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.