Friday, August 31, 2007

Screw big compaines - DIY

Yeah, you're not so invincible now are you Apple Corp? iPhone with patented 3G YarnTech

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Naked Philosophy with Bears

Again, I walk into the gym locker room and it’s just me and another naked man. But this time, the other man just happens to be a dead ringer for Wayne Coyne of the Flaming Lips.

I’m going about my locker business and from behind me he says, “Sometimes you eat the bear, sometimes the bear eats you.”

It took a beat to realize I must be the intended recipient of this and that somehow I have entered a conversation with a naked man.

Me: Sorry…say what?

Him: I said, the bear, sometimes you eat him; but sometimes he eats you.

Me: [turning around enough to be polite, but not enough to see his entire nakedness] uh yeah, I guess so.

Him: You said it! A lot of people just think their gonna get that bear. They chase after it, they join a step-aerobics class; they get a nice car. Doctors and lawyers think they’re so god-damn smart that they can beat it at it’s own game, but it’s not going to matter they’re going to get mauled in the end. You can’t aerobicize your way out of that, Mr. Tough-Guy-Prosecutor, know what I mean?

Me: Yeah …that’s...a good point. OK, goodbye.

Him: See you. It’s good talking with someone who really gets it.

You know people don’t really eat bears these days, so this conversation doesn't make sense on the surface.

Was this man talking in code? Was there a CIA spy microfiche hand-off that I was a party to? On the other hand, maybe it some kind of gay code? There's been a lot in the news lately about tapping your foot under the men's room stall to indicate willingness. Maybe talking about bears is the new code since the old one's been exposed. So to speak.

Or was he really a naked Wayne Coyne and this was some sort of weird social experiment to sing about on the next album? Seems like something the Flaming Lips might do.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Like to Conquistador That!

Clothes before:

Clothes after:

iOLÉ! Click here for even more fancy clothes that magically fall on the floor into geographic shapes.

Link via

News Now

Cartoons Now Bust You on the Web

Republicans Now So Gay

Crazy Astronaut Was Temporarily Crazy, Now Fine

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Movie Review: The Science of Sleep

[the scene: on the couch, watching The Science of Sleep with G. The end credits start to roll]

G: That was dumb.

Paul: What, c’mon it was weird but it certainly wasn’t dumb. I thought it was visually stunning. Very inventive with flourishes of—

G: --it was utter bullsheet.

P: What, you missed the first half of the movie, how can you judge?

G: Do you need me to kick you in the balls for 90 minutes to know you don’t like it? After 45 minutes, you already know for sure.

P: That’s a horrible analogy. Even if you don’t exactly enjoy the movie it’s not physically painful.

G: It was for me. Like the part with the 1-second time machine, was that for real or was that a dream?

P: You know, it was supposed to be real, but at that point in the film his dreams were bleeding into his waking life. Obviously no one will ever invent a time machine so I think it demonstrated his rich inner life and his desire to achieve much more than his dead-end job.

G: No. It just demonstrated pretentious bullsheet.

P: You have no taste. You hate on films that try something new, yet you love America’s Funniest Home Videos. It’s pathological.

G: Then why are you with me?

P: Definitely not for your taste in movies or books or art; I’d have to say I with you for…[staring obviously at her large breasts] your winning personality.

G: For your sake, I'm going to pretend to accept the answer that came out of your mouth and not your eyes.

[the end]

The Science of Sleep is a simple love story. And all love stories need an obstacle. And the obstacle is that the main character is weird, and the girl he likes, she likes him but doesn't want to be his girlfriend. Everyone has been there. They’re eccentric, yet sweet characters -- you want to fall in love with them both.

And who amongst us hasn’t had nervous conversations like this when trying to woo a girl?

Guy: [searching for an analogy] It's like touching your penis with your left hand.
Girl: I don't have a penis.
Guy: But you have a left hand.


Girl: [after receiving the 1-second time travel machine from the Guy] For what special occasion that I deserve such a nice gift?
Guy: For the occasion of... you're pretty.

TSoS is directed by Michel Gondry, who did Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. Which I also liked, but here he takes it up a notch. “It” being the fantastical quirky. Also it’s in French, English and Spanish but as a viewer you never get tripped up by the language changes. The main character does and gets mocked for his bad French. Its kind of a plot point.

