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.