Thursday, January 31, 2008

Green Porno

One of my favorite actresses, Isabella Rossellini, is involved with a very strange project about insects doing it.
Looks like a lot of fun:

This Day In History

On this day last year the city of Boston went apeshit over some colorful lights.

It seems that some artists/pranksters have placed new LED art - this time with a political theme - around the city to celebrate the anniversary. Hopefully the local government doesn't have another meltdown.


Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Excellent Mashup

DJ Earworm has created a mashup combining the top 25 songs of 2007.
While many of the songs are terrible on their own, they sound pretty good when put together. If nothing else, it's an impressive feat on the part of the DJ.

Download the song here.

Or watch the mashup video:

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Randy Newman At Macworld Expo 2008

Here's Randy Newman performing a very funny new song,
"A Few Words In Defense Of Our Country":

Friday, January 25, 2008

Modest Mouse - "Dashboard"

I'm going to try to post a music video every Friday, with the intent of posting ones that not only have good music but are actually videos worth watching.

Oh, the dashboard melted
but we still had the radio...

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Super Mario 2 Soundtrack -
Now With More Drums!

New Rating System

Sometimes my posts contain content that some may find objectionable. I usually label these with the popular interweb acronym, NSFW, letting you know that the post is indeed not safe to view at your place of employment. But since most of you probably don't read this from work I've decided to make my own warning.
From now on when filth is proudly displayed here it will be accompanied by the following symbol:

Then you will know the post is rated NJ, or No Joe.
You can still view the content, but now you do so under the watchful, disapproving gaze of Mr. Caldwell.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Best. Movie. Ever?

It's not often you see a movie that rattles you. One that really just gets under your skin.
Last night I saw There Will Be Blood, a fantastic movie to be sure, and one that I haven't really completely absorbed yet. I'll probably need a second or third viewing just to take it all in.

But that's not what I want to talk about here. There was a trailer shown before the movie that needs to be seen by all. It is the trailer to what could possibly be the greatest movie to ever come out of Hollywood. When you see it you will understand my enthusiasm.


Has it ever been better to be the king?

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

And The Nominees Are...

The Oscar nominations are in, and while I don't really care about the Oscars anymore, I was passionate about many of the movies this year and thought I would comment.

Best Actor
George Clooney - Michael Clayton
Daniel Day-Lewis - There Will Be Blood
Johnny Depp - Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street
Tommy Lee Jones - In The Valley Of Elah
Viggo Mortensen - Eastern Promises

I saw There Will Be Blood last night and was kind of overwhelmed by it. I think I need to see it again, but Daniel Day-Lewis was definitely amazing. Depp was fantastic in Sweeney Todd, and Viggo Mortensen was also excellent.
The biggest joke here is that Tommy Lee Jones was nominated for his performance in a movie no one cares about, rather than No Country For Old Men, one of the best movies of the year, not to mention one of the best performances of his career.

Best Supporting Actor
Casey Affleck - The Assassination of Jesse James By The Coward Robert Ford
Javier Bardem - No Country For Old Men
Philip Seymour Hoffman - Charlie Wilson's War
Hal Holbrook - Into The Wild
Tom Wilkinson - Michael Clayton

I don't understand why Casey Affleck has a supporting nod, rather than Best Actor. The Assassination of Jesse James is really about his character Robert Ford. His performance was excellent either way.
I also wouldn't mind seeing Javier Bardem or Philip Seymour Hoffman win. Hoffman was hilarious in Charlie Wilson's War, but I think he's kind of a long shot.

I'm skipping past the Best Actress and Supporting Actress noms, because I've only seen one of the movies represented. This didn't really feel like a good year for outstanding female performances anyway. Sorry ladies.

Best Animated Feature
Surf's Up

Where the hell is The Simpson's Movie?
I'm going with Pixar, no surprise there. The details in Ratatouille are astounding. I should have eaten before I saw it, cause damn if that fake food doesn't make you hungry.
I haven't seen the other two. I'm really looking forward to Persepolis, though.

Best Director
Julian Schnabel - The Diving Bell And The Butterfly
Jason Reitman - Juno
Tony Gilroy - Michael Clayton
Joel & Ethan Coen - No Country For Old Men
Paul Thomas Anderson - There Will Be Blood

I'm torn between Anderson and the Coen Bros. Both represent some of my favorite directors of all time, and both turned out incredible movies this year. I'm gonna call a tie.
I haven't seen the others, but I raise my eyebrow at Reitman's nomination. Juno seems to be this year's Little Miss Sunshine (a movie I enjoyed but was over-hyped and somehow inflated to Oscar worthiness in people's minds).
I also hear Diving Bell is really good. It's playing here now, so I'll probably try to see it within the next week or so.

Sadly, I haven't seen any of the Best Foreign Language Films this year. I don't think any of them have come out here.
I should also mention that Eddie Murphy's abomination, Norbit, has fat-suited it's way into a Best Makeup nomination. Not only should that movie not be allowed to be nominated, but if anyone involved in the picture has ever one an Oscar (not likely) it should be stripped away.

Best Original Song
August Rush

It's like the Academy wasn't even trying here. August Rush should be disqualified because of this:

And Enchanted scores three nominations? Really? Did no other movie the entire year have original music?
Once should easily win, because all the music in the movie is great.
The most exciting thing about this category is that we'll get to see Glen Hansard and Markéta Irglová perform one of their songs at the show.

Best Picture
Michael Clayton
No Country For Old Men
There Will Be Blood

Again, I can't decide between No Country For Old Men and There Will Be Blood. Both are great book adaptations. They both have great larger-than-life characters, and jarring endings that leave the audience awash in hopelessness and despair (although Blood's ending is more darkly comic, while No Country's is played straight). I have to go with There Will Be Blood simply on a gut feeling.

I thought a lot about these movies at work today. I'm going to flip-flop and take No Country For Old Men as my pick. I think it is more consistent overall, and has at least four stellar performances, whereas There Will Be Blood relies almost exclusively on Daniel Day-Lewis. It's a great performance, but the performance is the movie. There's just not much else there.


Video game confectionaries are surely one of my favorite things.
Here are some great cupcake designs:



Monday, January 21, 2008

Drunk History

Adrienne posted this a little while ago but it bears re-posting.
Drunk History vol. 1 contains some NSFW language. It also contains my friend Mark Gagliardi and the brilliant Michael Cera.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Night At The Bijou

Zach and I saw Louis C.K. at the Bijou Theater last night. As an unexpected bonus, Todd Barry was the opening act. Needless to say it was a very funny show.

Fortunately Zach was at the ready after the show to capture me and the guys in all our grainy, phone-pictury goodness:

Here are some videos of both comics in action. Both contain dirty words and are very NSFW:
Louis C.K.:

Todd Barry:

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Double *Sigh*

In my last post I discussed a stupid editorial written by a talentless, clueless hack. I came by that editorial by way of Penny Arcade, who have now elaborated on the situation in comic and commentary form. The best part of the comic is the snippet of text in the last panel that apes the editorialist's style of writing. Brilliant.

So, apparently the writer has responded to the plethora of negative backlash he received from gamers, or as he refers to us - "Gamer-Nerds."

In his attempt to clarify/defend some of his remarks, the writer does a fantastic job of illuminating his own tragic sexual repression.
The best example of which is the entirety of his third point, where he defends his assertion that the characters of Mass Effect "hump in every form, format, multiple, gender-oriented possibility they can think of."
Leaving aside "form" and "format", since I'm not really sure what he means by that, we can automatically eliminate "multiple", and "gender-oriented" from the equation. The only number of characters that ever have an intimate moment at one time is two. And guy-on-guy action is not possible.

This doesn't stop him from defending his point and even taking it further:
"Again true (not that there are that many combinations of human sexuality to begin with.) But since the makers of Mass Effect decided to throw in a little alien booty both hetero and homo it seems to me that they covered the range. Would these gamers have preferred that the game included bestiality? Later in the column I make a reference to being able to perform sex acts, homo and hetero, with whomever... Ok - you can't have sex with every single character in the game... But between copulating with Aliens, girl on girl, guy on girl, and according to my gamer friends who I checked with - it does not take a great deal of manipulation to add a few extra 'kinks' to the mix for those who know a little bit about such things."

The best parts are in bold.
The first being his complete lack of understanding of the scope of human sexuality. There are nearly unlimited possibilities to the creative ways in which adults have consensual sex with one another. And that's not even including any illegal or harmful possibilities, or whatever else the writer seems to think anyone with the slightest kink seems to participate in.

Second, his insinuation that gamers are calling for more bestiality in their games. He is the one who suggested that all forms of depraved sex acts are possible within the game. He's the only one bringing bestiality to the conversation.
The problem is that the writer is the kind of sorry person who puts homosexuality and bestiality in the same category, and therefore concludes that where one exists the other must follow.
I also find his inclusion of alien sex in the list of perversions amusing, since it is complete fantasy (no different than wondering what sex with a wood elf would be like). It couldn't happen, so where's the outrage?

Lastly, he seems to fault the game for allowing creative players to add their own quirks into the mix. I'm not really sure how that is possible, considering the only creative control players have in the game is creating the character, and even then the options are limited. I wish he'd elaborated on this point more, but since he's pulling it out of his ass like everything else I guess I shouldn't be surprised.
The only sense I can make out of it is that he faults the game for the player's ability to imagine kinky situations where there are none.

I'm more saddened than outraged by all of this. I just feel sorry for the guy, and not just for his horrible writing ability. He has so many hang-ups about sexuality, and fear and lack of understanding about video games, he's taken something harmless and blown it up to 9/11-sized proportions in his mind.

The limited and brief sexual content in the game is PG-13 at best. The only safe assumptions you can make about the sexual activity in Mass Effect from the images you are shown, is that it was probably very tender and the characters likely spent hours cuddling afterwards.
It takes a deeply repressed individual to make the leap to the Caligula-style animal rape orgy the writer insists on warning us about.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008


If you want to read an article by an idiot you can do it here.

If you choose not to read it, I'll summarize:
It's a wonderfully inane piece of fear-mongering, completely devoid of anything close to an understanding of the subject the writer is covering. Basically what the writer wants you to be aware of is that a certain video game on the Xbox 360 is a sort of Trojan horse of sexual depravity that will mentally (and very likely, physically) sodomize your children.

The game, Mass Effect, is even more dangerous not only for its lurid sexual content, but also for the level of customization the player has when designing his/her character. As the writer puts it, "one can 'create' their own versions of what people look like, removing warts, moles, and bald spots while enhancing - shall we say - the extended features of the game's characters tends to objectify women, sex, and human relationships..."
It's a ludicrous argument, and the writer actually follows it with, "Right? We can all agree on this?"

In his next paragraph the writer goes so far as to attack the game's title.
"'Mass Effect' sounds like a war game with a deadly virus that is spreading unless the GI-Joes are able to defeat the evil and deadly substance and it's covert war plan."
Huh? The virus has a covert war plan?
"By it's design, kids could ask for it, or for their parents' Best Buy Card to go purchase it with nary a raised eye-brow. Generic, non-descriptive, and relatively harmless."
I suppose he'd prefer if the game was called Sexual Deviancy In Space!

His next paragraph, however, is the article's funniest and most nonsensical, and goes the furthest in proving that the writer is talking out of his ass:

"But it IS marketed for the X-Box 360, perhaps the most visually stimulating gaming system ever made."
Even the hardware itself is so stimulating it will cause wanton, spontaneous fornication among children.
"The software for such allows the blending of DVD video, component graphics, and the manipulation of actual pictures so that an alternate reality engulfs the fifteen year old boy playing it without much objection."
What the - what? Manipulation of actual pictures? Alternate realities engulfing children? What in god's name is the writer smoking?

The main point of the article (if it can be said to have one) is about the 2008 Presidential election, and whether or not there is a candidate brave enough to take a stance against such a game. A game that "can be customized to sodomize whatever, whoever, however, the game player wishes."
Never mind that the only sexual encounters possible in the game are between consenting adults in the following combinations: male human/female human, male human/female alien, female human/female alien.

Still, this doesn't change the fact that with Mass Effect, "virtual orgasmic rape is just the push of a button away."
(Virtual orgasmic rape: much, much worse than regular, garden variety rape.)

And for the record, here are some videos of the game's sex scenes that are "pushing our next generation of young men through the gates of hell as fast as is humanly possible":

I've seen hotter action in Lifetime original movies.

Most Anticipated

Another movie from Stephen Chow can only be a good thing.
This trailer for CJ7 has some great highlights (watch for the cute alien kung-fu-kicking a cat in silhouette). This movie looks great, especially considering all the dialog is lost on me. And I especially like how the Movie Voice guy even gets work in foreign markets where they have to subtitle him.


Friday, January 11, 2008

Return Of A Great American Tradition

American Gladiators is back. I don't know why the hell it took so long, but the wait is over.

Overly dramatized nearly to the point of becoming self-parody, the new American Gladiators is amazing. Having Hulk Hogan host the show is particularly inspired.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

(o_#) vs. (>_<)

Here are some choice pics from Holly and Brian's "Pirates vs. Ninjas" party:

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Pet Peeves

Women's footwear has always been a huge pet peeve of mine. Honestly ladies, you don't look that much better in heals heels. And the damage you're doing to yourself certainly isn't worth it. It is a deforming practice, like a mild form of Chinese foot binding.
This diagram sums up my distaste pretty well:

Link from Boing Boing

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

First And Ten

For absolutely no reason I've decided to hit the shuffle button on iTunes on the first of every month and post the first ten tracks that come up.

I currently have over 20,000 tracks in my playlist. If I were to play every track from beginning to end it would take more than fifty-eight days to play through.

Spoken word, audio books, and repeats will be skipped.

Here's the first set:

1. Daft Punk - "Voyager" from Discovery

2. Dragonforce - "Mists Of Avalon" from Valley of the Damned

3. !!! - "Heart of Hearts" from Myth Takes

4. Dolly Parton - "Halos and Horns" from Halos and Horns

5. Robbie Robertson - "In The Blood" from Contact From the Underworld of Redboy

6. Apples In Stereo - "Winter Must Be Cold" from Fun Trick Noisemaker

7. Aerosmith - "Pink (South Beach Mix)" from O Yeah! Ultimate Hits

8. Dolly Parton - "What A Heartache" from Halos and Horns

9. Afrocelts - "Rise" from Seed

10. Prince - "Darling Nikki" from Purple Rain

Woo. I have one Dolly Parton album and it comes up twice? That's randomization for you.

Happy New Year, From Knoxville!