25 September 2011

Physics, auto-tuned

What's not to love about this? The science, the auto-tuning, and of course, the Morgan Freeman.

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31 July 2011

Dancing squid diet

If you've been trying to lose weight, I suggest the squid odori-don?
Literally "dancing squid rice bowl". A live squid with its head removed is served on top of a bowl of sushi rice, accompanied by sashimi prepared from the head (usually sliced ika (squid) and ika-kimo (squid liver)) as well as other seafood.

Seasoned soy sauce is first poured on top of the squid to make it "dance."


(via Kottke) Continue reading this post >>

20 July 2011

Shoes

An oldie but a goodie...

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07 June 2011

Holding someone's hand

Have some tissues handy? Good, 'cause you'll need them. A recent StoryCorps segment on NPR came from Max Voelz, who served in a Army bomb squad unit with his wife, Kim. They were both deployed to Iraq in 2003 where she was killed while disarming an explosive on a mission.

Here's part of Max's story, but you should click the link and listen to the full audio.
The nurses were telling me to talk to her because they assured me that they had seen people come out of comas before and that they remembered hearing things that people said.

I mean, what are you gonna tell your wife who's dying? That you love her and you don't want her to die. But I knew she was dead a long time before the doctors stopped working on her. You hold someone's hand, and then it feels different.
This story obliterates my heart. And I know it seems callous to look at it from a technical storytelling point-of-view, but...I'm going to anyway: what I like is that there is no agenda. There is no pre-determined "and therefore..." at the end. This is one specific story about two real people, and it could spawn so many different emotions and reactions and conversations.

Still, absolutely tragic. Continue reading this post >>

Ash cloud/demonic lightning

The Puyehue-Cordon-Caulle volcano range erupted on Saturday, resulting in a ginormous ash cloud, complete with demonic lightning.

That, or He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named is back!!!!!

This terrifyingly spectacular photo comes from the AP's Francisco Negroni.

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06 May 2011

Too much light in our lives

Werner Herzog has a new film coming out (cave paintings in 3D!), and GQ interviews him for this month's issue. I came across the interview care of a Tim Carmody guest-post on Kottke.org about Herzog's negative views of psychology and self-reflection, which are:
I think psychology and self-reflection is one of the major catastrophes of the twentieth century. A major, major mistake. And it's only one of the mistakes of the twentieth century, which makes me think that the twentieth century in its entirety was a mistake.

We have to have our dark corners and the unexplained. We will become uninhabitable in a way an apartment will become uninhabitable if you illuminate every single dark corner and under the table and wherever—you cannot live in a house like this anymore. And you cannot live with a person anymore—let's say in a marriage or a deep friendship—if everything is illuminated, explained, and put out on the table. There is something profoundly wrong. It's a mistake. It's a fundamentally wrong approach toward human beings.
My initial reaction was disgust and the belief that Herzog's just being a nut (as many people are wont to argue), but I keep thinking about the idea and can't shake the feeling that it might be partially true. I'm more moderate in my opinion than Herzog. That is to say that I think people seeing therapists to help them through depression and other emotional/life distresses is good. But maybe there are aspects about ourselves that we can't understand, and if we can't understand them, maybe we shouldn't even try. There are violent horrors that people are exposed to that send their bodies into shock--a biological response to carnage. Maybe there are emotions or existential confusions that most of us are fundamentally ill-equipped to process.

On a lighter note, if you have designs of working with Herzog someday, keep this in mind:
Another skill Herzog has advocated for filmmakers (and, I suspect, pretty much anyone else whom he considers truly worthy of respect) is the ability to milk a cow: "If an actor knows how to milk a cow, I always know it will not be difficult to be in business with him." Herzog has also previously claimed that when he walks into a room, he can tell who in there has previously had hand to udder. Or, at the very least, would.
I'm in like Flynn. Continue reading this post >>

15 April 2011

Prince William no wants the PRECIOUS!!!

The NY Times looks at the brouhaha over Prince William's decision not to wear a wedding band.
For all the chatter about Prince William’s decision (palace officials reportedly said that he has never worn jewelry), double ring ceremonies are a relatively recent phenomenon. At the end of the Great Depression, only 15 percent of marriages were double ring ceremonies, said Katherine Jellison, a history professor at Ohio University and the author of “It’s Our Day: America’s Love Affair With the White Wedding, 1945-2005.” After World War II, she said, the number rose to 80 percent. This explosion was fueled, Dr. Jellison said, by postwar prosperity that allowed couples to afford three rings: an engagement ring, and two wedding bands.
Huh. Who knew? I guess it's one of those deals when a tradition is so culturally prevalent that you assume what's done now is what's always been done. I remember being surprised to learn that the prevalence of diamonds in engagement rings is a relatively recent development.

Aspects of Emily's and my wedding were definitely nontraditional (but damn if that all polka dance wasn't fun!), so I wholeheartedly believe everyone should make their weddings their own. That being said, I can't tell you how many times I pay conscious attention to my wedding band -- at least a couple times a week -- and am overwhelmed with such a sense of inner-peace and happiness. Just some food for thought, Will. Continue reading this post >>

12 April 2011

Pap smears, breast exams, and colonoscopies at Walgreens

Stewart and Colbert always get chuckles out of me, but this Colbert clip had me tearing up, particularly around the 3:18 mark.

So. Effing. Funny.

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11 April 2011

Good ole young adult post-apocalyptic dystopian fiction

Suzanne Collins, author of the The Hunger Games trilogy, is featured in the most recent NY Times Magazine. If you haven't read the trilogy, you should. I never thought I would get into young adult post-apocalyptic dystopian fiction -- and occasionally the prose and storytelling clunk -- but overall, the series is amazing.

A succinct description of the trilogy from the Times article:
The books juxtapose the futuristic fantasy of a gleaming, high-tech capital and early-industrial life in the 12 half-starved districts it controls. In a ritual known as the Reaping, two adolescents from each of these oppressed districts are selected at random to participate in the Hunger Games, an annual televised match in which children battle one another and mutated beasts to the death, like Roman gladiators in a glitzy reality-TV contest. The trilogy’s heroine, Katniss, 16 years old when the series begins, has the tough-girl angst of an S.E. Hinton teenager and is too focused on survival to spend much time on familiar Y.A. preoccupations like cliques and crushes. On the very first page, she stares at the family’s pet cat, recalling, matter-of-factly, her aborted attempt to “drown him in a bucket.” By the last book, she is leading a revolution.
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10 April 2011

So long, Jon Stewart's Glenn Beck impersonation

Jon Stewart says goodbye to Glenn Beck's soon-to-be-over television career. Wonderfulness ensues.

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