Monthly Archives: May 2009

Boom-Dizzle!

two of my favorite basketball players not named Gerald Wallace are Steve Nash and Baron Davis.  About a year ago they made this short movie in promotion for Step Brothers which was filmed mostly in my recent stomping grounds, santa monica CA.  steve nash is hilarious and a good dancer, both of which count for something in my book.  anyways here is the video.

if thats not enough tastey little treats to satiate your hunger for entertainment, here is a sweet video steve nash made where he is an international agent bent on slyly nutmegging the best soccer players in the world.  its in support of football for good, an organization trying to bring soccer to troubled areas in the world.

i loike it…. i loike it a lot.

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Academy of Sciences – San Francisco

Some pictures from the California Academy of Science building in San Francisco, which I had the pleasure of visiting this weekend.

California Academy of Sciences - Blueprint

California Academy of Sciences - Blueprint

there are a few parts visible on the blueprint. the dome furthest on the left is a planetarium, while the dome on the right is a bird/butterfly room.  in the center and outermost portions there are displays about evolution, climate change and other things that confuse republicans.  you can also walk over and view giant (thousands of gallons) tanks that simulate coral reefs and california tide pools.  in the bottom floor you can see into the tanks from the side and there are all kinds of smaller tanks and exhibits.  one of the giant tanks recreates a swamp with an albino alligator that i forgot to photograph.

reef fish

reef fish

one of the giant coral reef tanks was just filled with every color, shape and size fish imaginable.

caballeros

sand eels

including these three caballeros, called sand eels

S6301005

nemos uncle, ishmael

and this guy was chilling with some blowfish in a smaller tank. he looked really scared to see me…

nemo

nemo

yes, i found nemo.  it was not as exciting as the movie

the shire

the shire

last but not least, the roof is like hobbiton.  its actually pretty cool, there are all native plants growing and when it rains, the excess runoff goes back into the water table instead of being wasted as sewage runoff.  all the sky lights both illuminate and warm the building, and the plants prevent high temperatures during the day and keep the building cool at night.  you cant see it, but around the entire perimeter there is a ~ 10 foot long awning covered with solar panels that provide the museum with 20% of its electricity needs.  its like mother nature already knows science!

Chris Farley

naughty little pet!  chris farley…

Craigslist

-my favorite bruce song (well, top 3 for sure)

have you ever tried to post something on craigslist?  if so you will probably know what im talking about, but if not… let this be a warning of the impending economic apocalypse.

anyways, i have an old guitar and some other stuff that i recently tried to sell on craigslist.  so here i am, thinking that people will look on craigslist and see that guitar and say “dang, that is a sweet guitar.  i would pay approximately what he is asking for to have that guitar in mine own hands, to have and to hold.”  unfortunately that is not how craigslist works these days.  apparently the recession has revived good ole debate brought up by william jennings bryant (aka the lion from the wonderful wizard of oz) regarding the standard of the american dollar.  what i am getting at here is this:  nobody pays with cash on craigslist!  the playstation 3 has replaced the dollar, and various ps3 games have replaced coins as the official currency of craigslist.  every potential transaction i participated in went something like this:

kind sir – regarding your used guitar.  i would like to exchange for your guitar my ps3 and three (3) used games of your choice.  i believe this to be a fair exchange.  also, if you would kindly send several pictures of your guitar, i would in turn send you several pictures of my ps3 and games.  thank you and goodday

– ninja63@some_email.

off to see the wizard

off to see the wizard

thanks for your creative ps3 offer, but i would prefer cash unless maybe you could pay in cowry shells, 5 hours labor from your largest mule and some  fancy spices from the far east.

i dont know when this monetary revolution occured, but at my sisters wedding i had a conversation regarding craigslist with a few family members and all of them have had similar experiences on craigslist lately.  whats even crazier is i am looking for an apartment in LA right now and all the rents are something like “a ps3 as a deposit, with 5 copies of grand theft auto per month and 1 copy of the latest madden every 4 weeks for utilities”.

in all seriousness, it seems like either 1.) kids no longer understand how america works 2.) a lot of people have ps3s they dont want anymore 3.) i have grossly underestimated the liquidity of the ps3.  it reminds me of how cigarettes are used as currency in prison

grab that ps3 - its as good as cash on craigslist

grab that ps3 - its as good as cash on craigslist

Home

back home in NY for my sisters wedding!

Medical Fail 2.0

I cant believe I missed this one on my last post about failed medical products.  So maybe it doesnt fit exactly in to the definition of a medical device, but see if you can figure out what this is…

mystery device

mystery device

give up?  this guy is called a “fluoroscopic shoe-fitter”.  you can read more about it here.  basically, this little chunk of disaster would shine x-rays from a radioactive tube up through the feet of a shoe customer.  the x-rays would then hit a fluoroscope, which would create a black and white x-ray image like we have all seen before.  this would allow people to see how much room they had for their toes while trying on new shoes.  modern x-ray imaging is done onto a film so that only an instant of exposure is needed to make an image, however these devices would allow real-time viewing by a continuous exposure probably onto a scintillating screen (something to convert an x-ray into light so you can see the image).  you will notice there are 3 viewing areas on the top – one for the salesman, one for the mother (if a customer is a child) and one for the customer.  perhaps the worst part about this is there is pretty much no shielding on the entire device; if you are standing anywhere near this thing you are getting hit with radioactive dosage.  and when you look through that little porthole, you are dosing your brain with radiation.  apparently some salesman would reach into the shoe area to squeeze the tip of the shoe during radioactive exposure, leading to a lot of skin problems on their hands, sometimes in only a few years of selling shoes.  i can imagine a lot of them experienced infertility from all the radiation exposure reaching their waist area.  i dont even want to think what may have happened to pregnant mothers who worked in department stores that had these boxes.  luckily they have been illegal in the US since the 50s. 
x-ray foot image

x-ray foot image

if you are a pretty big nerd and were wondering how x-rays work, they shine high-energy particles through an object and see what comes out.  basically the denser materials (metals, bones) will absorb more x-rays than less dense materials (soft tissues, muscle, plastic).  after this is transferred to a film or viewing screen, the more dense stuff will look white and the less dense stuff will be darker.  there is a lot more to it then this, but it doesn’t matter that much.

foot xray

foot xray

Calvin and Hobbes

-Bon Iver, Skinny Love… my favorite song of the last year

One of the major influences in my life was without a doubt the Calvin and Hobbes comic.  When I was little, there was nothing better than getting up on sunday morning to read the color funnies.  And the best strip was always Calvin and Hobbes.  Its really hard to imagine what life must be like for kids these days.  Im sure this happens to every generation… “when i was a kid, we wrote in charcoal on the back of shovels for entertainment”… but I cant imagine what it must be like to be young in the 21st century.  Looking through some old C&H comics i had on my computer today made me think of all the good times of childhood.  Summers spent at my grandmas lake house, where we didnt have any tv but it didnt matter.  we spent all day in the woods playing teenage mutant ninja turtles or on the beach.  fishing every morning with my dad.  camp fires at night, telling stupid ghost stories, roasting marshmallows, singing to keep the bears away.  playing catch in the front yard with my brother in the spring, always throwing too far to the left or the right so that we would have to lay out to make the catch, just like we watched cal ripken jr do it.  wiffle ball and water fights.  playing made-up variations of capture the flag and tag when it got dark.  ice cream at the red caboose.  then when the snow came we would build forts in the 20 foot pileups of snow the plows left across the street.  massive snowball fights, bloody noses after building recklessly big ramps for sledding down the hill at chango.  giant lego battles in our family room – i dont know how mom put up with us.  i remember taking a bath at the end of one day and i couldnt see the bottom of the tub; it was covered in dirt and grass clippings.

maybe childhood is the same no matter when or where you grew up, just with different twists.  but tv and video games were a pleasure that i never really enjoyed unless it was too cold or too rainy and i wish i could still be doing those fun kid things now.  i would absolutely trade tv and video games for that.

anyways, C&H are pretty much my childhood to a T.  This first comic especially.

*Click on the pictures to open a full size picture in a new window*

old-photos-082

Maybe the best thing aboutC&H is the range of topics bill watterson covers.  this next comic reminds me of my misadventures with pets as a little guy.  i always wanted a frog and for my birthday in 2nd grade my parents got me two and a fish tank to keep them in (pete and petey).  they died within a week, and it broke my heart.   so then i got another frog (frogface) and he lived well into my high school years.  one time at my aunt and uncles house we went to visit the pond across the street, where we caught some salamanders.  we kept them as pets and named them after my aunt and uncle (jim and bonnie).  unfortunatly jim was a meek one and passed away.  reluctant to kill off more amphibians, my parents decided to let bonnie go, lest the memories of jim should lead to her death by a broken heart.  in some photoalbum at my parents house, there is a picture of me, bonnie perched timidly on my arm, with tears burning down my cheeks.  death still doesnt make sense even now that im all grown up.

old-photos-092

I would say i had a rather vivid imagination even for a child.  i drew velociraptors and space ships and alien battles all through my elementary school years.  maybe thats nerdy but whatever.  some of my favorite calvin and hobbes strips were when he dreamed of fantastic galaxies and alien worlds (as spaceman spiff) or imagined being a tyrannasaur.  i always liked how the imaginary worlds are more detailed and creative than the actual world in the comics.  and for a kid who imagines a stuffed tiger is real (although he may actually have been), how can calvin be so mature in his thoughts?  i love it

old-photos-139

finally, i love the inconventional artwork and structure that bill watterson uses.  i can imagine its almost as fun to draw as it is to read his work.

old-photos-145

as a 2nd or 3rd grader, my mom bought our family like 6-7 calvin and hobbes collections and i used to read parts of them every night before i fell asleep.  when i finished one, i would start the next, over and over throughout elementary school.  one of the first “significant” books i read was in 5th grade – i read To Kill A Mockingbird because my mom said it was like calvin and hobbes.  sure enough, TKAM has plenty of childhood nostalgia.  when i read it that first time, i didnt understand the underlying racial commentary, the charming wisedom of Atticus Finch, the implied message about courage as strength in character, and most importantly i didnt understand what the book said about growing up to be a man.  i would reread it a few years later, and again a few years after that and it still remains in my top 3 of all time (with Catch-22 and The Great Gatsby).  its funny that although now i understand the thematic portions of the book, my favorite parts are still the memories of childhood.  Ironically, as a kid I never understood the part where innocence died, but now as an adult i dont understand being a kid.

i wanted you to see what real courage is, instead of getting the idea that courage is a man with a gun in his hand. its when you know your licked before you begin, but you begin anyways and you see it through no matter what. you rarely win, but sometimes you do.

"i wanted you to see what real courage is, instead of getting the idea that courage is a man with a gun in his hand. its when you know your licked before you begin, but you begin anyways and you see it through no matter what. you rarely win, but sometimes you do."