Happy Ash Wednesday!

Memento homo, quia pulvis es, et in pulverem reverteris.
(Remember, O man, that you are dust, and unto dust you shall return.)
Being reminded that you shall simply return to dust seems to me to be at odds with most popular Christian thought. Without the promise of eternal life what are we left with? I would like to think this has something to do with Christ's purported contact with Buddhist thought during the 18 years of his life not mentioned in the Bible but even Buddhism promises some sort of rebirth. This might be heresy but the rites of Ash Wednesday remind me more of something one of my personal saints said:
I would love to believe that when I die I will live again, that some thinking, feeling, remembering part of me will continue. But much as I want to believe that, and despite the ancient and worldwide cultural traditions that assert an afterlife, I know of nothing to suggest that it is more than wishful thinking . . . The world is so exquisite with so much love and moral depth, that there is no reason to deceive ourselves with pretty stories for which there's little good evidence. Far better it seems to me, in our vulnerability, is to look death in the eye and to be grateful every day for the brief but magnificent opportunity that life provides.
—Carl Sagan
Here Mr. Billions-and-Billions describes how it's a little bit more than dust from whence we came (skip to 2:30 if you're in a hurry):

Make-A-Wish Foundation

Help my brother win a 6 month residency (and $100,000) in and around Australia's great barrier reef! This is the leg up he needs to hasten his transition to a full-time nature show host! Go watch his video then give him the five stars he so clearly deserves! Then go watch the videos of his competition and rate them one star for being such utter crap! Then go check out the crazy fish video he just posted on his blog! Crazy, right?! So many exclamation points!!!

NOTE: He's wearing the bikini to make a mockery of more than a few female applicants whose entire application videos seem to consist of little more than them running/jumping/swimming around in their skivvies.

I Made a New Blog

I started a new blog because I'm sick of being accused of making things up. If you don't want to see yourself listed in the tag list of shame now is a good time to start reconsidering doubting me.

I will of course apologize if you are right and I am wrong. I do tend to exaggerate sometimes.
"If a man will begin with certainties, he shall end in doubts; but if he will be content to begin with doubts, he shall end in certainties."
—Francis Bacon

Happy Friday the 13th!

I really recommend subscribing to Mad Decent's podcast (or as they call it "NPR for the streets") to balance out all that This American Life you've been listening to.

Excuse Me Mr. DJ, Do You Take Requests?

Shout-outs to the Bartman and the Turbobass button! I hope to hear this on the dancefloor at the peak of the party, the Lonely Island's new song on their brand new album Incredibad:

Lonely Island - Boombox (feat. Julian Casablancas)
[right-click to download]

Where the Wild Things Are

Confession time: I kinda sorta accidentally went to Comicon today. It was an absolute spectacle. I got to play the new GTA game for DS, watched people playing Dungeons and Dragons (during the day!) and saw a bunch of Kirk, Indiana, Wolverine, and Batman imposters walking around. The most exciting thing (besides seeing all the ridiculously geeky kids of the tri-state area running around looking deliriously happy) was seeing some of the leaked footage for Spike Jonze's long delayed Where the Wild Things Are movie. From the look of it, I don't particularly care if it's faithful to the book, I'm just in love with that moment of solar glare in the video below:

Subatlantic Subway

I was waiting for the train the other day and casually glanced at one of the MTA's self-congratulatory posters about how ecologically sound they are. While struggling to believe their claim of recycling 63% of the trash collected at their stations I noticed another little item at the bottom of the page that was (at least to me) much more credulous. Apparently they have been donating old subway cars towards creating new reef habitat along the eastern seaboard. Why do people always seem to be much more prepared to accept the banal falsehoods than the fantastic truth?

Why You Haven't Seen Depp in Over a Year

Just kidding! I like that even when photoshopped into a schlub you can tell he's still a cool guy (maybe). Meanwhile I'm looking forward to seeing him in Terry Gilliam's new movie (along with Tom Waits and Heath Ledger) The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus:

PS: If anyone has any MP3s of The Kids I'd really love to get those from you...

Paul's Boutique Reissued

My favorite album ever made (and sole focus of an imminent tome I've been working on for years) is being remastered and reissued February 10th for it's 20th anniversary (even though it was released in July of '89). I got all excited to buy the VIP package but it turns out they're asking $130 for the CD, the vinyl, an uninspired t-shirt and an 8-foot long poster that is just the vinyl gatefold you already have all over again. I'm a little disappointed, especially since there were rumors of previously unreleased tracks that I can't confirm on their new Boutiue page or anywhere else. The good news is that if you give them your e-mail address they'll let you download an MP3 of them (kind of) discussing the album in one long commentary track for free. Or you can listen to it here:

The Paul's Boutique Commentary Track
[right-click to download all 49 Mb of inside jokes]

Nobody cares about this but me but I care about it so much it makes up the difference...