Sunday, 31 May 2009

TRAILER: Away We Go (June 2009)

Directed by Sam Mendes; Starring John Krasinski, Maya Rudolph, Jeff Daniels, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Allison Janney, Catherine O'Hara

Ho Chi Minh City Getaway

I went to Ho Chi Minh City (or HCMC as it's known to local Vietnamese) a few weeks ago and had an awesome time. Granted it was probably the hottest it's been anywhere since I've been in Asia, the heat didn't stop me from having a phenomenal time and enjoying the city's pace, style, culture, people and ofcourse the delicious food. Formerly known as Saigon until 1976, HCMC is home to more than 9 million people.

During our brief time in Vietnam, we spent several days and most of our nights in and around District 1 exploring, shopping, sweating and eating. We took two day drips to see the Cuchi tunnels and also explore some of the Mekong delta. We booked the air/accommodation through an HK travel agency which I now feel was a rip-off after seeing how insanely affordable everything is in Vietnam (round trip air from HK: $130 USD; Hostel queen bed w/ breakfast: $30/night). But I look at it as an investment in future trips, which I hope to be taking very soon.

Here's some of my pics from the trip:

Saturday, 30 May 2009

HEAD CASE: Greg Grunberg

Have you ever done the trojan helmet?

Friday, 29 May 2009

Seth MacFarlane's Cavalcade of Comedy: The Frog Prince

Yah, well I'm the one with the boner so jack-pot for me, you lose.

No actually, you're supposed to take a dump on my back.

Wednesday, 27 May 2009

TED: Sean Gourley on Mathematics of War

This is a very interesting talk given by Rhodes Scholar Physycist Sean Gourley on his team's efforts to look at the data on the Iraq war and see if any interesting trends result. What emerged from their project was an intriguing equation and a model for conflict resolution.

Tuesday, 26 May 2009

Akamai CEO Paul Sagan on Online Video

Akamai CEO Paul Sagan addresses the impact of online video on the television industry? He argues that we are now at the tipping point and that a far-reaching industry upheaval will occur in the near future, potentially quicker and more dramatically then some expect. I would imagine the startegies of monitor/television manufacturers like Samsung, LG, NEC and Philips will significantly affect the speed and impact of this shift. Current and future product decisions involving the connectedness of televisions and the blurring line between what distinguishes different types of screens will be critical ones that will impact content consumption at large.

Monday, 25 May 2009

Goal Celebration Fail

You couldn't script this any better.

TRAILER: Surrogates

Directed by Jonathan Mastow, starring Bruce Willis, Ving Rhames and Rosamund Pike.

Sunday, 24 May 2009

Mancow is Waterboarded + Olbermann Hannity Challenge

Erich "Mancow" Muller, conservative American disc jockey, underwent a waterboarding session administered by Sargeant Klay South, founder of Veterans of Valor on May 22, 2009 in studio. Mancow believed prior to the session that waterboarding should not be considered torture and thus agreed to experience it first hand in an attempt to demonstrate its usability.

He owned up to a question previously asked by Sean Hannity of Fox Network who challenged the categorization of waterboarding as torture; the debate was further fueled by Keith Olbermann of MSNBC who pledged that if Hannity submitted to waterboarding, Olbermann would donate to charity $1,000 USD for every second Hannity could endure.

Mancow earned massive points with liberals and conservatives alike for being willing to experience this interrogation technique first hand. Sean Hannity on the other hand is made to look quite spineless.

Honoring the original offer, Olbermann also confirmed he will donate a total of $10k USD to Veterans of Valor for Mancow's efforts.

Here's the original Olbermann/Hannity challenge as well as some spot-commentary on how "effective" this technique actually is. It is a scary question to ponder: if you were being waterboarded, would you care more about telling the truth or stopping the drowning?

Epilogue: Mancow immediately following his waterboarding session emerged with different views on whether it should be considered torture. "It is way worse than I thought it would be. Look, all that's been done to this country and I heard about water being dropped on someone's face. I never considered it torture even when I was laying there and I thought, this is going to be no big deal, I go swimming, this is going to be being in the tub. It is such an odd feeling to have water poured down your nose and your mouth with your head back. It was instantaneous. I thought I could hold out 30 seconds, 60 seconds. It was instantaneous. It was....I don't want to say this....I do not want to say this....absolutely torture. Absolutely. That's drowning."

Vanity Fair contributor Christopher Hitchens went through a similar exercise almost a year ago with, not surprisingly, the same effects and conclusions; you can read about it here.

Eminem on Jimmy Kimmel

I really liked this interview because it was borderline uncomfortable but ultimately Jimmy still is able to have a pretty authentic and sincere interview. Apparently the entire studio audience was comprised of Michigan auto-workers that flew out to LA on Eminem and some sponsors. Eminem, formerly Marshall Mathers isn't necessarily my favorite artist but I sincerely respect him as a musician, an original and a true rags to riches individual.

His new album, Relapse, is out now and is receiving critical praise: chalk another one up for the Real Slim Shady.

Saturday, 23 May 2009

NPR: Blind Pilot - The Story I Heard

Blind Pilot is a folk-pop music group, formed by singer-guitarist Israel Nebeker and drummer Ryan Dobrowski. The band has taken two bike tours, playing its music all along the West Coast. They sound pretty good me - I get a calm optimism washing over me listening to this set. I hope they ride their bikes to Hong Kong one of these days.

Friday, 22 May 2009

Lt. Dan Choi, Arabic Specialist, Discharged For Stating He's Gay + Daily Show Debate

Earlier this month, Lt. Dan Choi, a West Point graduate, Iraq-war Veteran and Arabic language specialist, was discharged from the US Army for publicly admitting he was gay. President Obama has publicly stated that the he does not support "Don't Ask Don't Tell", the policy of the US Armed Forces, and that he would like to see it repealed one day. Unfortunately, it does not seem that our President plans to do this anytime soon as his administration has already confirmed that they will not intervene in Choi's discharge. Over the past 15 years, 12,500 members of the US Armed Forces (including some 50 language specialists) have been discharged from the Army because of violation of "Don't Ask Don't Tell".

I was particularly interested in Choi's comments that one of the most infuriating aspects of his discharge is the insult to his platoon. It's very easy to associate this policy as the majority viewpoint of those that serve, when the reality is both much more encouraging: that those in the Armed Forces care more about the capability and contribution of individuals to the team and unit as a whole, than they do about said individual's sexual orientation. Thus, the continued discharge of openly-gay Armed Forces members seems likely to be a policy carried out from the top-down, and not necessarily the result of negative performance impacts from this disclosure. I would find it impossible to argue that his Army unit (and the rebuilding efforts as a whole) would be better served by not having Choi, an Arabic language specialist, serving in Iraq because of his admission.

I also strongly respect and agree with his first-hand input that "Don't Ask Don't Tell" is wrong, and what instead should be encouraged is, "Don't Lie, Don't Hide, Don't Discriminate, and Don't Weaken the Military". What do you think?

Here is a heated debate between Jon Stewart and John Oliver regarding the discharge. This probably wouldn't be so funny if this wasn't so ridiculously serious and ass-backwards given our current obligations in the Middle East.

The Daily Show With Jon StewartM - Th 11p / 10c
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Thursday, 21 May 2009

Stanford Business: Panel on Economic Crisis

Sandra Bullock & Ryan Reynolds - Behind the scenes of The Proposal

Fantastic interview starring Ryan Reynolds, Sandra Bullock, Betty White. The last 30 seconds is the absolute best in my opinion. Let's have some fun people!

Tuesday, 19 May 2009

Ellen Degeneres' Tulane University Commencement

Awesome commencement speech by one of the sharpest comedic minds of our time.

Most inspirational lines:

  1. "Then I went to look up what commencement meant. Which would've been easy if I had a dictionary but most of the books in our house are Portia's and they're all written in Australian."
  2. "Commencement: common and cement. Common cement. You commonly see cement on sidewalks. Sidewalks have cracks and if you step on a crack you break your mother's back. So there's that."
  3. "I didn't go to college here....I didn't go to any college at all. Any college. And I'm not saying you wasted your time or your money, but look at me I'm a huge celebrity."
  4. "Usually when you're wearing a robe at 10 in the morning it means you've given up."
  5. "My point is that by the time I was your age I really thought I knew who I was. But I had no idea. Like for example, when I was your age I was dating men. So what I'm saying is that when you're older, most of you will be gay."
  6. "So to conclude my conclusion, follow your passion, stay true to yourself, never follow someone else's path, unless you're lost in the woods and you see a path then by all means you should follow that."

DISCOVERY: Top 5 Science Conspiracies, Theories and Hoaxes

Charlie Rose - Joseph Stiglitz on The Future of Banking

Stiglitz discusses two important issues in this clip: 1.) the idea that some want to build the banks up in such a manner that they cannot fail and the required government oversight that will surely coming along with that, 2.) the other idea that these same banks in fact need to be broken up so that we can return back to normal capitalism.

I'm not 100% sure that I'm smart enough to fully understand what he's saying, but seems like the issue is not unlike the problem of US automakers. They've now become so large and massive and despite being crappy car-markers, they are so engrained in the American economy employing millions of workers, that they are in a sense too large to let fail. Similarly, the banks that took on excess risk for profit potential, were at the time so large that when they started to collapse, the repurcussions were massive. I suppose the challenge now is that we are so far down the path that it's incredibly painful to effectively start over or work backwards.

Monday, 18 May 2009

TRAILER: The Hangover (June 2009)

Directed by Todd Philips; starring Brad Cooper, Zach Galifianakis, Ed Helms.

Lonely Planet: Havana Good Time

Sunday, 17 May 2009

Seinfeld Bloopers

Ah Seinfeld - memories from so many great episodes. Festivus!

Julia Louise Dreyfus is clearly the blooper queen - she must've cost millions just on the wasted reel time.

Saturday, 16 May 2009

TRAILER: Transformers 2: Revenge of the Fallen (June 09) + Steven Spielberg Interview

Directed by Michael Bay; Starring Megan Fox, Shia LaBeouf, Rainn Wilson, Josh Duhamel.

Watch this interview from 1977 given by Steven Spielberg, Executive Producer of both Transformers, on his film Close Encounters of the Third Kind and the topic of UFOs.

Thursday, 14 May 2009

Gregory Brothers: Pirates, Drugs, Gay Marriage

Auto-Tune the News #2

Featuring Evan and Michael from the Gregory Brothers.

Best Lines:

"Ooh, I'm angry! You can't see it, but my forehead's veiny!"

"They are armed gangs on the sea.....that means the ocean."

John Cena Gets a Hand Double

I'm actually very impressed with John Cena's acting chops in this video. Unfortunately, I'm thinking his performance in 12 Rounds won't be nearly as brilliant.

Tuesday, 12 May 2009

ONION: Close Range Video Game

So wrong, but perversely funny. Best scenes: multi-player mode and shooting animals in the face.

Monday, 11 May 2009

TRAILER: Star Trek (May 2009) + TIME Interview

So the cat's out of the bag, I'm secretly a trekkie; my favorite series was TNG which I think I've probably seen every episode. So I'm very excited along with the millions of other Star Trek fans at this upcoming prequel release. But c'mon; with JJ Abrams directing this movie, who's NOT going to be a trekkie on opening day? Early reviews are already incredibly positive so looks like another hit for Abrams. Live long and prosper.

In the below clip, he answers 10 questions for Time readers:

This is also a great exclusive by TV Guide Network where they go behind the scenes with the new younger crew of the Enterprise.

Sunday, 10 May 2009

DISCOVERY: Human Cloning

What I don't really get is if it would even be possible to clone someone after the embryo has developed. Movies obviously suggest one day we could clone someone in any state of their development (when they're an embryo or when they're 46 years old). But if the latter is true and you cloned someone at a later stage in life, surely it must be infinitely more complex than simply growing them in a petri dish? Wouldn't the clone essentially be a 46 year old baby since I don't imagine it would be possible to clone all the memories and social imprints that the original person experienced (though this is a completely non-informed statement)? I'd assume cloning could/would only occur at the embryonic stage (i.e. immediately following conception), then I don't see how it's all that different than what already occurs today with multiple offspring births resulting from mothers seeing fertility specialists (i.e. Octomom).

Slow Motion Video: 1000 Frames Per Second

Some cool shots and a smooth soundtrack.

Friday, 8 May 2009

TRAILER: Public Enemies (July 2009)

Christian Bale and Johnny Depp square off in this historical crime-drama around the battle between the Feds and American gangsters John Dillinger (Depp), Pretty Boy Floyd (Channing Tatum) and Baby Face Nelson.

Directed by Michael Mann; Written by Ronan Bennett and Ann Biderman.

Thursday, 7 May 2009

Swine Flu Humor

Patient Zero, Little Bastard...


I was just in Bali for a client summit so was doing more working than relaxing unfortunately. But it was a great trip to rediscover this cool island that I had largely forgotten about since my last visit there with my parents and brother almost 10 years ago. I don't want to make that same mistake again this time, and I'm hoping to get back in the near future with no work obligations while I'm there.

Ofcourse, if the company wants to send me there again to treat clients, I won't argue.

Lewis Black on Dick Cheney Hunting Accident & Dick Fiction

Remember the insane hunting accident where Dick Cheney shot one of his hunting buddies accidentally? The friend who ended up apologizing to Dick Cheney for getting shot by him in the first place? Ring a bell?

That's true friendship.

Below is a short that one of my former colleagues put together to document the actual events that occurred that led to the "hunting accident". The media and Republicans ofcourse covered it all up but I think the video pretty well captures it spot-on.

Wednesday, 6 May 2009

Inspired Bicycles - Danny MacAskill April 2009

This video was filmed over a period of a few months around Edinburgh by Dave Sowerby. It captures Inspired Bicycles team rider Danny MacAskill showcasing some of his insane skills.

On a similar note, I can ride no hands. And I can do a wheelie. Sometimes.

Nathan "Flutebox" Lee and Beardyman @ Google, London

Monday, 4 May 2009

Prison Economy Spirals As Price Of Pack Of Cigarettes Surpasses Two Hand Jobs

"Look, the prison economy runs on cigarettes. They're involved in every economic transaction at some stage. From contract killings, to naked woman picture acquisition."

You know things are bad when you see slocks trading for a steak and a muff bag.

Bizkit the Sleep Walking Dog

My dogs do some pretty funny stuff when they sleep: growl, whimper, spasm - but nothing the likes of Bizkit. I can't stop from watching this video and laughing out loud every time I watch it.

HBO: Pacquiao - Hatton 24/7: Episode 1

The clash of the PacMan and the Hitman was one of the most exciting and emphatic victories for Manny Pacquiao, a tornado of speed, power and agility hailing from General Santos City, South Cotabato, Philippines. I watched the fight with a colleague and his friend at a bar in Wan Chai, Hong Kong, along with about 50 enthused albeit inebriated Brits shouting "C'mon Ricky!" and slightly fewer crazed Filipinos (mostly women) chanting "Manny Manny Manny". Pacquiao dropped Hatton twice in the first round, then finished the fight with a deafening left hook in the second; the Hitman was clearly out before he hit the canvas. As Hatton lay on the canvas with his hands above his head while the ref called the fight, the bar eruped into a raucous Flipino celebration while the Brits hung their head in the pints of beer, shocked that their countryman was stopped so early and in such shocking fashion.

For anyone that may have spent the last few weeks under a rock and not been aware of the buildup leading up to the fight, HBO did an excellent series chronicling the weeks leading up to the fight in both camps, taking a close look at the personal and public lives of these world-class athletes as well as the people surrounding them. The HBO series does a great job of capturing the intensity, motivations and dedication of these fighters, making it almost impossible not to root and feel for both fighters. I'm certainly happy for Manny, the quitely gracious and polite champion whose victory skyrockets him into the stratosphere of boxing greatness, as he is now being hailed as one of the greatest fighters of all time now that he has captured four belts in four different weight classes. But certainly you have to feel for Hatton and his millions of fans mourning his loss - who knows what will be now of the former champion.

These guys clearly love doing what they do, but ofcourse, there's a payday involved as well. By conservative estimates, the PacMan earned an estimated $2m USD per minute. Hatton earned a meager $8m as his 2nd place prize for the night.

Sunday, 3 May 2009

TRAILER: Throw Down Your Heart

Directed by Sascha Paladino; starring Bela Fleck.

Saturday, 2 May 2009

Burger King Commercial: Sponge Bob Square Butt

Crispin Porter & Bogusky helped Burger King with a new take on Sir Mix-a-lot's "Baby Got Back" with their "Square-Butt" music video, promoting BK's SpongeBob SuqarePants kids meals. I dig it (not just because I like the song, and big square butts).

Watch the full music video here.

Friday, 1 May 2009


I'm inviting this guy to my next party.
If you like this, check out this clip from French Idol.

LETTERMAN: Jim Carrey doing CSI's David Caruso