Monthly Archives: May 2009

Friday Random 10: Couch Potato Edition

Pax Arcana

It’s well-documented that Americans are the corpulentest bastards on the planet, each of us requiring a small army of Malaysian porters to tote our belongings as we wheeze our way back to the buffet line at Sizzler.

Many blame our sedentary lifestyle. We drive everywhere, we hate the outdoors, and who has time for exercise when there’s so much intrigue on CSI: Miami tonight?

lampNot me. I blame my fucking couch. That thing is so comfortable there is practically no escape from its velvety embrace.

That’s why I’m buying all my furniture from Ferran Lajara from this point forward. According to his Web site, Lajara’s furniture designs are aimed at creating a unidirectional relationship between the object the objectionable indirect object subject predicate. Actually I got lost in the description. Here — you try:

Active furniture is a collection of three objects which try to keep users physically active by creating new relationships object-user-user-object. These new relationships are not unidirectional anymore – relationships in which users are the ones who demand from the object and the object obeys. The pieces of furniture in this collection do anything but facilitate what users want. They force users to perform a physical action in order to make them function. These actions keep users active.

The bottom line is that Lajara’s furniture makes you work. Like the lamp pictured above, which only lights up when standing up straight but doesn’t come with a base — so you have to hold it up yourself. Or a desk with drawers on the wrong side to make you stand up every time you need a paper clip.

Frankly I think it’s a good thing when your furniture challenges you. Like that time the ottoman wanted to arm wrestle me for my Red Sox tickets. “You don’t even have any arms, you fucking retarded ottoman!” I yelled at him. Then I realized I never had Red Sox tickets and I was high on Schnapps and Hydrocodone.

You win this round, ottoman.

The songs:

Naomi — Neutral Milk Hotel
Was it You? — Spoon
Reservations — Spoon
My Family’s Role in the World Revolution — Beirut
Your Big Hands — Jolie Holland
Lenin — Arcade Fire
No Christmas While I’m Talking — The Walkmen
No, Not Now — Hot Hot Heat
You Really Got a Hold on Me — She & Him
The Heartbreak Rides — AC Newman

Bonus Video:

Mexican Wine (Live) — Fountains of Wayne

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.


Filed under music

Boston police finally getting assault rifles


Pax Arcana

If there’s one characteristic that defines our local police force here in Boston, it’s restraint.

I mean, sure, they killed that unarmed 21-year-old girl who was out celebrating the Red Sox ALCS title in 2004, but it’s not like they stood in a circle and beat her with tire irons or anything. Instead they just shot her in the face from close range with a ball of pepper spray. I think that shows remarkable judiciousness in the face of a partying 21-year-old girl.

Or that time that they shoved some of my reporter friends around for having the nerve to ask questions outside the designated “freedom of speech” cage at the 2004 Democratic National Convention. They say the pen is mightier than the sword, so clearly the best course of action is to kick people with pens before they cut your ass.

Luckily for law-abiding citizens like myself, the Boston Police force has begun to deploy even more powerful weapons with which to demonstrate its infinite patience and good judgment. According to the Globe, the police are getting ready to hand out up to 200 high-powered M16 assault rifles to the boys in blue.

Why? Terrorism.

Why terrorism?


The M16 rifle is a standard, military-issue weapon distributed to US armed forces. It can be used in the field by soldiers with a fully automatic function, operating as a machine-gun, but the Boston proposal is to arm them the weapons for semiautomatic operation.

The law enforcement officials who discussed the proposal said department leaders have described the need for more potent weaponry to confront terrorists like the ones who attacked hotels and other sites in Mumbai, India, last November, killing 166 people and wounding 234 others.

Wait a minute. I thought Twitter caused the Mumbai attacks. And now everyone’s on Twitter!

Time to get the Boston cops some rocket launchers.

Police getting more firepower []


Filed under Uncategorized

Check out Pax’s new tattoo!

Father Scott

We all know how much of a geek Pax Arcana is. I would try to link to all the posts he’s made about how much he loves Apple or the boner he gets from some TechCrunch article, but WordPress just informed me that there’s not enough space on the Internet to do so.

But this takes the cake. Check Pax’s new tattoo (ht: Metz).


OK, you got me, Pax didn’t actually get that tattoo. Which means that the title and the majority of the text are lies. I am a giant liar.

Besides, do you think the vociferous and ebullient Mrs. Pax Arcana would marry somebody who wore that hat. Eesh.


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This is why everyone hates PR people

Pax Arcana

As someone who practices something eerily similar to the dark arts of journalism for a living, I get all sorts of press releases in my email inbox every day.

Most of them have nothing to do with my “beat,” which is so narrowly defined and esoteric as to be completely meaningless to 99% of humans on earth, but that’s OK. I take the press release misfires with a zen-like countenance and move along with my day. It’s better to smile and delete than to rail against the know-nothing PR douchebags who fire off whatever snake oil pitch they just concocted to everyone they can find at every publication on earth.

See how good I am at it?

Anyway, I recently got a press release that is simply too awesome NOT to share with my Pax Arcana readership. Bear in mind that at a certain point in this chain of events, the below release was sent to a publication that caters solely to IT managers at big companies:

Hi [Pax],

I hope all is well!

We all know Jennifer Love Hewitt got her fare share of flack back in 2007 for the images of her bathing suit body that circulated amongst the media. But, what we didn’t know is how she turned her body back around to the days of Can’t Hardly Wait, and Scream! JLW was recently spotted in Dr. Siegal’s COOKIE DIET Beverly Hills Store location picking up her monthly supply of cookies.

Just by eating six cookies a day plus a sensible dinner, the diet that has helped over 500,000 people lose weight effectively, and has clearly helped Jennifer shed her unwanted lumps! Please let me know if you’d like more information on the diet trend that has entered the lives of your favorite celebs and everyday people. I can also arrange an interview with Dr. Siegal himself as well as giveaways for your readers.

Thanks, and I looking forward to hearing from you soon!


I emailed Danielle to ask how Dr. Siegal’s COOKIE DIET could help, say, a multibillion enterprise streamline its back-end supply chain business processes, but so far have not heard back. I’ll keep you posted if I hear anything.

In the meantime, here is a picture of Jennifer Love Hewitt’s awesome COOKIE DIET ass:


How’s that for PR?

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Wednesday Filler: El Gato Del Keyboard

Pax Arcana

Just so you know I’m still alive. And a huge fan of musical Mexican cats.

Via FilmDrunk

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Friday Random 10: Three Wolf Moon Edition

Pax Arcana

Often people ask me, “Pax — how am I to understand the Internet, when it is ever so vast and so frightfully arranged in a series of blind corners and funhouse mirrors?” And I say “Stop talking like a queer.”

three_wolf_moonI then expand on my point to say that the beauty of the Internet exists not in comprehension of the whole of it — but rather in those moments of perfect happenstance, when the unlikeliest of candidates rise to the top of the giant ocean of information and enjoy a few blissful moments of propulsion at the crest of a powerful wave. Examples of these seredipitous moments are too many to list, but to illustrate a recent example, let’s consider the story of the Three Wolf Moon T-Shirt.

According to the Chicago Tribune, the T-shirt pictured at right has currently — and inexplicably — become the focus of attention for many snarky Internet types, who have taken to posting amusing comments about the shirt on For example:

The women knew from the wolves on my shirt that I, like a wolf, am a mysterious loner who knows how to ‘howl at the moon’ from time to time (if you catch my drift!). The women that approached me wanted to know if I would be their boyfriend and/or give them money for something they called meth. I told them no, because they didn’t have enough teeth, and frankly a man with a wolf-shirt shouldn’t settle for the first thing that comes to him. — B.Govern

Of course the attention is more than just a meme. The Three Wolf Moon T-shirt is currently the top-selling item of apparel on Amazon, according to the company. Meanwhile, my line of backless cardigans for men remains mired near the bottom. Won’t you people ever get with the times?

The songs:

Good Morning Good Morning — The Beatles
Crawled Out of the Sea — Laura Marling
Here We Are — Patrick Park
Nomenclature — Andrew Bird
The Island — The Decemberists
OK Oyot System — Extra Golden
The Best Thing — Ivy
Halfway Home — TV on the Radio
Ashamed — Deertick
Cracks in the Causeway — Oxford Collapse

Bonus video:

Souled Out!!! — Conor Oberst and the Mystic Valley Band

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.


