Archive for January, 2013« Older Entries |
[ Comments Off ]Posted on January 31, 2013 by admin in Lifestyle & CultureThursday, January 31st, 2013
Dubai was pretty much built entirely on a desire to use superlatives. The tallest this, the biggest that. Now they’re selecting the best photo in the world, and launching the coolest delivery service in the world. Oh, and poop.
Whenever you hear about something going on in Dubai, it’s probably going to be something epic. The place pretty much is only described in superlatives and absolutes. Whether it’s most famous actor in the world Tom Cruise swinging on the world’s tallest skyscraper in Mission: Impossible Ghost Protocol, the highest-grossing Mission: Impossible film, or the most audacious engineering projects ever, or merely the world’s largest shopping mall, or highest restaurant, Dubai has the most mostest of just about anything. Which is probably why, when the most powerful man in Dubai creates a photography contest offering the largest grand prize in the world, one of the first questions asked was Is This The Greatest Image On Earth? We don’t know the answer to that question, but it sure is the somethingest image on Earth, created from 48 panoramic images, each shot at a resolution of 80 megapixels. The screen grab above doesn’t do it justice at all; if you zoom around its 360 degrees, you will quickly discover a pretty exceptional level of detail like the image below. But don’t take our word for it, just go visit the interactive panorama .
Oh. We promised to get to the bottom of things in Dubai too. Amongst all the “ests” you can reference in Dubai, one of the amusingest delivery services is being launched there, the Durex emergency condom delivery service. Please note that that site also has the annoyingest bass audio ever used on a website. And going a little lower, Dubai probably also has the biggest collection of sewage trucks, which line up regularly (video also below) trying to figure out where to dump the byproducts of the world’s most concentratedest collection of toilets. Read the rest of this entry »
[ Comments Off ]Posted on January 30, 2013 by admin in PoliticsWednesday, January 30th, 2013
The French military fighting for uranium mining conglomerates? I guess I don’t care if corporate proxy wars are the next big thing, as long as it means that evil global megacorporations wipe each other out.
I’ll always remember the first time I heard the name “United Fruit”. I was a teen reading (yup, reading) Playboy, and in an interview with Mel Brooks, he made some reference to his bum being blown off in the war, and being replaced with a United Fruit box. This was before the web, so even though the reference perplexed me, I forgot about it until years later, when I was reading about the atrocities committed by corporate America in the interest of keeping the bananas on your breakfast cereal cheap. To this day, I’m rather astounded by the gall of naming a clothing store “Banana Republic”. Yeah, let’s go shopping at that store that’s run by a CIA puppet who’s taking grift from Chiquita and Coca Cola and killing his compatriots to keep the Latin American masses enslaved and the banana split floats affordable at Dairy Queen. I was reminded of all of this recently when I ran across this piece which tells the rather bizarre story of how Exxon and BP seem to be on the verge of being directly at war with each other in Iraq. The story intrigued me, because futurist thinkers for a couple of decades have talked about the Corporate Nation State, and although we see signs of this evolution all around us in America – largely in the form of lobby money and politicians on the corporate grift – this is the first time I’d ever heard of two corporations manipulating two governments that are potential enemies, and driving them toward war. I mean, we’ve all heard of the destabilizing strategies talked about in books like Confessions of an Economic Hit Man, and we’ve all heard of proxy wars, but corporate proxy wars? What a crazy idea! But as I poked around a bit to see if there were other conflicts like this elsewhere, I immediately ran across this piece about the Mali resource war, which describes the first ever use of the French military to directly defend the assets of a corporation, in this case the Areva Mining Business Group, which mines Uranium in Mali and elsewhere. This is indeed probably the war of the future. It’s fairly common knowledge that near future wars will likely be over resources like water or oil, but it hadn’t occurred to me personally just who would be fighting them. And it actually makes a perverted and troubling kind of sense that it would be the corporations that profit from those resources who would wage the wars. Imagine Coke and Pepsi duking it out over sugar resources, or Verizon and AT&T battling for frequency spectra as we keep demanding more and more ways to be wireless and connected. I guess our only real concern right now should be how good the pay is, and whether they’ll call us “employees of the United States” or “citizens of Monsanto”.
[ Comments Off ]Posted on January 29, 2013 by admin in Missing LinksTuesday, January 29th, 2013
This week’s links you may have missed include lots of vehicular vidiocy, a little “schneedenfreude” (a word we just introduced into German), and the Holy Batting Cage.
As the old saying goes: “writing about YouTube videos is like dancing about reality shows”, so for this week’s Missing Links, we’ll spare you the excessive highbrow commentary, so you can dig straight in to the YouTubidity of it all. From cradle to CataCombo, we have it all. Clips below. Read the rest of this entry »
[ Comments Off ]Posted on January 28, 2013 by admin in Lifestyle & CultureMonday, January 28th, 2013
Plastering cubicles with Post-Its is soooo 2004. And with today’s skittish economy, office life should be more about destroying your potential enemies than having a laugh with your cubemates.
This one requires tremendous dedication,
much like the last image below
Remember back in Ye Olden Days of the Before Time, the days of the Dot-com Bubble, when you and all your friends had jobs that paid $80k+ a year, and “work” on Monday consisted primarily of calling your friends on the phone while browsing Match.com and reclaiming your childhood by buying mint-in-box copies of your favorite toys on eBay? Yeah, me neither. While all those hosers were busy frittering away the capital from the biggest economic boom in history, I was working my butt off starting a business. And as a result, I rarely work on Mondays, because I’ve usually worked ALL WEEKEND. Which is why, as recently as 2009, I still took delight in derailing the MF95 crowd’s week with our Monday Demotivators. Well, the other day, it occurred to me that this was not enough, so I figured it was time to revive The Office Prank. We’re omitting the more obvious “cubicle remodeling” jokes; once you’ve seen one cube covered in Post-Its, foil, or wrapping paper, you’ve seen them all. Instead, we’re focusing more on gaslighting methods. We’ve outlined them below. Just don’t get carried away like the dentist who thought that replacing his employee’s teeth with boar tusks would be good for a hoot. Things might get ugly . Read the rest of this entry »
[ Comments Off ]Posted on January 27, 2013 by admin in Popular MediaSunday, January 27th, 2013
Didn’t get invited to Sundance AGAIN this year? Put on some nice shorts and enjoy it anyway.
As much as I love film, and as much as I love festivals, I’m not sure if I love film festivals. I’ve attended plenty, but in spite of living in a town that presents one of the best festivals in the world – the Ann Arbor Film Festival – I haven’t even attended that one since we gave it light coverage here a couple of years ago. Looking back, the year I stopped being so enthused about them was around 2000, which coincides almost precisely with the widespread availability of the “time shifted viewing” that the web and digital recorders have made possible. Combine that with the fact that I never much enjoyed hobnobbing with mobs of film snobs and hypersocial restaurant workers with SAG cards anyway, and film festivals have sort of become a thing of the past for me. That’s why I’m ecstatic that when I can’t attend a festival like Sundance, there’s a good chance that at least portions of it will be available online. Not that I’ve ever been to Sundance; to be honest, I’d probably only go if Delphine Chanéac asked me to be her date. So we can probably rest assured I won’t be attending Sundance any time soon. Anyway, one of the highlights of Sundance having an online presence this year was the selection of shorts available on one of their YouTube channels. As I’ve pointed out before, I have a fetish for short film, so below I’ve selected a couple of favorites from this year’s Sundance collection, as well as another exceptional short called VOICE OVER that wasn’t at Sundance. Enjoy, and see you at the festival. On line. Read the rest of this entry »