Saturday, March 24, 2007

3D rooms

there are, i think, very few things in life as cool as this.

rooms that are painted a certain way such that when you stand in one position, a 3D image appears. badass. SEE THE REST HERE.

and check out the outdoor version of this trick here!

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

i judge you when you use poor grammar.

dear sharers of the internets,

look. i'm sorry if this appears condescending, i really am. but it's time you knew. every time you mix up "their" and "they're" a little part of me dies. it's not about the typos - we all make mistakes - but after so many times i'm starting to think you honestly don't know the difference. and if that's the case, well...this isn't going to work.

another chance? well. i suppose we could try again. as long as you get yourself into rehab. get a sponsor. and really study those 12 steps, or, at the very least, this quick & dirty primary. i know it can be embarrassing, but i just want what's best for you, after all. i'm doing this FOR you.

call me?

-'s - indicates possessive (ownership).
-s - plural. use when you mean "more than one".

its vs. it's - aaah, thank you, strongbad.

whose - possessive.
who's - "who is".

your - possessive!
you're - short for "you are".

their - possessive! possessive!!

and for the love of god:

discrete - separate; distinct.

principle - a rule or standard. "it's the principle of the matter."
principal - 1. the first or leading ("the principal concern..."). 2. Mr. Belding! Mr. Feeney! Principal Scudworth!

grammar - the correct spelling. note: that's TWO A's.
grammer - fraiser (kelsey grammer)'s last name.

peak - highest point.
peek - to glance quickly or furtively. like, peek-a-boo.

per se - by itself, or inherently/intrinsically true.
NOT per say - "for every say"? no!

sheik - islamic leader or patriarch. DOES NOT MEAN HIP OR STYLISH.

Monday, March 19, 2007

read this! look smart!

there were a flurry of articles last month about how to fake, not like that, ladies. i'm talking about how to appear more well-read and literate than, let's face it, you really are. (pop on over to loni's blog for links to all those articles).

this one was the most unique though - a fun post by bookslut about five specific works that lit snobs might expect you know. the author's suggestion for the best way to fake that you've actually read them? cruise by on one specific scene.

all right. go on, get to it, and don't say i never did anything for you.

How To Talk Like You've Read Something You Haven't

There are certain books that tend to come up in conversation over and over again. Some of the time I have read it and can hold my own. Other times, however, I’ll either say I’ve read it and then just nod and remain quiet when they try to pry a conversation out of me, or I’ll just admit I have no idea what they’re talking about.

I figured there were two remedies to the end of the conversation that comes with having not read the book. I could either read the books or I could find a way to convincingly bluff my way through the conversation.

I decided to bluff. I do have a reputation as a bookslut to uphold.

All that’s needed for a successful bluff is mentioning a scene from the book. If the book was made into a movie, don’t try to reference a scene that made it to film. Everyone does that. To make it more believable, be vague. If you don’t mention characters’ names, you can then say, “Oh, it was such a long time ago, I’m a bit hazy on the details…” when you are asked your opinion on another specific scene.

Here are some examples of books that tend to come into my conversations and scenes you can use to bluff your way through a conversation. No one will be any wiser.

Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace

There is a wealth of material to reference in this book. The scene I tend to mention is early in the book: a character’s apartment is full of cockroaches, but he too afraid to kill them. Instead, he traps them in glasses until his apartment is an obstacle course of upside down glasses with a cockroach in each, lethargically refusing to die.

However, that scene is pretty early on in the book. If you want people to think you read at least a bit more, there’s always the rehab. A man escapes from rehab every night to put cats in bags and set them on fire. That might be harder to work into polite conversation, however.

Ulysses by James Joyce

Masturbation should always be a great cocktail party topic. And if there’s such a thing as a great masturbation scene from literature, I think James Joyce has a fine contender with his Gerty / Leopold Bloom scene.

The scene itself doesn’t consist of much. Gerty sees Bloom on a hill, and being a romantic schoolgirl, she envisions him as a heroic character. Joyce satirizes a great deal of romance novels with Gerty’s inner monologue. The kicker of the scene is that while Gerty is imagining them running away together into the sunset, Bloom is jerking off to her hemline. When she stands to walk away, he notices she walks with a limp. His reaction? “Glad I didn’t know it when she was on show.”

Fight Club by Chuck Palahniuk

The movie is very faithful to the book until the end, so the ending is what you’ll want to use. It’s best to just get indignant to how they changed the ending, because that’s the complaint I hear the most.

The buildings didn’t explode in the book because Tyler favored a more faulty type of bomb. The narrator shot himself surrounded by Marla and an assortment of the support group members.

Or you could mention that the soap in the book was made from the liposuctioned fat of Marla’s mother.

House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski

The scene that creeped me out the most was always hearing the S.O.S. tapping through the strange doorway.

However, if you mention the letters from Truant’s (the narrator of the story) mother in the hospital, you can pretend like you’ve read two books, House of Leaves and The Whalestoe Letters. Truant’s mother was institutionalized and died in the hospital. One theory I’ve seen mentioned a few times is that the entire book is her delusion. Doesn’t hold up well, but can inspire passionate conversations about the book. All you have to do is bring it up, then stand back and nod.

The Invisibles by Grant Morrison

There is some controversy over whether The Matrix ripped off The Invisibles. Even Morrison seems to think it’s true. If this ever comes up, this is what Kenan thinks you should say:

“What a load of bullshit. If Morrison wants to be angry at someone for ripping him off, he should be mad at Osama bin Laden for stealing his idea for decentralized cells of terrorists. Jesus.”

find the article here if you'd like. how about that liposuctioned fat, eh?