Filed under music

Thursday Morning Filler: Links, bitchez

Pax Arcana

I’ve been in the weeds for so long that my pants are covered in burrs and there’s a family of earwigs setting up camp in my socks. As I continue to slash my way back to your loving embrace, please enjoy these links:

  • This CNBC guy is literally losing his mind. It’s transfixing. And hilarious. [Gawker]
  • If you think the Redskins shouldn’t change their nickname, you’re a fucking douchebag. For real. [Yahoo! Sports]
  • As if you needed another reason to love Jimmy Kimmel, he tore up a roomful of TV and ad execs to their faces a few days ago. [NYT]
  • Remember that asshole mockingbird that you got in a fight with? Well guess what — he remembers you, too. [Guardian]
  • This optical illusion is the coolest explanation for what curveballs look like to a batter and why they’re so hard to hit. [Illusion of the Year]
  • If I lived in Boston proper, I would definitely vote for Bill Trabucco. His Web site is a thing to behold. [Welcome to My Web site]
  • The reason the standard text message is only 160-characters long is because a guy with a typewriter in 1985 thought that was “sufficient.” Just RTFA. [LA Times]

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And now a word from our sponsor

Pax Arcana

When it became clear that buying a condo and having a full-time job were going to make updating this blog difficult for a short while, I figured I would just fill the void with funny videos and lists of made-up words.

Well, the funny videos didn’t materialize as I’d hoped and making up words turns out to be a lot easier when you don’t have to deal with reading legal and financial documents all day and night.

But we were rescued today with this insanely awesome 90-second commercial for the 1985 Plymouth Duster, one of the high water marks of American advertising. (Clip courtesy of Warming Glow, one of the most plurpletudinous blogs on the cirtrixscape.)


Filed under videos

Komodo dragons will shock you to death

Pax Arcana

komodo-dragonWe’ve already documented the murderous deviousness of komodo dragons on this site, but recent research reveals that these homicidal jungle gargoyles are far more dangerous than we previously thought.

Not only will they tear you limb from limb, but it turns out their saliva also contains a poison that can kill you:

Scientists at the University of Melbourne used computer models to investigate the strength of the lizards’ bite and found it was weak compared with other predators, such as the Australian saltwater crocodile.

But magnetic resonance imaging scans revealed complex venom glands in the dragons’ mouths that had never been documented before.

Bryan Fry, who led the team, surgically removed the glands from a terminally ill dragon in a zoo. Tests showed they contained a similar poison to that found in Gila monsters and snakes, according to a report in Proceedings of the National Academy Sciences.

The powerful venom has a devastating effect on prey, causing a sudden drop in blood pressure that sends them into shock. At the same time, the venom stops the victim’s blood clotting, so it bleeds to death.

Rest assured we will not take this latest threat lying down. I have a team of scientists fast at work developing a toxin that can be fired into komodo dragons from a blow gun and give the beasts hemophilia. We’ll see how those toady bastards like the idea of bleeding to death…

Komodo dragons use venom to kill their prey, scientists discover [Guardian]

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Father Scott

Alright that sucked. The Celts got beat by a weak team led by a pretend superstar. At least that team is about to get King James’ balls coronated in its collective face.

But worry not Celts fans. Because look at this tasty nugget from the New York Daily News (via ESPN):

Coming off a season when he was demoted from the Nets’ starting lineup to the bench because of his lack of production, Yi Jianlian might have played his final game in New Jersey.

Team sources say the Nets are interested in trying to deal the 7-foot small forward they acquired from Milwaukee last summer for Richard Jefferson. “They’re talking about moving him,” said a source.

Oh boy oh boy oh boy oh boy oh boy. Danny call up NJ and get this large Asian man to Boston. KG will bark at him 18 hours a day until he learns to play with an ounce of passion.

Remember, this almost happened. It was widely reported that had we not landed Ray Allen, our rebuilding efforts would have centered around Yi, who we would have taken with that no. 5 pick (thank God we didn’t do that, though).

But it’s not too late. Tons of potential. Tons of skills. No D, but there’s plenty of time. We’ve seen how young guys can flourish with the Big Three — look at the improvement of Rondo, Perk, Powe, and BBD. Yi can do the same.


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