15 December 2006

Everyday I love them more

It says something about how awesome and fearless U2 are that they use a picture of themselves from the 80s to promote current products. Look at how uncool they look in that picture! Look at the hair. Most people would pay money not to have something like that distributed worldwide.

14 December 2006


I can already tell that this is going to be one of those entries that are short on substance and long on nothingness. Nothingness is one of those words that just shouldn’t be a word. Just because you take a real word and add the suffix –ness doesn’t make it a real word...except that it does, so that sucks.

I’ve been doing journal article searches all afternoon. I’ll enter search terms like “phoxinus” and “diet” and I’ll get such useless responses as The effect of selenium on mercury retention in the offspring of treated hens. It’s a boring activity, to say the least. However, it’s nice when you find those rare applicable articles. The ones that actually use my study species and not a closely related, but different, Genus; or the ones that take place in the same country as my work. That’s reference gold, my friends. Many of my references are from research done in Japan and various Nordic countries. I’m usually just happy to I find a paper from North America.

See, what did I say? Nothingness.

Oh, I wanted to do some shout outs while I have your attention. 1) Shout out to Annie for the post card. [Aside: There’s something amazing about getting postcards from faraway places. My mind gets boggled when I try to think about how many individuals had to do their job correctly for me to receive that. You’d think with small things like postcards, they’re more likely to get lost or mis-sorted or something, but they somehow manage to arrive. Snail mail is really underappreciated. Have you ever really thought about home-mail delivery? How in every city and town in North America thousands of people, everyday, go from house to house delivering mail? It seems like the most inefficient way to do it, but somehow it works. Amazing.] 2) Shout outs to Deb and Oz for posting haikus that were way better than mine. The rest of you that didn’t post haikus get whatever the opposite of a shout out is...a reproachful murmur, let’s say.

I was looking for a Christmas-y picture to post, but I couldn’t find one. Instead I’m putting up a picture of Moby. Aww.

09 December 2006

Spy Daddy haiku

Flipping channels just now, I see that Jane Seymour is guest-starring on Justice. I've only seen this show a few times but have judged it to be a far inferior vehicle for the glorious talents of Victor Garber than Alias was. I find it interesting that the stars of the two shows we watched last summer in the field are now together on another show. Seymour is playing an old flame of Garber’s who recently killed her teenage son. Dr. Mike and Spy Daddy together! What would Sully and Spy Mommy say?

Earlier today, in an attempt to keep awake during that deadly, soporific period between 2 and 3pm, I decided to write a haiku and submit it in a haiku contest. Haiku writing is much harder than I thought it would be. Everything I've written so far is just lame. I'm further handicapped in my writing by the fact that I seem to have a heretofore unknown inability to count syllables in my head. This means that I have to count the syllables on my fingers. This really hinders the creative process.

I would like to invite anyone reading this to attempt to write a haiku and send it to me, or post it in the comments section for all to see. The format we'll use will be the standard 3-line 5-7-5 syllable configuration. Here is an example:

Spy Daddy is now
a trial lawyer. Doctor
Mike murdered her kid.

See what I mean? Lame! I don’t think that qualifies as a haiku, even in the broadest definition of the term. I hope you can do better!

07 December 2006

Happy Feet are Gay Feet

Shout out to Oz for informing me of the stupidest of stupid controversies surrounding the children's movie, Happy Feet. I found a review that is so absurd I had to share it. I don't think this guy even saw the movie. Read the article, then come back here for my rebuttal. Go ahead, I’ll wait…

1. “This may be the darkest, most disturbing feature length animated film ever offered by a major studio.” Didn’t this guy see Pocahontas with its songs about killing the natives? Or Bambi where Bambi kills another deer to win his girl's affection? Those are far more disturbing than a few chase scenes. The movie rating described the danger as “mild peril.” I don’t know what the hell he’s talking when he says the movie leaves people feeling guilty. No single child is going to leave that movie in tears because his favourite food is fish sticks. If it makes adults feel guilty, good.

2. “There’s also scenes of a penguin captured for a zoo and tormented to the point of mental incapacity by unfeeling people… no movie for kids has gone so far in trying to induce guilt for membership in species homo sapiens.” Dude! We should feel guilty about penning animals up so we can pay $30 to stare at them for three minutes. And Mumble wasn’t tormented, he was suffering from a language barrier. And I maintain that movies where the humans actively kill the characters (Bambi, Old Yeller) are far more evil than Happy Feet. I’ll bet the hunter who killed Bambi’s mommy enjoyed his meal, whereas the humans in Happy Feet work to save the penguins (once they realize their folly). And if I could meet the guy who wrote this article - not that I want to, he’s probably creep in person - I tell him that humans are the biggest menace for the lovable penguins. In fact, the biggest menace for every living thing on earth is the human race. I hate, hate, hate, hate people who are so ignorant as to believe that we (humans) have no effect of the world outside our doors.

3. Hmm, which God should the penguins worship? And I assume he was called the Great Guin (as in penGuin), but maybe it was the Great Wind, ‘cause Antarctica is pretty damn windy. I didn’t see the church as a menacing artifact of humanity. I think the giant oil tankers and discarded whale skeletons were the more menacing evidence of humans. A church simply shows that humans lived, worshipped, and died there – kind of like the penguins do.

4. I think it’s awesome that the author waits until the paragraph about the supposed homosexual subtext to mention that Mumble is voiced by Elijah Wood. As if this lends credence to his theory. Is this whole gay thing because Mumble likes to dance and is voiced by Elijah Wood? What if he wanted to play football and was voiced by someone less ambiguous? Would he still be gay?

One thing that makes me question if he even say the movie is his statement that, “An ardent love affair is frustrated for no apparent reason, with the main character’s inamorata choosing a crude, fat penguin she cares nothing about and producing many progeny.” That is so not what happened. There is an exchange between Mumble and the girl while she is standing next to the fat guy and is surrounded by penguin chicks, that goes something like:

Girl: You remember the fat guy? We’re teaching these baby penguins to sing
Mumble: Oh, so you didn’t mate with the fat guy?
Girl: No, I didn’t mate with anyone

Seriously, how could he miss all that? I think this guy is reading too much into everything in this film. There are so many other things that are worthy of and deserve criticism, but this is not one of them (and I realize that criticizing this guy is also not on that list of worthy things, but I couldn’t resist).

06 December 2006

Fish gotta swim, bird gotta dance

Last night I went with Mika and Oz to see Happy Feet. I can't compare it to March of the Penguins, because I haven't seen it yet. The penguins in this movie are singers. They use songs to find mates to “have eggs” with, and they use song to worship the Great Guin, who provides them with fish. Mumble (the one with the happy feet) is born to parents that are just unorthodox enough to feel really guilty about it, and to want their kid to conform. Mumble, however, can’t sing. He can only dance. The old-timer penguins blame Mumble for the shortage of fish and cast him and his heretical dancing feet out. Mumble makes it his mission to find out what’s happening to the fish.

The animation was astounding. I was highly impressed by the impossible cuteness of the baby penguins, and the ferociousness of the leopard seals and orcas. The scenery was also amazing, with the vast ice-scapes and the dark, rolling swells of the ocean. The script was pretty good, and the music was (at times) a little more suggestive than I would have expected from a kids’ movie. The danger scenes were exciting enough that you could enjoy it even though you knew that all the characters would be okay. There was one part that I can’t really describe without ruining a plot point, but it was so depressing I would have cried if the movie ended there. There was also a bit of live action stuff that worked really well and gave it a more real feeling.

The best part of the movie was the moral: stop harvesting fish. Seriously! How awesome is that? The very thing I’ve been preaching for years is at the core of a children’s movie! One of the humans in the movie says, “We should stop marine harvest altogether!” and I cheered – out loud, in a public place – because I was so glad to hear someone else say it for once.

This movie was brilliant, as far as anti-fishing propaganda goes. I mean, what better way to reach the next generation of fish eaters than with an übercute tap dancing penguin named Mumble? I can’t wait until my niece is old enough to eat fish and I can tell her with a disapproving tone, “If you eat fish, Mumble and all his friends will die!”

04 December 2006


So I couldn’t sleep tonight and I found myself watching a silent film, The Ace of Hearts. I only saw what turned out to be the last 5 minutes or so. I couldn’t really figure out the plot. This night-of-the-living-dead-looking guy Farallone was trying to convince a group of equally living-dead-looking men that “love is construction” and that destruction is bad. He was really scary looking. He opened his eyes really wide at the end of each silent sentence. It was…disturbing. The others in the group would have none of his love talk, and wanted to get down to business. Said business was deciding which of them would be the one to take care of a traitor, some guy who wronged them in someway (they called him something like “the man who has lived too long”). The head dead-guy dealt out a deck of cards, and Farallone got the ace of hearts. He really enjoyed this and laughed silently and maniacally for quite a long time. The others wanted to know what was so funny, and he said, “I’ll tell you in 3 seconds.” Then the room blows up. I really didn’t get it. I mean, why was this guy preaching love if he was going to blow everyone up? And what had the traitor done? Is living too long such a punishable offence? And isn’t ace of spades supposed to be the death card? How the hell did this medium take off with such sloppy narratives and disturbing looking actors?

03 December 2006


Okay, seriously? That animatronic baby in the Playstation 3 commercial is the creepiest freaking thing I have ever seen.

01 December 2006


Reason number 57 why "Leslie" is a bad name.

This guy's name is Leslie: