Archive for September, 2008

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September Madness

September 30, 2008

I didn’t create this, but it’s pretty awesome. Click through for the full size version.

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Satire

September 29, 2008
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Ah, now it makes sense

September 27, 2008
Map of Red & Blue States

Map of Red & Blue States

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Serving a Niche Market

September 22, 2008

I live just on the other side of the hill from the San Fernando Valley, porn capital of America, and yet when I find things like Talent Testing Service, I’m still a little surprised.

I guess I know that porn stars need to have clean, recently updated HIV (and other STD) reports in order to work in the industry these days, but it’s mildly shocking to realize that there are so many people having sex with other people for money that there can be a company set up just to routinely service the STD testing needs of this population.

There are a lot of ways to know that you work in a less than desirable industry (like, “do your co-workers routinely die of lung cancer?” or “is being shot to death by your competition a distinct possibility?”), but having to sign up for a service that advertises the fact that it will email the results of your genital disease testing to “anyone that you’d like” seems like a big indicator.  The dashboard for producers where you can review the results of any potential stars in your upcoming scenes is also particularly charming.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for testing/knowing/not spreading diseases, the fact that the process is so tailored for “the industry,” as it’s known in the valley, is just a little off-putting.

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Obama, Si!

September 21, 2008

As seen at the Laurel Canyon Farmer’s Market.  As Obama charicatures go, the headband wearing zapatista is slightly less creepy than this Abraham Lincoln/Obama mashup.

Went to an Obama fundraiser dinner party hosted by a friend (and regular jonsonblog commenter) on Saturday, which marked the third donation I’ve made to this campaign.  That’s two more times I’ve donated than in any other election, although when I was in high school I actually campaigned for Dukakis, which I’ve not done for Obama.

Five days until the debates, six & a half weeks until the elections.

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The Japanization of America

September 21, 2008

I’ve long heard about vending machines that sold all manner of items in Japan, as opposed to the mainly snacks & sodas you get here in the U.S., but this was my first experience of the concept stateside.

On last week’s trip to L.A.X., down terminal seven I passed two separate Best Buy vending machines. They took credit cards, had “in-store” return policies, dispensed receipts & sold the kind of CE devices you would want if you found yourself trapped at the airport and forgot to pack (or didn’t own) them, like inexpensive digital cameras, headphones for your iPod/etc, Nintendo DS (but no games, which is weird), etc.

The future – can it be far off?

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links for 2008-09-14

September 14, 2008
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links for 2008-09-13

September 13, 2008
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Worldwide Spam

September 9, 2008

In addition to the numerous Russian & recently Asian language spam I get every day, I’ve just received my first Middle Eastern (Farsi, I believe – click the picture to see the full version) spam. No idea what any of these are for, although I suspect the Asian one on the bottom has something to do with DVD.

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Racial politics & news reporting

September 8, 2008

Either by accident or by design, the news rarely reports on the race of a subject in a story, unless that subject is a wanted suspect and their race somehow comes into play (“police are looking for a Hispanic male, approximately 40 years old” etc).

And I think that’s largely for the best.  It would sound jarring if in the middle of stories, the race of the subject were arbitrarily disclosed.  Like your aunt or elderly neighbor stage-whispering about the construction workers she suspected might be planning to rob her.  “Police said the victim, who was black, was shot seven times,” or “The proprietor of the diamond store, Mr Finkelstein, a Jew, was unavailable for comment.”

But sometimes the race of the subject makes itself an issue; in this article about the tragic death of a toddler, the mother’s name is Summer ManyWhiteHorses.  The moment I read the name, I thought – really? Many White Horses?  And immediately my mind leaped to the assumption “must be a Native American.”

Of course, by policy, there’s no mention of Summer ManyWhiteHorses’ racial heritage, so I spend the rest of the article scanning for an acknowledgement between myself and the writer that there’s a Native American in our story and that we haven’t been introduced. I guess perhaps because I’ve never met someone with a throwback full on Native American name before, I found it distracting from the thrust of the article, almost as if they had mentioned that Summer lived in a Teepee or had been arrested for drinking too much firewater in public.

I bring this whole subject up to cover up the fact that I can’t find a clip of the following anecdote online: last night, on Iron Chef America, the chef was Tabla owner Floyd Cardoz, an Indian (not Native American, but subcontinent of India) by heritage.  When the host asked him which Iron Chef he wanted to compete against, the host said (and I watched this repeatedly, in disbelief that it made air) “Which Iron Chef will feel the wrath of your War Whoop?”

Now, I say racist things all the time, but that’s okay, I’m a wealthy eccentric and don’t need to worry about ever being hired by an employer ever again.  But the Food Network should know better.  Even Native Americans should find a crack like “your war whoop” offensive, let alone Indians. It’s a testament to the relative low media attention the show gets that a comment like that didn’t result in someone’s job.  You can see the look of confusion on Cardoz’s face – again, I wish I had a clip – it’s like having a Spanish chef on and asking him what kind of Mexican food he’ll be preparing.