Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Tuesday April 5 2011

I generally refuse to watch Saturday Night Live these days unless I'm convinced there's the slightest chance that the guest host will be able to sneak some funny moments in despite the writing. But Russell Brand's episode killed that idea. Here's a comedian whose life was crazier than Melrose Place and the only joke they could come up with for the whole evening was, "He's British--he has an accent! Whoa!".

But, Russell got off lightly--as Salon's Drew Grant says, in his title alone, last week featured "Saturday Night Live" hosted by Elton John's homosexuality. It's a good little article trying to figure out why it is that SNL is really obsessed with the constant gay jokes. This is a ongoing topic of conversation in my house--The Guy has loved SNL from the start. This weekend, by the second skit in, he announced, "Maybe it's time to think about giving this up..."  Obviously, that's a pretty qualified suggestion--but it was one engendered by the non-funny and the homophobia. After every episode, he gives me a postmortem--and at some point, he will cringe and announce that he doesn't understand why the show is so obsessed with gay jokes. (As Grant points out, one of the more infamous low points of SNL's gay-is-funny obsession is the Shmitt's Beer Ad...The Guy always uses that as the classic example of how uncomfortable and homophobic SNL can be.)

Given that SNL is now 35 years old, and began before a lot of the current cast was born, it's hard to think it's just the writers and performers--at some point, one has to wonder what Lorne Michaels thinks of all this...
The title of the next link pretty much says it all, The scientific breakthrough that will turn cannabis into the new aspirin.
Lately, it seems a lot of discussion has focussed on "how dumb can people be?".  Take a look at this logo:

Now, how about this one?

Brand-name Ecko is offering a life-time discount to anyone who comes into their stores** with a tattoo of their rhino or scissors logo. Yes--a life-time discount! Tempted? It's a TWENTY PERCENT DISCOUNT! Yes, that's right--a whacking 20%. As in, no one would be that stupid would they?
**alas--only in the United States and Puerto Rico. Le sigh.

I never cease to be astonished at the latest reality show--at some point, after Parking Wars, Intervention or Extreme Couponing (I kid you not) you'd think I would know better. How can one person still has so much potential astonishment left in them? But perhaps, it's not astonishment so much as complete and utter horror...yesterday saw the premiere of a new show on A&E called Relapse. Seriously--Relapse. Because you know what's entertaining--watching people at the absolute lowest point of their life who are really unhappy at how much they've screwed up. Again. Relapse. I don't believe it's listed in The Bible as one of the signs of the end of the world...but it's made my own personal list.

The site points out that 50% of addicts relapse--which pretty much means that the other appalling A&E show, Intervention is just a prequel. Add to that, the show is actually called Relapse:  The Sober Coach Chronicles and this begins to sound like a bizarro extreme gonzo sketch comedy troupe piece.

(so nice of A&E to use a picture of a pretty blonde model looking--woeful, perhaps?--for the Relapse page. And speaking of A&E...last time I was paying attention, the aconym stood for Arts and Entertainment. What exactly is entertaining about people who've relapsed?)
So what attempt at "feel good news" can I make after that? How about an 84 year old man who has volunteered for...The Peace Corps. I guess it could be possible that it would just make us all feel bad that we haven't got this kind of literal "get up and go" at our not-anywhere-near-84-years...but I'm still regarding this as a good moment. According to the HuffPo article James Gronseth says,
"Life is for living, you know, and this is something I want to do. So I'm going to do it."
 Mr. Gronseth is learning to speak "the native language of Botswana" (not sure what that is, as the bare minimum of research suggests a couple different possibilities, although English is the "official" language) and will be heading off for a two year stint there.
I think I'm going to spend today trying really really hard not to bitch about any effort I need to make physically...

Monday, April 4, 2011

Monday April 4 2011

Not much to today...I said many Very Bad Words when I saw all the snow on the ground last night--a bit of a surprise after having been out for a walk with the kids, all of us in our hoodies and sneakers. But, waking up to rain washing all the snow away didn't make it better--just wetter and greyer.

So, here's to cheerful things...
The Blanton Museum of Art, located at The University of Texas at Austin, had a recent installation, "A Knitted Wonderland." 
 In a site-specific installation led by textile artist Magda Sayeg, the trunks of all 99 trees in between the museum’s Michener and Smith buildings have been covered with colorful yarn, crafted by over 170 local volunteer knitters. In a community effort reminiscent of American quilting bees, Sayeg’s intervention with the space will transform visitor’s experience of the natural landscape. 
 The installation is over (although I wonder if that just means formally and the knitting is still up?), but pictures are all over the net. Check out some on a Flickr account of Poivrelvre, or Google and find others. (Including below, found at knittaplease.)

Who knew? Saturday was International Pillow Fight Day. I didn't know or I'd have had the pillows out...  The Star has a photo essay from around the world.


