Thursday, January 31, 2008

Christian Regionalism

Here's an interesting U.S. map of eight major denominations by region. Via Stange Maps.

Phil Parker AKA Super Author

Philip M. Parker has written 85,000 books. 188 of them are about shoes. 6 are about sour red cabbage pickles. Apparantly he has invented a machine that can write these books in about 20 minutes. Stay tuned at The Guardian. Next week there will a peek at the machine.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Report From Sundance

Everything you need to know about the festival here.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Ghost Town Namibia

More about this boom and bust town in the desert of Namibia here.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Very Short Film (Shanghai)

running time: 48 seconds

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Kennedy On Obama

After Obama's win in South Carolina, this from Caroline Kennedy:

"I want a president who understands that his responsibility is to articulate a vision and encourage others to achieve it; who holds himself, and those around him, to the highest ethical standards; who appeals to the hopes of those who still believe in the American Dream, and those around the world who still believe in the American ideal; and who can lift our spirits, and make us believe again that our country needs every one of us to get involved.
I have never had a president who inspired me the way people tell me that my father inspired them. But for the first time, I believe I have found the man who could be that president — not just for me, but for a new generation of Americans."

Friday, January 25, 2008

Illuminant: Efterklang

This is a strange and freaky and beautiful video for Copenhagen music group Efterklang. A higher resolution version is available at the website of video maker Tobias Stretch here.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Antarctic Blogging

Antarctic Journal is the blog of researcher Viola Toniolo working on Ross Island, Antarctica. Apparently the storms have been particularly wicked this year. Friends include penguins and leopard seals.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Ogling Damages

This via Improbable Research and This Is London:

Military helicopter crew ‘wrecked’ conservatory by flying down to ogle sunbathing au pair.
A military helicopter destroyed the conservatory of a £1.75 million mansion when its pilot swooped too low to look at a sunbathing au pair, a court heard yesterday.
The four servicemen flying the Merlin helicopter were said to have dropped to 500ft or lower for the “frolic” in July.
The house’s owners claim the downdraught from the aircraft seriously damaged the 23ft-high glass conservatory, leaving it needing to be replaced.
Barry and Anna George, who own The Old Stables in Eastbourne, East Sussex, are claiming £250,000 in damages plus legal costs.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Alternate Movie Titles

Via McSweeneys, "Alternate Titles For It's A Mad Mad Mad Mad World" by Julia McCloy.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Clown News

Shocker! Study shows kids are scared of clowns. Read here.

Thursday, January 17, 2008


Gary Larson would come up with a good caption for this video.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Crime Stoppers 1956

Don't mess with Detroit police when they come at you wearing this.


August 1908. Boy at the Turkey Knob coal mine in Macdonald, West Virginia. Courtesy of Shorpy.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Everything Reminds Me Of Planet Of The Apes

I uploaded the image above for a post from a couple of months ago about Mars research taking place in the Utah desert. It reminded me of images from the 1968 film "Planet Of The Apes". I see that movie everywhere.
This image from the GRIN-NASA website of a crashed test plane looks like the spaceship from the opening of the film.

The only thing this photo is missing is a bearded Charlton Heston as Taylor, the misanthropic astronaut.
Many years ago I was (mis) fortunate enough to view the infamous Pamela Anderson - Tommy Lee sex tapes.

Much of it was shot on a houseboat on Arizona's Lake Powell. While viewing Tommy push the horn button on the boat with his penis, I was thinking, "That's where they filmed Planet Of The Apes."

Take a look at the image below. Look familiar?

It's a beach in Malibu that's been used a gazillion times in movies and TV shows. When I see it, I don't think Rockford Files. I think Planet Of The Apes. Final scene.
There's a rock climbing wall nearby at Malibu Creek Park called the Planet Of The Apes wall - not because they filmed anything there, but the sets for Ape City were built nearby (so was the set for MASH).

I was at the local Natural History Museum over the holidays this year. There is a great hall with taxidermy displays like this:

I see some moose. But I think of Taylor's fellow astronaut, Dodge, stuffed like an animal in the Ape City Museum. Freaked me out as a kid.

In high school I took a science fiction literature class. I was assigned to read Planet Of The Apes. I never read it.
Five minutes before I was to give an oral presentation about the book, I was desperate. A classmate who sat in front of me, Chris Egan, had read it, and he gave me a quick rundown. He was pretty sharp and understood the class structure of the book's ape society. (Within months, he was killed in a car crash along with two other students. He was a big Pink Floyd fan, and it still makes me sad that he never got to hear "The Wall" that was released two years later.)
I stood at the front of the class and said, "Well, there were orangutans, chimps, and gorillas, and um..." The teacher made me sit down because she knew I hadn't read it. I sometimes think about that.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Other Practical Stuff

How to make a disco ball with CDs.

James Bond Stamps

The UK Royal Mail has issued a series of stamps featuring the covers of James Bond novels over the years. More about it over at Creative Review.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

FBI And Phone Bills

Note to Government Efficiency Department: Pay the phone bill. THEN start eavesdropping. More laughs here.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

The Vegetable Orchestra

Veggie music here.

New Hampshire Primary

People vote with more emotion in a presidential election than they would in a local election. I believe this was a factor last night in the Democratic Primary. There is a lot of emotional back story with Hillary, and many longtime supporters, especially women, are invested in this story - the independent woman who doesn't bake cookies, the effort to fix health care, the husband's betrayal, the rise out of the ashes to the Senate, and the early front runner status in the current election - are all chapters in the saga.

After her loss in Iowa, I have a feeling voters didn't want to to see her go down in flames so easily (If Obama won, I think it would have been the end for her). So they voted for a stay of execution, and now it's a horse race again.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Padre Pio

This saint, who died in 1968, is so popular in Italy, he is prayed to more often than Jesus and Mary. Now a plan to exhume his body and place him on view for the 40th anniversary of his death is creating some controversy. Story here.

Monday, January 7, 2008

South Pole Station

More photos here of the Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Short Film

Note: This is a re-posting (for Permalink purposes) of a previous film using Revver that provides improved video quality for uploading.

carmela walking away
running time: 5 minutes

Friday, January 4, 2008

Very Short Film (Shanghai)

Note: This is a re-posting (for Permalink purposes) of a previous film using Revver that provides improved video quality for uploading.

shanghai cycles ready go
running time: 1 minute 5 seconds

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Mars Rovers Keep On Truckin'

The Mars Rovers, "Spirit" and "Opportunity", were supposed to last 90 days. This month will mark their fourth year cruising around the surface of Mars and sending images and information back to Earth. Controllers find a safe place to park them when winter sets in, but come fine weather, these little robots are back at it.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

NASCAR Strategy

I never realized the complex nature of the sport. Courtesy of The Onion:

NASCAR Coach Reveals Winning Strategy: 'Drive Fast'

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Quote (For The New Year)

"Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could. Some blunders and absurdities no doubt crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day; begin it well and serenely and with too high a spirit to be cumbered with your old nonsense." - Ralph Waldo Emerson