DESIGN, ART, GADGETS, FASHION, AND SAFEWAY

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Thursday, January 31, 2008

Leica M8: The Price of 11 iPhones

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I'm still kind of pissed higher end digital cameras continue to stay completely out of reach of the general consumer. My philosophy is that everyone has a story to tell, no matter how redundantly empty your life may feel like. Having crappy knockoffs and megapixel wars aren't going to improve lens capturing any time soon. It would be nice if they offered Leicas for a tenth of their MSRP; that would surely be something, but still, a five thousand camera is just a little more than the usual overkill I prefer.

The Wonderful World of Julia Fullerton-Batten

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Building on her growing rep as one of fine art photography’s rising stars, her photo series Teenage Stories landscapes are populated with seemingly indifferent giant girls. Even if you could forget the flawless technical execution in her photographs, the study of that sort of ho-hum teenage banality really pops to life when you imagine one of these bored girls squashing your car with her massive Havaianas. Feel free to check out more of her work here.

Getting Dressers Out of the Bedroom

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Like using a coffee mug to hold toothbrushes, dressers should not be withheld the right to replicate all over the house. Places like the house entryway, atop of the stairs (my personal favorite), in the kitchen, in the living room as a TV stand, or in the home office are just a few places a beautiful dresser can go to expand its storage functionality. And, if you're curious, the dresser you see above is the Reve Dresser.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Eames Wire-Base Chair

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My slight obsession with Herman-Miller must becoming apparent by now. My favorite side table from them is this one; it's very simple, has the wood grain and stainless steel industrial look I love, and definitely stands its ground to the harsh changing design horizon. Available for $150.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Thao Nguyen Rips Indie In Half, Eats It For Breakfast

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Sweet but not sappy, Nguyen's inviting folk pop sketches our troubled lives is outlined with her endless reserves of energy and persistence to succeed. Though she insists she's a mere amateur, her complex songs are almost always invigorated with trinity, making her talent all the more convicing.

Thao Nguyen - Bag of Hammers (MP3)

Mike Mills Gives Another Take On Stop Motion

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Watch in nonchalant awe as Miranda July and Blonde Redhead team up to create blissful poppy lovage.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Herman Miller Eames Lounge Chair and Ottoman

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Already a timeless design, the Eames Lounge Chair has been a wet dream for any art, design, or architecture lover for the past fifty plus years. Permanently tilted at a 15-degree angle to properly distribute a person's weight to the back of the chair, comfort is the more than maximized - it's stylized. The elegance is timeless and definitely belongs in your home if you can afford it. The set runs about $3600 and the usual 10 year repairs run about $500.

An Evolving Living Room

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Some change their furniture every 10 years. Others change it every few months. Take furniture enthusiast T.A. Stevick for example; he changes from 2006 (bottom) to 2008 (top) are more than overkill, but such an awesome sight to behold humanity's ever changing sense of style. Currently, he's sporting the Goetz sofa, Bonaldo Spoon chaises, a Frankl table and classic Eames and Bertoia chairs. Read the meaty details here.

Oxo: Fighting Unorganized Pantry Crime

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POP Containers, my latest OXO addiction, lets me store everything from crackers to oats to pasta in plain site. Designed for modular stacking, the square and rectangular shapes make storage a snap. Speaking of "snap," sealing them couldn't be easier — just push the button for an airtight seal. To open, push the button again. It pops up and becomes the handle. Genius!

Yamaha Digital Sound Projectors: Too Big For Comfort

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This sweet single unit 5.1 sound system features such as HDMI, up-conversion, and also features iPod and XM HD surround compatibility. However, despite its great options, electronics are usually preffered to hold smaller footprints. Hence, that's what she said, "You're too big for me." Read more.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Belkin In-Desk USB Hub Hides Zee Wires

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All you need is a 3 inch circular saw from Home Depot. There's an iPhone dock, too, if you're into that sort of thing. See more here.

Radiohead - In Rainbows Review

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In case you haven't heard it already, do it now. Hell, it's free after all. As the clouds outside only heightening their greatness and the heaviness of each extended note savaging your eardrums, you'll learn to love Radiohead, be it your first or millionth time. 9.5/10.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Overheard In New York

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Punk chick: So, what do you masturbate to?
Punk singer: What do you mean, what do I masturbate to?
Punk chick: Like, what do you look at?
Punk singer: I guess I look at my dick.

Heard at CBGB (Country, Blue Grass, and Blues) Music Club.

