Saturday, April 30, 2005

Sin city

First of all,

"I feel like my apartment contains one real object and a bunch of laughable simulacra. Like my coffemaker, for instance. That thing has never seemed stupider"

is some funny shit, dog.

In other news, I'm sitting in my fucking office on a Saturday grading fucking quizzes in fulfillment of those obligations pursuant to the salary in excess of 14K a year paid me by the ingrate state of California. But last night, I saw Sin City with Mira. I have never read the comic books. Maybe that would make the movie more compelling. For the moment, I submit the following question: Why is it that even an artsy action movie is explicitly and stridently based victimization of women? Is there some irony here I'm missing. Interpreting this thing ironically doesn't really suit. Oh well.

Urge to Kill Rising

I try to avoid excessive use of this blog as an exhaust pipe, but please grant me a little latitude on this one: why are professional sports being systematically driven off of network TV? Some of us enjoy sports. Out of the eight (8) NBA playoff round one games being played this weekend, ABC is broadcasting guess how many? One. All four games being played today, I just found out, are cable-exclusive events. The same goes for, I think, all of the Western Conference Finals, which can be seen (or not seen, as the case may be) on TNT this year. And of course, Monday Night Football is ESPN-bound. Someone of prominence at either ESPN or the NFL, forgive me for not remembering who, said in response to an outcry over this, "all you have to do is push a different button on your remote." Spoken like a true someone of prominence. I don't have cable. None of my friends have cable. Cable costs money. Fuck you.

So network TV holds onto playoff baseball and Sunday football, both of which are controlled by FOX. FOX is actually the model network for sports broadcasting now, at least in terms of sheer visibility. Between CBS, NBC and ABC, we're treated to: the NBA Finals, the Masters, I think Wimbledon, butt-ass arena football, and, naturally, six hours a week of NASCAR racing, which is about as involving as Joan of Arcadia on mute.

In other news, I'm currently rocking a Mac mini, which I'll be paying off in about four years or so, just as it reaches total hopeless obsolescence. I'm trying not to think about that at the moment. Instead I'm just enjoying what a marvel it is. It's the most powerful computer I've ever owned and it's the size of a cigar box. Once I Tiger it up it'll be even fabber. My only complaint at the moment, in fact, is that it's set a horribly unfair new gold standard for everything around it, in terms of aesthetic magnificence. I feel like my apartment contains one real object and a bunch of laughable simulacra. Like my coffemaker, for instance. That thing has never seemed stupider.

Finally, if you've checked the At Dusk website recently, you may have deduced that I've opened a Flickr account. Its purpose for the moment, lacking a camera as I do, is as a bank for old At Dusk photos taken at shows past. Please check it out. RSS

Friday, April 29, 2005

Up With Pandas

I just read this highly amusing response to Bush's press conference over at Pandagon. The bit about Chris Farley particularly cracks me up.

Thursday, April 28, 2005

Scientists Say Everyone Can Read Minds

I very much enjoyed waking up to the above headline this morning on Yahoo news.

Hey. It seems the whole new NIN record is available on, of all places. I haven't listened to it yet, but I really like the ad that's running there right now in juxtaposition to the rest of the page, so just in case it's gone later, I took a screen grab:

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Some Kind of Wonderful

Make sure you read at least to the end.

Maggie Gyllenhaal Tackles 9/11 Politics
Apr 26, 2:21 PM EST

Maggie Gyllenhaal has waded into sensitive political waters by raising questions about Sept. 11 and American foreign policy.

The 27-year-old actress, who stars in a new film about the 2001 terror attacks on the World Trade Center, said in an interview last week that the United States "is responsible in some way" for the attacks.

A fan Web site devoted to Gyllenhaal was overwhelmed with criticism, forcing the site's editor to remove the ability to post messages "because it's gotten too outta hand."

In a statement issued Monday by her publicist, Gyllenhaal said Sept. 11 was "an occasion to be brave enough to ask some serious questions about America's role in the world. Because it is always useful as individuals or nations to ask how we may have knowingly or unknowingly contributed to this conflict.

"Not to have the courage to ask these questions of ourselves is to betray the victims of 9/11."

She also expressed her grief for "everyone who suffered and everyone who died in the catastrophe."

Gyllenhall stars in "The Great New Wonderful," which features stories about people living in New York in the aftermath of the terror attacks. The movie is being shown at the Tribeca Film Festival, which was founded by Robert De Niro to help revitalize downtown Manhattan after Sept. 11.

Her screen credits also include "Secretary," "Mona Lisa Smile" and "Donnie Darko." She is the older sister of actor Jake Gyllenhaal. She lives in Manhattan.

Knowing the pension some of us have around here for lists, I thought you'd appreciate the following. It's an entry from 5ives, a list blog run by Merlin Mann of 43 Folders fame (an interesting blog about using your time effectively which introduced me, and many other people, to and Quicksilver). Anyway, enjoy:

Five terrible fake novelty drink names at that one bar near campus:

  1. Weepin’ Tyler’s Tangy Grandma Rememberer

  2. The Great American Face Slap Factory

  3. The Homoerotic Context Erasinator (with salty rim)

  4. Cap’n Morgan’s Highe Seas Roofie Hyderr

  5. Daddy’s Dreams Desolvin’ Appletini

Thursday, April 21, 2005

Summer and such

Hey y'all,

So this weekend, I'll be getting together with some Yale-TD folks for the first time in a long time. That should be interesting. Last weekend I had dinner with Portlander Steve Osserman, which got me to thinking: when can I see my peeps up in Oregon? What's y'all's plans for the summer?

In other news, Tyson is wicked smart. His answer to my question seems to be totally correct to me. Also, I more or less understand limits and colimits in categories and adjoint functors. I have, however, no real idea what these things are good for.

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Oh My Dear Sweet Jesus

It was bound to happen sooner or later.

(via MeFi)

Monday, April 18, 2005

I found this first on MetaFilter and then on BoingBoing: songs from N.W.A.'s classic Straight Outta Compton edited down so that only the profanities remain. Far funnier than it sounds.

1. Straight Outta Compton
2. Fuck Tha Police

Thursday, April 14, 2005

Interesting question

This a toy question that one of my colleagues/friends told me of. You may have heard it, but I thought I'd share.

Suppose there are 100 perfectly logical people on an island, all of whom have either blue eyes or brown, and they all know each other. There are NO mirrors anywhere on this island, and none of the people EVER discusses the color of anyone's eyes. For some reason, if any person knows or can prove that he himself has blue eyes, he must kill himself before the end of the day. (Also, they are not trying to avoid killing themselves or get anyone else to kill himself erroneously.) They do not kill blue-eyed people who are not themselves, and they don't discuss eye color, so they never suggest to someone that he kill himself.

Now, suppose that every day, all 100 people gather in one place on the island to listen to an oracle which never lies. On Day 0, this oracle tells them, "at least one of you has blue eyes."

Here are the questions:
(1) If exactly one person has blue eyes, on what day does he kill himself?
(2) If exactly two people have blue eyes, when do they kill themselves?
(3) If exactly N people have blue eyes, when do they kill themselves?

Auxilliary question:
(A) Did the oracle introduce new information?
(B) Is question (A) mathematics?

I thought this cute.

Tuesday, April 12, 2005


Hey, check out this photo from Ari's Flickr page. Note the caption.

Wisconsin considers legalizing cat hunting: "David Pescovitz:
Should people in Wisconsin be permitted to hunt down and kill free-roaming cats? Residents of the state are voting on that very scary question. The advisory results will then go to Wisconsin's Natural Resources Board. From the Associated Press:

La Crosse firefighter Mark Smith, 48, helped spearhead the cat-hunting proposal. He wants Wisconsin to declare free-roaming wild cats an unprotected species, just like skunks or gophers. Anyone with a small-game license could shoot the cats at will....

Every year in Wisconsin alone, an estimated 2 million wild cats kill 47 million to 139 million songbirds, according to state officials. Despite the astounding numbers, Smith's plan has been met with fierce opposition from cat lovers.

Critics of Smith's idea organized Wisconsin Cat-Action Team and developed a Web site - Some argue it is better to trap wild cats, spay or neuter them, before releasing them.

Link (Thanks, Sly!)"

(Via Boing Boing.)

Thursday, April 07, 2005

More of the same, this from a website called Spamusement!, which takes common subject lines from spam e-mails and bases single-panel comics on them. The one I've reproduced below is by far my favorite of the twenty or so I looked at.

Enjoy Your Love Life As Much As He Does!

Here's something I'm amazed I got to before Greg did, although he'll probably respond by telling me he's already seen it:

The final scene from "Se7en" re-enacted by stuffed animals.

Some days I feel like the entire Internet experience is rooted in stuff like this.

(via MeFi)

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Tyson's Greatest Nightmare:

Kids' Ballroom dancing


Monday, April 04, 2005

Real life super villain lair, near Dubai

(Via Boing Boing.)

Friday, April 01, 2005

No Day But November 11

Did you guys know about this? Chris Columbus of all people is directing a film of RENT, to be released on November 11 of this year. Other directors previously tapped for the job apparently included Spike Lee, Baz Luhrmann, Rob Marshall, and Sam Mendes. It's in production right now, and stars the original Broadway cast (each of them now ten years too old for their roles), with one notable exception: Rosario Dawson in the role of Mimi. Rowwrr. Why are all the most beautiful people in the world composites of like eight different racial backgrounds (viz. Carly Kriwanek)? Because good things happen when you spread genes apart, that's why.

Two Things

I just heard this hilarious April's Fool's story on NPR. It actually took me a second to realize it was a hoax, which is always a good sign. Funny stuff.

On another note, has anybody seen Oldboy? It won the Grand Jury Prize at Cannes. I didn't particularly like it. Beyond one very, very obvious reason (you'll know if you've seen it), it just didn't seen to add up to much. Or rather, it didn't really seem to open on anything. I dunno, maybe I'm just not getting it. Anyone else?