Saturday, April 2, 2011

Saturday April 2

Took a couple days off there--on Wednesday night, I discovered that SOMEBODY in my house had gone on my computer and closed all the links I'd left open. As I go through my day and discover something interesting I want to share, I leave it up...I sometimes have quite a number. Usually it's not a problem because if Chrome gets closed unexpectedly, it will restore all previously-opened tabs...but if someone comes along and intentionally closes all of 'em...well then you get little ol' me too depressed to try and remember them all to retrieve.

Then, there was the whole April 1 thing...I actually tried to avoid most of my sites yesterday as it was too irritating to try and figure out what was real and what wasn't. The Guy did a post on how he was working on the Spider-Man Turn Off the Dark mini-series (based on the muscial) and he'd fallen and broken his wrist--and his joke was a little too subtle because he and I got A LOT of inquiries as to his health and whether he needed some fellow creators to pitch in and help him finish it!

So, I'm back. And it's not April Fools Day. So, here I go...

This turned up on you can see why I was a little leery. But, it's still up today and they're trumpeting about all the April 1st jokes on the 'net, so I'm going to go ahead and say this one's safe.  McMaster develops cat allergy medicine.

Austin Kleon has a great little art and text essay, HOW TO STEAL LIKE AN ARTIST (AND 9 OTHER THINGS NO ONE EVER TOLD ME).

(I'm going to presume this is based on the Pablo Picasso quote, "Good artists copy. Great artists steal." The Guy quotes that to me all the time.)

If you have the time, wander around Kleon's site--there's some great stuff there. He also has a site based on his book, Newspaper Blackout ...he takes articles out of the paper, and blacks out all the words but those that will create a "poem". The results can be amazing." (I was sure he had a Tumblr for the poetry as well, but I can't find it at the moment...I've been mostly avoiding my Tumblr, so I can't recall it off the top of my head)
The FBI is asking the public's help in solving a 12 year old murder. The victim liked to write notes in code, and when he was murdered he had a pocket full of notes in this code. The FBI hasn't been able to break want a shot at it?

Arnold Schwarzenegger is returning to the entertainment world as a cartoon character had a photo shoot with Schwarzenegger and comic creator Stan Lee.


Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Wednesday March 30

I had made some level of conscious decision to just hunker down and ignore the Canadian election until it's time to vote...but clearly, my deeply-held anger and fear won't allow that. So, now I'm angry and depressed which is not the way to begin a morning in which I'd like to get lots and lots of creative work done...let's see if I can work past it in the next few minutes!

So, to get it out of the way and move's an article from The Australian which is making the 'rounds of those I know on FB. The title pretty much says it all, Canada watches its democracy erode. It is not inaccurate.
A couple of professors from The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee decided to conduct a study of female engineering students/engineers to see why they dropped out of their programs, or their employment. The initial thinking was that it would be stories of dropping out to have babies and raise a family and found that was true only for a quarter of the women. Read on for the other reasons...
Perez Hilton To Publish Children's Book. No, it's not April 1.
Heather Mallick, of The Toronto Star, has written What to wear for Slutwalk.  Like the article (not generally a fan of her writing though), don't like that no one thought to include any links. So, read the article then click through to Slutwalk to find out the Who, Why, What, Where and When of it all.
Okay. I'm not all happy and positive yet. But blue trees should help!  The Vancouver Biennale, an outdoor art show will feature "...a set of trees that have received a rich yet enviromentally-safe “temporary colourant” designed to fade gradually over the course of a few weeks." From artist Konstantin Dimopoulos, they're featured on the blog, The Dirt. Click through for more photos and information.


Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Tuesday March 29

Okay, intertubes? I'm not kidding about the whole snake thing.  Stop it. Just...STOP IT!
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- lists are a mixed bag--some are the funniest things I've ever read; some are merely okay. Today's recommendation is one of their informative lists, 5 Important People Who Were Screwed Out of History Books. Did you know that there was not one but several black women before Rosa Parks who had been arrested for refusing to give up their seats to a white person? One was arrested nine months before Rosa; one six week before. The amazing part? Same city, same bus routes! Click through to read as to why you've never heard of them before this list...
A photo slideshow? Yay! You're excited, right? Today's is from HuffPo and comes from the private collection of a US tour manager for The Beatles and The Rolling Stones. Apparently, he took thousands of photos during those tours and allowed few to be published meaning that there is suddenly new Beatles stuff available in the world. Apparently. We'll have to get some serious Beatlemaniacs to have a look and see what they say (oh, if only I could find one living in my own house!)
According to Adel Zakout, of Huffington Post,
"Parametric design is a method of intelligently designing architectural objects based on relationships and rules using the computer. These are defined in parametric software and are easily manipulated to quickly generate multiple iterations of the design in 3D. "
To illustrate this, he's put together a slideshow of buildings that incorporate soem level of parametric design...and there are some beauties in the bunch. Take a look at his choices for the Top 10 Buildings:  Parametric Design. 
It's a short list today, and it's primarily slideshows...but what the heck. Pretty pictures, a bit of text, and hopefully, people walk away with a bit of a grin because they've seen some fun photos of the Fab Four, of gorgeous buildings or...Mr. Nathan Fillion.

