I wish I had blown up my laptop Fourth of July weekend instead of taking it to the Apple Store

But at least I can watch this video and dream.

Check out the rest of the Panic Blog’s 2011 roundup of funny fireworks here, including my favorites “Baby Boomers” and “Luna Chicks.” I don’t know what is meant by the Fourth of July/suicide-bombing baby chicks connection, but every time I look at this picture this pops into my head.

What do Bon Jovi, Jamiroquai, and James Brown have in common?

Voting has officially closed in Cup Noodle’s campaign to resurrect fans’ favorite discontinued flavors and the winners won’t be announced till September (fingers crossed for Ikaton!), but these old commercials should hold you over till then.

I don’t know how to make YouTube subtitles (do you?!) but part of what makes these CM so brilliant are their very soramimi lyrics. Here, Bon Jovi goes hoarse over a middle school kid whose mom effs up his cram sesh by forgetting his Cup Noodle.

More work with fewer resources (you’re not alone)

After being raised in a family with a strong work ethic and being drilled from an early age to study hard, work hard, invest money, etc., I will teach my children the opposite. Do what you want—and don’t spend one minute “paying your dues” or “proving” yourself to an employer. This is a scam. You are either paid fairly—by your own standards, not theirs—from day one or you never will be. The moment you stop enjoying your job, quit—because they certainly won’t hesitate to fire you on a whim. There is no such thing as “loyalty.” Don’t waste your youth “building your resume.” Go have fun and let life develop as it may. Working for a living simply does not pay—and to exert any effort whatsoever above and beyond what you are being compensated for is to be complicit in your own exploitation.

The July/August issue of Mother Jones includes first-person accounts of how ordinary Americans–in education, medicine, aviation, and the service industry–are handling demands for more work with fewer resources. It’s terrifying.

Design Chibi! (with music by Cornelius)

Thanks to Spoon & Tamago for this post about design ah, a new 10-episode TV series on design by Cornelius (Keigo Oyamada), graphic designer Taku Satoh, and interface designer Yugo Nakamura that’s airing on NHK, the PBS of Japan. I can’t find any video online yet, but you can help create a video for the ah theme here. Just click the arrow pointing right, draw the hiragana for “ah”–あ–in the box (using three distinct strokes), and click the button to the right when you’re ready (left is to erase and try again). The resulting video is cute and fun, but I thought it was more entertaining to see what else I could get the program to accept as “ah” and animate. For instance, CHIBI:


With all the McCartney reissues, now’s a good time to revive this…

Random people on the street singing a Beatles medley badly from the badly reviewed 1973 TV special James Paul McCartney. xoxo

Actually, I’m super excited about this:

90-minute break: The Maysles brothers’ Salesman

Salesman (1968) directed by Albert Maysles, David Maysles, and Charlotte Zwerin, the team behind Gimme Shelter and Grey Gardens.

If you only have a minute, here’s a preview. I’ve never watched Curb Your Enthusiasm but I’d make a blind bet this is more uncomfortable to watch.

You might also enjoy:

Today’s interview in The Guardian with Albert Maysles, who’s 84 and apparently still does shots till four in the morning.

This video of Albert Maysles talking about his friendship with Paul Brennan, the  main character in Salesman.

How to make a Zen bento

Click the photo for part one. Here’s part two.

Instructions are in Japanese, but the many photos will teach you everything you need to know.

Hint: You need a fork.

Second hint: You add curry.

Netflix envelope art is a thing, I guess

There’s a Flickr group for it and everything.

You can be its third member.

If your drawing skills are limited, there’s also Netflix origami.

Weighing your career options? Fr. Guido Sarducci breaks it down: Be an artist!

“How would you like to sit around all day long drinking espresso coffee with your friends and talking about stuff that you know absolutely nothing about…?”

Parenting: This be the curse

I’ve been slowly working through Five Dials‘s  Parenting Issue, mostly on the train and likely to the dismay of commuters who’ve had to endure the gasps and facial contortions elicited by each revelation it contains. Parents not only fuck you up, it seems they like to indulge in near-incoherent pathography detailing how you’re the source of the disease—to wit, you fuck them up too. Yet I keep returning to the magazine as to some past humiliation in need of fresh perspective or just some more worrying. Plus, I am not (yet?) a parent and need something to offset the takeaway (so far) that love of one’s child is the greatest affliction of all. (Maybe that upset comes at the end.)

This post started as an excuse to share an unexpectedly funny excerpt from Darin Strauss‘s  essay, or “eleven thoughts,” on raising twin boys—a four-sentence story of the type I imagine writerly fathers to find comfort in:

The novelist Italo Svevo is said to have come back alone from a trip to an amusement park to which he’d taken his son. “Where’s the boy?” his wife asked…. “Oh, no!”—Svevo grabbing his coat and hat. “I’ll be right back.”

But I kept going back to Philip Larkin, whom Strauss invoked in his thought #7:

They fuck you up, your mum and dad. They may not mean to, but they do.

So I took a break, and came across this story by a news reporter who donned diving gear to photograph the debris at the bottom of Yamada Bay, Iwate Prefecture, an area hard hit by the tsunami. I haven’t been able to shake this image since.

Man hands on misery to man.
It deepens like a coastal shelf…