Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Shark Week!

If you didn't already know--shame on you--it's Shark Week! America's version of the Tour de France, except sharks don't need 'roids to win. Turn on the Discovery Channel now.

Iraq vs. The Killer Badgers

What can be said about this one? Rumors persist in the Iraqi city of Basara that the British Army has introduced killer badgers into their environment in order to wreck havoc and destruction. And for the kicker, the Brits threw some poisonous snakes in the water supply and released rabies infected dogs. Even Iran is getting in on this action, claiming to have captured several squirrels equipped with foreign spy technology.

Obama's Achilles Heel

In a piece on Slate posted yesterday, John Dickerson delves into the Achilles Heel of the Barack Obama campaign, inexperience. I for one am rather skeptical of Mr. Obama's attempts to overshadow his relative lack of both international and executive experience with his claims of bringing change to the White House. So far, he appears to be basing the brunt of his campaign against Hillary Clinton, focusing on her vote for authorization of the Iraq War in contrast to his continual opposition to the conflict. Yet the facts that he wasn't faced with a vote on war authorization and that in his time in the Senate he has been able to position himself as a leader against the war--or on any foreign policy issue for that matter--leaves something to be desired. As Dickerson's piece points out, recent history contains a series of presidents with little to no foreign policy experience: Bush, Clinton, and Kennedy specifically. However, as the piece also points out, foreign policy created sticky situations for those presidents. Many of which we continue to suffer the consequences of.

Monday, July 30, 2007


Winner of the most best musical analysis of a revival movement thus far in 2007 goes to Jude Rogers "Diamond Gazers," piece about the new-wave of shoegaze--nu-gaze?!--bands!:

"At the start of summer 2007 a supple, shimmery thread started darning itself through a long line of euphoric-sounding albums. From Maps to Blonde Redhead, Mahogany to Deerhunter, Asobi Seksu to Ulrich Schnauss, you could hear the heady, woozy influence of a style of music that had been a byword for naffness and overindulgence for the past 15 years; a type of music that Richey Edwards of the Manic Street Preachers had said he "hated more than Hitler". Names like nu-gaze, stargaze and shoetronica were used to describe it, names that couldn't quite hide the scene that dared not speak its name. For shoegazing was back - the sound of jangly indie fed through layers of distortion, overdrive and fuzz; of delicate souls turning themselves up to 11. In Summer 2007, bands, clubs, Mercury prize-nominated albums, films, and novels are all proud to claim it as an inspiration."

People still like shoegaze? People still hate shoegaze? People still don't know what shoegaze is? Amazing!

Friday, July 27, 2007

The Cameraman's Revenge

Yesterday Nina brought to my attention the work of Ladislas Starevich a Polish, Russian, and French stop motion animator from the early 1900s. Starevich tended to use insects and animals as his protagonists and is credited with being the first filmmaker to make animated films with actual plots. The Cameraman's Revenge (1912) is a story of infidelity among insects and is a prime example of his bizarre and often darkly amusing work.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Wes Anderson strikes again

Here's the trailer for the upcoming Wes Anderson film The Darjeeling Limited. Anderson co-wrote the flic with Roman Coppola and Jason Schwartzman, and it stars a familiar cast of characters including Schwartzman, Owen Wilson, and Anjelica Housto. Also, Adrien Brody is coming along for the ride this time. The film also includes guest appearances by the familiar Billy Murry and Natalie Portman as well.

Thanks to Ace over at Oh Stewardess, I Speak Jive!

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

News: Straight to you dome pice

  • All the groceries you want at the touch of your finger!
  • Organic foods are increasingly coming from China, and like exploding cellphones they're probably shady
  • The 12 kinds of ads
  • Law that imposes penalties on landlords of illegal immigrants and businesses that hire them stuck down

Fat in the USA

Take an obesity tour of the USA with Sanjay Gupta's Great American Obesity map! It's kind of like a presidential election map, except ya know, with fatties.

Carlsberg and mentos

A great Carlsberg spoof ad to start off your day. Yes, I know 1:30pm is the start of you day.

Road trip!

Relief from high gas prices may be on the way as "experts" say the worst of the recent gas woes are over. Barring any hurricanes or explosions of course, the two Achilles' heels of American life:

"We still have a hairy five weeks to go where something could go wrong, but wholesale prices for unfinished gasoline in California have dropped 26 cents since July 10. Barring a hurricane in the Gulf [of Mexico], it looks like the worst is over, said Tom Kloza, chief analyst for the Oil Price Information Service in New Jersey."

Romney vs. The Ocean

This has to be the worst campaign commercial of 2007 thus far. At least Gravel's were endearing.

In Libya you can buy your way out of prison!

After 8 years in captivity, 4 of them on death row, 5 Bulgarian nurses and a Palestinian doctor were released by the Libyan government. The 6 were accused of purposefully infecting over 400 children with HIV as part of a joint American and Israeli intelligence operation to destabilize the Libyan state. The most outrageous part of this story? The EU is paying over $400 million and numerous member states relieved Libyan debt in order to free these prisoners. In essence, Libya is being rewarded for hostage taking.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

News: Straight to your dome piece

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Back in OH-HI-OH

A long day of traveling. Back to life on Monday. Here's some White Town.

