Monday, February 27, 2006

What is BoingBoing's Deal?

Cory and friends have been obsessed, certifiably, in a nutjob kinda way, with anagrams of subway maps. Can someone explain the fascination of this crap?

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Can We Just Say

...that this Sunday's Times fkn rocked? First, on the homepage, there was this wonderful by-line:

Dubai Ports World will "voluntarily" ask the Bush administration to pursue the deeper investigation Congress has been demanding.
Hahaha! With a pellet gun to their heads, the Ports World folks will ask for the review that BushCheneyRove, Inc., insists isn't necessary--since when does any paper have the moxie to put voluntarily in quotes like that?

THEN the mag led with this yummy goodness: The Taliban's foreign spokesman is a freshman at Yale.

AND to end with a laugh, the Week in Review featured this exchange from the Colbert Files:
Mr. Colbert knew just how to get under the skin of one of them, Bill Pascrell Jr. of New Jersey, by suggesting that Mr. Pascrell, a co-sponsor of legislation seeking an end to offensive media portrayals of Italian-Americans, was not a true Italian.

"Congressman," Mr. Colbert said, "your name doesn't end in a vowel."

"Italians don't have to end in a vowel," Mr. Pascrell parried. Mr. Colbert demanded that he name one.

Flustered, the congressman blurted out: "Sole! Tom Sole. S-O-L-E."

God that's good.

PS We've been sporadic with our posting this past month. We'll do better in March.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Our Last Post on the Danish-Arab Cartoons. Promise.

A Danish paper publishes a cartoon that mocks Muslims.
An Iranian paper responds with a Holocaust cartoons contest
Now a group of Israelis announce their own anti-Semitic cartoons contest!

“We’ll show the world we can do the best, sharpest, most offensive Jew hating cartoons ever published!” said Tel-Aviv publisher Amitai Sandy. “No Iranian will beat us on our home turf!”

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Mardi Gras,

FEMA-style. (Requires Flash.)

Brought to you by, Netdisaster, and the letter N.

Funnier than Freedom Fries

As part of the anti-Danish sentiment following the publication of cartoons featuring the Prophet as the butt of various jokes, Middle Eastern bakeries have re-christened the fruit-and-or-cheese-filled pastry formerly known as a danish. The breakfast treats are now to be called Roses of Muhammed.

Monday, February 20, 2006

Computer Modding Done Right

Computer modding runs a gamut from custom painted iPods and iMacs to obssesive sci-fi and game-inspired creations, none of which are particularly useful or even practical as computers, although we admit that PCs with automotive enamel paint, street-racer flames, and chrome bling-bling are fkn awesome looking. Today we found a modded system that makes sense: the computer is built into a desk. The closest thing we have seen before are desks designed to hold the computer case inconspicuously, but actually incorporating the computer's innards into the desk is new, and PowerDesk will build any computer, including a Mac, into a custom desk. If only we had some cash...

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Banana Art from Russia

Those crazy Russians are making more than vodka these days. Check out these tattoed bananas!

This is what makes the 'net great.

Bill Sagan, music nut and CEO of Wolfgang's Vault brings us every concert ever staged by Bill Graham (aka Wolfgang Grajonca). Graham started out at the Fillmore Auditorium and quickly branched out to promote other venues and worked with every major group of the '60s and '70s: The Grateful Dead, Dylan and The Band, Aretha Franklin, Led Zeppelin, you name 'em. Wisely, he taped all this great stuff, and Sagan's Vault Radio now streams it all for free. Warning: They didn't anticipate the popularity of this stuff, so we've been getting lots of "server too busy" errors at the Vault. It's worth it to come back later, though.

(via Library Stuff)

What is wrong with the RIAA?

In case you hadn't heard, last week the RIAA told the feds that ripping CDs to mp3s is illegal, even if it is so commonplace that CD buyers assume they have a right to rip their music. We are still digesting the idea that the guy selling CDs gets to tell the feds what we can legally do with the music we bought, but the RIAA's website says:

If you choose to take your own CDs and make copies for yourself on your computer or portable music player, that's great. It's your music and we want you to enjoy it at home, at work, in the car and on the jogging trail.
So what the hell is it with these people: They want us to rip our CDs and enjoy them, but then their lawyers are going to slap us with a subpoena the minute we do? That's actually a nice way to make more money from their CD business without, you know, having to find new talent or record decent music...

Along those lines, Rolling Stone recently surveyed 1,000 people, who agree that most of the CDs for sale suck. That's right: 92% of music listeners say they have never downloaded a free, ripped mp3 without permission, and fully 80% say that to do so would be illegal (apparently, 12% of people don't do it even though they don't have a problem with us doing it, which is nice), but roughly 75% say that CDs cost too fkn much and more than half say that the quality of CDs on the shelf is generally worse than they'd be willing to pay any price for.

So, to anyone in the music industry who might be reading, we suggest that you fire those schizophrenic lawyers you have working for you and spend the money on making some music.

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Album Cover Art for MP3s

For the anal retentive who need to see their album covers in iTunes, is your new savior. Search by album, track title, or artist--much easier than sifting through pages.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

A Quaint Cabbie

This quick little piece about Ray Kottner, a long-time NYC cabbie who drives a vintage 1982 Checker cab around Manhattan for tips only, tugged at our pretentious nostalgia for things we never knew and the good ol' days that never were.

Salon back from the grave?

Abu Ghraib, that is. We had given up on them, but here they are with pics of the army's investigation of Abu Ghraib. Impressive.

Monday, February 13, 2006

Slot Loading Record Player

This turntable uses some fancy tech to read vinyl with a laser beam, which supposedly renders a smoother sound without the surface noise and presumably doesn't wear down the ridges on the vinyl like a needle can. Or it melts the vinyl, ruining it forever. The laser also allows scanning forward and backward, just like CDs. And, as promised, the turn table features tray loading design like a CD player.

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Missed Friday Happy Hour... So Get Drunk on Saturday

Ivanabitch vodka. Over at the Ivanabitch web site, they need to cut the crap about how clear the shit is. We've never drank or even seen vodka that wasn't clear. Nor would we. It is vodka. It is called Ivanabitch. So we're having some.

BTW, Clear Channel won't run the Ivanabitch ads because they feature an "overly suggestive" murkin. Ass hats.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Europe Set to Rule the US Book Industry

A French company just bought up Little, Brown and the rest of Time Warner's book publishing operation. Slate has the big picture, ranging from Bertelsmann's ownership of Random House and Georg von Holtbrinck's (we have no idea who that guy is, but his name is awesome) ownership of Farrar, Straus & Giroux and Picador. And Penguin, the British publisher for the masses, owns just about every other print house out there. Why are the Europeans interested in American books? The book market in Europe sucks so bad that it the few publishers left in Europe drool at the prospect of making a few hundred million by cornering the NYTimes best seller list.

Bush's NASA Crony On The Run

George Deutsch, the 24-year old p.r. guy installed by President Bush to make sure that the word "theory" follows every instance of the words "Big Bang" and to keep anyone at NASA from talking about Global Warming, resigned today when it was "leaked" that he had not in fact graduated from Texas A & M, as his resume stated.

Possible Administration responses: 1. The journalists who leaked the non-existence of this man's degree have done this country a great disservice. 2. Anyone who spent 5 years at Texas A & M is more than qualified to run NASA or any other job in this nation's government and his resignation was a personal career decision. 3. If certain liberal elements hadn't hijacked Texas A & M, this hardworking boy, who is a good person, dagnabbit, would have graduated, so his resume simply reflected what he had earned, irrespective of what had been given him. (If Scott McClellan utters any of these statements, he owes us royalties and all our loyal readers get a free ice cream.)

Pennsylvanian Photobloggin

One of the Bloggie Award nominees for Best Photoblog has totally, utterly blown us away: A Walk Through Durham Township, Pennsylvania. The title is a mouthful, yes, but the pictures are absolutely beautiful. Great compositions with just the right amount of Photoshop. We spent a few hours clicking through the archives one pic at a time and couldn't pick just one favorite to show you. You can start with the portfolio.

Friday, February 03, 2006

Friday Happy Hour

Meet the Pisco Sour. Pisco is a South American brandy made primarily in Peru and Chile, with both claiming theirs is the "real" pisco. According to Wikipedia, the Spanish explorers brought grapes to Peru as early as the 1530s, but the King of Spain outlawed wine in his colonies a hundred years later, forcing the Peruvians to get creative with their grapes. So they started making brandy instead of dealing with the legal hassles of wine. Unlike most European brandies, though, pisco is generally not barrelled, so it is clear, and the sweetness of the South American grapes makes it almost syrupy, masking its alcohol content nicely.

Pisco is classically combined with lemons or limes, something sweet (usually simple syrup), and egg white froth to make the refreshing Pisco Sour. Our local bartender likes grenadine instead of simple syrup, which makes the drink pink.

The Satanic Comics

The Danish cartoons behind the uproar in the Middle East are available here, including the one featuring the Prophet wearing a bomb for a turban. The European comedians have been mocking Christian symbols like the Cruxifix for centuries, so we suggest that Muslims think of this as equal opportunity mockery.

Also, when we heard several talking heads on the radio today explaining that Christian Europe needs to be more sensitive to Muslim's religion and values, etc, we thought, "Most of Europe and certainly everyone drawing cartoons for the newspaper would be pissed if they heard you accusing them of being Christians."

UPDATE: Christopher Hitchens points out in a matter-of-fact piece at Slate that 1) Arab and Muslims newspapers are replete with anti-Jewish slurs of every kind and 2) Demanding that non-Muslims obey the same rules about not representing the Prophet as Muslims is not a demand for respect, it is a demand for conversion.

What is it with Kansas?

Not only is it illegal for teenagers to have sex--even if it is consensual--in Kansas, it is apparently a misdemeanor to fail to report any knowledge you may have of teenage sex. So if your buddy is bragging about how he got to third base, report him. Even better, if you are a nurse and find out that the Good Doctor gave Little Susie some birth control pills, report 'em both.