Friday, March 28, 2008

better than a coffee table

Furniture you can play. :)

Monday, March 17, 2008


As some of you know, last year I browbeat most of my friends of into donating to a charitable cause in which I am heavily invested. For the last couple of years, I have been raising money to help send my former host sister in rural Nicaragua to high school. This year, Iveth is set to graduate -- an AMAZING feat considering the odds a woman of her means faces -- and I am determined not only to assist her in her final year of secondary school, but also to begin raising funds for her younger sister, Joselin. Last year the department came together and raised around $450; this year I'm hoping to raise $880.

If you are interested in helping or learning more about this project, please visit my website to read about Iveth and Joselin's story:

Please consider donating. Schooling in Nicaragua is free; we are merely trying to raising the funds they need to cover transportation costs -- about $1.75 a day per student. A donation of $10 sends Iveth or Joselin to school for more than a week. If you are willing, please pass this link around to your friends and family, post it to your social networking profiles, and publish it on your blogs. This is an eminently worth cause.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Kendra passes along word that a remake is in the work for one of our favorite horror films, Rosemary's Baby

"Rosemary's Baby" is in for a rebirth.

Paramount is in negotiations with horror shingle Platinum Dunes to bring back the classic for a new generation of moviegoers.

Partners Michael Bay, Andrew Form and Brad Fuller will produce the remake. Adam Fields ("Donnie Darko"), who brought the project to Platinum Dunes, will also produce.
Michael Bay is not a name I am familiar with, but his IMDB page says that he is currently in pre-production of remakes of The Birds, Friday the Thirteenth, and Nightmare on Elm Street. Apparently he only remakes old horror movies. Of course there is always danger with any remake of anything, but especially in horror movies like Rosemary's Baby, a good part of the horror comes from the subtlety of the direction, the lack of special effects, and the simplicity of the story. I don't know that this movie could be remade now--at least not without totally destroying the aesthetic. Let hope that Adam Fields can exert some Darko-esque discretion and not ruin this film.

Here's the original trailer:

Thursday, March 13, 2008

The End is Near

Gnomes are on the loose in Argentina.

'Creepy gnome' terrorising Argentinian town - video

Residents of a small town in Argentina have been spooked after several sightings of bizarre-looking figure that was captured on video in the middle of the night.

Locals claim the 'creepy gnome' stalks the streets at night. The little 'person' who wears a pointy hat has a distinctive sideways walk was caught on video last week by youngsters who claim to have been terrified.

And, of course, there's video:

This does not bode well for St. Patrick's Day.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008


Jared Massey, who was tasered in Utah during a routine traffic stop in September, has been awarded $40,000 in damages, according to the Associated Press. This after the cop car dash camera showed him shocked twice before being told he was under arrest.

The crazies are not going to be happy about this.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Myths of Torture

Given that President Bush just vetoed legislation that would prevent the CIA from using torture techniques on detainees--people who have who have suddenly found themselves under the jurisdiction of no legal structure whatsoever and thus vulnerable to any and every caprice of their captors--it bears repeating that torture does not work.

It takes about two minutes to understand why torture does not work as a form of information extraction, and why the justifications for it are always falsely premised.

I submit the following.

Via BoingBoing.

Sunday, March 9, 2008


BoingBoing has a nice link to a page by a fellow named Sean Ragan who had graphed all the possibile choices in the classic 1979 Choose Your Own Adventure novel, The Mystery of Chimney Rock.

Recently I was thinking about writing a Choose Your Own Adventure (CYOA) book, trying to achieve an effect for a more mature audience. That project is still bubbling on the back burner. In the planning process, however, I decided to analyze my favorite CYOA book from my childhood to see what its structure was like. This graph is the result.
Kendra and I went through a spell last year (call it a phase) when we were deeply immersed in a couple of Choose Your Own Adventure books. For the first time in my life, I actually read every page of one of these books and followed every possible route. And I have to say, there is an art to plotting the choices. Good books have clear, good outcomes--a scenario in which you "win." Good books also tend to give you more than the simple either/or choice; some allow you to choose between three options, and one book we read had an ending that also had a choice with it (?). But probably the best choice we were given in our entire reading experience (and I say "we" because Kendra and I were team-reading these bad boys) was in Your Code Name is Jonah; here we were given the option of continuing to be a CIA operative working for the White House OR to resign in protest and go to "marine biology school." Priceless. I can see how over-thinking the plotting of choices could mar the simple nature of the CYOA books, but I applaud Sean Ragan for getting down to business with it anyway.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008


George W. Bush has spent one third of his presidency on vacation. The Washington Post reports:

According to the meticulous records kept by CBS Radio White House correspondent Mark Knoller, Bush on Monday lodged his 879th day spent in whole or in part at Camp David or his sprawling estate in Crawford, Tex.
I guess we all out to be glad that he doesn't work more. One-third less Bush is one-third less Bush. I'm not complaining.