Monday, January 24, 2005

100 CDs You Should Remove from Your Collection Immediately

Fascinating discussion as to what are the most over-rated albums of all time. You are guaranteed to find a dozen or so you will violently disagree with (I know I did). But its a provocative idea -- likely purposefully, so as to generate more comments and posts -- from Jaguaro: 

Here' s their dissection of the average music fan's collection:

"We have not selected easy targets for removal -- we know that you know that the Milli Vanilli album you've got stashed away in a shoebox isn't exactly kosher. Nope, we chose critical darlings and must-have releases from the past and present. Some will bristle at our audacity for questioning the worth of any Beatles release or blithely pissing on Jane's Addiction's "masterpiece." Some will maintain that we're not qualified or that we'll never make an album as great as Dark Side of the Moon and accordingly should shut our traps. The approval an artist seeks by releasing an album is not guaranteed, even if music moguls, "tastemakers," and critics agree that it is merited. As music listeners, we've taken on the very modest project of flipping through our collections, listening to them, and separating the good stuff from the bad. If the creators of the "greats," the "classics," and the "hits" want to ensure that their efforts get the praise they deserve forevermore, they should take care that they are only accessible to sympathetic critics and fans.

The entries on this list fall roughly into three categories:

   •      Critically bullet-proof artifacts whose weighty presence on the shelf is complimented perfectly by their perpetual absence from the CD player. Critic-mandated vanity archives should be bundled up and spirited off to the used record store under the cover of night.

    •     Albums by new artists that have only their newness and the marketing efforts of music conglomerates to recommend them. Almost invariably, these recordings pale in comparison to those of the artists they imitate. Alternately, new albums by established artists that are slavishly hailed as the big comeback get high points with us. Like nature hates a vacuum, Jaguaro despises the Next Big Thing.

    •     Nostalgic favorites that maintain their place by tradition and neglect more than actual merit. These are the CDs people never get rid of because they may want to play them some time in the indefinite future (certainly not now).

I'm posting this more to spark a discussion than because I agree with Jaguaro . . . I found plenty that they are just FN wrong about.

I disagreed with their takes on:

    1.      The Clash - Combat Rock
    5.      The Beatles - Let It Be       
    22.      The Who - Tommy
    25.      Beastie Boys - Paul's Boutique
    28.      Red Hot Chili Peppers - Blood Sugar Sex Magik
    34.      Dave Brubeck - Time Out
    37.      John Coltrane - Giant Steps
    58.      Ben Folds Five - Whatever and Ever, Amen
    62.      Green Day - Dookie
    64.      Pink Floyd - Dark Side of the Moon
    65.      Sarah McLachlan - Fumbling Towards Ecstasy, Surfacing
    74.      The Beatles - Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Heart's Club Band
    91.      Sublime - Self-titled
    97.      The Doors - The Best of the Doors

Most of their criticism falls into one of 4 categories:

1)   We're young and stupid and wear our ignorance of musical history on our sleeves;
2)   Jazz? We don't know shit about Jazz;
3)  If I like melodic female vocals, does that make me gay? ;

and lastly, the general catch all:

4)   Alex, I'll take pretentious Bullshit for $100

That about covers it . . .


One Hundred Albums You Should Remove from Your Collection Immediately
edited by Wesley A. Kose, January 27, 2004

Posted at 12:00 PM in Music | Permalink | Comments (4) | TrackBack

More Shuffle Play

Here's another shuffle play --  pretty good mixes:

1. Control, Puddle Of Mudd  from  Hard Drive 
2. Burn To Shine, Ben Harper, from Burn To Shine
3 .The Six Million Dollar Man Theme, Oliver Nelson  from  The Tao Of Steve 
4. Spill the Wine, War  from  War - The Best of War... And More 
5. Caminando Por La Calle, Gipsy Kings  from  !Volare! - The Very Best Of The Gipsy Kings (Disc 2),
6. My favourite Name, Loo & Placido  from  Bastard Pop,
7. It's A Blue World, Ella Fitzgerald  from  Ella Swings Gently With Nelson 
8. Little Wing, Ottmar Liebert + Luna Negra XL  from  Little Wing 
9. Embrace, Govi  from  Passion & Grace 
10. Pulse,  Epperley  from  Epperley 
11. Supersonic (acoustic), Oasis  from P2P MP3
12. Ventilator Blues, CLARENCE "GATEMOUTH" BROWN  from  Paint It Blue: Songs of the Rolling Stones
13. I can see clearly now, Jimmy Cliff  from We Are All One
14.  Fancy Man Blues, The Rolling Stones  from  Collectibles (Flashpoint disc 2) 
15. I Feel Home, Oar  from  Souls Aflame

Posted at 09:19 AM in Music | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Sunday, January 23, 2005

Foot of Snow

Here in the NorthEast, we got buried with over a foot of Snow over the past 18 hours -- and its still coming down!

click for larger 'toon



Posted at 08:26 AM in Humor | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Saturday, January 22, 2005


This guy builds amazing structures out of playing cards --   all without bending, gluing, folding, or taping the cards.


Astounding structures of incredible complexity and stability

Posted at 08:37 PM in Design | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Friday, January 21, 2005

Dude, Where's My Car?

Welcome to Lawn Gyland -- but please watch where you park.

At least, thats what recent data suggests, according to an article in Newsday this week.

The main culprit? Big parking lots in Malls and train stations -- especially those with easy access to highways.


Source: Newsday


Here's a short excerpt:

Dude, where's my car?

If you're fortunate enough to live in one of the Island's tonier North Shore villages, chances are excellent that it's right where you left it.

But if you parked your car in Hempstead, Port Washington or Freeport, or in parts of the Town of Islip, the chances aren't nearly as good, according to a Newsday analysis theft reports.

The good news is that, even in areas with the highest rates, auto thefts are falling, thanks to better antitheft devices. A total of 5,707 auto thefts were reported to Long Island's county, town and village police departments in 2003, the most recent year available, a decline of 4 percent from the previous year. What's more, theft rates here are low relative to most other U.S. metropolitan areas.

In the Village of Hempstead, police took 473 stolen vehicle reports in 2003. With a population of about 54,000, that is 8.75 thefts per 1,000 people -- the highest rate of any Long Island police jurisdiction in the Newsday analysis.

Port Washington had only 22 thefts in 2003, as reported by the state, but that averages out to a rate of 7.8 thefts for every 1,000 people. The Village of Freeport was another of the Island's hot spots in 2003, with 205 thefts, for a rate of 4.65 thefts for every 1,000 people.

In contrast, police in many of the Island's wealthier villages, located far from main highways and where residents are more apt to park in garages, recorded no thefts at all in 2003, according to the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services. They included Kensington, Kings Point and Sands Point in Nassau County. In Suffolk, no reports were taken by Asharoken, Head of the Harbor, Huntington Bay, Lloyd Harbor, Nissequogue and Ocean Beach.

When in Rome, do as the Romans do. When on Long Island -- better watch where you park . . .


LI auto theft rates falling
Newsday, January 18, 2005,0,843736.story

Posted at 08:28 AM in Current Affairs, Humor, Travel | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Thursday, January 20, 2005

Dark Matter Clumps in Galaxies

Who knew?


photo via NASA/Yale

Excerpt:    Hubble Space Telescope data, analyzed by a Yale astronomer using gravitational lensing techniques, has generated a spatial map demonstrating the clumped substructure of dark matter inside clusters of galaxies.   

Clusters of galaxies (about a million, million times the mass of our sun), are typically made up of hundreds of galaxies bound together by gravity. About 90 percent of their mass is dark matter. The rest is ordinary atoms in the form of hot gas and stars. 

Although little is known about it, cold dark matter is thought to have structure at all magnitudes. Theoretical models of the clumping properties were derived from detailed, high resolution simulations of the growth of structure in the Universe. Although previous evidence supported the “concordance model” of a Universe mostly composed of cold, dark matter, the predicted substructure had never been detected.

Substructure Maps Show that Dark Matter Clumps in Galaxies
Priyamvada Natarajan, Yale assistant professor of astronomy and physics
YALE University   , January 6, 2005

Posted at 10:59 AM in Science | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Where Can I Put My Stuff?

On the LIRR on my way into work each day, I pass Citiwide Self Storage.

They answer the question that's obviously on every consumer's mind:    Where Can I Put My Stuff?


Now you know . . .

(nice snap via the LG 6600 phone )

Posted at 10:04 AM in Humor | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Shuffle Play

I've been playing witht he party mix on iTunes;  The shuffle play seems to come up with some pretty good mixes:


1. Ready For It, The Stills from Logic Will Break Your
2. Top Of The Pops, The Smithereens from Blown To Smithereens- Best Of The Smithereens
3. Get Ready, Rare Earth from Hitsville USA, The Motown Singles Collection 1959-1971 (Disc 4)
4. Shine A Light, The Rolling Stones, from Stripped
5. Manchild, Eels, from Beautiful Freak
6. Rock You Like A Hurricane, Scorpions from Love At First Sting
7. Automatic Stop, The Strokes from Room On Fire
8. Shake Your Rump, The Beastie Boys from Paul's Boutique
9. 500 Miles, Me First & The Gimme Gimmes
10. Shiver (Accoustic), Coldplay from Without Parachutes
11. Dear Prudence, Sexy Sadie from Beatles Rarities
12. Video, Ben Folds Five from Ben Folds Five
13. They Say It's Wonderful, John Coltrane & Johnny Hartman from John Coltrane & Johnny Hartman
14. That's The Way (I Like It), K.C. & The Sunshine Band from 25th Anniversary Collection (Disc 1)
15. Alison, Everything But The Girl from Acoustic


A lot of covers in this shuffle -- and Brit Pop, too.

Posted at 11:24 AM in Music | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Monday, January 17, 2005

Scoring Mary Ann over Ginger

If you ever get stuck on Gilligan's Island, you will have hopefully read  Mr. Sun. He has laid out all the details you want to know about how to bed Mary Ann:

My, my, my. In this time of war and great tragedy, I have naturally been preoccupied with the big questions. Namely, how would I have bedded Mary Ann if I were Gilligan. The answer? Strategy . I would have used my mind to create a rock solid Mary Ann Nailing Strategy that guaranteed I'd be rockin' the hut on a regular basis.

My Mary Ann Bedding Strategy rests on six central pillars:  Flattery, Deceit, Appeal, Collaboration, Sabotage, Time . . .

Go read the entire warped analysis.


Posted at 06:56 AM in Humor, Television | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Sunday, January 16, 2005

Credit Card Signatures

There's a very amusing discussion of signatures on Credit Card reciepts at the Scream online. (See also Zug)

It reminds me of a funny little routine that used to happen all the time when Mrs. essays & effluvia and I were first married.

Despite being responsible for billions of dollars at work, I am totally irresponsible with my own cash, almost childlike in my own incompetence. I am cognizant of this, and that's why the missus has always been in charge of the household budget, bills, credit cards, etc.

Whenever we went out to dinner (or any restaurant), she would take the check, pull out the credit card, and give it to the waiter/waitress. And on 4 out of 5 occasions, after running it through, they would hand the reciept for signature -- back to me.

For obvious reasons, this used to annoy her endlessly. It became a longstanding joke between us. Whenever she expressed her ire over this obvious sexism, I always explained to her the simple reason why it was so:   "Its because I have the Penis."

I don't know what the power of the Penis is, that it magnetically attracts those seeking a credit card authorization -- but it was an inescapable fact of life. This would annoy the wife endlessly. But unknownst to her, each and every single time this happened, that harmless phrase was exactly how I  inscribed the credit card receipt: 

"I have the penis"

For a while, I didn't tell her about this signature game. After a particularly galling incident, when she was furious, I finally showed her the sig on the yellow carbon reciept, signed "I have the Penis".

She laughed at first, and then scowled, admonishing me that "they might notice."  

"Well they haven't noticed anytime over the past 12 years, why should they notice now?"

I told her what I had been doing all along, and she utterly, positively refused to believe me.

We went home, she pulled out her reciept folder (yes, she keeps all her reciepts in a folder in chronological order; I, on the other hand, prefer to leave them in my pockets and run them through the washing machine, in order to facilitate their journey to paper pulp heaven).

She pulls her folder, and -- Lo & behold -- in black and white and yellow: there it is, years and years of "penis sigs." They were in script, and a bit messy, but totally readable signatures declaring:  "I have the Penis."

So much for the important critical security and validity of credit card signatures . . .

Posted at 07:47 AM in Finance, Humor | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack