Saturday, December 24, 2005

Muscle Top: The New Carrot Top

Carrot Top is one of those comedians who's become a punchline. "That guy makes Carrot Top look like Sir Lawrence Olivier." I actually like Carrot Top. He's a funny guy. Well, those 1-800-COLLECT commercials were pretty lame, but a guy's gotta pay the bills.

But apparently, all that ribbing has gone to Carrot Top's head. Or more specifically, his muscles. Have you seen the latest pictures of him?! Warning, this picture may cause brain damage from trying to accept the idea of muscles on Carrot Top. Or from trying to accept that Carrot Top makes you feel inferior, physically. He looks like somebody put the Wendy girl's head on Vin Diesel's body. I think this was a mistake. It's hard to laugh at someone who could kill you with his bare hands.

Bonus: I got this photo from which has an article on this, and the debate in the comments are hysterical.

Geektalk: Arm Chopping in "Star Wars"

I remember when Darth Vader chopped off Luke Skywalker's hand in Empire Strikes Back, it was shocking. But it seems Vader was only following tradition. After seeing the new movies, it seems that there are only two ways to end a lightsaber fight. One, of course, is to kill your opponent. Obi-Wan vs Maul. Qui-Gon vs Maul. The other is to chop off their hand.

Think about it. Vader vs Luke. Anakin vs Dooku. Dooku vs Anakin. Obi-Wan vs Grievous. All ended by chopping off the loser's hand. Or hands in the case of General Grievous and Count Dooku. I guess Dooku was ambidextrous. It makes sense. If they have no hand, they can't fight. But every time? They must have a class on that in Jedi school. "Okay, if you can't kill your opponent, chop off their hand. Right there. Below the elbow." You'd think after centuries of battle, the Jedi or Sith would have developed some sort of wrist armor to keep that from happening.

The only two exceptions were Darth Sidious vs Maul and Obi-Wan vs Dooku. It always struck me as odd when Dooku cut Obi-Wan's arm and leg without slicing them off. He just nicked Obi-Wan. Maybe he didn't have the heart because they were old friends, but that seems unlikely. A few seconds later, Dooku was getting ready to chop Obi-Wan's head off. And Obi-Wan didn't hesitate to slice off his "brother" Anakin's arms and legs. The real reason Dooku didn't hack them off, of course, is that Obi-Wan had to have his hands for the rest of the series. Lucas kind of backed himself into a corner with that duel, and the paper-cuts were his way out.

As for Darth Sidious, he is the only person in the entire series who ever lost a duel without getting his hand cut off. He just dropped his lightsaber. Either that's because he is the worst lightsaber fighter in the history of the Force or he was the smartest. He knew he couldn't beat Windu and wanted to keep his life and his hands, and knew if he held onto the saber, he would lose one or the other. Besides, he knew he could fall back on the lightning.

Note: Turns out there really is Jedi training on chopping off someone's hand. It's called cho mai as in "You cho' off mai hand!" Just kidding.

See Also:
Geektalk: Arm Chopping in Star Wars
Geektalk: Why Does the Enterprise Have Running Lights?
Geektalk: Anakin!
Geektalk: Jabba the Joke
Geektalk: A New New Hope

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

How To Keep Me From Reading Your Blog: Lesson #2

If you don't see what's wrong with this blog posting or this is what your blog looks like, then you are the problem.

hay doods wilcum 2 my kooll blog!!!!!! Ay am a 133t dood!!!! My payrents suck!!! I shood b studeeng 4 my inglish test, butt hoo carez!!!! my inglish roks!!!!

See also:
Lesson #1

Categories: misc

Top Five Reasons I'm Worried About X-Men 3

* Movie sequels almost always stink. The third movie is even more of a gamble. X-Men 2 was a masterpiece. Can X-Men 3 break the trilogy curse?
* They still haven't gotten Storm's hair right. Now it's a short black-and-white streaked mop on Halle Berry's head. How hard is it to give her a long white wig?
* They changed the director, Bryan Singer, who single-handedly re-invented the superhero movie.
* The trailer didn't say what the movie is about. That always worries me. Will the movie have the ultimate mutant war they've been promising since the first movie?
* Tennis player Serena Williams plays a mutant bisexual hooker with the power to control men. If that doesn't worry you, I don't know what will.

On the other hand, Beast looks awesome.

Related Posts:
* Ex Exed From X: Serena Williams

Sunday, December 18, 2005

One Small Step For Man: Space Tourism Heats Up

I've come to the conclusion that the most important organization in the future of space travel is not NASA or the China National Space Administration. It's the British company Virgin, run by Richard Branson. Last year, Branson and Virgin successfully bankrolled the first privately-funded space flight. I thought that was incredible enough, but now he's inked a deal to create a space port in Roswell, New Mexico. in five years, the port should be ready to launch weekly three-hour spaceflights for wealthy tourists. Yes, Roswell. Could that be any more perfect? And in case you think it won't be successful, the new company Virgin Galactic has already taken in fourteen million in pre-orders and has 38,700 pre-registered, including William Shatner and Signourney Weaver. This is too exciting for words. The idea of private spaceflights is something that people have dreamed of for decades. I probably won't be able to go, but that would make a great IMAX movie. Okay, so maybe this kind of thing should be commonplace, considering it's 2005. But it's better than nothing. Screw you, NASA. Go float some frogs.

My memorial on Spaceship One's first flight

Categories: science

How To Self-Publish: David Moody's Autumn

David Moody is my hero. He managed to create his own publishing company through clever promotion and good writing. Basically, he wrote a zombie post-apocalyptic novel called Autumn which no one would publish. So he turned his unpublished novel into an e-book that he gives away for free. And who doesn't want free stuff, right? Then he wrote a bunch of sequels to the free book which you have to pay for. Once you've gotten into the first one, you're more likely to pay for the others. That built-in audience made it cost-effective to self-publish the sequels himself and keep the profits. Not only has he managed to get his books into print, but he's taken that momentum and funnel it into non-Autumn-related novels. Brilliant. I so wish I could do that. Maybe I will. To be continued...

You can check out some of my scifi series Nexus on its own blog, too.

Friday, December 16, 2005

Flashback Friday: Electric Dreams

This week, we pay tribute to the classic love triangle between a man, a woman, and a sentient computer - Electric Dreams. It was actually a clever idea well-executed, but the real reason to look back at this movie is how dated its portrayal of computers are. This was back in the early days when computers were mysterious boxes of awe-inspiring power.

The computer in Electric Dreams is made super-intelligent when its owner spills soda on the keyboard. I'm sure the millions of programmers struggling to create artificial intelligence would be glad to know it's that easy. Right now, Bill Gates is emptying a Mountain Dew onto a Cray hoping to duplicate the effect. Unfortunately, the soda-on-keyboard experiment has been done thousands of times over the last two decades, and the only result has been sticky keyboards that no longer work. Then there's the obvious fact that the keyboard is not attached to the processing part of the computer in any way. That part is about as realistic as lightning making a robot sentient. Or lightning making a stealth fighter superintelligent. And who would ever make a silly movie like that?

Fun Facts:
* Electric Dreams came out in 1984. The IBM PC was introduced in 1981. Windows was released in 1985.
* The computer was named Edgar.
* Electric Dreams is a cult classic, most famous for its theme song by Culture Club.
* Much of the movie is made up of musical montages, which leaves about thirty minutes of actual plot.
* The plot, about the computer composing love songs to the girlfriend and its owner passing them off as his own, is at least partly based on the story of Cyrano DeBergerac.
* The computer did not have a big nose. In fact, it had no nose at all.
* The creepiest part was when the computer's owner plugged out the computer, and the computer just chuckled and said, "You think I need that?"
* At no point in this movie was it suggested the computer wanted to plug itself into the hero's girlfriend. That was only implied.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Celebrity Mugshots: Michael Jackson 2003

We all love celebrity mugshots, to see the most famous at their absolute worst. Now you too can preserve that memory with trading cards. Collect them all! Trade with your friends!
Categories: comedy

Saturday, December 10, 2005

How To Get Me To Avoid Your Blog: Lesson #1

If you don't see what's wrong with this blog posting or this is what your blog looks like, then you are the problem.

Well, let's see. This morning, I got up and took a shower. Then I had scrambled eggs for breakfast. Then I got in my car and drove to work. Traffic was a little heavy. I got to work, had some coffee. Went to a meeting. At lunch, I went to Burger King and had a Whopper. Then I drove home. Traffic wasn't too bad. I had a Caesar salad for dinner, and watched American Idol and David Letterman. Then I went to bed around eleven. See you tomorrow!
Categories: misc

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Ouch: Rapex

Warning: This story contains sexually explicit language and is intended for readers over the age of 16. Underage children or adult males with weak constitutions are advised.

A woman in South Africa has developed an anti-rape device called Rapex. The woman inserts the condom-shaped sleeve into herself, and if a man tries to penetrate her, sharp hooks lining the inside of the sleeve will attach themselves to the penis. Once "attached," the device cannot be removed except by a doctor. The purpose is to a) stop the rapist and allow her to get away, b) force the rapist to go to a doctor and be identified, c) punish the rapist for trying it in the first place.

The device has triggered a wave of criticism. I don't oppose it myself. I just think it's kind of wacky. Sounds like a Saturday Night Live sketch. It also sounds sadistic, but since I'm not a woman, I won't pretend to have a say in this matter.

I'd be interested to see the first situation of this thing actually working. But wouldn't rapists start checking their victims to see if there was a Rapex in there? "Now let's see...hey, what's that?" "Oh, that's nothing. Go ahead, climb on. You're losing daylight." Then again, that assumes rapists are smart enough to think of that. It's truly a sad world when women have to insert mousetraps into themselves every day just to get through life. And what's to stop unhappy wives or girlfriends from slipping one of these in? Man, you better come home on time, fellas.

Note: The official site for Rapex doesn't seem to be working anymore. Here's a link to a story about the product at MSNBC.

Categories: science

Goodbye Cows, Hello Paris

First the bad news. I've deleted my "Every Day You See A Cow" blog, just because a) I have too many blogs as it is and b) how would you like to go running to the computer every time you see a cow?

But the good news is that I can announce my other blog, Paris Hilton's Secret Blog. I stumbled across Not Nick Nolte's Diary. I thought it was a good idea, but why Nick Nolte? The perfect choice for me was Paris Hilton. Not only could I explore the idea of a fictional diary, but I get to make fun of Paris Hilton, too. It's win-win.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

A Fat Old Man: Darth Vader Unleashed Action Figure

I had never seen or heard of the Darth Vader Unleashed action figure until I stumbled across a mention at Candice Gilmer's blog, An Unpublished Author's Mind. I couldn't make out the photo, so I looked it up at Star and was in awe. I always hated that shot in ROJ where Luke takes off the helmet and we discover the fearsome Darth Vader is just a fat old man. But that figure makes him look way cool. I gotta get that.

Check it out yourself:

Bonus link:
Somebody at has way too much time on his hands, trying to analyze and describe the injuries of Darth Vader. Oddly enough, it doesn't look like he updated it much with the new info from Revenge of the Sith, though. Guess he didn't have that much time on his hands.

NOTE: It turns out that Candace was referring to a different figure. Whereas I was referring to the Anakin Unleashed figure, she was referring to the Darth Vader Unleashed figure. Both good figures.

Fun With Memes: Google Needs...

I've heard recently how all the hip blogs do memes. In my continuing quest to catch up to what 90% of the Internet already knows, I'm going to give it a try. Here's one I got from glomgold's blog, God Has Wheels:

Just enter your name along with the word "needs" into Google. It'll bring up a bunch of random websites that contain that phrase. Take those phrases and respond. Pretty interesting. I tried it with my real name, but have replaced it with my nickname, because I don't trust you people.

Monkey Migraine needs to be examined, as he is probably not using sufficient preventer therapy. - Says who? I'm loaded with preventer therapy.

Monkey Migraine needs your help - True, I do need your help. I'm trapped in a fortune cookie factory.

Monkey Migraine needs to act fast or it could be his last season at Burton. - Oh, no! Not my last season at Burton! Wait...I've never been to Burton.

Monkey Migraine needs to look great - Already do. *shining fingernails*

Monkey Migraine needs to step up soon - Hey, I step up every day. It's just that everybody else steps up, too, so you never notice it.

Monkey Migraine needs a home ASAP - This cardboard refrigerator box is getting drafty.

Monkey Migraine needs healing vibes too please - Please send them FedEx.

Monkey Migraine needs help to quit smoking - First I need help to start smoking.

Monkey Migraine needs that helping hand - Preferably one that's been washed first.

Monkey Migraine needs blood - It's true. I'm Count Migraine, bleaahh!

Monkey Migraine needs to work on quality control - First, I need to work on controlling quality.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

It's Pretty Much My Favorite Animal: The Liger

Anyone who's seen the movie Napoleon Dynamite (or at least more than once) will remember the liger. As the infamous quote goes, it's pretty much Napoleon's favorite animal. But how many knew this...the liger exists! I didn't. Although the fact that Dynamite drew it with spikes and claimed it had magic powers makes me think they thought they made it up.
Categories: science

Saturday, December 03, 2005

COTF: Face/On

Everybody sneered at the premise of the movie Face/Off, about a criminal and a cop who switch faces and lives. But the medical world was shocked this week over the first successful face transplant. This truly is a new world, one that could lead to an age where faces can be exchanged or replaced with ease. What would that world be like? Sounds like it's time for another...

JOE: Hey, Bob.
BOB: Hey, Bill.
JOE: No, I'm Joe. Bill died yesterday. I got his face.
BOB: Oh. Okay.
JOE: You don't mind that I got Bill's face, do you?
BOB: Uh...
JOE: Because I really needed it.
BOB: Well...I guess so.
JOE: Thanks. But I don't think it'll be permanent. Turns out my body's rejecting Bill's face.

Dear Sir,

A story about a face transplant and no jokes about me? You're slipping.

Michael Jackson

Categories: news

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Mister Deep-Fried Twinkie, Please

The deep-fried Twinkie is a hallmark of the Arizona State Fair. It's in all the commercials. It's a legendary confection, a monument to the excess of this once-a-year festival. "Deep-fried Twinkie? It's outrageous! It's fattening! It's just too much! I gotta try that." And I did.

But it turns out a deep-fried Twinkie is just a Twinkie dipped in the same breading as a corndog and fried. It didn't hold up too well in the process. The cake kind of melted into the half-inch-thick layer of breading, and the cream melted into a white smear. The result looked like a corndog with a hollow center streaked in white, and it tasted like a tube of sweetened corndog batter. In other words, I could've gotten the same effect by buying a corndog, ripping out the hot dog, and sprinkling powdered sugar on the batter. Probably would've been sweeter, too. And all for the reasonable price (*add sarcasm*) of five dollars. That's why I don't like the state fair.

And after all that, I can't help thinking, "Oo, they had deep-tried Snickers bars. I wonder what those are like. I gotta try them next year." If I give in to temptation, I'll give you an update.