Thursday, December 31, 2009

Patton Oswalt: The Year 2009

Oswalt examines how much things have changed since the end of the previous decade (this is from earlier this year but I still consider it appropriate as an end of year wrap up, plus this guy is just funny as hell):

Never A Year Like '09

Jib Jab does their annual year in review. I personally found the tune for this one a bit annoying but the lyrics and the animation still make it pretty good:

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Picture Of The Day

A blast from the past for the current president:

A former Manoa resident sent President Barack Obama an old photo of the two of them taken while they were third-grade classmates at Noelani Elementary School, requesting an autograph more than six months ago. He recently received the autographed picture back, as well as a personally signed thank-you note.

Scott Inoue, now a chiropractor in Stockton, Calif., said the small, black-and-white photo had been stashed away for almost 40 years at his childhood home in Manoa. For some reason, Inoue said, as he was growing up he always remembered that photo and wondered what became of "Barry."

The picture -- with the words "Scott & Barry 3rd grade 1969" scribbled at the bottom by Inoue's mother -- shows Obama almost a head taller than Inoue, with their arms around each other. Against a background of Christmas tree drawings, Obama is smiling more broadly than the shyer-looking Inoue.

The Christmas tree drawings behind them are clearly proof of Obama's radical madrasah upbringing, hence his status as a super-secret Muslim. Shh...


Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Chart Of The Day

I can't say that I agree with every single assessment of policy positions expressed here but the similarities are rather telling. Just saying.


Picture Of The Day

Time travel Galileo Galilei-style (click to enlarge):

This is called the Hubble Ultra Deep Field. Starting in late 2003, astronomers pointed Hubble at a tiny, relatively empty part of our sky (only a few stars from the Milky Way visible), and created an exposure nearly 12 days long over a four-month period. The result is this amazing image, looking back through time at thousands of galaxies that range from 1 to 13 billion light-years away from Earth. Some 10,000 galaxies were observed in this tiny patch of sky (a tenth the size of the full moon) - each galaxy a home to billions of stars.
Selected from a gallery of 50 photos chosen by The Big Picture as the most significant images of the past decade. They're well worth a look.


Monday, December 28, 2009

Star Wars/A-Team Opening Credits Mashup

Why? Because I'm reaching the age now where everything that was once cool and significant in my world as a child is now being recycled, repackaged and repurposed to facilitate my growing sense of nostalgia as I slowly start to realize that I'll never be young again and plus, Hollywood really wants as much of my discretionary income as they can get no matter how shitty the resulting product (I'm looking at you, G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra):

So yes, when the inevitable Transformers/MacGyver mashup is eventually created you will of course see it here first. Rest in peace, childhood.


[Update: Some bonus nostalgia I could share with my grandparents if they were still alive:


Sunday, December 27, 2009

Frog Leg Dance

This is a bit creepy:

Apparently since the legs are fresh all of the cells in them are still intact and the biochemical machinery is still working. The unused ATP molecules in the cells act as a source of energy for the muscles and because the salt contains sodium ions it creates a voltage difference as the ions cross the nerve cell membrane. This voltage difference duplicates the effect of nerve impulses from the brain, causing the muscles to contract and relax. Still creepy though...


Saturday, December 26, 2009

Why Men Shouldn't Write Advice Columns

Sorry, Sweetheart. Fuel pumps are a bitch.


Friday, December 25, 2009

Patton Oswalt Hates "Christmas Shoes"

I've never actually heard this song before but comedian Patton Oswalt deconstructs it masterfully. The laughter this produces is all the Christmas spirit I need:

You can listen to more of Oswalt's stuff here and here.


The Hitchhiker's Guide To Murder

This why Santa drives his own sleigh (also, it's hard to hitchhike in mittens):


Merry Christmas

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Silence Is The Most Powerful Scream...

My sincerest apologies for the lack of posting over the past week. Although this wasn't a pre-planned break I still should have said something by way of explanation for those of you who are nice enough to come here on a regular basis to read my stuff. It was rude and neglectful of me and I really am sorry.

If I were going to stay true to form as to my past compulsions I'd lie and come up with some type of innocuous explanation for my lack of commentary, like that I've just been too busy with other things or that life has just been so exciting lately that I couldn't make the time to sit here and write. I could lie to you all (I'm actually pretty damn good at it) but none of that would be the truth. The truth is that I just stopped caring. I stopped wanting to write, to rant, to rave, to debate, to piss off other people and to be pissed off myself. My fire went out, and I found myself not giving a damn anymore.

To your collective credit (and frankly, somewhat to my surprise) several of you noticed this change in tone and tenor well before my self-imposed hiatus, emailing me privately to say so and ask whether I was OK or not. I was aware that I wasn't writing much and rather just posting soulless minutia culled online but I guess that I should have given you more credit than that. Some of you I answered and some of you I ignored (again, I apologize for my lack of manners on that count) but please know that I really did appreciate the sentiments and your attempts to reach out. Sometimes people are so much nicer to me than I feel I deserve.

It was recently suggested to me by a friend who knows about such things that I might be manic depressive, and it's a possibility that I've seriously been considering over the past several weeks. It would certainly explain some of the patterns I've noticed over the course of my life: charging headlong into some new endeavour or project, throwing the entire weight of my heart and soul into the breach only to abruptly stop caring at some point and letting everything I've worked towards wither and die while I float seemingly rudderless on a sudden and inexplicable sea of ennui.

And that's where I now find myself: emotionally anchorless, rudderless and every other ship part I can recall from my nautical archaeology courses-less. I'm in a very dark place right now. The future currently appears very bleak to me and I don't see any clear course ahead that gives me any kind of hope for tomorrow. And to be totally honest the Christmas holidays, which I've always eschewed mainly for reasons of blatant consumerism and seasonal goodwill hypocrisy, are not making things any easier. I understand why suicides always peak around this time of year.

And to be completely clear, this is not a suicide note nor is it even a precursor of such an event (although I'd once again be lying if I said that I'd never contemplated that possibility in the past). This is neither a cry for help nor is it a plea for attention. In fact, I expressly do not want to discuss my feelings on this subject nor do I want to engage in any of that other weak, pathetic therapeutic bullshit. As always, I can and will handle whatever life throws at me on my own. This is merely an explanation to those of you who were concerned enough to inquire as to my current state of mind and also to those who were too polite to do the same. I sincerely appreciate that type of personal respect.

So there it is. I hope that this uncharacteristic bout of emotional honesty has not ruined your Christmas holidays and if it has I once again apologize; that was never my intent by writing this. I sincerely hope that everyone reading this has one of the best Christmases ever along with a comparably kick ass new year to boot. Regular posting will resume at some point in the very near future but I'll be honest one more time and tell you that this declaration is neither written in stone nor blood. Happy holidays to you all, and thank you for indulging my wasted intellect and shattered psyche once again. I truly appreciate it.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

The War On Terror Meets The War On Christmas

In Bauer's defense, this guy's M.O. does seem a bit dodgy:

The first tip off was the fruity accent. Everyone knows that the real Santa's American, just like Jesus.


Picture Of The Day

The first four floors of the Freedom Tower finally start to emerge from the former location of the World Trade Center destroyed on September 11th, 2001. Four floors, in eight years. At this rate the entire 94 story structure should be completed by 2189. It amazes me how easily showing the terrorists who attacked us and the world at large how strong and resilient we Americans are as a people inevitably takes a back seat to political posturing and bureaucratic wrangling. The terrorists chose their target well.


Iron Man 2 Trailer

This is just the first of what I assume are to be many we'll see before this much anticipated sequel drops:


Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Nick Cage Is Kick Ass

I have no idea what this movie is about but I have to admit that this short trailer intrigued me:

Based upon this extraordinarily obvious Batman rip-off accompanying movie poster:

I assume that he's training his daughter to become some type of superhero/urban vigilante, which I can totally respect. My own childhood superhero training was rather abysmal (my old man never even taught me how to fight, much less how to take a bullet) so I can understand Cage's character's motivations. If I'm not raising superheroes, then what the fuck am I doing here? Right?


Picture Of The Day

Boba Fett, if he were a hot chick. Why? Because I'd totally have sex with him were he a hot chick. And if you don't find a chick Boba Fett hot , well then you and I have nothing more to discuss (and you most likely where not a male born in the 1970's). Also, you're gay. Just saying. Boba Fett chick, dude...


Monday, December 14, 2009

Stormbirds Concept Air Warfare Animation

This is a concept animation film featuring dogfighting and aerial bombers produced by some British guys I know nothing about. It's not that long but the visuals and effects are beautifully stunning:


Sunday, December 13, 2009

Picture Of The Day

Buzzfeed has composed their list of The 40 Funniest Celebrity Candids Of 2009 and I've fallen in love with several of them ("Suri Cruise Calls For Help" leads the list) but "Madonna's Arms Are So Scary" is my absolute favorite. Good God. If your own arms look any more like a cadaver you should probably check your own pulse because you just might be dead. True blue, yo.


Saturday, December 12, 2009

Advertisement Of The Day

I need a handjob! Yes, this is a real product and yes, it's hilarious:


Friday, December 11, 2009

NFL To Fine Players For Getting Concussions

I guess it was only a matter of time:

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell announced a stricter league concussion policy at a press conference Sunday, finalizing a provision that would automatically charge a fine of $10,000 to any player who suffers a concussion. "Concussions have become a serious problem in the lives of current and former NFL players, and the only way to nip this thing in the bud is to make the players accountable," Goodell said. "Ten thousand dollars for the first concussion, $30,000 for the second, and $70,000 for the third. Hopefully these fines will make our players think twice before they have their brains jostled against the insides of their skulls." Goodell later added that the league is also considering harsher punishments for more serious injury-related behavior, saying that players who sever their spinal cords would face indefinite suspension and, in most cases, be stripped of their pensions.
Serves them right for risking their physical and mental health just so we can be entertained on Sundays. Selfish jerks.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

A Day In The Internet

Pretty damn impressive. And I know that it's supposed to represent Mario world for the video game portion of the graphic but I do love that at some point it actually is a series of tubes.


