Archive for September, 2005


Not everyone can get a Humvee for their 18th birthday, right? This baby’ll keep you covered until you’ve got four years of college tuition to piss away on the full-fledged petrol-inhaling air-quality-destoyah! Rock on. Hell, if you meet a hot chick (who doesn’t happen to know you still live with your parents), you might even be able to fool her into thinking you drive the real thing with the blatantly branded car alarm remote cum boombox remote. That’ll buy you some time to find an explanation for the Griswold Family Truckster you’ve got out in the parking lot.

You gotta wonder which is worse: polluting the planet for your own vanity with an SUV or just desperately pretending to. I suppose the first is evil and pathetic while the second is just double on the pathetic. Call it even, then.

Footnote: Hummers suck, but their ads are wicked hot.

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Why So Gloomy?

Gloomy Bear is 5! Yet somehow I feel we’ve just begun to know thee. After all, there are so many ways to be sweet to children, lull their parents into a false sense of security, and then unleash a gorefest the likes of which humanity has nary imagined. That’s cute cuddly Hannibal Lechter in training Gloomy Bear for ya.

The early phases of Gloomy’s career are captured nicely on creator Mori Chack’s website. A few favorites being the accidental choke out, kindred spirits, and the ever popular knee meets face. Can’t wait for more! Oh, and don’t miss Mori’s perky postman.

If you desire physical contact with Gloomy, check out the stock at Kid Robot, browse the Official Gloomy site, or visit the mothership in Osaka proper. Obsessed yet? Read up on Mori himself. And while you’re shopping Gloomy, take a look at Halfsies as well — fantastically creative, hilariously macabre stuff from this side of the Pacific.

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Youch Ming

While he clearly has skills, Yao Ming has repeatedly been dinged for lacking a mean streak. Well, that meanness is on the way if recent events tell us anything. In fact, if developing your inner Incredible Hulk makes you a superstar (well, that and being 7 foot 5), Ming may very well be on the brink.

It began on Wednesday when Ming had a hole banged in his face by Ali Fakhreddine’s Lebanese elbow in the Asian Basketball Championships. The refs called no foul. Enraged, Ming smeared his blood on the ref’s table before storming off to the locker room. He needed 4 stitches. While this might seem minor for some, it’s big shakes for the once quietly contemplative Ming. So much for the gentle giant, eh?

Perhaps we could have seen it coming. After all, the China national team (on which Yao plays) has had a spate of violent outbursts over the past few years — from the bench-clearing brawl in the Lebanon game in 2001 (yep, these two have a history) to the fan free-for-all vs. Puerto Rico earlier this year in the Stankovic Cup game. Clearly the US doesn’t have a corner on this sort of behavior.

Ming’s blood-smearing tactic brings a new dimension to it, though — a bravado. Do we see the makings of a Shakespearean hero? Or is this going to devolve into WWE Saturday Night? Either way, it’ll be tough for the press to say Yao lacks passion after this stunt. Now he just has to bring it stateside.

See the Times for more on Yao’s un-mean streak or read Tom Huang’s discussion of why mean is exactly the wrong thing to hope for. And if you really want to see Ming mad, have him take a look over here.

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Busy Being Born

Susan Kare's art in Bill Atkinson's MacPaint

Remember the first time you used a Macintosh? If you got goosebumps, this book is for you. Further, if names like Bill Atkinson, Steve Capps, Andy Hertzfeld, Bruce Horn, and Susan Kare ring a vague nostalgic bell, you are legally required to buy it. Why? Because Andy Hertzfeld’s “Revolution in the Valley” tells the story of the creation of Macintosh so intimately that you feel like you were there. It does this not by trying to detail the whole saga from beginning to end but rather by capturing snapshot stories from 1979-1985 that bring the reader inside the central moments.

Ever wonder what early versions of Macintosh were like? Did you know the ultra-famous 1984 superbowl ad was very nearly canned after it was completed? How about how the first icons, fonts, and sounds evolved? Or, visit the classic “signing party” where the team signed their names to be immortalized in the bottom of each Mac case. And what about those people — the people behind the names in the original Finder, MacPaint, and MacWrite about boxes (Bill, Steve, Andy, Bruce, Susan and more). You get to know each of them close-up. For instance, how hardware genius Burrell Smith’s design style was inspired by the classic videogame Defender.

Continue reading ‘Busy Being Born’

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