Tuesday, February 26, 2008

I could really go for a pop.

Please note that I have taken two (2) "What American accent do you have" quizzes, and both have confirmed, to my chagrin, that I STILL have a Michigan accent, even after all my efforts to lose it in college. Sigh.

Take the quiz and see what you get.

What American accent do you have? (Best version so far)

Northern

You have a Northern accent. That could either be the Chicago/Detroit/Cleveland/Buffalo accent (easily recognizable) or the Western New England accent that news networks go for.

Personality Test Results

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Sunday, February 24, 2008

Cuba, Cuba.

Since Fidel Castro announced this past week that he won't pursue the Cuban Presidency in the future, the New York Times has published a spate of articles discussing the situation on the island -- what may change (if anything), what Cubans are thinking and feeling, the US reaction, and so on. When I heard the news about Fidel's "resignation," I wasn't very surprised, nor did I see any major significance in the announcement. In some ways, it seems to me, Fidel "resigned" over a year ago, as his brother Raúl has taken over many of the important presidential functions already. In another sense, it seems like Fidel will never really leave, even after he's buried with his boots on. The DePalma article I've posted below compares Fidel to a giant plane that leaves such a strong wake after its takeoff that other planes have to wait for it to pass before they can leave the jet-way.

DePalma echoes my prediction that little (if any) radical change will happen for a long time in Cuba. His article also briefly touches on the deep sadness felt on both sides of the US-Cuba divide, and the overwhelming uncertainty about the future that everyone (but particularly those who live on the island) feels constantly.

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/02/24/weekinreview/24depalma.html?ex=1361595600&en=81001b93410234f9&ei=5124&partner=permalink&exprod=permalink

I also found this article, about the changing tenor of Cuban exiles' views about Fidel, to be quite interesting:

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/02/20/us/20miami.html?ex=1361250000&en=5d85891c8dda8797&ei=5124&partner=permalink&exprod=permalink

Oh, and just FYI, Raúl is officially the new president of Cuba:

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080224/ap_on_re_la_am_ca/cuba_leadership

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

I'M IN A BOAT IN HOLLAND!!!!

For those of you who don't know, which I'm assuming is most non-British people reading this, Trigger Happy TV was a British hidden camera show that ran from 2000-2002, started by this guy Dom Joly. According to Wikipedia, the show "did not revolve around trapping normal people into embarrassing and impossible situations. Instead, Joly often made fun of himself rather than others, and many scenes made people stop and either laugh or simply wonder what was going on; the passers-by are never made aware of the fact that they are on television, presumably until they sign a release form allowing the use of the footage shot."

This show used to be on Brazilian TV a lot and I'd watch it on weeknights before retiring into my bed at 9 pm. Below is a compilation of sketches involving Joly and a giant, novelty phone that he answers at inappropriate times, in quiet places. Believe me, it's definitely worth it to cut and paste this link into your browser and watch it.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NciO7AEqKYE


"NAH, IT'S RUBBISH! JUST A LOT OF CHEESE AND STUFF."

Saturday, February 09, 2008

The Socratic Method of Lunch

I'm in the bagel shop, trying to study. Below, word for word, is the conversation going on in the booth next to me. I want to commit hari kari with a cream cheese spreader to make it stop:

Old, Wise Philosopher: "They're called Isostics, and the "issics" term is derogatory. It's like wise-ass. But basically, Socrates was going around asking people, well, you can say something like this is just or that is just, but tell me what justice is in the general, you know, and he'd do that with various things, but in the end, he was like, I know that I don't know, and you guys suck. But I mean, you have to look at the political situation. This was towards the end of the 5th century, when the culmination would be the civil war with Sparta, and for someone to question what justice was, that was threatening. But Socrates didn't write anything. So."

Clueless Younger Guy: "Whoa. Wait. But. Okay. I'll be right back, I gotta get a bagel."

So now, blessedly, there is a break in the extremely loud philosophizing, and I can hear the AWESOME R.E.M song that has been playing in the bagel shop that these jackasses were drowning out before. WHO comes to Bruegger's to talk Socrates? That's all I want to know -- who are these people, where do they live, and would it be feasible to egg their house later?

Follow-up note: the young guy came back and now they're talking about their favorite harpsichordians. This promises to be a lively and edifying exchange!

Monday, February 04, 2008

My favorite Superbowl commercial....ever.

So, I just watched the Super Bowl, which was disappointing for two main reasons:

1. The Patriots lost (which I don't care about), but there were no riots to be seen (I was at someone's apartment near Fenway), despite the 50 million police officers with clubs and the 15 armored trucks right outside our door. I mean...if the Pats are gonna lose, the least Boston could do is start a few fires, right?

2. The commercials were not as good as last year. I was expecting great things, or at least something as funny as my favorite Super Bowl commercial ever, which I am posting here:

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The commercial above is amazing and will never be topped, because it involves Jim Gaffigan, Michael Ian Black (dreamy), short shorts and roller skates. This year's commercials, in contrast, were either racist cartoons, boring shots of cars driving in futuristic landscapes, talking animals (SO five years ago), or just plain nonsense (Naomi Campbell dancing with lizards). Come on, Super Bowl. Get it together.