Monday, December 31, 2007

I'm gonna party like it's 1977

This is the last you folks will hear from me this year. I'm off to Make a CD Disco Ball for tonight's shindig. I'm not sure my hosts will agree but I think that a disco theme will add a certain je ne sais quoi to tonight's festivities.

Washington Post's Quotes of the Year

Their Oops? We'll Hear It Again and Again.

5. "I personally believe that U.S. Americans are unable to do so because, uh, some, uh, people out there in our nation don't have maps and, uh, I believe that our, uh, education like such as, uh, South Africa and, uh, the Iraq, everywhere like such as, and, I believe that they should, uh, our education over here in the U.S. should help the U.S., uh, or, uh, should help South Africa and should help the Iraq and the Asian countries, so we will be able to build up our future, for our children."
-- Lauren Caitlin Upton, Miss Teen South Carolina, in the Miss Teen USA pageant, airing live on NBC. The 18-year-old was asked why one-fifth of Americans can't locate the United States on a blank world map. She later said she was flustered by the question.

4. "In Iran, we don't have homosexuals like in your country."
-- Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, during a question-and-answer session at Columbia University.

3. "That's some nappy-headed hos there."
-- Radio host Don Imus, describing his perception of the Rutgers women's basketball team.

2. "He has a wide stance."
-- Sgt. Dave Karsnia of the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport police, summarizing Idaho Sen. Larry Craig's explanation of their June 11 bathroom stall encounter.

1. "Whoop-de-damn-do."
-- Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, quoting his own reaction to being told the Senate had confirmed his nomination to the Supreme Court.

Celebrate New Years Eve or just read about it

Life in the Fast Lane has posted an excellent New Years Eve in History for those of you who can do without the hype.

I could swear that some of these have died more than once

Celebrity deaths of 2007
Every year I'm surprised by obituaries for people I thought were long gone.
I would have bet that Percy Saltzman was calling for mild temperatures and blue skies from his perch above the clouds.
Frankie Laine kept those doggies moving much longer than I'd given him credit for. I figured he reached the end of the ride years ago.
Merv Griffin - didn't he die last year? No, that was Mike Douglas. I got my ancient talk show hosts confused.
It looks like that rat poison they put out finally worked. Joey Bishop, last remaining member of the Rat Pack, died this year.
Evil Knievel shoulda been dead but it appears that he wasn't.

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Political Animals

I can't believe someone has combined three of my favourite interests (dogs, art and politics) into one funny blog bit.
Dog Art Today is posting a series which correlates US political candidates to pieces of dog art.
So far Kucinich, Richardson, Dodd, Biden and Edwards have been featured.

Name That Tune

Domestic Landscapes

Thought I'd share this very interesting collection of Photographs By Bert Teunissen that I've had kicking around in my favourite art sites for awhile:
The work is made in Holland, France, Portugal, Belgium, Germany, Spain, Italy, Great Britain and Japan and will find its continuation around the world. Here Bert uses available light to photograph people in their kitchen, livingroom or bedroom. It is a search for a way of living that has been around for centuries and that is disappearing from society fast, due to architectual changes but also because of new regulations in the EU and other parts of the world.
The light that is being used is the same that was used by the great Dutch masters like Vermeer and Pieter de Hoogh in their paintings and the photographs of Bert have been related to the works these painters ever since.

A Blast From the Past

My dad emailed this photo of me taken back in the hippie days - he must be working on the "Trudel Family Video" again. God knows where he found this artifact. It was originally a black and white taken with a Polaroid Swinger camera and turned sepia with age - I'm serious, I have a drawerful of these brown photos. It looks like something from another century. Hey, it is from another century!

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Animated All Along the Watchtower

Cool Video Via Grow a Brain

The Most Controversial Ads in Fashion History

I must be getting old. Some of these ads have me tut-tutting, "What is the world coming to?"

A Brief History of the St. Bernard Rescue Dog

I do love stories about dogs! Smithsonian Magazine features an article on the St. Bernard's evolution from hospice hound to household companion. I was disappointed to discover that the cask of warming brandy around their necks is more fiction than fact.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Hello Kitty For Dudes

Does your sweetie secretly covet your Hello Kitty gear? Have you caught him gazing longingly at your HK fashion accessories? Well, he need covet no longer! Sanrio Co. has developed a Hello Kitty line for men. The trademark kitten now has a more "rugged" look that they hope will appeal to guys. Yeah, right! I don't care how rugged that pussy is, if I catch Mr. Nag dressed in kitty wear he's outta here.

L is for Labour

I thought I'd steal this campaign strategy and use it on the next election campaign I work on - how does "C is for Conservative, C is for Cooties" sound to you?

HolyJuan's take on Boxing Day

I Could Not Agree More

Merci Frogsmoke

What Are You Doing New Years Eve?

Every year we spend the big night with a few very good friends in Toronto and have a fabulous time.
Here's a slideshow of other options for those of you who aren't fortunate enough to be joining us.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Unbelievably good idea

Film lovers and travel fanatics take note! Each week we'll be featuring a globe-trotting, time-travel, experience - a recommended film shot in locations that have been irrevocably changed by time and the relentless march of progress.

Join us in our private hell - or not.

Most early evenings these days you'll find Mr. Nag and me quaffing a glass (or, sadly but more accurately, many, many glasses) of wine in front of the fire, listening to Tonic. It's a great show ( I love my CBC Radio 2- Everywhere Music Takes You). Pop some corks and do as we do or let us serve as a tragic example and avoid it altogether - your choice.

Horrific News Out Of Pakistan

Benazir Bhutto shot dead at suicide bombing of rally

Life of a Mandarin

This is too cute!

I reddit here

Monday, December 24, 2007

I'll make this quick. I only have a few minutes between feedings.

We had our holiday meal yesterday, not because we celebrate Festivus (no pole or feats of strength here) but because Baby Nag will be spending Christmas with his girlfriend's family this year. The upside to celebrating Christmas early is that any ingredients that have been forgotten are readily available the day of as the stores are open, frantic but open. We had all the favourites, no tweaking is tolerated. It was however noted by all that there was a little more orange in the squash soup this year; it was a bit thick and I figured no one would notice if I slipped in a couple of extra tablespoons of orange juice. I was wrong - nothing gets by these Christmas connoisseurs. The downside of an early celebration is that I feel obliged to cook another big meal tomorrow - I couldn't bear Mr. Nag's and Nag Jr's looks of disappointment if I didn't stuff their faces on C-Day.

It's a Wonderful Life - Bunnified

An old chestnut with a new twist
Everything's better in 30 seconds with bunnies.
Via Optical Poptitude

First, the boar's head...

The Old Foodie brings us some truly Vintage Christmas Recipes
"Our Christmas food traditions today reflect many centuries of change and evolution.

This selection of historic Christmas recipes will give you some idea of how cooks and housewives have adapted recipes over time, depending on their own beliefs and philosophies, as well as availability of ingredients."

News Flash: If your local supermarket is all out of boar you can find one here.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

All We Are Saying

"What follows is by no means a complete list of the words that took our attention this year, but rather a sampling from the thousands that endured long enough to find a place in the national conversation."

Read them here

Santa's Village in Finland

Jason Wilson took his son to Finnish Lapland so he could meet the “real” Santa Claus. Read about it and see a slideshow here
Via 3 Quarks Daily

How the rest of the world does Christmas

"Paris is all understated chic (and no drunks), while the Chinese have taken kitsch consumerism to their hearts. From hymns and high water in Kinshasa to cricket and Christmas pud in Sydney, we take a whistle-stop tour of yuletide custom in nine very different countries"

More Christmas around the world...

Saturday, December 22, 2007

This one really tugged at my heartstrings - for a minute

Via Dot Dot Dot

We are Siamese if you please; we are Siamese if you don't please

1950's Siamese Cat TV Lamp 2 Cats Television Light "You will love this wonderful Cat lamp. Maybe you can take a cat nap beside it."

When I was a little Nag I was terrified by the naughty Siamese cats in Lady and the Tramp. Later I adopted two of them and they proved to be wonderful pets (although one of them had an unnatural fondness for wool and devoured sweaters, hats and even a large hunk of an oriental rug). This lamp reminds me of the long-deceased Simon and Sheba.

Via BB-Blog

The Late Great Joe Strummer

Died on this day, 2002.

Medical Myths

Eight glasses of water a day - and other myths:
You've heard these tidbits of medical wisdom many times before -- possibly from your own doctor:
  • Drink eight glasses of water a day.
  • Reading in dim light ruins your eyesight.
  • We use only 10 per cent of our brains.
But they aren't true or there is little scientific evidence to back them up.
I guess my wrinkles are due to old age, not dehydration. What a relief!

A dubious day in Canadian history

Aluminum Christmas trees come to Canada on December 22, 1960.
"Is it a marvel of yuletide convenience or a crass beacon of commercialism? Either way, the aluminum Christmas tree has come to Canada. The trees are shipped from the United States. They sell in Canadian department stores for between $5 and $20. In this clip, CBC Radio reporter Tom Robinson expresses a mixture of disdain and admiration for slot-together 'tannenbaums.'"

Friday, December 21, 2007

Use Hasselhoff in a sentence

Hasselhoff heads new wave of medical slang
A Hasselhoff is medical shorthand for a patient who turns up in casualty 'with an injury with a bizarre explanation', according to the latest edition of the British Medical Journal.

A Jack Bauer is a doctor who is "still up and working after 24 hours on the job", while a Mini Me is a trainee or medical student who emulates their senior colleagues a bit too much but does not say a lot.

It's the day of the long night

Image seen at Winter Solstice |

Mind blowing sound experience

An Insider's Look at the Grateful Dead's Wall of Sound
I recently had the privilege of speaking with Richard Pechner about the Grateful Dead's Wall of Sound and his role in creating what is considered to be one of the largest sound systems of all time. The Wall of Sound was built exclusively for the Grateful Dead and it was used on their tours from 1974 to 1976.

Via Linkfilter

A salty guy, a queen with a chipped tooth and more

Top Ten Archaeology Stories of 2007:
The founders of Rome, the builders of Stonehenge, and ancient Egypt's 'female king' were among the stars of this year's most popular archaeology stories from National Geographic News.

Worth a thousand words

Three charts that are worth a thousand words
A good graphic can tell a story, bring a lump to the throat, even change policies. Here are three of history's best.

The chart above used statistics from William Farr and Florence Nightingale.
Nightingale compared his numbers with her own on the deaths of soldiers to great effect. By showing that even in peacetime a soldier faced twice the risk of dying in a given year as a civilian, she campaigned successfully for better conditions in barracks. The pair were instrumental in setting up a royal commission of inquiry into sanitary conditions during the Crimean war.

via Design Observer

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Bacon Scented Bacon Print Tuxedo

I can't say much for the appearance of this suit but rest assured that, if you wear it, you will be the best pal of every dog in the neighbourhood.

Bacon Scented Bacon Print Tuxedo
Via Grow a Brain

Crunks 2007

Regret the Error: The Year in Media Errors and Corrections:

I enjoy reading these each year. Here are a few that amused me:

Sunday Star-Times (New Zealand)
OUR STORY on the price of tomatoes last week misquoted Alistair Petrie, general manager of Turners and Growers. Discussing the price of tomatoes Petrie was talking about retail rate not retail rape. We apologise for the misunderstanding.

The Guardian
Australian cricketer Don Bradman was carried, not curried, off the field during the Ashes series in August 1938 (Heroic Hutton leads England to 903, page 12, the archive, November 6).

The Guardian
In They live by night, page 4, G2 August 27, we wrote about a man who beat bats to death with a dingy paddle; we meant dinghy paddle.

The Hindu
A report “From Bombay to Rajasthan” (“Newscape” page, January 8, 2007) stated that actor Elizabeth Hurley will wear “a 4,000-pound sari by designer Tarun Tahiliani” during her wedding in March. While one reader wondered how she would be able to lift the 1,800 kg sari, another reader said there are possible fears about the bride being reduced to pulp by its weight. It was an error. The word “pound” was used instead of the currency symbol for pound sterling (£).

More Crunks
Via Coudal

Mr. Nag and I are considering a time share purchase...

Canadians Giving Americans Shirts Off Their Backs

Niagara Falls Review:
Canadian shoppers are discarding their old shoes and clothes in mall parking lots in the Buffalo-Niagara Falls region. They wear their newly purchased clothes home to avoid paying a duty when they go through customs to re-enter Canada.
Managers at plazas in the area, including The Summit Mall, have placed collection bins near the exits where Canadian customers can deposit their unwanted items, rather than leaving them scattered across parking lots and in restrooms and dressing rooms.

I live 10 minutes from the US border crossing at Lewiston but I'd rather pay a few bucks more here than sit for hours waiting to get through customs on the return trip.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Lots of funny i*** pictures.

More pictures here.
Via about:blank

Call him Mr. Festive

Under his initial plan, Malvin Jeffery would always have been under the mistletoe.
But shaving the seasonal smooching plant into his hair proved tricky, so he settled for a head full of holly.

In today's Standard

Top 15 Quotes By Famous Atheists

"Creationists make it sound like a ‘theory’ is something you dreamt up after being drunk all night — Isaac Asimov"See more here

Via Look at This

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Sunday, December 16, 2007

The weather outside is frightful, etc.

Chez Nag at 3 o'clock this afternoon. Look at how dark it is. We don't often get this much snow in Niagara on the Lake so I thought I'd take a few photos.

The view down my street. I can't see a frickin' thing. That's it. The wind and snow have driven me back to my cozy hearth and a glass of Jamieson's.

Although the pub around the corner tempted me briefly...

Harper's new homey is- you guessed it - Homey

Federal MPs decision to overrule Canada's nuclear watchdog put a big ugly frown on The Nag's face. This made me smile though.
Via Politics’n'Poetry

Bring on the lists!

Bill Maher's (American) Dickheads of the Year .
Yep, they're dickheads alright.

The Grinch Gets a Tree

As I may have mentioned before, I can do without the whole Xmas atmos thing. When the kids were little I made a noble effort but now a few candles, some poinsettias and a couple of scotch and sodas suffice. Mr. Nag, on the other hand, is a festooning fool who must be kept in check lest he disappear under a mound of flashing lights and tinsel. The last couple of Christmases I've tried to forgo the festive twig but I've been voted down. This year a compromise has been struck. We got a little tree (4 ft) and set it in a nice old dry sink, above tail-wagging level. I used as many ornaments as I hung on our 9 footers so I would call the halls well and truly decked.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Soviet Chic

A Russian themed slideshow. I like the old propaganda images best (you may have guessed this since I post enough of them here). I wonder if Lenin were around today whether he would be downing a Stoli and belting out a stirring rendition of the Internationale at the Pravda Vodka Bar. Somehow I think not. Nice photos though.

Christmas Makes Me Blue

Thursday, December 13, 2007

I only read it for the comments

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad - The Official Blog - Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran
To read or to write, that is the question!‎
In the Name of Almighty God-the All-Knowing, the Most Lovingly ‎Compassionate

Since my last post on the blog, a few months have passed. But this doesn't ‎mean that I have not been keeping my promise of spending fifteen minutes per week ‎on it. As a matter of fact, I have spent more than the allocated time on the blog.

New Jersey abolishes death penalty

NJ Senate voted 21-16 on Monday to abolish the death penalty and replace it with life in prison without parole. Voting yes were 17 Democrats and 4 Republicans. Voting no were 3 Democrats and 13 Republicans.

My Business Card Is a Ball of Putty.

My business card is the red-yellow-and-green thimble-sized ball of putty I handed you along with this paper. Yeah, that's right. My business card is a ball of putty.

I found this really funny piece at Design Observer

Kant attack ad

A very clever political ad from The New Modernist

Via Coudal

I'm Impressed

This guy is going on a year long trip around the world and he's taking along less than Mr. Nag packs for a 24 hour work shift.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Ike Turner Dies at 76

Ike Turner whose role as one of rock's critical architects was overshadowed by his ogrelike image as the man who brutally abused former wife Tina Turner, died Wednesday at his home in suburban San Diego. He was 76.

According to the Rolling Stone quiz that I took earlier today Ike was one of the few rock personalities of that era who Phil Spector did not threaten with a gun.

