Sunday, November 30, 2008

Wow. Just wow.

The Northern Lights as captured from the International Space Station by astronaut Don Pettit.

via Neatorama


Are you frakking kidding me?

Hey, bring me some pie!

Apparently there was a "laser" involved, because that's just how the kids at Evil Mad Scientist Laboratories roll. 

Science. It makes good things better.

via Neatorama

I want to look away but I can't

MTV is airing the big Britney documentary tonight. I don't have cable, but I am fascinated ... mainly because in the clips I've seen, like the one below, she actually seems pretty together and somewhat well spoken. And, dare I say, maybe even a little self aware?

" I'm a smart person. What the hell was I thinking? "

You should probably add to the list of things deeply wrong with the world that more people know who Britney Spears is than know who Shirley Chisholm is. So you can read this first, then move on to the next post as a palate cleanser.

A woman who's story we all should know

"I want history to remember me not just as the first black woman to be elected to Congress, not as the first black woman to have made a bid for the presidency of the United States, but as a black woman who lived in the 20th century and dared to be herself."

Shirley Chisholm

via Jezebel. Check it out.

It's a word! It's a plan!

Apparently The Electric Company is being revamped and brought back for a new generation.  I'll withhold judgement of the STOP RAPING MY CHILDHOOD variety until the show airs and I've actually seen it. Instead, I'll take the opportunity to post this bit of fabulousness.

And I guess this is from Sesame Street, but whatevs, I love it so up it goes.

via Jezebel

Saturday, November 29, 2008

To the left Mr. Hand

I'll take puppet Karl shopping with me, and we can act out the mad imagined conversations from GoFugYourself.

Of course, nothing beats the actual quote from the actual Kaiser, talking about how he approached designing for Chanel back in the 70's:

“Chanel is an institution, and you have to treat an institution like a whore – and then you get something out of her.”

etsy via Jezebel

All the women who independent

So, I kind of love Beyonce and her new single. And it takes a hella confident woman to rock the cat suit as hard as she is.

LIFE in the 50's

Gjon Mili, 1950

LIFE magazine's photo archive is now available on Google Images.  Jezebel has been highlighting the collection, most recently with selections from the 1950's.

Margaret Bourke-White, 1956

Thursday, November 27, 2008

I'm the one who gripped you tight and raised you from perdition

Supernatural is on its holiday hiatus, and airing repeats. Catch up with season four tonight starting with the premiere, Lazarus Rising.

Yay! Dean's not dead anymore!

Yay! Castiel!

The Pinedale Shopping Center has just been bombed with live turkeys

The payoff comes at the 17 minute mark.  Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

You wait 'till mom finds out, buddy!

You might have heard there's a new vampire movie out?  But maybe not, unless you're a subtitle reading cineaste, because its been flying under the radar.

Jezebel would like to offer their list of 7 Vampires Better than Twilight's Edward Cullen.

Vampires sparkle in the sun? Bored now.

Sorry, I'm so, so sorry. The card is in the mail!

Yesterday was apparently Doctor Who's 45th anniversary.  Fantastic!  To mark the occasion, one of my very most favorite moments from the new series.  Just this once, everybody lives.

This would have been a great idea 5 years ago

Could Twilight's Success Pave the Way for a New Buffy Movie?

You know, as much as I adore Buffy, I'm going to have to say NO on this one.  Don't get me wrong, if it happened I would totes be in line opening day.  But I'd rather not be disappointed.
I'll save that for when Fox cancels Dollhouse after 3 episodes.
via io9

Putting the sci fi in dysfunction

With Thanksgiving fast approaching, io9 has posted a list of science fiction's most dysfunctional families.  Your Skywalkers, Cylons, and Petrellis are there, along with my personal fave, "just about everybody in Dune": 
The noble houses of Dune are dysfunctional precisely because they resemble so many of history’s noble families: propagated through inbreeding, filled with members of uncertain parentage, and driven by political marriages so that you can’t help but go to war with your cousin. That many of the series’ characters were conceived as part of the Bene Gesserit’s breeding program helps to further entangle the families. And the spice agony, which causes a person to take on the memories (and sometimes personalities) of all their ancestors, allows a person experience the full spectrum of familial dysfunction without ever leaving their own head.

Speak softly and carry a big stick

NPR's Morning Edition had a great piece yesterday about the "Pink Sari Gang".  In a part of India where corruption is rampant and justice is fleeting, one woman, Sampat Devil Pal, got mad as hell and decided she wasn't going to take it anymore. When one of her friends was assaulted - and the authorities did nothing - she organized a group of women to push the police for action.

Sometimes she uses persuasion or shame ... and when that doesn't work, the sticks come out.
These sticks are called lathis. The police in India beat people with them when they want to keep crowds in line. Sampat demonstrates her combat skills, grinning as she spars with an office assistant. The lathis are mainly for self-defense, she says. But the Pink Sari Gang sometimes uses them in anger.

Ms. Pal: (Through Translator) These days, we use them mainly on drunk men. What else are we supposed to do with men that drink and misbehave with women?
Preach it sister.

Corrupt police and officials, looking for a handout? Not on her watch:
There's a story about Sampat going to the police to try to release a man whom she thinks the police arrested purely to get a bribe. This is Sampat's version of what happened after the police turned her away.

Ms. Pal: (Through Translator) The next day, I took my gang of several hundred women, all with lathi sticks. We surrounded the police station. We beat the police officers sitting outside the station. The other policemen came out with their lathi sticks. Our women then got very aggressive and started beating up the police, and then we tied them up.
She's not just a vigilante though. She uses her fame and growing stature to improve the conditions in her community. Including discouraging the marriage of underage girls. She herself was entered into an arranged marriage at twelve.

Ms. Pal: (Through Translator) A man will never have enough guts to raise a hand against me. I would just slap him back into place. If a woman really wants to, she can put a man in his place.

Monday, November 24, 2008

I review it: Australia

"The only thing you truly own is your story. I'm just trying to live a good one."The Embassy of Australia hosted an advance screening of Baz Luhrmann's new movie Australia at work last night. Thanks to boss man TAJ, I scored tickets.


The only movie I can compare Australia to is Gone with the Wind.  It is an epic film in the tradition of Hollywood's Golden Age.  It's not a movie that can be easily summed up, because it has so many threads.  It's love, war, loss, family, loyalty, and treachery.  It's about trying to hold on to what's yours, whether it be land, a person, or an entire culture.  It's about learning to let go.  It's trying to find your place and figure out where you belong.  It's The Wizard of Oz filtered through the Dreamtime.
It will also make you cry.  Okay, it made me cry.  A lot.  
So I know I just said you can't summarize the movie, but I'm going to take a stab.  If you don't want to know anything and want to come into the movie fresh, now might be a good time to go see what's happening on the Gawker networks.


Don't say I didn't warn you ... there be details here ...


Nicole Kidman plays Lady Sarah Ashley.  She goes to Australia to sort out her husband, who's trying to make a go of a failing cattle station in the Northern Territory.   Hugh Jackman is the Drover, her husband's trusted man who is sent to fetch her.  They just want to get their cattle to market - there's a war on don't you know, and the King's Army requires beef.  There are some very, very bad men (DIE CRACK WHORES DIE!!!) who try to thwart them.
The whole story is narrated by Nullah, an Aboriginal boy who lives on the station.  He's half white, and that means he doesn't belong anywhere. The government won't allow him to stay in his community with his mother (part of an assimilation program that wasn't ended until the 1970's. Seriously), but white society doesn't want him either.
Things get off to a bit of a slow start, with early scenes played a little too broadly.  Dipping a toe into screwball territory.  Its very Baz, if that makes any sense.  But then our heroes get to droving, and the shit is ON.  There's a scene that will literally take your breath away.  In the sense that you can't breathe because OMGOMGTHEEDGETHEEDGEOHNOOHNOOHNO!!!
Yeah, its kind of like that.
Then things are okay for a while, but its only the calm before the storm.   The storm of Japanese zeros dropping bombs on the city of Darwin.  
It was the sight of King George standing silently in the middle of the jail yard while bombs rained down around him that had me shaking because I was trying so hard to keep the sobs in.  Okay, again, tearing up just thinking about it.  
King George is Nullah's grandfather.  He's a magic man who still sings the songs of the Dreaming.  And it may not be the subtlest metaphor in the world, but the imagery is highly effective.  The sight of this man from another time - another reality- standing silent and unmoved as his world is consumed in fire and chaos.
And in the end, there's no place like home.  No place like it.


