Monday, December 29, 2008

Movie: Romeo and Juliet

It is the most romantic story ever told - and the most tragic. It is also, sadly, terribly unlogical, with the Friar's poison plot being the stupidest in history.

So this movie should certainly not be judged by ordinary criteria. Also, the language is old-fashioned and unnatural - but it is Shakespeare, and renewing it would certainly mean that it would lose some power.

On the other hand, some of the images are beautiful, and the two actors in the title roles do good jobs (which can not be said about the rest). Two and a half hours are anyway too long to tell such a well-known story.

I have watched this movie before - maybe twenty years ago. I remembered it better. Now, however, I understand even better why Baz Luhrmann's version was so welcome a renewal...

Romeo and Juliet (1968)

Director: Franco Zeffirelli

Main actors:
Leonard Whiting as Romeo
Olivia Hussey as Juliet

Jesus, Madonna!

According to trash media, Madonna has fallen in love with 20 year old model Jesus Luz.

Good taste! In the media, much ado is made about the fact that he has had a guest role in an "erotic television programme" in Brazil (Hostel), although without showing much skin himself. How that should be an issue for Madonna, is beyond me.

Ski jumping

Gregor Schlierenzauer to the left

The ski jumping season is on, so I thought I'd give a link to a ski jumping site: It's in Polish, so just look at the photos...

However, the biggest event is already over for Bjørn Einar Romøren, not qualifying for the first of the four days in the Springertournee...

Skinny dip in icy water

People's Daily writes: "Want a healthy life? Take a dip in icy water".

I'm currently having a flu, so I think I'll wait for a few days - or months...

John Stewart vs Mike Huckabee

I found this at Johns homoblogg. Cool.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Movie: European Vacation

There are a few funny moments in this movie - I actually laughed a few times. And the family members are basically quite sympathetic people.

Sadly, the jokes are too far between, and too often, I start anticipating the joke a minute before it appears.

From time to time, I start thinking of why I almost only give ratings in the top half of the scale (6-10) and rarely in the bottom half. Then I see a movie like this that reminds me why. I mostly see movies after either hearing good stuff about it, reading good reviews or talking to someone who has liked it. Or the movie has been picked by festival programmers. Rarely do I watch a movie just because it happens to be on TV and there's nothing good on the other channels. That is why I usually don't see as bad movies as this.

European Vacation (1985)

Director: Amy Heckerling

Main actors:
Chevy Chase as Clark Griswold
Beverly D'Angelo as Ellen Griswold
Jason Lively as Russell 'Rusty' Griswold

Movie: Mission: Impossible III

Of course, there is quite a lot of fun involved in watching this movie. Although explosions and collisions are not my favorites, I can see that the effects are spectacular. And the story has its twists and turns that make the movie unpredictable - although the ending is of course known from the first minute of the movie.

What takes a little energy for me, however, is to turn off my critical thinking. The movie is utterly unbelieveable. It's interesting that I can watch "Star Wars" without worrying that it is unbelieveable, but that as soon as the movie takes place in familiar settings, disbelief kicks in. It may be just my problem.

I've never understood why Tom Cruise (allegedly straight, by the way) is considered such a great actor (although I liked Risky Business...) It's fun to see Jonathan Rhys Meyers, however, the star of The Tudors.

Anyway the conclusion is, as so often; If you like this kind of movie, go ahead. If you don't, you should know that this is at least a decent effort.

Mission: Impossible III (2006)

Director: J.J. Abrams

Main actors:
Tom Cruise as Ethan Hunt
Philip Seymour Hoffman as Owen Davian
Jonathan Rhys Meyers as Declan

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Funny Quotes of the Week 4

"You have to stay in shape. My grandmother, she started walking five miles a day when she was 60. She's 97 today and we don't know where the hell she is." (Ellen DeGeneres)

"If a person feels he can't communicate, the least he can do is shut up about it." (Tom Lehrer)

"There is hardly anyone whose sexual life, if it were broadcast, would not fill the world at large with surprise and horror" (W. Somerset Maugham)

The TV meme

This week's meme is The TV meme. Thanks to the people at Sunday Stealing for pointing to it (for a moment, at least):

01. Name a TV show series in which you have seen every episode at least twice:

02. Name a show you can't miss:
Ugly Betty and Desperate Housewives.

03. Name an actor that would make you more inclined to watch a show:
Leonardo diCaprio...

04. Name an actor who would make you less likely to watch a show:
Tom Cruise

05. Name a show you can, and do, quote from:
"The Julekalender"

06. Name a show you like that no one else enjoys:
none, I think.

07. Name a TV show which you've been known to sing the theme song:

08. Name a show you would recommend everyone to watch:
Desperate Housewives

09. Name a TV series you own:
Blackadder and Yes Minister. Great, British classics.

10. Name an actor who launched his/her entertainment career in another
medium, but has surprised you with his/her acting chops in television:
Arve Opsahl

