Wednesday, 27 July 2005

Headlines to Watch Out For

I kind of hope Sen. Hilary Clinton responds to this article from Steven Johnson about the pointlessness of targeting video games just because of one mildy "sexy" easter egg in one game, because if she did I'd be able to title a post:
The Senator For Manhattan Takes On Steve Berlin

Ha haha hah!


Maybe just me then.

I will be singing it for the rest of the day, though.

Butt Crack Fresh As Morning Dew

Fark have a link to an article about Brazilian waxing and how girls young enough to not need one want one. So far, so ho hum, it's fark's job to find stuff like that, the real eye-popper, though, is this paragraph:
With one stern rip and a few days of healing, the pubic area and butt crack are as fresh as the morning dew and remain so for a couple of months.

Tuesday, 26 July 2005

Just A Quickie

A collection of different condom ads. I've linked to the last page because it's the funniest—even if those bonin' skeletons have a serious, er, point —but the rest is good too.

You may never feel the same about red cabbage again, however. And I do find it odd that wild monkey love is just about all admen can think about when confronted with banana-flavoured condoms...

Via Boing Boing

Monday, 25 July 2005

Pleasure In Footnotes

Sisyphis Shrugged sees that Steve Martin has got an award for Humor and gets all nostalgic — as we all do, I have fond memories of when Martin was funny. She saves the best for a footnote, however:
The humorist is a creature not hunted to extinction but subject to extensive overbreeding. If David Sedaris gets a movie deal, playing Julia Roberts' wacky gay roommate, all is lost.

No-one Wants To Shake My Hand

Junichi over at Poplicks has gathered together a load of links about wanking, so I don't have to scour the 'Net for 'em.

How To Learn From Your Mistakes

Of course, it's so much easier to learn from other peoples mistakes, but the lesson isn't as permanent. As someone who's started to make more public mistakes I find the first step is always the hardest: Accepting responsibility makes learning possible. Knowing the feedback you're getting is honest and well-meant is a start, but I find I need to think things through from my side before I can really accept what happened and then move to change it. I think that initially there's always going to be some element of denial, even from the most open-minded, but realising your lack of perfection is often enough to start a re-evaluation.

By the way, for those wondering about the lack of posts recently, I've been ill. I'm mostly better now, but I'm not sure if I got hit with a few things at once. I've been off the fags since February and people keep telling me at the 6-8 month point your lungs decide to clean themselves up and, well, I don't want to go into details, but eeewww!

As an advance warning, I'll probably not be posting for the first two weeks in August, either, as I'll be on holiday and not too connected.

Wednesday, 20 July 2005

Tuesday, 19 July 2005

A Question For The Times

When a Man Dies in a Sex Act with a Horse — What's a Reporter to Do?

Well after laughing uncontrollably for while, perhaps decide to leave out some detail:
The AP story gave basic facts about the case. It mentioned that the man -- who died of internal bleeding from anal sex with the animal -- died after visiting a farm in nearby Enumclaw that attracted "a significant number of people" looking to engage in bestiality.

Kudos, though, for avoiding "horse play", "horsing around" and allusions to Catherine the Great

What Are Short Shorts 4?

Mad, crazy round up of stuff that probably deserves longer posts....

  • Chris and Ismo over at Splinters are on a link-posting tear at the moment. Some fine, fine things uncovered including the next two items...

  • How to Write More Clearly, Think More Clearly, and Learn Complex Material More Easily, a Powerpoint presentation that manages to make Powerpoint presentaions worthwhile. "You don’t “absorb” knowledge. Knowledge is something you build in your own mind, not something the teacher puts into you."

  • Hugh MacLeod's latest How To Be Creative. You do get the feeling Hugh could possibly the biggest arsehole (or complete fucking arsehole for that matter) that you might wish to meet. Doesn't stop him being right, though. "4. If your biz plan depends on you suddenly being "discovered" by some big shot, your plan will probably fail."

  • I was a little sad when "Unskilled and Unaware of It: How Difficulties in Recognizing One's Own Incompetence Lead to Inflated Self-Assessments" disappeared from my bookmarks, but it seems someone's made a mirror of that article. It's good for quoting in flame-wars and it's also a scary reminder of just how wrong we can be.

  • Cumulative Swear Count for Deadwood

  • Not too many funny refferals recently, though histrionic man-hater took me by surprise as did Best Looking Cock

  • Colin Farrell has released a sex tape, er, sorry, is sueing some one for releasing one with him in. When this happened to Rob Lowe, all those years ago, wags mentioned that "finally he's released something we all want to see". But in this case the only difference between it and Colin's regular movies is that even Colin's mum won't want to watch this one.

Monday, 18 July 2005

Moment Of Silence

This seems a bit old news, now, since it happened at last Thursday's Jam Session, but Blogger was playing silly buggers on Friday, so...

I'd done a few things already. I'd sung Join Me In LA (a Warren Zevon song that I cleverly change the lyrics to Join Me In The Bakery) to a lightly jazzy thing and I did a totally messed up attempt at First Me Take Manhattan (it worked at the previous jam, but not this time).

In a desperate attempt to make my mark I thought I'd try doing Dead, Drunk and Naked by The Drive-By Truckers a song about "a guy I used to work with who was pretty much the poster child for why one shouldn't sniff glue in Junior High School". It's a relatively simple song with three easy chords (Cadd9, G and D), which means it has the same sort of chords as a blues in G, which I don't normally sing (I try and stick to E where I'm comfortable). Anyway I got through the song repeated the chorus a few times and stopped. There was a moment of silence, I was sure I'd fucked up so badly that no-one knew quite what to do, and then the place erupted with applause.

I'd finally made music.

Thursday, 14 July 2005

Discreet Monkey Sex

Proving again that, perhaps, I shouldn't link to everything I find that I find thought-provoking lest you think ill of me, I recently came across an article on an interesting experiment in, well, economics, I suppose.

It seems some researchers at Yale School of Management have tried to teach some capuchin monkeys about money -- I'm guessing their normal students were too intractable. They basically set up a monkey society where silvery disks could be exchanged for grapes. Skipping to the end, at some point the monkeys realised that money could be exchanged for, well, anything and it was at that point the obvious happened:
Dubner and Levitt then continue with what is almost certainly the most illuminating anecdote with respect to the capuchins’ understanding of money. “Something else happened during that chaotic scene [of the bank heist], something that convinced Chen of the monkeys’ true grasp of money. Perhaps the most distinguishing characteristic of money, after all, is its fungibility, the fact that it can be used to buy not just food but anything. During the chaos in the monkeys’ cage, Chen saw something out of the corner of his eye that he would later try to play down but in his heart of hearts he knew to be true. What he witnessed was probably the first observed exchange of money for sex in the history of monkeykind. (Further proof that the monkeys truly understood money: the monkey who was paid for sex immediately traded the token for a grape.)” Prudishly, and perhaps incuriously, Chen has taken measures to assure no repetition of the incident. “It wouldn’t reflect well on anyone involved if the money turned the lab into a brothel,” write Dubner and Levitt.

What Liberal Hollywood?

I'm sure it's a controversy that only Americans could have. Some of them believe that Hollywood, like, I suppose, the rest of the media, has left-leaning, well liberal, tendencies.

No, really, some people believe that. I think it's because "Hollywood" let's Oliver Stone make a film every now and then. Some guy called Kung Fu Monkey takes a good long look at this and then the Box Office charts for the last few years and concludes:
So, my friend, if you have a beef with a particular piece of talent, fine. You go ahead and express your misgivings. But stop mewling about some oppressive "Hollywood" conspiracy (which doesn't exist) forcing liberal-tinged entertainment (which it doesn't make) down your throat to progress some liberal agenda (which it's not organized enough to have). It does nothing but reveal that you're not just ignorant, not just nursing a poorly conceived and completely unjustified sense of the hard-done-bys, but you're also arrogant enough not to care that what's spewing from you falls squarely between uninformed pablum and high-velocity horse-shit.

Via James Wolcott. Wolcott, by the way, is currently defending the decision to let the aforementioned Stone make a movie about 9/11, mostly on the grounds that Stone is a good film-maker and, well, someone's gonna do it sooner or later. Which seems right in general if a little off in its particulars. I find Stone a technically gifted director who can have interesting ideas about cinema. He also deeply understands a certain type of man and when these two things come together (Wall Street, Platoon) he can make great movies and when they don't what's left is an angry seething mess of half-baked ideas and under-cooked characters (most every other films he's made). As for the inevitablity of a 9/11 movie, well Stuart Jefferies in the Guardian has some misgivings I agree with:
Stone's film will be about two police officers trapped in the rubble of the twin towers after rescuing scores of workers. "It's an exploration of heroism in our country - but at the same time it is international in its humanity," says Stone.

But is that exploration worthwhile? Hasn't the heroism of New York's police officers and firefighters been trumpeted sufficiently from newspapers, TVs and T-shirts? Do we need the first feature film to tackle 9/11 to do so through US flag-waving masquerading as a globally relevant human drama? It is not to disrespect the dead nor living heroes to suggest that we don't. It seems likely that it will further solidify the myth of the stoicism of New Yorkers (a myth as questionable as that now being touted about Londoners) in a way that stops us thinking imaginatively about what happened in New York then, and why.

Plus Stone needs a hit after whatever his last film was, so the chances of the film being anything other than a hymn to heroism are slight. On one thing, though, I do hope Stone has learnt the lessons of the past, and that's this: there's never been a good movie with Colin Farrell in it.

