Wednesday, September 26, 2007

German Woman Has Balls, Gets Jailed

A GERMAN woman who branded the words "never lie again" on her husband's back has been jailed for three years. Heike Hoffmann, 28, also ordered husband Andreas, 41, to take a ten minute ice-cold shower if he looked at another woman.


Friday, September 14, 2007

Woman Humped To Death

An Australian woman was killed by a pet camel given to her as a 60th birthday present after the animal apparently tried to have sex, police said Sunday:

The 10-month-old male camel — weighing about 330 pounds — knocked the woman to the ground, lay on top of her, then exhibited what police suspect was mating behavior, said Detective Senior Constable Craig Gregory.

"I'd say it's probably been playing, or it may be even a sexual sort of thing," Gregory said, adding the camel almost suffocated the family's pet goat by straddling it on several occasions.

The woman was given the camel in March as a birthday present from her husband and daughter. "She had a love of exotic pets," Gregory said.

if you really need it, full story here

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Back From The Front

It's been a long month. A long and virtually blog-less August. This is owed just about entirely to a whole load of traveling I've done over the past few weeks.

First up was the Wizard World Chicago Convention (by way of Cleveland), followed swiftly by The Glenlivet Gathering in Aviemore Scotland, and finally a jaunt to New Jersey & New York for the annual AYF Olympics. 

So what's come out of it all? Here are a few lessons learned on these exploits:

- Chicago traffic is horrible.
- Comic book conventions are almost cool, now.
- Scotland is more amazing each time you go.
- Glenlivet really is the finest scotch around (esp. the 18 yr. old)
- Inverness is the greatest city in the UK. You can argue, but I won't budge.
- Most of New Jersey smells like a mixture of trash & piss. This is not an exaggerated statement, and is based on empirical evidence rather than personal opinion. 
- It's good to be "home".

Now it's time to get back on the wagon, break down, bite the bullet, whatever - and find a job. Crappitty, crap, crap.

See you in the funny papers...

Monday, August 27, 2007

The Universe Is A Doughnut

A huge hole has been discovered in the universe. Measuring nearly one billion light years across, the hole contains no stars, dust, gas, or dark matter - making this the largest space-hole discovered to date. 

Yah, you read that right.

My theory: the big bang had to have an epicenter, right?

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

China Regulates Reincarnation, Chooses Fresh Lama

"In one of history's more absurd acts of totalitarianism, China has banned Buddhist monks in Tibet from reincarnating without government permission. According to a statement issued by the State Administration for Religious Affairs, the law, which goes into effect next month and strictly stipulates the procedures by which one is to reincarnate, is "an important move to institutionalize management of reincarnation.

"But beyond the irony lies China's true motive: to cut off the influence of the Dalai Lama, Tibet's exiled spiritual and political leader, and to quell the region's Buddhist religious establishment more than 50 years after China invaded the small Himalayan country.

"By barring any Buddhist monk living outside China from seeking reincarnation, the law effectively gives Chinese authorities the power to choose the next Dalai Lama, whose soul, by tradition, is reborn as a new human to continue the work of relieving suffering."

See you in the funny papers...

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Wednesday Music Special - 10 Song Playlist

"It's Hot In Hell" - Sargasso Trio
Totally needs to be in a John Cusack Movie.

"Ashes" - Five Finger Death Punch
This band reminds me of the evil snacks that skewer the traditional "let's all go to the lobby" crew during the opening credits of the Aqua Teen Hunger Force movie (which I haven't seen yet, because I would never watch a bootleg copy online...ever).

"Weather Storm" - Craig Armstrong
This one springs from my love the Buddha Bar cd collection.

"You Send Me Flying" - Amy Winehouse
My current favorite track, off of her better album.

"Breath From Another" - Esthero
The title track off her first album. Great night-time driving tune.

"Get Innocuous!" - LCD Soundsystem
I love this track. Download it now.

"Chaos" - MuteMath
My favorite track of my favorite album of the year. These guys are fantastic at using the guitars & keys as rhythm, and the drums as the melodic instrument. Damn fine job.

"The a la Menthe" - Nikkfurie de la Caution
Still like it, despite the fact that the dance/gymnastics/break-in scene from Ocean's 12 was too stupid for words. Except the ones I just used. And these, explaining them. And...well, you get the idea.

"Ghost of Corporate Future" - Regina Spektor
So cool. Anyone who rhymes lyrics with the word "ewww" is just so cool.

"El Leila Dy" - Amr Diab
Title track off his latest album. Whatever the hell he's saying sounds cool with that beat behind it. Half salsa/half mideast techno.

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

MIT Peeps Are Smart

MIT grad students are designing a system to convert the mechanical energy of people movingh around a building into electricity. Designed for a railways system, Tad Jusczyk and James Graham's "Crowd Farm" would consist of sub-floor that moves slightly as people walk across it. That motion would then be converted by a dynamo into current. From the MIT News Office:
The electric current generated by the Crowd Farm could then be used for educational purposes, such as lighting up a sign about energy. "We want people to understand the direct relationship between their movement and the energy produced," says Juscyzk.

The Crowd Farm is not intended for home use. According to Graham and Jusczy, a single human step can only power two 60W light bulbs for one flickering second. But get a crowd in motion, multiply that single step by 28,527 steps, for example, and the result is enough energy to power a moving train for one second.

And while the farm is an urban vision, the dynamo-floor principle can also be applied to capturing energy at places like rock concerts, too. "Greater movement of people could make the music louder," suggests Jurcyzk.

(via Boing Boing)

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

A Culture-full Evolution

In this year of living dangerously (translation: unemployed) I haven't done very much, or have I? While spending hours agonizing over things to do with dollars and sense, contemplating aforementioned addictions to education, and indulging in the beauty that is tv on dvd - my in between times have been spent here on the internet.

