Archive for February, 2005

Friday Funday XXVI

Friday Funday brings you some fun and interesting links from my travels around the internet during the previous week.

Transparent Toaster []

“A toaster made of glass, which celebrates toasting in a glowing and shining way that makes us look forward to enjoy a fresh piece of toast.” Poorly designed Flash interface warning.

The Somerville Gates and Hargo Day []

And we all thought Christo’s “The Gates” was full of hype. Now Geoff Hargadon’s “The Somerville Gates” (a parody of Christo’s famous Central Park… Installation… Thing) is receiving national attention. Hargadon (who now goes by the more pompous, “Hargo”), even has his own pseudo-holiday. As Somerville’s mayor put it: “Hargo Day was established to also recognize the human capacity for appreciation, wonder, and awe that can be achieved when small plastic things are arranged in a certain order near and around a cat.”

Maxim Magazine Supports the Creative Commies []

Are terrorists taking over a mall a metaphor for Big Copyright, with their DRM gun to the head of the commons? A recent article in Maxim Magazine sneaks in a little nod to us Creative Commies via a Copyleft shirt.

Voodoo Knife Rack []

Too cool.

And to top it all off:

Hamster-Powered MIDI Sequencer []

I’m not joking. Levy Lorenzo, a student (or alum) of Cornell, built a three note polyphonic MIDI sequencer controlled by hamsters. Two critters per channel; one for melody, the other for rhythm.

Free Mojtaba and Arash Day

Link to IZ’s blog entry about the pseudo-holiday (where the above banner came from).

Link to the Committee to Protect Bloggers’ entry about the day.

Friday Funday XXV

Friday Funday brings you some fun and interesting links from my travels around the internet during the previous week.

25 weeks of Friday Funday! – Doctor’s Office []

I hadn’t been to for a long time when I came across this one. =DO NOT READ THIS IF YOU ARE DRINKING A BEVERAGE OR ARE AT WORK IN JAPAN=. You have been warned.

Dr. Karlosi’s Think Tank []

Dr. Karlosi’s Think Tank is… Well… Let’s put it this way, if you’re trying to set the theme for your basement or your den as “Mad Science Lab”, this piece is a must-have. It has been pointed out that one could probably build something similar for significantly less than the actual cost of this tank. Let me know if you find any plans…

Hand Painted Russian Movie Posters []

According to this site, “for so long the bright heralds of currently showing films at cinemas around the country, foreign movie billboards were painstakingly hand-painted � and the effect is quite stunning.” I quite agree.

Beekeeper Cartoon Amusements []

Home of BEE and her “bubblegum noir” adventures, BCA has several entertaining and beautifully drawn comics. Be sure to check out Shutterbug Follies, a mystery comic starring Bee herself! Note: This site has nothing to do with bees, beekeepers, or their follies. That’s a different site altogether.

Robin Williams Sings Pixar’s Freedom []

During an interview with Robin Williams, “The subject of Pixar’s departure from Disney came up, and Williams went on an incredible riff that, well, I just simply can’t do justice describing.” It’s true, you really just have to listen to it.

Cromulent Avoision

Has anyone else noticed that the FedEx logo has an arrow in the negative space? How long have I been staring at that logo and never seen it (the answer, by the way, is since January of 2000.? Today at work, Ben (the guy who secretly added his initials to my work webcam) pointed that out, as it was recently pointed out to him. None of us had ever noticed it before.

The arrow is intentional, of course. From, “The arrow was indeed intentional as a secondary design element,” says Federal Express Corp. spokesman Jess Bunn. “If the viewer sees it, it’s a neat, interesting visual bonus. If the viewer doesn’t see it, that’s OK. It’s still a powerful logo. The arrow is intended to communicate movement, speed and the dynamic nature of our company,” he said.

On a completely unrelated note, in an episode of The Simpsons that I recently watched, Kent Brockman used the word “avoision” and someone “off camera” gives him a hard time about it. He tells them, “it’s a word. Look it up.” So I did. It’s not a word (see also Cromulent and Embiggen), but in the course of my search I found a weblog called Cromulent Avoision; a clear reference to The Simpsons. I poked around on the site for a little while (the site’s creator is mostly correct when he says, “Trust me, I’m really no more interesting than anyone else out there.”) and I ended up reading this post about why 9/11 is a crappy name for the September 11 attacks.

Visit to the Set of End Game

Yesterday, Tom Dineen and I visited the set of the film End Game, which is shooting in Spokane until late March (or so). The film stars Cuba Gooding Jr., James Woods, and Burt Reynolds, among others.

Yesterday they were shooting a few scenes at a local hospital, so Tom and I went to check it out. We were supposed to show up at 1:30p, but when Tom called around 2p (we were running a bit late), his contact told us to call back at 3:30p. To kill time, Tom and I went to World Market. I love World Market.

Around 3:45p, we drove to the hospital (which was almost directly across the street) and waited around for Tom’s contact to call him back (Tom had called and left a message at around 3:30p).

While we were waiting, we could see MedStar (assy website alert) on the roof, surrounded by a bunch of people. We decided that it was cold outside and we went in to look for Tom’s man on the inside. Once in the hospital, we found Tom’s contact and he told us just to sit tight and wait for them to finish shooting on the roof. I would have liked to go up there, but it clearly wasn’t go to happen.

While we were sitting waiting, Tom approached several members of the crew whose names he knew from previous shoots. The guy running audio was also named Tom (yep, there were three of us). He was pretty cool. He showed us his equipment and chatted with us for a while. At around 4:30, we walked down the hallway where they were setting up for the next shot. All sorts of cool gear was sitting around like a sweet Arri and a Steadicam on a C-stand.

