Monday, December 28, 2009

Octopi officially deemed 'tool using' animal

Scientists seem pretty loathe to hand out the title 'tool using' to animals. The bar is set pretty high. But these rad cephalopods won the prize fair and square. Not only do they collect coconut shells to use as armor, or portable housing -- but they clean them, and move them, and use them when needed. They even store them.


The article is worth a read.

Enjoy watching animals rock it,


[via My Lovely Wife, photo credit in linked article]

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Saturday Morning Awesome: Balloon Bass and Box Jam

A couple nights off work unexpectedly, and ya'll actually get a Saturday Morning Awesome post.

Enjoy the video, worth sticking to the end, they ramp it up a notch.

Ballon Bass And Box Jam - Watch more Funny Videos

Enjoy folks makin' it happen,


Wednesday, December 23, 2009

The Pig and the Butcher

Here is a great short on Vimeo showing a butcher taking apart a pig with very little waste. Click the text link for more info on the film and the butcher.

It reminds me of a sentiment I got from Gary Snyder, from one of his books of essays -- simplistically paraphrased: If you want to learn about mastering something, hang out with masters of any sort. You can learn to be a master meditator by hanging out with a master mechanic.

Watch a master butcher.

The Pig & The Butcher from Quarter Productions on Vimeo.

Enjoy getting closer to your food sources,


[via my faithful Canukistani operative, "Yuri"]

Monday, December 21, 2009

R.I.P. health care reform

Great video that captures a bit of information, and a lot of emotion (that I share) about the current B.S. that's making its way through congress about health care. Is the host being helpful? No -- but I can relate to where he's coming from:


[via Faith in Honest Doubt, whose post is worth reading]

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

100 days in Glacier National Park

Here is a really awesome photo set from's "The Big Picture."

Part of their writeup:

This summer, Glacier Park Magazine editor Chris Peterson undertook a photographic project to take photos of Montana's Glacier National Park over 100 consecutive days, starting on May 1, 2009, for a traveling photo show in 2010 to commemorate Glacier's Centennial. He used a mix of film and digital cameras, including an 8 by 10 field camera, a Kodak Pocket Vest camera, circa 1909, and a Speed Graphic, among others. His idea was to use the cameras that would have been used over the course of the Park's 100 years.

Here is the whole set of 100 photographs with the artists comments, well worth your time. Some great reading, as well as more amazing shots.

[remember to click images for larger size]

check the foreground right on this one

The beargrass in this one reminds me of my days in the fire lookout.

Bufo! [that one's for you Wife]

[As is this one] Smallest bird in North America, Calliope hummingbird (Stellula calliope)

And you gotta have bighorns.

Enjoy phenomenal photography of nearly untrammeled nature,


[via my faithful Canukistani operative "Yuri", all image credits in linked photo set]

Monday, December 7, 2009

Half inch jellyfish that can take you out, quick

That little guy pictured on the right there can kill you dead, pronto.

Here is the post from Boing Boing, and here is the post they referenced at The Telegraph UK.
The jellyfish's sting can lead to "Irukandji syndrome," a set of symptoms that includes shooting pains in the muscles and chest, vomiting, restlessness and anxiety. Some symptoms can last for more than a week, and the syndrome can occasionally lead to a rapid rise in blood pressure and heart failure.

There is no antivenom, and people generally do not realize that they have been stung at first. The initial sting causes little pain, and it may be up to half an hour before a victim starts to feel the effects.

But those effects, Miss Gershwin says, can ultimately be disastrous, with some stings causing blood pressures to soar as high as 280 over 180.

Enjoy never meeting this organism in your whole life,


[via Boing Boing, photo Wiki Commons]

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Building a passive solar greenhouse

The chard outside in the garden is frozen and wilted. I hear it will perk right back up, but as of the moment, it's lookin' pretty sad.

What would be better this time of year than a nice, passive-solar greenhouse out in the garden. Here is a great link from the Bradford Research and Extension Center, University of Missouri, showing plans and instructions and design concepts for a very straightforward passive solar greenhouse.

An illustration with the basic concepts [click picture for a better view]:

The solar gain off of those water barrels is amazing.

So, for the serious geeks out there, here is the page with the construction details and materials list.

Enjoy dreams of season extension in the garden,


Friday, December 4, 2009

Time lapse photography of Antarctic giant sea worms and sea stars

Here is our favorite nature narrator, David Attenborough, in a series called "Life" on BBC talking a bit about antarctic scavengers. 3 ft. nemertean worms aren't to be missed.

Enjoy the diversity of wiggling things on our planet,


[via my faithful Canukistani operative "Yuri"]

Sunday, November 29, 2009

"Tony Steinberg: Brave Seventh-Grade Viking Warrior," by TAYLOR MALI

Long time readers of this blog may know that I'm a big fan of Taylor Mali. I can watch his "What Teachers Make" video any time my willpower to become a teacher flags, and it perks me right back up.

Prepare for a few sniffles on this one, it's excellent.

Enjoy people who can truly put it down,


[via my soft-hearted Canukistani Operative "Yuri"]

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Vincent Floderer's origami mushroom instructions

If you have any interest in mushrooms, or origami, or... I suppose The French, this aught to be of interest to you.

Enjoy awesome, kitchey art,


[via "Yuri," my faithful Canukistani Operative, via Boingboing]

Thursday, November 19, 2009

"Michael Bay finally made an Art Movie" -- possibly the best movie review, ever

This may be the best movie review ever written. And, funny enough, I had a similar reaction to Transformers, Revenge of the Fallen. Ask anyone I attended it with... I came out of the theatre saying "that may have been the most perfect movie I've ever seen."

It's hard to explain.

I'll let Charlie Jane Anders explain. Here is a teaser quote that gives you a peek into possibly the best movie review I've ever read. I'm not even joking:

Imagine that you went back in time to the late 1960s and found Terry Gilliam, fresh from doing his weird low-fi collage/animations for Monty Python. You proceeded to inject Gilliam with so many steroids his penis shrank to the size of a hair follicle, and you smushed a dozen tabs of LSD under his tongue. And then you gave him the GDP of a few sub-Saharan countries. Gilliam might have made a movie not unlike this one.

Click that expanse of awesomeness above to get the whole article, it's worth reading in its entirety.

Enjoy fantastic writing whenever you can find it,


[image credit in linked article]

Paul Krugman quote, on Climate Change

"Responding to climate change with the vigor that the threat deserves would not, contrary to legend, be devastating for the economy as a whole. But it would shuffle the economic deck, hurting some powerful vested interests even as it created new economic opportunities. And the industries of the past have armies of lobbyists in place right now; the industries of the future don’t."

— Paul Krugman

Monday, November 16, 2009

Tibetan Yogis on film

Ran across this archival footage on Boing Boing. A Frenchmen named Arnaud Desjardins took the images, they are just scenes from the movie "Message of the Tibetans."

I am posting the third video of the series, because it's such a visual trip. To see the eyes of the yogis as they practice is quite a thing. It turns out that the first two of the last practitioners depicted are heroes of mine. They all rock, of course, but these two gentlemen I have a connection with from back in the day. Here is the list from the description of the video:

1) His Holiness Dudjom Rinpoche, head of the Nyingma lineage in India

B) Venerable Kalu Rinpoche, great realized master in the Kagyu lineage.

C) His Holiness, the 16th Karmapa! The head of the Karma Kagyu lineage.

Here is a link to the first of the youtube videos, and here is the second:

Enjoy running across blasts from the past,


Saturday, November 14, 2009

Saturday Morning Awesome -- Area Man Passionate Defender of What He Imagines Constitution to Be

This awesomeness brought to you by The Onion:

ESCONDIDO, CA—Spurred by an administration he believes to be guilty of numerous transgressions, self-described American patriot Kyle Mortensen, 47, is a vehement defender of ideas he seems to think are enshrined in the U.S. Constitution and principles that brave men have fought and died for solely in his head.

"Our very way of life is under siege," said Mortensen, whose understanding of the Constitution derives not from a close reading of the document but from talk-show pundits, books by television personalities, and the limitless expanse of his own colorful imagination. "It's time for true Americans to stand up and protect the values that make us who we are."

According to Mortensen—an otherwise mild-mannered husband, father, and small-business owner—the most serious threat to his fanciful version of the 222-year-old Constitution is the attempt by far-left "traitors" to strip it of its religious foundation.

"Right there in the preamble, the authors make their priorities clear: 'one nation under God,'" said Mortensen, attributing to the Constitution a line from the Pledge of Allegiance, which itself did not include any reference to a deity until 1954. "Well, there's a reason they put that right at the top."

"Men like Madison and Jefferson were moved by the ideals of Christianity, and wanted the United States to reflect those values as a Christian nation," continued Mortensen, referring to the "Father of the Constitution," James Madison, considered by many historians to be an atheist, and Thomas Jefferson, an Enlightenment-era thinker who rejected the divinity of Christ and was in France at the time the document was written. "The words on the page speak for themselves."

According to sources who have read the nation's charter, the U.S. Constitution and its 27 amendments do not contain the word "God" or "Christ."

Mortensen said his admiration for the loose assemblage of vague half-notions he calls the Constitution has only grown over time. He believes that each detail he has pulled from thin air—from prohibitions on sodomy and flag-burning, to mandatory crackdowns on immigrants, to the right of citizens not to have their hard-earned income confiscated in the form of taxes—has contributed to making it the best framework for governance "since the Ten Commandments."

"And let's not forget that when the Constitution was ratified it brought freedom to every single American," Mortensen said.

Mortensen's passion for safeguarding the elaborate fantasy world in which his conception of the Constitution resides is greatly respected by his likeminded friends and relatives, many of whom have been known to repeat his unfounded assertions verbatim when angered. Still, some friends and family members remain critical.

"Dad's great, but listening to all that talk radio has put some weird ideas into his head," said daughter Samantha, a freshman at Reed College in Portland, OR. "He believes the Constitution allows the government to torture people and ban gay marriage, yet he doesn't even know that it guarantees universal health care."

Mortensen told reporters that he'll fight until the bitter end for what he roughly supposes the Constitution to be. He acknowledged, however, that it might already be too late to win the battle.

"The freedoms our Founding Fathers spilled their blood for are vanishing before our eyes," Mortensen said. "In under a year, a fascist, socialist regime has turned a proud democracy into a totalitarian state that will soon control every facet of American life."

"Don't just take my word for it," Mortensen added. "Try reading a newspaper or watching the news sometime."

Enjoy the Onion in all its glory,


[image and text via, of course, The Onion]

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Clash of the Titans trailer

Liam Neeson as Zeus... 'nuff said.

Enjoy epic movies despite the potential suckage,


How to build a Coracle (traditional Irish hide boat)

I love seeing skills like this demonstrated. Those that are, to quote the narrator, in the "ancient and sufficient way."

Text from Neatorama's post:

This video incorporates footage from 1935, in which Irish craftsmen build a coracle from willow and an ox hide, then use the craft to set their nets in the River Boyne. One has to admire the skill and experience required to propel a keel-less craft in a reasonably straight line. As the narrator notes, these river craft are related to the larger currachs that were capable of substantial ocean voyages.

Enjoy peeks into the past through traditional skills,


[via Neatorama, dedicated to my faithful Canukistani operative, "Yuri"]

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

World's luckiest rail inspector

No idea of the history or validity of this video. But it's a hell of a view.

Enjoy someone else's good fortune, and reflexes,


[via Blame It on the Voices]

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Saturday Morning Awesome (music edition) Klint -- Diamond

I heard this song on a friend's mixed tape (ok it was a CD, whatever) -- and later found out it was from the Snatch Soundtrack

Behold a single image screen with a great song.

Ps: this is the tempo I prefer for this song -- other versions are slightly slower and not quite right to my ear.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Young woman killed by coyotes in Canada

A young Canukistani folk singer was actually taken out by (at least) a pair of coyotes, and on a popular hiking trail too.

Coyotes attacking people is an extremely rare event. Here is a great page aggregating a bunch of snippets about coyote attacks on humans. A nice quote right from the beginning is that people are millions of times more likely to be injured by a family pet than a coyote.


[original link via Cynical-C blog]

A real cost of Premarin -- Hormone Replacement Therapy drug

Horse lovers, honestly, just pass this post up.

Folks interested in knowing where your medicines and foods come from -- here's a quick note about Premarin, by Pfizer.

Click quoted text for a Discovery News article about Premarin, horses, and horse rescue (they leave you on an up note in the article, thankfully):

The active ingredients for Premarin—used by around nine million women to relieve menopause symptoms—come from the urine of pregnant horses. The mares are confined to narrow stalls for 20 hours at a time while hooked to collection devices, MSNBC reports. The foals of these mares usually go to auction, where they are often snapped up by bidders known as "horse killers," who send the horses to feedlots. There the animals are fattened before slaughter, according to the report.


Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Excellent mobile home commercial

First off, here is the commercial -- I'll let it speak for itself:

The commercial was produced by a strange little project called I Love Local Commercials. These guys find small businesses to make commercials for, creating instant internet viral material like you saw above. If you are interested in the making of the epically honest mobile home commercial, click here for some good video on it.

Enjoy folks doing their ironic media work and accidentally helping small business in the process,


Saturday, October 24, 2009

Friday, October 23, 2009

Sen. Al Franken (D-MN) humbles Hudson Institute dilettante over health care bankruptcies

I totally hijacked this from the Cynical-C blog -- nice catch sir.

Enjoy watchin a senator disputing think-tank bullshit and sticking to the facts at hand,


Monday, October 19, 2009

The Virile Vampire cameos on Family Guy

As many of you know, this blog is a big fan of the media around The Virile Vampire (Vladamir Putin).

The ever-talented Dani Boynton (of Dani Boynton photography) caught this Reuters article which tipped us off that Putin had a cameo character on Family guy. Apparently, he was also on South Park, but I couldn't the episode, only this video which may or may not be legit.


Enjoy the continued media narrative that is The Virile Vampire,


[the putin bear picture is so far unattributed, but I loved it so much I had to share]

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Brooklyn Beekeepers -- Breakin' the Law!

It would probably be best to have this song stuck in your head as you watch this video of rooftop beekeepers in NY, NY.

Brooklyn's Urban Beekeepers: Breaking The Law For The Planet (Part I) from SkeeterNYC on Vimeo.

Enjoy people doing the right thing and having a good time doing it,


[via my faithful Canukistani Operative "Yuri"]

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Japanese honeybees roast a hornet

Japanese honeybees have a very unusual way of killing one of their worst predators, the hornet. They cook them. The bees raise their temperature to 117-degrees and literally roast their enemy. Way too cool. (Sorry for the brief commercial at the beginning).

Enjoy watching nature doing what it takes to get by,


[via Beebs]

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Saturday Morning Awesome: Grey Fox caught in a camera trap

There is a wonderful blog I follow called Camera Trap Codger, and I saw this post today that really shows the best of the best one can get using a camera trap. Hit this link to see the rest of the pictures. Not only great shots of a photogenic animal, but with a possible storyline/narrative as well.

This, of course, makes me want to run out and get one and set it up. That's what I need -- really, a new hobby. Yeah, with all that time I have.

Enjoy folks following their passions and creating great content for you to enjoy on the intartubes,


[photo credit Camera Trap Codger blog]

Monday, October 5, 2009

Lindy Hop Showdown

These people are all insane, and double jointed.

To quote Yuri -- "All I can think about when I watch this is knee surgery."

Enjoy talent on hyperdrive,


[via my faithful Canukistani operative "Yuri"]

Thursday, October 1, 2009

'You are being shagged by a rare parrot!'

The title says it all. Actually, you have to watch to see the fantastically satisfied "grin" on the parrots face. Really.

Enjoy animals taking it to their scientific benefactors,


[via Neatorama]

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Take a baby Mushrooming! Take a class on taking your bebeh mushrooming!

What have I been doing you ask? Well, getting out and mushrooming as often as I can. Since I'm home with the Bebeh 3 days a week, we just take her along.

Some very helpful, patient and kind friends and I have made two trips up into the Oregon Cascades for mushrooms in the last two weeks. The first trip was dry and sunny and provided us with those lovely, early-season tan chanterelles. Dry and clean and perfect for pasta.

The second trip was much colder (in the low 40's) and wet, and we really had to bushwhack to get in. The baby was an absolute trooper, got swaddled up and conked out for an hour once we got into good mushrooming territory. Thanks to Canukistani Kate not only for the pictures but for being on Nap Duty both trips.

As for the class, here is the info from Arctos School of Herbal and Botanical Studies:

Mama/Papa and Babe Mushroom Outing with Missy Rohs
Tuesday, October 6, 10am-4pm

By special request, this excursion is geared towards parents with little ones. The day is a little shorter, and we won't be away from the car for more than an hour and a half at a time. This parent- and baby-friendly hunt will focus on delicious edible mushrooms like Chanterelles and Matsutake. Our hope is that we'll not only find an array of beautiful fungi, but score a basketful to take home and savor! Bring sturdy hiking shoes, water, and lunch.

Carpool will meet in SE Portland. Register by Oct. 3rd by emailing
Cost: $35 per adult (sliding scale available) -- kids under 10 are free!

Enjoy sharing your life with little ones,


[huge thanks to Canukistani Kate for not only the pictures, but all the baby holding]

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Boy dancing to "Low"

This video is so awesome it couldn't wait til Saturday to be posted. It's beyond awesome -- for those of you who read this blog for info on "what the kids are saying these days," this video is 'full of win.' Or beyond that -- Epic Win.

Prepare to smile.

Enjoy smiling so much it hurts,


[thanks to Tito of Dynamic Balancing bodywork for turning me on to this]

Monday, September 14, 2009

Mark Twain Quotes

Ran across these at Refspace, and picked out a few choice numbers that caught my attention. Click the linked text to see the whole collection. There are 3 pages, and its worth the scroll. Folks who know me will recognize some of these as I use them often -- see further, the Wagner comment:

History does not repeat itself, but it rhymes.

The man who does not read good books has no advantage over the man who can't read them.

If voting made any difference they wouldn't let us do it.

Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great.

A banker is a fellow who lends you his umbrella when the sun is shining, but wants it back the minute it begins to rain.

Sometimes I wonder whether the world is being run by smart people who are putting us on, or by imbeciles who really mean it.

In religion and politics, people's beliefs and convictions are in almost every case gotten at second-hand, and without examination.

When I was a boy of fourteen, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be twenty-one, I was astonished at how much the old man had learned in seven years.

Wagner's music is better than it sounds.

In the beginning of a change, the patriot is a scarce man; brave, hated, and scorned. When his cause succeeds, however, the timid join him, for then it costs nothing to be a patriot.

Enjoy wisdom from the past,


[image via Wiki Commons]

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

The 6 Most Frequently Quoted Bullshit Animal Facts

Normally, I avoid cussing in the title of a post, but I figured it best to represent the title of this article in its entirety.

Many myths challenged in one article. I have to say, I think a little contest for readers of this blog to provide counter information to this article would be fun. See if you can dig up some info to call BS on some of these assertions and post in the comments.

Some examples: Bumble bees violate the laws of aerodynamics, and chameleons change color to camouflage themselves.

Now I'm not taking this comedy website's word as the final, end-all-be-all comment on these subjects, especially considering they didn't take the time to get a picture of an actual Bumble bee as opposed to honey bees for their graphics. I am, however, willing to peruse their research for entertainment purposes.

Enjoy yet more intartube obfuscation,


Saturday, September 5, 2009

Hunting, pre-history-style, in the Kalahari

I ran across this video and wanted to share it.

Sir David Attenborough is the narrator, which immediately makes it interesting and watchable in our world. It shows probably the oldest form of hunting that humans have engaged in -- "persistence" hunting. Meaning, an animal is tracked and eventually run down by one or more hunters, on foot. They literally tire the animal out until it succumbs.

The strength and tenacity this would take is staggering to consider, really. Also, their tracking ability is pretty unfathomable.

Watching these guys run, with their silence and their hand signals, really makes me think there is more going on than the commentary would suggest. I suspect there are more skills on display here than we may be able to imagine.

The end of the video shows the level of respect these people have for their prey. It's amazing to watch and worth the time to hang til the end.

Enjoy catching a glimpse of a different time,


Thursday, September 3, 2009

A shot from the Blogosphere -- Dooce and Adorability

There was a period, somewhat brief and before I had blogged much, when I thought Dooce was a lucky stiff. She was a lady who wrote a few witty posts at a time when folks were just getting turned on to blogging and then she was a celebrity. Poof. Like that. She captured the mommy audience -- bored moms at home with infants and an internet connection, just looking for people to make enormously powerful, like Oprah.

But, as I've mentioned before on this blog, this is no accident. She's talented, funny as hell, AND well positioned as a writer.

Today's post, called The House of Adorable, is a great example of her writing. She can take the most mundane events and make them the jumping off point for a scads of interesting tangents and side shows. As well as simply having a great sense of comedic timing.

And the subject matter today is the kind of thing that fills my life lately. So it's extra poignant.

My hat is off to you Mrs. Armstrong, you go.


Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Polish Yeti caught on film

I think it's been too long since we've had a good sighting of a Yeti, or Sasquatch in the news. It seemed they were popping up all the time in my childhood (when I was planning to be a Cryptozoologist for a 'living'), I miss them. Hell, it was enough in the public consciousness that the 6-million dollar man fought him.

I thought I'd remedy the situation by posting this video filmed recently in Poland. Here is an excerpt from the Austrian times article.

Piotr Kowalski, 27, from Warsaw was on a walking holiday in the Tatra mountains in Poland when he saw a mountain goat on one of the slopes. As he started filming, his attention was suddenly grabbed by the Yeti creature emerging from behind some rocks.

"I saw this huge ape-like form hiding behind the rocks. When I saw it it was like being struck by a thunderbolt," he told the daily Superexpress.

"Coming from Warsaw, I never really believed the local stories of a wild mountain ape-man roaming the slopes. But, now I do."

Enjoy childhood nostalgia,


[photo via Austrian Times, article via Blame it on the Voices, and Nothing to do with Arborath]

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Wild Kingdom in our back yard: Katydid about to get eaten by Miranda

I have a thing with Carnivorous plants. They're just too cool.

Last Mother's Day I sent The Wife to the local Orchid show with some money and said "get something that makes you happy." It was her first Mother's Day after all. She came home with the most amazing plant -- a Nepenthes Miranda Asiatic cobra plant. It's gorgeous.

I must plug Sarracenia Northwest here. They are a local Portland Oregon plant nursery that specializes in carnivorous plants. I'm happy they had a display at the Orchid show so the wife could run into this impressive plant. If you ever had an itch to get a carnivorous plant, click that link and see just how much variety and information they provide.

So -- on to the video.

Today when I came home for lunch I saw a bright green leaf on one of the pitchers. Then I saw it move. I got closer and saw that it was a Katydid. I've never seen one in our area so Miranda did quite a job of luring him in from who-knows-where. Amateur video to follow.

And the video in which I find out my flip camera software has no "rotate left" option in its edit options. Sorry 'bout that, but I'm posting it anyway.

Enjoy beautiful plants eating bugs,


[photograph via Petflytrap]

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Saturday Night Awesome: Craig Ferguson (the Late Late Show) on the Deification of Youth

The fact that this rant sounds like a perfectly sound hypothesis to me proves that I'm an old geezer.

But I challenge you to provide sound counter-argument. Seriously.

Enjoy settling into your golden years,


[via yesbutnobutyes]

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Backwards Beekeeper shows how he harvests honey

I just stumbled across this video on Boing Boing, and am now intrigued. The video is a nice watch about how the "Backwards Beekeepers" harvest their honey. One gets the sense that they do much of their beekeeping in an unconventional, bee-friendly fashion.

Here is a link to the Backwards Beekeepers blog -- I've only just started researching their methods and philosophy and I do like it, and their attitude. Biologically, their philosophy of maximizing and propagating already-naturalized populations of bees makes perfect sense. I strongly suspect I'll have more to report after I've spent some more time with their information.

Enjoy folks using their heads, and making awesome local honey in the process,


Wednesday, August 19, 2009

The Pretenders -- L.A. punk meets 80's guitar rock

Driving with a friend tonight, the musical conversation somehow turned to good punk. He's younger than me by at least 10 years, so I asked if he was familiar with The Pretenders first album, or any of the harder songs off of it. He was not, and this post was born.

The first album (self titled) by The Pretenders has something like 6 or 7 hits on it. Their hard-driving, punk-inspired songs really caught my attention at the time, more so than the good but over-played hits. Their drummer had a fast, syncopated style that I really enjoyed.

Here is one example of these "harder" songs from their early years, The Wait, caught live in 1984. Surprisingly good concert footage for Youtube:

Chrissie Hynde is an absolute phenomenon if you really look at the span of her career, her stage presence, her lyrics, and the range of styles she successfully mastered.

I can't let this post go by without sharing another song that exemplifies the qualities of my favorite early Pretenders songs.
Tattooed Love Boys
at first listen simply sounds like a raunchy song about rough sex, but on closer examination is much darker than that (as her announcement in the beginning of this performance exposes).

Although there is much much more to explore with this band, Chrissie, and their various styles and rebirths -- I'll leave this to these early songs that my younger friends may not have been aware of.

Enjoy being introduced to new/old music,


Monday, August 17, 2009

German Biological Illustrations from 1904 --- Gorgeous Stuff

The book is Ernst Haeckel's Kunstformed der Natur (Artforms of Nature). The prints are fantastic, classy, beautiful, etc. Check out the wiki commons page here for more. [I must admit, it also makes one wonder just how many tattoos out there in the world are based on this work, I'm just sayin']

Enjoy awesome art inspired by science,


[via the always-classy Dani of Dani Boynton Photography, Canukistan]

Monday, August 10, 2009

Haha, a horrible joke of a video


... RIGHT?

Sighing with you,


[via Blogtown]

Blackwater/Xe -- just sitting here with my mouth open

I never knew this angle on the infamous mercenary outfit Blackwater (now known as Xe) -- specifically the religious angle.

Take it away Keith.

Holy crap,


[via the Cynical C blog]

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Saturday Morning Awesome: Sheep conspiracy theorist

[fixed image, sorry bout that]

Enjoy your day,


[totally unattributed photo, sorry]

Friday, July 31, 2009

Master Pickler Alex Hozven

Occasionally, my past rises up and startles me.

I knew Alex back in The Day, when I was a free-range bohemian living in a VW bus in Bezerkeley.

Now, she's a master pickler, her shop is called the Cultured Pickle Shop. I wish she had her shop in Portland because I love real cultured veggies. I'll let the video speak for itself, great stuff.

Enjoy your blasts from the past,


[via the Good Reverend John Nathan B.]

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Movits! -- Swedish jangly groove/swing dance pop

You know, it's hard to describe music without just making a list of other music.

This is a video by Movits! A Swedish dance band (see Aurgasm's note on them here). Check these guys out, catchy as all get out, fun band.

Got to love Swedes in vests playing banjos anyhow, right?

Enjoy groovy pop when you can stomach it, I'm sure it's good for you,


[via my faithful Canukistani operative "Yuri"]

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

National Do Not Call Registry -- Register Your Cell Phone Now

There is an email circulating that claims all our cell phone numbers are about to be distributed to telemarketers. This doesn't appear to be true. But the rest of the email is true -- it gives information on the National Do Not Call registry. Below is the information to get your phones put on that list:

Call this number: 888-382-1222 with the phone that you want on the list and register on the National Do Not Call registry.

Or you can go to the National Do Not Call Registry to register multiple numbers at once. I think I'll be doing both... you know, just to be safe.

Enjoy opting out,


[via Richard and T.]

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Free books online, no joke

The Burgomeister's Books is a site where you can find scads of books for free.

The terms are completely reasonable. You can only download 5 books in a two week period. And when done, you nuke them from your hard-drive.

It's a free service, but the kind host does appreciate donations to keep it going.

Enjoy public access to goodies,


[via Canukistani Kate, illustration is The Librarian, by Guiseppe Arcimbolo, via Wiki Commons]

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Saturday (almost) Morning Awesome: Best Wedding Walk Evar

Just in case you are living under an internet rock, you may have missed this viral video. It's only been a few days, so I hope I catch some of you as "first timers."

It's worth watching the whole way through. Some of these folks have got the moves.

It's a bit cute, I will warn the cynics in the crowd.

I think the groomsman who enters at around 1:12 is my favorite person today.

Oh, also The Wife mentioned, and I agree, that the sunglasses are a nice touch.

Enjoy crying to wedding videos of people you don't know,


[via too many places to name in this short piece of text, thanks everyone]

Friday, July 24, 2009

Jobs that actually exist: Pedestrian Decoy

How'd you like to get paid to walk across a street (repeatedly) that's known to be dangerous to pedestrians so cops could catch crappy drivers as they nearly hit you?

The job exists, see this Blogtown post about it happening here in Portland.

Oh and as "entrapment-y" as it sounds... look at the details of the situation: tons of signage (4 signs on this site), and tons of cops in the open, right there, waiting. This is catching folks who REALLY aren't paying attention while driving.

Hell of a job -- wonder what the training was, dodgeball?


[photo credit in linked article]

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Family saved from burning car

I don't watch television, so I miss stuff like this. Here is another side of humanity that reside in this country (in contrast to the last post I made).

Enjoy seeing what it looks like to do the right thing,


[via Neatorama]

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

This is America...

... yeah not much to say here. I don't normally post unattributed material, but I felt this was poignant. I do believe this encapsulates much of how the world views the U.S. at this point in history.


[via Dani Boynton Photography]

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Paxil Back -- parody of Timberlake's Sexy Back

I can't believe I haven't posted this yet. One of my favorite parodies. A big hit during the old study group days.

Enjoy musical humor,


A Softer World hits again

A Softer World is a hip web comic that I keep up on. Occasionally, it hits and gives me a good laugh. Here is an example, remember you can click the image for a larger version:

Enjoy a good laugh when it presents itself,


Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Missed Dave Chapelle, Free, last night

So I heard this rumor -- Dave Chapelle was going to do a free show downtown last night at Pioneer Courthouse Square. At midnight.

I blew it off, but sure enough he did arrive.

Here is a video -- just him chatting. But it's proof that it happened.

Apparently he only told 3 people he met, randomly, that he was going to do this. A nice little experiment in electronic media information dispersal. [sorry about the weird spacing, the embed code is huge and bizarre and I couldn't fix it]

Dave Chappelle at Pioneer Square

Enjoy knowing cool stuff happens, even if you aren't there,


[via Mercury's Blogtown]

Shooting clay pigeons with a bow

What can you say more than... this is a guy who can shoot clay pigeons with a bow. I mean... wow.

He is using a compound bow, otherwise known to traditional archers as a M.A.L.D. -- "mechanical arrow launching device." Despite the high tech bow, it's impressive stuff.

Enjoy listening to dexterous folks try to talk about why they're so spot on,


[via my faithful Canukistani operative, "Yuri"]

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

D.C. police chief denounces ‘cowardly’ iPhone users for monitoring speed traps

A wonderfully subversive idea -- use mobile internet devices to tag and warn about photo radar sites. The cops calling folks who use these apps "cowardly" is even better. I love it.

It does help folks avoid drunk driving stops as well, however, which isn't awesome in my book.

Enjoy the complexity of being amused,


[via Uncle Ted, photo credit in Mac Daily News article]

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Saturday Morning Awesome: House of Pain's "Jump Around" in Irish Gaelic

Des Bishop covering House of Pain's "Jump Around" in Irish Gaelic. [for those of you not familiar, here is the original]

Enjoy musical covers,


[via my faithful Canukistani operative "Yuri"]

Friday, July 10, 2009

A Final Hit, by Leftfield

Ran across this on Pandora and thought some of ya'll might enjoy it.

The video is fan-made, so pretty simple, but the music has a great strolling gait to it. More than ambient but not too much jangle for a good coffee morning wakeup.

Enjoy electronic strolling gaits,


Thursday, July 9, 2009

Total Randomness -- Blog Label Re-Invigoration Program

Some of my blog labels don't get enough use, or are slowly somehow losing their potency. In this case, it's a little bit of both.

So for this session of the BLRIP I present an alligator chasing a radio-controlled boat:

Enjoy tightening up the ship a bit,


[via Blame it on the Voices]

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

A very good excuse why the blog slowed down a bit

I'll pick it back up, promise.


[picture via my very talented Sister]

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Fantastic Eye Candy -- Scintillation by Xavier Chassaing

"This is an experimental film made up of over 35,000 photographs. It combines an innovative mix of stop motion and live projection mapping techniques."

Just watch it.

SCINTILLATION from Xavier Chassaing on Vimeo.

Enjoy being totally harnessed, visually,


[via Dani Boynton Photography]

Friday, July 3, 2009

Ant mega-colony takes over world

Ok, I lifted that blog title directly from the BBC Earth News article, but it was so awesome I felt I had to.

The Institute of Jurassic Technology does tend to talk about the whole invasive/non-native situation in biology. It's an interest of mine. So this article really caught my attention -- as Argentine Ants are spreading world-wide, reaping havoc on local bug populations, like the Reavers of the insect world.

On to the study. In short, researchers pitted ants from different colonies around the world against each other in single ant-on-ant combat. This, of course, was couched in the guise of research but we all know it's exactly the same as fighting spiders in the schoolyard in dixie cups.

The ants from the largest colonies around the world refused to fight. They rubbed antennae and acted like old buddies. Meaning -- they are from the same colony.

This is intense, because that means that this is probably the largest expansion of one cooperative species on Earth outside Humanity itself.

Like humans, Argentine ants show a wide diversity and adaptability in their diet. According to this UC San Diego paper, they switch from being vicious predators to "farmers" of aphids and scale bugs once they are established.

Genius! Come in strong, settle down and start farms. Sound familiar? Like -- oh ancient Rome maybe?

Go Ants!

I mean -- how terrifying.

Enjoy seeing other species succeed using human-like tactics, even if it is kinda evil,


[via my faithful Canukistani operative "Yuri," photo credit in BBC Earth News article]

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Saturday Morning Awesome -- Flamboyant Cuttlefish

Cuttlefish are one of the more awesome animals on the planet. So, for the Saturday Morning Awesome, I figured a quick video of the Flamboyant Cuttlefish (Metasepia pfeferri) would fit the bill. This versatile subject matter counts as a "Little Dudes" post, a Random Biological Tidbits post, and a Saturday Morning Awesome as well. Efficient, no?

Here is some info from The Cephalopod Page:

Metasepia pfefferi is found in shallow (3 to 86 m) waters from Indonesia, to Papua New Guinea to the north shore of Australia, South Queensland to Western Australia. They are typically found ambling along (see below) on mud, sand or low energy coral rubble bottoms.

In the summer of 2006 three of us, the founders of headed to Indonesia. I was there for three weeks specifically to observe and photograph cephalopods. During this trip, despite many dives, I was able to find and photographed only two of these amazing animals.

These remarkable cephalopods are active during the day. They slowly “walk” across the seafloor using their arms and flaps on their mantle; this type of locomotion has been called “ambling”. Normally camouflaged, the beautiful colors that give this cephalopod its common name are warning colors and are displayed when the animal is disturbed, See this video. Recently, scientists discovered that these warning colors are not a bluff, the animal is indeed toxic.

Enjoy awesome, smart, toxic little dudes,


[via Estu, photo credit at the Cephalopod Page]

Thursday, June 25, 2009

The Daily Show -- Jason Jones in Iran

A little direct interaction with these people that are 'completely cut off from the Western world' as is so often stated in the Media.

Really? Apparently not.

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Jason Jones: Behind the Veil - Ayatollah You So
Daily Show
Full Episodes
Political HumorJason Jones in Iran

Enjoy ground-truthing cultural assertions,


[via Bruce of Playwrite Inc.]