Friday, December 11, 2009

On my wish list...

In an effort to control my tendency to purchase books, read them once, and never read or touch them again... a KINDLE!

Gotta love stop motion....
Her Morning Elegance

Sorry I'm Late

Who Gains from a Falling Dollar?

(via The Big Picture, via The New York Times )

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Help Yourself by Sad Brad Smith

Went and saw Up in the Air this past HAVE to go and see it. It's incredible... from the acting to the soundtrack, it's an all around winner. Everyone will take away something from seeing this film. Anyway, I loved the soundtrack and just downloaded it tonight. Check out my favorite below and if you get a chance, "Angel in the Snow" by Elliot Smith.

That's So Aughties

My friend Mike forwarded me the link to this dead on Vanity Fair web exclusive.......

"That’s So Aughties!
The 70s had shag carpets, lowriders, and lava lamps. The 80s had stonewash, Ray Bans, and Flock of Seagulls hair. The 90s had flannel shirts, Clintonisms, and heroin chic. But what will the decade that began with Y2K panic and ended with recessionistas yield in terms of funny and embarrassing nostalgia? Here are 26 possibilities.

1. Pete Doherty Clones (and Other Hipster Subspecies)
Brit rocker (and Kate Moss consort) Pete Doherty’s skinny jeans, propensity for fedoras, and hung-over glare set the tone for a generation of pretentious twentysomethings. Vice magazine was their lexicon, American Apparel their official uniform, and the Misshapes their house D.J. This P.B.R.-sipping, Parliament-smoking in-crowd spawned endless subspecies: the early adopters (Millennium White Belt Hipster), the blue-collar kitsch revivalists (Trucker Hat Hipster), the folksy foodies (Urban Farmer Hipster), and, by decade’s end, the prohibition-style mustachioed mixologists (Handlebar Hipster). They were all irritating for various reasons but all present ample future costume possibilities!

2. Oversharing
The 00s were one big Overshare. The rise of mobile phones turned the world into your psychiatrist’s office, while Facebook status updates, celebrity Twitter feeds, and mommy blogs enabled the relentless broadcasting of personal minutia, from the mundane (“Buying fresh fennel at Whole Foods”) to the shocking (“Just got DNA results. Jason’s the daddy!”). Another source of oversharing? Blog commenters, especially those of the hyper-religious or staunchly partisan ilk, who so often felt compelled to air the most vitriolic, illogical, and hostile opinions under the virtual cloak of “SoccerSue” or “Jimbo01.”

3. Text-Message Breakups
Breaking up has been historically hard to do, but in the aughties it was terrifyingly easy. Just have a few drinks and text, “Sorry. Not n2u.” Voilà! No drawn-out conversations about closure and emotional needs unmet—just a few keystrokes and it’s over. Also popular: the I.M. breakup, the Skype breakup, and the Google Wave breakup (currently in beta). And we’re betting somewhere, someone has broken up via emoticon.

4. Losing Your Job to the Internet
The decade began with the-Internet-as-ultimate-jackpot. Venture capital abounded and 22-year-olds in the Bay Area were making $85K a year as “key-worders” or “platform consultants.” But by decade’s end, the thing we thought would make us all rich was chomping away at profits in journalism, the record business, and beyond. If what you produce could be reduced to 1s and 0s (articles, songs, movies, best-sellers), you got royally screwed. Bleep bloop, enjoy that severance!

5. TV Shows That Are Better Than Any Movie Ever Made
Mainstream film did not exactly enter a new golden age in the early 2000s. In fact, most high-grossing blockbusters were C.G.I.-glutted behemoths of recycled ideas. The last people anyone expected to step into the quality-entertainment breach were the nation’s television producers, but—somehow—they did just that. Whether you were into the gritty urban realism of The Wire, the hypnotic narratives of Mad Men, or the epic Jersey saga of The Sopranos, it was a fantastic decade for TV—and for AMC, FX, and Showtime, networks previously known for little-seen Tommy Lee Jones films or last-resort soft-core late-night porn.

6. Gamer Culture
Behold the emergence of Red Bull–quaffing World of Warcraft players, shut-in Second Lifers, and Halo die-hards. The sheer unbridled geekery of gamer culture, where sophisticated graphics and motion-capture interfaces created a dazzling alternative to boring ol’ human existence, matured into a nationwide obsession, hastened by user-friendly innovations such as Wii Bowling or Guitar Hero, the latter of which allowed a generation of tipsy Uncle Bobs to unleash their inner Jimmy Page, to the quiet discomfort of all.

7. Celebutards
In the past, you usually had to do something significant to become famous, like act or sing or play a professional sport. But this decade, thanks to TMZ and US Weekly, the barrier to entry became absurdly low, as witnessed by the glut of “celebutards”: the young, wealthy, spray-tanned, multiple-D.U.I-receiving, brawling-outside-L.A.-nightclubs, underwear-shunning set. The world changed the day we all clicked to view Lindsey Lohan’s lady business with our morning coffee, and not, one suspects, for the better.

8. The Frat Pack
For some inexplicable reason, movie audiences in the 00s craved guilelessly stupid sex comedies with a heart of gold—a strange and sometimes unsettling combination that nonetheless raked in a ton of cash for one J. Apatow and his many imitators and second-tier collaborators. The existence of a movie tagline that reads, “From the Guy Who Brought You Knocked Up and Superbad” pretty much says it all.

9. White iPods
Whatever feelings you may have about Apple and its smug design-snob branding, it can be argued that the iPod was the innovation of the decade. It helped bring the music industry to its knees, produced an entirely new economic model via the iTunes Store, and created near-total isolation from our fellow man, as we bob along with our earbuds firmly in place. The original white iPod is already on display at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, and one can assume it will eventually take its place in the Smithsonian alongside the telephone and the cotton gin. Which is fine—just as long as they don’t also preserve those poppin’-and-lockin’ iPod silhouette people.

10. Logo Chic
Reasonably edgy at its inception, from Ashton Kutcher’s kicked-to-the-side Von Dutch trucker hat to Lil’ Kim’s Murakami Louis Vuitton bag, logo chic was soon embraced by the public, with mixed results. Ugg boots, Seven Jeans, faux D&G sunglasses, and Juicy Couture jumpsuits were the standard uniform, until the recession (and Jon Gosselin’s Ed Hardy shirt stretched over his protruding, A.T.V.-riding belly) precipitated a crushing dénouement.

11. Food Porn
Food was so hot in the 00s. Haute cuisine went mainstream, celebrity chefs became household names, and even your lunch meat was grass-fed. There was a curious high/low synthesis: mac and cheese, fried chicken, and burgers showed up on menus of high-end eateries, while the humble cupcake became a status symbol. Food was no longer just subsistence but a lifestyle, as the farmers’ market became the new singles bar, twentysomethings expertly brined turkeys on Thanksgiving, job seekers listed molecular gastronomy as a hobby on their résumés, and everyone knew the meaning of sous vide. And yet, somehow Arby’s continued to exist.

12. Internet Acronyms
OMG, LMAO, STFU! Popular Internet acronyms will persist, and likely become even more convoluted and complex as we grow increasingly dependent on our McGoogle machines, but the idea that they don’t belong in dictionaries or in official correspondence may gradually erode. We can actually imagine a future White House document that reads, “OMG, WTF is up w/North Korea?”

13. Terrorists
This was the decade when the terrorists actually won. From 9/11 to the current mess in Afghanistan, the bad guys got the upper hand, and kept it. No American hero saved the day, and there’s no clear resolution in sight. While it may forever be “too soon” to relegate al-Qaeda to kitschy nostalgia, there will be lots of ancillary war-on-terror ridiculousness to mock in retrospect, from airport Threat Level Orange alerts (has it ever been any other color?) to the theory that if we don’t all go shopping, The Terrorists Win.