For this reason (the proliferation of some semblance of cultural literacy, in case you were wondering) I'd like to say thanks to the folks at Google for coming up with that nifty little feed sucker: Google Reader.

I now have a whole new way to surf the...ohh...130+ rss feeds currently on the subscription list.

But wait. Didn't Ed post some rambling some months ago with regard to the importance of thinking about things read? Yes. So don't mistake my big fat reading list for something I peruse with no intention of fully digesting. Nay. I don't think there's ever a day where I read every single feed - it's more a question of what I'm in the mood to absorb that day: news, notes about the economic state of the EU, questionable celebrity photos, or a friend's flickr stream.

So, um, I guess now I have even more, or less, to do with my continuing year of living dangerously...more or less. Unless any of y'all want to hire me, 'cause I'm available.

See you in the funny papers...

Monday, July 23, 2007

I'm Not Immune

It's a mixture of elation that regret that fills me this rainy New England afternoon. Because I did it.

It arrived on Saturday, around one o'clock in the afternoon. I sat down around two and began to read. Yesterday, after a marathon effort, my glasses were back on, the iPod was back off, and I was in the know about what happened at the end of it all. 

It's been a tumultuous number of years. He first crept his way onto my bookshelf back when I was working at the toy store. I walked by him countless times before I finally decided to pick up his story and begin something I wouldn't understand until quite a few years later, but I was totally hooked.

As time went on, I became more and more restless. I trolled the internet for "spoilers". I visited websites that had countdowns to movie premier dates running. I even looked for bootleg copies, before the pages were supposed to be on the shelves. That was reckless.

While restlessly turning the last pages over this past weekend, a calm came over me. This was it. No more of him. No more of his funny-named friends, or his often overly angsty situational dioramas. No more pages to turn.

So there's the mixture. Elation in the knowing. Regret in that there would be no new words to read - and that I read these last few so quickly. But elation wins out, because I adored every minute of it, and I wouldn't have done it any other way.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Iranians Arrest 14 Squirrels For Spying

While putting up the previous post I came across this morsel. Please lol in your respective cube shaped domicile:

"Islamic Republic's intelligence agents allege rodents were carrying advanced Western spy gear

Iranian intelligence operatives recently detained over a dozen squirrels found within the nation's borders, claiming the rodents were serving as spies for Western powers determined to undermine the Islamic Republic.

"In recent weeks, intelligence operatives have arrested 14 squirrels within Iran's borders," state-sponsored news agency IRNA reported. "The squirrels were carrying spy gear of foreign agencies, and were stopped before they could act, thanks to the alertness of our intelligence services."

Iranian police commander Esmaeil Ahmadi-Moqadam confirmed the report, saying that a number of squirrels had been caught bearing foreign spy gear within Iran's borders.

"I heard of this but I have no specific knowledge on the subject," he said. He refused to give further details.

Recently, Iran has increased its efforts in combating espionage by the West. The use of rodents has not been documented in the past."

articles here, here, and here (among countless other places)

See you in the funny papers...

Man Patents Thinking / Skin Tight Spacesuit

First up, on, an application has popped up from a man trying to patent his "Thinking System":

"A thinking system and method is provided by the present invention. In the present invention, the “thinking” system is capable of accepting information from outside environment, analyzing the information, requesting additional information, and then resulting the problem. More particularly, the system can make new rules according to the information within the system and the new information received and requested. The rule making process is not controlled by outside command, but by an internal controlling mechanism that can be modified by the outside commands. Further, the system comprises a knowledge structure that can be used by the system for analyzing the inputted information, making request for additional information, making new rules, and solving problems, wherein the knowledge structure comprises element files include direct link information of the elements with other elements of the element files in the knowledge structure"

Next, those crazy MIT cats are working to revolutionize space-fashion with the design of a new skin tight spacesuit.

"...a sleek, advanced suit designed to allow superior mobility when humans eventually reach Mars or return to the moon. [The] spandex and nylon BioSuit is not your grandfather's spacesuit--think more Spiderman, less John Glenn"

Spidey in space. Full story here.

Monday, July 16, 2007

MIT Cures Fear

Well here it is. Now I can leave the lights off...

"MIT biochemists have identified a molecular mechanism behind fear, and successfully cured it in mice, according to an article in the journal Nature Neuroscience. They did this by inhibiting a kinase, an enzyme that change proteins, called Cdk5, which facilitates the extinction of fear learned in a particular context."

full text here

Thursday, July 12, 2007

How You Know You're Hooked

One of my favorite columns in one of my very favorite periodicals is Stephen King's "Pop Of King" column, that appears every other week on the second to last page of Entertainment Weekly. Recently, Stephen commented on my personal drug of choice: "pop-dope" (as he puts it - it's what you gotta have). For example:

The Sopranos
Harry Potter (either medium) get the idea?

So when you're hooked on the pop-dope, how you do know it? Does getting midnight tickets to the new Harry Potter movie at your local IMAX theatre make you an addict? Does waiting until the recording of the season finale of your favorite show has been significantly delayed so you can watch it on your DVR while it's still airing but still fast forward through the commercials, mean you're hooked? Maybe. I thought I'd try to characterize some ways in which you can determine how bad you gotta have it.

1. You think DVR is the single greatest thing since the internet.
2. You think Nicole Scherzinger is wasting her time and really needs to do a solo jazz album.
3. You honestly believe that Megan Fox is (currently) the most beautiful woman on earth.
4. 20 hours of 24 is something you might be interested in.
4a: You get both parts of #4.
5. To you, Google is a verb.
6. Every gadget that has a lowercase "i" in front of its name is on your "must have" list.
7. If you can't go to the midnight showing on opening night, you're going to wait for the DVD.
8. Your favorite websites include popoholic, lostpedia, google news, imdb and somewhere in the area of fifty-three other blogs that only YOU read. (but whose items you tell your friends about, without citing as sources - this makes you "hip")
9. You'd like to have a roundtable discussion with Chuck Klosterman, Rachael Ray, Damon Lindelof, and maybe David Chase. There will be alcohol involved. Think about it.
10. You quote movies, almost verbatim, after you've seen them only once. After the second time, you start telling people what the commentary tracks said about specific scenes.

So there they are. Certainly not the only ten ways to know you're hooked, but these are the ones that came to mind this morning.

If you can think of more, comment it up suckas.

See you in the funny pages...

PS: Read the column I'm talking about here

Monday, July 09, 2007

Angelina's For The A+

I'm just going to go ahead and cut/paste this one. So delicious...

"A Bulgarian professor has promised students A grades if they write about Angelina Jolie's boobs and buy a copy of his new book.

Professor Stefan Karastoyanov, of the Geology and Geography Department of Sofia University, made the promise as a protest after he was not paid for three months because of cash problems.

He said: "If they write about Angelina Jolie's boobs and buy my book they'll get an A."

So far 80 of the 120 students sitting his classes have ordered his book."

See you in the funny pages...

Friday, June 29, 2007

Blind(sided) by the light

Driving home last night I came upon a new Comcast billboard, viewable from the northbound side of I-95, just before exit 40. The billboard read:

"Don't be blinded by the light." Comcast

That all she wrote. No more detail offered. So how freaking cool is that?

In case you're wondering why I'm so jazzed about a billboard for broadband internet service, it's because of what that one little detail-less sentence says about us of the internet.

The line refers to Verizon's FIoS offering (which if you're still not following is internet access - among other services - delivered via fiber optic cable piped into your home). The cool thing about the Comcast billboard is that it assumes enough people know what fiber optic is, who's offering it, and what those offering it say that it does - to warrant placing the ad on a highway sign.

We of the internet should be damn proud of this accomplishment. The net, and the ways we access it, have hit (wait for it...) lexicographical paydirt. Translation - we get shit like the billboard.

Sure, there are plenty of people who likely drive by the sucker and go "Yah. Manfred Mann was the shit." And still others that go by smiling to themselves because they own "Greetings from Asbury Park N.J." (google it). But the joke is, like, totally on them.

See you in the funny pages...

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Is That Something You Might Be Interested In?

Two recent news items - and if Paris Hilton's jail stint qualifies for that term, than so do my items - caught my attention recently.

1) Comcast is in some stage of negotiation to offer feature films to their customers as a pay-per-view service, on the same day & date that they debut in cinemas. For example, for somewhere between $25 and $50, you could sit in the comfort of your own home and watch Transformers at the same time that all the twelve year olds are being dropped off at the AMC Theatre by their parents.

2) The sale of dvd-based pornography is falling drastically, as sites with user generated content offer easy to access, free peep shows.

What do these two have to do with each other? Everything.

Video on demand, be it user generated or offered by some semi-to-fully legit outfit, is changing how we think about video itself. In the beginning, moving pictures were confined to dark rooms with reel to reel projectors. Next came television, the original video on demand. Then VHS. Then DVD. (I skipped over laserdiscs and betamax because they're best left forgotten)

Now, we of the internet culture are used to things like video podcasts, vlogs, youtube, and finally legit copyrighted content, available via IP, from services like iTunes. This is all fantastic. It's great. It's the natural evolution of our online community. But it still kinda sucks.

User generated content, your little brother's friend's vlog, even iTunes new "Apocalypto" download all do the same thing. They cheapen the spectacle of film. People are becoming too willing to trade quality for novelty. Sure, you can go buy a DVD, complete with DTS sound, and 1080p picture quality, then watch it from your big comfy couch, on your big sexy LCD television - or you can download the same movie on iTunes, with 3.1 or maybe 5.1 sound, decent resolution, and watch it on your iPod's three inch screen while riding the subway to work. The novelty of carrying the content in your pocket, has replaced the quality of watching a high resolution picture with fantastic sound.

So where do Comcast and Porn fit in? The dvd-based pornography industry may be selling fewer copies, but the percentage they're losing there is replaced by the same content providers offering free teaser sites that push traffic to pay sites with full length films, offered online. The translation: the porn industry, which like it or not sets just about every trend for home video (why do think laserdisc failed?), has realized that people will still pay for high quality. The people you thought stopped spending money on porn, just started paying for it somewhere else.

And Comcast? Their about the only entity that can capitalize on the video-on-demand trend, and do it right. Apple is making strides in the right direction, with AppleTV and iTunes movie downloads, but the fact remains that most of the people who would buy the movie from iTunes probably own a high def tv, and would rather use that than their iPod, or even their laptop screen. As far as new releases being available on demand through Comcast, it's these same folks, the ones who own the gorgeous home theater systems, that will utilize this service. Sure, movie theater chains will probably lose money - but they make very little on ticket sales anyway. The people who will gain are those folks interested in the spectacle. These are the folks that sneak their own candy into the cinema. They're also the people you've heard say things like "I'll just wait for the DVD." As for the movie theater chains, they'll be ok. The twelve year olds will still be at the theaters, spending money on popcorn and soda.

Now we've skipped over the big elephant in the room, and that is the illegal sharing of copyrighted material, and all I have to say on that is it's the mp3 argument all over again. 90% of the people engaging in piracy of music wouldn't spend the money on it if piracy was eradicated, so saying that 100% of music piracy is detracting from record companies' profits is ludicrous. Same thing goes for video. Piracy will never be eradicated, but neither will people willing to pay for quality content disappear.

