Racewalking on steroids

So apparently an Olympic racewalker got busted for doing banned substances. As if racewalking weren't embarassing enough.


Rep. Barton and the Energy secretary

so this is a pretty bizarre video. Congressman Barton from Texas is asking a question to energy secretary Steven Chu.

I don't get it. It's almost like Barton is acting stupid to get Chu to seem stupid. Is Barton is trying to stump Chu or look like a funny guy or something? It doesn't make any sense. Since when is "how does oil get to Alaska" a good question to ask the energy secretary?

Or maybe it was a roundabout way to try to debunk global warming - "well, it used to be warmer in Alaska, because plants and animals were there, and they died and eventually became oil, so thus global warming is bogus." Is that what he's going for? I am so confused.


Army Navy - "Saints"

so this is a pretty good jam: Los Angeles indie pop band Army Navy with "Saints."

ARMY NAVY - "SAINTS" from the hassle on Vimeo.

They also do a pretty good power pop cover of "Right Back Where We Started From" by Maxine Nightingale. They have a self-titled album out now.

Here's their Myspace


Best spam ever?

so I got this in my Gmail today - I don't know if it's spam or if the person sent it to the wrong email address (which happens pretty often with me). Anyway, it's pretty great. It's from an Italian domain.
Hi, my lovable, but forbidden fruit.
This is my e-mail.

Goodnight. I'll try not to dream about You.
I'll try to behave. It's not so easy some time. I don't know how many times I was almost to kiss You tonight.
But tis is not how a good guy should behave.

Goodnight... Ciao
(Italian man's first name redacted)
UPDATE: now that I look at it, I think it's real, as he sent it to another address similar to mine at Yahoo. Europeans are suave and hilarious!


Yahoo! Buzz and anti-Obama people

so I've noticed something strange recently on Yahoo's news stories -- there's a feature called Yahoo! Buzz, where you click "Buzz Up" on any Yahoo News story and you can comment and rate other people's comments with a thumbs-up or thumbs-down.

What I noticed is that almost every single comment and rating is anti-Obama, even when the article in question is only tangentially related to Obama. As of today, Obama has a 63% approval rating and rising, with only 26% disapproving, yet seemingly everyone commenting and rating on Yahoo! Buzz stories is anti-Obama and the Democrats.

The anti-Obama comments have huge numbers of thumbs-ups alongside them -- the thumbs up/thumbs down ratings are cumulative ratings, so if there are 50 thumbs up, that means 50 more people voted thumbs up than thumbs down on that particular comment. There are very few pro-Obama comments at all, and the ones that do exist disappear under a huge number of thumbs-downs (if a comment has a negative enough rating it gets hidden). It's a pretty weird phenomenon -- does Yahoo attract conservatives? Do liberals not care enough to vote thumbs up or comment? Is there some concerted effort to make Obama seem less popular?

Most of the comments generally say that the media elected Obama, he's a socialist, he's a dumb bumbler, and various other conspiracies and pot-shots.

Here's a couple examples: an article on Al Franken being in the lead in Minnesota, one on Obama's dog (the first comment being about Chappaquiddick), the recent pirate hostage situation, taxpayers not spending their refunds, and so on. All the Yahoo Buzz responses are extremely anti-Obama.

In doing a little bit of sleuthing, it looks like the people who have the most thumbs-ups on their anti-Obama comments either don't have their Buzz activity public or they've given huge numbers of thumbs-ups without giving a single thumbs down. Here's a couple users from the taxpayers article I linked above: jessi, Noodles, Cogito - more than 1300 thumbs ups between them and not a single thumbs down. Another random anti-Obama person I saw on the Franken article, Informant, has given more than 1000 thumbs-ups and only 7 thumbs-downs. It's pretty bizarre that these folks would read so many comments without seeing one they disagreed with.

The numbers of comments are crazy too: Informant posted nearly 2000 comments while Cogito and Jessi have posted more than 7,000 comments combined -- that's a tremendous amount of comments. And those are just random ones I picked who had the most thumbs-ups on their anti-Obama comments. You can try it yourself and get the same results.

It makes me wonder what's up. Is this a group of extremely motivated Obama opponents? Are people sharing usernames? Is this some strategy from Rush Limbaugh or Fox News or some blogs? Are these thumbs-up links embedded somewhere so people can quickly go through and vote yes? Or maybe they're some kind of bot that votes for anti-Obama comments. I have no idea, but something is fishy.



so I went to the Cherry Blossom Festival the other day, which was nice, and I discovered an awesome drink in the meantime. I've been drinking a lot of those canned and bottled coffee drinks lately, like Muud, the Japanese ones (which are also great) and the Starbucks ones, and I picked a random one up called Caferazzi in a weird box - the same kind that wine comes in now. It's made by a Brazilian company and it's really delicious - sweet, kind of nutty, and cappucino-y. They have a website, but it's in Portuguese, so that's not much help. Anyway, pick it up if you see it.


Sebastien Tellier - "Kilometer"

So this is a pretty cool song by Sebastien Tellier, a Parisian electronic guy. The video is hilarious but is not safe for work, unless your work is OK with you looking at girls scampering around in their underwear. So you are warned.

Sebastien Tellier - Kilometer from Lucky Number Music on Vimeo.

Here's his Myspace for more. Pretty kooky 80s-ish slow jams. I like it.