Thursday, May 29, 2008

The Good, The Bad, & The Truth

Signal from Mars is restored.
A satellite radio that carries signals and commands to the Mars Phoenix lander restarted last night, ending a one-day delay in the robotic explorer’s deployment on the Martian surface.

Bad: Space Station Inconvenienced As Toilet Fails. Nasa has confirmed that the toilet on the International Space Station has failed, leaving astronauts in an urgent need for spare parts. The problem lies with the fan that draws liquids into the waste chamber prior to being ejected to burn up in the atmosphere. At the moment solids can be handled by the Russian-made toilet, but liquid disposal is proving impossible.

Truth: New Yorkers hump like rabbits. ...during the course of 94 episodes and six seasons, the women of "Sex and the City" hit the sheets with a combined total of 94 men and one woman... were the "Sex and the City" women oversexed? Definitely - compared to the average American woman, who has nine sex partners in a lifetime, according to a survey by the Durex brand of condoms. But compared to the average New Yorker, they were right on target.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Quality of Life Index, May 28

Allergy season won't quit. Pollen can't figure out if it's summer or spring. Doesn't it understand that it's clearly still winter (or at least monsoon season in the Hub)? (-5)

Indiana Jones & The Kingdom of The Crystal Skull gets mixed reviews. Justly so. Still twice as good as I expected. (+4)

Send unsolicited email to Joe Quesada. Get favorable response. Feel good. (+5)

Celtics let series get tied up at two games each. Go Green. Faith didn't go out of fashion in 2004. (even)

Phoenix lands on Mars without a glitch. NASA rejoices. Nerds across the world quickly replace pictures of Megan Fox with these, as the most downloaded images online. (+3)

This week's total: (+7)
Last week's total: (-20)

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Scenes From The MIT Campus

This sign is hung outside a construction site near the corner of Ames & Amherst. The "Calculus" arrow points toward the Engineering buildings. "Real People" points the way to the AgeLab & Sloan School of Management.


When I picture the Igor-like creature likely spinning the cogs under the revolving desert tray in Lobby 7, this guy fits the image in my head, nicely. Also looks like Wong, from Doctor Strange.


The best advice. Way better than that 'sunscreen' song. And it isn't even really a song. And it sucks.


Friday, May 23, 2008

Friday Music Special: May 23

"Strength In Numbers" - The Music
Infectious & addictive. The perfect afternoon frustration-with-work song.

"Shockwave" - Black Tide
In the mood for a good ol' fashioned thrash-fest, complete with hair, grime, and power vox? Look no further, true believers...

"The Quest" - Bryn Christopher
Throwback, a la Amy Winehouse - but black, and a dude. Classy and slick. This track is the ideal song to play in your head while walking in slow motion down the street.

"Sweet About Me" - Gabriella Cilmi
I don't love it. And I'm close to being fed up with B-versions of the aforementioned Winehouse, but Ms. Cilmi's ok for now. This is a song I'd play like Rob Gordon - as in, put it on to ignore.

"Trick Me" - Kelis
Yes, that Kelis, now with less kitsch.


Secret Sauce: 
"Theme From Indiana Jones" - John Williams
I struggled with linking to the pseudo-music video or the live version being played by a Tom Menino look-alike. Went with the former. For your pleasure. And if you didn't see this coming, well, I just don't know what to say...

