Thursday, July 31, 2008

Off To Never Never Land

Rockabye Baby! is a series of albums put out by some record label that feature your favorite rock songs turned into wordless, soothing lullabies for children. Each album costs $17 and is basically a "best of" the particular artist. There are a ton to choose from like Metallica, Rolling Stones, Green Day, The Beatles, The Pixies, AC/DC, Smashing Pumpkins, U2, Nine Inch Nails, Nirvana, Radiohead, Tool, Pink Floyd, Led Zepplin, along with a bunch of others. I posted a sampler of their stuff, which includes a short video at the beginning of Metallica's guitarist Kirk Hammet talking about how he used the CD. So maybe they're doing it legally too, I dunno. What I do know is that kids don't need damn lullabies to sleep. What they need is a spot of bourbon. One for you, the rest of the bottle for daddy. Now remember: don't get out of bed or the goblins that live in the dark will eat you. Even your bones. I won't be able to save you. By the time I hear you scream you'll be long gone. Well, sweet dreams.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Little Triggers

Here's the thing: I think this poster only works if you're familiar with the film's plot - how Hoffman's character is planning and constructing a replica of New York within a warehouse. Or if you're that guy from my old work who would always chuckle that he was "a bit of a Post-It junky," in which case you'll probably look at it and say, "Have you seen my desk? That is so me."

The point is, we heart Charlie Kaufman.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Born Under (Slow-Motion) Punches

This is... well, it's just what it looks like.


Watching this, I learned a lot about physics and anatomy... but mostly I learned that they should have thrown a brick instead. Or dropped an anvil.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

"Talula"? Crackheads.

New Zealand, a country best known for setting off a massive string of explosives that separated the land mass from Australia and floated out to sea, is having 'odd' name troubles. You probably remember the kiwi couple that was in the news awhile back when it was decided they couldn't name their son "4Real" or "OMGWTFBBQ". Well, now more New Zealand couples are having trouble, mostly because they keep trying to name their children stupid shit.

"A judge in New Zealand made a young girl a ward of court so that she could change the name she hated - Talula Does The Hula From Hawaii. Judge Rob Murfitt said that the name embarrassed the nine-year-old and could expose her to teasing."

You think? Not to mention it would take six years to write your name on the top of every homework assignment. Officials have blocked Yeah Detroit, Stallion, Twisty Poi, Keenan Got Lucy, Sex Fruit, Fat Boy, Cinderella Beauty Blossom, and Fish and Chips (twins), but allowed Violence, Number 16 Bus Shelter, Midnight Chardonnay, and Benson and Hedges (twins).

What the hell are they putting in the water supply in New Zealand? This is ridiculous. "Number 16 Bus Shelter"? You can imagine where that poor bastard was conceived. "Violence"? "Sex Fruit"? Gah!

Read the full story if you want. What do I care?

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Disturbed

So we all know and love the original by The Shadows:



Then Tommy Seebach gave us this:



Well my friends, it all lead to these:





Friday, July 25, 2008

And There Was Much Rejoicing



This Day In History!

0326 - Constantine refused to carry out the traditional pagan sacrifices.

1394 - Charles VI of France issued a decree for the general expulsion of Jews from France.

1564 - Maximillian II became emperor of the Holy Roman Empire.

1587 - Japanese strong-man Hideyoshi banned Christianity in Japan and ordered all Christians to leave.


1593 - France's King Henry IV converted from Protestantism to Roman Catholicism.

1759 - British forces defeated a French army at Fort Niagara in Canada.

1799 - Napoleon Bonaparte defeated the Ottomans at Aboukir, Egypt.

1805 - Aaron Burr visited New Orleans with plans to establish a new country, with New Orleans as the capital city.

1845 - China granted Belgium equal trading rights with Britain, France and the United States.

1850 - In Worcester, MA, Harvard and Yale University freshmen met in the first intercollegiate billiards match.

1850 - Gold was discovered in the Rogue River in Oregon.

1854 - The paper collar was patented by Walter Hunt.

1861 - The Crittenden Resolution, which called for the American Civil War to be fought to preserve the Union and not for slavery, was passed by the U.S. Congress.

1866 - Ulysses S. Grant was named General of the Army. He was the first American officer to hold the rank.

1868 - The U.S. Congress passed an act creating the Wyoming Territory.

1871 - Seth Wheeler patented perforated wrapping paper.

1907 - Korea became a protectorate of Japan.

1909 - French aviator Louis Bleriot flew across the English Channel in a monoplane. He traveled from Calais to Dover in 37 minutes. He was the first man to fly across the channel.

1914 - Russia declared that it would act to protect Serbian sovereignty.

1924 - Greece announced the deportation of 50,000 Armenians.

1934 - Austrian chancellor Engelbert Dollfuss was shot and killed by Nazis.

1939 - W2XBS TV in New York City presented the first musical comedy seen on TV. The show was "Topsy and Eva".

1941 - The U.S. government froze all Japanese and Chinese assets.

1943 - Italian Fascist dictator Benito Mussolini was overthrown in a coup.

1946 - The U.S. detonated an atomic bomb at Bikini Atoll in the Pacific. It was the first underwater test of the device.

1946 - Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis staged their first show as a team at Club 500 in Atlantic City, NJ.

1947 - Fortune Gordien of Oslo, Norway set a world record discus throw of 178.47 feet.

1952 - Puerto Rico became a self-governing commonwealth of the U.S.

1956 - The Italian liner Andrea Doria sank after colliding with the Swedish ship Stockholm off the New England coast. 51 people were killed.

1962 - The Elvis Presley film "Kid Galahad" premiered.

1965 - Bob Dylan appeared on stage at the Newport Jazz Festival with an electric guitar. It was his first non-acoustic set.

1966 - In San Francisco, CA, the Rolling Stones performed their last U.S. concert with Brian Jones.

1967 - The Beatles and other U.K. rock groups urged the British government to legalize marijuana. Their comments were made in a London Times advertisement signed by all four of the Beatles.

1969 - Neil Young made his first appearance with Crosby, Stills and Nash.

1970 - Chicago's "25 or 6 to 4" was released.

1971 - The Beach Boys released their album "Surf's Up."

1975 - "A Chorus Line" debuted on Broadway. The show closed in 1990 after 6,137 performances.

1978 - Louise Joy Brown, the first test-tube baby, was born in Oldham, England. She had been conceived through in-vitro fertilization.

1978 - Pete Rose of the Cincinnati Reds broke the National League record for consecutive base hits as he got a hit in 38 straight games.

1980 - KISS introduced their new drummer, Eric Carr, at a concert at the Paladium in New York City.

1980 - AC\DC released "Back In Black," their first album with Brian Johnson as lead singer.

1984 - Soviet cosmonaut Svetlana Savitskaya became the first woman to walk in space. She was aboard the orbiting space station Salyut 7.

1987 - The Salt Lake City Trappers set a professional baseball record as the team won its 29th game in a row.

1990 - Rosanne Barr sang the National Anthem in San Diego before a Padres baseball game. She was booed for her performance.

1994 - Israel and Jordan formally ended the state of war that had existed between them since 1948.

1995 - Nina Simone fired a gun at a pair of noisy teenagers playing next door to her home in southern France. She was put on 18 months probation and ordered to seek psychological counseling.

1997 - K.R. Narayanan became India's president. He was the first member of the Dalits caste to do so.

1998 - The USS Harry S. Truman was commissioned and put into service by the U.S. Navy.

1998 - U.S. President Clinton was subpoenaed to appear before a federal grand jury regarding the Monica Lewinsky case. The subpoena was withdrawn when Clinton agreed to give videotaped testimony with his lawyers present.

1999 - Lance Armstrong won the Tour de France. He was only the second American to win the race. He won the race again in 2000.

