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friday favourites 18.02.11

that's right! it's time for another edition of friday favourites, a time to appreciate the passing of another week and the things that have made it better. here's a few of the things that made it better for me:

the young turks :: sometimes, you don't want to go through the laborious process of explaining to someone why they're in the wrong. sometimes, arguments are just so facile that they don't deserve the dignity of an intelligent and well-crafted response. in those times, what you really want is to just point out the giant sinkholes in an argument and let the stupidity sing for itself. feel good people, because the young turks are there for you.

the award winning podcast and youtube channel have actually landed its host a regular gig on msnbc (i'm betting msnbc would love to get the viewership tyt get). it's a straight-up dismantling of the likes of fox news and the tea party, with a healthy smattering of commentary on those news stories that make those of us with brain cells occasionally beat our heads on tabletops. rather than refuting arguments through careful study and analysis, the hosts simply use common sense and caustic wit to draw attention to the predominance of general idiocy and speak for those who are supremely fed up with having to go through the motions of intelligent debate with people who think their great-grandfather kept pterodactyls as pets.

(i'd also like to thank them for helping me manage my shameful and growing addiction to watching clips of glenn beck on the internet. which is why i'm embedding a clip that's 18 months old, rather than a newer one...)



hey, if they ever need a token white chick to join their ranks, i am all over that.



it's raining men :: dear god, not the song. the new shower gel from lush, the pioneers of handmade cosmetics (meaning, cosmetics that look like colourful lumps of stuff). it's loaded with honey which, if you can separate it from its normally sticky texture, is actually wonderful for your skin and for basically every part of you. the company web site describes it as having a toffee scent, but i'd actually compare it more to spiced honey (meaning, i don't notice the buttery smell i would normally associate with toffee, in case you're wondering). it's actually the only shower gel i'll use as a shampoo as well, since, like i said, honey is good for everything, including my unruly mop. (it doesn't lather much on hair, but that's actually good- more lather means more soap, which basically sucks the moisture out of whatever it touches.) i have had to spend way too many hours adjacent unwashed armpits encased in clothing that has never seen clean water. i want to start the day with a scent that makes me happy and leaves me feeling clean. that is all.

gingerbread spice cake, after consumer testing
baking :: every winter i promise myself i'm going to do this and every winter, i seem to find myself bogged down with other things. i hadn't given myself time to rediscover the simple pleasures of baking in almost two years, since i went on sort of a tear and ended up accidentally making pumpkin pound cake for fifty when i thought the recipe sounded small. (pro tip: pound cake recipes are not small. pound cakes are small. most recipes are designed to make 2 or 3 cakes.) so this week, i faced my fear of flour (to clumsy people like i, flour is kind of like the bogey man- seems harmless to others, but you try to face it and suddenly, it's everywhere) and baked. i started with my personal standby, gingerbread spice cake. this is something that stemmed from my love of everything that goes into fruitcake except the fruit. i just wanted to strip it down to its original elements. i followed this quickly with my first ever attempt at a coffee cake. (i topped it with dollops of cream cheese for extra health value!) what i discovered was that baking is actually a lot less stressful than any other kind of cooking, in the same way that chemistry is a lot less stressful than other sciences. unless you do something wrong. as long as you follow the magical list of elements in the proper proportions, you're going to end up with a cake. you might want to tweak the flavours, but it's not like making a souffle, where you're running bets with everyone else in your house on whether or not it will be transformed into quiche. besides, there's something just blissful to being in a house filled with the smells of fresh baked goods. i wish i could link that.

dj'ing :: thanks to the awesome organisers of kill me now and the queer post-punk night, both held at cabaret playhouse, i've had the opportunity to makes some noise a couple of times in the last few weeks. i'd previously been mourning the loss of burning mondays, the former home of the gloomy eclectic at katacombes show bar. that was months ago and unfortunately the last couple of dj gigs i was supposed to have didn't pan out. so it's been a great relief to me to be able to get behind the wheels of steel polymer plastic and see what i can throw together. my most recent playlist is directly below this post and if you'd like to see more, you can. as i promised earlier today, expect some news on the future of dj kali and mr. dna in the very near future.

so that's my round-up for this week. all in all, it was fairly uneventful, although that could be because i ended up spending a large number of daylight hours in bed and a large number of nighttime hours bouncing off the walls. i think it seemed particularly uneventful because a certain partner in basically everything finished half life 2 earlier this week, which left me unable to play backseat driver. last week, i could have told you what was happening at any given time by referencing whether it occurred during antlion breeding season or in the old prison.

this week, it seems like i'll have a plethora of revolutions-in-waiting to watch. at the moment, i can't say that i know enough about any of them to discuss rationally, so perhaps this week will be prying myself out of my north american rut and trying to learn something about the countries that are chafing against their restraints in the wake of egypt's incredible achievement. if we're going to have a repeat performance, i think it will require a) a large middle class, particularly one that has been disenfranchised by recent world economic events and b) a tech-savvy younger generation (often the children of said middle class) who combine the passions of youth with the possibilities of technology.

one developing story that i will be keeping an eye on is the imminent triple threat match of apple v. google v. publishers in the world of subscriber content. apple has said that they want a 30% cut of content sold through their approved apps. google has countered with one pass, whereby they would take a 10% cut. the difference, if you're in marketing or financial analysis, is that with google, you're paying 10% and hoping that they recruit a substantial audience. with apple, you're paying 30% to gain access to a market that already exists. either way, the publishers are in a predicament. they've made it clear that they don't accept either offer, but the fact is that they're going to have to bite the bullet sooner or later, because while they're arguing, the world of telecommunications consumers are falling deeper in love with their apps. (i don't blame them. sure, you can access the internet online, but mobile browsers can be fidgety on any system and god help you if you have to deal with a flash-based site. apps are designed to streamline your user experience and make it easier- often easier than accessing the site in the first place. who's gonna have a problem with that?) the interesting thing about this match is that you're basically dealing with three heels- apple with their usurious 30%, google with its spurious 10% of nothing and big publishers, who are only protesting so that they can justify raising prices to their customers later on. bravo.
the crtc, not exactly as pictured

i'll also be keeping an eye on the strangely unavailable (at the moment) crtc web site for further information on how i can respectfully request that they blow their decision in favour of metered, corporate-driven internet service out their collective grey, flaccid ass.



in order not to leave you with that image and by way of apology for posting this so late, here's this week's kitteh picture, featuring julia, the little princess of the house. have a great week to come and remember to enjoy whatever little pleasures you find.



EDIT :: LAST MINUTE ADDITION!!!


ok, i'm a monster. i really don't like kids (except tava). i've tried, i understand that they're necessary, but the fact is that i didn't even like kids when i was one and the situation hasn't gotten better. so this just makes me smile.






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