Thursday, May 22, 2008

2008 Thus Far (a la The Dig)

  • New job @ MIT. (+5)
  • New car. Semi-efficient SUV. (+5)
  • New apartment. Finally living in 'hometown'. (+10)
  • Admitted to hospital w/suspicious symptoms. (-10)
  • Symptoms identified as "chicken pox" (-5)
  • Spend birthday in hospital. Nurses wear masks and gloves. There are also balloons. This is not like it was in my dream.(-5)
  • Infectious Diseases pays a visit. (-3)
  • Students are fascinated by the twenty-something with chicken pox. Many groups pay visits. (even)
  • Released from hospital.(+5)
  • Quarantined in new apartment for 2.5 weeks. (even)
  • Discover glitch in MIT payroll policy. Possible to borrow vacation time. Not possible to borrow sick time. Paycheck suffers greatly. (-10)
  • Due to stress of chicken pox, liver is enflamed. Unable to consume alcohol or engage in contact sports. (-6)
  • Pollen count rises. Tissue expense follows suit. (-3)
  • Enflamed liver back to normal. (+3)
  • Due to stomach problems, tested for Coeliac Disease. Possibility of never consuming gluten again, looms. (-9)
  • Coeliac test is negative. Drink scotch. Feel good. (+5)
  • Plan summer escape to Scotland. (+4)
  • Car towed due to street cleaning. (-3)
  • Towing company refers to SUV as "minivan". (-3)

Quality of Life: (-20)

Go-Go 2008...

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Now Is The [Hour] Of [my punching you in the neck]

So this morning I got to work almost on time. By 8:15 I had actually read through most of my email, and felt generally in-the-know about Tuesday.

Then my inbox turned bold. An email had arrived from one of my favorite people. In the message, which was copied to several others (some I know, some I don't), was a public call-out.

Far be it from me to claim that nothing ever slips my mind - in fact I've left the house sans footwear on several occasions - but when I do something, I typically am certain that I've done it. Let's call "it", "X". The email Sender suggested to everyone copied on the message that I hadn't done "X", when in fact I had, to the Sender's precise specifications. However, the Sender, being a petulant ass-hat, decided that "X"s outcome wasn't what was truly desired. I have the pleasure of bearing the brunt of the discontent. 

To all of this, I say (emphatically): "Aargh..."

So now is the hour. Fists at the ready.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Bang or Whimper?

However it shakes out, this is the week it happens. 

This is the start of the week that heralds the whip-cracking return of one, Dr. Jones. Indy. Junior

My sincerest hopes are for that rarest of animals, the sequel that surpasses the original - or at least meets it, head on (e.g. - The Godfather II; The Bourne Ultimatum).

My eternal skepticism is bracing for the more common cheese-fest that often results when studios suffer from franchise-itis (e.g. - The Godfather III; Ocean's 12).

Ah, well - there's at least one sure thing this summer. 

I believe in Harvey Dent.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Friday Music Special: May 15

Five for Friday:

"Mercy" - The Fratellis
The best band whose name comes from The Goonies, covering the third-best song off Duffy's "Rockferry".

Infectious. Like old-school Wookie.

"Mother Mary" - Foxboro Hot Tubs
Green Day's secret project...not so secret.

"No Easy Way Out" - Rocky IV
The most classic montage song of all time. 

"Run (I'm A Natural Disaster)" - Gnarls Barkley
Video is still cool - even with Justin.


Party Bonus: 
"Salute Your Solution" - The Raconteurs
Am I still cool, even though I like this more than anything The White Stripes ever did? No? I was never cool? Fine. I'll stop wearing Chucks, now. I'm used to disappointment.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Rebuttal Post

On the one hand, there's the wacky "OK Soda Tribute Video":

On the other, is the "Bill O'Reilly Flips Out - Dance Remix"


Video Quickie - Starring Flight of The Conchords

What follows makes me either want HBO, or makes me want to buy my first iTunes season pass:

for the live version, click here

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

A Carbonated Blast From the Carbonated Past

Remember OK Soda? I sure do.

I recall scouring the shelves of The Atlantic Food Mart, in search of the last remaining cases of fruity-fresca-like goodness.

In an effort to court Gen-X'ers, Coca-Cola developed a wacky set of ad tactics aimed at getting folks to drink from post-grunge silver cans.

One commercial featured an on-screen hand print that asked you to put your hand up to the tv. Only problem was, the hand print had six fingers - and would disappear before you made it from the sofa to the set, and figured this out. (if anyone can find this commercial online - please link it up in the comments).

The drink enjoys something of a cult following, like Xenu, and fan sites keep the memory of this long-dead Coke endeavor alive.

Also - it came with an on-can manifesto, which I've copied below:

  1. What's the point of OK? Well, what's the point of anything?

  2. OK Soda emphatically rejects anything that is not OK, and fully supports anything that is

  3. The better you understand something, the more OK it turns out to be

  4. OK Soda says, "Don't be fooled into thinking there has to be a reason for everything."

  5. OK Soda reveals the surprising truth about people and situations.

  6. OK Soda does not subscribe to any religion, or endorse any political party, or do anything other than feel OK.

  7. There is no real secret to feeling OK.

  8. OK Soda may be the preferred drink of other people such as yourself.

  9. Never overestimate the remarkable abilities of "OK" brand soda.

  10. Please wake up every morning knowing that things are going to be OK.

For more on OK Soda - which you know you want - click here.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Campus...

As I do on most afternoons, right around 3, I trudged across campus to the one and only Starbucks at MIT (methinks). That's where it happened. I saw the "Trai The Chai" sign again.

Then the barista handed me my coffee.

Then I threw my latte back at the anti-grammatical schmuck behind the counter, jumped over it, tore down the sign and broke it in half. I proceeded to lift the espresso machine with a herculean strength attributed to either my grammatical rage, or the machine being empty, and smashed it on the floor. Then I stomped on it and punched it a la Michael Bolton with his paper jammed printer. Students cringed. Members of the ironically located linguistics department cheered. The anti-grammatical schmuck cowered before my red-pen wrath.

Then I blinked.

Then the barista handed me my coffee.


I also saw this art-work on the walk to work. Either a new Cambridge Tagger has arrived on scene, or someone REALLY digs that Bruce Leroy flick. Either way, I love the iPhone camera, yo.

Friday, May 09, 2008

The Friday Music Special

Five tracks currently firing me up:

"Oxford Comma", Vampire Weekend
Infectious, like most of their album. This track takes the proverbial cake. Listen here.

"Requiem For A Dying Song", Flogging Molly
I suppose this is not the title track from the new album, but it reminds me of The Warped Tour & makes me tingle in just the right spots. (listen to a live version here)

"I Shall Overcome", Hard-Fi
I've been a fan of Hard-Fi for a long time. They've never really 'broken out', stateside & that's a bit disappointing. This track is the cream atop their latest offering. (listen here)

"Naive", The Kooks
Ok. I'll admit, I first heard The Kooks on The OC, but Seaside...err...aside, these guys are a pop class act. (listen here)

"Machete", DJ Hazard
The lyrics say it all. Please just listen to it, and tell me it doesn't sound like the movie trailer voice over guy reading an old Bruce Lee script over a slick DNB track.


Super Sexy Secret Song: 
"Freakbeat Phantom", by The Rascals
Reminds me of a Beck baseline. Oh, and the absolute filthiest intro.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

We're Not In Indy Anymore

True to form, I saw Iron Man last weekend. For Marvel's first foray into self-produced live action film, this was a strong showing. Well shot & well acted - mostly due to R.D. Jr's ability to always seem as if he's talking to himself, even when someone else is on his screen. 

Probably the biggest disappointment of the film came in the 15 minutes before it, during the trailer for the new Indiana Jones flick. Really? That's it? Teasers for months on end, competition from Heath Ledger doing his chalk-faced freak-fest, and Cate Blanchett...and that's the best you could do for a 3 minute preview? The resounding chatter, post trailer, was that this could not have been for real. Maybe it was an SNL parody? Samburg strikes back?


Sadly, no. 

George Lucas has fallen so far from grace, I wasn't sure it was possible for me to be MORE disappointed in the man - way to prove me wrong, GL. Time for you to pull a Wachowski, and hide 'til the storm has passed.

Lucas' reps claim he was 'unavailable for comment'. I did some digging & discovered the sad, sad truth.

Matt Damon's Creepy New Look

Far be it from me to judge a man based solely upon his use of facial hair, but c'mon. What are you thinking, Will Hunting? (link)

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Something Nice for The Kids

The Blog is Back

Due in no small part to the following:

- having found a desk job with significant...err...down time
- finally beating the Discovery Channel's NLOS Cannon Challenge
- Armen

this blog is back. Shiny and new. Still a bit preachy.

Blog is the new black, eh?