Archive for October, 2005

The Average Meme

October 31, 2005

Apparently, a majority of Americans does or has the following things. I have struck the ones that do not apply.

  • Eats peanut butter at least once a week
  • Prefers smooth peanut butter over chunky
  • Can name all Three Stooges
  • Lives within a 20-minute drive of a Wal-Mart
  • Eats at McDonald’s at least once a year
  • Takes a shower for approximately 10.4 minutes a day (mine are shorter — 3 to 5 minutes, except for an occasional 10 minute shower on a Saturday)
  • Never sings in the shower
  • Lives in a house, not an apartment or condominium
  • Has a home valued between $100,000 and $300,000
  • Has fired a gun
  • Is between 5 feet and 6 feet tall (I’m 6’2″)
  • Weighs 135 to 205 pounds
  • Is between the ages of 18 and 53
  • Believes gambling is an acceptable entertainment option
  • Grew up within 50 miles of current home
  • Via Caltech Girl. Go wish her a happy first blog-day.


    Carnival of Music #19

    October 31, 2005

    Buckethead and his perfidious minions have hosted a “prime” nineteenth Carnival of Music.
    Go check it out, and be sure to review the many fine articles linked therein.
    Some favorites:

    Be sure to check the archive page to read earlier entries in the Carnival, to submit a post, or volunteer to host. Many thanks in advance to Elisa Camahort for hosting our 20th Carnival next week.

    Photos From the Past

    October 27, 2005

    Instapundit highlights a nice collection of old photos, developed from film found in antique cameras. Be sure to click the pictures on the main page to access the complete collection for each.

    Cool Language Stuff

    October 27, 2005

    Did you know that dictionary editors will include fake words to help them spot competitors that copy their entries wholesale? I didn’t.
    This story just makes the language geek in me feel all cuddly and warm. How cool to spend your time reading a dictionary and trying to find the fake word.
    What? Why are you looking at me like that?
    (Via BoingBoing).

    More Musical Fun

    October 26, 2005

    Funny how you’ll buy things you normally wouldn’t as long as it’s not really your own money being spent. (This is such a basic human impulse that I’m surprised anyone would be surprised by bloated government spending).
    I recently got a $10 iTunes gift certificate as well as an iTunes Music Store card good for 10 songs. As the result, I purchased the William Shatner spoken word collection entitled Has Been.
    I never thought I would say this about a Shat album, but, well, GET THIS ALBUM. It is produced by one of my favorite contemporary musicians, pianist Ben Folds, and features such noted guests as Joe Jackson and Aimee Mann.
    In particular, check out the song “Common People.” It starts off with a great retro new-wave riff straight out of the late 70s/early 80s (high bass guitar, Vox/Farfisa organ bleeping), and Shatner sets the stage with an atypically restrained reading of these lyrics:

    She came from Greece,
    She had a thirst for knowledge.
    She studied sculpture at St. Martin’s college.
    That’s where I
    caught her eye.
    She told me that her dad was loaded.
    I said,
    “In that case I’ll have a rum and Coca Cola.”
    She said, “Fine.”
    And in 30 seconds’ time she said:
    “I want to live like common people.
    I want to do whatever Common People do.
    I want to sleep with Common People —
    I want to sleep with Common People like you.”
    Well, what else could I do?
    I said,
    “I’ll see what I can do.”

    And it just gets better from there, with a strong punk/new wave vibe, a children’s choir, Joe Jackson singing, and Shatner emoting as only he can.
    Check it out. You won’t regret it.
    Update: I should note that “Common People” was originally written and recorded in 1995 by the UK band, Pulp, on their Different Class album.

    Fun With iTunes

    October 26, 2005

    If you have iTunes installed on your computer, go to the Music Store and look in the lower left for the category Celebrity Playlists. Be sure to click “see all” to access all 180 of the lists.
    The songs themselves are fun enough to check out. But even better are the comments that the list authors add to explain why they picked the songs on their lists. (It’s very bloggy).
    Turns out that Penn Jillette (a libertarian comedian whom I shamefully confused with Al Franken for many years) has a playlist. Number one on his list, Sie Glauben Nicht from Alban Berg’s opera Lulu, made me laugh out loud for this commentary: “Sometimes you just got to listen to really depressing, 20th Century 12 tone music. If you start thinking that rock ‘n roll got far out, listen to this and shut up.”
    I love it.
    The playlists served their purpose, as I found and bought (using a 10-free-tunes code) a few new songs from the Blue Man Group’s playlist.