14. The Housing Bubble
The 00s was the You-Deserve-It Decade. A four-bedroom home, an S.U.V., a new flat screen … who cares if you make less than $40,000 a year? You’re an American, and you need to keep up with the Joneses—who just got a new Sub-Z fridge! You could say that the housing bubble defined the arc of the whole decade, from McMansions and Mad Money speculation, to conscious overspending with money that didn’t exist, through the complete crash of the entire global economy. A new generation of permanent renters will likely look back on this MTV Cribs culture and wonder, “[insert new Internet acronym here]?” "

Cell Phone Etiquette

So true. Hint. Hint.

(via Boing Boing)

Wednesday, December 9, 2009


LOVE these from Flora Grubb Gardens

Wall Bubble Terrarium with Succulent - $33.00

(via the LA Times)

Recycle electronics with USPS

Select USPS offices are offering free mail back envelopes to be used for recycling inkjet cartridges, cell phones, PDAs, digital cameras and other small electronics. Now's the chance to recycle those small electronics for free!

Best Movies of All Time

The Big Picture
Easily one of my new favorite blogs.... moved it right to the top of my Google Reader.
Great graphic representation of the best movies of all time

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Adopt a Species

Instead of traditional gift giving this holiday season, consider adopting an endangered animal through the World Wildlife Fund's species adoption. With donations ranging from $25 - $250 you can help support and protect severely endangered animals. There are over 100 species to choose from and you can even sort by threat level (extinct in the wild, critically endangered, vulnerable etc.).
"Your donation will be used in general support of WWF's efforts around the world. 82 cents of every donated dollar goes toward conservation. WWF has been recognized by Charity Navigator as a Four Star Charity, and is a Better Business Bureau Accredited charity.World Wildlife Fund is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization."

Monday, December 7, 2009

Hot Chocolate

Yum! Perfect for this colder weather. Just ignore the nutritional info.
from the LAtimes

Total Time: 10 minutes
"Patissier Cedric Thullier, pastry chef at the Chateau du Pont d'Oie in Belgium, says to reduce or increase the amount of chocolate to vary thickness and the degree of bittersweetness. You'll love it-it's like drinking a bar of chocolate."

1/2 pound fine-quality semi-sweet chocolate with 60% cocoa content, such as Callebaut
4 cups whole milk

1) Finely chop the chocolate and place the pieces in a double boiler set over, but not touching, simmering water or in a heavy saucepan over low heat.

2) Add 2 cups of milk and stir, using a small whisk. Break up the chocolate until it starts to dissolve. Whisk continually until all chocolate is uniformly melted.

3) Raise the heat to medium, add the remaining milk and cook until it comes to a simmer (do not allow the chocolate to reach a full boil).

4 servings. Each serving: 422 calories; 126 mg sodium; 33 mg cholesterol; 25 grams fat; 47 grams carbohydrates; 10 grams protein; 3.34 grams fiber.

(photo via here)

Friday, December 4, 2009

Have a great weekend!

(via imgfave)

Ten Primary Cloud Formations

Throw back to 4th grade. Gotta love it.

macroscopicmarket on Etsy
Screen printed on natural stock paper (20" x 26") with glow in the dark ink.
click for larger view.

(spotted on swissmiss)

Lykke Li - Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow?

New from the wonderful Lykke Li
Download this free mp3 here from

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Lego's tribute to the Matrix

After around 440 hours of work, and just in time for the 10th anniversary of the original movie release, Trevor Boyd and Steve Ilett present the Lego version of the famous Bullet Time dodge scene from The Matrix.

Julien Pacaud

Check out Juilien Pacaud, a French illustrator, amazing portfolio.
"Perpendicular Dreams"

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

The Passenger

A classic... and thanks to the Up in the Air trailer I get to hear this Iggy Pop song quite frequently.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

World Aids Day 2009

Toxic Travel

Been catching up on my DVR since returning from Chicago.... wish I would have seen the Dr. Oz episode on toxic travel before I left for the break. Guarantee next time I stay in a hotel I'll be wrapping my remote in a ziploc baggie. Here's the article summary of last week's episode. Read more here at the Dr. Oz website

We travel to work, to play, to visit the people we love, and, when we do, the last thing we want is to get sick. But, unfortunately, crowded airplanes, hotel rooms – even your Aunt Sally’s guest room – are teeming with millions of bacteria and viruses just itching to hitch a ride with you. And at busy times such as Thanksgiving (when some 8 million people board trains, planes, and buses), your risk rises.

