So apparently one of the Jonas brothers has been blowing up the Internet airwaves with his rendition of “Single Ladies.”  I have not (and will not) watch this video on principle, having proudly never consumed a single piece of Jonas Brothers media.  Based on the barrage of Jonas Brothers merchandise I see every time I visit Target, however, I am already a staunch non-fan.

OMG THEY ARE SO BADASS

THAT CHECKERBOARD PATTERN IS SO EDGY, JONAS BROTHERS

However, by scrunching up my eyes, holding my breath, and rapidly sliding the video playhead back and forth, I did manage to screencapture a number of stills from the Single Ladies video.  I have compiled these stills in a photomosaic so that you can get the general gist of this travesty.

Kind of like Muybridges 1878 motion capture of the running horse.

Kind of like Muybridge's 1878 motion capture of the running horse.

So, without further ado, here is the same concept applied to Joe Jonas:

His individual facial expressions are really not to be missed.  No wonder all the girls are after him.

Take careful note of his individual facial expressions. What a looker.

Unsurprisingly, “Joe Jonas” was one of the trending topics on Twitter this evening.  Here are a few of my favorite tweets:

Real name obscured to preserve dignity.  Username retained to preserve hilarity.

Real name obscured to preserve dignity. Username retained to preserve hilarity.

joe jonas_tweet 2

Sing it, sister. Although I found the phrase "dancing to Single Ladies" to be a little extraneous.

And, best of all:

If only.

If only I did not know.

If you simply must see Joe Jonas channeling Beyonce, here’s the video.  May the Force be with you.

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Mosaic_Blik

I’ve had my eye on Blik’s removable vinyl wall graphics for a while as a potential way to spice up the apartment without getting in too much trouble with our manager.  The problem is, they look neatest when adhered on a colorfully painted wall.

Me.

Me.

Blik stocks original graphics, as well as designs from Threadless, Nintendo, and, for some strange reason, American indie-pop band of Montreal.

“[Frontman Kevin] Barnes named his band Of Montreal because he wanted people to think his band was from Montreal … Why not just name the band “We’re from Montreal” then, and get it over with?  Oh right, because Barnes wanted to make it extraordinarily difficult for fans to use his band’s name in a sentence:

Of Montreal Fan: Ever heard of Of Montreal? I’m a fan of Of Montreal. In my book there’s nobody above Of Montreal.

Hot Indie Chick: You’re hooked on phonics, aren’t you?”

Cracked.com, “The 25 Most Ridiculous Band Names in Rock History,” of which of Montreal* is #16

*See what kind of prepositional bedlam just resulted there?  gahh

For me, though, the real gold doesn’t lie in plastering “The Skeletal Lamping Collection” all over my bedroom walls.  I’m more drawn to the prospect of Blik’s Prose line, which allows customers to custom-order vinyl graphics of a favorite quote of their choice:

Jack Kerouac, On the Road

Jack Kerouac, On the Road

Raymond Chandler, The High Window

Raymond Chandler, The High Window

Lost, Season 1

Lost, Season 1

If I were to choose one, I’d currently go for this line from T.S. Eliot in my kitchen:

“[She] slips and pulls the table cloth

Overturns a coffee-cup,

Reorganised upon the floor

She yawns and draws a stocking up;”

T.S. Eliot, Sweeney among the Nightingales

It seems appropriate for my usual early morning stupor.  As usual, feel free to write your own ideas in the comments.

Mosaic_Green Doors

Once in a while, you come across an exceptionally well-written piece of prose that stays with you long after reading.  It’s hard to describe why, but for some reason it speaks to you.  Today, Deanne and I were talking about short stories, and I mentioned that the opening paragraph of American writer O. Henry’s short story “The Green Door” is one of my all-time favorites:

“SUPPOSE YOU SHOULD be walking down Broadway after dinner, with ten minutes allotted to the consummation of your cigar while you are choosing between a diverting tragedy and something serious in the way of vaudeville. Suddenly a hand is laid upon your arm. You turn to look into the thrilling eyes of a beautiful woman, wonderful in diamonds and Russian sables. She thrusts hurriedly into your hand an extremely hot buttered roll, flashes out a tiny pair of scissors, snips off the second button of your overcoat, meaningly ejaculates the one word, “parallelogram!” and swiftly flies down a cross street, looking back fearfully over her shoulder.”

