Friday, December 29, 2006

Flashback Friday: Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs

One of my favorite books when I was a kid was Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs. The book has a simple but engaging premise - what if food rained down from the sky? Who wouldn't love that? I loved the book because of the way the author worked it out, and how life would be adapted to it. For instance, weather reports would become menus where you plan your meals based on what's predicted to come in. Restaurants would have no roofs so the food would just fall into your plate. Of course, like any good children's book, this fanciful tale turns dark and scary. It becomes a sort of careful-what-you-wish-for tale where the town gets crushed by gigantic hamburgers and floods of jelly-and-cream-cheese sandwiches. In the end, the people evacuate the town and build new homes out of stale bread. I found this book in a bookstore recently and realized how fun and creepy it really was, but also brought back a flood of memories. I especially liked the illustrations with little touches like sharks taking bites of peanut butter sandwiches.

Fun Facts:
* The town was called Chewandswallow. The book never described what country it was in, but it looked a lot like America.
* The book was written in 1978 by Judi Barrett and illustrated by Ron Barrett
* The author has written a sequel, Pickles To Pittsburgh which chronicles what's been happening in the town since it was abandoned. In the sequel, the people came back and started a company shipping free food to needy countries.
* Neither book explained why food would rain down from the sky.
* The book has been optioned for an animated movie, which I think would be awesome. A special effects extravaganza.

Links:
Not much besides Amazon.com. You can read an interview with her husband/illustrator Ron Barrett. Whatever.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Toe Jam: Pet Chews off Baby's Toes

Here's the feel-good story for the year - a mother and father pled guilty to criminal negligence after they woke up in the middle of the night to find their baby's toes had been eaten off by one of their pets. Amazingly, they still don't know and are arguing over which of their pets ate their baby's feet, but considering the two pets in question are a Pit Bull puppy and a ferret, both of which were left unattended with the baby, I don't know why it matters. How would you like to be that kid growing up? Sounds like another...

CONVERSATION OF THE FUTURE

Daughter: Hey, Mom?
Mother: Yes, Gimpy?
Daughter: You know, I never asked before, but what happened to my toes? Was I born this way?
Mother: Well, no. You see, uh, one of our pets ate your toes when you were a baby.
Daughter: Ate my toes? Was it Fluffy, our pit bull or Rocky, our ferret?
Mother: Well, we're not really sure. We didn't see it happen.
Daughter: Wow. How'd it happen?
Mother: That's actually an interesting story. It seems our pets were out, and you were in a high chair, and one of them chewed your toes off.
Daughter: Oh my goodness. And you couldn't stop them?
Mother: Well, no. We were asleep.
Daughter: Oh, in another room?
Mother: No, actually, we were asleep on a mattress right next to you.
Daughter: Oh, so it happened so quickly that you couldn't stop it.
Mother: Uh, no, the doctors say it must have taken over an hour to get all four of them off.
Daughter: Uh, and you didn't hear me screaming?
Mother: Well, honey, your father and I had a lot to drink that night and kind of passed out...
Daughter: I don't believe this. You let one of your animals eat my toes off?
Mother: Well, if it makes you feel any better, we got felony convictions for it.
Daughter: It doesn't.
Mother: Oh. Um...can I make you some pancakes?

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

The Holiday Season

It's at this time of year that people think of the holidays. And of course, there's one holiday that towers over them all - Demolition Day. Now is a great time to get your gingerbread house kits all decorated with sugar and candy canes and pretty cookes that you can blast to smithereens. Boom!

Monday, December 18, 2006

Jokebook: Etch-A-Sketch XP

From: Your Office
To: All Employees

Subject: The New IT System

As you all know, this company has been experiencing some financial problems in the past. One area that we've decided to cut costs is in Information Technology. Due to the rising cost of computer technology and the manpower required to handle an increasingly large network, we have decided to replace all desktop PCs with an Etch-A-Sketch. To ease the transition, we present the following Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

Q: My Etch-A-Sketch has funny lines all over the screen. What do I do?
A: Pick it up and shake it.

Q: What's the shortcut for Undo?
A: Pick it up and shake it.

Q: How do I create a new document?
A: Pick it up and shake it.

Q: How do I re-boot my Etch-A-Sketch ?
A: Pick it up and shake it.

Q: How do I delete a document on my Etch-A-Sketch?
A: Pick it up and shake it.

Q: How do I save my Etch-A-Sketch Document?
A: Don't pick it up and shake it.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Those Mannequins Are Bootylicious

Jennifer Lopez opened a huge can of worms, notifying the White population that stick-thin models aren't always the most attractive. And people are listening. Not only are there more products, ad campaigns, and clothes pushing a curvier figure, there are even mannequins. The New York Times did a story about how there's a new trend in mannequins to make them more curvaceous.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Latest Update From The New Yuk Times

Breaking news from the New Yuk Times: Big Bird Attacks Handler

Xylotriptyzoqanukine: Drug Name Origins

Ever wonder how drug companies come up with such bizarre names for their drugs as Lipitor, Viagra, or Xylocaine? The FDA has a very interesting article on drug names, including how drug names are developed, what goes into a drug's name, and how the wrong name can be lethal.

Friday, December 08, 2006

Flashback Friday: Herb

Back in the 80's, there was a Burger King contest where you had to try to spot Herb in a BK restaurant and win $5,000. Herb was supposedly the one guy in America who had never tried a Whopper. I used to dream of walking into a BK and finding Herb. Of course, they didn't tell you what he looked like, so it was kind of difficult to achieve that dream. When they finally did, I got excited about finding him all over again. But of course, I never did. I always wondered whatever happened to Herb. Turns out Herb was one of the biggest blunders of advertising in U.S. history. Now I'm glad I didn't find Herb.

Trivia

  • The campaign began with a series of mysterious ads and billboards that said "Who's Herb?"

  • Herb was finally unveiled in a Super Bowl XX commercial in 1986.

  • The reason why Herb, a man who doesn't eat Whoppers, would be in Burger King restaurants was never explained.

  • The fact that Herb turned out to be a nerdy-looking guy in a loud suit was supposed to send the message that only losers don't eat Whoppers. Instead, the public took away the message that only losers eat at Burger King.

  • In hip-hop or street lingo, a "Herb" is a nerd or loser. The term comes directly from these commercials.

  • Instead of boosting sales, sales at Burger King actually dropped during this campaign.

  • The Herb unveiling came at the same time McDonald's launched the McD.L.T.

  • Advertising Age called the "Where's Herb" campaign the "most elaborate advertising flop of the decade."

  • Herb was played by an actor named John Merrick. John Merrick was also the name of the Elephant Man, a hideously deformed circus freak.

Links
Surprisingly enough, Wikipedia is not the first place to go for info on Herb. I need to work on that. The best article is in E2. There's also an article in TV Acres about him. RetroCRUSH named the Herb campaign its biggest Fast Food Fiasco. Through the power of the Internet, you can even read an article from TIME Magazine circa 1986 about the unveiling. And for more retro flava, you can read a transcript of the infamous SNL sketch making fun of the Herb campaign.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

eGad!: Brains for Zombies

Haven't done a random link in a long time...and I guess it's overdue. A while back I saw a fake website that claimed to be a shopping mall for evil geniuses taking over the world. You could "shop" for nuclear missiles, uniforms, henchmen, the works. Hysterical...but I can't find it. So I found Brains for Zombies instead. It's kinda funny. But eGad, a parody of eBay, is funnier.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

The New World (abridged version)

FADE IN

LOTS OF SCENES OF BEAUTIFUL SCENERY AND COLONISTS ARRIVING IN AMERICA WITHOUT SAYING ANYTHING

COLIN FARRELL
I'm Captain Smith.

LOTS OF SCENES OF BEAUTIFUL SCENERY AND NATIVE AMERICANS RUNNING AROUND WITHOUT SAYING ANYTHING

Q'ORIANA KILCHER
I'm Pocahontas.

LOTS OF SCENES OF NATIVE AMERICANS AND COLONISTS FIGHTING WITHOUT SAYING ANYTHING

FARRELL
I love you.

KILCHER
I love you, too. But I'm marrying someone else, moving to Europe, and having his baby.

LOTS OF SCENES OF EUROPE AND POCAHONTAS WANDERING AROUND WITH HER HUSBAND WITHOUT SAYING ANYTHING

POCAHONTAS' HUSBAND
I love you.

KILCHER
I love Captain Smith.

LOTS OF SCENES OF POCAHONTAS GOING BACK TO AMERICA AND WANDERING AROUND WITHOUT SAYING ANYTHING

FARRELL
I love you.

KILCHER
I love you, too. But I'm leaving you and never coming back.

POCAHONTAS RETURNS TO AMERICA, APPARENTLY DIES

LOTS OF SCENES OF POCAHONTAS RUNNING THROUGH THE WOODS

FADE OUT

AUDIENCE
What the heck was that?

AUTHOR'S NOTE: Sadly, this wasn't much of an exaggeration.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Stolen Credit: Disney's Little Mermaid

We got the new 2-disc Platinum Edition of The Little Mermaid and I watched it again...great, of course...but I noticed something strange in the opening credits. I couldn't find anything like "inspired by Hans Christian Andersen" or "based on the novel by Hans Christian Andersen." In fact, there was no mention of him at all. I admit that the Disney story made some pretty big changes, but I don't think that gives them the right not to mention him. Or maybe I missed it. I dunno. I couldn't find any reference to this fact on the Internet, which I think is something that would have been mentioned. But it's not like they're hiding it now - the DVD has a documentary based entirely on Hans Christian Andersen and his version of the story.
On the positive side, the DVD has a virtual re-creation of "Under the Sea," a designed-but-never-built ride based on The Little Mermaid movie. It actually shows the perspective of riding in one of the cars while it goes through the ride as it would have been. It's pretty cool and a unique feature that certainly raises the bar on DVD features, which is always a good thing.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Microsoft of Baby Stuff: Winnie the Pooh

In the past few months, I've become quite familiar with baby apparel and I'll say this - Winnie the Pooh owns baby stuff. It's hard to find a baby bottle or a baby sheet or baby clothes that doesn't have Winnie the Pooh characters on it. Oh, sure, there are some Sesame Street characters or Peanuts characters or even baby Tiny Toons (where did that come from?), but Winnie the Pooh is the default. He's like Microsoft. Winnie the Pooh has a monopoly. The government should step in and break them up into smaller divisions. Maybe Tigger gets baby blankets or Piglet get baby bottles.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Jokebook: Test of Loyalty

The CIA is looking for a new agent and think they've narrowed it down to three candidates - a blond man, a dark-haired man, and a red-headed man. They decide to perform one final test of their ruthlessness.

They go to the dark-haired candidate and hand him a gun, saying, "In that room is your wife. We want you to take this gun, go in that room, and kill her."

The dark-haired man sets the gun down on the table and says, "I can't do that."

The CIA immediately dismisses him and goes to the red-headed candidate, telling him the same thing. "In that room is your wife. Take this gun, go in that room, and kill her."

The red-headed man shakes his head and sets the gun down, saying, "I can't do that."

The CIA dismisses him and turns to the final candidate, the blonde man. They hand him a gun, saying, "In that room is your wife. We want you to take this gun, go in that room, and kill her."

The blond man takes the gun and walks into the room. Silence passes for a few seconds, then the room is filled with screaming and crashing noises. When the room is silent again, the blond man comes staggering out of the room.

The CIA asks, "What happened?"

The blond man gasps, "Well, the gun was filled with blanks, so I had to beat her to death with her chair."

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Lying Liars: Floyd Landis

They had Floyd Landis, the guy who is accused of cheating on the Tour-de-France, on Adam Carolla's radio show. Landis is all "I never cheated, I will defend myself" and then they asked, "would you take a lie detector test?" And he's like "Absolutely." And they're like "would you take one now?" And he laughs and asks "Do you have one right now on the radio?" And as a matter of fact, they do have a lie detector right in the next room. And in walks a lie-detector administrator into the studio. And suddenly, Floyd's like "Well, I need to talk to my lawyer." All that bravado, all that "bring it on" crap disappeared and he's hemming and hawing, going on about how his lawyer wants everything to be cleared through him, etc. And Adam's like "what's the problem? You're innocent, so this is gonna be great for you." And Floyd leaves, and even Adam describes him as fleeing the studio. What a joke that guy is. And now his excuse is to accuse the French of tampering with the test...apparently because they don't like the look of him, because there's no real reason why they would do such a thing.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

No Career For You: Michael Richards versus N-Words

I really, really, really liked Michael Richards, also known as "the guy who played Kramer on Seinfeld." I mean, really liked him. I was a fan of his before he made it big on Seinfeld, knew who he was when he played Stanley Spudowski on UHF. Always thought he was a comic genius, combining physical and verbal comedy with brilliant timing. But even I can't defend him now.

On Friday, Kramer was videotaped during a stand-up routine launching into a tirade against some black hecklers with the N-word. Multiple times. And not in a hip-hop sort of way, more like a redneck sort of way. I wanted to defend him, but I just can't. Watching the video is shocking and disturbing in a way that hurts deeply. I have to agree with several other people who call this a career-ending incident. It's not like he had much of a career to begin with. So ends the genius that was Michael Richards. We'll never see Seinfeld the same way again.

Latest Update From The New Yuk Times

Breaking news from the New Yuk Times...

Sunday, November 19, 2006

O.J. Simpson Is Guilty: If I Did It

I've always been a staunch defender of the innocence of O.J. Simpson. I thought there was enough doubt (the lack of a witness, the lack of a murder weapon, the obvious police bias, the lack of blood in O.J.'s house) to believe he had at least a chance at innocence. More than anything else, I felt that it wasn't our place to decide a man's guilty or innocence in the court of public opinion. And then came If I Did It. In case you haven't heard, O.J. Simpson has a new book coming out that is a "fictional" account of what might have happened if O.J. Simpson had killed Nicole and Ron Goldman. An innocent man wouldn't do this. An innocent O.J. Simpson would have written a book about what evidence he's uncovered in ten years that cleared him of the murders. And it wasn't a stupid idea that O.J. was forced into - he suggested it to his publisher! And the amount of detail in the book apparently is more than can be chalked up to imagination. Even his own publisher is openly calling it a confession. Thanks for clearing that up, O.J. Finally, the debate is over.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Flashback Friday: Out of This World

There once was a TV show about a little kid whose father was an alien. No, it wasn't Roswell. No, it wasn't Starman. No, it wasn't V. Nothing so sophisticated. We're talking about Out of This World. This show was sort of like a kid's version of I Dream of Jeannie. The main character Evie had the power to stop time. You know this was a kid's show because she didn't try to take over the world. I mean, she could freakin' stop time. And all she did was get revenge on bullies and win basketball games.

While we're on the topic, why is it that alien races always have superpowers? I mean, E.T., Starman, Roswell, all the aliens or alien-derived beings have powers. I always wondered if we're supposed to believe the aliens evolved their powers or were genetically-engineered to have those powers or what.

Trivia:
* Scott Baio was one of the directors for the series. Is there anything he can't do?
* The old song "Swinging on a Star" was the theme song for the show.
* Evie's other powers included being able to teleport by snapping her fingers and being able to tie her shoelaces perfectly.
* Evie also had the power to "gleep," which apparently meant she could make simple objects appear just by willing it. See what I mean about being too powerful?
* Evie's father was named Troy. Yeah, there's imagination for you.
* Evie's father never appeared in person on the show, but talked to her through a blue crystal cube in her bedside cabinet.
* Burt Reynolds was the voice of Evie's father
* In the series finale, Evie's mother accidentally switches places with Evie's father, leaving the mother transported to Antares while Evie's father is in her bedroom. Talk about a cliffhanger.
* Unlike most child actors, the actress who played Evie (Maureen Flannigan) is still working. She did a 22-episode stint on 7th Heaven. And she still looks hot.

Links:
IMDB is the old standard, and Wikipedia is on top of the show, of course, but doesn't have much to say on it. TV.com does some episode breakdowns that chronicle Evie's wacky adventures. BBC gives a much broader description of the show, as well as why it was created.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Jokebook: Suicidal Bet

A blonde and a brunette are watching TV and the news comes on, showing a guy on a bridge about to jump.

The brunette says, "I'll bet you ten bucks he jumps."

The blonde says, "You're on."

Well, the guy on TV jumps off the bridge, so the blonde hands over the money.

The brunette sighs and says, "I can't take your money. I cheated you. The same story was on the five o'clock news."

The blonde says, "No, no. Take it. I saw the five o'clock news too. I just didn't think the guy was dumb enough to jump again."

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Blogger Beta Sucks

I converted my blogs to Blogger Beta, and I already regret it. Why didn't it tell me I wouldn't be able to post comments to non-Beta Blogger blogs before I did the conversion? I hate to think what other surprises lie in store.

The Wrath of Al: You're Pitiful

Weird Al's always been a pretty easy-going guy. Coolio threatened to beat him up, and Weird Al just apologized. But when Weird Al produced a much-needed satire of "You're Beautiful" called "You're Pitiful," he blew his top. The problem is that the artist James Blunt approved the satire, but his record company didn't. Weird Al did something he's never done before - he fought back, putting the track on his website Weird Al.com as a free download instead. It's a shame he didn't get approval, because it's a really funny song. Then again, we get the song for free, so in a way I'm glad Weird Al got burned. NPR did a story on the whole issue.

Note: Looks like Weird Al got burned again, because he's no longer hosting the song on his website. Then again, six or seven other people are. You can't fight the Internet, losers!

Trivia: In the video for "White and Nerdy," Weird Al can be seen defacing the Wikipedia article on the controversy with the words "You Suck."

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Fun With Photos: Rachael Ray Vs The Joker

Separated at birth?

Sexy Women vs WNBA

A recent post on God Has Wheels about women's basketball inspired some thoughts. First of all, women's basketball...ahahahahahahahahahahahaha!

Second of all, when is the WNBA gonna wise up to the fact that if they had the women in bikinis, they wouldn't be able to sell tickets fast enough? I mean, some of those girls are pretty hot. The slow-motion replays would be more popular than the actual game. And before you start whining about sexism and "why can't they be judged on their own terms," let's face it - men are sad, pathetic creatures. I've already addressed that in an earlier post. To me, it's all about equal time. The women can watch the WNBA games for the athleticism and skills while men watch for the bouncing babes in bikinis. Everybody's happy. Heck, bikinis didn't hurt women's volleyball. Those are athletic, respected women who look hot.

It's not like there's no precedent. I watched the women's basketball competition in the Olympics and was amazed at the different outfits other countries' teams wore. The Australian team wore Lycra bodysuits. By comparison, our women looked like they were wearing potato sacks. The WNBA went overboard. There's no rule that says you can't be athletic and sexy at the same time.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Poor Get Poorer: Auto Title Loans

There's a common misconception that poor people are poor because they're bad with money, that they can't save properly or don't invest or spend it all on drugs and alcohol. That may be true in some cases, but a lot of poor people are poor because once your credit rating gets too bad or your income drops below a certain level, you don't have as many options as rich people do, and are more vulnerable. Case in point, an auto title loan.

I happened to go with a friend to an auto title loan place and was stunned.To get an auto title loan, you give them your car's title as collateral. This place had a chart on the wall that showed the interest on various loans, and they ranged from 15 to 30 percent interest. That's not per year. That's per month. The interest on an auto title loan can increase by three hundred percent in a single year.

As outrageous as that is, it gets worse. The place I went to doesn't letyou pay back the loan in installments. It can only be paid back in full. In cash. Within thirty days. If you don't pay it back, you have only one other option - extend the loan for another thirty days by paying them a percentage, which can be as much as three hundred dollars. And that three hundred dollars doesn't count towards repayment of the loan in any way.

Let's look at this in the real world. I'm in danger of losing my apartment because I lost my job and don't have any money to pay the rent. No bank will lend me any money, because I ruined my credit rating defaulting on all my bills. All I have left is my car. So I bite the bullet and take out an auto title loan. Great, I've got a thousand dollars. But what are the odds that I'm gonna have a thousand dollars in cash a month from now? Almost nil. So the thirty days come up, they say "Pay us another three hundred dollars or we take your car." I need my car, so I pay them another three hundred, and sigh with relief. Until next month. When I owe three hundred and twenty. Within a few months, I'm trapped in a vicious cycle. The longer the loan is extended, the more I owe. The more I owe, the less capable I am of paying it back. Even if I do get a low-paying job that keeps the roof over my head, it's still not enough to get me the money I need. So I just keep paying and paying for months, watching the loan spiral out of control, until finally I just can't afford it anymore and they take my car away.

My friend was one of the lucky ones. She actually had the money to pay back her auto title loan. When my friend showed up to pay it,the clerk seemed surprised, as if she'd never seen anyone pay it back before. And I'm betting she hasn't. To get an auto title loan is probably the dumbest thinganyone can do, but there are really people out there who have no choice. The people who created it set out to target the most vulnerable of people,and set it up in a way that makes it almost impossible to pay it back.

Monday, October 30, 2006

Fun With Photos: Mel Gibson Movies

I'd like to give credit for this idea to another blog which added funny captions to Mel Gibson stills. Unfortunately, I can't find it. So if you know who it was, let me know. And everyone else, be aware this is not my idea.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Jokebook: Plenty More

A Cuban, a Russian, a white American, and an Apache Indian are sitting on a train.

The Cuban takes one puff of his cigar and throws it out the window, saying "There's plenty more of those where I come from."

The Russian takes a sip of his vodka and throws the rest of the bottle out the window, saying "There's plenty more of that where I come from."

So the Apache Indian gets up and throws the white American out the window.

Related:
Jokebook: Seeing Eye
Jokebook: Drinking Contest
Jokebook: Estrogen in Beer

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Smudgegate: Kenny Rogers and Pine Tar

Okay, let's get this whole controversy with Kenny Rogers over with. Did pitcher Kenny Rogers have pine tar on his pitching hand in game 2 of the World Series? He says it was dirt. I don't believe that for a minute. First of all, if it was dirt which isn't illegal, why did the coaches need to ask him to wash it off? And if it was dirt, why did he need to wash it off instead of just rubbing it off? And if it was dirt, why did he have an identical patch of "dirt" in the same exact spot on his hand earlier in the season? The list goes on and on. But I don't need to answer that, because I'm not an expert on baseball and cheating. Sports Illustrated talked to someone who is, a bullpen coach, who broke down why it was pine tar, why Rogers used pine tar, and why the pitchers on both teams are probably using pine tar.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Phantom Menace 2.0

We all know that Phantom Menace sucked. The question is, could I have done any better? It started as a simple mental exercise - come up with a new story treatment that a) does the basic job of introducing the Star Wars trilogy, b) fits into the later movies, c) retains all the good stuff of Phantom Menace like the pod race and Darth Maul, and d) takes out all the crap. Here's the result: I call it Star Wars Episode One: Phantom Menace 2.0.

The movie begins with Jedi Master Qui-Gon Jinn congratulates his apprentice Obi-Wan Kenobi for completing his training to become a Padawan. On Obi-Wan's first assignment, he is sent by the Jedi Council to the planet of Naboo, a powerful member of the Republic, to monitor the election of Queen Amidala. But on Naboo, the first signs of the separatist moment take shape as the newly-elected Queen Amidala is overthrown by a violent military coup. The coup is led by a mysterious alien named Admiral Syn who kidnaps Queen Amidala and takes her into orbit on Tatooine. He plans to secede Naboo from the Republic, aided by the robotic Trade Federation in exchange for shipping rights.

At first, Obi-Wan and Qui-Gon are advised by the Jedi Council not to interfere. But Naboo's Senator Palpatine begs them to rescue Queen Amidala, warning them that Admiral Syn is really a Sith lord named Darth Maul. The Jedi Council agrees to sneak aboard Admiral Syn's ship to rescue Queen Amidala. There, they discover a young man named Anakin Skywalker, a slave who knows nothing of life beyond toiling in the bowels of Syn's ship. Qui-Gon notices the power of the Force in young Anakin. Anakin helps them escape from the ship in exchange for his freedom by organizing a jailbreak and crashing the spaceship into the sands of Tattooine. They construct a pod racer and are chased across the sands of Tatooine by Darth Maul and his men. They finally crash into a power plant, where Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan battle Darth Maul to the death. With the death of Darth Maul, they regain control of the planet of Naboo, begin the first attack against the Separatist movement, and gain ownership of Anakin Skywalker. Obi-Wan decides to raise and train Anakin in the ways of the Force, but still wonders who is the dark force behind Darth Maul...

