Thursday, April 21, 2011

One Off: the limitations of skinny jeans

1) Friends of mine report from Brooklyn on the fate of a mutual acquaintance from college who transformed himself into a pretty serious hipster. Seeing him at a party he had a flowing gypsy scarf tied around his locks so to channel the more feminine end of the spectrum along the lineage of Louis the XIV, Purple Rain-era Prince and now Russell Brand. After the party, waiting in line to get into a club everyone decides to leave and merrily steps over the velvet rope stanchion to find a more inclusive event. Everyone that is except said hipster, whose pants are so tight he can't raise his leg high enough to step over the rope.

2) This morning at the local Starbucks I witnessed one of the barrista boys in painted-on black jeans (still not sold on this as appropriate for a man, even, or especially, considering the precedent of European swimsuit tastes) attempting to carry a table outside to place on the sidewalk. Was he the least appropriately attired Starbucks employee for the physical demands of this job? I'd argue so. Because I saw him waddling like a penguin with a popsicle stick clenched between his nethercheeks while 'maneuvering' the table through the double doors up on edge like a wheel. Constrained by his pants and grappling with the physical challenge of opening door, propping door open, rolling table, he lost his grip and the table rolled out the door and did one of those twirling routines like a runaway coin, turning a few pirouettes before belly-flopping down decisively on its side and nearly crushing a small dog on its way down.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Monster Bug Fights

A few years ago I came across an amazing website called Japanese Bug Fights which pitches terrifying bugs against each other in forced terrarium matches with low-fi sound effects and

Now some smart producer at Discovery Networks' Science Channel has given the concept the classic Westernizing treatment with high production values, on-location shoots and gripping voice over from one of those movie trailer narrators. There's also expert color commentary from dorky entomologists cut in to give it just enough facts to put it on the Science Channel. But the best part is probably the enhancement of the canned sound effects from Japanese Bug Fights.

Listen to the clip from Monster Bug Wars as each bug is introduced and enters the battle. The unique cocktail of animal-sound gibberish they mix up for each bug is fantastic.