Monday, December 14, 2009

Finished my finals, wrote a paper about it.

5:00 today marked the deadline for my last three finals of fall semester. FREEDOM! How do I choose to spend this freedom? Drinking beer and rearranging files on my hard drives. It's actually really interesting to dig through the stacks of folders and unnamed .txt files that accumulate over the span of a semester (though I wouldn't want you to get the impression that I clean up my computer files after every semester- this is just a relatively new computer and I haven't had time to properly clutter it beyond all hope) It's almost nostalgic to open up half finished Word documents, scattered images I absolutely had to right-click-save-as and music I forgot to move into my directory. It transports you back in time to the many hours spent wasting away in front of this bright little machine: for all intensive purposes, useless but entertaining.

Anyhow, the reason I mention this is to draw attention to a particular file I came across. Stored in E:\Words\TODO\finals08fall\ I found a paper entitled "A Compilation of Neurophysiological Evidence for Functional Word Webs from Pulvermüller’s The Neuroscience of Language." Some fun facts about this document: it was completed on May 4, 2008 at 4:11 in the morning, it weighs in at 15 pages (14 excluding references), and in a twist I can only describe as painfully ironic, I have no recollection of writing it. At all.

This reminds me of a conversation I was having a few days ago (or earlier today... attempting to understand how time perception works during finals is futile). What purpose do final papers serve, exactly? They are supposed to be the culmination of an entire semester's worth of information, applied to a topic of our choosing. But for what? To prove to the professor that we learned something? To show we can integrate information and regurgitate it in an organized manner? To expand the knowledge base of an academic field? Yes and no (to which question?? Who knows!).
The idea that I could have no tangible memories of something I spent 15 pages discussing baffled me, and this has led me to devise a theory on paper writing- of course.
First of all, papers you are not personally interested in are just exercises in bullshitting. I'd say this comprises an unfortunate amount of my schoolwork, and each one has made me faster, more efficient, and more jaded.
But then, there is the second type of paper: one that you do attach some significance to, (whether or not this is reflected in the amount of time you spend on it. whoops.) My new theory about paper writing is that researching for this kind of paper really is as helpful to the process of learning as sitting in on a professor's lecture. You delve into the world of scholarly books (or more often, .pdfs) in search of information to absorb, analyze, piece together, and spit back out in narrative form. Assuming you don't go through a research project copy-pasting your way from source to source, you're forced to analyze and evaluate in your own words. Definitely an effective model for learning. I guess you technically do the same thing in the papers you bullshit, but for some reason, I feel like there is a different level of processing. Bullshit requires only training and peripheral brain power.

So as much as I want to complain about paper writing during finals, I think I'm finally starting to appreciate the concept. Maybe it's because I actually enjoyed the topics for my 12 and 15 pagers this semester (both completed above the minimal page count!). Or maybe it was finding a final from the spring of my sophomore year and having absolutely no mental reaction to the paper's title. Reading through the document, I know it's mine, but the information all sounds remarkably self-evident (well of course stimulus activation patterns have helped us develop neural models of functional word webs...). Instead of seeing this as evidence the paper was an employment of effective bullshitting, I'm choosing to interpret this as a sign that the amount of time and energy I spent on the subject matter deeply ingrained the information into my skull. I can no longer tell where my prior knowledge starts and stops- what I learned writing that final is now a fundamental part of how I understand and conceptualize the world. (Well, that, and I'm sure the paper-accompanying coffee binges weren't great for conscious retrieval.)

So for now, that's going to be my theory. Humans seem to be capable of convincing themselves of just about anything (like me convincing myself that writing a blog post about final papers was a good idea), it makes perfect sense that the very act of devoting so much time and energy to a 15+ page bundle of words could slightly alter our worldview (learning?).
Then again, maybe that's just me. a) Because I have a terrible memory and feel the need to grasp at the air for explanation. b) Because my brain still hasn't quite recovered from finishing finals up and I'm not physically capable of making sense. Maybe I should check back in two years and see if I remember writing my fall 09 finals*. Ha.

Okay, so where was I? OH RIGHT. This is why my computer files never get cleaned up.



* Just in case anyone cared AND because I'm proud of them AND because they make myself sound super cool:

Paper 1:
A Neurobiological Approach to the Treatment of Psychopathy: Theoretical Overview and Proposed Experiment (the experiment I propose is: Measuring Selective Attention to Angry and Fearful Faces after Repetitive Transcranial Magnitic Stimulation at the Prefrontal Cortex)

Paper 2:
Evaluating Wikipedia: Issues and Solutions in Technology, Policy, and Application

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Been really productive today. I think I'm going to set a record for how many Kubrick films someone can sit through in a 24 hour period. Right now I'm in the middle of the fourth, but I'm scared of what will happen to my psyche if I fall asleep with images from The Shining reverberating in my skull. Next up, Lolita! In other news, I baked a pan of cookies! Thanksgiving break is looking very promising.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Miss you, Michael

So, it's officially been one year since Michael Crichton died of cancer.

I guess when you read enough of someone's writing, (and I read 13 novels worth of his) you start to feel like you know them: learning about author inbetween the lines. I don't care if it sounds silly, he was my idol all through middle and high school and I miss him. A bond and friendship that transcended time and space and aliens and global warming and white gorillas and nanoparticles.
Looks like it's time to reread some scific, yum.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Voodoo Day One- Justice & Eminem

Only good decisions are made between the hours of two and four and the morning. Like deciding to drop my weekend plans of being lame and studious for a six=hour roadtrip to VoodooFest in New Orleans.

We got into the actual park around 7:30, and literally RAN to the playstation stage so we could get a good spot for Justice. I was a little surprised to not see the big cross and epic speaker system set up that they'd had at Treasure Island, for a moment I thought we might have run to the wrong place. But sure enough, my boys Xavier and Gaspard strut out, looking ragged yet adorable with their long tangly locks and unshaven faces. They started out the set playing remixes of Across the Universe which pounded both eardrums and chest cavities with its "block rockin' beats." Pretty soon they'd abandoned their music and were toying with random beats and sirens. The rest of the show they spent sampling/remixing other sweet djs: Boys Noize, Chemical Brothers, Bloody Beetroots, Daft Punk represent! So in the end, it might not have been as fucking epic as Across the Universe, but it was crazy fun for a dj set.


Next up, Eminem. Floods of sixth grade memories and obsessions come rushing back- WHAT UP SLIM SHADY! Since he closed the night, the show turned out to be more of a music video than a festival set. Songs were separated by strange "personal" narrations, as if he was trying to add a bridge of stories. Honestly, I found it a little awkward. I just want to you RAP your ass off, Marshall, I don't want all that dramatized bullshit.

Drunk, happy, tired, cold and wet, we journey home- only to change into dry clothing and head back out for some steak po-boys and Harpoon IPA nightcaps.
I can't believe I've never been to New Orleans before.

Friday, July 31, 2009

This Must Be The Place- Miles Fisher

Miles Fisher - This Must Be The Place (Cover) from Miles Fisher on Vimeo.

A Talking Heads cover with an American Psycho music video?
I think I'm in love.

Download the EP for free on his site: http://milesfisher.com/

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Disney & Dali

Destino is a short surrealist animation film, collaboration of Salvador Dali and Walt Disney. It originally started production in 1946, but for some reason lost funding and remained incomplete until Roy Disney unearthed it in 2000 (working on Fantasia). He and others finished it up, releasing it to the world in 2003. Absolutely brilliant, I want MORE!
Discover Simple, Private Sharing at Drop.io

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Happy 4th of July!

Stopmotion Fireworks by PES (watch HQ for sure)

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Updates & Information on the Green Revolution in Iran

...because I thought it'd be useful to have gather/organize my twitter updates in a medium that is more stable and less easily spammed. The main purpose of these posts are to spread awareness and information, promote free speech and human rights. If anyone wants to add to it, send me linkz!

Where to go for Information
Anonymous has proven to be more than just an internet meme and troll by hosting forums on a protest website. They organize information on the protests, post advice, instructions, and materials for people that are interested in supporting the cause ( Pirate Bay has changed their logo to lead to the site.) Recently posted (Jun17 10:58pm) was a current event news brief which included specific updates which ended in a hopeful note:

"It seems that the Green Revolution has garnered the support of Hashemi Rafsanjani, Nateq Noori, Tabatabayee and other prominent clerics and politicians. The Rohaniyone Mubarez organization that which has in its ranks pretty much most of the clerics except for the ones in power and includes Mr. Rafsanjani and Mr. Noori has declared their support for the annulment of the election and holding of new elections. Ayatollah Montazeri has yet to declare clear support."

The website has also posted a Worldwide Protest Event (yes, you can attend it on facebook too)

For more general information, you can always count on Wikipedia! I'm sure the page on Iran Election 2009 is going to be controversial (and have somewhat disputed accuracy), but it still offers an expanse of frequently updated and reviewed information.