Friday, July 20, 2007

11 Shootings. 1 Night.

Back in DC for a few. Looks like the people still love their guns.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Whatcha gonna do about it

Here's a favorite of mine from The Small Faces:

Red Bull

The latest issue of Wired goes inside a can of Red Bull to tell us what exactly is inside. In a complete shock to this guy, it turns out that Red Bull probably isn't going to kill anyone anytime soon. In fact, most of the ingredients listed have some sort of positive benefit to human health though probably not in the levels found in one can.
What's Inside: Red Bull

Don't worry. We got that shit

Over the weekend Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki responded to the latest White House report on progress in Iraq, stating: “We say with confidence that we are capable, God willing, of taking full responsibility for the security file if the international forces withdraw in any time they wish.” Based on the NYT reporting of the story, I'm not so sure:

Iraq Chief Says His Forces Are Able to Secure Country

Saturday, July 14, 2007

What about a human limb?

Need a blender that that blend an IPhone? Blendtec has got you covered.

Friday, July 13, 2007


EUTube, the official YouTube space of the European Commission wants you to know that when your hanging at the beach and grandma calls you to tell you grandpa broke his hip your mobile roaming charges will be reasonable no matter what EU country you're in!

That and European people love doing it.

Beckham's glory years

So Beckham is in LA. Savior of soccer in the USA? Doubt it. This guys just hoping for some hilarious trick plays.

Hugs not guns

An attempted robbery of a family enjoying dinner at their Capitol Hill home the past week took an odd turn of events when as opposed to taking the money and running the would be robber took a brief wine tasting and round of group hugs.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Nerds are cool!

The NYT reports that all the cool kids want to be librarians. Tattoos and the dewey decimal system, rad!

Monday, July 09, 2007

I hate pandas

Over the past 13-weeks my home metro area DC has been waiting with baited breath to find out if it's female panda Mei Xiang is pregnant. Panda's apparently are notoriously difficult to accurately diagnose pregnancy in. As it turns, out it was all a false alarm, the 4th false alarm for Mei Xiang. As female pandas only ovulate once it year, we'll now be spared about 40-weeks until this nonsense comes up again. I say nonsense b/c pandas have to be one of the least impressive creatures on the face of the earth. With only 1,800 left on earth they're clearly too stupid to continue to live. This is probably due to the fact that 99% of their diet consists of bamboo, a food that they can barely digest and offers little energy or nutrition to them. Correspondingly, pandas are extremely lazy. For this, American zoos pay China--owner of every single panda in the world--$2 million a year as part of 10-year contracts to put the animals on display. As "living fossils" they've had a long run, it's time to let them out into the wild and let nature take its course.

Sorry for laughing

Top Picks of the Weekend for Summer Heat Madness:
1. Live Free or Die Hard
2. Krzysztof Kiewlowski double feature of Camera Buff & A Short Film About Killing
3. Ridley Scott's Blade Runner
4. Jan Svankmajer's Alice

As you can tell, I spent a lot of time indoors this past weekend. Though this is likely a good thing as after the Die Hard experience I probably would've over exhausted myself crashing cars into helicopters.

Here's some Josef K:

Friday, July 06, 2007

WTF: Exploding cellphones

The International Herald Tribune is reporting that we can now add cellphones to the list of scary ass things from China that will probably kill us all. In some Spy vs. Spy time nonsense a 22-year old man in western China was killed when his cellphone exploded in his shirt pocket. I was cool with bootleg DVDs, poison pet food, and lead paint tainted children's toys, these things happen, but when electronic objects that are made to be held up to your head start exploding I have to draw the line. I'm starting to suspect some sort of plot by the Chinese government to kill international competition through the use of exploding PDAs.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Gore gone wild

Former Vice President Al Gore's son, Al Gore III, was arrested in Southern California on early Thursday morning after being pulled over for pulling some 2 Fast 2 Furious type stunts on the San Diego Freeway in his Toyota Prius. Upon smelling marijuana the deputy that pulled Gore over searched the car and found a hodgepodge of unprescribed pills ranging from Vicodin to Adderall.

Now for the weird part of this story:
"More than 10 hours after his arrest on drug charges, the younger Gore remained in a Southern California jail because no one had showed up to post his $20,000 bail."

A spokesman for the Orange County Sheriff's Department noted that it "seemed unusual" that the young Gore remained in jail. If anyone out there wants to help out Gore III, the NYT piece on the arrest points out that: "The sheriff’s department accepts personal checks and credit cards."

Poverty = terrorism?

An upcoming book by Princeton economist Alan Krueger argues that perpetrators of terrorism are more likely to be upper class and well educated as poor and uneducated:

"Backgrounds of 148 Palestinian suicide bombers show they were less likely to come from families living in poverty and were more likely to have finished high school than the general population. Biographies of 129 Hezbollah shahids (martyrs) reveal they, too, are less likely to be from poor families than the Lebanese population from which they come."

Most studies regarding the links between poverty and terrorism are only in the initial stages. However, early indicators appear to show that conventional wisdom doesn't quite add up in this case.

Monday, July 02, 2007

Yet another reason why I hate DC

Candyvan is calling you out Mayor Fenty for ordering your aides to return the iPhones they jumped the line to get on Friday at the downtown DC Apple Store. After awarding your staff the haterific award for the day, I now have to rescind that award. As my grandfather would say, "show a little leadership!" Fenty and stick to your guns. You don't get anywhere in the world by having aides ignore lines and flip people off only to turn tail and give back the goods when the heat is on. That's not haterism, that's flip-flopping.

Bong Hits 4 Jesus: The Game!

Proving that learning can be fun, an online "game" from Students for Sensible Drug Policy to test how well you'd do as a high school principal in understanding constitutional law on student free speech when it comes to drug policy.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Sunday Ad Special Part II

This latest campaign from the New South Wales Roads and Traffic Authority plays on a man's love of the ladies and love of speed, tugging at the heartstrings Australia.

Sunday Ad Special

It being Sunday and all I've found some time for one of my favorite Sunday activities, catching up on new advertising!

Here's a Cannes award winner from TBWA Paris for Amnesty International: