Wednesday, October 7, 2009

MIT, tabasco sauce and facebook

Okay I'm really glad it's so hard to get into places like MIT because if it weren't we wouldn't have a special place for geniuses like this to do their very special "thing".

You don't really have to spend too much time reading that article because what it says is that you can tell a man is gay by the company he keeps on facebook. Ok. I'll buy that for a dollar but do we need guys at MIT to be telling us this? Because you know who can tell us this? Facebook. No really, what was the assignment they were given? Find a mathematical equation to state the obvious and then publish your results? Really, MIT? REALLY?

I am so going to rant about this in 5, 4, 3, 2, 1.

First of all, "As part of the study the researchers Carter Jernigan and Behram Mistree scanned the Facebook friends of more than 1,500 fellow students who indicated their sexual orientation – straight, gay or bisexual – on their profiles."

So wait, you go to MIT and your big idea is to identify who is gay on a social network by asking by asking them if they're gay. Then you facebook stalk their friends. Determine which of THOSE are gay. And then you publish your results as if they are correct and true.

So the results look something like this: "Out of 100 people who identified as gay and had a bunch of gay friends, we found 100 of them were gay. It follows that if you don't say you are gay and all of your friends are gay and they say they're gay on facebook, people might find out you are gay. Or think you are gay even if they don't find out you are gay. So don't friend any gays unless you want to be OUTED by a mathematical computation that THEN emails your mother with the subject line "Guess what, Mom, I have something to tell you." And ..... oh did we mention it's a facebook privacy issue?"

Well thank you, MIT, because you have now mathematically determined that "you don’t have control over your information." Even though everyone already knows that it's harder to open a fresh bottle of Tabasco sauce than it is to keep something private on facebook, now we have the power of Math, thank Apollo, to prove it.

Proof. Good word to focus on for a nanosecond. "Jernigan and Mistree say they are attempting to get their study, titled Gaydar, published in a scientific journal." But how do you prove your results because all I can see is that you proved people who say they are gay are, in fact, gay.

Call it scientific but let me ask you this: Once you do that, how do you prove that his friends are gay? So what if he has 10 gay friends? How do you know any of them are gay? Do you ask him? Do you ask them? How did you get that information? Is it facebook that has privacy issues or is it MIT?

Friday, August 28, 2009

what is worth your time?

Hmm. Well let us agree that life is SHORT. If we can agree on that then we can agree that you need to be very prudent when it comes to your free time. Let's say that, hypothetically, you have a maximum of 5 hours of free time in one week. How do you use the time?

Hypothetically, you may play some video games, like Little Big Planet. That's worth your time. Let's say 1 hour. You might read a book like Pygmy by my man Chuck. K, 1 more hour. You might listen to some music like Kitsune. Although most people don't listen to music any more. They use it as filler. That's what most people do. 1 more hour. That leaves two but when you say you're going for a ride, you're left with


And we all know that if you're playing video games, reading Chuck Pahlaniuk, listening to Kitsune and riding your HOG you MUST be watching some telly too. And what the hell are you supposed to watch?

OK here's the list:

Mad Men
That's right, I said it. And now that I've said it you're thinking how unoriginal I am because everyone is talking about Mad Men. But it wasn't always so. It took off like a rocket and now y'all need to catch up to those of us that have been loving the boys on Madison Avenue since the very start. BTW...this show is very popular with a lot of people, yes? And if you happen to be in marketing, but you have yet to see this are on the proverbial crack-pipe. Tune in, turn off, drop lines....watching Don Draper pitch a line to a client is like a cobra watching the swaying movement of his tooter.

Don't tell me you are too good for TV. Watch it. Take two Drapers and call me in the morning.

True Blood
Can we hear even more about vampires nowadays? This one is a bucket of bloody fun and if you can handle the x-rated content, it's worth seeing. Best thing is, you only have 2 seasons to catch up on here so it won't take you forever to figure out what is going on down there in N'awlins L'isianna. Warning warning....the main character Bill is too short to be famous! I don't care what anyone says. He is just too short. Warning warning....the print ads for the show make you think it might be full of stupid puns but it's down home vamp stuff with a bloody twist.

Breaking Bad
Holy meth, this is one of the most amazing shows on tv. You've just missed the end of season two BUT THAT IS WHAT THE INTERNET IS FOR. Go download it because it's an edge of your seat, bad-ass what would happen if kind of program about a science teacher gone drug lord. Really, go for it...come on...try a little bit....just a little....not like you're going to get hooked or anything.

And I quote: "Over the hills in a weird little land. Live fairies and goblins with more than two hands. Some gremlins they say, can come with four eyes. The dragons can scorch with the simplest of sighs. The scariest things to people like us, cos nothing can touch them, they're allergic to fuss. Until their mother appeared, started roaming their valley. Hiding and pouncing from damp, dark alleys. No noise, No chewing, No signs of a fight. Devouring the children with a plate of French fries. The ***** as she's called in the company of elves. Brought this tormenting curse upon herself. She'd been on a bender and staggered home pissed. Found an eighth and some Rizlas and rolled out a spliff. Got the munchies and reached for the handiest snack. She hate her own kids and then spat them straight back. Forgive me, my beauties, what a dreadful mistake! The children can't hear her they've gone it's too late."

Nurse Jackie
Yup. Seen enough emerg room dramas for a life time right? Not like this you haven't. Honest to god the character development in this program is out of this world. It's not the squirting emergencies and bloody scrubs that get your attention, it's how the characters react and respond to those situations that merits your time. This show is not about plot, it's about personality. Ouch it's so good you'll need gauze.

It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia

No, really. It's Seinfeld if Seinfeld was on crack. Literally.

Go be fruitful and download. Or whatever it takes but at least if you're going to watch tv. Make it worth your hour.

Friday, August 21, 2009

in a blog's age

Time is one of those things you just can't really wrap your head around so you just take it for granted. Granted it will pass. Granted it's 11:11. Granted you'll be "late" if you're stuck in traffic.

