“Symphonie Fantastique”

Hector Berlioz and AC/DC’s Brian Johnson
Composer Hector Berlioz and AC/DC vocalist Brian Johnson.

My calendar’s full, but if you’re thinking about making those first baby-steps into — ahem — culture, may I recommend Berlioz’ Symphonie Fantastique, which the Toronto Symphony Orchestra will perform tonight and tomorrow at Roy Thomson Hall, with super-maestro Charles Dutoit conducting. I think it’s pretty accessible: after all, it’s all about trying to impress a chick with your music, lust, obsession, orgies, drugs, devil-worship and a big-ass bell — dude, it’s AC/DC, if they’d formed a band 150 years earlier!*

(* It could also be a loose summary of my social life — or a very accurate summary of Robert Downey, Jr.’s — from ages 27 to 37.)



Never Forget: 1-31-07

“Lite Brite” mooninite with the words “Never forget: 1-31-07″

Wow, has a year already passed?

There’s more here and here.


“Races” and Their Faces, 1906-Style

Illustrations of “Race Types” from the 1906 book “New Complete Geography”
Click the photo to see it on its original Flickr page.

[Via Boing Boing] Here’s a page from the 1906 schoolbook New Complete Geography showing a number of various “races” and what they look like.

Note the inclusion of “Philippino” — probably included because the Philippines was an American protectorate at the time (one of the by-products of which was my great-grandfather, one James O’Hara, born near Dayton, Ohio). I thought I’d run the image of my kababayan (countryman) from the book side-by-side with my own smiling mug, just for kicks:

“Philippino” man from “New Complete Geography” side by side with Joey deVilla.

Should I swap my goatee for that splendiferous handlebar moustache from the illustration?

Toronto (a.k.a. Accordion City)

“Alice in Wonderland” at Toronto’s New City Hall

Here’s a great photo from a performance of Alice in Wonderland outside Toronto’s New City Hall taken by Sam “Daily Dose of Imagery” Javanrouh. The show was performed by Theater Gajes, a troupe from the Netherlands, and they’ll be performing it again this Saturday and Sunday at both 2 and 5 p.m..

Man in bed suspended in the air with Toronto’s New City Hall in the background
Click the photo to see it on its original page.
Photo courtesy of Sam Javanrouh.

Here’s the description from the City of Toronto’s site:

Scene from Theatre Gajes’ “Alice in Wonderland”

Floating high above the crowds on one-metre-high stilts, Theater Gajes present their interpretation of the well-loved Lewis Carroll story. Set to live music, this enchanting, interactive production features hilarious banter and highly physical performances with a 15-member cast in colourful costumes weaving through the audience with oversized props.

Scene from Theatre Gajes’ “Alice in Wonderland”

Follow Alice into the weird but wonderful world of Wonderland, amid odd creatures and whimsical characters who try to convince you that they only exist in your imagination. The unexpected storyline twists and turns promise to entertain fans of all ages.

Man in viking helmet sticking his tongue out
Click the photo to see it on its original page.
Photo courtesy of Sam Javanrouh.


“Star Wars” Stills in 1080p

For your nerdy enjoyment: a set of stills taken from Star Wars: Episode IV — A New Hope, in glorious 1080p. Click the photo below to see it in its full high-def glory:

Star Wars stills in 1080p
Click the photo to see it at full size (it’s huge — 1.7MB!)
Photo courtesy of Miss Fipi Lele.

I’m turning a couple of these into my desktop background images.


At Last, a Computer Peripheral for Those Romantic Encounters

USB Aroma Radio + Speaker

The use of computers as assistive devices for romantic encounters isn’t new: from the “computer dating gone terribly wrong” plotline used by some ’60s and ’70s sitcoms to (has its developer, who had not yet been kissed at the age of 33 back in 2004, “gotten anywhere” yet?) the likes of LavaLife and eHarmony, we’ve had a handful of dating generations’ worth of software approaches. However, there wasn’t much in the way of romance-assistive computer hardware save for possibly impressing potential soulmates with your Guitar Hero or Rock Band skills. (And no, I don’t count sex-toy peripherals or “teledildonics” — I’m talking romance, not rumpy-pumpy.)

That’s changed, thanks to the USB Aroma Radio + Speaker, a US$30 device that boasts the following features:

  • Radio (for mood music)
  • Speaker (if you’d rather play the “shag tunes” playlist on your computer)
  • Mood lighting (in 7 colours!)
  • A scented oil warmer

USB Aroma Radio + Speaker with cables

Of course, how you lure that special someone into your place/cubicle/airport bathroom stall so you can actually use the USB Aroma Radio + Speaker to set the mood is up to you.

Photo-montage of the USB Aroma Radio + Speaker glowing in different colours
Photo-montage courtesy of Gizmodo.

[Found via Gizmodo; this article was also posted on Global Nerdy.]

funny The Current Situation

My Favourite Political T-Shirt: “Bros Before Hoes”

T-Shirt Hell makes some outrageously offensive (but sometimes funny) t-shirts, and this one’s my current favourite:

“Bros Before Hoes” t-shirt featuring Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton
Click the photo to see the order page.