Fri - January 13, 2006

Rye And Coke


Some people have asked why I haven't mentioned the election. Really, though, what is there to say? There are two losers, and one of those losers - either the lying thieving loser or the homophobic nazi loser - is going to be the new Prime Minister. Not really worth wasting words on. BUT - if you have to pick a loser, well, this pretty much puts it all into perspective:




Posted at 09:18 AM     Read More  

Wed - January 11, 2006

Silicon Sacrement


The new Apple/Intel TV ad is on-line, and there is something semi-humourous in a cheesy sort of way when they handle the big silicon wafer with the same reverence that one might expect when the BIg Gold Albums were loaded onto Voyagers I and II.

The real humour for us retrogrouches, however, is the call-back to the time when the Intel "bunnies" were the source of mocking and derision from the gang in Cupertino - a far cry from the church-like veneration seen here. What comes around goes around, I guess.

Posted at 11:07 AM     Read More  

Thu - December 29, 2005

All Praise Him!


Apparently we Canadians are boring when it comes to Christmas. We decorate our homes with lights and garland and other pedestrian stuff ... stuck in a rut of traditionalism and repetition. But in Alabama they really know how to go to town with the festive decor. Our intrepid reporter south of the 49th snapped this awesome Giant Jesus of Doom in a (surprise!) trailer park in northern 'Bama.




In case it isn't obvious at first glance, that is not a cigar in the big guy's mouth, it is an apparently blood-encrusted sword:




While I can't claim to understand the gestalt surrounding the sword in the mouth, I can certainly appreciate it's visual impact.

Posted at 11:02 AM     Read More  

Thu - December 22, 2005

Now That's Different!


Rick Mercer truly is a god. Many apologies to anyone reading this south of the 49th parallel ... you will probably all scratch your heads and say "What the hell is wrong with Canadians, anyway?" but for the canucks in the crowd, this one is a real hoot.




Posted at 10:18 AM     Read More  

Sat - December 3, 2005

Feeling Old


So "Band-Aid" is 20 years old today. The song has held up much better than the atrocious North American rip-offs We Are The World and Tears Are Not Enough (Brian Adams should be thankful each and every Christmas that no one south of the border has heard that particular piece of aural vomit) but I gotta think that every single person in this video cringes mightily when they see the cold hard evidence of how they looked in 1985. Well, except for Phil Collins (who has looked the same pretty much forever) and Brian Ferry (who would look like Morrissey's fruitier brother no matter what he tried).

Anyway, enjoy.




Posted at 08:19 PM     Read More  

Thu - December 1, 2005

Ho Ho Ho


This video has been circulating around the 'net ... posted on web sites everywhere, but usually lacking in details and (thanks to that mope last year in Colorado) often dismissed as a hoax or a fake.




Luckily, you have have shown some obvious taste in your browsing habits and have come to a site where we take these things a little more seriously. To wit:

1: This is not a hoax. This display is run by Carson Williams, is no hoax, and is run by off-the-shelf light sequencing software and hardware.

2: The details are definitely impressive. The display has 16,000 lights, and draws a stunning fifteen amps of power when all of the channels are triggered. While the "Showtime" software and controller modules make the wiring easy, the programming of the sequences took about 700 hours of creation and tweaking time. Carson was kind enough to share the programming with the world, and you can download the load files for this entire display if you want to play with them yourself. Finally, the song is Wizards of Winter by the Trans-Siberian Orchestra, not Mannheim Steamroller. If you want this particular version, you need to rip it from the Lost Christmas Eve CD - the version that is commonly available via Gnutella is from a different CD and has a slightly different timing so it will not work with this sequencing file.

NOTE: The video above is a Quicktime file, and you need DivX/3ivX to view it - if you have the latest version of Quicktime, then you should already have these. I converted it to allow for easy embedded browsing on handheld devices like Blackberries. If you prefer the original Windoze Media file, you can check it out here.

