police will confiscate the illegal gun but will not immediately arrest the owner. He said police reserve the right to investigate and eventually charge such an owner with violating the machine-gun ban."
The amnesty period and the official 'okay' to proceed directly to the police station with your revolver is only going to be for revolvers that end up getting registered. While they don't come out and say it is any reason they can come up with for denying registration, that amnesty is now defunct. "What's that? Your vision test came back as 20/19 not 20/20? Handcuff time!"

Again, SCOTUS said 'Let Heller register his handgun' NOT 'let Heller carry guns about the city as he pleases.' This seems to me to be a ploy to throw a guy in jail for 48 hours minimum, maybe longer. (6 years as this next case winds it's way through the courts?) Room him with a real abusive inmate, as a way to retaliate against a 'troublemaker'. But then SCOTUS never said Heller had to bring his gun in for inspection, DC simply has to register it.

Besides, Heller is strategically choosing his colt 1911, a gun that holds 1 more round than standard revolvers, a gun that holds exactly 1 round less than the revolver he tried to register in 2002. No way he was going to walk in with it on his person and allow the headlines to read "Heller arrested for possession of illegal machine gun!"

I think this is called 'setting up the check-mate'.

Washington Post Article

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