Thursday, October 29, 2009

Alien Radio

I wish I still did community radio. If I did, I would use the audio of this to build a sweet station id.

Plus it gives you cavities

In case you didn't already know, "most of the candy sold during this season has been dedicated and prayed over by witches."

I always thought there was something evil about candy corn.

"Master race" has such negative connotations

Colbert was ON FIRE with last night's Word.

The Colbert ReportMon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
The Word - You-Genics
Colbert Report Full EpisodesPolitical HumorReligion

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

3 Joes

Philly Joe Jones:

And Papa Jo Jones:

And Joe Morello:

trailer time

Because it's almost Halloween:

And some bonus trivia: Burt Bacharach wrote the groovy intro music.

Monday, October 26, 2009

This machine never stops

News from the Reatardiverse:

After the acrimonious departure of his backing band earlier this month, Jay Reatard has found a new band just two weeks later. The new group features Anders Thode (bass) and Jacob Elving (drums), both from Danish punk outfit, the Cola Freaks. The new lineup comes on the heels of the announcement that Reatard has been tapped to support the legendary Pixies on their Doolittle tour. The Memphis garage punk musician is supporting his recent Matador Records release Watch Me Fall.
I guess it doesn't surprise me that Jay's band left him mid-tour. He seems like that kind. Anyways, the Cola Freaks are decent. Here's a link to their Myspace page. I've always thought one of the beauties about punk rock is that you can listen to music in a language you don't know without feeling any loss at all.

Apparently these guys will be backing Jay when he plays at the Local 506 in December.

Thursday, October 22, 2009


A. O. Scott pans Lars von Trier's newest, Antichrist:

Women: intrinsically evil or tragically misunderstood? If this strikes you as a fruitful topic of discussion, then you may wish to see — or perhaps I should say endure — Lars von Trier’s “Antichrist,” a film that has already set off carefully orchestrated frissons of disturbance at film festivals around the world. It starts with a slow-motion, black-and-white sequence, scored to a Handel aria, of graphic sex (with a snippet of hard core thrown in just for fun) and climaxes with two vivid scenes of genital mutilation.

Mr. von Trier has said that making the movie helped him overcome a crippling depression. I’m glad he feels better. He has certainly lost none of the impish, assaultive sensationalism that has made him both a darling and a scapegoat of film critics. But the formal rigor and intellectual brio that made his best films — “Breaking the Waves” and “Dogville” — as hard to dismiss as they were easy to loathe seems to have abandoned him. The scandal of “Antichrist” is not that it is grisly or upsetting but that it is so ponderous, so conceptually thin and so dull.
I'm feeling less and less certain that I want to see this movie. Considering how much I've been enjoying Charlie Chaplin of late, it hardly seems like the time for me.

Plus, I'm not certain I could convince anyone to come see this with me.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Picture it

From Outside Online -- the stories and images behind the hardest-earned shots of thirteen different photographers. Here's a good one, from Matthieu Paley:

I was in Siberia, at frozen Lake Baikal, and there were five of us crammed into a Russian jeep. The others were drinking vodka. I told them I was going up a small cliff to shoot this rider, and as I walked back I saw the jeep start up and drive off: They had forgotten me. I started running, then screaming. It was getting dark, and it was about to be 35 below. I freaked out. I started thinking that I should've had a kid, to leave something behind. After an hour of trudging through snow, I saw a fisherman sitting beside a hole in the ice. I ran to him, waving like a madman, and tried to explain the situation in the little Russian I knew. He held out a vodka bottle to me, then gestured up a hill. At the top of it, there was a road. I sat beside it in this scary Siberian silence until I heard "Matthieuuuu." It was the driver and translator. When we arrived at the hotel, I called my girlfriend—now my wife—and told her I would love to have a kid one of these days. He's two and a half years old now.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

After having seen a killer performance of Mr. Brain Blade under the guise of Hallelujah Train, I feel duty-bound to offer a few clips of the man going crazy on the skins:

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Opting in and out

Nate Silver, political gem, explains why the clause being floated that may allow states to opt out of the public option aint all that bad. Here are his first four points:

1) If the public option is indeed popular -- and the preponderance of public polling suggests that it is -- we should expect the solid majority of states to elect to retain it. Perhaps some Republican governors or legislatures would seek to override the popular will in their states -- but they would do so at their own peril (and at Democrats' gain).

2) Behavioral economics further suggests that default preferences are extremely powerful. Making the public option the default would probably lead to much greater adaptation than requiring states to "opt in".

3) If the public option indeed reduces the costs of insurance -- and most of the evidence suggests that it will -- than the states that opt out of it will have a pretty compelling reason to opt back in. Say that Kansas opts out of the public option and Missouri keeps it. If a Kansan realizes that his friend across the border is buying the same quality health insurance for $300 less per month, he's going to vote restore the public plan in a referendum or demand that his legislator does the same in Topeka.

4) Even in states that do opt out of the public option, the fact that voters could presumably elect later to restore it creates an extremely credible threat to the private insurance industry that will itself help to create price competition.
Could we really be on the verge of making this happen?

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

See, Bob Dole gets it:

Former Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole (R-Kans.) told a group of local Kansas reporters on Wednesday, that opposition to the president's health care package had been driven by knee-jerk partisanship and urged Congressional Republicans to get on board a version of reform.

The 1996 Republican presidential candidate also predicted, following a speech at a health care reform summit in Kansas, that "there will be a signing ceremony" for a reform bill sometime this year or early in 2010.

But the comments that seem likely to create the most ripples were those that dealt with congressional opposition to the White House. Dole, according to reports, framed the pushback to Barack Obama's reform agenda as almost perfunctory in nature.

"Sometimes people fight you just to fight you," he said, according to The Kansas City Star. "They don't want Reagan to get it, they don't want Obama to get it, so we've got to kill it...

"Health care is one of those things," he added. "Now we've got to do something."

Too bad nobody listens to Bob Dole anymore.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Get excited! We're bombing the moon! The moon men have had this coming for ages!

Monday, October 5, 2009


I'm sure I'm not the only one, but I think I would enjoy this article about the hi-tech search for a missing da Vinci painting hidden behind a mural in Florence's city hall if it weren't for Dan Brown. That bastard ruins everything.

The best protest picture ever.

Here's the story, from the NYT. Thanks, Kendra!

The Immigrants Want to Sing All Night Long

Because it's rainy in Durham, and it always seems like the right time to miss Joe Strummer: "Straight to Hell."

If you can play on the fiddle
How's about a British jig and reel?
Speaking King's English in quotation
As railhead towns feel the steel mills rust water froze
In the generation
Clear as winter ice
This is your paradise

There ain't no need for ya
There ain't no need for ya
Go straight to Hell boys
Go straight to Hell boys

I would've liked to find a good version of the Clash doing this, but it's a hard song to make work live, so the youtube videos don't do the song the justice that the Mescaleros do it. Here's a nice live Clash version, but without a video.

Water water everywhere

When Nalgene announced a year and half ago that a majority of the water bottles they sold have the capacity to leach the toxic chemical BPA, many people that I know switched to the aluminum bottles produced by SIGG. The SIGG company went from nothing to having a huge share of the water bottle market almost overnight.

At the time I did a little research to ensure that these bottles were everything that my once-trusted Nalgene was not, and they seemed to pass the test. Then, a few months ago, it was revealed that all SIGG bottles produced before 2008 also had the capacity to leach BPA. Of course, SIGG did not do what Nalgene did by announcing that this was the case and publicly taking steps to fix things. Instead, they let Nalgene's bad luck play itself out, and in the process acquired a much greater market share, all the while leading people like me to believe that they were not ingesting BPA.

Well, I am back on the Nalgene kick, and very, very happy about it. And what makes me especially happy is the fact that SIGG is now doing a voluntary recall program. So even though I will never buy another SIGG on account of their clear deception, I will avail myself of the opportunity to make them pay for a replacement. And if you have a bottle with one of the old liners in it, I recommend you do the same.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

This Python is Dead

“I’m proud to be a Python. It’s a badge of silliness, which is quite important. I was the gay lumberjack, I was the Spanish Inquisition, I was one-half of the fish-slapping dance. I look at myself and think that may be the most important thing I’ve ever done.”
Michael Palin self-diagnoses in a fascinating and personal article in the NYT on an upcoming, six-hour documentary on Monty Python. Here's the IFC blurb on the documentary, Almost the Truth: The Lawyer's Cut. And here's a clip:

More video here.


Nate Silver on what it means that conservatives cheered when the US lost its bid for the 2016 Olympics:

That the conservative intelligentsia reacted giddily to news of the Americans losing is telling. It's telling of a movement that was long ago knocked off its intellectual moorings and has lost the capacity to think about what people outside the room think about.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Awesome: Kansas City artists creating "nerdbots," robot sculptures made out of old junk. Must visit. Located on 9th St. in downtown KC.

From boingboing.


Stephen Joyce should never have gone done this road with a professor at a university with such a good law school.

As Stanford University reported a couple of days ago and Inside Higher Ed noted, the estate of James Joyce, headed up by James Joyce’s grandson, Stephen James Joyce, has lost a lawsuit with English professor Carol Loeb Shloss and must pay her legal fees and costs of nearly a quarter-million dollars.

This finding appears to end the almost two-decade battle with the estate by Shloss, and to represent relief for other Joyce scholars who’ve felt the estate to be unfair and unreasonable in the number of demands and limitations imposed on them. [...]

Shloss, the author of Lucia Joyce: To Dance in the Wake (2003), had been forced to remove supporting research from her revisionist book on James Joyce’s daughter, which led to mixed reviews. [...]

In the intervening years since the original publication of the expurgated biography, Shloss has already won in suit the right to “domestic online publication of the supportive scholarship” and the right to republish the book in the U.S. with the missing material restored. Now she’ll be reimbursed for her expenses too, which will clearly make her lawyers—Howard Rice Nemerovski Canady Falk & Rabkin, Keker & Van Nest, and Doerner, Saunders, Daniel & Anderson, as well as the Stanford Law School Center for Internet and Society's Fair Use Project—yes, rejoice.

I met Schloss a couple of years ago, and I gather that the well-publicized legal aspects of this case only barely gesture at what a jerk Stephen Joyce actually is. Every time someone finds an unknown Joyce letter in an archive somewhere, they have to grovel before this guy just to get permission to publish something nobody living today knew existed.

Thanks to Gerry for the link.