FleaInNYCbanner.jpg

April 30, 2005

Vogon poetry

I cannot believe I missed this Vogon poetry competition. My first attempts at creative writing were efforts to produce my own version of Vogon aesthetics. They continue to this very day.

Oh freddled gruntbuggly,Thy micturations are to me. As plurdled gabbleblotchits. On a lurgid bee. Groop, I implore thee, my foonting turlingdromes. And hooptiously drangle me with crinkly bindlewurdles, Or I will rend thee in the gobberwarts with my blurglecruncheon. See if I don't.
Posted by the Flea at 07:41 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

I Love Paris in the Springtime

Sadly, Paris Hilton's ad for Carl's Jr. may never be aired. I am counting on "the internet" to step into the breach. Or in this case, breeches.

CKE Restaurants, which has a reputation for politically incorrect advertising, tapped the sexy socialite for a new Carl's Jr. TV spot. The problem, according to a source, is the spot is meeting with some resistance from network executives. "It couldn't be more pornographic," said the source. "It's about as racy as I've seen."

Set to the song "I Love Paris in the Springtime," the 30-second spot, via Mendelsohn/Zien in Los Angeles, shows Hilton washing a car "with hoses shooting everywhere and her soaping everything up," said the source. Touting the BBQ Six Dollar Burger, it plays off her catch phrase, "That's hot."
Posted by the Flea at 07:37 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0)

That’s Hot

The latest rumour about the long awaited Paris Hilton debut album "Paris is Burning" is a collaboration with Le Tigre. Oh yes.

Known for their highly political and feminist stance, it wouldn’t be surprising if Le Tigre felt a backlash by working with the notoriously fun-loving hotel heiress. Then again, Hilton could just gain tons of cred for working with the musically respected rockers. Others who are reportedly contributing to Hilton’s debut album include the likes of The Black Eyed Peas, JC Chasez, and Lil John (on a track called uh, “That’s Hot”).
Posted by the Flea at 07:34 AM | TrackBack (1)

Le Tigre: TKO

Now is the time at the Flea when we dance.

Posted by the Flea at 07:33 AM | TrackBack (0)

Big Red Button

Do not press the big red button. Seriously.

Posted by the Flea at 07:32 AM | TrackBack (1)

Debra Messing pole dancing

Pole dancing, all the rage apparently. Well, if pole dancing is good enough for Jude Law it is good enough for the Flea. One can only imagine if Angelina Jolie, Brad Pitt, Vanessa Paradis, Johnny Depp, Paris Hilton, 50 Cent, Pamela Anderson or Condoleezza Rice have included it alongside their spinning and pilate routines but I am pleased to pass on a report that Debra Messing has included pole dancing in her exercise regimen.

Will & Grace beauty Debra Messing is taking pole dancing and 'strippercise' lessons in a bid to tone her body up after becoming a mum.

I have yet to see Closer but I gather Natalie Portman had a keep-fit regimen of her own judging by her thong, lingerie and pole dancing ensemble. And not to forget that Kate Moss interpretive dance routine for White Stripes. I am not certain what to make of the tune but the video does bring a healthy blush to my cheeks.

Posted by the Flea at 07:31 AM | TrackBack (0)

Missionary Impossible

The Sister of the Flea suggests "...this Tom Cruise/Katie Holmes thing is getting even scarier (or beardier)." Katie Holmes, 26, reportedly claims to be a virgin (not that there's anything wrong with that).

Normally, the idea that Cruise might have the opportunity to deflower America’s Onetime Sweetheart would send us stumbling into the street to thrust our head underneath the first convenient Hummer tire, begging its dead-eyed driver to finally deliver us four tons of sweet annihilation. But in a surprising moment of clarity, we realized that this notion is patently ridiculous: Pacey totally decommissioned Katie’s virgin-battleship on the fourth season of Dawson’s.

Rosie O'Donnell, formerly of FormerlyRosie, had this say.

my tommy has a new babe
katie holmes - who is a great actress
she did a movie with
patricia clarkson
i can’t remember the name
but she was amazing in it
he looks happy
and that makes me happy
Posted by the Flea at 07:29 AM | TrackBack (0)

Mari Yaguchi

Mari Yaguchi is looking a bit woman on the verge after leaving all-girl pop group Morning Musume. One can only hope she left her friends in good hands under the new leadership of Hitomi Yoshizawa.

"As an idol and leader of Morning Musume, I was worried for a variety of reasons," Yaguchi said during an appearance in the TBS program "Utaban" on Thursday night. "But I finally decided to take responsibility."

Yaguchi added that she had talked with new Morning Musume leader Hitomi Yoshizawa after making her decision to quit. "I felt sorry for the group members. After talking (with Yoshizawa), however, I felt that the group would continue to work even though I quit," she said.
Posted by the Flea at 07:27 AM | TrackBack (0)

The Personal Property of Marlon Brando

Some of Marlon Brando's personal effects are to be auctioned by Christie's this summer.

"Brando was an extremely private and elusive individual," it said. Godfather author Mario Puzo's letter could fetch up to $1,200 (£627) "The sale offers an intimate insight into the lifestyle and career of a famed screen colossus."

Other lots include Brando's 1954 Oscar nomination certificate for On the Waterfront, the black velvet tunic he wore as Jor-El in Superman and Native American artefacts given to him by actor Val Kilmer.
Posted by the Flea at 07:24 AM | TrackBack (0)

April 29, 2005

Keitai culture

Features that are experimental in North American cell phones are mainstream in Japan. It is not just the specific gadgetry that is important, however, so much as its ubiquitousness (via the Neighbour of a Flea).

"Cell phones have created extensions of personal space in Japan," said Yuichi Kogure, who teaches a class on keitai culture at Tokyo's Toita Women's College. "You take your world with you when you have your keitai in your hand. In the keitai world, people forget where they are, and women [with cell phones], for instance, can be seen putting on makeup or brushing their hair in the subway, something considered highly rude in Japan in the past. But now, people are walled inside their own little world with their keitai and aren't even aware of what they're doing in public."
Posted by the Flea at 06:21 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

Keitai Deka

I cannot be the only person who would enjoy subtitled Japanese television programming. Once the web has smashed television into ten thousand narrowcasted channels I shall eat Teriyaki Nori roasted seaweed and watch Keitai Deka on my cellphone television.

American detectives need snitches, sidearms, and sports cars to catch bad guys. But the hottest private eye in Japan fights crime with her cell phone. The teen supersleuth is the protagonist of Keitai Deka (literally, "the cell phone detective"), a popular show on Japan's BS-i channel. Every Sunday night, she unravels mysteries with the help of her superpowered DoCoMo smartphone. Although Westerners might find the premise implausible, in Japan, where multitasking teens can thumbtext faster than you can type, it's practically a documentary.
Posted by the Flea at 06:20 AM | TrackBack (0)

Another Japanese game show

The more wax you are covered with the more difficult it is to defend yourself with a small plastic umbrella. Just like life, really.

Posted by the Flea at 06:20 AM | TrackBack (0)

Anakin Dynamite

Anakin Dynamite. Sweet. Just don't use those Jedi skillz in class.

An awkward apprentice struggles with older Jedis, school elections and idiots!
Posted by the Flea at 06:18 AM | TrackBack (0)

Unbiblical, Weird

Pharyngula calls it irony overload. Though reading this makes me think I should have watched Revelations, I just wish I had thought to write the Left Behind series as I would now be blogging from a seaside mansion/compound in Mexico.

The authors of the best-selling "Left Behind" end-times thriller series call the new apocalyptic NBC mini series "unbiblical" and "weird." Jerry Jenkins, novelist of the "Left Behind" series, which has sold 62 million copies since its debut in 1995, said "Revelations" is "a mishmash of myth, silliness, and misrepresentations of Scripture."
Posted by the Flea at 06:17 AM | TrackBack (1)

Body piercing saved my life

One of many "edgy" slogans for Extreme Christian Clothing.

Posted by the Flea at 06:16 AM | TrackBack (0)

Tainted Love

Now is the time at the Flea when we dance.

Posted by the Flea at 06:14 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Ask Captain Lim

How safe is flying today? And just which seats are best in the event of an emergency?

Posted by the Flea at 06:05 AM | TrackBack (0)

April 28, 2005

Rock Star Kylie

KylieMotorcycle.jpg

Kylie Minogue is to headline the Glastonbury music festival as part of a reported transformation into a rock star. Expect irritated noises from humourless indie scenesters everywhere.

It's something of a coup for Minogue and her management team for her to line up at the three-day rock extravaganza, which is attended by 150,000 rock fans. She will appear with acts such as Coldplay, the White Stripes, Van Morrison and Elvis Costello.

Minogue has long expressed an interest in playing Glastonbury, an enthusiasm not matched by the festival's promoter, Michael Eavis, until now. Like her 1995 duet with Nick Cave, Glastonbury will add rock cred to her extensive CV.

And the Australian has some snark to offer... the cads!

Posted by the Flea at 10:25 AM | TrackBack (0)

Night Watch

Night Watch looks promising (hat tip to Bill's comments).

From Russia, with horror, comes the stylish horror fantasy film that has revolutionized post-Soviet cinema: NIGHT WATCH (NOCHNOI DOZOR). The film brings to the fore the cutting-edge vision of director/writer Timur Bekmambetov (whom Russian director Nikita Mikhalkov called "our Tarantino") and is the first instalment of a trilogy based on the best-selling Russian sci-fi novels of Sergei Lukyanenko (which also include Day Watch and Dusk Watch).
Posted by the Flea at 10:20 AM | TrackBack (0)

German Post Office

German Post Office is an animated short using clips from the soundtracks of two German-language pornographic films found on "the internet". This should be work-safe unless your employer speaks German.

Posted by the Flea at 10:17 AM | TrackBack (0)

Space Dude

My hand-eye coordination does not extend to jumping from platform to platform in space so I have to take the game's word for it but apparently there are ten levels of Space Dude so best not to play unless you have time to kill or are, in point of fact, the boss and can do as you please.

Posted by the Flea at 10:14 AM | TrackBack (0)

Crazy Frog Axel F

Now is the time at the Flea when we dance.

Posted by the Flea at 10:12 AM | TrackBack (0)

80s Tees

Lots of temptation at an on-line 80s T-shirt store. I am pretty much going to have to buy this Wembley and Red Fraggle Rock T-shirt (via That Crazy Neighbor Lady).

You don't know how long i have been looking for the sanford and son shirt, and how happy i was to find it on your site. Once again thanks kevin, and to let you know that 80's tees ROCKS!!!!!!!!
Posted by the Flea at 10:11 AM | TrackBack (0)

Red Fraggle - The Enthusiast

If I was a Fraggle I would be yearning for Red. Why does she not believe my postcards?

Red Fraggle is the kind of Fraggle someone watches and then says, "Now there's a really energetic Fraggle who knows where she's going and what she wants to do." And then, CRASH, Red runs right into a stalagmite. But that doesn't stop Red. It's certainly not her fault the stalagmite didn't know enough to move.
Posted by the Flea at 10:11 AM | TrackBack (0)

Science vs. Norse mythology

Or rather "science" vs Norse Creation Science... remember you can't prove a negative! (via Chapel Perilous)

Posted by the Flea at 10:11 AM | TrackBack (1)

Although I'm quite content with who I am and what I am...

"Following this is a list of different occupations. You must select at least five of them. You may add more if you like to your list before you pass it on (after you select five of the items as it was passed to you). Of the five you selected, you are to finish each phrase with what you would do as a member of that profession. Then pass it on to three other bloggers. OF COURSE you all without blogs are welcome to play along in comments!"

The complete list is in the extended entry. My choices:

If I could be a librarian I would be in the employ of the Balfour Library at my favourite museum in the world. I would take my lunch at the Bird and Baby.

If I could be a psychologist I would slide sideways into Lacanian clinical practice instead of using Lacan to write papers about Japanese horror movies.

If I could be a linguist I would design vampire languages for horror movies Japanese or otherwise.

If I could be an architect I would devote my life to building the Tyrrel Corporation pyramid in downtown Toronto.

If I could be a backup dancer I would have Kylie Minogue's number on speed-dial. Also, I would be ripped.

Bonachela, 31, discovered something Minogue’s legion of fans have always known: when it comes to shaking her booty, the 34-year-old is one hell of a mover and fit as a flea. "Hundreds of thousands of people saw my work," he says, unable to keep the note of disbelief out of his voice.

I tag Eric, John and Dean!

I was tagged by the delicious SondraK...

If I could be a scientist...
If I could be a farmer...
If I could be a musician...
If I could be a doctor...
If I could be a painter...
If I could be a gardener...
If I could be a missionary...
If I could be a chef...
If I could be an architect...
If I could be a linguist...
If I could be a psychologist...
If I could be a librarian...
If I could be an athlete...
If I could be a lawyer...
If I could be an innkeeper...
If I could be a professor...
If I could be a writer...
If I could be a backup dancer...
If I could be a llama-rider...
If I could be a bonnie pirate...
If I could be a midget stripper...
If I could be a proctologist...
IIf I could be a TV-Chat Show host...
If I could be an actor...
If I could be a judge...
If I could be a Jedi...

Posted by the Flea at 12:03 AM | TrackBack (4)

April 27, 2005

Serenity sneak preview

Curse you, Seattle, Austin, Sacramento, Boston, Altanta, Chicago, San Francisco, Las Vegas, Denver and The Portland of Oregon! For Joss Whedon has a Serenity announcement to make to you:

The movie is very nearly finished. You've seen many pretty images in the trailer. But I've still got work to do and you've still got months before you can see it.

Unless.

And, no, I'm not talking Australia (but Hi, Australia! anyway), I'm talking here in the more-or-less-United States, a one time multi-city Browncoat sneak event. Thursday, May 5th at 10:00 pm, the movie (Serenity! Pay attention! Jeez.) will be playing at exactly 10 theaters in 10 cities across the country. You (or possibly someone much like you) (or possibly a robot EXACTLY like you, but with better manners and sonic arm-lasers, sent to take your place) will be able to buy a ticket to see Serenity months in advance. Not just the bitty trailer with not enough Kaylee and Book, but the whole film, in its extremely almost completed state.

Vexed again!

Posted by the Flea at 09:43 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (3)

Star Wars and The O.C.

George Lucas is to appear as himself in the May 12 episode of The O.C. If we could just work in Jessica Alba wearing a Wonder Woman* costume Bill Ardolino's head would explode.

In the episode, Lucas expresses interest in Seth's (Adam Brody) "graphic novel," which leads Ryan's better half to make a difficult decision regarding Summer. Things become even more complicated when Lucas invites Seth to dinner and gives him some worldly advice. I'm guessing it sounded something like this: "Seth, man, if you missed 24 last night, get a tape. Chloe was fierce!"

AmateurWondergirl.jpg

*Ok, this is not Jessica Alba either. But I think we can agree it's a good idea.

Posted by the Flea at 09:41 AM | TrackBack (0)

Star Wars television series

George Lucas reportedly plans two Star Wars television spin-off series, one animated and one live-action to be set in the time between Episodes "III" and IV (via Gay Orbit).

The first, "Clone Wars," actually exists as series of animated shorts on the Cartoon Network, but Lucas said it will be turned into a "3-D animated version full-series" 30 minutes in length.

But the surprise came with his announcement of a live-action spin-off series that will take place between movie Episodes III and IV. At first, according to StarWars.com, Lucas said, "There's none of the main characters from I, II, and III" in the series, but stopped mid-sentence and said that "that's not exactly true now that I think about it." He concluded by saying it's hard to answer what will be in the show since it's a year away from going into production.
Posted by the Flea at 09:40 AM | TrackBack (0)

Farscape costume props

A variety of A-prop costumes from Farscape are up for sale on eBay.

Presenting SPECTACULAR & RARE COLLECTIBLES obtained directly from the set of The Jim Henson Company’s award winning intergalactic sci-fi adventure series FARSCAPE.

Here is the rare opportunity to own a piece of sci-fi history: an actual costume used in the filming of FARSCAPE and designed by the world famous craftspeople of the legendary Jim Henson Company

This auction features an authentic costume worn by actor Ben Browder in his role as astronaut John Crichton—considered one of his “earth” outfits

I am tempted by the Aeryn Sun White Rhinestone Wedding Dress for the as yet hypothetical Bride of a Flea.

Posted by the Flea at 09:38 AM | TrackBack (0)

Cramps: Garbageman

Now is the time at the Flea when we dance.

Posted by the Flea at 09:37 AM | TrackBack (0)

Evil genius

This Evil Geniuses' Hall of Fame should come in handy for daily inspirational purposes.

Posted by the Flea at 09:34 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0)

Ripley's IQ Game

Ripley's Believe It or Not! presents an IQ Game (via Classical Values).

The object of the game is to jump the balls over each other (a la checkers) until you're left with only one ball.

It's not as easy as you might think...
Posted by the Flea at 09:32 AM | TrackBack (0)

Promenade the Puzzle

Promenade the Puzzle is a short-film by Michele D'Auria. The Wall meets Tim Burton by way of Ted Naifeh. Gorgeous. I believe the internet has reached a point where I could ditch television entirely and watch things people have produced for themselves. That includes blogs, of course, but it is coming more and more to include film and video (via Chapel Perilous).

Posted by the Flea at 09:31 AM | TrackBack (0)

The Naughty Professor

While I think my lectures are quite witty and no Dean has ever had cause to complain about my grading I think Thorstein Veblen was on to something with his office hours. Personally, I make certain to post my office hours in the bottom of a locked filing cabinet stuck in a disused lavatory with a sign on the door saying "Beware of the Leopard" to suggest an open-door policy (I make joke) (well, borrow joke actually). Heaven knows what Veblen would have made of email (via the Flea's Professional Development Manager).

Veblen's troubled Stanford years remind us that great brains do not a great professor make. Even his acolytes admitted that his lectures were incomprehensible. He mumbled, and recited the same material to undergraduate audiences and doctoral seminars. He hated the grading system, and willfully switched A's to C's and vice versa. "My grades are like lightning," he once said. "They are liable to strike anywhere." Students shunned him, and the feeling was mutual. One year, his posted office hours changed from "10-11, MWF" to "10-10:05, Mondays."
Posted by the Flea at 09:27 AM | TrackBack (0)

Hell as explained by a chemistry student

Is Hell exothermic (gives off heat) or endothermic (absorbs heat)?

The following is supposedly an actual question given on a University of Washington chemistry mid-term. The answer by one student was so "profound" that the professor shared it with colleagues, via the Internet, which is, of course, why we now have the pleasure of enjoying it as well.

I suppose I should check Snopes for this one but in exam grading season I prefer to live with my illusions.

Posted by the Flea at 09:26 AM | TrackBack (0)

April 26, 2005

Serenity

Keeping an eye on the Apple movie site for the Serenity trailer that Joss Whedon has announced is to be released today...

Captain Malcolm Reynolds is a hardened veteran on the losing side of a galactic civil war, who now ekes out a living pulling off small crimes and transport-for-hire aboard his ship, Serenity. He leads a small, eclectic crew who are the closest thing he has left to family - squabbling, insubordinate and undyingly loyal. Mal takes on two new passengers-a young doctor and his unstable, telepathic sister, and gets much more than he bargained for. The pair are fugitives from the coalition dominating the universe, who will stop at nothing to reclaim the telepathic sister.

Update: Still waiting. So here is Jessica Alba vs Doctor Doom in an internet exclusive Fantastic Four trailer. The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, by contrast, offers a meditation on rhetorical structure of movie trailers and a man with a voice that makes him sound like he is seven feet tall. Also featured is a girl in a bikini.

Update: The trailer for Serenity. Oh yes.

Posted by the Flea at 09:05 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (2)

C3POs

If George Lucas brought back C3POs, or rather C-3POs, I would forgive him everything. Except Greebo shooting first. Obviously.

I know what you're thinking, kid. "Man, life sure is gonna suck when this stuff tanks and I can't buy it anymore." I wish I could tell you that it'll all work out, that everything will be fine...but I can't. I've been there. I lived through it. I've eaten and lost many a fine cereal. I've munched on crunchy Gremlins and cried in their absence. I cry foul at how Fruit N' Fibre dropped at least 47 of its previously available brands, including "Cranberry Walnut" and "Same As Original, But In Orange Box." The truth is, it'll hurt. It'll hurt for a long, long time. You won't be absolved until you die, and at the rate you're smoking due to the associated stresses of having lost C-3P0's Cereal, that won't be long. I guess the only advice I could give you is this: genie lamp last wish. Screw world peace -- we're talking about double crunching here.

(hat tip to the Neighbour of the Flea)

Posted by the Flea at 09:04 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Darth Vader vs Hollywood

Darth, how you doing? We thought you were dead!

Posted by the Flea at 09:04 AM | TrackBack (0)

The Nomi Song

A Klaus Nomi biopic is a pretty big deal and any opportunity to be in the virtual presence of the flawless Ann Magnuson is not to be missed. A Flea field trip is in order!

He came from outer space, to save the human space.
Posted by the Flea at 09:03 AM | TrackBack (0)

Deen: In the disco

Now is the time at the Flea when we dance like it's the 2004 Eurovision Song Contest.

Posted by the Flea at 09:01 AM | TrackBack (0)

Alba and Diaz share a bed

If Jessica Alba and Cameron Diaz choose to share a bed I can hardly see how it is news. File this Sun article with headlines like "Jessica Alba lesbian" or "Cameron Diaz nude" in cynical efforts to attract readers. I mean, it is not as if following that link will lead to pictures of Jessica Alba and Cameron diaz in bed naked.

STUNNING Sin City star Jessica Alba got to know Cameron Diaz very well during a recent trip to Honduras - because they had to share a bed. The sexy pair went on the voyage as part of Cameron’s new MTV show Trippin'. And while Jessica had never met Cameron before, they quickly become bed buddies.

Jessica told an American TV show: "We shared a room and bed most of the time, 'cause it's scary. I didn't know her before the trip. We were strangers. There weren't enough rooms. Everyone had to sort of bunk together. The boys all stayed in one room. She didn't snore."

Trippin', it turns out, is an eco-friendly MTV travel show featuring Diaz and Justin Timberlake, though USA Today suggests "fans shouldn't expect to see much of Diaz' romance" with him on screen. No word yet on whether Cameron shares a bed with Drew Barrymore as well.

Update: The Jawa Report has photos. Including the one with the llama. You know, I looked at the llama photo and I thought, no, that would be taking it too far. But does Rusty Shackleford care? No. He just publishes it for everybody to see.

Posted by the Flea at 09:00 AM | TrackBack (1)

Operation G.R.A.D.U.A.T.E.S.

Operation G.R.A.D.U.A.T.E.S. is a nicely drawn shoot'em up and I am not terribly good at it.

Update: Much easier once I worked out you can just hold down the spacebar.

Posted by the Flea at 08:57 AM | TrackBack (0)

April 25, 2005

Morning Masume

Reading about the recent expulsion of Mari Yaguchi from her role as leader of J-pop stars, Morning Masume, I decided to find some of the act's music on-line. No luck yet but it turns out I had already seen Morning Musume (that one is possibly nsfw) in the context of this little Ringu themed prank. If you not seen Ringu all I can say is these ex-talent show contestants are being very good sports. Shame I cannot find samples of the music anywhere.

Yaguchi's transgression was being caught on camera in a tryst with her boyfriend just a few hundred meters from her home at a time when her parents knew and approved of who she was with.

Yet the scoop photos taken of her were enough to drive her out of Morning Musume, an entirely manufactured group created and updated from failed contestants on TV amateur talent shows, but one of the biggest acts in Japan.

The "tryst" at issue was for a 22-year old woman to be "captured on camera simply getting into a car and walking alongside her boyfriend, an actor called Shun Oguri." The scandal! At least Mari Yaguchi may now pursue a solo career. Shun Oguri's career does not seem to have been called into question despite his obvious propensity for dodgy New Romantic cosmetics.

Posted by the Flea at 06:51 AM | TrackBack (0)

J-pop

A guide to J-pop for the perplexed.

Music is a pretty big part of my life, and I listen to it in all kinds of shapes and forms. One of the more obscure (considering I live in Northern Europe) genres I love is j-pop, which is a term used to refer to Japanese pop music.

The site has lots and lots (and lots) of clips for anyone unfamiliar with the syrupy goodness that is Japanese pop music. It isn't all bubblegum and happy bunnies though. Oh, no.

Posted by the Flea at 06:49 AM | TrackBack (0)

Pink nail polish

Jordon Bratman asked "celebrity jeweller" Stephen Webster for a last minute change to the $114,000 engagement ring he had bought for Christina Aguilera. Because she was wearing pink nail polish.

"I'd asked Stephen to create a ring with one big diamond surrounded by lots of light pink ones. But when I went home that evening, I noticed that Christina was wearing this pink nail varnish she loves, which would clash with the diamonds. I had to get him to change the ring pretty quickly.
Posted by the Flea at 06:44 AM | TrackBack (0)

Corset piercings

While already familiar to SuicideGirls readers, corset piercings are still quite fashion forward.

People putting piercings on their backs to hang corsets on them??!!? Also, OUCH!
Posted by the Flea at 06:41 AM | TrackBack (1)

Young Bond

A friend of mine commented that Brian Herbert needed to be killed before he could entirely ruin the legacy of his brilliant father, Frank Herbert. Yes, hyperbole and so forth. Now, we do not condone murder here at the Flea - even on aesthetic grounds - but I am confident my friend would offer much the same opinion about a series of "Young Bond" children's books being cranked out at the behest of Ian Fleming's family. The very idea is abomination.

Here is James Bond - at the age of 13. The family of Ian Fleming, the creator of James Bond, asked illustrator Kev Walker to create the startling image. And it is hoped the picture will grace the front cover of the second in a set of children’s books, featuring the superspy as a schoolboy. The teenager appears with baggy trousers and floppy fringe - showing only the tiniest hint of the suave charmer he would become.

The Young Bond novels are written by Bond fan Charlie Higson. His first book, SilverFin, hit the shelves earlier this month and has been a publishing success. It features 007 as a schoolboy at Eton, where he is facing the wrath of a vicious American pupil whose father is a wealthy villain carrying out sinister experiments on humans.
Posted by the Flea at 06:39 AM | TrackBack (0)

Stewie Griffin: Rocket Man

Now is the time at the Flea when we dance.

Posted by the Flea at 06:35 AM | TrackBack (0)

William Shatner: Rocket Man

Now is the time at the Flea when we dance.

Posted by the Flea at 06:34 AM | TrackBack (2)

Venturi Fétish

"Fétish: An object to which one attributes magical and beneficial powers, leading to a safe and comfortable lifestyle."

A Venturi Fétish, the first production electric sports car, would make a fine Fleamobile. Though the choice of "safe" and "comfortable" seems an odd marketing strategy. Perhaps something is lost in translation.

This obscure French automaker has been showing off “the world’s first electric sports car” since 2002 auto shows, but this was our first look. With a 102-inch wheelbase, 2,424-pound weight, and convertible body, it would seem to resemble a Mazda Miata. On the other hand, having 300 horsepower, a 4.5-second 0-60 dash, a $600,000 price tag, and no gas tank distorts that image a bit. Its 180-kilowatt electric motor can spin to 14,000 RPM, shaming any Ferrari. Lotus did much of the suspension work. The world will see exactly 25 examples of the Fetish, built with pride and joy in California. The lithium battery, also California-made, accounts for 40% of the car’s cost.
Posted by the Flea at 06:29 AM | TrackBack (0)

Yume no Chikara

Because what's the point of having dreams if you are not going to make them happen? This is is better known as the "Honda balloon ad" or "Honda balloon commercial" to all you search engines out there.

Update: And while we are on the subject of Japanese ads that rule I present this aloe jelly product. I do not know what it is but I am pretty sure I need it to fuel my jungle-gym themed summer vacation plans.

Update: Pocky... slightly unsettling.

Posted by the Flea at 06:28 AM | TrackBack (0)

Shanghai autoshow

Myrick paints a depressing picture of the Chinese auto industry. Increases in steel prices and lending rates have dealt a harsh blow.

Still, given all of that, the Shanghai autoshow - which opened to the public today - should be doom and gloom. But, it really wasn't that glum. Regardless of the business environment, there's always something nice about autoshows. I can't quite put my finger on what it is though.
Posted by the Flea at 06:27 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

April 23, 2005

L.A.M.B.

I had somehow missed Gwen Stefani's fashion line, L.A.M.B. This cocktail dress for Spring '05 is impressive. L.A.M.B. also offers a line of accessories and, via No Doubt Web, is the news that L.A.M.B. footwear is on the way.

The same "Made with Love" philosophy and attention to detail that are the signature of L.A.M.B.'s apparel collection will carry through in this Sneaker Collection. L.A.M.B. apparel and accessories were launched in Fall 2003 by Grammy winning musician, actress and style icon, Gwen Stefani. Drawing on her eclectic personal style and natural elegance, L.A.M.B. is inspired by all aspects of Stefani's life. The brand is defined by Stefani's innate style, which often features a playful juxtaposition between feminine and masculine. Bold and original graphics are often incorporated into L.A.M.B. creations.

"L.A.M.B. represents all things that I love. It's very much about my style and how I like to put things together. L.A.M.B. is something that I want to wear everyday, and I'm really excited to be adding a collection of L.A.M.B. sneakers to my closet," explains Stefani, who was named "Most Fashion-Forward Artist" by Vogue Magazine.
Posted by the Flea at 09:27 AM | TrackBack (0)

Paris Hilton Sheer

"'Paris Hilton Sheer' is very sophisticated and sexy and hot and it smells so good and guys love it."

Paris Hilton launches Sheer, her new fragrance, in Tokyo.

Described in the Japanese press kit for the event as "celebrity, fashion leader, model, beauty, society lady and star," Paris took the opportunity to strike a pose or two for the cameras in a stunning sheer pink number of her own.

The new fragrance, which will retails for 5,775 yen per 50ml bottle, includes among its olfactory "notes" such intriguing elements as wet ozone, skin musk and pheromone.
Posted by the Flea at 09:26 AM | TrackBack (0)

wom·an

wom·an is a slide show by Esther G. This is breath-taking (via Yummy Wamkame).

# An adult female human. # Women considered as a group; womankind: “Woman feels the invidious distinctions of sex exactly as the black man does those of color” (Elizabeth Cady Stanton). # An adult female human belonging to a specified occupation, group, nationality, or other cate# gory. Often used in combination: an Englishwoman; congresswoman; a saleswoman. # Feminine quality or aspect; womanliness. # A female servant or subordinate. # Informal. 1. A wife. 2. A female lover or sweetheart. Source: The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition

Update: Here is Esther G's blog, The bell jar.

Posted by the Flea at 09:23 AM | TrackBack (0)

No Doubt: It's My Life

Now is the time at the Flea when we dance.*

*It might be best to right-click and save this one.

Posted by the Flea at 09:22 AM | TrackBack (0)

Dress for Success

Original creations from Project Runway are to be auctioned and the proceeds donated to Dress for Success, a "not for profit organization that provides interview suits, confidence boosts and career development to job seeking low-income women." Learn how a suit can make a difference in a woman's life.

A donation of just one suit can empower a woman struggling in a low-income situation to start a new life of self-sufficiency and success. S.O.S. - Send One Suit - Week coincides with Women’s History Month and features promotions to raise awareness and funds for Dress for Success affiliates in the U.S. and abroad.
Posted by the Flea at 09:20 AM | TrackBack (0)

The Lion, The Witch & The Wardrobe

Loving the look of the new gateway to Narnia but the content has got a way to go for the wardrobe to work properly. The "about the movie" summary claims there are a thousand tales in Narnia but the "first" that is "about to be told" looks like a stripped down version of books one and five. As ever, is it too much to expect the folks writing copy to have read the books on which their films are based. We shall see how Disney does when they have finished the site.

Posted by the Flea at 09:14 AM | TrackBack (0)

Serenity trailer

Joss Whedon has been doing yoga and can touch his toes. Also, he has an announcement to make. "Trailer. Serenity. Tuesday."

Hey guys.

I'm here on the official site, so that can only mean one thing: somebody finally told me my password! (Again.) It probably also means that I have some big-ass announcement or other. Well tops on the announcement list is this: after months of intensive yoga, i can finally touch my toes! (They feel round and bunion-y.)

But there's more! I'm talkin' movie news, peeps, so no more drumroll: Trailer. Serenity. Tuesday.

Yeah, kids, the haps is hap'nin', and it runs thus: EXCLUSIVELY on Apple movie trailers (and linked through this site as well of course) will be a small, medium, large or FULLSCREEN trailer for Serenity the major motion movie. Yeah, THE trailer. And the following Friday said trailer hits theaters. Which theaters? Until I get confirmation you'll have to guess, but I'm betting you can.

Now, here's a word of warning: this trailer ain't shy. If you're looking to live totally spoiler-free, know that there's plenty of key dialogue and images running through this bad boy. It's pretty tasty, though, and it doesn't give everything away. But close scrutiny will definitely learn you much of what's to come. (Anakin TOTALLY goes evil.) It's a nice piece to while away the time till September, and hopefully should intrigue th' peeps that don't have coats of brown.

The only thing more exciting than y'all finally seeing this was showing it to Nathan. Like a schoolboy giggled he.

Bye-ee!

Joss "You can't take my toes from me" Whedon.

And Serenity to follow in September.

Posted by the Flea at 09:10 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (1)

Study in communication

Web-designer, Ze offers Passive Aggressive Communication Solutions. There are some great pointers on punction to be found.

i look forward to working with you on this!
Posted by the Flea at 09:08 AM | TrackBack (0)

Emails 'pose threat to IQ'

As someone whose work is constrained by hundreds of emails asking questions that have already been answered in lecture or by the course syllabus, I am hardly surprised to learn my faltering intellect is having a hard time of it.

The distractions of constant emails, text and phone messages are a greater threat to IQ and concentration than taking cannabis, according to a survey of befuddled volunteers. Doziness, lethargy and an increasing inability to focus reached "startling" levels in the trials by 1,100 people, who also demonstrated that emails in particular have an addictive, drug-like grip.

Further study might usefully consider a corrolation between the constant sending of pesky emails and doziness, lethargy and the inability to focus.

Posted by the Flea at 09:07 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

April 22, 2005

Osethay Igbay Ollywoodhay Utslays

Pope Benedict XVI has issued his first encyclical, Osethay Igbay Ollywoodhay Utslays, an expression of "grave doubts" about Paris Hilton for her behaviour in apparent contradiction of the moral precepts of the Olyhay Iblebay.

Writing in Pig Latin, a little used apostolic dialect, Pope Benedict, who is LXXVIII, tore into Hilton, calling her an "alsefay iendfray" (false friend) for dumping her "Simple Life" co-star Nicole Richie, who still had two years remaining on her contract.

"A contract is sacred and binding and not to be taken lightly," wrote Benedict XVI. "God does not smile on those who ignore contractual obligations in order to advance their own frivolous agendae."

Hinting that he knew the "ealray easonray" (real reason) for the split between Hilton and Richie, the pontiff warned that he might not choose to remain "ilentsay" forever.

One of the most shocking moments of my time in England was the discovery my English friends could not speak Pig Latin. My friend from Texas and I naturally insisted onay onglay onversationcay.

Posted by the Flea at 05:33 AM | TrackBack (0)

Paris and Nicole

"It's no big secret that Nicole and I are no longer friends. Nicole knows what she did."

By now everybody knows Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie have had a falling out.

Paris Hilton has ditched Nicole Richie from the fourth series of their Simple Life TV show - after a joke went wrong. The blonde heiress had invited friends round to watch a video of her Saturday Night Live performance - but prankster Nicole reportedly put on Paris' infamous sex tape instead. After a massive row, the former best friends are said to be completely ignoring each other.

Sad news. At least Paris' album is coming out later this year.

Update: Gaah! The article says Nicole has an album coming out later this year. Well, I am curious about that too but I am still waiting for "Paris is Burning".

Posted by the Flea at 05:30 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (2)

Gorillaz: Rock It

Now is the time at the Flea when we dance.

Posted by the Flea at 05:16 AM | TrackBack (0)

Quentin Crisp

"Never try to keep up with the Joneses. Drag them down to your level. It's cheaper."
- Quentin Crisp

Sometimes I think pig-farming has indeed become my style. If I can implement my Ghost of a flea brand-stretching project I may yet have the funds to become the ballet dancer I was meant to be (via the Flea's HR expert). This is a metaphorical aspiration you understand. My actual back-up career is superspy/underwear model.

Posted by the Flea at 05:15 AM | TrackBack (0)

Countdown to Victory

As the Flea makes preparations for a proper VE Day anniversary celebration in the Cotswolds, the CBC offers an interesting countdown of the last days of the Second World War in Europe. News clips from the CBC archives are particularly moving.

Day by day, the news got better as the Second World War wound down in Europe. Sixty years ago, CBC Radio brought home reports of retreating Germans, freed prisoners of war, captured spies and surrender in Italy. But with the end of hostilities came dark news of hellish concentration camps, starving civilians and a rocky future for U.S.-Soviet relations.
Posted by the Flea at 05:14 AM | TrackBack (0)

Nazi flag

An Australian baby is reported to have enjoyed the "bright colours" of a Nazi flag. Her mother claimed not to have understood what the flag represented (via the Flea's Anita Loos Confidante).

The flag had been flying in the backyard of the home of Mannering Park residents Darren Mackay and Jenni Duncombe for about a week.

Two residents of Kitchener, Ontario had no such excuse for their decision to fly the Nazi flag.

Community leaders and neighbours are horrified a Nazi flag has been flying from a Kitchener home. Kyle McKee, 19, and Nathan Touchette, 26, said they originally flew the flag from their balcony, then moved it to the roof to make it more difficult for people to try to take it down.

They took it down themselves yesterday, but not because of any pressure, McKee said. "We made our point," said the unrepentant white supremacist. He said the flag will fly again on Wednesday, which is Adolf Hitler's birthday.

I think it is appropriate to publish all these names so that search engines might appropriately contextualize them in perpetuity.

Posted by the Flea at 05:11 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

World Conquest

World Conquest is a web-rased Risk type game. Star Conquest is more engrossing and, unfortunately, time consuming. Hey, it's Friday. It's not like they can reasonably expect you to not be playing video games at the office. There is probably something in your collective agreement about that somewhere.

Posted by the Flea at 05:10 AM | TrackBack (0)

Hamster history

The Hamster Theatre Company presents the hamster history of Britain (via Quotulatiousness).

An unusual project for the Hamster Theatre Company was a series of tableaux depicting great (and disastrous) moments in British history.
Posted by the Flea at 05:09 AM | TrackBack (0)

Falkirk Wheel

The Falkirk Wheel is a rather impressive boat-lift.

The Falkirk Wheel was opened by the Queen in May 2002. Nothing like it has ever been built before anywhere in the world. Boat lifts are nothing new, though the last built in the UK was in 1875. But a rotating boat lift? The result is awe-inspiring and beautiful: the largest piece of functional sculpture you will ever see.
Posted by the Flea at 05:09 AM | TrackBack (0)

Hot Water

Hot Water is another plumbing themed on-line game that I find too stressful to enjoy properly.

Posted by the Flea at 05:08 AM | TrackBack (0)

France

The French government supports dictatorship over democracy in pursuit of arms sales and business opportunity. You could knock me down with a feather. I expect progressives to rush into the streets calling for a boycott of French goods, disinvestment in French business and an end to academic exchanges with French universities just as soon as the mainstream media reports the news of this latest demonstration of venal hypocrisy (via Instapundit).

/bitter sarcasm

During a state visit to China, French Premier Raffarin threw support behind a law allowing China to attack Taiwan and continued to push for a lift of the EU arms embargo.

At the outset of a three-day visit to China, French Prime Minister Jean-Pierre Raffarin said he supported Beijing's "anti-secession" law on Taiwan, and vowed to keep pushing for an end to an EU arms embargo that could open the door for Paris to sell weapons to the Asian giant.
Posted by the Flea at 05:07 AM | TrackBack (0)

French

Your Inner European is French!


Smart and sophisticated.

You have the best of everything - at least, *you* think so.

Who's Your Inner European?

This insight arrives via Paul, whose inner European is Russian.

Posted by the Flea at 05:05 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (2)

April 21, 2005

Project Runway

"Fashion can be a real bitch sometimes."
- Heidi Klum

I wanted to watch Project Runway because Flea-fav Michael Kors was to be one of the judges and I have been curious to learn more about how he thinks. But the star of the show turned out to be the, uhh, star of the show. Heidi Klum is an engaging host and suprisingly sweet in comparison with the somewhat terrifying Tyra Banks. She is quite stunning, of course, but watching her lead a pack of models in an impromptu walk at a roof-top party demonstrated the elemental presence that makes her a star and the rest merely gorgeous. Wishing the losing contestant "auf Wiedersehen" and a handshake was particularly charming.

I was astonished at what some of the contestants could put together on short notice using supermarket-sourced materials. The screamingly camp Austin Scarlett's corn husk dress showed true innovation but I was most impressed by Mario Cadenas' Balenciaga-volume shower curtain gown (show spoiler in the first Cadenas link). In fact, I was surprised to see Cadenas there at all as I was under the impression he had already be tapped as one of fashion's next big things.

Update: This link should lead to an introduction to Project Runway.

Posted by the Flea at 09:37 AM | TrackBack (0)

33

"33", the first episode of the new Battlestar Galactica series is available for viewing on-line, uncut and commercial free. Play it for your non sf geek friends at work while offering your personal commentary and exposition on points of comparison with the first series, aspects of Colonial history and speculation on just what the heck Commander Adama was thinking when he decided to arrest President Roslin in the end of season cliffhanger. I mean Adama, dude.

Posted by the Flea at 09:34 AM | TrackBack (0)

Blur: Good Song

Now is the time at the Flea when we dance.

Posted by the Flea at 09:30 AM | TrackBack (0)

Puki

Puki is a nice little office diversion. Just be careful when the little suckers jump for your face.

Posted by the Flea at 09:27 AM | TrackBack (0)

Area 51

Is GoogleMaps missing Area 51?

Posted by the Flea at 09:25 AM | TrackBack (0)

BB minigun

A window-mounted BB minigun would make short work of skateboard nuissances though would probably violate the same noise by-laws.

This is easily one of the coolest toys around, the BB minigun! In this video the BB minigun takes out a TV. A short version of this video has made an appearance on Compfused before but this one shows the full damage to the TV.
Posted by the Flea at 09:23 AM | TrackBack (0)

F/A-22 Raptor

Video and commentary on the first F/A-22 squadron in training arrive via INDC Journal, which provides a one-word rationale for the expense.*

Lt. Col. James Hecker commands the 27th Fighter Squadron at Langley Air Force Base in Virginia, which will be the first operational F/A-22 Raptor squadron in the Air Force.

* China.

Posted by the Flea at 09:21 AM | TrackBack (0)

Ethical gaming

Let's face facts. Even if it were not crippled by dozens of dictatorships, a totally unaccountable bureaucracy and massive institutionalized corruption and criminality the United Nations would still be lame.

You're engrossed in a computer game, flying a helicopter mission at high speed, when the order comes through to drop your load and get back to base.

So what's in the chopper? Bombs? Napalm? No: your cargo is high-energy biscuits. There may be armed rebels a-plenty in Food Force, a new video-game release, but it's not your job to massacre them; instead, you have to negotiate with them to ensure that starving refugees get life-saving food supplies. Welcome to the world of ethical gaming. Food Force is the brainchild of the UN World Food Programme (WFP).
Posted by the Flea at 09:17 AM | TrackBack (0)

April 20, 2005

Palace of the Soviets

Beatiful Atrocities comments on Stalin's architectural vision for Moscow. Lots of the designs were never realized in the Soviet era instead having to wait for contemporary condo development in downtown Toronto.

Posted by the Flea at 06:27 AM | TrackBack (0)

The Aristocrats

The Aristocrats is no killing joke but it has a distinguished history nonetheless.

Directed by Penn Jillette and Paul Provenza, the doc tracks the origin, history, and cultural significance of the world’s funniest joke. The joke, which has been traveling around since the Vaudeville days, follows a basic structure which I won’t reveal in this review. Let’s just say it’s a platform on which comedians can showcase not only their style, but also the outer limits of their tastelessness.

Due to the offensive nature of the joke, it has remained within the inner sanctums of comedy for decades. It’s told in the back rooms of comedy clubs by comedians to comedians—until now.

Just so we are clear on this point... "the Aristocrats" is meant to be as over-the-top offensive as possible. Before you read the next sentence: please do not even consider following the next link at work or in mixed company. In fact, do not even consider following the next link! Here is the unaired South Park rendition of the joke which may have served as an inspiration for the new documentary.

Posted by the Flea at 06:23 AM | TrackBack (0)

Royal Reference Room

Royal Reference Room features a variety of astrological natal charts and other assorted factoids about British royalty. The natal chart of England is fun too though the coronation of a Norman Duke on the basis of a dubious claim and right of conquest is hardly an auspicious choice for a birthdate. How about Magna Carta instead? June 15, 1215 makes England Gemini. Creepy.

Posted by the Flea at 06:22 AM | TrackBack (0)

Stewie Gilligan Griffin

I think it is pretty obvious to people who know me that Stewie and I are channelling the same cosmic energy (hat tip to the Flea's Interpersonal Skills Advisor).

Evidently madame you and I differ greatly in our conception of beauty!
Posted by the Flea at 06:14 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0)

Tomorrow People

The Campblog reports on the impending region 1 dvd release of The Tomorrow People. Jaunt!

Posted by the Flea at 06:07 AM | TrackBack (0)

Lois Lane

Images of Kate Bosworth as Lois Lane from the forthcoming Superman Returns.

I’ve never seen Kate Bosworth act but judging from these pics she doesn’t do it for me as spunky reporter Lois Lane. Of course it’s to early to judge anything but see for yourself. It’s also interesting to note that we see Kate holding a small child, which seems to confirm Lois will have a kid in the movie. Wasn’t expecting that but does add a new element to the Superman/Lois Lane romance.
Posted by the Flea at 06:01 AM | TrackBack (0)

April 19, 2005

The Way to Eden

Sad to say but not even Orion slave girls could rescue the disaster that is Enterprise. Time to celebrate Star Trek as it once was... The Way to Eden featured a song we all probably know already. This deserves to be sung around water coolers everywhere. Sing along at your office (or grocery store... or elevator... etc.) then let me know and I will link back to you!

Heading out to Eden
Yea brother
Heading out to Eden
No more trouble in my body or my mind
Gonna live like a king on whatever I find
Eat all the fruit and throw away the rind
Yea brother, yea

You can reach a soundfile here under "yeah brother"... this deserves a Dead Can Dance cover.

Update: ***Dave is the only one of you who will own up to knowing the lyrics! :)

Posted by the Flea at 11:01 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0)

Score A Million

Score A Million is a straight-forward trivia game.

Posted by the Flea at 10:53 AM | TrackBack (0)

The Bravery: An Honest Mistake

Now is the time at the Flea when we dance like it's 1986. Or maybe 1987.

Posted by the Flea at 10:51 AM | TrackBack (0)

Magic Kittens

A cute tribute to minimal techo. Drink five cups of coffee and your office will be party central!

Posted by the Flea at 10:48 AM | TrackBack (0)

Novem Portis de Umbrarum Regni

"The Engravings of The Club Dumas and The Ninth Gate" hosts images of woodcut engravings, designed by the Spanish artist Francisco Solé, from a fictional grimoire. I have copies of the images themselves as tarot cards in the Flea Towers collection. They were part of a promotional kit for the film and irresistible to a collector of the eldritch and the outré.

Doing book research is one of my passions. There is a thrill to cracking open a musty tome long out of print and discovering things that have been forgotten. Although research is generally a harmless, solitary activity, what would happen if you were to stumble across a book that contained dark secrets- a book that people were willing to kill for?

This is the premise behind Arturo Perez Reverte's novel The Club Dumas (originally published in Spanish as El Club Dumas) and its film adaptation The Ninth Gate. The protagonist in the story is a modern-day "book detective" named Corso, a scholarly P.I. who gets paid to research rare books. Corso gets in over his head, however, when he agrees to study the last three surviving copies of a 17th century occult work that allegedly has the power to summon the Devil.
Posted by the Flea at 10:45 AM | TrackBack (0)

Is "www" in Hebrew equal to 666?

Is "www" in Hebrew equal to 666?

Grant Jeffrey writes in Prince of Darkness:

The number 666 indicates that the letters in the Greek form of the name of the Antichrist will add up to 666. There is a slim possibility that his name will equal 666 in the Hebrew language since the Antichrist will be Jewish. The numeric system does not work in English or in languages other than Greek or Hebrew, so it is useless to calculate the values of names in these modern languages. (Grant R. Jeffrey, Prince of Darkness, pp. 275, 277)

The "count the number of the beast" is the total of adding the letter/numerical value of his name. This "count" equals "Six hundred sixty and six', not simply three 6's or 666. So if we apply the clear teaching of Revelation 13:18 to the Hebrew "www", we actually have 6+6+6 or 18 — not 666.

18! It is to shudder. More important is that "slim possibility" caveat. The New Testament was written almost entirely in koine Greek so people looking for an Hebrew correspondence are most probably on the wrong track. But then I meet all too many Christians who believe Scripture to be the literal word of God but cannot be bothered to learn Hebrew or Greek. Tut tut!

Posted by the Flea at 10:43 AM | TrackBack (0)

Underwater bipedal locomotion

Ia! Ia! Cthulhu fhtagn! Underwater bipedal locomotion by octopuses in disguise...

In the 25 March 2005 issue of Science, Huffard et al. report on their study of two species of octopus, Octopus marginatus and Octopus (Abdopus) aculeatus, that walk along the seafloor using two alternating arms and apparently use the remaining six arms for camouflage.
Posted by the Flea at 10:41 AM | TrackBack (0)

April 18, 2005

RU (no, not tATu)

Advertising is the very essence of democracy.
- Anton Chekhov

Clever chap that Chekhov. So I am thinking I should move to Russia and produce a girl/girl pop act. I am still missing tATu and nothing will replace Romania's Cheeky Girls in my artistic firmament but RU are just fine to be getting on with. This is my exact creative vision. Lots of videos get the idea across. "Heat of the Night" is entirely representative but "Play Like That" is a tour de force. I mean, pardon my French but it is the new Flea anthem. It neatly summarizes my entire political-philosophy. So much better than communism. I am going to play it over and over until they tack an eviction notice to my door.

As if stunning good looks, sensuality, and talent weren't enough, Katia Jones and Ksenia Linkova who make up the duo known as “RU” are also endowed with an astounding team including internationally renowned producer Damon Elliott (Beyonce, Pink, Mya) and hit songs which are going to inspire to dance ‘til dawn.

Enlisting Mike Tyson and the Fedorov Brothers may demonstrate a profound marketing logic but it escapes me. I cannot even begin to process RU's "highly political" track Egomaniacs. It is quite danceable though I have the impression it is supposed to be a protest song. The corsets are a dead give-away.

Posted by the Flea at 09:23 AM | TrackBack (0)

Dennis Madalone: America We Stand As One

I * knew * I had forgot to post something. SondraK has reminded me!
***
To my dear American friends and neighbo(u)rs,
If you ever find yourself considering the peculiar view so many non-American friends have of your country all you need to know is we are looking this kind of schmaltz in speechless wonder.
Yours,
The Flea

PS - This America, Fuck Yeah! edit is brilliant.

PPS - I owe this bit of genius to Shatnerian.

PPS - What's Lyta Alexander doing in the video? Tell me she is not married to that guy. I am obviously doing something radically wrong with my life.

Posted by the Flea at 09:21 AM | TrackBack (0)

Dark Phoenix

Dark Phoenix Rising reminds me I need some Jean Grey/Dark Phoenix energy in my life. Well, Dark Willow anyhow. And Wolverine kicks ass, eh?

Posted by the Flea at 09:15 AM | TrackBack (1)

10th Time Lord

David Tennant has now been officially named the new Doctor Who. Billie Piper is to stay on as the new Who companion... bring back K-9 too, please! (via Shatnerian)

Tennant, 33, will become the 10th Time Lord when filming starts on the new series in Cardiff this summer. He is taking over from Christopher Eccleston, who announced he was quitting last month after only one series as the Doctor. Tennant, who will star alongside assistant Billie Piper, said he was "delighted, excited and honoured".

Update: Better make that the 11th Time Lord. SciFiDaily explains.

The BBC has Sylvester “Doc Eight” McCoy regenerate into Eccleston, who becomes, according to the BBC, the ninth Doctor. Ummmm, sorry, but the ninth Doctor is Paul “Alien 3” McGann (see official BBC book above), who starred in the underrated 1996 Fox Network TV movie. And it showed McCoy, who portrayed the Doctor for the movie’s first 15 minutes, regenerate into McGann. Auntie Beeb, you cannot cast someone in the titular role of a world renown sci-fi/fantasy series and make them part of the canon and then suddenly pretend like that never happened--canon is, by definition, CANON!
Posted by the Flea at 09:14 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Office Party

Best to go easy on the champagne at the office party (possibly nsfw banner ads).

Posted by the Flea at 09:06 AM | TrackBack (0)

Arc of tyranny

Hatred as an element of the struggle; a relentless hatred of the enemy, impelling us above and beyond the natural limitations that man is heir to, and transforming him into an effective, violent, seductive and cold killing machine.
- Che Guevara

Article 303a of the Penal Code of that noted workers paradise, Cuba punishes "publicly manifested homosexuality" with three months to one year in prison. Worth remembering the next time some self-satisfied ersatz-progressive vacationer decides to wax lyrical about Cuban health care and the nastiness of the United States.

ILGA is advised by a Cuban exile that "publicly manifested" can mean anything taken as a public indication of homosexuality, e.g. clothing or behaviour or transvestism. Application of this law has been very uncertain, due to the difficulties of interpretation. (Advice received November 1999)

Funny how much this map of sodomy laws so closely resembles a map of "the arc of tyranny". I imagine we could produce maps for lack of reliable enforcement of property rights, lack of religious freedom and poor rates of literacy among women that would show a similar disposition of countries.

Posted by the Flea at 09:03 AM | TrackBack (1)

April 16, 2005

Eco-porn

Eco-porn confuses me. Cognitive dissonance or something. It's porn therefore it is interesting. Yet it is strangely repellent at the same time.

Leona Johansson mourns a Norwegian clearcut in an image from her eco-porn website F--kforforest.com. A few shots later, she'll be about as intimate as it's possible to get with a piece of land.
Posted by the Flea at 08:25 AM | TrackBack (0)

Air: Playground Love

Now is the time at the Flea when we dance.

Posted by the Flea at 08:23 AM | TrackBack (0)

Buttercouple

Are they a match?

It's what's on the outside that counts.
Posted by the Flea at 08:23 AM | TrackBack (0)

Soulmate

This Dead Celebrity Soulmate search hooked me up with Cleopatra. Good choice (via Dodgeblogium).

Cleopatra responds...
"Perhaps we could have a beneficial relationship. We should arrange to meet and discuss this further. You wouldn't happen to be Roman, would you?"
Posted by the Flea at 08:21 AM | TrackBack (0)

Mr. T: Mother

Now is the time at the Flea when we dance for a second time.*

*This one could not wait. Via C. Buddha... thanks!

Posted by the Flea at 08:01 AM | TrackBack (0)

April 15, 2005

The Paris Hilton Podcast

Paris. Hilton. Podcast. So hot. Can't breathe.

Podcasting is hot. But it just got hotter. Paris Hilton invites you to join her on "The Paris Hilton Podcast -- Countdown to House of Wax," beginning on April 29. Join Paris and friends as she shops, parties, poses and publicizes in the days leading up to the May 6 opening of House of Wax.

(via. 10:51am Toronto)

Posted by the Flea at 09:33 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

Auf der Maur: Skin Receiver

Now is the time at the Flea when we dance.

Posted by the Flea at 09:25 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Name your Chav baby

BBC1 put the name Britney Federline (nee Spears) into a Chav name generator to anticipate names for the forthcoming little Federline. Their results: if it is a girl it is to be Joleen Sabrina Federline and if it is a boy his Chav name would be Kyle Storm Federline.

As you know Chavs pick some strange names for their children. The golden rule Chavs use when naming their sprog is it has to sound expensive and classy... to other Chavs! With our Chav baby name generator you too can find out the best name for your kid if you were a chav!
Posted by the Flea at 09:22 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

Real life vs the internet

Real life vs the internet. Possibly not worksafe but it should be because I want it to be. Therefore it is. Because that's how it works.

I like Angelina Jolie! Does anybody else like Angelina Jolie? She has big lips!
Posted by the Flea at 09:17 AM | TrackBack (1)

Moore's Law

Intel is looking for that April 19, 1965 issue of Electronics Magazine you have kicking around.

Message from Intel

We are looking for the April 19, 1965 issue of Electronics Magazine (contains "Moore's Law" article by Gordon Moore, Intel co-founder). $10,000 for mint condition copy! Will choose based on best condition - take good photos!
Posted by the Flea at 09:16 AM | TrackBack (0)

Land Walker

This Land Walker would make a fine off-road Fleamobile. And I am pretty sure we could use a scaled up version for the arsenal of blogocracy (don't miss the movies!).

Posted by the Flea at 09:15 AM | TrackBack (1)

April 14, 2005

Hideo Nakata

I rented Dark Water and it might be the most frightening film I have ever seen, not surprising given it was written by Koji Suzuki of Ringu fame. The direction and music were astonishing, however, so I decided to find more films by its director, also of Ringu fame, Hideo Nakata. Chaos is more Hitchcock than horror but the music and luscious, slightly damp suburban architecture of Tokyo are in the same league as Dark Water.

Channel 4 is somewhat dismissive of the region 2 Chaos dvd's inclusion of Curse, Death And Spirit as a nod to Nakata completists. Pre-Googling, I could not tell you what "pink eiga" cinema might be but I would be just as happy to have the freebie. Unfortunately the region 1 version I watched did not appear to have it.

Posted by the Flea at 09:33 AM | TrackBack (0)

Gwen Stefani: Holla Back Girl.

Now is the time at the Flea when we dance.*

*No direct link due to webmaster sensibilities... but the video is linked in the left hand column. So, just what is a holla back girl?

its not something , its a saying..
its like come and talk to me again girl , or just talk to me.
Posted by the Flea at 09:29 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

Kamen-no-Kokuhaku

Yukio Mishima's student diary is thought to be an inspiration for his later novels including Confessions of a Mask. What is it with fascism and obsessive record-keeping?

"The diary notes details of his life during a certain period of his youth. Mishima's works were believed to have been completely fictional, but the diary suggests that he drew material from what he actually experienced," Sato said.

The diary, written in a notebook from May 11, 1946, to Nov. 13, the following year, is titled, "Account diary." It was initially his account book, but later became a memorandum of his daily life. The diary clearly describes films he saw, railway fares, admission fees to drama theaters, prices of books he bought and the amount of money he paid for coffee he drank at a coffee shop with a friend. At the time, he was enrolled in the law department of the prestigious University of Tokyo.
Posted by the Flea at 09:27 AM | TrackBack (0)

Oshiro

Oshiro fits the mood I am in after watching Inugami. Mainly I want to take some time, become a henro for a couple months and do the tour of Shikoku.

The nation is at war again, and you have been chosen to lead our province into victory and prosperity. To do so, you must learn the art of Oshiro - the rules to moving castle buildings.
Posted by the Flea at 09:25 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

Shin Gi Tai

Shin Gi Tai is a six-minute diversion by way of Blade Runner/Matrix homage. I am mainly impressed by the fact of bandwidth reaching the point where something like this can be a six-minute diversion.

Stylish, futuristic animated short which follows a fight between two opposing factions in a high-rise cityscape. James Lavelle, of UNKLE fame, wrote, directed and provided the soundtrack to the film.
Posted by the Flea at 09:23 AM | TrackBack (0)

RCA Victor Corporation

A demonstration of the latest in audio technology, "stereo sound" arrives courtesy of "the internet".

While watching this I kept thinking to myself....imagine Trent Reznor sitting in his studio listening to Nine Inch Nails 5.1 digital Surround Sound mixes and going "Golly Gee! Doesn't this High Fidelity record sound just swell?"
Posted by the Flea at 09:22 AM | TrackBack (0)

Old Navy tunics

Does anybody know where I can find the Old Navy "Bust A Move" tunics commercial on-line? The one time I set foot in an Old Navy the place made my skin crawl but I love the ad.

This is a jam for all the ladies out there
Lookin' for somethin' you can wear
On the beach so the fellas will stare
Wear it over that tiny bathing suit
And look pretty cute.
Posted by the Flea at 09:20 AM | TrackBack (0)

Stacked

I would like to imagine Pamela Anderson actually writes her Stacked blog but sadly I do not believe it is so. The viral marketing part works though. Obviously (via Chapel Perilous).

Ok..It’s Wednesday. Tonight is the night that Stacked will air for the first time on Fox. It’s on tonight at 8:30 pm , please make sure you tune in and check it out. I want to know what you all think of it. I’m so excited about this, we’ve all worked so hard to make the show great. As you can see from reading all these blog posts….it’s been a long road to get to this point….once you see the show I’m sure you’ll agree with me that it’s been well worth it!
Posted by the Flea at 09:19 AM | TrackBack (0)

April 13, 2005

Another Air Transat update

After trying several numbers for Air Transat I gave up and tried Expedia.ca once again. It took another two calls but, having refused to help me the first time I contacted them, they have belatedly decided to address my concerns and contacted Air Transat for me. Sure enough, both my scheduled flights are on an Airbus A310. Let's see... Air Transat have yet to reply to two emails I sent a month ago, will not answer their telephone and have me booked on the same model aircraft that lost its entire rudder section on an Air Transat flight out of Cuba. Discount travel... you get what you pay for!

Given the lousy service I have received from Air Transat and Expedia.ca I suggest Flea readers everywhere avoid this airline and book flights through a travel agent and not Expedia.com. Expedia offers the illusion of convenience but leave you with no intermediary if anything falls off an aircraft you might be asked to fly.

Here is my latest attempt to contact Air Transat by email. Perhaps they will reply to this one.

Dear Air Transat,

This is my third attempt to contact you by email. I have tried to contact you by telephone and through my agent Expedia.ca. The following email was sent to this address on March 16, 2005 and you have yet to reply. I now learn through Expedia.ca and Conquest tour operators that my flight will indeed by an Airbus A310.

1 - Why have you not replied to my earlier emails?

2 - What safety checks have been carried out on the A310 I will be flying to and from Toronto? Specically, have you carried out an X-ray inspection of the tail/rudder sections of your A310 fleet in addition to visual or tap (acoustic) testing?

3 - Am I scheduled to fly on the specific aircraft that lost its tail section on a return flight from Cuba?

Yours,

Update: Time to talk to the organ grinder:

Dear Airbus,

I have booked a return flight with Air Transat, a Canadian charter company that flies a fleet of Airbust A310 aircraft. As I am certain you are aware, one of these lost its rudder section on a flight from Cuba recently. I have tried repeatedly to contact Air Transat regarding their inspection procedures. Despite having written three times to Air Transat I have yet to receive any reply regarding my concerns about the safety of their aircraft. Are you aware you are selling aircraft to airlines that will not address passenger safety concerns about the A310? More importantly, why should I not cancel my flight and reschedule with an airline flying a Boeing product?

Yours,

Update: "Airbust", what an hilarious Versprechen Fehleistung! I could die laughing! Literally!

Update: So here I am searching for consumer advocate resources at the Canadian Consumer Information Gateway and guess which name comes up number five in the tourism "complaints" section. Could it be... Air Transat! If Air Transat does not offer a prompt reply my next step is a formal complaint to the Canadian Transportation Agency. Not that I expect much from a government department whose airline contact information includes JetsGo (corrected, please see below), a carrier that went bankrupt a month ago. These federal bureaucrats tell us we should always contact the airline with our complaints first. Concept. But if they do not dismiss our concerns out of hand there is always the following:

The Air Travel Complaints Commissioner's role is to assist air travellers in resolving their complaints against air carriers through mediation techniques. Where a satisfactory resolution is not achieved, no further recourse is available.

So... what possible reason would an airline that won't even answer email or the telephone have to take seriously anything your toothless "mediation techniques" have to offer? And what are your tax-payer funded salaries for exactly?

Update: Oops! I was thinking of JetsGo which went bust rather than WestJet that did not. Thanks to an eagle-eyed commenter!

Posted by the Flea at 05:19 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

Cat Bike

The Cat Bike: a motorcycle by Caterpillar. So cool. Must have. Like now. Totally.

Few brands evoke the pride of ownership quite like Caterpillar. The Cat® brand fosters strong emotional appeal and passionate loyalty from both the employees who design, build, sell and support Cat machines, and those who own or aspire to own Cat machines. Caterpillar has taken that legacy of pride in the build and reliability of its equipment and instilled it in the Cat Chopper.
Posted by the Flea at 09:08 AM | TrackBack (0)

Everybody's Free (To Wear Sunscreen)

Black Sun is another little of genius from Baz Lurhmann. Lots of good, and for me timely, advice.

Ladies and gentlemen of the class of '99. Wear sunscreen.

Update: As Ben points out in the comments, this poem was not written by Baz Lurhmann but by Mary Schmich. Sorry my post was unclear!

Posted by the Flea at 07:24 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Fatwa Against False Muppets

I am radically in favour of gay marriage, think the more transhuman Angelina Jolie becomes the hotter she gets and can even just barely tolerate the new Star Wars films. But this. This is taking change too far.

The Flea hereby issues a Fatwa Against False Muppets. I will see you in Hell Sesame Street producers! "C" is for "fatwa"!

Something must be wrong in the land of Muppets. First PBS announced that "Sesame Street" would kick off its 35th season this week with a multiyear story arc about healthy habits. No problem there; childhood obesity rates are soaring. Then I learned of changes that turned my "Sesame Street" world upside-down.

My beloved blue, furry monster - who sang "C is for cookie, that's good enough for me" - is now advocating eating healthy. There's even a new song - "A Cookie Is a Sometimes Food," where Cookie Monster learns there are "anytime" foods and "sometimes" foods.
Posted by the Flea at 07:21 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0)

Wikibituary

Perhaps that should be "wikobituary". Just don't say wikibituary too fast or it loses its cleverness.

"Imagine an encyclopedia," wrote blogger Joe Gratz, "that had someone’s death noted in their biography before the first major news outlet had even published an obituary." The death was that of feminist writer and campaigner Andrea Dworkin, the encyclopedia Wikipedia, and Gratz was imagining nothing.

Guardian Unlimited reported Dworkin's death, confirmed by her agent, shortly before 1800 GMT yesterday, the first major news outlet to do so, though the correct date of her death was posted at the top of her Wikipedia biography at least 24 hours earlier.
Posted by the Flea at 07:17 AM | TrackBack (1)

Colonial Viper

A quarter-scale Colonial Viper rocket. Oh yes.

Posted by the Flea at 07:16 AM | TrackBack (0)

Bai Ling

"I’m all naked with tattoos on my body. You have to find out why when you see the movie."

Rusty Shackleford has the details (warning: extreme geek alert).

Posted by the Flea at 07:15 AM | TrackBack (0)

The Cock Crows at Midnight

Life in Jiangxi reports on an amateur theatrical.

Narrator: The farmer is holding his cock.
Farmer: Ah my beautiful cock, I will stroke you. You have done me so much good.
Posted by the Flea at 07:14 AM | TrackBack (0)

Forests Forever

Ok, I have probably chopped down more trees than most people but I love forests and am quite fond of many specific individual trees. Yet Forests Forever makes me feel choppy. What, like trees don't listen to Zeppelin?

None of the vast forests that hydrate the lands of Mother Earth are the same; they all have their own unique personality. "Forests Gallery" will take you to each of these mystifying forests.
Posted by the Flea at 07:11 AM | TrackBack (0)

Religion in general

OxBlog critiques that don't-eat-at-McDonald's-or-you-will-become-fat documentary to the effect it can be perfectly rational to make choices that may be unwise in the long run (via Instapundit).

This sort of trade-off between short-term pleasure and long-term welfare is not irrational. It is necessary for living a good life. And it helps explain why people do things like smoke, have extra-marital affairs and vote for Howard Dean. Yet instead of acknowledging that such a rational trade-off is taking place, Spurlock & Co. are genuinely disgusted by the thought of liking McDonalds. Rather, they live in a world where basic choices about personal consumption must reflect profound ethical commitments.

I agree with Oxblog's point but feel it should be extended beyond the world of documentaries for the scandalization of earnest middle-class undergraduates. While true of the puritanical organic lobby, a Supersized ethical position is also advanced by all too many Christians. Indeed, this is where the green-thinkers derive their theology in the first place. Gluttonous McDonald's visits are on a long list that includes some items mentioned once or twice in scripture such as gay sex, polycotton and women letting their hair down in church and plenty of things from cocaine to coffee which are nowhere to be found in the Bible. The notion is that some things, while pleasurable, will prevent your immortal soul from making it to heaven and that for your own good you must be prevented from enjoying them. That this makes a nonsense of free will, shows precious little faith in the free gift of Grace and that some "sins" are singled out for hysterical attention while most are ignored entirely does not bother puritans historical or contemporary. And the fact most people worship at a different altar altogether does not cross their minds at all.

Posted by the Flea at 07:07 AM | TrackBack (1)

April 12, 2005

Desperate housewives

Hi everybody. I am back home but realizing I am lacking the necessary oomph to post much more today. More tomorrow. In the meantime, here is something add to the file for my ongoing fascination and befuddlement with Japanese culture. So many marriages are reported to be sexless that the Guardian reports some genuinely desperate housewives have turned to Kim Myong-gan's clinic, and "sex volunteers", for assistance. The service sounds sensible but, well, clinical.

Mr Kim's short-term solution is unconventional. After an initial 20,000 yen (£100) counselling session, he produces photographs of 45 men, mostly professionals in their 40s, with whom the women are invited to go on dates and then, in almost all cases, arrange regular assignations in hotel rooms.

Mr Kim dismissed charges that his service was little more than a male prostitution ring. "The men volunteer and pay half the hotel and restaurant bills, so legally there is absolutely nothing wrong with it," he said.
Posted by the Flea at 04:11 PM | TrackBack (0)

Sic transit gloria mundi

I am on the move today so the Flea will be posted this afternoon! In the meantime, check out that 2006 Audi A3 ad in the sidebar. It's a wonder of narrative advertising intrigue and adventure!

Posted by the Flea at 07:21 AM | TrackBack (0)

Willow-ish

And while I am on the move you can also give some thought to single gothic/witchy types in T.O. who might like an increasingly rumpled professor. I saw a Willow-ish person yesterday who reminded me of my vanished ex and figured it was time to get over it. Spring has sprung!

Posted by the Flea at 07:17 AM | TrackBack (0)

April 11, 2005

Muddying the waters

This weekend I was exposed to the first sensible argument I have heard against gay marriage. The argument is simple: to change the law would be to tamper with a social convention and in so doing, "muddy the waters". I believe the argument is sensible even though I disagree with its intended conclusion that it would be best not to change the law. But I think it is reasonable to suggest that some confusion is entailed by extending the definition of marriage to include same-sex couples.

Because that is what we are doing. I have made it clear here and elsewhere that I do not acknowledge the right of any state, or indeed any church, to sanction a marriage. The "Quaker" part of that fighting Quaker tag is serious. In my belief, a marriage is created in the face of the Almighty not in registry office (post-facto blessing or no). Even so, we are talking about the government recognizing a change that has already come about and in short order most people are going to take it for granted that a marriage might refer to couples that, despite having lived together for decades, had not hitherto had the same benefits as everybody else. This is a big step and it is going to be a difficult one for some even though the issue is on the periphery of their lives. For many folks the prospect of same-sex marriage must be like watching same-sex pairs figure skating. The sensation is probably one of unheimlich Gefühl, a jarring sense of the unfamiliar in something that would normally be taken-for-granted.

One of the most confusing aspects of this debate to me is that those folks arguing against gay marriage are often people who argue vociferously for the state to stay out of private business and who seem to genuinely feel no animosity toward gay people. Yes, there are a bigoted few but this hardly accounts for the overwhelming number of otherwise sensible people who, I am quite certain, will look back on their opposition with embarrassment in the fullness of time.

Every time I have this conversation with someone struggling to articulate why their gut is telling them other folks should be prevented from doing something that, whatever their particular beliefs, harms nobody the same arguments are proposed. Marriage, I am told, is about reproduction. Or it is about the will of God. Or it is about nature. Or it is about history and tradition. Each of these arguments can be dismissed in turn by rudimentary logic and observation of the marriages of Michael Jackson or Britney Spears so it occurs to me that something more basic is in play.

Here is the problem. Even Britney Spears admits her overnight Vegas wedding was a farce but it was a real wedding in the eyes of the law. If marriage can include everybody from infertile couples to couples at the registry office who may one day be King and Queen or couples who are planning to add an extra wife or two if they can get Utah to go back to the old faith (that would be the seriously traditional form of marriage) we are talking about an institution whose definition may be set in law but whose intentions, aspirations and religious underpinnings are extremely flexible.

What happens when folks come along who say that marriage is about two people loving each other and forming a bond that entails commitment and obligations to one another? Gay marriage is not the source of confusion but it certainly highlights some serious confusions. Think of all those people arguing against gay marriage but who do not intend to have children themselves. Or those who argue gay marriage is against their particular religious law but shy at the idea of having to ask the province of Ontario for an annulment. Or who argue that marriage is about the union of one man and one woman even as they head for their second divorce because of infidelity. Or who want to defend a tradition that in not so distant times meant a proposal had legal standing because women could not hold most jobs, let alone vote, and needed to be protected from the various scoundrels of the world. If a revised definition of marriage was to limit its scope to loving commitment there are many, many people who might have cause to reflect on their own behaviour.

Talk about muddying the waters.

Posted by the Flea at 10:33 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0)

Jesus Day

June 10 is Jesus Day. Why?

Posted by the Flea at 10:30 AM | TrackBack (0)

G, G, Tea

Vegas wedding aside, I do not understand why people are so mean to Britney Spears. Also, a reminder to Japanese firms that the Flea stands ready to endorse your product and/or service!

Posted by the Flea at 10:29 AM | TrackBack (0)

Zero emissions cargo ship

Gizmodo features a zero emissions cargo ship by Scandinavian design firm Wallenius Wilhelmsen. The design is alarmingly close to the specifications for the Flea's floating university and casino.

While this concept is designed to haul automobiles, I’m eager to see an oil-tanker version, for obvious, ironic reasons.
Posted by the Flea at 10:27 AM | TrackBack (0)

Sea Kings

Paul Couvret, a former Sea King Air engineer officer, comments on the role of Sea Kings in the Australian Defence Forces. While it is dismaying that nine members of the ADF should have died in a recent Sea King accident there is something vaguely reassuring that the Canadian armed forces are not the only people faced with this situation.

So how do the Sea Kings compare with other helicopters? Pretty well, given the work they do. And how do ours compare with other Sea King fleets? Certainly there are plenty still flying -- the British-built Sea Kings and the original US-built Sikorsky S-61s on which they were based. The US President has one. His version is called the VH-3D, but it's basically an S-61. It has been flying him and his predecessors around since 1976 and is expected to keep going until at least 2012. Ours are not especially old or unusually accident-prone.

But we don't need to get too sentimental about them; they are only machines, assets that need to be managed. Certainly we'd like to hold on to them if we can. Very few other aircraft have the range, carrying capacity or overwater capabilities of the Sea King. Certainly not the Sea Hawk, which is much smaller inside.
Posted by the Flea at 10:23 AM | TrackBack (0)

April 09, 2005

Caspar Milquetoast

So that is where the expression "milquetoast" comes from (via comment at SondraK and go read Jeff).

Cartoonist H.T. Webster's most famous protagonist was such a wuss, he'd buy a new hat when the one he was wearing got blown onto a patch of ground ground protected by a "Keep Off the Grass" sign. A sign reading "Watch This Space" could render him motionless for hours. He'd rather look at the column holding up the museum's celing, than an abstract statue that the guide book says is of a nude. He was the original Caspar Milquetoast - literally. Caspar Milquetoast was his name, and anybody else who ever used it, got it from him.
Posted by the Flea at 11:33 AM | TrackBack (0)

drum|head

Recent events have given me cause to think about a living will. What to do with my consciousness when my mortal frame stops working properly? An arrangement along these lines would be cool even if Gary Numan was not some sort of demigod in human form.

Posted by the Flea at 11:29 AM | TrackBack (0)

Dance floor

Time to have a First East Disco Dance Floor installed at Flea Mansions.

...best parties ever!

The video show off the dance floor but the full effect could only be achieved with some of my stylin' dance moves.

Posted by the Flea at 11:26 AM | TrackBack (0)

Stealth disco inferno

Now is the time at the Flea when we dance.

Posted by the Flea at 11:24 AM | TrackBack (0)

Raymi newbies

Newcomers to her blog don't "get" the Raymi.

people who think i am crazy usually listen to bryan adams and own a tea kettle from ikea and practise feng shui.

She took the words right out of my mouth. Except most of my flak comes from teenage monarchists writing tracts under a pseudonym from their parents' basement. They aren't old enough to own their own tea kettles and lack that flexible quality needed for feng shui. No wait, I am thinking of tai chi.

Posted by the Flea at 11:15 AM | TrackBack (0)

Virgin Galactic

Virgin Galactic expects to take customers into orbit in 30 months (via A.E.Brain).

"The plan for the new spaceship is complete and work on the project will commence in the next three months, with the first commerical space flight to take off in two-and-half years," Branson told reporters in Bombay, India's financial hub.
Posted by the Flea at 11:12 AM | TrackBack (0)

Brain of a Blogger

Blogging is good for your health.

Research using the Lemelson-MIT Invention index found that invention is best fostered in solitude (66%); yet other research has shown the beneficial effects of brainstorming with a community of intellectual peers. So blogging may combine the best of “working by yourself” and “working with other people.”
Posted by the Flea at 11:11 AM | TrackBack (0)

Fool the media

It turns out there is a lot of nonsense on "the internet". Not that this stops the mainstream media from reporting just about anything. Remember this the next time the establishment media dismisses the blogosphere. Or vice versa.

Between all the cable channels, talk radio stations, newswires, morning DJs, and blogs, our news is less trustworthy than ever. Come up with something ridiculous enough, and your idea can become instantly famous, even if it's not true. Wacky ideas continually spread through the blogosphere, and frequently are picked up by the mainstream news media, who often don't have time to check facts or verify sources.

Over the past few months, we conducted a series of experiments to find out what kind of half-baked ideas could we get reported as actual news?

In the pot-meet-kettle department, I reported a Creation Science Fair the other day that I was fully convinced was legitimate. My ass was duly fact checked.

Posted by the Flea at 11:10 AM | TrackBack (0)

April 08, 2005

The Old Negro Space Program

Like me, you may never have heard of the "Old Negro Space Program". Ken Burns has so much to answer for (via KiP).

It was a different time you understand. 1957 or 1958.
Posted by the Flea at 09:27 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Willy Wonka

The teaser trailer meets every expectation of words combined to say "Tim Burton" and "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory".

Posted by the Flea at 09:25 AM | TrackBack (0)

Tender Crisp Bacon Cheddar Ranch

"Reasons why I love the Tender Crisp Bacon Cheddar Ranch." Hmm. Some reasons. The ad.

When the belly starts a rumbling and I'm jonesing for a treat,
I close my eyes for a big surprise the tender crisp bacon cheddar ranch

The Tender Crisp Bacon Cheddar Ranch is tempting but will remain a mystery to me for as long as I stay on the Paris Hilton Diet for my keep fit regimen.

Posted by the Flea at 09:24 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

BK 911

Well, you may not think it's a hamburger emergency. While I expect this is an American 911 call, this is exactly the sort of slack attitude to the defense of liberty we have seen in Canada these last few days that means Canadian democracy is about to collapse.*

Well, what are we protecting you from... a wrong cheeseburger?

*Yes, I am poking fun.

(hat tip to the Flea's dromology consultant).

Posted by the Flea at 09:23 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

VisitorVille

VisitorVille is a neat looking web statistics program that represents traffic Sim-style. Does anyone have any reviews to offer?

What makes VisitorVille unique is immediately clear: VisitorVille does not represent website visitors simply as numbers or graphs, but as real people in a real environment. You can watch your site traffic as if you were people-watching in a big city.
Posted by the Flea at 09:16 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

PookMail

Pook, a gremlin dear to my heart, has thoughtfully loaned his name to PookMail.

PookMail.com is a disposable email account system. Use PookMail.com to avoid give your personal email address to untrusted sites.
Posted by the Flea at 09:14 AM | TrackBack (0)

The Language Game

At the end of term, I do not know if I have the brain wattage to master Niccan.

Niccan is a language, not a code. Translation does not consist of simply substituting letters or even words. It has its own vocabulary and grammar.
Niccan is perfectly regular. Unlike real languages, there are no exceptions or irregularities. A rule you learn in one context will apply in another context; if it doesn't that means you don't understand the rule correctly.
Posted by the Flea at 09:09 AM | TrackBack (0)

John Gomery

It is possible the leak of information subject to a publication ban influenced the decision for the raising of that ban yesterday. On the other hand, it is possible that ban would have been lifted in any event either due to the postponement of the trials for which it was put in place or its lack of relevance to those trials. Either way, a publication ban does not a dictatorship make. That few, that hyperventilating few, that band of bloggers who equated the ban with all sorts of offensive nonsense about dictatorship should now get to work changing the law they claim so much to dislike. I doubt they will bother. I doubt even more they shall offer Justice John Gomery the apology he deserves from them.

Posted by the Flea at 09:02 AM | TrackBack (0)

April 07, 2005

The next James Bond

CNN announced the choice of Daniel Craig to be the next James Bond this morning. It turns out they have jumped the gun. So who knows if they is anything to this Daisy Scarlett story.

Actor Daniel Craig says he's not going to be the next James Bond, following a flurry of stories today claiming he had won the part. A spokeswoman for the star of hit gangster movie Layer Cake denied the reports but wouldn't comment further.
Posted by the Flea at 07:28 AM | TrackBack (0)

From Russia With Love

Sean Connery is to reprise his role as James Bond (but don't get too excited).

There’s only one true Bond in my opinion, and that’s Sean Connery. The original 007 has agreed to lay down his unmistakable vocals for EA’s video game remake of the 1963 classic, “From Russia With Love”. In fact, most of the original casts’ likenesses will be featured in the game, which will debut across the major consoles this fall. But we all know that even the addition of Connery can’t save a franchise that continues to deteriorate over time. Don’t screw this up, EA... don’t you dare screw this up...
Posted by the Flea at 07:26 AM | TrackBack (0)

Get your Pope on

INDC Journal has the story.

Posted by the Flea at 07:24 AM | TrackBack (0)

Gwen Stefani

Some people think the breath-taking, goddess-like Gwen Stefani is a fake. A fake what, exactly? These people should do their research.

"These people should do their research. I was in a band with all guys since I was 16-years-old. I've been in a f***ing rock band touring the f***ing world for 18 years. So if you're gonna try and erase that, then I'm going to stick my finger right up in your face. 'Cos you know what? I did it. I get a bit angry, you know I don't need to hear it."
Posted by the Flea at 07:21 AM | TrackBack (0)

Harajuku

Flickr has lots of photos tagged harajuku for people with an ethnographic interest.

Posted by the Flea at 07:20 AM | TrackBack (0)

Juliet: Avalon

Now is the time at the Flea when we dance.

Posted by the Flea at 07:18 AM | TrackBack (0)

Superhero China youths

Ashley Benigno lead me to Cao Fei's willfully alienated superhero China youths.

So now to be atemporal. How do you say cool in the city of Guangzhou?
Posted by the Flea at 07:11 AM | TrackBack (0)

HeroMachine 2

HeroMachineFlea.jpg

The Flea... and his fighting sidekick Puck! Brought to you by HeroMachine!

(via Moonbatologist Claire and SondraK)

Posted by the Flea at 07:08 AM | TrackBack (1)

The Geek is in the Details

Andrew Clarke describes readings of fiction that are either so literal or so symbolic that they exclude some part of a story's reality. And Han Solo shot first, by the way.

The kind of geeks that argue about minutiae tend to look at a story from what I’m going to call a 'literalist' perspective. A magic ring is a magic ring. Superman is an alien. They most certainly are not metaphors for empowerment. The primary focus of engagement with the story is on a literal level. When we watch LOTR we are watching hobbits go on a journey to destroy a magic ring. We are not spending 11 hours watching a discussion on the effects of 20th century technological advancement on the rural communities of England. ...

On the other side of this are the 'symbolists': that strange breed to whom the worth of a story lies only in it's relation to the real world. Hobbits ARE the rural communities of Pre-Victorian England. The Architect IS the creator god. The purpose of a story is to comment upon the outside world. It has no reality of its own. So it's really not important if some detail is changed, as long as the metaphor holds. After all, the story is always ultimately just a shadow-play. None of it is real.

The literalists are children, incapable of looking deeper into a story or dealing with the real world, in extreme cases functionally indistinguishable from certain types of autism sufferers ... . The symbolists are cynics with no imagination and hearts made out of a bloody patchwork of all the tiny fairies' hearts that they refused to believe in.
Posted by the Flea at 07:05 AM | TrackBack (0)

Hawk the Slayer

Hawk the Slayer... gahh! I forgot this movie existed. Jack Palance at the top of his form.

The cover art looks pretty average for a sword and sorcery flick and we all expect some goofy "magical" effects, but when those two glowing hula hoops appear all bets are off. Of course Hawk and Ranulf's journey through the haunted forest could be considered fair warning, it's just that the hula hoops mark where I believe the director began dropping acid during shoots.
Posted by the Flea at 07:03 AM | TrackBack (0)

April 06, 2005

AdScam reality check

On July 5, 1993, a publication ban was issued in relation to the prosecution of Paul Bernardo for the kidnapping, torture, rape and murder of young women in southern Ontario. The ban was controversial at the time as people were uncertain of its efficacy even in the early days of the internet, questioned the wisdom of keeping secrets from the public and anxious to undertand details of a case that were so traumatic for society in general.

But that was not the only reason people wanted access to details of Bernardo's crimes. For some the trial was a grotesque source of entertainment. Googling the names of Bernardo and his then wife, Karla Homolka I see that ten years later there are websites purporting to sell trial transcripts as pornography. Leaving aside the intrinsic outrage of such behaviour I try to imagine for a moment what this must mean for the families of Bernardo and Homolka's victims. It is an intolerable thought.

Over the last few days the Canadian blogosphere and mainstream media have been in knots over another publication ban this time related to massive fraud and political corruption. Once again the ban has proved controversial and once again it is in place to ensure a fair trial. For everyone who has argued for the lifting of the ban I ask this question: how many people seriously believe those men offering testimony to the Gomery Commission are innocent of the crimes for which they are charged? Frankly, had that thought even crossed your mind?

Because that is how our system of justice works. Those men are innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. Unless and until you would prefer another standard of guilt I suggest you give that thought some consideration before pointing fingers about the imminent collapse of democracy in this country. Justice Gomery is no fan of the Liberal government or its last incarnation under Jean Chretien. He is doing his job and in so doing he is defending our democracy. This is not the Bernardo trial. The publication ban was always intended to be a short-lived affair to recognize a conflict with trials that were to begin in early May. In fact, I expect the ban will be lifted in whole or in part later today. But even if it is not, even if the internet and alternative offshore blog news sources did not exist at all, all of that testimony would have been made public in due course. This is no dictatorship but the democracy we have made for ourselves. Jean Brault's testimony and the rest that is to follow is no Bernardo trial evidence to be kept under lock and key forever but in one respect public reaction to the two publication bans is comparable. For some the right to a fair trial is trumped by rubber-necking, political opportunism and puerile attention seeking.

Do I think the publication ban is misguided? Perhaps. I am swayed by arguments the whole proceedings should have been held in camera. This would reduce the likelihood of a two-tier society where political insiders and establishment media imagine they know what is going on while the rest of us labour in ignorance. It would certainly have spared us the unedifying spectacle of the last few days. Instead of stumbling over ourselves to break the law in the spirit of adolescent rebellion I suggest we give some thought to changing the law. A less deferential society is one I think most Canadians would like to see and with the internet I believe we are going to see it whether we want it or not.

Don't blame them for my conclusions but by all means take a look at Babbling Brooks, Andrew Coyne and Gen-X at 40 for an alternative to the histrionics.

Update: I had the wrong date for the Homolka trial publication ban, now corrected.

Posted by the Flea at 07:29 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack (3)

Touch my bum

Enough news drama. Let's have another look at the Cheeky Girls' classic Cheeky Song. Ahh, Romania! You have so much to answer for!*

*("You ended that sentence with a preposition...bastard! - Colonel Jack o'Neil... that's "so much for which to answer". I think.)

Posted by the Flea at 07:22 AM | TrackBack (0)

Liebe ist

Nena of 99 Luftballoons fame has a new single, Liebe ist. Beautiful Atrocities tells us is #4 in Austria. Mir ist schwindelig!

Good ballad. Real name: Gabriele Susanne Kerner. Still gorgeous after 5 children.
Posted by the Flea at 07:17 AM | TrackBack (0)

Austrian greetings

Gerhard Gelbmann offers first impressions of "once-so-gorgeous-but-still-in-use" Austrian greetings and thoughts on how not to be a good guest in Austria.

You may quarrel with an Austrian and argue about God or the world with him, if you like, but if you sit together at a Heurigen (a restaurant serving local wines and local food), enjoying a glass of Gumpoldskirchner Riesling, and you call an Austrian an "idiot", you should remember to add a "Herr Direktor" or "Herr Minister" afterwards - and a polite and nearly untranslatable phrase of 19th century's German may be enclosed called "mit Verlaub", meaning indeed that rhetorically you ask for the addressed person's permission for insulting him. Besides, "mit Verlaub" can also be applied to certain and delicate situations, for instance if you snatch away a seat from a person in a crowded train (in this case it normally is not recommended to greet explicitly, just nodding might do).
Posted by the Flea at 07:14 AM | TrackBack (0)

Lego Ziggurat

The daughter of the Commissar has finished her Lego Ziggurat project with a little help from her father.

The ziggurat occupies the center, surrounded by a city wall. In the upper right is the irrigated farmland. Toward the left foreground are the small yellow houses of the common people; note the red roofs of the merchant class, clustered around the open bazaar. Just beyond the ziggurat, the larger blue government buildings house the nobility and the priests.
Posted by the Flea at 07:11 AM | TrackBack (0)

YaGoohoo!gle

YaGoohoo!gle is a great solution for nosey, impatient people such as, for example, me. It is interesting to note this blog is number four for the word "flea" at Google but number one at Yahoo!.

Posted by the Flea at 07:07 AM | TrackBack (0)

April 05, 2005

Vampire bat

The words "vampire bat" and "galloping gait" are a bit unnerving when put together in the same sentence (via Chapel Perilous). Don't miss the video!

Species evolved its galloping gait independently of other mammals.

Vampire bats' thirst for blood has driven them to evolve an unexpected sprinting ability. Most bats are awkward on the ground, but the common vampire bat can bound along at more than 1 metre per second.
Posted by the Flea at 06:33 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

The Reaper

Gatorade Propel might invoke lightning bolts to keep back the Reaper but I doubt it would work against, say, the Nazgul or worse yet Frank Frazetta's Death Dealer.

Posted by the Flea at 06:31 AM | TrackBack (0)

Ribby the Rhino

Life as a rhinocerous lifeguard is not so easy as you might think. Note how I managed to work "rhino" into my pop reportage.

Posted by the Flea at 06:29 AM | TrackBack (0)

The Doors

The Doors is yet another infuriating puzzle game I am no good at.*

I don't know where I am. I don't know what I'm doing here. I just know I have to get out.

*I ended a sentence with a preposition! ("Bastard!" - Col. Jack O'Neil). Ok, Another infuriating puzzle game at which I am no good. I think that's it. Yes.

Posted by the Flea at 06:27 AM | TrackBack (0)

Napoleon Numa Numa

In case your co-workers are not quite ready yet to strangle you with your mouse-cord, I present this rendition of Napoleon Dynamite and the Numa Numa song.

Posted by the Flea at 06:24 AM | TrackBack (1)

Jane Wiedlin

For all your Jane Wiedlin information needs.

Future squeaky-voiced Go-Go Jane Marie Genevieve Wiedlin was born at 8:30AM May 20, 1958 in Oconomowoc, Wisconsin. Learned to play Kumbaya on guitar at 12. Valley girl: attended Taft High School in San Fernando Valley (with Joan Jett).
Posted by the Flea at 06:17 AM | TrackBack (0)

Daft Punk: Robot Rock

Now is the time at the Flea when we dance.

Posted by the Flea at 06:14 AM | TrackBack (0)

Instant spells

I have been working on Flea brand-stretching plans and should have come up with this instant spell dealio Madame Fared came up with on my own.

Have you tried to cast spells or make your own lucky bags with no success? This is because you do not have the force of concentration that is needed. It can only be developed over many years. Those who sell the spell kits do not tell you this.

The Instant Spells that I will perform for you are listed below. A small donation of $13.13 is required to activate the Spell. These Spells I will perform to bring back a lover or mate, to give you needed luck in gambling or games or or to bring a specified amount of money if you are in need.
Posted by the Flea at 06:11 AM | TrackBack (0)

Tokyo Plastic

Hikikomori: Tokyo Plastic... the trailer. I have no idea what this is about but it looks cool. No, wait. Here we go.

The story of "Hikikomori: Tokyo Plastic" is explained in large part in the title of the film. In real life Japan, a hikikomori is a person who has decided to drop out of society, often retreating into the dark confines of their apartment or bedroom, never stepping outside and shunning the light of day for years. The Japanese government estimates that there are over 6,000 hikikomori's living in Japan today, but some psychiatrists claim that there at least 1 million of them lurking within Japanese society.

I resemble that remark!

Posted by the Flea at 06:07 AM | TrackBack (0)

April 04, 2005

Ginger and Fishcakes

Ginger and Fishcakes were the ship's cats of the battle cruiser HMS Hood in the 1930s. Though being one of the ship's cats is not quite so dramatic as being the ship's wallaby...

Throughout history, crews of many naval ships not only included humans, but animals as well. H.M.S. Hood was no exception. In fact, at times during her 21 year career, she was a veritable floating zoo! Her menagerie of known mascots/pets included a goat, an opossum, a squirrel, a wallaby, beavers, a variety of birds, as well as dogs and cats.

Unfortunately, beyond a handful of old photos and a few surviving contemporary accounts, very little detailed information exists on most of these animals. Indeed, it is impossible to determine the exact numbers, types and even names of most of these special crew members. Of the known animals, there are four in particular, which are either well documented, or stand-out from the rest- "Joey" the wallaby, "Bill" the dog, plus "Ginger" and "Fishcakes" the cats.

The inevitable speculation is whether His Majesty's feline navy was aboard the Hood the day she was sunk. One internet source suggests Fishcakes may have been redeployed prior to the sorry event.

Black cats, too, suffered horribly in the Middle Ages. Suspected of being witches' familiars, they were often burned with their (usually innocent) owners. This is said to explain why a totally black cat is a creature of rarity, even today. Given their unfortunate past, it's curious then that black cats are nowadays considered lucky in Britain. In fact, they may have helped win World War II, as the superstitious Winston Churchill always went out of his way to stroke one.

Enjoying his Finest Hour in those days was Fishcakes, a feline with the usual nine lives - perhaps together with that 'sixth sense', which many owners attribute to their cats. As ship's mascot aboard HMS Hood, Fishcakes ruled the waves until, unnoticed one day, he slipped aboard a fuel tanker lying alongside his battleship home. It was a curious act, because never before had he shown the slightest interest in jumping ship. The following day, however, Hood was sunk with much loss of life. Had Fishcakes glimpsed the future?
Posted by the Flea at 09:19 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

Zero

A variety of mascots served the United States with honour during the War.* I am particularly impressed by Salvo's service in the air and by the mascot submariners pictures aboard USS Thresher. The United States Coast Guard had many of note... though a more recent penguin stands out. Sinbad may have been most famous of all though he looks a bit like Triumph in this photo. The cutest WWII mascot hands down has to be Zero when he came aboard the USS Washington BB56 as a puppy.

*And much earlier, "Is there a cat in one of the Monitor’s cannon barrels?"

Posted by the Flea at 09:17 AM | TrackBack (0)

TacJammer rules ok

Frustration, thy name is trackback spam! This is to thank TacJammer once again for helping me with my bloggish difficulties. When Russ Blog Installantion Inc. is in business it will be the place to go.

Posted by the Flea at 09:15 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Orc Siege

My favourite part of this Orc Siege game are the Quebecois accented instructions... c'est charmant, agréable! The chief orc so kicked me ass.

Posted by the Flea at 09:14 AM | TrackBack (0)

Thalía: Arrasando

Now is the time at the Flea when we dance.*

*Canada sux! I'm moving to Mexico! This blast of raw life-force arrives courtesy of Beautiful Atrocities where Jeff has only listened to it about a hundred bizillion times. And from Spain by way of the comments to the same post I salvaged a link to 7:35 in the morning, a neat little film by Nacho Vigalondo. You will be singing along with the chorus (or else) even if, like me, you do not speak Spanith. Err... Spanish.

Posted by the Flea at 09:09 AM | TrackBack (0)

Health warnings

Some obnoxious, paternalistic tobacco health warnings courtesy of the European Union. So when we start seeing food packages with pictures of fat/skinny/scurvy-ridden people or automobile paint-jobs detailed with crash scene photographs?

The EU is intensifying its fight against tobacco. At a press conference in Brussels today -22/10/04- David Byrne, the European Commissioner for Health and Consumer Protection, unveiled new hard hitting picture warnings for cigarette packs. They form part of a database of 42 images designed for use in combination with the hard hitting health warnings introduced EU-wide in 2003. EU countries who so wish will be able to use the pictures to add impact to their health warnings.

This makes me want to solicit tobacco ads for the Flea.

Posted by the Flea at 09:04 AM | TrackBack (0)

Wordnews

Wordnews is a simple, graphical representation of the news.

Posted by the Flea at 09:02 AM | TrackBack (0)

Mano Cornuto

Are these politicians Satanists or is it a mere co-incidence these folks are making a blatantly Satanic gesture, hmmm?

This gesture is the Satanic salute, a sign of recognition between and allegiance of members of Satanism or other unholy groups.
Posted by the Flea at 09:00 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

Rhino Party

Enough is enough. Sane people have nobody to vote for come the next federal election. If that means doing the job ourselves then so be it. So, what would it take for me to stand as the independent Rhino Party candidate for Trinity-Spadina? I always liked the idea of being able to coast from coast to coast and think it is high-time we declared war on Belgium and annexed the United States (though not in that order).

RhinoParty2.jpg

I am going to need lawyers, guns and money. Well, lawyers and money. And lawn signs.

Now off to look at the rules for official party status...

Posted by the Flea at 08:57 AM | TrackBack (0)

History in the making too

I had posted links to Canadian and American blogosphere reaction to rumoured violations of a Gomery Commission "sponsorship scandal" publication ban but am now uncertain if even naming a specific American blog, let alone linking to it, is in violation of the ban. I will update this post pending the outcome of rumoured contempt of court charges. If CTV, the Globe and Mail and The Sun are all avoiding the name of the blog in question it seems wise for me to follow suit. Welcome to Canada, eh!

AN AMERICAN website has breached the publication ban protecting a Montreal ad exec's explosive and damning testimony at the AdScam inquiry. The U.S. blogger raised the ire of the Gomery commission this weekend by publishing extracts from testimony given in secret by Jean Brault last Thursday.

The American blog, being promoted by an all-news Canadian website, boasts that "Canada's Corruption Scandal Breaks Wide Open" and promises more to come. The owner of the Canadian website refused to comment yesterday.

AdScam inquiry spokesman Francois Perreault expressed shock at the publication ban breach, and said commission co-counsel Bernard Roy and Justice John Gomery will decide today whether to charge the Canadian website owner with contempt of court.

(via Daimnation! and The Tiger in Winter)

Update: Being American in T.O. argues against the publication ban describing CTV as wimps for pulling a news article they had posted to their website saying that any crimes committed render all Canadian tax-payers plaintiffs.

Judge Gomery forgot that minor detail when he placed the publication ban on the testimony in order to guarantee a fair trial. I guess he and I have a fundamental disagreement on some basic concepts about government and tax money.

Something that has hit me over the last year is that there really does seem to be a difference between Americans and Canadians in relation to authority, the role of government and freedom of expression. My main disagreement with the Gomery Commission publication ban is the lack of clarity we face with respect to hyperlinks and internet publication. It is difficult to obey the law when we do not know if, despite acting in good faith, we are breaking it. As it stands, I believe the publication ban will be lifted at the end of the week.

Posted by the Flea at 08:53 AM | TrackBack (0)

Air Transat update

On March 16 I learned that the rudder of an Air Transat flight had fallen off. This lead me to write the company asking if they were planning to use an Airbus A310 on my upcoming flight to England, home and beauty. The company has yet to acknowledge my email let alone address my question and concerns. I have, therefore, written a letter of complaint to my travel agent, Expedia.ca.

I welcome suggestions from Flea-readers about further avenues of complaint. In the meantime I have this suggestion: don't fly Air Transat. At least one of their planes had half its tail section fall off and they cannot be bothered to answer your mail once they have your money.

Update: Expedia.ca replies. Their slogan: "Now we're getting somewhere!" My slogan: Thanks for nothing!

Thank you for contacting Expedia.ca regarding your interest in contacting Air Transat. Please note that Expedia.ca is an online booking service which enables our customers to act as their own travel agent. We are solely here as customer service agents to assist you with everything possible.

As you requested the contact number for Air Transat is 1-800-388-5836. We hope this helps.
Posted by the Flea at 08:51 AM | TrackBack (0)

April 03, 2005

Gaby Chrétien

As part of my ongoing series the Flea Presents Great Canadians™, I present friends and relations of our governing Liberal party (timeline and diagram here).

Here is an interesting fact: Gabriel Chrétien (Gaby to his friends), brother to former Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chrétien, has a very low profile on "the internet". I can infer from this article about former Deputy PM Sheila Copps, that M Chrétien is now 88 years old. C'est magnifique!

Next up: Paul Desmarais... collect them all! Trade them with your friends!

Posted by the Flea at 03:42 PM | TrackBack (0)

April 02, 2005

Amazing Race

Damian finds it is still possible to be annoyed with Rosie O'Donnell now he learns she is blogging. But not just blogging... poetry blogging. Yet I find it impossible to believe Damian is not drawn to the project on some level. Take this Amazing Race themed poem, for example.

the cute brothers with the bandanas
just flipped the jeep
my adorable gay boys
alex and lynn stop
of course

as rob and amber drive on
“i hope the aren’t hurt”
he says - which is sincere
i believe
but the concept of stopping – no way
don’t be ridiculous

I should warn Flea-readers everywhere that reading this fills me with an insane urge to start poetry blogging, say, The Apprentice.

Posted by the Flea at 08:27 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Unsolicited commercial love story

A mystery of unsolicited commercial love is resolved thanks to the mystery that is "the internet".

I'm Libby Davidson. I was recently in a cafe in Auckland (New Zealand) and I was enjoying a quiet lunch. I had a waiter that said to me he thought he recognized me, and wondered where he knew me from. I just smiled and politely laughed. When he came back to clear our table, he said that he had figured it out, and thought that I was the person on a website that he was a great fan of, and wanted my autograph.
Posted by the Flea at 06:57 AM | TrackBack (0)

Advertecture

While I do not believe this H&M ad flatters the Flatiron Building I love the word "advertecture" (via Gawker). I am considering a new source of revenue for Flea Towers...

"Is this what it would look like if Christo went into advertising rather than art?... I am just concerned that the Statue of Liberty may soon start selling The Swiffer."
Posted by the Flea at 06:54 AM | TrackBack (0)

Chemical Brothers: Elektrobank

Now is the time at the Flea when we dance.

Posted by the Flea at 06:53 AM | TrackBack (0)

Choccy

Who loves the chocolate? Everyone loves the chocolate. Nobody hates the chocolate.

(via Zacht Ei)

Posted by the Flea at 06:52 AM | TrackBack (0)

But does the Force work for penalties...

Apparently the trick to Jedi training is a little footie.

Stuntman Nick Gillard, the man in charge of the Jedi fights in new movie Revenge of the Sith, says the playground game keepy uppy was the perfect way for Hollywood’s finest to train for their gruelling lightsaber duel scenes.

And he says Canadian Hayden Christensen - who plays Anakin Skywalker - juggles the ball so well that he shows the British cast and crew a thing or two.

I doubt that. It had not occurred to me that Darth Vader is Canadian. But then these new "Star Wars" films are an abomination in the eyes of the Almighty. Honestly, that people should get worked up about gay marriage and say nothing in the face of the heresiarch, George Lucas is mind-boggling to me. That goes double for the Timothy Dalton Bond films and the ruination of Andromeda after season two.

Posted by the Flea at 06:51 AM | TrackBack (0)

Peanut!!!

Peanut!!! is a masterpiece of web-gamery. Not that I am particularly good at it. But it is nice to find something that translates into a concrete off-line life-skill.

You play the part of a trollied chap waiting in a bar for your mates. ... The rules are simple. flick as many nuts in the goal as possible.
Posted by the Flea at 06:48 AM | TrackBack (0)

Desperately seeking Kylie

It's me! It's me! Ok, not really.

(hat tip to SondraK)

Posted by the Flea at 06:44 AM | TrackBack (0)

Scooter VS Kylie Minogue

This is the first time I have seen a mash-up peformance. Terrifying.

Posted by the Flea at 06:43 AM | TrackBack (0)

How to steal from McDonald's

The Chomsky quote stands out in this "humorous, just for entertainment article" describing tactics for stealing from McDonald's but I am most intrigued to learn you can fit seven pound coins in an empty creamer.

Thus far we’ve talked only about money. This is, of course, only a fraction of the potential swag present in a McDonalds. Everything is up for grabs- happy toys, cheese, chocolate flakes, lettuce, wedges, sauce portions, cleaning substances, strip lights, sticky tape, cooking equipment, salt, pepper, sugar, pancake mix, plants, tea bags, rubbish bags, balloons, ladders, toilet roll, fire extinguishers... You need never shop again! All your worldly needs can be met by McDonalds (except alcohol and class A drugs which you can get by selling McDonalds stock), they are delighted to help.

Much more reading material is available at the McDonald's Workers Resistance.

Posted by the Flea at 06:33 AM | TrackBack (0)

Virtual property

There is a grim irony in being stabbed to death for stealing a virtual sword. I am curious how Canadian police would react if presented with the same theft of virtual property.

Qiu Chengwei, 41, stabbed competitor Zhu Caoyuan repeatedly in the chest after he was told Zhu had sold his "dragon sabre", used in the popular online game, "Legend of Mir 3", the newspaper said a Shanghai court was told on Tuesday.

"Legend of Mir 3" features heroes and villains, sorcerers and warriors, many of whom wield enormous swords. Qiu and a friend jointly won their weapon last February, and lent it to Zhu who then sold it for 7,200 yuan (464 pounds), the newspaper said.
Posted by the Flea at 06:31 AM | TrackBack (0)

April 01, 2005

New Who too

The ninth and latest Dr. Who has yet to be broadcast in Canada and already we learn Christopher Eccleston will not return to the roll. The Times of London reports David Tennant is in negotiations to replace him. He looks the part but how are we meant to get through new Who trauma knowing we are to lose Eccleston as soon as we get to like him? This would be easier to take if I knew Richard E. Grant or Alan Cummings was on the way.

The ninth and latest doctor, Christopher Eccleston, said last night that he will not be making another series, only days after the first episode attracted 10 million viewers.

The 41-year-old actor, worried that he may become typecast, has called time on his occupancy of the Tardis. “The audience’s response to the new Dr Who has been incredible. I’m very proud to be part of it and I hope viewers continue to enjoy the series,” he said.

The decision will be a blow to writer Russell T. Davies and to the BBC, who yesterday announced a new £10 million series and Christmas special.
Posted by the Flea at 10:52 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0)

Those bloody people

I am not in favour of the monarchy in principle but am basically in favour of the monarchy in practice. And as for "those bloody people" (amazing BBC snapshot there, btw) I believe Prince Charles has said nothing but what many of us are thinking.

Alan Hamilton, The Times Royal Correspondent, said that he thought the comments may not have been as innocent as initially reported.

"I don't think this was an accident, I think that the Prince wanted to make a point. The Klosters photocall is an annual Royal event which the Royals undertake grudgingly but usually in good humour. But Charles was angry that paparazzi photographers yesterday took pictures of Kate Middleton, Prince William's current girlfriend. I think these comments came as a result of that anger," he said.
Posted by the Flea at 08:31 AM | Comments (11) | TrackBack (0)

Lecture Musical

While I cannot say my students treated me to a Lecture Musical this year I must say that on the whole the life of a university lecturer is a good one. And for future reference to lurking students... this is an excellent, excellent idea! Much more at the Prangstgrüp video archive.

Posted by the Flea at 08:29 AM | TrackBack (0)

The Seebach Band: Apache

Now is the time at the Flea when we dance.

Posted by the Flea at 08:24 AM | TrackBack (0)

Knight Moves Problem

Being lousy at math and generally preferring to jump in without thinking too much it took me 70 moves to solve this knight moves problem.

Update: 65 moves... getting better...

Posted by the Flea at 08:23 AM | TrackBack (0)

Žižek wedding photos

I will not bother trying to beat this Gawker comment on the theory-star wedding of Slavoj Žižek.

Theory župeržtar Slavoj Žižek and his žexy new bride. The wedding theme was Hitchcock; the band was Flaming Lipž.
Posted by the Flea at 08:21 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Alien Loves Predator

Alien loves Predator. I had always suspected as much. But can they marry in Ontario? Well. Probably, yes. I especially like the Alien's mom.

Posted by the Flea at 08:18 AM | TrackBack (0)

Bible Wars & Weapons

Bible Wars & Weapons is part of the somewhat sinister sounding 2:52 Soul Gear™ collection (via the Flea's HR expert).

What excites boys more than action, adventure, and cool weapons? In Bible Wars & Weapons boys ages 8 to 12 can read all about the action and adventure of battle in Bible times. They can experience the thrill and intensity of battle from the frontlines—with those who led the battles and the soldiers who fought them.

Filled with cool maps that show sites of battle and illustrations of army units, boys learn about tons of cool equipment and the armor used during that time. This is action and adventure at its best—straight from the pages of the Bible.
Posted by the Flea at 08:14 AM | TrackBack (0)

Gospel of Judas

Recent carbon-dating reveals a papyrus manuscript of the Gospel of Judas to date to the 3rd or 4th century.

About 2,000 years after the Gospel according to Judas sowed discord among early Christians, a Swiss foundation says it is translating for the first time the controversial text named after the apostle said to have betrayed Jesus Christ.

The 62-page papyrus manuscript of the text was uncovered in Egypt during the 1950s or 1960s, but its owners did not fully comprehend its significance until recently, according to the Maecenas Foundation in Basel.
Posted by the Flea at 08:11 AM | TrackBack (0)

Dating to Save

Dating to save people from Hell... calling all hot women of the Lord.

Hello, my name is Tamara! As you can probably tell, I'm a Christian who loves Jesus and cares for all humans, even the wicked. What you probably don't know is that I'm hot. My picture below isn't really that good. I want to use my beauty for GOD, and want to encourage my sisters in Christ to do the same, according to the Great Commission.
Posted by the Flea at 08:10 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Modest apparel

Lydia of Purple may offer modest homeschooling Christian clothing website but has registered a somewhat immodest url. There is some Shameless Flaunting of Block Caps too.

Modest Apparel Clothing sewn by a truly modest Christian Seamstress.

I like the idea of modest swimwear (not without at least some historical precedents!) and have been after a stripey men's Edwardian bathing costume for Flea-ish recreational pursuits by the sea.

Posted by the Flea at 08:09 AM | TrackBack (0)