Wednesday Aug 15, 2007

Aesop in the City

The Shouts & Murmurs section of The New Yorker has been unfunny of late with the last really good piece being Jack Handey's Nature documentary.   This week however was another winner.

Entitled "Aesop in the City," its a one-page piece by screenwriter Yoni Brenner and is made up of eight modern day parables including: "The Hawk and the Mouse," "The Dog and the Magic Hen" and "The Wolf, the Sheep, the H.R. Person, Mayor Bloomberg, Al Sharpton, and Jesse the intern" -- to name three.

To entice you to read the whole piece, here is one of the tales in its entirety:

The Fox and the Goat

A fox is offered free tickets from Cindy in P.R. She drops them off after lunch, and the fox is dismayed to find that they are for an experimental Swedish dance company called Leøtåård. He takes the tickets to the goat in the next cubicle. “Leøtåård?” says the goat. “I’ve never heard of them.” “I saw them last week,” coos the fox. “The Scandinavian Alvin Ailey. I’ll give them to you for ten bucks.” And so, while the goat spends the evening in a dank underground space off Avenue C, the fox goes to Ollie’s and spends the ten dollars on lo mein. Sure enough, the performance is awful and the goat gets a massive strobe-light headache. Still, inexplicably, he puts his name on the e-mail list.

Moral: Always check the Web site.


If you liked this, click here for the whole thing. 

Pau for now... 

Tuesday Jul 10, 2007

Jack Handey's Nature Documentary

One of my favorite sections in the New Yorker is "Shouts & Murmurs"  which features short satirical pieces that range from the so-not-funny-Im-not-going-to-bother-finish-reading-this to the hysterical (most fall closer to the latter than the former).   Last week's entry, My Nature Documentary, by Jack Handey definitely fell to the right of the spectrum. 

Jack Handey is probably best known for his "Deep thoughts" pieces that were shown between skits on Saturday Night Live in the 90's.  Heres one of them.

Handey's piece in New Yorker is short and should be read in its entirety but to entice you further here is a snippet (the conceit is someone detailing the set-up and making of a nature documentary focusing on a monkey and giraffe):

Narrator: “The monkey and the giraffe have been separated.”

Show monkey wandering around, injured, lost and alone. Make him trip, using fishing line attached to his leg. (Try to get this on first take, because after that monkey will probably try to bite off fishing line.)

Show giraffe being chased by a lion. If not too expensive, use full-sized, realistic robotic lion, able to run at full speed. Otherwise get a man in a lion suit.


Pau for now.. 

Thursday Mar 22, 2007

Origami on Steroids

I read a fascinating article the other day in the New Yorker called The Origami Lab, by Susan Orleans.  The article focuses on Robert Lang who oversaw R&D at JDS Uniphase until he left in 2001 "to fold paper full time."  If you're like me and haven't been keeping up with Origami in the last 30 years you'll be blown away by what people are making out of one sheet of paper these days.  Check out some of these creations by Lang and the associated "crease patterns."

You should really read the whole article so to entice you here are a few interesting the tidbits:

  • The creation that put Lang on the international origami map was a life sized origami cuckoo clock which took six months to design and six hours to fold.
  • In the '70's he invented an origami Jimmy Carter, a Darth Vader, a nun, and an inflatable bunny.
  • He is the creator of TreeMaker, origami software available for Mac, GNU/Linux and windows. 
  • Among others, Lang was hired by The Drew Carey Show to create a life-size Drew Carey and by Lawrence Livermore Labs to work on a folding problem for a "telescope with a lens a hundred metres in diameter which had to be packed into a rocket so that it could be sent into space."

A whole world I never knew existed!

Pau for now...


I look after Sun's relationships with the various GNU/Linux communities as well as our relationship with the FSF. Last year, my family and I emigrated from Silicon Valley to Austin, TX.


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