See you in the funny pages...

Monday, June 25, 2007

A Morsel of Video Goodness

I would post every bit of video I could find on these droogs, but that might be a bit much?

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

In Which I Address the Senselessness of Getting Out of Bed

I'll be the first to admit that there are times at which I find myself perplexed by my reasons for removing myself from slumber on some specific mornings. Does rising from your rest count as rising from your rest if you are in fact rest-less? Do stream of unconsciousness blog entries characterized by run on sentences that sound like something that came out of the mouth of that Architect guy in the Matrix who looked like a cross between Sean Connery and Sigmund Freud make the reader go something something?

As my friend Boz once said - "It's all bullshit."

The point of this all?

The startling realization, after careful consideration and far too much deliberation, is that Boz was so fucking right it's not even funny.

Thursday, June 07, 2007


I am excited. I am bored.
I know everything. I know nothing.
I like pie. Blueberries suck.
Paris in jail. Paris is out.
Oatmeal. Fruit Loops.
Aguardiente. Single Malt.
Elvis is dead, I saw him last night.
Global warming? ___________
Fingers. Toes.
Heart. Mind.
I am gone. I'm dead fucking on.

Friday, June 01, 2007

Sex, Drugs, and Education Addiciton

Hi my name's Ed, and I'm an addict. It's been two years since my last matriculation.

It feels good to finally get that off my chest.

Finally admitting that I can't stop thinking about going back to school doesn't seem like a big deal? Nay, I know not 'seems'. It's a fact. I want back into the classroom like a drunk can't wait to be at the bottom of their glass.

Get this. Responsibility, maturity, and their foul ilk have popped up too close to home and now it's time to beat them back again. It's for that reason that I've signed myself up for a self-imposed GMAT study schedule. Do I want an MBA? Dunno. Do I want to get my ass back into a lecture hall's big comfy chair? Hell, yah.

So let's get this straight. This blog entry is my solemn oath to be a student for life. "Adulthood" be damned.

See you in the funny pages...

PS - iTunes U makes me smile

Thursday, May 24, 2007

I've Been Here A While

So let's take a minute and talk about all things pop that currently get my juices flowing.

"Back to Black" - Amy Winehouse

What a stellar record. I don't know what's better, Winehouse's massive do, or the fact that she remains credible on a scene packed with wannabes and wish-they-hads.

The Lost Season Finale

This double-length episode just freakin killed me. I find it difficult to think of a network show whose writers stay more true to the story they want to tell than the guys penning for Lost. Kill off major characters? Sure... Kill off people we introduced last week? Sure... Tell you that a couple people totally get off the island down the line somewhere, and then end up addicted to oxycodone or selling out and driving a sedan? Heck ya...

"Rodrigo y Gabriela" - Rodrigo y Gabriela

An entire album of killer guitar from two great players. Download this. Now.

SpiderMan 3

Screw all you ass hats that didn't think this movie was as good as the last two. This was a great capstone to the Spidey trilogy, conveniently left open for the possibility of a Spidey 4. Dude. Chris Nolan should take a page from the book of Raimi.

Speaking of Chris Nolan

The first official photo of Heath Ledger as The Joker in next year's Batman Begins sequel. Daaaaaamn.

See you in the funny pages...

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Saturday Music Special: Chris Cornell Live

This past Thursday I had the good fortune of seeing one of my favorite singers live. Chris Cornell, who you either remember from Soundgarden or know from Audioslave, played at Avalon (a 1,000 person venue on Landsdowne Street in Boston), and he rocked the damn house.

Cornell came out swinging with "Spoonman", and continued to run through a veritable "best of" from Soundgarden's heyday. He mixed in an Audioslave track here and there, most people cheered like crazy. Even more did so when the unexpected Temple of The Dog guitar lines began to ring.

Cornell's voice, probably the best in recent rock history, is deceptive. He mis-stepped on "Hunger Strike", going flat on the raucous chorus' high note. His folly was redeemed when we all realized that he just hadn't warmed up before the show - and all of a sudden the clouds parted, the waves crashed in, and Cornell called out to "Say Hello To Heaven". On pitch. On his game. He still has it, folks.

About midway through the show, the band (whose talents, while great, can't compare to Kim Thayil's guitar, or even Tom Morello's) left the stage. Cornell, bathed by a single spotlight, picked up an acoustic guitar and told us that "this is where the trouble usually starts". He played through a number of songs off his first solo record, "Euphoria Morning" - all the while reminding us that his first show as just "Chris Cornell" was here in Boston, and that he loved these small shows, because these were for the "real fuckin' fans". The crowd cheered.

As Cornell broke into another Audioslave number, the band filed back in and proceeded to rock. I think Cornell told us that one of the guitar players (the one on his right) was named "Ducky". Ducky channeled the aforementioned Kim Thayil as best he could on "Pretty Noose", and drew praise from us in the crowd.

As he closed out his second and final encore, Cornell roused us with "Slaves & Bulldozers", a track that enticed my companion and I to high-five and exclaim that this track was for the true fans - a statement that drew scowls from the Meat Loaf lookalike that had wedged his rotund self between us. He didn't know the words. As Cornell left the stage, fist pumped straight up at the sky, he cried out, "See you next time!".

"He played it all." The guy behind me exclaimed as we filed out at the end of the night. And right he was.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

The Sunday Music Special

Last week, I heard the song "Tamacun", by Rodrigo y Gabriela & have since downloaded every album and video of theirs that I could find on my favorite torrent indexes.

Embedded below is a video of them playing the song live. Enjoy.

Here's a link to their official site.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

The Saturday Video Special

Peyton Manning's "United Way" Parody Commercial (from his recent SNL appearance):


Wednesday, April 04, 2007

A Breath Of Fresh Air

Since I've been waxing a bit preachy for the last couple of days, I felt now would be an appropriate time to share my favorite banned (and consequently NSFW) television commercial.

