Friday, April 30, 2004

The deskbound fool would be I. 

This is as close as I get to socializing at work.

-----Original Message-----
From: ___, David W.
Sent: Friday, April 30, 2004 3:12 PM
To: Fine, Jonathan
Subject: RE: Grammar question

Thanks.

-----Original Message-----
From: Fine, Jonathan
Sent: Friday, April 30, 2004 11:06 AM
To: ___, David W.
Subject: RE: Grammar question

Hi, Dave--

You're right: the reason we would say "That is he" when viewing a police lineup is that it's an inversion of "He is that [person who committed the crime]."

The pronoun here is called a predicate nominative, because it follows a linking verb ("is") and refers to a subject, not an object. Verb tense is not a relevant factor.

The problem with predicate nominatives is that even when used correctly, they can make a sentence sound awkward or stuffy (e.g., "it could have been they"). It's often better to rewrite ("they could have been the ones").

Jonathan

> -----Original Message-----
> From: ___, David W.
> Sent: Friday, April 30, 2004 10:49 AM
> To: Fine, Jonathan
> Subject: Grammar question
>
> What is the rule that says we use the subject pronoun after
> the verb "to be", when we use the object pronoun after other
> verbs. For example, I understand it's appropriate to see
> "This is he" when I answer the phone. Similarly, if I were
> asked to view a police line-up and identify a perpetrator, I
> would say "That is he," pointing to a person in the line-up.
> On the other hand, I would say "I drove him to the hospital,"
> not "I drove he to the hospital."
>
> Is this correct? Is this because "This is he" is just
> another way of saying "He is this," and thus "he" is the
> subject of the sentence, while in "I drove him to the
> hospital," "him" is clearly the object.
>
> What are the technical rules and labels here? Does the
> application of the rules depend on the verb tense (e.g., "It
> was he," not "It was him")?
>
> Thanks.
>
> Dave ___, x2628

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While The Cat is Away, The Mice Should Play 

Bill is out and not managing the store. I say we take over the blog. Spine, you get to be deputy minister of Marks' Mom's interior. I get to be High Epopt. MarkS gets to be The Abba Dabba Yucca Ducca High Falutin' Hootchie Cootchie. Everybody else has to pick their own titles.

In the meantime, go see Galileo's Finger .
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Off to Play in the Sun 

I'm a night-guy. My work day starts at 3pm and goes to 11pm, typically. Then I come home, spend and hour or two with Emily before she goes to bed (she goes to work at the crack of 10 every morning), and then I'm up all night--catching up on Tivo, blogging, reading--me time. This schedule works well for me in that I can get a lot done at night with no one around to bother or distract me, but it does interfere when the weather is like it is today.

Today is Friday, my day off, and at 10:34am, as I write this, it is 72°F and on its way up to a sunny 80. spring is really springing here in old BTV and I am going to take my book, hop on my bike, and head down to an outdoor cafe on Church St. I've had 5 hours or sleep and I don't care. The rest of the team will have to pick up the blogging slack today. I'm outa here, me.
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Thursday, April 29, 2004

New Doc on Bob Moog 

My friend Andrew has a theramin made and autographed by Bob Moog, the inventer of the Moog synthesizer--so widely used in 70s super-group rock. That's pretty cool, and so's this: there's a new doc coming soon called Moog about the inventor and his instrument. Download the preview and check it out.

via Boing Boing
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Shorter Karen Hughs: Since 9/11 Real Americans Are Pro-Life 

Full Disclosure: I first heard about this on The Daily Show. Today I received an email from Planned Parenthood about a petition they're starting to get Karen Hughes to apologize for her stupid, stupid remarks on CNN Sunday. Is the White House really trying to paint every single issue in the blood-red glow of 9/11??? I guess so.

This is from the Washington Post's White House Briefing:

Dan Balz writes in The Washington Post: "Presidential adviser Karen Hughes responded yesterday to criticism that, in a television interview, she had compared participants in Sunday's abortion rights march in Washington to terrorists, calling that interpretation 'a gross distortion' of her remarks."

In a interview with CNN's Wolf Blitzer on Sunday, Hughes said that "the fundamental difference between us and the terror network we fight is that we value every life," and that "our enemies in the terror network, as we're seeing repeatedly in the headlines these days, don't value any life, not even the innocent and not even their own."

Hughes is not backing off. In an e-mail to The Post, she denied likening protesters to terrorists: "That is a gross distortion and I would never make such a comparison. Surely even the most strident of partisans, and reasonable people on both sides of the abortion issue, can agree that we have been reminded of the precious nature of human life and that we ought to work to reduce the number of abortions in America."

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Barbara Walters vs. Uri Geller: Who's the Bigger Asshole? 

Pop Quiz:

Which is worse:

A. that ABC's 20/20 is conducting an on-air auction of a human baby or...
B. that that lame spoon-bending doofus, Uri Geller, holds the patent on the idea and is suing ABC?

Here's the link to the Reuter's story about the suit. Here's one to a NY Post story about the show.

via Boing Boing
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Birds of a Feather... 

... die together, it seems.

This morning Emily and I were awakened by a small bird slamming into our bedroom window. According to Emily's account, it landed on the roof's ledge outside the window--its neck apparently broken, but still alive. Then the wind (there were huge gales this morning) blew the little bird off the ledge. Downstairs we saw that it had landed in our patio... and was still alive! It was a lot for Emily to bear and she couldn't stop obsessivley and helplessly watching the poor thing. We wondered aloud about how we might humanely kill the bird, but all I could think of was whacking it with something big and heavy and that prospect was a little too much for me. Finally Emily had to go to work and I headed back to bed knowing that when I awoke, the bird would have died.

I did not get three steps upstairs when WHAM! another bird slammed into our downstairs dining room window! This one died much more quickly--after only 30 seconds or so. What the fuck? Two birds hit the windows of our condo within 10 minutes of each other. They were the same species, each small, brownish/tannish birds with little yellow spots on either side of their heads.

Before coming to work I disposed of the bodies in the woods next to the house so that Emily won't have to deal with them when she gets home.

Anyone have any explanations for why this would have happened? It was very windy and warm. Could that have played a role, or is this just a shitty coincidence?
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"body language" 

Bush and Cheney met with the 9/11 commission today. From CNN.com:
"If we had something to hide, we wouldn't have met with them in the first place," Bush said. "We answered all their questions."

Bush said it was important for he and Cheney to appear together so that commission members could "see our body language... how we work together."

Yes, Mr. Preznit, your body language with Mr. Cheney is of paramount importance.

For Christ's sake. Imagine Clinton saying this about Gore. Is there really any doubt as to who's in charge these days at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.?
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Apparently, 

Elijah Wood is very, very gay. I did not know that.
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Wednesday, April 28, 2004

Feel the love. 


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Another Contest Entry 

Soon-to-be Candleblog team member Jayne sent this in. It was not created with photoshop, but it still counts. Check out Letter James for other fun options.

Contest deadline: Sunday at midnight EST. Go here for more details.


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"I like the smell of meat," said Red. 

So I'm at Red Robert's (AKA Robért Rouge), the convenience store and deli a block from where I work in Burlington's south end, and I buy a meatloaf sandwich. Red, the store's eponymous proprietor, is working the register. Red is an enormous man in his 60's who is constantly hunched over with a cane due some combination of physical ailments (which, btw, are often the topic of discussion at Red's). He sees my order, which consists of the aforementioned meatloaf sandwich, a bag of chips, and two 20-oz. Diet Cokes, and says, "I'd better sit down for this." He then spends at least 30 seconds moving from his "standing" position (deeply hunched with cane) to his "sitting" position on the stool behind the register. In terms of height--i.e., how far from the ground his eye level is--his position is completely unchanged by this maneuver. He explains to me that the action of sitting down hurts a lot more than either standing or sitting. Why he chose to sit down for my order, he does not say.

As he types the prices of my food items into the register, he says, "smells good. I might have to eat one of those myself." Not wanting to be rude, I say, "they're really good" (they are). Then there is a pause of some length while Red finishes the order. Finally, Red says, "I like the smell of meat." I remain silent because I can't think of a response to that statement that would be appropriate.

Before letting me leave the store, Red informs me that:
A. The meatloaf is his own secret recipe.
B. He wants to experiment with bar-b-que sauces.
C. There's nothing in the world quite like a pulled pork sandwich.

The meatloaf was really good.
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I Am A "Boring Penis" According to the Uruguayan President's Brother 

It's true. In 1988 I briefly attended Marlboro College in southern Vermont. Marlboro is tiny--250 to 300 students--nestled in the hills just west of Brattleboro. It is completely isolated, bucolically splendid and academically challenging. It's sort of an east coast version of Washington State's Evergreen College, where the weirdly smart and socially misfit kids go to college. I hated it. It was too small and my fellow students were too self-important. I found myself being the social misfit among social misfits. How pathetic is that?

While I was there, I took a music theory class with the chair of Marlboro's music department, Luis Batlle (pronounced "Bah-je'"). Luis was short and rude and the brother of Uruguay's president, Jorge Batlle. He also had a potty-mouth. He would freely throw around words like "mother fucker" and "asshole" when referring to students. As Marlboro was so small, there were only 4 students in the theory class including me (all male), meaning I was the recipient of his epithets often. To be fair, I should point out that Luis never seemed to want to inflict pain when he used these insults. It was more like he was trying to be cool--to fit in with his young American students.

Once, when he was explaining the harmonic series of overtones, I asked a slightly advanced question (I don't remember what it was). Luis answered my question, and continued with the lesson. Another student who was struggling a bit interrupted him and asked how his answer (and hence, my question) related to the specific lesson we were being taught. Luis turned from the blackboard, looking slightly annoyed, and said (in his thick, South American accent), "It doesn't relate at all. Motherfucker here (pointing his chalk at me) asked me a question and I answered it. If you don't like it you can kick his ass after class!" We laughed nervously, unsure of how annoyed he really was, and with whom he was annoyed.

Anyway, all of this is lead-up to the fact that once when I was in the student center with my roommate, Luis asked my roommate what the fuck he was doing with "the boring penis," referring to me.

It is interesting to note that once when a female prospective student was visiting our class, Luis was all smiles and niceties--never swearing once. Bastard. I got an A.
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Is it me or are you all "fucking crazy"? 

Last spring, upon the announcement of my divorce, my kid brother said "Fuck". I said "...what?" and he said "...fuck. You should fuck alot - that's what I did when I got divorced. There are a lot of women who want to fuck and you should fuck alot. Fuck all the time if you have to, just fuck." I said "Chad, you got divorced when you were 29. I'm 42 and while I would never turn down an opportunity to fuck, my primary mission isn't fucking - that's a 'bennie'." He said "Be that as it may, you need to fuck a lot... trust me."

Well, now I'm engaged (to Sue) and at the end of July I'm going to get married. When I began telling people this (just yesterday) the reactions were weird. While everyone was universally happy for me, there was a weird pattern. Here is a sample of the FIRST THINGS SAID after the "congratulations" part:

"Cool - but now you can't fuck all the time."
"Great, now you can fuck all the time."
"Are you sure you want to impact your fuck schedule so severely?"
"Did you give yourself enough time to fuck?"
"Did you talk about asses enough?"
"Did you fuck alot?"
"Now you can't talk about asses all the time."
"Wow, that was fast. Do you fuck fast?
"Fuckin' A"

Is it just my imagination or has fucking become a commodity?
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Land of the Home: global warming due to what? 

Did you really believe all that global warming due to car exhaust crap? YES YOU DID. Was I the only one talking "contrails"? YES I WAS.

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What the Fark? 

For those of you enjoying the creativity inspired by the Candleblog photoshop contest, here is a bigger one to further satisfy your need for nerdy fame. Fark is famous for these little contests and this one is a doozy--"theme: one sci fi show stumbles across another sci fi show."

via Boing Boing
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"Those old things in the corner are my husbands." 

I spent some time tonight at the enormous and wonderful Powell's bookstore. Author Lynn Truss was there to read from her book Eats Shoots & Leaves: A Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation. The book has become a bestseller, which seems to surprise Truss more than anyone. She's written five other books, and decided to write this one primarily for her own amusement. Now she is--in the words of Dave Chappell--rich, bitch!

The audience was quite enthusiastic. Much laughter and clapping. C-SPAN was there shooting a segment for (I assume) Book TV, which induced in me a craving for attention. So I raised my hand during the Q&A, waited for the boom operator to make his way over to me, and then asked: "Shouldn't 'Zero Tolerance' be hyphenated, since it modifies 'Approach'?" The crowd made the low, rolling sound of mischief acknowledged. They also laughed. As did Truss. She gave a perfectly good answer; namely, that hyphenation in this context (compound nouns performing an adjectival function) is on its way out of the language and really need be preserved only when confusion would otherwise result. My thoughts exactly--and believe me, I know a thing or two about Zero Tolerance.
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Tuesday, April 27, 2004

A New Home... 

This is so much better! I didn't like the carpet at that old place... it smelled like cat pee. I think we'll be much happier here, there's less crime, better schools--just generally a better vibe. And now we don't have that awful "blogspot" banner hanging over every word.

Thank you Nick at Hostito for walking me through the move.

Welcome, faithful readers (both of you).
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We've Moved 

Attention readers: As of Tuesday April 27, 2004 at 11:00pm Candleblog has moved here. Please update your bookmarks. Remember to read and post daily!

Full url: http://www.candleboy.com/weblog/
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I'm a Blog Slut 

In a vain attempt to engender readership, I have just spammed three fan listservs I belong to (2 Hal Hartley lists & 1 Decemberists list) about Candleblog. In my defense, the subject matter here is likely to be of some interest to some of the members of each of these lists. Still, I am a whore. Whore whore whore whore whore. I feel dirty.

