Monday, October 31, 2005

Maybelline is Made Out of People

There's a truly horrifying story coming out of China. In a nutshell, a British newspaper has discovered that a popular Chinese cosmetics company is using human skin in its products. By itself, that's not as unusual as you might think. But this company is using skin from executed prisoners.

Apparently, they use collagen in makeup to smooth out wrinkles, and collagen can be found in skin. The newspaper hasn't identified the product, but did say it most likely has been shipped and offered for sale in the UK. Obviously, this is sickening. Rubbing a cream on my face, then discovering it contains ground-up skin from a Chinese political prisoner would be enough to put me in therapy. But let's put it in context.

One of the most heinous crimes Nazi Germany ever did during the Holocaust was try to profit off the execution of Jewish prisoners. They figured they had all these dead bodies lying around, why not do something useful with them? So they famously tried to make lampshades out of human skin. I thought that was as bad as it got, but the Nazis never got away with it. This makeup thing is on-going, and the Chinese refuse to admit it's even happening, let alone stop it.

Truly, evil is all around us.

P.S. The reference to Maybelline in the title was intended as parody and in no way indicates that Maybelline is, indeed, using Chinese prisoner skin. Nor is it meant to imply that Maybelline uses Vietnamese children as slave-labor in its factories. And at no time was it intended to suggest that Maybelline executives are a group of slimy, filthy, money-grubbing suits who care more about their bottom line than the welfare of their customers. Nor was it suggested that Maybelline is a cruel and diabolical company that imports cocaine into inner cities to fuel gang warfare, grinds up puppies to serve as lunchmeat in its cafeterias, and is secretly developing a mind-control formula in order to conquer the world. We are sorry if this impression has come across.
Conversation of the Future:
JOE: Hey, Bob, what're you doin' in the makeup aisle?
BOB: Oh, I'm just trying to pick up some makeup for my wife. But it's so confusing.
JOE: Well, my wife prefers Maybelline. They only use the finest skin from executed Chinese political prisoners.
BOB: Yeah, that's what I heard, but my wife read an article on how it's wrong to use executed Chinese political prisoner skin, blah, blah, blah. This one says "Now executed Chinese political prisoner skin-free," but it costs a hundred dollars more.
JOE: Sometimes you have to pay for your principles. But you could go for Cover Girl. Theirs says "forty percent less executed Chinese political prisoner skin than the leading brand."
BOB: Maybe I will. But Mary Kay says they only make products from the skin of executed American Democrats. Ever since the Republicans took over, the prices have gone way down. Heck, they got fifteen bottles out of Michael Moore alone.

Unseen Movie Review: Doom

I'm not seeing this movie for reasons anyone who knows me would understand, but I still wanted to talk about it. So here's my unseen movie review for Doom.

I initially was interested when I heard this was coming out. I always thought Doom had a simplistic but unique backstory - soldiers face an invasion of monsters from Hell. Would you believe they took the Hell backstory out of the movie? Instead, it's about genetic engineering. Unbelievable. That would have been a very edgy story, full of philosophical and spiritual implications that were never explored in the game, which is probably why they took it out. No need to get the Religious Right on their backs. But in terms of bad game adaptations, that's got to be a biggie. That's not quite as bad as putting the Mario Brothers in a world evolved from dinosaurs or making Street Fighter's Chun-Li a news reporter, but it really does go up there. I feel robbed, even though I never planned to see the movie. Especially since all the promotional stuff for the movie is stuff like "Hell Breaks Loose".

And it doesn't sound like the Rock is the hero in the movie. The hero is actually John Grimm, who's supposed to be the unnamed Marine from the game. The Rock sounds like he's actually more like a villain, who's plotting to kill all the surviving humans in the base. Not what I came to see.

One bright spot. The first-person sequence shown in the trailers actually is in the movie, although it's very brief and doesn't sound like it fits into the context. Now if the whole movie had been filmed that way, that would've been interesting, sort of a Blair Witch-type of thing. Anyway,the reviews make it sound truly horrible, so not missing anything there. My unseen rating: D

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

News Nuggets


Officials in New Orleans expressed fears about a mass exodus of residents from the city. They believe flooding, toxic chemicals, ruined infrastructure, and threats of future flooding may make New Orleans look slightly unattractive.

Gore announced that he does not plan to run for President. He plans instead to invent a new Internet. And just for the record, I don't plan to run, either.

Hurricane Wilma slammed into the East Coast, but caused less damage than feared. However, there are fears that other storms could elevate into Hurricane Fred and Hurricane Bam-Bam.

The Iraqis managed to pass a new constitution after considering compromises. The constitution now calls for them to try to kill each other only on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays.

Two New Orleans police officers shown on video beating a subdued and unarmed man denied that they used excessive force. They claimed to be merely massaging his head with their fists.

An Arkansas mother gave birth to her sixteenth child. The mother was quoted as saying, "Now I have as many babies as I have teeth."


A new study shows that exercise can trim deep abdominal fat. The same study shows that sleep can reduce fatigue, and drinking liquids can reduce thirst.

Anthropologists uncovered an ancient jawbone of a prehistoric human. The bone's large size proves that it came from an ancestor of Jay Leno.

Medical reports among the elderly show that overall cholesterol levels are falling, but funny smell levels went up.

Scientists warned of the dangers of a future pandemic caused by Avian bird flu. They say the flu can be identified by its secret blend of eleven herbs and spices.


Van Gogh drawings are going to be exhibited in New York. Muggers honored the occasion by cutting off their victims' left ears.

After rumors spread that their wedding was a hoax, photos released to tabloids confirmed that Ashton Kutcher and Demi Moore did indeed get married. Kutcher complained, "Why won't anyone believe me? It's not like I have a history of lying."

Angelina Jolie received a Humanitarian Award from the United Nations. They said that she benefited the human race with her tireless efforts to raise awareness of refugees, feeding the hungry, and getting naked in movies.


The Yankees were eliminated from the playoffs, showing that the Boston Red Sox' pact with Satan is secure.

Duke's Mike Krzyzewski has been chosen to coach the next Olympic basketball team. The first order of business? Teaching players how to pronounce his name.

See you next Tuesday.
Categories: news

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Rosa Parks Didn't Do Nothin'

Rosa Parks is dead. While plenty of people will be mourning and eulogizing her today, I thought we should inject a dose of reality into the moment. And who better to do that than Eddie with his infamous speech from the movie, Barbershop.

Rosa Parks ain't do nothin' but sit her black a** down. What Rosa Parks has become is a symbol of the civil rights movement. Now true, I gotta give Rosa her props in that her act helped start the movement, but you know what, she damn sure ain't special, cuz a whole lotta black folk sat down on them busses and got thrown in jail, and they did it before she did it! Only thing different between them and her is that she was secretary at the NAACP, plus she knew Martin Luther King so she got publicity... Look, black people gotta stop lying to themselves. There are three things black folk gotta admit. One: Rodney King deserved to get his a** beat for driving drunk and gettin' rolled in a Hyundai. Two: OJ did it! OJ did it! And three: Rosa Parks ain't do s*** but sit her black a** down in a bus.

Batman Returns Again

Okay, Batman Returns was a disappointment compared to Batman. But compared to Batman and Robin, it was a freakin' masterpiece. Still, I would have liked something different. A more regal Penguin. A better story. In other words, a new Batman Returns. Well, we can't do that here, but we can do the next best thing - present the original, discarded, unproduced screenplay to Batman Returns. It was written by Sam Hamm, the original screenwriter of Batman. I think it's pretty good. Certainly interesting to see what might have been.

Sunday, October 23, 2005

The Last Page of the Internet

Ever feel like the Internet is an endless void of information, education, and time-wasting? Well, fear not. There is, in fact, an end. Click here to go to the Last Page of the Internet.

P.S. I know this is an old joke to webheads. Heck, do a search on Google and there's tons of the things. But I just found it. So sue me. I'll catch up eventually.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Matrix: Path of Neo

I played Enter The Matrix and loved it, but I admit that's mainly because it was the Matrix. I did think that Max Payne implemented the bullet-time effect better years before, and the gameplay was a bit repetitive, and the driving sequences were just awful, and I wanted to be Neo, not Jada Pinkett-Smith. But the ability to jump up, dodge bullets, run up a wall, and execute a punch-kick that sends your enemies flying overshadowed all the flaws for me.

Yet I'm incredibly excited to find out we get a do-over. As soon as November, a new game will hit the shelves, Matrix: Path of Neo. It's not going to try to change the formula. You will be Neo, and will re-create scenes from the movies. It'll even have a different ending...which is good. I mean, do I really want to play Neo dying and being carried away? The previews sound awesome. I really hope this one lives up to the hype.

Unseen Movie Reviews: Corpse Bride

I am a huge Tim Burton fan. Seriously. I automatically see any movie Tim Burton makes, without even hearing what the movie is about. Usually. But I'm not going to see Corpse Bride. Burton has done a lot of twisted things, including making action figures of children with nails in their eyes and turning Santa Claus into a demonic skeleton, but Corpse Bride just takes it too far. Maybe because I'm married, I feel differently, but the idea of a dead woman brought back to life to get married seems so sad and twisted that even I can't stand to see it. Check that. It's exactly because I'm married. I just don't see anything funny about that.

I've read mixed reviews, from people who think it's better than Nightmare Before Christmas to people who think it's absolutely worthless. I guess I just feel like I won't be missing anything. It sounds like Nightmare Before Christmas crossed with Meet the Parents. But I applaud Burton for continuing to support stop-motion animation. This and Wallace and Gromit: Curse of the Were-Rabbit keep the dream alive. Take that, Pixar.

Monday, October 17, 2005

Jokebook: Thou Shalt Not...

One morning, a priest gives a sermon on the Seven Deadly Sins. After the sermon, a guy goes up to the priest and says, "Father, thank you so much for giving that sermon. It meant so much to me, and I'll tell you why. I lost my hat last week and I couldn't find it anywhere. I finally decided to steal a new one from the store, but now that I heard your sermon, I'm not going to."

The priest smiles and says, "That's good, my son. The part about 'thou shalt not steal' moved you, did it?"

The guy says, "Nope. After that part about adultery, I remember where I left my hat."

Friday, October 14, 2005

Flashback Friday: BJ and the Bear

Once upon a time, chimps ruled entertainment. Seriously. Sure, chimps have been a part of American cinema and television ever since the camera was invented. Usually on roller-skates. The comedy that can be derived from watching a chimp pretend to smile while wearing a pair of pants is apparently endless. But in the 1970's, the man/chimp connection was forged.

Clint Eastwood personified this relationship in his classic movie, Every Which Way But Loose that proved not only that man and chimp can live together in harmony, but that primates can be trained to give the finger. It truly showcased the centuries-old bond between trucker and chimpanzee. This movie was so successful that it inspired a TV series that hangs in the galleries of classic television, BJ and the Bear. I remember this show well, mainly for the chimpanzee, which is not a monkey. It's a chimpanzee. Common mistake.

* TV.Com has the best website for BJ and the Bear
* There's also an MSN group called The BJ and The Bear FanClub.
* Extensive photos and the theme song can be downloaded at Tim's TV Showcase.

Fun Facts:
* BJ was way too good-looking for a trucker. Every trucker I've ever seen in real-life looked like a homeless guy in a plaid shirt.
* In the third season, BJ stopped driving and started his own trucking company with seven beautiful drivers. Just what Charlie's Angels needed - trucks.
* Real female truckers look like men with wigs.
* No female truckers read my blog.
* I always thought this show flopped, but it aired for three seasons.
* The show was so successful that it spun off a TV show about BJ's nemesis, Sheriff Lobo.
* Sheriff Lobo was immortalized in a song on The Simpsons, parodying the theme song of All in the Family with the line: "We could use a man like Sheriff Lobo again."
* I used to like chimpanzees until I found out what they are - filthy, disgusting, ugly creatures that humans love because they remind us of ourselves, but have as much to do with humans as butterflies. And don't get me started on dolphins.
* Dolphins communicate by urinating into their water.

Heil Hooters

The Smoking Gun released the Hooters handbook. I have to say, it's an imposing document. I had no idea they had a dresscode, and never knew it was this complicated. Some fun highlights:

No buttocks showing - Because heaven forbid, patrons are looking at their waitresses' butts. That would be so sleazy and degrading. They should be looking at their boobs.

"Bra must be worn" - Like these waitresses are going to want more attention than they already get?

"No bagginess" in the shirt - In other words, skintight. And long-sleeved shirts are at the manager's discretion and as "weather conditions" permit. Those poor girls, shivering their arms off, going "Please, Mister Manager. It's thirty degrees in here." "Sorry, girls. You know the rules. Now get back in your tight shirts and shorts. We're doing a snowball fight in an hour."

"No provocative nicknames" on the name tags - Once again, I'm amazed at how conservative these guys are. But I guess it's a way of controlling the clientele'. If they had some girl walking around with no bra and a nametag that says "G******", they would have a riot.

"No bizarre haircuts" - I guess mohawks aren't part of the classic Hooters look.

Minimal jewelry - Yeah, we wouldn't want the girls to look trashy. Or is that so guys will think they're poor and give bigger tips?

Flesh-Colored Pantyhose - I wonder if this goes with the whole Daisy Duke, naked-but-not-naked thing? Probably just so they can hire women with bad legs. Again, it's about the chest, not the legs.

Smile - This makes sense, but there's probably nothing worse than being forced by your employer to smile. Look at the way it's printed: "SMILE!!!!" If you're a person who naturally smiles a lot, that's fine, but having a bad day and being ordered to smile has to be the worst. That's why I'm not in customer service.

And Hooters girls have to sign a statement that basically tells them to expect sexual harrassment. It's practically in the job description. Again, makes sense. Imagine if the waitresses of Hooters slapped them with a lawsuit. It would be in the billions. And if you get a bunch of drunk guys around pretty girls in skimpy clothes, that's bound to happen. But imagine that moment when you have the paper and pen in hand, and realize you're basically signing away all dignity, walking onto the job knowing guys are gonna be making cracks about your boobs every five minutes.

If I were a pretty girl, I'd go become a stripper before I became a Hooters Girl. The pay is better and there are fewer restrictions. But that's just me.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Sweet Revenge

How to legally get revenge on people who send you postal junkmail by mailing a box of junk using their envelope, and they have to pay it. This made me laugh out loud. I seriously believe if enough people did this, it would end junkmail. Or they'd stop including postage-paid envelopes. Whichever comes first.

Mouth Bomber

Sgt. Jeffry Leon Lewis Jr., a former soldier, walked into a bank with duct tape over his mouth. When he got to the teller, he handed her a note that said he had a bomb. In his mouth. The bank called the police, who rushed in and grabbed the guy.

Here's the funniest part, to me. They used a robot to peel off the tape. Imagine that decision-making process. "Well, we got him. Go check his mouth." "Wait, I don't wanna do that. He could blow any second!" "You're right. Billy, get the robot." Thankfully, they included a picture of that scene. The guy's handcuffed to a fence, watching a robot roll up to him, stick out its arm, and rip off his tape. And of course, it can't rip it off quick, because it's a robot. It had to do it real slow, like peeling off a bandage. The guy's probably sittin' there goin', "Faster! Rip it off faster!" There's hair sticking to the tape and stuff...

Anyway, it turns out when they finally checked the guy's mouth, that he didn't have a bomb in his mouth, after all. That's gotta be one of the stupidest bank robberies ever. He's sittin' in his apartment thinking "I gotta rob a bank. But I don't have a gun or anything. I could use a bomb. But I don't have a bomb. Hey, what if I put tape over my mouth and just said I had a bomb. That would work." He could've at least pretended he had the bomb in his pocket, done that trick with his fingers pushed up against the side and stuff. That would've been easier. The whole mouth thing is something you need to back up.

And imagine being on line and the guy in front of you has tape on his mouth. Think anybody dared to ask him "Hey, buddy, why's your mouth taped shut?"

But I guess this proves there's one thing duct tape can't do, and that's rob a bank. He should've run in, stuck the tape to somebody's arm hair and yelled, "Nobody move! Or the arm hair gets it! I'll rip it off, I swear I will!"
Categories: news

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Angelina Jolie Now Officially Less Sexy

Esquire Magazine, who named Angelina Jolie the sexiest woman alive last year, has named Jennifer Biel the sexiest woman for 2005. Angelina Jolie dropped to number second. I guess they think that whole affair with Brad Pitt took her down a peg. Not to sound mean, but I think it ups it a little bit. And ladies, don't tell me Jolie's a whore for stealing him away from Jennifer Aniston. You would've done the same thing. I would guess ninety percent of the women in Hollywood, much less the world, who came in contact with Pitt tried to seduce him. None of them could do it except Angelina Jolie. I'm not saying I like her any better as a person - I'm just saying that's a strong argument. It's a sexiness poll, not a morality poll.

As for Jessica Biel, I don't agree with that at all. Esquire said they wanted to pick someone "fresh," which doesn't make sense to me. It's a sexiness poll, not a freshness poll. I'm not even saying that Jessica Biel isn't attractive, but I would never put her in the "sexy" category. Heck, I wouldn't even put her in the Top Ten. She's got that 7th Heaven albatross hanging around her neck. She's too pure. She needs to do a Playboy shoot or a nude scene in a movie or something. I didn't say Maxim magazine shoot, that doesn't count. She's gotta do a Halle-Berry-in-Swordfish gratuitious nude scene that'll blow all our memories of her as a minister's daughter out of the water. Talk to Alyssa Milano, she's the expert at that. Until then, Jessica Biel is not the sexiest woman alive. Now Jessica Alba, that you could make an argument for.

The Rapture For Nerds

After leaving a comment in Digital Warfighter's blog, I thought I should weigh in on this in my own little slice of the Net. There's been a lot of buzz in the tech circles about a book called The Singularity is Near. I haven't read it and don't plan to read it, but if I read the summaries right, here's what it says: there will come in the near future a point where we all become cyborgs. We'll all have machinery and super-intelligent computers wired into us and become immortal geniuses the likes of which the world has never seen. Turns out he's not the first to propose this. Thanks to Wikipedia, there's good info on the Technological Singularity, what Ken MacLeod called "the Rapture for nerds."

Personally, I think that's a good description because they are both as likely to happen. The people who argue it's inevitable use the same argument that cryogenics companies use; "it's bound to happen sometime!" But here are the facts. Let's set aside the fact that human beings don't understand sentience in our own brains, much less in artificial ones. On a more practical level, I'm doubtful of its "inevitability" simply because I know so many people who don't even own a computer in the year 2005, much less would stand in line to have one wired into their brains. Could we all be turned into cyborgs? Sure, given enough time, say thousands of years, but my first question would be "will the time come when it's cheaper and easier than NOT being turned into a cyborg?" Then maybe it'll take off. But even then I imagine my grandmother saying "They want to what? Put a calculator in my head? Turn me into a claymore?" They'll be walking around with their eyes blinking '12:00.' And what if just when computer-brain technology becomes cheap and easy, they come up with something better? That's like someone in 1940 predicting we'll all have vacuum tubes implanted in our chests in the future.

The fact is that only the most die-hard geeks and nerds sit around dreaming of having computers in their heads. Most people are just getting used to carrying around a cell-phone. It's not gonna happen, because people don't want it. Period.
Categories: science

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Baby of Steel: Kal-El Coppola Cage

I knew Nicholas Cage was a fan of Elvis and comics like Luke Cage aka Power Man, but he's taken it to a new level. We've heard a lot of crazy names that celebrities give their kids like Apple and Moon Unit, but this one takes the cake. Let's all wish "happy birthday" to Kal-El Coppola Cage. That's right, he named his son after the Last Son of Krypton, son of Jor-El, Clark Kent's true identity, the Man of Steel. Why couldn't he have named him Clark Kent Cage? That kind of has a ring to it.

Monday, October 03, 2005

Local Man Calls For Free Wifi Access For Himself

Google is one of many companies bidding to cover the entire city of San Francisco with free Wi-fi access. If this went through, it would be truly amazing, a new era in Internet access - free for everyone. Unfortunately, I live in Phoenix, not San Francisco, so this wouldn't affect me either way. But this story made me think, and I have a modest proposal.

I am now accepting bids for any company who wants to provide me with free Wi-Fi or broadband Internet access. It seems to me that it would be much cheaper to give one person free Internet access than an entire city, and it would be much easier. It would also achieve the same goal of giving access to the poor and underprivileged, namely me. Okay, so I'm not that poor or underprivileged, but those are both relative terms. Compared to Bill Gates, I'm frickin' Oliver Twist. And the company who provides said access wouldn't have to do anything stupid like tattoo their name on my forehead or something like that. I wouldn't even ask for technical support. Really, it's win-win. The bidding begins as of now.

Outsourcing Pariswatch

I've discovered that keeping track of Paris Hilton is both time-consuming and maddening. Time-consuming because she's always up to something, and maddening because very little of it is interesting and all of it is irritating. But now I don't have to, thanks to Breaking News Blog. They have a handy blog dedicated to Paris Hilton, 24/7, called Paris Watch. I'll let them do the legwork. Isn't the Internet grand?

In memory of the retirement of Pariswatch, let's do a Best Of feature, some of my favorite reflections on the skinny, big-nosed, talentless, spoiled-rotten skank we all know and love.
Simple Life Reflections
The Ungrateful Life
Paris Brands Herself
Blackberry Juice
Last Night of Paris

Sunday, October 02, 2005

Ronald McHealthy

Now there's the "new" Ronald McDonald. Suddenly we have a surfing clown. Yeah, nothing says health and fitness like a clown. Everybody knows that when they go to the circus, the ladies love the clowns. We've all had that experience of watching them come out of the little car and thinking, "Wow, that clown is ripped. Look at the six-pack on that clown." We all know that Atkins Diet is getting pushed aside by the Bozo Diet that's sweeping the nation. Remember when Jane Fonda came out with that workout tape where she had the big red nose? And I just bought a pair of those big floppy shoes, and they just melt off the pounds. Okay, maybe Richard Simmons qualifies as a clown, but everybody else is dubious.

Jokebook: Truck vs Lawyer

There's a truck driver who's had a lot of bad experiences with lawyers, so every time he sees a lawyer, the trucker runs him over. One day, the truck driver sees a priest walking on the side of the road and stops to pick him up.

Well, they're driving along and the truck driver sees a guy in a suit, carrying a briefcase, reading from a court report. It's a lawyer. The truck driver thinks, "I gotta run that lawyer over, but there's a priest with me."

The truck driver tries to drive by. The lawyer's getting closer. He drives closer. The lawyer's not looking. The truck driver yanks the wheel, swerves towards the lawyer, then swerves away just before he hits him.

They drive in silence for a few minutes before the driver finally turns to the priest and says, "I'm sorry, father. I was trying to hit that lawyer."

The priest says, "It's all right, my son. I got him with my door."

I'm Not A Doorman

I work in an office with one of those doors that needs to be unlocked with a passcard. I'm walking up to the door with my passcard and there's somebody else behind me. Fine. I lean down to swipe my card, then I stop. I look at the guy. He's standing right in front of the door, holding the door handle, while he looks at something on his cell phone. He looks up with this look of confusion, then looks at me, then looks down at his phone. As if he was thinking "That's odd. The door hasn't opened yet. Oh, the guy sees me standing here. Now he'll open it for me."

I'm not objecting to the idea of going in on someone else's passcard. Heck, I've done it a bunch of times. This is what bothered me - it is not my job to open the door for anyone, let alone this white-hole. Not only did he not acknowledge my existence, he didn't even give me the chance to go through first. What I'm used to is someone waiting behind me. I swipe my card, and go in first, then hold the door for the other guy, who thanks me.

But no. This guy acted like I wasn't even there, like I was just part of the automatic system. This is what this fuzzhead does - he walks up to the door and holds the handle like he's on Star Trek and it opens automatically. Finally, after I got him to at least acknowledge I'm there, I swiped my card. He pushes the door open and walks away without even a "thank you" or a check to see if I got through it. I called out to him, "Oh, you're going in first? You're welcome." He ignored that, too.

What I wish I'd done was folded my arms and waited until he either asked me to let him through or until he used his own freakin' passcard. Just to tell him I am not his slave or his doorman. But I don't want to turn into a complete jerk who's known for blowing up at the slightest thing. That is, if I already haven't.
Categories: opinion

Schoolbus Derby

Two high schoolers broke into a school bus lot and trashed the place. While that wouldn't normally qualify as a story, they did do something that made headlines. They got into the school buses and rammed 45 of them into each other. The article speculated they were playing destruction derby, but I disagree. I think they just played too much Vigilante 8. While I don't condone vandalism, I don't blame these kids. That sounds pretty cool. And it only took two of them. Impressive. I wonder which was Player 1 and Player 2.