Saturday, May 31, 2008

Uncontacted Tribe Spotted in Brazil

Crazy. Arrows were flying.

Linking Fixed

RIGA, Latvia (Caught on the Bound Newswires) - Caught on the Bound users reported broken links when accessing the site through rather than the Blogspot address.

Editor-in-chief and Supreme Site Overlord Kevin Curran was roused from his slumber by an aide at 3:30 AM this morning to deal with the problem.

"What we're looking at is some kind of power revulsion oscillation," said a bleary-eyed Curran. "Very common. Very common. Hey, are you going to the kitchen? Can you get me a muffin?"

CotB technicians worked through most of the morning to correct the problem, finally beating back the DNS domain demon with deft programming and two-clicks of a mouse.

"I think 'DNS domain' is a redundant term," said Earl, a longtime programmer and respected minion of the site. "I mean, that's just bad journalism. DNS stands for Domain Naming System. Idiots."

Earl was placed on administrative leave.

Quote of the Day

"There's an old saying about those who forget history. I don't remember it, but it's good."

- Stephen Colbert

Friday, May 30, 2008

Skylines - Brisbane

Adventures - The Telectroscope (Updated)

I'm heading into New York today and will try to check out the Telectroscope or "transatlantic telescope" as blogged about previously. Pictures and footage to follow!


As promised, my report on the Telectroscope! I've been getting a lot of traffic from people looking for information about it, so here you go:

I took the A train to High St. in Brooklyn. When you emerge, just head towards the bridge and follow along the left side of it until you reach the water - and there it is!

It looks a lot like a telescope. Luckily, it wasn't too crowded either. Some cool tidbits from my Telectroscope experience:

- The staff handed out whiteboards and markers for communicating with our counterparts in London, near Tower Bridge (the Telectroscope has no audio, just the visual). They keep hoping for someone to propose marriage or discover world peace through it; but mainly, we wrote things like "New York Calling!" or "Hello!" or "So anyways, do you just want to call me?"

- It appeared to be raining in London as some of the Other Siders had umbrellas out. One guy near me emphasized his sunglasses and how nice the weather was in New York. This was met with shrugs and good humour on the London side.

- I tried to communicate through interpretive dance, the language of international relations. I did this worm thing with my arms and sure enough, some guy on the other side did it back. Awesome.

- A girl in London started blowing kisses at everyone, which led to a funny bout of miming affection through the great glass tube. It must have been weird for people walking by to see a group of men pretending to fall backwards in front of a giant telescope.

- One couple had made an appointment to meet friends in London through the scope...and they found them!

The strange and somewhat eerie part of the experience is communicating in silence across a great distance. The white boards gave it a bit of a verbal element, like the Internet, but people primarily reacted to movement and gestures, which heightened the sense of distance, like a farmer waving to you from his tractor far away. Strange, fun and highly recommended.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Skylines - Nairobi


Phoneless Chords

I play guitar. Not very well or professionally or anything. I just like to play when I feel like it. I like figuring out chords and hearing how they Sometimes, I sing along with the guitar playing. This can be quite fun, but one answer sort of eludes me. Am I in tune?

I decided to get my recorder that I use for comedy and impromptu interviews on the train and such and record me singing while playing guitar. The result? Decently in tune. Except for random notes here and there. Like, I'll be in tune with no issues and then out of nowhere, some atonal specter of doom makes me sing sort of in tune with the chord but not with the melody, usually at the end of a lyrical phrase. It works, but it's just completely unexpected and makes the song sound like a mistake. And I hear this and think, "I could go for a Coke."

Explanations - Easter Island

Invincible (Sort of)

I don't really follow the NFL very closely, instead preferring the gamely joust of the college game, but I found this article on Vince Young interesting. He nearly quit after his first year in the NFL, which is known to be a difficult year of transition, seriousness and un-fun. And lots and lots of cash. But anyway:

"If nothing else, it's a reminder that we never, ever really know what's going on with our favorite athletes. Or anyone, really. Being rich, being famous, being idolized, being on the cover of Madden ... none of it guarantees that a guy won't be sitting at home crying his eyes out and listening to, I don't know, Elliott Smith albums or something."
And lots and lots of cash.

Photo of the (Yesterday)

"Nothing says Memorial Day like a bunch of bikers driving through town. Thank you to everyone who has served our country. Thank you for our freedom."

Thanks Jenny!

Monday, May 26, 2008

A Cinematic Odyssey

Friend of Caught on the Bound, John Young, reports on a 2001: A Space Odyssey forum for Entertainment Weekly. I know this is one of his favorite films and, after having the opportunity to see it on the big screen at Notre Dame (complete with THX), I too count it among my favorites. A cool tidbit from John's report:

"The ape costumes used in the "Dawn of Man" sequence were so convincing that many moviegoers assumed Kubrick simply trained real apes. This perhaps explains why the film didn't receive an Oscar nomination for its costumes."

Skylines - Hong Kong

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Quote of the Day

"I write down everything I want to remember. That way, instead of spending a lot of time trying to remember what it is I wrote down, I spend the time looking for the paper I wrote it down on."

- Beryl Pfizer

The Catchphrase

I'm sure a lot of us have at least a passing familiarity with The Legend of Zelda, either as a video game or as the famed should-have-been-nominated-for-an-Emmy 80s cartoon series. In case you missed any part of it though, this is a good recap of the series:

My favorite scene (and I did watch the whole thing) has to be Link just standing there grappling with snakes for no apparent reason. Honorable mention: scenes in which Link is either in his underwear or somehow hanging out in Zelda's bedroom wearing a robe. Mario never got this good.

Dedicated to Patrick Donnelly's graduation from the University of Notre Dame.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

The Laugh Lab

Joke research! I've filed this under alternative careers.

Alone with the Cards

Turns out you're not alone when you play solitaire.

"Solitaire has been a popular diversion for bored office workers for decades, even causing New York office worker Ed Greenwood to be fired when city mayor Michael Bloomberg spotted him playing it on the clock."

Anyone else play Snood? That's equally addictive in its own way.

Tous les Garcons et les Filles - Francoise Hardy

Just go with it.


If you haven't already, do.

Based on the Music Genome Project.


"Fiercely independent, Jakob Dylan determined early on to make his own name rather than ride on his famous father's coattails. The young musician named his band the Wallflowers after an intense brainstorming session with other band members - and only later discovered (much to his chagrin) that his father had once written a song (albeit still unpublished) with the very same name.

A rider in Jakob's contracts later stipulated that no references be made to "Bob Dylan's son" in any preshow advertising. Ironically, the rider was actually requested by Bob Dylan."


Photo of the Day

"I was driving along minding my own business, and I saw some smoke, and then I saw this. It's not every day you see a car engulfed in flame. I just hope they got everyone out because...holy crap...I mean seriously!"

A bit of a change-up from Jenny's previous photo.

Friday, May 23, 2008


Not that Labour needs any more scares. Tony Blair's plane comes within minutes of being shot down by Israeli fighter jets. Scary stuff.

Quote of the Day

"The problem with people who have no vices is that generally you can be pretty sure they're going to have some pretty annoying virtues."

-Elizabeth Taylor

Coming to A Shore Near You

Strange Maps provides an update on the odyssey of The Friendly Floatees, a bunch of rubber ducks shipwrecked in the middle of the Pacific in 1992, which continue to ride the ocean currents today, popping up on shores in Australia, South America, North America and now Europe.

We might do well to consider The Friendly Floatees as an allegory for life. Or maybe a metaphor. It's like a simile. That is, could we be drifting through life, unaware of the next shore to receive us? To put a relativity spin on this, perhaps we are the drifters and the rubber duckies are a fixed beacon in time and space, trying desperately to guide us home and destroy our illusion of motion and progress when they, not we, are standing perfectly still in the universe.

Like I said, it's a metaphor or something. But like an allegorical simile. The Caught on the Bound staff is currently in the midst of heated debate now. Best to tend to it.

Pork and Beans - Weezer

The video for Weezer's new single, Pork and Beans. You might recognize some Internet/YouTube-ish stars. I like the sound of this single; a lot closer to their earlier stuff, but I hear the rest of the album is pretty experimental and out there. Fine by me.

Garfield Hip, With It

There's just no way this joke would have worked in the 80s. Also, did Liz steal Charlie Brown's shirt and dye it? Somewhere, in the Peanuts universe, a shirtless Charlie Brown is curled in the fetal position hiding his shame.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

A Transatlantic Telescope

UPDATE: My first-hand report here!

Various news outlets are reporting the completion of a "Telectroscope" that allows Londoners and New Yorkers to see each other in real time. Really? Well, sort of. It's a cool art exhibit:

"The whole thing is about seeing what is real and what isn't real and how the world is," said Nicki Webb, a co-founder of Artichoke. "Is it nighttime when we are in daytime and does it look familiar to us or not?"

When the sun illuminated the lens of the Telectroscope next to the Thames this morning, it was, of course, still nighttime in New York. So the screen inside the scope broadcast back only an empty sidewalk silently framed by the Brooklyn Bridge and Manhattan skyline.

But then something miraculous occurred.

A police officer and a street cleaner walked into the frame. Stopped. And waved."

The New York Times has more here.

Photo of the Day

In an attempt to bring more cool visuals into this space, I've commissioned Jenny to provide some random photos and captions. Enjoy!

"This is one of my favorite pictures of a soldier crab from Cayman Brac. He just has that "If you were smaller, I could totally take you" look. He's a crab that's going to take on the world. Currently, he lives with a wife, three children, and a pet snail lovingly named 'slow-poke'. Volunteering at the local crab shelter 'Have a Claw, Help a Crab', he has made a name for himself in the community asking for donated shells to give crabs a home and a second chance."

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Notes on the Beatles

If you're a Beatles fan like me, you've probably wondered how they managed to churn out album after album of good music while incorporating new elements, styles, forms, influences and haircuts for nearly a decade. Sure, there was plenty of talent but couldn't there just be some secret formula that Lennon and McCartney plucked from the musical ether? Some elegant underlying secret to Pop Music?

I doubt it. But I do find Alan W. Pollack's "Notes on the Beatles" series to be a good shot at finding out. Pollack studied music for a number of years before embarking on a more lucrative career in computers, I believe, and in 1989 he attempted to analyze a few of the Beatles' songs and give listeners a sense of what made them so great. What began as an interesting little project eventually turned into an interesting big project as Pollack managed to breakdown and analyze every single song in the band's catalog.

As a musicologist, a lot of the notes are somewhat dense if you don't have a background in music theory; but his comments are thoughtful, accessible and warmly engaging as he outlines the distinctive features of each tune. So enjoy!

By the way, is there anyone that doesn't like the Beatles? I've met only one person who came right out and said that he didn't like the Beatles - and he knows who he is. We'll find you.

I mean, there's something for everyone with the Beatles right? I admit to not being so keen on McCartney's hokey songs like Maxwell's Silver Hammer or Honey Pie, but this is a group that gave us early metal (Revolution), hard rock (Paperback Writer), children's songs (Yellow Submarine), acid pop (Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds), pop standards (In My Life, Something, Here, There and Everywhere, Yesterday) and pushing-the-envelope art songs (Strawberry Fields Forever).

In conclusion, who is your favorite Beatle?

Indiana Jones Exit Poll

John apparently saw the new Indiana Jones film. What did he think?

"Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull" is a truly mediocre action-adventure movie. Absolutely, unequivocally mediocre.

It's silly, silly, silly, silly, silly, and it's dumb, clunky, and condescending."
I really, really, really, really, really hope I don't feel the same way after seeing it. Ouch. Although, I must say, the "condescending" part has me intrigued. Will Indy break the fourth wall, stare out at the audience and say something like, "Of course they wouldn't know anything about that now, would they?" Here's hoping I don't break down in the theater after the third "silly."

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Evolution of Intelligent Design

Apparently, 25% of high school biology teachers still devote classroom time to creationism or intelligent design. I have no problem with this. But to be fair, we should also devote classroom time to the Flying Spaghetti Monster, the Invisible Pink Unicorn, Thor, Zeus and their relevant theories of creation.

Then again, I was somewhat swayed by Kirk Cameron's "crocaduck" argument. For a second, I almost forgot Dr. Grant's velociraptor theories (which, incidentally, they now believe had feathers).

Monday, May 19, 2008

Where's My Camera?

A Utah photographer gets hit by a javelin at a high school track meet and somehow manages to take a picture of his accident. Not for the queasy, but the curious.

Vintage Ads for Modern Products

A fun Photoshop contest. Browsing through the ads feels like some kind of parallel universe - distant yet familiar. In the year 2540, we'll have anthropologists and archaeologists digging through the ruins of the once Great Internet and uncovering what appear to be startling anachronisms: "iPods in the mid-20th century? Impossible!" Of course, by then, the language will have evolved from the archaic turn-of-the-millennium speech and sound more like "Ipes in way backsies? Nuh-uh!" And they will laugh at all of us wearing jeans the way we laugh at Washington wearing tights.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Obama in Portland

Photo not available: the other six people who live in Portland


In Defense of the 'Liberal Professor'

"The absence of larger numbers of conservative faculty members is, to a great extent, explained by the very correlation between education and ideology. Other explanations might relate to the different choices that liberals and conservatives, especially those with advanced degrees, make about education, careers and income.

Simply put, more conservatives with a bent for higher education are going to have to opt for smaller salaries if their presence in the academy is to grow."

An interesting read, especially if you worry about pinko-leftist commies teaching kids about democratic socialism. That said, I'm going to go hug a tree while hating money.

Stuff White People Like: Stuff White People Like

Stuff White People Like, the straightforward blog with a book deal now, seems to have hit upon a quiet and, until now, unexpressed awareness of the silly excesses of hipsterdom. I see it as a more accessible version of Robert Lanham's The Hipster Handbook.

As I've seen some already point out, the ironic twist may be that the biggest fans of Stuff White People Like are, in full accordance with the site's premise, white people.

Naked Theology

Harry Collins on New Atheism's arguments:

"Once scientists move outside their scientific experience, they become like a layperson. I'm not a religious person, but if I want to talk religion with someone, it won't be a scientist; it will be with someone who understands theology (who might be either an atheist or a believer). I believe people like Dawkins give atheism a bad name because their arguments are so crude and unsubtle. They step outside their narrow competences when they produce these arguments."
This is something that Dawkins and other scientists have addressed. What is the point of discussing the finer nuances of theology or how many angels can dance on the head of a pin when you are challenging the underlying premise of God's existence? Everything else is built on this assumption. There's little value in comparing the merits of fine silk versus linen cashmere as royal costume when it's clear that the Emperor is not wearing any clothes.

(Via Sullivan)