and I quote

whatsup 2004-05

May 3, 2005

This made me laugh till my face hurt. Granted, when I first read it, I was about ten minutes into a deep cleansing clay mask which was just beginning to dry into pottery and I was trying very hard not to move my face so that it wouldn't crack.

Of course, I have no self control... so, I just kept reading and, every time something would make me laugh again, at the same time I would cringe in pain because the mask would pull up around the hairline and rip a bunch of tiny, fine hairs out of my head.

Unfuggetable is also really good... only you have to do the accent in your head as you read it to yourself... or it's really not.

Finally, after trying all the what breed of dog are you themed personality tests out there, I can say with some authority that this one is, by far, the best — the presentation, level of interactivity and length are near-perfect. My only complaint — and I fear it's a deal breaker — is that after going through the damn thing four times, I've gotten four different dogs that I haaaaaate!

I mean, come on. Bichon Frise? You've got to be kidding me. Those dogs look like what you would get if your Swiffer ate your Chia Pet. Chihuahua? Don't come near me with that thing. Honestly, don't. Unless it's yodeling like Ren or speaking Spanish, fluently, I don't even like to look into their bulging little eyes because I have this fear that they're going to suddenly explode and the eyeballs will be launched right out of their sockets at me.

February 1, 2005

Bill Moyers (former host of "Now with Bill Moyers" on PBS) recently accepted the Global Environmental Citizen Award from the Center for Health and the Global Environment at Harvard Medical School. In response, he gave an acceptance speech that should win him a Pulitzer. Although I had read the transcript back in December, I had somehow forgotten to print it, save it or link to it until I ran across it again today at (thank you,

Excerpts don't do it justice but anyway here's where it starts to get good:

"One of the biggest changes in politics in my lifetime is that the delusional is no longer marginal. It has come in from the fringe, to sit in the seat of power in the Oval Office and in Congress. For the first time in our history, ideology and theology hold a monopoly of power in Washington... They are the people who believe the Bible is literally true — one-third of the American electorate, if a recent Gallup poll is accurate."

Moyers breaks it down for us:

"Its outline is rather simple, if bizarre... Once Israel has occupied the rest of its "biblical lands," legions of the antichrist will attack it, triggering a final showdown in the valley of Armageddon... A war with Islam in the Middle East is not something to be feared but welcomed — an essential conflagration on the road to redemption. The last time I Googled it, the rapture index stood at 144 — just one point below the critical threshold when the whole thing will blow, the son of God will return, the righteous will enter Heaven and sinners will be condemned to eternal hellfire." [Download transcript (pdf)]

Editor's note: as of today, the rapture index stands at an incendiary 154.

January 31, 2005

This is a pre-election bit I wasn't able to post on account of being offline for two months (computer troubles/upgrades... believe me, you are truly blessed I haven't the energy to elaborate any further on that). I wanted to post it but also to preface it with... I know it's outdated and irrelevant but it's still funny...

From the Guardian's David Aaronovitch, a brilliant blow-by-blow commentary on the presidential debates back in October: "I thought Bush looked a bit scared while Kerry was right at home. Once again, with his height, booming voice and dense hair, the senator reminded me of a tree, while the prehensile lips and small button eyes of the President have always suggested a small monkey to the cartoonists of the world. At one difficult moment, you half expected Bush to run up Kerry's trunk and take refuge in the topmost foliage, far above the carping, difficult world."

Which reminds me, a decision should be coming down any day now in the case of Jeremy Hinzman, the American soldier who came to Canada with his family to avoid serving (a second time) in Iraq. We wish him the best of luck and not just for his sake.

January 30, 2005 recently posted this declaration, entitled "Clarity of Mind," at the portal to, a fantastic site that offers unprecedented insight into the criminal greed of the pharmaceutical industry and its impacts on global mental health.

August 22, 2004

Even though this article is about a bunch of articles about a subject I'm not even slightly interested in, it's a relief just knowing that Hunter S. Thompson is still getting published — with a vengeance — and then there are excerpts like the following:

"The American nation is in the worst condition I can remember in my lifetime, and our prospects for the immediate future are even worse. I am surprised and embarrassed to be a part of the first American generation to leave the country in far worse shape than it was when we first came into it. Our highway system is crumbling, our police are dishonest, our children are poor, our vaunted Social Security, once the envy of the world, has been looted and neglected and destroyed by the same gang of ignorant, greed-crazed bastards who brought us Vietnam, Afghanistan, the disastrous Gaza Strip, and ignominious defeat all over the world." (H.S.T.)

