Monday, July 11, 2011

Distraction 187: Who Did This Mess?

Dogs are awesome.  :)

For once, I agreed with the AFV judges; this is good stuff. 


Friday, July 8, 2011

Distraction 186: Pirate Radio aka The Boat That Rocked

This trailer kind of sucks because it makes it sound as though the movie is about some American dude saving rock n roll in the UK, and it's not.   That said, this movie is wonderful! 

Depending on where you are in the world, it's either called "Pirate Radio" or "The Boat That Rocked."   Rhys Darby steals the show and is second only to the soundtrack.


Distraction 185: Wuthering Heights

I'm currently reading "Wuthering Heights" by Emily Bronte, that lady painted up there.  I'm about 1/3 of the way into it & this is my favorite passage so far:

"He took a seat opposite Catherine, who kept her gaze fixed on him as if she feared he would vanish were she to remove it.  He did not raise his to her often:  a quick glance now and then sufficed; but it flashed back, each time more confidently, the undisguised delight he drank from hers.  They were too much absorbed in their mutual joy to suffer embarrassment."


Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Distraction 184: Tom Jones - "It's Not Unusual"

We watched "Mars Attacks" on the 4th of July and this song has been stuck in my head ever since.


Distraction 183: The Revival of Authentic Flips, Fizzes, Ades, Yips, Floats, Malts, Rickeys and Cows

Yesterday's New York Times featured an article about some new olde time soda fountains popping up across the country.  Though none were mentioned, there has to be one somewhere around the Bay Area.  Anyone?  Anyone?


Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Distraction 182: Macaque Self-Portraits

Macaque borrows photographer's camera to take self-portraits

"To capture the perfect wildlife image, you usually have to be in exactly the right place at precisely the right time.

But in this instance, David Slater wasn’t there at all and he still got a result.

Visiting a national park in North Sulawesi, Indonesia, award-winning photographer Mr Slater left his camera unattended for a while.

It soon attracted the attention of an inquisitive female from a local group of crested black macaque monkeys, known for their intelligence and dexterity.

Fascinated by her reflection in the lens, she then somehow managed to start the camera. The upshot: A splendid self-portrait."

Read & see more here.


Sunday, July 3, 2011

Distraction 181: Gorillaz - "Superfast Jellyfish"

If you get the chance to check out Gorillaz live, DO IT!

They were in the Bay Area last year, the night before Halloween and it was one of the best shows I've ever been to.


Distraction 180: The World's First Tickling Spa

Make your reservations now!  The world's first tickling spa is now open in Spain.  I'm not sure if it's meant to relax or torture.

As I was imagining what the place must be like, Tex Avery's "Shhhh!" popped into mind; about a poor jittery man just trying to relax, despite the crazy folk in the room next door.  It's based off of "The Laughing Record #1," originally from Okeh records, but can also be found on the cd "Only in America" from Arf! Arf! Productions.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Distraction 179: Panique au Village

Panique au Village (A Town Called Panic) is a GREAT and very silly stop-motion animation film currently available streaming via Netflix.  


Distraction 178: Sulic & Hauser

It's not often that the terms "bad ass" and "celloists" are used together in the same sentence, but Sulic & Hauser are some BAD ASS CELLOISTS!!!


Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Distraction 177: Green With Envy Trailer [HD]

Ooooh, can't wait!  Can't wait!  Can't wait!


Distraction 176: Fair Today

"Pardon me... Have you seen my little boy?"

All of the puns and the timing make it hard to believe that Tex Avery wasn't involved somehow.  This cartoon is so similar to Avery's "House of Tomorrow" and "Car of Tomorrow."  Walter Lantz is great too though.


Distraction 175: Oldest Art in Americas

The first teaser I saw about this said something like "The oldest art in America has been found in Florida" to which I was wondering "which America; north, south, both?!"

Leave it to National Geographic to properly specify it by simply adding an 's'; the above image is the oldest art in Americas found to date.

Read more here.


Distraction 174: Stefon

Do you know who Stefon is?
Saturday Night Live - Weekend Update - Stefon - Video -

A bunch of silly websites have popped up where you can create your own Stefon club promo.  Here are a couple:
Stefon Mad Libs
The Stefonator!


Distraction 173: Run-D.M.C. - "It's Tricky"

Not much is more fun than singing along to this with a 6 year old.


Thursday, June 16, 2011

Distraction 172: The Death Set - "Can You Seen Straight?"

I've always been a sucker for power pop punk songs, and this is no exception.  La-la-love it!

It's slightly reminiscent of "Ca Plane Pour Moi" (but this video is way better and I suspect won't look nearly as dated 20 years from now).


Distraction 171: Breakfast at Tiffany's

I've read the book and heard the song, but have yet to see the movie!  Below are some of my favorite lines from the book.

"Oh, you get used to anything," I said, annoyed with myself, for actually I was proud of the place.
"I don't.  I'll never get used to anything.  Anybody that does, they might as well be dead."

"It may be normal, darling; but I'd rather be natural."

"Never love a wild thing, Mr. Bell," Holly advised him.  "That was Doc's mistake.  He was always lugging home wild things...  But you can't give your heart to a wild thing:  the more you do, the stronger they get.  Until they're strong enough to run into the woods.  Or fly into a tree.  Then a taller tree.  Then the sky.  That's how you'll end up, Mr. Bell.  If you let yourself love a wild thing.  You'll end up looking at the sky...  Good luck:  and believe me dearest Doc-  it's better to look at the sky than live there.  Such an empty place; so vague.  Just a country where thunder goes and things disappear."


Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Distraction 169: Chris Isaak - "Wicked Game"

Eee-yow!  Still one of the sexiest songs/videos ever.


Distraction 168: Chewing Gum Art

Ben Wilson paints gobs of bubble gum stuck to sidewalks in the UK.  Check out a small gallery of his work here.


Distraction 167: Asobi Seksu - "Trails"

I stumbled on Asobi Seksu a few years ago while putting together a list of songs with titles featuring the days of the week.  I couldn't think of a "Thursday" so on a whim searched for it on iTunes.  Sure enough, there it was.  


Distraction 166: Geocaching

Geocaching is a treasure hunting game where you use a GPS to hide & seek containers with other participants.

Owings Memorial Grove (aka Redwood Gulch), off Hwy 1 is the location of a geocache spot... but I didn't know that until after I spent the afternoon climbing the waterfall.  Regardless of missing out on treasure, there was a ton of great nature-made monkey bars to play on.


Distraction 165: Yurts

As a general rule, I don't like round buildings; they waste space.  However, a half-week's stay at Treebones Resort has made me much more tolerant to round buildings.  Treebones features furnished round tents called yurts in addition to traditional camping sites and a human nest.


Distraction 164: Best Judge Judy Ending Ever

Where to begin?  This clip is ridiculous, it's really ridiculous OBVIOUSLY, I feel like my whole life is ridiculous really.


Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Distraction 163: Kobe Levi's Wearable Sculptures

Kobe Levi designs creative heels that even I would wear!


Distraction 162: The Stone Roses - "She Bangs The Drums"

Still not sure why "I Wanna Be Adored" got more attention than this song; this one is SO MUCH BETTER!!


Distraction 161: Volcanic Lightning Storm

"Illuminated and electrified by lightning, a roiling ash and gas plume rises over Chile's Puyehue volcano (map) Sunday.

There may be as many as three distinct types of volcanic lightning, volcanic seismologist Steve McNutt told National Geographic News in 2010.

Large, spectacular "natural fireworks" sometimes accompany eruptions, along with an intermediate type, which shoots up from a volcano's vents and reaches lengths of about 1.8 miles (3 kilometers), and finally bolts that can be as short as about three feet (one meter) long and last just a few milliseconds."


Distraction 160: Harland Williams

Harland Williams is silly.  

He had the best line in "There's Something About Mary:"
"7's the key number here. Think about it. 7-Elevens. 7 dwarves. 7, man, that's the number. 7 chipmunks twirlin' on a branch, eatin' lots of sunflowers on my uncle's ranch. You know that old children's tale from the sea. It's like you're dreamin' about Gorgonzola cheese when it's clearly Brie time, baby."


Saturday, June 4, 2011

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Distraction 158: Mini Sirloin Burgers (Tiny & Bold)

Another shared moment with Andrew...  waiting for BART to go see Echo & the Bunnymen.  We couldn't stop cracking each other up with references to this stupid commercial.


