Thursday, November 06, 2008

Yes we can

We did it. Barack Obama won the Presidential election and now it's time for change. No doubt having an African-American President breaks down barriers and paves the way for change. Just the type of change that Daniel Craig thinks can occur one day.

"After Barack Obama's victory I think we might have reached the moment for a coloured 007" - Daniel Craig

Thank you Barack for setting this in motion. I'm sure Daniel Craig thanks you.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Help Me Wolf Blitzer, You're My Only Hope...

Were you watching CNN last night? Well, you see, there was this whole election thing, and I think they covered it. Regardless!

What's one way to get a roomful of drunk Obama supporters instantly quiet? A hologram.I would just like to know who's idea it was to try this, and more importantly who green-lighted it?

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Ben and Jerry's decides against 'Mother's Milk' flavored Ice Cream

I wonder who in PETA (that's the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) decided that it would be a good idea to send a letter to Ben and Jerry (formerly of Ben & Jerry's, now of Unilever) suggesting that they completely transition from cow milk to breast milk.  Either they completely didn't think this through (possible) or its just a publicity stunt to get PETA back in the news (probable).

Let's think about this for a second.  First off, let's talk logistics before we delve into the slightly more ludicrous.  Cows provide us with roughly 8 gallons of milk a day.  People produce 40 oz a day--at most.  So for every cow, we'd need nearly 26 women producing at maximum capacity just to equal what a cow averages every day.  Two questions arise:  where would we get these droves of lactating women, and what should they do during the roughly--I don't even know how long it takes to milk a cow (or a person), but that long.

I can imagine gigantic milking facilities, fully stocked with Us Weekly and As The World Turns and I must say, I can imagine how GreenPeace would get pretty angry about that.  The carbon emissions from such a gigantic human milking factory must certainly outweigh the benefits of drinking human milk.

More importantly, ewww.  I already had human milk, and you know what, I kicked that habit years ago.  Maybe because it's gross.  Do the PETA people drink breast milk?  If so, where do they get it from?  And I'm not talking about formula, because you can't make ice cream with formula.

That brings up a new point.  With all these mothers producing flat out to provide Ben and Jerry's with top quality product, what about the children?  Presumably they can't outbid Ben and Jerry's--I mean they're owned by Unilever for Christ sakes--so I'd say its a fair assumption to say that they'd only get second-rate reject milk.  And you know what, that's just not fair.

Could you imagine the baby riots that would occur as a result of this?  "We're not second class citizens" they'd say.  If we oppressed them with sub-par formula, and poor quality breast milk, eventually they'd rise up, probably violently.  And then the uprising would have to be put down, which means babies would end up getting hurt, or worse killed.

And then there would be outrage.  And it would be directed at the politicians who authorized the use of force.  Against babies.  Which means that they would either a. get kicked out of office and be replaced by people whose campaign would be 'baby milk is for babies' or b. institute some kind of Human Milk in Ice Cream ban to save their jobs.  Regardless we'd be right back to cow milk and the net change would be zero.  Except for those poor, needlessly murdered babies

See, PETA, I can come up with ridiculous and outlandish concepts too!

From: AdAge or
Read the original PETA press release

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Astrology is not Astronomy / Great Business Plans

I was perusing today and came across an article ( with the headline "NASA commissions rap about Astrobiology." Jonathan Chase, the English born rapper, was selected for this momentous opportunity to accomplish NASA's goal of making "astrobiology easy to understand."

Jonathan Chase had this to say: "Being commissioned by NASA to produce the 'Astrology Rap' was a great compliment."

1) Astrology is not Astronomy. You are now confusing people, making it hard to understand

2) Astrobiology is hard to understand!! Yes, because it is astrobiology.

Dear NASA,

I hope you come to terms that Astrobiology just might be hard for some people to understand. It's ok to be who you are and you should be comfortable with that.

p.s thanks for paying for this video; I particularly liked the dancing green alien and the clip art

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Daddy, when I grow up can I be a Toilet-Paper researcher?

Sure, there have been some advancements in the world of toilet paper; more sheets per roll, colors, scented. I speculate that one of the more "important" advancements in toilet paper has been 2-ply. Well, if you thought that was something special then hold on to your hat. wait..

yes, 3-ply toilet paper!!

No, that is not a typo. The amount of plys has increased by 50%. Toilet paper researchers have done it! They have toiled countless hours; dealing with the fiber matrix and the softness scale and have found a way to increase the amount of plys.

For further reading:

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Shameless promotion


What do these words all have in common? Answer, they do not describe Chad Johnson, WR for the Cincinnati Bengals. Already in this post I have in fact made an error. There is no Chad Johnson anymore; his name is legally changed to Chad Ocho-Cinco; 85 in spanish and it is his uniform number. I very much dislike you Chad Ocho-Cinco.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Gas Prices too motherfucking high

Earlier in the year I wrote a post saying relative to other goods, by the gallon, gas is still a good value. It seems that the tables have turned as P.Diddy reveals in his latest video blog post that he is forced to fly...commercial. Yes, the jet is grounded and American Airlines has earned another passenger. I'm glad that Diddy feels the plight and can relate to the common man. Diddy was even kind enough to offer some advice to "tell whoever the next president is that we need to bring gas back down."

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

I don't want to blame it all on 9/11...but it certainly didn't help

I must say it's really refreshing to see a level of professionalism and modesty in professional basketball, especially among the olympic. Case in point, following the United State's Gold Medal Basketball win under the direction of Coach K, 2004 coach Larry Brown was able to lend some nice words by blaming his loss on injuries...and 9/11.

"We had guys that committed and then all of a sudden 9/11 happened, and then there were injuries" - Larry Brown.

Brown poorly aseembled a team lacking long range shooters and defenders. Perhaps that and personal hubris are to blame among the ever increasing talent in international basketball. Or... it could be 9/11.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Today's Moment of Zen

Brought to you from the world of women's wrestling...ouch.

Also, in the vein of olympic something or another, please check out what might be the most ridiculous sport ever. Men's race walking. All you need is the first 30 seconds or so of the video to get a real flavor of this sport. You'll either find it hilarious or deeply disturbing.
NBC Olympics: Men's 20km Race Walk

Newsflash: Chinese Gymnasts not 16

It would appear that the International Olympic Committee has finally started paying attention to what everyone is saying about the Chinese Women's Gymnastics team at this year's Olympic Games. They've ordered an investigation into the ages of the girls, some of whom might be as young as 14.

Nobody's really sure why the I.O.C. has suddenly begun investigating now, after the gymnastics competition is over. Perhaps it was Nastia Liukin's dad, who was mad that she didn't win gold medals. Or maybe an Olympic official was listening to Bela Karolyi when he semi-coherently stated his opnion on NBC that the Chinese team was entirely too young. You can find the video here. Please watch it, it's hilarious.

Oh? But the Chinese government provided passports to prove that the girls were of age, you say? Isn't this the same government who put some pretty girl out to lip-sync the national anthem, because the singer was too ugly? I think they could whip up a passport or two in their spare time.

But honestly, who cares? Even if the I.O.C. finds wrong-doing--which they probably will, and then subsequently not publicize--nothing will happen. We're going to continue begging China to invest in the dollar and they're going to continue doing whatever the hell they want. Because there's really no point into launching an investigation that will cost time, and money, and will end with no net change.

Source: The New York Times

Thursday, August 21, 2008

You Have too Many Facebook Apps

There needs to be some kind of reasonable restriction on the number of applications that one is allowed to add to his or her Facebook page.

Take Exhibit A, below. This was taken from the the Myspace Facebook page of one of my friends.
Look at how many applications he has! I was going to write on his wall, except wait! I couldn't find it under literally a cacophany of applications. In conclusion, it was bad news bears.

And you know what, friend? I didn't write on your wall. Because I couldn't find it. So you missed out on a perfectly good wall post, which I'm sure you're keeping track of. Because that's how vain you are.

This is part one of our one part series on too many Facebook apps.

Alternate Side of the Street Parking

Seriously, when is it not "in effect," and why must every tri-state area local morning news feel compelled to tell you?

Friday, August 15, 2008

Thank you for helping me clean up the place

Dear Former Roommates:

I would just like to take a second to thank you for helping me remove some of the clutter from the apartment we all used to occupy. I know that the place was a bit cramped, but we made the best of it didn't we?

So as we're clearing out the apartment, thanks for also helping me get rid of some of my stuff--the four bottles of wine that you took from my wine box. I probably would have never gotten around to drinking them anyway. But more importantly--thanks for leaving the one with the screw top. After all, I wouldn't have been able to get it open, because you probably also took my cork screw.

When you open the 2004 Jordan Cabernet Sauvignon, please make sure to decant it for at least two hours prior to drinking it. Although I got it as a birthday present 2 years ago, I know you'll be able to derive more value out of it than I would ever be able to. Before it's opened, you should probably chill it slightly, to about 67 degrees, in order to release the full complexity of the grapes.

