At the ChocoBanana even the coffee is epic.
December 31, 2005
December 21, 2005
This Saturday I'm headed to Puerto Vallarta for a sunny beach break from the cold, wet darkness of home. So I figured I should finish posting my photos from my last vacation before acquiring new ones.
Turns out I only took pictures of Arizona during our roadtrip from St. Louis to San Francisco. New Mexico had some great scenery and Las Vegas is full of sights, but nothing really compares to the Grand Canyon ... nothing anywhere.
I feel I've seen similar and more professional photos of the Grand Canyon my whole life but until you see it first hand, it's impossible to understand. In fact, it's impossible to understand while seeing it first hand but it's a much more visceral form of ignorance.
In short then - Grand Canyon: recommended.
Posted at 00:57
December 19, 2005
In yesterday's NYT, Kurt Eichenwald reports on one boy's decent into the very nasty world of webcam whoredom.
Justin Berry, who is now 19, first plugged in a webcam at the age of 13 and, doing so, started down a slope that was not so much slippery as it was greased with the shit slick offal of Satan's own army.
Berry starts performing sex acts for his internet audience, is molested by those adults he meets in real life, develops a coke habit with the money he earns through these exploits, and ends up partnering with his abusive father who, ultimately, tapes Berry having sex with prostitutes during a trip to Mexico.
Given this, it's not exactly surprising that in an supplemental video feature, Berry warns parents that all children are susceptible to this kind of abuse and that, if their kids have a webcam thay they should "throw it in the trash."
Beyond the lurid nature of the story istelf, there are two odd aspects of its reporting. One is that the NYT sure loves to hate on the Internet sometimes. There's a graphic published with this story titled "An Easy Path to Trouble" that lists the "Tools of Self-Produced Child Pornography." The primary tools are Computers, Webcams and Instant Messaging. Coupled with Berry's warnings that this can happen to anyone, the whole piece is very much in the vein of The Internet is Coming for Your Children.
More unusual is Eichenwald's involvement in the story. His account of meeting Justin Berry is published as a separate reporter's diary and it's really worth reading. Essentially, Eichenwald was working on a completely different story on Internet fraud, ended up hearing about Berry and posed as a fan in order to get in contact with him.
While that's kind of weird in the Townsendesque "I'm just doing this for research" way of things, the story turns downright curious after Eichenwald and Berry meet. As Jack Shafer writes in Slate:
Eichenwald helped convince Berry to quit porn and quit drugs. He found him a lawyer. The lawyer, in turn, persuaded federal prosecutors to give Berry immunity for serving as the state's witness.Well, good golly that's an interesting role for a reporter to play. Shafer's discussion of the journalistic issues involved is excellent. What's particularly exciting is that it even includes email exchanges with Eichenwald (who deserves big kudos for being willing to debate his story on the web).
See, sometimes the Internet can do more than molest.
Posted at 17:52
December 14, 2005
So, yes! I've returned to San Francisco and Sutter has a great post about the whole trip.
I still have a bit of the cold that I was wrestling with during most of the trip. It's not that bad, but I'm getting really tired of it. Also, the symptoms are unlike anything I've experienced:
- Dry throat: Every morning I wake up with the desert in the back of my mouth.
- Odd cravings: In particular, I'm really hungry for pork which I don't normally eat at all.
- Bad grammar: Weird syntax and all kinds of usage mistakes (I used "where" for "we're" earlier today).
- Ashiness: I've got some kinda desiccated corpse action going on.
Posted at 13:00
November 27, 2005
My cellphone lives in my pants pockets along with an assortment of other technology (including a PowerBook DVI-VGA adapter, but that's another story).
I mention this only because sometimes people call me on Sunday mornings and I don't answer. This is not because I don't want to hang out. This is because on Sunday mornings I don't wear pants.
Please revise all Sabbath day plan-making to account for my pantless state.
Posted at 13:35
November 15, 2005
It's been 6 days since the last White House press briefing with Scott McClellan. I need my fix! Briefings from the national security advisor simply don't cut it.
Last week, the general trend of more and more angry yelling continued. Here's a representative sample from the last briefing on November 9th:
Q: This has nothing to do with the special counsel. This has everything to do with the Ethics of Government Act. And for the record, I would just like to read --
Mr. McClellan: I think, for the record, people can go and look at this on our website. And for the record, this is being asked in the context of an ongoing investigation and legal proceeding, and I've already indicated to you that we're not going to have further comment on it while it is continuing. If you want to --
Q: I would just like to read, for the record --
Mr. McClellan: -- go and read that, you're welcome to do that. But I think other people in this room would like to proceed forward with other questions that they have.