Rifle, HH, and Y&BB members: please post below and tell me what an evil prick I am for spamming you so. I deserve it.
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More Contest Entries! 

These are also form Dan "parallaxman" Zucker:



Yeesh! Okay, bring 'em on! Dan is currently in the lead to win the $20 Borders gift card. See this post for more details. Contest ends Sunday at midnight EST.
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Smoking in New Jersey 

A couple of days ago I posted about a couple of summer blockbusters I am looking forward to. I am responding to my own post by now referring you to the trailers for two upcoming indy films that look like they are going to be just great: Jim Jarmucsh's Coffee and Cigarettes...


and Zach Braff's Garden State...


Really, watch these trailers. They make me want to both watch films and make them too.
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Monday, April 26, 2004

Yeah, baby...feels so good, Howard...I mean John! I meant John!! 

The Kerry campaign, shrewdly recognizing that many thousands of Dean supporters are perhaps less than thrilled by the inevitability of a Kerry nomination, has set up a web page just for Deaniacs. Now you can donate to Kerry without having to actually look at or think about him. I personally am getting used to Kerry, but once you have Dean, you never really go back.
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It's lonely to be queen 

My story about my father's elimination habits has been getting some nice feedback (scroll all the way to the bottom). One reader, thequeenpoop, didn't care for it, but her comment elicited a scathing reply from another reader. I looked around the site a bit and confirmed that thequeenpoop tends to draw the scorn of regular Poop Report readers (and I mean regular).

When you can't make friends on a website devoted entirely to shit, it might be time to work on your social skills.
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Candleblog Contest Entrant #1 

Candleblog team member Dan Zucker has submitted the first entry to the first Candleblog photoshop contest. Here it is:

Subtle, but I like it.

Remember, you have until midnight Sunday, EST to submit your entries. You may submit as many as you like. The winner will receive a $20 gift card to Borders. Here is my original post about the contest.
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I Love the Smell of Comets in the Morning 

According to spaceweather.com:

If you have wake up before dawn this week for work or school, take a pair of binoculars outside and scan the eastern horizon. You might see Comet Bradfield. The comet, which had a close encounter with the sun on April 17th, is now emerging from the sun's glare. Although it's too dim to see with the unaided eye, at least for most people, by all accounts Comet Bradfield is a beautiful sight through binoculars, its long tail stretching 10 degrees above the rosy glow of the rising sun.

Visit Spaceweather.com for pictures and a sky map.



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I am officially a Major Geek! 

This site has a "geek test" you can take to determine how geeky you really are. My friend Alan was looking over my shoulder as I took the test and rightly pointed out that you should get extra points for taking something called a "geek test" in the first place. I didn't score as high as I thought I would, but the test seems to be sligtly skewed in favor of computer geeks. I'm more of a pop-culture/science geek and so my score is only average: 38.06706% - Major Geek. Other geek rankings include: Geekish Tendencies, Geek, Total Geek, Major Geek, Super Geek, Extreme Geek, Geek God and Dysfunctional Geek. I like the fact that the least geeky you can be is to have "geekish tendencies." The quiz automatically assumes you must be somewhat geeky. You are, after all, sitting in front of a computer and taking an online quiz!

I am interested to hear what Emily's score is--girls automatically get five extra points because girl geeks are supposedly rarer. I am skeptical of this assertion, but I would believe that girl geeks are less likely to rank their geekiness using an online quiz like this.

via Web Zen
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Dialectics in Action 

This is great. These folks at exhilarator asked people to send them jpegs of punchlines and pictures from various single-panel comics. Then they built this combining web interface where images and text are randomly fused to create a new comic. The results are strange and hilarious. I actually do this frequently in the daily paper. Dennis the Menace and Family Circus are printed right next to each other and because niether one is ever funny, I will reverse the captions in my head to see if anything interesting happens. Unfortunately, Family Circus and Dennis the Menace are so completely un-funny, even their dadaesque syntheses are usually devoid of any emergent humor. This site is much better.


via Boing Boing
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The Poop of My Father 

Thanks to Bill's post about a website called Poop Report, I finally found a home for an essay of mine.

"A Father's Burden," a meditation upon the poop of my father, appears here. Enjoy!
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Sunday, April 25, 2004

I dare ya... 

So I am laying down the gauntlet: I challenge all candleblog readers and posters to a photoshop contest, the winner of which will receive a $20 gift card to Borders Books and Music. The winner will be chosen by me (I am not a contestant) based upon the following criteria: originality, humor value and photoshop chops (or "photochops" for short).

The rules: Incorporate "candleblog" into an existing still image. Here is a quick example I just made:

Think "All your base are belong to us" except "candleblog."

Then submit the image (I prefer a simple, reasonably small jpeg please) to me via email (or post it here if you are a candleblog team member). Your chances of winning the prize should be pretty good since I think there are only about 5 blog readers at present. This contest is open to anyone who reads this post (except me).
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I am SO doing this! 

Directed there by Web Zen, I found this amazing and super-cool film festival called Stockstock. Here's the deal: You register and pay them $20, then they send you a mini DV tape with 30 minutes of stock footage. Then you make any kind of film you want using the footage, as long as you use only that footage and the film is under three minutes. Then the films are screened in Seattle on Aug. 1. You may add titles and effects to your film, but no original footage. How cool is that? The best part: I'm actually already planning on being in the Pacific Northwest on Aug. 1! I can go to the festival! Yay!

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Living With Nerdiness 

So Emily and I had been invited to this party tonight at our friend Neil’s apartment/recording studio. I called up Ron & Reba and we had agreed that we would check it out—if only for a change from the usual movie/restaurant/DVD options. A party actually sounded pretty good to me but this one came with some added pressures. You see Neil is a friend of mine who possesses this sort of pseudo fame as a singer-songwriter. His star is not terribly bright on the national stage (though I think it certainly deserves to be), but among the local music/hipster scene, he is Elvis—well, Elvis Costello, anyway. This fact in no way infringes on my personal dealings with Neil, but at a party he is hosting, the possibility exists for discomfort.

The problem is: I have this thing. I get really uncomfortable and self-conscious around unfamiliar people and situations. This problem is multiplied if the unfamiliar people I’m around are cool and/or think and act like they are cool. I’m a dork. I know this. I am, in fact, somewhat proud of my dorkiness. But a great character trait like being a dork comes with some baggage and being socially awkward is part and parcel of geekdom. Moreover, Emily is twice as socially self-conscious as I am.

So the prospect of spending the evening at a party filled with the Indier Than Thou Glitterati made me feel a little queasy—like I was going to the side of the roller rink where all of the cool kids hang out.

I’m being a little unfair. I mean this is Burlington, Vermont. The cool kids wear shit-kickers in the mud just like me and most of the “coolest” people in town are actually really friendly, open, and easy to get along with (part of what makes them so cool, I suppose). In truth, I probably would have had a great time… if we hadn’t decided instead to go to a local astronomy club gathering!

Yes, that’s right, the Vermont Astronomical Society was hosting a public star-party in South Burlington and we met Ron and Reba there for some planet-watching, snorting, and up-the-nose glasses pushing.

Our guide was Dick, a man with an 8-inch reflector (no jokes please). He was really nice and was eager to show newcomers some cool shit. First up was Saturn, which is currently tilted almost 27 degrees toward the Earth—meaning the rings were really visible and beautiful. It was the first time Emily, Ron and Reba had seen Saturn through a ‘scope and that is a big deal for most people. Emily said “Wow” and a passing astronomer commented “We like to hear ‘wow!’” Next was Venus, which despite its intense brightness is in a crescent phase right now. At my urging, Dick pointed his ‘scope at Jupiter, high overhead. We could see all four big moons and clear bands of clouds on the surface. He also showed us M13, a globular cluster in Hercules, but because of poor seeing conditions it was just a smudge in the viewfinder.

It was chilly tonight so we couldn’t stay out as long as we might have liked, but we really did have fun (I did anyway!) and I mentioned to Emily later that it really was a perfect night out—it’s free, social (but with other nerds—some of the folks in that field were REALLY nerdy—I love it), educational and entertaining. Who needs a smoky party with ultra-hip drunk people when the whole solar system awaits?

Then we went to Sweetwaters and had chocolate falling down cake. Then we fell down.

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Saturday, April 24, 2004

Hurm... 

Dept. of dead horse abuse: yet another director is supposedly attached to the Watchmen project. According to Aint it Cool News, Darren Aronofsky (Pi, Requiem For a Dream) has been named to direct the filmed adaptation of the evidently unfilmable Watchmen graphic novel.

For those of you who are out of this particular loop, Watchmen is arguably the greatest single comics story in history. Written by Alan Moore in the mid eighties, the story is a Po-Mo deconstruction of the super-hero genre set in a dystopian alternate reality in which the government has outlawed super-beings. In the early nineties Terry Gilliam was set to direct the film but the usual Hollywood legal issues arose, which according to Gilliam was a good thing because he couldn't figure out how to adapt the huge twelve-part story into a 120 page screenplay. Over the years countless rumors have been started and killed about the resurrection of this project. Color me skeptical, but we'll see. Comics movies are all the rage right now so I suppose it's possible, but...

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Video Free Burlington 

Here's some entertainment news for you local BTV readers: Video Free Burlington will be on LIVE each and every Sunday night at 10pm on VCAM channel 15. That's right, no more of this "ooh, I'm too busy to do a show this week, wah wah, I want to cancel the show" crap. We are on from 10 to 11pm for the next couple of weeks and starting May 9th, we switch to our more robust two-hour schedule, 10-mindnight. We're treating it more or less like a weekly radio slot except it's TV, so we have no idea what it will be like, but expect the cast of characters to alter slightly from show to show (except for me, I'll always be there, because I have the keys). So turn on, tune in and eat some chips. See you LIVE at 10pm tomorrow.

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Report From the Land of the Home: Time to Come Clean 

Remember the mind control forum thing I posted about the other day? Well check out this questionaire for mind control perpetrators!

Question: "Will you tell us what you/they want from us?"
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Tomorrow and Tomorrow... 

The big blockbuster nerd movie I've been most anxiously awaiting this year is Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow. According to Ain't it Cool News, the release date has been pushed back to September due to a longer than anticipated post production schedule--effects work mostly. We'll have to settle for the tantilizing trailers and production stills until then.


Another summer blockbuster with the word "tomorrow" in its title (that isn't nearly as cool as Sky Captain but that I'm still waiting for) is The Day After Tomorrow. This flick will be fun for two reasons: 1, we will get to see the utter destruction of many famous American landmarks (ala Independence Day & Deep Impact--in fact, TDAT is directed by Roland Emmerich, who directed ID4) and 2, it will be fun to laugh at the mind-numbingly idiotic nature-gone-horribly-wrong plot device and at how completely the film's producers ignore basic earth science in the process (see also The Core). Spoiler: it's global warming!

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Friday, April 23, 2004

Faux News on Salon 

Salon's cover story today is about Faux News and how they right-winged their way to the top of the cable news ratings. Interesting read.
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For great justice 

I wish every arcade were like Ground Kontrol. Defender, Space Invaders, Dig Dug, Frogger, Galaga (my all-time fave), and many more. I can't help it--I really do think things were better back in the day.


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Thursday, April 22, 2004

More Planets Than You Can Shake Your Stick At 

Like last month's spectacular planetary show, this month we have four planets lined up for your viewing pleasure: Venus, Mars, Saturn and Jupiter. Here's the NASA Science News story about it with maps.

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Susan's Eye in July 

Candleblog reader Susan Sterne made a flash movie about her injured eye last summer. She left the link in the comments section of this post. Here it is for the eye-phobic among you (Reba!).

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Report From the Land of the Home: Mind Control Forum 

The Mind Control Forum Home Page. Read the victim's accounts. Pretty scary stuff...

And definitely check out MCF's web mistress, Heart's homepage!
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This is so freaking cool! 

Making Light has linked to this University of Arizona site that will tell you the effects from a potential asteroid or comet impact--you enter the parameters: mass, density, velocity, angle of impact, and this calculator determines crater size, blast yeild, etc. Too bad they didn't include a computer-generated image of the resulting explosion. This is so cool!
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Bush Unveils Wetlands Plan 

That's one of the headlines on CNN.com today. I didn't bother to read the article, because I think we know by now what to expect:

1. Bush rolls out "Healthy Wetlands Initiative" (cf. Healthy Forests Initiative, Clear Skies Initiative).
2. Bush destroys wetlands.
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From the Land of the Home: Mom's Loose Nut 

Five voicemail msgs left for me today in a 1/2-hour timeframe. All are from my mom, who is staying with a friend for the week:

1 - Daniel, I'm soooo worried, I haven't heard from you [... more of the same for several minutes ...]

2 - Daniel! I don't know why you haven't called. In case I didn't give you the number, the number here is 555-555-5555 [she gives a real phone# - the same one she gave me before she left]. You MUST CALL ME [... more of the same for several minutes ...]

3 - DANIEL! I'm so RELIEVED! I know why you haven't called. I've been giving you the wrong number. What a relief! [... more of the same for several minutes ...]. The REAL number here is 555-555-5555 [the same number she gave me in voicemail #2].

4 - DANIEL! I don't know what came over me. I've been calling EVERYONE and giving them the wrong number. The number I gave you is wrong. I have all Lou's numbers in my book and I get them mixed up [... more of the same for several minutes ...]. The REAL number here is actually 555-555-5555 [again, the same number she gave me in voicemail #2].

5 - Daniel dear. Your poor mother is losing her mind. I keep giving you phone numbers for Lou that are simply wrong, wrong, wrong. I just don't know why I can't get it right. I spoke to your brother and he told me he had to get the number from information [... more about this for several minutes ...]. He said that I'm still giving everyone the wrong number. Here's the number he gave me and I wrote it down with a big black pen. The number is 555-555-5555 [the same number again].

I tried calling the number a few minutes ago - it wasn't the right one.
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Wednesday, April 21, 2004

Land of the Home 

(transcribed directly from an August, 2002 episode of The Bohemian Society Church.)

"Hi. Welcome to The Bohemian Society Church. Today’s topic is about what I don’t care about terrorist… in America. So very simple: I don’t care if they can play guitars or write poetry or they could design a skyscrapers. Only good terrorist in this world are the dead ones. And I don’t care if they have children. I don’t care about any of them at all. Thing about it is, this is America, land of the free and home of the brave… and we ‘posed to protect our own country.

"And another thing I feel, and very strongly about: I like meat lasagna. I don’t like protesting hippies… and… I don’t want to hear about how bad George Bush is doing ‘cause he has a tough job as it is.

"So as Rev. Magickman, as I am, at The Bohemian Society Church… crap is crap… and if you have crap you flush it down the toilet.

"Now I want to say something about the old church that I used to go to. They talked about how free and open they were to ideas and other people’s religious ideas and beliefs, but at the same time, if you didn’t agree with them, at the same time, well… they would tell you you were wrong. B’at The Bohemian Society Church, I don’t have to be nice to anybody because I am the only one that runs this church. At my congregation, we say the pledge allegiance before we even do the show! And if you’re not American, you’re not welcomed.

"So, God bless America, land of the home and the free. Stand beside her and guide her—that’s the new rule.

"So, bless be, we’re the first gay and lesbian and Wiccan church… and… thank you for, roll that movie Deakan, to have fun. Thank you so much."

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The Best Job in the World 

Spine’s recent posts about his workplace have inspired me to write an anecdote or two about my own place of employment.

My day job (well, it’s technically an evening job, but it’s full-time) is as a production technician at Vermont’s largest public access TV facility. My job description covers a lot of ground, but the main thrust of what I do is to facilitate the public’s access to the channel’s equipment and airtime. This may involve training producers in the use of our video shooting and editing gear, or simply pushing the buttons for them when they come in and sit in front of the camera and talk about Jesus, conspiracy theories, lefty politics, winger/redneck politics, or whatever. We are content-neutral, meaning we don’t exercise any editorial control over the content of the programming the public produces.

Generally when one thinks of typical public access producers, the mind conjures images of religious zealots, conspiracy theorists and thwarted musicians. I can say from experience that this characterization is pretty much true. There is also a lot of very dry, social service oriented programming on the channel, but this stuff is almost never mentioned in conversations I have with people who watch a lot public access TV.

Here then, is a brief description of some of our more interesting shows, past and present:

Gordon, Peter & Tweety: Gordon is a kindly, elderly man who can often be seen in downtown Burlington, singing bible songs while holding hand-written, laminated signs displaying the lyrics. His new show features himself seated in one chair and two large stuffed animals (Peter [Rabbit] & Tweety [Bird]) in the other two chairs. He discusses bible stories and Jesus with the toys as if they were real people and (of course) sings bible songs to/with them. One episode of an older show Gordon did consisted of nothing but him sitting in a chair and whistling while he held up his signature hand-written placards with bible song lyrics on them. That’s right, a half-hour of whistling.

The David Call Show: David Call (AKA “Magickman”) is a guy who comes in and tapes indescribable weirdness. His show has at turns been called USA Magick, The Bohemian Society Church, Starz Club and most recently, The David Call Show. David is a gay man who claims to be Wiccan and is apparently a bush-supporting Republican. For a stretch, his show would begin with an introduction/rant by him about how we should support our troops and GW Bush, be thankful for stuff, enjoy meat lasagna, and have no time for terrorists and “smoke-headed hippies.” Then he would play a scene from some recently-released-on-DVD Hollywood blockbuster (usually featuring some heart throb boy idol), but he would cover up the audio with music of his own choosing—generally show tunes, or patriot-rock, or boy band pop. More recently he has been taking a still frame from a gay porno flick and playing music under that while credits run over the image with his address and other personal info. More power to him.

Learn With Me: This is a very famous, long-running show on the channel (no longer on) that I get asked about a lot. It was hosted by John Anthony Schultz, AKA “Crazy Guitar Guy,” who would spend the first ten minutes of his hour-long program ostensibly teaching guitar technique (usually a chord diagram or two). The remainder of the show was dedicated to wild, howling songs interrupted by loopy, angry rants—a classic.

The Carl “Spiderman” Sourdiff Show: Carl Sourdiff was another guitar-toting producer who would stand in front of some psychedelic chroma-key effects and “jam” on his electric guitar to a canned rhythm section emanating from an electronic devise he brought with him to the studio. He was never in tune with the canned music and he would sing apparently made up lyrics as he went—stuff like… “I was walking… down the road… down that long, long, road….” Rumor had it that he got the nickname “Spiderman” from a freak-out he had when he attacked his father, claiming that his father was covered in spiders.

Uncovering the Illuminati: This may be the perfect public access show. The host was a diminutive and meek man who sat at a desk and discussed the “real” illuminati and other earthly works of Satan. He was the perfect marriage of conspiracy wing nut and religious zealot. Then in the last 5 minutes of his show he would play the conga drums reasonably well. No shit.

I’ve got a million of these.

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More corporate love 

Today is Administrative Professionals Day, a.k.a. Secretaries Day, and this whole week is Support Staff Appreciation Week at my law firm. Is this a coincidence, or have my firm and Unico Prop. Mgmt. engaged in a massive conspiracy of love?

We had lunch today at a chain steakhouse near the office. One of the regular features of this annual lunch is that we, the support staff, get waited on by them, the partners. It's supposed to make the secretaries giggle and feel special to watch people who make $300,000 a year don aprons and bring them iced tea. "What fun!" the secretaries think. "Usually I'm your bitch, but today you're my bitch! Tomorrow I'll go back to being your bitch!"

I'm a member of the support staff, but I'm not a secretary. I think I'm classified as a specialist. That's why I get an office instead of a cubicle. I have no window, though--evidently there are limits to how special I am.
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Charlie Is Dead, Quoth My Son 

"Charlie is dead". My son Stephen left me the message last Sunday night. I had the same message from my ex-wife last June but it turned out Charlie wasn't dead after all - although I went three months thinking he was. Charlie is my son-in-law, married to my daughter Melanie. This time he was quite dead.

Now the death of a family member is, as many of us know, a tragic event - but in Charlie's case the death was antecedent to the tragedy. The following is a list of factoids that should make my point for me:

* Charlie was a bouncer at a bar in Colchester for many years and a delivery boy for a huge cocaine distribution system. In the big breakup of the New England coke business 5 years ago he was busted and charged and eventually convicted of something or other - several charges.
* Charlie ratted on his friends to reduce his sentence and lived in fear of his safety and life.
* Charlie found he had HepC from sharing needles and having unprotected sex with drug addicts - both with a frequency that was practically suicidal.
* Charlie had 3 children from 3 different women, one of whom he eventually married (my daughter Melanie).
* Charlie weighed about 400 lbs for the last 10 years (he turned 35 this year).
* Charlie's liver was nearly completely destroyed from disease but because of his age is was far down the transplant recipient list.
* Charlie had very high blood pressure.
* Charlie had diabetes for the last 5 years and took insulin.
* Charlie at ice-cream 1/2 gallon at a time.
* Charlie cooked with butter, one 1/4-lb stick at a time.
* Charlie's children's mothers were all drug addicts.
* Charlie lost custody of all his children.
* Charlie's the kind of guy that won't rat on a stranger over the phone because the line might be bugged.
* Charlie couldn't hold down a job because of his coke problem.
* Charlie stole a car from me and junked it when driving under the influence of something.
* Charlie went to jail for a year and this past january was put under house-arrest w/ an electronic ankle-bracelet.
* Charlie takes prescription drugs in random combinations to see if he can get high. He snorts them and eats them.
* Charlie has an Oxycontin prescription. He grinds them up, dissolves them in water and injects them using a hypdermic he stole from a lady that had them to give her cat shots. They were used.
* Charlie locked himself in his room Friday night, dissolved 20 Oxys and injected it into his arm.
* Charlie's nickname around my family was "the walking time-bomb" and "hearse".

Saturday night Stephen checked on Charlie and found him dead on a mattress on the floor (nearly a day after he died). Rigor Mortis had set in and he was on his side - his face and nose were permanently distorted from the pressure of the pillow - like a dropped figure made from still-wet clay. His face was caked with vomit and blood, his irises were so huge no white was visible. His face, hands and feet were purple from pooled blood.

The 911 operator asked Stephen if he was going to perform CPR. Stephen, who knew Charlie well, declined. I wasn't surprised. I don't think Charlie wouldn've been surprised. I'm sure you aren't surprised. Stephen's sister (Charlie's widow, my daughter) wasn't surprised - although from her vantage point in prison in Windsor (check fraud, possession of a controlled substance, violation of probation, etc.) it wouldn't seem that surprising, would it?



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Count in Binary With Your Fingers 

This little cartoon is from a website devoted to "howtoons," simple cartoons illustrating how to build and do cool stuff. Count up to 1,024 on two hands! Cool!

via Making Light
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Smarty-Pants Geek Author Interview 

Sci-fi turned historical fiction author, Neal Stephenson, is interviewed in today's Salon. Also read the review of his new book, The Confusion.

As with all Salon articles, if you are not a subscriber, you can get a free day pass by watching a sponsored ad. It's worth it.

thanks Katie!
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Is it just me? 

It's Tenant Appreciation Week in the U.S. Bancorp Tower. That means that Unico Property Management is pulling out all the stops to show its love for the corporate entities that pay millions of dollars a year in return for office space and a sweeping view of Portland.

I can't bear the appreciation. This year's theme is "Wild Wild West," and they've decorated the lobby to uncannily resemble (read: not resemble at all) a western frontier town. Ah yes, there's something special about seeing a bale of hay sitting on a floor made from polished Spanish granite, and a section of rustic wooden fence mounted on steel feet that are stamped "Property of Unico." Later in the week, I expect that hired entertainers will be doing lasso tricks, stomping their feet, and generally behaving in a fashion intended to temporarily overwhelm any feelings of existential dispair that I might otherwise be tempted to brood upon as I stroll through the lobby.

I know that people like this kind of thing, though, and I don't begrudge them their enjoyment. But I find these productions oddly insulting--as though all it takes to transport corporate drones to a fantasy world is a few props. I realize that this speaks more to my feelings of alienation in the corporate environment than it does to Unico's efforts to entertain its tenants. I guess it's a nice gesture. "Wild Wild West" is an exceedingly lame theme, though. You just know that next year will either be "Saturday Night Fever" or "At the Hop." If I were Unico's Vice President in charge of Fantastical Lobby Experiences, I would hire a dozen hookers and just let them hang around for the day. People would remember that. And I have an office with a door.
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Tuesday, April 20, 2004

Shitty Website 

Boing Boing just posted about this site and it is really great... for me to poop on!

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link/via Boing Boing
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Monday, April 19, 2004

I Was Afraid of This... 

Lost in Translation was my favorite movie last year. It was sweet, ethereal and funny. As my pal Jayne said, it made me feel privileged to be allowed to see it. My only misgiving was that a lot of the humor relied on the apparent absurdity of much of Japanese culture when veiwed through the eyes of a visiting American. A few critics mentioned this when the film was released, but dismissed the criticism as being nit-picky. Well, it was finally released in Tokyo and there has indeed been some backlash.
via Boing Boing
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Fame Can Be Annoying 

One of my very favorite bands right now is The Decemberists out of Portland, OR. I was turned onto them last year by my friend Sean, who lent me their first full album, Castaways and Cutouts. Since then, they've been picked up by the Kill Rock Stars label and they are gaining some serious notice in the press--the New York Times published a piece about them, I heard a story on NPR about their tour, and this week's Rolling Stone (with QT and Uma on the cover) features the D's recent EP, The Tain, as number 2 on its Hotlist.

They're going out on tour again in the next few months and it will possibly be your last chance to catch these folks in a small club so go to their dates page and find a show near you.

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Springing 

The temperature in Burlington, VT right now is 81 degrees (f). This marks the first day of 2004 when it's likely that when you step outside, it will be warmer than when you were inside. Momentous indeed. Our forecast says it won't stay this way, though.
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Jungle Fever 

Ha.

At a recent dinner party hosted by New York Times D.C. bureau chief Philip Taubman ... [Condoleeza] Rice was reportedly overheard saying, “As I was telling my husb—” and then stopping herself abruptly, before saying, “As I was telling President Bush.” Jaws dropped, but a guest says the slip by the unmarried politician, who spends weekends with the president and his wife, seemed more psychologically telling than incriminating. Nobody thinks Bush and Rice are actually an item. A National Security Council spokesman laughed and said, “No comment.”

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Paging Harvey Fierstein 

Voice lifts. Sheesh.


Though it's not new, cosmetic surgery for the voice is only just becoming more widely known -- and requested -- among the general public, said Dr. V. Leroy Young, a St. Louis plastic surgeon and chairman of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons' emerging trends task force.


Visiting L.A. recently reminded me of just how entrenched cosmetic surgery is in the culture there. The first dozen or so pages of the LA Weekly, the primary alternative news source, are full of ads for various surgical centers. A quick glance confirmed that a procedure called "vaginal rejuvenation"--whatever the hell that is--is still quite popular in southern California, perhaps among aging starlets and trophy wives.


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Sunday, April 18, 2004

Atari Coin-Op Promotional Flyer Museum 

Check out these beautiful promotional flyers for Atari coin-op video games. I love the fact that there was a video game called "Touch Me."

via Web Zen
Update: it appears this site is down. They probably got too much traffic after I linked to it. Heh. Actually, it probably was a traffic issue as Web Zen and Boing Boing both had links to it and they are pretty popular sites.

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Bill Kills Bill 

I just wrote a film review of Kill Bill Vol. II and put it on my own web site to spare Candleblog readers a 1000 word post. Shorter me: KBVII is really fun, but ultimately more of the same from QT. Read the review.
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The Power of Bunnies Compels You 

So in the last post, when I linked to Neil Gaiman's blog, I went there to check out some recent posts and found this absurd link. Your mother sews socks that smell.
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Neil Gaiman's Coraline Wins Nebula 

Locus online has announced the new Nebula awards. Neil Gaiman won the novella award for Coraline, a book that is sitting on my shelf at home (well, Emily's shelf, technically) but that I haven't read. I love to read but I read so damn slowly that I have to plan my books well in advance. Gaiman's American Gods is high on my list but with my other favorite Neal being Mr. Prolific these days, I fear it will be a while before I make it to any of Gaiman's books. In the meantime, I sometimes check out his blog. Congratulations, Neil.
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search: avant-garde AND "brazilian girl" AND blog 

For a different kind of web experience, open Pamella's blog in the Safari browser.


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!!!GEEK ALERT!!! episode001: Toys no parent would ever be cool enough to buy for you. 

For whatever reason- geography, being a bit too old, lack of cool parents( no baggage here!), etc., we never had access to the variety of ultra-cool, mega/boffo toys that are now available to kids, like the ones below! I think if I gotten this kinda swag as a kid I wouldn't have been in therapy as an adult. I would have loved my clever parents unconditionally! Imagine the worship by the other kids on the block! Santa would have been my god, not the purveyor of lame toys and underwear that I knew him to be. I would have been successful, actualized and- ah, yeah. I'm a pathetic geek.

http://www.strangeco.com/ToyCulture.html
http://www.kidrobot.com/
http://www.fantasiatoyz.com/pictures/bladerunner/index.html
http://www.ningyoushi.com/index.cfm


For another diversion...may i present...the life size AKIRA MOTORCYCLE!!! (i can hardly keep the tape on my glasses from curling with delight!)

http://www.edit.ne.jp/~sashida/DIARY/diary.html

>>>END OF LINE<<<


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The future of Body Modification 

My friend Reba has a thing about eyes. That is, she has a phobia about something awful and traumatic happening to her eyes. She used to work at Kinkos and they had these eye-level places that people would grab big sheets of paper from and she would obsess about the inherent danger of getting a paper cut on her eye from it. I admit, that mental image gives me the willys--like that horrible shot in Luis Buñuel's Un Chien Andalou. So our friend Ami has pointed us to this story about some crazy Dutch wack-jobs who are intentionally putting pieces of metal in their eyes. Fuckin' Dutch.

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Saturday, April 17, 2004

Tomorrow I Will Seven Eagles See 

I just started re-reading The Number of the Beast, one of my fave Heinlein books (second to Stranger in a Strange Land for me), and I just came across a quote I love, but had completely forgotten:

This Universe never did make sense; I suspect that it was built on government contract.

I sometimes wonder if we're the ones living in a ficton...

ntodd
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Skulls and Bones 

"History. We don't know. We'll all be dead."

--Preznit Bush, in response to a question from Bob Woodward on how history would judge the Iraq war.

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My Dinner With Bill 

I have a pretty fun night planned for tonight, as fun nights in Burlington, Vermont go. First, my friend Andrea is having a birthday and we are taking her to the Five Spice CafÉ for dinner. Mmmm. Then we are off to see Kill Bill Vol. 2. Dim Sum and graphic violence: two great tastes that taste great together. Jealous?
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Living in Squalor 

Okay, so have you ever been over to someone's house and just been totally dumbfounded by the total chaos of the place? A place that is so completely messy that you literally can't tell what the floor covering is? Have you ever lived in one of those places? My friend Reba pointed me to this site with some pretty amazing photos. Yeesh.

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Friday, April 16, 2004

N. Todd Says His Peace 

My pal, N. Todd over at Dohiyi Mir, just posted a plug for Candleblog. Thanks Todd, and welcome any Dohiyi Mir readers who followed the link here. We are not a political blog, per se, but Todd and I share a lot of views in that regard in common. I will certianly try to be as "fair and balanced" as possible, politically.

Todd and I met in 1992 at a corporate Christmas party. My then-girlfriend, Heidi, worked with him. She brought me to the party and Todd was dateless. We started chatting about science fiction and movies and three hours later Heidi was pissed that I hadn't spent any time with her. Well, Heidi and I broke up sometime thereafter, but Todd and I are still friends.

He was my knight in shining armour in 1998 when I needed a place to live for a few months.

We eat sushi sometimes. Todd rocks.
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Hey You Guys! 

Here's an example of good TV: The Electric Company was one of the greatest kids shows ever made and you can experience bits of it from the Electric Company Digital Archive, which is "devoted to the preservation of the sights, sounds and music of the popular 1970s children's television program The Electric Company."

via Boing Boing
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TV Makes Jerks 

You know how in LOTR, the grown-up orcs rip open the nasty placenta and allow the "baby" orcs to be born? Well, in our culture, the grown-up orc is television and the babies are our children and the placenta is bad parenting and...oh, just read the article.


Backbiting and bitchy characters in TV soaps are helping to create a "climate of bullying and aggression", an expert has warned. ... Both physical and verbal acts encouraged "indirect aggression" among 11 to 14-year-olds. Other work by Dr Coyne found that episodes of unpleasantness - such as snide remarks, spreading poisonous gossip or giving people the cold shoulder - featured highly in 29 soaps and sit-coms shown on British television.


Of course, American television is also full of mean people saying mean things. Even "Friends" is unfriendly. The dialogue relies heavily--and unrelentingly--on sarcasm and put-downs. I don't like this trend one bit.
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Ellen Kwon 

In early September 1983 I was new at South Burlington High School having moved to the Burlington, Vermont area from Ithaca, New York earlier that summer. I was placed in an Earth Science class like most freshmen but I had just taken an Earth Science class in Ithaca, as an 8th grader, using the exact same textbook they were handing out in this high school class. I mentioned this to my teacher and she mentioned it to my guidance counselor and he suggested I skip Earth Science and go straight into Biology—with all of the sophomores.

The next day I was introduced to my new Biology classmates and ushered to my desk by Ms. Capen. After the day’s lesson plan had been described, Ms. Capen took time out to recognize that there were, in fact, two new students in the class.

Before I continue, it’s necessary for me to reveal that at the time this was happening, I was reading a Pocketbooks Star Trek novel. I mention this as evidence of the fact that I was a geek—and not even a cool geek, reading Catcher in the Rye or some other literary work for the socially awkward—it was a freaking Star Trek paperback.

So Ms. Capen looks at the back of the class where her two new students are: me, with my knapsack and my lame Member’s Only jacket and my geeky book; and Ellen Kwon, a very pretty Asian American girl seated directly in front of me.

“As you may have noticed,” Ms. Capen told the class, “we have some strange faces in class today.”

I’m still not sure what the hell I was thinking, but here’s what I did: I said, “Yes, can’t you tell?” and then I brought my hands up to my eyes and using each index finger, stretched the outside tip of each eyebrow up and back, which made me look like Mr. Spock, an alien—get it? “Strange faces.” Unfortunately, from the perspective of my classmates, and particularly Ms. Capen, who was looking right at me, the gesture also made it look like I was trying to look like Charlie Chan or some other Asian caricature—like I was making fun of Ellen’s ethnicity.

About 30 seconds later I realized what I had done. It was too late. I was pretty sure Ellen hadn’t seen it but I KNEW Ms. Capen had. She was already moving on—no doubt trying to distance herself from the awkwardly racist moment. I couldn’t say anything. I was mortified. Ms. Capen never seemed to like me very much. I have always assumed this incident was the reason.

I remember the moment that I made the offending gesture pretty clearly. It was an adrenalin-inspired wild attempt to say something casually humorous—to break the ice, as it were. You know, “look at me, I’m a Vulcan. You get it? From Star Trek? Guys?”

Oh well.

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Sigh 

I Downloaded Mozilla and now all of the tools are where they ought to be. Thank you big red dinosaur!
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Blogger Interface Frustration 

I'm at home now, blogging from my G4 (Panther/Safari) and I notice that many of the little tools I use at work (particularly the link tool) do not appear on my "Create New Post" page when I'm home. At work I use an XP box running Mozilla and I have all these little tools to help me with my posting, but here at home, all I have is the spell checker. I tried opening the page in IE but there I don't even have the spell checker. So if I want to include text with hyperlinks, I have to copy and paste HTML in the body of my post. Grrr.
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High School Madness 

So Emily bought the entire series of Freaks and Geeks on DVD and we’ve been watching one or two every couple of nights. This show is great. Created by Paul Feig, author of the devastatingly funny and embarrassing Kick Me, the show depicts Middle America high school circa 1980. The main characters are a brother and sister who are struggling through their “difficult years.” Sam is in 9th grade and he and his buddies are what my friends and I were: geeks—science fiction references, hormonally challenged, last ones picked for the kickball team—the whole shebang. Lindsay, Sam’s older sister, is a smart girl (former “mathlete”) who is sick of all the bullshit and trying to transition into being a “freak” (i.e., stoner, head, rocker). Their parents are completely clueless but mean well, their teachers are likewise, clueless, but whether or not they mean well is an issue for debate.

This is sometimes a hard show to watch because it hits so close to home. Tonight I had to bury my head in Emily’s arm like six times out of embarrassment for the characters. Despite frequent moments of sadism, where the characters experience a purified, concentrated form of the hell we all went through at that age, ultimately the heroes come out ahead and you can rest assured that even though there are still a few awful years ahead, these kids are going to grow up and be well-adjusted geeks, who will cathartically blog about their hellish experiences and grow artistically in the process.

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Thursday, April 15, 2004

Transgendered Dwarfism 

It's almost quittin' time here in Corporate World. Soon I will get on the #17 bus, which snakes through the trendy Pearl District and Nob Hill before shifting into high gear for the expansive straightaway of Highway 30 and the St. Johns Bridge that arcs high above the Willamette River. Will the transgendered dwarf be on the bus today? The first time I saw him/her, I thought, "That's a transgendered dwarf."
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I am a grammar god. 

I just took this cute grammar test and got the highest score. That's right, I'm a nerd.

via Making Light
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Speaking of cool books... 

I'm about half way through Brian Greene's amazingly readable The Elegant Universe. It's a book for laymen describing string theory. Greene spends the first half of the book getting the readers up to speed on Einstein's special and general relativity theories and quantum mechanics before jumping into the mind-splittingly wild implications of string theory. The three hour long Nova special based on the book barely scratches the surface of this stuff--it plays like a trailer for the real movie, which is this book.

The subject matter of the book is the true nature of the Universe--the fundamental fabric of all matter and energy. How cool is that?

Greene is an exceptional writer. As I'm reading, questions arise in my head from the text and consistently, within a page of the question's appearing, I get an answer.

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If it ain't Baroque, don't fix it 

We just received our copy of The Confusion, Neal Stephenson's 2nd installment in the Baroque Cycle, in the mail today from Amazon. Emily just finished Quicksilver and I'm about 1/8 of the way into it. Cryptonomicon is one of my all-time favorite novels and this sudden deluge of Stephenson fiction is somewhat overwhelming.

Cory Doctorow over at Boing Boing linked to this interview with Stephenson at Wired News in which he discussed cryptography and money markets. Okay, that sounds really boring, but it really isn't.

Go buy and read these amazing books.
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Just this one time...I promise! 

Sorry, Bill. I know you'll understand when you see this pic of my sister's new kittens that I took last weekend in Los Angeles. SO CUTE!


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No cat blogging... 

As the owner and moderator of this blog, I would like to make the following promise to all current and future readers: I will not (nor will I encourage others to) post entries to this blog about my (or anyone else's) cat. Moreover, I will actively discourage this so-called cat-blogging in every way possible. I hope that deleting posts or comments will not become necessary and that the readers and contributors of Candleblog will police themselves in this regard. Still, it is possible that an occasional cat-reference or link or cute photo ("Hang in there!") will slip through the cracks. In the event that such an infraction occurs, I offer my apologies here in advance. Thank you.
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Comments is on... 

I just added the Haloscan comments feature. Feel free to post comments to posts at your collective leisure.
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D'oh! 

So I wanted to upgrade to Blogger Pro (allows photos etc.) but apparently it's not being offered right now while the blogspot folks rework their product line. Stay tuned... more and better blogging is in the offing. Wow, I feel *so* 2002.
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Titling is on... 

Please forgive us as we knead out the kinks in this little experiment. My number one concern about blogging is the fact that growing up, I was never able to maintain a journal for longer than about a week, despite many attempts. Here goes another...
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Sorry to clutter up the blog on its first day, but I just received notice that Candleblog has already passed 500,000 unique visitors and will be the subject of a cover story in next week's New York Times Magazine.
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one post(a non-chalant obreprity) does not align with the acrimony of one man's clam-ness.
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today i was a clam...now i am an... other clam.
(not a po(t)ato)
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Shorter Bill Simmon: "I haven't seen the WMDs, either."

Bill, I'd like to be the first to congratulate you on your new blog, and I like to think I have just set a blogging record by using the indispensable "shorter" device earlier in the history of an individual blog than it has ever been used before. As you know, use of the "shorter" device is now mandated by the Terms and Conditions of Blogger, Inc. I've now filled your quota for the week.

Hooray for Bill's new blog! Look out, Atrios!
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This is a test of my new blog. This is only a test. Had this been an actual blog post, interesting (to me at least) text would have appeared in this space. This is only a test.
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