Saturday, March 29, 2008

Instant Classic - Jackie Chan V Jet Li - The Forbidden Kingdom [Trailer #2]

"Sanal Edamaruku, the president of Rationalist International, challenged the tantrick to kill him right then and there. Hilarity ensued..."

Now that's pretty funny.

Skeptic giggles on Indian national TV as mystic totally fails to curse him to death - Boing Boing:
"Pandit Surinder Sharma, a famous Indian tantrick (magician) was on a televised panel discussion when he claimed he could kill any man with black magic in under three minutes. Fellow panelist, Sanal Edamaruku, the president of Rationalist International, challenged the tantrick to kill him right then and there. Hilarity ensued as Sharma chanted the death mantra, and, when that failed, waved a knife and sprinkled water on him, as Edamarku laughed the entire time.

After two hours of this, the show's anchor pronounced the attempt a failure. The tantrick said he must be under the protection of a very powerful god, to which Edmarku replied 'I am an atheist'."

England is a Magickal Place.

But no, I had to go to HS during the era of burgeoning AIDS panic. Man, we never got to do anything cool!

200 students and other teens celebrate end of school term with outdoor orgy - Boing Boing:
"The Telegraph reports that 70 students from the Queen Elizabeth School in Kirkby Lonsdale, Cumbria, were joined by over 100 other youths to celebrate an end of term party by 'having unprotected sex in a village square.'"

But given that The Telegraph is, apparently, a right wing paranoia rag, and that NO pictures or vids from this supposed orgy has shown up anywhere online, a lot of folks are calling bullshit.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

"I see folk who walk about in a sunken dream 'cause they feel nothing."

From the Life on Mars finale.
Nelson: I see a darkness in you, Sam.

Sam: Oh you can see into me, can you Nelson? Well come on then. Am I mad, eh? Is this real? C'mon. I just want to know the truth.

Nelson: We all want that, Sam. What's real, what's not. I see folk who walk about in a sunken dream 'cause they feel nothing. Are they alive?

Sam: I wake up every morning and I tell myself I am alive.

Nelson: When you can feel, then you're alive. When you don't feel, then you're not.

This was pretty damn funny - "Going For An English, classic Goodness Gracious Me sketch."

Going For An English, classic Goodness Gracious Me sketch - Boing Boing:
"'Going For an English' is a classic sketch from the British variety show 'Goodness Gracious Me,' in which an Indian family goes out 'for an English' after drinking too much, patronizing the waiter and demanding the blandest thing on the menu."

Knowledge and Wisdom.

The Wednesday One-Liner Says, "Move on Back"

Bus drive: Next stop, Queensborough Community College -- where dreams come true. If you ever thought of going back to college, but are too scared, thinking, 'Oh, I'm too old,' well, you should go to school. Now arriving at QCC... And remember, knowledge is power.

--Q27 Bayside bus

Overheard by: Caro-kun

Bus driver, about traffic jam: Ladies and gentlemen, Fifth Avenue will be the next stop. We will be arriving in seven to ten days. [Minutes later] Attention! The waiter will be around shortly to take your dinner orders. The next crosstown movie will be Gone with the Wind.

Bus driver, as passengers are disembarking: Leave my kingdom. Education is just two minutes away.

--B1 bus, Kingsborough College

Overheard by: Robert

via Overheard in New York, Mar 26, 2008

Big, Hard Part. Little, Black Heart.

Guy #1: So yeah, I fucked her, man... It was great.
Guy #2: Good to know, man.
Guy #1: And know what's better?
Guy #2: What?
Guy #1: I fuckin' hate her!
Guy #2: Sweet, man!
Guy #1: I know!

--30th & 3rd

Overheard by: AMH

via Overheard in New York, Mar 25, 2008

A New Definition of Hero - "Undercover Police Prostitution Sting Nets Two 93 year-olds."

That would be the 93 year old guys, not the police.

9-3. Rock on, old dudes.

Undercover Police Prostitution Sting Nets Two 93 year-olds - Don't Tase Me, Bro!:
"Prosecutors are moving ahead with a case against one of two 93-year-old men picked up during undercover prostitution stings.

...according to police records, tried to pay $20 in November to an undercover officer on 14th Street West.

Milio recently told the Herald-Tribune he was only flirting with the woman.

'I haven't had that in years,' he said. 'Ninety-three is kind of old.'

...he does not deny stopping to chat with the 'good-looking girl' who made eyes at him and turned out to be an undercover officer."

"Do We Owe Future Generations Anything?"


That was easy.

People always talk about not leaving problems for "our children and grandchildren." But future generations will almost certainly be better equipped - with greater knowledge and resources at their disposal than we ourselves have now - if the past is any indication whatsoever.

Reason Magazine - Hit & Run > Do We Owe Future Generations Anything?:
"...intergenerational ethics tells us that poor people (us) should not sacrfice their livelihoods, health and welfare for rich people (future generations). Reducing current incomes will certainly be deadly for some people now alive.

Should people making an average of $7000 per year be forced to lower their incomes in order to boost the incomes of future generations that some scenarios project will have incomes in 2100 over $107,000 per capita in developed countries and over $66,000 in developing countries? Also keep in mind that not only will future generations be much richer, they will have access to better technologies with which to address any problems caused by man-made climate change, nuclear waste and geo-engineering projects.

As bioethicists are always fond of saying, I'm just asking questions here."

TELL THE TRUTH - Immortal Technique/Mos Def

This was pretty cool, musically, visually, stylistically.

"Bin Laden didnt Blow Up the projects..."


Knowing and Mastering your Thoughts with Cognitive Behavioural Therapy » Personal Development - The Urban Monk:
" do not, in themselves, determine the way we feel, the way we behave.

It is the way we see the event – our internal beliefs, thoughts, and the meanings we give it – that decides our emotions and our actions."

Just watching this guy is a manic activity - "Clifford Stoll: 18 minutes with an agile mind."

"Clifford Stoll could talk about the atmosphere of Jupiter. Or hunting KGB hackers. Or Klein bottles, computers in classrooms, the future. But he's not going to. Which is fine, because it would be criminal to confine a man with interests as multifarious as Stoll's to give a talk on any one topic. Instead, he simply captivates his audience with a wildly energetic sprinkling of anecdotes, observations, asides -- and even a science experiment. After all, by his own definition, he's a scientist: "Once I do something, I want to do something else."

"When Clifford Stoll speaks, you can't help but listen. Full of restless energy, he jumps from one topic to the next, darting back and forth across the stage. You may not be sure where he’s going, but the ride is always part of the adventure.

An astronomer (though his astronomy career took a turn when he noticed a bookkeeping error that ultimately led him to track down a notorious hacker), researcher and internationally recognized computer security expert -- who happens to be a vocal critic of technology -- Stoll makes a sharp, witty case for keeping computers out of the classroom. Currently teaching college-level physics to eighth graders at a local school, he stays busy in his spare time building Klein bottles."

"All truth is one. In this light may science and religion labor here together for the steady evolution of mankind from darkness to light; from prejudice to tolerance; from narrowness to broadmindedness."

I love me some crazy.

Cause yeah, it sounds crazy... but how do you know, really?

New World Order.

2012 Primer.

2012 - End Times?

This kicked ass. - Everlast/Whitey Ford - Letters Home from the Garden of Stone.

Come a long way from Jump Around, that's for damn sure.

"...I try not to think about my family
cause it's a little too much take
Now here I got me and I got my buddy
Who can't afford even one mistake
I'm sorry about writing on dirty cardboard
It's the only paper I can find
Tell everyone I got their letters
Tell everyone I'm doing fine

Late at night when I can dream
I think about life back in the world
I miss you and Dad, Sister Sarah
I Miss my wife and baby girl
Pray for me pray for my soul ma
Pray for me and all my sins
They say I got a job to do now
I'll be back when it finally ends

Who you think I should be fighting
Mom are you proud are you ashamed
I really am trying to do the right thing
I hope my government can say the same

cause I won't know the man that kills me
and I don't know these man that I kill
We all wind up on the same side
cause not one of us doing God's will."

Preach on, Bruce. - “I’m not in this world to live up to your expectations and you’re not in this world to live up to mine.”

Bruce Lee’s Top 7 Fundamentals for Getting Your Life in Shape:
"1. What are you really thinking about today?
“As you think, so shall you become.”

2. Simplify.
“It’s not the daily increase but daily decrease. Hack away at the unessential.”

3. Learn about yourself in interactions.
“To know oneself is to study oneself in action with another person.”

4. Do not divide.
“Take no thought of who is right or wrong or who is better than. Be not for or against.”

5. Avoid a dependency on validation from others.
“I’m not in this world to live up to your expectations and you’re not in this world to live up to mine.”

6. Be proactive.
“To hell with circumstances; I create opportunities.”

7. Be you.
“Always be yourself, express yourself, have faith in yourself, do not go out and look for a successful personality and duplicate it.”"

Get movin'.

Five Years Till It's Available Only on DVD

Bible-thumping lady: Get your Bible! We only have approximately five years left!
Passerby: Five years! Fuck! I gotta get movin'!

--Grand Central

Overheard by: Adam Bertocci

via Overheard in New York, Mar 27, 2008

Isn't that always the way?

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

The Mrs keeps leaving photos on my camera...

