Wednesday, September 28, 2005

We really DO live in the future.

Forget the iPod nano. I mean, those things are cool, but they're not even in the same league as the Butterfly Living Room R/C Flyer!



Seriously, if this doesn't excite you then:

1. You're quite possibly an old person, or
2. My perspective of what others like is completely skewed by my nerdiness.

Either way, feel free to buy me one for Christmas.

Giant squids "are much more active predators than previously suggested."

It's the news that you've been waiting for for a thousand years, brought to you today from the Bonin Islands, 600 miles south of Tokyo.



Two Japanese scientists, Tsunemi Kubodera and Kyoichi Mori (I'm even putting their names here because this is such a cool thing), have made the first EVER observations of a giant squid in the wild.

They've got four hours of footage of a 26 foot squid (just a baby) trying to free itself from a baited hook that these wily biologists set up at 3000 ft below the surface.

I'm just going to copy out the best part of the article; it's so good that it gave me shivers:

"The giant squid, the researchers conclude, 'appears to be a much more active predator than previously suspected, using its elongate feeding tentacles to strike and tangle prey.' They report that the tentacles could apparently coil into a ball, much as a python envelops its victims."

So....awesome.

Get ready for a revival of AGSMs (Angry Giant Squid Movies) coming your way in the summer of 2006.

Monday, September 26, 2005

Our house...is a very very very fine house

Chris' parents came by the other day to iron his shirts for him and take him out for dinner, and when they were here his mom took a few pictures out in front of our house.



Look how cute we are!



That's Chris alone with the other two members of our house: my motorcycle and a dishwasher that we have since had taken away by a mysterious nighttime trash collector.

We miss you, Dishy.

Smash! Bang! Boom!

Holy crap, y'all. Demolition Derbies are the best things ever.



Sarah, Chris, Gill and I went up to Bolton on Friday night for the opening night of the 2006 Bolton Fall Fair. I'm guessing that most of you haven't ever heard of Bolton - it's a sleepy little town in the house-farm / horse-farm belt north of Toronto - but wow, does it ever draw a crowd and a half for its Fall Fair.



I'm definitely prone to exaggeration, but I bet that there were well over a thousand people there on Friday night.



I'd never been to a demolition derby before - despite the fact that I grew up in the boons and that my mom met her ex-husband at a demolition derby - so I wasn't quite sure what to expect. So by the time a Toyota dressed up as a Miss Piggy:



...smashed the rear end of a Cavalier into its back seat and then pulled a quick clockwise donut only to forcibly pop the radiator out of a Dodge Omni (that had already been breathing fire out of its shredded exhaust manifolds):



...well, I was so excited that I was cheering and jumping around.



Surprisingly, some of the best action came after the races when the tractors came into the ring and started dragging the corpses of what once were cars out of the ring.



Next up: we're going to try to get tickets to see the 30 foot robot that eats cars. Wait for it.

That's McFaster-ton, not McFaster-ten

Ok, so we didn't win the iPod nanos that the first-place team received for their stunningly fast adjusted finish time of 2:18:54, but the collective members of Speedy McFasterton did pull off a respectable 19th place finish in this year's Navigate the Streets, Toronto. We ended up getting stumped on a few of the clues, including confusion over just how many Emmys Desperate Housewives won this year (and as it turns out, it was six...who knew!?). Considering, though, that I run about as well as a wet newspaper, I have to hand it to our support team for getting us our checkpoint locations in a very timely manner (and for being patient with me while I was wheezing into my cell phone while running around town). Also, it turns out that most people had trouble finding those blasted elephants in the financial district.

So, hey - same time, next year. We're totally going to be in, like, 18th or 17th place, for sure.

Friday, September 23, 2005

Jian Ghomeshi, Astronaut

Lindsay, I'm so sorry to write this because it would be great if we could be friends and all, and I know that you're going to resent me for making fun of your friend, and I REALLY REALLY want to get invited to one of Jian Ghomeshi's parties with you, and when he called you on your cellphone at breakfast the other day I felt like I was so close to Moxy Fruvous that I could literally taste it, but it needs to be said here and now:

Jian Ghomeshi's new music is worse than Moxy Fruvous ever was.

And for those of you who are just joining us now, Moxy Fruvous was embarassing enough.

Seriously, though. Go to his website and it pops up in a window and starts playing immediately without asking you if you WANT to hear Jian Ghomeshi's new album. And the best part? It leaves the old front page open behind it, so you can still here the amazingly arrogant camera-shutter noise that comes from the picture changing on the original page clicking away in the background, drawing our attention to yet another shot of beautiful, beautiful Jian Ghomeshi.



Best lines so far, from a song called "Father" that is, apparently, a tribute to Pierre Trudeau:

"My father said that you were just.
And my father said that you did what you must.
And my father was an immigrant.
And I'm sorry that he never met you."

Barf. Go back to your a cappella, Jian. Please. I'll even sing along to "King of Spain" on your forthcoming greatest hits album if you'll only just stop making music that sounds like Bryan Adams II.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Woot! Pasta Machine!



Woot! Linguine!

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Speedy McFasterton takes on the Teedot

I don't know that y'all are doing this Saturday, but if you find yourself sitting around idle, wondering what to do, take a minute and cross your fingers for the collective members of Speedy McFasterton:

Chris "Crazy Legs" Caners
David "Potato Face" D'Amico
Vanessa "Hawkeye" Koepke
and yours truly, Mike "Danger" Stringer

...in the Toronto edition of Navigate the Streets. It's like an Amazing race type of thing, except it's not on TV and if we win the money goes mostly to charity. Also, we don't get to go to Thailand or anything, but we might make it to Etobicoke.

Woot, Etobicoke!

Seriously though, it's gonna be good. It's basically a scavenger hunt, and who doesn't like a good scavenger hunt?

Today's music: Eye of the Tiger. Cue training montage.

My two new favourite products.

I found the first of my two new favourite products about five minutes before I came cross the ants on Sunday afternoon at a 7/11. It's a new energy drink, Rockstar Energy Drink that apparently lets the drinker "Party like a Rockstar":



You have to love the boldness of this advertising campaign. I mean, for this to work well in an unironic sense, the advertising company that produced this had to somehow come up with the conviction that, yes, their ads could make a regular person like you or I believe that drinking their energy beverage could overcome our normal social standards and let us Party Like Rockstars! Or maybe it's meant for those people who already think that they Party Like Rockstars, so that they will identify with this drink.

"Hey, I party like a rockstar! This is my energy drink!"

Anyway, product number two comes to us today from this month's edition of Teen Vogue. Sarah bought it a couple of days ago to read the interview with Frances Bean Cobain - an interview that, sadly, focuses on her fashion sense and her desire to not "be titled as Courtney Love and Kurt Cobain's daughter".

Sigh. I know that you're only thirteen, Frances (can I call you Frances?) but why are you following the same old whiny cliche of all children of famous people? Have you not figured out that we only know who you are because they're your parents? Hey, I've got an idea: if you don't want to be famous because you're their daughter, maybe you should stop giving interviews until you've done something interesting on your own.

Ok, I'm done. And yes, I know, she's only thirteen, but she's a thirteen-year-old with a publicist, designer and a makeup artist. Truth be known, I'm impressed that she seems to be as normal as she is. And to their credit, the closest that the article came to mentioning Kurt's violent, sensational death was when they referred to him as "the late Kurt Cobain".

Anyway, I'm off track. This wasn't supposed to be about Frances Bean or the fact that I didn't make the Teen Vogue list of 24 Sexy Boys to Watch. It's about this ad that I found on page 31:



It reads:

"First Ever!

Airbrush Legs

It's like spraying on pantyhose.

Legs look gorgeous and feel soft, smooth and sexy.

Enriched with Vitamin K, so Airbrush Legs covers and helps fade freckles, veins and imperfections.

Long-lasting and transfer-resistant. Won't streak, run or hide your pedicure.

Bare legs are nice. Airbrush legs are irresistable."


This is, incredibly, an ad for spray-on pantyhose. Yes, that's right - spray-on pantyhose. Nice to know that someone has finally improved on bare legs.

Can someone please explain to me how this is any different than spray-on hair which, last time I checked, was the least sexy product on the planet?

Ants!

While walking home from the Queen West Art Walk on Sunday, we came across the most frighteningly huge mass of ants that I've ever seen in this city, just outside Bathurst station:




How freaky is that?

Shudder.

Friday, September 16, 2005

Forget the holy wars...bring on the unit of measurement wars!

Check out this site, which I came across through a friend of a friend. It's fun galore on two levels:

First, you get to figure out just how many servings of your favourite caffineated beverage would kill you. Among other interesting little factoids - like, it would for example take 117.67 cups of drip coffee to do me in - I discovered that Diet Coke has a crapload more caffeine in it than Classic Coke does! Who knew!

Secondly, though, follow the link to the comments. I guess that the site was only originally designed with a lbs measurement for your body weight, and the flame war that erupted when a couple of non-Americans asked for a metric measurement to be added to the site is stunning in its intensity. Within a few posts, the argument over whether metric or imperial is a better system turns ugly. Really ugly:

"Maybe add the option to use kilos… for the rest of the world"

"Kilos? F**K the rest of the world"

Jesus christ. Get back on your meds, psycho.

Egon the Swift

Ok, it's official. Of the six neons that I bought two weeks ago, only one lonely little neon remains alive today. The first two disappeared within an hour of their coming home, two disappeared over the second week, and now, sometime since last evening, number five has gone and left this guy all alone:



Ok, I swear to god, that's actually a fish. It's really hard to take a picture of a tiny fish in a tank, ok?

It took us a while to figure out where these neons were going, amazingly enough. You'd think that in a small fishtank, there would only be so much intrigue about where a fish could disappear to. I mean, there's really nowhere to go. But none of the other fish in the tank seemed to be big enough to eat the little guys.

Then I saw this deft little wily bastard nipping at the fish, and I knew that I'd found my culprits:



You know, I really wish that the people in pet stores could keep these things straight. I mean, we bought the six neons and the two frogs at the same time from the same store, so you'd think they would have let us know that the frogs would eat the neons.

Sigh.

The neons who are already gone never even had names. So sad. So, before the frog claims his final victim, I thought it would be suitable to immortalize him here, for what it's worth.

Henceforth, little neon, you will be called Egon, the Swift. Let it never be said that you died nameless.

And as for the frogs, well, you will forever be known as Ralph and Betty, the Destroyers. Hopefully with names like that, the other fish will learn to keep their distance.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

.- ..-. - . .-. / - .... . / -... . . .--.

.. .----. ...- . / -... . . -. / .... .- ...- .. -. --. / - .-. --- ..- -... .-.. . / .-- .. - .... / .--. . --- .--. .-.. . / ..- -. -.. . .-. ... - .- -. -.. .. -. --. / --- ..- .-. / - . .-.. . .--. .... --- -. . / -- .- -.-. .... .. -. . / -- . ... ... .- --. . .-.-.- / ... --- / ..-. .-. --- -- / -. --- .-- / --- -. --..-- / .. .----. -- / --- -. .-.. -.-- / .- -.-. -.-. . .--. - .. -. --. / -- . ... ... .- --. . ... / .. -. / -- --- .-. ... . / -.-. --- -.. . --..-- / .--. .-. . ..-. . .-. .-. .- -... .-.. -.-- / -... . .- - / --- ..- - / --- -. / .- / - .- -- -... --- ..- .-. .. -. . .-.-.-

Monday, September 12, 2005

OK Go!

I'm probably exposing my soft, pink, ignorant-of-cool underbelly by admitting that I've never heard of OK Go! before today, but I don't mind in this case.

Why you ask?

Well now, throw another log on the fire and I'll tell you about how I've just had so much fun exploring their band site this morning. They've got my new favourite music video - which, incidentally, probably only cost as much as the fancy suits that they're wearing; a video game where you hunt a band of van-driving Swedish nycleharpa players, who are hell-bent on "destroying the will to rock and replacing it with the will to play medieval stringed instruments"; a juggling club; a podcast where the band interviews Jonathan Goldstein; and on top of all this, their music is not bad either.

Most importantly of all, though, they also bring me hope that bald boys can sometimes be the most stylish and sexy in a group of otherwise stylish and sexy boys; this revelation is something that pre-balding boys search for signs of in almost everything, and here it's more-or-less explicit.



I mean, look at those chops! Look at that cute little bald head!

That is steeped. Well, steep, anyway.

So I've figured out what the fuck this whole "Steeped Tea" campaign is all about at Tim Horton's these days. In my supreme ignorance, I was becoming irate at the ignorance of the ads that they've been showing lately; this was mostly based on the fact that, as far as I knew, all tea was steeped. But now I understand. Instead of using a separate bag for every cup of tea, they're now brewing the tea in giant pots every 20 minutes and just pouring it out into cups on demand.

Now, in theory, this seems like a great idea to me. Less waste means better for the environment, and I don't expect tea to taste much different in large batches than it would in individually bagged cups. Also, removing all of this extra work for employees should lower the cost of making tea right?

Wrong! Wrong!

Some genius at Tim Horton's (and I mean it, it's kinda genius) has come up with the idea of marketing this mass-brewing of tea (sorry, mass steeping of tea) as a new and exciting way of serving tea, so as to justify the fact that they've increased the price of tea by 21% overnight!

"Brilliant!" they shouted in the boardroom, "We'll make millions!"

I'm sorry, are we retarded? Are we really not expected to see through the fact that they're upping the price of tea when their expenses are dropping, just because they have a clever marketing campaign?

Oh wait, steeped tea is gluten free? Well, shit, count me in, then!

Friday, September 09, 2005

I love John Stewart

"Now, for you people who are saying, `Well, stop pointing fingers at the president...left-wing...the media's being too hard:
No. SHUT...UP! No! This is inarguably---inarguably---a failure of leadership from the top of the federal government.

Remember when Bill Clinton went out with Monica Lewinsky? That was inarguably a failure of judgment at the top. Democrats had to come out and risk losing credibility if they did not condemn Bill Clinton for his behavior. I believe Republicans are in the same position right now. And I will say this: Hurricane Katrina is George Bush's Monica Lewinsky. The only difference is that tens of thousands of people weren't stranded in Monica Lewinsky's vagina."

Sourced from Daily Kos.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Back from the East, Abortions Caused Katrina

Whooo! I'm back from my Excellent Adventure a la Bill and Ted, but with less time travel and Wyld Stallyn, but more lobster killing, Buddhist Monestaries and the ghost of PT Barnum. More on all that later this week once I've had a few minutes to put together a mini travel diary with some pictures and such. Sorry - I know it sucks to be kept waiting, but work piled up while I was gone so I've got to put off my leisurely computer time for a couple of days in the interest of keeping my job.

That said, I can't possibly not take to time to point you all to this article which you'll probably have to watch an ad to read, but it's worth it. Seems that, according to the devoted faithful in the Columbia Christians for Life, Hurricane Kartina is God's none-too-subtle Old Testamenty way of closing the 5 abortion clinics in New Orleans. I mean it's obvious, isn't it? Look at the satellite imagery...the storm even looks like a fetus if you catch it at the right moment...and photograph it according to our man-made idea of "North equals Up"...and then turn it around...and then squint your eyes a bit...oh, fuck it.

I don't care where you stand on the abortion debate, these nutbuckets make the Elvis-is-an-Alien, fold-your-$20-bill-to-look-like-the-twin-towers people look like cautious skeptics.