Monday, May 19, 2008

I Can Makes Lolz?

So I was inspired the other day and captioned my first LOLCat over at ICanHasCheezburger.com and I'm somewhat pleased with it.




Link to page on ICanHasCheezburger.com where you can view it (and I supposed any more LOLCats I end up making) and vote for it.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Stroke of Insight



In this video, neuroanatomist Jill Bolte Taylor gives an captivating recounting of her own stroke when an embolism the popped in her brain, a unique experience for someone who is already a student of the mind. Strangely enough, her story so closely resembles feelings I have had while under the influence of the mushroom psilocybe cubesis that it approaches the uncanny.

The loss of connection with one's own body (incomprehesion of speech, difficulty producing fluid motor movements, loss of sense of self...) as well as the simultaneous oneness with the surrounding universe are all common feelings when tripping on psilocybin. This very much agrees with my belief that we all experience our reality through a series of mental filters, and while we most commonly have a shared set of filters, at times certain events, spiritual experiences, medical conditions, or drugs can rearrange and replace some or most of these filters, resulting in an altered state of consciousness. And it appears the filter set which psychedelic mushrooms introduces to the mind is somehow similar with the set under which Taylor was experiencing reality when stroking.

Link: TED | Talks | Jill Bolte Taylor - My Stroke of Insight (video)

Drunk Jeff Goldblum

What happens when you slow d0wn Jeff Golblum's erratic, tweaked out ramblings to half speed? A few people wanted to see, and it turns out he sounds absolutely smashed. It started out innocently enough with some of his 1999 commercials for the iMac:



...and then progressed to other clips.



All hail the ripe and fuzzy and delicious peach... and the peach pie. Below are links to the rest of this brilliance of the internet:

Apple Ad 1
Apple Ad 2
Conan Clip 1
Conan Clip 2
"Best Story Ever"

Friday, May 9, 2008

The Art of Being an Asshole

Sorry it's been a while posting here. I simply got out of the loop. Here's a paper I wrote for a bullshit class I am taking right now that I thought some people might enjoy.

4 Easy Steps to Becoming an Asshole
or: The Art of Winning with Self-Contradiction

Asshole. Pretentious prick. Holier-than-thou attitude. All of these words, and more, over the past few years I have been called to my face (and probably more so behind my back). And this doesn't bother me – or at least, it didn't. I'm not sure how I feel about it now, as illustrated by my paper two weeks ago. But even if I am possibly no longer content being and asshole, rest assured that I am an expert in the field of being an asshole. And since it was brought to my attention that I had been using asshole without previously defining it, I felt it was my responsibility to inform the world of what exactly I mean when saying someone is an asshole. So here it is: the quintessential guide to how you can attract and repel girls simultaneously, alienate your friend so you can make new ones to alienate, and lead a wholly self-concerned lifestyle where all you really care about is people's opinions of you.

Step 1: Talk Down to Your Friends

Your current friends are the easiest vehicles with which to begin your journey towards becoming the Buddha of pretension. Since they are your friends, they should already like you and hopefully respect you. (If not, skip to Step 2: Talk Down to Strangers.) This makes them perfect targets for your newfound skill of making someone feel bad for not knowing something trivial – the attack is both unnecessary and unexpected. Take this sample conversation for example:

Trivial Conversation Maker: So I was in this class the other day and we were discussing the assassination of Franz Ferdinand...
Target Dolt: Wait, what? Someone killed all the members of Franz Ferdinand?!
Trivial Conversation Maker: Well, no, we were talking about the Archduke...
Asshole in Training: Dude, you don't even know who the Archduke Ferdinand was? The man whose assassination erupted into one of the bloodiest wars ever fought, World War I? You seriously think that someone would bother to assassinate a couple of has-been Scottish indie rockers?

Above is a perfect example of how one can take a simple misunderstanding and blow it out of proportion into a grand statement which devalues both of the other parties involved. First of all, this prodigious Asshole in Training (AIT) interrupts the Trivial Conversation Maker (TCM) – a valuable skill for the aspiring dick – disavowing him of any opportunity to assert his own intellectual fortuitousness, an especially useful move here because he is apparently taking a class on the subject and therefore probably knows more about it than you. Instead, the AIT bursts in, interjecting the full three sentences which he could use to discuss the Archduke (this is, after all, the extent of your knowledge, but since the TCM is now there to fill in any details while you sit back and revel in your initial comment, the AIT is safe). AIT gets major bonus points for adding in his pretentious musical critique, at the same time establishing his knowledge of the band Franz Ferdinand by saying that they are Scottish (implying that they were once cool enough for you to devote at least some energy into them) and discarding them as “has-been rockers” (a great term – take that one down in your notes, kids). (See Step 4: Loving and Hating Music for more details.)

Step 2: Talk Down to Strangers

Putting down strangers is a much easier, albeit sometimes riskier, process. When speaking with strangers the AIT is allowed much more leeway in terms of how degrading they may be to their target. For example, in the above conversation, where the AIT referred to Target Dolt (TD) as simply, “Dude,” if the TD had been a stranger, or even occasional acquaintance, it would have been acceptable to call him a “clod” or “dumb-ass.” In some social circles even “r-tard” would have been acceptable. This achieves a number of things. First of all, it establishes to the TD that you do not have respect for him, as you are better and cooler than he is. He will have to strive to gain some semblance of your respect. However, once this line is crossed, be careful how many insults are dished out, as it takes a while for someone to gain an asshole's respect. Once the TD is in possession of this highly valued commodity, he may have caught on to your sly shenanigans and be in position to reverse the situation and make you look like the downtrodden imbecile, an unacceptable outcome. Another possible outcome of this is that TD may get fed up with your ways and tell you to piss off, effectively changing you from pretentious prick to jerk-off in three seconds flat. Second, to all others observing the conversation you have immediately moved up a peg in the mini community of social standings which has just made itself apparent (and of which you are constantly aware and climbing). Well placed insults are a hugely valuable tool in the arsenal of the asshole.

However, one must be way to not just the social repercussions of a misplaced insult but also the physical ones. The bulk of these conversations tend to take place at either bars or house parties – both establishments where most are drinking (including yourself – all pretentious assholes are also near-alcoholics or drug addicts). Specifically, while the burly jock type may seem like an easy target for intellectual browbeating, he is not easily dissuaded by mere words. While your typical non-jock target may slump away after being rejected by your apparently superior intellect, jocks are much more often prone to violence. In these examples, putting up a fight yourself is not a wise choice, as you risk actually being physically harmed. Instead, if the jock is threatening violence, first make some statement about how its totally unnecessary to fight about such things. If this does not back him off, you must actually take a page from the jock's own book. Open your arms while simultaneously jutting out your chest towards the potential attacker, screaming, “Fuckin' a, then do it! Go on, hit me bitch! Gimme your best shot!” If this still does not deter him, you will be punched. However, this all still works into your plan. After the punch, recoil slightly, so as to show that you have been physically injured (possibly more than you really are) and shout back, “What the fuck dude? Why the fuck did you do that? That was so unnecessary.” (Of course this is all being said with the answer to your questions: you told him to!) You may now stumble away, possibly while flipping him the bird behind your back. Now you are “That guy who got hit by that jack-ass” and girls will be fawning all over you, looking to treat each and every one of your superficial wounds with diligent and loving care. High five! Now go get laid, asshole.

Step 3: Amass an Arsenal of Information

The key to an asshole's attractiveness is his brain. But girls don't want brainy, nerdy guys; they want guys who are smart and masculine at the same time. This is established not by volunteering otherwise useless information but by honing your ability to interject such useless information at a point in the conversation where it may seem relevant. For example, do not simply jump into a conversation at state, “A group of ferrets is a business!” This makes you look like a dork for knowing this as well as being incredibly socially awkward because the statement has no relevance to the conversation. The key here is not in the information which is conveyed but in how it is presented – your actual arsenal need not be intimidating (even though knowledge of philosophy or literary theory is hugely recommended). A more apt way of conveying the same tidbit of information is as follows:

Target Female: Ugh, my house is so gross. I swear I heard rats crawling around in the walls the other night.
AIT: That is gross. But you know, not all rats are vile. I used to have four pet rats and they were awesome. But they all died last year.
TF: Awww, I'm so sorry! That's so sad!
AIT: Yeah, it's alright tho. What I really want to get now is a ferret.
TF: Yeah, my friend has a ferret. They're really cool but she says it smells a lot too.
AIT: They are known for smelling, but there's also a lot of cleaning you can do to prevent that. Wanna know something really cool about ferrets tho?
TF: Yeah, what?
AIT: Do you know what a group of ferrets is called? Like y'know a school of fish or a pod of dolphins...
TF: No.
AIT: A business!
TF: Omigod that is so cute! I never knew that.

