Jun 28, 2011

Standing on Nesting in the Shoulders of Giants

Meant to post this ages ago and forgot. Anyway, this dude's girlfriend is studying astronomy. So he made her a set of astronomer matryoshkas. How awesome is that? And it's not just a clever idea—they're nicely done, too. Deservedly picked up by Boing Boing.

Jun 24, 2011

Just One More Thing...

Sad news: Peter Falk died today. He did that whole shrewd-but-lovable thing so well. I even liked his art (not that I suppose it was technically amazing, but I liked in nonetheless). In memoriam, I propose we all watch a Peter Falk favorite this weekend. Maybe more than one. I shall probably opt for The Princess Bride, as that's what I own, but I recommend Columbo, of course, as it significantly ups the Peter Falk quotient.

Jun 23, 2011

Something Borrowed, Something Bloop

Read this really interesting, disheartening story today. Apparently Waxy's Andy Baio made an 8-bit tribute album to Miles Davis' Kind of Blue entitled Kind of Bloop. So far so good. The album cover was a pixelated version of the original album cover. So Jay Maisel, the photographer who shot the picture used on the original cover, sued Baio. Eventually, Baio settled for $32,500—not, he points out, because he thinks his use of the highly stylized 8-bit version of the original image was anything other than fair use, but because the term is so legally ambiguous. As disappointing as this is, Baio says that settling was simply the least expensive option.

Me, personally, I think this is a shitty solution. Not that Baio had any other reasonable option. I just have a hard time seeing how his album cover, which clearly draws on but does not exactly reproduce the source material, is anything other than an example of fair use.

Jun 22, 2011

Aw Snap!

This bird is having none of your sass. And I love her for it. Via I Can Has Cheezburger, of course.

Jun 21, 2011

Fit for a Queen

They're not fancy, not expensive, but damn if Queen Helene face masques aren't awesome. Unfortunately, I haven't been able to find them in England thus far. However, I am currently benefiting from a Mint Julep Masque right now, courtesy of a special delivery from a friend in NY (thanks, Hanna!). Apparently, the Mint Julep Masque is America's #1 Facial Masque. No, I didn't know that was the sort of thing that was measured, either. But they can count me as a fan! I'm also rather partial to the Cocoa Butter Natural Facial Scrub and the Apricot Moisturizing Masque (which I can't find on their own site for some reason).

The history of the brand is pretty interesting, too. I had never imagined the company was started by some dude from New York—I had always envisioned the founder as a large, grandmotherly black lady. Don't ask me why, but that's the image I had in mind.

Jun 20, 2011

Block With a View

Saw this cheese knife set in the paper the other day and was particularly impressed not by the knives but by the block itself. It's hinged. Why has nobody done this before (that I know of, at least)? It cleverly addresses my constant qualm about knife blocks—how to clean them. In this case, just open it and wipe it clean. Brilliant!

Unfortunately, a) it's sold out at present and b) I suspect that it only fits a limited range of knives (it's designed for cheese knives set, so it's probably on the small side). However, it's a great idea and I hope that they eventually produce the same style in a larger size.

Jun 17, 2011

Going to the Circus

Couldn't post last night because I was out foolishly late having dinner with friends at Circus...which has become today's post. Normally, restaurants that involve some sort of gimmick have overpriced, lackluster food—and frequently a lackluster gimmick, as well. I am pleasantly surprised to report that not only was the (admittedly pricey) food very good, but the performances at Circus were excellent. During the course of our meal, we saw

• a multi-hula-hoop-twirling girl
• two underwear-clad fire-dancer girls
• a pair of girls who did an aerial hoop act in blacklighting
• and an acrobat-type guy who did a pretty impressive robot (and stripped to shirtlessness)

The performances were all very short but well choreographed, more sexy than schlocky (always a risk when a circus theme is involved), and the brief-but-brilliant format worked for the restaurant/venue setting. Oh, and there were no clowns, which was a plus. Objections: the blaring music, the fact that they lost our reservation, and the two-course minimum. Was it worth it? Hell yes. Not the sort of thing I'd do on a regular basis, but once in a while—definitely.

Jun 15, 2011

Cyberdog, Where the Rave Never Ends

I returned to Camden Market after an eight-year absence, assuming that the raver paradise Cyberdog would have long since closed (I mean, does anyone go to raves anymore?). Yet there it was, in all its blacklit, throbbing-techno glory. Naturally, I had to go in, even if my primary motivation was to see if my glow-in-the-blacklight nail polish still works. (Amazingly, it does—not bad for polish I bought in '98 or '99.)

Things to know about the shop: In case you couldn't tell from the above photo (and others in the Cyberdog Flickr pool, the entrance is guarded by two giant robots sentries. There are more robots inside, as well as dancing girls on platforms. The shop is, I believe, three or four stories, starting on the ground level (assorted accessories) and descending through more gadgets, men's, women's, and children's clothes, and sex toys and paraphernalia on the lowest level. That's also where you'll find the pole dancer.

