aTypical Joe: a gay New Yorker living in the rural South
Wednesday, July 11, 2007
I got mine - Islander, khaki/chocolate - because they’re comfortable, cool and I can wear them at work. Besides, the students love them. I can’t say that I do so I won’t likely buy another pair. I noticed that in New York they were nowhere near as ubiquitous as they are here. Apparently, they may one day be. The NYTimes Magazine has a piece about them coming this Sunday:
Aspiring lifestyle brands are a dime a dozen, but Crocs have trod an unusual path. The shoes caught on first in Middle America, then migrated toward the more trend-centric coasts, possibly aided by the most significant marketing campaign in the company’s brief history: ads in Vanity Fair and other magazines carried the theme “Ugly can be beautiful.” ... Comfort is the consistent theme in testimonials on the company’s site - despite the presence nearby of, say, a woman wearing Crocs with her wedding dress.
David Chidester, a computer-products marketer in Dallas, started a site called CrocFans.com in 2005, shortly after his wife discovered the shoes. He posts Crocs-related items like a recent photograph of President Bush wearing a pair - black, with what appear to be presidential-seal socks - and his traffic has grown steadily, hitting its latest high last month. Chidester says he has no affiliation with and has never heard from the company, but he sticks to the official comfort line just the same: he wears his green pair to work on his lawn and a more understated khaki pair to the mall, purely for functional reasons.
After a while, all the comfort talk starts to sound a little bit like a guy with a Mohawk saying he simply wants to spend less time washing his hair. Perhaps it is the Crocs fans’ refusal to admit that the shoes are an aesthetic statement that really motivates people like Kate Leth and Vincenzo Ravina, two college students in Halifax, Nova Scotia, who operate a Web site called ihatecrocs.com. “We don’t understand why people can’t freely admit that they’re hideous,” says Leth, who describes herself as “stunned” at the persistence of the shoes and the e-mail she gets from around the world as Crocs enter new markets “like a disease spreading.” In addition to anti-Croc rants, the site includes videos of the shoes being burned with firecrackers or shredded with scissors; Leth says they have sold “a few hundred” anti-Croc T-shirts, many to members of one of the larger Croc-hating Facebook groups.
Too good to be true
OBVIOUSLY the aliens know we have cell phones now
Small changes in incentives can make a big difference in our beliefs. For instance, UFO sightings are down dramatically in the last decade...I think [one factor is] cell phones and cell phone cameras.
“The spaceship was in a no-call dead zone. And you didn’t snap a picture?”
...The story is suddenly a little harder to swallow. Most of all, it is harder to fool oneself, not just one’s spouse and friends.
Via Virtual Economics.
Monday, July 09, 2007
Japanese Watermelon Art
Sure they can make art, but do the Japanese have a National Watermelon Month?
Via Damned Cool Pics where there are lots more.
Sunday, July 08, 2007
Madonna Rocks. Still.
Saturday, June 30, 2007
Like children’s theater for 40-year-old gay people
Xanadu on Broadway was everything I hoped for and more (seriously) packed into 90 intermission free minutes of frothy fun.
I was in the audience on what was to have been opening night. As it turned out, the opening of the stage musical version of the mega-flop movie was delayed when lead James Carpinello (recently of Saturday Night Fever) suffered a foot injury. The opening is now scheduled for July 11.
Cheyenne Jackson stepped into the role of the frustrated record album cover artist named Sonny who is inspired by the nine muses of ancient Greece to fulfill that greatest of artistic achievements - a roller disco. “My heart goes out to [Carpinello]...I am honored to borrow his skates.”
Jackson, whose Sonny was buff toothy innocence and terrific, was previously in the off-Broadway musical Altar Boyz that I so thoroughly enjoyed but he may more broadly be known as the openly-gay actor who played gay hero Mark Bingham, one of the real-life characters in the Oscar-nominated film United 93.
His muse, Kira/Clio, is played by Kerry Butler who created the role of Penny Pingleton in Hairspray (the last show on Broadway I saw before moving down to Georgia). She was more recently on Broadway as Audrey in Little Shop of Horrors. I saw her years ago off-Braodway as Shelley in the cult hit (and personal favorite) Batboy: the Musical.