But the movie is mostly about dreams. With the simple story as the skeleton, Grondy can add all the surreal dream melting with reality stuff. I laughed at some of the visuals: like who hasn’t dreamt about taking over their office kung-fu style and bending a shapely co-worker over the copier while being lavishly praised as an artistic genius?

Not one among us.

Monday, August 20, 2007

The Chess Killer

We always knew that Russians loved chess. The greatest Grandmasters are of course Russian. As is the last human player to ever consistently beat the supercomputers.

When everything else fell apart socially, politically and economically, Russia still had their love of chess. But this might be taking things too far.

The serial killer charted his crimes on a chessboard, attaching a number and a coin to each square every time he struck. By the time he was caught, Alexander Pichushkin had filled in 62 of the 64 squares.

Most of the victims were elderly men whom 33-year-old Pichushkin lured to Bittsa Park in south- west Moscow with the promise of a drink. More than 40 died after he threw them into a sewage pit when they were too drunk to resist. The rest he killed with a hammer.

This is so messed up. When he’s in jail with the other serial killers, I bet they’re going to make fun of him for playing chess. He’s never going to hear the end of it from the preppy and the football serial killers.

Friday, August 17, 2007

KEXP: Radio on the Internet

When it comes to commercial-free radio, I‘m kinda a true believer. I like the media of radio because it can engage you while you go about doing other things. But, for whatever reason, the ads of commercial radio are especially jarring; even more so than web pop-ups or TV commercials with all their animated toenail fungus.

College radio, NPR and others fill the void because it should be noted that most radio, like most media, is crap. And when you find a tolerable life raft floating above it all, you cling to it.

KEXP is certainly not crap. It’s excellent. And the have a live streaming webcast. I’m listening to them right now, as I have most mornings for the past 6 years. I’d listen to the morning show from a tiny cubicle in Cleveland and it was my first aural impression of Seattle: it’s fun; it tries new things; it has better concerts. Mainstream music in Seattle is Pavement and the Pixies. Seattle will put a certified nerd on the morning show and he’s a star. Seattle will put a DJ with a speech impediment on weekends, and he’s a star too! It’s just that kind of town.

When me and G got sick of Cleveland we caught I-90 downtown and drove west several thousand miles until the road ended here in Seattle. And when our crap car had crested the Olympic Mountains at barely 25 mph and we started free rolling down the other side, we could suddenly pick up the KEXP FM radio signal and that’s how I knew we’d arrived in Seattle. Seattle is the place where it’s in your car and not just on your computer.

Years later, the station had some fund-raising telethon and we gave them the old car that brought us here. By then it was even more crap, but it was tax-deductible crap. And it helped the organization do mostly good. Being a believer means you overlook some unfortunate flaws like annoying telethons and creeping commercialism.

These days, a lot of non-commercial operations are running “sponsor acknowledgements” that sound suspiciously like commercials and KEXP in no exception as they got "sponsorship" from people selling condos, Hondas and scooters. Old PBS even runs Chuck. E. Cheese “acknowledgements” during its kid’s shows that pay some lip service to “lifelong learning” but then just shows kids jumping in a ball pit in front of a giant mouse. The educational aspect is suspect.

KEXP has changed, but it's still there. Maybe I don’t love them as much as I use to, but I still believe in them.

Seattle is Pretty

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Pardon my cannonball

It’s hard to get a handle on the future when it hasn't happened yet. Everyone wants to know what the next big thing is; yet nobody really knows. That’s why it’s a good thing forecasters can look to Japan for new trends. As with many things, the future has already arrived, and it’s in Japan. Full story with video here.

Just accept it now, because you can’t fight the future. Consider this…

Fact #1: Every year people are getting more numerous
Fact #2: The Earth is heating up
Fact #3: Summers get hot, we gotta cool down

Inescapable Conclusion: Crowded pools, very crowded pools. From the Japanese version of Wild Waves. If you want to book your vacation, you can go there yourself.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Shot of Double Sexpresso

They say that New York City is where America happens first. Meaning trends start there and spread to the rest of the country. Well, Seattle is where America happens first -- in regards to coffee.

Why? Because we seriously loves us some coffee. Starbucks started here and basically defined the American coffee shop experience. Seattle's Best and Tully's are finally making national inroads now too.

Other coffee trends that started in Seattle:

Free wi-fi in coffee shops…we started that. Organic shade-grown free-trade mumbo jumbo to make everyone feel good about themselves…also a Seattle original.

I think we were early in on chocolate-covered espresso bean craze too; and the passive-aggressive veneer of civility…probably not related to coffee but also from Seattle.

On my street alone there are two unexpected hybrid-businesses: Latte Repair – a small appliance repair shop and coffee shop; and Espresso Dental – which insanely enough combines a dentist’s office and espresso stand! (Ask about their teeth whitening special)

That’s why I feel confident enough to inform America about your next coffee related mega-trend courtesy of Seattle: Erotic Fantasy Coffee. Read about it here: The cups will runneth over at ChickaLatte

What: Drive-through coffee stands now featuring sexy, scantily-clad baristas making your favorite coffee drinks

Where: several locations in the Seattle area

Who: Vaguely creepy-looking entrepreneur (ChickaLatte founder on the left) desperate to make money in the over-saturated coffee biz.

How: Desperate entrepreneur cheaply hires attractive young women to make coffee while they wear lingerie or fantasy fetish costumes. They give customers a sultry look while taking out the trash.

Why: Since at least the 1980s, men have been attracted to sexy women. Fantasy Coffee let’s them ogle sexy women while they drive 10 miles out of their way to buy the morning joe. And men will naturally want to stick big tips in the baristas’ tip jar.

And both get you up in the morning. Quote from the story in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer:

24-year-old barista Megan Frazer looked a little chilly, herself, in her "Ice Princess" ensemble -- a brief, light-blue nightie, emphasis on light, slit up the side to show lacy panties. Accents included a tiara and furry white booties. "Actually it gets really hot in here," she assured me.

That seems like gratuitous reporting for a family newspaper, but I'm not complaining since I like my coffee how I like my women: hot, bitter and keeping me awake all night.

Cheesy joke aside, more and more, the movie Idiocracy predicts the future of American culture. Remember how in the year 3000, the “Gentleman’s Latte” was just a euphemism for handjob? The future is almost here.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Thomas the Train: Causes Autistism?

Maybe that’s a wildly unproven speculation, but consider this.

Fact #1
In the past 17 years, Thomas the Tank Engine has undeniably become a marketing juggernaut. The videos make hundreds of millions, despite having no original theater release* and the merchandise earns far more.

Fact #2
Rates of autism have skyrocketed since to 90s.

If you’ve known a toddler, you know that for them Thomas runs a powerful personality cult that’d make Jim Jones blush.

Sure the People’s Temple held some sway and convinced 900+ people to make some rather, ill-informed choices, but it could never match the long-term influence of the talking train lurking in every parent's DVD player.

Thomas says he needs a bath; they suddenly need a bath. Thomas needs more coal; and now they want coal for breakfast. Thomas says jump; they say how high?

Children are transfixed. A locomotive charismatic only comes along once in a lfetime -- and nobody has yet denied that he's built an army. An army with malleable minds and small hands. Their only weakness, besides literal weakness, is an early bedtime.

But, did you know for a certain subset of kids, the obsession for all things Thomas extends much deeper into their lives? Autistic children love Thomas well past toddler-hood and late into their childhoods. Here’s a mother talking about her two autistic sons:

My sons are technically teenagers (age 13 and 15), but they're unaware of the implications. They have no interest in fashion, mobile phones, the internet, iPods, parties, alcohol. As far as tastes and interests go, they're still stuck on the Island of Sodor with Thomas the Tank Engine, which is cosy, if a little dull.

For children on the autistic spectrum, a very common problem is “face blindness” or the inability to understand what another person is feeling based on their facial expression. Thomas videos actually help, due to their choppy stop-motion animation with exaggerated facial expressions frozen in place for several seconds. Apparently this helps autistics make sense out of a world that doesn’t make sense, and aids in understanding the alien concept of emotions.

Autistic children respond to this and watch Thomas well past the age that most others have moved on. And that's why autistics will be the elite shock troops in next year's devestating toddler uprising.

