Monday, December 29, 2008

Obligatory End of Year Rap Wrap

I hate these end of year shits, but I've been slacking the fuck off this festive season and to be honest I couldn't think of anything else that would snap the lazy streak. So here goes (in no order whatsoever):

My man Tek put me on to The Only Colour That Matters Is Green, Pacewon's new record. It's excellent, no attempts at nuance or trend-setting just ridiculously solid raps over intentionally simple, but impactful, production.

Ice Cube Raw Footage was sick. TI's Paper Trail and Luda's Theatre Of The Mind were pretty good.

Nas' Hero was probably my favourite single song of the year, along with Jack In The Box off previously mentioned Cube album.

Q Tip and Devin The Dude both came through with their respective LPs.

Old school joints I only just got put on to this year include:
- Shuggie Otis Inspiration Information
- Terry Callier What Color Is Love

You need to get both of those. Unbelievable late 70s soul.

I continued to write mountains of songs that will get recorded at some point. Who knows, maybe they'll (gasp!) actually get released at some point as well?!?!?!! Not possible, right?

All jokes aside, 2009 will finally bring an end to my half-self-enforced, half-dictated-by-circumstance hiatus.

There was heaps more good shit going on musically in '08 but I can't be fucked running it down in detail for y'all (you were there, you heard it all too). I'm going to get a pint with The Biz.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Like Waking Up to Dice Every Day

So now you can get a clock that tells you the time and then abuses you.

Pretty excellent, right? Except it's called The Super Electrofluorescent Profanity Machine, which is not really excellent at all. So it kind of loses points.

The Nazis Had Pieces of Flair They Used To Make The Jews Wear

Don't read this if you're having a fragile day where you already fear for, as Eric Bogle put it, "Man's blind indifference to his fellow man."

Replicating one of the most controversial behavioral experiments in history, a Santa Clara University psychologist has found that people will follow orders from an authority figure to administer what they believe are painful electric shocks.

More than two-thirds of volunteers in the research study had to be stopped from administering 150 volt shocks of electricity, despite hearing a person's cries of pain, professor Jerry M. Burger concluded in a study published in the January issue of the journal American Psychologist.

People are shit. No surprise though - the yanks voted George Dubya in for a second term back in '04, what more proof do you need?

What Do You Want To Be When You Grow Up?

If you didn't answer 'The Scorpion Queen,' then you lose.

There's some funny stuff in this brief little article, but here's the kicker:

In 2006 Kanchana hit the headlines when she married the country's so-called "Centipede King".

The Scorpion Queen is exotic, edgy, hot. I'm guessing The Centipede King, not so much. It's like this every day in Thailand.

Scientists Build Neonatal Incubator From Car Parts

Another blatant jack from slashdot, which in turn is a straight jack from elsewhere (actually, that pretty much describes every blogs ever made, really).

Peace Corps Online writes "The NYTimes ran a story this week about a group of scientists who have built a neonatal incubator out of automobile parts, including a pair of headlights as a heat source, a car door alarm to signal emergencies, and an auto air filter and fan to provide climate control. The creators of the car-parts incubator say that an incubator found in any neonatal intensive care unit in the US could cost around $40,000, but the incubator they have developed can be built for less than $1,000. One expert says as many as 1.8 million infants might be spared every year if they could spend just a week in the units, which help babies who are born early or at low birth weights regulate their body temperature until their organs fully develop. Experts say in developing countries where infant mortality is most common, high-tech machines donated by richer nations often conk out when the electricity fizzles or is restricted to conserve power. 'The future medical technologists in the developing world,' says Robert Malkin, director of Engineering World Health, 'are the current car mechanics, HVAC repairmen, bicycle shop repairmen. There is no other good source of technology-savvy individuals to take up the future of medical device repair and maintenance.'"

Monday, December 22, 2008

A Man and A Donkey In Bethlehem

Don't get your hopes up, all you sickies with visions of animal husbandry. I'm talking about BBC correspondent Aleem Maqbool's trek from Nazareth to Bethlehem with his trusty mule.

