Tag Archives: Friday random 10

Friday Random 10: Food Allergies Edition

Pax Arcana

peanutsFood allergies are serious and occasionally deadly. They are also incredibly, ridiculously rare — affecting only about 2% of the population.

Curiously, those who patronize fine dining establishments seem to be victimized by severe food allergies at an alarming rate. Check out this passage from a New York Times article about a 20-course dinner served in tandem by culinary masters Thomas Keller and Grant Achatz:

Now the captains are on the floor, asking the guests about allergies and dietary restrictions, which will be mapped on to a grid showing the no-no’s for each position at each table.

“Table Four, P-Four. She can’t have grapefruit.” (P stands for position.)

“P-Five, no pork product, no spicy chiles.”

“Where are the no fennel guests?”

“Table Seven. One guest is no sweet peppers. Ms. Cowin is allergic to peppers.”

This is Dana Cowin, editor of Food & Wine and one of the members of the Fourth Estate in attendance.

The editor of Food & Wine is allergic to peppers? Isn’t that like being the third baseman on the Yankees and being allergic to women? Wait never mind.

The songs:

Target Heart – Blue Giant
No Speak No Slave — The Black Crowes
La Dame Et La Licorne — Shearwater
Chill Out Tent — The Hold Steady
Turn on the News — Hüsker Dü
Everything Will Be Alright — The Killers
Song #1 — Fugazi
Higher Ground — Stevie Wonder
Black Hole – The Silent Years
Fall From a Height — The Honeydrips

Bonus Video:

My Thin Sides & Saints – Army Navy

The Rules: The Friday Random 10 is exactly that — random. We open up our iTunes, set the thing on shuffle, and listen to 10 songs. We are not permitted to skip any out of embarrassment or fear of redundancy. Commenters are encouraged to post their own.

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Friday Random 10: Rhodes Scholar Edition

Pax Arcana

On the hierarchy of honors of academic distinction, the Rhodes Scholarship falls just below entry into the Grand Council of Great and Serious Men of Science — an honor I have received twice, in fact, thanks to my unjust temporary expulsion for destroying half the robots at MIT.

I was provoked.

Anyway, the Rhodes Scholarship is not something given to anyone. In fact, just qualifying for consideration is an achievement of almost mind-boggling difficulty.

And while this year’s crop of contenders includes the usual uncoordinated geeks and spastic android-coddling shut-ins, we were surprised to learn that a Florida State University football player was among those under consideration.

Meet Myron Rolle, one of the top college safeties in the country and Rhodes Scholar finalist:

myron_rolle

Rolle graduated from Florida State, after only 2 and a half years, with a 3.75 GPA in pre-med. If selected for the Rhodes Scholarship, he plans to study the anthropology of medicine in third-world countries. Also, he has to miss an upcoming game against Maryland to interview. Also, he may have to choose between the Rhodes Scholarship and the NFL.

In short, he is much awesomer than you. And younger. And better.

The songs:

I Summon You — Spoon
Cupid’s Trick — Elliott Smith
Don’t Let Him Waste Your Time — Jarvis Cocker
Let it Loose — The Rolling Stones
The First Incident — Frightened Rabbit
Marla — Grizzly Bear
Among the Pines — A.A. Bondy
The Four of Us Are Dying — Nine Inch Nails
All Our Weekends — The French Kicks
When You Wake Up Feeling Old — Wilco

Bonus Video:

Got to Give it Up — Marvin Gaye (Live in Montreaux, 1980)

The Rules: The Friday Random 10 is exactly that — random. We open up our iTunes, set the thing on shuffle, and listen to 10 songs. We are not permitted to skip any out of embarrassment or fear of redundancy. Commenters are encouraged to post their own.

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Friday Random 10: Zombie Haiku Edition

Pax Arcana

Zombie-related poetry is an art form that suffered a cruel blow when I, Pax Arcana, failed to secure my rightful nomination as Poet Laureate for my poem “Death by Death.” But at least one brave soul is giving it another try.

Ryan Mecum is the author of Zombie Haiku, a new work of epic poetry told from the perspective of a brain-devouring undead corpse. According to the awesome Largehearted Boy, the book is a journal in which one zombie “shares his life via haiku, and is in turns filled with gore, humor, and a surprising amount of charm.”

Here’s a sample:

I loved my momma.
I eat her with my mouth closed,
how she would want it.

And now your ghoulish helping of songs:

Andy, You’re a Star — The Killers
Tread Water – De La Soul
Mr. Bojangles — Jerry Jeff Walker
In the Backseat — Arcade Fire
Heartbreak a Stranger — Bob Mould
Listening to Otis Redding During Christmas — Okkervil River
Hussel — M.I.A.
Squalor Victoria — The National
Sing, Little Birdie – Shearwater
Higher Ground — Stevie Wonder

Bonus HALLOWEEN Video:

A Night With the Jersey Devil — Bruce Springsteen

The Rules: The Friday Random 10 is exactly that — random. We open up our iTunes, set the thing on shuffle, and listen to 10 songs. We are not permitted to skip any out of embarrassment or fear of redundancy. Commenters are encouraged to post their own.

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Friday Random 10: The Death of Zima Edition

Pax Arcana

Bad news for fans of Friends, goatees, and Adam Sandler. Zima — the Sprite-like malted beverage — is finally being put out of its misery by MillerCoors.

Zima was a laughingstock from the get-go, thanks to a hilariously out-of-tune marketing blitz that accompanied its 1994 launch. Also, it sucks. But the idea behind the drink, that some people were looking for an alternative to the standard beer/wine/hard liquor triumvirate, was clearly correct.

For a while, anyway:

By the late 1990s, other flavored malt beverages began appearing, many of them spiked lemonades.

Those drinks were dubbed alternatives to traditional malt beverages, or “malternatives.” Executives at Miller, Coors and Anheuser-Busch Cos. saw the products as a way to draw younger drinkers who preferred sweet-flavored spirits to beers.

The trend peaked in 2002. Miller led the way, launching four flavored malt drinks: Stolichnaya Citrona, Sauza Diablo, Jack Daniel’s Original Hard Cola and Skyy Blue.

Rest in peace, Zima. Rest in ridiculous, ridiculous peace.

On to the songs:

Used to Love U — John Legend
Johnny’s Heartbreak — Otis Redding
How Does the Brain Wave – Nadia
Last American Virgin – Oxford Collapse
Worn Out Shoes — Joe Purdy
Valley Winter Song — Fountains of Wayne
The End of Radio – Shellac
One for the Cutters — The Hold Steady
Ragged Wood — The Fleet Foxes
Fast Blood — Frightened Rabbit

Bonus Video:

Tuvan Throat Rap — Ondar

The Rules: The Friday Random 10 is exactly that —
random. We open up our iTunes, set the thing on shuffle, and listen to
10 songs. We are not permitted to skip any out of embarrassment or fear
of redundancy. Commenters are encouraged to post their own.

7 Comments

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Friday Random 10: Space smells edition

Pax Arcana

Despite its proximity to Uranus, space smells surprisingly good.

At least that’s the word from the Times (UK), which reports  that astronauts say outer space smells distinctly like fried steak, as well as hot metal and other acrid smells. Even better, apparently NASA is paying one of those fancy smell labs to recreate the odor for those of you who will never enjoy the sensual pleasures of intergalactic travel:

Nasa asked Steven Pearce, the managing director of Omega Ingredients, which makes fragrances, to recreate the scent after hearing of his work creating smells for an art exhibition in July, one of which was of the inside of the Mir space station. Mr Pearce is interviewing astronauts to help him with his task. “We have already produced the smell of fried steak, but hot metal is proving more difficult,” he said. “We think it’s a high-energy vibration in the molecule.”

In other news, the economy is collapsing around us and we’re staring into the abyss of a profound national depression. But hey! Space smells like steak!!

The songs:

I Want to Live — Talking Heads
Superfly – Curtis Mayfield
Up in the Air — Hüsker Dü
Aging Faces/Losing Places — BSS Presents… Kevin Drew
After the Bombs — The Decemberists
White Christmas — Otis Redding
How to Fight Loneliness — Wilco
Various Stages — Great Lake Swimmers (Live)
Needle in the Hay — Elliot Smith
Meadowlake Street — Ryan Adams and the Cardinals

Bonus Video:

Papa was a Rolling Stone — Stevie Wonder (Live)

The Rules: The Friday Random 10 is exactly that — random. We open up our iTunes, set the thing on shuffle, and listen to 10 songs. We are not permitted to skip any out of embarrassment or fear of redundancy. Commenters are encouraged to post their own.

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Friday Random 10: Awards Edition

Pax Arcana

This week, the Nobel Prize in Literature was awarded to French author Jean-Marie Gustave Le Clézio. According to my sources, Le Clézio is someone I’ve never fucking heard of.

Much more interesting are the annual Ig Nobel Prizes, which are awarded to those who perform feats of academic absurdity so profound that normal humans like us question whether all that grant money wouldn’t be better spent to create the world’s biggest wheel of cheese or something.