How To Use An Astrolabe

I've always wondered how to do this:


Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Picture Of The Day

Kind of reminds me of these guys atop the Empire State Building. And once again I'll say: no thanks.


Tuesday, December 8, 2009

The Botfly In Her Head

I love to travel and while most of my vacations have revolved around more urban locales I would very much like to visit more exotic and adventurous places around the world. Then I watched this video. I don't mind telling you that this really freaked me out:

Sunday, December 6, 2009

The World's Smallest Snowman

I grew up in a state that had no snow and moved to one that is pretty much the same so my snowman building skills are severely lacking but I have to admit that I admire the ability to construct this:

You're looking at the tiniest snowman ever built. Well, it looks like a snowman, but this minuscule model — about a fifth the width of a human hair — is not made out of snow. It's constructed of two tiny tin beads that are usually used to calibrate an electron microscope, and welded together with platinum.

It's built by David Cox, a nanotech expert at the Quantum Detection Group of Britain's National Physical Laboratory. He's accustomed to working with such astonishingly small objects, and used his nano-particle manipulation tools to demonstrate the astonishing accuracy of his work.

The remarkable flourish of his smiling snowman is its little happy face, carved into the top orb using a focused ion beam.
Nano anything is sure to pique my interest but I love the artistic flair this scientist gave his creation. It's nice to see the hard sciences influenced by the soft, since I live my life constantly ensconced between the two.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Picture Of The Day

A cultural icon, and one of my personal heroes.


Friday, December 4, 2009

Rotating Kitchen Art Installation


Zeger Reyers’ “Rotating Kitchen” — currently on display at the Kunsthalle Düsseldorf’s “Eating the Universe” exhibition — will be rotating nonstop from now until February 28th, 2010.
I like it, but I'll bet the beginning is the best part:

Something Someone Else Said

"As president, I believe that robotics can inspire young people to pursue science and engineering.

And I also want to keep an eye on those robots in case they try anything." -President Barack Obama while presenting his "Educate to Innovate" campaign, which aims to promote the development of new inventions by students all around the country.

I think the jokes have gotten better since we replaced the frat boy with the nerd.

I Elfed Myself

If I'm going to have Christmas crammed down my throat for the entire month of December I figured I'd just embrace it (to a point):

You can elf your own self here.

Picture Of The Day

If you laughed at this you might be a jerk. And yes, I totally did.


Thursday, December 3, 2009

Ataque de Pánico! Trailer

This is pretty impressive for a novice:

This is the five minute trailer for Ataque de Pánico! (Panic Attack!) by aspiring Uruguayan director Fede Alvarez. Apparently flashing the video around Hollywood netted the no-name a $30 million movie deal.
It's Independence Day meets Transformers in South America:

Picture Of The Day

Bright Sun and Crescent Earth from the Space Station (click to enlarge):

This was just one more breathtaking view from the International Space Station. The Sun, a crescent Earth, and the long arm of a solar panel were all visible outside a window when the Space Shuttle Atlantis visited the orbiting outpost last week. Reflections from the window and hexagonal lens flares from the camera are superposed.
I envy the person who snapped this photo.

It's Raining Polar Bears

I'm all for reducing our collective carbon footprint and I question the science behind the declarative statements but this is a bit jarring, even for me:

Brief: We wanted to confront people with the impact that short-haul flights have on the climate. We used Polar Bears because they're a well understood symbol of the effect that climate change is having on the natural world.
This is not for the faint of heart (although it's obviously totally CG). Fair warning:

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Vodka Now Comes In Pill Form

Well it's about damn time. I was getting tired of all that chugging:

Good news for vodka lovers as you can consume your favourite drink just like any other solid food, without the hassle of carrying heavy glass bottles.

Russian professor Evgeny Moskalev of Saint Petersburg Technological University has evolved a technique that allows turning alcohol into powder and packing it in pills. The new technique can solidify any kind of alcohol, including whisky, cognac, wine and beer.

“Dry” vodka can be wrapped in paper and carried around in a pocket or a bag. Vodka in form of a pill would come handy at parties when “consumers” would be able to calculate their exact required dosage. “Dry” vodka can be wrapped in paper and carried around in a pocket or a bag. Vodka in form of a pill would come handy at parties when “consumers” would be able to calculate the exact required dosage.
Is it just me or is the first thing you think of when hearing about powdered alcohol a rash of spiked drinks? The article mentions that this technique has been successfully performed on spirits of up to 96% alcohol content. That can make for a strong ass drink. I'll stick to Rohypnol to achieve my ends, thank you very much. Brain Rage posted about powdered red wine last summer.


Picture Of The Day

Protest sign punkings are some of my favorite things in the world.