29 January 2008

Harry Potter Book Jackets

Man, I love Harry Potter books as much as the next guy, but I also feel like a nerdy nerd reading them on the tram. I just discovered these printable book jackets you can throw on top of your latest HP, for a whole new effect.




Reading them made me laugh so hard a little magic actually came out my nose.

Read more...

28 January 2008

Decent Bowl

Here's an article I wrote about the Upcoming 'Super' Bowl in the US. Please click repeatedly on the link, it'll help me win a prize.

Super Bowl Downgraded to More Realistic "Decent Bowl"



Something to celebrate for people who enjoy football, but may not call themselves fanatics: the adjective level of this years’ NFL Bowl Game has been downgraded from "super" to "decent."

The reasons, according to NFL spokesperson Ken ‘Big Ken’ Tomlinson, are threefold: “The surge in Iraq is working, that Michael Vicks really f---ed our image, and we’re experiencing a knock-on effect from the Mitchell Report.”

For those, like the NFL, who thrive on an artificially-inflated adjectival assessment of the bowl game, the consequences may be dire. However, the truth will out.

Recent advancements in scientific technology have allowed objective rankings of the adjective level of the bowl game for the last three seasons. However, this years’ edition is the first to be anything but "super."

Click for original article.

Read more...

25 January 2008

Understanding Art


Paul the Wine Guy puts obscure, outdated and anachronistic 'classical art' into a more intelligible context. Definitely worth a look.

Read more...

24 January 2008

Creovatively Juxtaposed

"You're a bunch of slags and fucking wankers! You've never creovated anything in your entire lives!!"
Thought Leader and post-modern author/columnist Martin Lukes' wife Sherril to a group of photographers outside a London courthouse. Lukes is on his way to prison for insider trading.


What you see is not what you get. More comparisons at Ads vs Reality

Read more...

23 January 2008

Ineffectual Hot Shit



I came to work in a suit today, for the second time ever. The first was after our Secretary General died and I was going to his funeral.

Tonight we have a cocktail party with some high-falutin' imprtant folks coming. I'll be there taking photos, as the lone paparazzo. The Italian word that should really describe me this evening should be tifoso: AS Roma are playing Sampdoria and crazily unstable (yet still talented) ex-Romanista Antonio Cassano.

Ah well, I guess I'll suffer for my art.

Actually I think it's suffer for a paycheque.

Maybe I'll try some of those HDR techniques (see post below).

Hot shit.





Read more...

High Dynamic

This photo is awesome. That's right, it's a photo. The future is here, and it is high dynamic range photography. I'm too dumb and/or lazy to learn more about it, but I like the pretty picture.

Thanks science, for being innovative, and thanks Japan, for having construction sites that look like they've been art directed.

Read more...

21 January 2008

Sunday Night Success

I was exhausted. We all were. Two consecutive weekends in improv bootcamp had decimated our ranks; the hardiest of us were pale and weakened. Even our dominant power forward suffered from crippling diarrhea by the last Sunday.

However, even the diarrhea stricken turned out on Sunday evening: each and every one confident and paradoxically nervous, yet above all, ready.

Pulses quickened, palms sweated, meaningful glances were exchanged...

By the time all was said and done, the nine performers and their ebullient teacher/host had put together a memorable show. There were highs and lows, but the highs were really fucking high, and the lows not really very low at all. Each and every performer on that stage had honest, committed, laugh-generating moments that showed they had internalized the drill sergeant/teachers teachings.

The audience, for their part, sat back and laughed. And clapped, on more than half a dozen occasions, in the middle of a scene, in response to a particularly remark or flash of brilliance. By all eyewitness accounts it was an excellent evening of entertainment.




Scan of the original show setlist. Original available on eBay. Accept no copy.


Read more...

18 January 2008

Congress of Flickr

This girl in a glass house is putting finishing touches on the bombardier nose section of a B-17F navy bomber, Long Beach, California, 1942

The Library of Congress made a flickr page a couple of days ago, to which they've uploaded a couple thousand old photographs taken by photographers working for the Farm Security Administration and the Office of War Information. It's pretty awesome.

Read more...

17 January 2008

AS Roma is still awesome


I have been guilty of not writing to hype up my favorite football team in quite a while. Let's change that shall we?

Roma lost the first leg of their Super Coppa tie to Torino away 1-3. That's a bad result no matter how you look at it. Unless of course you support barely-out-of-the-regulation-zone Torino, in which case you're astonished and super-pumped.

I missed the match, but my confidence wasn't really affected by that poor result. Roma has the depth and class to rebound from a bad result, as they've proven time and again.

Last night I managed to tune in for the second half of the reverse. The first half was scoreless, for which, judging by the highlights, the home team should feel very fortunate. It was about ten minutes in when I flicked over, just in time to watch trade bait/tabloid fodder/awesome winger Mancini finish off some excellent work by French forward Giuly to put Rome up 1-0.

According to Roma Chris (who is pretty damn diligent and informed) Roma has been practically allergic to scoring in the second half. Well, that goal was the first of four in the second half to put Rome into the quarter final.

Totti scored two (one thanks to another assist by Giuly, the second on a penalty won by CB Mexes.

The rout wasn't finished until Giuly deservedly got a goal of his own late in the game, controlling a long pass with a nice first touch then beating the defender and faking out the keeper.

If I was making the calls Giuly would be MOTM, but the main point is Roma seemed to be re-awakening after a less than inspiring December. Heading into the break the giallorossi dropped a couple games they shouldn't have (including the loss to Torino). But after the masterclass in attacking football they gave last night, the Roma faithful can, if not rejoice, at least feel incredibly optimistic about Rome's ability to compete at the highest level.

Yes, I'm looking at you Real Madrid.

Read more...

Half a million balls- Life imitates art

Remember that tv commercial for Bravia where all those balls bounce down the streets of San Fran?

Check this happening for real down the Spanish steps in Rome. (with an embed of the original comercial too).

To compensate for my inability to imbed that video here, I'll just put up this picture of awesome paper cutout art by NY artist Kako Ueda



Thanks to Boing Boing for the link.

Read more...

15 January 2008

Booze News

Good news boozers: drinking is good for you! It is in fact the single most important thing you can do in your life to promote good health and longevity.*



*(Only in moderation. Only when combined with daily exercise, and four to five servings of fruit and vegetables a day. Other restrictions may apply.)

Read more...

14 January 2008

BRX Improv workshop day 2

I forgot how physically and emotionally draining spending 8 hours on your feet in front (or behind and beside) of a group can be. In a deliriously wonderful way. Everyone came back for Sunday after a gruelling, but I think rewarding, first session.

We got right back to work with Word at a Time stories and then hit more scene intitiations. Having a firm platform with a well-established 'where' and 'who' is a crucial element. It is the foundation for improv scene work, as well as setting up agreement between actors and accepting of each others offers and so on.

The group are all well-disciplined and keen. They also tend to strive for over-acheivement, meaning they have concern their stories aren't good enough if they're simple. I will be sure to remind them on the weekend that once they have the basics down, the stories will truly flower and all sorts of wonderful deviations can take place, and take us to weird and wonderful places.

We had fun, we had lots of belly laughs, a couple breakthroughs, a pizza buffet lunch, and some excellent adventures. Next week, there will be more.

Read more...

13 January 2008

Improv workshops Day 1

Other than the fact that only one of the two heaters works, everything is going tremendously well. Great dynamic, great group, plenty of eagerness, talent and willingness to explore. Feels good to be in this environment again.

Read more...

11 January 2008

Workshop Weekend

This is looking to be a good weekend upcoming.

Why Ryan?

Well, I'm glad you asked: this weekend I will be teaching improv to a group of assorted newbies in an effort to prepare them for their very first show next Sunday (20 January). Awesome! Improv Show!

I've been fine-tuning the workshop outline and scheming on schematics. Probably my most profound decision has been the one to buy a whole bunch of bananas and apples to have available on Saturday.

Why Ryan?

Well, I'm glad you asked: because fruit is good for you. And breaking bread (or peeling bananas) together is good communion.

Better than eating cheesy doritos at three in the afternoon: that doesn't really give you the 'right' energy to power you over the hump.

Read more...

10 January 2008

Techgraffiti


Hahahaha. Get it?
Brilliant! Culture jam + street art + nerdiness= awesome. Weburbanist has a whole list of unusual technologically minded street art/graffiti projects. Including a gadget that spray paint outputs designs from your laptop and a piece on the taxonomy of graffiti letters in NYC. Check Ni9e's website here.


Read more...

Canada loves American elections

These elections in America are going to be so great for Canada!

At the end of this two-year-long Campaign Season, there will be a new president.

Two years is a long time to be saturated with American election news. Especially considering that the shit is not only wicked long, but also wicked complicated... Superdelegates? Electoral College? Primaries, caucuses, attack ads? Why do you even try to export this fucked up brand of 'democracy'?

Anyway, despite the vagaries it should be entertaining.

Will Hillary "the Inevitable" Clinton (now Hillary "On the Verge of Tears" Clinton) be able to put a stick in the spokes of Barack the "Audacious Hoper" Obama's campaign wheels?

Will one of those crazy religious Republicans come back to challenge either of those Dems for the Oval Office?

Stay tuned over the next 11 months.(Don't! Miss! A! Moment!)


What a spectator sport!

But Canadians get the best prize of all: a new neighbour/President. Because we too have a stake in the outcome we can watch this 11 month dog-and-pony horse-race with detached interest, or attached disinterest.

We also have reason to be damn optimistic about the prospects: whomever is elected we can be sure he will not be as retarded, nor arrogant, nor violent as GW Bush. He, or she will definitely not be George W Bush.
For that we can all be thankful.

We Canucks can also, in time, be thankful that we've endured 8 years of that fucktard in the White House. Y'see, Canadians have a bit of an inferiority complex as regards our bigger, more powerful (in every sense of the word) neighbour to the south; an inferiority complex that will be remedied.

Come the new reign (and I'm 'audaciously hoping' here) there will be changes: a more multilateral, outward-looking, soft-power-focused, genuinely compassionate administration. For which Canada will naturally be happy.

But the best part is that Canada can adopt an attitude similar to the one the class punching bag would have if he'd just seen the school bully piss his pants.

It doesn't matter how much time is put between the present and the event, he will always smirk knowingly.

"Hey America! Remember when George W. Bush was your president?" we'll say, maintaining a chummy tone, "that was crazy-fucked up huh?"

America, of course, will agree; if only in the vain hope it will shut Canada up.

Canada will continue: "Hey! You know what was really fucked up? When you re-elected him! For four more years! You really pissed your pants on that didn't you? I mean, can you imagine?" America will nod his head, face reddening, shoulders sagging.

And now I, like the rest of my countryfolks, will have, for the rest of my life, something... not to be jealous of America for, or indignant about, but to tease them mercilessly about.

Other than hockey of course.

Read more...

09 January 2008

How's my French?

I've got a feeling not very good. We'll find out tonight when I head back for back-to-back French lessons after a couple of weeks off.

I've got a test coming up as well. I'm not sure I like my chances very much, especially considering I lost my textbook a month ago. I mean: j'ai perdu mon cahier (?) de francais. Et je ne la parle assez bien pour niveau six.

If I'm lucky they'll hold me back, thus giving me the flexibility to miss classes and not get really behind, as well as increasing the likelihood of my passing the summer exam. If only I could figure out how to say that to them in French...

Read more...

08 January 2008

Sourgrapesbook



Yeah facebook. Go screw yourself. I never liked you anyway...

Beacon! Phshaw.

Vampires. Blech.

...

I miss you.

Read more...

To develop a twitter habit

I've paid out twitter, the social networking site for being inane and the lowest common denominator of user-generated webcontent.

