Posts from April 2010

Thursday, 29 April 2010

Super Mario Crossover

I was going to post footage from the Dumbfoundead/Open Mike Eagle/Nocando/Threeni show that I went to last night, but the sound from the footage I recorded was all blown out and it sounded basically like bursts of static. Other people recorded it, but they haven’t posted it online yet, so I can’t post it here for all y’all.

To tide yourselves over, please indulge in Super Mario Crossover, a version of Super Mario Bros. where you can play as Mario, Link, Simon Belmont, Bill (from Contra), Samus Aran, and Mega Man. Yes, it is actually as awesome as it sounds. Just click the image:

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(via Newgrounds)

Categories: Links, Updates, Video Games.

Wednesday, 28 April 2010

Open Mike Eagle & Nocando Tonight

Tonight I’m going to see Open Mike Eagle and Nocando at Chop Suey in Seattle, with special “secret” guests Three Ninjas and NHP the Natural Hype Man. Give a listen to this song, which features both Mike and Nocando together:

It should be a good show. I’ll detail it up more tomorrow or Friday, whensoever I have the time.

Categories: Concerts/Shows, Music, Videos.

Tuesday, 27 April 2010

Boobquake 2010

Yesterday was Boobquake Day! What’s a Boobquake, you ask? Seriously? I find it hard to believe that someone who reads this blog doesn’t know about Bookquake already, but I’ll explain.

Just a couple weeks ago a high-ranking Iranian cleric gave a dire warning that linked immodestly-dressed women with earthquakes:

“Many women who do not dress modestly … lead young men astray, corrupt their chastity and spread adultery in society, which (consequently) increases earthquakes.” (source)

Basically, if women show off their cleavage, there’s a-gonna be some earth a-quakin’.

Well, a certain Jennifer McCreight (pronounced Crite not Crate), a well-respected skeptic blogger (her blog is Blag Hag), thought that sounded a little fishy, and decided that maybe there should be some scientific testing done to see whether or not boobs equaled earthquakes.

“On Monday, April 26th, I will wear the most cleavage-showing shirt I own. Yes, the one usually reserved for a night on the town. I encourage other female skeptics to join me and embrace the supposed supernatural power of their breasts. Or short shorts, if that’s your preferred form of immodesty.” (source)

That’s right. She tried to see if she could cause a BOOBQUAKE.

The post on her website was done mostly in jest to point out just how ridiculous the idea of causation between method of dress and natural disasters was. But it took off like wildfire. The idea of trying to cause a Boobquake tore through the blogosphere, through Twitter, and through Facebook. Soon regular media started to pick up on it. CNN, WGN Morning News, BBC, Canada AM, and more. The idea of showing off some skin in the name of science turned out to be incredibly popular.

So Monday the 26th arrived, and as promised Ms. McCreight wore what she jokingly called a “horribly scandalous” outfit (source):

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So did quite a lot of other people, if Twitter is any indication. Just look at the Boobquake hashtag. McCreight even got interviewed on CNN about it. It was covered on BBC, CBC, FOX… but most excitedly for her, a humorous segment appeared on The Colbert Report:

The Colbert Report Mon – Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Boobquake Day Causes Earthquake
www.colbertnation.com
Colbert Report Full Episodes Political Humor Fox News

But what of the results? Well, McCreight spent all of Boobquake Day gathering as much data on earthquakes as possible, and in the end it turned out there wasn’t any statistically significant deviation in worldwide earthquake activity on Monday the 26th.

Even though there were several problems with the scientificity of the experiment (control group, quantitative properties of “immodesty,” length of study, etc.), it appears that boobs don’t cause earthquakes. They can get you on The Colbert Report, though!

As an epilogue, I feel somewhat tangentially connected to Ms. McCreight because once she rode in @jeffthefish’s car. So good for her! You go, girl!

Categories: Links, Science, Videos.

Sunday, 25 April 2010

An Inspiring Year for Musics

I was just now thinking about the past 12 months and just how many of my good friends released albums. It’s kinda crazy.

Almost a year ago Three Ninjas released his P.Z. Meyers graced EP “Make Sleepstophers.”

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You can get a physical CD or download it from iTunes.

Then in September 2009 tangentbot released not one, but two albums! The first was a re-mastered “Cyclops’ Lament,” which was originally created many years ago.

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You can download it from Amazon mp3 or from iTunes.

The second tangentbot album was “You Are Used to This Kind of Advertising,” which collected his 40 songs from his “song-a-week” project that he did in 2006.

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You can also get this one from Amazon mp3 and iTunes.

Also in September, Terrapin Productions released his first solo album, “Sketches of Perfect Landscapes.”

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You can get a physical CD of this album or download it from CD Baby (more download locations are coming, too).

After that was a bit of a lull, but then suddenly within the last month or so was a crazy flurry of action! First came Julia Massey & The Five Finger Discount‘s much-anticipated “I’m Not Hollow.”