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

comics 3 - the wonder of it all

so captain america is dead! this is one that the new boy, who's not into comics at all, actually heard about before i did. maybe because it made headline news on cnn last week?? hell, even the uber-legitimate wall street journal ran a cool opinion piece on it.

to be honest, i can't tell if this is big news or not. as the article itself even notes,

There is an old joke about death in the comic-book world: No one stays dead except Bucky, Jason Todd and Uncle Ben.
and right the author is - bad guys in comic book movies are notorious for saying things like, "don't you ever die?!", simply because, well, if the heroes do, there's no story.

i had never read anything involving captain america until a friend of mine lent me the new ultimates, which features the cap as a character, but his death and this wsj article make a nice segue into my ongoing series on what i love about graphic novels (parts one and two here). i know there's a political point to this stunt, of course there is. blah blah, george bush, rape of the meaning of the term "democracy," blah. i'm not in the mood for those political implications tonight. here's what i see from it.

the wonder of it all

[I]t's worth pausing to appreciate that even at this late date, Captain America's death still meant something. Partially, this was due to the simple fact that Marvel was able to keep his murder a surprise--something of a wonder in an age when every other happening comes prehyped and presold. (Mr. Quesada reveals that the editors went to great lengths to keep the secret, engaging in a quiet campaign of disinformation and even going so far as to leak fake covers to throw fans off the scent.)

Ultimately, it is wonder that we need most from comic books. The wonder that a man can fly or that a skinny American kid with a stout heart can pick up a shield and deck the Führer. With his death last week, Captain America gave us that sense of wonder once more.

so much of growing up involves being too in the know - the old "now that i know how movies are made, i don't enjoy them anymore" attitude. i feel like we need to sit back and be awed every once in a while! not just 'isn't it cool that marvel kept it a secret' but - isn't it cool that they killed off captain america?! it's freaking awesome. isn't it cool that there are news articles and scholarly debate about what a comic book's message and purpose is? :] i think it is.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

abby cadabby - article

i love news like this - reminders that there are certain staples of youth that are every bit as prevalent today as when we were kids!

sesame street is adding a new female character, the new york times reports. the interesting thing about this article is that the show was not only aiming to re-vamp the cast of characters (and monsters!), but also had to think about the implications of creating a new female role model for young viewers.

“If Cookie Monster was a female character,” said Carol-Lynn Parente, executive producer of the show, “she’d be accused of being anorexic or bulimic. There are a lot of things that come attached to female characters.” For example, said Deborah Aubert, associate director of national programs and training services at Girls, Inc., a nonprofit advocacy group. “It would be hard to have a female character with Elmo’s whimsy who didn’t also seem ditzy.”

what a great point. it truly is a delicate balance to create characters that are simultaneously fierce and feminine, and unafraid to be who they are, whether that means overly girlie or not girlie at all.

still though, i don't think it's a wrong move to design the type of character that they did - a frilly, flighty fairy, with pom-pom hair, batty eyelashes, and a cute button nose...admittedly a girlie girl. i think we're past the age of bra-burning and forced tomboyishness for the sake of rebellion, to where embracing being flirty and fun (all right, the muppet is 3 years old and not 'flirty,' i know, i'm just sayin'...) is good as long as it's truly you.

the other thing i find interesting when reading behind-the-scenes stuff about television and movies is that there are SO many things about the process that never even cross your mind as a viewer. after all, who knew things like this had to be considered:
Careful attention was paid too to how much eyelid would be visible; the more eyelid, the more vulnerable-looking the character. “Her eyes look up,” Mr. Geiss said. “They can look beseeching, and they can be sad as well as happy.”

the article goes on to mention that the new muppeteer who will be bringing abby to life plays the character as "enthusiastic, eager, occasionally bashful but never coy." wow! i wish i could accomplish that personality mix. ^_~

one last blogworthy note, raised by my friend hilarie in a letter to the editor:
To the Editor:

Re “A Girly-Girl Joins the ‘Sesame’ Boys” by Susan Dominus [Aug. 6]:

How disheartening that as the Sesame Workshop makes a much-needed improvement in its show’s gender representation — by introducing a new female Muppet, Abby Cadabby — one of its executives would disparage Lulu, an earlier attempt at a female character, by saying, “She wasn’t that attractive.” As unintentional as this counterpoint may have been, it indicates that the continued use of physical attractiveness as a measure of girls’ personal worth is still too prevalent in American society.

Hilarie A.

(full page found here). i gotta agree, folks. if the point is to teach girls to embrace who they are, and be who they want to be, is it really fair that the selling point of that role model is that she's "very, very pretty"?

mahna mahna.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

maybe brokeback helped :) - article

in an ongoing effort to make the blog more readable, this post has been revamped. :) thanks to the loyal readership for sticking with me.


thanks to marcos for this article. maybe there is some hope for the republican party yet.

Zwonitzer said he never sought to be a "Republican hero" for gay rights.

"But maybe for human rights," he said.

the other great note from the article is Zwoniter's recognition that this is truly THE civil rights fight of our generation. i'm glad it's crossing party lines.

equality shouldn't have to be bestowed. if i can date someone who's not my own race, then the guy next door should be able to date whomever he pleases.