I have often said that I don't understand the geek love for Mr. Fillion...but somehow, every time he turns up in something, I start grinning. There is a magic, undefinable something about him...I do remember channel-flipping past his soap opera way back in the day and wondering, "Who the heck is that stupendously good-looking human?" He didn't look quite real he was such a stunner. But I thought he was a bit wooden in his acting...I wasn't jumping up and down when he turned up on Buffy as Caleb in the final season. But, I think it was probably Dr. Horrible's Sing-along Blog that did it for's a reluctant love, and it's not an all-encompassing "I'll watch anything he's in" love, and it's probably more a really strong affection, but okay, I have a reluctantly strong affection for Nathan Fillion and if he's in something I'm interested in, it makes it that much more fun for me. (That is to say--I had not a clue he was in Lost or Desperate Housewives.)

With that much of an's an slideshow of Nathan Fillion's comments on twelve roles he's played (and it actually really is 12, and not that 11 photos and the 12th is an ad nonsense that the online mags usually pull).


Monday, March 28, 2011

Monday March 28 I was away for the weekend and didn't post anything...and someone closed all the links I'd left up to post. And I don't want to search anymore because I keep coming across this damned "cobra escapes from Bronx Zoo. I don't like snakes. I REALLY don't like snakes. Cobras--yeah, especially don't like really truly frightening looking snakes that can KILL ME! (I scream like a bansee at innocent garter snakes...)

Let's see if there's anything interesting to talk about...Amy Adams as Lois Lane blah blah blah Elizabeth Taylor everyone who ever knew her coming out of the woodwork to tell a story and link to their old interviews blah blah blah a bunch of reality shows I avoid like the plague blah blah blah...
So the comic book internet is all afire with talk of Rob Granito...fraud...copier...swiper...liar....  Given that a couple of the prints he's been selling as his work were based/traced from some of  The Guy's work, it has been a very loud topic of conversation in my house. The conversation is not helped by the fact that we sat in direct eyeline of this guy's back at Wizard World Toronto Comic Con 2011 where he was a featured guest.

The Guy's internet response? Besides a lot of comments across the 'net, his Saturday 'toon, Rob Granito Comic Fraud Funnies:
The first time I saw the term "manic pixie dream girl" I laughed myself silly--yep, it is completely and utterly the right term for that girl. According to The A.V. Club,
"...Nathan Rabin coined the phrase "Manic Pixie Dream Girl" to describe that bubbly, shallow cinematic creature that "exists solely in the fevered imaginations of sensitive writer-directors to teach broodingly soulful young men to embrace life and its infinite mysteries and adventures." writer Drew Grant has decided to give us all a break and posts a slideshow of the "darkly sardonic geek girl", the girl with
"...[the] take-no-bullshit attitude, snarky quips and almost complete lack of interest in helping some poor schmuck figure out his life."
Of course she's on the list--you knew that before you even clicked through.
Abercrombie & Fitch Introduces Padded Bikini Top For Girls. Young girls. Like...girls in second-grade girls.


Friday, March 25, 2011

Friday March 25

Hmmm...what to say, what to say?
So, as per Elizabeth Taylor's instructions, her funeral started fifteen minutes late on Thursday--so she could be late to her own funeral. A sense of humour even in death.

The headline pretty much says it all, "Autistic boy, 12, with higher IQ than Einstein develops his own theory of relativity".. His professors are hoping that he'll begin work as an astrophysics researcher soon.
(Be aware that the link is to The Daily Mail...for starters, they call him "autistic", then later state that he has Asperger's "a mild form of autism" which it is not.).
Absolutely nothing profound here! I just really liked this idea...and I don't even "do" my nails...
Comics creator Stuart Immonen has a take on the new American Idol judges...and it seems to be "la plus ça change, la plus c'ést la mème chose." Click through to check out the blog, maison immonen.
And to finish out the work week...Movie/Line has The Eight Most Memorable Elizabeth Taylor Cameos. I never watched television as a child, so I had absolutely no idea that Elizabeth and RICHARD BURTON had done an episode of Lucille Ball's sitcom. Really, truly. And not just a glorified cameo--Burton had a role to play!

(which reminds me--and I hope I get most of the details right!!...I think it was when Phil Donahue was planning to end his eponymous talk show--that which beget Oprah Winfrey--and he was doing a series of shows with "best of" moments. In one of them, while showing a clip of Richard Burton, he explained that Burton, despite the money, despite the extravagance, despite Elizabeth Taylor and the jewels, was famously...actually I don't even know what word I want. Parsimonious? Always concerned with the bottom line? Anyway, when asked to be a guest on the show, Burton asked if he would be paid for his appearance. When told that only members of the American actor's union, and that it was a token amount (I think $600ish?), Burton promptly became a member.)