A Coupla Things

First off, a li'l shoutout to Not The Rhino for being all more updated on a regular basis. Which is very exciting. Hey, Kath, liked the last post on "moving." You rock.

Secondly, I was at a dinner party at Jessie's place yesterday (Saturday), which was fantastic - she and her housemate Topper cooked a veritable feast, from the delicious artichoke soup to the roasted cauliflower to the roasted lamb, everything was quite good. And, most delicious of all, the meal finished off with a sweet potato cake with homemade apple sauce, which was one of the best desserts I've had in a long time. Kudos to you, Jessie & Topper! But anyway, at the party was Jessie's former physics TA, Dan Hertz (sp?) with whom I had several great conversations. One of my favorite things he was discussing was the concept of the Klein Flask, a theoretical mathematical concept of a zero-volume container, i.e. a container in which the outside surface smoothly segues into the inside surface, leaving you with no actual "inside" or "outside." Of course, I'm vaguely retarded so I could only mildly imagine what this meant - until I went ahead and visited KleinBottle.com, and all became clear. I particularly enjoy this particular incarnation of the Klein Bottle. Enjoyable. I love this kind of stuff. The other thing we discussed was part of a larger discussion about the state of America under Bush. Topper, while no fan of Bush, is a conservative on many issues, and this being New York where one tends not to run into Republicans, this engendered a long discussion on the debates in particular and Bush in general. Dan Hertz brought up something that I think I had tangentially heard about, but hadn't much thought. Apparently the Union of Concerned Scientists have issued a collective statement calling for the return of scientific integrity in policy making, leveling the accusation upon the Bush administration that they've systematically ignored or altered or distorted scientific evidence to suit their purposes, have attempted to have support for the administration to be a litmus test for appointments to scientific panels, and have attempted to subvert the current system of scientific peer review. You can read the full complaint here. Now as a person who is not particularly endowed with a very scientific brain (it's much more of a touchy-feely blob), I still have an enormous reverence and respect for science and a belief in the importance of science in our society. That political motivations cause evidence to be buried or ignored in favor of unsupported ideology drives me crazy angry. Kath & Spoons, in particular, what do you think about all this? I was very happy to hear in the debate on Friday that Kerry straight-up told us that he will be a president who believes in science. That's a beautiful thing.

Final thing for today - so yesterday, myself, Alex, Chris & Geoff were walking around filming small segments for a series of web commercials for Sketchfest NYC which will be taking place in June of next year. The whole idea was that we'd be dressed up as sketch comedy archetypes and walk around New York doing very New York things. So I was a pirate waiting for the subway, Chris was a ninja on a parkbench, and Geoff was a Santa talking on his cellphone while walking around. Anyway, we had filmed a couple when we turned up Sullivan St. to head up to Joe's Pizza (the same teeny pizzeria where Peter Parker worked in Spiderman 2 - their pizza is fantastic, probably the best version of New York street pizza I've ever had) to film something there. We were passing by another film shoot when one of the people on the film crew approached Geoff and had the following exchange:

Guy: Hey, are you going to be wearing that Santa costume all day?
Geoff: Uh, maybe. Why?
Guy: Because we're filming this thing and the guy who was playing our Santa Claus just dropped out, and we need somebody to play a Santa.
Geoff: Uh-huh.

We were flabbergasted. So it turns out that it was a short film featurette type of thing for Virgin Mobile, potentially to be shown on Virgin Atlantic Airways and some parties or something. So Geoff signed up for it and reported for call a little later this afternoon. He was playing a kinda creepy Santa at a holiday party that goes awry. Alex, Chris, and myself hung out for a little bit "on set," which was the offices of Trace Magazine down in Soho. I left after an hour or so, but Geoff said they didn't film until ages later, so I'm glad I ditched and went to Jessie's dinner party instead...but still, pretty cool. We were all pretty flabbergasted about the whole thing. But as stunned as we were, we were trying to think about it from the film crew's perspective - their Santa had just dropped out ten minutes before, and then around the corner comes a Santa. That's just fucking bizarre.

The other fun thing about walking around with a Santa Claus is that people like to shout out things at you. Usually, it's just things like "ho ho ho" and "Hey, it's Santa." But far and away, the best reponse was a kid who just pointed and said "Give me a present or I'll kill you." Oh, kids.


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