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]