Epson-ality?

So maybe the guy in charge of naming was hungover from an all-night coke binge when they picked "Epsonality" but otherwise, whoever is handling Epson's web marketing is doing a real bang-up job.

While visiting my last.fm page, I took a chance on a flash advertisement for Epson telling me to enter my last.fm user name to "see [my] music taste in color." I entered Voxcandy and it came up with this surprisingly neat-o graphic:



And here's the one for the boyfriend:




It takes your top artists from the last few months and creates a visual representation of who you listened to and how often. Pretty frickin' neat, huh? I'm not sure, but I think it's an appropriation of Lee Byron's Last.fm Wavegraphs or the LastGraph application Andy Godwin built off of it. To do it yourself, visit your Last.fm profile and hope you get the Epson ad (not the Beck's one). You can also visit the LastGraph website, although it will only give you a .PDF or .SVGZ of the graph, and the process for generating a wavegraph poster takes much longer and is more involved than just typing your user name in the Epson advertisement. Really, it's better for you (and for Last.fm) if you just keep hitting refresh on your Last.fm profile page until you get the Epson ad.

And if you want even more of an "Ooooooh... Neat-o" experience, visit the "Epsonality" (I cringed a little bit when I typed that) website. Jump through the hoops & move the sliders to choose a printer, then "meet your Epsonality". It's a shining example of one of the ways in which flash can and should be used to create an interactive site.

Uncle Hitler

This is also Japan:



Ahhhh... Hello Project. The illogical extension of pop idol groups and creepy hyper sexualized marketing taken to its ludicrous zenith; A 40 year old fake-tanned, spikey-haired former "it" boy's harem of cute.

If you've never seen/known/watched anything about Hello! Project and it's main TV vehicle "Hello Morning," you are really missing out on some self-indulgent dirty-little-secret embarrassing pop culture gluttony.
Seriously. It's almost as good as Lindsay Lohan's Myspace Blog.

The basic concept is that there are several different "music" groups of marginally-talented but severely cute girls who range in age from about 7 to 24 (Once you get too old you "graduate" and go on to a mostly-fictional "solo" career). The girls are placed into singing/dancing groups (which are rearranged and re-matched in constant rotation) but the real focus is on the television shows, photo books, blogging, radio shows, merchandising. and sponsorships that turn these once human beings into consumer products for the cute-obsessed Japanese masses-- primarily the cute-obsessed 30-60 year old MALE Japanese masses.

I digress. This wasn't supposed to be an article about Hello! Project. so if you want to know more about it, you can visit the Official Website or the fan site Hello!Online.

The real focus of this article is about the following segment that aired on TV Tokyo as a part of their "Yorosen" program. The program features female pop idols acting like teachers and giving lessons about history to other female pop idols. Sounds fun!!!!!1one
Although not specifically a Hello! Project vehicle, some members of the group are present in the class, and this type of classroom roleplaying (complete with real-or-feigned intense stupidity on the part of the girls) is typical of the type of segments idol TV programs usually produce.

Although I must say, the inclusion of a mass-murdering sociopath is a novel twist.



TV Tokyo later issued an apology. According to the Asahi Shibun (Newspaper):

Referring to the Nazi dictator as “Hitler ojisan” (Uncle Hitler), the woman lauded Hitler’s speeches as having a “soothing effect.”

“The program’s content was based on a mistaken interpretation of history and was inappropriate,” the broadcaster said.


via Japan Probe

Did you know that it's impossible to get a replacement cord for an electric blanket? I know this because I have recently lost the cord to an electric blanket that's been passed down through the generations-- and by that I mean that I got it from my grandmother when she had her last stroke and lost all feeling in one leg, thereby putting her in one of the categories of humans for whom it is NOT safe to use an electric blanket, so says The Electric Blanket Institute. Did you process that? The Electric Blanket INSTITUTE. Please read the following paragraph of sage advice from their website:

Just as with any electrical appliance, things do occasionally go wrong with electric blankets or electric mattress pads. For example, a control may not work properly, a blanket may become bunched up which might cause an overheated condition or a heater wire might break. Therefore it is foolish to allow infants or small children to use these products. Likewise for the same reasons, anyone who is helpless, paralyzed, insensitive to heat, or who cannot understand the control’s operation should never be allowed to use these appliances. Some elderly people with one or more of these conditions sometimes insist on having their electric blanket. Be strong and refuse them. Show “tough love” or you may regret it.


I'll just let that percolate for a little bit while you rip that Sunbeam out of granny's frost-bitten fingers and ponder the impressive wordplay of the phrase, "Likewise for the same reasons." In the meantime, I'll also I explain what the hell the fakeity fake institute of fake fake has to do with the title of this post.

While searching for "electric blanket cord" in an apparently futile endeavor to find a replacement for my heirloom, I came across the "Reviews and Buying" section of The Electric Blanket Institute's website. According to The Electric Blanket Institute (I giggle a little bit every time I capitalize that as a proper noun) each year the "well-respected Hammacher Schlemmer Institute honors one electric blanket as the best." You had no idea, I know.
If your Roomba busted a gear cleaning up all the sadness you crapped when The Sharper Image went bankrupt, you need to relax and feel the warm soothing pulsations of this motorized aquarium alarm chair talking bank massager-- Hammacher Schlemmer is here to sell you some ridiculous overpriced crap.

Here, in no particular order, 8 of the most retarded (or awesome, depending on how you look at it) pieces of entertaining trash on their website. You should know that since their slogan is "Offering the Best, the Only, and the Unexpected for 160 years," they title everything in their catalog "The_____"... which can be just plain fucking irritating after reading through 8 pages of items entitled "The Plantar Fasciitis Therapy Night Brace" and "The Women's Genuine Turkish Cotton Nightshirt."



The Authentic Boardwalk Photobooth - $11,000


Back in the good ole days of '93, being 12 meant your idea of killing boredom was shelling out $4 for some out-of-focus pics with your friends, made in the photo booth next to the Wallgreens that had that little automatic metal cattle gate at the entrance. That mall now sits empty and deserted, or has been turned into medical offices, and the world's 14 year olds are too busy popping caps in their dads and sucking dick in the middle school janitor's closet to give a crap about a photo booth.

So maybe you're looking to recreate the nostalgia of the pre-90210 era (that would be the 90209 era for those of you who're bad at math). Or maybe you're trying to attract your own personal mid-western Amelie and just can't find any photobooths in which to make headshots you can scatter Johhny Appleseed-like all around Kansas City. If so, this photobooth would look just great in your Ruckus Room.

Under the "You May Need" section, don't forget to pick up an extra roll of film. For $500. At least the shipping and handling is only two grand.

Ahhh... fuck it. I'm already tired of writing this. If you want to see more of their ridiculous crap, I suggest you troll around their site and post your findings in the comments. Or stop wasting your time looking at things you're never gonna buy and go get everyone in your family a Wall-E DVD for Christmas.

The Preds just lost and I'm cranky.

Mind Your Manners

"Just in time for the Holiday party season, Tokyo Metro unveils it's Manner Poster for December."
-3Yen

I think the message here is "Please don't vomit on your shirt, then crowd into the last train of the night heading back to the suburbs and piss your pants while you're standing in front of me, crotch-to-eye-level (true story)."

Washed up? Get Soaked

Washed up American celebrities seem to find a lot of solace (and boat payments) in peddling alcohol for Japanese beverage companies.

For example, apparently Paul Anka is a very dour, serious man-- until he drinks his "go juice". A little bit of Super Nikka whiskey and you've got a happy, clappy "Super sunshine" fit on your hands. The message of this add? Nikka is great, as long as you have a life-partner around to make sure you don't choke on your own tongue.




Lee Van Cleef starring in "The Ridiculous Script of Nonsense" sponsored by Suntory Whiskey-- an amber-colored bottle of hell piss that'll knock the optic nerve right out yo eye ball socket you'll vomit so hard.


Gaijin Tonic

Shouldn't it be an "About 1/10 of a Kilogramer?"

I actually ate at McDonald's fairly regularly while I lived in Japan. It wasn't just because there was one close to my dorm-- the quality of the food really was better. There were more drinks, sandwich choices like an "Ebi Fillet" (like a shrimp po-boy with Big Mac's special sauce) and this one burger that came with a fried egg on it (don't knock it till you try it). The fries were ALWAYS hot & crispy and the buns were steamed to fresh, chewy perfection. There were a few things missing from the far east version that left me choked up, not by the chunks of beef nugget in my mouth, but with homesickness-- the Quarter-Pounder with cheese being the most egregious of these omissions.


That's all changing however, although I wonder if Japanizens know it. They've launched a "Quarter Pounder Secret" campaign, opening stores that have absolutely no branding and only two choices on the menu-- Quarter-Pounder with cheese and Double Quarter-Pounder with cheese.




So far the marketing ploy seems to be working.. mostly because Japanese people are suckers for marketing ploys.

-Inventorspot

I want to eat the shit out of these. Most adorable doughnuts EVER:

Poking Box



Poking Box
Tuttuki Bako translated directly from Japanese means: Poking Box. As you are poking the box, your finger nudges the digital character. It reacts appropriately.



I wonder what technology this was adapted from? (bottom right)

Product Page


Ninja lovers around the world will be celebrating the sixth annual Day of the Ninja this December 5. On this day, ninja fans of all ages are encouraged to dress up like ninja, act like ninja, and participate in ninja-related activities.
The Day of the Ninja was created in 2003 as a ninja counterpart to the popular International Talk Like a Pirate Day, celebrated every September 19.
"There is a popular Internet meme that establishes a rivalry between pirates and ninja," said Michael Fiegel, self-proclaimed ninja and the creator of the Day of the Ninja and Ninja Burger. "Pirates are loud, flashy, rude and crude, and ninja represent the extreme opposite: they are quiet, understated, polite and courteous. It only seems fair that each side should get their own holiday."
-December 5 is the Sixth Annual Day of the Ninja: Market Watch



See Also fulltimeninjas.com

This is Japan.


Hayao Miyazaki:

“I think nationalism stems from the belief that most of the troubles in the world are due to multi-ethnicity. We learned, or should have learned from the last war, that the town or country we love can turn into something bad in the world. That is a lesson we must not forget. I don’t create films where good and evil fight.”
-Animator Hayao Miyazaki Worries About Children's Future: Japan Today








Man Arrested After Scattering Hundreds of Worms on Commuter Train




"The man, who was arrested for obstructing business, told police officers that he did it because he wanted to see the surprised reactions of other passengers. At the time of his arrest, Mizuta had about 3,600 worms contained in small, photographic film cases in his bag, the police said.
The incident took place as the train was traveling on the Keihan line through the city of Neyagawa around 10:05 a.m.
The suspect, a resident of Hyogo Prefecture, is believed to have scattered about 200 mealworms, the larva of the darkling beetle, a feeder insect for birds. The railway car was cleaned immediately but the train was delayed by about three minutes, according to the police.
Why such a quick response? Apparently this wasn’t the first worm scattering incident on the Keihan line, so police were on the look out for worm-related activities." - Japan Probe

Okamoto's enormous mural "Myth of Tomorrow" restored & installed at Tokyo's Shibuya Station


The 30 meter long, 5 meter high mural depiciting the destruction and devastation following the explosion of the atomic bomb over Hiroshima in WWII was lost in Mexico for decades. Originally comisioned in 1967 by a Mexican property developer, it hung in the lobby of a luxury hotel until 1969 when the financially troubled owner was forced to sell the property AND the painting. The work then dropped off the radar until 2003 when it was rediscovered and returned to Japan at the request of Okamoto's widow. She died shortly before the piece completed the journey home.

The work is now installed as a permanent public display at Shibuya station, a part of Tokyo renowned for it's devotion to fashion fads and wild consumeristic abandon.
Even in this solipsistic part of town, the bold, arresting images are stopping busy commuters in their tracks. And when it comes to Tokyo's tired, zoned-out salary drones, that's no small task.
- Myth of Tomorrow in Shibuya: Nihon Sun





And Finally...

I dare you to figure out what this advertises



- Fucked Gaijin

Muffled Disdain

I really HATE men who know how to wear a scarf. Don't know why, but a well-tied scarf on a man = INSTANT dislike.

I know ONE of the Swedes in this photo. (Hint: He's the one NOT swaddled in a big fluffy neck Twizzler)

I don't know the other two. Have never met them in my life. But that dick on the right is sooooooo on my shit list.

At about 11:00am this morning, the cleaning lady for our building found a Blackberry in one of the toilets & turned it in to our lost & found (me). Standard practice when we find someone's phone is to look through the contacts for a "mom" or "dad" and call them to tell them where their kid can pick up their expensive electronic crap they probably didn't pay for and haphazardly left in the pooper.

So I dialed the number for "mom" and was greeted with a stirring rendition of "Our God is an Awesome God" as the ringback tone. Mom didn't pick up, but I got a lengthy voicemail greeting asking me to leave my name & number and extolling that "God loves [me]" and I should "Have a blessed day!"

After jamming nails in my wrists in what I can only assume was a fit of religious fervor brought on by her kind voice-mail extolences, I left a message saying that her daughter could pick her phone up from my office anytime until 6pm tonight, except from 1-2pm because that's when I take my lunch break.

I take lunch in my office sometimes. I'll shut the door with my spinach dip or leftover coldcuts party tray from some reception we've had earlier this week, or whatever the hell else I can scrounge up from the faculty lounge, and I'll watch episodes of The Daily Show or 30 Rock on Hulu.

When I do this, I stick a sign on the outside of the door that says "At Lunch. Please return in one hour" and lock it. Inevitably, there will be someone who chooses to ignore the sign and will knock on the door anyway. Then I either have to interrupt my lunch break to take care of whatever inane bullshit request they have that they're probably in the wrong place for anyway OR I can keep doing whatever I've been doing and act like I don't hear them knocking. Usually I opt to get up and do whatever needs doing so I can get rid of them and gnaw on my Keebler Clubhouse crackers in peace.

So of course, today, like clockwork, at 1:30, right in the middle of the ONLY hour I said not to come by, I get a knock on the door. Miss phone either can't read or just doesn't care. She needs her Blackberry Goddammit!!! I'm not without sympathy for someone who wants to get their phone back, so I grab the phone, answer the door, and hand it over to her. No big deal. There are the usual profuse thanks that come with returning someone's misplaced gadgets and I tell her not to worry about it. I say goodbye and shut the door.

But before I can continue watching Jon Stewart's story about his feigned rivalry with Mario Lopez, I overhear phone girl talking to someone on her phone right outside my door. She's obviously reporting to her mom that she got the phone back because I hear her say, "...I don't know why you told me not to go from 1-2, she was in there.... I just wish someone would have kept their grubby little hands off it for 10 minutes. I mean, I'm glad they turned it in and all, but I don't think that's what they were planning to do. That's not what they had in mind." Because most thieves know that prowling the shitters in Peck Hall on the off chance someone will leave their phone behind is the most lucrative form of thievery.

Dumb bitch. You're the one who left your expensive ass phone in the toilet! Someone was nice enough to turn it in for you and you got it back less than 2 hours after you lost it. But all you can do is verbally and figuratively shit all over everyone who helped you get your crap back.
I should have called that "<3Justin" that was in your phonebook and delivered your STD test results from the planned parenthood lab.

Qualifications



by Derek Chatwood.

larger one here.


I can't seem to commit to writing well-thought-out full blog pieces, journal pieces, or any other pieces of a decent length. I've become addicted to Twitter and the 5-second release of creative juices it allows. I no longer feel the need to couch a pithy phrase or astute observation in the cushions of an entire, legitimate article of writing-- I can just splurt a single sentence out in 140 characters or less all over the face of the internet and get the release (and sometimes the validation) I crave.

This is ruining my writing skills.

It used to be that when I'd think of something particularly clever or insightful, I'd write it down in my journal or a notebook, so I could hang on to it and use it later in a piece of writing. These little nuggets of what I thought were snarky brilliance gave me a supply of clever thought to draw upon for writing and sometimes conversation. Now however, as soon as I think of anything even remotely clever, I can't wait to blow my wad all over Twitter. And once a phrase, statement, or idea is out there, it's out there. Even without the megalomaniacal delusion that anyone actually reads my Tweets, as soon as an idea leaves my mind and goes out there into the (not-so) real world, I stop mulling on it, editing it, or keeping it handy on the tip of my brain for later use.
I'd feel like a turd re-using a clever tweet in a later blog post, or in conversation, so those tidbits are just gone... used up.

All this has led me to the idea that Twitter is an electronic form of creativity-masturbation. You can get your rocks off quickly, but the process is devoid of a great deal of effort and ultimately, much less satisfying than the real thing.

I know that many of you would say that Twitter is no substitute for proper blogging or proper writing-- and you're absolutely right. It's just that the obscene amount of knee-jerk self-gratification in which I wallow on Twitter seems to be robbing me of the inclination and creative reserves necessary to write anything substantial.

Pictured above: The Doo doo Doodler

Last month, David and I visited A's Snow White Drive-In in Lebanon, Tennessee on the way back from a camping trip. The review of the restaurant's vittles was less than enthusiastic. Aside from the myriad ice cream flavors and the disheveled-looking help behind the counter though, one thing caught my eye.



Outside the entrances, both front and back, were Ziploc bags filled with water and pennies, hanging from the rafters. We wondered if they were makeshift drip-catchers, crazy redneck humidifiers, or some sort of sadistic game designed to taunt poor children with both money and wasted drinking water.

We didn't bother to ask anyone inside. I think somehow we knew that the answer would be something ridiculous, embarrassing, or awkward for either our hosts, or ourselves, or more than likely, all parties involved.
So, I took a picture of the apparatus and posted it on Flickr with the title "What is the Point of This?" and I finally got a response, from someone I know, no less.

Apparently, the water-filled plastic baggie is supposed to repel house flies.
To which David queried, "...how? Do pennies IN water IN a ziploc bag create anti-fly magic?"

And you know, I have looked all over the internet, and the answer is: Yes. Putting pennies in bags of water makes anti-fly magic. At least that's what people believe.

Some say it's the reflection that does it. Others postulate that it's some sort of chemical reaction to which flies have an aversion. But no one's really sure.
Hell, no one's even really sure whether or not it works. As with most research done on the internet, the only thing I seem to have confirmed is that people are mostly stupid.

Regardless of whether or not Ziploc baggies can be used as homemade fly repellents, one thing about them remains certain: they will still turn your tasty sandwich into a soggy, humid pile of mess.
Oh, and the placement of the pennies in the bag of water seems to have a legitimate explanation anyway, as I found in this comment on a "Thrifty Home Remedies" blog:

"... adding a penny in the bag acts as a bacteriacide to preserve the water longer. When Columbus came across the ocean he added a couple of silver coins to each barrel of drinking water to kill the bacteria, same principle..."

And here I was, thinking ole Chris was plastered on Beer & Wine the whole time.

IRL: Fail


This abstract for an upcoming dissertation defense came through the email today. I predict / hope that it fails. If it's really that easy to get a doctorate, then I should be the Surgeon General of English.


Abstract
Everyone’s a Kool-Aid Man Today:
Pedagogical Implications of Teaching First-Year Composition in Second Life


Second Life (SL), a massively multi-user virtual environment (MMUVE), is being called the metaverse, a parallel universe, and a world not unlike our own. This makes SL the perfect environment for first-year composition students; pursuing a second life offers students “analogies and metaphors for real-world issues [and] can provide a way for students to discuss issues in a safe environment, where there are no real-world consequences” (Williams, Hendricks, and Winkler 11). This concept also supports Pratt’s theory of a contact zone where students can grapple with conflicting ideas; however, these contact zones are rarely “safe” environments because students’ preconceived ideas are challenged and emotions can explode in such circumstances. In SL students experience issues that we often ask them to write about, such as identity or otherness, but of which they have little knowledge.

This ethnographic research investigates the world of SL and its uses in first-year composition. It seeks to answer the questions:
• Will using SL change student writing?
• Will my students come to understand SL as a culture different from their own?
• Will they embrace this new medium and form an online identity?
• How will they react to such learning?

I investigated whether or not student experiences in SL would in any way change their writing. What I found was that SL can be an exciting and volatile experience for educators who choose to use it. Students became engaged with their writing and began making connections between their own lives and the topics we pursued. The theme for the class was otherness, which included issues of identity in both RL and SL. Students made connections as they experienced things in SL that were not possible in RL, such as becoming an oversized Kool-Aid man and then having to socialize with complete strangers as this other (Freire, Giroux, and hooks).

As students began to understand the connections between SL and RL, many commented that SL gave them thought-provoking topics about which to write. The students’ responses to SL, both negative and positive, were evident in their writings, including low-risk/pre-writing assignments such as blogs, journals, and quick writes (Bean, Fulwiler, and Murray) and more traditional essays. SL gives teachers a missing tool for helping student writing: experience.

The rampant Gliberal in me is having a field day.


I can't and won't get into all the reasons why McCain's choice of a running mate makes me exceedingly angry. I'm in the middle of a 3 o'clock stupor, and I'm just not willing to try that hard. And that post deserves proper attention and effort.

Instead, I give you The Sarah Palin Baby Name Generator courtesy of Polit tsk tsk tsk.
Now you too can sport a moniker as fittingly all American and easy to write on lattes as Track, Trig, or Bristol.

That's right. She named her fucking child Track

Thanks @christyfrink!

You Look Nice Today desktop.



thanks nevenmrgan!

For a few years now, I've been debating about whether or not to get a tattoo. The reasons holding me back were:

  1. I couldn't think of anything really meaningful to get tattooed on me; something that wouldn't make me feel like a turd for having arbitrarily chosen a "pretty" design.
  2. Everyone I know has a tattoo. Everyone. Well, at least 95%. So, in an ironic way, not having a tattoo makes me unique.
  3. I've seen some pretty horrible botched jobs and pitied the person who was stuck with that, forever on their body
  4. Anything that looks good now would probably make me feel trashy and weird when I'm 60.


But like a shipping container full of Vietnamese whores left to rot on the docks of a Baltimore shipyard, those objections have slowly been overcome, one by one.

I've finally thought of something both beautiful and personally meaningful that I would be proud to show off and wouldn't mind having on my body for the remainder of my shoulder-bearing, if not child-bearing, years.
I've gradually lost my disgust for fashion hegemony. Sorority girls always steal my fashion ideas anyway. Which, when you think about it, does not speak too highly of my fashion choices. So I shouldn't be too attached to those and shouldn't worry too much about trying to be the only human born after 1980 who does not have at least one tattoo.
Also, Nashville's tattooing community has really come up in quality in the last few years. I'm no longer frightened that I'll end up with a three year old's finger painting on my back.

And finally, as for the whole "This shit will look stupid when I'm ninety" argument, I realized today that I'm probably not going to make it past 30.

So come share in my neuroses as I tally off the top 10 reasons why I'm pretty sure I might be dying.

  1. I'm no longer capable of sleeping through the night without getting up to pee at least once, sometimes twice. And I cheer for good bowel movements.

  2. I think everyone's pants are too tight and young people these days don't have enough respect for their elders.

  3. When I lean on my left elbow, my thumb goes numb.

  4. I ENJOY cabbage, both pickled and stewed.

  5. I have a weird bump on the inside of my elbow. It's pink and inflated with a little dot in the middle like a tiny elfin nipple. I never worried about it too much, but now it seems to have spawned a partner tiny elfin nipple.

  6. Sometimes I forget how old I am and have to do the math.

  7. Elastic waistbands sound like a good idea.

  8. When I sit still for a long time with my legs crossed, the force of my pulse rocks me back and forth. When I was in Japan, I sometimes mistakenly thought we were having an earthquake when really, it was just my high blood pressure.

  9. Hot tamales give me horrible gas. Not the Mexican food, the cinnamon movie theater candy.

Ergot: I should go on and get a tattoo because I'm dying. But it goes the other way too. There are some people who, in a just and righteous world, should probably die based on the tattoos they've gotten.



I've swapped over to Netvibes. I just couldn't handle the new iGoogle anymore. Google is "rolling out" a new version of their ridiculously popular iGoogle homepage. Those of us who received the gift of this freshly laid turd had no choice in the matter. It was foisted upon is with no warning. I simply woke up one morning to find I was allergic to sex, Celine Dione is presdient, and iGoogle was no longer functional. In short, the world was a much shittier place.

Aside from my dream of one day wallowing naked in the cool whip on top of a giant cake and fruit parfait, it is my greatest hope that Google will abort this new version in it's infancy and none of the rest of you will ever have to coddle it, spank it, or ignore its plaintive cries for attention as you move on to more attractive playthings.

In the world to come, the Gmail module is fucked up (links are unclickable, no reply button) and the layout is hackneyed (old folder-tree ish heirarchy, no tabs). Click on the screen cap above to view the new layout in all its decrepitude.
But perhaps the most galling thing of all is that you can no longer drag widgets to different tabs to organize them. If a module gets added to the wrong tab, it just STAYS THERE. There's no way to change it-- not by dragging it, not under the settings for each module-- nothing, nowhere nada.
The only way to add a module to the right place is to go into that particular section ON YOUR GOOGLE HOMEPAGE, click add content, and then put in the rss feed manually or search for it from there. You can't just click "subscribe to rss" if you are reading a website and decide you want to keep up with it because god knows what section (or whatever they're calling it) the feed will be placed in on your homepage.

And all of this Malfunctionality just so they can put rounded corners on the widgets and automatically fill users' tabs with suggested content? As many the owner of a Ford Taurus can tell you, a rounded corner does not a good design maketh.

It pains me to think that just yesterday I learned from NPR, on the anniversary of Google's incorporation, that Google's motto is "Don't be evil."
Harumph.

On the brighter side, thanks to the suggestions of Lifehacker and @Yearginsim, I'm taking a look at Netvibes, and they seem to have some pretty interesting functionality. The site looks a little bit... clunky. But I haven't yet really taken the time to play around with the aesthetics. I'm sure I can shock it up with my notorious penchant for bright colors and nauseating patterns. In the mean time, their widgets seem to be much more customizable and easy to manipulate.

AND they automatically titled my new homepage "Eat the Flag! EAT it!".
David Cross reference for the win. It seems like me and Netvibes were meant to be.

Finally, today's "What the fuck is this bullshit?" technology-related ranting is not consigned to the new iGoogle homepage alone. Did anyone catch those odd odd ODD Microsoft commercials last night? I saw one during the last quarter of the Vandy game on ESPN, but I imagine they were rolled out for the RNC, not Bobby Johnson and the 'Dores (as much as we'd like to imagine that a Vandy football game could garner enough attention to warrant unveiling a new multi-million dollar Microsoft advertising campaign). I kind of hate to even mention it. Because that's what's known as "Creating a buzz" in the advertising business. Or at least that's what my depression era knowledge of advertising lingo leads me to believe. But it must be discussed or I will get rhetorically constipated.

The commerical had Jerry Seinfield in it, eating churros and trying on savagely unstylish mens' shoes with Bill Gates in a circus-themed shoe store. I kept waiting for the punchline, or the reveal. I really thought that when Bill went to pay for his shoes he was going to whip out a Visa and, surprise! You'd been watching some kind of wacky Visa commercial all along.
But no. No reveal, no punchline, no point ever came. It wasn't even particularly clever in that "Oddvertisement" sort of way that companies think is the bees kness, the cats pajamas, if you will, kid. Whadda ya know, Joe?

It only left me wondering why Microsoft isn't allotting me forty large every day to bury, poop on, burn, give to hippies, or otherwise waste on completely futile endeavors. If they have the money to throw away on this shit, why not give it to me to do with as I please? At least the video of my escapades would be far more entertaining, and would only leave viewers bewildered in that "What is wrong with all of humanity" existential sort of way, not the Assberger-ish confusion of implying that future computers will be edible and made out of delicious cake.
I did not make that up. That was actually in the commercial.

Thumbs up for itchy genitalia!David Duchovny is entering a treatment facility for sex addiction.
The former X-files star and current golden-globe winning best comic actor for the tv series Californication (which I have never seen and never even heard of until I read the article about his precocious cock) entered a facility Thursday, and is asking for, "respect and privacy for my wife and children as we deal with this situation as a family."

I'm sure sex addiction really exists. And it's probably a difficult problem that fucks your life up pretty thoroughly. I imagine it's hard to keep any sort of relationship, friendship, or career going if you're indiscriminately fucking anything that moves.
But you'll have to color me skeptical on this one. In the past ten years or so, it seems like EVERY celebrity that cheats on his wife blames it on "sex addiction". I guess they don't realize that sex addiction is a lot different from just wanting to fuck everything that points its genitals in your general direction-- that's called "having a penis". Most guys with penises realize that you have to restrain that tiny monster if you're going to maintain lasting relationships with the people you care about. Male celebrities choose to ignore this social norm because, well, they're male celebrities-- a rare breed whose stupidity is only eclipsed by the size of their massive hubris. But they need to know that choosing to ignore your conscience and fuck whatever's wet and nearby just because you are famous and you want to doesn't make you a sex addict-- it just makes you a jerk.

That's the way it's been, since Alexander the Great-- probably the first male celebrity-- roamed the Euro-Asian continent conquering, pillaging, amassing, and copiously dipping his quill in many a Macedonian ink pot. He surely got way more than his fair share of that bushy, ancient Greek pussy. Yum yum.
And he was entitled to it, because back then, women sucked. They put up with that shit because they didn't have a choice. Let your husband run around on you, or you get killed and replaced.

And run around they did. There is a mathematical formula explaining the relationship between how much and how often a man fucks to the size of his ego, his military, or his wallet. The degree and frequency of fornication is exponentially proportional to the amounts of power, fame, and money he has amassed.

In ancient times, more money, power, and fame equaled more pussy because it meant you could afford to buy more wives or slaves (oh wait, they're the same thing), or conquer more neighboring kingdoms (and get more wife-slaves), or be famouser and get more wives or slaves as gifts from the devoted fans of your talented painting, sculpting, or mud farming.
NOW, increased power, money, or fame leads to more pussy because... well, women still suck. Not all women, mind you (just like not all men will cheat on their wives if given the chance) but a significant enough proportion of them to make me a dedicated misanthropist.

In spite of all my hope for the world, and Barack Obama's halcyon promises of reformatory change, there are still billions of women out there who think that sleeping with a man will make him like you.

Idiots. Anal sex is not a friendship bracelet.

But this nasty cycle will continue on down the years in perpetuity because there are also billions of men whom, if given the chance, would love nothing more than to accommodate those delusional broads by diddling their dingles in their doodle holes.

Maybe David Duchovny really does have a problem with sex addiction. If that's the case, then I really do feel (somewhat) bad for him. As psychological disorders go, I'd rather be a sex addict than a schizophrenic or a sociopath, but it's still got to be difficult to deal with it.

But... I mean... the guy married Tea Leoni. And his last name is suspiciously close to the word "Douche". So, I'm just gonna have to drop the gavel on this one and rule it "Horny asshole-i-tude." Throw him in a cell with all the other sex addiction perjurers. He and Usher can give each other homemade prison tats while Kobe Bryant and Charlie Sheen build tiny log cabins out of Lucky Strikes. Maybe he'll collaborate with Robbie Williams and they'll put out a shitty shitty album together. After parole, he and Michael Douglas (yes, that Michel Douglas.. Ewww) can go on a tour speaking at community colleges all over Arkansas, spreading the word that sex addiction is no longer a valid defense against the crime of being a dick bag.

Just like not all murderers can get away with killing someone because they claim insanity, not all philanderers can get way with indiscriminate fucking because they cry satryiasis. Regardless of whether the charge is murder or just ADHD genitalia, bullshit is still bullshit. And you can't get away with doing whatever you want by labeling it as a psychological disorder after the fact.

So I hereby implore all male celebrities (Kanye West),juvenile hangers-on (Kevin Federline), and male pseudo-celebrities (Lindsay Lohan) to stop using the Sexual Addiction defense, when it's really just a case of you being an asshole. The prison of America's cultural wasteland is already overcrowded, and there's no more room for us to facilitate your "rehabilitation" you when you so obviously perjure yourselves in the court of "who gives a fuck".

That cell-block is full.


I know some college students who could stand to use that. I love you Onion.

thanks jessticles!

Last night I was talking to David-- my only (and significant) other-- and relating the fact that I will be playing beach volleyball at Hooters every Thursday night from now until perdition--which shouldn't be OVERLY long. I consider Hooters to be a cultural signpost on the highway to the apocalypse. Next exit, 40 miles: Stucky's.

Well, we started wondering about whether or not creepy old doods would be ogling me while I play. Personally, I think they'll be far too busy leering at the waitresses, who (unlike me) pay attention to them and pretend to be nice so they can soak em for a big fat tip.
This inevitably led to a discussion about the questionable sartorial sense of Hooters' waitresses' "uniforms". I think we can all agree that the orange rayon shorts, shiny flesh-colored 'Minelli' tights, and white sneakers combo is more than a little trashy. Unless you are the kind of guy who regularly uses phrases like "I'm gonna demolish that crotch" the getup is just plain physically unappealing. I postulated that the founders of Hooters consciously made these horrible wardrobe decisions so that the wives/girlfriends/secretaries of the men who frequent Hooters could have a little catty nugget of bitchidence to chew on: the fact that, sometimes thanks only to the outfit, the waitresses don't really look hot, just kind of nasty.

But David pointed out that the franchise was started in the 80s, and at that time, the beer & wing-serving aerobics instructor look may have been the height of fashionable sex appeal.
I erroneously thought that Hooters MUST have come from the Midwest. I'm not sure why. I guess I just assume that everything embarrassing that's made of synthetic fabrics comes from there. So I began wondering what other horrible 80s engendered legacies America's Bread Basket has foisted on the rest of the civilized, breathable-fabric wearing world.
It turns out that Hooters was actually started in Clearwater, Florida. But I was still curious about what plagues came out of the Great Plains during that decade. Turns out, not too much happened in that part of the country in the 1980s.
Just like today.


Papa John's Pizza: Indiana, 1984

As a high school student working at a local pizza pub in Jeffersonville, Indiana, Papa John's founder John Schnatter realized that there was something missing from national pizza chains: a superior-quality traditional pizza delivered to the customer's door. His dream was to one day open a pizza restaurant that would fill that void.


Papa wants to fill your void... with mooshy crust, undercooked toppings, and copious amounts of bowel-wrenching gas. Or as one E-pinions reviewer calls it, "Pizza for Kentucky and Indiana...Garlic dipping sauce? lol!"



Rollerblades: Minnesota, 1980



Minnesota students Scott and Brennan Olson were looking for a way to practice hockey during the off-season. What they came up with is a way to instantly make any heterosexual male look fruitier than a skittles enema. You 'blade to those Chelsea piers, Gabriel! Don't let the terrorists win!














This Guy: Ohio, 1988


Thank you Myspace. Without your pile of code, I would never have me the author of "drunk stories lol" and inventor of such verbal gems as the phrase "ER1"... as in "ER1 in the club gettin' tipsy".

He's been "keepin' it real nigga" ever since he was a lower case G. (I swear to god this is a real baby picture from his site.) And people say that shit is a "choice"!






Great Plains: Minnesota(??)- 1987

I wasn't listening to pop country in the 80's. God help the wretched souls who were. Can't come up with a video concept for your mediocre country tripe? SOLUTION: Nearly-continuous 360 panning!! Confuse and nauseate the viewers until they're no longer sure whether they're watching a music video or endoscopic footage of a colonoscopy.


Watch



1,550 wooden chairs, piled building-high, set flush with the facades of surrounding buildings. Doris Salcedo at the Alexander and Bonin gallery.

Thanks! Licentious

David and Ben are in Vegas right now for a vacation, which just happens to cooincide with New Media Expo.

We're big fans of Twit, so we were excited about the fact that Leo is doing a TwitLive from the floor of NME.

Intense waves of geekgasm joy ensued with me watching Twitlive from Twit.tv, and taking screen caps of David & Ben in the crowd while THEY take pictures of my chats as they show up on a screen that is being shown to the audience. And texting each other all the while.

(click for larger version)




And I'm about to post this blog, which they will be able to read on their iPhones/iPods. I am so fucking happy right now, and for no good reason!

Yay New Media!!

Further Proof...

... that Sex & Engineering are mutually exclusive endeavors:



thanks jessticles!

Smell my Genes

I can smell your sexy
I can smell your sexy.

Apparently odor plays a HUGE part in how human beings choose a "mate". Both how you perceive smell and what you smell like are affected by your genetic makeup. But birth control pills are threatening the future of the human race by affecting womens' ability to smell out men who are genetically different from them.

According to a recent study researching the affects of birth control on perceptions of sexual attractiveness :

"The results showed that the preferences of women who began using the contraceptive pill shifted towards men with genetically similar odors," said UL evolutionary psychologist Craig Roberts. "Not only could [this] similarity in couples lead to fertility problems, but it could ultimately lead to the breakdown of relationships when women stop using the contraceptive pill, as odor perception plays a significant role in maintaining attraction to partners."


