Sculpted Walls

These sculpted cardboard wallpaper tiles from Nomad would make any room look distinct. They're just weird enough to make someone go, "Huh?" when they walk in. They're bio-degradeable and come in a number of colors...

And can be put together in different configurations.

A pack of 12 1'x1' squares costs $32, which aint bad for the level of impact you get.
I've been struggling for a while to find some sort of sound-diffusing wall-covering to put behind my stereo (it makes it sound better). A lot of audiophiles will cover their walls with $200-$300 specialized boards... or bubble wrap on the lower end of things. But bubble wrap taped to the wall looks like crap.

This looks awesome.

Cibo Matto Video

The Mind wooooobles. Don't even try to put this together logically. You'll only end up hurting yourself.

Monocle Magazine has published its list of the 25 most liveable cities in the world. The rankings are part reader survey, part editorial discretion. They represent cities that have acheived just the right combination of "shops and services within walking distance, a good transport interchange within close proximity, green space as part of their residence, a good park with a body of water for a refreshing plunge nearby, independent businesses as a key feature of the community, a sense of security (police on the beat or a Japanese-style police box in their neighbourhood), excellent coffee (Melbourne’s Fitzroy and St Kilda and Sydney’s Potts Point frequently came up as neighbourhoods that had the ideal mix of restaurants, caf├ęs and street life) and finally a little bit of grit and surprise."

It may be a surprise to some that Tokyo was ranked third on the list, but I wholeheartedly agree with that assesment. Since it's one of the largest cities in the world, one would have the tendency to assume that there are a lot of things wrong with it-- dirty, run-down, crowded architecture, horrible traffic, drug problems, or crime. And although Tokyo has it's fair share of megalopolis problems, as far as the living goes, the getting is pretty good.
There's a huge variety of independent restaurants, bars, shops, art galleries, and clubs open at all hours of the night and within walking distance. One only ever need return home to shower and change clothes. Notice I didn't say "sleep" because you see all manner of Tokyo-ites sleeping in the oddest places-- from the suit-clad salary man sleeping on the steps of the train station to fashion-victim ikemen cuddled up together in the doorways of music clubs.
Each neighborhood has its own distinct flavor, such that one need only walk 20 minutes in any direction to experience a culture shift and find some kind of "scene" to become utterly fascinated by.

If I have any gripes about Tokyo, it would be the sense of human disconnect and that odd open-sewer smell that seems to waft about in random pedestrian areas. But that's nothing that can't be fixed by establishing a close circle of friends and developing controlled breathing techniques.

And Tokyo is one of the best places in the world to people watch. In fact, I'd venture to say it is THE best place in the world. For entertainment, you need nothing more than a pair of eyes and a place to sit. Pick a crowded street or intersection, then watch with glee as the parade of fashionistas, fashion-victims, perverts, schoolgirls, weirdos, freaks, punks, crazy homeless people, empty-eyed salary men, couples, princesses, lolitas, b-boy wannabees, confused tourists, harrassing sex-work recruiters, sex workers themselves, drag queens, drag kings, idol hopefuls carrying karaoke machines singing covers of pop standards, geeks, otaku, yakuza, drunken old men, hunch-backed grandmas, and prima donas with little dogs in purses stroll on by.

Although I wasn't suprised to see Tokyo on the list, I WAS surprised that the top-ranked American city was Honolulu, ranked 12th. Because it's such a HUGE tourist destination, I guess I thought Honolulu couldn't possibly be that great.

But for me, the biggest surprise was that the next-highest ranked American city was Minneapolis, ranked 19th. I've never been to Minneapolis. It's just not one of the first places that comes to mind when I think of American cities I'd like to visit. But I guess I should be checking it out.

The List:

1. Copenhagen
2. Munich
3. Tokyo
4. Zurich
5. Helsinki
6. Vienna
7. Stockholm
8. Vancouver
9. Melbourne
10. Paris

11. Sydney
12. Honolulu
13. Madrid
14. Berlin
15. Barcelona
16. Montreal
17. Fukuoka
18. Amsterdam
19. Minneapolis
20. Kyoto

Runner's Up
21. Hamburg
22. Singapore
24. Lisbon
25. Portland.

View the entire article here.

via Monocle

So, after months of protracted, torturous job-hunting I am proud to annouce that you won't have to deal with any more of my pity parties or self-abasing "Why the hell won't anyone hire me?" bitch fests.

