Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Sleepy Face

Otters are adorable enough. And then they go and rub their faces!

I am in love.

Am I Too Old to Wear the Blue Ones?

I have a special place in my heart for Docs.

Super Hate-Filled Blog of Ignorance

Want to get angry today? Read this article.

Seriously, I don't even know where to begin. I just hope there's a special Hell for people like this.

(A minor irk out of the rage: "Yeah, I just wrote that. And put it on the Internet." Like it's so fucking hard to post whatever shit you want on the internet. Like you're brave for being a complete fuckmind. UGH!

And I would much rather be single and successful, like Oprah, than be a laughingstock and have an idiot spouse, like Sarah Palin.)

Must go punch something.

I Guess I'm Sorry, Whatever

An update on Hoffman-gate: she's issued an apology. Kind of. Bookslut says it best:

"Alice Hoffman apologizes for her crazy-ass Twitter outburst over the weekend:

'I feel this whole situation has been completely blown out of proportion...Of course, I was dismayed by Roberta Silman’s review which gave away the plot of the novel, and in the heat of the moment I responded strongly and I wish I hadn’t. I’m sorry if I offended anyone...'

Just to decode, 'this whole situation has been completely blown out of proportion' means 'You're all making a big deal out of nothing.' And "I'm sorry if I offended anyone" means 'I'm sorry you guys are such pussies.' The whole thing is an exercise in dodging responsibility.

It's maybe not the worst damage control ever, PR-wise. But it's pretty fucking far from an actual apology."

I tend to agree. Maybe Alice Hoffman did intend this to be an actual apology, but the wording isn't quite there. At least this will be a lesson to her and other writers that they should take a breath before hitting the Twitter. Even if you get a particularly heinous review, it makes you look ten times worse than the reviewer if you react badly. It's better to just shrug and move on. A bad review can be forgotten. Behave like this goes a long way.

Hello Sunshine!

Need some help getting up in the morning? Your usual alarm clock just not doing it? Give this guy's alarm a try.

Personally, I'll stick with coffee, thanks.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Literary Throwdown!

It's another grudge match between writers and critics, this time between Alice Hoffman and Boston Globe reviewer Roberta Silman. In Silman's review of Hoffman's new book, she wrote that while she's a fan of Hoffman's "gifts of precise prose and the ability to create sympathetic characters," The Story Sisters didn't exactly deliver. She says the book "lacks the spark of earlier works" and the characters and prose seem "tired." Even though there are nice passages, this one doesn't seem to be a winner in the Hoffman catalog.

Okay, not a good review. But I think Silman was professional and admitted that Hoffman is a fine writer, and parts of the book are good. They're just not her best work. But Hoffman decided this stung.

Best way to fire back? On Twitter, of course. A couple of gems:

"Now any idiot can be a critic. Writers used to review writers. My second novel was reviewed by Ann Tyler. So who is Roberta Silman?"

Um...you use Twitter. Google Silman!

"Roberta Silman in the Boston Globe is a moron. How do some people get to review books? And give the plot away."

Hoffman also went on to post Silman's phone number and email address in case her Twitter readers wanted to personally attack Silman. WTF? And she tried to defend her actions by claiming "Girls are taught to be gracious and keep their mouths shut. We don't have to." Alice, there is a difference between speaking up for yourself and being a totally unprofessional brat. You want to be a writer? You have to deal with bad reviews. And Silman's review wasn't even terrible! Get over yourself already.

I do like Hoffman's work, but I am seriously befuddled by her behavior. Shouldn't she be used to some criticism? At least deal with it in a professional manner, not like some crazed middle schooler who went to town on Twitter.

And maybe that's the problem with Twitter. It allows you to make public all those immediate, emotional, private thoughts. Maybe Hoffman will calm down and realize that this does not showcase her in the best light.

Of course, now I'm also a little afraid that she'll come after me. I'll be watching my back.

In Europe, Computers Can Fly

I don't think my Mac can do that!

Fly away, Mac!

