Monday, February 27

Start spreading the news...

I'm returning today.

Back in New York for a bit of work. Posting will be light, dear reader(s), but I'll try to drop in a few items when I can. So far I've had two amazing meals: brunch at Prune, home of the world's biggest Bloody Mary selection, and fried chicken & waffles at Charles' Southern Kitchen in Harlem.

If you're in New York, give me a shout -- 718-577-1276. That should forward you to my mobile phone via Skype.

Thursday, February 23

What does Philip Pullman's Daemon Look LIke?

This one is for the fans of Pullman's 'His Dark Materials' trilogy. If you haven't read...I won't explain, becuase it just won't sound right, but trust me that if you read these books and don't love them, I will personally give you a dollar.*

The video of Pullman talking about his hypothetical daemon comes from a massive compilation of video segments on the Royal National Theatre's amazing adaptation of the books.
Here's actor Ben Wright on operating the puppet for Mrs Coulter's evil golden monkey daemon (pictured at right), the namesake for this blog: Link.

The 'Dark Materials' movies have long been in production, but were delayed after the first director resigned over attempts by New Line Cinemas to play down the book's explicitly anti-organised religion stance. Anand Tucker, director of "Shopgirl" and "Hilary and Jackie" is the current director.

*just kidding

Tuesday, February 21

The Splendiferous Zeppelin Escapades of Filliam H. Muffman

Apols if this is old: Stephen Colbert draws some valuable relationship tips from celebrity super couples Angelia & Brad, Ben & Jennefer (II), and Felicity Huffman & William H. Macy:

1. Find someone whose name can be merged with yours to form a marketable nickname: Branjelina, Bennifer II, or Filliam H Muffman.

2. Find someone in the same field as yours, preferably someone you worked with. After all, it worked for "Mr & Mrs Smith," "Daredevil," and "The Splendiferous Zeppelin Escapades of Filliam H. Muffman."

Colbert totally loses it when he gets to Muffman -- who can blame him? Click on the photo below to view the segment.

The Menudo of Marimba

Bow down before the Marimba Ponies, a Japanese supergroup of percussion rock stars, ages 5 to 12. When they turn 13, "they are forcibly retired from the marimba business and offered gainful employment dodging lizards with the J-Pop girl group Morning Musume."
Thank Jeebus for the IntahrWeb.

Monday, February 20

410 Deep Thoughts, by Jack Handy

#391: Whenever I open a door, I pull on the doorknob real hard, because isn't there a saying that if it comes off in your hand, you can rear back and throw it as hard as you can? I thought I heard that somewhere.

Truth Grimmer Than Fiction

New Yorker, Dec 26
The Church employs torture and a doctrine of “preëmptive penance”—a program of self-flagellation that provides its adherents with a kind of get-out-of-Hell-free card, forgiving them in advance for such politically useful sins as assassination.

-- Laura Miller's profile of Philip Pullman's brilliant "His Dark Materials" trilogy, in which the main villain is a maelevolent church known as "The Authority"

New Yorker, Feb 27
Lieutenant Colonel Diane Beaver ... acknowledged that American military personnel at Guantánamo, as everywhere else in the world, were bound by the Uniform Code of Military Justice, which characterizes “cruelty,” “maltreatment,” “threats,” and “assault” as felonies. Beaver reasoned, however, that U.S. soldiers preparing to violate these laws in their interrogations might be able to obtain “permission, or immunity” from higher authorities “in advance.”

-- Jane Mayer's article about how an internal U.S. effort to ban the abuse and torture of detainees was thwarted.

Thursday, February 16

Weird Al + 'Lost' + 'Bohemian Rhapsody' = ????

Robert Montjoy, a fan of the castaway drama 'Lost,' has created a genius animated music video that features the cast "singing" Weird Al's accordian-intensive polka cover of Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody."

Forget everything I just wrote, and watch the damn thing, hosted on Al's own site:

Tuesday, February 14

Monday, February 13

Best White Stripes Cover Evah?


No idea who this kid is -- the link has him as 'Jack' -- but he clearly has a future in ROCK.

Professor Unabomber, I Presume?

Good to see that Ted Kaczynski is keeping up with his scholarly reading at the Supermax Prison in Florence, Colorado, judging by his letter to the editor of the New York Review of Books last year.
To the Editors:

In "Survival of the Smallest" {NYR, March 10], István Deák writes on page 22: "In ancient Egypt, dwarfs were often venerated like gods." Deák here is discussing pathological dwarfs. However, Paul Schebesta, Die Bambuti-Pygmäen vom Ituri (Brussels: Institut Royal Colonial Belge, 1938, Vol. 1, pp. 5–11), argues persuasively that the "god-dancers" venerated by the ancient Egyptians were not pathological dwarfs at all, but pygmies from the African rain forest. Schebesta cites, inter alia, a letter of the pharaoh Pepi II or Phiops II (Sixth Dynasty) which seems clearly to support this view.

Theodore John Kaczynski
Florence, Colorado

Star Wars Valentines





via Something Awful

On Your Left, the Origins of Hip-Hop...

Tour companies like Hush Tours rock the mic with guided trips through New York's hip-hop landmarks, hosted by the likes of Kurtis "Just like I'm the king of the microphone, so is Dr. Jay and Moses Malone" Blow.

Destinations include the Graffiti Hall of Fame, the funeral home where Biggie was laid to rest, and 1520 Sedgwick Avenue, where it all began in at a legendary 1973 block party hosted by Kool Herc.

Thursday, February 9

That's a spicy meatball

The NY Times caused some overheated taste buds with a Super Bowl recipe last week:

"Because of an editing error, a recipe last Wednesday for meatballs with an article about foods to serve during the Super Bowl misstated the amount of chipotle chilies in adobo to be used. It is one or two canned chilies, not one or two cans."

Wednesday, February 8

New and Improved

A bit of admin, I've made some changes to the sidebar using data from del.icio.us, a Web bookmarking service that is invaluable when you spend as much time surfing as I do.

You can now listen to the MP3s that I find on music blogs like Soul Sides, just click on the triangular 'play' icon and the music will play while you're browsing Monkeydaemon.

There's also a link to the recipes I've bookmarked (you'll notice these tend to arrive on Wednesday aka "New York Times Food Section Day"). And further down, you can see the various 'tags' I've assigned via del.icio.us.

If you're a geek like me you might want to suscribe to my MP3 feed list via iTunes. Just paste this link into the iTunes podcast section.

Or you could just ignore all of that...

Tuesday, February 7

Eternal Sunshine of the Brooklyn Block Party



Dave Chappelle (pre-flakeout) + Michel "Eternal Sunshine" Gondry + Fugees reunion = Brooklyn Blockparty Goodness.

It happened half a mile from my old house. This one almost made me cry for leaving BKLYN.

Friday, February 3

Front Page Fame



It took me approximately 10 days to land on the front page of the Irish Times... sort of. (To be fair, there are only 4 million people in the whole country).

You can see a tiny bit of my oversized noggin and tan jacket to the right of the guy in the red scarf, who is exchanging a hearty "You da man! No, YOU da man!" with Minister for Enterprise Micheal Martin (far left).

Click here for a full-sized PDF of the front page.

The story -- a rather boring one about new labour talks -- is here

Wednesday, February 1

Northern Ireland watchdog says IRA sticks to disarmament pledge

By Paul Hoskins and Adam Pasick | February 1, 2006

DUBLIN (Reuters) - Northern Ireland's ceasefire watchdog said on Wednesday the Irish Republican Army was keeping to a disarmament pledge it made last July but was still involved in spying and organized crime.

The British government hailed a "sea change" by the guerrilla group, but a chilly reaction from Northern Ireland's biggest unionist party underlined the difficulty of breaking a political stalemate in the province.

Dublin and London had hoped that the watchdog's findings would help build trust between opposing parties and kick-start talks on reviving a mothballed provincial government in which pro-Irish and pro-British opponents once shared power.

"Like an oil tanker, the (IRA) will take a while to turn completely, and there is likely to be added turbulence in the wash as it does so," the Independent Monitoring Commission (IMC) said in a report.