Archive for June, 2009« Older Entries |
When you’re from the 23rd century like me, the 20th and 21st centuries look a lot alike. And we’re sorry to say that Mama’s taking your Kodachrome away.
The 1974 JVC Video Capsule and the 2002 iMac
This little review of the Sony Walkman by a 13-year-old iPod owner reminded me that for most of my life, I’ve felt like I’m living in some sort of time warp, or am genuinely displaced in time. As a kid in the sixties, I would watch Star Trek, and the technology and philosophy of the show seemed perfectly natural to me: no war, money was obsolete, computers had flawless voice recognition, and if you were captain of a starship, you could be white and kiss hot black (or even green) chicks and no-one would bat a lash. Then I’d go out to play, and my reality would be crushed; the first thing I’d see in the driveway was my brother’s rusted out ’62 Ford Galaxie, which, in spite of the space-age name, certainly didn’t have warp drive, and definitely ran on filthy petrol-matter, not anti-matter. Ironically, in spite of the fact that I lived through the era of 8-Track tapes, then cassettes, then the still-cumbersome CD, I am at this point genuinely disappointed, for instance, at the crappy sound quality of mp3 files and the utter lack of compact, single-source holographic audio and video. As a result of feeling like the present is antiquated, I have a perverse fascination with the even more antiquated technology of decades past, which is why I just lost about two hours of my life over at RetroThing.com, where I not only spent hours reminiscing about once-incredible technologies like the Magnavox Astro-Sonic Stereo Console and this incredible pocket-sized computer, but I also learned about tragedies like the impending demise of Kodachrome. Damn. And I was just shopping for a Pentax Spotmatic the other day. Know of any other cool retro sites?
[ Comments Off ]Posted on June 29, 2009 by admin in Editorial & OpinionMonday, June 29th, 2009
This weeks Monday Demotivators starts out on a light theme, but pretty soon the morning is shot, and it’s all downhill after that.
We received another complaint recently that our Monday Demotivators had strayed from the clever games and puzzles that force one to use their head a little. Don’t you people have anything nice to say? Well, we’re here to please. So go ahead and bang your head, and thanks for your input. But seriously, for those who for whatever reason actually like thinking on a Monday morning, we have Light Bot. Program the moves of the little robot, and click go. The objective is to light up the blue squares. Continuing to keep things light this morning, try Nodes 2, in which you line up lasers before the bomb goes off. That game takes advantage of the fact that rearranging little red lines on computer a screen is MUCH more exciting with an Electrobeat soundtrack. And if you don’t believe us, just try Laser Logic, which doesn’t have an Electrobeat soundtrack. If you’re still awake after that one, we always try to include some form of murder for the more morally degenerate homicidal types amongst you. Today we have Ultimate Assassination 2, which frankly should be called Ultimate Ant-sassination 2; although an amusing game, you feel more like you’re killing little bugs than people. And it’s all downhill from here. To finish Harshing Your Monday Mellow, we have Gnarshmallow. A simple but challenging skiing game that seems to take the little bugs from the last game and put them on a ski slope. Crashtastical, dude. Just don’t blast a dookie.
The surreal and clever 60′s movie The President’s Analyst eerily predicted AT&T’s creepy potential for control over our lives
Much in the same way that you could mistake the brilliantly offbeat and overlooked sixties film The President’s Analyst for a film that’s about being hunted by the FBI and the CIA, you could easily mistake what you’re reading at the moment for some kind of obtuse film review. I hadn’t thought of “The President’s Analyst” for quite some time, until I recently had an almost epic series of problems with The Phone Company (why kid ourselves, there’s only one, when you get down to the basic plumbing). My recent problems all involved a ridiculous series of lapses of communication which at one point inspired one of their own technicians to share the witticism: “Remember, we’re a telephone company, not a communications company“. With my problem still unresolved after literally hours on – how ironic – the telephone, I began to feel a little paranoid and persecuted. As maybe I should. In the hilarious, surreal, and quintessentially sixties film that stars James Coburn in a very In Like Flint role, it ultimately is revealed that “The Phone Company” is more powerful and secretive than all the world’s intelligence agencies combined. Which is disturbingly prescient, given the recent history of AT&T’s relationship with the NSA and their creepy and insidious FISA amnesty lobbying. Which, since I’m publicly bellyaching, all makes me wonder if I will finally get my DSL service activated on Tuesday as promised, after three weeks of waiting. I mean, Adam Savage of Mythbusters has gone public with his AT&T frustrations, but he has millions of followers on Twitter to back him up. Dissociated Press only has about 8,000 readers, and only about 5 of them comment with regularity. Now’s your chance. Had any problems with AT&T yourself? Feel free to vent in the comments.
How the hell should I know? I’m just a congressman.
Even if they feel compelled
to read it upside-down….
I’ve been feeling a little in the dark lately about just what the current administration is really up to. Back in the Bush days you could easily get a sense of things by just looking for where the bombs were dropping, or where the poor people were drowning and starving in a major US city. I’m afraid we’re dealing with a more subtle beast now; though he campaigned on open government, President Obama seems to be resorting to clever loopholes to keep the blinds drawn. And while I’m pretty excited that the house has voted in favor of the new Clean Energy & Security Act, I wonder how many of the representatives have actually read it? In the case of the recent $787 billion dollar stimulus package passed not too long ago, legislators literally had one minute to read for every billion dollars they were making a decision about. Does it make sense to you that a legislator should vote on a bill that he might not fully understand even if he did read it? If not, take a look at readthebill.org, a group that’s pushing for legislation that requires a bill to be posted on line for 72 hours prior to voting. Given the tendency of congressional reps to not read bills prior to voting, maybe it’ll squeak by. Me, I’ll be over at Ben’s Guide To Government For Kids, trying to get a handle on this whole government thingy.
Why do we act surprised when power-hungry risk takers (i.e.: politicians) pursue extramarital relationships? And why the heck aren’t there any women on these lists?
No wonder Jefferson’s
There’s more than a little irony in the fact that one of our country’s earliest political sex scandals involved the author of the Declaration of Independence. Come on, America. Time to shed a few more of those Puritanical morals that have so long prevented us from becoming the great former empire that we are destined to be. South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford’s 15 minutes of shame were easily eclipsed in the news cycle by the deaths of Farrah Fawcett and Michael Jackson yesterday, and rightly so, in my opinion. The millions of taxpayer dollars wasted by Ken Starr’s investigations of President Clinton’s extramarital affairs could have been spent on much more useful things. Like maybe getting Ken Starr laid, for instance. I mean, if anybody ever had the look of someone who hasn’t had some in a while, it’s Ken Starr. So, if you’re an ignorant prude who’s never looked into the topic, our country has plenty of juicy tidbits to keep you busy for awhile; this Wikipedia list is well-organized and well-documented, and PolitickerNJ.com has compiled a nice “best of” list of (1.1MB, PDF) that summarizes highlights of the top 53 bureaucratic booty-calls. And for anyone trying to spin this into a partisan issue, forget it. Dems and ‘Pubs are pretty much neck-and-neck on this one. So loosen up, America, we have bigger fish to fry.