Atlas Industries' Ad6 Desk

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Thomas Wright and Joseph Fratesi’s Brooklyn furniture company introduces a floating slab of wood (white oak, walnut, cherry or maple) and is supported by a minimalist frame of cold-rolled steel. They call this a desk. Indeed, I'll admit to its godiness, but its selling point of $6500 ridiculously overpriced.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Jose Oswaldo, Vinyl Artist

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Making 2-dimensional images in a 3-dimensional space? Color circles and stickers coming together to make Bravia-like commercial galore? Jose's got it, and I think I'm going to buy one of his pieces and a vinyl cutter in a few weeks to output some crazy designs to work. Should be very kick ass.

Ashley G, The Real Original Gangster

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Some new work has surfaced from my favorite indie rock artist, Ashley G. Her last major update included a bunch of bearded men, but this time around, she's included mustached babies as well. Very cool stuff. Go check her out; prints are pretty cheap.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Ayumi Uehara, Hard To Pronounce Name, Even Harder To Remove Eyes From

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In her eyes, you're worth as much as your mouth can handle. After a few minutes of hot and steamy conversation, you start to forget why intelligence even matters anymore when you're this flippin' pretty. If only you could make her show a little more without having to buy her another drink.

You motion to the bartender and purchase her another Long Island Iced Tea. She shows off some more skin, but then you realize something abominably absurd. She's only pretty at one angle. Any other view of her exposes her flabby ass and disproportionate face. When you're this
ugly, the only tools you have are to show off your ready-to-screw face and hope to grab the attention of a finishing doctor out of medical school. You put down your cup, walk away, and cry on the floor of the men's white tiled restroom.

Though your pants soaked in piss footprints, your agony is drowned by the sound of a loud hand dryer. A guy in a bandana, claiming authenticity of bandit life, kicks down a bathroom stall door. He curses at something, but you fail to notice. All you have are your tears. Tears for the woman with only one angle of livelihood. Pity for the beautiful women who still wear oversized clothes. Sitting in a pool of yellow, $100,000 in debt from school, you ache in the wake of drawing only leeches and a short straw for all of your hard work.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Travis Barker's Low Down Dirty Drums

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Hard to admit, but he's got a few good ones. Yeah, even this Reebok support song sounds bona fide badass with a guitar rift and some crazy drum action.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

How Much To Charge For Digital Downloads?

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Just recently announced is the iTunes downloadable movie rentals program: $3 bucks for standard definition and a few bucks more for high definition. This sounds reasonable enough if you consider it costs about the same as going to Blockbuster (given you still drive to video stores for rentals).

But hold the phone.

Say Blockbuster gets its DVDs for $15 a piece. If they rent the movie 30-40 times, their net costs runs about 35 cents a movie. Maybe 50 cents if you count the cost of hiring those depressed workers, advertising, property taxes, etc.

If everything is digital, all you got is broadband to cover. No discs. No building rentals. Nada. If anything, the iTunes store should be charging 50 cents a movie. Of course "free" is always better (Yes, I'm speaking about the pirates), but at 50 cents a movie, there is no longer that incentive to try and cheat the system. At 50 cents, movie studios can easily build a fanbase, introduce marketable collectible goods, and give their customers some extra needed room to generate a good conscience.

So whoever is in charge of setting the prices, heed my words: Don't make the same mistake as the recording industry. Build up good consumer habits by not being greedy for once and you might just end up with a profitable garden of happy Internetopians.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Sony Dual Shock 3 Controller

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Oh how I've missed you, rumble - games were simply not the same without you. Folklore should keep me at bay for a few more weeks until Devil May Cry 4, Grand Theft Auto 4, and Metal Gear Solid 4 comes out. Oh, I am surely possessed with excitement. More sexy shots can be found on my photoblog.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Meg and Ross' Life In Logan Square

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Clever details throughout that accomplish exactly what Meg listed in their survey as their biggest design challenge - giving a gut rehab real character. I think this home has character and style to spare! Details like the photo mural, the dressed up IKEA armoire and well chosen vintage pieces take things very far from cookie-cutter. See more on their house tour.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Sonova Bleach, Please Kill These Artists

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There comes one point where I just can't take it anymore; a tear in space and time where I can no longer be optimistic. Like Chris Brown, the current Bleach servings weekly suck. No, they really suck. From the randomly introduced enemies with bad character design, terrible chicken-scratch explosions, or the disproportionate body parts in every other scene, there is no way you can call this my favorite show two years ago. At least Naruto has the nerve to outright admit they are fillers. This hurts my head worse than face planting off a guardrail onto freeway traffic.

