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August 27, 2006

Play it again, Sam

One of my favorite things in theatre is to take familiar plays of one period and set them in another period and see how they work there. We see this a lot with Shakespearean plays adapted into movies - Hamlet in modern day New York, Taming of the Shrew as a High School Comedy, Romeo and Juliet as feuding gangs in Florida just to name a few.

Lately, I've been impressed with musicians taking tunes I know well and resetting them. Here are a couple I've found - the Star Wars theme on a banjo and Smells Like Teen Spirit on ukeleles. Send in your own favorites.

August 25, 2006

Astronomically Speaking...


It's been a very interesting week.

The IAU decided that Pluto is no longer a planet.

And Paramount decided that Tom Cruise is no longer a star.

August 17, 2006

0° 0°

0-0.jpgI was eating breakfast and staring at a globe that I keep in my dining room when it struck me that the place where the equator and the prime meridian meet is just open water off the coast of Africa. No great city or discernable landmark. No great wonder of the world at 0° and 0° created by human hands. No island nation or theme park where they can sell trinkets or souvenirs.

If you think of it the point itself is fairly arbitrary, but not without significance. It is where the line defined by the continual motion of our planet which brings about dawn and dusk every day as it has for eons before humans climbed down from the trees meets a line defined by a bunch of white men drunk with their own power deciding the prime meridian of the earth should pass through an observatory in Greenwich, England.

At 0° 0° meets human hubris and nature's endless cycles. Here humanity says, "I judge this point to be the nexus of the earth! From this point will all other points be judged and understood!" And nature shrugs and continues its inexorable journey. We map. We define. We name. But the map is not the territory. And I would bet that the fish and other denizens of the earth's prime address do not sell t-shirts or care that we difgnify their abode with our designations. They continue their merry dance ignorant of our pretentions. And just as well.

August 15, 2006

Nyuk! Nyuk! Nyuk!

Stooges3.jpgIn a recent Zogby poll 74% of people could correctly identify the Three Stooges but only 42% could correctly identify the three branches of U. S. Government.

60% could identify the home planet of Superman but only 37% could identify the planet closest to our sun.

77% could identify two of the Seven Dwarfs but only 24% could identify two of the Nine Supreme Court Justices.

However, 53% knew what the abbreviation C.S.I. stood for while 60% knew what C.I.A. meant.

I feel no need to comment further on this data, but perhaps you do.

August 14, 2006

Powers of Ten

Videos by vMix Member:mondo

I remember seeing this short film, Powers of Ten, as a child in a science museum and it profoundly changed the way I looked at the world around me. It is such a simple premise and it speaks deeply to both my scientific and spiritual understanding of the universe. The film's website has some interesting commentary and additional resources.

August 4, 2006


whac-a-mole-home.jpgGenerals John Abizaid and Peter Pace delivered a sobbering report to the Senate on the state of affairs in Iraq. (Can we call it a quagmire yet?) They described increased sectarian violence and said that not only could we not withdraw troops, we may need to increase them and redeploy those that we have there to supress those wiley insurgents in a military strategey that Senator John McCain called "Whac-a-Mole."

In other news, the Bush administration has declared war on Space Invaders warning against marauding Asteroids and has alerted the Missile Command to prepare the Battlezone. Critics call this nothing but "a Tempest in a Tea Cup" and that the administration has finally gone Berzerk. Bush, however, claims to have special intelligence from his head Spy Hunter and the Vanguard of the Moon Patrol living high above the earth in their Star Castle.

On another note, awash in funding scandals, the Republican National Committee has decided to hire Pac-Man as their new PAC... person.

August 2, 2006

My Current Outgoing Message

tmwsmall.jpg"Hi, this is Lawrence. You missed me but you can leave a message at the beep.

"Oh, and if you hear any additional sounds, like pops or clicks or whistles, don't worry. That's the sound of freedom. That's the sound of our NSA listening in on our conversation. And we don't have anything to hide... right?"

[Thanks, Tom Tomorrow, for the swell comic.]

August 1, 2006

I'll Never Look at Treadmills the Same Way Again

OK Go just makes me grin. Great choreography and in one take. Nice going boys.

Kinda reminds me of RoboRally.

25 Years Ago...

Now it's crap. Then it rocked my 14 year old world.

Oh, Martha Quinn... how I long for your sassy ways.