Sunday, August 19, 2007

Slutty Brazilians Make 70 Euros Kissing Strangers

Funk Carioca band Bonde do Rolê must have pretty low overhead, or poor math skills. In the June 17, 2007 issue of Format magazine, MC Rodrigo Gorky talked about how they make money on the road. "We had no merchandise to sell (in Sweden), so we accepted any money in exchange for some Bonde do Role love. In the end of the night, after French kissing almost the entire crowd, we’ve made about 70 euros!" Let's do the math. If 250 Swedes came to see the band, which is a conservative estimate for these festival faves, that's .28 Euro per tongue, or 37 cents US. Which would buy singer Marina Vello one Unisex Pocket Tank Top, a Cotton Spandex Ruched Front Tube Bra, Interlock Running Shorts, and Nylon Spandex Micro-Mesh Leggings at American Apparel.

Bonde do Role [Format Magazine}

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Once Again, The Mayans Were Right

A new study has indicated that an extract of cocoa powder is more effective than fluoride in fighting cavities. Tulane University doctoral candidate Arman Sadeghpour said his research revealed that the extract, a white crystalline powder, hardens enamel, making teeth less susceptible to decay.

In the name of science, we've been trying the Mayan diet, which requires that we consume chocolate at every meal. Not only have our teeth been free of the cavity creeps, but they look really white. And we feel better than ever. Euphoric, really. Oh, wait, that might be the coca leaves.

Study: Chocolate Better than Flouride (sic) for Healthy Teeth? [Fox News]

Chocolate Constituent Bests Fluoride [Science News Online]

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Chupacabra Captured in Texas!

In a story that could only come out of South Texas, a woman insists that she has a dead chupacabra in her freezer. The adorable chupa, which a local mammologist suspects was a gray fox with mange, has allegedly been sucking the blood out of cats and chickens for years on her ranch in Cuero. The rancher, Phylis Canion, says chupa "reached in (to the cages and) pulled the chicken head out, sucked all the blood out, left the chicken in the cage,” while leaving the chicken meat untouched. No word on while Canion has herds of cats.

Canion didn't kill the chupacabra herself, but spirited away the creepy animal's body after it had been hit by a car. She plans on stuffing and mounting the head, and hanging it on her wall.

Canion mused poetically, “The chupacabra is a mythical thing and maybe it is, but this is something…a cross between something.”

Chupacabra caught in South Texas? [KHOU-TV]

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Sunday, August 17, 2003

b team strikes again. i know the b team at the NY Times has been very excited by the blackout. they got to go out drinking and write stories about it! woohoo! just like college! anyway. above is a link to an article claiming the statistic that 50 million people lost power is hyperbole. Something called the North American Electricity Reliability Council released a statement that said, and i'm paraphrasing, that areas cover 50 million customers lost power. now they're back-peddling and saying "quite a few" and that is a quote, of those areas had power.

let's look at this. if you told me that 50 people were stupid, and then the next day said, no, i was exaggerating, quite a few of those are smart, i would ask you to tell me how many. quite a few would indicate to me at least more than five (if 2 is a couple, and 3 is several or a few, quite a few would be quite a few more than 3). so you're telling me 5 million people had power in the blackout areas. ok- fine. who the hell cares? and where are they? and can you prove either stat to me? it seems that the 50 mllion statistic is easily provable--you know where the blackout areas were, how many electrical customers do you have? do an average per household and you have a fairly accurate figure, accurate to within more than quite a few anyway. you'd have to go around to individual household sto find out of any of them magically had power.

i'd suggest that reporter Mike McIntire think about what he's writing a little more before just rushing a non-story (a nice bit of propaganda) to the pages of the NY times. and where was the damn editor? vacationing on Hen Island, no doubt.

Friday, July 18, 2003

i would like to state publically that i'm completely against "benefits" to raise money to send people to Burning Man, or any other commercial venue for that matter. isn't this like holding a benefit to send yourself on vacation? I'm also against benefits to fund ventures that people plan to be profit-making. for example, why should i pay to go to benefit for your magazine--a magazine for which i wrote an article, gave you three ideas that you turned into articles, and that you plan to sell at a rate in which to make a profit? are you going to give me my money back later?
there are some people holding benefits tonite to fund ventures with which they intend to make profits. i think that's skeezy.