Enjoy, and see you in the funny pages...

Monday, April 02, 2007

"I Haven't Seen Evil Dead 2, yet..."

Saying that you "get bored easily" is like code for "I grew up in the nineties."

Now I could certainly articulate the restlessness that characterizes us nineties kids more glamorously, but I feel like that would be a betrayal of sorts. I can't very well reveal the secrets quietly kept by my generation without sacrificing my place among the restless.

The best I can do is to tell you that it's not the lack of stimulation, it's the lack of stimulation's constant flow - Ludovico style - that seems to be the root cause of our collective anxieties.

Think about it like this: remember that first commercial that came on years ago about kids with ADD? It talked about how an afflicted child's brain was like a TV that kept changing channels. It had that nasty white noise and static violently tearing through infomercials, cartoons, sitcoms, films, and National Geographic specials alike. Well if ever a decade was akin to an ADD afflicted child's brain, the nineties was totally fucking it.

So why this sudden desire to enumerate that which sets apart the nineties and the decade that preceded it...besides hair and music, that is? I'm not entirely sure. It's just something that's been on my mind as of late because, well, lately I've been really bored. I'm bored with just about everything and just about everyone around me. I'm bored with being able to predict my whereabouts on a given weeknight, three weeks hence. I'm a little horrified at the fact that I spend most mornings blog crawling and watching the news. The news has been showing reruns for like three years, and I hate reruns.

Then at the same time, I absolutely love the fact that every morning I rise, make coffee, and hear about what's going on in the world that day. I love knowing that some crazy bitch drove across half the country with a duffel bag full of goodies on some crazy mission to kidnap the "other woman" (word up, NASA). I actually am quite keen on the idea that every Tuesday night, I go and visit my favorite watering hole, talk to my favorite bartenders, and drink a glass of my favorite scotch.

That's the other thing about us nineties kids. We're terrible hypocrites. We love and hate just about everything at the same time. Like, I HATE Justin Timberlake...but I'm kind of digging on him to. Not his soulless attempts at music, but rather stuff like his SNL appearance. I HATED 300 for the same reasons I thought Sin City wasn't all that grand, but I still went to see in IMAX...'cause it looked sooooo fucking cool in IMAX. I HATE Boston because the weather is so often best described as, well, shitty. But I love Boston because it's home and it's full of the people, places, and things that I'm most fond of spending my time with.

So maybe it's not so much a nineties kid thing as it is an east-coast thing? Nah. If I was from out west, or worse mid-west, and all things were still equal (education, cable service, high speed internet), I have a feeling that I'd feel much the same way about most things as I do now. But like Tom Wilkinson said in that movie, "what you feel only matters to you". (Tom, by the way, should get an Oscar just for getting out of bed in the morning.) So why burden others with your thoughts? Well, that's another thing about us nineties kids...we're likely to tell you exactly what we think is what at just about any point in time. So there it is.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Love It/Hate It

In the spirit of mass media stroking and skewering (get out of the gutter), here's a list of a few things on my mind right now:

Marvel Comics: Love it.
Way to go, y'all. Way to show DC that continuity isn't dead, it's just seldom utilized correctly.

Lost: Love it.
A lot of folks thought the writing team had been tapped for a while. Way to prove them wrong. The Man From Tallahassee rocked. Keep it going. Get rid of Nicky and Paulo.

300: _____
On a love/hate list, can one plead the fifth? I'm totally going to do that here.

The Peyton Manning/Carrie Underwood SNL: Love it.
Not only was Peyton funnier than Tom Brady (even though Brady's sexual harassment skit was priceless), but even Weekend Update sucked less this week. Way to go on this one, SNL. Carrie Underwood wasn't completely horrid, either.

Kristen Wiig: Hate it.
I know she's not an "it", but never have I ever seen anyone looking so bored while trying to be funny. If you're not having any fun, neither are we. Clean up your act, 'cause it sucks. Lorne - please don't have her on the show next year if this keeps up.

Airport Security: Hate it.
...for stealing $300 out of my backpack. Assholes.

Everything Is Illuminated: Love it.
Fantastic movie starring Frodo, and directed by the (new) Manchurian Candidate. Check it out.

My Acoustic Guitar: Hate it.
Needs a setup and some new strings. I'll love it again next week.

Battlestar Galactica: Hate it.
Screw you for having the worst episode of this series yet. The season finale had not ONE redeeming scene in it. Wow...four people hearing music and turning out to be 4 of the final 5 Cylons. Ooohhh. No one saw that coming a mile away. Starbuck's NOT dead? Really? She just went to Earth? Returning in 2008? What are you, The Sopranos now?

Tuesday, March 27, 2007


A few years back a pop-culture philosopher I'm quite fond of wrote that he's fond of writing at night, just before falling asleep. His reason for this was that, in those fleeting moments before you lapse out of consciousness - you understand.

You understand everything.

And I don't mean stupid shit like the fact that there's just too much Justin Timberlake out there (except for on SNL), or that you don't want to believe the new Maroon 5 is the new Maroon 5 - because you only expected that level of crap from fucking Fall Out Boy, or that The Shins really aren't all bad, it's just that Zach Braff ruined them for everyone. By the way, Scrubs sucks.

I mean big stuff. You understand the big stuff before you fall asleep. And by the morning you don't understand any of it anymore, because it's all different now. That's the point. Life's transitions are what make it interesting enough to keep bothering with. Right?

So tonight, I figured I'd give it a try. I'm cheating a bit, because after this is written I'm off to late night Discovery HD Theatre (in the hopes of more Planet Earth reruns). And then late late night Science Channel. And then probably some guitar before forcing myself to bed. Does it still count?

