Archive for August, 2009

Matt Damon get fat for art

Tuesday, August 18th, 2009
The movie poster for the Informant

The movie poster for the Informant

Matt Damon is by many viewed as one of the sexiest men alive, but he will still adjust his body to fit any part he plays in a movie. In the Bourne trilogy he was athletic and buffed, in the upcoming movie “The Informant!” – he is downright fat. According to Damon he gained 30 pounds (13.6 kg) to play the role of the company vice president turned whistleblower, Marc Whitacre.

I definitely got doughy” sais Damon, now back to his leaner, slimmer self, according to EW.  “I started eating like crazy and drinking dark beer. Between meals on set, I’d eat a No. 1 Value Meal at McDonald’s and then Doritos on top of it. It was absolute heaven.”

Well, many of us do exactly that, but more for pleasure than high profile roles in movies, and many of us have problems getting back too..

Anyway, have a look at the trailer for the movie “The Informant!” – I am looking forward to it this September.

Facehunter – looking for street fashion in Norway

Tuesday, August 18th, 2009

The renowned fashion blogger Facehunter recently visited Oslo to get an overview of what Norwegian street fashion is like. He visited during the annual “Fashion week” but spent more time photographing people on the street, as trends surface there first. Below is an interview with Yvan Rodic and his experiences here. Parts of the video is in Norwegian, but you get the point anyway.

Getting a Spotify user account

Monday, August 17th, 2009

spotify_logoThe new holy grail of music is Spotify, the streaming program for virtually all music ever made digital. The program is currently in beta/limited availability – and music lovers all over the world are craving to get in and share the bliss. I have been using this program since last fall, and its addictive 🙂 Most of the music you listened to when you had time to listen to music is there, along with lots of new, and still for you, undiscovered artists.

Once you get the hang of it, you can share the play lists you have created on sharemyplaylists.com or download somebody else’ compilation of music. Its a  great way to expand your musical horizon.

The program has both a free and paid model and for a reasonable prize per month (€ 10/£ 10/Nkr 99) you will not have to endure the commercials plaguing the free version. When I first started using this program the commercials were few and far apart, but I have noticed that they are coming more and more often – something that is understandable if you have a product to sell, and a great product at that. The guys at Spotify are currently not giving access to the program for other countries than the UK and Sweden, and if you want to listen to great music with great quality – you have to cheat.

I will try to explain how its possible to register with Spotify from another country than the two that are currently given access. I don’t want to do anything illegal, so if this trickery is illegal in any way, this post will be removed.

Try this:

  • Find a proxy in Sweden or the UK. This one is in the UK and works, at least for now.
  • Enter “spotify.com” in the blank field in the middle of the page. Any surfing through the proxy is now done as a UK Internet user.
  • Click the green “Get started” icon.
  • You should now be on the “register new user” page and fill in the information you want to use, like username, email address, gender etc. Remember that you officially is doing this in the UK, so you need a UK postal code. I did a simple google search to find one.
  • Enter the letters and/or numbers in the gray field exactly, tick “I agree with the Spotify end user agreement” and then “Create account and proceed“.

With any luck you should now have a valid UK user account with Spotify and can download the client. Registering spotify with this method is done at your own risk and may be immoral in some sense of the word.

Spotify should open up their service to everyone asap so stuff like this would not be necessary.

Feel free to comment if this worked for you, and Good luck 🙂

Motivational and demotivational posters

Monday, August 17th, 2009

Everybody needs motivation from time to time, but more often than not, demotivation is much more to the point and funnier. Below is a tiny collection of some of the motivational and demotivational posters that are floating around the Internet for you to get upset about, humored, annoyed or fascinated by- if not  irritated over. Still, emotional numbness is not good for you, so have a look and see if any of them strike a chord with you. If you don’t believe me, ask your physician 🙂

Donald Duck has changed

Monday, August 17th, 2009

I read, like most children in my country do when growing up, Donald Duck almost religiously. Donald Duck would always provide correct “learning to read” language, easily understandable story lines and recognizable characters. We always knew that Donald would get mad, his nephews would be smart, Mickey Mouse would be clever, Goofy would be, well, goofy etc. That is, at least, what I thought until finding this cartoon here. Its a strip for a Sunday newspaper in 1936 and horribly political incorrect. I find it funny, but this is probably not the message we want to send to our children.. 🙂

Donald being Donald

Donald being Donald

Police in Norway and the (mis)reading of stats

Sunday, August 16th, 2009

Today there was an article in the Norwegian newspaper VG on how many new police officers the various parties want to educate over the next few years. Since we have an upcoming election in September, the politicians is climbing over oneanother to promise more police, better care for the elderly, less taxes, better hospitals, cheap or free child care etc, all the things they think will win over more voters come elections.

When reading the article the Venstre politician Odd Einar Dørum stated that we need to educate more police to reach the goal of 2 police officers per 1000 capita in Norway. I wondered about his number for a moment, and decided to check its validity according to other statistical data.

According to Nationmaster.com and the criminal statistics there, we have already reached this goal. Norway resides as # 27 – indicating that we already have 2,42 police officers per 1000 persons.

The "best" regarding police vs. capita

The "best" regarding police vs. capita

When clicking on Norway in the stats you will find an overview of the police efficiency and how satisfied people are with the overall police service in Norway. Reading these numbers, the population seems to be very happy with the police, the way policing is done in Norway and how the politicians generally are running the police. See the image below for more info:

Good stats for the police, but are they true?

Good stats for the police, but are they true?

Anyone in Norway has noticed that the police in Norway has had a conflict with their employer over the last year, dramatically reducing efficiency, discovery and solving rates for crime and overall presence in society, and these stats (although old) seem odd. Was things really that different back then? If the goal of the number of police was reached in 2000, why make a big fuzz about educating more now?

A wise man one said: There are lies, damn lies and statistics. I have to agree, you can read these statistics any way you want. We rank very well on most, if not all of them, ban the Software piracy rate (29%) indicating that we are generally a safe and non criminal society. In many ways I think we are, but we are on a downward spiral in that respect, and I think its time to really do something about it. Educating more officers is fine, but the police need a huge increase in money and equipment to withstand the flood of crime coming to our shores shortly, especially from the eastern European states, now opening up through the EU cooperation and free travel within Europe.

Dear politicians, please think big when it comes to crime prevention!

Good stuff from youtube

Sunday, August 16th, 2009

If you are like me, you spend some time surfing on youtube to see interesting, funny, thought provoking, mind opening and life altering (well, that’s a stretch, but you know what I mean) videos. There is undobtedly a lot of uninteresting, boring, stupid and mind numbing videos on youtube, but there are also some video creators and uploaders that have some thought behind the videos they make available.

I have found several users that I like, and here I will present one of them. There may be others in the future, but you have to start somewhere.

The user “bloodsuckingclown” is a fellow Norwegian an only had a few videos, as you can see in the gallery below. Describing these will mean less work for me and I get to explore the Tubepress plugin that will let you place galleries in your posts.

I like his, and I am only guessing its a he, take on the subjects – especially the one using Clint Mansells Lux Aeterna from the movie “Requiem for a dream“. The topic in this video is drug abuse and abusers, how one thing may lead to another and the despair many of these people experience.  Even so, there is still hope and the end is much more hopeful than the beginning. The music is wonderful and I can recommend the whole album. Don’t listen to it on a day you are feeling depressed, though..

The “Dead like me” video is taken from the movie “Dead like me: Life after death” but convey a somewhat sadder tone than the actual movie, in my opinion anyway. The beautiful music is “Boom boom ba” by Metisse, and you should also check out “Nomahs land” by the same group.

Blancmange was an 80s band that was fairly popular in Europe and combined with the underrated “They Live!” by John Carpenter make up a great combination of 80s sound and feel. Starring Rowdy Roddy Piper, the wrestler that was at the hight of his career in the later part of the decade.

Adolphson & Falk is a Swedish synthesizer pop band that was most popular in the 80s, but this is an acoustic version of one of their songs from that era. They are still playing live, but as I understand, with more use of analog instruments. Since Swedish is pretty similar to Norwegian I have no problem understanding the lyrics, but some of you English speakers may 🙂

Rupert Hine was also somewhat popular in the 80s, and as far as I know, there is no official video for this song. Bloodsuckingclown has made his own and combined the music with the urban graffiti artist Banksy. Personally I am not very fond of “street art” and “guerilla spray painting”, but I do like the statements made by Banksy in his paintings. There are a number of them featured in this video, underlining the lyrics and feel of the song. I think the combination is very good.

Roger Waters is the former vocalist and one of the creators of Pink Floyd, a band most should be familiar with. After the split from the group, Roger Waters persued a career on his own – and is now renowned as one of the great singer/songwriters. I think his music and lyrics are not for everybody, but the lyrics on “It’s a Miracle” are sadly poetic some 17 years after the release of the song. No video for this, only a few images.

That was really a long intro, but I do think that this music and these videos are worth a watch, so here we go:

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Megan Fox promoting Jennifer’s body

Saturday, August 15th, 2009

Megan Fox, Diablo Cody, Karyn Kusama and Jason Reitman interviewed by Entertainment Weekly at Comic-Con 2009. Megan is explaining the set up of the movie Jennifer’s body an her geekyness – fitting right in at the convention. Megan is giving us the basics of the movie, and my favorite quote from the interview is this: “She is not a virgin, she is not even a backdoor virgin“. 😀

This movie will probably do very well at the box office on the first weekend, because of all of the hype, having Megan Fox do a sexy part, demons etc – but it will only do well over time if its any good, and that remains to be seen. Looking forward to it though 🙂

Megan Fox Public Service Announcement Video

Friday, August 14th, 2009

I just love when actors and actresses take responsibility, come out of their bubble world and actually give something back to the community. Below is a public service announcement from Megan Fox about being yourself. I guess we can all agree that being in touch with yourself and letting everybody else see who you really are, is important.

I salute Megan for daring to be different and speaking about it, not everybody would be this brave.

LoL! This is of course a promotional video for the new movie she is starring in, Jennifer’s Body, that I found at Break.com. I did like the way this video looks like your run of the mill announcement about some eating disorder, bullying, sexual abuse victims or other valid causes – and then just ….changes 😀

I am, btw, allowed to write about her again after the boycott that was in effect a few days ago. I think perhaps that we all needed a little break from all the fuzz about her 🙂

Is scaring smokers effective?

Wednesday, August 12th, 2009

In Norway, the department of Health have finally decided to put images and text on the packs of smokes that are available in our shops. In the past they only had text like “Smoking kills”, “Smoking is highly addictive” and “Smoking can cause cancer”. A survey performed among 1000 people of all ages, sexes and smoking habits assisted in the selection of the images. The survey showed that younger people respond better to images relating to things they care about, like potency and appearance – while older people were more fact driven. Below are the images chosen in Norway. You have to click them to see them in all their glory:

I am a former smoker, and quit while there was still only text on the cigarettes. Is it really necessary to enhance the “Smoking kills” message by putting images on them? I don’t really know. After decades of being hammered with the unhealthiness of smoking, I think everybody knows that smoking does not improve you in any way, neither physically, mentally or coolness-wise. We all know they are coffin nails and half of those who smoke regularly will die from a smoke related disease. In Norway, even advertising cigarettes (and alcohol btw) is illegal and anything even resembling an ad for cigarettes is instantly banned. I am glad, however, that they chose somewhat less intrusive imagery than the ones I saw when in Thailand:

Most smokers say that they are planning to quit or reduce their smoking, and recent studies have shown that less young people begin to smoke now. I think this is good news, and should reduce the number of deaths among smokers in the long run. Many young people replace smoking with “snusing”, using “Snus” – a smokeless tobacco. This does not, as far as we know now, have the same health issues as smoking, but is just as addictive – if not more addictive – than smoking. Below is some images for your enjoyment of snus and people using it 🙂