I think the only thing that really can and eventually will transcend time is the interweb. The tubes will transcend time.

Consider this: it took radio 38 years to reach 50 million people, tv 13 years, and the interweb 4 years. But when you add things like the ability for people to reach people, like on facebook, you reach 100 million in only 9 months.

If that's not bending time, I don't know what is.

I feel like so much time has passed since I last blogged and yet this morning I heard from a friend I hadn't spoken to in over a year. That doesn't seem as far away. There's no date stamp on that.

So I'd like to add a new phrase to our vernacular "A Blog's Age" to replace a dog's age. A dog is only 7:1. But if you do that math on the interweb, it's 700:1.

Friday, June 26, 2009

who will blog about michael jackson today?


And everyone will have their reasons. Is his death blog worthy? Yes.

Regardless of his freakshow persona, Michael Jackson was a STAR. Anyone between the ages of 35 and 45 cannot disagree with that. In the 80s he was everywhere all the time. His performance of the moonwalk on the Motown anniversary special was extraordinary. No one had seen that move before. No one in mainstream North America, anyway. We were sure he was magic. There was no PVR instant replay and everyone jumped up off their "chesterfields" and shouted "What the hell was THAT?!" Based on that one thing MJ did the world of dance opened up. It's thanks to him that we have breakin, poppin, lockin, street, crump. And, if it weren't for MJ doing that one move on live TV we would NOT be seeing it on prime time television today.

The Thriller video premier was an EVENT. Everyone stayed in to watch it that night, like it was the Superbowl or the Royal Wedding. It changed the face of music video, which was like this before Michael Jackson came along and showed us how it could be done. Not only was Thriller a great song but there was a story attached to it, preceding it, wrapped around it.... and Michael was going to tell that story the best way possible. He wouldn't do it any other way. Sure, MTV shortened the video and played that regularly but he made history with the 14 minute version. 14 minutes!! Unheard of. John Landis? A cinematic director? Unheard of. Even wiki calls Landis' Triller Video a "short film". It was so popular MTV had to air it twice an hour. People wanted to see it but there was no way to show it without planning around it. It was just too long. How can you sell ads when you're taking up all your time showing content? Announce that you're showing it and make people wait. We sat and watched those ads because we couldn't stand the thought of missing even a moment of that video. The reaction was astounding. Everyone wanted to be like Michael. Everybody did their own version of the moonwalk in their paneled basements. Everybody was talking about it the next day.


People cried because they couldn't stand to see Michael looking so horrific. The special effects like that were unheard of in music video. The cinematography. No blue screens! The make up. His cat eyes. Holy shit, the dancing. The choreography was so sophisticated people are still inspired by it 25 years later. People like Wade Robson.

Every video was a song first and the Thriller album is still the best selling album of all time and if you were around to buy it on vinyl you remember how excited you were to open up the jacket and see Michael reclining in the white suit. (I still have the portrait of Michael Jackson I drew using that jacket as inspiration. And I still have my original copy of Thriller. Track number one is a different colour than all the others because it is so worn down. I will never give away that album. I've kept it for 25 years for a reason. It was special. But I might sell the portrait if the price is right ;)

I'm not discounting all the freakshow antics neither - the endless surgeries, the baby dangling, the allegations. That's not what this blog is about, though. This blog is about what made him a star right up until his death.......

Why will everyone blog about MJ? It was impossible to google his name when the news broke. Impossible.

A Google spokesperson confirmed: “Some Google News users experienced difficulty accessing search results for queries related to Michael Jackson.” This difficulty occurred between 10.40pm and 11.15pm UK time.

During this period Google News did not go down, but users searching for Michael Jackson related information were asked to verify they were indeed a human and not a computer attempting to launch a spam attack.

The last time there was such strain put on the web was in the aftermath of 9/11. However, despite certain individual sites being unable to cope with the pressure in 2001, most notably the BBC which went blank for a period, people could still surf the rest of the web.

(That's a snippet from here.)

Twitter tweets doubled. Facebook traffic tripled. Another first for Michael Jackson. Someone needs to add that to his wiki. He broke the Internet.

RIP Michael Jackson but this post is dedicated to Farrah Fawcett.

Friday, June 5, 2009

so you think you can blog

There should be a reality show where all the up and coming amateur bloggers all over the great wide web compete in front of a live audience of millions to become the season's best blogger.

A panel of judges consisting of industry champs evaluate each competitor's ability to blog on the spot regarding a completely improvised subject. A word, please, any word. Give me a word and I will blog upon it.

And they'd have to blog in myriad styles. Like, this week is Shakespeare blog. Next week is Tommy Lee blog. Week after that is British Invasion blogging. Yeah, that's the ticket.

People would vote on the bloggers/blogs/blogging performances just like they do on Idol. MMMMMMM. Imagine. 88 million votes for l'il Jimmy Pohkipsie blogging about LEMONS. People liked him best because he whistled while he blogged. (The pucker was brilliant.) Coming in a close second is Margaret Hogart from Flommo, Indiana who blogged while she knit a lemon cozy. Both scoring multitasking points. Of course the cutest blogger would win after 13 weeks of sweaty, competitive blogging and behind the scenes action.

They'd be judged on their ability to link to exterior sites, insert images and video, use widgets. Et cetera. How exciting would that be? The whole of America tuned in on prime time television listening to celebrity judges high on pain killers give advice like "Your fingers need more flexibility! That's the kind of blogging I'd expect to see on a cruise ship. If you don't end up in the bottom three, I'll be surprised. People will forget that blog by tomorrow."

The show's opening imagery could be something like this with music like this. I'm sure if I pitched this to the networks they'd buy it. I'm just sure. The thought of that kind of programming gives me chills right up the very core of my spine.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

to download or not to download

that is the question.

Do I feel guilty? No. Should I? Maybe but thanks to the Roman Catholic upbringing I received I feel guilty about quite enough already. Thank you kindly.

