Please Keep Your Arms and Legs Inside the Ride at All Times

Saw this great animated sequence and actually felt that I was on the roller coaster. Turn up the volume, sit back and enjoy the ride!

Visualization of the 1st violin of the 2nd symphony, 4th movement by Ferdinand Ries in the shape of a rollercoaster. The camera starts by showing a close-up of the score, then focuses on the notes of the first violin turning the staves into the winding rail tracks of the rollercoaster. The notes and bars were exactly synchronised with the progression in the animation so that the typical movements of a rollercoaster ride match the dramatic composition of the music.

Client: Zurich Chamber Orchestra / Zürcher Kammerorchester
Agency: Euro RSCG, Zurich
Creative Direction: Axel Eckstein, Frank Bodin

Created by virtual republic animation and visual effects
Animation Direction: President M. Klein
Producing: Gerhard Vetter
Technical Direction: Martin Chatterjee
Modeling: Martin Sobott, Patrick Busse
Animation: Marco Kowalik, Christian Marschalt, Patrick Busse
Compositing: Steffen Dünner
Data Handling: Morris Willner



Love is in the Air Soundtrack

We’ve brought back our writers (one male, one female) to address the subject of romance. Now, we’re not talking a “Wham-Bam-Thank You-Ma’am” playlist. We’re talking “as close as you can get-staring deeply into your eyes-two people alone in a crowded room-sharing a heartbeat” music. The last music installment listed 6 songs apiece but after ruminating for longer than they should, the authors pulled out 3 classics. What does that mean? Does the general popularity enjoy listening to songs of heartbreak more than love? Or do you simply remember better the music from a sad time in your life?

A Man’s Perspective A Woman’s Perspective
Let’s Get Lost-
Chet Baker

A joyous romp, celebrating “the night we found each other”, this west coast jazz standard captures the spontaneity of a first kiss or a midnight skinny-dip. Hard to sit still when the trumpet, piano, stand-up bass and drums kick in, telling the world, “were in that crazy mood”. An obvious affront to the Eisenhower era when the world was recorded in black and white, this just swings with a colorful intensity. Chet Baker delivers the lyric in deadpan irony, like a beat poet raging against the tyrannical oppression of his recent parking ticket. “You don’t have to take it serious, man, just dig it!!!” Whether you are sitting or standing, you will be dancing.

So in Love
kd lang

kd lang. Man, there is just something about her voice that can make the straightest of women question their own sexuality. If you are looking to set the stage for honest to goodness romance then simply turn down the light, put on a bit of candlelight to enhance the mood, turn on this song and ask her to dance. And not one of those high school slow dances, either. Hold your hand firmly at the base of her back and turn her hand into yours so that you can easily lift her hand to your mouth and brush your lips to her fingertips. When kd sings“taunt me, hurt me, deceive me, desert me…” look her deep into her eyes and tell her, “so in love with you, am I.”

Bewitched, Bothered, and Bewildered
Ella Fitzgerald

Hard to imagine a 71 year old song might be used to conjure romance but this gem stands as a playful reminder that you nor I invented carnal knowledge and when handled by the velvet voice of the First Lady of Song, it is an effusive testimony of the hip-shaking power of subtlety. Backed only by a piano and brushes on a snare, Ella absolutely steams. She dissects every syllable as if it were a soulful kiss. She hits every consonant with such wanton efficiency that it can render adults to blush and children to giggle as she professes without shame or pretense that’ “horizontally speaking, he’s at his very best”. In the end we realize that Ella no longer has the man, but in the wake of her temporal monologue, we are left with so much more.

Embraceable You
Nat King Cole

I have a theory that the most romantic of voices are those that sound like their vocal chords have been lightly sanded, creating an almost fuzzy, warm tone. Nat King Cole, kd lang…their voices are steps above that. They sound as if their chords have been sand blasted with velvet, leaving me feeling just as raw and exposed as their music. As Cole sings, “Above all I want my arms about you. Don’t be a naughty baby, Come to papa — come to papa — do! My sweet embraceable you…” I yearn to walk up to my lover, open his arms and simply crawl inside. I want to feel him and smell him and taste him and get as physically close that I feel might actually move through him. The song is that yummy.

Van Morrison

Nobody celebrated love so unabashedly as Van the Man. Here, he starts of in a whisper over the flute and piano that drives this groove like a pelvic grind. Not sure anybody has ever used the word “fantabulous” with such lusty confidence before or since. Brandishing his poetry like a sword-bearing Eros, he paints pictures of absolute bacchanalia. By the time he takes the mute off his vocal trumpet and lets out about the glossy glee of “the nights magic” well, if you’re not on the train by now, you weren’t going anywhere. The chorus asks, “Can I just have one more moondance…” It really isn’t a question but more of a declarative statement.

The Way You Look Tonight
Harry Connick, Jr.

There are so many renditions of this song but I chose Harry Connick, Jr.’s to represent here because there is a bit of melancholy in his version. When you are standing there with your lover and you are in a completely perfect moment there is so much love and so much happiness but deep, deep down there is also just a tinge of sadness because you realize that this moment is fleeting. That realization makes us cling tighter, look deeper, kiss harder. We all want to keep and hold that one moment where we are complete, invisible, and magical. Play this song during that moment and it’ll remind you to capture and hold the memory so that when difficult times inevitably come you have that wonderful glorious feeling on which to reflect and remember. “Some day, when I’m awfully low, When the world is cold, I will feel a glow just thinking of you…And the way you look tonight.”

Written by D.A. Latta Written by Cindy French

Do you have a song that floats your love boat? Respond via comments! We’d love to get your perspective!



The Sadness Soundtrack

We’ve commissioned two of our writers (one male, one female) to delve into their own personal break-up Hell history, compile a list of their top 6 Heartbreak songs and create their own “Sadness Soundtrack.”

A Man’s Perspective A Woman’s Perspective

Everybody has experienced loss in their lives. It can be as tragic as the death of a family member or something less tangible like the loss of someone’s trust or a job. The ways to deal with loss can be as extensive as the reasons and whatever feels right probably IS right. I’ve always fallen on music as a melodic crutch to get through these times since it’s much cheaper than Prozac and it doesn’t cross the line with my AAallergic reaction to alcohol (which wasn’t always the case). These 6 songs are my equivalent to free medication and therapy. I’d say “enjoy” but that would just be cruel.

“Music hath charms to soothe a savage breast, to soften rocks, or bend a knotted oak.” William Congreve or as we know it today, “Music soothes the savage beast.” Music can be one of the most healing forms of therapy for anybody suffering a heartbreak. It’s tantamount to group therapy whereby you can sit in a room and sing along with the other heartbreak sufferers. So the next time you’re feeling down and out or long in the tooth…or any of those other lovely phrases, turn on one of these favorites and sing your heart out. Trust me, you’ll feel better.

Ray Price

I learned this healing process (or form of dementia) of dealing with a broken heart from my mother, who was married 5 times and subsequently, went through 4 divorces. Her initial divorce from my father brought “Leaving on a Jet Plane” by Peter, Paul and Mary down on my young skull about 1000 times. Her 2nd D-I-V-O-R-C-E (sorry, Tammy Wynette) brought this classic from Ray Price. I recall singing it to a freshly-exed teenage girlfriend in an attempt to convey in song what I didn’t have the words, knowledge or tact to say. Her response ran along the lines of “shut the hell up.”

As I got older and actually listened to words and their meaning, the song became much more than a band-aid. Price’s rich baritone told me to “…hear the whisper of the raindrops, flowing soft against the window and make believe you still love me one more time…” Having shared that last dance of a love gone south, the pain in this song is palpable. When my mother passed away in 2005, Ray Price reminded me, once again, that it was over.


How can you NOT include this song as one of the truest heartbreak songs out there? The moment it is played in supermarkets, elevators, iPods and elsewhere is the moment the listener’s mood changes from anything else to heartbroken. You don’t even have to be suffering from a heartbreak, just listen for a few bars and you will be transported to another time when your heart WAS broken.

Adele’s voice has a raw and guttural quality; as if her heart has been recently ripped from her body with her tears still flowing in between the words. Her chin tilts up as she wails for him not to forget her, her rhythms lilt and sway in an almost-but-not-quite off-tempo way. It is in there that you share her pain and add a touch of your own. “Who would have known how bittersweet this would taste?” Yeah, reminds me I need to get Kleenex.

Fairport Convention

This Gene Clark composition has had many incantations but this little remembered folk group (had Richard Thompson on guitar) from the late 60′s somehow turned this country approach into a gut-wrencher. Fueled by the subtle yet evocative emotion in Sandy Denny’s harmony, it helped me realize why they really had to go. The morose layer of her beautifully stunning voice seemed to broadcast every romance I couldn’t maintain and “…so I sit right up and look right past the pain because I’ve been in love before and I can love again” are words that I lived by in the 80′s and reminded me that it was okay to feel like a kicked dog when I probably deserved it.

Julie London

“Now you say you’re sorry…” It’s what every girl in a break-up yearns for; the ex- crawling back to them, begging for another chance. Your lover has left and like a game show host now seems devoid of any real emotion. Up until now you thought you would do anything, and I mean anything, to get him to return to you. During those rare heartbreak moments where you have a spark of strength that you wouldn’t want him back, this song can feed and nourish that “fuck you” spark enough to build a fire, which may just get you through another day. I chose Julie London for this rendition because her voice is warm and soft, like a cashmere butter blanket.

Tom Waits

Say what you want about Tom Waits. The man has a corner on melancholy. First time I heard this song turned my booze-filled youthful giddiness into a weeping mass of humanity, the gravel-wretched vocal cut me to my core, the piano, dancing with the alto sax, poured salt right into my veins. His plea is just a page in a chapter of desolation and I experience the same sadness every time I hear it. Rich with 1940′s references and imagery, the done-in waitress of this greasy all night diner, armed only with an apron and a spatula, hides her sad past while the antihero, watches her over another cup of java. In the end, he thinks out loud about taking a job at the filling station “…cuz he can eat here every night, what the hell do I got to lose…” You mean other than everything? I’ve sat at this very counter and ate the same hash and drank the same weak coffee that couldn’t even defend itself. If you’ve never been this desperate, I dare you to listen to this song after a fight with a loved one

#4 ON MY OWN – Les Miserables
Samantha Barks

Les Miserables is a tragic story upon a tragic story upon a tragic story. Throughout the entire musical you can’t swing a dead cat without hitting some version of heartbreak. This song, however, oozes the cruelest of all loves: the “unrequited”. To love someone with every cell in your body and yet know that that someone would never even consider you as a possibility is heartbreaking. To make it worse, add a dash of hope; which in reality is really adding salt to your already gaping wound. You know he could never love you…but what if? That small dose of hope will keep you singing this same song and yet still realizing that it will never be. “…Without me his world would go on turning, a world that’s full of happiness that I have never known…” The song is belting and hypnotic and as it builds to a powerful crescendo it leaves the weaker vocalist muted. Samantha Barks (shown here) and Lea Salonga sell this song like they’ve lived it all their lives.

Dorothy Moore

If you like torch songs, this one is funded by Napalm, Inc. Lush with all the trimmings of that beloved 70′s soul, I’ve honestly seen this song make grown men cry on several occasions. Dorothy Moore starts off like any conversation with a long lost lover, light and airy, so sweet and like all conversations where love was left in a rainy parking lot, layers of history come back in hushed tones and recollections then denial, as not to lose face in this unexpected reunion but eventually acceptance and testimonial. The power of her wails add the final death stamp on a love gone wrong and possibly the most honest cries I’ve ever heard

Sunday in the Park with George

Musical theatre has carried me through many light, happy moments and dark, brooding times. There is something about singing a song while knowing an entire back story that stays with me. “We Do Not Belong Together” is one of those songs. Bernadette Peters is the voice that is both warm and wounded and Mandy Patinkin’s clear, demanding tone barely conceals the artist’s anguish. How do you stay with someone who isn’t able to give to you what you need to hear? Even while engulfed in a firestorm of passion? I remember sitting in my little rented room in a house filled with college students. I’d taped pennies to the doorframe as decoration and my mattress lay flat on the floor amongst books, clothes, dishes and cigarette butts. Saturated with heartbreak in a smoke-filled room I played this song on repeat and I cried with Bernadette as she begged him, “tell me not to go…”

Billie Holiday

I’ve often thought that Billie Holiday’s voice was comparable to looking through broken opaque glass, distorted and distant. Perhaps how one hears things while in a coma. Here she takes the 8 notes that she could sing and twists the joy out of every sweet memory you ever had and leaves you with the cold sweats of every mistake you ever made. Repeated listenings confirms that she is lying. Her reed-thin voice gives just a glimpse of her cruel secret … She won’t look you in the eyes; she moves her cheek as you try to kiss her. She is so close you can almost taste the recent cigarette but she is so far away. If you wake up from that coma, she won’t be there. Her subtle touch will be gone and the small cafe, the wishing well and the moon itself will only be your memories.

Billie Holiday

Yes, I’ve chosen the same song. This song is just … wow. Billie Holiday conveys the grief of lost love with such sadness and melancholy that it makes me teary even writing about it. The lyrics have such a finality to them that there appears no hope of ever seeing this person again. “I’ll find you in the morning sun and when the night is new. I’ll be looking at the moon, but I’ll be seeing you.” Did the person die? Perhaps … which makes me even tearier … especially considering the circumstance of Billie Holiday’s own passing.

Otis Redding

Few can adequately put on paper what Otis can do to one’s senses. Personally, I’m embarrassed to try. How could I possibly convey the six notes he uses on the first three syllables of the staccato intro are like pushing that sled up to the edge of a 75 degree incline. Who am I to think I could put into words how in 2 minutes and 32 seconds you could literally taste kisses from 30 years ago, remember a soft embrace in the front seat of a fogged up car, hold a newborn baby against your chest while she sleeps, hear the whimpers of excitement only to have your heart ripped out by suffering through an absence, relive negligence, burn in selfishness and wallow in self-pity. Otis leaves me naked miles away from home in a place I vow never to return to but actually, I’ve never left. I miss my kids; I miss my mom and my dad. I miss the old Motorola Hi-Fi where endless 45′s spun like magic and burned me with thoughts and dreams that I could never attain. I miss the friendships I’ve destroyed and every love that I’ve killed. What I don’t miss is this song because I hear it every day.

Bonnie Raitt

This song was a favorite karaoke song of mine and I could belt it with the best of them. Who knew that this soon would become the theme song to my break-up? Internally I knew there was someone else; I knew that it was a matter of time before the silverware was sorted and the laundry was halved. On that stage, holding a poor man’s mic and without the need for lyrics on the screen, I looked deep into my lover’s eyes and I sang Bonnie Raitt’s words…but for that night they were mine. I had written them with my tears, I had sung them with my soul. I wailed for understanding and pleaded for more…but just as the song came to an end, I also understood that so had we.

Written by D.A. Latta Written by Cindy French

So do you have a heartbreak anthem? Can you identify with any of the songs listed above or do you have a completely different take on what makes a song heartbreaking? Respond via comments! We’d love to get your perspective!



Drunk Friday Funnies

Aaaah, it’ Friday and Hallelujah!

Our usual Friday Funny Feature (fuuu! that’s a lot of f’s) needed to be given a little kick in the pants by adding just a touch of the Jesus Juice. To celebrate a much needed Friday we’re adding Drunk to our Friday Funnies.

Please enjoy’s version of Drunk History.

Drunk History Vol. 5 w/ Will Ferrell, Don Cheadle & Zooey Deschanel from Will Ferrell

You can also delight in the cooking prowess of Hannah “Harto” Hart in “My Drunk Kitchen”.

I know how much the internet loves kitties…so here’s a drunk one.

And lastly, I really couldn’t finish this post without the old favorites, the “drunken shame” photos. Have a great weekend, don’t drink and drive and make sure YOU are the one holding the camera phone!



This is a real Page Turner



Back to the Future photo collection

I have a love affair with the website stumbleupon because it allows me to find things I would never ordinarily run across. This artist from Buenos Aries has been collecting these “back to the future” photos and displaying them on her site.