"Why are you standing there with a donkey?" said an old Palestinian man.

"This is a nice modern city, and you're standing there with a donkey! What are you trying to say? What's wrong with you?"

I'm glad people do stuff like this, and it's an increasing source of concern and disappointment to me that I cannot presently count myself as one of them.

Taylor Negron: Is There Anyone Cooler?

If you've seen The Aristocrats then you know that Taylor Negron is not merely some ubiquitous character actor. He is a genius, and this proves it.

Listen to Taylor exist in day to day modern america raising his kid, doing his podcast show and supporting the transgendered community.

Repeat, Genius.

Al Capone Taking His Kids To a Ball Game

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Cooking With Christopher Walken

This is just way, way too cool. No commentary needed really, just make sure you watch it all the way through because his sign-off is majestic.

Mixed Emotions Over Marbury

As you must surely know by now, I am a long suffering Knicks fan who has grown weary of the 'will they/won't they' Stephon Marbury issue. They won't buy his contract out, they can't trade him, and they refuse to play him. Now he's doing cool shit like buying tickets to their road games in LA and watching from courtside.

Marbury, in town to attend to his residence there and conduct some business, bought a ticket for the Knicks-Lakers game and had a baseline, courtside seat near film director Spike Lee.

According to the reports in the New York media, Marbury did more talking on his cell phone than he did observing the game, which the Lakers won 116-114.

I've gotta admit, I like his style there. It's so deliciously offbeat. But I still hate the distraction that he has become.

Socceroos On The Come Up

The only national team I care about is our football team. In fact, one of the few times I'm conscious of being Australian is when I'm cheering our lads on in 'the beautiful game.' Fuck cricket. Fuck swimming. Fuck rugby.

So it's exciting to see that Australia's finest have attained a FIFA world ranking of 28, the highest that they have ever achieved.

The Socceroos played 13 matches in 2008, managing eight wins, three draws and two losses.

Their best performances included two big wins over Qatar, a shock 2-1 friendly win over the Netherlands in September and gutsy away wins over Iraq and Uzbekistan.

Next up is Japan in Sydney in February. If we win that, we're going to the next World Cup for sure.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Ever Wondered What Your Name Would Be If You Were a Gangster?

If so, simply follow this link. And the Jim Cagney thing above? I dunno. You just need to see it. And he's responsible for the greatest film portrayals of gangsters of all time.

Hold The Pause

See below for context (such that there is). Actually, maybe don't. Just watch.

Pause For Appreciation: George Best

It's about that time, some blind hero worship of one of my favourite human beings of all time. I thought I'd post this exquisite goal that he crafted (like the artisans of yore) whilst playing in the admittedly lesser MLS (American Soccer League). Then I found the clip that I've posted above, and I thought it nicely rounded out why I love the dude so much. Enjoy.

Mekong: The New Galapagos?

Apparently they're finding shit loads of new species all around the Mekong, including this sleek green fellow you see above.

Scientists say finding so many species, such as the Gekko scientiadventura, suggests that many more creatures are still to be described in the region, which covers Cambodia, Laos, Burma, Thailand, Vietnam and China's Yunnan province.

Monday, December 15, 2008

ABC, easy as B*&ch F*&k A$$ D Boy Pimp, Punk Mothaf*%ka

I don't know why but this reminds me of Kid'n'Play for some reason.

Flocabulary uses the educational power of hip-hop music to foster literacy and promote academic success in the classroom and beyond. Through a range of multimedia products and live performance programs, we bring our concept of music and learning to students and teachers worldwide.

Outstanding. Take a look at the titles of some of the text books. My personal favourite is Shakespeare is Hip Hop.

ORIGINAL SHAKESPEARE…RAPPED: The CD includes original Shakespearian lyrics rapped, as well as lively modern interpretations and classically performed monologues.

Honourable mention to The Rappers Handbook. I'll be buying myself a copy for Christmas.

NYC Everything

Next time you're in The Big Apple, forget about Times Square, the Statue of Liberty, and Ground Zero. If you want a really bizarre experience that doesn't feel like you're living out someone else's happy snaps, check this out.

Nonsense NYC is a discriminating resource for independent art, weird events, strange happenings, unique parties, and senseless culture in New York City.

We send out an email every Thursday or Friday about unique events occurring the following week.

Street events, loft parties, puppet shows, bike rallys, costume balls, interactive art shows, movies in unusual places, parades, outlaw dancing, guerilla theater, burlesque and variety shows, loser open mikes, cirkuses, and absurdist pranks. Nonsense covers the stuff that has no name, or a name that you feel really awkward and self-conscious saying out loud, like "underground."

Cool. I can't add anything to that.

Sunday, December 14, 2008


Those wacky Mexicans are at it again. The South of The Border version of Playboy ran a front cover of a nude Virgin Mary look-a-like.

Raul Sayrols, publisher of Playboy Mexico, said in a statement, "The image is not and never was intended to portray the Virgin of Guadalupe or any other religious figure. The intent was to reflect a Renaissance-like mood on the cover."

I've never been to Mexico, but it sounds like the kind of place for a 'Renaissance-like mood.'

Help The Poor Out Before The Fat Cats? Now You're Being Ridiculous

Who the fuck does this guy think he is? That's high treason. Hell, it's damn near blaspehmy.

I'm Sorry Dwight - No Props Necessary

I love Dwight Howard, and I totally dugg his Superman schtick last year, but this is how it should be does....

Thursday, December 11, 2008

It's a Fine Line

You know when I see a headline like 'Geniuses Who Were Actually Crazy,' I'm gonna link to it.

Newton would often be found immobile in his bed having forgotten to get out as he was too busy having "thoughts".

When you choose to immerse yourself in obtuse mathematical concepts for your entire life, and you come up in an era where men are identified by their matted, flowing wigs, that's the price you pay.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Einstein Just Keeps Getting Smarter

You may be wondering why I've posted a pic of Kobe "When I'm in Colorado, it's mine & I'm taking it" Bryant, when this post is about Einstein's theory of relativity. I'll get to that. First, astronomers think they may have found proof of the existence of black holes.

While the black hole itself is invisible to the eye, the team proved its existence by tracking the motions of 28 stars circling around it.

Just as swirling leaves caught in a gust of wind can provide clues about air currents, so the stars' movements reveal information about forces at work at the galactic centre.

The observations show that the stars orbit a central concentration of mass four million times greater than that of the Sun, claim the team from the Max-Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics in Garching, near Munich, Germany.

Yeah, that's cool and stuff. Now, onto the more important part. When I was a kid playing basketball, my old man used to drive me all over the state to watch me play and he had some great observations about the differing personality types one could observe in both the kids I played with and their parents. On pretty much every team I ever played with, there was a kid who's parents had told him he was special a few too many times, and he just wouldn't pass the ball no matter what.

I remember dad saying to me as we drove home from many of my games, "That kid's a black hole. You give it to him and you never see it back again."

Whattup, Kobe?

Half Of What You See, None Of What You Hear (except my music)

Here's an interesting look back at manipulation of photographs through the ages. It's been going on longer than you think.

Special mentions go to the snap of French president Nicholas Sarkozy 'messing around in boats' (if you know where that comes from, holla in the comments), simply coz I love that dude's personal style (not very keen on his politics though), and also the one of Reagan shedding a tear (see Murphy, Eddie for instruction on Reaganomics).

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Men Of The Hour: David Lee and Chris Duhon

Screw Allen Iverson, little Chris Duhon was the answer as The Knicks smashed the Pistons.

Chris Duhon had 25 points and nine assists, Quentin Richardson scored 23 points, and the New York Knicks blew most of a 29-point lead before holding off the Pistons 104-92 to snap a three-game losing streak.

My favourite white boy in the league, David Lee, had 12 points and a massive 19 rebounds.

The Knicks improve to 9-11, a few games worse off than they would've been if they stuck with big Zach and Jamal Crawford. But what are you gonna do?

My 'Hood

There's a couple of reasons why I needed to post this. Firstly, it's cool freakish basketball shit. And secondly, a large portion of it is filmed at Knox basketball stadium and other stadiums around East MEL where I came up playing for Knox and then Kilsyth.

Boronia, represent.

Geeks Could've Stopped The Nazis?

From Slashdot:

There can be little doubt that the internet has changed everyday life for the better, but Nobel literature prize winner Jean-Marie Gustave Le Clezio has upped the ante by saying an earlier introduction of information technology could even have prevented World War II. "Who knows, if the Internet had existed at the time, perhaps Hitler's criminal plot would not have succeeded — ridicule might have prevented it from ever seeing the light of day," he said. I have to agree with him. If England had been able to send a "Stop Hitler Now!" petition to 10 friendly countries, those countries could have each sent it to 10 more friendly countries before the invasion of Poland, and one of history's greatest tragedies might have been averted.

Hmm, let me see.... While I certainly agree that the internet would've supplied ridicule in spades, I find it hard to believe that the ridicule dispensers (fat, nerdy folks like the comic book store guy from The Simpsons) would've contributed in any meaningful way to the demise of Hitler. Tough to imagine Churchill calling on net nerds for D-Day. Unless he had a Twitter account, of course.

It's a little disturbing that a Nobel literature prize winner floated this idea.

Monday, December 8, 2008

SNL Strikes Again.

I've had a bit of a hectic day, so this post is it. But, as the late great Dean Martin said, "This is a goodie."

Thanks must go to Krispy, for the assist.

What with Meadow Soprano (I can't bring myself to call her Jamie Lynn-Sigler, she'll always be Meadow to me) guest starring on Entourage as a sex-crazed starlet, and now appearing in this, there's definitely a positive force somewhere in the world. Which is a small comfort, because right now things are feeling a bit like the South Park episode where they trash the Family Guy:

"None of the jokes are derived from the plot."


Sunday, December 7, 2008

Tough Little Bastards

Somewhere in North Melbourne, tomorrow's loan sharks, thugs and standover men are getting a head start.

Four prep grade students (6 year olds) have been suspended after ganging up on a student about twice their age, wrestling their victim to the ground and beating him while he lay there.

That's how we breed 'em here in MEL.

Are Times This Tough Yet?

This photograph came to embody the Great Depression, and the little girl nuzzled into her mother's shoulder is still alive. She talks about her life and the conditions of the time here.

McIntosh is the girl to the left of her mother when you look at the photograph. The picture is best known as "Migrant Mother," a black-and-white photo taken in February or March 1936 by Dorothea Lange of Florence Owens Thompson, then 32, and her children.

Yo! Bum Rush The Movie Theatre

If you're in Melbourne, go check out this documentary about PE.

"If Malcolm X had a hip-hop group, that would be it," notes Rage Against the Machine guitarist Tom Morello, one of several enthusiastic talking heads who profess their admiration. But the documentary's real insight comes with the fly-on-the-wall dissection of the relationship between Public Enemy's two distinct rappers: political activist Chuck D (Carlton Ridenhour) and now reality show host Flavor Flav (William Drayton jr).

I've got a personal anecdote about sharing the stage with Flavor Flav a few years back, but I'll save that for a day when I can't think of anything else to post.

And The Grammy Goes To.....

I saw that Nas made the short list for Rap Album of the year. I think we all know that he won't win (it's gonna be Wayne, surely), but it's fun to fantasize. Imagine his acceptance speech (for those of you who don't know, Nas released an album this year that was officially untitled because his record label would not release it under the name he wanted - Nigger).

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Reason # 324, 298, 564 Why TWNR

Now this isn't the first 2 Live Crew song I ever heard, but it's slightly more socially acceptable (so some of you other Rap fiends who were exposed to inappropriate music at a pre-teen age will know which song I'm talking about).

Nevertheless, classic.

Ladies and Gentlemen, Once Again... The Great Noam Chomsky

Any article entitled He Found the Innate Humanity of The Human Brain is bound to attract me, more so when it's about Noam Chomsky (of whom I am an unashamed fan).

His observations, which grew out of his opposition to the Vietnam War and, later, what he saw as the United States’ resorting to violence and other forms of coercion and domination abroad, thrust him into the spotlight and have made him one of the top pundits and gadflies of the day.

Come on, I wanna be a gadfly. What do I have to do?

One reason for Chomsky’s enormous influence in both the “hard” and social sciences may be his willingness to share ideas and his embrace of open debate. “I don’t want any followers,” Chomsky once told an interviewer. “My message, especially to students, is that they shouldn’t be following anyone.”

Noam Chomsky stands in the tradition of the great Enlightenment thinkers who combined a sweeping intellectual vision with meticulous technical analyses. He revived a rationalist conception of human nature in which the mind is richly endowed with creative powers at a time when behaviorism ruled and “innate” was a dirty word.

Oh, that's what you have to do? Oh well, back to rapping I suppose...

Reason # 312 Why TWNR

PLEASE DO NOT GLOSS OVER THIS POST AND CRACK A WRY SMILE OVER THE PIC OF THE EVIL MUPPETS FROM SESAME STREET! You HAVE to watch these video clip mash-ups of hardcore rap songs set to children's programs. Epecially the Bert and Ernie/M.O.P. Ante Up mash-up. I laughed my ass off.

Ayo (Technology)

This is from slashdot:

"Vascular surgeon David Nott performed a life-saving amputation on a boy in DR Congo following instructions sent by text message from a colleague in London. The boy's left arm had been ripped off and was badly infected and gangrenous; there were just 6in (15cm) of the boy's arm remaining, much of the surrounding muscle had died and there was little skin to fold over the wound. 'He had about two or three days to live when I saw him,' Nott said. Nott, volunteering with the medical charity Medecins Sans Frontieres, knew he needed to perform a forequarter amputation requiring removal of the collar bone and shoulder blade and contacted Professor Meirion Thomas at London's Royal Marsden Hospital, who had performed the operation before. 'I texted him and he texted back step by step instructions on how to do it,' Nott said."

I can't even follow phone instructions from my girlfriend on where she left her iPod charger, and that's with both of us speaking to each other and getting incrementally frustrated. So lifesaving surgery via sms is blowing my mind right now.

Do The Right Thing

If you're in MEL, go see Focus On Spike Lee at ACMI (Federation Square).

In December, ACMI opens Focus on Spike Lee, a career survey of the provocative, powerhouse filmmaker. The season will open with Lee's break-out hit, Do The Right Thing (1989), which Lee penned, earning a nomination for Best Original Screenplay Oscar and sealing his reputation as a socially engaged filmmaker.

Whilst Do The Right Thing heralded him as the new kid on the block, I have to confess it isn't anywhere near my favourite Spike Lee movie. Malcolm X was excellent (Denzel Washington became the character in a way that was rarely seen between that movie and Jamie Foxx's turn as Ray Charles), and Mo' Better Blues is one of my favourite movies period (being scored by Branford Marsalis never hurts!).

More recently (and moving away from African-American-centric themes), I loved 25th Hour with Ed Norton.

Anyway, go see Do The Right Thing so you can at least familiarise yourself with Radio Raheem.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Grand Sale, Grand Sale, Grand Sale

To round out this video clip orientated gaggle of posts, the west Melbourne (Footscray to be exact) legend, Franco Cozzo.

There's the classic clip of his ad (if you grew up in Melbourne in the Eighties or Nineties then you love this cat), but furthermore I found a reference to him and his furniture business on this awesomely titled blog

I believe he was implicated in some kind of drug importation scandal, but I don't think he saw any prison time, and his gaudy furniture is still getting pumped out, so that's a victory for him.

Megalo, Megalo, Megalo.

Got a Spare 10 Minutes? Feel Like Having Your Brain Fried?

This came to me by way of The Kid. It's a bit of a mind bender but ultimately very cool.

The World Cup of Philosophy

I'm definitely not one of those Monty Python acolytes. But when they were right, they were right. This shit is hilarious.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Ben Ong Supplies The Heat

My man Benny Ong (who's email address is 'bong@*******.com') emailed me this today. I had never heard of this kid from UCLA, but I don't care if he never does anything again. This is so incredibly vicious.

Like What You Like And Be Proud Of It

I was cruising around the net checking out designer T Shirt sites (that I won't name, because this post isn't about that), and I found myself feeling a little disappointed that all the T Shirts I seemed to like were the ones that were sold out ("that one looks cool, but it's sold out, so everyone must have it, so I don't want it anymore"). Then I read a review of Billy Joel's recent show here in Melbourne that suggested that it's "not supposed to be cool to know the words to Billy Joel songs," and I decided we all need to stop being cool and just like what we like.

As regards the T Shirt bizzo (and fashion items in general), everyone's got everything already anyway. There's no individuality left in what you wear. Anyone who is still extrapolating personality from fashion is a fuckhead. The only way to be truly individual (in a fashion sense) would be to walk around completely naked all the time. No one else in the history of mankind has ever had or will ever have a body exactly like yours. But that, for the most part, would just be gross. So don't do that. There are more important things in life than individuality.

So you see, we've all got access to that bourgie little boutique store that makes you feel unique by virtue of the fact that you shop there, and we all have access to that quirky T Shirt you just bid on on eBay.

But why let that stop you from continuing to shop there, or refusing to be outbid?

Monday, December 1, 2008

And While We're In That Part Of The World

Check out this slide show of pics from a Tattoo Body Art exhibition in Budapest, Hungary.

Bulgaria Strikes It (culturally) Rich Again

What the fuck is it with Bulgaria and all these artifacts? Last week it was a chariot, now it's a prehistoric canoe that they've dug up.

The vessel was discovered by fishermen trailing nets along the sea bottom some 15 miles off the coast, said Dimitar Nedkov, head of the Archaeological Museum in the port city of Sozopol.

I've said it before, and I'll say it again. Fucking Bulgarians.

Pretty cool though.

A Break From Monotony? Pleasure? The Woman Craves Not These Things

According to some bullshit, psychology-by-numbers study that's covered in this article, women are less likely to cheat than men because it's all about nesting and keeping a sperm tributary at hand in case you want more rug rats, or just to make sure the little tykes have a daddy. That is, of course, until a woman reaches 30 and, gasp! (hasn't gotten married yet).

But if they do stray it's more likely to be when they enter their 30s as their biological clock starts ticking.

It couldn't be that they get bored, like men in their Thirties, or that they are more comfortable and confident in their own skin, like men in their Thirties, or that they enjoy the pleasure of sex, like men in their Thirties?

The research appears to be backed up by high profile marriage break ups. Miss Beckinsale, the British actress left her Welsh husband Michael Sheen after an affair when she was 30.

Well, that's it settled then. Time's ticking ladies. Have a baby or become a whore.

I'm Still Down With RVP

Robin Van Persie is the motherfuckin' man. His two goals in the win against Premier League title favourites Chelsea have gotten Arsenal's campaign back on track (until they lose to one of the lesser lights again, probably next week).

"Who's down with RVP?"

Yeah, you know me. And don't believe the hype about his first goal being offside. That's only legit if you recognise the offside rule. Coz if you do, it was totally offside.

Don't Be a Shvontz, Check This Out And You'll Plotz

This is an audio slide show about how Yiddish has influenced New York jazz, complete with cool image slide show and great comparison between a traditional Jewish folk song about a tailor, and the great Cab Calloway's remake/interpretation of it.

Great stuff. Watch it for the images, listen for the info, remember it for Cab Calloway.