Why is our generation refusing to let go of The Simpsons?

When I was about 10 years old, my favourite thing to do on this earth was to eat a microwaved pizza cut into rectangular slices with ketchup and watch an old VHS tape of The Simpsons. Their neon-dipped universe was comforting and hilarious, and even though this video only had the same four grainy episodes,… Read more »

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Angelo Badalamenti Reveals How He and David Lynch Composed the Twin Peaks‘ “Love Theme”

Source: Open Culture Excerpt: “On my last trip to New York, some friends took me to a favorite new-wave Chinese place of theirs. When I asked where to find the bathroom, they said to go downstairs. The staircase deposited me into one of the most surreal bathroom approaches I’ve ever experienced: a long, narrow,… Continue reading Angelo Badalamenti Reveals How He and David Lynch Composed the Twin Peaks‘ “Love Theme”

Edmund Finney’s Quest to Find the Meaning of Life

There are lots of comics on the Web these days and most of them stink by all measures. A few stand out however, and one of the exceptions is Edmund Finney’s Quest to Find the Meaning of Life.

While most comic strips, especially the ones in newspapers, have setups similar to TV sitcoms (a family or group of friends always siting on the same couch or eating at the same table), Edmud Finney is a very dreamlike adventure, with the protagonist going from one strange scene to the next, interacting with odd characters. This change in format opens up many possibilities that static scenarios cannot. Also, it’s genuinely funny.

Dallas Day 1

Diary:

Dallas, Day 1
I hate flying. In center seat in back of plan, so lots of waiting and 3 & 1/2 hours with my arms at my sides. My knees start to hurt, and I’m not even a tall person.
My iPod is now a necessity when flying. I download This American Life episodes and zone away.
AirTran has XM Radio which is sometimes even better except whenever the pilot or attendants have something to say it gets broadcast through the same headphone jacks and is unpleasantly loud.
Cab driver friendly. I remember getting ripped off by a cabbie in San Antonio ten years ago and now hold a grudge against all taxi drivers in Texas. But I should give that up.
Hotel Magnolia very nice, not what I was expecting to see here.
Room small but tastefully decorated. I have my netbook, an Eee pc that I got for $300 (10.5 hour battery, 2.5 lbs or so, very tiny).
It’s much easier to travel with than my old laptop, my HP workhorse that only had one problem in three years until I dropped it recently and now it has a variety of ailments.
I wanted to plug the netbook into the ginormous TV in the room so as to have a bigger screen – I even brought a VGA cable.
But I can’t get the TV to acknowledge any input other than the cable.
I flip channels. I don’t like the new digital TV. With regular tv you just hit the up button until you see something you like.
Now you have to wait about 2 seconds for each channel to get digested. Channel surfing is now like riding a bicycle through deep gravel.

Went to a restaurant around the corner, Iron Cactus. Good margaritas, although very sweet and quite expensive.
I should have gotten some of the relatively authentic Tex-Mex food that I can’t get up north, but I get a steak withe broccoli and mashed potatoes – good but not special. The winner was the tortilla soup I had first. The broth was thick, more like jambalaya than chicken soup.
The complimentary salsa was better than just about anything I’ve had from a jar in New York.
Our waiter looks familiar and I can’t figure it out until the end: he looks and acts just like the actor Elijah Wood (Frodo in Lord of the Rings) except about a foot and a half taller and with red hair – so nothing like Elijah Wood, except the face was nearly identical.

Everyone is remarkably polite and friendly. It makes me feel like a jerk.
I feel almost like the character Dexter from the show of the same name. He is supposed to be a well-meaning sociopath who has a completely flat emotional affect, but has learned to mimic the emotional reactions of his fellow humans.

A TV show is being shot across the street – lots of spotlights and guys carrying racks of things back and forth.
It’s a pilot for ABC called “The Deep End”. It’s supposed to be set in L.A. but they’re shooting it in Dallas for some reason.
It’s supposed to snow tomorrow and the irony is not lost on anyone.

Spiral Island

I first heard about this guy, Reishee Sowa, about ten years ago on some TV news show. He built a floating island out of empty plastic bottles and was able to live on it as it floated near the Yucatan Peninsula.

Unfortunately, the island was destroyed by hurricane in 2005 and since then Sowa has been working on the replacement, named Spiral Island.

The island uses a quarter of a billion soda bottles tied together, with plywood sheets mounted on top of them, then sand is poured over the boards. Mangrove trees, which thrive in salt water, help anchor the sand to the bottles and provide shade.

Sowa is nearly completely independent on his island, gathering drinking water from rain, and using solar ovens for cooking.

More here, a blog devoted to islands

And more and photos here

This idea has fascinated me for 10 years, and is increasingly relevant as people try to find ways of controlling the enormous and growing amount of trash floating in the Pacific Ocean.