Um …

This is either the best or worst thing I’ve ever seen.

EDIT: Video won’t embed because they want you to watch it on YouTube so they can try to talk you into buying the song on iTunes. Diabolical.

Finally

Only took me 38 years to get around to it. One lunchtime Target run and Wired YouTube video later, I solved a Rubik’s Cube. Twice. With this method, solving the bottom two layers is pretty easy. The top layer is where it gets complicated, with different algorithms for different scenarios. Will I actually memorize those? Doubtful.

Finally

Submitted for your approval, a few suggestions for celebrating Mabon this year.

  1. Setting Up Your Mabon Altar: Celebrate the Mabon Sabbat by decorating your altar with the colors and symbols of the late harvest season.
  2. Create a Mabon Food Altar: Mabon is a celebration of the second harvest season. It’s a time when we’re gathering the bounty of the fields, the orchards, and the gardens, and bringing it in for storage.
  3. Honor the Dark Mother at Mabon: This ritual welcomes the archetype of the Dark Mother and celebrates that aspect of the Goddess which we may not always find comforting or appealing, but which we must always be willing to acknowledge. (Hint: virgin sacrifice.)
  4. Mabon Apple Harvest Rite: This apple ritual will allow you time to thank the gods for their bounty and blessings, and to enjoy the magic of the earth before the winds of winter blow through.
  5. Hearth & Home Protection Ritual: This ritual is a simple one designed to place a barrier of harmony and security around your property.
  6. Hold a Gratitude Ritual: You might want to consider doing a short gratitude ritual as a way of expressing thankfulness at Mabon.
  7. Autumn Full Moon — Group Ceremony: This rite is written for a group of four people or more to celebrate the full moon phases of the fall. (Hint: virgin sacrifice.)
  8. Mabon Balance Meditation: If you’re feeling a bit spiritually lopsided, with this simple meditation you can restore a little balance into your life.

Also, this miniseries scared the ever-living shit out of me when I was a wee bastard.

 

And He Brought Home The Bacon

DEVO’s first single, released March 12, 1977 on Booji Boy Records. (B/W “Jocko Homo,” of course.)

About the video …

“Mongoloid” was Devo’s second music video, after The Truth About De-Evolution. It was not actually made by the band, but by assemblage artist and experimental filmmaker Bruce Conner. Conner combined 1950s television advertisements, science fiction film clips (including a scene from It Came from Outer Space), and scientific documentaries with abstract animation and original film work. Devo marketed the film as “A documentary film exploring the manner in which a determined young man overcame a basic mental defect and became a useful member of society. Insightful editing techniques reveal the dreams, ideals and problems that face a large segment of the American male population. Very educational. Background music written and performed by the DEVO orchestra.”

And There’s A Podcast

Two episodes in to HBO’s new miniseries and I’m hooked. Thanks for the recommendation, Droog!

The attention to detail is amazing, all the way down to the slightly fucked up font used in the credits. There’s a great interview with writer/producer Craig Mazin on Vice regarding his motivation to get it right.

Chernobyl accomplishes this, in part, by adhering as closely as it can to historical fact. Every major character save one—a nuclear physicist played by Emily Watson—has a real-life counterpart, from the scientist in charge of cleanup efforts (Valery Legasov, played by Jared Harris), to the wife of a firefighter at the scene of the explosion (Lyudmilla Ignatenko, played by Jessie Buckley). The clothing Chernobyl’s characters wear, the cars they drive, the cigarettes they smoke, the glassware they drink from, the wallpaper in their homes—all of it is staggeringly accurate, a product of more than two and a half years of research.

So anyway, podcast. It provides additional information for each episode in the five-part series, so watch an episode and then give the podcast a listen.

Ill Communication Is 25

This is worth a look.

‘Still Ill: 25 Years of the Beastie Boys’ Ill Communication’ features Michael “Mike D” Diamond and Adam “Ad-Rock” Horovitz diving deep into the making of the band’s epic 1994 album – and, arguably, one of their high points as artists and generational touchstones. The 15-minute documentary tracks the Beastie Boys’ rejuvenation in the years after the release of 1989’s Paul’s Boutique – now considered a masterpiece but at the time a commercial flop – first with 1992’s Check Your Head and ultimately with Ill Communication, which produced the epic single and music video “Sabotage” and returned them to playing arenas.

Featuring interviews with Diamond and Horovitz from this March in Austin, Texas — as well as new interviews with keyboardist Mark “Money Mark” Nishita and producer Mario Caldato and rarely-seen 1990s footage of the band – Still Ill focuses heavily on late Beastie Boy Adam “MCA” Yauch and his contributions to Ill Communication. Through footage and the words of his friends, the documentary captures Yauch’s journey into activism, which would blossom with the Tibetan Freedom Concerts later in the decade, as well as his famous denunciation of misogyny in hip-hop on the single “Sure Shot”: “I want to say a little something that’s long overdue / The disrespect to women has got to be through / To all the mothers and sisters and the wives and friends / I want to offer my love and respect to the end.”

Remember This Money-Grubbing Asshole?

This was televangelist Robert Tilton’s usual spiel, swindling every last penny from poor folks who were at the end of the proverbial rope. What a piece of shit.

And I’m sure you’re all familiar with this series of videos in which some video-editing genius used Tilton’s ridiculous facial expressions, pauses, and verbal tics to hilarious effect.

But I had not seen this video. This is another kind of genius. Anyway, enjoy or don’t.

Well Are You?

I had this poster when I was a kid, only recently discovering that it was created by Tom Shadyac, the director who now lives in Memphis. We ran into him at [REDACTED] when we were buying tile for our bathroom remodel. Small fucking world.

Remember the poster Are You A Preppie? It was printed in 1979 by University of Virginia undergrad Tom Shadyac, who went on to film school at UCLA and later directed Ace Ventura: Pet Detective and Evan Almighty. The poster was wildly popular when it came out. I have to wonder whether it might have inspired Lisa Birnbach’s more in-depth anthropological treatment in The Official Preppy Handbook, which appeared one year later.

This One’s For You, Monkeystador

So there’s a British fellow named Thomas Morris. He was a BBC radio producer for 17 years, but he’s a full-time writer now – with a blargh. I’ll just let him tell it …

I began writing this blog while writing my first book The Matter of the Heart, a popular history of heart surgery … The book traces the evolution of the discipline from its origins in the late nineteenth century to the present day, and looks at some of the most exciting recent developments in the field. Researching that book entailed many hours spent reading early medical journals. These publications are full of extraordinary and often scarcely believable stories, which though irrelevant to the book seemed too good to waste. In my spare time I’ve collected some of the most quirky, bizarre or surprising cases I’ve encountered, all drawn from the pre-twentieth century medical literature.

Here’s his most recent entry (and trust me, that’s a pun), A Watch Spring, a Bean and a Clove of Garlic. And may I just add, OUCH.

Morris has a new book that I’m about to buy. It looks a bit like this …