Sunday, December 30, 2007

The Aerocivic!


Usually when Gmail reads my correspondence and sends me ads, it's for Thai fisherman pants or 1-800-Lawyers (the pants I have no idea). Finally I get something useful.

95 miles per gallon! 95 miles!

A quick note about the photo: I know the car is hideous, but did they have to put it in a crappy suburb next to a Winnebago and some crabgrass?

Thursday, December 27, 2007

"Way Down in the Hole" by Dimaje



If you're not familiar with The Wire, each season they pick a different version of Tom Waits' "Way Down in the Hole" to play over the intro. This is the one for all of the fourth season episodes, far and away my favorite version of the song. And until the soundtrack for the show is released on January 8th, this is the best way you're gonna hear it, in all its androgynous, God-fearing glory.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

"Not Again" by Christina Soto


Not again is right! This reminds me of my friend Rachel from high school, who people thought was a lot like Alicia Silverstone in Clueless until she sneezed. Insane.

And you're saying, but why the prison orange?

Human Jump Rope Act

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Friday, December 14, 2007

Persepolis trailer


Two exams next week: I'm not allowing myself to have any fun -- blog-related or otherwise -- until they're over. This is a last gasp before next weekend, the preview for a movie based on one of my favorite books. Producers: if you want me to see your movie, end the preview with a montage - doesn't matter how short.

Jessica the Pet Hippo


All I want for Christmas is an ipod. And a hippo.

Courtesy of Amneris and Karen (or if they were a lawfirm, Solitaire & Suarez).

Thursday, December 13, 2007

The Largest Bubble Gum Bubble in the World


Almost. I tragically don't understand Spanish, even though I took, oh, seven years of the language. Still, I do understand game show music, and by the sound of things at the end she didn't quite make it.

You can just fast forward to the last 20 seconds. The best part is at the end, when she casually pops the bubble and sucks it back into her mouth. (Is she inhaling it?)

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

"A Little Lost" by Jens Lekman



So sweet. So Swedish. Wow, that's really bad. Try not to let my joke ruin this video. It's so rare that you get to see one where the artist is playing the song live.

"Like a Rolling Stone" by Cornelius



I'm obsessed; it's stunning. I don't want to say what it reminds me of because I feel like each person should have an opportunity to draw their own connections (not always, just here). Watch it with headphones - trust me.

And for something completely different (and terrifying), watch the video for "Ted" by Clark. A warning though: the reason I'm not posting it is because it's absolutely grotesque. The director found the world's ugliest insects and filmed them up close. You can bet when people talk about God's creatures, they're not talking about these things. And yet, I can't look away...

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

(The) O.C.



I'm strangely obsessed with this video, maybe because in New York you don't see sliding patio doors enough. Or maybe it's that the cat's name (which stands for "Orange Cat") reminds of these people. No, that's probably not it either.

Catch all new episodes here (it's a blog run by my friends Karen and Amneris).

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Wake Up Cat



It's easy to predict but still adorable. And it has to be a cat doesn't it? Because dogs are too damn loyal to their owners - cats are selfish to the bitter end, which is why I love them.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Celebrities say the darndest things


Gosh I forgot all about this interview. In which Whitney informs us that "crack is whack" - because it's cheap.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Red maple (Acer rubrum)


I know it's a little calendar-y, but I like it. Plus, I'm sick of the city today and want to play in the woods.

Photo by Kathleen Connally

What's in a campaign sticker?


The world is in chaos, who's going to make it better? I have little faith in the curative properties of the American presidency, let alone in any of the candidates. Still, it's fascinating to see what their logos say (or try to say) about each of them.

Illustration by Ward Sutton

Friday, November 16, 2007

Library, barn, or old-timey auction house?



My friends Emily and Ryan are getting married in a library. Perhaps I could interest them? These are photos of the Billy Graham Library, taken by Jeremy Lange for the New York Times. Admission is free! And is that a silo in the top photo?

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Maybe Siberia isn't so bad after all


Photo by Misha Japaridze for the Associated Press

Monday, November 12, 2007

Rusty the Narcoleptic Dog



And it's even better because the voiceover is that soothing, nerdy voice I remember from science videos in high school. Courtesy of Alex Parise.

Dia de los muertos...y platanos


Death rituals, marigolds, candles, and bananas. Seriously, what more could you ask for?

(Photo by Janet Jarman for the NY Times)

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Sex Education, Bollywood Style!


Really Weird Indian Condom Commercial - Watch more free videos

The video's a little long, but it's all worth it come the 5:55 mark.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

"Angel from Montgomery"



Never have I felt so guilty for mixing up Bonnie Raitt and Reba McEntire. The video is courtesy of Yuval Ben-Ami's blog (over there on the lynx list). I don't know why I'm still surprised when foreigners like American folk and country music. I should more just be surprised when Americans don't.

For a fine performance and explanation by the writer of the song, look no further:

Czech it out! (awful, I know)



These two photos are from "Defenestrated: An Account of My Semester in Prague," a blog by my friend Amneris's niece. The photos were taken in London and Berlin, respectively.

I like how many times the bottom one says curry...and the fact that they're eating french fries.

Finals are approaching

Friday, November 9, 2007

Crank That Superman (and Wonder Woman)



Like the song, this video gets old pretty quick. But for about a minute it's brilliant (in the case of this video, for about a minute and ten seconds - I love the guy with the bird mask).

"Crank that (Superman)" by Soulja Boy

Saturday, November 3, 2007

It just goes on for miles...



People are sometimes surprised to learn that I currently have no desire to visit Europe. My feeling is, I get enough culture in this blasted city, give me some open space to roam around in, preferably in shorts.

Both photos are from the New York Times. The first one is of Green Beach in Vieques, and was taken by Michelle Higgins.

The second photo is of the Texas Hill Country, which I've traveled through and is really great...to travel through (probably not to stop in is my guess). Maybe I'm just saying that because one of the towns in the region is named Slaughter. (Sidenote: There's also a town in Texas called New Boston - some guy killed a bunch of people in a KFC there.) The photo is by Mark Graham.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

"Tank 1" by Timothy Schenck

"Goodbye, Mr. Bond"


You know that scene in Goldfinger where the laser's about to slice James Bond in half? Yeah, I never thought a giant waffle cone would remind me of that.

Kucinich on UFOs, Obama on helping the children of Earth



Dennis Kucinich's comment about seeing a UFO wouldn't seem so creepy if he didn't kind of look like an alien. As for Obama's response, it's like my friend Cornelia said: when you're asked a question like that, how do you not deflect it like hell?

Finally, I know this is really vicious, and I like to think that I dislike Hillary Clinton for better reasons than her laugh, but I'm genuinely surprised this video isn't more popular:

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Canolfan Mileniwm Cymru


That's Welsh for "The Wales Millennium Centre." Random facts from Wikipedia:

- The inscription means "In these stones horizons sing."

- The Centre's appeared four times in Doctor Who so far.

- "On November 3rd 2006, a record breaking attempt to gather the most people with the same surname — Jones — took place in the centre, under the show banner Jones Jones Jones, filmed for television by S4C. The record was broken, with 1224 Joneses filling the Donald Gordon Theatre."

Monday, October 22, 2007

Bus racing! Holy shit!



God bless the people of Marne, Michigan. Warning: this video is kind of terrifying.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Urban camouflage


Can I just say that I think Kate Moss would look much better as a vending machine? I would pay really good money to see a runway show of these designs.

This is from an article about the designs of Aya Tsukioka. Apparently there's a good deal of anxiety about crime in Tokyo, and something like this would help people who are being followed trick their pursuers.

(Photo by Torin Boyd)

Friday, October 19, 2007

"Chimneys in Banska Stiavnica"



There's a whole exhibit of this weirdness at the Guggenheim right now. Photo by Sergej Protopopov.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Escape from New York part I




Photo by Sam Javanrouh, near Summerhill railway station in Toronto

David Lynch, adman

David Lynch is not a fan of product placement:



But he sure makes one hell of an ad:



And if total disgust leads to a change in behavior, this might be the most effective public service ad ever:

Monday, October 8, 2007

What if church really was like this?



This is a photo from a concert by the French techno band Justice.

Photo by Natalie Kardos for Pitchforkmedia.com

Friday, October 5, 2007

The Incredible Human LCD Screen.

"String of Diamonds"



From Scotiabank's Nuit Blanche in Toronto
Photographer Unknown

Look at those eyebrows!



I'm not putting this video up because I want you to spend 7 and a half minutes watching Korean talk shows (though they are consistently the most watched videos of the day on YouTube). I just want you to admire the woman's eyebrows. From the looks of things -- it's a very hypnotic 7.5 minutes -- she's gotten some bad news but is ready to move forward. Good for her!

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Lust, Caution



I hate it when movies with great trailers get bad reviews. The heavyweights haven't weighed in yet, so I'm hoping the film bloggers are wrong about Lust, Caution (same with Elizabeth: The Golden Age). Even if they're not, though, at least we can enjoy the previews, right?

If you want a sharper-looking version of this, click here.

I've gotta get back into nature


This is in Mount Tremper (near the Catskills in New York).

Photo by Jennifer Loeber.

It's like a plane or something.


Michael Phelps at the World Championships.

Photo by Al Bello for Getty Images.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Like Donnie Darko...but with clapping



Choreographed bikes with stuffed animals riding them? Sure, why not.

"What's A Girl to Do" by Bat for Lashes

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Japanese Human Art



This is actually exactly how I think Roy Orbison would want the Pretty Woman video.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Can someone buy me this hat?


Philip Treacy did the hats at the last Marc Jacobs show. The photo's from the Fashion Informer's website.

Oh, and this is post #101!

The US Air Guitar Champion


If he had won the World Championships, he was going to quit his job and become a professional air guitarist. You can see other photos from the championships here.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Morphine

The New York Times has a great (and very sad) slideshow on the lack of morphine treatment in India, Sierra Leone, and Japan. I think in the same way that we tend to focus on the number of people killed in war as opposed to everyone who's left injured or maimed, we don't give enough attention to chronic suffering compared to deaths from illness.

Gangs are everywhere


I don't know why I think of gangs as a particularly American phenomenon. They're not, as this picture of graffiti in Santiago Atitlan (Guatemala) shows. Then again, a lot of the gangs in Central America form in California, so I'm not totally off in this case.

This photo is part of a brilliant article on the poor showing in the polls by Nobel Prize-winner Rigoberta Menchu. Was it the fact that she's female? Or an unengaging speaker? Or that she was perceived as too soft on crime? Maybe it was just that she's Mayan, and 2012 is supposed to be their big year, not 2007.

Photo by Eros Hoagland for the New York Times

God bless India

Since so few people actually read comments, I feel like something this good has to be posted:

A friend of mine traveled the Indian Himalayas. He said that by the sides of the roads there are signs letting you know that the government department in charge of road maintenance "is praying for your safety."

- Yuval Ben-Ami

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Himalayan Road


This is like when I traveled from Bilbao in northern Spain to Toulouse in the south of France. There were all these terrifying cliffs that we drove near, but somehow, just because I was on a bus with so many others and I knew that countless people had traveled it before, I wasn't as scared as you'd expect. You probably don't get so much of that feeling driving in the Himalayas though.

Photo by Remy Bourganel for FILE Magazine

Friday, September 7, 2007

L.A.M.B.


I love the distance of this photo. That's what makes it - not the dress, not the white Wayfarers, not the rail-thin model. The distance. And is it the angle of the picture that's so cool or is the model just falling over?

Dress by Gwen Stefani's L.A.M.B. label
Photo by Rahav Segev of the New York Times

"I Protest" by Lara Alegre


I feel like this picture makes a good point: if you're gonna be sensationalistic, at least be sensational.

Monday, September 3, 2007

Rise of the Machines! (like in Terminator)


This article on the guy who invented the Nautilus machine is priceless! As someone who thinks mechanical exercising is hokum, I'm gratified to learn that its pioneer was a gun-toting, chain-smoking asshole.

Big and beautiful! Jealouss?



I love that you can hear people behind the camera laughing in this SNL promo. Bjork is so adorable!

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Just in case you forget where you are...


My friend Amneris's family lives in Tampa but this still made me think of her. I actually really want to go to Miami, which is ironic: I didn't back when it was the place to party, but once I saw shows like Nip/Tuck and Dexter, I was riveted by how cool and noirish it could be.

Same with Los Angeles. What gets me about LA isn't the third-rate celebrities you run into (my brothers were really excited about having their picture taken with Marla Maples), but the fact that in a place that sunny and curated and manicured, you have gutter punks and goth kids and even the Fishers from Six Feet Under.

Photo by Marcus Way, FILE Magazine

Saturday, September 1, 2007

The World Wide Web


I'm grossed out by spiders, but have you ever seen a web like this before? Well, maybe you have, in the New York Times where this is from. The web is several acres large! Don't mess with Texas.

Photo by Tom Pennington

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Eerie Estonia


According to Yuval Ben-Ami, the Tel Aviv journalist who was nice enough to send me this photo, "it was taken near the town of Mustjala, on the beautiful and unique island of Saaremaa.

