Waffling in THREE dimensions.

Monday, March 31, 2008

Because We Can

Honestly, I was a little worried. Partly because I wasn't sure how stable the methylene blue would be at high temperatures (still a little worried about this) and partly because I didn't have enough eggs to make multiple batches if I burned them and whatnot. I'm eating the first piece now.

I want the Internet to know: if this kills me, it was worth it.

Because this brownie is great. It's so delicious and moist!

We Do What We Must

I'm going to go try one of the brownies now. In the meantime, I found this amusing. I wonder how much they actually copied.

Texas School 'Borrows' Honor Code from BYU : NPR

A prank that does involve altering body chemistry

I've been looking forward to this for a while. You can see the methylene blue on the left, contained within two baggies as it stains almost anything. The dye seems to have spilled most likely when I stowed it. I didn't add any Ex-lax, but I think it really makes the camera phone picture that much better.
I followed the recipe on the box, although not well. I forgot to add some special chocolate syrup that came with it. I eyeballed the methylene blue until the mix had a distinctive green coloration. In addition to the methylene blue, I poured a bag of chocolate chips into the mix too. I guess I didn't really follow the instructions. Brownie mix effectively hid the usual bitter taste!
It looked disgusting.
Luckily, the green color faded when baked. I'm eating some of the batter now, which is slightly more viscous than usual brownie batter, but still delicious!

Sunday, March 30, 2008

A prank that doesn't involve altering body chemistry

Wired has an article about April Fool's Day. Here is a contribution of my own:

April 1st will soon be upon on us. I have a few minor ideas of my own I plan to implements and one rather large one I won't be able to. Because I won't be able to execute it this year (I have in years past with various results), I've decided I would like to share with you. It's nothing too great, but it is a fun night and pays off for a few weeks, depending on how effective you are. It's also not that expensive, depending on your scale. You could have a great run under ten dollars, and I wouldn't suggest trying to hit more than 200 targets really. We took a few hours (perhaps less, it seemed like a long time because we waited until 1am before we embarked) with only approximately 75 bands (we had 100 initially, but many broke due to poor quality), but we were also dodging the retarded (and needless) police force of Rexburg, Idaho. Whatever, I'm not there anymore.

This is how it is done: You must purchase zip-ties, or Gardner Benders, or whatever. This is easy, the are sold in many establishments and often in large amounts. You may desire many different sizes, and I encourage you to avoid anything smaller than five inches in total length untied as these are difficult to manipulate under the cover of darkness. Likewise, anything above eight inches may be unwieldy. Luckily, this prank may involve many different sizes and still work effectively.

I should probably note that I am unaware of the legality of this prank. As with all pranks, you should avoid being caught. I suggest a reconnaissance mission ahead of time to better play your (escape) route and just to save time later. In my case, this includes knowing where your going to avoid getting lost.

But what are you looking for? Bike racks. Lots of bike racks. You and your party will visit these under cover of darkness, or whenever you feel comfortable, with your zip ties. You'll need to ration out the ties ahead of time to ensure efficiency.

Next comes the difficult part:
While hilarious, this is not the intention of this prank. If you would like to take it in this direction, you have my blessing. Fasten the tie around the frame (not the spokes!) of the bike (front or back tire) such that the loose end of the tie sticks into the spokes of the tire, as pictured below. Try to avoid placement which would interfere with the bicycle chain, for this reason shorter ties are recommended as well, although longer ties may wrap more easily around the thicker frame of the front tire.

Please note that in the picture, I tied a child's bicycle so a smaller tie was necessary than you will likely need or desire, but the placement is correct.

When done correctly, the bicycle should now emit a distinctive clicking sound (think baseball card in the spokes) as it rolls forward (some of you may have done this when you were little because it is kind of neat). Depending on how tight your zip ties were, they may be very difficult to remove. The real joy of this prank comes from hearing that clicking sound and riders pass you. Some people might even enjoy this, and you can have the distinct warm fuzzy feeling when you hear it knowing that you did that. I found that the real fun of this prank was just as much the acts of stealth (flip out!) as it was seeing the ties on bikes weeks later. This may have had something to do with my silly Canadian roommate at the time putting the ties on the spokes, which I told him not to do multiple times! He was really sorry aboot it though.

Of course, all of these pranks have their merits as well.

Look for Leo Trotsky: Superstar next year

I did very little today. I guess I added some people on FaceSpace, but I'm not sure that's an accomplishment, even during spring break. I woke up a little late and watched this show, Masterminds, which was pretty interesting. It chronicles heists and the like and how the masterminds behind them carried them out and eventually got caught, usually through no fault of their own but a random variable they could never have accounted for. I'd be more interested in seeing the guys who get away with it, but that's unrealistic.

Speaking of unrealistic things, I just got back from another night of the Faux Film Festival, which I mentioned before (shameless back referencing!). Aside from some weird weather, it was great once again. We arrived a little late and missed the first bit of Piggyback, which was amazing. The director was there for a Q&A (from which the title of this post is derived) after the shorts and I told him I liked his film and got a copy of the cards featured in the film. There were two shorts by group called Cleverscripts and even a few animated features, all enjoyable. Some of the most enjoyable, specifically one called Box Wars, I lack the search-fu to find, or they simply may not have a web presence. The interesting thing about Box Wars, id est suits and weapons made of cardboard, is that it is apparently very real, which makes its inclusion in the satire night all the more delicious. Some perhaps buried under other things with similar names (I wish I could refer people to you, Stalls, but your name is just too generic). I need to link to the homepage of Expendable, which was absolutely amazing, before I embed the video below and I don't know that the creator's of either On Poisoning Birds or Torsten Kretchzmar: I Know What Girls Like have websites, although you can view their videos on YouTube. One of the film festivals Expendable has been featured in uploaded it to YouTube (see below), although there are additional videos you should definitely check out.