I've spent my whole life paying for music and movies and music and movies. So much money. I have a huge collection of CDs and DVDs and I had a HUGE collection of ..... get this CASSETTE TAPES! And vinyl and now?

Now vinyl is back and it costs so much more money than it ever has. I'm not talking about some new hot DJ bootleg mix of some Lady GaGa pa pa pa pa pa pa pa pa poker face, neither. I'm talking about any vinyl you want to buy. If it's new it's on 180 gram press or something or other. Whatever it is it's thick and black and heavy and pricey. Not that floppy vinyl we used to buy in the 70s, yo.

I fully support vinyl coming back! I fully support the warmth of analog and the rich sound you can get from an integrated tube amp like this.

And I get that if you have a great system with wicked speakers and a turn table you want to pay for your sound cos you paid for your sound. And I support and love all you audiophiles out there. Because I love and support the audiophile in me.

But when it comes to the audiophile in me having a credit card I have to cool my heels, slow my low ride, get a gangster lean, swerve low. I can't come up with anything else so you get the idea. It's too expensive to be an addict! I have to have some freebies and I think that I am such a share-monkey that I'm walking advertising for people if I can just get access to their stuff. I pay for things I should pay for and I take some stuff for free. That is the way the world works.

I mean, Radiohead got tons of money for their last album when they asked us to PWYC. Or WYTIW. The fans will support their bands at any cost. But there is no way in hell I'm paying to TRIPLE REPLACE my Depeche Mode collection. I love Depeche Mode. I have been a fan since the early days when they were played only after 11PM on CFNY when CFNY was CFNY and not 102.1 THE EDGE. (Give me a break. I'm sure I stopped listening the moment they went from using call letters to THE EDGE. Yes, CFNY was cool at one point. That's where you heard New Wave and that was where I first heard the Violent Femmes Add It Up. I should say that is THE ONLY radio station that I have EVER heard play that song. The irony here is that they will not play that song today.)

But back to REPLACING music. No I won't pay for it. I had the entire DM collection on tape. I have since bought some DM on vinyl. I had the DM collection on CD. I STILL PAID FOR IT AGAIN WHEN I GOT MY FIRST I POD. But after that ipod kakked. After my hard drive fried itself like pop eats itsself I had to stop paying for DM. It's like quitting smoking. I mean, smoking is just stupid so if you're still smoking you know you're doing something really stupid. Paying for the same thing over and over is just stupid.

So I downloaded DM. That's right, all of it. (Okay not the new stuff cos I'm not interested but you get the idea.) Do you think I'm a "fan" or a "pirate"? Do you think their record company suffered? Are Dave Gahan's kids starving in the street? Selling their bodies to pay for mp3s?

I listen to everything. I love music. DM is ONE BAND on a list of x to the power of n. How many collections do I replace?

We haven't even started to talk about the DVDs. Soon, that technology will be poof gone. Am I going to buy all those movies and box sets again and again as the formats and players disappear? Two words - Blu Ray.

Some more words - avi mp4 mp3r kindle tamagatchi flac DTS ogg ATRAC AAC TTA AIFF WAV dolby reel to reel (which i used to edit with a grease pencil and a razor blade) DISCONTINUED HD DVD laserdisc high 8 super 8 polaroid look at this do you know how many people don't know what this is?

Really. Technology=uroboros. Download or .....

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

blogging in English

A lot of people say technology is to blame for the English language becoming base, boring, monotonous and just plain old blah when compared to other languages.

I know you don't care and it's a miracle you're even seeing this but I say, "I emphatically disagree."

Technology isn't the problem. Excuse me, but technology makes it
easier to write, share, publish, expose the masses to the word. Word is bond and technology is word so technology is bond. In this case I am on the side of technology. The reason people have stopped appreciating our very own tongue is "Scriptus Interruptus". Yeah I made that up. So what?

Scriptus Interruptus is a disease of excuses and what it amounts to is this -- as of late, people are terribly uninspired. They're uninspired because they can't read and they can't read because they are too busy typing with their opposable thumbs. Wow. What made us special has led to a real problem. Am I making any sense to you?

This is English:

OF Mans First Disobedience, and the Fruit
Of that Forbidden Tree, whose mortal tast
Brought Death into the World, and all our woe,
With loss of Eden, till one greater Man
Restore us, and regain the blissful Seat, [ 5 ]
Sing Heav'nly Muse,that on the secret top
Of Oreb, or of Sinai, didst inspire
That Shepherd, who first taught the chosen Seed,
In the Beginning
how the Heav'ns and Earth
Rose out of Chaos: Or if Sion Hill [ 10 ]
Delight thee more, and Siloa's Brook that flow'd
Fast by the Oracle of God; I thence
Invoke thy aid to my adventrous Song,
That with no middle flight intends to soar
Above th' Aonian Mount, while it pursues [ 15 ]
Things unattempted yet in Prose or Rhime.
And chiefly Thou O Spirit, that dost prefer
Before all Temples th' upright heart and pure,
Instruct me, for Thou know'st; Thou from the first
Wast present, and with mighty wings outspread [ 20 ]
satst brooding on the vast Abyss
And mad'st it pregnant: What in me is dark
Illumin, what is low raise and support;
That to the highth of this great Argument
I may assert Eternal Providence, [ 25 ]
And justifie the wayes of God to men.

It's by Milton. It's the first bit of Paradise Lost.

This is English:

This week the insomnia is back. Insomnia, and now the whole world figures to stop by and take a dump on my grave.

My boss is wearing his gray tie so today must be a Tuesday.

My boss brings a sheet of paper to my desk and asks if I’m looking for something. This paper was left in the copy machine, he says, and begins to read:

“The first rule of fight club is you don’t talk about fight club.”

His eyes go side to side across the paper, and he giggles.

“The second rule of fight club is you don’t talk about fight club.”

I hear Tyler’s words come out of my boss, Mister Boss with his midlife spread and family photo on his desk and his dreams about early retirement and winters spent at a trailer park hookup in some Arizona desert. My boss, with his extra-starched shirts and standing appointment for a haircut every Tuesday after lunch, he looks at me, and he says:

“I hope this isn’t yours.”

I am Joe’s Blood-Boiling Rage.

Tyler asked me to type up the fight club rules and make him ten copies. Not nine, not eleven. Tyler says, ten. Still I have the insomnia, and can’t remember sleeping since three nights ago. This must be the original I typed. I made ten copies, and forgot the original. The paparazzi flash of the copy machine in my face. The insomnia distance of everything, a copy of a copy of a copy. You can’t touch anything, and nothing can touch you.

My boss reads:

“The third rule of fight club is two men per fight.”

Neither of us blinks.

My boss reads:

“One fight at a time.”

I haven’t slept in three days unless I’m sleeping now. My boss shakes the paper under my nose. What about it, he says. Is this some little game I’m playing on company time? I’m paid for my full attention, not to waste time with little war games. And I’m not paid to abuse the copy machines.

What about it? He shakes the paper under my nose. What do I think, he asks, what should he do with an employee who spends company time in some little fantasy world. If I was in his shoes, what would I do?

What would I do?

The hole in my cheek, the blue-black swelling around my eyes, and the swollen red scar of Tyler's kiss on the back of my hand, a copy of a copy of a copy of a copy.


Why does Tyler want ten copies of the fight club rules?

Hindu cow.

What I would do, I say, is I’d be very careful who I talked to about this paper.

I say, it sounds like some dangerous psycho killer wrote this, and this buttoned-down schizophrenic could probably go over the edge at any moment in the working day and stalk from office to office with an Armalite AR-180 carbine gas-operated semiautomatic.

My boss just looks at me.

The guy, I say, is probably at home every night with a little rattail file, filing a cross into the tip of every one of his rounds. This way, when he shows up to work one morning and pumps a round into his nagging, ineffectual, petty, whining, butt-sucking, candy-ass boss, that one round will split along the filed grooves and spread open the way a dumdum bullet flowers inside you to blow a bushel load of your stinking guts out through your spine. Picture your guy chakra opening in a slow-motion explosion of sausage-casing small intestine.

My boss takes the paper out from under my nose.

Go ahead, I say, read some more.

No really, I say, it sounds fascinating. The work of a totally diseased mind.

And I smile. The little butthole-looking edges of the hole in my check are the same blue-black of a dog’s gums. The skin stretched tight across the swelling around my eyes feels varnished.

My boss just looks at me.

Let me help you, I say.

I say, the fourth rule of fight club is one fight at a time.

My boss looks at the rules and then looks at me.

I say, the fifth rule is no shoes, no shirts in the fight.

My boss looks at the rules and looks at me.

Maybe, I say, this totally diseased fuck would use an Eagle Apache carbine because an Apache takes a thirty-shot mag and only weighs nine pounds. The Armalite only takes a five-round magazine. With thirty shots, our totally fucked hero could go the length of mahogany row and take out every vice-president with a cartridge left over for each director.

Tyler’s words coming out of my mouth. I used to be such a nice person.

I just look at my boss. My boss has blue, blue, pale cornflower blue eyes.

The J and R 68 semiautomatic carbine also takes a thirty-shot mag, and it only weighs seven pounds.

My boss just looks at me.

It’s scary, I say. This is probably somebody he’s known for years. Probably this guy knows all about him, where he lives, and where his wife works and his kids go to school.

This is exhausting, and all of a sudden very, very boring.

And why does Tyler need ten copies of the fight club rules?

What I don’t have to say is I know about the leather interiors that cause birth defects. I know about the counterfeit brake linings that looked good enough to pass the purchasing agent, but fail after two thousand miles.

I know about the air-conditioning rheostat that gets so hot it sets fire to the maps in your glove compartment. I know how many people burn alive because of fuel-injector flashback. I’ve seen people’s legs cut off at the knee when turbochargers star exploding and send their vanes through the firewall and into the passenger compartment. I’ve been out in the field and seen the burned-up cars and seen the reports where CAUSE OF FAILURE is recorded as “unknown.”

No, I say, the paper’s not mine. I take the paper between two fingers and jerk it out of his hand. The edge must slice his thumb because his hand flies to his mouth, and he’s sucking hard, eyes wide open. I crumble the paper into a ball and toss it into the trash can next to my desk.

Maybe, I say, you shouldn’t be bringing me every little piece of trash you pick up.

That's from Fight Club.

Both Milton and Palahniuk wrote brilliant pieces. Both pieces are inspired. Both are a bit overwhelming. Both are inspiring despite the fact that they are overwhelming.

The problem is not technology. Palahniuk is gen X (pretty much) so he's "grown up" around the same technology the rest of us have and it hasn't had a negative effect on his writing. In fact, he's embraced all the aspects of technology in such a manner that it adds a wonderful flavour to his writing.

The real problem is multitasking. That's where the opposable thumbs come in. Due to multitasking we don't READ in the same way we used to. We don't JUST read. Who just reads anymore? If I need to be tweeting and blogging and updating my profile and texting and surfing and reading all at the same time......(gasp) how can I really take in the literature portion of my multitasking effort? How do I absorb the overwhelming Palahniuk and Milton? Neither are scanable reading. Neither are the type of reading you want to do when you're on the treadmill. Or watching LOST. I can blog and watch LOST but I'm not going to read and watch LOST. Not even pulp fiction. Not really. So what do I do? Fall behind on all the other stuff that takes up so much of my free time? Or read. How do you stay connected and read enough to learn from it?

Not sure. But maybe you're supposed to do different types of reading now that there are so many different types of things to read. Maybe you can use SCRIBE on your iPhone while you jog but make time for books on paper. They smell so good and it feels amazing to crack the spine of a new book. You can't get that anywhere.

Note to self : develop spine crack app for iPhone.

What was I saying?

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

multitasking real time LOST EMAIL SCOTCH

I don't know has anyone ever blogged RIGHT WHEN THEY WERE MULTITASKING? And what would that blog look like? Like this, probably.


I'm watching lost and checking email and blogging. Right now we're in flashback mode and Sayid is killing a chicken in his home land. Well he's killing a chicken cuz his fat older brother won't kill a chicken clearly and oh. Sayid even has a chicken catching strategy and here is a bad shot of little Sayid breaking its neck. Bah. Didn't look anywhere near real.

You gotta love lost in HD. Now there's a backwards ad for Joe, the clothing company. It's neat but it looks like backwards Gap ads. Pag. Or Old Navy BEFORE the mannequins campaign. What exactly should I think about that campaign? What do they want me to think?

Now we're in present day but there is no present day on LOST. Sayid is in leather killing someone in Europe. Oh god it's Ben again. Ben is in control.

Remember, I'm blogging while I'm multitasking so now I'm reading copy for a client. It's good stuff. And now Sayid is in prison and ooooh are they going to cut his finger off like he does to others? Nah. They're cutting his zip tie hand cuffs.

Sip of scotch.

Check a link I got via email. Interesting article. Delete.

Back to not really present day but really 3 years later on LOST. It's a new character I already DON'T CARRRRRRRRRRREEEEEEEEEEEEE about, Horace. He wants to know why that guy violated the truce. Sawyer is still pretending he doesn't know Sayid.

This is a cop out. It better get better. And now Sayid is being judgemental about Sawyer spending time with a 12 year old Ben in the past/present and Sawyer clocks Sayid and we're supposed to be surprised that he just punched that chicken killer in the eye.

Does Sayid really thing Sawyer will let him go? Come on. Why am I supposed to believe this. Wendy's ad about crispy chicken.

Lot's of chicken talk. Time to check my email again. Nothing there.

Wondering how fast I can type that Blue Ray was made for Bond with perfect sound and perfect picture. WTF? Oh here's an email.

This is an experiment you might think is stupid and boring but I really am wondering what a multitask blog might look like. Somebody loves their Escape, which is fuel efficient. If you ask me any escape should be fuel efficient. Otherwise, it's a vacation, not an escape. I think an escape has to happen in your head.

Back to lost and now Hugo is in the Dharma overalls serving pancakes. Yeah. They're so picky but they've recruited an obese dude and made him special overalls. Will we ever find out what the hell those lottery numbers mean? Seriously. Oh not another new character. And he has a broom. Great another character with no status that gives some cryptic and stupid advice and now he's challenging baby Ben for bringing Sayid a sandwich. Oh wait that's his kid. I get it cuz he said "You've never made me a sandwich in your whole life." and that establishes him as a dad but no...that's not enough. The writers need to tell us that is Ben's dad and oh. He is abusive too.

Well that explains everything.

Back to the past/present where Sayid is building for Habitat For Humanity. Yeah right. Ben delivers the news that John is dead. (But we know he killed him so .... oooooohhhh.... we're supposed to yell "Don't trust him, Sayid! He killed John!" Like we'd yell "Don't go in there!" in an old school horror film.

And now Ben is mentally manipulating Sayid, who, by ALL RIGHTS COULD NEVER BE MANIPULATED. But I'll buy it BECAUSE I'M DESPERATE FOR SOME ANSWERS HERE.


No. Sawyer is going to TAZE Sayid instead. Why do I watch this show again?

Sip of scotch. Check my email.

OH MY GOD IT'S DARRYL OR HIS OTHER BROTHER DARRYL FROM NEWHART. Guys, you've lost me on LOST. Wrong casting choice. It's not cute it's distracting. And now?

Check my email because this is just bull.

Respond to several emails and watch a weird ad for another movie where Russel Crowe plays yet another disheveled and intense character. Now an ad with Rick James music. No idea what it's for. Don't care. I should mention that I'm watching this episode on and HD American channel and so I get to see American ads. They're different. We're so different.

I don't know how long I can keep this up but it's exhausting. Tomorrow ABC delivers hilarious comedy with Sheryl Hines and Meghan Mullaly. Awwww...a show about dysfunctional moms, like we need that. (Still I'll give it a shot.)

Jesus now we're back to the past from 5 episodes ago when Sun pulls a gun on Ben. WTF do I really need to see this AGAIN? Do they think ANYONE who hasn't already watched this show will join NOW? Oh and look SAYID IS DRINKING SCOTCH TOO! What a bizarro coincidence. And the lady orders a bloody steak. Who orders a bloody steak? NOBODY, that's who.

Well she's good looking at least. But she is on the pull and that means she can't be trusted. Dollars to bloody steaks she's an assassin. This is a bad episode. BAD. Not slang bad=good. BAD. I don't buy this particular flirtation and SURPRISE back to the past/future where they've given Sayid TRUTH SERUM.


Check my email. Drink some scotch.

Officially give this up. Check my email. I'm laughing cuz I'm emailing with someone and we're comparing neurosis about public twalettes. And now Julia is belittling Kate cuz she ain't know nuthin bout no flat somaat engine. Whatever.

I'm bored of this episode.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

liza minelli ring tone and the power of the Internet

Ok. I'll buy that you might want a ring tone of her version of New York, New York. You might even want her version of Use Me because it is so weird. You might want any of her cheesmo Broadway stuff because someone out there, beneath the pale moonlight might actually recognize the tune. But this ring tone?

It's Liza with a Z
Not Lisa with an S
'Cause Lisa with an S
Goes "sss" not "zzz"
It's Z instead of S
Li instead of Lee
It's simple as can be
See, Liza!
I'll do it again...

It's Liza with a Z
Not Lisa with an S
'Cause Lisa with an S
Goes "sss" not "zzz"
It's Z instead of S
Li instead of Lee
It's simple as can be
See, Liza!

Now - if my name were Ada,
I'd be Ada,
Even backwards I'd be Ada
Or if my name were Ruth,
Then I'd be Ruth,
Because with Ruth,
What can you do?
Or Sally, or Margaret, or Ginger or Faye
But when you're a Liza
You always have to say...

It's Liza with a Z
Not Lisa with an S
'Cause Lisa with an S
Goes "sss" not "zzz"
It's Z instead of S
Li instead of Lee
It's simple as can be
See, Liza!

Oh! And that is only half of it
There's another way
Fate treats me cruelly.
How often I remember someone saying
"There she goes, Lisa Minooli!"
Or Minoli, or Miniola, or Minili, or Minelie
So is it a wonder, I very often cry?

It's M-I-Double N,
then-E-Double L-I,
You double up the N, thats nn, not ll
Then E, double the L, end it with an I,
That's the way you say Minnelli...
Liza Minnelli,
It's Italian,
Blame it on papa,
What can I do?

Every Sandra
Who's a Sondra,
Every Mary who's really Marie
Every Joan
Who is a Joanne
Has got to agree with me
When I've announced
I don't mind being pommelled
Or trampled or trounced
But it does drive you bats
To be miss, Miss pronounced...

It's Liza with a Z
Not Lisa with an S
'Cause Lisa with an S
Goes "sss" not "zzz"
It's Z instead of S
Li instead of Lee
It's simple as can be
See, Liza!

Then M-I-Double N,
then-E-Double L-I,
You double up the N, thats "nn," not "ll,"
Then E, double the L, end it with an I,
That's the way you say...Minnelli...
Liza Minnelli!!
It's easy!
It's easy! See, it's Leezy!
No! Liza........!

Um. Can you tell me who would download this? Not even the biggest Liza drag queen impersonator on the third planet from the sun would bother. It's hard enough to recognize the most famous Beatles song once it's been reduced to a ring tone and this would be unrecognizable to anyone but the most obsessed fan. And yet it is here. This is why the internet is a wonderland.

Behold the power of the Internet! From now on, I shall speak of the Internet as though it were the impetus of He-Man. SHAZAM should have one more letter! SHAZAMI! Eventually the Internet will be so powerful it will feed Niagra Falls. It will reverse global warming and you will be able to see it from the other side of the rift in space that will be created when the LHC finally starts working again. In fact they'll use it to power up the LHC and bring back the El Camino when the Internet can rollerblade across parallel universes and go back in time but not really because time won't be linear because the Internet will have changed that!
The Internet is like Jesus. What would the internet do? The internet is the ultimate YES. There is no NO on the Internet. There is only NO in your heart. The Internet will kick Chuck Norris' ass.

No matter how obscure the fact, it resides somewhere on the web. No matter how useless the ringtone connected to the obscure fact, it too, resides somwhere on the web. Facts are knowledge is power!


Monday, March 16, 2009

i take it back skins 3 is not a sell out

It got really good. I can admit that I was quick to pull the trigger but is that my fault or did the producers purposely create the impression that this season would be nothing but fluff in order to entice the young'uns in and then give them some quality television? Because we all know that you can't lead a gen y horse to water unless you tell them it's Red Bull.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

ode to the creative brainstorm

This post isn't about poetry it's about the recent opining over the creative brainstorm. People are mourning it like it got hit by a car or something. But it hasn't. The opportunity to have a great brainstorm is right there in front of us but we can't see for looking cuz we're all too busy politicizing the process. Most of the time, even when we spot the opportunity to brainstorm proper, someone will murder it in the library with a candle stick before anyone even gets a chance to cop a feel. And when that happens, it's no accident.

Let's agree that whatever the brainstorm is supposed to look like, it has to happen. If you think it's useless altogether - stop reading. You're wasting your time. This post is not for you. If you agree that a brainstorm is like required reading a first-year sociology class, you may proceed.

A brainstorm is an event. You invite people. You can serve drinks. There can be entertainment. You can even include a raffle if you like. So you have to give it a location and then decide what form it will take. For example:

The knuckle buster:
Some folk say things just is what they is and a brainstorm has to be traditional. Don Draper style. That type of brainstorm consists of a glass of whiskey, a pack of Lucky Strikes and dame or a skirt. You could take this angle if you wanted to. There's nothing wrong with doing it missionary style. Old school. The way our parents used to do it. Lock yourselves in a room, pitch ideas and git at er pitter patter. Be forewarned. The traditional brainstorm often creates traditional results.

The bezzie mate:
Other people like to create a more "supportive" atmosphere wherein
no ideas are criticized
it's about quantity, not quality
wild thinking is encouraged
build on ideas put forward by others before exploring your own

How nice. If it works for you, go ahead and put that hop in your bunny.

The technological marvel complete with reports:
Some people even sell software...(which I happen to find a little scary) that can aggregate all the ideas the creative group comes up with. It will prioritize and rank those ideas and creates reports! And SWOT’s and scenario building and it slices and dices too. Brainstorm and scenario building software. "No more hard copy sticky notes and flip-overs. Every participant creates, moves and groups ideas using his own mouse and/or keyboard on one screen at the same time. Vote for ideas and groups of ideas, create sub sessions, generate visual and textual reports on the fly. Twice as fast as traditional brainstorm and scenario building methods and very flexible." That's real copy I took from their site and, Sham-wow, this type of brainstorm is the opposite of what Don Draper would do.

But whatever, you get my point. A brainstorm can be a lot of things but it has to be SOMETHING and here's what it can't be:

The Sit and Surf:
If a bunch of you are in a room and you decide to launch a browser you're asking for trouble. I know it's tempting! But the sit and surf is just like a surf and turf. You order it because you think you want a little bit of this that compliments a little bit of that but in the end all you get on your plate is a bottom feeder and bite-sized piece of the protein. I am all for getting inspiration from the web, but unless you're going to interrupt your meeting to settle a bet about how leeches reproduce because you SIMPLY CANNOT CONTINUE TO BRAINSTORM WITHOUT THAT INFORMATION, you will inadvertently shut down your brainstorm. People get distracted. Death knell.

The Oh-no-you-di'int:
Don't tell people to shut up. Let them have their insanely rude, ridiculous, offensive way-off-brand thoughts. It will get you somewhere. It's easier to shave a bunch of hair off your face than to grow the perfect moustache. That being said...

The shovel:
Once your idea is on the table and you feel you've been heard, let it go. If it's worthy of further discussion, it will come back. Someone else will bring it back. Then you know it's a good idea. If you are so impassioned that you cannot let your idea go it's all about you and your ego. Leggo your ego.

There are so many dos and don'ts that this post could go on forever. What you need to have a successful brainstorm is the right people who all have open minds and one goal. The rest is just subjective. How you and your peeps get there is up to you. You want a white board? You want a bottle of scotch? You want a lot of sunlight? You want technology? Whatever works for you is great.

Pick someone to lead the meeting and have that person keep you on track. Don't waste time arguing about the merit of the product. Instead, know what the benefits of the product are. Don't waste time debating who the target is. Instead, have your personas at the ready. Don't waste time discussing advertising from an existentialist perspective. You're in advertising. You don't like advertising? Don't do advertising. Do something else. Just because it's digital doesn't mean it's not advertising. You can call a banner ad display but it's still a banner ad. Love what you're doing in that brainstorm or exclude yourself from it. Know what your role is. Know what your job is. Know where to find the integrity in what you do.

Once you're in that territory just start talking and the ideas will flow.

are you lost on lost?

For those who are watching the ABC repeats with the pop-up video style must be as dizzy as a whirling dervish.

Did you miss the Lost Experience? My sympathies. Really and truly.

But here's a quick summary of the entire show in case you don't have time to read the wiki entry:

The Ballad of ABCs LOST (*sung to the tune of - guess what - Gilligan's Island)

Just sit right back and you'll hear a tale,
A tale of a fateful trip
That started from Australia
Aboard flying ship.

The nut was a lottery winner,
The doctor brave and sure.
Some passengers set flight that day
For a three hour tour, a three hour tour.

The latitude was a mystery,
The metal ship was tossed,
If not for the courage of the ABC crew
Oceanic would be lost, flight 183 was lost.

The ship hit ground on the shore of this uncharted desert isle
With James Sawyer,
Jack Shepard too,
The Korean mafia dude and his wife,
The mental patient,
The British punk and Kate Freckles,
Here on ABCs LOST.

So this is the tale of the castways,
They're warping all through time,
They'll have to deal with string theory,
And the power of Jacob's mind.

The Smoke Monster and Benny too,
Will do their very best,
To make the others uncomfortable,
In the tropic island nest.

No babies, no raft, no rescue planes,
Not a single luxury,
Like Robinson Crusoe,
As primative as can be.

So join us here each week my friends,
You're sure to pay the cost,
For watching Oceanic castways,
Here on "ABCs LOST."

(Yeah I'm not the only one making this parallel. So into the wormhole you go!)

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

denial ain't just a river in egypt

Did you know that excommunication does not deny clergy the capacity to perform sacraments in THE CHURCH? So if you choose to excommunicate a member of your clergy all you're doing is giving him the silent treatment.

Gloria gave Archie the silent treatment All in the Family.

Maybe what is missing for the THE CHURCH is a laugh-track. A laugh-track would definitely help with its ratings because people will realize that this is all a joke. There's no other way to look at this is there? You can't rescind a punishment that isn't really a punishment in the first place. The silent treatment is not punishment. What if people just stopped talking to Conrad Black? Or Bonnie and Clyde. Or the Exxon Valdez? Or Starbucks?! Would anyone feel vindicated?


(The See and Me is filmed in front of a LIVE studio audience.)

Roll montage. Begin title track. The title track is played on an organ and sung to the tune of Those Were The Days from All in the Family:)

Boy, the way Vivaldi played. Songs that made the Easter Parade.

Guys like us, we had it made. Those were the holy days.

Didn't need no welfare state. Everybody pulled his weight.

Gee, our old Mobile ran great. Those were the holy days.

And you know who you were then. Nuns were girls and priests were men.

Mister, we could use a man like Moussolini again.

People seemed to be content. Fifty dollars paid the rent.

Freaks were in a circus tent. Those were the holy days.

Take a little Sunday spin, go to watch A.S Roma win.

Have yourself a holy day that cost you under a fin.

Hair was short and skirts were long. Salieri really sold a song.

I don't know just what went wrong. Those Were The Holy Days.

Act 1: (the character of Archie Bunker is now being played by Bishop Williamson)
In our first segment Archie says something stupid and Gloria tells him he is an idiot. As punishment, Gloria kicks him out and locks the door not realizing that Archie doesn't really care because he can sleep at the lodge with his buddies, who are equally ignorant.

Commercial break for beer and militia.

Act 2: Edith wipes her hands of any blame on her apron. Michael reminds Gloria that everyone down at the lodge feels sorry for Archie because he was excommunicated and has no place to go. The silent treatment may have the opposite effect that she intended. People may rally around Archie and he will win NEW friends. Gloria cries. Wahhh.

Commercial break for fast food and freshness.

Act 3: Despite the fact that Archie has not apologized, Gloria tells him he can come back home and bring his new friends with him. Archie moves back in realizing that there are no real consequences to his behaviour as long as someone thinks he might be sorry. We find out he had the key to the back door the whole time. Everyone laughs.

Fade to black. Roll credits over choral music.

See? It's just that easy to make it Sweep-week ready.

Essentially, Bishop Williamson was reinstated because he can still ordain people into his highly traditional sect. He still has power even if he's excommunicated. The See wants to make certain BW doesn't continue to ordain priests in order to grow his clique like a Chia pet. He's keeping his enemies close by pardoning them. Not sure that is the best strategy if you want to be taken seriously. Or liked.
If the Catholic church is going to get better Neilsens it's going to need a make-over. Sitcoms are a thing of the past. Reality TV is where it's at. So...

Here's an idea - instead of doling out bogus punishments like excommunication maybe THE CHURCH should start holding their ordained responsible for their actions. Use the same methods on the ordained that the ordained have used on others throughout history. Back in Medieval times punishments included the compression of the limbs by special instruments; injection of water, vinegar, or oil, into the body of the accused; application of hot pitch; placing hot eggs under armpits; tying lighted candles to the fingers, so that they might be consumed simultaneously with the wax; letting water trickle drop by drop from a great height on the stomach; or watering the feet with salt water and allowing goats to lick them.

What's that you say? THE CHURCH did no such things? Well, you could deny that too.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

paraphenylenediamine rhymes with ...

Each strand of your hair is made of shaft and a root, which is surrounded by a tube of tissue under there, called the hair follicle, which contains a certain number of pigment cells, which continuously produce a chemical, called melanin, that gives the growing shaft of hair its colour. That may be a run-on sentence but at least we got the basics over with.

The dark or light colour of someones hair depends on how much melanin you have going on. Melanin comes in TWO delicious flavours: eumelanin, which is dark brown or black, and pheomelanin, which is reddish yellow.

As we get older, the pigment cells gradually die, which means less melanin, which means gray. BTW plucking doesn't help because once the cells are dead and they aren't going to start producing melanin just because you pull them out. You can't yoink your cells back to life, just like you can't yell someone back to life. Stop screaming.

It's genetic so if you've got a gray parent, you'll go gray. Why your parent is gray and your neighbour's parent isn't gray is a mystery. With all the money required to sew ears on to the backs of mice who has budget to figure out what makes some people salt and pepper heads. From the time that a person notices the first gray strands, it can take ten years or more to complete the process of complete hoariness.


So I have at least 10 years.

So what about Marie Antoinette

You're right! She was sentenced and executed post-haste so what was up with Mary's coiff? is dead no matter what and that means whiteness cannot travel back down the shaft - whiteness has to start at the root. This means that hair can only turn white as fast as it can grow. And there are no modern cases of anyone having a case of the overnight-whites due to stress. So when you look at it, the stress would have to be a stress caused by accidentally dropping a gallon of bleach on your head. That would be stressful. And it would turn your hair "white" but not really. Especially if you have dark hair. It goes yellow, not white. The yellow color you get from bleach is the natural colour of keratin, a protein in your hair.

So regular "going to get your head lopped off" kind of stress isn't enough to do it.

There are theories that Marie may have had a medical condition termed diffuse alopecia areata, which can result in sudden hair loss. (In maybe a few weeks.) For people who have a mix of dark and gray hair, the uncolored hair is less likely to fall out. So if she was salt and pepper to begin with it might have LOOKED like she went totally gray overnight. She was wearing a hat when they killed her anyway so WTF? It's probably just a rumor.

But if you ask me the stress of going gray is enough to make the process go faster. And unless you're THERE, unless you're finding more and more gray, you just don't know yet. You just don't know what it feels like. I say that because I've been there (back there in time) and said to someone who complained about gray hair "Oh, come on. It's distinguished." And now I can't get to the hair salon quickly enough.

How does that permanent colour thing work?

Most permanent hair colors use a two-step process (usually occurring simultaneously) which first removes the original color of the hair and then deposits a new color. You remove the colour with something like bleach or ammonia or hydrogen peroxide. It is an IRREVERSIBLE chemical reaction. That is why they call it permanent colour. The bleach oxidizes the melanin molecule rendering it colourless. Once the cuticle is opened with something like hydrogen peroxide, you can add colour. Because it's open. Pretty simple when you think about it. Alcohols and conditioners close the cuticle after coloring to seal in and protect the new color.

You'd have to wait for that to grow out so if you're sentenced to the guillotine, you can be certain you'll look your very best on d-day.

But why is gray hair wiry?

Hornification. Less antioxidants in there. Cell division. Increase in hair shaft diameter. Hair becomes wiry. Jesus, look it up. Do I have to explain everything?

Why am I blogging about this? Right. Paraphenylenediamine is supposed to be bad for you. But you know what? So is the stress of going gray.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Skins 3 a Sell Out?

Season 3. Stereotypes. Cliche. Banal TV for suburban tweens whose parents have too much dosh. Done.

The first episode sets the tone for the whole season and by the looks of it, the Brits too, can sell out. Download it if you must but be forewarned. It's like 90210 with ACTUAL teenagers as opposed to 40 year olds trying to look like 'em. It's like Degrassi with accents and pot. Oh I hate to say this out loud..... but it's bordering on Ready Or Not ......without the drums. You know what it is? It's Skins season 1 but without any of the good stuff. In fact, Effy, who WAS a great character who carried over onto the new seson, doesn't even seem like the same person. She's lost her dark and gothic silence. She's just a predictable slag. Do the writers expect us to believe she has to manipulate the boys just to get laid? It's high school and she's well fit. Plus, she was trained by the master, Tony, her big brother. She is smarter than that and if she's going through the trouble of manipulating a gaggle of boys it would be for something more useful.

The only other character introduced last season was Penelope - a fairly pathetic and naive young lady too innocent for her own good. Great sidekick for Effy, the dark horse. The possiblities there are endless and yet they've turned Penelope into a bumbling Six from Blossom!

As for the other characters I'm not even sure they're worth mentioning. The nerdy brainiac, (can't act), THE GUY WITH THE FEDORA (from Degrassi) who will inevitably fall for Effy and experience unrequited love, the drunken jock who has boobs on the brain (the biggest loser of all is the first to get lucky?!).

The one interesting character is the quiet-going-to-go-postal twin. Maybe that willl turn into something but her sister is so cliche I can barely watch. I mean, the good twin bad twin story is well over done and better suited to comedy or daytime soaps. It's like All My Children without Todd and Thad. Like Another World without Vicky and Marley.

Looks like season 3 will be a yard sale. Another one bites the dust. It was too good to be true.