Tuesday, September 29, 2009

I could totally do this if I wanted to...

I just don't feel like doing it right now...

Gluttonous Chocolate Luxury for Middle Eastern Princes

The world’s most expensive dessert is called the “Frrozen Haute Chocolate” (That’s “frozen” with an extra “r”) and it costs $25,000.  Invented by Serendipity 3 owner Stephen Bruce in 2007, the extravagant chocolate sundae includes a combination of 28 cocoas—many of them exotic, 5 grams of edible 23-karat gold, gold-covered whipped cream, and a side of Knipschildt Chocolatier’s La Madeline au Truffle (I’m not really sure what this is but it sells for $2,600 a pound). The whole thing is served in a goblet lined with edible gold, the base of which is wrapped in an 18-karat gold bracelet with 1 carat’s worth of white diamonds.  The cherry on top is a diamond-encrusted gold spoon, and yes Justin, you can take it home.  The sundae is only available through advance orders.  Who would spend such a preposterous amount of money on a single item, let alone a dessert, one might ask? Middle Eastern princes of course!  "I wouldn't be surprised if soon we get a call from a Middle Eastern prince or Shah willing to give something sweet to his many wives on his next trip to the city," Bruce said in a statement.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Words to live by...

This is from what is widely regarded as the best example of Film Noir in movie history, "The Third Man". Directed by Carol Reed and with an amazing screenplay by Graham Greene (though this little speech was actually written by Orson Welles himself).

Friday Afternoon Cartoons

I guess it was never really considered a Disney "classic" but as a wee lad I loved Robin Hood more than anything, and this clip reminds me why. Roger Miller doing the soundtrack...
Upon reflection, it may have been A bad thing that as a kid my favorite movie was all about running from the cops...

Also, the Russian and French versions are quite good...

Thursday, September 24, 2009

The Best Website There Ever Could Be.

Bacon Today is an online bacon-centric periodical that tackles all of the hard hitting topics that bacon lovers need to be informed of. The tireless journalistic professionals at Bacon Today are dedicated to answering the tough questions. Questions like: "How can I creativley prepare my bacon?", "How can I add bacon to traditionally non bacon-centric meals?" or, "How can I maximize my bacon intake?" The answer to that last query can be answered handily with this recipe: BACON EXPLOSION!

Nate Robinson is a True Product of Seattle

This is a bit old, back from February, but I hadn't seen it until now. Nate Robinson shoots a career-high 41 point game, gives daps to Will Ferrel, and, before a free throw, does a Call of Duty salute. Apparently he had been playing COD online and told one of his teammates he was in fact Nate Robinson. They didn't believe him, so he told them he would give a COD salute before a free throw in his next game. And he tops it all off with a signed jersey for Will Ferrel. Nate Robinson is the shit.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

HEIST NEWS: Swedish Helicopter Robbery!

The NY Times reports..

Come on, America. We are getting left in the dust in the international 'spectacular crime' race. First it was Britain with it's 60 million dollar diamond heist a few months back, and now Sweden ups the ante with a thrilling helicopter stunt that is bound to inspire dozens of children around the world into a life of crime. These heroes stole a helicopter, rappelled down into a cash depot (crashing through a glass skylight...jam!) and made off with a load of cash, then dumped the helicopter in a field somewhere and vanished into the early morning mist. Why didn't the Swedish police just chase after them in their own helicopter, you might rightly be asking? Because these clever gentlemen had already planted a fake bomb at the police helipad, keeping them from even going near their own whirly-bird! Yow! My hat's off to this group of merry men. Vaya con dios!

Update: I am really hoping this becomes a regular addition to the blog. We will cover in detail any breaking heist information, from anywhere in the world, as soon as it becomes available. We at the Department of Grievances salute high-profile thieves everywhere.

On That Note...

Here's my entry for one of the best film intros ever. Orson Welles' "A Touch of Evil" has one of cinema's most impressive tracking shots. While previous films, most notably Hitchcock's "Rope" (which was essentially all tracking shots), had dabbled with the technique of uninterrupted takes, it took the creativity of Orson Welles to take a neat trick and turn it into an expression. It may not be as beautiful as Tarsem's opening credits, but technically I think it's amazing...

Crikey! Freak Sandstorm in Sydney!

Oy! Kinda makes everything all dodgery-doo! There's sand in the lift, in the lorry, in the bond wizard, and all over the malonga gilderchuck! Good on ya, weatha!

The Fall - Opening Titles

While I enjoyed Tarsem's The Fall very much, I kind of feel the intro was a little too good. It overshadows the entire movie for me. These opening titles are some of the best I've ever seen in a movie. The whole sequence is immaculate. The imagery combined with one of Beethoven's best pieces really sets my loins aflame. Music is Beethoven's 7th symphony, Movement 2: Allegretto.

This same music was also used to great effect in the Nic Cage vehicle 'Knowing', by Alex Proyas (Dark City). As it turns out, that piece is an excellent choice of music for the end of the world as we know it.

And fuck it, you know what? I liked Knowing. It's not a bad movie, and in some spots it's actually a really good movie. I should write a blog about it. But I probably won't.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

The Original Bad Boys

These two little chain smoking tough guys are Johnny and Luther Htoo, the pint-sized leaders of “God’s Army”, a rebel group from Burma (or “Myanmar’ if you want to get technical. I don’t). These twins were 9 years old when their village was attacked by the Burmese army (they are member of the Karen ethnic minority which apparently the government of Burma has it out for) and where heralded for taking up arms and defending their village from the invaders. Both have given up their struggle and live in Thailand now, but at the height of their rebel careers (around 1999/2000. When they were 12 years old) they boasted several hundred followers who believed, among other things, that they could not be harmed by bullets and land mines, could shape shift, could kill with the power of their minds, and commanded armies of ghosts to aid them in battle. Well holy shit. Thanks to my former teacher and all around cool guy Tomer Hanuka for cluing me in on these guys.

UPDATE: Insane Killer Apprehended; Gives Extremely Rational Excuse for Escape

Updated from Saturday's posting:

Murdering psychopath and guitarist Phillip Arnold Paul was caught near Goldendale, WA. His explanation for his escape was that he "wanted a little fresh air."

Good friends of mine are crazier than this guy. What a letdown.


Monday, September 21, 2009

Awesome Political Figure of the Week: Boris Yeltsin

Yes, I know he's dead, but who is Death to keep an Awesome Political Figure from appearing on our blog? Nobody, that's who!

This is an excerpt from an upcoming book detailing a recent in-depth interview with Bill Clinton...

"He also relayed how Boris Yeltsin's late-night drinking during a visit to Washington in 1995 nearly created an international incident. The Russian president was staying at Blair House, the government guest quarters. Late at night, Clinton told Branch, Secret Service agents found Yeltsin clad only in his underwear, standing alone on Pennsylvania Avenue and trying to hail a cab. He wanted a pizza, he told them, his words slurring."

Rest in Peace. Party Animals Live Forever.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Insane Killer Escapes on Field Trip to County Fair

AP reports..

At this risk of being unpopular, I'm going to go on the record to say that it's not a good idea to take unrestrained criminally-insane murderers in nondescript street clothing to local social gatherings. This man in particular, Phillip Arnold Paul, age 47, had killed an elderly woman whom he believed to be a witch, back in 1987. He'd been in the Eastern State Hospital in Spokane, WA ever since.


Pictured: insanity

Evidently he'd been on the straight-and-narrow (no witch-killings) for a few years and he'd earned the privilege to attend the annual Schizophrenic Murderers County Fair Jamboreee (citation needed). Apparently they also give each crazed psychopath a small amount of money, say, oh, roughly the amount needed for a one-way Greyhound trip out of state, to use at their leisure for the games and rides at the fair. Out of the blue, Crazy Uncle Phil gave his handlers the slip (but in all fairness, it was only the second time he'd escaped, his first being all the way back in 1992), and is currently at large.

Oh, and Philip's brother happened to casually inform the press that Philip "was a high school and junior college wrestler and a martial artist."

Thanks, Eastern State Hospital!

The Night of the Hunter

Famous for being overlooked and generally under appreciated, Charles Laughton’s “Night of the Hunter” is one of the best thrillers ever made. The story follows two children whose father is arrested for robbing a bank, but before he is carted off by the police he lets his little boy and girl in on the whereabouts of the stolen loot. While in jail the father lets slip to his cellmate (the amazing Robert Mitchum) that his heist money is hidden away somewhere near his home. Mitchum is released and, in the guise of a preacher, sets off to seek out the man’s family and make them reveal the location of the treasure by any means necessary.

Beyond the story, what really makes this movie a masterpiece is the perfect synergy of visual effects and mood. All shot in black and white, every scene is meticulously composed and arranged to get the maximum visual effect. The entire film was shot on a soundstage, which gives the viewer the feeling of watching a play rather than a movie, and lends the film a certain timeless, story book, almost dreamlike (or rather nightmarish) quality which has also been used to great effect in other movies such as “Brazil”, “The City of the Lost Children” and “The Royal Tenenbaums” to name a few.

Unfortunately “Night of the Hunter” was truly ahead of its time and audiences and critics simply did not know what to make of it. A critical and commercial failure, the reviews were so scathing that Laughton swore never to direct another movie, making “Hunter” his first and last film. Truly a shame considering ""The Night of the Hunter" pioneered many conventions that would influence so many directors of later generations. If you are in the market to see a truly scary film with one of the best villains in movie history, “The Night of the Hunter” is right up your alley.

Friday, September 18, 2009


A little animated pick-me-up. It's hard to be in a bad mood after watching this.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

This is why every American carries a gun...

For fear of being invaded by any country whose citizens can pull off this kind of wild shit.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Kansas City Library

Also known as "The Kansas City Liberry"

Looks like Cardiff, Wales has gotten in on the action too. Notice, however that while KC is bedecked in such literary masterpieces as "Romeo & Juliet", "To Kill a Mockingbird" and "A Tale of Two Cities" Cardiff is sporting some decidedly more bargain bin material. Notably Michael Connelly, Harlan Coben and John Grisham! Sorry Cardiff, looks like you just got out classed by Kansas City, Missouri.

"Avocado" is ancient Aztec for testicle.

Here's an interesting A-Z list of the origin of certain English words from far off places:

A is for…

Avocado, which comes from Nahuatl, a language spoken by the Aztecs. Their name for it, ahuacatl, also meant ''testicle".

B is for…

Bonsai. Although we think the tree-cultivating art is Japanese, it originated in China.

C is for…

Coleslaw. Supposedly eaten in ancient Rome, it comes from the Dutch kool-salade (''cabbage salad").

D is for…

Dachshund, a compound of the German Dachs (''badger") and Hund (''dog"). Originally the breed was known in Germany as Dachs Krieger, or ''badger warrior".

E is for…

Enthusiasm. From the Greek entheos, which means ''to be within energy", suggesting being spiritually ''possessed".

F is for…

Flamenco, from the Spanish name for a Fleming (i.e. someone from Flanders).

G is for…

Goulash, an invention by Hungarian herdsmen whose name derives from gulyas.

H is for…

Hotchpotch, used in Norman legal jargon to denote property collected and then divided.

I is for…

Intelligentsia, a collective term for the intellectual class which derives from Latin but came to us from Russian.

J is for…

Juggernaut, Sanskrit for a giant carriage used to transport an image of the god Krishna.

K is for…

Kangaroo, from gangurru, the large black male roo in the Guugu Yimidhirr language.

L is for…

Lilac, which comes from the Persian nilak, meaning ''of a bluish shade".

M is for…

Mandarin. The name of the fruit feels as though it ought to be Chinese, but may well have come from Swedish.

N is for…

Namby-pamby. Nickname of the 18th-century poet Ambrose Phillips, coined by the satirist Henry Careybecause of his sentimental verses

O is for…

Onslaught, from the Dutch aanslag - related to a word in Old High German for a shower.

P is for…

Penguin, a compound of two Welsh words, pen and gwyn, which mean ''head" and ''white" - even though penguins have black heads. It is likely that 'penguin' was at one time the name of similar, now extinct bird which had a white patch near its bill.

Q is for…

Quack can be traced to the Dutch kwaksalver, literally someone who hawked ointments.

R is for…

Regatta, from Venetian dialect, it originally signified any kind of contest.

S is for…

Sabotage. Supposed to derive from the tendency of striking workers to damage machinery by throwing shoes into it - sabot being an old French word for a wooden shoe.

T is for…

Tattoo, Captain Cook saw Polynesian islanders marking their skin with dark pigment. Long before that the word signified a signal or drumbeat, a Dutch expression for 'Close off the tap', used to recall tippling soldiers.

U is for…

Umbrella, appeared in English as early as 1609 (in a letter by John Donne). In the middle of the 18th century the device was adopted by the philanthropist Jonas Hanway as a protection against the London rain.

V is for…

Vanilla, ''little sheath" in Spanish.

W is for…

Walnut, a modern rendering of the Old English walhnutu ('foreign nut'), so known because it grew mainly in Italy.

X is for…

Xebec, a little vessel with three masts, from the Arabic shabbak, a small warship.

Y is for…

Yogurt, a mispronunciation of a Turkish word.

Z is for…

Zero, whose immediate source is French or Italian, but its origins are in Arabic - and before that in the Sanskrit word sunya, which meant both ''nothing" and ''desert".

From the UK newspaper 'The Telegraph".

Hitchcock in Hitchcock

Speaking of movies, here's a video showing some (not all) of Alfred Hitchcock's cameos in his own movies. Usually he would take the opportunity to poke a little fun at himself, and I have to respect someone who doesn't take themselves too seriously...

Ever Wonder...

Why was it that HAL, in Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey, sang "A Bicycle Built for Two"? Well, it would seem that he got the idea from a television program. Oddly it seems no less strange and haunting than in the movie...

Monday, September 14, 2009

A Classic

I couldn't get enough of this story when I was a kid...

by Arlene Mosel. Drawings by Blair Lent.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Roald Dahl Day!!!

That's right! September 13th is officially Roald Dahl day! Cheers to one of the coolest people to ever live!

info here:

And this site has an amazing virtual tour of Dahl's "writing hut", a little dilapidated shed in his garden where he would hole up and write. Further evidence of the man's coolness...

Sunday Morning Gross Out!

From a collection of Japanese anatomical scrolls from the nineteenth century. More here http://www2.library.tohoku.ac.jp/kano/09-000910/09-000910.html

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Swearing is an art form

Clarence Beeks is an expletive virtuoso

Friday, September 11, 2009

Poland v. Ghana

More Polack movie posters here: RetroCRUSH

And an even more extensive selection (available for PURCHASE!) here: polishposter.com

I'm going to blow every last red cent I have on a bunch of these gems.

Fact: Movie posters are far cooler in Ghana

More here http://www.flickr.com/photos/kipw/sets/72157594484995671/ and here http://glamour-news.blogspot.com/2009/08/ghana-movie-posters.html

The Anatomy of Banh Mi

I say any dish that doesn't have at least three kinds of pork isn't really a meal. Pork paste?! The possibilities are endless! Oh man, I'm starving.