Jokebook: Seeing Eye

This blind guy walks into a bar, picks up his seeing-eye dog by its leash, and starts swinging
the dog in circles over his head.

The bartender yells, "Hey, what're you doing?"

The blind guy says, "Just takin’ a look around."

Sunday, October 15, 2006

YouTube Strikes Gold

I admit, I didn't believe it. I didn't believe YouTube would ever make money. I had read numerous stories about how YouTube was hemmoraging money, how it had copyright issues, how it was struggling with bandwidth. Sure, it was popular and everybody was excited about it, but what was it? I figured it was a throwback to the dot-com failures of yesteryear - all hype, no profit. In a year or two, the start-up money would run out and it would collapse. And then, Google bought it for over a billion dollars. And now I wish I had thought of it. The three founding members get to split a billion dollars. I guess it's true what they say; if you build it, they will come. Will YouTube continue to be successful in the long run? Who cares, they got paid.
Categories: news

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Flashback Friday: Shanghai McNuggets

Once upon a time, in a McDonald's boardroom, a group of executives said "Hey, let's sell Chinese food." And someone else said, "Hey, good idea. Chinese food is popular. But it'll be expensive to develop a new product." And the other one said, "Nah, just sell Chinese-flavored sauces for the Chicken McNuggets." Thus, Shanghai McNuggets were born. Essentially, they were Chicken McNuggets sold with sweet and sour sauce, hot mustard, and teriyaki sauce. I remember liking these, but then I was a kid. It was actually okay, but then, you can't mess up Chicken McNuggets too much. Unless you ask where they came from.

Looking back, what strikes me most about this campaign was the incredible racism. I mean, it's barely Chinese food to begin with, but then they had the asian music and Ronald McDonald doing a karate chop. If they sold McNuggets with salsa, would they call it the Tijuana McNuggets? And having Ronald McDonald running across the border or riding in the back of a pickup truck? Actually, I can see that. I better not give McDonald's any ideas.

Links:
I couldn't find much information on these at all. I almost started to think I made it up until I found an entry at Wikipedia. And even that didn't have much. But there was much informal discussion on them on a thread at X-Entertainment. There was also a thread on rec.games.trivia about them.

Fun Facts:
* Shanghai McNuggets came in Chinese take-out boxes and came with a fortune cookie and chopsticks.
* The box included instructions on how to use chopsticks.
* McDonald's employees had to wear a bamboo Coolie hat to promote the Shanghai McNuggets.
* The Shanghai McNuggets were discontinued pretty quickly, but I don't know the exact year.
* In China, McDonald's sells Shrimp McNuggets.

Lunch Hunter

Someone stole my wife's lunch last week. That is so irritating. I can't believe somebody would just take someone else's lunch. I wish I could understand the psychology of that. You walk into the lunchroom, sift through all the lunches, find one that looks good, and just walk away with it. And you sit down and eat it, knowing someone else could be going hungry because of you, and don't care. Unbelievable that there are people like that. That's something that a homeless person would do wandering in off the street, not an employed adult working in an office. I can't understand how you can live with yourself doing something that low.
Categories: opinion

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Zune vs. iPod

Apparently, Microsoft is going to launch a competitor to iPod. Just the thought of Microsoft competing with Apple in an area of creativity like music players made me laugh. But after reading this article about the advantages of Zune versus the iPod, I have to admit it's daunting. I actually found myself thinking that if I had the chance and the money, I would go with a Zune player instead of an iPod. That's scary. The evil empire is not dead.
Categories: entertainment

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Mario Bros Live

A student project re-creates the videogame Mario Bros in real-life. It's awesome.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

BOR Radio meets Couch Potato

Well, it's been a long time coming, but it's finally ready...BOR Public Radio is on the air. It's still a little buggy, but it'll get better as I get this whole podcasting thing.

And speaking of comedy, check out the latest release by Platypi Publishing, The Adventures of Couch Potato.

UPDATE: My Platypuspublishing website is gone. The new website for BOR Public Radio is http://borpublicradio.bravehost.com and my e-books are available at http://nigelgmitchell.bravehost.com

Saturday, September 30, 2006

Flashback Friday: Square Pegs


Before Sarah Jessica Parker had sex in the city, there was Square Pegs. This was a short-lived series about a couple of nerds in high school, but I remember it capturing a sense of teen angst that I'd never seen before. It also introduced me to a lot of '80's concepts that I didn't get going to my school (I wasn't even in high school then), like New Wave music, valley girls, the term "nerds," and leg-warmers. I also have had the theme song stuck in my head for twenty years. This show is also notable as one of SJP's first acting gigs. Who knew it would lead to fame and fortune? I still think she's ugly, but whatever. Maybe that's why I find her so unattractive, because I always see her with those glasses and nerdy look. Nice body, though.

Fun Facts:
* The title of the show was a reference to the characters trying to fit in, but not being able to - square pegs trying to fit into round holes.
* The theme song was performed by a group called The Waitresses, who apparently never did anything else ever again. Paul Shaffer did additional music. Figure that one out.
* The high school they went to was Weemawee High School. They didn't even try to make it realistic.
* Bill Murray did a guest shot as a substitute teacher.
* The show only lasted for one season from 1982 to 1983.
* The cancellation of the show was blamed, in part, on drug use on the set. If that was the case today, we'd never keep shows on the air.
* In China, they adapted the show into a hit series called Life Made Simple about a mentally-retarded man in his mid-thirties who goes to high school. I don't know how that worked. Do they have valley girls in China?
* There are calls for this show to be released on DVD. Something tells me it's going to be a little dated.

Links: There's a good overview at TV.com. By far, the best Square Pegs website I could find was the Square Pegs Shrine. And of course, there's the old standard, IMDB. Wikipedia, of course, does it up right. There are some sound files at Tim's TV showcase, including the theme song.

Related:
Flashback Friday: Photon
Flashback: Madballs
Flashback Friday: Electric Dreams

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Free Movie Idea: Gremlins 3

If I were in Hollywood, I would greenlight Gremlins 3. I'd call it Gremlins 3: World War. Here's the pitch. It's a prequel. The first Gremlins made a reference to gremlins by that World War II guy that he had seen gremlins inWorld War II. That's where the movie should be set. It's about him as a young man on a battleship off the coast of Japan. A geisha, working for the Japanese military, gives one of the American soldiers a cute little mogwai, tells him it's a pet, but doesn't tell him the rules. The mogwai gets wet, produces a bunch of copies, they eat and whammo. Suddenly, the soldiers are trapped on a battleship with the gremlins while they're at sea. The gremlins are planning to take over the battleship and scuttle it. The soldiers band together and launch an all-out war with machine guns and grenades, fighting the gremlins, but the gremlins have already sabotaged the weapons. The gremlins are screwing up the planes so they crash, sabotaging the missiles to make them explode. They have to hold out until morning, when the sun will destroy the gremlins. Not sure how it would end, but I think it would be cool.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Top Ten Reasons We All Hate The New Cardinals Stadium Name

The Arizona Cardinals finally sold the naming rights to their stadium. And the new name is...University of Phoenix Stadium. Now there are a lot of reasons why people hate this name, besides the fact that everybody hates company-sponsored stadium names. Here are the top ten I've heard.

10. Nobody cares about the University of Phoenix.
9. Everybody hates the name except the Arizona Cardinals.
8. There's no good mascot for the University of Phoenix. No bobcat for that stadium.
7. University of Phoenix Stadium has eleven syllables. Bank One Ballpark had four.
6. There is no name recognition. Everyone is going to shorten it to "UOP Stadium," which defeats the purpose of name recognition.
5. Does anyone want to call it "U.P. Stadium?"
4. The University of Phoenix has no athletic program, so it has nothing to do with sports.
3. They did it for the money, which is going into Bidwell's pocket, not the team.
2. They slapped "Phoenix" on the side of a building designed to promote and celebrate Glendale.
1. They spent fifteen years complaining about playing in a university stadium, then when they got a new stadium, named it after a university.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Never Prosper: Cheaters

I watched a whole episode of Cheaters this morning for the first time.Usually only come in at the end. That is a great show. And cheap. All they have to do is get proof of cheating, bring all the people together at the same time, and let the cameras roll. This morning, it was some old guy who had this hot chick living with him who of course was cheating on him with a younger guy. The old guy was obviously being used, her spending his money and using his house as a place to keep her clothes and stuff...loser. She was claiming she was over at a girlfriend's for three days straight! Andthe young guy was a complete idiot. When they confronted him, he kept yelling "How do you know her name? How do you know her name?" And then theywould say "He's her boyfriend" or "She's been living with him for two years". And he'd yell "Whadda you mean he's her boyfriend?" or "Whadda you mean she's been living with him for two years?" And then he would yell "How do you know her name?" again. That went on way too long. I said "Dude, they can't make it any clearer than that." And of course, she had no explanation, as always. I've noticed that - most of the cheaters never give an explanation, they just try to walk away. I guess they want time to think of an excuse. Anyway, the best part this morning was when the young guy tried to drive off, and the girl literally threw herself on the hood of his car to stop him. Awesome. And of course, the old guy dumped her, but the young guy "found a way to forgive her." I wanted to say "and I know exactly what that way was", if you know what I mean. But I take comfort in the knowledge that soon she will cheat and start the cycle all over again.

New Yuk Times 2.0

I've created a new version of the New Yuk Times, my news satire blog. It's exactly the same as the old blog except that it has fewer archived stories (until I transfer them from the old blog), fewer comments, and a new address that will make it easier to find - newyuktimes.blogspot.com

And the new blog has the latest update. Since my other story on Steve Irwin was so well-received: Animal Kingdom Claims Victory In Steve Irwin's Death.

Monday, September 11, 2006

CSI: A Stripper's Paradise

I bought a CSI board game and it has character profiles for the cast. I never even knew the cast of CSI had characters. They all seem pretty interchangeable. They just have to walk onto a scene, make some sarcastic comments, and operate advanced equipment that no crime lab in the world could afford with expert skill at the drop of a hat. Anyway, I read in the manual that Catherine Willows worked her way through college through exotic dancing. To me, that seems like an ad for Las Vegas strippers. I mean, isn't the stereotype that all strippers are only stripping to pay their way through college? Well, Willows is living proof. "See?" the show says, "she did it and you can, too." Conspiracy theory? Possibly. But I defy anyone to tell me CSI isn't a commercial for Las Vegas. I mean, is the country's greatest forensics team really in Las Vegas?

As for the board game...eh, it's okay. I prefer Clue.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Bear Riding A Unicycle: Circus versus Wild


There was a guy on the radio calling his friend a bad father because he wouldn't take his kid to the circus. That friend argued that circuses are cruel to animals. The talk show host argued that animals are great in circuses - they get fed, medical care, no predators. That irritated me. If you don't care about animals, fine. If you don't care if animals are mistreated in circuses, fine. But don't try to argue circuses aren't cruel, because they are. I was just reading an article about how the whole concept of zoos is being questioned because it's almost impossible to replicate the environment of animals like elephants in a caged setting. And that's a zoo. Now look at an elephant living in a cage, forced to ride around on a tricycle. There's no way that animal is happy.
Categories: opinion

News Updates From the New Yuk Times

Breaking news from the New Yuk Times:
Fans Disappointed By Lack of Irony In Steve Irwin's Death

Monday, September 04, 2006

Han Solo: Frozen in Lego Bricks


And now for something completely different...a man with a sculpture of Han Solo frozen in carbonite.

Down the Rabbit Hole: Larry Wachowski

What do a pre-op transsexual, a dominatrix, and Matrix Revolutions have in common? Larry Wachowski. Of course, we all know Larry Wachowski, co-creator of the Matrix movie series, but we know virtually nothing about him. And that's the way he likes it, because he seems to have a lot to hide. Rolling Stone did an investigation on just why he disappeared, divorced his wife, and hooked up with a cross-dresser. The answer is here...and a more disturbing and twisted story I have yet to read.
Warning: Contains adult themes and language. Reader discretion is advised.
Categories: entertainment

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Better Off Dead: Kenneth Lay

Well, Enron's Kenneth Lay is dead. He died before he served even one day of jail time. I think it's a sign of how much damage Kenneth Lay did that it seems like he got away with it. Death is literally too good for Lay. All I wanted was one day in prison. One day where there was no one there to cater to his every whim. No fancy meals, no cushy seats, no exotic countries, no plush beds. I mean, the guy died in his frickin' home in Aspen. I just hope the heart attack was painful. And I hope it was brought on by stress. Severe, agonizing stress at the thought of going to jail. Scumbag.


Saturday, August 26, 2006

Latest Updates From The New Yuk Times

Breaking news from the New Yuk Times: 
Local Man Is Either Insane Or Using Cell Phone
Ad Company Creates Parody Of "Got Milk"
Jennifer Lopez's Butt Announces Solo Career

Geektalk: Revenge of the Phantom Clone


Remember the big fuss over what the new Star Wars movies would be called? Remember the cries of disappointment over the name The Phantom Menace? Remember the scorn and ridicule over the name Attack of the Clones? Remember the cheers over the name Revenge of the Sith? It seems kind of silly now, since I don't actually use those names when talking about the movies. Usually I say "Episode One" or "Episode Three." I never go "I loved that scene in 'Attack of the Clones' where Mace Windu comes into the arena." It's just easier. Yet I rarely say "I loved in 'Episode Six' where the Emperor blasted Luke Skywalker." I spell out the full names. Maybe it's because Lucas put so much emphasis on the episide numbers. In the logo for the first movie, the letter "I" is bigger than the actual title. I always felt Lucas was worried about how confusing the whole prequel thing is. "So it's the next movie in the series?" "Yes." "And it takes place after the last one?" "No, it takes place before the first one." Lucas wanted the episode numbers to be emphasized to help clarify it.

Related:
Geektalk: The Current State of Comics
Geektalk: Bane Lite
Geektalk: Scarred and Deformed

Friday, August 25, 2006

Stars Are Deaf: Paris Hilton's Hit Single

I've had Paris Hilton's Stars are Blind stuck in my head all day. Heard like five seconds of it this morning - just the amount of time it took me to change the channel. That song is evil. They must have put some sort of hypnotic suggestion in it or something to make it stuck in your head. Because I hate it, and I can't get it out. Curse you, Paris Hilton. I feel like challenging her - I'll show up with a piano. I'll play one note. I just want her to sing that one note and hold it for five seconds. Do that without any kind of lip synching or electronic assistance, and I'll buy a hundred of her albums. Because I firmly believe she can't do it.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Dirty Little Secrets: Video by All-American Rejects

I saw the video for "Dirty Little Secret" by All-American Rejects and was stunned. It's simple but powerful - a group of anonymous people holding up cards with secrets written on them. The secrets are intriguing like "Sometimes I think my fiance' isn't the one" or "When I eat I feel like a failure." I was struck by the idea of just walking up to people and getting them to reveal their secrets.

Unfortunately, it turns out the truth is less exciting. The people holding the cards are not the people who own the secrets. The cards were provided by PostSecrets, a blog that posts handmade postcards people send in with their secrets. But the secrets are still real and cool. This, of course, is ripe for parody - check out what happens when you type "dirty little secret" into YouTube.

Grocery Bag Blues

You know what makes you look lamer than carrying your lunch to work in a plastic grocery bag because you can't find your lunch bag? Carrying your lunch to work in a plastic grocery bag from a dollar store. Because that makes you look lame and poor. "He can't even afford an Albertson's grocery bag..."

Static Shock: Static Electricity Starts Fire

The is one of those stories that seemed too outrageous to be true, but I've found multiple sources, for what that's worse. Today, we consider the story of Frank Clewer, an Australian man went for a job interview in a nylon jacket and a wool shirt. Sounds nice. But as he walked into the building, his clothing generated so much static electricity that it set the carpet on fire. The fire department estimated that his clothes carried a charge of 40,000 volts. He even left scorch marks on the carpet and melted plastic in his car. This reminds me of the Dilbert cartoon where Dogbert walks over a carpet to build up a charge and calls himself Dog of Thunder. We could harness this as a new renewable energy source. All we have to do is have a bunch of guys wearing wool and nylon clothes walking on a carpet all day long. Every now and then, they touch an electrode to discharge the energy. Or make them women jogging in wool bikinis, and make it a pay-per-view. Guys will pay to watch it, subsidizing the cost. Not as efficient as solar or wind power, but sounds a lot more fun.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Adwatch: Quizno's Monsters


Finally, the answer to the question I needed to know - why? What would possess an otherwise good company to unleash these repulsive monsters on the world and tie it to their product? Much like the origin of the Burger King's Subservient Chicken, the spongmonkeys are the product of the Internet. But here's where Quizno's failed - the original clip is funny because it's so weird. The spongmonkeys are singing about the Moon, but I don't think anyone who saw this ad would increase their support for the space program. It's funny to watch, but that's it. The creatures are repulsive, and that revulsion will be transferred to the product. I personally can't stomach the idea of eating a Quizno's sub. For more on this subject, see Bad Andy. A reviewer at Slate argued that the commercial is brilliant because a) it gets people talking about Quizno's and b) it gets all the information they want to convey. He is wrong. First of all, I wasn't listening to the song because I was too busy staring at that hideous creature. There is a choice - the people who download that video want to see something like that, but the vast majority of people won't think it's funny. I can't see a farmer in Oklahoma who loves Mom and apple pie enjoying the spongmonkeys. And even those people who do like the video probably wouldn't be forced to watch two or three times a day as advertisements do. As for the first argument, that falls under the category of "no such thing as bad publicity," which I think Courtney Love has disproven. If I say "I hate Quizno's," I don't think that's the kind of endorsement they want, even if I did mention their names.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Cha-Ching: The Cost of Comics

The prices on comics these days are outrageous, especially for older issues. They're all shrink-wrapped and priced in mint condition. I don't want one in mint-condition. I'll take a copy crumpled up and torn in half if it means I get to read it at an affordable price. But even new comics are expensive. Individual issues of new comics are up to three dollars. That's ridiculous. What do you get for that price, ten minutes worth of entertainment? If I read slowly? I could pay a dollar more and rent a two-hour movie. And then I have to wait until next month to read the next part. And they wonder why the comics industry is collapsing. Lower the dang prices! I think the monthly comic book model is a dying breed, anyway. Does anyone really like reading 15 pages every month, and spending two years to get a whole story? It's cheaper and easier to buy collected issues in graphic novel format rather than individual comics. They should ditch the monthly issues and publish graphic novels every six months.

NYT Update

This just in from the New Yuk Times: New DVD To Offer Cast and Crew as Bonus Features

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Quit Whining: R&B Singers

What's up with R&B songs where the guy's whining about how a girl left him? I swear, ninety percent of R&B songs I hear these days are about some guy begging his girl to come back to him or whaling about how he shouldn't have let her go. Have some pride, people. What happened to the good old days? I know where this comes from -- women wanting to listen to some hot guy grovel at their feet or imagining the song is from their ex-boyfriend so they can feel a visceral revenge.
Categories: opinion

Saturday, July 15, 2006

My Goddess: Exclamations of the Future

Why is it that in movies and TV shows, people in the future don't use the expression "Oh my God" anymore? Not that we use it that much these days,but whenever something startling happens, people in the future always have some weird variation. Like "Oh my Goddess!" Or "By the Gods!" I was watching one movie last night where the future is ruled by a dictator named the Master, and everybody goes "By the Master!" They never say "holy &*!#"or "what in @*&%." I guess a more enlightened future won't have curse words. Maybe we should start working on that right now, because you wouldn't want the future to come and all the profanity to disappear, and not have a backup plan. We'd hit our thumbs with a hammer and go "Ahhh! Oh,what's that word we used to say? I wish we had some expression to use right about now!" From now on, I say "By the slippery slopes of the mighty moons of Zordlokana!" Don't laugh...in a hundred years, we'll all say it.

IH8 BLNDZ

I hate blondes. Probably not a big surprise, given my love of blonde jokes and hatred of blonde celebrities like Paris and Britney, but I felt it needed to be said. Now let me say that I have less of a problem with women who are born blonde than those who dye their hair blonde.

Next time you're in a room full of people like the DMV or the movies, count the number of women with blonde hair. Chances are, most of those women are dying their hair blonde. The reason I hate bottle blondes is it shows a complete lack of imagination. "I wanna dye my hair. What color should I choose? Well, blondes have more fun." There are so many colors in the world. If all you can think of is blonde, then you are not even trying. Which means you're stupid. They might as well wear blue contacts, too, like Paris Hilton.

I know why women do it. Blonde gets you noticed, not because it's that beautiful, but because it's bright. It's like wearing a spotlight on your head. Not to say that blonde can't be hot, but I greatly prefer brunettes or redheads.

Bad Villain: Zsasz

One of the villains featured in Knightfall is Zsasz. I remember Zsasz. He was one of the reasons I stopped reading Batman, if not comics in general. He's a serial killer. He has that thing with carving notches in himself for every kill and wearing a mask, but he's still a serial killer. That's the problem with writers today, they have no vision. They would never come up with villains like the Joker and Two-Face today. Batman's villains should be larger-than-life, not the mundane evil we see in the real world. Maybe we've seen too much evil in our world to tolerate the kind of fun and simplistic evil of the old days.

Lincoln's Letter

I heard about this on the radio and looked it up. For perspective, Lincoln himself suffered the death of his first love and also several children...

President Abraham Lincoln wrote this touching letter of condolence to the daughter of his long-time friend, William McCullough. During Lincoln's law circuit days, McCullough was sheriff and clerk of the McLean County Circuit Court in Bloomington, Illinois. Early in the Civil War he helped organize the Fourth Illinois Cavalry, which he served as Lieutenant Colonel. On
December 5, 1862, he was killed during an night charge near Coffeeville, Mississippi.
--
Executive Mansion,
Washington, December 23, 1862.

Dear Fanny,

It is with deep grief that I learn of the death of your kind and brave Father; and, especially, that it is affecting your young heart beyond what is common in such cases. In this sad world of ours, sorrow comes to all; and, to the young, it comes with bitterest agony, because it takes them unawares. The older have learned to ever expect it. I am anxious to afford some alleviation of your present distress. Perfect relief is not possible, except with time. You can not now realize that you will ever feel better. Is not this so? And yet it is a mistake. You are sure to be happy again. To know this, which is certainly true, will make you some less miserable now. I have had experience enough to know what I say; and you need only to believe it, to feel better at once. The memory of your dear Father, instead of an agony, will yet be a sad sweet feeling in your heart, of a purer and holier sort than you have known before.

Please present my kind regards to your afflicted mother.

Your sincere friend
A. Lincoln

Star Wars vs Star Trek

Freddy vs Jason and Alien vs Predator opened up a whole new genre of film. Which begs the question -what would happen if Star Wars meet Star Trek? Someone found the answer...and it's on YouTube.
Categories: opinion

Jokebook: Drinking Contest

This Texan walks a bar and taps an Irishman on the shoulder. He says, "I hear tell you Irishmen are hard drinkers. Well, I'll bet you ten bucks ya'll can't do this."

The guy orders ten beers, then gulps them all down, one after the other. When he's finished, he turns to the Irishman and says, "Try that."

Instead, the Irishman gets up and runs out of the bar. The Texan laughs and considers himself the winner.

Fifteen minutes later, the Irishman walks back into the bar, taps the Texan on the shoulder, and asks, "Hey, pal, that bet o' yours still stand?"

The Texan shrugs and says, "Sure."

So the Irishman orders ten beers and immediately slams them all down.

While the Texan forks over the money, he says, "You know, I thought ya'll were runnin' out on the bet. How come you left?"

The Irishman says, "Oh, I wasn't sure I could do it, so I went to another pub to practice first."

Jokebook: Estrogen in Beer

Scientists have concluded that beer contains estrogen and turns men intowomen. How do they know? Because men who drink too much beer talk too much,get overly emotional, and can't drive.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Ask-A-Ninja

I recently discovered Ask-a-Ninja. It's a videocast of a ninja answering questions. It's consistently funny and goofy. Check it out at YouTube or Ask-a-Ninja.com. Oddly enough, the official site has fewer videos than YouTube. I look forward to killing you soon!

Jokebook: Windy City

A guy walks into a bar and sits down next to an old man. The guy orders a beer and drinks it, then gets up and jumps out the window.

A few seconds later, the guy comes floating back into the bar.

The old man asks, "How'd you do that?"

The guy says "Oh, there's a draft outside the window. If you jump out, it catches you and blows you back in."

