“Man who catch fly with popcorn fork accomplish anything.” (via metafilter)
Make sure you know your popcorn history before consuming. “The folklore of some Native American tribes told of spirits who lived inside each kernel of popcorn.” Folklore?
I just got back from a family trip to Vancouver. Despite its size, cultural importance, and proximity to Seattle, Vancouver is surprising forgotten in the emerald city. (I’m referring to Seattle for those that don’t know. Vancouver, with its skyscrapers of green glass, really should be the emerald city. In Seattle, the only green is the forest green of the foresty environment.)
I took some pictures which may turn into one of my little “photo galleries”, but as I’ve already mentioned, I’ve forgotten my USB cable so I can’t plug in my camera. There is an pretty good photo exhibit of Vancouver on urbanphoto.org.
There’s nothing like the museum to make you realize that you’ve got a day off. I don’t ever remember being at a museum and thinking about getting back to work or study. Thus, I caught the last day of the Cyborg Exhibit at the Vancouver Art Gallery. It was pretty interesting stuff, the highlight of which was probably a post-apocalyptic life support suit by Kenji Yanobe. I was first exposed to Kenji Yanobe’s work at an exhibit at UC Santa Barbara when I was a student there in 1997.
Upstairs at the museum was a Douglas Gordon exhibit. His stuff was both interesting and disturbing. Some of the cooler pieces were the video installations. One featured two giant opposing screens showing the “you talkin’ to me?” scene from Taxi Driver in slightly staggered loops. Another, “24 Hour Psycho” is brilliant in concept but rather boring in application. It’s a slowing down of the film Psycho stretched to show in 24 hours. What you end up with is a giant video display that moves ever so slightly ever few seconds. It’s essentially the opposite of time lapse photography.
I finally got a chance to watch The Paper Chase last night. The movie follows a student through his turbulent first year at Harvard Law School. Like most popular films about niche topics, this one has a reputation for being kinda sorta accurate but not really. (For example: Gleaming the Cube: it had some real skaters doing real tricks, but I don’t think too many of those kids got their friends to fly them around to look for empty swimming pools. (What fool is selling this thing on half.com for $50?!))
I was surprised however to see that this movie really portrayed law school in much the same way as it actually is today. We got called on just like those people, we “outlined” like those people, and we even started with the same case: Hawkins v. McGee. Granted we didn’t check into hotel rooms to study (well, at least no one I know did – maybe I was hanging around with the slackers). The hair and moustaches were shorter and shaved, respectively. My professors generally weren’t as mean as the professor in the movie, but in many ways I’d say they were more challenging. They didn’t take volunteers or call on other people to help you out of a tough spot, they just kept asking questions. Generally though, I wouldn’t at all say its an inaccurate picture of law school.
It’s been a long nine months since those early days when law school was new. I’m rather happy to be done for the summer.
Another thought – since it’s 1:40am on the west coast as I write this… I am now finished with the 25th year of my life. (‘Tis my birthday.) I believe this is the last birthday of on-paper significance until I’m old enough to claim senior citizens discounts. I am now old enough to rent a car, and to no longer be covered on my parents dental insurance – which explains why my mom made me go to the dentist today. I hadn’t been for something like four years. One small cavity, no anesthetic. Amazing.
I’m back home in Seattle this week – an uneventful trip so far. Traveling is always interesting. While it is amazing that we can get from one side of the continent to the other in half a day, it shouldn’t be overlooked that half a day of flying is painfully boring. I was wedged between two guys who both crossed that armrest line. I found myself overanalyzing the details of the airport experience.
A couple observations: (a) Travel observations are out control. It makes total sense that people would analyze the experience, there’s so much time to think. (I’m doing it right now.) But it’s amazing what people will talk about. “There’re two planes in front of us, a Delta and British Air. There goes the British Air. Now it’s just the Delta.” How booorrring. (b) Airport announcements are out of control. “If your car is parked in a no parking area, it will be towed.” Have you ever seen someone react to that? “What!? Towed!? I gotta run! Bye grandma!” Those type of announcements just dilute the announcements that are actually important. (c) Why are the ticket agents so stressed? There always seems to be this huge rush, yet flying is really one of the slowest paced things I can think of doing. Where else do you show up an hour or two ahead of time to be herded into a seat? Why is there so much paper at airports? Tickets come in five different types, each of which contains 90% undecipherable code. Why do the agents have to shuffle so many papers around when you check in? It seems needlessly complicated.
Anyway, travel is pretty efficient overall. I took a picture of my meal for airlinemeals.net but I forgot to bring the USB cord for my camera so I might not be able to post it until I get back.
Today I went for the mother of all walks. I walked all the way from my apartment, which is on the edge of Brookline, to the North End and back (most of the way). I think that comes out to about five miles. Hmm. Doesn’t seem so far now.
I picked up a 12″ from Rantoul. I think I’d have to say that Rantoul is one of my favorite artists on Good Looking Records, and of course Good Looking is one of my favorite labels.
A friend from high school, Ari Shapiro, managed a quick trip up to Boston from New York yesterday. I’m sure he’ll be reporting the details in his live journal.
Do you ever find yourself thinking, “Why are gas masks so expensive? How am I going to protect myself from death while I hack into the terrorist network?” Well have no fear, it appears that some people have considered this problem and put together a report on how to build your own gas mask from inexpensive computer parts (parts such as ‘bag’, ‘strap’, and ‘tube’). There are some strange people in this world.
This is ridiculous. There were a total of five people here last night (three of whom live here), drinking wine and chatting – no music. I would say that this apartment is below average when it comes to making noise. We make an affirmative effort not to disturb our neighbor (this isn’t the first complaint). I find it incredibly irksome that we cannot enjoy our own apartment on a Friday night without complaints from our egg-shell neighbor.
That’s my rant for the day.
I got a hold and a gulp of the new Vanilla Coke this afternoon. It tastes just like regular Coke, but with vanilla. I suppose that was to be expected. (Funny that Coke was somehow unable to obtain the domain name vanillacoke.com.
I’ve noticed a lot of new soft-drink options from the major makers recently. Coke and Pepsi both come with lemon now, though I’m not sure which came first. I have this image of Pepsi spies copying the secret document onto a 3.5 inch disk and FedExing it to Purchase, NY where Pepsi Intelligence Officers discover the secret to the new recipe: “Lemon! Of course! Ingenious!” Imagine working for Pepsi, you’re diet would consist solely of sugary drinks and snack food.
Is it weird that our society presumes a sugary carbonated beverage to be “normal”? Often the only options are Coke, something similar like Pepsi, Diet Coke, Sprite, etc., and maybe water or ice tea if you’re lucky. Water drinkers are shunned into a lower class by being forced to use that little tab thingy instead of an actual water-dedicated spout at the soda fountain. I’m not complaining, I just think it’s weird.
My soft-drink of choice is, of course, Dr. Pepper. It’s never on sale in Boston for some reason.
Like thousands of other students, kids, unemployed individuals, and nerds who took the day off, I went to see the new Star Wars movie this afternoon. Overall I’d say it was pretty good – miles above Episode I. This one had fewer cheesy jokes, more of an actual plot, and good imagery. Forgetting my Star Wars history, I got a little confused by some of the references to the other movies (especially Episode 1, which I only saw once), but I definitely enjoyed the film.
Star Wars is obviously a huge cultural phenomenon. I’m not going to get into a discussion of its impact on society, but I do wonder if kids these days find it as intriguing as I did as a kid. I bet they do. Still, it somehow seems like the older movies were oh so much cooler than the modern ones. More story – less Hollywood. But then maybe I was just too young to remember.
Its interesting to see that the only Google “ad word” for “Star Wars” (the ads that appear on the right side of the Google results page) is for some sort of religious group (though I couldn’t quite figure out what they were promoting). I think thier name, “faithandvalues.com” is pretty ironic too. They could have at least called it faithandvalues.org. Would you go to a church called “Faith, Inc.”?
An interesting note about the age of Star Wars: The original film was released on May 25, 1977, the same day I was, uh, released. So whenever you hear something like “It’s the 25th anniversery of Star Wars”, you know it’s my 25th birthday.