you just don't mess with South Philly girls.
"...summertime brings the sun, wintertime brings the snow.....but on Halloween, the blood begins to flow..."*
Welcome to Halloween, official High Holy Day of Sarcasmo's Corner (Free Comic Book Day being a close second). I adore Halloween; not because I'm evil (well, maybe a little), nor due to the fact that even the most artsy of TV stations will dig out some 70s shock schlock to air (hooray!). Rather, I love it because it blurs the hard lines of reality, giving everyone a chance to explore and share their fantasy-self and inner child in a society friendly way. It is a day when people like myself, who let their inner child run rampant, seem slightly less freakish.
And, lest we forget, free candy.
In celebration of this most auspicious of days, I offer the following entertainments:
- Boo!: Have you seen a ghost? The folks at B3ta have, and want to share with you.
- Like Vaudeville. But With Zombies: Brains!
- Thanks, Steph, for sending this along. I am disturbed you thought this would be right up my alley...more disturbed that you were right!
- Green Jack'OLantern?: Some of the coolest Pumpkin Patterns I have ever seen. Wish I had found them earlier in the season so I could give 'em a try.
- via Incoming Signals
- Morbid Fact Du Jour: A morbid fact a day helps keep the warm fuzzies away.
- Oldies But Goodies: A few favorites I bring up again and again. They're season appropriate, and I just plain like 'em:
Be good to ghosts and ghouls tonight...
Tim Curry, The Worst Witch (best Halloween song, ever!)
I'd be making them all the time too.
Apparently, on August 26th last year, the Pres declared me an equal citizen for a day. Darn nice of him. Should have asked for a raise that day. Screw you, glass ceiling. I have a proclamation.
This week, the W protects us against the evils of Pornography. I don't mind the pr0n, G.W. What I want to know is where is my Protection for Spam Week?
First there was the Tennis Elbow, then the Ninetendo Thumb...and now Hogwarts Headaches.
The devestating aftermath of The Butterfly Effect.
In other news, I hope to find gainful employment at the Pennsylvania Institute for Making Stuff Up. Seems like a fun (insectoid free) place to work.
How could she choose the pretty (although admittedly athletic) Robin Hood over the sexy and powerful Sir Guy of Gisbourne? The man even looks regal in the cast offs they give him, for Pete's sake.
Mind you, they were both pretty handy with a sword, and Robin Hood was fairly hot when not wearing blindingly bright colors, but suffice it to say that if it were me and not Oliva De Haviland on screen , the movie would have had a very different ending.
Oh dear. An affordable dashboard device that allows drivers to control traffic lights? This will not be good.
Pop Culture Boy and I have had some fairly active remote control battles (it's a danger when you have more than one universal remote in the home)...but aside from possible damaging our electronics circuits, we pose very little danger to the world at large.
Think of it as a word problem...If two or more drivers using this device and traveling in opposing directions reach an intersection simultaneously, how many times will they each have to try and switch the color of their traffic light before (a) traffic in all four directions comes to a standstill (b) someone gets shot?
P. David Fisher, Michigan State U. professor has a rather Darwin Awards view of the matter:
"People are gullible, and they have discretionary income...It's a very interesting ethical dilemma. Here are all these gullible people. Why should we protect them? On the other hand, they are causing a number of crashes."Truly, a man after my own heart.
Now, to figure out how to get a pedestrian friendly model....
*Crosstown Traffic - Jimi Hendrix
What do you know? An outside force decided this group needed to be liberated; only to leave them to be abandoned to new, unwanted overseers.
Humourous, yet eerily familar.
Sarcasmo discovers a CD she must add to her music collection.
This one will definitely require some in-office playtime.
If the stress of meeting deadlines doesn't get you, something more interesting apparently will.
I Wish Day Light Savings Time Happened on Sunday Night, So I Could Get an Extra Hour on a Monday Morning
Hello, all. Just wanted to say a few words before getting to today's distractions:
- Thanks to all who chimed in on the new design. I'm the type that needs to shake her environment up every few months or so...and believe me, this was much easier on Pop Culture Boy than my usual method, which is arbitrarily rearranging our furniture.
- Speaking of the new design, you may have noted the Guest Blog on the right-hand side. I am pleased and overjoyed to introduce Alexandra Buczek, local writer, poet, artist, music lover, physics genius, and damn fine cook to boot, who has graciously agreed to populate the sidebar with all sort of wonderful things for awhile. I hope you'll all give her a warm welcome.
(Also, I seem to have gone Blogger stupid; if anyone could remind me how to get the posts to appear most-recent first, I would appreciate it. Until then, please scroll down on the sidebar (or click the link) to see Alex's most recent posts!)
- My posting may be sporadic this week, as I am currently wearing tips on my finger nails. I normally wear my nails very short, for convenience. However, I went to an excellent Halloween party on Saturday, and the costume just cried out for elegant nails. (That's right, I wouldn't wear tips for my wedding, but I took the plunge for Halloween. Go fig.) Did you know getting tips involved power tools? It was a hypnotic and fascinating process. The cool part is that my nails are now super fortified, they will not bend or break; they are unto the nails of a super hero. On the downside, I am left much like Edward Scissorhands...awkward and unable to gracefully gage where my fingers now end. Not only am I a danger to myself and others (and sadly, unable to put on the fake eyelashes I purchased for Halloween for fear of putting out an eye), but my typing speed is suffering considerably. So have patience. Or come teach me how to function with long nails. Even better, come do my typing.
- Thanks for a crafty friend, I am learning how to knit. Seriously. That is all.
Now, on to the fun stuff:
- Monday Morning Quiz: Quiz time!
- Accidental Art: Is ebay the world's newest artistic E-zine? First the ever popular Reflectorporn movement graced our browser screens, and now auctions descriptions are filled with interesting and entertaining prose. - Via Who Would Buy That?
- Only 703 Days Left....: How long is a Wonder wondrous? The New 7 Wonders of the World Project thinks 2,000 years is long enough, and in honor of the new millennium, invites you to vote for the New 7 Wonders of the World.
I've not seen any of these Wonders (although I've been close to several. Seems to me that this is as good an excuse as any for a world wide road trip. Anyone want to sponsor the Sarcasmo's Corner Review of World Wonders? - found on Fiendish is the Word
- Another Excellent Idea to Send Me on a Road Trip: The Dracula Library, "the largest public library in the world specialized in books on vampires.". (Yes, yes, even though I don't dress the part, I count my vampire attraction as one of my 6 geeky hobbies.) - Link found on Idle Type
- Local Haunts: If you will not send me abroad (although you know you really want to), it is no
matter; I can get all my vampirey goodness here at home, thanks to the exceptionally cool Rosenbach Museum & Library. Not only are they sponsoring a host of vampire-related Halloween events, they've got an excellent collection of manuscripts and book related treasures. How I long to be locked in their rare book room!
Another local museum worth a visit is the Mutter Museum. Although not full of monsters, it's close look at medical history (include cross-sections of the human brain, and all sorts of human bits in jars) makes it a creepy educational, Halloween worthy attraction to make your skin crawl.
Halloween is just days away. Hooray! Hooray!
Election 2004: Do we really want to exchange one evil for another?
- Via Memepool.
I'll admit, I practice six of the ten.
I'll let you figure out which.
- Via Bloggerheads
Whether it be support or complaint, celebration or criticism; it seems everyone has something to say to George W. Bush these days. I, for one, have several concerns of note, including (but not limited to): the perpetuation of his apparent holy crusade, the unwavering absence of WMD and his administration's insistence on using the phantom weapons to instill fear in the American people, the failing economy, the bigoted absurdity of the Marriage Protection Proclamation, our international relations and his terrible grammar and lack of speaking skills (which I fear make our entire country and educational system a joke in world circles).
In his WriteImpact project, Ebenbach has sent Bush one story or poem a month since January 2001, demonstrating his views on a timely social or political issues.
I think this is a fantastic way to send a message. Art is direct and personal as a letter, yet too universal to ignore. Art dig deeps into our skins, and addresses us in ways that a news story might not. The purveying themes of stories and poems stay with us, invade our dreams, even as conversations do not. In Ebenbach's own words: "Art doesn't have to be useful, but artists do have a unique opportunity to make their voices heard."
I know there are writers and artists out there among you. I hope you will spread the word, and take up your own pens, paintbrushes, and design tools to address George W. Bush (or the world leader of your choice).
I am considering taking this up myself, only at the moment I am so frustrated with W. that I fear all I will be able to produce will be childish invective.
Dear Mr. President:
Liar liar pants on fire.
I hate you and your poopy head.
Please stop trying to remake the world in your image.
Hugs and Kisses,
PS: You are a poopy head.
Letter to be accompanied by a fingerpaintied rhebus:
EYE plus HEART plus IMP minus P plus PEACH plus PEPPERMINT minus PEPPER SHAKER
(If you think that's bad, you should hear the very adult invective I spurt a the TV and other news sources nigh every time he opens his mouth.)
Seriously, though, artists. Think about it. It's easy for them to ignore an action. Much harder to dismiss a movement.
Last night Lyn and I went to see the new Texas Chainsaw Massacre. True to the original more in execution (shaky camera, protagnosit falling over at just the right moment, unecessary, scenes and camera angles designed specifically to disgust the audience rather than tell a story) than in plot, this version started too slowly, finished too quickly, and bored me only slightly less than the original.
However, it did inspire Lyn and I to make a pact. Should a deranged, psycho killer with a skin condition ever impale one of us on a meat hook from which we can not escape, and we beg the other to finish the job to stop the suffering...the rescuer will do something merciful, like slit the dangling party's throat, rather than something useless, like stabbing them in the stomach, leaving them to bleed slowly from two wounds.
Just because a girl is half-dressed in tightly fitting, wet clothes and prone to twist her ankle and fall at the most inopportune moments does not mean she should be stupid, too.
October 28th is Lemony Snicket Day.
Surely, we will all celebrate with dismal sadness.
Transcripts of NPR Bloopers.
Apparently that Ira Glass is a world of trouble.
Batman and Robin storm the Royal Courts of Justice.
Imagine standing on a London street, and meeting face-to-face with someone standing on a street in Vienna. Sound futuristic? The future is sooner than you think. Discover Tholos, and "window on the world", scheduled to be established between London and Vienna in the next year.
I think it would be really great to set a series of these up in a Rotunda, so you could travel round the world in 80 minutes instead of 80 days.
Powered by Rum and Monkey. - Found on Buffoonery
Pop Culture Boy and I had been talking about giving the non-battery powered type of this device a try, to solve issues with hard to reach places. However, when I saw this in the store, I couldn't resist the mighty call of function coupled with a complete superfluous powered motor. It went immediately into my cart. I don't know how we managed this long without one.
Now, now, get your minds out of the gutter. It's not what it looks like. It is, in fact, a battery powered dish mop. No kidding. Now even washing dishes by hand can include quirky new technology.
What a great, innovative, phenomenally lazy world we live in.
Perhaps because I accidentally ordered the decaf coffee this morning at Starbucks?
And it's purple.
Do I want one? You bet I do.
Dear Lt. General Boykin, and Other Military Leaders:
When we look back on history, how high and mighty we are, how callous. We malign the ancient civilizations; we freely take their political systems, their art and parts of their culture, mire their heritage in Christian-Judeo Dogma, then mock them for having believed in specialized deities, specifically designed to support, celebrate, and explain certain aspects of their lives.
We are Enlightened. We have made huge advancements in society and science; this gives us the right to relegate their spirituality to myth. Valhalla, once grand; now crumbles empty to all but comic books and opera. Olympus once looked over the whole world; but now we know it's view is limited. And, perhaps most importantly, we have taken away the hammers and swords of the war gods; gone is the glory of Hachiman; Odin and the Einherjar mourn for a battle we recognize will never be, the mighty Ares reduced to an Elvis-impersonating joke.
Please explain to me how as a culture, we can calmly, objectively look at these myths, but then as a nation and World Power turn a blind eye to this:
Dressed in his army uniform, General Boykin told a religious group in June that radical Islamists hate the United States "because we're a Christian nation... and the enemy is a guy named Satan". He told an audience in January that a Muslim Somali warlord was captured because "I knew my God was bigger than his. I knew that my God was a real god and his was an idol".
Before you say this is one man's belief, I remind you the language used by the American government promotes the idea that this war is a religious war. We fight against the "Axis of Evil," and Bush has been accused by critics and religious leaders alike of being messianic and using overtly religious language in his call to war.
Stop being hypocrites. You can not claim to follow a god of peace, then cry in his name for war. Take responsibility for your actions and decisions. No matter what god or gods you believe in, no matter what your faith or spirituality, or lack thereof: War is a device conceived, carried out and suffered by Man. Keep the blame where blame lies.
I end with this reminder:
"It has become too easy to see that the luckless men of the past lived by mistaken, even absurd beliefs; so we may fail in a decent respect for them, and forget that the historians of the future will point out that we too lived by myths.Â - Herbert Huller
I have just read that NBC has an American version of the British comedy series The Office in the works.
For the love of all that is Good and Does Not Suck, please stop making American versions of British television programs.
I will concede that you've had some success in this area: Trading Spaces (based on Changing Rooms), Antiques Roadshow (based on same), and even Sanford and Son (based on Steptoe and Son). But let us consider the abysmal, painful failures you have wrought (albeit briefly) upon my better senses and native land:
- Red Dwarf: The original was sharp, witty, and juvenile all at once (although, in my opinion, it jumped the shark when they bought Kochanski back. ATTENTION WRITERS: NOT EVERY STORY REQUIRES AN ACTIVE LOVE INTEREST TO BE ENJOYABLE. THANK YOU.) Somehow, in the American remake, even Cat wasn't cool.
- Payne: Would the individual/individuals whose bright idea was it to try and recapture the brilliance of Fawlty Towers with a different cast, and in an American setting please step forward for your ritual beating? So much of what made Fawlty Towers great was the cast and their chemistry. No question that John Laroquette is funny, but let's be honest; he's no John Cleese.
- Coupling: How is it the American production uses nearly identical scripts, and still manage to kill everything that is charming, funny and real in the original? (*Note: PCB tells me the American version has been "put on hiatus." Hooray for reprieve!)
- Men Behaving Badly: A shallow, uninspired remake of British Men Behaving Badly. It seemed more like "American Men Acting Exactly As Expected." Not quite the same ring, really, is it?
See, it comes to this: British viewers and the American viewers are different; we have a different history, a different culture, a different set of values and a different sense of humor. Granted, there are those occasions where these things overlap, and there are certainly those on both sides of "the pond" that enjoy the popular culture of the other, but overall, our differences are such that you can't "Americanize" a British product successfully.
And why try to translate it at all? If you think a British show is funny/smart/worthwhile, why not simply license the show for re-broadcast? They are in English, after all, and while getting accustomed to the accents make turn a few people off, it really takes precious little adjustment on the part of the audience.
Or, on the other hand, you could stop stealing British programs, and simply start generating original ideas. Till then, I'll stick to BBC America, PBS, and Bravo for my viewing pleasure (barring, of course, Bravo's broadcasts of Coupling).
I am serious about this, Purveyors of American Television. Honor my wishes or I might do the unthinkable; that's right. I'll turn off my tv and open a book.
Take that to your sales meetings.
Behold the Google Calculator, allowing users to enter questions (either by text or equation) and receive numerical answers. This is a cool little toy, especially for those of you who, like me, have cleared out the math section of their brain to make room for pointless trivia.
Here are just a few uses of the Google Calculator:
- What is the square root of 1000
- 2 miles in kilometers
- How many bushels in a peck?
- Answer to life, the universe, and everything
Useful and geeky. How can I not love that?
Research at Duke University has proven that a monkey can control a robotic arm by merely activating the appropriate neurons.
From the article:
"... [Miguel Nicolelis, project leader] says the monkeys appeared to be treating the robot arm as their limb, not an extension. "The properties of the robot were being assimilated as if they were a property of the animal's own body."
Whereas I understand that this research may lead to invaluable advances in medical science, aiding patients with brain disorders and spinal damage, I am decidedly concerned that we are teaching monkeys that they can affect the world through the power of telekinetics.
I can see it now...the monkeys will work to develop this ability until they can use it without the diodes on their pates. Soon, robotic arms everywhere (in labs, car assembly plants, home hobby kits) will rise up and smite their human oppressors; killing most, keeping some for amusement, relegating the rest of the survivors to fez-wearing servitude.
There will then follow a bloody battle in which the World Alpha Male will be decided. He will rule with a simultaneously cruel and just paw. Fruit will become the new currency. Kittens will be regain their status as holy pets.
The art world will see a revolution.
Could it be that Warren Ellis and his search for a new logo is a disguised warning to us all? Will the filthy monkey allow him to survive?
Alas, it appears we may already be too late.
Well, mostly powerful any way. According to EMode's Power Quotient test, my PQ is 82 out of 100. Such delicious power.
I can't help but notice, however, that dbsmall of Small.To fame is 3 pts. more powerful than I am.
This is troubling. Will he complete his plans for world dominion before I realize mine?
- The Monday Morning Quiz: You know you want it.
- Can You Still Call It The Fortress of Solitude If It's Open For Tours?: Visit the proposed Amazing World of Superman.
- via Weird Links.
- That You Do So Well: What can you do when co-workers play your nerves like a custom violin, and violence and mental cruelty are not realistic retaliatory options? Take out some of your frustration with Instant Voodoo. Anonymous mental cruelty more your style? Send them a voodoo doll from Pinstruck. Barring that, get another cup of coffee or find a new job.
- via Geisha Asobi Blog.
- Fancy Yourself A Music Expert?: The Album Challenge might humble you, as it asks you to identify albums solely based on cover art. More of a movie lover? Don't feel left out; you ca try the Invisible Quiz over at Film Wise.
- via Metafilter.
- Cry for Help!: I'm getting tired of the gray here in the corner. I am now taking re-design help, suggestions, and inspiration from you creative folks out there. In particular, I could use some ideas for a new logo design.
- The Pathetic White Slim Wins: Play One Slime; it's very much like Pong, but on crack. (Helpful hint, move using the arrow keys.)
- via Coolio's.
- Sorry, But I'm Still Keeping My Manical Laughter: For the aspiring criminal masterminds out there (and you know who you are), you should bone up on the The Top 100 Things I'd Do If I Ever Became An Evil Overlord.
I would like to add my own advice, which is don't tell the hero the details of your nefarious plot. Dispatch of him/her permanently on sight. If you feel the particular need to demonstrate the true depth of your genius to the world, successfully complete your scheme, than write a best-selling, tell-all novel. That way you get the power, the glory, and the money.
- by way of Dave Barry's Blog
- Move Over, Chucky: Pop Culture Boy's paternal grandmother is (among other things) a dollmaker. Being in her workshop, surrounded by piles of staring, unsocketed eyes and various chubby baby body parts, I thought I had stepped into the scariest realm dolls could inhabit. Demon Kidz may well prove that assumption wrong.
- found on Geisha asobi blog
- Now Really People: This is just wrong.
- blame it on Pop Culture Junk Mail
- To Make Up for the Last One: This is pretty cool. Is there anything people can't do with Legos?
- Via Ultimate Insult and Jerz's Literacy Weblog
Clearly, scholars are geeks at heart. Sadly, this Buffy the Vampire Slayer-meets-a-panel-of experts event is much too far away for me to attend...but if it were here I would seriously consider it.
If only to tell Peter Mattessi he's clearly deluded. Riley?!? He must have watched a different Buffy the Vampire Slayer than I did.
found on Where the Wild Things Are
CNN.com - For sale: Cookie, slightly used..
- Thanks for the link, Deb!
The OED online newsletter. I'll be adding this link to the Literacy Love section on the sidebar. Mmm....wordalicious.
- Via The Reader's Connection.
- Via User Friendly.
I have a tattoo which I got after I graduated college. It depicts and ink well and quill pen; I designed it myself. It is situated on the back of my right shoulder...a constant chasing reminder of my goal to become a writer.
I'm proud of my tattoo. I've considered others, but have yet to find one that speaks to me in the way this one did. Tattoos are permanent by nature, and shouldn't be entered into lightly. I don't understand people who get tattoos of cartoon characters or corporate logos...to me they represent emphemeral interests and consumerism. I believe if you are going to take on the ink, it should represent your spirit, your beliefs or your self.
(Or, barring that, look really, really cool.)
However, I must admit I am intrigued by Shelley Jackson's Ineradicable Stain project. Ms. Jackson is proposing an unusual type of publishing; the story in question will be tattooed on a cadre of willing participants; one word a piece. This will be the only type of publication the story will see, and the participants are under no obligation to gather together so that the full story can be told.
Much as the renegades in Fahrenheit 451 became the stories they told, participants in this project will become their words.
My feelings on this project are mixed at best. The realist in me suspects this is nothing more than a clever marketing ploy, garnering a smart author/artist fifteen minutes of media attention, and a chance to take what otherwise might be a sub-standard story and send it, unread and celebrated, into the annals of literary history. And, lest we forget, a good way to get the public interested in her other commercial projects.
However, the romantic in me is entranced with the idea. Imagine being part of a secret story...not the metaphysical larger story of life, but an actual story, full of dangerous and enlightening ideas, binding you to strangers, knowing that you are all needed to tell the story. Although people know you by name, you would know you were also "Passion", "Decision", "Path", "Brilliance", "Truth", "Glory" or "Beauty" for the rest of your life.
As interesting as the project sounds, I don't know how likely I would be to do it. To some degree, I am held back by the fact that I have yet to see a word tattoo written in a western language, no matter how artfully done, that didn't look like it was crudely drawn with a razor blade in a prison work yard.
Mostly though, it is the cynic in me telling me that I would not embody "Passion", "Brilliance", or "Glory." Chances are better I would find myself enternally "The", "And" or, perhaps most distressingly, "A."
I am crouched in the corner, making myself as small as possible, my gun clutched tightly against my chest. My heart is racing. Outside is darkness. There is smoke everywhere, and the air pulses like a living thing.
I know because I helped him. I tightened those straps. I handed him that gun.
With me is David. He seems impossibly small, terribly young. He is so small that his flack vest, what little armor he has, comes down to his knees; so young that he had to ask for help putting it on.
Now, it is he and I in the darkness. We know our safety no longer matters. What matters is keeping the base safe, somewhere for the others to come back to. Enemies are everywhere. Sometimes they are right on top of us; growling faces, wolves at the door. Sometimes, they come silently, distant flashes coming ever closer.
David cries out, "They're coming!"
"I've got them," I tell him, shooting through an open window, hoping that it's true. There are so many at once. I fire with abandon, hoping I can take them all myself; spare David and keep our hold safe. I hail them with fire, and they retreat.
"Snipers!" Neil warns from the shadows where he too is keeping watch, and I can see the shots coming down from over head. They're getting more aggressive. Coming closer.
Somewhere out in the field, we are fighting too. Dan, reluctant but experienced; Emmett, who makes up in bravado what he lacks in stealth; and a handful of girls, so proud to be fighting. We have no news of them; no way to know where they are or how they are faring. I must trust their instincts, their willfulness, and their desire to overcome.
I take my eyes off my door for just a moment, to check on David. I am worried about him being overwhelmed, overpowered. It all happens in that instant. Neil backs in. "I'm hit." He tells me, pulling himself back into a corner, still firing out the door. "They're coming." I turn to fire out a window and I am hit in the shoulder, powerless. I shout out a warning to David but it's too late. They are crawling all over us, firing through the windows, pushing their way through the doors by sheer force of number.
Without warning, the alarm sounds, and it is over. "Exit this way," the game master calls as the lights come up. "Exit this way." I stand up and clip my gun back to my vest.
Man, I forgot how good laser tag could feel.
On the downside, I seem to have sprained my trigger finger. This, I suppose, is the price of victory.
Tom Baker (the Doctor known to most Americans) claims Eddie Izzard will be the new Doctor.
On the one hand, I think Tom Baker is having a bit of fun. One the second hand, I really would rather the new Doctor would be an unknown and come to the role without any celebrity baggage.
On the third hand (what? aliens can have more than 2 hands, its themematically consistent), I would like to see him on TV every week.
Although the article