Modern Primate

man, that's deep

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  1. upper east side slow internet

    Damn my Internet is slow.

    That’s about the extent of how Hurricane Sandy has affected me. Well, add to that the fact that the parks are all still closed, (so the dog has a mad case of cabin fever so he requires at least three times the amount of attention) but aside from that, really slow internet access with intermittent failures is about the only inconvenience we’ve suffered up here in Manhattan’s Upper East Side.

    Out on the street, 10 year old kids with French accents and better clothes than I’ve ever owned run around in gangs, reveling in the freedom that is school cancellations. Apart from some trash and fallen branches, the UES has gone relatively unscathed. You’d almost never know there was a hurricane up here. Friends in the East Village tell me they’re still without power, heat, water, even cell reception. They may not be back up and running for at least five days. Since my internet is too slow to stream videos I found myself going to the local video store to rent some DVDs. Did you know they still have video stores? It’s nuts! I have to bring these things back to the store on Saturday so someone else can rent them! It’s like when we were young!  Read More »


    Living in New York, especially Manhattan, means you live in the most important place on the planet. And that means that if something doesn’t affect you, then it didn’t really happen. Given that Hurricane Irene didn’t really affect New York (I mean, it only caused the state $55 million in damage) then it didn’t absolutely batter North Carolina, Vermont, New Jersey, and others. It didn’t totally destroy some people’s lives or anything. And if we know one thing, it’s that if you’ve been through one storm, you’ve been through them all, because every storm is exactly the same as the last.

    Hurricane Sandy is slowly but surely making its way up the East Coast, and as we have all heard, is expected to combine with some other freaky storms to form an unprecedented Frankenstorm — possibly the worst conditions in 100 years or more. But my neighbor from across the street doesn’t think there’ll be any storm, and as she proudly proclaimed to me last night, she didn’t bother stocking up on food, water, batteries, or anything. My partner and I foolishly believed in the notion of being better-safe-than-sorry, and now here we are with all these pesky canned vegetables and wind-up flashlights needlessly taking up space in our cabinets when we could just as well be cool and unprepared like our wise neighbor who’s seen a few storms in her day.

    Read More »

  3. We ordered Nathan’s velociraptor costume two weeks ago, and, well, puppies can do a lot of growing in two weeks.

  4. With Halloween coming up at the end of the month, I can’t help but think of all the ways we could dress up our puppy!

    Read More »

  5. Screen Shot 2012-10-05 at 1.52.10 PM

    A lot is being said about how Romney “won” last night’s debate. By virtue of his passion, he came out ahead in most public opinion polls. Speaking out of turn, spouting falsehoods, and defensively talking over both the President and moderator Jim Lehrer, Romney took the debate in a landslide. Granted, plenty of people are angry with Lehrer, and many paint Obama’s willingness to yield to the interruptions as “losing.” It might have been the President’s strategy to let Romney hang himself from his own noose, but when it comes to public perception, unfortunately it’s a white man’s game. In order to be perceived as “a leader” and “strong” and “the winner” you need to talk angrily out of turn so other white men will see you as someone who “takes what’s rightfully yours.” In other words, you overpower your opponent by force. Read More »

  6. semenya

    Three years ago, South African sprinter Caster Semenya came under scrutiny when the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) demanded she take a gender test, leading to the discovery that the 18-year-old woman had a pair of testicles where her ovaries ought to be, despite carrying two X chromosomes and an otherwise fully female anatomy.

    Since that time, the IAAF has created a policy requiring that women with “unusually high” testosterone levels either take drugs or undergo surgery to compensate for what they feel is an unfair advantage.

    The problem, aside from an obvious invasion of privacy, is that the leading experts don’t even know what a “normal” level of testosterone is for a woman, nor do they know how much it accounts for athletic performance.

    Read More »

  7. If corporations can be people, what happens when people become corporations? That’s what artist, activist, and friend-o-mine Kenyatta Cheese (yes, that’s his real name) is going to find out.

    For three months, Kenyatta will relinquish all rights to his name and identity, while a corporation will take over “being Kenyatta Cheese.” What does that mean? According to the website for The Project for the Study of Corporate Personhood:

    That corporation will assume both the real world and online identity of ‘Kenyatta Cheese’, reimagining his personhood as a brand with the help of ethnographers, lawyers, focus groups, public relations departments, a creative agency, and friends and acquaintances. During this period, Kenyatta (the person) will not be able to use his name except in the case of emergencies and air travel.

    In order to develop Kenyatta Cheese (the product), the corporation will conduct research and development, mining his personal life, online profiles, and browser data for uniquely identifying information. The corporation will hire his friends and family to “be” Kenyatta Cheese at public events, speaking engagements (technology and media conferences), and social gatherings, interacting with people based on their own ideas of how they think Kenyatta Cheese would behave.

    These public interactions will be documented through hidden video and interviews will be conducted to capture the thoughts and feelings of the Kenyatta Cheese “betas”.  People who interact with these betas will be given a business card directing them to complete a customer service survey online.

    For more information on The Project for the Study of Corporate Personhood, click on that link I just placed on the name of the thing.

  8. lessonslearned

    Looking back over the events of last week’s ROFLcon, the overarching theme seemed to be a concern for the future of Internet meme culture. At ROFLcon II two years ago, we were all concerned about the extent to which the internet was leaking. Today, with Keyboard Cat hawking pistachios on the teevee and Stephen Colbert referencing Anonymous, it’s clear that the ROFLsphere is going the way of Punk and Hip Hop. That is to say, it’s here to stay, but most of what you see has gone pop. But keep in mind, there are still good indie acts out there too!

    So, in this post, I’ll briefly recount some of the better points made at various panels I attended.

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  9. benlashes

    Everything seemed to be going great for Brad Kim, Amanda Brennan, and Don Caldwell of Know Your Meme during their ROFLcon panel “Becomes an Advice Animal, Talks About It” featuring guest speaker Blake Boston, the real life Scumbag Steve. Great, that is, until the subject of the I Can Count to Potato meme was brought up.

    At that moment, the audience’s mood soured. Upset and offended purely by the existence of the meme, some audience members directed their indignation at the panelists. One such disgruntled attendee was Ben Lashes, Blake Boston’s agent.

    Read More »

  10. Look who I just met!

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