Monday, December 19, 2011

Bought a bottle of Stoli for my Dad's birthday...

...and it rolled out of my car onto the concrete floor of his garage and shattered. I don't usually like to rely so heavily on the old chestnut about the thought being what counts...

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Did they find the Higgs Boson or not?

So, as you’re no doubt aware (!), the physicists at the Large Hadron Collider at CERN (The European Organization for Nuclear Research) have, amongst their august goals, the challenge of finding the postulated Higgs Boson. This is the theoretical particle that gives all things mass. Without it, we’re back to the drawing board in our fundamental understanding of the universe.
Today, particle physicist Fabiola Gianotti did a live webcast from CERN talking about this very subject. Courtesy of Boing Boing, the short summary is this:

The public announcement wasn't really an announcement of anything. Instead, it was more like a year-in-review presentation. CERN has made some good progress in the hunt for the Higgs Boson, they've been able to narrow their search to small field, and they have seen some potentially interesting things happening within that field. But there's not really enough here to say, one way or the other, whether the Higgs Boson is there. What they can say: 2012 is likely to be a really exciting year for particle physics, as researchers dive into experiments that will help them figure out what those "interesting things" really are.

Hey! There’s another reason to look forward to 2012!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Stanley Kubrick's New York

Before Stanley Kubrick built a career as a film maker he was the youngest-ever staff photographer for Look Magazine. Now, VandM and the Museum of the City of New York are making prints available by the teenaged prodigy...

(Tip of the cap to

Monday, November 28, 2011

Driving While Reading

Those of you following my Twitter feed (Hello Lou Barlow!) know that I was cited last week for DWR - Driving While Reading. $35 seems like a small price to pay for the pleasure of having the story to tell but then I was reminded that this was a moving violation and I will be paying surcharges for car insurance for the next 6 years.

At least the guy didn't pepper-spray me...

Saturday, November 26, 2011

And oh what the hell...

While we're on the subject of Kevin Parry I'll give him another plug...hope all the traffic I'm driving to his site doesn't crash the servers!

Kalle Mattson - Thick As Thieves (Official Video) from Kevin Parry on Vimeo.

The Arctic Circle

This is a great stop-motion animation by Kevin Parry. Know how I know it's great? Because Tim Burton said so. And he's right! (What a relief it must be for Mr. Burton to have the validation of a web luminary such as myself...)

The Arctic Circle from Kevin Parry on Vimeo.

Tim Burton on The Arctic Circle and Stop-Motion Animation from Kevin Parry on Vimeo.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Palmer! Merritt! Gaiman! Moby!

We opened the Degas and the Nude exhibition at the museum a few weeks ago, the last hurrah of departing Art of Europe Chair George Shackelford who will be joining the Kimball Art Museum in Fort Worth, Texas as Senior Deputy Director.

Just before the opening Shackelford was conducting a private tour for Amanda Palmer of the Dresden Dolls and her husband, author Neil Gaiman. (Caution, more name dropping to follow...)

So moved by the exhibition was Palmer that she undressed on the spot and posed in repose while Gaiman took the opportunity to sketch her. It was a non-event event but caused snickers in the local paper for a few days after.'s Palmer and Gaiman on Halloween, along with Moby and Stephin Merritt (the Magnetic Fields guy, sounding typically baritonishly great) performing "Science Fiction/Double Feature" from The Rocky Horror Picture Show.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Marketing Genius

Loyal readers (!) probably recall this post about a marketing campaign suggesting that 7-Up isn't only refreshing for adults but for infants as well.

Here's another beauty brought to you by the fine folks as Schick Razor Company that makes it clear that if Schick is good enough enough to shave the mangled and burned faces of the victims of the Hindenburg disaster then, by gosh, it should be good enough for you too!

(click to embiggen)

I've got dozens of unfinished songs...none as good as this one...

Sophie Madeleine "Oil & Gold" - Live at the Loft from Indaba Music on Vimeo.

Agent Starling

A group of crows is called a "murder." A group of starlings is called a "murmuration." Give this video 25 seconds and then hold on...

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Don't Mutilate Your Papers

Today is my one-year anniversary at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. I spent the previous 18 years failing upwards in a career in sales and marketing, most recently selling paperclips to Staples. And if that sounds like a particularly dreary way to spend 50 or 60 hours per week, well, you have no idea.

It was about a year ago that everything came crashing down. I lost my job, the third in five years. My marriage of six years went up in smoke and I moved into my parent’s basement. Littlefoil was a champ throughout and adjusted to the changes much better than I did. It wasn’t until thereapist #5 that I found someone who knew how to help.

Thank you #5. Thanks also to my friend Kelly who worked at the MFA and brought my attention to a temporary, entry level sales job there. I started selling memberships at the front door…me, a forty four year-old washout, along with nine fresh-faced college students.

The plan was to bring in a little bit of income while exploring a new place, a new industry and a new career. And for the first time in memory, the plan actually worked. About three months later I accepted a full-time job as an Operations Manager and haven’t looked back. I have never had a job that I enjoyed as much as this one. Not camp counseling, not working at Tower records and surely not selling paperclips.

It was the first step in a forced reinvention which should have happened 15 years sooner.

So if you’re looking to make a life change, go ahead and do what I did, move into your parent’s basement and take a 55% salary reduction. It’s just that easy.

I’ve retrofitted my ideas about happiness and lifestyle and the future to fit my new situation and I’m feeling optimistic and hopeful and good.

And it’s partly because of #5 and partly because I moved out but mostly the job has been the thing. I wasn’t just being snarky about the paperclips by the way. That really was my job. Paperclip salesman. Ye gads. And good for all of the other paperclip sales people out there. We all need paperclips…it’s just that the paperclip industrial complex has a way of chewing up and spitting out gentle folk like me.

(Cue Alec Baldwin: “I used to be in sales, it’s a tough racquet…”)

But now, here I am, a man of the arts! A conduit between some of the most significant contributions to the human endeavor and the restrooms! A guide for the patron of the arts who also happens to be looking for the food court. Every day I bring people a little bit closer to history, wonder, creativity and the coat room.

Clearly, I don’t consider myself superior to the paperclip salesman, the robot salesman, the ball point pen salesman or the rubber duckie salesman. I applaud the record store clerks and waiters, the lawnmowers and the sales clerks, the car salesmen, the radio DJ's, the park guides at Sea World and the cold callers because at one time or another I've been all of those things.

Yes, I spend a lot of time directing people to the toilets but I get to do it alongside Degas, Kelly, Picasso and Marclay.

And sometimes, when I use a paperclip, I try to look back on what were such dark days for me only to find my memory a blurry fuzz. No need to bring it into focus though. My lesson is learned.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011. Year two, day one.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

I stand a little bit corrected...

From the fine folks at The Guardian via the fine folks at Boing Boing comes news that British Christian groups are vowing to protect the Occupy London protesters in front of St. Paul's Cathedral by forming a protective prayer ring.

And just who are they protecting the protesters from? From the Church itself! With "senior leadership" intent on seeking injunctions to have Occupy London protesters forcibly removed, a few right-thinking Christians have called bullshit.

The canon chancellor of St Paul's, Dr Giles Fraser, and the Rev Fraser Dyer, who works as a chaplain at the cathedral, have resigned in protest. The groups vowing to protect the protesters issued the following statement:

"As Christians, we stand alongside people of all religions who are resisting economic injustice with active nonviolence. The global economic system perpetuates the wealth of the few at the expense of the many. It is based on idolatrous subservience to markets. We cannot worship both God and money."

Meanwhile, the bishop of London, the Right Rev Richard Chartres and the dean of St Paul's, the Right Rev Graeme Knowles wouldn't answer when asked if they would commit to opposing the planned eviction.

Chartres said it was irrelevant for him to take a stance, telling journalists: "I honestly have no part in it, because St Paul's and the Dean of Chapter are in charge." And yet apparently he does have a part in it because here is is addressing the protesters while Knowles looks on thoughtfully. So which is it Bish? Are you the guy or not?

What leadership! (And totally dig the evil banker suit behind them!)

Jonathan Bartley, the director of the influential religious thinktank Ekklesia, said "To evict rather than offer sanctuary is contrary to what many people think the church is all about."

*By the way, in the British Roman Catholic Church, the term "The Right Reverend" refers to bishops while "The Most Reverend" is reserved for archbishops. "Asshole" may be commonly used to refer to the whole lot of them.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Longshoremans Local 374

It was a good night to watch “On The Waterfront.” It was cold and rainy, a scrappy kind of night. And I was in the right mood.

And in 2011, 57 years after its release, “On the Waterfront” is equally timely and dated.

Timely because the fight against power, tyranny and corruption resonates and reflects the 99% ethic of the Occupy movement. Dated because of the abdication of responsibility by the Catholic Church for social justice and morality.

Karl Malden’s Father Barry, as the moral center of the movie, is unrecognizable. A crusading priest today? Show me one. While the Pope crusades agains condom use in AIDS torn Africa, local clergy remain circumspect about molestation and abuse but are firm and engaged in the fight against equality and justice for the marginalized.

What a difference 57 years makes. The roles are the same but the players are unrecognizable. Father Barry? What a laugh.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

TFWOTD (Tim Foil’s Word of the Day)

I received an e-mail from a colleague today that used the word “swivet.” Swivet is defined as a fluster or panic as in When I lost my job I was in a terrible swivet.

Go forth and use accordingly!

Monday, October 24, 2011

It's not just me...right?

I'm almost embarrassed to share this because it means revealing to the world that I spent part of my time on Sunday, October 16 looking at Parade Magazine. Flipping past the ads for weight loss shakes and commemorative plates I came across this cartoon:

Is this as insensitive as I think it is? Could it possibly be? I must be reading this wrong because I googled my heart out to try and find some backlash online but there was nothing.

Until now! TMUOTF breaking news on the cyber-thingy!

LittleFoil Vs.The Brambles

As a supporter of the arts and as one being supported by the arts, I submit the following whimsical video for your consideration...

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Saw Jupiter last night...

Hanging up there in the sky about as bright as anything else up there...especially because the moon pulled a no-show.

But there it was, reflecting off the ocean. Jupiter's moment in the sun so to speak.

Also saw a shooting star. Night beach.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Friday, September 16, 2011

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Saturday, May 7, 2011


Thanks for reminding me Molly...

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

I wish I were young again...

I was never particularly fast...but was faster than I am now. I was never particularly athletic...but was more athletic than I am now. I was never particularly flexible...but I was more flexible than I am now. My knees never felt great...but they felt better than they do now.

That's why when I was watching Vision Quest the other night (I know...but insomnia you know?) this scene just made me feel old.

So does this...

Tempest Freerunning Academy from The Cool Hunter on Vimeo.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Tuesday, February 22, 2011


I just had my first ever tast of Toblerone. Delicious!

Watch out Nutella, you're next!

Crap...just spilled my Orangina!