Image stolen from xkcd

This year’s Ig Nobel winners include Astolfo G. Mello Araujo and José Carlos Marcelino, Brazilian scientists who published a research paper called “The Role of Armadillos in the Movement of Archaeological Materials: An Experimental Approach.” French scientists Marie-Christine Cadiergues, Christel Joubert, and Michel Franc were awarded for their work in discovering “that the fleas that live on a dog can jump higher than the fleas that live on a cat.”

My favorite is the Nutrition Award, given to Massimiliano Zampini of Italy, who discovered a way of “electronically modifying the sound of a potato chip to make the person chewing the chip believe it to be crisper and fresher than it really is.”

The full list is here.

The songs:

1,000,000 – Nine Inch Nails
No Pussy Blues – Grinderman
No Comply – Studio
It’s All in Your Mind – Beck
Passing Afternoon — Iron & Wine
Brandy Alexander — Feist
Mozambique — Bob Dylan
Friends — Ryan Adams and the Cardinals
Me and the Bean – Spoon
Knot Comes Loose — My Morning Jacket

Bonus Video:

The ’59 Sound – The Gaslight Anthem (Live at The Knitting Factory)

The Rules: The Friday Random 10 is exactly that — random. We open up our iTunes, set the thing on shuffle, and listen to 10 songs. We are not permitted to skip any out of embarrassment or fear of redundancy. Commenters are encouraged to post their own.

5 Comments

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Friday Random 10: It’s a loaner edition

Pax Arcana

Since Father Scott already apprised you of the situation I’m calling “a serious and unavoidable technological system failure” rather than “I forgot my laptop at home when I came in to work this morning,” I’ll skip over the basics.

I am now typing on some sort of retrofitted Soviet telegraph machine that was loaned to me by the IT department. The monitor is an Etch-a-Sketch. The keyboard is made of Scrabble tiles affixed to golf tees. The mouse is an actual mouse.

Anyway, let’s do a Friday Random 10, shall we?

The Songs:

The Four of Us are Dying — Nine Inch Nails
Blackberry Stone — Laura Marling
Palmcorder Yajna — The Mountain Goats
Search and Destroy — Iggy Pop and the Stooges
Paris 2004 — Peter, Bjorn and John
Turn on the Sun Again — The Real Tuesday Weld
I Never Want To Go Home — The Whigs
Take the Fifth — Spoon
Keep the Car Running — Arcade Fire
No Surprises — Radiohead

Bonus Video:

Dancing Choose — TV on the Radio (Live on Letterman)

Incidentally, TV on the Radio’s new album is awesome.

The Rules: The Friday Random 10 is exactly that — random. We open up our iTunes, set the thing on shuffle, and listen to 10 songs. We are not permitted to skip any out of embarrassment or fear of redundancy. Commenters are encouraged to post their own.

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Friday Random 10: Traffic Edition

Pax Arcana

Here’s a bit of news to warm Perry Ellis’ heart on this cold, rainy Friday — while you might think an increase in bicyclists on the road would lead to increased accidents between bikes and cars, it’s actually quite the opposite:

“It’s a virtuous cycle,” says Dr Julie Hatfield. “The likelihood that an individual cyclist will be struck by a motorist falls with increasing rate of bicycling in a community. And the safer cycling is perceived to be, the more people are prepared to cycle.”

Researchers say the reason for this is that more bikers equals more visibility of bikers, which means drivers slow down and maybe, just this once, stop texting on the way to work.

The songs:

Honest Man — My Morning Jacket
California Stars — Wilco
16 Military Wives — The Decemberists
We Are All Accelerated Readers — Los Campesinos
Knives, Snakes, and Mesquite — The Bowerbirds
Narcolepsy – Ben Folds Five
Born at the Right Time — Paul Simon
Electioneering – Radiohead
Dear Prudence — The Beatles
Open All Night — Bruce Springsteen

Bonus Video:

I Go Chop Your Dollar — Osuofia (This, and I am not kidding, is a Nigerian pop song about those awful Nigerian email scams. It’s a huge hit, by the way.)

The Rules: The Friday Random 10 is exactly that — random. We open up our iTunes, set the thing on shuffle, and listen to 10 songs. We are not permitted to skip any out of embarrassment or fear of redundancy. Commenters are encouraged to post their own.

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Friday Random 10: Volt Edition

Pax Arcana

Despite my endorsement of extra-terrestrial Vice Presidential candidates, Pax Arcana is a proud American who wants nothing but the best for cornerstone American businesses such as auto manufacturers, software companies, and the Wayans brothers.

That’s why I’m openly rooting for the Chevy Volt.