One more thing. I've started re-reading the aforementioned writer's low-culture manifesto, and just got past the part where he talks about how Coldplay is the shittiest band in the history of shitty bands, and I thought I'd throw it out there that he's totally fucking right. I liked them better when they were called U2. And if you disagree with that, go buy a copy of Wincing the Night Away and pretend like you have some fucking clue about why that's a decent record.

PS- Look Jenny, all text...

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Things Learned in Hawai'i

While on vacation (go ahead and chuckle) in Hawai'i, I've learned several valuable lessons. I'd like to share a few of these now:
  1. Any drink whose name contains the word "Tiki" tastes like a mix of Windex and Rubbing Alcohol - especially when under the drink's name on the menu it says "YOU KEEP THE TIKI!!!"

  2. Japanese teenagers have a morbid fascination with t-shirts riddled with English non sequitur. No, really, any words splashed across a shirt, as long as they're in English, will work. I swear I spied a girl wearing one that read "STEAK HERPES NISSAN." and had a picture of a brownie on it.

  3. There are people who walk their cock around on a leash. Not the kind of cock you're thinking of. The kind that would recite Shakespeare in a George Orwell novel. (For y'all less learned types, that means the kind that shriek at the ass-crack of dawn and wake you up while you're on vacation.)

  4. O'ahu is good, but Maui is great. If you have to pick just one, pick Maui. And if you're fortunate enough to be able to hop between the two, do it on Go! Airlines. They're the shit ($19 flights inter island).

  5. All tomfoolery aside - go to Hawai'i. Seriously. Waves that crash onto sandy beaches that run into glorious mountains. Plus they film Lost here. You're really missing out by not having been. Does Maui have a grad school I can go to?

See you in the funny pages...

(#3's about a rooster, you sicko)

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Big Britney Is Watching

I realize it may be in poor taste for me to post a post related in any way to Britney Spears, but let's indulge our rabid cultural taste for all things train-wreck-ish.

Now on sale: The Rehab Britney Shears doll.

The Britney Shears figurine comes in a straightjacket, baldhead and all. Manufacturers have shown some mercy on the singer, however, for they have at least considerably slimmed down the doll's figure.

The doll currently sells on eBay for USD 82.

Monday, March 05, 2007

Animal Crackers

Remote Control Pigeons

CHINESE scientists have succeeded in implanting electrodes in the brain of a pigeon to remotely control the bird's flight, state media said.

Reports said scientists at Shandong University of Science and Technology used the micro electrodes to command the bird to fly right or left, and up or down.

Love Bear

A KOALA bear from Edinburgh Zoo has been flown to Vienna to give some lessons in love to an Austrian counterpart.

Chumbee was even given economy class seat on a plane, it was reported today, after staff at Schoenbrunn Zoo became concerned at their resident male koala's inactivity.

It is hoped Chumbee will be able to spark something between the male and the female bears at the zoo.

When news of Chumbee's move first surfaced, staff described him as "a proven breeder".

Dogs On A Diet

THE first medicine to help overweight dogs in the UK lose weight has been launched in London.

Overeating and a lack of exercise have been blamed for dogs piling on the pounds, putting stress on their heart, lungs, liver and kidneys.

Belgium's Janssen Animal Health launched its prescription-only drug Yarvitan so owners can help their dogs lose weight without the need to put them on a diet.

Stories provided by the actions of stupid, silly people. Enumerated by

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Perfect Women

Hail To The Thieves

In the war that is Blu-Ray vs HD-DVD, Sony is set to trump its competition with the release of a less expensive Blu-Ray player, due out this Spring.

To date, Blu-Ray players (and I don't count the PS3 as one) have run upwards of $900. The new player, the BDP-S300, will cost about 40% less and provide functionality over and above that of its costly predecessor.

Those of you that know me, know that I am an avid DVD buyer, so to me this is great news - and I just had to share. Like Joanne Colan's voice relaying the day's top stories, it just feels right.

1080p for all!

Friday, February 23, 2007

Say Goodbye to The O.

Last night The O.C. bid farewell to us all. What follows goes out to the intangible that was.

Goodbye Sandy Cohen. I use that name because I scarcely ever noticed Peter Gallagher on screen. You were the coolest TV dad since Cosby. Really. Your morning surf outings followed by eyebrows-of-power pep talks will be sorely missed.

Goodbye Kelly Rowan. You made Kirsten the Claire to Sandy's Cliff. So much so that I'm willing to forget that whole Jeri Ryan thing.

Goodbye Ben McKenzie. You started to really go for the mini-Russel Crowe thing this year. That was cool. But dude, you didn't look like a teenager at all. And you didn't punch enough people.

Goodbye Adam Brody. There's a little Seth Cohen in most of us, and you made him resonate with that little bit all the way across the board.

Goodbye Rachel Bilson. You played Summer as the quintessential O.C. girl (something I somehow doubt was that big a stretch) - and we loved you for it. PS - The Last Kiss kicked ass.

Goodbye Autumn Reeser. You made it oh so simple to forget about Skeletor and her never ending whine-fest. Or drug use. Or eating disorder. Or whatever Barton felt like indulging in that week (yes I realize the writers are to blame, too - but past season one she really was just testing me).

Goodbye Willa Holland. Not nearly enough screen time.

Finally, goodbye Melinda Clarke. I love you. No other actress could have made that character as hot or as cool. Cheers.

See you in the funny pages...

