Tuesday, January 31, 2006

DVD - Minimum Requirements

To me, the absolute minimum feature a DVD can have is the movie's trailer. In fact, if a DVD doesn't at least have a trailer, I won't buy it. I'm serious. I mean, why not? You've already got the trailer. What else are you gonna do with it? To me, if they don't have the trailer, then it shows they put no effort at all into the DVD. And I won't support people who just shovel movies onto a disc without doing any extra legwork. Now, on the other end of the spectrum, DVD commentaries are the gold standard. If there's a commentary on the DVD, I'm more likely to buy it, just to hear what the director or the actors had to say. Unless the commentary is done by, like, the key grip or the music director or someone insignificant like that.
Categories: entertainment

How to Keep Me From Reading Your Blog: Lesson 4

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

Last week, I discussed the resonant effects of the R-59 transistor as it applies to the electronic medium included with the Vortex 88. Today, I'd like to expand on the topic as it applies to the tachyon matrix of the average base structure. If you've spent any time in the field of corodiatrics, you know that an enlarged static core will increase the reaction time by fifteen percent. But it's not like you can't open the rear panel and tweak the beaker chip up to nine-hundred! I don't understand why so many people think the Raptor Compound is unstable at a temperature of sixty-minus-two. I've managed to heat it until the rim vibration achieved stasis many times. But you know what they say? That's what you get you maximize the filaments on a gim-gim coronary capacitor!

See also:
Lesson 3
Lesson 2
Lesson 1

Challenging the Challenger Disaster Myth

MSNBC has an important article on the seven biggest myths of the Challenger disaster, at least one of which I'm sure you think is true right now. The myths include that the nation watched the shuttle destroyed live, that the astronauts were killed instantly, and that the shuttle even exploded at all. Oddly enough, I think it was Geraldo Rivera who first blew the lid of the myth that the astronaut died quickly and painlessly. I remember watching a TV special in the late eighties where Geraldo quoted anonymous NASA officials as saying they could hear the astronauts screaming on the radios as the cabin went down, and how their bodies were secretly collected in garbage bags and transported in unmarked vans for burial. Truth is a rare thing these days.

Geraldo's Mustache
Categories: science

Saturday, January 28, 2006

Jokebook: Silent Treatment

A guy walks into a bar, slumps into a chair, and orders a beer. The bartender says, "What's wrong, pal? You look down."

The guy sighs and says, "I am down. My wife is mad at me, and said she wouldn't talk to me for a whole month."

The bartender says, "Gee, that's too bad. When does that start?"

"Start? Today's the last day."

Jokebook: Playing with fire
Jokebook: Falling down drunk
Jokebook: Silent treatment

Categories: comedy

Monkey Migraine Gets Smacked

A long, long time ago, I stumbled across a blog called I Talk Too Much, which reviews other blogs. I decided to submit mine because I'm a masochist. I never thought about it again, figuring my blog would be chewed up and spit out, based on the angry reviews they have of other blogs. But a Technorati search of my URL popped up I Talk Too Much. Imagine my surprise at getting this review:

Basic Blogspot template tweaked. Short, uncluttered sidebar.

I like this blog. I read the entire front page because it entertained me. I like being entertained.

Ya know, some of these blogs are like movies you’ve wanted to see that turn out totally crappy in the first 10 minutes. Others you get through because there’s nothing else on. Then you have the movies that kinda suck you in and make you forget about you for a little while. That’s kinda what this blog is like.

It amused me. Some parts made me smile even. Wow.

I like it. F*** you if you don’t.

Merry Christmas, Monkey Boy.

Quite a relief. As for the template, I wish I knew how to get a new one or make my own, but it took me a couple hours just to figure out how to put my banner into the top. But I'll work on it.

Friday, January 27, 2006

Swing Low, Sweet Chariot: The Cottonfield Gag

Two things you need to know. One is that I'm African-American. The other is that there are a lot of cotton fields in Arizona. I never saw a real cotton field until I moved to Phoenix. Every time I pass by a cotton field, I can't help looking out there and imagining myself among the bushes, plucking cotton in the hot sun. That was the life of my ancestors and would be my life right now if it weren't for emancipation.

Sometimes, I wish I was the practical joker type. If I was, I would get a bunch of my black friends, dress up in raggedy clothes, and go out and start picking cotton in the fields. Then when the owner of the farm comes out to ask what we're doing, I go, "Just getting back to our roots." Then we all yell out "You're not our master!" And we all run off.
Categories: misc

A Million Little Lies Pt 2

Oprah Winfrey shocked the media world yesterday by doing the unthinkable, the extraordinary, something never before done by a celebrity in the entertainment industry - she admitted she was wrong. Oprah started Thursday's show with a public apology for supporting and defending her bookclub selection, A Million Little Pieces. She then proceeded to interview James Frey and his publisher and got him to admit that large portions of his book were false. Of course, this was not big news to those who read The Smoking Gun's expose' of him, but was big news to those who only believe what they see on television. I'm glad this happened and greatly admire Oprah Winfrey for choosing humiliation to preserve her reputation.

Note: The reaction to Oprah's public exposure of James Frey has, oddly enough, produced an enormous amount of sympathy for the guy. I guess Oprah overdid it, making herself look like a bully and Frey the victim. Even Salon, which earlier dragged Frey over the coals, published an article criticising Oprah for the performance.

A Million Little Lies
Categories: entertainment

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Jokebook: Falling Down Drunk

A guy walks into a bar, has a few drinks, and gets up to leave when the bartender calls him over. The bartender points at a guy lying next to one of the barstools and says, "Hey, buddy, do me a favor, will you? This guy's so drunk, he can't even stay on his stool. Will you drive him home?"

So the guy says fine and tries to help the drunk to his feet, but the drunk keeps falling over. So the guy puts his arm around the drunk and drags him to his car. The guy buckles him in, the drunk mumbles his address, and the guy drives him home.

When he gets to the house, the guy tries to get the drunk onto his feet again, but again the drunk's legs keep slipping out from under him. So the guy grits his teeth, puts his arm around the drunk, and drags him to his house. The guy rings the doorbell and the drunk's wife answers the door.

The wife looks at the drunk hanging off the guy and says, "Thanks for taking my husband home, but where's his wheelchair?"
Categories: comedy

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

The Fifth Network: The CW Network

The UPN and WB networks are going to merge into one new station called the CW Network this fall. Although it's being passed off as a merger, it sounds more like WB lost the war. The WB was underperforming. The UPN network head will run the new network and the WB's top executives will leave. I'm not sure what this means for the shows. I'm assuming Smallville will still continue, which is pretty much the only show I care about on either network. Going by the pattern of Fox, which promoted a lot of minority-themed shows when it first started, I'm guessing a lot of the minority-oriented shows will be dropped for the CW Network. I don't think the WB ever recovered from that stupid frog mascot.
Bonus: Turns out the WB officially killed off Michigan J. Frog at the beginning of the season.
Categories: entertainment

Nail File: The Fingernail-Ripping Nurse

Out of Japan comes the story of Nurse Akemi Sato, without question one of the worst nurses ever. Her favorite pastime? Ripping the fingernails and toenails off of paralyzed patients with her bare hands. Sounds like she has a promising career in an Iraqi prison. I couldn't find the answer to my main question: were the victims conscious when she tore off the nails? I suspect not because they didn't identify her right away. She tried to blame the incidents on someone else. "Hey, Nurse Sato, do you know what happened to Mrs. Takeshi's big toenail?" "I dunno. I thought I saw some guy with a pair of pliers run off that way." "Man, that's the third toenail we've lost this week." But after the forty-ninth missing nail, people got suspicious. She was caught, tried, and convicted. Her defense was that she was suffering from work-related stress and took it out on her patients. Somebody needs to get that lady one of those squeezeable stress balls. But with that kind of nail treatment, I would've thought this story would come out of Vietnam. Because there are a lot of Vietnamese nail salons in America, you see.
Categories: news

James Bond's PDA: The Computerized Rock

The Russians have blown up the British intelligence agency by not only accusing the UK of espionage in their country, but airing a documentary on national TV about it. Among other things, the documentary identifies the secret agents and at least one of the Russians who was working with them. The most popular part of this story is footage of a fake rock the Brits used with a computer hidden under it. A spy would walk up to it with secrets stored on their PDA or phone, transmit the info to the rock, which would store it until a British operative came by and downloaded it to his PDA. While that looks and sounds cool, it's actually not. The BBC interviewed an expert who pointed out the problems with the device. First of all, since the rock has a hard skin, it can't use the most efficient method of data transmission, infrared. Instead, it uses radio which uses up a lot of battery power. That means the battery probably has to be changed often. Imagine secret agents trying to discretely sneak up to the rock and change its batteries every day. And the data transmission would have to be fast, since the sight of a Russian diplomat standing next to a rock for an hour is kind of suspicious. Plus, radio can be intercepted. Anyone walking by the rock with a laptop would be able to access it, too. Worst of all, the rock looks terrible. It's huge and has a boring gray surface that looks like it should be used in landscaping. It's the kind of thing that would have been cool twenty years ago. Frankly, they should do better than this in 2005.
Bonus: There's a cool overview of British spy equipment at the BBC. Well, good spy equipment, anyway.
Categories: news

Sunday, January 22, 2006

The Phil Hendrie Show

You may have heard The Phil Hendrie Show already, but didn't know it. The Phil Hendrie Show is a radio show that makes fun of other radio talk-shows. As he so aptly described in one of his commercials, the whole thing is a goof. Phil Hendrie will bring on "guests" who do obnoxious, ridiculous, or downright weird things and interview them. Inevitably, someone who is unfamiliar with the show will call in and try to argue with them, thinking the guest is real. For example, Phil interviewed a man who was suing The Tonight Show because Jay Leno did a street segment where he asked the man who was the Vice-President, and the man said "Al Gore." The man is complaining that the segment was entrapment to make him look stupid. A woman called in to tell him it's his own fault for being stupid, and it quickly turned into an argument about the way she treats men in her life and even the fact that she's a lesbian. The most amazing part is that Phil Hendrie does all the voices himself. Not only does he have a gift for voices, but he's so good at having conversations with himself that it's easy to forget he's both people. He'll exchange pleasantries, have arguments, and even trade insults with (essentially) himself. Sometimes he even pretends to have technical problems. It's something that has to be heard to be believed. Unfortunately, in my area, Phil aired at ten o'clock at night on AM radio, so I only rarely get to hear him. But now he's airing on 101.5 FM on the new FREE FM at nine. I finally get my regular does of Hendrie. If you still don't get it, read this fascinating profile of the Man of a Thousand Personalities at LA Weekly.
Categories: entertainment

ABC Only Needs One Reason: Emily's Reasons Why Not

So many TV shows come and go each year, and I've long since given up my philosophy of giving every new show a chance. Life's too short. So when I saw the commercials for Emily's Reasons Why Not, I never even gave it a thought. Partially because it's a chick show, and partly because I hate Heather Graham. Only good role she's ever done is as a talentless whore actress in Bowfinger, mainly because I suspect it was autobiographical. But I digress. Point is, I didn't even know Emily was supposed to be the next big thing for ABC. But it was. And it wasn't. It got cancelled after only a single episode. I read the explanation by ABC, which was kind of vague, sort of a "just didn't work out" kind of thing. So I went to the reviews at metacritic, which explain it all. Seems it was just a bad show, and Heather Graham wasn't helping. As a fan of bad reviews, where critic vent all their humor and frustration, reading the reviews of Emily is a laugh riot. A sample:

I’ve often compared watching [Heather Graham] to watching a cardboard box. A hot cardboard box, sure, but they both appear to have about the same amount of charisma and personality. And the cardboard box may be a little smarter.

Here's hoping this finally kills Heather Graham's career once and for all.
Categories: entertainment

Saturday, January 21, 2006

How To Keep Me From Reading Your Blog: Lesson #3

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

The Democrats/Republicans are a bunch of traitorous, fascist, ignorant, racist, heartless, bleeding-heart, out of touch, child-molesting airheads. Everyone knows that my political party is the greatest on Earth, and that the opposing party is a bunch of losers. Join my cause to have them voted out of office, arrested, tarred and feathered, burned at the stake, and beaten to death with live rats. Even though I'm a cashier at the 7-Eleven, I'm smarter than everyone in both political parties combined. And do you know why? Because I read an article at Moveon.org/Newsmax.com.

See also:
Lesson 2
Lesson 1

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Celebrity Mugshots: Nick Nolte 2002

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

Monday, January 16, 2006

A Million Little Lies

Oprah Winfrey created a national bestseller when she nominated A Million Little Pieces for her book club. The book is a memoir about the troubled life of a drug addict and criminal. Unfortunately, the Smoking Gun conducted an investigation that showed the author, James Frey, lied. His book, which portray Frey as (among other things) an ex-con who went on a drug-fueled rampage in Ohio, underwent dental surgery without anaesthetic, and survived a hideous crash that killed two other people, is mostly exagerrated or made-up anecdotes making him seem tougher than he really was. This reminds me of the controversy over Clockers or more appropriately Confessions of a Dangerous Mind. Some people are saying, who cares if it's true? I'm not sure I understand that perspective. Obviously the readers care. Certainly Oprah Winfrey cares. Here's a simple question to those doubters: would you have read the book if it hadn't been true? If it didn't matter if the story was true or not, then why call it a memoir? The difference between memoirs and fiction is that truth really happened. And no one can deny that a true story is more compelling than even the best fiction. The same people who would never pick up the latest Mary Higgins Clark novel will rush to pick up a tabloid with Laci Peterson on the cover. That's why the author labeled it a memoir in the first place. I haven't read the book myself, but from what I've read about it, it sounds like the book would be dismissed as a cliche-ridden piece of garbage if it had been sold as a novel. As a memoir, we say "Well, this does sound like a cliche, but it's true, so I'll accept it." At best, it's a well-written novel masquerading as truth. At worst, it's a practical joke played on paying customers. I think it's kind of sad that a writer would resort to this kind of trickery to get published. Next time, try writing a good novel.

