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1.30.2004

Smoking Ban Redux 

[I'm sorry, this was just too long to post in the comments section]

It's unbelievable how far off base this debate usually becomes. Smokers rights' versus non-smokers' rights? No, it’s about property rights.

Look, for any rule (public health regulation, gun ownership, etc.) you can ex post tailor said rule such that welfare for any group (say the City of Bloomington) is increased. But people tend to be very myopic in their application and assume they can create this outcome ex ante. The problem is, while one can create general guidelines for how people respond to incentives, there is what economists call The Law of Unintended Consequences. People react in varied ways when you change the rules of the game.

Thus the undying allegiance to markets. Because no single person or section of people can accurately manage or predict people’s behaviors (adding one rule on top of another), the University of Chicago economists realized that people left to their own devices (I won’t bother qualifying that here) will create the best end result, maximizing welfare under voluntary transactions.

For instance, financial economists had for a while assumed that people have risk homeostasis when it comes to investing -- that if they invest in some junk bonds they’ll want to also invest in some money market funds or cash. The same in reverse is also true: if investors were given reasonable assurance that they’re portfolio was highly unlikely to decline in value, they would balance with some riskier investments. Psychologists soon realized that this behavior trait carried over to other things, including driving. While the degree is different among persons, researchers started to notice that when people who didn’t normally wear they’re seatbelt were compelled to do so, they also tended to drive faster and use less caution. Now, whether they fully cancelled out the safety premium provided by a seat belt, is irrelevant and moreover is different for different people.

The point is that broadly applied rules that interrupt the free choices of individuals almost always disturb a potential efficiency and will create actions that are invariably unforseen. I know, driving presents a clear, mostly unavoidable risk for other people, so we have safety rules. Without getting into the provision of private roads, I agree.

But with smoking, punitive taxes and a strict citywide smoking ban in New York City only marginally reduced the number of smokers, but did create a substantial black market which included significant violence as a side effect. It even created a demand for unregulated, under the radar “clubs” and restaurants. One could argue that the overall social welfare gains from the policy outweigh any negative effects. Maybe. But the problem is that these costs and benefits are not distributed evenly – maybe they shouldn’t be equally distributed to be fair. More to the point, the effects are not distributed voluntarily. Under a market system, people take on their own behaviors, and the costs and benefits accrue to them voluntarily, without coercion.

It turns out, that a system that respects ownership (of self and property) is the most conducive to maximizing welfare for all people. In the case of a smoking ban, it’s possible that the ban will positively affect the market in Bloomington, such that total restaurant/bar revenues actually increase. But the point is that you’ve undermined the only foolproof way to regularly create efficient transactions and you also don’t know what the unintended consequences are.

To say that a non-smoker is somehow compelled to enter a smoky bar just baffles me. "A person has to eat, right?" Well, yes, but a person doesn’t have to eat at my smoky bar – I’m not denying them access to food consumption. "Well, smoke is denying me access to my favorite bar?" Why is it your favorite bar, then? When a person transacts with a person/business, they do so with the entire person/business. I cannot enter a restaurant and say “I really like your restaurant, but this decor is tacky and offensive; I want to pass a law that makes you change it.” I take their options as a whole, and certainly I express my preference for changes, like when the music is too loud, but I don’t have any moral legitimacy in legislating it.

Well, you say, “bad decor isn’t harmful to one’s health.” Well then replace the word “decor” with “fatty food.” Well, “smoking doesn’t only harm yourself, it harms those around you.” Well now you’ve just got me on entrapment. You voluntarily put yourself in harm’s way, and now are accusing the bar owner of harming you. Whether second-hand smoke is really bad for you (I won’t argue that it isn’t, but only point out that one of the most cited studies saying it is was laughed out of court) is simply a non-starter because you are not coercively placed in its path – you may require food and/or a drink, but you do NOT require food/drink at that specific establishment. What if once a week someone gets jabbed in the eye by people improperly holding a pool cue? Should we ban billiards if the net benefits to people’s eyes outweighs the costs in pleasure to pool players? What about people who spill beer on my shoes? I realize this is a reductio ad absurdum argument, but it parallels the scenario wherein people voluntarily undertake some set of circumstances (all actions have some level of risk) and then want others to bear the costs of your preferences.

Moreover, the beauty of the market is options. It’s been a while since I’ve been to B-town, but most places I go to have many voluntarily smoke-free establishments. Some people who make the calculus of desired cuisine, atmosphere, price, and their clothes smelling like smoke decide to dine smoke-free, and there will always be those people. Thus, the market allows entrepreneurs to make money off them. Others don’t mind so much so they choose the smoky bar.

I guess I’ve gone on long enough. I’ll end by saying the rules change when you start to talk about children. Why are kids in bars? I don’t know.

Next I’ll tackle why the Do-Not-Call list is a bad idea and why I like Justin Timberlake.

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I’ll have what he’s having 


On one level I can respect the pursuit of haute cuisine. I am, myself, an elitist when it comes to ingredients. I also occasionally make reservations at high-priced, fashionable haunts and with profligate abandon order up their seasonal fish with a foie gras appetizer. But there is a certain point, and it is as palpable as any Jimmy Johns sandwich, at which cuisine turns from the satisfaction of taste buds to a race to be the most avant-garde – “weird for the sake of weird” as Moe puts when describing the unusual post-modern decor of his new bar.

Perhaps it’s unfair to disallow chefs to make art of their wares. Art has always been part of the trade, from Escoffier on down, but the mission is clear. Yes, we eat with our eyes before our tongue, but gastronomic pleasure is a dish best served comprehensible. When the French school took on an air of one-ups-manship, it completely cut out the customer and used the empty space to build it’s own vanilla ivory tower of seclusion, a self-reinforcing circle of Dadaistic kitchen accomplishments.

To that end, the reason I think most people enjoy (not just stomach for hunger’s sake) Italian food, is because at its finest and most authentic, it is rustic in the best sense of the word. Italian food (especially Southern Italian) is based on an elegant simplicity, layered in obvious ways, using fresh ingredients. But it doesn’t preclude sophistication. People simple are drawn to food they can understand, not food that challenges their sense of reality before diving in. In fact, if you have to ask for assistance in figuring out HOW to actually eat something, it has probably skirted its original mission of feeding you, by at least a couple points.

Now if you don’t mind, I’m gonna go to Dairy Queen.

P.S. My favorite insight of the article is the part talking about the preservationists’ movement reaching its own crescendo at the same time. There truly is always an equal and opposite reaction.


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Why does the world need this? 

Finally we have the marrige of cellphone and gun. Two of the most hated / beloved of all hand-held devices are together at last. But why? Who needs this? Maybe it was created for business executive to "Hunt" for those pesky city pigions. Check out this video of the cellphone gun in action (via Gizmodo).

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Mr. Moonves’s Gordian Knot 

The relevant discussion is really between "public service" and perceived "public obligation." While CBS may have bought airwave access (a bandwidth permit) from the government, it is only because government authority made it the only seller. If a private market was allowed for this good, CBS would have bought it form a private seller.

But let's say that government has a legitimate claim on bandwidth auctions (the argument against this goes back to Lockean notions of first property rights). Having come from public trust does not give CBS any legitimate legal obligations to use the access in any certain way. It is only under coercive government regulation that they have to, as Mike points, fulfill certain programming requirements.

But in the absence of regulation that requires airing of all political speech, a private corporation has no obligation to do so. Corporations in fact directly endorse political agendas/candidates all the time. Even media, like newspapers, openly editorialize that support. Most corporations will donate money to campaigns of competing candidates to hedge their bets, but they may choose one side if they so choose.

The argument of free speech is a non-starter. The notion of a right to free speech (constitutionally speaking) is a negative right -- abridging speech is something government can NOT do. Individuals or coprorations (which are legally treated as individuals, despite recent Supreme Court precedence) are not obligated to air my speech, or even listen to them. I cannot credibly expect my neighbor to allow me to say whatever I want in his home, nor can I expect the local newspaper to print my op-ed, nor can I compell CBS to broadcast whatever I want. This is true even if I offer pay them.

By analogy, I would not expect to have to present balanced views on political matters on my cell phone, even though Verizon was leasing me airwave access, which it had bought from the Federal Communications Commission, which it in turns regulates.

All that being said, you may feel personally CBS has a "public obligation" in some moral sense to be an objective transmitter of ideas (I personally think that's simply impossible to achieve). Well then your recourse is to not watch the network or refuse to buy products advertised on their, and yes, even go so far as to tell others not to watch. You may even feel CBS should be a solid advocate of conservative values, so you decide to protest when they schedule a supposedly unflattering biography called "The Reagans."

But in the end, the best arbiter of public satisfaction is the market, whereby companies that provide adequate service to adequate numbers are economically rewarded and those that do not, go out of business.

PBS is a whole 'nother story, however.