This outburst came from the middle of a sports commentary for ESPN... Gotta love him!

On the topic of literary reviews, Tom Payne's "Circle of Clichs" is laugh-wryly-to-yourself funny.

This site is SO addictive! It's like the reincarnation of one of my extinct favorites, the long-ago dismantled; either it's insidiously funny and nearly impossible to stop reading (this from content built on visitor submissions alone!). Or it's the thinking geek's "Hot or Not" but at least it kept me from falling asleep at my desk on Friday...

August 18, 2004

If you've been passing up the morning paper or boycotting television for the last six months (like me!), don't worry. According to Robert Fisk, we're not getting the real story from Iraq anyway.

Ever wonder why there's a twenty-one (and not, say, 20?) gun salute at a military hero's funeral? This is the kind of trivia I find myself looking up lately... maybe it's all the war documentaries.

Speaking of which, James Cameron's "Expedition Bismarck" is a good one... really interesting story and great footage. The historical and scientific data is well framed within a suspenseful narrative with meticulous recreations and CGI animation. It's well worth grimacing through Cameron's occasional slips into geek-mode, like when his submersible drifts past one of the sunken battleship's gun turrets, and you hear him whispering "Boom!" Reverentially, of course.

August 17, 2004

At least they're recycling..? Apparently, the 24 million prescriptions of Prozac consumed in Britain per year aren't just dulling the senses of the human population anymore. According to a recent study, traces of the drug have been detected in the British drinking water supply, from freshwater sources like rivers as well as treated sewage water. If you're thinking, "it could be worse," it already has been. If you're thinking, "a drug that cures depression can't be that harmful," read this.

More fun from the Brits: a pair of tests designed to determine how balanced your brain is between feminine and masculine modes of thinking. The empathizing quotient (EQ) measures the "feminine brain" and the systemizing quotient (SQ) measures the masculine.

According to my scores, I have a "balanced brain type." Why am I not remotely surprised?

My scores:
EQ=39 (average female score=47, male=42)
SQ=30 (average female score=24, male=30)

August 15, 2004 1920 Olympics

(A blast from the poster art past, courtesy of The 1920 Summer Olympic Games, brought to you by... a cigarette company?! I guess we have come a long way! Actually, the entire Corbis collection of Olympic Games poster art from the 20s and 30s is pretty cool although I do wish there was more of it. I know it's easy to see it now, hindsight being 20/20 and all, but looking back at the poster art from the 1936 Olympics in Germany you can almost see a worrying trend developing...)

You know that Americans are fed up with the whole electoral process when the most popular candidates are action figures and fashion dolls.

This item was headline news at a week ago but it's still relevant on account of being hilarious... A pre-teen Disneyworld visitor and her mom are suing after Tigger allegedly "groped" the young lady during routine a photo op... According to CNN, the defense has maintained that; "Chartrand ["Tigger"] didn't know where he was placing his hands because of the bulkiness of the costume's paws. "This defendant knew where his paws were," [the prosecution] said. The Tigger costume will be shown to jurors on Tuesday, and they will be allowed to try it on in the jury room during deliberations."

I'll never understand why anyone would want to get out of jury duty!

July 31, 2004

I am so bloody tempted sometimes to just throw in the towel and (start speaking in quaint cliches and British slang? No...) give in to the urge to populate my site entirely with lists — lists! Being a Virgo, I'm an obsessive collector of information (and a lot of other things that take up space) and I live with constant anxiety about forgetting anything.

Making lists, for me, is as much recreational as it is practical. I have been known to "relax" by sitting down and writing a list that has absolutely no relevance whatsoever (beyond the naturally — and, yes, weirdly — calming effect it seems to have on me).

However! I have long been of the opinion that the very pinnacle of laziness for me would be devolving into writing lists, however amusing or clever or lengthy they may end up being, as a substitute for putting together actual... uh, you know... sentences!