James Wolcott, who enjoyed the show every bit as much as I did - “It was like taking Ecstasy in Broadway ticket form” - says of Butler:
She is a flowing vision on roller skates, a blonde creamy confection of Olivia Newton-John, the divine Kyle Minogue, and Sarah Michelle-Gellar. She does things to vowels with her mock-Australian accent that should earn her a birdbath perch on musical-comedy Mt. Olympus. I truly, truly dug what she was doing, and I shall now pause to run a comb through my hair.
Wolcott points to another Xanadu convert at NYC Stories:
Xanadu is one of the funniest things to land on a Broadway stage in ages. I laughed and groaned from beginning to end. This show is far far over the top. It might even be over the top’s top, but luckily it knows it and knows just what to do with that material to make an audience laugh. This super campy production is about the only thing that could have been done with the movie to make it work on the stage… See the show now, as it will probably have a hard time hanging on for long. It might just prove to be too gay for Broadway. Then again, you never know. It could turn out to be the smash hit of 2007.
Wednesday, June 20, 2007
Xanadu on Broadway
I loved Mamma Mia! And I loved Xanadu, as did the audience, and I loved the audience for loving Xanadu.
It was like taking Ecstasy in Broadway ticket form.
Our love glinted and radiated and swirled like the reflections of the mirrored disco ball that crowned the climax of the show’s pagan revels.
Ahh, the 80s...
Monday, June 18, 2007
Czech mushroom cloud TV prank
Like many European TV channels the state-owned CT2 broadcasts live panorama / weather streams from popular recreation areas in its morning programme, fully automated 30 second pans per site with music in the background. Initiative Ztohoven, a collective around Roman Tyc, somehow managed to inject a pre-recorded pan with a sudden atomic explosion in the midst of a beautiful countryside. No word how they did it, assume they tricked the cabling on the unmanned camera site. Tyc also replaced traffic light icons in Prague with illustrations of drunk, pissing or ranting figures a few months ago.
Friday, June 15, 2007
It won’t surprise you to learn that I’m no sports fan. And it doesn’t surprise me to learn that lifelong football players engaged in a head crunching “gluttony for combat” would be found to have brain injuries:
The discovery of a fourth player with chronic traumatic encephalopathy will most likely be discussed when N.F.L. officials and medical personnel meet in Chicago on Tuesday for an unprecedented conference regarding concussion management. The league and its players association have consistently played down findings on individual players like [the former Pittsburgh Steelers offensive lineman Justin] Strzelczyk as anecdotal, and widespread survey research of retired players with depression and early Alzheimer’s disease as of insufficient scientific rigor.
Uh, and smoking doesn’t cause cancer… I have to say I don’t quite get what a “concussion management conference” is going to accomplish. A quota on tackles?
It’s actually a very interesting story of players dying young and suffering from depression and other “significant psychological problems” that researchers are finding was caused by chronic head trauma. The researchers have set up a non-profit to “formalize the process of approaching families and conducting research.” Good for them for trying!
Sunday, June 03, 2007
Don’t miss this Sgt. Pepper @ 40 homage
If you missed it, listen now. And if you do listen now, listen all the way to the end. The group called Big Daddy doing Buddy Holly doing A Day in the Life is haunting, and the Beatle Barkers are indeed stunning.
Friday, June 01, 2007
Don’t mess with Buffalo
This video is amazing on so many levels. Via Michael, “Like the Man in the Video SaysÃ¢â‚¬Â¦’I’ve never seen anything like it’ - and I watch the Discovery Channel, a lot.”
I don’t, and haven’t watched such shows since my Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom days. The voice over banter here is so much compelling than Marlin Perkins could ever be. I had absolutely no intention of watching 8 1/2 minutes. I watched twice.
2 million views in one month. See why…
Remember the Loch Ness Monster? He’s ba-ack.
EDINBURGH, Scotland - The Loch Ness monster is back - and there’s video. A man has captured what Nessie watchers say is possible footage of the supposed mythical creature beneath Scotland’s most mysterious lake.
“I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw this jet black thing, about 45 feet long, moving fairly fast in the water,” said Gordon Holmes, the 55-year-old a lab technician from Shipley, Yorkshire, who took the video Saturday.
I sat through the commercial to see the few seconds of video. Looked like a stick in the water to me. I’d wait to see it on YouTube if I were you.
Monday, May 28, 2007
Crazy Hot Air Balloons
Via Damn Cool Pics where there are lots more balloon pics:
Hot air balloons are the oldest successful human carrying flight technology, dating back to the Montgolfier brothers’ invention in Annonay, France in 1783. The first flight carrying humans was made on November 21, 1783, in Paris by PilÃƒÂ¢tre de Rozier and the Marquis d’Arlandes.
A hot air balloon consists of a bag called the envelope that is capable of containing hot air. Suspended beneath is the gondola or wicker basket (in certain, long distance or high altitude balloons, a capsule) which carries a source of heat capable of producing a sufficient temperature gradient between the air inside the envelope and the surrounding air mass to give enough lift to keep the balloon and its passengers aloft. Unlike gas balloons, the envelope does not have to be sealed at the bottom since the rising hot air only exerts pressure on the upper hemisphere of the balloon to provide lift. In today’s sports balloons the envelope is generally made from nylon fabric and the mouth of the balloon (closest to the burner flame) is made from fire resistant material such as Nomex.
Today, hot air balloons are used primarily for recreation. There are some 7,500 hot air balloons operating in the United States. READ ON.
Can you guess why I picked the cow balloon?
Friday, May 18, 2007
Global Warming correlation or causation?
The bluest continent on the planet has the highest resistance to believing global warming is real. Meanwhile, this is The Hottest Year on Record so far.
Thursday, May 17, 2007
Of mice and bald men
My friend Joe sends news of hair loss hope:
WASHINGTON (Reuters)—Mice with deep skin wounds can grow new hair, scientists said on Wednesday in a finding that offers hope for a baldness remedy for humans.
The mice regenerated hair at the site of the wound via molecular processes similar to those used in embryonic development, according to the research, published in the journal Nature. [...]
Dr. George Cotsarelis, a dermatology professor at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine in Philadelphia who led the study, said the findings dispel the dogma that hair loss is permanent in people and other mammals, and that once they are lost new hair follicles cannot grow.
Cotsarelis said the findings could pave the way for remedies for male-pattern baldness and other types of hair-loss. He said the idea would be to apply compounds to get epidermal cells to turn into hair follicles.
Joe sent that to Doug and me (the subject line of his email, “of Mice and Men or the Tale of Two Baldies;” both Doug and I are folliclly challenged) then later over dinner ran fingers through his thick head of hair and chortled that any real treatment is at least five years away.
- Thanks Joe!
Thursday, May 10, 2007
Tooth Tunes has me remembering when… My best friend then was roommates with the construction worker…
Tooth Tunes: YMCA
Doug says he’s going to get one to take along on his study abroad trip to Germany next month:
Rock your teeth clean - and encourage better brushing habits! - with this exciting toothbrush that lets you hear one of your favorite songs while you brush! Sound vibrations stream from the bristles through your teeth - so you can actually hear music inside your head! To increase the volume, simply increase your brushing pressure! If you brush well, you get great sound and you’ll actually hear two full minutes of “YMCA” by the Village People!
Only $9.99 (Brush head not replaceable & 3 “AAA” batteries included).
Saturday, April 28, 2007
Hydrogen and the Hindenburg
This is in the Auto section of the New York Times. I can’t say I know why:
THE May 6, 1937, crash of the Hindenburg at the Navy base here was the 20th century’s first transportation disaster captured by newsreel, audio recordings and still photos.
The advancement in communications, combined with the observations of more than a thousand witnesses and survivors, is why one calamity with a relatively modest death toll permanently soiled hydrogen’s reputation.
In 34 fiery seconds, hydrogen leaped from the No. 1 position on the periodic table of elements to the last thing any citizen would consider pumping into a car’s fuel tank.
But was hydrogen really to blame?
Even after reading it, I can’t say that I know the answer:
“In a nutshell, the catastrophe began with escaping hydrogen,” he said. “Air mixing with the hydrogen created a combustible mixture. Either a spark jumping from the electrically charged outer covering to the metal framework or the St. Elmo’s fire lit the mixture. A puff or pop indicating detonation was heard by several observers.
“It’s important to note that the Hindenburg didn’t explode. It was consumed by rapid combustion; this is evident in photographs. Heat produced in the first burning cell raised the temperature of adjacent cells, causing hydrogen to spill out of pressure-relief valves. It took only 34 seconds for fire to engulf the entire ship.” Thirty-six people were killed.
But what I think is cool about the article is that the “he” in the quotes above is one Rick Zitarosa, a supervisor for the New Jersey Turnpike Authority who lives in Point Pleasant, N.J. Amateur as expert! Someone get that man a Wikipedia account!
NOTE TO FRIEND & REGULAR READER JASON: Explain it to us in comments!
The crash of the Hindenberg
Thursday, April 26, 2007
Help Brandon Wirtz beat Stephen Colbert!
Today in comments Brandon Wirtz stopped by:
Sure support the easy candidateÃ¢â‚¬Â¦ I’m the under dog in this race but I’d like your voteÃ¢â‚¬Â¦ I may not have Colberts’ Looks, Money, or legions of followers but I at least came to visit your web site. Did Colbert do that?
So I clicked on over to Brandon’s place to learn more about his quest to become the Google-designated Greatest Living American:
Stephen Colbert is out to steal my thunder as Greatest Living American. So I’m actively going to try and Foil Him. I may not have his legions of people, but this is about SEO,[*] and his followers don’t have my friends Google Rank.
I may not be qualified to be the GreatestÃ¢â‚¬Â¦ but I am a Great Living American, and that is not that far off of Greatest Living American. Even if I can be in the top 10 links, I think that should be worth something.
As the screenshot above (click to enlarge) demonstrates, Brandon has made it to the #2 spot. (Look ma, no quotes!) His hometown paper reported Tuesday that he had 50 links; I see 31 in Technorati right now - and that he snagged a prestigious Lost Remote link.
You’ve got my nod Brandon. I do watch Colbert most every night and I look forward to the day you knock him from his heady perch! I’m happy to do my small part to help. And while I’m at it, Steve Safran is the Laziest Man in America…
* For the laymen among us, SEO is Search Engine Optimization.
Tuesday, April 24, 2007
Not your father’s manufactured home
Building a foundation for green living photo gallery. CNet story here.
Thursday, April 19, 2007
She told CBS News it was busy and she did not remember him as much as she remembered his package, but not due to its contents, just the address. She had to look up the zip code for Rockefeller Plaza.
The package had been intended to arrive in one day, but the address was wrong. Instead of 30 Rockefeller Plaza, it was “30 Rockefeller Ave.,” and the ZIP code was wrong.
Sunday, April 15, 2007
It’s cold here. But I’m glad I’m not in Boston. For the marathon. CNN:
The storm forced the cancellation of five major league baseball games Sunday and gave runners in Monday’s Boston Marathon something to worry about besides Heartbreak Hill. The race-day forecast called for 3 to 5 inches of rain, start temperatures in the 30s and wind gusts of up to 25 mph.
Where have all the honeybees gone?
Cory Doctorow thinks cellphones might be killing bees:
It’s been long understood that bees respond to electromagnetic radiation. Dr Jochen Kuhn at Germany’s Landau University has shown that bees don’t return to their hives when cellphones are present. The study doesn’t prove that cellphones are responsible for CCD ["Colony Collapse Disorder,” (science-ese for “we don’t know where all these bees have gone")], but it does provide evidence that mobile phones are implicated in the death of hives.
Color me skeptical. And I’m not finding a link for Kuhn’s study.
Friday, April 13, 2007
Airstream: travel without ever leaving home
The Times looks at classic Airstream trailers this weekend. And the man, Wally Byam, who dreamed them up. Wally envisioned a self-propelled land yacht, with “a motorized portion that would detach from the mothership, like a dinghy.” But he traveled around with his trailer:
Byam pledged in his book “Trailer Travel Here and Abroad,” to “lead caravans wherever the four winds blow...to the traveled and untraveled corners of the earth.”
With his wife, Stella, and their dogs Penny and Chica, Byam led caravans that traversed the Oregon Trail, South America and Europe. The most ambitious trip went from Cape Town to Cairo. Along the way, he met a witch doctor in Uganda and Emperor Haile Selassie of Ethiopia.
The journey culminated in the encampment in the famed wagon wheel circle of a vast fleet of Airstreams in the shadow of the Great Pyramid of Giza, like a congregation of silvery metal worshippers.
Family had one - not the trailer, the “land yacht” - the biggest one they had. It was an absolute hoot! Once we got stuck in traffic at the Bear Mountain bridge, so pulled over and made a wonderful dinner. While we ate, three cars stopped and asked to use the bathroom. By the time we were through the traffic had cleared.
But in the end, this I know to absolutely be true:
The iconic successor of the Conestoga wagon and the prairie schooner, the yacht and the private Pullman car, the Airstream can be seen as a symbol of the best and worst qualities of traveling Americans: the willingness to go anywhere tempered by the simultaneous wish never to leave home.