Monday, July 31, 2006


The latest newsletter from the friendly folks at T-Shirt Hell included an amusing pair that are at the bottom of the page. These are a bit more intellectual than their usual stuff, which pleased me since the Onion no longer sells their 'I don't want to call any extra attention to myself' shirt and I was worried they'd be moving away from such content. But then I checked the Onion and can see that that isn't the case.

Hm, I wonder if T-Shirt Hell is getting a little derivative?

Wikipedia does it again

Just a day after word comes out about Mel Gibson's drunk driving arrest, the image on his Wikipedia entry changes to one of him driving a car w/ a police light reflecting in the windshield (mirror for when it's changed).

Update/disclaimer: Wikipedia isn't perfect

Monday, July 24, 2006

Pretty Things

Away from home this past weekend, I caught most of an HBO doc called Pretty Things. It's supposed to be about burlesque stars of days past but the idiot filmmaker, Liz Goldwyn put herself into it so much that it turned to crap. The interviews w/ the aged dancers were very interesting as long as the filmmaker didn't ask stupid questions, which she did about half the time. What tells me it's a bad movie?

1) the interviewees are visibly incredulous at her idiot questions and remarks, getting what appears to be very close to asking if she's an idiot

2) Goldwyn decides to cap off the film with her own version of a burlesque dance (not that she gets anything close to nekkid, which is a relief) and puts clips of her "practicing" throughout the film (amusing to see how she starts w/ ballet moves after several of the real dancers point out that they had no dance training)

3) a commenter at imdb agrees with me

4) over the closing credits she uses the Bowie song 'Oh You Pretty Things', not that the song has anything to do with burlesque dancers (give it a listen!)

I have to think that she's related to Samuel Goldwyn; I can't really think of any other reason this crappy doc would get made and put on HBO. She probably should have been featured in Born Rich. Reminds me of an observation Ms. Goat made a while back about how Tolstoy was born rich but still contributed to society; sad this seems to be the exception rather than the rule.

In a nice coincidence, I just saw Tony Goldwyn (her brother?) last week in a decent Arnold movie called The Sixth Day. It's a somewhat Phildickian story you can probably enjoy for the action, unlike Pretty Things, which you can enjoy for the badness.


Thursday, July 20, 2006

The sound of sand

Via Physics News Update comes Song of the Dunes, which has a few examples of the sound that sand makes in the right conditions. This is probably the most interesting bit of acoustics research I've ever read about, if only for the travel that it required.

Free music: Bike

When I mentioned the recent passing of Syd Barrett, I probably should have posted an example of his songwriting. So, thanks to the searching abilities of the hype machine, is the incredible song Bike performed by Pink Floyd.


Free video: Japanese shirt folding

From the land that brought you origami comes an exciting new way to fold a shirt. It took me a few viewings but now I use this all the time, to Ms. Goat's amusement.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Library Thing

After hearing about this many weeks ago from Madame Spork, I have finally gotten into Library Thing. It's not yet complete but for now you can see some of the books I own and have read. I don't quite feel right adding books I own yet haven't read and there are lots of those due to my poor ability at avoiding library sales.

I've seen other such lists on the web, like for listing CDs or DVDs owned, but those seem to be more like invitations for theft. There's no resale value on books so I feel pretty safe. But Library Thing isn't perfect, as some of the ways it handles different editions is a bit clumsy. And it doesn't want to save tags very often, but that could be due to its intense recent growth.

Friday, July 14, 2006

Marchons, marchons!

Happy Bastille Day!

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Goat report, 7/12/06

Goats are ideal for, uh, scapegoating.


Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Superman Returns

I caught this on Sunday and was quite underwhelmed. I admit that my hopes weren't really high: Superman is a pretty boring superhero in that his powers are seemingly unlimited and the greatest problem of his personal life is that his glasses might slip and he'll lose his job as a reporter when people learn he's also Clark Kent. The only other hero with unlimited powers is Jesus and his story has the drama in sacrificing himself for everybody's souls. Supes never suffers very much and he's always seemed to be the Yankees of heroes, a guy who people root for because he's the most powerful. I've also come to accept that DC villians are more interesting than the heroes while the Marvel heroes are more interesting than their villians. Ok, Batman's cool when you take him to be the revenge-crazed freak he is, but that gets old after a while and before long he's just another convienent gadget hero with weirdo enemies, not a normal guy type like Spider-Man who most can relate to.

Back to Superman Returns. I did enjoy lots of the movie; I actually sensed all of the parallels they made w/ the original two and began to have flashbacks to when I first saw them (I think it was on a plane ride to Hawaii in the late 70s). Yes, the boyish wonder of a man who can fly.... but the movie has lots of problems: we have a female lead who looks way too young for the role (just like in Batman Begins), his power is too overwhelming at the end to make his previous troubles seem realistic ('why didn't he save the day that way 20 minutes earlier?') and the characters don't really spark interest. Moriarty's review makes some great points about what the child character does to future movies and how the theme of adoption figures in the movie.

Molino astutely points out that Superman is a clever guy who does rely on his wits in most situations. This may be why I can stand to read the comic book more than see him on screen: movies don't have thought-balloons. In fact, I'll try to read my trade paperback of The Man of Steel sometime soon; that was decent in that it scaled back his powers some and had a full characterization of the title character.

Bonus: Roger Ebert's review mentions a goat.


Sid Barrett, RIP

Shine on, you deceased diamond. If you haven't heard the first Pink Floyd album, The Piper at the Gates of Dawn, you've really missed out as it's an amazing bit of acid-pop.

On the subject of Floyd, I rewatched their Live at Pompeii video recently; well, it was the first time I'd seen the updated version but I'd seen the original before. It's also recommended, not only because one gets to see them recording Dark Side of the Moon but also because the interview segments are obviously influential upon This is Spinal Tap. There are lots of parallels in PF's behavior and the way they respond to the director's questions and the behavior and responses of Tap; there's even some mock-complaining about refreshments from Floyd. I'd be really shocked if Guest and McKean said they'd never seen the Pompeii movie.


Saturday, July 01, 2006

Meme: 7 songs

First time I've done this, so forgive me if it's not good for you. I got tagged by mh; thankfully it washes out...

List seven songs you are into right now. No matter what the they have words, or even if they're not any good, but they must be songs you're really enjoying now. Post these instructions in your livejournal along with your seven songs. Then tag other people to see what they're listening to.

1. Chariot Song - King's X
One of my favorite songs from their self-titled album of 1992, which I listened to a zillion times back when it came out. Still love the sound of Doug Pinnick's 12-string bass.

2. Across 110th Street - Bobby Womack and Peace
Saw Jackie Brown for the first time recently. It might be my favorite QT movie, if only because it features the Del Amo Fashion Center, the biggest mall near me for most of my life. And also that QT doesn't act in it.

3. Night Train - Marvin Berry and the Starlighters / The Oscar Peterson Trio
I was listening to the Oscar Peterson Trio album and was struck by the title track, which I immediately recognized for the first time as being the first song we hear in the Enchantment Under the Sea Dance in Back to the Future. Somebody find me an animated GIF of Crispin Glover dancing to this by himself; the man's a genius.

4. Love Rears Its Ugly Head - Living Colour
A slightly satirical take on relationships from "that black heavy metal band." Not as funny as their later song Bi, which features the chorus "Everybody loves you when you're bi..."

5. Scarecrow People - XTC
The acoustic guitar embelishments could make this the bluesiest XTC song in their catalog.

6. Hotwax - Beck
Another one I wore out back in the mid-90s. Funny these albums all come up together in my methodical yet random CD listening.

7. Ce matin, un Lapin - Chantal Goya
Perhaps the greatest song ever written about a bunny killing a hunter. Aerosmith may have used this for inspiration for Janie's Got a Gun.

I guess I'll tag Mo-li-no, yodellingllama, forktine and whoever else wants to post their listening list in comments. If you're like Ms. Goat and have trouble w/ posting comments, email it to me...