Distraction 157: Stump - "Charlton Heston"

23 years later and it's still one of the strangest, most wonderful songs ever.

"Lights!  Camel!  Action!"


Distraction 156: Walt Whitman

"This is what you shall do; Love the earth and sun and the animals, despise riches, give alms to every one that asks, stand up for the stupid and crazy, devote your income and labor to others, hate tyrants, argue not concerning God, have patience and indulgence toward the people, take off your hat to nothing known or unknown or to any man or number of men, go freely with powerful uneducated persons and with the young and with the mothers of families, read these leaves in the open air every season of every year of your life, re-examine all you have been told at school or church or in any book, dismiss whatever insults your own soul, and your very flesh shall be a great poem and have the richest fluency not only in its words but in the silent lines of its lips and face and between the lashes of your eyes and in every motion and joint of your body.
- Walt Whitman, 1819-1892


Distraction 155: Bilateral Gynandromorph Cardinal

This bird is clawing its beak (since it can't thumb its nose) at standard bird convention.  It's male on one side and female on the other.  

Interesting and very similar to stereotypical human behavior:
"While observing the cardinal, he noticed that male cardinals would try to chase it out of their territory as soon as they saw it.  Females however, were not bothered by it."

Read more here.


Saturday, May 21, 2011

Distraction 150: Lykke Li - "Love Out Of Lust"

Testimonial:  I purchased this album recently and have found it to be enjoyable through and through.


Distraction 149: Maker Faire Bay Area

Maker Faire is this weekend!  As long as the world does't end before I can drive up there, I'll be there!  

Does anyone know what local time today's Rapture is supposed to start?  According the billboard down the street, the Bible guarantees it... So what do I get if it doesn't get here on time?  Free pizza?  Anything?


Distraction 148: Adorable Things David Rees's Puppy Has Said

I've ben a fan of David Rees ever since he started Get Your War On back in late 2001-ish.  I remember sending him $20 via Paypal just because and he thanked me for the ability to sew patches on the elbows of his suitcoat, as any self-respecting intellectual would.  

Distraction 147: Noodling

That thing is just nasty and there is no way I'd stick my hands down its gullet so as I could catch 'em 'n eat 'em!

That said, god love those nutty enough to noodle (the hobby/skill/craft/art of catching fish by yes, jamming your hands down their throats.)  Check out this article.  Apparently, the po-po down in Texas don't look too kindly upon people noodling thar fishes!


Distraction 146: Motivation in the Face of Defeat

Has David Landor (the actor that played Squiggy) ever played Napoleon?  If not, he should.

There was a recent article about how an entrepreneur forced out of his company spent his separation compensation (aka FU money).  He bought:
1.)  A trip to Africa
2.)  A trip to space
3.)  A letter from Napoleon

"This is the Napoleon letter Handley bought (he used it as inspiration when The Hyperfactory was on the verge of failure):

'We are at a time when you need to double the resolve, and double the vigor of ordinary times.  Lead by example. Be the first to put yourself in danger. And with the troops that you have, I expect you to defeat double of theirs.'"

What a great quote!  (Even if it was from a crazy little man.)


Distraction 145: The Pending Zombie Apocalypse

Finally, my tax dollars put to good use!  Last week the Centers for Disease Control posted a preparedness plan for the pending zombie apocalypse.  Read more here.  They discuss  how everyone should have an emergency kit, an emergency plan, etc. but say nothing about preferred weaponry.  Hmm... Maybe they're leaving that for Consumer Reports. 


Saturday, May 14, 2011

Distraction 144: Humpty Dumpty - Wrong on Wall Sitting

A few years ago, NPR got two popular voice-over artists to read Nursery Rhymes as political attack ads.  The result was hilarious and one of my all-time favorite NPR stories.

"Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall. He said he could put himself together again. But after wasting thousands of our tax dollars, all the king's horses and all the king's men, he failed us. Humpty Dumpty. Wrong on wall sitting."


Distraction 143: Ride - "OX4" Remembrance

One of the best unofficial videos I've ever seen. Love this song.


Friday, May 13, 2011

Distraction 142: Sea Urchin Body Is One Big Eye

Prickly critters may use their feet as retinas, study says.