11. What is your favorite episode of your favorite series?
I don't know

12. Name a show you keep meaning to watch, but you just haven't gotten around to yet:
Six feet under.

13. Ever quit watching a show because it was so bad?
Sure, lots.

14. Name a show that's made you cry multiple times:
None. I don't do crying. But M*A*S*H had its moments.

15. What do you eat when you watch TV?
Potato chips? Chocolate? Mostly: nothing.

16. How often do you watch TV?
Maybe twice a week.

17. What's the last TV show you watched?
Seinfeld, I guess.

18. What's your favorite/preferred genre of TV?
Great Sitcoms.

19. What was the first TV show you were obsessed with?
The Nanny, perhaps.

20. What TV show do you wish you never watched?

21. What's the weirdest show you enjoyed?
I don't know.

22. What TV show scared you the most?
Maybe Twin Peaks.

23. What is the funniest TV show you have ever watched?
M*A*S*H, The Nanny, Yes Minister - all three are great candidates.

Nude Santas

Nude santas are seen every year in Germany. That's a good tradition which is in accordance with the real point of the Yuletide ("Christmas") - that we should celebrate that we have reached the darkest time of the year and that everything will be brighter in a little while. What better way of celebrating that than by looking forward to nice swims in summer...

Movie: Capote

Almost exactly one and a half years ago, I watched Infamous, a great movie about Truman Capote's writing of the book "In cold blood". What I particularly liked was the wit of the dialogues. After seeing the movie, I bought and read "In cold blood", which I also liked a lot.

Now, finally, I saw the much hyped Capote, starring Philip Seymour Hoffman. This seems to me a much darker movie, concentrating more on Capote's immoral use of these people for his own purposes. While Infamous made me understand his love for Perry Smith, one of the killers, the movie Capote made Capote less than human.

Of course, Hoffman makes a good performance as Capote, but all in all, I did like Infamous a lot better. (I don't know, of course, which one is closest to the truth.)

Capote (2005)

Director: Bennett Miller

Main actors:
Philip Seymour Hoffman as Truman Capote
Catherine Keener as Nelle Harper Lee
Clifton Collins Jr. as Perry Smith

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Straight people only think about sex

From time to time, I like to remind people that straight people seem to be thinking only of one thing: sex.

In the news today: Two German tourists arrested for having sex in ancient Ayutthaya temple. Granted, the story does not say anything about the gender of the two people, but knowing newspapers, the word gay would certainly have been there if they were not straight...

In older news: Michelle Palmer, Vince Acors jailed for beach sex in Dubai.

Have a look at the average news story containing the word "sex", and chances are good that they involve straight people...

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Sexiest president in a while...

Obama is probably the sexiest president in a while - but there isn't much competition for the title...

Monday, December 22, 2008

Sexiest men of 2008

Lists are always lots of fun. Now, has made a list of the ten sexiest men from the movies of 2008. (And the 10 sexiest women as well, but who cares...)

Robert Pattinson, Twilight

Hugh Jackman, Australia
Robert Downey, Jr., Iron Man
Daniel Craig, Quantum of Solace
Jason Statham, Death Race
Brad Pitt, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Christian Bale, The Dark Knight

James MacAvoy, Wanted

Zac Efron, High School Musical 3

Richard Gere, Nights in Rondanthe

Well, many good choices here - but they could find sexier, couldn't they?

Movie: Uro

Hans Petter is working as an undercover agent in Oslo Police Department. He is eager to do a good job, not the least in honor of his father who was a policeman. Then, on one of his missions, he meets a girl who knows things about his past, and he mindlessly gets involved with her and her game.

When I was a kid, Norwegian movies had a terrible reputation, usually having actors who thought they were on a stage, which meant that the dialogues got comic at best. These days, Norwegian movies are much better, with good actors. Technically, they're also good. Therefore, this movie is well worth seeing. The only tiny problem is the script - the lengths you have to go to to believe in the story. Of course, movies like this often tend to include some stupid acts by policemen, but it's a bit unnerving how Hans Petter tends to constantly make the wrong decision...

Uro (2006)

Director: Stefan Faldbakken

Main actors:
Nicolai Cleve Broch as Hans Petter
Ane Dahl Torp as Mette
Ahmed Zeyan as Marco
Ingar Helge Gimle as Makker

Movie: I'm Not There

A very interesting way of doing a biographical movie. Six characters represent six different aspects of the singer-songwriter Bob Dylan. Some of his songs are of course absolute classics even in my mind, but I do think an even better knowledge of his life and his art would have made this an even more interesting experience.

I'm Not There (2007)

Director: Todd Haynes

Main actors:
Cate Blanchett as Jude
Ben Whishaw as Arthur
Christian Bale as Jack/Pastor John
Richard Gere as Billy
Marcus Carl Franklin as Woody/Chaplin Boy
Heath Ledger as Robbie
Kris Kristofferson as Narrator (voice)

Sunday, December 21, 2008

The Screaming Masses' Meme

Ripped from Sunday Stealing:

1. What is a nickname a former (or present) lover gave you?
I don't remember any nickname...

2. How do you style your hair? If you just would say "cut" what style is it?
I don't have language to describe this...

3. What's your least favorite Christmas song?
Many Christmas songs are nice in themselves, but become unbearable when they are muzaked and played in elevators or shopping malls.

4. How many colors are you wearing now?
One - blue.

5. Are you an introvert or extrovert?
A mix.

6. What was the last book you read?
"Sneglemannen" by Knut Nærum. Funny and for a good cause.

7. What's one piece of fiction that changed your life?
I don't think any piece of fiction has changed my life.

8. If you are attracted to someone who is already in a relationship (or married), what might you do?
Not applicable, as I'm in a relationship...

9. Is there anything that has made you unhappy recently?
Yes, Anne-Cath. Vestly, genius writer of children's books, died this week.

10. What's your favorite dessert?
Chocolate mousse.

11. How long does it take you to get ready in the morning?
I'm not really ready to go out in the world before having breakfast and reading the morning paper, so I guess we could say about one hour.

12. Name one website that you visit daily. Why do you read it?
facebook - because so many of my friends and other people I know are there.

13. What was your last job before either you are at home or at another job??
Same kind of job, different part of the country. In teacher education.

14. Do you like to clean?

15. What was the last song to get stuck in your head?
I can't really remember.

16. What's the last movie you saw?
"I'm not there" - saw it last night.

17. Pirates or Ninjas?
I don't really know what this question is about. I do like pirates in fiction, though. Not in real life.

18. What is your least favorite thing to do that you have to do everyday?
Turn on my computer and wait for ages...

19. Best time of your life?

20. What are you most looking forward to in the coming year?
I can't say that right now.

Discriminatory sex punishment

Philadelphia Daily News brings an interesting story of two 13-year olds who had sex in school. The result: one of them was punished by being suspended for 10 days, the other stayed in school.

One of the 13-year olds was a boy, the other was a girl. Only the boy was punished. This could be yet another sign that the old belief that boys are active and girls are passive, that boys are predators and girls are innocent, is still existing.

Kudos to the boy's mother for complaining...

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Funny Quotes of the week 3

Is sex dirty? Only if it's done right. (Woody Allen)

I never forget a face, but in your case I'll be glad to make an exception. (Groucho Marx)

Campers: Nature’s way of feeding mosquitoes.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Movie: Lange flate ballær II

There is a certain charm to this movie that makes me endure embarrassing scenes and stupid jokes. The people are well-known from the first movie, the story is the same old the-world-is-going-to-end-unless-someone-saves-us. But it's hard to dislike the combination of Hollywood-style action sequences and the pure, local Fredrikstad flavor.

Oh, and it's good to see Don Johnson again, even though he's changed a bit since he appeared in The Harrad Experiment...

Lange flate ballær II (2008)

Director: Harald Zwart

Main actors:
Jan Edgar Fjell as Edgar
Frode Lie as Freddy
Kai Helge Hansen as Kai
Henrik Morken Nielsen as Helge
Eirik Tobiassen as Karsten
Petter Jørgensen as Petter
Anders Fjell as Øyvind
Don Johnson as Admiral Burnett

Manila nude run

Dagbladet brings the news of this year's Manila nude run. Have fun...

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Movie: Astérix aux jeux olympiques

I'm a big Asterix fan. Therefore, it is of course quite funny to watch a full-length movie about Asterix, Obelix and all the rest. Parts of the cast is amazing: Gérard Depardieu, Alain Delon and Michael Schumacher are very well-known names (although, in the case of Schumacher, not for his acting skills...)

The story is moderately interesting, the slapstick is okay and some of the references to other parts of popular culture are quite okay. However, much of the word play that is so important in the comics (including the Norwegian translation) is lost here. So all in all it's not as funny as I was hoping for. But happily, I do have the books.

Astérix aux jeux olympiques (2008)

Directors: Frédéric Forestier and Thomas Langmann

Main actors:
Gérard Depardieu as Obélix
Clovis Cornillac as Astérix
Benoît Poelvoorde as Brutus

The Christmas Meme

Here's another meme from Sunday Stealing:

1. Wrapping paper or gift bags?
Wrapping paper, absolutely

2. Real tree or Artificial?
No tree. Christmas is usually celebrated elsewhere.

3. When do you put up the tree?
At my parents' place, it's put up the day before Christmas. (23rd of December)

4. When do you take the tree down?
"tjuan-dan" (13th of January)

5. Do you like eggnog?
I don't know what it is.

6. Favorite gift received as a child?
I have no idea - there were so many...

7. Hardest person to buy for?
My boyfriend - because I want it to be special.

8. Easiest person to buy for?
Children are usually easiest, but by now, the "children" in question have grown up...

9. Do you have a nativity scene?
Certainly not. Christmas is not a religious holiday for me. (In Norway, Christmas is not called "Christmas", but "Jul", and "Jul" has been celebrated long before Norway became Christian about 1000 CE.)

10. Mail or email Christmas cards?
Only mail Christmas cards are "real" Christmas cards. But I don't have the time to write them to many people, so I also send lots of "Merry Christmas" emails and text messages. It's always nice to be remembered, even if it's not a "real" Christmas card.

11. Worst Christmas gift you ever received?
How rude it would be to say this in a public blog...

12. Favorite for Christmas dinner?
Ribbe, of course. The traditional Christmas dinner in my part of the country. Ribbe with surkål and potatoes.

13. When do you start shopping for Christmas?
That varies wildly. This year: probably today.

14. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present?

15. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas?
My mother's Christmas cakes of different kinds.

16. Lights on the tree?

17. Favorite Christmas song?
"Vårres jul" by Hans Rotmo

18. Travel at Christmas or stay home?
Last year, I was in Taichung (in Taiwan). Usually, however, I travel to family, either in Oslo or Stange.

19. Angel on the tree top or a star?
A star.

20. Open the presents Christmas Eve or morning?
Christmas Eve (24th of December), certainly.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Funny Quotes of the week 2

As the poet said, 'Only God can make a tree' -- probably because it's so hard to figure out how to get the bark on. (Woody Allen)

I don’t suffer from insanity; I enjoy every minute of it.

A little sincerity is a dangerous thing, and a great deal of it is absolutely fatal. (Oscar Wilde)

Nude photos of teens - not unusual

A new survey from The National Campaign shows that 22% of teen girls and 18% of teen boys in the US have sent or posted nude or semi-nude pictures or videos of themselves on the internet. (Read full report.)

Granted, only 653 teens answered the survey, but the answers are still interesting. They raise a lot of questions. My first question, though, is what US people mean by "semi-nude". I know many in the US are hysterical about nudity, so maybe they mean photos with "just a little underwear" or something? Although the report lists "definitions of terms", this term is not defined.

Secondly, I wonder - contrary to my first question - if this means that US teens are getting more relaxed about nudity. Could this actually be a sign of a more healthy attitude than before? I can't really find any signs of that in the material.

Why do guys send nude photos of themselves online? The main reason given (when asked why boys send photos of themselves) is "Get or keep a girl’s attention" (for some reason, to get or keep a boy's attention was not included as an alternative). 61% answered that. 57% answered "Get a girl to like them" ("Get a boy to like them" was not included). 49% "To get noticed", 49% also "In response to one he received".

Teens think that "sending suggestive messages or nude/semi-nude pictures/video of oneself" is dangerous (67%), flirty (61%), stupid (57%), exciting (49%), hot (46%), fun (43%), lame (42%) and immoral (40%). Maybe the last one in my list is the most interesting: it shows that in the US, the "moral majority" of teens now thinks that it's okay to send these things.

We also see that the answers are very ambivalent: it's dangerous and stupid, but also (or therefore?) exciting and hot.

As in other parts of life, it may seem that the internet changes the way we behave in very fundamental ways. It will be interesting to see more research - not the least research in other countries.

(Thanks to VG for pointing me to this article.)

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

A few meaningless facts

I've updated my movie database again (the database of all movies I've seen since 1984). As of now, I've seen 1344 different movies. Here are some facts about these:

609 movies are from the US, 163 from the UK and 94 from Norway. However, 54 other countries are also included, including Bolivia, Mali and Tadjikistan.

26 of the movies are Woody Allen movies. The other "top 6" directors are Pier Paolo Pasolini (12), Pedro Almodovar (11), Richard Linklater, James Ivory and Alfred Hitchcock (8).

I've seen 62 of the movies from 1996. The ten years I've seen most movies from, are all from the 1990s or 2000s.
On the other hand, the number of movies I see each year varies wildly. In 1997, I saw 135 movies, while this year, I've only seen 64 (yet). Even this (64) is double the number of movies I saw last year.

Woody Allen features in 22 of the movies I've seen. Harrison Ford in 14, Peter Sellers in 13 and Johnny Depp in 12.

I give all movies a rating from 0 to 11. Only 16 of the 1344 have been given the rating 11. 93 have been given the rating 10, while 381 movies have been given the rating 9. Last time I gave a movie the top rating was Mamma Mia!

I guess that's enough of useless facts for one post...

CNN live

You might have seen me on CNN today... Well, you might also have missed me - I was in the audience as Jonathan Mann did his interview with this year's Nobel peace prize winner Martti Ahtisaari.

This is the third time I attend talks or interviews with Nobel peace prize winners, the previous two being Mohamed ElBaradei (2005) and Muhammad Yunus (2006). At this year's interview, they had installed airport-style security systems at the entrance of the town hall, which never fails to make me feel unsafe. (I don't believe they had this system three years ago.)

Ten minutes before the start of the program, Jonathan Mann talked to us about all the normal stuff: use no flash, turn off cell phones, use the headsets... Interestingly, he explained how the TV pictures on the screens (which are the actual CNN broadcast) is four seconds delayed (the signals having passed to the US and back), which means that the conversation in Oslo will have to start four seconds before the previous thing is finished. Anyway...

