Thursday, May 29, 2008

Take time to waste time

Part of my job is to wander around cyberspace and track what people are interested in. I'm supposed to take note of trends on YouTube and browse products, fashions and artists that might influence my work. Hence, I see a lot of premium fodder all day the keeps me from insanity, and I want to pass the savings on to you.

If you have nothing better to do, waste some time with me today. Below are some worthy traps for you attention. My apologies now for any language that may have gotten through.

Compilation of Reporters Getting Owned - Watch more free videos

And make sure you have some time to check out this whole campaign:

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

This Ain't No Disco

So in the past eight months or so Lesley and I have been lucky enough to attend concerts from some or our favorite bands. After a few years of seemingly no one coming to Utah, EVERYONE decided to come this last year. Arcade Fire, Interpol, Menomena all came within 5 weeks of each other last fall, and we saw Death Cab on Memorial Day. In June Elvis Costello is coming. Really been a great year for concerts.

But all of these great concerts led me to think about concerts, that for some reason, I'll never be able to see. Whether people are dead, or the band broke up or whatever. So let's list in reverse order the concerts I wish I could see, or could've seen. And I'm just going to ignore The Beatles, they're a bit obvious, yes?

5. that dog.

Brandy astutely called that dog the female version of the Beach Boys. Songs mainly about the opposite gender sung with lots of three part harmonies. Anyone even remotely familiar with their albums should agree that "Retreat from the Sun" was their best album, and had they produced a few more...who knows.

The problem/fun with a that dog concert would be to see if the band could play their instruments and sing their parts live. For all I know they could totally suck, but alas it's an experience I'm afraid I'll never have.

4. The Guess Who.

Who saw this one coming? Yeah, when I think about those old fogy tours where one or two of the original band members are still kicking and they assemble a band to back them up and call themselves the old band name (like Guns N' Roses) this group would be great fun to see. Think about it, they start with 'These Eyes', go onto 'Laughing' and 'No Time' probably play some covers of the period, 'Magic Carpet Ride' and the like, and then for the encore 'American Woman'. Tell me that wouldn't be a fun concert. That would be a blast.

Even better would be if they open for The Who. You could call it the Two Who's tour. Come on! The Two Who's!

3. Morphine

Morphine would have been fun just for the sheer experience of seeing a band that's made up of a three stringed slide bass, a bari sax and drums. And with an impressive catalogue at their disposal they could've played a two hour set without playing a bad song. Alas, The lead singer, Mark Sandman, died ON STAGE in 1999, thus ending the possibility of me seeing them.

2. Soul Coughing

Kara, Brandy's wife, has a great story about seeing Jeff Buckley in concert and Soul Coughing OPENED FOR HIM. If there's ever been a mis-matched opener, main act combo THIS IS IT. Needless to say the Jeff Buckley fans HATED them, and basically booed them off the stage. But Soul Coughing is one of these groups that always pop up on my ipod to my sheer delight. Very re-listenable time and time again. And with their non-sense lyrics I can only hope they'd have a show filled with nonsense to confuse and confound the audience. They broke up in 2000, and apparently don't care much for each other, that coupled with rather low audience demand makes a come back tour unlikely at best.

1. Talking Heads

I think there's a better chance of John Lennon and George Harrison coming back to life and the Beatles reuniting than the Talking Heads. And it's a shame, with tons of good songs, and the showmanship of David Bryne it would sure to be a mind blowing experience.

But the band hates each other, when they were inducted into the Rock and Roll hall of fame in 2002 it was PAINFULLY obvious that the other band members were still just a little ticked at David Bryne. They did play together, then, so maybe it's not entirely out of the question.

Watching "Stop Making Sense" eases the pain a bit, but it also makes me yearn to see one of the most inventive/strange/exciting bands perform live.

Did I miss anyone?

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

There can be only one...

For anyone following the NBA playoffs (and their advertisements) and the democratic race should find this clip funny. Enjoy!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Spiritual Depantsing

As Les, Atti and I drove past PHS on our way home from 1$ scoop night at Baskin Robbins recently, Lesley noticed the electric board read something about how tardy make-up was this Saturday. This reminded her of the Tony Hawk appearance in our 'American Idol' skit where Dwerden's character shows up in the audition and gets confused as to where he is. After taking off his belt and dancing around while he thinks the 'Superman' theme he thinks "See ya, tardy make-up!" And leaves.

The memory of this skit reminded me of the tradition to remove ones pants in ones final tardy make up session. To my recollection this was started by Brandy and Watts (and there was one more, Chris Lindsay?) who dropped trou during there final session while Jed and I looked on in awe.

Guido was alone for his final make up session, but he honored the new tradition. So, when the time came for my final session I considered it my duty and my honor to follow in the footsteps of those who went before.

I remember vividly that I had on red boxers with a green stripe. Mikey sat next to me and wore long white boxer briefs. About ten minutes in one of the monitor-types (I honestly don't know her name) walked in front of me and got down into my face.

Monitor: You need to pull your pants up.

ME: (Playing dumb)Uh...what?

Monitor: You're going to have to pull your pants up.

ME: (As if I didn't know they were down) Oh! Oh yeah. (Pulls pants up.)

Now I don't know what's funnier, the fact that I got caught or the fact that Mikey DIDN'T, he was sitting right next to me, and as the monitor walked off I remember him trying his hardest not to bust-up. He sat in his de-pantsed state for the entire session, and at the end he triumphantly walked out of the auditorium with his pants around his ankles.

Who else participated in this tradition?

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Gems from the Pens of Students (Part 6)

This is the final installment in this edifying series. I hope you have enjoyed it.

The Black Death left several dead.

With no parents, birth rates dropped.

The death rates were high and so were the mortality rates.

Puberty was considered, as it is today, the onslaught of adulthood.

The first step in Mormon history was the beginning.

Hertz told Caruso to sing. He did. At the top of his lunges, and at the top of his form.

Steam engines were better than using coal.

While growing up Bismarck became somewhat distant to his mother when she sent him to a boarding school.

Three types of prostitutes could be found. First was the kept woman or the cortizone.

There are countless people with doctorates in the history field. Most of them have no clue about history.

On the other hand, the author describes vividly the way Elizabeth of England held her subjects in the palm of her hand and got them to be willing to give their all in her behalf. For instance, in chapter 29 he describes her visit to Tilbury, where she exposed herself to her army. He describes how the army went wild and begged for the chance to fight the Spanish.

Sigmund Freud: He is know[n] for contributing to the knowledge of things while someone is unconscious.

Sigmund Freud: Of Jewish heritage, he moved to Vienna with his family at a young age, but never did like the city, because of the anti-semantic feelings there.

Q: Would you agree with the contention that World War I was inevitable?
A: Yes. There was too much contention and confusion in Europe for something major not to happen.

War was spoken of as something that was inevitable and something that was bound to happen.

Friday, May 9, 2008


To any of you who may catch Austin City Limits on PBS from time to time there is a great show scheduled for tomorrow.  Explosions in the Sky (EITS) will be the encore presentation.  I was lucky enough to sneak in to their show in Buffalo last month.  It was the first live show I had been to in years and they did not disappoint.  EITS was my exclusive selection for pre-game music last season.  It's moving stuff, but takes some time and effort to get into being that all of their music is instrumental.  I think that they will only show three songs from EITS.  The program tomorrow starts with the Decemberists.  I don't know a whole lot about them other than I've heard their stuff on a indie rock station on Sirius radio.  Check your local listings.  Here's a link for more info about the program.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Rob Takes Community College Position in Kansas

That's right friends and cyber-fans, I just accepted a job offer to join the biology faculty at Hutchinson Community College in Kansas. Hutchinson is about one hour northwest of Wichita. Community college?!? Kansas?!? Please, please, let me explain. (Above is a representative picture of the landscape outside Hutchinson.)

1. Why not research? It took a few years, but I finally figured out that I don't want to keep doing molecular biology research. I think to do science as a career (or any academic research for that matter) it has to be something you think about often and are excited about. I love studying biology and I have really enjoyed teaching my first class this semester, but I don't think I am suited to doing research. I'm not methodical and careful enough when there are so many ways to make mistakes on experiments. Also it is difficult to invest the mental and emotional energy into something I don't really enjoy. Finally, I don't want to spend the time necessary just to keep a lab funded.

2. So why a community college? I really enjoy teaching. Of course I could teach at a four-year institution, but the community college route fits well with reason number three. (Above is the original 1928 building at Hutchinson CC. Also above is the Cosmosphere. It's a space museum sponsored by the Smithsonian that is attached to our campus.

3. Why Kansas? My secret goal (secret from everyone except this privy audience of course) is to start a small, diversified, low-input family farm. I applied to community colleges in areas where land was cheap and the climate wasn't too extreme--although I hear the summers can get nasty in KS. I really liked the people at Hutchinson CC and there is good land in the area. Also, it is actually within driving distance of Utah so visiting family will be affordable. Since I have no clue what running a farm really entails, Taliatha convinced me to not quit my day job in the meantime. My faculty position is a nine month appointment so I will have summers off to work on my farm. (Above left are some of the local inhabitants. Check out the Cattle Egret mingling with the cows. These farms are just east of Hutchinson in an Amish community.)
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