More Holiday Delights

Brilliant hostess gifts for a designer.


This video of kids playing video games was created by Robbie Cooper, a British photographer who employed a Red camera — a very-high-resolution video camera — and then took stills from the footage. Cooper, who says he was inspired by the camera technique that Errol Morris used to interview people in his documentaries, arranged his equipment so that the players were actually looking at a reflection of the game on a small pane of glass. He placed the camera behind the reflection so that it could look directly into their faces as they played. Cooper and his collaborators, Andrew Wiggins and Charly Smith, videotaped children in England and in New York.
--New York Times Magazine

What are the Dr. Dre Rules (of your Interracial Posse)?

An important question posed by Chris Rock at 3:30 in this clip from Kill the Messenger.

On a similar note, Andy shared this edgy (yes, really!) piece with me from GQ called "Will You Be My Black Friend?":
"Sure, [Americans elected] a black president this month. And yeah, Oprah has all kinds of white ladies in her audience. But in real life, it seems the older you get, the less chance you have of being friends with someone who is not in your racial demographic. Can a nice white boy make some black friends if he puts his mind to it? Devin Friedman posts an ad on Craigslist to find out."


My first post in September was a Chris Rock clip on Larry King promoting his HBO special Kill the Messenger. It hit Canada this just week so the entire special is now online in eight parts (Canadians seem to be especially diligent about putting television online). Filmed in New York, London, and Johannesburg, Chris Rock does what nobody else can do and yells a lot (but--and let me make this clear--not like Dane Cook). I don't know how long this is going to be online before HBO catches it. Get it while it's hot.

Part One

What Michelle Means

A problematic cover story about Michelle Obama from Newsweek. It also talks about the skin whitening creams which, unbeknownst to me, are hugely prevalent around the world.

Ricky Wong, Ching Chong Ding Dong and other Oriental Delights

I'm synching with Tom and Kat's blog or something but they're in China and today I offer some hilarious Chinese humour. Or rather, it's borderline racist humour directed at Chinese people but I laughed so it must be OK.

Firstly, Ching Chong Ding Dong, which the Comedy Network has decided to omit from their website. It's offered on Comedy Central's website and Colbert Nation but Canadians can't view the streaming clips because they're blocked. But I digress, Ching Chong Ding Dong is a character by Steven Colbert, who was discovered through a satellite intercept before an interview with Bradley Whitford in November 2005 ("Pthoo-hoo, I rove tea! It's so good for you! Come here pretty American girl, kiss my cup and make it all sweet. I don't need no sugar when you around. Come crimb into my rickshaw and I give you ride to Bangkok! Doo doo doo doo doo doo doo doo doo !"). Unfortunately for Colbert, Ching Chong Ding Dong was brought up when Colbert was vetted for a position on the Obama transition team. See it here at 5:35. After the "discovery" of Ching Chong Ding Dong, blogs like Angry Asian Man, Hyphen's and the now-defunct Asian Media Watch freaked out. I don't consider it particularly offensive but I will respect the fact that some people might. They might not want to continue reading this.

This past spring I was flew Cathay Pacific to New York, which offers better taste and entertainment than Air Canada. On board, I got my own little entertainment console, which was delightful. TV highlights included Summer Heights High, written and directed by Chris Lilley. I watched the whole series last night. My eyes have that weird burning sensation but I think it was worth it. Summer Heights High is a mockumentary set in an Australian high school and follows the lives of three characters all played by Lilley. I'll let the LA Times fill you in on the characters. They are:
the drama teacher Mr. G; Ja'mie a rich, private-school girl -- she first appeared in "Nominees" -- who is spending an exchange term in public school; and Jonah, a 13-year-old Tongan disciplinary problem.

Both Mr. G and Ja'mie are grotesque, self-involved, self-dramatizing, self-aggrandizing characters who see themselves as basically, even immoderately, good. "I come from one of the most expensive private girls' schools in the state," Ja'mie tells a school assembly by way of introducing herself, "but I'm actually really cool. Please don't be intimidated by me. People always quote, 'Private schools create better citizens.' But I would say they create better quality citizens."