P.S. Let me summarize by admitting, the petition is simply a concerted effort to apply market pressure on a company, and I wholeheartedly endorse this. But it doesn’t need to be predicated on some notion of a company failing to meet some obligation. In fact in this case, by doing so, I think is misinformed at best and dishonest at worst. A valid cause will be self-evident, because it will have a sufficient number of people to support it as to create significant pressure that the company in question listens.

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I Get Great Reception On This Hand 

I have been telling people about this latest technological advancement and no one believes me. Fuck that. Here's proof from BBC News.

Let your fingers do the talking.

Throw away your earpiece, soon your finger could be helping you make and take calls via your mobile phone.
Japanese phone firm NTT DoCoMo has created a wristwatch phone that uses its owner's finger as an earpiece.
The gadget, dubbed Finger Whisper, uses a wristband to convert the sounds of conversation to vibrations that can be heard when the finger is placed in the ear.

So far NTT has given no date for when a commercial version will go on sale.

Very handy

The wristband for the watchphone is key to the device's many features.
According to reports the Finger Whisper phone is answered by touching forefinger to thumb and then by putting the forefinger in the ear to hear who is ringing.
The call is ended by again touching forefinger to thumb.
Some of the latest earpieces for mobile phones also use sound induction via the bones of the skull to let people hear who is talking to them.
The sound converting wristband on the watch phone is also fitted with a microphone that the phone owner can talk into.
The phone has no keypad but users can make a call by saying out loud the number they want to reach.
Voice recognition electronics built in to the wristband decipher what has been said and dial the number.
None of the early reports about the phone mention if it is possible to use the wristphone to send text messages.
The gadget has been developed by NTT DoCoMo's Media Computing Laboratory.

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1.29.2004

On the Invitation of Femininity 

I thought I would add a cool picture against No smoking. But, in reality, I thought I would start a discussion on what everyone else thinks about it. Smoking or not, do you really think that it should be so disallowed in all places like it has become, NY, Boston, California, and soon to be B-town?? Or do you think that non-smokers and people against smoking have a right not to go into these places...the same way that those who own such establishments have a right to make them smoking. For me, as businessman and economist, I still think that if there were such a demand for non-smoking bars and restaurants and whatever, that it would be created on its own to fill this niche/demand, even culture. And if there were such a non-smoking movement that those who hate smoke will boycott going into these places. For example, I have some friends who don't want to go somewhere because it is too smoky. Or Take Upland Brewery, for example, they say it was built before the laws but made themselves non-smoking because they wanted to. SO why do we have to make a legislation on it?? For me it is just another instance of Moral Laws, like the seat belt law.

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1.28.2004

Recruiting New Peeps 

Hicks:

In another attempt to curb the lack of participation you noted on this site, do you think you could outline the steps to invite new individuals to 1.21 Gs? There are still quite a few people I would like to see here on the site, however some have not been invited and others have had difficulty signing up. A new sweep at recruitment must commence!

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Be stiff! My penis be stiff! 

Have I mentioned before that Devo is awesome? Oh yeah, you guys should check out "The Darkness." They're great.

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CBS puts a lid on free speech 

Recently a contest was held by MoveOn.org for creative folks to make an ad to highlight some of our president's political and social shortcomings. The ad was set to air on CBS during the Super Bowl, and now CBS has decided at the last second to deny ad space to Move On. Even with the White House scheduled to run their own ads, we see this "Issue ad" being denied. Why? Again, we see another public broadcasting forum failing to step to the plate and fulfill their obligation of public service. Please sign the petition to have this ad shown during the game. Go here to see all 26 finalists for the contest.

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1.27.2004

Hicks Files Post Complaint 

Hicks has filed a complaint regarding the lack of posts authored by Blogger members other than himself. You're right. We are insolent. Thus, I will now strive to improve this Blogger society known as 1.21 Gigawatts! by gracing its citizens with my input. Here is a pathetic start:

Note the following website:
www.heavy.com

Some of you are already aware of the treasures encased within this site. If not, it is a pleasant mixutre of all the things we know and love. Additionally, it is Flash intensive, so be sure you are using a fast connection, otherwise, shame on you. (Mike: I am now operating with MAC. I don't think I can link to the site. Assistance BIOTCH!!!)

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You wanna step to this....bitch? 

First of all, I just thought this was a great picture. Did anyone watch or at least read anything on the debate?? All I could see was how stupid the questions were. I don't know about you, but was there ever a time when debates actually consisted of topics that are important for the topic...someone becoming a president of the US?? They asked some really, really stupid questions. Here's a cool article if anyone wants to check it out.

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Honestly Pissed for Pitino 

If you haven't heard from sportscenter or the thousand other places that we get sporting news...Pitino will be out for some 'urological' related treatment. Which basically means some sort of prostate trouble, though cancer is ruled out. As much as you may love or hate Pitino, I admire the guy for being a damn awesome college basketball coach. In only his 3rd year with Louisville, they are now ranked 4th with a 15-1 record. A team that killed an undefeated top ten team in Cincinatti last week and that also handled a badass Kentucky team 3 weeks ago. They've won 15 straight games. I would've loved to see his team make it to the championship game with him at the helm. Now it seems he may be in more serious trouble than that. Gotta feel for the guy.

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Gigawatts Oscar Pick 'em 

Greetings all. I thought perhaps some of us might be interested in having a friendly little oscar pool for this year's awards. Pick one from each catagory and post it in the comments, then get out and see these flicks if you haven't already. The awards are handed out on Febrary 29th, and wouldn't you know it... Billy Crystal is hosting the show again. I do like that Billy Crystal.

Best Picture
Return of the King
Lost In Translation
Master & Commander
Mystic River
Seabiscuit

Best Actor
Johnny Depp (Pirates of the Carribean)
Ben Kingsley (House of Sand & Fog)
Jude Lay (Cold Mountain)
Bill Murray (Lost In Translation)
Sean Penn (Mystic River

Best Actress
Keisha Castle-Hughes (Whale Rider)
Diane Keaton (Something's Gotta Give)
Samantha Morton (In America)
Charlize Theron (Monster)
Naomi Watts (21 Grams)

Best Supporting Actor
Alec Baldwin (The Cooler)
Benicio Del Toro (21 Grams)
Djimon Hounsou (In America)
Tim Robbins (Mystic River)
Ken Watanabe (The Last Samurai)

Best Supporting Actress
Shohreh Aghdashloo (House of Sand and Fog)
Patricia Clarkson (Pieces of April)
Marcia Gay Harden (Mystic River)
Holly Hunter (Thirteen)
Renee Zellweger (Cold Mountain)

Best Director
Fernando Meirelles (City of God)
Peter Jackson (The Return of the King)
Sofia Coppola (Lost in Translation)
Peter Weir (Master and Commander)
Clint Eastwood (Mystic River)

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1.26.2004

"Wow, now that was a gigantic piece of shit" pt. 2 

Last night's Golden Globe awards mark the beginning of a long, and extremely boring series of Bill Crystal, STeve Martin, and Chirs Rock hosted events, culmenating in the mother of all award shows the Oscars, later this February (look out for Oscar noms out tommorow). I recently discovered the coolest of the awards shows, The Razzies, a group of awards given to the worst and most deservingly underappreciated films of the year. The awards are annouced every year the day before the Academy gets its rocks off. Big contenders this year are Gigli with 9 noms, and Ashton Kutcher with 3. Me? I'm just pissed League of Extrordinary Gentlemen didn't get it's deserved nod. Check out the complete list of nominees, and check back on January 28th to see who won.

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1.25.2004

Souper Bowel 

Calling all cunts...I propose a mass Super Bowl get-together in Bloomington. Fuck workin' Monday. We shall eat, drink and be merry! Oh, and Jared, I didn't get your message until today (Sunday), so hopefully you can come up for this. Let's do this please. That is all, kthnx.

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1.23.2004

Listen all y'all this is sabotage 

I would like to file a complaint. What the hell has the press done with this election? First of all, the only that's getting reported in the news is the minute by minute poll numbers. Who gives a shit what other people think about the candidates! Would the media (and mostly I mean TV news sources) please do their job and inform the public on where these candidates stand on the issues. Even when they do report on relevant issues it's more about who's lacking in such-and-such policy, rather than emphasizing strengths. This is not the democratic process it should be. Instead of the media doing its job, they're shrouding all the relevant info with this fucking poll fodder.

Secondly, I am Dean supporter, but really I just want to make sure Bush loses in November. I don't think it's fair what the media has done to Dean in the wake of his so-called yelling spree Monday night. The man was trying to rally supporters, and the next thing you know he's getting negative press everywhere. Why does everyone have to hate on the guy just for being passionate? Be it Conan, Leno, Letterman, or one of the others, he's the butt of every joke. In an age where more people get they're news from late night comics than from newspapers, I feel we need to put the smack down and give the other candidates some "Equal time."

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1.22.2004

Get into the zone 

P'zaaaaaaahn. That's right folks, I've finally tried the P'zone. For two years now, I've watched Tommy Davidson stuff a P'zone into the mouth of a guy who's just trying to lift to weights on the bench press. First, let us discuss the aestethics of the P'zaaaaahn. Essentially it is a medium size pizza crust folded over, and stuffed with your choice of traditionl (sausage, green pep, onion), pepperoni lover's, or meat lover's, each served with a side of marinara dipping sauce. The dough itself is unlike the golden, spongey crust Pizza Hut is known for, and infact bares greater resemblance to their chewy, parmesain-topped breaksticks. All in all, at $5.99 not a horrible deal, but as I am currently learning be prepared to spend an extra sixty cents on tums because the acid-reflex is creepin'. All-in-all mediocre, but worth the price if you are accompanied by friends and clowning with different pronunciations of P'zaaaaahn. Out.

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1.21.2004

You can only hope to contain them 

Just a few short words to spout about them Hoosiers. Faith has been a hard thing to maintain this season, but the return of George Leach has seen the team turn a corner. All of the sudden we're hitting the boards, getting inside looks, and burying our shots from the perimeter. I'm no sportswriter, but I will say that Leach does wonderous things for this team, his presence actually forces teams to bring defensive emphasis inside, thus increasing outside looks and enabling ball movement. Plus, with Bracey being more selective and actually passing the ball everyone is now contributing. Call me wrong (Donnoe), but I think the team we're seeing in the Big 10 season is more than capable of making it to the dance this year. 3-1, and on top the Big 10? You know you shoulda thunk it.

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Beyond the Cellar Door 

How exactly does one suck a fuck? It's time to get to the bottom of that, and all your other burning questions about the fantastic film Donnie Darko. There is a most unusual, and seemingly official site for the flick, that chronicles the events and characters beyond the extent of the storyline and allows you input into what happened in each character's life post-Oct 31 1988. Pay close attention as you navigate through the different levels, and be prepared to input a password to proceed. This site might one-up M83, on coolest use of Flash ever... you be the judge. Enjoy.

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1.19.2004

Weekend in Chicago 

Lately, there seems to be this strange personal compulsion to venture into big cities and freeze my arse off for a weekend. Last Friday, Al and I took off to spend the weekend up in Chi-town to see a show and a few sites (shout out to Shannon and Matt for letting us crash at their place). Saturday morning we got up bright and early and took the train downtown to check out the Art Institute. They had a special exihibit based around Edouard Manet's paintings of ships and the sea. The Manet stuff was cool, but I really enjoyed James Whistler's take on the same subject, and the painting to the right is one of my favorites from that exhibit. By the way, if you're looking for a cool site for wallpapers, or just to veiw famous paintings check out Art54. After the Museum we hit up a place called the Italian Village which claimed to be the oldest italian restaurant in Chicago. I guess that means they've played Sinatra's Greatest Hits over the in-house stereo more times than any other italian restaurant in Chicago, and that night was no exception.

After dinner we headed over to a little joint called Shubas to see a kick-ass band called The Wrens. They played two sold out shows that night and we were lucky enough to catch the first one. Alison is writing an article about the Wrens for a new music mag, so afterwards we got to chat with them and snap off a few pix. I also scored a copy of their out-of-print first album Secaucus, which I'm stoked about. Anyway, everyone should buy their latest record The Meadowlands, it's a great disc - I promise you this. The next morning we saw the band again at the Ann Sather, where we were getting breakfast. Small world, that Chicago place is.

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1.16.2004

What passes for news these days 

Being that I'm in the business of writing press releases (and then subsequently living by them for a three month period) I found this peice on Slate to be extremely entertaining. It's a roundup of the worst press releases of the 2004 presidential campaign. For example, did you know that Dr. Patch Adams endorsed Democrat Dennis Kuchnich? Damn you Adams!

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M83-DOS 

Both fans of unique websites and electronic music should be sure to check out the site for british duo M83. Ilovem83.com is easily the coolest use of Flash I've ever seen. Don't be scared if it takes over your whole screen, just remember to type "Bye" and you'll be able to exit. You'll be able to listen to the whole album and check out some other cool features.

As far as the music is concerned, it's noisy, absurdly lush and completely atmosphereic electronic music. However, there's more than just software talking on this record. In fact, from what I can tell the only things programmed here are a couple of drum tracks. Walls of analog keyboard are everywhere. Tweakers' delight indeed. I think the record sounds a hella-lot like Loveless minus guitars, but I'll let you be the judge. Anyway, don't miss it. If you can figure out where to buy a copy for less than $30 let me know. It's not officially out in the States, and from what I can decipher EMI has no plans to license it here.

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1.15.2004

Maaaar ar ar 

Word is that everyone's favorite mog (half man, half dog) will be making an appearance in Star Wars Episode III. I know I know, the prequels have been at best unsatisfying, but perhaps this will be the long-overdue salvation for the crimes perpetrated by The Phantom Menace.

Also interesting is that Peter Mayhew (the man behind the fur) was required to sign-on for episode III, as well as (potential) episodes VII, VIII, and IX, as reported by TheForce.net. Personally, I am looking forward to III, because we all know that the bad guys win, and that never happens in the movies (except of course for Empire Strikes Back, which is clearly the best Star Wars flick). I do not however want to see VII-IX get made. Where are they going to go with it? Everything is howdy-doody at the end of VI, must we go sequel?

Also, in related Star Wars news. Join the University of Virginia Marching Band, and double your geek status.

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1.14.2004

We Goin' Mars 

I wish I could say that every decision our president makes is incoherent and without rational thought, but recently it was annoucned that he plans to ask for an additional $1 Billion over the next five years to help fund moon landings and an eventual mission to Mars. He also proposes a permenant base on the moon. They estimate that with consistent funding we could have a man on Mars sometime around 2030. So I ask you this, do you think it's complete waste of money to fund such programs? Has NASA fulfilled it's duties for our lifetime, or should we continue to risk the possibilities of future Columbia Shuttle-esque disasters. I for one would love to see a Mars landing happen, if only for the experience of witnessing such an event in my lifetime. I hope for his own sake that Tom Hanks is still alive too.

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1.13.2004

Comments Once More 

Since the comments server that we use, Blogspeak, is currently down, with little hope of being up again soon, I've decided to use another comments host. Game on.

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1.12.2004

New York / GLOBALfest 

Hey Everyone, I just got back from NYC last night and I thought I would post a few pictures from the stay. I was at a conference for the Association of Performing Arts Presenters. There was something like 4,000 mofos up in that hotel, and most of them were stiff, turtle-neck, tweed coat, and arty specs-wearing type of people. I went to meetings during the day, got to meet a bunch of cool journalists and record label peeps, and saw tons of music at night, for free! All in all it was fun, but there was too much running around to really stop and enjoy anything for too long. Plus, I think it was 5-15 degree range everyday.

Here's a little collage I put together. Most of the shots are taken from central park and around central Manhattan. The three performers were my personal favorites and from top to bottom are Raul Paz (Brazilian Funk), Les Yeux Noirs(Gypsy Violin Virtuosos, coming to B-town soon), and Cyro Baptista (Trey's percussionist, and what I would consider the Frank Zappa of the Percussion world).


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1.10.2004

IUPUI Ain't Fuckin' 'Round! 

Aight, those of you who know me knows I was webmaster for the IUPUI athletics website back in the day and, dually, am a mega fan (yes I went to the Jaguars/Kentucky NCAA tournament game shitfaced and facepainted). Anywho, this year they look really fucking good. Off to a 10-4 start, they just beat the pre-season conference favorite on the road tonight. I honestly think they will go undefeated in the conference this year, dismantling Valparaiso, Oral Roberts and Oakland. Oh, and additionally, their only losses on the year were all on the road against currently 20th ranked Vanderbilt (where they led 75% of the game), at-the-time 23rd ranked Dayton (lost on a last second shot), West Virginia (lost of a buzzer-beating half-courter), and against Hawaii at their holiday invitational.

I'm telling yous, while IU eats the corn out o me shit this year, look 50 miles north to the school that will be in the NCAA tourney this year while the Hoosiers struggle to make the NIT.

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1.09.2004

Rush Limbaugh...fuckass. 

Thought those who dislike Limbaugh's fascist ass as much as I do might find this amusing. Cut and paste until Mike can hyperlink it for me.

http://www.drugpolicy.org/rush/

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1.08.2004

"Wow, now that was a gigantic piece of shit" 

That's what I've found myself saying many times as I exit the movie theater. With all the fervor of shitty movies abound, I've decided to run down 5 of the worst movies I ever paid to see in the theater. It's hard to believe that this junk ever got made in the first place, not to mention that millions upon millions of dollars were spent in the process. So here, in alphabetical (none shittier than the next) order, are my bottom five. I'd love to hear about the movies you wish you had never seen to, so fucking leave some comments.

Tom Hanks didn't always mean pure gold at the box office. When it came down to making this list I knew I was going to have to choose between this flick and Turner & Hooch, and Joe just barely beat out the competition. A truly horrid movie indeed. I remember the first scene was a very depressing shot of blue collar workers filing into a factory. I don't think it every got any better after that.



I saw this recently came out on DVD. PLEASE DO NOT BUY THIS! Don't even rent it. My review of this is as such. "An extroridinary piece of shit!" I wish that could have made the press quotes on the box, because that's what it is. Horrid special effects, and even worse character development. I'm not one for comicbook movies and this makes me never want to see another comicbook movie in my life. I left twice during this movie to go out for a smoke. That's how unentertaining it was.


Oh Robin, what happened to you in the 90s. You sold your soul to Disney and they forced you to make shit films like this, Mrs. Doubtfire and a slew of other atrocities. Do us all a favor and get back on the coke. This movie really tried to tug at the heartstrings, but unless your a forty-something soccer-mom it just isn't gonna work. Aww, little Patchy-poo and his little children's hospital. Aww.




I about shit myself when I saw that they were making a sequel to this. I saw the first one on opening weekend and shared the theater with maybe... 10 other people, max. There must be better ways to have Angelina Jolie prance around in little outfits. As far as the movie goes, horrible fight sequences - the worst I've ever seen, easily. The plot was canned-action-movie with a few too many cups of water. Not to mention it was almost nothing like the videogame, which is great.


Will Smith at his very worst. This is the kind of movie where producers hang out on the set all day and say "Iwant this, I want that" and don't let the director control a damn thing. Then it ends up being a western with a giant mechanical spider. Not to mention that Fresh Prince took one of the greatest Stevie Wonder songs (I Wish) and turned into that peice of shit theme song. I hate you Jerry Bruckheimer. I hate you so very much.

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Here's another one... 

I watched "Bridges of Madison County." Yeah, I know, but I ain't gay. Anyway, I have a question for you all based on that movie. For those of you who haven't seen it, then sorry 'bout ya. I'm not going to go into the details, but you can fairly answer my question without having seen it. Here goes...

Do you think someone who is 45+ can determine for themselves that they have found "true love" after knowing someone for a couple of days? The woman in the movie fell in "love" with this photographer whom she'd known for all of a couple of days. She was married, although unhappily, with two kids. They were out of town for a week. She met this dude and was screwing him all week while the dad and kids were out of town. You would have to see the movie or read the book the get the whole thing, but focus here on my question above. Let's simplify it more...

Do you think a human being can determine for themselves that they have found "true love" after knowing someone for two days?

See, I took out the age requirement. My opinion? Well, I thought it was horseshit. Of course, I'm just a little 24 year-old douchebag. I have, however, found that most 50 year-olds have the same emotional and mental maturity of someone half their age. So, my argument rests on my assumption that most 50 year-olds will act the same as they would have at half that age. My opinion is that I thought "Bridges of Madison County" was a crappy movie made for women that have been told by the media that "true love" actually exists. Maybe it does exist for 1/100000000th of the population who is lucky enough to find it. I'm going to be a bit more cynical here. I would say that it's pointless to fill the minds of people that "true love" (as depicted in the media) actually exists. Why? Because people are going to get confused. They are going to always think "what if?" Instead of focusing on a "fantasy," let's be practical and focus on the beauty that exists between two people who have decided to build their lives together.

Alright, I'll be honest with you all. I'm just tired of chick flicks. I'm tired of seeing movies about some kind of "love" that two phony people seem to have, especially when those two people are old (Jack Nicholson, Diane Keeton, Clint Eastwood, etc.) Let's leave the puppy love shit to young people who are really just horny.

It seems to me that they're making one movie twice. They make it once for the teenagers and then they make it again for old people. For example, the teen girl squad will go to the theater on Friday night with dreams of finger-banging, heavy petting, and making out. They'll go see, hmmmmm, maybe the masterpiece entitled "Save the Last Dance." Now, that movie was based on how ironic it was that the girl was uber-white (that's for the homies in Germany) and the guy was some sort of stereotype that white people have of black people. Alright, now let's take the new masterpiece "Something's Gotta Give." I have had the tremendous pleasure of seeing "Save the Last Dance." I have not, sigh, seen "Something's Gotta Give." I can pretty much guarantee that most of the plot is about how ironic it is that there's an old guy dating a young girl and the old guy falls in "love" with the young girl's mom after many hijinks (sp?). Cute. "Save the Last Dance" was all about how ironic it was that the girl was uber-white, the guy was hip-hop styin', and that they both fell in "love."

So, I leave you all with this...

The media perpetuates this idea of your one "true love" which doesn't exist except in our feeble minds. Sorry, I'm going to say it. Women seem to fall for the illusion much more than men. Love is different than lust. Lust is what I think is the only thing being represented in these movies, and that love cannot be accurately be represented in a two hour long movie.

Please don't argue that these are just movies and entertainment, and that movies and entertainment don't shape our perceptions, beliefs, morals, etc.

Any thoughts?

Sincerely,
Your Senior Poop Correspondent

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1.07.2004

Drunky McGee 

Think you've got problems? Check out my boy Henry Earl, who's recently been arrested for public intox... for the 804th time sine 1992, and the third time in a week. Be sure to scope out the 40+ mugshots available. Perhaps our jails should have speed-pass lines (like on toll roads) where guys like Henry can walk right on in, instead of waiting to get booked again.

What should be done with people like Henry? If you ask me, this is precisely why we need funding for homeless shelters in this country. We're probably spending way more money arresting and jailing homeless people than we would if we built more shelters. Dudes like this beg for change to get hammered and make an ass of themselves, just so they can stay in the nice warm... jail. The man obviously wants to be arrested! That way he doesn't freeze to death. So don't take your warm bed for granted this winter. Gaw bless us eryone. The end.

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Discussion 

Ladies and Gentlemen,
I think we need to get some good debates going on here. Any thoughts? Let's try to keep them out of the political arena. Also, let's not do topics that have been exhausted. For instance, the existence of God. I've got one. Would you date a girl or guy who has had numerous sexual parnters? Do you think someone's past decision-making is any reflection on how they will act in the present and/or future? What would you do if you found out that your partner had been with what you consider to be an extreme amount of sexual partners? Or, what would you do if you found out that your partner had been unfaithful often in past relationships? There's the can of worms. Let's go for it.

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1.06.2004

New Year's Eve 2003 

Yo kidz, here's a few pictures from New Year's Eve last week. Those who could not attend because they had to work or out of town (Ian, Grant) were sorely missed. Those who just didn't show up for whatever reason (Steve, Aaron) missed a great time. We reserved a hotel room at the downtown Radisson, which isn't on the circle but if you're on the south side of the hotel it is a beautiful overlook. There were a total of eight of us that ended up crashing in the room, but at one point before going out I would guess that there were about twenty or so friends up in that bitch. This photo (below) is the view from our room. We partied until about 9:30ish and then left for Jillians. I think everybody had a good time over there.




There was some tasty food served, including a cheesecake so delish that Alison seized the oppurtunity to lick every piece, while a disapproving group of adults looked on (btw, thanks for the pix Al). We played some video games, watched little bit of the shit-ass band (you guys remember the band Kirkwood with the twin brothers? Yeah, those fuckers). I once again attempted to spread my own good will by wishing "Happy New YEar" to as many people as I could, but came no were near last year's 600+ greetings in Chicago. Good times.

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I Know, I Know.... 

My boy Berardinelli has posted his top and bottom 10 of the year...and, yet again, he's on point. Since I can't hyperlink, click on the link to the right. And masturbate.

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1.05.2004

New York, NY It's a Helleva Town 

Yo. Later this week I'm off to visit NYC for the second time, and on occasion of that visit I thought I would pass along some gorgeous photos of NYC that I came across last week. These photos by Charles W. Cushman transport you back into NYC of the early 40s, through the late 60s. Worth a view for the architecture, old cars, and street life alone, though I love the flat-caps, worn-in loafers and tweed suits too.

They are part of the Indiana University archives, though I don't think they are on display in any of the galleries around campus. These photos are badass though. Do yourself a favor and check them out. I'm headed out that way for a conference / music festival, but I plan on taking a shit-ton of photos while I'm there. The boss was nice enough to pay for the flight and tickets to the conference and festival. Check back next week and I'll post up some photos from my visit.

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1.02.2004

New In the '04 

Happy new year to all fools who readeth upon this. I hope to post some NYE pix as soon as they are passed along to me. Esquire just sent me over a nice little story about upcoming CD releases in 2004 (via MTV) and I thought I would post it here for everyone to scope out. Next year should be a big year for comebacks as The Cure, Nine Inch Nails, Beastie Boys, Dr Dre, and several others all have new jams fiddin' to drop.

Coldplay also has a new album due, for which they've written over 50 songs! I don't even reallly dig Coldplay all that much, but there is rumor that Timbaland may produce (unce-sikka-ah sikka-sikka unce-unce-unce), which would be dope. I just think it's crazy that Coldplay almost broke up before their last album came out due to lack of material, and now they've got 50 mu'fuckin songs to choose from. Anyway, here's the feature. Enjoy.

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