Bleach before Bounto saga: 8.7/10.
Bleach after Bounto saga: 2.2/10.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

3sixteen's "Knowledge" T-Shirt Holds The Key

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Q-Tip once said, "Okay, if knowledge is the key then just show me the lock." Word of mouth gets its printed treatment on this monochrome take with the crew's new logo graphic on the left sleeve with swords. A woven logo label lays on the front left waist. Grab it here.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Freedom = Success (Not The Other Way Around)

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A great article written recently by Polly LaBarre describes the "groundbreaking" enforcement of a "happiness committee" for the overworked lawyers within their various law firms. Here, workers are presented with candies and milkshakes to congratulate their hard work. It sure sounds nice, but using that to leverage a 20% rate of depression within the field might not be enough. He continues about the bending lines of professional lifestyle today:

"The really interesting shift isn’t from one profession to the next, but from one way of thinking about the arc of a career and working life in general to the next. It goes something like this:

Old version: work hard (for a very long time), achieve success, earn freedom (to retire and do all the things you missed out on while you were working).

New version: find work that affords you freedom = success."
As the piece argues, no number of “happiness committees” will halt the erosion in status of the once-venerable legal and medical professions—because their slide as the go-to careers is rooted in a deeper shift in how people think about success. While we still care about money, security, and mastery, we’ve come to put creativity, meaning, and freedom on the same plane.

Macbook Air, Making Small Form Factor An Obvious Diminishing Return

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It's got looks, I'll give it that much. However, the inability to switch out the hard drive and RAM, in addition to its already terrible revised dock in Leopard, makes it very difficult for me to justify a Macbook purchase as of the moment. Time to take some exstacy and hope they update the Apple Cinema Displays sometime soon.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Uzi-Shaped Eggs For Dinner

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Who woulda'thunk? This is ingenious and I refuse to downplay it. I'm buying some immediately for my kitchen.

Encyclopedia Salesmen Hate Wikipedia...

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And CNET hates Google
And newspapers hate Craigslist
And music labels hate Napster
And used bookstores hate Amazon
And so do independent bookstores.

Dating services hate Plenty of Fish
And the local shoe store hates Zappos
And courier services hate fax machines
And monks hate Gutenberg

Apparently, technology doesn't care who you hate.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

The Greenest House In Davis

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It's been a while since I've gone venturing off into the Davis wilderness to look for interesting tidbits to write about. Fortunately, I got a call today from my roommate begging me to come out with him to check out a hidden Davis treasure. Upon reaching our destination, I was floored by the marvel which stood before me. See pictures on my photoblog.

Eastern Promises Review

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Like A History of Violence, Cronenberg's uniquely clinical and undramatic visual and storytelling style remains intact in his latest Russian mobster masterpiece. The slow trickle of humanity is brilliantly executed, the characters uniformly excellent, and noir-style mutation of screen and script must been seen to be appreciated. 8.8/10.

January Desktop, Not Much Changed

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Same ol' same ol', just more icons and music. Slowly, I'm drifting from acamedia into a design-centric euphoric state. It's scary. But it'll be even scarier when I start drawing.

Sunshine Review

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This was a strange one. It's one of those epic science fiction flicks that disregard nearly every physical law known to man, but still somehow makes it work. The majority of the movie is a well-paced drama outlining the deterioration of sanity, yet for some reason the writers thought it'd be a great idea to make it a suspense thriller with an unnamed villain near the last third of the movie. The transition makes the movie go from a little predictable to very, very predictable. Luckily, some very excellent cinematography and casting saves it from drowning, but I just can't stand movies that think it's a great idea to introduce a random character near the end. Still, a great film to showcase that LCD screen. 8.5/10.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Cashew Crazy, Making Mango Cashew Stirfry

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After purchasing half a ton of cashews from Costco, I realized I could not simply finish eating them solely as snacks. Then, sitting at work thinknig about exotic women in hula skirts, I came up with this recipe idea. It serves 3-4. Takes about an hour to prep.

  • 2 cups raw cashews
  • peanut oil
  • 4 jalapenos (green OR red, red would be prettier), deseeded and minced
  • 1 ½ inches ginger, minced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 Tablespoon minced lemongrass
  • 2 mangos, peeled and cubed
  • 3 large handfuls green beans with the ends snapped off (buy 4 handfuls so with the ends off it’s closer to 3)
  • 1 bunch of green onions, sliced
  • 3 Tbl soy sauce3 Tbl vegetarian stirfry sauce (found it next to the oyster sauce in the Asian section)
  • juice of 1 lime, more wedges to serve
  • handful of cilantro, chopped
  • Serve with jasmine rice

1) In a stirfry it’s always a good idea to get all your ingredients chopped and ready to go. So deseed and mince your jalapenos, peel and mince the garlic and ginger. Mince your lemongrass. Peel the mangos, and cut away large chunks from the seed that you can chop into cubes. Snap your green beens. Slice your green onions. Juice or quarter your lime.

2) Now it’s time to get cookin. Heat the peanut oil in a skillet/wok and over medium heat stirfry the cashews for about 5 mintues. Stir constantly to assure an even golden brown. Drain on a paper towel.

3) Add the jalapeno, garlic, ginger, and lemongrass to the wok and stirfry for about 5 mintues. Add the greenbeans, stirfry another 5 mintues. Then add the mango, green onions, vegetarian stirfry sauce, soy sauce and lime juice. Return the cashews to the wok and cook until heated through. Throw in the cilantro at the very end.

4) Serve with jasmine rice, soy sauce, more hot sauce if you’re crazy, and lime wedges.

For more recipes with cashews, click here.

Alyson Fox Does Apartment Therapy

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A wonderful job by Alyson from Designsponge. I especially love her Kozyndan-like inspired paintings scattered all around her apartment. It truly gives a personalized and fun feel to it. See more on her photostream.

Motorstorm (PS3) Review

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Despite the warnings from all of those review websites, I still went ahead and bought Motorstorm used on Half.com. For $30, I figured it was a bargain, but after playing it through once, the price shouldn't have broke $15. The game gets boring fast, has horrendous load times during vehicle selection, and doesn't even have split screen racing. The single player sucks and the lack of modes in general is a slap to my balls. I'm selling it back on Half.com to get money back. 6.7/10.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Best Believe It, Get Ready For Calzone Time

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Bored? Hungry? Tired of rainy weather? Here's a recipe to cheer you up!

  • 1 pizza crust of your liking
  • 1/2 cup pizza sauce
  • 1/2 cup chopped ham
  • 1 cup sliced mushrooms
  • Sliced olives to taste
  • Anchovies to taste
  • 2-3 tablespoons sliced red peppers
  • 2-3 tablespoons onion slices
  • 2/3 cup grated Gouda cheese
1) Preheat oven to 425-450ºF.

2)
Line a baking sheet with foil and drizzle with olive oil. Spread pizza dough thinly on sheet in a large circle. On half of the circle, layer all ingredients, sauce first, cheese last. Fold “naked” half of pizza dough over dressed half, and seal edges shut (I sort of roll and pinch if that makes any sense).

3)
Bake about 20 minutes or until crust is golden.

Choosing The Perfect Home Office Chair

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A general rule of thumb: 90 degrees for your elbows, 90 degrees for your back and legs. Comfort is all subjective and you should always try out the chair before throwing down hundreds of dollars. You can check out a slew of recommendations by Gregory here.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

More Loadbearing Goodness For The Chic Geek

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This time around we got turntables and black wooden doors. A must-have if you're looking to improve the look of that New York loft. Sennheisers not included. See more.

Sunday, January 06, 2008

History: From Moses to Hitler, Mike Tyson and Bill Clinton

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This artist got just about every major historical figure in there, as well as a few less "historical" figures of our times. Simply awesome.

Saturday, January 05, 2008

Area Linen BRICK Quilts Fight The Cold

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Who says you can't have comfort without sacrificing style? These yarn dyed linen cotton and polyester-filled quilts and pillow covers with zippers are fuzzy wuzzy and produce that extra incentive to make your bed in the morning. Prices range from $80-$435.

Boys Noize Taking No Prisoners

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Pop on those soon-to-be-dated sunglasses for some night time girl on girl action, disco robots, and mind-numbing techno-matic machine gun turntables.

Boys Noize - Oh! (MP3)

Friday, January 04, 2008

"Sir, Great News! The Format War Is Over!"

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Warner Brothers (along with New Line, BBC, HBO) has just given HDDVD the chop today. That means Bluray will have 70% of the movie studios exclusively backing their product. Toshiba and Microsoft, jaws still dropped, will either have to die a quick death (as predicted by the New York Times), or will be pitifully squashed by the monstrous giant that is Sony.

Portable Entertainment Analysis

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It's about that time again - yes, where I tell you what shall become obsolete, what shall bloom like a new age flower, and what you should look forward to in the coming years.

First, after having played around with iPods for the years I worked retail during my college years, I can tell you iPods will become obsolete within a few years. Where these shall fall, we will have multiple iPhone mock ups; in different variations and colors, bigger hard drives, a high-definition camera, and integrated GPS. Obviously, this means no more iPods, GPS devices, or dedicated point-and-shoot cameras.