Q: If I can take permission from the other people in this room, may I please read this one section? Does anyone have any objection?
Q: Yes, I don't think we're getting anywhere.
Q: Well, that's not the point.
Mr. McClellan: Okay, there. Thank you.
Q: That's not the point.
Mr. McClellan: Carl, do you have a question?
Q: Wait a minute, let the majority -- let this nice lady speak.
Mr. McClellan: That's all publicly available information.
Q: I know. She just has one more --
Mr. McClellan: Do you have a question? She has to give a question.
Q: She has just one more.
Q: I asked if it was -- I asked --
Mr. McClellan: Let's go to the question. I mean, we can all go and look at that on the website.
Q: Well, fine, but I'll save some time. "Except as otherwise provided in this section, whoever in any matter within the jurisdiction of the executive, legislative or judicial branch of the government of the United States, knowingly and willfully, (1) falsifies, conceals, or covers up by any trick, scheme, or device, a material fact, (2), makes any materially false, fictitious, or fraudulent statement or representation, or (3), makes or uses any false writing or document, knowing the same to contain any materially false, fictitious or fraudulent statement or entry."
Mr. McClellan: It's been put into public record.
Posted at 15:59
November 09, 2005
Here at work, there are snacks every 70 feet or so. Giant candy store bins full of snacks. Which is pretty cool until you realize that you'll want to eat those snacks ... a lot.
I've been eating snacks for about 3 years now. Today, I decided "No snacks!"
Consequently, I'm dying inside.
Posted at 17:39
November 02, 2005
October 26, 2005
Last night witnessed a confluence of media consumption wherein I wrapped up a number of things I'd been trying to finish. These include:
- Jarhead by Anthony Swofford: The previews looked pretty good for the upcoming film, but I got excited when I read the recent Harper's article about the movie/book.
After reading the article, I realized, among other things, that the film's being directed by Sam Mendes (American Beauty), edited by Walter Murch (Apocalypse Now) and filmed by Roger Deakins (everything good, ever). Plus, I totally didn't realize that Swofford's book was the basis for the movie - despite, you know, being titled the same thing and having written about it 2 1/2 years ago.
I read one review of the book that said Swofford "seemed incapable of writing an uninteresting sentence." Seems about right.
- The Autobiography of Red by Anne Carson: My local bookstore had a tag in this that read "This is the best thing ever. Don't read the back cover, just read it." So I did and it was mighty good. It's a narrative told in verse about characters from a Greek myth but set in modern times. And they're gay. One of them's also a dragon-type deal.
Anyway, it's another in a series of books I've read recently where I have no idea what the heck is really going on but somehow it resonates (Wittgenstein's Mistress, I'm looking at you). Plus, I think I read an interview with Dose One where he said that he digs on Anne Carson's poetry. There are definite similarities.
- The Civil War by Ken Burns: I started this approximately one year ago and just never got around to watching the fifth and final disk. Despite my love of trivia, I still feel that my factual knowledge of the Civil War is a bit hazy. It kinda all runs together after a while. Incomprehensible loss of life. Sad letters home. That same damn song played over and over again.
I had a friend who, after having his wisdom teeth removed, dosed himself up on Percocet and watched the entire Civil War documentary in one sitting. Seems like that might be the best way to experience it.
- Shadow of the Colossus by SCEA: The much-hyped, much-anticipated non-sequel sequel to Ico. And it truly is an amazing-looking game. A great last-generation console title for the PS2. The fact that they manage to pull off a story without telling one is certainly a remarkable achievement. And, of course, the scale of the colossi is superhot.
Overall, though I don't think it's as strong a game as Ico. There are a number of play control issues including oft-mentioned camera problems. The last boss is amazing, but I nearly threw my controller through the screen trying to get the near-blind platforming right.
Anyway, I hope it will serve as great inspiration for some next-gen console titles.
Four things finished in one night! Two books read on the bus ride home from work and a couple hours at home for the Civil War and Colossus.
I am now out of new media and my Netflix queue is basically empty of things I actually want to see. I mean, I was most recently watching Pennebaker's behind the scenes of the cast album for Sondheim's Company.
And now I've got "Ladies who Lunch" stuck in my head. That's no good for anyone.
Posted at 12:23
October 18, 2005
October 16, 2005
Shadow of the Colossus gets released this week for PS2. It's the sorta-not-really sequel to Ico - in my view the best game made so far. If you think that's hyperbolic, check out this review of Colossus from 1up.com:
In short, Shadow of the Colossus breaks storytelling barriers none of us knew existed. It's the rare game for which the often overused words "ground-breaking" were truly reserved for, and it's enough to make you regret every stupid coin you ever collected. Besides merely being one of gaming's great moments, this is the experience of the year.Golly.
Posted at 03:26
October 06, 2005
I was at home in St. Louis last weekend to visit the family and to celebrate the nuptials of my younger cousin (not pictured, that's my brother on the right). With a detour through Chicago to visit Mary and Eugene, I had myself a regular Mid-West Adventure.
Here's something about the Mid-West I forgot: they like meat. Lots of meat.
At the rehersal dinner, we were served toasted ravioli (a St. Louis delicacy) and I asked what they were stuffed with. "Meat" was the reply. Not "Pork" or "Beef" ... just meat. Who can say where it all comes from.
The capper was the Bloody Mary I had the following morning. The waiter asked if I wanted the special and I said sure. Apparently, the special Bloody Mary in St. Louis is served with extra olives, an asparagus spear and a quarter stick of salami!
How many cocktails require processed pork to make? Is there some St. Louis variant on the manhattan that replaces the brandied cherries with pig's feet?
I made it home to the rolling tofu hills of San Francisco without trouble. But I promptly came down with a cold. I blame some stowaway pepperoni for irritating my sensitive mucus membranes.
Posted at 13:39
September 27, 2005
September 26, 2005
September 23, 2005
I was born at 1:19a CST on September 24, 1976. Which means that today (the 23rd) is actually my birthday since I now live in California ... or at least I'll be 29 at 11:19p.
I've often thought it would be nice if you could somehow biologically sense the exact moment of your natal anniversary. You know, like a soft pop that you'd feel in your lungs, like a turkey timer going off, echoing the moment of your first breath.
Humans aren't well atuned to annual cycles, I guess. Something for a subsequent release.
Posted at 14:26
September 19, 2005
Biz claims to have seen me in a blue blazer at some point in time and offers as proof a picture of me in a decidedly non-blue blazer.
That kid is whack, yo.
Moreover, he owes me a check for $18 since I last rocked the BB at my bar mitzvah. What kinda jackass shows up to your bar mitzvah uninvited and doesn't even give you a present. Also, when I was 13, Biz was, like, 24 ... which is pretty sketchy.
Funnily enough, I actually did go buy some wedding attire this weekend. This, as the result of a conversation with my mom:
Mom: So, you have something to wear to the wedding?
Me: Dunno ... what should I wear?
Mom: Well, a blazer would be nice.
Mom: Or just anything nice.
Me: ... I've got some Dockers.
Mom: So, we'll just tell everyone that you're from California.*
And I realized why I don't enjoy shopping for clothes ... I don't know how to dress myself. I've got no idea what pants go with what jacket go with what tie. When I finally got asked "Do you need any help?" I'd never been so ready to say "Yes!" in my entire life.
* This exchange measured out as a low-level Class 2 on the Jewish Mother Guilt Trip Scale - compliance was not strictly necessary but I wanted some new threads anyway.
Posted at 13:37
September 13, 2005
I recently re-watched Errol Morris' first film, Gates of Heaven. It's plainly awesome. The second half, which concerns a family-run pet cemetery in Napa Valley, is stronger than the first half. But it's a ton of fun all around, especially as a portrait of Northern California in the late 1970s.
Amazingly, Bubbling Well Memorial Park is still around and living large on the World Wide Web.
I wonder how many fans of the film end up going to the cemetary just to check it out. It's tantalizing close to home.
Posted at 20:30
September 12, 2005
Yesterday I rode my bike across the Golden Gate Bridge and all the way to Tiburon ... which is a whole municipality farther than I'd ever ridden before.
It was a lot of fun but today I feel as tho' I was suspended by my groin for about twelve hours.
Also the LA Blackout took out my blog for about 4 hours (Dreamhost, not Blogger, was affected).
I feel these things are connected somehow.
Posted at 16:24
September 02, 2005
Joan Walsh in Salon:
The death toll from Katrina is likely to be higher than 9/11, but most of its victims will be black and poor, and I doubt we'll wage a war on poverty and neglect to match the war on terror launched after al-Qaida struck -- and if we did, I doubt it would be any more effective.
Posted at 11:05
August 28, 2005
Onyxia is one of the toughest bosses in World of Warcraft. My guild has been trying to kill her for several months.
Tonight we finally succeeded! We're having a guild meeting next weekend to hang the head of the dragon on the gates of Stormwind.
Posted at 20:15
August 22, 2005
This morning the shuffled playlist on my iPod served me up Bjork's "Big Time Sensuality." "Debut" was one of the 12 CDs I brought with me to Hong Kong when I lived there for 6 steamy weeks in the summer of 2000. I kept all the spare CDs in the punchcode safe of my overposh hotel room and would parcel a couple out at a time to feed my discman.
As a result, "Big Time Senuality" is, for me, the smell of the Hong Kong subway at rush hour and the 7-storey astonishment of a Kowloon electronics store after work.
Sadly, I didn't keep a blog, didn't have a digital camera and didn't have an iPod at that time. Aside from some lengthy emails (one a 20-page review of the 2nd Eminem album) there are hardly any digital artifacts of that trip.
But here's an idea that would make the iPod Photo more interesting to me if there were. iTunes keeps track of your listening history, including songs you heard on your iPod. iPhoto knows when you took the pictures that it stores. What if when you're listening to a given song on your iPod, it showed you pictures taken around the time you'd previously heard that song. To me, this would be much more interesting than just showing a random slideshow or the album art.
I would also like it if my iPod stored a copy of my blog's posts (partially available in XML, just like the iTunes history) so that it could toss up a couple posts from the same time period.
Of course, this is only interesting if you've had iTunes, iPhoto or a blog for a couple years. But that will be increasingly true.
Basically, the most valuable data on my laptop are my iTunes music history (from December 2002), my photos (June 2002) and my email archives (August 1996). This is the stuff that has to move with me when I switch computers. And as time goes on, this is the stuff that will be more and more rewarding to review, combine and surface in new ways.
Posted at 13:59
August 16, 2005
August 07, 2005
Le Cheval 2.1 is a 90 second film that was shown tonight before Me, You and Everyone We Know. Both movies are absolutely incredible. But you can watch Le Cheval 2.1 on the internet right now.
Also, for the past 24 hours I've been repeatedly listening to DJ Food's hour-long megamix, Raiding the 20th Century. It's both entertainment and musical history lesson, combining a total overview of remix culture with wacky commentary on significant moments from british weirdo Paul Morley.
Not to give everything away, but the end of the whole deal is the Kylie Minogue/New Order mashup "Can't Get Blue Monday Out of My Head" over which Paul Morley pronounces,
"From somewhere I get a message from Kylie. It comes to me at the exact moment I first hear 'Can't Get You Out of my Head' blended with New Order's Blue Monday which is a lot of the time my favorite piece of pop music by my favorite group. As I hear Kylie virtually sing her happy song of loss, it's as if the new lead singer of Joy Division is Kylie Minogue. And for private reasons there's something fabulous and irresistible about that."I'm so with you, Paul. And here's the torrent.
Posted at 00:00
August 03, 2005
Ever since my trip to New Zealand I've been listening to the Dune books on my iPod. They were a great companion in New Zealand - although there were some unintended side effects. For example, after a day of listening to Dune Messiah, I would attempt to winkle out the hidden meanings in whatever was being said to me.
"What plans within plans lie behind her question of whether I want dessert?"
Anyway, I'm now in the middle penultimate novel, Heretics of Dune and it's a great return to form for the series. That is to say, stuff actually happens as opposed to the prior book, God Emperor of Dune, which is 400 pages of philosophical bullshit espoused by some dude who's transmorphed into a sandworm over the course of 3500 years but who still has his hands and misses his penis very much.
