Health, Beards, Chicken vs. Egg, Analog vs. Digital & More

November 15, 2008

• “Listening to your favorite music can improve the health of your heart, a study has shown.” Well, I don’t know about you, but I’m convinced! I was listening to “Washer” on the way to work today and I swear, once I came to the apex of the hill on Glendale I was feeling ten years younger! Even though that song is one of the most depressing pieces of music ever recording! Surely my heart was silently thanking me (the lub-dub stands for “Thank you!”) for keeping it alive and rejuvinating it. Oh, wait. The next paragraph says that only happy music makes your heart’s health improve. Heavy metal music causes the lining of blood vessels to contract, which I guess isn’t such a good thing? Whatever, “Washer” made me feel really good this morning so I’m going to go ahead and say this scientific study is a load of bunk. BUNK, I SAY! Any research involving the music of John Denver is not really research at all. It’s like a kiddie investigation. Remember when you used to hide your own stuffed animal in the back of a closet and then uncover clues about how it got there and who did it? That “evidence” you found is about as reliable as this study. [story]

• Since Top Ten lists are all the rage this week (and, apparently, most of the ones I find while trolling the Internet are also published on Fridays. Coincidence? No way, man. I’m pretty much steering the entire Internet with my cutting-edge blog posts), here’s one about beards. No, not Katie Holmes beards, man beards! The Times Online has published a list of the ten best beards throughout history. The list is rather unsurprising, with Jesus Christ, Karl Marx, Lenin, Lincoln and Castro. Jesus, Times…where’s your creativity? Where’s Willi Chevalier? He wins beard competitions every year? Isn’t that better than being on the list simply because you’re Charles Darwin, you did something important with your life, and you’re bearded? I think so. Where’s my dirty stubble? Are I not a great-enough historical figure to crack the top ten? Fuck you! [story]

• In keeping with Friday Top Ten lists, here’s another one (from a website called The List Universe, clearly inspired by Swan Fungus) detailing the ten most fascinating last pictures taken. That means, I guess, the person who snapped the photo or the subject of the photo died shortly after taking it. How macabre! I like it. I’m sensing a top ten list in the near future related to death! Oh look, there’s Hitler! And Lincoln (really? Again? Isn’t it time for an Abe Lincoln top-ten backlash? I think just came up with another top ten topic..)! And…um…Elvis? Whatever. [story]

• Apparently XM and Sirius finally merged (officially) this week, and already they’re acting in bad faith. If you’ll remember, they promised the FCC and their clientele that they would icnrease diversity and choice at no extra cost. This week alone, they have slashed a number of radio stations, and altered the formats of others (they even took an urban station and censored it!). Apparently a recent poll shows that less than 33% of Sirius XM customers are happy with the product they are paying for, which is pretty much exactly what I figured would happen when the companies merged, and why I told two people to ditch their Sirius stock long before this monopoly came to fruition. I’m no stock market soothsayer, but it’s really not that difficult to see stars aligning when the only two corporations in an industry begin talks of merging. The consumer is always left fucked, either by price gouging or diminished variety. How the FCC allowed this to go through is beyond me. If you’re a Sirius XM subscriber who actually uses the radio for more than just Howard Stern or sports, I’d like to offer you my deepest condolences. Also, what the fuck — I thought Sirius originally promised customers no commercials? When I was home last month and driving my mother’s car around the state, I felt like I heard more commercials on Sirius than I did on AM or FM stations. How the fuck did that happen!? Satellite radio…what a stupid medium. [story]

•The egg came before the chicken. [story]

•Using modern blood spatter techniques, “a team of experts” has proved that the fatal bullet which killed John Kennedy was fired from the sixth floor of the book depository. Oh well, so much for the conspiracy theories. Except for that whole thing about how the experts were brought in to examine the simulated crime scene without being given any details as to what they were investigating. But in my estimation, you’d have to be a moron not to realize that you’re investigating the Kennedy assassination. Doesn’t everybody know what that crime scene looked like by now? And don’t you think that, upon realizing that the simulation is a reenactment of the most famous assassination in American history, you’d want to get it “right” if you were one of the experts? So, naturally they’re going to say that the bullet came from up and behind the target. That’s the safest bet, the one that has been argued for ever since 1963! So what if one bullet entered through the right side of Kennedy’s head and exited out the left? If you want to claim your paycheck, you’re going to agree with the one shooter theory. What a bunch of dopes. [story]

• Lastly, The Economist has entered the analog vs. digital debate. I’m happy to report that the author dismisses the “warmer” argument so often efused by know-nothing vinyl enthusiasts as a myth (or “bunk”, since that’s the word of the day here at Swan Fungus). After a boring story about his childhood and some old boxed set he likes to listen to every once in a while, he discusses the benefits of both analog and digital formats. He even finds problems with old analog transformers, claiming that in many instances, modern digital technologies allow us to hear musical performances better! Ha! Unfortunately, he doesn’t realize that the major differences between the formats is that of longevity and reliability. Digital formats are always changing, so who is to say that a PRO TOOLS file recorded today will still be accessible by computers twenty years from now? That reel of tape will still allow for the information to be accessed, altered and mastered. Will that PRO TOOLS project do the same? What about storage on hard drives? Will that information even be accessible? Hard drives fail all the time, or become corrupted. Unless you run through a tape storage facility waving giant magnets like a madman, those tapes will never falter. And, lastly, CDs tend to decay or rot via oxidization over a number of years, even if kept on a shelf and unplayed. When was the last time a record you had magically oxidized or rotted just from sitting on a shelf? If The Economist tackled these issues, a conclusion to the analog-versus-digital debate would be swiftly reached. The answer lies not in sound, but in…(adjusts voice for proper douchey-ness) time… BWAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!! [story]

The Soft Machine – Joy Of A Toy
Tricky – Pumpkin
Idaho – Glow
Pond – Patience
El Perro Del Mar – Coming Down The Hill
Guided By Voices – Evil Speakers


  1. Stephen

    The tunes are a nice mix of the sublime and the annoying.

    And judas priest, of *course* the egg came first.

  2. |

    Annoying more than sublime i would say but just an opinion, but my reckoning is the chicken long before the egg.

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