Monday, July 31, 2006

Watch It - Virtual Desktop

Found this a while ago but man is it cool. It's a completely new way to visualize your files and folders. It really takes the idea of a virtual desktop to it's logical next level.

A friend of mine from Germany and I messed around with something like this a few years ago. Our idea was to use the Quake 3 engine to make a visual file system that would be built into a conferencing type environment. So if you wanted to interact with some business associates you would have them log into a virtual conference room where you would also have access to your files which you could then literaly give to whoever you wanted. We had also made a laser type pointer and a few other odds and ends. The enthusiasm died for it pretty quickly when we actually got a more fun idea for a mod. It was still fun for a while though.

Flashback - The Vic 20

Captain Kirk sells the crap out of.... a piece of crap! For under $300 you can play any of 4 games! AND, it comes with a keyboard!!!

Watch It - Coulter, Spokesperson for the Republican Party

Seriously, what the hell is wrong with this woman and why don't the people she speaks on behalf raise up against her? Blows my mind.

Listen To It - Don Ross

Here's another one of those Tappin' acoustic kinda guys. You'd think he could spare some cash for a hair cut and a pair of wire snippers for those dangly strings. Apparently a musicians pay is even worse than I thought it was. This song is actually pretty cool despite the unkempt hair and strings. A little less pretentious and a little more down home than some of the other songs I have found. Love how a shuffle beat can do that for ya.

Star Wars Fix - An Emporer's Work is Never Done

This one's great. Apparently an Emporer has to deal with all the same crap your average manager has to deal with.

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Watch It - Microsoft PhotoSynch

This is ridiculously cool. Just watch it. Now. Seriously, watch it. I am not even going to tell you about it.

Watch It - The 1994 Fantastic Four Movie Trailer

So glad I finally found this. I looked for this a while back but couldn’t find anything but screenshots. This is the trailer for the original Fantastic Four movie that was completed in 1994. You never saw it in the theaters because it never got there. In fact some stories claim that it was never intended for the big screen. Produced and Directed by Roger Corman who is known more for getting movie done under budget than for its artist merits, was hired to finish the movie just so the company that owned the rights to making a Fantast Four movie could retain that right. Now I haven’t seen the movie in its entirety but just from the trailer it looks way worse than the more recent movie though there are those that really like the original. Check out the trailer and judge for yourself. By the way, you can’t buy the full length version anywhere so that’s why I have no links to the full length version.

Listen To It - Raul Midon

This dude is just sick. The amount of things he manages to do with that guitar while singing is just ridiculous. What a talent. This is a video of him performing on the BBC show Later with Jools Holland.

Watch it here.

Star Wars Fix - Bloopers from the original Trilogy

This is a fun little bit. These are bloopers form Episodes 4 through 6. The best is when they are screaming “Fire, Fire!” Hehe. Something must have gone amiss. The second best is Carrie Fisher telling Jabba how it’s gonna be. She was always a bit of a wise-ass.

Watch It - Shop Girl

Shop Girl is a Spring-Fall romance story with a twist. Steve Martin wrote it and it is just a beautiful, well crafted story that explores how love is effected by where you are at in your life and how sometimes love is trumped by your own fears. Definitely worth a viewing. While Steve Martin and Claire Danes are great, it is Jason Schwartzman that steals the movie. He is really a great comdic actor and he peppers the movie with many great moments.

Watch the trailer here.

Watch It - Carpaccio at the Keys

While I can’t really say that I am a Marx Brothers fan, this piano performance by Carpaccio is pretty cool. From my perspective, the Marx Brothers are known more for their physical comedy and one-liners, their origins (like so many acts of the time) were in Vaudville where they started out as a musical act with the occasionally comedy. Well that morphed over time to just the opposite as they got more applause for their comedy than their music. It’s also an interesting little fact that the character of Groucho started out as a German school teacher. The war with Germany quickly changed Groucho into the character that we know and love tcday.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Maybe Watch It - The Beginner's Video Guide to Reality

So I posted about a book called The Beginner's Guide to Reality a little while back. Well if there was ever a documentary in the spirit of that book this is it….. almost. The science behind the conclusions is very similar but the documentary's conclusions are bit more... New Agey. The funny thing is that the people spewing the New Age angle are hardcore Physicists with some serious credentials so I guess it’s worth your consideration. Unfortunately it’s about 30 minutes too long. The producer must have gotten a serious budget and decided to use it to try to tell an unnecessary story about a depressed deaf woman and her perky bubbly roommate. I hate it when documentaries try to make themselves out to be films. Still, I started watching it at around 11 pm right before I was planning to go to bed the other night and I ended up watching the whole thing. So take that for what it's worth.

Watch it - Kevin Smith Yaps

So yesterday I posted a clip of Kevin Smith at ComicCon. I said that I hoped that it would just be an appetizer. Well apparently the timing was perfect since I stumbled across the majority of the good stuff today! I tell ya I must be psychic. The vid is split into three parts. Check em out!

Watch Kevin on his worst sexual experiance.

Watch Kevin remenisce about Superman Lives.

Watch Kevin bust on Tim Burton.

Star Trek/Computer Geek Fix - Klingon Developers

It's a two-fer! These are hilarious. I can't think of anything worse than Klingons as coders. Coders are already a stubborn lot as it is!

Read it here.

Read It - So You Think Your Ready to Own a Cat?

This is pretty damn funny… well if you own cats that is. I wonder how long it took her to get this list together. There are a lot of gems in there. Worth a quick read if you need a giggle.

Read them here.

Watch It - Forced Swimming

This is a video from a British show in which they dig out a pool in the middle of a popular path in a park. They then cover the water with leaves. The rest is just funny as hell. Normally I don't post this kind of vid since there are tons of sites out there that have them but I just wanted to share this one because it made me laugh so much.

Watch It -The Rapture is Coming!

Steven Colbert manages to make me admire him more every day. I think his angle is brilliant. Playing the conservative that is enthusiastic about the party line is just perfect. This clip is one of his funnier ones.

Star Wars - Triumph at Star Wars Premiere

So I know this is very old and that most everyone has seen it but it still kills me every single time I watch it so I figured… what the hell, I'll post it. If for nothing else maybe just one of you will discover it here and that'll make posting it worth the effort.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Watch It - An Inconvenient Truth

This is is former Vice-President Gore’s compelling movie about global warming. Here is my feeling on it. Worst case, he is totally offbase and he causes mass hysteria that motivates us to drastic changes which could have devastating economic effects in the short run by ultimately lowers our carbon emissions while at the same time reducing our dependency on fossil fuels and thus foreign oil. Best case – sounds weird considering what the ‘best’ case isn’t so great – we are really in trouble and the world that we rely on and love may become uninhabitable in an incredibly short span of time. Either way, I think it is our responsibility to at least expose ourselves to the information available and then be part of the solution, whichever one you think that may be. This could very well be the single most important, and apparently galvanizing, issuesof our lifetimes.

Watch It - Pay No Attention to the People Behind the Curtain

Connect the faces to all those crazy characters on Family Guy. While I am sure a lot of you have seen Seth McFarlane’s commencement speech at Harvard so I won’t even bother posting it. This is really interesting because this is Smith and crew doing the voices for an actual episode in a studio and changing voices on the fly which at times is just strange. For me, it brings back memories of recording the Muppets for Sesame Street shows when I did audio post production. Let me tell you, sessions like this one can be a hell of a lot of fun.

Watch It - Children of Men Trailer

I am on this whole distopia kick lately. I guess I am not alone it seems. The times dictate what creative people produce and what the public craves. I am really interested in this movie. Looks like a mix of The Handmaid Tale and 1984. Wow, 1984 has made it into 3 posts in 4 days. You think it’s on my mind much?

Watch It - Kevin Smith at Comic-Con 2006

I am posting this video of Kevin Smith for the simple fact that it reminded me of a show that I caught on public television a couple of years ago. It was just Kevin Smith, a microphone, and an audience to riff on and it was brilliant. Kevin Smith is one of those people that can make a story about grocery shopping absolutely captivating and oftentimes hilarious. Too bad more of that stuff doesn’t make it into his movies. This is just a small taster of the types of things that were in the show that I am talking about. Hopefully I will find that video sometime soon and this will end up only serving as an appetizer!

Read It - Joel on Software by Joel Spolsky

This was a book that was recommended to me by two coworkers who are programmers. Being that I had to learn coding for work, this seemed like a good book to read – for coding. It turns out that it is just a good all around book for ideas related to management in general. Joel’s ideas on conducting interviews and hiring practices are just so insightful that they transcend the software business and have value for anyone in a position of having to make hiring decisions. His thoughts on team management are equally insightful and of course his thoughts on coding should be required reading for any coder. This book isn't for everyone but if you are in management, if you are in the software business, or if you are a coder wanting to get some more tools in your arsenal, check out this book.

Get it here.

Watch It - Dirty Jobs

Mike Rowe is the master of making something out of nothing. The man blows dust out of an organ pipe and makes you laugh in the process. It’s just a great show, thanks to the talents of Mike Rowe and a team of great production people. This show is worth one watch to see if you like it. Another nice aspect of the show is that they are leaning a lot towards ventures that are helping our environment, including recycling related programs and conservationist efforts. I know those things don’t sound particularly ‘sexy’ but Mike Rowe makes it really interesting and fun.

Get more info here.

Read It - The International Rules of Manhood

I was laughing out loud by item 2d. I think you might too. Gotta give this guy credit, he put a lot of thought into a very important topic.

Read them here.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Watch It - Pyramid Song (Live) by Radiohead

A great version of one of the greatest Radiohead songs. I love the way that the chord changes happen 'late.' It makes me feel like the vocal is pulling the song along. It gives it an amazingly unique feel. As a musician I can tell you that playing and singing this song at the same time is very difficult. I would be hard pressed to do it. If you have never heard Radiohead, or you’ve heard them and dismissed them, you owe to yourself to at least listen to this song.

Star Trek Fix - The Trouble With Betazoids

I think I would patently refuse to serve on a ship that had a gorgeous woman onboard that could read your mind. Granted my thoughts wouldn’t necessarily go in the direction that Picards are going in this video but they wouldn’t exactly be rated PG either.

Watch It - Rubber Johnny

WARNING: Disturbing images.

This is probably the most bizarre short film I have seen in a while. It was just too strange and unnerving not to post. Forgive me if it bothers you. If you are prone to bad dreams you may not want to view this one. At least know that it is purely fiction. Here is the brief on it: “Johnny is a hyperactive, shape-shifting mutant child, kept locked away in a basement. With only his feverish imagination and his terrified dog for company, he finds ways to amuse himself in the dark." If the elephant man ever made an appearance in a Tool video this would be what it would look like. More info on this short here.

Watch It - Building 7

While I had some issues with Loose Change 2nd Edition, this particular video focuses only on building 7 of the World Trade Center and its unusual collapse on 9/11. You have to wonder how a structure that was compleletely sound on 9/10 collapses into itself without damaging surrounding buildings. And the reason given for this amazingly lucky collapse? Fire. Small fires in a few areas of the building. I personally can’t help but be skeptical of the version of the events of 9/11 that the American media puts forth.

A Classic Flick - Lost in Translation

On the surface this movie is really thin. The overall plot is basically two strangers meet in a strange land. There is very little dialogue. The music is sparse and most of the time the two leads are just sitting around drinking and/or eating. And yet it is an amazing movie despite and because of all these facts. The beauty of this movie is all that is left unsaid, and the plot points that you have to discern from the images on the screen. Then there are the little happenings that are sprinkled throughout and how they are portrayed as having great weight just by how they are presented. Sofia Coppola, the writer and director, does an amazing job of making you feel the couples isolation and their desperation for each other’s company. She also makes you really feel how the strange and wonderful landscape of Japan welcomes them while at the same time it alienates them. This is not a film for everyone but it is a film to watch to at least find out if it works for you.

Listen To It - This Kid Needs Lessons

So I am taking up a fund because this kid, while he has potential, really needs some lessons. Ok…. Wait…that's not true. The money would actually be lessons for me since this guys makes me feel like I have been wasting valuable time all these years. How old is this kid? 18....maybe? God I feel old.

Watch It - Kevin Barrett Gives as Good as He Gets on Hannity & Colmes

Kevin Barrett is a University of Wisconsin professor who plans to teach an introductory course on Islam that will include a week long focus on the various versions of the events of 9/11. This is video of him on Hannity & Colmes defending his decision and his stance on the events of 9/11. The statistics he mentions towards the end are of particular interest. It seems in his neck of the woods public opinion not only defends his approach to teaching the class but also seems to agree with his doubts about the official explanation of the 9/11 tragedies.

Guitar Geek Fix - Sevens by Guthrie Govan

While I love progressive rock, in the current crop of prog rockers there are very few that really stand out for me as bringing something new to the table. That is why when I stumbled across Guthrie Govan, it was like a breath of fresh air. God-like chops, a huge arsenal of different playing styles, and catchy songs. Finally a progressive guitar player that isn’t a John Petrucci clone! This is a video of Govan playing a small venue. Man that must have been amazing to attend! Finally out from under Asia’s tired trappings, look for his solo album “Erotic Cakes” later this year.

Monday, July 24, 2006

Maybe Listen To It - The Erasor by Thom Yorke

Maybe get it here.

If you’re expecting Radiohead, you’ve got the wrong album. While complex and at times interesting, The Eraser just never managed to grab my attention like any of the Radiohead albums. In case you didn’t know, Thom Yorke is the singer and principle songwriter from Radiohead and this is his first solo album. A lot of fans, me included, were really curious about what Yorke’s solo project would bring to the table. For me, not a whole lot. It’s worth a listen if you are a die hard fan or you REALLY like esoteric electronic pop. Otherwise I would save my money for the imminent Radiohead release.

Star Wars Fix - Chad Vader, Day Manager

If you ever wondered what Darth Vader would be like if he was a supermarket day manager, well then this movie is for you! Great job on this one. I love the reuse of classic Vaderism’s (“You have failed me for the last time!”) in the context of managing supermarket employees. Funny stuff! Plus the guy doing the Vader voice is spot on. It sounds exactly like James Earl.

Watch It – Loose Change 2nd Edition

First a disclaimer. I don’t necessarily believe all the theories that this 9/11 documentary puts forth. I do, however, think that it pokes enough holes in the official story of what happened on 9/11 to be worth watching. Parts of it really shocked me and echoed questions that I have had that I just assumed were answered correctly by the official accounts despite those answers not ‘feeling’ right to me. Give it a look-see. You won’t be disappointed.

Listen To It - Run To The Hills (Acoustic)

Gotta give this guy some credit. He took the time to polish off this old Iron Maiden jem and actually make it rock on an acoustic guitar.

Watch It - Chemical Train Ride

So I can't really say that I am a Chemical Brothers fan but this video by them is pretty damn cool. It starts out pretty straightforward but as you watch it you start to realize some really cool things about it. Check it out.

Watch It - Superman Returns

To be clear, I am a huge Superman fan and I probably would have gone to see this movie even if Nicholas Cage was playing the title role. I would have been violently ill the whole time, but I would have gone. In case you didn’t know, he was up for the lead role at one point. Yeah… scary. So putting the fanboy in me aside let me try to give a fair assessment. Superman Returns is definitely a good movie that respects the characters (for the most part) and does a good job of updating Superman for the 21st century while providing a good movie experience whether you know the mythos or not. Is it Superman-circa-1978 good? No, but its close. Is Brandon Routh a good Superman. Yes… but he plays Superman as more aloof and alien than Reeve did which, to me, was dissappointing. Whether you’re a comic book fan or not, you get a lot of entertainment for the price of admission. A great story built around love and adventure featuring one of America’s most loved icons. Oh… and there is an interesting twist as well that paves the way for an interesting sequal. Fans will also love the little nods to the previous films and comicbooks.

Watch It – Spore Gameplay Demonstration

So if you want to know what I will be doing next year this is it. This game is going to be a monster. It's the next project from Will Wright, the dude who made The Sims and The Sims 2. I personnally couldn't stand those games but this game looks to be incredible. It is basically an evolution simulator. You guide a single celled organism from its inception all the way up to a sentient space-faring civilization. And along the way you get to design your creature, it's environment, vehicles ... even whole planets. You will also have access to the content from other users which means there will be more for you to explore and do that you could ever do in your lifetime. In a word.... brilliant. By the way, there is a special guest appearance at the end. Who would have thought the Mork liked video games so much?

Watch it here.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Read It - The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay by Michael Chabon

Being a comic book nut I thought that this book would be right up my alley. It turns out I got more than I bargained for. I got a tale that gave me my comicbook geek fix as well as a Gatsbyesque tale of impossible love mixed in with a little Shakespearian tragedy. The story revolves around two comicbook artists during and after World War II and the effects that the war wreaks on their lives. Ultimately I never really connected with the book but I think that was more because of having read the book in small snippets over a long period of time. I would recommend giving it a try.

Get it here.

Read It - Marvel Comics: Civil War

The one thing that grabbed me about comics as I was growing up was the thinly veiled social criticism that permiated a lot of the titles I loved. Civil War is about as thinly veiled as any comic has been in a long time. The basic plot is that, after a mutant blows up an elementary school, superheroes are considered to be "living weapons of mass destruction" and they are forced by the government to publicly register their identities. Some heroes, most notably Iron Man, agree to it while others, lead by Captain America, do not. Mayhem and great battles ensue. Within the pages of this series and the crossovers that are occuring in almost every series in the Marvel universe hard questions are being asked about the state of our freedoms after 9/11 and the subsequent signing of the Patriot Act.