    Hilarious Medical Tale

    October 25, 2005

    Patrick Hughes relates a fantASStically funny account of his colorectal health.
    Via the Velociman.

    Essential SF Movie Canon Meme

    October 25, 2005

    This meme started out at Jaquandor’s, and is based on SF author John Scalzi’s list of the 50 science fiction movies he considers to be the most significant in film history.
    I’ve bolded the ones I’ve seen, italicized the ones I would like to see (or see again, where applicable), and placed a “Q” by the ones that are in my Netflix queue.
    The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension! (Q) (I need to see this again, as I was in a Shiner Bock-influenced state of mind the first time I saw it in college)
    Akira (I plan to see this someday, just to try and figure out what so many people I respect see in anime. My exposure to anime is limited to Speed Racer, Star Blazers, Pokemon, and Yu-Gi-Oh, so maybe I need to see the really good stuff to grok this bizarre sub-genre of SF).
    Alien (A classic. I own it on DVD and enjoy watching it every now and then).
    Aliens (The rare example of the sequel that is as good as its predecessor – the extended DVD cut is interesting, though not as tightly wound as the original theatrical cut).
    Back to the Future
    Blade Runner
    Bride of Frankenstein (Q)
    Brother From Another Planet
    A Clockwork Orange
    Close Encounters of the Third Kind
    The Damned
    Destination Moon (Q)
    The Day The Earth Stood Still
    Escape From New York
    ET: The Extraterrestrial
    Flash Gordon: Space Soldiers (serial)
    The Fly (1985 version)
    Forbidden Planet (Q)
    Ghost in the Shell (Q)
    The Incredibles
    Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956 version)
    Jurassic Park
    Mad Max 2/The Road Warrior
    The Matrix
    On the Beach
    Planet of the Apes (1968 version)
    Solaris (1972 version)
    Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (Q)
    Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope
    Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back
    The Stepford Wives (I’ve seen both. The original outshines the remake).
    Terminator 2: Judgement Day
    The Thing From Another World
    Things to Come
    12 Monkeys
    28 Days Later
    20,000 Leagues Under the Sea
    2001: A Space Odyssey
    La Voyage Dans la Lune
    War of the Worlds (1953 version)
    Man, 64%. That’s not even a passing grade. I need to add some more of these to my queue.

    What Am I Worth?

    October 24, 2005

    Here’s a fun little blog-toy based on Technorati info:

    My blog is worth $82,422.84.
    How much is your blog worth?

    Anybody want to buy my blog?
    (Blogshares currently undervalues me, by almost $40,000! Bah!)

    Contra Miers

    October 24, 2005

    For the sake of N.Z. Bear’s tracking system, I oppose the Miers nomination.
    I’ve kept mum until now on the Miers nomination. I was initially underwhelmed, and my estimation of Miers’ adequacy for the job continues to decline.
    It was bad enough that she took a swipe at the Federalist society as being too political (while claiming the NAACP wasn’t). Her few writing samples are simply banal. I would love to get a hold of a few of Judge Posner’s thank you notes. I bet they’re considerably better-written than the “Way Cool!” cards authored by Harriet.
    Part of me hopes this is a setup to make Janice Rogers Brown look stellar by comparison. If so, then Miers is truly a team player for the most brilliant man she has ever known. But I really doubt it. This President is simply not an intellectual, and this decision bears the hallmarks of a “gut call” as opposed to a well-reasoned selection process.
    For further thoughts, consult Jeff Goldstein (just click and scroll), whose opinions on this matter largely reflect my own.
    Also, check out the intellectual firepower on the board of advisors to the new Americans for Better Justice, which was formed by conservatives who support the President, but oppose the Miers nomination.