Basically, the whole place looks like my dream house would have looked in 1999. My high school bedroom was approaching that level of seizure-inducing lighting (blacklight above the door, motorized disco ball above the bed, 3D alien head with strobing eyes on the wall, lava lamp, neon light, laser light, rainbow light, weird glowing orb thing, velvet blacklight poster, tie-dyed bedding, etc.), though I've never been super-down with most techno. Aside from a couple somewhat regrettable trips to Tunnel back in its heyday, I wasn't much down with the club scene, in fact. I guess I operated on the idea that the club atmosphere was better when you could chill in your pajamas. So I doubt I'll be making any purchases from Cyberdog (raver girl clubwear always makes the wearer look like a slutty futuristic baby), but it's fun as hell to visit.

On a side note, I couldn't remember the shop name at first. Thought it was The Android's Market, which I realized was my brain combining Android Market with Comic Book Guy's store, The Android's Dungeon. Funny that.

Jun 14, 2011

I Left My Heart...

This necklace is just sweet. Perfect when you are forced to be apart from a loved one, or your hometown, or San Francisco (I hear people are always forgetting their hearts there). It's customizable, not super-expensive, and could be quite thoughtful.

Jun 13, 2011

Totally Shredding (Their Bows)

I might be a little late to the game, but this is amazing. Above, Welcome to the Jungle played as a cello duet. Below, the same two guys perform a dueling cello version of Smooth Criminal. Both videos are a little schlocky in places, but that doesn't alter the fact that these are stellar performances.

I know nothing about these guys beyond the fact that their names are Luka Sulic and Stjepan Hauser, they call themselves 2CELLOS, and their debut album should be released this fall.

Jun 10, 2011

Rude Writings

Forgive the lack of post yesterday; I had a migraine. No fun. After a 12-hour day at work, which culminated in a pounding headache and some minor regurgitation, I returned home to shower and crawl into bed with Doctor Who. The show, not the Doctor himself. It's not like they give you a Doctor of your own just for moving to England.

Moving on.

We all need to take notes and make lists and jot down memorable "that's what she saids," and having some sort of little notebook on hand makes this a much easier process. When I was in fourth grade, I had a notebook that contained part of a bad murder mystery I was writing at the time and a list of my classmates who deserved to die. Primarily because they were jerks. Or boys. You know, the usual complaints when of a nine-year-old. That might have been the perfect occasion to use this Rude Little Black Book. At present, I think it might be useful for things more along the lines of shopping lists or errands, but I can still appreciate the cover sentiment.

As of this writing, the Rude Little Black Book is sold out, but the seller promises to make more soon.

Jun 8, 2011

Say It With Llamas

Everything's better with llamas. Bad news is more palatable, good news is happier, phrases like "llama llama llama llama llama chameleon" are even funnier. Fortunately, you too can reap the benefit of llama-induced goodwill when you send messages written in Llama Font.

Thanks to Doug of the Big Gay Ice Cream Truck for pointing it out!

Jun 7, 2011

Otterly Adorable

It's late, so just a quick feel-good post tonight. Witness what's probably the cutest video of a kid racing an otter you'll ever see. You're welcome.

Jun 6, 2011

Battle of the Alamo (Drafthouse)

I already knew Austin's Alamo Drafthouse was awesome—I had the great fortune of watching that classic, Road House (starring Patrick Swayze and, yes indeed, his naked ass) there one late night. Something had gone wrong with the movie we were going to see (some Wes Anderson movie—I forget which one), so the staff gave us free food and beer and about a bunch of free movie passes, were generally super-nice, and convinced us to stay for Road House. Best move ever. Our friend Luis answered trivia questions about the movie and won pancake mix. I'm a little fuzzy on why, but it was great.

Well, the Drafthouse just got even cooler in my estimation. I hate it when inconsiderate assholes text or talk on the phone during movies (understandably, I think). Apparently the Drafthouse is pretty stringent on their no-texting policy, as evidenced by this cautionary tale. Bravo, Alamo Drafthouse! They are nice until it's time to not be nice.

Jun 3, 2011

Wanting Watermelon

As today was rather warm, I could have done with one of these delightful watermelon frosties. Might have made work a bit more fun, too. Alas, I had to make do with iced coffee. But these look like a delectable bit of refreshment for another day.

Jun 2, 2011

Down Under (And I Don't Mean Australia)

Okay, no picture for this one. Not that the site I'm linking to doesn't have pictures—oh, it's full of them—but not a single one is remotely SFW. Let me give you a hint as to why: it's called Stuff in My Vagina. It's not porn (though it is obviously explicit); it's just random stuff inserted in some chick's vag. Weird? Absolutely. Oddly compelling? Yeah, sorta. You never know what's getting wedged in there next. My personal favorite is this little toy dinosaur (aw, it looks like it's climbing!), but a few others of note are the creepy eyeball, the terrifying scissors, and the suffocating Barbie doll.

So I'm not sure if I can really recommend this blog on any sort of actual merits, but it's worth checking out for the sheer weirdness factor. But not at work. Definitely not at work.

Jun 1, 2011

Gift Shops and War Boutiques

I'm not one of those die-hard Banskyphiles, but after witnessing the alternately clever/funny/disturbing/thought-provoking experiment that was The Village Pet Store and Charcoal Grill, I'm intrigued to check out the new exhibition, Banksy | War Boutique. Which reminds me that I still haven't seen Exit Through the Gift Shop.