Rock and Roll Trivia

The Almost-Impossible Rock & Roll Quiz : Rolling Stone

You may know the original title of Metallica's Kill 'Em All, but are you sure you can name the final retail cost of Tom Petty's 1981 album Hard Promises? Challenge yourself to four decades of the trickiest, weirdest and most off-the-wall trivia questions ever in our fifty-eight question quiz, and tabulate your own rock & roll IQ.

Some of the questions were tough but I got 32 right. I started off strong and fizzled out. In my defense there'd have to be something seriously wrong with someone my age who was down with Britney and The Backstreet Boys.
Via J-Walk

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

What's his problem?

I'm no Michael Vick or anything but I will admit to tormenting my dog lately. "It's for his own good," I tell myself but I'm beginning to wonder.
Max used to sleep in Nag Jr's old room but Jr has returned from Brazil and has reclaimed the room for the next little while so Max has been sleeping on the hard floor. We purchased a large cushion for him because we worry about his comfort (See, Max, this is how much we love you!). How does he express his gratitude? He avoids the cushion as if it were an electrified fence.
I've been trying to lure him onto the cushion by lying on it, making little kissing sounds, holding out treats and calling to him in a high pitched voice (yes, I look like a total ass). He slinks over, the whites of his eyes showing in fear, prostrates himself beside the cushion but won't join me on it; he snatches the treat and runs away.
Mr. Nag tries to help. He strokes the cushion like it's Angelina Jolie's breast and croons to Max about the fine qualities possessed by this magnificent dog bed. Still no dice.
In the picture below I rolled him on to the edge of it but I know he's plotting his escape. He's probably thinking we've finally lost our minds. I don't know what to try next - I've done everything but don a negligee and offer him a martini.

Let's ensure that these executions were truly the last to take place in Canada

On This Day 1962 Ronald Turpin and Arthur Lucas were the last prisoners executed in Canada.

Since that time Canada has supported the abolition of capital punishment both at home and abroad. In a reversal of that abolitionist policy the Canadian government recently announced it will no longer be seeking clemency for Canadian Ronald Smith who faces the death penalty in Montana . Also, our government will no longer be co-sponsoring the UN resolution for worldwide abolition. These policy changes were done without the consent of Parliament or input from Canadians.

Fighting the onslaught with a positive message

Looking at the video above I'm somewhat relieved that I don't have daughters. The pressure that young girls are under from the media and beauty industry is overwhelming. It wasn't nearly as tough to be attractive when I was young. We just let our hair grow down to our waists, wore little makeup, shapeless hippie dresses and Birkenstocks or Earth shoes - and we felt beautiful. I'm not saying girls didn't have self-esteem issues back then (many did) but our role models were not impossible to emulate, video-enhanced underweight models. I watched Cleopatra on tv last night (I know the movie sucks) and Liz Taylor, widely considered to be the most beautiful woman in the world at that time, would now be considered hopelessly overweight. By whose standards? An out of control beauty industry's, that's whose. An industry that thrives on making girls and women hyper-aware of their imperfections.
I've posted about Dove's proactive advertising campaigns before. Their newest campaign is aimed at girls aged 11-16 years old and I like it:
The Reality Diaries Program is a 6 week program that revolves around the lives of four real girls who share their personal self-esteem stories online. They record their journey online through the use of blogs and videos, allowing girls across the country to go behind-the-scenes on their real lives and understand the factors that impact their self-esteem. Each girl deals with a different self-esteem issue and the Diaries will reflect how the media influences their self-esteem.
The program has loads of interactive stuff that will appeal to younger girls and hopefully get them talking about it with their friends.

Monday, December 10, 2007

How and Why we Kiss

Life in the Fast Lane tells us everything we ever wanted to know about kissing.
"Kisses take on a number of figurative meanings in folklore, literature, and art, ranging from the betrayal — with Judas’ kiss — to the life-giving symbolism of movies such as The Little Mermaid."

Human Rights Day

The theme for 2008, “Dignity and justice for all of us,” reinforces the vision of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) as a commitment to universal dignity and justice. It is not a luxury or a wish-list. The UDHR and its core values, inherent human dignity, non-discrimination, equality, fairness and universality, apply to everyone, everywhere and always. The Declaration is universal, enduring and vibrant, and it concerns us all.

The Force in the Flesh

Top 10 Craziest Star Wars Tattoos
I adore this Santa Yoda although I wouldn't like to see it inked into the flesh of someone I love.

Via B.A.

Saturday, December 08, 2007


Polanoid was invented because the magic of Polaroid pictures, the thrilling Edwin Land story and the charme and touch of Polaroid cameras hit us like a sledge hammer. Hungry for real analog, good smelling pictures in a digital world, we decided to swim against the stream and to reset our focus and start the biggest, best and most instant online photo community ever. Stuffed with millions of Polaroids, collected and uploaded by Polaroid addicts all over the planet.

Cat cafe

Cat cafe soothes Tokyo feline lovers:
The 14 felines-in-residence at Tokyo's Cat Cafe Calico excel at their job of making customers purr with delight.

Visitors to Calico pay 800 yen ($7) an hour or 2,000 yen for three hours in a big room where 14 well-brushed and shampooed cats hang out. After a thorough handwash, the visitor can play with the cats, read comics or just relax.

The clean, odorless cafe -- Calico has six air fresheners and the litter trays are out of sight -- gets about 70 visitors a day during the week and 150 a day at weekends.

The 53 Places to Go in 2008

The New York Times tells you where to go this year. I've been to 5 of the destinations (Lisbon, Tuscany, San Francisco, London and New York).
Whoops. just remembered I've also been to Malaga.

Sadly this is me

Your Christmas is Most Like: How the Grinch Stole Christmas

You can't really get into the Christmas spirit...
But it usually gets to you by the end of the holiday.


Friday, December 07, 2007

Movie quotes by the numbers


Poor Batman

Ads of the World shows what can happen if a guy eats one too many double bat-burgers with special bat-sauce. An embarrassed Batman huddles in his bat-cave afraid to face the jeering public. It's time for a trip to the Power House Spa! (Shouldn't he be thinking about hanging up his tattered bat-cape? After all, the dude is pushing 70)

Great ad via About:Blank

The Little King

One Christmas when I was hugely pregnant Mr. Nag bought me an Eddie Bauer down robe and when I modelled it for him he ill-advisedly informed me that I looked like The Little King. Ah, Christmas memories.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Warhol's "time capsules" opened

Warhol's weird world
Studio 54 invitations, coffee sachets, Caroline Kennedy's birthday cake, a human foot - Andy Warhol saved it all in 600 sealed boxes.

Tempest in a laptop

'Porn' furor grips MPs - perhaps the government should call an inquiry :).

Rabidly overzealous NDP MP Irene Mathyssen accused Conservative MP James Moore of surfing the net for soft porn during question period. She had to apologize when it turned out the photos were of his scantily dressed girlfriend rather than some anonymous porn star. (Where his hands were while he was doing this has yet to be revealed).
Yes, Ms Mathyssen, sexual exploitation has no place in the House of Commons but your eagerness to dig up scandal where there is none hasn't helped the cause. It has however drawn attention to the malaise that has gripped our elected representatives. The belief is already widely held that many MPs simply fill in space in the House of Commons and have to be nudged awake for votes. Stories like this add credence to that belief. It doesn't really matter whether he was looking at pictures of his squeeze, surfing for porn or doing a find-a-word puzzle; he should have been trying to look interested in the proceedings going on around him after all, this is what he's paid to do. I don't know about you but in most of the jobs I've had the boss would not approve of me salivating over half naked pictures of Mr. Nag on his/her dollar.

Paris en couleurs

Paris en couleurs -slidehow from an exhibit at Paris City Hall.
Via Frogsmoke, every francophile's favourite blog.

Agnes Macphail

Surrounded by a panel of men, Agnes Macphail addresses a group of students gathered at University of Toronto's Convocation Hall on a subject close to her heart, 'Women in Parliament: Why aren't there more?' Macphail had made history on Dec. 6, 1921, when she became the first woman to be elected to the House of Commons in Canada.

Would you do what you ask your workers to do?

Great ad for WorkSafe via Le Blog du Marketing Alternatif