Read about it here. (Warning possible Spoilers)

Watch It - Korea - Children of the State

WARNING: Explicit Content.

If you have a pulse, this will upset you. It is a documentary showing the horrifying conditions inside North Korea today and how the North Korean government has basically turned away from thousands of orphans. You think things are bad in Iraq after we 'liberated' those people? After watching this video you'll wonder why the world community hasn't done something about this. Its just terrifying. 1984 is no longer fiction.

Read It - A Beginner's Guide to Reality: Exploring Our Everyday Adventures in Wonderland by Jim Baggot

A nice primer on the current state of philosophocal theory that also gives a brief guided tour through philosophy and physics going all the way back to Plato using modern day references. It is a mind bending journey that takes you from thousand year old thought experiments to modern day quantum theory. Utimately it left me feeling a bit let down, liberated and rejuvinated all at the same time. You'll have to read the book to see why. It does get a bit technical toward the end. I didn't understand all of it at first so I just kind of read through it without worrying about understanding every concept which turned out to be a good thing. It wasn't until after I had finished the book and let it digest that those concepts that I didn't totally get while reading it came clear. Strange how that works sometimes.

Get it here.

Star Wars Fix - Gnarls Barkley Style

This has been knocking around the 'net for a while but I keep coming back to it. Great song, great getups. I just love that they combined two completely incongruous things together and somehow it really works.

Watch It - Spiderman 3 Teaser

Ahh finally we will get to see Venom on the big screen. It's gonna be glorious! Unfortunately he's not in the teaser. We'll just have to make due with HobGoblin and Sandman.

Watch It - Computers. The Wave of the Future?

Even back then Steve Jobs was a great salesman. It also sounds like, even back in the early 80's, Jobs' vision for what computers would become was pretty spot on.

Watch It - Bob Saget's version of The Aristocrats

WARNING: VERY explicit language.

Every comic has a version of the Aristocrats joke. It is supposedly a kind of calling card between comics and the challenge is to one-up your peers in how disgusting and horrifying the joke is. Nice cutesy safe Bob Saget will scare you with his version.

Listen To This - AirTap! by Erik Mongrain

So there has been a paradigm shift in acoustic guitar playing and apparently I almost missed it. I guess I was too busy listening to Radiohead. This man's playing is amazing and is a good representation of a new style of acoustic guitar playing that takes what Michael Hedges and his generation did and take it to the next logical place. Mongrain finds new voices in the instrument that no one ever knew it had.

A Timeless Read - Fight Club by Chuck Palahniuk

I read this book after watching the movie and it still was a great read. It is one of those books that I am sure I will reread several times in my life. It just really struck a chord the first time I read it and watched the movie. I always felt that, to a certain extent, that my friends and by extension, my generation are a restless, journeying generation. Palahniuk refers to us as "the middle children of history" which summed up my feelings really well. Combine great insights into our generation with a bizarre but captivating plot and you have a book for the ages as far as I am concerned. The spiritual journey that the characters travelled reminded me of On The Road by Jack Kerouac .... but with a lot more fighting and less farm work. Truly a defining book of our generation.

Get it here.

Play It - Prey Demo

So reviews of the full length game have not been good enough for me to justify buying the game but the demo was really cool and gave me enough of a fix. The reviews of the full length game basically say it degenerates into just another shooter with lackluster weapons and bosses. The nice thing about the demo is it really does a nice job of showing you the cool things about the game and by the time your bored with the game, the demo is over. A nice little free nugget of entertainment.

Get the Demo here.

Read It - 1984 by George Orwell

Check it out here.

So I know that this was probably required reading in high school for a lot of people but I will say when you don't have to read it it is a really great book. I think the warning within its pages has never wrung truer in my lifetime than right now. It is a pretty bleak glimpse at one possible future for our world that could become a reality if we are not careful. There is supposedly also a movie adaptation in the works spearheaded by Tim Robbins so now would be agreat time to read the book.

Watch It - Our Clueless Leader

On some level you have to admire how Bush's PR team can spin every idiotic thing he does into a positive. The man bad mouths world leaders and they spin it as "nothing new here" and "That's basically what he said already." Ummm yeah.