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Oh Reuters, thanks for the thorough coverage of the Prefontaine Classic Diamond League race between Walter Dix and Tyson Gay. Not since the Nashville Predators' Pekka (Rinne) came up huge in the NHL playoffs have we had such rich material for awkward headline writing.

To make it an even richer read, Dix gave the following gem of a quote, to be filed in the "not making this up" category:

"I was a little sloppy out of the blocks, but I was able to hold on. But I'm a little beat up, too."

Perfect fodder on a WTF Friday.

Thanks, BoingBoing.

Picture 3.png

Here's something to chew on, political wonks. President Obama may just be magical afterall.

Or at least his chewing gum is.

In the great tradition of the Reggie Bar, but likely without any of those messy licensing payments to deal with, the president's face has found its way onto chewing gum packaging from a company called Kenafric, documented by tweeting traveler Mara Abrams in Tanzania and the subject of some discussion on BoingBoing, complete with "full of hot air" jokes.

This is not the first we've seen of the Obubblegum, which comes in at least one other flavor - orange. Though you have to wonder why no grape - we do live in a purple country, according to the president. Right?

villagevoice.jpgRonnie, The Situation and Vinny break out their pecs on the latest cover of New York City's alt-weekly Village Voice. The boys are up in arms, though, because that's not the only thing "out" in this issue.

Turns out the cover story is on Guidos on the down-low. Translation: Italian-Americans of the "Jersey Shore" ilk that lead secretly illicit homosexual lifestyles.

There is a situation, indeed.

The New York Post reports MTVs gymed, tanned and laundered studs are saying they were duped into posing, but not told it was for the publication's annual gay pride issue, headlined "The Guido Ideal" -- a story about "gay Jersey guidos on the down-low."

There's been no official reaction, but Ronnie's probably ready to knock some kid out with one shot over this one.

"Now, stop me if you've already seen this."

With those words, Lord Steve Jobs himself introduced Apple's iPhone 4, the source of much intrigue and legal wrangling since a prototype landed on a barstool in April.

Touted as the thinnest smartphone ever, Jobs broke down myriad new features and design highlights. Comparing the look and feel to a Leica camera, he said the iPhone 4 is built with stainless steel for strength and is sandwiched with glass on front and back. The phone has an integrated antenna built into the structure.

Jobs also pointed to the phones highly revamped optical quality, promising 326 pixels per inch on the high definition display.

"This is a biggie," said Jobs. "Something we call the Retina Display. What's that? In any display, there are pixels - here's four of them. We start off by dramatically increasing the pixel density, 4x in the same amount of space."

Of course, the announcement many frustrated iPhone users had hoped for - an abandonment of AT&T as the exclusive carrier, was not made. This became particularly point when Jobs tried to demonstrate Web surfing capabilities, but ran into network areas. Asking an on-stage tech if he had any ideas, an audience member's one-word response came as biting criticism: "Verizon!".

Job also said the battery has been made bigger by switching to a micro SIM card, claiming: "7 hours 3G talk, 6 hours 3G browsing, 10 hours WiFi browsing, 10 hours music, 40 hours of music, and 300 hours of standby."

Still the latest iPhone blows away the iPhone 3GS specs:

"3.5-inches, but 4x more pixels than the iPhone 3GS. 326px per inch. 800:1 contrast ratio, 4x that of iPhone 3GS. Provides much more accurate color and much higher resolution. You can't make an OLED display with this resolution, we think it's quite superior," said Jobs.

A complete rundown of the Apple WWDC keynote from Andy Ihnatko live.

The camera

The iPhone 4 also sports a completely revamped camera system, boosted to 5 megapixels, but promising the same, relatively larger pixel sensors in order to capture more subject detail.

The new camera system also captures full 720p HD video at 30 fps. An LED flash, new to the phone, will stay on for video illumination. And what to do with that video? iMovie for iPhone was also announced.

Among other highlights are a front-facing camera and a gyroscope, particularly useful in conjunction with the accelerometer, for 6-axis motion gaming.

A demonstration showed a full HD video edited, with imported iTunes music, visual effects and transitions completely on the iPhone 4 and exportable at 360p or 720p.

After more networking issues - Jobs actually asked a crowd of nerds to stop liveblogging and put down their laptops for the demo to continue - the latest iPhone OS, christened iOS4 was introduced.


iPhone bashers have long latched onto its inability to multitask and relatively weak mail client. They may have met their match.

Jobs rolled out multitasking for the iPhone 4.

"Some people were saying you weren't first with multitasking - the same was true with cut-copy-paste. But we took some time to figure out how to do it right."

He also touted a host of new features in the new OS, including folder creation, a unified inbox and threaded conversations in Mail.

In a counter-swipe at Google, which had some fun at Apple's expense during their recent developer I/O keynote, Microsoft's Bing search engine is being rolled out, as is Yahoo!. Google will remain the default search engine, but is no longer the lone option.

Apple also is introducing a version of iBooks, it's popular bookstore app on iPad, for the iPhone. iBooks will automatically sync placemarks, bookmarks and notes to all i-devices.

One More Thing

There's a reason for that front-facing camera: FaceTime, the new video calling features. After much fussing from Jobs for the audience to again turn off their WiFi devices, he made a video call to Apple design guru Jony Ive. The video call was made over a WiFi network, but Jobs promised development is underway with cell carriers - yes, plural - for future use.

"We call this FaceTime -- video calling. It's ... it's great. It's iPhone 4 to iPhone 4 anywhere there is WiFi, and there is no setup required."

And the most important feature on the iPhone 4? Price:

Price and availability

iPhone 4 comes in two colors, black and white - price is $199 in the U.S. for the 16GB model, and 299 for the 32GB model."

Jobs says AT&T will offer that same price on eligible upgrades in 2010 - but you have to reup your contract with the heavily derided carrier for another 2 years. Though whether you get screwed on the the new AT&T data lineup plan by re-upping that contract remains to be seen.

That makes the new iPhone lineup: 3G (no more); 3GS ($99) and the iPhone 4, available June 24 in five countries.

Here's why the Internet is better than TV and almost as good as video games. This video, released by the Dutch military (who knew?) show's a team of commandos raiding a German cargo ship overtaken by Somali pirates.

Thanks to a helmet-mounted camera, we get to travel along the cramped ship as the soldiers go room-to-room clearing out the bad guys. And, of course, this must go on YouTube. But it's wasn't uploaded by the commando in a drunken moment of glory. It was place by the government!

Yay, Holland!

Our Dutch is a little rusty around here, but a rough translation of the narration:

"Soap" Mctavish is searching for a stolen cache of missiles and intelligence before the enemy jets come to sink the ship with his team aboard ... err ... wait, that actually is from the "Modern Warfare" game.

Anyway, no translation needed.


Pyramid_Lake_at_Night_2004.jpgThe beautiful, but not obtrusive photo that serves as the backdrop for Apple's iPad is a bit like all the images Apple uses as stock elements on its devices. It's a standout moment that doesn't take too much attention away from the device itself. And, it's anonymously produced - when's the last time you saw a photo credit on an image Apple plucks from relative obscurity?

Well, almost anonymous. Until the good folks at tracked down Richard Misrach, a Bay Area photographer responsible for "Pyramid Lake (at Night)," a 2004 photo from a series he has worked on over the years.

"It's a long night exposure where the moon is lighting up the mountains in the distance," he told ArtInfo. "I shot it on an 8x10 camera, so the quality is really beautiful and you can see star trails going through the sky."

Ironic that the original image produced in large format is actually larger than the iPad, which clocks in at just 9.56 by 7.47 inches, it was destined to decorate.

It also seems the secretive Cupertino-based tech company is no less secretive with its content sources. To hear Misrach tell it, he found out they were using his photo when the rest of the world did, even if most of the rest of the world would have no idea of Misrach's identity:

"I was in bed watching Inglorious Bastards when I got a call from Jeffrey FraenkeL, my dealer in San Francisco, and he said, 'Do you know what's going on live here?'" Misrach told ArtInfo, speaking of the iPad unveiling by Steve Jobs in January. "I was totally shocked. Naturally my other galleries started calling and my family was all atwitter, because it's a whole different world."

Misrach, who calls himself an Apple fan, says he had submitted 10 photos to the company for consideration as screensavers and whatnot over the years, but had never had any success. Until now.

'What's funny is that for years I actually used the photo as my own screensaver," Misrach says. "So I guess they know what they're doing."

Richard Misrach at the High Museum from Atlanta Celebrates Photography on Vimeo.

Video from Atlanta Celebrates Photography
for ACP Now!

Richard Misrach gives a tour of his "On the Beach" exhibition, on view at the High Museum of Art in Atlanta, GA through Aug. 23rd, 2009.

Ahh the heyday of media in the 1980s, when experts like Roger Ebert could magically beam Star Trek-style into your cocktail party for your personal edification.

A kind soul was good enough to post these gems to YouTube, complete with bad suits and big hair. And advertising budgets. Those were the days.

Thanks to Brad Flora's Windy Citizen for highlighting the find. Go vote it up, people!


Before you read anything else here, make a note to visit FloatingSheep, the brilliant blog that details all manner of entertaining - and even usable - stats via mapping. Hours of your life will be spent poring over fascinating facts and figures - like the fact that we like booze more than food.

OK, rampant oversimplification alert. But still, from their research, you can infer that it's easier to find a tap around these parts than an aisle full of pre-packaged food.

us_bars_groceries_100122.jpgAccording to one of their latest forays into forensics, the Midwest likes a good drink. And salty bar snacks aside, food may only be a secondary concern. Check out the map to the right for a look at just how much we like our pubs. The spaces marked in yellow show the spots in the U.S. where grocery stores outnumber bars. In red, the bars rule the day.

The bloggers, who use various data from the Census, Google and other sources, explain their findings:

We had expected that grocery stores would outnumber bars and for most parts of North America that is the case. But we could also clearly see the "beer belly of America" peeking out through the "t-shirt of data".

Starting in Illinois, the beer belly expands up into Wisconsin and first spreads westward through Iowa/Minnesota and then engulfs Nebraska, and the Dakotas before petering out (like a pair of love handles) in Wyoming and Montana.

This is probably no surprise to those of us who slog through long, cold, sloppy winters in our Midwest wonderland. Socialization is fine, but bars are warm and welcoming. And have beer. Grocery stores only offer the cold comfort of food - and not in the form of a delicious midnight tamales served right at the stool.

The rest of the country, clearly, has a skewed sense of the important things in life. Preferring to roll through the offerings of the local Shop-More than enjoy knocking the cold ones back with the mates. Illinois and Wisconsin, in particular, barely have groceries according to the explosion of red here.

As the folks at Chicagoist point out, though, it's hardly a surprise. Wisconsin is Wisconsin, after all. And Milwaukee is the country's drinkingest city. Chicago, um, weighs in at No. 6.

Bottoms up, friends and neighbors in the region. And don't forget to pick up some bread on the way home - if you can find a store.


gold.jpgFinally, an Olympic medal we can all aspire to.

The gold, silver and bronze wavy trophies being passed out to the best of the best are themselves the best of the best this time. Designed by Omer Arbel, an acclaimed architect and industrial designer, and Corrine Hunt, a First Nations artist from the Raven Gwa'wina clan, of the Kwakwaka'wakw village on Vancouver Island, the shiny mementos are actually green.

As part of the Olympic organizing committee efforts on sustainablity, computer components, circuit boards, chips, cell phones and other parts and electronics castoffs were mined for their precious metals, which were then melted down to create the awards.

To take it a step further, the controversial Canadian mining company Teck Resources was tasked with extracting and retasking the metals from the used electronics.

The giant dishes of excellence turned out pretty cool, more so because of the moethods used to produce them.

There are currently at least four Nazi and/or Adolph Hitler-themed iPad parody videos on YouTube. Four. True, the Hitler one is part of a recent craze, but still, what gives? It's a nifty device, not a destroyer of freedom.

Or at least we don't think so. But to be fair, it has yet to hit stores.


Mass transit is great. Cheap. Quickish. Easy to use. Environmentally friendly.

And entertaining.

Like, when you get on and there's some crazy-as-the-day-is-long type canoodling with his pet chicken.

Yes. Chicken.

The best part is watching people get on and off relatively like there's nothing going on. Nothing to see here. Who among us that rides the planes and trains of our great cities hasn't basically pretended that crazy wasn't happening right next to us because A) you gotta get where you're going and B) ohh, is that an open seat?

The Associated Press has jumped on this important story and gotten the city's take:

New York City's transit agency is investigating a video posted online that shows a man kissing and snuggling a live chicken aboard a subway.

Spokesman Charles Seaton said Thursday it was looking into whether the Tuesday incident on the uptown No. 6 train was a prank. He says no passengers reported it.

Apparently only service animals are allowed on New York's public transit. No word on how this chicken is servicing Mr. Rolls on the Floor.

You gotta love "Lost" fans. The delightfully obsessed, conspiracy theorist bunch that can sometimes further the cliff-hanger show plot along better than the writers.

Case in point: This 10-minute classic of the crash of Oceanic Flight 815 in real time from the perspective of multiple characters. Watch in slightly stomach-churning syncopation as lives are lived and intersected on the island.

The fairly awesome compilation was touted on Twitter by no less that Damon Lindelhof, one of the show's executive producers. Wait, is there a clue there?


One of the great things about the Internet is that like "Lost" conspiracy theories, it's never-ending and self-fulfilling. Case in point: charred Aunt Beru and Uncle Owen.

The photo above, submitted by a reader seeking clarification on whether it's a real action(?) figure set of Luke's post-Storm Trooper adoptive parents - It doesn't seem to be, based on this answer from Hasbro - only leads to more links and Star Wars nerdy goodness.

The fresh trauma of well-done Lars in our minds, a cheerful bit of fashion was quick to the rescue. Namely this bit of head gear sure to keep anyone but the wearer on their toes:


No real info on why or how - or whether the screaming Tie Fighter engine noise is available in any way, but it's still quite the look. Is it a costume? A lifestyle choice? A birthmark? Sadly, the Internets provide coolness, but often no context, especially at WTFcostumes where it and the next gem of a getup were found.

At least we assume it's a getup. One thing is for sure - this can't smell any better on the inside than one of the actual Hoth beasts. Whatever the case, it's certainly the best use of tautaun since the implausibly cool sleeping bag from ThinkGeek. It started out as a prank, but the demand was such that it's now a LucasFilm-sanctioned bit of memorabilia that's way too nice to waste on children.

Thank you, Internets, for providing once again on a quiet Tuesday.


UPDATE: Photos from the Monday rally of Con-heads.

mob_pitchforks.JPGThe Conan O'Brien fan revolution continues to be televised as the late-night hosting heavyweights and NBC spar publicly over network plans to rescue Jay Leno at the expense of his "Tonight Show" replacement.

But the villagers are sharpening pitchforks and lighting their torches in this mess, too, as Conan's fans prepare to march on various NBC affiliates nationwide to voice displeasure over the network's treatment of their favorite pasty redhead. The grassroots protest makes its way to Chicago Monday evening for a 4:30-9 p.m. event outside the NBC5 studios at Pioneer Court, thanks in large part to the 300,000-strong I'm with Coco Facebook page that has sprung up to capture and focus the angst of O'Brien's masses who love his off-the-wall brand of humor. Protesters carried signs, spray painted their hair orange and wore Conan masks in support of the pale, gangly 6-foot-4-inch host.

The group was created by Los Angeles illustrator Mike Mitchell (he made the Conan image up top) who characterizes the push as a protest against bad management by an everyman's fans. He tells the Trib that this is a chance for like-minded Conan-backers to make their collective voice hear, but acknowledges the long odds:

"NBC, I think, has already made their mind up. Maybe (the protest) is more of a thing to show that there's a lot of Conan fans."

Will the 485 voices outside NBC tonight mean anything in the long run? Probably not. But in a way the almost comical futility suits the ethos of O'Brien, a man who's comedic talent has frequently eluded mainstream explanation and popularity.

But like the slogan says on the page, "Cause we're with him, no matter what," so some long odds are hardly worth shutting down the movement - just war some orange and play nice if you plan to attend. Let the network execs stoop to the name calling and vitriol.


Has gossip web site TMZ uncovered a photo that could have changed history? The site posted a photo this morning showing a young John F. Kennedy lounging on a yacht filled with naked women.

TMZ claims that forensic photo experts agree the photo is of Kennedy and was taken in the mid-1950s.

The site also says that a Mediterranean boating trip that JFK took while still a Senator is mentioned in multiple articles and books written about Kennedy. Jackie Kennedy was supposedly pregnant at the time and gave birth to a stillborn baby while JFK was reportedly on the boat.

Had this photo surfaced before the 1960 election, do you think Kennedy would have still been elected President?

Check out the full image here >>

***UPDATE: A Playboy rep has confirmed to TMZ that the photo was taken from one of their 1967 issues.

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