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This is available both as a physical CD and as downloadable mp3s through CD Baby.

Hot off the heels of Julia Massey’s album came Three Ninja’s 2nd full-length LP, “Three Ninjas is Smarter Than a Lettuce” with brilliant cover at by @rabbiddogg.

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You can get a physical CD or download it from iTunes. Three Ninjas gets more money if you buy the physical CD, so I recommend that.

Then finally Nathan Geyer’s Locust Street Taxi just released their latest, “Mr. Brown.”

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Right now this album is only available as a physical CD, and is mailed out personally directly from the band!

Whew! That’s a whole lot of my friends putting out a whole lot of musics! It’s very inspiring, and I really want to join them before 2010 is out. I have fancy plans, and pants to match. Let’s see if I can do it, eh?

Addendum:
I knew I’d forget something: The Seattle Pro Musica choir put out a Christmas album called “Navidad” featuring J Howard Boyd!

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You can order the CD through their website. It’s full of Latin American Christmas songs from the 16th century on up!

Categories: Links, Music.

Friday, 23 April 2010

Baman Piderman Comic Strips

It’s taking the creators of Baman Piderman so long to come out with the next episode of the cartoon that it’s making them feel bad. In order to say they’re sorry for taking so long, they’re drawing quick Baman Piderman comic strips to tide us all over. Like these:

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bamanpiderman2
bamanpiderman3
bamanpiderman4
bamanpiderman5
bamanpiderman6

You can, of course, watch all previous episodes of Baman Piderman over at their channel on YouTube. You can also visit the website of their creators, Lindsay and Alex. But it looks like the only place you can see these new daily comics is at Baman Piderman’s Facebook Page. So go over there and “Like” it.

Categories: Comics, Links.

Gowron wants you, the one who is moving, to respond. Also, to experience biij.

Serious business:

Categories: Videos.

Tuesday, 20 April 2010

The Big Pet Post

2010 has not been a kind year for our pets. So this post is to catch you up on all what’s been going on. Some of you might know most of this, some of you might only know a little of it, and some of you might know none of it. So now you’ll know.

In the very final days of 2009, Kitty Fantastico started throwing up, stopped eating, and lost a lot of weight at an alarming speed because of it. These are all, of course, very bad signs, so we took her straight to the vet where they discovered (A) that she had a urinary tract & kidney infection and (B) that her kidneys were basically shot all to hell. When the vet got the results of the kidney test and the numbers were all several times higher than they shoulda been, he called me and told me that I should take Fantastico to the emergency animal hospital. Like, immediately.

This was horribly traumatic for Carrie & me, as you might imagine. Her kidney numbers were so bad that there was a good possibility that she would not ever come home. But a good sign: she started eating again, quite heartily. And when we went to visit her the next day she did purr at us despite being very uncomfortable what with being shaved and a-tubed with I.V stuff. But a bad sign: her kidney numbers weren’t significantly improving. They were going down a li’l bit, but not with any speed. Like (for example) one of the chemicals might have a normal range of about 20-30, and when she went into the hospital it was 110, and after two days it was down to 104. That was improvement, but not significant improvement.

We were told that we might as well come get her, because there wasn’t really any reason to have her sitting miserable in the very expensive hospital when she wasn’t improving. She might as well come home where she’d be relatively comfortable while, y’know, she waited to die, which would probably happen pretty quickly. We didn’t go home empty-handed, though; they gave us special “kidney diet” food, antibiotics, and an I.V. bag full of fluids that we were to administer ourselves subcutaneously.

Yes, every evening we had to hold Fantastico down and stick an alarmingly large needle into the scruff of her neck, and make sure that she didn’t move while a large volume of fluids drained from the bag directly into her body.

after several days of this and meeting a specialist and getting re-tested, a good thing happened: her kidney numbers started plummeting. They weren’t anywhere near normal, but neither were they in the “instant death” range they had been in. The antibiotics were clearing up the infection, which helped a lot. But a sonogram confirmed that her kidneys were basically shot, and probably had been for many months before she even showed any signs of sickness.

The antibiotics also, though, made her nauseated so she didn’t want to eat very much. She was already dangerously underweight (down to a scant 8 pounds), so that wasn’t good. I got an alternate food that wasn’t quite as kidney-friendly, but that she liked better and could be sucked up into a syringe and squirted directly into her mouth if she didn’t want to eat it naturally.

After another week and another check, I was told that her numbers had improved to the level that we could reduce subcutaneous fluid frequency down to every other day instead of every day. And we were told to bring her back in a month—the antibiotics for the infection were a six-week course, and the vet wanted to see her when they were gone. So she’d gone from “dying any day now” to “come back in a month.”

During that month she slowly gained back some weight. And at the end of the antibiotic course we brought her in for more testing and were told the infection was completely gone. A lot of her kidney numbers had dropped significantly, some of them down to just outside the normal range. One of them, though, wasn’t doing so well, so we were switched back to the special kidney diet, which Fantastico now loved because she was no longer nauseated from the antibiotics.

When I asked when I should bring her back in again to get tested, the vet said, “Oh, in three or four months.” So Fantastico had gone from dying in a few days, to lets see if she’ll survive the full six-week treatment, to bring her back in three or four months unless she shows signs of worsening, which she probably won’t.

Her weight shot back up to almost ten full pounds, and as her weird shaved bits (under her chin, one forepaw, and her belly) grew back you would never even know she was sick. She was acting basically like she always had. Here are some videos I took over the past three months:

She’s not better, though, of course. Kidneys don’t get better once they go bad. She’s still on a special kidney diet, I have to shove two pills in her throat every morning and one every evening, and we still poke her neck and fill her with fluids every other day. But she’s happy and playful and all that stuff, so it’s all good considering we were basically told she was a goner three months ago. There’s no telling how long she’ll be able to maintain, of course, but she’s nine years old now so that’s nothing out of the ordinary for a kitty who is going on elderly. She could very well live a relatively normal lifespan as long as she’s able to keep this up. We’ll see how she’s doing when I bring her in for more testing next month.

The only real behavioral side effect from all of this is that Fantastico is now way more talky than she used to be. She serenades us with lovely, angry, extended rowrs when we give her subcutaneous fluids (though less than five minutes afterwards she’ll be crawling all over us and purring like crazy), and she’s much quicker to growl or hiss than she ever was. But somehow it’s in a way that’s funny and cute rather than scary. Like an adorable grumpy old lady. But any such displays of displeasure are always very fleeting and she often purrs immediately after hissing. In fact, as I sit here on the couch typing this entry, Fantastico is sitting on my lap. She apparently thinks my hands are dirty because she’s licking the backs of them. And periodically growling at me when I jiggle her too much. Pretty darned cute.

BUT THAT’S NOT ALL, FOLKS!

Around the same time as all this was happening, Suki Puppy developed a disturbing growth in the corner of her right eye. At first it was just a tiny white lump. Then it started periodically spewing pus across her eyeball. And then it started growing actual tissue.

We took her to the vet at that point and they recommended removing it (the growth, NOT her eye). The vet was a little concerned due to its coloration, and he wanted to send it to a lab for analysis. So one day we took her to the vet before work, then picked her up after work with a cone of shame around her neck and a bandage on a paw where they stuck in her I.V. needle.

Then we had to wait a week for the lab results to come back to see whether or not our puppy had the cancer. That was not a fun week.

Results came back good: it was completely benign. It was not cancer, it was just a “weird growth.” There was a chance that it might grow back, but it could always get cut out again if necessary.

WHEW! After all the bad news with Fantastico, this was a welcome relief. Suki is perfectly fine, and her blood tests came back being just about as healthy as physically possible, so she’s all sorts of good. Here’s a funny video starring her (with a cameo by Fantastico) that I took just a couple of weeks ago:

My parents, meanwhile, were not so lucky as their cat Ace had problems with fluids putting pressure on his lungs, then he died of a heart attack shortly before Easter.

In short: 2010 = not a good year to be a Harris pet.

In conclusion: I wrote this post to update everyone on the status of my pets, so that if you heard Fantastico was sick but didn’t know how she was doing, you wouldn’t have to pussyfoot around and be all, “I don’t know if we should mention Fantastico around Chris & Carrie because I don’t want to upset them.” She’s doing fine. We are doing fine.

I DID NOT write this post to elicit sympathy for us or our animals. I don’t want anybody to be all, “Oh, I’m so sorry for you!” or, “I feel so bad for what you’ve been through!” or any crap like that. The pets don’t feel sorry or bad; we don’t feel sorry or bad; there’s no reason for you to feel sorry or bad for us. That’d just be weird and uncomfortable for everyone involved.

Here at the end of the post let me go on a little tangent: All of this pet health stuff was not cheap, and continues to be not cheap. The special food and medicines and bags of subcutaneous fluids all tend to add up. But there was no way in Hell that I was going to be that guy who let a loved one die because he couldn’t afford to keep her alive. I know several people who are rabidly against credit cards, but let me just say this: If Carrie & I did not have a credit card, Fantastico would be dead right now. We in no way had the money to hospitalize her immediately after a holiday season in the middle of a recession, nor to pay for the myriads of tests and specialized medical stuff that were (and are) required for her continued survival. I highly recommend everyone have at least one good, reputable credit card in their name in case of an immediate emergency when you don’t happen to have an extra few thousand dollars just rotting away in your bank accounts. Plus if you’re not stupid with credit cards they’ll actually help you get good credit.

Categories: Health, Life, Updates, Videos.