Thursday, June 30, 2005

Jokebook: Legal Age

This turtle walks into a bar, and starts walking slowly towards the counter. After about ten minutes of watching this, the bartender calls out, "Can I help you?"

The turtle says, "I'd like a beer to celebrate my fifth birthday."

The bartender calls back, "Sorry, you have to be twenty-one before I can serve you a beer."

The turtle responds, "By the time I get there, I will be."
Categories: comedy

GeekTalk: A New New Hope

I never thought I would say this, but I'm now in favor of George Lucas re-doing the original movies. If you watch the original versions, they just can't hold a candle to the new movies. If you watch them in sequence, there's a massive drop in quality and special effects around Episode IV. The new scenes and effects in the Special Edition DVDs do a lot to improve them.

In fact, I think they need to do more, especially to IV: A New Hope. Specifically, I wish they would re-do the battle between Darth vader and Obi-Wan Kenobi. When I was a kid, it was dazzling, but try watching it again. By any standard, especially compared to the new lightsaber battles in the series, it's terrible. They just bang their lightsabers at each other really slowly, and Obi-Wan spins around once for no reason. That's about it. Considering this is the culmination of their rivalry over decades, it's very anti-climactic. It has to be longer with better fighting. They could re-shoot the scene using doubles and the face-replacement technology they used for Count Dooku. That would be awesome.

They could also stand to re-shoot the X-Wing battle with the Death Star. In the current version, the ships just move from left to right across the screen. That wouldn't be hard at all. Just re-create it with pure CGI and have them zipping around, doing twists and stunts like in the opening of Episode III. I'm sure he's already working on it.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

News Nuggets

Tom Cruise proposed to Katie Holmes on the Eiffel Tower. Instead of an engagement ring, Cruise gave her a Tickle-Me Elmo doll, then took Holmes home so she could meet her curfew. Some pundits have found Cruise's unusually public romance to Holmes a little queer.

Two America West pilots were convicted of attempting to fly drunk. The two pilots were denied bail, because they are considered a flight risk.

Terri Schiavo's autopsy showed that before her death, she suffered extensive brain damage and was blind. These results were not unexpected. The first clue came when Schiavo was seen enjoying episodes of "Britney and Kevin: Chaotic."

The trial of Michael Jackson ended with a "not guilty" verdict on all charges. When asked what he would do next, Jackson said, "I'm going to Disneyland."

A hundred-and-five year-old man died days after his eightieth wedding anniversary. The man's final statement was "Finally."

The search continues for a missing high school honor student in Aruba. A videocamera caught footage of her getting into a car with a group of strange men right before she disappeared. Many were shocked that a drunken blonde would do something so stupid.

A constitution for the European Union was rejected by the French public. One concern was the clause requiring France to contribute soldiers to an EU army. French president Jacques Chirac said, "Couldn't we just surrender now and get it over with?"

A young boy died after visiting a ride at Epcot Center. The boy's death has raised concerns that the ride is too dangerous, which has drawn attention to the Sulphuric Acid Teacups, the Buzzsaw Ride, and California Killer Bee Adventure rides.

Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger's popularity has been plummeting in recent polls. Gary Coleman issued a statement saying, "I'm looking pretty good now, aren't I?"

A new leaner, more athletic Ronald McDonald was launched by McDonald's in a new ad campaign. When children asked what happened to the old Ronald McDonald, the company said he died of a massive heart attack.

The Surreal Life

This is the problem with the Internet. Before the Internet, some psycho would be going around with a compulsion to wear a diaper, and he'd be correctly thinking to himself, "This isn't normal. I need help." Today, he goes on the Internet, finds twenty other people who wear a diaper, and suddenly it's not a compulsion. It's a "lifestyle."

Exhibit A, Baby Man, one of the most mentally-disturbed people I've ever seen - a middle-aged man who acts and dresses like a two-year old baby girl. This guy didn't need an article, he needs a psychiatrist. After reading about his life, I would chip into a fund to pay for his therapy bills.

Sunday, June 19, 2005

Women Love My Schweddy Balls

What's the funniest SNL sketch of modern times? The Cowbell Sketch is considered one of the best. The Schweddy Balls sketch is a close second. Yes, it's juvenile, but it's still funny. And it's got Alec Baldwin.


Let's have some fun.

What's up with celebrities and Kabbalah? Here's the answer.

You've heard of Friendster? How about Nemester, the network that brings together all your enemies. It's a parody, but it's a good one. The same guy also made a website to save the Pacific Northwest Tree Octopus.

Ever wonder about the guys who dub Asian animated TV shows like Pokemon? Check out the other side of the industry at Animation World Magazine.

Japan is so far ahead of every other country in technology, it's scary. The farthest we've got at robot servants is the Roomba, a vacuum cleaner. In Japan, they've got humanoid robot receptionists. Beat that!

Most people aren't aware that the original Dracula novel was written in the form of journal entries. Somebody said to themselves, "hey, sort of like a blog." So they've created Dracula Blogged, which posts parts of the novel as blog entries on the same day they appeared in the novel. If you just can't wait, you can also read the original Dracula. Cool idea.

Michael Jackson is a Child Molester

First of all, as someone who has always supported the verdicts on OJ
Simpson and Robert Blake, I can't make too much of a stink about the
Michael Jackson verdict. Very few of us actually saw the trial, only
heard about it second-hand by reporters or friends. So I can't argue
with the jury's decision.

That said, I think it's total bullcrap. Michael Jackson is a child
molester, period. Even some of the jurors said they were disturbed by
MJ sleeping with boys
. A juror interviewed on Howard Stern said she believed everyone on the jury thought MJ molested the child. "So what's the problem," the world yells. "Lock him up!" The problem lies not with the legal system or celebrities or lawyers. The blame for the innocent verdict lies squarely with the prosecutor.

Quite simply, the prosecution botched this case up so badly that they
made Marcia Clark look like freakin' Perry Mason. The jurors were
instructed in excruciating detail that a guilty verdict could only be
reached if the facts were proven "without a reasonable doubt." District Attorney Tom Sneddon and his team let there be reasonable doubt. I first knew this case was in trouble when I heard that the accuser had made the same accusations against his own grandmother.

The mistakes the prosecution made could fill a book and probably will, but here are some examples. The defense knew they could never win if the case focused on Jackson, because nobody believes or trusts him. So they turned it into a trial of the accuser and his family, and the prosecution fell for it, hook, line, and sinker. While the prosecution brought out mountains of evidence that Jackson was a molester, the defense busied themselves bringing out mountains of evidence that the accuser and
his family were a bunch of con artists. The prosecution should have spent more time looking for a better case to use to prosecute, and kept this accuser as a corroborating witness. Either that or tried harder to protect the accuser's integrity and making sure he and his family looked respectable.

That goes to another mistake - preparing witnesses. One juror said she was put off by the mother looking trashy on the stand, instead of done up like she was in the video depositions. The same juror also said she was creeped out by the mother staring at the jury, talking to them, and snapping her fingers at them. The prosecution should have done practice sessions to make sure she behaved herself, and sprung for a makeover. Better yet, keep her off the stand entirely.

But it wasn't just the mother who was a problem. Time and again, the prosecution put witnesses on the stand and seemed surprised or unprepared for their responses. They put Jackson's ex-wife on the stand, then were shocked when she praised Michael. Lack of preparation was the key.

I could go on and on about how the prosecution made the case too complicated, how they tried to bring in too much information, how they built their case around a family of con artists, and all sorts of other crap. But the bottom line is that they had the world's most famous child molester sitting in court and they couldn't close the deal.

So what do we do now? Nothing. The case doesn't really end here, anyway. In ten years, more of Jackson's victims will be old enough to come forward. I just hope this case hasn't scared them all away. Besides, all of Jackson's dirty laundry was aired. I don't know anybody who isn't convinced he was guilty. Society will do to him what they did to O.J. Simpson - treat him like he was convicted, and punish him. The days of sleepovers at Neverland are over. His career, despite claims of a comeback, is over. I've heard he plans to leave the country, and I say good riddance.

For those few who still believe Jackson was innocent, I suggest you look up the traits of a pedophile. Michael Jackson literally fits that profile to the letter. Quite a coincedence, don't you think?

Thursday, June 09, 2005

IMDB Updates

The best celebrity and entertainment news on the Web, bar none, is the Movie and TV News section at the Internet Movie Database. Here are some tidbits:

The Pink Panther remake has been moved to next February. Apparently, the trailer they showed at SW III backfired, causing a lot of negative buzz while test audiences and early reviews have panned it as well. Here's hoping they can somehow salvage it. I really do want to see a new Clouseau movie, even if it is Steve Martin.

There will be a Simpsons movie. The writers and actors have been signed on, and the project is underway. Best of all, they won't stop production of the regular series to make it. Personally, I can't imagine anything they could do on the big screen that they haven't already done, but who knows? Maybe we'll get to see Marge naked or they'll reveal that Smithers is gay and where Springfield really is. All I know is, if it's Simpsons, I'm there.

Lindsay Lohan: Fully Unloaded

One less reason to see Herbie: Fully Loaded...those of us hoping to get one last glimpse of the buxom vixen Miss Lohan (before her liposuction and breast reduction...errrrr...anorexia...errrr...dieting) in the new Herbie will have to stick with Mean Girls. The fascists at Disney have painstakingly reduced Lohan's boobs using digital technology. They even had the gall to take the jiggle out of scenes of her jumping up and down, and raise her neckline. And why would they commit such blasphemy? Because parents in test audiences complained. I can guarantee it wasn't the fathers. What's this world coming to? Next they'll reduce Jennifer Lopez and Beyonce's butts. Here's hoping they release a director's cut or unrated version on the DVD. In fact, I'd pay extra to see a version where they increased the size of her boobs digitally. Now there's a better use of technology.

Britney is Chaotic

When I heard Britney Spears was going to be airing a reality show called Chaotic, I feared for the sanity of the world. After pronouncing her life a car-wreck (which I still stand by), the idea that we might witness a resurgence of her popularity thanks to the show made me shiver.

Fortunately, all is right with the world. I caught a few minutes of the show, and found it even lamer than I expected. The show really is just Britney goofing around with a camera and annoying her friends. I found it interesting from a psychological aspect - is Britney so desperate for attention that she always has to have a camera on herself, even if she works the camera herself? I also got a whiff of narcissism - that Britney believes anything she does is inherently interesting, even if it's aiming her camera up her nose. The only "truth" the show exposes is that Britney is even less substantial than I thought.

Fortunately, everyone else agrees. The ratings are sliding fast, and reviews are universally bad. My favorites..."Chaotic makes Nick and Jessica look like Masterpiece Theatre." + "It was America's crummiest home video."

Please, Britney, just go away.

Darth Vader versus M. Bison

The new Star Wars III reminded me of how Darth Vader is the greatest movie villain ever. That made me think of the other great villains. Of course, there's Agent Smith in The Matrix, the Joker in Batman, the Mad Bomber in Speed, the Alien and the Predator, Hannibal Lecter in Silence of the Lambs, and Hans Gruber in Die Hard. But one of the best villains in movie history has gone unnoticed because he was in one of the lousiest movie ever: M. Bison in Streetfighter.

Raul Julia gave the performance of his life as the egomaniacal dictator who had nightmarish goals and the power to bring them to life. M. Bison was clearly insane, but not in the slobbering, wisecracking madness of most movie villains. He had a calm, even regal air as he commanded his forces, while guiding them to kidnap the Queen Mother or slaughter innocent humanitarian aid workers. It was as if he couldn't see his own madness, living in a world of his own. Plus, unlike most world rulers, he could roll up his sleeves and beat the crap out of anyone who dared oppose him. I'd like to see Tony Blair do that. And he was ambitious. M. Bison wanted nothing less than world conquest, and he had a plan for doing it. While Darth Vader was always in control, M. Bison could suddenly snap and blow up Hawaii for fun.

Yeah, Streetfighter was a lousy movie, but I defy anyone to watch M. Bison and not be impressed. He may not have been the best villain ever, but he was certainly up there.

Sunday, June 05, 2005

Never Sleep Again: Maggots in the Brain

Anyone who's ever seen the movie Alien or even Star Trek II will feel a shiver of horror at the idea of being invaded by some hideous creature who slips into your body and eats you alive. We cling to the comfort that such things don't happen in real life. Well, prepare to scream in horror at this true story...

A woman in Thailand went to the hospital, complaining of pain in her cheek. When the doctors looked in her nose, they found a nest of maggots consuming her nasal cavity. Turns out a fly laid eggs in her nose and they hatched, using her nose as food. When the doctors dug the maggots out, they found they were headed for her brain.

Don't believe it? Sky News even has a picture of the maggots they dug out. The same hospital also reported a case of a man with a sore throat discovering a live leech nesting in his throat. Mental note: never go to Thailand.

Urine Disposed

What's up with guys who wanna talk to you at the urinal? When I go, I go to do business, not have conversations. But some guys will greet me, ask me questions, like we're standing around a water-cooler instead of hunched over a drain with our units hanging out. I'm just not that comfortable. Sometimes I'm in there and I hear guys come in talking, do their business talking, and leave talking. To me, going to the bathroom is like a bank job; you wanna sneak in, get the job done, and leave with as little notice as possible. When people start talking to me, it feels so bizarre. It's like eating lunch while somebody wants you to go dancing. That should be a public service announcement - "Talking and peeing, they just don't mix."

Friday, June 03, 2005

Flashback Friday: Gumfighter

Most gum commercials are just about kids chewing the gum, maybe floating around like balloons. But back in the eighties, they made a western. Hubba Bubba Bubble Gum made a series of commercials featuring the Gum Fighter.

Set in a western town, other men would come and challenge the Gum Fighter (who was an almost exact double of John Wayne) to duels. They would stand in the main street and blow a bubble with their inferior brand of gum, and the Gum Fighter would blow a bubble with Hubba Bubba. Their bubbles would pop and the townpeople would recoil in horror. Would the Gum Fighter be defeated at last? No, because then the Gum Fighter would casually peel his gum off his face while his opponent ran off with gum all over his face. The Gum Fighter would turn to the camera and say his classic catchphrase: "Big bubbles, no troubles." So cool.

Of course, I ran out and bought Hubba Bubba Bubble Gum, but no one challenged me to a duel. Hubba Bubba did indeed peel off your face, but I also discovered that Hubba Bubba has more sugar than any other brand of gum. Heck, even cookies didn't have that much sugar. When I chewed it, I could actually crunch on the sugar crystals mixed in. I think at least one of my cavities can be blamed on Hubba Bubba.

TV Acres - Good overview of the Gum Fighter. Apparently, Hubba Bubba was wildly unpopular and discontinued for decades. The fact that I never noticed says something about the brand. The Gum Fighter, Don Collier, even has his own website.