I've had to fight myself on this issue many times, occassionally taking the moral high ground and lecturing myself (and doing my best George Orwell impression). Some days, all that stands between you, dear audience, and a hot pink web site full of lists — rambling, irrelevant, numbered details of my every neurotic preference and predilection — is the spirit of George, glaring at me from the moral high ground.

All that being said, I love the six disclaimers, from the guy who brought us "Things that are the new black." It's one of my new favorite lists.

July 30, 2004

Interesting article on the phenomenon of Deja vu from the scientific community. If you start to feel attention deficient halfway through, don't feel too bad... just scroll down to the bottom where they neatly summarize the entire piece with a cool brain diagram!

Another article from the scientific community, this one aims to definitively address the question, can money buy happiness? (And, if so, what kind of a payment plan are we looking at?) Spoiler: It seems that, yes, it can... but results vary drastically, depending on how you spend, rather than how much. They put forth an interesting argument, though... at least for the first 1,800 words. And this is just an excerpt from one chapter of the full text, which is also available in PDF format from the MIT Press. I guess that explains their tagline, 'Your Online Destination for Encyclopedic Treatises on Folk Wisdom.'

(Which reminds me, I have to read, "Chicken Soup: What's in it for your Soul?")

Finally, reports on the Bush Administration's (purely hypothetical!) inquiries into the "constitutional implications" of postponing an election in the event of a terrorist attack. Here's an excerpt:

'American counter-terrorism officials, citing what they call "alarming" intelligence about a possible Qaeda strike inside the United States this fall, are reviewing a proposal that could allow for the postponement of the November presidential election in the event of such an attack, Newsweek has learned.' It's the same old color-coded cacophony of scaremongering that has had the Bush administration manipulating the American people from one end of the manic-depressive scale to the other. Go shopping: buy duct tape: "They hate us for our freedom" — oh, and, by the way, we're canceling the elections...

You can just skim to the end after he swerves off-course into a rant about Nader... All I want to know is, does this mean I can tear up my 'absentee voter' application?

July 24, 2004

Although you might never guess it from the content of my most recent "log" entry, I've been reading a lot more lately... more books? Not exactly — but magazines and online articles are steps in the right direction, and they're both easier to read than a book if you happen to be working and/or eating at the same time...)

Here are some of the articles I've been reading this week...

At Spiked-Online, Brendan O'Neill (no relation) presents some recently-published results from the most detailed research study to date on members of al-Qaeda and affiliated groups, Meet the al-Qaeda Archetype. Among those that surprised me most was the fact that, of the 264 for whom educational histories were available, almost 50% had received a college degree and another 28% had "some college education." Their average age was just over 25 and not one of the 382 subjects hailed from Afghanistan.

Have I mentioned today how much I love the Internet? At The Living Room Candidate, you can watch all the political commercials from all the US presidential campaigns since the advent of television. Now that I've gone without cable for five months, and I really can't see any point in re-subscribing, it was perfect timing that I discovered this site when I did... They even provide a concise and engaging analysis of each campaign, complete with supporting trivia...

Finally, an article on the "The Problem with Neutrality Between Palestinians and Israel." Here's an excerpt:

"As a spiritual guide for life, generosity and openhearted reconciliation are fine, but as a political plan of action, they are meaningless. To do nothing beyond issuing pleasant generalities, while Israel proceeds unimpeded with the stunning transformation of the Palestinian landscape, the destruction of Palestinian national expectations, and the ethnic cleansing of the Palestinian people, is to make a mockery of any 'spirit of generosity'."
April 28, 2004

I was compelled against my will into Chapters yesterday after inadvertently walking past the bank of floor-to-ceiling windows that runs the length of their ground floor. For half a city block, one can very easily find oneself enticed by the sight of dozens of caramel-colored bookcases overflowing with smooth, shiny Clearance books.

I was holding myself to a strict time limit as I scanned the endless stacks of covers and colors, recalling the two hours I'd lost over the weekend, poring over used decorating magazines at my favorite secondhand book store. Well before my time was up, I had found a fantastic (and very funny) book whose author I was already familiar with, thanks to her ever-changing Astrology site, Mystic Medusa.

If you want to know who was ranked the better boss, Leo or Aquarius — or find out if your sign was the one most people swear they'll never date again — check out Mystic Medusa's Sun Sign Survey Results.