September 30, 2009

Leonard Cohen's Temple of Doom

"I always experience myself as falling apart, and I'm taking emergency measures," Leonard Cohen told Anthony DeCurtis in 1993's Rolling Stone. "It's coming apart at every moment. I try Prozac. I try love. I try drugs. I try Zen meditation. I try the monastery. I try forgetting about all those strategies … when I get to that place where I can't be dishonest about what I've been doing."

Leonard was just nine when his dad died, and Cohen says little about the experience except that he wrapped up a bow tie with some written verses included in the packet, and buried it with his father. He was left an inheritance that helped fund his literary pursuit later; freeing him in young adulthood to work on his poetry. Like many teen boys, he was a handful, but after high school went on to study at McGill University, where he met another famous Jewish Canadian poet, Irving Layton. Cohen worked carefully on his craft (he said one song took thirteen years to write!), developing poems and fiction stories that were mostly critically acclaimed.

Now, Leonard Cohen is practically canonized himself, revered globally. He's "half wolf half angel," according to Anjelica Huston. Cutting a familiar figure in his fedora and dashing suit, he's revered as the "highest and most influential echelon of songwriters" (Lou Reed) and "our Keats, our Shelley, our Byron" (U2). Even Prince Charles lauded him. "I tell you who I also think is wonderful is a chap called Leonard Cohen, do you know him?" he asked. One son wondered if Cohen was a jazz musician. Prince Charles replied, "He's remarkable. I mean the orchestration is fantastic and the words, the lyrics and everything. He's a remarkable man, and he has this incredibly, sort of laid back, gravelly voice. It's terrific stuff."

He went into retreat to finally silence that gloom and doom that had spun for half a century or longer through his head. Becoming a "religieuse" was perhaps the ultimate fulfillment of the themes of his soul -- and ever the contrarian, he didn't choose either the Jewish or a Christian path from his youth. His spiritual name is Jikan -- "the silent one." What Leonard longed for most, strangely, was to stop writing. Yet 2006's The Book of Longing was born from his years as a monk. Cohen said he'd been looking for silence all his life, moving towards it. And yet he couldn't stop himself.

"I tried to stop, but my relationship with writing is like that of a bear running into a hive -- he can't resist the temptation to steal honey. It happens continually. It's delightful and it's horrible … I'm sure that silence, sooner or later, will arrive."

The manic depressive tension between light and dark that has informed Cohen's life, his writing, his intense yet luminous nature is still there, despite a life spent seeking ways to silence it. "The recreational, the obsessional and the pharmaceutical -- I've tried them all. I would be enthusiastically promoting any one of them if they worked," he has said, about his search for relief. But today it seems clear that the solution to stability is to stop chasing it -- to simply let it be.

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Vacation VS Stress

I was just thinking yesterday about my life's cycle; work > holiday > happiness > overloaded on food and drinks > fatso with bills to pay > worrisome > anticipation for the next holiday > work..., after coming back from one-week beach holiday. And here I found this chart that pretty much sums it all up.

Via Phdcomics

Strangers in the Public Space

Remember? Uptown A train. Sunday at around 9pm. I was the black dude reading Bukowski's Post Office. You were reading the Arts and Leisure section. You passed wind rather loudly and started chuckling. I'd like to see you again. The flatulence wasn't a turn-off.

Via Missed Connections

Cinderella 's Heels

Made famous by none other than Cinderella and brought to life by Maison Martin Margiela, the Brothers Grimm fantastical shoe concept now exists, albeit in limited quantities.

Available at Maison Margiela Stores for HK$9,900 each or HK$19,999 for the pair.

*keeps on daydreaming*

Via Cool Hunting

Life is Too Short to...

Via Cool Hunting

Women Are Heroes by JR

Great job, JR and the crew!

September 17, 2009

The Hot Waitress Index

One funny economist has developed the so- called Hot Waitress Index, under the theory that attractive people land great jobs in sales when there are jobs in sales. However, when the economy contracts, these people trade down to waiting tables.

Usually when the economy turns sour, restaurants start reducing the numbers of workers. They slowly let the boys go, then the less attractive girls and then these hot girls appeared out of nowhere.

Hot people will migrate back to better jobs sooner than not-so-hot workers. Therefore, when you see the hot waitress go, it is time to feel good, not bad because it suggests that the economy is probably rebounding.

Read the full article...

Another economic indicator: Men's underwear

September 16, 2009

Federer's Best

The most ridiculous shot yet the best. Don't you agree?

September 14, 2009


Prank War

And you thought your coworkers were jerks. Since 2007, writer-comedians Amir Blumenfeld and Streeter Seidell of fratty yuk-yuk site have engaged in an escalating prank war, duping each other with gags like nonexistent blind dates and hostile stand-up audiences. They posted seven videos over two years, drawing 10 million viewers to their ante-upping antics. In the last installment, conducted in March after an 18-month hiatus, Seidell tricked Blumenfeld into believing he'd won $500,000 for sinking a half-court basketball shot while blindfolded. (He totally missed—psyche!) Wired spoke with the duo about the philosophy and morality of hoaxing: Is there such a thing as going too far?

Wired: How did all this get started?

SS: We work in a very young, permissive office. There are always little pranks going on. At first, what we were doing was nothing out of the ordinary. Then it just got out of control.

AB: For instance, on April Fools' Day our boss sent us an email saying our MTV show had been renewed.

SS: He was lying about that.

AB: We got him back. While he was on a flight from Portland to New York, we created a fake Twitter account for him and posted insanely embarrassing information. We had almost 1,500 people following him by the time he landed.

Wired: Which prank are you proudest of?

SS: Which one was worse for you, Amir? The one where I tricked you into making an embarrassing audition tape and then showed it to the whole office? Or when I got you to fly out to Los Angeles because you thought you were going to be on [the MTV series] Human Giant? Those two showed Amir's true colors, his desire to be famous. They cut deeper emotionally, building him up and then knocking him down real quick.

AB: The painful part is explaining to your friends that the thing you've been bragging about for the past two weeks was a joke.

Wired: Do you ever worry that you've gone too far?

SS: I worry that Amir has gone too far. When he faked a marriage proposal from me to my girlfriend on the Jumbotron at Yankee Stadium, I think that was too far.

AB: And I think it was just far enough. As long as it doesn't permanently affect someone's life. You don't want to get someone in a way that still haunts them 12 years later.

Wired: What does it feel like when you realize you've been burned?

SS: Sometimes it's a relief.

AB: Like the hard part is over. I don't have to live in fear anymore.

Wired: How can we be sure that these pranks are even real? How do we know you aren't pranking us?

SS: I can't prove it to you, other than to say we're not very good actors. Watch our TV show and you'll see.

AB: Actually, the ones that Streeter plays on me are fake. The ones I do, those are real.

A video record of Blumenfeld and Seidell's prank war is available at

Via Wired

September 13, 2009

Glass Half Full or Half Empty?


Fleet Foxes

After about two years of listening to mainly just the classic - Tom Waits, David Bowie, Leonard Cohen, Nina Simone, The Beatles, etc. (with an exception of Kings of Leon and Santigold)... I decided to pitchfork yesterday and after 20 minutes through the 100 Best Tracks of 2008, I was ready to give up - thinking more than half of these new bands are shit. Then I found Fleet Foxes...and I've stopped there.

September 11, 2009

Which country has the most nose jobs (per-capita)?

Surprisingly, it's not Korea...

According to a number of sources, Iran is the "nose job capital of the world" probably because other signals of beauty are shrouded (by law). Iran also has plenty of well-educated doctors. Gene Expression has some links and a few alternative hypotheses.


Train Market, Bangkok

This is awesome. I didn't know it existed before. Haha

September 5, 2009

September 4, 2009

7 Greatest Things About Having A Small Rack

7. While all your girlfriends complain about their giant drooping breasts reaching their knees, you can feel good about the fact that your small drooping breasts will never make it past your waist.

6. Your chest has that chic Kate Moss look, and you didn't even need to snort cocaine to make it happen.

5. Two words, with regard to men: eye contact.

4. No need to buy new bras after fourth grade.

3. Hours of fun as you and your man fight over who has the bigger breasts.

2. Nothing impeding the fabulous view of your gut.

1. The joy of being described by others as a girl with a pretty face and a really great personality.

So my conclusion is with a small rack you will be viewed as a woman more than a sex object............?




Missing Bike


September 1, 2009

Economists don't believe in soulmates

"Economists see markets at play everywhere. Even in your romantic life. Indeed, I’m one of the worst guests that you can invite to your wedding. Why? Because while most of your guests are listening for your love story, I’m listening for your contract. While others see a romantic courtship leading to the altar, I see people who are satisfied enough to stop searching for someone else.

Searching for a spouse is very similar to searching for a job. There is not one perfect job for each of us, but there are clearly better and worse jobs. So we hunt, for a spouse and a job. When do we stop? When the offer in the hand is better than the likely offer in the bush.

At a wedding I see a relationship that is good enough to settle down and start investing in. If you get a reasonable rate of return, investment in your relationship will make it truly better than any other relationship you could have.

As an economist I think that a good marriage, like a good employment relationship, emphasizes shared vision, common interests, complementary abilities, and gains from specialization..."

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