Tuesday, June 15, 2010
Sometimes, when my friends and I are gathered 'round the fire as friends often do, we play a game called "questions" (some call it "20 questions" but there is another unrelated games called "20 questions" and our game usually goes to about gagillion questions so...we'll just stick to the name "questions"). Anyhow, at some point someone always asks "If you could meet anyone past or present who would it be and what would you say to them". This Rick Barber not only answered the question, he taped how the entire scenario would go down - the f'ing founding fathers of the United States to talk about Obama and taxes...shouldn't this be reserved to the neo-nazi militia armies in the woods of Michigan?
Thursday, May 13, 2010
Once in a while something beautiful happens on our blue and green planet that restores my faith in the power chipping away at the corporate machine. Ok...local news is hardly the corporate machine but it makes up a part of its body, perhaps the big toe that we all know is so important. When I first watched this video I was not certain it was a prank because local news usually has the dumbest segments ever but once he started yo-yo'ing he, like the ginger, captured my heart. He is so convincing...damn it...I'm in love!
Upon further investigation, I found out the Zip Zap is a non-profit organization, but one that trains kids to be in the circus in South Africa. Oh...this guy is good. To quote the website, "The Zip Zap Circus is a non-profit organisation which aims to create opportunities for children. It is not just a circus school where children learn how to juggle or ride a unicycle, it is also a place where children learn the life skills which build the basic pillars of a successful life while continuing to bridge the remnants of racial divide in South Africa. Zip Zap’s mission is to provide innovative professional training and entertainment, and therefore provide opportunities for children to fulfill their potential." Their potential at the unicycle! Don't worry about being called Kafir, you can ride a unicycle and juggle on stage under bright lights and music far enough away from the crowd that you won't hear anyone yelling that at you. They can't, however, guarantee that the shameful walk to the dressing room that the kid shares with "Morty the Elephant" and "The Man with Two Penises" the won't make him look in the mirror and wonder if he has misunderstood the meaning of the words opportunity and potential for his entire young life.
BTW...he refers to the company name as Zip Zap but his shirt says Zim Zam...heyo!
Monday, May 3, 2010
Who are these people!? Link
Ten years and 1.5 billion Norwegian kroner ($252 million) in the making, Halden is spread over 75 acres (30 hectares) of gently sloping forest in southeastern Norway. The facility boasts amenities like a sound studio, jogging trails and a freestanding two-bedroom house where inmates can host their families during overnight visits. Unlike many American prisons, the air isn't tinged with the smell of sweat and urine. Instead, the scent of orange sorbet emanates from the "kitchen laboratory" where inmates take cooking courses. "In the Norwegian prison system, there's a focus on human rights and respect," says Are Hoidal, the prison's governor. "We don't see any of this as unusual."
The cells rival well-appointed college dorm rooms, with their flat-screen TVs and minifridges. Designers chose long vertical windows for the rooms because they let in more sunlight. There are no bars. Every 10 to 12 cells share a living room and kitchen. With their stainless-steel countertops, wraparound sofas and birch-colored coffee tables, they resemble Ikea showrooms.
Halden's greatest asset, though, may be the strong relationship between staff and inmates. Prison guards don't carry guns — that creates unnecessary intimidation and social distance — and they routinely eat meals and play sports with the inmates. "Many of the prisoners come from bad homes, so we wanted to create a sense of family," says architect Per Hojgaard Nielsen. Half the guards are women — Hoidal believes this decreases aggression — and prisoners receive questionnaires asking how their experience in prison can be improved.
There's plenty of enthusiasm for transforming lives. "None of us were forced to work here. We chose to," says Charlott-Renee Sandvik Clasen, a music teacher in the prison and a member of Halden's security-guard chorus. "Our goal is to give all the prisoners — we call them our pupils — a meaningful life inside these walls." It's warmth like that, not the expensive television sets, that will likely have the most lasting impact.
Take that Foucault!!! I don't think it is a coincidence that the name of this prison is Thoreau's Walden with an H.
Take note America...this could have been you if you. Remember back as late as the 70s when you too believed in rehabilitating prisoners and lowering recidivism rates? Then you wanted to get tough on crime resulting in about 2 million (!) people housed behind the sad walls of your prisons without programs that may help them integrate into society better. Hmmm...maybe if someone was treated like shit their whole life they might change their attitude if they were shown a little bit of love.
Sunday, April 25, 2010
Restaurant Bars Blind Man for 'Gay Dog'
THE SUNDAY MAIL - A restaurant in a northwest suburb of Adelaide, Australia that refused a blind man entry because it thought his guide dog was "gay" was ordered by the Equal Opportunity Tribunal to pay him $1,500, The (Adelaide) Sunday Mail.
Ian Jolly, 57, was barred from dining at the Thai Spice restaurant in May 2009 after a staff member mistook his guide dog Nudge for a "gay dog," a tribunal heard this week.
A statement given by restaurant owners Hong Hoa Thi To and Anh Hoang Le said one of the restaurant's waiters said that Jolly's partner Ms. Chris Lawrence stated "she wanted to bring a gay dog into the restaurant."
Source: The (Adelaide) Sunday Mail
Blah Blah Blah...the story continues. Now it seems to me that this might a problem of linguistics rather than an issue of gay-dog bashing...but who knew the problems in Asian speech patterns when speaking English were conceived at the point of hearing words rather than saying them! While Ms. Chris Lawrence might have been saying "guide" the staff at the Thai restaurant was hearing "gay". So the lingual problems of Asians trying to speak English might not be due to the tricky flick of the Asian tongue but perhaps a twist in their ear canal that distorts sound at the cognitive stage!
Also, this blind guy is really brave to be taking his dog into and Asian restaurant, one switcheroo and Nudge might be more dinner than director...more food than followed...more meal than marshal...catch the drift.
In a somewhat related story, when a group of boy (read man) scouts (wearing their little camouflage colored shorts and sashes adorned with their bells and whistles of achievement) tried to eat at the restaurant a couple of days later, they were told the restaurant does not allow guides.
Thursday, April 8, 2010
Both entail sucking the life out of things until nothing is left but an empty shell of nothingness...
Starting next fall, the University of Hertfordshire in England will be offering a graduate program in Vampire Literature. Before scoffing and wondering what one can do with such degree except create an academic pyramid scheme where the first several graduates of the program will be hired to teach the next several enrollees, ask yourself what one can do with a graduate degree in political science. Who's the fool now?
Thursday, March 25, 2010
You know when you are a kid (or adult) and something happens where you start crying and then you start crying even harder because you feel bad for yourself for crying so hard and this goes on for about 15 minutes until you become numb and breath long lip quivering moans between your tears which turn into stuttering breaths? Then, somehow at the end of all that you begin to wonder why you even began crying at all with the realization that life really isn't as bad as it seemed in the last 15 minutes and ideas come to you about how to pick yourself up by your bootstraps and get it together. I am pretty sure this was the tearful storm that brewed in Marie T Smith's cat filled kitchen before she looked up and saw the light that was her microwave. That beacon of radiation filled hope that said to her "fuck filling the lonely hours of your life doing something useful with your time like cooking...pop that steak in the microwave and call it an ambien-induced night".
Thursday, March 18, 2010
Thursday, March 11, 2010
Man in Korea marries body pillow.
Man, this guy is going to be pissed when someone tells him about the Real Doll.
In 1991, when I was just a wee lassy, my family moved from Abu Dhabi to California. At a time when no one understood the refinement of having one continuous eyebrow or clothes that were obviously not from around those parts, I had a hard time making friends. So, when Kristen Garcia asked me to come over to her house and hang out I accepted and was immediately excited at the prospect of having a friend. Side Note: I later found out that she was THE girl at school that no one wanted to hang out with due to her irregular hygiene habits and her (as you will found out shortly) odd behavior. How was I supposed to know...I was an immigrant.
So, I was dropped off at her house one day. We spent some time in her kitchen before her mother came in a starting yelling at her for not showering for the past 3 days. Oh, how the irony of all of this will play later in my life when I decided to strike the concept of showering. At the time, however, I was disgusted but decided maybe this is what was meant when people said American girls were dirty. So, we scurried up to her room where she proceeded to explain to me a little make-believe game where she would be dating Patrick Swayze (who I did not know at the time) and I would be dating Tom Cruise (who I also did not know at the time) and we would be making out with the fucking WALL! and act like it was our respective gentleman callers. I freaked out and called my mom to come pick me up after I told her the game was weird and I did not understand why we would play it.
For me, this guy is the the fat Korean doppelganger of Kristen expect he is more enamored by soft flexible materials while she is attracted to the unyielding nature of walls.
Kristen is currently in China being courted by the Great Wall. *The contrariness of going to China to find a "big" object of affection should be noted.
Wednesday, March 10, 2010
Thank Noah and his arc for saving two of every animal so they could procreate and save this precious lot. Actually, they are a new breed first recognized in 2002 and are intentionally bred, but these heavenly creatures have captured me hart (silent h please). And with this we have found the solution for world peace. If a thousand of these bunnies were hopping timidly across a battlefield, tell me, who would have the heart to shoot? Soldiers would just fall to their knees and cry in shame for harming the world that these bunnies live in.
Wednesday, March 3, 2010
An official in Shijiazhuang, China, told Agence France-Presse in December that the city's new "women only" parking lot was designed to meet females' "strong sense of color and different sense of distance." That is, the spaces are 3 feet wider than regular spaces and painted pink and purple. Also, attendants have been "trained" to "guide" women into parking spaces. [BBC News, 12-28-09]
I am going to keep a copy of this article on me so that the next time someone is accused of being racist for saying Asian women can't drive I can prove that their own government recognizes the problem.