Posted at 11:17 AM     Read More  

Tue - November 29, 2005

Fill 'Er Up


I stopped for gas today, and found myself oddly comforted by a reminder of the fact that some things are touchstones of stability in our turbulent world ... gravity always works, Stephen Harper is slightly less odious than Josef Mengele, and Windoze is pretty much useless no matter where you deploy it:




Posted at 10:45 PM     Read More  

Fri - November 25, 2005

Carpool Humour


When I first saw this video clip a few months ago, I thought it was the worst thing that I have ever seen. Tragic. Upsetting. Senseless.

Now I think it is too funny for words, and watch it to cheer myself up on bad days at work.

There is a distinct possibility that I am a very bad person.

Posted at 12:28 PM     Read More  

Wed - November 9, 2005

Auntie Em! Auntie Em!


Yeah, so there was this tornado dealie today. I am pleased to report that the entire staff at Geek Central survived intact. Blogging activity will resume anon.

Whew.




Posted at 06:30 PM     Read More  

Mon - November 7, 2005

Nerds 'R Us


It isn't listed on the official Star Trek site yet, but you can already order the Ultimate Star Trek Collection if you know where to look. This behemoth will hit the streets on November 15th, but ordering now saves you 1400 bucks (U.S.) off the list price. Yes, for a mere $2,499.99 you can own pretty much everything ever produced under the Trek banner on 212 shiny new DVDs.

It's a bargain, I tell you. A BARGAIN.

Posted at 10:08 AM     Read More  

Fri - October 28, 2005

Rubber Band Man


The office supply biz on the high side of the 49th is somewhat monolithic. Staples is pretty much it. There are a few Office Depots here and there, and Grand & Toy continues to sort of groan along, but it is pretty much Staples all the way. Which means that (aside from those horrid "Easy Button" spots) we are not privy to the massive advertising war that rages in this particular business arena on television screens south of the border. This stuff must be big money, because the ads have reached the status of veritable mini-movies ... these guys are pulling out all the stops.

Which, in a probably-annoying-to-the-reader somewhat roundabout way brings us to the point: Here in the Great White North we haven't seen the Office Max "Rubberband Man" commercials, which is too bad, because they have some serious appeal. Your mileage may vary, though ... I am a complete mark for the whole thing with "teaser" ads leading up to the real deal, and I have been a closet Spinners fan for years and years. That Philadelphia soul sound just grooves.

If you want to get the full effect, watch the teaser ads first - they ran for about a week in massively heavy rotation before "The Party's Over" was unleashed in all of it's 60-second glory. The "making of" short is also oddly enjoyable - mostly because they don't insult your intelligence by narrating it. We can see what is going on, thank you very much, and it is nice to see someone respect that for a change.

Posted at 05:09 PM     Read More  

Tue - October 11, 2005

Words Of Wisdom






Posted at 04:21 PM     Read More  

Wed - September 28, 2005

Adventures In Journalism


Don Adams' sad passing was accompanied by a bit of an odd appearance in the local newspaper here. When I say "local newspaper", of course, I mean "local newspaper that claims to be the largest in Canada". You would think that the largest daily newspaper in Canada and self-proclaimed bastion of journalistic quality would take the time to check the stuff that appears on their front page ... but you would be thinking wrong. Check out this front page lug:



Now, you do not have to be some sort of television trivia lunatic to see the problem here. Hell, people I know who profess not to watch TV and were born after the show was dead and gone know that it is KAOS, not CHAOS. Worse, the wire story that appeared as an obituary in this same newspaper specifically mentioned the "evil agents of KAOS". So what is the problem? Do they not have a proofreader? A fact-checker? Someone on staff who might have watched TV at least once in their life? I mean, how hard is this supposed to be?

Un-fucking-believable.

Posted at 02:00 PM     Read More  

Fri - September 9, 2005

Home


There is a new wave of online content services popping up - companies taking the plunge and trying to bring the booming mobile media market (the amount of money spent on cell phone ring tones and wallpaper is Europe and Japan is staggering) to the desktop. They think that eventually people will be willing to pay to get their favourite videos and songs on-demand ... the thinking is that people are willing to pay for this content on their phones, so eventually (if all the planets align and - one supposes - pigs start to fly) they will be trained to pay for this content on computers too.

Will this ever pan out? Who knows. My thinking is "no" simply because of conditioning and expectations. People have been paying for phone content from the word go. Fine. But people are also used to getting media on their desktops for free, and "free" is a concept that has a lot of inertia. Hope springs eternal, however, and the latest attempt at cracking this market is Video-C, coming to you from across the pond and offering new music in a "video magazine" format.

Because they are in the U.K., these guys have a couple of things going for them that might boost them from "another failed start-up" to "somehow surviving". One, Brits are already used to paying for TV. They pay a license fee to watch the telly, and it isnt that big of a stretch to imagine them paying for on-line video. Two, Europe has a cell-phone music-n-graphics market that is already over 1000 times the size of the same market over here. People are paying for content there, albeit in a different format. So who knows?

Anyway, the point of all this rambling is that, while the service will eventually be subscriber-based, at this point in time they are trying to attract eyeballs by offering a lot of their key content for free. One such item is a fabulous new single from Simple Minds called Home. This release seems to have fallen between the cracks in North America, and I am betting you haven't heard this yet, and you really should. You can check it out here in startlingly high-quality video and sound for absolutely free. Better yet, selecting the "progressive / broadband" option will boost the already yummy video quality up to near-DVD clarity. Give it a spin. It really is a nice piece of work.

NOTE: This feed is Quicktime, but if you are somehow bereft of the format, you can watch in either Real or Windows Media. Obviously, though. using either of those will give you video and audio that both looks and sounds like shit. Also, if you have Quicktime Pro (or know someone that can get it for you *cough cough*) you can save the "progressive" feed as a full-quality QT file for your future viewing pleasure. Have fun.

Posted at 05:28 AM     Read More  

Tue - August 2, 2005

Woz


The other half of the original Apple braintrust gets immortalized this week when the Steve Wozniak PodBrix minifig goes on sale. Tomi is making 300 signed and numbered units available on Thursday, August 8 at 9:00pm (EDT). PodBrix.com is the place you want to be.





Posted at 01:08 PM     Read More  

Mon - July 4, 2005

Thank you very much


Smartie Red chimes in this morning with a link to a giant Elvis mosaic made from Post-It notes. Time to lock those supply cupboards ...

Posted at 09:19 AM     Read More  

Sun - June 26, 2005

Sunday school special


I know it is totally childish, but this sort of shit cracks me up.




Click on the picture if you want to make your own - and when you are done you might want to spark up Photoshop and take out the URL from your finished work for extra-realistic effect. I thought about it, but decided to leave it in for reasons pertaining to journalistic integrity.

Posted at 05:39 AM     Read More  

Fri - June 24, 2005

Bumper sticker of the week





Posted at 09:59 AM     Read More  

Mon - May 16, 2005

Countdown to E3 - T minus 2 and counting


The much-anticipated 2005 edition of E3 opens in Los Angeles on Wednesday. The geek community as a whole (and the gaming community in particular) are all awash with excitement, drooling over the prospect of three next-generation consoles being shown this week. Tonight Sony and Microsoft have dueling press conferences - Sony will give a sneak peek of the PlayStation 3, and Microsoft will try to undo some of the damage that they brought upon themselves with the MTV debacle.

Nintendo will not appear nor part with any secrets until tomorrow - their press bash is traditionally held on the very eve of the show. But - when the first members of the media walk towards the front steps of the convention hall tonight, there will be no doubt at all who the real star of the week will be. Link is back, and he has bad-ass written all over him. 2005 is going to be a very good year ...
.



.

Posted at 05:54 PM     Read More  

Thu - April 28, 2005

Firefly lives ...


Firefly was an awesome television series - one that was smart and fun and assumed that the viewer was of at least average intelligence. So of course, it was cancelled. Fans can now officially start rejoicing, though ... the movie version of Joss Whedon's latest series is crawling towards the light of day, with the full trailer available on-line now.

Posted at 09:01 AM     Read More  

Fri - April 1, 2005

Warm and fuzzy


Two words: iPod Socks.




Posted at 06:10 PM     Read More  

Wed - March 30, 2005

Come to the dark side ...


What does a young Lord of the Sith do when he gets the munchies? Wonder no more! This just in from our intrepid correspondent Zale ... M&Ms will be hitting the stores this week in a special "Darth Mix " featuring a new colour blend (riffed from the colours of the Mandalorian armour of the Fetts, I believe), dark chocolate (get it?) and some SWANK packaging. The "Shrek" M&Ms were cool, but these are righteous.




Posted at 12:47 PM     Read More  

Wed - March 2, 2005

Holy Kryptonite, Batman!


"Boogiewoogie" dropped us a line to point out this truly warped collection of vintage comics covers. Two categories - one featuring covers that will baffle you with their world-class inanity, and one that proves that Superman is quite the dick. Have fun.

Posted at 10:59 AM     Read More  

Fri - February 25, 2005

33


Deep Throat (no, not THAT Deep Throat) dropped us a line to point out that the first episode of Battlestar Galactica is online at the SciFi Network's web site. With DVD-style "deleted scenes" to boot. Sadly, it is in Real Player (*cough cough low res cough*) instead of a proper format like QuickTime, but it is better than nothing. Enjoy.

Posted at 10:02 PM     Read More  

Fri - January 28, 2005

May the spud be with you ...


Coming to stores near you, just in time for the May release of Star Wars Episode III ... Hasbro's DARTH POTATOHEAD. No lie.

Posted at 01:28 PM     Read More  

Wed - January 26, 2005

Waiting for the great leap forward ...


Propaganda posters have always been fascinating on a number of levels - from examples of cultural art to illustrations of interesting periods in history. Check out this cool collection of inspirational and political images from the formative years of China as a communist power - the art is cool, and the page also serves as a great basic primer as to what went on in one of the most secretive regimes on the planet during one of their most secretive times.

Posted at 11:26 AM     Read More  

Sat - January 22, 2005

Tempest, teapot, blah blah blah


The latest raging shitstorm to come out of Redmond is the reaction to the on-line postings of this somewhat innocuous screenshot / demo screen:



Supposedly, this is the first look at the new version of Windows Mobile (codename: Magneto), and it would seem to be an accurate one because letters full of legalese are flying out of Microsoft telling the owners of various news sites and blogs to cease, desist, and knock it the hell off. The burning question here ... what is the big deal? There are no ground-breaking elements on the screen, no big secrets ("Whoa! Microsoft has a Start Menu? I'll be damned!"), and if you have ever seen Windows SmartPhone you will realize that this is just a redesign to bring the two flavours of on-the-go Windows into a common look and feel. In fact, if it wasn't for all of the thinly-veiled threats from Microsoft, I would have been tempted to assume that this was a SmartPhone screen and some smartass was trying to pass it off as a real scoop on the new version of Mobile. So why all the fuss?

Mystery aside, Neowin , Engadget , and MoDaCo have all received missives regarding the horrible crimes they have indulged in by posting this image. All three are respectable and above-board sites that probably do nothing more sinister than boost sales of Microsoft products in the long run by getting people interested and excited about new products. What possible upside can there be to play this game of legal brinksmanship? And is this the start of the much-feared "online libel chill" that bloggers have been quietly worrying about? Stay tuned ...

Posted at 04:58 AM     Read More  

Thu - January 6, 2005

The worst album cover of all time - period.


This is just wrong on SO many levels ....


Posted at 04:14 PM     Read More  

Sat - January 1, 2005

The worst album covers of all time - a continuing series





The penultimate entry. Up next .... number 1, and quite possibly the most frightening thing you have ever seen. Stay tuned!

Posted at 02:52 PM     Read More  

Wed - December 29, 2004

The worst album covers of all time - a continuing series




Posted at 11:22 PM     Read More  

Mon - December 13, 2004

The worst album covers of all time - a continuing series




Posted at 12:46 PM     Read More  

Wed - December 8, 2004

The worst album covers of all time - a continuing series.




Posted at 11:03 AM     Read More  

Mon - December 6, 2004

The worst album covers of all time - a continuing series




Posted at 10:09 AM     Read More  

Thu - December 2, 2004

The worst album covers of all time - a continuing series




Posted at 10:31 PM     Read More  

Tue - November 30, 2004

The worst album covers of all time - a continuing series




Posted at 04:57 PM     Read More  

Mon - November 29, 2004

The worst album covers of all time - a continuing series




Posted at 09:39 AM     Read More  

Fri - November 26, 2004

The worst album covers of all time - first in a series.




Posted at 07:31 PM     Read More  

Fri - November 19, 2004

Present? For ME??


If you go on vacation, beware ...


Posted at 03:22 PM     Read More  

Wed - November 17, 2004

Northern Lights Deluxe


One of the crappy things about living in an urban sprawl is that it just doesn't get dark at night. Too many flipping Moonrays. So most people pretty much missed out on the aurora storms on November 8 and 9. Luckily, it still gets pretty dark in Nebraska, and this guy has a pretty nice camera.

Posted at 07:39 PM     Read More  

Tue - November 16, 2004

Meanwhile ...


Someone is selling the "miracle" sandwich on ebay . 10 years old, partly eaten, face of the virgin mary, will bring you big winnings at the casinos. Really. I swear.


Posted at 09:11 PM     Read More  

Wed - November 10, 2004

The populace speaks.


Concrete proof that at least one dog is smarter than 54 million American voters.

Posted at 04:43 PM     Read More  

Start worrying now, kid.


This newspaper clipping started making the rounds as an internet attachment last week:



I immediately assumed it was a hoax or a doctored photo. What woman in her right mind would complain about the effect of construction noise on her unborn child while SUCKING ON A BUTT IN THE PHOTO? Worse, these sorts of shots are ALWAYS posed by the photographer, so she is actually MAKING AN EFFORT to display her baby-destroying habit. No way, right?

Sadly, this one turns out to be 100% genuine. This photo, cutline, and article appeared in the September 20th edition of The Times of Roanoke, Virginia exactly as you see it here. Better yet, the furor that this bimbo touched off was so intense that The Times actually had one of their columnists write about the whole mess the following week:

Mellissa Williamson came to her door smoking a cigarette Thursday morning. It was a sign that the Southeast Roanoke woman didn't know or didn't care about the furor her photograph had ignited since it appeared in The Roanoke Times on Sept. 20.

The photo showed her seven months pregnant and smoking a cigarette. It accompanied a story about unpopular "traffic-calming" measures under way on Bullitt Avenue, where she lives. The caption said she worries about the effect of jackhammer noise on her unborn child. She couldn't have touched off a controversy more quickly if she'd called President Bush an Islamic extremist.

Dozens of calls and e-mails came to The Roanoke Times impugning her reputation and criticizing the paper for printing the photo. At least one syndicated talk radio host mentioned it, and the picture proliferated on Web sites, with the remark like, "Yeah, the noise is what the baby needs to fear."

You can read the rest of Joe Kennedy's Times article here . And yes, the woman is a selfish and clueless piece of trash.

Poor kid.

Posted at 02:22 PM     Read More  

Fri - November 5, 2004

Burninating the countryside ...


Trogdor is everywhere.

Posted at 07:19 PM     Read More  


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