Archive for October, 2008

Song: What Can I Do?
Artist/Group: Nan Quan Mama (南拳媽媽)


 Nan Quan Mama are a group from Taiwan. Nan Quan (南拳), “Southern Fist”, is a kind of powerful martial arts and Mama (媽媽) means “mother”, so their name is like a paradox, showing that they can be as strong as Nan Quan and as gentle as a mother.

沒魚的海 會很空白
A sea without fish would be very empty
沒冰紅茶 夏天不要來
Without iced tea, summer need not come

 I think I secretly like the toxic cuteness of a lot of Asianpop I mean, sometimes it’s too much even for me, but I think it’s just their style, and just because the sound, or the appearance of a song or singer is… pink and sweet and cute and kawaii, doesn’t mean the song isn’t decent. Some of the time 😛

I’m looking forward to hearing more songs by Nan Quan Mama, as of right this is their only song that I’ve heard, and I reason to believe that it a bit more cutesy that a lot of their others. I’ve also heard them compared to F.I.R, another band I’ve been wanting to listen to for quite a while.

沒車的路 會很奇怪
A road without cars would be strange
沒人比賽 操場 say bye bye
Nobody racing; playground: say bye bye

I love the simplicity of the lyrics in this song, comparing everyday things to love, but not in a clichéd way. “像泡麵 無所不在” ~ “Like instant noodles, you’re everywhere”. It’s love poetry for the 21st century! Just like a road without cars, my word without you is strange. Like a sea without fish it is empty and like a summer without iced tea, my life just isn’t worth it without you. Awww.

What can I do 裝可愛
What can I do, act cute
還是要 說個明白
or say I understand?
What can I do 我愛你
What can I do, I love you;
可不可以 你也很巧的愛上我
can you, coincidentally, also fall in love with me?

You can watch a kareoke-style version of the MV for this song on YouTube (sorry about the poor quality, but the music’s still great 🙂 ). Bf says the MV reminds him of one that Kylie Minogue did. I’m not a fan so I’m not sure, but he’s probably right! The effect used when the season changes reminds me of this video of Lily Allen’s LDN.

The lyric translations in this post were taken from Sweet Rapture, an awesome website of Chinese music lyrics with translations. The site includes the lyrics in traditional Chinese, pinyin (minus tones), and English translations. The lyrics for What Can I Do? can be found here
So you have no excuse not to sing along!


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Sandy Art

A handful of sand is an anthology of the universe
                                              –David McCord

The first time I ever came across sand art/animation was when I saw the clip below a few years ago. I believe the artist here is Ferenc Cakó, and I believe it is cool. As you can see in the video, this art is created using only dry sand and (usually) your bare hands. The artist traces and sprinkles shapes, patterns and shading in the sand to create incredibly detailed pictures, and the use of a backlight, coloured lighting and sound effects turn it into a great show.

I think the amazing thing about it is the temporality of the pictures. There’s just so much skill in them and they’re created so fast, out of nothing. I’d be standing back, marvelling, feeling pretty damn proud, but instead the artist just destroys them again to create more. It’s so impressive how the artist can use elements of one picture to form the next. Other well-known sand artists include Ilana Yahav, David Myriam, and Ahmad Habash.  

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Heehee. David Spade cracks me up. I just hear his voice and I giggle. The man is funny, in a cute way. I didn’t really know anything about the movie going in, except for what you get from the name. So Dickie Roberts used to be a famous kid in a sitcom, complete with his own catchphrase. Years later he’s washed up, working as a valet, and getting mocked in the streets whenever he’s recognised. When he’s tipped off to a potentially life-changing role in a new Rob Reiner film. Turns out he needs to put time into researching the role, by capturing his missed childhood. So, obviously, he pays a family to let them move in with him and treat him like a child. Genius really.

Good night, prudes. Go have your G-rated dreams. Prude-filled dreams. Dream the dream of prudes.

The film has cameos by real stars, like Brendon Fraser, and bigger roles for Alyssa Milano and Leif Garrett. In parts the film kind of reminded me of Drillbit Taylor, with the washed up guy hanging out with little kids. The kids in this film being the children of the family Dickie moves in with, Sally and Sam. They were pretty cute, one of my favourite scenes was when Dickie tries to help Sam talk to the girl he has a crush on. Another was a misunderstanding about a dead rabbit. I like the format of the opening scenes as an “E! True Hollywood Story” episode.

Grace: Wow, sift through that to find the nugget of compliment.
Dickie: Sift away, sifty.

 There were few “lol” moments during the film, but it wasn’t terrible. Some clever lines and David Spade’s funny wee voice mean that it’s at least entertaining. Acting wasn’t amazing, script wasn’t revolutionary, but you don’t always want to watch something that’s gunna change your life. It’s definately a lot more user-friendly than it could’ve been with the subject matter, nice (relatively)inoffensive fun for when you can’t find anything else at the video store.

During the credits there’s a song sung by other former stars of sitcoms about what it’s like to a “former” star. Cute.

And that’s all I can think of to say about it. Cool.


Director: Sam Weisman
Starring: David Spade, Mary McCormack,
Scott Terra, Jenna Boyd

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I’ll Haikoo YOU

I just found out about the ‘Haikoo Zoo’ application on Facebook. Ta-da! Meet my cute ‘n’ cuddly panda friend. 她叫“小胖”!I can tell this is going to be more than a little addictive. Luckily it’s so simple I won’t be able to waste too much time there… famous last words?

Weeee-eeee! 这么可爱啊!

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So we all know the American election is a big deal. I mean, I live like 10 millions miles away from the U.S. but I’ve heard more about the American Presidential election than the New Zealand election which is like 4 days later. It’s a big deal. I’m going for Team Obama myself. I just like the idea of a president who isn’t a gun-toting old (white) man. Is McCain gun-toting? I have no idea. But Palin is. And Obama seems fresh.

I guess America has a similar problem to NZ with voters, especially young ones, not turning out at the ballot boxes. Hollywood celebs and famous sports people are campaigning all over the place for people to turn out and vote. One series that caught my eye, and probably lots of other people’s, were the striking PSAs from the Declare Yourself (DY) campaign.

Andre 3000, Photo by David LaChapelle

Featuring celebrities and well known personalities crying while wearing often shocking gags and muzzles, they all also feature the slogan “ONLY YOU CAN SILENCE YOURSELF”

Jessica Alba, Photo by Mark Liddell

Jessica Alba and Hayden Pantierre have gone a step further in the video The Muzzler. Styled as a 3 minute informercial, they appear endorsing a product called “The Muzzler”, which you can supposedly wear when you turn 18 if you don’t want to vote. It’s a cute idea and I think they need more campaigns like this that specifically target young voters. I think YouTube user “j3ssj3” raised a good point though when he or she commented on the clip

This is so stupid… If you don’t know the facts, DON’T VOTE. That’s all we need is for the uneducated picking our next president.

We shouldn’t just be encouraging people to wander down and vote, we should be encouraging people to know more about the candidates and policies so that they are interested enough to want to vote.

Christina Aguilera, Photo by David LaChapelle

I do agree that the election is the time for all of us to have our say, so no matter if you’re in New Zealand or America or any other country, take a little time to find out where your MPs, parties and candidates stand on issues that are important to you.

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Song: White ‘n’ Nerdy

Artist/Group: Weird Al’ Yankovic

Man I love this song. Because I’m white. And nerdy. If you havn’t heard of Weird Al he does parodies of music hits. This song is take off of Chamillionare’s song Ridin’ Dirty. If you, like me, are white and nerdy and don’t speak gangsta, “riding dirty” is driving around with a reason for the cops to arrest you. E.g, having drugs in the car or something. Being white and nerdy is just being white. And a nerd. And quite severely not gangsta. And this song is awesome.

My rims never spin to the contrary
You’ll find that they’re quite stationary
All of my action figures are cherry
Steven Hawking’s in my library

I love that he’s copying gangstas and black rap artists in general, but doing it in such a cute and self-mocking way that it’s not insulting. So they won’t shoot him. I love that lots of the nerdy things he raps about are so me!

My MySpace page is all totally pimped out
I got people begging for my top 8 spaces
Yo I know Pi to a thousand places
Ain’t got no grills but I still wear braces

I do not get grills. I mean really, I just do not understand. Does anyone else see that they’re just like really big, diamond studded braces? Or metal false teeth. What is the appeal? I think they’re actually kinda cute when you’ve got your mouth shut, they’re like mouthguards, or braces. Braces are cute. But when you talk it just looks awkward. Awkward and painful. Is it still all the rage for those terrifying children to get them on Sweet 16? *shudder*

I think it’s an awesome thing to be able to laugh at yourself, even if just for giving yourself a label that others might see you as. The video is just as good as the song for this track, watching the faces of the “gangstas” when Al’ tries to approach them bein’ all white and nerdy.

They see me roll on, my Segway
I know in my heart they think I’m
white n’ nerdy
Think I’m just too white n’ nerdy
Think I’m just too white n’ nerdy
Can’t you see I’m white n’ nerdy
Look at me I’m white n’ nerdy!

Whenever I listen to this song, especially when watching the video, I can’t help but do my awesome white gangsta rap moves. Oh yeah. I got moooooooves. Sometimes ya just gotta revel in the nerdiness, people.

You can (and should) check out the video here. It’s funny. And for when you wanna rap along you can find the lyrics here.

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And when is enough enough? After a recent spate of violent robberies in Auckland, it is a liquor store owner who is appearing in court on two counts of ‘injuring with intent’. When some people – on the News on TV they looked pretty young – robbed his liquor store, he sustained a stab wound to the thigh, then defended himself with something… possibly a hocky stick… leaving four people with

injuries including serious head trauma, cuts and bruising.

So did the thieves bring it on themselves? I mean, they came all up in his store in a violent way, and now he is being charged for hurting them? Is this fair? I mean, it sounds bad. It sounds like the NZ justice system is going down the loo. But I think it all depends on the details. For example somewhere I heard his wound described as a “minor” stab wound. On the TV story they lead with something like “Another person left bloody after another Auckland robbery”, it definately sounded like the bloodied person was the victim, you just assumed he wasn’t also the thief. In the clip they played there was a young guy sitting on the ground, with his hoodie covered in huge big blood splatters. Where did all that blood come from? What exactly did the guy do? What are you allowed to do?

The law states that reasonable force for shop owners defending themselves, any other person and or their property is acceptable. Those that clearly exceed that force can expect to be arrested and held to account in the criminal court.

So basically if there’s a guy coming at you with a knife, you can defend yourself. But once he stops actively attacking you you’re pretty much out of options except for calling the police and waiting for them to show up. I guess I think the line should be between actively pursuing fleeing kids and giving them a hiding with a hockey stick and seeing robbers off your property.

the arrest serves as a reminder to all that taking the law into their own hands in some circumstances can not be justified.

I havn’t heard yet that any arrests have been made of the actual thieves from the incident… it all seems just a bit twisted. I think most people would agree that they’d defend themselves in an armed robbery if they could, no matter what the legal consequences. But it’s definately something to think about.

The quotes used here taken from Stuff.co.nz.

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