Saturday, February 28, 2009

Quatrelle: My Love

More than 2,000 car-crazed students are motoring from the French capital and across 6,000 kilometres of African desert in a different kind of race. The catch? In this rally, they've got to be equip...
More than 2,000 car-crazed students are motoring from the French capital and across 6,000 kilometres of African desert in a different kind of race. The catch? In this rally, they've got to be equipped with an ageing Renault 4.
The Renault 4 remained an extremely basic car throughout its life, and development never extended to making the design any less simple or spartan. However, in spite of its basic design, the Renault 4 had an extremely comfortable ride, due to well-designed suspension (which lent the Renault 4 a softer, more fluid ride than many modern cars) and a habitable interior due to comfortable seats, powerful heater and effective ventilation. However, the windows lacked winding mechanisms and instead used sliding mechanisms. To some this gave the Renault 4 character, but to many others it was just annoying and a tell-tale sign of the age of the design.
Another detail which made the Renault 4 different from other cars was the gear lever, which was on the dashboard. This was an effective means of creating a flat floor, using a simple design borrowed from the 2CV. It passed over the longitudinal engine and clutch to the gearbox at the front. Though unconventional and criticised by conservative motoring journalists, the dash-mounted gear lever was easy to use and left more interior space free.(read more...)

Thursday, February 26, 2009

A Narrow Waist of Art and Sex

Art suffuses our lives. Whether it's bluegrass, heavy metal, Frank Sinatra or Mozart, music moves us all. On a trip to a foreign city, visiting an art museum is a mandatory exercise. Imaginative writing affects many of us, though—alas—with decreasing frequency.
Why should art be important? Being seen as an "art lover" may increase our status, but otherwise art is not useful. Yet art has been part of the human experience since Paleolithic man painted on the walls of caves in Lascaux, France, and Altamira, Spain, more than 30,000 years ago. Art preceded cities, agriculture and writing.
Denis Dutton, an art professor in New Zealand, has proposed a bold new explanation. He argues that humankind's universal interest in art is the result of human evolution. We enjoy sex, grasp facial expressions, understand logic and spontaneously acquire language—all of which make it easier for us to survive and produce children. In "The Art Instinct: Beauty, Pleasure, and Human Evolution," Dutton contends that an interest in art belongs on this list of evolutionary adaptations.

Drawing on Charles Darwin's second great book, "The Descent of Man, and Selection in Relation to Sex," Dutton argues that art, like broad shoulders in a man and a narrow waist in a woman, facilitates seduction. We tell stories, sing songs, invent tales, recount jokes and draw pictures in order to find a mate and, having found one, produce children. We value art because, Dutton claims, it may be made of rare and valuable materials and require much skill to produce. People value wealth and skill in choosing a mate. We can add to Dutton's argument the fact that when 3-month-old infants are shown pictures of women who had been rated by adults as either attractive or unattractive, the babies looked much longer at the attractive ones

(read more...)

Monday, February 23, 2009

Waltz with Winslet

"Waltz with Bashir" was not made for Hollywood, it was made for human beings. It was made for the people who went through the horror it shows, and who are still going through new horrors which feel exactly as unbearable.
The story of how Hollywood likes its Jews has been told before, of course, never more succinctly - or with a heavier cargo of irony - than when Kate Winslet played a satirized version of herself in a 2005 episode of the U.K. series "Extras."
Winslet, then winless in four trips to the Oscar nomination altar, explains to series star Ricky Gervais, why she's decided to act in a Holocaust film.

Gervais: You doing this, it's so commendable, using your profile to keep the message alive about the Holocaust.
Winslet: God, I'm not doing it for that. We definitely don't need another film about the Holocaust, do we? It's like, how many have there been? You know, we get it. It was grim. Move on.
I'm doing it because I noticed that if you do a film about the Holocaust, you're guaranteed an Oscar. I've been nominated four times. Never won. The whole world is going, 'Why hasn't Winslet won one?' ... That's why I'm doing it. Schindler's bloody List. The Pianist. Oscars coming outta their ass ...
Gervais: It's a good plan.

(Read more from Haaretz..)

House of Small Cubes (Tsumiki no Ie)

Kunio Kato
"La Maison en Petits Cubes"
The 12-minute film, which means "House of Small Cubes," centers on an old man reflecting upon his life as floodwaters slowly rise at his home. It marked the first Academy Award nomination and win for Kato, who wrote and directed the piece.
"It's so heavy," said Kato of the award. A native of Japan, he struggled with his English in good humor before a star-studded audience. "Thank you very much. Thank you, my supporters. Thank you, all my staff. Thank you, academy. . . . Thank you, my company. Domo arigato, Mr. Roboto."
Kato's film career was not his first choice. As a child, he wanted to be a veterinarian but gave it up because of an allergy to cats.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Nechama, Nadav and Shabtai

In October 2007, while on an artistic journey through the Balkans, the artists Nechama Levendel and Nadav Bloch were invited to exhibit their work in the municipal gallery of Ulcinj in Montenegro, on the border with Albania.
The gallery was located in a three-story stone building in the center of an archeological site in the old town of Ulcinj. On a preparatory visit to the gallery, the artists climbed to the third floor, where, to their amazement, they discovered a niche in one of the walls over which two Stars of David (Magen David) and on the facing wall two trees were engraved in the stone. The reply to their questions as to the origin of these symbols was that the building had served as the study house of the Messiah Shabtai Zvi and his followers.
Nechama and Nadav, as Jews and as artists, were intrigued by the subject and delved into the saga of the Messiah Shabtai Zvi, which had caused such a shock to the exiled and hunted 17th century Jewish communities. In the second half of the 17th century the Turkish Sultan banished Shabtai Zvi to the farthest corner of the Turkish Empire – the town of Ulcinj, then in Albania. Various sources tell that on Yom Kippur Shabtai Zvi went outside, recited "Shema Israel" and the mosque across the street collapsed, as Shabtai Zvi died.(read more...)

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Late Night Groove Series: J. VIEWZ at Blue Note

Venue: Blue Note
Start Time: Saturday, Feb 21, 12:30 am
Price: BAR: $8.00 TABLE:$8.00
Description: FEATURING:
Jonathan Dagan, compositions/beats/electronics/guitar
Noa Lembersky, vocals
Urijah, vocals/trumpet/guitar
Yonadav Halevy, drums
Daniel Koren, keyboards
Israeli producer Jonathan Dagan's award winning project arrives for one late night set at the Blue Note. Going from Breakbeat to Jazz, Electro & Reggae - Jonathan and the the 4-piece Live act of J.Viewz features unique combination of live instruments, Vocals, electronic drumbeats, live drums and Turntables.(from Gothamjazz)

Monday, February 16, 2009

And the steak is free

Things are bigger in Texas! I found this true at the Big Texan when I took a seat in their rocking chair, then I saw one of their desserts that could feed four, and finally I saw one of their steaks. And the steak is free at the Big Texan Steakhouse in Amarillo, Texas. That is if you can eat their 72 oz. steak in sixty minutes. They say there are many that have achieved entry into this hall of fame but the young fellow attempting during my visit could not complete it. Now, if you're not hungry enough for the 72 oz. steak the menu has lots of other steaks and entrees to choose from.(via Trifter)

Von der alten Heimat zu der neuen Heimat!

In 1938, Germany was not a good place to be a Jew. While some German Jews might still have hoped the anti-semitism of the Nazi regime would somehow blow over, those who had the means to flee the country did so - if they found a place that would have them. The Freudenheims did, and managed to leave Berlin for Montevideo.
Their young son Fritz, 11 years old at the time, documented their traumatic odyssey in a map composed in bright colours, cheerfully entitled: Von der alten Heimat zu der neuen Heimat! (’From the old home to the new home!’) He documents the Freudenheim family’s locations as far back as 1925, before he was born himself. Africa, with only one port of call, is portrayed as relatively small, while South America is more defined (all countries are shown) but detached from North America. Of the European countries, Germany looms largest; the trains that take the Freudenheims on their travels inside the country would soon be used for more sinister transports.(read more...)

Friday, February 13, 2009

Russian Poetry from

Как из маминой, из спальни
Кривоногий и хромой
Вышел папа… Я такой же!
Генофонд у нас плохой.

Я сижу на батарее,
Попу грею, попу грею!

Люди женятся, ебутся
А нам не во что обуться!

Килька плавает в томате
Ей в томате — хорошо!
Ну а я, ебёна матерь
Места в жизни не нашёл…

глянул в лужу — В луже жопа!
Эка невидаль, друзья!
Вдруг мне жопа улыбнулась
Оказалось — это я!

Если белого мыша
взять и, бережно держа,
напихать в него иголок
Вы получите ежа.
Если этого ежа,
нос заткнув, чтоб не дышал,
Где поглубже, бросить в речку
Вы получите ерша.
Если этого ерша,
головой в тисках зажав,
посильней тянуть за хвост то
Вы получите ужа.
Если этого ужа,
приготовив два ножа…
Впрочем, он наверно сдохнет:
Hо идея хороша!

Если дяденька–крепыш
Губы напомадил,
Берегись его, малыш —
Это страшный дядя!

Восемнадцатого, в среду
я в Москву ебаться еду!
Паровоз придуман, братцы,
Чтоб везти меня ебаться!

ты не пей из унитаза:
там бацилла, там зараза.
дерни ручку, воду слей,
пену сдуй, потом уж — пей!

Запахом укропа
Ночь была полна.
Вылезла как жопа
Полная луна.

Шёл я мимо мавзолея,
Из окна увидел хуй.
Это нам товарищ Ленин
Шлёт прощальный поцелуй!

В луже валялся вонючий, хромой
Карлик–дебил слепоглухонемой.
Этот урод хотел одного —
Чтоб в пионеры взяли его!

я брел аллеей тополей,
бедой гонимый неминучей.
в кармане было ноль рублей,
и хуй стоял на всякий случай…

Приходи, Татьяна, с гусем.
Поебемся и закусим.

Жопа по морю плывет,
А за нею пароход.
Удивительное сходство
Жопа — море – пароходство.

Уронили мишку на пол
Оторвали мишке лапу
Запихали в жопу лампу
Говори, где деньги спрятал!

Я, Ты, Он, Она
Вместе, Мы ебем слона,
Двое в жопу, двое в нос.
Заебем слона до слез.

Жили–были три медведя:
Медведь Вася, медведь Федя.
Ну а третьего они
Ебли просто как могли.

Среди двух высоких скал,
Карлсон сокола поймал,
Гром гремит, мотор ревет.
Карлсон сокола ебет.

Я проснулся в шесть часов,
Нет резинки от трусов.
Где она? А вот она!
На хую намотана.

Аты–Баты, шли солдаты,
Все солдаты аты–баты.
Кто посмел, едрёна мать,
Всех солдатов Аты–бать

Если вас поставить раком,
Толстый дрын засунуть в сраку,
А соски зажать в тиски,
Хрен вы снимите носки.

На постели, шелком застеленой,
Ты лежала, моргая растерянно.
И шептала неистовым шепотом:
"Не туда, не туда! Жопа там!"

Работа мне враг,
И труд не товарищ.
Да здравствует хлюпанье
Мокрых влагалищ!

Кто с водкой дружен —
Тому хуй не нужен.

Раньше были времена,
А теперь мгновения.
Раньше подымался хер,
А теперь давление.

Сидит петя на заборе,
В аллюминевых трусах.
А кому какое дела?
Лишь бы жопа не потела

Петя, Петя помоги нам,
Поводи нам по вагинам

Friday, February 6, 2009

Townes Van Zandt

Townes Van Zandt (1944-1997) was a singer-songwriter, born in Texas to a life on the road. Van Zandt was master of the small, intimate folk performance, such as the July 1973 show that became Live At The Old Quarter Houston, Texas, the double album on Tomato Records. As the Austin Chronicle writes of the re-released CD, “Alone with a guitar, he hushes the crowd with his visionary tunes that are by turns haunting and eccentric, yet filled with beauty and dark shadows.” Despite chronic battles with alcoholism and depression, his songwriting displayed a sense of humour and introspection, truth and beauty.
People were always telling Townes he needed to lighten up in his performances, that he was too dreary. Two of his earliest songs were talkin' blues songs that were really good and he'd usually put one of the other in every set to lighten things up. He also tried to tell jokes, which he wasn't too good at. His best one was about a cop who sees a drunk walking down the street. He says, "Hey, Buddy, you're a little loaded, you aught to go get some coffee". The guy says, "Man, I sure am glad I ran into you officer. See, somebody just stole my car." The cop says, "Where was the car when you last saw it?" The guy says, "Right on the end of this key." The cop looks at the key and says, "Well, go two blocks down to Station House #4 and report it to the desk sergeant." The guy says, "Thanks, officer. You been a big help. I'm headed that way right now." The cop looks down at the guys pants and says, "Hey buddy, before you go, you better zip up your fly." The guy looks down at his pants and says, "Aw man, they got my girl too."