Friday, December 12, 2008

Friday Music Special, December 12

"Everybody" - Rudenko
Easily the best dance track I've heard in months, from one of the slickest spinsters currently spinning.

"Sex On Fire" - Alesha Dixon
Indeed, a cover of the Kings of Leon tune from a few weeks back. This is thrice as good as her own stuff.

"The Party" - Justice
While it reminds one of Shiny Toy Guns, it also makes me tap my footsies - which is a good good thang.

"Gifted" - Kanye West (Feat. N.A.S.A., Santogold & Lykke Li)
While I'm not the biggest hip-hop fan, I know what I like. And for my money - Kanye West has been steadily bringing it for a while now. I just wish I could get him to shut the fuck up when he's OFF the mic.

"Please Come Back Home" - Glasvegas
Here's a classic example of a band whose record I could not listen to from start to finish - but love to hear one track at a time. Fantastico.

Not So Wayback, Still A Flashback:
"Rock With You" - Michael Jackson
If you don't get up and start moving to this track - you are a Stan Winston extra from Thriller. For real.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

The Dark Heart of The Milky Way

"At the center of our Milky Way Galaxy lies a supermassive black hole. Once a controversial claim, this conclusion is now solidly based on 16 years of observations that map the orbits of 28 stars very near the galactic center." (link)

"In the case of the central black hole in the Milky Way galaxy, astronomers have followed the motion of several stars in the centre of the galactic core for years. The [above] animation is based on observations made by researchers from the Max-Planck-Institute for extraterrestrial physics in the course of six years, using the New Technology Telescope of the European Southern Observatory." (link)

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Quality of Life Index, December 10

Crazy New England weather that can't figure out if it's supposed to be frigid or just moderately unbearable. (-3)

Saturday Night Live's continuous ante-upping, due in no small part to Andy Samberg and Kristen Wiig. (+2)

SNL's steady under-utilization of Bill Hader's flawless impression of post-"Scarface" Al Pacino. What gives? (-2)

Fall semester is over. No classes until January 26. (even)

Zane Lowe's latest "Masterpieces" series. (+4)

First the parking garage at work was closed. Then it was open. Then the power went out. Then the staircase started crumbling, so THAT is closed. You'd think MIT would have a better plan than burning the bridge when they inevitably come to it. (-4)

The unnerving fact that this week's commute hasn't been that bad. (+4)

Having written the previous statement has undoubtedly doomed me to a winter of deathly highway delays and red lights galore. (even)

This Week's Total: (+1)
Last Week's Total: (+4)

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Which One Is Crazier?


...or the fact that I spied someone rollerskating (note: not 'blading') INTO the wind along The Esplanade this morning, wearing just a t-shirt and tights?

You decide.

Friday, December 05, 2008

80's Toon Tune Week, Part 5

Down to the wire, now. What's to be done?

He knows:

And so does She:

This has been fun - back to business next week.

See you in the funny papers...

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

80's Toon Tune Week, Part 3

The unavoidable:

From "Yo, Joe!" to "Thunder - Thunder - Thunder - Thundercats.!" Yeah.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

80's Toon Tune Week, Part 2

Continuing the week's festivities are the following. Yo Joe:

The Original:

The Bonus (Movie Edition):

Monday, December 01, 2008

80's Toon Tune Week, Part 1

Every day this week, I'll be posting a different 80's cartoon theme song. Kicking off the festivities, a classic:

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Thank You. Thank You. Thank You.

Verily - a reason to give most sincere thanks:

My hairs they are a-tingling.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Quality of Life Index, November 26

Pleated pants. (-3)

Three day work weeks. (+2)

Turkey-Day looming. (even)

Lack of traffic during holiday week. (+3)

Kevin Smith can't make a good movie that doesn't star Jay & Silent Bob. (n/a)

Listening to podcasts while 'working'. (+1)

Still loving the unibody MacBook Pro. (+1)

Happy Thanksgiving to y'all. (even)

This Week's Total: (+4)
Last Week's Total: (+3)

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Giving Early Thanks (A 'The Rock' Tribute)

I give thanks for the following:

The best Peoples' Elbow ever:

The first ever Rock Bottom:

The best of The Peoples' Champ:

Monday, November 24, 2008

I Smell A McScam

"McDonald's is known for its cheap meat -- but after a bad trip to the burger joint, one guy's wife allegedly became cheap meat.

McD's just got served by a guy who allegedly left his cell phone -- which contained nude photos of his wife -- at the Arkansas restaurant, only to find the nude pics posted online.

Phillip Sherman was assured by employees they'd keep the phone safe, yet the photos -- along with Sherman's phone number and address -- somehow found their way onto the Internet.

The couple claims they had to move to a new house to get away from his wife's new stalkers. Sherman wants 3 mil for their troubles." (link)

So this begs the query - did he leave the phone there on purpose, in order to sue McD's? Remember a few years back when people started pouring hot coffee on their laps, in an effort to capitalize on feigned stupidity?

Mmm. Personal bailout plans. I'm lovin' it.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Friday Music Special, November 21

"Guns Don't Kill People, Rappers Do" - Goldie Lookin' Chain
The illest, slickest, most rickity-rickity-rollin' track EVER. Ok, not really. Still - good stuff, here.

"Do It Like A Truck" - Geo DaSilva
Like a truck. Yes. He does it just like a truck. Right up through the crash and burn part.

"Same Jeans" - The View
An anti-laundry anthem for the ages. Well played, Sirs.

"I'm Outta Time" - Oasis
Which one is dressed up like the Amish guy, Liam or Noel? Wait. Hold on. They're the same person? Like Charlize Theron and Ashley Judd, right?

"Sometime Around Midnight" - The Airborne Toxic Event
Absotively my favorite track on this week's list.