Slate's commentary on it:
Categories: entertainment

Sunday, January 15, 2006

News Nuggets

New York's transit strike finally came to an end after three days. Buses and trains began running again, to the relief of homeless people who were forced to urinate and sleep somewhere else.

The first Gulf Coast casino is set to reopen. The first prostitutes and drug dealers are close behind.

The TSA changed security guidelines to allow small scissors and nailclippers back onto planes. But they have still have restrictions against running through the aisles with them.

The parole board denied the request to release the ailing suicide advocate Dr. Kevorkian from prison. Kevorkian responded by saying, "You're just going to let me die? What kind of monster would let someone die and do nothing to stop it?"

The Mexican reacted with outrage over plans to create a bigger and stronger fence on the US border. Said President Vicente Fox, "This new fence could add a whole fifteen minutes to the trip."

A British newspaper handed over their video of supermodel Kate Moss using cocaine to the police. The police want to check the footage of a well-known celebrity taking drugs to see if there might be something unusual about it.

Eight people have been reported dead in a pipeline blast in Nigeria. Shell reacted quickly to the accident, saying, "This is a terrible tragedy. We've lost precious oil!"

In court, Saddam Hussein made the startling revelation that he was tortured by American forces. The news was greeted by an outpouring of sympathy by nobody.

Colombia began selling coca-leaf soda. It costs five hundred dollars a can.

The new Bolivian president may cause problems for President Bush, because it will force Bush to pronounce "Bolivia."

Because of a court ruling, Canadians can now have group sex in clubs. This news was almost enough to get Americans to pay attention to Canada.

A French ATM accidentally overpaid its customers in their withdrawals. Apparently, the ATM mistook someone on the camera as someone holding a gun and surrendered.


Brokeback Mountain, a film about two gay cowboys, tops many critics' Oscar lists. However, the film might be in trouble because Tom Cruise has threatened a lawsuit for stealing his lifestory.

The cast of Lost was named entertainer of the year by Entertainment Weekly, showing that people in Hollywood can't count.

With fancy garb and designer accessories, Italy is praising the fashion sense of the new Pope Benedict. In fact, he's so popular that UPN will be airing a new show, The Vatican's Next Top Model.

Time magazine named Bill and Melinda Gates as the Persons of the Year. Unfortunately a bug in Windows erased all the records of the award.

Gwen Stefani has announced that she is pregnant. The unborn baby already has a hit single, "I Ain't No Hollaback Embryo."

Tiger Woods delayed his return to golfing to "recharge his batteries." The sports world was shocked that Tiger would find sailing around the world in his own private yacht with his Swedish supermodel wife slightly more attractive than walking around a lawn hitting golf balls.

A columnist predicted that 2006 could be the year that Apple CEO Jobs falls off his pedestal. He also predicted that 2006 will be the year when Ashlee Simpson will be exposed as a talentless fraud.

More rings have been found around the planet Uranus. And more giggling has been found among schoolchildren.

The European Union may let genetically-modified crops into the organic food-green groups. They will push to create a new and important food group, the mutant food group.

A double-mouthed fish was pulled from a Nebraska lake. The fish was found in a lake next to the Springfield Nuclear Power Plant.

A U.S. judge rejected the practice of teaching intelligent design in classrooms. Instead, the judge embraced teaching intelligent re-decorating.

The FDA proposed reducing the allowable amount of lead in candy. However, the new rules face stiff opposition from powerful lobbyist, Willy Wonka.

Doctors successfully separated twins joined at the spine. The first thing the twins did? Aboslutely nothing, they're babies, what do you expect them to do, go water-skiing?

Scientists have discovered that honeybees can recognise people's faces. This study explains frequent reports of Mexican honeybees seeing the face of Jesus in their hives.

The European Union threatened Microsoft with a daily fine over their lack of promoting competition. The fine will be paid by Bill Gates' pocket change.

Low brain estrogen has linked to Alzheimer's in women. Ellen Degeneres and Rosie O'Donnell are considered most at risk

A baby penguin was kidnapped from a British Zoo. Authorities are looking for a house with an iceberg in the backyard.

