happy new year

Honestly, this decade couldn't end a fucking moment too soon. As for the next, well, hope springs eternal (or so I've heard).


the pitch

This is exactly what it's like.


the tsa death toll

Clayton Cubitt enages in a thought experiment.

who's this? - the answer

Ok, by popular* demand, here's the answer to this (and, sorta this) post. As usual, highlight the area below for the revelation.

Yes, it's all good. That is indeed Martha Stewart from early in her modeling career. Props/3 to Erin O'Brien for the win.

Here're a couple more from the early days. And a (somewhat non-canonical for the brand) more recent one.
(Original pic via flickr.)

* If you've been reading along for a while, you can probably come up with an even better snarky (but self-deprecating) footnote than I would have. If you feel like giving it a try, comment away.


cheeseburger cupcakes

Baking for the holidays? What could be more festive than cheeseburger cupcakes?

(by KateDW on flickr)
Want to make your own? Step-by-step instructions here.

(I realize this post is a bit out of character for me, but I wasn't originally planning on a post today at all. I just couldn't leave that last post at the top for Christmas. And I'm not even religious.)


fried shrimp!

So, one of the big buzzes in the cult-film fan-boy and girl (but mostly boy) community these past few days has been the release of the "red band" trailer for Matthew Vaughn's upcoming movie based on Mark Millar's comic series, Kick-Ass. (For those not familiar with the taxonomy of film trailers, a red band trailer is one which is not "suitable for all audiences," as opposed to the ubiquitous green band trailers which are, regardless of the rating of the film they preview.)

The arrival of this trailer has been greeted with the predictable chorus of "Best. Trailer. EVER," statements. Judge for yourself (NSFW for language):

In response, I can only observe that anyone who considers this the Best. Trailer. EVER (in that way), has clearly never experienced the pure bug-fuck insanity of the trailer for Noboru Iguchi's RoboGeisha. If the Kick-Ass trailer is not suitable for all audiences, it is entirely possible that the RoboGeisha trailer is not suitable for any audiences. (It may be tempting to assume that I am simply engaging in a bit of ironic hyperbole here. I'm not.) Watch at your own risk.

who's this? - an update

Well, from the guesses in the comments (and some discussion around the citizen household), it appears that many readers (and by "many" I mean "approximately two") assumed that the subject of the "who's this?" question in the previous post was the young woman in the photo. Hell, I have no idea who she is. The question was about the young cow.

Since I obviously messed up by not making that clearer, I'm just going to go ahead and tell you that that's the cow who went on to become Elsie, the symbol of Borden dairy products. Many people assume that Elsie was simply made up by some ad agency, but she was an actual cow, born at the Elmhill Farm in Brookfield, Massachusetts in 1932. Seriously, you can read all about her here.

Nah, I'm just fucking with you.* Of course it's about the young woman. And I will stipulate that the correct answer may be among the three guesses already submitted in the comments by Ms. Erin O'Brien (no doubt from the supportive comfort of her newly acquired Steelcase Sensor desk chair). As such, let's give Ms. O'Brien a day or so to return and select her final one answer. And, of course, everyone else is still encouraged to join in the fun.

* This is what is known as "foreshadowing." Unfortunately, at the time I'm posting this, the post that this foreshadows hasn't been written yet. So check back in a day or so for the big foreshadowed payoff.



person of the year

Over at the NYT, Frank Rich makes a persuasive case for why Tiger Woods (rather than Time's preposterous choice, Ben Bernanke) should be the 2009 person of the year. You should read the whole column, but this quote pretty much sums up his premise:

"If there’s been a consistent narrative to this year and every other in this decade, it’s that most of us, Bernanke included, have been so easily bamboozled. The men who played us for suckers, whether at Citigroup or Fannie Mae, at the White House or Ted Haggard’s megachurch, are the real movers and shakers of this century’s history so far. That’s why the obvious person of the year is Tiger Woods. His sham beatific image, questioned by almost no one until it collapsed, is nothing if not the farcical reductio ad absurdum of the decade’s flimflams, from the cancerous (the subprime mortgage) to the inane (balloon boy)."

(And yes, that's the actual cover of the January, 2010 edition of Golf Digest. Talk about bad timing.)

(And no, this is not the "meta" post alluded to in the last post. Consider this one an unexpected bonus. Meta still to come.)

unearned cred

Stop it.

Just stop it.

(Next: Meta.)



Headed down to the local clinic today with Rocketgirl and one of the junior citizens to get an H1N1 flu shot. Discovered to our delight that they were offering the seasonal flu vaccine as well, so I got them both. (I guess now I'm going to become twice as autistic as I would otherwise have. </sarcasm>*) **

While it would be convenient (from a structural point of view) to be able to tell you that I snapped the phone cam photo below at the clinic today, it actually dates back to a completely different waiting room some months ago. It's been sitting in my phone all this time waiting for me to remember it, and todays' visit provided just that inspiration. So, without further ado, the plushie that only a very specific sort of plushie could love:

Given what's supposed to happen to him, I kind of wonder what he's smiling about. (Actually, I'm pretty sure I don't want to know.)

* Yes, I know that to be technically correct, that sentence should have had an opening "<sarcasm>" tag, but that would have broken whatever lame sarcastic rhythm it might have. So, to any HTML geeks out there, deal with it.

** And yes, I know autism is not in any way a laughing matter. However, the fucking idiots like Jenny McCarthy and all the rest of the anti-vaccination mafia (and, by extension, the egregious fools like Oprah and the crew at the Huffington Post who give them credibility by providing a mainstream platform for their toxic lies) deserve all of the ridicule we can manage to muster. They have the completely unnecessary deaths of children (and others) on their heads.


pre-code: the answer

If you haven't already seen the post in question, go here first.

When you're ready to know the answer, highlight the area below:

It's Lucy!

That's Lucille Ball in her first movie role as a Goldwyn Girl in Roman Scandals of 1933.

(Photo via Retrozone.)


the anigif tarot 2

When I posted the animation from the previous post on one of the tarot forums I frequent, one of the other members replied:
"I would be interested to see the Lust card from the Thoth deck LOL!"
People should be careful what they ask for.

the anigif tarot

Last night I downloaded the rather clever image manipulation app, Puppet Animation, for my iPhone. Developed by Daisuke Nogami, it lets you apply a variety of animated transformations to any drawing or photo (that you can get into the phone). Given its flexibility, it's surprisingly easy (and fun) to use.

In about a half hour of figuring out how it worked, I came up wth this:
The Magician
Maybe I'm just easily amused (actually I know I'm easily amused), but this is really pretty cool. (And the fact that you can do stuff like this entirely on a cell phone is kind of amazing.)


b roll

I'm sure if there's one thing we've all experienced, it's got to be the frustration of discovering that once again, the incompetent location crew didn't get the B roll coverage you need to cut the story. Well, thanks to the folks below, it looks like that frustration is about to become a thing of the past. I mean, now that we've got this, who needs affordable health care?

And oh yeah, fuck Joe Lieberman.


a question

I spend a fair amount of zone-out time looking at the online portfolios of photographers and artists (hence 404). And over the last few years I've noticed an annoying trend. The structures and interfaces of online portfolios seem to be becoming more and more arcane. Many are actually bringing back nostalgic memories of playing Myst back in the early 90s. That feeling of being plopped down in a lovely, but cryptic environment, with no real idea of what you're suppposed to be doing. And then just clicking everything in sight, hoping one thing or another is going to react in a way that makes something happen.

Are budding photographers and illustrators now regularly taught that art directors select freelancers based on the incomprehensibility (and Flash-ladeness) of their site's GUI?

Just curious.

(And I'm sorry, but horizontal scrolling is just wrong.)


silents fiction

Okay, I pretty much posted this to use that title. So sue me.

celebrate diversity

(h/t Marty)


attitude adjustment

(Via Justin Blyth's (hopefully) temporarily shuttered THEM THANGS)


Who's this?
(Answer (and credit) in a few days.)




And oh yes:
Balloon boy, balloon boy balloon boy, balloon boy balloon boy balloon boy, balloon boy, balloon boy balloon boy balloon boy balloon boy balloon boy balloon boy balloon boy. Balloon boy balloon boy balloon boy; balloon boy; balloon boy; balloon boy balloon boy balloon boy.

Balloon boy:
"Balloon boy balloon boy balloon boy, balloon boy balloon boy balloon boy balloon boy balloon boy balloon boy balloon boy balloon boy balloon boy. Balloon boy balloon boy balloon boy balloon boy balloon boy, balloon boy balloon boy balloon boy balloon boy."
Balloon boy!

"bed space is overrated"

When one Tony Alleyne of Hinckley, Leicestershire (UK) had his wife leave him in the late 90s, he responded by taking the opportunity to remodel his 500 square foot apartment. The remodel, which he executed himself, took 5 years to complete. It is described as featuring "voice-activated lighting, LED lighting, running lights, air-conditioning - but no bed." Apparently Mr. Alleyne suffered from sciatica and had been advised by his doctor to try sleeping on the floor. According to Mr. Alleyne, "It cured the sciatica and gave me the opportunity to convert the bed area into the Transporter area. Bed space is overrated"
(Is it my imagination, or is that disco ball seriously non-canonical?)


art appreciation

I've had this picture in a folder on my computer for months now (ever since I stumbled across it on the net somewhere). Every time I've thought about posting it, I've ending up deciding the quality was just too sucky and putting it back in the folder. Somehow, now just seems like the right time.

(Somewhere along the way, I seem to have lost track of the source of this. If anyone involved ever manages to find their way here, let me know. I'll make it right.)



January 22nd of this year marked the 25th anniversary of Apple's introduction of the Macintosh. To mark the occasion, Philip Elmer-DeWitt compiled some choice quotes from the first reviews of the Mac back then. My very favorite is from John C. Dvorak's review in the San Francisco Examiner of February 19, 1984:
The nature of the personal computer is simply not fully understood by companies like Apple (or anyone else for that matter). Apple makes the arrogant assumption of thinking that it knows what you want and need. It, unfortunately, leaves the “why” out of the equation — as in “why would I want this?” The Macintosh uses an experimental pointing device called a ‘mouse’. There is no evidence that people want to use these things. I don't want one of these new fangled devices.
In the Wall St. Journal Market Watch on March 28, 2007, Mr. Dvorak wrote:
Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone... what Apple risks here is its reputation as a hot company that can do no wrong. If it's smart it will call the iPhone a "reference design" and pass it to some suckers to build with someone else's marketing budget. Then it can wash its hands of any marketplace failures... Otherwise I'd advise you to cover your eyes. You're not going to like what you'll see.
Mr. Dvorak has won a number of awards for technology journalism, including the Computer Press Association Best Columnist and Best Column awards, the American Business Editors Association's national gold awards for best online columns of 2003 and 2004, and the Telluride Tech Festival Award of Technology in 2001.

Bonus Link!

Another perspective on those "new fangled devices" is provided by the inimitable Erin O'Brien. And, along those same lines, there's this.


most awesomest video game ever!

I was going to dial back the YouTube posts for a while, but then I discovered this. OMFG.
(But why isn't the polar bear wearing a Speedo like the rest of them?)


semi-oldies night

The Bangles provide a pretty spiffy cover of Simon & Garfunkel's Hazy Shade of Winter in a promo video for the less-than-wonderful 1987 movie, Less Than Zero. (That's semi-old, not semi-night.)


the uncanny rift into the very bowels of hell

There are disturbing humanoid robots and there are profoundly disturbing humanoid robots. And then there is this:

Although it gets repetitive pretty quickly, you absolutely must stick with it to the very last second.

(via Danny Choo)