29 February 2008

...this day our daily bacon.

I sense some anxiety within the TUR community today, so just remember, my friends: life is sweet.

Dear Teens, Tighten Up.

For the last three weeks I have had the plague ... not just sick - the plague- Nightquil has become integral part of my life.

So, imagine my surprise when I stopped into my local CVS to buy said nighttime sleeping elixir and am asked for my ID upon hitting the checkout.
Keep in mind - you have to be 18 to buy Nightquil. I did not have said ID ... I was in pajamas ... and I needed Nighquil.
After convincing the man behind the counter that I was indeed 26 years old, he hands me my receipt and 10 small notices advising me to prevent teen cough medicine abuse.
Kids, seriously? I grew up in the midwest and we found a way to get beer. You live in Washington. The mayor found a way to smoke crack. You can find a way to pick up a better habit that will not cause me to be carded buying over the counter medicine.
Make some older friends, get them to buy you Mickey's and stop guzzling Nightquil.

SuperTight Pit Crews needed for Tow Truck Operation

I was on the way to class the other day, driving because I am lazy (tighten up, Stuie) and I came across a tow truck and a po po jeep blocking the street. I was first in the Stop line, so I did some surveying of the scene to find that the large red tow-truck was hooking up to a poor subaru. My best guess (not a permit zone) is that it was being towed because the back bumper was one millimeter past where the sidewalk dips flush with the street for a driveway. The tow-truck guy was a nice large man and took his sweet time getting in and out of the truck to maneuver the hitch under the car in question. It took like 10 minutes. 10 minutes that neither I, nor the other people in line had to spare.

While I was sitting there pissed thinking about the poor person coming back to find no car.... I noticed something strange about this Police Jeep.... The driver's seat and steering wheel were on the Right. After one or two WTF's it came to my attention that the sole purpose of this car/ driver was to seek out curb/permit violators.

Tighten Up, Go Fight Real Crime, or parking violations where it really matters.

Big cars, city streets.

Dear soccer moms who still think their cool enough to enter the dark realm of the city,
Fucking stop driving your enormous SUVs in cities if you can't drive them. If you barely get out of your driveway without running over Junior's bike with your ginormous whale of a Sports Utility Vehicle, then you probably should not be navigating narrow city streets and blocking traffic because you don't think you can fit. You can totally fit. The other escalade made it through that gap fine. It's you that suck, not your car. Fucking learn to drive or get out of my way.
blow me.

Woke Up on the Wrong Side of Tight

Not feeling so tight this morning. You know why?
Because Pepco is "connected to me by more than just power lines" as they like to say. My lights are filled with untightness, my alarm rang a very untight ring this morning, and I'm currently filling my beloved blackberry with untight juices.

I'll explain:

5.00 PM & 34 degrees: TR arrives home to find that his home has no electricity.

5.05PM - 7.00PM & 33 degrees: TR and Sheniqua Bonita Pepco argue about billing information. TR is told that he is "negligence." TR explains that he cannot be "negligence," has the ability to be 'negligent' but believes the disconnect to be a mistake.

7.01 PM: Ding! Sheniqua falls silent,realizing that TR or 'negligence' as she likes to call him has indeed been disconnected by mistake. "Can you hold?"

7.08 PM: "This is supervisor Bob Whiteman. How may I help you Mr. Ruxtable?" Reply is NSFW. "Seems we've made a mistake, Mr. Ruxtable." Reply is NSFW. "We're sending a technician." Reply is NSFW + "bye."

7.20 PM & 32 degrees: TR uses Pottery Barn tealights to find keys; meets friend for drinks.

12.30 AM: TR returns to dark house with interior temperature of 47 degrees. Calls 'emergency life-threatening line.' Holds for over an hour until BB kicks it.

1.34AM: Coincidentally, as TR plans attack on Pepco, friendly technician appears at front door; apologizes for company's untightness.

7:34 AM: Dead tropical fish, angry dogs. TR craves revenge. Takes out small percentage of frustration by blogging.

In short, tighten the %$*# up Pepco!!!!!


28 February 2008

In case you lack bowls

Thanks to Matt for the visual poetry that shall now unfold.

On top of a bacon placemat:

One can now eat greens from a bacon bowl:

Wherever Tight Stuff Is Sold

Hey, Google, you listening?

Thursday afternoon at the office:
Calin: So, Mandy.
Me: Yes, Calin?
Calin: Why is it that a Google search for "tighten up" doesn't return The Tighten Up Report on the first page of results?
Me: Hmm. I dunno. I think it does if you add "report" --
Calin: That's no good!! You all need to tighten that shit up!!
Point taken, Calin. Point taken.

In a "Best Headline Ever" Contest...

This would win.

Pepper's chicken shwarma eating

Pepper, two minutes after you got your shwarma from Three Monkeys it looked like wild dogs had gotten ahold of it. The carnage was unimaginable. That's not halal. Tighten up.

Killing me Softly With His White Econoline

[guest post furnished by Mary]

In an industry where a lack of tightness reigns, I have found the two tightest movers in the Tri-state area: Mike and his little brother.

I love them. I want to hang out with them all the time. They were prompt, friendly, polite, AND cheap. Added bonus- they let me ride down town in their van with The Fugees on max volume while we talked about Shakespeare, gentrification of their native Sunnyside, Queens and child raising techniques.

Next time you have to move a couch from the UWS to the LES- use them.
New Age Express 9174986460
george bush: stop saying things.

Tighten Up, Teech! Have a sandwich.


This is a story of a kid with a good idea and the evil grownups who stand in his way. Kid makes tasty sandwich, kid sells tasty sandwich to hungry classmates, evil principal suspends kid, who spends two days eating tasty sandwich. The end. Now, what have we learned? Grownups --> Asshats. Also, tasty sandwiches rock.

27 February 2008

The Footwear Post

This has to be kept short because it's going to hurt some feelings. Men, if you own shoes that resemble any of the following, destroy them immediately and seek council from this website. No questions, no whining: tighten and thrown them on the pyre. You're welcome.

Zappos, you're on notice for stocking these things.

My favorite Neobamacan

Stephen F. Hayes (of the neoconservative Weekly Standard, which published his glowing cover piece on Obama) writes the following in the Wall Street Journal:
...Reagan won 44 states and 489 electoral votes in November. One Reagan adviser had predicted such a win shortly after Reagan had become the de facto nominee the previous spring. ...Richard Whalen wrote Reagan's "secret weapon" was that "Democrats fail to take him very seriously."

Are Republicans making the same mistake with Barack Obama?
As [Hillary Clinton] complained about his lack of substance, tens of thousands of people lined up in city after city, sometimes in subfreezing temperatures, for a chance to get a shot of some Mr. Obama hopemongering. Plainly, her critique is not working.

And yet, Republicans are picking it up. In just the past week, conservative commentators have accused Mr. Obama of speaking in "Sesame Street platitudes," of giving speeches that are "almost content free," of "saying nothing."
John McCain has joined the fray. ... After Wisconsin, he sharpened the attack, warning that he would expose Mr. Obama's "eloquent but empty call for change."

The assumption behind much of this criticism is that because Mr. Obama gives a good speech he cannot do substance. This is wrong.

How a writer like Hayes can be so incredibly tight in one way (above) yet so spectacularly loose in another (being the sole intellectual still clinging to the mythical tie between Saddam and 9/11) is baffling, but certainly admirable.

(Speaking of paradoxical tightness: How can a presidential candidate whose name rhymes with "Iraq Hussein Osama" also have a name that is infinitely and endearingly modifiable?

G minus G

Garfield is way tighter without the cat:

festering looseness

I keep seeing loose signage, and I can't stand it anymore.

Here are a few instances from my daily sphere of operation:

  • A note on the bus about operation on "Martin Luther King Day Jr." I was wondering if that was a subsidiary or a competitor to the 7DayJr. (convenience store)
  • Another note on the bus about not bringing your "bike-cycle"
    • This to me seems like a modern marvel. A bicycle with cycling bicycles... perhaps?
  • A note on a door in a building :
"Don't use this door anymore

Until Further Notice "
      • untight
  • "Machine is Broke"
    • wow.
Crank it, sign poster.

Dream Big

Grand Army Plaza, get ready.

Grand Army Plaza: You Have Been Revisioned!

My proposal also includes a re-naming of the GAP area to Awesometown. I think you'll all agree that it rocks. I'm open to collaborating with Pepper on mall-accessible highway on-ramps:

Visioning Grand Army Plaza, Brooklyn


So there's this design competition for "Reinventing Grand Army Plaza" in Brooklyn. I'm really fired up about it because design competitions are a great way to build public interest in a project, and sometimes they produce great results (Tribune Building in Chicago, for example).
I got so excited that I decided to share my entry with TUR. It's my own conceptual Photoshop rendering at the moment, but I think it can really go places.

Diva du Jour: Josh "Journalistic Integrity" Green from The Atlantic

An associate of mine just sent over Sr. Editor of The Atlantic Josh Green's profile from a database she uses at her company.

Read on:
"I do not accept or want any PR material," says Green, "I hate being contacted by publicists and will go out of my way to write damaging negative things about any company that contacts me unsolicited."

Go out of your way to write damaging, negative things about a company for pitching you? DIVA ALERT!
The Atlantic must be so proud that Josh writes hit pieces on companies that contact him. Tighten Up Josh. Life's too short!

Loose lips sink ships

Earthquake rocks large parts of Britain

Tighten up, Earth.

You and a Guest have Won a Non-inclusive Trip to the Sheraton 3rd World in Gorgeous Raleigh, NC

Dear Sheraton of Raleigh,

You are among the most untight of all of the untight hotels in all of the world. I hate thee...let me count the reasons.

1) Your "Hi ya'll! Welcome!" will never... I repeat, never make up for your Web-curious internet connection. I know the internet is scary and you only experimented with it when you were drunk those few times in college but believe it or not, some of us use it for business.

2) "Proudly serving Starbucks coffee" is in no way the same as being a Starbucks. In short, when I ask for the closest Starbucks, please don't direct me to the White Westinghouse Perk-for-2 in my room.

3) The SPG Club-level floors should not double as the platform for Housekeeping Idol. Your rendition of TLC's "Scrubs" was neither appreciated nor good.

4) Though many of your guests may choose to view only CourtTV and ESPN, on occasion I enjoy watching programming that doesn't end with a baby-daddy 'getting his.'

In conclusion, if I owned Starwood Hotels, I would abandon the Sheraton ship before I scared away the Ws. Tighten up Sheraton!

26 February 2008

Feeling Flabby? Tighten Up with Jill Blumberg

Jill Blumberg is tight. It must be from all that sexy dancing. Ladies, pay attention! You could learn a thing or two from this minx. Whenever I am feeling blue, I visit Jill on MonkeySee and watch her sex it up on my computer.

Dinner in the Sky: WTF?

(Being afraid of heights, Dinner in the Sky seems like maybe the pinnacle of looseness in principal, but I guess it's gotta be pretty tight to you know, work. You be the judge.)

Dude, You're Getting a... Piece of Crap!

My work computer is a Dell Inspiron 1501 and sucks donkey balls. It is set up to "run" Windows XP, which is not as bad of an OS as Justin Long would have you believe, but the computer is incapable on many levels of functioning properly. As a matter of fact, I am writing this right now because I am unable to get any actual work done as my Outlook is totally pissed at me. Now, I am usually the first one to point the "user error" finger at anyone claiming to have technology problems, but, in this case, I believe I am innocent.
Allow me to explain. A large part of my job entails the sending of files as attachments to various people over the Internet. For some reason, my computer refuses to send attachments larger than say one Word document and when I try to send the attachment, my Outlook freaks out and tries to send the email over and over, which of course binds up my bandwidth and processor to the point that my entire system stop functioning and I am forced to restart to stop the meltdown. I realize, of course, that there are size limitations to sending attachment and I always check to ensure that I am under the limit. I have tried various things to correct the problem, but to no avail.
I would happily take suggestions from the readers, but at this point, I would rather just take a hammer and smash this piece of untaught shite square in the motherboard!
Anyway... Dell you suck. Tighten up!
Thank you for your time.

The Oscars Post

You know what? I've been randomly Googling for like 15 minutes in the hopes of finding something interesting to say about last night's Academy Awards and frankly, I don't think it's gonna happen. You know that feeling when you're at a restaurant and you're pretty excited about ordering your dinner 'cause it sounds really great on the menu and then you get it and it's like, "Eh. It's ok." And then the waitress comes over and is all "How WAS EVERYTHING??" and you're like, "Yeah, great" but not really in the realm of the convincing? That's what the Oscars were like. Loved the French accents on display ("Sssank you life! Sssank you love!") and the little interchange between Jonah Hill and Seth Rogen. Hated the fact that Colin Farrell couldn't be fussed to wash his hair and that the opening sequence was snatched from an Intro to Animation midterm at Cal State Northridge mere minutes before the show. But as far as Big Moments go, it was like that ok dinner - maybe under-seasoned but who really cares, let's just get out of here. Except for Diablo Cody, who is tight.

25 February 2008

Tightest comic strip of all time?

Savage Chickens - Still Life

Gross Sink

Sometimes, my sink in my house vomits when the dishwasher is on. It is gross. Tighten up sink! Quit with the bulimia, you look great!

24 February 2008

Well executed artisanry.

I'm always impressed by well executed artisanry. This is a picture of the wall next to the passenger elevator in my lobby. This is not the building's original elevator, so at some point, an old one was taken out and a new one put in. Because the elevator is wider than the door, they had to take out a chunk of the wall, and the marble (I think it's marble...maybe Tuckahoe?) was cut away and probably destroyed.

For a long time, the panel was just blank. Recently, though, I came home, and there was this guy there with his materials spread out, faux-graining the blank panel!

Faux-graining is a very old decorative technique that has been used for centuries. It reached its apex in the united States between the Federal and lat romantic architectural movements when it was used to simulate wood or stone finishes in homes (picturesque, gothic revival, italianate, "victorian"--clear through the end of the 19th century), and hasn't been widely practiced in years...but some people still know how to do it, and do it well.

So the Columbia University Housing folks saw fit to spend the money to hire this guy to come and fill in the missing tooth in this mouth by faux-graining it, and I think it's a bang up damned job.

First, see, it would be really hard and expensive to match this stone, so getting an in-kind replacement would be tough. Although faux-graining would never have been used in a building like this, it's a beatiful and creative way to fix the problem. I'm particularly fond of the fact that there's a clear joint between the original stone and the new work--it's not so perfect that you're fooled, but it's good enough to make you look twice. Perfectly executed.

Columbia University subcontracted faux-grain painter, I salute you.

22 February 2008

Thich Nhat Hanh

Thich Nhat Hanh is one the the tightest human beings alive. I think he might think the tighten up report humorous, but he also might say that there is far more that unites us as a human family than there is to divide us. In my view, a subway ride is always a more peaceful experience if I focus on what good is present in my surroundings, rather than what isn't. However, I contemplate what his message means for fighting social injustice. He is a Buddhist monk who was exiled from Vietnam for speaking out against the war from both sides, and was once nominated by Dr. King for the Noble Peace Prize. He lives in France in a monastery named "Village of the Plum Trees." He is also really cool to listen to: Tight Nod, tight.

Pop-Up Video was tight....

...but so are the new pop-up comment boxes. Way to tighten, TUR HQ.

Happy Weekend, All.

Freezing Fog: Meteorological Phenom or Scooby-Doo Villain?

I kept hearing on the radio this morning that there was going to be freezing fog today in New York. "What the hell is freezing fog," I thought, "...that sounds like a villain from episode #whatevs006457 of Scooby Doo." You know, like, somebody steals Mrs. Throckmorton's diamond brooch, and there are reports of seeing a silvery floating mist around the grounds of her estate. And then, in the end, the pesky kids catch the Frozen Fog, which is actually a drunk and vengeful groundskeeper dressed in a spraypainted burlap sack.

Welp, turns out to be a real thing, so I need to tighten. Thanks www.theweatherprediciton.com!

21 February 2008

Someone's been tightening up...

At first I was going to say that Cindy McCain is the new Dick Cheney but the more I look at this delightful image couplet, the more I'm starting to think to that Cindy McCain IS Dick Cheney give or take a chin tuck and some fancy wig work.

It won't hurt, I promise.

So here is the scene: I am walking down the street today, and there is a girl coming toward me on the sidewalk... now, keep in mind that there is no one else around. Its a nice day, I am in a pretty good mood, to I throw her one of these: (a friendly smile)

And she replies with one of these:

I mean, come on. I am pretty sure I have never met or injured this girl in any capacity.
So, tighten up, mean girl in sweatsuit.

Samuelson to Obama: Tighten Up

Real Clear Politics via Orville:

The Obama Delusion

By Robert Samuelson

WASHINGTON -- It's hard not to be dazzled by Barack Obama. At the 2004 Democratic convention, he visited with Newsweek reporters and editors, including me. I came away deeply impressed by his intelligence, his forceful language and his apparent willingness to take positions that seemed to rise above narrow partisanship. Obama has become the Democratic presidential front-runner, precisely because countless millions have formed a similar opinion. It is, I now think, mistaken.

As a journalist, I harbor serious doubt about each of the likely nominees. But with Sens. Hillary Clinton and John McCain, I feel that I'm dealing with known quantities. They've been in the public arena for years; their views, values and temperaments have received enormous scrutiny. By contrast, newcomer Obama is largely a stage presence defined mostly by his powerful rhetoric. The trouble, at least for me, is the huge and deceptive gap between his captivating oratory and his actual views.

The subtext of Obama's campaign is that his own life narrative -- to become the first African-American president, a huge milestone in the nation's journey from slavery -- can serve as a metaphor for other political stalemates. Great impasses can be broken with sufficient good will, intelligence and energy. "It's not about rich versus poor; young versus old; and it is not about black versus white," he says. Along with millions of others, I find this a powerful appeal.

But on inspection, the metaphor is a mirage. Repudiating racism is not a magic cure-all for the nation's ills. It requires independent ideas, and Obama has few. If you examine his agenda, it is completely ordinary, highly partisan, not candid and mostly unresponsive to many pressing national problems.

By Obama's own moral standards, Obama fails. Americans "are tired of hearing promises made and 10-point plans proposed in the heat of a campaign only to have nothing change," he recently said. Shortly thereafter, he outlined an economic plan of at least 12 points that, among other things, would:

-- Provide a $1,000 tax cut for most two-earner families ($500 for singles).

-- Create a $4,000 refundable tuition tax credit for every year of college.

-- Expand the child care tax credit for people earning less than $50,000 and "double spending on quality after-school programs."

-- Enact an "energy plan" that would invest $150 billion in 10 years to create a "green energy sector."

Whatever one thinks of these ideas, they're standard goodie-bag politics: something for everyone. They're so similar to many Clinton proposals that her campaign put out a news release accusing him of plagiarizing. With existing budget deficits and the costs of Obama's "universal health plan," the odds of enacting his full package are slim.

A favorite Obama line is that he will tell "the American people not just what they want to hear, but what we need to know." Well, he hasn't so far.

Consider the retiring baby boomers. A truth-telling Obama might say: "Spending for retirees -- mainly Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid -- is already nearly half the federal budget. Unless we curb these rising costs, we will crush our children with higher taxes. Reflecting longer life expectancies, we should gradually raise the eligibility ages for these programs and trim benefits for wealthier retirees. Both Democrats and Republicans are to blame for inaction. Waiting longer will only worsen the problem."

Instead, Obama pledges not to raise the retirement age and to "protect Social Security benefits for current and future beneficiaries." This isn't "change"; it's sanctification of the status quo. He would also exempt all retirees making less than $50,000 annually from income tax. By his math, that would provide average tax relief of $1,400 to 7 million retirees -- shifting more of the tax burden onto younger workers. Obama's main proposal for Social Security is to raise the payroll tax beyond the present $102,000 ceiling.

Political candidates routinely indulge in exaggeration, pandering, inconsistency and self-serving obscurity. Clinton and McCain do. The reason for holding Obama to a higher standard is that it's his standard and also his campaign's central theme. He has run on the vague promise of "change," but on issue after issue -- immigration, the economy, global warming -- he has offered boilerplate policies that evade the underlying causes of the stalemates. These issues remain contentious because they involve real conflicts or differences of opinion.

The contrast between his broad rhetoric and his narrow agenda is stark, and yet the press corps -- preoccupied with the political "horse race" -- has treated his invocation of "change" as a serious idea rather than a shallow campaign slogan. He seems to have hypnotized much of the media and the public with his eloquence and the symbolism of his life story. The result is a mass delusion that Obama is forthrightly engaging the nation's major problems when, so far, he isn't.

Tighten thyself

It's kinda late and the little wordsmithery in my head is closed for the night, so I'm going to dispense with the usual sarcasms and just say outright why "The Other Boleyn Girl" is an untight a movie title as ever was had: because it sounds a lot like something you'd say if you're trying to have a conversation about a film with a friend, but you Just. Can't. Remember. The. God. Forsaken. Title. I imagine there would be some finger snapping and hitting of the forehead with the palm of the hand and some "uuurhghh"s and "aaahhh"s, but no dice, it's just not your day, so you turn to your friend and you're like, "Oh, you know...the other Boleyn girl." Apparently this Philippa Gregory (on whose book the film is based) is at fault here, especially if the point is to draw attention to a forgotten historical figure whose name nobody knows. Not to mention that, with a name like Philippa, one would conjure up something more nifty than "The Other Boleyn Girl".


That's better.

20 February 2008

Diabetic or Drug Dealer?

