Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Creature Comforts!

I'm obsessed with this show. It's from Nick Park & company, who also did "Wallace & Gromit." They interviewed members of the Great British Public about all sorts of things -- their jobs, what they like to eat, whether they enjoy the circus -- and then turned them into animals. Genius!

The first episode is called "The Pet Shop," and the second is called "Being a Bird."

You can also check out the very first "Creature Comforts," which won the Oscar for best animated short in 1989. It's much more lo-fi, but still worth your time (if only for the puma).

(Actual) Air

This is a picture of the band Air performing at a club in Beijing. (Still not as great as the Olympics!)

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Wipeout (I mean, Bailout)

Ummm... when the President says "this sucker could go down," chances are it's your country that he's talking about.  And when the Treasury Secretary gets down on one knee and begs for support from the Speaker of the House, chances are it's your Treasury Secretary doing that.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Yes We Can!

I think this is a phenomenal campaign ad. I'm not usually one for endorsements because I don't trust politicians, and I would hate to tell everyone to vote for one guy and then watch him nuke some village in Kandahar. Still, I can't help getting chills -- and a little misty-eyed -- when I watch this.

It's all in the execution: documentary-like footage of individuals left in the dark during the Bush years, who come together at the end of the ad in arenas and parks to join Obama, just as the sun begins to rise (again). And at the end it says, "You can change the world."

Bravo to whoever decided that the music would fit. It's an instrumental version of a song by The National called "Fake Empire." I had always simply thought the song was a little sad because of the lyrics ("It's hard to keep track of you falling through the sky / We're half-awake in a fake empire"). But it rolls along nicely, and adds a really positive momentum.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

It's not an opera... It's a stopera!

I had to cancel my plans on Sunday night to make way for new ones. Specifically, the Whirling Dervishes of Damascus! A lot of people don't know what it means to whirl like a dervish. As usual, the combination of YouTube and Wikipedia lets me pretend like I do.

Whirling Dervishes are considered part of the Sufi order of Islam, which is rooted in mystical traditions. They whirl as a way of remembering Allah, and have even played to sold-out crowds in Denver!

About the video: I love how the cover that flies away comes back at the end. (you'll see what I mean) The video also has the best music out of any of the ones with dervishes on YouTube, which are many.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Becky and Marcus's Wedding!

Ryan, Emily, Becky, Me, Matt, and Alex. Becky's holding a felt stitching of the ultimate tattoo - one that combines all the most popular cliches: a flaming skull with a rose in its mouth, whose one eye is a ying-yang and whose other is a peace sign. Ryan and Emily, who I recently visited in Vermont, made it.

I love this shot of Becky and her mom. Try to ignore the guy to the left.

Emily and her stick-on tattoo.

Becky and Marcus unwrap the ultimate.

Becky and I did not get married.

This Rahul's Life

Robert Krulwich talked to This American Life about how he once mistook one his wife's memories for one of his own, which has definitely happened to me (not with a wife, obviously). John Kuramoto animated the story, adding some really nice touches. I love how Robert becomes like Genghis Khan (the 2:45 mark), and how he also seems to think that he raised the flag at Iwo Jima (3:30).

Unstoppable! (Tina and Amy, not Hillary and Sarah)

I don't like either politician, but the idea of more sketches featuring Tina Fey and Amy Poehler sort of makes me wish for a joint ticket. I love so much about this: Hillary's rueful, incredulous laugh when Sarah says that "all you have to do is want it"; also, how Sarah can't help sounding flattered as she tells people to stop objectifying her.

Tina Fey does such a good job! Also check out her impression of Britney Spears in an interview with the TV Guide network. The Britney part really gets going at the 4:55 mark, but the whole interview is worth watching, if only to see how witless the interviewer is, and how badly she hides her disdain for him.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

I'm back!

According to Wikipedia, "the unbroken world record for spinning multiple plates, verified as a Guinness World Record, is held by David Spathaky, assisted by Debbie Woolley, who spun 108 plates simultaneously in Bangkok, Thailand on television in 1996."

My life seems a little more manageable after reading that. I'm gonna set a goal to post at least once a week, on Mondays, and stop letting my friends hog all the fun of the blogosphere.

You can see said hog-friends by clicking on the links to the right. Anna Yanofsky has already won a Lifetime Achievement Award. She is the greatest, hands down, holy shit. (Or maybe I just love anyone who gives out an award for most awkward fashion show.)