The Twisted Oak white should be chilled to anywhere between 45 and 50 degrees. Drink it immediately after opening, and make sure to savor the crisp refreshing blend of California grapes. I've found that this particular bottle tends towards the dryer side of the spectrum so it will probably go nice with a sharp cheese. I could also envision it going lovely with a rich chicken dish. But after all, it's your bottle now so use at your discretion.

The two Latin American reds both should be decanted for anywhere from 30 minutes to two hours. I can't remember the names of them, but one was a delicious, spicy rich wine, i believe coming from Argentina. It's also very moderately priced, if you like it, I hope you continue to buy it. It's one of my favorites, please enjoy it. The other one, probably the most expensive bottle in my collection, has been aging for about 3 years. I was going to open it when I graduated. But it's probably too complex for my palate anyway, so please take it, and enjoy it with my complements.

Anyway, I'm glad that you're able to enjoy one of my favorite past times. Ben, because you told me when you were really drunk that you were taking a class to learn about wines at Cornell in the fall, I'm going to go ahead and assume it was you. I hope you can enjoy and savor them as much as I was going to.

Have a great semester!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

I'd rather have a bottle in front of me than a frontal lobotomy (Day 3)

Tom Waits stubles onto the set of "Fernwood Tonight," treating the crowd to a version of "The Piano has Been Drinking" and his usual wit with an interview. Tom Waits is a poet madman who speaks in the voice of savage cool. He will be soon seen in the new Terry Gilliam film, "The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus" as The Devil, not just a devil or any devil...The Devil.

Diamond in the Rough

Weather Pattern Clears Pollution Scare
Published: August 14, 2008
Despite concerns about pollution affecting performances, it turns out that very little is known about whether there is such an effect and, if so, how much.

Run of the mill times article...

Boring paragraph

Boring paragraph...due to lucky weather patterns, pollution is not a problem at all in Beijing, just hype.

Blah blah blah, nothing newsworthy.

Wait for it:

"The World Anti-Doping Agency, which is supporting Rundell’s Viagra research, is considering banning it as a performance-enhancer"

That's a direct quote, from about halfway down the article. Viagra--a performance-enhancer. In other news, the sky is still blue and you do, in fact, still have to pay taxes.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Apples, Carl Sagan, and the 4th Dimension (Day 2)

If there was ever someone to explain the 4th dimension in an easy to understand manner it would be Carl Sagan. Utilizing a red delcious apple, a knife, and some pieces of paper, Sagan represents a world that we can't fully comprehend in our minds and our left with ideas, conjecture, and hypercubes.

Dear D.C. Cabbies (again)

As you may or may not recall, I think the taxi system in Washington, D.C. is a complete and total disaster. And one cog in this clusterfuck machine is, of course, the cab drivers themselves. I feel like they (the cabbies) don't understand exactly how the meters (or the meter system) works, and therefore they make it run a lot worse.

Example #1: Stopping at every light that looks like it might turn yellow sort of soon. Maybe. One plus of the zone system was that when you got in a cab, you got to your destination fast. Because they understood that more fares = more money. For some reason, with the time and distance meters cab drivers think the paradigm has changed. It hasn't.

Every time a cab driver picks up a fare, that's $4.00. The flag drop costs $3.00, and the gas surcharge is another $1. When you stop at the light, its 25 cents a minute. Using logic, one might think that the goal is to get to your destination as quick as possible to get another easy $4.00. Cab driver logic dictates otherwise.

Example #2: Inching forward at that red light you just stopped at. As far as I can remember, this never happened under the zone system. I don't really know why it happens now. For one, it wears out the brakes faster, and the transmission for that matter. For another, being a passenger, it's really annoying and provides a disincentive to tip well.

The only cab driver logic I can think of to justify this is that if the wheels are rolling, then it's increased distance on the meter. Here's the thing: it's not. The meter only calculates distance when the car is going 10 m.p.h or faster (hence why NYC cabbies drive so fast) so it's really not doing anything. Except annoying the shit out of me.

So in summation, cab drivers, please stop sucking so bad, because in the end you're only hurting yourselves.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

10 videos in 10 days - 1 2 3 4

1 2 3 4
monsters walking across the floor
I love counting, counting to the number 4

Feist on yesterday's episode of Sesame Street

Sunday, August 03, 2008

It's The Economy, Stupid

Stanley Bing, Fortune's resident last page columnist, has a new column out regarding the state of our economy. The gist of his argument is, and I'm paraphrasing, life on earth has always been tough, so we might as well spend more money now, because, why not? You can read the more thorough version here.

Apparently, the root of our economic trouble is the fact that CNBC has a 24 hour news scroll and bloggers are the 21st century version of malcontents. It's not like the country's top lending institutions have been just completely screwing the little guy. It's not like car companies have resisted mile-per-gallon improvements for years, and when oil prices suddenly shoot up because of increased worldwide demand, the American driver takes a bath. No, it's clearly the fault of the news media, and the consumer who watches it. It's never big business's fault.

Well, as Stan pointed out, it could be worse. We could be living with the threat of nuclear war with the Soviets. We could be living during the time of the Crusades. Tell that to someone who could be only days away from losing his/her house or job. You can console their homelessness with the fact that at least they won't have to go to the Middle East and try and take back Jerusalem.

Comrade Bing suggests ignorance. Only watch 45 minutes of news a day. Don't read blogs. Take a soma holiday. This is exactly the type of thought process that got us into our current financial situation in the first place.

Just one more thing before I sign off here, Stanley says that "Three-quarters of our economy is built upon our willingness to part with our money in exchange for goods and services." What I'm still trying to figure out is, what's the other quarter based on?

So, "Get out there every goddamn weekend and pump as much money as you can back into the economy." Too bad it's money that you probably don't have to begin with.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Oh so emo...

No matter where you are in the world, it seems that every high school naturally segments itself into clicks and groups. Your jocks, your geeks, band kids, track stars, and of course emo.

According to a recent article by The Guardian, "Emo kids were described as teenagers who wear black, have facial piercings and black hair with fringes that "cover half the face." Certainily infringing their apathy onto others with those loose fringes.

Well Russia thinks so apparently...A new Russian law could make being an emo kid illegal. The law would regulate emo websites and ban emo and goth dress style in schools and government buildings. I hardly think throwing some teenagers in the goulag is going to brighten up Russia. How does Russia not identify with the bleakness of emo anyway; Russia is not exactly a cornucopia of colors, bright spirits, and enthusiasm. Russia, embrace your emoness; your joie de vive is your lack thereof.

Until then...

To all emo kids,

Watch your back.


Wednesday, July 02, 2008

The Most Adorable Thing I've Seen All Week

The Boys and the Subway is the story of two boys who are obsessed with the NYC Subway system. I think I like it so much because it reminds me of my childhood. Because it's genuinely one of the most innocent, adorable things I've ever seen.

On the lighter side, my wallet is still missing in lower Manhattan and I've got a bunch of stitches what was my 'good' foot.

But seriously, so adorable.

Monday, June 30, 2008

a years supply...

I was watching an episode of Jeopardy and at the close of the episode the 3rd place contestant was at a miserable negative 1,100. Not only did our poor contestant not have to reimburse Trebek, he even received a years supply of Turtle Wax.

It's really unfortunate Jeopardy couldn't afford to bulk up that prize with a year's suppy of calendars, christmas trees, or colonoscopies.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Bear Sterns reorganizes into NLL Team

(NLL of course standing for National Lacrosse League)

I really meant to post this a while ago, as now it's just a bit timely:

Bear Avoids Collapse as Lacrosse Team Thumps Lehman

This is a legitimate news story, from Bloomberg, a very respected financial news outlet. Read the article. Please. For me. It might as well be out of The Onion. Let me just give you a taste. This is the actual opening paragraph:
June 11 (Bloomberg) -- Bear Stearns Cos.' lacrosse team beat Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. 11-4 last night, a rare piece of good news for workers at the now-defunct Wall Street firm.
If this doesn't catch you, I don't know what will.

As it turns out Bear Sterns is better at lacrosse then they were at investing. And now they're defunct. I guess that's what happens when you stray away from your core business. At least we can take solace in the fact that if these guys can't find work on Wall Street, there's still a chance they can make it to the limelight during the "Game of the Week" broadcast on Versus.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Finally a program where I get to watch Greg Brady juggle...

An old man once told me that the problem with programs today is that the theme song does not tell you everything you need to know about the show. He then preceded to cite "Lost" as a horrible show, having no theme song, and the very imformatively themed, "Giligan's Island," as the best program of all time.

Putting aside this peculiar theme song issue; the glut of horrid programming today is atrocious. On the train ride home today I perused through the tv listings on the back cover of the post. Here is what I found...

1) Farmer Wants a Wife: No wonder the CW is behind in ratings to not only the major networks, but also Univision. The summary provided, "The girls participate in a tractor race." Thrilling.

2) Living Lohan: reality program featuring the trainwreck that spawns more trainwrecks.

3) Celebrity Circus: Finally a vehicle to display the acrobatic and circus talents of joey fatone, greg brady, and a slew of "oh yeah, I remember that guy."

4) Russian Roulette: Game show where the if the contenstants miss questions the floor beneath them disappears and they fall to their doom. Only, it's not their doom, and more of a ball pit. Change ball pit to doom and we have a winner.

I think the old man had alzheimers.

Monday, June 09, 2008

Missing my son...

I was in a line at the supermarket the other day, and uhm... y'know, I had gotten my skim milk, and a dozen eggs and a loaf of bread. I am about to start assembling all my little things on the conveyor belt over there. And the lady in front of me that is... well, she' is flat out staring at me. She continues this and I'm getting a little nervous and uh, she continues to stare at me. And I stop a bit and sheepishly, I keep looking the other way. She inches closer and closer and she says to me: "I apologise for staring, that must have been annoying. It's just that you look so much like my son. He died and I just can't take my eyes off you." She pulls a tattered photograph of her son out of her purse. He looks absolutely nothing like me. In fact he's... Chinese. Well we chatted and continued our light banter. As it was wrapping up she says: "I'm sorry, I have to ask you. Would you mind, as I leave the supermarket here, would you mind saying "Goodbye mom" to me? I, I know it's a strange request but I haven't heard my son saying "Goodbye mom" to me, and it would mean so much to me to hear it. And I said: "Well, you know, okay, yeah, sure. Eh.. uh... I can say that." And, and so, she uh gets her groceries all checked out. And uh, as she's going out the door she waves at me and she hollers across the store: "Goodbye son!" And I look up and I wave and I say: "Goodbye mom!" And there she goes, and I go back to assembling my few little things on the conveyor belt and the clerk checks out my things. And uh, and he gives me the total and he says: "That'll be four hundred and seventy nine dollars." Uh... and I said: "Well, how is that possible! I've only got some tuna fish, and uh some skim milk, and a loaf of bread..." He goes: "Well, well you're also paying for the groceries for your mother. She uh, told me you'd take care of the bill for her." And I said: "Well, wait a minute! That's not my mother!" And he says: "Well I distinctly heard her say as she left the store "Bye son!" and you said "Bye mom!" and so what are you trying to say here, uh..." I said: "Well, JESUS!" And I looked out into the parking lot and she was just getting into her car. And I ran out there. And she was just closing the door, and she had a little bit of her leg sticking out of the door and she was pulling away and I grabbed her leg and I started PULLING it! Much like, i'm pulling yours...

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Hey, What'd You do Last Night?

How nice of you to ask. After a rather uneventful evening of watching Zoolander on a gigantic television, I ran over to the Pike house to pick up some random shit I had lying around.

As it turns out, I still can't say no to an invitation to a bar, so Camille (in her pajamas), Jack, and I depart for Marshall's, in a 4ride no less. As it turns out a $50,000 annual tuition check also includes a complimentary ride or two to the bar.

Jack, who is by no means an alcoholic, literally knows everyone that works at Marshall's. Everyone. It's reminiscent of my freshman days at the Exchange--more on that never. So we sit down with some drinks and begin to talk about what we always talk about--nothing. That's where it all went downhill.

Enter: jockish looking white guy who already appears to be kind of wasted. This gentleman comes up to Jack, and asks him to referee a game called who can finish an Irish Car Bomb faster. Sure, why the hell not. Cool, that takes 4.5 seconds and we return to our regularly scheduled drinking.

The guy sticks around and continues conversing with us, it appears Jack may or may not know him (it was hard to tell), so we indulge in his conversational whims. As it turns out he looks jocky because he in the Army and recently got back from Iraq. He's talking to us for a while shooting the shit and what not, when out of nowhere, the idea of the "Triathlon" enters the conversation. For you who remain unenlightened--and I was at the time--it's one of each of the following drank in quick succession:
  • Irish Car Bomb
  • Jager Bomb
  • Pint of Beer
Did I mention that the entire thing had to be finished within 30 seconds? It's like 4 shots.

So Camille, the already somewhat tipsy, Irish diehard that she is decides she can stand up to the hard drinking, U.S. Army Infantryman that is already undressing her with his eyes.

She clearly lost.

Now Captain America's putting the moves on. I'll spare you most of the details but I will say that an Eiffel Tower was discussed--seriously. If you need to ask, go to urban dictionary. Oh and the subject of his wife and young child came up. The kid's named Killian. You know, like the beer. Apparently its not cheating if its a threesome. Anyway, at last, a moment of opportunity: G.I. Joe goes to the bathroom, I grab Camille and we catch a cab the hell out of dodge without saying goodbye to anyone. Another boring ending to an otherwise bizarre set of circumstances.

Moral of the Story: Make sure you always have necessary cab fare for emergencies.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

London Mayor a Party Pooper

London's illustrious mayor Boris Johnson did something so ghastly, so unspeakable, that I'm going to speak of it. The man has singlehandedly banned booze on London's public transport network. Unlike puritanical America, where in some cities (read: Washington, D.C.) it's illegal to bring any type of food or water on the metro, London was a beacon of free ideas and social acceptance--of drinking on the Tube.

This is the beginning of a slippery slope in London. The next thing you know, having a couple beers at lunch on a workday will be socially unacceptable. And then out of nowhere, all drinking will be banned in bars and pubs. It's a slippery slope Mayor Johnson, one that you don't want to go down.

In conclusion, it sucks that drinking has been banned on public transport, because that was one really cool thing about London. As Bob Crow, the Rail Maritime and Transport Union's Leader put it, "Perhaps the mayor will come out with his underpants on over his trousers like Superman one Saturday to show us how it should be done, and maybe tell a crowd of Liverpool supporters that they can't drink on the train."

Original Article here:

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Clinton easily wins Puerto Rico and Puerto Rico Doesn't Care!

I know some very fine and decent people who call Puerto Rico home, but excuse me if I don't care what the commonwealth things is the best candidate in a primary.

This was taken from the frontpage of

"She (Hillary), former President Bill Clinton and their daughter, Chelsea, spent a combined 15 days in the commonwealth hoping to keep her relevant in the contest"

Voting officials did not expect a large turnout with most residents choosing to stay home.

The entire Clinton clan was clearly necessary to be in Puerto Rico to clinch the commonwealth with it's low level of voter engagement and high degree of voter protest.

Way to go Hillary, for taking a 15 day vacation...

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

The Continual Abuse of Expectant Mother Parking

So the parking lot at my office has 3 spots reserved for expectant mothers. I think this is a nice touch, it emphasizes the family values of the company and makes things a little easier for those who really shouldn't be walking long distances lugging any sort of bag.

As I entered in today a young lady pulled into the one of the reserved spaces. She got out and didn't appear to be pregnant with anything, maybe emotion.Of course I confronted her over this and I found out she is 5 weeks along. I have very little pregnant experience but 5 weeks doesn't seem like such a strain. She said she is pregnant and has every right to park there.Now that I don't care for.

There needs to be statutes and protocals in place to prevent this flagrant abuser. Where does it end; some scofflaw could be trying to institute parking there at conception. How about any girl who expects to have children at some point?


Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Stop Correcting My Grammar

Let me qualify the above statement. Unless you know you're right, stop correcting my grammar. Why? Because it makes you look pompous and stupid at once. When you use bad grammar, I believe you should be corrected, but the corrector should make sure that the correction is, indeed, correct.

The following example is one that really just drives me off the wall:

Me: Hey do you want to meet me and Larry (the awesome bartender) at the Ebbitt for some delicious half off raw bar and drinks?
Idiot: It's Larry and I.
Me: You don't even know who he is!

The thing is, it's not Larry and I, you idiot. You could make the case that it should be "Larry and me," but to be honest with you, I just feel weird saying that. In the written form, I or me should always go last, but I think the English gurus give us a little more latitude when the spoken word.

It isn't Larry and I, and it's never going to be. Why not? Just take out Larry and see if it still makes sense. "Hey do you want to meet I?" No dice Chicago.

So if you're going to correct someone, make sure a. you're right, and b. it won't make you look like a total elitist.

We hope you enjoyed today's grammar lesson, and remember, if you don't have something nice to say, then don't say it. Unless you can support it with facts.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Food Fight Gone Global

Proof that I spend entirely too much time on the Internet. Then again, whatever. Of all the YouTube drivel I watch on a day-to-day basis, this clip is definitely one of the cooler ones.

Imagine every battle we've fought from World War II to the present day. Now condense it down to five minutes. Also, instead of people fighting, it's representative foods. Not going to lie, it's pretty cool. So if you have a minute and are bored, check it out.