*Same business model as the direct-to-video porn industry, with much more success. Maybe they just need more trains.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Like Peacocks

Newish Human Evolution Theory: Our big brainy brains have many uses, but they're bigger than they have to be because they're mostly for show. Showy brains, like excessive antlers, help get potential mates interested.

Like when you see caribou, first thing you notice is it's amazing rack.

The science money shot:

His idea is that the human brain is the anthropoid equivalent of the peacock's tail. In other words, it is an organ designed to attract the opposite sex. Of course, brains have many other functions, and the human brain shares those with the brains of other animals. But Dr Miller, who works at the University of New Mexico, thinks that mental processes which are uniquely human, such as language and the ability to make complicated artefacts, evolved originally for sexual display.

But for the human animal, it goes both ways:

One important difference between peacocks' tails and human minds, of course, is that the peahen's accoutrement is a drab affair. No one could say the same of the human female psyche. That, Dr Miller believes, is because people, unlike peafowl, bring up their offspring in families where both sexes are involved in parenting. It thus behoves a man to be as careful about choosing his wife as a woman is about choosing her husband.

This Dr. Miller sounds pretty smart. And therefore sexually desirable.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

The Radioactive Boy Scout

David Hahn is back in the news again. Who? You know the American teenager who almost built a working nuclear breeder reactor by himself, that’s who.

What big science work were you doing in your teen years that was so important? Most teenage science projects are no more ambitious than building the gravity-assisted beer imbiber or mentally de-scrambling Cinemax After Dark programming.

Not Hahn—he was a mild-mannered Boy Scout who earned a merit badge in atomic energy -- but went beyond what was necessary. His obsession and curiosity took him well beyond necessity, rationality and safety. To the public, he’s a certified genius and a certified nut – guess you could say the same thing about the Curies who also sacrificed their health to advance human knowledge.

Unlike his predecessors, however, David did not have vast financial support from the state, no laboratory save for a musty potting shed, no proper instruments or safety devices, and, by far his chief impediment, no legal means of obtaining radioactive materials. To get around this last obstacle, David utilized a number of cover stories and concocted identities, plus a Geiger-counter kit he mounted to the dashboard of his burgundy Pontiac 6000.

Read the whole story here.

How did his obsessive quest end? His backyard got named a Superfund site. He’s not allowed near nuclear reactors of any type, and experts suggest he may have already exceeded the lifetime dosage for thorium exposure.

Has he given up? Now 12 years later, he’s stealing smoke detectors (again), and look at his face. That's a telling face. A clean-cut Midwestern kid forever bears the mark of his literally burning ambition.

The mugshot's almost poetry.

More typo-laden science articles? here

Sci-Fi Concept

What is there was like this guy and he had amnesia, but since he couldn’t remember the past, he remembered the future instead?

Man, I bet a guy like that would be so messed up in the head.

There’s no way he could get a job or go on a normal first date. Like, he'd remember the time they had S&M freestyle sex after the third date, but she doesn't remember that because it hasn't happened yet! And he starts telling her about it over appetizers and she's all freaked out because she hardly knows this guy.

So there's no way she'd ever have sex with this nuttering lunatic -- yet -- in the future they've already had the sex.


Star Wars Romeo

There are two types of people in the world. Those, that when a romantic situation calls for it, can quote a little Star Wars dialogue. And those that can’t.

These are only for the Don Juan’s out there. Who don’t have cable and can't watch Robot Chicken.

Part 1 of 3

Part 2 of 3

Part 3 or 3

[Link via Tom - thanks]

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Juice for Everyone

To celebrate the official Barry Bonds Day, a thought experiment: What if drugs were perfectly legal for all athletes? What would our favorite sports look like? Assuming everyone's favorite sport is baseball. And that it mattered.

An economist's take on perfomance enhancing drugs.

Apparenlty professional cycling started the practice of athletic doping in the first place.

[T]he history of modern doping began with the cycling craze of the 1890s and the six-day races that lasted from Monday morning to Saturday night. Extra caffeine, peppermint, cocaine and strychnine were added to the riders’ black coffee. Brandy was added to tea. Cyclists were given nitroglycerin to ease breathing after sprints. This was a dangerous business, since these substances were doled out without medical supervision.

Staying up for 6 days while on the road taking cocaine mixed with brandy, rat poison, and nitroglycerin. What could possibly go wrong?

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

The Stranger has good headlines

The title just grabs you. Baby Dumbfuck

Related: Baby Einstein smackdown

Black Women: Waiting for Mr. White

According to this CNN culture story, there’s a hot new romantic trend of “dating out” and here’s why:

Black women around the country are reconsidering interracial relationships. They're taking cues from their favorite stars, movies, books, as well as blogs.

No doubt relationships are transcending race as never before in this country. But the article’s wrong on the root causes, suggesting that it’s because of the media. The media like CNN would say something like that in the media, because they love the media.

Breaking it down: What kind of movies are increasing the prevalence of interracial dating--the entire film oeuvre of Sidney Pottier? Maybe when dinosaurs roamed the earth in the mid-60s. Perhaps it's more modern mainstream movies like like Do the White Thing? Or Black to the Future? Or All the White Moves? Maybe those that break a double taboo like Brokeblack Mountain?

Books make even less sense. Less people read than look at moving things and is anyone taking relationship or sex advise from famous authors? No!

Exhibit #1,2 & 3...

Note: Stephen King's come-hither look removing all traces of sexy from the atmosphere.

Are Blogs influential enough to overturn prejudice and reshape American society? Will anyone do what a blog tells them to do. That seems highly dubious. By the way, I'm having a major operation and need everyone in America to send me a $1,000 check. I personally wouldn't ask, but it's not me, it's the internet that's asking.

Point is, the media is not making interracial dating happen. What’s making this happen, is the fact that people like to boink. Or to put it more romantically: life is too short to ponder race when it comes to love.

Besides this hoopla will all be laughably irrelevant in the year 3000.

Related: Our first black President,Warren G. Harding was stiff, white, and a Republican

Friday, August 3, 2007


How to pitch a screenplay to Steven Spielberg

-You're on speakerphone. Could you please tell us all a little more about, um, your unique concept?
-You mean Rapebear, the bear that rapes?

I just love this image

The first pig in space getting fuelled up for his mission. (click for more stills)

(via Boing Boing)

Thursday, August 2, 2007

A knuckle sandwich for the Kaiser

It's the summer of 1914, with hostilities declared, Britain had a problem. Hardly anyone was in its army, yet it was in a World War, which they didn’t even have the foresight to call World War I.

What they needed was some way to get hooligans out of the pubs and into the killing fields. Many did not seem keen on the idea. So how?

Poster #1, to the right, is a good one and has become iconic in the years hence. The look on the guy's face as his ungrateful daughter questions his manliness is priceless.

"You want to know what I did in the Great War? Your mother, that's what. Now go be seen and not heard, ye mouthy whippersnap"

But still, you feel guilty with a poster like this, so poster #1 is effective recruitment. Makes you want to sign up for WWI, like right away! Just hope it's not too late.

Poster #2 is bad propaganda. The source for it's call to arms comes from an ugly place. Demonizing the enemy as baby-bayonetting business men just seems like a cheap shot. It's simply not good business practice to bayonet babies, margins are already paper thin and bayonet maintenance makes it hardly worth the trouble.

Poster #2 must've seemed ham-handed even back then. If I were a hooligan reading this, I'd stay saddled up to the bar to hit on some lonely war widows. It worked out pretty well for that guy in poster #1.

(link via

Update: Even more awesome posters

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Gym Based Mysteries

Today, there’s this guy working out with his attractive girlfriend and I could not stop staring at him. Because their attractiveness differential was so impressive.

The girlfriend was traditionally pretty, quite fit, a real looker.

This guy on the other hand had a pudgy ogre-type physique: imagine Kevin James mating with Shrek; now stop imagining that. Additionally, he’s unevenly bald and not exactly making up for it in the face department. Guy’s not hideous exactly, but he doesn’t have that jovial big-guy face that could redeem the situation.

The mystery here, how did this couple ever become a couple?*

Regardless of how, the inescapable conclusion is that this guy should be president. Gym Guy in ’08.

*In the name of science, I tried to casually check him out in the locker room. But it started to get awkward.