Saturday, January 24, 2009

Science Tattoos, Without Research

If you are planning on getting a tattoo, at the first inkling, you must be thinking about your artist. Who is going to put permanent ink into your skin? You should probably not run out to the first tattoo shop you find.

Maybe I'm biased because when Mrs. Shambles and I were planning our matching pieces, we dug in deep and found Marty Holcomb working out of Columbus, a brilliant artist who was only taking ink jobs by appointment (yes, I'll add a pic of the finished piece within 2 days - promise).

But when I caught this bit on Discover's website, my first thoughts were "Oh, no, you didn't."

mediocre tattoo

Take the time. Check out Discover's Science Tattoo Emporium. And please, please realize that just because you have a brilliant idea doesn't mean the artist knows what you want or can execute it well.

The bigger the piece, the more research you need to do, the more portfolios you need to view, and know that there is never a better time to say "um, no" than when you see the mock-up of what they are planning. Walk away. Better a pissed-off artist than thousands to remove something you look at a week later and think "WTF?"

Which comes back to the demonstrated art bit. Never let any tattoo artist tell you "everyone I've ever inked has been happy." Of course they're happy, initially. They just let you put permanent ink into their skin. If they admitted to themselves that they were not happy, they would have to admit that they had made a grave mistake, and in the ever-looming interest of self-preservation, I would guess that 99.999% of people who get tattoos, no matter how horrendous, initially claim happiness with the work.

Boil it down, now: Research. If you're a scientist, research more. Find the name of an artist, an actual person. View many, many portfolios. Get a good representation of what will be on your skin. Then - and only then - commit.

Rinse and repeat times the speed of light.

Pickle Pringles

I was going to rant about a crappy experience I had today, but found in my searches that it had already had been done for me.

Check out this post on the Pringles Extreme Screamin’ Dill Pickle.

If you like pickles, if you like Pringles, it just plain sucks. Done. No more than that. I feel so betrayed. I need to take a shower.

UPDATE: No, after a shower, the tennis ball tube in my pantry still haunts me. $2? WTF? I don't even think the pigeons would eat it. I don't even think I have pigeons!

Ah, painful pickle spice, three Pringles down, what to do with the leftover pain?

Friday, January 23, 2009

Darth Vader's Tray

Animation of Eddie Izzard's routine.


Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Non-Believers Are Americans Too

Americans who do not fit nicely into an accepted, organized religion box like "Hindu" or "Christian" have found it difficult to legitimize themselves in the eyes of those who live in those boxes. Atheism itself is looked upon as a defect or disease.

Yesterday we saw a change:
For we know that our patchwork heritage is a strength, not a weakness. We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus--and non-believers.
In once sentence, non-believers all over America got the kind of boost, a legitimate form of recognition from a world leader, that we were not expecting.

Granted, this fuel will feed the right wing "godless liberal" machine for a long time to come. I think it is a step in the right direction.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Brent's Inauguration Photo

My friend Brent who does not have a blog or a Twitter or a website woke his ass up super early and made it to the Capitol side of the Washington Monument. One more reference and he'll get his own blogger label.

This is the image he sent me.

Brent at the Inauguration

The reason they're staring away from the Capitol Building is that you can't see anything from that far away and the closest Jumbotron was in that direction. He said, as you'd expect, that it was amazing.

Yes, I am jealous much.

Inauguration - Bestest So Far

Eh, we're at about 4:40 EST right now and I've been witness to over six hours of awesome, some by audio, some by television. And there's still more to go throughout the evening, balls and what-not. Olbermann at 8 should be good.

But I wanted to break in because plopping this down on a Tweet is just not enough.

History, pshaw! The best part of today was when the Bush chopper, Executive One, was circling over the National Mall, and Chris Matthews, the Constant Constitutional Tool, decided to pine poetic and went with "besides seeing so many teeth of happy people smiling today" and continued to speak of the minority makeup of the crowd, voicing amazement that no one seemed pissed or short-tempered that it was cold and everything was taking so long.

Yes, Chris, it's all teeth and eyes and watermelon in a sea of black like that, sippin' on some Courvoisier. And those people would, of course, treat world-history caliber news and being there for that event like they would a long line at an un-air-conditioned BMV. WTF?

Best Matthews gaffe evar.

A Wish and a Hope for Obama

Inauguration Mall
Mall Madness

I look at those images, the Mall in D.C., not one patch of green visible in any direction, the smiling, excited faces, cheering and chanting, and my eyes well up. Partially because I'm excited too, and partially because I see these masses as I might see my own daughter, smitten with a new love.

And I just want to put my hand on his shoulder and say "You've already got our hearts. Please don't break them."

Can't wait for his speech. Because that Nazi Youth Pastor was a little over the top. Ooh, Aretha Franklin!

Dreams of War: A Nuke in Tehran

Nagasaki Mushroom Cloud

We were in Iran, in a green valley surrounded by mountains. It was daytime, but overcast. Hundreds of people, spread out, for miles the valley was before us. Everyone was cheering as planes flew overhead, back and forth. In the distance, you could hear gunfire, bombs being dropped.

I was running through the grass, recognizing some of the people, people from high school, and every person I recognized loved war, lauded the first Gulf War, some had even gone on to the military. And they were all cheering. And hugging. And smacking each other on the back as the planes buzzed us in the valley.

And I was cheering too. I was excited, jumping, running, hugging. And as I smacked the back of one of my other jovial celebrants, I asked "so who's delivering the nuke?"

"US Army," he replied.

Then, suddenly an overhead view of a map and a missile falling straight for Tehran.

My alarm clock woke me at 4:10am with that entire scene to run over and over again in my head. I don't believe I've ever had a dream that could be called a premonition, but when they're as vivid and memorable as that one was, it rattles you.

I knew politically we would never drop a nuke on Tehran. But Israel would. And our involvement with Israel is so tight, who's to say we wouldn't deliver it and allow Israel to take credit?

Sorry. Overthinking. Hell of a thing to wake up to on inauguration day, huh?

Monday, January 19, 2009

Dear God - XTC

I just heard Sara McLachlan cover of XTC's "Dear God" and thought you might like a taste of the original. I haven't heard it in a few years and it still gives me chills as shuddering as when I first heard it.

No Pants Subway Ride 2009

Improv Everywhere is brilliant. Always.

Now if we could just get something like this together in Cincinnati.