Quick Hint: The Lox and Bagels are Israel. Because it's Jewish.

Need more? The official website should help you out if you happen to suck at history. What the Battles Represent Which Food is Which Country

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Found: Bookish Sexual Deviant...

...If interested, please inquire within.

I found this delight of an advertisement in the third floor men's room at the Barnes & Noble in Georgetown. Sorry the picture is so film noir, but I had to mess with the exposure settings in order for it to become more readable.

Just when I thought that bathroom advertisements had fallen out of fashion, or had at least been replaced by TV's inside stalls playing ESPN News, this gem pops up. In a rather classy establishment no less. In case you can't tell, its written on one of those toilet seat condom holders. You know, the really thin paper things that crinkle every time you move, making sure everyone in the bathroom knows that 1. you're taking a shit and 2. you're not comfortable putting your ass on the seat.

"202-271-3000 Sunshine
Sucks Good Dick
Ref by: (Charles)"

I don't have the balls to call the number, but if you do, let me know. I would be very interested to learn how it pans out.

This little invitation gets my stupid around town tag for coming straight out of 1996. "Charles" should really know that a much better way of getting "Sunshine" to turn tricks for cash is Craigslist Casual Encounters (Both Pops into a new window and is DEFINITELY Not Safe For Work).

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Breaking News: Stereotype Once Again Confirmed

At the recent upfront meeting of the network television executives it was revealed that Telemundo's Fall programming will be highly tetas oriented. Appropriately, the new drama is entitled "Without Breast There is No Paradise," or "Sin Tetas No Hay Paraíso" (For our Spanish speaking reader).

Below is the actual promotional photo. It is clear the program has somthing to do with tetas, and also apparently cell phones.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

The Time 100 Most Influential People: Really?

Since 1999 Time Magazine has annually relased a list of what it deems to be the 100 most influential people in the world; composed of politicians, scientists, atheletes, artists and architects to name a few.

Much like Time Magazine the briefs on each honoree is concise, mildly witty, and is complete with a nice photo to distract you.

What it really comes down to is the real movers and shakers aren't always in the limelight, and as a result Time does not care. I'm sure Kaka is great soccer player and it's nice that Loren Ochoa cares about kids staying in schools while golfing, but something tells me they aren't influencing the world as much as Time thinks.

Where Time got it right:

1) Mark Zuckerberg: Changed model of social networking. Facebook daily attracts more and more users and is linking people at an exponential rate. Myspace remains slow, slutty, and filled with too many bad bands who just can't seem to make it.

2) Carlos Slim: The man who has more money than Bill Gates isn't on the list for shaping telecommunications, he is on for influencing social reform. Carlos isn't simply donating money, he is spearheading poverty fighting programs and using cellular technology as a type of remittance in Mexico.

3) Ratan Tata: Chairman of India's Tata Group, the man helped develop the $2,500 car. The car is blistering fast with a 0 to 43 (yes, 43) clocking in at 14 seconds and no air bag or seemingly any features. The deluxe version includes an air conditioner, but no power steering. It will spur mass motorization in the developing world, aggravate pollution, and maybe even a little climate change. That's influence.

Where did they go wrong:

This list could be much longer, for the sake of brevity let's go right to Mariah

1) Mariah Carey: Really? Really, was Time scrounging for people at this point. Were the editors stuck at 99 and Glitter turned on the television. "I can barely read, I have people for that anyway" - Mariah Carey

2) Peter Gabriel: Solsbury Hill is a good song and Genesis was certainly better with Peter on vocals. Reading his article I still don't know why he is on the list. Is a white guy from england who is interested in african music that infuential? Fact: no.

3) George Mitchell: In last week's episode of 30 Rock Jack goes to work for the Bush administration and notices a leak dripping in the office. His new colleague, played by Matthew Broderick, informs Jack that there is not a leak and he can show him the study to confirm that. George Mitchell is not listend among Putin, Clinton, and Obama. He is not listed in the leaders secition because he is listed in the Heroes and Pioneers section. Much like the fictional "Leak Negating" report in 30 rock, the mitchell report did not clean up baseball. It released some names all garnered primarily from one witnesss, who was doing the injecting himself.

Oh and the person who has made the list the most...

Oprah. (6 times, the next closest is Bush, Gates, Hillary, Steve Jobs, Condi, and Jintao at 4)

D.C. Cabs (not the movie)

After what feels like decades, the D.C. Taxicab commission finally changed the arcane, inconvenient zone pricing system to a time and distance system involving a meter. After fighting this all the way to the Supreme Court, Illustrious Mayor Fenty finally got this new legislation (is it legislation?) approved. A great victory for the consumer, yes? Not so much.

So what does this mean for your average D.C. cab rider? Basically nothing. Under the auspices of a very quietly released study, the Taxicab Commission found that under the current meter system, the average price of a cab ride is nearly identical to that of a zone system. Which means still absurdly expensive.

One of the goals of switching to the meter was to get rid of some of the surcharges that plague us today. The gas surcharge, the rush hour surcharge, the additional passenger surcharge, and most importantly, the “You’re drunk (and/or a tourists) and I’m going to fuck you over” surcharge—where does it end? Well, thanks to the new regulations, it doesn’t. The gas surcharge is still in place, and so is the absurdist of absurd, the additional passenger surcharge. Rush Hour might still be in place, and I know that drivers are really going to try and use the drunk surcharge as often as possible.
What I am trying to figure out is why the additional passenger surcharge still applies. I mean this really must be one of the only cities in the country that uses a meter in addition to per-passenger rates. For one thing, the meter isn’t exactly cheap. It costs $3.00 to drop the flag (which is more expensive than NYC, if you were wondering) and then 25 cents per each 1/6 mile and then 25 cents per minute of being stuck in traffic. With adding surcharges, one person going one block can still expect to pay $5.00.

So why do we need the per-person fares on top of this?

Cabbies should be trying to get as many short distance rides as possible. Instead, they’re trying to get as many big groups as possible. This system is, quite simply, doomed to failure.

The average cab fare in New York is $6.00. The average cab fare in Washington is $11.83. Why? Perhaps it’s because D.C. is bigger geographically than New York. Or does D.C. have a higher cost of living than Manhattan? Or perhaps it’s because cabbies need to charge that much per fare in order to make a decent living. Why would that be? Especially with the K Street crowd, cabs are a highly sought after form of transportation in D.C. For one thing the Metro closes at midnight and unless you want to take the bus (and who knows where those run?), a cab is your only bet. So that leads me to believe that there is a drastic oversupply of taxis in the district, meaning that they have to charge higher fares to survive.

Assuming that average fares dropped to $6.00 a trip, Cabbies would need to pick up twice as many fares to earn the same amount of money, ceteris paribus. If there was a somewhat normal number of cabs per person in D.C., then making up the additional revenue would be extremely difficult. The demand for cab service, in my opinion, leans towards the inelastic side, and dropping rates by half will not cause ridership to double. However, according to a Progressive Review article (LINK) that I wholeheartedly disagree with, D.C. has 1 cab for every 75 citizens. New York, on the other hand, has 1 cab for every 600—London and Paris have similar proportions.

Are D.C. Residents eight times as likely as likely as New Yorkers to take a cab places?

My solution, would then to increase barriers to entry to reduce the oversupply of taxis in the district. Perhaps that way I could get a cabbie who actually knows where the address I give him is, or that the car I’m in is younger than I am (more on that in a bit). New York has medallions, London has The Knowledge (LINK), D.C. has a piece of paper that says sign here on it, and then you get your cab license—I just made that up but it sure feels that way.

Furthermore, district cabs fall way behind in other categories compared to other cities. For one thing, they’re really shitty cars. Not only that, but they’re old and falling apart. On a recently rainy evening, I was in a cab where water was literally coming in from the ceiling. And I’ve been in dozens of cabs where the suspension was completely shot, the seats were ripped, the windows didn’t work, or the car just looked thoroughly distressed. This is what I’m paying a premium for?

By both reducing the number of cabs on the street, and the overall cost of trips, D.C. cabbies could be making a whole lot more money. Besides that, with lower trip costs coupled with cleaner cabs and nicer drivers, the money made on tips could increase greatly. A solution like this would benefit both drivers and riders, and at the end of the day, isn’t that what we all want?

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

The Epitome of Cool

Peter O'Toole, I want to be you. Although I must admit, there have been nights that have ended up with me just like that. Except I may or may not have been asleep/passed out/blackout.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Very Modest

I was drunkenly staring at this bottle of Jefferson's Reserve Whisky recently when I came to the following conclusion: They are cocky motherfuckers.

I mean most of the time when you have a niche, expensive product, you don't actively advertise it on the label. Even when it's just expensive, you don't tout it on the packaging. Take Gray Goose for example. Gray Goose (quite possibly the most overpriced vodka on the market) relies on word of mouth, a pretty bottle and a certain amount of undeserved cache to find its way into $9 vodka tonics.