Nicole Kidman is very good (and doesn't look too plastic).  Life in Australia (and three days in NeverNever Land) takes a woman brittle as glass and burns away every thing that doesn't matter.
I'll just say this about Hugh Jackman ...

No wonder People just named you sexiest man alive.  Because DAMN Wolverine.  DAY.  UM.
Now, the movie is 2 HOURS AND 40 MINUTES long, and pulls that bait and switch where you think its over, but no, there's still a 4th act and you probably really have to pee but hang in there.  Because it's well worth the price of admission.  I'd pay cash money to see it again.
4 baby eating dingoes out of 5.
Baz Luhrmann's Australia starring Nicole Kidman and Hugh Jackman opens November 26.

Just an excuse to post this photo

io9 has an article about some crap movie the Sci Fi channel is producing blah blah blah who cares Spike is hot.

Holiday specials we can only dream about

In keeping with the holiday theme I started Saturday, io9 has a list of 5 Thanksgiving specials we'll sadly never see.

My personal favorite is their imagined episode of Lost:
Everyone on the island sits down for a special Thanksgiving dinner, while we flash-forward to see the Thanksgivings of everyone once they get off the island. Hurley eats turkey while talking to the ghosts of Charlie and Mr. Ecko, Kate gets frustrated because Aaron won't sit up straight at the table, Sayid and Sun just have normal days because they're not American, and Jack just drinks and feels more sorry for himself than normal because the Snoopy balloon in the Macy's parade was kind of shitty that year. The episode ends with Ben appearing in Jack's apartment, and making some snide comment about how terrible his life is and why Jack has to go back to the island. "It's time to give thanks for everything you've become, Jack," he'll smirk, and then the screen will cut to black with that thud noise they always do.
After Supernatural's amazing Christmas episode last year, here's how I see Thanksgiving going down for the Winchester brothers:
Dean is still depressed over his memories of hell and loss of his angel lover (no, the other one). Sam and Ruby decide to cheer him up with a traditional Thanksgiving meal with all the fixings. Only Sam comes home with a Thunderbird instead of a turkey and a demonic can of cranberry sauce. Comedic chaos ensues when dinner fights back. Castiel shows up with Boston Market and he and Dean share a slice of pumpkin pie.

And then they make out.
Image from io9

Sunday, November 23, 2008

That's the Chicago way

via Jezebel

Scientific Song Analysis

Prince by xianjessen; Snoop by profundis

flickr song chart meme via neatorama

My eyes! My eyes!

I don't watch One Tree Hill. Seriously, I don't. SHUT UP STOP JUDGING ME!! But apparently, James Vanderbeek will be guest starring on tonight's episode.

Oh, James.

Let's review what the other Dawson's kids are up to, shall we? Michelle Williams? Oscar nominated actress. Katie Holmes? Got married, had a kid, lives quietly in LA. Pacey? Starring in a JJ Abrams show.

Dawson, you might seriously want to think about getting a new agent. Like, now.

Martha probably makes her own

There were only 2 in stock as of yesterday, so you'll have to move smartly to get these before Thursday.

Etsy via Neatorama

Saturday, November 22, 2008

When you wish upon a star

I've seen this episode of Supernatural, Buffy, the X Files, and Doctor Who.  It doesn't end well.



Enter the Madness

According to Wired, blogs are dead. Apparently, starting a new blog is the virtual equivalent of trying to merge a golf cart onto I-81. The lanes are established and you're going to be crushed by the commercial traffic that dominates the highway.

Eh. I don't need the world to read my ramblings. I don't even really expect my friends to ... although I'll be delighted if you do.

So why even bother?

Because I'm highly suggestive and a bunch of people ( you know who you are ) have told me I should. So I am.

In honor of Thanksgiving, I thought I'd kick off my inaugural post with the following bit of inspired insanity (via

You've heard of the
turducken, yeah? No? It is, quite simply, a turkey. That has been stuffed with a duck. That has been stuffed with a chicken. And did I mention the sausage dressing that's crammed in there too? I've actually partaken of a turducken, maybe 5 or 6 years ago. It was good. But the geniuses at Bacon Today decided that what was merely good could be made better. How?

Bacon. And lots of it.

Bacon Today, I salute you. Truly it is this kind of can do spirit that makes American great.

(tip o' the hat to Evan for the Wired story)