I got a job!

And an awesome one at that-- well, awesome to ME anyway. I'll be working as one of the four head secretaries for the English Department at MTSU. There are four offices and each office has a secretary/administrative assistant. I'll be the one for the upper division office.

That's right! Come into the upper division office and I'll be sitting behin that little gray, cardboard, half-cubicle of a desk, ready to help you with all your grown-up problems.

I'm really looking forward to starting work this monday. Not only will this job give me some great benefits-- like one free graduate school course per semester--but it's also giving me experience in Education Administration, which is what I've decided I want to do in the future. The end goal is to become the Study Abroad director for a university and send kids out all over the world to get culturally mind-fucked.

A few weeks ago, I was feeling really lost. So I sat down and wrote out a ten-year plan for myself. 10 years is about as far ahead as I can think. It was a really weird exercise and I felt kind of foolish, but it really got me thinking. Why is it that we make sure to plan out everything small we do-- from having a party to taking a weekend trip-- but neglect to sit down and write out a plan for the most important thing: our lives?

I've sort of made most of the important decisions in my life a-la-carte. I floated through high school because everyone said you needed to graduate high school. I went to Japan because I wanted to go "see what it was like". I went to college because everyone said you had to go in order to get a good job.
When I couldn't pick a major, people kept asking me what I was interested in. When I told them I was interested in "everything" then they asked me what my goals were for the future. But I always thought about this question in terms of a career-- what kind of job could I see myself doing? And I couldn't ever picture myself doing anything for the next 4 decades without becoming miserable from repetition and routine.

In reality, I shouldn't have been thinking about the future in terms of a career. I should have been doing what we've all done to some extent since we were little kids: I should have been DREAMING about the future.

Most of us wouldn't have a hard time day-dreaming about the fabulous lives we'd like to have. But most of us will never try to create a plan of action to actually obtain those lives.
Well, why the hell not?
Would you rather spend your time dreaming about that life, or actually living it? The fact that there are other people out there who already have your dream life is proof enough that it is possible.

You might feel a little bit lost about how to get there. The best advice I can give is to find a mentor-- someone else who has already accomplished the goals you want to reach. Then find out about what they did to get there and adopt their strategy to suit your life plan. If it worked for them, it can work for you.

Some of us know what our dreams for the future are. But we're going about trying to accomplish them without a concrete plan-- WRITTEN OUT with specific, sequential steps to take to reach our life goals.
It's important to write out a plan like this because so many things require several steps and preliminary processes that need to be started well in advance, often YEARS before any discernable payoff. For example, I discerned that in order to reach my life goals, I need to obtain a doctorate from Waseda University's International Relations program by 2016.
The obvious prerequisites for that goal might include obtaining a master's in a related field and applying to the doctorate program. But in reality, there are a litany of other steps I have to take to get there.

First of all, for the career I desire, it would be better to get my masters in an UN-related field, which runs counter to traditional thinking. Second, financing my trip would require applying to scholarship programs a year before applying for admission to the program. In order to get those scholarships, I should have previously published research in a peer-reviewed journal. That requires actually performing research (which can take years) and for someone inexperienced like me, would usually require partnering with a more experienced mentor. If I can manage to partner with someone who is already well-respected in the field, then I will gain valuable experience and guidance while being able to attach an impressive name to my scholarship application-- making it more competitive. But how do I meet those people? Perhaps that requires joining a professional organization with which they are involved and maybe attending a conference where I can meet them.

So, there you go. That's about 5 steps I need to take just to fund my education. And the first step--joining a professional organization and networking-- is something that would need to be done YEARS ahead of time, in order to give myself time to meet and partner with the right people, perform the research, and get it published in time to include it in my scholarship or grant bid.

There are countless other things I'd have to take into consideration as well (arranging housing, a part-time job, passing the JLPT, paying off student loans) and just as many pre-requisites. For instance, I will have to take and pass level 1 of the JLPT in order to attend the doctorate program I desire. I've passed level 3, but I need to move on to level 2. Right now, the JLPT is only proctored ONCE A YEAR in December. So, even though I don't plan on entering doctorate school until 2013, I am already, right now, TODAY studying to pass level 2 of the JLPT this December. If I hadn't written out my life plan, I wouldn't have known that I need start studying NOW, since the date of my entrance into doctorate school (2013) seems so far off.

That gives you an idea of how complex the plan can be and how necessary it is to make a plan like this so you can get started on certain things when you need to, often years in advance.

To make my life plan, I used "maze logic"--I started at the end, writing out everything I would conceivably, realistically want to have, and, like a maze, worked backwards toward the begining, looking up deadlines for things like scholarships applications as I went along, so I would know the exact deadline by which I would have to accomplish a certain task. Getting this job was step number one.

And I can't tell you how good it feels to know that I've not just acquired a paycheck, but that I've already accomplished one tiny step towards having my Good-life. Every day when I go into work, I'll know exactly what I'm working for-- why I'm getting up at 5 am and riding the bus for two hours, putting up with copy machines, sleeplessness and eye strain, and hapless college freshmen. It's because every paper cut gets me a step closer to my goals.

So, if you're feeling a bit lost like I was-- unsatisfied, unfulfilled, drained, wondering what it's all for-- I suggest you try the same thing. Write out your realistic dream life. Dream big!!! And then work backwards, planning sequential, realistic steps that will get you to your dreams.

It makes life worth living and hard work worth working hard for.

Self magazine reccomends doing this pose during your 'time of the month' in order to alleviate PMS symptoms like cramping....

yeah. FUCK THAT.

Grass Seats

"David and Edward" chairs by chair_couture.

Boy Handy Pocket Fan

Guess what you Press to Turn Him On...

His "ears" are actually the fan blade sticking out from the back of his head.
9 bucks at Asia_jam

It's time for this week's spark*/spur: a muster of interior inspiration.

Below the images, you can find links to some of the products' sites. But the majority of these high-end, slick items are either not available in this country or else prohibitively expensive. This isn't a catalog for some rich bitch to throw a ridiculous amount of money at some overpriced goods. The idea is more to get you thinking about ways to implement these design ideas yourself, with craft projects or low-cost alternatives. There's no reason why you can't do it yourself and experience the personal pride that comes out of creating your own living space.

So, look at these, and droooooool....

And then get started.
This week's theme: Chartreuse & Citron! Yay!

casadeco flavorpaper designer's_guild angela_adams bliss_living_home circusposterus joom

"Run Run" by Those Dancing Days

Requires site registration, but otherwise free. You can also get full-size normal-ish desktop versions here.
The Veer site is just a stylish place to be in general.


"All Edith Macefield wanted to do was live out her days in her small Ballard home, refusing to sell to developers, who simply built around her. She died Sunday at age 86."
- Seattle Times

Daily Dose of Cute

Get a two-minute shot of happy cuteness with Chii's Sweet Home, tiny kitty-slice of life anime shorts about a kitten who gets separated from his momma and taken in by a new family.

It's not Nietschze, people. It's something you can smile at.

Online Videos by

Tell me, is there Ice on Mars??
Nasa says yes!

Researchers currently working with the Phoenix Rover say that some "dice-sized" "shiny white material" unearthed by the rover a few days ago have disappeared. There was some initial debate as to whether or not the material was ice or salt, but the disappearing act has lead anyone who is NOT a paranoid alien conspiracy theorist to surmize that the chunks were made of ice which evaporated in the sun after being dug up.

Look! If you look carefully in the lower left hand corner, you'll see some rocky, white-ish chunks that disappear.

Why does this matter? Well, it's the first relatively concrete proof that there is water on the red planet, albeit in frozen form. The presence of water means that Mars could have sustained life in the past, and would be capable of supporting human colonization in the future.

All of this still fails to answer Bowie's question, but at least it's a step in the right direction.

Zettai Kareshi (Absolute Boyfriend) is a live-action Japanese romantic comedy based on a manga about a girl named Riiko whose biggest problem is that she has NO game. She's sweet, cute, and earnest. But the people in the series keep calling her "Omou" (heavy), meaning that she treats things in life-- specifically romance-- too seriously. For most people this would be a good character trait, but since this is a Japanese drama, her wholesome purity of heart has to be both a strength and a character flaw. Par for the course.
I went into this show expecting it to be like any other formulaic J-drama about a 20-something girl in an office who is hapless at relationships but inevitably, through her inherent goodness and purity of heart wins the love of some ultimate rich, handsome "prince charming". So I was caught off-guard when they introduced the character of a lifelike robot designed to be the "ideal boyfriend" for Riiko.

The wholesomely-adorable-as-warm-milk-and-cookies Saki Aibu, who plays Riiko, will inspire loads of moe girl-love. Cuz she's just so cute with her slightly awkward mannerisms, poochi little bowl cut, and adorable outfits.

Soushi Asamoto, whom I'm assuming will be the one she ends up with, is played by Hiro Mizushima, who looks a lot like Matsumoto Jun (lead-singer of Arashi who played Doumyoujji in 'Hana Yori Dango'). At least to me, he does.

The "ideal" boyfriend-bot is played by Hayami Mokomichi. I suppose Japanese women must think he's hot or they wouldn't have cast him in the role. He's not really my type though. He's very.... tan. He'll be the it boy for the next month or so anyway; the fickle fancy of Japanese fan-girls goes out quicker than the tides.

As an added bonus, Maya Miki (Himitsu no Hanazono, LIFE) who is always one of my favorites plays a supporting role as the worldly, wise in love, advice-a-plenty bartender.

The show is weird, funny, and sweet. Does anyone remember that show in the 80's that had that little girl who was supposed to be a robot? It's like that, but with Japanese people and a focus on romance instead of family bonding.
I've watched 3 episodes so far and haven't gotten bored with it yet, which is a small honor for a j-drama. It's basically tv-lite with few plot twists (a snakey back-stabbing fake-friend) and lots of robot- related ridiculousness.

You can watch the Episode 1(split into parts) on Veoh, which is a treasure-trove for Japanese dramas, music shows, and animes. You can only watch the first 5 minutes on the website, but instal the free Veoh TV player and you can easily download and watch the whole 1 hour episode off-line.

This modular system from Nomad lets you construct a wall divider, partition, or a complete room out of simple cardboard components. Each individual component looks like this:
You put two of them together to make this:

And then stack those together to make this:

At $56 for a set of 24 "modules" though, they're not cheap. But the concept seems simple enough that you could make them yourself out of enough cardboard boxes and some paint. Or maybe cardboard boxes covered with leftover magazines and decoupage glue. Any suitably sturdy building material will do.

Appparently, for some time now, physicists have been able to create what are called "Quantum-entangled images". Through a complicated process (that I, of course, don't understand) they can use atoms and gasses and light to create pairs of quantumly linked images. If one image is the "proof", then the other is like a "negative" of a slightly darker color, inverted, and rotated 180 degrees.

You're probably thinking, "So? Where's the magic part in all of this?"

Well, the part of this science that makes it weird is that no matter where the images are-- right next to each other, or on opposite sides of the planet-- if you make a change to one image, the change will instantaneously appear in the other image.
I'll give you a moment to go, "Whoah!"
The scientists who have recently found a much faster, easier method of creating these "images" expect them to be used for complex data storage, since large amounts of data can (somehow) be stored in them.

But for me, I'm thinking more like The Doctor's psychic paper... or even, Tom Riddle's diary.

Anyway, the communications possibilities are endless. Using quantumly-linked data could mean an end to all digital modes of data transmission. Why mess with cables and IP addresses and network traffic jams when you could have, say, a daily newspaper that is instantaneously updated the second it hits the press in the morning?

I'm even wondering if something like the portrait of Dorian Gray could be possible-- where a human is quantumly entangled with an inverse image at birth, and instead of the person growing old, the image does???

I know that's a far, far way off... but it's fun to dream, isn't it?

On June 8th, 25 year-old Tomohiro Kato drove a rental truck into a crowded pedestrian street in Tokyo's Akihabara district, the area whose name has become synonymous with anime and otaku culture. After running over 3 people in the crowded streets (which are closed to traffic and packed with shoppers on Sundays) Kato then exited the truck and began stabbing nearby pedestrians with a "survival" knife purchased at a military equipment store.

Rumors are circulating that Kato was pretty quickly chased by a Japanese policeman, but when confronted with nothing more than a police baton, he went on stabbing nearby pedestrians for several blocks until the cop finally pulled a gun on him. Kato then collapsed on the sidewalk and lay there, curled up, until escorted into a police cruiser.

When it was all over, 17 people had been seriously injured, including another policeman. 10 of the victims survived. Among the seven killed are six men, ranging in age from 19-74, and one 21 year-old woman.

Warning: This video contains some disturbing content

When asked why he did it, Kato replied that he was, "Tired of living," adding, "“I came to Akihabara to kill people. It didn’t matter whom I’d kill.”
read more here

When something like this happens in Japan, it seems all the more shocking because there is almost NO random violent crime there. The feeling is something like it was when the Columbine School shootings first occurred-- a random, violent act, with the single objective of killing as many unknown people as possible, perpetrated in what was thought to be a "safe" environment.

The act of violently stabbing and killing random people in broad daylight is unfortunately becoming all too common in Japan. In January 2008, a 16-year old boy went on a stabbing spree in a shopping street in Shinagawa. This past March, a 24 year-old man killed one and wounded seven in Tsuchiura. And this month's tragedy occurred on the anniversary of the Osaka Elementary School stabbings of 2001, when a man forced his way into an elementary school and killed 8 children with a kitchen knife.
Although I'm sure a lot of it can be attributed to serious mental illness, I'm positive that modern Japan's culture of hegemony, emotional detachment, and social severence have also greatly contributed to such explosive, psychotic, mental breakdowns.
Anyone who's ever ridden the commuter train from Tokyo on a weekday has seen the glazed, resigned looks on the faces of tired, stressed-out, over-worked company employees, with faces intent upon cell-phones, burried in books, sleeping (or pretending to sleep) or just staring blankly off into space; all desperately trying not to ackknowledge the presence of the other human beings around them. Riding the train at 6pm often leaves one with the unsettling, surreal feeling of being engulfed in a sea of what you would classify as either life-like mannequins or robots whose batteries are just about run out, dangling precariously from wrists hooked in hand straps.

There are a lot of things I love about Japan. But the coldness with which human beings interact with each other-- or more often than not, DON'T interact with each other-- on a daily basis constantly affected me while I was there. There are no warm smiles or friendly greetings between strangers. Rarely is there ever even eye-contact with another human being. The thought is that if you don't already know the person, and you have no specific business with them, you shouldn't look at them, talk to them, or otherwise acknowledge their existence. Doing so would be troublesome, bothersome, or 'odd'.

The entire country of Japan has the atmosphere of the first day of homeroom in high school. The pressure to "fit in" and the tension of keeping up an affected appearance is so thick that you live in fear of making any awkward movements and nearly hyperventilate from trying not to breathe "too loudly". You're wondering what everyone else is thinking about you, while trying to appear cool and unconcerned. Meanwhile, everyone else in the room is thinking and doing exactly the same thing, with the end result that no-one is talking, making eye contact, or otherwise acknowledging one-another because they're so wrapped up in their own neuroses.

In addition to the stress and pressures of Japanese work life, this crushing hegemony and all-consuming preoccupation with perfection saturates every aspect of modern Japanese life. I can't say I blame anyone for zoning out when they're in public.
Often, after returning from a day-trip into the city, I would feel inexplicably exhausted. Not sleepy, mind you... just physically and mentally worn down by the waves of people crashing in on me. At these times, I would often nod-off on the train-- not really sleeping-- but just closing my eyes and resting. It was a physical and mental relief to close my eyes and shut out the world. It let me pretend, however illogically, that I was alone for the moment. I was freed from the burden of acknowledging the presence of others around me-- other human beings who were there, were present, but with whom I knew I would have no real human interaction.

I'm not sure what the "answer" to this social problem is-- if an answer is even needed. All things considered, Japanese society has some pretty good things going for it, including the longest average life-span in the world and one of the lowest crime-rates of any industrialized nation. Perhaps this dehumanizing iron-clad hegemony that can freeze your spirit is the price you have to pay in order to keep everyone working hard and sticking to the straight & narrow.
But even with the low crime rate, long life-span, cool gadgets, and interesting culutre, I personally don't think I could stand to live the rest of my life in Japan--not in Kanto at any rate. That straight and narrow is just a little too narrow for me. In spite of everything I love about Japan (and there are a LOT of things I love about it) the paradoxical hostility of drowning in lonliness while being constantly surrounded and pressed in upon by a sea of people would be just too much for me to bear.

I'm reminded of that maddening line from The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, "Water, water everywhere, nor any drop to drink."
In Japan, there are people literally EVERYWHERE. But finding someone with whom you can actually connect is like looking for a polar bear in a snowstorm.

You never know when being able to say "This please?" or "Help!I'm lost!" in Vietnames could come in handy. What if you woke up tomorrow only to find out that you were a brain-washed secret government sleeper agent who botched a mission in Namibia only to be abandoned by the US government with no cash in the middle of the Arabian desert?
Okay, so maybe that's not likely. But being able to properly pronounce "Beef Bon bu zo" will get you a long way with the waitress at your favorite Vietnamese restaurant. You know, the one who perpetually seems to have metal shavings stuck all up in her lady business.

There are lots of free tools for picking up a second language on the internet. But, if you've ever tried, you know that "picking up" a second language is about as easy as picking up a backhoe with your teeth.

Fortunately, our tiny, simian brains are fairly able to retain and use key phrases in a foreign language without needing to understand things like first person polite plural form or aglutinative verb conjugation. We have an amazing capacity to hear, repeat, retain, and then reuse phrases and sentences. After all, that's how we learned to speak when we were children: first by listening (for a few years mind you) then by repeating phrases and experimenting with words while being completely and totally unafraid to make mistakes. These attributes are essential to keep in mind if you really want to become fluent in a foreign language, but are also useful if you want to aim for the broader, less concentrated goal of simply picking up a few key phrases and proper pronunciation in a number of foreign languages.

I've found a wonderful website aimed at accomplishing these goals. Survival Phrases is a language learning website that offers free podcast lessons on basic phrases in Arabic, Bulgarian, Chinese, Japanese, (dirty knees, look at these) Russian, and others. The lessons are short-- meaning they don't overload you with the extra grammar and conjugation information that a someone looking to study the language in-depth would find neccessary. Instead, the lesson concentrates intently on the clear pronunciation and repetitive reinforcement of basic, or "survival" phrases. All the podcasts are free. But if your interest goes further, you can also pay for a subscription that will give you access to PDF worksheets from the lessons and other learning tools.

Personally, I'm looking to get into some Vietnamese, Chinese, French, and Bulgarian. I made a very good Bulgarian friend while I was in Japan, but the only word she taught me was "Selanduur", the Bulgarian word for "RedNeck".

If you're like most people, you probably don't have the time, interest, or motivation to become fully fluent in a foreign language. But with a little bit of study, at least you'll be able to order your food without looking like a complete ass.

If you happened to have been watching Nashville Public Access Television at 11PM last night, you will have seen me making an ass out of myself, dancing in the front row (in full camera frame) at a local rock show.

Part of me thought it was really cool that I was on tele for being a cock at a local rock show. But most of me was just mortified.

It used to be that you could get really, violently drunk, go to a show, and full-on stroke out in the front row without worrying about it popping up on television, or the internet, or coming back to haunt you in the middle of a campaign for head of the local school board. Now, whenever I am out in public in the presence of aural stimulation, I can't just let go, whack out, and forget about all my problems-- I've got to constantly be on the lookout for a nosy camera or phone that would like to publish my atrocious dancing on the internet.

It's every uptight white girl's worst irrational fear come to life! Turns out everyone really IS watching what you do and talking smack about it. In the moment, no one really cares what you look like when you're dancing, because you're all just having fun, cutting loose, and mutually making fools of yourselves. But when transferred to video, it opens your actions up to scorching critique from third parties who weren't there, weren't drunk, and probably never dance but just stand in the corner with their arms crossed, slightly nodding their heads while sipping PBR and pissing about something inane.

I want to be able to dance like a fool-- to let go in a violently shaking, arm slinging, head-banging, pogo-ing, kinetic catharsis-- WITHOUT it being recorded for public record and future scrutiny. Is that too much to ask?
Most of all, I don't want to see what I look like when I dance. Now that I've seen it, it's gonna be hard to do that in public again without feeling like a self-conscious ass.

And so, to make my embarrassment complete:
Episode 19 of "Optic Audio". See if you can guess which over-enthusiastic, spastic crowd member is me.

Cyborg Insects

1. When you're feeling angsty, instead of writing shitty poetry in your journal, you write a self-absorbed blog about how you don't know where your life is going (set to private of course, so no one else can read it, but with a sufficiently intriguing title so your friends will know something is going on) and spend the rest of the night trying to find a new profile song that perfectly expresses everything you're feeling.

2. The old "definition" conversation-- where you sit down and work out whether or not you're exclusive and will call each other boyfriend & girlfriend-- has now been replaced by a status change on Myspace or Facebook. Last Month I found out my friend was engaged when she changed her Facebook status.

