Our brains are meaning factories. I just learned this word – Pareidolia – which describes the brain’s way of mashing the messy pieces of the world into a pretty jigsaw of purpose and predictability. Pareidolia is not only fun, but profitable, at least for the seller of this iconic piece of toast.
On a public thoroughfare in Ossterwolde, Northern Holland, Hans Monderman “tucks his hands behind his back and begins to walk into the square – backward – straight into traffic, without being able to see oncoming vehicles”.
Who is this crazed man? What happens next? Continue reading Unsafe is Safe?
I like my head the way it is. So I like to wear my bicycle helmet – it makes my head feel safe. But I did a quick google and the statistics say the helmet does Jack. Mandatory helmet laws might even be dangerous. WTF?!
On Friday I saw The Hangover, a film set in Las Vegas, where four men get loose, act stupid and have to figure out where it all went wrong. On Saturday, I went to see Avenue Q, an ‘adult’ puppet show set in New York, about finding your life purpose.
I saw puppet sex and gasped. I saw a man get hit in the head with a crowbar and laughed. Offense is a funny thing. Continue reading Do copulating puppets shock?
Some people really like music. It’s like the songs reach right in and mash the emotional cortex of their brain. The making of top five, ten and hundred lists is a process that forces them to confront their innermost emotions. It’s like ranking friends and family. It thrills their heart. It stuffs them with crippling doubt. The Australian government encourages it though… Continue reading The Best of all Time
You need this – http://www.goodguide.com/
It is super cool. You’re in Aisle 11, looking at toilet paper. One brand’s packaging has a frog in a little green triangle. Another one features a big green tick. One is totally friendly. The other one donates a few bucks to some dodgy enviro charity, while pumping bleach into China’s waterways. You can’t tell which is which. Pop quiz hotshot – what do you do? Continue reading Because Food Miles Don’t Go Far Enough.
I must have read the only bad review of Slumdog Millionaire. It convinced me not to go. I was dead set. I held out against hundreds of subsequent five star reviews, eight Oscars, and the kind of word of mouth money can’t buy. Six months after its release, I was browsing my favourite video shop, and found it in the recommended section. I cracked under the weight.
The opening lines of the U2 song ‘Peace on Earth’ :
Heaven on earth / We need it now / I’m sick of all this / Hanging around
There’s a debate that isn’t quite raging. If you google Bono + naivety, you get a lot of people criticising the U2 vocalist’s involvement in international aid. They say things like:
“…pompous bastard…” “Egomaniac.” and “Make Bono History”
And they generally have some rude things to say about his apricot-tinted sunglasses too.
Riding a bike in the city is like being a superhero. Faster than a speeding bullet, the cyclist runs red lights, pops up on the pavement, goes on the wrong side of the road, rides between the tram tracks and scoots past cars in the gutter. We have total freedom and maximum convenience. With our moral righteousness, high speeds and vigilante contempt for the strictures of society, our 21-speeds feel like the batmobile. Continue reading With great power comes great responsibility
I was in a meeting the other day when my boss started doing mash-ups. She was mixing with such dexterity I was transported back to Saturday night, back under the mirror ball, with the pills just starting to kick in.
First she dropped ‘definity’. From context, it was clear this was a mangle of definition and certainty. And why not! There’s a bit of space in there for a new word with a new shade of meaning. I welcomed it. Later, she dropped an old school crowd pleaser – irregardless. This is my second favourite mixmash ever. Take two words with the same meaning (irrespective and regardless) and bundle them into a word that glides ever so sweetly off the tongue, and is utterly perfect in the way it delivers meaning, except for the fact that if you look closely, it seems to be a double negative.
stand by for commentary and analysis, coming at you from both sides of the international date line…