28 March 2008


A wee video for the day for all those Tetris lovers out there.

This gets a bit old after a minute or two, but it's quite impressive. Enjoy.

27 March 2008

Pierre Repondit?

I've been gone for quite some time, but I'm working my way back to the blog. I'll start with this mini-mystery. I've just read an article in the New York Times (read it here) about a French inventor named Édouard-Léon Scott de Martinville. Apparently Edouard, not Edison, is now being credited with making the first recording of sound.

Never mind the fact that his "phonoautograph" was never meant to record sound, but rather a visual representation of sound--researchers were able to apply new technology and aurally read the squiggly lines that this little-known Frenchman left behind. The result? A ten-second recording of "Au clair de la lune," a French folk tune.

Here is my question to you, dear readers. According to the NY Times, the singer (presumably female, though "she" sounds like a little boy to me, but anyway) sings the following words, "A clair de la lune, Pierre repondit." I, however, with my admittedly limited (though quite useful) conversational French, can only hear "A clair de la lune, la lune, la lune."

What do you hear?

(Unfortunately, I can't attach the sound byte here, as I am unable to download it from the NY Times site. You can listen, however, on the page given in the link above).

18 March 2008

More on the Tube

More YouTube Craziness....This is perhaps old news to many, but I only discovered it today. Very amusing.

You can check out more of her videos, cameos and press at www.obamagirl.com. I enjoyed Super ObamaGirl.

More Cheetos

(This post relates to the previous post. You may want to start there)


YouTube is a strange place. Whilst searching for more Cheetos-related videos, I came across this very strange video. Watch it at your own risk, though I warn you that the image of a masked man in a speedo simulating intercourse with a phallic pillar of compressed Cheetos may be tough to erase from your mind.

I also warn you that I have only watched approximately two minutes of a what seems to be a video of more than eight minutes. As such, I claim absolutely no knowledge of what happens after two minutes.



I just read this article in slate about the new Cheetos commercials that are apparently gracing the television waves these days. I have no television, so I have never seen the ads, but I went to YouTube to check them out. The are, simply put, very amusing and quite creepy.

These are almost as good (though not quite) as the Skittles commercials that I put up on this blog last year. You can watch them here. (Scroll to the bottom of the page).

And this is even weirder...

14 March 2008


I'm headed off into the woods for the weekend, so there will be no posts for a few days.

Pictures to come soon.

13 March 2008

Health in the US

Regarding health care (from the NY Times):

"Are we getting our money’s worth? Not according to the usual measures of public health. The United States ranks 45th in life expectancy, behind Bosnia and Jordan; near last, compared with other developed countries, in infant mortality; and in last place, according to the Commonwealth Fund, a health-care research group, among major industrialized countries in health-care quality, access and efficiency."

12 March 2008


What a bunch of nonsense. I've just read an opinion piece in the New York Times that purports that Hillary Clinton's "Experience Advertisement" (that silly, fear mongering commercial with the sleeping children and the red phone in the night) is a racist ad.

I'm amazed at this man's super power, which seems to be the ability to look at something and see in it whatever he likes. I truly am reminded of a paper that I once wrote for an English class in which I claimed that Cambell's soup advertisements used communist imagery to sell their steamy soup.

Read it here

Oh, and so as not to be misunderstood -- I think the commercial is ridiculous and lame -- but most certainly not racist.

11 March 2008

More on Liars

Elliiot Spitzer, the current (perhaps not for long) governor of New York, has been caught up in a scandal involving a high-class prostitution ring. Apparently (according to some of the ladies of the night), he was a difficult client. The New York Times reports that,

In a wiretapped conversation after the encounter, the prostitute, Kristen, called her booker to inform her that the session had gone well, and that she did not find the client “difficult,” as other prostitutes apparently had, according to the affidavit.

The booker responds that he, in an apparent reference to Client 9, sometimes asks the women “to do things that, like, you might not think were safe.”

Though I personally do not wish to avail myself of the services of a hooker (high class or otherwise), I don't consider myself sufficiently free of "sin" to begin casting stones at Mr. Spitzer for his nighttime behavior. As far as I am concerned, his sex life has nothing to do with me or the political goings-on in New York. What more concerns me is the vast gulf that Mr. Spitzer's apparent hippocracy represents between his own life and that of his political discourse. As the New York Times writes,

Though his signature issue was pursuing Wall Street misdeeds, as attorney general Mr. Spitzer also had prosecuted at least two prostitution rings as head of the state’s organized crime task force.

In one such case in 2004, Mr. Spitzer spoke with revulsion and anger after announcing the arrest of 16 people for operating a high-end prostitution ring out of Staten Island.

“This was a sophisticated and lucrative operation with a multitiered management structure,” Mr. Spitzer said at the time. “It was, however, nothing more than a prostitution ring.”

I don't really know what one does in a case like this. I understand that politics requires that Mr. Spitzer speak with conviction and revulsion when discussing the breakup of a prostitution organization. It must be a hard place to be for him, enjoying the company of prostitutes and working at a job that requires that he prosecute them. I can empathize or sympathize or something like that. Still, I'm so utterly sick and tired of the tremendous disconnect between the word and actions of so many politicians. It's like we're living in a country full of sex addicts who are too scared and repressed to even talk about sex.

Well, it will be interesting to see what happens in the coming days. Surely Mr. Spitzer will resign, though he has not yet done so. And hopefully, we'll have a tell-all book to look forward to, giving us the chance to read an autobiographical account of the governor's sex addiction, his fall from grace, and his ultimate redemption.

10 March 2008

Earth Day Asheville

Dear All,

I write this post to ask a favor of all my readers, intentional and accidental. Sirius.B, my band, has entered an Earth Day Music Contest, and we need your help to win it. See below for details. Please Vote!

Dear Friends of Sirius.B,

We have entered the Earth Day Asheville Band Competition and we need YOUR VOTE! If we win they’ll give us $1000 and we’ll play a show at the Orange Peel, an important local venue.

It only takes a moment. We’re in the Rock/Funk/Dance category in the link below:


Voting ends March 31 - THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Also, we’ve updated the website. Among other things, you can now purchase CD’s and TShirts from our “Merch” page. --> Go to the website now if you like.

09 March 2008

Margaret Jones

Check out this video from Slate. I've got a post in the works that tells all about my experience last night at the PBR (Professional Bull Riding) event in Greenville, SC.


04 March 2008

Liar, Liar, Pants on Fire

When James Frey's "memoir" a Million LIttle Pieces was exposed as a fake a few years ago, I shook my head ruefully. I, though I hate to admit it, had been tricked by Mr. Frey and his tall tales. I had read the book, and though somewhat incredulous as to some of the more incredible details of his tale, had believed his story.

I am, perhaps, naive when it comes to the written word. I am enthralled and pulled in by tales of personal redemption and the conquest of emotional demons, and I tend to believe that lies are hard to keep and that the truth will generally rise to the top, much as cream used to do before homogenization became an industry standard of dairy production.

My ignorance, it must be said, is somewhat willed. I grew up reading romantasized biographies of famous Americans, reveling in the tales of Davy Crockett, Ben Franklin, and others. At some point, I realized that these stories were not mere retellings of a life, but rather somehow tied to nation-building, to an attempt to instill patriotic feelings in young people.

And still, I am amazed by these liars--amazed by their gall, their balls, and their disrespect for truth. I no longer buy into the Postmodern view of things (though I did at one time, while studying at Cambridge) and reject the idea that truth is an impossible thing to pin down. Truth, or at least "truthiness" (as Steven Colbert says) exists, at least in some approximate form.

I am therefore, dismayed to read the New York Times article about Margaret Seltzer, whose memoir of gang life in Los Angeles was pure, unadulterated bullshit.

I first heard of Margaret Seltzer (though I then knew her as Margaret B. Jones) in the New York Times last week. I read an article about her recent memoir, and of her philanthropic efforts to help gang members. She, the article informed me, was half-Native American, and had been raised in a foster home in Los Angeles. She had joined the Bloods and run drugs for them. Her brothers had been killed young, shot by other gang members. Somehow, she had escaped to Oregon, where she spent her time writing and cooking up delicious food with "Big Mama's" recipes.

All of this is a lie. Margaret Seltzer is a privileged white girl whose sister exposed her lie (shame on her too for betraying her relative!) after seeing her picture in the New York Times article.

And so, not only do I feel betrayed, but I also wonder at the magnitude of her denial. How could she not know that she would be exposed? I try to think of myself, of trying to publish a book that tells all about my life as a drug-addicted, alcoholic circus performer. Would not someone, at some point, that I have met over the years, see a picture of me and say, "Wait a minute! He most certainly is not what he says he is! I went to high school with that punk ass!"

How can these people really believe that they'll get away with this?

Even worse, perhaps, is the recent exposure of fake Holocaust tales, such as the case of "Misha", in which a woman talks of fleeing the Holocaust, walking across Europe, and even consorting with wolves in the forest. It took eleven years, but she has been exposed as well.

I guess this all has something to do with the scale of the lie. If you scream something loudly enough, write it down, and let the whole world see it, people tend to believe. Most people, like me, can't imagine that someone could be so dumb as to believe that they'll actually get away with something like this. And so, paradoxically, they do. For a time.

Read below some articles associated with these stories.

Margaret Lies

So Does James Frey

Margaret Inspires!

Girl Not Raised By Wolves!

03 March 2008

More Octopuses

My apologies to those that aren't fans of amazing things, but here's yet another octopus video for y'all to enjoy. This one focuses on the Indonesian Mimic Octopus.

02 March 2008

David Horvitz

This guy is pretty damn cool and most certainly worth checking out.

David Horvitz