Just Giblets

I think I have a crush on an elf.

10th December 2006
by Scot

I think I have a crush on an elf.

Now that I’ve discovered the world of alternate reality gaming (see my recent post about Cathy’s Book), I’ve become hooked on a little holiday nonsense known as The Reindeer Games. It consists of ten progressive puzzles released on a timetable over the twenty days before Christmas. As you solve each one, you’re given the password for the next. The first ones to respond correctly get points, too, but I got into the game a little late to rack up any points yet. But now I’m caught up through puzzle #4 and I am not sure how well I’ll sleep tonight with puzzle #5 coming out tomorrow!

But the best part of the game is emailing the PM my answers. The whole thing is run by this very clever, courteous, and gracious elf named Snowball McJinglebell. I can’t say enough good things about this marvelous sprite. And he works so hard managing this whole thing. I think I have a crush on him. Don’t tell Michael. Oh, yes, and Mrs. Claus is very sweet too.

But if you want to get in on the games, you better jump in there now. Only fifteen days left till the big holiday!

posted in Games, Web | at 9:23 pm | 0 Comments
28th November 2006
by Michael

Nice Interview with our Friend Rob

Rob KirbyOur friend Rob is a cartoonist living in Minneapolis (he turned us on to that delights of that city). He’s got a great partner and an adorable puppy dog, and they’re just about the nicest boys you could know. His comic strip, Curbside, is syndicated throughout the country in gay magazines and newspapers. Now Rob has edited a graphic novel anthology of gay boy comics called The Book of Boy Trouble.

He was recently interviewed by “Lavender: Minnesota’s GLBT magazine,” in what I think is slightly hilarious, the sports and leisure section. He also gets a nice photo (pictured right, credited to Hubert Bonnet) which fails to do justice to how cute he is. Check out the article.

posted in Nonsense | at 7:31 am | 0 Comments
25th November 2006
by Scot

They say these things in Boston too. They just drop their R’s here.

Once again, I think I’m learning about the silly, hip web site late, but I thought I’d share it just the same. This morning Susan linked to Overheard in New York from the Title of Show blog. I’ve lost the last hour just hitting random quotes and I’m sure I’ll keep going. Some of my favorites so far:

Hipster: Aren’t you some kind of traitor? You’re going to film grad school, and you saw Click on opening night? –Mondo Kim’s, St. Mark’s Place

Professor guy: Okay everyone, I will see you in 3 weeks. Have a good Thanksgiving!
Girl #1: 3 weeks, that’s awesome!
Girl #2: I know…3 weeks, that’s like a month!!
Girl #1: Literally. –Meyer Hall, Washington Place
Overheard by: pieces

Woman #1: Wow, everyone is wearing their iPod. I only wear mine to the gym.
Woman #2: Well, if you have a commute, it is good to take it with you.
Woman #1: Really, so it works underground?
Woman #2: Yea, it even works when you are wearing green.
Woman #1: Fuck you. –43rd & 5th
Overheard by: dave

A girl and guy are making out on the street. Guy: I gotta go.
Girl: Wait, come back.
Guy: I’m busy.
Girl: What’s your name?
Guy: Bill.
Girl: How can I get in touch with you?
Guy: Google it. –11th Street & 3rd Avenue
Overheard by: Tibbie X

Tween chick #1: So when we went to Canada, we had deer.
Tween chick #2: Really? Doesn’t it have a special name too?
Tween chick #1: Yeah. Verizon, like the phones. –M14 bus
Overheard by: Melissa

An ice cream truck is going up the street. Little girl in wagon: Daddy, that truck song is annoying.
Hipster dad: Yes, the commodification of your desires is annoying, isn’t it? –Bedford & N 10th
Overheard by: susan

posted in Whacky People | at 8:51 am | 0 Comments
6th November 2006
by Scot

Cathy’s Book: If Found Call 650-266-8233

Cathy's BookGo ahead, do it. Call the number on Cathy’s Book. You know you want to. Don’t worry. I guarantee she won’t answer. You’ll get her voicemail. You don’t have to leave a message. … But if you’re clever, you can figure out her voicemail access code and learn a little more about her. And you know … this book is Cathy Vicker’s personal journal. If she’s in trouble, it might be your duty to poke around in a bit to find out what’s going on. But wait — what’s all this crap glued to the inside front cover in a baggie? Newspaper clippings, vital documents, a take out menu, business cards, sketches, a ripped up photo? Aw man. This could become pretty time consuming.

At least it did for me. I’ve spent the better part of two days following up on every lead I can find in this little parcel. I’ve been calling phone numbers, cracking access codes, comparing signatures, and piecing together dates. Seems that this precocious 17-year-old girl has hooked up with a fella named Victor of about 23 — probably too old for her to be dating in any case — and he may be involved in drugs? Questionable genetic research? The Chinese Mafia? At any rate, Victor’s co-worker has been murdered, Cathy’s got a mysterious needle mark on her arm, and her best friend Emma needs Cathy to pitch in on their joint Biology project.

To solve the mystery I’ve mostly been investigating web sites: both factual, pre-existing ones and fictional ones constructed for the conceit of this ARG. (That’s “alternate reality game,” Mom.) Cathy and Emma have their own My Space and AIM pages, of course. But there’s even a site for a fictional wireless phone company with a forum in which all of Cathy’s new helpers can share secrets. Here, let me get you started in your investigation.

I really can’t say enough about this book. It’s quite ingenious. Of course, this sort of strategy has been used before to market products, as in the ingenious ilovebees.com ARG for Halo 2, but this is the first full-scale attempt (that I’ve been aware of) to actually incorporate real world knowledge discovery, interactive media, realia, and Web 2.0 applications to complete a literary work. And some of the reasearch is kinda hard, so to get the most from the book, you’ll likely have to spend some time engaging in the online community. It really raises this use of social networking tools from “viral marketing” to “community building” — from a trick to a tool, from a gimmick to an experience.

Of course, you can just read the book if you want. It’s not Proust or anything, but it’s written well enough. I’m sure the young women it’s marketed to will appreciate that Cathy is both amazingly confident and a bit of a screw up. She has no problem driving into San Francisco and wandering Chinatown by herself, but she has a problems fulfilling the basic responsiblities of friendship. And her problems range from the amusingly minor to frighteningly serious. It’s a wild ride worthy of Buffy Summers.

Really, though, if you don’t follow through on the questions you still have by getting your nose out of the book, you know you’ll regret it. Go ahead. Open up the baggie. Pick up the phone

posted in Books, Games | at 10:31 pm | 2 Comments
28th October 2006
by Michael

Take a look at this, Bitches!

My main fascination with YouTube are the music videos and live performances. I am continuously thrilled and amazed by all of my favorite obscure artists popping up there! Talk about the Long Tail. Anyway, I’m sharing this video after discovering it over at the Sardonic Bomb. It’s mainly for Hilary and Susan B., who I think will appreciate it the most, but the rest of you should go check it out too. You may find it a little annoying at first, but it’s quite adorable and fun. Susan, I can picture you doing something like this in your youth, and Hilary… well, you’ll know why I sent it to you when you watch it. I mean, come on.

posted in Nonsense | at 10:59 am | 0 Comments
28th October 2006
by Michael

Is the Ultimate Matriarchy Our Goal?

honeybeeThanks to to Howard I caught this fascinating article over on the CNN website about the genetic lives of honeybees. Those of you who know me well, also know that I have a fascination with honeybees, those adorable, industrious insects whose work ethics and social life have often been praised and suggested for emulation throughout history.

A report in the journal Nature by a consortium of scientists reveal that the genetic code of the honeybee has been unraveled, including clues to its complex social nature, it’s sense of smell and its African origins. Scientists plan to use these findings to continue their work on social behavior in humans. This is something that I find somewhat fascinating due to my recent work-related intensity on social networking applications on the internet. The honeybee, with its tens of thousands of (female) workers maintaining the day-to-day existence of the hive, the single, long-lived queen fulfilling its sole role of perpetuating the species, and the embarassingly single-minded male drones who serve basically as genetic material, has a complex, highly workable social structure. Bee Wilson’s The Hive: the Story of the Honeybee and Us is a pretty remarkable history of the honeybee. I read and reviewed this quick-read back in June, and provided me with much insight on my beloved honeybees and how they have related to human society through history.

Still, while the social structure of the bee is fascinating and certainly works for this tenacious, industrious species, I’m not so sure it’s something enviable for us. I know I wouldn’t relish my place in bee society as a drone, and for the ladies, those workers don’t seem to understand the meaning of the word fun.

posted in Nonsense | at 10:27 am | 0 Comments
8th October 2006
by Michael

The Way Marriage Should Work

I was very interested to read an article in today’s Boston Globe about the Episopal Diocese pondering whether they should quit the marriage business. According to the article, a group of Episcopal priests think that the gay marriage debate has them feeling that perhaps they should not be acting as agents of the state by officiating at marriages. They propose that couples should be married by a justice of the peace, and then, if they want a religious ceremony, they could come to the Episcopal church to seek the blessing of a priest.

A couple of years ago when Massachusetts allowed gay marriages to be legal, spawning a huge controversy in religious circles, I oftern argued that there is nothing religious about marriage in the purest sense. It was merely a legal issue. I proposed that anyone should be allowed to marry, then if you wanted a “holy marriage” those who were eligible could seek one out at a church. This way, everyone is equal under the law, and if religious organizations wanted to discriminate against non-heterosexuals, that could be their decision.

It will be interesting to see how this plays out.

posted in Nonsense | at 3:21 pm | 0 Comments
26th September 2006
by Scot

Sweet Dreams

Just came home from seeing The Science of Sleep at the Coolidge, which I really dug. Then I saw this scrumptious YouTube vid posted by Susan on the [title of show] blog. Now I think it’s time for bed. What do you think I’ll be dreaming about tonight?

posted in Movies, TV, Whacky People | at 11:13 pm | 0 Comments
11th September 2006
by Scot

Is it just me? Or did the Amazon River just get warmer?

I was just watching a show about parasites on The Science Channel. For God’s sake, if you visit the Amazon, don’t pee in the water.

(This Candir? shown several times larger than actual size.)

posted in Nature, Scary Stuff | at 6:34 pm | 0 Comments
3rd September 2006
by Scot

Why They Don’t Call It The “Taste Network”

brini.jpgI’m shocked. Yesterday I received email confirmation from the domestic goddess herself that The Style Network declined last month to renew The Brini Maxwell Show. Well, if you ever needed proof that ([style] != [taste]), there you have it.

But on the positive front, Brini has a new weekly video podcast! I’ve already been subscribing to her popular weekly NPR audio podcast since the very beginning, but this is so well timed that I’m now positive Brini is my feminine alter ego. I just got a beautiful lime green Creative Zen Vision: M for my birthday and so now I can enjoy Brini on the subway or wherever I am! And it looks like she’s going to be showing clips from her original cable access show which is even more exciting. She actually gets a little naughty and sardonic. Is there anything this lady doesn’t do well?!

posted in TV, Whacky People | at 5:18 pm | 0 Comments
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