Thursday, July 17, 2003

The NY Times B Team
as long as we're here... i'm going to start keeping track of the NY Times B Team. The B Team first came to my notice after the recent Jayson Blair scandal. Immediately after Blair was fired the staff of the NY Times was all jittery and on edge. I noted the level of reporting in the NY Times had dropped even below what it had been. I read somewhere that this was because the B Team had taken over. The implication was that the B Team, the less experienced reporters and journalists, were flooding the paper with non-stories. My favorite most recent example was a story about how tourists love squirrels.

Today, this story was on the front page of the NY Times print version:
Talking to Me? No, the Cabby's on His Cell
yes, a story about cabbies talking on cell phones. front page. Thank you B Team.

I have no problem with a cab driver using a cell phone, as long as he's using a hands-free adapter. what i do have a problem with, NY Times B Team, besides your small-town penny-saver reporting, is NYC Police using cell phones for personal calls while on duty. Just the other day I almost got hit by a police car on 47th street and 6th ave. The cop driving was talking on a cell phone--a regular, hand-held cell phone. last time i checked, that's illegal in New York.
Nic Kelman, Girls (Little, Brown, advanced reading copy)
A powerful middle-aged man pursues increasingly younger women. the loving descriptions of limbs and breasts and shiny hair are interspersed with passages from Homer and some psuedo-science. The fact that the dude is from the graduate program at Brown is obvious from the post-mod touches (breaking the narrative to address the reader, the constant confusion between first and second person, which is not at all effective in this case)... but an award-winner? I checked the Brown website, and while there is indeed a James Assatly (not Assataly as it says on the back cover ad), i can find no criteria for said award, nor do I find Kelman listed as a Brown Alumnus. I ain't calling to chieck, tho. It wouldn't surprise me that a bunch of horny old men gave an award to a book about a horny old man. and basically that's all this is. It's very racy for mainstream fiction, but really tame as porn. Turns out dick lit is as dull as chick lit!
recent books completed:
Jo Anne Beard, The Boys of My Youth (Back Bay Books, 1998) Memoir as short story. Well-written, wistful, sad and funny.
Thomas Pynchon, The Crying of Lot 49. This is a re-read. Last time i read it i was in high school! it not only stands up, it gets better. References i didn't get when I was 17 are now hysterically funny to me. I wonder what it was about this book that entranced me so when I was 17?

Monday, May 19, 2003

Derby, Matthew; Super Flat Times. Little, Brown paperback 2003
Without a doubt, one of the finest books i've read in a long time. Derby uses fantastic futuristic settings to explore feelings of disillusionment and longings. It is hysterically funny and tragically gross, and the language is a dead-on mix of floundering inarticulate-ness and hyper-conscious intellectualism. It defines an entire lost generation without ever mentioning anything definable. By writing around events and stories, Derby cuts deep and quick to the heart.

Sunday, May 18, 2003

Almond, Steve; My Life in Heavy Metal, Grove Press, 1st PB edition, 2003
well, the book redeemed itself, as did the writer. the first story is by far the worst in the book.

my only other criticism is this: in the story "how to love a republican," a woman, a young republican, in the year 2000, is wearing a PILLBOX HAT. huh? only a fashionista or a tragic hipster would attempt such headgear in 2000. i suspect the pillbox may come back into fashion apres "legally blonde two," but for now it stands as a jarring anomaly in an otherwise thoughtful story.
my new rule: never even ATTEMPT to read a book with a blurb from Padgett Powell.

Sunday, May 04, 2003

Birnes, William J., and Burt, Harold, Unsolved UFO Mysteries, Aspect, 2000

I haven't read the entire book, but judging from this one little mistake that appears on p. 224, this tome must be riddled with problems. It states "In Whitley Strieber's...first novel about abduction, 'Communion'..." As we all know, _we_ may doubt Strieber's veracity, but "Communion" was _not_ a novel. I imagine this was a mistake that occurred during copyediting, to avoid the redundancy of saying "book" too often.