...and I don't find them till later.

Actually pt 3 of the B-day celebration, the spoils of the post kaiten sushi bakery visit.

Despite my best efforts... take some vacation days and withdraw from the world, I keep getting pulled into the fray. Can't complain though, as "the fray" consists of nothing more than dinner and drinks at a farewell get-together and an afternoon of playing with kids.

Harrowing, I know.

Anyways, I went to help out with an English class as a favor for a friend, and got to play around with a buncha the kids I help teach at elementary school, and one young lady who's at Jr High.

Pre-class goofing around.

The cacophany of children. Cute, but noisy.

Look carefully for the expression of abject terror and pain on the face of the girl behind me. [She's a big faker.] :)

So we played some games - "Who/What am I?" and Simon Says - and the kids won fake money to use for our last activity, Shopping roleplay/model conversation/scenario work. Fun and, as always, the kids were a blast.

One of my favorite/most proficient English students at Jr High - her little sister was in the kids class - so she came and helped out along with the moms and Akemi and me. Really smart, great kid. A little shy, but always cheerful and really cool. She was in charge of selling drinks at our faux shopping English roleplay game.

Is there anything cuter than chubby Japanese children?
[The answer is "no," btw.]

Good times.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Can I get an Amen?

The Very Definition of a Fucking Christian

Stoned girl with drink in one hand and cigarette in the other: I'm a fucking Christian, so I know you're wrong!

Northern Ireland
via Overheard Everywhere, Mar 24, 2008

It's good to have goals.

The Purpose-Driven Life Made a Huge Impression on Me

Drunk girl: My goal is to win a wet T-shirt contest so I can win two hundred dollars and get a tattoo... I could never get naked, but I would if I had to.

--Ft. Walton Beach, Florida

Overheard by: If I didn't have to work the next day, I'd have invited her to party

via Overheard at the Beach, Mar 25, 2008

I'd be very surprised if this happens...

Japan Urges People To Recycle More : Japan Probe:
"The Japanese government is calling for a 60% reduction in garbage, which could mean an end to the days of ridiculous over-packaging and disposable chopstick usage"

Apropos of a recent discussion Sandy and I had on race and language...

Some of the funniest bits of Richard Pryor and his [cultural] descendants. [Yes, Pryor was a writer on Blazing Saddles - he was even supposed to play the Cleavon Little part, but the studio objected due to his rep and drug use. So Brooks hired him as a writer.]

Man, I miss Pryor...

Back when SNL was funny...

"The sheriff is a ..."


"Where are the white women at?"

You know, this was a hell of a lot funnier when it aired on TV and they didn't bleep everything.

Clayton Bigsby - Black Klansman

Monday, March 24, 2008

"See, that's who Jesus got working for him. That's why I feel bad for Jesus." - Sandy

Crooks and Liars » Aspiring Idaho politician changes name to ‘Pro-Life’:
"A Senate candidate has legally changed his name to Pro-Life and will appear on the ballot that way this year, state election officials say.

As Marvin Pro-Life Richardson, the organic strawberry farmer from Letha, 30 miles northwest of Boise, was denied the use of his middle name when he ran unsuccessfully for governor in 2006 because the state’s policy bars the use of slogans on the ballot.

Now, though, officials in the Idaho secretary of state’s office say they have no choice because Pro-Life is his full and only name. He says he will run for the highest state office on the ballot every two years for the rest of his life, advocating murder charges for doctors who perform abortions and for women who obtain the procedure."

Sunday, March 23, 2008

What I've Read - Zen, Catholic Comic Book Conspiracies and Buffy.

Sit Down and Shut Up: Punk Rock Commentaries on Buddha, God, Truth, Sex, Death, and Dogen's Treasury of the Right Dharma Eye by Brad Warner:
"Warner, a Zen priest, author (Hardcore Zen) and former punk rock bassist, has a very distinctive voice. It may be off-putting to some to think about Buddha and a bunch of Zen masters, including esteemed 13th-century Japanese Zen master Dogen, as dudes riffing on "whiz-bang-with-cheese-on-top-enlightenment." But for the patient, curious and those for whom Warner's slash-the-crap style is their cup of green tea, this Zen punk book offers provocation and reward. Warner ambitiously presents something close to textual commentary on a key text by Dogen while teaching on anger, sex, loving-kindness, dependent arising and other familiar Buddhist themes... Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved."

This, and Warner's first book - Hardcore Zen, are the best books I've read on zen. Straight, no chaser, no bullshit. Quote worthy and thought worthy material on just about every other page. Wouldn't call myself a Buddhist - wouldn't really call myself anything - but I do think I lean that way. Most important thing to remember is this - 95% of the time you don't live in the world... you live in your thoughts about the world. And your thoughts are ephemeral, transitory and temporary things. And not really worth getting worked up about.

