Mike Beversluis

Saturday, December 30, 2006

End of the year cover

This time a cover of an Italian song by a Welsh singer. Shirley Bassey sings "Never never never":




The original version was sung by Mina, with lyrics a bit different but with the same meaning. With this I send my best wishes for 2007 to everyone.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Merry Christmas


I hope you had a nice Christmas. My sister Sarah gave me these great Bodum glasses, which when I get home I'll use to make some of my traditional egg-nog (whiskey and ice-cubes).

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Russia House


Urban art.

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2006 Movie of the Year

Stranger than Fiction. I really like this movie. Much like two other favorites, Repo Man and Lola Rennt, it wrestles with our free will versus fate/determinism. It's Will Farrell's best work since the Robert Goulet interviews on Conan O'Brian. Also, as my brother Adam kept pointing out - Maggie Gyllenhaal wishes she was as pretty as her brother Jake.

Also, since Adam is a gun nut, we went with a couple of his friends and shot lots and lots of different types of guns. Weirdly, I couldn't hit the broad side of a barn with any of the pistols or revolvers until, kind of as a joke, I tried a 44 magnum and got a 3" cluster and 30 feet. It did kick like a mule though. I was looking around for a 357 magnum with a bayonet, but no luck.

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Thursday, December 21, 2006

Cold Comfort Farm

"I saw something nasty in the woodshed..."

So, I flew into Seattle to visit the folks only to find them bogged down in a week-long power outage. Hence the dearth of blogging. Basically, extrapolating from my rustic adventure, the olden days were cold, smelly, and dark. But stiff upper lip and all that. Right ho.

I took the train down to Portland to visit my sister and the brth.i.lw and niece violet. and seeing them is nice as always. I got free Nike swag too, to boot. And it's not even Christmas yet. And this without my annual visit to one of the McMenamins or to Powells. Funky, rainy, spendy, granolaly - I kinda miss the Northwest. But if you don't live there and want to visit, do it in late August or September.

Friday, December 15, 2006

F the what...?

Plush Porsche 924.

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Madam, My Solicitor's Card


As you can see, he's quite clever.

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NYCotD

Thursday, December 14, 2006

The Total Mystery of Health Foods

Write Back in The USSR [BBC News]

In the depths of the Cold War, the daughter of an imprisoned Soviet dissident received a message from across the Iron Curtain that changed her family's life.

In June 1971, Marina Aidova was eight years old, living in the Soviet city of Kishinev. Her father, Slava, was imprisoned in a camp for political prisoners. When his family was allowed a three-hour visit, it took a two-day railway journey to reach him, paid for by her mother donating blood.

When her mother, Lera, found that Slava had been on hunger strike, she too began her own protest by only eating one piece of bread a day.

And then, into this bleak backwater of the Cold War, a letter arrived. It was a postcard addressed to Marina with a picture of an unfamiliar town. "With love from Newbury. Berks. England. Harold and Olive." < "When the first letter came it was like something from another planet. We were living in such a closed society that it was like getting a message from a UFO," says Marina, now aged 43, and speaking on a visit to London, where the story of this unexpected exchange is being published as a book. "We knew that England existed somewhere, but it was in a world that had nothing to do with us. And the idea that this letter had come through the Iron Curtain seemed unbelievable."

She later goes to visit them:

With the Soviet Union crumbling in the late 1980s, Marina was able to travel to the West. But her first taste of this new world was bitter-sweet.

"I was going to the West, taking my first breath of freedom," she says. But when her train arrived in West Berlin, her first conversation with the free world was a bunch of drunk teenagers shouting "Russian swine" at her.

There were other surprises ahead when she reached the UK. Why would people buy jeans that were ripped and why, when there were no food shortages, were people eating muesli?

Why indeed. (Steel cut oats people. Way better.) [h/t David Cohen]

Old Journals

Up till the end of 2006, The Royal Societies Digital Archive dating back to 1665 is free to read.

I haven't had time for it in awhile, but if you can access them, it's always fun to read the old PROLA archives too (they date back to 1893).

Weird Al

White and Nerdy.

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The Lost Room

The Lost Room is a 6-hour mini-series that popped up on my Tivo last week. I kinda liked it.

Basically, there's a extra-dimensional motel room that appears off Route 66 and all the objects in it are imbued with magical powers. Weird cults fight as they try to collect all the pieces. It's like watching Zork crossed with the Twighlight Zone crossed with Clue crossed with The Stand, if that makes any sense. Peter Krause, Julianna Margulies, and Kevin Pollack star. Some of the plot is easy to see coming, but the writers know when to keep their mouths shut and leave the inexplicable unexplained (always a good move).

SciFi is running it all the time, and given the way it ended, they will probably spit out a sequel next year.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Nerd Alert

Politics for comic books.

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Cutting Straight to the Chase (Lounge)




Beds For All in Live Classical Concert: Good Idea?

A mattress company in Tel Aviv decided to fill up a concert hall with 144 beds complete with pillows and blankets, giving music lovers the most comfortable way possible to listen to a classical music concert.

To answer their rhetorical question (a specialty of mine); No. No it is not a good idea. Why not provide the audience with ear plugs while you are at it? (Depends on the performers, I guess) Do not encourage men to fall asleep when they are supposed to be awake. We do that enough already. There's a reason church pews are (should be) uncomfortable. (I like parenthetical comments)(and pie).

Actually, you don't want uncomfortable chairs either. Something neutral. And since sitting on Switzerland is impractical, I suggest medicine balls or knee-chairs:





Imagine walking into a concert hall full of knee chairs or mounted balls, um, so to speak? Breathtaking? I bet so.

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I gave my love a flower



I was the shadow of the waxwing slain
By the false azure in the windowpane;
I was the smudge of ashen fluff--and I
Lived on, flew on, in the reflected sky.
And from the inside, too, I'd duplicate
Myself...
Gardens in a Petri Dish.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Skydiving into another airplane is actually pretty hard

I mean think about it. All that empty space and you have to manage to coincide exactly. I'd curse too if I just missed.

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I felt a great disturbance in the Force, as if millions of voices suddenly cried out in terror...


Yes. Now you can combine two crushingly nerdy hobbies into one with the Death Star Subwoofer.

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Just real cover

Now it is the moment for the reverse process: Italian songs covered by american artists. I don't know enough to do a fake cover/real cover double issue as for American songs covered by Italians, so ... I get started with Gloria, by Umberto Tozzi, covered by Laura Branigan.



If you want to see the semi-original version (with English lyrics), here you are the link.

So, just to say, I prefer the interpretation of L.B.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Another round on the house

People like to worry about the US deficit because people like to worry, but the truth is it is no big deal. Borrowing money that you invest to make a net profit from is wise. Relax. Have a wine cooler.

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Sunday, December 10, 2006

The Cheese Stands Alone


I punked out and brought wine and cheese to a potluck the other day. This Castelrosso cheese was the pick of the litter.

Also, it's been nice to see Method Man back on The Wire. Even if he has been hamming it up a little. Ham and cheese, you see. And after the last episode of the season airs tonight, I will be making my annual call to cancel HBO.

Uncanny

Twenty years of police work down the toilet. I want to call bullshit on this one, but either way it's funny.

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And yet my nameless dread doesn't appear there

33 Names of Things You Never Knew Had Names:


1. AGLET
The plain or ornamental covering on the end of a shoelace.

2. ARMSAYE
The armhole in clothing.

3. CHANKING
Spat-out food, such as rinds or pits.


Also, I am willing to state that never before in history of the world has there been a football column that began:

Seahawks: Leap of faith or fall from grace?
Nineteenth century Danish philosopher Sorren Kierkegaard said that humans could only emerge from existential despair and find a sense of permanence by making a leap of faith.
Yep.

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Meta-Shopping

ThisNext. Finally, you won't have to burn the midnight oil looking for a own silver six pack paperweight.Finally.

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Somebody needs to build one of these


from here.

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Friday, December 08, 2006

Fake cover, real cover 3

This is the last of the series. For the fake cover, several easy going guys from Sardinia propose their own interpretation of "Hung up".
This is their exquisite interpretation.

For the real cover I have found out a cover of "Mack the knife".



I have found out, thanks to Wikipedia, that "Mack the knife" was composed by a German, Kurt Weill; but it is jazz.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Crazy Guy Writes Down Everything He Does for Twenty Years


Wow [Via Boing Boing], the obsession is breath-taking:
For twenty years, Robert Shields of Dayton, Washington, has kept a written record of absolutely everything that has happened to him, day and night. For no less than four hours each day, Shields holes himself up in the small office in his home, turns on his stereo, and types. His diary, at 35 million words, is believed to be the world’s longest.
Every bit of emphrema and minutiae, preserved in Courier monospace for who knows who (the guy from se7en?). Talk about crazy (not to mention manical) (in a charming sort of way) (I think).

BTW, bloggers would still write even if no one read it, ever:


The need to express oneself in writing springs from a maladjustment to life...
André Maurois

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ZIPScribble

The US ZIPScribble Map.

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Well, there goes that cliche


"Well, mister, looks like you brought a knife to a gun fight!"

BANG!

"No I didn't. Kinda."

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More Hot Volvo Action


Reader Ride of the Day: Supercharged Volvo 1800E

More: The Volvette: TT LS1-powered 740 Wagon

Previously: 600-hp RetroVolvo

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A Modest Proposal

Build a Godzilla Building in Tokyo. With elevator music by Blue Oyster Cult, naturally.

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Monday, December 04, 2006

Woot!

Of interest only to myself: Highest resale value, baby! Oh yeah, that's a panty peeler.

I knew buying a new car was dumb, but hey, it turns out it was the least dumb such maneuver.

Meet the New Shatner; Same as the Old Shatner

CSI: Miami - Endless David Caruso One-Liners. (h/t Treacher)(heads up on the CSI gore, Mom)

Conan O'Brian was once explaining a Simpson's joke in which, I think, Side-Show Bob hit a rake 400 times. The first time it was funny; Then it wasn't; Then it wasn't; Then it was funny again; Then it was hilarious. It's the Martha Graham school of jokes.

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Robot Speakers


Mounted flush in the ceiling these speakers automatically drop down to a 15º , 30º or 45˚ angle and then rotate to aim toward any position in the room. Utilizing a remote control and multiple presets , the system can be configured to a variety of seating positions and configurations.

I have no idea how they sound, but honestly, when has sound quality mattered to speaker guys (never). Cool remote-controlled robot speakers, on the other hand, matter immensely.

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Kool


I am against the "k" for "c" substitution in words like cool or crispy or California. It's one of my campaign platform planks. But like most politicians, I am willing to compromise for a good cause, i.e., mine. Take the Klever Kuttar, which will dispense with polycarbonate, or even carbonate, clam-shell packing without risk of self-harm. Even better:

Michigan-based marketer Orville Crain went nuts over the Klever Kutter. He tells The Muskegon Chronicle that everybody wants a slice. It's going to be tested in a Michigan supermarket chain where employees have a high rate of box cutter injuries.

Inventor Kempker says he just hopes he can sell enough to replace his '92 Buick Regal.

(A) His name is Orville, and (B) he doesn't want to rule the world, he just wants a new humpty. Sounds good to me.

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Sunday, December 03, 2006

Fake cover, real cover 2

A step aside from the cover there is the song with pretend lyrics; in this case, Adriano Celentano is pretending he is singing in English. For those who don't speak italian, in the introduction he is playing the high school professor and more or less he is saying that he wrote a song to represent incommunicability ... and the title of the song, "prisencolinensinainciusol" in his imagination means "universal love".
The pretend English song starts at 1:37, enjoy.

For real covers, here you are a "Georgia on my mind" cover by Mina. It is preceded by an Italian song and starts at 2:24.



Out of curiosity I checked out the interpretation of "Georgia of my mind" by Ray Charles: quite obviously there is way and way to sing blues, but besides this in my opinion Mina was not supported in her singing by the "right" orchestra.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

The Little Known Weiner Horse

And now they're extinct! (not really)

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Links etc

What happens when you lose a hundred wallets?

The history of:You know, in case you were curious.

The ghostly salt city beneath Detroit.

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Friday, December 01, 2006

I couldn't help but notice that you might need a new desktop

Perhaps I might interest you in one of our fine flame fractals?