Have you ever wanted to be powerful like Nikolay Valuev? Ripped like Ivan Drago? Bloodthirsty and unyielding as the Red Menace itself?

Sure, we all have.

“My strength is much greater than yours.”

That’s why you need to pump yourself up by creating your own World-Dominating Russian bench press routine. (Here’s an example, since Saddam Hussein’s bench press heroics have been in the news lately.)

Bull to bullfight spectators: “Hey, fuck you guys”

Via Drudge comes the charming story of scrappy Pajarito the bull, who jumped the fence of the bullfighting arena (like a thousand pound ninja ballerina – a ninjarina) and started thrashing the horrified spectators. The video footage of the bull (in the aforementioned article) is great. It totally starts off like a sequel to Air Bud or something (only starring a jumping bull instead of some whack placekicking dog), but then some jackass has to eventually ruin Pajarito’s glory by stabbing him with a stupid little sword.

I only hope that other bulls are brave enough to continue their struggle in the brave footsteps of Pajarito. Bulls! You, who have nothing to lose and everything to gain, RISE UP against your cruel masters! In the name of Pajarito, FIGHT DAMMIT!

“Mercy? You wanted MERCY!!?!”

‘Fear of Girls’ is a lovely short film about the wacky exploits of a roaming gang of D&D playing buddies (I believe their names were Dave Pease and Mike Chizewski… ZING!). Slashdot just described it as “not that funny” (and themselves as “not mad, just disappointed”), but the performances are earnest and there are several worthwhile lines. If you have 12 minutes to spare, I recommend it.

The 12th Man is Sexist.

According to ESPN, Texas A&M is unhappy that the Seattle Seahawks’ home crowd is so often referred to as ‘the 12th man’, due to the noise and boisterousness of the faithful actively helping the Seahawks when they play at home.

According to the Seahawks, they’ve done a couple of things in reaction to and appreciation of the term catching on, such as retiring the #12 jersey, but they’ve never used the term ’12th man’ to describe their fans in any marketing or promotional effort. Texas A&M believes they have all rights to using the term ’12th man’ to describe the home crowd, and they refused to rule out taking legal action against the Seahawks in the future.

Rather than gird themselves to fight a likely expensive and possibly embarassing legal battle with Texas A&M or pay a pretty penny in a settlement, the Seahawks should throw a few large at some proven local rabblerousers to start complaining that the term ’12th man’ is sexist, because the Seahawks have plenty of female fans, and they ought to be considered too, and this is 2006, for Christ’s sake–if ‘mankind’ has fallen out of favour versus ‘humankind’, are we really using the term ’12th man’ to describe the crowd?

Then the Seahawks can, in response to complaints about the term ’12th man’ from their own fan base, reluctantly but quickly trademark ’12th person’, have their own hammerlock on an updated version of Texas A&M’s intellectual property, and openly use the term in marketing efforts.

Gorillaz: Demon Days

Welcome to jesush.com, where it’s all Dave, all the time.

I’ll often listen to an album based on the strength of the single and find the rest of the album isn’t really close to the single in quality. That’s what I initially thought was happening with Demon Days, with the strong single “Feel Good Inc” not being all that much like anything else on the album.

I still like “Feel Good Inc” a lot, but after having given the entire album a few listens I like the rest of it a lot more too. The presence of Dennis Hopper (who, incidentally, is engagingly insane) in “Fire Coming Out of the Monkey’s Mouth” is pleasantly nonlinear. “Dirty Harry” gets the funk out. “White Lights” sounds like something Falco might have done, were he still alive. “Dare” has a beat and can probably be danced to.

Heck, I like this album so much I’m considering legally acquiring it.

Gratuitous Destruction

On Saturday night, Vu and I made the trip up I5 to see the Survival Research Labs show in LA.

It was pretty fun.

The T-Rex head takes it from the flamethrowing forklift

We got to LA at around 7:30, and after some cruising around the general area of the gallery to find parking headed over to the show. I was quite surprised at the turnout–there were hundreds of people milling around, with more filtering in by the minute. SRL had barricaded off much of a parking lot for the ‘stage’, and the crowd was at least a dozen people deep against the barricades by the time we got there. I caught a glimpse of BoingBoing editor and net.celeb Xeni Jardin while we were looking for a good place to watch. Striking woman, and either quite tall or standing on something–couldn’t tell.

Not being able to find a good vantage point in the parking lot, we headed around the perimeter, down an unlit alley riddled with obstacles (chairs, boxes, and other crap were arranged almost like someone was trying to trip people up) and hopped a fence into the adjoining property to the parking lot. This offered an outstanding view of the production, albeit from the side rather than center stage.

I got some pictures of the event–I put mine on flickr cause I’ve heard that’s what the cool kids do. Here’s the recap at BoingBoing.

Muse: Origin of Symmetry

I first heard of Muse when 94.9FM started playing “Hysteria”, off Absolution, a year or two ago. It’s an outstanding song that reminded me a lot of Radiohead, who we can all agree is the best band in the world.

I saw Origin of Symmetry at Music Trader last week and picked it up. The album is similar but superior to Absolution. Muse’s recipe remains similar to Radiohead’s; most perceptibly, the singer does Thom Yorke-ish stuff with his voice, though I’d say he’s more operatic (or spastic, if you are negatively inclined). “Bliss” is my favorite track off the album right now; I enjoy how it starts off with 15 seconds of Enya-ish synth nonsense that I’d say Pop would voluntarily listen to before the guitarist starts rocking out and it turns into a song that I would voluntarily listen to. “Plug In Baby”, “New Born”, and “Screenager” are also excellent.

If you like Radiohead at all, I’d say the only way you wouldn’t like Muse is if you thought they were too similar, and that offended your sensibilities in some way.

(I’ve probably oversold the Radiohead similarities here. Once you get past the singers, the music isn’t all that similar. But that’s not what my initial perception was.)

Clonaid offers Woo-sook job

In a development that reads like something out of The Onion, fraudulent weirdo cultist losers Clonaid have offered fraudulent weirdo cultist loser Dr. Hwang Woo-sook a job.

Dr. Brigitte Boisselier, CEO and Head Witch of Clonaid, announcing the offer to Woo-sook.

“Woo-sook actually fooled a lot of people for an extended period of time about cloning. That’s the kind of thing Rael looks kindly on, and we aren’t doing a great job of it in-house. I mean, let’s be realistic: we don’t even believe our own press releases at this point”, said Boisselier. “Mean to say, I understand that pre-fall-from-grace, Woo-sook had some content published in respected scientific journals. We don’t even know where to get respected scientific journals.”

Boisselier immediately followed with a claim that Clonaid had been responsible for 182 distinct cloned births at undisclosed locations around the world, and as a side-effect of their genetic experimentation had also discovered cures for cancer, dementia, herpes, chronic halitosis, and Osgood-Schlatter Disease.

She then jumped on her broom and departed, bringing the press conference to an abrupt end.

Garden State

I was expecting to hate this movie. People I talked to about it said that they generally liked it but that the best thing about it was the soundtrack, which scared me. It looked all sensitive and weepy. I don’t know who the hell Zach Braff is.

Turns out I really enjoyed it, and thought the soundtrack was about the worst thing about the movie. Really well-constructed, with a lot of little touches and shot selection that reminded me of Donnie Darko, only better. Braff did a nice job, and so did Portman. Peter Sarsgaard is one of my favorite actors and he did his usual solid work here.

Some real good lines, too.

“Don’t tease me about my hobbies. I don’t tease you about being an asshole.”

Pork Loin with Dried Cranberry Sauce

2 tsp dried sage
2 tsp dried thyme
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper (original recipe called for ‘freshly ground’. we got ourselves a real gourmand here.)
1 2-3lb pork loin (often sold in larger sizes; I got a ~7lb piece and cut it in thirds)
Olive oil
2 cups fat-free less sodium chicken broth
1 1/2 cup dried cranberries (Craisins, etc)
1 cup cranberry juice cocktail
2 tbsp grape jelly

Preheat oven to 400°. Combine sage, thyme, salt and pepper and rub evenly over the pork.

Heat a skillet over medium-high heat. Add olive oil to cover bottom of pan. Add pork; cook 4 minutes on each side, or until browned. Place pork in a baking dish and place in the oven. Cook for about 80 minutes, until internal temperature is 150°. Internal temperature will climb to 160° after removing from oven. Set pork aside and keep warm.

About 20 minutes before pork is done, add broth, dried cranberries and juice to skillet. Bring to a boil, scraping pan to loosen browned bits. Stir in jelly and cook 12 minutes, or until slightly thickened, stirring occasionally. Pour any juice that accumulates in the baking pan used for the pork into the sauce. Cut pork into 1/2-inch slices. Serve with sauce.

Pork Loin with Dried Cranberry Sauce was a favourite meal of the Robotech Defense Forces.

Originally ganked from Cooking Light, Mar 2005, with modifications by Pop.

Gord’s PC Room

Acts of Gord is a website with stories about a guy who opened a game store, his oft-humorous dealings with his customers, and the vagaries of running his own business. If you haven’t seen it before, I do recommend it highly–it’s one of my favourite bodies of freely-available writing that I’ve found on the net. If lines like

The Gord often wonders why people threaten to never come back after they’ve been told never to return.

are as much your cup of tea as they are mine, you’ll enjoy it.

Gord, the proprietor of said shop and website, left North America a few years back for fun and games in South Korea doing something or other, and he kind of dropped off the face of the earth. Hell, he’s still got my $20 for the bound edition of Acts of Gord, and I Paypaled that off to him years ago. I recently discovered that he’s back, he’s now building a PC room in Canada after seeing them all over the damn place in South Korea, and he’s documenting the process.

He’s not very far along yet, but so far it has been an interesting read.

Chargers Looking for Partner

Apparently the Chargers would really like to find a development partner for their generous give-us-the-land-and-we’ll-run-with-it Mission Valley redevelopment plan.

“We would need a minimum of a couple of weeks to finalize the ballot language,” Fabiani said. “This is a difficult environment in which to make this deal. It is what it is. There’s no hiding the ball from anyone.”

I enjoyed the ‘hiding the ball’ statement, and thought Fabini’s point might have been even more effectively made had he included some more coach-speak in there to shade the whole affair back to the fun football side of things.

We are not running the old Statue of Liberty play here“, Fabini continued. “Both our offensive and defensive game plans are streamlined and substitution-free, and they rely on solid preperation and conditioning rather than trickery. But make no mistake: we’re in sudden death here. It’s fourth and goal on the 1 foot line, and we’ve got to find a partner who can open up the holes for us and apply the bruising blocks needed so we can convert this red zone opportunity and walk into the end zone as untouched as Larry Johnson.”

“Many challenges still await us in this operation. The right partner makes them as easy to overcome as a Deion Sanders ole tackle.”

Fabini then did the Heisman and darted out through the side door.

The Deion Sanders sports figurine. In this lifelike action pose, Sanders is preparing to miss a tackle.


10:39pm, Thu Jan 5

No, the utility room sink didn’t throw up industrial silly string™ or anything like that. I’ve been screwing with computers and audio in the utility room, and I got my massive ratsnest of cables out to aid in the effort.

It wasn’t very well organized.

Both bays of the sink are a jumble of cables of various flavours.

12:45am, Fri Jan 6

That was actually a little fun. I’m trying to decide if that should concern me or not.

And since I’m gratuitously posting pictures of random nonsense,

Looks bluer in person.

Cool Packaging

I’m working on computers this evening–or rather, frankensteining a couple of woefully outdated, partially pillaged carcasses to try and come up with a single working machine. Yeah, baby, 256MB of system RAM–and I had a new hard drive to put in the machine. (I didn’t think the 13.3GB relic that was the only drive either machine had to offer would do.) So I opened the static-discharge resistant plastic bag, and noticed the silica gel packet that always comes in this stuff was made of the same material as the outer bag, sealed in the same fashion, and printed on with the same ink.

Does this qualify as geek porn?

I really like the idea that they figured out that they could save a buck by purchasing the silica in bulk and making their own bags of it at the factory. The idea of a factory producing both a hard drive and a silica gel packet that is then sealed in a larger bag is kind of funny to me for some reason.

Oh, and Happy New Year to all!