Next was the movie Sexina: Popstar P.I. which was probably the campiest movie I've ever seen. I loved it. I really don't know what to say about it. I mean, it had Adam West in it and a plot that included robots, ninjas, and a bear--but not all at once, sadly. Now that I think about it, there was quite a bit a leather too. I got a piece of popcorn stuck in my teeth and that bothered me for like the whole second act. Still bothering me actually. Brb, floss.

You can read Steve's account of the evening here. Apparently, this blagonet thing is catching on.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

I have occasionally thought to go to Hot Topic and purchase an outfit for the sole purpose of disguise.

I feel a little guilty about using this image, but it makes me laugh a little.

I'm weird. This must be disclosed before I address my topic, which seems a little weird to me. But I'm weird, so maybe this is normal? I don't know! Let me begin:

I don't really listen to music. The last CD I got was the soundtrack to Enchanted, and it was a gift, although I recently grabbed the title music to Team Fortress 2 off Pirate Bay. I was a total band geek in high school and into college. I listened exclusively to jazz with an almost hipster-like superiority complex. This was before I discovered the wonders of public and talk radio, of course. I was really into the Aquabats for a while too, but I think that had as much to do with the superhero persona they adopt as their chipper lyrics. I ventured briefly into worlds of rock in more forlorn periods (bawww!), but never so much as to integrate any sort of music into my identity or espouse any sort of cause or attitude. An exception could be argued for jazz in my case, but in my standing as white kid from the suburbs, I don't think anyone is going to accuse me of swinging. Certainly, not enough to dictate my style. But it's been a long time since I favored jazz and I don't actively dislike any sort of music, except when it is conveyed with an aura arrogance (but that is not the fault of the music but its patrons). Perhaps my musical background could be described as apathetic, a musical outsider.

This is what I find interesting. I find it a little hard to imagine, or rather to empathize, with either group, especially when they come to violence! It seems a little silly, especially when I had initially read the boingboing post about it. Perhaps it is become the subcultures I have participated in seem to revolve around happy times and jello. A perverse part of me secretly wishes to witness these events, if only for confirmation that such things exist, and I am loathe to admit this about myself. At the same time, I can't help but imagine the Sharks and the Jets a little in some sort of musical tumult. And It reminds me a little of this. But maybe it's not all bad and I'm probably missing the point; it's not really about fashion.

I remain somewhat glad that I have never experienced the auditory epiphany necessary to devote myself to a form a musical expression so fully. Maybe I'm missing out.

Faux Post

I just got back from the 4th Annual Faux Film Festival held in the historic Hollywood Theatre. I feel I should mention I heard about it here so I can add the public broadcasting tag to this post. This, of course, meant taking the Metro Access Express, but I'll get to that in a moment. As the name suggests, the festival revolves around "Spoofs, Satires, Parodies, Mocumentaries." Tonight they showed Faux Commercials and Movie Spoofs, tomorrow will be Satire and Parody, Sunday will be SciFi/Horror. I'll probably post about those nights too.

The evening was divided into two parts, short films and a feature. There were about 20 short films shown in the first segment, followed by a Q&A with some of the directors and brief intermission and then Being Michael Madsen. Some of the shorts were not short enough, and others were of amazing quality (specifically one German film that I can't seem to locate). I've embedded two of the best below and a link to a third here.

I was surprised by the Michael Madsen film. The title is a little misleading; it has nothing to do with either Being John Malkovich or Being Julia. At first, I didn't know where it was going and it took me an embarassing amount of time to realize that this was Mr. Blonde. I'm not entirely certain I have the jargon to describe this film. I want to say deconstructionist or something, but I don't know the correct words. It was weird and for the first half hour (at least) it was just talking heads like a traditional documentary, but then it really got going with a documentary within a documentary. It had layers to it and most of the action is told rather than seen. I really enjoyed it, but I also really enjoy Christopher Guest films so you should use that as a barometer. It also had a brief appearance by Lacey Chabert, whom I always find agreeable.

What I find less agreeable is teenagers shouting things on the MAX, but what can I do? Eavesdrop, laugh at them secretly, and text humorous observations to my moblog? Yep.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Sexual Omnivores

The gibbon will never threaten to stab you, and in fact, cannot speak. In the event that the gibbon does speak, please disregard its advice.

Given the liberties of obscurity, I am free to post a link to this story which ties in quite well with this past post and reminds me of this program without anyone thinking I have some sort of preoccupation with monkeys. But really, it's only for gibbons.

Man Flips Out; Video Games Blamed

I'm a big fan of ninjas. In the war between Pirates and Ninjas, I am torn between my allegiance to His Noodliness and my desire to flip out. This story, however, is totally bogus. It is true that sometimes ninjas stab, but the correlation between the video game and the violence they try to make here is preposterous. Why? He bought the game after he stabbed the man, thus the game could not have influenced him to stab the man, barring some sort of event. Obviously the tendency to stab (the poke quotient?) was already present before the video game could have had any affect. Although, he did go on a stabbing spree, so he did flip out. The ninja video game is, at best, another expression of his ninjaness (or is it ninjativity?)

Suspect played ninja video game : National : DAILY YOMIURI ONLINE (The Daily Yomiuri)

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

The Magic is in the Links

I'm going to have to keep this post short before the cat tries to sit on my laptop again. This gets the typical response from internet friends.

I just finished watching the second half of Bush's War that I taped from PBS. Will the vocubulary change now that we no longer use tapes to record? It was very good, and very detailed. I found the first half much more insightful that the second, perhaps because I was in high school during the Bush's first term and was greatly concerned with events, while the second half dealt with the execution of the war rather than the run-up which took place largely behind closed doors. I found the entire thing rather unsettling, not unlike another Frontline Special. I don't really want to go on about how I view the present administration, but I recommend Frontline for anyone who can sit through the 4+ hours of content in this case. I especially enjoy the intense zoom into the black and white photos for dramatic effect. That never gets old.

Angelica Thornton just spilled water on herself during a break. Hot.

Nightline has a special on about Gorda, California. It's actually quite charming. Well, not the story, but the people.

Lastly, am I the only one who finds watching the relationship status changes on FaceSpace absolutely fascinating? Even for people I only marginally care about, it's fun to try and piece together the mystery.

This post has rounded itself off rather nicely. I am pleased.

All Hail! King of the Losers!

I had an exciting day yesterday. I went on a date with a lesbian yesterday. This is not entirely true, but I love heuristics and it makes for a better story. Especially the part where we went to Powell's and she asked me what kind of books I like and I while I was at a loss, she quickly volunteered that she was a fan of books found in the purple section. She also found my use of Heelys absolutely hilarious and we had a conversation about the amazing belt buckle knife and local gun law. I shall stop my description here, because I am a gentleman. I am very glad I participated in this experience if for no other reason than replay value, a phrase I am using in the wrong context. Also, it was enjoyable. A date with a lesbian is the gift that keeps on giving.

After this I went to debrief with a friend. His response was, of course, to repeatedly shake his head and say, "I can't believe you went on a date with a lesbian," while we played Guitar Hero and cruised the FaceSpace. He must have said that at least fifteen times while we talked about how hot Kari Byron is. He also tried to teach me the proper use of FaceSpace, or at very least, check profiles more thoroughly. I'll get right on it.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Exception for Alyson Hannigan

For some reason my ForecastFox keeps telling me there is a SEVERE WEATHER ALERT for Beaverton, Oregon. It started sprinkling when I drove to get my haircut, it was pretty awesome. It almost messed up my haircut, which apparently looks like "Dumb and Dumber" according to my family. They are always so supportive, although I tend to agree, and, in fact, anticipated this.

Perhaps it could have been avoided. I imagine in some sort of stop-time event with the big Δ flashing on the screen in front of my face or something. Unlike my siblings, I strive to be as non confrontational as possible. It's all part of my ninja-esque strategy of flying under the radar as much as possible. This, unfortunately, includes when I get a haircut. Every question I was asked I simply replied affirmative, even when I wasn't completely sure what was being asked. This was probably a bad idea. Oh well, I wear a hat.

How I Met Your Mother is about to start, a show I generally enjoy, although it has it's poorer moments. I expect tonight to be one of those. CBS keeps compromising the show, which I feel stands just fine on its own, with guest stars like Enrique Iglesias, Mandy Moore, the Victoria's Secret Fashion Show, and tonight, Britney Spears. It reminds me of what happened with Scrubs with guest stars, which jumped the shark some time ago. Interestingly, Sarah Chalke is on tonight's episode. In the time it's taken me to type all this and provide adequate links, the show has started. I'll get back to this whole blagging thing later.

Cyber Space

I've been experiencing issues with my laptop spacebar so we'll see. Oh damn it. I was trying to do the auto-correct for "space bar" and I accidentally added it to the internal dictionary. Spacebar no longer has a space. I almost did the same thing with auto-correct, which would have been more pathetic than funny. It seems to have resolved itself for now, like it popped itself back into to place, or something more insidious. Does it bother anyone else profoundly that they have not proven what causes your knuckles to crack? I think I might lose sleep over that, though more likely I'll stay up late to watch Erin Burnett on Meet the Press.

I had planned to get a haircut today. I always hate doing that. When I was little, I somehow convinced my dad that I didn't really need a full haircut, and I really just needed a trim because longer hair would keep my head warm and for some reason, this was vitally important. I don't know why this worked, but it seemed to, although my mom made him take me back. I think it was that moment I discovered my vast potential. I'm really having a hard time motivating myself to go. Also, I've been really disappointed with the quality of my haircuts in the past and suggestions to ask the barber hairstyle technician to style my hair after a particular television character have always been met with failure and embarrassment on my part. I probably deserved that one, and it was a hit show at the time, so who knew it would turn out so badly? Fortunately, I've never had the same person twice (high turnover rate?) so my shame has never had the opportunity to stack. I'm exaggerating a bit. Afterall, I wear a hat.

Sometimes I'm tempted to look at those magazines they have out. Those are there so you can say, hey, I want the page three, right? I never know and I don't want to be the guy to ask. They often appear hopelessly out of date. I have never once seen a pompadour on the cover. What is with that? Although they are always filled with beautifully airbrushed women. I decided years ago when I had to work in HABA that the girls they feature on those hair dye boxes are exceptionally beautiful. Seems like a weird gig though. I mean, do they do burnt sienna color exclusively? Or can they cross over and do raw auburn (rawburn!)? Are their contracts exclusive? These are the things that keep me up at night.

