Monday, August 31, 2009

Twitter Litter

You may be interested in 25 Creative Ways to Use Twitter. I find Twitter fairly useless, at least so far, although I "follow" some witty types who can be a source of amusing quips to recycle on Facebook -- or even IRL. We seem to be in the midst of Twittermania at the moment -- which means the backlash will be along any time now. Meanwhile, some of these "creative" apps are good for a giggle, like Number 3:

"Botanicalls' DIY Twitter watering project uses moisture probes to allow your plant to tweet you a message when it needs a drink."

Eye roll.... Now even plants are tweeting.

But then there's Number 5 -- a device that allows fetuses to tweet their kicks from the womb. Um, that's just icky.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Lost in Translation

"I was in front of him, what happened with my phone?"

What happens when you translate a famous song lyric into Japanese and then back into English -- again and again? The answer, my friend, is blowing in the wind at find equilibrium.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

The Complete Idiot's Guide to the Way I Feel

Watched something about black holes on PBS tonight. We're all being slowly sucked into one, you know -- everyone in this galaxy is -- we just don't feel it. Felt a bit queasy about that.... Walking home tonight, I was following my neighbor-in-drag again as he/she sashayed through a small crowd of kids on pogo sticks. Suddenly felt as if I'd taken LSD or something.... A little bug was crawling across my computer screen at work today. At first I thought it was CGI; then I realized it was a real insect. Felt a little creeped out but didn't squish it or blow it away. It was kind of interesting to watch, actually, as it meandered over the fields of metadata.... Picked up some apples that fell off the tree in the backyard. Thought some of them might make good photo models for a "Rotten Apple" music label. Felt momentarily clever.... But what kind of music? Junior high band-practice tunes?

Monday, August 24, 2009

Word of the Day: slitheroo

slitheroo (v)

To slowly slide with a gliding motion.

"Don't slitheroo thet way, Harve. Short's the trick, because no sea's ever dead still...."
--Rudyard Kipling, Captains Courageous

I didn't know there was a word for it, but now I know that I slitheroo every morning as I descend to the platform at the Journal Square PATH station, sliding and gliding (and squeezing) past the commuters who insist on standing still on the escalator. I have no patience for riding escalators without also walking down or up the steps, even when I don't have a train to catch. Passive ascending and descending? That's for elevators.

"Slitheroo" makes me think of snakes, too. I knew a guy in college who kept a snake in a bag in his dorm-room closet. At least he said he did. I never had a desire to see it, and he never offered to show it to me. Now I wonder if he was putting me on....

(via Wordnik)

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Hitchcock's 'The Birds' in 1 minute, 40 seconds

"A woman with a birdcage in a fur coat in a rowboat; it could be a Surrealist painting by Dali or Magritte."
--Camille Paglia

(via boynton)

Brain Dump

Cheer up, it's not the end of the world through rose-colored glasses of wine punch your way out of a wet paper bag it is or isn't because if today was a fish, I'd throw it back in the river. Don't get your knickers in a twist and shout out loud and clear as a bell, book, or candle in the wind tunnel of love not war and peace in our time is money where your mouth is. It has to get worse, before it gets better than nothing new under the sun comes up every day late and a dollar short and sweet or sour grapes of wrath of God is a concept by which we measure our pain in the ass kissing. Don't you think so?

Wednesday, August 19, 2009


"What are you doing?" Twitter asks. NMU? If you want to know what that and other popular online acronyms mean, click on

Top 50 Text Acronyms Parents Should Know

They're pretty hilarious.


Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Truly a Digital Photo


I attended the Bouckville Antiques Show last weekend, not so much to buy dusty bric-a-brac and gewgaws in a muggy former cow pasture, but rather to take arty pictures of weird and/or interesting curios. You can see some of same here.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Micro Fiction: "Wobbles"

She wobbled. She wavered. She doddered and staggered and tottered. The woman who was walking down the sidewalk in front of Ivan as he made his way home that afternoon looked as if she was about to fall over. She was tall, wearing high heels and dressed in a tight black mini-skirt and a black leather jacket. She had a wiggy-looking bubble of bright red hair. For a moment, Ivan wondered if she was a prostitute, but her pink vinyl purse, covered with plastic stick-on daisies, argued otherwise. The whole effect was almost like someone in a costume.

As she continued to stagger down the sidewalk, Ivan had to wonder if she was drunk or possibly sick. What would he do if she fell over? Help her up? Call 9-1-1?

So far he hadn't seen her face. But as other people passed her in the opposite direction and glanced at her, the expressions on their faces told him that something was wrong, or at least unusual, about the way this woman looked.

She started to walk more slowly, though she continued to wobble alarmingly on her high heels. Ivan had to slow his own pace to avoid bumping into her. He thought about speeding up and passing her, and then glancing back to see her face, but decided not to. He wanted the mystery to last a little longer. And as they were now entering his own block in his own neighborhood, he was curious to see where exactly this unstable damsel in apparent distress would end up. Maybe she was one of his neighbors. Maybe she was someone he would be seeing more often.

He just hoped she wasn't going to actually fall over. Ivan wasn't the type to want to get involved. He remembered the time, years ago, when he had helped an old lady get up when she tripped and fell on the sidewalk. The lady had not been especially grateful. She had clutched her purse tightly through the whole incident, as if she thought Ivan was a mugger who was about to rob her.

There had been another time, too, when he'd helped a man who stumbled on a moving escalator to get back on his feet. The guy had been too embarrassed to even acknowledge the help.

It wasn't just the wobbling that made this woman seem strange. Ivan had seen plenty of drunks doing the alcoholic shuffle. The way this woman walked was different. It was if she'd never worn high heels before, like a little girl playing dress up in her mother's clothes.

A car drove by with the windows rolled down, and the man behind the wheel, a shady looking guy in a white undershirt, did a double-take when he saw Ms. Teetering -- the name Ivan had mentally given to the woman for now -- and the driver snickered. Ivan wondered why. What was funny about someone who was apparently impaired in some way, unsteady enough to be having trouble just walking down the street?

Ms. Teetering started walking faster after that, and Ivan was sure she was going to topple over at any second. But she somehow managed to stay upright. He was only a few steps behind her now, and he wondered if he should ask her if anything was wrong. But he hesitated. He still had that "don't talk to strangers" command in his head, left over from childhood. And something about the woman's black leather jacket and tight skirt, and what he could now see were her muscular legs behind dark stockings, made him suspect that she wasn't exactly helpless, even if she was having a problem right now.

At last she stopped in front of an ordinary wood-frame house almost directly across the street from Ivan's own home. She bent over slightly to unlatch the iron gate that led to the yard.
For the first time, Ivan caught a glimpse of her face. It wasn't what he was expecting. He had imagined she would be pale, possibly crying, or looking as if she was about to throw up. Instead he saw a calm face with a large jaw covered with five o-clock shadow.

And Ivan had his first "a-ha" moment of the day.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Quirk of the Day: K9s on the Subway Lines

Scientists in Moscow say stray dogs have learned to use the subways to travel to the city center in search of food. Story here.

I haven't observed this yet in New York/New Jersey, but I have seen pigeons on the PATH trains.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

The T&T List

Six Sigma
Dreams from My Father
Anthora coffee cups
Corey Booker
Muriel Volestrangler
Kudzu Jesus (pareidolia)
The Lost Symbol
Yellow Tail
The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus

Monday, August 10, 2009

Shutting the Book of Faces

Facebook has "disabled" my account, with no explanation given. I wasn't doing anything out of the ordinary on Facebook -- in fact, I use it much less than some of my (relatively few) friends on there. Strange. I sent them a polite e-mail. Stay tuned.

Saturday, August 08, 2009

Codex Seraphinianus

"The Codex Seraphinianus was written and illustrated by Italian graphic designer and architect Luigi Serafini during the late 1970s. The Codex is a lavishly produced book that purports to be an encyclopedia for an imaginary world in a parallel universe, with copious comments in an incomprehensible language. It is written in a florid script, entirely invented and completely illegible, and illustrated with watercolor paintings."

You can read more about this strange book and see examples of the Bosch-like illustrations here. It shares some similarities with the famous (infamous?) Voynich Manuscript.

T'would be an interesting volume to possess, if it didn't cost $550 on Amazon....

Friday, August 07, 2009

"Take this brother, may it serve you well"

The complete lyrics to the Beatles' Revolution #9 are here.

"I'm not in the mood for whirling" either.

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Word of the Day: ghoti

ghoti (n)

Alternate spelling of "fish".

"Perhaps try eating more ghoti – it's meant to be brain food."
--Catie Holdridge,

"ghoti" can be pronounced "fish":

* gh, pronounced like "f" as in tough;
* o, pronounced like "i" as in women; and
* ti, pronounced like "sh" as in nation

I have eight ghoti at the moment, in a 10-gallon tank. Room for a couple more, I think....

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Ha ha ha ha.....

agent cooper

We need to see more of Special Agent Dale Cooper, I think. Hmm, Dave?

"Coffee not for children under 3 years"

Random Acts of Poetry

All Night

All night, by the bed,
the numerals flicker and burn

like cold, cerebral flames.
I hear no ticking,

just the gentle heaving
of your breath,

the electrical hum
of existence.

The numbers
keep on slaying time

with lunatic precision.
A steel needle

words on my forehead,

repetitive sentences,
coils of nonsense.

The clock
loves counting:

one, two, three
hours unwind

like spools of film
from a preposterous movie

that drags on till morning,
that fades into sleep.

Monday, August 03, 2009

The 15 Creepiest Vintage Ads of All Time


A happy, suicidal pig... a woman who has been made into a rug... Lysol for feminine hygiene... a JonBenet clone... They're mostly ridiculously sexist or display a disturbing attitude toward children.

Sunday, August 02, 2009

Weekend Netflix Report: Salvajes [Savages] (2001)

Gritty, sometimes out-of-focus and ugly cinematography perfectly suits this Spanish drama about anti-immigrant racism and family problems. Berta (Marisa Paredes) is a single nurse raising her deceased sister's three teenage children in a Spanish port city. The two boys are neo-Nazis with a flaming hatred for African immigrants, and the girl has a boyfriend who runs an underground business smuggling -- ought oh -- illegal aliens from Africa.

Into this time bomb comes a cop, Eduardo (Imanol Arias), who is investigating the vicious assault of a black man. He and Berta fall for each other and make tigerish love in scenes that are much hotter than you might expect from middle-aged actors.

The film is full of sex, violence, and sharp dialog that's a bit hard to catch as the subtitles fly by at top speed. The story is engaging, the actors are utterly convincing, and there's not a moment that rings Hollywood false. The ending is a bit bizarre, though, as director Carlos Molinero breaks the frame with a political message that seems tacked on. But if you like hyperrealistic drama without any gloss, this is worth watching.

Saturday, August 01, 2009

Fish Food for Thought

philosofish 12 small

More clip-art philosophy by me (and Orson Welles). Click here to catch the big fish.