The Volt. Can you feel the electricity?

Like other American car companies, Chevy is on the brink of irrelevance thanks to our increasing distaste for the gas-guzzling trucks that propped up the domestic market throughout the 1990s and early 2000s. In a hugely risky gamble to get back on track, Chevy is pouring around half a billion dollars into research and development of the Volt, a mostly-electric car aimed at bringing reduced-emissions vehicles to mainstream America.

If successful, the groundbreaking technology tucked inside the car could drastically reduce the environmental impact of each owner:

The Volt, which General Motors finally unveiled Tuesday, is a series hybrid, also called a range-extended electric vehicle. Like the Prius, it’s got an electric motor and a gasoline engine, but the engine merely charges the battery as it approaches depletion. Electricity alone turns the 17-inch wheels. The Volt is designed to travel 40 miles on a single charge of its lithium-ion battery, meaning most drivers will never burn a drop of gasoline.

It won’t be mass produced until 2010, but here’s hoping Chevy’s on to something. I’m sure our environmentally savvy and not-at-all-shrunken-brained vegetarian friend Eoin over at the Bright Green Blog will keep us up to date.

The songs:

Candylion – Gruff Rhys
What’s Good — Lou Reed
Blind – Talking Heads
Videotape — Radiohead
Masochism World — Hüsker Dü
Bye & Bye — Bob Dylan
NYC-Gone, Gone — Conor Oberst
Mississippi – Bob Dylan
Bought for a Song — Fountains of Wayne
Missing – Beck

Bonus Video:

I’m OK You’re OK — Let’s Wrestle (Live at Stolen)

The Rules: The Friday Random 10 is exactly that — random. We open up our iTunes, set the thing on shuffle, and listen to 10 songs. We are not permitted to skip any out of embarrassment or fear of redundancy. Commenters are encouraged to post their own.

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Friday Random 10: Baseball-liking rock stars edition

Pax Arcana

Our own Perry Ellis has a borderline-creepy fascination with doughy retro-rockers The Hold Steady — a condition not shared explicitly by Father Scott and myself, but treated with deference lest the old man succumb to a bout of senile agitation.

In the cyberpages of ESPN.com yesterday, Hold Steady frontman Craig Finn returned the favor, offering up love to many things dear to the extended Pax Familias.

For example, the Twins fan is also partial to the Mets:

Kevin (NYC): I know you are a big Twins fan, but living in brooklyn now, do you have a favorite new york team? (and I’d hope if you do, it’s not the yankees)

Craig Finn: New York Mets. I can see them most nights on TV. I was happy to see Santana land there instead of the Yankees or Red Sox. They are just a fun team to watch. A good friend of ours has season tickets so we go sometimes. The Rangers are a close second. I just recently got back into hockey. I never really took to the Wild. I’ve been to quite a few Rangers games with friends. And the Knicks just aren’t very likable right now.

And he loves Fenway:

Dustin (Minneapolis, MN): What is your favorite baseball stadium to go watch a game? What kind of hopes or expectations do you have for the new Twins stadium?

Craig Finn: My favorite park is Fenway. I went to a lot of games there when they were not very good. I did get to go to a lot of games for cheap and you can’t do that anymore. For the Twins, taking the ceiling off is fulfilling a lot of my expectations. I think they are on the right track. Small witih lots of sightlines so you can see the game from all over.

And he likes Radiohead, despite what bandmate Tad Kubler says:

Ryan Dees: What’s up with your boy Tad dissing Radiohead? Do you feel the same way?

Craig Finn: I do not feel the same way.

Craig Finn: But to each their own.

So there you have it. The Hold Steady frontman Craig Finn pretty much likes all the right stuff. Now if he would just quit forcing 42,000 words into three minute pop songs we’d sooooo be on the same page.

On to the songs:

Shake it Off – Wilco
Cruised and Accused of Cruising — Lifter Puller (Speak of the devil, huh?)
Nom de Plume — Calexico
Corona Radiata — Nine Inch Nails
Resurrection Fern — Iron & Wine
Joey – Bob Dylan
Promiscuous — Nelly Furtado (Shut up. Just shut up.)
Wash Off — Deerhunter
All Up the Seething Coast — The Mountain Goats
Dirty Dishes — Deer Tick

Bonus Video:

Flume — Bon Iver (Live on Conan)

The Rules: The Friday Random 10 is exactly that — random. We open up our iTunes, set the thing on shuffle, and listen to 10 songs. We are not permitted to skip any out of embarrassment or fear of redundancy. Commenters are encouraged to post their own.

1 Comment

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