Friday, August 31, 2007

A Lot Can Happen in Three Weeks

Completely paralyzed people can learn ways to communicate.
A bacterium can celebrate its 600,000th birthday.
Bigfoot can get the Lindsay Lohan treatment.
Ants can teach us how not to panic.
We can all vote for the Seven Fortean Wonders of the World.
Those fearful of the word moist can have their day in the sun.
A German teen can take that Cuarto de Tula song from the Buena Vista Social Club a little too seriously.
A group of clowns can stymie a white-power hate group.
The soviets can get a bit uncomfortably freaky with their commemorative art.
Driving while talking on the cell phone can actually be, maybe, not so bad.
Airports can build some very strange runways.
We can all now search Wikipedia for incriminating anonymous edits from corporate IP addresses.
A new coinage can rival spam for inbox domination.
Fifties housewives can wax the linoleum.
China can regulate reincarnation.
Science musicians can create a glissando that is an aural illusion.
A Massachusetts behavior-modification school can convince parents to electroshock their kids.
You can make yogurt by adding milk to the little bit of yogurt you have left over.
Uniformed back-up dancers can make anything rock.
The universe can encompass a billion-light-year void.
Spiders can turn on you if you keep them as pets.
Picture-based instructional pamphlets can explain anything.
One can flip a misspelled eBay collectible for hefty profits.
Keywords in a country's official name can correlate with its democracy quotient.
Stars can have huge tails, like comets.
Vampire bats can pick cows over tapirs.
Burning Man can suffer an early incineration.
New vodkas can spring up like dandelions while rums and gins stay traditional.
Caffeine can boost grandma's memory.

Feedreader, you and I had a lot of catching up to do.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Gone Fishing

I'll be out of town for a couple weeks and probably won't be able to blog. In the meantime, The Gravedigger will keep you entertained here. (The over-under on number of posts she'll probably write is one; I'm taking bets.) Also, be sure to check out some of the nifty sites in the blogroll down in the right corner.

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Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Maybe 'Around the World in 80 Days' Was Just that Bad


Chan/Tucker, then Chan/Tucker, and now Tucker/Chan? What did Jackie Chan do to get bumped to second billing? It's not like Chris Tucker has been in anything since 2001.

Bonus: note the increasing seriousness of their expressions.

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And Now We Pause for Kobayashi Versus Bear


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Monday, August 06, 2007

Colors, Defined

Webster's definitions of primary colors verge on poetic:
  • Red—a color whose hue resembles that of blood or of the ruby or is that of the long-wave extreme of the visible spectrum
  • Blue—a color whose hue is that of the clear sky or that of the portion of the color spectrum lying between green and violet
  • Yellow—a color whose hue resembles that of ripe lemons or sunflowers or is that of the portion of the spectrum lying between green and orange
  • Green—a color whose hue is somewhat less yellow than that of growing fresh grass or of the emerald or is that of the part of the spectrum lying between blue and yellow
As do its definitions of basic tastes:
  • Salt—being or inducing the one of the four basic taste sensations that is suggestive of seawater
  • Sweet—being or inducing the one of the four basic taste sensations that is typically induced by disaccharides and is mediated especially by receptors in taste buds at the front of the tongue
  • Sour—causing or characterized by the one of the four basic taste sensations that is produced chiefly by acids
  • Bitter—being or inducing the one of the four basic taste sensations that is peculiarly acrid, astringent, or disagreeable and suggestive of an infusion of hops

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Richard The's Subway-Grate Shopping-Bag Sculpture


German artist Richard The tied shopping bags to the subway grate along Broadway in New York:
1. Walk along the Green Line in Manhattan (going from the 1st to the 125th street, from the Financial Disctrict [sic], through China Town, Midtown, Spanish Harlem, Harlem).
2. Collect bags from the stores, which are situated in the street above the subway tracks. These should be representative of their specific neighbourhood.
3. Install 7 shopping bags, representative of the Neighbourhoods which are crossed by the line, above the subway's air shaft (ideally the combinations of these bags should tell a story already).
4. Once the train passes by the bags are pushed into the air by the air flowing through the tunnel and the air shafts, forming an ephemeral sculpture, making the existing forces visible and at the same time visualizing the Green Line in a regional social economic way.

This concept was realized by 90% as I was too optimistic about the weight of the plastic bags - it was impossible to have a readable installation even though many bags had been collected.
Link (via Rocketboom). The result is whimsical, if a bit depressing. Is there a word that conveys both feelings at the same time? I think if anyone had such a word it would be the Germans.

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Newspaper Nickname Quiz

The New York Times has long been known as the Gray Lady because of, as Wikipedia puts it, "its staid appearance and style." Something about American newspapers lends itself to nicknaming, but many local papers are not graced with as elegant a moniker as the Times. Readers, out of sense of local camaraderie, and staff, out of self-deprecation, often carve their paper's good name into a disparaging statement about its content. With colorful plays on official names, cities across the U.S. pithily criticize their papers' perceived boringness, fluff, political slant, or tabloidism. Can you figure out which nickname fits which newspaper?

Match the city or state to its disparaging nickname. Feel free to guess in the comments, but no posting URLs.

1. Arizona
2. Arkansas
3. Atlanta
4. Austin
5. Charlotte
6. Dallas
7. Fort Worth
8. Honolulu
9. Omaha
10. Orlando
11. Philadelphia
12. San Francisco
13. Seattle
14. St. Louis
15. Virginian
16. Washington

A. American-Realestatesman
B. Comical
C. Compost
D. Demagogue
E. Dirty News
F. Disturber
G. Morning Snooze
H. Pile-it-on
I. Post-Disgrace
J. Repugnant
K. Slantinel
L. Startlegram
M. Starts-Bulls***tin'
N. Timid
O. Urinal-Constipation
P. Weird-Harold

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Image credits: Reading the newspaper, courtesy Dummy Fat Doctor, borrowed for news-reporting and comment purposes.

Friday, August 03, 2007

The United Countries of Baseball

This map, caught by Flickr user littlebudapest (via Strange Maps), apparently adorns a wall at the Niketown store in San Francisco's Union Square (or at least did during the All-Star Game last month). It divides the United States (and part of Canada) into thirty "countries" (and a large swath of unincorporated mountains and desert) defined by the fan base for each of the thirty Major League Baseball teams. The boundaries seem fairly accurate, at least from my experience (I haven't spoken with that many people in the South, for instance, but I gather from country music that much of it is Braves Country, as reflected here).

As the Flickr photo commenters point out, one glaring omission are the diasporic fans who inhabit the West: some territories, according to anecdotal evidence, follow a specific team from the East Coast or Midwest, even though not everyone in the territory ventured from that team's country. If the commenters are to be believed, much of Idaho prefers the Mets, for whatever reason, and I recall that in the days before expansion delivered the Diamondbacks Arizona was Cubs territory (and remains so for contrarians).

(Cross-posted at Neatorama.)

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Thursday, August 02, 2007

Random Movie Quote Thursday

Alright, listen closely.
I'm not going to beat around the bush.
Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!
Your little body's changing;
it's all good, believe me.
Problem now is,
every time we jerk the gherkin,
we get a lot of unwanted sticky white stuff everywhere,
right? Right.
So, first order of business:
no more socks.
They're expensive,
gumming up the works plumbing-wise.
Now you might be thinking to yourself,
"But, Uncle Andy,
what do I do with all that pearl jam if I can't spew it into Mr. Sock?"
Glad you asked.
You can have a lovely time tugging the tiger in the shower each morning—
that eliminates the need for a goo glove.
But, the day is long,
masturbation's fun,
so unless we want to take four or five showers every day,
we're gonna need some other options here.
So let's start with the basics:
Perfectly acceptable backstop for all that creamy Italian.
They can be rough and dry on such soft,
sensitive skin,
not to mention it can stick to your dick head like a f**kin' Band Aid—
From there we move on to more lubricated flack-catchers,
specifically, bananas.
Step one: Peel the banana.
Step two: Slip the peel over your Randy Johnson and start pitching.
Now for extra credit,
warm up the peel in the microwave.
Not too hot!
Serious yowza.
Also, olive oil,
hair conditioner,
and Vaseline can all be used for lube.
In my opinion,
the best lube—is lube.
So save your allowance and invest in some soon.
Alright, moving on:
When you tug your Thomas on the toilet—
shoot right into the bowl.
In bed,
soft t-shirt,
perhaps a downy hand towel of your very own
that you don't mind tossing after tossing.
There's no such thing as polishing the raised scepter of love too much.
It reduces stress;
it enhances immune function.
Also, practice makes perfect.
So work on your control now,
while you're a solo artist—
you'll be playing some long, happy duets in the future.
class dismissed.

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Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Misheard-Lyrics Video Interpretations


This would make for some exciting karaoke. And there are many more at YesButNoButYes.

Who knew this was an entire genre?

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