After a little while, Andy Cheng, the director, showed up. This guy is nuts. At one point, he was trying to show some of the crew what kind of shot he wanted, so he leaps up onto this gurney they had and stands with one foot on the gurney and one foot on the hand rail on the hallway, pointing down with his hands. The way he says “action” is pretty funny; he =really= stresses the “tion”.

So while he was running around pointing out where to put various potted plants, Tom and I started up a conversation with Cuba Gooding Jr’s cousin Keith, who has been his stand-in for thirteen years. Keith was super cool. He was complaining about the temperature in Spokane (it’s been pretty cold lately, but definitely warmer than it should be for this time of year). He told us that when they were shooting Snow Dogs, it was thirty-two =below= every day.

We waited and waited for =anything= to happen. It took forever and we got herded around a bit, but things finally started to happen. The camera guy started walking around with the camera and some of the fake doctors began receiving instructions.

When the fake doctors came in, a real hospital employee (a girl named Shy (not a misspelling) that, coincidentally, Tom had taken to prom) complained that they weren’t using any =real= doctors or nurses. For those of you who say, “Yeah! Who can act like a(n) [inset occupation here] better than a real [same occupation]?” Let me tell who. Actors can. Trust me, just because you’re a doctor or a garbage man, or a whatever, doesn’t mean you can act.

What was I saying? Oh yes, so Shy was complaining, then about 30 minutes later, this PA comes over and tells her and two other people that they can come stand in the scene if they want to. Of course she went with them (and no, she wasn’t neglecting any patients to do so. She’s actually a custodian, but the custodians wear scrubs).

Time to start filming! Roll sound! Roll camera! Marker!

They did a number of takes where the group of people go booking it down this hallway. And yes, Cuba Gooding Jr. did make an appearance.

I wanted to go talk to him and the director and try to get pictures with each of them, but they were in the middle of working and I didn’t want to bother them (plus, Cuba’ hands were covered in fake blood).

I feel like a tool for wanting to get pictures with them, but really it’s not for me (I don’t tend to get star struck, I’ve met enough celebrities to know that they’re just people who get paid more than the rest of us). The reason I want to get pictures with them is so that I can show other people and have them be amazed.

I apologise for the ass-ness of the pics, but there wasn’t enough light in the hallway for my camera to work properly (such is the curse of digital, eh?). Plus, people were usually moving around a lot, so that didn’t help. Tom says that they’re going to shoot a huge car wreck scene in a week or two, so I’m going to go check it out and take my video camera along. I’ll post whatever I can shoot.

Friday Funday XXIV

Friday Funday brings you some fun and interesting links from my travels around the internet during the previous week.

London Underground []

You don’t need to have ever ridden on the tube to appreciate this one (although having done so makes it funnier). Cheers to Cyd for this one.

monochrom []

Austrian artist group monochrom saved Taiwan. Sort of. There’s nothing like a bunch of artists coming together to rebel against a communist regime.

Fines for “Droopy Drawers” Backed []

From the article, “US politicians fed up with catching an eyeful of underwear want to fine those who won’t hitch up their trousers.” I’m so torn about this. On the one hand, I, too, find “droopy drawers” annoying, but on the other hand, I think handing out tickets for it is absurd and a waste of resources.

Vintage Vandals at the Wurst Gallery []

This idea is so cool that I want to go out and do it. A bunch of artists went out and bought crappy artwork at a thrift store, then made their own and sold it for thousands. My personal favourite is Driscoll Reid’s.

The Children of Iraq []

Some amazing photos here. Just after halfway down the page they start to get a bit gory and by the end I was overwhelmed. A sad way to end Friday Funday, but a sobering reminder of why war wasn’t the best route to take.

Google Maps Failure

In what I hope to be a one-off type of thing, Google Maps had a bit of a problem earlier.

>>>>>> FW: Some email thing

My mum just forwarded me an e-mail and the it began with the line, “IF YOU DON’T READ THIS TO THE VERY END, YOU HAVE LOST A DAY IN YOUR LIFE.”

Have you ever noticed that a lot of forwards start off this way? And more often than not, it’s really not something worth reading (although this one was pretty funny). I think the major flaw with this line is that if I don’t move the message directly to the trash, I won’t have lost a day in my life, I’ll have saved three minutes.

Year of the Rooster

I meant to post this yesterday, but I got busy with stuff and forgot.

Gung hay fat choy!

I always forget that people here don’t celebrate the same holidays as I’m used to, or if they do, they don’t celebrate them in the same way. When I said gung hay fat choy to people here, no one had any idea what I was talking about. If I would have said that to someone from Hawaii, chances are they’d know exactly what I mean.

I was born in 1981, which was a year of the rooster, and it looks as though we’ve once again come around to a rooster year. I remember looking at a chart of dates that told me which years would be rooster years and thinking, “2005? That’s so far from now!”

My how time flies.

The Super Bowl Girl

I found her!

Like an idiot, I didn’t realise that, since we aired the Super Bowl, we would have an air check of it! Sure enough, there she was. In my opinion, the director didn’t stay on her long enough. If you watch (she’s right near the final two minute mark), she opens her hoodie so you can see more of her face, just as they dissolve to another shot. It’s a real shame, because she looked like she had a nice mouth as well.

Mmm… She’s so beautiful.

Anyway, back to my =real= life.

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