And, if TL;DR texts are scaring people off, Washington Post streams a few short 'n sweet videos about "what is happening in Iran." Also, Wall Street Journal has posted a slideshow of pictures of mass protests from the streets of Tehran to last night's soccer game.

What you can do to help
1. Set up a proxy on your computer. This allows information to continue to flow out of the country where it has been blocked or slowed. Basically- keep Iranians connected! Instructions here.

2. Seed free speech (or rather, documentation of violence) by downloading/seeding Iranian video torrents

3. Ask Google to change their logo for one day as a way to increase awareness across the web by voting or contacting Google Press.

4. If you are on Twitter, you can show support by changing your location and timezone to Tehran, Iran ( both a gesture of encouragement AND a way to inundate authorities trying to monitor information coming out of Iran) and by overlaying your icon with green, done easily here and added to a green wall of support here.

5. Spread the links found here to other people! Information is powerful :)

Also, http://whereismyvote.org/ is looking for a web developer to help them better organize their site- "PHP, CSS JAVA, DRUPAL." DirectMessage them on twitter for details.

Misc.
New York Times has been liveblogging the events and conversations concerning Iran, offering an up to date perspective on what is going on.

Articles (1-TEDblog, 2-MSNBC) discussing the massive twitter/socialnetworking response to the Iran conflict. Is this just a web fad or if it has potential to be a serious source of information dispersion? I guess only time will tell.


Eeven though this isn't breaking news, here's a beautiful motion graphic short: "Iran, a Nation of Bloggers (2008)" Very reminiscent of the animation used in the film "Persepolis" which I highly recommend to anyone interested in learning more about Iran's political past from a civilian's perspective. (imdb, watch online!)

& Soapbox:
Though I can't promise complete accuracy, I assure you that I'm wading through the mountains of information being splooged all over the twitter and trying to find valid sources. Keep in mind, however that in an anonymous information war, credibility is never certain. Anyhow, like I said before, the main goal is to spread awareness of the situation. The Iranian people deserve to be heard!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Mmm, Walt Disney's Head on a Platter

Obsession of the week: David O'Reilly, animator extraordinnaire!
I like that even though he toys with abstract/absurd images, he still manages to achieve some sense of realism and poignancy. After stalking him on Vimeo , I've come up with a list of MUST-SEEs for all you bored internet fiends.  First, ????? (my favorite) a clip from a previous film collaboration. 

Yes, that is Walt Disney's head.  Yes, you can have one of your very own. Take up OReilly's challenge and create something fun out of it. (Download- 3D WALT DISNEY HEAD.)

Next, Please Say Something  is a short film about a cat and mouse in a "troubled relationship." This has been winning all kinds of awards (Golden Bear at 2009 Berlinale, Best German film at Oberhausen).  I love the way he uses sound in this short- he seems to channel everything I love about David Lynch.

There's also Son of Rambow - an episodic depiction of how a young  illustrator sees the world, Floaters - a short starring the bio- debris that floats around in your eyeball jelly (is that awesome or WHAT?)BANG - some explosive graphics for an M.I.A song, which apparently COME OUT OF THE SCREEN AND SHOOT YOU if you wear 3-d glasses, Identity - is his logo a pooping dog or a flying duck? The world may never know!, and his iPhone app of a kitty hologram.

You can follow David on Twitter or go to his website for more info/works/stuff.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

New Jersey Iced Tea

An Alex Dinur recipe:

1 part Bacardi Coconut Rum
1 part Smirnoff Watermelon Vodka
1 part Publix Pina Colada Mix
1 part Red Wine
1 part Jose Cuervo Tequila
Half of a Lime
Whipped Cream (whatever is left in the can)
Dash of Tobasco Sauce

Mix well
Enjoy!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Hoooooooray Beach! Hooray Beer!

Woke up around ten with the SUN ACTUALLY SHINING (huzzah!) so we ran down immediately to the beach (and stayed there till... now.) Cracked open a Corona and started rereading Fear and Loathing. It's been my first summer pleasure read three years in a row, which I figure by now can be considered a tradition. But that actually didn't last too long- sitting thisclose to the ocean and hearing its alluring roar called me away. We caught some hella sweet waves man- like totally- alternating between kayaking, body-boarding, and free floating. At first the lifeguard wouldn't let us take the equipment out because of the red hazard flags that were flying, but when he admitted that the flags were just waiting to be changed from yesterday's madness, I think he realized he couldn't stop us. We're persistent. And sneaky.

