Thursday, August 31, 2006

we may be hidden by rags, but we've something they'll never have

So here's what I was thinking.

The whistle is a very underrated musical instrument. People forget that it's not just for referees and traffic cops. It's a brilliant musical instrument. Sure, it can only play one note, but still it's cool. And under-used.

There are many examples of songs in which the use of a whistle solo made it that much cooler. Right now, I'm thinking of three.

Guns N Roses -- Paradise City
Supertramp -- The Logical Song
Led Zeppelin -- Fool in the Rain

What are some others?

now playing:

Mogwai Young Team

pigs, they tend to wiggle when they walk

As promised, here is the very pavement-esque moment I had at work the other day.

One of the guys brought in a cd with a bunch of Michael McDonald on it. Some of the younger guys had no idea what it was they were hearing. Granted, some of his solo stuff was garbage, but for a white guy, he could really belt out some songs.

One guy, who really doesn't know anything about music unless it's on top 40 radio, or rap, commented about McDonald's voice. "Man, he's got a really high singing voice. I wonder how he talks.". In any other circumstance, this would be an obvious reference to the Pavement song "Stereo", but this kid doesn't know anything about Pavement, has never heard the song. It was completely unintentional. Nonetheless, I had no option but to reply "He speaks like an ordinary guy". Since the joke would have been wasted, I left out the "I know him, and he does" part.

See how uneventful my life is?

Thursday, August 24, 2006

they listen to teeth to learn how to quit

Today, in Prague, the International Astronomical Union has booted Pluto out of the Planetary Union. At their 26th annual meeting, they declassified the planet, demoting it to the status of "dwarf planet", putting it in the same class with comets and asteroids.

NASA has not shelved its $700M mission to Pluto, saying that it is interested in Pluto whether it is called a "planet" or a "garden hose".
NASA said Thursday that Pluto's demotion would not affect its US$700 million New Horizons spacecraft mission, which earlier this year began a 9 1/2-year journey to the oddball object to unearth more of its secrets.

''We will continue pursuing exploration of the most scientifically interesting objects in the solar system, regardless of how they are categorized,'' Paul Hertz, chief scientist for the science mission directorate, said in a statement.

Translation: "It's too late to turn back now"

They said that a "planet" must maintain its own gravitational force and have a reasonably "round" orbit around the sun. Pluto is being declassified because it has an orbit that crosses path with Neptune.

This. Changes. Everything.

As a kid, growing up, I was taught a mnemonic device for remembering the planetary order:
Mary's Violet Eyes Make John Stay Up Nights Praying
Mercury Venus Earth Mars Jupiter Saturn Uranus Neptune Pluto

Now what?

I don't like the idea of having John Stay Up Nights without a purpose. We need a new mnemonic device.

Who else learned different devices to remember the planetary order? Will yours work without Pluto in the mix?

Pluto has long been the center of much controversy. Most people recognize that Pluto is Mickey Mouse's pet dog. At some times, though, Pluto was also known to be the property of the irascible Donald Duck. Still, at other times, Pluto was Goofy's pet. Although it makes very little sense for a mouse or a duck to have a pet dog, it's bordering on ludicrousness for a dog to have a pet dog. You tell me.

coming soon: a post on a very Pavement-esque moment at work the other day.

now playing:

Throwing Muses The Real Ramona

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

with the light from the tv running parallel to you

I don't watch a lot of tv these days. I'm actually considering getting rid of my cable. I could save some serious dough that way, but it would cause some serious trouble when hockey season starts. Football, I'll be able to watch without having cable. Not hockey, though.

Anyway, lately I've been watching a good bit of tv. It seems like these damned Volkswagen commercials are on all the damned time. Maybe it's just me, but I'm annoyed by them more than most other commercials.

After running a series of comedic "stereotyping is stupid" ads, they're running a series now about the four-star crash rating the Jetta has. You know the ones.

The message is that if you buy a Jetta, especially a Campanella White one, the following will happen
  • You'll be surrounded by friends who are wonderfully witty, ethnically diverse, and very good looking.
  • One day when you're driving with one of said friends, a driver of an American-made truck will either blindly pull out of his driveway or run a red light, slamming into your new white Jetta
  • the car will be damaged slightly, and all passengers will be uninjured, leaving you to exclaim "Holy Shit!"

I've been thinking about those commercials and how they might also take a different approach. Sometimes the Jetta driver might be alone in the car. Sometimes he might be in an accident where he is at fault. Sometimes his friends might be ugly. And white.

I wouldn't suggest that they go to this particular extreme, but I have an acquaintance who was recently in a very bad single car accident in which he was driving a new Jetta. He was doing something very stupid in addition to being drunk. He lost control of his vehicle, slammed into a tree and ended up unconscious. It took rescue crews 2 hours, using the "jaws of life" to extract him from the car. The car was completely demolished, but somehow he escaped with "only" two broken arms, some broken ribs, a dislocated knee, and some facial lacerations.

I don't know whether it was the safety engineering or the "hand of Todd" (I suspect the former), but this guy has no business being alive right now. I hope (but doubt) that he has learned a lesson.

now playing:

Broken Social Scene Broken Social Scene