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.

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