Friday, November 27, 2009

Ball Of Confusion

Last night, I had the joyful experience of listening to a portion of George Noory's Coast-to-Coast AM radio show. George's guest was Tim Ball, well-known climate change skeptic:
In the latter half of the program, environmental consultant Tim Ball discussed 'Climate Gate,' a coordinated effort to hide information about global warming. Someone hacked in to the files of the Climatic Research Unit (CRU) based at the University of East Anglia and found damaging emails that show that scientists at the Unit created and manipulated false data to preserve the idea that global warming is real.

Since 2002, global temperatures have been declining, and numbers from the past have been pushed down to make the current temps seem warmer, he argued. We're seeing climate change ideas, often based on overly simplistic computer models, used as a vehicle for political purposes, he added.
Unsurprisingly, Ball made mistakes on the radio show, and, of course, George Noory was too enthralled by his guest to even notice the mistakes. For example, Ball mocked climate scientists for maintaining that one of the effects of global warming would be drought. Didn't the scientists understand that a warmer Earth would lead to more water vapor in the atmosphere, and thus more precipitation?

Of course, if it was that simple, hot and humid places like the Persian Gulf would be rainy places too, but, of course, they are not. Rainfall requires mechanisms that lift and cool air, and in the mid-latitude regions of the Earth, where Rossby waves are active, those mechanisms require a temperature gradient between the pole and the equator. Since global warming is forecast to be greatest at the poles, the effect will be to diminish that temperature gradient, which will shut down rainfall mechanisms, and lead to - drought. It hardly matters how humid it is; if it doesn't rain, the farmer suffers.

Ball also seems unaware of recent and continuing advances in modeling the presence of clouds in climate models. His accusations would carry more weight if he bothered reading the literature.

Nevertheless, the CRU E-Mail hack causes problems for the climatological community. Nothing distracts like scandal, and as long as the slimy fossil-fuel community can pretend that a real scandal has occurred, then they can change the subject from the data and take the initiative.

Everyone is getting involved in this. Even my brother-in-law E-Mailed me:
So, Mr. scientist, what do you think about the CRU?


Climate Research Unit.
I replied:
I have no problem with the CRU. Compared to their enemies, they are pure as driven snow.
Nevertheless, the CRU appears to be mishandling their public relations problem. Here is an interesting skeptical opinion piece by Mr. Monbiot on the matter, which Mr. Ball found favor with:
It is true that much of what has been revealed could be explained as the usual cut and thrust of the peer review process, exacerbated by the extraordinary pressure the scientists were facing from a denial industry determined to crush them. One of the most damaging emails was sent by the head of the climatic research unit, Phil Jones. He wrote "I can't see either of these papers being in the next IPCC report. Kevin and I will keep them out somehow - even if we have to redefine what the peer-review literature is!"

One of these papers which was published in the journal Climate Research turned out to be so badly flawed that the scandal resulted in the resignation of the editor-in-chief. Jones knew that any incorrect papers by sceptical scientists would be picked up and amplified by climate change deniers funded by the fossil fuel industry, who often – as I documented in my book Heat – use all sorts of dirty tricks to advance their cause.

Even so, his message looks awful. It gives the impression of confirming a potent meme circulated by those who campaign against taking action on climate change: that the IPCC process is biased. However good the detailed explanations may be, most people aren't going to follow or understand them. Jones's statement, on the other hand, is stark and easy to grasp.

In this case you could argue that technically he has done nothing wrong. But a fat lot of good that will do. Think of the MPs' expenses scandal: complaints about stolen data, denials and huffy responses achieved nothing at all. Most of the MPs could demonstrate that technically they were innocent: their expenses had been approved by the Commons office. It didn't change public perceptions one jot. The only responses that have helped to restore public trust in Parliament are humility, openness and promises of reform.

...Some people say that I am romanticising science, that it is never as open and honest as the Popperian ideal. Perhaps. But I know that opaqueness and secrecy are the enemies of science. There is a word for the apparent repeated attempts to prevent disclosure revealed in these emails: unscientific.

...The handling of this crisis suggests that nothing has been learnt by climate scientists in this country from 20 years of assaults on their discipline. They appear to have no idea what they're up against or how to confront it. Their opponents might be scumbags, but their media strategy is exemplary.

The greatest tragedy here is that despite many years of outright fabrication, fraud and deceit on the part of the climate change denial industry, documented in James Hoggan and Richard Littlemore's brilliant new book Climate Cover-up, it is now the climate scientists who look bad. By comparison to his opponents, Phil Jones is pure as the driven snow. Hoggan and Littlemore have shown how fossil fuel industries have employed "experts" to lie, cheat and manipulate on their behalf. The revelations in their book (as well as in Heat and in Ross Gelbspan's book The Heat Is On) are 100 times graver than anything contained in these emails.

But the deniers' campaign of lies, grotesque as it is, does not justify secrecy and suppression on the part of climate scientists. Far from it: it means that they must distinguish themselves from their opponents in every way.
Climatologists are fighting a well-funded enemy that never sleeps. I'm afraid Mr. Monbiot wants to hold climatologists to a standard that neither they, nor anyone else, can reach without neutering themselves.

It's nice to be pure, but I'd rather win than be pure. No, it's time to bury the bodies and move on. It's time to take the offensive, for a change.

Auckland Photo Feature

Here's a nice picture feature on Auckland, NZ. The subject is ostensibly New Zealand wineries, but it looks like they barely left town, with just a visit to Waiheke Island, a place that is ostensibly a "home to artists and other bohemians" but in reality is too expensive for most of those folks.

Nevertheless, the pictures are nice!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

A Walk Down A Country Lane

After dinner, several of us took a walk down a country lane on the western outskirts of Guinda.

Almost immediately, we startled a cat hiding in the grass, which promptly turned tail and fled. Despite its small size, only slightly-bigger than a regular housecat, the cat's robust physique and distinctive ears left no doubt: it was a bobcat! I've never seen a bobcat in the wild before!

Lynn was greatly surprised to discover that this little creek was dry. In all his years, he had never seen the creek dry before.

Well, excepting that one storm in mid-October, it HAS been pretty dry lately!

There were some great bucolic views of the Coast Range on this walk. We saw and heard lots of western meadowlarks and scrub jays. In the distance, we saw four or five peacocks. We could also hear geese on distant farms. Small birds (gnatcatchers? kinglets?) also fluttered about.

Beautiful oaks! California has some gorgeous country!

Imogene has this beautiful tree (a maple?) in her back yard.

Thanksgiving 2009

Like last year, Sally and I headed into northwest Yolo County's Capay Valley to eat Thanksgiving dinner with her friend Imogene, and her family.

Sally knew the way, so she drove....

No! Stop!

What do you mean this isn't that kind of trip?

Uh, I need to stop for a smoke!

Yes, I know I don't smoke....

Which just brings to mind Gary Larson's cartoon....

Good things come to those who wait. Here, on the outskirts of Guinda, an inviting country lane leads to Imogene's house, and Thanksgiving dinner!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

The Cactus Hours

The Cactus Hours:


Pearls Before Swine

Well, not all pearls before all swine. Just one particular pearl before one particular swine.

I just bought an i-Phone....

Upgrading The Technology

I bought a fancy new DVD writer to go with the fancy new camcorder. Last night, I burned my first DVD (Sally's Nov. 2nd Japanese Folk Dancing class).

It hurts to learn new stuff.....

And "Courage" Was His Name

I remember 2006, when I was in Australia for Thanksgiving, and several of us there heard over the radio that President Bush had pardoned that year's Thanksgiving turkey so it could live out its retirement days at Disney World.

The Australians thought that was just too surreal.

It's no less surreal this year.....

Bridge to Nowhere

Up in Alaska, Sarah Palin was trying to find a use for her "Bridge to Nowhere", and she heard that San Francisco was having a particularly-pernicious bridge problem, so she thought she'd help out.

(This is fun - I shoulda been a conservative!)

We Want - Information!

What's happening in the UK is bound to be happening here soon as well:
Police are routinely arresting people simply to record their DNA profiles on the national database, according to a report published today.

It also states that three quarters of young black men are on the database. The finding risks stigmatising a whole section of society, the equality watchdog has warned.

The revelations will fuel the debate about the DNA database, the world’s largest. They are included in a report by the Human Genetics Commission, an independent government advisory body. It criticises the piecemeal development of the database and questions how effective it is in helping the police to investigate and solve crimes.

Jonathan Montgomery, commission chairman, said that “function creep” over the years had transformed a database of offenders into one of suspects. Almost one million innocent people are now on the DNA database.

Professor Montgomery said: “It’s now become pretty much routine to take DNA samples on arrest, so large numbers of people on the DNA database will be there not because they have been convicted, but because they’ve been arrested.”

Recorded crime has fallen every year since 2004-05, but the number of people arrested in England and Wales annually is rising. Latest figures show that arrests rose by 6 per cent to 1.43 million in 2005 and a further 4 per cent to 1.48 million in 2006-07.

Professor Montgomery said there was some evidence that people were arrested to retain the DNA information even though they might not have been arrested in other circumstance.

He said that a retired senior police officer told the commission: “It is now the norm to arrest offenders for everything if there is a power to do so. It is apparently understood by serving police officers that one of the reasons . . . is so that DNA can be obtained.” He said that the tradition of only arresting someone when dealing with serious offences had collapsed.

Possible AZ Rains

In line with the speculative El Niño post from yesterday, here is some optimistic news: possible AZ rains are being forecast by the computer models, associated with a cutoff low passing near or through the area.

Cutoff lows are among the most difficult features for computer models to get right. Lack of adequate data constrains proper forecasts. Cutoff lows can generate lots of rain, or no rain at all, depending on the timing and location of their moves.

The GFS model forecasts a weak AZ storm over the weekend. The NOGAPS model forecasts a much stronger storm, on Monday and Tuesday of next week.

AZ is so dry right now: let’s hope for the bigger storm!

With Shoppers Like Me....

Who needs a recession? People like me will be the death of the economy yet. I know I've already bought most of my loot for the year and will spend very little at the stores this holiday season:
US retailers are taking desperate measures to spark holiday sales in the face of what promises to be another troubled year-end shopping season.

Merchants are furiously working to ramp up consumer interest ahead of "Black Friday," on November 27, the day after the Thanksgiving Day holiday that marks the traditional kickoff of the holiday gift season.

Some are promising price cuts of 50 percent or more on some hot electronics, and planning for big events to bring out shoppers for big sales promotions.

Analysts say retailers are struggling to find the right balance of inventories and discounts while cautious consumers are hesitating about how much and when to buy.

Clothing retailer Gap has started early with 25 percent discounts, while Wal-Mart and Target are offering online shoppers free or discounted shipping on many items. JC Penney is boosting Black Friday promotions and will open its doors at 4 am for the best deals.

Steven Dennis, executive-in-residence at Southern Methodist University's JC Penney Center for Retail Excellence, said price cuts may be deep but are not as broad as some might expect.

"I think most retailers are desperate for market share," he said. "Everyone seems to have the view that business is gong to be flat and it is a battle for market share."

But Dennis said retailers are not in the dire position of last year, when they had large amounts of inventory. So price cuts will mainly be on a few high-profile items to get consumers into the store "and hope they get a disproportionate share of their spending."

...Diane Swonk, chief economist at Mesirow Financial, said she sees overall holiday retail sales growing 1.6 percent from last year, but that this will essentially be flat when adjusted for inflation.

"The quality of spending this holiday season will still be dismal, however, when compared to Christmases past," she said.

..."In an effort to reduce discounting, retailers have cut inventories to well below year-ago levels and are expected to keep them low through the holiday season. If merchants have underestimated demand, they could end up with bare shelves, losing sales."

...A survey by Visa USA found consumers plan on spending 161 dollars less on holiday shopping than last year and 368 dollars less than they planned two years ago.

In one sign of the times, several retailers have brought back the layaway plan, which enables customers to put down a deposit to hold merchandise until the full amount can be paid. Sears, Kmart and Toys R US are among those offering the plan, and a new online version of the program is offered through

One reason for this is that consumers are stretched and may have less access to credit.

With Friends Like This.....

Lou Dobbs moves with all the subtlety of an armored assault vehicle approaching trenches:
In an interview with the Spanish-language network Telemundo gaining attention Wednesday, Dobbs told interviewer Maria Celeste he is one of the Latino community's "greatest friends" and appeared willing to embrace a form of amnesty he spent years criticizing.

...Dobbs also brushed aside suggestions he is the "No. 1 enemy" of the Latino community, saying that image is a result of propaganda "efforts of the far left."

"Whatever you have thought of me in the past," Dobbs said, "I can tell you right now that I am one of your greatest friends and I mean for us to work together. I hope that will begin with Maria and me and Telemundo and other media organizations and others in this national debate that we should turn into a solution rather than a continuing debate and factional contest."

The comments come as Dobbs has fueled speculation the former anchorman may have his eye on politics as a second act, either in 2012 as a presidential candidate or as a challenger to New Jersey Sen. Robert Menendez, the only Hispanic in the Senate.

...Meanwhile, Robert Dilenschneider, a spokesman for Dobbs, told the New York Times Tuesday the former anchorman may take the "intermediary step" of challenging Menendez.

Impatient Clerks

The clerks at a Midtown AM/PM seemed impatient and a touch irritable when I saw them last night. The police were a little slow in responding to their call.

Last week, a strange man had entered the store, choked a customer, threw coffee around the premises, and knocked over store displays in some kind of berserk rage. Minutes before I got there the clerks had seen this strange man again, lurking outside and looking for an opportunity to re-enter the store.

Convenience store clerks always have to be on their toes when it comes to their clientele.

Whiter Shade Of Pale

It was rather magical last night, strolling past the new outdoor ice rink at 20th & J Streets after the sun had set. They have lights that appear to drip cool fluorescent fire from the trees aloft, and they were playing "Whiter Shade Of Pale", and it all seemed rather mystical and haunted.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Greenberg Trailer

Here we go! After becoming well-known amongst fans of Mumblecore Indie films, this is Greta Gerwig's big-time audience breakout movie! Co-star with Ben Stiller! Not bad for the St. Francis alum and once-upon-a-time Woodland Opera House actress!

The Seafarers

The Seafarers - Sea of Love from Eighty Four Films on Vimeo.

I like the message: Even in failure, there is success!

Solid Potato Salad - Ross Sisters

Wow, this is just amazing! The full number is also available on YouTube at lower quality.

In Regards To The Sudden Appearance Of Hacked Climatologist E-Mail Messages

All I have to say in regards to hacked E-Mail messages popping up and surprising climatologists who wrote them long ago is that I think it would be interesting to compare their messages with climate-change skeptic E-Mail messages over the same period. Let's lay ALL the cards on the table and see who is playing fair, and who is playing foul, with the data!

Food, Glorious Food

Of course, Julia Child never had to work with acetylene:
Saturn's frigid moon Titan may be friendlier to life than previously thought. New calculations suggest Titan's hydrocarbon lakes are loaded with acetylene, a chemical some scientists say could serve as food for cold-resistant organisms.

...An estimate made in 1989 suggested bodies of liquid hydrocarbons on Titan would contain a few parts in 10,000 of acetylene.

...Data from the Cassini spacecraft and the Huygens probe, which parachuted to Titan's surface in 2005, helped Cordier's team re-calculate the lakes' likely composition. ... The team found that acetylene would be hundreds of times as abundant as the previous estimate, making up one part in 100 of the lake's content.

"Having about a per cent of acetylene is potentially interesting from the life point of view," says team member Jonathan Lunine of the University of Arizona in Tucson. The idea of acetylene-eating organisms on Titan is "highly speculative" but intriguing, he says.

...Tokano pointed out in a recent study that without mixing, hydrogen and acetylene would stay in separate layers of the lakes, limiting reactions between them that might otherwise power exotic organisms.

Dancing With The Stars

I'd Buy That For A Dollar!

If I had a dollar, so to speak! That's quite cheap, even as an initial bid!:
Financier Carl Icahn has offered $156.5 million to acquire the partially built Fontainebleau Las Vegas resort, which has been stalled in bankruptcy court since June, according to the resort's chief operating officer.

At a bankruptcy court hearing today in Miami, Icahn bid $105 million plus $51.4 million of debtor-in-possession financing, said COO Howard Karawan.

Penn, which said last week it had offered $50 million plus $51.5 million of DIP financing for the Fontainebleau, dropped out after raising its bid to $145 million, said Penn spokesman Joe Jaffoni.

Both bids are dwarfed by the $2 billion that has already been spent on the 3,800-room casino resort, which sits toward the northern end of the Las Vegas Strip. The property is slated to go to auction in January.

Icahn, whose bid would likely represent a "stalking horse" floor for the auction, was not immediately available for comment.

"Initially, nobody wanted to play the stalking horse ... the bid has now doubled," Karawan said. "We still have 60 days to run before the auction."

He said Fontainebleau's representatives have had meetings with more than 40 other interested parties.

Penn National, which owns casinos and racetracks throughout the United States, but not in the gambling centers of Las Vegas and Atlantic City, has estimated it will take at least another $1.5 billion to complete the Fontainebleau resort, which is about 70 percent finished and partly exposed to the elements.

Penn's decision to drop out of the initial bidding is in line with the company's previous expressions of reluctance to overspend in a market still reeling from the impact of the global economic recession.

"While many scenarios could still play out, today's action underscores Penn's financial discipline," Barclays Capital said in a research note.

Icahn acquired the Strip's Stratosphere hotel and casino out of bankruptcy in 1998, but sold that property in 2007, along with three smaller casinos, to Goldman Sachs Group Inc (GS.N) for $1.3 billion

Early Decision

The Brits knew. The neocons decided to attack Iraq before Bush assumed office. September 11th was their "Reichstag Fire", their ready-made excuse to proceed:
The chairman of the British Joint Intelligence Committee in 2001 told investigators Monday that elements of the Bush Administration were pushing for regime change in Iraq in early 2001, months before the 9/11 attacks and two years before President George W. Bush formally announced the Iraq war.

Sir Peter Ricketts, now-Secretary at the Foreign Office, said that US and British officials believed at the time that measures against Iraq were failing: "sanctions, an incentive to lift sanctions if Saddam allowed the United Weapons inspectors to return, and the 'no fly' zones over the north and south of the country."

Ricketts also said that US officials had raised the prospect of regime change in Iraq, asserting that the British weren't supportive of the idea at the time.

"We were conscious that there were other voices in Washington, some of whom were talking about regime change," Ricketts said.

The head of the British Foreign Office's Middle East department, Sir William Patey, told the inquiry that his office was aware of regime change talk from some parts of the Bush Administration shortly after they took office in 2001.

"In February 2001 we were aware of these drum beats from Washington and internally we discussed it," Patey said. "Our policy was to stay away from that."

"We didn't think Saddam was a good thing, and it would be great if he went, but we didn't have an explicit policy for trying to get rid of him," he added.

...Interestingly, the head of Britain's Intelligence Committee told investigators that then-Secretary of State Colin Powell appeared to be in charge of US policy on Iraq until the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

"Up till then we felt that dealing with the State Department, we were dealing with the people who were forming the policy," Ricketts said.

British investigators are probing how Britain got into the Iraq war and if officials misled the public. Already, a leaked report has shown that then-Prime Minister Tony Blair covered up British military plans for a full Iraq invasion throughout 2002, claiming at the time that Britain's objective was "disarmament, not regime change."

According to Britain's Sunday Telegraph, the leaked report condemns the almost complete absence of contingency planning as a potential breach of Geneva Convention obligations to safeguard civilians. Coalition forces were “ill-prepared and equipped to deal with the problems in the first 100 days” of the occupation.

Drought Optimism

Drought in the Colorado River Basin is quite bad now.
Nevertheless, the long-range forecast is good for California and the Southwest.

All hail El Niño, merciful God of the Pacific! I must find a chicken to sacrifice, or, failing that, perhaps a squirrel, or something!

Sodium Distortion

I've been paging through photos of 2009 Speed Week at the Bonneville Salt Flats looking for a needle in a haystack - pictures of that Aussie fellow I encountered at the Tonopah gas station this summer. No luck, but some of the photos are beautiful and interesting.

I agree with Bob - this is a good name!


Via espvisuals:
This church in Colombia, named Pantokrator which is Greek for 'all powerful', is designed for devotees who want to express themselves through heavy metal.

Empathy Fail - Explaining To Teabaggers Why Health Care Reform Is Necessary

Monday, November 23, 2009

El Niño, Down Under

So how has El Niño been doing in Australia this year?

Over the last year, a NW-SE dry stripe is evident. The pattern is broadly similar to past El Niños, but still different enough - what's that wet stripe across the north? - to excite interest.

Physics Humor

At Barnes & Noble

It seemed like a trip to the book store was in order. I was reading in the Wilson Quarterly about a new book by Carol Berkin called "Civil War Wives: The Lives and Times Of Angelina Grimke Weld, Varina Howell Davis, and Julia Dent Grant". Varina Howell Davis interested me most: she was Jefferson Davis' second wife, and I misremembered that I was related to her.

Reviewing my genealogy, it turns out I'm related primarily to Jefferson Davis, not his wives, via his Bradford connection to Pennsylvania Senator Richard Brodhead, Jr. (the Confederate President and the Northern Copperhead were cousins). So, the book might have some antiquarian interest to myself, but, as it turns out, it didn't matter: I couldn't find this brand-new book on the shelves anyway.

Instead, I was drawn to another book, "God Is Red" by Vine Deloria, Jr. He is a well-known Sioux author and scholar, who wrote "Custer Died For Your Sins". Plus, for a time in my teen years, he was my next-door neighbor. I remember the day we were startled by a circle of Indians drumming away behind his house - headdresses and everything! Very un-Pueblo-like. I also remember another day when his parents came over unannounced, for a visit (we were all dressed in our pajamas on that lackadaisical Saturday noontime and were startled by the happy elderly couple peering into our windows and waving hello).

We never knew Mr. Deloria well, and actually knew his daughter, cat, and dog (Ma-Eh) better. And riffling through his books, I could see he has written learnedly about all manner of subjects, but never, it seems, about his wacky neighbors back in the day. So, instead, I purchased "Blood And Thunder" by Hampton Sides, a book about Kit Carson and the Navajos, a subject which remains pertinent to this day in New Mexico.

Plus, I picked up Carrie Fisher's "Wishful Drinking", which just looked like fun reading.

Just 'cause I like the image.....

DMTC's "Annie, Jr."

Saw the YPT show as well this weekend. I didn't have my camera, however. That will have to wait.

Great performances, particularly by McKinley C. (Miss Hannigan), Chris P. (Daddy Warbucks), Turner P. (Rooster Hannigan), and in particular, by Kelly R. (Lily St. Regis). I've never seen anyone get the peroxide blonde character better than Kelly did (and she's only 11!) The orphan corps was strong too, as was Emma K. as Annie.

At one point in the show, my seat began shaking. I thought a prolonged earthquake had devastated the Bay Area, or perhaps an endless train derailment was underway several hundred yards away, but it turned out that a young woman behind me suffering Restless Leg Syndrome had propped her feet on the seat back. She apologized, but then said that I must agree that the vibration was soothing. After considering her argument, I agreed, and enjoyed the Vibra-Seat that had unexpectedly been installed at DMTC.

The Farmers

Image from maiden

DMTC's "Carousel"

Finally saw the entire show on Sunday. I liked most everyone's performance. I had some issues with the ballet - in part due to execution and in part due to conception - but, like I say, I liked most everyone's performance.

Alerted by a flash that came from somewhere (never tracked that location down), in the second act, I ended up chastising an over-enthusiastic patron for using her camera during the performance. She tried to weasel out by claiming she wasn't using a flash, and indeed, the announcement at the start of the show banned 'flash photography', but in general, our contracts ban photography, period, so I remained stern with her. It was ironic that I should be doing this, since as theater history person and blogger, I am the most egregious violator of the rule around, so perhaps it is just that I also now police the rule, but I sure felt the weight of hypocrisy.

Scourge Of The Schoolies

VIDEO: Police will be tough on drunk schoolies

Let the annual riot begin.....

Ida Corr - "I Want You"

Sarah Palin Book-Signing

Well, this is somewhat unfair - like shooting fish in a barrel - but mildly-amusing nonetheless.

People are remarkably fuzzy about their political thoughts - always have been - and especially so when interviewed on camera. Kind of sad, really, and an indictment of our educational system.

But at the same time, it shows what a happy place America really is. Misery is the best education. Money can't buy the equivalent of the experience of having a car door slammed on your fingers, day after day, for years.

The highest-grade of political education I ever saw in any group of people, ever, was amongst Palestinian refugee university students. Razor-sharp intelligent, they are, and they can slam your lame political arguments into the ground in seconds flat. But I wouldn't want to be in their shoes....


E.: What's that?

M.: It's a sudoku puzzle. I started doing them in the summer when my sister Marra showed them to me.

E. Are they hard?

M.: They're hard, but Marra says they're easy - it's just that men are retarded and can't see the pattern.

E.: They look like mazes. Do you remember that movie, "The Shining"? It starred Jack Nicholson. He was a writer and he took his family to stay through the winter trapped in a hotel in the mountains of Colorado so he could focus. It was so spooky! The wife, she saw the word "Redrum" spelled out...

M.: Murder....

E.: Murder! Yes, and one day, a ball rolled out of a room in the big hotel and the little boy, he started looking for where the ball came from and he met two little girls who wanted to play. But MMMAAAARRRCCC! They were ghosts! Because the fellow before who was in the hotel, he killed his own family! And Jack Nicholson, he started going insane, and the butler returns because they hadn't called him on the radio and Jack Nicholson kills him! And he's going to kill the little boy too, but the boy is smart and he runs into this maze in the snow, and makes tracks that go the wrong way and Jack Nicholson gets lost and he freezes in the maze!

M.: Spooky!

E.: Spooky! MMMMAAARRRCCC! There was a little girl who died at the school last summer, when it wasn't in session, but they never told anyone how she died, or who did it, or nothing.....

M.: Maybe one day, you'll go to the clinic, and there will be a little girl there who you don't recognize, and .....




Sunday, November 22, 2009

The Grates - "Aw Yeah"

Damn! The folks from Brissie know what they're doing with their on-location shooting! I freakin' knew this had to be Byron Bay!:
Oh, it was fun, we filmed it in Byron Bay, one of the most beautiful locations in Australia, on a Sunday afternoon. We just always felt like the song was a march for misfits so when we started discussing film clip ideas, filming some kind of a march was at the forefront. We didn’t want it to be The Black parade, obviously, but we also didn’t want it to be a Christian Parade. We got in touch with this tiny but hard working company called Krozm. It was their stroke of genius that helped it become a 'neo-day of the dead' celebration march, me towards my own death, with all of our friends as characters we picked up along the way. That is collectively our favourite film clip.


Aw yeah!
Blood is thick and piss is thin, I'm full of one but I'm not sure which.
Aw yeah!
Cast my line and pulled up teeth, sound violins, I wanted a ship.
Aw yeah!
Called the rain and asked her when? She's found love never see her again.
(Love won't last, crying again)
Aw yeah!

People trying to remember how did it go? People trying to forget, and what do you know?
People lost their lust for life, I'm a happening fan. Let's fix our beds together.

Aw yeah!

Lost my feet but I still run, my hands wear my shoes and my face is my butt.
Aw yeah!
Hounds dogs, blood hounds, outta control, a hot dog's soft but it's still got bones.
Aw yeah!
Well I spit on my grave when I sleep with the twins, one's for loving, one eats my sins.
Aw yeah!

People trying to remember, how did it go? People trying to forget, and what do you know?
Time and time I seen the light but I wanna explore. Don't wanna lie in pastures.

I said hey! I got one foot in the grave, yeah one foot in the grave.

Just 'Cause I Like The Image