Saturday, January 24, 2009

How to Make Medicinal Snake Wine

This exotic tonic was introduced to me by one of the top orthopedic surgeons in the US and a fantastic travel photographer, Bob Derkash. Every sip and following inhale tastes like snake.

Vietnamese herbalists have been prescribing snake wine to patients for centuries. It is said to cure everything from low libido to back pain. Besides flying to Vietnam and buying a bottle of it in a back alley for $25, why not make your own.

Snake wine is made by trapping a small cobra in a bottle and drowning it in rice wine. The dead snake then ferments in the wine releasing chemicals that transform the alcohol into a mystic tonic.

Get together your ingredients. You'll need gloves, knife, alcohol cleaning solution, hook for handling a live cobra, funnel, corked glass bottle, rice wine and of course, the live snake.

Trap the snake's head under your shoe. Hold its tail in your hand and stretch the snake out. Watch out that it doesn't get a bite out of you. That would probably ruin your winemaking experience. And snake wine doesn't do much for snake bites. Ironic, we know. Cut small slits at the head and tail. Rinse the

Slice the snake from head to tail and remove its innards.

Rinse the inside of the snake with the cleaning alcohol solution.

Place the snake in the bottle. Cork the bottle, as the snake will still be wriggling. Get the wine and funnel in place.

Find the snake's heart and separate from rest of innards. Place in jar with snake.

Repeat with more snakes until the jar is 2/3 full.

Fill jar with rice wine, cork and let sit for at least 3 months.

Legend says snake wine can last as long as 500 years. The longer it ferments, the more potent its medicinal properties become. This is practiced in China, Vietnam, Fuji and other Asian and Pacific Island countries. Scorpions have also been used or supplemented for snakes.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Curious Hats: An Afternoon with Spike Lee & Stew

For the life of me Spike Lee just always sounds like the white one. And I'll never properly recite the title of the brilliant documentary he premiered at Sundance yesterday.

Passing Strange is a Spike Lee documentary, but for all other purposes it is a musical unlike any other. A good friend passed me a comp ticket and despite already hearing how wonderful it was, I could not put 2+4 together, arriving pretty oblivious.

Passing Strange will inevitably land on a Sunday night somewhere between Showtime and HBO. It is an incredible non-Dreamgirls/Moulin Rouge musical. The recording is a documentary of the last two performances it had on Broadway at the Richard Rodgers last summer '08.

Thank you Stew, Spike, etc. The story of Youth has and will continue to inspire me to love more and work harder.

Oh, and we had matching white poofy hats. His marked with a Yankee NY, mine a Peruvian import.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Dealing in Intangibles

What happens to our economy when we lose Blockbuster, Barnes & Noble and the public library? A lot more than industry shift and For Rent sign shortages. We lose the trust, the people, the face to face accountability. When you shopped at a store in the ancient times, you exchanged money (the value of this tangible is up for another lengthy discussion) for a tangible item, such as a CD or book. Amazon and iTunes make this transaction obsolete. Two clicks and you have megabits of data transmitted to you magically.

I got kicked off YouTube for legitimate copyright violations. I also got kicked off for a flurry of poor flags regarding footage I owned. In a flickr, I lost all of the value that my account had accrued. Millions of viewers is lots of potential energy and possible revenue. It IS power. But at a whim, YouTube-Google swiped it away. With quick CPM advertising crunching I could value the loss at $10,000. Ouch.

So, who do I call? How can I avoid this unfair practice from ever affecting me. If YouTube was down the block I'd stop shopping there, bring my business elsewhere. Hmmm. Yahoo! Video? Yeah, right.

Hey, US Justice Dept, is there are problem here.

The Facebook Problem:
Valuation of 15+ billion USD is more than threatening to brick and mortars. That's ten times the value of Coca Cola. That's a bigger price tag than the US auto industry. This presents many issues that we've not had to conceive of except in love and marriage: trust.

Not just to protect your privacy and not abuse the catalog of information they now own. Go to Facebook and you don't see a Book. No facebooks a la collegiate dorm rooms. Just non-brand Dells and hundreds of nerds. They have no assets. Just perceived assets. Projected wealth. Value in an idea that has nothing to show for their value, but a PowerPoint and some Analytics.

The hypocrite ponders. Sitting atop a pile of potential energy, toggling with the output of one's mind. My receipt is vouchers for a promise of further receipts (IOUs for IOUs). Give me a greenback for a word and the cycle will keep me on the dole.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Vegas Ills

Gas station slot machines, pimps sunbathing on the scattered grass patches, eco-abusive use of the 'oasis'. Las Vegas is sad.

To enjoy it, one must load up like HST.

What I'd give to be a gonzo today.

Backstage at the Obama rallies-- like snorting sideways with Cobain in '92.

Viral Pulled

Thanks to Warner Music Group, my run as a YouTube titan ended. Christmas Day the cease/desist style letter was delivered.

My video splice of Shane Mercado's Single Man with Beyoncé's Single Ladies ended the run with over 4 million view and 13,000+ comments.

Most of it's exposure overcame a homophobic flag of '18+/mature' content that required any viewers to be registered (adult) users of YT.

It was fun(ny) while it lasted.

Here is the final victory shot.

No parody laws to hide behind either.