Showing posts from July, 2006


All right, loyal reader(s) (there must be at least one...) - will be in Bangkok for the next couple of days for work. Updates to will be intermittent.

Snakes on a Plane (Bring It)

The original Snakes on a Plane soundtrack video is out!

Tiny frogs

Adding to the tales of fauna in my home, lately these tiny little frogs have appeared in my garden, each one the size of my thumbnail. Incredibly cute.

Spare change?

S igns that celebrities have run out of causes to campaign for: Kevin Federline is campaigning for the preservation of the penny . (Seems to be another one of those increasingly tiresome Virgin publicity stunts, actually, but hey - he chose to put his name on it.)

What hath man wrought?

The black rhino is extinct , apparently. (Via Indri )

Tofu Cheesecake

W ent to Sun With Moon for dinner today, and for dessert I had the tofu cheesecake. Even as an admitted dedicated carnivore, the tofu cheesecake was delicious. But the best part was the presentation - the little bird cage, the folded paper crane, the tiny little mint leaf. I particularly liked the way the shadows fell on the cake.

Football's coming home

W hy do football fans sing, while American football fans don't? The Washington Post finds some who theorise about individuality versus community ("although the social structure in many European countries is less fixed than it was ages ago... thinking in group terms is still more prevalent when it comes to self-definition. The different classes are replaced by different soccer teams one can identify with."). If you ask me, it's probably because Americans just don't have any good chants...

How to Shop Like a Cuban

T ook this last week at the Cathay (and got gently chided by the security guards there for it - why isn't there photo-taking at a shopping centre?) - anyway, the tagline "How to Shop Like a Cuban" amused me.

Fake numbers

S ometimes, in my more misanthropic moments, to avoid conversation, I give out a fake number (my old pager number - the key is to deliver it smoothly). But I see that there's a whole Rejection Line industry. (Found via the Barmaid Blog , which is pretty amusing in its own right.)

Linksfest: Random

No soap, radio ! On one of the most popular joke traditions. The New Yorker looks at the long tail The Pedant's Revolt looks like the kind of book I'd like - all about misconceptions and myths Speaking of things that are false, the urban legend that Alabama redefined pi is false .

My DVD Collection

O bsessive-compulsive ways to spend the weekend: cataloguing one's film collection. So, yes, there I was, using my Mac's iSight camera to scan DVD barcodes... if only the Delicious Library app recognised more non-US/UK/Japan DVDs though! But that's a function of them using Amazon for their catalogue - no region 3 DVDs on Amazon, I guess. Still, it's nice to see a visual representation of my DVD collection (see screenshot above!). And it'll help me track those DVDs I occasionally lend out. (Ooh - that reminds me - a friend still has my copies of Withnail and I and The Rules of Attraction !) I realised with DVDs I often have a memory associated not just with the film, but also with where I purchased the film - my copy of Crazed Fruit , for instance, came from Montreal media emporium Archambault , which I stumbled onto one briskly cool day. I suppose that's one of the joys of physical media as opposed to, say, buying a video off iTunes - but then I suppose not ev

Film effects

W hile talking to J- today about film effects, I stumbled onto the Digital Air site , a firm that deals with digital manipulation of multiple cameras, and I thought it was quite cool how they described and demonstrated the various effects possible. Which made me think: how much of our acceptance of even basic effects involving time in films (fast forward, reverse, etc.) is based on our experience of them, simply because film-watching (or film fast-forwarding/rewinding?) is such a common part of modern life? Did we have to learn to accept time effects as being a natural vocabulary of films, or was that innate? I mean, they are so obviously artificial, but at this point it's hard for me to even think of fast forward, reverse, etc as being "special effects" at all - they're just part of the language of films, like jump-cuts (although of course even jump cuts can be special, for instance the famous Lawrence of Arabia jump-cut ). In fact, how much did we have to learn to a

Comfort Films

F ound myself back home fairly early, and, amazingly, without anything pressing to do for a change (well, assuming I work over the weekend, as is my usual practice). So I sat on the couch with my laptop and surfed as I watched films. And while I started with The Limey , which I hadn't seen and was finishing up, and even though there are films in my DVD collection that I am still supposed to get around to seeing ( Clean , The Fast Runner ), I ended up watching two films I've seen many times before: Woody Allen's Love and Death , as well as Notting Hill , which I watched with the commentary on. There's something about watching films whose rhythm you know well, I think. Familiar, comfortable. And yet both still retained the capacity to make me laugh.

The Mosquito Ringtone

M eant to blog about this a while ago, but anyway, I thought the idea of a ringtone that only teenagers can hear was a pretty nifty technological innovation. Here's the ringtone as an MP3 - I suppose it's good that even after all those years of DJing I can stil hear it, although I keep hearing lingering buzzing after playing that...

Short thought

Everyone talks about procrastination, but no one gets around to doing anything about it.


B ecause we have a shared interest in the Red Sox, I guess, Seth Mnookin e-mailed me to promote his Feeding the Monster book (very different from his previous investigation into the Jayson Blair scandal, I suppose). But I ended up being distracted by this Sony ad that he linked on his blog - there's something about superballs that brings out the kid in me... and José Gonzalez's "Heartbeats" is a beautiful, delicate song.

Myspace Spam

W hat is with Myspace spam? It's always the same suspicious pattern - out of the blue 10 different women e-mail you wanting to be your friend - and you don't even have to click on their profiles to know what you'll see.

Penelope, and Fireworks

W hile snooping around for something else, I chanced upon this description of a very short (3 minute) film by Phil Solomon, called "Yes, I Said Yes, I Will, Yes" based on the last chapter of Ulysses : “The title is, of course, borrowed from the last lines of Molly Bloom's monologue, where, after reviewing all the lovers of her life, she comes home to Bloom, in a swooning affirmation like no other in all of western literature. I have always loved making 'quickie' films for a specific occasion, and this film was made in couple of days as a wedding present for my wife. My most simple, direct, and joyful film.” ( Link ) This sounds quite great - wonder if I'll ever find a chance to watch it. But then I've always loved that last chapter of Ulysses - at the end of Bloomsday, it transcends the density of the previous chapters to reach "swooning affirmation". Which leads me to another thought (hey, if I'm writing about Joyce I can damn well l


S o my brother bought a new foosball / table football set (never did figure out why the German name for football got associated with the game) via Inta-web auction, and the two of us drove out to pick it up over the weekend. Sometimes it's fun talking to the brother - we ended up talking about the same repertoire of all the music in hip-hop clubs in Singapore (and wondered why people seem not to get tired of the similar progressions - "Hollaback Girl" etc etc), the innate sadness of the lyrics of "Hey Ya!" (a pet topic of mine), and why there should be more of Killers songs played in clubs. I got a bit confused because I thought he was referring to Seal/Adamski's "Killer". Which I haven't heard in years, and is a pretty decent song. Thought: even in Singapore with its erstwhile taste for retro music, the late 80s/early 90s gets passed over a bit - it would be nice to hear "Dub Be Good to Me". But anyway that also made me think, as a v

Mac, the Ninth

W ell, at least I think it's been 9 days since I picked up my Macbook. So - to report - the switching experience has been quite easy, and everytime I've brought out the computer I've inspired gadget envy. I did get my first Mac crash on day #1 (Firefox quit unexpectedly), which horrified my friend at Apple, who promptly blamed the Firefox extensions. But otherwise everything's been smooth. The Bluetooth integration is great, actually - just being able to send photos to my computer or Hotsyncing my Palm with it Oh, and the main reason I wouldn't get a Mac - the lack of a right click on a laptop (yes, I know you can add a two-button mouse, but that's not much help if you want to carry it around and use the trackpad) - is nicely fixed on the Macbook. Two fingers on the trackpad to right-click, say, on a link, vs one to left-click. Very elegant. I still agree with Slate that the new Mac "switch" ads are terrible , though.


M y assistant editor Alice and I used to always eagerly await the Fiver back when I was editing for Let's Go (hey, you know how hard it was to get football news in the US?) Here's a snippet from today's gem (admittedly the humour writes itself): "England's penalty fools are out! Once again Wayne Rooney weakened his team with his lack of self-control. Eriksson had to substitute 'Giraffe' Crouch up front, and take Joe Cole off. When it comes to taking penalties England are the world's idiots" - German rag Bild am Sonntag displays its compassionate side. Ah, there's a reason schadenfreude is a German word, I guess.