Finally, I would like to direct your attention to this. It seems laughable now, but when the number one website was hamster dance, it made a lot of good points. Good times. Sorta. I would like to point out that there were over 2700 hits to the search I just linked to. The majority of which are the same Avenue Q song cut to Naruto/Teen Titans/Kingdom Hearts/et cetera ad nauseam. I don't want to argue whether Mr. Stoll was right (he was certainly wrong about it catching on), but I hope he recognizes now that the Internet is serious business.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Think happy thoughts!

I wasn't going to post anything today because making a snide comment about Zombie Jesus Day seemed beneath me. Oh whoops. There's some great Cyanide and Happiness on the subject if you want to look. Or not. Whichever!

But then I saw this on the bOingbOIng. It's like the complete inversion of Obama Girl or the knockoff, Hot4Hill. So much so that I can't decide if it's satire (or an insidious smear campaign), unlike this which is unfortunately very real. While it reaches the inversion very, very quickly, this does nothing to make it less appalling. Some of the comments on bOingbOing are pretty great in themselves:

Girl on the right in black, I'd knock her up.

Did she really just splash a whole handful of tiny John McCains on her face?

Dr. Jardin, may I have my unicorn chaser now, please?
Of course, someone made the obligatory Chocolate Rain reference, although nothing can be said that the video does not properly express. I especially appreciate the references to 2G1C and Goatse, as if it really is that horrible. I don't think it is, but is a very special sort of auditory assault and I don't want to misstate that. You really just need to witness it for yourself, because when they write about the history of the 2008 election years later and the role of the internet, specifically YouTube, you'll want to be able to say, I watched It's Raining McCain all the way through, children, and I died a little inside. I died a little inside. You'll add lots of emphasis and your kids will think you were really hardcore and whatever unless they get the balls to look it up themselves and witness firsthand as an initiation the exciting world of history. In doing so you'll run a gambit of emotions, from disgust to disinterest to abject horror. After first 20 seconds, I could not look away, transfixed on this portal to the abyss. What will I do now that I've witnessed...fuck, I can't make light of something this dark. Well, I'm gonna go out an get absolutely John McCain.

The video currently has 19 honors. Enjoy!

Friday, March 21, 2008

Swingin' Apes

No one reads this. Or at least, I imagine so. It will take a great deal of comments to dissuade me from this position. Part of me clings to this idea, of zero readership, to allow myself to remain frank and uncensored by a readership, although I rarely speak on personal issues as it is (this isn't a LiveJournal, or so I hope!). I am conflicted, however, as part of me desperately wants to be witty and not ever desire to spout garbage like oh, I wrote about that on my blog. Or I am so blogging this. I always imagine a short, hairy hipster saying such things, and I fancy myself no such thing, although I was briefly amazed at how hairy my arms are during my volcanology final today (which was lovely, thanks for asking!). I am also not very tall. Perhaps there is cause for concern. Alert me if I mention my blog in rl. I did that ironically, really. I should have said rly for greater affect. Or I could have gone with the srsly combo, but I dislike the word seriously fairly intently because of past exposure to Grey's Anatomy. Oh well. Did you know alert is an anagram of alter? It's true!

See? That's the sort of trumpery I just couldn't produce if I had an audience. They would be disgusted. I am a little disgusted as well. Perhaps that has something to do with this I found. It is a very long account of someone's experience in Borneo doing research on orangutans. I haven't read it all, but it is hosted on a university's website, so I assume it is credible. This isn't the first account of orangutan-on-woman sexual assault I've heard of, this one is referenced on the wikipedia article on animal sexuality, which also includes this gem:
"Masturbation is common in the animal kingdom ... We have a Darwinist mentality that all animals only have sex to procreate. But there are plenty of animals who will masturbate when they have nothing better to do. Masturbation has been observed among primates, deer, killer whales and penguins, and we're talking about both males and females. They rub themselves against stones and roots. Orangutans are especially inventive. They make dildos of wood and bark."
I'm no primatologist, but it seems like the bonobos still have a leg-up. I'll finish this up with the specific quote from this account of Borneo so you don't have to read the whole thing to get to the action:
When Mr. Scott and Mrs. Ann neared the camp, they saw an orangutan--Apollo Bob--who seemed to want to play. He wrestled with Mrs. Ann a bit and she thought it was innocent fun, until he grabbed her by both ankles and jerked her to the ground and started to mount her. Mr. Scott tried to pull him off, but orangutans are real strong. He said later it made him understand how horrible it must be to witness your wife or girl friend being raped and be able to do nothing about it. The struggle moved across about thirty feet of the trail, with Mr. Scott being able to do nothing but grab the back of Apollo Bob's neck and push his head toward the ground so he couldn't proceed. About then, Mrs. Anne (with an e at the end of her name) heard the ruckus from camp and came running, and, knowledgeable primatologist that she is, exploited the fact that humans are tool-using animals and orangutans for the most part are not, and grabbed a stick and chased Apollo Bob away.
At least I wasn't a rabbit, I guess.

You probably don't want to type monkey sex into the Google. Ever. Although I did find this image kind of funny.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

The Joy of Cooking

I like to think of myself as a man straddling dichotomizes. Somewhere between awesome and not awesome, pumped and not pumped, asshole and douchebag, I live. That said, I truly do not know I feel about what I am about to discuss.

There are two types of programs which completely captivate me. Those are cooking shows and painting shows. I don't paint or cook the sorts of foods featured, but I remain transfixed. I think it's something about the way the hosts' speech that absolutely lulls me. Some shows more than others. For example, I don't really care for America's Test Kitchen, although I'm so rarely watching television in the afternoon, and, fortunately, I don't have cable or I might remain transfixed on Food Network, so my consumption of these programs is limited. I also really dislike Rachel Ray; she is just to perky. Also, they really should have a painting network. I would watch that all day long.

That paragraph didn't really go where I was intending and I used too many appositives, but this is no mistake. It was a happy accident. I regret to say that I don't believe I had discovered the Joy of Painting until after Bob's death, although I choose to acknowledge his contributions by not buying those shirts that say "Happy Little Trees" at Target or wherever. It's the least I can do, really. This, however, leaves me conflicted. The ability to relive my favorite Bob Ross moments, although on a platform I don't own, is a little exhilarating, and probably will be a much more frugal choice than his prohibitively priced episodes. Fortunately for us all, they are also available on VHS, even though the format is no longer supported.

I would also like to point out that cooking shows have some of the best names ever.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Amy Adams gives me stirrings in my utility belt

I just noticed a new story on In Character: Catwoman. Which includes this quote from the king of camp, Adam West, describing the actresses who have played the part, "They all gave me curious stirrings in my utility belt." Oh, Adam...

I can hear in the other room that Oprah is talking about erectile dysfunction and vasectomies, (and other urogenital health issues I assume). I'm not really that interested in finding out, although I wonder if the episode implies that Oprah has some silent male demographic, previously undiscovered, living in a remote jungle or someplace ever more exotic. They do call him Dr. Oz. I took some class, titled Media and the Presence of Reality or something similar; it was a philosophy class filled with idiots of the highest caliber. It was painful at times, although I found the day we talked about Oprah, and watched her on her dvd, unintentionally lulzy (which is the best kind). One of the essay topics for the final was on Oprah and about how whether talkshows like hers provide a vital public service or merely suppose to and the consequences such. When she talked about Middlesex, I can imagine that being in the best interest of the public, but then she interviews Hannah Montana? I cannot fault her; her format is widely successful and popular, although the testimonials on the dvd did her no service. One of which claimed that she had planned to kill herself until she saw that days episode of Oprah and changed her mind. This perhaps speaks more to the mental condition of this viewer (or all viewers?) than the power of the format and I further wonder why so late in the day? It's not over until like 5pm here. I instead chose to write about reality television in an essay of dubious quality. I do not doubt, having edited a cohort's work for a group project, that on the basis of grammar alone, that my paper will receive adequate marks. I've been informed that the audience in the episode which inspired this tangent is entirely male. More questions to ponder!

I was going to write something about how Enchanted may have broken my families Eckhart spree. I never should have told them that he was Mormon. They seemed more skeptical when I shared similar knowledge of Julianne Hough. She doesn't dress like it! They retorted. Of course, this paragraph wouldn't be complete without mentioning that Amy Adams was, and so was Katherine Heigl, but these things don't mean anything. Except that I'll have a good ice-breaker should I ever met Amy Adams or Ryan Gosling.

Monday, March 17, 2008

The Best Kind of Rampage

I've always been partial to this kind of rampage, but naked rampages are definitely up there. The video has some of the best visual gags, I guess you'd call them, of any news report I've ever seen. I also happened upon this seemingly unrelated article on wikipedia that caught my interest, probably because I'm a huge nerd.

Man goes on naked rampage in supermarket | KATU.com - Portland, Oregon | Weird News

Now playing:
Amy Adams - That's How You Know (As Used in the Film Enchanted)
via FoxyTunes

Tantamount to Terrorism

I just realized I didn't wear green today. This wasn't on purpose, but I'm glad I've reached a point where I don't need to feel threatened that I will be harassed based on my clothing choice (physically, that is). I've always felt that aspect of St. Patrick's Day had an element of implicit terrorism.

I think I've eaten too many Gummy Vites. They taste delicious! I seem to have fallen into a rather bad habit of eating a bear after each time I died in TF2. This quickly amounts to an overdose. I have a headache.

I'm trying to find a specific story shared by Tim Riley, but no luck. It was about an unfortunate flight on an airline and then some litigation. If you stumbleupon it, you're sure to recognize it instantly. Instead, I found this, which is delicious in another way. Ok, similar way. Still amusing because of this:
"Sheen got the girls to dress
up as cheerleaders and chant his name while performing sex acts. They
loved Charlie. They said he was a great guy. A great lover. One time he
had them dressed up like cheerleaders, chanting 'Charlie! Charlie! He's
our man. If he can't do it, nobody can!'"

The chanting gets me for some reason. Like he needs encouragement. The other detail is kind of amusing if you imagine Charlie Sheen holding an imaginary camera pretending to film them. But only if you imagine.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Companions, anyone?

Companions, anyone? I always like to start with a picture.

I was awoken in the worst way. I hope it doesn't linger. Although I should probably be thankful, I can't imagine much else that would have roused me other than the rush to turn off the radio. Alas, I was not fast enough.

That wasn't the first thing to wake me up, really. I found this story very interesting, especially considering I'd just just done a horrible presentation on Mount Erebus. They aren't at McMurdo though. Although their story has a mistake:

The South Pole lies ahead — a simple metal pole stuck in the snow. It marks the exact location of the bottom of the world, 90 degrees latitude. (Actually this pole has to move about 30 feet every year because the entire Antarctic continent floats.)
The pole doesn't actually move. I mean, the axis does wobble, but it still remains the axis. And I'm pretty certain they aren't talking about the magnetic pole or anything. What they are referring to is that the glaciers move, and the bases are built upon them, because you aren't going to go through a mile of ice to build a base that would be crushed by all the ice around it. I'm not sure that's clear. The continent of Antarctica does not float, it moves in accordance to the theory of plate tectonics (which is significantly less than 30 feet), but the ice above it does. Anyways, still interesting.

I then watched Legion of Superheroes and the Spectacular Spider-man, which I've decided can only end badly.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Human Grease

One of my lifetime goals has been to see Antarctica. Preferably not in this fashion though. I made the mistake of reading that quite late last night, or this morning, as a bit of procrastination from doing the report on Mount Erebus proper. The part about human grease really got to me. Although the debris is visible from the air, it doesn't appear to be visible on Google Earth, since all of Antarctica looks like utter garbage on there anyways-- don't bother looking. Putting the report off until the last moment, was of course, a huge mistake. I still have to make a corresponding powerpoint presentation, which will be rough, as I really haven't committed the types of lava to my memory or the significance of phonolitic lava versus the basanitic lava that makes up the shield base of Erebus. It will be a fun day! I still have like 3 hours to finish it. That seems like a lot less time now that I say it out loud. Oh shi-

There were other things I was going to blog about, some incident involving my brother being attacked by a jumping spider, maybe something about how Steeeve has declared that this will be The Summer of Derek? I don't remember, or rather, I've forgotten what else was important besides being crushed by lava bombs. I have that bitter taste in my mouth, too. Lovely.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Rolling the Dice

I don't think I get enough traffic to warrant the AP's attention, so I'm using their graphic.

I'm in a computer lab right now. It's a little frustrating because the keyboard is really loud, scripts are disabled, and I'm cantankerous overall. I should just just brought my own laptop, but I was running late because the damn printer wouldn't work and the cat just mewing and I was like...

You get the idea.

In any case, I went to bed unusually early last night, in a sad state of affairs this means 11pm and I was awoken by an BBC report. Today, I've made a point to find this story. It wasn't easy; I had to track through at least five separate pages, including the story with this image which I found a little humourous. Of course, in retrospect, I should have just checked out the health section of Google News, where it is at the top. They didn't test for all STDs, choosing to focus on the most common. The STD rates apparently slide between as much as 50% in some demographics to as low as 20%, which is still 1 in 5. That gives you a higher probability of contracting an STD than capturing Western Australia, depending on how you roll the dice.

Finally, a cute story, to cleanse the pallet. Unfortunately, it reminds me of this horrible, horrible game.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

The 600th Post is an Essay

Reality television is a deceptive moniker for a deceptive format. While the characters, and this is the proper term for the individuals portrayed, are not paid actors in the sense that their participation will guarantee a financial boon the assertion that they are real people is entirely misleading. Thousands of people audition for the opportunity to participate in these programs, not unlike professional actors would, and they are effectively cast in that producers chose individuals for their shows according to their dictates. Indeed, if you watch the title sequence of Survivor you will notice that the islanders are listed and named as the actors in the title sequence of Law and Order are, although those on Survivor are supposedly not acting, that is, they are acting as themselves. This concept, that the people are “real” and thus seen as easily relatable, although still often outlandish, is the unifying factor of a genre that has become increasingly varied since its conception.

The genre is still in its infancy, having only come to prominence in the last decade, and many different variations upon the “real people” theme have become well established, though they are often in characteristically unrealistic situations. For the sake of convenience and simplicity, these can be crudely divided into three subgenera including: the Intervention, the Experiment, and the Contest. In the Intervention a righteous force sweeps in to help an individual or family portrayed as needing or worthy of some profound boon to help them rise above their circumstances. Examples of this format include Extreme Makeover: Home Edition and Super Nanny. The Experiment is a show in which a unique situation is created and the novelty of people acting through it is often the key appeal. Setups include propositions such as: Does a woman value love or wealth more? Could a group of children survive without adult influence and create a community all their own? What happens when beautiful women are forced to interact with socially inept men? The last type of reality programming may be described as the Contest in which a group of individuals compete with each other a series of episodes towards a prize facing trials of elimination periodically. The method of elimination varies from arrival time, to audience popularity, or internal voting. Of course, there is often overlap between these formats with shows such as The Biggest Loser that blends elements of both the Contest and the Intervention or Wife Swap which is a blend of Intervention and Experiment.

If indeed these are real people, then we must ask ourselves, why are they on television instead of actors? That is not to ask why the shows themselves exist, as there is obviously a demand for them but rather why what are presented as ordinary people seek to participate in public spectacle. A certain amount of this could be attributed to egotism or a desire to achieve fame, and for some this has worked quite well. Others might seek (or out of mere desperation, apply) for the offer of charity and change that the Intervention programs provide. A small percentage, apparently, is foolhardy enough to believe they might find love on a national television program. However, given the large economic incentives often provided by the Contest shows, and one imagines that all participants are paid to some degree for their cooperation, it is likely that this plays a major factor for those involved.

Part of the appeal of the Contest format is that individuals, or teams, compete with each other directly, a trend found in most all forms of entertainment, with the caveat of the reality inserted into television. Given that these shows often contain novel and surprising challenges for the contestants, a certain degree of success must be attributed to luck, as skill cannot account for success in all situations and often the most skilled fails unexpectedly. This does not keep contestants from eagerly looking ahead as much as possible, making treachery and deceit important tactics for success, in shows where this is possible. In shows where the participants directly affect elimination procedures, such as Survivor and Big Brother, contestants can often be seen forming “alliances” and voting off people they perceive as “strong,” that is, all other things being equal, perceived as more fit to win the competition than the others. This idea is directly contrary to the free market ethic as the best product should be most successful based on its own merits. Contest reality shows such as American Idol and The Amazing Race more closely follow the free market model in that contestants cannot negatively impact each other directly but are rewarded for their performances. Others, such as The Apprentice and America’s Next Top Model, involve an appeal to an authority that arbitrarily decides whether or not a contestant will be eliminated. These shows become most interesting when the artificial market ends, but the exchange continues into “real life.” To date, only two relationships in eleven completed seasons of The Bachelor have persisted as the time of this writing, although four of the seasons had ended with a marriage proposal; a stark reminder that reality and reality television are two separate domains.

Some cheesy movie to come out sometime eventually with people I like in it

Monday, March 10, 2008


I'm not going to say anything snarky (aside from the title), but I will post an image of the character he was imitating. I had a roommate that was really, really into the series it's from, and nothing else. Not even girls, as far as I could tell. I wouldn't be so kind if he was trying to save people from drowning because people should know better. I don't want to go into that, but only unless your job title involves the word guard you really have no business trying to save someone from any body of water in any state of matter. Tim Riley may have covered this today. I don't know. I missed the show and don't listen to the podcasts as much as I used to now that they have that wonderful recap.

Everett boy buried in sandbox dies | Top Stories | KING5.com | News for Seattle, Washington

Remember not to violate any comment rules, guys.


I grabbed the above image from a bulletin board at a community college. It made me go wtfffffff and fill with a rage that could only be properly expelled in one way.

Speaking of such an exciting weekend, how could I ever hope to cover everything in just one post? I probably won't ever cover everything that happened, even with me moblogging the significant events as they unfolded. I got a lot of perspective, to be certain. Unfortunately, no one wanted to try the methylene blue. More for me, I guess.

My host is an interesting fellow. Or is that was because he is no longer my host? That makes for an excellent segue: he is an english major with a high school drama background and a religious fervor, although technically agnostic, I believe. I don't wish to reveal his dox or I'd just link to his Myspace page, but the point is as a formerly Mormon bandgeek (on both accounts for the most part), we ran in different circles in high school and didn't become friends until senior year when we were thrust into a mandated reading group as part of the school's silly attempt to boost test scores. Eventually we went on zany adventures trying to get jobs as Elves in a Santa display and misadventures to numerous to name, tied by the common bond that we can't hardly get some. No one gets that reference, but it was the original title of this blog; it's still listed in my favorites under that name. In any case, I was the newest of his high school friends invited (many of whom I hadn't even realized I went to high school with at all!) and I often set up an antagonistic dynamic with people, especially people I like. I don't know why I'm always such a douche bag and see no reason to justify or rationalize it at the current time. The point is, I fell somewhere between observer and outsider. It was interesting. The offer of methylene blue probably didn't help any either. Oh well.

I'm going to end this post earlier than I had anticipated because I've realized I don't have anything productive to express at this moment. I told myself I'd work on one of my finals tonight, but it probably won't happen. I'll blame DST.

Sunday, March 09, 2008

A Smashing Weekend

The poor quality image above is a shot of hordes of nerds lining up to receive their copy of Super Smash Bros. Brawl at midnight this weekend. It was delayed multiple times, although not as much as Spore or Duke Nukem Forever have been, and this was probably the biggest video game launch since Halo 3. It was kind of a big deal. I was pretty apathetic about the whole thing (I would have been much more enthused about it if it had more exciting title like Brouhaha), but it gave me an opportunity to visit some friends, although not as many as I would have liked, and check out Eugene a bit and all the whatnot. And you know, I learned some things this weekend. I don't know if I will enumerate now since I've had less than eight hours of sleep for the last three days. But I am certainly not a hardcore gamer, although I did rock Risk pretty hard, but not Rock Band. I knew like three songs on that; I was pretty embarrassed for myself.

Next, a few pictures I took at a McDonald's we stopped at on our way back. This particular one was in Salem, while I don't visit many in this franchise, this one was a little different than any other I had ever been too. First is this kiosk in the play area. It had several video game systems set up running different games (see above). I felt weird being in there, so I didn't stay long but they looked to have approximately four Nintendo 64s. I never saw any children go near them, but I saw a parent play a skateboarding game. I found this interesting. I also found this creepy ass-mural and Ronald statue (see below). Ronald is feeding baiting a deer with what looks to be lettuce from a burger, perhaps the same one his pirate friend is fishing with, or did he just catch it? I'm not certain. Certainly, It's a very confusing image although I greatly enjoy the look of horror on the anthropomorphic hamburger's face. I can't remember the names of Ronald's friends, although the koosh ball ones remind me a great deal of Number/Word Munchers.

Of course, there is much more I could say about this weekend, but I've quite tired and I have a paper I need to edit. Fun times.

Friday, March 07, 2008

Apostrophe Catastrophe

I love this idea: Guerrilla forces adhering letters and removing apostrophes to conform to the basic standards of human communication. Grammar vigilantes, patrolling the night with cans of spray paint and stencils. Capitalization crusaders, if you will. Eh, that was a bit forced. Anyways, it reminds me of one of my favorite books (interview with the author here), one I came very close to buying for a friend's birthday. Ultimately, I decided against it because it's such a short read that it's better as a rental. If only there were some sort of shield law to protect this sort of vandalism or government endowment to correct the most grievous of errors.

NPR: Man Travels Country to Fixe Typo's

White Whale

Technically, it's an orca, so the title of the piece is a little deceptive as Ahab hunted sperm whales. Still pretty neat. My mom decided to decorate one of the family bathrooms with an orca theme and when my sister was like 4 she believed that every body of water contained killer whales, including my waterbed and puddles. Being the ass that I was/am, I used to jump on my bed to torture her, but luckily, "Free Willy" (as she had named it) had a secret tunnel that he could use to swim to my parents' waterbed. She also used to stick orca toys in the sink and fill it with water, thinking it would come alive when submerged. My mom always drained these, and my sister cried. Good times! I've told all these stories about orcas and my family and completely omitted the time we visited Keiko and my mom got a great picture of him and my sisters and his three foot long erect penis.

Wired News - AP News
Fearnbach said the white whale stood out.

"When you first looked at it, it was very white," she said Thursday.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Li'l Rhody

I don't think Rhode Island is getting enough play today. So I decided to learn more about The Ocean State as a sort of tribute. I found this amusing:

State items

The state motto is Hope!

Rhode Island - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Rhode Motherfucking Island

I cleaned my car! It's an exciting day!

I don't know that a proper name was ever assembled for this day the way Super Tuesday has been styled. I think some people have been calling it Mini Tuesday or Super Tuesday Part Deux or something else. All the names are lame. It's exciting nonetheless.

What does this mean? Primarily, that I'll spend the night sitting in front of the tv refreshing npr and NYTimes every few minutes for the most current current events. I'll also read other interesting events while I eat pepperoni and my brother watches Fetch! and sucks on raw hot dogs. I tried to get a picture of that, but I kept getting a lot of lens flare. I realize now this is because I was trying to take pictures of myself with my cat, Magenta, perched on my shoulder in the dark and adjusted settings. They didn't turn out that well either.

In one of those stories above an author laments the use of the word folks. This word has bothered me for some time.

When I was a young boy I had somewhat of a speech improvement. I think I've largely grown out of it, but certain words still make me nervous. You would be weary too if you were consistently asked to say the word "lava" by company who would then laugh profusely at the word "wava." Fucking L's.

While the author takes issue with the use as an inhibitor of knowledge, it bothers me that it has that damn L in it. Also the words colonel, mouth, and both. There's no L, it's pronounced bo-th. But you sound like such an ass when you say it. There are others, but I feel embarrassed enough by this post.

Monday, March 03, 2008

eBay Date

Watch this item. It's gone up over $3k since I was told about it this afternoon and it still has a few weeks out. I wonder what other celebrity meets(?) this seller has arranged or whatever. The whole thing is weird, but proceeds go to charity.

Meet Scarlett Johansson! 2 Red Carpet Premiere Tickets - eBay (item 250221082811 end time Mar-12-08 20:00:00 PDT)

Death By Misadventure

We were talking in one of my classes about the fourth estate and the obligations of the news media. Some idiot was going on about how the media as a private enterprise owes the consumer nothing and should seek to maximize its own gains by whatever means necessary. It's not an invalid point in itself, but he was finding issue with the entire concept of the media as a watchdog for government activities. I had to put him in his place and explain that the fourth estate must be a private organization to avoid a conflict of interests that would come in reporting on the government if it were publicly funded. I mean, there are endowments and such, but they still require sponsors, pledge drives, and knickknacks. Perhaps I don't understand anything (very probable), but it ended the discussion and I'm pretty sure that means I won.

We then watched a movie about television journalism, which got me thinking about public suicides on television. If that happens, does the station air the suicide? I believe it is policy here in Portland to not report suicides on the local tv stations, although The Rick Emerson Show has no such scruples. If they air it, you can be fairly certain that it will end up on the tubes at some point. Christine Chubbuck isn't on youtube, although Budd Dwyer is, and Mr. Hands is out there somewhere I don't care to find. That last one finds its place on both the Unusual Deaths and the Horse Accidents lists on Wikipedia.

The Saxy Poet

The Saxy Poet: i don't know why, but i find this kind of fascinating

jedisteve101: that is some funny shit

The Saxy Poet: i don't know if it's funny, but it is interesting

Sunday, March 02, 2008

The Merc with a Mouth has a pretty face too

Ryan Reynolds is Deadpool. That kicks so much ass. Wade Wilson isn't supposed to be a very pretty person after he receives his healing factor; the mask hides hideous scarring and whatnot, but Reynolds has the mouth for the part. I doubt he'll break the fourth wall in the film, but I would be elated if he did. I like to describe Deadpool as a mix of the wit of Peter Parker and superpowers of Logan, but really, he's ninja spider-man. I haven't been following this that closely as I wasn't crazy about the X-Men Trilogy. It was alright, but it didn't really compare to the Spider-man series. I feel this film may have some redeeming potential, since it will include Gambit. In addition to the Wolverine origin film, they have one about Magneto in production, but it doesn't have it's own Wikipedia article yet.

Also, they cast Martian Manhunter for the Justice League movie, but that's not as cool. If that movie is a success, we can probably expect one about the Teen Titans 2 years later. Then maybe Legion of Superheroes, but probably not.

X-Men Origins: Wolverine (2009)
AICN Exclusive: The Martian Manhunter in George Miller's JUSTICE LEAGUE is... -- Ain't It Cool News: The best in movie, TV, DVD, and comic book news.

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