Wednesday, 13 July 2005

Don't Just Stop There

Boing Boing have discovered something calles PABBIS which stands for Parents Against Bad Books In Schools (somehow you just know literary merit isn't going to be a criteria they consider). PABBIS have a form you can fill in if you find a Bad Book. It's called BOOK REVIEW DOCUMENTATION FORM, all in capitals so you know it's important. They classify types of badness and as an example they use breasts:
For each type checked above also indicate level of vividness/graphicness using the following as a general guide:
Basic (B): large breasts

Graphic (G): large, voluptuous bouncing breasts

Very graphic (VG):large, voluptuous bouncing breasts with hard nipples

Extremely graphic (EG): large, voluptuous bouncing breasts with hard nipples covered with glistening sweat and bite marks

I get the feeling the stopped before they got too excited, but I can imagine a few extra levels...

Monday, 11 July 2005

Raving Ego-maniacs

Sadly this isn't a post about the other Thursday's Jam Session, but instead it's a head up to a recent Times opinion piece on bloated Hollywood egos. Nothing earth-shatteringly new, but a fun bit, never-the-less.
After getting an Oscar nomination with only his second film, the director Peter Bogdanovich behaved so imperiously that when he had his first flop, Billy Wilder said the “champagne corks were popping and the flags were waving all over town”.

I quite like Bogdanovich — he's good in front and behind the camera on The Sopranos and I liked his book, Who The Devil's In It, apart from the fact he kept talking up his own movies — but he's full of himself when he's interviewing other people, so he must have been totally unbearable during that period.

The Times article ends with a list of a few signs that your ego has gotten the better of you including:
Ignoring the whole history of medical science to pronounce on the evils of psychiatry


Thursday, 7 July 2005

Why All High Streets Look The Same

The actual title of the linked to article is The New Science of Siting Stores. But it's a bit science light as far as I can see. The most disappointing thing is that it looks like it might tell you why you'll get one Starbucks near another, but then abruptly stops:
Ever wonder why sometimes you see two Starbucks coffee shops located within the same block -- or right across the street from each other? It's not by chance. Site selection has been fine-tuned to a digital art. A retailer can now closely analyze all of the sales information that it has to understand the lifestyles and preferences of its customers. Then, companies can combine that info with mapping and demographic software to decide whether it's worthwhile to open a store at a given location.

Although the suggestion is that Starbuck patrons are so lazy they wouldn't cross the street to get to one.

Along with the science, it seems a whole lot of common sense is being dressed up as insight:
Restaurant chain Hooters uses similar software that spots sports and entertainment venues nearby when it's scouting for locations. But Hooters also looks for such cues such as available locations on the side of busy streets, the better to snag customers from evening rush-hour traffic. "We get a lot of visitors from men heading home from work," says Mike Locey, Hooters' vice-president for strategic development.

Which, if I understand it correctly, is saying, in essence, that, at the end of a hard days work, men like to look at titty. Who knew?

Wednesday, 6 July 2005

I'll Be Finding A New Thing Soon, Honest

AOL are hosting videos from Live8. So any of those interesting things that happened that you missed — Pete Doherty or Mariah, that sort of thing — you can catch up with them there.

Notice, though, that it's "City by City" and Cornwall's a county, so... Well you can see where I'm going already. Those of you who want to find out who Peter Gabriel recommended can go to the BBC page.

It's Called Google. Check It Out

Altercation. It's a fine liberal blog that occassionaly paints its writer, Eric Alterman, as the sort of deaf-to-criticism, oleaginous Liberal, that that American right believes all liberals are. While his politics are generally unimpeachable, his taste in music and his habit of casually dropping the names of musicians he has a personal acquaintance with are at times dizzyingly bad to the point of vomit inducing.

That doesn't he doesn't like good stuff, too, though, but when, say, telling the world that he went to see Loudon Wainwright III the other he might want to avoid saying daft things like:
He sang a song about naming “Rufus,” and I guess left out only Martha, (who’s last EP was called, “Bloody Mother**cking As**ole,” but I don’t think she was taking about dad).

Through the simple expedient of, say, googling for Martha Loudon Asshole. The third entry being a Guardian interview with Martha which, in the very first paragraph says:
Martha Wainwright came up with an effective way of dealing with having a singer-songwriter father who substituted looking after his family by writing about them in songs. She proved that those who live by the pen will die by the pen, and wrote a song about him called Bloody Mother Fucking Asshole.

I dunno, could just be me...

With A Headline That Good Who Needs A Story?

I've not big upped No Rock 'n' Roll Fun for a while. It's still reliably great, though. And today they have an article about U2 going to court to get some old clothes for Bono. The headline is:



Monday, 4 July 2005

Self Indulgence 2

Me, The Simpsons, The Sopranos, and a Beer. It's like all my obsessions in one picture (with a guitar in the background). Posted by Picasa

Fans Of Boll's

Fans of the Genius that is Uwe Boll have started a website. Apparently no irony was harmed in the making of it and it's deadly serious.