Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Dinosaurs' Prayer

"Lord, a little more time!"
-Arthur Koestler

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Sergio Leone + Arcade Fire

This clip is awesome. My old flophouse comrade Quammy read about it on The Onion's A.V. Club and posted it on Quammy Blog. Someone edited together a bunch of cuts from Sergio Leone's Once Upon A Time In The West to sync up with Arcade Fire's "My Body is a Cage." I was like, "Ho hum" when I read about it, but then I watched it and it blew my mind. (Contains spoilers)

The Parting of the Sensory (Carbon's Anniversary)

Whoever said that mind/body dualism is only a Cartesian fallacy was either young, high, or otherwise unusually free of regret. My own experience suggests that the body is pulled kicking and screaming into the future, while the mind (miracle of nonlinear computation that it is) is compelled to return to the past, like a fly to shit, like a tongue to a cut on the roof of its mouth. The body wants to return, but it moves on; the mind wants to move on, but it returns. Somewhere in this wretched in-between-ness, this Indian rope burn on the soul, the human subject can be found.

Death (hers) is irreversible, at least in this sad, dirty little stretch of monkey time that I inhabit. Some days it's light but grave, like a crow's wings brushing against my skin. Other days it's a fish hook in my guts, dragging me away from the people I love and need. Most of the time, though, it's just a guilty, impotent feeling--full of rage, shame and regret, and a terrible, terrible sadness. A ghost with a voice but no recognizable face. An exquisite and tuneless agony.

Thank God for family, without whom a disturbed and grieving mind might tear itself to pieces.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Fast & Dirty

On the way home from the Tool concert in Portland, we stopped in a New Brunswick town to get food (this was probably the first stop all weekend at which Andrew "Jailbait" Wood didn't get ID'd). After contemplating a number of greasy, unwholesome choices, we ended up at ***.

Cleveland was the first to notice the lewd sub-text of their drive-through menu, which featured items like "whistle dogs," "chubby strips," and (our favorite) "family gravy."

Ten bucks says their copyright-protected mascot is naked under that suit.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

The Hopeful Monster

1. a dancing, hopping, or leaping movement.
2. an abrupt movement or transition.
3. Biology.
a. a sudden discontinuity in a line of descent.
b. a single mutation that drastically alters the phenotype.
4. Geology. intermittent, leaping movement of particles of sand or gravel, as from the force of wind or running water.
(From Latin saltare, meaning to leap. [])

Saltation is the idea that a new species can emerge in one big mutational jump, rather than as a result of many tiny evolutionary steps. The idea isn't popular these days, as scientists have mostly debunked the hypothetical divide between macro and micro mutation. In evolutionary biology, it's colloquially referred to as the theory of the "hopeful monster," a charming term coined by German geneticist (and saltationist) Richard Goldschmidt (1878-1958).

Did reptiles dance, and dream of birds?

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Neo-human Clip from Waking Life

I thought Waking Life was pretty good, although some of the shorts were better than others. This one is my favorite:

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

We Thought Pierre Got a New Car

Robyn: Ooh! Did you get a new car?

Pierre: No.

Robyn: We thought since it was the same colour as your old one that you might have decided to get another one like it.

Pierre (puzzled): It's not the same colour. My car is orange. This car is burnt orange.

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Review of Dunhill's Light Flake

I got this little blue and white tin of Dunhill Light Flake at a store in Bangor that sold herbal tea and bongs. Upon first opening, the aroma was ripe, a little sour, and laden with orange and purple notes. It had a tartness reminiscent of dried apricots, with a dark and prune-ish sweetness underneath. In the three weeks since I've opened it, this lovely bouquet has diminished and given way to a more mundane "raisin bran" tobacco smell. I'd like to try a tin that has been aged for a few years, but I have yet to find the money and patience to get a proper cellar going.

The flakes are nicely presented and economically packed. However, they come apart a little too easily when I'm taking them out of the tin and when I'm putting them into my pipe. I don't usually rub out my flakes at all, and I hate it when they break up and fall all over the floor as I try to fold them.

I smoke a lot of virigina flake tobacco (Best Brown, Long Golden Flake, Blackwoods and Dark Star, mostly), and I find different blends can usually be characterized along the axes of "fruity," "toasty," and "grassy." Dunhill Light Flake lands heavily in the first category, but its fruitiness combines with Dunhill's characteristic strength, astringency and severity (an overall quality I have noticed both in Dunhill's pipe blends and their cigarettes) to produce an intriguing and highly original blend.

This is not an all-day smoke (nor am I an all-day smoker), as it bites easily and its sour-ish, slightly bitter middle notes can overpower the sparse, delicate sweetness and complexity that peeks through at the top end, especially toward the middle and end of the bowl. But during those rare moments when everything comes together perfectly (O sapient hybrid! O perfect daughter of Cup and Wand!), there's nothing else like it. It's like an unsweetened fruit jerky in smoke form that makes the tongue tingle in the most peculiar (and addicting) way.

Dunhill Light Flake is a good smoke. I'm considering adding it to my regular rotation, assuming I can find it in Halifax.