The idea that I'm smelling out my men makes me a little uncomfortable. The idea that AXE commercials may be scientifically valid makes me cringe. But the idea that taking birth control affects who I am attracted to just downright freaks me the fuck out. And do different brands make you attracted to different types? Yaz makes you want a hairy, muscular misogynist while Ovcon pushes you towards sensitive, artistic jerks?
If you took Orthotricyclin, you'd think this guy smells totally hot

We all know that hormones can affect our thinking. Anyone who's ever cried at a WGN family drama starring Billy Ray Cyrus then realized that it's the day before her period can attest to that. Personally, my PMS tends to manifest itself in the form of sudden existential crises, skin-deep arm-chair philosophy, and trying to sound profound on Twitter.

But no one wants science to force them to acknowledge how deeply hormones can effect such basic decision-making processes as choosing a lover-- something that we would normally consider a fundamental part of our basic identities.

I guess the only thing to do is to either NEVER take birth control, or else to pick one brand and stick with it for as long as you want your marriage to last.


Advice taken from my personal experiences with Heavenly Images Dental Center in Berry Hill (They were supposed to become my new dentist today).

1

Appearance is Everything!
Create what real estate professionals call "curb appeal" by painting the exterior of your one-story brick bungalow a nauseating shade of pepto-pink. Instead of actual landscaping, opt for plastic flowers stolen from the nearby Woodlawn cemetary and unceremoniously stuck in the ground funerary-style. Be sure the outside of your door looks like it's been kicked in a few times when you forgot your key, and has a plastic dollartree sign hanging on it announcing (in Spanish) that even though it is 3:00 in the afternoon and someone has an appointment, you are closed and will return at 8:00 in the morning.

2

You Can't Eat Atmosphere!
Make the hole in the yellowed-with-age bulletproof-style glass separating your receptionist from the waiting room incredibly small and at chest level, thereby ensuring that anyone but Estelle Getty will have to stoop awkwardly like a pack mule to either talk to you or hear what you're saying. Also, play smooth, smooth jazz at ridiculous volumes over your satelite radio-- loud enough to almost, but not quite, drown out the angry midday judge television program turned up way too high on the waiting room tv. Have NO magazines whatsoever. Only brochures about gum disease.

3

The Devil is in the Details!
Be scrupulous with your Paperwork! Be sure to request your first-time patients' "Martial" status, because it is important to know whether or not their teeth have seen active combat. Be sure to ask for their insurance & address information in three different places, but make the spaces in all of them far too small for anyone but Emperor Ully Gue to write in properly. Use copious amounts of semicolons; and use them improperly.

4

Maximize Your Profit-Making Potential!:
Partner your dental practice with the Amway-style peddling of unrelated products that have not been ADA (or even FDA) approved. On your first time patient paperwork, be sure to make your prospective DENTAL patients check 'Yes' or 'No' boxes on pushy, telelmarkety, junk mail style questions like:

  • "Did you know that factors like diet, lifestyle, physical activity and nutritional supplements could minimize possible negative metabolic effects?"
  • "Would you benefit in receiving a lifestyle program and dietary supplement?"

    At this point, they should no longer be certain whether they are about to receive a dental exam or a free sample of NONI juice.

    Then, when you've really got 'em hooked, present them with a giant blockquote statement they are required to inital, informing them that:

    "I will recommend you use, as part of my treatment program, one or more nutritional supplements. I recommend this supplement or these suppplements because I believe your health will benefit from your use of them. I want you to know that, because of my belief in the integrity and effectiveness of these supplements, that I am a distributor of these products and, in that role; I may receive commission from your purchase of these supplements. Please ask to speak with me if you have any concerns about my recommendation in light of this information."


    5

    Fuck 'em hard- they'll enjoy it more, the ignorant little sluts!
    Charge a mandatory $30.00, non-insurance covered "Oral Hygiene Instruction" Fee with every visit. Because anyone who would actually choose you as their dentist has been anally raped in their frontal lobe and needs to be told how to brush their fucking teeth for $30.00 with each visit.

    And finally, Bar the door. That way, if the sheer force of your nasty atitude doesn't keep them in the office when they express their reservations about some of the items in your paperwork, the electrified STEEL will.

  • "Blog" gang sign.



    Start practicing NOW so you can throw one up all nonchalant-like at New Media Expo.

    thanks jvance

    Proof

    That a little bit of knowledge is a dangerous thing:



    Not sure, but I think you can see a guy fishsticking in the middle of the screen @ 0:22.


    As some of you already know, I have a personal problem with the phrase "Take it to the next level". If you're actually using that phrase, chances are you're not taking anything anywhere. Cuz you're a douche. And douches don't have legs; just wobbly necks they stick in people's vaginas.


    -------------------------------------
    What didn't make the cut:
    -Up a Notch
    -To the Bank
    -With a Grain of Salt
    -For a Spin
    -From the Top
    -Personally
    -Seriously
    -In the Ass
    -Like a Little Bitch (thanks Jessticles)
    -Back
    -We're Not Gonna, No We Aint Gonna



    I already posted this on Flickr, but forgot to do it here. Sometimes Twitter makes me forget to actually blog.

    A lesson in exploiting your niche: "2007 US Air Guitar Champion" William Ocean



    Crushing the beer can with the back flip was a nice touch, I must say.

    The finals for the 2008 US Air Guitar Championship will be held August 8th in Frisco (which is a short, douchey way of saying San Francisco for those of you not in the know).

    But honestly, I'm thinking the finals might be a bit anticlimactic. The regional finalist from Brooklyn, Bettie B. Goode, actually lost a toe during her winning performance. How do you top that?

    For this product, describing the awesomeness is as simple as posting it's picture:



    Pop Quiz Clock by Decor Craft Incorporated.

    thanks boingboing

    I have a problem with 90% of the "average American women" over 30 that I encounter on a daily basis. 90% of them.
    I see them everywhere. They make me regret owning, or at least renting, a uterus. As men grow older they become distinguished, kooky, funny, laughable, eccentric, pervy, or at the very least, comfortable. As women grow older they become... lame.

    My ire was roused today partly by the legions of overprotective mothers shepherding incoming freshmen around campus for today's orientation, and partly by my personal frustration that openly carrying around the July issue of GQ magazine makes me feel a little awkward because it has a hot, pantiless, knee high sport sock wearing Gisele Bundchen on the cover.

    I'm not worried about how men will look at that cover. I don't care if they do. It also does not personally embarrass me to carry around a photo of a hot chick showing some serious side nudity.

    What I worry about is the reponse I get if some of the "let's share a bloomin' onion and some margaritas after work cuz we're sassy" office lady crowd happen to see it. Most of the time I keep the magazine tucked inside my breifcase. And when I pull it out to read it on breaks, I quickly flip it open to the article I want to read and lay it cover-down on the table in an effort to avoid, "I don't think that's appropriate for work" statements or comments about how showing a hot, half-naked body objectifies women.

    You wanna know what objectifies women? THE BIBLE fucking objectifies women. Have you ever actually read that thing?? But they sure as hell wouldn't criticize people for carrying that around.

    I pulled the magazine out today to read it on my lunch break while sitting next to a table that looked like a Dress Barn and bacon salad had exploded all over it and someone forgot to wipe it up. The table was full of women who were spending their lunchtime losing bone density while talking about how they're not gonna retire "but it's just nice to know they have that option if they feel like it". When I laid the magazine on the table I got looks of consternation from two of the bitch hogs. Thankfully, I was sitting too close for them to start talking about how GQ magazine will corrupt their children OR discussing their doubts about my dubious sexual orientation.

    I was already feeling a bit itchy in my feminine place from observing the Wooly MOMoths grazing around campus today, so those sideways glances really pissed me off.

    I'm not afraid, ashamed, or angry when I look at a semi-nude chick. I either think, "Hey, she's hot. I like her hair," "I bet she's dumb as a pile of gut chutney," or else, "Wow. Nasty but'er face."
    So if I'm not bothered by it, why is anyone else?

    Honestly, if you have a serious problem with Gisele Bundchen naked from the waist down & humping a pillow on the cover of a (well-written, poignant, interesting) men's periodical, it's because YOU'RE fat and ugly... On the inside if not on the outside as well. You're bitter and plain and your hair is cut like a man. You wear novelty earrings and sweaters with sparkly shit on it. Your spider venis read like a map of the New Jersey Turnpike. I hate you.

    So why don't you go hop on a figurative exercycle and burn those dangly bags of blubber off the kankles and knegs of your slovenly pretend-feminist soul before you cast dispersions on my reading selections?

    Have you ever read GQ? Do you know how brilliant "The Fecal Position" article by Shalom Auslander that's in this month's issue is?
    Of course you dont!! You're too busy reading US magazine articles about Jamie Lynn Spear's breastfeeding techniques and cluck-clucking your fat, bloated, tongue about how she's a terrible rolemodel for your children-- as if the rip in the condom or antibiotics interferring with birth control or brilliant Spears family child-rearing tactics that lead to her getting knocked up will infect your own idiotic spawn, brainwashing them into thinking teen motherhood sounds like a goddamn brilliant idea.

    You spread criticism and blame faster than that highly contagious monkey from the movie Outbreak spread a mutation of the ebola virus. You spread it far and wide because sex is a perfunctory duty you endure for your husband because the bible tells you to and criticizing things smart people don't give a fuck about is the only thing that makes you feel good anymore.
    Jamie Lynn's parents are to blame. It's the public school system. Or maybe it's that nebulous, inchoate, universally evil scape goat of all scape goats, "THE MEDIA"-- the unhappy punching bag of Access Hollywood-educated, arm chair pundits everywhere who are too lazy to research and identify the real source of any problem.

    You act like you'd be happy if Jamie Lynn Spears had never become a pseudo-celebrity and that it's mildly tragic that she had a kid at the age of 16 ("Bless her heart").
    But don't think for one second that I don't realize that you LOVE EVERY FUCKING MINUTE OF IT.
    You get a real kick out of regurgitating the hackneyed morals of your power-walking herd. You treasure any female celebrity's bad behavior as a savory nugget of validating self-righteousness; fuel for your deliciously delusional denial that some 16 year old girl's life is NOT in fact fantastically superior to your own. Because although she was on TV, is moderately famous, and has probably already made more money than you will make in your entire lifetime, she got baby-filled at 16-- which (let's be honest here ladies) is probably only two years younger than you were when you squirted your first blob of humanity out of that dank, flesh-colored sharpei you call a vagina.

    I don't EVER want to be a part of your crowd. I've said it before and I'll say it again: I never want to own more beige underwear than colored. I will never shop at Fashion Bug or buy clothes from Cracker Barrel. And although I do enjoy the occasional novelty earring, I never, ever want to become so bitter at my failure of a life that the sight of a hot chick's naked body incites me to vomit venom and bile at the nearest thing with boobs under 40.

    So, what I want to know is, can I exchange my uterus for an iPhone?

    HTML tattoo

    Now that's dedication to geeky word puns:



    thanks Geeokologie


    Gizmodo recently blogged about a rumor that's been floating around the inter-ether for a few days now. A rumor that would make gadget geeks everywhere cream their skinny jeans with joy and bite their life-sized pedo anime girl body pillows in anticipation if it's true. And that would be the rumor of a MacBook Touch as early as October of this year.

    The rumor describes the general functionality of the hypothetical Macbook using poor grammar and lots of speculation:

    Think MacBook screen, possibly a bit smaller, in glass with iPhone-like, but fuller-featured multi-touch. Gesture library. Full Mac OS X. This is why they bought P.A. Semi. Possibly with Immersion's haptic tech. Slot-loading SuperDrive. Accelerometer. GPS. Pretty expensive to produce initially, but sold at "low" price that will reduce margins. Apple wants to move these babies. And move they will. This is some sick shit. App Store-compatible, able to run Mac apps, too. By October at the latest.


    Personally, I agree with Geeokologie that "Trusted sources don't say 'This is some sick shit.' That's like a back alley plastic surgeon promising you "the sweetest fuckin' knockers this eye ever saw" while tapping his eyepatch and waving a machete."

    All this = not a good enough reason for me to pass up buying a new Macbook on taxfreee weekend.



    thanks Nashvillest

    I was trying to tell myself that I didn't want one, that I was above all that hype. But after seeing one last night in a bar, I have to say: FUCKING WANT.

    Here's to living vicariously through your gadget god-ness.

    From indeepop
    PlayzMedusa 2Magic 2Fun in my BrainBears

    from Pixelgirl

    UngerUntitledSlip Into Something A Little...VS232Black Belt in BreakupsAcid Jack Simple PimpDaften DirektMonster MashLife is ColorfulCirclesRabbitsUrban DecayMonster

    From Deviant Art
    Muddle Together by AwaywithwordsPrice of Gas by Con-SafoCanary Wharf by SophietteOrange and Apple Eyes by Con-SafoRun Free by LarafairieTardis Parking Only by Cathoris