Despite the wormpenis bit, Dune has never had quite the same geek-adolescent obsession with sex that's common in sci-fi. At least until you get to Heretics. This morning, the following passage tickled my eardrums on shuttle ride into work ... at which point I busted up:
"Agility!" Lucilla allowed her tone to convey the full weight of a Reverend Mother's outrage. No matter that this might be what Sirafa hoped to achieve, she had to be put in her place! "Agility, you say? I can control genital temperature. I know and can arose the fifty-one excitation points. I --"
"Fifty-one? But there are only --"
"Fifty-one!" Lucilla snapped. "And the sequencing plus the combinations number two thousand and eight. Futhermore, in combination with the two hundred and five sexual positions -- "
"Two hundred and five?" Sirafa was clearly startled. "Surely, you don't mean --"
"More, actually, if you count minor variations. I am an Imprinter, which means I have mastered the three hundred steps of orgasmic amplication!"
This chapter ends with Lucilla getting it on with the Supreme Bashar of the Bene Gesserit forces - out of tactical necessity, of course.
Posted at 10:29
July 25, 2005
So, honestly, the daily White House press briefings are the most compelling content on the web. The confrontation, the absurdity - it's all there.
But, as others have noted, the reporter from the India Globe, Raghubir Goyal doesn't seem to enjoy the fun as much as others. While everyone else is banging away on "Does Karl Rove still have top secret clearance despite being a jackass?" - Goyal routinely disrupts the journalistic condemnation with some boring ass question about Pakistan. He's like the guy at the naked Twister party who just wants to play Scrabble.
Well, today he has redeemed himself. By going crazy.
Q (Goyal): Scott, lately we have been in the news. My short comment is part of my question. First of all, I am really thankful to the President for inviting me to the grand State Dinner for the Prime Minister of India last week; it was great.
Q (reporter who didn't get invited): I wasn't there --
Mr. McClellan: There are other opportunities.
Q: But my -- one of my comment is that, again, I said before that I am really thankful to this press corps, White House press corps, that you have been so supporting and helpful and also very kind and nice to me for those years -- 15 or for also 25 years here at the White House, ever since President Clinton.
Mr. McClellan: I appreciate that. Let's get to your question, because I do want to try to meet this meeting with --
Q: You're a nice guy. (Laughter.)
Mr. McClellan: -- or make it to this meeting.
Q: What I'm saying, Scott, that why do you have problems that I should ask the same questions that everybody asked, because when the Prime Minister of India is here, I should not ask the same questions everybody is asking. I did the same thing during President Clinton. Why should I ask about Monica Lewinsky when Prime Minister of India --
Mr. McClellan: People in this room have the right to ask whatever questions -- have the right to ask whatever questions they want.
Q: What I'm saying is really that it was a grand -- beyond red carpet -- what India Globe said that Prime Minister of India got from the President and from the United States and also grand -- renewed of new friendship and new relations between the United States and India.
What my question is that from this -- from that grand dinner and red carpet -- beyond red carpet welcome, where we do go and also because I have not seen much in other paper. Like, I didn't come for the last two days, and I didn't see any question on the Prime Minister of India in town, rather than other question. So where -- what President --
Mr. McClellan: The two leaders had a very good visit.
Posted at 15:42
July 18, 2005
From today's White House press briefing:
Q: Scott, I just wonder -- Scott, on a personal, human note, how are you holding out? Are you enjoying this? (Laughter.) Seriously.And they didn't even get into the new story that Bush approved covert ops to buy the election in Iraq. Or that the British are pulling out.
Oh and the war cost is now at $314B with another projected $450B over the next 10 years.
Posted at 13:30
July 16, 2005
July 11, 2005
Overheard while walking down Valencia St. on Sunday:
Girl: Did you see the women marching with the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer?
Boy: Nuh-uh ... Were they topless or something?
Girl: No! What is wrong with you?!
Overheard at the White House press briefing this morning:
Q: Scott, I mean, just -- I mean, this is ridiculous. The notion that you're going to stand before us after having commented with that level of detail and tell people watching this that somehow you decided not to talk. You've got a public record out there. Do you stand by your remarks from that podium, or not?
Mr. McClellan: And again, David, I'm well aware, like you, of what was previously said, and I will be glad to talk about it at the appropriate time. The appropriate time is when the investigation--
Q: Why are you choosing when it's appropriate and when it's inappropriate?
Mr. McClellan: If you'll let me finish --
Q: No, you're not finishing -- you're not saying anything. You stood at that podium and said that Karl Rove was not involved. And now we find out that he spoke out about Joseph Wilson's wife. So don't you owe the American public a fuller explanation? Was he involved, or was he not? Because, contrary to what you told the American people, he did, indeed, talk about his wife, didn't he?
Mr. McClellan: David, there will be a time to talk about this, but now is not the time to talk about it.
Q: Do you think people will accept that, what you're saying today?
Mr. McClellan: Again, I've responded to the question.
Posted at 15:12
July 10, 2005
July 09, 2005
Last night, a group of anarchists held a protest here in the Mission. I found out about it when Sutter and I were headed to dinner and we saw a single file of 25 policemen in riot gear trailing after 5 teenagers in black hoodies. They (the teenagers) broke a couple windows and sent a cop to the hospital with a head injury.
As a result, I believe the G8 leaders are due to announce the end of capitalism any moment now.
The Chron has The Man's version of what happened. And you can also check out the protester's website for their minute-by-minute account. This comment left on the latter pretty much sums it up for me:
Thanks for making the left look like a bunch of retarded highschoolers yet again. Do us a favor, next time, bust up your own neighborhood in marin or wherever the fuck you idiots come from. Leave liberal citys and people the hell alone, you fucking pose-jobs.
Posted at 12:53
July 05, 2005
The dishes are done and the photos are tagged - this year's July 4th BBQ is complete! As in past years, this BBQ was heavily documented such that we will be able to reconstruct the entire event based on the photographic record even if all the participants have their memories wiped by aliens.
Also there were two grills this year! That was a new feature.
Update: See also Sutter's, Brett's, Mai's and Willo's.
Posted at 01:15
July 04, 2005
July 03, 2005
It took me awhile to place the music they were playing during breakfast at the coffee shop around the corner. When the theme song to Twin Peaks came on I realized it was a collection of Angelo Badalamenti tunes.
An interesting choice for breakfast. That creepy "Mysteries of Love" song from Blue Velvet made me want to check my fruit and granola for misplaced body parts and/or Kyle MacLachlan.
Posted at 12:52
July 01, 2005
June 28, 2005
June 24, 2005
June 23, 2005
June 19, 2005
Treetoe reached level 60 this weekend - the current level cap in WoW.Joining a guild turned out to be incredibly important in the last few levels. You need folks who can help you through some of the game's better challenges.
Also, it's the only way you can see some of the end-game content. Below, 30 of us are getting ready to battle the devil. You need that many folks just to reach this point and the devil still handed us our pixel shaded asses. Next time, Luciferon!
Posted at 10:24
June 17, 2005
In a post on his blog, my brother reminds me that I once plugged the madrigal Allen-a-Dale into our MacSE's midi software. Good times.
I really enjoyed high school choir and especially looked forward to All-District Choir when all the kids would get together to belt out tunes like Allen-a-Dale and a SATB medley of Phantom of the Opera (a particular crowd pleaser).
I remember one year, the big finishing number was this song "Love in any Language." The lyrics are pretty incredible and include such sentiments as:
From Leningrad to Lexingtonand
The farmer loves his land
The rhetoric of government
May keep us worlds apart
There's no misinterpreting
The language of the heart
That last bit is the bridge and we'd key shift on "heart" to, you know, really sell it. And just to make sure there really could be no misinterpreting, the entire all-district choir would sing the last chorus while simulateously signing it in ASL. I guess in case some deaf folks had decided to take in a choral performance that evening.
I remember being fairly affected by all of this - so much so that I'd completely repressed the memory until reminiscing over choir days with Mr. Wetherdeal.
Posted at 11:49
June 16, 2005
Last night I road bicycles with my friend Bonedog. We went to see Batman Begins in IMAX (which rocked) and I had the following for dinner:
- reece's pieces
- pretzel bites with pump cheese
- cheery icee
- red vines through which I drank the icee
Posted at 15:41
June 15, 2005
June 14, 2005
In the past 3 weeks, I've had 3 BART cards demagnetized. I've got 35 bucks worth of blank magno-tape in my wallet. Turns out you can't do much with that.
In theory you can get your cards refunded at select BART stations, and in theory the ticket refund location at Civc Center is open from 7a to 7p.
But in theory bubble tea is a delightful drink but, in fact, it's just sucking slime globules through a goofy straw. And so, the ticket exchange station is actually only open 10 to 6 - therefore, not useful to commuters at all.
The bigger question in my mind is what's going on in my pants? What heretofore unknown gaussian power has manifested itself in my upper thigh?
Posted at 10:15
June 08, 2005
June 05, 2005
Salon's got a piece on the "Universe Within," the conclusion of which is:
So it may turn out I was complicit in the handiwork of body-trafficking hucksters, ponying up $15 and shuffling around the gallery with my jaw dropped, exclaiming over how marvelous it all was. And I can't say I don't feel pretty filthy about that.Do I get ethical bonus points for not having been delighted by the corpse show even before finding out about all the (other) icky parts?
I'm guessing not.
Posted at 00:16
June 01, 2005
In addition to my dorkular pursuits, I also went to go see the Universe Within. That is, I saw a bunch of human remains that have been jauntily displayed. Here are a few of the things that are questionable about this:
- There's seriously a lot of jaunty with the display of these remains. For example, the flayed body that is holding its own skin on a wooden hanger. Or the man in a running position who's had all of his major muscle groups dissected and flown out to his sides like meaty wings.
- The process used to preserve the bodies is known as plastination. And there's some question as to whether it was properly applied. That is to say, the SF Dept. of Public Health is investigating whether or not the fluid that's been seen on the surfaces of some remains represents a health risk or is just incredibly disgusting (I refrained from sampling the seepage in any case).
- The organizer of the exhibit, Gerhard Perner, claims to have worked with the Beijing Medical University. The university says they have no relationship with the Austrian TV producer and are considering suing him.
- There's outcry from various other folks because of:
- involvement with China
- involvement of bodies from China (and associated taboos concerning the display of the dead ... however, I'm not sure where this particular display would be considered, you know, normal).
Posted at 00:02
May 31, 2005
A trifecta of dorkeldom this weekend in which I was ably assisted by Lane and Bonedog.
- Saturday: Dune
- Sunday: Return of the King - Extended Version
- Monday: Revenge of the Sith
Return of the King. Clearly awesome! All four hours of it. Especially when compared to ...
Revenge of the Sith. Despite what folks say ... it's clearly not awesome.
Here's the thing. The fact that both the acting and the script are terrible is irrelevant - the movie could have been good without that. It could have been incredible if it delivered a convincing portrayal of how Anakin Skywalker becomes Darth Vader. This is, afterall, not just the arc of the first trilogy, but in many ways, the (previously) untold tragic myth for an entire generation.
That arc is advanced by several scenes: Anakin kills the sandpeople (in Clones), Anakin kills Mace Windu, Anakin kills the Jedi, Anakin gets burnt. Only the last of those scenes is actually memorable. The others are both flat and kinda confusing from a narrative standpoint. I mean, I've got no idea what's going on, motivation-wise, in the Mace Windu scene.
It's nice that there are cool lightsaber duels and hot special effects. But the thing is that when I watch Return of the King, I sincerely believe that the destruction of the Ring is The Most Important Thing Ever and worthy of incredible sacrifice. There's no equivalently sincere moment in Star Wars and there really could have been.
However, they both do have villians being burned by volcanoes ... so that's cool.
Posted at 12:06
May 28, 2005
May 26, 2005
May 23, 2005
From the NYT's article on the rise of evangelical christianity in the Ivy League:
The Christian Union's immediate goal, he said, was to recruit campus missionaries. "What is happening now is good," Mr. Bennett said, "but it is like a finger in the dike of keeping back the flood of immorality."You know, we stopped referring to bundles of kindling as faggots. Maybe it's time to surrender the beachhead on dike.
Not, you know, because of the inflammatory nature of such terms. Just because, I, for one, cannot hear the phrase "finger in the dike" without giggling.
Especially when the stinky pinky in said dike is holding back a flood of immorality from drowning our nation's elite students in the pungent waters of sin.
Posted at 13:37
May 21, 2005
May 17, 2005
[B]logs -- online opinion and information sites -- played a similar, but not greater role, as did the mainstream media and the candidates' campaigns in creating "buzz."Dammit! Blogs are only as influential as the most coordinated and focused media effort in the history of mankind.
Posted at 17:57
I saw a small, black bird attempt to land in the part of a woman's hair this morning. I wondered if maybe the bird saw the strip of scalp and thought it was food or a nest. The woman wondered if she'd gotten pooped on.
But then. While waiting at for the shuttle, two of my fellow commuters remarked that they too had been attacked by small, black birds that very morning.
Posted at 10:04