Good Move, Michael

Michael Jackson probably wasn't the world's most socially savvy person. For example, after making some songs with Paul McCartney, he took McCartney's advice to buy rights to some songs. Except Jackson went after the Beatles back list. Probably not what McCartney had in mind. Needless to say, they weren't exactly friends after that.

But apparently Michael has put things back to normal. Rumors are that he's willed the back catalog of Beatles' hits back to McCartney.

Well done. If a little late to actually make amends.

No word on how Ringo feels.

Arts and Crafts

This is why the internet is great--people doing kind of crazy things so you don't have to!

Recycling CDs into entertainment!

Coming Soon to a Theater Near You

Trailers sure were different back in the day. Check out this one for Psycho. Alfred Hitchcock takes the viewer on a little tour of the Bates' motel and home. The music is so weirdly cheerful, and Hitchcock alludes to creepy things but never goes very far, at least until the end.

Also check out the rest of IFC's Top 50 Trailers. There's totally an art to the trailer, and these people get it. (And yay for Monday time wasters!)

Friday, June 26, 2009

Better Than Cliff Notes

The peppy tune really brings something to the tragedy.

Hamlet you've been had by an uncle you call "dad!"

Little Rhody

All you Rhode Islanders out there probably know this bit of trivia: Rhode Island is the littlest state with the longest name--the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations. But that may be a bit of historical trivia if lawmakers get their way. There's a push to drop the "Providence Plantations" part due to connotations of slavery. Rep. Joseph Almeida, who sponsored the bill, said:

"It's high time for us to recognize that slavery happened on plantations in Rhode Island and decide that we don't want that chapter of our history to be a proud part of our name."

Should RI ignore its connection with slavery? No way. Slavery happened all over the US, not just in the South. But my opinion lies more with opponents, who say that at the time, the word 'plantations' meant farming settlements, not necessarily connected with slavery. Additionally, one definition Merriam-Webster lists is: "a settlement in a new country or region," which, considering the history of Roger Williams, seems more appropriate for Rhode Island. (Heck yeah religious freedom!) Changing Rhode Island's name seems to be going a little far to touch on the state's history involving slavery.

Of course, as long as the don't touch the Del's, I'll be all right.

Icy Stare

And South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford officially wins the douchiest person of the week. Not only did he lie about his whereabouts (giving hiking a bad name), cheat on his wife, skip out on his family on Father's Day, but he also used taxpayer money to fund his gross affair.

"Sanford on Thursday did say he'd pay back an undisclosed amount for the nine-day trip to Brazil and Argentina for which taxpayers paid $12,000 last year. That includes $8,687 for Sanford's plane ticket, and $453 in lodging. Project manager Ford Graham's ticket was $1,910."

Okay, you want to mess up your own family life? Whatever. You're a douchebag. But using taxpayer money to pay for it? Now you're douchebag of the week.

People can say that he's human and fallible, but when you have an affair, there are hundreds of little choices you make along the way. It's not like making one small mistake. It's making hundreds of mistakes. At no point did he ever stop and think about the consequences of his actions. And now with the taxpayer money thing, he's proven himself to be untrustworthy as a family man and as a governor.

Not cool, Sanford. Don't even try to give us that mournful look!

Curl Up

So true. I want a poster of this.

I Think Kids at Raves Act Exactly Like This

So...catnip is weird stuff. Especially when there's a whole garden full of it, and cats from all over flock like crazy.

It's like watching kitty Woodstock!

Eternal Youth

Yet another reason to be scared of having kids: sometimes they don't get older. Brooke Greenberg looks like a baby, has the mental capacity of a toddler--and, oh yeah, she's sixteen years-old. And doctors don't know why she hasn't progressed mentally and physically.

Brooke's father has an idea:

"Why doesn't she age?" Howard Greenberg, 52, asked of his daughter. "Is she the fountain of youth?"

That's it! Better hide, Brooke. I bet there are a lot of Hollywood celebrities willing to crack you open and get your youthful powers.

Of course, TLC is all over this story. ("Child Frozen In Time," Sunday, Aug. 2 at 10 p.m. on TLC.) They just love terrifying me with baby stories.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Spectacular Spectacles

Chalk it up to my nerdiness: sometimes I wish I had glasses. They just look so hip! You can put them on, take them off, stare over them at someone, hold them and tap them against your face, etc. They're the best accessories! Curse my 20/20 vision! Of course, I also appreciate waking up in the morning and being able to see the world without any aid, so it's a fine line.

Glasses like these hardwood pairs from Urban Spectacles make me super jealous. How cool would it be to have a pair of these for days when you feel like being more natural?

So pretty! I guess I can wait until I need reading glasses or something. Then I'll have lots of fun glasses to wear!

Put the Lighter Away

I've never been tempted to smoke. It doesn't smell good; when people around me smoke, I get a sore throat the next day; it's expensive; and, oh yeah, we all know that it's really bad for you. So I'm amazed that, knowing what we do in this day and age, people still start. (Especially young people. How can you pay for packs of cigarettes when you barely have enough to cover rent?)

So I'm all for the new cigarette packaging rules. It doesn't make smoking look vaguely okay, which works. For cigarette companies, smoking can still look hardcore, so smokers won't be deterred. But some people might rethink lighting up, especially people who are just starting. DJ Stout, one of the new packaging designers, said:

"Our marketing advice to cigarette companies in the new heavily regulated era is to fully accept the new aggressive anti-smoking restrictions and wallow in the government’s apocalyptic health warnings. Don’t make excuses or dance around the stepped-up marketing regulations, just transform the whole cigarette pack into a three dimensional warning label."

I imagine that most smokers will continue smoking. But at least it's a step in the right direction--warning people about exactly what they're doing to their bodies.

Megan Fox Might Not Be the Most Annoying Thing About Transformers II

You'd think that, in a movie about battling robots, racial issues wouldn't exactly pop up. But the people behind the new Transformers movie decided to go that step further. In the tradition of Jar Jar Binks, robots Skids and Mudflap aren't exactly the finest examples of robothood:

"Skids and Mudflap, twin robots disguised as compact hatchbacks, constantly brawl and bicker in rap-inspired street slang. They're forced to acknowledge that they can't read. One has a gold tooth."

Apparently it's done for comic relief, but I've got to admit, that does sound kind of racially sketchy. I don't expect a lot of good writing from a Transformers script, but seriously guys? This was the funniest thing you could think of?

Directing genius (ha) Michael Bay says that racial offense was not the intention, and that the characters mostly came from the voice actors' ideas. The actors claim the robots are more 'poseurs' than 'black stereotypes.' Still, it's hard to tell the difference when the character is actually a robot.

Bay has some thoughts about that, too:

"I purely did it for kids," the director said. "Young kids love these robots, because it makes it more accessible to them."

Yeah. Kids are basically illiterate, so they'll like robots that are illiterate. Anybody else want to go hit their head against a brick wall now?

Hey Face!

It's easy to think bad thoughts about yourself. Most of the time, if I'm out and see someone look at me, I wonder if it's because there's something wrong with my outfit/hair/face/whatever. But whenever I look at someone, most of the time I'm thinking that I really like his/her outfit/hair/face/whatever.

So I really like the idea behind Operation Beautiful. Founder Caitlin encourages people to leave positive notes for others in public places--restrooms, locker rooms, grocery stores, etc. All you need to lift someone's spirits is a pen and paper. Also, if you have a camera around, Caitlin will post your note for the world to see!

Some examples:

Even if you can't post a note somewhere, sometimes it's nice to actually say those compliments in your head. Telling someone you love their dress/shoes/haircut can make them feel happy.

(All Lady Face readers are beautiful!)

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Pomp and Circumstances

Lots of high schools offer college-level classes for their students. They're designed to challenge top students and prepare them for the rigors of college life. But Chase Abrams may have taken things a bit too far. Because of his advanced courses, he graduated from high school and college at the same time. On May 29 he graduated from Sierra Canyon High School, and then graduated June 20 Cal State LA with a bachelors degree.

The article is mostly about a kid who is great at time management and is very hardworking. No arguments there. But I think he's made a big mistake by missing out on a typical college experience. Abrams says he " had the full high school experience all around. I went to prom, had a girlfriend for 2 1/2 years." That's great and all, but what about the full college experience? I didn't despise high school or anything, but college was about a million times better. I'm so glad I had the opportunity to make the friends I did and take the classes I did at a college level. Most of the time, college is more than just getting a degree. It's learning about yourself and the world around you and taking part in activities you might not have gotten the opportunity to otherwise.

Of course, everyone's learning experience is different, so maybe this was the right choice for him. I just hope that forty years down the road he doesn't feel like he missed something.

You've Got Something on Your Face

The star-tattoo girl, who was suing her tattoo artist, finally came clean. She kept insisting that she asked for just three star tattoos on her face, not fifty-six, but apparently that was only because her dad got mad. She had, in fact, been happy with the fourth-grade sticker tattoo look until she got home and her dad freaked out. That's when she said she had asked for three, fell asleep during the process, and woke up to a whole freakin' galaxy.

First of all, what a brat. You're eighteen. If your dad doesn't like your tattoos (even if they look ridiculous), you deal. Second, you don't lie about it and try to bring down some poor tattoo artist just because he gave you the lame tattoo you asked for. How obnoxious can you be if you try to cover your mistake by destroying someone's career?

At least the truth came out. The tattoo artist got some free publicity and now he's going to have clients sign a consent form.

I like to think the photographer for this article chose the least attractive pose he could possibly use and still look professional. Tattoo girl got pwned!

DC Metro Crash

Investigations continue with regard to the DC Metro crash. Apparently the train was in automatic and the brake button had been pushed when it hit the other train. If it was a problem with the computerized system, as opposed to train operator neglect, it wouldn't be the first time:

" In June 2005, in a tunnel under the Potomac River, a train operator noticed he was getting too close to the train ahead of him even though the system indicated the track was clear. He hit the emergency brake in time, as did the operator of another train behind him. Metro spokeswoman Candace Smith didn't know the outcome of the investigation into that incident, which she called 'highly unusual.'"
In this article, survivors and others nearby at the time of the crash describe their experiences. Definitely scary.

Between this and the recent T crash (which occurred because the conductor was texting), I think I'll walk.

Kind of Makes You Want to Order Right Now

Pizza Hut is trying to update its image. Now it's going by "The Hut" (like that sounds a lot better) and has a new design for its box. On the inside lip of the box is a new slogan: "Now You're Eating."

Seriously, guys? Did you want to make your pizza sound as average and unappealing as could be? Okay, I get the idea--Pizza Hut lets you fully appreciate the joy of eating. But "Now You're Eating" just makes me think of other options they could have considered:

  • "You Will Probably Digest This."
  • "We Guess It's Food!"
  • "Good Thing You're Hungry."
  • "No Refunds."

Mmm...tasty! Post your own ideas in the comments.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Stalking Is NOT a Turn-on

This is how Twilight should have been. (Or maybe it's just because I think every vampire mythology should involve a slayer.)

Thanks to bookshelves of doom!

Bite Me

I think this is just an excuse to make sharks sound even scarier. Did anyone really think sharks were stupid hunters? Of course they wait for their prey to be vulnerable and keep a safe distance until they can strike. Of course they're focused. Of course they like to be away from other sharks to avoid competition. That doesn't mean they're like serial killers. It means serial killers are more like sharks.

But to one of the authors of the study, sharks are like serial killers. Except for these tiny differences:

"There's a big difference between great white sharks and serial killers and it comes down to that old gumshoe standard: motive. The great whites attack to eat and survive, not for thrills. And great whites are majestic creatures that should be saved, Hammerschlag said."

Yeah. Thanks. I think the food vs. thrill thing is a huge difference. So what exactly did this study tell us?