Human footprints dating back to the Ice Age have been found a dry Australian lakebed. They have also found an imprint of a telephone being thrown at them by an ancestor of Russell Crowe.

See you next Tuesday.

Kitten 911: The Cat Who Called For Help

To those who say cats are worthless as pets, check out this story about a
cat who dialed 911 when his owner was hurt. What happened is, the police get a 911 call but no one answers the line. They trace the call and send a police car to the scene. There they find a wheelchair-bound man lying on the floor, unable to get up. While they tend to him, they find the phone on the floor with his cat lying next to it.

In case you're wondering (like I did), it wasn't a case of the cat accidentally dialing the number. It really did dial 911 on purpose.It seems the cat's owner was wheelchair-bound and spent a long time training the cat to dial 911 by hitting the speed-dial on the phone. He went so far as to leave the phone on the floor for the cat. But he wasn't sure if the training took until now. Yes, witness the dawn of a new breed: the rescue cat. Now we just need to train a cat to wear a little barrel of whiskey around its neck like the St. Bernard.
Categories: news

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Revenge of Indian Red: White Crayon Colors

SEDONA, AZ - Native American artist John Redhorse has created a new pack of crayons named after Caucasian skin tones. The crayons are a response to the famous Crayola Crayon color, "Indian Red." Redhorse says, "I wanted to create a political statement and also give little Indian children something to enjoy. Not only are these crayons real crayons that are fun to play with, but they give the white devil some of his own medicine." The Payola crayons feature colors with racially-insensitive Caucasian names such as Redneck Red, Pasty White, Frostbitten Blue, and Spray-On Tan Orange.
Categories: comedy

2005: The Year in Review

Oh, what a year it was! I thought I would join the parade of bloggers chronicling the best of the year. Truly, 2005 was a year to remember. So let's remember it.

For the news story of the year, I think it's the horrifying tragedy of the destruction of Moon Base Gemini by an asteroid. I don't think any of us will forget the moment we heard that our beloved twenty-year old moon colony was gone forever. But fortunately the colonies on Mars and Jupiter came to the rescue and saved four hundred souls, and construction of a new moon colony is well underway. As for celebrities, truly the best new singer to hit the scene was Patha-Tik, the sexy little Eskimo girl who introduced herself with the smash hit, You Smell Somethin' Funny. I predict her stylist fusion of hip-hop, country, and polka will be the new trend in music. Of course, the best new movie was March of the Bellybuttons, the heartwarming drama by Steven Spielberg about the journey of a piece of carpet fuzz into a young woman's bellybutton. I don't think anyone will be surprised when Demi Moore wins the Oscar for that one. And for my money, the best new TV show of the year was Undercover Cows, the hit show starring Sean Connery and Ashlee Simpson as football team mascots turned undercover cops living together in a small New York apartment.

Must See HDTV

HDTV is going to tear Hollywood apart. I never realized it, but low-definition is the celebrity's friend. Who can tell if you've got wrinkles or bags under your eyes when your face is the size of a postage stamp and twenty feet away? But the age of high-def is here, and it's going to send TV stars scrambling for surgery. That's because high-def shows every wrinkle, every bulge, every flaw in all its glory, on faces blown up to the size of a pizza pie. Pancake makeup just won't cut it anymore. TV Predictions even offers a most beautiful/most ugly list every year. Jessica Alba made the best list, but Teri Hatcher made the worst. I don't have high-def, but I'm curious now to see what my favorite actresses look like in detail.
Categories: entertainment

Alicia Keys Has Chest Hair

No joke. There are several pictures floating around the Net of Alicia Keys' chest hair from different occasions and angles. I don't begrudge her having chest hair, but why on Earth doesn't she have it waxed? She can afford it. Or at least don't wear a low-cut dress. But she sure can sing.

Friday, January 06, 2006

Jokebook: Playing With Fire

A guy walks into a bar and whispers something to everyone in the bar. As he whispers to them, one by one, the customers stop what they're doing and turn to watch him.

Finally the guy goes up to the bartender and says, "I'll bet you a thousand bucks that you can pour beer all over this bar and throw a lighted match on it, and it won't catch fire."

The bartender thinks that's weird, but he wants the thousand bucks, so he says "Okay, I'll take that bet."

The bartender fills a mug with beer and dumps the whole mug out onto the bar. He lights a match and throws the match on the beer. The bar immediately catches fire.

The bartender grins and says, "Well, I guess you owe me a thousand dollars."

The guy shrugs and says, "That's okay. I bet everyone in this bar five hundred dollars I could get you to set fire to your bar."
Categories: comedy