Thursday, November 27, 2008

A Good Poem

My friend McConnell is an emo who likes poetry. He sent me 'A Good Poem' the other day. I really like it. The last line does it for me.

A Good Poem

I like a good poem
one with lots of fighting
in it. Blood, and the
clanging of armour. Poems

against Scotland are good,
and poems that defeat
the French with crossbows.
I don't like poems that

aren't about anything.
Sonnets are wet and
a waste of time.
Also poems that don't

know how to rhyme.
If I was a poem
I'd play football and
get picked for England.

Roger McGough

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

High above New Zealand

"High above New Zealand and Cook Strait, astronauts Robert L. Curbeam and Christer Fuglesang work to attach a new truss segment to the ISS and begin to upgrade the power grid on December 12th, 2006. (NASA)"

(Big Picture)

Monday, November 24, 2008

For Your Consideration: Heath Ledger for Best Supporting Actor

Heath did a magnificent job of portraying the Joker. He was ironic and cunning, as any good Joker should be. He was also manipulative, ruthless and frightening, which are characteristics that too many action movie 'bad guys' lack. Who cares if you didn't understand his motivations. Heath made the Joker so twisted that most people were happy not to know why the Joker is the way he is and does the things he does.

In my opinion, the quality of Heath's performance warrants a nomination.


Jeff Bridges’ Iron Man Photo Diary

If you enjoyed Iron man us much as I did, then you will love Jeff Bridges' Iron Man Photo Diary. There are lots of great stuff - my personal favourites are the photos from the early production meetings and Gwyneth Paltrow's wardrobe test.

Check out the full album on

( via /Film)

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Will Goodan

I stumbled across Will Goodan's work while I was looking at NotCot. Goodan is a motion graphics designer based in Los Angeles. I really like his stuff.

Check out his video titled Unicron. Brilliant.

(Prime via NotCot)

I Am Not A Paper Cup

I love coffee. I drink at least two cups a day, usually more. I do, however, have occasional pangs of guilt about the number of paper cups I go through.

"I Am Not A Paper Cup" is a well meaning alternative to the paper cup. The cup features two layers of porcelain, which are separated by a hollow cavity that acts as an insulator for hot or cold drinks. The lid is made of silicon.

While it's a nice idea, the fact I would have to carry the cup around with me and that I would have to wash it between drinks, means it's wholly impractical for my daily routine.

(Perpetual Kid)

Friday, November 21, 2008

High-rise construction in Dubai

Heavy fog rolls by high-rise constructions near the Dubai Marina in this November 21, 2007 file photo. (REUTERS/Steve Crisp)

(Big Picture)

Fooking hilarious

Here are few snippets from Robbo Robson latest blog post, Move on, Terry!

… Now Maradona (which incidentally is Geordie for 'me mate's kebab') is undoubtedly one of the top two footballers in the history of the game - the other being Bosko Jankovic, obviously. But as an Englishman it's bloody hard to accept that fact cos of that goal. But in Argentina the bloke is revered like a God, which is utterly laughable. For quite a while the hand of God was stuffing the pizza of God into the gob of God and inhaling some Colombian produce into the nostrils of God. Fortunately the Stomach Staple of God fixed things and since then he's shrunk back to something approaching his old self. In Britain he wouldn't have made coach at Boston United - all right, anywhere except Boston.

… Capello continues to get the best out of England by keeping it really simple. I've always said 4-4-2. Fabio's spent time with the players, realized the average IQ of the squad is slightly lower than that of a baboon colony and has kept the instructions appropriately straightforward. Even Downing and SWP looked good last night. Carrick, too, although he does look like football's David Gower sometimes, sublime and graceful but prone to some horrible wafts every now and then. Your only worry is still the keeper. James looks as reliable as a bailed-out bank and I'd feel more confident if his replacement had been Willie Carson, frankly. The sooner Hart and Foster get their chances the better. I think the jury's out on Terry, too, but you can't deny the bloke's commitment - he was desperate to play - and maybe that's what Capello needs in a skipper.


Thursday, November 20, 2008

Gmail Themes

Gmail has finally added a personalisation tool to its email service - themes. The function appears under Gmail's settings tab and lets you choose one of 30 themes.

Check out the Terminal theme, it's super cool.