Despite the crashing waves, there was a fisherman out about waist-deep in water, just chillin' with his pole. Trying to be friendly I asked him if he'd been seeing many fish today, to which he responded "Yep, and wherever there are fish, the sharks follow. Oh, but don't worry or nothin' thems just the small ones." Oh, pleasant. This didn't actually freak me out much until we kayaked out near the sandbar and then completely ATE IT when a wave crested on our boat. I thought it would be fun idea to swim back to shore, but all I could picture beneath the deep emerald waves were hungry marine animals, circling, just biding their time.

Other than that, I bought a mango habanero hot sauce (advertised as 100% pure pain!) in a specialty store and Peter fucked a pig. Great day, this was.

Happy Cinco de Mayo!

Monday, May 4, 2009

Sunshine State is not living up to its nickname...

I have some downtime for the moment so here goes a short documentaiton of the flawrida road trip thus far. First, highlights of the 10 hour drive:
-In Baton Rouge, Abhinav's GPS system, Alfred, decided to use private driveways, back alleys and condominium parking lots as "roads" to lead us through the ghetto to a restaurant. Of course, at the end of the journey, there was a construction fence separating us from our destination.
-Later, in Alabama, we got pulled over for "swerving" by some profiling cop who really just wanted an excuse to question this dark foreigner sporting out-of-state plates and white girl in the passenger seat. We'd been making jokes about this possibility the entire way there, but the fact that it actually happened: priceless.

By the time we got to the condo at 12:57am(Alfred had projected 1:13. HA! We showed him.) every one had already fallen asleep. But honestly, being welcomed by a fridge stuffed full of beer and cheese was good enough.

Next day, I wake up to natural light and the sound of the ocean... heaven. After an amazing breakfast at Waffle House followed by some Krispy Kreme minis, we split into two groups: the girls (sans me) ran off to take advantage of the desperate outlet malls' sales, and the rest of us decided to make like beached whales and head straight for the sand. Unfortunately (as the title of this post has already hinted) there was no sunshine in sight, only a thick misty fog blanketing the beach for miles. This is where the fun comes in: terrible laying-out-on-the-beach weather makes for fantastic fucking-massive-waves. Kayaking attempts failed for the most part, so we turned to body-boarding and the old-school childhood method of entertainment- jumping into breaking waves. I forget how much I like real beaches. Living 45 minutes away from the murky, (and no doubt disease infested) waters of Galveston beach you quickly learn that there are more safe and entertaining ways to die young.
Anyhow, the awesome-waves soon turned too scary for even us reckless adolescents to crash. Now we're back inside watching Crowder play Zombie Nazis. I love summertime.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Beyond Wizard's Sleeve

Now that school is FINALLY done interfereing with my music stalking abilities: here's something I seem to have missed in the past months...

Apparently Erol Alkan and his buddy Richard Norris (aka Beyond the Wizard’s Sleeve) have putting out new albums without telling me! Unlike Erol's usual M.O. of high intensity club remix, this side-group demonstrates his mind-blowing electro skillz taken off into another direction: experimental electro trip-hop (or whaever). The use of audio reminds me of The Avalanches and Lemon Jelly, but past that it's hard to really tie them down to a genre. Too bad I found this after finals, it’s the perfect study music: interesting enough to keep you awake, but not so much that it’s distracting. The good ol’ interwebz has sponsored the first album- Ark 1 and a neat 2007 DJ set they did if anyone is interested. I'm still searching for the Re-Animation, their remix compilation album, so till I actually find it, I'll just post the tracklist to drool over:


01. The Chemical Brothers - Battle Scars (Beyond The Wizard's Sleeve Re-Animation)
02. Franz Ferdinand - Ulysses (Beyond The Wizard's Sleeve Re-Animation)
03. Late Of The Pier - The Bears Are Coming (Beyond The Wizard's Sleeve Re-Animation)
04. Peter, Bjorn And John feat. Victoria Bergman - Young Folks (Beyond The Wizard's Sleeve Re-Animation)
05. Tracey Thorn - Raise The Roof (Beyond The Wizard's Sleeve Re-Animation)
06. Badly Drawn Boy - Promises (Beyond The Wizard's Sleeve Re-Animation)
07. Goldfrapp - Happiness (Beyond The Wizard's Sleeve Re-Animation)
08. Midlake - Roscoe (Beyond The Wizard's Sleeve Re-Animation)
09. Dust Galaxy - Come Hear The Trumpets (Beyond The Wizard's Sleeve
Re-Animation)
10. Real Ones - Outlaw (Beyond The Wizard's Sleeve Re-Animation)
11. Simian Mobile Disco - Love (Beyond The Wizard's Sleeve Re-Animation)
12. Findlay Brown - Losing The Will To Survive (Beyond The Wizard's Sleeve Re-Animation)

