You got a fabulous deal on your mortgage because China’s workers were prevented from spending the money they had earned.
The Chinese government is having to walk a really fine line between pressure for continued job growth and economic reality. Without that double digit growth, the lack of freedoms given by the “communist” party start to look pretty unsustainable. I think the next few years are going to be very interesting in China.
So, I’m here in China with our own MM. we’re having a really great time, and I’ll post more on the experience, along with some pictures once I get back. This post, however, is just a little test. He and I were discussing our lack of knowledge regarding how much the web really is censored here. For instance, now that google china is no more, we are just redirected to the Hong Kong site, which would seem, if anything, to be a step toward less control. Then I saw something in the lonely planet (written in 06) that said certain words like tibet, falun gong, etc. would warrant automatic blockage. The test, then, is to see if a) I can post those words from China, and b) if I can view the post from here.
Filed under: General by Joel @ 11:39 - April 21st, 2010
I’m burned out on southpark because every episode has to be over the top. Still, I usually agree with Trey Parker and Matt Stone. The new episode is still over the top, but this time they are making fun of Islam in a pretty subtle way. It does a good job of showing that Islam, at this point in history, really is behind the other major religions in it’s ability to allow criticism and independent thought.
And as if to better illustrate their point, the threats have started:
The commentary at the end of the piece is worth the wait.
Filed under: General by Joel @ 01:44 - February 3rd, 2010
Last Night I went to go see Nordwand at the Mayan. Holy shit, this movie is ridiculously intense. I wouldn’t say I enjoyed it exactly and it was probably about 30 minutes too long, but it had 4 great things going for it:
The most intense 45 minutes of movie-watching I’ve ever experienced (this is not an exageration)
Really accurate depiction of the gear and techniques used by alpinists in the 30s
A good depiction of a real, tragic event as tragic in the literary sense
If you’re into mountaineering, it’s definitely worth seeing.
Filed under: General by bwb @ 02:08 - January 13th, 2010
I want you to picture this… you are driving down a street in like Seattle, just chilling, and something catches the corner of your eyes… You move your eyes out the side window and for a snapshot you see 4 fucking hipsters playing dice in an alley… that shit is funny right?
Putting aside that he’s a despot, murderer and international criminal, Muammar el-Qaddafi exudes the kind of cool one would normally associate with a jazz musician. Stylish, enigmatic and an unstoppable creative force, I particularly enjoyed this pictorial evaluation of his choice fashion, “Style Dictates: The Many Moods of Muammar el-Qaddafi.”
For us discerning fans of kitschy infomercial entertainment, two recent examples show how things should and should not be done.
First up is Vince, of ShamWow fame, hawking the Slap Chop, yet another vegetable chopping tool. While Vince’s technical pitchcraft is sound, the script is forced, crammed with sophomoric one-liners:
“You’re going to be in a great mood all day, because you’re going to be slapping your troubles away with the Slap Chop!”
“This tuna looks boring. Stop having a boring tuna; stop having a boring life.”
“You’re going to love my nuts.”
“The onions– this is making you cry, you’re making me cry. Life is hard enough as it is. You don’t want to cry anymore.”
“We’re gonna make America skinny again, one slap at a time!”
“Tacos! Linguine! Martini! Bikini!”
The ad is rambling nonsense– an insult to the intelligence of its viewers.
Now compare this to the newest Snuggie ad, which borders on exquisite, an instant masterpiece of the genre. To be fair, the Snuggie product is, itself, a sublime creation, perfectly crafted for the infomercial world. But the ad really brings the Snuggie to life. From the beginning, the funky bass line sets the tone– the inexplicable dancing whilst pouring coffee, raising the roof couchside. Are you waving to me, knitting grandma? Why, hello. It’s nice to see you so cozy, as you knit with your free hands. And cranky old man at the outdoor sporting event? Didn’t you get the memo? We’re all wearing our Snuggies to the game. It’s going to be a cold one today!
The new Snuggie ad is everything that’s right and good about the infomercial genre (and a remarkable improvement on the original Snuggie ad, which was itself an instant classic). It’s hilariously absurd, and it’s addictive. Surly, I can’t be the only that finds it hard not to sing along: “That’s right!”
