Monday, December 20, 2010

R. Kelly: The World's Most Interesting Man

I put this up on my Facebook wall and I'd put it up again. If you had to ask me who is the most interesting person of the 20th & 21st century? Was it Hitler? Was it Gandhi? Was it JFK? No. No. No. It's R. Kelly. How he sings lyrics like "you remind me a jeep, I wanna ride you" and then puts out other songs like this is beyond me...

I just can't stop watching this video. The crowd fucking loses it at the end when he sings his new single "When A Woman Loves"




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Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Why are all Brits English, but all Englishmen aren't Brits? And who are the British Isles?

Apart from having jacked up teeth, Brits are really weird. They went from having an empire where the sun never set to being an association of countries and territories that no one fucking understands. I mean simple facts like every English person is British but not every Brit is English baffle most people. Furthermore what makes Great Britain great and not just Britain? And the United Kingdom, what the hell is that?

My curiosity with sorting all this out peaked when I started thinking about the 2012 Olympics and the soccer team. In regular international football England competes as its own team, but for the Olympics the host country (Great Britain) automatically qualifies for the tournament. Not a big deal, except for some reason people keep on talking about how this was a super big issue for them. Apparently a ton of work was done for the creation of a Great Britain team, but what was the issue here? What the hell does that mean? How is that different than the normal English team? Why was it so hard?

So for that reason I figured a graphical depiction of all things concerning England would be helpful. As you will see, my devastating combination of having an enthusiasm for making pictures, a dash of intellectual curiosity, and a love of colors can only lead to...well.... colorful pictures.

So here's a topographical view:

...and here's a Ven diagram....


... and if you don't like pictures, here's a mathematical version of it:

British Isles = A+B+C+D+E+F
UK = A+B+C+D
Great Britain = A+B+C
Britain= A+B

where:
A = England
B = Wales
C = Scotland
D = Northern Ireland
E = Ireland
F = Other Islands

so:
(Great Britain) - (Britain) = Scotland
(UK) - (Great Britain) = Northern Ireland
(UK) - (Britain) = (Scotland) + (Ireland)

There. Does that help? Good.


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Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Bono vs. Cross-dressing Robert De Niro

On last week's episode of SNL Robert De Niro dressed up like a woman ....and oddly looked like Bono. Now I love Bono but sometimes you gotta call a spade a spade. You be the judge.

Click the pic to enlarge...

...and yes that's Puffy kissing De Niro's hand. I suppose he's hoping that some talent rubs off.


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Tuesday, December 7, 2010

PODCAST: DJ Shakes_2009-12-07 (All Over The Place)

PODCAST ME:
Simply drag the orange podcast icon on the left column of this page (under "Podcast Me!") into your iTunes. Or:

1. goto iTunes
2. click on Advanced
3. click on Subscribe to Podcast:
4. paste this URL http://feeds.feedburner.com/EngineEngine9

T R A C K L IS T I N G (approx 55min)
http://hbshakes.blogspot.com
theme: all over the place

[0:00] Taylor Swift - Love Story
[0:44] U2 - With Or Without You
[1:44] U2 vs. Taylor Swift - Without A Love Story
[4:58] Daft Punk - Derezzed (Tron)
[6:46] Groove Armada - History
[10:40] Panda Bear - I'm Not
[12:00] Cowboy Junkies - Sweet Jane
[14:30] Petula Clark - Don't Sleep in the Subway
[15:34] Mark Knight - Devil Walking
[21:30] Fela Kuti - Water Get No Enemy
[25:30] Issa Dagayogo - Ciew Mawele (Dusty Foot Remix)
[30:24] Banco De Gaia - Drippy
[34:55] Leif Garrett - When I Think Of You
[36:00] AZ - The Come Up (Memphis Sessions)
[39:10] Jay-Z vs. The Wailers - Small Problems
[43:00] The Heptones - Old Time
[45:35] The Rolling Stones - Shake Your Hips
[47:55] Smashing Pumpkins - Rocket
[50:52] Deerhunter - Desire Lines
[54:00] Karen O & The Kids - Sailing Home (Where The Wild Things Are)

There, I hope you're satisfied and can figure out using a podcast... or you can download HERE.

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Sunday, November 21, 2010

And now a word from our commentators aka The Fan Clothing Manifesto

The one thing which is far more enjoyable than reading any article on the internet is looking through the comments that people make. The long-winded Russian author Fyodor Dostovevsky once wrote "The degree of civilization in a society can be judged by entering its prisons; " I'm pretty sure in modern times that can be extended to website comments.