O. Henry*, The Green Door

*You may know O. Henry for his most famous work, The Gift of the Magi, a tale mostly about the importance of good communication between spouses.

I guess I love this because it is bursting with fantastic description, but also because it’s a tongue-in-cheek take on the fantastical nature of classic mysteries.  Also, in context, it’s about the spirit of adventure, and recklessness is usually something I could do with more of.

I loved how many of you responded on this blog and on Facebook to my last post with your summer plans, so let me ask you this: Do you have any favorite clippings of prose (or poetry) to share?

It’s summer vacation, and that means it’s time to enjoy a bunch of things I didn’t have time for last semester.

Summer To Do Mosaic

From left to right, beginning with the top row:

1. Read my first graphic novel, Watchmen.  I’ve just finished reading it for the first time, and it surpassed all my expectations.  I need to read it again, then read Dash’s thesis on it and see the movie.

2. Watch the entirety of Firefly.

3. Go camping.

4. Make various DIY crafts.  I have in mind an earring organizer and a wallet woven from paint samples.

5. Learn how to decorate cupcakes using marzipan.

6. Play my first game of D&D.  See what all the fuss is about.

7. Attend BFD 2009, with The Offspring and MC Lars.

8. Pick up guitar again.  I’m not very good, but Davin is super patient.  Perhaps this summer I will vanquish my foe, the bar chord.

9. Keep running and swimming so that I don’t lapse back out of shape before I resume swim class in the fall.

What else should I do?  And what’s on your list?

I’ve decided to start blogging again this month only, during my brief reprieve between spring semester and summer classes.  I will admit that this is mainly because I’m jealous of all the fun Jack and Dash are having with their new blogs, Chopped and Skewered and Red Car, Good Point, respectively.

Pomegranate boba from Jacks travels in Taiwan.  How could you not want to read his food blog?

Example: pomegranate boba from Jack's travels in Taiwan. Semiviolent name aside, how could you not want to read "Chopped and Skewered"?

If you followed me in exploringberkeley’s heyday, you know that I originally began this blog as part of my marketing internship at TigerLogic to promote their search tool, ChunkIt!, to college students.  My bosses were great, and I had a pretty sweet job while it lasted — getting paid to blog about whatever as long as I threw in a bit of ChunkIt! here and there — but understandably, these days, experimental Web 2.0 marketing of a free product is kind of … not a top priority.

Thus, today’s post, while lacking in its usual snark and pompousness, is momentous.  It is my declaration of independence from corporate ties.

The Dead Kennedys, whom you may recall are a prime role model for blazing a path apart from corporations.  I know, I already used this picture.  Sorry.  Theyre awesome.

The Dead Kennedys, as you may recall from my most previous post, are an emblem of anti-corporate trailblazing. I know, I already used this picture of DK at the 1980 Bay Area Music Awards making a statement against the mainstream music industry itself and the commercialism of New Wave in their usual controversial manner (Wikipedia article). Sorry! I just think they're awesome.

I am now blogging for you, and me, and nobody else.  (Of course, I’m going to choose to write about much the same as I did before.  But the point is, I have the choice.)  For instance, instead of posting a nice family-friendly photo of the Dead Kennedys at the 1890 Bay Area Music Awards just now, I could have illustrated my point with a photo of Rage Against the Machine at Lollapalooza in 1993 during their protest against censorship by the Parents Music Resource Center (Wikipedia article).  But you can use Google Images to do that for yourself.

“I Fought the Law” was originally recorded in 1959 by rock & roll group Sonny Curtis and the Crickets.

Sonny Curtis (second from right) and the Crickets

Sonny Curtis (second from right) and the Crickets

It has since been covered by pretty much every artist ever, and then some.

You know you have a hit on your hands when Colin Farrell asks to cover your song.

You know you have a hit on your hands when the venerated Colin Farrell asks to cover your song.

By far the most famous covers of “I Fought the Law” are by the Bobby Fuller Four, the Clash, the Dead Kennedys, and Green Day, whose version was used in an early iTunes commercial.

I’m partial to the cover by the Dead Kennedys, a 1980s hardcore punk group, because I once did a report on its lyrical meaning for history class.

The Dead Kennedys (Klaus Fluoride, Jello Biafra, East Bay Ray, and Ted) protest the commercialism of the music industry.Early Dead Kennedys: bassist Klaus Fluoride, vocalist Jello Biafra, guitarist East Bay Ray, and drummer Ted, protesting the commercialism of the music industry.

Jello Biafra, one of the most bad-assed and politically incendiary frontmen in the history of punk rock (and that’s saying something for an inherently bad-assed and politically incendiary genre of music), rewrote the lyrics of the song in a sarcastic derision of the controversial trial of Dan White.

You’ll recall from this blog’s reviews of Milk that White was the San Francisco city supervisor who assassinated fellow supervisor Harvey Milk and mayor George Moscone in 1978.

Former San Francisco City Supervisor Dan White

Former San Francisco City Supervisor Dan White

What Milk doesn’t cover is the aftermath of the killings and White’s subsequent trial in 1979.  White, a former police officer, turned himself in to authorities as the shooter later that day, whereupon his old coworkers allegedly applauded him.

His trial saw the introduction of the infamous “Twinkie Defense”.  White’s lawyers argued that he should not be convicted of murder because his capacity for rational thought was diminished in the days leading up to the shootings.  His lawyers offered as evidence of White’s altered state of mind his uncharacteristic consumption of junk food.

They did not argue, as the film misstated, that a chemical imbalance resulting from eating junk food prompted White to carry out the shootings.

In any case, the jury bought the argument and found White guilty of voluntary manslaughter rather than first degree murder, convicting him to only seven years in prison as opposed to a life sentence.  This sentence, criticized by many as being an overly lenient one delivered by a jury sympathetic to White’s status as an ex-policeman, sparked the White Night Riots in San Francisco.  Jello Biafra rewrote the song from Dan White’s point of view, and many of his lyrics reflect this anger as well:

“The law don’t mean shit if you’ve got the right friends

That’s how this country’s run

Twinkies are the best friend I’ve ever had

I fought the law and I won”

“I’m the new folk hero of the Klu Klux Klan

My cop friends think that’s fine

You can get away with murder if you’ve got a badge

I fought the law and I won”

Jello Biafra, the Dead Kennedys

For your comparison, I’ve compiled the Youtube videos of the five most famous versions of “I Fought the Law”.  I chose live performances over studio recordings wherever possible.

Sonny Curtis and the Crickets: “I Fought the Law”

The Crickets disguise themselves as wildflowers.  Thrilling hilarity ensues.

Bobby Fuller Four: “I Fought the Law”

The Four play in a jail cell to the delight of an appreciative fellow inmate/go-go dancer.

The Clash: “I Fought the Law”

The Clash radiate pure awesome at a live show at the Lyceum Theatre in London.

Dead Kennedys: “I Fought the Law (and I Won)”

Jello Biafra sings with vitriolic sarcasm at an L.A. show while the audience? (bouncers?) mosh onstage.

Green Day: “I Fought the Law”

Billie Joe gamely tries to blink his eyeliner out of his eyes.  A female audience member and probable Hot Topic patron at front and center shows off her startling proficiency at pointing in the general direction of the band, frustrating the event’s cameramen at every turn. Unfortunately, near 1:58, her clapping is temporarily thrown off beat when she attempts to point and clap simultaneously.

These are my four favorite signs from around the TigerLogic office in San Jose.  I often find myself reading them again because they’re kind of hilarious.  Maybe I just have an odd sense of humor.

4. Engraved plastic sign on breakroom vending machine

Once you have notified the receptionist, you may then commence shaking the machine using appropriate company procedure.

Once you have notified the receptionist, you may then commence shaking the machine using appropriate company procedure.

One can only imagine how many lawsuits were filed by irate employees who had injured themselves by shaking the machine before the building management finally ponied up for an official-looking engraved plastic sign asking them to please stop.

3. Repair request in vending machine

Notice the circled date on the note.

The above plastic engraved sign suddenly makes more sense.

Notice the circled date on the note.  To my knowledge, the Rockefeller Group doesn’t even lease in this building anymore.

2. Dymo label on non-roving supply cabinet

STATIONARY

STATIONARY

Once I put up a post-it with an arrow pointing to this label that said, “Yes, it is.”  It stayed up for almost a week.

1. “Microwaving Water!” Warning

Microwaving Water!

Holy shit!

This is an all-around gem.  First, the sensationalist exclamation point and the alarming underline is carefully crafted to capture the attention of many an unwarned member of white collar corporate America as he or she reheats lunch.  These stylistic choices plainly say “forget the latest issue of People magazine waiting for you at your desk because this is going to be CRAZAY”.

Then, it revs up the drama, slowly setting the scene: a 26-year old man decides to have a cup of coffee.  As he places the cup of water in the microwave, you can hear the slow beginning of the Jaws theme.  Ba-dum.  Ba-dum. “NO!” you want to shout.  “STOP, 26-YEAR OLD MAN!  USE THE TEA KETTLE!”

sjdfklds

Ba-dum. Ba-dum-ba-dum-ba-dum-ba-dum-ba-dum...

The whole thing reads like one of those fearmongering emails your grandma forwards to you.  You know:

Subj: FWD: Fwd: Fwd: Fwd: Fwd: Fwd: MICROWAVING WATER!

(in size 30 Comic Sans font) This is true, a scientist from Wisconsin confirmed it this morning.  GE and other big appliance companies are trying to keep this hushed up because it could hurt sales  They won’t keep us in the dark!  We need your help!  Please pass this on to everyone you know who uses a microwave or drinks water!!!!!

The saddest thing is that the printout in our kitchen is so neatly formatted that someone must have spent about 20 painstaking minutes sifting through the entire forward — taking out all of the >>>>> symbols, inspirational quotes in shimmering hypertext, and pictures of roses created entirely from dashes, semicolons, and backslashes — in order to print it out and place it in a protective covering to grace our breakroom microwave.  And for that, I would just like to say thank you.

While theaters have recently been filled with many films that promise to entertain, few promise to educate, and even fewer do so in the thought-provoking way that Gus Van Sant’s new movie, Milk, does.

Milk tells the story of Harvey Milk, the first openly gay man to be elected to public office in California.

harveymilk

The film follows Milk’s life from from the moment he decided he wanted to be a politician, to the moment he finally won a seat a member of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors . Milk  ran unsuccessfully for political office on three separate occasions; with each attempt, he gained more and more support. Milk, however, had  short-lived political career. Dan White, a fellow San Francisco supervisor, shot and killed Mayor George Moscone and Harvey Milk  on November 27, 1978.

milkmosconeslainpaper1

While each person has his or her own views on the sensitive issue of homosexuality, the film’s release could not have come at a more appropriate time. When Proposition 8 passed at the end of last year, many felt Californians had taken a huge step back in the fight for equality. Although that may very well be the case, Milk puts a face to the fight for gay rights. Harvey Milk’s touching and motivating story is guaranteed make you think a little before treating anyone poorly.

341214635v6_350x350_front_color-lightblue

I have been recelebrating the awful comedic brilliance of The Office (UK) of late.  If you aren’t familiar with the antics of David, Gareth, and Tim (that’s Michael, Dwight, and Jim, respectively, to those of us across the Atlantic), you should check out these two little musical gems, as well as my strange spelling, in honour of my ChunkIt! coworker Elena, who is leaving for England this week.

Ricky Gervais, who plays office manager/idiot David Brent, is my absolute favourite.

David’s Dance

Free Love on the Freelove Freeway

If you can’t stop busting out “Freelove Freeway”, the BBC has provided the guitar tabs, courtesy of Gervais, who actually wrote and composed the song.

Are some of your friends on Facebook wearing out their welcome?  Suppose you added someone who turned out to be a Superpoke superuser.  Suppose someone won’t stop sending you invitations to the Ninjas vs. Zombies application.  Suppose you would like to punish all of those who jumped on the recent “write a note with 15 interesting facts about yourself and tag 15 people” bandwagon of narcissism.

Now suppose you like free food.

Burger King Whopper Sacrifice

Burger King has created a new Facebook application called “Whopper Sacrifice” that enables users to choose to unfriend 10 of their least worthy Facebook friends in return for a coupon for a free Whopper.

Burger King Whopper Sacrifice

Screenshots:

Burger King Whopper Sacrifice

Not actually all that different from aforementioned Ninjas vs. Zombies application.

Burger King Whopper Sacrifice

Public humiliation by rejection: coming to a Newsfeed near you.

Yes, it’s a shameless marketing ploy, and yes, it’s working.  Check out Whopper Sacrifice for yourself, or read Caroline McCarthy’s original post on CNET.

As of the time of writing, 13,350 onetime friends have been slighted by the allure of a $3.75 hamburger.

As of the time of writing, 13,350 onetime friends have been slighted in favor of the allure of a $3.75 hamburger. Actually, the allure of one-tenth of a $3.75 hamburger.