"Chacaron" - Andy's Val Gourmet
Oldie. Goodie Classic.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

YouTube Nostalgia

This used to bring me much joy:

Yep. It still does.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Quality of Life Index, November 19

"Quantum of Solace" (+1)

The Maldives. Not 'sinking', but kinda 'sunk'. (-5)

Maldivian plans to buy a new homeland. (+3)

List of other island nations that could disappear within the next 100 years: Tuvalu, Kiribati, the Marshall Islands, and Fiji. Better go visit soon. (-2)

Final Crisis, one issue at a time. (-3)

Final Crisis, in the inevitable 'collected edition'. (even)

Secret Invasion, either way. (+4)

New uni-body MacBook Pro. (+5)

This Week's Total: (+3)
Last Week's Total: (+8)

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Prank Call, Dutch Florist Style

The set up: Scott Mills (Radio1 daytime DJ) calls a Dutch Florist and asks her to write a very special message on the accompanying card. The result: the second funniest prank call in history:

Monday, November 17, 2008

Bond. Sorta, Bond.

This past weekend, the latest James Bond film drew the largest opening in Bond Box Office history, taking in over $70 million in ticket sales. (link)

This is good, right? This means people are still going to the movies, and still willing to give generously to the cause of 'cinema'. Here's the thing: "Quantum of Solace" is as much a Bond Movie as it is a Kevin Smith one.

Throughout all twenty-something films, James Bond has morphed to fit the audience. Connery exuded cool, Moore was sophisticated, Dalton was dark and mysterious, and Brosnan was probably the most refined (Lazenby was...umm...give me a minute...). Despite the cast changes, the creative directions, and the stamps put upon the character by each actor to don the role - the heart of Bond remained. And now we come to Craig. Daniel Craig, again, is a Bond that reflects his time.

After three ultra-successful Jason Bourne outings, Ian Fleming's 007 had to keep up with a new stylized, serialized, and young secret agent - complete with fight choreography befitting the best non-wire-fu martial arts romp. And keep up he did. In Casino Royale, Craig proved he had the chops to scrap, romance, and still look polished afterward. Quantum of Solace seems to forget that it's important to mix all three. A damaged and flawed Bond is all well and good, as long as it's still Bond. Clearly, Bond has been shaken, but I am not stirred.

As a setup for a third installment, Quantum serves its purpose - and in truth does it with some veritable high points - but let's hope that Craig's next outing as 007 gives us a bit less "Bourne Again Bond", and a bit more of the slick cool with which we are used to seeing 007 get his spy on.

Also - the gunshot scene goes at the beginning, jerks.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Friday Music Special, November 14

"Hounds of Love" - Futureheads
Like catchy Top-40 cal - if catchy Top-40 cal was having a seizure, and then running naked through the Common. Good stuff.

"BreakEven" - The Script
Listening to this track feels easy. Not Sunday Morning easy - not that there's anything wrong with a little Commodores/Lionel Richie-style easy - but this is more like Thursday afternoon easy. Also, none of what I've just typed makes any sense. Give a listen.

"Cash In My Pocket" - Wiley (feat. Daniel Merriweather)
Total ear candy. If you can get through this track without the urge to groove, you're a more controlled human than I. Or you're a robot.

"Thinking About You" - Radiohead
There are days when I want to listen to nothing BUT Radiohead. This is not one of those days, but it's one of those four minutes and thirty four seconds blocks. Enjoy.

"Lost" - Coldplay
I hate that I like this song. I hate that I like this song. I hate that I like this song.

Clean & Well-Lighted:
"Let Go" - Frou Frou
Probably the second best song on the Garden State soundtrack. Probably the only Frou Frou song I'll ever listen to.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

The Stupidest Exercise Machine Ever

Droogs & Devotchkas, I give you the stupidest exercise machine ever: The Mobile Treadmill...a treadmill designed specially to move/walk down the street while you're treading.

Hold on. It gets better. The company that makes this massive piece of shit is looking for investors. Please. Give generously. Please.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Quality of Life Index, November 12

Four day weekends. (+4)

The end of four day weekends. (-2)

New James Bond movie coming out this week. (+3)

Fear that new James Bond movie will try way too hard to be like old Jason Bourne movie. (even)

Front stairs in parking garage at work closed, back stairs too far to walk to. People walk down car ramp. People will get run over. (even)

The Big Bang Theory. (+5)

Phoenix Lander has, ironically, 'died'. Unlike other two rovers, this one will not miraculously keep working. (-2)

This Week's Total: (+8)
Last Week's Total: (+9)

Monday, November 10, 2008

Batman sues Christopher Nolan over success of The Dark Knight

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"...the "Batman" in question is actually a little-known a city in Turkey. And they're pissed.

"You may never have heard of Batman, the city. It's in southeast Turkey, and the home to the country's oldest oil refinery (built in 1955). Despite that, though, they're not having the greatest of times - Crime is up, as are suicides amongst women. Also, like everywhere else in the world, they're suffering from economic problems... which is where Christopher Nolan comes in:

"The royalty of the name ‘Batman’ belongs to us … There is only one Batman in the world. The American producers used the name of our city without informing us,” [Mayor of Batman city, Hüseyin] Kalkan told the Doğan news agency... Mayor Kalkan, speaking to the Hürriyet Daily News and the Economic Review, said last year foreign media picked up on Batman and the city’s increasing suicide rates among women. He said a columnist asked why Batman’s mayor did not sue the movie Batman for royalties while struggling with economic problems. “We found this criticism right and started to look for legal possibilities of a case like that,” he said."

The term "bwa-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha" comes to mind.

Friday, November 07, 2008

Friday Music Special, November 7

"Impatience" (acoustic version) - We Are Scientists
Besides being a great tune (it's got the whole 'should be on a soundtrack' thing down pretty pitch perfect), the video linked to features Edith, who is back.

"Dirty Blue Jeans" - Jeremy Warmsley
It's like a song sung in morse code. And a video to match.

"Say Aha" - Santogold
I can't help but think that if Shirley Bassey had been born in the eighties, this is the kind of music she'd be making right now. Though inevitably, this song will end up trying to sell me a Volkswagon/get me to shop at Target. Either way, kudos.

"Greatest Day" - Take That
Haven't heard much of these guys for a bit, but they seem to be back on the musical wagon. Good stuff. Even if it sounds like a CW commercial. Could also do well as one of those kick-ass HBO montages of old. Good stuff.

"Into My Arms" - Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds
Sometimes a video tries to be far to 'artsy'. Sometimes it's not got enough of the 'artsy'. And sometimes the level of 'artsy' is just right. The category to which this song's video shall fall is for better heads than mine to determine. I just like the tune. Though I would love to hear a Blind Boys of Alabama cover of it, too.

"P.A.T.T." - Sharam
Best in context.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

I Wonder If Palin Knows This Is A Planet...

"This dramatic image of Jupiter is touted as the sharpest picture of the entire gas giant ever taken from the ground.The picture was made using a prototype instrument known as MAD (Multi-conjugate Adaptive optics Demonstrator) mounted on one of the European Southern Observatory's 8-meter diameter Very Large Telescope units in Chile. Working at infrared wavelengths the MAD instrument removes atmospheric blurring, the bane of earthbound telescopes, by using multiple guide stars and deformable mirrors to sense and correct for the distortions produced by turbulence in Earth's atmosphere." (link)

As James Earl once said: "Impressive. Mmmost impressive."

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Thoughts On: Smoking

On this most venerable day of public service, when members of society do their civic duty, I thought it reasonable to reflect upon duties done by citizens past - in the interest of their brethren.

Submitted for the approval of The Midnight Society:

Friday, October 31, 2008

Friday Music Special, Halloween Edition

"Last Caress" - The Misfits
This song has nothing to do with Halloween. But I really like it.

"The Monster Mash" - Bobby 'Boris' Pickett
The original and best. Often imitated, never recreated.

"I Want Candy" - Mel C
A cover, true. But a moderately unironic cover, by a bloody Spice Girl.

"Halloween Theme Song" - John Carpenter
Did he actually write or record it? Who cares?

"Mack The Knife" - Bobby Darin
It's got a knife in it. And a mafia guy who probably stabs people, throws them in the river, steals their money, and takes their women. All with style slicker than butter dripping off a hot biscuit. That's Halloween if you ask me. That's Halloween.

Holy Obvious Batman!
"Thriller" - Michael Jackson
Michael. When you were good, you were the best.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Quality of Life Index, October 29

One. More. Week. (+1)

If you don't vote, you don't have any right to complain. (even)

2001: A Space Odyssey on Blu-Ray. Still the best, most confusing, mind-blasting, and non-kitsch sci-fi flick of all time. (+3)

4 hyphenated terms in previous statement. (-1)

Jon Hamm on SNL. See post from earlier this week, and below for video goodies. (+3)

Coldplay on SNL. (-2)

Adele on SNL. (+5)

This Week's Total: (+9)
Last Week's Total: (-10)

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Too Close For Comfort

Here's to you, Mr. "I like to stand three inches away from the person in front of me in line at the coffee shop, and inch closer in direct correlation to the distance that that person tries inching away."

Congratulations on making my day just a little bit creepier. Ass-hat.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Gems from SNL? Really?

Ok. So in a year where SNL should have an easy time making politics enjoyable for all - they've been unable to keep up the funny past the now-overdone Tina Fey as Sarah Palin intros.

That changed a few nights ago, when Jon Hamm hosted the show. 2 of the gems from the night, follow. Granted, both skits parody Hamm's role on Mad Men. But, A)they do it well & 2)I couldn't find a video of the "Jon Hamm's John Ham" skit, which was golden.

Now, if Chris Martin could have stopped bouncing around like he had to take a burning hot piss, we'd have had a grand episode on our hands.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Friday Music Special, October 24

"He Doesn't Know Why" - Fleet Foxes
This song sounds like a sampled Christmas carol, but like one you can sing all year round and not feel like a tool for tapping your foot to.

"My Mistakes Were Made For You" - The Last Shadow Puppets
A few months back, I spoke highly of The Rascal's slick-as-shit intro to "Freakbeat Phantom". In the same way, I dig this track.

"Gasoline" - The Airborne Toxic Event
Really? A track this good from the Fifa '09 soundtrack? Well. Ok, then.

"The Blue Route" - The Walkmen
If you like The Walkmen, then you will like this song. Beyond that, there's not discernible reason to even listen to it. Unless you want to get to like The Walkmen. Then I suppose there would be at least one discernible reason to listen to it. But just the one.

"Tear You Down" - Brookes Brothers
Just a simple and effective dance beat.

"Like Suicide" (acoustic) - Soundgarden
Besides having one of the best band names ever (even if it's a ripoff). Besides being fronted by the single most relevant voice in rock since Elvis. Since Axl. Besides being on the soundtrack to the only Bridget Fonda movie I've seen that isn't "Kiss of The Dragon". Besides all that, this track kick more ass than most anything else.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Quality of Life Index, October 22

Sox out. (-3)

Pats dominate in Denver. (+2)

It's Denver. (even)

Is this election thing still going on? (-2)

Indiana Jones & The Kingdom of The Crystal Skull. Even on Blu-Ray, this movie sucked. Hard. George Lucas has successfully shit on every good thing he's ever done. And by 'every', I mean 'both'. Spielberg, you should be ashamed of yourself. (-4)

The Incredible Hulk on Blu-Ray. See, Iron Man it ain't. Dark Knight it will never be. But a happy solution to the problem of 'what to watch in between the two', it be. (+2)

Fall is not supposed to be over yet. (-2)

Radio 1's week-long fascination with Eminem. (-3)

"A 19-year-old hacker who posted some racy photos of Disney starlet Miley Cyrus on the Internet said he was raided by the FBI this week after boasting that he would never be caught." This has no effect on the quality of my life in any way. Still, I am fascinated. This may be indicative of a much broader problem. (even)

This Week's Total: (-10)
Last Week's Total: (+6)

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Campaign 08, How Do I Love Thee...

