Wednesday, January 31, 2007

The Wong Kar-Wai Calendar

A very cool idea:
A collection of monthly calendars. Each calendar contains visual elements sourced from and inspired by the work of filmmaker Wong Kar-Wai.
The calendars (Via Yahoo Picks)

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

1/30/69: They Did Pass The Audition

Just in time for the 38th.

January 30, 1969 was when the concert happened. But does this look like a band on the verge of a breakup?

And how stressful was it for Billy to sit between those two guys?

(Link via

So It's Not Just Show Tunes?

Is your favorite band on this list? If it is, proceed immediately to the Degayification Station. (They even have the good Pandit on the list!)

Yes, I am aware that the astute among you will notice the inclusion of Nickelback (speaking of whom - have you seen this?) and will probably make snide remarks about how the list suddenly seems to....make sense?

Shame on you :)

(link via I'mjustsayin')

"Endless Highway"

I know, tribute albums are not my thing either, but I will give this one a spin.

You can hear tracks on the record label's website. (My favorite so far: Gomez doing a tough, energetic version of "Up On Cripple Creek")

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Meeting An Album Again

This blog has a good quality stream of four or five tracks from the album. (You can listen to the entire album on Napster.)

The Smithereens are not the first (and certainly won't be the last) band to cover an entire Beatles album, but their choice of material is interesting. "With The Beatles" (or "Meet The Beatles") may be considered a "light" album by some rock fans but the the vocals and the energy on the album is pretty darn heavy. (Is there a more thrilling count-in to any song in pop music than the one on "I Saw Her Standing There"?)

WaPo reviewed the album (as did the Times, but it's now a Times Select article. Link goes to Smithereens' frontman Pat DiNizio's website and it has the full text of the Times' article.)

While listening to these covers, I just realized I don't want more cowbell. I want more handclaps.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Because Spouses Don't Have FireWire Ports, That's Why

This research was definitely inspired by that super-lame Wife 2.0 joke. But look at what they found:
...the average American spends 12 hours each month addressing home computer problems
(I wonder how many of those problems were caused by browsing pr0n with bad browsers? Gentlemen, Firefox is good for browsing and your married life.)

The study does not apply to me, obviously. January has not even ended and I am already thinking about gift ideas for Valentine's Day. I want my Computer to know she will *always* be the one.

How Long Can We Go On Meeting Like This?

"Sunita chats with biologist 2 miles under Pacific"

Ur A/S/L? (link to Rediff. Site resembles a furious technicolor dreamcoat and has popups.)

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Gotta Find My Daisy Jane

America has a new album.

I heard bits of it on Napster. Their music still isn't life-changing rock 'n roll, but does anyone not have songs from "History" permanently etched in their brains?

Some reviews of the new album:

Stories behind the songs (link to Blogcritics) and a negative review in the Voice. Rock critics hate America?! Never heard that before.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Komodo Dragons Are Doin' It For Themselves

A British zoo announced Wednesday the virgin birth of five Komodo dragons, giving scientists new hope for the captive breeding of the endangered species.
While Flora has "never mated, or even mixed, with a male dragon", even Mother Nature couldn't stop her from fooling around with parthenogenesis.

The black-and-yellow babies are doing fine, weighing between "3.5 and 5.3 ounces". How delightfully ugly.

Monday, January 22, 2007

But Honey, Sloth And Pomposity Are My Winning Qualities!

It's Saturday evening and there's nothing going on.

"You want to do something?", I ask her. She just swooshes past me, rolls up her sleeves and pitches tent at the basecamp of that Mount Everest of dishes. Ah, so that's what we are doing tonight.

I desperately look around, trying to think of something to do to avoid the, huh, dreaded invitation. I run to the guitar before she can say "can you help me?"

We have a rule around here. If I am with my guitar, I must not be disturbed. Over the years the rule has been amended to cover other situations such as when I am holding a book, a remote, a CD or even just a block of air. But the guitar comes first.

A Niagara-sized waterfall of relief crashes over me. Wife sees I am "busy" and doesn't ask me to pitch in. I am safe! I have successfully invoked Diplomatic Immunity From Housework before she called me.

Realizing my good fortune, I at once start chopping away at a messy thicket of guitar chords, when what song should occur to me but CCR's "Don't Look Now (It Ain't You or Me)".

There I was, singing "Who will work the field with his hands/Who will put his back to the plough?". And there she was, loading up the dishwasher.

