Thursday, October 1, 2009

The Best Speech Nixon Never Gave

In the year 1969, the Apollo 11 NASA mission made it to the moon. Richard Nixon, I'm sure, gave a stirring speech to congratulate Neil Armstrong and crew for being the first men on the moon. But Nixon's trusty speechwriter William Safire was prepared for everything. Today we have the speech that Nixon would have given in the event that the astronauts had been stranded on the moon.

It begins with the line "IN EVENT OF MOON DISASTER". I think I need say no more.


Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Not (Quite) Dead

Hello loyal readers. Or reader. Or whoever it is that comes out to this shady park of the blogosphere. Regardless! One may have noticed that this blog has not been updated for nearly a month. And one may have also noticed that the termination of blog entries neatly coincided with the beginning of my school year.

The fact is, school + debate + editing the newspaper + afterschool orchestras + piano lessons + tennis + college applications makes me one busy person, and I've really not had much time to update this blog.

"But Jon," you say. "Doesn't it take just a few minutes each night to update this godforsaken pile of drivel and stupidity?"

"Well... erm... PUFFINS LOOK LIKE PENGUINS BUT ARE ACTUALLY A SEPARATE SPECIES," shout I as I speed off into the oblivion.

The truth is I've been ignoring my dear old blog, and it has suffered in the meanwhile. And I apolgoize for at least not even making it known that I was on semi-extended hiatus.

So, the current status: I am still on semi-hiatus until my college applications are finished (which will likely be the case by the end of October.) In the meanwhile, I may pop in once a week or so (or not as much).

In the meantime, please enjoy this video regarding the topic of profanity.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Back to School

Well, so ends the summer. It's been... well, it's been a unique one, I guess. Really busy, but lots of good fun at the beach, with friends, and even with coworkers working on stem cells. I just can't believe how quickly it went by.

So, to cope with the agony of the ending summer and to drown my sorrows in food, I have decided to be the test guinea pig for the KFC Quadruple Down. It's a proposed sandwich for KFC which substitutes two deep-fried chicken breasts for buns. Between those lies another two fried breasts, with bacon, special sauce, Swiss and pepperjack cheese. It's sort of like ordering a quadruple bypass without paying for it. But man would that ever be good.

To KFC: Do it. I dare you.

Happy (not) school year everyone!

Monday, August 31, 2009

Pogo - Alohomora

About ten minutes ago I found out about an Australian artist named Pogo. He creates electronic and dreamy trip-hop beats to sound clips from popular movies. Which makes it all the more trippy... er.

He's thus far done Harry Potter, Alice in Wonderland, Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, Mary Poppins, and the rest I haven't gotten to watching yet. Below is a track called Alohomora. If you like, follow the link to youtube and check out the rest of the videos from user "Faggotron" (yes, really.)

Thursday, August 27, 2009

A Chat with an Afghan

Back from a week at the beach. Good stuff, very relaxing. Woot woot. Now I'm ready to confront the school year. Sure.

Anyways, you may remember a former post about a service called Omegle. Well, browsing upon that site, I met a very interesting man... who claimed to be Afghani. Now, I can't confirm his claims. But what he said, to me, was really, really cool. There's just something... weirdly interesting about talking about the daily life of someone who's customs and life is so radically different from yours.

The transcript of the conversation can be found here. Check it out.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

High Fives are Pretty Great

Done with my summer internship. No more commuting, yay! Still, I really will miss the people in the office. Nice, good people can be hard to find, and man, did I run into a lot of them.

In other news, high fives are pretty great. Epic street sign from New Haven, CT.

Also, Barney Frank is pretty badass. Well, not really - he kind of sounds like Droopy Dog from Looney Toons, really. Still, at a town hall meeting in Dartmouth, he told it like it was. When confronted with a woman holding a picture of Obama with a Hitler mustache and comparing universal healthcare to a Nazi policy, Frank lashed out with an apt, "on what planet do you spend most of your time?", arguing that talking to her further would be "like trying to argue with a dining room table." Well done, Barney.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

A Mathematical Guide for When Zombies Attack

How this actually got funding (yes, really) is beyond me. It's a mathematical model of what would happen in a theoretical mass zombie outbreak. The recommendation: "We show that only quick, aggressive attacks can stave off the doomsday scenario: the collapse of society as zombies overtake us all."

Sunday, August 16, 2009

R.I.P. Benson (1984{ish}-2009)

On July 29th, Benson, the supposedly most beloved fish in England swam up to his watery maker. He was 25, ish, although I haven't the slightest idea how you measure a fish's age. Normally, this sort of heartbreaking story wouldn't really catch my eye and I'd be completely ignorant and oblivious to it. But this obituary is nothing short of bizarre, if not remarkable. This is a full one-page obituary in this week's The Economist, dedicated to a fish. Written in poetic style.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Hotel Survival with George Egg

It is impossible to eat in a hotel without being charged $600 bazillion. This is a fact. I mean, I read out the prices next to room service items for fun. Just to demonstrate the absurdity.

The video you are about to see is how to avoid the crazy charges on the road and still eat well, compliments of British comedian George Egg. It is funny in that it is completey absurd, but it actually seems like it could work. Keep this in the back of your mind the next time you visit the Holiday Inn.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Alive in Joburg

Today marks the opening of District 9 in box offices across America, and from what I've heard, it's getting rave reviews. We may even have a sci-fi classic on our hands. I really want to see it - it looks fantastic.

A little known fact about District 9 is that it all started out as a short film by director Neil Blomkamp in 2005 known as Alive in Joburg (or Johannesburg, whichever it was supposed to be.) It's a six-minute short about a peaceful group of aliens who land in South Africa around 1990, only to be met by xenophobia and intolerance (insert not-so-subtle apartheid reference here.) But this was the project from which the supposed gem that is District 9 stemmed. For all I know, it might even be sort of an extended trailer, four years in advance. Either way, it's a fun, interesting little short.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Google Maps Car = Badass

The Google Maps van is well known for driving around, well, every street in the United States (and elsewhere) with a giant pole protruding out of its roof with nine cameras simultaneously snapping shots of every road, everywhere. Still, I somewhat underestimated what kinds of roads Google considers to be snappable.

Enter Laguna Seca... a racetrack. Yes, those are Formula One racers. Behind which is the Google Maps van gunning it at some ungodly awesome speed. What an epic ride that must've been.

Monday, August 10, 2009

It's Gone Mainstream Legit. Run.

Well, it turns out the mainstream media has finally caught on to the ever-growing meme of FAIL. Even after keyboard cat's famous pwning of Stephen Colbert, a real analysis of the phenomenon that has been sweeping America's teens and internet-savvies has never really been published. Until... now.

I'll be quivering under my desk while mourning the death of my teenage years. Or at least the originality that came with them.

Sunday, August 9, 2009


Halloa, all. If you haven't heard, I've had to scour my blog to delete quite a few innappropriate and outright vulgar comments that my blog has been spammed with for the last couple of days. Not exactly sure who's behind it, but, oh well, no harm done. Either way, comments are now moderated; I need to approve them before they get through. Have no fear of Orwellian censorship; I'm just looking for obvious abuse. Pretty much all comments will be approved within a day of posting, barring unforseen circumstances.

Also, as I recently discovered on the train to and from NYC earlier today, there are like 60x more Spanish speakers traveling to NYC than away from it, or in anywhere else. Fun fact.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

This is the Last Birthday Present You'll Ever Need to Get Me

For your mind's enlightenment and your stomach's greatest yearning, I present...
The ChefStack Automatic Pancake Machine. Yes, you heard me correctly. This bad boy churns out delicious, 97% fat-free, all-natural, 4-inch diameter pancakes (only 82.5 calories per) at a rate of 200 flapjacks per hour. In the company's own words, "[It] is a revolution in the making." I couldn't agree more.

No, this is not cold fusion, nor is it the hovercar you've always wanted. But it's pretty damn close. Sure, you might have to pony up $3,500 for this commercial godsend, but... Pancakes! Automatic! Fast! Tasty!

I don't care what anyone says. This is, quite possibly, the greatest invention of the modern era. Or ever. Finally, my noms will be cured.

Monday, August 3, 2009


Currently isolating RNA from seven samples of cells that were previously sploded to let their juices flow forth. Tasty stuff. But right now they need to incubate for 15 minutes, leaving me with ample time to do something productive (or unproductive, depending on how cool this blog is.)

So, I'm back from Boston. Tufts, Brandeis, and Harvard all looked really nice; Harvard is just kind of... Harvard, and Tufts had a really beautiful campus and great... well, everything. Brandeis was really nice too; a bit small, and their campus seemed a bit unkempt, but I still feel like I could fit in just fine. On a more realistic view, Brandeis is the only school that might offer me a scholarship. Food for thought, I suppose.

On a separate note; if any of you out there remember, I did a feature post on a site called Omegle a few weeks (months?) back. Random note: It seems to have been flooded with a lot of people looking for something other than innocent conversation. Innocent as their motives might be, the intended topics are not. So just keep in mind - if you plan to look around for the random conversations, you might need to pop into a few chats before you find a keeper. That, and the random Korean and Chinese people who can't speak English. Oh well!

Another random note, and a useful one: If you want to skip the ubiquitously annoying "To leave a voice message... blah blah blah" voicemail intro that takes up much of your valuable time, just press 1-*-# (one-star-pound). Different carriers have different keys to skip the message (little did we all know), and these three cover all major networks (Verizon, AT&T, T-mobile, Sprint). Who knows, you might save a few minutes over time.

Link of the day: First ever PhD in texting. Who knew?

Friday, July 31, 2009

The List

Every collegebound senior has one at some point. The List. The plethora of colleges that one will grace with an application, praying, quite possibly in vain, that an acceptance letter will come from one or all. This week I've confirmed several entries on mine with visits to Brandeis, Tufts, and Harvard. I'm sure it will metamorphasize quite a bit more befort the apps actually go out, but mine, right now, looks like this...

Brown, UPenn, Harvard, Tufts, Brandeis, Cornell, Johns Hopkins, Lehigh, Penn State Schreyer Honors College. And there's still the possibility that I will visit/add a few more, and possibly eliminate as many as three from the current list (Lehigh, I'm looking at you. And ish Hopkins and Cornell. Not really. At least Lehigh.)

And the craziness continues.


Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Taser Taser Taser!

A small tip for y'all before I leave for Boston tonight: This is want you want for your birthday.

"This" is the TASER X3, which is the most efficient weapon for keeping the "peace" without "lethal" force, by allowing the user to shoot three (yes, three) taser probes in quick succession. Comes complete with laser sight and a "warning arc" to encourage "voluntary compliance".

Basically, now you can tase someone (bro) three times as much. Wicked.

See you Sunday!

Monday, July 27, 2009

Boston Soon

Leaving for Boston mid-Tuesday to tour some colleges. Harvard, Tufts, and Brandeis, look out! You're about to have your atoms disrupted by a prospective student. Yeah. It's that serious.

Still, the college tours and info sessions and random roaming don't usually last past the early hours of the afternoon. Which means I'll have plenty of time to explore around the city of Bawston. To which I have never traveled. Hopefully they've got some interesting stuff to do: Giant statues of pandas, 6-foot-tall ferris wheels, and as much papaya-babaghanoush flatbread sandwiches as you can eat. Oh, wait, that's that place I was in in my dream last night. No wonder every woman in town looked like a hybrid between Emma Watson and Megan Fox. And all of the men, for some strange reason, looked like Nicholas Sarkozy.

Yeah, hopefully Boston will be more exciting and, er, realistic. Onwards!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

This is How Much Fun a Wedding Should Be

Picked this up from another blog (known as Pleasantries). This video made me smile and laugh and appreciate how cool people are.

This is exactly how fun every wedding should be.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Sufjan Stevens - Concerning the UFO Sighting Near Highland, Illinois

This song (mentioned in the title) is possible one of the more beautiful pieces of music I have ever heard in my life. Sadly, it clocks in at only about two minutes. To me, that makes it all the more miraculous.

It is composed mainly of piano, woodwind, and vocals. The piano melody is... indescribably serene and heart-wrenchingly beautiful. Or so I think, at any rate. Maybe that makes me a pansy. But at least I have good musical taste. In Sufjan Stevens.

The song comes from the album Illinois. It's a great album. You should get it. In the meantime...

Saturday, July 18, 2009


Amidst all the hype about Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, I take a different direction today. I recently saw a movie called Adventureland, you see, and I'm doubting that HP6 will be able to top it. You should see it. Fo serious.

Adventureland, in a way, reminds me of Juno: It's a classic coming-of-age comedy (or so the critics tell me.) The main character, played by Jesse Eisenberg (who has an amazing ability to look exactly like Michael Cera, and act like him but be way cooler) is a recently graduated, somewhat nerdy literature major who for the first time must deal with real life by working at a sub-par carnival called Adventureland. It's about him growing up and facing the real world, as it is, without fanfare or cuddling.

The film blends the sharp sting of reality, juxtaposed against the assumed clear sail to the finish line by the smart and supposedly successful members of society with the awkward stylings of young love, who appears in the form of fellow lead Kristen Stewart.

It's just a good film. It's funny, it's awkward, it's touching, it's sometimes strikingly moving, and may hit close to home. You should watch Adventureland. You won't regret it.

This is a trailer. It doesn't do it half justice.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Album Review: ...And the Ever Expanding Universe

They say a band often hasn't reached full maturity until its third LP is complete - once the trifecta is finished, they have graduated, and arrived. For some (*Cough* I'm looking at you, Coldplay), the third time is not the charm. For Canadian indie group The Most Serene Republic, the third attempt was somewhat in the middle with ...And the Ever Expanding Universe.