You might as well spray paint the following on a Rolls Royce:
Very Expensive
British Car Made by the Germans
You'll Get Laid, Guaranteed.

In my opinion, the whole thing is completely absurd. If Jefferson Reserve was really as prestigious as its makers would lead you to believe, then you wouldn't need to hear about it on the outside of a bottle.

On a different note, there's been a lot of hubbub about Alltel Wireless. It's not that I have anything against the company (except that fuckass Chad). So besides from being stupid, and not knowing what I'm talking about, if you could at least help me understand why you're so passionate about your phone company, It'd really help me understand all the commotion.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Who The Hell Has Alltel Wireless?

I am so sick of those commercials with "Chad," the dyed-blond, other annoying adjectives, yokel that Alltel Wireless has as their spokesperson. Note the term spokesperson rather than spokesman. It's not that I'm trying to be politically correct, I seriously wonder if Chad has balls.

To be honest, I just don't know how they keep paying for advertising. Seriously, can you name anyone that has Alltel? Start asking around. If you know someone who has Alltel, have them get a hold of me. I wonder if they look different.

So I did a little research and this is what I found out: They are the 5th largest cell phone provider in the country. If you can name more than 5 cell phone providers, I'd be amazed. Alltel has 13 million subscribers (or so they claim...), which is half as many as the next largest provider, T-Mobile, which was 27 million subscribers. There isn't an Alltel store within 50 miles of New York City or Washington, D.C. On the other hand, AT&T has 4 stores within 5 miles of downtown Little Rock, AR--home of the headquarters of Alltel Wireless.

I've really got to wonder about Alltel's marketing strategy. Why blanket the northeast with advertisements if you can't even actualize any interest you do manage to drum up. It's just so frustrating, as someone who wants to be in advertising, watching a company like that completely shit the bed.

That's all for now, but after a short hiatus, we here at A Clean, Well Lighted Place will be coming back in force. And I'm proud to say that we are in fact a we.

Monday, April 14, 2008

The Guilty Look-Away

I just had an epiphany. Unfortunately, the more I think about it, the more I'm narrowing down my focus. Let's begin at the beginning, shall we?

I was watching Mad Men, a brilliant show about the employees, their spouses, and other romances at Sterling Cooper, a fictional 1960's advertising agency. There's this scene where Don (the main character) is sitting at the kitchen table with his wife. She tells him that her best friend found out her husband is cheating on her. (Don isn't particularly virtuous himself.) She then asks him why a man would do that to someone he loves. He looks at her, dead in the eyes, and says I don't know why.

Then I caught it. Or at the very least, I projected. He said his piece, and then just for a fraction of a second, he looked away. Didn't turn his head, he didn't even blink. Look at someone, and then imagine a clock in the distance somewhere behind that person's head. Now glance at the clock just for a second, not even enough time to process what time it was. That's the tell.

It's that one momentary lapse of concentration. It always happens. You get bored, or you think you're staring too intensely. But, damn, the second you look away, it's over. It's like you just got slimed on one of those Nickelodeon shows I used to watch. And be honest, so did you. Except instead of slime, its guilt. And it's still green, and it's all over your face.

We've all done it. I've done it, you've done it. But then I got to thinking, is this always true? (Here's where the aforementioned narrowing of the focus comes into play.) Then I realized that this is an affliction that solely affects men. I don't ever think I've seen a woman fall into this unsafe behavior. And I don't think I've ever done the look-away on another guy. So the Guilty Look-Away. Only to be used by men, on women.

Why is that? Why don't women do it? Well probably because they're smarter, more in control, and better liars. And why don't men do it to other men? Well, my guess is that extended eye contact between guys just gets awkward. We usually have talks while doing other things. Like having a beer watching a football game. Or having a beer at the bar. Or perhaps even having a beer rebuilding that '63 Mustang that's been sitting in the garage for the last 10 years. The point is men don't have a great deal of eye contact with other men. I don't really know why.

And that is precisely why we're complete rubbish at it. Maybe we're not very well practiced, or maybe men have some innate inability to be competent liars. Or maybe we just feel bad about what we've done.

Regardless, at one point or another, we have all performed the Guilty Look-Away or at least witnessed one first hand.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Crayola Mathematics

So in the 1970s a math riddle was proposed, could you create one set of directions that would get you to a finish point regardless of your starting location. Well 37 years later it was solved by a 64 year old Israel janitor/mathematician. Getting to the point and disregarding the too obvious Good Will Hunting reference, he employed a type of math called synchronized color theory.

When you sign up for a PHD level color theory class at MIT a pack of crayola is required (I recommend the 128 pack with the built in sharpener, the 256 is just obscene). Now getting back to this riddle and forgetting some of the complicated math behind it; imagine givng directions not in terms of left and right, north or south, or x and y but in colors. And, why not.

Indulge me in my MS Paint drawn diagram. No matter what point you start at if you follow the pattern"Red-Blue-Blue---Red-Blue-Blue---Red-Blue-Blue" you will end up at the yellow dot.

If you flip it, and always go "Blue-Red-Red" you will always end up at the green dot.

(you've definitely already tried to stump it)

Imagine a city plan where no matther where you are you know how to get to the hospital or to the liquor store. Pretty fucking awesome if you ask me. Forget the GPS and that gruff voice that barks out directions, all we needs is ROYGBIV.

Monday, March 24, 2008

I Just Wanted to Destory Something Beautiful

That must be the thought that constantly pervades Rupert Murdoch's stupid, megalomaniacal mind. (The title of the post, that is, in case you weren't following along.)

The New York Times, today, featured a piece about how the Wall Street Journal is changing, and "evolving" as one Murdoch flunkie so eloquently put it. Apparently the Journal is evolving into just another USA Today--but with slightly fewer graphs. The newspaper is trending towards much more political news, less business news, and shorter stories. And now they're going to heavily revamp...excuse me, evolve, the Marketplace section into lord knows what. I love the Marketplace section, it's full of random tidbits and 'soft' business news-fun stuff.

Murdoch is killing the Wall Street Journal. It's the Wall Street Journal, not the Main Street USA Journal or the Something Else That Gets Me Really Angry Journal. And what is Wall Street known for? Business. People read the Journal for its detailed business information, and if that's not what the Journal is doing, then they are moving far away from their core demographic.

Don't get me wrong, I don't love the fact that the Journal's editorial pages are horribly slanted right (actually I hate it), but that's not why I read it. The Journal's investigative techniques are top-notch and there is just so much damn information in each piece, I love it.

And now all that is going to change? What's next, the Money & Investments section turns into the Comics section? I'm telling you, the more I think about it, the more this paper isn't worth my 70% off student home subscription rate. ( if you're interested)

Read the whole article here: click the headline, pops into a new window
Published: March 24, 2008
The Wall Street Journal’s transition to more breaking news and shorter articles will include a makeover of its Marketplace section, editors and reporters there said.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Movies You Really Should Watch

I've recently been trying to compile a list of movies that you really should see before they get popular. A list of future cult classics, remember Donnie Darko, or The Big Lebowski. Maybe cult classic might not accurately describe it, more like movies that did poorly at the box office but are great films and usually do well with DVD releases or on premium movie channels, or whatever.

After about a week (month) or so of watching movies nobody's heard of and thinking that everyone should watch them, I had a thought: what if I just like bad movies? Maybe that's why they're not popular and never took off. Well, some/most of these movies have won awards (I know because I looked it up), so I figured maybe I don't like bad movies, maybe just artsy shit that's not meant for popular consumption. Well that could be true, but because you're reading this, I'm hoping we're on the same wavelength (even if just a little bit). Maybe they just had bad marketing campaigns. Regardless, I consider these films real gems that most people aren't even cognisant of. But should be. So without further adieu:

Underrated Movies You Should Watch: (clicking on the title opens the trailer in a new window)

Metropolis (1927) - Yes it's silent, yes it's black and white, but it's so good. I'm not sure if you'd call it a dystopian future, but it's a society where the "workers" and "thinkers" (read: proletariat vs the bourgeoisie) are completely separated which, needless to say, causes some problems. Brilliantly done, Fritz Lang is a genius. Watch it, it's one of my favorites. (Warning, kind of shitty trailer)

The Lives of Others (Die Leben des Andern)- Yet another German film, but much newer. It won an Academy Award last year for Best Foreign Film, and it's brilliant. It's the story of an East German Stasi agent who is assigned to monitor an intellectual. It's a an in depth look into human soul and doing the right thing blah blah blah. Brilliant cinematography and I totally got engrossed in the movie. So good. Also, the director's name is Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck. And I mean you can't compete with that shit.

The Science of Sleep (La Science des rêves)- A French(ish) film screaming of surrealism depicting the trials and tribulations of a young man unwilling to accept the responsibilities of adulthood. There is actually no blue screening in this movie, and all the dream sequences were stop action and/or really done, which is amazing. Watch the trailer to understand what I'm talking about. Starring Charlotte Gainsbourgh and Gael Garcia Bernal this is a film you watch and just say awwww at the end. (I've already written about this one, so you really should have watched it)

Something The Lord Made - Finally, an American addition to the list. I actually just found out that this is an HBO made-for-TV movie, which would explain it's poor box office performance, but I really like it. Starring Alan Rickman (Snape in Harry Potter) and Mos Def, it tells the true story of the first heart bypass surgery. Great casting and a truly touching story. Bad trailer and poor quality. It was the best I could find. Sorry.

Pi - One of Darren Aronofsky's earliest movies (He's the guy that did Requiem for a Dream). Awesome and fascinating. After watching it 3 or 4 times, I've decided that it's about man's quest to understand his environment, and Pi is just a vehicle to help attain that goal. I actually first watched this movie in English class as an example of surrealism. Though I can't really qualify the movie as surrealistic or not, it's really worth watching.

Kind Hearts and Coronets - Another black and white film (did I mention that Pi was black & white too?), starring Alec Guinness (Obi Wan Kenobi) as 9 of the main characters. Seriously. Dark humor and dry wit at their finest, this movie is about one man's ascension to power. And so much more.

Titus - A true to form adaptation/modernization of Shakespeare's Titus Andronicus (heads up: it's a tragedy). The main character, Titus, is played by Anthony Hopkins and is scarily good. The main bad guy, Emperor Saturnine, is played by Alan "I have a gigantic nose" Cummings, and is also brilliant. A story about loyalty, tradition, lust, betrayal, and a ton of bloodshed, (I swear I wrote this before looking at the trailer) the movie's both long and worth it.

The Triplets of Belleville (Les Triplettes de Belleville) - French, beautifully animated, mostly silent (but in color), beautiful film. Just watch the trailer.

I mean I'm sure I could put a lot more on if I put the thought/time/effort into it, but it's late, and I'm tired, ergo this is what you get.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Why is gasoline so cheap?

I was filling up my tank with premium from the Mobil station by my house for the very reasonable 3.79 a gallon and I couldn't help but hear the pratt next to me complain about the price of gasoline as he filled up his SL600 for a ride.

Sure crude will be $115 a barrel in the coming weeks and the nations average for gas is probably around $3.20 a gallon, but isn't that really cheap. Think about how much goes into getting that gas to you; expensive and dangerous drilling somewhere around the world, shipping it to a refining plant, and then shipping it halway across the globe again to a truck to deliver it to a location no doubt within a couple of miles of you.

After all this for a gallon of gas, the price to move you 20 or so miles in your own car for only a dollar more than the average rountrip metro ride for you dc folk, people complain regularly while gin continues to run me $80 dollars a gallon; and you really can't drive anywhere with a gallon of gin.

Fuck complaining about gasoline, complain about orange juice, Worcestershire Sauce, and extra virgin olive oil.

Gallon of Liquid - Price
Poland Spring - $1.99
Regular Gasoline - $3.29
2% Milk - $3.99
Tropicana Grovestand (extra pulp) - $5.99
Odwalla Mango Madness - $16.99
Starbucks Mocha Frappucinno - $34.83
Worcestershire Sauce - $47.34
Bertolli Extra Virgin Olive Oil - $59.99
Bombay Saphire Gin - $79.99
Chateau Cheval Blanc 03' - $1,700.00
Clinique Repairware Anti Aging Makeup - $2,432.39
Burberry Touch for Men Cologne - $3,742.85
Krazy Glue - $4,005.51

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

The End is Nigh?

The "Big Three" of educational TV--The Discovery Channel (and it's offshoots including the Science Channel, Discovery Health, et al.), The History Channel (and of course History International), and National Geographic ( Geo HD...)--always have those "what if" shows. Like what if New York City was hit by a huge hurricane, or Yellowstone National Park turned into a huge volcano (don't laugh, we're overdue for it), or I don't know, a mutated gigantic lizard went to Tokyo and stomped around for a while (laugh).

The thing is, all these 'disaster' specials always end up with humans continuing to you know, live, and do our thing. Suddenly all that's changed.

Over the last couple of weeks, I've seen two specials dealing with the effects of what would happen if humans completely vanished today. Or maybe tomorrow.

The first one, History Channel's Life After People originally aired January 21, 2008. The show's opening lines announce that it "isn't the story of how we might vanish, it is the story of what happens to the world we leave behind." I actually found the entire show on Google Video, so Click Here (pops) to watch it in full. Pretty cool. The show finds some pretty fascinating experts who talk about the power failing, household pets, buildings, bridges, and landmarks falling apart, and the last surviving signs of man--apparently the Hoover Dam is one of them.

The other. National Geographic's Aftermath: Population Zero, which originally aired like last night or something. Maybe two nights ago. Whatever. Problem #1: They talked entirely way too much about how after I disappear my dog will either die slowly trapped in my house, break out and join a vicious gang, or break out and be eaten by said vicious gang. Problem #2: No legitimizing scientist-types. The entire show was narrated by some quasi-legitimate narrator guy. How am I supposed to know what his qualifications are? Problem #3: No full length video to be easily found and linked to.

Overall, while I did watch both shows, and while they did keep my attention, I must say I liked the History Channel show much better. It dealt with the actual collapse of our infrastructure much better. We see why concrete doesn't last as long, how long it takes metal to rust to the point of collapse, etc. The Nat Geo show more focused on the types of wildlife that we were decimating and how they're doing much better now. Though I must say, I learned an interesting fact: the background noise from large sailing vessels' engines can actually interfere with whales' mating calls, even hundreds of miles away. Oops.

I just hope that both the History Channel and Nat Geo don't have some top secret information, and they're just showing us the not-so-distant future. Because, I mean, that would be, like, bad.

Stay tuned next week for a discussion about using your ordinary household cell phone as an emergency flotation device.

Monday, March 03, 2008

Pay it forward? Fuck that, stock up.

I dislike the idea of paying something forward. Because, what if something bad happens and nobody is there to help you out. Instead, I take the backwards approach: have a good deed surplus, so that way when something happens, you're prepared.

Take for example the events that occurred over the last 36 hours or so. It may be less, but I'm too lazy to subtract it out. Maybe it's closer to 25 hours. Whatever.

Last night, I got off of work at around 1:00am, and got back to Farragut West at around 1:30, give or take. Swiping out of the turnstile, I see two people staring at the fare machine, apparently trying to figure out how to add value to their Metro cards. If it was me, I wouldn't like being in the position, so I stopped, and walked them through the process. No big deal. It was late, they were trying to catch the next train out (like 2 minutes away), and I was in no particular rush. It must be my Connecticut upbringing. Anyway, I didn't even give the whole thing a second thought--that is, until tonight.

Big night tonight. I took the girlfriend out to eat in Georgetown at this Vietnamese restaurant. (Full disclosure: I had already eaten so I sat there and watched her.) Anyway, little did I know it, but I had left my Blackberry (yeah, yeah, I have one) sitting on the table at the restaurant. About half a block away, this guy--who clearly didn't work at the restaurant--came running up to us and asked, "Is this your phone?" Amazing! I hadn't even thought about it, and I would have never dreamed of looking at the restaurant.

I really do believe that good things do happen to good people (most of the time), and that good deeds repay each other.

So in conclusion, don't pay good deeds forward, rather, collect back-pay.

Oh and one more thing. How rude of me. Please welcome Jason as our newest full-time writer. That puts our numbers up to two. Jason's an overall great guy (even if you don't know him, you know him, you know?), and along with being a lot smarter than I am, he has some really cool insights and perspectives.

That's all for now, but be sure to stay tuned next week for: When Blondes Attack: An Introspective

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Postcards and Jason: An Introduction

I was recently mailing a postcard to a friend abroad and I began thinking about the logistics of intenational mailing and whose responsibility it is to see that my postcard of the Washington Monument filled with my banal message reaches london.

Is their an official transfer of ownership to the English Postal service and the USPS washes their hands of the situation? Are expatriate USPS postman roaming the streets of london ensuring that Suzy knows that Joan "wishes she was here?"

I asked my friendly neighborhood postal clerk Linda, and she said that for international mailings they exchange the letters at a point equidistant between the two countries, in this case somewhere over the Atlantic but she was not sure of the precie meridian. It was either that or that it would be 92 cents to mail my letter.


As you may notice I am not the usual author. I am Jason. I enjoy science and books with built in fabric bookmarks

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Dancing Queen

This is a great little tidbit about a woman who just didn't want to get up and dance, no matter how attractive the guy was that asked her.

Showing perseverance and a sheer will of character that probably spills into every aspect of life, this woman successfully fended off the advances of either 5 or 6 different men. Oh, it also has a funny ending. The clip is only 30 seconds long, but I think it definitely sends the point across--very clearly. Enjoy.

Stupid Around Town

Big changes here at the blog. Last month (or maybe it was this month), we introduced the awesome* tag. I think it went over pretty well. Today, we roll out our latest and greatest tag: Stupid Around Town. If you need more explaining than that, please don't continue reading. Anything.

You can redefine what it means to be a lawyer. This is an advertisement on the side of a phone booth very close to the fire station on G Street between 21st and 22nd.

You can redefine what it means to be a lawyer. (you just have to get into law school first)

It doesn't translate well into text, but I am really frustrated by this ad. Let's first discuss graphics. The woman is either sleep-walking or Ray Charles, standing in front of a building that is supposed to be a law office, but strikes me as just looking like Funger Hall. What are you telling me by this? That even people who cruise (or sleep) through life can be lawyers too? Or perhaps we're supposed to marvel at how all law books now have braille versions available? Point is, bad graphics, 1. it's not leading me anywhere and 2. it's not saying anything about being a lawyer.

More importantly, I think the advert is just a bold-faced lie. You can't redefine what it means to be a lawyer. Neither can I, nobody can. It's pretty established what a lawyer does. For instance, you can't wake up one day (after having gotten into law school, per the advertisement), and say, "Lawyers will now all manage hotels." Well, of course, you can say that, but that's not the point. The point is that lawyers won't manage hotels, they won't wash cars, they won't even trade stocks or be doctors. Lawyers will do law. You can't redefine that. Even if you're in law school.

So congratulations LSAT prep course, whose name I accidentally cropped out of the picture, for doing something dumb enough for me to devote an entire new section of my blog to stupid things.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Two Treats

I love when James Earl Jones says "Five".

So if I was you, which I'm not, I would be asking, "What the fuck are these?" Well that's a great question. The first one is James Earl Jones counting to ten, and the second one is, well, you're just going to have to see for yourself. Needless to say, both of these were on Sesame Street.

I do so enjoy these little throwbacks to my childhood (or slightly before). It was a time when they taught about important shit, like counting and the alphabet, how to ride the subway, and what Louis Gossett, Jr. is still doing on TV.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

GW Hatchet Breaking News

I know, I know, I'm normally not this prolific, but this is time sensitive, and I need to get this out before this goes stale.

I hope we all know about the tragic events that happened at Northern Illinois University this past Thursday. I think that's something people would consider "Breaking News". And furthermore, it happened at a college, so it's college breaking news. Before I continue, let's get this straight, I am not trying to make light of the situation at all.

What I am trying to do is understand why nine hours after this, the GW Hatchet, our bastion of editorial something or another, would send out a Breaking News alert informing us that the University received money for renovations. I'm not kidding. Here's the email I got: (as always, clicking on it makes it bigger)
You can clearly see that the email was sent out on February 15th at 12:49 am. This just happens to be the night after the shooting in Illinois.

I mean talk about a misinterpretation of breaking news. Even if they didn't have a story for the shootings (I don't believe Hatchet writers can come up with something that fast), but they could have canceled the email. Or perhaps renamed it to: "Not even close to Breaking News".

Everyone at GW keeps talking about sensitivity. Sensitivity to this, sensitivity to that. How about sensitivity to realize that this might not qualify as "breaking".

Anyway, that's my little thing. You stay trashy, GW Hatchet.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Tooth-to-Gum Ratio

Let me tell you about a little-known measure of attractiveness--one I deem crucial for a healthy, long-term relationship, or even a one night stand with that girl you picked up in the bar.

It's the 'tooth-to-gum' ratio, and it could not be more important. I find that even otherwise attractive women can have problems in this department, and there is regretfully very little that can be done about it. I'm sure men can be afflicted with poor tooth-to-gum ratios, but honestly, I don't pay attention to men's mouths a whole hell of a lot.

What it is:
The tooth-to-gum ratio addresses the size of the teeth compared to the visible gum line. I personally am in heavy favor of the teeth compared to gum, but for each person, I'm sure it's a little different. Most of the time its like, whatever, not really noticeable. But when you have an extremely out of balance t-to-g ratio (favoring the g), it's just a very unflattering look.

An example:
Thanks for not saying hi to me the last time we saw each other. It's not like we went to the same school for like 7 years or anything.

As you can clearly see the size of the teeth is completely disproportionate to the size of the gums. I'm not going to lie, its a complete turn-off to me. The girl in the background, on the other hand, has a good tooth-to-gum ratio. Interestingly, I don't have a problem with a t-to-g ratio that's extreme in the other direction, though I've never really seen one radical enough to notice

I guess really my point is that I don't like seeing too much of your gums when you smile. I don't know why. And neither do you. So do you have small chicklet teeth and huge brontosaurus gums like this girl? My advice: stop smiling.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Horrible News!

A tragic, time-lost accident has occured at our beloved construction site on F Sreet. Recently, there was some kind of fiasco, which resulted in the lost-time clock being reset to 3. It has now been stuck at 3 days for a couple days, so I just hope that that poor soul is OK--and not an illegal immigrant.

Quick Note: There was a lot more to this post when I decided to write it 36 hours ago.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Deep Thoughts

I think this is a rather appropriate title for this post because most of what I'm about to say is rather idiotic.

Firstly, I'm getting frustrated with the difference between lead and lead. I mean it's very clear when its spoken because lead is pronounced dissimilarly from lead, but it's very difficult to understand when typed. Because lets face it, lead means one thing while lead means something entirely different. It is crucial to differentiate.

For example, one of the many people on my buddy list whose away messages i compulsively check but haven't talked to in months (oh, did we as a society move past that) had the following away message the other night (or something similar): "lead is on hillary". Now how am I supposed to interpret that. Are you a Clinton fan with poor grammatical ability, and want to let me know that Hillary is leading in the delegate count? Or perhaps you are alerting me to the fact Mrs. Clinton was involved in a tragic factory accident and is now buried underneath several tons of plumbum (Latin for lead, stay with me here).

This is just one of may questions we may never have the answers to.

Secondly, some good news. While trawling for some classical music to listen to (I love classical, but I don't know the name of anything or who composed it) I found this radio station I used to listen to all the time when I was just a wee lad. Not only did I find it, but it's one of the basic ones on iTunes. It's called WQXR, and it's broadcast on 96.3 FM in New York. I remember listening to June LaBelle going to bed, and getting really confused when I learned about Patti. Anyway, the late night personality is different, but the music's just as good.

For some reason this odd comedy album that I found a couple of years ago rooting around my parents' old shit popped in my head. Its called, "Don't Smoke Dope, Fry Your Hair", and it's by Franklyn Ajaye. Goodnight!

Monday, February 11, 2008

Thank You For Calling 4Ride

Please hold and an operator will be with you shortly. Do not hang up and call back, or your call will go to the end of the line. If you are holding for a long time, you have another option...

If you go to George Washington, you've heard this guy. Several times. I just listened to him saying the same thing over, and over, waiting to talk to the whore who sends me my delightful free ride. Today, I listened to him for 10 minutes. Ten solid minutes.

Why? Actually, my Why? divides into two parts: The first why is why do I have to listen to this annoying guy more than once? I mean the GW phone system actually has pretty good hold music. It's mostly jazz. I like it. And trust me, I'm not going to forget the fact that I'm on hold with 4Ride. Also, I don't care that there are North and South Shuttles. They have really stupid routes and I don't think I'll ever use it. So stop telling me about it.

Secondly, why do I have to hold for so damn long. Freshman year, and even sophomore year, hold time was at most 3-5 minutes, not 10. I mean I'd say it took me about 25 to 30 seconds to convey where I was going, where I was, my last name, and how many people I was (just one tonight). Are you trying to tell me that there were 20 people ahead of me, waiting for a 4Ride themselves. This wasn't even peak time mind you, it was Sunday night at like 11:00.

So that tells me the 4Ride system is broken. Either it is understaffed, which could very well be true, or the staff is just completely incompetent. If it's understaffed, then either hire another dispatcher, more drivers, or both. I mean with what we're charged, I think the school can afford it. If they're incompetent people (which I wouldn't be surprised about at all), fire them and hire more competant ones. Maybe we could offer them a higher starting salary. I mean I think the school can afford it. After all we're footing the $8 million bill to renovate Alumni House so that President Knapp can move in and then move out a year and a half later because he can't take the noise.

Enough of that. On to happier things like the fact that I had an amazing birthday this weekend and I got a job (tentatively) as a marketing intern at a fairly legit law firm. Actually a really legit law firm. Well, I'll bore you with another subject in another post. Until then, until then.

Monday, February 04, 2008

We Have Worked 36 Days Without a Lost Time Injury

That might have been true at one point, but it's certainly not true today. The work site on Square whatever (the one with the gigantic hole in the ground) has a sign:
Looks pretty straight-forward, the appearances are even good, with the "6" pushed all the way to the end so it seems like its ready to be replaced with a nice old seven. Well let me tell you this, appearances can be deceiving. It has been about a week and a half since they updated this thing. That's not even everything!

Before there were 36 days, there weren't 35. No sir, that sign was blank until someone arbitrarily threw that 36 up there to add legitimacy. And that legitimacy disappeared in the two and a half weeks it's stayed 36 days.

So because this post doesn't really have a point, I'll make one. Don't put the sign up if you're not going to be honest about it. There might be some young lad that is just fascinated how long you can go without a time lost injury, and you're ruining his dreams, Clark Construction, ruining his dreams.

In other news, this blog has fought long and hard for legitimacy, and the other day, it was achieved! The Audi Superbowl Commercial was officially the 100th post to this fair blog (and just think, it only took 2 1/2 years). Anyway, thats all for now, but you never know when I'll update again. Until then.

Truth in Engineering

Quite possibly my favorite commercial from the Superbowl, this Audi R8 commercial puts together two of my favorite elements: classic bad ass movies and new bad ass cars.

Anyway, it happens to be 2:47 in the am and I need to go to bed. Until next time.

UPDATE: The actor in the ad is none other than Alex Rocco, the original cast member from The Godfather who woke up in bed with the head of his beloved horse. Bad ass.

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Days of Future Passed

I'm sitting in my apartment right now, depressed because I don't have a DVD player so that I can watch the Great Gatsby. The Great Gatsby, of course, being an excellent book and great movie starring Mia Farrow, Sam Waterston and that guy whose name you don't know but would recognize if you saw him. Anyway, I was just thinking of the irony of the situation. Of course, you don't know why that's ironic, but that's OK, we'll get there.

I was trying to immerse myself in the 20's. I really wish we would return to times like that. Everyone just seems so much more civilized back then. Everything just seemed so much more classy. People dressed up to fly on planes. Men still held doors open for women. Your "Sunday Best" was actually your Sunday best. And Mia Farrow, Sam Waterston, and that other guy epitomized that for me.

Anyway, the reason this whole situation's ironic is because my reminiscing is being stopped by a piece of modern technology. Understand? Anyway, I've said my piece, and I don't care whether you enjoyed it or not.

Monday, January 28, 2008


I'm noticing a disturbing trend in my blog writing--mainly that I'm no longer doing it. This is disappointing because I don't like not writing. It makes me feel uncreative and boring. Also, if I was to make a New Year's resolution, it would be to write in the old blog more. I had a brilliant thought while I was walking today, though I'm struggling to remember what it was. Perhaps I'll think of it later.

I leave you with this passage I snagged from the Science of Sleep. I encountered it randomly and found great truth in it:
P. S. R. Parallel Synchronized Randomness. An interesting brain rarity and our subject for today. Two people walk in opposite directions at the same time and then they make the same decision at the same time. Then they correct it, and then they correct it, and then they correct it, and then they correct it, and then they correct it. Basically, in a mathematical world these two little guys will stay looped for the end of time. The brain is the most complex thing in the universe and it's right behind the nose. Fascinating!

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

The Science of Sleep

Everybody loves The Science of Sleep, Michel Gondry's new(ish) fantasy film about, well to be honest, I'm not entirely sure. This is not the point. This is also not the point: see it. If you've already seen it and don't like it, well then I think we're all done here.

Moving on! I love when the fourth wall (the wall between film and viewer) is breached. Especially when it's unintentional. Obviously, this happened in The Science of Sleep, otherwise I wouldn't have mentioned the movie.

Theres this one scene where our hero, Stephane (it's French, what can I say), is dancing with this random girl, and she looks right into the camera--for like 3 or 4 seconds. You may not think that's a lot of time, but it is. Looking into the camera is one of the major no-no's in film making.

I love it because the film crew probably just went into a random bar one night said, "This looks good," and then just set up their stuff and got to work. They probably gave the people in the bar a few directions, don't talk to the camera, don't look to the camera, don't talk to the actors. Several cocktails later, our hero is dancing with one of the regular patrons and she looks right into the camera before blatantly catching herself a few seconds later.

If this was a high budget American film--well if this was a high budget American film this predicament would never have happened because everyone would have been actors--but they would have probably re shot the scene. I mean it's so blatant, and so awkward. I don't know if it's that its an indie film, or that it's French, or some combination of the two, but for some reason, I love it. Brilliant!

Now I'm not insinuating that all films should be Ed Wood style, but its nice to see a film come around and not take itself so seriously. It's refreshing.

That's all for now, stay tuned next week for: Flying Pigs or Hell Freezing Over, Which Will Happen First: A Discussion

Jens Lekman

Jens Lekman: my new favorite person. Jens (pronounced: Jens) is an indie Swedish musician, according to Wikipedia. God I love that shit. Anyway, I just downloaded his new album "Night Falls Over Kortedala", and I must say, I am a huge fan.

His music is not cool. Really, if I had to use a word to describe his sound, cool would certainly be at the bottom of the list. But Jens has something else, passion. And a certain campyness that may or may not just be part of Swedish pop. Either way, it's awesome. To me, it sounds like Jens is genuinely really happy with what he does, something I don't often see in American musicians. Maybe that's why I like him, because he's campy, and weird, and fun, and out there, and I don't particularly think he cares what other people think of him.

I've taken the liberty and identified some of the more bizarre instruments that I've heard in his songs. They include: a flute, an accordion, French horn (I think), the thing that simulates the "clip-clop" of a horse, a harp, a bunch of people snapping slightly out of sync, and a little girl saying something in Swedish. This is just one example of the carefree, have fun attitude that makes me keep coming back for more.

So if you've got a minute, give Jens a listen, you probably won't like him. But just remember, I do, and that is why you can never really trust the awesome* tag.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Holistic Medicine...What a Scam

I talked to this holistic medicine guy recently. Not by choice. He and I were at the same dinner party (how frou-frou) and the host so graciously introduced us. Please note: I call him a holistic medicine guy, not a holistic medicine doctor. That's because he's not a doctor, he holds no M.D., as a matter of fact, he's a chiropractor. What a quack.

I should preface this by saying that I actually came into this with an open mind. I mean the shit I've been suffering from is rather bizarre and I was open to getting fixed. Clearly I had no idea what this guy did.

Mistake #1: Talking to this guy in the first place. He was dressed entirely in black. He had a pony tail, two earrings in one ear (none in the other), and a facial hair style that I can only describe as "never fashionable". But I'm a nice guy, I don't judge right away, I wait until after I don't like you.

Mistake #2: Telling him my relevant medical history. Like any good fortune teller, this guy was excellent at reading his surroundings. We made it a billion times easier for him by telling him what was wrong with me in the first place. Damn.

Mistake #3: Letting him "ask my body a few questions." Before you even ask, this is 100% as awkward as it sounds. Let me walk you through this little disaster. He had me stand directly across from him with my arm straight out to my side. It was that scene in Titanic where Kate Winslett is standing in the front of the boat with her arms out. Except she would only have one arm. And Leonardo Di Caprio wouldn't be behind her. He would then push my arm down towards the side of my body, apparently this was the Q&A period. He moved very fast, and had me place my hand in various places on my torso, apparently diagnosing me.

A quick aside: I think one of the reasons he moved so fast was so that I didn't have time to figure out what exactly he was doing. I mean anything is nifty, but if you have enough time, you can figure anything out.

Anyway, there were times where I could withstand his pushes and areas where I could not. This clearly meant that I had problems with certain parts of my anatomy and not others. Whether he could push my arm down. Right. Anyway, I started to notice a disturbing trend. When he was unable to push my arm down, he would pull his elbow in and grunt, in a concerted show of strength. Okay....thats believable. He finally decided that I had a problem with the bacteria in my stomach and that I should take this supplement. He confirmed this by being able to push my arm down, but not being able to push it down when he produced a jar of some supplement and put that next to my chest.

Let me just clarify the audacity of this. He had me point to my stomach (apparently where I was being questioned) and then pushed my arm down. It went down. He then put a closed glass bottle where my finger was and pushed my arm again. It didn't go down, and he happily proclaimed that he could "walk on that arm." So let me get this straight. My stomach somehow recognized that the substance I was deficient in was in close proximity to my body. Let's say my eyes told it. It, in turn, was kind enough to relay this information to my arm muscle, essentially saying "you can be strong now, the objective is in sight." What a bunch of bullshit. I mean oh yeah, it looks good if you are a monkey, or have an IQ below 70, but if any person put any amount of thought into this, you would see how utterly ridiculous this proposition was.

OK, now that I've been rambling for quite some time, let me wrap this up quickly

Mistake #4: Not punching him in the mouth.

So holistic medicine, the art of studying the entire body, or something like that. As far as I can tell, it's like communism, great on paper but pretty shitty in practice. Stay tuned next week for a discussion with Gore Vidal.