Wednesday, March 21

R2D2 smells like your dirty undies

First mailboxes, now laundry hampers. Everyone's favorite cylindrical robot continues his march toward Galactic domination.

Google 'M' for 'Murder'

Not the brightest bulb on the criminal Christmas tree:
At exactly 5:45:34 on April 18, 2004 a computer taken from the office of the attorney of Melanie McGuire, did a search on the words "How To Commit Murder."

That same day searches on Google and MSN search engines, were conducted on such topics as `instant poisons,` `undetectable poisons,' 'fatal digoxin doses,' and gun laws in New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

Ten days later, according to allegations by the state of New Jersey, McGuire murdered her husband, William T. McGuire, at their Woodbridge apartment.
(from the Bergen Record)

"It-ification" in Brooklyn

I love my new neighborhood in Brooklyn.

(begin celebrity namedrop) So do Heath & Michelle (end celebrity namedrop)

Turns out it's the same neighborhood that Brooklyn man of letters Jonathan Lethem wrote about in his coming of age novel "Fortress of Solitude." (An earlier book, "Motherless Brooklyn," took place a few blocks away on Court St).

Lethem's appropriation of the neighborhood, and its overall gentrification, have the NY Obsever's Alexis Swerdloff a little hot and bothered.
Even after leaving those quiet, brownstone-lined streets for Bloomingdale’s and doormen, I still made my annual Atlantic Avenue Salvation Army pilgrimages. I’d mutter under my breath that things sure ain’t what they used to be. Like the burnt-out punks who wax nostalgic for the East Village of yesteryear—when you couldn’t walk an inch without stepping on a crack vial—I did my own back-when-ing.

“Back when I lived here, Bar Tabac was a Chinese restaurant—with pictures.”

“Back when I lived here, there was a drunk guy who sat on the stoop across the street from my house and shouted obscenities at me.”

“Back when I lived here, I had a gymnastics birthday party at the YWCA on Third Street and Atlantic Avenue, and it was too dangerous to walk there, so we drove.”
You want my opinion Alexis? It's New York, whaddyagonnado?

Friday, March 16

The Wee-Bey Theory

20051111153509990001Fans of HBO's amazing series "The Wire" will remember when loyal Barksdale soldier Roland "Wee-Bey" Brice got arrested for murder. Faced with the inevitability of a long jail sentence, he begins confessing to dozens of unsolved killings. Why not? He's going to jail for most of his life anyway, and this takes the heat off of his fellow soldiers.

The cops, whose careers depend on the their case-clearing statistics, don't like the situation but have no choice but to accept it.

KhalidSheikhAP_535x700Flash forward to this week, where Khalid Sheikh Mohammad has confessed (if a government transcript of a military hearing can be trusted, which it probably can't, but let's set that aside a minute) to just about every act of jihadist terror in the last dozen years. Everything from a plot to kill Jimmy Carter to thinking really mean thoughts.

One blog snarked: "He apparently stopped short of claiming credit for killing the czar and his ministers, and shooting either the sheriff or his deputy."

Wired magazine's new "Danger Room" blog, which I've really been enjoying lately, has thus coined the Wee-Bey Theory:
It could be that KSM is, as the 9/11 Commission noted, someone who sees himself as "the self-cast star -- the super terrorist" in "a spectacle of destruction." But to me, it sounds like a man taking on as many bodies as he can, so the rest of his group can go free.
The government, under pressure to show successes in its moronically named War on Terror, has little choice but declare victory and move on.

Damn those traffic wardens...

Make Magazine reports:

British artist Benedict Radcliffe created this amazing, full-scale sculpture of a Subaru Impreza. It looks like a computer model overlayed on a street photo, but it's real, complete with Yokohama wire frame tires.

Apparently local traffic cops weren't pleased that the art was parked outside of the gallery on the street, as over the course of a few days, it was issued a few parking tickets!
Click here for more details and photos.

Civilizations of the future will wonder...

Who was the mysterious plumber that cultures of the late 20th century worshipped as a god? And how was he related to this ancient hymn?


The iPod of the 19th Century


View more portable gramaphones here.

Monday, March 12

SXSW and the Twitterverse

I'm down in Austin (good BBQ, better Mexican food) for the South by Southwest Interactive conference. This is basically where the cool nerds hang out, surrounded by slightly less cool nerds. The popularity scale isn't that different from high school, with cool blogs taking the place of nice cars and ironic post-hipster t-shirts replacing name-brand bling.

This year the question du jour is: Do You Twitter?

Twitter is a sort of minute-by-minute blog that you send and receive from a computer or text message. All too often this takes the form of scintillating entries like "I'm eating breakfast," and other stuff that you really don't need to know about other people. But the allure at SXSW is that all the cool kids are doing it. So if you want to find the cool parties, you have to read Twitter. It's geek clique chic.

(Watch the SXSW Twitters float by here. You can read my scant few entries here)

I can't imagine wanting to be bombarded by hundreds of messages about the mundane details of someone's life, no matter how cool they are, but there is one great application I've found: Star Wars twittering. Check out "Darth Vader's" Twitter stream:
-- Naturally I knew Lando was a loser from the moment I met him. Who wouldn't with a sidekick named "Lobot"?

-- Feeling a bit anxious today. I think I'll find and slaughter a band of Sand People just for old time's sake. That ought to calm the nerves.

-- Palpatine has instructed me to allow my son and his pitiful band of friends to land Endor. I hope this doesn't come back to bite him later.
And Chewbacca's:
-- graaawnnnn wwrrrooooooohhhh

-- wruurrrrwww blooarrrrggghhh

-- eeeewrrrrhhhnnn nnnrrrrwww

Friday, March 9

Bobby is an uncaring bastard

From Found magazine's awesome website, the following was found in a parking lot:


R2D2, is it you? It is you!! Not so long from now, in a post office not so far away...


Could it really be true that the U.S. Postal Service is honoring the 30th anniversary of Star Wars with special R2D2 mailboxes?

Thursday, March 8

Knowing me, Steve Coogan, knowing you, Larry David. A-Ha!

alan_partridgeFor those who have never experienced the painful British work of genius that is "I Am Alan Patridge," the story of a washed up talk show host, you are missing out. Luckily, creator Steve Coogan is bringing his comedy peanut butter together with Larry David's chocolate in next season's "Curb Your Enthusiasm."

The Sun has the scoop:
ALAN Partridge star Steve Coogan is set to play a psychiatrist in US cult hit Curb Your Enthusiasm.

The comic, 41, jetted to the US last weekend to film the show which revolves around the madcap life of Seinfeld writer Larry David.

An insider said: “Steve is a big fan of the show so jumped at the chance.”

Honey I De-Shrunk the Nintendo Controller

This would be the coolest thing in the world if the controller actually worked. C'mon Nerds -- to the laboratory!


Kareem the Dream

jabbar_laimbeer_370The NBA's all-time leading scorer, co-star of Bruce Lee and Leslie Nielsen, and all around cool guy, on what it's like to live your life at 7 feet 2 inches tall:
"Every time I bend over to pick up my socks, I kind of think, 'What else can I accomplish while I'm down here?'"

Tuesday, March 6

This time I actually have a good excuse for not blogging...

Our Google overlords determined that this humble Monkeydaemon blog was spam! They locked me out of Blogger until an actual human could take the time to read it and realize -- obviously! -- that no mere computer could write this sparkling prose.

So, to make up for my time off-air, I will open up my secret briefcase of blogging goodness and share the gleaming goodies within:

momofukuITEM: The East Village noodle bar Momofuku (highly recommended) is taking a page from Willy Wonka and offering up the super-VIP deluxe treatment to one random table each night. French-trained chef David Chang describes it as "soigné ... it basically means make sure that the guests have everything they need. For cooks, soigné = make it perfect.

So if you start getting unasked for appetizers, experiments, choice cuts and maybe a few beers at Momofuku, don't ask any questions, Chang advises. "Just shut up and eat!" The downside is this is likely to increase the already insane waiting times at Momufuku...

ITEM: Foxy Brown may have avoided jail only to receive a much harsher punishment -- a lifetime ban from Junior's, the legendary deli and cheesecake emporium.

juniors_1The NY Post has the scoop: "After ordering fried calamari and an ice cream soda, Brown spilled the drink on herself, then allegedly demanded the restaurant pay to clean her "$2,000 Dolce & Gabbana jacket." "She said 'Get this guy to clean it up, clean it up immediately!' " said Stainrod. "The manager told her to take it easy, relax, she started to curse him out, she said 'F- you.'"

Brown, born a stone's throw away in Park Slope, then walked out on the $50 check. One of her lackey's later tried to come back to pay it but managers told him: "Look, don't pay for it, just don't come back."

mujiITEM: MUJI lovers, rejoice! Japan's answer to Ikea (with less furniture, but more great clothes and the world's best stationary) is finally rolling out a New York storefront. The store will open in the still under construction New York Times building, across the street from the Port Authority, by the end of 2007.

ITEM: You know you're ballin' when you find your Brooklyn apartment at Sotheby's auction house...In what is likely the most expensive rental in Brooklyn, 70 Willow Street has 9 bedrooms, 7 baths, a "published" garden with prize-winning window boxes (!) and, oh yeah, Truman Capote used to live there. The price? $40,000 PER MONTH