When one sifts past the little bit of journalism that most site provide you can find some of the most ignorant, stupid, brilliant, funniest posts. Once such gem popped up on a sport website I read called Icethetics.

Amidst a random topic one guy, Mark, tapped into something which has pissed me off for a long time.. so without due, here's what I dub to be "The Fan Clothing Manifesto"

"Every game I go to, without fail, there's like 100 people wearing completely random jerseys, as if to say "Look at me, I enjoy sports". I'm sorry, you fail. You are not allowed to wear a jersey of a team who is not competing that night. The only possible exception is perhaps a national team jersey of your home country with the name of a player who is playing that night (example, perfectly fine to wear team Canada Luongo jersey to Canucks game, but not Henrik Sedin Sweden jersey).

"And for good measure, no adult shall wear a sports jersey as everyday wear. You may only wear a sports jersey if you are: a) going to the game, b) watching the game at a buddy's house/bar. So, to you, guy I saw wearing a Hartford Whalers Brendan Shannahan jersey last St. Patrick's day, just because Shannahan is an Irish name does not mean it's acceptable to wear said jersey in public.

That felt good to get off my chest."

- Mark (4:13pm, 11/17/10)

Breathe proudly Mark. Breathe proudly.

His comment was particularly timely for me after I went to a Kings vs. Bruins game over the weekend. Lo and behold what do I spot there but a bunch of Canadian dudes rocking Quebec Nordiques jerseys (click the pic to enlarge). Dude not only is Quebec not playing (i.e. a 3rd party team), they don't even exist anymore.

You drove down from Canada to do that? Idiots. Aye.


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Tuesday, November 16, 2010

...and now an email from the commissioner of the co-ed non-contact Sunday night floor hockey league I'm in:

Hi Bryan and Shakes,

I’m writing you in regards to your teams game last Sunday. As you know, ZogSports is a charity-focused, co-ed social sports league. While we appreciate the level of competitiveness in our league, we do not tolerate any un-sportsmanlike behavior, which includes “trash talking”, antagonizing players on other teams or their own teammates, exhibiting excessive uncontrollable play, “mouthing off” to the referee(s), verbally or physically threatening an opponent or member of our staff.

The behavior by both teams last Sunday was not consistent with the tone we strive to maintain in all of our leagues. I just wanted to remind both teams to keep these goals of sportsmanship and fair play in mind for the rest of the season so your team and your opponents can fully enjoy the games remaining.Thanks and have fun this weekend.

Andy Koleba
League Manager, Zogsports.
Andy@ZogSports.com
"Play for your cause"
www.zogsports.com


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Sunday, August 29, 2010

Orchard & Stanton


-- Posted while roaming about

Saturday, August 7, 2010

flight home

...and we're back.

So I was flying back to LA on Thursday night for a friend's wedding (we shall call him "Eddy C" for anonymity's sake) and on the joyful voyage home I sat next to a guy, who looked a bit frumpy. After the bizarro pair passengers in front of us ordered margaritas (apparently it's a well known option) we followed suit. The fact that the guy basically said "I'll have one too" before i finished speaking meant that the dude was in serious need of some escape.

Let's take a look at what conversation ensued!

ME: So you from LA?

GUY: No, I live in Boston, work out of New York, and have a girlfriend in LA

ME: Sweet you have all the bases covered. I'm from Orange County and work in New York now

GUY: Yeah. I'm flying to see my girlfriend. I'm supposed to move in with her by the end of the month. I think she's breaking up with me this weekend though. I've already sold most of my stuff, requested a job transfer....

ME: ....

GUY: ...and was looking to marry her.

ME: Shit.

GUY: Yeah..

ME: So...I hope there's less turbulence on this flight than your life.

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Friday, June 25, 2010

Cab life

Spanish cab driver: [sings in a low whisper to the radio, "Linger" by the Cranberries]
Me: that's a great song, it's timeless
Spanish cab driver: [shuts off radio]


-- Posted while roaming about

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Signs your flight to Cincinnati won't be taking off #241

...when the view from NY looks like a scene from Ghostbuster 2 when the Stay Puft Marshamllow Man makes an appearance



-- Posted while roaming about

Sunday, May 9, 2010

taxes,the post office, & Chris Drury

So a few weeks ago I was at my tax guy's office and something struck me as a little odd. You see I'm paying money for someone else to do my taxes and there I was, standing in a mid-town office, with my Tax Guy handing me a stack of papers he made for me mail. I would normally expect that the Tax Guy should do the mailing, after I am paying him to do a full job, but whatever. No biggie. Job done.

As I was walking away he noticed I was wearing an LA Kings hat and asked if I liked hockey. It's an odd question. You don't see a lot of Indian people with hockey paraphernalia generally speaking so it was kinda a stupid question. So clearly I like hockey and the Tax Guy opened up about his other clients which included athletes, such as the Rangers' Chris Drury.

Now we're cooking with gas. This seemed pretty cool. But as my Tax Guy continued to talk about the nuances of Canadian and US tax laws I could only think of one thing.... Does Chris Drury have to mail in his taxes? Does he come to my Tax Guy on a Saturday morning and then go wait in line at the post office like the rest office? I mean if we're both paying fees to our Tax Guy shouldn't we get the same level of service? Now clearly Drury has slightly more complicated taxes and pays a little more... but still.

All I could think about was how much this blew. Drury isn't going to the post office so why should I? Just because he plays hockey does that mean he's excused from going to the post office? Damn you Drury, damn you.

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Friday, April 16, 2010

Man accused of vomiting on girl at game

The headline says it all, but you free to read for yourself

Once again we have proof to the age old adage that if we don't vomit on children the terrorists will win.


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Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Why...

... does Tango & Cash need to be available on Blu-ray?




Sunday, April 4, 2010

Life is Worth Living Again

After 8 long years the Kings are back in the playoffs... and if you think I'm going to miss their first home game then you don't know me =)


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Monday, March 29, 2010

Birthdays, slaughtered sheep, & Milwaukee

After sending a quick birthday note to my friend Niki I got this reply:

Subject: Re: Yoyoyo
Thanks dude, will be celebrating my bday tomorrow (so very close though, you were!) in lovely Afghanistan. Big rager planned, complete with juice and a slaughtered sheep. I know, you wish you could be here to join in the fun. Next year, I promise.
- Niki

...meanwhile I'm flying to Milwaukee today. It is equally desolate and without traditional Western laws and social mores.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Russia cut 2 time zones today...

Fuck they are catching up to us.

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Saturday, March 27, 2010

Sons of Ben

So I was watching the MLS opener day before yesterdayw with the Seattle Sounders and the new Philadelphia Union and noticed how there was a strong section of supporters from Philly called the Sons of Ben. They flew cross-country to watch the first game of Philly's existence.

I then did a little research on them and their origins, etc, etc (a nice Wikipedia read as all "research" is these days) and stumbled THIS little gem of an article. It's an article in 2007 (before the Union were a team) by an English reporter on the grassroots soccer fan movement in the US. Here's an excerpt:
...the Sons of Ben... are fans of Philly's Major League Soccer team. But Philadelphia doesn't yet have an MLS team. Which is to say that, despite having scarves, songs, chants, replica shirts and flags, they're fans of a team that doesn't yet exist. It's almost as if - in the manner of the South Sea cargo cultists - they're trying to will a Philly team into existence. They even organise trips to New York Red Bulls games, just so they can boo them. How hardcore is that?...

...Sons of Ben are following in the noisy, irreverent, chaotic footsteps of the Chivas Legion Kalifas (Chivas USA), the Galaxians and Riot Squad (both LA Galaxy), Screaming Eagles and La Barra Brava (both DC United), Empire Supporters Club and Raging Bull Nation (both New York Red Bulls), and Section 8 Chicago (Chicago Fire). And, of course, the national team's Uncle Sam's Army who chanted, at a friendly against England: "We've got dentists!"
Brilliant!

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Thursday, March 25, 2010

Namaste America, the rainforests, and James Earl Jones

Have we solved the problem with the rainforests yet? I mean it hasn't been on the news for a while, so I'm pretty sure it's done. All the fires have been put out I suppose

As a kid my brother and I were forced by our parents to watch Indian TV programming on Saturday mornings. The most prominent show, which still runs today, was/is "Namaste America." Basically it was a medley of Bollywood movie clips, songs, and random interviews. Real quality programming.

But it was was the commercials that were really pure 100% Colombian awesome. Disco shit. It was a weird array of public access-esque quality commercials for Indian grocery and jewelry stores were these commercials for this rainforest preservation foundation. Providing the narration over visuals of rainforest and fires was James Earl Jones. Along with deforestation facts and whatnot the trademark moment was him trying to spur the listening audience to action by saying "It's time to stop the burning!

Moving stuff.

The thing I never understood was what kinda dipshit at the rainforest foundation thought it would be a good use of the advertising budget to capture the Saturday-morning-Indian demographic? Indians don't care about rainforests. They barely even tip the socially acceptable 15% at most meals.

I wouldn't be surprised if the rainforests were destroyed BECAUSE of these commercials. Instead of convincing Americans to take action, millions of advertising dollars were wasted as thousands of Indians saw the non-Indo-centric commercials and felt it was a good opportunity to run to the kitchen and get seconds on freshly made samosas.


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Wednesday, March 24, 2010

and I raaaan, I ran so far awaaay

When the Smashing Pumpking proclaimed after the MTV Music Awards way back when that "rock is dead" they were.... how shall we say... a bit off. But at the time electronica was trendy (think Prodigy) and the regular guitar-bass-drum-singer rock was not in vogue.

There will always be a room for regular rock, just as pop, new wave will keep on re-emerging in the continuous music cycle. What's interesting though is the context in which they re-emerge. When new wave first appeared in the early 80s it was.... well... new, almost futuristic sounding in the sense that technology was liberally used. Synthesizers, guitars that had altered sounds... this was a fresh sound.

But when you listen to the Killers last album "Day & Age" you hear the same type of sounds...but the context of the music is to almost hearken back to a simpler time. Synthesizers are simple. It's almost meant to be nostalgic.

What's the point? Well it's nothing groundbreaking. But next time you hear a song/band that sounds like something old, just remember that it's funny how the emotions it's supposed to illicit can be "new" because it's a totally different context.

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Saturday, February 13, 2010

and we're back

After a month off I'm back....and frankly I wondered if I wanted to write again. It's funny where I convinced myself to go back to writing - it was at my hangout, Horus on 10th & A on a Saturday afternoon. It's nice to have a place to retreat and mine is a hookah bar. And that particular afternoon the sun seeped through cold windows and lit up the worn out couch I sat on.
It's a couch pockmarked with charcoal burns from fun nights of the past. In the back you can hear the Persian cook explaining to one of the boys making a grocery store run what bread crumbs are... And this strikes me as being nice and pleasant.

Nope nothing funny here, nothing grand, but alas I'm back. Do not fear we have plenty of time to make fun of Olympic figure skater commentators...


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Thursday, January 7, 2010

Hello clusterfuck

Being in India has many joys, one of them is not international airport or lines or people in lines at airports.... I guess that's three things. But still.

For the record please note that a single file line should have people standing shoulder to shoulder. That sorta isn't a line by definition.



-- Posted while roaming about

Friday, January 1, 2010

I'm on an Indi-an radiooo...

Indian FM radio creates new thoughts and experiences that are simply not possible anywhere else in the world. This is not because of some magical Namsake-esque return to roots experience. Nay. It's because the playlists are so bizarro. Where else can you listen to the following three artists order: Outkast, Whitney Houston, and Rick Astley. It's like an iPod shuffle disaster.

As such it triggers healthy debates while roaming around in cars listening to the radio, namely....THERE IS NO FUCKING WAY THAT RICK ASTLEY IS WHITE. It's one of the single most bizarro things out there. You simply CANNOT listen to "Never Gonna Give You Up" with your eyes closed and tell me that you were not picturing a black guy? (please notice that I used a triple negative in that sentence. I rock)

The same can be said, but in reverse, for Billy Ocean. The only other Ocean that I know is George Clooney, and he's pretty white. Also his second stint with his fabulous robbing crew in "Ocean's 12" made no sense (if they stole the egg before it even got to Italy, why did they do all those weird antics in Italy with Julia Roberts?...besides Bruce Willis mistaking Julia Roberts for Julia Roberts was a bit odd)

Also many of you are wondering right now "when was the last time I listened to Whitney Houston's "I Will Always Love You" in full?" Well, wonder no more, because I can answer that definitively by saying yesterday...in a store...playing the radio. And you know what... it's a long ass song. It never ends. And it's weird to think that it got featured in "The Bodyguard". Can you imagine Whitney having to choose between Bobby Brown and Kevin Costner in life. That may be the weirdest choice a person has ever had to make.

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