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Monday, January 29, 2007

proof that self-loathing is a jewish thing


A New York Judge ordered comedian, Jerry Seinfeld to compensate his ex-real estate broker, Tamara Cohen.

Seinfeld refused to pay his Shomer Shabbos broker when she refused to show his apartment on a Saturday. Although Seinfeld allegedly knew that about Cohen, he showed his apartment without her and sealed the deal.

Cohen sued the funnyman and his pending trial will determine her winnings. Just surveying the Google news articles, Seinfeld should be expecting to drop about 100k on that babe.

ALSO, in case you want some of Seinfeld's gum, it's for sale on ebay.
I swear.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

"How Popular Do You Want To Be?"

After sorting out some legal problems FakeYourSpace will be ready to launch a second time on March 1. FakeYourSpace is a social networking popularity service, which, for a small fee, allows you to purchase friendship and messages on your myspace, facebook and friendster accounts from extremely hot people. This service is designed for people who are tired of seeing their friends exchange flirtatious posts with members of the opposite (or same) sex, and feel the need boost their public standing.

Basic service costs just $1.99 per friend, per month. Available friends range from super hot to the mostly obtainable; perfect for making rival friends and ex-lovers jealous. Fake Your Space also makes a great gift.

Fake Your Space is an interesting addition to a recent post on We Make Money Not Art. "Peer Pressure" examined various ways to improve the persona you present the outside world, mentioning cell-phones that send you random text messages, printers that "accidental" print all your work email that makes you look popular, and headphones that make it sound like you're listening to Radiohead while you're jamming to Ashley Simpson.

"FakeYourSpace changed my online life. I've never been so popular."
- Lindsay from San Diego

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

swedish meatballs

It's up in a bunch of places already (lifeiscarbon, psfk), but a new trend has struck in Sweden. Allegedly, random acts of sculpture have become a craze in the Scandinavian country.

It all started when a state sanctioned sculpture of a dog was placed on a roundabout and vandalized. The next day, somebody had made their own dog to replace it.

Now more and more homemade dogs are popping up all over the country on roundabouts or elsewhere. They don't even have to be dogs. The trend calls for a:
"...dog or other animal made from any material which, often concealed by the darkness of the night, is placed in a public place..."
Now that Americans take their music trends (PB&J, I'm From Barcelona, The Knife, Jose Gonzalez) and their fashion trends (that new hipster scarf, skinny jeans, etc.) from the Swedes, maybe I should start fashioning a rottweiler for my front stoop.

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genealogy website drops


Today for the first time, users can trace their family digitally. Using some pretty hip-looking web software, users type in their information and connect themselves to a family tree. Geni uses e-mail to contact family members and attaches them to your tree.

On its first day, the site has a few bugs. It times out pretty quickly and some pages have no information. But with time, Geni has potential to replace all of the paper documentation that my poor Aunt Leslee keeps rolled up in her basement.

I'm not really into my genealogy, but my mom is having a fit over this site. Partially because she's interested and partially because our family friend, Adam, helped develop it. Maybe this will be the Gen X's link to the internet. If they never get online, they'll probably lose track of their kids one day!

Oh yes...also...you might remember the CEO of Geni, David O. Sacks, as the COO of PayPal or perhaps the producer of Thank You For Smoking, now nominated for a Golden Globe. He's not doing so bad. Wonder what his secret is? Smart Start?

Pour me a bowl.

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blog forces talk radio to kneel down, suck it

West coast blog Spocko's Brain has scored some big points against San Francisco conservative talk radio station KSFO, an ABC affiliate (why there is a conservative talk radio station in San Francisco to begin with is anyone's guess). Blogger Spocko has been recording clips from Melanie Morgan's controversial show and sending them to major KSFO advertisers. According to the Guardian:

Spocko objected to various comments by Melanie Morgan. In one exchange about about a book by environmental writer Rachel Carson, Morgan said it made her want to dig up Carson and "kill her all over again". Carson died from breast cancer in 1964.

Morgan's colleague Brian Sussman, meanwhile, called Democratic presidential contender Barak Obama "Halfrican".

The New York Times notes that Sussman also "challenged a caller who said he was not a Muslim to prove it by repeating back an insult to Allah", although Sussman later apologized.

You can mock Rachel Carson, you can even mock Allah, but don't mess with my boy. Now slob is pissed too. It's on, now, KSFO. That's why we're posting the following soundclips. Here are some really classic numbers:

-"Allah is a Whore"
-"Stupid Liberals"
-...and my personal favorite:
"How to Torture Detainees"

In response to Spocko's campaign against KSFO, Disney, ABC's parent (KSFO's grandparent?), attempted to shut Spocko down, but alas you can't stifle the internet. Just ask the Chinese Communist Party. Unfortunately for Disney, using copyrighted soundclips to make a new argument or create a political or social critique falls under fair use best practices.

Apparently, Spocko's campaign against KSFO has worked. Various reports point out that major advertisers have pulled some or all advertising from KSFO, including MasterCard, Visa, Bank of America, and the Michigan Economic Development Corporation.

Blogosphere: 1; Talk radio: suck it.

More: San Francisco Chronicle, New York Times, The Guardian, and of course, a third party blog devoted entirely to covering this subject

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new york times stoops to cover nascar

The New York Times, usually a bastion of eastern elite liberalism, reports on Toyota's entry into Nascar, the people's sport. Toyota, the first foreign-owned company to enter cars into stock races since Jaguar in the 50s (unless you count DaimlerChrysler-owned Dodge), has come under criticism for being unAmerican. Toyota fired back, pointing out that: "Camrys are built in the United States, the Ford Fusion is produced in Mexico and the Chevrolet Monte Carlo comes from Canada." Toyota will in fact be racing tricked out Camrys. Perhaps they would do better racing those Scion wheeled boxes--judging by the commercials, they're really easy to modify.

Toyota has also been accused of buying up the best drivers, engineers, mechanics, and support staff--much the same way the New York Yankees (and now the Chicago Cubs) go about baseball. Toyota is poised to overtake GM as the world's largest car manufacturer in 2007. They may also be seeking to push the ailing Ford Motor Company out of Nascar.

New York Times: Checkered Flag, or Red Flag?

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Monday, January 15, 2007

solving crime with youtube

ABC News reports on the growing number of law enforcement agencies using YouTube to solve crimes. Recently, police have been uploading surveillance tape clips to the video-sharing website in hopes of generating leads based on the tapes. From ABC:

"When we normally forward a video to mainstream media, it'll be shown two, three, four times, and that'll be it," said Sgt. Jorge Lasso of the Hamilton Police Department. "The advantage of it on YouTube, of course, is not only that it costs nothing, but it remained on YouTube as long as we wanted it to."

So when Time made "you" their Person of the Year, they must have meant "you robbing a 7-Eleven wearing women's nylons on your head."

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Saturday, January 13, 2007

the $100 laptop

That's right. Thanks to the MIT Media Lab's One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) project, a New York-based not-for-profit, children in the most remote corners of the world may soon be able to cross the digital divide.

OLPC's prototype computer, dubbed the XO, was on display at the Las Vegas Computer Electronics Show this past week. Currently being built for about $150, the software is entirely open source, allowing programmers from around the world to contribute their expertise to the development process. According to OLPC's website, the XO is meant to be "a flexible, ultra low-cost, power-efficient, responsive, and durable machine with which nations of the emerging world can leapfrog decades of development—immediately transforming the content and quality of their children's learning."

The XO will not be available commercially any time in the future--the machines will probably be purchased by governments or donated by charities or aid organizations. Rumor has it, however, that OLPC may consider selling the XOs in rich countries as a 2-for-1 deal; that is, you pay for two computers, receive one of them and the other goes to charity.

The XO has the potential to revolutionize education and communication in the developing world. Plus, it looks cooler than my old PowerBook.

More info: olcpcnews.com, olpc.com
Pics: laptop.org

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my favorite time of year is saturday

So who saw the iPhone? It's pretty sweet huh? I was going to write something telling what it's good about and what's bad. Standard technoblogger babble, but instead I'll let you in on a little secret, you might be able to make a few bucks off it. Some of you more ardent internet technology skateboarders have surely read about the iPhone's impact on other companies and the minute by minute changes in stock prices of Apple, Palm, RIM, and Motorola as Jobs was performing on his little song and dance. Then again, some of you might not. So that's why I just told you. Next time the Wall Street Journal (and no one else save maybe David Pogue) says something with apple is going to happen, bet some money that it does, and then think about whose products will suck in comparison to the new "it" product that apple will unveil and bet against them. Then wait literally 2 hours, close out your positions, and you should have enough cash to afford whatever ridiculous device apple unveils. And if you're feeling extra saucey go to the local casino and put $20 on red 26. GO BEARS!!!!

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children of men

The year is 2027 and shit is pretty grim to say the least. Children of Men sets itself in a time where mankind can no longer procreate for reasons that escapes human understanding. The movie begins with the murder of the youngest person alive at 18 years of age. Our soon to be hero is Clive Owen (Theo) who’s acting career hits a peak in this film as the lead character. He plays an ex-activist who is now “apathetic cubicle guy” with a past full of demons and tragedy. The good news is that in this version of the future, computer monitors float in thin air. Theo finds himself by a series of chance events, in control of a woman who mysteriously is pregnant. The movie takes the audience on a journey through the turmoil of London which is apparently the last standing city; not completely succumbing to the hopelessness of a dying world. His ultimate goal is to get her to a group of people called the Human Project which will hopefully be able to use her as a way to possibly find a cure for the current human condition.

This movie is perfect in every way and is enjoyable no matter how one feels toward films made about the future. This version is cleverly depicted but makes certain to not distract the audience from the complexity and beauty of the film. In simpler terms, it wont leave you turning to your friend and whispering something equivalent to “Bullshit, no way the De Lorean is the only acceptable car for time travel”. Director Alfonso Cuaron also does an incredible job of using details to make the experience of 2027 more authentic. The most enjoyable part of the film, by far, are the scenes in the gritty streets of London where caged immigrants are in despair and nationalist guerrilla movements make war on the government. It is all visually stunning.

After watching this movie there is no doubt that you will immediately be asking your movie mate a million “what ifs” or “why dids” in addition to having the feeling you need to see it again, if only to be able to enjoy some of the subtleties that you missed the first time (hint: check out the shirt he wears throughout the film). It is sure to blow your mind in every way. With all the detail this film provides, it still leaves enough up to the imagination. This movie covers everything from the human will to political disorder and there is something for everyone to enjoy. This movie is worth the rape at the ticket office and therefore marks the first movie to be put on the Best Movie Ever list.

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let's invade greece

On Friday, January 12th, the U.S. embassy in Athens, Greece was hit by an antitank grenade, presumably launched from a shoulder-mounted grenade launcher. The attackers missed the non-existent tank, but hit a window in the embassy. Fortunately, no one was injured, so I can make a mockery of the situation.

The New York Times reports that home-grown Greek terrorists were probably responsible for the attack. So...Greece harbors terrorists that attacked U.S. soil? It's time to make the case for regime change in Greece. First of all, Greece would make an excellent base for projecting power across the Middle East and the Mediterranean, so an American military presence there could be highly advantageous. Second of all, they're big fans of Iron Maiden in Athens, and that's really not cool--not even in an ironic way--so a missile attack is probably overdue. Finally, they suck at international relations and should be put out of their misery, once and for all. Since that whole Iraq thing isn't working out too well, methinks it's time for the U.S. to find some easier territory to annex. After all, Greece hasn't had a strong military since, oh...say, the Peloponnesian War.

Opa!

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korea

My dry cleaner in IL is always telling me that I should go visit Korea next time I'm in Asia. Turns out, it's really pretty. Who knew?

Speaking of slob's favorite nuclear peninsula, Korean consumer electronics manufacturer Samsung told the global press that Apple's iPhone is going to spur healthy competition within the telecommunications industry. Slob thinks the iPhone is the coolest device ever, so let the games begin...

Samsung Sees Challenge in iPhone Launch

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Friday, January 12, 2007

God Bless America

Miami based artist, Kate Kretz has been receiving national attention recently. Her recent work, displayed at Art Miami Jan 5-8, is entitled, "Blessed Art Thou". The 88" x 60" oil painting features Angelina Jolie as the Virgin Mary hovering over a Wal-Mart checkout line.

Priced at $50k, the controversial painting sold for more and according to Kretz's blog, the work "has been confirmed to be going to an important international collection."

I originally thought that it was a mural painted above an actual Wal-Mart check out line, but apparently my dreams weren't true. It still seemed to strike up some controversy though. Is it really a surprise Americans deify celebrities? If I tried any harder to look like Adam Brody, I could make a living off of it.

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Thursday, January 11, 2007

bush vs. reality

The Plan

Last night, President George W. Bush unveiled his new plan to secure Iraq over the course of the next two years. Speaking from the White House library, a frazzled Mr. Bush told the world, "The situation in Iraq is unacceptable to the American people--and it is unacceptable to me...Where mistakes have been made, the responsibility rests with me." That admission is a step in the right direction. Finally, the Bush administration is acknowledging the same reality that the American people acknowledged this past November: Iraq is bad, it is the administration's fault, and it is time for a change in strategy.

The centerpiece of Mr. Bush's plan is to send about 17,000 soldiers to war-torn Baghdad and about 4,000 Marines to Anbar province. In Pentagon/media-speak, this tactic has been dubbed the "troop surge." The mission of the military in Iraq will also shift from a search-and-destroy operation to a search-destroy-hold tactic in which Iraqi troops and police, backed by a substantial U.S. military presence, will engage and defeat the enemy and then occupy territory in order to prevent the reorganization of the militias. This new tactic (often referred to as an "ink-blot" tactic) is a common counterinsurgency practice that has, up until now, been ignored by the Bush administration.

President Bush also explained that the Iraqi government would commit USD10 billion to reconstruction of infrastructure. Furthermore, the U.S. will ensure that Iraq passes legislation to share oil revenue amongst the population, and will hold provincial elections later this year. Iraq will also alter the de-Baathification process in order to bring more people with political experience back into play in Iraq, possibly including security officials.

Many Democrats are rightly incensed that President Bush ignored the exalted Iraq Study Group's suggestions to negotiate with Syria and Iran. While the ISG report was a bit nearsighted, Bush should have headed the advice of Vali R. Nasr at the Council of Foreign Relations:

"He recommends a regional conference that includes the five permanent members of the UN Security Council as well as Iraq’s six neighbors (Iran, Jordan, Syria, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and Kuwait). He suggests a UN envoy be appointed to “shuttle” between the various states and assess what their shared interests are and how to leverage their influence over Iraq’s feuding parties."


Good idea.

We Broke It...

Bush's new plan has a lot of potential. The increase in troops may provide the necessary edge to defeat the Shi'a militias that are fighting in and around Baghdad. If the Iraqi and U.S. militaries can successfully gain control of the capitol, then the political process in Iraq will be able to move forward, unencumbered by security considerations and the looming threat of civil war. Congressional Democrats argue that the U.S. should seek to jumpstart the political process in Iraq and bring all interested parties to the table. Realistically, the use of force will be a much more effective peacemaker than any overly-optimistic political dealings. As long as Shi'a militias are engaged in an insurgency, political unification of Iraq will remain stalled. Unfortunately, it remains to be seen whether or not an extra 20,000 troops will be a large enough presence to really secure Iraq. This may be a case of too little, too late.

Democrats are opposed to any troop increase in Iraq and instead argue for a phased withdrawal of U.S. troops. They maintain that the Bush plan is no different from strategies put forth by the administration in the past, that it is time for the Iraqis to step up and the U.S. to leave Iraq. It is not time to leave Iraq. The United States is responsible for the toppling of the Iraqi government and the destruction of Iraqi infrastructure. The current situation in Iraq is entirely a byproduct of American policies. It would be immoral and irresponsible to withdraw from Iraq without America putting forth its best efforts to bring peace and stability. At this point in time, an Iraq left to its own devices will be either an oil-rich country in a perpetual state of civil war or an oil-rich extremist Shi'a-led state with allegiance to Iran. Neither circumstance is in the interest of the United States or the world. Mr. Bush's plan may not work, but simply leaving Iraq will guarantee failure. Democrats (the majority of whom voted for this war in the first place, and therefore bear some blame for the current situation) owe it to Iraq and the world to work with President Bush to develop a comprehensive solution for the Iraqi problem, based on Mr. Bush's new proposal.

Click here for a full transcript/video of the Presidential address.

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arcade fire

I don't know how much you follow the release of the Arcade Fire's new album Neon Bible, but there has been a lot of unconventional press surrounding its March 6th release.

First came an awkward e-mail to the music blogs and the music press. It appeared to be spam promoting the Neon Bible which originally only showed a phone number, 1-800-NEON-BIBLE. After pressing extention 7777, phone callers could hear the new song Intervention.

Then, the "wrong" song was allegedly posted on iTunes due to a slip-up at their record label, Merge.

After which came an apology on Win Butler's personal blog.

Arcade Fire also released a pretty goofy YouTube video:


Now you can hear Black Mirror at www.neonbible.com as well as the hear the phone clip from 1-800-NEON-BIBLE, watch the video, and see some cool looking flash.

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Wednesday, January 10, 2007

vampires?

My mom just told me that last March my father was getting out of bed and took his shirt off and saw this on his stomach. No idea where it came from. Mom's skeptical of all of his after-hours activities now.
Also I just realized I say "bye bye" exactly the same as a little 3-year-old boy in rural Tennessee. This is why I never watch Discovery Health.

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