Thursday, March 30, 2006
The CTA "Pink Line"? 
by Lenka Reznicek [permalink] 
And I thought "Indigo Line" was a sure fire winner. Yes, I'm afraid it's true:
The result proved once again that there's always something so funny in the world that you couldn't have written it if you tried: The newest CTA branch of the L will officially be called the Pink Line.

Unofficially, it will be called crude names ... and oh-so-much more. [ChicagoIST]
How much would you like to bet "S/he rides the 'Pink Line'" becomes the new "plays for the Pink Team"?

According to the Sun Times, the CTA has "not yet decided what shade of pink." My vote? Vienna Beef™ Pink. It doesn't get much more Chicago than that.

Where else have we seen all that pink before? Oh, yes. Here. Just don't tell Owens Corning.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006
farkleberries Links du Jour 145 
by Lenka Reznicek [permalink] 

Friday, March 24, 2006
Mo' Fo' Snakes 
by Lenka Reznicek [permalink] 
I know, this advance screenshot from the movie is a tad unfortunate (suggested caption: "yes, I am happy to see you, but not that happy!"), but, hey - I just had to jump on the "Snakes on a Plane" bandwagon, after seeing no less than a dozen mentions of this upcoming Samuel L. Jackson in-flight thriller in my morning newreader inbox.

Rumor has it Samuel L. insisted on retaining the script's working title, rather than the nondescript "Flight 121," which is probably a good thing. Hollywood pundits often say that if you can't sum up a movie's plot in one simple sentence, audiences won't get it. If that's true, "Snakes on a Plane" should be a silver-screen (and silver-disc) doozy. The plot? A crate full of venomous snakes is released on an airliner in a bid to kill a passenger on board, and Samuel L. Jackson's job is to eliminate said snakes. Sounds like a perfect setup for a future videogame release. Initially planned as a "PG" release, several new "R"-rated scenes have been shot and added at buzz-fans' behest, including the much-quoted "I want these m-----f-----g snakes off the m-----f-----g plane!" It could become the "Go ahead...make my day..." of 2006.

I propose expanding "Snakes" even further. Make it a "buddy" film, and shoot additional scenes - with Jodie Foster, of course - and change the title to "Snake Plan." Or perhaps, "The Silence of the Snakes."

Friday Random Ten: The On The Hair Edition 
by Lenka Reznicek [permalink] 

  1. Split Enz - "Hard Act To Follow"
  2. Nazareth - "Hair of the Dog"
  3. Kate Bush - "How To Be Invisible"
  4. Les Baxter - "Batumba"
  5. Thievery Corporation - "Air Batucada"
  6. The Egg - "Funky Dube"
  7. Esquivel - "Mucha Muchacha"
  8. Beck - "Where It's At"
  9. Hooverphonic - "Wake Up"
  10. Black Box Recorder - "Lord Lucan Is Missing"

Wednesday, March 22, 2006
WRPI 91.5FM Homo Radio Has a Blog! 
by Lenka Reznicek [permalink] 
Ryan Smith of WRPI 91.5 FM Homo RadioMy good friend Ryan "Sly" Smith, of the long-running NY Capital Region radio program Homo Radio, now has a blog!

If you're in the Albany area, be sure to listen to Homo Radio on WRPI 91.5FM Sundays noon to 2:00pm for LGBT news and information on upcoming events, like CDGLCC Movie Night's FREE presentation of "Rent" this Friday March 24th, and Women's History Month performances by Ember Swift and Imani Henry at University at Albany's Page Hall on Thursday, March 23rd. Admission is free, as well.

Don't live in Capital-land? Worry not...WRPI and Homo Radio stream live on the Web at www.wrpi.org.

Friday, March 17, 2006
Friday Random Ten: The Northern Cities Shift Edition 
by Lenka Reznicek [permalink] 

Northern Cities Shift is the linguistic name for the English dialect spoken around the Great Lakes, from Chicago to Rochester, NY. This is why native Chicawgoans and Raachesterites often sound a little, well, different. I think of it as a "Reverse Boston" accent. What's extremely interesting is that a map of American dialects looks a lot like a weather map: maybe the answer really is blowing in the wind.
  1. Ultravox - "The Man Who Dies Every Day"
  2. Bruce Springsteen - "Downbound Train"
  3. The New Pornographers - "The Mary Martin Song"
  4. Air - "Mike Mills"
  5. Electrolux - "Energiesparlampen"
  6. Edward Bear - "You, Me, And Mexico"
  7. The Primitives - "Crash"
  8. Sarah McLachlan - "Answer"
  9. Interpol - "NYC"
  10. Split Enz - "Hard Act to Follow"
Did you know vibraphonist extraordinaire Cal Tjader once recorded a cover of the Banana Splits "Tra La La Song"? I was listening to his album yesterday, and the melody struck me as oddly familiar.

