- Short Shorts - I recently managed to see ten movies in two hours ... by watching all the short films that were nominated for an Academy Award this year. Oscar winner West Bank Story was even more hysterical and inspiring than I had hoped; the West Side Story parody achieved the impossible: a well-produced musical comedy about the Palestinian/Israeli conflict that is fair, balanced, and likely to make even militant Israelis or Palestinians laugh. The Savior is a twisted short about a flawed Mormon-esque missionary who inadvertently helps a man find God. (Although it didn't beat the mother of all Mormon missionary comedies that is Orgazmo.) As for the animated shorts, Maestro is a long set-up for one punchline, but the payoff is worth the wait; you can watch the whole thing here. Pixar's Lifted was great for animation and chuckles, but it couldn't compete with the compelling story of The Danish Poet, a visual poem about life's unpredictable paths, which I still dwell on, even if I'm not munching on Danishes or poets. Give or take The Matchstick Girl, these films deserved their Oscar nominations, unlike, say, The Devil Wears Prada or Poseidon.
- Worldmapper - a great reference website that shows the world resized according to lots of categories. Check out the world according to prison population below. America is still #1! Take that, China!
- In Arabia, We'd All Be Kings - D & I saw caught this terrific play in the Elephant Theatre in LA. The drama weaves the spiraling trajectories of various oddballs and addicts under Guiliani's rule in mid-1990s Hell's Kitchen. Judging by some of the empty seats in the tiny space, the cast must be making peanuts, which is a shame, given their magnificent performances. Go discover Steven Schub, who plays a Mick Jagger-impersonating speed junkie named Skank, and Jade Dornbeld, who plays his hooking addict girlfriend Chickie, before they become famous. Closes in a week.
- Tanks Alot: As a fan of lists, I'm grateful for New York Magazine's Top 20 List of Unfortunately Named Portable-Toilet Companies. Of course, it's no surprise that #1 is Doodie Calls:
- Mammal Juice Drink - And finally, this fake but disgusting Japanese commercial -- totally NSFW but technically harmless -- exports to America the catch-phrase "Feline Disrespect From Behind," which, at last, you can begin using now. But seriously, don't click this:
Why are you and the Japanese so twisted?