(Google Operating System)

I want to see an aurora one day

An aurora over the Elevated Station at Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station on July 16, 2008. (Keith Vanderlinde/National Science Foundation)

(Big Picture)

Auto Bailout

The auto giants are faltering. Hundreds of thousands of unionised workers with powerful political backers have mobilised. The towers of Government ring with urgent demands for money. How will the Government respond? Will cool heads prevail? Is an intelligent and dispassionate leader there to calm the agitators and reassure the worriers, while guiding the nation down a sensible path? Unfortunately, sensible seldom equates with easy and, as they say, time is the ultimate judge.

Money was passed to the desperate hands of the auto giant and for a few more years things were good. However, US$16.5 billion later (admittedly a paltry sum in today's rescue parlance, but a mighty sum in the '70s and '80s), British Leyland was no more. Now, all that is left of the company are painful memories and the odd restored Triumph.

Of course this isn't a fair comparison. Ford and General Motors are iconic American companies. They're guided by the America dream and underpinned by good old sweat and tears. British companies are different. They're, well, British. Everyone knew British Leyland was a structually flawed company ... didn't they?

My advice, for what it's worth, is let them go. It will be better in the long run.

Monday, November 17, 2008


Enter the SiPhone. I know I've only had my HTC Diamond for 5 months, but the change had to made. It may be wasteful, but the Diamond's performance was just too sluggish and too limited.

I've had the SiPhone for two days and I can't understand how I lived without it. The interface is intuitive and quick. The usability is infinitely better than the Diamond's and I no longer have to carry my iPod in addition to my phone. I can't say enough good things about my new phone - I'm happy to give up the ability to cut and paste, in favour of a quick, intuitive interface.

The other big plus is the Apps Store. My pick of the apps to date include:

Fring - Messaging client, covers Google Talk, AIM, Skype, MSN, Yahoo, ICQ, Twitter
Remote - I love using this App even though it's unnessary in my tiny apartment
Shazam - Hold your phone to the air and have the song playing identified in a few seconds
Google Earth - The same amazing Earth touring app found on the desktop. The GPS locator function is especially cool.

PS, I have a used HTC Diamond looking for a new home.

Thursday, November 13, 2008


Barak Obama has been portrayed by political commentators and Republicans alike as all talk and no action. Obama's appointment of Illinois congressman, Rahm Emanuel, as his White House chief of staff, shows that the Democratic President-Elect has every intention of proving this portrayal wrong.

Obama clearly understands that if you need to get things done, you need more than inspirational leader. You also need a hard-headed, no-nonsense, foul-mouthed, smart-as-hell, get-it-done-or-get-out-of-my-way guy like Emanuel. His determination and take-no-prisoners approach earned him the nickname Rahmbo.

Emanuel is an unusual hybrid of high-level experience as a top adviser to President Bill Clinton together with proven expertise as a Congressional leader and political strategist. Between leaving the White House and being elected to the House, Emanuel worked as an investment banker (read into that what you will).

Given his reputation, it will probably come as no surprise that his brother, Ari Emanuel, a Hollywood agent, is the model for the abrasive agent Ari Gold in the HBO series “Entourage.”

I think appointing Emanuel as chief of staff is a great choice by Obama. Read more about Rahm Emanuel here and here.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

The End by Michael Lewis

The era that defined Wall Street is finally over. Michael Lewis, who chronicled its excess in 'Liar’s Poker', returns to his old haunt to figure out what went wrong. Read Michael Lewis' extremely interesting and entertaining article The End.


Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Covers that would have been run if Obama had lost

Here's the cover the Chicago Reader created in case McCain won.

Here's the cover that the Reader did run.

(Super Punch)

Catching up with Ksubi

I can't get enough of Ksubi - they make the best jeans around.

Anthem Magazine have posted a profile of Ksubi with an interview at their Australian offices. Check it out here.

(Anthem Magazine via Notcot)

Monday, November 10, 2008

Calvin and Hobbes/Fight Club Theory

Galvin P. Chow offers an interesting theory on Fight Club:

"In the film Fight Club, the real name of the protagonist (Ed Norton’s character) is never revealed. Many believe the reason behind this anonymity is to give "Jack" more of an everyman quality. Do not be deceived. "Jack" is really Calvin from the comic strip Calvin and Hobbes. It’s true. Norton portrays the grown-up version of Calvin, while Brad Pitt plays his imaginary pal, Hobbes, reincarnated as Tyler Durden."

Read the full theory here.


Saturday, November 8, 2008

How not to react to a yellow card

I'm sure every football player has thought about doing this when they have received a card.

Andre Luis, who plays for Brazilian team Botafogo, is famous for his penalty reactions, in particular an incident that resulted in him being escorted from the field by police (see it here).


Michael Bay's Rejected "The Dark Knight" Script

I was reminded of this last night while talking with friends. Still so funny.

Read the whole thing here.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Who I voted for – You’re in for a surprise. I was

Now that the circus of an election in the US is over, we can concentrate on the real election of the year – the New Zealand general election.

As I’m overseas, I voted early to ensure my papers are back in NZ by 8 November – I’d hate for the election results to be held up on account of my tardiness.

Many people consider voting to be an intensely private affair. I am not one of those people. I’m interested in why people have voted for a particular party or person and I like to question people about it. I’m also open about who I vote for.

I had a really hard time deciding which party to vote for in this election. Neither Labour nor National offer anything to get excited or inspired about, and the minor parties are all one-issue wonders as far as I’m concerned. To try to avoid my usual irrational bias for certain people and parties, I identified the key policy areas I’m interested in and tried to score them based on their individual merits. I know I should look at the whole package presented by the parties, but my attention span does not have that sort of fortitude. This election, the policies I’m interested in are: Tax and finance; health (including ACC); education; and the environment.

For each party, I gave their policies a score between 1 (woeful) and 5 (gold). In addition to the policies above, I also gave a score for my views of the leader, the deputy leader and my overall impression of the other party members. With the scores inputted it’s simple – the party with the highest score gets my vote. This is how it turned out:

CriteriaLabourNationalMaoriGreensACTNZ First
Tax & finance231121

Key highlights from my evaluation:

- My confidence in any of the parties’ ability to with the current economic crisis has diminished the more I read their policies.
- I’m no longer paying income tax in NZ, so my stance on tax has softened considerably.
- I am concerned that none of the parties’ have clearly articulated a plan for how they are going to deal with NZ’s ailing health system.
- I do not think privatising ACC is a good idea.
- I think Labour’s education policies are the best on offer – Though, I do have doubts about the affordability of the universal student allowance.
- I think both Labour and National will be cautious in adopting clean energy policies and I doubt, given current financial conditions, that either party has the courage to sacrifice economic outcomes in favour of environmental ones.
- Key shows a lot of promise, while Clark is super solid - though she has been a bit quick to turn on colleagues and name scapegoats. That said, I think both Key and Clark are good leaders.
- Sorry Dr Cullen, although you are one of the smartest politicians I’ve seen anywhere, you are also a smarmy know-it-all who's luck has run out. Congratulations on being at the helm of the first developed country to go into recession this year.
- I don’t have faith in National’s ranks. The lead-up to the elections has not been polished by National and I am concerned about how inexperienced many of them are.

Well, it was unexpected, but Labour got my vote this year.

Find out more about the NZ election here.

Lock it in

I was in Seoul earlier this week. While I was there, I paid a visit to Seoul Tower, which is perched on the summit of Mt Namsan and has a breathtaking view over the city.

At the base of the tower is a viewing platform, which is surrounded by a wire mesh fence. I was surprised to find that much of the view from the platform is obscured by padlocks, which have been fastened to the fence. Closer examination revealed that the padlocks all have messages written on them.

I had an opportunity later that day to clarify with a local the meaning of the padlock fence. Apparently, when young people get engaged, they visit the “love fence” and symbolise the permanence of their relationship by fastening a padlock to the fence and throwing away the key. Then, once the padlock is secured and the key disposed of, the couple write a note on the padlock.

Given the rise of divorce rates in South Korea, I might front-foot the market and open a lock cutting service for jilted lovers near the padlock stall.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Hedgehog 刺猬

I saw Hedgehog play live last month and they totally rocked. Their album "Noise Hit World" has been monopolising the output on my iPod ever since. I recommend checking them out.

Hedgehog are an indie-pop trio from Beijing, who have been creating a stir in China for over a year. Read more about them here and here.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Monkey Bee, A short film by Jamie Hewlett

Jamie Hewlett has released a live-action video to accompany the first single from the ambitious "Monkey: Journey To The West". The album, a collaboration with Damon Albarn, is out now on XL Recordings.

(via notcot)