Team Dick

Xanadu

Posted by @ 11:05 AM on May 27, 2011

“A user interface should be so simple that a beginner in an emergency can understand it within ten seconds.”

Ted Nelson as explained in the anime series Serial Experiments Lain.

Ted Nelson

Ted Nelson is something of a geek philosopher. He thinks a lot about how to simplify computers and more specifically our interactions with them. He’s had quite a lot to say about the subject and he certainly has the authority to say such things. He was one of the original old-world geeks that sat around thinking up the (then) radical ideas that would evolve into the web. Now he’d like us all to know that his bastard child, the web,  is wrong.

(Note: Olivia Newton-John will have nothing to do with this post.)

Continued on the inside…

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Listening Experience on the Cheap

Posted by @ 12:43 PM on May 25, 2011

A couple months back I busted the head phones I used to listen to music while at work. I decided it’d be a good time to pick up something a little better than what I had been using. I didn’t want to spend a lot of money, but I also wanted quality sound.

I couldn’t be happier with what I bought.

Continued on the inside…

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Blood, Sweat, and Tears

Posted by @ 1:44 PM on May 21, 2011

Wrestling is not fake. It is scripted, but to call it fake is to be completely ignorant of wrestling. There is real danger and real injury. There is also inspired story telling. Some matches may have every move choreographed while others are works of total improvisation. And, on occasion, there are “shoot” matches in which both wrestlers genuinely beat the hell out of each other with no predetermined winner.

I was sad to hear about the passing of “Macho Man” Randy Savage. He was a staple of 1980s wrestling and had an amazing comeback in the late 1990s. He was one of my favorites. He was involved in one of the greatest (and many maintain is the absolute greatest) wrestling matches ever filmed. This is an example of a meticulously choreographed match with Savage and his opponent, Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat putting in hours of practice for this one. So as a little Team Dick tribute to the Macho Man let’s watch his match against The Dragon from Wrestlemania III.

And if you’re of the “wrestling is fake” and/or “wrestling is stupid” I challenge you to watch this and see if you don’t find yourself sitting on the edge of your seat before it’s all over. And I’m going to include one other match after the break to help drive home the point of how un-fake wrestling really is.

Continued on the inside…

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Forbidden Fruit

Posted by @ 4:23 PM on May 15, 2011

As I write this, my wife is away for the evening. She is at her mother’s house, tending to my mother-in-law’s hounds while I am left at home to fend for myself. I am sitting in front of my computer, typing out my latest series of random synapse firings and eating my dinner. No, that’s not entirely true. I’m not eating my dinner, I’m savoring it. I’m loudly devouring it, making yummy noises, as my two Basset hounds stare at me longingly. The older of the two is chuffing and woofing as if to say, “Hello father. We are here and we would certainly appreciate your generosity if you were to share whatever heavenly dish you are currently enjoying.” The younger is pawing at me – her message is more simple: “Daddy! Daddy!! Want some want some want some!!!” But they’ll end up disappointed, because I won’t share this delight. It’s mine…all MINE, I tells ya!!! And no one is getting any of this treasure! And what culinary godsend – what gourmet’s dream, you may ask – has me in a state of bliss usually reserved for the most hardcore of food porn?

Ramen noodles, my friends. But not just any ol’ ramen. Nissin Bowl Noodles. Hot & Spicy Chicken Flavor. That’s right: I have achieved nirvana at $1 per bowl.

 

You know you want it…

 

I am washing down my meal with a can of Pepsi Throwback. And, yes, I realize that it’s just old-school Pepsi, made with sugar instead of high fructose corn syrup. And, yes, I know that this meal is neither “good” nor good for me. And, yes, if my wife were home, I probably wouldn’t be eating this at all, much less with the vigor and delight that I am at this moment. I am not “allowed” to have this type of junk food, not because I am “whipped” but because I am loved. My wife wants me to live a nice long life with her and the sodium content alone runs contrary to that wish. But that’s kind of the point isn’t it? I’m eating it because she’s not here to tell me I shouldn’t, and it’s deliciousness is based solely on the “verboten” factor. This is forbidden fruit and that’s why it’s so damned good.

Can you imagine how delicious that apple must have been to get Humanity kicked out of Paradise???

Perhaps you doubt what I’m telling you, that part of a food’s flavor and satisfaction value is tied into the fact that we shouldn’t, or can’t, have it. If that’s the case, I offer you this experiment. Go to a McDonalds with a friend, preferably one who prefers that you eat your food and they eat theirs. Order whatever you like but make sure your friend gets a large order of french fries. Go to your table and eat some of your own meal. Pretty good, right? You know you shouldn’t have McDonalds every day but this meal, in this moment, is pretty freakin’ good, isn’t it? Eat one of your fries. Yummy! Now wait for your moment, perhaps as your friend is reaching for a fry of their own, and steal one of theirs! As your friend asks you what the hell you were thinking, annoyed at the rudeness, pulling their food out of your reach, try convincing yourself that the french fry in your mouth ISN’T more tasty than your own. I guarantee you that you can’t, because stolen fries are always more delicious than our own.  And if you didn’t know it before, you certainly do now.

And the concept of forbidden fruit doesn’t just refer to food, mind you. Think of the toys you wanted as a child, the ones your parents wouldn’t buy for you right at that moment. How many times were you reduced to a raging hurricane of temper tantrum? Or the cars you stare at longingly, knowing you’ll never even test-drive them, much less buy. Is there REALLY a difference between a Mustang and a Toyota on a highway during rush hour? I had zero desire to attend this year’s Rue Morgue Festival of Fear in Toronto thanks to the lousy time I had the last time thanks to (convention organizer) Hobbystar’s hideous excuse for organization and fan treatment…until Rue Morgue magazine (whom I love) announced one of the bands that would be playing this year. Now, even as I know I cannot (and still really don’t want to) go, part of me would kill and/or steal to be able to attend.

I know my wife is going to read this. And she’ll inevitably give me that look of mild-to-middling disappointment mixed with a good portion of empathy. She’ll tell me I shouldn’t be eating that crap and I’ll shamefacedly agree. And not too far from now, she’ll email me at the office, asking me to grab her a pint of chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream on the way home. I’ll grumble and grouse, telling her she doesn’t need the damned ice cream any more than I need to be sidetracked from coming home after a long day of work. But we both know I’ll buy it, just as we both know that the first spoonful that goes into her mouth will be the most satisfying. Because nothing fuels our desires more than the words “no” or “shouldn’t.”  Because we want what we cannot, or should not, have. And at the end of the day, no salad or fat-free heart healthy anything holds a candle to a single forbidden fruit.

So what are your “forbidden fruits?”

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Let’s Get Drunk And Do A Play

Posted by @ 12:59 PM on May 14, 2011

In this episode of Gaki no Tsukai (ガキの使い) the guys get drunk and then perform a play based on the Japanese folklore hero Momotarō (桃太郎). The story is simple enough: a childless couple find a baby inside a giant peach. They raise him as their own. Years later he leaves to go fight demons and finds a few friends along the way. His name comes from momo (桃) meaning “peach” and taro (太郎) meaning “oldest son”.

After watching this I’m inspired to get a few friends and try this myself. But I don’t think any of the local schools would let us perform drunk; those philistines.

Translation by Shibatabread.

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Comedic Differences Between Cultures

Posted by @ 12:57 PM on May 10, 2011

Japanese translator extraordinaire Shibatabread has translated a special episode of Denpa Shōnen (電波少年) in which Japanese comedian Hitoshi Matsumoto (松本 人志) is asked to make Americans laugh.

Continued on the inside…

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Air Doll (空気人形)

Posted by @ 8:05 PM on May 1, 2011

I first encountered Itao Itsuji (板尾 創路) while watching Gaki no Tsukai batsu games. He is a Japanese comedian well known for having a very odd sense of humor and the guys at Gaki no Tsukai love to showcase it. He is also an actor and has appeared in over 20 films including Tokyo Gore Police and Love Exposure. I suspect his choice in film roles is influenced by his sense of humor. His latest role comes in the movie Air Doll and when I first heard about the film I visited YouTube to find out more.

The trailer didn’t offer much insight, but I tracked down a copy of the film and watched it.

Continued on the inside…

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