"The piles of stones have nothing to do with strange ritual nor with freak geology. Kids play a game of piling the stones and seeing who can build a higher pile, what's left behind are quiet beaches of pillars. The bedouins of the Sinai build similar ones, called 'Rujums' to mark a way through the desert."

Bush arriving in New Orleans


The New York Times website has this great feature called Pictures of the Day. This is from August 29th, by Lee Celano for Reuters.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Epcot Nightmare


I like the shining gold against the ominous sky. This picture reminds me of this nightmare I had a lot as a kid where I was stuck at the top of Epcot Center and couldn't get down. Maybe I didn't enjoy those family vacations as much I thought.

("Man and Golden Ball," Photographer unknown, taken in Salzburg, Austria)

Scariest Fishing Website Ever.

This site ("Reel Fishing, Reel Money") reminds me of going to the Museum of Natural History with my friend Amanda, where we read about the insane digestive properties of various sea creatures. For one of them, the stomach was also the mouth! For another, it had like three heads but only one asshole. (You probably don't need to know this.)

Home Alone...with Toyota?



Will someone tell me what the fuck is up with this Toyota commercial?

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Twins


If you're familiar with the work of Diane Arbus, it's pretty hard to look at a picture of twins without thinking of her famous photo. After that association, I thought about when I was gothic and middle school and really wanted to look like this. I love it!

(Photo from FILE Magazine, by Rebecca Pendel)

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Kurt & Frances Bean


Photo by Stephen Sweet

Trapped in the Closet

My friend Christiana thinks that the next chapter of Trapped in the Closet is just going to be R. Kelly screaming "Closet! Closet! Closet!" Until then, here's a really clever graphic to help you keep track of the never-ending story.


(By Andrew Kuo for the New York Times)

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

"When You're Gone" by Avril Lavigne

So, when I said that I would still occasionally write about music, I didn't expect my next post to be about Avril Lavigne. But now that I think about it, she's been an big part of my summer.

"Girlfriend" got the party started back in June when Lil' Mama added some much needed...non-Avrilness. Now it's time for the one thing the Iraq War's been good for: a first-rate power ballad! (There have been a few, including Green Day's "Wake Me Up When September Ends.")

"When You're Gone" is shamefully addictive. Shameful because everything about Avril kind of is, but also because I can't imagine that it isn't the product of a marketing scheme: all those kids on Engaged & Underage need a wedding song, right?

Still, what's good is good. I'm just surprised at how right I was: despite lyrics that manage to be both generic and absurd, I knew the first time I heard it that it was (a) for weddings and (b) about the Iraq War. And the first 10 seconds of the video proved me right! Check it out here.

Purple Hearts

This slideshow is difficult to look at, which is why I'm not posting a picture from it right onto my blog. That said, it's a vital reminder of what many American soldiers have sacrificed for this country's War on Terror. Karl Rove should take a look.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

The Velocirapture!


(Courtesy of Alex - inspired by a conversation with his friend about dinosaurs and Jesus)

I've gotta stop putting exclamation points in all of my titles.

Deep Fried Pepsi!

Some may see this as a sign of late society (the idea that we're being crushed by our own consumption). But isn't there also something really driven about this? Cos if you're gonna be into junk food, you may as well reach for the stars...

Monday, August 20, 2007

Casanova



Look at Ronald McDonald putting the moves on Asian men.

(Photo by Roc Herms)

Side Effects of Fiction Reading

"I'm suffering from the side effects of fiction reading. Going around commenting on every minutiae, parsing every thought. Similes a go-go."
- Amneris Suarez

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Right on, Dick!

Dick Cheney saying in 1994 that invading Iraq would create a "quagmire." This is one of those things that make me want to jump out of the window.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Weird Bollywood (like Weird NJ, but with dancing)



And doesn't this really make sense? I mean, he has super strength and super hearing, it only follows that he would have super dancing skills.

(Courtesy of Neha - sorry for the resolution)

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

I'm not usually into pictures of little kids...


...unless they're being dwarfed by giant balloons!
(From Kathleen Connally's photoblog)

The Airport


The novelty of air travel hasn't really worn off yet, so I actually enjoy being in airports. A lot of my friends don't, though, and I think this photo could be used to support either point of view. It's gray and magnificent.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Flight of the Conchords does Bowie!

Do you love David Bowie? Do you love surrealist dream sequences? Either way, I'm on my way to memorizing every line in this scene.

Hairspray!

The Simpsons Movie was pretty much dead on arrival, so my friend and I left to sneak into The Bourne Ultimatum and ended up settling for Hairspray. What an awesome thing to settle for! It's thrilling, and there are a thousand and one things in it that are alone worth the price of admission, from Queen Latifah's lipstick to Christopher Walken in a mariachi outfit (oh, and the songs, dances, jokes, set design, and cinematography). Try to see it in theatres - your TV might explode.


Monday, August 6, 2007

Notes on TV Haters

Is TV rotting your brain? Don't blame TV!

I can't help feeling that Blogger doesn't offer a spot in the profile for favorite TV shows because it's beneath our notion of what's "smart." With that in mind, here are some notes on TV haters that I've met.


1. Most of them don't watch TV.

My own father said to me recently that "cable has no redeeming value." He's never even watched cable! Oh wait, that's not true - I once caught him watching a bowdlerized TBS rerun of Sex and the City (so weird). And a lot of people who talk about how stupid television is have never even owned one or stopped watching after going to college (why? because Nietzsche didn't have TV so neither should they?)

2. The ones who do watch TV judge it by what's on VH1.
Too many TV haters see television as a giant, multi-faceted program, not as a medium, which is all it is. There's the good and the bad. The difference is that everything produced is readily available for consumption. But just think, if every song or movie or piece of art were on the radio or television, we wouldn't have very high opinions of those artforms either. And as for shows like Flavor of Love, they ain't pretty, but aren't they at the very least fascinating for what they show about our culture?

My favorite are the people who say that TV is stupid but have absolutely horrible taste. One girl I worked with claimed that TV rots the brain (it apparently had rotted hers), but then named the one exception: Entourage. Entourage? Really?!? A featherweight comedy with no moral compass about aimless philistines in Hollywood? It's entertaining once in a while, but that's a pretty lame example of "good" television.

3. They're conservative.

A lot of TV haters can't accept how truly new television is. By "television" I obviously don't mean electrons shooting from a screen or the concept of a filmed serial, but that we are in a golden age (some call it a renaissance, but when has it ever been this good? Mary Tyler Moore is hardly a match for Lucille Bluth). And it isn't just gritty shows like The Wire on premium cable either (Friday Night Lights! NBC!).

Some TV haters really do seem to hate the idea of synchronized experience - they're okay with being out of touch; they think watching a show is somehow less personal than being buried in a book or in a dark room with flashing celluloid. It's not exclusive enough. Thank God.


4. They're pseudo-intellectual.


"I don't watch TV, I watch Almodovar!" Oh brother.

(And yeah, that's like a verbatim quote. Nothing against Almodovar of course.)


5. They don't seem to really care about characters.

TV dramas demand that you go in not just for a fast and furious experience like Children of Men, but stay with the characters week after week (and hopefully, year after year). While TV shows do tend to have more mass commercial appeal overall, they are also more daring in this way -- everyone on the set of a movie knows how the story will be resolved. Except in miniseries, there's no safety net in television.

Another paradox I notice among TV haters is that while they see film as "art" and TV as "entertainment," many of them go to films simply as a "break" between work and obligations -- as a recreational activity, not an artistic endeavor.


Final thought (a la television hero Jerry Springer) -

People wouldn't have had to spend their money on Michael Moore's films if they saw the countless PBS documentaries that have explored the same topics less patronizingly and tendentiously.

Greatest cover ever


Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Indian Thriller

People always focus on the bad parts of globalization. But what about Indian Thriller?



(Courtesy of Christiana)

Bergman, Antonioni, Snyder RIP

Wow, so celebrity deaths really do happen in threes. Weird. I know that Ingmar Bergman and Michelangelo Antonioni were influential directors, but the one I'll miss the most is Tom Snyder (hence the photo below -- prime real estate on my uber-exclusive blog!)

I didn't really enjoy The Seventh Seal or Blow Up, and Tom Snyder's the one who was actually in front of the camera, so I feel like I knew him a little bit better. Watching his interviews was like a big glass of warm milk before bedtime. So soothing and so unhip, without any of the self-conscious nerdiness you find today. And yet, in spite of all that, he could go toe-to-toe with Johnny Rotten in a way that Dick Cavett never could.

May his warm brown eyes be gazing up at St. Peter right now, or (if you believe in reincarnation) may he come back as a cricket...or humidifier...or any of the other things that help you go to sleep.

Thursday, July 26, 2007