T-Shirt of the Day

Guy in T-shirt with "Not Chris Dorner - please do not shoot" written on it in magic marker

He’s assuming that the LAPD — a.k.a. “The Gazpacho Gestapo” — will take the time to read the shirt before opening fire.


Blue Jump: Wax Audio’s Mashup of New Order, Van Halen, Duran Duran and Tears for Fears


Wax Audio’s latest mashup video takes New Order’s Blue Monday as its base track, uses the vocal tracks from Van Halen’s Jump, Duran Duran’s Girls on Film, and Tears for Fears’ Shout, and covers it with 80s imagery for icing.


Reasons to Learn Foreign Languages

Three testimonials: 1. I'm learning Russian so I can trade recipes with my babushka. 2. I'm learning Spanish so I can communicate better with my coworkers. 3. I'm learning Thai... So I can go to Thailand... for a thing.

Occasionally, the folks at Saturday Night Live hit comedy paydirt.


Finally, a Rear Windshield Vinyl Decal That I WOULD Buy

grumpy cat sticker

It’s real, and available via Etsy.

Found via Liz Lawley.


My Strangest Accordion Request: The “Juicy Fruit” Jingle

juicy fruit

With the recent snowstorm, couple with the closing of several stations along the Bloor-Danforth subway line for maintenance, public transit was really crowded last night. As I rode on a packed bus towards Parkdale to meet my friends Katie and Ewan for drinks, a group of drunk guys noticed the accordion.

“Dude,” said one of them, “do you take requests?”

“Sure,” I replied. “If I know the song or can fake my way through it.”

“Juicy Fruit!” blurted out one of the guys at the back, to much laughter.

“The song in the commercial, with the skiing?” I asked.

“YEAH!” a bunch of them replied.

“Let me see,” I said, as I put on the accordion and unstrapped the bellows.

Not only did I manage to play the chords — not all that difficult; it’s essentially the same chords as The Who’s Can’t Explain — I even managed to remember most of the lyrics. In fact, so did a good number of people on the bus. Once they heard “Get your skis shined up”, something clicked in everyone’s heads.

In honour of that most strange request, I recorded a version in the rough-and-ready way I played it last night, and I’m sharing it with the world below. Enjoy!

The lyrics:
Get your skis shined up
Grab a stick of Juicy Fruit
The taste is gonna move ya
Move you up
Move you out
The taste is gonna move ya when you pop it in your mouth

Juicy Fruit – it’s gonna move ya
It’s got a taste that gets right through ya
Juicy Fruit – the taste is gonna move ya!


Happy Chinese New Year!

2013 - year of the snake

Gung Hei Fat Choy! It’s another Chinese New Year, and this one’s the Year of the Snake. It starts today and runs until January 31, 2014, after which we’re in the Year of the Horse (although some people in the UK and Europe may argue that the year of the horse is already upon us).

chinese zodiac

Some of the other animals in the Chinese zodiac get lots of love, such as the Dragon, whose year we just came from, or the Tiger. There are always stories about people either postponing or rushing business deals, weddings or even childbirths just so that they fall during those years. Dragon and Tiger are so respected that stuntmen in Hong Kong films — Jackie Chan and his ilk, who often performed with little or no safety equipment — described their way of living as lung fu mo shi, or “Dragon Tiger!”; a close North American equivalent might be “Kick-ass”.

On the other hand, the Chinese have the same opinion of snakes as Indiana Jones:

As with Western culture, snakes are also viewed with suspicion in Chinese culture, and the year of the snake is often associated with trouble. The last Year of the Snake was 2001, which is often associated with 9/11. I agree with comedian Lewis Black’s summary of that year:

So my review for 2001 the year is the same as for 2001: A Space Odyssey. It went on too long, it was hard to follow and you could only enjoy it if you were really, really stoned.

Also worth noting: the terrible event, Pearl Harbor (1941) and the terrible movie, Pearl Harbor (2001) both took place on a Year of the Snake.

The Year of the Snake before that was 1989, which was a year associated with a number of terrible things including the Loma Prieta Earthquake, the Tienanmen Square Massacre (although the Chinese government says it never happened), and Milli Vanilli’s album, Girl You Know It’s True. The previous Year of the Snake was 1977, the year Jimmy “History’s Greatest Monster” Carter took over as President of the United States, when James Dobson formed Focus on the Family, and when the Starland Vocal Band (a one-hit wonder with their single Afternoon Delight, which as a ten-year-old, I thought was about the arrival of the ice cream truck) won the Grammy for artist of the year.

This guy was born on a Year of the Snake:

(Whether that’s good or bad depends on your perspective.)

Not only does each year have an animal associated with it, but also a colour and an element from Wu Xing (Chinese philosophy):

wu xing

So this year is the Year of the Black Water Snake, or as I like to call it:

year of the black snake moan

Fortune tellers in Asia aren’t too jazzed about this year. Singapore’s “Grand Master” Tan Khoon Yong of geomancy consultancy Way OnNet Group (there are such things as geomancy consultants?) says:

“This is a disaster year… a lot of things will not go smoothly. The European Union may split, the euro may be in trouble.”

Chow Hon-ming, a Hong Kong astrologer, says:

“Things will be very intense between Japan and China. Tensions will rise to a peak and they will possibly go to war.”

Personally, I think you should give these predictions as much credence as say, these:

lindsay lohans predicitons for 2013

(Yup, this appeared a few weeks back in Weekly World News.)

Want to know more about the Snake in Chinese astrology? Here’s a good place to start.

Happy Chinese New Year, everyone!


Speedruns: Star Wars, The Matrix and Back to the Future in 60 Seconds

star wars on 60 seconds

Speedruns are little animated videos that summarize a few movies, each one in sixty seconds.

Here’s Star Wars: A New Hope, a.k.a. Episode IV, a.k.a. The real first film:

Here’s The Matrix, a.k.a. the one in the trilogy worth watching:

And finally here’s the first Back to the Future film: