24 November 2009

Celebrating Darwin

Big day in history today. Darwin was born on this day in 1809. It's caused the usual kerfluffle about the "debate" over creationism and evolution but that's to be expected.

I hesitate to call people that believe in creationism stupid because I know some very smart, very successful people that think it's the gospel truth, in spite of the fact that there is no proof for it or 'intelligent design'. It should be noted that their success was not in a field of rigorous scientific study. Better to just agree to disagree and let Dawkins fight the good fight.

People used to think the sun revolved around the earth, that the world was flat, etc, and so forth. Science will win out in the end, but there's no use trying to combat willful ignorance, especially of a religious nature.

You can get some forward-thinking encouragement from other parts of the world, though. In England they put a picture of Darwin on their 10 pound note. I keep one in my wallet just on general principle.

20 November 2009

High as a Georgia pine

This is funny as hell. It's too bad it was on radio because there's no swear words, and I'm confident that Dock Ellis would have used some swear words in a typical retelling of the story, and it would have been funnier.

Note that he talks about the frequent/common use of stimulants in baseball. Not officially a performance enhancing drug though, because it wasn't banned. I've covered that hypocrisy at length already. Search this blog for 'Barrold Bonds' or the phrase "fucking idiots" and you'll find the posts.

Anyways, great animation, great (true) story. Enjoy.


We do a brisk trade in sad songs over here at GJAW. If you want rap music you can get that somewhere else, but if you want some melody and guitar then you've come to the right place.

I wanted to embed a video of a live performance of Bon Iver song from Glastonbury but I couldn't work that out. Something about copyrights and geography. You'll have to watch it and listen via some kind of foreign website. You could check it on his myspace page, or catch up with it on Letterman, but where's the fun in that? The definitive version (for me) is the Glastonbury performance; I think it shows off the strength of the song in a way that even the studio version fails to do. But that's me.


19 November 2009

The internet delivers: Photos (weird, I know)

Superb little photo gallery of photos from Andy Warhol via the Danziger Projects via the New York Times. I would reproduce a photo here but I'd be in violation of several copyrights and that wouldn't be cool. Or legal. Click the New York Times link above for a good look at some highlights from the collection.

I will reproduce the text from Kathy Ryan, Director of Photography of New York Times Magazines, because her description is excellent:

There is a small gem of a show at Danziger Projects right now, featuring a little-known trove of Polaroids by Andy Warhol of famous athletes. They were commissioned by one collector in the late 1970s and early ’80s. The simplicity of Warhol’s method — straightforward portraits shot with the Big Shot camera — gives the tiny images (4 1/4″ x 3 3/8″) a purity and sincerity that belies the radiance and aura of greatness coming from the sitters. Even today, there is something tingle-inducing about seeing Muhammad Ali, Dorothy Hamill, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Chris Evert, PelĂ©, Tom Seaver and Wayne Gretzky captured at the height of their youthfulness and fame. These portraits, made by the ultimate connoisseur of fame himself, have aged beautifully. The show is up through Dec. 12 at 534 West 24th Street.*

* Courtesy/copyright NYT and Kathy Ryan.

16 November 2009

Manny Pacquiao will fight you, and he will kick your ass

It's rare that you can say much about boxing these days. The fight business is a joke because of shady promoters, too many competing organizations, and a host of other problems, not least of which is worthy champions, especially at the heavyweight level.

Usually when people talk about the 'good old days' in sports it's complete bullshit. The players are better now than they have ever been. This is true in every major American sport, and also in the most popular sport in the world (soccer). However, it's not true in boxing. The champions of the past would literally pummel the champions of today (with a very few notable exceptions). And the mid-level guys from back in the day? They would walk all over the 'talent' in the current era. These facts are not in dispute. I mention them only because occasionally there IS something in boxing worth talking about, and that something is Manny Pacquiao.

The good news is that Manny Pacquiao has cemented his legacy as one of the all-time great fighters by taking on yet another tough opponent and beating the tar out of him. This is after he torched a well-past-his-prime Oscar De La Hoya (in a beating so savage and severe I was concerned for De La Hoya's long-term health), and exposed Ricky Hatton as an overmatched punching bag. Pacquiao's dismantling of Miguel Cotto is the last, best example anyone should need that this guy is not just handling mid-level competition; he takes on tough fighters and still dominates. Floyd Mayweather is the only guy left that can give him a fight, so let's hope Money Mayweather put his money where his mouth is and fights him. Preferably sooner than later.

12 November 2009

Adjusting my target demographic

A girl asked me out yesterday at work. That only happens to me roughly every 5 years, so I was very flattered. Apparently she wasn't sufficiently deterred by what friend Jeff calls my "MMA/Eurotrash" haircut.

I was relating the story at lunch today and realized that part of the reason I'm flying solo these days is that although my lifestyle/hobbies are awesomely cool to teenage boys, it's not quite so awesome to successful twentysomething professional bitches.* I know, I couldn't believe it either. For example, here's a list of all the shit that is awesome when you're 16 that I do now:
  • practice jiu-jitsu
  • play xbox (mostly CoD4:MW2 lately, and if you don't know what that is then it just further illustrates my point)
  • live at my friend's house - underrated awesomeness
  • play guitar - actually most girls like this, but it still makes the list
  • get tattoos - no new ones recently but still
  • ride motorcycles
  • floss the mma/eurotrash haircut
  • read science fiction books
  • read wwtdd.com
  • watch science fiction movies
  • drink beer
Oh hell yes. If loving any of that is wrong I don't want to be right. I thought about making some adjustments but then I remembered that I love doing this stuff and not doing it would just bring me down. Fuck that noise.
Who wants to go for a ride?

*I mean girls that are professionals, not girls that specialize in being bitches, although I've dated a few of both types.

11 November 2009

Pump it up!

I'm late for the gym but I just watched this video and now I'm PUMPED!

07 November 2009

Not sure I like the hook

If you can make it through four minutes of this then you're amazing. I managed 120 seconds and that was it. I don't want to knock it because the guy is trying really hard and this is not easy and I respect that but... umm... watch the video and you'll see what I mean.

06 November 2009

My kind of girl

I posted this on lamebook but if you missed it there here's your chance to get involved.

Pictured is the dog I live with. It's not technically my dog, although she is making herself comfortable in my bed. She especially likes to get in there right after I'm up in the morning and brushing my teeth. She manages to make herself surprisingly comfortable in just 2 short minutes.

I like how she manages to maximize her coverage of the pillow on which I sleep. It's warm and smells like me - what could be better than that? How about a pillow that doesn't smell like dog? Can I get one of those? No? Oh. Okay.

I love this dog and she knows it, although we did have a bit of an issue when she ate one of the buttons off my duvet. She's a good dog for the most part. Occasionally she acts up when she doesn't get enough exercise, and she sheds like a bomb going off, but besides that she's about as good as a dog can be.

05 November 2009

The moon sometimes looks like a C, but you can't eat that!

This goes out to my friend Katie. We were talking about the cookie monster years ago and I still laugh about it. It's the gift that keeps on giving. C is for cookie, people.

Troy Patterson, slate TV critic and, more significantly, person whose work I enjoy reading that is also likely to use words I don't know, wrote a short essay about the Cookie Monster. It is both awesome and hilarious.

Full version here.

Short excerpt:

The most monstrous of Sesame Street's monsters, he is desire turned comic-grotesque. In an important sign of his derangement, Cookie Monster is the only core character to sport bobbling pupils in his eyes. His signature song, "C Is for Cookie," is a pub song invested with rousing grandeur, an anthem to monomania. "Let's think of other things that starts with C," he growls, before entertaining second thoughts. "Ah, who cares about the other things!" His lack of interest in much other than eating extends even to grammar. Him wants proper declension [definition link added, because I had to look it up].

I love the muppets. A lot.

04 November 2009

The internet delivers: Sadness

My idiot former roommate (see previous posts about the guy on Tool Academy) was desperate to be famous. He talked about it all the time. It's only a matter of time until he turns up on this website:


It's good to have goals.

Traveling is fun

I think almost every girl I've ever met either wants to go to Italy or has already been there and can't wait to go back. I touched on this topic before:

I also learned that they're either handing out Eat, Pray, Love free with eH memberships or vice versa (I can imagine a special coupon at the back of the book, encouraging girls to seek a partner now that they've been on a "journey"). This book was so cliche that I closed any girl that listed it as her most recent reading. You think it's cool to go to Italy and get fat before you fall in love? Good for you. You probably think it's romantic to build entire series around abstinence and bloodsucking-as-sex metaphors. That's why you spend your nights watching Gossip Girl home alone with your cats and/or parents.

Anyway, someone I've never met that writes about motorcycles went and took some good pictures in Florence, so I guess if you frame the trip in that context it might be cool. Or not. I think this is as close as I'll ever get to Italy, except when I skip it the next time I'm in Europe.

02 November 2009

Go fast, wear a helmet

I used to be really into mountain biking. Now I'm into motorcycles, some of which are described as "mountain bikes with engines". This is not a coincidence.

The guys in the video make the riding look pretty easy. It isn't.

And they should be riding those bikes back up the hill, not taking the truck. Downhill-only is fun but it's not as cool as x-country.

When is a piece of tape not just a piece of tape?

It was halloween this weekend. I wore a silly outfit and pretended it was a costume. It wasn't, because I didn't get 'dressed up' as anything. I was just myself. Costumes are not my thing. But the deal ended up being fun, and I've heard there's some pictures kicking around on fbook, so I'll share them as they become available.

Today's picture is a metaphor. It represents progress. I got my fourth (and final) promotion as a white belt last week. Next promotion is a new color belt, and that's at least 5 months away (probably more), so I'll have plenty of time to get used to this.

In jiu-jitsu it's not a big deal to get your fourth stripe on a white belt; a lot of people do it, and it doesn't make me any better at jiu-jitsu (bummer, because I can use all the help I can get). I'm still not good at it; a fourth stripe just tells you that I'm slightly less not-good than someone with, say, 2 stripes. The differences are so subtle as to be nearly meaningless.

Still, it's nice to have your hard work is recognized by your instructor.