Charles Q. Choi
for National Geographic News
Published May 2, 2011

Sea urchins may use the entire surfaces of their bodies—from the ends of their "feet" to the tips of their spines—as huge eyes.

Scientists had already known the marine invertebrates react to light without any obvious eye-like structures—raising the question of how the animals see.

Previous genetic analysis of the California purple sea urchin had revealed that the animals possess a large number of genes linked with the development of the retina—the light-sensitive tissue lining the inner eyeball in people and other vertebrates.

This and other research suggested that sea urchin vision might rely on light-receptor cells randomly scattered across their skin, which collectively function like retinas.

Scientists had theorized the animals' spines simulate the light-blocking pigmented cells found in most animals' eyes. Because light-receptor cells in the retina can soak up light from every direction, pigmented cells work to block light from the back and the sides so animals can "see" what's in front of them.

Now, however, the scientists have found two distinct groups of bristly, light-receptor cells concentrated at the bases and tips of the purple sea urchin's 1,400-plus tube feet. These long, suction-tipped tubes, located on the undersides of sea urchin bodies, help the organisms move.

The team suspects that sea urchins use their tube feet as retinas and the rest of their bodies to shield against the extra incoming light, said researcher Maria Ina Arnone, a developmental biologist at Anton Dohrn Zoological Station in Naples, Italy.

Prior studies did find the number and placement of spines on a sea urchin could affect how sharp its vision might be, and this new find "might well be part of the picture," Arnone added.

The sea urchin-eye study appeared May 2 in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.


Distraction 141: My Favorite Python

I love Michael Palin; favorite member of Monty Python (sorry Terry Gilliam), actor, writer, reality show traveler and oh, so cute & wacky!!

"Yes, I love the ocean...  God, how I... how I love her.  She's so... so damn..."
"Wet, yes.  Yes.  So damn, damn... wet."


Distraction 140: The International Silver String Submarine Band

These kids are pretty good on their junkyard instruments, but I wonder how they would do pitted against Fat Albert & the Cosby Kids band...  Fat Albert plays one hell of an airbag radiator.  Nah, nah, nah, gonna have a good time!


Thursday, May 5, 2011

Distraction 138: Breaking Up With Your Favorite Bands

The All Songs Considered blog has an entertaining post about the different categories of break-ups people have with their favorite bands:

"1. Band You Really Thought You Had Something With — They Said They'd Call But You Never Heard From Them Again
This is a relationship that never quite gets off the ground. It's over before it's begun. For me, this is Neutral Milk Hotel or My Bloody Valentine. They put out an amazing record, you get excited about the great life you're going to have together, but then you never hear from them again. What happened? Was it something I said?

2. Your Best Friend's Girlfriend Or Boyfriend You Secretly Want To Hook Up With

I see all my friends with My Morning Jacket, and I think, "I so want to hook up with My Morning Jacket!" They make loving My Morning Jacket look so awesome. Then we finally get together and it's a total disappointment. Basically, it's bands you want to love because everyone else you respect loves them, but it's never what you thought it'd be.

3. The Rebound: Bands You Start To Date After Everyone Else Is Through With Them
When early Weezer fans broke up with the band (around the time Make Believe came out, or possibly sooner), you know there was a whole new group of fans that discovered them for the first time. Early Radiohead fans broke up with the band when OK Computer or Kid A came out, but that's when I started to love them.

4. Band You Broke Up With, Then Got Back Together
I broke up with R.E.M. about 10 years ago when the band released Reveal. I never thought we'd get back together. But then R.E.M. released this year's Collapse Into Now and I found myself falling back in love. I broke up with Bright Eyes for a few years, but then the band returned this year with one of the most amazing albums I've ever heard (The People's Key), and I was head-over-heels in love again.

5. Band That Broke Up With You
This is a band that says it's done with you before you're ready to end it. I really thought The White Stripes and I would spend the rest of our lives together. Then, a couple of months ago, the band told me it was ready to move on. I'm still heartbroken over the breakup."

I broke up with REM quite a while back.  We simply grew apart over the years.  I still look back on those wonderful IRS and early Warner days fondly, but ever since "Monster," things were just never the same.  I wish them well, appreciate all of what they've given me and when I run into them, I always smile and wonder what could have been.


