Monday, May 23, 2011

Inception Sound Effect Button!!

Push the button and prepare for incredible Sound Effects! Do it!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

HBO GO = No go

Wow! That's not good. Amid a pretty big promotional push to get people to use what looks like a promising service in HBO Go, the site is apparently crashed. Having the juice to handle the traffic is 101 in website launches. This looks bush league and is pretty humiliating for HBO.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

NFL Players All Over

Sports Illustrated has this nifty gallery of famous NFL players organizing their own workouts as the lockout prevents them from actually using NFL team facilities.

While I was disappointed not to see some pics of the Eagles in here, I do have a bit of local dish from Old City, where I've witnessed Eagles' 3rd-string QB Mike Kafka blasting his pecs (one armed bench press, no less) at the Sweat Fitness on 2nd street. I may have to stalk the gym now with my cellphone to sneak out any photographic evidence, but I'd also have to weigh that against the real threat of that making me creepy.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Healthy Choices

I try to make 'Healthy Choices' too. Which is why I was so glad to see that the Jade Garden in Dresher, PA, where I dined on Lunch Buffet today, has anticipated the need for 'Special Diet Sauce,' which they serve on the side. Not sure what's in special diet sauce, but I'd like to think it's a mix of Fen-Phen and MSG for good flavor. Pouring it on your Chinese Food then is like taking speed and not having to eat for the rest of the week while you ride the snake to a skinnier you. Ah, the trope of making fun of Chinese menus never fails to amuse.

One Offs: mustaches and scuba mask seal

Turns out mustaches make it difficult to get a watertight seal with a scuba mask. I've been snorkeling and diving a bit lately and kept noticing water pooling in the lower half of my mask. Without any introspection I chalked it up to flaws in the mask until an older, mustachioed gentleman on my last dive boat asked me if I wanted some silicon gel to help the mask make a seal around my mustache. He had a little jar of it, kind of like the old Carmex compacts of yore, and with a light application in the furry upper-lip area I was able to maintain both my mustache (technically part of my total facial hair package, or, beard, more commonly) and my watertight scuba mask seal.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Why is the Tower Theatre So Expensive?

Tickets to the Fleet Foxes' May 21 show at Upper Darby's Tower Theatre range in price from $96 to $331 when purchased directly from the venue on their website. I'm a casual fan of the Fleet Foxes and had some interest in going with my Special Lady, but not if I've got to shell out ~$200 for the experience at a minimum. This also leads one to wonder how many rabid Fleet Foxes fans out there are ready to plunk down $700 to treat themselves and a friend. Is this a glitch or do I just not know all the rich-ass mofos who love them some Fleet Foxes?

Another exciting show coming through the Tower Theatre is Eddie Vedder, whom I last saw in Philly during Pearl Jam's epic 4-night stand to rock out the Spectrum in 2009. This time it's just Eddie (presumably with a guitar, at least) and the Tower Theatre is selling tickets ranging from $126 in the nosebleed zone to an astronomical $868 for row BBB in the orchestra pit:

I mean, those are sweet seats and it is Eddie Vedder, but $900 for a ticket? $1800 if you want a friend to corroborate the experience? (Which you must if you're going that far to enjoy yourself.) I'm not buying it. So what's the deal Tower Theatre? How special an experience are you peddling? For $900 I'd want guaranteed access to a semi-serious friendship with Eddie Vedder.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Greening the William J. Green Federal Building

Last night around 10pm the special lady and I were walking up 7th street back from Washington Square to Old City when we noticed some conspicuous activity up the street. Squad cars had blocked off 7th between Market and Arch and an improbably tall crane, lit by intense spotlights was hoisting large bundles of something from the street up to the roof of the Willam J. Green Federal Building, which houses the local offices of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).

Entering the immediate area on foot, we noticed a flatbed truck with a dozen or so bales of 'green roof media' which the crane was lifting one-by-one up to the roof of the building. A little Google-searching reveals this stuff is used to grow grass on building rooftops.

So, a couple of thoughts: 1) way to go on the FBI for greening a building. Not what I expected of a conversative Federal agency. Are they doing this elsewhere? 2) Is a sky-high crane really the best way to do this? I've heard crane rentals start around $10K/day, but it seems to me a few trips in the freight elevator could accomplish the same task. I'd like to see the cost-benefit analysis in energy savings making this a worthwhile endeavor, though in spirit I probably agree that it is no matter the installation costs.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Curated Content: Raul Ibanez Scared Hitless

-Raul Ibanez went 0-4 last night and is now 0 for his last 34 at bats. The Inquirer adds some context: "To put his woes in perspective, the record for most consecutive hitless at bats in the big leagues is 46 by Brooklyn Dodgers catcher Bill Bergen in 1909, according to" 1909. Ouch. Not that Ibanez is there yet, but he is pressing and it's looking bad. He even shaved the devilish beard he was sporting earlier in the season to stoke his mojo.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

La Compagnie Transe Express at Philadelphia International Festival of the Arts

If you don't know how to describe this, you're not alone. But this is a scene from the culminating event of the ambitious 25-day Philadelphia International Festival of the Arts. Sold by the friends who enticed me to come out last night as a circus with French acrobats and pyrotechnics, what we actually got was 'Maudites Sonnants/ The Celestial Carillon,' courtesy of a troupe of Lyonnais known as La Compagnie Transe Express. Bascially, we have an over-engineered contraption (later revealed to be a chandelier) hoisted into the sky on a very tall crane. Dangling beneath the metal and wires is a gang of French minstrels with drums and bells and just 3 acrobats. The contraption expands and contracts and slowly rotates while the musicians tinkle out the creepy-clown music of a child's nightmare and the acrobats write around on swings or ropes.

All in this was the kind of opium dream spectacle of Toulouse-Letrec-era France that is kind of lost on modern audiences who have no expectation of such things. Hence my confusion when it turned out to be very un-circus. There was also a notable underwhelmingness in the crowd of 150,000 or so Philadelphians, who waited an hour while the device haltingly got off the ground in 20 minute, bell-announced intervals. This was puzzling: technical flaw or French theatrics to build up the anticipation? Either way it had the affect of riling a rile-prone audience and then under-delivering in terms of expected dynamics. Acrobats, for example, did no flying leaps and pyrotechnics turned out to be a few sparklers and kerosene torches.

Still, in terms of sheer novelty it was the most original thing I've seen in a long while and no doubt left some indelible impressions on attendant children, some of whom are still cowering in fear this morning after resultant night terrors, while others are probably plotting their emigration to Lyon to sign up with the celestial performers of La Compagnie Transe Express.

Video provided by the Inquirer since words fail.