The Journal of Ephemeral Inspiration

The Journal of Ephemeral Inspiration promises a neverending spew of pointless minutae, brilliant yet useless ideas, troublingly cruel commentary and emphatic musings on whatever shiny object happens to catch our collective eye. Always remember, hate the game, not the playa.

Friday, August 12, 2005

Friday Round-Up: August 12, 2005

Another triumphant week here at The Journal of Ephemeral Inspiration. Substantial updates are flowing like mad with no end in sight: this week alone we added insult to Disney's injury, coveted a Mexican wrestling superhero, stamped our approval on four more internet destinations, lampooned a boxing film franchise, sampled and praised a Far East confectionary and continued the memiors of everyone's favorite cub reporter. We rule!

So catch up on what you missed, or have a dig through the JEI Archives. Everyone plays; everyone's a winner. See you after the weekend.

As authentic as anything else we do.
Bad Art
We don't know a lot about art but we know what we hate.
A.K.A "Please withdraw your lawsuit."
Opinions are like bellybuttons: a useless deforming scar.
Nifty sounds and video guaranteed to crash your computer.
Feature Articles
Finally, some meat on this bone.
Food Of The Gods
Would that we could eat like them.
For Sale
Caveat Emptor. Seriously.
Hot Or Not?
Celebrities ridicule the insecure. Fun.
Because reading is fundemental.
Lost & Found
Uniting keepers and weepers.
Lost TV
Untold tales of the glowing glass teat.
Stop the presses.
There once was a girl from Nantucket...
The Savage Breast
Music, not boobs.
What she blinded us with.
Seal Of Approval
Sites that don't suck so much.
Storytime Corner
Once upon a time... .
A Thousand Words
What a picture is worth, depending on exchange rates.
Intercepted communications amongst the staff.
Wish List
Or, as Black Flag said, "Gimme gimme gimme."

Insania Fragilis, Fectum Dubitabilis!

Thursday, August 11, 2005

The Secret Files Of Jimmy Olsen (part 5)

Prepare your ribs for a sound tickling, kids, for it's time for another round of...

Welcome back pals, Jimmy Olsen here with another round of photos and anecdotes about my super friends, the superheroes!

Some of the supers finally began leaving college and emerging into the real world (though for them, the "real" world consisted of x-ray vision, poisoned reservoirs and giant pennies). Though it was hard to find the time to make new friends, socializing remained an important way to bond with each other, assemble teams and compare notes on supervillians, so the regular gatherings continued...
Boy... maybe now you see what I mean about Kara. Just as cute as a button, that one. But make no mistake about her girly surface, she could sure take care of herself; she wasn't called Supergirl for nothing. Still, it was around this time that Mr. Kent started becoming really protective of her. The picture you see here is pretty much the look he'd give you if you tried to ask her out, though he'd also usually use his heat vision to weld your zipper shut as well. Ouch!

The beard-braid was just something he was trying out. I think years later he ended up selling it on eBay.
Despite his gruff reputation, Mr. Wayne never missed a chance to network at the parties. Underneath the bluster he was really a people-person. I really liked when we'd have a pot luck; he would always bring his delicious Bat Stuffed Mushrooms, which despite the confusing name, didn't really have any actual bat meat in them. He just liked to slap a "Bat" in front of everything... after a while, we all just started ignoring it. It was easier than trying to tell him it just sounded egotistical.

Sometimes when he drank, Arthur would forget you are supposed to use a bathroom when on land. It was kind of embarassing for everyone.
Barry, Hal, and Ms. Prince claimed they formed their League with Arthur and J'onn right out of school to battle a giant starfish or something... I don't know if they were pulling my leg or not, a giant starfish sounds kind of made-up to me. Mr. Kent would drift in and out of the League over the years; when I asked him why he liked to work alone most of the time, he'd just laugh and tell me, "Too many witnesses, Jim...".
Logan again, always so angry... I made it my New Year's resolution that year to get to know him, find out what was weighing so heavy on his soul. Bad idea, as I quickly found out. The doctor said an inch more to the right and I'd never have kids. Bruce was forced to spend a few weeks tending bar as reparations for some damage he did. I don't know why he got so upset, Mr. Kent was just kidding when he put that cockroach in his beer.

And as usual, we end with my "arch enemy," Pete Parker. Here he is, repeating the idea Captain America had when his uniform went missing [see last week's column - Ed.]... you almost feel bad for the guy, he just looks so pathetic. I just don't know what Mary Jane ever saw in him.

Well, that's it for this round, I'll be back next week with a whole new collection of stories and photos. Until then, this has been Jimmy Olsen, your super pal!

Also in this series...

Food Of The Gods: Pocky, Pretz & Pretenders

The Food Of The Gods column would not, could not be complete without significant mention of the favorite snack food here at the J.E.I. compound. We speak, of course, of the all-mighty Pocky.

"Pocky?" you say. "Isn't that some kind of Japanese video game?" Not even close, Timmy.

Simply put, Pocky is a chocolate-coated breadstick (just as simply put, The Beatles were a band). Where the magic happens is the almost limitless variations on a theme the clever folks at Glico have managed to create, flooding the snack aisles of your local Asian grocery store with multi-color boxes containing a promise of endless flavor and sati-snack-tion.

Don't believe us? Visit our Flickr gallery, "Pocky, Pretz & Pretenders" for 200 variations of Pocky and Pocky-wannabes. Tip of the effing iceberg...

Rather than go to the time and effort to write an original history blurb on Pocky, let's turn to the Wikipedia for some quick learnin':

Pocky (Japanese: ポッキー, pokkii) is a snack food produced by the Ezaki Glico Company of Japan. 'Pocky' is usually pronounced to rhyme with 'hockey' in English, but is pronounced more like 'poke-key' in Japanese. The classic form of Pocky was first sold in 1965, under the name "Chocoteck", and consists of a biscuit stick coated with chocolate. Pocky was an instant hit among Japanese teenagers, and brought in sales of 30 billion Yen its first two years. The name was changed to "Pocky", after the Japanese onomatopoeia for the sound Pocky makes when bit, "pokkin" (ポッキン). The original was followed by "Almond Pocky" in 1971, with an almond coating, and "Strawberry Pocky" in 1977. Today, the product line includes such variations as milk, mousse, green tea and coconut flavored coatings, and themed products as "Decorer Pocky", with colorful decorative stripes in the coating, and "Men's Pocky", a bittersweet and "mature" version.

Pocky [and the coating-less Pretz] is as popular in Japan as M&M's candy is in the United States, and also has a significant presence in other East Asian countries such as Korea. In Europe, Pocky is renamed Mikado after the game Mikado. In the United States, Pocky can be found in Asian groceries and the international section of most large supermarkets.

Several other brands, such as "Lucky", "Chocky", "Fran", and the Korean "Pepero", are sold by competing companies.

See, you learn something every day, try as you might to the contrary. But enough exposition, let's jump right in to the J.E.I. Pocky Taste Test...

Chocolate Pocky
(Chocolate covered biscuit sticks) Your basic Pocky-- if you can only find one version in your area, this will be the one-- and for good reason. Completely satisfying in every way; crisp, chocolatey and not overly sweet, it's the Pocky to reach for when you've got a crowd to please.
Giant Strawberry Pocky
(Strawberry cream and dried strawberry bits on a giant biscuit stick) Bigger ain't always better. Though the appeal of Tsubu Ichigo "giant" Pocky seems like a sure-fire winner (and Strawberry Pocky is quite popular), it disappoints in execution. The flavor itself is fairly good (if a tiny bit waxy), but the ratio of stick to coating on these 10 inch kindergarten pencils is just all out of whack (it's a lot of stick). And it's much more expensive per stick. Like grain alcohol, you gotta try it once to decide you are fine with just plain old beer.
Coconut Chocolate Pocky
(Chocolate and coconut bits covered biscuit stick) A solid performer taste-wise, but the coconut bits flummox the otherwise streamlined stick, and far fewer fit in the package. Plus, they're shorter, by almost an inch (though the box is the same height as regular Pocky). A nice treat if you're a coco-nut, but you get more bang for your buck with plain chocolate.
"Choco" Banana Chocolate Pocky
(Banana and chocolate coated biscuit sticks) It's difficult to describe the beauty of the precision-machined chocolate stripes cutting through the sickly-sweet yellow banana coating. Swear to god, it's a marvel of confectionery engineering. But even though we are fans of artificial banana flavoring, we've gotta be honest, these are just too sweet (and have a synthetic aftertaste) to be in our regular Pocky rotation.
Men's Chocolate Pocky
(Dark chocolate coated wheat sticks) Hands off, ladies. Though it didn't topple regular Chocolate Pocky for the top slot, Men's Chocolate Pocky is pretty good, and noticeably less sweet than its red-boxed cousin. It's a perfectly good alternative if you just have to feel like a man.
Green Tea Cream Mousse Pocky
(Green Tea/Vanilla coated biscuit sticks) Not as weird tasting as it sounds to your western ears, middle America. In fact, the dominant flavor is vanilla cream. "Mousse" Pocky (including chocolate, strawberry, etc.) have a thicker, aerated coatings, but again, the proportions are off. (but this time it's too much coating). Thicker coating also means fewer to a pack, though in this case, that's OK with us.
Chocolate Pocky G
(Dark chocolate coated crisp wheat sticks) Now we're getting somewhere. While there was not enough difference between the regular Chocolate Pocky and the Men's Chocolate Pocky to distinguish a clear winner, its crisp stick sets Pocky G sets apart. The flavor isn't much different from Men's Pocky, but it's a much more tactile experience, if that matters to you. "G" probably stands for Glico, but even if it didn't it would still sound cool.
Full Bodied Chocolate Reverse Pocky
Down goes Frasier! Ladies and gentlemen, we have a winner. "Reverse" Pocky puts the coating inside the stick, and for all the points it earns being clever, what puts it over the top is flavor-- the rich chocolate fudge combined with the crisp chocolate cracker is fantastic. Regular Chocolate Pocky will continue to be our every day Pocky, but Full Bodied Chocolate Reverse Pocky is our new secret weapon.

We've got a few more flavors to take out on the test lap; we'll be back with more reviews as we have them. Until then, scoot to your local Asian grocer and pick up a few boxes of the Pocky flavor that calls to you. If you don't have a local Asian grocer, well, what do you think the goddamn internet is for?

Also in this series...

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Ephemedia: First Draft Marketing I

Sometimes the brilliant minds that hone and craft the marketing campaigns designed to move products and put asses in the seats fail to get a running start when brainstorming ideas. Fortunately for them, they usually continue to pound the clay until their snake-oil masterpieces appear, ready to snatch your hard-earned dollars from your wallet.

Fortunately for you, the faithful J.E.I. reader, we've dug up a few of the first drafts. Let's have a giggly look...

Also in this series...

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

The J.E.I. Seal Of Approval XI

Once again The Journal of Ephemeral Inspiration is proud to tap our gleaming sword on the broad shoulders of sites that have proven themselves worthy of our useless J.E.I. Seal of Approval.

"Prey tell, how doth one prove thineself worthy, m'lord?" you may ask? Well, for starters, knock off the punk-ass ye olde vernacular and we might tell you, Gandalf.

  • The Old Car Manual Project
    Featuring an impressive collection of scanned sales brochures and manuals spanning all makes, models and years of cars, this site isn't just a data dump or clearinghouse, it's a shrine; a temple for the purpose of worshiping old iron.
  • Spacecraft Films
    Spacecraft Films works with NASA and the National Archives, digitizing hours upon hours of uncut vintage film footage and television broadcasts, plus newly-created material to compile comprehensive records of each NASA mission. For example, is Apollo 15 your thing? Well belly up to a 6-DVD set just chock fulla super-rad video of the astronauts zipping around the moon in their lunar dune buggy. Cool stuff.
  • Vintage Tips
    We don't want to exaggerate, but it may indeed be that Sid Laverents has made the single-most important cultural and anthropological contribution to the entire history of the known universe with Multiple SIDosis. Download Sid's magnum opus from Vintage Tips and behold your new leader.
  • Brick Journal
    There are two types of people in the world: those who love Legos and women. If you're one of the former, you can download the first issue of The Brick Journal (as a PDF) and get your brick-geek on. If you're one of the latter, you can shake your head ruefully.

Well done, all. Insania Fragilis, Fectum Dubitabilis!

Also in this series...

Monday, August 08, 2005

Wish List: El Santo Vs. Las Mujeres Vampiro!

Originally uploaded by K'.
Here at the J.E.I. compound, we're pretty familiar with El Santo (he was sort of the Mexican film industry's version of Superman, Godzilla and James Bond rolled into one, except he was a wrestler and wore one of those cool Mexican wrestler masks) but we'll admit we haven't yet had the pleasure of screening El Santo Vs. Las Mujeres Vampiro. But what better reminder to get on the stick than this kick ass movie poster?

Also in this series...

Sunday, August 07, 2005

News: The Least Litigious Place On Earth

ORLANDO - Sad things are not supposed to happen during The Happiest Celebration on Earth. But for the fourth time this summer, the Walt Disney Co. - amid an 18-month birthday party for its first theme park, Disneyland - is dealing with sad news.

Though an autopsy revealed that the 12-year-old girl who collapsed this month at Typhoon Lagoon water park suffered no physical trauma, autopsy and death are not words that any attraction or theme park, let alone one as well-known as Disney, wants to be associated with.

This is the second reported death of a child at Walt Disney World this summer. A teen, who collapsed after riding the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror ride last month, remains in critical condition at Florida Hospital Orlando.

And just a week ago, 15 guests were injured at Disney's California Adventure when a roller coaster they were in was hit from behind by a second coaster.

In a statement released today, Walt Disney World announced they are updating and renaming several theme park attractions as a part of a resort-wide safety and image renovation. Debuting this summer:

  • Snow White's Unremarkable Adventures
  • Mr. Toad's Relaxing Ride
  • Dumbo The Strolling Elephant
  • The Perfectly Sane Teacup Party
  • 20,000 Leagues Adjacent To The Sea
  • Side Curtain Airbagtopia
  • If You Didn't Have Wings
  • Limitedvision 90˚
  • Carousel Of Caution
  • Space Plateau
  • WED-Way People Restrainer
  • The Renovated Mansion
  • The Hall Of Vice Presidents
  • Country Butterfly Jamboree
  • No Splashing Mountain
  • Swiss Family Foam House
  • Accountants Of The Caribbean

  • Countdown To Homeostasis
  • Kali River Stagnants
  • Festival Of The Hamster King
  • Kilimanjaro Bird Watching
  • It's Acceptable To Be A Bug

  • The Great Video Rental Store Ride
  • Indiana Jones Nap-Time Spectacular
  • Backlot Podcast
  • Light Rock 'n' Roller Coaster
  • Twilight Zone Tower Of Reassurance

  • The World of Seatbelts
  • Honey, I Only Pretended To Shrink The Audience
  • Test Track Control Room
  • Journey Into Predictability
  • Mission: Couch

  • Also in this series...