2000 - A supersonic Concorde crashed outside Paris, France, killing all 109 people aboard and 5 on the ground.

2006 - Metallica put up four albums for sale on iTunes. The albums "Kill 'Em All", "Ride The Lightning", "Master of Puppets" and "...And Just For All" included previously unreleased tracks recorded in Seatle in 1989. Metallica had led the charge against the original Napster online file-sharing service.

Birthdays

Thomas Eakins 1844
Morris Raphel Cohen 1880
Walter Brennan 1894
Eric Hoffer 1902
Jack Gilford 1907
Estelle Getty 1924
Stanley Dancer 1927
Don Ellis 1934
Barbara Harris 1935
John Pennel 1940
Manuel Charlton (Nazareth) 1941
Janet Margolin 1943
Jim McCarty (Yardbirds) 1943
Donna Theodore 1945
Verdine White (Earth, Wind & Fire) 1951
Walter Payton (NFL) 1954
Iman 1955
Ray Billingsley 1957
Thurston Moore (Sonic Youth) 1958
Marty Brown 1965
Illeana Douglas 1965
Matt LeBlanc 1967
Brad Renfro 1982

Thursday, July 24, 2008

When Hector Was A Pup

You know me, and you know I hate to say "I told you so." Well, not so much "hate" as "relish..." but you get my point: robots will kill us all.

The B21 Kitchen Robot was designed to know where everything in your kitchen is via RFID tagging and help you prepare meals. In reality, the robot will probably just stab you. The blue barrel bastard was created by the Technical University of Munich and even has the capability to learn how to use new tools (read: "knives"; read: "Oh friggin' great").

"(By using RFID tags) the robot knows where everything is, and it can learn simple tasks simply by observing the movements of the objects.

"Setting the table is very easily recognized from cups and plates disappearing from the cupboard and appearing on the table, and cleaning up later is characterized by the same objects disappearing from the table and appearing in the dishwasher."

The team is also working to integrate a number of open-source software packages to enable the robots to get instructions from the internet, in the same way that some search for images."

Oh yeah, that's just what I need -- a robot that's getting instructions from the interwebs. So let me get this straight: there's a robot in my kitchen. It knows where the knives are, and it's being controlled by someone whose loftiest goal in life is to type F1RST! in the comments?

I told you so.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

I Like To Watch

So, I was just reading this interview with Alan Moore -in which he re-affirms his feelings that he hates Hollywood, hates DC Comics, and thinks Watchmen shouldn't be made into a film, particularly by someone who made such a "racist," "homophobic," and "sublimely stupid" film as 300- and it got me thinking that maybe a Watchmen movie really is a bad idea. It was a story meant to be told on the page, and maybe it should remain there. Then I saw the new Watchmen teaser, and I was like, "Holy shit, it's living, breathing Watchmen characters! This is the most amazing thing I've ever seen."

To summarize: I don't know what I think... but oooooo! Pretty!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Not Even A Little Bit Country

As I'm certain you're all aware, Jessica Simpson is attempting to crossover into country music, and apparently, it's not as easy as singing about your truck and beating your wife. Who knew? She gave her first "country" performance in Wisconsin and somehow escaped without getting a bottle of Bud jabbed in her eye. Kenosha News reports:

"Many audience members found her attempt to crossover into country irritating and that her vocals lacked a southern sound. I just don't hear the country in her; I don't hear the twang. She's not good enough to be here," said Adam Matos, 21, from Arlington Heights, Ill. One man summed her performance up in a single word. It's crap," said Ryan Sia, 28, from East Troy. "She doesn't belong here." "

But Jessica Simpson tried her best to win the tough crowd over by making one of her trademark retard statements:

" "I don't know what your perception is of Jessica Simpson or what tabloid you buy, but I just want you to know that I'm just a girl from Texas; I'm just like you. I'm doing what I love and dating a boy," Simpson said."

Note to Jessica Simpson: Probably not a good idea to tell a crowd full of roughnecks you're just like them because you're dating a boy.

Monday, July 21, 2008

My Log Tells Me...

Some guy opened his laptop to make a repair and found a rogue keylogger inside.

"What could this mean? I called Dell tech support about it, and they said, and I quote, "The integrated service tag identifier is there for assisting customers in the event of lost or misplaced personal information." He then hung up.

I called the police, as having a keylogger unknown to me in my laptop is a serious offense. They told me to call the Department of Homeland Security. At this point, I am in disbelief. Why would the DHS have a keylogger in my laptop? It was surreal.

So I called them, and they told me to submit a Freedom of Information Act request."

Here's a scanned copy of the reply to his request:

DHS for the win!

(Oh, come on... you weren't using those civil rights anyway.)

Sunday, July 20, 2008

There Is No Sanity Clause

We saw The Dark Knight this weekend. While we waited in line, we noticed that the fans leaving the theater were surprisingly subdued. Not the boisterous movie-goers you expect to see filing out of the summer's biggest blockbuster. It didn't make sense to us until the lights came up almost three hours later, and we found ourselves shuffling out of the theater as stunned as everyone else.

Here's the thing you must understand: Heath Ledger doesn't play The Joker. He plays the Devil. He weaves truth and lies; every scheme is designed to wreak havoc on multiple layers, including ones that aren't always evident at first; he can also make you feel downright sorry for the guy as he weaves one of many autobiographies spins during the course of the film. He's a master manipulator, and wherever he is, he's the smartest guy in the room. Yes, he's insane, but he's going to let you think that crazy equals reckless and unintelligent. He is neither.

Of course, a lot of that is as much a testament to the writers of The Dark Knight as Ledger. What Ledger adds to the mix is something he's clearly picked up from this version of The Joker, but what he adds... watching him move like a rabid animal or subtly flick his tongue like an angry serpent is to behold something you have never seen on screen before and probably will not again in your lifetime.

Look, I don't need to sell you on how good The Dark Knight is. By now, you've probably read dozens of such reviews, or have seen it at least once this weekend already. What's important to distinguish is that director and co-writer Christopher Nolan's epic telling of the Batman vs. Joker saga is more than just the greatest superhero movie ever made (and that it certainly is), but it's the year's finest crime drama, greatest character study, and Heath Ledger delivers the year's greatest acting performance. He earned an Academy Award nomination… and in my book, barring a Javier Bardem-caliber performance late in the year that at best could only match Heath Ledger's Joker, the Oscar is his.

Of course, there is a Batman in this film. I still think Michael Keaton was a great Batman, but Christian Bale has such great pent-up (and sometimes not so pent-up) rage in him this time that no one can hold a candle to the dimensions he's adding to either side of his identity. Bruce Wayne gets as much time on screen as his costumed alter ego (maybe even more), and I never felt short changed (as I did during Batman Returns, as good a Batman movie as you can watch that hardly has any Batman in it) probably because when Wayne is in the foreground, it usually means that Michael Caine or Morgan Freeman or Gary Oldman is on screen with him. Each of these characters gets more screen time and far more to do than in Batman Begins. They are not simply background characters kept around for the vibe; they are vital pieces to the goings on here.

Maggie Gyllenhaal's Rachel comes the closest to having a purpose of all of Batman's movie love interests. Rachel is torn between her true love and her new love, the "White Knight" district attorney Harvey Dent (Aaron Eckhart, in easily the finest performance he has ever given). The film's recurring theme of man's duality obviously comes to a head when Dent's face is severely burned thanks to a booby trap set by The Joker, but it's also driven home by The Joker himself, who makes the interesting observation that he and Batman are just different kinds of crazy. Batman doesn't argue the point.

Aaron Eckhart, by the way, is outstanding. If this was any other film, we'd all be talking about the pathos he brings to the rise and fall of Harvey Dent. Hope dies when Two-Face is born, and thanks to Eckhart's portrayal of the white knight, I sympathized with Harvey, and I almost don't blame him for the darker times that are sure to come in Gotham.