I look at these photos and instantly go through the card catalog of my brain and nowhere would I be able to replicate a photo from my childhood. I am AMAZED at the details. But really, do these people ever redecorate? Ever?!? Many of these were taken in South America or Europe…so maybe it’s also a statement of the “throw away” mentality of us Americans. Regardless…this is fantastic. I wold love to reproduce the photo of me as a toddler climbing up onto a chair as my grandma’s dog, Duke, pulls my pants down. But alas, that Duke has long since started his eternal dirt nap and my ass probably wouldn’t even fit in that chair any longer.

Check out more of Irina Werning and her work at her website: or to watch a great NPR interview with her just click



Somebody that I used to know

2 different takes on the same song. Watch the cover and then watch the original. Such a great song and so cool to see 2 different interpretations. Could you put a new spin on it?



Cute little Edie dog LOVES her kitty



CSI: North Pole

This is a special gift from us…to you!
It took a solid 3 weeks of blood, sweat and tears…but it was worth it!
Happy Holidays!!!



World Aids Day

Today, on World AIDS Day, I happened to stumble upon this K.D. Lang video from back in the ’90′s. This was a compilation of artists singing Cole Porter songs with money being earmarked for the AIDS crisis.

Watching it again brought back so many memories; that initial fear of this unknown “disease” and the many rumors of how you could contract it. For so long there were so many unknowns…so much misinformation…so much ignorance. Could you get it by touching, kissing, hugging, coughing…? “Safe sex” was widely talked about but still hit or miss in its actual usage. And of course, with us being teenagers, we were convinced this scourge could never hit “us”. Until, of course, it did. My friend Mick was the first I knew who died of AIDS. Michael was the second. For Michael’s memorial he requested that all of us gather in the auditorium at work to screen the movie, “Longtime Companion”. Considering the subject matter of the film and the reason we were watching it, I’m amazed that any of us could drive home that night.

But drive home is exactly what we did. We drove home to our loved ones to sleep in our beds and find comfort in the mundane and routine. Those too scared to have an AIDS test would wait in fear after donating a pint to the Bloodmobile. Hushed whispers followed openly gay males when they experienced a sudden weight loss. An entire community of gay men, ravaged by this disease, attended funeral after funeral after funeral.

AIDS is a vengeful mistress, to be sure. It strips you of your dignity, as you reluctantly confess all of your sexual dalliances to a suited stranger with a clipboard, your humor as the sickness and drugs depress your mood and stifle your hope, your appearance as you discover Kaposi’s sarcoma covering your body and hollowed cheeks from the 60 pounds you lost seemingly overnight, your vital organs as you gasp for air from the Pneumocyctis Pneumonia or forget your family from the lesions on your brain.

July 23, 1996 – that was the day that the The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office awarded the patent on the antiviral drug 3TC. This new “cocktail” of drugs from Emory University was a turning point in the AIDS crisis. It changed the disease from people dying of AIDS to people living with AIDS. That cocktail saved my friend’s life. He was literally on death’s door, resembling more a concentration camp victim than the witty, vibrant, funny man I knew. The hospice nurses warned us he wouldn’t see Thanksgiving. He survived. He thrived. Now he faced the new challenge of figuring out how to live on disability while shoveling pills that help him live (but also make him sick). Health care, job opportunities, everything he had needed to be rethought around his second chance.

Just recently another friend, who had AIDS for decades, passed away. It was a shock. He hadn’t made his diagnosis public, as many don’t, so it took a lot of us by surprise. It reminded me that we have gotten forgetful of what people with AIDS still have to go through every single day.

I am sorry for forgetting.

Today I remember.

I remember Mick, whose sardonic wit and perfect taste had people clamoring for his attention.

I remember Michael, whose gentle spirit and kind demeanor commanded fierce loyalty.

I remember Rick, whose funny laugh made my friends adore him.

I remember Kelly, whose Midwest stories during cigarette breaks could make the toughest exterior crack.

The final scene in the movie, “Longtime Companion” has stayed with me through these many years. 3 friends, walking on a familiar beach, discuss the day a cure is found. “Imagine what it would be like.” “Like then end of World War II.” They look into the distance and see a group of people come into view, laughing, hugging. You realize that many in the crowd are the friends and family who had died earlier in the movie. There is celebration and there is hope; of one day being able to say, “We cured AIDS.”

That day will be amazing.

“And I want to be there.”

To watch the final scene, go to the 8 minute mark on this video.