Sunday, July 22, 2007

Thrillermania: Not "Thriller", but an incredible simulation

Boing Boing and Spectacular Self-Indulgence pointed us to the mass dance phenomenon of the week: hundreds of prisoners in a Philippine prison recreating the dancing from Michael Jackon's "Thriller" music video (as seen in a single wideshot).

Remind me when I'm convicted and sent up the river to find a jail with THAT kind of activities director.

Of course the YouTube "related" list sent me straightway to the Tollywood (sic, see comment below) "Thriller" ripoff, which I'd not previously had the chance to see.

And for those who missed it in 2004, a shot-for-shot Lego stopmotion recreation of the ENTIRE thirteen minute Michael Jackson video.

BONUS: Apparently there is a whole subculture of people dedicated to recreating Ok Go's backyard and treadmill dance videos using lego people and stopmotion animation. How would these people ever connect without YouTube? Link

Friday, July 20, 2007

International VR Photography Association Comes to Berkeley

Remember QTVR? Quick Time Virtual Reality... where you stitch together photos to make not just panoramic photos, but 360 degree photos, plus up and down views.

Well the hotshots of this field of digital photography just held their annual conference in Berkeley. And they took some wild pictures of the Berkeley campus, San Francisco, Yosemite, and of course, the Super Shuttle from the airport and various conference receptions.

Requires QuickTime.

TSA head admits lighter-ban was lame

[via Boing Boing]

Kip Hawley, head of the TSA, has acknowledged that the (now lifted) restrictions against lighters on airplanes was merely "security theater", that "trivializes the security process."

Now maybe he'll start rethinking that whole liquids thing. (Although if they lift that ban it'll be a major financial blow to the makers of contact lens solution. Sales have--pardon the expression--exploded to contact-wearers on trips longer than two days.)


Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Best Condi Quote Ever.

Via Daily Kos.

Asked by BusinessWeek about whether life after the Bush administration
might be in business or on Wall Street:

""I don't know what I'll do long-term. I'm a terrible long-term planner."


Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Magic toffee

This is one of those recipes that must be tried to be believed.
Thanks to Kathy Molinaro for introducing it to me.
The day she brought this into the office I drove straight home to make it.

Super easy. ASTONISHINGly good.

1/2 lb (2 sticks) butter
1/2 cup sugar
12 oz bag semi-sweet Nestle (or other) morsels

Preheat oven to 350°
Line a jellyroll pan with foil, including sides.
Line pan with saltines.
Melt butter on stove, pour in sugar.
Bring to a (rolling) boil and remove from heat.
Drizzle over saltines.
Place pan into 350° oven for 15 minutes,
remove from oven and sprinkle chocolate morsels over saltines.
Return to oven for a few minutes more, until morsels melt.
Remove and spread chocolate across top with knife.
(I used a metal pie server)
Leave in refrigerator overnight.
Break up like peanut brittle.
Freaking enjoy.

1. Best served right out of the refrigerator.
2. Do not leave yourself alone in the house with it.

Vending Machine Red!

Coca-Cola has a Japanese viral video hit on its hands with "Vending Machine Red!", a surrealist pastiche of 1960s giant robot television shows.

Here, in Episode Three, Vending Machine Red takes a break from saving the world.

More episodes available here.

Friday, July 13, 2007


A relatively new blog about Oakland retail, dining, and living, cited a few posts ago for its writeup on Loard's Ice Cream.

If they (or her, or him) can keep this up, it could grow into a terrific placeblog. I've subscribed in bloglines. Here's hoping.


Faded Building Advertisements

A treasure trove of photos cataloguing the ghosts of advertisements past from the sides of buildings in and around New York City.

From Forgotten NY, a site dedicated to the lost and decaying.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Request library books from Amazon pages

Via MerlinMann/43Folders, a smart fusion of the newfangled and the oldfangled.

If you can figure out (or ask your librarian) what kind of online database/interface your local library uses, you can configure this bookmarklet for your web browser.

Then from the Amazon page, instead of buying a book unseen for $25 or $30 (plus shipping), you can click the bookmarklet to search your library's database. (And depending on your system, you can have the book sent to your local branch for checkout.)

I need to try this out.

Monday, July 09, 2007

Seeing Al Qaeda Around Every Corner - New York Times

The NYT's new public editor, Clark Hoyt, takes the paper to task for its increasingly sloppy use of the term "Al Qaeda" to describe opposition forces in Iraq, a use that (perhaps not coincidentally) has been on the rise in officialspeak out of the Bush Administration.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Loard's, Loard's, Loard's

Last summer I couldn't find anything online about Loard's, our local ice cream shoppe.

Now it's been blogged, featured in the East Bay Express, and has gotten a slightly more modern makeover.

From the Express:
...Loard's makes relatively small batches of ice creams with relatively high fat content (about 16 percent), and what's known as "low overrun" — a minimal amount of pumped-in air, the notorious filler in big-factory ice cream.
I prefer it to the Fenton's, I gotta say.

This fall we're gonna host an ice cream social and have a Loard's/Fenton's faceoff, so that others will come to understand.