My friend Sean, whose younger sister went to the same dance school/studio I went to (albeit many years after me— shout out to Wendy Cutting Dance Studio alum!), told me about this video of contemporary dance moves and I was dying laughing even then— now that I’ve seen it, I’m laughing even harder.
Anybody who has studied contemporary and/or even more “traditional” modern dance or maybe just watched more than one Lady Gaga music video will most certainly appreciate it. I was already finding myself giggling to myself at times from what Sean briefly told me about the video— I’m sure it will only get worse (better?) now. Enjoy!
Such a sweet find- THE AMAZING GRACE HOPPER on Letterman!
It’s only 10 minutes and definitely worth watching! Some of my favorite bits:
On going to bed instead of celebrating when she officially left the Navy after 43 1/2 years of service on 31 August 24:00:
“There’s something you learn in your first boot camp or training camp— If they put you down somewhere with nothing to do, go to sleep.”
On joining the service:
L: “What interested you about going into the Navy at 37?”
H: “Well, World War II, to begin with…” (laughter)
“That’s been one of the hardest things to tell people in this country— there was a time when everybody in this country did one thing together.”
On working on the first big computer in the US:
L: “You worked on the original computer in this country, right?” (bit of talk about her work on the Mark I at Harvard)
L: “How did you know so much about computers then?”
H: “I didn’t. It was the first one.” (much laughter & clapping)
While showing a physical representation of a nanosecond (billionth of a second):
H: “That is the maximum distance that light or electricity can travel in a billionth of a second.”
L: “No faster, no farther…”
H: “When an admiral asks you why it takes so damn long to send a message by satellite, you point out to him between here and the satellite, there are a very large number of nanoseconds…” (illustrating with the “nanosecond” in her hand)
Explaining picoseconds, a thousandth of a nanosecond, and holding up a little packet:
“The best way to get ‘em is go to McDonald’s or Wendy’s or somewhere and get a small packet of picoseconds— they have the label ‘pepper’ on them, but they’re really picoseconds.”
My new favorite entertainment item/obsession is the British comedy quiz show “QI” (short for “Quite Interesting”). I won’t get into a detailed explanation of the format and rules, but briefly: host Stephen Fry asks his panel of four “contestants” questions on a variety of topics. Since the questions are usually very obscure, almost no one is expected to actually know the answers. Instead, the show and its appeal are more about the resulting, “quite interesting” and usually funny, often hilarious commentary and banter among the participants– especially since the guests are, by and large, comedians. And finally, I refer to the guests as “contestants” because, although points are awarded and deducted, the point system is, for the most part, seemingly arbitrary and irrelevant, much like that of “Whose Line Is It Anyway?“, another one of my favorite shows. For more complete and detailed info on the show, just check out the Wikipedia article.
In any case, to the primary point of this post: Semantics and specifically a clip from Series A, Episode 4. Here’s a great example of one of the show’s many spontaneous, witty and amusing moments– in this case, a delightful bit of wordplay between host Stephen Fry and comedian Jeremy Hardy (jump to the 6:55 mark in the video):
… I refute that with every fiber of my being. The actual answer is–
No, you can’t refute it– that’s bad grammar, that, Stephen. To refute, you have to provide evidence. You mean “rebut”.
No, I mean “repudiate”.
STEPHEN (during applause/laugh break)
Very good point.
If you weren’t showing off, you could have said “reject”.
Yes, indeed. You’re absolutely right. Though it’s not bad grammar, is it? It’s just bad semantics.
And since we’re on the topic of language, here’s a hilarious clip on spelling (spoiler alert: “i before e except after c” is wrong):
* I particularly avoided using the term “trivia” here. While the questions/answers on QI may not be terribly useful for most people in their everyday lives, these facts are certainly not useless, unimportant, or inconsequential– i.e., “trivial”. Let’s just say they’re the finer details.
** It’s actually a (ambitious!) 26-year long project with each series covering topics that begin with a different letter of the alphabet.
So, here it is– KITH genius all the way back from season 1 (1989-1990), episode 2, “Womyn”:
Interestingly though, after I uploaded this most recent video, I received an email from YouTube notifying me that I might have a copyright problem:
Your video “Kids in the Hall – Womyn”, may have content that is owned or licensed by Nerdist, but it’s still available on YouTube! In some cases, ads may appear next to it.
There are actually a number of copies of this sketch on YouTube, one of which happens to be a seemingly more “official” one on the Nerdist channel (from Chris Hardwick) as it includes an interview with “Kids” Bruce McCulloch and Mark McKinney (on a somewhat unrelated, but still amusing topic). Jump to 5:00 to skip ahead to the interview:
A litle while ago (May 25th, to be exact), LSJUMB (aka the Stanford Band) played one of it’s many impromptu concerts in front of the fountain between Meyer and Green Libraries– i.e., the Shumway Fountain, usually referred to locally as “The (Red) Hoop”. As we were on the way to lunch, many of us got the bit of Friday afternoon “anarchy” on video (though sadly, the weather wasn’t the usual “sunny with clear blue skies”, so it looks a big hazy):
How can you not love such a great “scatter band” despite (or because of) the occasional controversy they stir up?
FYI, Shumway Fountain is one of the few fountains on campus not sculpted by an artist; instead, it was designed by a landscape firm that specializes in water elements. Oddly, the only place I’ve been able to find any information like this on The Hoop, including the official name, is in the Maps section (and specifically under Places of Interest > Fountains) of the iStanford (iPhone/iOS) app. The app also includes an image library which boasts, among scenic photos of our various campuses, many historical photos from the University archives, including several very interesting ones from the (in)famous Stanford Prison Experiment that I haven’t really seen published in one place anywhere else. Bit surreal/odd/creepy, especially to be carrying them around on your phone.
But of course, my intent (as usual) is not to infringe on copyright, but to show how amazing Archer is and actually get more people to watch, so I’m still going to try to share this clip with the world. (Hey, I would embed their video and drive traffic to FX directly to promote the show, but their video clip collection is a bit sparse.)
Anyway, so here is it: from “The Limited” (season 3, episode 3), a great clip with Archer & Babou (the ocelot) that perfectly captures a key part of how awesome the show is. I’m obligated to give you a SPOILER ALERT warning since the clip is from the end of the episode, but watching it really won’t ruin anything for you since almost every Archer episode ends with some crazy chaos. Enjoy!
Just listen to this crazy idea for a second– there’s a nice and funny Colbert Report interview for you at the end:
Many believe World War II not only helped, but was one of the biggest factors in the US pulling itself out of the Great Depression— some do not— and I’m sure it’s been joked many times over that another war– in addition to the one we just finished fighting like, 5 minutes ago (did you know military operations had websites?), and the one we’re still fighting in Afghanistan— would help us out of this Great Recession. Well, the thought of someone in government or similar sphere of power seriously considering that idea is a morbid thought, but perhaps this is an even more twisted one: although domestic growth created to support wartime efforts could help us get out of our current, particularly deep economic rut, the thought of waging war for economic benefit– essentially letting the blood of American soldiers be payment for a way out of our current economic state, one created by Wall Street’s high risk, shady deals with subprime mortgages and derivative markets— is too “distasteful”. So, instead, those in power look at alternatives and given the somewhat misguided, but constant ranting about how the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and its regulations are “job killers”, a conspiracy is born to systematically lower EPA regulations to allow corporations to redirect resources they would normally have spent ensuring they were abiding by various environmental laws and regulations, knowing that it may cause adverse health effects on millions of communities around the country. They decide that considering it takes much longer for you to die from cancer than a soldier to die from a bullet or a bomb, and it is much harder to prove that the chemical waste improperly dumped near your home’s water source is the direct reason why you get a particular type of cancer at a particular point in your life– especially if litigation gets tied up in the court system and you die before its conclusion, should you decide to sue your health insurance company and/or the owner of the factory or plant that caused the pollution in the first place– that slow, causally ambigous death of a few million is not only a more preferable and conveniently politically advantageous, but morally justifiable route for economic growth compared to more American soldiers dying in another war (or ideally, just working harder to come up with better economic policies). Besides, the increased health problems may boost the healthcare industry and once we’re out of the rut, the EPA can create even more jobs by raising– or in some cases, re-raising– regulations, therefore creating a need for corporations to go back out and hire workers and obtain other resources to abide by them.
And then the next time there’s an economic slump, all over again… until they find “the next thing”…
I’m not saying this is what could happen under a President and/or Congress that rails just a little too much against the EPA or that anybody is even seriously considering it, or if anybody seriously believes anybody is seriously considering it, but if I thought of it, someone else must have…
There are many wonderful things I could say about the HBO documentary “Citizen USA: A 50-State Road Trip“, but here is a quote from newly naturalized citizen and intentional American Zeenath Larsen that captures not just one of the primary reasons people to come to the US (legally and illegally), but a valuable message for US-born American citizens (especially those who think immigrants come to the US just to steal jobs, collect welfare, and commit crimes), the politicians who are looking to influence, lead, and win over the support of the people, and any American who has ever taken America for granted (me included):
“The bottom line is that your country and you have to be on the same page where values are considered, principles are considered, what you believe in. And if that is not the case, then it’s… you may be born somewhere and brought up somewhere, but then you don’t feel that same type of loyalty. Because loyalty comes through ideas, not through the earth, not through mud and trees and hills. That’s the same everywhere in the world. Is there any country in the world that has it enshrined in the constitution that you have a right to be happy?”
And to underline the point even more, note that Larsen is originally from Pakistan. Food for thought– check out the trailer for “Citizen USA” below:
Excellent (as usual) Daily Show segment on the NPR/Juan Williams firing. I already tweeted the hilarious part on DC’s city design/architecture (do you know how to navigate a roundabout?), especially re: all of the columns on the buildings– “… simultaneously magnificent and useless… like they designed the whole thing as a metaphor.” But the best part is discussion between Team Black and Team Muslim, having fun by playing on the irrational fear of Blacks and Muslims, culminating with Aasif Mandvi’s response to the accusation that their behavior only feeds into things:
“If they’re not gonna make a distinction between Muslims and violent extremists, then why should I take the time to distinguish between decent, fearful white people and racists?”
I have watched this clip about a thousand times, every time they show a clip of the movie on a talk show, etc. I finally slowed it down on the TiVo (if only YouTube had slo-mo!): watch the completely unnecessary flip starting at 0:25. Edward flips Bella over, only to have her land facing the same direction, and then turns her around, this time out of the way. I love Twilight, but this is a little ridiculous.
And, by the way, do you know how hard it is to fix marble? That you would have to basically replace everything damaged here? Even if I was immortal and unbelievably wealthy– thus, having both the time and money to do it– I would be supremely peeved at the damage done to the steps of the dais, never mind how stupid the dais and thrones are. (That part of the fight isn’t in the clip, but you can see part of it at 1:50 in this featurette. I know, I have too much time on my hands right now. At least I tell you how to cut to the chase with the video.)