vendredi, février 25, 2005

this just in: man bites dog

Blind Scotsman accused of biting guide dog
Witness says pooch attacked after it wouldn't help man cross street

Feb. 25, 2005 A blind man has been arrested in Scotland after witnesses reported he sank his teeth into his guide dog’s head and then kicked the Labrador-retriever mix after it apparently wouldn’t help him across a busy street.

lundi, février 21, 2005

rip: hunter s. thompson

“We were somewhere around Barstow on the edge of the desert when the drugs began to take hold.” (The beginning of his most famous book, "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.")

DENVER - Hunter S. Thompson, the hard-living writer who inserted himself into his accounts of America’s underbelly and popularized a first-person form of journalism in books such as “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas,” has committed suicide.

Thompson was found dead Sunday in his Aspen-area home of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound, sheriff’s officials said. He was 67.

dimanche, février 20, 2005

yatta yatta yatta

For those who loved the wtf? and numa numa posts, there's yatta.

numa numa (ma-ia-hii, ma-ia-huu, ma-ia-hoo, ma-ia-haha)

First, watch the Numa Numa dance video, then read on.

Apparently, I've been living under a rock, since even the folks on Good Morning America (and CNN, VH1 and MSNBC) knew about this before me. It is also especially funny because this song, featuring what has been described as Romanian yodeling, was all the rage while I was in France last summer.
In Thursday's "Around the Watercooler," the anchors of "Good Morning America" talked to 19-year-old Gary Brolsma of Saddle Brook, N.J., who has become a sensation on the Internet with an amateur video of himself singing and dancing to a Romanian pop song [Dragostea Din Tei by O-zone]. He calls it the "Numa Numa Dance." [This site has a version with English subtitles]
Note: While I've been studying for the GMAT (t-minus 36 hours, thank God), the rest of the planet has been making their own parodies. See and

Speaking of not studying for the GMAT... here's what WikiPedia has to say on the subject:
"Dragostea Din Tei" (meaning "Love Among the Linden Trees" in Romanian) is the most well-known single of the Moldovan-Romanian band O-Zone. It was released in Romania in late 2003 and in much of the rest of Europe in early 2004. Having topped the singles charts in many European countries, the song could undoubtedly be regarded as one of 2004's most important Summer hits. The song attained cult status among a variety of social groups across the continent, the russ of Norway being a prominent example.

In Italy, the most popular version is from Haiducii (Paula Mitrache). Both O-Zone and Haiducii accuse each other of stealing the song.

Now considered both a dancing anthem and a gay anthem, it also achieved some club success in the US. A collaboration between Dan Balan of O-Zone, and New York DJ Lucas Prata created a version of the same tune in English. This version, renamed "Mai A Hee", is only superficially connected to the original lyrics, with no mention of trees.

The song has received some additional popularity on the Internet through several amateur Flash music videos. One stars a super deformed rendition of Sha Gojyo, a character from the anime and manga series Saiyuki, performing some limited dancing. There is also a video done entirely out of LEGO bricks.

The most recently popular flash video using the song depicts 19-year-old Gary Brolsma, overweight teenage boy from Saddle Brook, New Jersey, lip syncing the words. The video was seemingly taken from the view of a web camera. A version of this video has also appeared with extraneous pictures flashing up at times: a man towering over penguins, known as Penguin God to some, a man looking into the camera known as Yablo the Sexy and a Chinese man inside a doggy bag.

See a video of the boys of O-Zone lip-synching to their own song in an American Bandstand-esque "live" appearance. And a link to the original video.