Lifeline or social suicide? After serving a kindly type-1 diabetic two helpings of pasta, several glasses of red wine, a cookie the size of your head, and some sort of a death-by-chocolate concoction, Georgetown socialite and TURer was shocked when her insulin-challenged guest pulled from his waistband what appeared to be a beeper.

"Are you a drug dealer? Why do you carry a pager,” she asked. And who could blame her: pagers were so eight years ago.

Which leads me to the age-old question: ‘let glucose-producing carbs ravage my body or try to fit in?’ Why should diabetics have to make those hard choices? Tighten up Medtronic!

Originally praised for developing a pump with pager-like qualities in a convenient size, insulin pump producer Medtronic claimed “only the trained eye can tell the difference (from a pager)”. Well guess what?! Wearing one of their so called “pager-like pumps” is socially reckless and could easily be cause for blacklist.

In short, couldn’t the smarty-pants at Medtronic keep up with the times and make their “life-savers” look like relevant consumer electronics? Not tight. A sensible nano, blackberry, or Wii would be way cooler and at least you wouldn’t have to choose between friends and diabetes-induced comas. Suggestions for a redesign welcomed and strongly encouraged.

Oh, and Medtronic - in case you can only read pager: 8444836 87!

speaking of old sitcoms made current...

...why yes, that is Jon Stewart making out with Fran Drescher appearing in an episode of The Nanny satirizing Dynasty...in German... [that's tight]

Knight Rider v2.0: A Giant Ford Masterbation

I recently watched Knight Rider on NBC and was amazed by the blatant and quite frankly ludicrous remake of a show I remember fondly from my childhood, Knight Rider.  For those who have been living under a large boulder since the heady days of the 1980's, Knight Rider is a great show about a artificially intelligent car and the T-Rex of a man behind the wheel.
Well, in NBC's 2008 remake of the show, I assume financed by Ford Motor Company, the amount of consumerism reaches a level I have never even imagined possible.  Literally, every single car in the show was a Ford brand.  Every single car.  That takes a significant amount  of planning.  Every shot was a sexy angle of the car.  The story was essentially focused on incorporating as many shots of the cars as possible.  The ads even incorporated a side story between the new K.I.T.T., voiced by Val Kilmer (I know!), and main character, Mike, supposedly the Hoff's son.  

For the love of God, can we not think of any new shows?
Why must we destroy the classics?
Please tighten up.

Scotch Mist

Al Gore's TV station, Current TV, on New Years eve aired a free concert/modern video artxplosion from Radiohead. In case you haven't seen it, here is a little temptation to check the rest of it out, and dig puppies as well. Radiohead: tight for welcoming in the next era of music distribution.

Puppies: Super tight.

What nobody has accounted for in the foregoing posts is the overwhelming cuteness of puppies.

Helmet of Mind-Computer Tightness

I dunno how many times this invention has been announced in various forms, but given today's running topic, the mind-controlled computer interface deserves a nod. A US/Australian company showed off a headset at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) that lets you control a computer game with your thoughts:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/technology/7254078.stm (includes link to video demo)

If it works (the demo is not terribly impressive), then it would fundamentally change the way people use computers. No more carpal tunnel syndrome, for one thing. With computers in all of our everyday objects, we could control the world with our thoughts.

Competitive gamers would be the first to devolve into even more slothful beings. The skill set required by gamers today involves fine motor control and quick reactions, along with higher-level reasoning about game mechanics. But if you don't have to mouse and hit buttons with precision, today's champion gamers may lose their advantage to those who can merely sit there and think faster. A brain in a jar could totally pwn you in Halo. It follows logically that the same brain would decimate your third-world country's army using a small squad of remote-controlled robots.

Stupidity won't be the new intelligence if this comes to pass. You will gain great advantage from quick thinking. Physical laziness, however, would be the rule. And in that respect, we Americans are world leaders. I, for one, welcome our new fatass telekinetic overlords.

Bring on the "Idiots"

The TUR has been so strong this week! Great posts and solid discussion. This conversation about the intelligence level of the USA has really got me thinking. I was doing some reading on the so-called “Information Age” that we are just starting to enter and, as much as I don’t want to admit it, I feel like these “America is dumb” intellectualists really are curmudgeonly and backward. They are applying Industrial Age standards to Information Age citizenry.

Before you all come after me, let me explain. It is widely estimated and generally agreed upon that we will see machines capable of replicating the computing power of the human brain in twenty years or so. It is also widely suggested that we will have machines capable of replicating the computing power of the entire human race in an additional twenty years, although technological predictions more than fifteen to twenty years out are exceedingly difficult. Whatever happens, in another 50 years, awesome computing power and worldwide access to information at unimaginable levels will be readily available.

What will this mean to the average Information Age human? What we term as “intelligence” today, i.e. picking out Iraq on a map, or knowing the capital of Hungary is Budapest, will be irrelevant. Access to that information will be so fast and so readily available, you will not need to “know” it. Knowledge will no longer be information based. You will need to know how to properly access and apply information, not necessarily what that information is. And, who in today’s society is most capable of accessing and quickly applying multiple streams of disparate input? Why, it’s the Xbox player and internet user.

Let’s not bring up reality TV. I think we can all admit it is a low-brow, mind-numbing form of entertainment and will most likely be gone in ten years. It is currently either enjoying its peak or past its prime. Either way, cultural mistakes happen. See early 1990’s men’s hairstyles, mid to late 1970’s automobile design, and the prevalent usage of the idiom, “son” as an exemplifier, as in, “I totally banged her, SON!”

Now I’m not saying I am totally convinced by this logic and please feel free to poke holes in it, but I think it shows a distinct lack of… let’s call it “touch”, to try and gauge current intelligence levels based on standards from the 1940’s, 50’s, and 60’s. The world has changed, access to information has changed, and our brains must change as well. The hardwiring of our minds should not be concerned with wrote memorization, which is really all that knowing that the Earth revolves around the Sun is (I challenge any of these authors to supply the necessary physics), but should rather be focused on the speedy application of multiple electronic stimuli. So, let those kids play that Xbox and aimlessly surf the internet. They are building the skills of tomorrow!

While we're at it...Most people are idiots.

So if the free market determines that I Love New York should take the place of Antiques Roadshow, I think I might move to a country that the Tighten Up Report owns. Read this article in the New York Times about how fucking stupid Kelli(y? who cares, spell your name correctly) Pickler is. It's not funny to think Europe is a country. It's not funny, it's not charming, it's not adorable but it makes for good TV, and hey, if that's all that matters, let's bring on the freak show! Look, I love a good, delicious free market, but won't someone think of the children!?!?

19 February 2008

PBS, it's nutritious

I've grown up on PBS - Sesame Street, The New Yankee Workshop, and Yan Can Cook. So it was without hesitation, when Jim Lehrer of The News Hour asked me to check out a New York Times article calling into question the relevance of PBS and The News Hour, that I went to the Times website to read. I don't think the author, Charles McGrath, was a viewer of 321 Contact or Reading Rainbow, and I'd like to unleash Oscar the Grouch on him to distribute a tighten up smack down for his view. The article gives props to NPR, which is good, but it attacks a strawman PBS without mentioning, among other things, programs like Frontline and the children's programming. Read it: http://www.nytimes.com/2008/02/17/arts/television/17mcgr.html

On the serious side, PBS provides nuance in an increasingly polarized world. Its news and current affairs programs are not about truth or righteousness but about discussion and examination. These values are antithetical to a conservative temperament or modern examples of entertainment, both of which have left the U.S. culturally and politically stagnant. PBS is a conduit of world opinion and culture, as well as a mirror of our own culture; it is sad that many people no longer care to see this reflection. PBS is worth funding because it is a reasoned and contemplative alternative to what's been created by free market mass media, media producing content driven by efficiency (reality TV), shock appeals (context-less sex and violence), and divisiveness (cable news).

Although funding for PBS has been cut over the past decade, it still packs punch and has relevance. My advice to Mr. McGrath at the Times: Turn off Flavor of Love, tighten up, click on PBS, and watch Norm Abram use his skills to build an Adirondack chair.

Magazine Reader Wishes She'd Averted Eyes

In the interest of full disclosure, I've been having unpleasant nightmares the past couple of nights (my id needs to tighten up). And now thanks to New York Magazine's spring fashion issue -- featuring nude photos of Lindsay Lohan as the soon-to-be-dead Marilyn Monroe -- they will likely never end. Also, I'm not sure what the magazine is trying to tell me about spring fashion, exactly. "Dark haired people who wear black a lot: try again next year"? So now I'm feeling grossed out AND hated on. Thanks a heaping lot, En Why Mag.

Zach Klein sticks it to the USA.

Nice work.
via www.zachklein.com

Aprietate, cabron!

This guy --> big quitter.
Do the words revolutionary struggle mean anything to anyone anymore?

This movie is Rad

Rad, a major cinematic masterpiece of the 1980's, follows paperboy Cru Jones on a wacky journey where he skips his SATS to qualify for Helltrack, a rad bmx bike race that is totally gnarly!

Check it out from 3:30. I think that the girl is related to Ernest Hemingway.

A study in tightness confirms mission of Tighten Up Report

My pal Calin (pronounced kAYe-lin) suggested I post this article from the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology by Justin Kruger and David Dunning of Cornell University (clicking opens .PDF):

Unskilled and Unaware of It: How Difficulties in Recognizing One's Own Incompetence Lead to Inflated Self-Assessments

Even its title conveys it's an ultimate study in tightness. I like to read this article every now and then to remind myself that the failures of individuals (and/or institutions) might not be founded solely in sheer idiocy, but rather founded in a comedy of errors that has culminated in the complete inability to function at acceptable levels. This article points out the paradox which arises as honest self-assessment is achieved by an individual with such an inflated ego: they may actually gain the ability to more accurately gauge their future performance.

So let this be a lesson to ourselves and others to be true and mindful of how much we are winning or sucking at life.

Related: "5 Douchebag Behaviors Explained By Science"

Krasdale Fruit Circles Suck

I hate Krasdale Fruit Circles. I bought a box of them because I didn't feel like paying the huge markup on Fruit Loops at the AppleTree Market, and you better believe I regret it.

The rub is that generic cereal is almost always good--you know that when you buy ChocoJimmies, Baron Von Count's Chocolate Jubilee, or Admiral Sugartreat's Fantastical Awesomesquares, you're going to get a reasonable facsimile of the cereal they are obviously copying.

Not so with this Krasdale bullshit. The Fruit Circles have a brown patina, and they're mealy and gross. I want my $2.19 back, and a personal apology from Mr. Krasdale.

And another thing: your games suck. A crossword puzzle? What are you, the Mini-Page?

Tighten it Up, Krasdale.

All CVS's in the District of Columbia Need to Tighten Up

There is nothing worse than City CVS's. Every time I go into one, I'm amazed at how horrible the experience is. That's just for normal purchases, we're not even talking about the complicated process of filling a prescription. I don't know exactly what it is, but I even feel dirty afterward. I only go to CVS's in the 'burbs now. Tighten Up, CVS. Retail therapy, even at a minor level, is a great thing. It's too bad you have to ruin the experience for me.

Becca's Self Tighten Up for the Month

I'm taking anonymous' comment on TUR's 1 year anniversary to heart. So here it goes.

As some of you know, Pepper and I got engaged on Christmas. Frankly, the kid must be crazy to hitch himself to the "ole ball and chain", but I'm never one to turn down diamonds. Ok, let's be honest, I wouldn't even turn down a Cheesy Gordita Crunch if it was handed to me. Anyway, we got the ring resized once already, but it still doesn't fit. It's a little big, so I've wrapped a band aid around it for the time being. That was going on 2 months ago. The bandaid gets all gross and unravels. It's also deplorable that this family heirloom is wiggling around my finger. So, in conclusion, I need to tighten up and get this puppy fitting properly.

Grammy Shwammy. Get me a Maroon Bull & Vodka Already!

Hey DC! ...or should I say Northern Virginia & Maryland (it was a Saturday night after all).

Walk away from the C-SPAN and/or Harry Potter and flip through a People, US Weekly, or Rolling Stone this century! Better yet, go to Barnes & Noble and pick up a copy of 'Grammy Award Winners' or what the heck - even a 'Now That's What I Call Music' circa 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007 or 2008 will do.

Why? Because you (blissfully unaware) let Adam Levine, Maroon 5 front man and international heart throb serve you Smirnoff Ice & Cape Cods on Saturday at DC hot spot Tattoo Bar. The LA-based crooner and recent SNL guest funny man made an unpublicized appearance at the K St. NW joint and garnered as much attention as a Banana Republic sweater set.

While Adam likely enjoyed a night out of the spotlight, I watched in horror/delight as members of the 'pleated pants posse' hailing from Annandale to Annapolis sipped celeb-produced vodka red bulls that seemed a bit more maroon than red. Tighten up already! Celebs in DC are a rare occurrence so don't miss out.

Redeem yourselves by taking a break from the grind to watch Adam in a digital short with Andy Samberg from SNL: HERE