This is a great video campaign for YouTube's Video Volunteers Program by Amnesty International:

The Power of Words

And here is a little something in honor of the season:

I also want one of these suits:

How friggin cool is that?!

And, in closing the Old Year to make way for the New Year, I thought I would share a few things about 100 years ago so that you could compare with life today (and possibly thank your lucky stars that you live in 2009).

  • Average life expectancy: 47
  • 14% of all homes had a bathtub; 8% had a telephone.
  • There were only 144 miles of paved roads and 8,000 cars to drive on them
  • The population of Las Vegas, Nevada was 30 people
  • Italian writer Marinetti published Futurist Manifesto in Paris
  • The average wage was 22 cents an hour
  • Louis Bleriot of France made the first ever flight across the English Channel
  • The Wright Brothers delivered the 1st military airplane to the US army, and then formed a million-dollar corporation to manufacture airplanes
  • Over 95% of all births took place at home (yikes!)
  • The North Pole was reached by Robert Peary and Matthew Henson
  • The first hot-air balloon honeymoon was taken by Roger Burham and Eleanor Waring
  • Only 6% of Americans had graduated high school
  • Crossword puzzles, canned beer, and iced tea hadn't been invented yet
  • And here's what a car looked like:
A 1909 Ford Model R

We've clearly come a long way in a hundred years. So, where are we going to go in the next 100 years? I suppose that's up to us, isn't it?

That's all for today.



That's right. And you know what? There wasn't even any product placement... I was almost disappointed...

But seriously, the movie was actually really good as well as really well-made. I mean, of course it would be; it's by James Cameron and it's got Sigourney Motherfucking-Badass-Alien-Slaughtering Weaver in it (aka 20th C. Fox pulled no punches).

It had a plot. It had a good premise. It took the 3D experience to a whole new realm of clarity, precision, and artistry. And it had me hooked. Rotten Tomatoes certainly likes it!

Plus, the CGI creatures are kind of hot, and not to mention mostly naked the whole time. Those damn naked savages... It turned me on. :OThe girl on the right wants to know if this hunky young fellow has seen Avatar yet? It's all the rage these days.

On a more somber note, the film explored a lot of intense and controversial themes at a time when the American public needs to see it the most. It made a good parallel to the experience anthropologists have, learning a new culture, way of life, and perspective; and, more often than not--unfortunately--trying to defend that way of life from an increasingly encroaching outside world. However, this is what real anthropology looks like:

Clearly, hiking books and pookah shells are totally last season in Ooga Booga Village.

And this is what it looks like on a different planet with a gazillion-dollar budget and very pretty people who make entirely too much money for what they do:

I give it 4/5 stars. That's like one and two-thirds thumbs up!


Baby Steps, Baby Steps

For today (and maybe the week because of the holidays...):

Mexico City Legalizes Gay Marriage!
(via Pharyngula)

The Cannabis Clusterfuck, or, Why the hell do I still live in Missouri?

You know what, though? We're gettin' closer all the time :D

How Everything Goes to Hell During a Zombie Apocalypse
I'll bet you Lori Beth Denberg didn't teach you any of this.

Also, I'm on the cover of PKP Forum (national honor fraternity Phi Kappa Phi's periodical publication). I'm covered in sweat and dirt, wearing only a wife-beater and camo cargos, standing next to four sticky, grungy, dusty lady-friends of mine. The reason I am on this cover? The girl on the left, my friend Jen, won a study abroad award for PKP. But I am still on the cover, you know? I'm kind of proud of it, even if I wasn't the one who won the award...

<--- clearly, I get around.

I hope you have a happy-whatever-you-choose-to-celebrate-at-this-time-of-year, and try not to strangle any immediate relations.


Here's Johnny!

I return! I'm sorry I've kept you waiting for so long (life happens), but I'm back like a boomerang and it's all going to be much better from now on, I promise.

I have a few things on my mind these days, namely: I got an A in 4 classes and a B+ in one. *smiles arrogantly* However, some of those As are actually A minuses... which doesn't really bother me except that for 3 years I never had to worry about it, and now as a senior in my bachelor's program I have to deal with this new +/- shit tearing my GPA to pieces (I waved goodbye to it sometime after London, I think). It's just that they dropped it onto all of us rather than integrating it as each new generation of college-bound hopeful-cum-bicycle target freshman joined the ranks of America's educated, and largely jobless, young adulthood. It just seems fairer to me I guess somehow, but I suppose teachers would have to give two different groups of people in each class two different groups of grades and that would just be terribly tedious and foul. Ah well. I digress.

Pues, I have a few things for you on my hit list since I've been gone, darling, and I wanted to share them with you:

The Road

Showing at The Moxie, downtown Springfield. Based on the Pulitzer-prize winning book by author Cormac McCarthy.

Need I say more?

Best one I've seen in a while.
Dragonslayer (1981)

Ah, but better still! (☆☆☆☆☆)
The Lost Skeleton of Cadavra

Spacious Thoughts
N.A.S.A. Project ft. Tom Waits and Kool Keith

In fact, Boing Boing is just a wonderful place in general.

I won't provide free advertising pictures for the rest of them, but I will provide you with a list (you lucky little bastard, you):

Music You Should Be Aware Of:
Video Games I Am Currently Enjoying Very Much:
Movies You Should Have Already Seen:
  • Ghostbusters, Hook, and How the Grinch Stole Christmas (the animated one, duh)
  • The Black Cauldron, The Sword in the Stone, and Atlantis: The Lost Empire
Excellent Reads:
  • Bill Bryson: Lost Continent
  • David Sedaris: When You Are Engulfed in Flames
  • Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman: Good Omens: the Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch
  • Don Miguel Ruiz: Los Cuatro Acuerdos: Un libro de la sabiduria tolteca
  • T. S. White: The Once and Future King
  • C. S. Lewis: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader (my personal favorite of the Chronicles of Narnia)
I think that's quite enough for today, don't you?