The old man says "I've gotta try that" and jumps out the window. He doesn't come back.

The guy sits down and orders another beer.

When the bartender sets the beer down in front of the guy, the bartender says, "You sure are a mean drunk, Superman."

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Geektalk: The Current State of Comics

The experience of reading Knightfall also reminded me how out-of-touch I am with comics these days. Would you believe it came out in 1993, almost thirteen years ago? And I was falling out of synch with comics even back then. As for everything else, I was lost. I walked into the comic shop and realized I had to buy graphic novels to catch up quickly, but I didn't even know where to begin. When did Iron Man become an alcoholic again? A year ago? When did Green Lantern turn evil? Four years ago? When did the Hulk end up on the run again? Eight years ago? How many graphic novels would I need to buy just to understand the issue on the shelf right now? When I looked at it that way, there was no point. I wanted to read the latest issue of Spiderman, Fantastic Four, Hulk, and the Flash - all my favorites - but I realized I wouldn't understand them. I would have to read ten years worth of comics before I could enjoy the latest issue.
Categories: entertainment

Related:
My Review of Knightfall
Batman Vs Osama: Holy Terror

My Humps Sucks

To me, the song My Humps represents everything that's wrong with urban music. Let's start with the chorus. To refer to body parts on a woman as "lady lumps?" If that chorus had been sung by a man, he would have been accused of the lowest form of misogyny. Then there's the fact that she's bragging about how she can get things from men without giving anything in return, just by moving her "humps." Too many R&B songs by women are about that. Isn't that exactly what Kanye West immortalized in Gold Digger? But don't take my word for it. Slate agrees.
Categories: entertainment

The 11th Dimension: Extradimensional Theory

I won't pretend to understand this story, but it's fascinating to read nonetheless - the fact that the universe doesn't make sense with only four dimensions. Gravity, time, space, all of them point to other dimensions beyond what we can see and experience. I personally am a big fan of interdimensional mumbo-jumbo, the kind of stuff that blows your mind. So this article at MSN is right up my alley. May have to read it a few times to understand it, though.
Categories: science

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

News Nuggets

INTERNATIONAL
The United States continued to clash with the international community over how to deal with Iran's nuclear weapons ambitions. Some say that a military option should be employed. Others say that a diplomatic solution would be best. Others believe that economic sanctions should be employed. Still others believe that the new X-Men movie rocks.

U.S.
The president announced a new treasury secretary, Henry Paulson, to replace the former treasury secretary, Tony Snow. In response to the new appointment, the American people were quoted as saying "What's a treasury secretary?"

SPORTS
Jason Grimsley was released from the Diamondbacks after the federal government raided his house in a steroid investigation. The Diamondbacks confirmed that it was Grimsley who requested to be released, and the team oblidged, adding that they hoped the door didn't hit him on the way out.

The Diamondbacks also made history when they released Russ Ortiz in the middle of his contract. The team will owe Ortiz twenty-two million dollars making this the most expensive buyout in major league baseball history. Sources inside the team blame the disastrous decision on the fact that their general manager is on steroids.

ENTERTAINMENT
The new movie The Da Vinci Code was released to strong ticket sales. The movie involves a mystery behind a museum curator's death that unfolds a conspiracy behind Jesus Christ's death. The biggest mystery? How anyone could stay awake during the movie.

The Omen was released on the sixth day of the sixth month of the sixth year of the new century. The movie opened to big box office, right up until every theater showing the movie was struck by lightning.

New Yuk Times Update

The latest updates from The New Yuk Times:

Monday, June 19, 2006

Joketime: The Perfect World

"Heaven is where the police are English, the cooks are French, the mechanics are German, the lovers are Italian and everything is organized by the Swiss. Hell is where the police are German, the cooks are English, the mechanics are French, the lovers are Swiss, and everything is organized by the Italians."

Caption This: Emperor Squirrelpatine


This is what I thought of when I saw that picture...

Virtual Psycho: Schizophrenia Simulation


In order to help friends and family understand mental illness better, a drug manufacturer created a multimedia presentation that simulates what it's like to have schizophrenia. NPR has a slideshow with sound and graphics from the presentation. Be warned...it's truly disturbing, if not terrifying. After viewing it, I think we all come to a better understanding of the horrors of mental illness.
Categories: science

Adwatch: Nike' Likes Big Butts

Nike has created a new ad campaign which praises big butts and thighs. It's supposed to show that there are a wide variety of body types, not just the lean stereotypes in commercials. You can view the ad at Adrants. To me, this ad is quite clearly aimed at black women. I've never heard a white woman say these things, but have heard plenty of black women say them. Oddly enough, even this commercial is controversial on both sides. Some people say it's offensive to portray an unhealthy lifestyle as positive, but others say it doesn't go far enough because it portrays an athletic big butt, not a regular big butt. Boy, those big-butted women are never satisfied.

UPDATE: I've added the actual ad to this blog post, in case Adrants takes it down.

Related Posts
Booty Double: Jessica Simpson's Body Double
Modern Booty Technology: Beyonce's Wax Double
J-Low: The Fall of Jennifer Lopez

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Don't Go Cheap On...

Since going broke a few years ago, I've discovered there are some things you just can't buy on the cheap. You just have to pay full price.

1. Toilet paper - Use your imagination. It's the difference between touching a feather and sandpaper.

2. Spam - I think Spam is actually pretty good. Imitation Spam is what people think of when they think of Spam; ugly meat with an unfamiliar and creepy taste. As bad as you think real spam might taste, imitation spam tastes worse.

3. Pop-Tarts - There are imitation Pop-Tarts that are okay, but the kind they sell at 99-cent stores are downright nasty.

4. Pens - Even if you do manage to find that pack of two hundred pens for ninety-nine cents, one hundred and ninety-nine of them will run out of ink and stop working within ten seconds.

This list could be longer, but I'm tired.

Caption This: Squirrel Fight

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

It's Not Brad's Baby: Shiloh Jolie-Pitt

I was flipping through the tabloids and the National Enquirer's claiming that Angelina's baby isn't Brad Pitt's. The headline was "It's NOT Brad's Baby!" and took up half the page. Turns out she was involved with her ex-husband at the time, and an "insider" claims that Angelina did the math and thinks she might have gotten pregnant with him. If I were Brad Pitt, I'd do a paternity test. Now I really hate Angelina Jolie. What a ho. She's got the most desirable man in the world (according to some people) in the bag, and that's not enough - she's gotta sleep with some other guy. I don't really like Jennifer Aniston, but now I hope the two of them get back together, just to spite Angelina. The same article said that Angelina is trying to convince Brad to live outside the US because she's afraid he'll go back to Jennifer and wants to keep the two of them apart. Whoof, what a complicated love triangle this turned out to be. It would make a great soap opera.
Categories: entertainment

Related:
E! Network Plans All Brad and Angelina Channel

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Jason the Rat: Jason Grimsley's Drug Bust

The big story in sports these days is Jason Grimsley, a Diamondbacks pitcher who was raided for using human growth hormone, steroids, and amphetamines. According to reports, he was caught receiving a shipment of the drugs and not only confessed, but gave up the names of ten other baseball players who he says he gave drugs to. I find it interesting to compare the reaction to him to Barry Bonds. Surprisingly, people seem to be more upset about him squealing on other teammates than the fact that he cheated. They call him a rat and say he should honor the code of the clubhouse, not give other names. I find this perspective amazing. Look, he's a cheater and a drug trafficker. They talk like he has some sort of integrity to hold true to. The fact that he's a snitch is the least unpleasant thing about him. At least that has some defense - he was trying to protect his family and so forth. There's no defense for dishonoring the integrity of the game, and getting an unfair advantage over other players. And let's face it, we all want to know the names of the players who are using drugs in the major leagues. Who cares how we get them?
Categories: sports

Saturday, June 10, 2006

News Nuggets

INTERNATIONAL

Australians held a contest to find the country's ugliest sheep. The winner will be flown to the United States to become the new First Lady of Arkansas.

The president of Venezuela, Hugo Chavez, applauded high oil prices and called on OPEC to cut production to raise prices even higher. The rest of the world called on Hugo Chavez to be beaten to death with fuel pump hoses.

The United States managed to assassinate the number one al-Qaeda operative in Iraq, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi. Osama bin Laden was quoted as saying, "Glad they spent all that time looking for him instead of me."

U.S.
A new survey of college students found that iPods are more popular than beer. But the results have been questioned because the students taking the survey were drunk.

Fox crowned the nation's new American Idol, Taylor Hicks. At the same time, they crowned the nation's ugliest pop singer.

ENTERTAINMENT
Brad and Angelina had their baby this week. The baby has already been named as People's Most Beautiful Person for 2007.

Brad and Angelina sold their baby's first photos to People Magazine for 4.5 million dollars. They've already announced what they plan to do with it - pay for Angelina Jolie's yearly supply of lip balm.

In her divorce papers, Denise Richards accused her ex-husband Charlie Sheen of looking at a gay porn website. In response, the website's legal department released a statement that reads, "We prefer the term 'adult entertainment' to describe Mister Cruise's website."

Fox announced that it's planning a big-screen version of the hit TV series 24. There have been concerns about the success of the movie, since it'll be twenty-four hours long. Fox suggests packing a lunch.

SPORTS
Professional racing horse Barbaro broke its leg in the second race towards a Triple Crown win. Many fans worried about whether the horse would be shot, like other popular horses such as Horatio Nelson, Charismatic, and conservative commentator Ann Coulter.

The NHL playoffs went into full swing. And nobody cares.

See you next Tuesday.

Friday, June 09, 2006

Flashback Friday: Photon


It's hard to believe, but there was once a time when laser tag was a bold and futuristic idea. In the eighties, there were two competing systems - Photon and Laser Tag. The fact that the game of shooting your friends with lasers is now known universally as Laser Tag shows who won. Both of them made TV shows, and just like the games, one was better than the other.

Photon was about a modern-day (well, eighties, anyway) teenager Bhodi Lee who was secretly a member of an intergalactic police force. When he was summoned, he would go off on adventures to faraway planets to do battle with an elite team of aliens. They filmed some segments in blue-screen with alien planets projected onto the backgrounds. This idea was horrible. It gave the show a look that screamed "fake."

Fun Facts:
* The show was Japanese dubbed into English. Amazingly enough, I never noticed this when I was a kid. Shows how long ago it was.
* Every episode, the good and evil teams would race to charge a crystal with good energy or evil energy.
* The aliens were truly freaky. No bumpy foreheads on this show. One of Bhodi's partners wore a miner's helmet.

Links
X-Entertainment Episode Review
Vikki's Photon Page
Internet Movie Database
Chilandra's Photon Links

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

The McDonald's Employee Simulator


We all know that working at McDonald's is a glamorous job, but few people get to experience it in life. Until now. Artist Garnet Hertz has created the McDonald's Employee Simulator, a shockingly intricate and engaging website that accurately simulates what it's like to work at the Big Mac counter in a real McDonald's restaurant. If you can't work at McDonald's in real-life, this is the next best thing.
Categories: random-lynx

Dead Links: Free thriller novel ebook

It has begun...check out this free ebook, a thriller novel called Dead Links about the Internet, addiction, and mind control. Here's the summary:

A popular psychologist is shot to death by a jealous husband. A millionaire dives into a bonfire of his own creation. A woman starves to death in front of her computer next to a kitchen full of food.

The owners of popular websites are dying, and freelance journalist Amanda Katt wants to know why. Could it have something to do with Arachne, one of the most popular sites on the Internet? When Amanda Katt sets out to answer that question, she gets more than just another story. Someone has found a way to make a website more addictive than any drug. It will make people go anywhere, do anything, and kill anyone to protect it. As Amanda races to unravel the mystery of Arachne's power, she finds herself plunged into a world of death and deception. She soon discovers that Arachne is everywhere and so are its followers, and that she's the only one who can stop it before it's too late.

Check it out at Nigelgmitchell.bravehost.com

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Better Late Than Never: My Review of Knightfall

Knightfall is an amazing story. It's almost painful to read, so hard to see Batman weak and suffering like that. And knowing that in the end, he'll fail makes it worse. But it was cool seeing all Batman's old favorites in one story, especially with the looming menace of Bane. They actually spent more time on the peripheral villains like Firefly and the Ventriloquist than I thought. I guess because those villains haven't been done to death. I read an article that suggested Knightfall was a
more subtle version of the marketing ploy of killing Superman. Batman was killed psychologically and reborn. I want to read the next two volumes in the series.

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Ex Gets Exed From X: Serena Williams


I thought X3 was a good movie, way better than I thought it would be. But I remember being worried because I had heard Serena Williams was up for a role as a bisexual prostitute who uses pheremones to seduce her enemies. After I saw the movie, I was like "Where was she?" Turns out that role never got off the ground - the idea ended about the same time the director Brett Ratner broke up with her. Turns out the only reason that idea ever materialized is because Ratner was dating Serena Williams at the time. That's a relief.

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

Categories: entertainment

Friday, June 02, 2006

So You Think You Can Make A Hit Dance Show


They're trying to create a new American Idol with So You Think You Can Dance. Singing competition, dancing competition - two sides of the same coin, right? Here's the problem. When you win a singing competition, that opens a lotta doors. You release a record, it becomes a hit, you make another hit record, maybe parlay that into a movie or TV career. There's no brass ring for dancing. What do you do, become a back-up dancer for Britney Spears? Show up in a music video for Jay-Z? With American Idol, you have the dream of going from a nobody to a household name. Doesn't work that way for dancing. How many people even know who won last year's competition? And that name's too long, doesn't roll off the tongue. Why didn't they call it American Dancer or something like that?
Categories: entertainment

Thursday, June 01, 2006

New Coke 2007: The Healthier Lays Potato Chip

Frito-Lay's has shocked the snack industry by announcing that next year it's going to change the formula of its most successful product - the Lay's potato chip. It's going to start frying their chips in sunflower oil instead of cottonseed oil. Sounds like a small change, but it will reduce the fat content from 3 grams to 1 gram per serving. That will eliminate sixty million pounds of saturated fat from the diets of its consumers. Of course, this is great news for health advocates, but not so much for fans of the chips - like my wife. I applaud the move, but have to wonder about the taste. Is this a new age of health or the New Coke of the 21st century?
Categories: food

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Todd McFarlane's He-Man


Well, not really...but close. At a concept art forum, an artist re-designed He-Man characters to make them darker and more realistic. Some of them are awesome, some of them are lame, some of them are freaky. But it is interesting to see someone take it more seriously.

Warning: Contains nudity and adult themes.

Categories: entertainment

Related:
Evil Orko

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Jokebook: The Honest Drunk

A cop sees this car weaving down the road, so he pulls it over. The cop goes to the driver and asks, "Sir, have you been drinking?"

The driver says, "Sure have. I've had six beers, four shots of tequila, three margaritas, and a whole bottle of vodka."

The cop says, "Sir, I'll need to give you a breathalyzer test."

And the driver yells, "What, you don't believe me?"
Categories: comedy

Monday, May 29, 2006

Something Old: Madonna's "New" Image


I read an article in US Weekly that Madonna wants to go back to her more shocking persona because she misses the attention (translation: she needs more publicity [translation: she needs more money]). I can understand that. Somehow, the idea of Madonna writing children's books never really fit. One of her ideas is to come out on stage wearing a nude body stocking with whipped cream over her private parts. This, to me, is sad. In an age where celebrities appear on nationally-televised events in see-through gowns, the idea of a naked woman with whipped cream on her is not that big a deal. And she's not even naked - she's wearing a body stocking. Given that ten years ago, Madonna had no problem appearing naked in a book of homemade porno, I think this is an admission that her body isn't what it used to be. Someone needs to tell Madonna to give it up.
Categories: entertainment

Sunday, May 28, 2006

They Shoot Horses, Don't They: Barbaro's Leg


You may have heard the stories about Barbaro, the horse expected to win the Triple Crown, which broke its leg instead. The question immediately became "will the horse need to be put down?" To me, who knows nothing about horse racing, the next question became "why does it need to be put down?" I always thought the whole "horse broke its leg so we shoot it" thing was kind of cruel. After all, humans break legs, and go on to live healthy lives. Turns out that a horse breaking its leg really is life-threatening. Check out the mare facts (get it?) at Slate on why a broken leg is bad news for a horse. For a simpler explanation, try the FAQ at whiterose.com.
Categories: sports