Secondly, portable gaming will continue to thrive.
The DS Lite will continue to dominate over the PSP, mainly due to the PSP's lack of user-friendly integration, dated "UMD" slots, and overly industrial styling. Future revisions are definitely plausible. Furthermore, these systems will not be integrated into all-in-one solutions, like phones, primarily due to manufacturer disinterest and the inconvenience of cellular service on a gaming device.

A mainstream market currently attempting to make its way up are eBook readers such as Amazon's Kindle and Sony's Portable Reader System. The idea of completely removing books from the shelves may seem troubling to some, but this does help reduce production costs of printing, which helps the environment in the long run. Also, the ability to search textbooks for research and reference via a thin tablet device sounds convenient enough, but once laptops reach a similar size and weight, the device will become dated.

Finally, either Bluetooth or another wireless technology by another name will become completely mainstream. This will allow full cohesive between one's home PC, car, and workplace by allowing synchronizations of calendars, mail, and playlists (given there is enough room in the iPhones now to carry server sized media collections). There will be another Steve Jobs that will make this simple enough for the mainstream consumer to understand. This is where I hopefully come in sometime in the near future.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Juno Review

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Very rarely does one come across a romantic comedy with so much wit, fun, and satire. Juno's responses are hilarious and sweet-tempered, perceptive and surprisingly grounded to the entire situational dynamic. Though I found names hard to grasp, other than Juno's obviously, the characters managed to generate enough sympathy so that you can't seem to truly hate anyone for being the way they are. Perhaps that is why this movie comes across so solid and clever; with romance as authentic as can be, you can still be "indie" as hell, but still bring home the undeniable charm. 8.6/10.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Emily & Craig's Logan Square Rehab

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Room & Board sofa. IKEA handles. Crate and Barrel coffee table. Thrift store finds. Shabby chic meets modern sleek meets budget conscious is how I like it, and these guys nailed it on the spot. Check out their house tour here.

Corona Upholstered Living Room Collection

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I'm not sure why I'm so infatuated with couches right now. Maybe because my current IKEA sofa sounds like it's going to break any second, but man, are these Corona sofas sexy or what? Running at a mere $700 a piece, oh I can barely hold myself back!

Swing Girls Review

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The premise and narrative is formulaic for this kind of "feel good carpe diem," but the execution is where this movie delivers. From the many comedic and zany moments, to preaching "never give ups," the story is breezy and the pacing comfortable. Though the characters seem a bit one dimensional at first, the final circumstantial dynamic is fun, lovable, and most importantly: memorable. 9.1/10.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

The New White To Become New No More

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Just a prediction, but it's more than just a long shot. Seeing as how they are addressing the upgraded iMacs and iPods in recent releases, January should establish a much long awaited full color palette change for Apple. Read more.

Rigatoni with Caramelized Onions in Gorgonzola

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It's quite simple:

  • 3/4 cups heavy cream
  • 4 oz hard Gorgonzola, crumbled
  • 2 large onions, sliced
  • Optional embellishments: diced honey ham, cooked chicken or pork tenderloin, peas, broccoli, sauteed mushrooms, cooked (drained) spinach
  • 1/2 pound rigatoni (or other pasta of your choice)
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1) Put a pot of water on for the pasta. Cook the pasta for about 2-3 minutes less than indicated on the package instructions. You want the pasta undercooked because you’ll finish cooking it in the sauce.

2) In a frying pan over medium-high heat, add some oil and sautee the onions until they caramelize. This could take 20 minutes or more. Adjust the heat if necessary to keep the onions from burning.

3) In a saucepan, heat the cream over medium-low heat. Add the cheese and stir to melt. If the sauce is simmering too vigorously, turn down the heat. You want to slowly melt the cheese. Don’t worry if the sauce is not thick. It will thicken when you cook it with the pasta. Keep over low heat until the pasta and onions are ready.

4) Once the pasta is done, drain it (don’t rinse it) and return it to the pot. Put the pot over medium-low heat. Add the sauce (and optional embellishments, if using) and stir gently but thoroughly to mix. Cook for 2 or 3 minutes, or until until the pasta is done to your liking. By then, the sauce should have thickened up from the starch in the pasta. Add the caramelized onions and mix well. Serves 3-4.

Shoot 'Em Up Review

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You got baby-food induced sex, a humanized Bugs Bunny, and more Max Payne action than a Chow Yun Fat flick. Believe it, this is hands down the funnest movie of 2007. 8.7/10.

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