Saturday, June 21, 2008

Damn, These Guys Are Good

Rachmaninov Had Big Hands

Mozart Bond

Check them out here.

Putting Cake To Shame

and making Gloria Gaynor proud.

Bonus points for anyone who can the song they reference in the long instrumental section. (Actually, I think there are two, but I can only put my finger on one.)

Fax Us Your E-Mail Address Now!

The Complete Gabe and Max's Internet Thing. ORDER NOW!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008


I'm John McC**t And I Approve This Message

What a newsroom might look like if the media didn't handle McCain with cun—er, kid gloves...

A 360 Of Obama

Way cool panorama from Obama's Detroit rally. 

Wait…I Get It

Check out this attempt at wit from the adolescents who run the GOP in Texas. 

Thing is, I'll bet they think it's clever.

Yes He Can, Too

When I heard that Al Gore had finally endorsed Obama I thought, "Eh, now? Big deal." I didn't go out of my way to see the conference or rally or whatever in Detroit because I need a bit of a breather from the election and there's been no real news since Hillary almost, sorta, kinda, maybe conceded (she "suspended" her campaign). Still, I'm checking the usual blogs and came across a vid clip of Gore's introduction of Obama in Detroit. I have to say it's pretty damn good. Give it a watch.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Screw Hawaii…

…let's go to Siberia!

You're right, fuck that. But I do recommend reading  this fascinating article about that place you probably know only from playing Risk—the coldest city in the world—Yakutsk, Russia. Why anyone would choose to live there is beyond me, but I admit I would like to visit just to challenge my wussy-ass self. Now that we're safely in summer's embrace I can pass this article along without the worry of causing anyone psychic pain. 
Yakutsk: Journey to the coldest city on earth
Think our winter's been a bit grim? Try visiting Yakutsk – the Russian city where 'a bit nippy' means minus 50C, and a quick dash to the corner shop could end in frostbite. Shaun Walker enjoys a mini-break in deepest Siberia:

At minus 5C, the cold is quite refreshing and a light hat and scarf are all that's required to keep warm. At minus 20C, the moisture in your nostrils freezes, and the cold air starts making it difficult not to cough. At minus 35C, the air will cold enough to numb exposed skin quickly, making frostbite a constant hazard. And at minus 45C, even wearing glasses gets tricky: the metal sticks to your cheeks and will tear off chunks of flesh when you decide to remove them. I know this because I've just arrived in Yakutsk….

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Like Being 80 Years Old

Can a night owl become a morning lark?

As a die-hard night person myself, I can attest to the strange allure of becoming a morning person. I love the softness of the morning light and the freshness of the day. The world feels brand new and full of possibility. I've tried numerous times to change my sleeping pattern only to fall back into my normal rhythm within a week or two. Yet there's something about the night that really resonates with me. I feel more creative, more alive, more at home at night than I do during the daytime.

Well, I'm not alone in my attempts at diurnal rehabilitation. After years of fantasizing about it (and despite the cheery smugness of most morning people she knows) this Slate writer attempts to change her habits—with the help of her doctor, melatonin supplements and yellow sunglasses—and finally become a morning person herself.

Choice cut:
At 6:30 on a weekday evening, I popped my first melatonin pill. Dr. Richardson had warned me that the pill might make me drowsy as soon as I took it, and sure enough, 15 minutes later my brain was shrouded in a thick fog. It felt like I had taken a teaspoon of Nyquil and I would now drift into a blissful, drugged sleep. Except that bedtime wasn't for another four hours.

The yellow glasses went on at 8 p.m. I looked like a cross between Bono and Henry Kissinger. At a get-together at a friend's house that evening, I wandered around in a sleepy, self-conscious haze. I went home at about 10 and picked up a novel to read in bed. A half-hour later, the book was slipping from my lifeless hands. So this is what being a morning person is like, I thought. It's like being 80 years old.

Cleanse…Or Torture?

Day seven of our detox cleanse and I'm hurting. Major headaches and all I want to do is sleep. Very little energy. This sucks. 

Week one went much easier than expected. I was surprised by how little I missed my normal foods and actually felt pretty good about what we were eating. It wasn't that much of a stretch really. Sure, we had to give up caffeine, refined sugars, salt, eggs, most grains, red and lunch meats, dairy and processed foods. But we could still eat chicken, veggies, fruits, beans, rice, oats, rice cereal, rice milk, and best of all, I could keep using agave syrup as sweetener. 

Now, having given up caffeine cold turkey before to ill effect, I knew better than to attempt it now. Instead I tapered off my caffeine intake by drinking green tea for a week. This has two benefits: 1) no screaming headaches and moroseness, and 2) way smaller sugar intake. 

So far, so good. 

Then came today. Today began the deep, intense part of the cleanse. From now through next Sunday, Annie and I are eating no breakfast except a rice powder protein drink, no more meat, and less of everything else. I could live without the meat, I guess, but the lack of cereal is a blow. I love eating cereal, it's a comfort food for me. 

Worse, I stopped drinking green tea yesterday. I didn't experience any headaches then, but had very little energy. I was incredibly sluggish. Today was worse, though, as I had persistent headaches and even less energy. I mean, I can't believe how tired I've been today. In addition to sleeping in and finding it near impossible to get out of bed, I've had two naps. As I write this I'm nearly falling asleep. It's 10:30 p.m.

These are all normal symptoms of a detox cleanse, of course, and I'll tough it out. But this sucks. 

The most remarkable thing I've noticed is just how much I rely on caffeine and sugar to just get through a day at what feels like a normal level. I guess I really am an addict.