There are numerous subtleties in the above conversation which lead to the outcome of displaying useless trivia as a shiny lure for girls. First, the AIT must diverge the conversation towards his anticipated target. He picks out the rats in the girl's wall and slowly translates that into a discussion about ferrets. Extra points for avoiding a conversation where the girl is complaining – these can almost always lead to bitchings about ex- (or current) boyfriends, a topic which the Overly-Caring Sensitive Guy may be well armed to deal with However, the asshole cannot maintain his allure of intellectual superiority while coddling a sobbing girl, consoling her over her latest man-troubles. This AIT actually gets double bonus points for also eliciting sympathy over his dead pets while proving that he is hard and already moving on my bringing up the ferret. Next, the girl makes her own comment about ferrets, which the asshole confirms that he knew of as well, an especially good move because he then establishes his superiority by claiming he can solve the previously mentioned problem with the smell of ferrets (the AIT does not however have to actually be in possession of this information – he merely needs to assert it). Finally, he leads into his useless trivia by prefacing it with the statement that it is cool, predisposing the girl to have the same opinion. The delivery is made and the girl is receptive. Mission accomplished. Now go let laid, asshole!

Step 4: Loving and Hating Music

While the above step claims that that the information being conveyed is not of importance, this is only a half truth. One thing which all assholes must be fully knowledgeable about is music. Music is one of the things which bonds nearly every person on the planet. (Except for those freaks who don't listen to music. You may call them freaks to their faces, by the way.) More importantly, music is one of the few mediums which has both a fervent intellectual scene and a firmly entrenched pop-scene (books and movies less so – pop-books are so few and far between as are truly underground independent films). Many guides in this vein may tell you that to be a proper music snob, you must discredit any band who has a number one hit or becomes popular, but this is not the asshole way – this mindless acceptation-rejection cycle is for the hipsters. No, assholes may like a popular band, but they must underplay the hits. Saying something like, “Yeah, the new Justice album is awesome, but that track D.A.N.C.E. is so tired and overplayed. I much prefer songs like Let There Be Light or Phantom,” is a great example of how this can be pulled off – you get to assert your knowledge of the album, dispel the pop and elevate your own opinion as being both unpopular and superior. Another excellent tip is to readily accept the super-pop, which would be immediately rejected by most of the music elite, by saying things like, “I don't care what you think, the last Justin Timberlake album was pure genius.” It's something of a double bluff really; you get to make yourself seem more elite than the elite by acknowledging what they would typically say and immediately claiming your status as a better judge than those who might just say they don't like the album because that's what all the elitists are saying.

So there you have it: a simple, four step guide to making yourself as attractive yet unlikable as possible. I hope my experiences have helped you to more understand the mindset of the asshole and allow yourself to embrace such a vibrant, growing and entertaining life-style choice.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

StumbleUpon Interweb Menagerie Vol. III

Sorry about not posting for a while; between going back east (read: Salem, Massachusetts) for Spring break and then spending an extremely enjoyable trip to San Francisco (pics soon!) I just had not had the inundation of internet to fuel my blogging spirit.

In the interim, I have collected quite a number of interesting websites for your grubby little hands:

Saturday, March 22, 2008

FAO Schwarz: Make Your Own (Anatomically Correct) Monster

I woke up this morning with a neat little page that I'm assuming got onto my browser when I stumbled and then switched tabs before it could load. But that's beside the point. The point is that I came upon this cool little site displaying a new FOA Schwarz Exclusive which lets kids draw their own monster and fork up a measly $250 to have it made into a surprisingly accurate plush rendition.

And when I say surprisingly accurate, I mean it; the people at the North American Bear Co. seem to put a lot of care into making these stuffed animals... er... monsters as close to the retarded scribblings of children as possible.

Take this weird guy, adorned with weird spikes and moles popping out of his feakishly round head. The monster he designed is pretty cool tho:

And this monster design, while a bit simple, translates into what I must say is a pretty rad stuffed monster:

Although, hon, you look a bit old to be having your parents shell out 250 bones to buy you stuffed animals...

But my biggest shock came when I came across a design called Dot by an innocent enough little tyke named Sherri.
Notice anything a little disturbing about the picture? Here, have a closer look:

It appears little Sherri wants her monster to be a bit more than a friend. Let's see if the boys at North American Bear Co. noticed this lil' inconspicuous detail and if they actually implemented it:

That's perfect. I wonder if the parents noticed that part of their daughter's drawing, and what they think of her brand new purple monster with a big fuzzy dong hanging between its legs!

Link: Make My Own Monsters Creation Boutique

Thursday, March 20, 2008

OiNKPlus = Ul-Ul-Ultrasexy

So I've just started using this Greasemonkey script called OiNKPlus, and it's absolute sex. It interfaces with gobs of P2P music sites and adds an expandable pane which displays all sorts of information, including discography, similar artists (which for the first time I've seen in a while seems to be accurate) and even a Last.fm player (a site which I should sign up for already).

On top of that I've just installed the latest Firefox 3 beta and, despite the fact that a few of my favorite plugs aren't ready for it yet, the browsing is amazingly fast and seems to handle the display of multiple tabs much more efficiently than its now-ancient older brother.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Justice - DVNO EP Leaked!

How pleased I was to see the word "Justice" suddenly in the Top 10 of my favorite P2P music site. Not much else to say other than: here's my blow-by-blow report:

Radio Edit - Who cares?? It's just a shorter version of a song we already love.

Justice Remix - Starts immediately for no regard for uncalibrated speakers and headphones. A distorted synth-guitar similar to the one from the D.A.N.C.E. Live Version pitches down to what almost seems like unending bass notes under the vocals. A 'trough-peak' breakdown leads into a severely cut up version of the bass solo from the-

...

You know what, nevermind that, I'm a bit drunk and wrote way more than is necessary for a 6 track remix EP. I left the above for posterity really, and to make it seem more spontaneous rather than revealing the fact that I wrote about 300 words per song. Instead I'm going to give one sentence reviews (although anyone who knows me knows a sentence can turn into a fucking paragraph in my prose):

*points* Hey look! It made a sad emoticon!

Justice Remix - D.A.N.C.E. Live Version guitars dive bomb like a fleet of oppressive cross-bearing Kamikaze B-52's.

Surkin Remix - Glittery string-laden space-disco worthy of Discovery surrounding an awkward sandwich of ghettotech cheese and meat made of those Surkin stab-aholic bridges we've come to love.

Sunshine Brothers Remix - Vocoded vocals and simplistic, video game-inspired electro-house drum machine-synth combos show how the Sunshine Bros. got their name.

LA Riots Remix - The first remix using the instrumentation from the album mix is a fist-pump worthy romp full of vocal cut-ups, 1 bar-long loops and that now-iconic bass solo.

Petitis Pilous Remix - hold on... I gotta adjust the font...








...














LIKE FUCKING A WOMAN WITH SQUARE WAVE VAGINA!!


...in a good way, that is.

I could have also said, "Like making sweet, sweet love to a sqaure wave," but it just doesn't have the same impact in enormous, flashing red font.

UPDATE: Watch the video here, which is still in the tradition of the D.A.N.C.E. video. It remixes the icons from numerous movie (and music?) production companies and studios into reading the lyrics to the song.



Also, after watching the video, I did realize that the radio edit is slightly different - about half way through they start looping the instrumentation differently, like what they do at their live shows, and there's more of the piano from the outro of the video in the mix (which I really wish they had included in the radio edit).

Awesome image stolen from the people over at djmix.es.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Most Bad-Ass Myspace Ever

Along with the rest of the sane population of the internet, I think MySpaces with ungodly amounts of animation, transparencies, and otherwise processor-hogging graphics are unsightly, gaudy things which must go the way of Friendster.

But every now and then the internet surprises us: in what could be called an abstract application of Rule 34, Kavisnky - the French electronic music artist who is more 80's than a Transformer-locomotive carrying Night Rider, The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and a crate full of 8-bit Nintendo consoles, piloted by Dee Snider himself - has blessed the world with what could only be called MySpace porn:



And thats only one part - the scrolling background is fixed and theres tons more cool stuff to look it - it's like someone took Tron and made it a website. Simply put, this is the most bad-ass MySpace profile ever created.

StaJewtistics

Let me first diffuse any comments along the line of "u rasist fag0t!!!11" (yes, Jewish is a race, get over it) by pulling the age old, "Hey! I'm [insert race, sexual orientation, nationality, or black here] so it's okay for me to make fun of them!"-card. Yeah, it's a card with a big name.

Second, let me amend that statement by saying that I'm an absolutely terrible Jew: I've been to church more times than I've been to temple, I can't remember whether you fast on Yom Kippur or Rosh Ha-Shonnah, and the only Hebrew I know is the standard Hannukah prayer, and only then it's by wrote memory - I have no idea what the gobbledy-gook that's coming out of my mouth actually means. I even just had to consult Wikipedia one last time to find out how to spell Rosh Ha-Shonnah. Oh, and I didn't know Purim was a real holiday until today.

[And what a lovely segue that was.]

So, today I was browsing Facebook and noticed some party being held for Purim in LA. Now, any of you who have seen For Your Consideration (or are better Jews than I) know that Purim is a Jewish holiday which "commemorates the deliverance of the Jewish people of the ancient Persian Empire from Haman's plot to annihilate them." (It seems we've got a lot of holidays based on escaping from some sort of oppressor or another. A recurrent theme in the Jewish history, if you will.)

Well, I'd seen For Your Consideration (and, as stated before, am a terrible Jew) and had actually thought that they had made up the whole holiday! I mean, it's a Christopher Guest film; I wouldn't put that anywhere near past him. Actually, I'd put the two right fucking side-by-side. So I was shocked when I threw "Purim" into my Wikipedia search bar and what came up was not a page on the film but one meticulously detailing the very real Jewish holiday of Purim.

A few minutes of fascinated clicking went by and I had moved past the Purim article, on to the Ashkenazi Jews page and finally to the article on Jewish Population. It was here that I started looking at the statistics on the distribution of the Jewish population and noticed a few odd things.

First of all, Jews really don't exist outside of the US and Israel (which my friend Meena claims is the 51st state, so that doesn't even count). According to Wikipedia, 38.62% of all Jewish people live in the United States. The next highest populated country is Irael with... wait what?! The US has more Jews than the fucking homeland?? I guess it must be all the New York bagel shops and waiters willing to lightly toast it, cut it into quarters, and with a small amount of butter and light chive cream chesse - do you have that? Oh, and the cream cheese has to be on the side. But not the butter! And half a kosher dill pickle. No, I can't eat a whole one, just half. Anyone want to split it with me then? Oh well, forget the pickle, just the bagel then. And can I get some napkins over here?



It gets worse from there. After the US and Israel, the next highest popJewpulated country is Russia with a whopping 800,000 Yiddish-cursing residents. Thats only 4.91% of the Jews in the world! Also, if you were wondering what the little splotch above the sad face in my illustration is, it's supposed to be a Yarmulke. At least I knew how to spell that word. Edit: I didn't.

So to recap, nearly 75% of the Jews on Earth (I'll get to that later) reside in only two countries, one of which has more Jews and more movie-making than the other. This gives us a fairly decent world view of the sitJewtuation. But wait, Wikipedia wants to give us an even more comprehensive understanding, because in determining the Jewish population of the world, we need one more piece of crucial information:



Yes! It is indeed true, according to Wikipedia, that 100% of the Jews are on Earth! Goddamn, I'm glad that someone cleared that up, because I had been beginning to wonder where the Joozians were going to be factored into these population percentages.

But no Jew feels as alienated (Ha! Pun! Get it?) as the one lonely Jewish person in Afghanistan. You read that right: there is 1, count it, 1 Jewish person in Afghanistan, according to Wikipedia. Again in a conversation with Meena, it was decided that someone should edit the page to make it maybe a little more up-to-date:



Sorry little guy, but no one really expected you to make it.

UPDATE: Oh man, would it have been better if I titled this post Stajewstics?

Lobie Minus <3's u

My newest mix, Crashed, is up on The Lobie Blog and The Pirate Bay.



Crashed on The Pirate Bay


Includes the two mash ups, 'Little Harder Little Better' and 'I Don't Feel Like _________,' both of which are also available to stream and download on MySpace.

Full track list available at The Lobie Blog.

Badger Badger Badger Badger Badger

I found this pic and in my current haze I immediately thought of only one thing and just had to animate it:



If you're still not getting it, you should have seen this first: badgerbadgerbadgerbadgerbadger

I was also always a fan of this remix.