3. It used to be that beginning a new relationship meant scouring the apartment for photos of the old boyfriend, donating gifted stuffed animals to Goodwill, or shoving letters and cards into an old shoe box under the bed. Now, you've also got to erase any touchy-feely photos you uploaded, delete mushy comments and chat logs, and rearrange the order of your top five so the new boy is ranked higher than the old one.

4. Drunk-dials have been replaced by typo-laden emails, nonsensical profile comments, and solipsistic tweets.

5. I'm slightly ashamed to admit it... but I once broke up with someone over email. In my defense, we were on opposite sides of the earth with a 14 hour time difference and there was no good time to reach him on Skype.

6. You base your compatibility on the results of "Which Battlestar Galactic Character Are You?" quizes. You're an Adama and he's a Baltar? This is not going to work.

7. You don't have to find out about ex-girlfriends via hear-say and chance encounters if you know how to do a little bit of amateur detective work on Myspace. Unfortunately, this is also how you will find out when the Ex that dumped you is dating someone new.

8. All this ambiguous, twice-removed, snippet communication breeds misunderstanding and paranoia, and will destroy even the strongest of relationships.

Makes 4 servings

This sandwich uses the savoriness of tuna to enhance the classic combination of radishes and buttered bread. But since doubling the bread would make a challenging mouthful, just grab a napkin and eat the sandwich open-faced. If you don't have a baguette, try the mixture on any type of hearty bread. Just don't forget the butter!

1 bunch radishes (about 10), chopped
2 ribs celery, chopped
3 6-ounce cans tuna (preferably packed in olive oil), drained
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1 baguette, cut into 4 equal pieces
2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives or parsley

In a medium bowl, combine the radishes, celery and tuna. Add the mustard, lemon juice and black pepper and stir to incorporate the ingredients. Taste the mixture and add a little salt if needed.

With your fingers, pull a little of the inside crumb from the cut side of the baguettes to form a shallow boat; discard the crumbs. Spread the butter generously over the cut sides of the baguette pieces and spoon the tuna mixture on top of each. Top with chopped chives. Serve the sandwiches open-faced.

- from The Oregonian

Cellphone vs. Microwave

I'm a big fan of chicks who do exactly what they want. So I've always looked up to female athletes who are strong enough to kick ass in their respective fields while still being hot enough to have their OWN asses ogled by the millions of drooling fan boys who daily stare at these girls' in magazines, in posters hanging in their bedrooms, and on thousands of websites. Speaking of such websites, I stumbled upon Hotties in Cleats, a blog that specializes in collecting "Hot pictures and videos of your favorite female ahtletes". Some people might have a problem with the idea of oggling any female in any photo, thinking that objectifies them. I'd tell those people to smoke a joint and stop taking themselves so seriously. Personally, I'd rather the 14-year-old harmonally challended get their rocks off to girls with talent, guts, AND nice butts than to some vapid, shallow, twat-flashing cum dumpster like... well, I don't know, almost EVERY female under 30 in Hollywood.
Sexy Long Jumping? Now that's the kind of ass-ogling a girl can actually appreciate.

Londoner Brad Jakody was stopped from boarding a plane at Heathrow Airport because he makes poor fashion choices and airport security officials don't have a lot of common sense.

The problem arose because Jakody had the audacity to stroll through an airport and attempt to board a plane while wearing a t-shirt depicting Optimus Prime holding some sort of gun. Security officials objected to the fashion choice-- which is not in itself such a bad thing and something that Jakody's close friends should have done for him a long time ago. But questionable wardrobe objections aside, Jakody was prohibited from boarding a plane because security officials believed that the shirt could be seen as rude or offensive.
The portly prospective passenger then had to change shirts in the security area before he could board the plane, which could have been slightly embarassing considering he's got a little bit of butter in the tub.

When reached for comment, Jakody quite sensibly responded, "I was like, 'What are you talking about?'...It's a cartoon robot."

via BBC

Dr. Beer

Watch classic episodes of The Twilight Zone on the CBS website. The first three seasons are available, which includes personal favorites "Time Enough at Last" (Season 1, Ep8) and Season 3's "A Quality of Mercy" (Yes, that's a young Leonard Nimoy).

And while we're on the subject, let's reflect on the fact that so-called "classics" are classics because they're good no matter how old they are. They stand the test of time. Ask yourself whether or not anyone will be watching Desperate Housewives 40 years from now, and then ask yourself whether or not you should even be watching it NOW.

Your TV diet is a bit like your food diet-- you are what you eat. Unfortunately, most people consume their visual media pretty indiscriminately, tacking American Idol episodes on top of Flavor of Rock of Love II with a little bit of Days of Our Lives ridiculousness to round out the combo. It's the mental equivalent of a deep-fried ice cream diet. And although this kind of senseless gluttony won't add inches to your waistline, you might end up with a fat head.

I wish everyone could see a graphical representation of what kind of person their mind would embody. Are you an obese yet somehow malnourished sore-infested meth head wearing a "God Don't Make No Trash" T-shirt? Or something a little more respectable?

Think a little about that and start to make some wiser choices in your TV diet. I'm not saying the occasional episode of The Real World or Gossip Girl is completely out of the question. But unless you want to make yourself mentally stroke out at age 42, consumption of these insubstantial sweets should be limited to the tiniest triangle at the top of the tv food pyramid.

Joystick Radio Star

Despite all the crazy audio technology we have today, there are just some times and some places where a compact am/fm radio really hits the spot. Lexon's Stick Sound radio goes past hitting the spot and pounds it like a dirty whore.

The radio has a few standard tuning functions and volume control. And given the size of the tiny speaker on the bottom, I'm sure the sound quality isn't all that great. But you don't get a small fm radio because you're looking for sound qualitiy-- you're looking for a compact shape and convenience. The stick sound serves that functionality while making your space look a little bit neat-o.

And like most stylish, inventive electronics, it's not available in the U.S.

Just enter an address or zip code and Hotspotr will pop up a google map marking all the wifi hotspots in the area. If one you know of isn't listed, do us all a solid and add it.
Nice, huh?

Because that's the best I can come up with to make this interesting animation useful:

Raku Gaki

A part of the Flo:Q Japanese social networking site, the "Minna no Raku Gaki" site/flash widget takes the pict-o-chat-ish sketches of all the site's users and turns them into graffiti-esque tags super-imposed on a concrete wall.
Not exactly usefull, but pretty to look at. Millions of bored Japanese people have turned tiny picture drawing into an art form. They take that shit seriously, folks.


Thank you for practically inventing the blazer. What would I do without it?

Designer Yves Saint Laurent dies in Paris at age 71

Three variations of flavored hummus. Great for a party. And easy on the wallet-- there's no tahini!!

Prep: 10 min., Chill: 2 hr. Processing the hummus for one minute yields an extra-smooth consistency.

1 (16-oz.) can BUSH'S BEST Garbanzo Beans, drained and rinsed
1/3 cup olive oil
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
Salt and pepper to taste
1 tablespoon olive oil (optional)

Process first 6 ingredients and 2 tablespoons water in a food processor 1 to 2 minutes or until smooth, stopping once to scrape down sides. Add salt and pepper to taste. Transfer to a bowl. Cover and chill 2 hours or up to 3 days. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon olive oil just before serving, if desired. Garnish, if desired.

Spicy Cilantro-Lime Hummus: Prepare recipe as directed, substituting lime juice for lemon juice, increasing ground red pepper to 1/2 teaspoon, and adding 1/3 cup firmly packed chopped fresh cilantro and 2 teaspoons grated lime rind to the ingredients in food processor bowl. Garnish hummus with 1/8 teaspoon grated lime rind, if desired.

Per serving (2 tablespoons): Calories 89; Fat 6.3g (sat 0.9g, mono 4.4g, poly 0.8g); Protein 1.5g; Carb 6.9g; Fiber 1.3g; Chol 0mg; Iron 0.5mg; Sodium 92mg; Calc 11mg.

Roasted Red Bell Pepper Hummus: Prepare recipe as directed, omitting ground cumin and adding 1/2 cup roasted red bell peppers, chopped, and 2 tablespoons fresh oregano leaves to the ingredients in food processor bowl. Garnish hummus with dried crushed red pepper flakes, if desired.

Per serving (2 tablespoons): Calories 90; Fat 6.3g (sat 0.9g, mono 4.4g, poly 0.8g); Protein 1.5g; Carb 7.1g; Fiber 1.3g; Chol 0mg; Iron 0.4mg; Sodium 92mg; Calc 13mg.

Makes 1 1/2 cups (serving size: 2 tablespoons)