He Poos Clouds

Listen to clips from the new album from Final Fantasy He Poos Clouds, featuring vocals from Arcade Fire's violinist Owen Pallett over a string quartet. Pallett is an unabashed nerd--son of two entomologists, he scored a videogame at the age of twelve and two operas by the age of twenty-one--and this album is an attempt to modernize each of the eight Dungeons & Dragons schools of magic. Yep.

iToors sounds cool in concept--Podcasts for travelers to various cities--though the content on the site is still skimpy. For now there are podcasts for Paris, Prague, London, Glasgow, and Santa Monica(?!). The site also has a search engine for suggesting books, movies, and music to accompany a trip to each city, though again the cupboards are still quite bare. I'll withhold judgment until I hear their NYC podcasts, releasing sometime this next month. In general, though, I think the podcast market for travelers is underserved right now, especially having just returned from a month long trip in which my iPod was a permanent fixture. No podcast can replace a seasoned guide who can answer questions that pop into your head as you stroll around town, but a podcast is sure to be cheaper.

Handy list of useful Mac OS X freeware.

The Flock web browser beta is now available. It's a Mozilla-based browser with built-in features to simplify common web activities like bookmarking, blogging, newsreading, and photo-browsing.

Hou Hsiao-Hsien's Three Times, which I saw the NYFF in 2005, is playing in a few theaters around the country. The movie comprises three shorts, each starring Shu Qi and Chang Chen as lovers, in 1966, 1911, and 2005. Though the overall movie is uneven (the second segment was a bit inert), the first segment, "A Time For Love," is romantic, gorgeous, and unforgettable. The movie's trailer is here (Quicktime). You can get a flavor of Hou's tranquil lyricism from his commercial for Air France also (click "Voir les films TV" and then "Le Ponton"), a commercial I saw more than a few times while traveling through E. Europe.

A glitzy annual benefit to sponsor breast cancer research is titled What A Pair! We may not have found the cure yet, but there's no shortage of cringe-inducing puns.