Here’s what you need to know to stay healthy and happy for that long-awaited vacation, critical business meeting, or weekend with your long lost cousins.

The Scare in the Air

You don’t need anyone to tell you how crammed jet planes are these days. As airlines try to stay competitive, they jam more and more of us closer together leaving our health at the mercy of our fellow passengers. In fact, one recent study found that when 1,000 people traveled between San Francisco and Denver, 20% of them came down with a respiratory illness within the first 2 weeks after flying. In a famous example from 2003, one coughing passenger on a flight from Hong Kong to Beijing infected 22 other people on board with the deadly SARS virus. Five of them died.

One of the reasons planes are such good incubators for illness is that their ventilation systems recirculate air from side to side. That means when the man in the window seat across the aisle from you coughs, his germs fly right onto you. So you don’t have to be sitting next to a sick person to be exposed. To make you more vulnerable, the cabin pressure inside airplanes dries out mucous membranes leaving them more susceptible to germs.

Air Quality Control

Luckily, there are a few simple steps you can take to reduce your exposure and minimize your chance of being sick on your trip.

  • Practice good hand hygiene Pack an alcohol-based hand sanitizer in your carry-on and use it early and often (after getting seated, before and after eating and drinking, and when you return from the rest room.) This step alone will reduce your chance of getting sick by 50%.
  • Wipe your worries away Bring along sanitizing wipes and clean your tray (which can harbor the dangerousMRSA bacteria and handrails.
  • Be wary of the bathroom Airplane bathrooms are some of the germiest places around. Wash your hands afterwards, use a paper towel to open the door when you leave, and then slap on hand sanitizer when you’re back in your seat.
  • Arm your immune system North American ginseng is a promising botanical product used to ward off flu. Populations that take it appear to have a lower incidence of viral spread. Try to be well rested and have any chronic conditions well under control before you travel.
  • Aim the air Make a fist with your hand and place it directly over your chest, then aim the air vent to blow onto it. That will give you the best airflow to protect you from being exposed to an infection.
  • Stay hydrated Drinking lots of water will not only help your membranes to stay moisturized, but it will help keep you from developing potentially fatal blood clots in your legs, which crop up because staying immobile in a tiny space slows circulation. Also get up and walk the aisle once an hour.

Hotel Hot Spots to Check Out When You Check In

  • The bedspread You may be tempted to flop down first thing but don’t do it until you remove the bedspread, which is rarely, if ever, cleaned. Fold it up and stash it well away from your belongings. Then check to the sheets. Look for hairs, any other evidence they were used, and traces of bed bugs. If the sheets aren’t clean, ask for a new room (if the sheets are dirty the rest of the room probably is.) If you find evidence of bed bugs, get a refund on your reservation and find a new hotel. If one room has bed bugs, others will too.
  • The phone and remote control Two of the most handled places in hotel rooms are almost never cleaned and harbor all manner of bacteria and viruses. Experts recommend using a Ziploc bag as a makeshift glove when handling the remote or using a chlorine antibacterial wipe and wiping down every button, crack, and crevice, spending extra time on the power button, which is touched the most.
  • The bathroom The worst offender is probably one you won’t suspect. Those cute courtesy glasses by the sink almost never get a proper dishwashing and are more likely wiped down with a towel from the room, leaving them loaded with bacteria. Skip them unless you’re supplied with plastic glasses sealed in plastic. Experts recommend travelling with your own collapsible cup.
  • The carpet A quick vacuum does nothing but pick up dust and move bugs and fungus around. So, bring slippers or flip-flops to protect your feet.

Home Sweet Harm: Hidden Dangers in the Guest Room

Staying at a friend or family’s house means more quality time with the people you love, but it also means more one-on-one time with the germs they harbor. If you’re preparing for guests, don’t just vacuum, use a germicidal cleaner on all carpets and use a chlorine-based cleaning product in the guest bathroom applying it with a lot of love and elbow grease.