The lyrics in Romanian and English:
[These are just sounds.]
Alo, Salut, sunt eu, un haiduc,
Si te rog, iubirea mea, primeste fericirea.
Alo, alo, sunt eu Picasso,
Ti-am dat beep, si sunt voinic,
Dar sa stii nu-ti cer nimic.
Hello [on a cellphone], greetings, it's me, an outlaw,
I ask you, my love, to accept happiness.
Hello, hello, it's me, Picasso,
I sent you a beep [cellphone signal], and I'm brave [or strong],
But you should know that I'm not asking for anything from you.
Vrei sa pleci dar nu ma, nu ma iei,
Nu ma, nu ma iei, nu ma, nu ma, nu ma iei.
Chipul tau si dragostea din tei,
Mi-amintesc de ochii tai.
You want to leave but you don't want don't want to take me, don't want don't want to take me, don't want don't want don't want to take me.
Your face and the love from the linden trees,
And I remember your eyes.
Te sun, sa-ti spun, ce simt acum,
Alo, iubirea mea, sunt eu, fericirea.
Alo, alo, sunt iarasi eu, Picasso,
Ti-am dat beep, si sunt voinic,
Dar sa stii nu-ti cer nimic.
I call you, to tell you what I feel right now,
Hello, my love, it's me, your happiness.
Hello, hello, it's me again, Picasso,
I sent you a beep [cellphone signal] and I'm brave [or strong],
But you should know that I'm not asking for anything from you.
Translation copyright © 2004 by The Cat-Tea Corner/SB. All rights reserved.

Via Geoff (and Cass)

vendredi, février 18, 2005

extracurricular activities

The fun never stops at my alma mater.

It's important to note that Student-Run Television (SRTV) broadcasts to the Preuss School (a K-12 school on campus) and UCSD's Thornton Hospital.

Sometime after 11 p.m. last Thursday night [Feb. 10,2005], as part of the Koala's weekly
TV show, SRTV ran a short clip of hardcore amateur pornography. The video
reportedly showed Steve York, Koala editor, engaged in sex with an unidentified

In May of 2004, SRTV was temporarily shut down for showing similarly indecent material.

My favorite quote from the last time this happened: "Because Thornton patients and employees who found the material offensive have refused to describe it, according to Welch and station manager Jared Lindo, SRTV members have yet to figure out whether the broadcast was part of regular station programming or if a break-in occurred."

Via and the UCSD Guardian

lundi, février 14, 2005

a very NASCAR v-day

Historians think the first valentine was actually poetry sent in the fifteen century by Charles of Orleans whilst he was locked up in the Tower of London. Knowing that makes the following discovery all the more appaling.

I was quietly leafing through the junkmail on Saturday, when I hit upon the Rite Aid circular. Imagine my surprise when I learned that they have NASCAR-themed boxes of chocolate for Valentine's Day.

And there's also this gem: Top Ten NASCAR Valentine's Day Gifts, courtesy of Mistie Bibbee.

Because nothing says "I love you" like NASCAR. Call me a snob, but surely this is a sign that the Apocalypse is upon us and our civilization is doomed I say, doomed!

dimanche, février 13, 2005

NoFo's letter to Time magazine

NoFo raises several great points. And I hope his letter gets published.

RE: “The 25 Most Influential Evangelicals in America”
February 7, 2005, pp. 34–45

Dear Editors,

Roberta Ahmanson, once linked to advocating the stoning of homosexuals, declares her Evangelical goal to be “improving the lives of human beings.” Bush speechwriter Michael Gerson credits “religious ideas” with achieving “social justice.”

This rhetoric sounds honorable coming from Time’s 25 influential Evangelicals, but it is cruelly meaningless when you consider the millions of families destroyed by divorce and adultery and spouse abuse—all of which are curiously ignored by Evangelicals who are too busy “improving” these families’ lives by attacking the make-believe threat of gay marriage. And where is the “social justice” in denying same-sex partners visitation rights in the hospital or using our relationships as kindling to fuel a bloody culture war?

If Evangelical leaders are as concerned about protecting marriage as your profiles repeatedly suggest, they would abandon their virulent anti-gay marriage crusade and instead focus their tireless energies on making adultery illegal. Adultery is, after all, explicitly banned in their beloved Ten Commandments—where homosexuality isn’t even mentioned. And it’s arguably the most destructive—and most preventable—threat to the institution of marriage. Until then, Evangelicals’ talk of improving lives and achieving social justice is nothing more than a smokescreen to hide their unconscionable campaign to vilify gay people and classify us as second-class citizens—either for the love of fund-raising money or, appallingly, just for sport.



vendredi, février 11, 2005

photography: Kristianne Koch

Waimea Shorebreak, on a 25' plus day

Reticulated Giraffes, just outside Nairobi
Kristianne Koch does a lot of travel-themed work. I especially enjoy her images from French Polynesia and Africa.

mardi, février 08, 2005


Billy Wilder’s “Love in the Afternoon” has several memorable lines, including this exchange between Audrey Hepburn and a would-be suitor:
"They're very odd people, you know. When they're young, they have their teeth straightened, their tonsils taken out, and gallons of vitamins pumped into them. Something happens to their insides. They become immunized, mechanized, air conditioned, and hydromatic. I'm not even sure whether he has a heart."

