Mike Beversluis

Friday, December 31, 2004

Cool link

The Artcyclopedia.


The Cars

And no, I am not refering to the band formed by Ric Ocasek, Benjamin Orr, Elliot Easton, Greg Hawkes, and David Robinson (not to be confused with, the Admiral), notable for their infectuous pop hooks and slightly repetitive eigth-note bass. Just what I needed, no doubt.

So, every single review out there of the new Ford Five Hundred has pissed and moaned about how boring it looks. I don't get it - the car looks like a Ford Passat; how bad can that be?

I say, what's wrong with a black suit? Isn't it funny how a good black suit never seems to go out of style?

Just to hammer on a pet pieve of mine, the constant harping about how something looks, "Old and dated," seems to occur regardless of whether the old/new looks good or bad. Again, what's wrong with sticking to a good design? Granted, the iterations need to be well executed, but old does not equal threadbare. Case in point, like the Passat, the Ford has an excellent dash/interior:

Look, it's not hand-stiched leather, but this is going into a car that lists for $25k, and once the inevitable rebates go into effect, will street for around $20k. The thing that really pisses me off about car reviewers is that cost means absolutely/nearly nothing to them. Geewhiz, that wouldn't have anything to do with the fact that they are comparing cars that they will never have to afford on a normal family budget.

For an entry level sedan, the Passat has been pretty styling for the last ten years, so it's not a bad thing if Ford picks up the batton. If only VW/Ford dealers weren't uniformly crooks/assholes. And why does everthing have to look radically different each year? Why are we stuck with yearly car desigination? Well, obvs because they can sell more cars that way; but that doesn't make it the goddam law.

Just because a short product cycle benefits the car companies, auto-journalists needn't demand new car styling every fifteen seconds. They say the MTV generation has a short attention span, but there are a lot greybeards out there jonsing for their new car fix like a rittalin deprived 5-year old.

Ford may also be in a position to pick up the VW market, since they appear to be imploding under poor management. Look what this needless updating hath wrought with the Jetta:

It looks like someone took the old design, stuck an airplane inflatable life-preserver on it, and blew into the two tubes located at either side (like this [puff]). I guess it kinda resembles the Ford I just finished not actively disliking, but the lines are not as clean, and it just looks... fat. I don't get this current fashion trend. Perhaps fat Americans = fat cars, but everything out there looks bloated, with enourmous slab sides shooting up like the chalky cliffs of dover from the troubled seas of traffic. See, bloated cars = bloated hyperbolic similes, and who likes those?

And of course, a car need not be bloated to look awful. Witness BMW's disaster of a design bureau. Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you the only good looking portion of the new M5:

God, the rest of it is hideous. The iDrive is Yet another reason to avoid things with i- or e- prefixes attached to them. I don't know what it is exactly, but Germans can't seem to program user interfaces. Weird, huh, but the national talent for good mechanical design does not translate into well-thought out graphical interfaces.

Now, IMHO, reprieve can be found in the much cleaner Nissan designs, which include the classic new Z-car, and the various Infiniti sedans and coupes. In particular, the new M45 looks good:

And with that monster Nissan V8, this car is 90% of the M5 at 50% of the cost. Speaking of monster engines, check out the new AWD MazdaSpeed 6:

Despite the 6-designation, that sucker has a turbocharged four-banger with a 9.5:1 compression ratio at a race-car like 16 psi of boost. How they avoid detonation on 91 octane is a mystery best left to the Mazda zen masters and their direct fuel injectors, but the result is good for 280HP out of 2.3L of displacement. And for bringing it to America for under $30K; well, despite its somewhat riced-out appearence, full marks, lads.

Note, these images are used without permission and remain copyrighted by their respective owners.

Ho ho ho

Touche Santa, Ha ha ha

Thursday, December 30, 2004

Quotes for today

"Familiarity doesn't breed contempt, it is contempt."

- Florence King

"Crash programs fail because they are based on the theory that, with nine women pregnant, you can get a baby in a month."

- Werner von Braun, America's space Nazi.

I admit it: quotes for entries = I got nothing.

Wednesday, December 29, 2004

Unintentionally hillarious corporate homepage graphic(s)

From Guitammer Co. Inc., makers of the, uh, ButtKicker LFE couch shaker kit, comes a homepage with the following excerpted graphic:

So, no offense there guys, but from the looks on their faces, you may have taken booty-shaking to a level, well, to a level beyond what I am willing to do for acoustic fidelity. Let me be plain: it's ment as a sofa accoutrement, not as a suppository. There may in fact be something in Leviticus about this, but one has to wonder if the Israelites could have foreseen Jurassic Park when they wrote that stuff up. In any case, the ButtKicker guys, despite all indications of a total lack of restraint (eg, ButtKicker), may wish to tone down the webpage a notch or three.

Just saying.


Tuesday, December 28, 2004

Christmas in Germany

So, along with St Nick, Bavarian tradition includes various demons who travelled with him, punishing the wicked children. See, for instance, the Venture Brother's Christmas special.

Here are some photos from a recent celebration in Munich:


Seems like Santa's reindeer got run through Mordor or whatnot. Actually, I think these costumes are better than some of the Lord of the Ring stuff, but isn't it a bit much for Christmas? Like, it's sending out a distinct "Merry Christmas from the land that brought you National Socialism"-vibe, etc.

UPDATE: Heil Santa! Ha ha ha - it works on so many levels.

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Monday, December 27, 2004

Doesn't your girl wish you were swass like me?

See, regarding the cubicle brick-a-brack, this is what I'm talking about:


What can I say except that for some reason the series run was extremely limited. Also, while not really related, I flipped pass Adult Swim last night, and right then they were advertising their new shows. Was it me, or did they include something like "Ketchup Man and American Dad?" Did I get that right? WTF? I mean, what they'd do, go out and hire Stephen Malkamus to write their titles? Except that he branched out in a new direction and so "Random = Hillarious" instead of "Obscure = Profound." Seems to me to be about as true now as it did before.

UPDATE: I realize in hindsite, that unless you know who Stephen Malkamus is, well, I guess I'm a big hypocrit, huh.

Sunday, December 26, 2004


Haha hoo ha ha ho!

Update! Haw haw.

What I wanted but didn't get, so I'll have to get it myself

Why type words here when I can type them in the title? Hey, I asked you a question, pal.

Anyway, if you are an antisocial geek, and proof positive is that you're reading this so you are, meet people by placing irresistable gadgets on your desk. The allure of the gadgets will accomplish what your/my personality never could, and people will come over and talk to you. About the gadgets. Normally, something like a Dr. Evil voice box will suffice, but if things are seriously lonely, you can break out this scope clock:

Yeah it's a little expensive, but trust me, 'tis a Yule-time babe magnet.

Friday, December 24, 2004

Merry Christmas

For what it's worth, Merry Christmas to you.

Also, I'm gonna go look for apartments in DC next week. In particular I'm interested in locations downtown along the red line with parking, reasonably sound-proof construction, and something of a community outside the front door. I spent last year in Gaitherburg's suburban blight, and while the isolation proved conducive to working all the time, it's not something I care to reiterate. Or even iterate for that matter. So, if any of you have apartment recomendations or suggestions, please comment.

Wednesday, December 22, 2004

Current motto not fully met

"Idleness is the holiday of fools."

I doubt Mr. T pities the idle.

Holy crap. Gimme

I am so buying this it is not even funny: I give you the Star Trek kitchen scale from Germany.

From Cooking for Engineers. Is that a lot to spend for a scale? Oh no, my friend, it isn't, nor is it just a scale. That sucker is an instant party consversation starter. You walk into a kitchen with that and next thing you know, you're discussing Portishead and where to find a good burrito wagon. It's a freakin lifestyle. It's cookin' in the future. Very, very precisely metered cooking in the future.

UPDATE: Alton Brown just called and he wants his dork-crown back.

Sunday, December 19, 2004


Take that Apple dorks. And I say that as a former Mac Devotee who has sadly meandered from the fold. I bought a Mac512 in 1987 when I was 12 and had to work three paper routes to help (mostly) pay for it. This was before they had SCSI, so my huge 20 MB hard drive was interfaced through a serial port! Talk about a Nick Burns moment recalling that. Also, visit the link before the cease and desist army shows up and stomps them into ash.


What do you know?

Uh, they know me: Jerk. Clown. Sycophant. Xenophobe. Rebel without a clue. I think I need a drink.

Friday, December 17, 2004

Christmas comes early

So, I got my Christmas presents early today. From Brother Adam:

A slightly clearer close up:

Dude, you can totally make a mint printing these out and selling them to folks writing up their theses. And hey, don't you try and steal the idea, bub. This shit is all copywrite Ace Atomic Beaverjuice productions. Seriously, in perputuity, etc.


Ha ha ha



The 2004 winners of the Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest are out: first place,

She resolved to end the love affair with Ramon tonight... summarily, like Martha Stewart ripping the sand vein out of a shrip's tail... though the term 'love affair' now struck her as a ridiculous euphemism... not unlike 'sand vein,' which is after all an intestine, not a vein... and that tarry substance inside certainly isn't sand... and that brought her back to Ramon.

- Dave Zobel, Manhattan Beach, CA

Too bad they don't have a thesis category.

Thursday, December 09, 2004

Still life at the Institute of Optics 12

We're on a Tom Brown streak, but why not:

"And so, ignoring all significant digits, the ratio is 1." – Tom Brown


Wednesday, December 08, 2004

Thesis update?

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|===========================-----| ???


|===============================-| ??

Wednesday, December 01, 2004

It is not good to think bad things about people ...

... but usually it is a good guess.
A few days ago I wrote a review in which I tried to save "Primer". Now a friend of mine sends me his review, and I just give up. At least you get a good warning.
The review follows.

Ok, John, who wrote the review? (John: well, that's me, ouch)
If you can, please forward mine to him.

I have seen the movie. I have seen it with my girlfriend who is american. She understood little of what the two little geniuses debated: (1) because of the tight texan accent (and my girlfriend comes from the deep south: Alabama); (2) because they do not articulate words at all and everything sounds as a sort of mumble; (3) because they never shut up; they talk about everything and more for 78 minutes non stop; (4) because the dialogues are recorded live and the quality of the soundtrack is rather low.
Neither of us understood anything about the movie except the basics of the (thin) plot that anyone can deduce (one has to deduce it because it isn't possible to follow it) at the end of the screening.
I would not let myself be fooled by the apparent complication and confusion in the movie. Works of this kind are easily idolized as a cult by festivals as the Sundance (that would fall in love even with a housewife that prepares dough for one and a half hour, as long as it is independently produced), and by a public that reckon as deep anything they cannot understand. I would not be surprised if in one year or more a crowd of admirers of Primer would appear.
The movie is confused because the plot is weak and because the director is not able to get out of the mess in which he ended up.
I don't think it's worth to try and analyze a work that doesn't say anything new and says it in a weaker way than other works that have preceded it.

Mark Pupil