update: posting links as I find them!
thanks to Feeder, Kumo

Thursday, April 30, 2009

A Note to Unknownbrother81

Okay, so a million years ago I posted a youtube video called "Know your Dope Fiend" up on my blog. It featured a scene from the movie Halloween, a few audio clips from Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas set to the user's own "industrial beat."

Know Your Dope Fiend

Awesome.

Anyhow, I decided to go back and stalk Mr. unknownbrother81 to see what else he's been up to- and came across some pretty pleasant surprises. I mean, if eerie techno beats are your thing...

Destroyer of Worlds
Described as "a tribute to the first atomic bomb." All audio comes from nuclear bomb test.

False Flag Assault: Another industrial beat matched with eerie, highly-saturated images of soldiers.
Perception: A scene from Jacob's Ladder & a synthesizer.
Dream State: Industrial beat, scattered audio.
Pull Out: Hip-hop beat. No images. Still pretty cool.

Anyway, posting all of these was my little internet wave of acknowledgement: "Hey, your stuff is cool. You should post some more."
The end.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Music Festivals, Schmusic Schmestivals

I still can't decide whether to spend my recently-earned kidney-money on Bonnaroo, Lollapalooza, or ACL. I even made up an excel document to help me quantify pros and cons, but I'm still torn...
So, as a part of my hourly routine of procrastination (wow, I'm optimistic) I decided to put together my ideal lineups for the three festivals. (PS they're all free) 

Austin City Limits



Lollapalooza

Bonnaroo

Unfortunately, I cannot take all of the credit for the awesomeness of these "wrdlz":
First saw it @thiswebsite
got my lastfm info all text-ed up @thiswebsite
and had wordle do the rest of the work.

However, I can take all of the credit for the awesomeness in my music taste. haHA!
(My lastfm overall top artist's, 6 month rolling, and this week's music chart, respectively) 

Anyhow, there's always 2010, amirite? Get on it, music fest peeps!

update: yes, I expect Jimi to be there. Somehow.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Mini Sirloin Cupcakes!

Best excuse to take a break from crunch-cram-final-writing ever.
Also, most delicious excuse.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY KYLE!!



The idea for these delicious mini-nomz came entirely from Smiley's Sweets and Creations where she called them "Little Slider Cupcakes." Adorable and super creative! Buy stuff from her!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

I did it!

an excerpt from America by Jean Baudrillard 
with completely unrelated linkz

"The slogan of a new form of advertising activity... a pure and empty form , a challenge to ones own self that has replaced the Promethean ecstasy of competition, effort, and success. 
The New York marathon has become a sort of international symbol of such fetishistic performance, of the mania for an empty victory , the joy engendered by a feat that is of no consequence.
I ran the New York marathon: "I did it!"
I conquered Annapurna: "I did it!"
I finally got a Twitter account: "I did it!"
The moon landing is the same kind of thing: "We did it!" The event was ultimately not really so surprising; it was an event pre-programmed into the course of science and progress. We did it. But it has not revived the millenarian dream of conquering space. In a sense, it has exhausted it. 
Carrying out any kind of programme produces the same sense of futility that comes from doing anything merely to prove to yourself that you can do it: having a child, climbing a mountain, making some sexual conquest, committing suicide. 
The marathon is a form of demonstrative suicide, suicide as advertising: it is running to show you are capable of getting every last drop of energy out of yourself, to prove it... to prove what? That you are capable of finishing.  Graffiti carry the same message. They simply say: I'm so-and-so and I exist! They are free publicity for existence.
Do we continually have to prove to ourselves that we exist? A strange sign of weakness, harbinger of a new fanaticism for a faceless performance, endlessly self evident."

Nothing like a good ol' postmodern critique of society to start off your day. 

In other news:
Kanye West gets free fishsticks! @Kanye'sblog
Tricky (of Massive Attack) shares his musical wisdom. @Wired.com

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Trippy music video. That is all. 

Daedelus LA Nocturn by Eli Stonberg from Alfred Darlington on Vimeo.


Wednesday, April 1, 2009

wut up FOOLZ

Fun fact: I was never a big fan of April Fool's as a kid. I wasn't creative enough to think up pranks or prepared enough to carry them out. Usually I'd just end up lying to people- but this isn't as fun or easy as it sounds. It has to be timed perfectly if you want to yell APRILFOOLZ before they burst into tears or punch you in the face, so honestly, it's not even worth the trouble. Thankfully for people like me, when real-life is fail, there's always somewhere to turn. The Internet. Where 4pr1L f00Ls is fucking AWESOME.
So, for anyone who missed the foolery, here's a nice little compilation:


Gmail
Gmail turned 5 years old today, hooray! To celebrate, they released Autopilot an automatic message-answering service powered by their artificial intelligence bot, CADIE (Cognitive Autoheuristic Distributed-Intelligence Entity). Apparently, CADIE even has its own blog, so you can feel safe that it sufficiently comprehends human emotions and insight.
edit: damnit, the link is broken now, I'm out looking for a screenshot. WANT PANDAS BACK.
edit2: CADIE HAS A YOUTUBE CHANNEL!!

Google Mobil
Has created Brainsearch, which is basically a way to ctrl+f your brain, you know for when you just can't think of the right ... er... damn I lost it.

Gizmodo:
In honor of the Conficker worm, Gizmodo was taken over virus. Each post was flooded with spam-tastic images and nonsense numbers that perfectly capture the eloquence and artistic expression of typical junk mail. They continued this for the whole day and even sent out an apology message for readers that were annoyed by teh ne3w layoutz.

Lifehacker:
Since we all know how much Microsoft loves Google, Lifehacker posted a code that allows them to unite! Better Windows Live is a Greasemonkey script that reinterprets any Windows Live webpages as the Google counterpart. (Absolutely genius! Too bad I already use Google for everything...)

Team Fortress 2
The Sniper introduced a new weapon- JARATE! First seen in Sniper promo, these jars of pee (karate in a jar!) "wreak havoc on your opponent's mental state, psychological well-being and trust in the inherent goodness of his fellow man." Sweeeeet.

Xbox
Xbox is coming out with a new interactive music game Alpine Legend. One player yodels, the other plays an alphorn. WANT.

FilmDrunk
So apparently, George Clooney and your mom made a porno. Yeah, YOUR mom. (via Variety)


Youtube
To enhance the viewing experience, Youtube flipped its videos. Now people from Australia can finally understand what's going on! Surprisingly, Chemical Brothers videos still hurt your head.

The Guardian
Staying ahead in media distribution, the Guardian will stop printing newspapers and instead publish every story on it's twitter page. After all, "experts say any story can be told in 140 characters." Soon the entire archive will be translated, says journalist/tweeter Rio Palof.

Others I don't feel like writing about:
Wii fit is cute, Google Chrome in 3D, Picasa adds red eye, BMW's Magnetic Tow Technology, Macetech's Stealth CapsLocker...

If you saw some good ones I don't have: leave a comment with the link, your name, bank account number, and mother's maiden name so I can add them to the post!

Saturday, March 28, 2009

nom nom electronica

Nothing much new this week.
Insert generic complaints about school, overall tiredness, strange weather etc. Every day brings a new excuse to skip classes, go to bed (or similar iterations: skip classes, catch up on work and skip classes, play outside) Something about Spring semester in general just pisses me off for no good reason. Probably the cumulative lack of sleep and proximity to summer.

But anyway, KNOW WHAT MAKES EVERYTHING ALL BETTER?
NEW MUSIC!
(and NEW MUSIC VIDEOS!)

Slagsmålsklubben
Cute swedish electro-pop group. Their sound is definitely reminiscent of old-school video/computer game music, and listening to it almost makes you feel 8-bit. Almost. Fun fact: Slagsmålsklubben means "fight club" in Swedish. Here's a cute techie interpretation of "Little Red Riding Hood" using their song "Sponsored by Destiny":

Slagsmålsklubben - Sponsored by destiny from Tomas Nilsson on Vimeo.

Röyksopp
Not a exactly a new band, but a new album! Hooray!
Junior was released online March 23, and Senior (a "more mature and introspective album") will be coming out some time later 2009. So be on the look-out! Till then, we can just replay the video for "Happy Up Here" over and over because Space Invaders rock.

Happy Up Here from Röyksopp on Vimeo.

Lemon Jelly
Sounds delicious, yea? WELL IT IS. And it's also super chill "trip-hop." Songs @ seeqpod. But since EVERYOTHERBAND I posted got a vimeo embed, I figure it's only fair to include one here: okay, so you know how people with too much time and Christmas spirit wire up their house's lights to flicker synchronized to the tune of a Trans Siberian Orchestra song? Well someone chose to use Lemon Jelly's "Space Walk" instead! Whatta trendsetter.

HD Version - Space Walk - Christmas Display from Richard Holdman on Vimeo.

N.A.S.A.
I hadn't heard of this group till they came out with a video for the song "Gifted" (which features Kanye West, Santogold, and Lykke Li). But a little last.fm background check proves them to be as fucking awesome as the vid implies. Basically, N.A.S.A. is the musical production two DJ's and their "international collective of musicians." Which translates to 'catchy melodies that transcend genre'. Nice.

N.A.S.A. - "Gifted" video from Anti Records on Vimeo.

MOAR @ myspace.

And a little musical sidenote from the ole' orifice:
If you're into the whole female-vocalist-acoustic-guitar thing, check out Jasmine Commerce. She's a coworker's friend from college, which is pretty cute and worth a mention. In other news, my boss's high school friends also started a band, and they're more my style. You might have heard of them....

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Oh Rice Baseball, how I missed you.

Rice vs. University of Texas
Some thoughts:
  • First off, WE WON. Ha. Suck it, Longhorns.
  • But winning isn't everything- I'd like to congratulate us on a surprisingly underwhelming number of errors. Huzzah.
  • Hey, remember the idea that "OUR ENERGY WILL PREVAIL"? Yup, definitely still there. Something about being there in Reckling with a crowd full of screaming fans inspires inextinguishable confidence in all things right and good. Namely, Rice.
  • Rick Hague's home run scored him four ass-slaps (count it!) Keep up the good work boys and remember, the more inappropriate the physical contact the better it is for crowd team spirit!
  • So many new players! This is the first game I was able to schedule my disgusting amounts of homework around, so I want to issue an informal welcome out to Steven Sultzbaugh, Jeremy Rathjen, Brock Holt and all the other dudes I have yet to stalk on the Athletics website. (though Brock Holt gets an extra special welcome for picking the "Requiem for a Dream" theme song as his intro.)
  • Notable fan ritual: While obviously, nothing will ever top the Beanie-Owl-voodoo I witnessed at Regionals, a lady in the front row held up a Go, Diego, Go doll that blew bubbles every time Diego went up to bat. Why hadn't I THOUGHT OF THAT?! Well, actually, even though me and Seastrunk are basicallybestfriends (read, he was in my O-week group) , it's probably best I keep my Diego obsession's separate. One is for baseball. The other is for sheets.
real sports news @
game tracker @

Note: So maybe a good chunk of this was really just self-promotional links back to my previous baseball posts, but I promise as the season continues I'll be able to generate more creative thoughts. That and I'm in the middle of writing 3 midterm essays due Thursday. That's where I'll be spilling all my brain juices for now, thank you very much.

'New Dora' is sexy...and legal!

SCANDAL! A new Dora figure was released recently and apparently, the public isn't very happy with it. She's too sexy to be a good role model for teens, they say. Growing up isn't natural, they say. Well, at least her head is smaller, allright? And honestly, she still perfectly conforms to the wholesome and innocent expectations of soccer moms with the flowery dress, ballet flats, and leggings (the latter of course, is a challenge rule 34 enforcers across the internet have already begun tackling in MS paint).

Anyhow, the real issue is that Dora was released alone. Where is my post-pubescent Diego?! I've been patient, Mattel...

Story @
Press release @

Let them eat crack.

This week's edition of Mild Obsessions is brought to you by British badass BANKSY:
a somewhat anonymous Graffiti artist from Bristol who specializes in satirical street art and drawing rats. Visit his site for more sTuFf: outdoor stencils, indoor installations, a video, a "gift shop" of downloadable images. Saweeeet.

"Pissing Guard"

"Artiste"

"Media" (My favorite)
"Let them eat crack."
You shouldn't mess with graffiti writers...

And just so it's out there: Houston has a pretty kickass street-art scene as well.
CHECK IT @ Marco From Houston's Flickr

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Sup Dawg

One of the more strange symptoms of identity crises in college is the splintering of blogs. Or maybe that's just me. It seems whenever I stop writing for an extended period of time, I grow less and less attached to whatever style/subjects I used to write about. So of course, I have this incredible urge to open a new account, disconnect completely from my past posting and create a new identity for myself on the internet. (oh you know, back in high school I was all like philosophical and political but now I'm more like into internet jokes and music and shit, you know? like totally) Right now I'm in the mood to just type out all inane details in my life that for whatever reason feel relevant enough to document. Anyways, long story short, I'm continuing with this poor old thing. But I don't have a choice- I honestly feel incomplete without a functioning blog. So, till punctuated equilibrium of identity evolution strikes again, I'm baaaaaaaaack!

Do you love that picture/failed meme of Nic Cage, or what? Too bad I'm pretty sure it's photoshopped. The shadows are all wrong.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

lulz



For MOAR cultural insight, visit Superpoop.com

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Because Kyle wouldn't give the Maître d' head.

Mmmm REEF.
Having dinner at this mid-town seafood restaurant is an experience, to say the least. You get to hear yourself order trendy things, such as the the snapper carpaccio, with grapefruit agra dolce and garlic bruschetta as an appetizer and then the grilled amberjack with plantain and long bean saute in pickled plum jus as an entree. Don't forget the Thyme after Lime martini made with a base of grapefruit juice and gin.

Absolutely Delicious, highly recommended for peeps who like seafood, drinks and pretentious menus.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Mmm Schedules

I'm pretty excited about this school year. But we'll see how long that lasts:

Soci 101: Intro to Sociology
Soci 360: Culture
Engl 389: Gen X Literature
Phil 303: Theory of Knowledge
Swgs 355: Sexual Medicine

I'm putting up this list because they will probably be affecting the way I think for the next few months and so if I start obsessing over culture and generations, you'll know why. It's okay as long as I admit that I'm an amorphous blob just waiting to be molded by my university larnin', yeah?

Monday, January 12, 2009

Speaking of Cocaine...

I'm in love with Robin Williams.Sure I thought he was cute in Mrs. Doubtfire and Hook, those are childhood classics. But after watching a stand-up routine and his phenomenal performance in One-Hour-Photo, I can now say I actually respect him. After all, that's really all it takes to earn my adoration: make me laugh and reveal psychotic antisocial tendencies. We'll be great friends!
He's coming to Houston in February, and I would go specifically to profess my love, but $300+ tickets mean I will probably just sit at home alone re-watching his stand-up routine and pretend it's like we're having a conversation.

Friday, January 9, 2009

I don't care for fancy things

Since I know you probably have better things to do with your lives than obsess over music blogs, I'll help spread the word. Merriweather Post Pavilion, Animal Collective's new album, leaked a few days ago. And it is beautiful (even beyond the trip-tastic album art.)

In all honesty, it's not my favorite album of theirs. At first I thought it was overly repetitive and, considering it's Animal Collective, tame. But second time around, it hit me. This album is repetitive in the same way that techno is repetitive: a certain acoustic elegance emerges from patterns and echoes. It allows you to focus in on various sounds by playing with slight variations in these patterns, and each time around the chorus you unravel different layers of sound. Or maybe I'm listening way too much into this (hey, I had to think of a way to justify my electrohouse obsessions somehow...) As for the album's "tame-ness," I guess I can appreciate a chill album every once in a while. BUT I EXPECT THE NEXT ONE TO BE OFF THE WALLS, MMKAY?

Anyway, in the end, who could turn down fiftyfour minutes of cheerful tinkling, ethereal reverberations, warm harmonies, and well... all of the other soundbyte goodies that come with an experimental-psychadelic-freakfolk-band? Not me, that's who.

Torrent link
MOAR Animal Collective

But you used to be so deliciously cynical!

I can’t believe that the film star of St. Elmo’s Fire and Less Than Zero is now acting in Lipstick Jungle. I mean, how do you go from Bret Easton Ellis adaption (albeit a shitty one) to a show that rips off Sex in the City?

For some reason I find this to be very depressing.

Goddamnit, hyperrealistic expectations.
Or John Locke. Either way.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Doctors and Lawyers and Business Executives

What I like least about going home for the holidays is being asked what I’m going to do after college. Ideally, I’ll just continue this trend of messing around on photoshop, pirating entertainment, and enjoying the moderate use of substances. Maybe I'll sell eggs to support myself in these endeavors. No, that's weird. I'll just sell any organs I have in double.