Monday, January 29, 2007

I just can't get enough of this



Perhaps I should apologize for putting so many snippets from Japanese television, but bleep it, this is my blog. I stand by my earlier statement that Nipponic TV raises the bar of entertainment. The video on top is another bit of Gaki no Tsukai, clearly an earlier one from the young looks in Shozo Endo's face. Their nut-cracking device is just hilarious. The lower video is an aerobics class that teaches english during the workout. It clearly aims to get you ready for any kind of situation once in an anglo-saxonic country, even going Dutch!

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Office Drama



As a friend of mine who sent me the link to this video commented, this is an office version of Platoon. Quite dramatic piece of advertisement for network equipment. I don't know if the company is related to Blue Cat Linux, as that reminds me of my old days working on embedded software.

Friday, January 26, 2007

Don't Laugh!



It is amazing how Japanese television seems always seems to be pushing the limits of quality entertainment. The video in this post is an example of a batsu game, which is a type of Japanese comedy where people get punished for not following some kind of rule. In this case, the game is about situations where people are supposed to be serious, and thus are not supposed to laugh. The scenario of this episode is a classroom, and of course, learning is not supposed to be fun, hence, any student who smiles, grins or shows some kind of happy expression is punished with a traditional Shinai hit.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Americans introduce first Ray Gun


What a delightful piece of news! The americans have just introduced their new invention of world domination, the first openly acknowledged ray gun. Yes, you though right, the ray gun is that gadget in the picture above. According to their press release and test (involving live journalists). This weapon, having a range of 500 meters, is going to be used in wars to force the enemy to lay down their weapons. I think that there is just one catch here, the weapon looks rather conspicuous to me. I mean, which enemy is going to just watch a Humvee park in front of them with a huge dish waiting to be fried alive? Because, really, I do not think this weapon is going to be used just to cause a burning sensation. If it can cause the sensation, it certainly can be used to burn people like a hamster in a microwave, which probably lends some credit to some accounts of people being toasted alive in Iraq.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Frigging Snow in London



Though an uncommon sight, as I was told by the locals, tonight London has experienced snow, causing all sorts of trouble. Besides, the night was amazingly chilly, I might keep the heater on tonight.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

GTA .... again



Yes, I know this might sound repetitious, but I think that GTA-based comedy is hard not to be funny (unless of course, people start doing it too much). This one, on recomendation from a Kazakh friend of mine.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Learning Spanish by Example

As some of my acquaintances know, I am an enthusiast of almost everything language-related, which does not, mind you, means that I am actually proficient in the languages I rant about. I can, however, try to deceive people I know enough to communicate silly thoughts in many european languages. Since most of them are Romance languages, or have strong Latin influences, it is easy enough to spot similarities and figure out the rough meaning of sentences. However, for strong personal reasons, I have been strugling to take an initial grasp of Spanish, and go beyond saying trivial things on parties, or tricking my friends into complimenting women's breasts instead of saying good night.

Some might think that Portuguese (my native language) is similar enough to Spanish that it would be a trivial thing to just spew it out with a Castillian twang and hope for the best. It turns out that most people in Brazil think exactly this, to shameful (and sometimes ludicrous) effect, which some people call Portunhol. In fact, the number of false cognates and different meanings which arose from the separate evolution of these languages make them distinct enough that some formal study is necessary.

Since language courses are somewhat expensive in the UK, especially in these foreign languages here, I am trying to get a proper grasp of spanish by reading literature in Spanish. Initially I thought that reading Don Quixote would be a clever ideia, with Cervantes being the greater representative of Spanish literature. Though it is definetely easier to read since the Spanish there had not yet fully developed its current quirks with sounds, it is not a good representative of modern Spanish.

On the bright side, a Spanish friend from Brazil just provided me with good tips on modern Spanish literature to read in order to jumpstart my learning. Granted, most of the authors are latin american, like Julio Cortazár (who looks like a pimp from the 70s), Jorge Luis Borges and Gabriel García Marquez. Right now I am going through Crónica de una muerte anunciada. With any luck, I should be able to do more than swear in Spanish after this exercise.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Grand Theft Mario

My friend Paulo has recently brought to my attention that the Nut Shots clip in the previous post comes from a cartoon network show called Robot Chicken, which prompted me to look for clips from it in YouTube, and it was and amazing find indeed. Check out the clip below entitled Grand Theft Mario, it's an amazing piece of comedy merging Grand Theft Auto and Super Mario Bros.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Friday, January 12, 2007

Hair



While absorbing my daily dose of Procrastin-X and browsing the BBC, I happened to come across an article about the furore surrounding Julia Roberts's (the Cinderella/Prostitute from Pretty Woman) decision to refrain from shaving her armpits, and the debate following it. Risking being called a sexist pig, I honestly believe that some of the comments on the BBC piece about this are just plain ludicrous, namely, those that argue that people should just learn to like hairy women. Mind you, my opinion has nothing to do with subjugating women or anything like that, but it just so happens that the majority of people I know (women included) agree that less hair is more hygienic than the alternative. Besides, it is not only women who have to bow down to the demands of aesthetics (and hygiene), men too have body hair (even more than women), and as far as I know, carelessness in personal grooming are known to grossly diminish your attractiveness to sexual partners (how about that, I am being politically correct here).

Ask any woman how she feels about a man wearing a beard styled after late Saddam Hussein in his post-capture moments. Unless she has some kind of specific fetish, she is likely to be abhorred by that very sight. And adding to this argument, there are, of course, men with fetishes for hairy (and bushy women). Adding some gross picture for your imagination, I do not think many women would also like to check out my unshaven gluteal cleft. And as my final argument, nicely groomed bodies are also great facilitators for a pleasant sex life, as the recent praise many women have given to Brazilian waxing (Gwyneth Paltrow as celebrity counterpoint), the presence of which I personally believe is an invitation to Cunnilingus (in itself a crowd pleaser).

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Chip Tunes

This week, knowing that I appreciate video game music, a friend of mine from Brazil sent me a remix of the soundtrack from Gradius, in a kind of thanks for my having bought this game from an auction in the British ebay for him. That prompted me to try and find the original soundtrack on the web, as well as the tracks from some old games which, at the time, really impressed me with their music. This, of course, was a danger zone, since I could get easily disappointed if my perception was biased, I call it Star Wars effect. But I digress, coming back to the main subject of this post, I discovered that some enthusiasts of tunes from old games have created emulators for the analog songs generated from sound chips trying to emulate faithfully that hardware, which has now been dubbed chiptunes.

To my pleasant surprise, there seems to be a very active community that publishes chiptunes, which, unlike the files created by the emulation community, are not being challenged by the game companies. There are also plenty of plugins for popular audio players that allow you to listen to these tunes without having to store much bigger MP3 files. I have, so far, downloaded the chiptunes for some of my favorite Super NES games, such as Axelay, Top Gear, Castlevania IV, and Zelda III.

On top of all that, I found that there are a few web radios broadcasting chip tunes. Now to wrap it all up, you can check out the music from Top Gear, the sound quality is a bit echo-ish (not the game's fault), but you get the feeling.

Friday, January 05, 2007

Stealing a Urinal

Now that is some outlandish piece of news from the town I used to call home in Southampton. Somebody with an apparently high skill in plumbing visited a pub, and in the process of drinking its pint of Foster's decided to, and I kid you not, nick one of the urinals in the men's room. According to the owner of the place, the work was done professionally, with the plumbing being properly sealed and everything. Go figure...

Monday, January 01, 2007

The Aristocrats



This one is kind of old, if you take the date of the release of this documentary entitled The Aristocrats. However, since I only managed to watch it today, as part of my new year's mental hiatus, I'm only blogging about it now as this seems like as good an excuse as any. Long story short, this is a joke that is apparently only told among comedians, rarely to a "lay" audience. The joke is a pinnacle of scatological exageration, and during a whole documentary consisting of professional comedians telling and retelling it, you get a few laughs out of it. In this post you can find the bit of The Aristocrats documentary in which the cartoons of Southpark tell the joke, which seems to reproduce the vanilla version of said joke.