Also, don't other predators in nature act like this? What do we know about sharks that's totally new? University of Florida shark attack researcher George Burgess, who had no role in the study, agrees with me. He claims that the study showed us what scientists already know:

"Sharks are like many other predators that have developed patterns to their attacking that are obviously beneficial as a species."

Yay for science!

The one thing this article did give us? An excuse to post awesome shark pictures. And, at the end of the day, I'll that it.


This is one of my new favorite art projects: a library of books that only exist in fiction.

A better description from the gallery:

"Tenderpixel is pleased to present the first solo exhibition of the illustration collective INK. The collaborative Invisible Library project will transform the gallery space into an imaginary library filled with books that have been alluded to in novels, but have never actually existed...until now.

Part aesthetic adventure and part Metafictional exercise, INK has chosen forty imaginary book titles from the Invisible Library Blogspot and illustrated their covers. Working with some of Real Fits best selling writers and novelists, as well as high profile cultural and musical figures, the opening or closing pages of these forty empty books with illustrated covers, will be penned in advance of the exhibition. The collaboration continues throughout the exhibition as gallery attendees and workshop participants are invited to temporarily 'sign out' these library books and carry on writing the developing narratives within. Thus by the close of the exhibition, the once blank pages of each book will be enlivened with imaginative poly-vocal stories."

How cool is that?! If you're in London, you should check it out for me. If not, at least check out the list of books they've compiled. Think they're missing some favorite imaginary books? Post them in the comments!

Power to the Bunnies!

When Che Guevara woke up in the morning, I bet he prayed that his grandchildren would have the opportunity to live in a better world. A world of the people. A world of the people who loved the animals. Granddaugther Lydia Guevara is sure making him proud. She's one of the new PETA poster-girls, posing semi-nude with the catchphrase, urging viewers to "join the vegetarian revolution." It will launch in South America.

My favorite part:

"In the ad, Lydia Guevara wears camouflage pants, a red beret, and bandoliers of baby carrots while standing with one fist on her hip and the other outstretched."

Baby carrots are better than bullets!

At first, I really want to be snarky about this. But given the choice between Castro and carrots, I will go with carrots every time.

Do They Sell These at Claire's?

I wouldn't be surprised if Bella had these.

Come on Down to Cleveland Town Everyone!

Do you always complain about the high price of living in your city? Think of Cleveland for your next move!

And if you need more convincing...

Do You Also Have a Man-eating Coffee Table?

Why live in a normal house when you can live in a monster house? That's the only thing I can imagine these furniture designers were thinking. Either that, or they really wanted to impress Tim Burton.

A few, ah, 'favorites' are:

Ah. Cozy. Just want to curl up in this one

It looks like someone died in here.

Oh dear lord, it has eyes!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Is Vanity Fair Hiring?

Four words:

Private island.
Johnny Depp.

What more do you need to know about this article?

(Okay, he talks about playing Dillinger and other stuff. But seriously, like you needed that as a reason to read this.)

Museum Marathon

I wish I knew what this was from, because it makes me so happy!

You Might Cry at Your Office Desk

Oh my lord, Pixar. As if I needed a reason to love you more. Now you go and fulfill the wish of a dying ten-year-old? My heart just grew three sizes.

Colby Curtin, who was suffering from vascular cancer for the last four years, was desperate to see Up. She was supposed to get a special wheelchair to go, but then that didn't work out and suddenly she got a lot more sick, so she couldn't get out of bed to go to the theater. A family friend got in touch with Pixar, who brought Colby a DVD copy, along with stuffed animals and other Pixar film memorabilia. Colby got to see the movie (or rather, she got to hear it, since she couldn't really open her eyes at that point) and died later that night.

And how perfect that Up is about dealing with grief and appreciating the people you loved in your life? Colby's mom said:

"When I watched it, I had really no idea about the content of the theme of the movie. I just know that word 'Up' and all of the balloons and I swear to you, for me it meant that (Colby) was going to go up. Up to heaven."

Oh my lord, I cannot handle this article. I hope the Curtin family can think back on these last moments with their daughter and know that she was happy.

Seriously, Pixar? You already made me cry with Carl's story, and now this? What's next? When will the tears stop?!

(I hope they don't! Keep tugging at my icy heartstrings, guys!)

Friday, June 19, 2009

Replace Plums!

Passive aggressive notes meets poetry.

Meat the Competition

You'd think a chain like KFC would be all about chicken. That's what they sell, right? They're not like McDonalds, which sells burgers and chicken sandwiches and fish fillets. They're the chicken people, right?

Except when their grilled chicken is flavored with beef.

A KFC spokesman said that "small amounts of beef flavors are commonly used in seasonings for many food products, for both restaurant and retail use," and that the beefy flavors "account for only 0.2% of the total seasoning."

Still...beef? Really, KFC? I don't think I've ever used beef flavorings in chicken, and my chicken still tastes way better than your stuff. Maybe, instead of bringing in other flavors, you should try using chicken that doesn't taste like rubber. Just a thought.

Click the Link to Chapter Four

When I was in high school, we had three minutes to change classes--leave class, get to our lockers, trade books, and get to our next class. And the books we had to carry were eighty pounds! We all destroyed our backs for the sake of knowledge!

Now that kids are switching to e-books, how will we know how much they've learned? They won't have the back pain to demonstrate their intelligence. We'll actually have to ask them things!

Okay, so even though I love actual books, I think the switch to more e-books and technology-based learning is a good idea. Hopefully it will mean that students/schools won't have to buy new copies of expensive textbooks every year. However, it does leave out low-income students, who don't have access to their own textbooks, much less school computers.

And as for the back pain? I guess we'll just have to enter kids in cage fights.

Brush With Sparkle Death

It would be easy to blame this on the Twilight fans. In fact, that's what Robert Pattinson did when he got clipped by a cab in New York. He was running away from a mob of fans when the cab hit him. Everyone was all right, but Pattinson's bodyguard screamed at the fans, "You see what you did, you almost killed him!"

But I don't blame the crazed fans. I blame Pattinson himself. The cab driver was obviously blinded by Pattinson's sparkle. It probably looked like eighty Claire's stores blowing up.

At least he wasn't hurt. But then again, vampires are impervious to pain.

Dearly Beloved

The internet is a strange place. But here's the thing--it's not really a place. You can't really see people or know anything about their lives. So it's the perfect place to fake your death, just to see people's reactions.

Yep, apparently this happens a lot. Or at least enough for it to be a new kind of mental disorder--MBI, Munchausen by internet.

It makes sense. When people want attention for some tragic situation--terminal illness, abuse, etc.--it's difficult to keep up the charade in real life. You'd have to visit doctors, look sick, etc. But on the internet, no one knows you haven't lost your hair to chemo or been bed-ridden or lost several family members to this same, mysterious disease. You can just look up symptoms online and try to make your situation match. When you 'die,' there's an outpouring of grief, which can make you feel more loved than you would have in everyday life.

Unfortunately, this feeling of 'love' comes along with manipulating real people's real emotions. Sure, internet relationships potentially aren't as real as face-to-face ones, but lots of people do consider online relationships real. When people are regular posters on a forum, they feel a kinship with other regular posters. When someone fakes their death (and the truth comes to light), that kinship is taken away--along with any other sense of trust. If one beloved poster can actually be a heinous, selfish liar, what about the rest of us? Who can we trust online?

Also, it invalidates real deaths of people in online forums. Are the actually dead posters going to be doubted because a bunch of self-involved fakers want to play with people's emotions?

It's a really interesting article, though, and another odd facet of online life.

(Don't worry, Lady Face fans--I'm real and not going to fake my death any time soon.)

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Can I Get a Wax Conan?

Dear Conan,

Want to start the Redheaded Society of Awesome and Chicanery (RSAC) with me? I will help you find more cool places like the Celebrity Wax Factory.


(Your BFF) Annie

Mountains, Cascades, Swamps of Books!

Oh my gosh, it's like the Beast's library!

This doesn't do it justice. Click through for the actual panoramic picture and more of Iwan Baan's photography.

Another Reason to Love Tina Fey

I think 30 Rock is one of the best shows to come along in a while. You could call it a sitcom, but it's way more off-the-wall and daring than a more traditional sitcom like, say, Friends. But is it entirely original? Brian Lynch argues that it's not.

That's right--a 30 Rock/Muppet Show throwdown!

He does make some excellent points. (Jenna is Miss Piggy.) Of course, this doesn't make me love either show any less. In fact, it makes me love them even more! The more funny shows, the merrier!

And when they combine--oh my lord.

Liz Lemon as a muppet? Rock on!

Clouds and Surf

Ocean photography = awesome.

Photographer Ross Campbell's website is currently under construction, but I bet he has some other awesome photos as well.

Bunny Ears Are Up

Remember Elmyra from Tiny Toons? If Elmyra had grown up and specifically loved rabbits, she would have grown up to be Miriam Sakewitz. Apparently Miriam can't get enough of bunnies. She was previous caught with "nearly 250 rabbits in her home, including about 100 dead ones in freezers and refrigerators." After that, she was placed on a five year probation, banned from owning animals, and restricted from going within 100 yards of a rabbit.

Unfortunately, Miriam did not learn her lesson. She was recently arrested for possession of rabbit, after a hotel employee found bunnies in her hotel room. Apparently she fell off the bunny wagon.

Okay, Miriam, I like bunnies, too. But leave them alone.

My favorite part of the article? The tip-off for police:

"...Probation officer Susan Ranger testified in August of 2007 that Sakewitz had a rabbit in her home in June, had canceled counseling sessions and refused to open the door for unannounced visits.

Ranger said she found no rabbits when she finally got inside but did find a half-empty 10-pound bag of carrots. Sakewitz was sentenced to three days in jail."

The bag of carrots gets 'em every time!


Got a cold? Don't reach for the Zicam. Apparently it can destroy your sense of smell. The FDA has warned people against using products such as Zicam Cold Remedy Nasal Gel, Zicam Cold Remedy Nasal Swabs, and Zicam Cold Remedy Swabs Kids' Size. (The kids' products have already been discontinued, but people might still have them in their medicine cabinets.) Matrixx Initiatives, the company that makes Zicam, has received a warning letter saying that they "must provide FDA with a plan on how it will remove existing inventory from the marketplace."

Sinus pressure vs. legal pressure, I guess.

Super scary, though. Having a cold and being unable to breathe properly sucks, but I also don't want to give up the smell of birthday cake/the ocean/oranges/gasoline/pretty much anything. I'll be sticking with the Mucinex for now, thanks.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Howliday Inn

Cute my face off.

Probably not as cute at three in the morning, but dear lord, puppy! You are adorable!

Who Shot First?

Of all the reboots and movies-into-tv-shows-into-movies-into-old-tv-shows stuff, I think this works best.

I'd totally watch young Harrison Ford fight crime in space!

Lynne Truss Would Agree

A grammar lesson, care of Texts From Last Night:

(703): fucking a dude
(703): i mean: fucking a, dude
(703): wow, that comma made all the difference there

The comma--the condom of punctuation.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Look Closer

Check out artist Helen Nodding's tiny Secret Worlds in unexpected places. I love stuff like this--it makes everyday life way more exciting!

About this particular scene, she says:

" Whilst strolling through the park one day my friend Eduard and I came across this network of miniature caves. Taking a closer look a strange world of human sacrifice and Squirrel God's revealed itself to us. For a moment we thought that we must have been imagining things but one by one others began to see it too and it made our day when a couple excitedly pointed out different chambers to each other before engaging in a lingering kiss.

Under the watchful eyes of a patrolling squirrel we decided to return at night to see if we could catch a glimpse of any life. To our delight the place was lit up like a magical fairy kingdom but not a miniature soul (or even a squirrel) was in sight. 2 weeks later we went to visit it again but the world had mysteriously disappeared without trace..."

Make sure to check out her other scenes, too!


Artist Julia Solis's project about abandoned theaters reminds me of Cornelia Funke's The Thief Lord, in which the main characters live in an abandoned movie theater. Check out the slideshow of these abandoned theaters; some haunting images throughout.

Best Friend Bracelets?

Is Queen Elizabeth loosening up a little? I never thought she and Michelle Obama would keep in touch, but apparently that's what's happened. After meeting during the G20 summit in April, they've kept in contact. Recently, Michelle Obama and her daughters received a private tour of Buckingham Palace.

"According to the sources, the queen and Michelle Obama have exchanged letters and spoken by telephone since that first meeting. The visit last Wednesday was organized as a treat for Sasha, who turned 8 that day.

Despite their age difference, the two women are said to share a number of interests, including the countryside, gardening and clothes."

I hear Queen Elizabeth loves dogs, too. Maybe her corgis and Bo Obama can have playdates!

Mostly, I think this is a good move on both sides. Even if they're not actually BFFs (although I do like to imagine matching pajamas for sleepovers), it shows that the US and the UK have a strong relationship. And it helps Queen Elizabeth recover a little from the backlash against her regarding Princess Diana's death.

Other political odd couples you'd like to see? Post 'em in the comments!

Here Fishy Fishy Fishy

For a huge sushi fan like I am, this article makes me feel a little guilty/stupid, but also hopeful. Apparently American sushi restaurants aren't exactly authentic. I know, surprise, surprise, but still, it makes me feel a little sad to know that the thing I love isn't all that great. But the good news is that American chefs are looking to bring sushi back to its roots.

"Instead of teaching us about the full range of sushi fish and shellfish, as well as the varied tastes and textures of the cuisine, most sushi chefs in the U.S. have neglected the Japanese style of eating and force-fed us simplistic menus that feature the least environmentally friendly—and least healthful—items: at the high end, bluefin tuna; at the low end, fatty belly cuts from lesser tuna; along with fatty industrial salmon, and factory-farmed shrimp and eel saturated in sugar. Until the latter half of the 20th century, none of these was considered suitable fare by connoisseurs of traditional sushi; none adheres to the Japanese practice of highlighting local, seasonal ingredients.

So imagine my delight when I walked into a sushi bar one evening and found not only a welcoming neighborhood atmosphere, but a chef who explained that he doesn’t serve bluefin tuna, because he doesn’t want it to go extinct."

Since over-fishing is such a problem, this practice of highlighting the local and seasonal is a really good thing. Also, it sounds like these more traditional sushi restaurants encourage discussion with the chef and other diners, so you can get to know a little more about the cuisine and maybe find new favorites.

Also cool--these chefs aren't just Japanese or Japanese. A lot of them are normal American chefs who want to encourage these traditional Japanese dining techniques. Hopefully this signals a trend.

This doesn't mean I'll be giving up on sushi in the meantime. (In fact, just writing this has made me hungry.) But I'm definitely looking forward to the reinvention of the sushi business.

More From the Middle East

For everyone interested in the election and subsequent violence in Iran, make sure to keep checking Andrew Sullivan's blog, The Daily Dish. While many mainstream news stations are largely skimming over these events (seriously? Heidi and Spenser on every freakin' news station?), he's posted some great quotes and videos. For example:

Scary stuff.

Monday, June 15, 2009

It's Raining Men (and Aliens)

Reason #46 why the new Star Trek has done so well.

I'll admit it; I think this song is hilarious in almost any situation.

Cats Prefer to Read Like This

Book plus heart plus kitties? It's the Monday morning cute!

With the cloudy, not-so-June-like-chill, I want to spend the day in pajamas, reading middle-grade/YA books, and cuddling something adorable.

Oh well.

Post Rearranged Spells Stop (Motion)

Maybe even better than the post-it office haiku.

That's What I've Been Saying

Pocket Edward looks like David Boreanaz. Except Angel is way less of a control freak than Edward. And way cooler.

Thank God I was a middle school girl during the Buffy era.