I made a mental note of the irony of the situation, filed it under "to be blogged later" and buried the guilt alive.

I then switched to playing S&G's "Flowers Never Bend". And that, ladies and gentlemen, is how one continues to continue.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

View From The Top

How's this for an obvious question: If Google Earth can spot the minivan parked in my neighbor's driveway, why can't a satellite be deployed to spot ancient ruins? That's exactly what NASA's scientists did, when they helped uncover Mayan ruins concealed under the dense canopy of Guatemalan rain-forests.

The space imaging technology was used to identify variations in colors of plants in the region which, it was hypothesized and later confirmed, indicated presence of certain chemicals (like limestone) used in construction of those Mayan structures. Fascinating stuff.

If you live outside the US and don't have access to PBS, you can watch the entire segment on their website. NASA's website has easy-to-understand analysis of the mission along with pictures.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Andy Summers Loves Calcuttans

If there can be only one rock 'n roll memoir on your reading list this year, make sure it is guitarist Andy Summers' "One Train Later". Excellent read (more about the book in a future post), and I bet this great guitarist's currency is going to go through the roof in Bengal very soon.

Here's what he has to say about "young Calcuttans", an observation that could have come from that other great rock 'n roll memoir, "An Argumentative Indian":

"In the evenings I join up with a crowd of forward-thinking young Calcuttans who argue vehemently with one another about everything. They are verbal, cerebral, and intense in a way that is characteristic of the people in this part of India".

(An earlier post on the Policeman.)

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Leaking The Truth

Wikileaks is developing an uncensorable Wikipedia for untraceable mass document leaking and analysis. Our primary interests are oppressive regimes in Asia, the former Soviet bloc, Sub-Saharan Africa and the Middle East, but we also expect to be of assistance to those in the west who wish to reveal unethical behavior in their own governments and corporations.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Check Ignition And May God's Love Be With You

"We have done it... We have put all the four satellites into required orbits. Our boys have done it. It has helped to capture back the confidence of the country in our space missions."
If I don't hear the phrase "our boys" again, it won't be too soon. But way to go, ISRO!

(If you want to read some more about the SRE, here's an old press release about the Space Capsule Recovery Experiment.)

Via slashdot

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Promise Me

That if I see the word "value" one more time in a presentation, you will bash my head in and poke my eyes out?

Monday, January 08, 2007

Gods Worshipping Gods

An interesting list, this one. ("Religious affiliations of 100 Greatest Rock Musicians". Link via Metafilter.)

The best represented religion is, naturally, Christianity. The subcontinent has a small but impressive delegation. There are 2 Hindus (both fine lead guitarists), 1 outstanding Parsi vocalist and 4 Buddhists.

It is also interesting to see how many "lapsed Baptists" are on the list. (Just curious - did Buddy Holly's "lapse" occur before or after February 3? Baad joke.)

The Moody Blues are "Urantians"? "Red is grey and yellow white / but we decide which is right"? Whatever, man.

Eddie Vedder is an "atheist". Neil Peart of Rush is an "Objectivist". Aaargh.

AC/DC has no religious affiliation against their name. If you are 14 years old, I know you *will* take that to mean "Anti-Christ/Devil's Children". Sigh.

There's Some Bad Panini Goin' Around, Man

Cost of grilled sausage panini: $7.00
Cost of ginger ale: $1.19
Waking up at 3AM with quasi-hallucinations, dizziness and nausea: priceless.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Look Ma, There's A Rock Quiz Up In The Sky!

Here's a one-question rock quiz. If you fail the quiz, seppuku for you!

All you have to do is name this British guitarist:

1. Though a child of the Sixties, he found fame much, much later.
2. Were it not for his willingness to sell his '59 Les Paul to Eric Clapton, "Fresh Cream" would have sounded very different. (And consequently, guitar-collectors today wouldn't be paying thousands of dollars for these babies.)
3. He once jammed with Hendrix in a studio in California (with Hendrix on bass!) He was so in awe of Jimi that he described himself as almost being reduced to a "sobbing heap".
4. He briefly played with one of the key British Invasion bands. In fact, at one point in the mid '70s, he was slated to join another key Brit Invasion band - the Rolling Stones.
5. His guitar chops are legendary, but NOT ONE of his hit songs features a guitar solo.
6. Wrigley chewing gum, anyone?

(Just so we are clear - I am NOT talking about Jeff Beck, Jimmy Page or Peter Green.)