Dec 31, 2012

On film reviews

Chuck Klosterman, from Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs:
As a rule, I do not read film reviews of movies I have not seen. Honestly, I've never quite understood why anyone would want to be informed about the supposed value of a film before they actually experience it. Somewhat paradoxically, I used to earn my living reviewing films, and it always made me angry when people at dinner parties would try to make conversation by asking if they should (or shouldn't) see a specific film; I never wanted to affect the choices those people made. When writing reviews, I actively avoided anything that could be perceived as an attempt at persuasion. Moreover, I never liked explaining the plot of a movie, not did I think it was remotely interesting to comment on the quality of the acting or the innovation of the special effects. 
Perhaps this is why many people did not appreciate my film reviews.

The Hunger Games Movie The District 12 Strategy Game (Google Affiliate Ad)

Dec 27, 2012

Birthday Song (NSFW)

This is one of the strangest videos I have ever seen. Nothing makes sense except to be ridiculous. 

Woman covered in frosting while lying on a table like a cake? Check.
Middle aged Pakistani man pouring one out of his 40? Check.
Girl putting her foot behind her head? Check.
Clown? Check.

Strangely mesmerizing

Dec 19, 2012

Setting goals

“I personally believe in not setting goals. You don’t get opportunities if you think you know what you’re meant to be doing." 
“I’m incredibly squeamish about ‘I’ve always wanted this …’ ‘this is my dream!’ ‘I’ve always wanted X.’ and all that sort of stuff. I hate that sort of non-specific language. It doesn’t mean anything to me. I don’t get what you’re saying. You have a dream that doesn’t seem to be influenced by any other factors but your fantasy of it. Probably more of us have the sort of life where happily, lots of opportunities come your way and you need to be ready to receive them by having your eyes not on the prize but on everything around you. I guess if I had to impart wisdom to my children – something I hope I never have to do - I would just say to work incredibly hard at whatever you’re doing and then people will respect you and they’ll ask you to do something else.”
-Tim Minchin

Hat tip to R World

Dec 13, 2012

Cinemagraph

A cinemagraph is a photograph which has a minor detail repeating, giving an illusion of watching a film.


Gizmodo posted a great series of cinemagraphs recently. I highly recommend watching them


Dec 11, 2012

Dressing better

It is trite to observe that hackers don’t like fancy clothes. Avi has learned that good clothes can actually be comfortable—the slacks that go with a business suit, for example, are really much more comfortable than blue jeans. And he has spent enough time with hackers to obtain the insight that is it not wearing suits that they object to, so much as getting them on. Which includes not only the donning process per se but also picking them out, maintaining them, and worrying whether they are still in style—this last being especially difficult for men who wear suits once every five years.
From Cryptonomicon.


Better driver

Caption: My wife believes she is a better driver, I let our dog decide.


Hat tip to reddit.com

Dec 5, 2012

Greatest hoodie ever made

Slate published an article about profitably manufacturing clothes in the US. But it's also an homage to a thoughtfully designed sweatshirt that was created with durability, comfort, functionality and style in mind.

Apparently, a hoodie is not just a hoodie.


American Giant is an apparel "start up" (in the Bay Area, every company is a start up) that was created by a former Apple industrial engineer. He wants to create high quality clothes, in America, that looks good. And he may have created a perfect hoodie.
The result is a sweatshirt with several design elements you won’t find on the competition. The most obvious difference is that American Giant’s hoodie is fitted—it sits close around your chest, then gently tapers in around your stomach, resulting in a garment that doesn’t look slouchy. At great expense—and after lots of experimentation—Manoux added a “side-panel” to the hoodie, a strip of stretchy fabric that joins the back of the hoodie to the front. The side panel gives the hoodie “mobility,” Manoux explained—it allows you to raise your arm all the way up without feeling the whole coat ride up on you.
 American Giant hoodie can be found here.

Dec 4, 2012

Plastic surgery for mustaches

in recent years, increasing numbers of Middle Eastern men have been going under the knife to attain the perfect specimen. 
Turkish plastic surgeon Selahattin Tulunay says the number of mustache implants he performs has boomed in the last few years. He now performs 50-60 of the procedures a month, on patients who hail mostly from the Middle East and travel to Turkey as medical tourists. 
He said his patients generally want thick mustaches as they felt they would make them look mature and dignified. 
Remember kids, chicks dig mustaches.  

Dec 3, 2012

Best holiday song of the season

You know DMX. He is a rapper known for his raspy, gruff voice. His more famous songs are Ruff Ryders Anthem and Where Da Hood At, amongst others. He has been tried for sodomy, unlawful imprisonment, rape, drug possessions, animal cruelty, and a stabbing, amongst others. To be fair, he was cleared of, or pleaded down, many of them.

And here he is singing Rudolph. And it's absolutely perfect in every day. 

Nov 30, 2012

Photoshop before photoshop


Photo manipulation from 1840s to 1990s. More here.

Hat tip to kottke.org 


Nov 28, 2012

When *I* was young...




Nov 27, 2012

Asperger's

Over at Mannonvile, Lance has a long response to the New York magazine article about Asperger's Syndrome.  

He is bothered that most people think of Asperger’s as nerdiness mixed with reflexive jerkiness:
On TV and in the movies a character with Asperger’s will invariably respond to something another character has done or said by saying or doing the absolutely inappropriate thing. In real life, Aspies are just as likely---more likely---to respond by not responding. They’ll give you a baffled stare or continue on as if you haven’t said or done what you said or did. 
This is because they’ve either failed to see the flashing stop light of someone’s facial expression or body language and so they plunge on ahead into the path of oncoming emotional traffic or they know they’ve missed something or fear they’ve missed something and for safety’s sake cling to the curb.

And knowing they’ve likely missed a signal, they will often try to guess at what that signal might have been and then guess at the appropriate response and they guess wrong often enough to get a reputation for guessing wrong. People start ignoring when they’ve guessed right and focusing on all their wrong and goofy guesses. 

Nov 20, 2012

Nov 19, 2012

What is going on here?

If you want an example of a "I don't know what this is so I'll pretend I like it. Btw, where am I, anyway?" look, check out 3:03 part of the video: http://youtu.be/WOyo7JD7hjo?t=2m57s

Nov 16, 2012

Spoiled or honest?

Deadspin posted an email a 21-year old woman sent to her friends and family. It's a quite  an extensive list of things she wants for Christmas, helpfully broken down into "stocking stuffers," "smaller grade items," and "larger more expensive items." She also includes detailed descriptions so people get her exactly what she wants (she hates purple).

What do you think? Is she a spoiled brat ("If someone doesn't know what to get me, and they can't afford anything listed here I am also giving giftcard options!") or a naive person who is trying to be helpful ("I also love anything by Hunter S Thompson or Mitch Albom" - aren't those guys like the exact same writer)?

I don't know what she looks like but I am certain she is hot.

The email is below and has the best opening sentence ever written.
Hello!
I kept it simple this year. I am asking for a few things (although some what expensive). Obviously I don't expect all of these things. 
Stocking Stuffers!
-Taylor Swift CD (Red)
-Maroon 5 CD (overexposed)
-Starbucks Giftcard
-Godiva Chocolates/Ferror Roche Chocolates (biggest box you can find!)
-Fuzzy Socks/Wool Socks/Legwarmers (any color but off white)
-Fake Diamond Stud Earrings, Fake Pearl Stud earrings
-Blistex Chapstick
-Gloves (thick)
If someone doesn't know what to get me, and they can't afford anything listed here I am also giving giftcard options!
Victoria's secret Giftcard because I need bras
Mac Giftcard because I am trying to switch my makeup over to Mac, currently my make up has been making me breakout
Smaller Grade Items
1. Books
I need the rest of the Hunger Games series because I have already read the first book. I also want to start reading the 50 shades of gray series. I also love anything by Hunter S Thompson or Mitch Albom but I will probably like anything off the New York Times Best Seller List as well.
2. A Straightener
Nothing expensive but a good brand that will last and works for thick hair. Not the kind that dries from wet to straight, and not the ones with shine control.
3. A Curling Iron
I want one of the thick ones so I can do big barrel curls. Again nothing expensive but a good brand that is going to last.
4. OC on DVD seasons 1, 2, 4. amazon.com
5. Pretty Little Liars on DVD all season 1-3/4
6. Sweet home alabama on DVD
7. Harry Potters #3 and 6-7
8. Twilight eclipse and breaking dawn part 1
9. Nightmare before christmas on DVD
10. Bridesmaids on DVD
11. Crazy Stupid Love on DVD
12. A Year without a Santa Claus on DVD 
Larger More Expensive Items
1. Black purse.
Brand doesn't particularly matter as long as it looks good. I like all of the ones I sent you pictures of, so any of those.
2. Brown Riding Boots.
Only if they weren't purchased for my birthday. The Brown Guess ones from Macy's. size 8 $80
I couldn't find the boots I had previously sent you the link too, so I found another pair that I like also from Macy's.
[Link]"cognac" in size 8
3. Uggs.
Obviouly Uggs have gone up in price, and the "tall" ones which I want, are expensive.
[Link]prefrably mushroom but any color but rum raisin and black. size 8
I did find fake uggs that I also really like which have rubber bottoms which is perfect. These are also available through Macy's. size 8
[Link] in tan, size 8
or these [Link] in the tan size 8
4. Laptop Bag
I did send you the link to the Michael Kors tote bag which is the correct dimensions to fit my laptop. It is a little expensive. Its available in black chestnut and sand. I would like the black.
I looked online to Vera Bradley and they didn't have 18" laptop sleeves but [Redacted] got on from the actual store. As far as patterns go, nothing obnoxious and please no purple!
5. Michael Kors rainboots.
They're available through Macy's for $80 in black size 8 please
6. Rain jacket.
I looked at North Face first and they were too expensive. I looked at LL Bean because they have the lifetime garauntee with everything you buy from there, and I looked at Columbia because they also offer a lot of outerwear.
LL Bean $89 Black Small [Link]Columbia $65 Black Small [Link]7. Victorias Secret Sweatsuit
I look forward to this present the most!
I love this set through victorias secret pink [Link]pants, small, no green, indigo, deep pink, or berry please
hoodie, small, and also none of those colors + heather silver.
I also love this set as well [Link]pants, small, no deep sea blue or gray blue
hoodie, small also not these colors + medium blue
I LOVE BOTH OF THESE HOODIES SO MUCH! small in either kind
[Link]8. Claddaugh Ring
only if it wasn't already bought for my birthday. Sterling silver and I think my ring size is close to a 4
9. Pandora Charm
Preferably anything related to christmas, or a murano glass charm to bring some color to my bracelet. Again no pink purple or orange please.
Love, [Redacted]!

Nov 12, 2012

I see where he is coming from

People have different reactions to the Obama victory. Some are elated. Some are disappointed. Some think it's better than the alternative. Some are threatening to move to Canada (no comment). 

And then there is Eric Dondero.


Eric is ending all his relationships with Democrats. That includes family, friends, employers, girlfriends, husbands and strangers.
Are you married to someone who voted for Obama, have a girlfriend who voted 'O'. Divorce them. Break up with them without haste. Vow not to attend family functions, Thanksgiving dinner or Christmas for example, if there will be any family members in attendance who are Democrats.
The journalist then asks him couple of questions:
Q: You come upon a neighbor — whom you know to be a Democrat — drowning in a lake. You're the only person in the vicinity. Do you help him?
A: Whew! Now that one is really, really tough. I honestly do not have an answer for that one.
And to convince you that this man is a true believer:
Q: You require a risky and complicated brain surgery, one that is performed by only two neurosurgeons in the country. One is a Republican and the other is a Democrat, but the Republican is generally unknown, and the Democrat was just heralded by TimeMagazine as the nation's best neurosurgeon. Everything else — the cost, location, etc. — is the same. Which doctor do you choose?A: Simple: Avoid them both. Go to Mexico for your medical treatment. Avoid all the red tape and bureaucracy.
Read more about Eric.

Nov 8, 2012

Advice to writers

"Being a good writer is 3% talent, 97% not being distracted by the Internet."

Nov 6, 2012

Since it's the election day

Here's a quick summary of the campaigns' email strategies, showing the number of messages each candidate has sent since May. 

Does anyone know why Romney campaign would take a two and a half month break from sending emails?


None of Romney's emails had a single word subject but one out of seven Obama's emails did, including "hey" (most common one), "Joe," and "so."

Read more about the email strategies here.


Nov 2, 2012

Oct 31, 2012

Texting while driving

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety says that 3 of every 4 states that have enacted a ban on texting while driving have seen crashes actually go up rather than down. 
It’s hard to pin down exactly why this is the case, but experts believe it is a result of people trying to avoid getting caught in states with stiff penalties. Folks trying to keep their phones out of view will often hold the phone much lower, below the wheel perhaps, in order to keep it out of view. That means the driver’s eyes are looking down and away from the road.
Hat tip to Marginal Revolution

Oct 29, 2012

Rich kids of instagram

Caption: Ugh, decisions! Wearing #balenciaga + #givenchy and maybe some #louboutins?


And: I love you daddy. You make all my biggest wishes into reality. #Pink #Bentle


More here http://richkidsofinstagram.tumblr.com/.

Oct 26, 2012

No, YOU are sexier

Minka Kelly. Remember her?



She is a prolific Twitter user, with 200k followers and over 1300 tweets, mostly pictures of her looking gorgeous while participating in mundane (hanging out with her dog) and exciting ("The Great Wall of China Y'all!"activities. Good for her, I would do the same thing.

She recently posted a photo from her friend's wedding
Her friend is beautiful but do you know who is the most stunning person there? You, Minka.

How do I know that? BECAUSE YOU WERE CHOSEN AS ESQUIRE MAGAZINE'S SEXIEST WOMAN! LAST YEAR!



I am sure your big boned friend enjoys subtle backhand compliments to remind her who she is standing next to.


And yes, Mandy Moore tweeted it first and Minka re-tweeted it. 

Oct 24, 2012

Beefsteak

Courtesy of ProudAssholeBiker:
A rite of gluttony that waged war on the livers of politicians and gangsters alike, the Beefsteak thrived in the saloons and political halls of the 19th and early 20th centuries. The menu was always the same — sliced steak served on toast, au jus or gravy, and all the beer you could drink. Knives, forks, plates and napkins were forbidden. The life of the party was the guest who let out the most appreciative grunts, drank the most beer, and consumed the most steak.

Favorite Steve Jobs story

So I have to stop here – it’s a Kodak moment – something you want to remember. It’s a beautiful Fall evening in Palo Alto. Your car’s broken. A formally dressed close friend of Steve Jobs is under the hood working on your engine. You are talking with Steve’s absolutely lovely and down to earth wife. Steve is in the car, with his kid, trying to crank it.
Read more here.

Oct 19, 2012

WTF did I just watch?

Everyone is familiar with The Shining, Stanley Kubrick's classic with Jack Nicholson playing a man descending into violence and insanity. Great movie.

It turns out there is a greater-than-you'd-think number of people who believe The Shining is really about something completely* unrelated to the plot: the moon landing hoax or about the Holocaust or about the Native American genocide or something very different from the story. This way of looking at art is sometimes called "Immersion Criticism" and represents a philosophy that small, ancillary details "are infinitely more important than the surface dialogue or the superficial narrative. And it's not just a matter of noticing things other people miss, because that can be done by anyone who's perceptive; it's a matter of noticing things that the director included to indicate his true, undisclosed intention."

Here's one short example:



The following video is longer but much better as it has clips and not just still. I recommend watching a few minutes of this one.



You can read more about Immersion Criticism here.

*Apologies for using so many emphases.

Oct 12, 2012

Dating for Randians

You are probably familiar with Ayn Rand. She created Objectivism, a philosophy that the individual matters above all else and that concepts such as sacrifice and public interest are not only wrong but evil.


Objectivism has been part of the recent discussions due to Paul Ryan's stated devotion to Rand's ideas. Alan Greenspan has been a proponent of her ideas for decades. At least he was until the financial crises when he said that recent developments show the flaws of self-regulating markets of laissez-faire capitalism.

Objectivists are proudly individualistic: "[They] love themselves. And that's not a masturbation joke — they quite literally love the idea of themselves as heroically conquering individuals who owe the world nothing but their own glorious presence."


So what happens when you create a dating site for Objectivists? You get profiles such as:

- "I am rational, integrated, and effacious. So far, I've never met a person who lives up to the standard I hold for myself."

- "Hanging out east of Seattle and enjoying the cold weather and constant rain. Not really enjoying the hipsters and socialists, but if you avoid the coffee shops you won't have to talk to them much."

- "I stand proud, erect, fearless. My vision is power, and a challenge to the rest of the world, my mind is its source."

- "People see me as a socially inept loner because I tend to avoid superficial conversation but actually I love talking to people who like to think (the problem being I don't know very many)."

Oct 11, 2012

Sex symbol

Tom Jones has long been known as a sex symbol, a man who has caused women to throw panties on stage over many decades. 

Wikipedia says that "at the height of his fame, Jones has admitted to sleeping with up to 250 groupies a year."

If you don't understand why, here you go:



Speaking of panties, most recently "Tom Jones has appealed to his female fans to stop throwing their underwear at him on stage."

Hat tip to reddit.com

New song from The Rolling Stones

Actually not that bad.

Oct 10, 2012

Hollywood Bowl?

Is Hollywood Bowl the perfect concert location?

Probably. Tucked away in Santa Monica Mountains, it's a beautiful venue where bringing your own booze is actually encouraged.


For its first two decades the Bowl was the home exclusively to symphonies and sopranos, but that all changed when Frank Sinatra performed with the L.A. Philharmonic on August 14, 1943, marking its first performance of a pop musician. The ensuing decades saw musicians of all genres, from Brahms and Bernstein, to the Jackson Five and Juanes. The Beatles played on August 23, 1964, before a hysterical sold out crowd who screamed so loud that no one could hear the music (including the performers themselves).
Read more about it. 

Oct 5, 2012

Commonalities

David Foster Wallace had a well known love for words. He kept a vocabulary list of words he found interesting and worth remembering. Murenger - wall maker; minim - tiny or insignificant portion; and so on. More here.

In another article about DFW, I ran across a quiz he gave his undergrad students.  
WIN A LUNCH WITH DAVE, SPARKLING CONVERSATIONALIST, WELL-MANNERED EATER, BY SIMPLY IDENTIFYING WHAT ALL THE FOLLOWING WORDS HAVE IN COMMON:
Foreign
Big
Diminutive
Incomprehensible
Untyped
Pulchritude
S-less
Unwritten
Indefinable
Misspelled
Vulgar
High-class
Invisible
Unvowelled
Obscene 
I love this assignment and I love the (most likely) answer.

Why Snoop Dogg is not voting for Romney

Because "bitch got a dancing horse"

He is voting for Obama because "Michelle got a fat ass."

More below.


Oct 4, 2012

Portland experience

My friend, HeReallyIsThatNice, moved to Portland and sent me an email about his initial impressions of the city. I am sharing an excerpt as it is one of the more compelling emails that has recently hit my inbox.
Portland itself is…well, simply weird. Portlandia is more caricature than mockery - there is deep truth in all the show's strangeness. It's hipster-style fashion with midwest friendliness. Even with those in outrageous outfits, you get the sense that they aren't normal folks wearing meticulously crafted crazy but cool shit - instead, they're just weird people wearing weird stuff. And if you dress like a square, then whatever. 
The other evening, we were returning a couple power tools to a tool-lending library. Awesome already. Sadly, we were too late, but we came across two people hanging out in the same building - one dude knitting and a tall quiet tattooed girl. Unbelievably nice, and turns out they were running a kitchen tool lending library, so borrowed a dehydrator - 5 minutes before another woman came rushing in looking for a dehydrator for her on-the-vine grapes. Just crazy!
So, I am starting to understand why people love Portland. A big metro area, with midwestern manners, suffused with a delightful quirkiness. People stop for pedestrians, slow down and accommodate bicycles, and seem afraid of using the horn.

In the past couple weeks, we have also 1. toured the Full Sail brewery 2. picked peaches in a major orchards barely an hour out of town 3. had a happy hour cocktail in a 32oz jar 4. bought salmon that was probably just 10 hours out of the river 5. enjoyed artisanal coffee at Stumptown Roasters 6. hiked waterfalls just 30 minutes from our house.

Oct 2, 2012

Caffeine


Pro tip: caffeine is more fat soluble than it is water soluble which means that adding fat (cream) to your coffee allows your body to absorb the caffeine more quickly and potently.


Oct 1, 2012

Hottest profession in Germany is...

... being a male child care provider. 
Men are in particularly high demand because many parents don't want their children looked after exclusively by women. According to a study carried out on behalf of the Ministry of Family Affairs, more than a third of mothers and fathers prefer day care facilities that have male staff. The higher the parents' educational and income levels, the more important they consider having male child care workers.

Sep 27, 2012

"Julius Caesar was a chubby-chaser"

Is the first line of Slate's article on girth and prominence. It goes on to explain:
Back in the day, heft was associated with gravitas and power, leadership, and trust. Fat blokes, by their very physiques, projected monumental indestructability. Even when they were rotting with syphilis (Henry VIII) or prone to decapitating their spouses (Henry VIII, again) they were somehow preferable to those malevolent skinny fellows (Richard III).

Sep 21, 2012

History of America by conservatives

The New Yorker's Shouts and Murmurs are terrific this week. 

It starts with

1500s: The American Revolutionary War begins: “The reason we fought the revolution in the sixteenth century was to get away from that kind of onerous crown.”—Rick Perry 
1607: First welfare state collapses: “Jamestown colony, when it was first founded as a socialist venture, dang near failed with everybody dead and dying in the snow.”—Dick Armey 
1619-1808: Africans set sail for America in search of freedom: “Other than Native Americans, who were here, all of us have the same story.”—Michele Bachmann
and gets better. 

Dog shaming

My friend LegalSkiBum recommends you check out Dog Shaming. Couple of examples:


and


Sep 19, 2012

Random images

A few random, and unrelated, photos from Reddit:





Sep 17, 2012

Guess the storyline

Let's guess what the young lady in the following pictures was thinking.



Answer here.

Poor girl, caught on national TV.

Sep 14, 2012

Amazon product as a writing prompt

People are using Amazon to write stories with an amazing outcome. A few samples are below and more here.
For decades I have been trying to come up with an ideal way to slice a banana. "Use a knife!" they say. Well...my parole officer won't allow me to be around knives. "Shoot it with a gun!" Background check...HELLO! I had to resort to carefully attempt to slice those bananas with my bare hands. 99.9% of the time, I would get so frustrated that I just ended up squishing the fruit in my hands and throwing it against the wall in anger.
And
What can I say about the 571B Banana Slicer that hasn't already been said about the wheel, penicillin, or the iPhone.... this is one of the greatest inventions of all time. My husband and I would argue constantly over who had to cut the day's banana slices. It's one of those chores NO ONE wants to do! You know, the old "I spent the entire day rearing OUR children, maybe YOU can pitch in a little and cut these bananas?" and of course, "You think I have the energy to slave over your damn bananas? I worked a 12 hour shift just to come home to THIS?!

Sep 13, 2012

Memorable speeches - part 1

From Boiler Room, Affleck owns the room:






Sep 11, 2012

The perfect ringtone

Do you remember the moment in Pulp Fiction when Jules is asked by the robber to give him his wallet and Jules pulls out this?



And you realized it was the perfect wallet that embodies Jules' coolness, don't give a shit attitude and general badassery.

I've found the perfect ringtone (actually multiple) that unifies the same things plus cultural relevance and an extra dose of badass. This is a real quote and not voice actor.

The perfect ringtone. 

More here, courtesy of Regretsy.

The full Pulp Fiction scene is below, with the best moment at 12:18.

Sep 9, 2012

Regional guide to sandwiches

Who knew Dutch Crunch was a Bay Area thing?


More at Serious Eats.

Sep 6, 2012

Aug 31, 2012

I so hope this is true


Kerrygold Ballyshannon Cheese Bar - Cheese (Google Affiliate Ad)

Weaker than a fart in an astronaut suit

Motivational speech for Harvard's football team included gems like:
"Do you want to be a man who can't give his own son a piggyback ride because you have chopsticks for legs? Or do you want to be a man who squats 400 pounds five times with enough testosterone left over to impregnate a woman just by looking at her?"
It gets better.

Aug 29, 2012

If John Travolta does it, then...

This ad speaks for itself:



There are so many gems here:
- airplanes referred to as "flying machines." Did you know John Travolta works inside a magical machine that shrinks people who act out plays inside!
- remember folks, Travolta is not a first-rate pilot. That's just a role he plays daily.
- Travolta is passionate about everything. Everything!! Teletubbies, foot massages and cleaning toilets included.

I think I'll be getting of those wrist time tools.

Aug 23, 2012

Damn, this is good

Is this true?

Headline: "High price of corn forcing farmers to feed candy to livestock"

This sounds terrible, can someone find a source that disproves the article?

Aug 22, 2012

Aug 21, 2012

Fascinating insight into hoboes

A journalist spent some times with hoboes and came away with a super interesting gems and pictures.
Trains shake A LOT. A bunch of hoboes told us that it's very important to pee before you get on the train. You could pee out the side of the car, but then you risk being seen and falling out.
And
Friday night was hobo poetry. I was surprised by the number of hoboes who memorized 3-5 minute long poems. Very impressive.
More here. 

Hat tip to kottke.org.

Aug 20, 2012

Aug 16, 2012

Aug 14, 2012

Does this mean I am related to Justin Bieber?

One of Chappelle's best sketches is about the black white supremacist. 



In Hungary, an anti-Jewish politician is dealing with the same problem... the fact that he is actually of Jewish decent.

http://www.thestar.com/news/world/article/1241752--leader-of-anti-semitic-party-in-hungary-discovers-he-is-jewish

Aug 8, 2012

Typos


Aug 7, 2012

Righteous anger or anger problem?

Who wrote the following:
Mr. Winston, you have to be "dumber than mud." Don't you know that one of your so-called "friends" from the "8th-Avenue gang" ratted your "ass" out that you were dealing drugs from the parking lot? They cut a deal. So much for your wonderful pals, you idiot. I am so glad that you are now 18 years of age, because now you are an adult and can no longer hide behind the juvenile court system, Mr. Quarterback, loser. Remember when you told me to "kiss your black ass" at R.J. Taylor Playground and that you were going to be an NFL Quarterback? Well, the NFL, despite perceptions, is "not for losers!"
If you answered a city Councilman to a local drug dealer, you would be correct. 

Aug 2, 2012

Because China

China is famous for being a land of pointless absurdities and unnecessary conveniences.

The most succinct explanation from this comment:

When I first arrived, I was informed by a nice older gentleman, "do not ever ask 'why' here. You can ask yourself any other question, and the answers will enlighten you. But do not ask 'why,' because here, there is no 'why.'" And he was right. The answer--the only answer--to "why" is "because China."
And here's another one. Wealthy people regularly hire body doubles to serve their jail sentence.
The practice of hiring “body doubles” or “stand-ins” is well-documented by official Chinese media. In 2009, a hospital president who caused a deadly traffic accident hired an employee’s father to “confess” and serve as his stand-in. A company chairman is currently charged with allegedly arranging criminal substitutes for the executives of two other companies. In another case, after hitting and killing a motorcyclist, a man driving without a license hired a substitute for roughly $8,000.
Because China.

Aug 1, 2012

Earworm

Germans call a song that's stuck in your head "earworm." 


According to my in-depth research of looking at Wikipedia on my iPhone, the phenomenon has been known for centuries. Poe and Twain included it in their short stories. 


Send me your favorite, or most hated, song that gets stuck in your head. We'll post some of them.


Jul 31, 2012

Snoop Dogg is dead

Long live Snoop Lion:
Snoop Dogg, the veteran West Coast rapper, says he underwent a spiritual and artistic rebirth while making a new album in Jamaica last February.[...] Along the way, he says, he shed the name and persona of Snoop Dogg and was rechristened Snoop Lion by Rastafarian priests.

Jul 27, 2012

Jul 26, 2012

Jul 24, 2012

She IS like us, after all

Last week we wondered how long would it take before the first story describing ways Marissa Mayer gets along with regular employees is published.

Here it is:

Yahoo employees already excited by the arrival of new CEO Marissa Mayer have been pushed into paroxysms of bliss to find her, like any normal employee, getting her own lunch in Yahoo's cafeteria.
These sightings have "delighted more employees than you might imagine," reports Kara Swisher.
What do you know, she is just a regular person, plus or minus a few hundred million dollars. 

One of those videos that keeps getting funnier

Jul 20, 2012

Jul 19, 2012

Owen Wilson is one smart dude

Why are they so damn attractive?

From Marginal Revolution, quoting Savage Continent: Europe in the Aftermath of World War II:
The number of sexual relationships that took place between European women and Germans during the war is quite staggering. In Norway as many of 10 percent of women aged between fifteen and thirty had German boyfriends during the war. If the statistics on the number of children born to German soldiers are anything to go by, this was by no means unusual… 
Resistance movements in occupied countries came up with all kinds of excuses for the behaviour of their women and girls. They characterized women who slept with Germans as ignorant, poor, even mentally defective. They claimed that women were raped, or that they only slept with Germans out of economic necessity. While this was undoubtedly the case for some, recent surveys show that women who slept with German soldiers came from all classes and all walks of life. On the whole European women slept with Germans not because they were forced to, or because their own men were absent, or because they needed money or food — but simply because they found the strong, “knightly” image of the German soldiers intensely attractive, especially compared to the weakened impression they had of their own menfolk. In Denmark, for example, wartime pollsters were shocked to discover that 51 per cent of Danish women openly admitted to finding German men more attractive than their own compatriots. 
Nowhere was this need more keenly felt than in France…

Jul 17, 2012

Funny (although not fair)

"The only person who has seen Romney's taxes is John McCain and he took one look and picked Sarah Palin."
--James Carville

Slumming it with the common folk

When a CEOs or a high level executive accepts a position at a new company, usually stories follow describing how they understand the rank-and-file employee and hang out with Joe Shmoe the janitor.

Gladwell describes how Ed Whitacre, the former CEO of AT&T, was appointed to lead GM even though he had never worked for a manufacturing company in his life. However, the decision makers are convinced that Whitacre will be successful because he is a leader:
The men and women listened intently as Ed explained in his measured Texas drawl that he had no interest in presiding over a second-rate company. He praised the people. He stressed the need to make decisions [...] He takes lunch in the food court, mingling with the rank and file. "Hi, I'm Ed. Who're you?" he'll say to some dumbstruck middle manager in the elevator.
When Sheryl Sandberg started working at Facebook, she was also kind enough to hang out with 20 somethings:
Sandberg began work at Facebook in March, asking questions and listening. “She walked up to hundreds of people’s desks and interrupted them and said, ‘Hi, I’m Sheryl Sandberg,’ ” recalls Chris Cox, the vice-president of product, who sits next to Zuckerberg. “It was this overt gesture, like, ‘O.K., let your guard down. I’m not going to hole up with Mark. I’m going to try and have a relationship with you guys.’ ”
How long will it take for the first article to appear describing how Marissa Mayer, the newly appointed CEO of Yahoo, is spending time listening to regular employees? Send it to me when you see it.

Jul 16, 2012

Courtroom troll

David House is being investigated by the US government about his potential involvement with Bradley Manning and Wikileaks.

His courtroom exchange, and repeated use of the Fifth Amendment, jury prosecutors is a good read.

Prosecutor: Mr. House, can you identify the man on the right?
House: I invoke.
Prosecutor: Can you identify the man standing second from right?
House: I invoke.
Prosecutor: Ok, can you identify the person with bright-colored hair, standing here?
House: I invoke.
...
Prosecutor: Mr. House, have you ever been to the Oxford Spa restaurant in Cambridge, MA?
House: Allow me to consult with my attorney.
[House leaves the grand jury and returns one minute later.]
House: As to the previous question, I invoke.
Borrowed from kottke.org

Jul 13, 2012

How do Olympic athletes protect themselves?

But the image of a celibate Games began to flicker in '92 when it was reported that the Games' organizers had ordered in prophylactics like pizza. Then, at the 2000 Sydney Games, 70,000 condoms wasn't enough, prompting a second order of 20,000 and a new standing order of 100,000 condoms per Olympics.
From ESPN article on the Olympics.


EDIT: 
Here's the image from article.
Now observe the lengths.

Jul 11, 2012

Famous quotes, redefined

Reddit had a great thread recently: Which famous quotes would take on a totally different meaning if said by someone else?

Some of the good ones:



"I'm selfish, impatient and a little insecure. I make mistakes, I am out of control and at times hard to handle. But if you can't handle me at my worst, then you sure as hell don't deserve me at my best."
-Chris Brown

"I did not have sexual relations with that woman."
-Anderson Cooper


"Here's looking at you, kid."
-Humbert Humbert


"I don't know who you are. I don't know what you want. If you are looking for ransom, I can tell you I don't have money. But what I do have are a very particular set of skills; skills I have acquired over a very long career. Skills that make me a nightmare for people like you."
-Carly Rae Jepsen



Jul 9, 2012

An Open Letter to People Who Take Pictures of Food with Instagram

From McSweeney's:


Dear People Who Take Pictures of Food With Instagram,


Just because the picture looks artsy doesn’t mean you are. I get it. We all went through our creative, experimental stages. There is a period in all of our lives where we think we can probably make money off our pseudo-artistic talent of choice. And now, you think you are a photographer because Instagram does the work for you. Do you have to focus anything? Do you have to worry about lighting? Do you have to think at all? Not really. You are part of a fast growing legion of people that have been duped into believing they are visionaries, auteurs, even.

[...] You proceed to take various angled shots of the avocado being sliced, the blueberries getting washed, and your bearded boyfriend plucking feathers from the partridges because the Farmer’s Market only sold them with feathers, because plucking out the feathers themselves would be too mean and they’re the nice kind of farmers who kill with love.

Jul 5, 2012

Busyness - part 2

Follow up to this post in WSJ: http://blogs.wsj.com/juggle/2012/07/05/busy-a-four-letter-word/


The author's argument boils down to:
"telling somebody that you are really busy remains the only socially acceptable way to avoid events hosted by people you aren’t that into."
I am interested in hear how others see the response. I find the author a bit obnoxious. 




Jul 2, 2012

I am busy

If you are too busy to read this article, then you need to read this article
http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/06/30/the-busy-trap/


Everyone I know is busy. Work, side projects, workouts, family events, travel, kids, home repair, weddings, visits, etc. And we feel anxious and guilty when we aren't working or doing something "productive."


I'll quote couple of memorable sentences without context, you'll get the rest from the piece.

"They’re busy because of their own ambition or drive or anxiety, because they’re addicted to busyness and dread what they might have to face in its absence."
"I recently wrote a friend to ask if he wanted to do something this week, and he answered that he didn’t have a lot of time but if something was going on to let him know and maybe he could ditch work for a few hours. I wanted to clarify that my question had not been a preliminary heads-up to some future invitation; this was the invitation."
"Busyness serves as a kind of existential reassurance, a hedge against emptiness; obviously your life cannot possibly be silly or trivial or meaningless if you are so busy, completely booked, in demand every hour of the day."
"Idleness is not just a vacation, an indulgence or a vice; it is as indispensable to the brain as vitamin D is to the body, and deprived of it we suffer a mental affliction as disfiguring as rickets."
Just read the article. 

Jun 29, 2012

Somehow appropriate

www.npr.org/2012/06/29/155241074/gross-out-gags-and-life-lessons-in-wimpy-kid
Kinney's books are read around the world, from Japan to Israel to Germany, though in Germany they have a slightly different title: Greg's Journal: I'm Surrounded by Idiots. 
"I said, 'Why can't we just call it Diary of a Wimpy Kid like we call it in the U.S.?' 
And they said, 'Well, that's because there is no word for 'wimp' in Germany.'


Well, no one saw this coming

In an unexpected turn of events, Katie Holmes has filed for a divorce after five years of marriage to Tom Cruise.

According to ABC News, the filing came as a "complete surprise" to him.

The rest of the planet is just as surprised.

On Ballmer

Following Microsoft's acquisition of Yammer, a commenter explains how he feels about Steve Ballmer:
It is THIS kind of shit, this right here, which is why he deserves worst CEO. Instead of actually hiring good people and more importantly giving them the freedom to innovate Ballmer simply blows through money like Charlie Sheen at a porn convention on a coke binge, which will take years to pay off as you point out but I would point out instead the likelihood it'll never pay off at all, ala Kin. This is the yahoo deal all over again on the WTF scale. 
Seriously is there NO hope of getting rid of this clown? Frankly the longer he is CEO the more the Pepsi guy at Apple just looks misunderstood. [...] Gates may have been an evil bastard but at least he was an evil bastard that knew WTF he was doing, Ballmer is just a buffoon.