Monday, May 2, 2011

Distraction 137: Donald Trump's Credentials and Breadth of Experience

The whole video is funny, but my favorite part begins around the 4:00 mark.

"... These are the kinds of decisions that would keep me up at night. Well handled, sir. Well handled."


Sunday, May 1, 2011

Distraction 136: Adobe Photoshop Day Cream

It must really mess with your head to always be portrayed so glamorously and then return home at night to look into the mirror at your true self.


Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Distraction 135: Gnarls Barkley - "Going On"

It's just crazy that "Crazy" got more attention.  This song is a great booty shaker.  The song & video for "Run" are pretty excellent too.  

Danger Mouse & Cee Lo Green... Gnarls Barkley is like a Reese's Peanut Butter Cup; two great tastes that taste great together.  


Monday, April 25, 2011

Distraction 133: "It's too piercin', man, too piercin'."

The first time I saw this short was on The Great Space Coaster.  The original content of that show was awful, but it featured a lot of fun independent animation.


Sunday, April 24, 2011

Distraction 132: His Little Rose-Covered Cottage

"In Berkeley I was living with Alvah Goldbook in his little rose-covered cottage in the backyard of a bigger house on Milvia Street.  The old rotten porch slanted forward to the ground, among vines, with a nice old rocking chair that I sat in every morning to read my Diamond Sutra.  The yard was full of tomato plants about to ripen, and mint, mint everything smelling of mint, and one fine old tree that I loved to sit under and meditate on those cool perfect starry California October nights unmatched anywhere in the world."

-Jack Kerouac, "The Dharma Bums" 


Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Distraction 131: The View from El Teide

El Teide, Spain´s highest mountain (@ 3718m) is said to be one of the best places in the world to photograph the stars.  Check out this time lapse video that I couldn't be bothered to embed and exclaim, "And how!"


Monday, April 18, 2011

Distraction 130: Jet Screamer

While a tremendous amount of music used in kids programming was, and continues to be, garbage, the stuff in The Jetsons and The Flintstones was always fun.


Saturday, April 16, 2011

Distraction 129: Panda Riot - "Motown Glass"

When is Panda Riot going to come out with a new album already?!


Distraction 128: "Splendor in the Grass"

Warren Beatty in his first movie role, Natalie Wood being Natalie Wood and their young, on-screen romance destined to rip the heart out of anyone watching, because, as the trailer points out, we've all lived it.


Friday, April 15, 2011

Distraction 127: Feral Chickens

Apparently, since Hurricane Katrina, chickens have been running afoul in New Orleans!  

While I'm sure feral chickens are no laughing matter, the term "feral chickens" is hilarious!  (Teaming it with "afoul" is pretty good too.)

Feral chickens?  Nein danke!


Thursday, April 14, 2011

Distraction 126: Playland at the Beach

Playland at the Beach was long gone before I moved here, razed before I was even born.  (Note to self:  Explore the idea of something being raised before being born.)  I love the picture above because if you've ever driven this stretch of road, then you know it looks almost identical today.

The Poop featured a cool photo essay about Playland today, featuring pics from the SF Chronicle morgue.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Distraction 125: Echo & The Bunnymen "Ocean Rain" Live

Echo & the Bunnymen will be performing "Ocean Rain" live with an orchestra again this September.

I caught the Oakland show back in October 2009 and it was AMAZING!


Distraction 124: Record Store Day

Mark your calendar; Record Store Day is this Saturday, April 16!

See the list of exclusive offerings here.


Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Distraction 123: Portlandia - Put A Bird On It



Distraction 122: Bring Your Own Big Wheel (BYOBW)

Every year I say I'm going to make it, and every year something comes up; usually house guests whose interests don't include watching or participating in high-risk wackiness.

Bring Your Own Big Wheel is on for Sunday, April 24!!  Be there or be square (like me).


Monday, April 11, 2011

Distraction 121: Scott Pilgrim vs The World

"You know this one girl like hair like this?"  "Yes, that's Ramona Flowers."

A cute & fun movie and based on a cute & fun comic.  

The scene where 22-year-old Scott breaks up with his 17-year-old girlfriend after she tells him she loves him is sadly & strangely reminiscent of a past life.  (As is the girl with issues working at the record store.)