Jun 15 2010

Banana Shpeel Closing

Cirque du Soleil to inflict horrible entertainment on the rest of the country as show starts North American tour.

‘Banana Shpeel’ splits (Variety)

Cirque Du Soleil’s ‘Banana Shpeel’ to Close (New York Times)

May 17 2010

Dio on South Park [RIP Dio]


This clip of Ronnie James Dio on South Park serves two purposes.

One, it’s a video of the metal legend, who just died of stomach cancer. (RIP Dio.) Two, it makes fun of home-schooling.

via RIP Ronnie James Dio AV Club Newswire

Dio – Clips – South Park Studios

Dio Holy Diver CD image via Amazon.com

Apr 29 2010

Lloyd Blankfein Looks Like Wallace Shawn [Princess Bride vs Goldman Sachs]

Is it just me or does Lloyd Blankfein look like Wallace Shawn?

When I saw Blankfein’s photo on the cover of yesterday’s New York Times, I immediately thought of Wallace Shawn in The Princess Bride.

Watch these two videos and see if you agree.

Lloyd C. Blankfein in Senate Testimony


Wallace Shawn in The Princess Bride, inconceivable


“Intentionally profiting from the economic downturn? Inconceivable!”

Apr 01 2010

Nina Simone Makes Me Feel Better


At the moment I’m cranky about something. I opened iTunes and planned to listen to something appropriate to my bad mood. When I saw The Best of Nina Simone, I clicked it, and realized that listening to Nina Simone makes me feel better.

Why? In the past it would have been Black Flag or something similarly loud. Now that I’m old(er) that’s not where I go. Between work and kids, I can’t afford to get my anger out my increasing the volume and releasing  the emotion. I need to calm down.

Nina Simone for some reason does that. It also puts things in perspective. How? Listening to Mississippi Goddam is a good reminder that people have had, and still do have, more serious problems than the nonsense that I’m irritated by at the moment. She also has one of those genuinely unique voices and a musical style that cuts through bullshit like a hot knife through a cliché. It’s sort of punk rock without the punk rock. There’s attitude, but not the same kind of attitude. Her piano playing isn’t perfect, but that’s not important. When she sings “Oh Yeah” in Sinnerman, it’s eerie.

The Best of Nina Simone may not be the best Nina Simone album/collection of digital files; that’s just a caveat in case anyone who reads this is, in fact, a more informed fan that I am. If so, please enlighten me. I’ll probably buy that album/collection of digital files as well. The only reason I have this to listen to is because it was on sale at Amazon for $5, and I’m enough of a cheapskate that the word “sale” motivates me.

Going even further back, if I recall correctly, Nina Simone had just died and I asked my mother about her. She said I should listen to her music, specifically Mississippi Goddam. This was way back in the bad old days of file sharing, so I downloaded some random stuff and put it on a CD. The quality ranged from acceptable to crappy but it was good enough that I got the idea that this was good stuff. A few years after that, I got the album/collection of digital files on sale, and here we are.

Two things:

– my intro to Nina Simone came in part from my mother, even though I was fully gone from living under her roof at the time.

– the other day my son told me that he liked music videos more than listening to music, because it was “better.” I was surprised to hear that, and asked, “what about when you just want to listen to something?” He agreed. I don’t think that was a fully formed opinion (my opinions change constantly and I’m almost -ahem- 40), but I felt the need to nip it in the bud somewhat. Heck, he’s not even growing up with MTV. Something to think about.

The Best of Nina Simone at Amazon (no longer on sale, but still worth buying)

Mar 31 2010

Pop Up Books Won’t Work On A Kindle

Someone needs to explain to Jeff Bezos that Pop Up books won’t work on a Kindle.


Screenshot from the Amazon.com page for Star Wars: A Pop-Up Guide to the Galaxy.

See also:

President Obama Buys ‘Star Wars’ Guide

Feb 23 2010

Heavy Rain, not Chubby Rain


A new video game, Heavy Rain, is being touted by writers on CNET’s Crave blog as nothing less than the second coming of JesusElvisBunnicula.

Heavy Rain is by far one of the most ambitious video games to hit consoles in quite some time…Regardless of whether the story affects you, we guarantee you’ve never played anything like this before.

When I saw the name, though, I couldn’t help but think of ‘Chubby Rain’, the fake movie from the Steve Martin / Eddie Murphy flick ‘Bowfinger.’

Turns out there is a Chocolate Rain parody called Chubby Rain that makes use of ‘Bowfinger’ footage. There is also a club called the Chubby Rain House of Tunes.

More importantly, however, are these definitions of chubby rain from Urban Dictionary.

Chubby rain: a crime scene investigator term used to describe the phenomenon were in an obese or overly fat person dies in a room and is not found for quite some time. the result being that the large fat deposits and bodily fluids start to evaporate and condense on the ceiling, so when someone finally does find the body the first step into the room results in jaring the dense semi-liquid substance from the ceiling downward onto the unfortunate bystander.

Chubby rain: To urinate with a partial errection.
Chubby = the partial errection
Rain = the urine spraying everywhere

Anyway, the game is called Heavy Rain. Not Chubby Rain. Got it?

Heavy Rain: Playing with your emotions | Crave – CNET


Dec 26 2009

My Son The Terrorist

Suspected terrorist. But still.

Alhaji Umaru Mutallab thinks that the guy who was arrested for trying to bomb a plane might be his son. MIGHT be.

In Nigeria, the father told The Associated Press that his son, a former university student in London, had left Britain to travel abroad and may have gone to Yemen, an unstable country on the tip of the Arabian Peninsula where al-Qaida has increasingly found safe havens.

The AP story adds that “Alhaji Umaru Mutallab said he didn’t know exactly where his son was and planned to speak with Nigerian authorities Saturday.”

Methinks saying that you don’t know where the kid is is the right move at this point. “Oh, Umar Farouk Abdul Mutallab? My son? Yes, I know where he is. He’s getting on a plane. Said he has a new friend — Al Kie something? Kie Dough? Can’t remember. Just glad he’s got something to hang with during the holidays.”

via Nigerian Banker, Alhaji Umaru Mutallab, Fears Son, Umar Farouk Abdul Mutallab , Is Alleged Plane Attacker – Sphere News.