On twitter.com users (tweeters) 'tweet': send out a 140-character-or-less burst of info in response to the question 'what are you doing right now?' That's it. And of course you can follow your friends twitters and so forth. Silly and mundane and kinda useless? Right? Just a bunch of infonoise?

Well us naysayers stand corrected.

Apparently it's also very useful in disasters, such as disseminating rapid updates of the recent California wildfires. Score one for microblogging.

Based on the strength of this system The Red Cross has taken up service, allowing twitter users to FOLLOW RED CROSS, and thereby stay informed of relief efforts.

Here's hoping I never need to use it for something urgent and life-threatening.

In fact, now that it I know it has legitimate functions, I plan on mindlessly twittering away for no good reason.

Actually my reason is pretty good: I miss facebook.

Twitter has a lot in common with the facebook status feature, which I used to enjoy updating quite regularly. Until the net-nannies in the IT department at work blocked facebook access.

Maybe it's time to give twitter a try.

Add one part social butterfly to two parts procrastinator, mix with a healthy dose of curiousity and a pinch of narcicissm. Allow to simmer, steam, and fume. Done.

That's what I'm doing right now.

Updating: finished. Millar has a twitter account. Check the column on the right hand side.

Read more...

06 January 2008

Sunday day

Woke up late today, best intentions and early rising resolutions don't stand a chance against the weekend. Went and bought some rugs and a BBQ and a DVD player from some people who are moving. Thanks xpats.com, for connecting the IKEA-shopping, frequently-relocating expat community.

Also got a chance to try out my new football at the park. In fact I joined a pick-up game. Wet and slippery, but a big bonus that there's a 'court' just down the street from our house. I expect that'll be more useful in say, June. But gives me a place to burn off some energy and hone my skillz. Yeah. Spelled with a zed.

Then it was off to get the lay of the land at the Warehouse Theatre, site of my improv workshops. It looks good. The workshop space is useful, which I knew from rehearsals and other workshops, but today was the first time I looked at it with a facilitators eye, and it'll be perfect, provided the heating stays on.

Read more...

02 January 2008

New Years

Alright welcome to 2008.

I've made some changes to the blog. Clean and crisper (crispier?) to reflect the snow-white promise of a new year.

I also realize this blog is filled with typos. I resolve to spellcheck each and every entry before posting. That's part of roadstorome's new commitment to service. You're welcome.

This year is looking good, and I'll tell you why. After the anxiety and stress of and sleeplessness of our trip to Rome, Chiara and I got home and enjoyed a visit from Andrew and Ben. These men are Australians, living in Amsterdam, and are my closest co-conspirators in creative endeavours. that means we got design, drawing, writing and music in common. We're about to drop websites and albums and make a big play in 2008, for which I'm pretty fucking excited. And the big play also includes THE POWER FORCE, which is the play I wrote. Which will be a play within the play, which is one of my favorite literary conceits. Point is: it's important to have people on the same wavelength.

Speaking of same wavelengths, we had an excellent dinner party on New Years Eve. A proper potluck with plenty of wine and delicious contributions to the meal. Did I mention the conversation was sparkling?



And things just kept on going from there.



In the end we got out dancing until late. A house party with live entertainment and two floors. Upstairs was Portishead, which while good music, is shitty to party to. Downstairs was a slippery floor with live technoelctropoprockhiphop, which worked. Somewhere along the way I got really really drunk. which is part of New Years so that's cool.

Point is it was awesome to have such a great group of people to ring in New Years here in our new home of Brussels. Friends. It is now one year to the day since we left Rome, and we couldn't be happier. A frequent topic of conversation at chez Millacioli is "Man, isn't life in Brussels so good? Aren't you glad we left Rome?" No offense to the Eternal City, which holds a special place in my heart, but I am so happy with the life changes that have gone on in the last year, since we left.

Lots of writing and acting and scheming and music and some fresh improv and cultural creation on the horizon. Not to mention wedding bells. 2008 is gonna be Two thousand and hustle for my art, hustle for my love, and hustle for living. Things are still looking up.

Read more...