Thursday, March 16, 2006
FCC: Get Over The Boob. 
by Lenka Reznicek [permalink] 
The Pit Bulls of Decency Strike Again.
(CBS) The government proposed a record fine of $3.6 million against dozens of CBS stations and affiliates Wednesday in a crackdown on what regulators called indecent television programming.

The Federal Communications Commission said a network program, "Without a Trace," that aired in December 2004 was indecent. It cited the graphic depiction of "teenage boys and girls participating in a sexual orgy." The proposed fine was among decisions from the agency stemming from more than 300,000 complaints it received concerning nearly 50 TV shows broadcast between 2002 and 2005.

In addition to upholding its earlier decision to fine CBS $550,000 for Janet Jackson's "wardrobe malfunction" at the 2004 Super Bowl, the FCC said in a statement released Wednesday on its Web site: "The Commission also finds episodes of "Without a Trace" and "The Surreal Life 2," which contained numerous graphic, sexual images, to be impermissible under the Commission’s indecency standard."

CBS had appealed the FCC's fine against 20 of its stations for Jackson's brief breast exposure during the Super Bowl halftime show two years ago. But the agency affirmed the decision.
You know, there's a strange little button that sometimes appears on the front of television receivers, or even somewhere amongst the dozens of little buttons usually found on their remote controls. Few people know its real name, but when pressed, it's unusually effective at reducing or even eliminating objectionable programming. It's called the CHANNEL button, and when engaged, within a fraction of a second the viewer can expect a different program to appear on the screen.

Should the CHANNEL button not remove objectionable content to the viewer's satisfaction, Plan 'B' can be deployed by pressing the POWER button, which also sometimes is found on televisions and remotes. Should Plan 'B' fail, there's always Plan 'C': Pull The Damn Plug Out Of The Socket.

Like Plan 'A' or Plan 'B', you can do this yourself without any special tools - or the Government's help.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006
That's a Whole Yotta Stuff. 
by Lenka Reznicek [permalink] 
I learned the names of several new metric prefixes today, a fact that gives me a pleasantly tickly feeling in my brain (either that's the sounds of neurons firing, or a few synapses frying - probably the latter). Until today, I foolishly believed atto- (10-18) and exa- (1018) defined the limits of scientific measurement. How wrong I was. There are numbers out there that would give Carl Sagan the vapors, bless his departed soul - and I'm not talking about that vaporware cop-out of a number, ∞, either.

If you're looking to describe an afwul lot of anything, you can opt for zetta- (Z), or 1021 - or yotta- (Y), 1024: the Earth's ocean, collectively measured, would yield about 1 zettaliter (ZL) of water, and the volume of the Earth is a staggering 1 yottaliter (YL).

On the other hand, there are teensy-weensy quantities that we can quantify as well: zepto- (10-21) and yocto- (10-24) prefixes are miniscule enough to approximate the mass of roughly 600 molecules of water and the weight of a proton or neutron, respectively. That's very handy, but I can't help but wonder about the origin of these prefixes - are they Greek?* Seriously, yocto?

Are scientists just making those up? Eventually, we must have to starting making stuff up, because the Greeks couldn't think of everything back in the day.

I mean, with such precision of language available, referring to "not a single iota" of something now seems so, well, nebulous. And thanks to the Internet, we all know where 10100 will lead you.

*UPDATE: According to Wikipedia, "yocto" comes from the Greek "οκτὡ, meaning eight, because it is equal to 1/10008." "Zepto," on the other hand, is derived from the French sept, or seven. Using that convention, would the next prefix for 1027 be something along the lines of "xenno-," from the Greek ennia or "nine" - or if we go the French route, "xneufo-"?

Oops. Think I fried another synapse. [Also see: Alan Wood's Unicode page for Greek Extended characters]

farkleberries Links du Jour 144 
by Lenka Reznicek [permalink] 

Tuesday, March 14, 2006
Happy Pi Day ! 
by Lenka Reznicek [permalink] 
Yes, that kind of π. If you must ask, "why pi?" just look at today's date.

Monday, March 13, 2006
farkleberries Links du Jour 143: The Glow in the Dark Edition 
by Lenka Reznicek [permalink] 

Friday, March 10, 2006
Friday Random Ten 
by Lenka Reznicek [permalink] 
  1. Mongo Santamaria - "Ricky Tick"
  2. Christie - "Yellow River"
  3. Walter Wanderley - "Proton, Neutron, Electron"
  4. The Clash - "Stay Free"
  5. Ladytron - "Sugar"
  6. Yaz - "Only You"
  7. The Psychedelic Furs - "The Ghost In You"
  8. Devo - "Gates of Steel"
  9. Blood, Sweat and Tears - "Lucretia MacEvil"
  10. Enoch Light - "Song of India"
Remember the Toot-a-Loop™ Radio?

Thursday, March 09, 2006
farkleberries Links du Jour 142: The Future Is Ow! Edition 
by Lenka Reznicek [permalink] 

Wednesday, March 08, 2006
The Taylor Hams Have Arrived In Chicago! 
by Lenka Reznicek [permalink] 
Startling Taylor Ham® news from the comments:
Taylor® HamThere is now a store in Chicago that seels "Taylor Hams" (1 lb. size only).
Anonymous | 03.06.06 - 1:24 am |

Anonymous: no offense, but as they say - that's "oh so helpful." What store? Where in Chicago?
Lenka | Homepage | 03.06.06 - 2:20 pm |

The Treasure Island in the 3400 block of Broadway. It is 1 lb. rolls and a little expensive ($ 6.00) but if enough people start buying it I'm sure that the price will go down.

It is located in the open refridgerated section opposite the deli section. Most of the deli employees have no idea what you are talking about when you ask for it so be prepared to go on a hunt...

P.S. You owe me one for this one. Apparently it is the only store in Chicago that sells it!
Anonymous | 03.07.06 - 10:28 pm |
Go get 'em, tigers - ask for 'em by name, and fry 'em up good. Anyway, 6 bucks is cheaper than a trip to Trenton. Thanks, Anonymous.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006
farkleberries Links du Jour 141: The Truth is Stranger Than Fiction [Authors] Edition 
by Lenka Reznicek [permalink] 

Monday, March 06, 2006
The Bathtub Saga (2004) 
by Lenka Reznicek [permalink] 
The bathtub saga

farkleberries Links du Jour 140: Loup de Loop Edition 
by Lenka Reznicek [permalink] 
"[N]ot really secrets, just not entirely known things..." -- Oblomovka

Friday, March 03, 2006
farkleberries Links du Jour 139: The Generation Angst Edition 
by Lenka Reznicek [permalink] 

Thursday, March 02, 2006
R.I.P. Darren McGavin, a.k.a. Kolchak, the Night Stalker, 1922-2006 
by Lenka Reznicek [permalink] 
Darren McGavin as Kolchak the Night StalkerVia the Countess, I just learned that Darren McGavin passed away February 26th at the age of 83. McGavin had a prolific acting career (including The Man With the Golden Arm, A Christmas Story, etc.), but is probably best known for his role rumple-suited Chicago reporter Carl Kolchak in the Night Stalker television series (1974-75).

The show's groundbreaking newsman-meets-the-supernatural shtick garnered it many cult fans over the years, including Chris Carter, who cited The Night Stalker as one of his major inspirations for The X-Files. In the late 1990's, Carter cast McGavin in a minor recurring role on the show as "Arthur Dales," a former FBI agent retreated into obscurity after investigating a series of cases involving aliens and a U.S. government conspiracy during the chilliest years of the Cold War [5X15 'Travelers,' 6X14 'Agua Mala' and 6X20 'The Unnatural'] - the "original" X-Files. He also had a cameo role as profiler Frank Black's (Lance Henriksen) father in Carter's culty Millennium series.

The original Night Stalker series (which ran for only one season) was finally released as a DVD box set last October. The show took a few episodes to level out, but by early 1975, Kolchak found himself on the trail of bloodthirsty Hindu demons hungry for elderly Chicago flesh, poltergeists cracking the foundations of a new hospital built on sacred Native American ground, and headless motorcyclists hellbent on revenge (in "Chopper," co-written by a young Robert Zemeckis). The X-Files parallels are definitely there, down to Mulder's lonesome oboe leitmotif.

PopMatters has an informative [sh]obit. Farewell, Darren McGavin: you barely had time to enjoy the royalties on the Stalker box set.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006
Name That (CTA) Line! 
by Lenka Reznicek [permalink] 
The Chicago Transit Authority is holding a contest where students can name the new CTA train line that bypasses the 54/Cermak Blue Line west of the city. Granted, they mean students ... as in kids ... but I thought my entry was kinda cool, anyway.
Indigo is the color corresponding to the highest vibration on the visible color spectrum; it is also associated with the 7th Chakra in Kundalini philosophy, the "crown of consciousness." It's the Color of Soul, and in my opinion, the "L" is the Soul of Chicago.
Chant for my entry, won't you?