Rex Mundi Volume 1: The Guardian Of The Temple by Arvid Nelson, Eric Johnson, Jeremy Cox, Juan Ferreyra:
"When a medieval scroll disappears from a Paris church, Doctor Julien Sauniere investigates, uncovering a series of horrific ritual murders and an ancient secret society. Julien cannot let these shadowy figures retreat into the darkness, lest they take up their killing once again. His investigation turns into a one-man quest into the bizarre secrets of the Catholic Church."

In the days where the Da Vinci Code has permeated the culture, the mysteries in the book are all that occultic anymore, but this is such a well crafted book it doesn't matter. Outstanding world building - a 1930s France where the papacy and the monarchy are still powers [the French Revolution failed, the US is still the CSA and FSA] and where magic is real. Awesomely fun and interesting.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer Omnibus, Volume 3 by Various:
"The third volume of Dark Horse's Buffy omnibus series follows the gang through harrowing trials and tribulations - slaying vampires, going to high school, and young love..."

Not bad, not outstanding. But it does suffer in comparison to the Season 8 comic book by Whedon and crew. Probably for die hard fans only.

...can't believe I forgot... [B-day pt II]

Following our kaiten sushi extravaganza, we went by a local bakery so that the birthday girl might indulge in cakey sweets.
Patisserie Ritz

But the absolute best part - dig that hat!


Okay, time to stop putting off this post due to the sheer # of pictures I took.

[As an aside, the video I took - including my first ever successful recording of the school song - I managed to accidentally delete. I. AM. AN. IDIOT. Oh well, one more year to get it right.]

I am really gonna miss this year's graduating class. Great group of kids... correction, young adults. Geez, I'm getting old. Onwards!
Not the most studious girls, but definitely two of the nicest.

Signing the albums/yearbooks. Nostalgia and natsukashii, ne... indeed.

Whereas these two young ladies below were two of the best English students. Smart, smart girls. And great senses of humor and personality too. The girl on the right earned the nickname "H***-Sensei" [name withheld due to propriety] because, when she was chatting in class [which she would, invariably] 99% of the time she'd be helping out her friends with English. And a simple "Good morning, sensei" would be enough to get her grinning and turn her cheeks red. Great kid. Easily one of my favorite students to teach.

Baseball team kids.

Class clowns, especially the boy on the right. Who had a remarkable ability to remember any English phrase that was not in the textbook or had to be memorized.

This young man spent 2 years eating, breathing and living nothing but baseball. And then his 3rd year he turned into a studying machine, kicking all sorts of ass. Of course, he did it so that he could get into HS and play baseball [which he succeeded at doing].

I was challenged to more arm wrestling matches with this kid than I can even count. He even managed to get me once or twice. ["But never when I was serious," said Rob's ego.]

This kid dug Jay-Z. We'd trade CDs. I'm simple. Great kid.

This young lady had a lot of... personality. A cheerful challenge, as a student.

Great basketball player, great personality, smart, smart girl. One of my favorite students. [But man, did I have a lot of "favorite" students this year.] She just radiated good humor, cheerfulness and kindness. Never in a bad mood.

This young man is a future politician. One of the most charismatic kids I've taught. Funny and smart.

One of my English speech competition kids. Great student, great girl. Very smart.

Another student who turned it all around 3rd grade year. I think she may have actually slept through every English class her first 2 years, but as her 3rd year started, with HS tests looming, she cranked it up several notches and really did well. Really nice girl too.

This young lady would challenge me to karate matches. Bit of a tomboy. Needless to say, anyone who challenges me to combat gets two big thumbs up. Awesome personality. Talented athlete. Smart. And next year...

...she'll be playing softball in HS with this young lady, who was the very definition of cheeriness and genki-ness. Always a smile.

Okay, enough pictures of my big white head. On to the graduation ceremonies.

I've got about 30 pics of kids receiving their diplomas that I managed to snap, and they all pretty much look the same. So here's just a couple. You can see them all at the link at the end, if inclined.

After the ceremony, the kids return to their homeroom one final time, and one by one they get to address their classmates for the last time, and say goodbye.

Tears of joy, tears of happiness, tears of sadness. The kids are pretty adorable as they say their 'thank you's and 'goodbye's.

And then everybody gathers for that "final" final pic.

I only wish I could've got a pic of all the classes that way, but since everyone finishes up at their own pace and at different times, it wasn't quite possible.

Showering the homeroom teacher with flowers on the final walk out of the school.

The last baseball team shot.

The one time the kids don't really want to leave school... when they're all finished, forever.

All the graduation pics I took, and there are a bunch, are here: