Things you should be looking at.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Why I Loved The West Wing

President Jed Barlett tears into a Dr. Laura analogue:



From the very first episode of the show, here's the first scene in which the president appears:



Santos on the campaign trail on 'Intelligent Design':



How we WISH presidential debates went:



Admiring Dan Savage

Friday, November 14, 2008

The Internet Loves Loituma

I mean, you wouldn't expect Finnish a capella to be well-received:



But this song (Ievan polkka) has been remixed like mad.











Confused?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Loituma_Girl

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Watch Some Puppies (live)



Think of it as therapy to help you get over this election season.

Monday, November 03, 2008

Stop Sign Graffiti

There's a lot of stop sign graffiti in our neighborhood.

Some of it is annoyingly political and unimaginative (like the person who adds "WEARING FUR" or "EATING ANIMALS" or "VEGANS" or "WAR" under the word "STOP.") Some of it is juvenile, but funny, like the one near campus that is defaced to say "STOP POOPING!"

My favorite I've seen in our town says "STOP DEFACING SIGNS!" It made me chuckle.

I didn't realize until recently that this happens everywhere. Some examples:



Related: I mentioned this one in an earlier post but just found a photo of it online:

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Synchronized Presidential Debating

Terrific illustration of how the candidates use talking points and sound bites.

Get the latest news satire and funny videos at 236.com.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Chaplin in "The Great Dictator"

Am I unforgiveably corny, sentimental and idealistic if I point out that I still really like this?

If you haven't seen The Great Dictator and don't want to read the plot summary on Wikipedia, here's a brief set up for this scene.

Chaplin plays a Jewish Barber who is mistaken for the Hitler analogue "Adenoid Hynkel". In this scene, he makes a speech to Hynkel's army while wearing Hynkel's uniform.



Here's the full text of the speech:

"I'm sorry, but I don't want to be an emperor. That's not my business. I don't want to rule or conquer anyone. I should like to help everyone if possible - Jew, Gentile - black man - white.

We all want to help one another. Human beings are like that. We want to live by each other's happiness - not by each other's misery. We don't want to hate and despise one another. In this world there's room for everyone and the good earth is rich and can provide for everyone.

The way of life can be free and beautiful, but we have lost the way. Greed has poisoned men's souls - has barricaded the world with hate - has goose-stepped us into misery and bloodshed. We have developed speed, but we have shut ourselves in. Machinery that gives abundance has left us in want. Our knowledge has made us cynical; our cleverness, hard and unkind. We think too much and feel too little. More than machinery we need humanity. More than cleverness, we need kindness and gentleness. Without these qualities, life will be violent and all will be lost.

The aeroplane and the radio have brought us closer together. The very nature of these inventions cries out for the goodness in man - cries for universal brotherhood - for the unity of us all. Even now my voice is reaching millions throughout the world - millions of despairing men, women, and little children - victims of a system that makes men torture and imprison innocent people. To those who can hear me, I say: 'Do not despair.' The misery that is now upon us is but the passing of greed - the bitterness of men who fear the way of human progress. The hate of men will pass, and dictators die, and the power they took from the people will return to the people. And so long as men die, liberty will never perish.

Soldiers! Don't give yourselves to brutes - men who despise you and enslave you - who regiment your lives - tell you what to do - what to think and what to feel! Who drill you - diet you - treat you like cattle, use you as cannon fodder. Don't give yourselves to these unnatural men - machine men with machine minds and machine hearts! You are not machines! You are not cattle! You are men! You have the love of humanity in your hearts. You don't hate, only the unloved hate - the unloved and the unnatural!

Soldiers! Don't fight for slavery! Fight for liberty! In the seventeenth chapter of St Luke, it is written the kingdom of God is within man not one man nor a group of men, but in all men! In you! You, the people, have the power - the power to create machines. The power to create happiness! You, the people, have the power to make this life free and beautiful - to make this life a wonderful adventure. Then in the name of democracy - let us use that power - let us all unite. Let us fight for a new world - a decent world that will give men a chance to work - that will give youth a future and old age a security.

By the promise of these things, brutes have risen to power. But they lie! They do not fulfil that promise. They never will! Dictators free themselves but they enslave the people. Now let us fight to fulfil that promise! Let us fight to free the world - to do away with national barriers - to do away with greed, with hate and intolerance. Let us fight for a world of reason - a world where science and progress will lead to all men's happiness. Soldiers, in the name of democracy, let us unite!"


It is corny, sentimental, and idealistic...not to mention dated. I like it.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Google's Official Opposition to California's Proposition 8

Google did good.

Our position on California's No on 8 campaign

9/26/2008 03:23:00 PM
As an Internet company, Google is an active participant in policy debates surrounding information access, technology and energy. Because our company has a great diversity of people and opinions -- Democrats and Republicans, conservatives and liberals, all religions and no religion, straight and gay -- we do not generally take a position on issues outside of our field, especially not social issues. So when Proposition 8 appeared on the California ballot, it was an unlikely question for Google to take an official company position on.

However, while there are many objections to this proposition -- further government encroachment on personal lives, ambiguously written text -- it is the chilling and discriminatory effect of the proposition on many of our employees that brings Google to publicly oppose Proposition 8. While we respect the strongly-held beliefs that people have on both sides of this argument, we see this fundamentally as an issue of equality. We hope that California voters will vote no on Proposition 8 -- we should not eliminate anyone's fundamental rights, whatever their sexuality, to marry the person they love.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Insanely Cool Typography Art

http://fontpark.morisawa.co.jp/

Art made with characters- flash animations show process of creation for each.

Just go see it. So cool.

[via]

The Lost Fingers (rule)

The Lost Fingers sort of remind me of Me First and the Gimme Gimmes, but where the Gimmes perform every song as punk, The Lost Fingers perform every song as a guitare manouche gypsy jazz piece (think Django Reinhardt). Love it.

Pump Up The Jam:


Billie Jean:


You Give Love a Bad Name:


Thanks to Amy Buckland for turning me on to this Québécois group!

Friday, August 29, 2008

Chris Wildrick on 'Dark Knight'

I think most of the movie, I was happily carried along by the action and bravado, and more especially, the acting by the side characters, the Joker, obviously, but also Maggie Gyllenhaal and in particular Gary Oldman, who hasn't been all that good recently otherwise. Maggie and Gary were just awesome, they seemed utterly natural. In the scene where Gordon meets Dent for the first time, he looks around for a chair for a minute before he sits down, and it was just a great touch. And the Joker made some great philosophical arguments that, I think, were never refuted, which is the real problem with Batman's character. He was in a muddle, because what kind of response could he give? Actually, I think the real response wasn't to turn himself into a bad guy in the public's eye, but to become all the more of a hero in the public's eye. He needed to show that while chaos can overturn arbitrary order, it can't overturn order that is driven by a vision of heroism and sacrifice. They sort of make this point by making Dent the hero, but don't really sell it enough.

And this is my main problem. I had annoyances through the movie--the action, you're right, was just too dark and you couldn't tell what was going on. Part of the whole point of Batman is watching him kick ass, and that didn't really get satisfied. And the whole "I should turn myself in so the Joker doesn't kill anyone" thing was silly. People turned on Batman way too early, and without the movie really backing that kind of emotion up. Plus, Batman never really did any actual detective work, which, after watching him kick ass, is the second best thing about Batman. He should have been looking for the Joker instead of moping around. There was too much time spent on Bruce Wayne, who is just not a really interesting character in any comic. He's more boring than Clark Kent. Sure, in the Cult, maybe, or Dark Knight, he's got something, but not enough to hold a movie screen. But anyway, the end of the movie was the problem. Between the characters and their philosophies, I had enough hope that everything was eventually get resolved in such a way that it would all wrap up nicely. But the end was stupid. There was no point in Dent going after Gordon's family. And when Batman took on, pointlessly, the rap for Dent's murders (they could have blamed anyone), Gordon starts saying something like "he's not a hero [actually I think it was a different word, but something like that], he's a protector, a guardian, a dark knight." I don't remember exactly what he said, but it was basically a bunch of synonyms that added absolutely no new information, and made no change in his status in relation to the city.

So, yeah, over time, I have a lot of nice memories of vignettes within the movie, but not the movie as a whole.

Friday, August 22, 2008

"Get Your War On" is Animated

I was already familiar with comic strip Get Your War On:



...but I didn't know until today that there was an animated version:



More episodes here

Monday, August 18, 2008

Dr. Who 45 Year Tribute



At nearly 8 minutes, this is an epic tribute to every official story from 1963 to 2008, with the spin-off shows and BBCi internet productions & the Children In Need specials, but doesn't include any of the spoofs, comedy sketches or other charity skits not made by the official Who Production Team.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

A Brief Review of "Dark Knight"

[Contains spoilers- read at your own risk]

So I finally saw "Dark Knight."

It was a complex story with some clever writing. It was well-cast and featured excellent performances from all its principles.

Nolan's and Ledger's Joker was particularly excellent. He was spot on as an "agent of chaos." That's exactly how the character should be portrayed.

While I appreciate the movie, I think I didn't especially like it. I don't plan to get it on DVD (or even download it).

"Dark Knight" borrowed a lot of interesting elements from Frank Miller's excellent "The Dark Knight Returns," but didn't commit to Miller's vision of Batman as a bit of a fascist anti-hero. Nolan's Batman in this new film had no discernible personality or philosophy except wavering commitment to his mission- which is antithetical to ANY good interpretation of the character and even betrays the character as established in "Begins."

Again, Nolan shows that he's not good at portraying action. The car chase and the hand-to-hand combat were awkwardly choreographed and shot/edited in a way that made it difficult to follow what was happening. They way he portrayed the "sonar" thing with the cell phones was an absolute failure.

Batman deciding to cast himself as a villain so Harvey Dent could be cast as martyred hero didn't work for me. This decision serves neither of the character's major drives (to be a symbol to the righteous and a scourge to the criminal) and is, again, out of joint with the character's best incarnations (including the one in "Begins").

There was less fun...less delight...in this film than there was in Miller's "Dark Knight Returns." Being gritty doesn't mean you have to suck all the fun out of a story.

Lastly, the movie didn't really SAY anything. One could argue that it makes the statement that people will reject chaos...because the people on each boat didn't blow the other boat up...but this is so obviously removed from what people would REALLY do that it stands out as contrived, defeating the point it might've made. So what is the movie about?

Not a BAD film, but nowhere near as good as so many have made it out to be.

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Billy Joel is the Sheriff of Nottingham

The BBC launched a new Robin Hood TV program in 2006 and I've watched a few episodes of it. It doesn't suck. Some elements remind me of Xena or Hercules...but with better writing and superior actors.

Keith Allen is wonderful as the evil Sheriff of Nottingham. Still, I keep thinking the role is being played by Billy Joel.

Keith Allen as the Sheriff of Nottingham:



Billy Joel:

Monday, July 28, 2008

Watchmen Babies

I don't even remember seeing this on the Simpsons, but it cracks me up.


This is what Alan Moore is afraid of, isn't it?

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Friday, June 27, 2008

Digital Hokusai (homage?)

Click on the image below to see a larger version. So cool.




You've probably seen The Great Wave off Kanagawa before:



About Katsushika Hokusai.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Talented Dog

I have to admit loving this:

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Bill Maher: Religulous

Trailer for Maher's movie, due out October 2008:





Interviews with Maher about documentary from August 2007:




See also: Disbeliefnet.com

Monday, May 12, 2008

Bill O'Reilly completely losing it (NSFW)

Somehow, I can't imagine Ted Koppel doing this...



This must have been his audition tape for Fox News.

Best Retail Web Site Ever

I love this.

Andrew says: "This is what happens when Web developers have too much time."

Food Fight

Thanks, James!



"An abridged history of American-centric warfare, from WWII to present day, told through the foods of the countries in conflict.

For a breakdown of the actual battles portrayed in the film, visit:
http://www.touristpictures.com/foodfight/index.htm

For the official cheat sheet (breakdown of the foodstuffs), visit:
http://www.touristpictures.com/foodfight/cheat.htm

Now, to answer some FAQs...
- The food in this film was consumed either by myself or my dog after shooting. None of the cast went to waste.
- The software used was photoshop and after effects.
- The film took me 3 months to do.
- Although it seems like stop motion, most of it was stop motion created within After effects, using keyframe animation. I am basically moving the food around within the the program, frame by frame, which is the same as traditional stop motion, only it's digital."

Friday, May 02, 2008

Jonathan Coulton and Molly (sweetafton23)- Live

Remember this great video of a talented teenage girl covering Jonathan Coulton's "Tom Cruise Crazy?"

She played it with Coulton recently. He had her sing lead. :)



Banter before the song:


So cool.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Unnecessary Censorship

Why is this funny?



I mean...I'm laughing, but not sure why.

Monday, April 07, 2008

New Kukuxumusu T-shirt

When we went to Spain together a couple years ago, Liz and I gained an appreciation for a Basque T-shirt company called Kukuxumusu (which translates as "kiss of the flea") and brought home a few of their most entertaining, fun, silly designs.



Here's a close-up of the shirt Liz brought home for me from this last trip:

Torchwood season finale

Has anyone else seen the Torchwood season finale yet?

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

"What if Charles Schulz created the Watchmen?"

Awesome:

(Via BoingBoing)

For the uninitiated, here are the characters being parodied:



If you haven't read Watchmen yet, you really should. It's my favorite comics work of cold war fiction.

I'm betting the upcoming movie adaptation will suck, but would be pleased to be wrong.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

The Wrong Trousers



More, including a studio recording of this cover at their MySpace page.

Thanks, Philip!

Thursday, March 27, 2008

David Lynch on Film Product Placement

(Language not suitable for some places of work)



Thanks, Rolfe!

Also see: David Lynch on the iPhone

Friday, March 21, 2008

The Return of Jezebel James

If they dumped Parker Posey and the laugh track, the show might not suck so much.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Jill Bolte Taylor: My stroke of insight

This is fascinating and she's a great speaker.

Neuroanatomist Jill Bolte Taylor had an opportunity few brain scientists would wish for: One morning, she realized she was having a massive stroke. As it happened -- as she felt her brain functions slip away one by one, speech, movement, understanding -- she studied and remembered every moment. This is a powerful story about how our brains define us and connect us to the world and to one another.


Friday, February 29, 2008

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Vista Speech Recognition Demonstration

Not new, but new to me.



I watched the whole thing, but you'll get the idea after the first couple of minutes.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

The Rabbi and the Taxman

Emailed to me by my friend Michael D.

At the end of the tax year the IRS sent an inspector to audit the books of a synagogue.

While he was checking the books, he turned to the Rabbi and said, "I notice you buy a lot of candles. What do you do with the candle drippings?"

"Good question," answered the Rabbi. "We save them up and send them back to the candle makers, and every now and then they send us a free box of candles."

"I see," replied the auditor, somewhat disappointed that his unusual question had a practical answer. But on he went, in his obnoxious way:

"What about all these matzo (bread) purchases? What do you do with the crumbs?"

"Ah, yes," replied the Rabbi, realizing that the inspector was trying to trap him with an unanswerable question. "We collect them and send back to the manufacturers, and every now and then they send a free box of matzo balls."

"I see," replied the auditor, thinking hard about how he could fluster the know-it-all Rabbi.

"Well, Rabbi," he went on, "What do you do with all the leftover foreskins from the circumcisions you perform?"

"Here, too, we do not waste," answered the Rabbi. "What we do is save up all the foreskins and send them to the Internal Revenue Service, and about once a year they send us a complete dick."

Monday, February 11, 2008

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Whitest Kids U' Know

Pregnancy Test:


The New Thing:


Get a New Daddy:

From the set of the next James Bond film



I wasn't especially blown away by Casino Royale...but it didn't suck.

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes (Apologies to Bowie)

Watch the whole thing.



Thanks, Andrew!

Wingsuit Base Jumping

Holeeeeeee crrrrrap.



Thanks to Michael D. for the heads-up.

Friday, February 08, 2008

Jon Stewart on Romney (right on)

I swear- this show has gotten better since the writer's strike. My mom will probably think that Jon's script is vulgar, but thgat doesn't make it less funny or less correct.

I'll post this from multiple sources to make sure it sticks here for a while.

YouTube:


Comedy Central:


Downloadable as .wmv or .mov at Crooks and Liars.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

My Brain Works Funny

I saw this ad on television (ignore the ad- just listen to the music):


The music reminded me so much of the following video that I went and found it so I could confirm it wasn't the same music:



...and it isn't. Why was I so convinced it was?

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Guitar Man

Liz is the one who noticed that Cake's recording is a cover and sought out the original.

Original:


Cake cover:

Friday, February 01, 2008

Peter Callesen (Art - Paper)

Peter Callesen makes stuff I like a lot. You should go to his site and check it out. If you're the sort who can buy art, you should buy some of his...as a gift for me.




Friday, January 25, 2008

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Awesomely Dated

Getting my brother Andrew to set up a del.icio.us account was the best thing I've done for this blog in a long time. Check out these awesomely dated portrait studio photos.

An example: