true affection floats, or because it is september [9/25/2007]

Pop Surrealism [9/15/2007]

Oran bought this awesome book because he recognized my favorite modern artist Mark Ryden on the cover (by modern I mean post-Miro).

More artists included in the book that I recognized:
Marion Peck (no relation)
Elizabeth McGrath
    her myspace
Tim Biskup
While browsing the book I discovered a lot of new ones including:
Camille Rose Garcia
Scott Musgrove

Others in this genre that were not included in the book:

More about the movement:
Wikipedia article on Lowbrow (Pop Surrealism)
Juxtapoz Magazine
Hi Fructose Magazine

Kefir: it's not yogurt [9/15/2007]

So, I've started trying to drink this stuff. I'm hoping it will help counter balance the bad yeast and bacteria in my system from eating too many carbs.

Probiotics (live & active cultures) in kefir:

Lactobacillius Lactis
Lactobacillus Rhamnosus
Streptococcus Diacetylactis
Leuconostoc Cremoris
Lactobacillus Plantarum
Lactobacillus Casei
Bifidobacterium Longum
Bifidobacterium Breve
Saccharomyces Florentinus
Lactobacillus Acidophilus

From what I can tell, yogurt has:

Lactobacillus Bulgaricus
Streptococcus Thermophilus
Lactobacillus Acidophilus
Bifidus/Bifidobacterium Bifidum
Lactobacillus Casei
Lactobacillus Reuteri

So you are getting acidophilus and casei from both. But that's the only overlap I've been able to see.

finally my completely irrational dislike of the patriots becomes justified [9/15/2007]

Everytime I watch basketball, my intuition tells me "this is gotta be fixed". That's almost certainly not always the case, but, I just get that vibe.

I don't get that same feeling when watching football. I don't know for sure what play a team is going to do. I'm sure the coaches have a better sense what the other one is going to do then me. But, they aren't supposed to know for sure. That would seriously destroy the strategy of the game. And the whole reason I like football is because of the strategy.

I've always had an irrational dislike of the patriots. Yesterday I hear that they have been video-taping coaches to discern what all their hand-signals mean. They've been busted for cheating. I'm not surprised they did this. Winning three superbowls in four years felt fishy, and I never saw Belichick's brillance. I'm somewhat surprised they are actually facing repercussions. Apparently others like me feel that strategy is important to the game.

There has been a lot of talk about how the punishments were not severe enough. Stefan Fatsis compared Belichick's 500k and the Team's 250k against McLaren's 100mil fine. Listen to Stephan's full commentary here. I don't know how to judge what's fair. And who knows how all the bad press is going to effect the team. Players from other teams think maybe we could have won, maybe it wasn't a fair game. Patriots players may feel maybe we didn't really deserve to win. All around the players and fans are screwed. How can coaches feel they are doing a good job when they use tactics like this? Winning is not really winning if you cheat.

Arc of Time [9/11/2007]

Oran got me listening to the song Arc of Time by Bright Eyes. Here is an upbeat almost celebratory sounding song that's all about death. If I think about death, I usually get pretty depressed and scared. Time seems to be accelerating, and I constantly feel like I will wake up tomorrow morning and be 84 and not know where all of my time went. Lots of stress and anxiety. Tomorrow I'll most certainly be 29. Right? So why is this song happy anyway?

When we saw the lyrics that mention Jesus and an afterlife with angels and such, the question arose "Is this a Christian song?"

And, almost immediately without really thinking much about it, I said "No, it's a Kurzweil song."

The last verse is what makes me feel I might have a reasonable interpretation:

To the deepest part
Of the human heart
The fear of death expands
'til we crack the code,
we've always known
But could never understand
On a circuit board
We'll soon be born
Again, again, again, again

The first two badly scanned sketches are Oran's initial concept drawings for a Kurzweil emblem. Then I thought I'd play around in photoshop and make a school of happy little Kurzweil fishies.

Finished The Tiger in the Well [9/07/2007]

Well, this wrapped up the Sally Lockhart trilogy nicely. Sally was consistently strong-willed throughout all three. I really liked that Pullman finally showed her more vulnerable and emotional than ever before. I missed Jim throughout most of the book just as Sally missed him.

I was also glad to learn a bit about the pogroms in Russia. I didn't know about this part of Jewish/Russian history. After reading this book, and Spook Country not too long ago, I'm thinking maybe I should read a book on Russian history.

Worshiping Tigers? [9/04/2007]

Guilherme Marcondes is awesome. If you haven't already seen his Tyger video, you must watch it:

those bent image lab guys are pretty good [9/02/2007]

Last weekend I was watching some animated shorts on Zune-Arts. Saw this cool music video:

So, I looked up the production company Bent Image Labs. A guy named Rob Shaw did the Zune one. And then I watched this Lux commercial by Shel White. Usually, commercials greatly annoy me, or look cool, or amuse me. However, this is the first time I can remember actually being curious about a product after seeing a commercial.

James Connolly [9/01/2007]

I'm currently reading A Tiger in the Well by Philip Pullman. Part of the story is about socialists in London in the late 19th century.

Then friday night at Rosie McCaffrey's all the booths were full and we sat a table where I was positioned to see a painting of James Connolly 1868-1916 and read this quote of his:

"If these men must die, would it not be better to die in their own country fighting for freedom for their class, and for the abolition of war, than to go forth to strange countries and die slaughtering and slaughtered by their brothers that tyrants and profiteers might live?"
-- James Connolly August 15, 1914

So, in the spirit of Labor Day I wanted to honor the prominent Laborist James Connolly. A lot of his writing is available here: James Connolly Internet Archive.