Thursday, June 30, 2005
Born Into Brothels
This is the internet site for the film Born Into Brothels, which won the 2004 Academy Award for Best Documentary. A wonderfully terrifying and beautiful site. Many of the children's photogaphs are posted here.
Born into Brothels is a portrait of several unforgettable children who live in the red light district of Calcutta, where their mothers work as prostitutes. Zana Briski, a New York-based photographer, gives each of the children a camera and teaches them to look at the world with new eyes.
Steve Jobs: The Stanford Commencement Address
Steve Jobs gave the Commencement Address at Stanford this year. Here's what he had to say.
It's available on Interesting People.org, where you can search for, well, interesting people.
Wednesday, June 29, 2005
White Person: You Too Can Dance Like One
This video site promotes the short film: How to Dance Like a White Guy.
Hilarious. Moves include "The Caucasian Clap," "The Whitey Hop," and "The Point to the Lord."
Bermuda Triangle Explained?
Cardiff University researchers think they have an explanation for the strange happenings in the Bermuda Triangle:
One theory now suggests that when the covering of "methane ice" which exists over much of the seabed of the Bermuda Triangle becomes unstable; this causes instability of the sea and an explosive mixture of air and methane above. Any ships or planes travelling over the area could sink or catch fire.
Thanks to Boing Boing for the link.
Wikipedia has more on the Bermuda Triangle.
Tuesday, June 28, 2005
Evil Overlords: Top 100 Things to Remember
This is actually an old post on the Net, but it's new to me. This is the top 100 things Evil Overlords should learn from movies. Thanks to Grow a Brain. Here's a sample:
2. My ventilation ducts will be too small to crawl through.
8. After I kidnap the beautiful princess, we will be married immediately in a quiet civil ceremony, not a lavish spectacle in three weeks' time during which the final phase of my plan will be carried out.
12. One of my advisors will be an average five-year-old child. Any flaws in my plan that he is able to spot will be corrected before implementation.
32. I will not fly into a rage and kill a messenger who brings me bad news just to illustrate how evil I really am. Good messengers are hard to come by.
70. When my guards split up to search for intruders, they will always travel in groups of at least two. They will be trained so that if one of them disappears mysteriously while on patrol, the other will immediately initiate an alert and call for backup, instead of quizzically peering around a corner.
85. I will not use any plan in which the final step is horribly complicated, e.g. "Align the 12 Stones of Power on the sacred altar then activate the medallion at the moment of total eclipse." Instead it will be more along the lines of "Push the button."
What Should I Do With My Life?
Po Bronson has an interesting article for Fast Company: What Should I Do With My Life?
Most of us don't get epiphanies. We only get a whisper -- a faint urge. That's it. That's the call. It's up to you to do the work of discovery, to connect it to an answer. Of course, there's never a single right answer. At some point, it feels right enough that you choose, and the energy formerly spent casting about is now devoted to making your choice fruitful.
Hopefully we'll scoop the New York Times again, like we did with Post Secrets.
Swapatorium is "A Journey Through Junkland - Flea Markets, Thrift Stores, Antique Shops, Garage & Estate Sales, Found Photographs, Collecting, Odd Finds, Swaps."
Basically, this guy goes to Yard and Estate Sales and sees what kind of cool things he can find, especially photographs. The one above is a Great Depression era class photo that looks at very closely, speculating about the thoughts of the teacher and many of the students. Very funny, very touching in parts.
Monday, June 27, 2005
How to Build a Catapult and What Not to Do with It.
Just think of all the things you're learning by visiting the Pick. The latest example: How to Build a Catapult.
Though, you should probably not shoot people out of the catapult, as these people found out.
Most Popular Baby Names
Sorry John, your name is not even close to being the most popular. Try #18, along with your female counterpart, Kayla. The top names? Jacob and Emily.
The top 100 most popular baby names include Aaliyah, Hayden, Trinity, and many others.
Photosite: Mexican Pictures
I'm a big fan of this photo site called Mexican Pictures. Though, they seem to spend more time in Vietnam than Mexico. But hey, that's fine too.
Photo Site: Slower.net
Great color photos from Eliot Shepard at slower.net. Easily navigated too: just click on the pic for the next photo.
The Wing Women
Everyone knows about the Wingman. Now there's The Wing Women: a Toronto service will send two girls out with a guy in order to pick up another girl.
Actually, Dalie and Nguyen do charge. For a total of $275, they'll hang out with a guy at the public location of his choice for three hours, pretending to be his friends while trying to make him look desirable. And they chat up attractive girls, eventually drawing them into conversation with their client. The Los Angeles originators of this new -- and somewhat disturbing -- singles trend labelled the service Wing Girls, but since Dalie's Toronto dating company is called Wink Singles, the Toronto contingent refer to themselves as Wink Girls. "I first saw this on CSI," says Tim, 26. "This guy was at a bar with two wing girls. I thought it looked like a good idea. Of course, the guy on the show ended up dead. I hope it goes better tonight."
And by the way, the image is of a 1997 movie called Two Girls and a Guy. A review of which starts with: When considering a title like Two Girls and a Guy, one can be forgiven for expecting something a little risqué.
Spielberg and Lucas
A great article from Slate.com about the relationship between Steven Speilberg and George Lucas.
Thanks Grow a Brain for the link.
Sunday, June 26, 2005
The Downing Street Memo
A full transcript of The Downing Street Memo is here. A website devoted to it is available at, you guessed it, www.downingstreetmemo.com.
Our friends at Wikipedia have a post here.
The American Taliban
Lots of friendly quotes from the American Taliban.
From The Daily (Canada):
Single mature adults who do not expect to marry represent a small, but distinct, group of adults who differ in key ways from "mature singles" who do plan to marry, according to a new report.
Also check out What Wedding Bell Blues?
Saturday, June 25, 2005
Interviews with People Who Have Interesting or Unusual Jobs
From the McSweeney's archives. Interviews about jobs, including this one with a truck driver:
Q: Did you always haul handbags?
A: No, I hauled flour, Ragu spaghetti sauce, paper towels, napkins, laundry detergent, Gatorade. We'd take it to food warehouses.
In the first three years I was driving, I went to New York two or three times a week. One time, I pulled in to Hunts Point Market and another driver was there and he was shaking. He'd stopped at a red light on his way there. You never stop at a red light. There was some guy on the roof of a building pointing a rifle at him. The guy got on the CB with the driver and said, "If you move, we'll shoot you." Then some guys pulled up with a pickup truck, took all the stuff from the trailer, and drove away. That's the last time that guy drove in New York City.
Q: Did things like that ever happen to you?
A: I'd have people hang on the side of my truck for two to three blocks.
Q: What do you do when that happens?
A: Keep driving. Eventually they'll get off.
Q: Do you honk at kids when they make that honk sign at you?
A: Yeah, I always honk; it's mostly kids.
Romance Covers Again
No new updates yet. I just thought I'd remind you about Longmire's Romance Cover site.
Friday, June 24, 2005
NatalieDee.com is a cool sight of daily drawings. That's right, a new drawing every day. Titles this last week include "Flappy the Mail Checking Bird," "Hey I have 16 dollars," and "Quit Lookin at My Hole."
What Can You Do with an Altoids Tin?
Altoids is holding a competition for most innovative use of its tin box. From Agenda Inc.
Altoids is now celebrating the curiously strong originality of mint lovers by awarding the most innovative and curious re-use of the Altoids tin through the Tin Million Uses contest. The more curious the better- submissions can range from technological to artistic, visual to functional.
Thursday, June 23, 2005
Tom Cruise Kills Oprah
This video link is very funny. Tom zaps Oprah, ala The Emperor from the Star Wars movies. Be sure to turn up the sound to hear his diabolical laugh.
Post Secrets Updated
Post Secrets is updated twice since I've last visited. My take: the next-to-most-recent batch is the best yet posted. The most-recent-batch, quality aside: I think people are starting to make these things up. If so, phooey on them. These three here seem real.
Kevin Spacey Has Left the Building
Cinemorgue keeps track of actors' deaths in their movie roles. It lists each death for literally thousands of actors and actresses. The women are here, the men are here.
There's also a great photo album with thousands of screen captures of moments-of-death.
Fun and creepy!
Also, here's a short essay from Don't Mind Me.com, noting that Kevin Spacey sure does get shot more than most actors.
Exotic Dancers at Mount Holyoke College and Elsewhere
People often ask: Where do you find all this stuff? Half the time, I surf on Boing Boing or Waxy or Grow a Brain and just see what looks interesting. The other half of the time, things sort of fall my way in unpredictable fashion.
I was researching for my book about MFA programs. Sarah Gold had written an article on the subject. So I read that, then I googled her to see what else she'd written. She had this really interesting article about a woman who teaches exotic dancing and stripping to Mount Holyoke students. I knew I'd definitely post it on the pick.
So then I was looking for a somewhat tasteful image of exotic dancing and stripping (above), and on the first page along of the search engine I came across these:
FAQ: How to Become a Stripper. Yeah, it's just what it sounds like.
The Stripper Name Generator. You type in your name, and it gives you your stripper name. No joke. Mine is "Candi."
The Virtual Stripper. Type in a request like 'Dance' or 'Take off your (insert article of clothing)' and you can check out the results. This site is both offensive and sexist, so that brings us to...
The Feminist Stripper. Here, you'll find all sorts of articles including "Thank God I'm a Stripper" and "Sex Goddesses Over 30" and "Don't Patronize Me." For some reason, when you access the site it asks if you are an American and if you vote. Otherwise, it's completely normal.
All of these sites have to do with female strippers, and at some point here on the Pick, I'll work, in the interest of fairness, to balance that out a little.
Anyways, that's how the Daily Pick works. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.
Wednesday, June 22, 2005
Happy Midwinter's Day: Antarctica
It's midwinter's day in Antarctica. Simon Coggins gives us the downlow on breakfast in bed, presents, drinking, and a visit from Santa.
The Heifer Project
Friend of the Daily Pick, Katie Founds, is taking care of business in Texas. She sends us this link and message:
Tuesday, June 21, 2005
Tony Blair and George W. Want to Take You to a Gay Bar
Tony Blair and George W. Bush do a cover of Electric 6's classic hit, "Gay Bar." Kind of a pseudo-heavy-metal tune. This is a video link, weird, and definitely funny.
Thanks to Russ Franklin for sending it on to the Pick.
End of the World Fun!
Gracie Liu sends us a very funny animation called The End of the World. You need flash in order to view it, and you should turn the sound up on your computer. Warning: if you don't like curse words, or cartoon people getting blown up, don't visit.
Also on a nuclear note, How Stuff Works can tell you How a Nuclear Bomb Works.
And, FEMA (the Federal Emergency Management Agency) has a strange, almost cheery guide to preparing ourselves for a nuclear attack. It's called Are You Ready?
Before a Nuclear Blast
To prepare for a nuclear blast, you should do the following:
- Find out from officials if any public buildings in your community have been designated as fallout shelters. If none have been designated, make your own list of potential shelters near your home, workplace, and school. These places would include basements or the windowless center area of middle floors in high-rise buildings, as well as subways and tunnels.
- If you live in an apartment building or high-rise, talk to the manager about the safest place in the building for sheltering and about providing for building occupants until it is safe to go out.
- During periods of increased threat increase your disaster supplies to be adequate for up to two weeks.
Winter in Antarctica: Time to Party
These Emperor Penguins aren't the only beings partying hard in Antarctica. It's mid-winter there, so it's time for the British Antarctic Survey to take a week off and celebrate. From 75 Degrees South.
Right now the workshops are buzzing with activity as everyone is busy making a winter present for one of the other base members. These have the long-standing reputation for being of a very high standard, often with many weeks of painstaking work going into making them. Presents made last year included a scale model of a sledge unit, a brass and whalebone knife and even a working primus stove turned from brass. Everyone keeps what they are working on secret so it's great fun when we all get together to open them.
The presents are handed out on Midwinter's Day (21st June) just before the traditional midwinter meal. That's followed by a special broadcast on the BBC World Service for all personnel wintering at British bases in the Antarctic. It's a half-hour show featuring messages from our families, requested songs and an interview with a BBC celebrity (it's Ricky Gervais from the Office this year).
Other events we've planned include a Cabaret/Talent night, a "Weakest Link" quiz night, the traditional big screen viewing of John Carpenter's The Thing and bar-room bungee (yes we will get round to it this year!)
50, er, 38 States of the Union
Man, you talk about redistricting... C. Etzel Pearcy, geography professor at California State University, Los Angeles, believes that the 50 states of the union should be changed to 38. And he's created a map to show why and how. This is really quite interesting.
Why the need for a new map? Pearcy states that many of the early surveys that drew up our boundaries were done while the areas were scarcely populated. Thus, it was convenient to determine boundaries by using the land's physical features, such as rivers and mountain ranges, or by using a simple system of latitude and longitude. Proof of this lies in the fact that the Mississippi River borders IO States. The practicality of old established State lines is questionable in light of America's ever-growing cities and the increasing mobility of its citizens. Metropolitan New York, for example, stretches into 2 adjacent States. Other city populations which cross State lines are Washington, D.C., St. Louis, Chicago, and Kansas City. The "straddling" of State lines causes economic and political problems. Who should pay for a rapid transit system in St. Louis? Only those citizens within the boundaries of Missouri, or all residents of St. Louis's metropolitan area, including those who reach over into the State of Illinois?
Dance Dance Immolation!!
What is DDI?
Dance Dance Immolation is an adaptation of the popular arcade video game Dance Dance Revolution, but with fire! Basically, you play DDR; when you do well, the computer shoots big propane blasts up into the air. When you do poorly, it shoots you in the face with flamethrowers. Yes, you, as in your actual corporeal body. And yes, flamethrowers, like the kind that are on fire.
Monday, June 20, 2005
Drawn! The Illustration Blog is, well, just what it sounds like. A new illlustrator every day. If you don't see the thumbnails (like Trevor Van Meter's, above) right away, then just click on the Drawn! log at the top.
Dr. V: One of Many Heroes at MyHero.com
It's not all bleak out there. My Hero.com lists a lot of people doing good in the world, including Dr. Govindappa Venkataswamy, known to many as Dr. V.
Sunday, June 19, 2005
Are You Hiring?
These two teenagers did an extra credit project for their high school class. They wondered about the role of appearance in hiring practices. One dressed preppy, the other dressed goth, and then they both applied to jobs at places like Abercrombie and Fitch. Guess what happened?
Rhinocerous Animal Crackers Reveal All
These Rhinocerous Animal Crackers have a little something extra. The Sneeze can tell you what that is. Don't visit if you're easily offended.
Saturday, June 18, 2005
Need Additional Striking of the Bovine Gong
I'm going to be gone for a few days, which means no updates to the Daily Pick. I know this is very upsetting to people. The only remedy to the situation I could think of was more cowbell.
I hope enough time has passed since our last journey into the culture of this essential and legendary musical instrument. Unlike other people, I believe there is such a thing as too much cowbell. The archive blog has links to the actual SNL skit, the transcript, T-shirts, an interview with Blue Oyster Cult, new definitions from Urban Dictionary, and a site that encourages users to "add cowbell to their favorite song." Here is the sketch. And the new cowbell updates are:
Cowbell.com, which offers cowbells with your team or business logo on it. One of their subsidiaries, MOEN, has been around since 1922, and it even manufactures the offical cowbell of the U.S. Olympic Ski Team.
Will Ferrell makes a cowbell comeback in this live performance with Queens of the Stone Age. A video link.
NPR's All Things Considered has an audio essay from Mitch Myers, who is not at all ironic (and I don't mean that in an ironic way. I mean: the guy is not at all ironic) about the benefits of the cowbell to 1970's music.
Blue Damage, whose blogger writes "I have recently been informed that this blog needs more cowbell," and continues on in that vein. Responses to this post include: "you’re darned right it needs more cowbell!!! what doesn’t?" and "My husband’s a drummer - recently got a cowbell - drives us all crazy at practice by hitting it in unexpected places…our guitarist (his brother) gets this crazy little tic whenever he hears the cowbell…I guess people feel passionately about it."
I don't know who Maynard's Music Malaise is, but they've got an article on 1233 ABC Newcastle about the cowbell. It includes a list of some songs with the cowbell, and also this frightening excerpt:
It can be played traditionally of course, (right) Karen Maxwell drove the crowd wild “bellin’ it up” at the National Reamers Convention in the US last year, and naturally she also carried off “best costume”. There is a link to that special reamer event at the bottom of this page.
SoylentRed.com has a photoshop of Christopher Walken in an Uncle Sam outfit, pointing and declaring "I Want More Cowbell."
Finally, Threadless T-Shirts has a different tee from our last post. The site also contains a comments section, and it seems there are the beginnings of an anti-Cowbell movement in place. Comments include:
-- "That skit is so overplayed," from Spane
-- "the cure is less cowbells," from Minor Mishaps
-- "dude. when will summer vacation be over so you guys can go repeat the 3rd grade?", from rigqguy
Well, that's your Summer 2005 serving of More Cowbell from the Daily Pick. We're going to cut back on the cowbell till Autumn. Yes, I know: Not too much. We're going to want that cowbell. That said, rock on.
The Social Security Card with a Thousand Names
Snopes.com says this urban legend: "The number on a sample Social Security card distributed in wallets sold through Woolworth stores was used by thousands of people," is true. Read all about it, plus a number of other Social Security Card fiascos at the site.
And, Anthony Brosnan has decided to post everything in his wallet on his Internet Site. He includes his Social Security card with a funny disclaimer basically pleading "Please don't steal my identity!" Good luck Anthony.
Aliens and Children.org
What can one say about this website, except visit here.
This website features a series of drawings made by children who were abducted by aliens for the alien purpose of creating a new race of alien/human hybrids.
Friday, June 17, 2005
Robin Ekiss won't stand for Keith Ekiss's post about Bigfoot. She sends along this link to DannyBot, about a guy, yes, singing Danny Boy to his robot as the bot goes off to war.
Not to be outdone:
It's a touching story of a boy and his robot. Actually, a story "so sad, even your robot will cry."
Thanks to everyone who is sending links to the Daily Pick. More soon from Grace Liu and Russ Franklin.
Fake Message Offensive, But Not Too Offensive
NTL customer services put Ashley Gibbins on hold for too long. He put his frustration to use by figuring out how to change the message that customers received to, to his mind, better reflect the company's attitude toward customers (below). Well, NTL sued. And while a British court agreed that Gibbins's message was offensive, they ruled that it was not overly offensive, and he was acquitted. From the Guardian Unlimited. Also, check out our past post about annoyances and revenge.
"Hello, you are through to NTL customer services," they were told. "We don't give a **** about you, basically, and we are not going to handle any of your complaints. Just **** off and leave us alone. Get a life."
Thursday, June 16, 2005
White House Edits Global Warming Documents
Thanks a lot, jerks.
A White House official, who previously worked for the American Petroleum Institute, has repeatedly edited government climate reports in a way that downplays links between greenhouse gas emissions and global warming, The New York Times reported Wednesday.
Here's how global warming does work.
Quotable Movies: Please Stop Quoting Them
Alex Blagg lists his "Five Movies I Wish People Would Stop Quoting." As with everything on the Blagg Blog it's very funny and not for the easily offended.
Captive Audience for Advertisers in the Sky
I haven't flown in a while. Maybe this is why. From Agenda Inc. again.
On a recent Alaska Airlines flight, passengers were told to remain buckled and seated for the last 30 minutes before landing at Reagan National Airport. It was a standard security measure for flights heading into restricted airspace over Washington.
It also turned a planeful of passengers into captive customers who were then pitched a Bank of America Visa card -- with little chance of tuning it out. Over the intercom, a flight attendant encouraged passengers to sign up for the Bank of America credit card. Then other flight attendants went down the aisle handing out applications.Marketing now follows potential customers into the skies. In the airline industry's newest way to drum up revenue, carriers have become aggressive pitchmen for a range of products to passengers at 30,000 feet. The airlines say the ad revenue helps in these tough financial times.
Wednesday, June 15, 2005
Additional Ways To Leave Your Lover
According to the Morning News, Paul Simon fell a little short of his promised 50 in "Fifty Ways to Leave Your Lover." So, the site offers another 45. Some of these are priceless.
Additional Ways to Leave Your Lover:
44. Feed her to a shark, Mark
43. Harvest his kidney, Cindy
36. Fake your own death, Beth
30. Bury her alive, Clive
29. Run him over with a trolley, Molly
21. Bump her off a ridge, Midge
Waiting for Bigfoot
It seems that whenever I post something about Bigfoot on the Pick, something happens Bigfoot related within days. Now Boing, Boing has brought Jill Miller's "Waiting For Bigfoot" to our attention. Jill is a San Francisco-based multimedia artist.
Miller's durational performance-installation, "Waiting for Bigfoot," will be located in a remote Northern California forest ("Bigfoot Country"). A live video feed will be delivered to the Norwich Gallery as real-time video via satellite uplink, 24 hours a day. The artist will live at the campsite, situated in the epicenter of Bigfoot sightings, for the duration of EAST 05.
Interesting that the site claims that now more than ever people are claiming to have sighted metaphysical beings such at Bigfoot, Lock Ness, etc. When I just watched the Discovery Channel last night and saw that sightings of these creatures are actually down over the last decade. In any case, rock on Jill.
Photoblog: Orbit 1
I like these photographs from Orbit 1.
Stephen Elliott: International Man of Mystery
Our friend Stephen Elliott is interviewed for Nina and Rita's Sex Advice column. And you can find more of his writings and events on StephenElliott.com.
RITA: Have you had sex workers or people in the sex industry contact you after reading your books?
STEPHEN: Not too much. A lot of the people who contact me tend to be abused children. That’s the number one group of people who contact me. “I was also abused, I really related to your story and to the books.” They find a connection in that. That would the main group. Then, the people who read Happy Baby: a lot of people write who are submissive. Never has a dominant written to me after reading Happy Baby. It’s always submissive, which is really unfortunate because I kind of thought that after Happy Baby all these dominant women would contact me and say, “I want to tie you up and hurt you,” and instead it’s people saying, “I also want to be hurt,” and I’m like, “Why are you contacting me? We can’t do anything for each other, you know?” (laughing) Still, it’s nice when people contact you. When people don’t read your books it’s really painful, not because you don’t make any money but because you’ve tried to say something and nobody has heard you or read it. Whenever you get a letter from somebody--it doesn’t matter what their motives are--it affirms to you that someone heard what you’re saying.