340 meters per second

Trust only movement. Life happens at the level of events, not of words. Trust movement.

&mdash Alfred Adler (1870-1937)

Saturday, June 30, 2007

So I watched The Good Shepherd...

Friday, June 29, 2007


B will never know a life without portable music; on the contrary, the explosive popularity of portable media devices (alongside her good fortune at being born to a pair of tech-savvy, music-obsessed parents) guarantees a scored future. As long as she's smarter than her old man and doesn't autoinduce tinnitus, I'm excited for her. There's nothing like that moment when the soundtrack synchs with the moment at hand, bringing everything into relief.

A couple of weeks ago, I drove my dad to the airport. I was borrowing his car while he was away and while I was grateful for the loan, his cigarette lighter's broken, which means that my iPod car-radio adapter is useless. Fumbling through his console compartment turned up an unmarked blank tape and, crossing my fingers, I popped it in.

I was rewarded with an audio flashback from yesterdecade: the Matthew Good Band's jangly, crashing dissection of adolescent awkwardness, "Generation X-Wing" &mdash great driving song. With the sunroof open and the engine humming at 2500 rpms, life was pretty sweet for the next four and a half minutes.

After the sun had gone down and C had started in on the Sysiphian task of putting B to bed, I dropped my own car off at the garage and was walking home along Sherbrooke street. Aggressive sifting of my digital playlist revealed the Stones' "Laugh, I Nearly Died" as the perfect accompaniment to a lonely late-night stroll.

* * *

And sometimes the msic and the moment are so comletely out of synch, it's crushing: vid Stewart Copeland's reaction to his little indie band's first gig on their current tour.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Keep it locked.

Our handheld portal into current media isn't just a repository for movies and TV: I'm actually listening to music, too. Thanks to CBC Radio 3's weekly podcast, I've managed to stay on top of the ever-evolving, ever-expanding Canadian independent music scene. I hate to sound like the show's mascot, but it really is a great resource for someone with neither the time nor the cash to keep abreast of new bands in the traditional way (i.e. buying new records every week).

Edmonton's Cadence Weapon, Juno-winning K'naan, and lyrical alt-country/folk dream team Po'Girl are some of my favourite discoveries, but there are jewels in every 'cast and at an hour a week, you can definitely afford the time to give it a listen.

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Johnny Cash's final performance: July 5th, 2003.

Friday, June 08, 2007

The devil's in the details.

Pac always has the best oddities: have a look at CatCam for a feline's perspective on the world. Strangely compelling.

* * *

Speaking of grass-eye views of the world, Seed Magazine has a neat insert this month: a "Photosynthesis Crib Sheet" (available as a GIF and PDF).

This Cribsheet covers the basics of photosynthesis: where it happens, how light is used in the process, and why we think photosynthesis may have triggered the rise of complex life. In addition, we tell you why plants are green and how photosynthesis could temper climate change—if rainforests and oceanic ecosystems aren't destroyed.

* * *

Remember: Neid zu fühlen ist menschlich, Schadenfreude zu genießen teuflisch.(1)

Back before [Judge] Sauer on Friday, [Paris] Hilton's entire body trembled as the final pitch was made for her further incarceration. She clutched a ball of tissue, and tears ran down her face.

Seconds later, the judge announced his decision: "The defendant is remanded to county jail to serve the remainder of her 45-day sentence. This order is forthwith."

Hilton screamed.

Eight deputies immediately ordered all spectators out of the courtroom. Hilton's mother, Kathy, threw her arms around her husband, Rick, and sobbed uncontrollably.

Deputies escorted Hilton out of the room, holding each of her arms as she looked back.

(1) "To feel envy is human, to enjoy schadenfreude is devilish." (Arthur Schopenhauer)

Sunday, June 03, 2007

City of bricks, city of marble.

Atia of the Julii: You. Leave this house this moment.
Glabius: I will not! Octavia's my rightful wife.
Atia of the Julii: You defy Caesar?
Glabius: A fig for Caesar!
Atia of the Julii: By the five Furies, if I was not a gentle woman, I would have you flayed, and hung from a bracket at the door!

Lest I've created the wrong impression with my lukewarm reviews of Extras and Primeval, I don't have anything against BBC productions; on the contrary, I'm excited by a lot of the Beeb's recent output. To wit: Rome, the electrifying historical epic that's had every imaginable critical laurel thrown at its feet.

Operatic in scope, the two seasons tell the story of Julius Caesar's rise, fall and legacy. Featuring a large principal cast and a literal army of extras, Rome presents its namesake metropolis in all its soiled, battered glory: senators, slaves and soldiers rub shoulders in its graffiti-marked streets while plots majestic and petty are hatched and executed with alarming regularity.

Polly Walker has received the most attention for her mesmerizing turn as the manipulative, ambitious, cheerfully amoral Atia. Both seductive and repugnant, Atia is a complex and dynamic character; Walker received back-to-back Golden Globe nominations for her performance. when she's on-screen, one can't turn away and when she's absent one wonders what the hell she's up to. Much more than just a femme fatale, Atia is one of the most compelling characters I've seen on television in ages and Walker's career-worthy monologues are reason alone to tune in.

Atia's nemesis, the regal Servilia, is sophisticated and mannered with an astonishing capacity for grudge-bearing. Brought to life by the fantastically talented Lindsay Duncan, the character is based on Servilia Caepionis, a well-known historical figure. Lover to Julius Caesar, she danced on the shadow-webs of noble intrigue and played a vital role in several backroom plots. Her venomous feud with Atia of the Julii is a major subplot during Rome's first season: enthralling and occasionally heartbreaking, their courtly war is a knife-dance of epic proportions.

I really could go on and on and on and on and on but the simple reality is that Rome is hands-down one of the top five shows I have ever watched, in any genre, ever.