"Is he a creature from outer space?"

"No, he's an American."

he said it was sarcasm, sweet sarcasm

the propaganda remix project

Check out the propaganda remix project. For optimal viewing, click a thumbnail and use the gallery tool.


"You are what you love, not what loves you."
- Nicolas Cage's character to his brother in the movie "The Orchid Thief"

getting spacier than an astronaut

I'm smitten with this Nada Surf song:

Inside Of Love
watching terrible tv
it kills all thought
getting spacier than
an astronaut
making out with people
i hardly know or like
i can’t believe what i do
late at night

i wanna know what it’s like
on the inside of love
i’m standing at the gates
i see the beauty above

only when we get to see
the aerial view
will the patterns show
we’ll know what to do
i know the last page so well
i can’t see the first
so i just don’t start
it’s getting worse


i can’t find my way in
i try again and again
i’m on the outside of love
always under or above
must be a different view
to be a me with a you
of course i’ll be alright
i just had a bad night


I would write what I think about this band, but someone else has put it much more succinctly:
The debate in the summer of 1995 centred around the Blur v Oasis debate. The correct answer was Pulp. Unlike Blur or Oasis, Pulp underwent a long gestation period before their instant classic 'Different Class', and their sound on this album reflects the development of a band who had gone through their probationary period and hit exactly the right tone at the right time.

The mid 1990s were marked by the 'St Martin's college' culture -posh kids pretending to slum it. The signature tune on 'Different Class' skewers this custom in a build up of bitterness and class confrontation, deliberately attacking the bourgeoise 'poor' - 'You'll never fail like common people/never watch your life slide out of view'. Puncturing the middle class attitudes of the time is a theme that runs throughout the album - wittily and acidicly too. Take the following lyric from 'I spy' - 'My favourite parks are car parks, grass is something you smoke, birds are something you shag. Take your Year in Provence and shove it up your ass'. Cocker evidently does not suffer pretention gladly.

samedi, février 05, 2005

c'est it isn't so

Apparently, the Eiffel Tower has been copyrighted. That is, night images of the Eiffel Tower taken after 2003.
The Eiffel Tower's likeness had long since been part of the public domain, when in 2003, it was abruptly repossessed by the city of Paris. That's the year that the SNTE, the company charged with maintaining the tower, adorned it with a distinctive lighting display, copyrighted the design, and in one feel swoop, reclaimed the nighttime image and likeness of the most popular monument on earth. In short: they changed the actual likeness of the tower, and then copyrighted that.

As a result, it's no longer legal to publish current photographs of the Eiffel Tower at night without permission. Technically, this applies even to amateurs. When I spoke to the Director of Documentation for SNTE, Stéphane Dieu, via phone last week, he assured me that SNTE wasn't interested in prohibiting the publication of amateur photography on personal Web sites. "It is really just a way to manage commercial use of the image, so that it isn't used in ways we don't approve," said Mr. Dieu.

So while publishing nighttime photos of the Eiffel Tower may now be illegal, it isn't all bad news for tourists; SNTE profits go back to the city of Paris, making it, hopefully, and even nicer place to visit.


anomalous motion illusion

Rollers appear to rotate.

Concentric gray circles appear to be spirals.

I find Akiyoshi Kitaoka's work fascinating. And that's not just the Chateau Rauzan D'Espagne talking.


A theoretical Micheal Jackson age progression, sans surgery and vitiligo:


Via PlanetDan


This whole GMAT thing is really overrated. But I need to kick serious butt on it if I'm getting into grad school. So that's where I've been/ will be until Feb. 22.