Friday, February 29, 2008

It's 3 AM...

Coudal Partners turns around a quick response to the Clinton campaign's new "Vote for Obama and these children will die" commercial.

Loved this. Link via Gruber.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Downergate Funnies

Cartoonist Mark Fiore's "Doreen the Downer" shows us where hamburger comes from.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

The Hall of Mirrors at Versailles

This kind of over-the-top European architectural detail is exactly what QTVR is made for. Be sure to look up at the ceiling.


Monday, February 25, 2008

Your plant just called. It's thirsty.

We're all busy people, right? With our jobs, the internets, etc. Sometimes we forget to care for the leafy green members of our household, because they don't know how to communicate their needs to us in ways that cut through all the noise.

But now, a microprocessor, a bit of soldering, and some command-line programming can connect houseplants to a telecommunication network, allowing them to call your cellphone (or send a message to Twitter) whenever they need water.

Current call types include:
-a request for water (sample)
-a confirmation of & thanks for watering (sample)
-a notification of unnecessary watering (sample)
-a notification of extreme need for watering when plant is excessively dry (sample)

This is either a glimpse into the future or these people are out of their fucking minds.


The Jimmy Kimmel-Matt Damon meme

I don't know anyone who would have watched the Jimmy Kimmel post-Oscars special last night, but this bit will begin to travel across your entertainment news radar as the week goes on.

I had watched, but not especially enjoyed Sarah Silverman's "I'm F@#%ing Matt Damon" music video that made the rounds a few weeks ago, part of a "payback" for Kimmel's longstanding use of Damon as a punch line at the end of his show.

Kimmel provides the setup and as much of a clip as you need from the Silverman/Damon video, along with his celebrity-studded response:

The joke boils down to a) gay sex is funny! and b) celebrities being bleeped out is funny!

But I include this here for its timeliness, and the cultural notability (and randomness) of its cameos (many of which I don't recognize), including Joan Jett, Macy Gray, and Huey Lewis, all working fairly hard to prop up the joke.

Oh and but also: Josh Groban swearing? Now that sh%#'s funny.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Trainset Ghetto

Yale architecture Peter Feigenbaum has built his model train set as an urban setting--variously evocative of the South Bronx, Jersey City, Chicago, and Philadelphia. Graffiti, row houses, trash, and weeds accentuate his amazing attention to detail in this gallery of his photos.


(Via Vestal Design.)

Friday, February 22, 2008

Electric Organ Recital: "Carry On, Wayward Son"

This adolescent girl performs a crushingly awesome organ arrangement of the Kansas megahit, that exists on a totally different planet than the polite introduction and half-smatter of applause that bookend it.

From a site called, purportedly hosting the "grooviest videos on the web". Via Coudal Partners.

Jason de Caires Taylor, Underwater Sculptor

Photo gallery and video highlighting the work of Jason de Caires Taylor, whose sculptures live on the ocean floor.

I don't have a diving credential, and won't be visiting Grenada anytime soon, so I'm thankful Taylor is willing to share these snippets online.

Fantastically beautiful.

[Via Coudal Partners]

Thursday, February 21, 2008

The Ideal Pancreas, Part: 2

Awesome science fair exhibits. [Via John Hodgman]

Friday, February 15, 2008

Obama memes

The internet memes are coming in almost as quickly as caucus victories. Today's latest: Barack Obama is Your New Bicycle.

Yesterday's meme: Yes We Can Has, a riff on I Can Has Cheezburger. Which, if you aren't familiar with the whole LOLcat phenomenon, it's... um... kind of a long story, at the end of which you still might not get it.

(I'm still not sure I do.)


This pro-Clinton music video (created by flute-playing Silicon Valley exec Gene Wang) was posted to YouTube way back in August, but didn't manage to spark the same kind of popular enthusiasm as "Yes We Can".

Perhaps it's because it's really, really bad.

Wang suggests that the difference is primarily a lack of star power, and that the new torrent of criticism being heaped upon the video (now that it's been rediscovered) is merely the work of hostile Obama supporters. He says that the negativity is merely making him want to shoot another video.

I've never been much a fan of Clinton's, but I'd welcome her as president over what we've had for the past eight years.

Mr. Wang your passion and dedication are commendable. But if you truly love your candidate: please, please, don't make another one.

Monday, February 11, 2008

John McCain "Fine With Me"

The first of what will be many adaptations of the Dylan "Yes We Can" video, this one a song set to the words of John McCain.

Seriously? Microsoft is late with Valentine's Day Edition Zune

[via Gizmodo]

On the day of Steve Job's Macworld keynote announcing the MacBook Air and iTunes Movie Rentals, Microsoft announced a special edition red-colored Zune for Valentine's Day gifting.

Earnest customers who ordered the device received an apologetic email last week:
Due to some issues in our fulfillment center there remains a chance we will miss getting your Zune to you by February 14th. We are working hard to get your order to you as quickly as possible ... We will be refunding the entire amount of your order ... We hope you love your Zune and that you will accept our sincere apology.
The good news: customers get their money back, and get to keep the Zune.

The bad news: (joke writes itself).

Meanwhile Apple released a new pink iPod nano on January 22 with the same crass messaging (i.e. Dude! Get this for your girlfriend!), but continues to guarantee shipments (with custom engraving) in time for Valentine's Day for orders placed through the end of February 12.

So, um, dude. Get on that.

Saturday, February 09, 2008

"Toking" on Lawrence Welk

Figure that the producers at Lawrence Welk were excited to hear the words "sweet Jesus" in a top 10 hit, even if they weren't especially familiar with a key word in the title.

Perhaps they considered it a nonsense word, like "Shipoopi", or "Schnitzelbank".

Via one of my favorite Twitterers, Amy Jane Gruber.

Friday, February 08, 2008

Barack Obama "Yes We Can"

Songwriter of the Black Eyed Peas knows good lyrics when he finds them, including the concession speech of Senator Barack Obama after the New Hampshire primary (Obama's speech itself borrows heavily from labor history (Yes, We Can is an English translation of the United Farm Workers' Si Se Puede))

Stunningly elegant music video by Jesse Dylan.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Improv Everywhere: Frozen New York

What's worse than an improv troupe that tries to be funny?

An improv troupe that doesn't let the audience know that there's a performance going on. In other words, they just like messing with people's heads.

In New York City, they get hundreds of volunteers to enact these scenarios, usually to the consternation, befuddlement, and confusion of retail shmoes and toursits.

Improv Everywhere is dedicated to causing "scenes of chaos and joy in public places."

This Grand Central Station stunt is the first one that didn't bug the crap out of me... probably because they aren't trying to embarass anyone.