The album can never really seem to define itself. TMSR continues with their classic style of layered indie pop, but they can sometimes get lost in their own sound. Some tracks, such as the breathy, mellow-then-disturbingly-distorted Phi, are somewhat uninspiring in their overthought structure and overstressed looseness. I'm not exactly sure where the band is trying to go on tracks like All of One is the Other, what could be best described as a spacey piano ballad with lots of synth waves, ultimately coming together in a whole bunch of piano trills while lead singer Adrian Jewett warbles out an uninspiring attempt at being inspiring and dramatic. Or maybe they meant to do that, and it just didn't strike me as all that great.

Despite its lack of continuity and sometimes purpose, and despite the occasional pockets of confusion and meh (as I've found on all TMSR records), I still love this record. Perhaps it's just me; I'm listening to it a few times over, trying to see what they're hitting at in some of these tracks. Maybe it's just too indie for me to quite see.

Don't get me wrong; there are some great, great, tracks on this record. The opening track, Bubble Reputation, is stunning, leading in with an epic horn introduction, and then taking the listener on a wild ride of distorted piano and driving guitar... which then slows to a well-executed piano bridge, eventually building to an ending that builds, fades, and finally explodes into a topsy-turvy end. Pristine.

Another favorite is the twinkling gem that is The Old Forever New Things (featured on an earlier blog post.) It is largely a very mellow track, with a breathy vocal duet by singers Adrian Jewett and Emma Ditchburn, with a suave bassline giving the song some groove. Some masterful acoustic guitarmanship, distorted just enough, gives this track a unique feel that you don't often get. The band's neurotic attention to detail leaves the listener satisfied with each jangle of the guitar string and small piano riff.

The band really shows off their brilliance on Patternicity, a six-minute orchestral opus that truly embodies TMSR at their best. It is meticulously scored, and is so perfectly out of place in an indie rock album that it left me with my jaw dropped for the first minute, and grinning from ear to ear by the end. It is not only the audacity of putting such a track on the record that amazes me, but how well it fits with the album. It just works, against all odds, just because it's scored so well, almost a pop-like glance into the world of classical music, complete with swooping violins, chirping woodwinds, and a climactic and satisfying conclusion that still holds you to the last note.

The album has some other nice songs as well, from the driving, synth-heavy, psychadellic Don't Hold Back, Feel a Little Longer to peppy lead single Heavens to Purgatory. A few of these songs pop out, never quite fitting into the jigsaw of the album, and feel a bit lonely juxtaposed against their just-slightly-dissimilar neighbors, but are nonetheless quite enjoyable to listen to (oh no, I ended on a preposition!)

On the whole, ...And the Ever Expanding Universe is about on par with TMSR's last album, Population in maturity. Their sound continues to get better and better, and I really think they did a wonderful job with this one. They just need to put all of their great talent together and churn out an album that flows a bit better. But for all its scattered glory, this album is still likely one of the best indie releases of the year.

No, I don't give numerical ratings.

If you sign up for their newsletter (Army of the Republic), you can listen to a full stream of the album at this link.

Otherwise, ...And the Ever Expanding Universe can be purchased and downloaded from iTunes, GalleryAC, or Amazon.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Insides - Jon Hopkins

Asked to categorize the music of Jon Hopkins, one might think that his music is electronica. This is certainly the case when considering that his compositions are mainly computer-generated. But it fails to truly capture the depth, breadth, and beauty of his music, in a genre often categorized by peppy dance tunes and techno beats.

Insides is Jon Hopkins' third album, following Contact Note (2004), a somewhat experimental album, and Opalescent (2001), which drew from more ambient origins. It is undoubtedly his most ambitious and deep record yet, as he transcends into bolder and more intimate waters.

Insides really has no genre that it sticks to, but what stands out about all of the tracks is the precision with which they are executed, drawing the listener in with flowing electronic melodies and a rumbling bass that seems crisper than one might find from other artists. The tracks seamlessly flow together, creating a fluid, complete listening experience.

Hopkins goes everywhere, in terms of feeling and genre. He begins the record with The Wider Sun, a rustic, hopeful, and layered violin lament that would go perfect with a sunrise and a crisp morning chill. On the next track, Vessel, he shifts to a much darker and mysterious, sometimes even hurried atmosphere as he pulses bass over a delicate, yet sinister piano melody. Yet later he conjures up an inspiring, driving, and energetic piece in Light Through the Veins, snippets of which can be heard in the intro to Coldplay's Viva la Vida or Death and All His Friends, in the track Life in Technicolor.

Throughout the album, Hopkins lays down a few delicate piano tracks, showcasing his skill as a master pianist. This can especially be heard on Small Memory and Autumn Hill, which are truly beuatiful, fragile snowflakes that you can't help but admire.

Admittedly, there is dissonance in the record. Some tracks, like Insides and Colour Eye, are really... frankly, creepy. They juxtapose numerous odd sounds that make you feel as if you've been thrown into a bad aural acid trip. It's interesting, absolutely, but after a minute or so one starts to wonder when the order will be restored to the universe. And sure enough, it is, in brilliant fashion.

To quote, '"With Insides, Hopkins has created a symphony that paints in binary; a canvas where bucolic instruments caress the dreamy digital soundscape like never before... " I don't think I could've put it better - Insides is an audacious album that seems much like a work of art in itself. It creates soundscapes that suck the listener in and don't spit them out until the last piano key fades away. It is complete, and like no traditional form of music I've ever heard before.

That said, take a listen.

If you like it, maybe show some support and buy the album on iTunes.

Saturday, July 11, 2009


Our third of three animations in this brief series of Oggy-cheesiness is a short piece called Colours. It is animated in the same style as the prior two; surreal, with very bright, well, colors. It's fun, it's playful, and it's something you'll be watching for the next two minutes.

Friday, July 10, 2009

The Test of Doom

Part 2 of our animation series finds us with an Oggy-cheese animation called the Test of Doom. It's very cute and playful, following the adventures of two more or less amorphous blobs in their quest to... be eternally happy or something. Either way, there's a Test of Doom. And crazy rave music. It made me happy.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Gravity's Just a Theory 2

Today marks the first in a series of three animations, all by the same guy: A Newgrounds flash artist by the name of Oggy-cheese. Yes, Oggy-cheese. Either way, he's pretty talented, and does a nice job with some colorful, simple animations.

First on the agenda is my personal favorite, an animation called Gravity's Just a Theory 2. Makes no sense, has no plot, and is totally cool. Begin!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

WoW Freakout

Okay, World of Warcraft is dangerous, alright? It's addicting. Like, meth addicting. Don't do it. This may save your life one day.

This is a video of a child whose WoW subscription was cancelled without his consent. Note that he has been reduced to a primal state. He appears to be being possessed by evil, Satanic spirits, based on the convulsions and animalistic sounds he is making. Do observe.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Stem Cells: A Primer

So, if any of you are wondering where I've been wasting away my summer hours (while I'm not blogging), look no further. I'm currently participating in the University of Pennsylvania Institute for Regenerative Medicine summer internship. Translation: I'm working in a stem cell lab at UPenn. It's really cool. My main job: Doing qPCR, or Quantitative Polymerase Chain Reaction. Basically means amplifying DNA so you can count how much of a gene is being expressed in a sample. Cool beans.

Now, stem cell research is one of the hottest medical fields out there, and it's generated a lot of political backlash as well. Here's a little explanation of what they are, and why it's politically sensitive.

A stem cell is basically a functionless cell that turns into another cell. You're made up of about ten trillion little cells, all of which have a specific function. Stem cells become those cells. You actually have a bunch of stem cells in your body, called adult stem cells, which replentish the cells in your body. They're not as important to research, because they can only become a few specific cell types and aren't very cooperative with scientists.

The cool ones are embryonic stem cells. About 3-5 days after conception, you are a tiny ball of these cells, which eventually become all of the specialized cells that make you you: Heart, lung, eye, spleen, and so forth. Basically, these little guys can become any type of cell, plus they can renew themselves forever. Why is this cool? Because you could theoretically take a bunch of stem cells, say "become heart cells!", and they could become heart cells. Then you could repair damaged hearts from people with heart attacks, or just better study the heart without cutting someone open.

What it means, potentially, is that you could cure heart disease, cure brain diseases like Alzheimer's, diabetes, all those crazy bad things, even repair blindness or spinal cord injuries. Or you could test drugs without having to use human subjects. Point is, the cells are really powerful and could cure lots of diseases.

Problem: Embryonic stem cells, the ones that matter, are only found when you're 3-5 days old. As in, in an embryo. And taking them out to study them kinda kills the embryo. So, a bunch of people have said "You're a-killin' babies!", and thus, we have a problem. Solution: People found a way to develop cells just like embryonic stem cells from normal cells. Without killing babies. Problem solved.

What I'm doing is studying them. It's a really new field, and they're not totally understood. I'm working in a lab that's trying to understand, basically, the way that stem cells turn into other cells, and what makes a stem cell a stem cell. It's really complex, involving a lot of genetics and stuff that's way over my head. I just do a lot of testing.

But, yeah, that's the basics on stem cells. Now you know more about things than you did before. Woo hoo.

Next week: A discussion on ecstasy and its current legality.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009


Remember chatrooms? Those old, antiquated rooms for a specific topic that you'd log onto from AIM or Yahoo! or whatever your messanger of choice was. I was never a big fan - they all seemed to be completely pointless to me, really.

Now, here to redefine the meaning of "procrastination" and "pointless" is Omegle. It takes the concept of the chatroom and the extends it further.

It's a one-on-one conversation between you and a complete stranger. Total anonymity, no preconceived topics. Basically, it can either be very, very boring, or very interesting. Might as well check it out.

Sort of reminds me of that scene in Fight Club where the narrator meets Tyler Derden on a plane. Except, more often than not, Tyler screams "COCKS" and jumps out the window. (Paraphrased from xkcd, by the way.)

Monday, June 29, 2009

Bono's Rendition of I Am the Walrus

Recently watched the movie Across the Universe for the first time; it's basically a compliation of Beatles songs sung by actors, weaved into a complex and moving story that combines the lives and stories of a multitude of characters; it's really very good.

Perhaps the best part, in my opinion, is when the characters visit an NYC nightclub, and they are entertained by none other than Bono, who plays some crazy (and likely LSD-infused) doctor with a cowboy hat and a serious moustache. Who then sings I Am the Walrus. It's really quite trippy, but pretty sweet.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

The Old Forever New Things

Three minute music video for your viewing pleasure of The Old Forever New Things, by The Most Serene Republic. It's fan-made, but quite good. The album it comes from, ...And the Ever Expanding Universe, isn't due for release until July 14th. Enjoy with caution.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Nightly Musings

Just watched the movie Elizabethtown. One of the leads, played by Kirsten Dunst, is possibly the embodiment of my dream girlfriend, the one who you always wish you could meet and likely never will. You can talk to her about anything and count on her to tell it straight, talk to her for hours and hours on the phone without any pause in conversation. She is insightful and witty and fun. She has great taste in music; in fact, she'll make you a mix CD on demand and you will be blown away. She will do quirky, amazing things. (Like organize a 42-hour road trip, turn by turn, with matching music, including philosophical musings and such.) And she's pretty, but by that point, who cares?

The weird thing is that she reminds me of a cross between two girls I've met in my life, both of whom just couldn't quite be that full person. One of them was pretty close, but I only knew her for a week and then never saw her again, and then quickly found out that she wasn't who I thought she was. The other had other good elements to her, but I never really bonded with her.

I want to have an endless conversation right now, talk until the sun comes up. I want someone who will know me, or discover me, and listen to me spill my thoughts about everything while she does the same, complete with interesting remarks and understanding. I want someone who will make me want to see them in the morning, and drive hours and hours to see them.

Pause - my sister has been keeping my family awake with her talking on the phone, and screamed, and my mom came in to put a stop to it.

Unpause. I wish this person would come around. Someone who I'd meet, share a moment with, and miss when they're gone like a part of me had been taken away. I've felt that way once before. Turns out I was wrong. But that's what it should feel like.

Is that person out there? Is this wonderful mystery girl a fantasy conjured up in the movies, always just beyond my reach, never real? I know perfection isn't realistic, but I almost feel as if it's impossible to even get close.

I've told myself that the perfect girl is pretty, smart, witty, understanding, has a great taste in music, and... something. But there are a lot of people that exist without that extra something. And it's that extra intangible that makes all the difference. I just hope there really is someone out there, who I'll meet. I'm betting on it; otherwise I'll justbe searching forever.

Your Daily Dose of Insanity

It's time for you to try Powerthirst: The Energy Drink for People Who Need Gratuitous Amounts of Energy.

Oh and if you liked that I suggest you look at Powerthirst 2: Re-Domination

Sunday, June 21, 2009

An Abstruse Glut of Esoteric Vernacular

If you ever read the New York Times, you might notice that... well, you occasionally can't understand what they're saying. The Times apparently prides itself on using a lot of 25-cent words, to the point where they send countless readers rushing to the dictionary in order to figure out what the hell is going on.

As it turns out, the Times takes data on which words are most commonly looked up. #1 is sui generis, from the Latin essentially meaning "unique", in a legal sense. It's followed by solipsistic (pertaining to the philosophical idea that "My mind is the only thing that I know exists."), louche (of questionable taste or morality), laconic (ironically meaning concise), and saturnine (bitter or scornful).

I suggest you check out this interesting article to get the full gist of it - they've compiled a list of the 50 most commonly researched words from the Times as well as some nice commentary. Check it out, and expand your vocabulary. Don't worry, it's good for your mind. And tasty too.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

NPR Exclusive: Moby's Wait for Me

Back in April, I gave a blurb about a new song by Moby called Shot in the Back of the Head, the first single from his forthcoming album Wait for Me. The album itself is not due out until June 30, but NPR has graciously made the entire album available, track by track, as part of its First Listen series.

NPR's Bob Boilen describes it like this: "Moby has just made his best record in 10 years — at least I think so. The new record by the DJ, singer, bassist, keyboardist, guitarist and all-around renaissance man, Wait for Me, is filled with beauty, sadness and celebration."

Truth be told, I can't help but agree - Wait for Me is an emotionally raw yet filling album, which draws you in with the pure serenity of opening track Division and cycles forward into the aurally complete and sometimes the raw and even avant-garde. The track Stock Radio is 45 seconds of recording an old radio put through some effect pedals. All in all, it's an album that needs to be listened to all the way through, and it is a truly moving experience from start to finish. If you're willing to go with something a little new, a little more electronic/synthy and outside the realm of popular guitar/bass/drums, you need to hear this.

The album can be found at this link. You can start listening to the first track and just click "Add to Playlist" on each track until you have a full album going, track by track.

Wait for Me will be released on June 30 (my birthday).

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Coup d'Ahmadinejad

By now, many of you are likely aware of the seriously disturbing events that are going on in Iran as we speak. It's really quite horrible how oppressive this current regime has proved itself to be, and I sincerely hope that the opposition's efforts come to be realized without any further bloodshed.

For those of you who aren't aware, here's a basic summary: Iran recently had a presidential election, the top two candidates for which were the incumbent President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and the reformist challenger Mir-Hossein Mousavi. Ahmadinejad won by a huge margin, and Mousavi called foul, declaring that he had truly won. All the evidence points to extensive vote-rigging, and it seems as if the current Ahmadinejad regime has seized power in a coup d'etat backed by Supreme Ruler Ayatollah Khomeini.

A few key highlights...
  • Government has clamped down on the media, blocking Youtube, Facebook, Gmail, and opposition websites. All SMS (text) service in Tehran has been cut, as well as most phone lines in general, and most internet access. Pro-government militias have even destroyed computers.
  • The government has also declared all foreign press coverage illegal, and is expelling all non-state run press, even seizing cameras.
  • The people have spent days demonstrating in support of Mousavi and against Ahmadinejad, often coming out in hundreds of thousands if not millions at a time. The protests are the biggest seen since the Iranian Revolution of 1979 when they abolished their monarchy.
  • Government police and pro-government militias have been very violent, issuing beatings, tear gas, and pepper spray to random Mousavi supporters, even to the point of death. There are reports of as many as eight killed in shootings.
  • Through it all, Ahmadinejad continues to claim victory, and the Supreme Leader has mostly given support, though is now demanding a recount, which most people consider a sham.
This is big. Really big. Like, one of the most significant political happenings in the Middle East in 30 years. This essentially represents the voice of the people and hope for democracy against the current, oppressive and isolationist regime. Iran is a big player in the Middle East, controlling much of its oil and directly financing and negotiating with terrorist organizations. Not to mention the whole nuclear thing going on.

You can get the basic gist of it on the major news networks - CNN, New York Times and the like, but I've been following this one a lot through the social media: Blogs and Twitter. Still, BBC News has been exceptionally good, as has a good New York Times blog.

If you want to follow this historic happening, I suggest you look at a few of the following links:

Huffington Post Liveblog - This is the blog that I've been following for all of my news updates. Great, more than hourly coverage, with integrated video and stories from the people.
The Daily Dish: The Atlantic - Really great blog from Andrew Sullivan of The Atlantic magazine, seems to be updated nearly every ten minutes with great features. Highly suggested. Photoblog - A great view of the protests, with large, high-definition photos.

George H. Bush is the Man

George W. Bush has garnered a smidge of criticism over hte past eight years for... well, various reasons. Consequently, one could say he isn't very... well-liked, shall we say.

His father, on the other hand, is a badass. He went skydiving for his 85th birthday. Yes, his 85th birthday.

Raw video from the AP:

Sunday, June 14, 2009


Yet another short film for y'all today, although this time, it's only 8 minutes. This one, directed by Trevor Cawood, is called Terminus. It chronicles the story of a man who is constantly stalked by a large concrete, well, block-thing. It's a bit odd, very surreal, and surprisingly dark. The net effect is a piece that is, on the whole, pretty creepy. Like Tempbot before it, it has some really nice special effects, and is definitely worth the watch.

Author's description:
After inadvertently offending a strange entity that accosts him on his way to work, a 1970s businessman quickly finds himself in the midst if a bizarre predicament. What follows is a rapid descent into madness, a journey both eerie and darkly humorous. The exact nature of the businessman’s tormentor is purposefully ambiguous, lending itself to a variety of interpretations.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Haemolacria - Your New Favorite Word of the Day

Stand aside, louche (definition: of questionable taste or morality), because your title as interesting word of the day has come to an end, to be replaced by a more medical, pedantic, and overall awesome word:

Haemolacria - (n.) a physical condition whereby a person produces tears which are composed of blood.

Translation: Now you have a fancy way of saying "MY EYES ARE BLEEDING !!1!11!"

Wednesday, June 10, 2009


I've stumbled across a short (15 minute) film called Tempbot, which I found myself very moved by. The plot is a bit odd - it's about a robot that works as a temporary worker in some company, and it describes his life and his forays into the emotions that robots simply can't seem to understand. To use the description from director Neill Blommkamp,
Tempbot is an experimental robot, designed to perform ordinary office jobs (but with an efficiency inaccessible for men) and to act as well as a normal human beings, including the way he relates with the opposite sex. Obviously, things will go very bad...
The CG effects for the robot itself are pretty stunning, and I found it to be very moving. The end left me very sad. Really worth the watch, I think.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Woot! - A New Way to Shop

Online shopping is pretty sweet. No longer is one tethered to the individual store - no longer must one burn countless gallons of precious fossil fuels, slowing toasting the Earth to a crispy golden brown, finding items one at a time from the endless shelves of this store and that store, and wasting valuable minutes and hours of his life. One need only type in what he or she want, and bam, there it is! Sure, it's an extra $3 for shipping, but you probably would pay that much in gas anyway. And man is it convenient.

Online marketplaces (especially Amazon, in my opinion) have changed the way we shop. And it rocks now. Wal-Mart, eat your heart out. If you ask me, is the pinnacle of online shopping: They sell virtually everything, and almost always at the lowest price. Ever. It's everything, all in the same place.

Woot!, on the other hand, is quite different. Imagine Amazon, except with one item on sale at a time. And every day, that item changed, completely sold out. That's Woot! - a bargain-basement site selling an item a day. It's really pretty cool - every day a new discounted item is posted, ranging from electronic chess sets to laptop computers to whatever you could possibly think of - and they're sometimes pretty quirky.

Woot!'s slogan is "One Day, One Deal", and it perfectly reflects their sales model. They also run Shirt Woot!, which sells a unique t-shirt design each day (at only $10, I've bought three from them, personally, all of which are quite satisfying), and Wine Woot!, which sells two different types of wine per week.

All in all, it's a cool site to keep on your favorites list - check in every day, and see if they've got something you might want. It's all discounted, so you're guaranteed to get it at a good price.

So check it out. Woot!

Friday, June 5, 2009


I have to say, I always knew that there were some really crazy, scary people out there. But I never quite realized to what extent until now.

Coming back from a tennis team banquet today, I found a green pickup truck tailgating me and honking furiously while I ambled along at the posted speed limit of 25mpg. It was a do not pass zone and there was nowhere for me to turn onto for about half a mile. At a red light, the guy passes me, stops in front of me, gets out of his car, and comes over to me. He then proceeds to start screaming and cursing at me at the top of his lungs, screaming "do you know how to f***ing drive" and going on about the "piece of s***" my dad bought me.

I figured it was best to be passive, let him scream himself out, and leave. I was afraid if I didn't roll down the window, he'd damage my parents' car. Luckily, I was right; he screamed and ran off as soon as there was a green light.

I know he's a stupid guy, but my God, I was seriously scared that he was going to do something. And what could I have done? I was strapped into a seatbelt, no one around.

I guess there are just some really scary people out there... it's best to avoid them at all costs; they obviously can't be dealt with rationally. Just watch out for yourselves, alright? Because the world really is full of dangerous people.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Spongebob Waxes Philosphical

Trawling around the interwebz, I happend to stumble across a fairly interesting article in The Atlantic regarding Spongebob Squarepants, of all things. How could such a thing be more than a generic praising review?, asks the audience.

Well, it's a bit... philosophical. It's actually a fairly in-depth analysis of the meaning behind the show, analyzing both the characters and the motivation behind them. It's a bit... didactic at times, almost appearing as if the article is trying to seem more sophisticated than it is, to the point where it almost sounds like a snooty New Englander trying to make more out of something than it is. Nonetheless, it's an interesting read on a show that I've been watching since I was a wee lad, and I think it's worth a look.

In addition, if you're feeling bold, check out the movie link at the top left of the article; it, too, has a few interesting thoughts.

Monday, June 1, 2009

1901 - Phoenix

Got a pretty psychadellic music video for y'all today - it's 1901, by Phoenix. It's pretty poppy, with a nice indie rock feel to it. Very foot-tapping material. Got some interesting, almost retro-ey video effects. I'm more taken with the song at the moment, but we'll see what you think.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009


Pokemon the musical may have been the greatest idea ever concocted. No, seriously. 25 (ish) minutes of pure mayhem and hilarity, including some extreme musical performances (some nice guitar solos, piano solos, and trombone solos.) Team Rocket, the theme song, and pikachu love! ^^ Oh, and surprise appearance by the Blues Brothers.

That will be all.