Friday, January 30, 2009

Few Things Make Me Angrier...

...than losing a game of Super Smash Bros to my own brothers. Their skills (or is it skillz?) have progressed beyond my own such that I am lucky to win 1 match out of every 5. And you should hear the torrent of swears and whining that streams from my mouth when I lose! For some reason, that game absolutely frustrates and infuriates me. Although I generally think otherwise, there may be something to the supposed link between violence and video games. I seethe coming off a bad game and practically wish to smack my brothers upside their heads!

Too bad winning is such a nice feeling...

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Catholics Vs Presbyterians

My cousin posted this on digg, but I thought I'd post it here as well.

At first, I didn't think this was legitimate because, for one, I didn't think there would be disagreement between the two denominations on this issue, and second, the exchange seems too protracted and witty to be real. But if someone did doctor the photographs, then they were clever enough to slightly change the framing of each photograph so that it looks as if each shot was taken at a different time. I wonder...

Oh well. I laffed. :P

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Birds of a Feather

Sir David Attenborough recently completed his latest nature documentary on Charles Darwin and natural selection. His reaction to religiosity at a young age reminds me so much of my own.
"It never really occurred to me to believe in God - and I had nothing to rebel against, my parents told me nothing whatsoever.

"But I do remember looking at my headmaster delivering a sermon, a classicist, extremely clever... and thinking, he can't really believe all that, can he? How incredible!"

It seems Attenborough has been receiving hate mail ever since the airing of his new special.

"They tell me to burn in hell and good riddance," Sir David said during an interview with the Radio Times...Telling the magazine that he was also asked why he did not give "credit" to the Lord, Sir David continued: "They always mean beautiful things like hummingbirds.

"I always reply by saying that I think of a little child in East Africa with a worm burrowing through his eyeball.

"The worm cannot live in any other way, except by burrowing through eyeballs.

"I find that hard to reconcile with the notion of a divine and benevolent creator."


Monday, January 26, 2009

Where'd the Mother F*ckin' Cheese Go At?

Earlier in 2002 we [Ween] were hired by the largest advertising firm in the country to write music for a Pizza Hut commercial. Pizza Hut had hired them to come up with a whole new image to promote their new Pizza, "The Insider" which had all the cheese inside the crust. In keeping in line with their new cutting edge image, the agency hired Ween to do the music, and we delivered in a big way. Unfortunately, they didn't like a single piece of the 6 tunes we submitted and they had us rewriting the song every day for a couple of weeks before they hired someone else. In my opinion, it is one of the best tunes we wrote all last year.

After the rejections, Ween rewrote the jingle one last time.


Answering the Call (of Duty)

Ever since Christmas, I've been playing Call of Duty: World at War for the Nintendo Wii almost obsessively. The controls and online multiplayer make it an addicting experience. I can't imagine playing the game with a sluggish, standard controller. As it stands, I'm ready to rank COD5 among the top 5 games for the system. I haven't had this much fun since Super Mario Galaxy!

Some things I wish it had:

- Split screen multiplayer
- More maps and game modes, like the 360 and PS3 versions
- Better online friend management
- Improved visuals (game wavers between blurry mess and best graphics on the Wii)

I'm excited for the next iteration in the series.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

For the Fallen

The latent racism of Hollywood.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Canada: Nobody Cares

Seems the American attitude toward Canada hasn't changed all that much.

"We appreciate too the good feeling of England in its hearty grief at the murder of Lincoln. Don't talk about our 'hating' you, -nor suppose that we want to rob you of Canada -for which nobody cares."

- Response from Asa Gray to Charles Darwin, May 15, 1865

Fun Fact: Charles Darwin and Abraham Lincoln were born on the same day! But who was the greater emancipator?

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Congrats to President Obama!

Now let's get to it!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Darwin's Abolitionist Fury and the American Civil War

"Some few, & I am one, even wish to God, though at the loss of millions of lives, that the North would proclaim a crusade against Slavery. In the long run, a million horrid deaths would be amply repaid in the cause of humanity...Great God how I shd like to see that greatest curse on Earth Slavery abolished."

- Charles Darwin, in correspondence with American naturalist Asa Gray

Happy MLKjr Day!

Darwin's Bulldog

"Who shall number the patient and earnest seekers after truth from the days of Galileo until now, whose lives have been embittered and their good name blasted by the mistaken zeal of Bibliolaters? ...It is true that if philosophers have suffered, their cause has been amply avenged. Extinguished theologians lie about the cradle of every science as the strangled snakes beside that of Hercules, and history records that whenever science and dogmatism have been fairly opposed, the latter has been forced to retire from the lists, bleeding and crushed, if not annihilated, scotched if not slain."

- Thomas Huxley, Westminster Review ns. 17:541-70

Sunday, January 18, 2009

It's All Relative

I walked out of work today, heard some birds chirping and thought, "Wow, it's so nice! Must be like 40 or 50 degrees out!"

Then I climbed into my car and read the thermostat: 20 degrees.

At least that arctic blast has moved on.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Mars Has Gas, Maybe Life

So, apparently, some unusual methane plumes have been detected on Mars --the kind of methane plumes less associated with volcanic activity and more associated with LIFE. This is very exciting news indeed, but for now I'm approaching the subject with cautious skepticism. The stir over alien life within our solar system, however, is just too tantalizing to ignore!

Discover Magazine

Thursday, January 15, 2009


It occurred to me that I've been called several different nicknames with semi-regular frequency. Here's my list:

Blue Jay
Jimmy Joe

Now show me your lists! Any unusual monikers?

Monday, January 12, 2009

My Ukulele, Let Me Show You It

That's right, I play lefty 'cause I'm cool like that. It does make teaching myself kind of difficult, though.

By Means of Higgledy Piggledy

Apparently, some criticisms of Darwin's theory of evolution by natural selection were as sophomoric in the 19th century as they are today. Darwin's response to one such criticism is typical of his own good humor.

Word got round that the great John Herschel called natural selection the law of higgledy piggledy. "What exactly this means I do not know," wailed Darwin, "but it is evidently very contemptuous."

-Charles Darwin: The Power of Place, Janet Brown, pg 107.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Super Mario Live

Plus an lolwat appearance by a Japanese Barack Obama impersonator! Who could want any more?

More Sanctity Than All Your Holy Holies

It's also a marvel that this wonderful song from Danny Elfman's score to "Black Beauty" could have escaped my attention for so long.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

New Song and I Need Your Help!

You guys know how I work. In order to get a wider dissemination of my music, I create music videos featuring pictures from video games that I consider similar in tone. But I'm running out of ideas. Maybe you can help!

Listen to my song "H.W. Meets an Elf Man" and tell me what it makes you think of: images, games, feelings, anything. Based on those suggestions, I'll try to put a music video together.

Also, I'm not in love with the title, so if you can think of something better, I'll entertain that as well. For the curious, the song has 3 pretty distinct sections. The first I'd say is just about all me, the second begins like James Horner and ends like Danny Elfman, and the final section is a flying theme that reminds me of John Williams.


"H.W. Meets an Elf Man"


Horner Williams Meets Elfman

Sodom and Gomorrah Explained

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Almost Done

I've almost finished composing a new song! Here's what 15 secs looks like:

More Science Journalism

The associated press reports:
Scientists mapped the Milky Way in a more detailed, three-dimensional way and found that it's 15 percent larger in breadth. More important, it's denser, with 50 percent more mass, which is like weight.

"Which is like weight"? Are you kidding me? Am I missing something or was this written by a preschooler? Don't you mean "More important[ly]"? And what's with all those phrases and commas? Clean that sh*t up!

Monday, January 5, 2009

True Blood

I have to say, this scene from the vampire sex-soap opera True Blood, wherein some semblance of an explanation for the existence of vampires is offered, just about ruins the show for me. Skip to 1:37.

It's magic, guys! Okay?

Friday, January 2, 2009

This is a Sculpture:

More from Ron Mueck, Hyper-Realist Sculptor

Thursday, January 1, 2009