Monday, February 19, 2007

Politics and the English Language

Rules to write by:

  1. Never use a metaphor, simile or other figure of speech which you are used to seeing in print.

  2. Never use a long word where a short one will do.

  3. If it is possible to cut a word out, always cut it out.

  4. Never use the passive where you can use the active.

  5. Never use a foreign phrase, a scientific word or a jargon word if you can think of an everyday English equivalent.

  6. Break any of these rules sooner than say anything outright barbarous.

For more on the steady decay of written English, please refer to the text linked to here.

PS - My favorite line of the text:

"Bad writers, and especially scientific, political and sociological writers, are nearly always haunted by the notion that Latin or Greek words are grander than Saxon ones..."

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Sunday Music Special

If Paul McCartney was the lead singer of Jet - the band would be called The Fratellis.

Hailing from Scotland, stealing the Ramones' last name gimmick, and playing with just enough distortion to make you certain you're listening to Brit-Rock (or would it be Scot-Rock?), these guys have composed a stellar album with "Costello Music". Download it now.

Other notes:

  • The band's name has nothing to do with the Goonies.

  • I'm sorry I missed the album release party in Picadilly Circus, because I bet it was bitchin'.

  • Their song "Flathead" is the tune in that new iPod commercial.

  • I'm really liking these Sunday morning music/tv/movie posts. I'll likely keep these up. Cool?

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Yoo Kant Bee Seerius

"The Simplified Spelling Society (SSS) started in 1908 with the aim of updating English spelling. The Society publishes leaflets, newsletters, journals, books and bulletins to promote spelling reform of the English language. We also feature in the media on TV, on Radio and in Print...

...Phonetics is seen as the key to improving literacy and spelling. Learning a phonetic system is easier and allows the children of today to be more productive than we could ever be, releasing them to learn other essential skills in a fast moving world. There would be no more difficult words."

Ok. I'm as sympathetic as the next guy when it comes to what the SSS describes as "chaotic" English spelling, but this is a bit much. I heard a news story this morning (one that despite my best efforts I couldn't locate a link to) that talked about schools down south (shocker) lobbying for adoption of new spelling of words like "good" (gud) and "people" (peeple). As Joss Whedon would say "Yahbuhwhat?"

Sure, the SSS makes semi-legit claims about the difficulties of English spelling for children with dyslexia and similar conditions, but what happened to Gram-Ti telling Theo that was no reason to make excuses and that he has a responsibility to work harder than others (see: The Cosby Show)?

Am I just an unsympathetic ass? Maybe. But the argument that if we teach children to spell incorrectly now, in the hopes that once they understand the words' meanings they'll be able to spell them properly, just doesn't work for me.

Sure. English is a frighteningly complicated language with more exceptions to rules than cases where the rules actually apply. But that doesn't mean we get to go "Awww...peeple now arr too bizy for reelee lurneeng werd spelling - so let's not try to teech it anymore." And what are these other essential skills that the SSS says we're releasing young minds to learn? Ever heard of a house of cards? Or how about a skyscraper made of toothpicks, filled with rocks, and built on a swamp?

And somewhere far, far away - Anthony Burgess has rolled over in his grave.

See yoo in thu funnee payjez...

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Remember, Remember

On this special Valentine's Day edition of The Rebel Yell, I'd like to share with you a shot I recently snapped in Cambridge. This collegiate effort to graffiti the side of the new American Apparel store on Brattle Street made me smile.

The narratives I'd concocted involved a devilishly clever store employee who wanted to reference obscure British History, or the store's manager that wanted to prove his "coolness factor" to the plebs and show that he too reads Alan Moore. I even had a whole treatise on how the original artist had missed that second letter B, and had gone back days later to correct the error only to find that another schmo with spray paint had done it for them. Sadly, these were all put to pasture when I parked across from the store during a Wednesday sabbatical to the comic book shop.

"Damn", I thought. "Somebody done gone and painted right over that piece of post-urban urban art.

That means it's gone.

See you in the funny pages...

Thursday, February 08, 2007


"A New York state Senator is proposing a law to make it illegal to walk, jog or bike across the street while using an iPod, a BlackBerry or any other electronic device.

State Senator Carl Kruger said: “If you’re so involved in your electronic device that you can’t see or hear a car coming, this is indicative of a larger problem that requires some sort of enforcement beyond the application of common sense."...

The proposed ban - on iPods, mobile phones, BlackBerries, video games or other electronic devices when crossing the street - will be introduced this week, Mr Koppel said..."

Also soon to be added to Senator Kruger's list of things you shouldn't use while crossing the street: your brain.

Friday, February 02, 2007

Tunes For The Weekend

I'd like to share with you the track list of a cd I recently burned and have been listening to on repeat for nigh on a fortnight. Cool?

1) "le disko" Shiny Toy Guns - This track is just oozes cool. Great beat. Lyrics like Cake.

2) "life by the drop" Stevie Ray Vaughn - Stevie on 12-string and nothing else around. Golden.

3) " xo" FallOut Boy - The best track off their best album.

4) " tomorrow comes a day too soon (acoustic)" Flogging Molly - My favorite song by these guys.

5) "d'yer mak'er" Led Zeppelin - For my money, I don't know a Zep tune I'd rather have to listen to over and over again. Maybe Kashmir, but that shitty sample of it in Godzilla kinda ruined it for me.

6) "love like winter" AFI - I thought I'd hate their most recent album, only because I like the first one so much. I stand corrected.

7) "we used to be friends" The Dandy Warhols - This track is just awesome. Plus is makes me think of Veronica Mars, and by default Kristen Bell. No complaints here.

8) "giving him something he can feel" En Vogue - Whatever. I'm allowed one, aren't I?

9) "papa's got a brand new bag pt 1" James Brown - It feels like I should be walking down the Columbus Ave with this playing in the background.

10) "snitches and talkers get stitches and walkers" FallOut Boy - Lots of "energy". Me likey.

11) "someday i suppose (life from the middle east) The Mighty Mighty Bosstones - Arguably their best record. Arguably their best song.

12) "de l'alouette" RJD2 - It's the song from the Adidas commercial that was on during the World Cup.

13) "follow you" Josh Kelley - Totally bland pop, but I really like this song.

Well there it is. Download 'em, enjoy 'em, let me know if you agree.

See you in the funny pages...

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Amputation, Dirty Pictures and The Butterfly Effect

Aroused iguana may face chop

"AN IGUANA stuck in a permanent state of arousal, six days after a mating session at a Belgian zoo, may have to have his penis amputated if the condition does not improve. But he will still be able to reproduce - iguanas have two penises."

In other news: new research published by the International Association of Research Association (go ahead, try and look them up) concludes that giving viagra to an iguana might be entertaining, but it's pretty silly when you think about it for a while.

Teacher barred for sex lesson

"A NEW York teacher has been barred from classes and faces the sack after asking 12 -year-old pupils to draw male genitalia on the blackboard during a health lesson. Theunnnamed teacher's fate will be decided on March 21."

What really happened is that one of the 12-year-old boys didn't draw to scale, and felt dwarfed by his classmates. Then the 12-year-old girls made 12-year-old giggles and the teacher endeavored to elaborate on the age old battle of "size matters" vs "it's how you use it".

Family fined over boy's scream

"A DOG barked, startling a four-year-old boy who screamed, scaring a flock of chickens, resulting in the deaths of 443 birds in a stampede, a court in China ruled yesterday.

The boy's father was ordered to pay £120 in compensation to the owner of the chickens."

To recap: dog barks, boy screams, chickens die, dad pays. Just can't catch a break, dad - can you?

Thanks to for these tasty morsels.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

"A Season of Faith's Perfection"

What follows is a Sunday morning reflection upon those items filling my DVR with goodness, gracious goodness:

Prison Break: Please don't linger too long. You already broke, so why are you still breaking?

24: Jack is back. Too bad it took a nuclear explosion in LA to get his attention. BTW, Dude - you look really good for having been in a Chinese prison since season 5. PS - your brother is a dick.

Heroes: I'll admit it - I've jumped on this bandwagon. Indestructible cheerleaders, flying politicians, and an aptly named Japanese guy with a katana? Count me in.

Desperate Housewives: What? Like YOU don't watch it...

Grey's Anatomy: Enough with the break up and make up. Can we just get back to Alan Heinberg playing Mamet for twenty-somethings?

Lost: Like watching Dane Cook do drama. Give us a freaking punchline already! See "Prison Break".

Battlestar Gallactica: Everyone just shut up and take notice. This is the most wisely scripted series on TV right now. If you disagree, you're wrong. If you don't think that James Callis is playing sci-fi Hamlet - still wrong - but I'm willing to debate.

The O.C.: So after airing the most light-hearted, and dare i say "funny" episodes since season 1 - the show gets cancelled? Hey Fox, get your heads out of your asses - if you add another episode of "Dancing With The Animals That Attack American Idol, with your host Rupert Murdoch" into your Thursday night lineup, I swear I'll never watch your network again. You do remember that Family Guy debacle, yes?

Smallville: Ok. I'm biased here. Jeph Loeb left, and the cheese factor went into overdrive - but that doesn't mean I don't love it. Just don't try "Smallville: The College Years" again. Also, See "Prison Break".

Rome: Why? Why are you ending after this season? We just got to know each other, and ya - I miss Ciaran Hinds as the most brooding Caesar ever, too - but please, please stay a while longer? 'Cause baby, it's cold outside...

The Shield: Come back. Now.

The Sopranos: Come back. Then end. Please.

The Superbowl: Bears defense VS Peyton Manning. I'm from New England, and even I'm excited about this. Yes, I realize this one isn't hogging up hard drive space - but it had to be thrown out there...

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Self Cleaning Underoos

"Scientists working for the US Air Force have already produced T-shirts and underwear that can be worn for weeks at a time without washing, and the technology has now been licensed to a London company, Alexium, to develop for civilian applications...

While it will not quite make the washing machine redundant, treated clothing needs to be washed far less often and is easier to clean when finally laundered...

The technology uses microwaves to fix microscopic nanoparticles permanently to the fibres of clothing. These nanoparticles can then have a range of chemical properties attached to them to produce a surface impenetrable to water and able to kill bacteria.

Over time, the effectiveness of the coating falls as the active chemicals are knocked off, but the scientists claim it can be restored by soaking the material in a fresh solution of the same chemicals"

All I can say to that

full article here

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Dear Jerk Off,

Over this past weekend, I had the fortune to make the acquaintance of "Tom". "Tom" is from around here, methinks, but apparently can't stand to admit it. He regaled me with stories of how there's another city a few hours south of Boston that is just sooooo much cooler, because you can still order a glass of single malt at 3:45.

"So what's the big deal?", I asked. My question was met with a resounding "...well, I dunno. It's, like, the atmosphere. It's just, like, nice to know that you can still get a drink after two...not like this Boston shit." (for those readers unfamiliar with the situation, most bars in Boston are only open until 2 am).

What is is that goes on between the hours of 2 and 4 that is so extraordinary? Is it some late night/early morning renaissance, that only the dwellers of that city-to-the-south are fortunate enough to experience? Do the bartenders suddenly stop pouring water, and will my cup runneth over with that sweet sweet nectar of (night)life? Do Dick and Harry suddenly start buying all your drinks? Most importantly, do the people rubbing up against you in the strobe light infested waters of whatever saloon you're in pull a bizarro Cinderella and get inexplicably more fabulous after we Bostonians hear the bell for last call?

As Mike Dean would say, I doubt it.

And oh ya - Fuck you, "Tom".