Mr. G (whom Lilley first developed on the series "Big Bite") uses his drama classes as a stage for himself. He dreams of building a towering campus performing-arts complex, bearing his name, and when a student dies of a drug overdose, he hijacks the tragedy as a subject for his next school project. "She's been sent by an angel to give me an idea for a musical," he says holding up the dead girl's picture with a smile. "So I'm just over the moon."
I love this show and now it's on HBO Canada. Hurraaaay!

Lilley's previous show, We Can Be Heroes, has a similar premise. Heroes was about the search for Australian of the Year and also featured Ja'Mie. Lilley plays all 5 finalists, one of them being 23-year-old physics student Ricky Wong seen here:

A Preview of Summer Heights High:

Mr. G



And now for a series of commercials I absolutely loathe. LOATHE. In fact, it makes me want to hit something and scream. There is an Indian and Chinese version of these. You can't really tell what's going on in the Chinese one because it's so absurd so I'll show you episode one of the Indian version.

Ponds has a SKIN WHITENER cream that is extremely popular in China and India. In India it's called White Beauty and in China it's called Flawless White. Surveys state that two thirds of women in these countries bleach their skin to achieve a "pinkish, white glow" because darker skin is considered undesirable. Men surveyed have suggested that they prefer lighter-skinned women to darker women. Lighter skin has traditionally been associated with wealth and aristocracy. And it's not just women who are lightening their skin. The trend is catching on with men as well.

Ponds is advertising their disgusting product via the story of "Karan" and "Ria". There are five episodes. This is the first and you can click through to see the rest but maybe you won't want to.

The Return of Phoebe

I like commercials next to never but this is cute. Nintendo DS is trying to win over girly girls with a series of commercials featuring Liv Tyler, Carrie Underwood and Ugly Betty. They're all on Youtube:


Driving School

click to see full size


Smells Funky

From Lynda Barry's "Common Scents" (a.k.a. your house smells too):

Studs Terkel

I heard a couple of these extraordinary interviews, with Americans who lived through the Great Depression, on This American Life a couple weeks ago. Considering the moment, the interviews are made all the more meaningful:

Studs Terkel interviewed hundreds of people across the United States for his book on the Great Depression of the 1930s, Hard Times. In 1973, he selected several interviews that were included in his book to be broadcast in eleven parts on the Studs Terkel Program on WFMT radio (Chicago, IL).

Studs Terkel (Trivia: whom I share a birthday with) was an American author, historian, actor, and broadcaster based in Chicago. He passed away last month at 96 years.

Bill Gates Style

Sam Bayless is a friend from waaaay back when. We've known each other for 10 years now. I met Sam at a district enrichment program where we were both selected to compete as part of the 'elite' team for an international problem-solving competition: they present you with an apocalyptic scenario in the future and you develop solutions and strategies. It sounds nerdy and it was. But we rocked and we invited to go to Maine to compete. For various reasons that didn't really work out.

In any case, we are now travelling down different roads and Sam is on his way to fame and glory, Bill Gates-style. The other day he sent me a link to an incredible game he developed over the past year. I don't know if I will do it any justice but trying to explain myself but it's kind of like Lego on ecstasy.

Here's a demo video. Says Sam, "Its a tank tread that Jake [his younger brother] built using my program. Noah [his even younger brother] composed the music, and David [his youngest brother] designed the tank... or at least decided that he wanted to have a tank, and made Jake build it. Its great to have little brothers."

Download the beta version at GolemGame.com
"I think we already have a Green Revolution. I separate my plastics and I eat Kashi cereal."
--Stephen Colbert responding to Thomas Friedman's Hot, Flat, and Crowded

The Pretenders

In honour of the release of Chinese Democracy, I bring you "The Pretenders" by Chuck Klosterman about a Guns N' Roses tribute band.

New Covers for Coupland

Harper Perennial releases daring new covers for Douglas Coupland's Microserfs and Girlfriend in a Coma:

Bad Literary Sex

From AP:
John Updike has been awarded a lifetime achievement prize of bad depictions of sex in his novels, although his entry this year, The Widows of Eastwick, did not win.

Updike, who has a long and graphic history of detailing coupling on the page, won a lifetime achievement award Tuesday from judges of Britain's Bad Sex in Fiction Prize, which celebrates crude, tasteless or ridiculous sexual passages in modern literature.

The judges, editors of Literary Review magazine, said Updike had been shortlisted for the prize four times in its 16-year history.

America Imitates Japan Again! (Sex, Part 5)

Below, I posted a story regarding the Japan's efforts to booth their reproduction rates. A couple weeks ago, a pastor in Dallas challenged his massive congregation to a 7-day sex challenge:
November 24, 2008
Pastor’s Advice for Better Marriage: More Sex

GRAPEVINE, Tex. — And on the seventh day, there was no rest for married couples. A week after the Rev. Ed Young challenged husbands and wives among his flock of 20,000 to strengthen their unions through Seven Days of Sex, his advice was — keep it going.

Mr. Young, an author, a television host and the pastor of the evangelical Fellowship Church, issued his call for a week of “congregational copulation” among married couples on Nov. 16, while pacing in front of a large bed. Sometimes he reclined on the paisley coverlet while flipping through a Bible, emphasizing his point that it is time for the church to put God back in the bed.

“Today we’re beginning this sexperiment, seven days of sex,” he said, with his characteristic mix of humor, showmanship and Scripture. “How to move from whining about the economy to whoopee!”

On Sunday parishioners at the Grapevine branch watched a prerecorded sermon from Mr. Young and his wife, Lisa, on jumbo screens over a candlelit stage. “I know there’s been a lot of love going around this week, among the married couples,” one of the church musicians said, strumming on a guitar before a crowd of about 3,000.

Mrs. Young, dressed in knee-high black boots and jeans, said that after a week of having sex every day, or close to it, “some of us are smiling.” For others grappling with infidelities, addictions to pornography or other bitter hurts, “there’s been some pain; hopefully there’s been some forgiveness, too.”

Mr. Young advised the couples to “keep on doing what you’ve been doing this week. We should try to double up the amount of intimacy we have in marriage. And when I say intimacy, I don’t mean holding hands in the park or a back rub.”

Mr. Young, known simply as Ed to his parishioners, and his wife, both 47, have been married for 26 years and have four children, including twins. They have firsthand experience with some of the barriers to an intimate sex life in marriage, including careers, exhaustion, outside commitments, and “kids,” a word that Mr. Young told church members stands for “keeping intimacy at a distance successfully.”

But if you make the time to have sex, it will bring you closer to your spouse and to God, he has said. You will perform better at work, leave a loving legacy for your children to follow and may even prevent an extramarital affair.

“If you’ve said, ‘I do,’ do it,” he said. As for single people, “I don’t know, try eating chocolate cake,” he said.
--New York Times


The Sex Files, Part IV

Daily Telegraph:
A new study by Dr. Kunio Kitamura has revealed that more than one third of all couples in Japan have effectively given up on sex, with most complaining they are too tired after work or that it is "boring."

"The results are a surprise because the numbers keep going up each year," said Dr. Kitamura.

In 2004, 32 per cent of Japanese admitted to not having sexual intercourse in the previous month. That number has now risen to 37 per cent, according to a report that will be presented to the Ministry of Health and Welfare next year.

"Of course, if people are not having sex then there will be fewer children," Dr. Kitamura said.

Japan's birth rate stood at 1.34 in 2007, far below the replenishment rate of 2.08 babies that is required for a stable population.

The country's population, which peaked at around 127.7 million in 2006, is predicted to decline to 95 million by 2050. And if drastic measures to encourage people to have more sex and more children don't succeed then there will be a mere 47.7 million Japanese at the turn of the next century.
A fix:
Nov. 21 (Bloomberg) -- Keidanren, Japan's biggest business organization, is worried the nation's workers aren't having enough sex.

The group urged its 1,632 member companies to start so- called family weeks that give employees more time for playing with the kids and having more children to reverse a declining birth rate. A survey by Japan's Family Planning Association of about 3,000 married people under age 49 shows couples are having less sex because long work days leave them with too little energy.

In a country where people over 65 will outnumber children two-to-one in five years, companies say they eventually won't have enough workers. Japan's birth rate has been falling since 1972 and threatens to shrink the labor force 16 percent by 2030 from 66.6 million workers in 2006, according to the health ministry.

``You must go home early,'' Nippon Oil Corp. President Shinji Nishio told staff in a speech for the company's two-week family campaign, which ends Nov. 22. ``The dwindling birthrate and the aging population, along with the responsibility of educating the next generation -- these aren't just somebody else's problem. We expect all workers' active participation.''

What I'm Reading Today: "The (Mostly) True Story of Helvetica and the New York City Subway"

An answer to the 2007 film Helvetica at AIGA

The First Cover of New York Magazine

The Face

On Flickr

How Did I Miss This?

This technology cost a quarter million dollars. Gross.

Legendary Esquire art director, George Lois responds:

Lois, 1974:

Custom Typefaces for British Vogue

Why I love Christmas:

96 point for the fourth time

A bit late but from: Mag Culture, November 5:

I was beginning to worry I wouldn’t find the right story with which to mark this weeks’ good news. But here it is, courtesy of Design Observer.

The front page, above, is only the fourth time the NYTimes has used a headline at 96 point, placing Obama’s election alongside the first man on the moon, Nixon’s resignation and 9/11.

Men of the Year

Mark Seliger, forgive me, you are one hell of a portrait photographer. Obama looks good in this picture from a shoot that was only 1 minute and 45 seconds.


It's beautifully sunny in Vancouver today. Fittingly, I've discovered gorgeous pictures of the cast of Twilight on VF.com, like the one about, by Peggy Sirota. I like these so much better than the shoot by Mark Seliger of the Gossip Girl cast and Hollywood's New Wave, which was a bit too precocious. Now, I don't know what kind of vampires could be sitting out in the sun during the day but I just love Sirota's bright setting for PYTs.

I thought she might be a new photographer but this iconic Rolling Stone cover above from a billion years ago is also another Sirota creation. I remember this cover so vividly. What a time piece: Lilith Fair, Third Eye Blind, Just Shoot Me?

Asians Invented Everything

From The Onion:
Denny's Introduces 'Just A Humongous Bucket Of Eggs And Meat'

But if you think these kinds of eats are all-American, check out Tom and Kat's Big Day, where this week, they drink from a " 'Humongous Pot of Soup' (aprox. 10 m high and 3 m wide. A crane lifted the lid off, and the spoons they stirred it with were basically boat oars.)"



Errol Morris and Fairies

If you've ever seen The Thin Blue Line, directed by Errol Morris, you'll be interested in Morris's writings about truth, memory, objectivity and the Cottingley fairies (at left). A fairly decent contributor to IMDB wrote this synopsis about The Thin Blue Line, which I have edited at my liberty:
Errol Morris's unique documentary dramatically re-enacts the crime scene and investigation of a police officer's murder in Dallas. Briefly, Randall Adams ran out of gas in Texas and was picked up by a 16-year-old runaway, David Harris. Later that night, they drank beer, smoked marijuana, and a soft-core double bill. Then, their stories diverge. Adams claims that he left for his motel, where he was staying with his brother, and went to sleep. Harris, however, says that they were stopped by police late that night and Adams suddenly shot the officer approaching their car. The film shows the audience the evidence gathered by the police, who were under extreme pressure to clear the case. It strongly makes a point that the circumstantial evidence was flimsy, at best. In fact, it becomes apparent that Harris was a much more likely suspect and was in the middle of a 'crime spree,' eventually ending up on Death Row himself for the later commission of other crimes.
Morris writes regularly for the New York Times on issues related to the film and reenactments in documentary film. Part two of this article links to the work of a professor at UBC. Part One is very interesting if the film intrigued you in any way or you're a major skeptic. All of Morris's writing for the NY Times can be found here. He is very smart. Prepare to have your mind blown.


Oh, Humanity

HA! First a man refused to pay his chiropractor but sent a drawing of a spider instead. The email exchange can be read here here,
and then this happened, and finally, this.


Penguin by Design

Magazines: Beyond the Web...

...and back to bricks and mortar. Last week, Tyler Brûlé--creator of Wallpaper launched a new era in magazines. With Monocle, his current magazine project and (political, intellectual, lifestyle) trendsetting magazine, Tyler Brûlé set up shop on George Street, London. The temporary store is selling copies of the magazine as well as back issues, Monocle x Comme des Garçons Scent One: Hinoki, Porter bags, Stools, scarf's and more. Okay, it's totally stuck up but don't you wish you thought of it first?

Another Fashion Photography Retrospective

Patrick Demarchelier for Paris Vogue

Transgressions in Fashion Photography

From V Man and L'Uomo Vogue

Fudge Your Numbers

Mammoth Architecture

In Part II of Phaidon's bid to define architecture, they have published the sequel to The Phaidon Atlas of Contemporary World Architecture, The Phaidon Atlas of 21st Century Architecture. Their editors have produced an 800-page knockout with 4600 photos and diagrams of the best architecture from the past 9 years. Who knew so much building (exactly 1037 "exemplary buildings") was going on all over the world in such a short time? How big will this book be in 50 years?

Phaidon also created a great site to get you hooked, with a limited preview of the book. Here's what's packed inside:
"This collection of key buildings has been chosen through a rigorous selection process involving a panel of expert advisors with specialist input from each world region. The list includes the work of an emerging generation of architectural stars featured alongside buildings by internationally acclaimed architects. Each building is fully illustrated with drawings and photographs, and described by a short essay. Further information includes key facts such as construction cost, client name, area of the building and geographical coordinates. Cross-referencing between projects enables the user to find other buildings by the same architect included in the book. In addition, a mass of useful information is provided including details of architects' practices and extensive indexes."
I want Phaidon to document my life.

Madison Avenue is Recession Proof

Check out this video from NYMag.com

It's 3:30 am. A Bunch of Videos.

The expanse of cyberspace is unbelievable when you really are supposed to be doing homework. Tonight, I have discovered this charming cover of Bob Dylan's "Make You Feel My Love" by Adele. I also watched Beyonce's video for "If I were a Boy"-- who knew pop culture's most forceful proponent of feminism would be this R&B glamazon? (And who knew Justin Timberlake could dance like this?)

But back to Adele for a second - she's on XL Recordings, which also boasts Rjd2 on their roster. This awesome video for "Work It Out" is from his third album "The Third Hand" (2007). The video features the best dancer of this bunch, Bill Shannon:

"Bill Shannon is an American artist who resides in Brooklyn. Shannon holds a BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Born with a degenerative hip condition, he developed a way to express himself through dance and skateboarding. (With Crutches Too.)"


Cracking Copyright

I was going through some old files on my computer and unearthed a pdf of "The Weasel, Twelve Monkeys and the Shrub" by David Foster Wallace. I had nabbed it off the Rolling Stone website and it's still there. What this originally titled article is, is the original David Foster Wallace article that became McCain's Promise: Aboard the Straight Talk Express with John McCain and a Whole Bunch of Actual Reporters, Thinking About Hope, which I went on and on about a couple of weeks ago.

I imagine that the publishers (Back Bay Books) own exclusive rights to the essay now but that's the wonderful/scary thing about the digital age - who knows who owns what anymore. So if you are still interested in reading it (but not interested in walking to a library or bookstore), have a look here.

Technology is Awesome!

They're calling it the first interactive game on YouTube. I got to level 5 (noob).



(I'm supposed to be writing an paper today so: join me and click here)

Vancouver Votes


Coming off the crack-y good high of the US Presidential election, small town politics look feeble and sad. Today Vancouver votes and the whole process could not be more of a farce. The major issue of the day is the 'leak' of information about the in-camera deal to bail out the 2010 developments on the waterfront. This is major but our city is facing so many more problems with no commitment to solve them - or solutions, really.

Admittedly, I'm not casting an educated vote today. How would I have time to look through the profiles of all the candidates? There are 15 people running for Mayor (not to mention the menagerie of characters running for councilor, parks board and school board), including Marc Emery, the "Prince of Pot." Aside from Peter Ladner and Gregor Robertson, the two supposed front runners, no one else has received ANY face time from small or major news outlets. The even worse thing is that none of the candidates seem prepared for 2010. In what is to be called a major pipe dream, Furlong is calling for all businesses to give their employees vacation and lend VANOC their employees for the duration of the 2010 games. NO, that is what GM is doing right now in Brampton and Oakville because they don't have enough work -- giving their employees "time off" (or laying them off).

In any case, I guess this is my civic duty so I'm walking up to the polls now. I'm going to stick to the NPA for calling our house once a day for the past 10 days, and putting all sorts of crap through our mail slot, including air fresheners. No, I'm not going to "Get Fresh with Kim Capri." This looks like unwise, environmentally unfriendly spending to me. I'm not going to trust my tax-payer dollars with them.

Go on, go vote!


The Biggest Loser

It's a bad time to dream about being Anna Wintour. WWD posts ad sales numbers today for Fashion Magazines. The biggest loser? Cosmogirl, which sadly, found its way into the magazine death pool in October. Next in line? Maybe Vanity Fair, which reportedly lost a whopping 84-pages of advertising due to the failing economy.

The link.


The Gerbil's Revenge

I've posted Sasha Frere-Jones's article about auto-tuning before. I'm posting it one more time because I've had enough. Kanye West put it to use in his new single "Heartless". Good looking video though. Apparently, 65 animators in Hong Kong put this pretty piece together using old rotoscoping techniques.

Below, check out classic animation using rotoscoping... it's pretty saucy stuff from 1932. In fact it was banned for its suggestive subject matter.

The Tom Selleck

Light rum topped with coke and a splash of Rose’s lime. Mustache included. Served at Boston's Plan B

Important Information for Rock Band Fanatics!

How to fix a broken Rock Band Pedal for $5

Another one for the books

It used to be that they made video games out of comics books but now EA game Mirror's Edge is getting its very own comic book. Yesterday, wired gave the parkour game a rating of 8 of 10 for "Original play mechanic" and for being "instantly accessible, endlessly enjoyable." Cool.
The DC/Wildstorm comic comes out some time this year.

One more for Mac (in Mac vs. PC)

More information you didn't need to know about Barack Obama. According to The Telegraph:

• He collects Spider-Man and Conan the Barbarian comics

• He was known as "O'Bomber" at high school for his skill at basketball

• He has read every Harry Potter book

• He owns a set of red boxing gloves autographed by Muhammad Ali

• He ate dog meat, snake meat, and roasted grasshopper while living in Indonesia

• He promised Michelle he would quit smoking before running for president – he didn't

• He kept a pet ape called Tata while in Indonesia

• He can bench press an impressive 200lbs

• He applied to appear in a black pin-up calendar while at Harvard but was rejected by the all-female committee.

• His favourite music includes Miles Davis, Bob Dylan, Bach and The Fugees

• He would have liked to have been an architect if he were not a politician

• As a teenager he took drugs including marijuana and cocaine

• He hates the youth trend for trousers which sag beneath the backside

• He repaid his student loan only four years ago after signing his book deal

• He uses an Apple Mac laptop

• His favourite fictional television programmes are Mash and The Wire

Vancouver Drivers

Vancouver might boast Canada's worst drivers on a whole (or so says a 30-year driving instructor from Vancouver on CBC's The Point today) but then there's a Discovery Channel show that actually finds the worst of the worst. I saw Canada's Worst Driver 4 on the weekend. Too funny.

The road test was to drive through the posts at 60km/hr without hitting anything, and shoulder check properly at the sign. If they've done it correctly and safely, the back of the sign indicates what direction to drive in: left or right. Here's the lady who is giving all Asian women a bad name in driving.
Apologies for the crappy video quality


Sad Thing You Never Knew... Until Now

Are you ready?

Book Tour

I've given up on NPR for a while but they've had some good authors reading from their own books lately. The show is called Book Tour. For those who are allergic to books, you don't have to read! Someone can do it for you! And who better to interpret the text than the author? This is like having Freud write your psychology papers for you!

Author Junot Diaz (The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao) is so funny and has some interesting insight into media coverage of Election '08.

"I think we should all keep a journal of the next fifty days. Instead of a journal of a plague year, this is a journal far far worst...We will all be struck by how much we will these insights in the future."


In Defense of Rachel Maddow

Thanks to Ms. Rachel Page, the provider of all my magazine needs from January - May 2008, for introducing me to Rachel Maddow, the coolest person to hit the television airwaves in a while. Maddow is the host of the Rachel Maddow show on MSNBC, which airs right after Keith Olbermann's Countdown (Ben Affleck did a pretty good, while long, impression of Olbermann on SNL last week but the video's been taken down temporarily).

Two nights ago, Stephen Colbert named Maddow the Queen of Cable; she's gathered a large following already so I'm a little slow here but will be an ardent fan. Full episodes are available for free on iTunes.

In any case, I've been doing my Googling and have found many, many articles like this, which insist that MSNBC is hiring nothing but left-leaning crazies.

Here's a good rundown of the conversation so far. And if you like Maddow, here's a glowing profile from New York Magazine, where I cribbed the nice portrait of Maddow.

The point- or rather, the question, which I have not been getting at but is on my mind, is how do you 'objectively' talk about something that is blatantly insane, scary, wrong (but also pro-conservative or -republican, for example)? Marc Ambinder and Andrew Sullivan thoughtfully answer:

Dear God! NO!

Poll: 64 Percent Of Republicans Want Palin To Run In 2012 at HuffPo

NYTimes Key scores with eye-catching cover

I like this cover from NYT Key magazine, featuring an article about two blocks of West Rock Avenue between Yale and Edgewood Avenues in New Haven-- the RNC's nightmare.


Will Obama Help These People?

... or gay, Latino, Asian, Muslim...

The Onion:
As we enter a new era of equality for all people, the election of Barack Obama will decidedly be a milestone in U.S. history, undeniable proof that Americans, when pushed to the very brink, are willing to look past outward appearances and judge a person by the quality of his character and strength of his record. So as long as that person is not a woman.


Science by Brooke

You can always count on New York Magazine to deliver something pleasantly salacious. Today, staffers compiled their 13 favourite underwear ads. They're mostly Calvin but Eva Herzigova in wonderbra is also great. For David, Kate, Tyson, Eva (Mendes) and Marky Mark, see "Our Favourite Underwear Ads of All Time"

Zack Starkman Outfront

It's been a very inspiring week so far. With Obama's win, the world seems more full of possibility. I'm thrilled and touched by the almost unanimous exuberance rippling through the world right now triggered by his win.

In contrast, the future for 14-year-old Zach Starkman is looking tough. He's only 14 years old and he has been through more than you can imagine with formidable will. Tonight, while driving home, I heard his incredible story on CBC Radio One's Outfront.

Listen here (You need Real Player)



Down below is work from the amazing Rob Bolton (Arowbe) (www.myspace.com/timesneueroman) and Eric Chan (eepmon) (www.eepmon.com). This is page one from what is to be an exciting project to be published in 2009 - Orpheus, a graphic narrative poem. A preview can be seen in issue 13.4 of Ricepaper Magazine on newsstands now.


This Week's Special Read: Love at First Site with The Atlantic Think.Again. Pilot Project

The Atlantic repackaged old but relevant articles on a stunning new website. The Think.Again. project is accompanied by cool photography of New York City at night. Here is the New York City Public Library, with neon lights, asking, "Is the Doughnut Doomed?" Each article is accompanied by a blog, forum discussion, a video documentary and desktop wallpaper so you can show off your liberal smarts on your macbook. My favourite so far is "Is God an Accident?"

I think the website is a smart way to give old articles new life. Not to mention, it's a feast for the eyes and ears, and your brain. The website's smart branding gets us to revisit the pieces and rethink what we think we know. At the very least, it shows NYC in a new light. This arty website sells successfully.

Sex, Part III

Now, it's obvious that if you watch Friends or Gossip Girl, you love God (or pretend to), and you are a teen girl, you are pregnant:

Teenagers who watch a lot of television featuring flirting, necking, discussion of sex and sex scenes are much more likely than their peers to get pregnant or get a partner pregnant, according to the first study to directly link steamy programming to teen pregnancy.

The study, which tracked more than 700 12-to-17-year-olds for three years, found that those who viewed the most sexual content on TV were about twice as likely to be involved in a pregnancy as those who saw the least.
Among the 718 youths who reported being sexually active during the study, the likelihood of getting pregnant or getting someone else pregnant increased steadily with the amount of sexual content they watched on TV, the researchers found. About 25 percent of those who watched the most were involved in a pregnancy, compared with about 12 percent of those who watched the least. The researchers took into account other factors such as having only one parent, wanting to have a baby and engaging in other risky behaviors.
Among the shows the teens watched were "Sex and the City," "Friends" and "That '70s Show." Chandra would not identify the others but stressed that they included dramas, comedies, reality shows and even animated programs on broadcast and cable networks.

"We don't want to single out any individual programs," Chandra said.

[Yo, Chandra. You just did]

--Rob Stein, Washington Post


The Sex Lives of Red States, Part II

"...among the major religious groups, evangelical virgins are the least likely to anticipate that sex will be pleasurable, and the most likely to believe that having sex will cause their partners to lose respect for them. (Jews most often cite pleasure as a reason to have sex, and say that an unplanned pregnancy would be an embarrassment.) But, according to Add Health data, evangelical teen-agers are more sexually active than Mormons, mainline Protestants, and Jews. On average, white evangelical Protestants make their “sexual début”—to use the festive term of social-science researchers—shortly after turning sixteen. Among major religious groups, only black Protestants begin having sex earlier."


"Yet, according to the sociologists Peter Bearman, of Columbia University, and Hannah Brückner, of Yale, communities with high rates of pledging also have high rates of S.T.D.s. This could be because more teens pledge in communities where they perceive more danger from sex (in which case the pledge is doing some good); or it could be because fewer people in these communities use condoms when they break the pledge.

"Bearman and Brückner have also identified a peculiar dilemma: in some schools, if too many teens pledge, the effort basically collapses. Pledgers apparently gather strength from the sense that they are an embattled minority; once their numbers exceed thirty per cent, and proclaimed chastity becomes the norm, that special identity is lost. With such a fragile formula, it’s hard to imagine how educators can ever get it right: once the self-proclaimed virgin clique hits the thirty-one-per-cent mark, suddenly it’s Sodom and Gomorrah."


"For too long, the conventional wisdom has been that social conservatives are the upholders of family values, whereas liberals are the proponents of a polymorphous selfishness. This isn’t true, and, every once in a while, liberals might point that out."
--Margaret Talbot, "Red Sex, Blue Sex," The New Yorker

So This Is Why Red-Staters Are So Angry

A colleague (I won't reveal his name) was up late last night watching "Thelma and Louise" on Lifetime. During a commerical break, an ad for Trojan's Vibrating Touch fingertip massager for women came on. Naturally, my colleague's journalistic curiosity was piqued and he rushed to the website mentioned for more info. (Hey, in these final stressful days of the campaign, a man's gotta do what he's gotta do to stay distracted.)

Reading the Vibrating Touch blog (this just gets better and better, doesn't it?) he noticed complaints from women living in Texas that they were unable to purchase the product. Probing further, he discovered that the sale of Vibrating Touch is prohibited in a number of states: Alabama, Colorado, Georgia, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Texas, and Virginia. And apparently, the folks at Trojan have received their share of disappointed emails from frustrated women in these states, because, on the Vibrating Touch FAQ page, one can find this exchange:

Q. I can’t purchase the Trojan Her Pleasure Vibrating Touch fingertip massager in my state. Why?

A. We’re sorry, but some states prohibit the sale of products such as these.
These states are Alabama, Colorado, Georgia, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Texas and Virginia.

Wow. How sad is that? In these stressful times, how cruel must a state be to refuse its female residents "products such as these"?

But, alas, it's true. As I promised my righteously outraged and perplexed colleague, I did a quick Google search on the matter and pulled up random episodes from the frontlines of sexual repression, including this strange tale of law enforcement run amok, in which a former fifth grade teacher and mother of three was busted in Texas for selling a vibrator to undercover cops posing as a "dysfunctional married couple in search of a sex aid." (Now there's a fine use of police resources.)

These are real laws, people--some of which have been tested and upheld in recent years, such as the Mississippi Supreme Court's 2004 decision not to overturn a state ban on the sale or distribution of “three-dimensional devices designed or marketed primarily for the stimulation of human genitalia.” As if life in Mississippi weren't hard enough. (And, yeah, I lived there for a time, so save your indignant hate mail.)

All I can say is, I know what I'm getting all my red-state friends and family for Christmas.

It seems blues really do have more fun.
--Michelle Cottle, The New Republic


Who is this guy?

Jordan Clarke is a Vancouver film artist and I am digging his videos.
Does any one know anything else about him?

For West-side kids (especially Kerrisdale alumni), this one is for you:


Jordan Clarke on Vimeo

Sarah Palin Punk'd

At HuffPo