Ahtisaari arrived just after this introduction by Jonathan Mann, and then we only had to wait for the interview to start - having the opportunity to look at the beautiful Oslo Town Hall in the mean time.

The interview itself was interesting - but what could I say about that that you haven't already seen on TV? It is very strange, however, to sit watching an intelligent conversation between the peace prize winner and an intelligent journalist, only to have the conversation broken off no less than five times for commercial breaks. (Yes, I know that's what pays for the whole production, but still it seems almost rude to the awardee - one would guess that it could have been possible to have the conversation in one go, so that the last parts were broadcast a bit delayed.)

I did like Ahtisaari's humour. When asked about his stamina, he explained that he is 12.5 % Norwegian, and that his wife claims that the combination of Norwegian and Finnish stubbornness cannot be beaten by anything. At the end of the interview, Jonathan Mann tried to find out what Ahtisaari's plans were. He answered that he would go to Stockholm tomorrow, and on Saturday he would go home. "And then?", Mann asked. "Then I will have a sauna and a peaceful meal with my wife."

It was an interesting hour, with discussins about Kashmir, Israel/Palestine, Zimbabwe, Aceh, Iraq and Kosovo. An intelligent man talked - and he admitted that friends were now telling him that he should stop talking about retirement - now he would have to use the prestige that the Nobel peace prize gave to do even more. And he agreed.

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Battle of the memes

Today's meme from Sunday Stealing:

1. When you buy a greetings card are the words or the picture more important to you?
The words.

2. Do you ever make gifts for people, if so what, or do you buy them?
I guess I stopped making gifts for people at least 20 years ago.

3. Are you going on holiday this year? If so, where?
No - but then there are only a few weeks left of this year. On the other hand, I've been to Taiwan, Austria, Slovakia and Mexico this year.

4. What was the best party you've ever been to?
Certainly some quiet party with people talking interestingly around a table.

5. If you are married, describe your wedding. If not, what would your ideal wedding be like?
Quiet and romantic.

6. What's the most romantic thing that's ever been said to you?
That I'm the most important person in his life.

7. What's your favorite romantic song?
There are lots.

8. Favorite heartbreak song?

9. Which celebrity would you like a dream date with?
Justin Timberlake?

10. Which female celebrity do you find beautiful??
Penelope Cruz

11. Which male celebrity do you think is attractive?
Many... Per Ciljan Skjelbred is one

12. Describe the kind of underwear you normally wear.

13. If you could be in a television sit-com, which would you choose?
Ugly Betty

14. Which character would you like to be?
Daniel Meade

15. What are your favorite boy and girl names?
I don't know...

16. What's your supermarket of choice?
I shop most at Prix, Meny and Rimi.

17. What is your best character trait?
I'm calm and kind

18. What is your worst habit?
I don't know. Maybe to make light of situations, even when I don't "own" the situation.

19. Elaborate on your default icon.
I don't understand the question. What's a "default icon"?

20. What is your current relationship status?
Long-term relationship.

21. Ever have a near death experience?

22. Name an obvious quality about you?
A bit funny, in the right circumstances

23. What’s the name of a song stuck in your head right now?
I love rock'n'roll

24. Name a celebrity you would marry.
None - I prefer to marry my boyfriend.

25. Do you like pain?

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Top blog posts in 2008

Here's the ten most read blog posts from 2008 in this blog:

1. Roskilde nude run 2008 4,740 hits
2. Edison Chen scandal 3,291 hits
3. Congratulations, Spain! 2,185 hits
4. Sexiest Olympic athletes 3 2,145 hits
5. Sexiest Olympic athletes 2 2,130 hits
6. Naked Olympic contender 1,507 hits
7. Naked Sigur Ros 1,224 hits
8. Håkon Kvæken 1,160 hits
9. Dima Bilan won 1,132 hits
10. Naked primitive tribe 1,081 hits.

As always, posts including the word "naked" or "nude" are popular...

For contrast, here are the five least popular:
Movie: Finding Neverland 2 hits
Movie: Corpse Bride 2 hits
Where I've been 2 hits
Woman's Work 45 Meme 3 hits
Rose 3 hits

Most viewed photos of 2008

Here's the photos I've taken in 2008 that has gotten the most views on Flickr:



Eliasson's wall

Mr Gay Norway 2008







I notice that this list is dominated by the new opera, and in particular the party in connection with the new marriage law which included equal rights for gays.

Top 10 albums of 2008

It's time to start to wrap up 2008. As a start, I'll look at which albums I listened to the most in 2008 (or rather, the previous 365 days, counting from today):

1. Tracy Chapman – Tracy Chapman Collection [EUR]
2. Bare Egil Band – Jeg er helt rå
3. Tracy Chapman – Our Bright Future
4. Lisa Ekdahl – Lisa Ekdahl
4. Sondre Lerche – Faces Down
6. Morten Harket – Wild Seed
6. Odd Nordstoga – Pilegrim
8. Simon & Garfunkel – The Concert in Central Park
9. deLillos – Hjernen er alene
9. Beckstrøm kvartett – Døgenikt
9. Jay Brannan – Goddamned (Bonus Track Version)
9. a-ha – Hunting High and Low

Of these, of course only a few are from 2008 (Jeg er helt rå, Our Bright Future, Pilegrim, Døgenikt and Goddamned). The only new guy in this connection is Jay Brannan - all the other bands and artists I had been listening to in 2007 as well. And of course, Tracy Chapman's position at the top of the list is strongly connected with her visiting Oslo a few weeks ago.

Funny Quotes of the week 1

If we aren’t supposed to eat animals, why are they made with meat?

“Why can't they have gay people in the army? Personally, I think they are just afraid of a thousand guys with M16s going, "Who'd you call a faggot?"” (Jon Stewart)

When asked why he doesn't believe in astrology, the logician Raymond Smullyan responds that he's a Gemini and Geminis never believe in astrology.

(In a new effort of adding some regularity to this blog, I'll try to have one post every week with some funny quotes.)

Friday, December 05, 2008

Bild: French penises are the longest

The French have the longest manhoods in the EU!, according to Bild magazine.

The scientific research shows the following averages:
1. France, length:15.48cm, girth: 13.63cm
2. Sweden, length: 15.36cm, girth: 12.78cm
3. Estonia, length: 15.17cm, girth: 12.54cm
4. Hungary, length: 14.99cm, girth: 11.81cm
5. Italy, length: 14.95cm, girth: 11.95cm
6. Austria, length: 14.89cm, girth: 12.10cm
7. Denmark, length: 14.88cm, girth: 11.75cm
8. Belgium, length: 14.77cm, girth: 13.19cm
9. Germany, length: 14.61cm, girth: 11.80cm
10. Latvia, length: 14.69cm, girth: 11.93cm
11. Lithuania, length: 14.55, girth: 11.27cm
12. Romania, length: 14.30cm, girth: 12.25cm
13. The Netherlands, length: 14.28cm, girth: 11.35cm
14. Poland, length: 14.21cm, girth: 11.62cm
15. Slovakia, length: 14.19cm, girth: 11.54cm
16. Czech Republic, length: 14.17cm, girth: 11.65cm
17. Bulgaria, length: 14.09cm, girth: 11.69cm
18. Slovenia, length: 14.01cm, girth: 11.72cm
19. Portugal, length: 13.91cm, girth: 10.45cm
20. Luxemburg, length: 13.82cm, girth: 11.40cm
21. Spain, length: 13.58cm, girth: 10.43cm
22. Finland, length: 13.52cm, girth: 11.13cm
23. UK, length: 13.32cm, girth: 11.32cm
24. Ireland, length: 12.78cm, girth: 10.94cm
25. Greece, length: 12.18cm, girth: 10.19cm

Norway is not included in the survey, but as it is widely known that Norwegians are a bit better endowed than the Swedes, it can surely be deduced that Norwegian males are at number one...

The Woman's Work 45 Meme

Another meme from Sunday Stealing:

1. Do you like blue cheese salad dressing?
No, don't like blue cheese

2. Favorite late night snack?
Potato chips

3. Do you own a gun?
Certainly not, I'm not planning to shoot someone

4. What’s your favorite drink at Starbucks or other specialty coffee shop?

5. Do you get nervous before doctor appointments?

6. What do you think of hot dogs?
Nice snack

7. Favorite Christmas song?

8. What do you prefer to drink in the morning?

9. Can you do push-ups?

10. What’s your favorite piece of jewelry?

11. Favorite hobby?

12. Do you have A.D.D.?

13. What’s one trait that you hate about yourself?
None. Hating oneself is not nice

14. The last disease you contracted?
The flu

15. Name 3 thoughts at this exact moment.
I should do some work
Should I make a cup of coffee?
Another piece of chocolate wouldn't harm

16. Name 3 drinks you regularly drink?

17. Current worry right now?
The essay that is supposed to be finished in a bit more than a week, and which is currently just a pile of unconnected statements

18. Current hate right now?

19. Favorite place to be?

20. How did you ring in the New Year?
In Taipei, resting at home

21. Like to travel?

22. Name three people who will complete Sunday Stealing this week:
I have no idea except myself.

23. Do you own slippers?

24. What color shirt are you wearing?

25. Do you like sleeping on satin sheets?

26. Can you whistle?

27. Favorite singer/band?

28. Could you ever make it 39 days on the show Survivor?
I have no idea, I've never watched it

29. What songs do you sing in the shower?

30. Favorite girl’s names?

31. Favorite boy’s name?

32. What’s in your pocket right now?
keys, money, tickets, handkerchief, comb, pedometer

33. Last thing that made you laugh?
The comics in the newspaper

34. Like your job?

36. Do you love where you live?
Love is too strong a word, but for me, right now, it is one of the best places in the world to live

37. How many TVs do you have in your house?
One (+ two that don't work properly)

38. Who is your loudest friend?
Hard to say - I don't really have many loud friends

39. Do you drive the speed limit or speed?
No, I don't drive

40. Does someone have a crush on you?
Sure! I don't know if it's more than one, though

41. What is your favorite book?
I like Milan Kundera's books very much

42. What is your favorite candy?
Variation is good - I don't have one favorite

43. Favorite Sports Team?

44. What were you doing 12 AM last night?

45. What was the first thing you thought of when you woke up today?
I got to get up...

Movie: Corpse Bride

The idea is very cool. Victor is to marry Victoria, and warms to the idea as he finally gets to meet her. However, before he gets as far as to the wedding with her, he happens to marry a corpse. A cute corpse as corpses go, but still a corpse.

The images are beautiful and the actors doing the voices are very good. There's much to laugh of in this movie. Of course, the story is kind of silly, but the only real negative thing I can say about the movie is the songs. They are not great and do not contribute much to the movie.

However, if you haven't seen a movie about inter-existence status marriages yet this year, see this...

Corpse Bride (2005)

Directors: Tim Burton and Mike Johnson

Main actors:
Johnny Depp as Victor Van Dort (voice)
Helena Bonham Carter as Corpse Bride (voice)
Emily Watson as Victoria Everglot (voice)

Thursday, December 04, 2008

The Seven Layer Meme

Sunday Stealing: The Seven Layer Meme

LAYER 1: Tell us your...

* Name: Bjørn
* Birthday (month, day): November, 8th
* Birthplace: Hamar
* Current location: Oslo
* Eye color: blue
* Hair color: dark blonde?
* Height: 185
* Righty or lefty: righty
* Zodiac sign: Skorpion

LAYER 2: What's...

* Your heritage: Norwegian
* The shoes you wore today: Merrell
* Your weakness: distractions?
* Your fears: no major fears
* Your perfect pizza: meat, paprika, cheese, onions, tomato sauce
* Goals you’d like to achieve: be able to see that mathematics teaching in Norway is better because of me
* Your first waking thoughts: How is my boyfriend today?
* Your best physical feature: smile?
* Your most missed memory: none

LAYER 3: Do you...

* Smoke: no
* Cuss: no
* Sing: yes
* Do you think you’ve been in love: absolutely
* Did you go to college: yes
* Liked high school: not too much
* Want to get/stay married: yes
* Believe in yourself: yes
* Think you’re attractive: yes, to my boyfriend...
* Think you’re a health freak: no
* Get along with your parent(s): yes
* Like thunderstorms: not too much
* Play an instrument: a bit (the guitar)

LAYER 4: In the past month have you…

* Drank alcohol: yes
* Smoked: no
* Done a drug: no
* Made out: yes
* Gone on a date: no
* Gone to the mall: yes
* Eaten an entire box of Oreos: definitely not
* Eaten sushi: no
* Been on stage: no, unless speaking at a meeting counts
* Been dumped: no
* Gone skating: no
* Gone skinny dipping: no, sadly - too cold
* Stolen Anything: no

LAYER 5: Have you ever…

* Played a game that required removal of clothing: yes
* Been trashed or extremely intoxicated: no
* Been caught “doing something”: no
* Been called a tease: no
* Gotten beaten up: no
* Shoplifted: no


* Age you did get/hope to be married: 37
* Numbers and names of children (either you have or want): 0
* Describe your dream mate: Taiwanese, beautiful, kind (and the dream is real!)
* How do you want to die: old
* What did you want to be when you grow up: happy
* What country would you most like to visit: Brazil, maybe

LAYER 7: Now tell...

* Name a drug you’ve taken illegally: none
* Name a person you could trust with my life: My boyfriend
* Name a favorite CD that you own: deLillos - Mere
* Number of piercings: none
* Number of tattoos: none
* Number of times my name has appeared in the newspaper: several
* Name a past experience that you regret: I don't believe in regrets

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Movie: Finding Neverland


Of course the story of the creator of Peter Pan is an interesting (and well known) one. This movie tells the story very well, including the fantasy sequences. However, it is Johnny Depp that really makes the movie worth seeing - being a fantastic Mr Barrie. Many of the other actors also do good jobs.

Of course, the story is also rather sad, and the "You just have to believe"-mantra is not altogether convincing. I guess some people will just love that message, while others will find it unrealistic, escapist and unhealthy. Personally, I'm somewhere in between the two.

I liked the movie, though - and it reminds me that there are still Johnny Depp movies I haven't seen; I can't imagine why.

Finding Neverland (2004)

Director: Marc Forster

Main actors:
Johnny Depp as Sir James Matthew Barrie
Kate Winslet as Sylvia Llewelyn Davies
Julie Christie as Mrs. Emma du Maurier
Freddie Highmore as Peter Llewelyn Davies

Movie: Afterschool

Robert is a normal US student who watches porn online and whose best friend is a drug dealer. Nothing very special there. Then one day there is a tragic death in the school, and... nothing really changes.

After seeing the movie, I'm asking myself why I think it's nothing special. Maybe simply because "high school movies" is such a tired genre, and that I've seen some really great movies that shows the relationships between students and between students and teachers much better than this one. Or maybe because the characters in this movie, for some reason, mean nothing to me - they never become real persons but keep being two-dimensional.

I don't know. Technically it's all very well, there are one or two laughs and not an entirely boring story, but not much to watch.

Afterschool (2008)

Director: Antonio Campos

Main actor:
Ezra Miller as Robert

Monday, December 01, 2008

100 Greatest, Gayest Albums of all time

Out Magazine has listed the 100 greatest, gayest albums of all time. The ones I've got are in bold.

100 The Beatles - Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band
99 Joni Mitchell - For The Roses
98 Ferron - Testimony
97 Janis Ian - Between The Lines
96 Nick Drake - Bryter Layter
95 Culture Club - Kissing To Be Clever
94 Hair Original Broadway Cast - Hair
93 Sade - Lovers Rock
92 Morrissey - Viva Hate
91 Grace Jones - Nightclubbing
90 Kate Bush - The Kick Inside
89 Fifth Column - To Sir With Hate
88 Hüsker Dü - Zen Arcade
87 Madonna - Confessions On A Dance Floor
86 Madonna - Madonna
85 Nina Simone - Anthology
84 Cyndi Lauper - True Colors
83 Bette Midler - The Divine Miss M
82 Cher - Believe
81 Scissor Sisters - Ta-Dah
80 Rufus Wainwright - Want One
79 T. Rex - Electric Warrior
78 Various - The Rocky Horror Picture Show Soundtrack
77 New Order - Substance
76 Ani DiFranco - Imperfectly
75 Carole King - Tapestry
74 Michael Jackson - Off the Wall
73 Various - Fame Soundtrack
72 Donna Summer - Once Upon a Time
71 Elton John - Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy
70 Rent Original Broadway Cast - Rent
69 Frances Faye - Caught In The Act
68 Nirvana - Nevermind
67 Hüsker Dü - Candy Apple Grey
66 Soft Cell - Non-Stop Erotic Cabaret
65 Le Tigre - Le Tigre
64 Patti Smith - Easter
63 Björk - Debut
62 Jeff Buckley - Grace
61 Sleater-Kinney - Dig Me Out
60 R.E.M. - Automatic For The People
59 Bronski Beat - The Age of Consent
58 Liz Phair - Exile in Guyville
57 Prince - Dirty Mind
56 Team Dresch - Personal Best
55 David Bowie - Diamond Dogs
54 Tori Amos - Little Earthquakes
53 Culture Club - Colour By Numbers
52 Kate Bush - Hounds of Love
51 Frankie Goes To Hollywood - Welcome to the Pleasuredome
50 Rufus Wainwright - Poses
49 Patti Smith - Horses
48 Cris Williamson - The Changer and the Changed
47 The Magnetic Fields - 69 Love Songs
46 Madonna - Ray of Light
45 Bikini Kill - Pussy Whipped
44 Pet Shop Boys - Very
43 Prince - Purple Rain
42 ABBA - Gold

41 Melissa Etheridge - Yes I Am
40 Pet Shop Boys - Behavior
39 Laura Nyro And Labelle - Gonna Take A Miracle
38 Dusty Springfield - Dusty In Memphis
37 Blondie - Parallel Lines
36 Madonna - Erotica
35 Yaz - Upstairs At Eric's
34 Donna Summer - Bad Girls
33 The Smiths - Hatful Of Hollow
32 The Smiths - Meat Is Murder
31 Sarah McLachlan - Fumbling Towards Ecstacy
30 Diana Ross - Diana
29 Pet Shop Boys - Actually
28 Queen - The Game
27 Eurythmics - Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)
26 Scissor Sisters - Scissor Sisters
25 k.d. lang - Ingénue
24 Sylvester - Living Proof
23 Deee-Lite - World Clique
22 The Gossip - Standing In The Way Of Control
21 David Bowie - Hunky Dory
20 Queen - A Day at the Races
19 The B-52s - The B-52's
18 George Michael - Listen Without Prejudice, Vol. I
17 Lou Reed - Transformer
16 Queen - A Night at the Opera
15 George Michael - Faith
14 Erasure - The Innocents
13 Ani DiFranco - Dilate
12 The Velvet Underground & Nico - The Velvet Underground & Nico
11 Various - Hedwig And The Angry Inch Soundtrack
10 Antony And The Johnsons - I Am A Bird Now
9 Cyndi Lauper - She's So Unusual
8 Madonna - The Immaculate Collection
7 Elton John - Goodbye Yellow Brick Road
6 The Smiths - The Queen is Dead
5 Judy Garland - Judy at Carnegie Hall
4 Indigo Girls - Indigo Girls
3 Tracy Chapman - Tracy Chapman
2 The Smiths - The Smiths
1 David Bowie - The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars

It seems my record collection is not very gay...

(Source: So it goes.)