Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Share the Wealth

Via Positive Sharing comes word that excellent documentary The Corporation has been updated and distributed for free online. Bittorrent away with a clear conscience. And pass on the word.

You might remember that Michael Moore's Fahrenheit 911 was released in a similar fashion shortly before the last election. The Corporation's more even-handed, but just as enraging.


Rumsfeld, Kissinger, Nixon

This photo appeared in this week's New York magazine in reference to an article about Kissinger. It seems to depict a trifecta, a perfect storm of political malignancy that paved the road for our currently inept, wrong-headed and arrogant foreign policy. To think that the influence of these three men has coursed across generations in recent American history. And will continue to do so.

Monday, November 27, 2006

AA|RF in AdWeek

Nice little piece about Avenue A|Razorfish's cool new digs at 1440 Broadway in NYC. Google's old space! Times Square! Great views from our terrace on the 19th floor! Bryant Park's just a block away! New York Public Library's just a block further! Neon! Billboards! Swimming against the flow of tourists like salmon!

Later that same day: The Naked Cowboy came strolling through our office, strumming his guitar and singing a song to welcome us to the 'hood.

Naked Cowboy in dah house!

Gotta love New York.

Friday, November 24, 2006

Martin Amis on Terror

The great danger of terrorism is not what it inflicts. Even September 11 was absorbable. It's what it provokes. You goad the enemy into doing something against its interests.

Osama bin Laden always thought the West would tie itself down in an Islamic country, but he assumed that country would be Afghanistan. Now, with Iraq, we seem to have lost on both fronts. With incredible thoroughness, we're playing into their hands.

- Martin Amis interviewed in Newsweek

Monday, November 20, 2006

Frank Gehry in NYC

Gehry's IAC Building

The new Frank Gehry building on the West Side Highway at 18th. It's right on the Hudson, only the dirty great big Chelsea Piers building must block a good view of it from the river.

I also watched the Sydney Pollack documentary Sketches of Frank Gehry this weekend.

I have a soft spot for Gehry's work, despite the criticism from some quarters, so I enjoyed it when Pollack asks Julian Schnabel (who tangentially is looking like the living embodiment of "The Dude" Lebowski) what he'd say if he had to criticize Gehry and Schnabel responds:
I wouldn't criticize him. Because I think it's like flies flying around on the neck of a lion. It's like watching a movie like Apocalypse Now and saying you think that Robert Duvall is over the top.
Also: See Frank Gehry and his design method on The Simpsons (in Spanish!).

Friday, November 17, 2006

Merry Christmas

I've been working in mid-town Manhattan for the last couple of weeks where it's already starting to look a lot like Christmas.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006


I've long been fascinated with doppelgängers - or, more accurately, with people who look a lot like other people. In fact, my friends have probably tired of me pointing out people in public who I think look like other people.

So I love this series of photos by François Brunelle, a Canadian photographer who's working on a series of 200 portraits of people who look eerily alike, but who are not at all related. Here's his site, too, where you can see some additional pics.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Confusing Folks With my Accent

What American accent do you have?
Your Result: The Northeast

Judging by how you talk you are probably from north Jersey, New York City, Connecticut or Rhode Island. Chances are, if you are from New York City (and not those other places) people would probably be able to tell if they actually heard you speak.

The Inland North
The Midland
The South
The West
North Central
What American accent do you have?
Take More Quizzes

According to this quiz I have a North Eastern accent, most likely that of a New Yorker, which is funny, since I just moved here about 5 months ago and lived in the South for over half my life. And I doubt any native New Yorkers would think I had a local accent. I skew the quiz, of course, though, since I was born and raised in the Australia and moved back and forth until I was almost 20. So I basically have a Deep Southern accent.

At various times I've told people I'm from Boston or Charleston (if you've heard the Charleston accent, which is not a typical Southern accent, you'll understand why), to which they reacted with nary a doubt - though I'm not sure it'd work up here. Of course, I always eventually confess to being from Australia, but it sure is fun to watch people try to figure my accent out.

On the other hand, to be fair, far more people guess I'm originally form Australia now than did when we first came over here in 1980. Back then, everyone thought we were British. But then came Crocodile Dundee, INXS, Midnight Oil, and Men at Work and eventually Nicole Kidman, Russell Crowe, the Crocodile Hunter (what is it with the crocodiles?), Heath Ledger, Cate Blanchett, Hugh Jackman, and so on and now folks can generally distinguish between British and Australian, Australian and Austrian.

Though I have had two people respond when I told them I was from Australia: "Oh, Arnold Schwarzenegger!"

Um, no.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Arrogant Til the End

Rumsfeld's Mentor

ABC News:
In brief remarks, Rumsfeld described the Iraq conflict as a "little understood, unfamiliar war" that is "complex for people to comprehend."
Well, The Taliban's back in Afghanistan. And Osama's still on the loose. We've spent billions upon billions on Iraq. And some 2839 Americans have died over there. Not to mention some 50,000 Iraqi civilians. And since 9/11 we've lost the sympathy of the world a few times over while gaining a reputation for torture and extradition and a general disregard for human rights violations.

But, yeah, it's we plebes who just don't get it, Rummy.

Sunday, November 05, 2006


What is a CEO? A CEO is someone who would like you to work twelve hours a day for the price of six. He criticizes the State and the government while going cap in hand to them for subsidies.

- from Mammals by Pierre Mérot

Saturday, November 04, 2006

The Whites of Your Eyes

"Don't shoot until you see the whites of their eyes." That's the context we're used to hearing the human sclera mentioned in. But it turns out the evolution of our sclera may have more to do with cooperation and communication than combat. According to this week's Economist, German researchers have posited that our sclera evolved to that end. In other words, if your iris is surrounded by white tissue, it's easier for others to establish where you're looking and for you to focus on the same thing. The Economist article uses the phrase "the mutual direction of gaze" and suggests a common example: a group of men standing around a car focusing on the efforts a single male.

Other primates have darker sclera, making it markedly more difficult to determine their focus. As a result, studies revealed that non-human apes paid more attention to where where a human's head was turned, while human children followed the eyes, a more accurate way of determining where the facilitator was actually looking.

Halloween NYC Style

Kangol hat from T. J. Maxx: $9.99
Metal-rimmed aviator sunglasses from Urban Outfitters: $14.00
Cigarette holder: $6.99
Resemblance to Hunter S. Thompson: Questionable

Additional photos from NYC's 2006 Halloween parade on my Flickr site.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Massive Hypocrisy

Yet another darling of the far right and opponent of gay marriage Ted Haggard has been revealed as a hypocrite, soliciting sex from a male escort. If he ain't guilty, why'd he quit?

I already knew Haggard as an astonishingly arrogant man from this interview Richard Dawkins conducted with him in The Root of All Evil, a documentary that'll never see the light of American commercial TV over here. Of course, Dawkins owns quite an arrogant streak himself. But he ain't out there telling people what they can and can't do in their own bedrooms, whilst making the very whoopy he decries himself.


"There is part of my life that is so repulsive and dark that I've been warring against it all of my adult life." - Ted Haggard in a letter of apology to his church.

Even in his eventual confession, Haggard speaks only with contempt and a visceral disgust for homosexuality. It's sad that because of the indefensible beliefs which have infected his mind, beliefs which run rampant in our society, this man will probably never be a fully integrated human being. If he didn't do so much to hurt other gay people, it'd be even easier to feel sympathy for him.

Also makes you wonder when some young guy's gonna out Fred Phelps.