PopCornucopia is all about free associative pop culture tidbits as they strike my fancy, just like kernels of corn exploding into fullness at a random and unpredictable pace. And of course, the cornucopia is the horn of plenty.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Together, baby


Hot off the presses, a latter day edition of one of the most chuckle-worthy virtuosic comedy partnership eva (part one):

It's a great retrospective of their extraordinary friendship. Warm, touching, dirty, hilarious, nostalgic, celebratory lump of tv fun. If you don't know their work, this is a great way to get to know them and inspiration to check out their incredible body of work. They're so prolific, I'm still discovering new works of their collaborative and individual genius. And I first fell in love with the duo as a mid-nineties adolescent girl seeing them in The Adventures of Jeeves and Wooster.

Top moment for me is fantastic nugget word of a that effortlessly rolls off Hugh Laurie's tongue: badinage. Badass.

Reunited and it feels so good.


Monday, November 22, 2010

Anthropomorphin' Power Rangers

So lately, I have fallen head over heels for Veronica Mars. One might tersely characterize it as a mid-oughties televisual masterpiece or a razor sharp postmodern re-imagining of Nancy Drew. But it is so much more than that. It definitely deserves its own post. Sadly, my lack of follow-through means I may never get around to it.

While that could be the dreary eventuality, and an introduction to the series would be served far better by, say, a clip of the eponymous character, far more relevant to my thoughts at this moment is a tidbit from the series' resident smart-talkin' bad boy Logan Echolls (played by Jason Dohring):

That's right. Anthropomorphic. That is where my thoughts reside.

I'm flippin you people, with a total 180. Because while I would like a to do a lengthy post that praises the show above- referenced, I'd rather muse more here on the idea of endowing objects/machines with human qualities.

In medical practice, building relationships with technology, anthropomorphizing machines to improve the efficacy of health care, is gaining a foothold (see 1:24):

I was struck today by this vid via a post on e-patients.net. What I find exciting in the post were all the practical applications to some ideas that I have only been dealing with on a mostly theoretical plane. However, what I found lacking, was the linkage from these highly practical and tenable suggestions for revolutionizing health care, to the deep social relevance beyond simply improving efficiency and well-being on a large scale (though that's hardly simple, I know). In my own recent academic inquiry I have become increasingly fascinated with the relationships between humans and non-humans, whether they be other species, or objects. Not only I am concerned with how this affects the ways that we talk about the human body and the porousness thereof with regard to transplantation and transfusion medicine (where my research has hovered), but also to the ways we think more broadly about what constitutes "the social," and what still matters in human interaction.

A thinker that I have found particularly inspirational in this regard is Donna Haraway. Her extremely influential work as the founder of cyborg theory, grapples with these issues extensively. While I cannot do justice to her oeuvre in a mere blog post, this lovely video of her expresses some of the sentiment behind her ideas:

Donna Haraway on Human Exceptionalism from Eben Kirksey on Vimeo.

Could I go one longer about this? Sure, but I'm lazy. One way to tie this all up, is to say that with greater appreciation for the non-human in our life, and to engage with the non-human more creatively, we can begin to better the human condition. Paradox perhaps, or just pure wisdom?

Final thought: The Megazord was an excellent example of the cyborg:

Go! Go! Power Rangers!

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Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Nor-Cal to North Sea #1: The dairy free answer to nutella's dominance in the Euro-spread contest

Due to the infrequent nature of postings on this blog, my dear paltry readership, you might have guessed that as a single-handedly crafted blog, I had been through a busy period that prevented any sincere efforts to post.

I was engaged elsewhere in a far more costly writerly enterprise, my opus on allogeneic socialities. Yes, pretension abounds, but all in the name of insight into creation and sharing of knowledge. Abstract, much? You know me, we can talk more about my research, mmmkay?

But now after a goodwill Euro/NYC tour, I have arrived back in the beloved city by the bay. Polishing off a shiny new degree and ravaged from many below-the-knee traveling injuries acquired in the past few months, I am taking a much deserved break from responsibility. This certainly means overconsumption of films and tv, desperately trying to catch up after a year living Dutchily without access to US-only television replay. And plenty of time to tend to my long-neglected blogs.

To officially kick off my blogging re-entry foray, I have decided to reflect on my year in a series of posts about what I really got into this year. Renewed loves and fresh discoveries that I want to share with you from near and far, from Nor-Cal to North Sea.

First up I was inspired by a recently published food article in Salon, praising the humble speculoos, hailing it as the best airline snack (though that's a pretty slim pickings area on the deliciousness scale). It reminded me that this is indeed a delightful snack I will miss from living in the Netherlands, where speculaas is widely available (spelling varies by Belgian/NL divide). Not only that, the speculoos spread from Belgium, inspired by the above referenced cookie was one of my most favorite of favorite food products discovered in the past year. If you are ever in that part of the world, do not hesitate to pick it up. I may have posted this at some point already, but this dog pretty much sums it up:

For a more officially sanctioned perspective peep these commercials:

For non-Dutch speakers, the backing track music loosely translates as "Mamaaaaaa, the most beloved in the whole world"

And another:

The slogan is "daar zit de liefde in" or in English, "there's love inside."
You know what I really love that's inside this commercial? The boy runs through what appears to be a topiary maze. Dammit, he's living my lifelong dream of having a house with a topiary maze, not to mention ultimate scrumdiddlyumptiousness at his breakfast table every morning. I envy you, ginger Dutch jongen swaddled in your robe!

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