Rappers tend to be fans of the Second Amendment, though they rarely frame their affection for guns in constitutional terms. And rap has an opinion about human nature that is deeply conservative — namely, that criminals cannot be reformed. The difference is that gangsta rappers often identify themselves as the criminals, and are proud of their unreformability.
Thanks to MM, I’ve given up the idea that a BlackBerry phone could ever satisfy my needs/wants in a mobile phone experience.
Since I’m now a family man, I need a family plan, and Sprint has the corner on the most bang for buck when it comes to data/voice/txt multi-line plans. I’m casting off from AT&T, and therefore, the iPhone.
That leaves me with the choice of a device. Clearly, the Palm Pre is the best phone that Sprint carries right now, but they are supposed to get the HTC Hero in October. The (who comes up with these names?) Hero is powered by Android, Google’s mobile OS.
Lauren and I will both be getting new phones. I have been researching all the usual sites and watching head-to-head comparison videos on YouTube, but I’m still left with a little anxiety (relative anxiety, that is–it’s only a phone, after all). My question for you guys is whether you’ve had any experience with either one and/or do you have a recommendation or things to consider beyond “you should really get an iPhone.”?
Well, 1-8 anyway, and this is only if you ignore “Brian Eno & David Byrne” up there (which I’d argue should just be combined with #1 the Talking Heads, unarguably the best band in music’s long history).
Oh, and #3 only works if I’m allowed to combine Sunset Rubdown with Wolf Parade (#10 on the 6 months list).
BTW, if you’re not on last.fm, WTF? It’s great. Joel (browndotjoel) and I (indiemaps) are neighbors — not to mention friends — up in there.
Filed under: General by bwb @ 12:08 - September 10th, 2009
I really can’t believe these allegations have not been refuted by Glenn Beck. Why won’t he merely refute these obviously made up charges and tell the world he didn’t murder a young girl in 1990? Read more about these heinous charges here!
I’ve been playing with this really cool GPS app for the iphone. If you are rockin’ a 3g or 3gs, you should be rockin’ this app. It will let you do most of what you’d want to do with a dedicated hand held gps (maps, tracks, waypoints, etc.), plus it lets you download those maps over wifi or the cell network, take and geotag photos, and share your location via FB, twitter, or email, send yourself kmz or gpx files of where you’ve been. In addition to google and bing maps, you can download maps from the totally open source OpenStreetMap, which I didn’t even know about (Zmurder, did you?). I seriously think that in a post iphone world, electronics that are not connected to the interwebs will seem increasingly dumb.
The light version is free and awesome, but I think the 2.99 upgrade is worth it, if for no other reason than to support what they are doing.
Kill this blog. It’s already dead. It’s just a matter of putting it out of its misery.
No one posts any more. At least two of our bloggers now focus on their competingsites. And does any one read?
What killed JttM? Facebook, for one. Facebook has made everyone a blogger, with a broader audience than JttM ever had. Our picture uploads and status updates reach everyone who ever read JttM– and more. JttM was a great precursor to Facebook—a way for a group of people to keep in regular touch. But, today, it’s a place for random links and Youtube clips.
But Facebook aside, I imagine we’re all busy– too busy to meaningfully blog. Edemire has blogged here only twice in the last twenty-six months; Murderman once in the last fifteen months. I’d love to have the time to write longer pieces on the matters that interest me, even if no one was reading. But I don’t. Actually, I do, but I choose to spend my waning free time in other ways. I think we all do.
JttM was a great project and once a meaningful way to keep in touch. Many us made noble efforts at blogging. Murder did especially well with the longer, more thoughtful pieces. Daniel’s exhaustive year-end music picks were always amusing. And I really enjoyed taking my stabs as a music critic. (By the way, have you heard the new Camera Obscura album? It ain’t that bad!)
But, for me, the most memorable post was what I dub the Great Philosophical Debate of 2005– not for the post itself, but the comments. I still get a kick from reading those rants.
I’ve talked about decommissioning with Joel and BWB before (to whom, I am infinitely appreciative for providing and maintaining this forum for so long). But each was resistant. JttM is not what it once was. This blog was started almost five years ago now, admittedly at the cusp of the blogging craze (hey, anyone interested in starting a group Twitter account?!?). But today, I can’t see a purpose for it. Can you?