Or rather, would have loved thee much much more, had it all been like this:

Yes. This happened last week. It was a busy weekend, ok?

Monday, October 20, 2008

Been Here, Done This

Whatever. You know what, Tampa - good luck selling out any games besides opening day next year.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Friday Music Special, October 17

"Wire To Wire" - Razorlight
Like the best Moby beat, but with someone that can actually sing laying down vocals. Said singer is ripe for parody a la Andy Samberg. Just saying.

"The Bakery" - Arctic Monkeys
This band continues to impress me. I'm uncertain about how I feel about a band that so far has done me no wrong. I feel like I felt post Rage Against The Machine's eponymous debut, but pre-Evil Empire. Right?

"Way Down In The Hole" - The Blind Boys of Alabama
One of those rare cases where the cover actually surpasses the original. Sorry, Tom Waits - the Blind Boys beat you fair and square on this one.

"Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It)" - Beyonce
Beyonce is back with a fresh new beat! A new hit from superstar Beyonce Knowles! Ahhh, who am I kidding, here...just watch it on mute. For the jingle jangle.

"(Get Off Your) High Horse Lady" - Oasis
If ever a tune has cried out in more earnest for Quentin Tarantino to use it, I am unaware.

Umm. Jingle jangle?
"Walking Man" - Seasick Steve
Best combination of facial hair and a good ol' beat since T.Bone's soundtrack for "Oh Brother Where Art Thou?"

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Seriously. Enough, already.

Lookie lookie. One guy who can't close the deal, and another who refuses to take the kill shots laid out for him.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Quality of Life Index, October 15

Tim Wakefield, last night. (-5)

Tim Wakefield, in general (+3)

3 more weeks of nonsensical political interest, on the part of ass-hats that would rather be watching "Dancing With The Stars" (-2)

No. Really. I can't wait for this whole election thing to be over. (even)

The new Macbook Pro does not support Blu-Ray. For shame, Apple. I'll wait on the upgrade until such time as I can watch 1080p video on my laptop, even though I've only once in the past seven years actually watched a DVD on my laptop. It's like the midwest. I don't really care all that much - I just like knowing that it's there as insulation from LA. (-3)

The Dark Knight being re-released in January. Warner Brothers is shamelessly trying to beat out Titanic as the highest grossing flick of all time. (+3)

Christopher Nolan's one-finger salute to James Cameron. (+3)

Terence Howard out of Iron Man 2. (+2)

Don Cheadle, in to replace him. (+5)

This Week's Total: (+6)
Last Week's Total: (+15)

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

An Office "Ha-Ha" Moment

Ok. My office has a large glass wall. In the middle of the glass wall is a glass door. To enter the office, push down on the door's handle, and then PUSH. This being case, when someone walks up and PULLS the door (this happens at least once a week), I have to duck under my desk and laugh.

The most recent offender did not stop at just PULL, though. She pulled, and pulled, and pulled. Three people inside the office repeatedly said things like "It's a push.", and "Push." and "Push it.". This prompted me to lose virtually all composure AND come dangerously close to breaking into a little Salt N' Pepa. And yes - you CAN hear through the big glass wall. After about thirty seconds, she actually started to walk away. One of us had to go and open the door for her, and explain the whole concept of PUSH/PULL.

Ah - the joys of an office life.

The video bonus you totally saw coming:

Monday, October 13, 2008

Thursday, October 09, 2008

The 2008 American Mustache of The Year

"Disclaimer: AMI supports healthy, performance enhancing-free mustaches that contain no pesticides. Mustaches should be worn at the individual’s own risk, and AMI is not responsible for mustaches that make men look like child molesters or Dave Navarro."

Yes. Yes. And yes. (link)

Thanks to Sauceboy for the tip.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Quality of Life Index, October 8

The sandwiches that the place I stop in for coffee every morning calls Sunrises. Like an Egg McMuffin, but better. Way, way, better. (+5)

Sox in the ALCS again. (+3)

Sox overcoming the Angels to get to the ALCS. (+3)

If the Sox had overcome some other team. (even)

Some weights lifted, others picked up. (+2)

Still. No. Edith. Bowman. (-3)

Fall TV. God help me. (+5)

This Week's Total: (+15)
Last Week's Total: (-10)

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Earth From Above

Along the blog crawl this morning, I came upon an announcement that Photographer Yann Arthus-Bertrand will be coming to the States.

Here's a link to the announcement - complete with some stunning photos.

Sample here:

Plenty more there.

Monday, October 06, 2008

The Wisdom of BK

Further evidence supporting my theory on the decline of civilization.
(Thanks to Nateman for the tip.)

Friday, October 03, 2008

Friday Music Special, October 3

"Lyla" - Oasis
At their absolute best, they're pretty slick.

"Sometime Around Midnight" - The Airborne Toxic Event
Needs to be on a soundtrack. Probably on one for a movie starring John Cusack.

"Foals" - Olympic Airways
This is probably playing in every single American Apparel store, right now.

"Let The Spirit" - Roots Manuva
Do like the man says.

"He Doesn't Know Why" - Fleet Foxes
If the John Cusack movie I mentioned earlier starred Toby Maguire instead - you could replace that track with this one.

"Dreams To Remember" - Otis Redding
If you thought this song had anything to do with John Mayer, you can go to hell. Not to knock the Mayer, but know your Otis, yo.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Is There No-One Else?

Hi. My name is Ed, and I'm a comic book geek. (This is where you say, "Hi Ed."). Something's been bothering me lately. Every bookstore I go into has started carrying 'graphic novels'. This is quite cool. This is quite extraordinary. On the 'In Store Favorites' rack, or the 'Of Note' table, there is almost always a copy of one specific graphic novel: "Watchmen".

Let me be clear. I adore Watchmen. I re-read it once a year, and always there is something new gleaned. This superhero deconstruction book (which is an odd thing to say, since there's really only one 'super' person in the story, and he's definitely no hero) is hailed by just about everyone as the genre's greatest work. It's masterful, no doubt. And this is where my issue starts.

Sure, it's cool that comics have made serious inroads to the mainstream over the past few years. Sure, there's a Watchmen movie coming soon that is probably responsible for Time/Warner's push of the collected edition in bookstores. But why is Watchmen the only book you ever see? The other graphic novels are relegated to the back corner of most stores, and you either have to search for them, or just trust that they're tucked safely out of sight - probably somewhere behind Child Fiction or books on how to cook for your pets. They are the bookstore's dirty little secret.

Praising Watchmen is all well and good (it is certainly deserving of its accolades), but it does a disservice to the other masterful works of the genre when that praise results in the "All Watchmen, All The Time" merchandising strategy found in most direct market bookstores.

As comics presence and prevalence in mainstream pop culture continues to grow - it's imperative that the best face be shown. One way to make sure this happens is by demanding that collected editions other than Watchmen make it on to the "Noteworthy" shelf at Barnes & Noble.

Like that merry band of mutants in tights, comics are going out into a world that hates and fears them - and they've got to protect their own.

Ok - maybe the world does'nt hate comics, but they are still the dirty little secret, read in solitude, discussed mostly through the veil of cyber-secrecy, and praised often by solely their own community - that is, until the movie gets made...

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Quality of Life Index, October 1

All things being equal. (-10)

Wanting to start fresh from zero, next week. (even)

This Week's Total: (-10)
Last Week's Total: (+10)

Monday, September 29, 2008

JT Meets Jazz

Probably well behind the curve with this, but this is by far the slickest track of the last Radio1 Live Lounge disk:

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Proof Positive

While you were sleeping, civilized society ceased to exist. This is evidenced by the following (pay close attention to #1):

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Quality of Life Index, September 24

Getting to be on hand to watch the Sox clinch the playoffs. (+5)

Discovering The Wire. (+3)

Discovering The Wire is over. (-2)

Discovering used DVD sets of The Wire, that cost very little money. (+3)

C-O-F-F-E-E (+5)

Roughly six weeks left until we pick a new president. (even)

The fact that more people watched the season premier of House, than will tune in for the first presidential debate. (-4)

This Week's Total: (+10)
Last Week's Total: (-4)

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

A Video Quickie

Possibly the funniest scene from Tropic Thunder. Also possibly Tobey Maguire's best work since Spidey 1 - or maybe even The Cider House Rules.

Monday, September 22, 2008

So Late In Getting To It...

Someone turned me on to The Wire, recently. Holy shit. Have I really been missing out on something this good, for so long? Well, no longer. I plowed through Season 1 over this past weekend, and will follow suit with the rest in the coming weeks. Until then - if you're one of the folks that's been watching this all along - no spoilers, please. If not, go buy Season 1 and catch up.

Like an anti-Law & Order, this show hooked me after the first five minutes (thanks in no small part to the theme song). I'll confess to having difficulty taking Dominic West absolutely seriously, especially after Rock Star, but he cleans up in this show.


Friday, September 19, 2008

Friday Music Special, September 19

"Re-Education" - Rise Against
Like Goldfinger, when Goldfinger was still Goldfinger. It doesn't suck, that's all you need to know.

"Love Shy" - Platinum
Makes me want to listen to old Artful Dodger records. That's not a bad thing.

"My Boulder" - The King Blues
Easily my favorite track of the week. So effortlessly catchy that I could probably listen to this once an hour, for the next eight hours - that means it's 'radio friendly', yah? Oh, and the video has muppets, not "The", but some.

"Dexter Theme" - Rolfe Kent
It's grotesque, but not in the way you think that I mean.

"Batcat" - Mogwai
Wow. Lord of The Rings, meets Little Red Riding Hood, meets the costume that Dana Delaney wore in Tombstone when playing the Devil. Mixed with joker gas.

"Johnny B. Goode" - Marty McFly w/The Starlighters
The best version of this song, ever.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

What's On My Nightstand & A Video

Of late - I've found myself rather taken with the following works of 'literature', and thought I'd share.

"American Shaolin", by Matthew Polly
Wherein a young midwesterner ventures to China in search of skills of self, and self-defense. What's most appealing about this book is the vivid portrait painted of a Chinese life, and of the Chinese impression of an American one.

"Downtown Owl", by Chuck Klosterman
Haven't finished it yet - but my gut tells me that Chuck's characters sound an awful lot like Chuck. Not that there's anything wrong with that.

"One Bullet Away", by Nathaniel Fick
This is one of the only military-themed books I've ever picked up. It does not disappoint, and Fick makes even laymen understand what it's like on today's front lines.


And now, as promised, video goodness (thanks to Yanni for the tip):

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Quality of Life Index, September 17

Fall in New England. (+5)

Matt Cassel. (even)

Semi-self-productivity. (+1)

Downtown Owl, Chuck Klosterman's first novel. (+3)

My mattress may be trying to kill me, by stabbing me in the back. Repeatedly. (-3)

Commuting. (-10)

This Week's Total: (-4)
Last Week's Total: (+5)

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

The Dangerous Lives of Squirrels

The thesis of natural selection is that those fit to survive, do. On this, even most candidates from both the Republican and Democratic tickets agree. But how does this apply to squirrels?

Each day, we see them run over by speeding motorists (often inadvertently). The reason most squirrels get hit by cars is because they are unable to hear that car coming until it's roughly three feet away. Ergo, one could posit that squirrels with better hearing are more apt to survive when crossing the street. If we can agree on that - then by default, as the squirrels with poor hearing are killed off, we should see fewer of the little rodents getting plastered on the motorway.

This is clearly not the case.

Now sure, there's the argument that "humans driving cars" is not a fair component of "natural" selection - though it's also not going to cease being a factor in the lives of squirrels. So my question is this - can the Darwinian theory of natural selection be applied to these circumstances? And if so, get with the program, squirrels. If we cannot apply the theory of natural selection in this scenario, I am left wondering if it really is fact that those fit to survive, do.

I also drive an SUV.

Monday, September 15, 2008

A Moment That Made My Weekend

Here's the thing: you saw this coming. You saw it coming from miles and miles away. You waited patiently for it. And it (shockingly) did not disappoint.

Best. Season. Opener. Ever.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Friday Music Special, September 12

"Dream On" - Christian Falk feat. Robyn
Robyn's in true form, here. Falk's beat is slick enough that you can listen to this in the background of just about any activity. All hail euro-____.

"I Don't Care" - Fall Out Boy
They're almost back to being not total shit. Almost.

"American Dream" - Jakatta
Quite possibly the best use of a soundtrack sample ever. Video is right the fuck on.

"The Racing Rats" - Editors
I have no idea why I like Editors - but I do. There is nothing new going on. There is no sonic revolution the likes of which have ne'er been heard before. But there is music. In my head - catchy as shit - music.

"Away From Here" - The Enemy
I've got a low down dirty feeling that I may have already posted this - but here it is. Probably my favorite track here this week. Give a listen (or another...)

The House Party Dance Off
Snap. You definitely did not see this coming. Thanks to Batch for the reminder.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Go Forward

Aside from my continued vaunting of all things pop, I rarely wax patriotic. On day like today - what many have called my generation's "Kennedy Assassination" (as in, where were you when?) - I'll leave it to John Ney Reiber to sum things up:

"May we never forget the truth that was so clear to us that day:

That we are one.

And may our hearts and hands continue to work together to create an enduring memorial to the victims and the heroes of that day:

A world where hate can find no room to grow."

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Quality of Life Index, September 10

The first cup of coffee on a perfect September morning. (+3)

The odds that it will now begin pouring rain, simply because I typed the previous statement. (even)

Being back to actually enjoying coming to work each day - despite the tasks involved. (+4)

Officially a grad-student again. This time studying something that carries more than just a passing interest. (+5)

Inability to wrangle all ideas flowing through my melon into some semblance of 'possibly achievable'. (even)

Football's back. (+3)

Brady's out. (-2)


American Shaolin, by Matthew Polly. (+2)

My strange and sudden fascination with Vancouver. Someone please set me straight. (even)

Elections, politics, candidates, campaign advertisements, pundits, the 'news', etc... (-5)

This Week's Total: (+5)
Last Week's Total: (-22)

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Friday, September 05, 2008

Friday Music Special, September 5

"Lies" - McFly
What a song. What a video. Prepare to get half rick-rolled, but really - it's totally worth it.

"Me & Armini" - Emiliana Torrini
Think Nelly Furtado, but better - and with a reggae beat to boot. Good, solid chill tune.

"Love's A Real Thing" - Super Eagles
Not Eagles - Super Eagles, and have they got something for you.

"Lonesome Swan" - Glasvegas
Live from an HMV? And still sounding ok? Woo-ya.

"Crosses" - José González
A little bit Elliott Smith, a little bit freaky with the Fear & Loathing-like vid. Still a kick.

Black Flag:
"Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic" - The Police
'nuff said.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Quality of Life Index, September 3

Being right about the RNC. (-3)

Painful searching for a literary agent. (-4)

I don't even know how to search for a literary agent. (-5)

Edith Bowman STILL not back. It's been long enough, already. Return, dammit. (-3)

The tiny plastic cups at the office water cooler. Seriously. I want pint glasses, not Dixies. (-2)

"Class" starts tomorrow. (even)

The new guy at my morning Dunkin Donuts stop, and his inability (or unwillingness) to prepare a well-mixed iced coffee. (-5)

This Week's Total: (-22)
Last Week's Total: (0)

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Isn't this Tuesday? Not the day before?

A burden, lifted. 
Another, crushing.

Such is the first day of Fall Semester at MIT.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Friday Music Special, August 29

"Baditude" - Spoon, Harris and Obernik
I've wanted to post this for weeks, and today just happens to be the day. Listen. Get fired up. Dance in your cube. Y'know - if you have a cube.

"Sit And Wonder" - The Verve
Yes. More, The Verve. But it's really good. It feels like a good soundtrack song. Like you should be driving the highway with the top down, slowly. Either that or you should be on a two-day trip.

"Ten Day" - Tortoise
This is just a crazy track. Best use of a xylophone since, well, Sesame Street.

"Bones" - Editors
I don't even care that it's a U2 ripoff. I don't. I just care that it feels the same way that it did when I first heard Achtung Baby.

"Death" - White Lies
Another stellar track from these guys. The video doesn't feel quite right, especially the whole no faces thing - but the track abides. 

"5 Years Time" - Noah and The Whale
You go ahead and tell me that this song doesn't look, smell, taste, and feel like the sound of your favorite 80's movie, wrapped in junior high, and coated in sugar. Just go ahead. 

Thursday, August 28, 2008

A Guide For Piracy

In a previous life, I researched reasons why Bit Torrents were good for Business, and why file-swapping was generally good for life. I recall a medium-length report delivered to some Uppity Ups detailing how 'yes, people are sure to use this razzle-dazzle technology for shameful things, but really - if they pay us for the software to do it, who the heck cares?'. I'm uncertain of how I feel, as a musician and writer, about the free sharing of information. But as a music lover - shit, if I had to pay for everything I wanted on my iPod - my checking account would be in even more dire straits than it is now. 

With the above argument steadily in hand - I feel at least equipped to deal with the folks that would call me 'thief'. Now I can confidently posit that I'm not a thief. I'm a pirate. And who doesn't like a pirate?

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Quality of Life Index, August 27

The inevitable arrival of autumn in New England. (+5)

The fact that the DNC looks like a cross between Guitar Hero and your worst-ever high school pep-rally - the one before you totally lose the big game. (-3)

The fact the the coming RNC will be much the same. Although instead of Guitar Hero, this may be more akin to Intellivison. Just saying. (-3)

Anticipation of fall season premieres. (+2)

I can't find my favorite hat. (-5)

The odds that I'll find you, if you're the one who has my favorite hat. (even)

Clean, well-lighted places. (+4)

Quit, resign, stick it out, or make a move. (even)

This Week's Total: (0)
Last Week's Total: (-7)

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Think About It

Posted in the hope that positive thinking (read: wishes for a new season) will yield a positive outcome (read: a new season).

Monday, August 25, 2008

Enter, Back Pain

Yep. That about sums it up. If you have good drugs, get in touch.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Friday Music Special, August 22

"Mountains" - Biffy Clyro
I really like this song. There's not much more to it than that. If you can keep from singing along, you're a better music-ignorer than I. Acoustic version's pretty chill, too.

Yes. Metallica's new single is actually NOT total shit. I mean, we're not talking Ride The Lighting, here - hell, we're not even talking The Black Album. But we're not talking St. Anger, either. So that's something.

This is the Oasis track I mentioned last week. Wow. Just wow. Oasis rarely disappoints (you either like it all, or hate it all), but they haven't knocked it out of the park like this since She's Electric.

Natasha Bedinglfield, eat your heart out.

"Love Is Noise" - The Verve
Another comeback hit from an old time favorite. It's The Verve, not LL Cool J - so I can call it that.

"Poison" - Bell Biv DeVoe
I shouldn't have to say anything. In case you're looking to hear something - miss her, kiss her, love the video.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

September Hoopla

I'm uncertain of whether this makes me 'pro-active, or a 'loser', but here it is:

Monday, September 1st
- Prison Break (Fox)

Tuesday, September 2nd
- The Shield (FX)

Sunday, September 7th
- True Blood (HBO)
- Entourage (HBO)

Monday, September 8th
- Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles (Fox)
- Fringe (Fox)

Thursday, September 18th
- Smallville (The CW)

Monday, September 22nd
- Heroes (NBC)
- The Big Bang Theory (CBS)

Thursday, September 25th
- Grey's Anatomy (ABC)

Sunday, September 28th
- Dexter (Showtime)
- Californication (Showtime)
- Desperate Housewives (ABC)

Early 2009
- Lost
- Battlestar Galactica 

If none of this satisfied, then I give you The Tiddy Bear:

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Quality of Life Index, August 20

The theme song from Weeds summing up my life, of late (video embedded below). (-4)

Lack of time. (-5)

Motivation on the decline, due to lack of any apparent progress. This may be redundant. Or not even factual. (-3)

The lack of rain. (+3)

The probability that it will now rain, as a consequence of my having commented on the lack of rain. (even)

Iced coffee. (+2)

This Week's Total: (-7)
Last Week's Total: (+4)

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Outside South Station

Let's paint a picture. Sitting at a downtown intersection, I observed the following:

- Man starts to walk across the street (four-way intersection).
- Police SUV trying to take a right at the intersection, where the 'right' would intersect the crosswalk Man was using, stops just a foot or so short of Man's left leg.
- Driver of Police SUV, likely a Police Officer, leans on horn until Man backs up to the sidewalk.
- Man looks at Police Officer.
- Police Officer stares down Man, then points at him, then points at "Don't Walk" signal.
- Man looks at signal, doesn't care, looks back at Police Officer.
- Police Officer guns it through the intersection and speeds away.
- Man crosses street. While doing so, Man looks at me, rolls his eyes, and looks in the direction Police Officer sped off.

Riddle me this: who is in the wrong? Better yet, if my place, and the place of the Police SUV were reversed - would the answer be the same?

Also of note: large sign reading "Yield to Pedestrians in Crosswalk" was present. 

Monday, August 18, 2008

Take Your Pick

After much deliberation, I'm putting this one out there:

Fall 2009:
- Harvard
- University of Hawai'i at Manoa

This list may grow, and I am open to suggestions on places that should be added. That is all. 

And now, a video - for your viewing pleasure.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Friday Music Special, August 15

"Shout" - Black Tide
Distortion on vocals. Metal licks galore. Bang your heads and pound back your beers. Also, find a high school girl.

"Township Funk" - DJ Mujava
Groovy drum & bass track. This is definitely something you can throw on to ignore, or to get silly to.

"Sex On Fire" - Kings of Leon
My favorite track on the list this week. This song is not epic, but it's pretty freakin' close.

"Handlebars" - Flobots
This spot was supposed to be occupied by the new Oasis track, which I am crazy about, but I couldn't find it. I only tried once, though - so maybe I'm not as crazy about the new Oasis track as I thought. Cool video, though.

"The Cat" (Crookers Remix) - Dusty Kid
Back once again with the d&b goodness. Thumping track. Put it on and watch your laundry go through 'spin'.

"Pieces" - Chase and Status, featuring Plan B
This track just makes me feel groovy, on this grey grey day...

Thursday, August 14, 2008

A Video Quickie

A surprisingly fresh cover of the Hendrix tune I mentioned yesterday.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Quality of Life Index, August 13

The fact that one of the most dangerous phrases in the English language is the same as the title of my favorite Jimi Hendrix song. (even)

Weeds Season 4. Mary-Louise Parker is at her absolute finest. (+3)

Podcast of the Lost panel, from SDCC. (+3)

The Olympics. (-4)

The Olympics, were they to be staged more like Ninja Warrior. (+5)

Chuck Klosterman's latest column for Esquire. Proof positive that we are Philistines, all. (+2)

Russia & Georgia. (-5)

This Week's Total: (+4)
Last Week's Total: (-5)

Tuesday, August 12, 2008 Has It Down

Strangely enough, hit it right on the head today with its 'word of the day' posting:

enervate \EN-ur-vayt\, transitive verb:
1. To deprive of vigor, force, or strength; to render feeble; to weaken.
2. To reduce the moral or mental vigor of.

Now let's try a sentence.

"With a continuous, Ludovico-style daily dosing of nonsensical tasks, his job leaves Ed ________ed."

That's all.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Death By Chocolate

Three skits starring Ashton Kutcher. Watch & Enjoy.

Friday, August 08, 2008

Friday Music Special, August 8

"Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa" - Vampire Weekend
These guys continue to impress me, to the point where I actually purchased the album on iTunes. What cemented it was a great Saturday Night Live performance, last season. Plus they describe themselves as 'avant afro-pop', which is kind of kitschy for a bunch of white kids from NYC.

"In This City" - Iglu & Hartly
The vocals wax a bit emo, but the melody and rhythm drive the tune home. Definitely worth a listen, maybe even two.

"Daddy's Gone" - Glasvegas
Right from the intro, right on.

"Boyfriend" - Alphabeat
These guys continue to impress. Their first single, "Fascination", felt like a new generation of 80's pop. This new track does not fall far from the tree of 80's-like excitement. Plus - she's got a bit of a Cyndi Lauper thing going on,  no? A new generation of Mall Girls can safely rejoice, their savior is come.

"Fruit Machine" - The Ting Tings
I really didn't have high hopes for The Ting Tings, but they keep me coming back for more. Talk about the anti-White Stripes.

"Beggin" - Madcon
Wow. Just wow. Outkast, meets the 70's, meets Grand Theft Auto. Listen - then you can try and disagree. 

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Quality of Life Index, August 6

Water falling from sky. (-4)

People that forget how to drive when 'water falling from sky'. (-4)

The Dark Knight in IMAX. Fine job, Christopher Nolan et al. (+5)

Steve Jobs' email about the MobileMe fiasco. Proof positive that even mighty Apple's back can break when carrying that one extra straw. (even)

John McCain vs. Paris Hilton. Is anyone having flashbacks to that scene in Old School, when Blue wrestles the naked girls covered in baby oil? I mean - it's not exactly the same - Paris will probably wear a shirt or something - but still. (+3)

Tommy Hilfiger's wedding called off. The split is said to be amicable. This actually doesn't affect me at all, nor will it until I read a story about how Hilfiger has gone nuts, starting stalking Bruce Willis (or anyone else), begun a self-destructive addiction to Cosmopolitans (or Amaretto Sours, or wine coolers), and colored his entire line black - and then torn all the clothes in mourning. Maybe, then. (_)

Katy Perry. Sorry, Luv - I'm really starting to hate that fucking song. (-3)

Every radio station and magazine and CD store, for making me start to hate that fucking song. (-2)

This Week's Total: (-5)
Last Week's Total: (+3)

Tuesday, August 05, 2008


Today we're going to discuss a certain trait of the random bus loads of Tourists that visit MIT campus every day. Let me be clear: I have nothing against these people. I do, however, take most grievous issue with their continued use of fanny packs.
I recognize, certainly, the functionality of such a body-sack --- what I am unaware of is the social convention making it acceptable to don such a ridiculous piece of garb, and then walk around with it dangling from your midsection. If anyone is cognizant of the protocol in question, please enlighten me. Until such time as I am convinced otherwise, I say to you fanny pack wearers, all: Get a camera vest. Carry a backpack. Stop looking like a massive tool. Also, writing your name on your underwear with a Sharpie went out of fashion sometime around Kindergarten. 

Monday, August 04, 2008

Show Time

It's no secret that one of my favorite things is to "devour" (as an old Professor of mine put it) a good series. Having moved steadily through just about every network show that fit the bill, I've taken to examining the premium channel fare with some vigor - and with my favorite serials (Lost, Battlestar, Smallville, to name a few...) currently absent, I'm loving every second of it.

First off, let's discuss Weeds Season 4. I was a latecomer to this show (like everything else on Showtime, I marathoned through the first few seasons on DVD, before catching up to the weekly airings). Mary Louise Parker's drug-dealing mama is only the tip of the iceberg of goodness, leaving plenty of room for a well-fleshed cast to flex. The current season, which sees Parker's character dealing in a new town, getting spanked by the Mayor of Tijuana, and pelting her ex-best-friend across the mouth with a .45 in one hand & iced latte in the other, is the best one yet. Sad though, that Conrad hasn't shown up yet...

Now, Dexter. It's a rare thing to adore a series purely for the writing - as in, if there was nothing but a pile of scripts, I would still go at every single one like Christian Shephard at a bottle of scotch. And then there's the fact that Michael C. Hall brings alive the most socially-conscious serial killer of all time without ever slipping out of character. And the fact that the rest of the cast feels so natural, so effortlessly good at what they're doing, that you can't help but be enthralled. And then there's the fact that all of Season 2 is available On-Demand. In HD.

Finally - let's discuss Californication. Chili-Peppers rip off claims and underrated David Duchovny aside, this show is delectable. Forget every 'family' show you've ever seen, and tune in to watch Duchovny's Hank Moody utterly unraveled by Los Angeles. References and inside jokes abound - so be forewarned, this one is not for the culturally illiterate. But it's funny as hell. 

And whatever happened to HBO? Well - with The Sopranos having sung their swan song, Rome having reached a point in history where nothing can happen in the story for...ohhh...about seven hundred years, Entourage & Flight of The Conchords not yet returned, and John From Cincinnati having sucked hard - Showtime is kicking the ass of the network that once claimed to be "not TV". (In the network's defense - Tell Me You Love Me was brilliant, and there's always The Wire.) Here's to healthy competition between the premium powerhouses - and here's to the joys of DVR, On-Demand, and TV on DVD.

Tomorrow, back to the usual non-sensical rants. Because this so wasn't, right?