While Ledger's performance is the highlight of the film, the production's not-so secret weapon is its screenplay (co-written by the director and his brother Jonathan Nolan). There are some points in the writing that are absolute poetry. At other points, the humor is worthy of absolute fits of laughter. And the ending is staggering and unexpected, but the writers don't reserve all of the film's surprises for its final 15 minutes. What the brothers Nolan understand is that the Joker doesn't have to kill thousands of people to scare the shit out of Gotham, he only needs to kill certain people, the right people, to bring the city to its knees. The Joker is a far more effective terrorist than Scarecrow or Ra's Al Ghul… but it's just as fun to watch how The Joker fights face to face: he hides behind his cronies, pushing them between himself and whoever is about to pummel him. He rarely goes after an opponent unless their back is turned or they're half out cold on the ground. And he never misses an opportunity to talk his way out of physical violence, which is not to say he doesn't relish a little knife play.

In the end, I don't know if it's good or bad that we'll never get to see The Joker and Batman go head to head again in the current franchise. Of course it's terrible that Ledger is gone, but in a sentiment I'm sure The Joker could appreciate, he has left us wanting more. Even if Ledger were still alive, I'm not sure I'd want him to reprise this character. That would almost be too much of a good thing. What he gave us is more than we deserve or could have anticipated, and for that I'm overwhelmingly grateful. You have no idea what's in store for you when you sit down to watch The Dark Knight.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Button-Mash Pipe

Misty water-colored memories....

Ahhhhhh, it seems like only yesterday I was a college freshman in the dorm puffing on a tinfoil pipe and blowing the smoke through a dryer-sheet filled 20oz bottle. Good times. Which could have been better if I had a wicked N64 pipe at the time. But I didn't. What I did have was a dorm custodian that would occasionally drop off a rubber glove stuffed with a NASCAR lighter and partially smoked pipe for me to finish off. I'd give anything to be 18 again.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Iran So Far Away

So evidently Iran Photoshopped a picture of some recently-launched missiles to make it appear as if they have the capability to launch four missiles instead of admitting they can only launch three... and leave a dud.

A bunch of newspapers printed the photo before new things came to light...

only later to reveal it had been 'shopped. Uhhhhhh... doctoring a picture to show off four missiles instead of three firing successfully? What the hell's the purpose? If you're gonna' doctor a picture, doctor a picture, dammit!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

OK Computer!

"In Radiohead's new video for "House of Cards", no cameras or lights were used. Instead, 3D plotting technologies collected information about the shapes and relative distances of objects. The video was created entirely with visualizations of that data."

Directed by James Frost



I dunno... I miss the giant white flags waving in slow motion... in the rain... on a rooftop.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Where The Wild Things Are Available

After months of speculation on the fate of Spike Jonze's Where the Wild Things Are, Warner Brothers' Alan Horn has come forward to speak about the reportedly doomed project. Speaking to the LA Times, Horn clarified that Jonze has not been taken off the project, adding that Warner Brothers is not trying to make the dark children's book into a "bland, sanitized studio movie." They simply want it cut in such a vapid, watered-down way that it will appeal to everyone:
"We've given him more money and, even more importantly, more time for him to work on the film," Horn said. "We'd like to find a common ground that represents Spike's vision but still offers a film that really delivers for a broad-based audience. We obviously still have a challenge on our hands. But I wouldn't call it a problem, simply a challenge. No one wants to turn this into a bland, sanitized studio movie. This is a very special piece of material and we're just trying to get it right."
Horn then added that the title will be changed from Where the Wild Things Are to Where Those Lovable, Cuddly Things--Think Sort of a Live-Action "Monster's Inc." Vibe--Are. Such as Toy Stores, Where You Can Buy Plush Versions of These Wonderfully Charming Characters.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Hi-Def

In word news, "fanboy" has officially been added to the Merriam-Webster dictionary. That's the entry there in the picture. Weird they didn't mention anything about Apple or video games. Oh, and as you can see they claim the word dates back to 1919. Which I find a little hard to believe. In 1919 a fanboy was a kid you paid to wave a palm frond in your direction to stay cool, not somebody sitting outside an Apple store right now waiting for an iPhone.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Drums Along The Hudson

Bongo-player extraordinaire Matthew McConaughey astounds me yet again by typing people words and claiming to have knowledge of the Bible. Here's his latest blog entry explaining how he chose "Levi Alves McConaughey" for his newborn son's name. I'm going to assume somebody ate a handful of mescaline then watched 6-8 hours of TBN:
" 'Levi' was another name for the apostle "Matthew" in the bible.... they
were, in fact, two names for the same person... our son was born at 6:22 pm, and
this particular "time" represents my favorite verse in the book of Matthew in
the bible: "if thy eye be single, thy whole body will be full of light."

So, is Matthew "McConaughey" trying to tell us his kid "only" has one eye? Because I didn't "understand" a friggin' thing that guy just said. I do know that Levi's going to be the only preschooler to talk non-stop on the spiritual lessons of Cookie Monster: "Man, I'm telling you, man. That sumbitch knows shit. It's like he's in my noggin', man, diggin' around. Telling me, yeah, I love cookies, but do I even know why there's a C in 'cookie,' man? KER-PSHH! Fries your freakin' Play-Doh, doesn't it?" Levi will later drop out of kindergarten after he realizes he's Jesus and just really likes nachos.

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Wall-Inebriated

Lookee! Mr. Asahi was made by Japanese based Asahi Breweries, and serves beer before stealing your girlfriend and making out with her in the walk-in cooler. It took over 200 man-hours to build Mr. Robobeer and he's pretty much limited to opening bottles and pouring draft beer. Did I mention he talks? He talks. Now I'm torn here because for one, well he's a robot, and we all know that robots are evil and will soon enough inherit the Earth. On the other hand, well, he serves beer.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Thunder#@*# Is Right!

You know what I love? I love Golden Grahams! And I love it when when reality shows are reported as if the shit happening on them is actually real. In this case, Kristy Morgan who "won" this season's A Shot at Love with Tila Tequila but turned down Tila on the finale. People caught up with Kristy to find out why she chose not to date a fake bisexual. It's called a script, folks:
" “I really went with what my heart said,” Morgan said. “Sometimes you date people, and then it’s not always the happy ending.” Morgan, who is bisexual, said she was “emotionally unstable” living away from friends and family and in a house full of lesbians and straight men. “It helped me learn what type of woman I want to be, [but] I started to emotionally break down,” she said."

Meanwhile, Tila Tequila is feigning rage on her website and unleashed some angry leprechaun poetry while telling MTV where to dump the pile of cash for a third season:

Thunderfuck my mouth is shut. Been a while, feel like a cunt.
Can't wait for this drama to pass.
Oh the joy.....fuck you. My ass.
Live a lie.
Tell my mind.
Over soon. I can't deny.
You will all soon see, the truth in my eyes.
Smile on my face, the loving embrace....but instead I'll punch you in the face.
For a long time coming....I let you touch me....now that it's over bitch....You better start running.
Pent up inside....telling these lies....this has gone too far.....the world will soon die.
Only 1 more day. To feel this way. Tomorrow I smile....brings another day!
Back to myself. Nobody else. Fuck all this bullshit. I'm back to myself. Yes. Thank the fuck God.

Wow. That's quite a verbose entry for someone who has to hop from key to key.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Particle Fan

That's right folks, The Particle Zoo is now selling all your favorite particles. They're $9 apiece and can be purchased separately or in sets (that's not even all of them in the picture there). Each is packed with a material appropriate for their mass (lighter ones filled with foam, heavier ones with gravel). Whee! I love soft things! But be warned: the last time I thought I was bringing a charm quark home she turned out to be strange. I did get to see her photons though.